MINUTES OF ELTON PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD IN THE HIGHGATE HALL

ON TUESDAY 16TH SEPTEMBER 2014 AT 7.30 P.M.

 

Present:   Cllrs J Burgess, T Cummins, R Donoyou, I Kirk, M Porter, R Rankmore, R Smith

 

In Attendance:   Mrs W Gray (Parish Clerk), Cllr M MacGuire,

 

  1. Apologies for Absence: Mrs S Strowbridge

 

  1. Declaration of Interest: Cllrs Cummins, Porter and Rankmore item 10 (Furze Golf Club)

 

Matters Arising:

 

  1. Co-option of Councillors:

Cllr Burgess gave a short resume of why he thought Mr Holman would be an asset to the Parish Council.  It was then proposed by Cllr Donoyou, seconded by Cllr Cummins that Mr M Holman was co-opted onto the Parish Council, all councillors in agreement.  Mr Holman was asked to join the rest of the Councillors in the meeting.  Parish Clerk to arrange for relevant documentation to be completed.

 

  1. Minutes of 15th July 2014:

Cllr Cummins proposed minutes were accepted as a true and accurate record, seconded Cllr Donoyou, all in agreement.

 

  1. Matters arising from the above minutes:

Stocks Green – Elton Society had written to the Chair confirming their support to the Parish Council and CCC to ensure that the verge on Stocks Green is returned to grass. 17 Elton residents attended the meeting.  The Parish Clerk confirmed that 9 other emails confirming support had also been received.

 

Cllr MacGuire confirmed that an enforcement notice had been served to Sir W Proby on the 20th August and that the notice runs out on the 19th September.  The notice enables CCC to put the verge back to grass and recharge Elton Estates for the costs involved.

 

A solicitor for Elton Estate has written to the County Council 2 days before the notice was due to expire, challenging the County Council’s ownership and threatening a stop procedure and costs should the County restore the verge to its state of 12 months ago.

 

Cllr Burgess confirmed he had contacted Sir W Proby through his PA, advised seriousness of the situation.  He said Sir William admitted that the posts and parking spaces were installed without the necessary consents and wanted to resolve the situation before the enforcement notice came in.  However, Elton Estates had not put this intention in writing.  Cllr Burgess reported he had invited a representative of Elton Estates to attend this parish council meeting.

 

Cllr Burgess and Cllrs Smith, Kirk, Cummins had met with Elton Estates on site on 21st August and made clear that it was the wish of the parish council that the posts and parking spaces should be removed forthwith and the land returned to its former state of grassed highway verge.

 

Cllr Donoyou advised that not all parish councillors were made aware of the proposed meetings with Elton Estates.  The question of governance was raised and it was concluded that all councillors should be made aware of all proposed meetings and should be given the opportunity to attend, unless specific individuals were nominated at a full parish council meeting.

 

IT WAS PROPOSED BY Cllr Cummins, SECONDED BY Cllr Rankmore and RESOLVED “THAT A NOTE OF THIS MEETING BE PRODUCED AND SENT TO ELTON ESTATES AND CAMBRIDGESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL.”

 

Cllr Burgess also advised he had other meetings with Elton Estates, which other councillors attended relating to the A605 bypass junctions.

 

 

There was a general discussion and it was agreed that the issues of the posts and residents parking to 1 & 3 Stocks Green, visitor parking and the bypass junction were all separate and should not be linked.

 

Cllr MacGuire reported that he expects the CCC legal department to respond to the solicitor’s letter from Elton Estates and, on the basis of the evidence would expect the County legal experts to confirm the enforcement and reinstatement procedures.  He would keep the parish council informed of progress through the clerk.

 

Cllr Donoyou PROPOSED and Cllr Rankmore SECONDED and it was RESOLVED THAT “THE PARISH COUNCIL REAFFIRMS ITS PREVIOUS RESOLUTUIONS TO SEEK THE REMOVAL OF THE POSTS AND PRIVATE PARKING SPACES AND THE REINSTATEMENT TO GRASS OF THE HIGHWAY VERGE TO NOS 1 & 3 STOCKS GREEN AND WILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT CAMBRIDGESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL IN ITS ACTIONS TO ACHIEVE FULL REINSTATEMENT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, THE UNAUTHORISED WORKS HAVING NOW BEEN IN PLACE FOR ALMOST 11 MONTHS.”

 

State of Road in Chapel Lane – Cllr MacGuire will follow up with Emma Murdon (highways) following her visit to area after last meeting.

 

BT Kiosk – Defibrillator – Paint and undercoat received.

 

Red Bridge improvements – Northamptonshire Highways report “a provisional start date for repairs to commence is Monday 3rd November 2014.  The road will have to be closed for approx 5 days off peak times to conduct works.  There is no danger of the structure collapsing as the guardrails sit in a concrete plinth which in turn is formed on top of the structures wing wall below.  The wing wall below has sustained no damage and is holding the concrete and carriageway in place as always.

 

Stile over Gate nr River Lane – Noted that this has been removed and a sign erected saying (words to the effect) “Private – Fishing Club Members Only”

 

Open Access to Mill – Natural England advise that they have been in contact with land owner regarding the access boards and are hoping to rectify the issue shortly.

 

  1. YTD/monthly accounts v budget:

Cllr Rankmore reviewed the figures produced by the clerk receipts and expenditure to date and what we are committed to for the rest of the year to 31st March 2015.  Reported that we had £2200 before we exceed budget for the year unallocated.  We need to start thinking about next year i.e. projects we need to undertake to include in precept for next year.  It was agreed that a budget forecast would be distributed with the papers for the next pc meeting.

 

Defibrillator – Alex Baird had forwarded email to clerk re invoice received for £177.04 for electrical works and was hoping that Parish Council might cover the cost of this bill.  Email circulated to all cllrs for consideration.  Cllr Rankmore requested that we try and get an accurate figure for what the running cost going forward will be, encouraging Alex to continue to raise money to support it.

 

Cllr Donoyou PROPOSED, SECONDED Cllr Smith that “THE PARISH COUNCIL WILL MAKE AVAILABLE £177.04. TO COVER THE DEFIB / PHONE BOX ELECTRICAL WORK.”

 

  1. Authorisation of Payments:
August
K & M Lighting Services – Maint August 2014 £61.15
A Flatters – Grasscutting August 2014 £445.00
Wendy Gray – Salary August 2014 £240.00
Wendy Gray – Tax August 2014 £60.00

 

September

K & M Lighting Services – Maint September 2014 £61.15
Wendy Gray – Salary September 2014 £240.00
Wendy Gray – Tax September 2014 £60.00
Wendy Gray – Expenses £73.36
PKF Littlejohn – External Audit £120.00
Mr I Kirk – Repairs/Petrol for mower £54.61
Mr B Shrive – Petrol Church mowers £68.05

 

Cllrs Donoyou, Porter and Rankmore signed off authorisation for payments to be made. 

 

 

Note:  A query was made re the delegated authority for making repairs to the mower without recourse to the parish council.  The  Parish Clerk checked files after meeting – at PC meeting of 19th February 2013 the following was agreed:

 

“The churchyard equipment is in need of servicing i.e. three mowers, three strimmers, would the Parish Council fund the repairs.  It was requested that quotes are obtained and a limit of £500 will be set aside.

 

It was discussed whether the Standing Orders should be changed to reflect £3,000 the limit for grasscutting before we had to put out to tender, this was proposed by Cllr Truman, seconded by Cllr Porter, all in favour.”

 

The Parish Clerk reported on External Audit Report comments – “on the basis of our review, in our opinion the information in the annual return is in accordance with proper practices and no matters have come to our attention giving cause for concern that relevant legislation and regulatory requirements have not been met.  Signed  PKF Littlejohn LLP, 5th September 2014.”

 

  1. Street Lighting: Nothing major to report.

 

  1. A605 Junction:

Cllr Smith reported concern with increased traffic in the village with the Haddon Township Scheme, part of the infrastructure going to be linked into A14 will bring more and more traffic into Elton.

 

Cllr MacGuire reported that Section 106 money is for Peterborough City Council development, therefore CCC is not going to receive any money for off site highway works.  Cllr MacGuire noted that Elton PC had not taken the opportunity to attend the master planning meetings for the Haddon developments.

 

Cllr Smith outlined his proposals and answered questions from the floor.

 

Cllr MacGuire will suggested CCC highways further investigate the possibility of advancing junction improvements with the parish council.  Cllr Donoyou thanked Cllr MacGuire and said Elton PC would welcome him putting this proposal on the CCC agenda.

 

Cllr Donoyou PROPOSED and Cllr Cummins SECONDED and IT WAS RESOLVED that the PC “WRITE TO CAMBRIDGESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL SEEKING JOINT WORKING TO BRING FORWARD FIRM PROPOSALS FOR THE A605 JUNCTION IMPROVEMENT.”

 

  1. Planning:

1401348OUT – construction of 7 holiday lodges and management accommodation with bed and breakfast facility with access road and landscaping at Elton Furze Golf Club, Bullock Road, Elton PE7 3TT – one or two councillors had been to the site to review.  No issues raised, it was therefore proposed by Cllr Rankmore that we support this application, seconded Cllr Cummins all in favour.

 

Cattery at Oakleigh Farm – Parish Clerk had contacted HDC on 1st September to enquire if a planning application had been raised or indeed if any planning was required as nothing had been received by the Parish Council.  Response to email from HDC “will pass this on to Enforcement as I cannot see an application for change of use on this site.” 10th September 2014 update from HDC Planning “Ms Kerri Millican is investigating this matter and will endeavour to contact you again within 6 weeks from the date of this email.”

 

Proposed Development to Rear of River Lane (Chestnuts Farm Yard) – In response to concerns raised from the public, it was confirmed that the parish council had been presented with draft proposals for the views at the PC meeting of 15th April 2014 and the parish council resolved that

  • The principle of development accepted
  • Traffic issues would be a major concern as road into River Lane is very tight anyway.
  • 3 / 4 bedroomed houses that could be afforded by families were preferred on the basis that these would be purchased by people who would be most likely to have children who would go to the village school, use the village shop, etc.
  • The parish council noted that the new houses over the past 10 years mainly comprised 5 bed + gated properties and more modest housing would be desirable.
  • The parish council would wish to see some community benefits with the development and noted that it had received 6 requests for allotments and there were continuing concerns about the number and upkeep of the traditional street lights.
  • It was noted that care would need to be taken over the design of the access.
  • Sir William Proby asked for Parish Councils initial thoughts on affordable housing; this would be discussed at a future meeting, when more definite plans were put forward.
  • David Shaw said more detailed plans would be brought to a future parish council meeting for further discussion.
  • Cllr Donoyou thanked Mr Shaw for attending meeting, information provided was very helpful and we looked forward to receiving information on the next stage.

 

It was made clear that this resolution represented the agreed position of the parish council on this informal presentation.

 

  1. Trees/Verges: Maintenance of overgrown verges/dead trees contract and Potential liability for the Parish council regarding cutting & clearance work.

 

Cllr Donoyou asked question why proposed work (which was agreed in February) had been delayed.  Cllr Burgess reported that when he took over as chair tried to find out who actually owned land (Little Spinney) and until we find out did not want to spend ratepayers money if not our responsibility.

 

Cllr Donoyou expressed concern that the land ownership had been previously checked with the County Council, the contract had been let following a formal resolution of the parish council and notices posted and local people would be somewhat confused by the fact that the works then did not take place.

 

The Parish Clerk highlighted for the benefit of new councillors that the Parish Council had produced a list of projects that they wanted to see done within and for the benefit of the village.  In September last year Cllrs Burgess, Kirk and Porter together with Cllr MacGuire had a walk round village highlighting  areas in need of attention, at the October meeting (unfortunately Cllr Burgess was not present) the list was discussed and it was acknowledged by all Cllrs present that there were a lot more areas in the village in need of attention.  A further walk around was carried out in early November (all Cllrs except Cllr Burgess) the parish clerk also took notes, a map was obtained from highways highlighting highways land and which areas the Parish were responsible for maintaining.  A list was produced (areas marked on a map) and discussed at November meeting and it was unanimously agreed that this was a project the PC would undertake.  A tender was sent out and responses received and opened at February meeting (all Cllrs with exception of Cllr Burgess in attendance), the contract was awarded and contractor cleared two areas before the end of February (advised by Defra not to touch any hedges between 1st March and 31st July.  It was agreed at June/July meetings that work would commence as soon as possible after the 1st August – contractor had set aside two weeks commencing 4th August to carry out works.  Notices were placed around the village by the clerk on the 20th July – a note was received in the post from the chair on the 24th July (dated 22nd July) that no work was to be carried out until further notice.  Clerk contacted contractor and duly removed signs on 24th July.

 

All contractors have Public Liability and produced documents at the outset but some parish councillors expressed concerns that if the contractor should sustain personal injury there should not be a basis for a claim against the Parish Council.

 

Cllr Rankmore PROPOSED, Cllr Cummins SECONDED that CLLRS DONOYOU, RANKMORE & CUMMINS  REVIEW THE CONTRACT DOCUMENTS AND RENEGOTIATE CONTRACTURAL ARRANGEMENTS TO ENSURE THE POSSIBLE LIABILITIES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL ARE MINIMISED.

 

  1. Correspondence

Parish Footpaths CCC workshop 29.10.2014:  Cllr Donoyou and Lynda Porter would like to attend.  Parish Clerk to advise.

 

Report from PCSO – PCSO to be asked to attend next meeting to explain in more detail his reports.

 

  1. Reports from Councillors:

Planning Application Beulah House – Cllr Smith reported a personal interest but having attended a panel meeting at Huntingdon, was disappointed that the comments from the Parish Council were seemingly mis-represented.

 

It was noted that the planning authority has seemingly not taken into account the views of the parish council on other applications.  Cllr Burgess – a Mr Warden is buying a house on Carysfort, has concerns, our recommendations put forward to planning (Black Horse) do not appear to have been incorporated in the planning decision.

 

Cllr Donoyou PROPOSED and Cllr  Burgess SECONDED the resolution that “THE PC WRITE TO THE DISTRICT COUNCIL PLANNING DEPARTMENT SEEKING CLARIFICATION ON THE REPORTING OF PARISH COUNCIL COMMENT AND THE WEIGHT GIVEN TO PARISH COUNCIL COMMENT ON PLANNING APPLCIATIONS.

 

Cllr Porter – Wooden Bridge over the Willowbrook stream is now in bad state of repair – IT WAS AGREED THAT QUOTES BE SOUGHT FOR THE REPAIR OF THE STEPS EITHER SIDE OF THE SPAN.

 

 

  1. Date of Next Meeting:

Tuesday 21st October 2014 commencing at 7.30 p.m.

 

Meeting closed at 10.45 p.m.