MINUTES OF ELTON PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD IN THE HIGHGATE HALL

ON TUESDAY 17TH MARCH 2015 AT 7.30 P.M.

 

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

 

In Attendance: Mrs W Gray (Parish Clerk), Charles Simpson, Office Manager for Shailesh Vara MP.

 

  1. Apologies for Absence: County Cllr M McGuire and District Cllr R Mathews.

 

  1. Declaration of Interest: None.

 

Matters Arising:

  1. Charles Simpson Office Manager for Shailesh Vara MP:

Mr Simpson thanked the Parish Council for inviting Shailesh Vara to a Parish Council meeting and for allowing him to attend on his behalf.  Cllr Smith provided background information on the A605.  The Parish Council would like Shailesh Vara to make representations to CCC to see if we can move priority to on the top of the radar.  Have given a presentation to highways re assessment levels, traffic increase, looking for some planned progress to bring it forward as a scheme, issue on agenda for schedule 106 monies etc.  We have requested plans outlining surrounding areas regarding the infrastructure, problem on A1 access traffic is diverted around.  With increased infrastructure (Haddon Development) where are all the heavy vehicles going to be diverted to.  No plans have been seen, would be beneficial to the Parish Council.  What is being proposed is a more simplified solution but can still make improvements.  Are there any particularly local issues that the Parish Council can help or contribute with?

 

Cllr Smith then talked through designs and a copy was given to Charles for him to take away.  Charles will type up his notes and give a copy to Shailesh Vara and no doubt he will respond to us and mention to CCC Legal Executive.

 

  1. Minutes of 17th February 2015:

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

 

  1. Matters arising from the above minutes:

Stocks Green – The Cllrs attended a meeting on 17th March at 3pm at HDC with CCC Legal and Highways departments and noted progress is being made.

 

Footpath outside Mill House – inspected by highways on 16th February 2015.  Highways advised there are no defects or hazards that require immediate attention and will continue to monitor the situation.  The Parish Council were of the opinion that the path was in a state of disrepair, poor lighting, aware that two people have fallen down in that area and requested clerk to write again to request repairs are carried out.

 

Potholes Chapel Lane – work finished but not completed as some potholes remain.

 

Huntingdonshire Local Plan to 2036 – our response to be logged on the portal by 20th March 2015.

 

Precept 2015/2016 – Paperwork completed and request made for £13,000.  It was noted that information had already been received by residents which showed a 1.1% increase, as this figure was the same as last year question to be asked why.  RESOLUTION PROPOSED BY Cllr Rankmore, SECONDED Cllr Strowbridge that we write to Cllr Mathews asking why an increase of 1.1% an explanation given so that we can report to residents.

 

  1. YTD/monthly accounts v budget:

Cllr Rankmore produced final budget – Cllr Donoyou proposed this is the budget we work from, knowledge that anything else we propose from now on comes out of reserves, seconded Cllr Porter, all in favour.

 

  1. Authorisation of Payments:
K & M Lighting Services – Maint March 2015 £61.15
Wendy Gray – Salary March 2015 £240.00
Wendy Gray – Tax March 2015 £60.00
Wendy Gray – Expenses £84.46
D Knibbs – Removal of Tree Root on School Lane £60.00

 

Cllrs Donoyou, Porter and Strowbridge signed off authorisation for above payments to be made, all in agreement. 

 

  1. Proposal for individual councillors to be responsible for different areas such as planning, verges, street lighting etc.  The planning councillor would be responsible for following through applications and reporting on their progress:

Keeping track of applications, Community Infrastructure Levy’s, S106 etc.  Do we get advised when there are changes!  Cllr Smith will look into how we can do this and set out a schedule.  Parish Clerk needs to do individual responses if more than one application.

 

  1. Communication between meetings and use of email:

Cllr Holman expressed concern that not everyone always responded to emails and there may well be a reason for this – felt in danger of taking decisions from Cllrs who do respond and not taking into account those that do not.  Cllr Donoyou could not recall any decisions being taken by email.  It was suggested when emails sent out get some sort of acknowledgement i.e. (acknowledge receipt), (open on receipt), (flagging emails), this would indicate who needs to be brought into discussions (by phone).

 

  1. Street Lighting:

Cllr Cummins reported – The PC must decide whether or not it wishes to carry on maintaining and replacing the lighting stock currently in PC ownership, or whether it wishes to explore the possibility of lighting responsibility being returned to CCC.

 

If the responsibility is to remain with the PC, then the PC must recognise that all costs [painting, repair, replacement of lighting posts lanterns and light bulbs, maintenance and repair of electrical supply and cabling, plus provision of new lighting methods to meet new legislative requirements] must inevitably  fall on the PC.  Current lighting levels are inadequate and so equipment revision will have to take place. And many of the current lighting units will have to be replaced in 2015 in any event, to meet new regulations.

 

The 2015/16 budget takes no account of any of the above costs – it covers only electricity supply and routine bulb replacement.

 

To sum up, the PC must recognise that there will be new charges against reserves in 2015/16 if the lights are to be kept.  These may be substantial and will continue beyond 2015/16.

 

I recall proposing a resolution that we should approach the CCC to discover whether there is any possibility of their taking over lighting, or offering any other assistance, and if so, what that might entail. The PCC would then be in a position to make its decisions.

 

Parish Clerk to check through records to see when Parish Council took control of their own lighting.

 

  1. A605 Junction:

See 3 above.

 

  1. Planning:

Black Horse – not withdrawn, EE are considering putting in a new resolution.

 

  1. Trees/Verges:

Two quotations received for maintaining the extra areas of vegetation –

For maintaining all vegetation at a height not exceeding 3 inches (75mm) at all times during the period March to September 2015.  It is estimated that this will require 4 cuts but it may be more depending on growing conditions.  The cuts should be made in a manner the contractor chooses, but must give an even and tidy appearance.  All clippings or arisings must be removed from the sward within 3 days of the cut.  All clippings to be disposed of.

 

Tenders opened on 17th March 2015 in presence of Wendy Gray – Parish Clerk, Councillors J Burgess, T Cummins, R Donoyou, M Holman, I Kirk, M Porter, R Rankmore, R Smith and S Strowbridge

 

Contractor Submitted Tender Price Other costs Total
Contractor 1 No Tender supplied
Contractor 2 £180.00 Not VAT registered £180.00
Contractor 3 No Tender supplied
Contractor 4 £320.00 Not VAT registered £320.00

 

All contractors were understood to hold appropriate insurances and were professionally qualified to complete

the works specified.  Accordingly, Contractor 2 was selected to carry out the specified works.

 

4 trees planted with help of Mark Holman, Parish Council and Louise from Elton Society.  Need to spend another afternoon doing tree maintenance.  Trees were free and came with tree guards.  Areas where trees planted:

Pumping Station – Evergreen Oak

Concrete Bus Shelter – Evergreen Oak

Entrance to Churchyard – Walnut Tree (Memorial Dr Blower)

Village Green – Red Hawthorn (Gill Thompson’s Grandmother)

Replanted hedgerow on School Lane

Cllr Donoyou requested assistance in watering the new trees.

 

  1. Broadband:

Scheduled for autumn, several operators and costs.  Agreed that we would not want Gigaclear.

 

  1. Correspondence:

Tiggers Cattery – Planning Enforcement Officer reported had visited site and have concluded that at this moment in time there has not been a material change of use.  The owner has been informed that if the scale, scope or nature of the activities being undertaken changes in any way then planning permission may be required and they should seek advice from the Local Planning Authority before the change takes place.

 

Signs A605 (vegetation) – CCC are obtaining quotes for the vegetation to be cleared to make the signs visible.

 

  1. Reports from Councillors:

Meeting with School Governors re planning application attended by Cllrs Holman, Donoyou and Rankmore:

  1. Actual materials used – did not think design would fit into the village
  2. Position re parking – extension to the school might mean more increase to number of pupils, 17 in the village, a further 20 in the catchment area, total 130 will increase parking problem
  3. School Governors agreed that the School bus should not be parking in Middle Street.
  4. School Governors having discussions with EE re possible use of Black Horse Car Park i.e. extended by EE and given over to parents to use during school start/finish times

 

Cllr Donoyou reported – we asked for any grant of planning consent school should produce transport plan as

part of that consent.  Transport person at CCC offered to come to the school, school did not get in touch.  The

Parish Council are happy to work with the school.

 

The majority of pupils now come from the Peterborough Unitary area and that council does not appear

interested in helping with School finances

 

Design of the building – email produced from architect, had a meeting with the planners and a new proposal is

going to be submitted (will we get another application) we would be advised on what is going to happen.  The

Governors were appreciative of the fact that we are prepared to work with them re total congestion in the

village in the mornings.  Stated that they had a solution but not at this time prepared to say what that is at this

time.  They had strong confidence that the solution would work and would resolve the matter.

 

Fly Tipping – over top of the hill, first unofficial lay-by – rubble.

Bullock Road – builder’s rubble.

Gated Road – rubble.

Pot Holes bottom of Greenhill Road – reported.

Broadband – i.e. mobile phone coverage i.e. sharing costs (Church Tower – not interested).

 

Cllr Donoyou reported on the Local Plan – need to put something in writing and submit to HDC by 20th     March.  Proposed response:  Elton Parish Council met on 17.3.2015 and resolved that the following         comments be formally submitted as part of the Local Plan consultation process.

  1.        LP 5 and associated criteria.  The pc confirms agreement to the definition of Elton as a small         settlement.  We wish to point out that in addition to the criteria set out in LP4, Elton has no mobile phone        reception and limited broadband, there is no public available play space for children and young adults from 0        – 18 years, there is a waiting list for allotments and no doctors or dentists surgery.  We therefore do not       foresee any possibility of up-grading Elton from a small settlement to a Service Centre within the plan period.
  2.  LP 5 Strategy For Development.  We note that the Strategy for development has dispensed with village envelopes and now relies on the phrase “located within the built up area”.  Over the years, constant             infill within the built up area have had a           detrimental effect on the conservation area because almost all large gardens have been infilled with new housing.
  3.  LP8 Sustainable Communities  (housing).  The effect of current policies and planning agreements     regarding social housing have positively discouraged the provision of a range of homes.  The reality is that       developers will only submit applications for 2 or less large houses to avoid social housing obligations arising          from proposals with 3 or more dwellings.  The effect of this is that, over the last 20 years, almost the only new            dwellings built are very large houses of 5/6 bedrooms, often isolated in their own plots behind walls and             security locked gates.  The parish council is extremely concerned that this will continue when what is needed     to fulfil policy LP 8 is more modest private market houses of say 2-3 bedrooms which are more likely to be    afforded by / occupied by families with children who will go to the village school and who are more likely to        regularly use village facilities such as the shop, allotments and so on.
  4.  LP8 Sustainable Communities Infrastructure Provision.  We note that item (h) seeks to provide            appropriate infrastructure to meet needs generated by proposed development.  This policy needs to be   accompanied by specific procedures and guidance for parish councils to enable them to help provide and        maintain facilities such as parish owned street lighting, play areas, allotments etc.  At the present time there is   a massive gulf between the operation of section 106 agreements and CIL and the ability of local   communities to access sufficient funds to maintain and provide community infrastructure.
  5.  LP8 (i) Promote walking, cycling etc.  Despite Elton being a “gateway” from Greater Haddon and      Peterborough into the Nene Valley and Cambridgeshire / Northamptonshire Countryside, there are no firm   proposals to investigate commuter and leisure cycling and walking routes.  It should be possible to provide a           largely off road footpath/cycleway from the Bullock Road, down Greenhill and along Overend to meet the old          line of the A605 (the carriageway still exists) and thence to Warmington.  This would give a largely          segregated footpath cycleway from Greater Haddon to Oundle.  The parish council is of the view that leisure             visitors to the village would benefit local businesses and would welcome further discussion on this and other          routes.
  6.  Paragraph 9.36.  This states that the key to sympathetic management of heritage assets is having a          clear understanding of the assets…”  Yet, there is no commitment in the plan to take steps to increase     understanding by, for example conduction conservation area appraisals of villages in conjunction with local c            communities.  Elton parish council is of the view that there needs to be greater shared understanding of issues    such as the suitability of sites for new dwellings, infill design, the choice of building materials and so on and             would welcome a firm policy commitment to increase understanding of the districts heritage.

 

Footpaths – signs have gone up on north side of the village – what is happening landowner has served notice          on Northampton (1st March) *** for rights of way.  We want assurance that claim that we are answering      remains there and which we have been in touch with Warmington Parish Council over the years, because   CCC have no rights of way staff and cannot help with the claims, we need to write a letter to Northampton CC

with summary information – Cllr Donoyou to write draft letter.

 

Red Bridge – cars parked, no one living there, no sewerage etc?  Cllr Donoyou will take some photos.

 

Cllr Donoyou suggested that the PC register a caution against first registration of the land at Stocks Green.

Cllr Holman mentioned that this might leave the PC open to an action for damages.  Cllrs Holman and

Donoyou to investigate further and report back.  Also this raised a question concerning individual Councillors

Liability.  Parish Clerk to report back on this issue.

 

  1. Date of Next Meeting:

Tuesday 21st April 2015 commencing at 7.30 p.m.

 

Cllr Rankmore offered apologies will not be able to attend April meeting.

 

Meeting closed at 10 p.m.

 

 

Signed: ………………………………                             Date: ……………………..