Annual Parish Council Meeting 4 May 2021

Minutes Uploaded on July 25, 2021

Annual General Meeting of the Parish Council held online Via Zoom link
7.30pm Tuesday 4th May 2021

Chairman Peter Deer (PD)
Councillors Alison Brolls (AB) Victoria McNeil (VM) David Pope (DP) Margaret Stevenson (MSt) James Witherow (JW) Rob Askham (RA)
Clerk Mrs E Sim (ES)
In attendance C.Cllr Mandy Smith
2 Parishioners

2021/05-1 Election of the Chairman of the Parish Council.
PD was elected unopposed (Prop DP Sec JW all in favour)
2021/05-2 To receive and approve apologies for absence
2021/05-3 To receive councillors’ updates of their Registers of Parish Members’ Financial and other interests
Alison Brolls, Victoria McNeil, Margaret Stevenson, James Witherow and Rob Askham had no changes to update.
David Pope submitted changes to his Register of Interests.
Public Participation/Forum 19:35
Item Raised: Flooding
Resident Commented

  • In 2001 twenty properties in the village flooded.
  • An Engineer’s report was commissioned in early 2000s to assess the viability of (1) holding ponds to stop water entering the village and (2) a new channel behind the school found that (1) would be unlikely to be taken on board by the Environment Agency and would not be economic but (2) was a possible option.
  • In 2006 an engineer was commissioned by the PC to provide a report on (2) for the Environment Agency. Plans submitted to the EA were signed off and the EA gave official consent for a channel behind the school to be constructed.
  • In 2006/7 agreement was reached with local landowners and it was expected that South Cambs DC would dig the new channel.
  • The PC was subsequently informed that this could not be done until the completion of works on flood prevention in Conington and Fen Drayton. These were completed many years ago yet the channel behind the school has not been dug.
  • In 2020 the school flooded twice. The Poacher public house also flooded.
  • It is incumbent on SCDC District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council to implement the plans that were made for digging the channel and alleviating the flooding issues suffered by Elsworth, as the Victorian drainage system in the village is unable to cope with the volume of water that is now draining from fields due to increased irrigation of farms and climate change.

Item Raised: Request for grant for village Volunteer Litter pick group.
Resident commented:

  • The litter picking group had operated for two years now and provided a valuable service to the community.
  • The group was an independent entity and carried its own liability insurance.
  • The group had expanded in number and more grabbers were required.
  • Financial assistance in the form of a grant to cover the cost of the year’s insurance and the purchase of new equipment would enable the group to continue to function.

Forum Closed 20:10

2021/05 -4 To receive declarations of interest & requests for dispensations
4.1 To receive declarations of interest from councillors on items on the agenda
JW Declared and interest in Item 9.2 (Landowner)
4.2 For declarations of interest received, Councillors to inform the Chairman if they wish to speak on the matter at the agenda item prior to discussion. None
4.3 To receive written requests for dispensations for disclosable pecuniary interests (if any). None
4.4 To grant any requests for dispensation as appropriate. None

2021/05-5 To consider plans for the Parish Council’s conduct of business after May 6th 2021 and the need to delegate full powers for The Parish Clerk and RFO to conduct the business of the Parish Council in consultation with the Chairman.
The Clerk advised that the government had not extended legislation permitting on-line Parish Council meetings beyond May 6th 2021. Councillors resolved unanimously to extend full powers for the Parish Clerk and RFO to enact the business of Elsworth Parish Council (in consultation with the Chairman) should the Parish Council members be unable to meet face to face and legislation is not put in place to permit remote meetings”.

2021/05-6 To sign & approve the Minutes of the Council meetings dated 18th March 2021
It was proposed, (VM) seconded (JW) and unanimously approved that the Chairman sign the Minutes with no amendments.

6.1 Matters to Report from the previous minutes
Footpaths. JW and PD met the County Council’s Rights of Way Officer and the farm manager of Pitt Dene Farm to discuss matters raised by parishioners regarding access to Meadow Drift. They were advised that the behaviour of some walkers towards the staff of Pitt Dene Farm was unacceptable and that there were serious health and safety concerns for the farm over heavy farm machinery operatives being unable to see walkers or dogs, as well as unauthorised use of the reservoir. The PC had faciliatated a meeting between the County Rights of Way Officer and the County’s Asset Information Definitive Map Officer and representatives of the walkers to discuss legal issues.

It was noted that new silos were being constructed on Pitt Dene Farm near Meadow Drift and concern was raised that heavy vehicles would use Broad End to access these.

6.2. Clerk’s Update.

  • Flooding. The Clerk advised that a meeting had already been arranged with County Council and District Council Flood Officers for May 12th to discuss flooding issues in the village and the re-formation of the Elsworth Community Flood Group. It was understood that collaborative working between the councils was in progress over flooding issues and that considerable funds were now available through the County Council for ongoing projects to help villages suffering from flooding. District Council officers have been in touch with the school about flood alleviation. Edward Davison is liaising with Pitt Dene Farm regarding ditch clearance. A paper from a parishioner concerning the flooding of the Brook had been circulated to all councillors which would be referred to the Flood Group.
  • Street Signage. The PC’s request for new street signage (refer March 2021 Meeting) had been passed to the District Council. Provision of new signs was dependent on the District Council’s budgets.
  • Planning applications Martins Farm. Greater Cambridge Planning Officers were recommending refusal. The Parish Council was therefore content to withdraw its request for the applications to go to planning committee.

2021/05-7 County Council and District Council Business
7.1 County Council Update
Cllr Mandy Smith reported:

  • LHI applications would be requested shortly. MS suggested the school and the PC might put forward an application to address the traffic problems in Broad End. PD reported that he had contacted the Chairman of the School Governors to indicate the PC would be willing to join with the School if it had any proposals to make.
  • East West Rail. MS stated that she had no opinion on the current proposals.

7.2. District Council update. No District Councillor was present.

2021/05-8 Finance
8.1. To approve and sign the Council’s Annual governance statement 2020/2021. Approved unanimously. (Prop DP 2nd VM)
8.2 To approve and sign the Council’s Accounting statement and Certificate of Exemption for the year ending March 31st, 2021. Approved unanimously. (Prop DP 2nd VM).
8.3. To note the Annual Internal Audit report 2020/21. Noted
8.4. Payment of accounts.
Councillors unanimously approved payment of the following. (Prop DP Sec VM)
01/04/2021 Mrs E Sim March 2021 remuneration £601.20
12/04/2021 PENDRILL PUB/TIONS April/May ET £75.00
14/04/2021 P J DEER I Month Zoom Subscription £14.39
16/04/2021 BT GROUP PLC Internet and phone £195.17
19/04/2021 VIKING Stationery £38.09
28/04/2021 THOMAS HARRIS Delivery April/May ET £30.00
29/04/2021 HP Computer equipment £16.49
03/05/2021 LGS Services Internal Audit 2020-2021 £90.00
Total £1060.34

8.5. Notice of receipts received
01/04/2021 Interest Santander Account 0.18
26/03/2021 Interest PC savings a/c Nat west 0.04
26/03/2021 Interest Sect 106 The Causeway 0.02
26/03/2021 Interest Sect 106 The Drift 0.02
26/03/2021 Interest Wakelin donation account 0.09
21/04/2021 SCDC first Instalment Precept 11,500.00

8.6. To consider the necessity of obtaining a licence with Zoom to conduct on-line meetings after May 6th 2021 and to delegate authority to the Clerk to obtain the licence if required.
Councillors agreed unanimously that the Parish Council purchase a one-year subscription to Zoom Pro. (Prop PD and Seconded MS)
8.7. To agree expenditure by Fardell’s Lane Committee for the purchase of equipment for transplanting and storage of saplings. Councillors unanimously agreed (prop DP Sec JW) to fund £100.00 worth of expenditure.
8.8. Application from the Village Litter Picking Group for a grant to cover expenditure on insurance and equipment. Councillors agreed unanimously (PropJW Sec VM) to grant funding to the litter picking group to cover the cost of renewal of the group’s insurance for the coming year and the purchase of new grabbers. Councillors agreed to delegate authority to the Clerk to pay the grant once details of the costs were provided and all necessary assurances of policy cover and risk assessment requirements and compliance had been provided.

2021/05-9 Village Matters
9.1. Appointment of the following for 2021-2022

  • Parish Tree Warden. Paul Harding
  • Fardell’s Lane Sub Committee. PH was to continue as interim Chairman following the resignation of Berry Kenny. JW would represent the PC on the Committee.
  • PC representatives for
     The Greater Cambridge Partnership. Peter Deer.
     The Village Community Flood Group. James Witherow. A new member of the Community Flood Group had been identified to take on the role of Convenor.
     Elsworth Sports Club Committee. Rob Askham.
     A Broadband Champion for the village. DP had fulfilled this role to date but was unable to continue. DP would draft a request for a new representative to be circulated to residents.
     A428. David Pope.
    It was noted that the council was aware that a few people are taking on many responsibilities in these areas and that wider scale participation from residents was desirable.

9.2. To receive an update on the proposed East West Rail link, Cambourne station and North Cambourne development.
Councillors unanimously agreed a allocate budget of £500 to enable the Parish Council to meet the costs of publicity materials and other sundries and to print a questionnaire to ascertain residents’ opinions on the proposals for the East West Rail northern route station at Cambourne (proposed PD Sec DP). PD and DP would draft the questionnaire (taking account of councillors’ comments already made) and councillors agreed to deliver these to all households.
PD and DP updated members on the proposals and the lack of consultation that had been held with villages north of the A428. Villages objecting to the southern route had been able to benefit from many months of consultation whereas those north of the A428 were now being time pressured; some of the villages that would be affected had not been included in the distribution of information by EWR. The location of a station for Cambourne north of the A428 would be considerable and would inevitably bring massive housing development in the area that would come within a mile of the village. In effect it would create a new town larger than the current size of Cambourne or St Ives. Inconsistent and inaccurate information had been provided at a recent meeting held with the housing developers. A meeting for parishes north of the 428 with EWR was being arranged by MP Anthony Browne; although the development was being brought forward in the context of the local plan, they appeared to be driven by central government in the context of the OXCAM Arc. Councillors questioned why these proposals were going ahead. Questions had been raised with the housing minister about various contracts that had been awarded with regard to the station. The Wildlife Trust had also been contacted with regard to the impact on the natural environment of this area, in particular the SSI sites in Elsworth, Knapwell and Papworth Everard; the possible impact on RSPB Hope Farm in Knapwell was another concern.

Councillors agreed that there should be a total reappraisal of the proposals for the northern route and station and that there was an urgent need to have an extension to the consultation regarding the northern route to enable all villages that would be affected to contribute fully to discussions. The PC requested that Cllr Mandy Smith put pressure on Anthony Browne MP to take up the serious concerns that the northern villages have.

2021/05-10 Planning
10.1 Planning Application to Consider.
21/01343/FUL Ms K Middleton 61 Boxworth Road Elsworth CB23 4LJ Creation of a wildlife pond. Parish Council recommendation: Support.
10.2. Planning Applications considered.
20/0419/FUL 14 Church Lane. PC recommendation Object with comments.
21/00569/FUL 14 Church Lane. PC recommendation Object with comments.
S/4521/19/FL Martins Farm Dwelling Houses. PC recommendation Object with comments.
S/4522/19/LB. Dove cote PC recommendation. Support with comments.
10.3. To note the following Planning Applications received FIO
• 20/04952/CONDA 2 Brook Street Elsworth CB23 4HX application for Approval of Details Reserved by Condition.
Applications for Works to Trees in a conservation area/ protected by a TPO
• 21/0286/TTPO 33 Smith Street Elsworth Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB23 4HY
• 21/0466/TTCA 2-4 Fardell’s Lane Elsworth
10.4. Applications determined/closed by SCDC
Application to grant a new Premises Licence for OS map reference TL3555760586 known as Childerley Orchard was received by the licensing department on 8 February 2021 and was sent for consultation. South Cambridgeshire District Council Licensing (2003 Act) Sub-Committee sub committee granted the application.

Dates of future Parish Council meetings in 2021.
July 21st September 15th November 17th.

There being no further business the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 21:35

Signed ……………………………………………………….Chairman Date………………………………….