Minutes Elsworth Parish Council meeting held online via zoom 7.30pm Wednesday 18th November 2020
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 D Cllr Nick Wright, D Cllr Mark Howell , C.Cllr Mandy Smith
2020/11-1 To receive and approve apologies for absence.
2020/11-2 To receive declarations of interest & requests for dispensations
2.1 To receive declarations of interest from councillors on items on the agenda.
JW. Item 7.3. A428.Landowner.
VM Item 8.1. 20/04336/HFUL Neighbour.
RA. Item 8.1. 20/04336/HFUL Contractor for landscaping works
2.2 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
2.3 To receive written requests for dispensations for disclosable pecuniary interests (if any). None
2.4 To grant any requests for dispensation as appropriate. N/A
19:40 VM and RA left the meeting.
2020/11-3 Public Participation/Forum – 10 minutes
To allow members of the public to raise comments on items for future agendas or on items that are on the current agenda. To allow any members of the public and Councillors declaring an interest to address the meeting in relation to the business to be transacted at that meeting. Following this, members of the public are not permitted to take part in the discussion.
One member of the public present. Item raised. Agenda Item 20/22/8 8.1 20/04336/HFUL 16 Brook Street Elsworth CB23 4HX.
Resident: Thanked the council for the opportunity to speak on the proposed renovation of the property and give assurances to the council that works would be organised to ensure minimal impact on neighbours. The shared driveway with No 14 Brook Street was recognised as being a matter for concern and the owners of No 16 assured the council that any damage to the access would be rectified and the access road generally improved. The Chairman thanked the resident for their comments and Council would discuss this within the Agenda.
Public forum closed at 19:50 in order for the Parish Council meeting to commence.
The Chairman proposed to take agenda Item 20/04336/HFUL 16 Brook Street Elsworth CB23 4HX Mr & Mrs H. Higgins at this point of the meeting. Agreed unanimously.
Councillors agreed to support the application (voting in favour PD, JW, DP, MS, AB). A comment would be made to the planning officers regarding the joint access with No 14 Brook Street and a request made that a condition, to make good any damage caused by construction works, be included in planning approval.
19:55 MS left the meeting. VM and RA re-joined the meeting
2020/11 -4 To sign & approve the Minutes of the Council meetings dated 16th September and 23rd September 2020
It was proposed, (VM) seconded (JW) 16th September (DP) (MS) 23rd September and unanimously approved that the Chairman sign the Minutes with no amendments.
4.1 Matters to Report from the previous Minutes.
- Speed signs. Two speed signs had been received from the A14 Legacy Fund and had been erected in Smith Street. Data from the signs could be collected through an app on the Chairman’s phone and current indications were that the traffic was slowing in response to the warnings. There is no obligation on the Parish Council to return the signs and they would be added to the PC’s insurance cover and asset register.
- Martin’s Farm and Pitt Dene Farm. Comments made by the PC to the planning applications for these two farms had belatedly been posted on the DC site, following representations to the DC. It was noted that the application for Pitt Dene Farm had been withdrawn.
- Low Farm. The PC would write to the DC planning officers making representations about the removal of vegetation at the site and noting the site’s status of PVV.
4.2. To receive the Clerk’s Update
- The defibrillator had been sent away for repairs following its malfunction due to water entering the cabinet from a leaking guttering above the casing. The cabinet’s keypad malfunctioned as a result. A replacement cabinet and a loan defibrillator had been supplied and an electrician commissioned for installation in an alternative position near to the original site.
- A resident had offered to donate a Christmas tree again this year. This would be installed near the shop but no social gathering to celebrate the lighting up would take place, due to current Covid restrictions. The Clerk suggested that the tree be a “wishing tree” this year. Children would be encouraged to tie a coloured strip of ribbon on the tree and make a wish or a promise.
- Tree works would be undertaken to the large trees near the play equipment which were highlighted as a risk in the safety inspection. A percentage of the costs (£200.00) would be paid by the Parish Council, the landowner, Mr Davison would pay the remainder (£700.00+).
- The Tree Council had offered an Elm tree to the parish under a scheme to replant trees resistant to Dutch Elm disease. The Tree warden had recommended acceptance and the Council agree unanimously.
- Highways. No repairs to any damaged road warning signs, name signs or bollards had been carried out for a considerable length of time. Representation had again been made to County Highways about the state of the signage.
- A resident had raised a question about the possibility of charging points being installed for residents who were unable to charge electric vehicles from their property. The Clerk reminded councillors of previous consideration of this matter and the decision not to participate in a scheme proposed by the County Council because of the high cost and uncertainty of many issues of installation and maintenance. Councillors agreed not to take this further.
2020/11-5 County Council and District Council Business
5.1 County Council Update. No update received.
5.2. District Council update
- BT phone box. The DC had backed the PC’s objection to the removal of the public phone box on Smith Street.
- Proposals for East West Rail. The DC was following the proposals closely, as they were moving apace. Of particular concern was the proposal to site a station to the north of Cambourne. If this were located north of the A428 as seemed likely this would have significant impact on Elsworth given the housing, car parking and infrastructure which would inevitable follow. Although the route of the rail was as yet undetermined, a northerly route would run along the A428 corridor as would the proposed Cambourne to Cambridge busway and metro.. It was noted that our MP Anthony Brown, was supporting a northern route for the rail link rather than a route south of Cambourne and that he had indicated that no objections had been received from parishes. The PC had requested that he correct this inaccuracy as Elsworth had indeed made representations about the northerly route to him personally at a previous meeting and in writing. D Cllrs had also put the concerns of parishes to the MP and it was noted that requests for comments had been issued for the southerly route proposals, not the northerly.
- Local Plan. The DC had noted that Government estimates of a requirement for 42K houses in this area were in excess of what was required. 5 – 20K were estimated and 8K alone would be provided on the development of the site at Marshall’s airport. If the east west rail link went ahead the government would want houses to be built to go towards the costs of this. A preferred option plan for housing was scheduled to be published in September 2021.
20:45 Cllr Wright left the meeting
6.1 To approve payment of accounts.
Councillors unanimously approved the invoices detailed in appendix 1. (Prop DP Sec JW)
6.2 Notice of receipts received. Noted ( appendix 2)
6.3 Insurance for the litter picking volunteers. To note that Paul Solon renewed the annual insurance cover wef April 2020 and is seeking reimbursement of the cost (£171.20).
The insurance was to rest with the litter pick group. Cllrs agreed to reimburse the cost of the renewal and that the organisers be asked to confirm that any requirements the insurers might have are being met.
6.4 To set a date and attendance for 2021-2022 budget meeting
It was unanimously agreed that all Cllrs would attend an on -line meeting on January 6th, 2021. The Chairman reminded councillors that proposals for expenditure in the coming financial year should be considered prior to the meeting and proposals for projects brought to the meeting (and, preferably, pre-circulated).
2020/11-7 Village Matters
7.1 Play Area. To consider action required on Cradle swings and note the likelihood of a delay until the New Year in discussions relating to the lease because of the current lockdown.
Quotes had been received for repair and replacement of items of equipment and councillors discussed the merits of these options. It was agreed to request quotes for a 4-bay cradle swing and discuss options again at a later meeting.
21:30. Councillors agree unanimously to extend the meeting by a further 30 minutes.
7.2. Parish Council Web site. a) To agree to engage a new website provider to enable the Parish Council to fully meet accessibility and transparency requirements and, if a) so agreed, to agree that Netwise be approached to provide support for a new transparent and accessible PC website at a cost of £499 Standard or £599 Premium.
Councillors resolved to engage Netwise as a new website provider and request the premium service plus one off development cost of £600 (Premium option). (Prop PD Sec DP)
19:35 JW left the meeting
7.3. A 428 Corridor. To discuss matters concerning the A428 Corridor.
Much of the discussion had occurred already under item 5.2. The PC would be monitoring and seeking to influence matters as best it could through online meetings, consultation exercises, etc.
7.4 Luton Flight paths consultation. To consider a response to the consultation.
Councillors agreed to make representations about the proposed flight paths. AB would draft a response and circulate to all councillors.
8.1 Planning applications received
• 20/04336/HFUL 16 Brook Street Elsworth CB23 4HX Mr & Mrs H. Higgins
Alterations and additions to dwelling and associated out buildings. Dealt with.
• 20/02962/CONDA & 20/02962/LBC Low Farm Brook Street Elsworth CB23 4HX Mr Neil Thornton. For information only. Noted.
Notification of tree works to protected trees and trees in a conservation area.
• 20/2073/TTPO Mr Farrow 16 Boxworth Road Elsworth CB23 4JQ
Beech – crown reduce height by 3m, crown reduce spread by 3-4m by target reduction of longest limbs on all sides, reduce remainder to shape, decayed area in base and main stem.
• 20/2207/TTCA 6 Brook Street Elsworth CB23 4HX Ms Wendy Williams
Box maple tree, request removal. It is impacting on the surrounding sheds, wall and boundary to neighbour and light to other trees
• 20/2250/TTCA 4 Brook Street Elsworth CB23 4HX Mr Mark Goldsborough
Oak Tree situated at the front of property between the property and the Old bakehouse next door. Requires pruning to reduce shape and size by 20% due to impinging on property and neighbouring property.
The Tree Warden and the Parish Council had no comment to make on the above tree applications.
8.2 Decision notices
20/02961/HFUL & 20/02962/LBC Low Farm Brook Street Elsworth. Mr Thornton
Date of next Parish Council meeting. (online) January 20th, 2021
There being no further business, the meeting was declared closed at 21:50