Great Eversden Parish Meeting: Monday 18th April 2016
GREAT EVERSDEN PARISH MEETING
The Great Eversden Annual Parish Meeting was held in The Village Hall on Monday 18th April 2016 at 8 pm
Mr Paul Tebbit, Chairman of the Parish Council, was in the Chair.
Minutes of previous year’s meeting held on 13th April 2015 confirmed.
The following reports were received from Representatives.
Recreation Ground Report – Derek Blatch (read by the Clerk)
We start with some sad news that the Eversden Cricket Club folded during the 2015 season due to not being able to raise a team. Before the decision was taken the team were doing well.
We again have teams from Comberton Crusaders using our football pitches, namely Under 18, 17 and 16 boys on the top pitch and Under 10 girls on the bottom pitch.
With the lack of rain over the summer of 2015 were not been able to carry out any Verti draining, spiking or over seeding but we did manage to improve the drainage around the central area of the top pitch by laying extra drainage runs where we had standing water earlier in the year.
Since then we have had November 2015 the dullest on record, December the wettest and warmest on record and in some parts of the country the wettest January 2016 on record. All of that has resulted in no football between the 22nd November 2015 and the 7th February 2016 ( 10 weeks ). We are now hoping for some dry weather to help with the back log of fixtures.
The council had scheduled to clean out the Awarded Drain to the north of the field back in October 2015, but it has been too wet to get a machine on to the field to carry out the work.
We have removed the roundabout from the bottom of the field as the plywood panels had become very rotten and dangerous. We have replaced the panels with Aluminium Checker plate. It now just leaves for the panels to be drilled and bolted onto the roundabout, and then reinstalled.
The existing pavilion needs a large amount of money spending on it, namely a new roof, demolishing the garage and committee room due of subsidence and then rebuilding.
The committee considered that the money would be better spent on a completely new pavilion. The new pavilion will include two team size changing rooms and two smaller ones, a club/ committee room, large kitchen, large main hall, toilets and entrance hall.
The pavilion will be sited nearer to the existing play area and encroach onto the field.
The time scale for this will depend on fund raising and grants but it is hoped that we will have plans ready to show the Parish Council in April with the view to summit for planning soon after.
The top 11 v 11 pitch will move down the field some 10 metres for the start of the new season in September 2016. This will allow us to install the 12-18 year play area next to the existing play equipment at the pavilion end of the field. If all goes well with grants we should be able to have all the 12- 18 year play equipment installed by late summer.
The Connections Bus visits the recreation ground car park on a Monday evening 4.00 – 6.0pm in term time and is funded by the Parish Council. We pleased to say that the Parish Council have agreed to fund the bus for the year April 2016 to March 2017. A big thank you to the Parish Council from everyone involved in the Connections Bus Project.
We had a successful quiz night back in October 2015 and we raised £376.00. We had our yearly jumble sale in February that we share with the village hall and raised a total of £789.00
Lastly a big thank you to the committee for the hard work throughout the year, especially with the Jumble Sale and Quiz nights.
Village Hall – Betty Mallows
The Village Hall still remains a well used place for village functions such as the annual Jumble Sale, Xmas Fair and Church fete. Hirings for childrens birthday parties are very popular for both village residents and people from other villages.
Film nights arranged by Village Society members are well attended.
Katherine Jackson’s Café Creative is a popular event where people of all ages meet to enjoy a cup of teaor coffee. Sometimes there are stalls such as Barbara’s books and Katherine’s craft table where the children make things with Catherine’s help.
June White looks after the finances of the hall which are in a good state. During my time of being involved with the Village Hall storage space has always been a problem but with recent storage lockers and cupboard being build on the balcony it has eased the situation for the present time.
Whilst thanking the present Committee for their work it is good tohave new members with fresh ideas and to help with fundraising.
In the past two year I have been “caretaking Chairperson”, after John White died. I hope to the Hall’s affaris running as smoothly as possible so thte Hall is there for everone to use.
Thank you to all the Committee for their hard work keeping the Hall in good stead for people to use now and in the future.
Village Sign – Derek Blatch (read by the Clerk)
This has been mown regularly and now extends along the verge up to the footpath opposite Bucks Lane.
The Beech hedge is in good condition and is due for a cut before spring arrives.
I am pleased to say that the area around the seat has not flooded again this year even though we have had a lot of rain during January and February 2016.
The sign has been removed for refurbishment, the stones are in good condition, however the seat has a build-up of algae and requires a wire brush and coat of Cuprinol Hardword Furniture oil.
Connections Bus – Read by the Clerk
January to March 2016
There have been 9 visits by the bus during the term and we have seen 21 young people. Average attendance was 10.
Craft and other activities available on the bus this term have included badge making, making shrinkie key rings, fantasy film art, making bead bracelets, making Valentine’s cards, hama beads, scratch art and sequin art.
Quizzes have been held on types of birds, Winnie the Pooh day, Australia day, world cancer day, Chinese New Year, internet safety, Fairtrade, smoking and Ireland
Week 1 First session of the new term quiet as the boys did not come to play football. Conversations about school, pregnancy, shopping, hair dye and medical matters.
Week 2 There were conversations about work experience, football, school, bullying and health
Week 3 This weeks conversations were about films, food, family, school, dieting and relationships
Week 4 The young people who play the football were back. There were conversations about school, 6th form, relationships, friends, mock exams, the prom and drinking.
Week 5 Conversations about school, being on report, exams, interviews, relationships and family. There were fewer footballers this week.
Week 6 Just a few playing football. Provided help with homework. Conversations about exams, 6th form, teachers and homework. Good internet safety knowledge demonstrated in the quiz.
Week 7 Football played outside. There was a bit of name calling going on between two groups that required a warning. Conversations held on school and sport.
Week 8 Young people played a good game of mixed football. Young Volunteer has now completed their D of E. Conversations held on friends, phones, school, history and smoking.
Week 9 New young volunteer started today. Usually football game and conversations about sixth form, mocks, health issues and relationships
Week 10 Cancelled due to staff shortage
As the Connections Bus was a large amount of the precept, Mr Tebbit asked the public for their views on whether we should continue to suppor the bus. Nobody at the meeting had any objections and were all in support of continuing to fund the bus.
Comberton Village College – Carol Handley
In February the College was visited by the Secretary of State for Education. She only gave two days notice of her intention so a programme had to be rapidly prepared. It was to be a brief visit after school and she wanted to see some of the after-school activities on offer and to meet some of the staff. This was arranged and there was a lively question and answer discussion with ‘middle managers’ and she left asking them to contact her freely at any time in the future. She was impressed too by the range of after-school activities on offer. But her visit was very timely in another way. Some years ago the College set up a centre designed to help children with Asperger’s syndrome integrate more easily with regular school. It opened with three students, but has been so successful and acquired such a reputation with parents that it had completely outgrown its original accommodation – an elderly portacabin. This was replaced by a purpose-built building last year which will house up to forty students though it will still be known as ‘The Cabin’. The Secretary of State’s visit was thus perfectly timed for her to perform an official opening of the rebuilt Cabin.
Exam results have continued to be very satisfactory both at GCSE and A levels. There have been 130 applications to UCAS and a promising number of offers have been received. The Sixth Form is now well established with 187 in year 12 and 174 in year 13. Last December the total number in the College was 1703. Because we no longer have applicants from Cambourne the pattern of entries has changed slightly and there is now room for some children from outside the defined catchment area. There are 240-50 in most year groups now instead of the 300 which we had before. There is a healthy number of applications at all levels.
Ofsted have recently been taking a particular interest in the achievement of so-called disadvantaged children – that is children with mental or physical disabilities and those eligible for free school meals. These attract quite significant extra funding. Comberton is not in a geographical position to have a high proportion of these children but it does try to keep them rather than pass them on elsewhere as some schools do. However, the statistics are not as good as we would hope and it was no surprise that last spring Ofsted visited. They were pleased at what they found and encouraging about all the measures that were being planned. But it is noticeable that most of the behavioural and attendance problems do (not surprisingly) occur in this group.
The Comberton Academy Trust is likely to grow further in the next few years. The next phase of development at Cambourne will require another new secondary school and a further two primary schools. It is very probable that the Trust will be asked to plan these and oversee their foundation. This will present an interesting and continuing challenge for the future.
Meridian School, Comberton – Read by the Clerk
Having recently taken up the role here as Headteacher in September, I am delighted to introduce myself as Mrs Carole Etchie and it is wonderful to have been so warmly received.
The children are proud of their school and enjoy being here. They display good citizenship and are caring towards each other. We are widening opportunities for other additional responsible roles within the life of the school.
The staff and community volunteers are committed to ensuring the school remains a homely, calm and caring environment for everyone to feel welcome.
Over the past year, we have successfully appointed a new teacher and we now have eight classes in the school, with two smaller reception classes. Our intake in other years continues to rise with new families joining the village.
We were very pleased with our Y6 SATs results in summer 2015. All children achieving L4+ and L5+ was significantly above national in combined data for reading, writing and maths. In maths and reading at L5 they were significantly above.
Our KS1 also did well in children achieving above average in writing and maths and these were above national figures expected. We were congratulated in a letter from Cambridgeshire county council with our high performance results.
A new school improvement plan was written in the autumn term 2015 with some key areas to address; the learning environment, safeguarding, assessment, presentation and marking. We now have a new post Ofsted action plan based on some of their key findings from their recent visit in December 2015. We continue to address some of the areas listed above as well as have a big push on extended writing across the year groups this term. We are also looking at the quality and depth of our curriculum. Since this recent Ofsted visit, the school is now classified as ‘Requires Improvement’. However, we remain motivated and ambitious.
Other exciting projects/ initiatives in operation since summer term 2015 to date:-
- Re-launching our 4 R’s across the school (resourcefulness, reflectiveness, relationships, resilience)so they are embedded within our teaching, learning and assemblies
- New refurbishment of our library and additional books courtesy of the PTA from all the fund raising over two years!
- Shakespeare Schools’ Festival, where our year 3’s performed an adaptation of ‘Twelfth Night’ (written by the class teacher) at the Mumford Theatre
- Various fund raising events for local and global causes led by the school council, with our continued support for two children’s education in The Gambia
- All children in years 3 and 4 being taught how to play chess
- Younger children supported in balancing and riding a bike
- Outdoor music concert to parents by KS1
- Whole school community ‘Sing Up’ day
- Cycling Fun day
- Visiting theatre group performing ‘The Jungle Book’
- A huge tidy up of the school grounds (internal and external)
- An Increase in technology (iPads) for classroom learning.
- Summer Science week and we look forward to another science week after Easter
- We are very excited about our whole school Shakespeare week – next week!
We are all extremely proud of our school and the dedication of staff and parents in supporting a number of changes over the year.
Thank you for your continued support, you are always welcome to visit our school.
Allotments – Matt Prince
The Eversden Allotments , Its amazing how many people don’t know about them; tucked away at the end of Chapel Road, Great Eversden. The allotments have been there since the 19C but since WWII they have become overgrown until recently. Over the last 6 or 7 years we have steadily cleared the ground and there are now around a dozen plotholders and still a wonderful wildlife habitat.
The plots have the horrible local clay that needs lots of compost and soil additive. The majority of plots are unusably wet from November to April. Inspite of this plot-holders grow everything from artichoke to zucchini and there is even a grapevine on one shed.
The plots are run in a very friendly and informal way and we work with as few rules as possible – the spirit is to be considerate to others and enjoy the space which we all feel is very special
Everyone is welcome and its a great family atmosphere with space for kids to grow their own stuff ; sunflowers strawberries or wherever their imagination takes them.
This year we have organised the pruning of the large trees on our south western boundary and we have received several wonderful donations of garden furniture, soil improver, manure, tree chippings and other useful gifts.
We always welcome contributions to the site of manure , wood chippings, garden furniture, sheds or equipment for the site. Please get in touch.
We have space to create more plots where there is demand or take over an existing plot when one becomes free. The rent year runs from May and rents are currently set at £20 per year and are open to residents of Little and Great Eversden.
If you are interested in a plot and would like to find out more , contact Laura Hobbs [07790 385661] , firstname.lastname@example.org , Matt Prince on email@example.com or Diarmuid Coyle on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to show you around and answer any questions
Parish Council – Paul Tebbit
It is the time to report on the work of the Parish Council during the last year. It may be of interest to explain to new residents that the two parishes of Great and Little Eversden decided to form a joint Parish Council back in 1949 following the Parish Council Act of earlier that year. Previously each Parish held occasional add hock meetings, with just one formal annual meeting. The two parishes share not only the Parish Council but also the amenities enjoyed within the community.
This report covers the work of the Parish Council in both Little and Great Eversden, as do the other reports that you have already heard and will also be presented to the Great Eversden Parish meeting in April.
The Eversdens seem a popular place to live with many people wanting to extend their homes or build new ones and we often, at our meetings, have two or three planning applications to discuss and respond to. We are also required to meet additionally between our six weekly meetings’ in order to respond to the applications within twenty one days as required. In January 2015 we received the first of what became many detailed applications for two new dwellings behind 23 High Street, Little Eversden. The site having been granted outline planning previously by SCDC. The application was opposed by some local residents and the Parish Council on numerous grounds and at every stage. However, during last year the developer did obtain permission for both dwellings behind, then demolish the original dwelling and rebuild it.
Lowfields continues to be a busy place with currently three properties being extended. An application for a new dwelling behind 11 Finches field is causing a great deal of concern and has been opposed by both the PC and the District Council whose decision to refuse has been appealed by the developer. We are also awaiting a decision on the silo site south of St Helen’s church.
In Wimpole road Great Eversden work is progressing on the permission for conversion from barns to two dwellings approved last year and we have just received an application for a modern extension to the thatched and listed Merrys Farmhouse on the same site.
An application for an extension at 4 Kingston Road supported by the PC, was refused by SCDC and by the subsequent appeal to the planning inspectorate because of Green Belt considerations. I would comment that it is sometimes difficult to understand how Green Belt rules can be applied so rigorously against individual homeowners, but not to influential business and University of Cambridge.
I am sure you will all know that 10 affordable homes were to be built off Church Street in G E, to complete the 20 homes required when Low Close was constructed. Continual challenges by those opposing this project have meant that although approval was obtained in 2012 it was not built. This approval had to be withdrawn by South Cambs. This was withdrawn because although no Environmental Impact Assessment was ever required, for this site by virtue of its size, location, and with no special status, this non-requirement for the EIA had not been recorded. Those opposed to the application used this procedural omission by the planning officer to question the applications legality and they threatened a Judicial Review. So in March 2015 this costly and completely unnecessary second application came back to SCDC planning committee where it was passed for a second time and by an increased majority of district councillors. This meeting was a pretty awful experience. Those who spoke in favour of these homes on behalf of the PC and community were loudly heckled in a difficult meeting, where the Chairman had to call for order on several occasions. Our District Councillor, Robin Page in particular became very heated and dismissive of our Parish Council’s support and of support voiced for us by district councillors on the Planning Committee.
Still no houses you may have noticed. Progress seems slow, however I am pleased to report that on 2nd December 2015, SCDC Planning Committee approved the 106 legal Provisions for the Community Orchard and linked footpath through to the Village hall associated with this proposal. We look forward to commencement at last of building during 2016 and to soon be able to offer affordable homes for local people within our community.
There have been issues with hedge encroachment onto the highways and footpaths in both Parishes which have been attended to. As a contrast there have also been objections to some hedge cutting notably at Low Close and in Wimpole Road.
The footpaths in both Parishes are in a very poor state with many complaints from residents. Highways have not agreed to any resurface work but the Parish Council has made a LHI bid where we would pay for 10% of the cost of the path from the top of High Street (Low Close) down Harlton Road past the Doctors surgery and to the A603; we are awaiting that approval. The Clerk has just been informed that our bid was not successful.
The new Village Sign will be installed very soon we hope, and the necessary cleaning and restoration of the War Memorial which is in Gt. Eversden churchyard planned last year should commence soon. Our Clerk has also been successful in our application to the Heart Foundation for a Defibrillator which will be sited at the Pavilion on the recreation ground.
The PC and residents continue to be concerned about the risk of flooding from neglected and silted up ditches and culverts in the village, in particular between 44 and 46 Wimpole Road, Great Eversden urgent maintenance work has been requested but so far no action by the property owners.
Our Speed Watch team were very active during the year finding around 20% of speeds in excess of 35 miles per hour on every occasion. Speeds of almost 50 mph have been recorded. There will shortly be flyers for residents along the main road through the village, asking for more volunteers as our coordinators Livia and Charles Fraser have a growing family and may have less time themselves to be operating the equipment. The difficulties in matching the equipment with man power available will be reduced since we are about to take delivery of our own equipment, generously funded entirely by a local business. You will all remember the inconvenience of our through road closure last March for repairs and resurfacing. The newly gritted finish however resulted in a very pleasant week or so of reduced speeds through the village.
We have along with many other parishes supported the Bourn action group who are fighting to ensure appropriate infrastructure, particularly road improvements, where the Bourn airfield development to take place. We feel sure that unless huge investment in roads and junctions are completed prior to Bourn airfield build we will have even more traffic speeding through the Eversdens. We have also made representation about flooding to the Bourn Brook and properties alongside which has already been exacerbated by Cambourne.
We had a successful litter picking throughout the villages in April last year where 17 black bags of rubbish were collected. We plan the same this April and hope we will be well supported again.
The largest item of expenditure in our budget is the Connections Bus for our young people. Providing trained youth workers on a weekly basis in our Community. Your support for our young people has been much appreciated and these annual meetings are a good opportunity to reaffirm that support.
I would like to record my thanks on your behalf to our County Councillor Sebastian Kindersley who has been invaluable in keeping our Community informed not only of County Council matters but also in the absence of Cllr. Page has kept us informed on District Council matters.
Parish Councillor Gemma Spencer moved from Eversden during the year and Mrs Judith Webster was co-opted on to fill the vacancy. Elections for the Parish Council are to be held in May also for our District Council.
I would like to just mention the most recent accident at the A603 junction. Where a resident Michael Nicholson was injured and the Wheatsheaf badly damaged. My colleague Steve Dinsdale worked very hard with the authorities and Cllr Kindersley to get the current 50 speed limit, but more must now be done. I plan to meet with the Publican and the Chair of Harlton PC to open an urgent dialog on additional safety measures at the junction.
Lastly I would like to thank Karen your Parish Clerk, whose tireless enthusiasm and growing expertise that she brings to our council has been invaluable, Thank you. I or colleagues here will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
No report was received.
County Council – Sebastian Kindersley
Cllr Kindersley reported on a busy 12 months at both District and County Council. He now sat on Planning Committees at both SCDC and Cambridgeshire County Council and was priveledged to be appointed Chairman at Cambridgeshire County Council.
Pressures on the Local Government budget are extreme with £46 million of cuts needing to be made. Council members will also reduce in size from 69 members to 61 members with the Eversden’s becoming part of the Hardwick Division with Comberton, as opposed to the Gamlingay Division. We will therefore have a new County Councillor before us.
The Local Plan is currently in abayanceas the Inspector has asked for further work to be carried out. This work has now been completed and the housing numbers are correct as well as the approach to Green belt land. The SCDC planning policy is also in suspension thus opening the flood gates for 1800 new unplanned application being put forward as a result.
Finally, SCDC wards will change in 2018 reducing from 57 District Councillors to 45.
Mr Tebbit invited any further comments from the floor. Mr Nicholson took the opportunity to inform the meeting about the detail of the accident involving himself earlier in the week. He thanked the Village for their support. Mr Tebbit said he is taking the matter forward as a matter of urgency with Ben Banks, Chair of Harlton and the owner of the Wheatsheaf. Cllr Kindersley suggested that the best plan of action was to reinsate the a speed camera. The Council will pursue this line with Highways.
Date of Next Meeting
Monday 17th April 2017.