Little Eversden Parish Meeting: 3rd March 2015

                                       LITTLE EVERSDEN PARISH MEETING

The Little Eversden Annual Parish Meeting was held in The Pavilion on Monday 3rd March 2015 at 8 pm

Mrs Carol Handley, Vice Chairman of the Parish Council, was in the Chair.

Minutes of previous year’s meeting confirmed.

The following reports were received from Representatives.

Recreation Ground Report

This last year has again not been kind causing us problems and postponements. January and February 2015 has been much like 2014 was, very wet with light ground frosts which retain the water. This has meant that only two games have been played in the first two months of 2015.

In October the temperatures were still in the low to mid 20’s and September the driest on record. This unusual weather caused us a big problem with Chafer and Leather Jackets, these feed on the grass roots, killing the grass and then the birds pull up the dead grass to get at the grubs. It was a costly operation to rid the soil of these pests and the time window and weather conditions had to be right to get a good percentage of success.

We had 20 tons of top dressing delivered, which is mainly sand, this is to improve drainage and break down the clay. We managed to spread most of the 20 tons before the bad weather stopped us. We are gradually eliminating the likelihood of the ground cracking during very dry spells in the summer and getting a thicker sward of hard wearing grass.

We have managed to cut the front hedge and even though very wet verti-drained both the football pitches.

As last year we have four football teams playing on the recreation ground, all from Comberton Crusaders, Under 17 boys, Under 16 boys, Under 15 boys and Under 14 girls. The cricketers again finished mid table of their league and played though the whole season without one postponed match due to rain.

You will have noticed that the short length of path now has a back edging and a blinding surface, making it usable. We may have to wait a considerable while for the kerb to be dropped and a tarmac surface due to how the Highways allocate work.


We have constructed a new manhole to divert the top half of the field drainage into the ditch on the north side and now that we know that this is running free, we are locating the existing land drainage runs, and adding to these to improve drainage to the top football pitch, which has two areas that, after a heavy rain, have standing water.

We now have to push for something to be done about the manhole in Buck’s Lane which, since the new diversion, only now takes the drainage from the bottom end of the field. This is the drain that affects the bottom play area.

Connections Bus

The Connections Bus visits us weekly on a Monday evening with an average of 14 young people attending and is solely funded by the Parish Council and am pleased to say that they have agreed to fund the whole of next year ( term times ), so from April 2015 to March 2016 the bus will visit us on a weekly basis. We would like to thank the Parish Council in supporting this valuable activity for the young people of the village.

The Pavilion is still being used for the monthly coffee mornings and the Mother and Toddlers Group.

Lastly a big thank you to the committee for their hard work throughout the year, especially with the Jumble Sale and Quiz nights.

Chairman of the Eversdens Area Recreation Ground Committee.

Village Hall

Since the death of John White in December 2013, Betty Mallows has chaired the Village Hall Committee and together with other members of the Committee, organised (with the help of village residents) many social events, to raise necessary monies for the Hall which is the hub for the villages of Great and Little Eversden. Some monies raised are also shared with The Friends of the Eversden Churches.

2014 and the start of 2015 have been seen much activity in the Hall, with the aid of the Village Society Sub-Committee. We’ve had Film Nights, Jumble Sales, Ian Keable’s Magic Show in April, the Race Night in May organised by the Village Society which raised money for the new Notice Board in Great Eversden opposite The Hoops in memory of John White, in conjunction with and ordered by Kieran O’Callaghan, on the Parish Council. We had our 3rd Beer Festival with a Bavarian flavour accompanied by an Oompah Band in October. On Saturday 1st November the Hall hosted an event to mark the centenary of the beginnning of the First World War, with memorabilia, music, slides and readings. In December we had the Christmas Fayre and Katherine Jackson organised Santa’s Grotto, an “elf hunt” for the children, a seller of crafted reindeer, Father Christmas arriving on a pony and cart, and many other activities including stalls which were run by willing helpers and sustenance from the very popular hot dogs.

During the year Katherine has run “Café Creative” in the Hall on six Saturdays with stalls including face painting, arts and crafts, vegetables, Barbara’s book stall accompanied with of course great coffee and homemade cakes! At September’s Café Creative, a Produce Show (organised primarily by Margaret Tebbit) brought out the villagers’ fruit, veg and flowers for display, to be judged and awarded “best of” in different categories. It’s hoped that the Show will be repeated this year in September.

On 31st January the Village gathered at the new Noticeboard for the placing of the plaque in memory of JohnWhite. There was in excess of 40 people as the snow began to fall. Carol Handley gave a short speech and then we all moved into the Hoops for some Indian snacks. In the year ahead the Village Society hopes to continue the Hoops lunches to become a village event.   The possibility of another International Lunch is being looked at, to be incorporated possibly with Café Creative.


There are plans to install new staging in the Hall as the number of people able to put up and dismantle the stage is diminishing. A more user-friendly stage system such as that at Toft Village Hall is being considered (namely Q-Build). A site visit by Parish Councillors and Village Hall members was made to Toft where it could be seen that their staging was more easily assembled, another company and system will also be investigated.

Lottery funding and VH fundraising to be sought if plans go ahead.


Robert Jackson has made further wooden storage units on the Hall’s balcony which match the older units. He has also made a cupboard in the Committee room at the back for storage of glasses. All are ready for use.

Jumble Sale

The sale on 7 February was very successful with more buyers than last year, there were less clothes and more bric-a-brac, a sign of the times?

Maintenance and Improvements

Mrs Pritchard, Parish Councillor, has offered to trim the hedges behind the Hall and along the pathway to the kitchen. Offer glady accepted.

And of course the Village Hall would not prosper without the support of everyone in Little and Great Eversden and further afield. THANK YOU ALL!

Unknown Donor’s Charity

The Unknown Donor’s Chart helps to enable young people living in Little Eversden to undertake recognised training courses and apprenticeships leading to a profession or trade for their future careers. It can contribute towards the costs of course fees, or equipment necessary for training courses.

For 120 years, it has helped many young people to get started on a variety of career paths, and hopefully will continue to do so. Requests and contributions are treated in confidence. This year one request was received and agreed.

Any requests should be made to:

Mrs Sue Glasse                  35 Lowfields                                       01223 262621
Mr Steve Dinsdale            52 Harlton Road                               01223 263906

Village Sign

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 this year even though we have had a lot of rain during January and February 2015. The sign and stones are in good condition, however the seat as a build- up of algae and requires a wire brush and coat of Cuprinol Hardword Furniture oil.

Connections Bus


There have been 13 visits by the bus during the term and we have seen 33 young people with an average attendance of 15.

(No visit on 15th December due to broken window on bus)


Craft and other activities available on the bus this term have included bingo, puzzles, badge making, scratch art, face painting, making trinket boxes, T shirt design competition, making shrinkies key rings, various Christmas crafts including painting stained glass, origami and making decorations.

Quizzes have been held on the environment, pirates, space, tobacco, poverty, World UN Day, fireworks, Armistice Day, road safety, St Andrew’s Day, AIDS and human rights


  • Week 1 – Lots playing football on the Rec and others solving puzzles. Chats about holidays, musical instruments and learning an instrument.
  • Week 2 – Lots playing football outside as usual.       A lot of time was needed for 3 girls with issues who were also arguing.
  • Week 3 – Young people played football outside as usual. There were discussions about college and school trips. Helped repair friendship issues between two young people, also assisted with maths homework.
  • Week 4 – Football again outside. Discussions about school, exclusions, health, lifestyles and 6th form.
  • Week 5 – Usual football outside. Some help given with homework. Also discussions about school, homework, pastimes and health. At least another 8 playing football who did not come on the bus.
  • Week 6 – Very wet so more on bus, but football still played! Chats about home-schooling and 16+ choices. Some younger ones more confident, helping in tuck and mixing with others. Good effort by regular homework doer!
  • Week 7 – Enjoyed evening and played football
  • Week 8 – Cold but good session. Football outside as usual. Conversations about pets, half-term, football and Christmas lists. Helped with a bit of maths homework.
  • Week 9 – Usual football outside until dark and then all on the bus. Good conversations about work experience, health, exams, homework and football training.
  • Week 10 – Enjoyed football until dark, then good use of games consoles and computers. Very good discussions about work experience, 6th form choices, school, music, conflict and scouts.
  • Week 11 – Usual football until dark.       Also conversations about school, work experience, contraception, dancing and archery
  • Week 12 – Quiet session but school was off for teacher training
  • Week 13 – Football to start with while there was light and then back in for computers, games and Christmas crafts. Chatted about school (discipline), homework and families.

As the Connections Bus was a large amount of the precept, Mrs Handley asked the public for their views on whether we should continue to suppor the bus. Miss Sach said she thought it was an excellent resource for the young people of the Villages as we had tried to organise a youth club without success. Nobody at the meeting had any objections and were all in support of continuing to fund the bus.

Comberton Village College

It has ben customary to start the report with statistics about exam results and this year Mr Gove has added a complication to them by decreeing that only the first attempt at an exam in a given subject can be allowed to count in the final score.

It had been common practice among Cambridgeshire secondary schools to enter students for important subject like English and Maths early so that they could gain experience that would help them to get a higher grade in the summer. When this new rule was announced in Autumn 2013 schools were faced with a dilemma. Some decided to cancel earlier entries and wait till the summer. Others, like Comberton, decided to continue with previous policy since they believed it was in the best interest of their pupils to help them get the best grade possible to assist their future careers and to ignore the effect on league tables.

The result is that we have two sets of GCSE statistics.

% achieving 5+ A*- C grades including English and Maths counting only ‘first’entry

as required this year                    72%

% as measured in previous years counting best results   79%   (80% in 2014)

The national figure is said to be 55%

% of all grades that were A-A*:       39%

% achieving at least 1 A*-G grades: 100%

In the Sixth Form the A2 results were excellent

2013                2014

Total grades at A*- B:              54%                 65%

Total grades at A*- C:              85%                 89%

Total grades at A*- E               100%               100%

Numbers in the Sixth form this year are also very promising

Total yr 12: 203

Total yr 13: 164

Total Applications for 2015:    470

Total 1st choice                        214

Both the highest yet received. They are about 50% from CVC and from elsewhere

UCAS offers have been very satisfactory too. 109 applied, 99 have confirmed places, of which 39 are from Russell Group universities


Both Comberton and Cambourne expect to be fully subscribed at yr. 7.

That is more than enough of statistics. Important as they are, exam results are only one part of the work of a school, and CVC continues to be very successful in giving its students a sense of the excitement of learning, a realisation of the breadth of opportunities open to them both now and in the future and, above all, the confidence to explore these opportunities. Teachers are trying consciously to train pupils to learn resilience and to regard any failure as a learning experience rather than a disaster, and it seems to work.

In extra-curricular activities I continue to be amazed at the confidence with which students and their families set out to raise about £2000 to enable them to visit and work with our link schools in South Africa or Mozambique, and, nearer home, the numbers following the Duke of Edinburgh Award schemes at various levels.

Finally, you may be interested to know that Cambourne is growing so fast and the demand for school place is increasing so much that by 2017 they will already need an extension to the Cambourne Village College. This was foreseen at the planning stage, but there was not enough money to make it any larger than 5 form entry (150 pupils per year). However the architects recognised the situation and designed the building so that another wing could be added, but, of course, it will cost more this way.

And, on the subject of costs, I am sure you are aware of the Government’s claims that the money spent on schools has been protected. The problem is that all the costs have increased. The situation is particularly acute in Cambridgeshire because, for some inscrutable historic reason Cambridgeshire schools get less money per head per pupil (capitation money) than any other county in England. Representations have been made, and an additional grant given, which will just balance the budget, but no one can tell us if this is a one-off or whether it will be repeated. The trouble is that Cambridge schools have coped too successfully so far, and no doubt the DfE feels confident that we can continue to do so, however meanly we are treated. And I think this is true, but it does put a considerable strain on all staff who work in these schools.

Meridian School, Comberton

This year we are working on ‘rejuvenating’ our library. When we asked the children what they would like, they told us they wanted a library which was bright and cheerful, with comfy chairs, and books which were easy to see and choose. We have taken these three themes of ‘colourful’, ‘comfortable ‘ and ‘accessible’ and are working with a company to provide just that. The PTA (Parent Teacher Association) have been very busy and have already raised thousands of pounds to pay for the project. We are very much hoping that our newly refurbished library will be open by the end of the school year.

Parish Council

Mrs Handley said that the latest report from the Council was available in Tailcorn.

Some of the issues include:

    • The Noticeboard in memory John White
    • Filling many of our footpaths with plainings
    • The WEEE recycling collection which raised £175
    • The Bike/Bus project, more information available in Tailcorn
    • Demand Responsive Transport – of which Gemma Spencer has trialled and written about in Tailcorn
    • We received £5k in Section 106 money
    • We joined a coalition of Parish Councils in support of STOP BAD

District Council – Robin Page

Mr Page sent his apologies and no report was received.

County Council – Sebastian Kindersley

Cllr Kindersley reported a mixed year of bleak and good news including

      • The signing of City Deal being the most positive Central Government are giving SCDC/Cambridgeshire County and Cambridge City Council £500m over the next 5 years to spend on infrastructure in order to deliver the SCDC and County Council local plans.
      • Cambridgeshire is the worst funded for education and we have recently received an extra £324 per pupil
      • The Balfour Beatty street lighting contract has been very difficult and there are still many outstanding lights
      • The Barrington Quarry development by Cemax is due to go before SCDC Planning in April. Barrington PC have secured £5m in community benefits should it be successful.
      • SCDC has to make £29m of cuts, they are only 44% through this and further services will be lost.
      • A member of the public asked if it were true that Cambridge had received funding for cycle routes. Cllr Kindersley confirmed this was the case.
      • Another member of the public asked about a Railway Station at Addenbrookes. Cllr Kindersley said it had been discussed in the transport strategy about opening the Addenbrookes-Fulbourn-Haverhill line but this was not in the near future.
      • Lastly, Cllr Kindersley urged residents to report all pavement and highways repairs via the website.

Date of Next Meeting
Monday 7th March 2016.

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