Little Eversden Parish Meeting Minutes – Monday 5th March 2018
LITTLE EVERSDEN PARISH MEETING
The Little Eversden Annual Parish Meeting was held in The Pavilion on Monday 5th March 2018 at 8pm
Mr Matt Prince, Chairman of the Parish Council, was in the Chair.
Minutes of previous year’s meeting held on 6th March 2017 confirmed. Several members of the public expressed concern that if you were no “on-line” previous minutes, agendas etc could not be accessed. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk would provide a paper folder of minutes/agendas in the telephone box in Great and Cambridge Insitu in Eversden. This information would be published in Tailcorn.
The following reports were received from Representatives.
Recreation Ground Report - Derek Blatch, Chairman of the Eversdens Area Recreation Ground Committee (Read by the Clerk)
We have four football teams playing on the recreation ground this season all from Comberton Crusaders Under 11 and 12’s on a Saturday and Under 16 and 17’s on a Sunday.
Camspice cricket team have been using the recreation ground during the summer of 2017 for all their matches and have already said that they want to continue playing on the ground for 2018. A very high standard of cricket and well worth watching.
We purchased the new aluminium goals for the top pitch in July 2017 but were unable to move the pitch down and erect the goals. We had three weeks between cricket finishing and football starting in August 2017 and programmed to take the old goal sockets out, move the pitch down and dig new holes and concrete in the goal sockets. A big thanks to Steve Bidwell, Carl Glasse and Peter Mallows for helping us get this work carried out in time.
We have managed to carry out most of our maintenance jobs through this year. The front hedge is still to do which hopefully will be carried out by the end of this month.
We have allowed Cambridge Water to use part of our car park to store MOT aggregate and pea shingle, which they are transporting to the new water main in Wimpole Road.
The existing play area received a thorough clean in 2017 thanks to Tom Jack and his team of volunteers.
The proposed new Sports Centre has not progressed a great deal during 2017/18 but we are hoping that things start moving again soon.
We had two quiz nights during 2017, one in April and the other in October and the money raised beat the 2016 record with a total of £1052.50. A massive thank you to Domenic Shelley for being our quiz master and to all of you that helped and supported these fund raising events.
We had our annual Jumble Sale in February which we share with the village hall and raised £348.64 for our funds.
The pavilion is used for coffee mornings which are on the second Thursday of the month.
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 – Kathryn Jackson (read by the Clerk)
This has been another busy year for the Village Hall and the committee have run many events both to raise funds for the upkeep of the hall and as social occasions within the community. These have included a joint Jumble Sale with the recreation ground committee, kids club events, cafe-creative, Blues Brothers Night and New Year Party to name a few.
We have welcomed new members on to our committee who are keen to help add some new events to our regular calendar. We have also had (or will soon have) some changes of role within the committee and some members have (or will be) moving on. We thank Val Farnell, Betty Mallows and June White for their dedication to the Village Hall over the years. Thankfully Betty is staying on as Bookings Secretary.
At the beginning of this year we held a vote (as per our constitution to answer the question we were being asked about whether the Village Hall could be sold to help fund a community building on the recreation ground. As the result of the vote was not sufficiently in favour of this to action it we as committee will continue with our efforts to maintain and improve the provision at the hall.
Thank you to all of the committee who give up their spare time to help in their community.
Unknown Donor’s Charity – Sue Glasse
The Unknown Donor’s Charity 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 we have received one request. We would like to remind all Little Eversden residents that this is a unique opportunity for our community and encourage our young people to get in contact with us if they think they are eligible for assistance and we would be happy to facilitate.
Details can be found in any Tail Corn magazine and any requests should be made to either:
Mrs Sue Glasse 35 Lowfields 01223 262621
Mr Steve Dinsdale 52 Harlton Road 01223 263906
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 Beach 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. The sign has been refurbished, the stones are in good condition, however the seat has a build-up of algae and requires a wire brush and coat of Cuprinol Hardwood Furniture oil.
Connections Bus – Clerk
The Parish Council continues to fund the Connections Bus in the Village for the benefit of the young people on a Monday evening between 6 pm and 8 pm on the Recreation Ground
Approximately half of the Village’s 11-18 population currently attend the bus on a regular basis. Recently the Council mapped the attendance figures for the last 12 months. The figures did show a decrease in the attendance figures. The Council approached the Connections Bus with a view to changing either the timing or the day but other slots were unavailable.
The Bus has always been very well supported by the Council and the Village and despite a further 1% increase this year to £257.50 per visit the Council have resolved to continue to the fund the Bus, but only until the end of the summer term. The attendance figures and cost will then be reviewed.
Activities and discussions on the Bus continue to be wide-ranging, predominately led by the young people’s interests. The termly reports are available to view on request.
Comberton Village College – Peter Law (read by the Chair)
The performance data for our 2017 Year 11 and school Performance Tables for the 6th form cohort from 2017 was published at the end of January , confirming what we knew to be an excellent set of results. The progress made by both our Year 11 and 6th form students places Comberton Village College and its Sixth Form in the top 5% of comprehensive schools and post-16 providers nationally. The Year 11 cohort achieved a Progress 8 score of +0.57 and the Sixth Form achieved a value added score of +0.31. This is a fantastic achievement for all students who sat their exams last year and reflects the ongoing commitment and hard work of the staff at the college. Despite this excellent outcome, our focus remains on improving the performance of our disadvantaged children and ensuring we continue to offer a truly outstanding education to all our students.
School life is as busy as ever. Our recent newsletter had 50 reports covering everything from sports to plays, in-school events, overseas’ trips to Berlin, Munich and Nuremberg, Dorset and to various theatres, and much on the outstanding achievements of our pupils.
Our tradition of fund-raising remains strong and again thousands have been raised for a variety of causes. Charity events have included the annual Walk for the World, the Centre MacMillan Cake, Year Group Cake sales, the Children in Need day and in December Year 10 and 11 students helped support the Cambridge City Foodbank whose target was to distribute 300 hampers to families in need at Christmas. We will continue by supporting Sports Relief this month.
We continue to develop the college as an international school and last month, Stephen Munday, Rachel Hawkes and myself visited the BIT High School in Beijing. There is much that the Chinese and the English education systems can learn from each other and we were there to establish possible student exchange opportunities for January and April 2019 and to meet the teacher training college leaders to discuss reciprocal training opportunities for staff. Hopefully this visit (funded entirely by the Chinese Government) was the start of a very meaningful and useful partnership for all involved.
The Cam Academy Trust continues to grow. It now comprises four secondary schools (Comberton, Cambourne, Melbourn, and St Peter’s Huntingdon) and four primary schools (Gamlingay First School, Hartford Infant School, Hartford Junior School and Jeavons Wood Primary school. Two further primary schools are now in the formal process of looking to join the Trust. All four secondary schools and some of the Primaries are set for meaningful growth in pupil numbers in the coming year. This comes with some organisational challenge but is crucial for long-term viability of all these schools. Ultimately, it is a great endorsement of all the excellent work done by the staff in the Trust schools.
Meridian Primary School – Carol Etchie, Headteacher (Read by the Clerk)
All at Meridian send our warmest greetings.
We are very glad and proud to share that with our recent Ofsted report (Jan 2018), the school has been given a good rating in all categories; Effectiveness of leadership and management; Quality of teaching, Learning and assessment, Personal development behaviour and welfare; Outcomes for pupils; Early years provision. We strongly believe we are a good school and this recent inspection has been welcomed by the school community.
We were particularly pleased with our end of year outcomes at the end of last year (July 2017). At the age appropriate expectations, we were above both national and Cambridge county results in EYFS, Y2 and Y6. In our year 6 SATs, we were significantly above the attainment with children exceeding the expected standards and working at greater depths. Our Y1 phonics was also in line with national figures. We were 12th overall in the whole Cambridgeshire County with our Y6 results.
As a school, we are striving to ensure that our standards are consistent and we continue to monitor the right support to enable all children to make good progress. We are confident with our assessments of children which we conduct every half term. With this in place, it has supported the teachers’ directions of what needs to be taught and revised. We are confident that the measures we have in place on assessment and standards are sustainable.
We have revised our school values that now stand as…’Confidence, Courtesy, Responsibility and Adventure’.
Our new website www.meridianprimary.co.uk has been in operation since September 2017. We hope that you have been able to access this to learn about our school. Our latest Ofsted report is on our website.
On roll we have 200 children. This year we have a very small Reception intake. This has been low across south Cambridgeshire compared to other years. However, we will have a very good uptake of reception places for September 2018. Our reception teacher continues to work with local nursery providers with our outreach programme.
So far, our children have taken part in inter-school football tournaments, gymnastics, hockey competitions, as well as have a bike-ability week. We have a netball tournament next week and we will be sending two teams as this is a very popular after school club run by a parent volunteer and teacher. We have also introduced a new club called ‘stacking’ (with cups) as well as archery and fencing this year.
Meridian has now trained 28 sports leaders across years 5 and years 6 to lead sports activities and engage younger children in sports at lunchtimes. This is working well.
So far, we have taken our children on a number of trips to support their topic work; these include:- botanical gardens, museums in Cambridge, Celtic Harmony, Ely Cathedral. We have many more planned for this year. We are delighted that we have good links with parents in our community who can share their experiences relevant to our topics.
We have recruited a new site manager, who currently works part-time. We have also recruited new teaching assistants due to some teaching assistants reducing hours and one leaving for pastures new.
Together as a school and governing body, we still remain motivated and ambitious to develop the school even further.
Other exciting projects/ initiatives in operation since summer 2017 to date:-
- 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 – with a special Africa day
- Four school performances throughout the school year – working well
- Introduced ‘helping hands’ day – for parent volunteers to lend a hand to support manual labour of a project/ initiative – has worked well to support the EYFS development
- Introducing a new school choir – and being part of SingFest this year.
- Having a STEM ambassador work alongside us this year, and being part of the Astra Zeneca and Cambridge United school project
- Having our gymnastics lessons being taught by a specialist provider, to support staff training
- A new computing and music curriculum introduced – working well
Some areas we are still keen to address in the near future:
- Raising the profile of technology and updating our computers and software
- Re-vamping our tired KS1 playground
- Developing our ARTS curriculum.
We are all extremely proud of our school and the continuous support from our communities.
Thank you for your continued support, you are always welcome to visit our school and we hope that you will be a part of our 50th year celebrations next year 2018-2019.
Parish Council – Matt Prince, Chair
I was interested to read that Great and Little Eversden have been a unitary authority for most of its time since the Doomsday book. The Catholic Church divided it into 2 ecclesiastical parishes in about 1250 but the unitary administration continued for another 700 years. At some point the administrative parishes were divided but I would hope at some point that we can merge the electoral registers and move back to being one body.
This year has been busy for planning once again with some house sales being slow and people preferring to improve and enlarge rather than move up. The vast majority of scheduled planning meetings have been used in order to meet the planning deadlines.
Reading the records, dates vary slightly, but I believe that OSP 148 reached its 70th birthday this year as a site for affordable housing.
In its latest episode; the affordable housing site on Church Street Great Eversden, which was locally given planning permission in 2012 is still not built. In February 2018, yet another application was postponed at the South Cambs planning committee by a last minute legal challenge.
Meanwhile, some wards at Addenbrookes are running with 30% of required staff, such is the demand for beds. Affordable housing is the biggest cause of staff not applying for jobs at Addenbrookes,
As a community we were successful in lobbying highways to carry out road repairs and this resulted in patching work to Wimpole Road, Chapel Road and Bucks Lane as well as the cleaning out of some storm drains on Harlton Road.
On the agenda this year has been the topic of rebuilding the Sports Pavilion.
The Parish Council went through a steep learning curve to discover the structure of the assets in this Parish. It would seem there are at least 5 charities serving our 300 houses. Two of these it was discovered are the Village Hall charity and the Recreation ground charity both with different terms of reference. The PC sought advice from ACRE as to what their terms of reference meant. In a nutshell both the Village Hall and the Recreation ground are charities independent of the Parish Council although we are their landlords. We have had 2 very well attended meetings at the Village Hall to talk about the future of one joint community building or not. The debate goes on.
In connection with the Village Hall / Recreation Ground venture, we carried out a very successful survey of the village to discover more about people s desires for community spaces. We also gathered some knowledge about commuting patterns made by villagers and to establish the demographic breakdown of the villages. About 2/3rds of houses returned their forms.
A full breakdown of the information we gathered will be distributed soon
The connections bus is always a concern to the Parish Council ; its cost versus usage but it is heartening to discover from the survey that around 50% of its targeted age group make use of it.
We have had several meetings about the dangers of the Wheatsheaf junction with Highways, and Cllr Dinsdale continues to chisel away.
We have had a failed LHI bid to look into an improved junction or crossing at the A603 / Wheatsheaf but Highways themselves may undertake to examine improvements under the Transport Investment Plan. The discussion was about the possibility of completing an in-house feasibility/design study to see if they can fund it cheaper themselves.
This year we lost our brilliant County Councillor Sebastian Kindersley to boundary changes. The boundary changes continue in May 2018 and we will have a new District Ccouncillor and new election years. Our current District Councillor, Doug Cattermole, is absent in tragic personal circumstances
I would like to thank all the Parish Councillors, the public who attend our meetings, the public who write in and the Parish Clerk for all their efforts over the last year .
Aidan Van de Weyer, District Councillor (on behalf of Cllr Doug Cattermole)
Local Plan – Slow Progress
The ongoing saga of the South Cambs Local Plan is limping to its conclusion (it is now the longest in the country ever). A consultation on the Planning Inspector’s final set of proposed modifications to the Plan took place in January and February. The key issues are:
– The Inspector looks set to accept a joint housing supply strategy between SCDC and Cambridge City which should reinstate a five-year housing land supply.
- Sites for new developments at Bourn Airfield and Waterbeach will be enlarged.
- The affordable housing threshold is now triggered at >10 houses, rather than >2.
Officers are now collating responses and sending them to the Inspector. Assuming she doesn’t spot any major problems, the Inspector will then write up her final report and send this back to South Cambs. At the current rate, this won’t be until May or June. But we have been advised that, as soon as this happens, we will be able to rely again on the Local Plan for making planning decisions and the village boundaries will be in force again, stopping all the speculative proposals.
District Council Budget and Tax
South Cambs District Council has agreed a budget for the next year and set its financial forecasts for the medium term. The future, while not dire, will depend upon reserves – which have built up to a healthy £11million – being drawn down over the next five years to a level of £2.5million – just to keep services going. SCDC no longer receives any government grant and may in fact become a net contributor to government coffers under new funding rules.
The District Council will be increasing its share of Council Tax by the maximum amount, which is £5 per Band D house, or 3.7%.
The New Mayor and Combined Authority – What’s in it for South Cambs?
The Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has now been in post for 10 months. Soon after his election, James Palmer commissioned a series of reports, the results of which will shape development in the county.
One report, which Palmer himself selectively leaked several weeks before it was published, recommends a Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro. The mayor presents this as a type of light rail, but once we saw the report, it seems it is more like a series of routes for bendy buses, that may one day be autonomous, linked together with a tunnel under central Cambridge – all for over £1.5 billion. The Combined Authority has now commissioned a further report on this, costing £600,000.
As part of the devolution deal, the Combined Authority has been given £100 million to help us build affordable housing. We were promised that South Cambs, where the need is greatest, would get around 70% of this. Peter Topping, the Leader of SCDC was appointed to be the Portfolio Holder of Housing in the CA.
Unfortunately, Cllr Topping was removed from this post in February, without any real explanation of why, nor of how he is now going to be able to champion the needs of South Cambs.
There are already signs that the mayor is not prioritising the housing crisis in South Cambs. In its annual report, the Combined Authority has revealed that East Cambs (home of Mayor Palmer) is getting £925k to support affordable housing this year whereas South Cambs, which is far larger and with much higher housing costs, is being given £829k.
Greater Cambridge City Deal – Not Changing Course
Despite the huge local opposition, combined with uncertainty about how it fits in with the intentions of the Mayor, the Greater Cambridge City Deal is pursuing its plans for a busway between West Cambridge and Cambourne and for a brand new 2,000-space Park and Ride on the south-west side of the M11/A10 junction. In neither case are benefits demonstrated, while the damage will be huge.
East West Rail on the Horizon
The political support for a new railway line between Cambridge and Bedford is increasing, with government providing funding to pursue detailed studies. This line would recreate the missing link on the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford railway and enable further economic and housing growth.
One option that the National Infrastructure Commission report published late last year explored is a new town on Bassingbourn Barracks, serviced by a railway station.
The most recent East West Rail study looked at several possible routes, including one that would run between Orwell and Little Eversden. However, the most likely route is one that branches off the main line near Shepreth and then heading westwards.
Paper Recycling Collection Changes
Last December 2017, the way that newspaper is collected for recycling changed. We now have to put paper straight into the blue wheelie bins along with the rest of the recycling rather than in the black caddy.
The lease on the current bin lorries had come to an end. New lorries without a separate paper compartment are able to carry more recycling, so fewer lorries are needed and they have to return to base to be emptied less often. This means that, although the council will get less money for the paper, there is an overall cost saving.
Lina Joseph, County Councillor (Read by the Chair)
During December I attended the first Cambridgeshire Culture Steering group meeting. I would like us to do more in this area. Culture and Arts are in my opinion, extremely important. We are currently setting the terms of reference, vision, and aims. Cambridge City started a pilot with a so called Culture Card. Is exciting to see the use of technology and the potential benefits it can bring.
Furthermore, I visited Cambridge Women Aid. They support woman who are fleeing domestic violence and offer advice. It was very interesting to understand the processes, challenges and how the County Council can improve procedures. We work very closely and I have taken the suggestions and comments to officers. I would like us to be less bureaucratic and take more a needs approach when assessing resident’s situation.
I arranged a meeting with the Chief Constable, Alec Wood, and a couple of charities, regarding Human Trafficking. Although this is primarily a police matter, I believe as an authority our officers should be trained and ready to identify and support victims of this horrendous crime. I am spearheading the Councils strategy on this matter and I am working very closely with senior officers.
I was back the first week of January. The year began with a meeting with the assistant director of the Children’s and Young People Service. Another of my key interests is fostering and adoption. The number of children under our care has been increasing. One challenge that we have ahead of us is to recruit more foster families. You may not know but many families decide to go with independent fostering organisations and this costs us more money, increasing the pressure on the service. We are currently working extremely hard to address this and will be launching a campaign shortly. If you have a free room, you want to transform the life of a young person, and you can offer a nurturing home, we want to hear from you. Help me spread the message.
The following week I met the CEO of the Citizens Advice Bureau for Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire. I invited the manager in charge of Libraries. I believe that we can do more to build stronger partnerships with organisations like this one, who are doing an incredible job. We spoke about potential areas where we could collaborate. It was very exciting.
Later on I went to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mental Health Section 75 Governance Board. It was fantastic to see, firstly, that most of the senior officers were female, and the passion for the work that they do. Everyone was offering ideas, constructive opinions, challenging each other. I raised the need for more joint up work. Sometimes it can be a challenge to see the opportunities, however, I will keep pressing for this to happen across the board. There was also a discussion about data sharing and how in an ideal world all the different organisations would have one system! At the moment, everyone has different providers, programmes, databases… this has to be adressed.
Finally, you may already have seen that the General Purposes Committee will be recommending in the next Full Council that we increase our precept to 2.99%. It is advised that we do this year and the following. In 2020 we should be back to 0%. Most of our budget goes to supporting vulnerable Children, Adults & Older People. We are investing considerable amount of resources in developing innovative projects in order to deal with these pressures. It’s still early days but we have seen already a return, for example in our Neighbourhood Cares pilot scheme there has been £20m saved.
Another point regarding this, is the fact that we are one of the fastest growing economies in the Country and the third worst funded for Adult Social Care. The Leader of the Council, Steve Count, has been working relentlessly to press government, and lobbying MPs, and our Mayor for a fairer funding formula. This work is going to continue as we have proven to government that we are one of the most cost/effective Councils in the area. There was an independent report commissioned which came to that conclusion.
Just to remind you that the public is very welcome to attend committee meetings and Full Council.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Any Other Business
The Clerk reported that the telephone box in Little Eversden would remain as a result of the recent consultation.
The Clerk was asked about the progress with the village pumps. The Clerk responded that she needed to obtain quotes and would do this in time for the next Full Parish Council meeting.
The Chair closed the meeting at 8:42 pm.
Provisional Date of Next Meeting
Monday 4th March 2019