Little Eversden Parish Meeting: Monday 6th March 2017
LITTLE EVERSDEN PARISH MEETING
The Little Eversden Annual Parish Meeting was held in The Pavilion on Monday 6th March 2017 at
Mr Matt Prince, Chairman of the Parish Council, was in the Chair.
Minutes of previous year’s meeting held on 7th March 2016 confirmed.
The following reports were received from Representatives.
Recreation Ground Report – Derek Blatch (read by the Clerk)
Cricket is still being played at Eversden even though the village cricket team stopped playing. Foxton third team asked if they could use our facilities. They came and carried out a considerable amount of work to the square and started playing games, but it was a very young side and summer holidays took its toll and they only managed to play around half of their fixtures. Cam Spice from Great Eversden have approached us for them to use the ground this coming season, so hopefully cricket will continue on the field.
Comberton Crusaders Football Club are now using the Comberton recreation ground extension for most of their teams, so we are lucky to still have four teams from Comberton Crusaders playing on the recreation ground again this year – Under 10 and Under 17 boys on a Saturday, and Under 16 and Under 18 boys on a Sunday.
We had intended to move the pitch down once cricket had finished to make way for the 12 -18 play area and the new Sports Centre. It was decided that we purchase new fixed socketed aluminium goals as part of the move. We obtained quotations and agreed purchasing from Stadia Sports for £1131.99. Our treasurer thought that it was worth us applying to South Cambs for a grant towards the cost of the goals through their Community Chest Project. To our delight we were successful and over the moon when we were told that the grant was for the total amount of £1131.99.
Due to waiting for the outcome of the grant before we could purchase, meant that the goals were delivered three weeks before the start of the football season, and with the ground being rock hard due to very little rain during July and August, we had to postpone moving the pitch down and erecting the goals which also stopped us starting the 12 – 18 year old play area.
We have managed to carry out all of our maintenance jobs through this year with the exception of the front hedge which we hope to do soon.
Again this year we have been plagued with Chafer grubs and are targeting areas that are the worst affected due to cost.
The plans for the new Sports Centre have now been drawn up and we have had a site meeting with the planners. They have sent us a list of comments which we now need to go through. We are also starting to prepare a planning statement which will support the future application. If this goes well we will be asking for approval from our Parish Council and hopefully apply for planning permission around May/June of this year.
It is hoped that if South Cambridgeshire Planning and the Parish Council are happy with the proposal we will have an open morning where the plans can be viewed and any questions answered.
We had two quiz nights during 2016, one in April and the other in October, raising a record total of £840.40. A big 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 a very successful walking treasure hunt in the summer of 2106 with over thirty people taking part and we raised £118.00
We had our annual Jumble Sale in February this year which we share with the Village Hall and raised in total £699.98
Visits the recreation ground carpark on a Monday evening from 4.00 to 6.00pm in term time and is funded by the Parish Council.
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 – Katherine Jackson
As the village hall committee we have several aims. To look after the hall and see that any maintenance and improvements are carried out, to fundraise so that there is money available for this upkeep and also to run events in the hall which serve as beneficial facilities for our community.
There are often things which need doing to maintain the building from rotten window frames which need replacing, new storage to be built, grass to be cut etc etc. Most of these things are small jobs though some future improvements to facilities in the hall may be more costly and so we continue fundraising to widen our possibilities.
The village hall continues to be well used for private bookings such as children’s parties, meetings and weddings and this year we have raised the cost of hirings slightly to become in line with other local halls. Our fundraising events in this last year have included everything from a vintage tea party to our jumble sale collaboration with the recreation ground committee.
We also host many village social events and facilities and provide an important hub for The Eversdens. The mums and toddlers group is now successfully running alongside Vital Spark theatre classes on a Friday morning and one of our committee members (Edwina Mullins) has started an Eversden Kids Club which has used the hall for discos, films and craft sessions. The Eversden Society still holds regular Film Nights in the hall and table tennis, flower arranging, brass band and drama all regularly make use of the hall. The Church Fete also uses us as venue for their yearly event. Cafe-creative pop-up community cafe has also continued to use the hall and raise money for several different village causes, it’s an opportunity for villagers of all ages to get together and socialise too. We are very grateful to the volunteers who have made this community project a success.
I have recently taken over from Betty Mallows as Chair and would like to thank her for her tireless hard work for the hall and support of me during the changeover. I would also like to thank both the committee members and our additional event volunteers for all of their hard work in supporting the village hall. I believe it is a very special building which we’re very lucky to have as a part of our 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 Hardword Furniture oil.
Connections Bus – Read by the Clerk
There have been 14 visits by the bus during the term and we have seen 17 young people
Age 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Number Male 1 1 3 3 1
Number Female 1 2 2 2 1
Session 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Attendance 5 2 5 4 7 13 Half Term 11 7 8 4 4 4 2 3
Craft and other activities available on the bus this term have included fantasy film art, alphabet beads, making leather key rings, shrinkies, face painting, jewellery making, badge making, scratch art, stained glass art, making bracelets and making Christmas cards and decorations.
Quizzes have been held on literacy, Dr Who, pirates, languages, space, chocolate, the slave trade, 21st anniversary of the Connections Bus project, Remembrance Day, trees, road safety, AIDS awareness and Christmas
Week 1 Quiet start but good conversations about holidays, films, schools, D of E, bullying, split parents, migraines, stress and contraception.
Week 2 Very quiet. Both young people stayed for whole session and did Dr Who quiz, alphabet bead craft and went on the internet. Conversations about work experience, population, inviting friends, step siblings and weird teachers.
Week 3 Older ones playing football outside. Leather craft and games consoles enjoyed by young person on bus. Conversations about detentions and mixing with older young people at school.
Week 4 Nice chilled session chatting about school and art club. Enjoyed doing shrinkie craft and playing on games consoles.
Week 5 Football was played outside. Those on the bus enjoyed using face paints to do tattoos
Week 6 Played football outside, listened to music and played on computers. Conversations about school and relationships. Good to see a group of girls using the bus.
Week 7 Good session discussing 6th form, A-levels, personal statements, football, homework, slavery and using stress balls.
Week 8 Connections Bus quiz and scratch art craft very popular. Lots of discussions about how the bus is run, sixth from choices and moving school or not.
Week 9 A bit of football to start with then board games, video and computer games on the bus. Conversations about Christmas, traditions, school discipline and structures, sexting and repercussions and healthy relationships.
Week 10 Quiet session but good conversations about politics, work experience, college, internet access, camping and pregnancy.
Week 11 Heating failed so bus very cold. Discussions about house prices, driving, crashes and moisturising
Week 12 AIDS awareness quiz very popular causing lots of discussion about sexual health. Also conversations about winding up teachers and trying to see it from the teachers perspective.
Week 13 Comberton Village College off school today so numbers very low. Conversations about their day off and football. Visit from Parish Councillor asking about numbers and possibility of moving to an evening session.
Week 14 Enjoyed playing FIFA, doing Christmas quiz and chatting about Christmas plans.
Comberton Village College – Carol Handley
First of all, some disappointing news. As I expect you know, Cambridgeshire has been one of the worst funded counties in the country for education. The Government promised to alter the formula, so that a fairer distribution would be made. We were looking forward to this at CVC, but we have now heard that all the new money will be allocated to under-performing schools. So we suffer the penalty of success!
However, the College continues to be in the top 5% of secondary schools in the country on all scores and was recently praised for its performance by the School Commissioner for East Anglia. The public examination results for last summer were excellent and the numbers applying to and accepted by Russell group universities were very promising.
During the past year there has been an emphasis on improving the performance of disadvantaged children and this was the main focus of the last visit from Ofsted. This is a difficult area, but Ofsted were pleased with their findings.
It is good to know that the tradition of fund-raising is as strong as ever and literally thousands are raised each year for a wide variety of causes.
Applications to both the main 11-16 school and to the sixth form are very healthy.
When the Sixth Form began there was a tendency for the ablest students to apply to Hills Road, but some have not been happy there and have returned to CVC.
The enlargement of the Trust has brought some change to the school. Stephen Munday is now the Chief Executive of the Trust, responsible for all the schools in it, and Peter Law is now Head of Comberton Village College.
The Trust has been renamed as the Cambridge Area Academy Trust, but can still be conveniently known as CAT. It now comprises four secondary schools (Comberton, Cambourn, Melbourn, and St Peter’s Huntingdon). One, The Voyager in Peterborough has now left the CAT and linked with another school in Peterborough. A primary school in Gamlingay is joining, as is Jeavons Wood School in Cambourn. It is likely that the Trust will also be invited to take responsibility for founding a new secondary school and two new primary schools in Cambourn.
This reflects the new tendency for schools to work much more closely together and share their experience. The secondary schools have developed a pattern of shared staff development and training which seems to be working well.
Meanwhile, CVC works hard to remain an inspiring and welcoming institution.
Meridian School, Comberton – Read by the Clerk
All of us at Meridian send our warmest greetings. We continue to work extremely hard and at pace to improve the quality of teaching and learning throughout the school. We are really seeing the progress of our learners and the impact of the efforts made from the staff at Meridian.
This year, we have been especially excited by our new look in EYFS. We have been working to improve this area (highlighted by Ofsted) and much work has been accomplished in setting the scene for this to continue to improve and lead the way.
We have also carefully considered the topics and themes which are taught on a termly basis, which parents can access on our website. The national curriculum coverage long term plans for each term/ subject is also on the website. We have been working areas of the school website so items are updated and current.
In the autumn term 2016, we entered a group of Y6 children to an English challenge and we had a high scoring second place, which meant that the children were part of the finals held at Ely Cathedral in December. This term, we entered a group of Y4 children into a gymnastics competition and again they came a worthy second place and again will be art of the finals which will take place later this month.
Our roll currently stands at 217 and we are still operating an eight class structure this year. This year we have two parallel classes of years 1 and year 2, as well as two smaller classes for Reception (one reception class also having some Y1 children as part of the class make up). Considerations on class sizes are discussed each year, as the school has a pan of 45, and infant class sizes cannot go over 30.
Over the past year, we have had to say goodbye to a few teachers, some of which have been part of the school for many years. We are glad that for some, this was a time for promotion opportunities, and for others, this was a time for a change – and move closer to home. We have successfully appointed new teachers to the school, and they have all settled well and are very much part of the movement in continuing to develop and raise our standards in the school.
A new school improvement plan was written in the first part of the autumn term 2016 with priorities to address, organised termly, as our termly operational plan.
Although, we have made improvements to the curriculum, we are also looking at the quality and depth of our curriculum for all learners – and against our school focus – ‘learning for life’… and ‘striving for excellence’.
Together as a school and governing body, we still remain motivated and ambitious to develop the school towards good and beyond.
Other exciting projects/ initiatives in operation since summer 2016 to date:-
• Re-launching our 5 R’s across the school (resourcefulness, reflectiveness, relationships, resilience, research)so they are embedded within our teaching, learning and assemblies
• 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
• Increased to four school performances throughout the school year (instead of 2)
• Introduction of Friday projects every half term – to focus on an area of the curriculum for the day
• Introduced ‘helping hands’ day – for parent volunteers to lend a hand to support manual labour of a project/ initiative
• House captains (children in Y6) running one of our school assemblies
• Continuing work to tidy up the school grounds, and refreshing tired rooms/ areas to give purpose and vibrancy.
• Improving the EYFS continuous provision
• Introducing a Meridian after school science club – supported by our volunteer STEM Ambassador
• We are very excited about hosting a Shakespeare company to perform to the children during Shakespeare week and being the audience for a morning having invited a baroque orchestra to entertain us.
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.
Parish Council – Matt Prince
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.
In December 2016, our Parish Council organised a session of Parish Councillor training to which we invited other Parish Councils to take part. One of the interesting things to come out of this was how rich we are as a Parish. Some Parishes with 4 times the precept of our Parish do not have a village hall, let alone a recreation ground and allotments. Our villages of only 300 or so dwellings have a long history of bequests from Lydia Leetes gift to Addenbrookes and our unknown donors charity and more recently the Fosse brothers and David Ellis. We have been and are very blessed.
May 2016 was Election time. Although the majority of us submitted our applications to the returning officer; there were less candidates than places to fill so the election was uncontested and the councillors duly returned. Paul Tebbit, after 35 years duty as a parish councillor, stepped down as Chair and councillor and somehow I found myself as Chair. We also lost Kate Green.
After the election, we sequestered more new blood and have been very pleased to welcome Patrick Sinnett-Smith, Colin Russell and Caroline Alexander.
In 2016, as a result of our bid to British Heart Foundation, we finally took complete receipt of 10 resus Annies and the final parts of the defibrillator. The Parish Clerk organised two very successful sessions of CPR recovery training in the village hall. The defibrillator is still waiting for the recreation ground to take receipt of and to fit.
In April 2016, the Parish Council organised a successful litter picking around the 2 villages. There will be a 2017 litter picking on Saturday March 18th starting at 10.30am in the Recreation Ground Car Park.
In October 2016, the Parish Council had a meeting with Highways at the Wheatsheaf concerning the junction of Harlton Road and the A603. We were able to get a good group together to discuss the dangers of the junction. To meet André Chabot, Senior Road Safety Engineer, Local Infrastructure and Street Management at Cambridgeshire County Council. Present was our county councillor Sebastian Kindersley, Our district councillor Doug Cattermole , Harlton Chair of Parish Council Ben Banks and from us Steve Dinsdale Myself and our Parish Clerk, Karen Easey and the owners of the Wheatsheaf Tony de Simone.
Many possible changes were discussed; all of which were constrained by cost. And the CC would be unable to carry out any major changes since the junction does not have enough reported accidents to qualify for funding. It was agreed that the Wheatsheaf would start to keep a diary of accidents that could be submitted later.
Planning – The planning department at SCDC has a new head of planning shared with Cambridge City. And has a new organisational structure. We will wait to see the effect of these changes
Planning has occupied most of our time over the year with all of our allotted overflow meetings being used. As is the trend nationally, people are improving and extending their houses rather than moving. Also our villages have a number of seasoned professionals and the changes in central government policy to encourage back garden development has been seen in the Eversdens.
The big planning question for our parish has been the building of affordable homes to complete the plan when Low Close was built. One planning application was, according to the Cambridge Evening News, quashed by, Mr Justice Ouseley on Feb 28th on the basis that the proposed development did not qualify as an exception and shouldn’t have been approved.
Mr Justice Ouseley said: “The terms of the policy are so clear that it is beyond argument that the permission for limited affordable housing in the green belt only exists where the criteria are all met. If any of the criteria are not met then, by the very terms of the policy, the development is not to be permitted.”
So this is not the end of the road for affordable homes; merely that all the criteria will need in future applications need to be met.
Finally – this year we have welcomed a new district councillor, Doug Cattermole. And we are about to lose our county councillor, Sebastian Kindersley, to boundary changes. Sebastian has been a constant and wonderful source of support to our Parish and there are simply not the words to adequately to express our thanks.
Lastly I would like to thank Karen your Parish Clerk, who has been the efficient and patient backbone of this council for another year. Thank you.
This report covers the 10 months since taking up my duties on the District Council in May 2016.
I attended all of the Council Meetings during the period (19 May, 28 June, 22 September, 17 November, 20 November, 26 January and 23 February).
Jean Hunter, the Chief Executive of the Council, resigned and Alex Colyer, Head of Corporate Services, is acting in an interim capacity.
There have been changes to the boundaries for both County and District elections. For the County elections (May 2017) the Eversdens and Harlton will be part of the Hardwick Division and Haslingfield part of the Sawston and Shelford Division.
For the District elections (May 2018), the old election district will be split. Haslingfield and Harlton will be part of an enlarged Harston and Comberton Division (Hauxton, Harston, Haslingfield, Harlton, Comberton, Barton, Coton and Grantchester) to be represented by three councillors. The Eversdens will be part of the Barrington Division (Eversdens, Orwell, Wimpole and Barrington) with one councillor. This is part of a re-organisation that will result in an overall reduction from 57 to 45 councillors on the council.
The new South Trumpington parish was created splitting off from Haslingfield.
Following public consultation and all the local authorities voting for a new mayor for Cambridge and Peterborough, an election will take place in May. This will be an extra layer of local government sitting above seven local councils (including Cambridge County and South Cambs Councils) and the local enterprise Partnership. There will also be a Mayoral Combined Authority with the heads of the Councils and LEP sitting with the Mayor in the Authority.
The government will provide £70m for housing and an additional £20m per year for infrastructure.
The initial costs of the new Authority will be funded centrally but the Mayor has the power to set a precept for the authority costs after the first year. The Authority will operate with several committees and additional officers. The Authority can impose a levy for ‘transport functions’ and ‘other functions’ later and has the powers to borrow funds.
There are now around 10,000 homes approved through the planning system in South Cambs but not built. Recent decisions have included an extension of the areas being developed at Bourn and Waterbeach. Some of the development in Trumpington fall within South Cambs and the extension of Cambridge Biomedical Site (Addenbrokes) on green belt land in the district was also approved.
In January, the planning committee approved the extension of Cambourne up to the Caxton roundabout. This will provide 2,350 extra homes (30% affordable), plus 3 schools, shops, offices, and community facilities.
There was a consultation on the SCDC website regarding a review of the four Council priorities:
Homes for the Future
An innovative and dynamic organisation
These were reviewed as part of the 2017/18 budget process.
The Council approved a £1,850,000 loan repayable over 25 years to support the Cambridge Leisure and Ice Centre. This is the new ice rink to be situated near the park and ride near Cambridge Airport. Assurances were given over the security of the project and recognised the fact that the council will make money on the loan (the difference between the rate of interest to the Council and the rate charged to CLIC) which can be ploughed back into supporting local services. Given that this will add a popular fixed local leisure facility that can be used by the residents of South Cambs then this was something worthy of Council support.
South Cambs Budget
South Cambs for 2017/18 has been approved. Further savings are required to cope with a cut in government rate support of around £700k. The increase in Council Tax rates will raise around £300k but with other changes in revenues, around £600k of savings are needed over the year. Over a five year period this savings figure rises to a potential level of £2.8m.
Council tax rates for 2017/18 will increase by just under 4%.
Because of the funding situation, spending will be tight and reserves will have to be used. The council will also need to look at other ways of raising revenue.
The Council has innovated with commercial activities like Ermine Street Housing, a wholly owned private rental housing company (with many properties outside of the district) to help provide extra revenues. The Council will be borrowing considerable capital sums over the next four years to pump into this venture and to grow it. Further commercial opportunities may be sought. The financial future of the Council will depend heavily on the performance and management of these new ventures to provide external revenues during an uncertain period of funding.
Changes to the bin rounds have been made with collections in Haslingfield, Harlton and the Eversdens now on Wednesday. This is because services in South Cambs and the City are aligning and this will provide efficiency savings of around £150K.
Greater Cambridge City Deal (GCCD)
I have attended numerous briefings on the GCCD and we have seen various initiatives and direction changes proposed by the GCCD over this period. Back in June the proposals were for traffic control via cameras and road closures at peak times to ensure traffic flow. However, these proposals were seemingly dropped after the results of the public consultation were reviewed. Congestion charges were briefly considered but dropped. A workplace levy or tax on workplace car parking spaces (£1.50 per day on 10 spaces or more) is still being mooted as is extension of resident parking only schemes in the city.
New P&R’s are being considered on the A428 as part of the new busway, extension of Trumpington (maybe upwards with extra storeys) and at Foxton. The idea is to take traffic off before the congestion pinch points but whether this will provide any great benefit is unknown. Some of these developments will be in the green belt. The idea of a site at Hauxton seems to have been dropped.
The Western Orbital route is still being considered i.e. M11 improvements between junctions 11 and Madingly. Highways England has not shown enthusiasm for a separate road and has suggested a Smart Motorway approach which uses variable speed limits and use of the hard shoulder (target date 2020- 2025). A bus only slip road at junction 11 was being considered. Recent focus has been on the Cambourne to Cambridge busway and the debate about whether this should be on the existing road routes or on a separate busway routed through the countryside.
Cycling is being encouraged but the main activity is within the City such as the extension of the cycling lanes along Hills road and work in the north of the City. Work has also continued on the development of the cycle route from Cambridge to Royston. At an early presentation, ‘cycle greenways’ was illustrated with routes from Barton and Haslingfield into the city. However, these were illustrative and not part of any current concrete development plans.
One of the provisions of the City Deal was the commitment to 1,000 extra affordable houses. To be built on Rural Exception Sites with priority to be given to those with a local connection.
At this point, it is hard to see what any real benefits will accrue from the GCCD to those living in our villages and how travel around this part of South Cambs will improve.
Grosvenor Sporting Village
Grosvenor estates put in a planning application for a new sporting village facility of a sports hall, cycle track and all weather pitches plus 520 homes on the green belt in Trumpington. This is tied in to the development of the Cambridge United stadium by the same developer where they will improve the stadium and build more flats and houses. Part of the development will be on Haslingfield/South Trumpington land.
The housing at Trumpington will provide the funds for both development so the proposal to build on the green belt is driven by a funding requirement by a commercial developer.
Major problems will arise from if this development goes ahead in terms of further congestion on the routes into Cambridge on this side of the City. It will also be part of the infill on the southern fringe where development is stretching further towards our villages and the green belt needs to be protected from further intrusion.
The villages around the south side of Cambridge are generally seeing issues of quality of life with added congestion and difficulty of accessing amenities in the City. The land between the villages and the city is gradually being built on for houses changing the whole aspect of the environment.
The application is likely to go to the JDCC (Joint Development Control Committee) in March. The application is a joint one linking the development in Trumpington to the one at the Abbey Stadium.
75 bus service
There have been problems over reliability with this service. I asked Whippet how they intended to ensure reliability and give people confidence in the service.
Their response said
‘From 14 November we reduced our commitments in order to provide a more robust operation and we will do the same at the end of December and mid-January. These actions should restore customer faith in our ability to provide a reliable and punctual service.’
I later saw that this meant reducing other routes due to a lack of resources. There have been no recent complaints.
County Council – Sebastian Kindersley
Cllr Kindersley reported on a busy 12 months at both District and County Council. He reported that the Planning Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council had recently passed plans for a pedestrian and cycle bridge over the Cam at Ditton Meadows. Cllr Kindersley said that his appointment as Chairman of Cambridgeshire County Council would finish at the end of May ’17.
Other changes on the horizon include voting for the new Major and Julie Spence will be the new Lord Lieutenant for Cambridgeshire
He thanked the Parish Council for their support and friendly welcome over the last 12 years.
Date of Next Meeting
Monday 5th March 2018.