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FULL PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON MONDAY 14TH APRIL
2014 IN THE VILLAGE HALL AT 8 PM
Present: Mr Dalton, Mr Dinsdale, Mrs Glasse, Mrs Handley, , Mrs Hoar, Ms O'Callaghan, Mr Prince, Mrs Pritchard, and in the Chair, Mr Tebbit.
Mrs Newstead, SCDC, Mrs Hill, Accent Nene, Mrs Johnson, Accent Nene, Mr Green, Saunders Boston.
Cllr Page, Cllr Kindersley
1. Apologies received from Ms Spencer
2. Minutes of 10th March and 17th March were approved.
3. Public Participation
Mrs Webster asked if representatives present from SCDC could impress on colleagues the need for the infrastructure to be improved before they build new homes as Cambridge will be grid-locked. Mrs Newstead said she would take this back to SCDC and pass it on as it is Cambridgeshire County Council responsibility. Mr Tebbit indicated that he would be attending the Stop B.A.D meeting and would ask questions regarding the infrastructure.
Mrs Tebbit asked if we could write to the Highways Department with regard to cutting the verges after the wild flowers had finished flowering as opposed to during. Mrs Pritchard said there was an ongoing national campaign and will forward the article to the Clerk to refer to in the letter.
4. Declarations of Interest
Mr Dinsdale declared an interest in Item 11 as a member of Bourn Flying Club.
5. Matters Arising
a) Emergency Planning: no further progress to date.
b) Recreation Ground Opening at Bucks Lane. We now have the specification and will complete the work ourselves at a cost of approx. £500. A member of the village with dredge the ditch with a mini-digger and hedges will need to be cut back. Road-planings have also been delivered. FP26 and FP13 could also be improved and permission needs to be sought from Fossey Trust to improve the footpath opposite the church, if need be.
c) Speedwatch - Training will take place on 22 April for approx 9 volunteers.
d) Cllr Kindersley said that the contract had not yet been awarded and little progress was being made.
6. Housing Needs Survey
Schulyer Newstead apologised for missing the meeting on 17th March. The Parish Council had requested the Local Housing Needs survey to identify the demand for affordable housing in Great Eversden. The large, favourable response identified the need for 12 houses. She went on to say that planning permission for OSP148 had been obtained 2 years ago but due to a technicality, permission had now been quashed. The land belongs to SCDC but is currently leased to 2 residents in the village. Mrs Newstead said that issues surrounding the availability of other sites not being explored thoroughly enough had now been redressed by Accent Nene.
Mr Tebbit then asked if there were any questions from Councillors.
Mr Dinsdale raised the question of bedroom tax. Mrs Newstead said that if a single person occupied a 3 bedroom house their benefit would be reduced by 2 bedrooms. And similarly, if a single person occupied a house they would receive no housing benefit for the second bedroom. There are some exceptions in that Old Age Pensioners are protected from this clause and on some occasions, Housing Associations cover the loss themselves as 1 bedroom properties are not feasible to build, and would lead to an unacceptably rapid turnover of tenants.
Point 14 in the minutes of 17th March asked how a tenant that could only afford 50% shared equity was expected to then meet the 50% rent cost. Louise Johnson, from Accent Nene, explained that each case is worked out on a % calculator. Each individual's affordability is assessed taking into account earnings, savings, gifted money and their deposit. The % is not allowed to exceed 45% of their disposable income. However, as a business, Accent Nene work to 40%. Another example would be if a tenant had a deposit of £50k but only wanted to use £20k this would not be allowed as they could afford to buy on the open market.
Beverly Hill of Accent Nene went on to say that the proposal for the Great Eversden development would be a balance of properties for rental and shared ownership, with a 70-30 split. There are no outright market sales proposed.
Ms O'Callaghan said there was opposition in Great Eversden. It was a historical site near listed buildings and was pleasant to walk around. Mr Tebbit said that the site was privately occupied and not available to walk through. Mrs Pritchard said it was disingenuous to say that only the neighbours appreciated the land. She went on to ask what were the next steps regarding planning.
Mr Tebbit then invited questions from the floor.
Mrs Newstead and Mr Green began by reminding councillors of the design of the scheme and the care that had been taken to ensure that the design reflects the nature of the housing in the village. They had also taken note of the results in the Housing Survey.
Mrs Pritchard then objected to the proceedings on the grounds that the agenda had stated the item was concerned with the Housing Survey and not the choice of site. Her objection was not upheld by the Chair.
Mrs Pritchard declared at this point that she felt unable to remain in the meeting and left the meeting.
Rev Fraser asked what had convinced the Parish Council that OSP 148 was the correct site. Mr Tebbit said that the site had been earmarked for development some years ago. It was owned by SCDC which helped to achieve low-rental properties, which was a large consideration. The PC also thought it was the correct place in the centre of the village, next to the village hall with a useful footpath through to Church Street and near to the recreation ground. The area was originally scrub land until it was bought back to its current state by the present tenants. Mr Tebbit said that no other site had been forthcoming despite the PC actively looking and that there was a rumour that a land agent has been employed unsuccessfully to look for sites.
Cllr Page then launched into a tirade of unpleasant comments directed at the Chairman. He stated that Mr Tebbit was only interested in cheap point-scoring, and that was all he was interested in and all he had ever been interested in. He then said that he would vote against the application to adopt OSP148 for affordable housing when it came to the Planning Committee. His view was that the scheme should be sited on land owned by Mr Tebbit. He then left the meeting.
Mr Green, from the Architect Saunders Boston, resumed his presentation. He reported that an Environmental Survey will not be required with the planning application which can now be submitted for the site. He then produced various boards showing the style and layout of the plans, including a footpath and inclusion of the Community Orchard.
Beverly Hill and Louise Johnson of Accent Nene said that although the Survey had indicated a need for 12 properties the plan remained the same with only 10 properties, the only change being that a 3 bedroom is now shared ownership as a result of the survey instead of rented. Mrs Hoar asked how much space there was between the properties, Mr Green indicated approx 12 metres.
Mr Pritchard expressed concern over the tandem parking because of noise and movement. He went on to ask if the people who expressed a need for the 12 houses were on the housing list when Low Close was allocated? Mrs Newstead will look into this and report back via the Clerk. Mr Pritchard said the cost of the housing would impact on the Council tax, however Mrs Newstead said the the land was part of the Housing Revenue Asset and did not belong to the general fund. The previous application was not supported by the Environmental and Conservation Team at SCDC, Mr Pritchard asked if this had been disbanded. Mrs Newstead will investigate and report back to the Clerk. Mr Green said that English Heritage are consultees and will be asked for their opinion on the application.
Mrs Newstead indicated that John Cock is the current Planning Officer.
Mr Tebbit then said that he felt he needed to defend his position following Cllr. Page's earlier outburst. He had found this puzzling since he did not know Mr Page at all well and had never been approached by him to discuss his land, which was not, in fact, available. Mr Tebbit did not know why Mr Page had ever made the suggestion.
7. Flooding at Wimpole Road
A proposal had been circulated prior to the meeting from the Chair regarding a possible solution to the flooding at Wimpole Road. After discussion it was unanimously resolved that the proposal be accepted and Mr Tebbit will contact the landowners.
8. Great Eversden Parish Meeting Feedback
Nothing further to report.
9. Parish Council Liaison Meeting
The Clerk updated the meeting on the recent meeting at SCDC. The next meeting is scheduled for October and is a good forum if the PC want to escalate any topic directly the SCDC.
10. Request regarding 27 Lowfields, Little Eversden
Mr Tebbit had received a request from a resident asking the Parish Council if they would write to SCDC regarding commercial use of the property. It was noted that the PC had alseady commented on this in their response to the planning application.. It was proposed that the Clerk should write to SCDC regretting that their comments on this point had apparently been ignored. The PC would review the effect of the impact of business use once the extension work had been completed.
11. STOP B.A.D
It was agreed that Mr Tebbit should attend and will ask about infrastructure and also flooding in the Bourn Brook.
12. Park and Ride Charging
This had been circulated to all Councillors before the meeting and it was resolved that Clerk would disseminate it to the wider audience via Eversden On-Line.
13. Standing Orders
Mr Dalton proposed that the new Standing Orders be adopted and this was seconded by Mr Dinsdale. The Council unanimously agreed and the Standing Orders were adopted.
Churchyard Grant £1,000 LGA 1972 s.214
Ashton KCJ Land Registry £766.00 1894s.6(c)iii
CAPALC Affiliation Fees £284.40 LGA 1972 s.142(i)
Street Lighting £82.19 PCA 1957 s3
Telephone Box Cleaning £60.00 POA 1953 s.51
Staples Office Equipment £57.98 LGA 1972 s.226
Website Calendar £18.46 LGA 1972 s.142
All payments were approved.
The Clerk informed the meeting that the External Audit notification had been received and the accounts had been completed and reconciled. They are currently waiting to be sent to Mr Richford, Internal Auditor.
A consultation document on the 'Proposals to improve older people's healthcare and adult community services' was circulated to Councillors and a spare copy will be placed in Eversden Doctors Surgery. The Clerk will send an email via Eversden On-Line to alert parishioners that the Consultation document is available.
The current report from Cllr Kindersley will be circulated to the Parish Council.
He added that CEMAX were about to sign contract to upgrade rail link into quarry.
Mrs Glasse asked about the current situation regarding Councillors allowances. Cllr Kindersley said that an Independent Remuneration Panel were appointed. They interviewed approx. 14-15 Councillors and looked at diaries to see what the job involved. Their recommendation then had to be agreed by the full Council. The Council had rejected the Panel’s recommendation of 11% increase and opted for a 1% increase in line with the pay of their employees.
Mr Dinsdale thanked Cllr Kindersley for his help on the A603 speed limit work and indicated that Karen Lunn had been given responsibility for taking forward to implementation. Cllr Kindersley said that it would be beneficial for the PC to write to Mrs Lunn asking for times, dates and actions re the scheme as he understood it would be implemented by July.
The Clerk will contact the Parishes of Wreslingworth, Hatley and Gamlingay as Cllr Kindersley indicated they were undertaking a scheme involving a moveable speed–reading device and funding it between their Parishes.
There was no report received from Cllr Page.
16. Date of Next Meeting
Planning, if required, Monday 28th April 2014 at 8 pm.
Full Annual Parish Council Meeting, Monday 19th May 2014 at 8 pm.