GREAT EVERSDEN PARISH MEETING Parish Council
GREAT EVERSDEN PARISH MEETING
The Great Eversden Annual Parish Meeting was held in The Village Hall on Monday 7th April 2014 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 been the worst weather conditions for keeping the ground in good condition. We had low rainfall and cold weather in March and April, followed by very low rainfall in May and June, a time when we would hope to have good turf growth, and it's been the wettest January on record. We have now been able to allow any games to be played for the whole of January and only one in February.
We have four football teams playing on the recreation ground this year, all from Comberton Crusaders, U16 boys, U15 boys, U14 boys and U13 girls. The Eversdens Cricket team had a successful season finishing mid-table of Junior League 1 south, and would welcome any talented young cricketers for the coming seasons.
We have purchased a second sorrel spiker from The Gogs Golf Club, and have had a frame made which joins the two machines together, which now means that we have a working width of nearly 3 metres, reducing the time it takes up to spike the grounds down to about an hour. This is a job we try to do at least once a month to improve the root zone.
We have purchased a new line marking machine, as the old one was leaking. We use a soluble powder to mark the lines, but during the bad weather the pitch lines are having to be marked out twice a week, and in very heavy rain, every other day. We are now experimenting with different products to try and find one that is less likely to be washed away with heavy rain.
We have erected the ball stop netting behind the practice goal which has proved very popular, getting used most days of the week, even during the bad weather. A considerable amount of renovation work around this area will need to be carried out before the cricket season starts.
We are in the process of purchasing a cricket practice cage, this is now going to be a moveable one (on wheels) so that during the cricket season, the cage can be moved to an area at the pavilion end of the grounds.
The new footpath from Bucks Lane to our Car Park entrance is with the Highways, and looks as if it is definitely going ahead. We are waiting to hear if we have to fund 10% of the works or if we have to contribute more by way of doing some of the work i.e piping the ditch.
During the summer we had a serious attempt at breaking into our Ground Hog, luckily we have a very strong lock cover and lock, which stopped them from stealing valuable equipment. This prompted us to consider CCTV cameras. We have been working with the Parish Council, as its their building, to get cameras installed. We are pleased to say that these have now been installed and have been paid for by the Parish Council. The CCTV will only be used for prevention or detection of criminal activity.
The bottom area is progressing well. Sketch proposals have been shown to the parish council and we are talking to specialist contractors in play area construction. We have, however, encountered an additional problem and expense, which has come to light as a result of this bad weather. We have discovered that the field drainage system, which is a series of drain runs approximately10 metres apart, positioned diagonally across the field, all join up to a main drain which runs parallel to the footpath on the northern boundary leading to Bucks Lane which terminates at a manhole at the southern corner of the pumping station. This drain runs across where we want to develop. Some or all of this drain may have already been damaged by trees. We now need to investigate the position and current flow rate to look at how we can renew and divert it around part of the proposed 12 to 18 play area.
We are also looking into either altering and extending the pavilion, or a new build. This has been prompted by the evidence of subsidence to the committee room and garage, and the need in the future to have the roof covering replaced.
We are pleased to say that the Mothers and Toddlers Group has started up again and are making use of the pavilion. The pavilion is still being used for the monthly coffee mornings.
This report is not going to be as detailed as John White's. The committee misses John, not just as a person but his work to keep the Hall up to date with new regulations and improvements.
Finances are in a good state which has been helped by the fund raising events such as the Beer Festival, Christmas Fayre, New Years Eve party. Thank you to the people who organised these events.
Hirings are about the same with August and January the quieter months.
Many of you will have noticed the main hall floor has been sanded and re-sealed, this means that not only does it look better but it is easier to keep clean. The Committee is in the process of improving storage space on the balcony.
We hope the Committee can keep the Village Hall in good condition for the village people and others to use.
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 was cut in early November 2013.
The seat has only been flooded once this year. Recently the field behind the sign area has had some drainage work carried out. This may stop the seat area flooding altogether.
Sign, stones and seat are in good condition. The seat could do with a wire brush and a coat of preservative.
Mrs Handley expressed gratitude to Mr Blatch on behalf of the village for continuing to look after the Village Sign.
The Connections Bus visits us weekly on a Monday evening and has seen 29 young people visit the bus with an average of 14 young people attending. In April 2013 the bus lost all of its funding, which meant that the cost of a visit increased by over 100%. With the help of the Parish Council we were able to secure the bus until February 2014.
The good news is that the Parish Council has agreed to fund the bus for the whole of next year (term times), so from April 2014 to March 2015 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.
Comberton Village College
This report is formally only concerned with Comberton Village College, but I thought you might also be interested to hear a little about the Comberton Academy Trust, which is growing steadily, and about the new Cambourne Village College which opened last September.
GCSE results were again outstanding with 80% achieving 5+ A*-C including Maths and English
94% achieving 5+ A*-C and 100% achieving 5+ A*-G.
It is likely that next year's results may be less spectacular, because the average entry level of that year was slightly lower than the entry level of the recent cohort at year 7.
The Sixth Form got its first year of A2 results which were very promising with 85% grades at A*-C and 100% grades at A*-E. Perhaps more significant is that these results were above the ALIS predictions. This is a national scale which predicts AL grades based on the previous statistical performance of the candidates.
Applications for the Sixth form for next September look very encouraging so far with 225 first choice applicants, 115 internal from CVC and 100 from other schools. A nice balance!
The Main School will gradually shrink a little in size every year as Cambourne grows. Last September and in successive Septembers it will offer 240 places instead of 300, because Cambourne will take 150 each year. This has reduced the pressure on entries and the anxieties of parents. There has been no difficulty in filling these places. The school is still very large but does not feel overcrowded and pupil questionnaires reveal that there is a general feeling that CVC is a safe and friendly place.
Cambourne has made a very promising start. Last year it filled 145 of its 150 places, (the DfE predicted only 130) and in the coming year it is said to be over-subscribed, but will admit all applicants. It is a most attractive building with excellent facilities and shares a number of its teaching staff with Comberton, so that a full curriculum is on offer. Its pupils are clearly immensely proud to be the first group ever.
Comberton Academy Trust: In addition to CVC itself and Cambourne Village College, the Trust includes the Voyager School in Peterborough. This was originally a 'failing school' when it applied to join the CAT. Its results have improved since then, but it still faces major difficulties because of its hostile ethnic mix. This provoked a recent Ofsted inspection which said it should be placed in special measures. As a result the head resigned and Stephen Munday has taken over as Executive Principal until a new appointment can be made. This will mean that he has to spend more of his time there, but will continue to operate effectively at CVC. This is a disappointing set-back, but we hope that the situation can be improved and that a new head can be found quickly.
The most recent development is that Melbourn Village College has asked if it could also join the Trust. It is hoped that a close co-operation will develop between all these schools to the advantage of all teaching staff allowing the easy spread of ideas and opportunities for training and staff development.
This is an increasingly common pattern and it will be interesting to see how it works out in the future. Each school retains a high degree of independence, with its own governing body, and making its own appointments, with the exception that very senior appointments of staff and governors must be approved by the Trust; but it will be in the exchange of ideas and the spread of a common culture that the significant future lies.
Meridian School, Comberton
This year we have changed our school lunch provider. We were looking for a company which could provide delicious meals cooked on the premises and using locally sourced produce wherever possible. We have found these qualities in Lunchtime UK who started as our provider in September 2013. The numbers of children taking school lunches has increased and continues to do so.
We are busy preparing for the introduction of the new primary curriculum, which will be statutory from September 2014. Despite some reservations, we welcome the fact that it is a slimmed down curriculum which will enable every school to personalise its own curriculum.
Business as usual at the allotments, with 8 active plot holders, plus 2 dormant. In theory, that means there are some plots available – please contact Laura Hobbs or Diarmuid Coyle if you are interested in find ing out more.
Our Treaser, gavin Young, relocated to Plymouth in the new year, and we are all incredibly grateful for his hard work and will miss him, Jess and the boys.
Balance of account just over £1,000.
Mrs Handley said that the latest report from the Council was available in Tailcorn.
Some of the other news since its publication include:
District Council – Robin Page
Cllr Page spoke about 'doom and gloom' regarding the Local Plan Consultation. He said that rural South Cambs was under threat from massive development. The current housing waiting list is not large enough for 20,000 homes, many of which Cllr Page fears will be filled by London commuters, but he said we are not being told why we have to develop so much. South Cambridgeshire wants affordable and social housing. Cllr Page does not think we are going to get it as he expects the main driver is landownership by the MoD and University.
Regarding the large developments in South Cambridgeshire, Waterbeach are totally against the proposed expansion. The Bourn Airfield development will affect all of the Bourn Valley. The wildlife will be affected by the run off from Bourn Brook and commuters will use the Eversdens as a rat run.
There is a meeting on March 13th which Cllr Page believes will pass Bourn and the other large developments. Officers are not listening to views of surrounding villages at meetings and are defending their decisions, which is not democratic. He felt the decision will be steam-rolled through.
CEMAX at Barrington is not part of the Local Plan, however they are trying to push for 350 houses which will impact on the Eversdens and Haslingfield
Cllr Page said he was not proud of being part of SCDC and would not stand for re-election in 2 years, or even vote and thanked the meeting and also thanked Cllr Kindersley for 'fighting the same corner'.
County Council - Sebastian Kindersley
Cllr Kindersley thanked parishioners for reappointing him last May.
He said that Cambridgeshire County had changed in that there was no overall control and was now Vice Chair, which included attending Citizenship Ceremonies. He said that in the May the council had voted that it revert to the Committee systems,
With regard to the Local Plan, as mentioned by Cllr Page, planning permission has been granted for 1500 homes in Northstowe, however only half the 106 agreement has been honoured with what was 40% affordable housing now only being 20%.
He explained that the budget at County had to be reduced by £1m and those parking at the P&R would now incur a cost and most services that are currently free will probably not be in 12 months time.
The A14 tolling charge has been removed and this was made possible by funding from the New Homes Bonus.
He said he has tried to attend all Parish Council meetings and provided reports. He was pleased to announce that our Minor Highways Bid with Harlton had been successful.
Any Other Business
Mrs Pritchard informed the meeting that a 'power cut detector' pole had been erected in the Village Hall Car Park. Apparently if there is a power cut on the circuit will will detect this and ensure that power further down the circuit is protected.
Date of Next Meeting
Monday 13th April 2015.