Draft Minutes 140715Mins
The Agenda for the February 2014 meeting is here: 140218 Dry Drayton Parish Council Agenda 18 February 2014
The minutes of the meeting are here: 140218Mins
The following is an update from the Chair, Peter Fane
The Housing needs survey conducted by Cambridgeshire Rural Community Council for the parish confirmed the need for a small number of more affordable houses to be made available in the village for people with local connections.
The parish council has confirmed that securing more affordable housing in the village, along with improved recreation facilities, remains one of our key priorities. However, we are aware that this remains controversial with many village residents.
We invited Mark Deas of the Community Council to address some of these concerns at the October parish council meeting. Mark explained the basis for the original assessment of needs, the local links which need to be established to rent such houses, and the fact that they are usually built to higher standards than market housing. This was followed with a good discussion with more than 20 residents present.
There are a number of ‘exception sites’ (ie. sites for which planning permission would not otherwise be granted) which could become available for a small development of affordable housing in the village. However, it is unlikely that any landowners will make land available unless they secure planning consent for some ‘market housing’ to be made available for sale on the same site.
The parish council considered this in September as part of our response to the District Council consultation on the Local Plan, which will determine development priorities over the next 20 years or so. In our response (available on the DryDrayton.net website) we said:
“The local plan should allow for ‘exception sites’ to include both market and affordable housing, so as to encourage landowners to bring forward sites for affordable housing, to ensure that where possible affordable housing is merged in to market housing rather than separated by location, and to bring forward a share of funding to local communities to enable improvements in community facilities (such as recreation) to be funded.“
There is now an opportunity under the Localism Act for communities to help decide the nature of any new developments, though not to prevent developments.
We have suggested to the District Council that the best way of ensuring that community views are reflected in the Local Plan is to encourage parish councils to make use of these provisions, developing neighbourhood plans, where possible based upon earlier village plans, and taking account of further consultation in the village.
If you have any views on parish council matters, particularly on village services and affordable housing, please speak to Peter Fane (07802 256861) or contact the clerk on firstname.lastname@example.org,uk .
Further information on affordable rural housing can be found on Cambridgeshire ACRE’s pages:
The Chairman, Peter Fane, has provided an overview of some salient points of this Parish Council meeting, which should be read in addition to this report. His overview gives some details of ‘Footpaths and rights of way’, ‘The Parish Council Budget and the Precept’ and the ‘Localism Act’.
From the Chairman, Peter Fane
David Wyatt has outlined the key decisions from this month’s parish council meeting in his usual report (below). Sylvia has asked me to give an overview.
Footpaths and rights of way:
It was good to see so many people at the open session at the start of the January parish council meeting. We had a good discussion about the proposed new ‘permissive paths’ in the open session.
Some felt that there is a case for taking legal action to try to secure ‘presumed rights of way’ status (see note 1 below) for the route along the green track, others preferred to do this by agreement. The Parish Council preferred to work with the farmers and landowners concerned to secure well-marked permissive paths, with gates and bridge crossings.
As part of the agreement, we will be asking users to keep dogs under close control (preferably on a lead) on these paths. The farmer may need to close the path round the field for safety reasons when harvesting is underway.
Parish Council Budget and the precept:
We agreed to include in the budget our 10% contribution to the cost of speed restrictions and road safety measure at Scotland Farm. The measures were selected on the basis of a survey of those living and working in the immediate area, and will not involve road humps or chicanes, which would be far more expensive.
We have set aside a small sum for ‘participatory budgeting’ (see note 2 below) . We shall be inviting village groups, both existing and new, to put forward proposals for a parish contribution of up to £200 to help improve facilities in the village. We will only be able to support one or two such schemes each year, and any group applying will have to show at the annual meeting how the proposal would benefit the village, and then report on progress the following year.
The Localism Act and parish councils:
The Localism Act, which received Royal Assent in November, introduced new rights and powers for Parish councils, encouraging them to work with their communities to shape local development by preparing neighbourhood plans. We have therefore made provision in the budget to start work on this, based on the village plan.
The net effect of these changes is an increase in the precept by £1000 – that is, the cost of the road safety measures. The total will be £9500 per year in 2012 / 13, or £35 per household on average. We will still have one of the lowest precepts per household in South Cambridgeshire, and we are determined it should remain that way.
Note 1: Section 31, Highways Act 1980 provides for deemed or presumed right of way status to be granted where it can be shown that it has been used as of right (ie, without force, without secrecy and without permission) by the public over a continuous period of 20 years without interruption or challenge. The difficulties of the legal route should not be underestimated, and the outcome would be uncertain. If the case were accepted, the landowner would probably not be willing to make available the additional mown path around the field. The County Council has agreed the permissive paths, for which no support from the parish is necessary, but says this would not rule out future claims by individuals in relation to the past use.
Note 2: Participatory budgeting has been taken up by a number of councils and parishes as a way of trusting people to decide how to spend public money (raised from our taxes) and giving back a sense of local influence while building up community capacity. See for example http://www.inspire-east.org.uk/FileAccess.aspx?id=2416
Continuing the report on the Meeting from David Wyatt
The formal Parish Council meeting was preceded by comment from members of the public and County and District Councillors’ reports. Reports received from County Cllr. Reynolds and the District Cllrs. were duly noted. There was an extensive discussion of local footpaths with much useful input from village residents. Among the suggestions was a request for a ‘Definitive Map’ of footpaths based on local access knowledge and reference was made to an interchange with Camilla Haggett, the Definitive Map Officer for Cambridgeshire County Council. A further discussion involving the ‘safe walking’ of dogs and ‘safety’ concluded with the Chairman outlining two options, uninterrupted access under S.41 of the Highways Act or Permissive Access by negotiation with relevant landowners. There was some support for the ‘Permissive option’ as opposed to the time consuming Highways Act S.41 legal procedures. See below ‘Public Rights of Way and Permissive Paths’. During the Parish Council meeting the following topics were discussed.
Village Plan. As noted previously, revision of the Plan and associated working group membership continues. The next meeting of the working groups will take place prior to the Parish Council on 21/02/2012.
Affordable housing. A further consultation on potential sites for affordable housing will take place during the coming summer.
Traffic and Speed limit Policy. Speedwatch and Speeding on Scotland Road. Cllr Rosewell spoke to his report which had been circulated. Costings and a survey of businesses and residents of Scotland Road had been undertaken and these were outlined. An application had been submitted for the reduction of the speed limit to 30 mph although as yet it had not been acknowledged. The Parish Council agreed to the required 10% contribution should the application be successful. Cllr Reynolds outlined the process and offered his support for the application. Cllr Rosewell agreed to attend any site visits from the panel.
Appointment of Clerk. The interview panel spoke to their written report as circulated. It was unanimously agreed to appoint Robert Stone as Clerk, RFO and Proper Officer, with a standard contract, terms and rates as recommended by the interview panel and conditional on acceptance of contractual terms including a probationary period.
Finance and Disbursements. The finance report was considered. The Allotment rents received were noted and following payments were approved, HMRC £24.37, Cambridge Water £27.54, Clark (Bus Shelter cleaning) £10.00, Streetlighting £97.00. CPALC (Affiliation fee) £105.00, LGS Services (Admin support) £309.34 plus £277.36, LG Stoehr (Admin support) £194.96, plus HMRC, paid between meetings, £24.37 The invoices were checked by the signatories before the payment cheques were signed. Review of budgets for the financial years 2012 and 2013. The present and possible expenditures for these years were examined and the receipts and payments to date against the approved budget were reviewed, with due consideration of the following possibilities.
Grass cutting for biodiversity may increase grass cutting costs by 2.5% due to the use of different equipment. The sum of £2150.00 was allocated. S137 donations, including the Church grass cutting and clock, £800.00 was allocated. Funds for the Village Plan will be taken from reserves as the requirements of the Localism Act for neighbourhood planning are unknown. A figure of £200.00 was allocated.
First Aid training, £480.00 is to be earmarked in the reserves, as already agreed. Member training, to include the new Clerk training, £500.00
The level of the reserves was considered and the Council considered that this was satisfactory.
The budget was approved by resolution of the Council and it was unanimously agreed to demand a precept of £9,500.00 from South Cambridgeshire District Council.
Every Village group and organisation should attend the Annual Parish Meeting and plead their case for a grant, if such is required. It was agreed to appoint H. Russell as Internal Auditor.
Environmental issues. It was agreed that Cllr Irish would write to the Environment Agency and CCC regarding problems in Callow Brook and Oakington Road. Butcher’s Lane and other footpaths require drainage work. Cycle paths, road marking and a path on Oakington Road to gain access to the guided busway cycle path, promoting safer cycling between the village and Cambridge was supported by the Parish Council and Cllr Reynolds reported on a proposed cycling improvement related to the Northstowe development.
‘Survey of the green spaces’, by V. Perrin is to be printed by Cllr Irish and circulated. This will be an agenda item for a future meeting when its implications will be discussed.
Public Rights of Way and Permissive Paths It was agreed to work with the farmers and landowners concerned to secure well marked permissive paths, with gates and bridge crossings which did not prohibit a resident or residents applying via the legal route under S41 of the Highways Act. Cllr Fane is to progress this with the landowner and Kate Day at CCC.
Tree Works, 1, High Street. The response made between meetings was noted. The Parish Council had no objections.
Planning. No new applications received.
The next meeting of the Parish Council is on 21st, February, 2012. The Community is reminded that Parish Council agenda items should be sent to the Parish Clerk, in writing, at least 14 days prior to the Parish Council meeting and that village organisations are invited to forward short reports on their activities to Council meetings.
The following organisation may be of interest to some members of our community.
VILLAGE BENEFITS ADVICE SERVICE
Every year large amounts of social security benefits are unclaimed because many people do not know what they are entitled to, or how to claim, and older people and those with disabilities face particular difficulties. The Village Benefits Advice Service helps people to claim their share of these benefits, by offering advice and assistance. Telephone number 01353 666990 VILLAGE BENEFITS ADVICE SERVICE PO BOX 257 ELY, CAMBRIDGESHIRE, CB7 9EA
There was no formal meeting in August.
Prior to the formal Parish Council meeting there was a period devoted to comment from members of the public and District and County Councillors’ reports. County Cllr. Reynolds and District Cllrs. Hall and Waters were thanked for their reports, which were duly noted. Members of the Parish Council and the Green Group reported favourably on their viewing of the solar tracker arrays at Scotland Farm.
During the subsequent Parish Council meeting the following topics were discussed and, where necessary, actioned.
Parish Council. Mrs. Isabel Harrison was co-opted to the remaining Parish Council seat and signed the Declaration of Acceptance.
Village Plan. A revision of the Plan and associated working group membership is in progress. The next meeting of the sub-committee will take place on 15/11/11 prior to the Parish Council meeting. There will be a meeting regarding affordable housing at 4, Bakers Field on 29/09/11 and Shulyer Newstead, the housing development manager for SCD Council, will be attending. The Cotton’s Field proposal will be discussed.
Traffic and Speed limit Policy. Little progress has been made since the last report but relevant discussion continues. The ‘wheelie bin stickers’ are awaited from Cllr. Hall. A comprehensive note on speeding has been prepared for the Crime and Disorder questionnaire by Cllr. Rosewell.
Finance and Disbursements, Room hire £48.00, Election Fee £105.00, Clerk’s salary £194.96, HMRC £48.74, Admin.£578.86, grass-cutting £720.00, allotment water rate £65.06.
Planning. No new applications received. A time extension for comment has been allowed on 29, Park Street and the Parish Council has registered its objections.
The next meeting of the Parish Council is on 18th, October, 2011. The Community is reminded that Parish Council agenda items should be sent to the Parish Clerk, in writing, at least 14 days prior to the Parish Council meeting and that village organisations are invited to forward short reports on their activities to Council meetings.
The following organisation may be of interest to some members of our community.
VILLAGE BENEFITS ADVICE SERVICE
Every year large amounts of social security benefits are unclaimed because many people do not know what they are entitled to, or how to claim, and older people and those with disabilities face particular difficulties. The Village Benefits Advice Service helps people to claim their share of these benefits, by offering advice and assistance.
Telephone number 01353 666990
VILLAGE BENEFITS ADVICE SERVICE
PO BOX 257
ELY, CAMBRIDGESHIRE, CB7 9EA