Friday, 21 March 2014

Parish Council Meeting Report by Cllr Andy Pellew

Here's my report on what happened at the Parish Council meeting on Thursday. Comments welcome.

There is a prospective tenant for the Willows (which is by the entrance to the village) - an estate agent. Hopefully this will be a long-term let (probably related to projected housing growth in Northstowe!), rent is used by the Parish Council for the direct benefit of the village.

The basketball hoop at the Farmhouse has been removed (as this was generating noise and disturbance for a local business). This is now available to be relocated elsewhere in the village, the one requirement would seem to be a concrete base. Where should it go? Councillors have been asked for a new location.

Saturday 29th March is still booked at the Octagon for the Skate Park meeting. 10-1pm (open to the public 10:30 to 12:30). I've publicised this on Twitter, it will be publicised in various other ways (including the new Parish Council website)!

There was a long discussion on saving money on printers.

The LED suggestion I made at the last Parish Council meeting, when you sit down and look at the price - for example around £15k to go around the school sports field - doing something across the village just wasn't viable. It's a shame but it is understandable; it would take a ten-year programme to cover the entire village spending thousands every year and, I suspect, if asked people would be more interested in having a footpath round the ring road just to pick one thing. I did mention that there are small parts of the village, like the path behind Robin Close, where this might be viable but this would be looked at separate. Another complication that came up was that some of the paths are not owned by the Parish Council but instead owned by the County Council. I think a detailed proposal is needed to progress this.

Cllr John Reynolds (our County Councillor) reported that the A14 consultation announcement will be some time next week. We have a meeting scheduled for next week which I'm very hopeful to attend (it's on Tuesday afternoon at the Parish Council offices). It looks like we (the Parish Council) are in the forefront of consultations on this. There are, John reported, significant changes to the plans for the local junction here in Bar Hill - we should expect the junction to be further away from the village.

The Northstowe consultation should be coming through our letter boxes across the village - 29th March until 4th April at Bar Hill library. It's just an exhibition so is open when the Library is open.

The City Deal £100m first and £400m (as two lots of £200m) will be arriving shortly.

Boundary Commission will be doing a review across Cambridgeshire. County Council is going to switch to committee system.

I asked for the data from the traffic monitor that was positioned at the entrance to the A14 just across the bridge from Bar Hill. Give the significant changes coming as people start moving into Northstowe I think this data is important for working out the impact of the traffic on this junction.

Cllr Reynolds was questioned briefly about the 13% pay rise for County Councillors. There was no real conclusion to this discussion by Cllr Reynolds did say that members will be doing a lot more work and the amount in the budget is broadly neutral.

As luck would have it a member of the public who arrived to talk on a planning application was also Vice Chair of Milton Parish Council which allowed us to discuss getting a publicly available defibrillator for the Parish Council offices. This was highly recommended and something a number of Councillors was keen on and will be investigated further. We discussed its location and the resolution was that, if we can only have one it should go at the village hall - however there is no real limit so we might be able to get two.

Financial approval took a while, there have been some changes to the financial regulations and one of the things we agreed to look at was moving our accounts to Cambridge Building Society. It might not be possible but it would be good to have access to a local bank.

We agreed to propose the 2nd or 3rd Thursday in June for another kerb-side electrical collection. Start saving up your items!

We also discussed a memorial prize for Bill Norton. He was the first ever Headteacher of the Primary School here in Bar Hill and was also the first chair of the Parish Council. There were various proposals of what form the prize could take and we agreed to wait until after the school Governors meet to discuss it and bring it back to the Parish Council at a future meeting.