Parish Council Meeting – 10th September 2020 – Minutes

Babraham Parish Council: Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting held online through Zoom

Topic: Babraham Parish Council Meeting 10 September 2020

Time: Sep 10, 2020 07:30 PM London

The meeting started at 19:30

Present remotely
Chair: Stuart Laurie
Councillors: Robert Attwood, Jane Goody, Charlotte Rogers, Gareth Walker
Cllr Kevin Cuffley, Cllr Peter McDonald (left at 20:56);
Jane Osayimwen, Peter Stanhope Andrew Munro, Paul Hinsley from GCP and partners
A member of the public

2009/01                To receive and approve apologies for absence

Mr Chapman sent his apologies.

2009/02                To receive members’ declaration of interest for items on this agenda

None was made.

2009/03                To sign and approve minutes of meeting dated 13 August 2020

The Minutes of 13 August 2020 were reviewed by Cllrs and approved unanimously.         

2009/04                Exclusion of the public

None was required.       

2009/05                Public participation time – 15 minutes allowed

Cllrs agreed to accept Public participation under 2009/14, Zero Carbon opportunities.    

2009/06                Report from South Cambridgeshire District Councillor P McDonald

Cllr McDonald highlighted the UK Government Planning White Paper. Cllr Laurie asked if this will nullify the Local Plan: Cllr McDonald replied not, but the Inspector retains power to designate. Cllr Attwood asked if Neighbourhood Plans (NP) were weakened: Cllr McDonald relied not but, if part of Babraham were not designated in the NP for growth or renewal and the Inspector declared, then development could proceed in consultation with local authorities.

Cllr Cuffley supported Cllr McDonald, saying an East Cambridgeshire village won an appeal to have a development stopped: NP should have significant power, but the Secretary of State retains decision. There might be a change to S.106 spending control, whether central government or as now at local level.

Cllr McDonald mentioned Phase 1 of the Planning Service review, Planning Committee and delegation process with a representative from each Parish; much of Phase 2 is city.

Cllr McDonald mentioned publication of Call for Sites: last time, 35 were developed from about 450 submitted: around 500 submitted this time. Cllrs will review at next meeting.            

2009/07                Report from Cambridgeshire County Councillor K Cuffley and R Hickford

Cllr Cuffley noted the £5M Communities Capital Fund (now closed): Gt Shelford received £109K for a skate project. Babraham will want to be aware for any further rounds. Cllr Cuffley noted the County Council supports a scheme where households can buy and install solar panels as part of a joint scheme: more details are at Council is promoting fostering as vetting has become more extensive: more information at Cllr Cuffley also noted a letter informing Council that the H&H tannery in Sawston is to close with permission for residential development likely to be sought for the site.                       

2009/08                Report from Babraham Research Campus (BRC) representative

None was received.       

2009/09                Clerk’s Report

Clerk reported any matters would be discussed under Agenda items.      

2009/10                Coronavirus

Cllr Laurie reported no reports of incidents; full support team remains ready to act. Cllrs had received updates from SCDC and CCC.  

2009/11                Traffic calming

Clerk is to obtain costs from works from CCC: Council had paid for a report on measures.               

2009/12                Budget for 2021-22

Clerk had circulated the previous, approved budget: Cllrs agreed to consider 21-22 Budget at the October meeting.

2009/13                Independent transport report

Cllrs Attwood and Goody will contact neighbouring councils to discuss transport report around GCP proposals. Council to review at the October meeting.

2009/14           Zero Carbon opportunities

Cllr Laurie is to speak to Mr Chapman about opportunities. The member of the public in attendance reported on actions since August Parish Council meeting. One option that would be eligible for the Zero Carbon Communities Grant was tree planting and nature-based and suggested a forest garden.

Partners and stakeholders: The member of the public met with Mr Chapman and discussed alignment with Campus aims and biodiversity. They noted that land is leased to BBT and Babraham Institute from BBSRC. They discussed use of the paddock next to the Pocket Park and the strip of land alongside Church Lane. Perhaps Council could lease these lands as for the Pocket Park.

The member of the public had also met a member of the Parochial Church Council, who offered use of the Churchyard as part of a forest garden. Babraham CofE School Headteacher and Governor also responded positively and a letter of support will be requested from the Head Teacher and governors.

Process and actions: Council could consider a submission to the Zero Carbon Communities Grant (deadline 30 September). It is unclear if trees can be obtained at reduced or zero cost: The member of the public agreed to research the possibilities with the Woodland Trust. Council and partners will need to define providers of groundworks and maintenance and explore volunteer schemes. Cllr Attwood asked if Council and residents could do the work if funding was not found. The member of the public was confident the village approach would attract funding (for example, the Cambridge Canopy Project (CCP) had informed the member of the public about an EU Heritage Grant opening in September.  BPC would probably be eligible to apply for forest garden funds jointly with CCP and another nature conservation agency).

Cllr Laurie asked whether Babraham Institute would retain the lease and what were the insurance implications. Cllr Laurie said the Council could consider proposals for funding and suggested a draft was submitted. Cllr McDonald suggested a submission to the Zero Carbon Communities Fund from SCDC: he is a member of the grants committee. At least three parishes received support for tree planting.

Cllr Rogers asked if the Council must contribute a percentage; Cllr McDonald said not, but lower SCDC contribution might be favourable. Cllr Laurie congratulated the member of the public on the work so far and asked for a budget to be forwarded.  

2009/15                Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP)

Council were joined by representatives of Mott MacDonald and GCP.

Paul Hinsley updated Council on works including Dale End, Linton (Dec 19), Scheme 12, Linton High St (Mar 20) and the current, Schemes 6 (Babraham Research Campus crossing etc, realignment of bus stop, etc and carriageway resurface) and 7 (Babraham High Street junction, bus lanes, safety improvements, including traffic island). He reported all are expected to be finished in the next 7-10 days and thanked all involved for their support. Mr Hinsley mentioned the extension to the existing Babraham Road P&R. The next 4-6 weeks will be works on Scheme 1, the Granham’s Road junction.

Cllr Laurie asked of there will be lighting for the very dark crossing at the High Street Babraham: Mr Munro said GCP had considered this, but it would have to be lit all the way to the A11 for good driver behaviour. Cllr Laurie reiterated it was pitch black through much of the winter days and asked if solar light would be feasible. Mr Hinsley said he would discuss with team and report to Council.

Cllr Rogers asked if the carriageway would be one lane northwards from the A11 roundabout: Mr Munro replied it will remain one lane. Cllr Rogers also asked about controls that seemed lacking over vehicles turning left (northwards) from Babraham High Street and then making a U-turn at the end of the short central reservation: this behaviour had been already observed. Mr Munro reported the stage 3 safety audit would examine this and he will report to Council.

Cllr Attwood asked about the need for the additional 150 spaces at Babraham Road P&R, of the Babraham P&R is to go ahead.: Mr Munro replied that the existing site runs at or near capacity with increased populations on the Biomedical Campus; the new P&R will not be finished before 2025 and parking is needed now.

Jane Osayimwen talked about preferred route for the public transport/CAM. The presentation included changes made since the GCP Executive Board approved the recommendations in July 2020 that mean the route now follows Sawston Road, Babraham more closely.

Ms Osayimwen explained that the flood plain is as narrow as possible for the Granta in Shelford. In response to questions about community engagement in and notification of the decisions and process, Council were informed that, as well as Local Liaison work, the team leafleted every property in the Parish on the A1307, used radio notices and held meetings in Sawston and Stapleford. In response to questions on following the existing and previous railway routes more closely, Mr Munro explained the former rail route has developed into a valuable wildlife corridor, and at Babraham it is a County Wildlife Site.

Cllr Cuffley noted that the process raised issues that were note well communicated and asked about subscribing to updates: Mr Munro explained subscription was possible.

Mr Munro said buses would pass about once every five minutes: it was noted the new route would pass over existing footpaths that are frequently used by Sawston and Babraham residents.

Mr Munro reported the current budget was £132M including allowances for inflation, risk and optimism bias.

Ms Osayimwen presented the timeline of review and consultation

2009/16           Traffic and transport

No other items were discussed.

2009/17           Local Plan and local developments

Cllrs noted the release of the collected data from Call for Sites by SCDC due w/c 14 September. Cllrs to discuss at October meeting.

2009/18           Street Lighting

Clerk reported that a resident had trimmed the yew tree around a street light: Cllrs felt the light given was not sufficient and asked the Clerk to contact the resident to do more work.

2009/19           Defibrillator

Cllr Roger has arranged to meet a skilled resident to review record needs and management.

2009/20           Clerk appraisal and salary

Cllrs noted and approved the appraisal conducted by Cllrs Walker and Laurie. Cllrs noted the salary increase agreed by NJC and circulated by NALC, which increased Spinal Column Point (SCP) 7 from £10.16 to £10.44 per hour. Cllrs approved payment of increase with effect from 1 April 2020 and for future dates. Clerk to notify Yorkshire Tax Bureau.

2009/21           Review Policies

Cllrs reviewed the following policies:

  • Code of Conduct for Members (5 pp)
  • Complaints Procedure Policy (2 pp)
  • Equality and Diversity Policy (6 pp)
  • Health and Safety Policy (4 pp)

Cllr Laurie proposed their adoption, Cllr Attwood seconded; carried unanimously.

Cllrs noted that the Local Government Association and NALC are consulting on an updated Code of Conduct.

2009/22           Neighbourhood Plan

Cllr Attwood will strengthen the report over the coming weeks.                       


2009/23           Receipts

None was received as of 31 August 2020.

2009/24           Payments

HMRC                                                Tax                                           £65.00
Don Powell                                       Salary August                      £260.12
Don Powell                                       Folders                                    £8.00
Don Powell                                       Stamps                                   £18.24
Don Powell                                       Travel August                      £3.42
Don Powell                                     Costs                                       £289.78
Ionos: 3 DD 3-4 Aug                     Mail and web services      £30.00
Haven Power: 3 DD 17 Aug       All periods                             £40.73
Babraham CofE School                Hall hire (19-20)                  £87.75
Brookfield                                        Bins, grass Jul/Aug             £369.00
Total                                                                                                     £882.26


2009/25                                             Purchases

Cllrs approved Clerk purchase of a full-size keyboard, such as Arteck from Amazon at a price below £30 including VAT.

2009/26           Balances and Bank Reconciliation at 31 August 2020

Balances held

Unity Current A/C balance                                              £11,335.89

Unity Savings A/C balance                                               £61,242.84

Total                                                                                        £72,578.73

2009/27                Unity Bank

No progress on Bank signatories.

2009/28           VAT

Cllrs noted claim submitted of £1216.78 for VAT (2008/25) paid during Oct 19-Mar 20.


2009/29           Planning Applications

20/01932/HFUL. Two storey side extension, first floor side extension, conversion of existing attached garage to habitable use to include a single storey front extension, and erection of a single storey detached garage: Yorke House High Street Babraham: Deadline Friday 11 September. No comment from the Council.


20/03423/HFUL. Erection of a 2.5m acoustic fence to road frontage following pre-application pre/0003/19: Church Farm House Sawston Road Babraham CB22 3AP; Dr Patrick Axon. Deadline 22 September 2020. No comment from the Council.

2009/30                Planning decisions (as of 31 August 2020)

20/03012/HFUL: Stable Cottage High Street Babraham Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB22 3AG, Retrospective installation of 2 No. Velux rooflights. Received 20 August; retrospective approval.


2009/31           Planning Department performance

Cllrs noted the poor communication of recent development in the village by the Planning Authority, including Greater Cambridge Shared Planning (GCSP) failing to notify Council and a neighbour on two separate occasions of development. Cllrs noted that the applications would not have attracted adverse comment from Council, but it is a legal principle under discussion. Clerk to contact the neighbours, develop draft shared complaint and, after approval, forward to GCSP, including Director Stephen Kelly.

2009/32                Correspondence

Cllrs noted

  • Cllr Laurie met the local MP Anthony Brown and Police and Crime Commissioner Darryl Preston: he expects them to take part in greater consultation.
  • Coronavirus activities and support services
  • SCDC newsletters and Parish bulletins
  • Cambridgeshire County Council newsletters
  • Planning Department bulletin
  • Cllr Cuffley said Sawston has cancelled its firework display. Cllr Laurie reported the Babraham display was run from the School and he would check with them.
  • Cllr Cuffley had expressed his concerns with transport proposals: he told Council that an approach for a rail station in Sawston was being mooted. The current thinking was to have no parking, but drop-off only.
  • Cllr Cuffley also alerted Council to elections in 2021.


2009/33                Items to report and inclusion in the next meeting

  • Call for Sites publication and response

The Meeting closed at 21:20

Date of next meeting: Thursday 8 October 2020 at 7:30pm

2009/34                Part II: Confidential Information

None was required.

Signature: Don Powell 30 September 2020

Don Powell, 68 Woodland Road, Sawston, CB22 3DU

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