Minutes of the Meeting held online through Zoom (draft, subject to approval 12 November 2020)
Topic: Babraham Parish Council Meeting 8 October 2020
Time: Oct 8, 2020 07:30 PM London
The meeting started at 19:30.
Chair: Stuart Laurie
Councillors: Robert Attwood, Jane Goody, Charlotte Rogers, Gareth Walker
Cllr Kevin Cuffley, Cllr Peter McDonald (left at 20:00)
Four members of the public
Part I: Non-Confidential Information
2010/01 To receive and approve apologies for absence
Mr Chapman sent his apologies.
2010/02 To receive members’ declaration of interest for items on this agenda
None was made.
2010/03 To sign and approve minutes of meeting dated 10 September 2020
The Minutes of 10 September 2020 were reviewed by Cllrs and approved unanimously.
2010/04 Exclusion of the public
None was required.
2010/05 Public participation time: 15 minutes are allocated
Cllr Laurie proposed and Cllrs agreed that any public participation be taken under Agenda items.
2010/06 Report from South Cambridgeshire District Councillor P McDonald
Cllr McDonald shared his report on screen with the meeting. He outlined the outcome from the Call for Sites and that in the last round around 35 of 500 were pursued. Cllr Cuffley emphasised that this stage was only a call and part of a two-year process during which all will be tested. The outcome will be to set a range of dwellings the Council broadly needs. SCDC has five-year housing supply.
Cllr McDonald said the next stage is public consultation on criteria and strategy, followed by a report this autumn on initial findings of, for example, jobs and homes. Consultation will follow in 2021.
Cllr Rogers noted a report from Cheveley Park Farms that all their farmland had been placed in the call: the response was by Bidwell’s on behalf of Cheveley: https://consultations.greatercambridgeplanning.org/form/40297. Cllrs agreed to ensure they contribute to any discussions and ask District and County Cllrs to support them.
Cllr McDonald noted he serves as Council representative on the Investment Partnerships with Hill Group and Balfour Beatty Investments, intended to support income stream for the Council and deliver housing.
Cllr McDonald noted the Oxford to Cambridge Arc and the East-West rail as opportunities for growth that might also lead to pressures on South Cambridgeshire. Cllr Cuffley notes that the Arc will be significant and routes could affect local Parishes, such as Haslingfield.
Cllr Laurie asked for the SCDC view on the proposed Cambridge Great Park.
A member of the public asked if public lands could be used in the Investment Partnership; Cllr McDonald replied that the private partner will receive a yield on investments.
2010/07 Report from Cambridgeshire County Councillor K Cuffley and R Hickford
Cllr Cuffley’s report was circulated before the meeting: he noted the Local Council Conference on 23 October, through which Councils can share practice and understand how other councils are run.
Cambridgeshire County Council is examining costs in an extended trial of e-scooters and e-bikes, largely in the city, but to include travel to/from villages or campuses. Cllr Cuffley reported that CCC received awards for reduction on carbon footprint and noted that SCDC is also active in this area.
In response to a question from Cllr Laurie, Cllr Cuffley reported that groundworks for the Greater Cambridge Partnership route are expected from 2024. He suggested consultation on the route through villages will increase and talks continued at Stapleford and Shelford. GCP Board will ask for approval in 2021. A member of the public felt Babraham had not been consulted as other Parishes. Cllr Cuffley believed activities had been well advertised. Cllr Rogers reported that Cheveley Park Farms were served notice of testing on only one route: that notified in September. Cllr Attwood noted that GCP representatives had admitted there was no consultation on the chosen route.
A member of the public suggested GCP were dissembling, announcing that environmental assessment on both routes, while ground tests would be carried out on the chosen route only. Cllr Rogers agreed that GCP had always noted the preferred route near to the old railway line for much of its route. Cllr Cuffley suggested any comments from the Parish should be copied to GCP Chief Executive Rachel Stoppard. Cllr Rogers noted traffic would be 24 h and a member of the public noted predicted frequencies of every 10 minutes in each direction.
Cllrs discussed the habitat of the rail route, believing most to be game species.
Cllrs agreed to write to GCP representatives to argue that evidence for route selection has not be provided, to argue that due consideration has not been given council and parishioner views and to contest the route.
Cllr Cuffley noted that cases of Coronavirus remain low compared to many UK regions.
2010/08 Report from Babraham Research Campus (BRC) representative
None was received.
2010/09 Clerk’s report
Clerk reported any matters would be discussed under Agenda items.
Cllr Laurie noted Cllr Cuffley’s report and added he has been notified of no cases in Babraham; the Parish Council is still able to provide support. Cllrs all confirmed all personal data relating to shielding had been destroyed.
2010/11 Zero Carbon opportunities
A member of the public outlined the Forest Garden: the proposal has support of the Parish Council; it is a three-year set-up project, using Council funds in years one and two. The project is grateful for support and land from Babraham Institute and support from the village school and Church. While awaiting funding, will pursue other support and begin zero-cost activities, such as Friends of the Forest and conversations with possible designers.
Cllrs asked what is possible if funding is not provided? Cllr Rogers emphasised that the Parish Council would need to review commitment if funding is not in place. Cllr Attwood explained that Council has funds for projects and Cllr Laurie emphasised that Council has S.106 money for Open Spaces, but would need to confirm whether or not these funds could be applied to such an initiative. Cllr Rogers supported the approach if the funds can be used and emphasised the need to explore other grants, such as Mick George and the Community Chest it is has a near deadline. Cllr Cuffley mentioned the Innovate and Cultivate Fund (https://www.cambscf.org.uk/icf.html) and offered help if required.
Cllr Laurie said that Council will explore Open Space funds and report back to next meeting.
The member of the public had contacted local MP Anthony Browne: Cllr Cuffley said he could offer support in liaison and felt the initiative spoke to the need of metal health benefit and resilience at all times and especially in the pandemic.
2010/12 Cambridge Great Park
Cllr Laurie summarised the initiative; Cllrs discussed next steps. Cllr Laurie proposed and Cllr Walker seconded a letter of support; carried unanimously.
2010/13 Local Plan and local developments
Local Plan was discussed under 2010/06 and 2010/07, reports from District and County Councillors. Cllrs to contribute to any requests for response or consultation.
2010/14 Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP): A1307
Cllr Rogers noted that the road from Reeded Barns (to the east of the Campus roundabout) had no signs to advise or mandate cyclists to give way: cyclists were noted riding across the junction. The surface change is not enough to modify behaviour and signs were needed. Clerk to take photos for report to GCP. Cllr Attwood noted that signs saying ‘Dual carriageway ahead’ remain on the southbound carriageway: these should be removed as it is now bus lane plus one traffic lane.
2010/15 Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP): Transport and Parking Proposals
Cllrs discussed the new route for the CAM, created after a different route was approved by the GCP Executive on 9 July (Check date), under 2010/07. Cllr Laurie noted the new route will be closer to Mill Hole woodland area.
Cllrs noted email forwarded by Clerk from GCP that made clear the next stage was design only and not route exploration: Cllrs were dissatisfied that such comments imply route is no longer under consideration.
A member of the public, invited to contribute, reported that the route was changed to limit ingress in farmland; the landowner was believed to be unhappy with modified route.
Cllr Attwood to discuss routes with Stapleford and Shelford Parish Councils and determine if opposing or rerouting (see 2010/17). Cllr Cuffley said the route parallel to the existing railway line would not be approved.
Cllrs agreed that they deliver a formal protest to GCP Executive and leadership and the Combined Authority, as well as Cllr Roger Hickford (Chair), addressing evidence and needs for changes to the route, the effectiveness of communication and engagement and the decision process taken by GCP project team.
2010/16 Traffic calming
Cllr Laurie and Clerk to examine costs from CCC and present at November meeting.
2010/17 Independent transport report
Cllr Attwood and Goody to liaise with Stapleford and Great Shelford Parishes on a review of transport.
2010/18 Traffic and transport
No discussion required.
2010/19 Street Lighting
Clerk provided correspondence; Cllrs noted the proposed change to LED lighting in November/December https://www.scambs.gov.uk/environment/streetlighting/changing-our-streetlights-to-leds/.
Cllrs reviewed the draft budget and noted proposed expenditure on the Forest Garden; Cllrs also noted the review of S.106 funds, which will affect the final budget.
Cllrs agreed to explore costs to repair or replace the noticeboard: Cllr Attwood agreed to examine and present possible approaches.
2010/21 Clerk appraisal and salary
Cllrs noted the response from Yorkshire Tax Bureau on back pay from salary increase on 1 April.
2010/22 Review Policies
No Policies were presented: deferred until next meeting.
Cllr Rogers to collect guidance, management and maintenance documentation.
2010/24 Review of audit and payroll providers
Cllr Laurie noted that audit and payroll providers had been in place for more than three years: Cllr Laurie expressed satisfaction with their performance and costs and proposed retaining existing providers. Cllr Walker seconded; carried unanimously.
2010/25 Neighbourhood Plan
Cllr Attwood presented the Plan; Cllrs discussed the importance of Parishioners being involved in the Plan and supporting or endorsing its aims. Cllrs agreed that better communication was essential: Cllr Attwood will use email list; he will also use outcomes from 2010/26 Communications.
Cllr Rogers explained that the Council and other bodies do not reach residents; the closure of the road between Babraham and Sawston was a strong recent example. Cllrs agreed that Council should improve for all communications and for the NP. Cllr Walker noted there are about 70 people on the email list; the approach to reaching all Parishioners was a door-to-door drop.
Cllr Rogers also mentioned the Babraham Facebook pages: Council should have a presence and a Cllr should contribute to each. Council also has a Twitter account: Cllrs to agree how to manager this. Clerk has access to the website: Clerk to examine increased news output.
All communications should mention other channels: in particular, print materials must mention email list and social platforms. Cllrs to prepare proposals for November meeting.
Parish precept from SCDC, Sept 2020-Mar 2021: £6,127.50.
HMRC refund of VAT paid, Oct 2019-Mar 2020: £1,216.78.
Cllrs noted receipts in this period.
Don Powell Salary Sept, incl. backpay £373.48
Don Powell Keyboard, Amazon £29.99
Don Powell Travel September £8.46
Don Powell Costs £411.93 £411.93
HMRC Tax £93.40
Ionos: 3 DD (3 Sep) Mail and web services £30.00
Haven Power: 3 DD (15 Sep) All periods £40.73
Cambs ACRE Membership £57.00
Brookfield Bins and grass cutting £558.00
Cllrs reviewed and approved all payments.
Cllrs approved purchase of 1 TB back-up drive at cost of less than £75, such as WD My Passport 1 TB, currently £47.99 from Amazon and 2 x 500 sheets A4 paper at a cost under £12.
2010/30 Balances and Bank Reconciliation at 30 September 2020
Unity Current A/C balance £18,155.26
Unity Savings A/C balance £61,242.84
Cllrs reviewed and approved balances and cashbook.
2010/31 Unity Bank
No progress on additional signatories.
2010/32 Planning Applications
None was received
Cllr discussed the proposed changes to Planning processes and a national S.106 fund: SCDC is not in favour. Some national models work well, some not. Clerk to review White Paper for Council; comments close 29 October.
2010/33 Planning decisions
20/01932/HFUL: Yorke House High Street Babraham CB22 3AG; Two storey side extension and other works. Approved.
2010/34 Planning Department performance
Cllrs noted email letters from Stephen Kelly: Cllrs also noted that Council was informed of Black Barn application in 2018. Clerk to develop updated response to Greater Cambridge Planning on lack of consultation with Council and Parishioner on development in the Parish.
Cllrs noted forwarded correspondence.
2010/3 Items to report and inclusion in the next meeting
None was recorded.
Date of next meeting: Thursday 12 November 2020 at 7:30pm
Cllr Laurie thanked all participants and especially members of the public for their participation.
The Meeting closed at 21:20
2010/37 Part II: Confidential Information
None was required.
Signature: Don Powell, 5 November 2020
Don Powell, 68 Woodland Road, Sawston, CB22 3DU