Babraham Parish Council Meeting 14 January 2021: Minutes
Approved 11 February 2021
Time: Jan 14, 2021 07:30 PM London
Meeting ID: 860 0236 7645
The meeting started at 19:30.
Chair: Stuart Laurie
Councillors: Robert Attwood, Jane Goody, Charlotte Rogers
Cllr Kevin Cuffley, Mr Chris Chapman (left with apologies at 20:50).
Two members of the public.
Part I: Non-confidential information
2101/01 To receive and approve apologies for absence
No apologies were received.
2101/02 To receive members’ declaration of interest for items on this agenda
None was made.
2011/03 To sign and approve minutes of meeting dated 12 November 2020
The Minutes of 12 November 2020 were reviewed by Cllrs and approved unanimously.
2011/04 Exclusion of the public
None was needed.
2101/05 Co-option for Vacancy
Following the resignation of Cllr Gareth Walker in (18 November 2020), a vacancy was posted on 19 November; no request for election was received by 10 December 2020. Following a request for candidates for co-option, two applications were received and Cllr Laurie welcomed the candidates to the meeting. Cllr Laurie emphasised Council’s pleasure that the vacancy was contested.
Cllrs discussed candidate applications and voted as follows: three votes for Ms Hannah Thomas; one vote for Mrs Glynis Huskisson.
Cllr Laurie welcomed Ms Thomas to the Council. He explained that, because of social distancing and meeting remotely, the Declaration of Acceptance would be signed remotely on Friday 15 January by Ms Thomas in the presence of the Clerk and two Cllrs; Clerk to arrange.
2101/06 Public participation time
A member of the public mentioned a local Facebook page, arguing against the Park&Ride location and other issues. The member of the public had material to support the contention that the proposals were weak and that the alternative in Abington was not so close to housing. The member asked if action was being taken by Council or a working group.
Cllr Laurie explained that the choice of site was made and probably not subject to change, but the transport routes were still to be defined.
Cllr Attwood mentioned the Local Liaison Forum as a communication route; he and Cllr Goody attend and report back, but no meeting had been held recently. There will be updates on 20 January and 26 January.
Cllr Laurie welcomed the interest and suggested Council establish a Working Group on issues around transport and its development. Cllr Attwood to chair the group; Cllr Goody to take part and the member of the public to be invited to join. The purposes would be: to ensure Council is informed of wider issues and remains aware of current and impending activity; that NP and Parish activity are fed to the GCP and other agencies; that the group harness interest in the village.
Cllr Thomas mentioned the Parish Neighbourhood Plan; it is important to explore the objectives of the Greater Cambridge Plan proposals and the NP proposals. It is important that the objectives of the Neighbourhood Plan are not lost in the changes resulting from the GCP works.
2101/07 Report from South Cambridgeshire District Councillor P McDonald
Cllrs discussed a summary of Cllr McDonald’s report.
Cllr Cuffley explained that bodies can apply for a grant as an emergency fund to support COVID works. Council agreed to apply for emergency fund; Clerk to action.
2101/08 Report from Cambridgeshire County Councillor K Cuffley and R Hickford
Cllr Cuffley emphasised that his report focused on COVID and incidence of infections; the vaccine would be provided from Granta Medical Practice in Sawston from Friday 15 January. There were concerns about people being asked to travel to Stevenage and that people in the group might not be able to register online; volunteers are being asked to help.
Cllr Cuffley briefly mentioned the Thakeham development around Shepreth.
Cllr Cuffley reported that the County faces challenges from flooding; residents are asked to contact their Cllr or the County direct if flood waters enter the property so that Council can map hot spots to provide support. Councils have started clearing gulleys, but drains are blocked with leaves.
County Council is working on the budget and elections for County Cllrs, Mayor and Police and Crimes Commissioner are expected to be held in May, although this might be deferred depending on COVID infections or vaccination. in view of vaccine.
Cllr Cuffley mentioned COVID meeting at CCC on Friday; one aim is an Action Plan for COVID safe practice in supporting or evacuating victims of flooding.
Cllr Laurie mentioned there were two recent cases of COVID in the village, for four in total: he had received no request for support.
Cllr Thomas asked if there was an update on the outbreak at the Babraham nursery. Cllr Laurie asked Mr Chapman, who explained that the nursery was not part of his Campus responsibilities, but his understanding was that it had closed and isolation followed and that after appropriate action it had now reopened.
Cllr Cuffley reported that incidence in Cambridge was now greater than in Peterborough.
Cllr Cuffley finally reported he had been unable to attend in November because of illness; Cllrs wished him well.
2101/09 Report from Babraham Research Campus (BRC) representative
Mr Chapman stated the Campus remains open, but is following operation modelled on March lockdown and can adjust as required. On-site staff are reduced in number.
Mr Chapman mentioned work to improve river banks and by the Wild trout Trust (commissioned by the Environment Agency).
Mr Chaman asked Cllr Attwood to email a request in response to his comment mentioning work by volunteers to clear the Pocket Park and asking if waste could be mulched by Campus facilities.
2101/10 Clerk’s report
Clerk informed Cllrs that he would resign on or before 30 April 2021. Cllr Laurie thanked him for his service. Cllr Laurie asked that the Clerk prepare an advert.
Coronavirus issues and actions were covered under items 2101/08 and 2101/09
Cllrs considered the Indemnity Agreement in respect of S.106 Contributions towards Community Hub (£71,914.64) and performance space (£20,000) arising from H/1:b developments to the north of Sawston Road, Babraham. Cllr proposed and Cllr Attwood seconded approving and signing the Agreement; carried unanimously. The Indemnity Agreement will be signed by Cllrs on Friday 15 January; Clerk to arrange.
Cllr Laurie was seeking assurance from Mr Jones and Mr Pyke about lands available for the Village Hub: he was also in communication with the Chair of the Village Hall Committee.
Clerk explained and Cllrs discussed the draft Budget for 2021—22, which included the S.106 allocation. Cllr Laurie proposed acceptance, Cllr Rogers seconded; approved unanimously.
2101/13 Boundary review
Cllrs noted the Governance review, required as a result of the discussions between Babraham and Sawston Parish Councils and called by Sawston PC. Babraham had negotiated for an allocation for amenities as a result of redesignation of lands to Sawston. No formal actions to take at this time.
Cllr Thomas asked if the review was mentioned on the village Facebook page: it has been. Cllr Attwood noted the Neighbourhood Plan will change as a result of the boundary changes. Cllr Cuffley will find out the role of designated areas in Neighbourhood Plans; he will ask Planning Department.
Cllrs considered possible the Precept requests for 2021—22. Based on SCDC’s calculation of 167.3 properties (resulting from H/1:b build) and retaining a Band D property tax base of £96.50 (2020—21), the request is £16144.45.
Cllr Laurie noted that the Parish precept had been £98.20 in 2018—19, £98.43 in 2019—20 and £96.50 in 2020—21.
Cllrs considered increased potential costs of maintenance, bins and lighting as well as other services for the additional dwellings.
Cllr Laurie asked if precept might be lost after boundary review. Cllr Cuffley expected the review to take some time, but would not expect Council to lose precept. He also mentioned that the precept might be capped and Council might consider applying an increase of 1.5—2%
Cllr Rogers considered that Council had sufficient funds for current and planned projects and suggested there was no need for an increase. Cllr Laurie proposed and Cllr Rogers seconded approving the draft request; agreed unanimously. Clerk to send request to SCDC.
2101/15 Zero Carbon opportunities
Cllr Thomas will prepare a brief for the designed to agree a design; she will simultaneously be in contact with Campus to explore soil types. The project outline is tree planting year 1, shrub planting year 2 and ground cover year 3. Cllr Thomas is seeking approval from BBSRC for works as landowner; Babraham Bioscience Technologies (BBT, operating the Campus) has approved.
Cllr Laurie asked about tree species and would they encourage nitrogen fixation and bee species; Cllr Thomas replied the plan will emphasise an edible or ecosystem role. Cllr Laurie thanked Cllr Thomas for her work.
Clerk to arrange signing of Zero-Carbon Bank information by two Cllrs.
2101/16 Local Plan and local developments
Cheveley Park Farms have offered all their property for development and two areas were put up. Bidwell’s proposal surrounds much of the village: https://consultations.greatercambridgeplanning.org/form/40297. Cllrs noted the comment on the Planning Portal that “The landowner has been approached by the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and is therefore open to holding discussions with the Mayor’s office and other key stakeholders.” Cllrs will explore the actions by the Mayor of Cambridgeshire.
The proposal includes 137 ha for residential development, extending from Rowley Lane to the boundary with Sawston and south of the High Street, Babraham from the river flood plain in the east to the hedge boundary in the west. In addition, the proposal includes 23 ha of housing occupying all the area from the A1307 to the river flood plain and from the built margin to the proposed Park& Ride. https://consultations.greatercambridgeplanning.org/download/attachmentform/2137 and https://consultations.greatercambridgeplanning.org/download/attachment/30928.
Cllr Cuffley explained that such proposals are common at this stage and have to pass many tests. He advised Council to keep a watch on the proposal and make views known. The Neighbourhood Plan will play an important role; the Council can argue with strength on the location of any allocation.
Cllr Thomas emphasised how important was the Neighbourhood Plan – the vision of Babraham residents, who must be more effectively included. The NP will support proactive action, where currently the Council and others are reactive. Ideally Council would be partners and not consultees.
There are so many developments that the small team cannot cover all and gaps appear.
Cllr Cuffley appreciated the frustration and shared many arguments; however, it is important to recognise that the Council is not a statutory body. Other issues that concern Cllr Cuffley are falling land supply for the current SCDC Local Plan.
Cllr Laurie hoped the Council Working Group can help to keep a watching brief on developments.
2101/17 Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP): A1307
Cllr Rogers reported that vehicles continue to do U-turns at the top of the High Street. Clerk to contact Highways and GCP to seek solution.
2101/18 Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP): Transport and Parking Proposals
Cllr Laurie asked for report from the newly created Working Group on how best to proceed. A member of the public had contact Cambridge Past, Present and Future to explore room for manoeuvre. The member of the public had prepared a flyer for residents and will share with CPPF and Stapleford and Shelford Councils: the member asked if Cllrs approved contacting the CEO of CPPF and Councils for their view. Cllrs approved.
2101/19 Traffic calming
Applications will be reviewed by SCDC in February: Council can attend remotely and/or provide up to 500 words in support. It was suggested that Cllr McDonald might represent the Council. Clerk to prepare text and to contact Cllr McDonald.
2101/20 Independent transport report
Cllr Cuffley reported that large parts of the old rail line had been built on so doesn’t expect rerouting to be approved: the Haverhill rail route is raised but does not progress. He advised Council to emphasise projects they influence the most. Cllr Attwood expressed regret that a rail line could be built in the middle of the last century, but not at the start of this.
2101/21 Traffic and transport
Parishioners had reported a large hump in the road to Sawston near the bend at the Barns: they had reported to Highways and Cllr Laurie said we will also put a request in. Cllr Goody believed it resulted from a burst farm irrigation pipe at that site and Cllrs agreed that Clerk should email Cheveley Park Farms for their action and forward to Cllr Cuffley.
2101/22 Street Lighting
Cllr Laurie reported that new LED lamps are in place and this had improved lighting. Cllr Cuffley was concerned in some installations that safety was no properly addressed anew and columns simply replaced existing locations.
2101/23 Cambridge Great Park
Discussion on the Great park proposal led to further review of the roles of the NP and Transport and Development Working Group. Cllr Thomas noted the activities of NP, GCP actions, Local Plan Call for Sites and the Great Park and suggested a single group needs a view of all.
Cllr Cuffley noted that the NP group must remain independent, so its works cannot be merged with other groups. Sawston was pursuing a Steering Group to develop its masterplan.
Cllr Laurie wanted to ensure that only Cllrs with particular interest and activity are part of the Working Group and that its remit should be to report to Council on all aspects of transport and development: it can incorporate outcomes from NP and members, alongside Parishioners.
Cllr Rogers will contact Parishioner with expertise.
2101/25 Neighbourhood Plan
Cllr Attwood met with GCP on Wednesday 13 January and will provide a full report at the February meeting. Cllr Laurie asked if interested parishioners might be part of the group.
Cllr Attwood had obtained a proposal for new rice in the noticeboard (and a bench). Clerk will seek three quotes for consideration at the next meeting.
Cllrs discussed communications with Parishioners and those working in or visiting the Parish. They agreed that social media should be expanded and Clerk to make proposals on actions. Cllr Thomas will set up a Facebook account.
There were no receipts in this period.
Clerk Salary November £267.28
Clerk Travel November £8.55
Clerk Salary December £334.20
Clerk Costs £610.03 £610.03
HMRC Income tax, November £66.80
HMRC Income tax, December £83.40
Ionos: 3 DD Mail and web services (Inv. 3 Nov) £30.00
Haven: 3 DD Electricity for lighting, all periods (Inv. 16 Nov) £40.73
Ionos: 3 DD Mail and web services (Inv. 3 Dec) £30.00
Haven: 3 DD Electricity for lighting, all periods (Inv. 15 Dec) £39.45
Service Charge (31 December) £18.00
Brookfield Bins, Grass, November £324.00
Brookfield Bins, December £135.00
Film for Neighbourhood Plan (Kall Kwik, Cllr Attwood) £22.80
Strimmer repairs (Gog Magog Mower Services, Cllr Attwood) £36.01
Repairs to mower (Gog Magog Mower Services, Cllr Laurie) £106.81
No requests were made.
2101/30 Balances and Bank Reconciliation
Balances held at 30 November 2020
Unity Current A/C balance £15,847.48
Unity Savings A/C balance £61,242.84
Balances held at 31 December 2020
Unity Current A/C balance £15,760.03
Unity Savings A/C balance £61,242.84
2101/31 Unity Bank
There was no action to improve e-banking.
2101/32 Bookkeeping software
Clerk to present at next meeting.
2101/33 VAT reclaim
Clerk to present at next meeting.
2101/34 Planning Applications (as of 7 January 2021)
For information: tree works in preservation area. Hornbeam – in ornamental row along path in back garden – the one nearest the house (on the right in the photo) – Fell – the tree is casting too much shade and is much bigger than the other trees in the row. Madeline House High Street Babraham
Consultation (closed 29 December 2020): Listed building consent for an Acoustic fence to front of dwelling. Church Farm House Sawston Road Babraham; 20/04508/LBC, https://applications.greatercambridgeplanning.org/online-applications/PLAN/20/04508/LBC
Consultation (closed 29 December 2020): Acoustic fence to front of dwelling. Church Farm House Sawston Road Babraham; 20/04507/HFUL, https://applications.greatercambridgeplanning.org/online-applications/PLAN/20/04507/HFUL
For information: application received. Submission of details required by conditions 4 (Materials Sample) and 5 (Roof Sample) of planning permission 20/01932/HFUL. Yorke House High Street Babraham: 20/01932/CONDA, https://applications.greatercambridgeplanning.org/online-applications/PLAN/20/01932/CONDA
For information: application received. 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; 20/01932/HFUL, https://applications.greatercambridgeplanning.org/online-applications/PLAN/20/01932/HFUL
2101/35 Planning decisions (as of 7 January 2021)
For information: approved. Outline planning permission with all matters reserved for a phased mixed use development comprised of up to 150000 square metres of Gross External Area (GEA) of flexible employment uses including research and development [Extensive description removed] Wellcome Genome Campus Hinxton Saffron Walden Cambridgeshire CB10 1RQ; S/4329/18/OL, https://applications.greatercambridgeplanning.org/online-applications/PLAN/S/4329/18/OL
2101/36 Planning Department performance
Clerk to ask Cllr McDonald to action our concerns.
None to highlight from received.
2101/38 Items to report and inclusion in the next meeting
Cllr Laurie noted that the range of challenges facing villagers made it a very difficult time and living in the village more difficult because community was partly was fractured and so conditions made the community so quiet. He thanked Cllrs and participants for their views and contributions and hoped Council and others could find ways to support village cohesiveness.
None item was noted.
Date of next meeting: Thursday 11 February 2021 at 7:30pm
2101/39 Part II: Confidential Information
None was required.
The meeting finished at 21:30.
Signature: Don Powell, 1 February 2021
Don Powell, 68 Woodland Road, Sawston, CB22 3DU