Minutes 11 February 2021 – Babraham Parish Council

Babraham Parish Council Meeting 11 February 2021: Draft Minutes for review at Meeting on 11 March 2021

Time: Feb 11, 2021 07:30 PM London


Meeting ID: 867 2656 0500

Passcode: 326397

The meeting started at 19:31.

Present remotely

Chair: Stuart Laurie

Councillors: Robert Attwood, Jane Goody, Charlotte Rogers, Hannah Thomas

Cllr Kevin Cuffley, Cllr Peter McDonald (left at 20:07)

No members of the public.

                         Part I: Non-confidential information

2102/01           To receive and approve apologies for absence

Mr Chapman sent his apologies.

2102/02           To receive members’ declaration of interest for items on this agenda

None was received.

2102/03           To sign and approve Minutes of Meeting dated 14 January 2021

The Minutes of 14 January 2021 were reviewed by Cllrs and approved by majority.

2102/04           Exclusion of the public

None was needed.

2102/05           Public participation time: 15 minutes are allocated

Cllrs noted email from a member of the public, to consider at next meeting.

2102/06           Report from South Cambridgeshire District Councillor P McDonald

Cllr McDonald highlighted the business grant scheme, setting of Council tax. He discussed 5-year housing supply with outline approval of 4,500 dwelling and other uses; approval of development at Bourn would satisfy supply and might reduce pressure on other communities. District Council is providing grants, such as tables for children. Cllr McDonald has secured used laptops from the Wellcome Genome Campus for schools; a small number is available and Cllr McDonald  and suggested Babraham PTA to discuss.

Cllrs asked about the Waterbeach contribution and timing: Cllr McDonald said the Local Plan models include 3900, 9000 or 25,000 dwellings in the next ten years. If both Bourn and Waterbeach are approved, other requirements will be lower: the current housing is at 5.4 years’ supply, so no current need for speculative development. Waterbeach is over 25 years, but fits the modelling.

Cllr Attwood asked if these data meant most options would be declined in the Call for Sites. Cllr McDonald emphasised the results would be known in summer: the big picture is important, but would not expect much development in the Southern cluster.

In response to a question, Cllr McDonald reported the sewage farm is to be moved from Cowley Road to a site north of Fen Ditton: Fen Ditton is also in the Call for Sites.

2102/07           Report from Cambridgeshire County Councillor K Cuffley and R Hickford

Cllr Cuffley outlined expenditure for 2021—22, with an increase in Council Tax of 2.99%; Government gave authority of up to 4.99%. Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) sought a lower limit, with a Band D property at £1399.77. Cllr Cuffley asked Cllrs to note CCC planned to reduce the deficit to £4M this year, but this has doubled.

Cllr Cuffley reported COVID vaccinations were among the most advances in Cambridgeshire and praised the exceptional work of the NHS. He also noted and marked the death of Captain Sir Tom Moore.

2102/08           Report from Babraham Research Campus (BRC) representative

None was received.

2102/09           Clerk’s report

Clerk had circulated the advert for Clerk role to Cllrs, who had reviewed it online. Cllrs approved a version to be posted to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Association of Local Clerks (CAPALC) and approved unanimously expenditure of £205 with the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC). Cllrs also agreed that Facebook and Twitter should be used push the vacancy. Cllr Laurie said a new Clerk was essential and the Council must saturate the market.

2102/10           Coronavirus

Cllr Laurie reported no new known cases. Cllrs discussed emergency fund schemes offered by Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, but agreed funding was not required by the Council at this time.

Cllr McDonald noted that Councils need to be aware of long COVID and we are not sure of the future demand.

2102/11           Boundary review

Cllr Laurie reported the review has nearly completed its primary stage. He asked if the boundary issue, which affects development H/1:c, had altered proposals for school development within H/1:c. Cllr Cuffley believed that discussions had been delayed during COVID. Cllr Attwood asked about pressure on Babraham School: Cllr Cuffley replied that students were expected to attend Icknield.

2102/12          Zero Carbon opportunities

Clerk to action signature of bank details.

Council noted that Cllr Thomas was named as paid consultant on the grant. Council believed this was not an impediment to her serving as Councillor, but will seek guidance. At the time of Ms Thomas making the grant application, there was no vacancy on Council; at the time of the grant warding, Ms Thomas was not a Councillor.

2102/13          Local Plan and local developments

Cllrs discussed the Mayor’s approach to the landowner for developments in the Parish reported by Bidwell’s: Cllr Cuffley reported this might be normal Mayoral role.

Cllr Attwood suggested considerable work had been done on a garden village concept. Cllr Cuffley suggested these were speculative responses; Sawston Parish Council would also be affected.

2102/14           Transport, traffic and planning

Cllr Attwood noted that the route proposed to the A1307/A11 Transport Hub needs a bridge, but suggested the previous route close to the A505/A11 would have less impact.

Cllr Attwood feels strongly that GCP is not taking part in consultation in good faith and paying only lip service around decisions that are effectively made before consultation concludes. Cllr Cuffley suggested contacting Cllr Hickford, as Chair of GCP. Cllr Thomas asked if the Council should write to Anthony Browne MP: Cllr Cuffley supported this. Cllrs would write as Council and encourage others to write.

Cllr Thomas mentioned the SurveyMonkey data collected by Stapleford/Shelford that demonstrated the strength of feeling about the routing in their Parishes. Cllr Cuffley noted that the route along the railway line was not feasible and was concerned that a survey must address practical options.

Cllr Attwood felt Babraham question could be very clear: thorough the Parishes of Sawston and Babraham or skirting current the transport routes of A505/A11.

Cllr Cuffley suggested writing to Rachel Stopard, CEO of GCP and James Palmer, Mayor. Council will be entitled to a response. Cllrs discussed the Neighbourhood Plan group drafting letter for Council and contacting Cllr Hickford. Cllr Laurie proposed, Cllr Thomas seconded; carried unanimously.

2102/15           Traffic calming

Cllrs thanked Cllr McDonald for representing the Parish at the Local Highways Initiative (LHI hearing on 8 February. Cllr Cuffley mentioned that the A505 developments, traffic loads and the Royston to Granta Park Strategic Transport Study: Council might want to be engaged because it could influence traffic: contact might be best through Andrew Munroe, Cllr McDonald or the Combined Authority.

2102/16           Street Lighting

Clerk had asked SCDC for an update on replacement progress: Cllrs will check replacements. Clerk will chase enquiry.

2102/17           Defibrillator

Cllr Rogers will follow up on maintenance.

2102/18           Neighbourhood Plan

Cllr Attwood reported that a member of the public had discussed opening more paths and he will contact Cheveley Park Farms and Copley Estates.

Cllr Attwood reported that the website will be managed to place the Neighbourhood Plan at the top-level navigation. The groups are arranging meetings to bring components together. Cllr Laurie noted that Babraham will contact BBSRC for formal permission on the Forest Garden.

Cllrs Attwood and Thomas noted the Plan will be developed over the coming months and would be presented alongside village walks in May. Cllrs hoped this might be a community event if COVID conditions made it feasible.

2102/19           Communications

Cllr Thomas discussed the Parish Council Facebook page and Clerk noted his draft report, suggesting a Working Group. Clerk to send draft to Cllrs for discussion, Cllr Thomas to assemble Working Group.

2102/20          Policies

Deferred to March meeting.


2102/21          Receipts

Council received S.106 funds in respect of H/1:b of £92702.19 on 25 January 2021.

2102/22          Payments

Employee       Salary January                         £267.28

Employee       Travel January                            £5.13

Employee      Costs                                        £272.41             £272.41

HMRC              Income tax, January                                           £66.80

Brookfield      Bins x 3                                                              £135.00

CAPALC           Cllr training                                                        £75.00

Ionos: 3 DD    Mail and web services (Inv. 3 Jan)                       £30.00

Haven: 3 DD  Electricity for lighting, all periods (Inv. 16 Jan)     £40.73

Total                                                                                        £619.94

2102/23                Purchases

No requests were made.

2102/24           Balances and Bank Reconciliation

Balances held at 31 January 2021

Unity Current A/C balance                    £106956.64

Unity Savings A/C balance                     £61242.84

Total                                                    £168199.48

2102/25           Unity Bank

Cllrs agreed to add Cllr Thomas to Bank signatories; proposed Cllr Laurie, seconded Cllr Attwood; carried unanimously.

2102/26           Bookkeeping software

Clerk presented report on purchasing, concluding that Scribe would be most suitable to Council, the current and new clerk and support for VAT claims and training. Cllr Laurie proposed approval, Cllr Laurie seconded; carried unanimously.

2102/27           VAT reclaim

Clerk to present at March meeting.


2102/28           Planning Applications

Consultation on application for EIA Screening Opinion: deadline 16 February 2021. Reference: 21/00368/SCRE; Screening Opinion for the construction of up to 280 residential dwellings. Land South Of Babraham Road Sawston Cambridge; Redrow Homes Limited.

Council noted the consultation

Consultation closed: 20/01475/REM, Approval of Reserved Matters. S/2925/16/OL; Approval of all matters reserved following outline planning permission for a development of 1 no detached dwellinghouse with associated car parking. Land Adj 6 Blacksmiths Close Babraham Cambridgeshire

2102/29           Planning decisions

20/04507/HFUL, Acoustic fence to front of dwelling; Granted Permission. Dr Patrick Axon, Church Farm House Sawston Road Babraham

2102/30           Planning Department performance

Item to be removed.

2102/31           Correspondence

2102/32           Items to report and inclusion in the next meeting

Cllr Cuffley reported the cessation of remote meetings after 7 May and that he had lobbied Anthony Browne MP to not support this: Council and public membership at meetings includes substantial numbers who might be in more vulnerable groups. Cllr Cuffley has proposed review in 2022. Council to discuss action at next meeting.

Cllr Cuffley reported COVID-compliant elections will go ahead for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mayor, Police and Crimes Commissioner and County Councillor. Council to note any measures to be taken, including communications.

Cllr Cuffley supported Cambridge Great Park, and would work with Parishes, but was not confident it would go ahead.

Clerk to provide three quotes for Noticeboard for consideration.

Clerk to provide three quotes for bench for Pocket Park for consideration.

Cllr Attwood to report on wildflower and grass seed for the verge near the statue, and to ask Jonathan Clarke at County Highways for any work in the Parish.

Cllr Thomas to report on Communications Working Group.

                           Date of next meeting: Thursday 11 March 2021 at 7:30pm

2102/33           Part II: Confidential Information

None was required.

Signature: Don Powell, 18 February 2021

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

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