Minutes 11 March 2021 – Babraham Parish Council

Babraham Parish Council Meeting 11 March 2021:  Draft Minutes to be reviewed at Council Meeting 8 April 2021.

The PDF version is the print version reviewed.

Babraham Parish Council: Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting held remotely on Zoom Thursday 11 March 2021


Meeting ID: 886 8089 9163

The meeting commenced at 19.30

Present remotely

Chair: Stuart Laurie

Councillors: Robert Attwood, Jane Goody, Hannah Thomas

Cllr Kevin Cuffley, Cllr Peter McDonald (from 20:00, left 20:20)

No members of the public.

                           Part I: Non-confidential information

2103/01           To receive and approve apologies for absence

Apologies were received from Cllr Rogers.

2103/02           To receive members’ declaration of interest for items on this agenda

Cllr Thomas declared an interest in item 2103/15, Zero Carbon opportunities.

2103/03           To sign and approve Minutes of Meeting dated 11 February 2021

The Minutes of 11 February 2021 were reviewed by Cllrs and approved unanimously.

2103/04           Exclusion of the public

None was required.

2103/05           Public participation time: 15 minutes are allocated

None was required.

2103/06           Report from South Cambridgeshire District Councillor P McDonald

Cllr McDonald’s discussion was deferred until he was able to join at 20:00. He highlighted Council Tax decisions, grants awarded (especially micro business and sole traders), decision to allow 3500 homes at Bourn Airfield (included in 2018 Local Plan), housing supply at 5.3 years and rapid roll-out of COVID-19 testing.

Cllr Attwood asked if housing proposals under the Call for Site in the Babraham area would not progress: Cllr McDonald pointed to the ranges in the Greater Cambridge Plan and expected the new plan to include 3000-6000 homes. Sites need to be found and Council must show a five-year supply. Some big sites will be approved: Waterbeach recently was approved for 4500 dwellings.

Cllr Thomas asked about rapid testing in schools: Cllr McDonald said the focus is currently on secondary schools

2103/07           Report from Cambridgeshire County Councillor K Cuffley and R Hickford

Cllr Cuffley highlighted the Government roadmap and return of schools from 8 March. Secondary schools are a week later to ensure testing is in place. Rates of infection in the District dropped by 12% to 2 March. County Council is concerned about students without access to a computer or other devices, totalling perhaps 8000 devices: Council will support schools over the Easter break.

Cllr Cuffley emphasised work to clear gulleys after the recent rain: priority is given to flooded or floodplain areas or those closest to housing.

Cllr Cuffley reported that Cllr Hickford had resigned.

Cllr Cuffley has raised the reduction in Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) with Police and Crime Commissioner Ray Bisby, who will attend a Sawston meeting. Babraham might ask him to attend. He also reminded Council of the importance of completing the 2021 Census.

In response to a question from Cllr Attwood, Cllr Cuffley said District or Parish Councils were responsible for clearing litter from roadsides: Highways covered Motorways. asked which

2103/08           Report from Babraham Research Campus (BRC) representative

Mr Chapman said the Campus was operating as in his last report and exploring how to re-open. Works along the bank of the Granta, cutting willows and tidying margins, was being done on behalf of the Wild Trout Trust to improve levees for end of March and April. Over the years, as the Environment Agency cleared the river, spoil was left on the bank side and the river cannot naturally overtop the bank. The Wild Trout Trust will cut gaps at the Ford and bridge to allow natural overflow and restore water meadows.

Cllr Laurie asked about the artwork: Mr Chapman said plantings were done around the work and he hoped to have a public opening later in year. Cllr Thomas asked when all works will be finished? Mr Chapman said the artwork was finished, but planting is part of the work and so is fenced off to protect it while it becomes established. There will be a gate later.

Cllr Attwood expressed gratitude to Mr Chapman and Campus Estate staff for helping the Parishioner efforts to clear the Pocket Park.

2103/09           Clerk’s report

There was no report: matters were covered in Agenda items.

2103/10           Coronavirus

Cllr Laurie had no report of additional cases and reminded Cllrs that Chair holds stocks of items to help work with Parishioners.

2103/11           Standing Orders and Financial Regulations

Cllr Laurie noted approvals required for documents under items 2013/11—13 and asked if Cllrs had time to review. In response, he proposed adoption of Standing Orders, Financial Regulations, Risk Register, Asset Register, Disciplinary and Grievance Policy, Freedom of Information Policy, Privacy Public Notice and Publication Scheme; seconded by Cllr Attwood; three in favour, one abstention.

2103/12           Risk and Asset Registers

Approved under Agenda item 2103/11. Cllrs noted required for submission at the end of the FY.

2103/13           Policies

Disciplinary and Grievance Policy, Freedom of Information Policy, Privacy Public Notice and Publication Scheme were approved under Agenda item 2103/11.

2103/14           Boundary review

Cllr Cuffley commented that progress is as normal in such Governance reviews.

2103/15           Zero Carbon opportunities

Cllr Thomas noted the release of funds. Cllr Laurie asked about locations: Cllr Thomas had a discussion on locations with Mr Chapman, and is developing the brief to commission designer. Mr Chapman noted the Institute was in favour for the project and will check on land designation with a BBSRC representative. In response to a question on leases, Mr Chapman said an Institute representative was negotiating directly. Cllr Laurie said that, after years of discussion on renewing leases with BBSRC, the Village Hall Committee had only recently received a request for a long list of information, and was disappointed by the process.

2103/16          Local Plan and local developments

Cllr Cuffley expected the report in September, when the selection of the 600 or so sites will be reduced to the Local Plan proposals.

He said that 10 to 20 families had moved into H/1:b; affordable housing will a late development. There had been discussion between three charity owners and Cambridgeshire County Council on H/1:c. The possible land swap of the Icknield School site is a factor that might slow development.

2103/17           Transport, traffic and planning

Cllr Attwood reported that the Neighbourhood Plan Group suggests all parties could write a letter to Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) about the preferred route.

Clerk reported that GCP will take action to address drivers making unsafe turns into the A1307.

2103/18           Traffic calming

Cllr McDonald expected a response in the first half of March: Council should hear soon.

2103/19           Street Lighting

Cllr McDonald explained that the upgrade to LED lighting continues: Clerk might email Helen Taylor to ask when the Parish will be complete.

2103/20           Defibrillator

There was no update.

2103/21           Neighbourhood Plan (NP)

Cllr Thomas mentioned the need for a Communication and Consultation Plan: outlining where engagement activities might be. Cllr Thomas emphasised the need to get out to all the village, so Parishioners can contribute; expected June-July.

Cllr Cuffley explained that the Plan must be tested at a referendum. Cllr Thomas said the group is preparing a structured timeline and will announce the process by, for example, a newsletter.

Cllr Cuffley suggested engaging with Cambridgeshire Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), the local branch of the national charity supporting rural communities. Cllr Thomas had met a representative from Cheveley Park Farms; the Farm wants to know what village seeks.

Mr Chapman sought to manage expectations should the NP seek increased access to Campus lands. Cllr Thomas said the routes of walks were not yet not planned, but wanted to gain the interest of village, perhaps using architectural or landscape features. Cllr Laurie expressed a hope that communication is formally approved by the NP group before it is sent.

2103/22           Communications

Cllr Thomas mentioned that the Council should consider a social media policy and noted she had posted to Facebook about helping communications. Cllr Laurie asked about moderation, vetting conversations and authorised use: Cllr Thomas is able to manage at the present. Clerk to draft social media policy.

Cllr Attwood has taken steps to take over management of the website from the Clerk.

2103/23          Future meetings, Annual Parish Meeting and Annual Meeting of Council

Asked for an update, Cllr Cuffley reported that Council bodies, including SLCC, had lobbied government seeking to avoid face-to-face meetings until the threat of infection had subsided.

Cllr Cuffley noted that the Annual Council meeting can take place at any date from 1 May and so Council could hold this remotely under existing legislation before 7 May. Local elections will be 6 May. Sawston Parish Council has decided to use discretion and won’t use face-to-face until staff feel safe or have a second vaccine.

In response to a question from Cllr Laurie, Cllr Cuffley suggested the Annual Parish Meeting might be held in September.

Cllr Laurie proposed not holding the Annual Parish Meeting until later in the year when the state of the pandemic meant meeting was clearly safer: Cllr Attwood seconded; carried unanimously.

Cllrs noted and approved the meeting schedule for 2021—22; the May meeting date to be decided.

2021; 8 April, 13 May, 10 June, 8 July, 12 August, 9 September, 14 October, 11 November, (no meeting in December). 2022; 13 January, 10 February, 10 March.


2103/24           Draft budget FY21/22 and expenditure against budget FY 20/21

Cllrs reviewed draft budget for FY21/22 and expenditure against budget in current FY20/21. Cllrs noted S.106 money cannot be transferred to the VHC. Cllr Laurie proposed adoption of budget and expenditure documents; Cllr Attwood seconded: carried unanimously.

2103/25           Receipts

None was received.

2103/26           Payments

HMRC              Income tax, February                                                                     £66.80

Employee       Salary February                                                    £267.28

Employee       Travel February                                                        £1.71

Employee      Costs                                                                     £268.99             £268.99

Brookfield      3 x bins, February                                                                            £135.00

CAPALC           Subscription and GDPR role                                                         £245.46

SLCC                 Clerk advert                                                                                 £246.00

Scribe accounts Software Year 1                                                                           £582.00

Cllr Attwood Seed (Amazon)                                                                                    £21.99

Ionos: 3 DD    Mail and web services (Inv. 17 Feb)                                                  £30.00

Haven: 3 DD  Electricity for lighting, all periods (Inv. 1, 4 Feb)                                £40.73

otal                                                                                                                     £1,636.97

Cllrs approved payments.

2103/27                Purchases

Cllrs considered the following purchases; quotations and estimates were circulated in advance.

  1. Replacement noticeboard: Cllrs selected a wooden noticeboard and the larger size: total price in the range up to £2000 (three panels). Cllr Attwood proposed approval, Cllr Thomas seconded; approved unanimously
  2. New bench: Cllrs selected a longer wooden bench, inscribed Babraham Parish Council: estimated price under £500. Cllr Attwood proposed approval, Cllr Goody seconded; approved unanimously
  3. Dog waste bin: Decision was deferred to next meeting for Cllr Laurie to discover the actions by Brookfield and to examine contract for the future
  4. Annual subscription to 2 TB of Dropbox storage; current cost would be £95.88. Paper from Clutton Parish Council circulated previously. Cllr Laurie proposed approval, Cllr Attwood seconded; approved unanimously
  5. Renewal of Zoom at £119.90, due before the April meeting (due 6 April 2021) on Clerk debit card: Clerk will then remove card details. Cllr Laurie proposed approval, Cllr Attwood seconded; approved unanimously
  6. Request from The Friends of the Roman Road and Fleam Dyke to renew membership: £30 in 2020. Cllr Goody proposed approval, Cllr Attwood seconded; approved unanimously

2103/28           Balances and Bank Reconciliation

Balances held at 28 February 2021

Unity Current A/C balance         £106885.91

Unity Savings A/C balance          £61242.84

Total                                         £168128.75

Cllrs noted bank statements and reconciliation and approved.

2103/29           Unity Bank

There was no action on Bank signatories.

2103/30           Bookkeeping software

Clerk reported that the Scribe had been purchased and that Scribe would input Council data from 20-21 to improve end of year accounts and prepare for new Clerk.

2103/31           VAT reclaim

Clerk had not prepared a VAT reclaim.


2103/32           Planning Applications

No updated applications were received.

2103/33           Planning Decisions

No updated decisions were received.

2103/3#41      Correspondence

  • CAPALC bulletin (fwd 8 Feb)

2103/35           Items to report and inclusion in the next meeting

Cllr Thomas noted the reports of fly tipping and asked if it was a matter for Parish Council; Cllr Laurie reported that nothing was fly tipped and suggested Council could take no further action. Cllr Thomas asked if we might post on Facebook about fly tipping; Cllr Laurie felt it might raise the issue. Cllr Cuffley said, for future reference, that it can be reported in the SCDC website.

Date of next meeting: Thursday 8 April 2021 at 7:30pm

2103/36           Part II: Confidential Information

None was required.

The Meeting closed at 21.20

Signature: Don Powell, 26 March 2021

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

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