Minutes 8 April 2021 – Babraham Parish Council

Draft Minutes of the Meeting held remotely on Zoom Thursday 8 April 2021

Note the official PDF version to be reviewed at Council on 6 May 2021 can be found here.

The meeting commenced at 19.30

Present remotely

Chair: Stuart Laurie

Councillors: Robert Attwood, Jane Goody

Cllr Kevin Cuffley, Cllr Peter McDonald (from 20.13. left 20.44)

Mr Chapman

One member of the public


Meeting ID: 895 1641 5593

                           Part I: Non-confidential information

2104/01           To receive and approve apologies for absence

Apologies were received from Cllr Rogers.

2104/02           To receive members’ declaration of interest for items on this agenda

No interests were declared.

2104/03           To sign and approve Minutes of Meeting dated 11 March 2021

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

2104/04           Exclusion of the public

None was required.

2104/05           Public participation time: 15 minutes are allocated

A member of the public expressed disappointment at price of noticeboard and suggested a local carpenter might provide a better price. Cllr Attwood replied that the price was one of several quotes for wood boards. Cllr Laurie had asked around about local workers.

The member of the public mentioned possibility of a village history display board, similar to those on the Roman Road. Cllr Attwood suggested sourcing the noticeboard and bench and then move to the next proposal. Cllr Laurie mentioned the good history accounts of the area and suggested getting a report on what is available: the member of the public mentioned considerable history of the village on the web and perhaps developing activities with the school. Clerk suggested another member of the village who could help and it was noted that Cllr Attwood has the Babraham Chronicles.

2104/06           Report from South Cambridgeshire District Councillor P McDonald

Cllr McDonald’s report was deferred until he was able to join at 20.13. He highlighted COVID recovery scheme – equivalent to the community chest, with businesses encouraged to apply. The Council is still paying more than 60 businesses through its support scheme: many receive a grant based on rateable value. Businesses should be aware, but South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) will contact: the scheme will go live in mid-April. Cllr Laurie asked about businesses that had felt a drop in turnover: Cllr McDonald reported that those with reduced income could apply for hardship grants.

On housing, the SCDC five-year projection suggests Council has a housing land supply of 6.1 years; future developments such as the move of Milton Water treatment Plant enabling development of 5,600 new homes. The Genome Campus will also come on stream in the coming years. SCDC still holds a significant social housing inventory.

2104/07           Report from Cambridgeshire County Councillor K Cuffley

Cllr Cuffley highlighted the routes from lockdown; although each loss is significant, deaths are much lower in the County and case rates are also low. All meetings have been cancelled because of Council elections. Cllr Cuffley announced he will not stand as County Councillor, but will remain as Sawston Parish Cllr.

Cllr Laurie expressed gratitude for all the support Cllr Cuffley has given to Babraham Parish and said he will be very missed; endorsed by all Council.

2104/08           Report from Babraham Research Campus (BRC) representative

Mr Chapman said the public art installation would be filmed w/c 12 April: Mr Chapman believes invitations had been sent to the Steering Group. The installation will be open and fencing removed, although planting is not fully established. The signage will include QR codes to further information.

Mr Chapman offered his best wishes to Cllr Cuffley and to the Clerk.

2104/09           Clerk’s report

Clerk expects Electoral Services to declare a vacancy to co-opt a Councillor on Friday 9 April, 14 days after the advert was published (25 March). After that time, Council can put in place measures to co-opt.

Clerk has begun to review accessibility of website and draft statement and expects to present this by the end of April. Clerk has saved all login and other access mechanisms, started a handover document and calendar. Clerk notes his retirement on 30 April and the need to hand over materials and role.

Cllr Cuffley mentioned CAPALC about strongly recommend all Cllrs take part in meeting on New Code of Conduct. Clerk to ensure Cllrs receive the notice.

2104/10           Coronavirus

Cllr Laurie reviewed current provision for Coronavirus support in the Parish.

Cllrs discussed possible locations for the return to meetings in person, mandated from 7 May 2021, including the meeting room at the back of the Almshouses, the meeting room at Chalk Farm, the Church. Cllr Cuffley asked if the Institute or Campus might be able to offer space: Mr Chapman will explore for Council, but most meeting spaces were closed. Cllr Laurie will explore these options as well as a return to the school, although the costs were significant, and report back by email.

Cllrs noted that they will prepare a Risk Assessment on any location.

2104/11           Annual meeting of Council

Cllrs discussed and resolved to hold the Annual Meeting of the Council remotely on Thursday 6 May 2021 via Zoom. The full meeting of Council would be Thursday 13 May. Proposed by Cllr Laurie, seconded by Cllr Attwood; carried unanimously.

2104/12           Budget

Cllrs reviewed the updated budget to reflect grants and precept. Cllr Laurie proposed adoption, seconded by Cllr Goody; carried unanimously.

2104/13           Insurance

Cllrs discussed insurance renewal and Cllr Laurie proposed proceeding with Came & Co brokers, seconded by Cllr Goody; carried unanimously.

2104/14           Action Plan and Policies

Cllrs agreed to defer Action Plan until May meeting. Cllrs discussed and adopted the Investment Policy.

2104/15          Year End and Annual Governance and Accountability Return

Cllr Laurie discussed the Year End submission for external auditor and the Cllrs agreed that Clerk should submit all documents. Cllr Cuffley questioned the need to Cllr review of the AGAR.

2104/16           Corporate Governance return

Cllr Laurie discussed the Governance Return for the internal auditor and the auditor’s report, and Cllr Laurie proposed adoption, seconded by Cllr Goody; carried unanimously.

2104/17           Boundary review

Cllrs notes that Sawston and Babraham residents were asked to add comments to the current stage: feedback is expected in autumn.

Clerk asked about Parish responsibilities and when they are transferred from the developer: Cllrs Cuffley and McDonald advised contacting SCDC: Cllr McDonald said Civic Affairs is progressing well.

2104/18           Zero Carbon opportunities

Cllr Laurie said Ms Thomas will be Project Manager of the Forest Garden and proposed a Working Group to liaise on the project with Cllr Attwood to lead; adopted unanimously.

2104/19           Local Plan and local developments

Cllrs noted the need to arrange an online meeting with Barton Willmore on behalf of Redrow Homes on developments south of Sawston Road, Babraham under H/1:c. Cllr Laurie to arrange with Clerk.

2104/20           Transport, traffic and planning

Cllrs discussed routes for the autonomous transit: a member of the public was asked to report on discussions: the old route for a light railway was thought by local villages to be viable. Cllr Attwood reported that Mott Macdonald were still proposing alternatives and that Shelford and Stapleford believe a rail route is viable. The member of the public reported an appeal might be supported by crowdfunding.  Cllr Cuffley emphasised that he thought actions had moved beyond these discussions and would like to see the proposals.

Cllr Attwood reported that the Neighbourhood Plan group met Mott Macdonald to discuss the pink route favoured by the Parish. Progress has slowed: Cllr Hickford was Chair of GCP and Cllr Neil Gough is interim.

Cllr Cuffley, when asked on actions to take, suggested Council should maintain representations on the preferred route and the bus park in Abington. A member of the public asked if Council had been contacted on wildlife impact. Cllrs were not aware of such contact. Cllr Cuffley suggested contacting Peter Blake expressing strongly Council views: https://www.greatercambridge.org.uk/about-city-deal/governance/management-structure.

Mr Chapman was asked about contact with Campus on the Environmental Impact Assessment and he reported they had discussed relevant policies and future plans. Cllr Goody reported a Farm Survey of game birds and other wildlife.

Council felt it should open frequent dialogue with GCP Cambridge South East Transport team (CSET).

Cllrs noted closure of Granham’s Rd to allow build of southbound right turn from A1307.

2104/21           Traffic calming

Cllr McDonald said Council should be notified formally: Babraham’s application was included in those that Highways Department was “proposing to start the design and consultation processes on all applications within the above document which sit above the red dotted line… [and] will be in touch in due course to discuss further…” (email 19 March).

2104/22           Street Lighting

Clerk to collate data on LED replacement for action with electricity provider.

2104/23           Defibrillator

No report.

2104/24           Neighbourhood Plan (NP)

Cllr Atwood reported that Ms Thomas will be organising the NP effort, driving as part of her role, assisted by Parishioners with experience in transport and planning. The team will welcome other contributions. Cllrs noted the NP team must include a Parish Cllr.

The group is applying for a grant. Cllr Attwood will add names of group members to the Council website. Cllr Cuffley said funds can be used for many purposes, but the group can claim only for activities once the grant is awarded and not retrospectively. He emphasised the amount of work required for the Sawston NP

Cllr Cuffley said the NP process was a learning experience for Sawston. Cllr Attwood said Ms Thomas’ focus will address the need to integrate the many components.

2104/25           Communications

No update.

2104/26          Future meetings, Annual Parish Meeting

Cllrs discussed coming meetings under 2104/10, Coronavirus. Cllrs will review an Annual Parish Meeting at the next Council meeting.


2104/27          Receipts at 1 April 2021

None was received.

2104/28           Payments

Payee            Purpose               Supplier                                                         Gross

HMRC           Tax, NI March        HMRC                                                            £67.00

Employee      Salary March        Employee                                     £267.08

Employee      Travel March        Employee                                     £6.84

Employee      Dropbox sub         Dropbox                                       £95.88

Employee      Zoom sub             Zoom US                                       £115.10

Employee      Costs                    Employee                                                     £484.90

FRR&FD       Membership       Friends of Roman Road and Fleam Dyke         £30.00

SLCC                 Clerk membership  SLCC                                                     £112.00

Auditor           End of Year Audit     Auditing Solutions Ltd                              £288.00

Total                                                                                                               £981.90

Cllrs considered Direct Debit payments in annual review.

Ionos: website (WordPress), email and office programs, typically £30.00 pcm. Most recent:

Ionos    WordPress site           £7.20

Ionos    MailPro 5 Licences    £18.00

Ionos    MailPro 1 Licence       £4.80

Haven Power: electricity supply for street lighting, typically £36—40 pcm. Most recent:

Haven Power      Continuous AC 100           £2.53

Haven Power      Dawn-dusk AC 101           £2.72

Haven Power      Dusk-dawn AC 102           £31.62

Cllr Laurie proposed and Cllr Attwood seconded approval of Direct Debits: carried unanimously.

Cllrs noted that payment approved for Cllr Thomas training was not required: cheque voided.

2104/29                Purchases

Cllrs noted cost including VAT for bench and noticeboard including engraving and VAT were £2016 and £509, respectively. Cllr Laurie proposed approval, Cllr Attwood seconded; carried unanimously.

Cllrs noted the need to secure benches and perhaps other street furniture: Cllr Attwood to review methods and report.

2104/30           Balances and Bank Reconciliation

Balances held at 31 March 2021

Unity Current A/C balance                         £106057.84

Unity Savings A/C balance                           £61242.84

Total                                                           £167300.68

Less uncleared items                                     £1372.25

Balance on accounts 31 March 2021    £165928.43

Cllrs reviewed and approved bank reconciliation and balances.

2104/31           Unity Bank and Bank Accounts

Cllrs noted no action on bank signatories. Clerk reviewed the options forwarded prior to the meeting on additional Bank providers to secure protection under FSCS. After discussion, Cllr Laurie proposed opening an account with Cambridge Building Society, Cllr Attwood seconded; carried unanimously.

2104/32           Bookkeeping software

Cllrs noted that Scribe and Clerk had input basic data for FY20/21 into Scribe: Clerk to input invoices when signed and scanned. Clerk and internal auditor had reviewed operation; the functions are valuable to reporting and Year End. Clerk to ensure data is input for FY21/22.

2104/33           VAT reclaim

Clerk had prepared a VAT report using Scribe: as of the meeting, he was unable to access an HRMC online account to allow electronic posting. If this is not possible, Clerk will claim using the printed form VAT126 (20 entries per claim).


2104/34           Planning Applications (as of 6 April 2021)

21/00635/HFUL: consultation expires 23 April. 43 High Street Babraham CB22 3AG; Single storey front extension and conversion of existing double garage to create a music room and gym with shower room. Applicant, Mr & Mrs David & Ruth Rowland; Agent, Mr Stephen Clarke.

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

2104/35           Planning Decisions (as of 6 April 2021)

None was received.

2104/36           Correspondence

  • Member of Parish asked Council to consider providing a book cupboard – often called a Little Library
    • Council agreed to explore and to ask local providers through contacts and Facebook for plans and costs
    • Cllr Cuffley suggested Council might approach local developers to support costs.

2104/37           Items to report and inclusion in the next meeting

Cllr Laurie to explore exchange of part of the playing field owned by the County Council with other land to provide a site for the Village Hall: Cllr Cuffley suggested Cllr Laurie speak to Commercial and Investment Section at County Council.

Date of next meeting: Thursday 6 May for Annual Meeting of Council, to include co-option of Councillor.

Date of next full Council meeting: Thursday 13 May.

Cllrs resolved that, if a local space could not be found for meeting in person by 29 April, they would take all business on Thursday 6 may meeting.

2104/38           Part II: Confidential Information

None was required.

The meeting finished at 21:12.

Signature: Don Powell, 21 April 2021

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


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