Great Gransden is a parish in Cambridgeshire, in the Huntingdonshire District. This web site includes information about the Parish Council, the village facilities it manages, the date and agenda for the next meetings, the minutes of previous meetings and the policies under which it operates - please see the links below, in the menu bar above, and in the sidebar on the left. (Note: the sidebar might be hidden if you are viewing this device on a mobile device.)

Great Gransden has 8 Parish Councillors - Andrew Pett, Giles Scott, Nick Ginn, Michael Capps, Nigel Day and Peter King, who were returned following an uncontested election in 2018; James Catmur, who was co-opted later that year, and  Vikki Murphy, who was co-opted in July 2021.

Your Parish Council always welcomes your questions, comments and suggestions. See our contact page for info on how to get in touch. And you can attend our meetings and join in the Open Forum section of the meeting.

Privacy and Accessibility are important to us.

The Parish Council takes care to safeguard the privacy of personal data supplied to us, in whatever form. A copy of our current privacy notice can be viewed on our privacy page. Apart from formatting changes (to improve accessibility) and a change to the contact details in December 2019, the current version was last edited in May 2018, to ensure conformance with the newly-introduced GDPR legislation.

In order to improve accessibility, the site appearance was changed in December 2019, and several pages revamped. A new Accessibility Policy is being developed, and will be announced here when it has been adopted by the Parish Council.

Parish Council meetings

The last regular Parish Council Meeting was on Monday, 2nd of August.
The next regular meeting is on Monday, 6th of September.

Meetings are normally held in the Reading Rooms. The agenda for a PC meeting is published at least 3 clear days in advance. For the regular monthly meetings, the clerk's report is also available to download before the meeting, with a link to it on the agenda page. Meetings are normally the 1st Monday of each month (unless that is a bank holiday, in which case the meeting is usually deferred to the following day or on the 2nd Monday); extra meetings are sometimes held to allow the parish Council to discuss an urgent matter, such as a planning application where we have to give our input before our next scheduled meeting.

Gransden 2020 Vision

Great Gransden is in the process of establishing a Neighbourhood Plan (also known as a Neighbourhood Development Plan), which is an opportunity for the community to have more say in the way the village develops over the next years. The Parish Council has delegated authority to a Steering Group to oversee this work, and there is a separate website giving information about progress, and details of steering group and other meetings - see 2020vision.gransdens.org/, and their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GreatGransdenNDP

News and other Announcements

What follows is a number of posts containing information that might be of interests to parishioners, along with announcements by the Parish Council. If there are a lot of posts, they may continue onto other pages, with a link to them at the bottom of this page. Old posts about parish council meetings will be moved to the meetings page; other posts will be moved to the old posts archive before being eventually deleted - though if they are very temporary notices, for example about road closures, they may be just deleted once they are no longer of relevance.

(Some posts may contain links to other sites, but the Parish Council has no control over the contents of the referenced sites, nor their privacy and accessibility policies; please exercise reasonable caution when visiting them. Indeed, the owners of those sites may make changes that invalidate the links we have supplied, so please let us know of any problems! Likewise, any attachments to or images or quoted texts (indicated by colour and indentation) within the posts are as supplied to us and are provided here for your convenience, but the Parish Council cannot speak for the accuracy and accessibility of this information.)

Planning meeting, 23rd August 2021

posted 23 Aug 2021, 09:30 by N Day   [ updated 23 Aug 2021, 11:01 ]

As there has been a recent planning application for the parish for which the deadline for comment is before the next regular Parish council meeting, a meeting of the planning subcommittee via Zoom has been arranged. The agenda follows below, and can also be downloaded in PDF form for offline viewing or printing.


from the Parish Clerk, 17 Aug 2021:

The Next Meeting of the Planning Sub Committee will be held on Monday 23rd August 2021 at 7:30pm via remote conferencing on Zoom (https://zoom.us/):


Giles Scott, Chairman

Please Note: Under powers duly delegated by the full Parish Council, matters on this agenda will be considered by the Planning Sub Committee via remote conference. Those who wish to comment on any item on the agenda are invited to join the Sub-Committee via the ‘Zoom’ App. (Meeting ID 313 378 5045. Password 941083). Councillors will not be making decisions about items not on the agenda. Any personal information given will be dealt with in line with the Parish Councils General Privacy Notice, full details of which can be found on the website. All decisions and recommendations made at this meeting will be ratified at the next full meeting of the Parish Council to be held Monday 6th September 2021.

Agenda

All members of the Planning Committee, under powers duly delegated by the full Parish Council, are hereby summoned to attend for the purposes of considering and resolving the business to be transacted at the meeting as set out below.

MEMBERS: 8 QUORUM: 3

1. Silent Prayer.

2. Apologies for absence.

3. Declarations of Interest.


(a) Councillors to declare any disclosable pecuniary interest in any items on the agenda;
(b) Councillors to declare any other interest in any items on the agenda.

4. Open Forum
for 15 minutes to enable members of the public to bring any matters

to the attention of the Parish Council in relation to the planning matters below.

5. Planning.
  1. PARISH COUNCIL CONSULTATION – APPLICATION REF. 21/01755/FUL:
    Erection of Replacement Dwelling and Garage.
    Collings Bungalow Potton Road Great Gransden St Neots PE19 6TZ

  2. PARISH COUNCIL CONSULTATION – TREE APPLICATION REF. 21/01797/TREE:
    T1 Horse Chestnut: Reduce crown over neighbours by 2.5 metres to balance crown, reduce over road by 1 metre prune to clear phone lines and thin remaining crown by circa 20%.
    These works will balance the crown of the tree and enhance its appearance additionally reducing wind load on crown and allowing light to properties.
    40 West Street Great Gransden Sandy SG19 3AU
6. Next Meeting. The next ordinary meeting of the Parish Council has been arranged for Monday 6th September 2021 at 7.30 pm.

Planning meeting, 9 August 2021

posted 4 Aug 2021, 07:31 by N Day   [ updated 4 Aug 2021, 07:48 ]

As there has been a recent planning application for the parish for which the deadline for comment is before the next regular Parish council meeting, a meeting of the planning subcommittee has been arranged. The agenda follows below, and can also be downloaded in PDF form for offline viewing or printing.



From Catherine Fox, Parish Clerk:

The Next Meeting of the Planning Subcommittee will be held at 7:30 on Monday  9 August 2021 in the Reading Room with Giles Scott in the chair.

All members of the subcommittee are hereby summoned to attend for the purposes of considering and resolving the business to be transacted at the meeting as set out below.

(Members: 8; Quorum: 3.)

1. Silent Prayer.

2. Apologies for absence.

3. Declarations of Interest.


(a) Councillors to declare any disclosable pecuniary interest in any items on the agenda;
(b) Councillors to declare any other interest in any items on the agenda.

4. Open Forum for 15 minutes to enable members of the public to bring any matters to the attention of the Parish Council. 

5. Planning
  1. PARISH COUNCIL CONSULTATION – APPLICATION REF. 21/01649/HHFUL:
    Minor loft conversion with associated roof windows (over the permitted development volume).
    43 Audley Close Great Gransden Sandy SG19 3RL

  2. Possible breach of conditions re APPLICATION REF 17/00979/FUL:
    Demolition of existing garages and erection of two detached houses with car parking.
    Between 31 And 32 Mandene Gardens Great Gransden
    (Note: 21/80223/COND, Conditional Information for 17/00979/FUL: C3 (Materials), C4 (Landscape), C9 (TPP) also applies to this site.)
6. Next Meeting

The next ordinary meeting of the Parish Council has been arranged for Monday 6th September 2021 at 7:30 pm.

PC Meeting, August 2021

posted 28 Jul 2021, 13:23 by N Day   [ updated 9 Aug 2021, 03:45 ]

Agenda for the Parish Council meeting on August 2nd, 2021

click here to get a copy of the agenda in PDF form, and the Clerk's notes are available via this link. A copy of the minutes follows the agenda, and is also available for download in PDF form.


From Catherine Fox, Parish Clerk:

The Next Meeting of the Parish Council will be held at 7:30 on Monday 2 August 2021 in the Reading Room with Giles Scott in the chair.

All members of the Council are hereby summoned to attend for the purposes of considering and resolving the business to be transacted at the meeting as set out below.

(Members: 8; Quorum: 3.)

1. Silent Prayer.

2. Apologies for absence.

3. Declarations of Interest.


(a) Councillors to declare any disclosable pecuniary interest in any items on the agenda;
(b) Councillors to declare any other interest in any items on the agenda.

4. Minutes.  Consideration of the minutes of the meeting of the Full Council on 5 July 2021.

5. Open Forum for 15 minutes to enable members of the public to bring any matters to the attention of the Parish Council. 

 

6. Matters Arising.   

1. Neighbourhood Plan.

2. Bench in the playing field.

3. Update on co-opted vacancy.

4. Damage to Lych Gate.


7.  Play Equipment: Report from Working Group.

8. Tree Works at the Bowls Club: Consideration of quotations received.

9. Clerk’s Financial Statement.  For June 2021 and Budget Review.

10. Cheques for Approval.

11. Highways. Any repairs or maintenance needed.

            1. Proposed Railings – Eltisley Road

12. Consultations

            1. HDC Consultation Hackney Carriage & private Hire Policy

            2. Gambling Act 2005 Consultation

            3. Greater Cambridgeshire Biodiversity Supplementary Planning Document.

    (Consultation dates: 23rd July 2021-17th September 2021)

13. Correspondence. 

            1. Sand Road – Variations of Conditions C20. Comments from resident.

            2. Retaining Wall in the Cemetery

            3. Signage request at the pond.

14. Planning. 

  1. PARISH COUNCIL CONSULTATION – APPLICATION REF. 21/01587/HHFUL:
    Single and double storey rear extension.
    28 Winchfield Great Gransden Sandy SG19 3AN.

  2. PARISH COUNCIL CONSULTATION – APPLICATION REF. 21/01521/S73:
    Variation of conditions C20 (off site works as per plan prior to commencement) for 17/01375/OUT to reconcile the approved planning drawings pursuant to condition 20 with the associated completed off-site Section 278 works.
    Land North East Of Mandene Gardens Great Gransden.

15. Next Meeting Monday 6th September 2021 at 7:30pm.


Minutes

Those present were:
  • Giles Scott, Chairman;
  • Peter King, Parish Councillor;
  • Nick Ginn, Vice Chairman;
  • James Catmur, Parish Councillor;
  • Catherine Fox, Clerk;
  • Nigel Day, Parish Councillor;
  • Michael Capps, Parish Councillor;
  • Andrew Pett, Parish Councillor;
  • Vikki Murphy, Parish Councillor;
  • District Councillor West;
and one member of the public.

1. The meeting was opened at 7:30 pm with a silent prayer.

2. Apologies. Apologies were received from County Councillor Stephen Ferguson. Vikki Murphy signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office form and was welcomed to the meeting by the chairman.

3. Declarations of Interest. There were no declarations of interest.

4. Minutes of the previous monthly meeting held on 5th July 2021 were approved and signed accordingly by the Chairman.

5. OPEN FORUM. The meeting was closed for 11 minutes.

With reference to planning item 14.2 on the agenda, Councillor West expressed his deep regret over the continuing failures of HDC to act appropriately with regards to the development on Sand Road.

Councillor West commented that he believed members of the Development Management Committee had supported the application on the understanding this condition would be met before development started, but that regretfully the enforcement teams at HDC had not been robust enough to ensure compliancy. Noting that there was never enough land in the ownership of the developer to complete condition 20 imposed by the DMC, Councillor West continues to withhold his support for any variation of the original condition.
Councillor West felt that the whole process had been flawed and does not reflect well on the local planning authority at Huntingdonshire District Council.

Councillor West had attended the Virtual Round Table Meeting with the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough on the 19th July. On the agenda was a Presentation on the Community Speedwatch, highlighting how much the work of volunteers was appreciated. There was also a presentation on identifying scammers as a community.
Councillor West also reported that there was a discussion on the Police and Crime Plan Survey led by the Police and Crime Commissioner. This covered the themes of Community Priorities, Crime Prevention, Supporting Victims and Witnesses, Ethical Policing and Robust Enforcement.

Finally, Councillor West confirmed that he had attended the A428 Transport Modelling Briefing on 29th July. Slides from the briefing had been forwarded to Councillors.

6. Matters Arising.

6.1 Neighbourhood Plan – Update from David Prest.

As Chairman of the Steering Group, David Prest attended the meeting. The draft plan had been sent to HDC’s strategic planners for comment and was due back imminently. Following the last meeting, Councillors felt that an additional meeting should be convened for the purpose of discussing in depth any points raised and addressing any particular areas that may require additional changes. Clerk will organise this meeting. Following this,the next key stage will be submission under Regulation 14 which it is hoped will be in September , followed by a six-week consultation period (managed by the Steering Group). The final plan will be submitted in January 2022 to HDC (Regulation 15).

6.2 Bench in the Playing Field. Councillors considered the options for a replacement bench in the playing field, following the recent safety inspection report which had identified the bench nearest Little Lane as needing attention.

Councillors agreed that the bench should not be replaced like for like. It was felt that the metal benches were out of keeping with the park and that, due to increased usage of the park and its facilities, a larger picnic style bench which was also suitable for wheelchair users and made out of recycled materials (so as to avoid the need for ongoing maintenance) would be more appropriate. The price of an 8-seater bench that meets these requirements would be around £1000.00 inc VAT. This cost does not include installation. Clerk to obtain costs for installation and present to the council for final consideration at September’s meeting.

Councillor Capps suggested that the £300.00 set aside for reserves to cover Chestnut Paling should be used towards the cost of the new bench. These reserves have sat untouched for many years. This reallocation of funds from the budget was proposed by Councillor Capps, seconded by Councillor Scott and unanimously approved.

6.3 Update on Co-opted Vacancy. Having been only one further application for the remaining Parish Council vacancy, councillors unanimously agreed to co-opt Cathy Davis onto the Parish Council. (Proposed Councillor Pett, seconded Councillor Scott).

6.4 Damage to the Lych Gate. The Lych gate has suffered some minor damage and is in need of repair. As the gate lies in the curtilage of a listed building and is also a War Memorial, the Parish Council are mindful of the requirement to operate in line with correct planning procedures. It was agreed that the Clerk would contact HDC to advise them that the work would be done on a like for like basis. It is anticipated that no further permissions will be needed.

7. Play Equipment – Working Group Report.

Councillor Pett reported that the visit by the working group had not yet been undertaken due to adverse weather conditions. The report and recommendations will be presented at September’s Meeting.

8. Tree Works at the Bowls Club. Further to concerns raised by a resident at the last meeting, three quotations had been obtained for reduction of the large Elder Tree and removal of a similar tree on the Southern boundary of the Bowls Club. After due consideration, councillors unanimously agreed to instruct Charlie Vince to undertake the works. (Proposed Councillor Capps, seconded Councillor Catmur). Clerk to make the relevant application to HDC as the trees sit within the conservation area. Clerk to contact the Bowls Club to advise them of the agreed course of action.

9. Financial Statement for July 2021.
The sheet filed as Appendix No. 1 had been circulated. The statement was unanimously approved and signed by the Chairman. Councillors also noted the budget review as at the end of July 2021.

10. Cheques for approval. The following payments were approved: (Proposed Councillor Pett, seconded by Councillor Capps)

SSE (outstanding amount) £106.33*
Balfour Beatty (Correction of invoicing error) £124.20

1. Clerk’s expenses for July 2021 £26.52

2. HMRC - PAYE (period ending 5th Sept 21) £0.00

3. Mr R Dring (Repair of bench Caxton Road) £240.00

4. The Mower Shed (Invoice 1011) £120.00

5. Great Gransden PCC (marquee hire for NDP societies fair) £30.00

Automated Payments payable August 2021.

1. DD BT – Broadband Reading Room (11th August 2021) £30.16*

2. SO Caretaker Salary –July 2021 (28th August 2021) £806.98**

3. SO Clerk’s Salary – July 2021 (28th August 2021) £704.25

*Unfortunately, with the PC only meeting to approve payments at the start of the month, this more often than not means that payments are not in sync with the SSE billing cycle. Therefore, the account regularly appears in arrears. To avoid this happening in future, it was unanimously agreed that in accordance with Financial Regulation 6.7, a Direct Debit mandate be authorised for monthly payments to SSE effective as of the next payment date.

11. Highways.

Councillors reported no new potholes but raised the following issues:

11.1 Proposed Hand Rail on Eltisley Road. Councillor Ginn asked for clarity on the current status of the proposed hand rail following previous discussions. Councillor Scott confirmed that the residents, as owners of the ditch had not wished to accept the responsibility for any pipes that were laid and therefore had agreed that the railings similar to those currently on Fox Street were an acceptable alternative. Potton had agreed these changes via email and would amend the plans accordingly. It is likely that these changes will be available for comment at a later stage of the development as it moves through the planning process. Councillor Ginn suggested that it may be helpful to have an update on the progress of this application. This was unanimously agreed. Clerk to contact Martin Tharratt.

11.2 Elms on Church Street. HDC are still to issue permission for the works to remove the dead Elm Trees on Church Street. Although the initial period of 6 weeks has passed, further queries raised by the case officer continue to cause delay. It is now likely that works on these trees will have to be postponed until August 2022.

11.3 Highways Officers. Councillors noted the resignation of Ian Winfield as Highways Officer and the 7 vacancies that currently exist within that department. County Councillor Stephen Ferguson has agreed to take up the unresolved issues around drainage and the broken drain cover on Fox Street and will report back to September’s meeting. It is hoped that this will be sufficient to generate momentum resulting in satisfactory action being taken.

12. Consultations.

12.1. HDC Consultation Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Policy. Noted.

12.2. Gambling Act 2005 Consultation. Noted.

12.3. Greater Cambridgeshire Biodiversity Supplementary Planning Document. (Consultation dates23rd July 2021-17th September 2021). Noted.

13. Correspondence.

13.1 Councillors noted the points raised by a resident around the Variations of Condition C20 (Sand Road).

13.2 Councillors noted the decline in the condition of the wall by the brook in the cemetery. Councillor King will ask the structural engineer currently looking at the Reading Room extension, to advise on the best course of action.

13.3 Councillors noted the request for signage to warn drivers of wildlife at the site of the pond. Although Councillors acknowledged that the death of the birds was very sad, it was not felt that additional signage would have any positive impact on preventing any further occurrences.

14. Planning

1. PARISH COUNCIL CONSULTATION – APPLICATION REF. 21/01587/HHFUL:
Single and double storey rear extension.
28 Winchfield Great Gransden Sandy SG19 3AN.

Councillors had no objections to the above application, voting unanimously to submit no further comments.

2. PARISH COUNCIL CONSULTATION – APPLICATION REF. 21/01521/S73:
Variation of conditions C20 (off site works as per plan prior to commencement) for
17/01375/OUT to reconcile the approved planning drawings pursuant to condition 20 with the associated completed off-site Section 278 works.
Land North East Of Mandene Gardens, Great Gransden.

Councillors unanimously agreed to recommend ‘refusal’ of the variation of condition 20 on the basis that it does not comply with the original plans and did not meet the promised safety levels. The completed works were not in keeping with the conditions imposed by the DMC and Councillors felt that, given the history of the application and the lack of meaningful enforcement action from HDC, there was no way that the Parish Council could, or would, support this variation.

18.Date of next Meeting.

The Next Meeting has been arranged for Monday 6th September 2021 at 7:30pm.

This meeting closed at 9:33pm

PC meeting, July 2021

posted 30 Jun 2021, 14:24 by N Day   [ updated 28 Jul 2021, 13:59 ]

Agenda for the Parish Council meeting on August 2, 2021

click here to get a copy of the agenda in PDF form, and the Clerk's notes are available via this link. The minutes have been appended to this notice after the agenda, and are also available for download in PDF form.


From Catherine Fox, Parish Clerk:

The Next Meeting of the Parish Council will be held at 7:30 on Monday 5 July 2021 in the Reading Room with Giles Scott in the chair.

Please note: To ensure that the meeting remains compliant with the current regulations, all members of the public wishing to attend are asked to confirm with the Clerk prior to the meeting. In the event of more people wishing to attend than can safely be accommodated, the meeting will be held outside. All social distancing measures will be observed.

All members of the Council are hereby summoned to attend for the purposes of considering and resolving the business to be transacted at the meeting as set out below. 

1. Silent Prayer.

2. Apologies for absence.

3. Declarations of Interest.


(a) Councillors to declare any disclosable pecuniary interest in any items on the agenda;
(b) Councillors to declare any other interest in any items on the agenda.

4. Minutes.  Consideration of the minutes of the meeting of the Full Council on 1st June 2021 and also of the Planning Committee Meeting(s) on 1st June 2021 and 21st June 2021.

5. Open Forum for 15 minutes to enable members of the public to bring any matters to the attention of the Parish Council. 

6. Matters Arising.   


1. Neighbourhood Plan – presentation by David Prest.

2. Bench on Caxton Road.

3. Bench on the playing field.

4. Update on co-opted vacancy.

 

7.  Reading Room Extension. Update from Peter King.

8.  Public footpath (Gransden Woods, north of sewage works).  N Ginn.

9.  Play Equipment and MUGA Inspections – To consider reports from ROSPA.

10. Audit of the Accounts for the y/e 31st March 2021.  To consider Internal Auditor’s Report.

11. Parish Council Policies.  To consider adoption of revised/edited policies.

12. Clerk’s Financial Statement.  For June 2021 and Budget Review.

13. Cheques for Approval.

14. Highways. Any repairs or maintenance needed.

1. Advanced notification of Start/Stop signs in use on Eltisley Road (Highfields) for Gransden Show – Saturday 25th September 2021

15. Correspondence.

      1. St Neots Museum Contribution Request.

      2. Contribution Request for Bluebell-19 Benefice publication.

      3. Elderberry Tree at the Bowls Club.

16. Planning.  At the time of publication of the agenda, there were no planning applications requiring comment.

17. Review of Clerk’s working arrangements. (To be considered in closed session.)

18. Next Meeting Monday 5th August 2019 at 7:30pm.


Minutes of the meeting

Those present were:
  • Giles Scott, Chairman ;
  • Peter King, Parish Councillor ;
  • Nick Ginn, Vice Chairman ;
  • James Catmur, Parish Councillor ;
  • Catherine Fox, Clerk ;
  • Nigel Day, Parish Councillor ;
  • Michael Capps, Parish Councillor ;
  • Andrew Pett, Parish Councillor ;
...and 0 members of the public

1. The meeting was opened at 7:30 pm with a silent prayer.

2. Apologies. Apologies were received from District Councillor West.

3. Declarations of Interest. There were no declarations of interest.

4. Minutes of the previous monthly meeting held on 1st June 2021, and of the planning committee meetings held on 1st June 2021 and 21st June 2021, were approved and signed accordingly by the Chairman.

5. OPEN FORUM. There were no issues brought to the attention of the Parish Council during the open forum session.

6. Matters Arising

6.1 Neighbourhood Plan – Update from David Prest.


As Chairman of the Steering Group, David Prest attended the meeting to provide a detailed overview into the progress of the Neighbourhood Plan. The Parish Council will eventually adopt the plan and were asked for their feedback on the content, and for their support and engagement as the process moves into its next stages.

Councillor Day will circulate the full Neighbourhood Plan for Councillors to consider and offer comment by 20th July. The next key stage will be submission under Regulation 14 which it is hoped will be in August, followed by a six-week consultation period (managed by the Steering Group). The final plan will be submitted in January 2022 to HDC (Regulation 15)

6.2 Bench on Caxton Road

Councillors unanimously agreed to accept the quotation received for the repair of the bench on Caxton Road. The quotation was for replacement of the first two slats with oak at a cost of £240.00. (Proposed Councillor Pett seconded Councillor Scott)

6.3 Bench on the playing field.

Further to the risk assessments undertaken by Councillors, the bench at the entrance to Little Lane had been highlighted as being in need of attention with weakened areas and sharp edges visible on the legs.

Councillors discussed the possibility of replacing the bench with a picnic bench similar to those already in the park. It was felt that a picnic bench would be beneficial and would contribute to the community focus of the park. The ‘station’ benches are considered to be out of keeping with the rest of the seating.

Clerk to prepare a price comparison document for further consideration at August’s meeting.

6.4 Update on Co-opted Vacancy

Having been only one application for the two Parish Council vacancies, councillors unanimously agreed to co-opt Vikki Murphy onto the Parish Council. (Proposed Councillor Pett seconded Councillor Scott).

Following Ms Murphy’s co-option, there still remains one Parish Councillor Vacancy.

7. Reading Room Extension

Councillor King reported that the Reading Room Management Committee had been looking at the possibility of extending the Reading Room. Work has been undertaken to begin investigating the cost, implications and feasibility of extending the Reading Room at the rear, making the first floor accessible and providing storage for large items downstairs.

Besides the given requirement of working on a heritage property, there are other issues to consider. These include but are not limited to, making the upstairs truly accessible to all (if possible) and incorporating suitable storage space downstairs that does not eat up newly acquired extended space.

Following the obtaining and reviewing of quotations, The Reading Room Committee propose that BB&C be commissioned to undertake the feasibility study and structural survey. It was also proposed that BB&C be asked to manage the survey and the quantity surveyor work.

Councillors questioned the financial impact and planning behind the proposed works, noting the sizeable investment that could potentially be required against the additional usage, revenue and payback to the village. Councillor King stated that the committee were keen to re-establish the Reading Room as a community hub for the village with the potential to use it for community coffee mornings and such like. With the building of a substantial number of new houses, it was felt that the Reading Room needed to be brought to the forefront of village life so that it could continue to remain as a thriving village asset. Any changes would increase the capacity of the Reading Room from 60 people to around 100; in line with, and in anticipation of, additional usage generated by a growing village population.

Initial costs for the feasibility study were expected to be £5215.50 ex VAT, broken down as follows:

Architectural, Heritage and Principal Designer services: £3,187.50

Structural Engineering by JM Structural Consultants: £1,428.00

Quantity Surveyor by PM & QS Services Ltd: £ 600.00

If the project looks viable, the intention would be to raise funds to finance it but with initial costs paid for out of committee funds. As the Parish Council are Trustees of the Reading Room, the net cost will be repaid by the Reading Room Committee with the Council reclaiming the VAT.

The appointment of BB&C and the expenditure and repayment arrangement was unanimously agreed following proposal by Councillor Scott and being seconded by Councillor Pett.

8. Public Footpath (Gransden Woods- north of sewage works).

Councillor Ginn raised concerns that the footpath at the edge of Gransden Wood had been ploughed – destroying the pathway that had previously been enjoyed by many walkers. The issue had been raised with the County Council footpaths department and the District Council in a bid to get the quality of the footpaths reinstated but as yet there had been no response.

9. Play Equipment and MUGA Inspection Reports

MUGA – The Muga inspection report highlighted no issues. Signs had been reattached and it was agreed that the bin was heavy enough not to require permanent setting into the ground.

Play Equipment – The inspection report had highlighted several areas that needed attention. A working group (comprising of Councillor King, Councillor Pett, Councillor Capps and Councillor Day) would visit the playing field to identify what can be repaired/refurbished and what would need attention from external parties. Recommendations from the working group will be brought to the next full council meeting in August.

10. Audit of the Accounts Y/E 31st March 2021 – Review of Internal Auditors Report Councillors noted the internal auditors report which showed no major findings. In response to one of the points raised, it was agreed that a quote would be obtained from the existing contractor for the cemetery to include the closed graveyard. This was to ensure that the rates payable to the PCC for maintenance of the closed graveyard were providing best value for money.

11. Review of Policies. Copies of the Council’s Equal Opportunities, Safeguarding, Archiving and Health and Safety policies had been circulated together with a copy of the current Financial Regulations. The 2020 revised Standing Orders were adopted. Councillors agreed no changes were needed. Proposed Councillor Pett, seconded Councillor Scott.

12. Financial Statement for June 2021. The sheet filed as Appendix No. 1 had been circulated. The statement was unanimously approved and signed by the Chairman. Councillors also noted the budget review as at the end of June 2020.

13. Cheques for approval. The following payments were approved:

(Proposed Councillor Pett, seconded by Councillor Capps)
  • Gate Automation & Electrical Services £2292.00 (Sportsfield Gate – 1st Payment on a/c inc VAT)
  1. Clerk’s expenses for June 2021 £27.59
  2. HMRC - PAYE (period ending 5th August 21) £55.20
  3. The Mower Shed (Invoice 966) £120.00
  4. SSE (May 2021) £100.25
  5. The Mower Shed (Invoice 982) £120.00
  6. Refund of Cemetery Fees Overpayment – IR Quince £2.00
  7. LGS Internal Audit Fee £114.00
  8. Huntree Fencing (Reading Room Cottage fence) £798.00
  9. ROSPA £164.40
  10. Mr R McIntosh (Garden of Remembrance) £7.50
  11. Buchans Landscaping & Grounds Maintenance £421.76
Automated Payments payable July 2021
  1. DD BT – Broadband Reading Rooms £30.16* (11th July 2021)
  2. SO Caretaker Salary –July 2021 £653.78** (28th July 2021)
  3. SO Clerk’s Salary – July 2021 £704.25 (28th July 2021)
14. Highways

Councillors reported no new potholes but raised the following issues:

14.1 The drain cover on the corner of Fox Street and Caxton Road remains dangerous. The locking mechanism is broken, and despite numerous reports to Highways no remedial repair works have been undertaken. The drain cover becomes displaced when HGVs turn the corner creating a dangerous hole for pedestrians which the Parish Council believe will, if not rectified, result in serious injury.

14.2 Flooding in Waresley Road still remains a problem, with the drains still blocked. Again this is following repeated reports to Highways.

Councillors unanimously agreed to ask Councillor Ferguson to progress the above issues with the County Council as a matter of urgency. There have been several gaps in the fulfilment of the County Council’s duties around general maintenance, including gutters and footpaths. It is hoped that he will be able to generate the same momentum as has been seen in St Neots to help achieve a satisfactory resolution to these outstanding issues within the village.

14.3 Meadow Road Councillor King has had several meetings with Ian Winfield and the County Council Road Safety Team around the safety of Meadow Road. Unfortunately, it had been confirmed that the request to move the speed limits would not be supported. However, it would be possible to install warning signs (funded by the PC) that would be sourced and installed by Highways. Possible variations of these signs will be proposed by Ian Winfield. Estimated costings of this additional signage would be circa £600.00-£900.00. It was unanimously agreed that in order to ensure this could be finalised as quickly as possible, the Parish Council would pre-approve expenditure of up to £1000.00 for this purpose. (Proposed Councillor Scott and seconded Councillor Pett)

14.4 Councillors noted that several hedgerows and bushes had become overgrown around the village. Clerk to put a note in Roundabout to remind residents of their responsibilities around maintenance. Councillor Scott suggested that the council could investigate the possibility of entering the ‘best kept village’ competition as a drive to further enhance and consolidate community spirit. This was unanimously encouraged. Councillor Scott to look into further details.

15. Correspondence

15.1 Councillors noted the request for funding from St Neots Museum.

15.2 Councillors agreed to make a contribution to the Bluebell-19 benefice publication of £75.00.

15.3 Correspondence had been received from a resident concerned about the health and size of an Elderberry Tree on land at the Bowls Club which is owned by the Parish Council. The lease agreement has been reviewed and confirms Parish Council liability. Quotations will be obtained for professional advice and recommendations and a proposed course of action for the tree in question and also for removal of an elderberry tree on the southern boundary of the Bowls Club.

16. Planning

There were no planning applications requiring comment at this meeting.

17. Review of Clerk’s Working Arrangements

In accordance with S1(2) Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960 press and members of the public were excluded from the meeting whilst item 17 was considered. Minutes from this part of the meeting remain confidential.

18. Date of next Meeting

The Next Meeting has been arranged for Monday 2nd August 2021 at 7:30pm

This meeting closed at 9:34pm

Minutes for June meetings

posted 17 Jun 2021, 13:57 by N Day   [ updated 17 Jun 2021, 13:57 ]

This post contains the minute for two meetings held on 1st June 2021. Links to PDF versions of these minutes can be found at the bottom of this post. Minutes are draft until approved at a subsequent PC meeting.

Parish Council Meeting held on 1st June 2021

Those present were:
  • Giles Scott, Chairman;
  • Nick Ginn, Parish Councillor;
  • Catherine Fox, Clerk.;
  • Andrew Pett, Parish Councillor;
and 0 members of the public

1. The meeting was opened at 7.:30 pm
with a silent prayer

2. Apologies. Due to the ongoing restrictions and the limitations on numbers allowable in the Reading Room at this time, and to avoid the need for holding the meeting outdoors or in different premises, the agenda was restricted to items needing timely consideration, and all Councillors other than the three listed above sent in their apologies in advance.

3. Declarations of Interest. There were no declarations of interest.

4. Minutes of the previous monthly meeting
held on 4th May 2021 which had been circulated, were approved and will be signed accordingly by the Chairman.

5. OPEN FORUM.
No members of the public had wished to attend and therefore there was no open forum session.

6. Financial Statement for May 2021. The sheet filed as Appendix No. 1 had been circulated. The statement was unanimously approved and will be signed by the chairman. Councillors also noted the budget review as at the end of May 2021.

7. Cheques for approval. The following payments were approved:

Proposed Giles Scott, seconded Andrew Pett.

1. Clerk’s expenses for May 2021 £26.08

2. Buchans Landscaping & Grounds Maintenance (May) £505.27

3. Buchans Landscaping & Grounds Maintenance (June) £505.27

4. HMRC - PAYE (period ending 5th July 21) £55.40

5. The Mower Shed £120.00

6. SSE (April 2021) £115.50

7. Balfour Beatty (2019-22 Yr 2 Qtr 4) £124.20

8. Mr R McIntosh (Garden of Remembrance) £7.50

Automated Payments payable June 2021:

1. DD BT – Broadband Reading Rooms £30.16 (11th June 2021)

2. SO Caretaker Salary –June 2021 £653.58 (28th June 2021)

3. SO Clerk’s Salary – June 2021 £704.25 (28th June 2021)

8. Delegation of Power to the Planning Committee
and election of Committee Chairman.

In light of COVID restrictions, under section 4 of the Model Standing Orders, a planning sub-committee was convened for the purpose of considering planning applications requiring comment between Full Council Meetings. It was unanimously agreed that Giles Scott would Chair this committee. All meetings of the Sub-Committee will be conducted via remote conference unless otherwise agreed, with members of the public invited to attend.

9. Date of Next Meeting. At the time of the meeting, it was anticipated that the restrictions around COVID would have been lifted by the next meeting. This is subject to the planned change in restrictions still going ahead on the 21st June 2021.

Therefore, it is planned that the Full Parish Council will return to face to face meetings for consideration of a full Agenda as of Monday 5th July 2021.

The Next Meeting has been arranged for Monday 5th July 2021.

This meeting closed at 19:44pm.


Planning Subcommittee Meeting held on 1st June 2021

Those present were:

Giles Scott, Chairman;
Andrew Pett; Parish Councillor;
Nick Ginn, Vice Chairman;
James Catmur, Parish Councillor;
Nigel Day, Parish Councillor;
Michael Capps, Parish Councillor;
Peter King, Parish Councillor;
Catherine Fox, Clerk;
District Councillor Richard West;
and 0 members of the public.

1. The meeting was opened at 8:30 pm with a silent prayer.

2. Apologies. No apologies were received.

3. Declarations of Interest. There were no declarations of interest.

4. Open Forum. There were no members of the public who wished to make comment on the planning applications for discussion.

5. Planning.

5.1. PARISH COUNCIL CONSULTATION – APPLICATION REF. 21/00964/FUL.

General purpose agricultural building.

104 Meadow Road Great Gransden Sandy SG19 3BB.

Councillors unanimously agreed to approve the application with no further comment noting that the proposed building was appropriate and entirely in keeping. (Proposed by Giles Scott seconded Andrew Pett)

5.2. PARISH COUNCIL CONSULTATION – APPLICATION REF. 21/01067/HHFUL.

Attached car-port to dwelling.

104 Meadow Road Great Gransden Sandy SG19 3BB.

Councillors unanimously agreed that the proposed car port was in keeping with the design of the premises at the existing residence and therefore recommended ‘Approval’. (Proposed Giles Scott seconded Andrew Pett)

5.3. PARISH COUNCIL CONSULTATION – APPLICATION REF. 21/01039/HHFUL.

Two storey rear extension, with additional single storey rear infill extension and associated external works.

8 Middle Street Great Gransden Sandy SG19 3AD.

Councillors noted the plans and the proposed movement of the gates forward.

Councillors unanimously agreed to recommend ‘Approval’ of the proposed extension on the grounds that it did not significantly increase the footprint of the house within its existing plot nor did it detrimentally affect the neighbouring properties or the overall street scene.

However, Councillors requested that further consideration be given to the proposed positioning of the gates; highlighting the importance of sufficient space for a car to pull in without obstructing the pavement or the Highway.


6. Next Meeting. The next ordinary meeting of the Parish Council has been arranged for Monday 5th July 2021 at 7:30 pm.

Minutes in PDF form

Planning subcommittee meeting, 21 June

posted 17 Jun 2021, 13:01 by N Day   [ updated 17 Jun 2021, 13:23 ]

The following meeting announcements (from Catherine Fox, Clerk, on 25/05/2021) are also available in PDF forms using this link:



Catherine Fox is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
  • Topic: Meeting of the GGPC Planning Sub-Committee
  • Time: Jun 21, 2021 07:30 PM London
Join Zoom Meeting:

Agenda

All members of the Planning Committee, under powers duly delegated by the full Parish Council, are hereby summoned to attend for the purposes of considering and resolving the business to be transacted at the meeting as set out below.

MEMBERS: 7 QUORUM: 3

1. Silent Prayer.

2. Apologies for absence.

3. Declarations of Interest.


(a) Councillors to declare any disclosable pecuniary interest in any items on the agenda;

(b) Councillors to declare any other interest in any items on the agenda.

4. Open Forum for 15 minutes to enable members of the public to bring any matters to the attention of the Parish Council in relation to the planning matters below.

5. Planning.

PARISH COUNCIL CONSULTATION – APPLICATION REF. 21/00850/LBC

Replacement of plastic rainwater goods and soil pipe to house with cast iron, with minor alterations (two additional cast iron hoppers) to improve rainwater dispersal.

6 Church Street Great Gransden SG19 3AF

6. Next Meeting

The next ordinary meeting of the Parish Council has been arranged for Monday 5th July 2021 at 7.30 pm.

PC meeting and planning subcommittee meeting, June 2021

posted 26 May 2021, 09:25 by N Day   [ updated 17 Jun 2021, 14:01 ]

The following two meeting announcements (from Catherine Fox, Clerk, on 25/05/2021) are also available in PDF forms using these links:

The agendas below have embedded links to the minutes and accounts that need approval, to the Zoom session for the subcommittee meeting, and to the pages on the HDC planning portal for the planning applications due for consideration at the subcommittee meeting.

(amended to add:the minutes of both meetings are available in a separate post, along with links to PDF versions of the two minutes.)



Parish Council Meeting

The Next Meeting of the Parish Council will be held in The Reading Room on Tuesday 1st June 2021 at 7:30pm with Giles Scott in the chair.

All members of the Council are hereby summoned to attend for the purposes of considering and resolving the business to be transacted at the meeting as set out below. 

Please note, in order that the meeting can be conducted in line with current social distancing regulations, the agenda has been reduced to cover essential business only. Any members of the public wishing to attend are politely asked to notify the Clerk prior to the meeting.

MEMBERS: 8 QUORUM: 3

Agenda

1. Silent Prayer.

2. Apologies for absence.

3. Declarations of Interest.

(a) Councillors to declare any disclosable pecuniary interest in any items on the agenda;

(b) Councillors to declare any other interest in any items on the agenda.

4. Minutes. Consideration of the minutes of the meeting on 4th May 2021.

5. Open Forum for 15 minutes to enable members of the public to bring any matters to the attention of the Parish Council.

6. Clerk’s Financial Statement. For May 2021 and Budget Review.

7. Payments for Approval.

8. Delegation of Power to the Planning Committee and election of Committee Chairman In light of COVID restrictions, Under section 4 of the Model Standing Orders, a planning sub-committee shall be convened for the purpose of considering planning applications requiring comment between Full Council Meetings. These meetings will be conducted via remote conference with members of the public invited to attend.

9. Next Meeting: Monday 5th July 2021 at 7:30 pm.


Planning subcommittee meeting

The Next Meeting of the Planning Sub Committee will be held on Tuesday 1st June 2021 at 8:30pm via remote conferencing on Zoom:
Giles Scott, Chairman

Please Note: Due to restrictions currently in place around COVID-19, there will be no physical meeting. Those who wish to comment on any item on the agenda are invited to join the Sub-Committee via the ‘Zoom’ App. (Meeting ID 313 378 5045. Password 941083). Councillors will not be making decisions about items not on the agenda. Any personal information given will be dealt with in line with the Parish Council's General Privacy Notice.

Agenda

All members of the Planning Committee, under powers duly delegated by the full Parish Council, are hereby summoned to attend for the purposes of considering and resolving the business to be transacted at the meeting as set out below.

MEMBERS: 8 QUORUM: 3

1. Silent Prayer.

2. Apologies for absence.

3. Declarations of Interest.

(a) Councillors to declare any disclosable pecuniary interest in any items on the agenda;

(b) Councillors to declare any other interest in any items on the agenda.

4. Open Forum
for 15 minutes to enable members of the public to bring any matters to the attention of the Parish Council.

5. Planning.

1. PARISH COUNCIL CONSULTATION – APPLICATION REF. 21/00964/FUL

General purpose agricultural building
104 Meadow Road Great Gransden Sandy SG19 3BB

2. PARISH COUNCIL CONSULTATION – APPLICATION REF. 21/01067/HHFUL

Attached car-port to dwelling
104 Meadow Road Great Gransden Sandy SG19 3BB

3. PARISH COUNCIL CONSULTATION – APPLICATION REF. 21/01039/HHFUL

Two storey rear extension, with additional single storey rear infill extension and associated external works.
8 Middle Street Great Gransden Sandy SG19 3AD

6. Next Meeting. The next ordinary meeting of the Parish Council has been arranged for Monday 5th July 2021 at 7:30 pm.

Neighbourhood plan Steering Group meeting, May 2021

posted 12 May 2021, 06:25 by N Day

The May meeting of the NP steering group is tonight, at 7pm. You can join in via Zoom:

Topic: Neighbourhood Plan
Time: May 12, 2021 19:00 London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/97213053449?pwd=Ty9IK0VMSytRaDMyWUNGU2ZlY3J3Zz09

Meeting ID: 972 1305 3449
Passcode: 034274

Agenda:

1. Apologies

2. Declarations of Interest in the agenda of the meeting

3. Minutes of previous meeting of 31 March for approval

4. Open forum - 15 minutes for members of the public to ask questions

5. East-West Rail Link consultation James Catmur/ALL

6. Update on actions from previous minutes
  • ·Renewable Heating Project AC/JK
  • ·Facebook postings DWP
  • ·Local Green Spaces DWP
  • ·Gransden Wood MD
  • ·Village boundary DWP
  • ·County Broadband JB
7. NDP document and timeline to complete DWP
  • Community action plans
  • Views
  • Other work to complete
8. Consultation DWP
  • Societies Fair 10 July
  • Landowners
  • Employers/businesses
9. Next meeting

10. AOB

Vacant slot on the Parish Council

posted 10 May 2021, 06:59 by N Day   [ updated 10 May 2021, 07:00 ]


The Parish Clerk has just published the following notice (also available in PDF form):

Notice of Vacancy in office of Parish Councillor on the Great Gransden Parish Council

Notice is hereby given pursuant to section 87(2) of the Local Government Act 1972 that due to the resignation of Councillor Jeffrey Gorton there is a vacancy on the Great Gransden Parish Council. If, within 14 statutory days after the date of this notice, a request for an election to fill the vacancy is made in writing to the Returning Officer, Huntingdonshire District Council, Pathfinder House, Huntingdon PE29 3TN by ten electors of the Parish an election will be held. If no such notice is given the Parish Council will fill the vacancy by co-option.

If any member of the Parish would like to be considered for co-option please contact the Parish Clerk.

Dated: 10th May 2021
Signed by the Parish Clerk
Address: 37 West Street, Great Gransden, Sandy, Beds, SG19 3AU

Minutes of Annual Meeting, 2021

posted 6 May 2021, 06:06 by N Day   [ updated 6 May 2021, 06:07 ]

The minutes of the meeting follow below, and are also available in PDF form. There are also some appendices (listed below, and referenced in the text of the minutes) that are available in PDF form:

Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 22nd April 2021

Those present were:
  • Andrew Pett, Chairman;
  • Giles Scott, Vice Chairman;
  • Catherine Fox, Clerk;
  • Peter King, Parish Councillor;
  • Michael Capps, Parish Councillor;
  • Jeff Gorton, Parish Councillor;
  • Nick Ginn, Parish Councillor;
  • James Catmur, Parish Councillor;
  • County Councillor Julie Wisson;
  • District Councillor Richard West;
and, 2 members of the public.

1. The meeting was opened at 7.30pm with a silent prayer.

2. Apologies. There were apologies from Parish Councillors Nigel Day and Lisbeth Ricciardi.

3. Minutes of the previous Annual Parish Meeting, held on 19th April 2019 had been circulated to councillors soon afterwards and were considered at the Parish Council meeting on 13th May 2019. The minutes were then approved and accordingly initialled. At this meeting the initialled minutes of 19th April 2019 were approved and accordingly signed by the chairman. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, there was no Annual Parish meeting in 2020. However, all reports from that year are available on the website.

At the invitation of the Parish Council, Rebecca Neal joined the meeting to introduce herself and her role within the Wildlife Trust at Gransden and Waresley Woods. Primarily, Ms Neal’s role will be focused on people engagement not access and management. However, it is hoped that having a named point of contact will help to alleviate communication breakdowns that have happened in the past.

4. Chairman’s Report. The Chairman spoke about the unprecedented challenges of the past year. At the start of the year in May 2020 it was agreed that all Officers of the Parish Council remain in their current roles, to ensure continuity until such time as face-to-face meetings could be resumed.

With Lockdown in place at the beginning of the year, the Bluebell-19 Group were given great assistance by Councillor Catmur in setting up a database to render support to the village. During the year there have been numerous notices on Touchbase offering help and assistance to parishioners. Special thanks were made to the Basra’s and all their staff at the Village Shop for the way in which they have provided for village needs during this time

The Neighbourhood Development Plan Steering Group has continued working hard throughout with monthly meetings, updates to the Parish Council and now most of the written sections of the report are available to read on the website. There is hope that by the fourth quarter of 2021 the plan should be ready to go to consultation. David Prest, the Chair of the group and Anne Constantine, the Secretary have been the driving forces but the whole group has worked hard towards its goal.

A survey undertaken by the NDP Group had shown that residents were keen to see improvements to road safety within the village, improved sports and leisure facilities and better access to open spaces. It has become vital to improve road safety and to that end Councillor Scott produced a compelling application for Local Highways Improvement Funding this year. The bid made the case for priority narrowing measures for both Ladies Hill and on Middle Street. The Council is still pushing for safety signs along Meadow Road to moderate speeds.

This year the Parish Council decided to raise the precept by £10,000 to allow for similar improvement measures to cope with an anticipated increase in traffic generated by the A428 upgrade and also greater usage of village facilities generated by the changes in working habits.

Flooding has been a popular theme at meetings due to one of the wettest winters in the recent past and some progress has been made on drains in Middle Street, East Street and Church Street although drains in general around the village still remain a problem, with many being completely blocked. The Parish Council continues to press for a ‘village-wide’ clearing on a regular basis.

During the year the long-time caretakers of the Reading Room retired necessitating the appointment of a new tenant for the cottage. Georgia Yarrow accepted the role of Caretaker at the Reading Room, effective 1st November, and signed a new tenancy agreement. The Reading Room Committee requested that the Parish Council consider resurfacing the car park to the rear of the Reading Room. However,the overall cost is outside the Parish budget at this point, although low level lighting is being considered for the future.

Other improvements noted this year have been:
  • Risk Assessments for the MUGA & Playing Field have been implemented in addition to the installation of plastic grass protector around the entrance to the field from Little Lane. Thanks go to Councillor King for his hard work around this.

  • A Grazing Licence for the Cemetery Extension was signed.

  • No Cycling signs were placed on Doctors Lane.

  • Various repairs were made: a broken swing and see-saw at the Park, the sign was replaced at the entrance to the field and opening & closing times have been posted on the gate.

  • The introduction of BACS and Automated payments by the Parish Council.

  • Support for improved facilities at the Sportsfield and Tennis Club. It was noted during the year that the Sportsfield is in excellent condition, with grass cutting being performed regularly and well, due to the lockdown and lack of use.

  • The renewal of the licence for the Sportsfield between the Parish Council and the GSRA in March 2021.

  • The opening of the winter walk in Gransden Woods (due to pressure from a group formed for the purpose of ensuring that the woods remained partly open for use by the village).
As usual there are many things that are ongoing causes of concern. The conclusions of the Government’s White Paper on Planning are as yet unknown and the Sand Road development (now named Dutton Gardens) has been a constant source of nuisance for the Council and the village in general. Enforcement action has been imposed on the developer, Hayfield Homes, by HDC for frequent breaches of the Planning Agreements.

The number of Consultations seems to have proliferated this year, all of which are of vital importance for Great Gransden. These are:
  • A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet,
  • East West Rail with the route corridor.
  • The holding/stack consultation for Luton airport.
The Tree survey, now done annually, was undertaken in early 2021 and planning applications are now with HDC for permission to do the required works. Thanks go to Councillor Capps, who has taken the lead in checking the works needed.

Finally, Councillor Julie Wisson was thanked for always been extremely informative and helpful in opening doors for the Parish Council on County matters such as Highways & Drains. Councillor Richard West was thanked for attending all the Parish Council meetings and for fielding a tide of complaints about the Planning at HDC with great forbearance. His wholehearted support for this village is well documented and very much appreciated. The Chairman expressed thanks to all his fellow Parish Councillors, especially Councillor Gorton who is due to retire this year after 27 years’ service to the Parish Council. Finally, thanks were given to all other Councillors who have worked hard all year to maintain the very high standards of this Council and village, and to the Clerk for her hard work and assistance. Councillor Capps expressed his confidence and thanks to the Chairman on behalf of his fellow councillors.

5. County Councillor Julie Wisson reported that during the last 12 months, officers at all councils were deployed to pick up roles in areas that were needed in the emergency, such as contacting residents that were shielding and distributing food parcels. The service director for Education Jonathan Lewis has been praised for his role in keeping communication open with all schools in the county and interpreting government guidance for schools whilst education settings came to grips with Covid lockdowns and providing an educational setting for key workers children.

The preferred route for the A428 has now been submitted in detail with plans for junctions, borrow pits and compounds to the Planning Inspectorate and is available to be seen on the PINS website. a decision from the government is expected later this year with a construction start date in 2022.

There is now further clarity on the 5 route options for an east West rail link between Oxford and Cambridge and the 6 possible stations. The preferred routes are the most northern routes keeping the infrastructure in one travel corridor with the railway and the new A428, to be named A421 once opened.

Later this year the county council will be moving to their new hub at Alconbury Weald named New Shire Hall away from Shire Hall in Cambridge; making the building more accessible to residents.

Finally, Cllr Wisson thanked Parish councillors and District Councillor West for their continued support

6. District Councillor Richard West spoke about his roles at the district council have the role of (Chairman of the Employment Committee, and Chairman of Hinchingbrooke Country Park Joint Group working with Cambridgeshire County Council).

Councillor West is also a member of the Corporate Governance Committee and member of Licensing Committee / Licensing Protection Committee.

Councillor West felt that service levels at district level had been a cause for concern. However, the district council are investing in equipment and staff to reduce and improve waiting times for the telephone to be answered. The planning service have had a change of leadership and senior management. This is expected to further improve service delivery to meet the expectations of both applicants and residents.

Councillor West passed on his sincere thanks to Cambridgeshire County Councillor Julie Wisson for her dedicated and balanced support during her time on the council, wishing her a very happy retirement,

Similarly, Councillor West thanked Councillor Gorton for his tireless service in the best interests of village residents – also wishing him a very happy retirement.

His report is filed hereafter as Appendix No. 2.

7. Financial Statement. The clerk’s summary for the year had been circulated. The summary is filed hereafter as Appendix No. 3.

8. The Poor’s Land Charity. The Chairman reported that there had been one new request this year for financial assistance with 5 villagers now receiving 5 payments per annum at a total overall cost to the Charity of £3375. Various grants had also been made to village organisations including the Tennis Club, Gransden Foxes, the PCC at the Parish Church and other Great Gransden activities. The trustees are the Chairman, Councillor Scott and Councillor Gorton who had met on 3 occasions discussing the objects of the charity and its income which is available for the benefit of Great Gransden residents. The charity has a moderate risk strategy and the trustees are guided by the charity’s financial advisor.

The aim in the long term is to grow capital and maintain income. The strategy and active ongoing daily management has helped to protect the portfolio in what are unprecedented times and the recovery to date further demonstrates the necessity to remain invested through difficult times rather than to try and time the markets.

Trustees have analysed the performance of the investments over the last 6 and 12 months. The portfolio has shown a strong recovery from the lows experienced immediately after the COVID 19 lockdowns in 2020 and, pleasingly, is now standing above the levels at the end of December 2019 (£455,723) prior to the pandemic. Over the 6 and 12 months to 1st April 2021, net of fees and all underlying portfolios costs, the investments increased in value by 7.1% and 21.9% respectively.

The target Income yield for Poor’s Land is c2.5% with Capital Growth in addition to this, albeit the income yield has fallen somewhat below 2% given the pandemic and economic uncertainty this year.

9. The Parish Council Cemetery. Jeff Gorton presented the report that is filed as Appendix No. 4. The grass cutting within the cemetery was excellent last year. This year, the Parish Council have decided to use an alternative contractor who also services Abbotsley cemetery to a good standard. The first cut has now taken place, and all seems well. The Memorial Garden continues to be well maintained, but it will be necessary to look to replace the boundary dwarf privet hedging around the garden since numerous shrubs have succumbed to privet blight and a more sustainable shrub type may have to be substituted. The heavy rain during winter has caused flooding on the banks of the brook that divides the cemetery and the graveyard, and flotsam had blocked the watercourse in a number of places. A work party successfully cleared the obstructions so that water flow is now satisfactory. However. the rear fencing to Rectory Farm has collapsed towards the brook, and a tree on their land has also fallen and is bridging the brook. The retaining wall at the side of the brook (cemetery side) near the bridge is showing signs of breaking up, and is starting to lean. Should this collapse, it will cause a major blockage. During the next 12 months this retaining wall needs to be examined by a structural engineer, and remedial action taken. The agreement between the Parish Council and the owners of the Dole Field, to acquire a strip of land adjacent to the cemetery for a cemetery extension, has now been finalised although the additional land will not be required for a number of years.

10. Reading Room Management Committee. Peter King read out the report prepared by Anne Constantine on behalf of the Reading Room Management Committee. The report is filed as Appendix No. 5 together with the accounts. The pandemic has had a devastating effect on activity in the Reading Room. Full closure was required in the first lockdown and only childcare activity allowed in subsequent lockdowns. A full COVID risk assessment was drawn up and approved by the Management Committee in July to enable limited re-opening for Barneys Club. The Club made use of the Reading Room and the school (for different ‘bubbles’) for a short while when parents went back to their workplaces but subsequent restrictions led to a drop in numbers which made continuation unviable.

In theory lettings were possible in the early autumn but numbers were limited to 14 because of the distancing rules and only one small letting took place in addition to Barneys. Hirers were obliged to sign an addendum to the hiring agreement confirming adherence to the COVID measures set out in the risk assessment. The Management Committee will consider how something similar needs to be explicit in the hire agreement itself in future.

Lettings income was £4968.70 in 2020 compared to £9,236 in 2019 and £7,837 in 2018 (affected by summer closure for re-thatching). This substantial loss of lettings income was entirely due to COVID and the enforced closure of village halls and will continue into 2021. It is not known when village halls will be able to re-open or return to normal or whether the experience of COVID will have a longer-term effect on hiring. The Management Committee will devise a marketing strategy for the Reading Room and ensure that the highest standards of hygiene remain in place permanently to reassure potential users.

Huntingdonshire District Council has been providing businesses forced to close with financial support for loss of income and village halls have been included in this. The Reading Room received £11,334 in support from HDC in 2020 and has already been notified of further support for 2021.

11. The Gransden Sportsfield and Recreational Association. Councillor Ginn summarised the main points taken from the minutes of the AGM of the GSRA held on 31st March 2021. These minutes along with the unaudited accounts are filed as Appendix No. 6.

Currently, there is approximately £46,000 in the bank. The Committee wants to keep a reserve fund to cover 2 years’ expenditure (approx. £20,000). £10,000 has been committed to the tennis club to support the installation of a new toilet block. Approximately £5000.00 is needed for new security gate, pending finalisation of details.

The remaining amount (circa £15,000) is available for other projects. Options include car park repair, field drainage, outdoor gym etc.

12. The Gransdens Allotment and Leisure Gardeners Society. In Deb Greenland’s absence, Jeff Gorton presented the report that is filed as Appendix No 7. There have been some changes to plot assignment this year as some people moved on, and new members joined. All plots are allocated at this time, and there are few people on the waiting list. It is expected that some plots (or half plots) will become available in the Summer. The Autumn 2020 Risk Assessment was conducted and, apart from the need to keep abreast of compost bin turning to disrupt vermin, things have improved. The Pest Controller from HDC was called out twice last year.

There being no other business this meeting was closed at 8.19pm.

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