Minutes of the Meeting of Great & Little Gidding Parish Council held on Tuesday 15th March 2016 at 7:30pm

Present: Cllrs A Alexander (Chair), L James (Vice-Chair), R Hayden, P Hodson, R Giddens and E Richmond

In Attendance: L Ellis (Clerk), County Cllr S Bywater, District Cllr D Tuplin, R Gilbody (from 8:06pm) and two members of the public

CCC = Cambridgeshire County Council
HDC = Huntingdon District Council
PC = Parish Council

18.16 Chairman’s Welcome
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.

19.16 Apologies and reason for absence

20.16 Declaration of acceptance of office for Elaine Richmond
The declaration of acceptance of office was duly signed by Cllr Elaine Richmond. The Chairman welcomed Elaine to the meeting as a Councillor.

21.16 Member’s declaration of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

22.16 Public and press participation session with respect to items on the agenda

23.16 To confirm and accept minutes of meeting held on 16th February 2016
To take the minutes as read and approve them as a true and accurate record. Proposed by Cllr James and seconded by Cllr Hodson. The minutes were then duly signed by the Chairman.

24.16 Matters arising from minutes
Council considered the two quotations that had been presented for roof alarms for St Michael’s Church. It was agreed that as the Church is an historical building in the village that the Council should help financially. It was noted that fund raising events were being held.
Council agreed a one off grant of £450 from S137 funds.

25.16 Communication from Councillors
Cllr Tuplin reported that at their last meeting HDC had discussed devolution and it had been suggested, without discussion, that HDC should join their services with Norfolk and Suffolk. However a better option would be to join with Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire or Northamptonshire but this has not been offered as an option.

Cllr Bywater reported that the CCC Leader has replied that they are in favour of the idea but the devil is in the detail. Feedback is that County Cllrs need more information on the subject. If the proposal proceeds a Mayor would need to be elected for the whole area, it would also be likely that the Mayor would take over the responsibility for the Police & Crime Commissioner and the Fire Authority.

The Chairman asked Cllr Tuplin to comment on the letter the PC had received from HDC on the litter bin audit and who decides on how many bins a village should have. Cllr Tuplin replied that he did not know the answer.

Council agreed that bins GtG3 and GtG4 belong to the PC and that bins GtG1, GtG2 and GtG5 are the responsibility of HDC. The Clerk to advice HDC accordingly.

Cllr Tuplin left the meeting at this juncture (7:52pm)

Cllr Bywater reported that:-
CCC had held an extremely long meeting and had agreed an increase in Council Tax of 2% but it is ring fenced for adult social care. Tough decisions were made by Members, more partnership working and sharing ideas with Parishes were discussed. The mobile library service is crucial for the elderly as a lifeline and this service is secure which was excellent news;
the Fire Authority were currently recruiting a new Chief Fire Officer and that he was on the interview panel. Incidents and call-outs are falling with RTAs and fires reducing; with the Boundary Commission’s changes next year Sawtry would be grouped with Stilton and that Great & Little Gidding would be grouped with Kimbolton and Alconbury and that the County Cllr would therefore be responsible for 24 Parishes. Cllr Bywater stated that he would keep fighting the cause and
there is a Covenant between local communities and commercial vehicle operators in Cambridgeshire to reduce noise, pollution and increase safety, this is being supported by CCC. This has been developed for the benefit of local parishes and community groups who were concerned by the impact lorries and other large vehicles were having on their villages.

Cllr Bywater left the meeting at this juncture (8:05pm)

Cllr Giddens reported that all of the footpaths and bridleways are very wet at present.

Cllr James reported that the trees in Gains Lane have been trimmed.

26.16 Request for S137 funding for horse warning road signs
The Chairman reported that a request had been received from a resident for S137 funding to install signs to warn motorists about horses on the road in the village.
Cllr James agreed to approach Cambridgeshire Highways for clarification on actual costs and to ascertain their position on the matter. It was also agreed that Cllr James would contact Milton Estates, in her capacity as a resident, to ask them to consider donating towards the purchase and installation of warning signs.

27.16 Request for funding from the Village Show Committee
It was noted that a request for funding of £150 had been received for the Village Show. All agreed that last years’ event was good and it should be supported by a grant of £150.

28.16 Request from HACT to attend a Council meeting
It was agreed that HACT should be invited to attend and present at the Annual Parish Meeting on 10th May 2016.

29.16 To discuss the demolition of a historic building in a conservation area
Cllr James reported that she had witnessed a JCB demolishing a building in Brick Yard field. The Planning Officers have stated that it was outside the conservation area and this work was permissible. With hindsight the building should have been protected.

30.16 To consider the HDC audit of litter bins and proposed charges
Council considered the correspondence received relating to the audit of litter bins undertaken by HDC. It was agreed that the Clerk should respond to the letter stating that GtG5 is under the ownership of HDC and that GtG 3 & 4 are the PCs. The Council agreed not to pay any charges for emptying these bins and they will be monitored with a decision taken at a later date on whether to remove them or not.

31.16 To discuss the flooding on the dyke on Luddington Road
It was noted that water was still flowing over the road, it does not appear that the dyke has been emptied. The Clerk to write to Jolliff Daking who are the agents for the Church Commission.

32.16 To discuss hunt meet horse boxes parked on Main Street & Mill Road
Cllr Giddens reported that she had spoken to Henry Hill and he has agreed to approach the drag hunt and other hunts to request that they park safely and with due care to residents. Also, for the followers not to block the roads.

33.16 Correspondence
Correspondence was duly noted. The Clerk offered her assistance to Councillors in completing the HDC election nomination documentation.
Council agreed to contribute £100 towards the Big Lunch event on 12th June 2016.

34.16 Finance:
a)Payment of accounts
£42.12 – A Alexander(100940)
£305.21 – Salaries (100941)

Receipts: £347.33 VAT refund
All payments were unanimously approved and all associated documentation was initialled by two signatories.
Cllr Hodson reported that he had reconciled the bank account balance however it would appear that the cheque for the speedwatch signs had not been raised.
Council considered the Financial Risk Assessment produced by the Clerk. It was agreed that the risk assessment be adopted. It was also agreed that the Clerk obtain a costing for the internal audit of the 2015/16 accounts.

35.16 Items for discussion at the April meeting
Volunteers and funding for a new speedwatch monitor c£2,500
Review of office equipment
Clarion production

36.16 Date of next meeting
Tuesday 19th April 2016

Meeting closed The Chairman thanked everyone for attending, the meeting then closed at 8:55pm

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