Minutes of Castor Parish Council Meeting
Held on Thursday 12th May , 2022 at 7.30pm in the Cedar Centre
- PRESENT: Neil Boyce (Chairman), Cllr. Richard Anker, Cllr. Steve Davies, Cllr. Jane Greene, Cllr David Shaw, Cllr Dennis Surgeon, Cllr. Terry Young. Cllr. William Baxter following Co-option see minute 601 below. Two members of the public were also in attendance.
ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN – There being no other nominations Cllr. Neil Boyce was elected as Chairman for the coming year.
Proposed Cllr David Shaw Seconded Cllr. Richard Anker
DECLARATION OF ACCEPTANCE OF OFFICE – Cllr. Neil Boyce duly signed the acceptance of Office of Chairman, which is retained by the Clerk.
DECLARATION OF ACCEPTANCE OF OFFICE – All councillors present had signed their forms in the presence of the clerk prior to the start of the meeting.
ELECTION OF VICE CHAIRMAN – There being no other nominations Cllr Fiona Rowlands was elected as Vice Chairman in her absence.
Proposed Cllr. Neil Boyce Seconded Cllr. Jane Greene
Co-Option to Vacancy – We noted the outcome of the unopposed election and that eight Councillors had been elected to the parish council which has 9 seats. The chairman welcomed new Councillor Terry Young to his first meeting. We RESOLVED to co-opt former Councillor William Baxter to the vacant seat on the Parish Council with immediate effect.
Proposed Cllr. Neil Boyce Seconded Cllr. Dennis Surgeon
apologies for absence – Fiona Rowlands sent apologies as away from Peterborough at the time of the meeting.
declarations of interest on items on this agenda – None declared.
Minutes of the previous meeting – We Unanimously RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 7th April. The minutes were duly signed by the chairman.
Proposed Cllr. David Shaw Seconded Cllr. Steve Davies
Matters arising from the minutes of the previous meetings – None
PUBLIC FORUM – There were no matters raised by the two members of the public present.
- STANDING ORDERS – We RESOLVED to confirm our Standing Orders in their present form
Proposed Cllr. Neil Boyce Seconded Cllr. William Baxter
- FINANCIAL REGULATIONS and INTERNET BANKING PROCESS. – We considered that both these documents have served us well and we RESOLVED to confirm them in their present form without amendment.
Proposed Cllr. William Baxter Seconded Cllr. Richard Anker
- CODE OF CONDUCT – We reaffirmed our commitment to the code of conduct based on the statutory code.
Proposed Cllr. Richard Anker Seconded Cllr. Jane Greene
- GENERAL POWER OF COMPETENCE (GPoC) – We considered the enhanced capability of the parish council by adopting the GPOC made available in the Localism Act. We meet all the required criteria; our Clerk has a qualification listed in the legislation and we RESOLVED unanimously to adopt the General Power of Competence.
Proposed Cllr. Neil Boyce Seconded Cllr. Dennis Surgeon
- REVIEW OF POLICIES & CODES OF PRACTICE– We considered the policies listed below and RESOLVED to confirm them in their present form. Furthermore, we expressed our gratitude to Cllr. Steve Davies for agreeing to conduct a review of each one and bring them to us, one at a time, to future meetings of the parish council with recommendations for re-affirmation or with amendment(s) for our consideration.
- Complaints procedure
- Publications policy
- GDPR requirements and privacy statement
- Employment policies and procedures
- Grievance procedure
- Disciplinary procedure
- Data protection policies
Proposed Cllr. David Shaw Seconded Cllr. Richard Anker
- REVIEW OF RESPONSIBILITIES AND REPRESENTATION ON, OR WORK WITH, EXTERNAL BODIES We considered each of the following allocations of responsibility and the changed composition of the parish council. We each agreed to the responsibilities allocated to us as follows:
- Land and tree matters: (Steve Davies and William Baxter)
- Neighbourhood Planning: (Fiona Rowlands, and David Shaw)
- Parish Liaison: (Neil Boyce and the clerk) incl. PCC Scrutiny (Neil Boyce)
- Allotments: (Jane Greene and Terry Young)
- School Liaison & Children & Young People: (Steve Davies and Jane Greene)
- Village Hall: (Richard Anker and Dennis Surgeon)
- Northey & Wright Charity: (William Baxter)
- Police Matters: (Neil Boyce and Richard Anker)
- Caspra: (Richard Anker and Fiona Rowlands)
- Council & church cohesion: (Neil Boyce and William Baxter)
- Good neighbour scheme: (Neil Boyce and William Baxter)
- Media/information/website (Jane Greene, Fiona Rowlands and the clerk)
- Internal Finance: (The clerk as Responsible Financial Officer)
- Governance & HR (Neil Boyce and the clerk)
- Rural Services Network (Steve Davies)
- Tribune (Fiona Rowlands and Steve Davies)
- Climate Change Action Group (David Shaw and Neil Boyce)
- S106 Projects co-ordination / Langdyke Trust (Fiona Rowlands, Richard Anker and Neil Boyce)
- PLANNING and associated matters:
- Joint community Action Plan – We noted that this action plan would be the subject of further discussion at our next meeting with representatives of Ailsworth Parish Council
- Neighbourhood planning (NP) – Shaw advised us that the Minister is suggesting that there may be some changes in Planning Regulations and that being the case we consider it advisable to await further information before embarking on a review of our NP. Cllr. Shaw undertook to monitor the position and to update us as and when there is anything to report.
- Status report – we noted the contents of the updated report presented by the Clerk.
Planning Applications –
22/00547/HHFUL – Castor Heights Peterborough Road – Construction of open walled pavilion – We had before us the information available on the planning portal and noted that the proposed structure is to the rear of the property and not visible from the road. We had no observations to make to the planning authority.
Woodlands Development – Shaw reported that he had spoken to our MP. He had thanked the parish council for the valued support to our community throughout the Covid pandemic. Shailesh is totally supportive of the views of the parish council in considering all the proposals for development of the site. We considered the potential advantages to ourselves and to Nene Park Trust (NPT) if a land swap could be agreed and Cllr, Shaw had drafted a letter which he would circulate. Subject to a general consensus the Clerk would send the letter to the Chairman of NPT, copied to the Chief Executives of both NPT and the City Council.
Land and Allotments –
Fallen Tree – Baxter reported that Aragon had provided a quote of £4-5k for removal of the tree and that the city council had insufficient resources to carry out the work. The city council looked to the parish council to contribute to the cost. We deferred making a decision as we felt the quote was unnecessarily high. Cllr. William Baxter undertook to seek some more competitive quotes
Parish Walk 30th April 2022 – We noted the content of the report prepared by Cllr. Baxter. We thanked Cllrs. William Baxter, Richard Anker, Fiona Rowland and Terry Young for undertaking all or part of the walk. We agreed to pursue the issues raised in the report in as far as feasible. In particular to request the Highway authority to remove the multiple signs left behind around the village after previous works. We also agreed to request the “20” roundels to be painted on the Peterborough Road, together with the markings on the Splash Lane speed humps and the “AHEAD ONLY” markings on the exit road to the A47before the slip road in to the village.
- HIGHWAYS & Public Rights of Way – Other than the matters raised in the previous item we had no further observations to make at this time.
- Community Matters:
- Joint Parish Liaison Group (JPLG) – As some of our Councillors anticipated absence in the near future, we agreed to request that the joint meeting be re-arranged for after the Jubilee celebrations and suggested Wednesday 8th
Langdyke Trust Wildlife Recovery Project – Richard Anker reported that the fencing work is imminent, Ferryfields work would follow shortly afterwards. Cllr. Jane Greene reported the activities of some youths and the damage caused to the wildlife pond at the Community Allotment site. We agreed the “Look don’t Touch” signs would be appropriate on the fence around the pond
Queens Platinum Jubilee –
- Commemorative Tree – Jane Greene reported that Aragon had quoted £140 to plant the tree and in doing so to use equipment to ensure that there are no underground utility services where the tree is to be planted. Cllr Boyce also reported the concerns of a neighbour regarding the potential damage to his wall. We are to ask the tree officer to be present on site with Aragon and ourselves to ensure that all the concerns and risks are addressed.
Castor in Bloom – Cllr. Jane Greene reported that the Planters had been well received with all feedback so far positive.
- Beacon Project – The parish council had acquired the Beacon which is in the possession of Cllr. William Baxter. The beacon will be lit in the grounds of St Kyneburgha church and managed by the parochial Church Council.
- Programme of events & Publicity – We noted the ambitious programme of events and thanked the members of the events working group for pulling this all together. We also noted the comprehensive risk assessments carried out for the event and the safety measures being put in place. We will ensure that Ailsworth parish council are content for the parade to start from their land and the parade to proceed along Peterborough Road to the main venue on the school field.
- Insurance – The Clerk undertook to seek assurance from our insurance brokers that the detailed safety measures and risk assessments were satisfactory to ensure that our public liability exposure is covered and also to enquire about event cancellation insurance and at what extra premium might be required.
- Standing Stones
- visibility and security update – We Noted that all the clearance work had been done and the whole site greatly enhance as a result. We are none the less aware that conditions need to be monitored to ensure no deterioration.
- Water Leak – The position remains unchanged and investigations continuing
- Information boards – work in progress
Play area Equipment maintenance – The Chairman reported that he had been in touch with KOMPAN as installers of the play equipment. The company will provide a report on the causes of the roundabout issues and the work required to address the issues.
Peterborough Parishes Conference – Environmental theme – The Chairman and Clerk reported on the program for the conference and urged those wishing to attend to register for a place as there is a limitation on the number of places
- Castor and Ailsworth Fete – We agreed to have our usual Gazebo Stand with the Nature Recovery material on display which will also be used at the parish council conference. There will also possibly be material from the Good Neighbours Scheme and the potential to consult on Neighbourhood plan revisions.
- Financial Accounts – The Clerk as Responsible Finance Office presented a set of accounts prepared on the receipts and payments basis as expected of a parish council of our size. We noted that despite an increase in receipts over the previous year, Payments in the year exceeded Receipts by £9540.74. A significant factor was payments for a footpath which is to be funded by receipts of a like sum in the next financial year. We RESOLVED to accept the financial accounts as presented us and noted that they had been subjected to internal audit (see later minute) and will be subject to external audit
- Proposed Cllr. William Baxter Seconded Cllr. Richard Anker
- Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) – Accounting Statement 2021/22 – on the basis of the financial accounts (Referred to in the previous minute) We RESOLVED to approve the statement for inclusion in the Annual Governance and Accountability Return.
- Proposed Cllr. David Shaw Seconded Cllr. Dennis Surgeon
- Public rights of Inspection – The Clerk as Responsible Financial Officer reported that he had set the dates for the period for the exercise of Public Rights of Inspections as Monday 13th June to Friday 22nd July.
- Internal Audit – We noted that the Internal audit had been completed and the relevant section of the AGAR had been completed by David Lane. We thanked David for his work on our financial records and RESOLVED to approve payment to him of the fee of £175.
- Proposed Cllr. Richard Anker Seconded Cllr. Neil Boyce
- Metro Bank Deposit Account – The clerk reported that movement of the funds held in the Metro bank to a 95day notice account earning a higher rate of interest had been completed following completion of the banks paperwork by Cllrs William Baxter and Steve Davies and the Clerk.
- Grants for Financial assistance – We RESOLVED to approve the request of the Climate Change Action Group for a grant of £636 for the coming year.
- Proposed Cllr David Shaw Seconded Cllr. Neil Boyce
- Clerks Salary – We noted that the National Association of Local Councils had negotiated a Pay Award 2021/22 for local council staff backdated to 1st April 2021 – we also approved the action of the chairman in authorising implementation of the pay award in full in line with the resolution on the Clerks Salary made in 2020. (Minute 336 November 2020 refers).
- Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) – We RESOLVED to continue the Practice of previous years in sharing with Glinton Parish Council the cost of the Clerks membership fee of SLCC and noted that many of the SLCC events were open to councillors as well as Clerks.
official announcements, correspondence of note, notices, or; reports from chairman, clerk, or councillors. There were no reports or notices brought to our attention other than those covered elsewhere in these minutes.
- Future agenda items – No additional suggestions made
- Date of Next Meeting – We noted that the scheduled date of the next meeting, Thursday 2nd June, 2022 is a bank holiday and part of Queen Elizabeth 2nd Jubilee Celebrations. We therefore agreed to rearrange the date of the next meeting to Thursday June 9th. Cllr. Dennis Surgeon tendered his apologies as being unable to attend on the rescheduled date
- There being no further business the chairman closed the meeting at 9.25pm.
Clerk & RFO 20th May, 2022