Minutes 1st June 2023

Minutes Uploaded on June 13, 2023

Minutes of Castor Parish Council Meeting

Held on Thursday 1st June 2023 at 7.00pm in the Cedar Centre

  • PRESENT: Neil Boyce (Chairman), Cllr. Richard Anker, Cllr. William Baxter, Cllr. Steve Davies, Cllr David Shaw, Cllr. Terry Young. Four members of the public were also in attendance, along with two representatives from the Cambridgeshire Police.


  • APOLOGIES – Fiona Rowlands sent apologies due to a prior family commitment. In addition, Cllr. Dennis Surgeon had been given extended leave of absence for 6 months.


  • DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – Anker declared an interest, as an allotment holder, in the matters on the agenda related to the allotments.


  • MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS – We unanimously RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the previous meeting, held on Monday 2nd March 2023 -. These were duly signed by the chairman.

Proposed Cllr. David Shaw and seconded Cllr. William Baxter


  • Matters arising from the previous minutes. –
    1. The Clerk reported that the Annual Return had been sent to the external auditors PKF Littlejohn.
    2. The Clerk reported that the Rialtas accounting software is due to be installed on 11th July
  • The chairman passed a cheque from the mayor for £2000 for some rural transport.


  • Public Forum – Two residents raised an incident with the police which is under investigation and also asked the parish council to consider CCTV preferably with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) to combat both speeding and antisocial / criminal behaviour. Bainton has such a system and there are issues to be resolved about the data usage. We agreed to have CCTV on our next agenda. Cllr Shaw also suggested using Facebook to seek volunteers in order to reinvigorate the local Neighbourhood Watch group.


  • Additions to Councillors Responsibilities – We acknowledged that we did not include the Nature Recovery Project in the list of Councillors responsibilities approved at the previous meeting. We agreed that this should be added to the list and allocated to Cllrs. Fiona Rowlands and Cllr. Richard Anker


  • PLANNING and associated matters


  1. Joint Community Action Plan (JCAP) – John Hodder reminded us that the plan would be reviewed at the meeting with Ailsworth parish Council in July. He also suggested that the plan included matters which could be considered for early attention, such as 2.3 Water Harvesting; 3.2 School Travel Plan; 4.4 Parish Walk and 4.5 litter picks. We observed that some of these were already being actioned as part of the Nature recovery Project


  1. Neighbourhood Planning (NP) – David Shaw reported that action on this is at a standstill as the City Council are not providing resources for NP’s. The chairman reported that he is to meet with Adrian Chapman and will emphasise the statutory responsibility placed on the City Council to allocate resources to assist communities to develop and update these plans


  1. Status report – The clerk reported that the only change to the previous report is the approval of the tree works at Polls Yard


  1. Planning applications


  1. 23/00691/CTR3 Green Farm Close English Oak remove to ground level and treat stump to prevent regrowth – We noted that the reports accompanying the application are inconclusive that the damage to property is caused by the oak and recommends the engineer consider the possibility of ground heave. It is suggested that the situation be monitored to obtain conclusive results. For our part we would ask that the tree officer consider a tree preservation order.


  1. Woodlands – Standing Item – Shaw reported that Sport England had lodged a robust objection to the Nene Park Trust planning application. The Football Foundation are also opposed to smaller pitches within larger pitches. We noted that there is still no response to our formal approach on the suggested land swap proposal. We considered that it is now appropriate to write again to the Chief Executive of Peterborough City Council regarding that proposal.
    1. Tennis Courts and Bowling Green. No response from Country Court Care to our formal approach.
    2. Anticipated Planning application by the Tennis Club – we have no further indications of any planning application being forthcoming from the Castor and Ailsworth Tennis Club




  1. Cricket Club Lease – Club representatives were present and introduced additional topics. One related to parking issues at the tournament to be held on 8th and 9th July with the suggestion to allow parking on the cricket field to avoid issues in Splash Lane and Port Lane. Some Cllrs. provided some informal comment.

The club also asked for approval to an electronic scoreboard. We informed the Club that they need to give notice for these matters to be included in the agenda to meet the legal requirements of our meetings. In respect of the scoreboard, we will require a graphic representation and a plan showing the proposed location and the matter to be considered formally at a future meeting.

In respect of the revised lease; we considered the suggested heads of terms put forward by the club and advised the representatives that many of these could not be agreed. Parish Council has legal obligations in respect of land leases and must obtain best value. Furthermore, the lease would need to be a full repairing lease. We noted that two other parish councils had recently agreed cricket club leases and that these could be used to form the basis for tailoring for our purpose by an informal meeting of parish councillors before submission to a solicitor acting on our behalf. We agreed to seek quotes from solicitors that specialise in services to parish councils and informed the club that they should also look to appoint their own solicitor.


  1. Land Search by Peterborough Society of Model Engineers. We considered an emailed request from the society for land for their model railway. We considered the requirements for parking, power supply and water and concluded that we do not have appropriate land to meet the society’s needs.


  • Ferryfields – We accepted the tender figure of £395 submitted by NJ Pacey in respect of work around the area of the Standing Stones. In addition, we asked that a further quote be obtained to install a drainage pipe to cure the issue of standing water in the area.

Proposed Cllr. William Baxter   Seconded Cllr. David Shaw


  • Parish Councillor Observations –
    1. Allotment 2a – Terry Young referred to the lack of cultivation of this plot and that this had not changed in the last three years. We RESOLVED to issue notice to the allotment holder that the tenancy would not be renewed in October and would be offered to someone on the waiting list at that time.

Proposed Cllr. David Shaw Seconded Cllr. William Baxter


  1. Pond maintenance – Anker referred to the previous agreement to pay Gary Archer £250 for the pond maintenance, but this work had been done by Mike Horne. We RESOLVED that this should be paid to Mike Horne.


  1. Tweentowns – Anker reported that although the fencing had been agreed in advance with the tenants, posts at the entrance have been removed. We considered this to be unacceptable and added to the issues at this site. We asked that the future of Tweentowns be on the agenda for the next meeting with the possibility of establishing a small forest being considered


  • HIGHWAYS – No Matters considered


  • Community MATTERS –


  1. Joint Parish Liaison Group (JPLG) – We approved the draft agenda circulated by John Hodder for the meeting to be held on 13th July in Castor Village Hall.


  1. Langdyke Trust – Nature Recovery Project (NRP) – Boyce referred to an email from the Vice Chairman regarding developments of the project. There was a poor attendance at the coppice open day. Mike Horne had installed the irrigation bags on the planted Oaks in the paddock Splash Lane and measurements taken for gates at the site. Other matters in the email had been covered elsewhere on the agenda.


  1. Standing Stones & Information Boards – Baxter reported some progress in that Nigel Blatchford had proof read the signs and made a number of alterations.


  1. Castor & Ailsworth Fete – 8th July – The Chairman reported that he had requested two adjacent pitches for gazebos for the parish council and the Good Neighbours scheme. Council material to be displayed on Neighbourhood Watch, Nature recovery Project and promoting eCops at the request of the officer’s present at our meeting.


  • Governance Matters – Banking arrangements – The Clerk informed us of the balances held in our accounts at Unity Trust Bank and Metro bank on 95day notice. We considered the balances available for immediate access at Unity trust bank were adequate for the time being and agreed to regular monitoring at future meetings.


  • official announcements & CORRESPONDENCE. –


  1. City Council scrutiny committees – co-option of parish councillors Cllr Boyce drew our attention to the deadline for nominations if any councillor wished to express an interest in being nominated to any of the vacancies.


  1. Feedback from PCSO visit – issues raised with the PCSO’s were parking, speeding and anti-social behaviour.


  1. Former Cllr Greene had written to thank Councillors for the generosity of her leaving gift and expressed good wishes.


  1. Fire Damage in the play park – We noted that this was the subject of police enquiries, that the Clerk had informed our insurers of a potential Claim and that enquiries had been made to obtain prices to clear the fire damaged material and reinstate the play equipment. In the interim the site has been fenced off and closed for safety reasons


  • Future Agenda Items
    1. Review of Cricket Club Lease
    2. Tweentowns
  • Banking


  • Date of next meeting – The Clerk Informed us of his absence on the date scheduled for our next meeting and the alternative of appointing a locum Clerk for the meeting. We confirmed that the next meeting is to be rescheduled to the revised date of 20th



Clerk & RFO 7th June 2023


Meeting Closed at 9.47pm



Approved by Castor Parish Council
Signature of Chairman

of approving meeting:

  20th July 2023