Minutes 1st September 2022

Minutes Uploaded on September 5, 2022

Minutes of Castor Parish Council Meeting

Held on Thursday 1st September, 2022 at 7.30pm in the Cedar Centre



  • PRESENT: Neil Boyce (Chairman), Cllr. Richard Anker, Cllr. William Baxter, Cllr. Steve Davies, Cllr. Jane Greene, Cllr. Fiona Rowlands, Cllr David Shaw, Cllr Dennis Surgeon, Cllr. Terry Young. three members of the public were also in attendance.


  • APOLOGIES – None, all present.


  • DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – Cllrs Richard Anker and Jane Greene as Allotment holders declared an interest in the allotment item on the agenda. Cllr Baxter declared an interest in the application for tree works at 55 Peterborough Road.


  • MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS – Jane Greene pointed out the misspelling of her name in minute 641. The Clerk undertook to make the correction in the published minutes. With that correction, we unanimously RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the previous meeting, held on 7th July, 2022 -. These were duly signed by the chairman.

Proposed Cllr. Dennis Surgeon and seconded Cllr. Fiona Rowlands


  • Matters arising from the previous minutes. –


  • Public Forum – City Councillor Mohammad Farooq spoke on matters of interest to the parish of Castor including the Boundary Commission Review and the attendance before the commission in support of the Parish council views to remain in the present parliamentary constituency. Other matters to which he referred included meeting the cabinet member Steve Allen about NPT and Parish land, distribution of the Village Tribune and the school tree impacting the view of St Kyneburgha church.



  • PLANNING and associated matters


  1. Joint Community Action Plan (JCAP) – John Hodder pointed out that the council website still had the latest draft version whereas this had been approved by both parish councils and should be replaced by a version headed up as Agreed. The Clerk responded that apart from the heading and highlights, the content was the same, but he undertook to replace the version on the website.


  1. Neighbourhood Planning (NP) – Cllr David Shaw reported that he and John Hodder had met with the city council planning officer Phil Hylton to explore need and extent of review of the NP. In essence we have three options, (1) to fully examine the content and if considered still relevant, to resolve that was the case (not recommended), (2) to fully examine the content and to clarify any terminology and content in the light of developments since the plan was drafted (recommended). Such revisions would need to be approved by the city council and be subject to examination by an inspector. (3) We could embark on drafting a completely new NP, in which case we would have to follow all consultation steps in the process. Cllr. Shaw undertook to conduct an initial review and bring suggested changes back to a future meeting.


  1. Status report – the Clerk reported the three cases where planning conditions had been Discharged, noting that applications to discharge planning conditions were not matters where the parish council are consulted.




  1. Planning applications


  1. 22/00667/HHFUL 10 Allotment Lane – Replacement of original Pagoda – We noted that we had considered this application at our July meeting and were of the opinion that the plans were inadequate and that the application should be REFUSED unless more suitable plans were submitted. We expressed oud disappointment that no revised plans were available on the planning portal and re-affirmed our observations expressed at the July meeting.


  1. 22/01093/CTR – 55 Peterborough Road – Various tree works including felling one pine tree. We had access to all information on the planning portal and on careful consideration had NO OBJECTION to make to the planning authority.


  • 22/01136/TRE – “Woodlands” Peterborough Road (not to be confused with the “Woodland“ site in Splash Lane). Revocation of a tree preservation order and felling of a hybrid Black Poplar. We again had access to all information on the planning portal and on careful consideration had NO OBJECTION to make to the planning authority.


  1. 22/01097/HHFUL – 14 Peterborough Road – Demolition of two lean to extensions, brick shed
    and two garages. Proposed single and two storey rear extension. New pitched roof to
    dormer on front elevation. Replace render on front elevation. On consideration of all the material available on the planning portal we noted the intention of the applicant to convert a three-bedroom house to a five-bedroom house. We consider that the application in its present form should be REFUSED. In making this observation we consider that the linear parking arrangement in a narrow access alongside the house is unacceptable for a five-bedroom house accessed onto the busy Peterborough Road where parking problems already exist. We consider that the overall site of the property is such that a provision for parking, or turning, of vehicles could be made within the site. We would welcome the opportunity to consider revised plans making such amendments to the planning application.



  1. Woodlands – Standing Item – Cllr. David Shaw reported on two meetings he and the chairman had made since the last meeting. The first with David Hicks of Country Court Care (CCC) to discuss the future use of the Tennis Courts and the prospect of use by the C&A tennis Club. We agreed it might be appropriate to formally write to (CCC) seeking their support for such a proposal and a lease to the parish council. The second meeting with City Cllr. Steve Allen, a cabinet member and a Nene Park Trust (NPT) Trustee regarding the proposed land swap. We agreed to approve continued discussions with all parties to seek to make progress on these matters with a report back to future meetings for consideration of detailed proposals.





  1. Allotment
    1. Terry Young asked for consideration of some plots and circulated photographs of those needing further consideration. We agreed that when issuing new agreements and invoices, the Clerk should invite the tenant of plot 2a (revised numbering), to relinquish that tenancy in exchange for a raised bed which might be more suitable to that tenant. We agreed that plot 9b (revised numbering) be offered to Mr Middleton of Benams Close. We also agreed to further discussion with another tenant with a view to tidying up land adjacent to their plot, with a report back to our next meeting.


  1. Tree Safety Report – The Clerk reported that John Wilcockson was currently producing the safety report and we anticipate this being available for the October meeting. Meantime we agreed that if any urgent tree works are required on safety grounds, then the Chairman and Clerk have delegated authority to make the necessary arrangements.


  • Land Management Tender – The chairman reported that the Clerk had sent out our invitation to tender (ITT) to 6 contractors. He and the Clerk had opened the response to our ITT, witnessed by Cllr. Fiona Rowlands. The response of NJ Pacey was based on the previous ITT and was not in accordance with the ITT. We authorised Cllrs. Neil Boyce, William Baxter and Steve Davies to negotiate with NJ Pacey revised prices and to report back to the October meeting.


  • HIGHWAYS – Cllr Baxter is impressed with the work done in Clay Lane & Cow Lane, and asked for our appreciation to be sent to The City Council highways for the prompt response in re-fixing the damaged bollard on Loves Hill. He also re-iterated the requirement for 20mph and 30mph roundels to be painted on the roads.


  • Community MATTERS –


  1. Joint Parish Liaison Group (JPLG) – We agreed the draft agenda for the meeting scheduled for 29th September


  1. Langdyke Trust – Nature Recovery Plan (NRP) – Fiona Rowlands reported on the ongoing discussions with Mike Horne and Sarah Lambert on the land in Splash Lane and was hopeful that planting would commence in October. The chairman reported that Mike Horne could arrange for construction of the water harvesting project and we RESOLVED to formally approve allocation of £2500 from the nature recovery budget to pay for materials.

Proposed Cllr. William Baxter   Seconded Cllr. Jane Greene


The Chairman also reported that because of the hot weather and drought conditions we need to water recently planted whips in Splash Lane. The city Council had quoted £190 per week to water these but we had sourced a second-hand water bowser, capacity 1100Ltrs, available on eBay for £900 +VAT. Given the value for money and the urgency we RESOLVED to give retrospective approval for that purchase.

Proposed Cllr. Fiona Rowlands   Seconded Cllr. David Shaw


  1. Village Tribune – we had before us correspondence relating to consultation on proposed changes in the production and funding of the magazine published in alternate months, in particular a proposal to charge each parish council £300 as a contribution to the costs of production. For our part we are conscious that delivery has, hitherto, been sporadic. Furthermore, we understand that a local group are examining the feasibility of a Castor & Ailsworth local magazine. We deferred a decision until the October meeting in order to gather further information about the local proposals.


  1. Good Neighbours scheme – We noted that the charity Group AGM is to be held in Castor Primary School on 7th September and all interested parties are cordially invited to attend.


  1. Play Area Equipment. The chairman reported that after obtaining proper technical advice from an installation engineer at Kompan, the long-standing issue with the roundabout had been resolved simply by greasing three grease points on the equipment. In addition, we were informed that the rope handle to the Zip wire needs replacing and asked the Clerk to request this be attended to by Peterborough City Council.


  1. Jubilee Event – We received from the events committee an outturn report of the jubilee event and were appreciative of the hard work of the organisers. We noted that the net surplus from the event had enabled some generous grants to the Church, CASPRA, the Village Hall and a small donation to the school. £2400 has been retained by the events committee for the next major event. We also noted that Tracey Blackmore and the Gibsons are standing down from the events committee.


  1. Contribution to the “This is your Reign” celebration Book. Cllr Fiona Rowlands had submitted, by the deadline, our “Castor Parish Council” contribution, previously agreed with Cllrs. by email. No confirmation of receipt had been forthcoming. Cllr. Fiona Rowlands agreed to seek confirmation of receipt from Esther Baffa-Isaacs, the co-ordinator at the city council.


  1. Castor & Ailsworth Fete feedback – We noted that there was zero uptake in respect of Speedwatch, little interest in the Neighbourhood plan review but more interest in the work on the Nature Recovery Project. Cllr. Baxter reported that the general feedback was for a return to the previous format with the concert on the Friday evening to avoid curtailing the fete activities on the Saturday.


  1. Standing Stones
    1. Water Leak – Cllr Baxter reported that the original leak appeared to have dried up because of the dry and Hot weather conditions but that we also have a further leak. Anglian Water have shown little interest in these leaks claiming that because of the drought they had more pressing issues to deal with. Cllr. Baxter agreed to pursue resolution of these leaks with contacts at Anglian Water.
    2. Information Boards – deferred to October meeting



  • Governance Matters
  1. Opening of tenders received – item dealt with at 659iii above.


  1. Precept timetable – The Clerk reported an email from Peterborough city council informing all parishes of a revised precept timetable and noted that we may be unaffected as we meet on the 1st Thursday of the month.


  • Parish Council Emails – a number of councillors had reported loss of, or not getting, emails because of the limitation to the size of the mailbox. We agreed that this was caused, mainly, by the size of photographic attachments and the reluctance of us all to delete informative emails. Cllr Baxter offered an acceptable solution for large attachments by sharing a link rather than the photograph itself. The Clerk also demonstrated a means of moving large emails to a local folder on our computers or tablets. We agreed to trial these methods with the aim of avoiding further issues with the limitation on Mailbox capacity.


  1. Code of Conduct Training – We were informed of some free training being provided by the city council on Zoom to cover the revised code of conduct. We asked the Clerk to notify the city council of those Cllrs, who expected to be available to attend and to request that access links be sent to each one.



  • official announcements & CORRESPONDENCE.
  1. Bus Shelter vandalism – we discussed our concerns about the repeated episodes of vandalism and we expressed our gratitude to Cllr. Baxter for his numerous clean-up operations. The chairman reported on a discussion with the City Council enforcement team and the potential consideration of CCTV surveillance and we approved further discussion by the chairman with a report back to a future meeting if necessary.


  1. Ice Cream vending at Ferryfields – Cllr. Baxter reported on a dialogue with a vendor and the potential for the vendor to enter into an agreement to allow operation at that location. Given the low level of reported takings we authorised Cllr Baxter, in conjunction with the Clerk, to negotiate an agreement on the basis of £10 per day, subject to production of public liability insurance.



  • Future Agenda Items –

Neighbour hood plan review – We asked Cllr. David Shaw to prepare suggested revisions to the NP for detailed consideration at the November meeting, and asked the Clerk to keep other agenda items at that meeting to those of necessity, in order to give a detailed review of the current content and suggested revisions.



  • Date of next meeting – 6th October, 2022



  • There being no further business the chairman closed the meeting at 10.20pm.


Clerk & RFO 2nd September, 2022