Minutes – 2nd November 2023

Minutes Uploaded on November 10, 2023

Minutes of Castor Parish Council Meeting

Held on Thursday 2nd November 2023 at 7.00pm in the Cedar Centre


  • PRESENT: Neil Boyce (Chairman), Cllr. William Baxter, Cllr. Steve Davies, Cllr. Gary Elliott, Cllr. Fiona Rowlands, Cllr David Shaw, Cllr. Terry Young. Two members of the public were also in attendance.


  • APOLOGIES – apologies were received from Cllr. Anker as absent from Peterborough and Cllr. Surgeon as unwell.




  • MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS – We unanimously RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the previous meeting, held on Thursday 5th October 2023 -. These were duly signed by the chairman.

Proposed Cllr. William Baxter and seconded Cllr. Fiona Rowlands


  • Matters arising from the previous minutes. –


  • Public Forum – Nothing raised at this point in the meeting.


  • PLANNING and associated matters


  1. Local Plan Review Consultation – David Shaw stated that at this stage there was nothing to report.


  1. Joint Community Action Plan (JCAP) – We noted the current version of the plan is due for discussion with Ailsworth PC on 9th


  1. Neighbourhood Planning (NP) – Shaw reported that we are awaiting responses from City Council Planning Officers.


  1. Status report – The clerk reported that tree works at High and Over had been permitted and the application for discharge of certain conditions related to the Cricket ground had been determined. The only other changes were the addition of planning applications being considered at this meeting.


  1. Planning applications


  1. 23/01391/TRE – Hill House, Mill Lane – 3 no. Poplars (suspected to be T22, T24 and T25 on 92/00012/TPO) reduce garden facing long laterals of these trees. We have no objections to these works.


  1. 23/01368/NONMAT – 3 Carlton Court – Non-material amendment (materials) to planning permission 23/00857/HHFUL We noted that we are not consulted on “NONMAT” applications but considered the proposed changes to be an improvement and we have no objections to make.


  • 23/01423/FUL & 23/01424/LBC – 4 Polls Yard – Convert garage and barn to residential use to create separate dwelling – We noted this application had many similarities to that already granted and noted the application shows parking for four cars with each dwelling (Counting the existing garage space). Given the tight plot within an equally tight Polls Yard we are of the opinion that planning consent, if approved, should be conditioned on the existing garage space being retained as a garage in perpetuity. In all other respects we have no objections to make


  1. Woodlands – Standing Item – Shaw stated there were more objections to the Nene Park Trust Planning application but otherwise there was nothing to report and a decision on the application is still awaited.





  1. Cricket Club – Proposed Lease – The Chairman presented an updated draft lease addressing the points raised by the cricket club. David Arthur from the cricket club referred to this version and thought the requirement for a deposit bank account had ben dropped. The chairman amended the draft and undertook to send a revised copy to the club with the expectation that the club would confirm their acceptance of the revised terms. Subject to that confirmation the lease could be formally signed off by both parties in front of witnesses at the December meeting of this parish council.


  1. Allotment Lane Post and Parking issue- Cllr. Elliot reported that the post is to remain in the same position and that there is a requirement for additional signage. We noted that Highways had installed the lockable drop down bollard and that this was in need of servicing. We asked the Clerk to seek a meeting in Castor,\ with the Highways Officer, so that this could be discussed along with other highways matters raised at this meeting (See further minutes below)


  • Parish Councillors observations regarding Land & Allotment –
    1. Cllr Baxter reported that three dead trees near the standing stones site are to be removed.
    2. We noted that graffiti has been rampant throughout the village and asked the clerk to seek the assistance of the city council in getting these removed.
    3. Cllr Shaw reported a recurrence of the age old problem with the surface water drains in Peterborough Road and we asked the Clerk to add this matter to the list to be discussed with Highways.
    4. Baxter reported on the upcoming road closure of Peterborough Road, by Anglian Water. To avoid a 9 mile detour, he had received an undertaking that AWA contractor would use steel plates to provide single lane passage whilst the works were being carried out.
    5. Cllr Baxter also reported on the extensive use of tankers over a five day period following a sewage leak. The leak has been located North of the dual carriageway and work is being carried out to repair the leak and there is no impact on traffic movement.


  • HIGHWAYS & Public rights of way We noted that the Clerk had sought clarification of the route and nature of the public right of way through Tweentowns and had yet to receive a reply. We asked the Clerk to request an early response given the need for clarification prior to further discussions with Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) for a possible 10 year lease.


  • Community MATTERS –


  1. Joint Parish Liaison Group (JPLG) – We noted that the next meeting is scheduled for 9th November in the Cedar Centre commencing at 7.45pm.


  1. Langdyke Trust – Nature Recovery Project (NRP) –


  1. Cllr. Fiona Rowlands reported on the sterling work of Mike Horne and over twenty volunteers in clearing up and planting seed at the Splash Lane Paddock. Work to complete the water harvester is expected to take place the day following this meeting. Cllr. Rowlands also reported that we had been invited to apply for further grants from monies recently made available to the Trust for sustainability projects.


  1. Splash Lane Paddock Tenders – despite requesting three tenders for fencing and gates and ancillary works, only two had been received. We RESOLVED to accept the lowest tender from Gary Archer in the sum of £10,170. We also noted that the work needed to be completed and the account settled within the timescale allowed for spending the Section 106 monies allocated to the project.


  1. Standing Stones & Information Boards – Baxter reported on good progress in that the text had been finalised, finished photographs provided and that these were in the hands of the graphic designer to produce the final artwork for the information signage.


  1. Playground re-instatement – The Chairman reported that the work to reinstate the pirate ship and other works by Kompan had been completed and that an independent inspection is a statutory requirement before these pieces of equipment can be brought into public use. We noted that arrangements had been put in place for the inspection to take place at accost of £350, although a date had yet to be confirmed. We asked the Clerk to seek an early date from the inspection company.



  1. Land Management Tender. We had before us two quotes previously supplied and opened in the presence of the chairman; the requested third tender had not been received. We noted that there was a large difference between the quotes provided and received assurances from the chairman that both contractors had received the same tender documentation and that the tenders were on a like for like basis. The clerk confirmed receipt of testimonials from other parish councils for the work carried out for them by Ben Emery. We RESOLVED to accept the lower quote from Ben Emery, with the proviso that the second year would be confirmed subject to satisfactory performance and completion of the 1st year’s work. The chairman undertook to inform the successful contractor and the Clerk undertook to inform NJ Pacey.

Proposed Cllr. William Baxter Seconded Cllr. David Shaw


  1. Christmas Tree – We noted the request to fund the tree for a further year and asked that this be considered at the joint meeting with Ailsworth on 9th


  1. Remembrance 2023 – The Clerk reported delivery of the lamp post poppies. In the absence of Cllr. Anker Cllrs. William Baxter and Gary Elliott undertook, (subject to weather conditions), to fix the poppies to lamp posts in Peterborough Road, commencing at the brow of Loves Hill.


  • Governance Matters –
    1. Banking arrangements – The Clerk reported that Cllr Davies had provided the second signatory authorisation to the 95 day notice by a visit to the bank in the company of the Clerk and that the bank had confirmed that the funds will be available from 8th January 2024.


  1. Councillor Training – We unanimously agreed to authorise the attendance of Cllr. Gary Elliott on a CAPALC training course for councillors, to be held in Witcham Village Hall on January 13th at a cost of £75 plus mileage for attendance.


  • 2024/25 Precept – We noted the request from Peterborough City Council for precept forms to be submitted early January 2024 and that to meet that request we would have to determine our budget for 2024/25 at our December meeting. We advised the clerk that in drawing up a draft budget for our approval in December we would wish to peg our precept to the current level. Cllr Baxter asked that the draft budget include £1000 for refurbishment of the Bus Shelter.


  1. Local Government Pay award – We noted that NALC had been notified that the Local Government association had agreed the pay deal for the current year although we await the final details for further consideration at the December meeting.


  1. Land Adjacent to Allotments – We were informed of a letter from Homes England (HE), incorrectly addressed to the clerk of another parish council, stating that HE wished to dispose of a small narrow strip of land for £1, plus paying legal costs. We asked the Clerk to write to HE informing them of the correct address of this parish council and to seek clarification of any knowledge of covenants or potential challenges to title for further consideration by this parish council.


  • official announcements & CORRESPONDENCE. –
    1. Good Neighbours scheme – We noted the invite to the AGM to be held on 22nd November in Barnack village hall and that there were 4 guest speakers at the event
    2. Charity Nature Walk – in aid of the Mayor’s Charity to be held in the village on 2nd December – all invited


  • Future Agenda Items
    1. Review of Cricket Club Lease
    2. Tweentowns – negotiations with PECT


  • Date of next meeting – scheduled to take place on 7th December at 7pm in the Cedar Centre


Clerk & RFO 3rd November 2023


Meeting Closed at 9.19pm