Minutes 3rd November 2022

Minutes Uploaded on November 26, 2022

Minutes of Castor Parish Council Meeting

Held on Thursday 3rd November, 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 David Shaw, Cllr Dennis Surgeon, Cllr. Terry Young. Two members of the public were also in attendance.


  • APOLOGIES – apologies were received from Cllrs. Fiona Rowlands, absent from Castor.


  • DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – Richard Anker, Cllr. Jane Greene, and Cllr. Terry Young as allotment holders for the agenda item on Allotments.


  • MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS – We unanimously RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the previous meeting, held on 6th October, 2022 -. These were duly signed by the chairman.

Proposed Cllr. Steve Davies and seconded Cllr. Terry Young


  • Matters arising from the previous minutes. –


  • Public Forum – Julian Burton and Kate Trundle were present to outline their proposals for a local magazine covering he parishes of Castor, Ailsworth & Upton. Julian referred to the void left after the local magazine, sponsored by the church, had folded through Covid; and that there were no plans to restart that production. He reported good progress in attracting support in starting up a fresh magazine, initially producing 650 copies produced on a monthly basis. Julian and Kate had secured interest from local groups and the local school. They had a management committee of five and had attracted grants from CASPRA & Ailsworth PC together with a personal donation. The group were looking for financial support from this parish council. The matter is on our agenda under Community Matters and the Chairman agreed to take that item at this juncture of our meeting. We RESOLVED to make a grant of £400 to enable the magazine to be produced from 1st December 2022.

Proposed Cllr Neil Boyce Seconded Cllr. David Shaw


  • PLANNING and associated matters


  1. Joint Community Action Plan (JCAP) – We unanimously agreed the revised draft version of the plan dated October 2022


  1. Neighbourhood Planning (NP) – Cllr David Shaw reported that he had drafted out a short review of the NP.

We RESOLVED to adopt review of the Castor Neighbourhood Plan (CNP) as amended to correct a printing error changing reference to AH1 To read CH1

Proposed Cllr. Jane Greene Seconded Cllr. William Baxter


  1. Status report – we noted the updated version of the status report on Planning applications considered by us in the current fiscal year and circulated, by the Clerk, as a link to the published agenda for this meeting.


  1. Planning applications


  1. 22/01443/HHFUL and 22/01444/LBC – Old Mill, Mill Lane – Flood mitigation scheme to improve protection of listed building, including raising of existing stone walls, new stone walls and steps, limited raising of ground levels around the house, glazed screen behind timber sluice gate, removeable flood gates to two recently formed ground floor door openings to the southwest elevation, compensatory storage to the northeast of Black Dike beside the approved outbuilding and, internally, a metal hatch over the mill wheel pit and damp-proof membrane. We appreciated the complexity of the proposed work to protect the building from Flood Damage and raised no objections.


  1. 22/01451/HHFUL – 5a Church Hill – proposed single storey rear extension and loft conversion with rear dormers and roof lights – No Objections.


  1. Woodlands – Standing Item – We noted that we still awaited replies on our proposed Land Swap and our letter expressing interest in acquiring the Tennis Courts and Bowling Green. Cllr. David Shaw reported that he and the chairman had met with City Councillor and Cabinet member Steve Allen and receipt of written confirmation of seeking to arrange a further meeting with Adrian Chapman.




  1. Allotments

The Clerk reported all allotments are now tenanted.


  • HIGHWAYS – Boyce reported that the head of Highways, Charlotte Palmer has taken up the issue of the blocked drains in Peterborough Road noting our concerns over responsibility being split between the Highway authority and Anglian Water


  • Community MATTERS –


  1. Joint Parish Liaison Group (JPLG) – We agreed the record of the meeting held on 13th October and asked John Hodder to check the availability of the Cedar Centre for a further meeting to be held on 26th January 2023


  1. Langdyke Trust – Nature Recovery Project (NRP) – In the absence of the Vice chairman the chairman reported on the progress made and the number of matters to be resolved regarding selection and panting of trees in Splash Lane paddock. We also noted the updated position regarding the grant from Fitzwilliam estates and RESOLVED to use the grant to purchase bulbs for the project

Proposed Cllr. David Shaw Seconded Cllr. Jane Greene


  1. Village Magazine – see minute reference 687 above


  1. Good Neighbours scheme (GNS) – The Chairman reported that there had been a tenfold increase in referrals to the scheme for support. Peterborough City Council are supporting a number of “Warm Hubs” across the urban parts of the city aimed at addressing the cost of livening / energy crises. The GNS had also been allocated £10k to provide a Roving hub to provide a similar provision in rural areas. The hubs would be capable of providing warm food, blankets and advice on other benefits and support available to the most vulnerable. Parishes taking advantage of the roving hub would have to pick up any room hire costs as these are not covered in the PCC Grant to GNS.


  1. Commemorative Oak – in the absence of an agreed location for the tree we agreed that there would be a walk round potential sites to be held on the 12th November and those Cllrs. Able to join would meet in Allotment Lane at 9.00am. We RESOLVED to delegate the final decision on location, to those on the walk.

Proposed Cllr. Neil Boyce Seconded Cllr. Dennis Surgeon


  1. Climate Change Policy – We declined to adopt the comprehensive draft policy circulated with the agenda as being incompatible with the responsibilities of parish councils particularly in respect of planning legislation and in the view of some councillors as too onerous given our limited resources and powers. Cllr. Shaw undertook to draft a shorter document, compatible with planning legislation and to circulate that for consideration at our next meeting.


  1. Standing Stones
    1. Water Leak –Cllr Baxter reported that Anglian Water were unable to provide a date for putting cameras down to trace the leaks.
    2. Information Boards – Cllr Baxter reported that the content of the boards had now been agreed and that the next stage is to get them produced and installed.


  • Governance Matters


  1. Revised Land Management Tender – We noted the revised tender quotation negotiated by the Chairman and Cllr. Davies with NJ Pacey in the revised sum of £8975 + VAT. We RESOLVED to accept the revised tender.

Proposed Cllr. William Baxter Seconded Cllr. David Shaw


  1. Tree safety Report – We noted the actions of the Clerk to issue invitations to tender to four contractors to seek quotations to carry out the work in the report presented to our previous meeting. Only two tenders had been received and we RESOLVED to accept the tender provided by Willow Tree Services.

Proposed Cllr. Richard Anker Seconded Cllr. William Baxter


  • Insurance Renewal – The Clerk reported on the insurance renewal invitation and the increased premium required. We noted that AJ Gallagher (Formerly Came & Co had traditionally sought to obtain competitive premiums for the benefit of parish councils and we RESOLVED to accept the renewal quotation for one year at a premium of £797.70

Proposed Cllr. Terry Young Seconded Cllr. Jane Greene


  1. Budget Strategy – We considered the options available to use in drafting a budget for 2023/24 for consideration at our December or January meeting. We agreed, that in principle, we would seek to peg the precept at the current level and avoid imposing an extra burden on the residents of Castor. We instructed the Clerk to draw up a draft budget on that basis.


  • official announcements & CORRESPONDENCE.


  1. Village Hall AGM – We noted that this is to take place on 22nd November at 7.00pm in the Village Hall


  1. Christmas Tree – We noted receipt of a request to again fund the purchase of the Christmas Tree, to be placed in the grounds of the Village Hall. The Clerk advised that we have £260 included in our budget for that purpose. We RESOLVED to fund the purchase of the tree up to the amount provided in our budget.

Proposed Cllr. William Baxter Seconded Cllr. David Shaw


  1. Consultation on local List of Heritage Assets – We noted the consultation exercise being conducted by Peterborough City Council. We deferred further consideration to our next meeting.


  1. Allotment Lane – Proposed development. – The owner of a site in Allotment Lane sought to gain the support of the parish council for a development of four dwellings on the site. We noted that the site is outside the village envelope and Cllr. David Shaw undertook to advice the owner of the requirements to gain support through a consultation exercise and that the parish council would consider the outcome of that consultation exercise along with a planning application when validated by the planning authority.


  1. National Pay Award – We received notification from CAPALC of the national pay award to Clerks and other local council staff, negotiated by the National Association of Local Councils (NALC), backdated to 1st April 2022. We were informed of the amount of back pay and the effect on the Clerks hourly rate of pay on spinal column point 26 of the national pay scales. We RESOLVED to implement the pay award in full.

Proposed Cllr. David Shaw Seconded Cllr. Steve Davies


  • Future Agenda Items
    1. Review of Cricket Club Lease
    2. Budget 2023/24 and subsequent years


  • Date of next meeting – 1st December 2022


  • There being no further business the chairman closed the meeting at 9.25pm.


Clerk & RFO 10th November, 2022