Minutes of Castor Parish Council Meeting
Held on Thursday 6th January, 2022 at 7.30pm in the Cedar Centre
- in the absence of Cllr. Neil Boyce, Cllr Fiona Rowlands, Vice Chairman presided over the meeting.
PRESENT: Fiona Rowlands (Vice Chairman), Cllr. William Baxter, Cllr. Steve Davies, Cllr. Jane Greene, & Cllr. David Shaw; Two members of the public were also in attendance.
APOLOGIES – Neil Boyce, unwell, Cllr Dennis Surgeon gave prior notice at the December meeting and Cllr. Richard Anker Medical Advice
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – Cllr Baxter as a trustee of the Good Neighbours Scheme in reference to the agenda relating to that body.
MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS – We unanimously RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the previous meeting, held on 2nd December, 2021 -. These were duly signed by the chairman.
Proposed Cllr. David Shaw and seconded Cllr. Steve Davies
Matters arising from the previous minutes. – Cllr Shaw confirmed that the notes of the public meeting had been sent to Country Court care and the Nene Park Trust.
Public Forum – Mr Mercy referred to the Woodlands Development and had listed some matters of concern over planning conditions which had been ignored. Cllr Shaw thanked Mr Mercy for his Aide Memoire and assured him that the matters would be taken up with the appropriate body
PLANNING and associated matters
Joint Community Action Plan (JCAP) – John Hodder confirmed that there were no immediate action points outstanding and that the JCAP would be reviewed and monitored in due course.
Neighbourhood Planning (NP) – Shaw reported a shift in government thinking on planning policies and expected these to be published in the near future. We accepted his suggestion that we should aim to commence a review of the NP policies in April or May of the current calendar year.
Status report – the Clerk reported on the current position of planning applications, and we noted that there was only one change since the position reported in December. The replacement of the garage at Hanover House, Church Hill had been permitted on 16th
21/01874/DISCHG – Woodlands, Splash Lane – Re- Discharge of condition No. 2 (Fire hydrant), 4 (Sustainable drainage), 6 Bird Nest Box, 7 Hedgehog Boxes, 8 Lighting, 11 Landscaping 15 (Occupation and 17 bicycle parking of permission Ref: 21/00882/WCPP – We were informed that we are not consulted on applications to discharge planning conditions but that the clerk listed these on agendas for information. We have some concerns over the way in which this application bundled conditions for discharge and the lack of information related to the respective reasons for their discharge. Cllr Shaw confirmed that he would be taking these concerns up with the planning authority.
- Cllr. David Shaw referred to the site familiarisation visit attended by a few councillors and offered to visit the site with those councillors unable to attend. Cllr Shaw also undertook to list relevant policies in the Neighbourhood Plan and the Local Plan that would be of particular relevance to the site and circulate these to councillors. Subject to councillors’ agreement the note could then be sent to Country Court Care, Nene Park Trust and the planning authority along with reiterating the request for a comprehensive site plan showing the vision for the whole site. Any forthcoming application could then be considered in the context of the overall plan and the appropriate planning policies.
LAND & ALLOTMENTS:
- Tweentowns – Fencing plans for the site needed to be reconsidered and we were informed of the intention to produce a plan for approval by the parish council incorporating the requirements of Public Rights of Way and the needs of the nature recovery plan.
- Tree Safety – The vice Chairman confirmed that the Ash Tree had been pollarded and that the associated retrieved wood had been taken to the Coppice.
- Public Rights of Way – existing & possible extension – conscious that our chairman had been in discussion with relevant officers at the city council we again deferred consideration of this matter to the February meeting.
- Observations from Councillors – Jane Greene referred to the continued unauthorised banners on the approach road to the village and a new one on the community allotment fence. The clerk undertook to take the matter up with the city council and request the removal of the latest addition by the advertiser.
- Community MATTERS –
- Joint Parish Liaison Group (JPLG)- We agreed that the planned meeting for 13th January should not go ahead and be deferred indefinitely on the basis that a further meeting could be called if there were anything that required consideration by both parishes. John Hodder reminded us that the JCAP would need to be monitored and actioned or amended.
- Langdyke Trust Nature Recovery Plan –
- Cllr. Fiona Rowlands reported that the Apple and Pear trees had been planted and we agreed that a formal letter of thanks should be sent to Dennis Surgeon and the Worshipful Company of Fruiterers for their kind donation of those trees. Cllr Rowlands also reported that Sarah Lambert had today provided a comprehensive plan for the Paddock in Splash Lane but that we still awaited the costings of that plan. We also recorded our gratitude to Mike Horne and the team for the sterling work and valued advice in all the nature recovery projects undertaken in the past twelve months.
- Castor in Bloom – Jane Greene reported that she had made enquiries of suppliers of various planters, Cast Iron were not available and the company were not taking any more orders. Responses are still awaited from companies supplying stone or wooden planters. Given that once orders were placed there would be lead times before delivery and they would then need placing, planting and maintaining we RESOLVED to delegate the authority to place orders for planters, within the approved budget, to Cllr. Mrs Greene in conjunction with the chairman.
- Queens Platinum Jubilee –.
- Commemorative tree on the Village Green – Cllr. Mrs Green reported that she had obtained prices for Oak Trees and Common Walnut trees of various sizes. We expressed our preference for Oak and were informed that the provision in the draft budget would allow for a reasonable sized tree. The suggested planting season would be up to March with a commemoration ceremony and plaque during the jubilee celebrations. We asked the clerk to enquire of the city council if there were any part of the village green that would be unsuitable for the tree planting due to utility services below ground
- National “Beacon Lighting” event – We agreed to take part and will make provision in the budget for a beacon from the official supplier together with the gas containers required for the event.
- Governance Matters
S106 Monies –We agreed to consider the matter further at our February meeting with a view to finalising the list of infrastructure projects to be financed by the available S106 funds. Councillors were asked to give consideration to other matters which meet the criteria and to inform the Clerk and Chairman so that they might be incorporated in a list for the approval of the city council.
Covid support group funds. We agreed that we would like confirmation that the surplus grant paid to the Covid support group had been transferred to the Good Neighbours scheme
Receipts and Payments report & Bank reconciliation as at 30th December 2021 – we RESOLVED to accept the report provided by the Clerk as Responsible Finance Officer showing receipts of £31,846.56 and payments of £44,244.89. together with the bank reconciliation of the same date showing current reserves of £93,381.21.
Proposed Cllr. William Baxter seconded Cllr Jane Greene
Budgetary Control Report – We noted the report predicting the outcome for the financial year and noted the potential use of approx. £15k from reserves compared £23k in the original budget.
Draft Budget and Precept requirements for 2022/23. We received a draft budget drawn up by the Clerk as Responsible financial Officer, according to the guidance given at the December meeting.
We agreed to increase the provision in that draft budget to £500 for the review of our Neighbourhood Plan during the coming year.
We noted and agreed the additions to the budget for our Climate Change commitment, Wildlife Recovery Plan and projects related to the Queens Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
We RESOLVED to commit to keeping the precept at £81 at Band D for the second successive year. We furthermore RESOLVED to approve the amended budget based on projected spending of £47,695 and receipts of £37,870.81 (including precept of £29,120.81) which will require us to budget for a further reduction in reserves of £9,864.19 by that financial year end.
Proposed Cllr David Shaw Seconded Cllr. Steve Davies
official announcements & CORRESPONDENCE.
- We noted the request from the Cricket Club to put bat Boxes on the trees at the cricket ground and gave our consent.
- We noted the receipt of correspondence from members of the national council for metal detecting and agreed to have this on the agenda for the next meeting if the gentlemen wished to attend. We also asked the clerk to inform them that most of our land was leased out to agricultural tenancies and had also been professionally scanned some ten years earlier.
- The clerk reported notice of Road Closures at the junction with the A1 at Wansford on the nights of 24th to 28th January and agreed to publicise these on our Facebook page.
Future Agenda Items – None known at the closure of the meeting, other than items in these minutes.
Date of next meeting – Thursday 3rd February, 2022.
There being no further business the chairman closed the meeting at 9.09pm.
Clerk & RFO 8th January, 2022