Minutes of Castor Parish Council Meeting
Held on Thursday 7th December 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. Dennis Surgeon, Cllr. Terry Young. Five members of the public were also in attendance.
- APOLOGIES –apology was received from Cllr. Anker as absent from Peterborough.
- DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – None
- MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS – We unanimously RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the previous meeting, held on Thursday 2nd November 2023 -. These were duly signed by the chairman.
Proposed Cllr. Fiona Rowlands and seconded Cllr. David Shaw
- Matters arising from the previous minutes. –
- Public Forum – Nothing raised at this point in the meeting, with residents asking for the right to speak on agenda item related to Peterborough Local Plan.
- PLANNING and associated matters
- Peterborough Local Plan (LP) & Strategic Housing & Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) (Stage 1) Report. – David Shaw had earlier circulated a report on the previous consultation stage where approximately 40% of the responses had come from Castor and Ailsworth. Homes England had not commented at that stage but had now put forward ALL their land holdings forward for consideration under the SHELAA process. The majority view expressed in the 1st stage consultation is that Peterborough does need to grow, but at a slower rate than in recent times. Also, the new Local Plan end date of 2041 is preferred over the proposed 2044.
Cllr. William Baxter arrived during discussion of this item.
The 1st Stage consultation has been followed by a “call for Sites” to be subjected to the SHELAA process. 3 sites have been put forward for Castor.
- All of the Homes England land
- A Site at the top of Stocks Hill – We have concerns over access to this site. Furthermore, we consider small sites of this nature are best dealt with locally in the Neighbourhood Plan and not a matter for the new Local Plan
- Land off Clay Lane. We are aware of current plans for this site and have expressed our concern that the Public Right of Way through this site should be protected. Furthermore, we are of the view that this site should also be dealt with through the neighbourhood plan rather than the new LP.
We were informed that Parish councils are being given the opportunity to respond by 5th January with their observations on the sites put forward for their parish. It is expected that for each site the parish council will express a view in support of, or against, each site and to give reasons for the views expressed. In addition, parishes are being asked to rank sites in order of preference for development even if expressing opposition to each site. Residents present expressed some views on the sites in Castor and the process of evaluation. WE RESOLVED to delegate to a working group comprising Cllr. David Shaw, Cllr. Neil Boyce, Cllr. Fiona Rowlands and the Clerk, joint responsibility for drafting the parish council response and submitting the response via the online link provided by the deadline of 5th January.
Proposed Cllr. Neil Boyce Seconded Cllr. William Baxter
- Joint Community Action Plan (JCAP) – We noted the current version of the plan is due for discussion with Ailsworth PC in January 2024.
- Neighbourhood Planning (NP) – John Hodder reported that the city council had undertaken to respond on proposed amendments to C & A NPs by Christmas and we deferred further consideration to our January meeting
- Status report – The clerk reported that other than the addition on the agenda for this meeting the only changes to the report since the last meeting were two applications being permitted.
- Planning applications –
- 23/01105/LBC – 38 Peterborough Road – Internal alterations, replacement signage on the East elevation, new window on the West elevation. We observed that the swing sign had been removed and would like to see it reinstated. Other than that, we have no material planning observations to make.
- 23/01576/TRE – Castor Heights, Peterborough Road – T1 – Ash – Fell due to extensive decay as a result of Inonotus hispidus. T2 – Ash – Fell due to extensive decay as a result of Inonotus hispidus. (94/00008/TPO). – No Objections but we would like to see the applicant encouraged to replant
- 23/01617/HHFUL – 26 Peterborough Road – Internal remodel on the ground floor, replacement of 8 windows and front door. – No material planning observations to make.
- Woodlands – Standing Item – Shaw stated a decision is awaited on the Nene Park Trust Planning application. The care home proposals have been withdrawn and the current intention is to revert to the original intention to convert the existing Building.
- Site meeting Clay Lane – we noted that Cllr Shaw and others intended to meet with a developer at 11.30 on Wednesday to draw attention to our NP policies and to confirm the existence of a right of way across the site
- LAND & ALLOTMENTS:
- Cricket Club – Proposed Lease – The Chairman presented an updated draft lease addressing the points raised by the cricket club. We considered the request to extend the time limit on events and agreed to the extension to 11 pm. The lease can now be finalised and it can be signed of at the January meeting.
- PECT – Update on negotiations with Peterborough Environment City Trust – Cllr. Fiona Rowlands reported on the positive exchange of emails with Tony Cook and we now await confirmation of an agreement in order to progress.
- Parish Councillors Observations – Councillors expressed dissatisfaction with the state of Thorolds Paddock and asked the Clerk to give formal notice to the tenant.
- HIGHWAYS & Public Rights of Way – Councillors Observations – We noted the email from a resident concerning inconsiderate parking around the school at the start and end of the school day. We share those concerns but are not in favour of requesting further yellow lines. We consider the issue to be one of enforcement, to be dealt with by the authorities with enforcement powers which the parish council do not possess.
- Community Matters:
- Joint Parish Liaison Group (JPLG) – We have no changes to make to the draft agenda for the next meeting with Ailsworth parish councillors scheduled to be held on 18th January 224.
- Langdyke Trust Nature Recovery Project – Fiona Rowlands reported that the water harvester is complete. Meetings had taken place with Mike Horne, and although fencing work has been delayed, the urgency to complete the Splash Lane project is understood.
- Standing Stones Information boards – Baxter reported that these are being progressed and only a map with contour lines is now required to complete the content.
- Playground reinstatement – Now complete and the inspection signed off.
- Land management tender – The appointed contractor has completed the work and to a high standard
- Governance Matters:
- Budgetary control report as at 28th November 2023 – The Clerk as Responsible Finance Officer reported the receipts and payments to date compared to the budget, the estimated outturn for the financial year; and the assumptions on which the estimated outturn is based. We RESOLVED to accept the report
Proposed Cllr. David Shaw Seconded Cllr. Steve Davies
- Draft Budget 2024/25 – We noted that Peterborough City Council require precept form early January 2024 prior to the next scheduled meeting of Castor parish council. We considered a draft budget presented by the Clerk and made minor changes. The amended budget allows for receipts of £37604 (including precept) and payments of £56,320 drawing on using £18716 from reserves to balance the budget. We RESOLVED to approve the budget as amended and to peg the precept at the same Band D charge of £81 as in the current year, producing a precept of £29484.
Proposed Cllr. Terry Young Seconded Cllr. William Baxter
- Local Government pay agreement 2023 effective 1st April 2023 – We noted the agreement, on local government pay scales applicable from 1st April 2023, reached by the National Joint Council for Local Government Services (NJC). We RESOLVED to accept in full the revised pay scales with effect from 1st April 2023.
Proposed Cllr. Neil Boyce Seconded Cllr. Dennis Surgeon
- Other governance matters –
- Facebook – previously administered by former parish councillor Jane Green – Cllr. Baxter reported that although he had agreed to take on this role, he was unable to login. Cllr. Fiona Rowlands undertook to discuss the matter with Jane Greene.
- Mail Capacities on Netwise server – The Clerk reported that 4 councillors had been allocated extra space and that the parish council limit ((5GB) had been exceeded and further temporary allocation made by Netwise (7.5GB), so far without charge. Netwise offered a higher service level which would give the parish council 10GB and in addition provide each accredited user with a flexmail email account and an individual 10GB. This service would cost an additional annual charge of £100 for the first 10 and £10 for each additional email address a total of an additional £120 in a full year. We RESOLVED to approve a move to the higher level of service offered by Netwise.
Proposed Cllr. William Baxter Seconded Cllr. Neil Boyce
- To receive official announcements, correspondence of note, notices, or; reports from chairman, clerk, or councillors.
- CAPALC AGM, we noted this will be held at 7pm on ZOOM on 14th December and Cllr Terry Young agreed to attend if possible given other commitments.
- Village Tribune – We noted the content of email from editor re advertising Rates and agreed to keep to the present arrangement.
- Future agenda items
- Finalise Cricket Club Lease
- Village defibrillator – deferred to joint meeting with Ailsworth Parish Council
- Date of Next Meeting – scheduled to take place on January 11th. Fiona Rowland sent apologies for being unable to attend on this revised date.
Clerk & RFO 12th December 2023
Meeting Closed at 9.45pm