The November meeting chaired by Richard Roffe was held in the new community meeting room of the bowls pavilion, with seven councillors and one parishioner present. In attendance were Hubert Warren, (Clerk to the council), Sqdn/Ldr, Kev Merrison (RAF representative) Pc. Colin Everett (MOD Unit beat officer) and Pc. Andy Grainge (MOD Unit Beat Officer designate).
Apologies for absence were received from parish councillors Mrs. Sam Cooper and Roger Paul, also from ward councillors John Holdich OBE and Diane Lamb. No declarations of personal or prejudicial interest on agenda items were made by any member of the council.
The meeting was informed that the retirement of MOD Pc. Colin Everett will be followed by the appointment as unit beat officer, of MOD Pc Andy Grainge, who was introduced to the meeting. Pc. Colin Everett distributed his official printed report, with detailed analysis of crime and anti-social behaviour in the village this year from January to December, which showed a significant decrease of 53% in all recorded crime, with a total of 24 compared to 52 in the corresponding period of 2010. Criminal damage, burglaries, theft, theft from vehicles, theft of vehicles/motorcycles and drug offences all down and only assault/disorder showing a single increase ( from 4 in 2010 to 5 in 2011). The Chairman thanked Pc Everett for his very encouraging report and reiterated the appreciation and thanks of the council and parish for his exemplary service to the community over the last nine years. His successor Pc Andy Grainge was warmly welcomed and his presence in the village and at future meetings of the council. will be greatly appreciated. There can be no doubt that the existing joint policing activities have been highly successful since implementation in 2003 and there is a strong case for continuation. Not only for the obvious benefit to the security of the parish, but also for the reassurance of continuing police presence, to the service families resident in the village.
Minutes of the second meeting of the 2011/2012 parish council held on Thursday, 8th.September, 2011 were reviewed, approved and signed by the Chairman. It was agreed that because of limited seating accommodation in the new committee room of the bowls pavilion, attendance of local organisations at their meetings should generally not exceed 12, with requests for small increases (eg attendance at parish council meetings) possibly up to 16 at the discretion of the Chairman. For any event likely to necessitate use of the parish hall, terms and conditions for hire will remain unchanged. Regular cleaning of the room is undertaken by members of the bowls club.
The inaccurate flashing speed restriction sign in Church Road has been corrected and the statutory 20 mph speed limit implemented. Standard 30 mph signs incorporating the village name and “Please drive carefully” to replace the existing dated signage at both ends of the village have been agreed by Peterborough City Council.
Mrs. Nadine Fountain reported that repairs to the broken stile on St, Mary’s Avenue bordering the A1 had not yet been carried out and the Chairman agreed to arrange for the work to be done locally.
Complaints had been made regarding unsightly litter outside the Spar shop in St. George’s Road to which PC Everett had drawn the attention of the management whom it was felt should tidy up the area in front of the shop and supply a suitable litter bin to alleviate the problem.
The financial statement and bank reconciliation as at 24th. November, 2011 was circulated, reviewed and approved. The Chairman confirmed that all statutory security, comprehensive insurance policies, health and safety measures and risk assessment have been documented, with one copy deposited in the sports pavilion and one for parish council records. 2010/2011 had been an exceptional year with significantly above average expenditure due to the completion of the sports pavilion, ,the new bowls pavilion/ community meeting room, security fencing and landscaping. These projects had been greatly helped by generous financial support of various outside sources and exemption from VAT. All contracts had been completed on time and at agreed prices which is reflected in the 2011/2012 budgeted and actual figures. The Clerk reported that the external auditor had reiterated the vital importance of careful discussion of risk assessment at meetings, with special care that proposed budgeted expenditure should always be clearly achievable within the financial resources of the council year by year, with an appropriate level of reserves carried forward. In this respect and in view of the current economic climate, the council will not seek any increase in the annual precept for 2012/2013.
Looking ahead to council year 2012/2013, although there will not be any further new build, it will be necessary to carry out some necessary refurbishment and interior decoration in the parish hall/ sports & social club and update the toilet facilities. Improvements to the sewerage system is also urgently necessary, but in view of the prevailing economic climate, no increase in the annual precept on Peterborough City Council will be requested.
The financial report, risk assessment and budget proposals were unanimously approved.
The Chairman had recently walked the village with a senior planning officer of Peterborough City Council to identify all potential areas for possible private housing development.which will be included in future plans now being formulated.
Other matters discussed, to be followed up with the relevant authorities by the Clerk where appropriate:-
Rebuilding of accommodation facilities on RAF Station
Potentially dangerous parking of cars on bend near Manor Close
Supply of trees for village planting
Change of electoral constituency
Possible re-instatement of abandoned flyover project. (Letter to MP)
Re-siting of War memorial.
The next meeting will be held on Thursday 2nd. February, 2011. at 7.30 p.m in the bowls pavilion community meeting room.