Notes of Parish Meetings
Notes from the Parish Council Meeting - October 2008
The following were amongst items discussed at Parish Council meetings and information received by the Clerk. The full minutes may be found here.
1. Girton Corner. The Council has been invited to put in not more than 2 Minor Highways Improvement bids for this year. We have agreed to request 1) to move the bus stop straddling the cycle escape at Girton Corner and 2) merging the cycle lane from Girton College into the road at the point where the bus lane ceases and widen the cycle lane to 2 metres.
2. A14 Upgrade. The Council received a presentation from representatives of the Highways Agency and the contractor Costain Skanska on the latest plans for the A14. Questions were posed particularly focused on the noise implications for Girton. Although the representatives were not qualified to give technical details, they advised us that there will be a public information exhibition at the Impington Holiday Inn on Sunday 7 December 12-6pm and 8-9 December 11am-8pm; and technical experts would be in attendance there. They also offered to receive specific questions to pass on to experts, and the Council will draw up some of its main concerns and submit them.
3. Smithy Green Hedge. The badly overgrown hedge at Smithy Green was beyond rescue, and has been grubbed up. A new hedge will be planted and the rest of the area grassed.
4. Tree Audit. The Parish Council has agreed to undertake a full audit of all the trees under its responsibility. For the first time we shall have an authoritative record of every tree in the Village (excluding those on private land) and an understanding of its health. This should be a great asset as we plan for the future of the Village.
5. Review of Planning Committee Procedures. As part of our ongoing self-assessment, the Planning Committee recently reviewed its procedures. It was agreed that our processes are robust but that this should be made clearer in the Minutes of the Committee (which are published on the Parish website), and that we should codify what normally happens anyway. Villagers might like to know the way the Committee functions. Members view the plans before the meeting, and in general at least one member will make a site visit. Any comments from neighbours sent to the Parish Office are also considered and are taken very seriously. However, we are constrained by planning law which specifies grounds for refusing an application. The Committee then makes a recommendation to the SCDC Planning office. If the recommendation is positive, the application will then normally be handled by SCDC planning officers; if it is negative the application should then be assessed by the SCDC Planning Committee. So if you have any concerns about a planning application please ensure that those concerns are sent to the Clerk.
6. The Parish Clerk. The September Parish Council meeting was the last to be attended by Helen Bracey as our Clerk, although she has offered to continue to be involved as far as she can in helping her replacement to settle in. At the time of writing we do not know who that will be, but the office will continue to operate normally in the interim, and mail to firstname.lastname@example.org will continue to be handled. The Council expressed its thanks to Helen and its appreciation for all that she has done, and presented her with a bouquet of flowers at the end of the Parish Council meeting. Forthcoming Meetings. The next Parish Council meetings will be held on Wednesday 15 October and Wednesday 19 November at St Vincent's Close Community Centre. The meetings will begin at 7.30pm.