Notes of Parish Meetings
Notes from the Parish Council Meeting - February 2011
The following were amongst items discussed at Parish Council meetings and information received by the Clerk. The full minutes may be found here.
Following the resignation of Jo Howard, Sam Clift who served as a Councillor until the recent elections has stepped into the breach and is acting as Clerk until we complete the process for a permanent appointment.
Councillor James Barnard has tendered his resignation and the Council thanks him for all his hard work since he was elected in May. He was particularly diligent on the planning Committee. And after a very short illness Councillor James Ford-Smith died on 28 December. Elected to the Council in 2002 James served the Village in every way he could despite failing health up until his death, and will be sorely missed. As a result the Council still has vacancies for two Councillors.
January Council Meeting
The January Parish Council meeting welcomed Sam Clift as its temporary Clerk and Suzan Ziobro who was co-opted onto the Council following the resignation of Councillor Michael Wilson.
The Parish Council owns the strip of land alongside the northern edge of the end of Weavers Field on which the hedge stands. We were approached by an estate agent in the summer with a request to sell part of this strip to enable development of the back garden of 121 Girton Road. This was a difficult decision since the Council is aware of Villagers' objections to garden development, and the hedge is an environmental asset. The Council voted not to accept the offer, and there followed a period of negotiation in which the agent increased the offer and Councillors requested that the issue come back for further debate. After a full discussion the Council has now voted to accept the revised offer.
The Council also formally approved the Parish Plan, with the minor clarification that it constitutes a set of goals to which the Council will aspire. The Plan will now be commended to the District and County Councils where we hope it will be incorporated into their planning documents and thus become part of the the criteria used to control development in Girton. The Council is most grateful for all the hard work which has gone into the Plan; we shall now explore the ways in which we can implement its conclusions.
The hedge at the south edge of the 10 Acre Field has been neglected for many years, and the Council agreed to cut it back and reduce the height to about 3m. This should enhance its value as an amenity for years to come.
The recent cold weather has had a significant impact on the Council's income, with all our games surfaces out of action for over a month, and the Council was reminded that finances are going to be very tight in the coming financial year.
A budget was adopted which we hope will enable the Council to provide good facilities for the Village. The Council has yet to decide on the question of registering for VAT.
The Hibbert-Ware Garden
At the centenary celebration of the Girton Town Charity in June, the Village was encouraged to propose enhancements for Girton, and one suggestion was for a park to be created. The Council therefore commissioned plans for the redevelopment of the Hibbert-Ware Garden, which over the years has changed from the original design, and away from the road has become quite overgrown. We are also told that some of the trees are now definitely past their best. The plan will be put to the Charity and if it agrees to fund the development work should begin very soon, as tree and hedge works will need to be completed before the bird-nesting season. Although in the short term this may result in the Garden looking rather bare, we hope that it will not be long before it will be very significantly improved over its present state. This is a good opportunity to thank the many volunteers who have kept the Garden looking attractive through all the seasons of the year, and we hope the plans will be seen as building on and adding to their labours.
The Pavilion Floor
The repair to the Pavilion floor, which was reported in the November issue, was completed just after the New Year with a comprehensive sanding and resealing. We hope users will appreciate the fine surface it now has.
The Parish Council has been informed that the field on the south side of Dodford lane, which belongs to St John's College, is to be tidied up, with scrub clearance and the removal of some self-seeded trees. This is not a major clearance and the field should retain its rural character.
New Life for Footpath 13
Through the good offices of the County Council and the generosity of David Wilson Homes, the developers of the NIAB Site, we have been able to use a Probation Group doing community service to spread some spare fine gravel and sand on the footpath from Thornton Close to Whitehouse Close. As the footpath was in a very muddy state we hope this will much improve the surface.
The next meetings of the Parish Council will be on Wednesday 16 February and Wednesday 16 March starting at 7.30pm, in St Vincent's Close Community Centre. Members Of the public are welcome to speak at all Parish Council meetings.