Girton village website

Notes of Parish Meetings

Notes from the Parish Council Meeting - August 2011

The following were amongst items discussed at Parish Council meetings and information received by the Clerk. The full minutes may be found here.

The Parish Council
At the start of the July meeting Councillors and guests stood in silence to acknowledge the life and work of Bill Parnwell, who had served for many years on Girton Parish Council and who died recently. Cllr Godby represented the Council at his funeral as the Chairman unfortunately had a medical appointment.

The Parish Clerk, who had failed to sell his home in Suffolk and move to the Girton area, has regretfully had to resign since the cost of travel is now so great. We are very grateful to John for all he did during the short time he was with us. Linda Miller has been appointed as Acting Clerk, and the Council is seeking applications for the permanent post. If you are interested please contact the Parish Office for further information.

July Council Meeting
The major item on the agenda was a consideration of the status of the public land at Wellbrook Way. The delays have been costly to all sides, and in an attempt to break the logjam, Girton Parish Council has agreed to allow South Cambs to re-negotiate the agreement over the land and moneys to be handed to the Council. This will inevitably result in a loss of income to the Council but the alternative appears to be interminable delay or costly legal wrangling. The Council is most grateful to three senior officers from South Cambs who gave up their time to attend the Council meeting both to make a presentation and also the be available throughout the (lengthy) debate in order to provide further information when necessary.

The Council also agreed that the current practice of having the Parish Office open all morning, 5 days a week, is both disruptive to the work of our officers and likely to be a disincentive to applicants for the post of Clerk. We therefore propose to restrict our hours to 1000--1200 on three days a week: this is still far greater access than many other Councils around us. Visits can still be made by appointment outside these hours if necessary. Until the new Clerk is in post, however, it may be necessary to close the office at short notice, so residents are encouraged to phone 472181 before visiting to confirm that the office will be open. We regret any inconvenience this may cause. It was noted that even our current hours are not convenient for the many residents who work during the morning, and we encourage you to use email to raise issues and perhaps arrange out-of-hours meetings. You may wish to note that planning applications and plans can now be viewed on-line at {\bf http://plan.scambs.gov.uk} where you can use the interactive map to locate the plans you are interested in.

Planters
Thanks to the generosity of two villagers, we shall shortly have two more planters to grace our verges. We are very grateful to Gabrielle Porter and Andy Wilson for these. our gratitude also goes to those who continue to sponsor the replanting: Cambridge Self-Service Storage, Cambridgeshire Highways, Churchfield Court, Costain-Skanska-Atkins, Dr Margaret Harding & Professor Paul Hewett, the Girton Allotment Society, Girton Co-Op, Gretton Court, Gretton School, Panther Taxis, Professor Ron Martin, The Old Crown, Wendy's Taxis, Eva Peattie and one anonymous donor. We are also grateful to the neighbours who water and dead-head them.

Hedges and Footways
Now that the nesting season is drawing to a close most hedges are in need of a good trim. If your hedge is growing into a footway, whether a roadside pavement or any other path, you have a responsibility to trim it back to your own boundary. Please may we ask all our residents to ensure that this is done speedily.

Dog-Walking Route
After many years of debate, consultation, argument and deliberation, an off-road dog-walking route for our recreation areas has been settled upon. Many rival interests had to be addressed. The most important is to keep dogs away from the play equipment and sports fields, as this is an essential health and safety issue. The Millennium Wood and St John's Field have been set aside with dogs in mind, so plan has been devised to provide dogs and their owners with fair access to the available grounds through a round walk, while protecting these sensitive areas. The route was chosen as a hybrid of current practice and essential safeguards. Our recreation spaces have been divided into three areas:

1. Dog walking area. The Millennium Wood and St John's Field,, together with the `Pan Handle and wooded verge of the 10 Acre Field.

2. Controlled Area. The track from the Pavilion Car Park to the 10 Acre Field and the strip from behind the MUGA to the gate to St John's Field, together with a 5-metre strip round the 10 Acre Field. Here dogs are permitted only on lead.

The play area, main Recreation Ground and the central area of the 10 Acre Field. Here dogs are strictly forbidden. We hope that the map below showing these areas will soon be available as a leaflet available to everyone.

Awards
At the recent Cambs FA Annual Meeting and Presentation Evening held at Churchill College, Girton United received two awards. The long suffering and dedicated Glenda Mee was nominated Secretary of the Year and Chris Wilson was named Groundsman of the Year (Level 7) for the Kershaw League and below. This is an acknowledgement of the high standard to which Chris keeps all of our sports fields and the Council congratualtes him on his well-earned success.

Watch Your Purse!
The Parish Council has been advised of several instances of distraction theft in supermarket car parks. Typically someone looking lost, perhaps with a map, asks for help while a companion raids your bags. Please be aware of your belongings at all times.

Cambridge Guided Bus
As the bus finally comes into operation, the web pages at http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/thebusway provide maps of the routes and timetables.

Winter Fuel (In August?)
The Government provides a Winter Fuel Allowance to all electors over 60: for some even this is inadequate, while many feel rather uncomfortable about receiving it. The Parish Council has been informed that a local charity, the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, is launching a campaign led by a Girton resident encouraging residents to donate their Allowance to the charity for redistribution. Their website http://www.cambscf.org.uk has more information.

Forthcoming Meetings
The next meetings of the Parish Council will be on Wednesday 17 August 2011 and Wednesday 21 September 2011, starting at 7.30pm at St Vincent's Close Community Centre. Members of the public are welcome to attend all Parish Council meetings and to speak in the open session at the start.