Girton village website

Notes of Parish Meetings

Notes from the Parish Council Meeting - April 2013

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

Council Meetings
At its February meeting the Council received an update report from the team responsible for the NIAB 2 development, now to be known as Darwin Green 2, which is close to being submitted as an outline planning application for 1100 dwellings with associated facilities. There will be a 2-form entry primary school and a 7-form entry secondary school. Access will be through the current NIAB 1 junction. As with the University development across Huntingdon Road, NIAB 1 and 2 are seen as a single, cross-boundary development which raises questions of governance. Councillors raised questions about cycle and pedestrian access through the site from Wellbrook Way to Thornton Close and it was noted that this would be included in the plans. The developers agreed to look again at the possibility of bringing this forward.

At its March meeting the Council agreed details for the Annual Parish Meeting (see below) and welcomed a senior planner from the District Council who spoke about the progress of the NW Cambridge Development.

Recreation Grounds
We were delighted to receive a message recently congratulating our Groundsman on the quality of his work, stating `We all agree that our Girton football pitches are the best in our respective leagues'. The last two years have been particularly challenging ones and we are currently investigating areas of poor drainage. It is good to know Chris' hard work is so appreciated.

The Council has now installed two picnic benches in the Recreation Ground, one specially designed to accommodate wheelchairs. All we need now is weather fit to enjoy a picnic.

Two of the chestnut trees around the Recreation Ground have succumbed badly to the chestnut bleeding canker disease, and have been condemned as dangerous. They will shortly be removed, and the Council will discuss a replacement planting for the Ground. With this disease, chalara (ash die-back) and others, we fear that we may need to remove a number of trees in coming years. We shall do our best to replace them in an appropriate way.

We would remind everyone that anyone who walks in Girton Wood or the Wellbrook Wood does so at their own risk.

More on Trees ...
We have now received a full report on the London Plane at the Cambridge Academy, which indicates that as much as 80% of the wood in the trunk is rotten. Happily the London Plane on Smithy Green appears to be in good health.

We are pleased that Sustainable Girton has planted 7 pear trees and 1 apple tree along the path by the Wellbrook Wood, together with an oak from an acorn planted by Cottontails. Another, Jubilee oak from the Tree Council will be planted on 8th April in the Hibbert-Ware Garden, in a ceremony involving the village's Cubs, Scouts, Brownies and Youth Project members. Villagers are very welcome to attend.

When six of the silver birches in Woodlands Park had to be felled last autumn the Parish Council insisted that the County should replace them. County officers have consulted residents on a number of possible replacements and there was widespread approval of an ornamental pear (Pyrus calleryana chanticleer). Although one resident raised concerns over pollen, this is likely to be less of an issue than with the silver birches.

Out and About
Hedge trimming should now be complete as birds begin to roost, but please continue to ensure that your hedge does not invade the pavements or footpaths. In particular please be vigilant in removing bramble whips which grow so quickly and can cause significant injury to faces and eyes.

May we also repeat last month's reminder of the importance of clearing any ditches which border your property - as riparian owner it is your responsibility.

A certain amount of graffiti has appeared recently, and a team of young people on probation guided by the South Cambs enforcement team has been clearing it away. We rely very much on you, members of our community, to report graffiti and other problems to the Clerk so that they can be addressed speedily.

Annual Parish Meeting
The Annual Parish Meeting will take place on Tuesday 21st May at Girton Glebe School. This is a very important meeting for our community. Local clubs and groups are invited to set out their stalls to update us all on what happens in our village. At the meeting, brief reports are received from the Parish, District and County Councils, the Police and the Town Charity; with plenty of time for questions from the floor. This is your chance to influence developments over the next 12 months. This year we shall also have a presentation on the current state of the Village Plan.

Forthcoming Meetings
The next meetings of the Parish Council will be on Wednesday 17 April and Wednesday 15 May 2013, starting at 7.30pm at St Vincent's Close Community Centre. The May meeting will be the Council's AGM, when committees are reconstituted. Members of the public are welcome to attend all Parish Council meetings and to speak in the open session at the start.