Notes of Parish Meetings
Notes from the Parish Council Meeting - July 2013
The following were amongst items discussed at Parish Council meetings and information received by the Clerk. The full minutes may be found here.
June's Parish Council Meeting
The Council unanimously agreed to let the Girton Feast have use of the Pavilion and Recreation Ground for the Feast at a minimal fee.
The Council received a report on the work being done at Wellbrook Way where the Bowling Green is well under way. A Bowls Club is to be formed, and plans have been received from the Town Charity for a community hall on the land next to the Green.
Could You Be a Parish Councillor?
Following the resignation of Professor Ron Martin from the Council, there is a vacancy on the Council. Notices are already displayed inviting people to nominate themselves for this role. If you feel that this is something you could do for your community please contact the Clerk for details.
Next May the whole Council will be up for election, so if you are unsuccessful this time there is another opportunity soon!
On the Verge ...
The charity Plantlife recently issued a warning about the too-frequent cutting of grass verges. This, they argue, prevents wildflowers from seeding and propagating themselves, and removes a vital food source for bees, butterflies, birds and small mammals. The charity recommends only two cuts per year.
The maintenance of our verges is a County responsibility, but following many complaints over their untidy state the Parish Council agreed to take over the mowing programme, towards which the County makes a small financial contribution. Our contractors will mow up to a dozen times per year depending on weather conditions. Should we revert to a more infrequent regime? Should certain verges be exempt from our mowing schedule? We would very much like to have the views of our residents to help guide future policies.
Part of our current maintenance programme entails the mowing of just a narrow strip along one side only of Washpit Lane, to provide a pedestrian escape when vehicles pass. To our surprise a major clearance has been undertaken along the whole length of Washpit Lane, with a mown strip down both sides of the lane to the farm gate and clearance of all brambles and overgrowth beyond that to the A14. The Parish Council was not responsible for these works and we are trying to find out who authorised them.
At this time of year hedges grow rapidly and we are aware that some of our footpaths are being invaded by bramble and other unwelcome growth. We are working to encourage the owners of these hedges to keep them trimmed and where appropriate the Council itself will arrange for hedge work to be done. If you have a hedge which faces on to a public footpath or roadside footway please ensure that it is always kept cut back to your boundary.
There are two types of salespeople who have been a cause for concern in Girton recently.
Pedlars go door-to-door selling items. For this they need a licence from the local police, as illustrated here, and photo identification from their organisation. Most of those we meet in Girton have no licence, and often come with a story of how they have been recently released from prison and are now trying to go straight. The police tell us that they are often a 'front' for distraction burglaries. They advise that you should never buy from such people, but try to remember their description and when they have left phone the police on their non-emergency number 101.
Street traders park their vehicles in various locations, and generally advertise their presence with chimes. These need a licence from the District Council. Two which may be familiar to you are the A10 fish and chip van which comes on Thursday evenings and the wet fish van on Fridays.
No other traders are licensed to trade in Girton. We are aware of ice cream vendors who have been trading in Girton recently, one of whom has deliberately refused to take a licence. Please do not use them, and please report their presence, with time of day and location, to the Clerk so we can request them to acquire a licence or stop trading here.
You will have noticed that the streetlights along the Huntingdon Road are being replaced, and you should have received a leaflet from Balfour Beatty explaining the project, which will include the upgrading of all streetlights in the County. We are told that, apart from the Huntingdon Road and Weavers Field, the rest of Girton's lights should be replaced later this year and early next. The result should be better and more even light, as well as a significant saving in energy costs. Balfour Beatty have set up a website at http://www.lightingcambridgeshire.com/ where you can find out more details.
More on flooding
By the time you read this, a group of 'Girton Floodies' should have been inaugurated. Those threatened with flooding are banding together to gain information and to act as a pressure group to push for action on Girton's flood hot-spots.
Meanwhile the Parish Council has agreed to the Surface Water Management Plan for NW Cambridge, which was passed by the Planning Authority on 19th June. We are asking for careful monitoring of its effects, which it is claimed will lead to a decrease in water run-off to Beck Brook.
As we mentioned last month, we are happy to have village events advertised (on A5 or smaller) in the Parish noticeboards. However, there has recently been a spate of adhesive stickers applied to the outside of the boards. This is very anti-social as they are hard to clean off.
Once again the planters have been re-planted for the summer, and we are grateful to Peter Graves and to all those who have financed them and who care for them. However, some sponsors have now dropped out and we always appreciate hearing from anyone who would like to sponsor a planter at £50 per year.
The next meetings of the Parish Council will be held on Wednesday 17th July and Wednesday 21st August 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 at the open session at the start.