Girton village website

Notes of Parish Meetings

Notes from the Parish Council Meeting - October 2014

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

Parish Council Meetings
The first business of the Council at its September meeting was to co-opt two Councillors to fill the vacancies left at the May election. We are delighted to welcome Elizabeth Harrington, and to welcome back Joanne Garner, who has previously served on the Council.

Before the meeting Tracy Mann from South Cambridgeshire District Council introduced some of the issues which the Parish Council will soon need to decide concerning the governance of the NIAB and North-West developments. How should we incorporate them into Girton Parish, or should we encourage the development of separate Councils? We plan to involve the whole village in the discussion as we tackle these questions.

The major issue on the agenda was a proposal to contribute to the Environment Agency’s proposed flood defences for Girton, and we were pleased that many parishioners attended the meeting for that reason. Because of time pressures it was not possible to allow them all a voice but we were grateful to have a large number of written submissions before us. Unfortunately there are some significant concerns over the Agency’s figures, and our flood expert councillor was unable to attend, so the Council agreed to defer the issue to an extraordinary meeting which will be convened as soon as possible.

The Council also agreed a response to Cambridgeshire County Council’s Household Waste Recycling Public Consultation on bring-sites.

Multi-Use Games Area Availability
Due to a booking cancellation, the Multi-Use Games Area at the Recreation Ground is now available for bookings 5.00–10.00pm on Tuesday evenings. Please contact Linda Miller if you would like to make a booking.

Out and About
Several years ago BT announced that the phone box opposite Pepys Way was redundant and would be removed unless the Council ‘adopted’ it. The Council declined to do so, but the box was never removed and was subsequently refurbished with a card-only system. However the box itself has fallen into disrepair and has frequently been vandalised. Now BT have renewed their intention to remove the box unless the village can present good grounds for its retention. Councillors have agreed informally that they do not wish to revisit the issue.

We are pleased that part of the footway on Girton Road is at last being resurfaced and hope that in time the works will include the full length. We have all had to bear the discomfort of the roadworks on the A14, but having received a large number of complaints concerning the noise of pile-driving at weekends, the Chairman has been in discussions with Costains, and they have agreed to try to reduce weekend noise. The discussions are ongoing. At the same time the NIAB junction is finally being brought up to an acceptable standard, works are due to start on the University junction and the new cycle lane on Huntingdon Road, and the works to remove the pipes from Oakington Road Bridge are under way. There is however no word yet on the completion of Wellbrook Way’s road surface.

As the Summer comes to an end, we would like to take the opportunity to thank all those who have sponsored, or watered and maintained, the flower tubs around the village. Thanks are also due to the village residents who have removed all the elderly rose bushes from the flowerbed at Mayfield Road and completely replanted it to make a wonderful display.

Remembrance Day
As we plan for the centenary Remembrance Day, we invite any village organisations that would like to be involved in any way to contact us.

Scams and Scares
As a friend of the Chairman has just had his computer rendered inoperable by a phone call offering help for a (non-existent) problem, perhaps it is worth noting that there are a lot of scams doing the rounds at present. They tend to fall into a small number of groups and if you keep your head they are fairly easy to spot. As always, the key rules are:
If in doubt: don't! and 'free' offers, especially of money, are never free. Among current scams are the following:
- A cold call from a computer company (generally 'connected to Microsoft') saying that a problem has been identified on your computer and offering to help you fix it.
- A phone call or email about a delivery, a relative in distress, a legacy or other issue asking you to call an unfamiliar number.
- An email from a friend who has had luggage stolen or lost while on holiday.
- A phone call offering to help with your recent car accident or other incident.
In all cases, do not respond or obey the suggestions. There is a very good website snopes.com which will identify most of the scams if you use it to search for the phone number or other details. Otherwise take advice first: the Parish Office will endeavour to help.

Next Meetings
The next regular meetings of the Parish Council will be held on 15th October and 19th November, both 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.