Meeting Minutes: 17th December 2020


MINUTES of the Council meeting held at 7 p.m. on Thursday 17 December 2020 by means of video conferencing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

PRESENT  Councillors P Seabrook; K Hutchinson; D Poole; R Gooderham; Mrs C Jessup; L Farrer ; Mrs D Hellett; Ms S Mugglestone ; Mrs J Stainer and Mrs E Milne..

IN ATTENDANCE  County Councillor I Gardener; District Councillor J Gray & C L Thatcher, Clerk to the Council .

190/20  APOLOGIES  were received from Councillor Mrs R Lloyd

191/20  PUBLIC FORUM  was not used.


Councillor Mrs Hellett declared an interest in the ongoing matter of Mulberry Cottage stables and Councillor Hutchinson in the matter of 9 Grass Yard..


Councillor Gardener said that the design of the pedestrian crossing was expected to be ready by Christmas, with a view to it being installed in April or May 2021.

He said that the gullies had been cleared in Easton Rd; Main Road, Stonely and London Road and the footpath repaired.

Recycling centres close at 1pm on Christmas Eve as will libraries, which will re-open on 4 January.

Regarding Covid, currently Cambridgeshire is in Tier 2 but Peterborough is in Tier 3.  Vaccinations commenced on 8 December.    There had been a fall in cases in Cambridgeshire to the end of November, but a slight increase now.

The County Council budget deficit was £21M but it is hoped to balance it by the year end.

The Chairman thanked Councillor Gardener for his report and his support over the year.

194/20  MINUTES

The minutes of 26 November 2020 were read and approved as a true record of that meeting 

Councillor Mrs Stainer joined the meeting.


  • Neighbourhood Watch.  The Clerk reported having searched the CCTV on several occasions at the behest of the police, relating to thefts of catalysers from vehicles in the St Neots / Gt Staughton areas.
  • Hearse House.   

Councillor Farrer said that 3 sides had now been underpinned and the remaining side, that outside the wall, will be commenced in the New Year.

  • Cemetery Wall repairs. It was agreed to again defer consideration until the next meeting.
  • Playpark equipment.  Some ideas had been put forward by Councillor Mrs Hellett but it was not possible to put together a bid before the deadline of 14 December.
  • Pound Lane Working Party.  The Chairman said that a quote had been received from an architect and others were awaited.  The Clerk reported that solicitors had been asked to confirm the position regarding rights of way.
  • Twinning.   Deferred due to covid situation.
  • Pedestrian crossing.  See update in 193/20 above.
  • Christmas lights.  The Chairman complimented Councillor Farrer and his team on the excellent display which they had provided and thanked them for all their efforts.  A number of complimentary comments had been received from residents.
  • Rookery Lane barrier.  A response from the County Council is awaited.
  • Luton Airport proposed holding pattern.   There had been little response from residents and it was noted that a webinar is to be held at 11am on 5 January.  Members were asked to pass their thoughts to Councillor Gray.
  • Development at Montagu Gardens.  Having received clarification, following a proposal by Councillor Farrer, which was seconded by Councillor Hutchinson, members agreed to accept the adoption of the proposed open space, subject to this not containing any hard surfaces.  It was thought the sum offered for ongoing maintenance, £5340, was not adequate and the Clerk was instructed to seek a higher sum if possible.
  • Coronavirus update.  We remain in Tier 2 for the moment, but a review will take place in the next week.

Councillor Gray left the meeting.

196/20  PLANNING


20/01071  9 Grass Yard – formation of independent dwelling.

Councillor Hutchinson declared an interest and left the meeting, taking no part in the discussion or decision.

Discussion took place once more on this application and members expressed surprise that the Planning Officer now recommended approval, it having been less than 2 years since it was said that permitting this development would be harmful to the surroundings yet those surroundings have no changed.

It was accordingly proposed by Councillor Mrs Hellett, seconded by Councillor Farrer and agreed by eight votes to one, Councillor Poole voting against.

Councillor Hutchinson re-joined the meeting.

Councillor Gray joined the meeting.

20/02038   Honeyhill Farm, Tilbrook Rd – erect agricultural building.

It was proposed by Councillor Poole, seconded by Councillor Mrs Hellett and agreed to recommend approval as appropriate development.

20/01721/01722LBC   5 Est St – replace existing felt roof with new materials.

It was proposed by Councillor Mrs Hellett, seconded by Councillor Mrs Stainer and agreed to recommend approval as appropriate development.

Ongoing matters.  Mulberry Cottage stables.  No report.

197/20  REPORTS

Allotments.    It was reported that Matthew Hellett had cut the hedges and this was appreciated.

A quote for rotovating the vacant plots, removing rubbish and re-seeding had been received from JD Garden and Landscaping but it was thought that if a machine was being brought in it might be possible to do additional work at little extra cost.  It was therefore agreed to place this on the agenda for the next meeting.

Village Maintenance.  The new fence in Carnaby was commented upon, with some members feeling that it may have encroached upon Council land.

Councillor Mrs Hellett said that the boys undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme helped with the Christmas lights and will make a start on the churchyard this weekend.

It was mentioned that a shelter at the bus stop by Beacon Finance would be very useful, but since this stop is due to be re-located when the pedestrian crossing is installed it was agreed to defer consideration.


Mandeville Hall.  Councillor Mrs Jessup said the Hall is just ticking over with a few regular hires.  The Committee is now obtaining quotes for the batteries to store electricity generated by the solar panels.

Kimbolton Trust.  The Chairman said that the Trust was actively providing financial support to local people in these difficult times.

Kimbolton School Governors.  Councillor Mrs Hellett reported that Edward Valletta, the Bursar, was retiring soon and that a new Bursar has been appointed.     The numbers of students starting next September looked very good.


  • First Land.  A circular from the County Council had explained the difficulties they had experienced with their foray into investments into land.  Councillor Hutchinson commented that it would be a good idea if the County Council didn’t mess about with property deals , believing they had the expertise to do so, which they clearly did not,  
  • Circular received from the manufacturer of reactive signs, quoting prices.

199/20  ACCOUNTS

  • Invoices for payment.  The following were approved –

K & M Lighting.        Maintenance                £125.48

Nick Small              Noticeboard                  £400.00

SLCC                    Annual subscription        £251.00

JD Gardening     Grass cutting Aug-Oct    £3134.34

Grafton Projects Paper, cartridges, pens    £146.58

D Eades               December work              £264.04

Payroll costs       Pay, PAYE & NIC          £2246.15

C L Thatcher Reimbursement Diesel etc     £59.46

H J Hellett & Son    Hedge cutting              £360.00


Councillor Gray said that the collection of council tax had been much higher than expected and even business rates were only 6% down, however, the closure of leisure centres and lack of car parking revenues meant that HDC expected to be around £3million down at the year end.    The government will give 75p in the £ for some lost income, but not all.

The draft budget has been postponed until early February.

The Chairman thanked Councillor Gray for his report and for his assistance over the year.

Councillor Gray left the meeting.


Councillor Mrs Hellett said that there had been a complaint from a resident about the number of parents who were now parking in the High St to await collection of their child from school and, particularly, those who leave their engines running.      This apparently is also a problem in Castle Gardens.    The Clerk said that he had written to the Bursar on this subject a while ago and the Head Master had included it in his letter to parents.  It was agreed that this had initially helped matters, but things were now as bad as ever and it was agreed that a further letter be sent to the Bursar.



Councillor Ms Mugglestone proposed a vote of thanks to Councillor Farrer and his team for all the hard work they had put in to making the Christmas lights such a success and to the shop owners and residents of the High St and East St for joining in and making the village look so nice.  This was unanimously agreed.

Councillor Mrs Stainer said that there is a tyre in the ditch at Park Lane.


The next meeting of Council, the normal monthly meeting, will be held on Thursday 28 January 2021 by means of Zoom.

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 2050 hours.

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