Meeting Minutes: 28th January 2021


MINUTES of the Council meeting held at 7 p.m. on Thursday 28 January 2021 by means of video conferencing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

PRESENT  Councillors P Seabrook; K Hutchinson; D Poole; Mrs C Jessup; L Farrer ; Mrs D Hellett; Mrs J Stainer and Mrs R Lloyd…

IN ATTENDANCE  County Councillor I Gardener; District Councillor J Gray; C L Thatcher, Clerk to the Council and 3 members of the public.

1/21  APOLOGIES  were received from Councillors Ms S Mugglestone and Mrs E Milne.

2/21  PUBLIC FORUM  was not used.


Councillor Mrs Hellett declared an interest in the ongoing matter of Mulberry Cottage stables.

4/21   MINUTES

The minutes of 17 December 2020 were read and approved as a true record of that meeting .


  • Neighbourhood Watch.  The Clerk reported that hare coursing was taking place locally.
  • Hearse House.   Councillor Farrer said that the work was 90% complete..
  • Cemetery Wall repairs.  The Chairman together with Councillor Farrer had looked at the wall and determined which sections and pillars needed re-building with a view to quotes being obtained..
  • Pound Lane Working Party.  The Chairman and Councillor Farrer had measured the proposed car park area and will obtain estimates of cost for surfacing this plus improving the access road.

Councillor Mrs Hellett joined the meeting.

  • Twinning.   Deferred due to Covid situation.
  • Pedestrian crossing.  No further updates. Anticipated completion April 2021
  • Christmas lights.  Good comments had been received on the improved lighting.  Councillor Farrer asked for approval for the payment of the materials used, wiring, junction boxes etc, which will of course be available for future years, and for the labour costs of some helpers.  The total cost is £2473.57 plus VAT.   It was proposed by Councillor Mrs Hellett , seconded by Councillor Mrs Stainer and payment agreed.   Councillor Farrer abstained for the discussion and vote.
  • Rookery Lane barrier.  It was agreed to seek quotes for either a lay-flat bollard or a gate plus installation costs and the Chairman will measure and decide upon the best option.
  • Luton Airport proposed holding pattern.   The Clerk said that there had been more interest from residents recently and all those writing were opposed to the proposal.   It was agreed that, if the new holding pattern is necessary (and that is not proven) then the airspace around Luton is limited in terms of an alternative location.  It was agreed to oppose the holding pattern but to suggest that, in order to reduce noise levels in an area such as is proposed and to point out that because the ambient noise level is low here, it might be better to move the pattern some 5 miles east, so that part of it is over the built areas of Huntingdon and St Neots, where the ambient noise level is higher and thus the noise would be less obtrusive.

Councillor Gray temporarily left the meeting

  • Development at Montagu Gardens  The Clerk reported that the developer had replied to say that this Council, if accepting the transfer of the open space, would be expected to pay its own legal expenses and, furthermore, they are not prepared to increase the sum offered.

After some discussion it was proposed by Councillor Poole and seconded by Councillor Mrs Lloyd, that there appeared to be no benefit to this Council in adopting the land and it was agreed to refuse the offer.  There was one abstention.

  • Coronavirus update.  We are, of course, back in lockdown, but rates of infection in this immediate area remain low.



There were no applications, but the Clerk reported a letter from a resident regarding the proposed new build to replace Five Oaks in Rookery Lane and concerns that the design of the new building will exacerbate flooding.   The Clerk said that he had suggested that the resident should make views known to the planning authority, since this council had already voted on the matter.  It was agreed to note the letter..

Ongoing Matters

Nothing to report.

Development Management Committee.

The Chairman reported that he had attended the virtual meeting of the DMC in order to support this council’s objection to the proposal regarding 9 Grass Yard.   He said that this had been discussed at length but the resulting vote was in favour of allowing the development by 6 votes to 5, with 5 abstaining.

Councillor Hutchinson said that it was a very poor reflection on that committee when a third of the members chose to abstain. There is little point in being a member of the committee if you are not prepared to make a decision.


Allotments.    JD Garden and Landscaping had provided a further quote for tidying the allotments.  Should we require more work done then they would charge only for an extra day’s labour and the use of the machine would be included at no extra charge i.e. for £370 plus VAT. It was proposed by Councillor Mrs Hellett, seconded by Councillor Farrer and agreed to accept this quote.

Village Maintenance.  Councillor Mrs Stainer mentioned the footbridge in Stonely which has split badly.

Councillor Mrs Hellett suggested a litter pick for either the weekend of 20/21 February or 27/28 February.


Mandeville Hall.  No report

Kimbolton Trust.  The Chairman said that the Trust was very busy at present, providing assistance to residents.

Kimbolton School Governors.  Councillor Mrs Hellett said that the School is currently using online lessons.   She also mentioned that there had been an attempted break-in into the Grounds Department.

Councillor Gardener joined the meeting.


The Chairman invited a resident to speak.  He said that on the night of 23/24 December his home was flooded to a depth of about 2 feet.   He said that the water rose very quickly and residents had little warning.  He suggested that the Butts bridge, when it was rebuilt, was wider than the previous bridge and therefore allowed more flow into the village.  Add to that Carnaby bridge having two archways which do not allow water through and Rookery Lane bridge with a mesh guard which filled with debris and held up water to about 3 inches and it can be seen why the village floods more readily.  Further downstream in Stonely the river is choked with self-set trees on the river bank.   A resident of Thrapston Road said that not only was water flowing into the back of his home from the river, but water was coming off the road and flooding into his house from the front.  He suggested building up the edge of the road to prevent this.

It was suggested that a ‘Flood Group’ be formed to try to find ways around the problem and to seek the Environment Agency’s participation.

Councillor Gardener said that Huntingdonshire District Council’s flood review recommends that all villages should have a flood defence group.

Councillor Gray re-joined the meeting

East Street flooding was discussed where several properties were flooded, including one on the ‘town side’ of the road which was flooded because of water being held up by the speed humps in the road.

A resident asked whether the District Council could provide sandbags when needed but Councillor Gray said this would not be possible.  He suggested a local stock.  It was agreed to consider the possibility of providing sandbags and keeping them in a locked container in the Fire Station yard, if permitted.

It was thought that the culvert at the B645/B660 Park Lane junction needs enlarging.

The Chairman and Councillor Farrer had met with the Environment Agency representative who, although sympathetic, did not appear to be able to offer much assistance.

It was decided to hold a Flood Forum meeting on Thursday 4 February commencing at 7.30pm by means of Zoom.


  • The Clerk referred to the suggestion that we make use of internet banking for payments, rather than cheques.   He had been investigating the possibility with Barclays, but had been spending a lot of time without achieving a lot!     He had finally spoken with the mandate department who had told him that it was possible to set up the account to do that, but they would only accept one person as the authoriser of each transaction, whereas we need two, to comply with the law.

The information given is contrary to what others have said so he is waiting to see what response is given to a further enquiry.  The Chairman said that he would also try to find out from the bank.

Should Barclays not be able/willing to offer this security we could always move our account to the Unity Trust Bank who do offer dual authorisation..


Councillor Gardener said that the County Council was a co-ordinating hub for Covid and offered regular support to the clinically vulnerable.   They have supplied food parcels and 32,000 children and young people had access to food over Christmas as well as offering people transport to vaccine centres.

In this area the daily number testing positive is 6 and in Huntingdonshire there have been 439 new cases and 22 people have died.

He warned everyone to watch out for the scams which were circulating, such as offering vaccinations for payment.

The elected Mayor of the County wants west Huntingdonshire to have an on demand system for public transport.

Councillor Gardener left the meeting.


  • Invoices for payment.  The following were approved –

K & M Lighting.        Maintenance                £125.48

E Farrer & Son  Hearse house 2nd instal. £12000.00

E Farrer & Son       Christmas lighting        £2968.28

SLCC Enterprises    conference fee               £30.00

Seabrook Farms       weedkiller                     £72.96

D Eades               January work                  £110.80

Payroll costs       Pay, PAYE & NIC          £2246.15


Councillor Gray also provided an update and his view on the Development Management Committee meeting.      He said HDC has just launched new lockdown grants for businesses.   The draft budget is still ongoing.  It is difficult to define losses but he suspects the net effect will be a £3million deficit.   However, no reduction in services in 2021/22 is proposed.   HDC has more reserves than any other council in Cambridgeshire.


No report.



Councillor Farrer said that the footpath alongside Newtown Lane is in a poor condition.

Councillor Mrs Hellett commented upon the amount of ivy around trees and wondered whether we could remove/cut it once our tree survey is complete.

Again, she believes that children are playing in the churchyard and that a letter to the parents is appropriate.


The next meeting of Council, the normal monthly meeting, will be held on Thursday 25 February 2021 by means of Zoom.

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 2155 hours.

©2024. Kimbolton & Stonely Parish Council. All Rights Reserved.