Meeting Minutes: 30th April 2020


MINUTES of the Council meeting held at 7 p.m. on Thursday 30 April 2020 by means of video conferencing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

PRESENT  Councillors P Seabrook (in the Chair); K Hutchinson; D Poole; Mrs R Lloyd; Mrs C Jessup; Ms S Mugglestone; L Farrer ; Mrs E Milne; Mrs D Hellett and Mrs J Stainer..

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

51/20  APOLOGIES   None were received.

52/20  PUBLIC FORUM  was not used.


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

54/20  COUNTY COUNCILLOR    Councillor Gardener reported on the matter of the proposed pedestrian crossing and asked that this item, scheduled for later in the agenda, be included with his report.     This was duly agreed.

He reported on the meetings with Highways Officers and the costings which had now been received.    Two options were offered, one with the crossing painted on the existing road surface and one with it upon a raised platform.    Councillor Hutchinson pointed out that we were concerned to reduce the average speed of vehicles on Thrapston Road and the inclusion of a raised platform would ensure that, whether or not the crossing was being used by anyone.

Councillor Poole proposed and Councillor Mrs Lloyd seconded, that subject to funding, we proceed with option 2, the inclusion of a raised platform.

Councillor Gardener said that both he and Councillor Gray would seek funding from their respective authorities to enable this project to go ahead.

He then referred to our LHI bid which, he said, had the potential to be very expensive with the Parish Council having to find all expenditure above £13,500 and he recommended that we revise our application and split it into different phases.   It was noted that although councillors are keen to introduce ‘buffer zones’ Highways Officers are not and it could be useful to be able to show traffic speeds, which would be possible if we had MVAS signs, as they recorded speeds.  He therefore advised that our first bid should be for MVAS signs.

The Chairman agreed and proposed that our LHI bid be amended to two MVAS signs plus posts upon which to fix them on all through routes through the village.   This was seconded by Councillor Mrs Milne and unanimously agreed.

On the subject of Covid 19, a county-wide hub has been operating for 4 weeks in support of shielded group residents and assistance is being given by the Royal Navy.  Scammers are making the most of the lockdown and it is important to use passwords to stop their activities.

The Community Fund will provide funding for local projects.

Addenbrooke’s are increasing acute beds by 254 and the Intensive Care Unit by 300 plus and about 170 additional beds are still vacant.  A temporary mortuary has been established in Cambridge. 

The County Council is supporting care homes and care providers with PPE.

It is planned to re-open recycling centres soon.

The deadline for LHI bids is being extended.

The Chairman asked about footpath trimming and was told that the CCC contract starts in May. He said that hedges need attention, particularly in Three Shires Way, where suckers are growing.

Councillor Mrs Lloyd said there had been a complaint about a footpath running from Park Lane to Hatchet Lane which crosses a field and is totally overgrown.   Councillor Gardener said that is the landowner’s responsibility.

Councillor Farrer said that overhanging hedges and bushes are becoming a real problem where they intrude on the highway and are very dangerous, though nothing is done when reported.  There is a tree overhanging the road between Agden Hill and Dillington.

District Councillor Jonathan Gray joined the meeting.

55/20  MINUTES  The minutes of the Council meeting of 26 March 2020 were read, and approved  as a true record of that meeting.


  • Neighbourhood Watch.   Nothing to report.
  • Hearse House repairs   Three quotes have now been received for underpinning.and that of E Farrer & Son is the most favourable.

Councillor Farrer left the meeting and took no part in the discussion which followed.

The quotes were discussed as was the funding of the work.  It was agreed that a PWLB loan for £30000 will be sought.

Subject to the approval of that, it was unanimously agreed to engage E Farrer & Son to underpin the building.

Councillor Farrer was invited to re-join the meeting.

  • Churchyard Cobbles   An estimate in the sum of £7500 has been received from E Farrer & Son, for replacing the cobbles between the south door and the east end of the church, the work to be undertaken using traditional materials.  It had not proved possible to get any other contractor to quote.   Other areas need patching and the cost for this will be investigated in due course.  This work will be dependent upon loan sanction being granted for the Hearse House repairs and would not be affordable this year if it is not, so it was agreed to ask the PCC whether they could assist by contributing towards the costs.  It was proposed by Councillor Ms Mugglestone, seconded by Councillor Mrs Milne and agreed to employ E Farrer & Son to undertake the work once finances are resolved.
  • Annual Parish Meeting – request for noticeboard at The Leys.     It was agreed to provide an open notice board to be fitted to the fence at the top of The Leys, at a cost of up to £200.  This was proposed by Councillor Mrs Stainer, seconded by Councillor Mrs Milne and agreed.
  • Pound Lane Working Party has not met, but the Chairman has spoken with an architect to obtain ideas for a building..
  • Twinning with Fernie.  Not progressed due to circumstances.


Councillor Gray said that the District Council was helping those in need by supplying food parcels.  He said that the feared spike in covid19 admissions to hospital appeared to have passed and Hinchingbrooke have coped without being inundated.

Many elderly people are being looked after by neighbours and voluntary groups, but some are falling between the cracks and these are the ones that must be sought out.

Already Huntingdonshire DC has paid out 66% of small business grants; 54% of grants re leisure and 80% of funds available to other areas.

Council tax revenue collection is 92%.

Leisure centres remain closed and are the biggest drain on resources, having over 70 full- and part-time staff.    They cannot at present be furloughed and many have been re-deployed, mostly working from home.

He pays a huge tribute to staff who are working long hours.

Councillor Gray left the meeting


  • Applications  

None received.

  • Ongoing Matters.     Mulberry Cottage stables.  No report.

59/20    REPORTS

Allotments  The Clerk reported on a dispute regarding the transfer of an allotment.It was agreed that the Clerk will endeavour to resolve the dispute and, if the present tenant of plot 20 is willing to relinquish her tenancy, her rent of £30 will be refunded.

Councillor Mrs Hellett reported that the allotments generally were looking in much better shape.

Footpaths.  The footpaths were being much more used of late and farmers have needed to place notices advising people to keep to the designated footpaths where possible, to avoid disturbing nesting birds.   One such notice had annoyed a resident, who had written a letter of complaint to the Council.

Dog Fouling.   A complaint had also been received from a resident concerning the use of the churchyard by a family for recreation and the family allowing their dog to foul the ground without picking the mess up.     The Clerk will speak with the family and try to resolve the situation.

PlayPark – A letter had been received pointing out that people are still using the play equipment.  It was agreed to use cable ties to keep the gates closed.

Seating.  Councillor Poole said that a number of benches in the village were in poor condition and dirty.  He particularly cited the one on The Butts and it was agreed to ask the grounds staff to clean it.

Outside Bodies.

Kimbolton Trust.  The next meeting of Trustees will be in May.

Kimbolton School.  Councillor Mrs Hellett said that staff were having to be furloughed because of the pandemic and projects delayed.


Following on from 54/20 above, it was agreed to revise this year’s bid to the purchase of MVAS signs plus 5 posts and to postpone the other matters until next year.


This had also been discussed in 54/20 above.


  • Request for this Council to support a bid to government for a Local Electricity Bill was noted and agreed no action to be taken.
  • Letter regarding use of play park reported above.
  • Letter re family using churchyard for recreation reported above.
  • Letter re notices posted by farmers reported above.
  • Thank you letter from winner of prize in Oil Buying Group was received.


a)The following were proposed and approved for payment –

        E Farrer & Son      Various works 2015 to date                3795.68 inc VAT

        PlaySafety               RoSPA inspection                               177.00      

        Mick George Ltd          Skip hire                                          207.60      

        Fishers                     Groundsman sundries                          11.90      

        K & M Lighting         Lighting maintenance (2 months)        250.96     

        Judy Brown              Artwork                                                104.00  no         

        John Lewis               Computer                                            909.95  inc 

        C L Thatcher            Fuel for Piaggio                                     22.97      

        JD Garden & Landscaping     Grass cutting                       2497.44     

        Payroll costs            Pay, PAYE & NIC                               2182.77 no 

b)To receive the 2019/20 accounts.   The Clerk presented the accounts, which had been previously circulated, and invited questions.

c) Annual Governance Statement was read by the Clerk and all answers noted on the form and approved.

d)  Annual Return was completed, considered and approved by Council.

64/20  HIGH STREET CAR PARKING  Nothing to report.


Councillor Hutchinson referred to the clearance of trees and bushes by a resident whose home backs onto Halls Meadow.  He said that it had caused a mess and he thought the resident should be asked to tidy it up.  The Clerk will approach the resident.

Councillor Mrs Hellett commented that a tree in the garden of a home in Ashfield was in danger of falling over.

The Clerk showed members the painting by Judy Brown which was being given to our retiring councillor and all were very pleased at the result.


The next normal meeting of Council will be held on Thursday 28 May 2020, commencing at 7pm in the Youth and Community Room at the Mandeville Hall, if permitted, otherwise by means of video conferencing.

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 2230 hours.

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