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THORNHAUGH PARISH COUNCIL

Minutes of the Meeting of Thornhaugh Parish Council held on 18th January 2021 via Zoom

PRESENT
Chris Smith (Chairman)
Louise Molesworth (Vice Chairman)
Ashley Kewney
Martin Lewis
Adrian Rodgers

IN ATTENDANCE
David Beal, Jennie Beal, Alan Frost, Joan Frost, Peter Sharpley, Hannah Joyce (Members of the Public)
Peter Slinger, Prospective Green Party Candidate for the Ward Elections
Deirdre McCumiskey (Clerk)

1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
There were no apologies for absence.

2. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Ashleigh Kewney declared an interest in Item 7. Vii) Planning Application 20/01688 as it is his property.

3. PUBLIC FORUM
Robert Reeve had submitted two written issues:-

• The Shell garage on the A1 northbound was supposed to have planted some trees when the upgraded work was completed to cut down the light pollution to the village but this has never been done. Perhaps it can be chased up. It was noted that 50+ trees were planted during hot weather and these have died. The Chairman had already chased this up on 4th October 2020 but has had no response. She will chase this up again.

• He had attached a map showing the nature meadow by the A1 with access from the footpath near the exit from the Wansford underpass. The gate to the meadow is locked although it is shown as an entry point on the countryside stewardship scheme. Perhaps it can be arranged to be unlocked to avoid walking alongside the A1 on the route from Wansford to Thornhaugh. Louise Molesworth will send details of who lives there to the Chairman who will contact the resident.

Peter Sharpley had the following issue:-

• He was sad to report that there had been two complaints to the police relating to the holiday lets on Meadow Lane. He asks if anyone has concerns that they contact him directly. Both complaints were found to be incorrect, and his use of the lets is within Covid guidelines, for example the current residents are there because their house has been flooded and is uninhabitable.

4. POLICE MATTERS
There were no police representatives present. No-one present had heard of any recent reported crimes but residents are reminded to be vigilant.

5. MINUTES of the Meeting of Thornhaugh Parish Council held on 16th November 2020 were reviewed, approved and signed by the Chairman.
Proposed by:- Louise Molesworth
Seconded by:- Adrian Rodgers

6. MATTERS ARISING

i) Footpaths
The Chairman noted that the footpath application alongside the chicken farm was still progressing. A notice has now been issued to seek any further comments/objections prior to 19th February 2021 after which the footpath will hopefully will be finally adopted. A testament to Martin Witherington and the others involved in this mammoth journey.

The Chairman reported that the small bridge across the culvert of the footpath between the A47 and the Augean Site is very slippery. A warning notice will be put up and non-slip material will be fixed onto the bridge once the weather improves and the bridge is dry enough. Thanks were expressed to Augean for this work who were extremely helpful and responsive.

ii) Defibrillator
The Chairman had not had a response from Rev Jane Tailby and neither had Stuart Foreman, Church Warden. Alan Frost kindly stated he would be happy for one of his out buildings to house the defibrillator. Louise Molesworth will meet with him to check this out. Louise Molesworth will obtain an up-to-date quotation for the defibrillator.

iii) Christmas Tree
Thanks were expressed to all residents who had made the tree happen again and to those who had put ornaments onto the Christmas Tree including the two ornaments that were made by Stanley and Molly, two younger residents. The Chairman has written an article for Living Villages.

7. PLANNING APPLICATIONS

i) Planning Application 19/01889 Change of use from an agricultural field and woodland to form an adventure play scheme including erection of indoor play and visitor amenity barn, a supporting toilet and changing block, staff welfare facilities, outdoor play equipment and car park at Land off Sutton Heath Road, Southorpe – Objections – Awaiting Decision

ii) Planning Application 20/00733 Erection of new play area within existing leisure site at Sacrewell Farm, Thornhaugh – No Objections – Awaiting Decision

iii) Planning Application 20/01178 Fell 4x Leylandii trees, 2x Cherry trees, 2x Fir trees, 1x Willow tree (All tree adjacent to dry stone wall) & Fell 6x Leylandii trees (Rear right side of garden/corner bordering Manor Farm) at 21 Russell Hill, Thornhaugh – Taking Tree Officer’s Advice – Permitted

iv) Planning Application 20/01537 Remove Cherry Tree and replace further from property at 1-3 Meadow Lane, Thornhaugh – Permitted

v) Planning Application 20/01547 Proposed loft conversion with front and rear dormers, a new front porch and ground floor alterations at Alkenray, Meadow Lane, Thornhaugh – No Objections – Awaiting Decision

vi) Planning Application 20/01680 Variation of condition C1 and C2 (to revise the order of approved phasing and allow the storage of Hi-pod containers) pursuant to planning permission 17/00726/WCMM at Thornhaugh Landfill Site, Leicester Road, Thornhaugh – No Objections – Awaiting Decision

vii) Planning Application 20/01688 Discharge of conditions C1 (3 years), C2 (Cross section drawings), C3 (Stoneworks), C5 (Ventilation gap), C6 (Timber Permission), C7 (Ventilation details), C8 (Building regulations), C9 (Re-used Ironmongery), C10 (Removal method) and C11 (Plans) of Listed Building Consent 18/01779/LBC at The Old Dairy, Home Farm, Leicester Road, Thornhaugh – No Objections – Awaiting Decision

viii) 16 Meadow Lane – enquiry relating to positioning of boundary wall and vehicle access. It was noted that the boundary wall will be allowed as it is under a retrospective amendment to the Planning Permission.

ix) Croft Farm – compliance enquiry on hardstanding area and progress on landscaping. The Planning Department has not replied to this issue.

x) 16 Russell Hill – enquiry into change of use from agriculture to domestic use for play area. The Planning Department has not replied to this issue.

8. CORRESPONDENCE

The following report has been received from Lisa Chambers relating to the Christie Hall: -:-

In November after a great deal of research, we installed a new ventilation system which means we are now able to use the hall with enough ventilation inside to use the heating system which was not possible before. We were able to fund this out of the grant received from Huntingdon District Council. We felt this was money was well spent to be able to offer the hall for hire as a safer environment following government guidelines during this unprecedented situation and for use during winter months.

Unfortunately, since the installation the November lockdown occurred. The committee decided at that point that it would be sensible to open the hall again as from January 2021 as there were so many restrictions, and then of course the second total lockdown came into play! Therefore, the hall is currently closed and is not allowed to open at present. We have someone keeping an eye on the hall regularly during the closure.

We have been in touch with our regular hirers to reassure them that as soon as we are able, we will open our doors again following all the necessary guidelines given. We are very conscious of the fact that regular groups are important to people for socialising, keeping fit etc and we are keen that we offer our venue for local people to be able to carry on with these activities as soon as it is safe to do so.

It was agreed that the Clerk will list the correspondence received between meetings from this point onwards.

It was noted that the 10-yearly Census will take place in March 2021. This will be mainly online but paper forms will be available for those residents who do not have an e-mail account.

9. FINANCE

i) Bank Signatories
Adrian Rogers will complete the process to be able to view the bank accounts online.

ii) Statement and Bank Reconciliation at 31st December 2020 was reviewed and approved as presented.
Proposed by:- Louise Molesworth
Seconded by:- Chris Smith

iii) Budget and Precept 2021
After a short discussion it was agreed to keep the Net Parish Precept at £5,563 plus 75% of the expenditure on Parish Burial Grounds at £1,250 totalling £6,688 the same level as 2020-2021 as there had been an underspend in the budget due to the unusual year and Xanthe Pitts’ donation towards the cost of the hanging baskets.

10. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

i) Speeding Motorists Flyer
The Chairman will produce a flyer to include the issues such as speeding motorists, current projects, etc. A draft will be circulated for comment as soon as possible. In the flyer, it was agreed that the Chairman would ask if residents would like to receive communications electronically rather by mail-drop with responses on this being sent to the Clerk for collation.

ii) John Clare Countryside Project
Alan Frost gave an update on this Project. He will put an article in Living Villages asking residents what they are already doing to help the countryside so he can add to the data he is already collecting. He has been able to produce a definitive map of Thornhaugh Parish which will be very useful. Peter Sharpley gave an update of what his family are doing to help the countryside such as re-planting hedgerows and re-purposing low-yielding agricultural land. It was noted that it will be a Bird Watch over the weekend of 30th/31st January 2021. A summary of the essence of the project has been produced by Alan and Joan Frost and is attached to these minutes for information.

iii) Annual Parish Meeting and Annual General Meeting
It was noted that the local elections are due to take place in May 2021 but may be postponed until October 2021. The Chairman said that, since the meetings had to be cancelled last year, the Annual Parish Meeting and Annual General Meeting will take place in May 2021 even if it has to be via Zoom. This is now allowable under new regulations brought in to manage during the pandemic.

iv) Village Party
Alan and Joan Frost kindly offered the use of their garden for a Village Party once the Covid Restrictions have been lifted.

11. DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The next meeting of Thornhaugh Parish Council will take place at 7.00 pm on 15th March 2021. Venue to be confirmed, although highly likely to be via Zoom once again.

12. CLOSURE

There being no further business to discuss, the Chairman closed the meeting at 8.00 pm.

SIGNED _________________________________ DATE 15/03/21

Chairman

The following report has been received:-

John Clare Countryside Project

We “attended” the Zoom meeting on the above on 17 December 2020.

It was clear that many parish plans were well-established and many had already actioned some of their projects.

The project was launched in September 2019.

The overall aims of the Recovery Plan” in summary, are:

1. To increase wildlife habitats
2. Raise levels of local pride, aspiration and community cohesion by helping to understand and enjoy their natural heritage.
3. Champion best practice sustainable development in all aspects of future development.
4. Promote public health and wellbeing through access to nature.
5. Create new jobs and economic opportunities.
6. Create more resilient countryside and communities.
This will and is being done through harnessing the efforts in parishes.

We noted that the steps to creating a Parish Nature Recovery Plan were:

1. Make a simple map of wildlife habitats
2. Based on this decide on the objectives of our Plan
3. Develop a nature recovery map
4. Draw up a timetable for habitat creation/improvement
5. Develop a plan for maintaining and monitoring the habitats.

Breaking some of these steps down into more detail, the areas that were suggested were:

Wildlife gardening
Bird Nesting Boxes
Road verges management
Churchyard maintenance
Planting trees and/or wild flowers using “planting days” to get the community involved
Mental health aspects

We were advised that there is expert help available to advise on all aspects of these steps, and we were given names and contact details of some people.

The coordinator, Richard Astle, acknowledged that the pandemic is having, and will continue to have constraints on the whole project, and suggested that, for 2021, everybody could aim at doing just one thing to progress the project.

So, it currently seems to be a matter of informing and enthusing everyone and asking them to do “something”, however small, as a starter (and keeping a record of the efforts of our community), and at the same time get on with drawing up an overall plan for Thornhaugh Parish.

Apparently, there is a budget but we are unsure at this point how that budget is accessed; we will try to find out.

So far, we have managed to produce a map showing the boundaries of Thornhaugh Parish, and we propose to seek help from the “John Clare Countryside Community” to draw up a list of “what next” towards producing a Thornhaugh Parish Nature Recovery Plan.

The next Zoom meeting with Richard Astle is on 11 February 2021, and we are looking to be able to show some progress by then.

Any suggestions will be received with grateful thanks

Alan and Joan Frost