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Minutes of the Meeting of Thornhaugh Parish Council held on 21st September 2020 via Zoom

Chris Smith (Chairman)
Louise Molesworth (Vice Chairman)
Ashleigh Kewney
Martin Lewis

Hannah Joyce, Stephen Joyce and Wendy Joyce (Members of the Public)
Peter Slinger, Prospective Green Party Candidate for the Ward Elections
Deirdre McCumiskey (Clerk)

There were apologies for absence from Adrian Rodgers and Alan Frost.

There were no declarations of interest.

Wendy Joyce raised the issue of on-going problems with speeding motorists (some of whom are residents) through the village. She felt the issue was getting worse. Various options of how to deal with speeding motorists were discussed including stripes on the road, ‘slow’ on the road and a flashing speed indicator. The Parish Council has tried to deal with this issue in the past by putting information in the Minutes, Living Villages and delivering flyers. The Chairman agreed to speak to Peterborough City Council about putting signage on the road. The Chairman also confirmed that electronic signage had been explored before and that Peterborough City Council would not pay for these signs and the Parish Council do not have funds to cover that option. She would explore costs and report back to the next meeting on whether or not this could be something the village may wish to explore via fundraising. This issue will be included in the Minutes and Living Villages and another flyer will be produced. Peter Slinger offered to look into what help that Peterborough City Council is able to offer to deter motorists from speeding through the village.

There were no police representatives present. No-one present had heard of any reported crimes.

5. MINUTES of the Meeting of Thornhaugh Parish Council held on 20th July 2020 were reviewed, approved and signed by the Chairman.
Proposed by:- Louise Molesworth
Seconded by:- Ashleigh Kewney


i) Hedges and Grass Verges

The Chairman reported that she had been in contact with Peterborough City Council who use a contractor (Aragon) to cut the hedge and grass verges. It was noted that the contractor cuts the hedge from the A1 to the first corner of Russell Hill once a year and the grass verges from the A1 to the A47 four times per year. The contractor takes account of when birds are nesting and cuts the grass verges as close to the bottom of the hedgerow as their equipment allows. If there are any areas that the Parish Council does not want cutting, the contractor needs to be shown a definitive map highlighting the relevant areas.

On a related issue, Richard Astle of the Langdyke Trust has asked if Thornhaugh Parish Council would like to become a supporter of the John Clare Countryside Project and get involved in the work of delivering its vision. The concept was launched last year and the idea is to create a heritage landscape with nature at its heart across the countryside between Peterborough and Stamford. Whilst no Parish Councillors are able to commit time to the project, information had been sent to Alan and Joan Frost who had been the residents concerned about the hedgerow cutting. Any other residents interested in being involved should contact the Clerk to the Parish Council.

ii) Footpaths on Meadow Lane and Russell Hill

The temporary footpath at the bottom of Meadow Lane has been made passable in good weather by the builder who will re-establish it once the building work has finished. The footpath on Russell Hill is still impassable. The Chairman has been in contact with the landowner who feels he has done what is necessary. Contact has been made with the Footpaths Officer and a definitive description of what footpath maintenance involves for the landowner has asked been asked for and a request for the Footpaths Officer to speak to the landowner about making the footpath passible and clearly defined. It was noted that Mr & Mrs King, as the new owners of Thornhaugh Hall, are currently looking at their land management plans which includes ensuring the footpaths are accessible and clearly defined. They have already responded by grass cutting and hedge management. The Chairman will write to Mr & Mrs King thanking them for the positive response.

iii) Defibrillator

The Chairman had asked Rev J Tailby for an update but had not received a response. The Parish Councillors expressed their disappointment with the lack of progress particularly as donations have been received to purchase the Defibrillator. It was mooted whether to consider an alternative site to locate the Defibrillator in the event of continued lack of progress. The Parish Council decided that efforts should be concentrated on getting support for installing it in the church. The Chairman will again contact Rev Tailby. Peter Slinger stated he has contacts at the Diocesan Officer and would be willing to liaise with the Diocesan Architect if that would help progress the matter.

iv) Thornhaugh Heritage Project

Martin Lewis has been sent a lot of information about the village including maps, photos and deeds. A meeting will be arranged once it is possible to meet again.

v) Light Pollution

It was noted that this issue has now been resolved. Although the lights are still on all through the night the direction and luminosity have been changed by the homeowner and therefore there is much less impact on other residents now.


i) Planning Application 20/00040 Replacement of 4 existing front and 3 existing rear windows and 1 Set of French Doors at Apple Acre Cottage, Russell Hill, Thornhaugh – Permitted

ii) Planning Application 20/00277 Removal of large single Conifer at back of house due to concerns of damaging house in high winds at St Medard House, Russell Hill, Thornhaugh – Permitted

iii) 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

iv) Planning Application 20/00691 Discharge of conditions C1 (3 years), C3 (Stoneworks), C4 (Written scheme), C5 (Ventilation gap), C6 (Timber Permission), C7 (Ventilation details), C8 (Building regulations) and C11 (Plans) of Listed Building Consent 18/01779/LBC at The Old Dairy, Home Farm, Thornhaugh – Withdrawn

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

vi) Planning Application 20/00388 One dwelling at 16 Meadow Lane – Permitted

vii) 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 – It was noted that the 2x Cherry trees will not be felled – it was agreed to take the Tree Officer’s advice

There have been several Planning Applications to fell trees this year. The Parish Councillors would encourage the re-planting of trees which will enhance the attractiveness of the village. Ashleigh Kewney stated that he had purchased a large number of trees at a reasonable price from the Woodland Trust (a charitable organisation). It was agreed that information about the Woodland Trust will be put onto the Website.


The following report was received from Lisa Chambers, Chairman of the Christie Hall

Christie Hall update September 2020

The hall opened again from 1st August for use. This was after a full risk assessment was prepared and the necessary adjustments in the hall were in place. Hand sanitisers have been fitted in all areas, signage etc for in and out and distancing. Bins provided for waste and we have received risk assessments personal to regular groups to ensure they are compliant.

It has been ascertained that the size of the hall allows for 12 people to take part in activities with the necessary ventilation which we have at present. Groups have been coming back slowly starting with one initially for the first month and currently we have running

  • Fencing
  • Dog training
  • Zumba gold only so no high impact
  • Keep fit with limited movement around the hall
  • Lindyhop
  • Yoga (fewer classes but they have only just returned)

No hiring of the hall for any events such as parties allowed.

The heating system is air circulated so following guidelines the doors and windows have to remain open. The committee is looking at ways of improving ventilation as it is felt currently the heating system should not be turned on which will cause a problem come the colder months. We have had an estimate for controlled ventilation of £6,000 for a basic system. As yet this has not been taken to the committee until we find alternatives if we can, bearing in mind this could be a short-term problem. The heating system still works and is adequate in normal circumstances, so it is just the added ventilation that is required.

We have received a grant of £10,000 from Huntingdon Council to be able to continue during COVID. This will be needed for rent, insurance and other expenses in 2021 as income has been non-existent.

We will let the parish councils know once we have found a solution to the heating problem, which seems to be our only stumbling block.

It has been quite stressful for the committee bearing in mind the changing rules and regulations and how they impact on the hiring of a village hall, but I believe that we have been very thorough in our consideration of all risks and solutions.

Lisa Chambers


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

ii) Bank Signatories
Louise Molesworth will go into Barclays Bank to get her address verified once again. Adrian Rodgers had written a letter confirming his signature.

iii) Donation
Xanthe Pitt, whose family had lived in Thornhaugh in the past, has given a generous donation of £400 to the village and it was agreed that this will be spent on purchasing the spring and autumn hanging baskets. The Chairman had sent a thank you card to Ms Pitts and will send photographs of the hanging baskets in due course.


i) Drains on Russell Hill
The Chairman reported that, after a period of heavy rain, the roads on Russell Hill were covered with mud due to problems with the drains. She had taken photographs and submitted them to ‘Fix Our Street’ at Peterborough City Council. The drains will be repaired in due course.

ii) Flu Jabs
Louise Molesworth reported that flu jabs will start soon for the over-65s who will receive a letter explaining the process this year. The flu jabs will be given at a drive through session at the Kings Cliffe Active site. Flu jabs for other groups of patients will take place in October/November.

iii) Christmas Tree
The Chairman will ask Nicki Rogers if she is happy to purchase a Christmas Tree from the Bill Rogers Memorial Fund. If so, it will be erected w/c 7th December 2020. Due to Covid 19 restrictions, there will be no carol singing and refreshments. Residents will be encouraged to put their own decorations onto the tree.

iv) COVID-19

It was noted that there may be further rules and regulations put in place to deal with the increase in numbers of people who are testing positive to Coronavirus. The Chairman asked that everyone helps their neighbours.

v) Book Exchange

The Chairman reported that the Book Exchange has reopened following the installation of a hand sanitisation station. Thanks were expressed to Ian Molesworth’s employers who had kindly provided the hand sanitiser.

vi) Hedge Cutting at 6B Meadow Lane
After being approached by a concerned resident regarding hedge/tree removal, the Chairman reported that it had been confirmed by the Tree Officer that the hedge in question was not in the Conservation Area and it is therefore not an issue that the Parish Council is able to become involved with.

vii) Annual Parish Meeting and Annual General Meeting
The Parish Council has not held the Annual Parish Meeting or Annual General Meeting this year. The Clerk will ascertain the position on this under COVID-19 restrictions. NB The Clerk subsequently established that under the Coronavirus Act 2020, the Parish Council does not have to hold an APM or AGM and it allows that current arrangements may remain in place until May 2021. The Clerk will contact all the representatives/committee members to check that they are happy to remain in position until May 2021.


The Next Meeting of Thornhaugh Parish Council will take place at 7.00 pm on 16th November 2020.


There being no further business to discuss, the Chairman closed the meeting at 8.20 pm.

SIGNED _________________________________ DATE 16/11/20