The meeting was attended by 7 councillors and 2 members of the public including the District Councillor Grenville Chamberlain.
Grenville reported to the PC that he had recently been to a Neighbourhood Planning training session which was a greater undertaking for a village than a Village Plan. A Neighbourhood plan gives a village more control over its future but at a greater cost and a greater need for volunteers, the PC noted his comments. As DC he said Hardwick would remain a one member ward at present but many villages were combining and therefore reducing the numbers of District Councillors. His concerns at the moment are still the congestion on Cambridge Rd at peak times and emphasised that the new Park and Ride between Cambourne and Cambridge and new houses at Bourn airfield could put extra stresses on our roads. Finally he reported that there is a process that has now started where the District Council enforce a demolition or improvement of the burnt out property on the corner of Cambridge Rd leading into Hardwick.
Martin Cassey was invited to give an update on the Village plan and he reported that the committee still needed two people to take on some responsibilities. He also reminded the PC that a bus route south of the village was still an important facility that could be a part of the emerging BOLD agreement.
The 2 village signposts will be replaced in the new year with ones like the new board opposite Portway. The PC has noted all of the responses from villagers about the lack street lighting in some parts of the village and repairs that are needed. The repairs required were all reported immediately to the DC.
The PC gets regular requests to prune or remove trees that overhang properties, householders can always prune overhanging branches from their land and return the branches to PC land but we cannot remove trees or make these arrangements ourselves as it would use most of our precept (money from your council tax for village maintenance) each year. We have a tree survey done regularly and each tree that the PC is responsible for is catalogued and assessed by the professionals in this field, a plan of works is then set up, budgeted for and adhered to by the PC.
A long discussion took place about the allotting of free advertising in the Hardwick Happenings magazine. There has always been space allowed for village groups to advertise free in the magazine but of course this does have to be paid for in printing costs and at the moment the losses on the magazine are increasing monthly as paying advertisers are fewer. The PC decided that free advertising should still be reserved but at the discretion of the editor and suggested at 1 page per group.
Finally the fence around the Egremont Road play park will be repaired as soon as possible.