Village Eyesore

Gas works, which are a necessary prerequisite for demolition of the eyesore, are underway with the layby outside closed for a few days. The section of the building nearest Cambridge Road has been demolished. Unfortunately the gas contractor has discovered a problem which will force a delay in the disconnection of the gas supply of about 6 weeks whilst a particular piece of equipment is sourced and delivered to site.

Officers at SCDC are in direct contact with the respective parties. Rest assured that every effort is being made to remove this blight on our village once and for all.

Grenville Chamberlain

District Councillor

Hardwick

August Parish Meeting Report

The meeting was held in the Sports and Social Club with 6 councillors and about 20 residents attending. During the public session at the start of the meeting residents and councillors shared their views on the proposed routes for the Cambourne to Cambridge bus way but as there is still no more or new information on a decided route this item will appear again on next month’s agenda.

A report was read out from District Councillor Chamberlain, who was at a meeting about the bus way in Comberton, outlining the proposed Park and Ride sites and bus routes emphasizing the disarray that the local government is in at the moment over these decisions.

The Parish Council encourages residents to visit the following websites and read all the information available to help their decision making during the public consultation easier.

· https://www.greatercambridge.org.uk/news/cambourne-to-cambridge-better-bus-journeys-schemeupdate/

· https://cambridgecredibletransport.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/llf_better-bus-route-overview-finaldraft.pdf

· http://scambs.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s97870/A428%20Appendix.pdf

Unfortunately the current webmaster, Robert Cassey, who has transformed the village website is retiring from the position so we are searching for anyone else who feels that they could help the village with their skills. It might be a student, retiree or anyone in between! It is a paid position up to about £600/year. Please contact the clerk at hardwickpc@lgs-services.co.uk. We thank Robert for a great job.

Meeting closed at 9.25pm

Village Webmaster Wanted

The Parish Council is looking for a someone to take on the role of webmaster. The job takes a few hours each month to keep this website up to date, and tasks include the following:

  • Posting events to the calendar
  • Responding to email queries
  • Maintaining and rewriting content on pages as needed
  • Publishing news provided by the Parish Council and other sources

Anyone interested in the position should contact the parish Clerk.

May Parish Meeting Report

6 councillors were present along with our new county councillor and 4 members of the public.

The first job of the May meeting is always to elect a new chairman and appoint officers, committees and representatives. Steve Rose had advised the PC that he was intending to hand over the position of chairman at the last meeting and Tony Gill was proposed to take over and voted in by the present councillors. The new vice chair post is Barry Skingle but other posts relating to planning and trees and playground inspections remain mostly the same.

The public session saw our new county councillor, Lina Joseph, give an introductory report and asked councillors and villagers to contact her with any issues they feel they need help with.

The meeting following this was fairly short and saw the community grants confirmed at £250 each to Hardwick Brownies, Hardwick PlayParks, Baby and Toddler Group and Hardwick Preschool.

Comberton and Bourn surgeries had been receptive to offering an outreach service in Hardwick which would hopefully take place in the new community building planned as a result of the new developments.

Chris reported on Histon and Impington’s community bus scheme and provided operational details for any future community bus group in Hardwick.

At the end of the meeting Councillor Cracknell offered his resignation which he had thought hard about but felt it was the right time for this. All the councillors present thanked him for his committed representation on the PC. This means there are now 2 posts vacant and anyone interested in being a part of the council during these times of change and new developments, and would be most welcome, should contact the clerk Gail Stoehr tel. 210241.

Written by Jane Humphries

Hardwick Annual Parish Meeting Report for the 2016/17 Year

I start my report by thanking those councillors, individuals and organisations who have contributed to the village of Hardwick in the past year. There are too many to thank individually but I note with pleasure an increase in involvement in the village. The village relies on volunteers for so much of what goes on locally. The Parish Council values their input and if it can help with new projects it would like to do so.

A428 Developments

The Local Plan for South Cambridgeshire was referred back to our District Council [SCDC] by the Inspector so our District Council is currently without an approved Local Plan. SCDC has made small modifications to their Local Plan and resubmitted it but it still includes proposals for major developments along the A428 e.g. at Bourn Airfield and by extending Cambourne. This modified Plan is now under review by Inspectors who have been hearing evidence over the last few months.

Hardwick Parish Council is a member of the Coalition of Parish Councils which comprises over 20 local Parish Councils adjoining or near to the A428. The Coalition was formed to make known the views of local parish councils on strategic infrastructure planning and it has responded on consultations for the modified Local Plan.

In summary the Coalition position, which Hardwick Parish Council voted to support, is that the proposed major housing developments in the A428 corridor are unsustainable. Major housing developments should be built closer to the areas of employment on the urban fringe of Cambridge, possibly on the Cambridge green belt, rather than in the A428 corridor as a ribbon development with insufficient infrastructure. The Coalition believes that the City Deal on transport between Cambridge and Cambourne does not alter the unsustainable nature of the proposals. The Coalition is pressing for an all ways interchange to be built at Girton with the A428/A14 and M11 so that traffic heading down the A428 can link to the A14 going North West and with the M11 going South.

City Deal – Cambourne to Cambridge improved bus services

Even without further development along the A428 it is evident that improved public transport services will be needed to ease congestion on the routes into Cambridge. The Government has pledged funding to finance improved public transport on the route from Cambourne to Cambridge. Hardwick looks set to benefit from any such improvements lying midway along this route. The proposals are currently for a segregated busway. One such option for the busway route would go along the southern edge of Hardwick but it appears more likely that any such bus route would go to the north of the village. If a segregated busway is built, Hardwick Parish Council believes that a route alongside the St Neots Road will bring greater benefits to the village than the other options put forward. The Parish Council preferred route for a segregated busway is not favoured by some residents of St Neots Road and the Parish Council has recognised that their reasonable concerns must be addressed should this be the route decided upon. Residents of St Neots Road called a public meeting last March at which an alternative plan for a busway to the North of the A428 was supported. The Parish Council welcomes the debate and hopes that the City Deal will examine all options for improved public transport in the A428 corridor.

Housing developments in Hardwick

Outline planning permission was granted in March for 98 houses to be built off Grace Crescent. A planning application is due to be heard tomorrow for outline planning permission to be granted for 155 houses off St Neots Road between Meridian Close and Hall Drive. It appears likely that planning permission will be granted for this application as the SCDC has reported no reason for refusal. In particular additional housing is needed in South Cambridgeshire and there is insufficient supply.

The Parish Council has been very involved in the planning process over the past year and initially objected to both the above developments on grounds of sustainability. However as it became evident that these developments were likely to be approved the Parish Council has worked with the developers and SCDC and the Trustees of the community rooms on ways to mitigate the impact of the additional housing and population.

Taking both developments together (assuming permission is granted for St Neots Road development) the Parish Council has negotiated the following benefits for the village, subject to confirmation in some instances.

  • A new Community Centre on the Recreation field, with the community rooms at the school being released for pre-school provision
  • A community minibus
  • Contributions towards a new play area (potentially Egremont Road)
  • New changing rooms at the Pavilion for match officials
  • Improved footpath and lighting between Cahills Corner and the Blue Lion and along St Neots Road
  • Bus shelters with electronic displays and cycle racks along St Neots Road

The Parish Council has been unable to achieve all its aims. For example it wanted to see a doctors surgery in Hardwick and this remains a long term aim. Some money is being made available to mitigate the healthcare impact and the Parish Council is trying to make sure this is spent in Hardwick rather than in Comberton or Little Eversden. Discussions are continuing with Bourn and Comberton surgeries about having some outreach clinics based in Hardwick.

These housing developments and the associated obligations have to be built within the next five years and I understand that building may commence in 2018 or 2019.

There is the longer term possibility of a further development on land to the east of Cambridge Road. This would bring with it extra land for village facilities such as shops, new sports and recreation facilities and a few small office buildings. Such a development would incorporate a new exit road from the village to St Neots Road bypassing the shop and the associated traffic bottleneck. This development would create a small village centre. Such a development is currently speculative as it would involve building on the Cambridge Green Belt.

Hardwick Play Park

The Play Park Group have made progress with plans for a new play park on Egremont Road which will cater for more age groups than at present. The Parish Council have agreed to purchase anew and more robust fence for the play area.

Village Plan

The Parish Council endorsed the concept of developing a Village Plan in August 2015. This project has progressed well during 2016 with the development and launch of a Village Survey towards the end of last year. Martin Cassey heads the Village Plan Steering Committee and will address the meeting tonight with an update. Although the Village Plan Group has yet to present a final report it has already helped the Parish Council and other village groups to inform them about issues in the village.

Website www.hardwick-cambs.org.uk/

Hundreds of users access the village website each month so we can measure what a successful project this is. It has been helped in no small part by the existence of the Hardwick Village Group on Facebook.

Hardwick Happenings

Until recently the Hardwick Happenings was technically the Hardwick Parish Council magazine. The Parish Council intends to continue providing financial help if this is needed but otherwise the Hardwick Happenings team believe that they could operate more effectively by being independent and worked towards this aim during the year. The magazine became independent in September 2016 with the support and approval of the Parish Council and it is pleasing to note the improvements to the magazine and self sufficiency achieved since then. The magazine produced its first colour issue in March 2017.

Burnt out building St Neots Road/ Cambridge Road junction

Grenville Chamberlain, our District Councillor, will give an update tonight.

Beautifying Hardwick

Notwithstanding the burnt out building much continued to be done during the year to make Hardwick a more attractive village. A new litter picker has been appointed to keep the recreation areas tidy and there is an active litter picking group doing excellent work in removing litter from the rest of the village. In addition to supporting the litter picking group the Parish Council has provided four new litter bins at bus stops along St Neots Road.

Overgrown hedgerows have been cut back on the recreation field and there has been a full survey of Parish Council owned trees with attention given to the trees, and dead ones removed, where appropriate and where recommended by the survey

A new contractor has been appointed for grass cutting and is undertaking this work with great diligence and effect.

Wild flower areas are planned for parts of the village in the near future.

Noticeboards have been replaced. Benches have been cleaned and repaired.

Some other achievements in 2016/17

The Parish Council considered over 50 planning applications during the year.

Volunteers have been trained tom operate Speedwatch in the village

Play areas are inspected every month

Parish Precept for 2017/18

As residents may have noticed the amount of money requested by Hardwick Parish Council through Council Tax has reduced by more than 10% for the second year running. Savings have been made on special projects and reserves have been reduced slightly as the Parish Council believe that the level of reserves held is more than adequate.

The amount requested for 2016/17 is £42,453 of which about half is spent on maintenance of recreation fields and play areas and other repairs of public assets.

Sporting Success

Congratulations to Hardwick Football Club which had its most successful year ever winning the Kershaw Premier League with a huge goal difference of 97 goals.

Hardwick Sports and Social Club won the Cambridge Cribbage league, again its best ever result.

Apologies if there are other sporting successes I have failed to mention.

 

 

Steve Rose

Chairman, Hardwick Parish Council

9th May 2017

April Parish Meeting Report

All 8 parish councillors were present as there is still a vacancy which has yet to be filled. Grenville Chamberlain first reported that he had met with Scout and Guide leaders about the possibility of joint use of a new community building resulting in money from the Grace Crescent development. Heidi Allen would be meeting with Highways England to try and achieve some changes to the Girton interchange and avoid predictable gridlock through local villages. Following letters of complaint about dog fouling at the southern end of the village in particular the dog bin will be moved from the edge of Grace Crescent to the start of the footpath at the last bungalow.

Ashley Shepherd our new Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator spoke about the re-introduction of the scheme to Hardwick following so many recent burglaries. 30-40 have registered their interest to help; Operation Hunter will also take place on 27th September in the school hall where the police will give a talk and be selling alarms and smart water to identify personal possessions.

Clare Arber asked the PC if some netball posts could be out on the all weather courts permanently as many villagers would like to practice in their spare time, this will be organised as soon as possible.

Hardwick Playparks reported that the new fence around the Egremont Rd park will be put up over the Bank Holiday week-end. Martin Cassey reported that there had been 603 responses from 424 households to the village survey. The information is being collated and is taking longer than expected due to a lot of answers in the “free text” boxes.

The planning permission for a second new development in Hardwick, St Neot’s Rd, should go to the planning committee at South Cambs on 10th May but this is not yet confirmed , the parish council was encouraged by new possible provision of healthcare facilities and will support the application subject to the outcome of discussions about healthcare provision.

Coucillor Cracknell gave a detailed and interesting report on community minibuses from information he has gathered from other villages using one and groups in Hardwick. It would be financed by S106 money in order to link the southern end of Hardwick with the St. Neot’s Rd bus routes and community facilities. It would need qualified volunteer drivers, a secure place to park it and a management company/committee to coordinate it’s timetable.

The Speedwatch team is ready to start operating so look out for them on main roads around the village this month! The Annual Parish meeting is on 9th May in the school hall at 7pm, drinks and nibbles will be available, the developers will be giving updates on the new housing plans for the village along with village updates and the offer of financial donations to community groups who would like to apply for them.

March Parish Meeting Report

There were 6 councillors present together with Grenville Chamberlain, 1 resident and a guest.

During the open part of the meeting Steve Jones from the coalition of parish councils spoke on the forming of this group of 23 PC’s which raises their views with the county council on different matters affecting them. The coalition represents 30,000 people in the parishes bordered by the B1198, M11, A14 and A603. The proposed Cambourne Cambridge bus way, the Girton interchange, Bourn Airfield development and transport provision are some of their current concerns.

Grenville reported that there were no plans to upgrade the Girton Interchange which could result in gridlock of the local roads should all the house building around Cambourne and Bourn go ahead. There are concerns too that the new bus-way will not be sufficient to alleviate the load.

The CCC Community Chest of £55,000 is again open to charitable applications and funding requests.

There will be an open meeting in June/July for the village regarding Neighbourhood Watch with Ashley Shepherd and Ann Jones.

The outline planning permission for the development of 98 houses at Grace Crescent has been approved and some of the S106 details are also in this outline. Trustees of the village hall/community room visited the Melbourne Hub to see what can be done with a multi functional community space.

The Bus way meeting was attended by about 130 people unfortunately the City Deal reps could not give their power point presentation due to technical difficulties. The PC will not change its support for the current preferred route until any new information is available.

The Annual Parish Meeting will be on 9th May at 7pm in the School Hall.

Written by Jane Humphries

Small grants of up to £250 available at this year’s Annual Parish Meeting

Every year Hardwick, along with most other villages, holds an annual meeting to which all residents of the village are invited.

This year it is being held in the school hall at 7:00 pm on Tuesday 9th May. This is not a Parish Council meeting although as the chairman of the Parish Council I will give a brief report of what has been happening in the village over the year – and there has been a lot happening with a Village Plan consultation, plans for new housing developments in the village, plans for a new community centre and community minibus and concerns over plans for a busway along St Neots Road.

There is another opportunity to turn up on the night and apply for a small grant of up to £250 for projects which will benefit the people of Hardwick. There will be a maximum of £1,000 which is being made available by Hardwick Parish Council. The grants can be applied for by individuals or by groups and the main requirement is a commitment to come to following year’s meeting to report back on what the project achieved.

Start preparing your pitch for the money. I’m looking forward to hearing all about some exciting projects. Even if you don’t have a project in mind please turn up and make your views known about what is good or not so good about our village. Many of your elected representatives, including your Parish Council. District Councillor, County Councillor and Member of Parliament, are invited to the meeting and I am hoping that they will all be able to make it on the evening to listen to the views and concerns of the village.

Steve Rose
Chairman, Hardwick Parish Council

News from Hardwick Parish Council

News from Hardwick Parish Council

There was a Parish Council meeting on 28th February which was attended by seven parish Councillors, our District Councillor and a few other residents from the village.

After nearly two years the planning application for 98 new homes off Grace Crescent was ready to be heard by the Planning Committee at South Cambs District Council. During that time the Parish Council had objected to the application but was aware nevertheless that there was a strong possibility that it would eventually be approved. The Parish Council was involved in many discussions over this period with the developers, SCDC and others to mitigate the effect of this new development in areas of traffic, health, transport, education, play facilities and community facilities as well as a construction management plan to protect the residents of Grace Crescent and The Pastures during construction. The Parish Council was not successful in getting everything it wanted. In particular it failed to get any additional health care or GP provisions in the village and attempts to get a new bus service through the village failed. In the first instance NHS England had no interest in supporting healthcare in the village and don’t even turn up for meetings or respond to questions. In the second case this was not supported by Cambridgeshire County Council. It was not for want of trying by the Parish Council, SCDC or the developers.

As the Planning Committee meeting drew near the Parish Council had sight of the Planning Officer’s report for the application that provided no grounds by which the application could be refused. The Parish Council considered everything possible had been done to mitigate the effects of the proposed development and that there was nothing to be gained by continuing its objection. Accordingly the Parish Council resolved to support the application in light of the Planning Officers Report and in consideration of those benefits that would accrue to the village. For anyone interested I recommend that they read the Planning Officer’s report which is on the SCDC website.

Benefits to the village will include a new community centre for the village on the recreation ground, a community minibus, new play areas and footpath improvements between the Blue Lion and Cahill’s corner.

The Planning Committee of SCDC, as expected, approved the outline planning application at its meeting on 1st March. No building will start for at least a year while further details are agreed. We now need to start planning for the new community centre so that it can provide the indoor space and facilities wanted by the residents of Hardwick.

Another major issue for the village is the construction of a new segregated busway from Cambourne to Cambridge which will pass by Hardwick. At its December meeting the Parish Council stated a preference for a segregated busway alongside the St Neots Road with the important proviso that the concerns of the residents of St Neots Road be met as far as reasonably possible. The Parish Council had only considered segregated busways along which it is proposed there will be fast, clean, quiet and regular buses running between Cambridge and Cambourne similar to those running on the Cambridgeshire Busway . At the meeting I asked the Council whether they wished to consider an alternative being simply to run those buses along the existing St Neot’s Road. This was a solution favoured by the Coalition of Parish Councils and the Local Liaison Forum both of which represent the wider public interest in these planning matters. The Council was also aware of the public meeting which was to be held on 7th March. The Council did not reconsider the alternative of an on road solution preferring instead to wait to hear the views of the public meeting and resolved to take note of those at its next meeting on 28th March. The meeting on the 7th March was well attended but will have disappointed many going to that meeting with an open mind wanting to find out more about the proposals. The City Deal team who came to explain the proposals were unable to get the projector to work to show their PowerPoint presentation of how this might impact Hardwick and neither had they provided answers to the 36 questions posed to them before the evening. Both the PowerPoint presentation and the answers to those questions have since been provided. They are available on the village website. The meeting was well attended and up to half expressed a preference for diverting the busway to the north of the A428 with the other half expressing no preference. Concerns were expressed about the effect of the new services on the Citi 4 bus service. The new proposed busway, wherever it is located, could well result in a reduction of the frequency of the Citi4.

Finally on a lighter note our Litter Picker found a banknote in the village towards the end of last year and this has now found its way on to the Parish Council agenda. If anyone has lost a banknote please let me know how much, approximately when and where and I’ll reunite it with you. Otherwise it will go to a worthy cause.

Steve Rose
Chairman
Hardwick Parish Council