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

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

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

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

Parish Council budget meeting January 2017

The PC held their annual budget/precept setting meeting on 31st January, this was an open meeting but it was only 7 members of the PC who attended. It took two and a half hours to review the previous year’s budget and subsequent spend, set the new budget and decide on how much should remain in reserve. The ground works budget and Hardwick Happenings saw a slight overspend last year. However several areas saw a slight under spend so overall the PC decided to reduce the precept again for 2018 with assurance that the reserves held are still sufficient for a village of our size. Many thanks to the clerk Gail for guiding us through this process and preparing the finances for the meeting.

January Parish Meeting Report

The meeting started at its new time of 7pm with all councillors present, the District Councillor Grenville Chamberlain, David Thompson from the planning department and a member of the community. In the open session David outlined the current situation with the progress of the Grace Crescent development. Up to 98 dwellings are planned however this is a maximum and it may actually be less than this number. Currently the issues being considered are water drainage, an archaeological dig, landscaping, overall design, highways safety, means of access and environmental health. The planning application will be considered by the planning department at South Cambs on 1st March. There will be District Council and Parish Council representatives there on behalf of the village.

Grenville also reported that there will be a meeting at the school on the 7th March organised by the residents of St. Neots Rd regarding the route of the proposed bus way from Cambourne to Cambridge. Heidi Allen cannot attend but will be sending a representative.

The clerk had received one application for one of the two vacant posts on the PC and it was decided to co-opt Dean Wellbelove onto the council, he has been a councillor in the past, and we look forward to welcoming him at the February meeting.

The Egremont Rd play park will have a new colourful metal fence put up around the enlarged footprint ready for the initial phase of the redesigning and revamping of the play equipment. The Hardwick Play Parks group have worked hard to get the scheme off the ground and the PC is pleased to help them financially with this first step.

Further investigations into the bad drainage from the changing rooms will continue at HSSC but as this is a long standing problem both the PC and the committee of the club are exhausting all the possible reasons and professional help is also not proving to resolve the issue. It is becoming a costly recurrence which both parties hope to sort out as soon as possible.

A resident of Dry Drayton drew the attention of the Council to two planning applications along St Neots Road beyond the Dry Drayton Roundabout in the area between the road and the A428. One application was for warehouses and the other for Self storage units. The Parish Council opposed both applications on the grounds of traffic and because this area might be required as a possible route for the busway into Cambridge.

The next meeting is 28th February at 7pm in the Community Room.

December Parish Meeting Report

6 Parish Councillors and 5 member of the community attended the December meeting.

During the public session Grenville Chamberlain, our District councillor, carefully explained the reasons for the burnt out building on St. Neots Rd not yet having been demolished.

It needs a certificate of authorised demolition to be taken down and this can only be given once the gas supply is disconnected. A date with the gas supplier was agreed and for reasons unknown to us the gas company did not turn up. The adjoining business will have to have their gas supply temporarily stopped for a few days while this operation takes place and they have only agreed to this once heating for their business is no longer needed. A new date is set for May 2017. Both the Parish Council and Grenville are powerless in this situation but enquiries will be made as to whether portable heaters could be supplied sooner to bring the date forward.

2 councillors have offered their resignation since the last meeting and there will either be a by-election or co-option to replace them.

Hardwick Playparks group presented their new design and new footprint for the improvement of the Egremont Rd play area. The PC didn’t challenge the plans and will wait for a like for like quote for the first stage of work and advice from the clerk.

Carter Jonas responded to the objections from the PC to the Grace Crescent development after listening to their response the PC still objected on transport grounds and parking for residents of Grace Crescent but did acknowledge the provision of facilities for the community.

Tony Gill will talk to Radio Cambridge regarding the cuts to road gritting through Hardwick and shortly after the meeting the County Council agreed to keep Hardwick to Comberton on its gritting route.

An outline planning permission for 155 dwellings off St. Neots Rd has been submitted to the planning department. There was a lengthy discussion and the PC objected initially on the grounds that there is not enough information regarding planning obligations and we will reply once these are given to us by the planner.

The new possible routes for the busway which will connect Cambourne and Cambridge via Hardwick were discussed and residents views were considered. A likely route is between the A428 and St.Neots Rd. which is quite narrow in places but with good landscaping, sound barriers and a stop for Hardwick is the preferred route of the PC.

The next meeting is 24th January at 7pm and a budget planning meeting on 31st January also at 7pm.

November Parish Meeting Report

The meeting began early this month at 7.15pm with a presentation from the City Deal Transport Department outlining the possibilities for the bus route which will go from Cambourne to Cambridge. The route which would be closest to Hardwick could pass between the A428 and St.Neots Rd.

Grenville reported that SCDC is in favour of the devolution of powers for East Anglia and that we are only months away now from securing the local plan.

Circle Housing have submitted an outline application to SCDC for the housing development on St.Neots Rd

Carter Jonas and the Grace Crescent application will hopefully be considered by the Planning Dpt. in January 2017. The section 106 benefits to the village have been revised and these include a subsidised bus route through the village for 5 years and a community building.

Hardwick PlayParks have a grant already in place for a toddler swing and it is hoped that the PC will help the charity with new fencing around the park. This was deferred to the next meeting.

3 new bins will go next to bus stops on Main Street and St.Neots Rd and the bench near the bus stop outside the hairdressers will be cleaned.

Following a letter from a resident, regarding anti social behaviour at the skate park , the PC will endeavour to keep the area as clean as possible and contact the police at Cambourne to let them know of our concerns.

The Hardwick Happenings magazine will continue to be supported by the PC but the section of their budget from which funding comes will change following advice from the clerk.

A Fish and Chip van will return to the village on a Friday on the forecourt of the shop.

The December meeting will be 13th December at 7pm, the Budget meeting on 31st January at 7pm and the next PC meeting on 24th January 2017 also at 7pm.

October Parish Meeting Report

There were 8 councillors and 5 members of the village present.

Grenville Chamberlain, our District Councillor, reported that the Cambourne to Cambridge bus route looks likely to take the A428/Scotland Farm direction at the moment.

He also noted that it was hoped the survey about to be circulated by the Village Plan committee could be shared with the Neighbourhood Plan committee in their combined efforts to establish future wishes for Hardwick residents. There has been substantial progress in launching a village consultation for the Village Plan and a survey will be available online from mid-November and should anyone require a paper copy or help filling one in this will all be possible by contacting Betty Grimes on 07732 923839.

Chris Fuller reported that the vegetation cut back had taken place and all agreed what a huge positive difference this had already made to the recreation ground. The hedgerows at the HSSC car park would be cut back soon to give easier access to the parking spaces. This would take place both sides of the hedgerow. The first year of the new maintenance contract for the sports pitches was now complete which had included the shockwave treatment, sanding and reseeding.

Pat Portlock reported that 17 people collected and 36 bags of rubbish at the first village volunteer litter pick. This would take place again in the Spring if the need arises. Ian Giddings is the new village litter picker, thanks to all the applications that the clerk received.

Since the Hardwick Happenings magazine has become independent of the PC there has been great difficulty in attracting and collecting advertising revenue and there is already a £2000 shortfall in income. The Happenings group is working hard to chase the late payers but in the meantime the PC will continue to help finance the magazine.

The PC have successfully adopted the red phone box on Main Street from BT, preventing it from being removed and not replaced. This means that we will be responsible for the painting but BT will leave the electricity supply and it will continue to be lit. There are a number of possibilities for it including a book swap/library or an art gallery. If anyone or village group would like to be involved in this venture please contact jane@humphriesfamily.org.uk.

At the next meeting on November 22nd there will be a short presentation on the new bus route proposals at 7.15pm before the PC meeting, all welcome.

 

Written by Jane Jumphries