December Parish Meeting Report

The Parish Council meeting was attended by 7 councillors and 4 villagers including the District Councillor.

Grenville Chamberlain our DC first informed the PC that the local plan will be going out to consultation in the new year and the bus route plan is already in the consultation stage.

If anyone is not getting the South Cambs magazine , which keeps us all up to date with such matters and the bin collections, please let Grenville know.

The next Village Plan meeting will be in January with Pauline Joslin attending from the PC with a view to joining the Steering Committee.

The vacancy on the PC following Jim Coe’s resignation was voted upon and filled by Barry Skingle.

The PC would like to thank the other candidates for their interest in the position.

Decisions were made to replace the rotting porch over the entrance to the HSSC and to address the treatment of the football pitches by following a cycle of work recommended by the Football Association and approved by the PC and football clubs of Hardwick.

The next Parish council meeting will be brought forward to 19th January so that the Local Plan can be discussed with time to reply to it. The budget meeting will therefore be on 26th January.

There is a panel of plastic missing from the bus shelter nearest Meridian Close which we will repair as soon as possible. These panels will be replaced with solid ones which are less likely to be stolen.

Written by Jane Jumphries

November Parish Meeting Report

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.

October Parish Meeting Report

There was a Parish Council meeting on 27th October. Due to resignations the Parish Council had only six councillors of whom four were in attendance. However there were four applicants wishing to be co-opted on to the Parish Council in place of Ian Storr and Betty Grimes who had resigned. It is a sad fact that we cannot co-opt every willing volunteer who puts their name forward and the Council voted to co-opt Tony Gill and Pauline Joslin. Tony and Pauline had served previously on the Parish Council and had continued to assist the Council with matters such as planning, footpaths and trees where they had expertise. Tony and Pauline were welcomed on to the Council and the other two candidates, Tom Fletcher and Tim Tack, were thanked for offering their services to the Council. There will soon be another opportunity for Tom, Tim or others to join the Parish Council following the recent resignation of Jim Coe. During the time Jim was on the Council he was always willing to offer his help. He inspected the main play area each month and helped set up the group of residents who are looking to raise funds for better play equipment in the village. Many of you will remember the survey he helped organise. He also helped co-ordinate the sports clubs regarding the recreation field maintenance. Village residents can call for an election to fill the vacancy caused by Jim’s resignation. Details are shown on the village website and the village noticeboard but the period for calling such an election ends on or around 12th November. If no election is called for by residents then the Parish Council will ask for permission to fill the vacancy by co-option. The implications are clear. If residents in the village want a direct say in who fills the vacancy they need to call for an election to be held.

The Parish Council has approved a planning application by St Mary’s Church for a new Church Community Hall. This has gone to the District Council who have also approved the application subject to some improvements to the access road from Main Street. This requires use of a small area of land owned by the Parish Council and the Council considered what was required of them and Chivers Farm in order for this condition to be met.

The councillors confirmed their support for the Village Plan Group and agreed that £1,000 from the special project fund would be made available to help this project get started.

Hardwick owns a speed camera which can be used by trained volunteers to monitor speeding through the village. However there are only two trained volunteers at present and we need a minimum of three. If anyone is interested in being trained for this role please contact our Parish Clerk on .

District Councillor Grenville Chamberlain gave a report on the significant progress that has been made in getting the eyesore which is the fire damaged building on the corner of St Neots Road and Cambridge Road sorted out.

The Greater Cambridge City Deal consultation on improved bus services and cycleways was noted. It is understood that all houses in the village have received a copy of the consultation documents and residents are encouraged to make their views known. Fortunately all options, other than doing nothing, will be a direct benefit to Hardwick but we can have a say in which option we prefer. If residents want to know more an exhibition is being held in Hardwick at the Community Primary School on Tuesday 3rd November from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.

The results of the St Neots Road development survey results were reported to the Parish Council and they will help the Parish Council when it has to comment on the planning application when it is made.

Thank you for all your feedback and comments about Hardwick and its issues.


September Parish Meeting Report

The meeting was attended by 5 of the 7 Parish Councillors. District Councillor Chamberlain was out of Parish on business.

Since the last meeting Councillor Betty Grimes has stepped down from post which creates a vacancy that can only be filled with a by election. The other vacancy created by Ian Storr’s resignation in May can now be filled by co-opting applicants as no one came forward in the Summer and 4 months have passed. It is a complicated system that we must adhere to so please don’t be put off if you are thinking of joining the council and contact the clerk.

Two villagers have applied for the co-opted post and these will be voted upon at an extra meeting before next month when both people can attend to briefly address the council as neither was at the meeting. Matters that were dealt with this month included the agreed sharing of Speed Watch equipment with Caldecote and Toft once volunteers have been trained and the football clubs being asked to check the pitches at the end of the fixtures to clear up all the tape, gloves and litter from the touchlines. There was a long discussions following a resident’s request for the Council to pay for a dropped kerb outside their house when the double yellow lines are introduced; but it was decided that the Council would not pay although they were sympathetic with the situation. Another long discussion followed the request of the Hardwick Sports and Social Club to erect two lockable bollards in the Parish car park disabled parking bays outside the Pavilion. It was decided that first the HSSC should make every attempt to approach those using the bays without a Blue Badge, as they know who they are, reminding them not to. The new village litter picker has started and we thank Joan Harding for the summer months during which she did the role voluntarily. The Council will arrange for the brambles around the skate park to be cut back and extra litter checks by council members should improve the appearance of this area of the rec. Coton Ladies Netball club will be using the all-weather courts this winter and if any other clubs would like to please contact the clerk. The driveway leading to the church will be widened at the road end to facilitate their planning application for a community hall behind St Mary’s. Our new street lights are nearly all working but with the perfect growing conditions this Summer lots of trees have flourished and if your street light is obscured please let me know ( I am trying to check on all our village lights to ensure good visibility at night. We are also doing a check on the condition of the village notice boards and I will clear them of out of date notices as soon as I can.

The next meeting is on 20th October in the Community Room at 7.45pm. If you are thinking of joining the Parish Council it is a good idea to come along to a few meetings to familiarise yourself with the day to day duties of the post.

Written by Jane Humphries

July Parish Meeting Report

The Parish Council have asked me to write a brief report following each meeting for inclusion in the Hardwick Happenings. As there isn’t an issue of the Happenings for a few months the opportunity to publish on our new website was not to be missed so here is my report for July.

Hardwick’s Parish Council meeting for July was well attended by villagers and 6 of the 8 councillors. There were two speakers who both spoke before the business of the meeting at 7.45pm.

Clare Gibbons from South Cambs District Council gave a Powerpoint presentation on ideas for setting up a working group to develop a Village Improvement Plan; like many local villages have. This would involve committed involvement from residents and the PC. Following surveys, meetings and explorations into village needs it would result in a plan for Hardwick’s immediate future. A working party is on next months agenda.

District Councillor Francis Burkitt spoke about the proposals for a public transport system between Cambourne and Cambridge to include Hardwick as a bus stop on a new busway similar to the one along the A14. There could also be a new Park and Ride east of Madingly Hill adjacent to the A428. There will be a lot about this in local press and on local media and a public consultation will happen in the Autumn. Getting into Cambridge will hopefully be much easier and much quicker in the next few years.

The rest of the meeting included a decision to save PC money as HSSC will now carry out their own legionella testing; the addition of a dog bin at the Toft end of the village will help alleviate the never ending problem of dog mess and listing the Blue Lion pub as an Asset of the Community with CAMRA. The new webmaster for the village site is Robert Cassey and our new new editors for the magazine are Howard Baker and Peter Cornwell. The meeting finished at about 11.30pm and the draft minutes will appear with the next agenda on the Cambridge Rd noticeboard on Wednesday 19th August. There is one vacancy on the Parish Council, if you are interested please email the clerk.

Written by Jane Humphries