March Parish Meeting Report

All 9 councillors were present along with Grenville the District Councillor and 3 members of the village. Councillor Chamberlain reported that the burnt out building on St.Neots Rd will eventually be demolished and made clear this summer. It is not clear however what the owner intends to do with the site. In the public session Simon Gibson informed the PC that he hopes to put in a planning application for land next to the DVLA for a cider production unit and a newly planted orchard. The WI informed the PC that their commemorative plaque will go onto the village sign very soon and that 40 people turned out to collect 60 bags of rubbish in the ‘Clean for the Queen’ initiative last month. St.Neots Rd was particularly littered with rubbish and this is a problem as the paid village litter picker is not allowed to pick on that roadside, which is Highways responsibility. Mrs Jones requested a litter bin at each bus stop, a team of volunteer village litter pickers and a dog bin at number 1 St.Neots Rd. Later in the meeting it was resolved that we would look into buying and fitting the litter bins ourselves. The dog bin request was discussed at length and as the PC is often asked for more bins and have to pay for their emptying the one already along St.Neots Rd would be sufficient for the time being.

A small amount of fly tipped rubbish will be removed by the councillors themselves and planning and tree works were also discussed at length. A Neighbourhood Plan now looks to be more likely than the Village Plan that is lead by Martin Cassey, taking longer it will legally protect the village more than a Village Plan and will have the same committee and objectives. 2 new swing seats will replace the current ones at the Egremont Rd play park as the rubber is crumbling around the waist guard.

The meeting finished at 10pm.

The Parish Council would like to ask if there are any volunteers to take part in training for the Speedwatch programme to use speed monitoring equipment to reduce speeding along Cambridge Rd and Main Street. Please contact the clerk if you are interested.

Written by Jane Humphries

Work to Repair the A428 at Madingley and Cambourne

Road works are being carried out to repair the A428 at Madingley and Cambourne.

We are working on behalf of Highways England to repair and maintain the A428 near you. This work will repair the A428 at two sites – the Cambridge Road bridge by Madingley, and the A428 eastbound from the A1198 roundabout at Ermine Street to the entry slip road for Cambourne.

Subject to weather conditions, we plan to start work on the Cambridge Road bridge on Monday 11 April, finishing by July. We will be working between 20:00 and 06:00. To keep road users at a safe distance from the works, we will have lanes closed both east and westbound, though not in both directions at the same time. These closures will be in place 24/7 for the duration of the works, for five weeks in each direction. These lane closures, which will also have a 50mph speed limit in place, will be from Cambridge Road and Madingley to the A1303.

We will close the A428 between the two junctions to install the lane closures. The road will be closed westbound on Monday 11 April and eastbound on Monday 25 April. When the A428 is closed westbound, drivers will take the A14 at junction 31A for the A428 west, then take the A14 to junction 24, the A1198 south to the Caxton Gibbet roundabout, where the diversion ends. When the A428 is closed eastbound, drivers will be diverted off in advance at the Caxton Gibbet roundabout, head north on the A1198 to junction 24 of the A14, the east to junction 31, where the A14 merges with the A428. Drivers missing the pre-divert route will turn around the Madingley roundabout and return to take it.

We plan to complete the surfacing work on the A428 at Cambourne between Tuesday 5 and Thursday 7 April. We will be working between 20:00 and 06:00. To keep road users at a safe distance from the works, we will close the A428 eastbound between these junctions while we are working.

Drivers wishing to travel east on the A428 will be diverted north on the A1198 to the A14 junction 24, then head east on the A14 to junction 32 where they will leave and return west on the A14 to junction 31A, where the A14 becomes the A428. Drivers will continue heading west to Cambourne, where the diversion ends

This may result in slight delays for local road users and through traffic, as well as additional noise in this area while we are working, for which we apologise

Important, please read Details about road works

We would be grateful if you would publicise the works to your parishioners through newsletters and other communications where appropriate. We would advise drivers to allow extra time to complete their journey.

We will do our utmost to complete the works as quickly as possible, avoiding disturbance and keeping noise to a minimum. Once complete, this work will ensure the bridge is safe for drivers and provide a safer road surface to enable smoother journeys.

To stay informed about all the latest major roadworks happening near you, visit www.gov.uk/government/organisations/highways-england to register for the latest alerts.

If you have any enquiries please contact the Highways England Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000, or by e-mail to info@highwaysengland.co.uk.

Yours Faithfully,

Steve Smith,

Project Manager,

For and on behalf of Highways England

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 7:45 pm on Tuesday 17th 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 possible new housing developments in the village, preparations for a Village Plan and there will be an update about the demolition of the eyesore at the corner of St Neots Road and Cambridge Road.

New this year is the 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 new Parish Council. District 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

February Parish Meeting Report

There were 8 of the 9 Parish Councillors present along with 4 members of the public.

The open session at the beginning of the meeting allows villagers to ask questions to the councillors and 2 residents of Hall Drive asked about the Environmental Impact Assessment Screening that is taking place on the land south of St. Neots Rd. These assessments are looking for populations of protected species like Great Crested Newts and some bat colonies. The Council or an individual cannot comment at this stage but all the findings of the Assessment could be part of a future planning application for the proposed St Neots Road housing development. There is a rare non native pheasant which is currently living on the land proposed for development, the RSPB has said it has probably escaped from a private collection.

The chairman provided an update on the status of possible planning applications for housing developments off St Neots Road and off Grace Crescent together with details of possible planning obligations required of the developers should the planning applications be approved. Councillor Joslin asked that consideration be given to the inclusion of bungalows in the mix of properties close to St Neots Road as these are sought after by elderly residents in the village.

Ann Jones attended the meeting on behalf of the “Clean for the Queen” WI venture happening in Hardwick on Saturday 5th March. She requested that the PC support the national initiative by covering the cost of hiring the community room and tea/coffee and cake ingredients for the volunteers to enjoy afterwards. Pippins cake bakers are baking extra this month for the volunteer litter pickers. It was voted upon later in the meeting to cover this cost.

Martin Cassey of the Village Plan Committee reported that the 2 recent meetings have resulted in a proposed publication date of the Village Plan of late September 2017. Pauline Joslin attends the meetings as a representative of the PC.

After a long discussion and examination of 4 quotations for the recreation ground management the contract remains with Mel Pooley for the next 3 years. Cahills Corner improvements are complete and the PC are very pleased with the widening of the pavement. A resident had already contacted councillors with their gratitude for the safer route to school.

The Beaver Scouts plus a parent each will be camping on the grass next to the Church play park in May for just one night. This is something the PC is happy to support again.

The Annual Parish Meeting will take place on 17th May in the School Hall with a small grant fund of £1000 being available for village organisations. Groups can request up to £250 as long as they present at the meeting and agree to return to the 2017 meeting to report how it was spent.

Finally the Highways Dept. are due to clear overhanging vegetation along St. Neots Rd very soon.

The meeting finished at 10.40pm.

Written by Jane Humphries

January Parish Meeting Report

Two Parish Council meetings were held in January

There were 7 members of the council and 2 members of the public present at the meeting on 19 January, however the meeting was chaired by Cllr Gill as The Chair and Vice Chair were both absent.

District Cllr Chamberlain reported that unfortunately planning permission had been granted for an extra bungalow to be built at 11 Cambridge Rd despite opposition from the council and several neighbours on the grounds that the plot was too small and too close to Cahills Corner.

The Local Plan, proposed modification, consultation period was up the next day so the council was meeting a week early to allow it to discuss and respond in time. Cllr Rose and Steve Jones from Bourn Parish Council had summarised in writing for the council and it was decided to support the proposals of the Coalition of Parish Councils (which includes both Bourn and Hardwick). The proposals were to oppose the modifications/amendments to the plan with transportation being the main concern.

A few small items on the agenda concerning blocked drains at the Pavilion, overgrowing trees and planning permission for 44 Main Street were dealt with and the meeting finished at 9.25pm!

The following week the PC met to discuss and review the budget and set the precept for 2016/2017.

Only Cllr Skingle was absent for this meeting.

Gail Stoehr presented the finances very clearly for the PC and the councillors spent over 2 hours analysing the 11 main areas of spending which include salaries, grounds maintenance, trees, repairs and asset maintenance. Then the 4 main areas of income which are the precept itself, advertising, buildings/pitch rent and bank interest. Some areas had resulted in a deficit against the budget this year particularly repairs and maintenance but we had saved in other areas. The councillors decided to slightly increase the budget for donations to village groups from Section 137 monies and for ground maintenance. The improvements to Cahills Corner are going to cost less than previously estimated by about £19,000. The Council decided to use some of this to pay for the increase in the budget, to transfer £3,000 to the Scout Hut project, reduce the precept by about £5 per household and to transfer the balance to general reserves.

Written by Jane Humphries

Open Letter to Residents of Hardwick

You can Download the open letter, written by Steve Chamberlain, by clicking here.

Hardwick Football Club

The purpose of this letter is to inform you that I will be resigning my position as Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary and Reserve team manager of Hardwick Football Club at the end of the current season and to enlist your help and support to find suitable successors that will enable one of your community clubs to continue and be successful in the future as well as to seek your input into what you would like from your club.

I have played for Hardwick FC since 1986 – almost 30 years – and been involved with the Committee for many of those years, latterly being Chairman for the last five or so. Due to a combination of illnesses and personal reasons I have also picked up the roles of Treasurer, Secretary and Reserve team manager in the last couple of years.

For those of you that know me you will know that I have invested a huge amount of time and effort into the club and so my resignation comes with a very heavy heart. However, I am about to take on additional personal commitments that mean I can no longer give these roles the time they need.

My successors will be joining the club at an interesting time as it has reached a pivotal point in its future. We currently have three Saturday teams in the Cambridgeshire League as well as a team playing on Sundays.

We have been incredibly successful over the last few years and have established our first team in the Kershaw Premier. This represents Step 7 of the Football League and hence there are certain mandatory requirements which strain the facilities at Hardwick. To ease this situation the first team play their home games at Girton College with the Reserves and A team playing at Hardwick Rec.

I have not been particularly happy about this and I know a number of you are not also, but it was necessary to enable the club to continue at that level. The facilities at Hardwick are not good enough to support three teams and, whilst we are working with the Parish Council to improve them, I am sure you can appreciate it will only provide a solution in the longer term.

We are planning a Fans Forum in February to enable you to come along and share your views to help us ensure we are delivering a football club that gives you what you want. I am hopeful that the process will also help us identify people that are willing to come and help run the club.

If anyone is interested in helping to run one of Hardwick’s key institutions then please do not hesitate to contact me (steve@thechamberlainfamily.co.uk). I would be delighted to hear from anyone and look forward to providing more background and context at the Fans Forum in February.

Yours faithfully

Steve Chamberlain

Chairman

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.

Parish Council Vacancy

There is a vacancy on the council which the council hopes to fill at its meeting on the 15 December 2015. If you are interested in applying for the position you can download the relevant forms here. Please return your application form and any other correspondence to The Clerk.