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2016 Annual Parish Meeting

Annual Parish Meeting Overall Report

The meeting was well attended with about 50 residents and most Parish Councillors, our District Councillor, Head Teacher, Vicar and many group and club representatives.

Steve Rose extended a warm welcome to all and the meeting began with the business of accepting apologies and signing the minutes from the Annual Parish Meeting of 2015. There were no matters arising so Steve gave his annual report especially thanking the dedication of two councillors in particular, Tony Gill and Pauline Joslin, who were not re-elected in the May 2015 election yet continued to help the PC on the planning sub-committee and with trees and public footpaths. They were successfully co-opted when two councillors stepped down from their posts are now part of the full Parish Council again.

A financial report was displayed on the Parish notice board last year and the public have 5 weeks in June and July to contact the clerk if they have questions about the accounts.

In Grenville Chamberlain’s report he recommended a Neighbourhood Plan for Hardwick to secure what the village wants for the future. The burnt out building on the corner of St.Neots Rd will be demolished this summer and an outline planning application is close for both proposed developments in the village.

The local police sent a report that was read out, 258 incidents were reported in 2015 compared to 295 in the year before. 67 were crimes compared to 51 in the previous year.

Reports were read out by Hardwick Sports and Social Club, The Community Association, Hardwick Happenings magazine, website master Robert Cassey, Village Plan Committee, Guides, St. Mary’s Church, Hardwick Evangelical Church, Hardwick Play Parks, Women’s Institute and Chris Fuller on the recreation ground maintenance.

Pat Portlock introduced the Hardwick Litterpicking Volunteer group which will be recourced by the PC but will be manned by resident volunteers and if you would like to help regularly or just once please contact her at details will be on the website.

Two small grants applications came from Hardwick Play Parks and Hardwick Brownies who were both awarded the maximum amount of £250 each. The Play Parks group will use it to organise a fun run in Hardwick in September and the Brownies want to offer an open evening to attract new girls and will now be able to offer crafts, activities and possibly a trip.

The meeting had a break for refreshments of tea, coffee or a glass of wine and finished about 10pm.

Written by Jane Humphries

Circle Housing St Neots Road Development Update

Tony Bowman attended the Annual Parish Meeting on Tuesday evening and announced that Circle Housing are aiming to submit their planning application for the St Neots Road housing development in the next few weeks.

Initially the proposed development at the top of the village was to be for 184 houses. This is likely to be scaled back but some of the dwellings will now be larger and which will contribute toward affordable housing. To meet the need for affordable housing in Hardwick about 40% of the development will be dedicated as affordable.

Circle housing have made efforts to ensure the development is sustainable:

  • A contribution to the community centre
  • Extend the car park at the Comberton Surgery – This is a measure taken because a surgery in the village is considered to be unlikely by the developers. Circle have talked at lengths to the NHS but the NHS are not prepared at present to fund any new surgeries
  • Extensive surveys have been carried out on ecological impact of the development

Update on Grace Crescent Development at the Annual Parish Meeting

There was a public exhibition for the scheme held by Hill in June of last year during which over 160 residents attended.

Hill attended the Annual Parish Meeting on Tuesday evening and announced that they are aiming to submit their planning application for the Grace Crescent housing development before the end of May.

It will be an outline application for up to 98 units.

The scheme will be a development of about 23 units per hectare. Hill is proposing areas of open space over the site including a children’s play area.

“We have been in regular contact with both the parish council and the district council regarding the scheme”

The application is set to include:

  • A minimum of 39 affordable homes
  • A dedicated car parking lay by
  • Introduce additional village allotments
  • Pieces of play equipment will be provided in Grace Crescent – which were due to be provided during the initial development work of Grace Crescent.
  • Improved public path between Grace Crescent, the Blue Lion, and St Mary’s Church
  • Increase in the frequency of the existing go-whippet bus service going along Cambridge Road that stops in near vicinity of the proposed site for a trial period of six months
  • The scheme will address Pre-School needs within the village
  • The scheme will make a contribution toward primary healthcare in Comberton and a contribution to facilities in the village

“In summary we feel that the scheme will benefit the village and that it represents sustainable development. “

More details on the development can be found on their website

Hardwick Sports & Social Club Report for Annual Parish Meeting

Legal name & status: Hardwick Sports & Social Club Ltd – IPS 29242R

Hardwick Sports and Social Club Limited (the Club) was registered as a limited company under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965 on 25th June 2001 and operates under approved registered Club rules.

The Club operates as a co-operative for the benefit of its members. The Club rules do not allow any distribution of profits, or assets on a winding up to be made to the members.

The Club complies with the legal requirements of the IPS registration, publishes annual accounts presented to and approved by its members and makes an annual return to the Financial Services Conduct Authority.

The Club occupies the Pavilion under the terms of a 10 year lease from Hardwick Parish Council, negotiated with and signed by both parties on 15th May 2014. We previously held a lease under which a peppercorn rent of £1 per annum was payable but we now pay rent assessed at a commercial market value with an agreed rent review and break clauses.

Additionally the Club now meets the running costs of the Pavilion (including dressing rooms & toilets) and demise as defined within the lease and registered plan.

The Club is licensed to sell alcohol and has a Club Registration Certificate which permits sale of alcohol within the club until to 2am on special occasions and other events as determined by the management committee.

The Club is licensed for the preparation and sale of food and the Club Manager and other members of staff are trained and hold the appropriate food preparation & hygiene certificates.

The Club holds all necessary licences for TV & music broadcast including a public performance & copyright licences issued by the Performing Rights Society for public broadcast of music (live & recorded), digital, recorded and satellite TV which is displayed in the Club on multiple Plasma displays.

Any profits generated in the operation of the licensed premises are re-invested in the Club for the benefit of its members.

The Club is run by its officers and management committee who are elected annually by the membership holders.
The Committee meets on the third Monday of each month.

As a licensed premises operating under a Club Registration Certificate and as an IPS, it is a requirement that persons over 18 become a member to comply. In order to become a club member an individual must be proposed and seconded by existing Club members, new member pay a subscription fee currently £10 per annum (£5 renewal before the 28th of February) or alternatively Life membership is available on payment of £75.

Applications for membership are considered each calendar month at the meeting of the Management Committee.

Most of our members live in Hardwick with an increasing number coming from adjoining villages as a result of attending events and other activities held within the premises .
The Club encourages as wide a membership as is possible and the members living outside of a 5 mile radius of the Club usually have familial links to Hardwick and the proximate villages.

As at the time of preparation of this report 13/05/2016 the Club membership system is undergoing modernisation. In the past year there has been a small decline overall, however the new system will enable to club to widen its membership ability, make application smoother, and this is likely to increase by year end 2016 as members associated with the Cricket & Football Clubs rejoin as their new seasons get underway.

The Club supports sporting and other activities in the village including making financial contributions to local community activities and charities nominated by members and approved by the management committee.

In the past year we have contributed to:

Hardwick Football Club
Hardwick Harriers Football club
Hardwick & Caldecote Cricket Club – providing new cricket balls
Hardwick Doctors car service – providing a donation to purchase aids to get in and out of cars
Macmillan Cancer care – supporting and donating to a charity evening which raised over £1500
Ongoing donation boxes for guide dogs for the blind and the lifeboat association
Donation to Santa’s chosen charity after the children’s Christmas party

The Club opens 5pm each evening Mon – Thursday, 4pm on Fridays and from midday at weekends.

HSSC has a Cribbage team, 2 x 9 ball Pool teams, a Darts Team and the Hardwick Friendship Club has a free let and meets every Wednesday afternoon from 2pm.
The Women’s institute also ran a darts team from the premises.
The County Darts team bases itself from HSSC starting this year.

The Club currently has one computer with fast internet and Wi-Fi access provided by South Cambridgeshire District Council and managed by Hardwick Parish Council. The computers are used extensively by members, members’ children and other villagers.
Following donation a playstation has been installed along with a selection of toys for all ages.

Improvements 2015/2016
The Club has had extensive refurbishment internally over the past year with full redecoration and new furniture.
This has greatly updated the environment making it a smart and pleasurable venue.

Recent improvements have been made to the covered entrance area by the Parish Council and we are in the process of replenishing the planters and purchasing hanging baskets for the exterior.

Jerry Burford was appointed as Club Manager in 2014 which has proved a success. Jerry works alongside myself and the committee and is a popular member of the community. Our staff are all local residents who are friendly and welcome and serve our members and their guests.
Recent staff changes have meant we have said goodbye temporarily to Rachel Rason who is travelling to India to volunteer teach. The club has supported this venture with a £500 donation.

We believe that HSSC provides a warm welcome to its members and everyone who attends.
We pride ourselves on the diverse age groups that use the facilities and the rapport between ourselves and external groups.
For all of us, it’s great to see on any given day of the week, our members socialising, chatting with friends, reading the newspaper, playing indoor sports or just enjoying a drink watching the television.
Which they can now request in a special Hardwick Sports and Social Club glass!!

We hope this is also the opinion of The Parish Council and its members.

Janie Ward – Club Secretary
On behalf of Hardwick Sports & Social Club Management Committee

13th May 2016

Hardwick Village Plan Report

It is now nearly nine months since we embarked on the process to develop a Village Plan for Hardwick. The Village Plan Steering Committee is pleased to provide an update on progress to the 2016 Annual Parish Meeting.

Looking back, we are pleased by what has been achieved. Looking forward, we recognise the amount of work remaining. Some Villagers have suggested that Hardwick should instead focus its efforts on developing a Neighbourhood rather than a Village Plan.

The Parish Council endorsed the development of a Village Plan at its August 2015 meeting. Over the following six weeks a few residents and interested parties held a number of informal meetings and discussed the first steps along the road to a plan.

Amongst the early actions were the launch of a dedicated website supported by postings on Facebook and Streetlife. It was also decided to hold a Public Meeting to spread the word around the Village.

Approximately 50 residents attended the Public Meeting. The event was used to inform attendees of what was involved in Village Planning. The meeting provided an opportunity for attendees to identify the positives in Hardwick, the issues that need to be addressed and to volunteer to help.

During this period, the Parish Council approved £1,000 of seed corn funding. Without this support, it would not have been possible to hold the Public Meeting nor to produce some general purpose publicity material etc. The HVP Steering Committee thanks the Parish Council for its financial support and encouragement.

Current Status
Since the Public Meeting in October, the Committee has formalised its work with Terms of Reference and a finance policy, has further engaged with the Community at events, through its website and via Social Media. More than 120 residents have returned contact forms, the vast majority expressing support for the Village Plan. Most recently a Village Plan timeline has been generated and the proposed list of topics that the plan should consider has been published on-line. So far, just over £350 of the seed corn funding has been spent.

Recently, the steering committee has been bolstered by District Councillor Chamberlin and Parish Councillor Joslin attending in observer/liaison roles and by Tim Dodd volunteering and subsequently being co-opted on to the committee.

The Future
Completing the Village Plan, as originally envisioned is expected to take a further 18 to 20 months. Although the budget is still being developed, it is anticipated that funding of approximately £3,200 will be required. The majority of this expenditure is associated with the production and distribution of surveys and the finished report to the 1,000+ households in the Hardwick Parish.

The Village Plan group recognises that there is interest in developing a Neighbourhood Plan for Hardwick. The decision to opt for a Neighbourhood plan is for the Parish Council alone. The Village Plan has insufficient resources or tangible support to be able to do anything beyond sharing aspects of its findings and recommendations with the body tasked by the PC with the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan.

• The Village Plan was endorsed by the Parish Council in August and by a Public Meeting in October 2015.
• A timeline has been produced. It is hoped to complete the task by December 2017
• Options for accelerating Plan development have been considered, but most would additional funds.
• There is interest from some residents in the possibility of developing a Neighbourhood Plan for Hardwick.

District Councillor’s Report for the Annual Parish Meeting

It is now just over a year since I had the privilege of being elected as your District Councillor and I would like to start by thanking everyone who trusted me sufficiently to vote in my favour.

I would like to start by recording my gratitude to the Chairman and Members of Hardwick Parish Council who have worked extremely hard to administer the Village over the past year and add my thanks to the team led by Martin Cassey who have embarked upon the challenging process of constructing a Village Plan. I shall return to this point later in my report.

I would also like to extend my thanks to all the voluntary groups who contribute so much to the lives of our residents. I was delighted that we were able to secure funding from the District Council’s Community Chest of £1500 each for Hardwick Scouts to purchase camping equipment and St Mary’s Church to buy and equip a store for the volunteers who keep our churchyard is such magnificent condition. I am always content to help other groups secure funding where possible and if those groups need help, please let me know.

I was elected with a mandate to seek the removal of the dreadful eyesore that stands at the entrance to our Village. The fire damaged building has remained untouched since it was destroyed by fire 10 years ago. It has recently been used as a drug and drinking den and is in my view an appalling reflection on our village.

I am pleased and relieved to be able to confirm that, at the eleventh hour of a legal process instigated by the Planning Enforcement Team at South Cambridgeshire District Council, agreement has been reached with the owner for the demolition of the building. Work is unable to start until both gas and electricity supplies have been safely closed down. The gas supply has now been capped and we await confirmation that the electricity has been similarly isolated.

Whilst local neighbours are naturally pleased to hear the news, some hold extremely valid concerns that the area is left in a safe and secure manner after demolition and we are now working to ensure that takes place.

I referred earlier to the work of the Village Plan Group who have embarked upon what I hope will be the beginnings of a formal Neighbourhood Plan for our Village. A Neighbourhood Plan would ensure that residents are fully consulted on a wide range of issues and would need to vote upon its acceptance in a local referendum. There will be a considerable amount of work involved and I hope that volunteers will come forward to help alongside the contributions of professional advisers for which financial support is available.

At this time the Local Development Plan for both Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire remains suspended following the intervention of the Planning Inspectorate but further work has been completed by SCDC Staff and the plan re-submitted. It is likely that the modified plan is unlikely to be approved until this time next year leaving the risk of speculative planning applications being made under the National Planning Policy Framework. Many villages in South Cambridgeshire have received such applications for cumulatively a large number of homes. Hardwick is not one of those villages.

However, I am sure that most residents are aware that we may be asked to comment formally upon applications for the development of around 200 homes between Hall Drive and St Neots Road and a further quantity of approximately 100 homes near Grace Crescent at the southern end of the village. Each application will have to be considered on its own merits at the detailed planning stage when your Parish Council will be asked to comment. It is at that time that all residents will have an opportunity to attend the relevant Parish Council meeting in order to express your views.

At this time the Government are seeking to include South Cambridgeshire in an East Anglian Devolution Agreement which will include the local councils covering Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The proposals include plans for significant local control over local government service and for a directly elected Mayor with executive powers over the entire region. The position of South Cambridgeshire District Council is that we will continue to negotiate the best deal we can for South Cambridgeshire with HMG right up until the deadline when we will consider the final offer from the Government and make our decision whether to join or not at a Special Meeting of Council set for 6.00pm on 28th June.

I would like to conclude by thanking you our residents for your support and our Parish Councillors for their diligent work over the past year and I wish them well in the year ahead.

Grenville Chamberlain
District Councillor for Hardwick Ward
13th May 2016

Chairman’s Report for the Annual Parish Meeting

It is customary and proper to start my report by thanking those individuals and organisations who have contributed to the village in the past year.

I thank my fellow councillors all of whom give freely of their time to serve on the Parish Council. I am sure it would surprise the public if they knew of the amount of time and commitment your councillors put in vetting planning applications, inspecting play areas, writing reports and attending council meetings where difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions have to be made. Special thanks are due to Tony Gill and Pauline Joslin. Tony and Pauline were unsuccessful in the May 2015 elections but still they offered to continue providing valuable help to the Council on matters concerning planning, trees and paths. Such was their dedication that the Council had no hesitation in co-opting them onto the Council when vacancies arose through resignations.

Special thanks also to our Vice Chairman Jim Stewart and to our District Councillor Grenville Chamberlain for their much appreciated advice to your rather inexperienced Chairman and to Martin Cassey for volunteering to lead the Village Plan Group.

The Parish Council could not function without the help of Gail Stoehr, our Parish Clerk, and her team and they are helped in publicising what goes on in the village by our webmaster Robert Cassey and by the Hardwick Happenings team headed by the new editorial team of Peter Cornwell and Howard Baker.

Last but not least thanks to all those volunteers who give of their time to organise clubs and other organisations, manage local football and cricket teams etc. for the benefit of all in the village. You know who you are, be proud of what you do, and if the Parish Council can help you then let us know.

A428 Developments
There are ongoing proposals to build further major housing developments along the A428 e.g. at Bourn Airfield and by extending Cambourne. 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 Plan. (As an aside this is causing problems for our planners due to a large number of speculative developments.) SCDC has made small modifications to their Local Plan and resubmitted it but it still includes proposals for major developments along the A428.

Hardwick Parish Council is a member of the Coalition of Parish Councils which comprises 19 local Parish Councils adjoining or near to the A428. The Coalition was formed to make known the views of local parish councils to the proposed developments 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 (as defined by SCDC’s own policies) because there are no major employment opportunities where they are being built which means unsustainable traffic on our local roads. The new large centres of employment include the Cambridge University West Campus and the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (Addenbrookes) both built on green belt land. The Coalition argues that the major housing developments should be built closer to these areas of employment on the urban fringe of Cambridge, possibly on the Cambridge green belt, rather than in the A428 corridor on “our green belt”. The Coalition believes that the City Deal on transport does not alter the unsustainable nature of the proposals.

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 dedicated bus routes. One such option would go along the southern edge of Hardwick but it appears more likely that any such bus route would go alongside the A428 or along St Neots Road. Hardwick Parish Council decided during the year not to make a submission to the consultations but instead decided to persuade residents to attend the local exhibitions and submit their individual responses to the consultations.

Potential housing developments in Hardwick
Two developers intend to make planning applications in the coming months to build houses in Hardwick.

Circle Housing are looking to build about 185 houses off St Neots Road and Hill seek to build about 100 houses off Grace Crescent.

The Parish Council and residents will be asked by SCDC for their views and comments only when a planning application is made. Until then it is only speculation as to what an application might contain and the Parish Council does not make any decisions in advance of such application.

However both developers will have to meet planning obligations for any application to be approved and they have consulted on several occasions with myself, Jim Stewart and Grenville Chamberlain among others as to the nature of existing facilities in the village and how these might need to be improved to cater for an additional population should an application be approved.

Such facilities include provision of health services, provision of education services, play areas, recreation facilities, allotments, library facilities, highways, transport and finally community facilities. I provided a summary of the consultations to the Parish Council in February which provides further details and which can be found on the village website in the meeting papers for the February Parish Council meeting.

In addition the Parish Council commissioned a small survey in the village to gauge the general feeling towards the St Neots Road development in particular and to provide some feedback as to the facilities lacking in the village. The survey results are also available on the village website – see news item for 21 October 2015.

Village Plan
The Parish Council endorsed the concept of developing a Village Plan in August 2015. Martin Cassey leads the Village Plan Steering Committee and will address the meeting tonight with an update. We need the village to think about what it wants for the community and to have this documented in the form of a plan to guide the Parish Council on matters such as those described above. Please can residents do what they can to support this project and the excellent work that Martin Cassey and his team are doing.

The village has had a website for many years and was one of the first village to have one thanks to former resident Andy Smith. But without a webmaster the site became out of date and irrelevant. We are most fortunate that Robert Cassey agreed to become the new village webmaster. He has redesigned the site to make it easier to use and he adds new features and news items on a regular basis and he will give an update tonight.

Hundreds of users access the website each month so we can see what a successful project this has been. It has been helped in no small part by the existence of the Hardwick Facebook page founded and administered by Nicola Ellender. If I want to draw people’s attention to items on the website I shamelessly use Facebook to do so knowing it reaches so many. Thank you Nicola for your initiative.

Hardwick Happenings
Our village magazine has been through difficult times over the past couple of years but has been reinvigorated thanks to Peter Cornwell, Howard Baker and their team.

The magazine is financed, published and, in theory, run by the Parish Council but in practice the magazine is dependant on volunteers. 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 the Parish Council is pleased to support this transition.

Burnt out building St Neots Road/ Cambridge Road junction
At last a formal process has begun which will lead to the demolition of the unsightly and dangerous burnt out building at the junction of St Neots Road and Cambridge Road. Grenville Chamberlain, our District Councillor has been instrumental in moving this forward and will give an update tonight.

Cahills Corner improvement
After several decades of concerns over the safety of a narrow footpath round a blind bend work has been completed to widen the footpath and improve visibility.

The work was commissioned and paid for by the Parish Council as the County Council, pleading poverty, refused to make the improvements needed. The quality of the work carried out has drawn much praise from within the village.

The Parish Council had set aside £50,000 for improvement works and expects the final cost to be around £28,000. Of the savings the Parish Council agreed to make a further transfer of £3,000 towards a new scout hut fund and to use £7,000 to reduce the amount of precept requested for 2016/17. The rest goes to increase our reserves.

Yellow lines in three locations in the village
This was a difficult decision for the Parish Council in balancing the views of affected residents with safety concerns. The majority of the Parish Council voted in favour of the safety concerns. The yellow lines have been installed and the Parish Council hopes that the inconvenience to some residents is not as great as they feared.

Some other achievements in 2014/15
Support for play park survey
Agreement of a three year maintenance programme for the recreation field
Responses to about 30 planning applications

Parish Precept for 2016/17
As residents may have noticed the amount of money requested by Hardwick Parish Council through Council Tax has reduced this year. This is because some of the savings made on the Cahills Corner project have been returned to the tax payer.
The amount requested for 2016/17 is £47,580 of which about half is spent on maintenance of recreation fields and play areas and other repairs of public assets.

Steve Rose
Chairman, Hardwick Parish Council
16th May 2016

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