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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

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

September Parish Meeting Report

The meeting was attended by 7 councillors and 8 members of the public.

During the open part of the meeting the issue of litter was raised by a concerned villager who said that the problem had been especially noticed by the dog walkers of Hardwick. Later in the meeting it was an agenda item and the PC discussed how it too is concerned and would continue to be pro active in keeping the village clear of rubbish but that signage is not the way to tackle the problem. The PC is very grateful to the volunteering group which will have its first ‘pick’ on 7th October and as many PC members as possible will join them. The position of a paid litter picker is still open and interested applicants should contact the clerk.

A large part of the evening was spent discussing the possibility of Section 106 money resulting from any housing development that may arise in the village over the next few years. Increased numbers of children in the village would mean the school would need the room; but section 106 money could be spent on a new Community building if it is decided upon before the planning permission is ever granted. Given that the school will need to expand if the development goes ahead there has been a suggestion that the community rooms in the school be surrendered in exchange for a new community centre elsewhere in the village. This option is being considered by the Trustees of the community facilities at the school. It is a complicated set of events that need to be thought through but a decision to relinquish the Community Room to the school seemed to be the popular one, in the interest of the whole village. This is a hypothetical situation at the moment as planning permission has not yet gone to the County Council.

The Village Plan group met on the 1st Sept and at present are not keen to merge into a Neighbourhood Plan group yet. More support from the village is needed in terms of volunteers offering to be a part of the scheme.

A hard cut back of vegetation on the recreation ground will go ahead with work on the surrounding trees too. The bench outside the church is to be cleaned and treated as soon as possible.

The meeting closed just before 11pm.

Written by Jane Humphries

August Parish Meeting Report

The meeting took place in the Social Club as the school was closed for the summer break. All 9 councillors attended and about 12 members of the community.

In the open part of the meeting at 7.45pm Carter Jonas made a short response to the decision made at the July meeting to oppose the planning application for houses near Grace Crescent. They have offered a greater contribution of section 106 money which is to benefit the village and would be put towards village facilities like a community building to replace the community room which would be required for the extra children attending the school and pre-school.

Martin Cassey reported on behalf of the Village Plan Steering Committee and emphasized that they would not be rushing towards a neighbourhood plan at the moment as it may cause confusion and greater bonding is still required with the Parish Council. Grenville reported that the devolution Deal was still unclear and a final decision would be made in October.

Chris Fuller gave a detailed report on the works required on trees around the recreation ground which will be cut back to reveal the dog walk area west of the pitches and cleared well back from the car park near the Social Club. These bramble bushes will also be pruned hard from the eastern side too. The Council thanked him for his time given to the report.

Wild flower mixes will be sown in several locations around the village including outside the school, church, Cahills Corner and on the Laxton Ave green. The planting will be in small blocks so mowing can still keep these areas tidy.

A new litter picker is required for the village, it is a paid position needing about 4 hours per week with a remuneration of £140/month. Not all the village is cleaned just the recreation grounds and parks. Please contact the clerk if interested.

Written by Jane Humphries

July Parish Meeting Report

There was a well-attended Parish Council meeting on 26th July and a lively open session before the formal meeting began.  Alison Talkington from South Cambs District Council gave a brief presentation about Neighbourhood Plans.  Hardwick already has an active Village Plan Group, supported by the Parish Council,  but there are advantages to the more formal Neighbourhood Plan when it comes to local decisions on planning issues – but also a lot of extra work.  The Parish Council decided that it wanted to adopt a Neighbourhood Plan for the whole of Hardwick and Tony Gill, Pauline Joslin and Jim Stewart were appointed to a newly formed group.  The new Group was asked to meet with the Village Plan Group with a view to combining resources.

A planning application for 98 houses on land adjacent to Grace Crescent was on the agenda for discussion and a number of village residents attended the meeting to make their views known to the Parish Council.  There were some  thoughtful and constructive comments which the Parish Council were pleased to receive.  There followed a detailed and wide ranging discussion of the application by the Parish Council.  The proposal would provide much needed affordable housing in the village which the Council is keen to support but the Council had significant misgivings over the sustainability of a development on this site and, on  a show of hands, unanimously decided to object to the application.

Clare McGowan of Hardwick Play Park Group gave an interim report to the Parish Council on the activities of the Group.

Other items on the agenda included

Recycling collection for electrical goods in Hardwick which was approved

Tree Survey of all Parish Council trees in the village – the Clerk will invite tenders for remedial work needed

Grounds maintenance – the Clerk will seek tenders for grounds maintenance in the village.  The Council considered the suggestion that some verges be sown with a wild flower mix with interest but further consideration was needed regarding locations to be seeded.

Written by Steve Rose

June Parish Meeting Report

There were 4 Parish Councillors and 3 members of the community present. The open session at 7.45pm had Pat Portlock report that there is a team of 12 volunteers ready to start the litter picking, the removal of rubbish has been organised and the equipment can now be ordered.

Martin Cassey reported on the June meeting of the Village Plan Committee and said that it will be interesting to watch how Cambourne progress as they are about a year ahead of Hardwick.

New way marker signs will go up on the Millennium Footpath to replace rotten posts and fallen markers.

Our ROSPA reports for the 4 playgrounds and skate park have been done and all the required action of repairs to keep in line with the findings will take place as soon as possible.

New updated Council policies were discussed and accepted concerning standing orders, financial regulations and risk assessments.

Reports of overgrown, dead or overhanging trees will be checked against the recent tree survey which has just been completed.

Parish boundaries are to change which will reduce the number of District Councillors and our ward now includes Toft.

The state of repair of some of our lay-bys is particularly poor and any member of the public can report potholes and bad surfaces at: please help us get these up to the standard of our new main roads through the village.

Meeting closed at 10.50pm.

Written by Jane Humphries

May Parish Meeting Report

6 of the 9 councillors were present, our District Councillor and 8 members of the public.

The meeting started with the election of posts for the year following the Annual Parish Meeting in the previous week. Steve Rose remains as Chairman, Tony Gill will be Vice-chairman, Tony, Pauline Joslin and Jim Stewart are on the planning committee, Jane Humphries and Tony will look after trees, Newsletters Jane and Steve, noticeboard agenda and minutes put up by Chris Cracknell and website liaison and litter will be Steve. Martin Cassey heads the Village plan with Pauline attending meetings and Tony, Pauline and Steve will attend the coalition of 22 Parish Councils locally.

During the open public session James Thomas from Hill together with Ben and Caroline Chivers and their colegue Colin introduced a proposal for land development in Hardwick looking ahead to about 2020-2022. Land opposite the school and shop and parallel with St.Neots Rd would provide over 250 houses, recreation grounds, community buildings and a road from Cambridge Rd out to St.Neots Rd. All this is a very early and initial presentation to the PC and as it is all green belt has a long way to go from this proposal on paper at present. The website will have a short report from the developers very soon.

Pat Portlock has found materials for the new volunteering Hardwick Litter Pickers which will be funded with equipment by the PC but they are all volunteers.

Grenville Chamberlain reported that there will be a discussion on the EU referendum at Comberton Village Hall on 2/6/2016. City Deal traffic changes will appear in the press very soon but may include congestion charges, road closures and personal number plate recognition in the centre of Cambridge.

The meeting closed about 10.15pm.

Written by Jane Humphries

April Parish Meeting Report

7 councillors, our District Councillor and 2 members of the community attended to hear councillor Chamberlain discuss the derelict building on St.Neots Rd and the arrangements to demolish it. The gas supply has been disconnected and the owner has agreed to remove the unsafe building ‘soon’.

Grenville said he will push for this as soon as possible and that the application of legal charges may speed things up. The Local Development plan should be through in about a year.

A member of the village is keen to set up a volunteer litter picking group that would assist in keeping the village clean in addition to our paid litter picker. This must be a Parish Council lead group that will be trained, registered for each pick and use the equipment provided by the council. The PC will spend £250 on the set up for this group and our thanks goes to the volunteers already interested.

Martin Cassey sent comprehensive notes on the current state of the village plan and will be at the Annual Parish Meeting to deliver a report and answer any questions. Litter bins will be fitted at the bus stops on St.Neots Rd without them yet, and the lay-by, in an attempt to combat the litter problem. 2 new swing seats were ordered for the play park on Egremont Rd and a quote for resurfacing the footpath along Cambridge Rd from the church to the pub will be sought for the next meeting.

The Annual Parish Meeting will be held on 17th May at the School at 7.30pm.

Village groups will offer reports on the year’s activities, the 2 development companies will update on their progress and there will be small grants available for clubs and societies.

The meeting closed at 10.30pm

Written by Jane Humphries

May 17th: Annual Hardwick Parish Meeting

Only two weeks to go to the Annual Hardwick Parish Meeting. Remember the time, date and place. 7:30, May 17th, in the School Hall. It’s an open meeting for everyone in the village. A great chance to find out what is going on in your village, to ask questions and to put forward your views. There will be updates from the two developers wanting to build houses off St Neots Road and Grace Crescent. Also an update from the Village Plan Committee on what they have acheived since setting up last year at the well attended launch meeting. You will have the opportunity of meeting the new editors of the Hardwick Happenings and the webmaster of the Hardwick village website as well as the members of the Parish Council. And you can apply at the meeting for small grants of up to £250 for village projects. Available to individuals and groups to help you make our village even better.

Free refreshments will be available at the end of the meeting so you can get to know some of your fellow village residents over a cup of tea or glass of wine.
Watch out for the agenda on notice boards and the Hardwick website.

You can view and download the agenda here: Annual Hardwick Parish Meeting Agenda

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

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

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