HASLINGFIELD PARISH COUNCIL NEWSLETTER May 2012
The Annual Parish Meeting will be held on Monday May 28th 2012 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall. The business of the evening will be followed with a talk by Chief Inspector Darren Alderson who is responsible for this area
Looking back to how we came to serve respectively as parish and district councillors for seventeen years is rather odd, as we only came here by chance 21 years ago. At the last minute, our solicitor discovered that the village house we decided to buy on the other side of Cambridge had incorrect particulars and advised us not to sign. On the last day of the summer term, we viewed this house and Comberton Village College and took both, as our son needed to start his GCSE course in September. Reading a copy of Church and Village indicated similar activities to my ‘home’ village, that fixed the decision.
We got involved with fund-raising for the Village Hall, and several organisations, and eventually were asked to stand as councillors and were elected. Meetings and relationships have changed over the years but the troubling factor has remained constant and I have seen the evidence both here in this electoral ward and in my work as Cabinet member for Housing across the district. In this generally prosperous area, there are people who are living on the edge in many respects, but keep their troubles to themselves until they are desperate. Individual problems have on occasions been really harrowing.
Back in 1995, local residents could write to our Parish Clerk regarding planning applications and matters of concern but there was no facility for residents to speak at Parish Council, or even to be asked questions about their planning application before a decision was made about supporting same – or otherwise. I asked the Chairman of the PC if they could have a public speaking slot before the commencement of business, and he got the consent of the PC for this to happen. This practice has spread in recent years and has proved useful for any concerns to be raised and questions asked and answered before a decision is made. At times, also this has meant more public attendance.
Meetings and training sessions for parish councillors have become more frequent at SCDC ,as local democracy has become more complicated, as have local public meetings to discuss issues of general interest to the village residents , another encouraging development, and perhaps a foretaste of the workings of the localism agenda.
Fund-raising has been well to the fore over the years; the Village Hall provision benefiting twice, with The Little Theatre figuring as fund-raisers for the Hall extension, the Skate Board project, improvement projects at both the Church and the Chapel, much Playgroup fund-raising –notably the World Cup evening in the Manor garden, the superb playground provision (admired from near and far) and or course Tea at the Ritz which has raised funds for a variety of village usages.
Care for others figures large and has increased during the last 17 years, the continuation of the Village Warden Scheme, and the establishment of the Luncheon Club with 32 volunteers and the voluntary car scheme with around 24 volunteers involved, helping about 18 regular users and others using the service when temporarily unable to drive. All these organisations help long-time village residents stay here for longer.
Altogether a caring and lively village on which it has been a pleasure to live and serve.
Village Environment Working Party
This Working Party of some Parish Councillors and local volunteers has had a varied year.
We have produced a more detailed leaflet showing footpaths of the southern half of the parish and this has been uploaded onto the Haslingfield Village website. There has been unacceptable delay in providing a 24/7 dual-use way to Grantchester so allowing safe work/study/leisure access to Cambridge as necessary answers have been unobtainable. However, the latest news is encouraging. When this is finalised we can then complete the footpath map of the Haslingfield Parish and adjoining areas..
The group is currently working on projects on the Recreation Ground to create a ‘safe’ habitat for nesting birds, and also a ‘wild area’ area overlooking the pond. A regular botanical survey is being carried throughout this Spring and Summer. This latter work complements the creation of a wildflower area in the Wellhouse Meadow.
We have worked with the Parish Council and SCDC to improve the riverside path by clearing trees and trimming the hedges.
Over the past 17 years, some members of the Working Party and our District Councillor have been members of the Barrington Liaison Committee dealing with issues related to the cement works. Now that the works is to be demolished, this group’s role will become more low key probably focussing on remediation of the quarry and related transport issues.
This liaison group was formed of company staff, local scientifically-competent people, district or parish councillors, and specialists from the Environment Agency. The group had a rather choppy start, but good progress on potentially contentious issues mainly related to burning of various fuel mixes was possible because the discussion was evidence-based rather than solely being driven by emotion.
SCDC Ecology Officer, Rob Mungovan, has again been a valuable source of advice for our work.
We are grateful for the funding provided by the Parish Council.
Dr Martin Heazell
The Village Hall – developments and future plans
During the last twelve months a number of projects have been completed at the village hall, and work has continued to ensure that the upkeep of the hall has been maintained.
In early summer last year work began on laying an extended fenced terrace area adjacent to the playing field. It is hoped that this will be useful for the sports clubs to view their matches, an extension for parties during the summer evenings and a safe outdoor area for children’s groups, using the village hall.
A notice board was erected in the autumn of 2011 which is situated next to the car park. This is intended for use by the regular users of the hall.
Work has just finished on a new path leading to the main entrance of the hall and further lighting has been added to ensure that there is a safe and secure walkway from the road and car park.
An order has just been placed for new chairs together with space saving storage racks, to replace the present chairs. A good part of the cost of these has come from generous donations from the ‘Tea at The Ritz’ organizing committee, the Village Society and Haslingfield Little Theatre.
During the year regular upkeep and maintenance has continued, the majority of this very ably and diligently carried out by the caretaker Fred Lawes. Unfortunately, Fred left the village last November and had to resign his position. A new caretaker was appointed in March, Alan Stevens, which will ensure that the village hall will continue to be maintained to a high standard.
In the next few months it is hoped that the existing gas heating boiler will be replaced and the radiators in the main hall will be upgraded to provide the potential of increased output. Plans are also afoot to refurbish the cloakrooms and the changing rooms, which will be a longer term project.
Paul Brammer – Chairman of Village Hall Committee
Haslingfield Parish Councillors
John Wheelhouse Chairman – Elizabeth Cottage, 1 The Knapp, tel 870529, email@example.com
Julie Coxall 83, New Rd, 872905 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ron van der Hoorne 14, Moss Drive, 872362 email@example.com
Lucian Hatfield 35 Barton Rd, CB23 1LL 01223 871102, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ray Jack 18a Fountain Lane, CB23 1CT, 07727250461
Christine Kipping (Police Liaison/Youth Club Bus Warden Scheme), 1 Stearnes Yard, CB23 1JA, 870227, email@example.com
Olga Murkin (Warden Scheme), 6 Wells Close, CB23 1JQ, 870887, email firstname.lastname@example.org
John Offord (Village Grass & Hedge Maintenance/Pavilion), 33 High Street, CB23 1JW, 872449, email@example.com
Roger Scott 40, Broad Lane, CB23 1JF 870241, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wendy Timbs (Utd Charities/Youth Club Bus/Pavilion/Risk Assessment), 45 Badcock Road, CB23 1LF, 872328, email email@example.com
Parish Clerk: Janet Hendy, Highfield Farm, CB23 1JL, 870270,
South Cambs District Councillor: Robin Page, Bird’s Farm Cottage, 26 Haslingfield Rd, Barton, 01223 262181
Sebastian Kindersley South Cambs Hall, Cambourne, 01767 651982, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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