Three casual vacancies arising from the resignations of previous councillors were filled at the November meeting. As there were more applicants than positions, there was a rather complicated voting procedure but eventually Kay Cook, Valerie McKee and Barry Todd were selected to join the council. Our thanks to all who volunteered and a warm welcome to the new councillors.
Northstowe Governance Review Drop-In
As the community at Northstowe grows, so South Cambridgeshire District Council is required to carry out a Governance Review to consider future governance arrangements. The Civic Affairs Committee has now commenced the Northstowe boundary review. A drop-in session has been arranged on Saturday 30 November, 11 am to 1 pm in the Ploughman Hall. Liz Davey, the Development Officer, and your District Councillors will be on hand to help residents understand the review process and timescale and to answer any questions you may have.
For the last two years the Christmas tree on the Green has been kindly donated by Mr A Coe. Unfortunately, this year the uncertainty over Brexit has meant that large trees are in short supply and Mr Coe has been unable to obtain one. We are aware how much villagers appreciate having a tree and the council decided to purchase one for installation on the Green this season which will be decorated once more with the new lights.
Orchard Dog Walking
A new fence has been installed alongside the B1050 to make the Community Orchard secure for dogs. We are investigating whether we can have a new dog bin installed by the Orchard but until then would ask dog owners to be considerate of others sharing the area when walking their animals. Flat Road bridle path is adjacent to the Orchard and provides over a kilometre of safe grassland where dogs can run, should more vigorous exercise be required.
Willingham Youth Trust
After the conversion of a storage area and unused upper floor of the Ploughman Hall into a Youth Centre, the Youth Trust took over the building and now runs an extremely successful Youth Club on Wednesday evenings open to all and free to children. This has been a tremendous effort by the Trustees and has been entirely self-funded for the last four years, but they now feel that to keep the sessions sustainable into the future, they need support from the Parish Council. We agreed that this is a worthwhile expenditure and will provide £6,000 for 2020/2021 for the Connections Bus Project staff. This and the lease would be reviewed annually.
BT Phone Box
The phone box on Station Road by the Willingham Wing bus stop has not been operational for some time and, even before it fell into disrepair, had only made a single call in over a year. Under a BT scheme, local authorities can adopt unwanted phone boxes and convert them for new uses. The Council had already decided to provide a third defibrillator for this area of the village and has now agreed to adopt the phone box, refurbish it and use it to house the defibrillator.
We wrote to our MP (Lucy Frazer at the time) in response to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority’s strategic bus review. Ms Frazer has replied that the Authority has now commissioned a six week survey which can be accessed at www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/FutureBus/ or over the phone on 07377 001512 (9 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday). ‘Have your say on our future public transport network. Tell us what matters to you about improving local bus services.’