Barrington Parish Council Monthly Report: June 2020
Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp 28 Jun 2020
We hope that you are all as well as can be expected after the Lock Down and all that the Corona Virus has caused in terms of change, anxiety and isolation.
As you may be aware the Parish council acted quickly to set up a coordinator to offer help to those who could not get out. Cllr McBride offered immediately and I am sure that many of us would like to thank her personally for doing so much and making such a good job of it.
Jacquie has asked me to include a note to all those volunteers who have helped.
“Thank you to everyone who has been supporting friends and neighbours during the past weeks, and to all the volunteers who have been doing a wonderful job in many different ways. Phone calls are being made to isolated residents, shopping being done and delivered, letters and parcels taken to the post office. Prescription medicines are delivered from the shop to homes twice a week. Barrington has shown true community spirit during this difficult time.”
Another huge shout for Pop at the Shop and his team of staff who have also done so much to keep the village provisioned and for running deliveries to those unable to shop for themselves.
Numbers will be considerably swelled at our Volunteer party in December this year and thank you all!
Parish Council Meetings
It has not been possible to meet in person during the lock down but we initially had virtual informal meetings and restarted with formal meetings this month. It has been a very busy period. Meeting notices are always placed on the Notice Board and on the Website.
In light of the continued absence of the newsletter I decided a couple of weeks ago that we should continue to publish this monthly update which will be available on the Website and which we are planning to distribute to each household.
I am delighted to welcome two new Councillors:
Cllr John Walker
Cllr Tim Bedford
We have again been recruiting for a new clerk following the resignation of Simon Crocker. We have been very fortunate in receiving applications from several very good candidates. We were able to arrange remote interviews and appoint a new clerk very swiftly.
Our new clerk is Beckie Whitehouse who lives locally in South Cambs and who knows the village well as she walks here with her dog. Beckie is a very experienced and approachable clerk and has already assisted the Council greatly since joining at the beginning of June.
Her contact details are at the foot of this newsletter.
Archer Bridge Closure - ongoing
There is some uncertainty regarding the date for re-opening the Archer Bridge but whilst inconvenient for some, for many the reduction in traffic has been very welcome. The footbridge has been well used by walkers and cyclists. The Parish Council has gone to some lengths to try to persuade the County Council to use the time to make a permanent footbridge but land ownership issues are complicated and have proved difficult to resolve.
As Cllr Anne Day continues with her rehabilitation – and we are pleased to see her making good progress – we have arranged for Justin Wilmott to undertake the required safety and maintenance checks on the play areas. He has the necessary qualifications but if you do see anything that requires attention please do contact the Parish Council clerk.
Justin’s team will be sanitizing all the areas soon so we are ready for reopening these wonderful sites (but see below re Vandalism).
As you may know Cllr Gibson set up the present Speedwatch volunteer group and has managed it effectively for several years. He has done a wonderful job. This is a significant part of the Traffic Management Plan and we recently purchased a new Speed Panel which again Richard Gibson organized, spending hours with highways and others to get agreement.
Speedwatch like so many projects was put on hold during the lock down. But they are coming back and the Panel will be in place soon.
Cllr Gibson is presently on sick leave but we are looking forward to welcoming him back soon.
Speedwatch are continually looking for volunteers to support their work – there is great camaraderie and a feeling of doing something positive to keep drivers aware of the need to keep their speed down through Barrington.
East West Rail Open Day
There is no news on when this may now take place but we shall let you know as soon as we hear anything . Likewise the Community events announced by East West Rail re the proposed Cambourne/Bedford route.
Many of you will have received or become aware of notices from South Cambs District Council regarding an application by Redrow to vary aspects of their proposed works on the former Cemex site. This was discussed at length at the latest Parish Council meeting where it was noted that the Redrow application includes well over 100 documents.
Your Parish Council has written to the Director of Planning at South Cambs DC and copied to our local District Councillor Aiden Van Der Weyer and the Councillor Tumi Hawkins who is the lead on Planning matters pointing out the total lack of any prior warning or communication from either Redrow or the Planning dept about this.
While it is understood that this primarily relates to Redrow wishing to make up for lost time on site, nevertheless we have a number of concerns with regard to:
1. Traffic management during construction
2. Surface Water Management and Risks associated with Off-Site Discharges into the Village Ditch Network
3. Open Space Provision
4. Car Parking for the School
We have therefore requested:
a) Additional time to review the documents and
b) An urgent meeting with planning staff to discuss what we see as necessary conditions to be attached to the development in relation to the above.
In the meantime, Cllrs Kemp, Bird and Brass are working hard on preparing further detailed responses on the above issue, and particularly on points 2. and 3.
Please also make your own points known to the Planning department. It is months and months since Redrow consulted with any of us on their proposals and this lack of transparency really is unacceptable. You can email the planning department at South Cambs firstname.lastname@example.org or District councillors email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
to let your views be known, or access the planning portal at South Cambs District Council.
One of the Windows to the Bus Shelter in Foxton Road was smashed most likely by someone kicking a football as there were football prints all over the shelter.
Then a BBQ was held last Saturday at the Under 5’s play and seating area and apart from leaving behind a large burnt area, and bottles cans and uneaten food were strewn around that area of the Green.
This was all cleared away by a band of helpers first thing Sunday morning.
Everyone understands how frustrating the last few months have been for many people but we have a beautiful village-please don’t spoil it and worse - expect others to clear up the mess. If you know who did it – let them know it’s just not acceptable.
Comments and suggestions
Please do continue to get in touch with us direct or via the Website. Our Contact details are attached.
Chair, Barrington Parish Council