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Apologies for Absence
To receive Apologies for Absence from Committee members.
Councillors Jose Hales and Bridget Smith gave their apologies for Absence. Councillors Sebastian Kindersley and Aidan Van de Weyer were acting as substitute. Councillor David Bard had been appointed as substitute for former Councillor Simon Crocker, who was no longer a member of the Committee.
Declarations of Interest
Councillor Brian Burling declared an interest in agenda item 4, Willingham and Over Parish Boundary Review, as a landowner of fields within the proposed extent of the revised boundary. Councillor Burling had received dispensation to participate in the debate, but not vote.
Councillor Ray Manning declared an interest in agenda item 4, Willingham and Over Parish Boundary Review, as a landowner of fields within the proposed extent of the revised boundary. Councillor Manning had received dispensation to participate in the debate, but not vote.
To authorise the Chairman to sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 7 December 2017 as a correct record.
The minutes of the meeting held on 7 December 2017 were agreed as a correct record, subject to the following amendments:
· The inclusion of the Chief Executive in the list of those present.
· The amendment of the final bullet point in the list of responses from Mr Papworth on page 4 to read: “Mr Papworth indicated that the land he owned in the area in question was more than just the Business Park.”
RECOMMENDED THAT COUNCIL
A) Agree the alternative boundary, as shown on the green line in the attached map, less the red cross hatched area.
B) Make a request to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) to re-align the County Council boundary along the new parish boundary.
The Principal Lawyer for Governance reminded the Committee that a valid petition had been received and according to Section 88 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 the Community Governance Review must make one of the following recommendations in relation to the existing parishes:
· that the parish should not be abolished and that its area should not be altered;
· that the area of the parish should be altered;
· that the parish should be abolished.
The Principal Lawyer for Governance advised that under the above Act the Council must have regard to the need to secure that community governance in the area under review:
· reflects the identities and interests of the community in that area;
· is effective and convenient.
The Principal Lawyer for Governance explained that the “area under review” was the whole area of Willingham and Over.
The Chairman invited representatives from Over Parish Council and Willingham Parish Council to speak.
Parish Councillor Geoff Twiss, Vice-Chairman of Over Parish Council
Parish Councillor Geoff Twiss made the following points:
· Two meetings had been arranged between Over and Willingham Parish Councils.
· A site visit had also been arranged, but this had focussed on the areas of green space.
· The first meeting heard that Over Parish Council were unanimously opposed to moving the boundary and so the second meeting was not held.
· The boundary had remained unchanged for 400 years and part of the areas heritage.
The Committee asked Parish Councillor Twiss for clarification on a number of points and received the following replies:
· There was primary source evidence, repeated in the History of Over, that the current boundary was agreed in 1602.
· There was no formal resolution at the meeting of Over Parish Council to decide that the boundary should be unchanged, but the feeling was unanimous.
Parish Councillor Dr Ray Croucher, Chairman of Willingham Parish Council
Parish Councillor Dr Ray Croucher made the following points:
· The meeting between representatives of Over and Willingham Parish Councils had not resulted in a compromise solution.
· Over Parish Councillor Graham Fenn had suggested an amendment to the boundary, which had not been sanctioned by Over Parish Council and was not acceptable to Willingham Parish Council.
· The circulated map showed a proposed compromise solution, that had been agreed by Willingham Parish Council Planning Committee.
· This proposal had been made independently of the petitioner Barry Papworth.
· This proposal reduced the amount of land to be transferred by approximately 40%.
· In keeping with the guidance, the proposal kept to natural boundaries and had clear open space between occupied areas.
The Committee asked Parish Councillor Croucher for clarification on a number of points and received the following replies:
· The Planning Committee of Willingham Parish Council had agreed the compromise solution on the distributed map.
· The Planning Committee’s proposals had not been mentioned at the joint meeting with Over Parish Council as it had been clear that no compromise was possible.
· The proposed area included an empty field as the boundary was marked with a ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
Date of Next Meeting
Members are asked to bring their diaries.
The next meeting of the Committee was to be confirmed.