Kingston Village

Photo of roof of tree, Kingston Parish church, horizon

Parish Council News

As reported in the May village magazine:


New regulations for Parish Council meetings: Up to now, the law stated that Parish Councils must hold a certain number of meetings each year, and that they must be held in a suitable accessible venue and be open to the public (except in certain specific circumstances).


Clearly this would not be possible without contravening the new social distancing regulations, so the government has enacted some further legislation which allows, on a temporary basis, parish council meetings to be held using video transmission. A person is deemed to be ‘present’ at a meeting providing he/she can hear and be heard, and (preferably) see and be seen, by all others present, even if not in the same room.


The next Kingston Parish Council meeting is due to be held on Tuesday 12 May 2020. Please note this will not be held in the village hall. The meeting will be held using video transmission whilst each person attending remains at home. This will continue for future meetings until the restrictions are lifted. The software we will use is Zoom, which some of you may be already familiar with. As Parish Clerk, I will ‘host’ the meeting. As usual it is a public meeting – anybody can attend as an observer, but as at any Parish Council meeting, you do not have a right to speak, except at the invitation of the Chair. In practice our Council has taken a fairly relaxed approach to this, and visitors who wish to speak are usually welcome to do so.


It would be helpful, but not essential, if you could let me have details of any matter you wish to raise at the meeting.


The agenda will be issued in the usual way, and will appear on the village noticeboard and website as well as being emailed to all those on my emailing list, a few days before the meeting. To prevent unwanted ‘malicious’ visitors I will need to know in advance who wants to ‘attend’. I am therefore asking all those who wish to attend the meeting to let me know, preferably at least 6 hours in advance. I will then email you a link to enable you to join the meeting. If you have not used Zoom before, clicking on the link will prompt you to install an app. You do not need a Zoom account. You can use any device – PC, tablet or smart phone – as long as it can receive email and is connected to the internet, and has a microphone and camera. I will send out further instructions with the link.


The minutes will be published after the meeting as usual.



The Annual Parish Meeting, normally held each year in May, has been cancelled. The same government legislation has removed the requirement to hold this meeting due to the pandemic.



Rights of Way: There are some lovely walks all around Kingston, and further afield, but it is important to keep to public rights of way. The existence of a footpath or track on the ground does not mean you are entitled to walk along it. To check whether a footpath or bridle path with right of way exists, usually a footpath sign, or a green dashed line on an OS map are reliable guides, but to be certain, check on the definitive map on the Cambridgeshire County Council website:
Go to www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk. At the top, click on the 'maps' tab.

https://my.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/?tab=maps

On the list of map categories on the left hand side, click on 'Leisure and Culture'. In the list which opens, select 'Public Rights of Way'. On the map, you can use the controls in the top left hand corner to enlarge/reduce and navigate your way to Kingston, or whichever part of the county you are interested in.



Playground: The Parish Council has decided, reluctantly and with regret, to close the playground until the corona virus crisis is over. As we all know, there is a risk of infection remaining on hard surfaces for up to 72 hours, so although our playground has low usage, children could pick up an infection from a previous user.


This brings Kingston into line with Cambridge City and many other villages.
Notices and barrier tape have been put up at both entrances. Please ask your children not to interfere with or disturb these. Let me know if any signs or tape need replacing.



Peter Stokes, Parish Clerk


Corona virus Pandemic – Kingston’s Plan


No infections yet in Kingston as I type this, but all communities are encouraged to plan ahead, so the Parish Council discussed and formulated the following plan for providing support if a number of people in Kingston either become infected or for other reasons need to self-isolate. This may be modified or added to in the light of the developing situation: 


  1. As Parish Clerk and holder of the village-wide email list, I will act as the hub for communications. I have a list of those households not on the emailing list, and where appropriate these will receive a printed note through the letterbox.  
  2. If infections arrive in Kingston, or a volunteer is needed, I will keep everyone informed by circular emails/letterbox notes. Please let me know if you have the infection in your household and/or are self-isolating. 
  3. If you are self-isolating and need shopping or other errands carrying out, please let me know and I will find a volunteer to help. 
  4. If you are willing and able to help as in 3. above, thank you, particularly those who have already volunteered. For the present I am not compiling a list of volunteers. I will look for volunteers as needed, using the email circulation list.  
  5. Please think of elderly or vulnerable neighbours – they have been advised to self-isolate for their own safety. Ask them for a shopping list next time you go to the supermarket! 


Peter Stokes - Village Magazine April 2020

Playground


The goal nets at the playground are replaced from time to time by the Parish Council at some expense. It is disappointing to find the nets with large holes in them that cannot have happened in normal use. We can only conclude that the damage has occurred through abuse or vandalism. Please keep your eyes open for any such behaviour at the playground and if possible discourage it. If you are aware of misbehaviour and know the culprits, please let the Parish Clerk know.


Flooding

Fortunately flooding is not a major problem in the village, but there are some documents available from the County Council everyone should be aware of:

  • Riparian Owners Factsheet - Do you have a watercourse running through or adjacent to your land? Click here
  • Emergency Contacts - Do you know how to get help in an emergency? Click here

Blue bins


South Cambs District Council has changed its guidance regarding what to do with blue bin overflow. They now advise as follows:


If the blue bin is full, excess recyclable material will be collected if placed in one transparent sack next to the blue bin. Please put any glass in your blue bin, not in the sack for safety reasons. One bundle of cardboard may be left next to your bin if it is of a size which would fit inside the bin if there were space. Please tape or tie into a bundle to assist collection. Please do not use other colour wheeled bins for your excess recycling. You can get an additional blue bin free of charge. Contact: email refuse@scambs.gov.uk, tel 03450 450 063.


Noisy Neighbours


If  noise  from  your  neighbours  becomes  a  regular  nuisance,  you  should  first approach  the  neighbours  to  try  and  reach  a  reasonable  solution.  If  this  fails,  you  need  to  contact  South  Cambs  District  Council  Environmental  Health  department.  There  is  some  useful  information  on  this  page: https://www.scambs.gov.uk/environment/pollution/noise-nuisance/


They  have  a  statutory  duty  to  take  action  where  appropriate,  but  will  expect  you  to  have  approached  the  offending  party  first,  and  to  keep  a  log  of  occurrences  for  a  period  of  time. 


Parking


We have had several complaints about inconsiderate parking in the village. We know that parking space is at a premium, but please consider your neighbours when you or your guests park. In particular we ask that vehicles are not parked on village greens, which are a pleasant visual feature of our village, intended as a public amenity. If you do not have space on your own premises, the village hall car park can be used as a temporary parking place.


For more parking advice, and an advisory map: click here

Audit of Accounts 2018-19

The external auditors have completed their work on Kingston's Parish Council Annual Return and have found everything to be in order. A copy of the Return including the internal and external audit reports can be downloaded: click here


Previous years: 2017-18

                            2016-17

                            2015-16

                            2014-15

 

Kingston Community Plan

To download a copy of the plan: click here

South Cambridgeshire Local Plan

The new Local Plan to cover the period up to 2031 has been found to be "sound" by the inspector and accordingly has been adopted.  More information is available on the SCDC website https://www.scambs.gov.uk/localplan

What is a Local Plan?

A Local Plan is a statutory document that local planning authorities must prepare that sets out the Council's vision for its area and includes policies and proposals that set out a framework for new development, the use of land and conservation of key assets. It should look forward over a 15 year period from the date it is adopted.

Under the Government's new Localism approach that will see the abolition of regional plans, the District Council's plan making responsibilities have been enhanced and it is now, for the first time, for the Council to set the overall development strategy for the area, as well as sites for development, working with neighbouring authorities under the 'duty to cooperate'.   - From SCDC Briefing Paper

Kingston Oil Club

A reminder that Kingston has a group purchasing scheme in operation to save hassle and achieve good prices for prices for heating oil. We use our local broker Agricole Oil.

For more information: click here

Junction of Church Lane and the B1046

There have been complaints from time to time about long grass at this junction resulting in poor visibility for drivers turning towards Cambridge. The Highways Department is responsible for cutting grass verges, and has a programme to cut them. Unfortunately weather variations can result in growth of the grass between scheduled cuts.


The Highways people can carry out additional cuts, but they need to be requested to do so. Please therefore report to Peter Stokes any problems in this area, and he will pass on a request to the Highways Department.

 

Meeting Dates (subject to confirmation nearer the time)


Parish Council meetings in 2019 will be held on  8 January,  5 February (Extraordinary), 18 February (Extraordinary), 12 March, 14 May, 9 July, 10 September, 22 October (Extraordinary), 12 November


The Annual Parish Meeting is held in May.

Close up handle of village pump
Close up part of village pump roof
Close-up top of village pump handle