January 2004  Edition of the Linton News    Previous        Next      Open this page in Full Screen  view 

PLANS FOR A POOL IN LINTON PROVE PROBLEMATICAL - AGAIN

Our community has long expressed a wish for a pool in this area and for over 30 years there has been an ongoing campaign for a pool to be built in Linton.
In 2000, Linton Area Pool Project (LAPP) was founded by Ron Amsden and was given charity status.
For many years it has been proposed that the pool should be built in the grounds of the Village College and this proposal has always been fully supported by LVC.
In 2003 it was announced that a special needs school is to be built on the LVC site. It is to include a small heated pool.
This news, and the results of the Parish Plan, have given fresh impetus to the community’s hopes for a pool that can be used by all. But are these hopes to be dashed yet again?
It is probably well known by now that South Cambridgeshire District Council declined to give matching funding to the County’s £5,000 towards a full feasibility study and business plan for a project to try to build a community swimming pool in Linton as part of the development of a Special Needs School on the Village College site.
County could see the potential of a pool from both an educational and community point of view. Even the willingness of the Parish Council to allow their £1,000 donation to Linton Area Pool Project to be used towards the survey, which would mean that the SCDC would only need to find £4,000, was not sufficient to persuade them.
The matter was hard fought, through both cabinet and via call-in, through the Scrutiny Committee. If you would like to read the precise reasoning behind the decision it is available by logging on to www.scambs.gov.uk and accessing the minutes of Scrutiny Committee for 23rd October or the earlier cabinet minutes.
LAPP members were very discouraged by the decision of SCDC but felt they must fight on, as the results of the Parish Plan show that a pool is truly desired by the community. Indeed, the results demonstrate that a local swimming pool has the top importance rating of 7.7 out of 10. Amongst sporting facilities that are wanted or which the community thought could be improved, it rated 80%.
County are still willing to provide their share if we can find another source of funding. The advantages of a pool being integrated with the planning and design of the school could lead to savings and improve feasibility. However, the study needs to be done far more quickly than we could raise the money because it is planned to open the new school in 2006.
Those of us at LAPP have therefore made an application to "Awards for All" and we hope the outcome will not be prejudged - as we felt had happened at SCDC.
In view of the Parish Survey results and in case this application fails, we have also requested that the Parish Council should consider a further contingency, or set aside sum, of £4000 in next year’s precept.  
Until we can get the study done, LAPP members feel unable to proceed with local fund-raising because the project will also require appeals to major funders. In turn, these major funders will not consider a bid unless the project is under-pinned by a full and independent feasibility study and business plan.
A positive outcome to any feasibility study will, of course, also give our community a sound basis to sustain what would have to be the main focus of local fundraising for the next few years to get the pool built.  
However, when at last the feasibility study can be undertaken, whatever the findings may be, at least we shall have a definitive answer to what has been a long-held desire of this community.
Joan Smith

EVERY TUBBY TABBY HAS HER DAY


"I’m ever so cute. You don’t really want to put me on a diet, do you?"


The tubbiest tabby in the world! Well, at least in Linton anyway. (photos: Val Urwin)
IN an attempt to find a good home for an overweight tabby cat, Dr Valerie Urwin of Linton veterinary surgery organised a ‘Guess the weight of the cat’ competition at the St Mary’s Church bazaar, on Saturday 29th November.
When showing Bumble, the over-weight moggy’s, picture to prospective competitors, 10-year-old Catherine Richardson asked if they would like a new, friendly but dieting pet.
Not one of more than 50 entrants could offer the cat a home or guess the correct weight of 13lb.10oz (6.2Kg). Mrs Diane Simmons from Linton Zoo won the prize for guessing 13lbs (5.9Kg). She said, "I remembered the size and weight of our smallest lion cub and thought perhaps an overweight cat could be about the same."
Mrs Simmons has plenty of cats already but let’s hope that by now Bumble has found a new home.
Kate France

FULL DISTRICT COUNCIL ELECTIONS THIS JUNE

AT the AGM of the Linton and District Branch of the Liberal Democrats, the main focus of the meeting was on the South Cambridgeshire District Council elections in June.
These elections, which will be held on the same day as the European elections, are particularly important because for the first time in many years, all the council seats come up for re-election, instead of just the usual one-third.
The branch Chairman, Andrew Gore, reminded members that with the successful re-election of Sam Agnew as the councillor for the Bartlow, Horseheath and Camps seat, the Liberal Democrats hold four of the five district council seats in the branch’s area, and that the aim for next June was to make it a clean sweep with five out of five.
The chairman was re-elected, with County Councillor Terry Bear elected as secretary and Jill Phillips as treasurer.
For details about branch activities, contact. Terry Bear

FROM WHERE I’M SITTING by Tony Smith

WE are delighted to welcome Tony Smith as a new, regular columnist to the Linton News. His first article introduces us to the season of Glumner! LNT
WITH Christmas over, excess and merriment quickly gives way to a new season I have invented; ‘Glumner’. It represents the months of January to late March, a time where there seems to be little to get excited about. I notice Easter eggs are already in the shops; hot cross buns have been plentiful all year.. Is it only me that has trouble seeing Christmas as a special time? Chicken, turkey, nuts and all that was so special when I was a child seem now to be a year round normality. Examples of how time has changed, people have changed, lives are different. In the past, communities have thrown a protective ring around their towns and villages, coming together to resist, argue, fight against change but now, it seems, it is everyone for themselves. The older times have passed and peoples’ lives encompass the modern age we now find ourselves in. The demands of modern thinking, changes in the way we live, travel, work and shop, mean that the very people who may be against change are contributing to the necessity of it. If we do not build new houses, where will our children live? Yet, if we build new houses, we stand to lose our beautiful countryside. The arguments for change are the responsibility of us all, whatever our ages, where we live, how we live. The Parish Plan has been an attempt to bring some of our views together, and we must never let the decisions of the future fall to people who know little about us, or our village.
I dream a lot these days. Apart from a recent flight of fantasy about eating a giant marshmallow and waking to find my pillow had gone I had one dream that gave me a sight of a very different Linton. The Infants’ School was part of a new housing estate on Balsham Road. The fire station was on the corner of Bartlow Road, along with a satellite ambulance station. The Co-op had moved to the old fire station site. Pocket Park was a flood plain, incorporating a fishing lake, with a visitor’s centre, car park and picnic area. In addition to all of this, disabled and elderly people could actually visit the Parish Clerk in her office! The High Street was closed to all traffic except bicycles and wheelchairs. This, of course, was only a dream, but a dream born of many people’s comments to me over the past year. Was this a dream or desire? We’ll see.
In an exclusive to the Linton News I am happy to bring you my weather predictions for the coming month.
The first couple of weeks in the New Year will bring rain, followed by sunny spells and showers. There could be a period of particularly heavy rain and very strong winds on 2nd or 3rd January. During the last week of January it will be mild, but quite windy. If, like many of us, you would like some snow, you will have to wait until the middle of February, but more of that next month! Any variations to my very accurate forecast mean that there has been a sudden change in the wind pattern in the Azores. Either that or my seaweed has fallen down. A happy New Year to you all!

’TWAS THE SEASON TO BE JOLLY


Left to right: Peter Thomas, Kathleen Mitchell, Gloria Fidler and Anne Parry-Smith. (Photo: Ron Pitkin)

IF you heard any revellers in Linton on the evening of 9th December it could have been the homegoing Gardening Club members. Cynthia’s mulled wine magically appeared even though she was unable to attend and members enjoyed a glass or two with mince pies whilst socialising during the break.
We were entertained by slides from home and abroad of spectacular scenery and striking gardens accompanied by the travellers’ sometimes humorous commentary. A fondness for bovine creatures was reflected in one set of pictures, while a garden in Scotland boasted a strange looking sundial dating from the time of Charles I which purported to tell the time in all known countries of the world.
Thanks to John Keeble we were also able to see a selection of scenes from Thailand on a computer screen with which some may be familiar from his presentations at fund-raising events. An excellent quiz produced by Ron Pitkin had us all guessing, and was won jointly by Kathy Hopkins and Brenda Smith. Thank you to everyone who contributed to a fun evening.
For all keen photographers, the categories for the July show will be: a flower or flowers on a single stem; gardens of historic houses; a local village event; a tree or trees; water. The children’s subject will be: my favourite photograph taken by me.
The meeting this month will feature a talk on the care of houseplants by Lamorna Thomas. A happy New Year to all.
Gloria Fidler

AN EARLY CHRISTMAS DINNER

CHRISTMAS came a little early for the Linton WI but we soon entered into the festive spirit. Members arrived to a hall with tables bright with Christmas arrangements and crackers.
Forty-one members sat down to a festive meal of turkey or beef with all the trimmings and with our party hats and a glass of wine the evening began to feel merry and bright.
Feeling well satisfied after our meal, we were entertained by our two drama queens Tricia Lewis and our President Margaret Clark. Tricia did a reading on Church Flower Arranging by Alan Bennett, enacting the inebriated part extremely well and Margaret one on Earl Grey and Nancy, both very entertaining. This was followed by music, both modern and classical, played on flutes by 16-year-old Sally and 10-year-old Victoria, both very talented granddaughters of Tricia. A few carols completed the repertoire.
The evening came to an end with Christmas presents, brought along by each member being distributed.
The next meeting will be held at the Linton Social Centre, Coles Lane at 7.30pm, on Tuesday 6th January 2004 with a talk on the ‘Christian Blind Mission’ by the National Organiser, Dr Bill Macalister. Guests and new members welcome. Cynthia Norris

POSTCARDS FROM THE PAST

THE ladies of the Hildersham WI met on Monday 17th November and welcomed their speaker for the evening, Mr E Jacobs. Indeed, it was a very interesting talk about Cambridgeshire villages.
Mr Jacobs has an extensive collection of postcards dating back many years and we were able to see how the villages of Linton, Hildersham, Babraham and Pampisford looked in the olden days. It was nice to see the slides of local baker, butcher, barber and hardware shops etc. that have now unfortunately disappeared. It was generally felt that in some way life looked so tranquil and uncomplicated.
Mrs Lynn Hartland gave the vote of thanks and we retired to enjoy delicious savouries and cake provided by Mrs Jean Morton and Mrs Janet Hill.
Gillian Anderson

TAPAS FANTASTICAS

A FINE time was had by all at the Linton NSPCC Wine Tasting and Tapas Evening held at Linton House on 22nd November.
Philip Harris of Laymont and Shaw wine merchants spoke knowledgeably and entertainingly as over sixty guests sampled fine wines from Spain and Latin America.
After the tasting and a raffle, we partook of delicious savoury treats based on Spanish ‘tapas’ and conversation flowed as freely as the wine.
Felicity Wilson of Midsummer Wines (based in Linton) was there and guests were able to buy any of the wines that they had sampled. All proceeds went to the work of the NSPCC in Cambridgeshire and over £1000 was raised!
Well done to everyone who worked so hard on the event and heartfelt thanks to everyone who attended, especially Dr and Mrs Bertram who so kindly donated the use of their lovely house.
Martha Crouch

READERS WRITE

MISSED OPPORTUNITY

Dear Editor
I delivered 200 invitations to the tenants of SCDC in this area to come to an open day on a Saturday to air their grumbles and have a nice day (free lunch) with free transport if needed. There were officers to answer questions on all grumbles and also a £100 draw for all those who attended on the day. Out of 135 people who attended, two were from Linton, one of whom won the draw.
If more had attended, your problems could have been solved and you could have made a few bob!
Andy Booth

FALSE CHARITY

Dear Editor
There is a company calling themselves Olonex Ltd who are calling on people in this area saying they are collecting for a charity on behalf of third world countries. They are not a charity, but are collecting for themselves (or for their own gain – in the words of Cambridge Police). They have been, and are still being, investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority.
Please report any contact from these people to me either by  or email.
Be careful.
Andy Booth
Cluster Coordinator (Neighbourhood Watch)

IN PRAISE OF CARERS

Dear Editor
I never cease to be impressed by the number of carers who live in this village. They keep an eye on elderly or ill people. They take them shopping, get prescriptions, ‘pop in’ on a regular basis. Problems are shared, worries discussed. The lonely are invited round to neighbours for coffee.
Dogs are walked, cats fed while the elderly are in hospital or on holiday, and there are many volunteers who take relatives to visit hospital patients.
There are those who watch out each day to make sure elderly neighbours are up and about.
Families who have problems are helped by ordinary people who just happen to care. Children are looked after by neighbours and friends in times of trouble.
I regularly see meals which have been cooked and taken ‘across the road’ to elderly people who can’t cook anymore.
Unwanted goods are passed on to those who can make use of them. Surplus fruit and vegetables are given to nearby people. Flowers are taken to those who need cheering up, and cards are sent to those who are sad because of bereavement, illness or other problems.
There are those who mow lawns and do gardening for those less able. When it snows, an army of volunteers appear to sweep the snow off paths of those who have difficulty walking.
Most of these ‘acts of kindness’ are done on a regular basis week by week and sometimes year by year, usually with no thought of payment.
Joan Swann

NKS

Dear Editor
I would like to say a big Thank You to the man who alerted my daughter and the couple with a dog who came to my aid on 23rd November when my greyhound, Steed, broke his leg. It was a nightmare.
Vet Oliver Garrett rescued us and took us to the surgery where Steed stayed overnight. Next morning he was taken into Queen’s Veterinary School Hospital in Cambridge.
As well as their expertise, he has received an enormous amount of tender loving care from Sorrel Langley-Hobbs and her team, including Chris Green who has been his special carer. They put a bolt down through the middle of his tibia!
The skin has been slow to grow back over the bone – it was torn badly when the broken bone pushed through, but I hope to have him home soon. He can already hobble along quite nicely on the grass.
Again, many thanks to my knights in shining armour.
Happy New Year to everyone.
Pat Thomas

Dear Editor
Many thanks to the 168 donors who came to give their blood on 28th November , most especially the first time givers.
All the ongoing changes have at last speeded things up and I hope you will all be able to give again on 2nd April 2004.
Susan Anderson

A DELIGHTFUL VILLAGE WALK

AH Wonderful! A day off from work. What shall I do today? As it’s a Monday, I’ll enjoy the prolonged racket of the wheelie-bin collection. Seems to take twice as long as the good-old-black-bin days. Why has the lid on my new bin already started to break?
It’s fairly mild for early December, so I’ll go for a walk. What local delights might I encounter on the way?
How delightful! The kids have rearranged my wing-mirrors on their way to school. At least the one who used to stub his cigarettes out on my wall has grown up and left.
Along the High Street, and a quick glance reveals that the recent rain has at last been sufficient to swell the river to carry off some litter.
There seems to be a low rumbling noise, but I can’t quite place it. Onwards, passing a group of people doing a spot of orienteering... or are they just attempting to catch a bus to Abington?
Something becomes clear as we approach the Co-op. No, not the stunning chewing gum mosaic all over the pavement. The kids who need driving to school from within the village apparently live so far away that their parents need to park on the yellow lines in order to stock up on supplies to ensure they make it home. I’m puzzled that not only do they have to travel vast distances to get to school, but they live equally vast distances away from each other and cannot possibly take another child on the way.
I spot the source of that rumbling noise now. The Co-op delivery lorry has had to park on the pavement outside what was the Princess of Wales pub. It seems that the illegal parking outside the shop means that it cannot turn. It looks stuck. As does the bus. And that van. And all those people in their cars who are unable to make a five-minute walk. So the noise is the collective music of about twenty stationary vehicles.
Eventually, we arrive at the Balsham Road turn and... the same scene! Some poor soul has had to park at the fire station to visit the Post Office. Must be very important business.
The conversation in the Post Office queue is about the dog-mess bins being attacked by an arsonist. A mindlessly stupid act, not at all like the blocking the roads on a daily basis by inconsiderate, dangerous parking.
Walking back past the Co-op I think cheerfully of the youngsters who will be hanging around outside later on, waiting for their older friends to emerge with their drink. Must remember to get up early to clear up the broken bottles outside the house.
And how sweet that ‘knock down ginger’ has made a return. Such a fun game to be a part of.
Morning, noon and night, I do enjoy my walks.
Name and Address Supplied

TUNEFUL CHARITY UPDATE

FURTHER to my article in last month’s Linton News, Tracy at the Dog and Duck, and Ann at the Post Office, have kindly agreed to have sponsorship forms on the premises to collect the names of any of you generous Lintonians donating to the very worthwhile charity, East Anglia Children’s Hospices for the ‘Grade-one-a-thon.’
My clarinet-playing for this event will begin in earnest after my one and only lesson on 4th January so beware strange sounds in Symonds Lane!
Anne Bradley

HELP WANTED

WE are still in need of a person who can spare a couple of hours each month to distribute the News to deliverers. If you can help please email on the left LNT

TWO FROGS ON THE POND

THIS month we read about Linton from the perspective of
Aude & Richard Redon, newcomers to the village who have recently moved from France.
OUR first impressions of Linton coincide with our discovery of the English way of life. We arrived in May to work in the UK as scientists and during our search for a place to live, we were captivated by a delightful small house with a large garden, in Linton. And so we decided to set up our home in this charming village.
Our first amazing surprise was that Linton is packed with footpaths. We could head for the Co-op, the newsagent’s or the post office, by following the pathways that seem to go through almost every part of the village. We could also walk to the recreation ground, the peaceful church or charming ford.
This summer we took advantage of sunny Sundays to walk in the countryside around Linton and we enjoyed great round trips through Hildersham, Hadstock, Bartlow and Rivey Hill.
We were also surprised the first time we received a copy of the Linton News, a few days after our arrival. It was the perfect way to get a first glimpse of the full range of activities available in Linton. We had never received free local papers like this one before. We were amazed by the range of sport on offer. It is really impressive considering the size of the village (and we support the prospect of a swimming pool 125%!)
With this first Linton News issue we discovered the Linton Parish Plan and were baffled by the wide range of issues addressed and the details of the questions. We are sure this survey will be very useful to better consider peoples wishes for the future of the village and its production and publication shows Linton as a dynamic and democratic community.
It appeared to us that one of the aspects that most worried the inhabitants of Linton was the concern about traffic. We were surprised by the extent of this problem, not only in Linton, but in the whole of the South of England. We lived in Strasbourg before moving to Linton. It is a large city and very busy, but the efficiency of the public transport allowed us to leave our car parked at home for the whole working week. Sometimes we didn’t use our car for up to a month. Public transport seems very different in England!
The thing we most enjoy about living in Linton, however, is the friendliness of its inhabitants. People are ready to share enjoyment here. For example, we went with a nearby family to the duck race organised by the Dog and Duck in July. It was a pleasure to share the excitement of the race with a range of villagers, aged from 7 to 77; even though we were a bit disappointed to lose our favourite ducks during the race.
And a few weeks ago we really enjoyed the fireworks that were organised by the village. We noticed that this event was full of families and friends; it seemed to us that almost all of Linton was gathered together to enjoy a drink and a chat. This warm atmosphere reminded us of fireworks events in France that are organised to celebrate the revolution. It seemed that people were happy to relax and share in the spectacle of the fireworks and the sumptuous bonfire. We realise that the noise and the lights can frighten the animals at Linton Zoo but it will be a shame if some compromise cannot be reached next year.
What has definitely won our hearts is the spontaneous friendship of people we have met. It is almost impossible to purchase a newspaper or a pound of carrots without being greeted by a joke, a friendly chat or at least a smile. Everybody seems willing to help, even though our English is not perfect at the moment (but we are struggling to improve it, we promise!).
Most of all we are grateful to have received the warmest welcome we could have ever wished for from our neighbours who said, "If you need anything, just ask, we are here to help." It’s been a great start to our new life.

LINTON IS A LOVELY VILLAGE, BUT THIS ONE ISN’T OURS


Janet has deja-vu

A bridge over Linton beck (photos: Janet Annett)

The lower footbridge over Linton beck (photo: Janet Annett)

The Parish church of St Michael and All Angels (photo: Janet Annett)

LAST year, while carrying out a web search on the word ‘Linton’ during a bored moment on a Sunday afternoon, I discovered that there are at least 10 - and probably many more - other places named Linton in the UK. As often happens to people during these odd moments, I was seized with the idea of visiting every other Linton in Britain, and perhaps even the world!
Luckily for my boyfriend, who didn’t really fancy using all his holiday up on this particular venture, I was easily distracted by the much more attractive (and definitely warmer) prospect of a holiday in Bermuda.
However, I didn’t entirely forget the whole idea and ran an article in the Linton News asking whether anybody had actually visited other places named Linton. Janet Annett soon replied and sent me a few details and photos of her trip to Linton-in-Craven (known more commonly as ‘Linton’!) in North Yorkshire.
Linton-in-Craven is a much smaller village than our Linton and Janet says she cannot remember seeing any shops. Upon further websearching I discovered the following description on a holiday cottage website: For most supplies Grassington is only a five minute car ride away, and the historic market town of kipton is about nine miles away." This seems to confirm Janet’s memory that there weren’t many shops in the village. Nevertheless, the website goes on to say, "Linton is one of the prettiest villages in Upper Wharfedale and is a ramblers’ and country lovers’ paradise...All roads and footpaths from Linton lead to the beauty of the Yorkshire dales." And as we can see from Janet’s photos, it is a very picturesque village.
Linton-in-Craven was once well known for its hospital, ‘Fountaine Hospital’ which was founded in 1721 by Richard Fountaine to provide almshouses for the poor. Apparently Fountaine became rich by making coffins during the Great Plague.
From a further website (www.skiptonweb.co.uk), I learnt that this Linton doesn’t have a clapper stile, but it does have a clapper bridge which crosses the Linton beck that flows through the centre of the village. It really is amazing what information you can find on the Internet!
If any body else has visited Linton-in-Craven, or indeed any other Linton, please let us know. LNT

VILLAGE FORUM PROVING POPULAR

OUT of the forty-three villages who use this site to host their forums, Linton’s is already in the top ten most used. Inevitably there is some shyness about speaking up but the most read topic (110 reads) was "Wheelie Bins". There seems to be a general consensus that the wheelie bins are not an altogether bad thing, but with reservations. This months virtual prize for humour goes to Tony who, it would seem, is working on a plan to build bridges over bins on the High Street for wheel and push chairs.
A fairly heated discussion got started about the Parish Council, another about dog bins and also about plans for Paynes Meadows. There is a poll to find out how many people have seen buses (and trucks) driving on the pavement. So don’t forget to vote, even if you don’t want to join the discussion.
Many people are using the forum to ask questions whether it’s one needing an immediate answer, like the opening time for the firework display, or a slow burner about footpaths. Someone will endeavour to answer your question. Until linton.info gets a noticeboard up and running, you could also use the forum for jobs or as a for sale board if you wish. It’s your board, you can do with it what you will.
Looking forward to seeing you there.
Linton.info Editor (forum moderator until someone else volunteers!)
www.linton.info/forum/forum.htm

NEW DOORS FOR ST MARY’S

NEW south porch doors have been installed at St Mary’s church to provide wheelchair access and to retain heat in the building.
The doors were designed by Mike Francis, President of the Friends of the Church, and have been dedicated to the memory of Adam Clackson who was an active member of the Friends.
Much more work and refurbishment needs to be carried out and the Friends’ next fund raising event will be a Sherry and Mince Pie morning in the Social Centre from 11am to 12.30pm on Saturday, 3rd January.
Admission will be charged at the door. Everyone is welcome.
Mrs M Clark

INTRODUCING YOUR VERY OWN POLICE COMMUNITY SUPPORT OFFICER

Picture Missing will appear when available
Picky Linton’s new PCSO Judi Di Bon

MY name is Judy Di Bon and I am the Police Community Support Officer for Linton. I have been out in the area now for about a month and have met a number of people from various aspects of the village – from Council meetings to Neighbourhood Watch meetings – and I am eager to meet other community groups.
My aim is to be seen around the village, and be involved in its issues. I work alongside Pc Dave Hall, but as our shifts sometimes differ, I will be seen in the village on my own. This will give Linton more of a police presence than we have been able to provide in the past. I will be seen inside and outside schools, and around when school children arrive back in the village from other areas.
Although I am not a Beat Officer, I do have the right to exercise certain powers. These include; confiscation of alcohol and tobacco from a young person, removal of abandoned
vehicles, seizure of vehicles used to cause alarm, antisocial behaviour, disorder, cycling on the footway and traffic warden powers.
These are just a few of my powers – so make sure you stop and ask me for a more detailed description of my job.
Please talk to me when you see me around, and do not hesitate to contact me with reference to meeting your specific group. I am aware of some of the issues present in Linton and welcome any information that will assist us in reducing crime.
My mobile number is 07736 085525. As with Pc Hall and CCO Carol Wilson, this is for non-emergency use only.
May I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas.
Judy Di Bon

NEW YEAR, NEW VENTURE?

THE new WEA term starts on Tuesday 13th January 2004. There will be a 10 week course entitled ‘English Country Houses’ and the tutor will be Ann Hollingsworth. We meet from 10-11.45am on Tuesdays at the Social Centre, Coles Lane. New members very welcome.
For further information please contact Leslie Allison.
Anne Parry-Smith

WILDLIFE VERSUS HOUSING?


Picky Paynes Meadow complete with rainbow - which looks better in colour on the Linton.info website! (photo: Tony Smith)
PEOPLE of Linton, You are losing sight of your hill! But the good news is that if plans proceed, you will have instead some of the seventy-seven houses needed at present for those with local connections.
A public meeting, sparsely attended, was held on the 25th November at the Social Centre to discuss the future of the field above The Chalklands estate. Enthusiastic residents, mainly from Chalklands and Paynes Meadow faced a panel consisting of Mr Mike Sugden (Acting Development Officer for South Cambs District Council), Mr John Barrett and Mr Roger Wilson from the Hundred Houses Society and our own inimitable and brilliant Enid Bald, chairperson of the Linton Parish Council.
There seem to be a number of options for the field including the construction of as many as twenty-four new units. Another option is a much lower density development to include recreational areas or perhaps allotments. In an ideal world I would prefer an option of returning the field back to woodland and reinstate its natural course of water in an effort to establish some semblance of natural order.
However, if development goes ahead perhaps we should consider and take note of what has happened to the hedgerows on lower Rivey Lane where buildings have been erected, backing onto the popular wooded pathway. Judy Rossiter, working tirelessly for the village plan, was unable to attend the meeting but spoke to me afterwards, wisely forewarning of the consequences of a development so close to Rivey Lane.
Some residents expressed how they saw the field as a fire hazard! So shall we tarmac over every green and open space and crush beneath the JCBs the grass and trees that give us air to breathe and wildlife to balance our environment? Some called for more vehicle access if housing development went ahead. So shall we wrap our peaceful village in more black ribbons of tar and bitumen? Some asked for more housing for the disabled. Sorely needed I agree, but would it be easy to negotiate up and down the steep hill in wheelchairs?
Few direct objections were raised for a development of some kind, yet when one day we have covered in concrete one of Linton’s, and indeed Cambridgeshire’s, treasured landmarks will we look down from our creation and say "It is good?"
Nevertheless, the fact remains, we are short of housing for our people and Mr John Barrett indicated his desire to protect the remaining wildlife and hedgerows running alongside the proposed development, which forms part of the ancient pathway to the water tower. It is a route that commands our deepest respect, not only for the living, but also in memory of loved ones whose ashes are scattered there.
The field itself? Well the artesian spring-land dwellers such as crested newts, slow-worms, rabbits, hares and deer, have been packing their bags since the bulldozers moved in to build Paynes Meadow. It is a stony, and sometimes boggy, piece of land that has tested the farmer’s skill and patience.
Last year I walked through the tinder dry field, then speckled with yellow evening primrose, recalling my own treasured memories. Accompanied by flocks of butterflies in the golden sunlight, the only fire hazard I came across was driven by human failings and thoughtlessness. The exceedingly hot summer and the diversion of the springs caused the dryness of the grass and thistles.
To conclude, I ask you to help our Parish Councillors’ make the most informed decision possible. Make sure they hear your thoughts by writing to The Linton News now with your view on the future of the field, whilst we still have one!
Darryl Nantais

BUSH TELEGRAPH

Now that Christmas is over and the long spring term has begun, it is worth looking back at the whirlwind of activity that ended last term. Funding was, and still is, the big issue as far as schools are concerned and as I continue my year as Chairman of Cambridgeshire Secondary Headteachers, the details of the local government settlement received in December are still being worked out.
You may remember my writing on many occasions about the unfair position of Cambridgeshire compared to other counties like Essex which was brought about by a thing called the Area Cost Adjustment. The ACA channelled additional funds to local authorities deemed to have a higher than average cost of living, as measured principally by house prices. Cambridgeshire did not get it whereas Hertfordshire and Essex did. This was essentially why the LVC budget would have been £200,000 bigger if we had been located over the next field in Essex! I am delighted to say that the Government has at last taken notice and included us in the re-vamped ACA giving Cambridgeshire the second largest funding increase in the country.
As usual there is a down side and in Cambridgeshire’s case it is a combination of the damage caused by the last 11 years of underfunding and the fact that the increase is being phased in. It’s not exactly ‘jam tomorrow’ but it feels a bit that way. Add the massive overspend of Cambridgeshire Social Services (currently heading for £3m) and you can see that getting all the gains through to schools is far from guaranteed. Indeed, we may well be in the difficult situation where we see a large jump in local authority funding and a need to increase the council tax by a substantial amount. Before you begin to fume at such a notion, remember the backlog created by those years of underfunding and the fact that the present government has insisted on more initiatives and developments being taken up than any before it - and they all cost money.
Good news on the money front from last term was the agreement reached between the College, County and District councils to fund the major re-development of the community sports facilities. This £900,000 project will lead to tremendous improvements at LVC, including a new floodlit astro-turf pitch, fully re-furbished changing rooms and a much larger fitness suite with its own entrance and changing areas. The planning permission has been obtained and work should commence in the summer.
Also, last term many of you may have heard of the County’s plans to close four of its special schools and build two new ones on existing sites. Ours was one such site being considered, albeit at the last moment. Given the end of term and the speed of the process it was not possible to conduct the kind of public meetings we would normally have expected and, even as I write the anticipated decision has not been made. Suffice to say at this stage that staff and Governors at the College saw considerable educational and financial advantages to the proposals which is why we put forward a strong supporting case. Time will tell on that one. Meanwhile, I hope you all had a very pleasant Christmas and that the New Year brings us all peace and happiness. Clive Bush, Principal

BRIDGING THE GAP

ARE you suffering from the post-Christmas reality gap: knowing that there’s a difference between the size of your waist and the size of your trousers, but trying to find a convenient explanation for it?
In fact, you are probably just plain unfit, and it’s often in the aftermath of Christmas that people come to realise this sad reality. Now is the time to do something about it, and the Linton Men’s Keep Fit Club is where you can do it.
This really is not a club for people desperate for intense competition, it is just a group of friends, aged from in their twenties to their sixties, who get together every Monday evening at 8pm in the Village College sports centre.
Half an hour in the fitness room is followed by half an hour of circuits in the main hall, then half an hour of basketball.
That’s followed by more than half an hour in the bar- after all, doesn’t everybody need a reward after all that hard work?
If you’re interested, just turn up any Monday evening at 8pm, . We look forward to seeing you there.
Ken Leake

LINTON COUNTRY DIARY by Darryl Nantais Illustrated by Maureen Williams

When I think of large families I can’t help but think of tits, and none more so than our beloved blue-tit. For this tit produces a clutch of generally six to ten and often twice a year.
Of all the wonderous tits my personal favourite has to be the blue tit Parus caeruleus. Their striking plumage of blue and yellow make them easily identifiable from the much less colourful coal-tit, which has a bright white nuchal (nape of neck) patch. Watch in envy the acrobatics as it feeds with a seemingly endless supply of nervous energy. The entertaining visitors swing on a feeder in front of my kitchen window, bobbing and twitching with aggressive-like intent as if not a second is to be lost. And, that’s not surprising with such a large family to support, without baby-bonds or college grants. No wonder they have bestowed upon them a crown of bright blue (though this is often much paler amongst the young) for they are indeed the very epitome of dedicated parents. Our fascinating blue tits may be seen doling out meals and attention in an unselfish and equal manner; the task of raising the family lovingly shared by both male and female.
Although they are frequent visitors to our bird tables, how satisfying to see large numbers of these partial migrants in a more natural habitat such as the hedgerows of Rivey Lane. Next time you walk this way by early morning or twilight, listen out for the metallic, shrill tit-call. Walking quietly with eyes wide, be careful not to snap a twig beneath your boot or the tit will be gone. What finer seasonal image can there be than branches dusted with fine snow or glistening in frost and adorned by the blue tit?
This time of year the tits preferred diet of oily seeds become increasingly in short supply, and soon, before spring appears, the competition increases for our tasty gifts. However, whilst blackbird, robin, thrush and sparrow squabble and squawk, the starling appears at times to tolerate our little crowned friend. They will milk our generosity for all it’s worth, and may even tap at your window for more. Perhaps those clever clans of greedy little starlings know who butters their bread?
Many years ago I crowned myself warden of the river. Although this was an unofficial position to fill bin-bags of riverside rubbish I am pleased to inform you that Val Irwin and myself now hold half the crown each as joint wardens, with the backing of the parish council soon to come. For me the riverbeds are like our veins, and the water that flows over them is like our blood. Slipping into my waders and into the Granta every so often, like something from ‘Fantastic Journey’, my mission is to extract the bottles, bikes, shopping baskets, cans and plastic bags. Many youngsters today, being far more aware of environmental issues than most, know that a bottle or can cast into the river will come back to haunt them through their own children if not before!
If you have any issues regarding the river please call me. I am no longer available at the gallery as I now work independently from my home studio at No.10 Chalklands. Until next time, enjoy those swinging blue-tits and the silhouette of deer on yonder chalky hill!

REALLY WHEELIE THE TALK OF LINTON

IT does not matter where you are in the village; everyone is talking about the new wheelie bins. There are a variety of opinions about them and I have come across the odd person that thinks the system is working well. These people must have a different lifestyle to my family. Maybe the kids have all left home, they often eat out, their dog eats all the leftovers and they have a waste disposal unit (or ‘garbage gobbler’ as we call it). In this case I can understand that the black bin may be nearly full after two weeks and how it may be possible to get on fine with the new "improved" system.
Well let’s take my family as another example. There are five of us and the dog can’t have leftovers as they don’t agree with him. I have put in a garbage gobbler but we are steadily running out of cutlery as the kids keep dropping knives and forks into its jaws.
As you can imagine, after just one week our bin is full. I have tried jumping up and down in the bin to compress everything but of course that doesn’t work. It just makes me depressed instead. Now, every time I go to Haverhill or Saffron Walden I take a couple of bin bags out of the wheelie bin and take them to the recycling centre. Though after a few weeks there proved to be a problem with this too.
One time I went to Saffron Walden and the tip was closed. On this occasion I had four bags in the car. I returned home and left the bags in the car overnight with the aim of going back in the morning. Morning arrived and as I opened the car I was nearly knocked backwards by the smell. I drove to the tip with the windows open and my teeth chattering. This time the tip was open and I got rid of the bags and drove home thinking that would be the end of it – at least for a few days. Unfortunately it wasn’t. Something had leaked out of the bags into the carpet in the car and I cannot get rid of it. Even half a bottle of aftershave has not managed to mask the smell.
Some good has come out of this. I will now have to get my car valeted so at least it will get a well deserved clean. But what might happen the next time I need to take the bags to the tip?
In another desperate attempt to dispose of extra rubbish I have looked inside my neighbours’ black bins on collection day just to see if they maybe have room for an extra bag. Unfortunately they never do. Their bins are full too.
I have asked the council if we could have another bin. They said it would be £25. I said, "Fine, hand it over." Then they said that I first have to wait a few months to see how we get on with just the one bin before I can call them again to get the extra bin. Well I can’t imagine what is going to happen in the next few months. Are we all going to have to have regular bonfires in the garden to get rid of the extra waste or are the council going to wake up and smell the garbage and go back to collecting the black bins once a week? And talking of smell, Linton will be one smelly place in the summer once the sun has been shining on the little black monsters for a whole fortnight. The village is going to smell like my car.
Still, the bins do have some advantages. The cats and foxes can’t scatter food about and hedgehogs may now be safer, if a little hungrier. John Supcik

PARISH COUNCIL MATTERS

View from the Chair


Enid Bald
CHRISTMAS is a time for festivity, but also a time to remember the past and to recall loved ones. I had the honour of laying the poppy wreath for LPC at the War Memorial and it was gratifying to see so many, especially the younger people, honouring the war dead.
However, the Cemetery looked very sad in the dismal weather, with some graves untended and the trees so bereft. LPC has plans for this area; a map of the burial areas, more planting of suitable trees and bushes, etc. One problem has irritated many families for years – the fluid dripping from the trees staining the gravestones beneath them, caused by the aphids which infest this type of Lime. Take advantage of their leafless state to note just how big and overpowering they have become. How would you feel if they were reduced in number (say, every other one removed), their heights reduced and crowns thinned? This would improve airflow, reducing the number of aphids and the amount of honeydew dripping onto the graves. Other trees, mainly conifers, have become senescent and could be replaced by more thoughtful planting. What do you feel could be done to improve this area? Remember that it is place for respect, peace and contemplation, not a play area. Your thoughts are welcome.
The open meeting to discuss the future of the land next to Paynes Meadow was well attended by those braving the foul weather. Representatives from SCDC, Hundred Housing and LPC were there to listen to the residents and address their concerns. It was clear that more housing had been expected, but the number, type, tenure and provision of facilities were important. That housing should be for those with Linton connections was crucial, as were the environmental issues. Residents were not keen on this being a recreation area, with the problems that this might bring. These views will be discussed at a future LPC meeting and, should there be any plans for building in this area, we will again have a chance to influence the development. If you could not get to the meeting – it really was a bad night! - write to let us know how you think this area could best be used, by 12th January.
A happy and fulfilling. New Year to you all.

PAYNES MEADOW - THE FUTURE - LAST CHANCE TO HAVE YOUR SAY!


Paynes Pasture
FOLLOWING on from the Public meeting held on Tuesday 25th, the Parish Council must now decide whether to allow any further development at Paynes Meadow. On a terrible night, weather wise, around 25 residents managed to attend the public meeting to make their views known. Below is the notes of that meeting. The Council still have time to listen to your views if you could not attend. Please read about the options available to us and the comments already made and let us know what you think.
Notes of the meeting:- Mrs Bald welcomed residents to the meeting. She explained that the meeting was being held to discuss possibilities for the Paynes Meadow open space and that no decision would be made on the night. She then introduced Mike Sugden, Housing Development Manager of SCDC to give an overview of the situation. Mr Sugden explained he was responsible for ascertaining housing need, using tools such as surveys, in each village within the District. Linton had just recently had an updated survey carried out and he had the figures with him, although at 23 pages long he had not actually read all of them. He picked out some relevant facts. There were currently 77 people registered for ‘affordable housing’ within the village. He further explained that on sites such as that owned by Hundred Houses, preference was always given to people who had strong Linton connections. Sites like Paynes Meadow could only be developed with the Parish Council’s agreement and that they, alongside SCDC, would determine the necessity, size and mix of any development.
Dr Urwin queried the age groups within the 77 registered for affordable housing. Mr Sugden stated that the bigger proportion would be young people and they would be requiring more one and two bed properties.
Mr Nantais queried whether any development would be for sale or for rent. Mr Sugden stated that most schemes these days were mixed, with some rentable and some on an ‘equity share’ basis. This was further explained as being a 50:50 ownership basis to begin with which could be added to in steps as the part owner felt able to progress. He further noted that any development on an exception site such as this one would have to be for either affordable rented accommodation or affordable equity share or a mixture of both, but could not be purely all for sale. A Section 106 agreement would be entered into by the Housing Association, Hundred Houses in this case, which would ensure that the properties were always under covenant to remain within the hands of those with local connections. Dr Urwin queried whether any further development on this site could be the same as the present dwellings, i.e. excluding the ‘right to buy’. Mr Wilson of Hundred Houses noted that this would still be feasible, although he pointed out that the Government did prefer some ‘equity share’ properties in all schemes.
Mr Fletcher queried how, within a ‘shared ownership’ scheme, properties could be made to stay only with people with Linton connections. It was explained in some detail how the legalities work with regard the deeds of the property.
Mr Barrett, in response to a question, reported that Hundred Houses did have some equity share properties already, one or two of which had increased their private ownership share above 50% in stages. Mrs Williams queried whether, if an equity share property holder owned the full 100%, and wished to sell, could they just sell on the open market. Mr Barrett explained that it would be noted in the deeds that they must first offer the property back to the Housing Association, who should then buy it back, but if not the owner would then still have to sell it on only to someone with strong local connections.
Mr Barrett then outlined the possibilities for the future. He reported that there were currently 19 units on the Paynes Meadow site. HH had originally approached SCDC for 40 units, phase 1, and in keeping with the requirements of the Parish Council had built only 19, with the remainder of the land to be used as public open space on short-term lease.
Once the original phase was occupied, HH residents approached HH stating they were not happy with the idea of a public open space. HH had therefore approached the Parish Council with a lease, asking them to guarantee that the public open space would not be used after twilight hours. This had been difficult for them to guarantee, due to the nature of the accesses to the ground and, therefore, no lease had been able to be agreed. Over the time involved housing need in the village had worsened, so HH had approached SCDC to ‘test the water’ and see if perhaps the Parish Council and villagers were ready to consider phase 2, or indeed, what they did want to happen to the site in the future. He reported that HH were willing to consider all options – recreational space, development, a mixture of both, or even allotment land if that was required.
Mrs Simpkin stated that the one access road was a concern. A play area was needed in the village, albeit a small play area, and should definitely be provided although she agreed that some further housing was inevitable.
Mr Smith queried whether all of the field was owned by HH. Mr Barrett reported that the field as far north as the northern edge of the present development was owned by HH, the ‘top third’ still being retained by the farmer. Mr Smith then reported that for two years now the ‘open space’ half of the field has been a hazard with people using it, for all sorts of reasons, who should not be. Any development would take time – what would happen to make the site more secure in the mean time?
Mr Fletcher reported that there had already been arson attacks in the woods on the northern edge of the whole field, with children being the culprits. He suggested a small green area within a small development on the other half of the field so that parents could watch their children playing. Mrs Simpkin stated she would have objection to a play area in the centre of any further development. Mr Smith re-iterated the fact that the area was in a terrible state at the moment, with no lighting whatsoever, and small children could easily hurt themselves. Mr Ogilsby queried whether the land could be used for allotments. There was general discussion about this but it was agreed that the land was probably not suitable. Mr Nantais reported his concern over the loss of wildlife habitat, and that more development going further up the hill was destroying an area of outstanding natural beauty. Mrs Williams asked how many houses HH were looking to build. Mr Barrett reported they had come to the meeting with no preconceived ideas at all. Mr Sugden suggested that the land available would lend itself to perhaps 12-13 dwellings. He further explained that all agencies would have to comment on any future proposals and it was possible, for instance, that Highways would require measures such as traffic calming for a particular number of properties. Mrs Simpkin queried whether HH would wish to open the entrance in the second spur of Chalklands. Mr Barrett stated that had never been an intention. Discussion took place during which it was noted that there was a problem with car parking on this section of Chalklands but it may be worth investigating. Mr Ogilsby queried whether the Papworth Trust would wish to build any further dwellings. Mr Barrett confirmed that they had expressed an interest in building at least one more unit on any further development. Mrs Barker queried the planning and build time scales of any development. Mr Barrett reported that the planning/lead time would be approximately 1 year and the build time the same. Mrs Barker then queried whether the site could be fenced off now until then, to ensure there was less trespassing and, therefore, less hazard to residents. Mr Barrett agreed to investigate this. Mr Fletcher then reported, as a current HH resident, that the current site was an asset to the village. He could personally recommend an extension to the site with regard affordable housing associations. Mr Smith then queried whether the current metal ‘bar gate’ outside his premises could be removed. Mr Barrett would investigate potential alternatives. Dr Urwin queried whether HH would consider building flats. Mr Barrett reported that they were ‘governed’ by the Housing Needs Survey, but that they had provided 4 ‘flats’ on Phase 1. Mr Sugden reported that SCDC would want to see a ‘mixed scheme’ as they work better.
The Chairman then drew all the comments together and reported that it was clear from the meeting that the site could not be left as it was. It was also apparent that there was no hostility to some further development. She reported that the consultation would continue through an article in the Parish Matters page of the Linton News and then the issue would come before a Parish Council meeting for decision shortly in the new year. There were environmental issues which would need to be borne in mind. Housing needs and mix of any properties could be assisted by the results of the Parish Plan, and a small play area should be included.
Mr Barrett then reported that HH would welcome further input from residents and requested that members present keep in touch to ensure their issues were being considered.
The Chairman thanked everyone for attending. The meeting closed at 21.10.

Andrew Gore


Andrew Gore
Chair of Trustees Cathodeon Centre
WE moved to Linton in 1979. Once our children were at school, Lesley and I both felt that in different ways we should be putting something back into the community. One way for me was by joining the Parish Council in 1980. Since then I have held various positions, including chairman. At the moment I am chairman of the Cathodeon Centre Trustees, and public transport rep.
As a barrister I often advise councils about legal problems, as well as residents who are dissatisfied with their council and I am also writing a book on planning law for councillors, so I see council work from various angles.
Active communities don’t just happen. They have to be worked at. If you’re not doing something for the community, get stuck in now!"

Esther Cornell

I WAS born in the village 33 years ago and I have lived here ever since. I am a Production Engineer and I have two children of five and seven.
I was elected to the Parish Council in July this year. I currently sit on the Traffic Working Party as well as a member of the Access 1307 group and the Traffic Steering group and have just been involved with the three Linton school’s successful application to the Safer Routes to School programme.
Although I do take a keen interest with regard to the traffic situation, my interests do not end there and I love the village (generations of my family have lived here) and think that it is a great community to live in. I am concerned that we will not have enough affordable housing for the young to live in and that we make efforts to maintain or increase the number of village shops/services. I am a great believer in consultation with the village and have been on the steering group for the Parish Plan project which is hopefully just the first stage of getting the village involved in the many decisions that the Parish Council has to make.

Council minutescouncilminutescouncilminutescouncil

MINUTES of the meeting held on Thursday 20th November 2003. There were 12 Councillors, four residents, two Police Officers, District Councillors and the press present. Dr Bear (CC) had forwarded his apologies along with three Parish Councillors.
In public participation Mr King, Chairman of the Linton Firework Committee, had come to the meeting in response to a letter from Linton Zoo about the recent display, which the Council had received a copy of. He reported that all fireworks used at the display have to conform to regulations regarding noise levels. Discussion took place and it was noted that there were numerous private displays on the same evening. Councillors noted that it was difficult to distinguish where the noisiest displays were. Mr King reported that he had a certificate from the makers of the fireworks used noting that they all complied with the noise levels allowed.
Dr Urwin requested that the Council be given a copy of this in order to respond to those residents who had raised concerns. It was further noted that with an organised display everyone was aware of the time it was to be held and exactly how long it would last. With the private displays this was not the case. It was agreed that the local organised display was very well run and Mr King was asked to thank his Committee for their efforts.
Mr Creedy reported to Councillors that, further to the arson attacks on the dog bins, the skateboard ramp had obvious signs of an arson attack as well.
Repairs would be required. This had been reported to the Police but Mr Creedy was concerned that not enough was being done to identify the culprit. He also feels that this was evidence that the situation was escalating and that someone would eventually get hurt or worse.
Discussion took place regarding the damage to the skateboard ramp and also the actions of the Police. As CBO Hall was in attendance, the Chairman requested his input. CBO Hall reported that extensive investigations were taking place. It was noted that an item, which had been found at the scene of a dog bin fire, had not produced any forensic evidence and had been destroyed. The meeting was unhappy with this situation. There was also an approximate time at which these attacks were occurring. CBO Hall reported that the ‘modus operandi’ was being investigated but to date questions asked had received no useful information. Cllr Potter queried why the skateboard ramp light was still on in the early hours of the morning. Mr Creedy replied this would be checked and corrected. The light should go out around 9pm.
The Chairman thanked the members of the public for their input.
The minutes if the meeting on 6th were approved and Cllr Clay reported that, with regard the bulb planting, this had taken place at the junction of A1307 and the Clock House. The contractors were to be advised to ensure this area was not mown too early.
As he was present, CBO Hall was invited to give the Police report. CBO Hall then introduced PCSO Judy Di Bon who was to be based at Linton Police Station and gave an overview of the PCSO’s duties. He reported that they had both spent numerous hours recently walking the beat in Linton, being more visible. The PCSO’s main task would be to tackle anti-social behaviour, parking offences, under-age drinking, litter etc. Councillors queried if there were regular times when the Station would be manned. CBO Hall explained this would not be possible at this time. When the station was ‘open’, a board would be placed on the pavement outside the station to advertise it. It was also queried whether the PCSO’s would be out alone. CBO Hall reported that there were issues of health & safety involved, but as there were two PCSO’s based locally, one for Linton and one for Fulbourn, it was possible they would work together and it was intended for them to have access to a vehicle at times. Cllr Rossiter then queried whether one or more officers could be available for the meeting looking at the next stage of the Parish Plan on Wednesday 10th December at LVC. CBO Hall reported that they would try. He then gave the Police Report. For the month of October there had been 13 reported crimes; these consisted of 3 mobile phone thefts, 1 wheelie bin stolen, letters from a postman’s bag stolen (discussions were being held with the postmistress), and   milk from doorstep thefts. CBO Hall then explained that calls for service were placed into differing grades depending on the severity of the action required. During October there had been 5 ‘A’ grade calls for service; 1 ‘B’ grade and 1 ‘C’ grade. So far in November there had been 3 ‘A’ grade and 9 ‘B’ grade calls. Councillors then queried whether the PCSO’s could write parking tickets. CBO Hall reported that both he and PCSO Di Bon had recently carried out speed gun checks at Horseheath Road. PCSO’s could not issue speeding tickets, but could take registration numbers which would then be followed up with a warning letter. They could and would be issuing parking tickets. PCSO Di Bon then reported that she could stop a speeding motorist and give advice, which in some cases would be heeded. The Chairman thanked both officers for their time and hoped that they would be able to ‘drop in’ more often.
County Cllr Dr T Bear’s written report had been circulated. Cllr Cornell noted that the comments Dr Bear made with regard the Special Needs School at LVC were different from those that had been reported at the Steering Group meeting by a CC officer. Cllr Batchelor explained that different departments at CCC would be at a different stage with this proposal and this was how the confusion could occur. Cllr Cornell reported that she was concerned that nothing should be missed because of this. This was noted by the meeting.
DC Mrs Smith reported that at the recent Scrutiny meeting at SCDC the motion with regard a feasibility study for Linton Swimming Pool had been lost. She then requested that the Council consider putting the further £4,000 required toward the feasibility study . The Chairman reported this request would have to be made by way of an official request to the Precept meeting and would need to be in by 1st December. Dr Cox queried whether the proposal for a SEN School at the LVC was still proceeding, as the Council had still not seen any plans on which to comment. Mrs Bald queried whether older people could obtain smaller size wheelie bins and how? Mrs Smith would investigate. Mr Batchelor had nothing further to report at this time.
The Planning and Finance Committee minutes were then considered with no queries. Cllr Potter reminded all present that the Precept meeting was to be held on 10th December and all bids were to be with him by 1st.
The payments due were then considered and approved.
Cllrs Potter and Cox signed the cheques. With regard the payment for Glasdon it was agreed that the Clerk would check on the timescale allowable before deciding whether to keep the dogbin or whether to return it at a cost of 20%. The cheque for this item was not, therefore, signed.
Within this fortnights correspondence the following was of particular note: Linton Music Society’s request for funding which was forwarded to the Precept meeting. A letter from the Co-op store regarding transfer of the Justices Licence. Discussion took place regarding under-age drinking in the village, and although it was not known exactly where the alcohol was being obtained from, it was agreed that the Co-op should be requested to bring this issue to the attention of its staff. The Clerk reported a meeting she was attending with the Area Manager on Friday 22nd. This issue, as well as the traffic issues, would be taken up there. There were no further comments on the transfer of the licence.
A copy of the revised bus timetable had been circulated at this meeting. Mr Batchelor reported having taken up the issues which concerned the Council at a recent meeting with Stagecoach. They were being hard nosed about the revisions and only seemed concerned with the needs of Haverhill residents. They obviously felt that Linton was well served with only two buses per hour. The Clerk reported that ex Councillor Linsdell, who worked for Stagecoach had reported that efforts were being made to organise a ‘one-ticket’ purchase for residents of Abington who could then board a 13A bus in Abington village, get off at Linton Police Houses on A1307, wait for the Service 13 some 12-15 mins later and travel into the village.
The County Council’s Draft Corporate Plan was on the Agenda for the Policy Working Party straight after this meeting. Two letters regarding the Fireworks display had been covered under an earlier discussion.
A request from Granta Playgroup for funding for capital items had been received. Discussion took place regarding this request for up to £350. As a result Cllr Batchelor proposed that £350 be granted to the Playgroup. This was seconded by Cllr Hammett and agreed unanimously by the meeting.
Mr Braithwaite, a resident, had forwarded copies of correspondence between himself and CC Dr Bear regarding the lack of a footpath on Back Road from some years ago, now seeking the support of the Parish Council. Discussion took place regarding this issue and as a result it was agreed that this Council supported Mr Brathwaite’s request for a footpath. It was further agreed that a letter of support be forwarded to CC Dr Bear.
A letter had been received from Mrs J Nightingale advising of her appointment as the LIS Governor for Community Links. Dr Rossiter noted that this Council was no longer able to appoint a Governor to either the Heights or the Infants School. The Clerk reported that the power to appoint was being closed. Each school could now choose its own model for Governors and that the Infant School had already decided on a preferred model which would include a governor specifically for Community Links – the first holder of the position was Judy Nightingale. Discussion took place and as a result it was agreed to write to Mrs Nightingale, welcoming her appointment, thanking her for advising the Council and seeking an occasional report. The Clerk then reported on receipt of information regarding an equity share house in Balsham which was for sale. This house had to be sold to someone with local connections. Two thirds of the property was for sale, with the remainder rented. The information had been posted on the Notice Board.
Within Any Other Business the Chairman reminded all present of the Public meeting regarding the future of Paynes Meadow Open Space which was being held on Tuesday 25th November, 8pm at the Social Centre.
Dr Urwin reported on the very sad sudden death of ex Councillor John Hall. A letter of condolence had been forwarded to his family on behalf of the Council. Dr Urwin then reported on the leaf clearance work undertaken by Village Custodian Colin Tofts every year. This year the problems had been exacerbated by the sudden drop of most of the leaves over a short space of time. She queried whether the Council should consider hiring or buying equipment to assist in this collection. Discussion took place regarding this and as a result it was proposed that Mr Tofts should trial a machine which both blows leaves into heaps and vacuums up dry leaves. Two Councillors volunteered their own machines for the trial. Mr Potter reported that should some such machine be either hired or bought for the future, then Mr Tofts would have to undergo the relevant Health & Safety training. It was agreed that a trial would take place and the results reported back to Council. It was further agreed that the Parish Council’s own Grass Contractors would be requested to bring in their industrial machine and clear the remaining areas of concern for this year. Mr Tofts was to be thanked for his efforts to deal with the backlog. DC Mrs Smith was also requested to check which areas of the village should be swept by SCDC machines, how often and when.
The meeting closed at 21.50.

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