Minutes of a meeting of the Parish Council held on

  Wednesday 10th. January 2018 at 7.30 p.m. in the Cator Hall.

Present:Mrs M Curry, Mr R Brown, Mr T White, Mr J Sweeney, Mr J Pennicott, Mr R Ford and 14 Parishoners.


1.Councillor’s Declarations of Interest:

1.1: Mr Brown declared an interest in item 2.1 but asked to issue a statement to explain his position.

2.Cator Hall:

2.1:The Chairman explained that the Cator Hall Management Committee had commissioned a survey of the condition of the boundary wall between the Cator  Hall and the Rectory Grounds. Copies of this had been distributed to Councillors in the days prior to the meeting. Mr Brown asked if he could make his statement at this point. He explained his connection with the Church precluded him from voting on this issue but having read the report he felt that buying the hall would be buying problems and it would be better to lease it even if buying it would result in money going to the village church.

Mrs Curry asked the other Parish Councillors for their thoughts after reading the report. Mr Pennicott was of the view that the wall should be rebuilt with the Diocese to pay the £10,000 or take legal action. Mr Sweeney felt  it was not if but when the wall developed problems and  the risk was too much. Mr White agreed: No because £10,000 was just an estimate and it could be much more. Mr Ford said the report was a shock and we cannot purchase the Hall with public funds as we would be wasting public money and would not be able to get insurance.

Mrs Curry said the way forward would seem to be to engage with the Diocese and encourage the Diocese to engage with the owners of the wall. Meanwhile to continue to lease and find out how much a new lease will be.

Mrs Curry closed the meeting and opened the meeting to comments from Parishoners. Everyone agreed that the Cator Hall was an important community asset. It was pointed out that a hardworking group of people had spent a number of years fundraising to improve the facilities in the hall. The hall was being offered for sale at a good price. People thought the wall was likely to have been deteriorating over a period of time and indeed could have been a badly built wall. A number of questions focused on the ownership of the wall. The Parish Council explained their view, gained from the Diocese, that it belonged to the Rectory and Mr Barrows produced the Minutes of the CHMC dated 22 May 2011 which state: ‘Rear boundary wall-Diocese have confirmed via Land Registry docs that the wall is the property of the old Rectory’

The Parish Council agreed that they would acquire physical evidence either from the Diocese or Land Registry or both as to the ownership of the boundary wall.

3.Other Agenda Items:

3.1:The Clerk announced that he had received a letter of resignation from Mr Robert Howes from his post as Parish Councillor as he has left the village. A notice will be placed on the noticeboard tomorrow .

3.2: The Chairman told Councillors she had received a letter of resignation from the Parish Clerk, Mr David Ottewell, effective from 31 March 2018 .

3.3:Precept 2018/2019: The Parish Council  decided to revisit their Precept requirement for the next financial year. They decided that Community Initiatives should be £85 and this along with all amounts allocated at December Parish Council meeting would give a Precept Requirement of 3691 for the financial year 2018/2019. This figure was proposed by Mr R Brown, seconded by Mr R Ford and agreed unanimously.

3.4: The Clerk mentioned signs of saplings being broken on the land around Mompessons Cross.

4.Next Meeting:

4.1:There being no other business the meeting closed at 8.30 p.m.

4.2: The next Parish Council meeting will take place on Wednesday 14th February 2018.


David Ottewell