Black Barn Project – update

The owners of the barn, CERN, have told us that they are not prepared to lease the land and buildings to us, rather they are looking to sell the freehold. The Parish Council has discussed the implications of this and decided that as the cost of the freehold and the remedial works far exceed the available budget that they will recommend to the Village Hall Committee that the project be abandoned.

Sadly there has been little interest from residents, and nobody volunteering to help with the project. So it is likely that the Village Hall Committee and Parish Council will decide that seeking additional funding would not be worth it.

The chances are that this was the one opportunity to rescue this building and to provide a community space for the village.

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10 September 2015

Agenda : Minutes

The meeting was mainly concerned with two matters. The first that we need to redouble our efforts at finding two new councillors, with only three out of five we need everyone to attend to be quorate. If you, or someone you know, is interested then please contact us. The second issue discussed was the outcome of negotiations with CERN, owners of Babraham Farms, regarding the Black Barn and the playground site behind the George. CERN have told us that they would only consider selling the freehold of the barn and are not prepared to lease it to us. The combined cost of the freehold and the remedial works is way beyond the budget available and so the Black Barn project is regretfully closed. Better news on the land behind the George that we would like to put a playground on. CERN and the PC are to negotiate a long lease for the use of the land.

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Your Parish Council needs you

The Parish Council should consist of five councillors, this is the minimum for even the smallest of villages, currently we have only three and so have two vacancies. We would welcome any interest from residents or those who work in the parish. The workload is not that onerous, the interest level high and the satisfaction to be gained by helping your village priceless.

The Parish Council is important and though we only have 10 meetings a year we are often the only way in which the views of our residents can be expressed to the decision makers who are obliged to at least listen to us. Every year we set and then collect Council Tax from our residents and spend it on village maintenance, our legal obligations and various improving projects – so the position has direct effect on your fellow residents.

If you are interested then either chat to any of the councillors, email us or come along to a meeting to see what it is we do. Full training and support is provided.

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The Parish Council needs a Clerk

The Parish Council requires the Clerk to do 130 hours per year (2.5 hours per week) approximately. For a Clerk with no qualifications pay starts at scale point 16 (£8.82 per hour). The Clerk will be expected to train for and obtain the CiLCA qualification. For a CiLCA qualified Clerk pay starts at scale point 20 (£9.90 per hour) and then by increments as given on appraisal etc until scale point 27 (£12.317 per hour) is reached. The Parish Council pays National Insurance payments if the Clerk is under the age of 60 and from July 2017 will pay a pension to the Clerk.

Job Description 1 April 2015

Clerk to the Council

Overall Responsibilities

The Clerk to the Council will be the Proper Officer of the Council and as such is under a statutory duty to carry out all the functions, and in particular to serve or issue all the notifications required by law to a local authority’s Proper Officer (an example is that of carrying out instruction given by the returning Officer at the time of elections). The Clerk is expected to advise the Council on, and assist in the formation of, overall policies to be followed in respect of the Authority’s activities and in particular to produce all the information required for making effective decisions and to implement constructively all decision. The person appointed will be accountable to the Council for the effective management of all its resources and will report to them as and when required. The Clerk will be Responsible Financial Officer for Babraham Parish Council and as such will be responsible for all the financial records of the Council and the careful administration of its finances.

Information about Babraham Village and Parish Council

Babraham is a small rural village some 7 miles SE of Cambridge. It has 197 residents and is home to Babraham Research Campus, Babraham Primary School, St Peter’s Church, The George Public House several farms and small businesses. The Parish Council is made up of 5 Councillors – at present 4 elected and 1 co-opted member. The annual precept for the year 2015-2016 is £10, 255.00 The parish council meets every 2nd Thursday each month throughout the year with the exception of the month of August when no meetings are held. The Parish Council sets up sub-committees/working parties which meet as and when necessary.

The Parish Council is responsible for:

  • Recreation Ground (new lease undergoing discussions at present)
  • The War Memorial
  • Street Cleaning and Grass Cutting
  • Pocket Park
  • Jonas Webb Statue
  • Street Lighting and Street Furniture

Specific Responsibilities

  1. To ensure the legal, statutory and other provisions governing or affecting the running of the council are observed
  2. To administer the requirements of the Recreation Ground, Pocket Park, Street Sweeping, Grass Cutting replacement Street Furniture
  3. To monitor the balance of Council’s accounts, banking and preparing records for internal and external auditing purposes, and to pay/reclaim VAT on an annual basis.
  4. To ensure that the Council’s obligations to correctly insure property and liabilities are properly met.
  5. To prepare financial reports as suggestions prior to the Parish Council meeting in January when the budget is set for the next financial year
  6. To update annually the Council’s Policies , Standing Orders, Code of Conduct and Financial Regulations for Councillor’s to discuss and adopt
  7. To prepare, in consultation with appropriate members, agendas for meetings of the Council and its committees; to attend such meeting and prepare minutes for approval
  8. To post up in official public areas all agendas, minutes and other public information
  9. To receive correspondence and documents on behalf of the Council and to deal with the correspondence of documents or bring such items to the attention of the Council. To issue correspondence as a result of instructions of, or the known policy of, the Council
  10. To receive and report on invoices for goods and services to be paid for by the Council and to ensure such accounts are met. To issue invoices on behalf of the Council for goods and services to ensure payment is received.
  11. To study reports and other data on activities of the Council. Where appropriate, to discuss such matters with administrators and specialist in particular fields.
  12. To draw up both on his/her own initiative and as a result of suggestions by Councillors proposals for consideration by the Council and to advise on practicability and likely effects of specific courses of action
  13. To supervise any other members of contractor staff in keeping with the policies of the Council and to undertake all necessary activities in connection with the management of salaries, conditions of employment, health and safety issues,obtaining time sheets and work of other staff
  14. To act as a representative of the Council as required.
  15. To attend all meetings of the Council and all meetings of its sub-committees.
  16. To prepare, in consultation with the Chairman, press releases about the activities of, or decisions of, the Council.
  17. To attend training courses on the work and role of the Clerk as required by the Council to keep abreast of any changes to working policies which concern the Council and Councillors
  18. To facilitate training courses for new Councillors and other training to prepare Councillors for holding other posts within the Council such as Chairmanship/Vice Chairmanship
  19. To attend an annual staff appraisal interview
  20. To prepare for the Annual Parish Meeting when the public come to meet, listen and question Councillors on what has happened in the previous year and what is planned for the current year.

The Clerk to Babraham Parish Council will work from home and be employed for 2.5 hours per week on a nationally agreed salary scale commensurate with relevant qualifications and experience. The person appointed will be expected to train for the CiLCA qualification if not already attained

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Parish Council Ambition

BPC has published a plan and details of its ambition for the village. It details current projects and outlines ideas that are being pursued.

We really want your feedback on these as a lot of funding applications have to be backed up by evidence of community support and activity. So have a look and a read and send us your support or your concerns. You can contact us by speaking to a councillor directly, emailing us at [email protected] or by using this Contact Form.

News of progress, or otherwise, on each of these ideas will be posted on this web site. All are usually on the agenda for our monthly meetings to which you are always welcome. Your participation is encouraged and we do listen to what you have to say.

For full details have a look at Babraham Ambition.

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