Website update

The Stretham Parish Council website has a security certificate updated each year to ensure that the authenticity of the website and encrypt the communications.

This year, our hosting company updated the certificate on 10th April, but this certificate was not trusted by all browsers, meaning that a few users were not able to access the site. Note that, throughout, the website was running as normal.

The problem was brought to my attention on 28th April and I immediately raised a support ticket with the hosting company. As of 1st May, the website certificate has now been reissued and checked and should be accessible to all browsers.

Apologies for any inconvenience.

Stretham Hub GP Premises update

Below is a copy of the Letter of Intent from Mereside Medical regarding the GP Premises at the Stretham Community Hub. Update: A further letter of support from the Cambridgshire & Peterborough Integrated Care System is also included below.

Since the Letter of Intent was signed on the 1st March, we have finalised the Room Data Sheets (these are the detailed specifications for the rooms) and these have been reviewed by the ICB.

We have also agreed the main terms for a lease for the rooms and a 25 year Lease is being drafted.

The Designs for the GP Premises formed part of the approved planning and available for download.

Brief History of engagement with NHS

Discussions were held between the SWCLT and the NHS in 2017 to include a dedicated GP Surgery as part of the Manor Farm Phase IV. Stretham Parish Council funded the initial architect drawings for the new GP Surgery, but the the NHS were not able to finalise their commitment to a standalone surgery at that time.

When COVID caused a lockdown and change of priorities at the NHS, discussions were paused.

With the easing of COVID restrictions and the closure of the old Stretham GP, the NHS approached the Parish Council and asked if they could include a GP Premises within the Hub. Stretham Parish Council enthusiastically worked to develop the proposals and to fit them into the planning that was already submitted for the Hub.

The NHS has made it clear that there is not the budget to develop a standalone building and that they prefer the proposed option whereby they rent rooms within the Hub and will have access to facilities within the Hub.

Update: Letter from Integrated Care System

Stretham Community Hub – April 2023 Update

Updates following a meeting of the Project Group on 23-Mar-23 and full Council on 04-Apr-23 :

  • The Public Works Loan application has been submitted to provide some of the funding for the project along with supporting documentation
  • The Project Group has reviewed the Operating Budget – noting that it is expected that the Hub will generate a surplus and therefore not impact the precept – and considers that it is reasonable and achievable, while noting that the income in the first year of operation is not likely to achieve the full usage expected of the long-term plan. Some funding may be available to cover first year startup operating costs.
  • The Project Group has reviewed the Capital Budget including initial build costings and considers that it is reasonable and achievable. Work continues to finalise detailed specifications and requirements for the Hub and to progress to draft contracts with the contractor.
  • GP Premises  – we have agreed terms and specifications for the GP consulting rooms. Mereside Medical has signed a letter of intent to Stretham Parish Council to rent the GP Premises, and we are finalising a lease agreement.
  • The Parish Rooms have been put up for sale, but have not received any offers so far. Council agreed to consider other options for to provide short-term funding to allow the project to proceed and also have the benefit of the Parish Rooms being available for use for longer.
  • One of the contractor options includes providing extra solar panels and batteries, with funding provided without cost to Council. This would provide a form of profit share for Council and increase revenue from the Hub. Council agreed to consider the proposal in more detail.
  • We have the draft Heads of Terms for the Lease for the Land for the site. The SWCLT has agreed to provide the 150 year lease for £1 per year. Council agreed to progress the Lease contract.

The Council formally voted to approve the following motion :

The Project Group propose that Stretham Parish Council agree the following actions as next steps to progress the Community Hub project :

  • Council notes and agrees the funding sources that Council needs to provide as part of the funding Agreement in the attached table
    • Council agree to allocate the £16,100 to be received in April from ECDC CIL funding (not part of funding agreement) to the Hub Project.
  • Council directs the RFO to transfer all funds allocated to the Hub Project into the Hub bank account.
  • Council will consider a bridging Loan to cover receipts from the Parish Rooms sale. RFO to find out if short-term bridging finance is available either from the PWLB or Lloyds Bank, secured on the Parish Rooms and/or other land assets to allow the ECDC Funding Agreement to be finalised.
  • Project Group to proceed to finalise detailed specifications and requirements for the Hub and to progress to draft contracts with the contractor.
  • Council supports the principle of additional solar and batteries allowing additional revenue from the Hub. Project Group to pursue the option of over-provision of battery and solar as part of the project, so long as this does not negatively impact the capital budget. Project Group to consider if and how the local residents can also benefit from the project.
  • Project Group to proceed to agree a Licence and/or Heads of Terms of a long-term Lease for the GP Premises on terms previously agreed in principle. May be followed with a full lease.
  • Project Group to proceed to agree a draft Lease with the SWCLT for the Land on terms broadly as follows :
    • 150 year lease
    • Provision to have the land revert to SWCLT if the Community Hub is not built as currently planned
    • SWCLT current Land valuation to be minimal
    • Peterhouse current land to be valued no more than agricultural value.
    • Council to cover legal costs of SWCLT for the legal agreements
    • Land to be used by the SWLCT for the micro-retail units to be carved out of Lease

Stretham Community Hub Update – March 2023

It has been a busy month with the Hub, with progress in many areas.

Initial proposals from the contractor are within budget. We are working with the contractor to finalise detailed designs and specifications and to progress tendering of the main work packages.

  • One option for the build is to use a modular design with units built offsite and delivered to site for installation. This reduces cost and build time and the building will have excellent insulation.
  • We expect the solar panels on the roof to provide the electricity needed and even be able to export energy and/or provide EV charging.

Work continues on the planning preconditions so that they do not delay building start.

Mereside Medical has provided a letter of intent to lease the GP Premises as designed in the planning application and expect to be there for a long time. With the recent closure of the Sutton GP, extra provision in the area is especially important.

The agreements for land transfer are in progress and we expect them to be ready soon. The SWCLT has confirmed that they will provide the land they own for free to the Council, although we will cover legal costs related to the transfer.

We now have draft funding agreements from ECDC. We need to finalise milestones and Project timings next.

The Parish Rooms have been put up for sale. Although this is a historic site and it would be nice to keep them, the cash from the sale will go towards the new building which will be much more fit for purpose.

The PWLB Loan application is nearly ready and final submission will be soon. This provides some of the funding required for the build.

We continue to apply for other sources of funding for parts of the project. Any additional funding will reduce the amount of the PWLB Loan that we need to draw down.

An income and expenses budget is in progress and initial sums show that this can break even or even make a bit of profit.

The Council agreed to delegate detailed review of the contracts, agreements and budget to the Project Group who will review and present recommendations to the April Council meeting.

Planning for Village Centre approved

Stretham Parish Council is delighted that the planning application for the Village Centre has now been approved. This means that the next key stages of the project can go ahead.

We will be working on costings, detailed specifications, additional funding and discussions with suppliers and moving ahead with the construction phase as soon as possible.

Notice of Parish Poll

At a Parish meeting for the Parish of Stretham held on Tuesday 18 October 2022 a poll was demanded on the following question:

‘Do you agree that all further activity and spending on the Village Community Centre should be paused until after the Parish Council elections in May 2023? Yes or No’

Notice is hereby given that A poll on the said question will be held on 10 November 2022, between the hours of 4:00 pm and 9:00 pm.

Stretham Community Hub Update October 2022

An update to the Planning application was submitted on 24th October 2022 to include the GP Premises in the Phase 3 of the plans. These will include a waiting room, pharmacy collection point and consulting rooms.

Louisa Wood, COO of Mereside Medical said : “Mereside Medical, the GP partnership managing Haddenham Surgery, and Staploe and Cathedral Medical Centres have received approval in principle from their Commissioning Body for a new branch site of Haddenham Surgery at Stretham. They are working closely with the Stretham Parish Council and the SWCLT as they progress the application through the various NHS approval stages.

We have also submitted funding applications to cover a large part of the construction costs.