Newsletter May 2018

District Council Elections

There were new arrangements for the District Council this year. The total number of councillors has been reduced to 45 (from 57), and the new ward of Over & Willingham (pretty much the same as the old ward of Willingham & Over) now has 2 councillors instead of 3. Also, instead of electing one third of councillors each year (with one year off), all councillors are now elected together.

In a result which was repeated over almost all of South Cambridgeshire, both our District Councillors are now Liberal Democrats – Bill Handley and Dawn Percival. Congratulations to them both and we look forward to their participation in future Parish Council meetings. Our longstanding District Councillor (and previously County Councillor) Ray Manning will no longer be representing the village at District but remains on the Parish Council. We would like to thank him for his service over many years, particularly in the recent Over Border negotiations.

Parish Council

Parish Council elections are now aligned with District Council elections and will take place on the same day every four years. Willingham Parish Council was already due this year, so there was no change here. The election was uncontested (there are 2 vacancies, see below) so the council will retain all its existing members with the exception of Andrew Cook who is stepping down.

Andrew has been a Parish Councillor for many years, including a spell as Chairman, and his contributions both in practical terms and through his extensive knowledge of local history will be sorely missed. We thank him sincerely for his efforts, and would like to hope that this is only a temporary absence.

2nd Defibrillator

The second village defibrillator has been installed at the library and on the 12th April there was a training session given by Tom Miller, a First Responder in the village. Thanks to the library for hosting, Tom for the training, and all those who attended.

Traffic Monitoring

Observant users of Earith Road will have seen a temporary interactive traffic sign when entering the village. This was part of a traffic survey, monitoring speeds both with and without the new sign. The data gathered show that, except for some (extreme) outliers, average traffic speeds did not markedly exceed the speed limit for most of the day and the interactive sign had only a minor impact on reductions in average traffic speeds.

Council Vacancies

There are currently 2 vacant seats on the Council. If you are interested or would like to know more about what is involved, please contact either the parish office or any of the councillors for a chat: contact details are below.

 

Newsletter April 2018

District and Parish Council Elections

 Nominations have now closed for the District and Parish Council elections. These will be held on Thursday 3rd May 2018. District wide reorganisation and reduction in the overall Councillor numbers means that you will have the opportunity of voting for only two incoming District Councillors rather than the three of recent years. At the time of writing it does not seem that there will be Parish Council elections this year, with all the nominated candidates being returned unopposed.

Willingham’s Annual Parish Meeting will be held on the 23rd May 2018 and is an open to all residents.  It will offer residents the chance to meet the members of its new Parish Council and the opportunity to discover what the Parish Council has been working on over the last year. Future challenges that the Council might address will be discussed.  Reports will also be available from the many community groups that the Council has supported over the last 12 months.

South Cambridgeshire Planning Open Days

Members of South Cambridgeshire’s Planning Team will be visiting communities to help residents develop a better understanding of the planning process and to respond to concerns about local development activity. Included in the programme will be talks on the planning process, how to submit a planning application, the challenges of developing listed buildings and sites in conservation areas, and works to trees. A successful first Open Day was held in Northstowe in March – the next will be held at Whittlesford Memorial Hall on Saturday 9th Jane between 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. Further dates will be published on the SCDC website ( www.scambs.gov.uk ).

Street Lighting Upgrade

The County Council, working with Balfour Beatty as its lighting service provider, will be implementing a lantern replacement programme. Apart from replacing existing street lighting lanterns with more energy efficient LED lanterns no disruption such as road or footpath excavation is promised. The streets in Willingham that will benefit are Covent Garden and Bourneys Manor Close. Residents in the affected streets will be advised before work commences. Any questions about this work should be directed to: Street.Lighting@cambridgeshgire.gov.uk.

The A14 Time Truck

The archeological finds unearthed during the A14 excavation work have made national news recently. Opportunities to visit individual sites will become available. A Time Truck family archaeology day will be held on Thursday 31st May 2018, (10.30 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.) at the Bar Hill Tesco Extra car park. The opportunity to discover the archaeological remains uncovered along the route of the A14 project, with displays and activities for all the family, will be available.

News for local walkers

Firstly, the Parish Council understands that Flat Bridge has been demolished. Although a privately owned bridge it has long offered access to social and recreational activities on the north bank of the Great Ouse. The closest crossings to the north bank are now on the Causeway or at Earith. Secondly, a formal notice has also been distributed advising of the stopping up and re-routing of Public Bridleway (262/12). This runs from the northern end of West Fen Road towards Earith. A new length of this Public Bridleway will be built as a replacement.

 

 

Newsletter March 2018

Road Surfaces:

A member of the public raised at the March Parish Council Meeting the problem of poor and deteriorating road surfaces in parts of the village. It appears to be a widespread problem across the county with recent bad weather exacerbating poor maintenance. Unfortunately, our County Councillor was not present at the meeting but our concerns will be forwarded to him.

Youth Matters:

We were very pleased to learn that Willingham Youth Trust has succeeded in finding the funds and resources to reopen the Youth Club. Weekly sessions will begin again on Wednesday evenings from the middle of April. There are also plans for another It’s a Knock Out competition in September and a ‘Pop Up’ Café. Congratulations go to the hard work from the Youth Trust team in achieving this. Congratulations also go to our Primary School who achieved a rating of ‘Good’ in a recent Ofsted inspection.

Defibrillator Training:

A unit has been available for some time at the Pavilion and a second unit has now been installed at the Library. Free training is going to be available to anyone who would like to learn how to use these life-saving devices. This will take place at Willingham Library at 2PM on 12 April. Space is limited so if you are interested in attending please call the Parish Office to book a place.

Help with Your Home:

If you are elderly or disabled and you need to adapt or repair your home you may be able to get help from Cambs Home Improvement Agency. Their telephone number is 01954 713330 or look at www.cambshia.org

Dog Mess:

Whilst most dog owners take a very responsible attitude to clearing up after their pets, there are a few that do not. We have had reports of increased fouling on central village pavements as well as the recreation ground. Not only is dog mess unsightly it can also be a serious health hazard, particularly on areas used for sports, which is why we ask owners not to take their dogs onto the recreation ground. The District Council will take action against owners who allow fouling but need names and addresses.

Councillors:

A reminder that there are local government elections in May that will involve Willingham Parish Council. If you would like to put your name forward you need to do so to SCDC by 4PM on 12 April. Forms are available through the Parish Office.

Finally, we were very sorry to learn of the peaceful but sudden death of Rosemary Mumford. Rosemary, as just one of her various voluntary contributions to village life, served as a Parish Councillor for many years. Our thoughts and condolences go to her lovely family.

A14 Road Closures 27 April – 28 April 2018

full closures of the A14 for the two evenings of Friday 27 April and Saturday 28 April, from 9pm to 6am each night. The full closures are necessary so we can launch a temporary Bailey Bridge across the A14 between Dry Drayton and Girton, so material can be moved from one side of the A14 to the other without using the road network.

 The signed diversion route for strategic traffic will be as follows. Eastbound traffic will be diverted off the A14 at junction 24, south on the A1198 and then east along the A428 to Girton Interchange. Westbound will follow that route in reverse.

 Local traffic will still be able to travel east along the A14 to access all exit points to and including Dry Drayton. However, local traffic wishing to travel from Girton Interchange west will not be able to get through, so must either use known local routes or use the signed diversion, and then re-join the A14 eastbound after the A1198.

 We have deliberately timed these closers to co-inside with the weekend when traffic flow is lower, so hope the risk of HGV vehicles using unsuitable routes will be avoided. The Police will be supporting our closures with physical presence to try to dissuade drivers from using unsuitable routes