Road Safety Education Newsletter “Way 2 Go”

We hope you enjoy reading the Newsletter and please feel free to share with your colleagues and the local community – If you would like any further information please do not hesitate to get in contact.

You may also like to  visit our website to find out more about our service and resources for loan – http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/roadsafety

Regards,


Road Safety Education Team

Network Management & Transport Strategy

Tel: 0345 045 5212

Newsletters

Newsletter March 2024

New Recycling and Waste Bins
We welcome the introduction of new recycling initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable waste management practices. Residents can expect to see the arrival of a pink bin on loan from the South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC), dedicated to recycling small electrical items. This bin will be conveniently located in the Ploughman Hall Car Park, just inside the entrance gate, please use it before it leaves us! Additionally, the council has purchased and plans to install two replacement bins outside the orchard – a standard bin and another for recycling – in the coming weeks, further enhancing our efforts towards a cleaner and more environmentally-friendly parish.

Cemetery and Safety Measures
Ensuring the safety and cleanliness of our community spaces is a top priority, the Council has approved the replacement of the Euro bin with a smaller alternative. This new bin will be emptied weekly, providing a more efficient waste management solution for cemetery visitors. In addition, the Council conducted topple testing on headstones at the end of last year, with affected headstones marked and known burial right owners notified. The advisory period for rectifying these headstones concluded on March 29th, as such the Council will arrange for any headstones not rectified to be laid down with the grave plot.

Barton Field
With Spring now here more people might be tempted to visit the Council’s Barton Field, to look at the blossom and other new growth. However, we continue to receive reports of unauthorized vehicle access down Black Pit Drove. Black Pit Drove is a bridleway and only cars belonging to Drove residents are permitted along it. Furthermore, all land bordering the field is privately owned, with no public right of way across them. Your cooperation in adhering to these regulations will be greatly appreciated.

Recreation Ground Concerns
The wet winter has been a disastrous one for the lower part of Willingham recreation ground. It has not been fit for football matches, or much else, since October. It is likely that this situation will occur in future winters. Recognizing this issue, the Parish Council is actively seeking alternative solutions and trying to identify any suitable plots of land, preferably close to the existing rec, that could be donated, rented, leased, or perhaps sold to the Parish Council. If you know of any such land, please contact the clerk.

Potholes and Flooding Concerns
In recent times, the Willingham community has faced escalating challenges with potholes, surface water, and flooding issues. These problems not only impact the quality of our infrastructure but also pose safety risks to motorists and pedestrians alike. We emphasize the great importance of residents reporting such issues to the relevant authorities promptly, either on the County Council website or by clicking on ‘reporting’ on the Parish Council website.

By reporting potholes and water problems, residents play a crucial role in helping authorities identify problem areas and allocate resources effectively. Providing detailed reports, including multiple photos of the problem areas, can help address these issues. It is essential to remember that multiple reports from different residents corroborate the urgency and demand for action. By collectively raising awareness and documenting the extent of these challenges, we can ensure that the relevant authorities are informed and motivated to take proactive measures.

Community Survey for Healthy Places
Residents of Willingham are invited to participate in a joint initiative by Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council’s public health team. Your input will help shape healthy, supportive, and inclusive communities in the region. The ongoing development of the Healthy Places Joint Strategic Needs Assessment for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough aims to create healthier, easily accessible, and inclusive communities. Your feedback is crucial in identifying priorities such as access to healthcare services, inclusive green spaces, active travel opportunities, and affordable healthy food options. Further information is available on the council’s website.

Newsletter February 2024

Helping each other and recycling!
We are lucky here in Willingham to have so many who volunteer to work together or simply help out on a voluntary basis. The list is huge – from helping with sporting clubs, to children and youth clubs, to adult day and evening activities, to being a Parish Councillor and to preparing this Willingham News magazine!… the list is endless. We have to be grateful and offer our own energy when we can. Our village has a brilliant Action Group who organize many ways to help others in the area and the Repair Café is one, so keep a look out for the next.

We began the year encouraging one another to reuse and to find ways other than buying brand new stuff to fulfill our needs. However, there may be a time when we cannot repair an electrical item but it could be recycled. The Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service has recently begun to establish a way to make it easier to recycle small electrical appliances. There is now a roaming ‘Pink Bin’ for this and the Parish Council are booking this particular bin to have a short stay in Willingham. Any unwanted small electrical items that can fit through its secure ‘postage’ slot can be left, safe in the knowledge it will be collected by the Greater Cambridge recycling team. So do not bin your broken fairy lights, chargers, hair-straighteners, toasters etc because they can be recycled and not put into the land fill. Keep an eye out on social media and posters around the village, and pass on the word.

Talking of bins…

The village has an allocated number of kerb-side waste bins according to the number of properties here and this includes dog waste bins.  At the latest PC meeting we discussed a variety of ideas to facilitate visitors to our Meadow Road site who need to dispose of their waste. Any weekly bin emptying must be manageable for the contractors, so hopefully we can all try to keep that popular site clean and environmentally safe too.  Our Orchard bins are courtesy of, yes, volunteer support, but the large one outside that gate which was damaged should have been replaced by the time you read this. This will hopefully include a recycling section to it too. Regarding dog waste bags, following a suggestion, the PC is looking into the feasibility of providing another bag station which walkers would find useful. However, it is now possible to put your bagged dog waste in the larger general bins as well as the usual red ones spaced out around Willingham. Following a request there has been a new large bin set by the Station Road bus stop which displays the latest signage to show it can be used for small waste items as well as bagged dog waste.

Keeping it healthy and green!
There will always be new initiatives which we can take on in our own small ways. Our QEII field is always an attraction with local families and has a lot of apparatus for healthy outdoor fun. The popular ‘hip-hop’ piece has been removed and is being repaired ready to enjoy. Bulbs are showing a fresh start to spring not just on that field, but in the village tubs as well – all planted and maintained by volunteers. Eco-friendly LED lights have been bought ready to replace the broken Christmas lights around the Green. This time of the year is perfect for settling in the six new trees on the Meadow Road Field ahead of the exciting development of the Pond Habitat Action Plan to begin soon in that area. The local RSPB projects are growing in popularity as wildlife returns to our wetlands. They are easily accessible and have parking close by. Contact with the RSPB can be via their office at The Grange, Market Street, Swavesey; or  rspb.org.uk/ousefen

Fen Edge Community Association
As Willingham is part of the Fen Edge group, plans are being made for the biennial festival to be held on Cottenham Green from 21st – 23rd June. This year the festival will repeat its sustainable theme and would like to encourage ‘eco’ groups, organisations and businesses to take part. Contact can be made via: stalls@fenedgefestival.co.uk, and as Willingham is part of the FECA, organisations within our village can join and reduce the cost of your stall.

Newsletter January 2024

We are often asked – ‘What does the Parish Council do for us?’
Below is a short resume of some of the things which the Council have provided/facilitated over the past twelve months.

Green Spaces
In addition to the recreation ground and play park, Willingham has three ‘green spaces’ that the Parish Council maintain to provide village recreational facilities, the orchard, Meadow Road, and Barton Field. We have recently been working with ‘Cambridge Acre’ to develop a wildlife pond at the Meadow Road site. This should mature during 2024. A hedgerow was also planted and the site continues to be improved.

Zero Carbon Communities Video
South Cambs have put together a video championing the work that has been done in the region with regards to biodiversity and reduction of community carbon footprints.

Willingham are included in the video and it can be watched via the link below:

Sports/Classes
South Cambridgeshire Council has recently finally approved the planning application for a multi-use games area (tennis and Netball). Persistent work was required to comply with all the necessary criteria for this to be granted. The Council look forward to moving this project forward.

‘The Ploughman Hall’ continues to attract regular users for fitness, dance, and many other groups including badminton and table tennis.                                                                                                                                   

Highways Issues
The Council continued to tackle concerns regarding Highways issues during the past year. We have regular quarterly meetings with ‘Highways’ to liaise and ‘chase up’ actions. There has been a recent re-organisation of the Highways Team and they have asked that residents report any concerns directly on their ‘portal’,  Report a highways fault – Cambridgeshire County Council . It is helpful to include a photo if possible.

We applied for, (but unfortunately were unsuccessful), a Minor Highways bid to have ‘priority chicanes’ on Over Road and Rampton Road.                                                                                               

As part of Northstowes’ 106 monies the County Council are looking to add ‘speed bumps to Rampton Road.                                                                                                                     

Road marking and signage were added to Station Road to highlight the 30mph speed limit.

Signage to highlight 30mph and remind drivers of the school, have also been added.          

The Council has helped to facilitate a ‘speed watch’ group in the village.                               

An application has been made to the County Council for a 20mph scheme in the village.  This is ongoing and the agreed scheme will be published in the press.

The Council continues to deploy speed monitoring signs at key locations around the village to remind drivers to slow down.

Buses
The Council fought hard, along with our County Councillor for a ‘5a Bus’ to be provided so that villagers had a link to ‘The Busway’.  This is only likely to continue if the service is well used. We would urge parishioners to make use of this service when they can.

Grant Support
Throughout the year the Council have supported a number of groups. These include Willingham Youth Trust; Over Day Care Centre; Willingham Wolves Youth teams with the free use of the Recreation Ground.

The Community Warden scheme in the village is supported by the Council and regular meetings are held with the team.

For residents who require a ‘Community Lifeline’, the Council provide fourteen of these. There is always a waiting list for these.

Defibrillators
The Council now have three defibrillators located at the pavilion, library, and telephone box on the High Street. They have also provided cabinets for the school and Social Club so that theirs can be housed outside for the public to use as well.

Flooding
The Council have an emergency plan to help manage this and other emergencies, along with some emergency equipment. We also have an ongoing commitment to keep challenging Anglian Water and other relevant authorities as appropriate.

Village Parking
Complaints are often received by the Council over instances of bad parking, and parking on ‘double yellow lines’. Willingham Parish Council discussed this their County Council and District Council colleagues and the Greater Cambridge Partnership have taken a civil enforcement route. This has now gone through Parliament and will be implemented during the coming months following the necessary notifications ahead of the scheme. More information can be found here:

Government approve parking enforcement changes across South Cambridgeshire (greatercambridge.org.uk)

Newsletter December 2023

December Meeting
Two important issues were raised in the public forum at the December meeting. The first was with regard to the increased incidents of surface water flooding and sewage back up in areas not previously prone to these problems. Frustration was expressed by the council with the lack of progress they had been able to make with Anglian Water who were blaming discharges from Longstanton. Doubt was expressed whether this was the cause rather than the number of new properties in Willingham discharging surface water into an over-loaded system. The parish council agreed to debate this at the January meeting with a view to seeing if they could get further independent advice and District Councillor Handley said he would discuss the matter with the planners at South Cambs.

The second issue was the lack of a footpath on the last section of the roadway to Highgate. The business park has been growing strongly in recent times and the number of visitors has increased sharply. The parish council said that it was an issue very much on their radar and that they hoped to be submitting a bid to the minor highways improvement scheme shortly. If that was successful and county council funding could be added to some parish council and local business contributions then hopefully progress could be made next year.       

20 MPH Limit
Another hot topic was the proposed village wide 20 MPH limit. No members of the public were present on this subject and so the council reviewed the detailed scheme drawn up by the county council on the basis of the information already provided. After some debate they decided that it should proceed. The matter is now with the county council who will be undertaking further consultation on the matter next year.

Precept
On a majority vote, the council agreed to accept the recommendation of the Finance and General Purposes Committee for an increase of 7.9% in next year’s precept. It will mean an additional cost of fifteen pence per week for a band D property.

Open Spaces
If you fancy getting out into the fresh air on a bright winter’s day there are several contrasting parish-owned pieces of land to visit: the well-established Community Orchard on Earith Road; Barton Field off Black Pit Drove (no cars please), a small largely untouched area of part woodland part grass; and the larger Meadow Road site – grassland, trees, shrubs and soon to include a wild life pond. The surface of Meadow Road has been improved making access easier (about half a mile from Rockmill End), and there is parking for several cars. Dogs are welcome at all these sites but please clean up after them. These sites were showcased in the Autumn 2023 SCDC Zero Carbon Communities Newsletter.

Topple Testing
A reminder that the council is legally required to check on the safety of tombstones. Those that do not meet the topple test requirement must be strengthened or laid flat. The council will contact owners of the graves that are affected when known.

Volunteers
Thanks to Ed Gilbert, Oliver Gawthroup and other volunteers who helped with Christmas lights on the green. Thanks are also due to the volunteers who looked after other village events in 2023 as well as the many clubs and societies. The village would not be the place it is without them. Parish councillors are of course also unpaid. If you feel you could help contribute to their work, please contact the parish clerk, and find out what is involved. A vacancy is due for co-option at the February meeting.    

Newsletter November 2023

Flooding
The recent persistent rainfall brought back flooding which we last witnessed over Christmas in 2020. After those events the council met with Anglian Water along with District and County Council representatives. Anglian Water confirmed that they planned to complete an Infiltration Reduction Plan in Willingham before 31 January 2022 to help them determine what work was required in the village to mitigate the impact of flooding from sewers. Sadly, it seems this has yet to take place. During October, both the Parish Clerk and our Cambridgeshire County Councillor, Neil Gough, were already chasing Anglian Water but have yet to receive a satisfactory response.

Octagon Community Hub
A representative from the Hub spoke to the Council to request funding for supplies so that a warm meal could be provided for those in need, which was granted. The Hub is run by volunteers and is open to everyone on Mondays from 10am to 1pm, in the Octagon behind the parish church, providing company and free refreshments. We are thankful to have such dedicated people in the village.

Multi Use Games Area
After what has seemed to be an endless series of bureaucratic obstacles, the application for the MUGA on the Recreation Ground has finally reached the planning authority. Our thanks go to Councillor Linda King for steering this project which now appears to be edging closer to fruition.

Cemetery Topple-Testing
The Council has a duty to ensure that the cemetery and the memorials within it are kept in good order and to ensure the safety of visitors. Recent testing revealed that several headstones are in a dangerous condition and need maintenance, ideally by the burial right owners. Unfortunately, past recording of the burial rights is incomplete, and the office has been unable to contact many of the owners. Notices will be placed on the affected memorials and if nobody comes forward then the headstones will be laid flat within the grave space

Christmas
A tree and new lights have been purchased and should be installed on the green by the time you receive this Willingham News.

Councillor Resignation
We would like to thank Maedee Rogers for her participation and contribution to the Parish Council. Sadly she has resigned and we are waiting to hear from South Cambridgeshire District Council whether we can co-opt a new councillor.

Newsletter October 2023

Highways
Following the county council request for applications for 20mph areas throughout Cambridgeshire, the Parish Council submission for a village wide zone has been approved. We have had a preliminary indication of this and will publish more details when these are agreed. There will not be any speed reducing measure such as road humps, etc., but signage only on posts and road markings where the limits change, all separate from and inside the current 30mph area.

The SpeedWatch group in the village has been very active, particularly along Earith Road but also other areas such as Station Road and Green street. They have reported that their presence has seen a reduction in speeds, though letters have been sent to drivers exceeding the limits. They have also reported on untaxed vehicles as they are recorded.

Traffic calming measures along Rampton Road (funding from the Northstowe development) are yet to be implemented. The latest Local Highways Initiative (LHI) bid will be for priority give way features on Rampton Road at the 30mph sign and at a repositioned 30mph sign at the village boundary on Over Road.

The village has newly repainted yellow ‘no parking’ lines and white zigzag lines at the traffic lights near the Co-op. These are particularly important near the school and the junction of Long Lane and Newington. Drivers with disabled parking permits are allowed to stop on these lines but must not park within 12 metres of a junction or they could lose these privileges. It is dangerous for all road users if these rules are not adhered to and potentially could cause an accident. The police occasionally visit, but when the district council take over the enforcement of these from the police, those who disobey these rules will be more likely to be penalised.

Hanson and RSPB Reserve
At a recent meeting, it was reported that the first confirmed successful nest in 2022 in the UK of glossy ibis has been registered on the RSPB Reserve. The Little Crake, a small moorhen like bird and a rare visitor from Europe has also been reported. A low point is that avian flu has been reported on the site.

The company name has been changed from Hanson to Heidelberg Materials Aggregates to reflect the group ownership and the function of the site. The previous name will disappear from all signage, etc. in the near future. Working on the gravel site has now been increased to 4 days a week which is maintaining capacity at about 600,000 tonnes per year. There are plans to increase the size of the operations and meet a target of 1 million tonnes next year.

Meadow Road Project
The project for the wildlife pond is moving forward and hopefully by next year we will have a good bio-diverse area for residents to enjoy. Future developments will include a grassed parking area for visitors. There will be installations to encourage insects (bug hotel) and bats, and a wildflower meadow created. Non native tree species will be removed.

New Councillor
Welcome to Ian Barratt who rejoins us after about a 10 year break.

Street Cleaning
We have been given a schedule for street cleaning. The link is: Street care and cleaning – South Cambs District Council (scambs.gov.uk). It would be helpful if residents could let us know which streets are particularly clogged with weeds and then we can then forward a list to SCDC.

Willingham Feast
The Feast has now finished and thanks to everyone involved in organising the various successful events provided for residents.

Newsletter September 2023

QEII field
Sadly, an irresponsible dog owner has allowed their pet to tear the soft rubber of the zip wire and seesaw seats on the play equipment. The zip wire seat was replaced at a cost of £300 but this new one has now been damaged too. The seesaw seats will also need to be replaced, all at considerable cost to the Willingham taxpayers. We have therefore installed CCTV on the playground in the hope of catching the perpetrator but if the damage continues, we may have to consider removing these very popular pieces of equipment from use.

If you do see dogs on the playground please report to the Parish Office, contact details below.

Over the summer it has been lovely to see that the field has been extremely well used, including the table tennis tables. There are currently plans for a Willingham Table Tennis club to be set up, and the Parish Council is happy to encourage this.

Willingham Cemetery
Cemetery Wall
Work is underway to repair the corner of the cemetery wall where it joins the Social Club. The work is expected to take about three weeks.

Topple Testing
The Council have planned for formal topple testing to be carried out in the cemetery.  This is a routine inspection that is required every few years. Where possible plot owners will be notified of any issues raised and measures will be taken to ensure memorials are safe.

Remembrance Sunday
As is normally the case the Council will be laying a memorial wreath on Remembrance Sunday on behalf of the village and welcome residents to join the occasion.

Meadow Road Wildlife Pond
We are pleased to report that planning permission has been granted for the wild life pond at Meadow Road and Cambridge ACRE will be carrying out the work over the coming months. Once completed we are sure this will be an excellent addition to the site offering both a range of biodiversity and an enjoyable spot for residents to enjoy.

Trees and Hedges
The Council would like to remind residents of their responsibility to ensure that hedges and trees do not encroach on the pavements and highways. Now that the nesting season has finished, we would encourage owners to take the opportunity to ensure work is carried out to enable pedestrians and vehicles to travel uninhibited and safely.

John Anderson
Sadly, the Council have been made aware that John Anderson has passed away. John had served on the Council for a number of years on two different occasions, always keen and willing to go the extra mile to support the village in any way he could. John will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him, and the Council would like to pass on their condolences to John’s family.

Parish Council Vacancy
As mentioned last month, the Council currently has one vacancy and will be co-opting this position at its October meeting. Anyone wish to apply will need to submit an application form to the Clerk by Tuesday 26th September. Please contact the office for more information.

Newsletter August 2023

Willingham Cemetery
Our village cemetery is an important feature within the village. In November the wreath laying ceremony will again take place at the War Memorial. Visitors may have already seen the plaque on the wall near the main cemetery gate fixed there by the War Graves Commission. Eight War Graves can be found in our cemetery and these are maintained by the Commission. There is a chart on both the Willingham Parish website and the Facebook page giving details of these graves.

Social and wellbeing within the Parish
There are a variety of aspects linked with village wellbeing the Council seek to maintain and improve: from our village playpark facilities, to affording alternative recreational areas for walking and enjoying outdoor spaces, plus many more!

The Over Day Centre is a popular venue for assisting our elderly villagers and the Council currently donate £3,000 per year for this. For emergency needs, there are now four defibrillators in place around the village. The non-profit run Food Hubs are still being finalised and although we hoped to bring you good news for Willingham it is not quite ready for our village delivery. Hopefully the Willingham Food Hub will be up and running soon; we will keep you updated. Meanwhile our valued Community Warden coordinator, Joanne Twinn is busy and her active list for weekday help now consists of nine Willingham members and two from the Over parish.

When the set-aside field was no longer available for dog-walking, the Orchard was fenced to make that a safe place for all users. The Meadow Road project is still undergoing development and our Barton Field is a great place for walking and recreation. All our open spaces have been commended and noted by experts – recently highlighted in the South Cambridge District Council officer, Luke Waddington’s report – as an important part of our ‘Doubling Nature Strategy’. The project of siting six flower tubs around the village was originally set up by a team including WAG volunteers and councillors. Today, we are really grateful the Gardening Club have now taken on the challenge of planting and caring for them: they are looking really good, many thanks go to the club.

There will always be new projects and ideas for supporting our parish where we can: it does not stop, the list will continue!

The precept for Willingham Parish
The precept for 2023/2024 is £166,600. This is the sum of money collected with the council tax from householders in the parish and is used specifically to maintain and improve facilities and services for local people. There are various additional grants and so on that become available periodically and which the Council can apply for in order to fund larger projects that would not normally be afforded by the parish.

Parish Council Vacancy
Willingham Parish Council is made up of 15 Councillors all of whom are unpaid. The period of office of a Councillor is normally 4 years, but if they have been co-opted or elected at a bye-election, they will serve until the next normal election time which is currently May 2025. A Parish Councillor is responsive to and responsible for the needs of their parish, while bound by the powers and so on conferred on them by Parliament they have a wide remit within which to improve the lives of their local community.  Due to a recent resignation from the Parish Council, there is a vacancy that the Council hopes to fill at their next meeting in October, so if you would like to know more, please do not hesitate to contact the Clerk for more information.

Contact Details
Councillors’ details can be found on the website.

Meetings
Meetings are generally held on the first Wednesday of the month, starting at 7.30 pm in the Octagon. Agendas are published on the website and the noticeboard outside the Public Hall. Members of the public are welcome to attend and can speak briefly or ask questions. (See agendas for further details.)

Newsletter July 2023

New Councillor
The Council filled its vacancy by co-option at its meeting on the 5th of July and we are pleased to welcome Stephen Moore.

Citi 5 Bus
The Council continues to liaise with Stagecoach and our County Councillor regarding bus provision in the village. During a recent meeting with Stagecoach  they advised that  regarding direct buses to Cambridge and Cottenham, they would only consider changes that were ‘data driven’. The Council are looking at the best ways to gather that information.

Mobile Food Hub
We have been liaising with South Cambs who are working with ‘Hope CIC’ to provide a mobile food hub in the village.  It’s first visit is scheduled for the 17th July at the Octagon.

Black Pit Drove
Since are last article, we are pleased to see a reduction in the number of vehicles travelling down the Droveway and would like to thank residents for taking this on board. Residents wishing to access the Council owned open green space ‘Barton Field’ may do so on foot and we would again ask residents to ensure they clear up after their dogs and use the bin provided on Rampton Road or any of the others located around the village.

Highways
Residents will be aware of the works that took place on Over Road to install water mains, as well as the work scheduled on Berrycroft at the end of July. We understand that these necessary works can be frustrating for residents and would like to thank you for your patience whilst these were completed.

We have been advised of some future planned works at the junction at the High Street and Over Road. This will be closed over night (for one night) in August to repaint the road markings in this area.  We also understand that a section of Station Road will be closed for a short period during the summer holidays to repaint the markings which had not been done adequately earlier in the year.  We have not been given a date for these works but believe they are likely to take place during the weekend. The Council will add updates onto the Council’s website as and when we receive them.

Tennis and Netball MUGA planning application
The application that the Council submitted in September 2022 had to be withdrawn in November as further objections were raised regarding the impact of the floodlights on bats, the parking arrangements, and the possible danger of a cricket ball strike. The cricket ball assessment was speedily if expensively done and the site was deemed safe, but the bats were hibernating so it the survey had to be done in May/June. Two surveys have now been completed and our ecologist has concluded that there are low numbers of bats and there will be no loss of foraging habitat or availability of dark dispersal routes through the recreation ground site, if we follow various mitigation measures. We hope that this will be acceptable to the planners and we can resubmit soon.

Newsletter June 2023

Traffic
The village seems to be surrounded by roadworks and quite a few parishioners have complained about the problems being caused in getting to school, work and shops. The County Council are responsible for agreeing road closures and we have been in regular contact with our county councillor on the subject, regarding issues such as access to the schools during exam times and the serious impact on local businesses. The work that is being carried out is for repair and replacement of essential services, some of which we pressed for last year. The work must be done and is bound to cause disruption but we would like to see this minimised with better co-ordination of the projects and we will do what we can to press these points. Meanwhile please do not take it out on the contractors. They are just doing their job and are not responsible for the planning.

Buses
In June the GCP published the results of their Making Connections consultation, which includes the controversial Sustainable Travel Zone plus details of an improved bus network that will provide an alternative to car use, to be paid for from STZ revenues. Unfortunately, the submission from Willingham Parish Council was not included. We are trying to find out why and to get our views added before the final decisions are made. Our view, already expressed in previous surveys and at various forums, is that the proposed hourly rural route for Willingham that does not include Cambridge or any major towns is not an improvement and not a realistic alternative to the car. We should therefore be exempt from the STZ
charge, which will hit the poorest hardest.

Illegal Parking
Following the police’s refusal to act on this issue, we are delighted to see that the proposal we made last year that parking enforcement be taken on as a civil matter is progressing. The legislation to make this happen is not simple and has to go all the way to parliament. This is scheduled to happen in November. Thanks should go to our district and county councillors for pushing this one.

Black Pit Drove
It is good to see Barton Field being well used but could we just remind everyone that vehicles are not permitted on the bridleway and to please ensure that you do not leave any dog mess lying around.

Volunteers
Huge thanks are due to the volunteers that helped make the Coronation Big Lunch a great success. Huge thanks are also due to the many volunteers who look after other village events as well as the many clubs and societies. The village would not be the place it is without them. Parish councillors are of course also unpaid volunteers. If you feel you could help contribute to their work, please contact the parish clerk, and find out what is involved.

Newsletter May 2023

Annual Meeting of the Parish Council
At the Annual Meeting, all council posts are elected. The Chair and Vice Chair were re-elected, and all lead councillors remain in post except for Halls, where Cllr Gibbs is now the lead. All councillors and their rôles are listed on the Council website.

20 mph Initiative
The Council has applied to Cambridgeshire County Council’s 20 mph Initiative for a 20 mph zone in the village. To support the application, we submitted a snapshot of the results of the 20 mph Zone Survey on the Council website so far (66% in favour from 191 responses) but will keep the Survey open until July 2023 when the list of successful applicants is published.

Potholes
The dire state of local roads cannot have escaped the notice of anyone who drives or cycles. At the meeting, a parishioner spoke of his concerns and demanded that something be done. The Council agreed, but sadly have no power here as highways maintenance is the responsibility of the County Council. Our County Councillor Neil Gough was present and also agreed that there is a problem. He explained the very limited funding available after 10 years of managed decline. There are currently more pothole teams than ever but a recent Government grant of £3.6 million was far too small to provide any genuine improvement in the near future. Councillor Gough encouraged everyone to report potholes, if only as a way of providing evidence of the problem.

Tree Work
Every five or six years the Council arranges a survey of all the trees it owns around the village to assess their health and condition, and to recommend any maintenance work which needs to be done. That survey was completed in November. Contractors have been appointed and the work is now underway.

Community Speedwatch
The Speedwatch group is now established and will shortly be undertaking training. They will then be actively engaged in tackling speeding drivers. The Council has purchased an additional Speed Indication Device (SID) to assist the Speedwatch group.

Citi 5A Bus
Councillor Gough reported that funding for the 5A bus will be extended until March 2024. He continues to attempt to arrange a joint meeting with Stagecoach to discuss the problems and possible improvements to this service, but it seems Stagecoach are so busy that providing a date is an almost insurmountable task.

Casual Vacancy
There were no applications for the vacant council seat. We will be readvertising the vacancy with a closing date of July this year. Anyone interested in becoming a Parish Councillor should contact the Clerk in the first instance for further information and/or an application form.

Newsletter April 2023

Coronation

The Parish Council is supporting proposals for celebrations of the Coronation of King Charles III on 6th May. This is being organised by Willingham Action Group and will take place on Sunday 7th May. As you will have noticed from the cover of the magazine, the theme is a ‘Big Lunch’.

Highways

The county council is supporting applications for 20mph areas throughout Cambridgeshire. The Parish Council is planning to apply for a village wide zone. We need the support of residents for this, so an online survey has been organised. The application needs to be in by 30th April so the results will be coordinated before then. Please try to complete the survey so we can give an accurate indication of the level of support for such a scheme.

There has been a great response to setting up a SpeedWatch group in the village. This has been supported by the Parish Council and Community RoadWatch. Residents of Earith Road are the largest group but other areas such as Station Road and Green street are also actively interested in taking part. Cambridgeshire Police SpeedWatch section has instigated training and on completion, sessions will be started. The police Casualty Reduction Unit also has visited the village and will be conducting extra checks on our local roads.

Other traffic measures will hopefully be finalised and completed soon. These include traffic calming measures along Rampton Road (funding from the Northstowe development) and priority give way features on Rampton Road at the 30mph sign and at a repositioned 30mph sign at the village boundary on Over Road.

There are plans to complete the water main installation along Over Road between High Street and Aspinall’s Yard between 29th May and 7th July, although the map indicates closure up to Haden Way. Diversion is via Over and Longstanton. Hopefully the works on the crossroads scheduled to finish on 16th May will not overrun.

Buses

Stagecoach have proposed new timetables operating from 16th April. The Citi 5 which no longer operated beyond Longstanton Park and Ride will now be a half hourly service. The 5A which serves a circular route from the P&R via Swavesey and Over to Willingham and back to Longstanton runs hourly and the connections with the Citi 5 involve a minimum wait of 15-20 minutes assuming all runs to time!

The Parish Council continues to press for a better and more consistent service for the village, both now and when future Greater Cambridge Partnership proposals come into being.

Hanson and RSPB Reserve

At a recent meeting, a snow bunting was reported in the visitor car park in December and a large family group of 4 otters. Water and rock pipits could be seen over winter and up to 15 cattle egrets also fed behind a working excavator. There was a peak roost count of 35 marsh harriers in January. The Konik ponies from Wicken Fen are doing well apart from one tragic loss. For visitors, the new circular ‘Quarry Life’ walk was opened around Cuckoo Fen over winter, promoted as part of this sustainable access project. Access is at the top of Long Lane in Over.

Working on the Hanson site is being reduced to 2 days a week until the end of the year although deliveries are not affected. HCVs are banned from using the B1050 through Willingham between Earith and the Northstowe development. Any marked Hanson vehicles doing this should be reported to the company the date and time and the direction in which they were travelling.

Meadow Road Project

This is progressing well and many new the whips and trees have been planted. A water feature is being planned and biodiversity is to be enhanced with help from a development site in Over.

Newsletter March 2023

 Citi5 Bus

After facing issues with the timetabling of the Citi5 Bus which were detailed at length in last month’s edition, revised timetables have been produced by Stagecoach. However, the Parish Council have continued to raise concerns about inaccuracies regarding some of the timings and as such are due to meet with the County Council and Stagecoach in the coming weeks to press them on working to rectify the present issues. The Council continues to make the provision of public transport for the village a key priority and will continue to repeatedly raise our concerns at every opportunity.

Lost Property

This is a final appeal for a small purse containing some money that was handed in during the fun fair weekend at the end of last year. Despite several appeals no one has claimed it. If you or anyone you know has lost such an item then please get in touch with the Parish Council Office (details below). If it is not claimed by the 21st April then the money will be returned to the original finder.

In addition, we still have a Mercedes car key handed into the office that was found in late February. Again, if it is not unclaimed by the 21st April then it will have to be destroyed.

Barton Field Unveiling Event

A reminder that, as described in last month’s Willingham News, at 11 am on Sunday 2nd April, we will be unveiling at Barton Field an information board organised and funded by the Willingham Action Group (WAG). It describes some of the flora and fauna at the lovely site as well as a brief history. The field was generously donated by a parishioner, and it is a peaceful unmanaged area of trees, shrubs and grass, with no facilities. Everyone is welcome and access is only on foot from Rampton Road along Black Pit Drove. We hope to see as many faces as possible there!

Meadow Road

The Council is continuing with its project to make the site on Meadow Road a nature friendly location for all to enjoy. There are plans for a nature pond at the back of the site and the Council are due to take delivery of four hundred and fifty whips over the coming weeks.  If you would like to get involved and volunteer with planting etc, please contact the Clerk in the first instance.

Sustainable Transport Zone (Congestion Charge)

As ever, the Council were grateful to hear from parishioners in the public forum. Concerns were raised with a powerful presentation regarding the sustainable transport zone put forward by the Greater Cambridge Partnership. As a non-political body, the Council has not made a formal decision regarding the proposals but has responded to the consultation raising our serious concerns about the poor standards of the bus service provided to the village.

Coronation

With the Coronation fast approaching, the Parish Council have been looking for a way to celebrate the event. The Council provided with great success, commemorative bookmarks for all the pupils at Willingham Primary School to celebrate the late Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee last summer and so for this monumental event, the Council is looking to provide Coronation Mugs. In addition, it is hoped to hold a Coronation celebration event on Sunday the 7th of May in the village with details of the occasion to be confirmed.

Parish Council Vacancy

Due to a recent resignation from the Parish Council, there is a vacancy that the Council hopes to fill by co-option at the May meeting (3rd May). We encourage anyone interested in applying to contact the Clerk for more information and the application form.

The Parish Council is the most local level of governance in the country and becoming a councillor gives you the opportunity to work closely with other members of the community to identity and address issues affecting the village and make a real difference to the area by making positive impacts on issues such as local services and amenities, planning matters, traffic and speeding concerns, policing and antisocial behaviour, the environment and much more. If this is something you are passionate about then we would love to hear from you.

Newsletter February 2023

Green Spaces and Environmental

Every gardener will appreciate it takes time to develop an open space and such work is never-ending. However, we can report that following a lot of input by the Greens and Boundaries Councillors, the Meadow Road site has been recognised by both the Wildlife Trust and the Cambridge Acre team as an area of importance and which will benefit from support and improvement. Around 400 whips are to be donated for hedging which will need planting, and help would be much appreciated with this work. Also, a large wild life pond, funded largely by National Lottery monies and Heritage aid is to be put in place at the far end of that field, supervised by the Acre group of experts. Villagers already benefit from this field as an additional place where they can engage with nature, and it is good to know this hard work will make it an even better outdoor, natural space to be appreciated by all.

Meanwhile, Barton Field (off Black Pit Drove, Rampton Road), is becoming more established. The weather does not seem to have damaged the remaining hedging along its length – which will be in-filled shortly – and we can report that the field is well used by local walkers. With the help of our Willingham Action Group, we have reached the point where we can celebrate the field with unveiling its large information board. All being well, on April 2nd at 11.00 we should be able to meet and enjoy a community gathering there: everyone is welcome!

Spring and nesting time is fast approaching, so this is a gentle reminder that March sees the end of serious machine-driven hedge-cutting and tree works, and if hedges are encroaching on our footpaths, correcting that now would be helpful since after that date only smaller hand-tools may be used.

Buses: the latest

The serious shortcomings of the new 5A bus service have been highlighted in recent editions of Willingham News. The Parish Council have written in strong terms to the Combined Authority, who subsidise the service until March, pointing out that the timetabling problems and cancellations have deterred passengers. We hope that they listen and the subsidy will continue beyond March to give a proper assessment of passenger numbers.

However, even if the service were run perfectly, it still might not attract sufficient numbers to make it viable. Obvious deterrents are that it only runs in one direction round the loop, is only hourly, and it means taking two buses to get to any local centres such as Cambridge or St Ives.

Stopping this bus route would be a disaster for those with no other way of travelling the 1½ miles to the Busway, so we must find a way to continue it. Also, some sort of congestion charge for Cambridge is inevitable, so in the longer term we need a fast convenient link direct to Cambridge. The Parish Council repeatedly makes these points in responding to all the recent transport surveys. If you agree, please give us your support, and continue to send us your thoughts on this important issue.

Highways matters in brief

The Parish Council and Clerk have regular meetings with the Cambridge County Council Highways department, who are aware of issues troubling parishes such as ours. Our village boundary has been extended and the signage has yet to be moved to recognise this. Repainting badly worn road markings – particularly on the busiest road junctions – continue to be on their list. Since the B1050 is now on ‘hold’ for at least another financial year, potholes on Shelford Road have been patched and from April there should be some levelling and maintenance work carried out. The Newington footway is scheduled to be slurry-sealed this spring.

Willingham And Over Community Warden Scheme

Just a reminder plus an appreciation of this scheme, supported by Cambridge & Peterborough Age UK. This Warden scheme offers a range of support from basic comfort – such as a visit for a chat and cup of tea, to help with day-to-day matters like shopping or facilitating phone calls, and to assistance with accessing professional services.  We are lucky to have a dedicated Community Warden Joanne, who can be contacted to discuss a trial period or a more permanent regular service.

Call her on: 07812 496002

Newsletter January 2023

Footpath to the Orchard

Earith Road. Following a successful bid, the Parish Council were able to obtain the necessary funding to install a footpath to the Orchard. This funding has created a safe way for walkers to get to the Orchard and enjoy the space. This provides for families, dog walkers and other walkers.

4th Defibrillator installed

The Parish Council has been aware of the need to have a ‘Defibrillator’ in the southern part of the village. You may have noticed the latest one that has been installed on the High Street. It is in the Old ‘Telephone Booth’ near the bus stop. All Defibrillators require a constant supply of electricity. This does mean that positioning of one is limited. Other defibrillators are situated at ‘The Pavilion’ on the Recreation Ground; the Library; and outside Willingham Primary School.

Buses

Many residents have a requirement for a regular bus service. Over the past year there has been a reduction in the service offered and this has caused problems for those without a car. This has made life difficult for those needing to reach 6th Form education in Cambridge; work in Cambridge; getting to hospital appointments. The Parish Council has made representation at each consultation which has been put forward. Proposals have not considered that residents of Willingham frequently work in Cambridge, attend Addenbrookes Hospital; and make great use of the 6th Form Colleges along with other schools in Cambridge. The Council have also written to our Member of Parliament. Lucy Frazer MP has been supportive of our concerns about the very limited number of buses that go to Cambridge.
We do hope that as we have kept you informed of the consultations through ‘Willingham News’ and the Council web site, that you as parishioners have also recorded your concerns on the relevant platforms/website listed.

Supporting the Village

The Council seeks to support a range of groups in the Village to help with ‘caring, well-being, and personal development’. We continue to support the ‘Community Warden Scheme’ and the ‘Community Lifeline Scheme’. Also the ‘Willingham Youth Trust’ and the free use of the ‘Recreation Ground’ for under 18’s football and other sports.

Green Spaces – contributing to a ‘Better Environment’


The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth ll included ‘A Green Canopy’ encouraging us to plant a tree to improve our environment. We shall be doing this with a few trees in the next few months in the Cemetery, Meadow Road, and Barton Field. We are replacing trees/shrubs which die and replanting hedging which unfortunately was removed.

The Future

The Ploughman’s Hall is well used and bookings are doing well. The heating has been replaced over the year with a different system. In regard to the ‘Public Hall’, the time has come to assess its future use. The result of the Public Consultation will be assessed and a point of reference for any future decisions.

Newsletter December 2022

The Precept

As usual, the precept has proved to be a difficult balancing act. Higher levels of government at District and County level have been squeezed for many years on their spending. They too have had to walk a fine line between ever increasing demands and limited resources. One reaction has been to try and devolve down some costs, particularly those involved with social care. There is a valid argument for doing this as the benefits are focused on local needs. The problem is that someone has to pay and if the Parish Council is the provider, then the local council tax payer is the funder.

This year has seen the added complication of high inflation with households under huge pressure on day- to- day costs for food and energy. The total bill for the services that the parish council provides is not huge, less than £2 per week for a band D property. Even so, the council felt that it should not increase this by more than half the rate of inflation. The books have been balanced to limit the increase to under 5%.

Traffic

The roadworks planned for Station Road in December have been put back until the first quarter of next year.

Speeding remains a major concern and a proposal is in hand to see if a volunteer ‘Speedwatch’ group can be re-formed. A previous one was disbanded due to lack of police support. The police have assured us that this will not happen again and that the best way of focusing their attention on the hotspots is to set up a group of trained volunteers supplying the data.

Buses

Full timetables have now been released for the new, number 5A circular route. Copies are available at the Post Office, Library, Surgery and the Parish Office. We are getting reports of buses being late or cancelled. This service is only subsidised until March, and if it is not well used, we may lose it. Please tell us of your experience with the reliability of this route and whether it meets your needs.

The consultation period for the ‘Making Connections’ consultation has now finished. The Parish Council previously commented that they welcomed reduced fares, but objected to the loss of a direct bus to Cambridge. This has been ignored and the plan remains for us to be served by a rural route that includes no major towns. A key objective of the plan is to reduce car usage but there is little incentive not to drive if two buses are needed to Cambridge, one of them only hourly. The proposed Sustainable Travel Zone charge is to pay for improved buses, but Willingham residents will not benefit, so should perhaps be exempt from this charge, which will hit the poorest hardest.

Tennis and Netball Courts

SCDC planners have thrown more hurdles in our path – assessments are required regarding a cricket ball strike, on-site parking and further protection for bats from the floodlights. Dealing with this incurs more time delays and expense before residents can enjoy these proposed facilities.

Ex Councillor Bill Kirkman

Tribute was paid to Bill Kirkman at the December parish council meeting for his many years of service to both the council and the village. Bill lived a long, full and very interesting life as a foreign correspondent for the Times and later as head of careers advice at Cambridge University. He died in hospital in early December and will be sadly missed.

Meetings

Because of the Christmas holidays the next full council meeting will be in the Octagon at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 11th January.

Newsletter November 2022

Public Hall Update – Joint Statement with Willingham Scouts

During the first public meeting it became clear that the hall users and Parish Council were working to very different timescales for the required investment in the Public Hall. The consultation had been arranged by the Parish Council on the premise that the hall users needed urgent investment, which is not the case. 

The public consultation to date has been very beneficial: it has elicited a great deal of historical detail regarding past uses; identified a few misconceptions about the current use and management of the hall; as well as identified a number of positive suggestions on how the community can make future use of the facility or the proceeds of its sale.

As a result of the less-urgent timelines, we have paused the current consultation until next year when we will propose a longer-term plan to review the future of the building.

Highgate Farm Footpath

A resident expressed his concern at the lack of a footpath from the village to Highgate Farm and how dangerous it can be, especially in winter when the verge is muddy and slippery. His concerns are shared by the Council, but the cost of a footpath is greater than the limit for Minor Highways Improvement Schemes and we can only continue to lobby the District and County Councils for this much needed safety measure.

Flower tubs

The gardening club has now taken over managing the six flower tubs and we are delighted to see a village group involved. All the winter pansies in the tubs have been donated by Sue Hayden in memory of her husband Rodney, who sadly died in October.

Greater Cambridge Partnership City Access Consultation – closing date 23 December

Please comment on the GCP proposals for ‘faster, cheaper, more reliable bus services and safer cycling through the introduction of a Sustainable Travel Zone’, i.e., a road user charge. The consultation can be accessed at: https://consultcambs.uk.engagementhq.com/making-connections-2022

Willingham residents could end up paying the road user charge without the benefit of a better bus service. We will be on an hourly rural loop taking in Longstanton, Bar Hill, Papworth Everard, Swavesey, and Over, so no direct bus to any major town or to Cottenham, and no busway busses passing through Willingham, as requested by the Parish Council. No timetables are included so we don’t know whether we would at least have Sunday and evening services. The proposed lower fares are welcome.

New route 5A – use it or lose it

Back to the present, and Stagecoach’s withdrawal of the 5 service through Willingham has been temporarily covered by a subsidised 5A route through Longstanton, Swavesey, and Over. If we are to retain this service beyond March, it is essential that it is well used. Loss of it would also mean that the hourly route in the City Access consultation will be an improvement after all.

New Councillor

At our October meeting we co-opted Mick Gibbs as a new councillor. Please join us in welcoming him to the Council, which is now at full strength.

Age UK Community Warden Scheme

Sarah Thompson from Age UK and the Community Warden Joanne Twinn gave a presentation on the scheme. There are currently 17 people being supported, 11 from Willingham and 6 from Over. The initial 2 years full funding from South Cambridgeshire District Council will end next year, and so a contribution from the Parish Council has been requested. This will be considered along with the many other demands on Council funding at the Finance and General Purpose committee meeting later in November.

Newsletter October 2022

Following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II the Parish Council entered a period of official mourning. During this time all meetings were postponed. An area of the churchyard was dedicated for laying flowers and books of condolence opened. The condolence books will be passed to County Council Archives for storage. The Chairman of the Council read the Royal Proclamation to the new King from the steps of the church followed by the new national anthem.

Highways

The footpath to the Community Orchard funded by an A14 legacy grant has now been completed. The 40mph buffer zone has been marked; the signage is not yet complete but should be finished soon. Some analysis of traffic has been done and since then a SID placed to replace the large old redundant flashing sign.

Following our successful 2021/22 LHI bid, the works on Station Road are scheduled for 1st – 21st December. This will involve some road closures and temporary traffic lights. The alternative route is via Over. The works are for improved signage and central road markings to emphasise the 30mph limit.

There is a proposal to install traffic calming in Rampton Road between Newington and the 30mph signs, funded by a S106 grant from Northstowe. Residents will be asked their thoughts on this prior to a decision to proceed.

Now that the bird nesting season has ended it is a good time to cut hedges and bushes away from footpaths and bridleways, etc. These should be trimmed to the boundary of the property not the footpath edge and not overhang at all. This is for the safety of pedestrians and also cyclists on combined use paths.

Buses

The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) has been studying transport issues in Cambridgeshire. This has a number of proposals which would affect Willingham residents. The most contentious of these is for a £5 charging zone around Cambridge from 7am to 7pm including the Addenbrookes complex. This scheme also included a change to the buses serving Willingham which would have removed the Citi5 and replaced it with circular routes via Bar Hill, Boxworth, Papworth, Fenstanton and Swavesey to Willingham and in reverse. We attended a meeting with GCP to protest the removal of the direct route between the village and Cambridge and emphasising the need for more service connections particularly to Cottenham.

Following this came the disgraceful decision by Stagecoach who operate the Citi5 route, that the service would end at the Longstanton Park and Ride site from the end of October, leaving the village with no bus service at all. In conjunction with GCP and our District and County Councillors we have worked to find and fund replacement providers for these services until March. At the time of writing this process is at an early stage but the Parish Council will continue to make our case strongly for retention of this service.

Public transport and active travel surveys – have your say

The County Council has launched a survey on encouraging active travel – cycling and walking – closing date 7 November:

https://consultcambs.uk.engagementhq.com/active-travel-strategy-for-cambridgeshire-public-consultation

Accompanying the survey is a map of proposed schemes which includes routes from Willingham to Earith, to Haddenham via Aldreth, and to Rampton, plus an additional one to the Busway. These are new ‘tier 2’ routes that were added to previously identified ‘tier 1’ routes following responses to a previous survey. So it is important to respond – these views are listened to.

There will also be an important survey from the Greater Cambridge Partnership on plans for City Access – improved public transport and a road user charging scheme – from the end of October to December. Watch the Parish Council website and Facebook page for more information

Hanson and RSPB Reserve

At a recent meeting it was reported an increase in the number of birds nesting on the reserve including Glossy Ibis. There are also 8 Konik ponies from Wicken Fen. Maps were shown indicating walking routes from Over, Fen Drayton, Needingworth and Earith. Ones for Willingham will be published when new paths from the village have been established.

HCVs are banned from using the B1050 through Willingham between Earith and the Northstowe development. Any marked Hanson vehicles doing this should be reported to the company with at least the date and time and where they were travelling.

Public Hall

The previous edition of the newsletter gave details of a poll regarding the future of the public hall, owned by the people of the parish. We encourage you to register your views in the survey boxes around the village by 30th December.

Newsletter September 2022

Future of the Public Hall

Unusually, we are only going to highlight just one issue this month, but it is an important one. The Public Hall on the High Street was given to the Parish in 1896 and since that time has been a venue for many village societies and activities. However today, it is only regularly used by the Scouts, Beavers and Cubs and they do not feel it is suitable for their future needs.

So, there is a building which is expensive to maintain and in need of significant improvement. The Lead Councillor for Halls has recommended that we sell it and use the proceeds to help provide a more modern facility for multi-use in a better location.

But it is your building. It was given to the residents. The Parish Council simply maintain it from the taxes you pay, so it is your decision what we do.

Selling Pros and Cons

The arguments for selling are:

  • Even if empty, the building will cost over £2,000 per year to maintain
  • If occupied, significant funds will be needed for repairs and improvements
  • The interior layout is poor with no disabled access to the upper floor
  • It is situated on a busy road with no car park
  • It has very little outside space

The arguments against are:

  • It has been there a long time and has historic interest
  • The frontage is a distinctive feature in the High Street

The Decision is Yours

The Parish Council will be trying to gather as many views as possible to enable a decision to be made before the end of the year. You can make your views known by email to the Parish Clerk at clerk@willinghamparishcouncil.gov.uk or by letter or a visit to the Parish Office, West Fen Road or by telephone on 01954 261027.

We shall also be holding two drop-in sessions and two public meetings at which you can make your views known and recorded. These are;

Drop-in session at the Public Hall to view the building: Saturday 15 October: 10 – 11.30am

Public Meeting at the Ploughman Hall for questions and answers: 15 October: 2.30 – 4pm

Drop-in session at the Public Hall to view the building: Tuesday 18 October: 7 – 8.30pm

Public Meeting at the Ploughman Hall for questions and answers: 19 October: 7.30 – 9pm

For those unable to attend the drop-in sessions, there are some photographs available on the web https://willinghamparishcouncil.gov.uk/facilities/public-hall/ and at the parish office.

There will be suggestion boxes around the village at the Library, the Primary School, the Medical Centre, the Post Office, the Council Office and the Ploughman Hall in which you can post pre-printed cards with your preference. You can also come and make comments at any of our Parish Council meetings, the next full council meeting is in the Octagon at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 5th October.

CLOSING DATE FOR COMMENTS IS FRIDAY 30TH DECEMBER 2022

Please do tell us what you want us to do.

Newsletter August 2022

Footpath to the Community Orchard

Hopefully by September the new footpath to the community orchard plus the accompanying speed reduction measures will be complete. This is the culmination of a lot of work by the Parish Council that goes back to 2019 with our successful bid for an A14 legacy grant for the footpath. Unfortunately there were numerous delays while the complex specification was agreed and additional funding put in place. Following further discussions between the Parish and Highways, the scheme was extended to include the narrowing of Earith Road to 6.2m for the 80 metres of that new footpath, the 30mph signs being repositioned to the other side of the orchard entrance and an additional 40mph buffer zone added with new enhanced road markings. Not only will the orchard now be more accessible to residents, but there should be a reduction in speeding.

The Parish Council have regular quarterly meetings with the County Council regarding local Highways aspects of concern. Hopefully next month the hedges and trees can be cut back so they do not obstruct pedestrians or block the view of drivers or signage, which is an item regularly raised by our village road and pavement users.

Electric Cars and Local Charging Points

The Parish Council have been investigating the feasibility of placing electric car charging points within the village in order to serve those who have electric cars including those who can not easily charge their vehicles outside their properties. The Ploughman Hall car park is the best site for these, however since charging points are still evolving and would be costly for the parish, the Council would now like to have feedback from parishoners as to their interest and possible usage. If you would make use of these charging points were they to be put in place please email our Clerk.

Public Hall: its future

We have an amazing successful and growing Scout Group in Willingham, and lately this group have been the only regular frequent users of the Public Hall. However, they too are finding the Hall no longer fit for purpose. Although the Council have managed the property – installing new doors, heating, disabled toilet facilities and so on, the building continues to need Parish money spent on its upkeep. The Hall was bequeathed to the Willingham Parishoners with the Parish Council as custodians back in 1896 and it is the Parishoners who have to decide how we all move forward. Therefore, the Council will be arranging a public meeting to gather opinions and to ask the Parishoners if they feel the Hall should now be sold and a more useful alternative facility be built elsewhere.

LEAP: Local Energy Assistance Partnership Programme

The Council would again like to make the parish aware of this free programme specifically set up to assist the most vulnerable, at risk of or in fuel poverty. There are excellent energy advisors on hand who can give advice via the telephone or a home visit to both tenants and private residents in South Cambridgeshire.  Flyers can be found in local communal buildings. Direct contact can be made on line at: www.applyfor leap.org.uk; email at: support@applyforleap.org.uk or telephone 0800 060 7567.

Neighbourhood Watch Network

The Parish Council have been made aware of a revised newsletter: ‘Our News’, in which Neighbourhood Watch Supporters are inviting as many people as possible to promote their ‘Bystander Effect’ programme. Anyone from hairdressers, to schools, to individuals… are invited to join together to tackle anti-social behaviour both in public places or on line and to help keep everybody safe no matter who they may be. Please see #SaferCambs; ourwatch.org.uk for more information.

Newsletter July 2022

Local Transport & Connectivity Plan – Have Your Say before 4 August

There is new and important survey from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority on long-term strategy. Get more information and a short survey form at www.yourltcp.co.uk. It will guide all future transport projects in the region. For South Cambridgeshire it draws on the work already done by the Greater Cambridge Partnership on a proposed new bus network and on cycleways that the Parish Council and residents commented on last year. The Parish Council was highly critical (see January 2022 Willingham News).

It is really important that Willingham residents once again put their views, even if only in the general comments box – questions 8 and 9.  They will be read. The Parish Council’s priorities are a better public transport link to the Guided Busway – either a frequent shuttle service or some buses leaving the busway – and a bus to Cottenham. We also need more cycleways, especially to Cottenham but also to Over and Earith, and improvements to the narrow and dangerous shared use one to LongstantonMore information on the Parish Council website.

Flower Tubs

This summer the Parish Council has organised planting of the flower tubs around the village that were supplied last year by WAG with a community chest grant. The theme is red, white and blue in recognition of the Jubilee. Most of the plants were obtained from Haydens nursery in Mill Road at a discount, for which we are very grateful. Next year we hope to arrange some sponsorship. The Council is again indebted to our volunteer waterers without whom this would not be possible – Sue Shimmens, Paul and Carolyn Knighton, the Scouts and the Parish Clerk.”

Wolves Football Festival

Over two weekends in June, the Parish Council was able to host the ‘Football Festival’ on the Recreation Ground, which was organised by Willingham Wolves. It was the second largest such festival in East Anglia and a huge success., also hosting the largest girl’s tournament in the County. 272 teams participated involving 2228 players between the ages of 6 and 15. There were an estimated1500 spectators. This event really put Willingham on the football map.

Fen Gallop and Willingham Primary School Summer Fete

These events both took place on 2nd. July. The very popular ‘Fen Gallop’ involved around 400 runners in a10K and 4mile chipped timed run. Willingham Primary School Summer Fete took place later on that day.

These two events along with the football festival depended on the huge amount of work put in by teams of volunteers. It is very encouraging to see the Recreation Ground, being so well used.

Community Warden Scheme, Willingham and Over

Joanne Twinn of ‘Age UK’ is the Community Warden for Willingham and Over. Currently there are 4 people using this valuable service in Willingham.The work which is carried out is varied but tailored to the needs of the individuals concerned.

Joanne advertises the help which can be offered by the use of Posters and leaflets along with visiting ,Coffee Mornings, visits to ‘The Memory Box ‘Café which is run by Willingham Parish Church and links to the ‘Carers’ group at Willingham Medical Practice.

If you would like to talk with Joanne then contact her on; 07812496002.

Councillor Vacancies

 We currently have two Councillor vacancies. If you are interested in taking on such a role, then please contact the Parish Clerk, contact details below. New Councillors will be co-opted at the September Council Meeting.

Willingham Feast

More information about events will be in the September Magazine.The Fair is booked to be on the Green and open from, 29th. September to 2nd. October

Newsletter June 2022

Parish Council Casual Vacancies

There are two vacancies on the Council. As there were no requests for an election the Council is now free to co-opt a new councillor. If you would like to influence local decisions and support your community by joining the Council, please contact the office (see below) for more information and details of how to apply. The closing date for applications is the 31 August and any co-option will take place at the meeting of the Full Council on the 1 September.

Platinum Jubilee Picnic

The Parish Council donated funds for expenses required to run the Jubilee Picnic on the Recreation Ground. Despite the damp weather, there was a great turnout and those who braved the drizzle enjoyed the stalls, food, drink and displays, particularly the band Stone Cold Stumble who found it hard to get away. A succession of Councillors staffed a table where a map of Council owned properties and land was a useful conversation starter with many people now aware of where the Landing Ground is. The Council, on behalf of the whole village, are grateful for all the volunteers and particularly to Paul Knighton for the hard work (and worry) that went into organising what was a successful and unforgettable event.

Jubilee Bench

The Council purchased a commemorative bench for the Platinum Jubilee which has now been delivered, sadly too late for the actual day. However, a spot in the QEII field has been chosen and the bench will soon be installed ready for use by parents and walkers in need of a celebratory sit down.

Meadow Road Site Name

The Council have a field on Meadow Road which has been partly planted with trees and partly left as wild meadow. It is suitable for dogs and walks but currently lacks a memorable name. There was a suggestion box for a suitable name on the Council stall at the Jubilee Picnic and we are now extending the invitation to readers of the Willingham News – please submit your suggestions to the Parish Council office at the email address below.

Tennis and Netball Courts

As has already been reported, the project originally intended to provide a Multi-Use Games Area will now have a different flood-proof surface and therefore will no longer be usable as an all-season football pitch. This may still be addressed in the future as a separate facility. The planning application for the new courts has stalled because the planning officers requested a biodiversity report, and it has been difficult to find somebody suitable. We have now appointed an ecologist, and when that report is in, we will be resubmitting the application.

Annual Audit

At the end of May the Council has completed its required audit and the auditor found that all the relevant paperwork, policies and finance documentation were in place as required. Thanks are due once again to are capable, diligent, and competent office staff and Finance Officer who keep everything running smoothly and efficiently.

Minor Highways Improvement Scheme

As we had hoped, the bid we made for speed reduction and road safety improvements to the 30MPH section of the High Street has been accepted. The approved scheme has new speed roundels and dragon’s teeth road markings, along with raised central islands with hatching in three locations, and additional SLOW and warning signs with reduce speed now sub-plates. The County Council are still working on last year’s MHI schemes, so we have yet to hear of an anticipated date for the installation. We do not expect it to happen until 2023.

Newsletter May 2022

Willingham Surgery

Representatives of Willingham Surgery (and the Longstanton branch) gave a short presentation to the Parish Council at the April meeting, also attended by several parishioners. It was well received. The PC had received many comments regarding the perceived poor service from the practice following the pandemic and recent lifting of restrictions. Much of this was felt to be due to the impact of Northstowe. However, figures presented at the meeting showed that while the proportion of Northstowe patients had increased over the past few years, this was compensated by removal of patients in other areas such as Bar Hill and Cottenham. Overall patient numbers had increased by 22% and staff by 24%.

The presentation explained that Willingham Surgery, in common with most in the country, continues to be affected by the pandemic particularly in relation to isolation requirements. Due to the nature of the business, infection of a member of staff or their family prevents them attending the surgery. Also, they are restricting numbers attending the surgery to reduce potential spread of the virus. Other challenges include dealing with the covid backlog, and increased transfer of work from secondary care.  They are aware of long waits to answer phone calls, but little can be done as all calls need to be answered by the receptionists and their complexity varies greatly.

Waiting times to get appointments was raised as a major concern and the practice was focusing on reducing them, trialling new formats. For urgent cases, there are some appointments available on each day with others within 48 hours once the initial allocations have been filled. The current wait for a regular appointment is 14 days or so.

The surgery page in the newsletter covers these points in more detail, and they are planning an open meeting in the Octagon in mid May. Hopefully many residents with issues will be able to attend to make their comments. We will invite the practice to come to a future meeting to outline progress on these issues.

Roads and Traffic

It has been proposed that the temporary road closure of Thoday’s Close at the school arrival and closing times be made permanent. This will pedestrianize the road with non-residents vehicles prohibited between 8.30-9.30am and 2.45-3.30pm Monday-Friday, term time only. The proposed privatisation of parking offences will help to enforce this.

The footpath to the Community Orchard should proceed soon. This will include the 40mph buffer zone extending some 400m beyond the bridleway. Hopefully this will also include repairs to the potholes at the start of the bridleway, though it has been noted that this isn’t really a parking area so there is no requirement for this to be done.

Road markings repairs such as at the traffic lights and along Berrycroft are probably going to be carried out this summer. Yellow lines are under review and are unlikely to be repaired or extended until the result of the application to decriminalise it which is unlikely to be before the end of next year.

As roadside bushes and hedges are starting to grow, can residents please ensure the footpaths are accessible to all by cutting back where needed to not block pedestrian and wheelchair passage.

We continue to monitor traffic using the SIDs (Speed Indicating Devices) currently on Station Road and Earith Road. These give warnings when traffic is speeding and log dates and times of traffic flows. Results from these devices since 2018 can be found at: http://roadwatch.org.uk/Cambs/Willingham/index.html

Cemetery

The removal of the footpath on the northern side of the cemetery has resulted in an additional 20 burial places. Whilst this will help most immediate needs, we still require an additional location to meet future demand. We are examining potential locations but will be interested if we could be told of any suitable and available sites

Meetings

The next meeting of the council on 4th May is the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council at which the chairman, committee members and lead councillors are elected, and various procedures are agreed. This is followed on 18th May, by the Annual Parish meeting at which various organisations give presentations and accounts of their activities.

Newsletter April 2022

The Surgery:

Disappointment was expressed at the parish council meeting in March that another new phase of development had been announced for Northstowe with still no plans for a medical centre. Concerns were raised that the surgery in Willingham was struggling to cope with more than ten thousand patients now registered at a facility built over twenty years ago for a village, at that time, of three thousand.

District Councillor, Bill Handley, said that the problems were county wide and caused by Covid and not Northstowe and that he had been assured by the surgery that they could handle the additional numbers. This statement was questioned by several parish councillors, one of whom cited their own experience in being unable to get a doctor’s appointment in under five weeks and having to wait over an hour and a half on the telephone to get a reply.

Councillor Handley agreed to make further enquiries and report back.   

Cycle Ways:

Plans are underway for expansion of the cycle network in Cambridgeshire. Sadly, they will not help Willingham as the focus will be on direct links (spokes) into Cambridge. The need for cross links was emphasised to County Councillor, Neil Gough. In particular Willingham lacked direct routes to Cottenham and Over. Cycle use in Willingham was not great mainly due to the volume of traffic and the lack of safe routes.

Councillor Gough noted the concerns but said it was unlikely that anything would happen before at least 2024. In answer to a separate question, he said that he would check on whether the planned upgrade to the B1050 would provide a cycle route to the north of the village.     

Jubilee Arrangements:

The parish council was delighted to hear of plans for a Jubilee family picnic on the QE2 field on Sunday, June 5 and agreed to help with some funding. They also agreed to help with proposals from the WI for a new bench on the village green and provide a second bench on the QE2 field.   

Environment and Sustainability:

The parish council continues to look at ways of improving their carbon footprint. Two schemes are being considered. The first, which is well advanced, is replacement of the pavilion lighting with LEDs. The second, which is still at an exploratory stage, is provision of an electric vehicle charging point near to the Ploughman Hall. It would be interesting to know if residents have any views on this second proposal. If you do, please send a brief email to the clerk at the address shown below.

Meetings:

Meeting arrangements are now more or less back to normal with a little extra spacing. The next full council meeting will be in the Octagon at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 6th April.

Newsletter February 2022

Roads and Byways

Many residents in Willingham are very aware of the floods and drainage problems we have periodically here, and some serious worries have been voiced. Much as the Parish Council would like to see roads and gutters cleared more frequently, we have to be guided by the central office’s schedules which are these days much reduced due to cost cutting and staffing issues. We could do some things to help, for example try to stop fly tipping in the ditches which our farmers work so hard to keep clear and free-flowing. Closer to home, if there is a neighbour who needs assistance clearing leaves to be sure they do not block drains – then that would be a helpful thing to do. Meanwhile, taking all our own litter home, or putting it in one of the many bins around should a sensible and kind habit.

Also subject to centrally resourced operations are the Highways department repairs. Berrycroft and Over Road have been on a schedule for a long while now but the latest information is that both may be actioned this April.

Amenities

As the village has grown to around 5,000, so has the need for places to participate in essential recreational and social activities. The Parish Council is aware that there are not enough fields for regular sports which we are happy to know are very popular. Down West Fen the seasonal bowls club will reopen as will the cricket club. Meanwhile there is a successful under 6’s football club and growing women’s numbers to include in our 300 strong footballers registered here. Willingham has twelve teams that play in Cambridge leagues. The Parish Council would be very pleased if anyone knows of suitable land that could be bought and annexed to our facilities.

One building owned by Willingham is the Victorian built Parish Hall on the High Street. The scouts are the only group that now use the Hall, but they too are struggling to feel it is fit for purpose in its current condition, so discussions will be held soon as to how to move forward.

Willingham in Bloom!

To date our fantastic WAG’s funds have covered much of the expense of our six village flower tubs. The costs of replanting from 2022 will need to be funded differently so any sponsorship ideas and offers will be welcome. Additional tubs would be a great addition to our village. Although visible from the street, they would need to be placed on private or agreed areas of land. The theme for this summer’s tub planting we intend to be red, white, and blue to celebrate our Queen’s Jubilee, and if more village flower displays would like to follow that idea – wouldn’t it look amazing!

Parish Councillor Vacancies

Elections for Parish Councillors here in Willingham this May are not needed, however there are vacancies on the council. We welcome Deborah Ramsden who was co-opted at the full parish council meeting in February, which still at the time of writing, leaves two more places to be filled. If you are interested in serving the community as a Councillor, then please contact the office. In a village which has grown it would be good to have a full team working on behalf of our village.

Newsletter January 2022

As we move into the final weeks of winter the Parish Council hopes residents have had a joyous festive season and a happy new year. It gives us a chance to look forward to the year of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with excitement and ambition but it is also a chance to reflect on the positive things the Parish Council have been doing over the last 12 months.

Environment and Sustainability

Last year, Environment and Sustainability issues were given a regular agenda item with two dedicated councillors as we endeavoured to fight back against climate change issues. We have made several progressions in this area. Flower tubs have been installed around the village including on the village green. These beautiful displays have been very well received and look very pretty. We encourage as many parishioners as possible to walk around the village and view them.

Another place to visit is our recently acquired Barton’s Field which was generously donated to us last year. The council have been awarded a grant for hedge planting to reinforce the beauty of the area, a lovely place for family and dog walks. We have also had grant funding received for a wildflower strip on the QEII Field to increase and improve biodiversity and wildlife as it provides homes and food for insects in the form of leaves, nectar, and pollen.

Ploughman Hall

The long-awaited heating project has been completed in the Ploughman Hall in a move that will not only save money but will make for a more pleasant inside experience for users. In addition to this, the new heating system will be much kinder to the environment. The project was funded as a result of the successful Zero Carbon Community Grant application made by our Environment and Sustainability councillors and S106 monies.

Leisure and Amenities

Work is still continuing with the MUGA (multi-use games area) on the Recreation Ground and the Council will be resubmitting an improved application over the coming months. We are looking forward to seeing this project come to fruition. Last year also saw new equipment put in place at the QEII fields which have since been enjoyed by many.

The FA had kindly donated a defibrillator to be sited at the Pavilion which has enabled the council to place a new defibrillator elsewhere. Therefore, to add to our defib sites at the Pavilion and the library, in the coming months there will be one placed at the primary school alongside our ongoing project to install another located in the high street phone box. We hope that by doubling our defibrillator capacity, the additional services could make the difference in saving a life.

Cemetery

Work has been carried out to increase available space for burials in the cemetery; including hedge works and reclaimed land via the removal of a pathway that has since been seeded and grassed. Despite this, we are becoming more and more limited in terms of burial plots, and we have been looking for a new site. If anyone is aware of land for sale that may be suitable for a new cemetery, then please get in touch with the Parish Council.

Roads and Speeding

The Parish Council have been working in collaboration with the police, the county council, and our MP Lucy Frazer on the issue of speeding and traffic in the village. Data from our speed loggers indicates that on average nearly 70% of vehicles are exceeding the 30mph limits. After a strong bid, worked on by the council and supported by Lucy Frazer and our local councillors; we have been successful in our bid for a minor highways improvement scheme which means that we will see improvements on Earith Road to try and encourage slower driving speeds entering and leaving the village. These changes are currently due to start next month.

Newsletter December 2021

Parish Council Casual Vacancy

Following the resignation announced last month, there is now a vacancy on the Council. As there were no requests for an election the Council is now free to co-opt a new councillor. If you would like to influence local decisions and support your community by joining the Council, please contact the office (see below) for more information and details of how to apply. It is expected that the co-option will take place at the meeting of the Full Council on the 12 January.

Orchard Footpath and Speed Limit

We first applied to the A14 Legacy Fund in April 2019 for a project to create a footpath to the Community Orchard. This would provide pedestrian access without encroaching on the private roadway alongside Earith Road. The project was approved some time ago but there has been a long delay in implementation whilst the Highways Department considered whether a proposed change to the speed limit would be included in the same works. Happily, this has now been agreed. The 30 MPH limit will be extended northwards to cover the new footpath, and a 40 MPH buffer zone will be added to encourage motorists to slow down when entering the village. The construction is planned for January next year and it is expected that the B1050 will be closed during the works.

Environment Issues

Last year we successfully applied to the SCDC Zero Carbon Communities grant for £13,000 towards low carbon heating of the Ploughman Hall. This has now been installed and provides a much more controllable source of heating, which is not only more efficient but will cut down on wasteful heating of unused spaces in the building.

This year we made a joint application with the Willingham Action Group for funds to create a wildflower strip at the edge of the QEII and to add a hedge to Barton Field. We were again successful and accepted a grant of £4160 which, along with £3000 of section 106 money (dedicated to open space development), will see these projects proceed soon.

Multi-Use Games Area

Planning for the combined netball and tennis games area to be constructed on the Recreation ground behind the bowling green is progressing well and an application has now been submitted to Greater Cambridge. If anybody wishes to look at it in detail, it is available to view on the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning portal as application 21/04517/FUL.

Greater Cambridge Local Plan

The consultation for the Greater Cambridge Local Plan has begun and runs until the 13 December. Although there are no direct implications for Willingham, the District Council are still keen to hear the opinions of residents. For more information and to make any comments, see the website at www.greatercambridgeplanning.org/localplan.

Cemetery

The planned work to level the uneven ground in the cemetery has had to be postponed because of adverse weather conditions. Remedial work to repair and then add a fence on top of the small wall between the cemetery and the closed Churchyard is being investigated by South Cambs District Council whose responsibility it is. They are working with the Ely Diocese and the parish Church to form an action plan.

Newsletter November 2021

 Parish Council

The parish council has co-opted 2 new residents. They are Maedee Rogers and James Welton who both not only have a keen interest in the village but also considerably reduce the average age of the council. We welcome them both and look forward to their involvement.

We still have one councillor vacancy following the resignation of Andrew Cook. Andrew has served on the council for many years including several as chairman and leading committees. Andrew brought a wealth of experience and knowledge of the village and its history, and this will be much missed. We wish him every success in the future.

Traffic

The Parish Council has had meetings with our MP, Lucy Frazer, together with the County Council Highways department regarding the traffic issues particularly on the B1050 and discussed our proposals for the Local Highways Initiative (LHI) bid this year. Although the volume of traffic was greatly reduced during the lockdown periods, it is now back to near the previous levels. We have monitored the volumes and speed of vehicles along Earith Road, Station Road in both 30mph and 40 mph areas, and also along Rampton Road south of Newington. In all locations speeds have averaged somewhat over the limit and occasionally been over 100mph. were discussed

Along Earith Road, the footpath to the community orchard is scheduled to go ahead early next year. This will reduce the width of the highway to 6.2 metres, just above the legal minimum, and move the 30mph signs slightly further out together with 40mph signs to create a buffer zone. We hope this will be effective and will monitor the traffic to compare with previous results.

Our LHI bid this year will be to add road markings in various locations along the B1050 to create apparent narrow lanes to encourage lower speeds. We have also identified several locations in the village to plan for future bids. Depending on the development of our current proposals together with the orchard footpath, we will look at these options and decide which to progress further.

Public Transport

Our County Councillor’s report highlights improved public transport schemes planned for Greater Cambridge. This will include longer operating hours and greater frequency. It also promises additional routes, but none appear to include Willingham. We have asked again that links to Cottenham must be created, and a frequent service to the local guided busway, as promised in the initial development proposals, seems to have been forgotten. Also, when the repairs to Shelford Road alongside the river have been completed, the route to Somersham could be reinstated.

Haden Way Development

Meetings have been held regarding the development of 64 homes south of Haden Way. Bill Handley, our District Councillor, together with members of the parish council, the CEO of SCDC, planning and enforcement officers have had separate meetings with representatives of the residents and with the developers, which were very informative. Ways of resolving issues were discussed and SCDC will present their conclusions within a week of the meetings.

Cemetery

Over time, the ground has sunk in various parts of the cemetery. Not only has this made maintenance difficult, including mowing the grass, but could be hazardous to visitors. Warning sign have been put in place. The parish council has approved works to remedy this which should take place in the near future. Also, the hedge on the northern boundary is to be cut back which should allow for several more burial plots, extending the life of the cemetery.

Newsletter October 2021

Buses and cycleways in and around Willingham.

This document was sent to Lucy Frazer MP. The cycleways section also formed part of the Parish Council’s submission to the Cambridgeshire Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) survey, and to the Greater Cambridge Partnership ‘Cycling Plus’ consultation.

Buses

Willingham is poorly served at present, with no services at all to the North or East of the village and a limited service to the South and West. The existing service, the Citi 5 from Bar Hill, links Willingham to Longstanton, Over and Swavesey, but direct buses between Willingham and the Busway at Longstanton run only every two hours on weekdays and not in the evenings, and not at all on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

We badly need an additional service to provide connectivity among all local villages for employment, leisure and social purposes and to access facilities such as shops and village colleges, and improved access to the Busway and thus Cambridge and St Ives. The most useful route would link Willingham with Swavesey, Over, Longstanton, Rampton and Cottenham, serving a total population of around 20,000. Various routes would be possible with the simplest probably Cottenham-Rampton-Willingham-Longstanton-Over-Swavesey-Over-Longstanton-Willingham-Rampton-Cottenham. This would be a journey of about one hour in total.

If the new service was required to also replace the existing Citi 5, the route would need to include Bar Hill.

Cycleways around Willingham

Willingham is extremely badly served by cycleways compared to other local villages. It currently has just one – south along Station Road to the guided busway at Longstanton along the very busy B1050. It is welcome and heavily used, but urgently in need of improvement. It is very narrow in places and the shared-use with pedestrians and numerous exits from driveways make it often awkward and even hazardous at times. It also provides access to the fast-growing town of Northstowe.

There is much connectivity between Willingham and surrounding villages so cycleways are also needed in other directions, for employment, leisure and social purposes and to access facilities such as shops and village colleges. In particular:

East to Rampton. The majority of secondary school pupils at Willingham attend Cottenham Village College, which is also an Adult Education Centre. It is the other side of Rampton and the road between Willingham and Rampton is narrow and winding and carries fast-moving traffic. There is an indirect cycle route via Station Road, the busway and Reynolds Drove but the Station Road part is inadequate as described above, and this route adds over a third to the distance. Another option for a new cycleway is along Iram Drove and Cow Lane, which is an existing backroad but with a very poor surface. Beyond Rampton there is an existing cycleway to Cottenham, which links to other cycleways into Cambridge.

West to Over. Willingham and Over are closely linked and there are numerous trips between them, e.g. Over residents use Willingham library and the Coop and other shops, and facilities.  This contributes to increased traffic in Willingham. The current road is fast and narrow with a semi-blind summit.

North to Earith – this is the only river crossing for 10 km in each direction and opens up connections to all the towns and villages to the North, such as Ely. The current B1050 is very dangerous for cyclists, as it is a speeding blackspot and carries a large number of HGVs. It is due for an upgrade and a cycleway from the centre of Willingham must be part of that project.

Willingham is linked to both Over and Earith by public bridleways/footpaths that are partly paved, which could be upgraded to cycleways at less cost than along the roads.

Newsletter August 2021

Parish Facilities and Events

As with all village facilities, shops and spaces, we ask that everyone continues to keep as safe as they can and observe what is asked without question. Hopefully the pandemic is turning a corner but it will be up to us to help keep it that way. Meanwhile, the Ploughman Hall, Public Hall along with all recreational facilities are due to reopen with some Covid measures still in place, so it would be good if everyone supported at least one local club or society which all need our input – not only to help rejuvenate village life but to enhance our own wellbeing.

Also, South Cambs are promoting their tourism website ‘Visit South Cambs’ and would like to hear about any events run by local independent retailers and others operating in the tourist sector, for example galleries, gift shops, artisanal bakeries. On that website, follow the link: ‘sign up free of charge’.

Concessionary Bus Passes

As we are moving about more and making use of the bus services through Willingham it may be time to check bus passes are in date. It is now possible to renew the pass on line six weeks before it expires using a direct link: bit.ly/camborobuspass . Alternatively, a form can be accessed online at Free Bus Passes – CPCA Transport (cambridgeshirepeterborough-ca.gov.uk) However, if more help is needed there is a telephone number to call on the back of the old pass.

Willingham Supplementary Flood Plan

Following the floods at the end of last year, Willingham Parish Council are currently reinforcing their existing flood plan. One of the routes the Council is looking at will be possibly forming a small flood management team and recruiting residents to act as neighbourhood support volunteers. 

It is hoped to be able to divide the village into zones so that when a risk of flood is highlighted, the management team would be activated and would co-ordinate the neighbourhood support volunteers. The volunteers would notify residents in a particular zone at risk of flooding and distribute advisory information where appropriate.  By dividing the village this way, it is hoped that more people can be reached but in order to achieve this, volunteers will be needed to support the plan.

If you would like to be involved as either a member of the management team or as a neighbourhood support volunteer or would like more information then please forward your details to the Parish Clerk on email@willinghampc.org.uk or telephone 01954 261027

Willingham Footpaths, Roads and Boundaries

Now that the boundary changes have been agreed pushing further west around the Over Road area and south towards the guided busway, new signage is being organised to show where the Willingham boundary begins. This does not, however impact on our efforts to maintain the green spaces between our housing line and neighbouring villages.

                    Some permanent signs are not easily visible since trees and hedges have had a summer growth spurt so if these were pruned by owners that would be good, as would the chopping back of hedges that may be making our essential footpaths dangerous. 

                    The B1050 Shelford Road has been long in the planning, not least the remaining pathway needed to reach our Community Village Orchard. SCDC Highways have issued a notice that this is likely to commence on 6th September. There will be road closures linked with these changes so everyone’s cooperation will be helpful, and be forewarned so that extra time is planned into your journeys during that week.

Green Energy and LEAP Advice

At Green Energy Switch there is a free scheme called LEAP which runs in partnership with Peterborough City Council, South Cambridgeshire Council and Rutland County Council to bring free energy support to residents struggling with

fuel poverty. The statistics showing how much money and energy has been saved by over 400 supported residents are impressive, not least the total saving of 1463.5 tonnes of carbon!

                    Home visits are due to resume in September, so you can email: emma.deaton@greenenergyswitch.co.uk, and online at: Apply – LEAP – The energy and money saving service (applyforleap.org.uk) or use the free phone service: 0800 0607567

Newsletter July 2021

Police and Community Liaison Meeting.

At a recent meeting, two items in particular were highlighted.

The first involves Scams as it seems that we are in the middle of a massive wave of fraud.

Sadly, Scammers are working hard trying to steal both your money and identity.

Many of them operate outside UK jurisdiction, as they operate from overseas.

They particularly target older victims with three million cases a year, costing in excess of five billion pounds.

Forty per cent of these victims are targeted five times or more. Texting scams are also on the rise on younger age groups.

Some of the scams are extremely sophisticated, using what seem to be genuine logos, government departments, recognisable ‘phone numbers, delivery firms and so on.

If you are not sure that something is genuine then hold back, check it out if you can, put the ‘phone down or delete an email.

The elderly among us may need your help, so if concerns are raised, please talk to them.

More advice is available at Cambridge and Peterborough Against Scams Partnership (CAPASP)

The next item is Speedwatch as the Police are keen to step this up within the area, using Community volunteers.

If you are interested in volunteering contact them by email at;  Speedwatch@cambs.pnn.police.uk

Summer Holidays.

We are pleased that Cambridge County Council have agreed to provide Supermarket Vouchers over the Summer Holidays

for families with children who receive free school meals.

This is much needed support for those families, especially in the current situation.

Minor Highways Bid.

Last year a bid was put into CCC. to create a speed reduction buffer zone along Earith Road.

We very narrowly missed the granting of this.

We are putting in another bid this year supported by data gathered from traffic speed monitoring,

using our own M.V.A.’s to warn and monitor speed, pollution and sound monitoring tests.

We are pleased that Mick George vehicles now travel at 20 m.p.h. through the village.

The proposal is to gradually slow down traffic coming south, and prevent traffic going north accelerating too much well before the 60 m.p.h.

Footpath to the Orchard

The Footpath to ‘The Orchard’ is an A 14 legacy grant, which is moving on slowly with C.C.C.

who hope to have preliminary design work in place, in the next few months.

If as we hope, the Minor Highways Bid is successful, these two measures will considerably improve safety along Earith Road.

South Cambridgeshire CHILD and FAMILY CENTRES.

S.C.D.C. have one of these centres in Northstowe, which provides support for parents and families as children grow up.

At Northstowe you will find for example, Stay and Play sessions, Baby Group, Messy Play Pop Up and other resources and workshops for older children.

They also run a programme called ‘Bookstart Corner.’

For information contact;

Northstowe Child and Family Zone

Northstowe Community Wing

Pathfinder School

Northstowe.

CB24 1AA

Tel:01954 284672

Email:  ChildAndFamilyCentre.South@cambridgeshire.gov.uk

 Zero Carbon Communities Grant Application 2021.

The Parish Council is putting in an application under the ‘Trees and Nature’ category in collaboration with WAG. The application will be to establish a Wildflower Strip on the QE11 Field and hedging on the northern boundary of Barton Field. An ecologist is being consulted about a biodiversity survey, to provide context for the proposal. Initial research has already been undertaken to consider suitable plants/trees and costings involved. Community involvement is also planned in collaboration with Willingham Library.

Dog Fouling on the Recreation Ground.

Someone is persistently allowing their dogs to foul the Recreation Ground late at night.

This is unpleasant for other users and is a health risk to anyone using the pitches.

We therefore ask them to desist from this and remind them that there are several

‘Dog Waste Bins’ around the village. These are emptied each week.

Newsletter June 2021

Newsletter June 2021

Anti-Social Behaviour

The Ploughman Hall has again been the subject of various reports of anti-social behavior, including trees whose bark was stripped away, which leaves them seriously vulnerable to disease as well as criminal damage to CCTV cameras and intimidating behaviour towards parishioners. Following correspondence with the Parish Council, police patrols in the area have been increased and they remain vigilant on this issue while investigating all reported crimes. While the council and our police liaison continue to work alongside the police as much as possible, we urge you to contact the police if you witness any anti-social behavior.

As the weather improves and the hot summer days arrive once again, we will all be out and about more than ever as families, children and our older residents enjoy the easing of COVID restrictions. It is imperative that everyone feels safe at all times in our wonderful local community and that anti-social behavior is firmly opposed, no matter what kind it is. We do not want a repeat of the summer of 2019, which was very distressing for many parishioners.

COVID-19 and Outdoor Spaces

With national restrictions easing, the Ploughman Hall and Pavilion are starting to open up more and more to regular users although sadly we are not yet in a position to be able to make these venues available for party hire etc. However, we look forward to opening the doors for these types of events in the future. With usage of the neighbouring QE II Field increasing as we move into the summer months, please make sure all current guidelines are being followed and that people are acting appropriately. Unfortunately we have had some incidents of people leaving soiled nappies in the play park, so we would like to remind everyone to take these items home with them as well as being responsible in respect to littering.

As part of the COVID-19 pandemic recovery, The WEA: Adult Learning Within Reach is offering an excellent service to Willingham residents. The WEA provides support and learning for people who face barriers in returning to education, job search or work. They have extensive experience working with people from all walks of life who are facing multiple barriers and helping those people realise their personal and professional goals. If you are not currently working or engaged in education/training and feel like you have lost some of your confidence since the pandemic started then they can support you to: Rebuild your confidence and help you to recognise your potential. Plan your next career move. Move into job searching if you are thinking about returning to the workplace. Develop your CV and prepare for interviews. Apply for further education and training. This fantastic support service is open to anyone over the age of 15 and we encourage anyone who could benefit to get in contact with WEA.

Contact details are as follows; Tanis Paulin, 07385 463335, tpaulin@wea.org.uk.

All-weather Sports Facilities on the Recreation Ground

Following the winter flooding, sadly our plans for an all-weather multi-use games area (MUGA) on the lower rec were found to no longer be feasible as the proposed sand-dressed surface would have been badly damaged. However, that surface was a compromise to cater for three main sports – football, tennis and netball – but ideal for none. We now have an improved and revised plan that splits the project into two, with a hard permeable tarmac type surface for tennis and netball at the location of the original MUGA which occasional flooding would not harm, and a 3G rubber crumb football pitch on the upper rec that simply replaces one of the grass pitches. While this will be more costly it has many advantages and it may be easier to attract grant funding.

Council Meetings

The Council is delighted to welcome two newly co-opted councillors, Simon Clark and Andrew Cook, following our most recent full council meeting. Andrew has rejoined us while our newest councillor, Simon, has been appointed as the Deputy Lead for Leisure and Amenities. We would also like to take this opportunity to welcome our new County Councillor Neil Gough to the parish and we look forward to working closely alongside him and all our other elected officials on the important issues that we, as a village, face. Additionally, our deepest gratitude and appreciation must also be expressed to the departing County Councillor Tim Wotherspoon for all of his dedicated service, candid humor and particularly for his efforts to address flooding and climate change during the past four years. We wish him all the best going forward.

After 13 months of online Zoom meetings, the Council have now returned to physical meetings which are currently being held in the larger venue of the Ploughman Hall for the full council or the Octagon for committees, this is due to social distancing guidelines. The date for the next meeting is the 7th July – at a venue to be confirmed.

Newsletter May 2021

Parish Council Elections

Parish Councillors are elected for a term of four years, but this time the election was called a year early because of the change of boundary which made Willingham slightly larger after the incorporation of what was part of Longstanton. To keep future elections in synchronisation, the next election will be in five years’ time in 2026.

There were only 11 nominations for the 15 seats on the Parish Council, so no vote was called and all nominees were elected. We welcome back two former Councillors: Jamie Smith and Jo Pilsworth. The remaining positions can be filled by co-option but as there has just been an election, and unlike the case of casual vacancies arising mid-term, there is no immediate timescale to do this. Anybody who is interested can contact the Clerk for further details.

Several councillors decided not to stand, and I am extremely grateful to all those who have left for volunteering their time, effort, and skills for the benefit of the community, often with little thanks. In particular, I wish to mention Ray Manning, whose knowledge of the village, experience of local government, generous support, and tireless work on our behalf will be sorely missed.

Annual Meeting of the Parish Council

Annual Meeting of the Parish Council

The Annual Meeting of the Parish Council, which appoints the chair, vice chair and lead councillors, will be held on the 18 May. The Government legislation which permitted remote meetings has ended and will not be extended, so this will be a physical meeting held with social distancing requirements in the Ploughman Hall. Parishioners can attend, but will need to wear masks and numbers are limited by the space available.

School Run Parking – Mill Road

The parking restrictions on Thodays Close and Long Lane during school drop-off and collection are a welcome contribution to the safety of the children. However, can we please ask those who do still arrive by car to be considerate in their parking. We have had several complaints from the residents of Mill Road who have been unable to leave their houses or exit the road because of badly parked vehicles. As lockdown eases and more people return to work, please think of the access required when parking.

Flooding – Anglian Water Meeting

After the numerous flooding incidents over Christmas, the Parish Council arranged a multi-agency remote meeting with representatives from Anglian Water (AW), Cambridgeshire County Council (responsible for highways and flooding) and South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC), along with Willingham residents with experience of drainage and water supplies. A large team from AW attended. They detailed the unprecedented, sustained rainfall during the period which coincided with already saturated land and extremely high water tables. There was a blockage of the sewer on Church Street by the green and a collapsed culvert by the Guided Busway. They have yet to establish the causes of the problems in Westfield and Bourneys Manor Close/Covent Garden.

There were very many incidents across the region. Willingham has been put on their list of areas meriting a full investigation, which is planned to take place between August 2021 and May 2022. There were several failings acknowledged: the slow, and initially misplaced, remedy of the Church Street blockage; the absence of a point of contact at the County Council and slow response of the Highways Department; the lack of communications with AW and AW’s patchy historical records of the drainage system in Willingham. We now have contact details for AW and promises of better communications. The County Council will have better coverage during holidays. Some of our questions remain unanswered, particularly those regarding the capacity of the current foul and surface water drainage and its ability to deal with future deluges and future development, and we continue to engage with AW to find these answers. Other answers will not be known until after the investigation.

Multi-Use Games Area

Our plans for the MUGA have been delayed by the exceptional weather this winter. The flooding in January would have destroyed the proposed surface and has made us think again about both the positioning and surfaces. We are continuing to work hard on this project.

Environmental Issues

In conjunction with the WAG sustainability group, we are making progress with plans for the strip of wildflowers along the edge of the QEII Field but, as with many things, the key is good preparation which can take time. Progress with another joint project, tubs of flowers around the village, is faster and if the weather does finally warm up there will be a few around the village in June.

The Parish Council owns a small triangle of land about two miles to the north of the village, near the Old West (aka the Great Ouse) where boats used to be unloaded. We are hoping that this can be included in our biodiversity plans and we have been in contact with the ’New Life on the Old West’ project.

The deadline for applications for an SCDC Zero Carbon Communities grant is fast approaching. Last year we were very successful, winning £13,000 towards low carbon heating of the Ploughman Hall (to be installed once we have the matching funding from the Glebe Field development), so we are thinking about something more modest this year, under one of the categories of: community buildings, biodiversity or that old favourite ‘other’.

Newsletter April 2021

Elections 

As you know there will be elections on 6 May. You will only be required to vote during the Parish Council election if there are sixteen or more eligible candidates otherwise the election is non-contested and those who apply are appointed. If you want to stand you can obtain guidance and nomination papers from the electoral commission website https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/candidate-or-agent/parish-council-elections-england but beware as by the time this Willingham News goes out you will have very little time left to submit your nomination: they must be returned to SCDC by 4pm on 8 April. For more information about Willingham Parish Council go to our website, click on ‘Documents’ then ‘Policies & Procedures’, and select ‘Who we are and what we do’ and ‘Why become a councillor’. 

Drainage Problems 

A huge amount of work has gone into trying to understand exactly what went wrong over the Christmas period. The parish council is grateful for the considerable assistance received from our county and district councillors and, in particular, our local experts who have the detailed knowledge to ask probing questions and are part of the working group that has now been formed. 

We are being repeatedly told that the underlying causes were due to the exceptionally wet weather. This was clearly a major factor but if climate change predictions are correct, we will need infrastructure that can cope with wetter winters and hotter summers. A major failing appears to be poor communication from Anglian Water. The parish council is working hard to improve that and has a meeting scheduled with them in April. 

Recreation Ground 

The recreation ground was severely affected by the very wet weather, with extensive flooding. We have had discussions with the Environment Agency regarding the lode, and are working on getting the under-pitch drainage pipes cleaned out. We are also exploring ways of remedying the lack of sports pitch provision in Willingham. It is currently well below the SCDC requirement. 

Parish Carbon Footprint Tool 

The Centre for Sustainable Energy has produced a community level carbon footprint tool available at https://impact-tool.org.uk. You can search for Willingham’s carbon footprint and compare it to others from around the country. The aim is to enable communities to look at ways of reducing their footprint. To get more information, click on ‘Council’ on the Parish Council website and select ‘Environment’. 

Willingham in Flower 

In conjunction with the WAG Environment Group the Council is working on two new initiatives – turning unused ground at the QEII field into a wildflower meadow and coordinating tubs of flowers at various locations in the village, hopefully with the help of village groups and local businesses. 

The B1050 

The parish council has been pressing for some years for a permanent solution to the poor surface in the section of the B1050 north of the village along the river bank. Thanks to hard work by our county councillor, the county council have responded with a major scheme to totally rebuild that section of road. It will certainly be an improvement but is not the complete answer. Willingham desperately needs a bypass and should have had one before construction began at Northstowe. The danger is that by simply improving the B1050 to the north of the village we will have even more cars, vans and HGVs coming down the High Street day and night. 

Anti-Social Behaviour 

There have been reports of youths gathering in the Ploughman hall car park in the late evening and causing noise and general nuisance. The police have been informed and asked to increase patrols in the area. If you do witness ASB please report it. Single reports may not carry huge weight but the cumulative effect does. We do not want a repeat of the summer of 2019. 

Meetings 

It is not yet clear when physical meetings will resume but for April they will remain on Zoom. These will include the Full Parish Council meeting on April 7 and the Annual Parish Meeting on April 28 plus any Planning Meetings that are needed at a new starting time of 6.30. You are welcome to join any of these with joining instructions available from the parish clerk and listed on the appropriate agenda.

Newsletter March 2021

Flooding and Drainage Issues in Willingham

Over the past few weeks Willingham has experienced issues with flooding and sewage in parts of the village. The Parish Council has been liaising with the County and District Councils with regards to gullies and ditch clearance and has been advised that those in need of clearing will be done as soon as possible. In addition, there has been frequent interaction with Anglian Water who believe they have resolved the issue of the sewage leak in Church Street and Green Street, although further leakages have come to light in other village locations.

The current sewage capacity, future maintenance and upgrade by Anglian Water have been issues we need addressing. Our MP Lucy Frazer has also been made aware of our issues, plus the District Council Environmental Health team at SCDC have been contacted to liaise and resolve the problems as quickly as possible. We would encourage all residents experiencing problems with their foul water to contact Anglian Water directly as well. The February Council meeting was well attended by parishioners and the Council welcomed and appreciated their input. We are hopeful that now we have requested a multi-agency meeting between the PC, CCC, SCDC and Anglian Water, we can start a discussion on how we can resolve this in the long term. The village will be updated via the website.

Community Plan

As described in December News, the 2008 Community Parish Plan is due to be revised and updated to show the needs of the changes within the parish. Such a Community Plan has no set content since it can reflect whatever the community identifies as important. Following the call for volunteers – ideally seeking a wide variety of individuals who could work together and focus on the village needs – we can now move forward and more will be published on this. It takes a lot of work at all levels so an army of helpers will be called for at different times and I am sure Willingham will step up as they did in 2008.

Outside spaces

The arrival of our two sparkly new table tennis tables with their surrounding matting are already a hit! Plans are going ahead for some bike shelters nearer the pavilion also, which will encourage outdoor enjoyment. Please follow any guidelines that are current as well as observe requests that may be made. Thinking ahead, the football fields will need residents to keep off until it is clear the fields can cope with a resurgence of ball games and the Council drain cleaning programme is completed.

Last month more energy, time and parish money was spent on making the Meadow Road village field a place we can appreciate. Fly-tipping and the heap of litter was cleared. Importantly, the commemorative oak trees there have been replanted, so we all hope this time they do well and provide a fitting avenue of trees for future generations to enjoy. On the southern side of the village the piece of land donated to the village will also be prepared to benefit us all: find more details in this month’s News.

Closer to home our own boundary hedges and trees that provide winter berries and seeds for birds will be needing attention and should be well trimmed. There are still a few that encroach on the footpaths; we would all be grateful if they could be chopped back so that we can walk around safely. The Council will be flailing the field hedges – also before nesting begins.

As we move into spring it will be hoped that we can begin to enjoy better weather and take advantage of our outdoor spaces. The first week of March is ‘Food Waste Action Week’: choosing each piece of fresh food as we need it would certainly make a difference. Considering our drive to achieve a better carbon footprint, not only would growing our own vegetables be a good way forward, but making use of our local suppliers could reduce that carbon footprint – as well as supporting local businesses for our tasty, carefully selected food.

Parish Council meetings and elections

Meetings will continue to be held remotely using zoom for the time being. Full Council meetings are held on the first Wednesday in the month starting at 7.30, with agendas posted on the website as well as at the Public Hall and library. We usually begin meetings with members of the public being able to speak briefly or asking questions, (agendas have the details).

Keep an eye out for any lifting of restrictions on the use of indoor facilities and use of the carefully cleaned public halls in the village. We are still unclear as to how or even if the elections will take place as planned on Thursday 6th May. However, we are assuming they will go ahead and the clerk is preparing the Ploughman Hall for ‘covid friendly’ accessibility for this event. It is an ideal venue for moving people through safely, but have your own pencil sharpened ready!  

Newsletter February 2021

Flooding and Drainage Issues in Willingham 

Over the past few weeks Willingham has experienced issues with flooding and sewage in parts of the village. The Parish Council has been liaising with the County and District Councils with regards to gullies and ditch clearance and has been advised that those in need of clearing will be done as soon as possible. In addition, there has been frequent interaction with Anglian Water who believe they have resolved the issue of the sewage leak in Church Street and Green Street, although further leakages have come to light in other village locations. 

The current sewage capacity, future maintenance and upgrade by Anglian Water have been issues we need addressing. Our MP Lucy Frazer has also been made aware of our issues, plus the District Council Environmental Health team at SCDC have been contacted to liaise and resolve the problems as quickly as possible. We would encourage all residents experiencing problems with their foul water to contact Anglian Water directly as well. The February Council meeting was well attended by parishioners and the Council welcomed and appreciated their input. We are hopeful that now we have requested a multi-agency meeting between the PC, CCC, SCDC and Anglian Water, we can start a discussion on how we can resolve this in the long term. The village will be updated via the website. 

Community Plan 

As described in December News, the 2008 Community Parish Plan is due to be revised and updated to show the needs of the changes within the parish. Such a Community Plan has no set content since it can reflect whatever the community identifies as important. Following the call for volunteers – ideally seeking a wide variety of individuals who could work together and focus on the village needs – we can now move forward and more will be published on this. It takes a lot of work at all levels so an army of helpers will be called for at different times and I am sure Willingham will step up as they did in 2008. 

Outside spaces 

The arrival of our two sparkly new table tennis tables with their surrounding matting are already a hit! Plans are going ahead for some bike shelters nearer the pavilion also, which will encourage outdoor enjoyment. Please follow any guidelines that are current as well as observe requests that may be made. Thinking ahead, the football fields will need residents to keep off until it is clear the fields can cope with a resurgence of ball games and the Council drain cleaning programme is completed. 

Last month more energy, time and parish money was spent on making the Meadow Road village field a place we can appreciate. Fly-tipping and the heap of litter was cleared. Importantly, the commemorative oak trees there have been replanted, so we all hope this time they do well and provide a fitting avenue of trees for future generations to enjoy. On the southern side of the village the piece of land donated to the village will also be prepared to benefit us all: find more details in this month’s News. 

Closer to home our own boundary hedges and trees that provide winter berries and seeds for birds will be needing attention and should be well trimmed. There are still a few that encroach on the footpaths; we would all be grateful if they could be chopped back so that we can walk around safely. The Council will be flailing the field hedges – also before nesting begins. 

As we move into spring it will be hoped that we can begin to enjoy better weather and take advantage of our outdoor spaces. The first week of March is ‘Food Waste Action Week’: choosing each piece of fresh food as we need it would certainly make a difference. Considering our drive to achieve a better carbon footprint, not only would growing our own vegetables be a good way forward, but making use of our local suppliers could reduce that carbon footprint – as well as supporting local businesses for our tasty, carefully selected food. 

Parish Council meetings and elections 

Meetings will continue to be held remotely using zoom for the time being. Full Council meetings are held on the first Wednesday in the month starting at 7.30, with agendas posted on the website as well as at the Public Hall and library. We usually begin meetings with members of the public being able to speak briefly or asking questions, (agendas have the details). 

Keep an eye out for any lifting of restrictions on the use of indoor facilities and use of the carefully cleaned public halls in the village. We are still unclear as to how or even if the elections will take place as planned on Thursday 6th May. However, we are assuming they will go ahead and the clerk is preparing the Ploughman Hall for ‘covid friendly’ accessibility for this event. It is an ideal venue for moving people through safely, but have your own pencil sharpened ready!

Newsletter November 2020

Parish Plan Volunteers Needed

The Willingham Parish Plan was created in October 2008 by the Willingham Parish Plan Committee. This enthusiastic group of volunteers worked for over a year, writing and distributing a questionnaire to each household, collecting and collating the results and finally producing the Plan and a Summary Report. The report is still available on the Parish Council website (under Documents>Policies and Procedures).

The Plan helped map out existing services and identify gaps for future development. Some of the issues identified have been addressed in the intervening years, but others remain. Special thanks are due to the Willingham Action Group, formed after the Plan was published, which has been a major force for change and improvement in the village.

It is now time for the Plan to be updated, to identify priorities for both the Parish Council and other organisations in the years ahead. The Parish Plan is not a Parish Council plan. It is produced by and for the community. The Parish Council will co-ordinate the initial recruitment of volunteers and will assist wherever possible. South Cambridgeshire District Council also provide support for what they call Community-Led Plans: see https://www.scambs.gov.uk/your-council-and-democracy/parish-councils/community-led-plans/ for details and plans which have been produced by other villages.

Contact the Council Office to volunteer and help guide Willingham into the future.

Newsletter September 2020

Coming back to Life! 

As restrictions are being lifted and we are all now imbued with Risk Assessment terminology, it is good that groups are beginning to restart. In spite of at times problems in marrying up guidelines which as a Council we need to follow and those of a specific group, it is encouraging to see that ‘Willingham Wolves’ are back in training and that the Pavilion is open on a limited basis. 

Regular Classes are also returning to the ‘Ploughman’s Hall’. 

Planning White Paper 

District Councillor Handley reported that once Officers at SCDC have finished reviewing the Report, SCDC would be commenting on the White Paper, regarding changes to the planning System. 

The Council will be updated once District Councillor Handley had had further information. 

Willingham (B1050) Earith Road Speed Reduction 

As mentioned in last month’s magazine, last year we made a bid under the ‘Minor Highways Improvement Scheme’ for a 40mph buffer on the Earith Road where it enters the village. 

Councillor Harris circulated his proposal for this year at the last Council meeting. This was accepted at the September meeting. 

This will be submitted. 

A lot of time and research has gone into this proposal, including ‘Community Roadwatch’ with traffic monitoring and ‘Mick George’ drivers being instructed to slow to 20mph through the village. 

We also purchased our own MVAS system to warn drivers and monitor speeds, and carried out pollution and sound monitoring tests. Results from data logging 200 metres inside the 30mph zone showed average speeds that are above the 30mph limit. 

This is particularly dangerous to the increasing numbers using the ‘Community Orchard’ for recreation, and also adjacent bridleway for exercise. 

On-going work on the village roads. 

County Councillor Wotherspoon will be meeting with Highways Officers to discuss issues within Willingham. The Council along with many residents have reported problems with, blocked drains, flooding, ridges along the edge of the roadway along Station Road, amongst other issues, on the Highways Portal. Other issues will also be raised. 

We look forward to resolutions to these issues. 

Ploughman’s Hall and ‘Public Hall’ 

New doors have recently been installed in both halls. 

‘QE11 field’ and ‘Recreation ground’. 

AS part of on-going maintenance to provide a safe environment, the Council replaced two logs on the QE11 field. 

A floodlight will be repaired on the ‘Recreation Ground.’ 

Environment and sustainability 

As reported in one of the early online-only versions of Willingham News, in May 2020 Willingham Parish Council adopted the following statement: 

“Willingham Parish Council fully supports the urgent need to tackle the issues surrounding global warming and its impact on climate change. Within its limited resources the Council will do what it can to assist in the aim of ensuring the long-term sustainability of our environment.” 

Cllrs Linda King and Valerie McKee are the council contacts for these issues. As mentioned last month, we are applying for an SCDC Zero Carbon Communities grant towards the cost of changing the heating in the Ploughman Hall to a much more efficient IR radiative system, which will provide significant savings in both carbon emissions and costs and also be more comfortable for users. The energy survey on which the application is based also identified changing lights throughout the building to LED and installing solar panels, and we shall be looking into implementing these. 

On the theme of energy saving in buildings, the Local Energy Advice Partnership (LEAP) is offering local residents free advice on energy saving measures in the 

home. Eligibility criteria include low income, poor health or vulnerability (see leaflet on page …). Further details can be found at www.applyforleap.org.uk or 0800 060 7567 

And if you are thinking of installing solar panels then sign up before 6 October to the Local Authority led group-buying scheme ‘Solar Together Cambridgeshire’ at www.solartogether.co.uk/cambridgeshire

Newsletter August 2020

Parish Council Meetings 

With the coronavirus situation still ongoing, as since early April, all council meetings are held as virtual with the same procedures as normal. These can be ‘attended’ by members of the public who still have the same right to speak. Details can be found on the Parish Council website at https://willinghamparishcouncil.gov.uk/ or by contacting the clerk. 

QEII Field 

At last, from 8th July, we have been able to reopen the playground since it was closed following government advice at the start of the lockdown. We have set some guidelines for use of the equipment which are posted at the entrances to the area. These are for the safety of all users of the field and equipment to ensure everyone is kept as safe as possible. Please note, though, that the playground is not supervised and equipment is not regularly cleaned. Also, whilst all possible practical measures have been put in place, the users of the equipment do so at their own choice and risk. 

All the advice regarding your personal safety still apply and we encourage everyone to keep safe and adhere to the rules set out at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus 

Dogs 

Unfortunately there has been evidence of dog owners not clearing up after their dogs in the cemetery. There are signs that guide dogs only are permitted so this shouldn’t happen anyway. This is not only unpleasant for visitors to the cemetery but also disrespectful to the long term residents. 

Dog walkers are reminded to always clean up after their dogs. This is not only on the streets and pavements, but also footpaths, bridleways and all verges. Also, please take it home or use the litter bins and not leave plastic bags on display on the ground or hanging on fences or bushes. 

Recreation Ground 

It has been good to see the recreation ground being used so much in the past few months. With the playground out of action people have been using it for exercise and social activities, hopefully with all obeying the social distancing rules! 

Alas, some people seem to leave their rubbish behind after enjoying themselves. This, apart from being unsightly, can be dangerous causing risks to other users and the parish council litter pickers. Can we ask you to take all your litter with you when you leave? After all, you brought the rubbish so please take it away with you. 

Also, please remember that the recreation ground is for all to enjoy. For this reason it is NOT to be used for dog walking, cycling, golf, barbeques nor for flying drones. 

Planning 

Several months ago the planning departments of SCDC and Cambridge City were merged to create savings and become more efficient. Despite a few glitches, this is generally working well. The Parish Council planning committee still meets regularly to discuss all applications currently with virtual meetings. We are not the planning authority however, but play a part in adding our comments to the planning process. 

Most of the applications we receive fall into 3 categories – outline, full or conditional. Outline planning is usually for larger or more difficult proposals where the applicant wants to get approval in principle for a scheme prior to developing the full application. The full application presents the complete proposal. In both these cases the approval by the planning authority is final though conditions to this may have been set. Conditional applications address these caveats to the approval though don’t change the decision. If an application has been refused by the planning authority, the applicant has the right to appeal the decision to the Secretary of State; unfortunately this doesn’t apply in reverse. 

Climate Change 

As mentioned in the last newsletter, the Parish Council will continue to work on policies and strategies towards net zero carbon. The council has appointed as liaison Councillors, Linda King and Val McKee. They will be the Council point of contact for climate change, environment, and sustainability matters and help facilitate any initiatives within the Council’s remit on these matters. They would be attending the Zero Carbon Community Grant workshop and would then be looking at the grant application for the heating in the ploughman hall.

Newsletter July 2020

Multi-Agency Meeting

At a recent multi-agency Zoom meeting, Willingham Hub were rightly praised for the work that they have been doing and some astonishment expressed that they have over a hundred volunteers working for them. For anyone that does not know, Willingham Hub was set up in March, soon after lockdown, to support anyone in the village who needed help with obtaining food or medicines. A very professional structure was rapidly put in place to meet basic needs and monitor those at risk.

The Parish Council has been very pleased to support this excellent group with some basic tasks such as printing and most importantly some funding. Fortunately, the Council had an Emergency Plan written many years ago to help deal with problems such as flooding. A pandemic was not foreseen but parts of the plan were still useful in authorising rapid access to cash. When the world returns to a more normal state the plan will be updated.

The meeting was attended by various housing and support agencies as well as County, District and Parish Council Officers and Councillors and Cambridgeshire Police. There was a review of the anti-social problems that had beset Willingham last summer and the action that had been taken. The view was expressed that this year had been much quieter with the caveat that we may see more problems as the lockdown is relaxed. As always, everyone is encouraged to report any incidents however trivial. Whilst no action may be taken on an individual case, providing it is logged, it will add to the cumulative picture.           

A benefit of lockdown has been the massive reduction in traffic. The flip side has been an increase in speed from a few inconsiderate drivers. The police have been made aware of this but say that they do not have the resources to do anything about it for now. They have asked if the village could restore a ‘Speed Watch’ team.

Increased fly tipping has been another downside of the lockdown process. With the closure for a while of recycling centres and restrictions on vehicle movements some unsociable folk have used the droves around Willingham as dumping grounds. There is a backlog of mess to be cleared for which we, as council tax payers, will be liable. If you do see anyone dumping rubbish please give us the details of time, place and vehicle registration number.

Climate Change

Back in 2008 the Climate Change Act established a legally binding target to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% in 2050 from 1990 levels. Over the past year or so the dramatic effect of these emissions on our climate has become widely recognised as a very urgent problem and tackling it has moved higher up the agenda. In addition to greenhouse gas reduction, the sustainability of our environment also involves issues such as biodiversity, pollution and plastic waste.

Fundamental change requires international and national commitments, but local authorities also have an important part to play. WPC will continue to engage fully with CCC and SCDC, both of which have declared climate emergencies and are working on policies and strategies towards net zero carbon.

Virtual Meetings

For the time being we have had to suspend our normal meetings but they are all continuing on Zoom. Members of the public are most welcome to join in and are able to speak subject to the usual rules on timing. The parish council website carries details of meeting dates and times together with a lot of information on council activities. Information is also available on a non-interactive Facebook page.

Village Heroes

Whilst the NHS have rightly been applauded for their excellent work, there are a lot of other folk who have quietly got on with keeping services running. The Parish Council is enormously grateful to the store workers who have kept us fed, the post office that has kept communication links open and all the other heroes in our village who have risked their own safety for the benefit of us all.

Newsletter June 2020

Challenging Times

I hope everyone is staying well, and staying indoors. On behalf of the Parish Council I’d like to thank all the key workers in Willingham who are keeping us safe and provided for: the NHS staff and carers; everyone at the Primary School; those at the doctor’s surgery and pharmacy; all at the Co-op, One Stop, Highfield Stores and other supermarket staff; the Post Office workers and other delivery people; and all the behind-the-scenes workers keeping our services running and supplies flowing. A special thanks goes to the organisers of the Willingham Hub and all their volunteers looking after the vulnerable and isolating.

Willingham Hub

The Willingham Hub (see https://www.facebook.com/groups/WillinghamLoveHub/) is the initiative which is providing help and support for anybody in the village. This is being run by local volunteers, with the Parish Council providing assistance, clerical support and financial aid where required. Everybody in the village should now have received a leaflet giving contact details for their “zone reps” who are co-ordinating the responses from volunteers.

Parish Council Meetings

Physical meetings of the Parish Council have been suspended, according to Government guidelines. There was no meeting in April, as we awaited new legislation. The “Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 No.392” have now been published. The Regulations allows Full Parish Council and sub-committee meetings to be held with remote access by video or audio links – provided all councillors, and members of the public who wish to, can speak and participate. Virtual meetings will commence with the May meeting. Further details will be published on the website and usual noticeboards.

The Annual Meeting of the Parish Council, where chairs and lead councillors are selected, has been cancelled for this year. Again, this is following the legal advice from the Government. All Councillors will continue in their present posts until the next Annual Meeting in 2021.

Zero Carbon Communities Initiative

In last month’s News our District Councillors gave some background to the District Council’s response to the climate emergency and their ambitious aims for fast reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. They have embarked on several initiatives, one of which is supporting and encouraging local communities to help achieve this. Councillor Linda King joined around 70 representatives of parish councils and local green groups at the first Zero Carbon Communities (ZCC) Workshops to hear about SCDC’s programme.

The workshop started with presentations setting the scene regarding the need for action, the current situation in the District, and ways of tackling the problem. One of SCDC’s main ways of supporting communities is the ZCC Grants and several successful applicants then described their projects. Unfortunately, WPC’s grant application in 2019 for green heating of the Ploughman Hall was unsuccessful. We will apply again for the next round in 2020. A ‘table top’ exercise to discuss ideas was very brief due to the first part overrunning.  However, an important aim of the workshop was to initiate contact among the participants so that ideas, examples, lessons learned, and practical information regarding reducing carbon emissions at a local level could be shared, together with high-quality data. This has been established and it is intended that further workshops will take place, as well as informal contact. This issue and Willingham’s response will be discussed at a forthcoming Parish Council meeting, but if you would like to know more before then, you can contact Linda King at the email address below.

Newsletter – February 2020

Community Warden Scheme

The first Parish Council meeting of the year got off to a lively start with members of the public raising several issues that they felt strongly about. High on the agenda was the proposal previously raised at the December meeting to join the Community Warden Scheme. There was general support for the aim of the scheme which is to help tackle loneliness and undertake some small practical tasks for elderly residents that can speed their return from a hospital stay or delay transfer into a care environment.

The main reservation that was raised was whether this should be the responsibility of the Parish Council or other bodies, such as the NHS. It has been apparent for some time that more and more tasks are being devolved to parish councils by national, county or district authorities, very often to save them money. But someone has to pay and although this scheme will be funded centrally for two years, in the long run the parish, which is you as rate payers, takes on the funding responsibility in whole or in part. After some debate the Council decided that the merits of the scheme could not be ignored and gave its support.

Buses

Another hot topic raised in the public forum session in January was the lack of good public transport linking the village with the guided busway. The suggestion was raised of providing a minibus which could operate a shuttle service with help from volunteers. It was agreed that this would have to be an agenda item for a future meeting when more detail was available, including the long-term funding requirement it would place on Willingham residents.

Speeding

Yet another subject high on the list of priorities. Work continues on a number of fronts including the bid for a 40 mph buffer zone before the Earith Road entrance to the village, a legacy grant for a footpath to the orchard and a privately funded highways initiative for warning signage of ‘Children Playing’ on West Fen Road. The Council also agreed at the January meeting to fund an additional speed indicator device. The type chosen will have messaging and recording facilities. It will be semi-portable and located in the coming months at the speeding hot spots.

Keeping Warm

We have had a relatively mild winter so far but it may not last and keeping warm at home, particularly for older folk or anyone that is ill, is very important. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for a grant to make your home more energy efficient. For more information please contact the Cambridgeshire Home Improvement Agency at HIA@CambsHIA.org or phone them on 01954 713330.

Fly Tipping

This has become more of a problem in recent times. It’s a sad fact that some people are prepared to mess up the environment for their own convenience. Courts are getting tougher on this and can issue fines of up to £20 000. If you see anyone dumping rubbish please give us the details of time, place and vehicle registration number and we can pursue it.

Communication

Members of the public are most welcome at all Parish Council meetings and are free to speak on any subject but to be fair to everyone the comments must be kept brief. There is also an annual meeting in May open to all residents and from January a member of the parish council will be joining the district councillors at their regular surgeries. For issues outside of these forums contact details are listed below for the parish clerk and key councillors.

The Parish Council website carries a lot of information on council activities and shortly that information will also be made available on a non-interactive Facebook page.

Newsletter November 2019

New Councillors

Three casual vacancies arising from the resignations of previous councillors were filled at the November meeting. As there were more applicants than positions, there was a rather complicated voting procedure but eventually Kay Cook, Valerie McKee and Barry Todd were selected to join the council. Our thanks to all who volunteered and a warm welcome to the new councillors.

Northstowe Governance Review Drop-In

As the community at Northstowe grows, so South Cambridgeshire District Council is required to carry out a Governance Review to consider future governance arrangements. The Civic Affairs Committee has now commenced the Northstowe boundary review. A drop-in session has been arranged on Saturday 30 November, 11 am to 1 pm in the Ploughman Hall. Liz Davey, the Development Officer, and your District Councillors will be on hand to help residents understand the review process and timescale and to answer any questions you may have.

Christmas Tree

For the last two years the Christmas tree on the Green has been kindly donated by Mr A Coe. Unfortunately, this year the uncertainty over Brexit has meant that large trees are in short supply and Mr Coe has been unable to obtain one. We are aware how much villagers appreciate having a tree and the council decided to purchase one for installation on the Green this season which will be decorated once more with the new lights.

Orchard Dog Walking

A new fence has been installed alongside the B1050 to make the Community Orchard secure for dogs. We are investigating whether we can have a new dog bin installed by the Orchard but until then would ask dog owners to be considerate of others sharing the area when walking their animals. Flat Road bridle path is adjacent to the Orchard and provides over a kilometre of safe grassland where dogs can run, should more vigorous exercise be required.

Willingham Youth Trust

After the conversion of a storage area and unused upper floor of the Ploughman Hall into a Youth Centre, the Youth Trust took over the building and now runs an extremely successful Youth Club on Wednesday evenings open to all and free to children. This has been a tremendous effort by the Trustees and has been entirely self-funded for the last four years, but they now feel that to keep the sessions sustainable into the future, they need support from the Parish Council. We agreed that this is a worthwhile expenditure and will provide £6,000 for 2020/2021 for the Connections Bus Project staff. This and the lease would be reviewed annually.

BT Phone Box

The phone box on Station Road by the Willingham Wing bus stop has not been operational for some time and, even before it fell into disrepair, had only made a single call in over a year. Under a BT scheme, local authorities can adopt unwanted phone boxes and convert them for new uses. The Council had already decided to provide a third defibrillator for this area of the village and has now agreed to adopt the phone box, refurbish it and use it to house the defibrillator.

Bus Survey

We wrote to our MP (Lucy Frazer at the time) in response to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority’s strategic bus review. Ms Frazer has replied that the Authority has now commissioned a six week survey which can be accessed at www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/FutureBus/ or over the phone on 07377 001512 (9 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday). ‘Have your say on our future public transport network. Tell us what matters to you about improving local bus services.’

Newsletter October 2019

Meadow Road Site

It has been suggested that the Meadow Road site could be used for electric generation with windmills and/or solar panels. This has been explored in the past but appeared not to be viable. Meanwhile, work on the site is continuing to make it a better amenity for the village. Plans are in place to plant some 50 oak trees to commemorate those from the village who lost their lives in the World Wars, together with wild flowers, especially poppies, which would be prolific around VJ day anniversary. As mentioned previously users should be mindful that this is a work in progress and the ground is uneven in places.

Dog Walking

Further to previous articles in the News, the dog walking working party set up to look at site options presented their recommendations at the October meeting. Two sites were identified with a total estimated cost of £10,000 for the works.

Option 1: The Community Orchard on Earith Road which is an area about 5 acres planted with trees. This has a boundary along the B1050 which has hedges and a timber rail fence. The fence could be made secure along that boundary at an approximate cost of £2000. There is limited parking in the area but an extension of the footpath along Earith Road is planned. There is also the right of way alongside the orchard leading to Milking Hills Drove which allows extra dog walking space.

Option 2: An area between the QEII recreation ground, the Ploughman Hall and Willingham Lode could be fenced and gated at a cost of £7000. This amounts to around ½ an acre being about 200 metres x 10 metres.

It was agreed to start work on option 1 immediately.

Traffic & HCVs

The condition of the B1050 should see some improvement soon, as Cambridgeshire Highways plan to close it on November 3rd from 7am to 5pm for remedial work. We wait and see how effective this is and for how long it will last. Although the meeting with the Northstowe developers and SCDC councillors (see report elsewhere) does seem to have reduced the  HCV traffic to some extent, there are still many of these vehicles travelling through the village.

The Community Roadwatch group has sessions at various locations recording speeds and reporting to companies their speeding vehicles. One 30 minute period in the new 30mph limit on Station Road showed nearly 60 vehicles exceeding the limit, 33% averaging over 40mph including a bus and the maximum at 54mph. The orange  flashing speed signs (supplied by Mick George) give real time speeds, but the red/green flashing sign (borrowed from Haddenham recently) seem to give better results as they act as reminders of the actual speed limits. The PC may look at purchasing our own as a better deterrent to excessive speeds.

Northstowe

The October PC meeting saw a presentation from SCDC about a Community Governance Review. Northstowe means there will be a population increase over coming years with additional assets and facilities to be maintained and managed. This will have an impact on existing community governance arrangements. The review will start in autumn 2019 and aims to secure an arrangement which reflects the identities and interests of the community in the area. Willingham is involved as changes could affect the village boundaries.

Drones

There have been instances of drones being flown on the recreation ground. They should not be used on public open spaces, or where there are people around. New laws will come into force on 30 November 2019 which will also require owners of drones weighing over 250 grams to register with the Civil Aviation Authority, and for drone pilots to take a safety test to ensure the UK’s skies are safe from irresponsible flyers.

Willingham News September 2019

B1050

James Broder from County Highways attended the September meeting. When pressed about the appallingly dangerous state of the B1050 Shelford Road he was only able to offer further patching, with a vague reference to a ‘permanent solution’ at some distant time and no prospect of a lorry ban. The council reiterated its deep concern.

Dog Walking

As detailed in last month’s piece a big topic at recent meetings has been dog walking, arising from the closure of the set aside field. Dogs and their owners had enjoyed use of this space for many years as an easily accessible safe area. The council enquired about purchasing or leasing part of the land but that was not possible.

Dog owners then lobbied the council to allow dogs onto the recreation ground or part of it. Rec users lobbied just as hard not to allow this. Clearly, whichever way the decision went a sizeable number of residents would be upset. The council decided on the status quo and not to allow dogs on the Rec on the basis of health and safety and the fact that the village already has a shortage of sports space. A working party set up to look at alternatives is due to report back in October.

Meadow Road

Another hot topic was the Meadow Road site. For readers that do not know the background, this was once a traveller site set up by the county council that was eventually abandoned.  The parish council leased it with the objective of creating an open space. The intention is that it will be a woodland area for parishioners to enjoy with or without their dogs. It is open for anyone that wishes to visit but is far from finished and the ground is very uneven.

MUGA

Plans are now beginning to take shape. We are looking at an area next to the Bowls Green of 34 m x 37 m, which can accommodate two tennis courts, a 5 a side football pitch and a netball court. Catering for different sports on a single surface requires compromise, and sand-dressed artificial grass is the best option. We are drawing up detailed specifications and collecting information to make a pre-planning application to SCDC. As the recreation ground is in a high flood risk area the Environment Agency’s input is key. 

Vacancies

There have been three resignations, including the Chairman. Derek Law has stepped up from Vice Chair and Phil King has returned from the back benches. If you feel you can help fill the vacancies then please do contact the Parish Clerk for more information. The duties need not be very onerous and you will be able to judge at first hand how well your council performs. The closing date for applications is noon on the 30th October.

Willingham News – July 2019

Meadow Road: from brownfield to green!

The Meadow Road site, now under the stewardship of the Parish Council, has had a chequered past.  It was a good example of a brownfield site because of its past industrial use.  Since acquiring the site the Parish Council has invested considerable time and effort in the regeneration of the land.  The site has been levelled.  Rubble, hardcore and other waste material have been covered with the topsoil the levelling produced.  All visible holes have been filled and old tree stumps and rubbish removed.  The Parish Council now considers the site ready for recreational use by villagers – please visit it.

To commemorate the 2020 Anniversary of VE and VJ Day and assist in the regeneration process the Parish Council is considering planting a wood along with sowing poppy seeds this autumn.  These would be in flower in June 2020.

Crime news

The future of Parkside Police Station in Cambridge is being considered.  The building no longer meets the current needs of the police.  One option would be to develop a Southern Police Station in Milton.  A public consultation about this proposal is now underway and you are invited to take part in this by completing an online questionnaire at: https://www.cambridgeshire-pcc.gov.uk/get-involved/your-views/have-your-say.

The police are warning car drivers about a new credit card scam.  Individuals posing as police or traffic wardens approach car drivers and advise them that they are parking illegally.  The car driver is offered the chance of paying a small fine ‘on the spot’ by credit card.  The victim is directed to a previously tampered machine for payment which then refuses to return the card.  The police advise the following three steps: check with the local council if you think the fine is not authentic, always shield your PIN number, contact your bank immediately if your credit card is retained by an ATM.

The Parish Council has decided to take a robust approach to any fly-grazing incidents on its land.  A new streamlined approach is now available allowing land owners to remove fly-grazing stock more quickly.

Traffic and the environment

The Parish Council is making two funding bids for highway improvements on Earith Road.  The first was to the A14 Community Fund and asked for funding to complete the pavement along Earith Road as far as the Community Orchard.  The second, a Local Highways Improvement Scheme application, would introduce a speed reduction ‘buffer’ zone along Earith Road so that drivers traffic entering the village would not have to reduce speed from 60 to 30 mph in one step.   A 40 mph zone would be introduced to encourage speed reductions both in and out of the village.

South Cambridgeshire District Council Enforcement Officers have been serving enforcement notices on developers in Northstowe about breaches of condition on working time.  Our District Councillors are planning to meet with their Enforcement Officers to discuss the flows of construction traffic for Northstowe which travel through Willingham.  Complementing this, discussions are ongoing with the County Council to place signs advising heavy goods traffic for Northstowe not to travel through our village.

The Parish Council has also been submitting proposals and making representations to our MP and the Combined Authority Mayor about fen-edge village bus services.  It wants better connectivity between these villages and the Guided Busway.  The Combined Authority Mayor acknowledges the need for innovation and is aware of our local demands but notes that his authority has limited funds to provide support.

Long Pond – long wait

The County Council is responsible for the fencing around Long Pond.  It was originally placed there despite the objections of the Parish Council.  The fencing is in poor repair and the County Council has been asked to repair this many times!  The County Council is moving very slowly to deal with this request.

The Ploughman Hall and Recreation Field

The area around the Ploughman Hall and Recreation Field has been well used by the community and visitors in recent weeks with three well-supported local events taking place – the Willingham Wolves Football Festival, the Beer Festival and the Fen Gallop. 

Councillors were also invited to visit the ‘pop-up’ café being trialled by Willingham Youth Trust from its premises.  It can be reported that an excellent cup of coffee is available!  The opportunity was also offered to observe the Trust’s Coding Club.  This allows younger members of the village to develop their computer skills in an informal environment.  Perhaps there could be a similar opportunity for older village members?

The Parish Council thanks all the organisers of these events and their teams of helpers for their voluntary efforts in making sure activities run smoothly and safely and raising the village profile throughout the region.  It would also like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the MUGA Survey.  This has now finished and the results of this exercise are awaited.

Willingham News – June 2019

Clock:

The major overhaul is complete and the clock is running very well. It is taking a little while to fine tune the regulation so that the mechanism runs accurately. As with Big Ben the pendulum swing is adjusted with small weights that make a difference of only a few seconds a day. Good progress is being made and by the time this issue of Willingham News is published we hope to have the clock accurate to within half a minute throughout the day, just as it would have been when originally installed in 1887.

Scams:

If like me you are just an ordinary, law abiding, citizen you will not have been amused to have been told that your internet is about to be cut off due to improper use unless you pay a fee or that your bank details have been compromised and that you need to immediately contact a nice man in Nigeria who will sort it all out. These are just a few of the scams that we get frequently by phone, text or email. Most of us are confident that we are too wise to be caught but the scammers are getting more and more sophisticated and the problem is growing into an international multibillion-dollar business. Please be careful and if you would like some advice, there is a very good website at cambridgeshireinsight.org.uk/CAPASP.

MUGA:

Thanks to all of you who responded to our survey regarding a Multi-Use Games Area on the recreation ground (and if you are reading this before the closing date of 30 June there is still time to fill one in on the PC website or pick it up from the Post Office or Library). The results will give us a good picture of the sports that should be included, and we can then move ahead with detailed plans. It will be partly funded by money from the new developments in the village, and we will be applying for grant funding to make up the rest.

QE2 Field:

The play facilities on the QE2 field are proving a great attraction for families from Willingham and other surrounding villages with many bringing along a picnic. They are most welcome to do so but, sadly, a few, are spoiling it for others by leaving litter lying around, including dirty nappies. Please enjoy the open space and ensure others can enjoy it too by using the bins for your litter or taking it home. If you see anyone who is not treating the area with respect then tell us and, if we can identify them, we will take action.   

Surgery:

Our thanks are due to our District Councillors, Dawn Percival and Bill Handley, who have helped us with several tricky problems over the last few months. They are very approachable and hold quarterly surgeries in the Ploughman Hall. The next one is on Saturday 6th July between 11 am and 1 pm. Pop in and see them if you have a problem with which you think they might be able to help. Our County Councillor, Tim Wotherspoon, is also hoping to be in attendance.

Newsletter May 2019

Annual Meeting of the Parish Council

In May, the Parish Council holds its Annual Meeting, when Officers and Lead Councillors are elected. After returning to the rôle of Parish Chair last year, Cllr Phil King stepped down, although he remains a councillor. We thanked him for his untiring and excellent work in his latest spell as Chair. He, in turn, thanked the office staff for their expert support and all councillors for their valuable contributions. Cllr Dave Carlton is the new Chair for the coming year and Cllr Derek Law is Vice Chair, both were elected unanimously. All Lead Councillors remain the same and are listed below.

Annual Report

The Willingham Parish Council Annual Report for 2018-2019 has been published and copies are available in the Library, at the Surgery, at the Primary School and from the Parish Office. It can also be downloaded from the website (look under Documents > Annual Reports > Parish Council). It was presented along with reports from many village organisations at the Annual Parish Meeting.

Parish Clock

The Parish Clock on St Mary and All Saints Church has had its mechanism repaired and the face repainted. Sadly, when it was restarted after the initial repair work, it only ran for about a day. The clock-mending company are still investigating and it seems to be working a little better now.

A14 Legacy Funding

The A14 Integrated Delivery Team have a £1 million fund to spend on highways projects for Parish Councils affected by the A14 construction works. We have proposed three items which match their criteria and will be putting them forward for consideration. In priority order these are (1) a footpath to the Community Orchard, (2) speed reduction measures on West Fen Road between the Rec and QEII field, and (3) a footpath to Highgate Stores. We expect a decision by the end of June.

Recreation Ground Stump Fire

Persons unknown set fire to the large tree stump on the recreation ground and the Fire Brigade attended to extinguish it. Unfortunately, the appliance caused some damage to the adjoining football pitches when it drove onto the Rec. This has occurred before and the police are looking into ways of finding those responsible. The Council is making arrangements to have the remains of the tree stump removed.

Station Road Speed Limit

After many, many years of campaigning and hectoring of the County Council Highways Department and the Police, and with financial assistance from the Lindum Group who are building the affordable houses there, the 30 mph speed limit on Station Road has finally been extended south past the sharp bend and beyond Westfield.

Dog Walking Field

The Council considered several options for provision of a replacement dog walking area after the loss of the set-aside field but concluded that there is no obvious solution. Dogs remain prohibited on the Recreation Ground for health reasons.

Willingham News – April 2019

Station Road Speed Limit Change

There has been positive progress by Cambridgeshire County Council to extend the existing 30mph speed limit on Station Road to south of Westfield (towards the Park-and-Ride), including the placement of adequate signage.  This work is currently expected to commence on 8th April and should be in place by the time you read this.

Loss of the Set-Aside Field

The loss of the set-aside field behind the recreation ground has been a loss to the village, in particular the dog walking fraternity who are keen for the identification of an alternative solution.  At the time of writing options are still being investigated and remain a challenge, but at least this issue is eased with access to footpaths in the countryside, including the footpath towards Over that is approached through, what was, the set-aside field.

Willingham Youth Trust Pop-up Café

The Parish Council has supported a grant application for the Willingham Youth Trust to provide a pop-up café at the Youth Centre, which is intended to be a benefit to all of our community.  The opening times are expected to initially be over a number of weekends, with the possibility of extending this if the café became viable.  It is understood that, apart from the normal tea, coffee and soft drinks, there would be a tuck shop serving healthy snacks and sweet treats to start with (which may include locally baked cakes).

The Youth Trust are advertising for volunteers to assist with the café on the Willingham Facebook page.  This sounds like an exciting venture and hopefully parishioners will support this novel idea.

Parish Clock Refurbishment

The Council undertook the identification of a suitable company who had the capability of repairing and refurbishing the Parish clock at St Mary and All Saints Church.  Work started in April and hopefully by now you are hearing its chimes once again.

Annual Parish Meeting

The Annual Parish meeting is scheduled to be held at the Octagon, St Mary’s and All Saints Church, at 7:30pm on Wednesday 15th May.

This meeting is open to all Willingham parishioners and is an opportunity to speak on matters that are pertinent to the Parish.  At the meeting reports will also be received from our District and County Councillors, along with those from our village bodies (such as clubs, charities and services).  The details of previous Minutes of Annual Parish meetings can be found on the Willingham Parish Council web site https://willinghamparishcouncil.gov.uk

 

Willingham News – March 2019

Traffic! Whether stationary or moving, it is one of the most discussed issues affecting Willingham.

Stationary – Following issues regarding parking around the Primary School in Thodays Close, new yellow lines have been marked out restricting parking to improve safety for both pedestrians and drivers. This has caused problems further afield where people are now parking, especially at the junction of Long Lane, Silver Street and the doctor’s surgery. This is also making it difficult for residents to enter & leave their properties. Of course this doesn’t affect those who see the bright yellow lines as their personal parking spaces and use them instead of walking too far. They do this elsewhere in the village, so why not here?

Speeding – We have 2 interactive speed signs (SID) supplied by Mick George Ltd. These have been on Earith Road and now one relocated to Over Road. This is very effective in alerting those who inadvertently find themselves over the limit. In conjunction with this, Community Roadwatch are conducting speed and vehicle checks, counting lorries in particular and informing companies if their marked vehicles are travelling over the limits. Unfortunately this doesn’t help with speeding in Church Street, Long Lane, etc., but those doing it will ignore conventional limits anyway.

30mph limit on Station Road – after a very protracted period of discussion and lobbying with County Council Highways we have been notified that the works order has finally been placed with the contractor and we are now awaiting a start date for the work to commence. This will extend the 30mph limit almost to Stanton Mereway. The SIDs will help to reinforce this as well.

HCVs – The issue of Heavy Commercial Vehicles coming through the village has caused distress to many. HCVs travelling to Northstowe and the A14 upgrade are not supposed to come through the village but use other routes. The council have lobbied strongly to get this checked and the operators prosecuted. A further issue is the proposed gravel extraction at Willow Hall Farm in Haddenham by Dennis (Haddenham) Ltd which anticipated 90-150 HCV movements per day for 8 years. Originally this was planned to only travel through Earith, but following their objections, they have suggested the B1050 through Willingham was a perfectly viable alternative, especially if the destination was Cambridge! We have protested strongly to Cambridgeshire CC (the planning authority) about this.

Affordable housing on Station Road – parishioners may be aware that of the development being constructed on Station Road.  This is of 22 homes entirely of affordable housing (rented and shared ownership) with priority being given to Willingham residents and applicants with a connection, whether through work, residence or family, to Willingham.  Contact details for Cross Keys Homes –

Phone: 01733 396406

Website: www.crosskeyshomes.co.uk/sharedownership

Email: sales@crosskeyshomes.co.uk

Parish Clock – The Clock stopped working before Christmas and upon investigation to came it to light that a full overhaul was needed.  Work has been scheduled to start at the beginning of April.

Cemetery Gates on Church Lane – Following ongoing issues with the gates and feedback from parishioners experiencing difficulties opening them, the Council are looking into the feasibility of replacing them with hard wood gates

Willingham News – February 2019

 East/West Rail Link from Oxford to Cambridge.

Councillor Bridget Smith, leader of South Cambridge District Council attended the February Council meeting and spoke about the ongoing focus of SCDC.

Amongst these Councillor Smith highlighted the east/west rail link between Oxford and Cambridge as being transformational for South Cambridgeshire.

This development could bring improved transport, opportunities for business and housing development.

Last autumn SCDC wrote to the Government, asking them to give full and thorough consideration to the environment when selecting the route .Councillors are urging people to make sure that they have their say during the consultation period recognising the information published raises a lot of questions which they will be asking the promotors on behalf of local communities.

To find out more about the Oxford to Cambridge rail link proposals and the routes for consultation visit:

https://eastwestrail.co.uk/haveyoursay

Willingham Action Group.

Willingham Action Group have applied for a grant which will enable them to purchase a number of Bird Boxes.

These will be placed around the village in order to help reduce the decline in native bird numbers.

More information will follow when the boxes arrive.

 The Ploughman Hall remains a very popular venue for parties and exercises classes.  Below is a list of the activities that take place regularly in the hall:

Mondays

9.30am – 10.30 am – Zumba/aerobics

10:45am – 11.45 am – Pilates

12.00 – 1pm – Mother and Baby exercise class

6pm – 8pm – Fitness, strength & conditioning circuits

8pm – 10pm Badminton

Tuesdays

6pm – 8pm – Fitness, strength & conditioning circuits

8pm to 10pm – Badminton

Wednesdays

7.30pm – 8.30pm – Keep fit/Zumba

Thursdays

9.30 am – 12.30pm – Adult Ballet

7pm to 8pm – Yoga

Fridays

9.30am – 10.30 am – Aerobics

10.30am – 11.30am  – Fitness pilates

8.30pm – 10pm Ballroom dancing

Lost and Found

Cambridgeshire police have joined police forces nationwide by ceasing to take reports of lost property and accepting only certain types of found item.

The changes took effect nationally from 1 February after the Chief Constables’ Council agreed it as a way of reducing non-essential demand and the associated costs and bureaucracy generated for call centres and front counters.

The police service has traditionally accepted the responsibility of recording lost and found property, despite there being no statutory duty to maintain a system of recording non-evidential property.

Found items dealt with by police have reduced and a consistent approach adopted across the country. This will help reduce call volumes and remove an unnecessary burden on policing.

If you have lost or found an item, visit the force website for guidance on what to do. Further detail on our lost and found policy is below.

Lost items

Any loss can be reported online at sites including:

www.lostbox.co.uk

www.immobilise.com

www.reportmyloss.com (for an insurance report)

For bicycles, register and report at www.bikeregister.com

Report UK Passports at https://www.gov.uk/report-a-lost-or-stolen-passport

Details of losses reported via these methods are made available to police forces across the UK.

If you have lost property in a public place/premises or on public transport, contact the location or service provider directly.

Found items

The following categories have been created for found items:

 Accepted

  • Items capable of containing data e.g mobile phones and computers.
  • Cash and wallets that are identifiable
  • Unidentifiable cash
  • Identity and personal documents

 We do not accept

  • Bicycles
  • Personal but unidentifiable items
  • Clothing
  • Keys
  • Jewellery

For non-accepted items, with some exceptions, the finder can retain the property. They are under no legal obligation to hand in the property providing they have made a reasonable attempt to return it to the owner.

 

Willingham News – January 2019

Our Parish Clock

Our Parish Clock has not worked since October 2018.  The Parish Council was able to identify only one clock company – Smiths of Derby – prepared to advise on and complete the work required to get the clock working again.   Smiths advise that the clock’s equipment requires a major overhaul.  It also suggests restoration work on the dial is carried out at the same time.  The Parish Council understands that this complex level of maintenance and renovation has not been carried out since the clock was provided in 1887 at a cost of £125.00.  It will be discussing these proposals and the budgetary implications during January.

Parking at road junctions

Vehicles parked on streets should not cause a danger or unnecessarily obstruct the road.    Parking is not allowed within ten metres of a junction or anywhere where the kerb is lowered.  This helps users of powered mobility vehicles, wheelchair and pram users.  The Parish Council receives residents’ comments about dangerous or unnecessary car parking close to the junctions of Saxon Way, Covent Garden and Bourneys Manor Close with the High Street.  It has been suggested that yellow lining is placed around these junctions to restrict this parking.  The Parish Council has investigated this. It has been advised that parking restrictions could be introduced but the police would not undertake routine enforcement.  Neighbouring parishes report that recently introduced parking restrictions, without enforcement, are often ignored.  The police are encouraging villages to approach the County and District Councils to seek de-criminalisation of these parking offences.  Parking offences could then be managed as a civil offence and enforced by traffic wardens.  The Parish Council will be discussing how it should respond to this situation in the village.  Vehicle users can also play a part by parking with a greater consideration of the needs of other residents and vehicle users.

Black Pit Drove: an update

Shortly before the Christmas holiday the South Cambridgeshire Principal Planning Enforcement Officer and a legal representative attended the High Court to seek resolution of this issue.  In the absence of traveller representatives, the Judge declined to reach a final decision.  It is anticipated that a further hearing will be held during January with a final judgement made at that time.

Reporting concerns

Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) and South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) are responsible for the following areas of our village life.  Contact SCDC to report Abandoned vehicles, Air Pollution, Dog Fouling, Fly tipping, Fly posting, Graffiti, Litter, Street Cleaning and Asbestos.  Use this online address:  https://www.scambs.gov.uk/services/environment

Contact CCC to report Potholes, Road/pavement surface, Flooding, Signs and street furniture, Street lights, Rights of Way, Hedges/trees and weeds (along the highway), Road works, Spillages/debris on the road, Traffic lights.   Use this online address: https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/travel-roads-and-parking/roads-and-pathways/roadworks-and-faults/

 The police can be contacted with respect to their non-urgent responsibilities by either telephoning 101 or using this online address: https://www.cambs.police.uk/report/

 Hedge cutting

We have been asked by Cambridgeshire County Council to remind residents to try to complete any hedge cutting or tree trimming by the end of February – certainly before birds start their nesting activity!

Willingham News – December 2018

Crime:

The last time I had the pleasure of writing the comments for the Parish Council was for the July edition, when I closed by wishing you all a wonderful summer. Weather wise, it was, but we did have some other problems, not least with crime.

It was at two levels. There was a stream of low-level criminal damage and anti-social behaviour which caused considerable distress and there was more serious criminal activity in a number of raids on the Co-op and Stop Shop. One of the raids on the Co-op involved the removal of the cash machine, which will not be replaced, and one of the raids on the Stop Shop, during opening hours, threatened staff.

Quite understandably, this crime spree led to widespread concern and some loss in confidence that cuts to the police budget meant a lack of police presence, difficulty in contacting the police and even more difficulty in getting a response.

It took a little time, but to give due credit to the Cambridge Constabulary once the scale of the problem became apparent the response was very positive. There was increased presence, much more rapid response and two public meetings, both very well attended.

At the second of these meetings on Saturday 1st December significant progress was reported. The meeting was attended by the Police and Crime Commissioner and our MP as well as our local police contacts.

We now have a quieter, calmer village. The kind of place in which we all wish to live. Whether or not that can be maintained long term is not certain. Inevitably, as the focus moves away from Willingham to other hot spots, we shall receive less attention. But we have established some very good contacts and made the point that Willingham residents care deeply about their village and the need to keep it safe.

One of the points raised by Sgt Priestly at the meeting was the positive support provided through the village Facebook page.  As he pointed out social media can be an excellent tool for disseminating information when used correctly but users do need to be mindful that not all information posted may be correct.

Enough for now, but there will be more on this subject in the New Year when we take up some of the issues raised at our meetings.

Other Matters in Brief:

The precept for 2019/20 has been set at £123,275 which is a 2.8% increase on last year. I will deal with this in more detail in my annual report in May.

The parish office will be closed from the 21st of December through to the 1st January. If you have an urgent problem please call one of the councillors listed in Willingham News or on the website.

And finally, let me close this time on a similar note to last time by wishing you all a very happy New Year. My next contribution to Willingham News will be for the July 2019 edition by which time I am hopeful that we will have a new and younger Chairman with new ideas.

It has been a pleasure Chairing WPC on several occasions over the last ten years or so but definitely time to hand over to new blood. I do know that WPC works hard to deliver services, help and information in our village and understand that the efforts are not always appreciated. Our very hard worked parish clerk tells me that it is a good day when she gets less than three complaints. So be it, better three complaints than no comment.

With my best wishes – Phil King

Willingham News – November

Community Police Meeting

The second meeting between the Willingham community and the police, to discuss the concerns of parishioners and to hear the police response to these concerns and their proposed solutions, has now been finalised.  The meeting will be hosted and Chaired by the Willingham Parish Council and is scheduled to take place at 4:30pm to 6pm on Saturday 1st December at the Ploughman Hall, West Fen Road, Willingham.  It is expected that the Police & Crime Commissioner and our Member of Parliament, Lucy Frazer MP, will be in attendance.  The Agenda is as follows:

  • 4:30pm Introductions by Willingham Parish Council.
  • 4:35pm Presentation from District Councillors.
  • 4:45pm Presentation from County Councillor.
  • 4:55pm Police report on Actions raised at the last community police meeting held on 20th September 2018.
  • 5:05pm Presentation by the Police & Crime Commissioner.
  • 5:15pm Question and answer session with Lucy Frazer MP, the Police & Crime Commissioner, local police officers, District and County Council representatives.
  • 5:55pm Meeting closed by Willingham Parish Council.

This is perhaps a good time to remember that the police need the support of our community to fight crime.  Please ring 101 or use the Cambridgeshire Constabulary website (www.cambs.police.uk) to report crime or to provide information on incidents.

Home Security Tips for the Autumn

Now that the clocks have gone back and the days are shorter, the South Cambridgeshire Neighbourhood team have identified the following steps to help in deterring opportunist intruders, especially if you are away from your property for any length of time:

  • Consider using lights on timer switches, leave lights on and/or leave a radio on to make your home look occupied (do not draw all the curtains).
  • Secure entry and exit points and don’t leave windows or doors unlocked or ajar.
  • Arrange for friends or neighbours to periodically check your property.
  • Avoid leaving keys and valuables within view or reach of a window or door.
  • If you have an alarm, make sure you use it (dummy systems are not recommended).
  • Consider the security of sheds and outbuildings as these may be attractive to thieves looking for equipment such as chainsaws and lawnmowers. They may also be able to use your hand tools to break into a door or window.
  • Register your property for free at immobilise.com to catalogue anything with a serial number, or upload photographs of more unique items.
  • Visit the police website for more detailed advice (www.cambs.police.uk).

Dog Walking Field Update

The identification of a suitable dog walking field remains ongoing.  Some landowners have already been approached regarding the selling or renting of their land (nothing suitable has been identified so far) and the option to use council-leased land on Meadow Road remains a possibility.  Unfortunately, there is not going to be a quick resolution to this issue but rest assured that the council is actively looking for a suitable site and should parishioners identify a viable solution, the council will investigate accordingly.

South Cambridgeshire District Council Proposed Bin Changes

The SCDC are proposing to make changes to bin services by introducing a charge to households who want more than one green bin.  The first green bin will remain free but additional green bins will cost £20 each from April 2019 and this will rise to £35 in following years.

Christmas is upon us

Following on from the re-introduction of a Christmas tree last year, the council is pleased to announce that there will be another one placed on the village green again this December.  The Willingham Parish Council wishes all parishioners a very Happy Christmas and New Year.

Dave Carlton