Newsletter – October 2018

Dog Walking Field

Many parishioners have been dismayed to discover that the dog walking field will no longer be available now that the Government sponsored arrangement which allowed for public use of farmer’s land has ended. The Council have been in touch with the landowner, and it is not currently possible to extend the use of the field.

We are very aware of how much this will be missed and are actively seeking other arrangements. Unfortunately, the only Council owned land (the Community Orchard and land on Meadow Lane) is not suitable. If anybody knows of or can suggest alternate locations, please contact the Council and we will investigate how we can move forward.

MUGA – Multi-Use Games Area

Villagers will be aware that the new development in Rockmill End is proceeding, despite strenuous objections from the Parish Council. The only upside of this is that the developers have to provide “section 106 money” to fund community facilities in the village. The Council is looking at options for creating an all-weather floodlit MUGA on the Recreation Ground using some of this money. The aim is to provide a facility that can be widely used by all age groups, within the limits of what is feasible on a single area.

Plans are at an early stage. If you or your sports group might be interested in making use of such a facility, if you would like to be kept informed of progress, or have any questions, please contact Leisure & Amenities Lead Councillor Linda King.


Some footpaths in the village are currently impassable in places due to overgrown brambles and other vegetation. The Parish Council has no powers other than to ask residents and owners to keep the paths clear and will be writing to those identified.

Responsibility for footpaths falls to the County Council Highways Department and any obstructions should be reported via the portal at Note that the County Council can remove obstacles which are causing a hazard to the public, and will bill the landowner for any work carried out.

New Councillor

Please welcome Simon Anderson to the Council. Simon was co-opted as a new Parish Councillor at this month’s meeting, filling the vacancy left when Stephen Mellows moved away from the village. Simon’s contact details are here. Our thanks to Stephen for his time on the council and good works as Lead Councillor for the Cemetery.

Police Public Meeting

The meeting organised by the Parish Council on behalf of South Cambs Police was very well attended and our thanks to all who came along to raise their concerns with Sgts Hilson and Priestly. The Council’s notes of the meeting and the police Community Plan are online under the “Police” News Category. Printed copies of the Plan are also available in the library.

Local Plan

After a marathon and probably record-breaking four and a half year inspection, the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan was at last approved by the District Council at their meeting on the 27th September. This means it can now be given “full weight” in planning inspections and should mean an end to the rash of inappropriate developments in the village.

3rd Defibrillator

The second village defibrillator, installed on the library, was used recently and then returned after travelling with a patient to Addenbrookes Hospital. For privacy reasons we have not been informed of the details of its use, but inspired by this the Council intends to add provision in next year’s budget for the installation of a third device somewhere in the south of the village.

WW1 Commemorative Bench

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of The Great War, the Parish Council have installed a memorial bench in the cemetery. This will be officially inaugurated as part of the Remembrance Sunday service at the War Memorial.

Willingham News September 2018

From the Parish Council

Anti-social behaviour

September’s meeting saw the largest number of parishioners attending for many years. Over 50 villagers came to make representation regarding the recent increase in anti-social behaviour, vandalism and disruption in the village and the apparent lack of police response. The meeting was also attended by PCSO Tony Martin, to respond and to take back the views of those there, including one who spoke eloquently on behalf of the many. After the public part of the meeting, many left and had separate discussions with the PCSO.

The Parish Council has been making strong representations with the Police to try and bring about a positive solution. We have met with local officers who agreed where time and commitments allowed additional patrols would be carried out within the village and we have seen some evidence of this in the past week or two.

The parish council is determined to bring offenders to justice and has held a more formal meeting with the police and arranged for a public meeting to take place. This should have happened beforef this publication.

This was an opportunity for you to raise your concerns directly with the police and hear what they are planning to do for you We would encourage residents to continue to report all incidents to the police so that they continue to have a clear picture of what is going on and where.

Traffic in Willingham

Following a meeting with Mick George, he agreed to pay for Community Road Watch (CRW) to conduct surveys on traffic through the village. Also, he will supply 2 interactive signs indicating actual speed for the village, and will monitor his vehicles to try to divert those that can use other routes.

The traffic logger was located by CRW on Earith Road midway between the southbound Vehicle Activated Signs. The logger shows typically nearly 5000 vehicles per week day in each direction, with a morning peak at 7.30am and evening at 5.30pm, both with over 900 vehicles per hour. Speeds were around 30mph at the peaks, but averaged 35mph from Earith and 38 Mph to Earith, with a peak speed reached at this point of 93mph! More information can be found at –

Traffic monitoring by CRW collating HCV use was carried out in 2 hour sessions once a week over 4 weeks at differing times. The results were surprisingly similar with between 40 and 50 HCVs per session. This is more than one every 3 minutes on average.

The interactive speed signs should arrive soon and with additional brackets, these can be installed on Earith Road, Rampton Road and Over Road, relocated as needed.

A Site Traffic Enforcement meeting with our district, county and parish councillors, and representatives of the Northstowe planning officers was, disappointingly,  largely unproductive. The county council cannot prosecute any offenders of the planning conditions without complete evidence of non-compliance and they cannot look for this evidence themselves. Weight limits on the B1050 are unlikely to happen, though they will explore the possibility of a night time weight limit. Also, the traffic sensor monitoring is to be restarted which should give better evidence of traffic levels and types, etc.


Tim Wotherspoon, our County Councillor, reported that the pavements in Berrycroft and Newington are too far gone to be treated with slurry seal Therefore they need to wait till an appropriate budget can be found for a full reconstruction.

Regarding the B1050 alongside the river, he said the costs of the annual repairs are now so high that it may be viable to construct an alternative. This would need national funding which may be available from a Department of Transport scheme for disintegrating fen roads.


Proposals to utilise some Section 106 funding to provide a MUGA (Multi Use Games Area) are progressing. This will cost around £180,000 and will enhance sports facilities in the village, making it comparable with neighbouring communities.


Newsletter August 2018


Well done to everyone who has made a contribution to the magazine, been part of the Editorial team, and finally the distribution team, who have kept us up to date with Village news and events.

They recently received a GOLD award for ‘The Best Village Magazine’ from Cambridge Evening News.


The Council has continued to gather data and liaise with County and District Councils regarding this ongoing issue.

In the past few weeks active monitoring of traffic through the village has been carried out in Station Road and Earith Road.

A logger was installed for one week, to record traffic data including; date/time/speed/direction/type of vehicle.

Separate monitoring of four two hour sessions at different times was used to record; date/time/speed/direction/colour/model & chassis type/company name.


Dawn Percival our District Councillor recently held a surgery to which there was a small response. The next surgery is on 27th

October in The Ploughman Hall from 11a.m. until 12noon. These surgeries provide an opportunity to come and share your concerns with the District Councillor so that advice and help can be given.


Inconsiderate parking in many places around the village is making it difficult for other road users and pedestrians to use the roads safely.

Recently, this has become a problem at the entrance to Saxon Way, virtually creating a ‘one lane’ road.

We would encourage you to bear in mind where you park and consider the needs of other road users.


Unfortunately, there have been several reports of anti-social behaviour and vandalism around the village in recent weeks.

The council would encourage parishioners to report such incidents to the Police.[see below]

Other problems can be reported directly to the District and County Councils[see below]

South Cambridgeshire District Council – Environment reporting portal:

Use this to report issues or concerns with:

  • Abandoned vehicles
  • Air Pollution
  • Dog Fouling
  • Fly tipping
  • Fly posting
  • Graffiti
  • Litter
  • Street Cleaning
  • Asbestos

County Council  – Highways reporting portal:

Use this to report issues or concerns with:

  • 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

Police –  101 reporting portal (for non emergency calls):

Alternatively you can call 101 for non emergency assistance

Inconsiderate parking:

District Council News

Extra blue bin recycling?

The District Council recently posted a video on social media to highlight how residents should leave occasional extra recycling next to their blue bin. They have introduced new guidelines because their new collection vehicles have higher openings than their old trucks, so they needed to change the way they collect extra recycling.

You can view / share the video by watching it on YouTube here:

For more information, see

Residents who regularly have extra recycling can order a free additional blue bin by requesting one at

Contact: or 03450 450063


Newsletter July 18

From the Parish Council


I feel honoured to be accepted as the vice chair of the Parish Council and in particular to be given the opportunity to contribute to this great magazine.

Another role that I have on the Parish Council is that of police liaison.  There has recently been a number of cases of antisocial behaviour around the Pavilion area, in particular the setting fire of a tree stump, damage to cricket nets and vandalism to one of the pavilion doors.  As a result, we have met with the police and provided them with evidence of these acts; the outcome of the meeting has provided us with confidence that action will be taken to find the perpetrators.  I have also placed a request from the police for information in relation to these incidents on the Willingham Village Facebook page and for those who have information but do not have access to this website, please ring 101 or, if you wish to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

You can be assured that the Parish Council is determined to pursue perpetrators of antisocial behaviour and to recover costs wherever possible, including the recovery of costs from parents of any underaged offenders.

In addition to the antisocial behaviour, the co-operative store experienced a ram raid in July.  Consequently, the police were contacted to discuss the overall increase in crime in the village and they have agreed to arrange a community surgery at the Co-Op in Willingham (12 High Street, Willingham, CB24 5ES) on Wednesday the 15th of August 2018 between 17:00-18:30 to allay fears and to provide an increased presence.

There is no doubt that criminal behaviour can give cause for concern and therefore the use of Neighbourhood Watch will be pursued.  Clearly there will be work needed to bring this all together and I will work with the police to put in place the correct management processes to ensure we have an effective Neighbourhood Watch system.  Meetings will be arranged once I have enough information so please give this some thought in the meantime.

Roads  I think we all experienced the negative impact of pot holes on our roads throughout the village.  We would like to give you advanced information that the High Street is due for more-permanent repair during August and unfortunately this may cause some disruption during the day (09:30 – 15:30) between the 8th and 17th August. A Road Traffic Order is also being made by Cambridgeshire County Council to extend the existing 30mph speed limit on Station Road to a point 66 metres south of Westfield and should mean we will see this in place very soon. Other Matters South Cambridgeshire District Council is offering existing businesses and start-ups the opportunity to attend FREE drop-in advice sessions and practical workshops at their offices in Cambourne.  There are one-to-one sessions with advisors, workshops, advice and support and more detail can be found in the ‘Latest news’ section at South Cambridgeshire District Council is also offering a number of summer sports camps in Athletics, Netball, Rounders and Kwik Cricket. The cost is £24 per day and camps are open to children aged 7-14.

Dave Carlton





Newsletter June 2018


The comments in Willingham News from the Parish Council are written on a rota basis by six different councillors. This shares the load but more importantly ensures a variety of styles and opinions. It is my pleasure as council chairman to present the comments this month.

I know that not everyone will be pleased to hear that I am back as chair for the third time. Let me assure you that this is not due to an inflated ego but a lack of other candidates. Whilst it is a privilege to chair the council, having done it twice before for a total of six years, I can well understand that you may have preferred to see a new face.

I should have preferred to see one myself. I am a great believer in rotating chairmanships. That way you get new ideas. The good news is that the council does have some new and very able councillors who have put their hands up for future leading roles. David Carlton has agreed to be my vice chair and will, I hope, be able to take over next year as chairman.

As you will know, we had elections in May which resulted in thirteen councillors being returned unopposed. The remaining two posts have since been filled by co-option so I am pleased to say that for now we have a parish council at full strength. However, at least one councillor is likely to be moving out of the village shortly which will create a new vacancy. Please do consider putting your name forward. We are regarded as progressive and well run and can promise new members a very warm welcome.


As reported last month, SCDC also had elections in May that saw the Liberal Democrats sweep the board and enabled them to form a strong majority at Cambourne. They promise that their priorities will be affordable housing, the environment and supporting business growth.

For Willingham and Over we have two new Liberal Democrat councillors, Dawn Percival who lives in Willingham and Bill Handley who lives in Over. Both of them came along to our parish council meetings in May and June. They have promised to hold quarterly surgeries in Willingham from the end of July. The surgeries will be held in the Ploughman Hall between 11 am and Midday on 28 July 2018, 27 October 2018 and 26 January 2019.

Some of you may remember Dawn’s grandmother. She taught at Willingham school for many years and had among her alumni councillors Cook and Manning. How hard is that!

Dawn and Bill can be contacted at and


Your county councillor, Tim Wotherspoon came along to the Annual Parish Meeting and took on a series of questions about highways. Potholes and HGV traffic featured strongly and are high on Tim’s agenda. He mentioned a scheme of summer repair work to improve the road surfaces that will try to avoid so many problems next winter and also a potential new road link from the top of the M11 into the fens that could provide significant benefits to Willingham. However, that is some time away with the route still to be decided and funding to be agreed.

Unfortunately, Tim was not at our June meeting when further issues were raised regarding the volume and speed of traffic through the village. The clerk will be in contact with him on these matters. Tim usually attends parish council meetings when you can ask him questions or you can contact him at:

  Other Matters: 

I mentioned above the landslide victory of the Liberal Democrats in the district council elections. I should also mention that it resulted in Ray Manning narrowly missing election as an Independent. Ray has done a huge amount for this village over many years as a parish and district councillor. Our thanks go to him and his long-suffering family for the thousands of hours he has contributed.

I also mentioned the fact that this page of Willingham News gets compiled by different councillors on a rota. My next contribution will be for the January 2019 edition so in the meantime may I wish you all a wonderful summer.

Newsletter May 2018

District Council Elections

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

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

Parish Council

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

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

2nd Defibrillator

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

Traffic Monitoring

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

Council Vacancies

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


Newsletter April 2018

District and Parish Council Elections

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

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

South Cambridgeshire Planning Open Days

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

Street Lighting Upgrade

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

The A14 Time Truck

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

News for local walkers

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



Newsletter March 2018

Road Surfaces:

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

Youth Matters:

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

Defibrillator Training:

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

Help with Your Home:

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

Dog Mess:

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


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

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

Newsletter – February 2018

Outcomes of Community Governance Review for Willingham and Over

The full Council of South Cambridgeshire District Council met on 25th January 2018. Its business included consideration of a recommendation from its Civic Affairs Committee that a new boundary between Willingham and Over be adopted. Following a lengthy discussion an alternative, amended boundary line was agreed. This new boundary would move all the properties around Highgate Farm and to the west of Haden Way into Willingham. A map showing the agreed boundary can be seen on the Parish Council website. The Local Government Boundary Commission for England will also be asked to re-align the County Council boundary along the new parish boundary.

The Parish Council is very grateful for the support of local District Councillors, especially Councillor Manning, who have had to work very hard to bring this Review to this positive result.

District and Parish Council Elections

All current District and Parish Councillors have to stand for re-election on the 3rd May 2018. If you would like to consider becoming a Parish Councillor nomination forms for candidates are now available from the Parish Office. Completed nomination forms should be returned by hand to South Cambridgeshire Council’s offices at Cambourne, no later than 6th April 2018. To be qualified to stand for election you have to fulfil simple pre-conditions. These are stated on the nomination papers. Further information may also be obtained from: or the Electoral Commission website (

Willingham’s electricity supply

In recent weeks there have been several short periods when the electricity supply to the village has been disrupted. UK Power Networks have confirmed that some of these faults have been due to debris hitting lines during the recent strong winds. In addition a fault has been identified and repaired on a high-voltage line running between Burwell and Aldreth. Poor tree maintenance is not currently considered to be an issue. UK Power Networks are reluctant to install underground cabling because of potential damage caused by farmers.

If you are concerned about the welfare of vulnerable family members and neighbours who lose their electricity supply during these disruptions, encourage them to register with their utility suppliers who have a responsibility to prioritise the needs of these customers.

Willingham’s new defibrillator

The Parish Council has purchased a second defibrillator and this has been sited on the Village Library building. The support of our Library staff in helping the Parish Council complete this is gratefully acknowledged. Training in using a defibrillator will be provided by a qualified first- responder during April – further details will be provided.

Stopping fraud

Financial fraud can be prevented by remembering the following points. Firstly, a genuine bank or financial organisation will never contact you ‘out of the blue’ to ask for your PIN or password. You can ignore any requests to move money into different accounts.   Secondly, never allow access to your personal or financial details by automatically clicking on links in an unexpected email or text. Thirdly, if you have an uninvited approach from someone on the doorstep claiming to represent a company contact this company directly by telephone or email before allowing someone to enter your home.

Making metals matter

Please make sure that all household metal packaging – drink and food cans, foil trays and wrap, empty aerosols and screw tops – is placed within your blue bin for recycling. It is estimated that if all household metal packaging from Cambridge and South Cambs was collected it would save the equivalent of taking 812 cars off local streets for a year.

News Letter – January 2018

As this is the first Newsletter of the year it seems like a good opportunity to look back at the achievements of 2017 as well as looking forward to what 2018 may bring.

QEII Field Entrance

With the help of SCDC Community Chest Funding, the Council have improved the disabled access to the Ploughman Hall and QEII Playing field. During periods of heavy rain the previous path often became waterlogged and muddy. The path has been re-laid with improved drainage and following the very heavy rain of late we are pleased to say that the issue is now much improved.

2nd  Defibrillator

 A 2nd public Defibrillator has been purchased and is currently awaiting installation at the library. This along with the original defibrillator situated at the Pavilion, West Fen Road will (whilst we would always hope they are not needed) be a vital and reassuring asset for parishioners.

New Website

The Council has been working on a new, more user friendly website.   This is now up and running and as usual among other documentation, you will find, agendas and minutes of meetings, news items and information on how and who to report issues to that may arise for parishioners.

Highways issues

Whether it be parking, congestion or speeding, Highways issues is an area that many residents have expressed concerns about over the last twelve months. The Council share many of these concerns and continue to liaise with County Council Highways and our County Councillor regarding these concerns. In addition to making written and verbal representations to the relevant authorities the Council have also undertaken some initiatives directly.

Some environmental testing has been carried out along the High Street, with the placement of Nitrous Oxide monitors and it is hoped to continue this testing in 2018 in order to assess levels in the village.

Towards the end of 2017 a short trial was carried out using an interactive speed sign on Earith Road. We are currently waiting for the results of the trial and will report on these at a later date.

Parish Council Elections

2018 will bring the end of the four year term for serving Councillors. Existing Councillors will be required to step down and if they wish to, re-stand for appointment at the Parish Council elections in May. The elections are due to be held on 3rd May, along with District Council elections. If you are interested in becoming a Parish Councillor or would like further information please contact the Parish Clerk.

Life in the Old West

The Council has been in discussion with Cambridgeshire ACRE regarding their ‘Life in the Old West’ project. The Project has just received initial Lottery funding and aims to improve public understanding of the vulnerable biodiversity in the landscape around the Cambridgeshire Fens’ Old West River, whilst developing demonstration sites to showcase new ways of working on the area’s community green spaces and ditch network. The project aims to run for around four years and it is hoped that over the next two years, some of the green spaces in the Parish may benefit from being included in the project. More information about Cambridgeshire ACRE and their project can be found at

Newsletter – December 2017

Newsletter – December 2017 – compiled by Councillor Croucher

The Parish Council hopes everyone has had an enjoyable Christmas and New Year break! In the period before Christmas the Parish Council was busy reflecting on the support it has received in the past 12 months and looking forward to the opportunities and challenges of 2018. We hope for positive progress on extending the 30 mph speed limit along Station Road and, maybe, a resolution of the boundary review between Willingham and Over.

 Christmas trees

 Last Christmas the Parish Council re-introduced a Christmas tree and lights to the Village Green. They were much enjoyed by everyone. This year the tree and lights were in place from early December – we hope you have taken the opportunity over the holidays to walk to the Green to enjoy the spectacle. The tree has been generously donated by a local resident, Mr Coe, to whom we offer our grateful thanks. We also thank the volunteer Councillors and family members for giving up their time to set up the tree and lights – this year they discovered that a rodent had been nesting in the fuse box! The fuse box needed some tidying up before any connections could be made.

You may have also noticed that another Christmas tree has been sited on the front of the Public Hall, using a wall bracket which will remain in place for use in future years. This tree has been supplied through sponsorship supplied by the Co-op Store. The Parish Council hopes this will brighten up one part of the High Street.

 The Parish Precept, 2018-2019

 The Parish Council’s Finance and General Purposes Committee met during December to review the parish’s financial situation, decide on the budget for the coming 2018-2019 financial year and propose a precept requirement to the District Council. Lead Councillors identified a budget for the coming year of £180,367. This sum would cover the parish Council’s current activities and also allow for funding for new initiatives. Key items include an increased level of support for Over Day Centre, recognising that a large number of users are Willingham residents and that the Centre is losing considerable funding support from the County Council, the introduction of a structured monitoring programme of nitrous oxide emissions from vehicles on the High Street, and the revision of the Parish Plan.

After further discussion the precept request was agreed at £119,950, an annual increase of just over 2%. The difference between our budget and precept requirements was covered by taking forward income and unspent balances from the current financial year.

Recent activity

Walkers using Pound Lane will note that hedge trimming and verge tidying works have been completed. At its December meeting the Council awarded small grants to support the Salvation Army’s Christmas activity and the ongoing work of the Fen Edge Twinning Association. Council also agreed funding to replace security lights on the Ploughman Hall which had been vandalised.

Paper caddy upcycling and wood-burning stoves

As you are probably aware the District Council is no using paper caddies as part of its recycling activity. Used paper should now be placed directly into the blue wheelie bins. The District Council is also running an upcycling competition for the most imaginative re-use of a caddy.

The District Council also notes that the increased use of open fires and wood burning stoves is generating more chimney smoke,   A new practical guide to improve the efficiency of wood burning stoves , reduce fuel costs and decrease impacts on health can be downloaded from the District Council’s website.

Proludic Sport

Proludic supplied much of the equipment on our very successful playground. Some of this equipment is for use by keep fit enthusiasts. The benefits of using this equipment can be maximised by downloading videos and individual workouts from the Proludic website (

Newsletter – November 2017

Compiled by Councillor P King

I joined the Parish Council fifteen years ago to try and help improve our village and in some respects this has happened but, sadly, it is not the case on all issues. On some we seem to be moving backwards.


A subject of regular and entirely reasonable complaint is that there is too much through traffic and far too many HGVs. The Parish Council has lobbied continuously for improvement but the Highways department at our County Council do not listen or perhaps do not wish to hear. As one parishioner pointed out at length last month, after being trapped in Tesco’s car park for an hour, not only do they do nothing to help, but they are not even very good at communicating issues. It does sound like a department that could use some new blood. We will keep lobbying our County Councillor, please do the same, the more emails he receives, the more likely we are to see some action,

On the same subject the Parish Council is trying to gather solid data. We installed two Nitrous Oxide test kits at central locations to measure emissions. These are quite simple devices consisting of test tubes that can tell us the NO2 levels in the atmosphere. They are mounted above eye level on street furniture. Sadly one has been stolen. What conceivable use or value it could have is unclear but if you do see someone looking vacantly at a test tube and wondering what to do next could you let us know please, which brings me to the next subject.


It is true that we live in a relatively low crime area but that is little comfort to those villagers that are on the receiving end of burglary, theft, criminal damage or anti-social behaviour. Equally worrying is the apparent lack of police interest. They claim that they simply do not have the resources to deal with low level crime. You will find it difficult to get any response on the 101 number and even 999 calls do not automatically trigger a physical response. What we would recommend is that for non emergency problems you use the following link: the advantage of doing so is that your complaint goes on record and that if there are enough complaints action will be taken.

Meanwhile your Parish Council will continue to press for greater police presence and use the link to ensure any damage to council property is always reported. There is also a nominated police liaison contact, currently Councillor Carlton, who attends local police meetings and maintains contact with local officers.

Be Winter Ready

We put in a reminder last month that winter weather can be seriously bad for our health and recommended getting expert advice from your pharmacist, making sure you get your flu jab, stocking up your medicine cabinet and keeping warm with more information available at To this we would add advice from the energy suppliers to make sure that appliances are serviced and in safe working order, that you keep a couple of torches within easy reach and that if you do suffer a power cut you dial 105 for further information. Also can we ask that you keep an eye out for any vulnerable neighbours?


Finally, to try and end on a more upbeat note, I am delighted to be able to tell you that Councillor Manning has agreed to take on the role of leading Green and Boundaries, ably assisted by Councillor Cook. And even better news, they have obtained a Christmas tree free of charge and will be installing it on the Green very shortly. Councillor Manning has said that he will hold the ladder as Councillor Cook puts up the decorations. Enjoy the tree and enjoy the holiday. The Parish Council sends very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to all parishioners.

Newsletter – October 2017

Boundary Review:

Whilst many of you might think that Highgate Farm Store and adjacent buildings are in Willingham, you would be wrong. They are in Over, and most of the residents and businesses that are based there think that this is also wrong. They have petitioned for this area to be formally recognised as part of Willingham. The matter was reviewed by the Civic Affairs Committee at SCDC in September. The committee recommended refusal for change on the grounds that a sufficiently strong case had not been made and that the proposed new boundary conceded too much land, despite the boundary having been recommended by SCDC officers.

Geographically the Highgate area is joined to Willingham and separated from Over by about a mile of open space. As the petition from residents and the businesses operating there had requested local representation, Willingham Parish Council argued that it was their democratic right for this to happen. District Councillor Burling argued that the boundary had existed for four hundred years and should not be changed.

The SCDC committee recommended that Willingham and Over Parish Councils see if they could agree a smaller land change. WPC will certainly try but efforts in the past have met a brick wall. We will also be raising concerns about the procedure at the SCDC meeting.


Concern has been expressed by many in the village about the volume and type of traffic. The parish council is trying to obtain evidence about the extent of the problems, beginning with nitrous oxide testing at two locations. This will show whether the levels exceed national standards. Further testing may be done to measure particulates, noise levels and vibration. These are more expensive, but cooperation with neighbouring villages can reduce the costs, and could possibly lead to restrictions on heavy goods vehicles over a broader area. Meanwhile the parish council continues to liaise with local haulage firms to try and reduce the impact of heavy traffic through the village.

Bowls Club:

An application for a grant to help the bowls club resolve problems with the grass on the bowling green was approved. The council hopes the bowls club will continue to grow its support.

Waste Collection:

From 11 December papers and magazines must be placed directly in your blue bin. The separate caddy can no longer be used. The papers will still be recycled by the sorting centre.

Keeping Well:

Winter weather can be seriously bad for our health. Being cold can aggravate existing conditions and raise the risks of increased blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. However, there are many things you can do to stay well. Recommendations include, getting expert advice from your pharmacist, making sure you get your flu jab, stocking up your medicine cabinet and keeping warm. More information is available at

First World War Memorial:

The parish council previously agreed to commemorate the ending of the First World War. A special steel bench has been ordered and will be placed in the cemetery near to the war memorial.