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 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 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

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 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 


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. 


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 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.


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.


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 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.


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 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.


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.


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


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.


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. 


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:

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


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.


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


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.   


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


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



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:

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:


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


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

8pm to 10pm – Badminton


7.30pm – 8.30pm – Keep fit/Zumba


9.30 am – 12.30pm – Adult Ballet

7pm to 8pm – Yoga


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: (for an insurance report)

For bicycles, register and report at

Report UK Passports at

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:


  • 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:

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:

 The police can be contacted with respect to their non-urgent responsibilities by either telephoning 101 or using this online address:

 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


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 ( 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 to catalogue anything with a serial number, or upload photographs of more unique items.
  • Visit the police website for more detailed advice (

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