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Changes at Stapleford School

Stapleford Community Primary School has decided to become an academy and join the Anglian Learning Trust.

The decision has been made to help safeguard the future of the school.

The conversion is scheduled to complete in early 2018.

Some parents have expressed concerns or uncertainty about the idea of joining a multi-academy trust.

“We genuinely believe that joining Anglian Learning is the best option for our school on many levels,” said Chair of Governors Clare Arthurs. “Not only do we expect to secure greater financial stability and viability for our school in the long term, but we also expect to reduce the administrative burdens currently faced by our senior leadership team, freeing them to spend more time focussing on teaching, learning and behaviour.”

The changes will see the school receive its funding from Anglian Learning, rather than the Local Authority. The level of funding will remain the same as if it was still a Local Authority school.

There will be few obvious “outward” changes to the school – we will have the same Head Teacher, and Deputy Head, and the same teaching and support staff, although they will now be employed by Anglian Learning.

“The Governing Body and Senior Leadership Team at Stapleford are excited about this new chapter in Stapleford’s history,” said the Chair of Governors.

Village week-end cancelled for 2018

The village week-end will not take place in Stapleford in 2018.

The decision was taken by the Parish Council at its meeting in October.

However the Village Show will still take place in 2018.

Read the full actions and decisions from the October Stapleford Parish Council meeting here

Friends of Great Shelford Library – User Survey highlights and update

User Survey - highlights

I am delighted to report that the recent User survey received 404 responses, which is a quite exceptional response rate.  Thank you to everyone who took the time and trouble to respond. In this short article I don’t have space to give the full results but these will be available at our AGM at the Library on 30thJanuary 2018.

As expected most respondents came from (in order) Great Shelford, Stapleford, Harston, Little Shelford, Trumpington, Whittlesford, and Hauxton but also from 11 other villages and from Cambridge. 

Most comments were hugely enthusiastic about the Library – for example, when asked to state how much they valued the library the average score was 9.35/10.  This is a powerful level of support for the library as it is and for having a professional librarian, with much praise for Rosemary.  Contrary to many people’s opinion of Great Shelford, the largest group of respondents were in the 31-65 age bracket, and not the over 65’s!

A number of respondents asked that the library provide more activities for children and adults. The Friends Committee is actively discussing this with Councillors and the Library Service to see how we can make this happen.

At a time when we are facing an uncertain future (how many times I have said that!) it is very reassuring to see that from our survey over 80% of respondents were prepared to pay something extra towards the cost of maintaining the library, if required. This included several respondents who do not use the library themselves but see it as an essential community resource.

The majority of respondents stated that they would support an increase in Parish Council precept and many added that this should apply to all surrounding villages too.  However a significant proportion stated that they pay enough council taxes already.  

Also 64% of respondents were willing to lobby councillors/the local MP to protect the future of the library. 

National Libraries Week

We raised £350 from the book sale so thanks very much if you took part.  We also had a very interesting and well-attended talk from Helen Harwood entitled “The ties that bind us: a look at the village community past and present”.

Alan Lyne 
Chairman of Friends of Great Shelford Library Committee 
November 2017

Bag stolen

A bag was stolen from a car after the rear window was smashed.

The Citroen Picasso was parked in a lay-by Gog Magog Way, Stapleford when it was broken into at lunchtime on November 14.

Science Park expanding

Babraham Research Campus is expanding creating hundreds of new jobs.

US life science property business BioMed Realty is making a £35 million investment in the campus, which is one of the UK’s leading hubs of bioscience research and innovation, supporting early stage and growing life science enterprises. It already employs 1,200 people.

Planning permission has now been confirmed for up to 10,000 square metres of new research and development space, which will see two new buildings constructed.

This expansion in facilities is due for completion in 2019, will create scale-up space for companies which started on site and have now grown and require additional space, as well as new companies moving to the campus for the first time.

The new buildings will be accessed via a new spur road that has just been built off the main access road onto the campus.

Sawston Fun Run seeks organisations looking for funds?


If you know a local charity or organisation that might benefit by receiving funds from the Sawston Fun Run, let us know.  We are inviting local charities and organisations to apply to be a beneficiary of the event to be held on Sunday 13th May 2018.


Each year, the event, donates around £15,000 to charities and organisations serving villages around Sawston. Since 1986 we have raised more than £440,000 for local hospitals, hospices, schools, youth groups, support groups and local branches of national charities.    


You need to identify a specific project or activity that needs support, tell us who will benefit, and say when the funds are needed. Whilst capital projects are preferred, the selection is based on the strength of each case. The closing date for applications is 30th November. Application forms are available off the website www.sawstonfunrun.co.uk or by contacting me by phone or email.   

Ian Chamberlain, Rotary Club of Cambridge Sawston   Tel: 01223 872243,   email:  enquiries@sawstonfunrun.co.uk  

House burglary

A home in Haverhill Road, Stapleford near Cambridge has been burgled during the daytime.

The break-in happened between noon and 3pm on October 26.
Budget challenges for Stapleford School

Stapleford Community Primary School could lose almost £50,000 from its annual budget unless the current funding formulas are changed.

The figures have been published by the campaigning website www.schoolcuts.org

A school spokesman said that the budget reduction figure of £48,000 seemed broadly accurate.

"Please thank the community for being such a generous community in the past," they said.

Two free and easy ways for the community to further help would be to register for the PTA's easyfundraising website


and also to register and cast votes for the Aviva fund for renovation of the school playground


The community are warmly invited to come and have fun at the 30th Christmas Craft Fair on 19 November! https://www.facebook.com/StaplefordChristmasGiftFair/ which usually raises in the region of £3k for the school thanks to community support .

Tree pub restoration takes a big step forward

Controversial plans to demolish the Tree pub in Bar Lane in Stapleford have been rejected by South Cambridgeshire District Council.

This dramatic news makes the opportunity to re-open the existing pub more likely.

The Tree Action Group is currently exploring the option of a compulsory purchase of the pub.

Greene King sold the village pub as a ‘going concern’ in 2013. The new owner immediately closed the pub without any prior notice.

The community reacted strongly, an Action Group was formed, a petition was signed and The Tree was listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV).
Public Meetings were held and a leaflet delivered to every household in Stapleford and a number in Great Shelford. The leaflet included an invitation to pledge financial support.

83 residents have so far pledged £130,500.

Read more about The Tree here.

Police say school incident was down to "misunderstanding." 

Police now say that a suspicious incident involving two pupils walking home from Stapleford school on Monday, September 25 was due to "a misunderstanding."

Sam Collings, from Great Shelford, said that her son was told to "get in the car" at around 3.45pm outside Stapleford Primary School in Mingle Lane.

He was one of two boys from years 5 walking home from school and were on Gog Magog Way.

However police have now issued this statement:

"You may have heard or seen on social media that there was a suspicious incident in Stapleford on Monday where two young boys from the primary school reported being approached by a man and a woman in a car. This has, understandably , caused some concern amongst parents in the area. Please read on...

"I went to Stapleford school yesterday at school end of day to put in some hi vis patrols and make some enquiries. It has transpired that this was a misunderstanding. One of the boys had fallen over and grazed his hand. A driver, who is a parent at the school, had witnessed this and pulled over, wound down his window and asked if he was alright. The driver did ask where he lived and followed that with advice to get home as soon as possible to get some attention to the wound. I am as satisfied as I can be that this was the incident referred to and that there is no need to be unduly worried at this time. That said, we can never be too careful where our children are concerned and it is always good to continue to give advice about talking to strangers and to alert someone as soon as possible if they are concerned. There was nothing wrong with these boys reporting this and it is always better that we establish an innocent explanation than nothing being reported at all.

I hope this puts your mind at rest."

Chris Wiseman

Stapleford residents responses required 

At the Parish Council meeting on 13 September it was agreed to seek feedback from residents on the following matters:

1. The Parish Council invite suggestions from residents on solutions to the speeding problems along Haverhill Road.

If you have a suggestion(s) please send it by e-mail to the Clerk on staplefordparishclerk@gmail.com by 06 October. Councillors will consider suggestions at the next Parish Council meeting on 11 October prior to submitting an application to the Local Highways Improvement Initiative.

2. Security of the Recreation Ground

The three things most frequently suggested solutions are as follows:

· Mounds (with or without flowers)

· Do nothing and restore the perimeter to its original state

· Oak posts

Comments from residents are invited on these options. As before e-mail the Clerk by 06 October so responses can be collated. The Parish Council will consider the options at their next meeting.
Teen Yoga open day

A teen yoga day is taking place in Stapleford in October.

It is promising to be a fun opportunity for teenagers and parents to experience my classes in a relaxed and welcoming environment. You can drop in throughout the afternoon, see yoga in action and join in if you want to.

Find out about where and when regular sessions will be happening and sign-up at discounted rates. Also enjoy homemade smoothies, vegan snacks and essential oils.

Directions: at the junction of Gog Magog Way, Church Street and Mingle Lane in Stapleford. Sat Nav postcode: CB22 5BG.

At The Johnson Hall Stapleford, from 2-5pm on Saturday 14th October 2017.

Blue bin paper caddies scrapped

There will be no need for Stapleford residents to use paper caddies from mid-December, in a move to simplify the recycling process.

From 11 December 2017, residents should place used paper directly into their blue wheelie bins for recycling.

The withdrawal of caddies also means fewer waste collection vehicles will in future be needed, helping save taxpayers around £670,000 during the next seven years compared to the existing system.

Trucks will cover around 26,000 fewer miles per year on South Cambridgeshire’s roads than the current arrangement.

After 11 December, residents can keep their caddies and use them however they wish. Alternatively, they can be taken to a household waste recycling centre for recycling. They should not be placed into wheelie bins.

Gas pipe replacement in Stapleford postponed

Gas pipe replacement in Stapleford has been postponed following the intervention of the Parish Council.

Following the receipt of a letter stating that the Cadent and TRIIO combination were to be working in the village from 4 September to 4 October on the gas pipe replacement, Parish Council Chairman Nigel Pett had conversations about the late notice and lack of consultation. 

As a result the area manager has written that works will not be undertaken until Cadent have had a meeting with the Parish Council to discuss in detail the mains replacement work and provide an opportunity to ask questions. He said he is grateful to the area manager for his co-operation.

"I hope that this alleviates the worries that some villagers had expressed and the Parish Council will keep everyone in touch with developments," said The Parish Council Chairman. "I can only hope that this activity has a better outcome that replacement street lights programme. It echoes!"

If parishioners have concerns then please contact your appropriate councillor who monitors your roads/streets/closes. Alternatively write to Anne Rudge at staplefordparishclerk@gmail.com

Travellers on Stapleford Recreation Ground

The first travellers arrived at the Stapleford Rec on Friday, August 11 at around 5pm. It is believed that there were about 40 families.

The Parish Council, who own the land, served an eviction notice the following day.

The last caravan left the site on Sunday afternoon, August 13, 48 hours after they first arrived.

This article is to provide readers with an accurate account of the issues around the travellers visit and to correct the erroneous details published by the Cambridge News.

The emergency community meeting called by the Parish Council was to explain the action taken and how to look to solutions to secure the safety of the recreation ground. It was NOT a meeting of the Parish Council and was completely legal. The meeting agreed to abide by Chatham House Rule – note rule and not rules – which allowed people to speak freely. Over 80 people attended.

The Council Chairman welcomed everyone and introduced parish councillors as well as county and district representatives. He expressed the thanks of the Council to the many residents who had expressed their thanks for the manner in which the Council acted to remove the travellers. Indeed the meeting commenced with thanks and applause.

The Chairman then explained how the eviction process had been carried out and thanked all who had made this possible within 48 hours. He explained that a working party of councillors and key villagers had met on Sunday after the travellers had gone and agreed initial action. The recreation ground is owned by the parish and along with the pavilion represents the major asset of the village. The Council has a duty to protect these assets of which the buildings represent some six hundred thousand pounds (£600,000). The immediate action of ploughing the Haverhill Road edge is an interim action to provide a barrier; this land can be easily reinstated and grassed. Large shingle bags have been placed to fill small sections and in particular to try and protect the school playing field and Collier Recreation Ground.

The full cost of clearing up and securing the recreation ground is not known. Most of the rubbish – and there was a significant amount but less than 17 wheelie bins - was taken away by SCDC and some of their operatives gave really good support in clearing the Jubilee Playground, which was particularly badly abused with animal and human excrement. The Chairman has written to SCDC thanking them and commending the operatives. The eviction notice, cleaning up the remaining detritus and excrement, repairing the damage to buildings and play ground, replacing and/or repairing equipment plus general costs could amount to some £6000. The parish will have to meet these bills although insurance will meet some costs.

The members of the parish who attended the meeting had the opportunity to question the Council about the action and to comment on future PERMANENT ways of protecting the assets. Proposals such as concrete blocks shaped like seats, a moat along the Haverhill Road side, a mound rather than a moat or a fence, more trees or indeed doing nothing were discussed. is envisaged. Costs of this work are unknown except that height restriction barrier on the car park will be c£1500. Overall the meeting indicated that some preventative action was needed.

Residents with any ideas about how to prevent travellers coming back to the recreation ground are asked to talk to Councillors or to send their ideas to staplefordparishclerk@gmail.com.

Please ensure that you give your name and contact details. If you do not then your idea will not be considered. The closing date for these ideas is 23 August and will then be considered by an emergency meeting of the Council as a consultation with the community before any work is undertaken but it will be done as soon as is possible.

Many thanks

Nigel Pett

One local resident has written to Stapleford Online to share their views about future solutions for the recreation ground.

The Cambridge News wrote an open letter to the Parish Council complaining about the fact that it couldn't fully report on the emergency meeting.

 Housing needs public meeting

Most of you know that your two Parish Councils have agreed to formulate a joint Neighbourhood Plan. There are a number of benefits from doing this, not least that it will give us more control over decisions on planning and development in the two villages, rather than those decisions being taken for us by the District and County Councils. This is crucial for both villages.

The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group has already conducted extensive consultations with residents. A major part of the jigsaw is the Housing Needs Survey, which was circulated to all residents in the Spring. On 5 September you will have your chance to review and comment on the survey in the Great Shelford Memorial Hall at 7pm. Please do make every effort to come along – it is your chance to influence the way in which your villages develop.

The Housing Needs Surveys are on these websites: http://greatshelfordparishcouncil.gov.uk/ and https://sites.google.com/site/staplefordonline/stapleford-parish-council Also copies in Great Shelford Library. If you need further information or details of the meeting, please contact Mike Nettleton on 721366/07905 356468.

Nigel Pett – Chair Stapleford Parish Council
Mike Nettleton – Chair Great Shelford Parish Council

Read the full Stapleford housing needs survey here

Shelford bus changes

A bus service serving Great Shelford and Stapleford has been saved. It will have a new operator from September. 

Whippet Buses had announced that it is stopping proving the 7a bus service which travels along Hinton Way and Mingle Lane from September 2. 

The 7a will now be provided by A2B. This is the 7a timetable.

 Whippet said that the planned changes have been made in close consultation with Cambridgeshire County Council after six months of careful consideration and dialogue with the Council on ways to keep the affected services running. 

“We recognise the impact this will have on our communities, communities that Whippet Coaches, our drivers and our staff are a part of. However, low patronage and fare collection on the affected services mean they have been operating at a loss for the past two years, with Whippet subsidising the operating costs,” said a statement from Whippet.

Parish Council opposes new garden village 

A new town development of 5,000 homes close to Great Chesterford threatens to put even more pressure on the A1301 through Stapleford as well as rail services to London.

The new development is predicated on most of the residents taking up new jobs being created in and around Cambridge. 

The development is being proposed without any improvements in infrastructure, especially the A1301. The deadline for comments on the development is 4 September. 

Great Shelford Parish Council strongly opposes the proposed development and we would encourage residents to contact Uttlesford DC to register their concerns. More details at http://www.stopnugv.org.uk/ 

Magog Singers 

Great Shelford Mobile Warden Scheme and Cancer Help Centre both benefitted from donations made at the Magog Singers concert on July 4th. In the coming term, we have been invited to sing at two concerts. On Friday November 3rd, we share a platform at St Mary’s Church, Great Shelford, with the ‘Le chœur des Aulnes’ the choir of Verneuil-en-Halatte, the town in France twinned with Great Shelford. The two choirs together will sing John Rutter’s ‘For The Beauty of the Earth’. On Saturday December 2nd we will be in Stapleford with the Handbell Ringers at a concert organised by The Friends of St Andrews. Do put the dates in your diary.

Our new term starts on Tuesday 12th September. We sing in the Jubilee Pavilion in Stapleford on Tuesday afternoons at 2pm. If you enjoy singing, do join us – everyone is welcome, especially those singing tenor and bass! Jacquie McBride our conductor has again chosen an exciting and varied repertoire.

Please contact either Graham (graham.bush@ntlworld.com) or Kathleen (kathleen.foreman@ntlworld.com)

Residential trip to Cumbria

This Summer SSYI (Shelfords & Stapleford Youth Initiative) and Romsey Mill took 12 young people from the Shelfords, Stapleford and Sawston areas on a residential activities trip to Cumbria. Led by youth workers Ollie, Zac and Tina they all took part in a week of Ghyll Scrambling, Kayaking, Climbing, Mining and many other adventurous activities, as well as lending a hand in the cooking and cleaning during the week.

The trip was designed to encourage resilience, communication and self-efficacy skills and the outcomes of this residential have been hugely rewarding. We reviewed their ‘distance travelled’ and 100% of the young people explained they had increased confidence and more hope for the future. All the young people enjoyed themselves rating the trip a of 9.3 out of 10 on average! One young person said that the residential was “the best one ever” and he has “overcome my fears because of these people for encouraging me”. The young people boldly squeezed themselves through a lead mine, slid down a chilly river, and spent most of their time kayaking pushing each other in the lake (including the instructor)!

The residential wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of many of the local parishes, churches, charities and regular givers to both SSYI and Romsey Mill. We would like to say a huge thank you to you all.

For more information about both charities, to support our work or to see the full report contact Ollie O’Meakin on ollie.omeakin@romseymill.org or visit www.ssyi.club or www.romseymill.org.

Stapleford bus service to end

A bus service serving Stapleford and Great Shelford is ending in September.

Whippet Buses has announced that that the 7a bus service will stop from September 2.

Currently the 7a buses include Mingle Lane, Gogmagog Way, Haverhill Road, Bury Road & London Road in Stapleford.

Whippet said that the planned changes have been made in close consultation with Cambridgeshire County Council after six months of careful consideration and dialogue with the Council on ways to keep the affected services running.

 “We recognise the impact this will have on our communities, communities that Whippet  Coaches, our drivers and our staff are a part of. However, low patronage and fare collection  on the affected services mean they have been operating at a loss for the past two years, with  Whippet subsidising the operating costs,” said a statement from Whippet.

Great Shelford library survey

Great Shelford library is facing an uncertain future according to the Friends of the Library.

The group has has decided to seek the views of those who currently use the library and also those that don't use the library about how the committee can respond to future changes.

You can complete the online survey at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/H85R9TF 

Surveys can also be found at the library itself. The surveys need to be completed by September 16.

Council could buy Stapleford pub to save it for community

A closed pub in Stapleford,Cambridge could be compulsory purchased by a district council so that a local community group can take it on.

 At a meeting of South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Business and Customer Services portfolio holder today (Friday 7 July), Cllr Nick Wright agreed for officers to look in to the next steps for a compulsory purchase order of The Tree public house – a pub that the owner bought and quickly closed at the end of 2013.

 A financial report looking at the business case for the pub being successfully reopened and run by the community was discussed in private session today due to the commercially sensitive information it included – but Cllr Wright described it as a strong case.

 A community group does not have compulsory purchase powers so Cllr Wright has suggested the Council steps in and provide support if further negotiations fail to convince the owner to sell to the “large and well-organised” community group.

 Cllr Wright said today that protecting community hubs in villages is important and the Council will commit officer time to help The Tree Community Limited. However, he also said today that the community group will need to fund the full cost of the legal process for a Compulsory Purchase Order – something they have set money aside for – if it is needed.

 The owner of The Tree pub has already applied for planning permission to develop the site, which included housing, but he withdrew the plans in July 2015. Since then he has recently submitted a new planning application to the Council for a different scheme that would see homes and a smaller pub built. The community group have objected to the plans.

The recommendations agreed today will mean that Council officers and Cllr Wright will reopen negotiations with the pub owner as a first step. This aims to avoid the need for a legal process to compulsory purchase the pub. Cllr Wright has also confirmed that the legal process should not begin until the current planning application has been determined.

 If the Council reached the position that a compulsory purchase is a viable option, details will need to be presented to a meeting of Cabinet and then Full Council for a final decision.

 South Cambridgeshire District Council listed the pub as an Asset of Community Value in December 2013 following a nomination by Stapleford Parish Council.  The Asset of Community Value scheme is a national initiative administered by local district councils to help give community groups time to form realistic plans to bid for buildings and land in their communities before they can be sold on the open market.

 Cllr Nick Wright, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Business and Customer Services, said: “Pubs are the heart of our communities and there is a very strong will from The Tree Community Limited to get the pub reopened for villagers. The Council would never go into the process of compulsory purchase lightly but I firmly believe the situation here is unique. The pub was purchased and closed quickly, there will not be any eviction as no one is living in it and we have a large and well-organised community group who have significant funding behind them.

“At a recent very well attended meeting in the village there was a clear and strong desire to retain the pub for the community. It is important that the current planning application is determined before we move forward and our planning team will do that by considering the facts in front of them.

“We want to make sure we have thriving communities with good facilities and I think this is the right step to support this village. It is incredibly rare that we would do this and we are aiming to not need to go down that route as we want to make progress with the owner so that the pub can be reinvigorated. I believe there is a good business case for The Tree continuing to be successful if it is reopened.”

Major new housing development proposed for Stapleford, Cambridge and Great Shelford

A major housing development in Stapleford and Great Shelford is being offered online by an Essex developer. 

The 29 acre site with 180 homes would include a care village alongside “low-density residential development”. 

The development on Green Belt is being touted by Essex company Scott Properties.

Their website states: “The site extends to 29 acres and is located to the South of Cambridge, with excellent connectivity into the city by road and rail. We are proposing a low-density residential development alongside a care village to address local demand, as well as new green infrastructure and amenity spaces.”

The proposal does not currently have planning permission.

Scott Properties told Great Shelford Online: “The 29-acre site off Mingle Lane is currently being promoted through the appropriate stages of the Local Plan. The proposals for the site consist of a substantial area of open space and landscaping, a care village and a low-density bungalow development to address local and district demand.

Scott Properties describes itself as “a Strategic Land Promoter to Landowners and Local Authorities in East Anglia.” 

You can read the full details of the proposal on their website here.