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Parish Council consultation - have your say

Stapleford Parish Council has £233,000 of “Section 106” money available to invest in the Parish. A survey is now being carried out before a public meeting is held to decide the way ahead.

This funding for Stapleford has largely come from the Welch site development. Depending on grants and other sources of funding available such as public works loans, the S106 monies could fund projects in excess of £1,000,000. Therefore the opportunities to the village are significant.

S106 funding is available for one-off, capital projects only. Revenue funding towards on-going running costs is not available.

There is a stipulation that £25,000 must be reserved for Community Art initiatives. There are several initiatives underway in the Village at various stages of development, and in order to ensure that the funds are allocated appropriately, the Parish Council seeks the views of Stapleford Parishioners on the best use of S106 funds in such a way that the needs of as many parishioners as possible can be met - whilst also delivering “landmark development” for the village.

The process followed will be an initial consultation survey to gather initial feedback and high level views. 

The Survey is available via the link https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/T2B36M6   which can also be accessed via the Stapleford Online website. Should you not have internet access, a paper version of the questionnaire is available from the Parish Clerk on telephone 07840 668048.

The output of the survey will feed into a public meeting, at which further support will be sought for the projects identified. Projects selected will then be subject to further detailed business case and feasibility work prior to final approval by the Parish Council subject to guidelines by South Cambridgeshire District Council.

Initiatives Identified 

Initiatives the Parish Council is aware are set out below. It is envisaged that more potential projects will be identified as a result of the public consultation rounds. Note that none of the initiatives have been costed - but a best estimate order of magnitude has been suggested below, of which S106 monies would form a part but not necessarily the whole.

1) Extending the Jubilee Pavilion - Significant Cost

The Jubilee Pavilion has been very successful in its first 8 years of operation and has the potential for expanding sporting and social activities for all parishioners throughout the day and evening. Feedback from users has indicated the potential for it to become an active Community Hub, especially with the proposed transportation improvements planned. Improvements envisaged include an enlarged kitchen; on-site cafe and community centre; meeting rooms and enhanced changing facilities; indoor multi-use netball/basketball facilities; archive for the History Society..

2) Replace the rec “shed” with an all weather sporting facility –

Large Cost Along a similar line to that above, the current brick shed on the recreation ground is in poor condition, and Council has been approached with an offer of private shared funding to convert this into an all weather sports facility - cricket and basketball has been suggested - along with a smaller facility to house grounds equipment.

3) Developing the Slaughterhouse and Villedomer Gardens - Significant Cost

The slaughterhouse is deemed to be a heritage building of import to the village, however it is used as a storage facility. The History Society has suggested it could be an appropriate location to house the village archives, serve as a village museum or a permanent office for the village clerk, and also that the gardens should be developed into a high quality “peaceful garden”. It has also been suggested that the historic significance is minor and the Parish would be better served by selling the site, including Villedomer Gardens, for development.

4) Developing The Tree Pub Community Social Hub - Large Cost

The Group looking to Save The Tree Pub have identified a need in the Village for a more active Community Hub to serve all parishioners throughout the day and evening with a communal centre at which to meet, eat and socialise. The Hub would be run as a not for profit entity. This was also a significant factor in obtaining an Asset of Community Value status for The Tree - the village’s only ACV.

5) Converting Village Assets to sustainable energy - Median Cost

There are government grants available to encourage councils to convert to sustainable energy. In our case this would largely mean converting the Pavilion to a mixture of heat exchange, solar and wind based solutions. Such a capital investment should reduce operating costs as well as the Parish’s carbon footprint.

6) Develop Basil’s Piece - Median Cost

Develop Basil’s piece into a high quality garden with an associated element for the Villedomer twinning.

7) Redesigned Recreation Ground Children’s Safe area - Small/Median Cost
Combine the two children’s area on the recreation ground into a redesigned safe area.

Read the full wording of the Parish Council leaflet
Posted Oct 11 2019

School Governors wanted

Stapleford Community Primary School Local Governing Body is looking to appoint two people to join its committed team of governors, one of whom should be a current parent of a Stapleford pupil.

Governors are responsible for ensuring the strategic direction of the school, its performance and the use of resources to support learning. They help to ensure that our school provides the best education it can for all the children in its care.

The Local Governing Body meet as a large group two or three times each term in the evenings. Governors also visit school once or twice per term during the school day.

In addition to a parent, the Governing Body team are particularly looking for a member of the local community with some time flexibility, interest and enthusiasm to fulfil the role.

Governors do not need to be experts to tackle the range of responsibilities expected of them. Help, advice and training are available from various sources.

If you are interested in joining our enthusiastic team and have time to commit to this role, please contact Chair of Governors, Paul Izzett, pizzett@staplefordprimaryschool.org

You can find out more information about the Governing Body at Stapleford Community Primary School on the school website at http://www.staplefordprimaryschool.org

We are a member of a group of schools in the Anglian Learning Trust at https://anglianlearning.org

 archaeology display 

The final report of the archaeological survey of Stapleford that started in 2013 has now been completed.

Over five years, volunteers have dug 33 test-pits in residents' gardens and other locations around the village.  They've found prehistoric flint, plastic toys and everything in-between.  Together, these buried treasures tell a compelling story of how Stapleford has developed over the centuries.

Posted Aug 30 2019

Events to celebrate the True Sons of Stapleford 

The Stapleford History Society has won funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to to honour the men from the village who fought in World War One.

Our village archive, largely gathered and curated by Alan Bullwinkle over the years, contains many treasures. 

In a recent sorting exercise they came across an original programme of the homecoming dinner held for the men of Stapleford who fought, and survived the First World War. Thanks to this remarkable document they know what they ate, what the invited concert party sang and recited and even who was toasted.

The History Society is delighted to announce that they have received generous funding from The Heritage Lottery Fund that will enable them to honour this occasion in the history of our village.

They are planning a series of events including music and poetry, drama, film, talks and a recreation of the dinner itself.

They begin on Tuesday 8th October in our usual History Society slot at The Pavilion when Dr. Sean Lang will give a talk - ‘The End of the War to End All Wars’ 7.45 pm and free to members, £3 on the door for guests.

Watch out for posters and check the history society website for details of all other events. Posted 16/9/19
Proposed transport route published

The proposed route for a new public transport route on the edge of Great Shelford and Stapleford has been published.

The proposed new public transport route which would costs up to £155m would link the Cambridge Biomedical Campus via Great Shelford, Stapleford and Sawston to a new travel hub near the A11/A1307/A505 with connections to Babraham, the Babraham Research Campus and Granta Park.

The route would entirely off-road, only interacting with other traffic at junctions. Junctions between existing roads and the new public transport route would be controlled by traffic lights.

The proposals are the first part of the Cambridge Autonomous Metro, which would take the form of electric, rubber-tyred tram-like vehicles using dedicated, off-road routes to bypass congestion.

Locations of stops are proposed on Babraham Road in Sawston, Haverhill Road in Stapleford, Hinton Way for Shelford and near the Busway bridge on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

Cambridge is on track to be one of the first cities in the UK to have a groundbreaking autonomous shuttle service as part of its public transport network.

Consultation closes November 4. There is a consultation meeting at the Jubilee Pavilion on Oct 14 at 5.30pm. Read more details about the proposals here. (External link)

Photos; Greater Cambridge Partnership Posted 9/9/19

Nursery education proposal for Stapleford school

Nursery education could be provided at Stapleford school from January.

The Governing Body of the Stapleford Community Primary School and Anglian Learning Trust are proposing lowering the age range of Stapleford School from 4 -11 to 2 -11 years to provide fully integrated high quality nursery provision according to a school newsletter.

The accommodation for the additional children will be organised in a Foundation Unit adapting current classrooms, led by an existing qualified teacher, supported by qualified early years staff the letter states.

Under this proposal the pre-school provision would initially offer up to 26 places for 3-4 year olds and then 13 places for 2-3 year olds.

The letter says that capital funding has been acquired by the Cambridgeshire Local Authority together with a contribution from the Trust, to build a secure, separate entrance and to make the current building more early years friendly.

The four-week consultation for the proposal began on September 6.

The letter states that proposed Implementation is in January 2020. (Posted 8/9/2019)
New guides leader 

1st Shelford Guides is delighted that they'll be restarting on Mon 28 October with new members to the leadership team.

If you’d like to find out about places for Guides (girls aged 10-14 years) or to volunteer, please go to www.girlguiding.org.uk and click on ‘Information for parents’ or ‘Get involved’, or email lisa.macgrego
MOBAS vandalism

There has been more vandalism at the MOBAS agency on London Road, Stapleford.

There was an attempted burglary at the building earlier in the summer but Police couldn’t identify anyone from the limited CCTV from our neighbours. However, since that occurrence MOBAS has put in CCTV around the building externally.

"This has proved useful given once again we had a visit from 6/7 youths (ages between 18 and 19) on Saturday night last weekend causing vandalism and damaging both electrics, air conditioning, and communal areas outside of the building where clear signs of drug use was evident. We do however capture all activity and faces on CCTV, quite clearly," said MOBAS joint Managing Director Robin Bryant.
The vandalism happened between 3am – 5am.

Anyone who has any information is asked to contact Cambridgeshire Police.
Posted Sept 2 2019

Shelford rave

Thousands of people from Great Shelford, Little Shelford and Stapleford were woken by a rave on the outskirts of Little Shelford in the early hours of August 17.

The rave took place at St Margaret’s Mount on Newton Road.

Police were called to the unofficial event at around 1am. The rave finally came to an end shortly after 11am when the heavy rain began.

“Thousands of people as far as 4 miles from the site (ie. Sawston and Stapleford) were seriously inconvenienced, many unable to sleep,” said District Councillor Peter Fane.

“The persistent low beat carried literally five miles - we’re over 3 miles away which is why I and others bothered to walk out at 3.30am to track down the source of the noise (which I originally thought must be across the street) so that I could report it.

“I walked up there 3.30am with some others (one from Stapleford) to identify site, but police were already there and subsequently assured us at 5am they “had it in hand”, meaning that with only a few officers on duty they didn’t have the resources to shut it down,” said Councillor Fane.

“There is a risk that because raves elsewhere have been shut down quickly and this one was allowed to go on into the morning, South Cambridgeshire may be a popular choice for rave organisers in the future,” Councillor Fane said.

“I will be asking the Environmental Health department at SDDC (responsible for noise nuisance) to meet with the police with some urgency to review procedures for dealing with raves, as they have been able to do successfully in other parts of the county already this summer.”

See a video of the rave on the Cambridge live website
Posted Aug 28 2019

Apple day

2G3S is teaming up with Cambridge Past, Present and Future (CPPF) to hold an Apple Day at Wandlebury on 5 October. There will be various activities, including:

· Guided walks around the Wandlebury Orchard by Fruit Orchards East, who will answer your questions about the care and maintenance of fruit trees

· Apple juicing: bring your apples to be juiced (don’t forget containers for the juice!)

· Fruit and nut identification: bring 5 ripe fruit or nut clusters with their stalks and a small twig with some leaves; photograph of the tree helpful

· Cooking with apples – samples and recipes

· Cambridge Beekeeping Association: information about bees, pollination and flowers; honey for sale

· Archery

· Other activities and stalls

There is no admission charge, but non-CPPF members pay a £3 car park fee – why not come by bike?

Linda Whitebread
Green Groups in the Shelfords, Stapleford and Sawston. greengroupssss@gmail.com Posted Aug 27 2019
Tree news
A proposal for a Compulsory Purchase Order to buy and protect the former Tree pub has been rejected by South Cambridgeshire District Council.

A new planning application for the Tree pub is currently being considered by the Council. 29 objections have been made by villagers.

The new plans would still see the construction of a three bedroom home 

But the previously proposed Bed and Breakfast block and parking spaces will be lost. 

The Tree Action Group want to reopen the pub which closed in 2013.

They have been trying to push through a compulsory purchase order of the property from the current owner.

The Action Group has set up a Facebook page  - https://www.facebook.com/thetreestapleford/, Instagram - @thetreestapleford, and Twitter - @TheTreeStaplefd - to keep everyone up to date with progress, and to garner more support.

Have your say on new walking/cycling link through Stapleford

Your views are needed about a new cycling and walking route through Stapleford and Great Shelford.

There are two options for the Sawston Greenway through Stapleford.

Option A would follow existing route, with improvements to the existing National Cycling Network route 11 to include improvements on London Road, Stapleford. This can be seen in pink on the map (left).

Option B would be via Dernford Resevoir towards Shelford Station. This would include a new shared-use path around the Dernford Reservoir site and connecting the new route from Shelford Station to the A1301.

Improvements would be made at Shelford station as part of the proposals including improvements to the station forecourt and road crossing and a direct connection through Mill Court.

Read more details and give your views here.
Neighbourhood Plan

Thank you to all who took the time to complete the Neighbourhood plan survey. The responses have given us much evidence of the type of environment you wish to continue enjoying. 

Whilst the responses were quite diverse there were some themes that were common and these will be incorporated into the text that we will now spend the summer writing before presenting to you all in the Autumn for further consultation. 

We value your ideas and are always ready to listen as the Plan is basically your document and can only be completed with your input. Again thank you.

Councillor Barbara Kettel, Chair of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group.

Mass Rapid Transport on edge of Stapleford a step closer?

The off-road bus-based transport system which would run along the edge Stapleford and Great Shelford could be coming a step closer.

An article in the Cambridge Independent newspaper says that consultation on the Mass Rapid Transit route (MRT) between Granta Park and the Cambridge Biomedical Campus proposals could begin in September.

The route would include stops in Stapleford and Great Shelford. However firm details of the route beyond the adjacent map have not been published.

"A public consultation on the possible routes for phase two of the Cambridge South East Transport Scheme – that aims to deliver quick and reliable public transport links from the A1307 to the city – could begin in September," says the newspaper article.

The link would be on a dedicated track and could eventually form part of a wider plan for a metro system for Cambridge.

Great Shelford and Stapleford councils have written to the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough James Palmer opposing THE multi million pound plans for a Mass Rapid Transit route (MRT) between Granta Park and the Cambridge Biomedical Campus which is being considered which would run on the edge of the two villages. 

The Mass Rapid Transport route would cross three local roads – Granhams Road, Hinton Way and Haverhill Road.

Read the article in the Cambridge Independent.

GCP joint assembly agenda for June 6

GCP project details

New flags for Stapleford

New bus stop signs (commonly called flags) have been erected in Stapleford in Mingle Lane, Gog Magog Way, Haverhill Road and Bar Lane.

These have been privately funded  and erected by Steve Edmondson (pictured in Mingle Lane) a local transport campaigner from Haslingfield with some financial support from Stapleford Parish Council & the help of John Wakefield from Great Shelford

The signs replace old dilapidated or missing 'flags' on on the route of the number 31 bus service which runs from Addenbrooke's via Stapleford and Shelfords to Fowlmere and Barley.

Steve has ongoing plans to also replace other bus stop flags in Great & Little Shelford,  Cambridgeshire County Council (now the Cambridge & Peterborough Combined Authority) have no funds to replace bus top flags and timetables!

Report and  photo; John Wakefield

Stapleford Granary beer

Stapleford Granary has launched its own beer.The centre is now offering SG bitter and pale ale to music and arts lovers.

SG bitter and pale ale is selling at £3 per 330ml bottle.

                                                     Stapleford Granary award

The Stapleford Granary has won a Royal Institute of British Architects Regional Award in recognition of the quality and imagination of the conversion work and new buildings.

The award was made at a special meeting of RIBA East at Downing College, Cambridge with Granary General Secretary Paul Barnes second right.

Dogs on the Recreation Ground

A concern was recently raised by a dog owner who wished to walk their dog off lead on the Recreation Ground.   (The advice from the Parish Council at that time was that dogs be kept on leads on the Recreation Ground or face a fine). 

The Parish Council has now changed this advice to be in line with the law regarding dogs in public spaces.

The law states that dogs must be kept under control in public places, it is considered out of control if it injures someone or makes someone worried that it might injure them, or if it attacks someone’s animal or the owner thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop a dog attacking their animal.

The Parish Council therefore now notes that all dogs be kept under such control OR on a lead.  They do however request that dogs be kept on leads near the play areas and carpark as a safety measure.  The Parish Council has kept the notice that dogs are prohibited from the enclosed play area.

The following notice will be put up on the board at the recreation ground.

The Parish Council hopes you enjoy your visit to the recreation ground.  To maintain the enjoyment of all users both dog and litter bins are provided.  Please clear up and deposit any waste in the appropriate bins. Please keep dogs under close control (or on a lead) and keep dogs on a lead near the play area and carpark.  Dogs are prohibited from the enclosed play area.

Three Horseshoes refurbishment

New owners have completely refurbished the Three Horseshoes pub, including the restrooms, flooring, garden and furniture. Also the ales are back on the hand pulls. Over the coming weeks they are planning to install a woodburner.

"We felt that the whole place needed a refresh, in line with our expectations for the pub," said Christopher Diogenous. "New owners, new offering and new look.

"We closed the pub for 9 days and completed the first phase refurbishment on the 18th April, which was the opening night.

There is still a strong selection of cask ales, bar menu which includes a ploughman's, charcuterie and cheese boards as well as homemade dishes and haggis scotch eggs and black pudding sausage rolls. The menu will be expanding over the next week or so to offer a small mediterranean influenced menu. They have also partnered with Cambridge Wine Merchants for a great choice of wines.

And their message to the people of Stapleford? "Come and see the changes, we are sure you will like it!"
Trauma teddies 

For a few years knitters in Stapleford WI have made Twiddlemuffs for Alzheimer’s patients in Addenbrooke’s and in local care homes. Recently we decided to extend our repertoire and knit other items of use locally.

They now knit Trauma Teddies to be used by the Emergency Services when attending a variety of incidents where children may be present or distressed by the situation. Patterns for the teddies are on the internet, and they are proving to be both a comfort to the children and a distraction from traumatising events. We donate them to Cambridgeshire Police Force and are looking to establish a contact for donations to Cambridgeshire Fire Service.

They continue to knit Twiddlemuffs for dementia patients, and now also knit pairs of 6”/20cm squares for the Rosie Maternity Hospital. These are used in the premature baby unit. Both mother and baby are given a square which is kept inside their clothing and exchanged on visits so that the baby can recognise its mother’s smell as a comfort and bonding aid, and vice versa.

Helen Hale
Stapleford Community Warden Scheme launched

Stapleford's Community Warden Scheme after started after months of hard work.

Donna Allsop has been appointed as the Stapleford Community Warden. She will work 9am to 12 noon Monday to Fridays. Her contact number is 07436 102733.

She will be contacting people on the existing waiting list as well as taking new referrals as soon as she can accommodate them.

Participants in the scheme pay £7 weekly per household to Age UK via the warden.
The scheme has received support from Stapleford Parish Council, St Andrews Church South Cambs District Council and a number of local charitable trusts. However, further support will be needed.

Enquiries regarding warden services should made in the first instance to Joan and John King on 843578.

Chairman's message

Here is a message from Howard Kettel, the new Co-Chair of Stapleford Parish Council.

It would be impossible to follow in Nick Pett’s footsteps, he made such an enormous contribution to the wellbeing of the village and his dedication and focus was amazing. He will be missed in so many ways and this will become even more apparent as we look back on his legacy.

I try to be a team player and to listen. My primary concern is to hear what the village wants and then to seek to implement with others what is ‘do-able’. Looking back on what I previously wrote about myself, I would say that my concern for the wider community has grown over the years, and being part of a community church has featured highly in my life, but taking action is key. Reaching out to people who don’t naturally connect with their community, running small groups and doing some mentoring has been my focus. Now a trustee of Hope into Action, a local charity providing homes for the homeless through mobilising, empowering and enabling the local church community, we are seeing the needs of the homeless met in our communities.

As for Stapleford, there is so much opportunity to engage, I am passionate that we preserve and enhance the best in our village and protect our green spaces whilst at the same time meet the challenge of unprecedented growth. Influencing the strategic transportation schemes that will impact our lives is equally vital and to ensure that local representation will make these schemes work for our village.

I’m also thinking how we can take Nick’s vision forward. Over recent years he had ideas for the Pavilion and sports field, which I am keen to see moving forward so that different interest groups get the facilities they need. Beyond that there are the day-to-day concerns of speeding traffic, the constant stream of planning applications that need to be examined (not to mention tree applications), the care of the cemetery and the Villedomer Gardens and so much more!


Boost for Stapleford village warden scheme

Stapleford's village warden scheme is to get a share of more than £23,000 awarded by South Cambridgeshire Council to tackle isolation among elderly residents

Fourteen community groups have been awarded £23,410 by the District Council’s long-running Mobile Wardens grant scheme. The funding will help the groups to tackle isolation by supporting elderly residents to stay in their own homes and communities.

Through community care schemes, Mobile Wardens regularly visit elderly residents in their homes, helping with light practical tasks and establishing supportive relationships.

The applicants for 2019/20 grant funding included 11 schemes that were supported during the previous year, plus three additional schemes. In order to fund all 11 returning schemes to the same level, as well as the three additional schemes in Waterbeach, Stapleford and Great Shelford, the total funding for 2019-2020 has increased by £3,300.

Nick Pett

Stapleford Parish Council is deeply saddened to learn of the sudden and untimely passing of its Chair Nick Pett after a short and aggressive illness.

Nick/Nigel’s commitment to public service and role as a devoted public servant was an example to us all especially in times when some shy away from the time, commitment and responsibility involved. Nick gave his time by the bucket load. He attended countless and diverse meetings on usual Council business as well as on issues ranging from education to the Neighbourhood Plan, planning, infrastructure and transport. He was determined to collaborate with neighbouring parishes for the greater co-ordinated good. He was a tireless advocate of the need for strategic overview as well as attending to the detail. The Village Weekend wouldn’t have been the successful inclusive event it has become without the tireless organisation of Nick and Gillian.

At times his resolution to achieve things meant that occasionally others needed to follow in his wake to smooth the waters after the power boat had motored through! His strong and vibrant personality meant that meetings were lively, often infused by snorts and giggles.

Thank you Nick for all the time that you gave and all that you did to benefit and improve our community.

Our thoughts are with our fellow Parish Councillor Gillian and all of the family.

Vice Chair Sara Sayer and fellow Parish Councillors.

Parking charge to be introduced at Magog Down

A £3 parking charge is being introduced at the Magog Down in December.

The Magog Down is run by a Charity, The Magog Trust. It costs around £50k pa to maintain the Down.

The charge is being introduced to ensure its future.

Many of you visit Magog Down and enjoy this beautiful corner of the Cambridgeshire countryside. How many contribute to the costs of running and maintaining it? Friends and Members do, and their commitment is important to the charity. To encourage everyone who uses the Magog Down to pay towards these costs, the Trustees have decided to introduce a charge for car parking, except for Friends and Members.

Look out for further information on the date of introduction. The charge will be £3 a day. To become a Friend visit http://www.magogtrust.org.uk/join_us/. It costs an individual £15 per year and a family £25 per year.

Changes at Murketts

It would appear that Murketts have re-branded their car sales and filling station at Stapleford to Magpie Garage https://www.magpiegarage.com/ which is no longer a Vauxhall dealership, and appears to be selling used cars only of all makes. 

On the website it says "Magpie garage is your new independent garage services location, operated by the Murkett family who have for over a century owned and operated motor businesses in Cambridgeshire and the surrounding areas."

Murketts are still a Vauxhall dealer in Cambridge, Huntingdon and Royston https://www.murketts.co.uk/

The filling station at Stapleford is still selling Esso petrol and diesel and are unchanged.
John Wakefield Nov 30 2018

Stapleford roads affected by the new 20mph zone

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.