Stapleford Cambridge news from Jan 2020

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Shelford library is now fully open

Great news – Great Shelford Library will revert to its full opening hours with effect from Monday 2nd August. To keep everyone safe, visitor numbers will continue to be limited and Covid-19 safety precautions will remain in place, including the wearing of a face covering.

Playground appeal hits its target

The campaign to raise money for a new playground at Stapleford Rec has hit its target.

Work is now likely to start in the autumn.

Campaigners have just been a £50k grant from the FCC Community Foundation*. This follows pledges from Stapleford Parish Council, the Messenger Fund, the South Cambs Covid Recovery Fund and the Village Hall Fund.

More than £2,000 was also raised via a local JustGiving page - You can donate online here:

*FCC is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community projects from funds donated by waste and resource management company FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund. https://fcccommunitiesfoundation.org.uk

Posted June 14 2021

Demo to help save some of Stapleford's green belt

More than 200 villagers turned up for a demonstration to protest against the proposed busway on fields on the edge of Stapleford.

The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) intends to carve a tarmac busway 14m wide through greenbelt around Stapleford and Great Shelford – one of the most beautiful landscapes in Cambridgeshire and adjacent to Magog Down.

The GCP is currently deciding whether to go ahead. If a Transport and Works Order is granted, it will have all the powers it needs to push ahead with its busway and a 2,000-space park-and-ride near Babraham to support it.

Stapleford Parish Council says a better value-for-money and less damaging alternatives exist using a former rail line.

Updated June 7 2021

Dernford reservoir proposals

New proposals have emerged for Dernford reservoir between Stapleford and Little Shelford.

Russell Smith Farms are assessing the potential redevelopment of the former Dernford Quarry at Stapleford to provide a community country park with camping and caravanning facilities.

They are applying for planning permission for a caravan park in conjunction with the Caravan and Motorhome Club. As part of the caravan park, there would be further amenities that would benefit the local community.

This would include water-based activities, a farm shop/ café and a children’s play area.

An outdoor event space is also proposed with various options:

• Competitor camping for sporting events like triathlons and duathlons

• Outdoor cinema

• Food festivals

There will be scope for a variety of ancillary sport and recreation facilities, which could include a bowling green, gym, sauna, tennis courts, all-weather courts (for football), farm shop and associated parking.

This initial consultation will run from Monday 24th May for a six week period until 5th July.

Read more details at the South Cambridge Waterpark website.

Posted May 28 2021

Local leader awarded for outstanding service to Girlguiding

Lisa MacGregor, a leader with Shelford Guides, Stapleford Brownies, Shelford Brownies and Trumpington Rainbows, is celebrating after receiving the honour of receiving the Lily, the County brooch from Girlguiding Cambridgeshire East in a virtual ceremony.The Lily is an award given in recognition of commitment and outstanding service by Girlguiding volunteers in the county. Lisa has held a variety of roles in over 12 years of faithful service to Girlguiding, including volunteering in Rainbow, Brownie and Guide units and, as district commissioner, leading the team of local volunteers in the Shelfords, Stapleford and Trumpington.Joanne Staines, with whom Lisa shares the district commissioner role, said, “Lisa’s experience and knowledge of Girlguiding is invaluable, and even in difficult situations Lisa remains calm and deals with all issues effectively and with empathy. Lisa is great with the Rainbows, coaxing the shy girls to join in with games, offering advice, but allowing the girls to learn for themselves during meetings. Lisa is reliable, confident, and good fun and it is a pleasure to work with her at Rainbows.”Local leader, Clare George, said, “Lisa is very passionate about Girlguiding. She carries many hats around with her in the Guiding world and manages to manage every single one. She is a remarkable lady, and deserves an award to honour and show her how much we appreciate everything she does.”County commissioner, Claire Course, said, “2020 has certainly not been what we expected, but our leaders and volunteers have risen to the challenge and adapted to a new way of guiding. We were delighted to be able to hold our annual awards event as a virtual event to celebrate how amazing our volunteers have been this year and over many years. They have shown how guiding has always changed as the lives of girls change and this year is no exception.”

Around 100 members and supporters of Girlguiding Cambridgeshire East came together for a virtual ceremony, celebrating the amazing volunteering that has continued despite the

challenges of the last year.

Lisa said, ”It was such a lovely surprise to receive the Anglia Brooch. I was so delighted. Guiding has given me many amazing opportunites over the years. Best of all is the privilege of getting to know so many great girls, young women and leaders - and having so much fun along the way.”

Posted May 19 2021

Election results

Brian Milnes and Maria King are the new County Councillors for Stapleford, the Shelfords and Sawston.

The Liberal Democrats won the elections on May 6 from what were previously Conservative held seats with a 10% swing.

Candidates

Sophi Berridge

Green (1041 votes / 7.35%)

Manas Deb

Conservative (2106 votes / 14.88%)

Brian Milnes - Elected

Liberal Democrats (3518 votes / 24.85%)

Maria King - Elected

Liberal Democrats (3125 votes / 22.08%)

Anand Pillai

Labour (679 votes / 4.80%)

Tracey Draper

Labour (898 votes / 6.34%)

Eleanor Crane

Green (743 votes / 5.25%)

Dale Hargrove

Conservative (2045 votes / 14.45%)

New Stapleford cafe

A new cafe is opening in Stapleford in the summer.

The coffee shop on Dolphin Way will be opening in June.

It's expected to be called Pickles and Beans.

You can follow progress at their Instagram page @pickles_and_beans_stapleford

Posted May 3 2021

Have your say on the future of the Parish Pit

Stapleford Parish Pit, located next to Magog Down, is an old chalk quarry which was last used more than 100 years ago. It lay abandoned for many years and fell into a state of disrepair. In recent years, a group of volunteers, The Friends of Stapleford Pit, restored the site as a nature reserve under the oversight of Stapleford Parish Council to a management plan drawn up by The Wildlife Trust.

The Pit is the only asset of a charity, called The Public Stone, Chalk, Gravel and Clay Pit, whose sole trustee is Stapleford Parish Council. The beneficiaries of the charity are the residents of Stapleford.

In March 2020, the Parish Council resolved to transfer ownership of the Parish Pit to Magog Trust for the sum of £1. This was seen to be in the best interests of the charity and its beneficiaries. The Magog Trust has more than 30 years’ experience of managing chalk downland for the purposes of recreation and conservation, can call upon appropriate expertise and has sufficient resources to fund the maintenance and improvement of the site.

To bring about this transfer, Stapleford Parish Council must apply to the Charities Commission to request a change to the present purposes of the charity. The Parish Council is required to consult with the beneficiaries of the charity (i.e. Stapleford residents) before the Commission will accept any such request.

Q1: Do you agree to Stapleford Parish Council’s proposal to lift the restriction on land transfer of the Pit? Answer: yes/no.

Q2: Do you agree to Stapleford Parish Council’s proposal to transfer the Pit to Magog Trust with aims as close as possible to the existing aim of benefitting the residents of Stapleford? Answer: yes/no.

Any additional comments you may wish to make below will be noted.

To comply with requirements, the Parish Council needs to see clear support for its proposals from Stapleford residents before we can transfer the Pit to Magog Trust. We would be very grateful for your input – the more responses in favour, the more straightforward this is.

The consultation will close on 31 May 2021. Responses will be summarised and anonymised before the outcome of the consultation is published on www.staplefordparishcouncil.gov.uk, in Stapleford Messenger, on local Facebook pages and on Parish Council noticeboards. Please only reply once to the consultation, via whichever means suits you best.

More information about the consultation is available in the May edition of Stapleford Messenger, on Parish Council noticeboards and at www.staplefordparishcouncil.gov.uk.

Posted April 27 2021

Stapleford retirement village proposal rejected

South Cambridgeshire's planning committee has voted to refuse outline planning permission for Axis Land Partnerships to build a retirement village on the eastern boundary of Stapleford, with access off Haverhill Road.

Planning committee members agreed that there were insufficient special circumstances to merit removing the land from the greenbelt and that a high-end retirement village would not meet local need for affordable accommodation for elderly people.

They also recognised the local significance of the open views from Stapleford to Magog Down and the surrounding landscape.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to object to this - an incredible 42 objections were received in total; only 7 letters were received in support, none of which were from people with Stapleford addresses. It just goes to show what we can achieve when we come together.

Posted April 13 2021

Stapleford Council demands rethink on busway

An independent report has shown that the South East Cambridge Busway could be routed along a disused railway line through Stapleford and Great Shelford rather than on Greenbelt countryside.

In light of the report, the parish councils of Stapleford and Great Shelford and community groups such as Cambridge Past, Present & Future, are formally calling on the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) to change track on the busway.

The GCP is planning to build a bus-only road through the South Cambridgeshire greenbelt, next to the Gog Magog Hills and exposing Green Belt land to speculative development. The proposed route skirts around the edges of Stapleford and Great Shelford rather than serving the villages.

Driven to protect its greenbelt, Stapleford and Great Shelford Parish Councils, supported by crowdfunding, commissioned an independent investigation of an alternative route following the disused Haverhill railway line: the ‘Shelford Railway Alignment’. The resulting report by specialist consultancy, i-Transport, finds that:

The Shelford Railway Alignment can meet the specifications required by the GCP. It can be fully segregated, compliant with a future Cambridge Autonomous Metro (CAM), and does not require the large-scale demolition that was given as a reason for excluding this route.

Using the old railway line would take the alignment through the villages, which would increase passenger numbers compared to a route on the edge of the villages. Re-using the former railway would avoid damaging the greenbelt.

Stapleford and Great Shelford Parish Councils are now making a formal request to the GCP to pause its plans and re-appraise the use of the disused railway line as a genuine alternative.

Howard Kettel, Chair of Stapleford Parish Council, says that “We owe it to future generations who will live in our village to protect our greenbelt countryside for them to enjoy. We are incredibly grateful to the local community for donating £12,000 towards this effort. i-Transport’s report shows that there is an alternative and we now want to see the political will to look at this option properly, including giving the people of this an area a chance to have their say.”

Posted March 25 2021

Multi Use Games Area takes another step forward

Work will start on the Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) on early April.

So children can enjoy the playground during the Easter holiday and because we can meet outside with 6 people/2 households from 29th March, the parish council has requested that the contractor delays the start of work on the new MUGA.

This will now happen at some point between 6th and 12th April (weather permitting). From then, the fenced-in children's play area will be closed during the 6 week project.

A high level plan for the project is available on the Parish Council's website (link below).

All being well, work could take around 6 weeks to complete in late April. Note that groundwork cannot take place until a sustained minimum temperature has been achieved because the adhesives for the artificial MatchPlay2 surface will not adhere properly.

The project will complete with the planting of some evergreen laurels parallel to the road-facing edge of the courts. This was requested by the local authority to reduce light spilling onto the road from the new Tweener Light System.

Updated March 25

Roadworks at the A1307/Granham's Road junction start on April 6

The GCP and contractors Milestone Infrastructure will be starting construction on safety improvements on the junction of Granham's Road with the A1307 on 6 April 2021. The works will take about three months to complete.

The new junction layout will provide:

• A dedicated right-turn lane from the A1307 into Granham's Road

• Better visibility for vehicles exiting Granham's Road onto the A1307.

What works will be done?

• Widening the carriageway to create the extra space needed for the new right-turn lane

• Diverting utility services in the road works area

• Works to the existing A1307, such as resurfacing, road markings and street lighting

• Traffic Management during construction.

All efforts will be made to keep disruption to a minimum. However, for safety reasons there will be a number of necessary changes whilst these works take place. These will be:

• Granham's Road will need to be temporarily closed to traffic for the duration of the works. A diversion route will be signposted via Hinton Way

• On the A1307 narrow lanes with an extension to the existing 30mph speed limit will be put in place. Temporary traffic signals might occasionally be necessary. These would be used during off-peak periods (09.30 am -3.30pm) only

• The resurfacing and road marking works will take place overnight using temporary traffic lights and convoy working

• Cyclists and pedestrians will be able use the path alongside the A1307. Some temporary restrictions might be needed to carry out specific works such as replacing lighting columns.

If you have any concerns during construction, please do get in touch with Skanska's project team on A1307schemes@skanska.co.uk or telephone Cambridgeshire County Council's Contact Centre on 01223 699906.

Posted March 25

New Arthur Rank Hospice app

'Help at Hand’ app will help Arthur Rank Hospice Charity’s patients access practical support available in their local community.

The new community information app which will help them to access everything from exercise classes to wellbeing support groups, telephone helplines to mental health services.

It is the first time a Hospice has adopted the ’Help at Hand’ app, which functions like a digital directory offering social prescribing. It can be accessed via mobile phone, device or computer and provides a safe, quick and efficient way to signpost Hospice users – patients, family and friends - to the community organisations and groups they need most. The interface is simple to use, with clickable links allowing users to quickly contact organisations by telephone or email, and web addresses which open to provide further details. If someone has favourite services, these can be saved and shared.

The mobile phone app is free and can be downloaded from the App Store on Apple or Play Store on Android devices. An online version can also be reached on Arthur Rank Hospice Charity’s at arhc.org.uk/helpathand. The organisations, charities, groups and services sign-posted from the app, have all been listed by the Charity, building on existing relationships and partnerships established by Hospice colleagues who support patients across the breadth of its services. Posted March 10 2021

A1307 changes

There’s some potential changes in the pipeline for the A1307. They include;

· Babraham P&R will have a further 150 spaces..

· Significant changes are planned at the A1307/Haverhill Road junction:

· It will not be possible to turn right out of Haverhill Road towards the A11. Vehicles will turn left and travel north to the Hinton Road roundabout before returning south along the A1307 towards the A11.

· It will not be possible to turn right out of the Gog Farm Shop onto the A1307. A sort of ‘one-way turning system’ will use the old dual carriageway further up the hill to turn right and head back towards the City.

· The A1307 will be narrowed to one lane in each direction, with a 50mph speed limit all the way to the A11. It is likely that the 50mph limit will extend into Haverhill Road; the Parish Council has requested that it extends the full length of Haverhill Road or is reduced even further.

Here is Greater Cambridge Partnership’s presentations about the proposed changes with more details.

Posted Feb 2 2021

Cemetery update

You may have noticed that some of the graves in the cemetery are currently cordoned off. A Parish Council team is continuing to push forward with co-ordinating improvements. Please bear with them while repair work continues, particularly because many firms cannot respond as quickly now as they could pre-Covid.

A little bit of background history for those not so familiar with the cemeter The site of Stapleford’s cemetery was purchased in 1881, with the first burial taking place in 1885. Additional land was purchased in 1930, again in 1949 and again in 2011, so hopefully there is now enough land to provide grave space for many years to come. The first burial in the new site has now taken place and we will, as funds allow, begin landscaping.

The cemetery is maintained by the Parish Council for the benefit of all inhabitants of Stapleford; villagers have a right to be buried in it so long as there are available grave spaces. You may be surprised to know that although the land on which the cemetery exists belongs to the Parish Council, the graves themselves do not. Instead, they belong to the families who have burials in them. Over the years, many of the headstones have become insecure and dangerous and are likely to topple; some of the graves have sunk due to animal invasion and become trip hazards to the public. The only way any of them can be repaired is by contacting the owner families and asking them to maintain their grave. This is obviously a difficult task as in many cases we do not know who the owners are and we cannot get a family to do a repair until we are sure of this. The Parish Council can decide to make a grave safe itself, but the costs of doing so are substantial and would need to be justified.

In the meantime, to avoid accidents they have taped off any seriously dangerous graves and put up an explanatory notice on the board. If you know who owns a zoned off plot, please do contact them (clerk@staplefordparishcouncil.gov.uk) so that they can get repairs started and restore the site to the beautiful and peaceful place it should be.

Details of cemetery charges and regulations for the old and new sections of the cemetery can be found on the Parish Council’s website: https://staplefordparishcouncil.gov.uk/cemetery/.

Jenny Flynn, Stapleford Parish Council

Posted Jan 31st 2021.

Plans to shrink Stapleford's historic conservation area

There are proposals to shrink Stapleford’s historic conservation area.

Up to eight homes would be removed from the Conservation area. They are;

    • 23 Church Street

    • 5 Finch’s Close

    • 1 and 2a Dukes Meadow

    • 7, 9, 11 and 13 Gog Magog Way

You can read the full Stapleford Draft Conservation Area Appraisal here.

You can respond to the proposals by Feb 15th here.

The work is being done by the Historic Environment team of the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service,

Posted Jan 19 2021

Green Belt transport route on edge of Stapleford comes a step closer

A new public transport route on the edge of Great Shelford and Stapleford could be in place as early as 2024. It was approved in principle by the Greater Cambridge Partnership Executive Board in June 2020.

The proposed new public transport route (left) will cross Green Belt Hinton Way and Haverhill Road. It could be up and running by 2024. It will cost £132m.

An online consultation is being carried out between October 12 and December 14 when plans will be revealed showing the detailed design. An Environmental Impact Assessment is also being carried out this autumn.

Views are being sought about the design of the proposals and how to manage and mitigate the impact of the new transport route.

There are still several steps before the busway is finally approved.The final scheme would then go back to the GCP’s executive board for their final approval , before an application is submitted to the Secretary of State for approval.

Here is a flythrough of the scheme.

Read about the scheme in the Cambridge Independent

*Great Shelford Parish Council and Stapleford Parish Council joined forces to accuse the Great Cambridge Partnership of maladministration over the proposals. Read their full joint letter here.

This link provides some further background information

https://www.cambridgeppf.org/appeal/sss-green-belt

This is the position of Stapleford Parish Council

https://staplefordparishcouncil.gov.uk/?s=position+statement

Cambridge Past, Present & Future is objecting to the proposals.

Updated October 6 2020

Stapleford Community Warden Scheme

Are you aged 60 or over?

Would you like help to continue to live independently in your own home?

The Community Warden is able to offer assistance by providing a daily phone call (Mon-Fri) and support such as;

• Making drinks and a light meal

• A home visit

• Collecting prescriptions

• Small items of shopping

• A listening ear

• Help with paperwork and making appointments

• Signposting to other services where appropriate

If you are interested in this service and would like more information, please call the warden directly on 07436102733.

There is a FREE 2 week trial and then a small weekly fee afterwards if you wish to remain on the scheme. Posted Nov 10 2020.

Arsene Wenger buys house in Stapleford

Has Arsene Wenger moved to Stapleford?

It is understood that that the former Arsenal manager has bought a large house on Gog Magog Way in Stapleford.

The house was on the market with Bidwells for £3.95 million.

Lordship Close is a magnificent and rare Queen Anne style house built in the 1920s for master builder, Charles Kerridge.

The four bedroomed home also boasts a 17 metre swimming pool.

A separate coach house includes a cinema/snooker room and a triple garage.

Arsene’s daughter Lea studied at Cambridge University’s Department of Veterinary Medicine, and now works at the Beltrao research group, part of the European Bioinformatics Institute, based on the Wellcome Genome Campus in Hinxton.

The pair were spotted eating together at the Green Man in Trumpington in August 2020.

Posted September 23 2020

Stapleford Granary re-starts performances

Joanna MacGregor re-started performances at the Stapleford Granary on October 2.

Due to the Pandemic only 40 tickets were available for this event. Social distancing was observed and all audience members were asked to where face coverings.

Joana MacGregor is one of the leading virtuosos and recording artists. World renowned for her technical brilliance, musical intelligence and effortless poetic command of her instrument, Joanna brings a wonderfully varied programme.

Updated October 6 2020

New CEO at Stapleford Granary

Stapleford Granary, the Stapleford arts centre and permanent home of the Association for Cultural Exchange Foundation, has a new Chief Executive.

Kate Romano will succeed Paul Barnes, who will take up the post of Secretary to the ACE Foundation.

Currently CEO and Artistic Director of Goldfield Productions, a BBC writer and broadcaster, clarinettist and independent producer, Kate joined Stapleford Granary on 3rd August 2020 to lead and deliver its artistic planning and development.

"I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining Stapleford Granary to build on Paul’s vision of a first-class, unique multi-arts study centre," said Kate.

"I've a long and very happy association with the Granary since it first opened its doors in 2010 and my ensemble took up an artistic residency. A decade later, I’m excited to return at this pivotal point when the arts have such a vital role to listen, respond and shape the kind of future we want to live in. Working alongside the dedicated Board of Trustees and employees, I’m honoured to help develop an invigorating future for the Granary".

Posted August 6 2020

Do you remember Marlon Brando in Stapleford?

Did Marlon Brando make a film in Stapleford 50 years ago?

At some point in late 1970-early 1971, the Marlon Brando film 'The Nightcomers' was filmed in Cambridgeshire..mainly around Sawston and Duxford.

"One scene takes place at a disused chalk pit," said investigator Kevin Flanagan.

"Maybe a Stapleford resident watched the filming? I am wondering if the Stapleford Parish Pit could be the one used. Do the photos (left and right, showing Thora Hird at the pit in the Nightcomers movie) show the parish pit or do you recognise it as somewhere else? I suppose tree growth etc will have changed the look of the pit in almost fifty years but hopefully you may be able to help?"

Kevin can be contacted at jen.flanagan@btinternet.com

Posted July 8 2020

Library re-opening

Great Shelford Library will re-open for two sessions a week with effect from the week commencing 3rd August. Sessions will be from 10am-2pm on Tuesdays and 2pm-6pm on Fridays.

However, the initial service will be limited to the return of items (which will then be quarantined), the collection of reservations and one pre-booked 45 minutes computer session per customer per day. Books can be reserved online or by phone and there will be a new ‘Select and Collect’ service, where you can suggest the type of books you’d prefer and staff will select available titles for you to collect from the library. Reservation charges are suspended until 31st August. There will be no browsing in the library yet, but we hope to be able to offer a wider service later in the year, subject to health and safety guidelines in place at the time.

For full and up to date details about our re-opening please visit www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk or call 0345 045 5225. Posted July 14 2020

Stapleford face masks

Villager Barbara Kettel is making face masks to help meet the current significant demand during the COVID 19 crisis.

"As Howard and I are in the vulnerable age group I felt that we would need masks once we ventured out," she said.

"The masks are triple layered but are not medical masks; I am making them with any spare fabric I have after a lifetime of dressmaking. Having made some for my immediate family I decided to offer them to the Parish for those who are possibly also vulnerable. So far I have made 90.

"The masks are free. All I ask is that a donation is made to 'Hope into Action' a charity that helps home the homeless through the support of local churches. I am taking on trust that people go on line and make their donation. Once the order is completed I leave them, named, on the table in my porch for people to collect on the designated day. I have the capacity to make more if people want them."

Barbara (pictured left in one of her masks) can be contacted at barbara.kettel@googlemail.com

Posted June 9 2020

Spate of handbag thefts from cars

Motorists are being urged to be vigilant following a spate of handbag thefts from vehicles over the past month.

A total of 22 vehicles were broken into between 19 April and 12 May including incidents in Stapleford, Sawston, Duxford, Great Shelford, Haslingfield, Grantchester, Swavesey, Milton, Oakington and Fen Drayton.

In the majority of cases purses, wallets and handbags have been targeted and in some instances the thieves have gone on to use the victims’ bank cards in shops.

Police are focusing their patrols in these areas but would urge all motorists to make sure their cars are locked and double checked when left unattended as we’re seeing incidents when windows are left open and doors unlocked.

Also ensure all valuables, such as handbags, wallets, mobile phones and tools are removed from the vehicle.

Call 101 or go online to report any suspicious behaviour in your area.

Sergeant Emma Hilson

South Cambs Neighbourhood Team

Posted May 13 2020

Stapleford Playground survey

Does your family use the Stapleford playground?

It might be closed at the moment. But villager Rebecca Trigg has launched a survey about the Stapleford playground on the rec.

The Jubilee playground was originally built in 2002. "It would be great to start thinking about ways we could improve it," said Rebecca in a post on Facebook.

"It will probably mean some community fundraising, with help from other sources like grants, and it won’t happen overnight. But it would be great to find out what families like and dislike about the existing facilities, and get some ideas on how we might improve things."

The playground is owned by the Parish Council, who would need to agree any changes.

The survey can be taken here.

Posted June 2 2020

Stapleford School in Lockdown

On your lockdown walks around the village you may have heard the joyful sound of children in the playground at Stapleford Community Primary School and wondered what is happening there when schools are closed. In a short answer, the School has never fully closed so let me explain…….

The Government directed that schools must close at the end of the school day on Friday 20th March. In response, the staff worked very quickly to ensure that every single child received a physical home learning pack to take home that day. Since then during term time, the teachers have continued to upload individual learning packs each Monday, with both the packs and resources being available on Google Classroom and on the School’s website.

Meanwhile, the school team have continued to make provision for the children of key workers to enable our communities to function effectively and to provide the support that is necessary for some of our vulnerable children. The School has been open for these children every weekday since 23rd March from 8:30am to 6:00pm including a Bank Holiday.

All pupils who would normally be in school having a free school meal have been allocated vouchers to purchase food. The DfE has created a website for schools to order these vouchers but the system has been fraught with difficulties, the site invariably overloaded so it can only be accessed after waiting many hours sometimes in the middle of the night! However, Mrs Spain has ensured all eligible parents have received some, if not all of the vouchers and has been able to use the School’s credit card.

The staff are coping well but missing the children and the routines. I was fortunate to attend a virtual staff meeting recently and was struck by the dedication and commitment of Mrs Spain and all those working at the School. They have been doing a terrific job in both preparing and commenting on work, encouraging the children with online learning, undertaking online training and of course, helping those attending throughout the lockdown. They clearly miss being with the children and cannot wait to see them again. Whilst across the country there has been terrific support for the NHS and other key workers we should not forget the dedication and tireless work of the teaching profession as exemplified by Mrs Spain and her staff at SCPS over the past two months. Preparations are now being made for the possibility of a phased return of Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 in June.

The school team have been very grateful and appreciative of the support they have received from Anglian Learning and the Local Authority who have been available daily to assist in whatever way they can.

It has been good to see the School reaching out with a brilliant collage of art work, which is on display in the entrance to The Royal Papworth Hospital, and a performance by the Stapleford School Rainbow Virtual Orchestra involving children from the Nursery to Year 6. Do take a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HWCz260CZY

The Governors’ priority throughout this crisis is to support Mrs Spain and all her staff whilst maintaining their strategic role. Monitoring Head Teacher and staff wellbeing is a key responsibility as well as monitoring continuing education, safeguarding and health and safety. We have had two virtual governors’ meetings in this period to share our findings, consider the implications for our budget and plan for the future.

I look forward to the time when everyone can return to school but in the meantime keep healthy and safe.

Paul Izzett

Chair of Governors

Posted May 26 2020

First virtual Parish Council meeting in Stapleford

The Parish Council held its first ever virtual meeting because of the COVID19 situation.

The Parish Council meeting on May 13 was held via Zoom. The agenda for the meeting is available here.

Posted May 7 2020.

VE day in Stapleford

Villagers are being asked to put up flags and bunting on May 8 across Stapleford to mark the 75th anniversary of VE day.

The government announced today revised plans to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day on 8th May in a manner consistent with the current measures to contain the spread of coronavirus. The new programme will allow members of the public to remember and give thanks to the Second World War generation from the safety of their own homes. Here are details of the programme:

To find out more about how they can take part, members of the public can visit: https://ve-vjday75.gov.uk/get-involved/

The “Get Involved” page of the website also contains VE Day related educational resources, aimed at Key Stages 2, 3 & 4, exploring the significance of VE Day. These resources can be shared with local schools.

The government is keen to ensure that as many people as possible across the nation are made aware of the plans and would appreciate local authority support in promoting the activities to communities so that people are able to say thank you to all those who served and made so many sacrifices, both at home and abroad. Where your local authority has the capacity to do so, please do think about how you can encourage communities to join in online and learn about VE Day, promoting the use the #VEDay75 hashtag when sharing activities online via social media.

A poster detailing how people can get involved in the VE Day activities from home, which you may wish to share with your local organisations and communities, can be downloaded here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1KuOnTbyiollMhIyslW9zA2ojW4mkeivb

Gillian Pett

gillian.pett29@gmail.com

Posted May 1 2020

Stapleford Coronavirus self-isolation support group

A group from Stapleford has formed a team of volunteers who would be very happy to ring, email or even Skype or FaceTime anyone who would like some personal contact from time to time.

Maybe they would also need some shopping put on the doorstep, their prescription collected or have their dog walked.

Self-isolation may be a very lonely period which could lead to a sense of being cut off from the outside world. If you would like to have this contact, please do get in touch with either:

Gillian Pett : 01223 843278; 0754 882 8477; email: gillian.pett29@gmail.com,

or

Carol Davies : 01223 843424; 0771 471 0614; email: carol.galewood@gmail.com

St Andrew’s church is also offering support.

Posted March 17 2020

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Coronavirus Stapleford update

The Spar shop is now offering a door drop home delivery service (see details left)

The Johnson Hall is shut for all activities including those run by community groups or commercial suppliers.

The Gog Farm shop cafe has been converted to Takeaway only, with plenty of well-spaced outside seating (some undercover) to cater for anyone wanting to get out and about, dog walkers, cyclists etc. They are asking customers to keep one metre apart and also to pay by card if at all possible (ie reducing contact as much as possible).In terms of the shops, they are following government guidelines closely and may start to restrict the numbers of people in the shops at any one time. They may also start to vary opening times to enable certain groups to come in ‘after hours’. Perhaps most importantly for elderly residents, they are about to trial ‘Contact-Free Collection’ (stay in car) and ‘Home Delivery’ service, which we intend to launch in coming days to support people in isolation and unable to get here.

Did you know that there’s a local company called Pillsorted based at Copley Hill that will deliver drugs free to your home? They are at www.pillsorted.com or on 643550.

The SSYI Big Breakfast has been postponed until October 3

Posted March 18 2020

Arthur Rank Hospice appeal

The Arthur Rank Hospice at Shelford Bottom has issued an urgent ‘SOS!! Support Our Services’ appeal. The call comes in response to the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on the Charity’s ability to fundraise for its vital services this year.

In response to the COVID-19 epidemic, the Hospice has had to reduce many of its services to protect the safety of its patients whilst simultaneously refocusing on the core healthcare needs of the County.

In just one month (from February to March 2020), demand for the care that the Charity provides within people’s homes (observing strict infection control procedures) has increased, as seen in the 61% increase in the number of referrals to the Hospice at Home night service. Calls to the Hospice have also increased, as demonstrated in the 27.5% increase in the length of time spent on triage calls by the Arthur Rank Community Team. Despite the difficult circumstances, in March the Inpatient Unit still provided care to 27 patients with complex end of life needs, alongside 19 patients in nurse-led beds.

Initial financial forecasts have identified that the Hospice will lose at least £700,000 of potential income over the next six months. This is due to scores of fundraising events and personal challenges having to be cancelled; the closure of the Hospice’s charity shops and Bistro; and the cancellation of training and conference events which were due to take place in its Education and Conference Centre.

Sharon Allen, CEO of Arthur Rank Hospice Charity, said;" We need to ensure that we can carry on delivering essential care and services now, whilst also ensuring that services remain sustainable into the future. We truly hope that the people of Cambridgeshire will answer our SOS!"

To find out more about, or donate to, Arthur Rank Hospice Charity’s ‘SOS!! Support Our Services’ appeal, please visit arhc.org.uk/sos .

Posted April 8 2020

Time called on Tree pub campaign

The campaign to reinstate the Tree pub has ended. Following its AGM. the group has decided not to continue the campaign according to the minutes of the Parish Council meeting on Feb 12.

The minutes state: "The granted planning application significantly reduces the business potential, and would require financial pledges to be double the current rate. The Tree community pub is no longer financially viable. There is a conflict between registration of community asset and planning permission, the granting of which has made a community business model untenable.

"A vote of thanks was offered to The Tree Group for their dedication and perseverance across the past 6 years."

Posted Feb 21 2020

Retirement village information event

An information event to update you on a planning application to be submitted for a retirement village and a new 50 acre country park at Haverhill Road, Stapleford is being held in February. This event follows on from the two public consultation events the company held locally and online in November 2019.

Axis Land Partnerships is part of the Sir Robert McAlpine Group and are working in partnership with the landowner of the proposed development site. The company aims to submit the outline planning application in Spring 2020 and this latest event outlines what is being submitted at this stage as well as providing the opportunity for general comments and ask further questions of the team.

Friday 28th February 2020

10.30am - 8pm

The Stapleford Pavilion

The details of the event will be online on the Axis website www.axislp.com/consultations from 28th February. Website comments and email address are open until 13th March. Posted Feb 14 2020.

Fancy joining the Messenger team?

Who fancies filling a little spare time by becoming part of the new team that produces the Stapleford Messenger?

The Messenger was mentioned in a post not so long ago asking about village magazines in the area.

It is a magazine that comes out every month and although church-owned is for the whole community of Stapleford (it has many readers in nearby villages as well).

Right now it is in the process of changing the way it is run - the aim is to set up a team that will share the various tasks of writing, laying out pages and looking after the adverts.

No huge amount of previous experience is required - all that is needed is a willingness to play a part in producing a magazine that has been going since the 1940s and is now a colourful and entertaining read.

So how about it? Contact staplefordmessenger@gmail.com for more information, or if you think you know someone who might be interested then let them know. Jon West, Editor Posted Feb 14 2020

New relaxation classes

New relaxation classes are being run in the village involving meditation, reiki and crystal healing.

Sawston - weekly Friday 8-9pm, Arthur Rank - weekly Wednesday 10-11am, Stapleford - weekly Wednesday 1:30-2:30pm, Linton monthly 3rd Monday 8-9pm.

Booking via email Faye@kalmareiki.co.uk, or phone 07815 608897.

Very popular classes - once you’ve been you generally find a little slice of heaven for your week. Posted Feb 14 2020

Stapleford Brownies need you

The village Brownie unit is looking for adult volunteers to help run the group. Brown Owl and the current team are stepping down at the end of March, and without new volunteers, the unit will need to close. Stapleford Brownies currently has 26 girls enrolled, with another 15 on the waiting list. It’s been active in the village for many years. In fact, Beverley James - the current Snowy Owl - has been involved with Girlguiding for over 30 years! However, retirement beckons, so they’re looking for new people to take over our thriving local Brownie unit, which runs at Stapleford school on Tuesday evenings.

Volunteering with children is immensely rewarding. Brownies helps girls aged 7-10 build their skills and develop their confidence. This is done through a Girlguiding badge programme which encourages girls to ‘Take Action’, ‘Express yourself’ and build ‘Skills for the future’. Brownie sessions are fun, varied and inclusive. Running a session can mean anything from planning a game, designing craft activities, playing sports or organising a trip somewhere interesting. Before Christmas, the girls even went to the fantastic Gog deli to learn how to make sausages!

Girlguiding.org.uk has lots of information about the benefits of volunteering. The Brownie programme is well-structured with plenty of ready-made activities and resources, so that anyone can lend a hand. No previous experience is necessary – you just have to be willing to learn. A DBS check is essential for all volunteers, and you will be expected to complete relevant training on things like Safeguarding and First Aid. It works best if several people form a team to run the unit – it also makes it more fun! Some might say it’s a hoot…The current leaders are happy to help and support while new volunteers find their feet. So, if you know someone who you think would make a fantastic Brown Owl then ask them to get in touch with us at staplefordbrownies@gmail.com

Want to find out more about Girlguiding before committing? Email shelforddistrict@gmail.com Posted Jan 23 2020

Council tax increase

The Parish Council's share of the village's council tax bills will increase by 3% from April.

The proposed precept would increase the Parish Council element of Council Tax for a Band D property by £2.27 per year.

The Council agreed at its meeting on January 8th to raise £72,100 through council tax bills across Stapleford.

Read the full minutes of the meeting. Posted Jan 13 2020.

Stapleford Parish Council is spending up to £10,000 on consultants with Great Shelford Parish Council to oppose the scheme, they decided at their August meeting.Stapleford and Great Shelford Parish Councils have now received the report from independent transport consultants that proves that the busway can align to the existing railway line and the disused Haverhill rail line and not destroy our countryside. They say this is an entirely viable and feasible route and should have been consulted on by the GCP. Significant fundraising is needed to undertake further reports in order to protect our greenbelt, preserve the special landscapes, the environment and the beautiful setting of our villages. For more information and to donate go to https://www.cambridgeppf.org/south-east-cambridge-busway , click on the QR code (right) or send a cheque payable to: Cambridge Past, Present & Future, Wandlebury Country Park, Gog Magog Hills, Cambridge, CB22 3AE marked “Save Shelford and Stapleford Green Belt Appeal“. Proposals to run the route alongside the railway line in Great Shelford and minimise the impact on the Green Belt in Great Shelford and Stapleford (see proposed route diagram below) have been dismissed. The report says that the benefit to Great Shelford and Stapleford residents would be outweighed by the increased journey times and the additional £29m cost.

The scheme would link the Cambridge Biomedical Campus via Great Shelford, Stapleford and Sawston to a new travel hub near the A11/A1307/A505.

At a public meeting on October 14 2019, residents were told there will be up to 16 buses or trams per hour, going in either direction.

The route will be entirely off-road, only interacting with other traffic just north of Great Shelford and Stapleford at junctions on Hinton Way and Haverhill Road. Junctions between existing roads and the new public transport route will be controlled by traffic lights.

Locations of stops are proposed at Haverhill Road in Stapleford and Hinton Way in Great Shelford.

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.