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Welcome to Castlethorpe

Castlethorpe is a village with a population of around 1,100 set in rolling countryside seven miles north of Milton Keynes city centre and close to the boundary with Northamptonshire. It lies on the northern edge of the Tove River Valley, which is designated as being landscape of Special Character. 
The surrounding area is thought to have first been inhabited in the Bronze Age but the village itself started out in life as a Norman castle belonging to the lord of the manor of nearby Hanslope which was destroyed in 1215 during the Barons' Revolt against King John. 

The parish church is dedicated to St Simon and St Jude, and dates back to Anglo-Saxon times, though the present church is of mainly Norman design. There are a number of other listed buildings in the village, some dating back to the 15th Century, with fine examples of homes from the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries as well.
You can click here to find more information about the history of the village, including pictures and a video, and there's even more on the Milton Keynes Heritage Association website www.mkheritage.org.uk/cv.

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The village's weekly refuse collection day is normally Friday, even after Bank Holidays. The only change is over the Christmas and New Year period. For more information about what to pit in each sack and your green bin click here
All three household recycling centres in Milton Keynes are open seven days a week, except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day, but entry is by appointment only (same day appointments are available) and anyone without an appointment will be turned away. To book your slot phone 01908 252811 or apply online here.

There will be alterations to the normal collection days over the Christmas and New Year period which are shown below. Normal collection days will resume on Friday 28 January.

Normal Collection Day  
Friday 21 January
Friday 28 January  

Revised Collection Day
Saturday 22 January
As usual


For detailed information on the latest developments in the COVID-19 pandemic and how to keep yourself safe go to the COVID-19 page on this website, the Government website or milton-keynes.gov.uk/coronavirus

Volunteers wanted to help stop speeding

As many residents know, Councillor Dave Hinds and I operate the Speed Indicator Device (SID) which we move around the village.
The results are passed to the police who do enforcement as resources permit and, incidentally, they have told me that they will be coming to Castlethorpe again sometime in the next few weeks though of course they don’t tell us when or where!
The SID is coming to the end of its life and we will be returning it to Milton Keynes Council and it will either be refurbished or the Parish Council may replace it, hopefully with a grant.
However, the new Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Barber, has launched a new Community Speed Watch (CSW) programme which can be seen at thamesvalley-pcc.gov.uk/ news-and-events/thamesvalley-pcc-news/2021/10/launch-of-community-speedwatch-scheme-across-thames-valley.
Some of you may remember that a group of us - parish councillors and residents - ran an earlier version of CSW between 2010 and 2015 until it was replaced by the SID.
The new CSW uses a speed gun operated by volunteers and details of vehicles exceeding a threshold, usually the speed limit plus 10% plus 2mph, are entered into a national website and the

vehicle owner is then sent a warning letter by the police. If a second offence occurs anywhere nationally then the owner is visited by the police.
If an area shows high levels of speeding, then the police will take enforcement action as, of course, only police officers can issue a penalty notice. CSW say that 90% of drivers sent a warning letter do not reoffend.
The speed gun, which will initially be loaned by the police, has to be operated by a team of three volunteers, one to hold the gun and the other two to collect the details of the vehicle. Volunteers are covered by the Thames Valley Police insurance and there is no need for a PCSO or PC to be in attendance. Volunteers must wear high visibility bibs and complete some basic training - basically watching six two minute videos.
CSW is a very visible deterrent to speeding drivers.
If you would like to volunteer to be part of CSW, please send your name and contact details to: Steve Bradbury, Clerk to the Parish Council at clerk@castlethorpe-pc.gov.uk or phone 01908 337928 or by letter to 63 Thrupp Close, Castlethorpe MK19 7PL.
Philip Ayles
Chairman, Castlethorpe Parish Council

Maltings 2 to be named Carrington Close

The new housing development currently being built at the bottom of Fox Covert Lane is to be called Carrington Close.
The Parish Council was invited to submit a name for the new development, formerly known as Maltings 2, and we, in turn, invited residents to give their ideas. These were considered at a Meeting on 13th December and Carrington Close was selected by a clear majority vote.
Lord Carington owned much of the village in the early 20th Century and gave land for the construction of many of the Edwardian terraces in the village as well as building the original school, now the village hall, and the “new” school.
The naming is to recognise his contribution to the village and, indeed, Carington Estates continues to own land around the village including the South Street paddock. We know that Carington strictly should have one ‘r’ but it is generally spelt with two so we have gone with that.
We have continued to liaise with Milton Keynes Council about the development and Parish and Ward Councillors held a meeting in November with MKC Planning to discuss a number of issues including this development.
The two big issues that residents regularly raise with us are the percentage of social housing and the monetary payments to various bodies including the Parish Council under the Section 106 contract signed when the original planning permission was given. These issues have been resolved though not satisfactorily:
The S106 Agreement
• The Neighbourhood Plan says that there should be some open market homes for “downsizers” (to free up larger houses whilst the owner can remain in the village) and for first time buyers who may not qualify for affordable housing.
Stonewater is a social housing social housing provider and is intending to build 100% social housing. Some of these will be shared ownership. It is MKC policy that social housing should not normally exceed 50% of a development and that social housing should be “pepper potted” in groups of no more than 12 houses. However, when the S106 Agreement was signed in 2017, the obligation was to build 30% social housing which was regarded as a minimum.
Unfortunately, it did not anticipate or set a maximum and MKC have taken legal advice following our meeting and do not believe that they can now prevent 100% social housing being delivered.
• The S106 Agreement set some monetary payments necessary for the development. Stonewater had applied to have these “stood down”. These have been re-validated over the summer with the Parish Council and other interested parties and the 

request to ‘stand down’ has been refused by MKC. The sums will therefore remain payable according to the original schedule.
There are several other matters of concern to us which are the various conditions set on a development. These have to be agreed by MKC Planning Officers in what is called the Discharge of Conditions. Progress can be seen on the MKC Planning Portal under the references 21/02213/DISCON and 21/02217/DISCON.
Although some of these Conditions have been agreed, Stonewater have not had many of them discharged and are proceeding at their own risk.
Discharge of Conditions for the Development.
• Choice of house brick. The Neighbourhood Plan said that the design should echo Paddock Close and then Parish Council has asked MKC to ensure that the bricks are a close match as the original proposal was orangey rather than red. Snowden have now proposed ‘Anglian Red’ bricks as the nearest available match and MKC Planning have agreed. In fact, if you look at the construction as best you can, it seems to me to be a good match.
• Anglian Water have approved the sewage connection. The Parish Council had expressed concern about capacity along South St but, now it is approved, it will be Anglian Water’s responsibility to fix any problems.
• Surface water is to be contained in a concrete chamber which will hold the water after heavy rainfall and release it in a controlled manner onto the railway. Network Rail require an application to be submitted in a particular way which has not yet been done although the chamber design is on the website.
• MKC is also the ‘Lead Local Flood Authority’ and it has not approved plans for the site.
• MKC Highways have also not approved plans.
• The Archaeological Survey which was meant to have been submitted before work began has now been submitted to MKC. However, the Survey is deficient in a number of respects and the missing sections have been requested. It should be added that MKC regards the onsite excavations as having been satisfactorily completed so this is only a matter of completing the report. The Condition has therefore not been discharged.
It should be said that none of these issues are "showstoppers" and most of the comments from the approvers are requirements for information to be submitted in a required format or with more detail. It is likely that this will be done in due course.
On behalf of the Parish Council, may I wish all our residents best wishes for Christmas and a healthy New Year.
Philip Ayles
Chairman, Castlethorpe Parish Council

Ultrafast broadband switch-on set for June

Castlethorpe could have ultrafast full fibre broadband with speeds of 300Mbps or more as early as June, according to the latest project update from Gigaclear, the company installing the fibre-optic cables throughout the village.
We are a relatively straightforward place to install fibre broadband as the amount of trenching is limited and Gigaclear are expecting to finish the cabling work by the end of March. 
However, the service won’t become available until it is connected to their national network and Gigaclear are now expecting to go live here in June.
I have offered them the opportunity to come and speak to us nearer the "switch on" date and answer any remaining questions you may have.
I have also been in email contact with the project manager at Openreach who was assigned to help us with the Community Fibre Broadband project.
Openreach have now said that if another supplier is providing fibre, then they will not do so either though the Community Fibre programme or as part of their current scheduled build, which would have seen full fibre broadband in the village at the end of 2025.
Their current copper lines will remain in place and existing services will continue to be offered but, if you require the faster speeds or reliability of an ultrafast fibre connection to your property, then the only option will be Gigaclear.
I have walked the village with Gigaclear and discussed all the issues that residents sent through to me.
The most important one was the schedule of roadworks and the latest dates are shown below. Gigaclear have said they will send me updates if it changes.
Specific Issues:
New Road and Prospect Place will have to be trenched as the overhead poles do not have enough capacity on them. MKC Highways have approved arrangements to have metal road plates available for emergency vehicles.
As you can see below, Gigaclear describe the system as "give 

and take", so there will be some inconvenience in the two weeks immediately following Christmas. I have also given them the refuse collection dates in January so they can ensure residents are able to put their bins out.
We walked down and I showed them the off-road parking in Station Road. They will try to avoid using it probably setting up their compound on the verge by the bridleway entrance and overflowing as necessary onto the verge at the other end of the parking area.
I noticed Openreach were parked on the parking area while we were there! They will try and do better than that.
I was advised that the Station Road closure is at the same time that it is acting as a diversion route for roadworks in Hanslope. Both MKC Highways and Gigaclear have confirmed that they will not be closed at the same time. 
The black tarmac on the raised "table" in the village centre is temporary (you can see it is marked as such) and will be replaced by matching tarmac.
Incidentally, the other black tarmac on the table is due to Anglian Water roadworks and MKC have issued them with several defect notices to replace it with matching tarmac.
VOIP
Another set of initials but it means that voice calls will be placed over your broadband connection and the national telephone network will be switched off by 2025.
Some residents have expressed concern about losing their landline but the service will be replaced by the broadband providers and Gigaclear have told me that they are about to announce VOIP services from next February.
Our existing broadband suppliers (BT, Talktalk, Sky etc) will, or already do, offer VOIP services too before the switchover.
If you have any questions about broadband or anything else to do with the Parish Council, please don’t hesitate to contact me preferably by email.
Philip Ayles
Chairman, Castlethorpe Parish Council

Street 
Station Road
Bullington End Road 

Start and end
17/01/2022 - 04/02/2022
18/02/2022 - 04/03/2022

Traffic Management
Road closure
Road closure

Get the latest info direct to your inbox

How would you like the latest news and information about what's happening in Castlethorpe to be sent straight to your email inbox? The Parish Council has launched an email News Alert system to keep local people updated on things like road closures and traffic delays, problems with services like buses or the bins, traffic delays, events coming up shortly and much, much more. All you have to do is to click here and fill in the form with your name and email address. You can unsubscribe at any time just by letting us know.

New editor wanted for Castlethorpe News

Calling all the village's budding writers . . . Russell Forgham has stepped down from editing the village newsletter Castlethorpe News after eight years and the Parish Council is looking for someone to take over.
The News is A5 size, between 12 and 16 pages (including the adverts) and is published every quarter, at the beginning of March, June, September and December. It is currently

published as a PDF available online to download but will hopefully be printed and distributed again once a new editor is found.
If you're interested please let Russell know as soon as possible - his email is russell.forgham@castlethorpe-pc.gov.uk. He will give you any training and help you need, as well as answer any questions, and  the necessary  software will be provided.


Castlethorpe now has two defibrillators which the Parish Council has obtained with funding from the Milton Keynes Partnership Foundation.
One is located outside the Village Hall and the other on the Cricket Pavilion at the Sports Ground.
Both are in code locked cabinets which are registered with the emergency services and show up on their equipment maps. You can also see their location on the Save a Life app.

In the event of an emergency, such as someone having a heart attack, always call 999 first and stay with the patient. The emergency operator will determine whether there is a need for the defibrillator and, if there is someone else available to fetch it, direct them to the nearest cabinet and give them the code to open it. At the same time, the operator will alert other Emergency Services required, such as a First Responder or an ambulance.
The defibrillators are fully automatic and will '”speak” to the user to tell them exactly what to do. It can also detect whether it is being used correctly and will not operate if not correct or not required.

Live travel updates

Click on the images below for the latest information

Changes to the 33 bus timetable

There have been some slight changes to the 33 bus timetable. You can download a PDF version of the revised times by clicking on the timetable below. 

MK Connect is a Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) service available to bus users who don't have access to the weekday daytime routes. It is not restricted to previous timetables or routes, and picks up passengers from their chosen destination to their required drop-off point when they want to travel.
It works like a minibus that comes when you want, where you want — book a ride straight from your phone, get picked up in minutes, and be dropped within a short walk of your destination.
Passengers with a wheelchair or disability will always be matched with a fully accessible vehicle and the service is

accessible to passengers with vision, hearing and other requirements.
The service is available on evenings across MK, operating from: 6am to 11pm Monday to Saturday and 9am to 6pm on Sunday. You can book your journey by smartphone app, web or phone.
Price: £3.50 during peak hours (7am-9am, 4.30pm-6.30pm), £2.50 at all other times. Concessionary passes under the ENCTS scheme will still be valid for free travel as it is on buses, as will the All-in-One £1 fare.
For more information go to ridewithvia.com/mk-connect

Castlethorpe statistics

Population                    1,047 (2011 Census)
OS grid reference       SP795445
Latitude/longitude    52.093°N   0.840°W
Civil parish                   Castlethorpe
Unitary authority       Milton Keynes
Ceremonial county    Buckinghamshire
Region                           South East
Post town                     Milton Keynes 
Postcode district        MK19
Dialling code                01908
Police                             Thames Valley
Fire                                 Buckinghamshire
Ambulance                   South Central
UK Parliament             Milton Keynes North