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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 Baron’s 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 at www.mkheritage.co.uk/cv (opens in new window).


Lockdown rules relaxed ... but take care!

The lockdown rules were relaxed slightly on 29 March, which means that these activities are now permitted but social distancing should still be used.
Social contact Outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either 6 people or 2 households will be allowed. 
Business and activities: Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, will be allowed to reopen. People will be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports. 
Travel: You should continue to work from home where you can and minimise the number of journeys you make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes. Travel abroad will continue to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons. Holidays abroad will not be allowed. 
Find out more about the roadmap out of lockdown on the Government website by clicking here.

For more detailed information on the regulations go to the
COVID-19 page on this website and the Government website

Outdoor gym open again at Sports Ground

The Outdoor Gym at the Sports Ground is now open again subject to Government guidelines on how you must use the equipment.
• All equipment is used at your own risk. Please supervise children and others in your care. 
• Follow the social distancing guidelines and do not use the equipment if this cannot be maintained. In particular be 

aware of pieces of equipment where others may also be using them.
• Bring your own hand sanitiser with you to sanitise your hands before and after using the equipment. Pay particular attention to ensure children remember to do this.  
• Remember not to touch your face and to cough and sneeze into a tissue or arm. 

• No food or drink can be consumed around the equipment.
• Take all your litter,  including any protective wear such as masks, home with you.  
• If you or anyone in your household are showing any symptoms of Coronavirus, do not use the equipment and follow the Government's advice to self-isolate. 


Major road closures for the next five weeks

ROAD CLOSURE ALERT: The road to Hanslope will be closed 24 hours a day for four weeks from 12 April to 9 May near Cuckoo Hill Farm in Hanslope while a new sewer is installed. The diversion route from Castlethorpe is via Wolverton Road, Park Road and Gold Street.  Full details are on the right (click on the picture to see a larger version).

Station Road in Castlethorpe will be closed 24 hours a day for five days from 19-23 April while work is carried out outside No 13 Station Road. The diversion route is via North Street, Bullington End Road, Park Road, Long Street Road, Hartwell Road, Park Road, Ashton Road, Hartwell Road, High Street, Stratford Road, Northampton Road, Yardley Road. Full details are on the left (click on the picture to see a larger version).

View the Annual Parish Meeting as it happened!

The Annual Parish Meeting was held online on Monday 12 April and villagers were given an update on what's been happening over the past year by Parish Council Chairman Philip Ayles and representatives from village organisations and ask questions. It can be seen in its entirety above. It was followed immediately by the April meeting of the Parish Council, which starts at 1.46.40 on the timer bar. The text of Councillor Ayles' report to the village can be read here.

Parish Council to help fund Gobbeys legal battle

The Parish Council decided at its meeting on 12 April to help fund legal action by villagers against Milton Keynes Council’s rejection of an appeal by the Parish Council against its decision to remove the designation of Gobbeys Field as a Local Green Space (LGS) in the Modifed Castlethorpe Neighbourhood Plan.
A group of residents, led by Leo Dunwoodie from Shepperton Close, are planning to apply for a Judicial Review with the help of a leading firm of planning law solicitors in an effort to overturn the decision and are asking for financial help from villagers and the Parish Council to fund the initial stages. 
Mr Dunwoodie outlined the case at the Annual Parish Meeting immediately before the Parish Council Meeting and in a letter to the Parish Council and councillors voted unanimously with one abstention to fund half the costs of the initial stage.  
The designation of Gobbeys Field as an LGS would protect it for the informal recreational activities that characterise its use for decades alongside grazing of sheep and cattle.   
However, the independent Examiner – in our view wrongly – ruled that the field did not meet the conditions for designation.  MKC supported his view despite strenuous  

strenuous efforts by the Neighbourhood Plan Steering group to convince them otherwise. 
MKC took a formal decision to remove Gobbeys as an LGS on 9 March and, at the request of the Parish Council, two Ward Councillors, Andrew Geary and Bill Green, "called it in" to appeal the decision. After a failed Mediation Meeting on 25 March, a formal appeal called "Scrutiny" was held on 31 March which can be viewed here.
Unfortunately, we failed to convince councillors of the failures of the examination and so the original decision stands.
MKC will arrange a referendum in the summer which will be delayed during any legal proceedings.  
Parish Council chairman Philip Ayles said: “We urge you to support the Neighbourhood Plan, even without Gobbeys as an LGS, as it refreshes our Neighbourhood Plan and gives it more authority in planning decisions giving protection to all our boundaries including Gobbeys for at least another two years.”  
If you would like to join the fight for Gobbeys you can call Mr Dunwoodie on 07768 618737 or email him at leo.dunwoodie@talk21.com

Candidates for the local elections on 6 May

Elections for ward councillors for Milton Keynes Council and the post of Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley Police Area will be held on Thursday 6 May. One councillor will be elected for our ward, Newport Pagnell North and Hanslope, and the candidates are listed below. The polling station for all voters in Castlethorpe is the Village Hall and voting is open from 7 am to 10 pm.

The deadline to register to vote for these elections is midnight on Monday 19 April. If you have already registered to vote, you will be sent a poll card from 29 March. If you are unsure if you are registered to vote you can call Milton Keynes Council on 01908 254706 to check.  Registering to vote is simple and takes less than 5 minutes. You’ll need your National Insurance number. Apply to register online at: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote 
Postal Voting Dates 
The final deadline to apply for a postal vote is Tuesday 20 April (5pm). For those that have successfully applied before 8 April early postal votes will be sent from 19 April. Final postal votes will be sent from 26 April. Details of how to apply are available here
Proxy Voting Dates 
The final deadline to apply to appoint a proxy is Tuesday 27 April (5pm). The person you appoint as a proxy will need to go to your allocated polling station to vote, or apply for a postal vote before 20 April. Details of how to apply to appoint a proxy are available here.

Duck Race postponed until 2022
The Castlethorpe Duck Race and Fun Dog Show committee have made the difficult, but necessary, decision to postpone this year's planned event until Sunday 5 June 2022.  
After careful consideration of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown and the uncertainty when large events will be able to proceed, the team have decided for the event to go ahead as we all know and love it is best to move by another year. 
The committee would like to thank everyone for all the support especially to those have who volunteered to help on the event day. They hope that we can rely on this again for next year! 
For all the latest information on the Duck Race make sure you’re following them on Facebook and Instagram.  

New Pre-School opens for business
Ducklings Pre-School is now up and running in Castlethorpe Village Hall. It will initially be open from 8.30 am to 12.30pm every weekday during term-time. They plan to extend the hours later.
The pre-school is registered for 24 children with an age range from 18 months through 5 years and offers a natural learning environment with room for children to use build on the imagination and areas to explore with first hand experience.
This is a very welcome addition to the village for anyone with young children. 
For more information please email the manager, Jayne Foster, at ducklingscastlethorpe@gmail.com.

All change on the buses as the 33 turns blue!

There are major changes to many bus routes in Milton Keynes. Some services have been withdrawn and replaced by a Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) system and there are changes to many others.
Castlethorpe’s service, the 33, is now operated every 90 minutes by Arriva instead of Z&S and off-peak journeys will have a slight route change in Wolverton. 

These services have ceased to operate and are replaced
by DRT or a route change on another service: 9, 17, 18, 23,
24, 25, 30, 31, 37, 80, 300, 301 
There are route and/or timing changes to these services: 1, 2, 3, 4/14, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11/12, 21,  33/33A, F70/F77, X60.  
You can find out more on Milton Keynes Council’s website by
clicking here.

You can download a PDF version of the new timetable for the 33/33A bus service through the village by clicking on the timetable below. The service will be operated by Arriva instead of Z&S and there will be a slight change of route in Wolverton for off-peak 33A services.

The new DRT service, called MK Connect, is provided by Via. 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 runs from from 6 am to 11 pm Monday to Saturday and 9 am to 6 pm on Sunday. 
DRT is available by smartphone app, web or phone booking. Just call 

for a vehicle a few minutes before you want to travel.
Fares are £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.    
Further information on the new service is available  on YouTube at https://youtu.be/sUG8YXDrolU

Village gets two life-saving defibrillators

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 as necessary, such as a First Responder or an ambulance.
Richard Bradley, our local First Responder, will provide training courses

on using the Defibrillator when it finally becomes COVID-safe to do so.
However, the defibrillator is 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.
Don't hesitate to use it if you are directed to do, so even if you haven't been trained. Hopefully, the defibrillators will never be needed but having them nearby may save a life. 
Councillor Darren Merritt 

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. All three household recycling centres in Milton Keynes are open seven days a week but entry is still by appointment only and anyone without an appointment will be turned away. To book your slot you must phone 01908 252811 or apply online here.

Live travel updates

Click on the images below for the latest information

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