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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 at www.mkheritage.org.uk/cv (opens in new window).

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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 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 24 December
Friday 31 December  
Friday 07 January
Friday 14 January  
Friday 21 January
Friday 28 January  

Revised Collection Day
As usual
Wednesday 05 January
Tuesday 11 January
Monday 17 January
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

Latest update on ultrafast broadband

Openreach
I have been in email contact with the project manager at Openreach who was assigned to help us with the Community Fibre Broadband project. You may recall that we were engaged in a ‘design to cost’ exercise to try and ensure that we stood a chance of meeting Openreach’s target for commitments to allow the project to proceed.
This was a very high target requiring about 70% of the village to commit noting that only about 33% had so far expressed interest despite leafleting all properties in the village.
However, 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 a fibre connection to your property, then the only option will be Gigaclear. 
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 they have sent me the latest schedule below and said they will send me updates if it changes.
Specific Issues:
 South Street – disruption to parking. In fact, the only trenching will be from the Carrington end as far as Ben’s Close. The remainder of the fibre will be laid in the existing BT conduits and poles from the other end of South St at the east North St junction.
This is good news and minimises the disruption to parking. They have also spoken to the Acorn Nursery to minimise disruption at pickup and drop off times.
• 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, 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. I will talk to MKC Highways about that as they grant the permits.
• 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.
Castlethorpe is a relatively straightforward village to install fibre broadband as the amount of trenching is limited and Gigaclear are expecting to finish by the end of March.
However, the service won’t become available until it is connected to their national network and I am waiting for confirmation of the date. Cosgrove has just gone live.
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 etc) will, or already do, offer VOIP services too before the switch over.
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 at philip.ayles@castlethorpe-pc.gov.uk.
Philip Ayles
Chairman, Castlethorpe Parish Council

Street 
North Street
North Street
Station Road
South Street
New Road
Station Road
Bullington End Road

Start and end
24/11/2021 to 07/12/2021
01/12/2021 to 13/12/2021
07/12/2021 to 20/12/2021
08/12/2021 to 21/12/2021
27/12/2021 to 07/01/2022
17/01/2022 to 04/02/2022
18/02/2022 to 04/03/2022

Traffic Management
Multi-Way Signals
Some carriageway incursion
Multi-Way Signals
Multi-Way Signals
Give & Take
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.

MKC stays firm on Maltings 2 development

Residents have continued to express concern about work on the Maltings 2 site opposite Paddock Close and in particular whether Stonewater, the developer, or Snowden, the builder, have all the permissions they need.
There are several levels of permission needed for a development like this. The first is Outline Permission to build about 30 houses, the second is Reserved Matters which specifies the design and then there are a number of Conditions which are usually to be agreed with the Planning Authority before work commences.
The Outline Permission also includes a ‘S106 Agreement’ which, among other things specifies the number of affordable houses to be built (in this case 30%) and also any planning obligations, usually payments to be made for enhancing communal facilities necessary to accommodate the development.
These include payments to the school, Hanslope Surgery, various Milton Keynes Council departments, such as libraries, the police and fire service and some to the parish council to improve facilities in the village.
Stonewater asked MKC to "stand down"the S106 Agreement so they could build 100% social housing and not pay any planning obligations. The Parish Council and our Ward Councillors have 

been fighting this for nearly a year and we have just been told that MKC have refused Stonewater’s request to stand down the Agreement. While we need to understand this in detail, it seems like very good news.
On the design specified in Reserved Matters, both the Parish Council and MKC objected and it went to Appeal where the Inspector decided to allow it so Snowden are now building to this design.
The final issues are the various Conditions ranging from the preliminary Archaeological Survey, the location of drains, the landscaping and the choice of brick. These are meant to be approved in advance of work but haven’t been.
The Parish Council is especially concerned about drainage and the choice of brick. The bricks you can see at the moment are engineering bricks which go up to the damp proof course. They haven’t yet started building with the house bricks.
The Parish Council is still engaged with Planning Enforcement to get these matters resolved.
I will let you know of any further developments.
Philip Ayles
Chairman, Castlethorpe Parish Council

New editor wanted for Castlethorpe News

Calling all the village's budding writers . . . Russell Forgham is stepping down from editing Castlethorpe News, the village newsletter, after eight years and the Parish Council is looking for someone to take over.
As you may know 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's been published as a PDF available online during the pandemic but will be printed and distributed now that lockdown is lifted.
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 editing and publishing software will be provided.

Open Gardens raise £2,172
for Parish Church fund

This year's Open Gardens event has raised an amazing £2,172 for the Church Renovation Fund.
The bi-annual event, which was held this year on 17 and 18 July, attracted visitors from all over Britain.
“It was amazing how many people braved the heat to walk round and so lovely to see the village come alive again”, said Committee member Melissa King.
“We would like to thank everyone who took part and helped in any way. Every one of you has helped to raise this much needed money”.

New village Pre-School
has spaces available

Ducklings Pre-School in Castlethorpe has spaces for youngsters.
The Pre-School is open in the Village Hall from 8.30 am to 12.30pm every weekday during term-time (to 3pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays).
The Pre-School offers a natural learning environment with room for children to build on their imagination and areas to explore first hand.
For more info phone manager Jaime McGuane on 07754 352365 or email ducklingscastlethorpe@
gmail.com.

Castlethorpe remembers
the fallen

The annual Remembrance Sunday service was held at the War Memorial in North Street on Sunday 14 November.
The service was led by Father Adam Burnham. The wreath on behalf of the people of Castlethorpe was laid by Mr Peter Chapman (RAF Retd). Wreaths were also laid on behalf of Milton Keynes Council by Councillor Andrew Geary, a past Mayor of Milton Keynes, and by representatives of Thames Valley Police.
Picture by Bob Brown

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 

Live travel updates

Click on the images below for the latest information

Changes to 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