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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).


What this means to you

The whole of England is now under National Lockdown. You must stay at home. This is the single most important action we can all take to protect the NHS and save lives.  You should follow this guidance immediately. 
You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may only leave the home to: 
• shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
• go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home  
• exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person once per day, and must be within your local area.  

• meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
• seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)   
• attend education or childcare - for those eligible  
The police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups. This includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fixed penalty notices of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.
If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000. 

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

Outdoor Gym shut for lockdown

The Lockdown regulations mean that all outdoor gyms and tennis courts - including the ones at the Sports Ground - must be closed. 
However the two children's play areas in Castlethorpe remain open, subject to the Government guidelines. But all 

users should take hand sanitiser and cleaning wipes or sprays – preferably anti-viral or antibacterial – as you MUST wipe down every piece of equipment you or your children use BEFORE and AFTER you use it to prevent catching or spreading the virus. 

Please take all your rubbish home and dispose of it properly.
You MUST also observe social distancing and wash your hands as soon as you can. Finally no food or drink can be consumed in or around any of the areas.

Here's how to book your
COVID-19 vaccination

The Grange Park Primary Care Centre in Northampton has been authorised as a Covid vaccination centre for patients of The Parks Medical Practice (including the Hanslope surgery), Denton Village Surgery and Wootton Medical Centre.
Patients will be offered appointments strictly in line with NHS guidance, starting with our most elderly. At first, the vaccine is being offered to people who are most at risk from coronavirus, before being offered more widely. 
Please do not call your surgery to enquire. The Practice will contact all patients as the vaccine and appointments become available. Housebound and care home residents will be contacted later. 
The address of the Grange Park Primary Care Centre is Wilks Walk, Grange Park, Northampton, NN4 5DW.

Milton Keynes University Hospital is postponing all appointments for local people due to receive their second COVID vaccination dose at the hospital following the Department of Health and Social Care’s decision to extend the period between first and second/booster vaccinations to 12 weeks.
The hospital is contacting all those who have already received their first jab to advise that their booster dose will now be rearranged and they will be contacted from mid-February to arrange their next appointment. 
If you have an appointment to receive your second COVID vaccination at the hospital, you will be contacted by them
Please do not attend the hospital for your follow-up vaccination or contact the hospital to arrange a new appointment – they will contact you.  

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 currently being registered with the emergency services. They will then show 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

using the Defibrillator in the New Year and when COVID-safe.
However, the defibrillator is fully automatic and will '”speak” to the userto 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 

Maltings 2 Appeal decision

Maltings 2 is the field facing Paddock Close and next to Maltings Field. Permission to develop 31 properties in the field having already been approved, a Planning Application by Stonewater, a social housing provider, giving the proposed design and layout for the development was taken to Appeal. The Appeal was opposed by both Milton Keynes Council and the Parish Council on a number of grounds. 
The Inspector who heard the Appeal ruled that some elements were outside of its scope and would remain unchanged. These include the tenure (Stonewater wanted to increase the percentage of affordable housing from 30% to 100%) and the S106 (Planning Gain) payments which fund a whole raft of facilities including school places, healthcare, police, fire and some parish council projects and which the Applicant said they couldn’t afford. 
Disappointingly, the Appeal otherwise succeeded in having its designs allowed. Both the Parish Council and MKC felt that the designs did not take their cue from Paddock Close. The Inspector felt they did to a sufficient degree. 
The Parish Council will continue to work with the Planning Department at MKC to try and retain the tenure and S106 payments in their original form. 
Philip Ayles 
Chairman, Castlethorpe Parish Council 

Download the latest issue of Castlethorpe News

The December edition of Castlethorpe News is available to download here. Some printed copies are available from the Village Shop for anyone who doesn't have a computer, tablet or smartphone.

Parish Council meeting on 1 February
The next meeting of the Parish Council will be online by Zoom on Monday 1 February, starting at 7.30 pm. Residents may ask questions in an Open Forum which will precede the Council Meeting:
• by giving them to the Clerk or any Councillor by noon on the day of the meeting  
• by joining the Open Forum by following a link that will be posted nearer the time 
• by phoning in on 0203 051 2874, 0203 481 5240, 0203 901 7895 or 0203 481 5237 and entering the meeting ID and passcode.
Residents will be asked to leave the meeting at the end of the Open Forum and can continue to view the meeting on Facebook or YouTube (see below). 
• By posting questions as comments on the Facebook broadcast of the proceedings Please note that only questions posted during the Open Forum can be considered.  
You can watch the meeting on the Castlethorpe Facebook page and on the YouTube Channel ‘Philip Ayles’ both as a live stream and as a recording which will be retained for at least a month. 

New Pre-School opening put back to February 
Ducklings Pre-School has postponed its opening in Castlethorpe from 4 January to Monday 22 February because of the Covid Tier 4 restrictions.
After that, it will be open in the Village Hall from 9am every weekday during term-time and will run until 3pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and until noon on Mondays and Fridays.  
The pre-school is registered for 24 children with age range 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 - especially for anyone missing the old pre-school which closed in September. 
For more information please email Jayne Foster at ducklingscastlethorpe@gmail.com.

33 bus subsidy to continue

Following discussions with parish and town councils in the borough Milton Keynes Council has confirmed that the operating subsidy on the 33 bus service through Castlethorpe will not be ended as part of its overhaul of bus routes.
The plan is to replace subsidised services in the urban area of Milton Keynes with a Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) system where passengers book a point-to-point journey via an app or over the phone.  MKC Cabinet member for

sustainability and transport Lauren Townsend said: "We are aiming for a level of service with a maximum distance of 400 metres for pick-up/drop-off and a maximum wait time of 30 minutes. 
"In urban areas we would expect these to be lower, in more rural areas they are likely be closer to the maximum. But it's still an improvement if what those residents have at the minute is a bus that only comes once every 90 minutes and only takes them to a fixed destination."  


Live travel updates

Click on the images below for the latest information

The village's weekly home and green refuse collection day is 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.

Milton Keynes Council has suspended all food and garden waste collections until further notice because of staff shortages caused by Covid. The suspension will be reviewed weekly but in the meantime, please dispose of food waste into black bags and keep any green waste in your garden. Black bag waste and clear recycling sacks will continue to be collected as usual and the waste collection pilot scheme remains unaffected. For more information click here.

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