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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).

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

What Tier 2 means to villagers 

Milton Keynes, like most of England, has been placed in Tier 2 (High Alert)
from 2 December. This is what it means to everyone in Castlethorpe.

Meeting up with friends and family 
With Milton Keynes in Tier 2 up to six people can meet up outdoors, including in private garden. However, different households cannot mix indoors (unless you have formed a support bubble). Overnight stays with people outside your household or bubble are still not allowed.  

Pubs and restaurants  
To follow Tier 2 rules, pubs and restaurants must only serve alcohol if part of a “substantial meal”. As with before lockdown, it is table service only, but there has been a change to closing time: instead of the 10pm curfew, it will be 10pm for last orders and everybody out by 11pm. Takeaways, click-and-collect and delivery will still be available after after 11pm. The rule of six applies for dining (and drinking) outside and there is no household mixing allowed indoors. 
Nightclubs, cinemas and bowling alleys remain closed.  

Non-essential retail – the bulk of the high street, shopping malls and retail parks – will be open. This is regardless of tier restrictions, so people can do their Christmas shopping in person (but mask and social distancing measures do apply).  

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that under all tier restriction levels “people who can work from home, should continue to do so”. However it is expected that many more will start travelling into the office.  

Leaving your tier area is only restricted in Tier 3. Milton Keynes being placed in Tier 2 means residents are free to travel out of the city and the country, but should avoid travelling to a Tier 3 area. There is a new airport testing scheme for holidaymakers and business travellers returning from abroad.

Hairdressers and beauty salons
As with non-essential retail, people will still be able to head to the gym, book a haircut and get their nails done, no matter which tier restrictions their region must abide by. You must wear a face mask to your appointment, unless already exempt.  

Gyms and exercise  
Gyms will be open, but exercise classes will only be allowed if the gym can ensure there is no mixing of participants.
Classes and organised adult sport can take place outdoors, but cannot take place indoors if there is any interaction between people from different households.
Organised activities for elite athletes, including professional football and rugby, under-18s and disabled people can continue but stadiums will be limited to 2,000 spectators or 50% of capacity, whichever is the smaller.

Changes to Conservation Area

Milton Keynes Council is conducting a review of Conservation Area boundaries across the Borough and has just published its recommendations for Castlethorpe for public consultation prior to a final decision. You can download a copy here.
The Parish Council has been involved and is happy with all but one of the recommendations.
The recommendations are that the boundary remains largely as it is now but:
* New Road and Nos 1-11 Bullington End Road are included. These are fine Edwardian houses and identified as ‘Buildings of Local Interest’ in our new Neighbourhood Plan.
* There are some changes where there has been new development around Maltings Court, Tyrell Close and Thrupp Close.
* In Lodge Farm Court where Nos 6-12, which were included, are now proposed to be excluded.
It is this last area which is not in line with the Parish Council recommendation, which is that the boundary should be unaltered in Lodge Farm Court.
Broadly, being in the Conservation Area doesn’t prevent the householder from doing anything but planning permission may be required to prevent ‘out of character’ changes.
If you would like to comment on the Boundary Review, it has to be done by email to: conservationarchaeology@milton-keynes.gov.uk by 11th December. 

Next Parish Council meeting on 7 December
The next meeting of the Parish Council will be online by Zoom on Monday 7 December, 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 the link 
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87635657895?pwd=b0R2bzMvbUQzbTZYejlnU1lsNGt3UT09 It will be necessary to enter the Passcode 455795.  
Alternatively, you can phone in on 0203 051 2874 or 0203 481 5237 and enter the meeting ID 876 3565 7895 and Passcode:455795. 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 moving to the Village Hall  
Ducklings Pre-School is moving its Great Linford pre-school to Castlethorpe early in the New Year and will be holding an Open Morning from 10-11.30am on Wednesday 9 December in the Village Hall so you can come along and learn all about the exciting things your little ones will be able to do there. 
Once it's up and running, the Pre-School 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.
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.

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.

the fallen

 The annual Remembrance Day service of
commemoration was held at the war memorial
in North Street on Sunday 8 November,
observing social distancing.
Wreaths were laid by the Mayor of Milton
Keynes, Councillor Andrew Geary,
and the Chairman of Castlethorpe
Parish Council, Councillor Philip Ayles.

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

Refuse collection day this week is FRIDAY

The village's weekly home and green refuse collection day is Friday, even after Bank Holidays. The only change will be over the Christmas and New Year period, when the collection due on Christmas Day will be on Tuesday 29 December, the one due on New Year's Day will be on Tuesday 5 January, the one due on Friday 8 January will be on Monday 11 January and the one due on Friday 15 January will be on Saturday 16 January. Normal Friday collections resume on Friday 22 January.

All three household recycling centres in Milton Keynes are open seven days a week, except for the bank holidays over Christmas and New Year, 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.

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