Parish Council July Meeting

The Parish Council held another virtual meeting on Monday 13 July.

The first item under discussion was the overhanging trees and bushes in Green Lane. The owners will be receiving a letter shortly asking them to help us to keep the road clear for the large vehicles that need to use it.

The Parish Council has submitted a bid for funding to the County Council for speed reduction and junction safety measures on Padgetts Road near the junction with Church Road. We’ll be working with the Highways officers to clarify the best solution for this area.

We have also submitted a funding application to the County Council’s Communities Capital Fund to add a covered paved area at the rear of the Community Centre for outdoor events and activities. We will know within a few weeks whether or not our application has been successful, so fingers crossed!

The Council has received lots of advice on re-opening public buildings and this has been passed on to the Community Centre Management Committee for them to make plans. We also receive information from the Police and other agencies regarding scams and we’re looking for ways to share this, particularly with vulnerable households.

We considered a planning application to create a dog breeding and kennelling centre at a house on the Sixteen Foot Bank.

Finally, after a wait of more than 15 months, we have received the condition report on our street lights from Fenland District Council and will now be able to start replacing some of our very old lights with modern energy-efficient LEDs. You should see some of this work taking place before the end of August and we hope to have it all completed before the clocks go back in October.

We’ll be back for another meeting on Monday 10 August, probably by video-conference again, but members of the public are welcome to join us, either via the internet or by telephone. Call the Clerk for details.

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Parish Council February Meeting

A slightly longer meeting this week as we had a visit from Cllr Jan French, County Councillor for the March North and Waldersey division, which includes the parish of Christchurch. More from her later!

In public time, Nate Lansdell reported on progress with the recycling scheme, which is going very well. The trees on Green Lane were reported to be encroaching on the highway, preventing farm vehicle access, and interfering with the phone lines. This will be reported to BT, along with letters written to the landowners to request that the trees be cut back appropriately.

Mention was also made of the use of speed devices in March to prevent speeding, and asking whether the PC has considered it. In fact, we have one sign already in our possession, with another on the way. People will have noticed some rather naked grey posts have been installed in the village - these will soon have mobile speed signs mounted, which will inform road users if they are exceeding the speed limit, and record the times at which speeding is detected. Although number plates are not recorded, it will give police a good indicator of what times speeding takes place and they will be able to take appropriate action.

The new PC Annual report has now been circulated with the Heron, but no feedback has been received - hopefully this is a good thing!

Cllr Jan French gave a brief report on the County Council’s budget, which has some large provisions for climate change protection efforts, elderly care, but also things like highways and innovation funding. She also contributed throughout the meeting, making it a very useful appearance from the PC’s point of view.

Street lighting has again reared its ugly head. Plans from Fenland to take over the running of village lighting to bring it into line with town lighting have apparently been shelved as too expensive, however, it appears some funds will be available long term to pay for the electricity, although the PC will be responsible for repair. We do have cash in the bank specifically for this purpose.

The PC voted to fund entry into the dog walking scheme as previously proposed. This is a one off cost, and should result in a dog waste bag dispenser being installed in the village, along with tags and compostable bags for responsible dog owners.

There will be a meeting next week with the local highways officer who will do a walk around of the village accompanied by councillors so that highways issues can be reported and demonstrated.

Two grant application forms were received, from the Heron and Nate Lansdell, and will be considered at the next meeting.

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A New Local Plan for Fenland

Fenland District Council is preparing a new Local Plan. This is an important document as it will determine what the district will look like in the future and how it will become an even better place to live, work and visit. Once adopted, the new Local Plan will replace the current Fenland Local Plan (May 2014). The first stage of this process includes a public consultation on issues and options, details of which are shown below.

Have your Say: Issues & Options - 11 Oct to 21 Nov 2019

To find out how you can contribute to the process, download and read the PDF Filetype icon Issues & Options Consultation Document which provides background information on a range of planning issues and sets out a series of questions about what could be included in the new Fenland Local Plan. Once you have read the document, you can comment via the Issues & Options Online Questionnaire. You do not need to answer all questions; you can simply pick topics you are interested in. If you would prefer to complete a paper copy of the survey, click on the link below to download it. Paper copies of the questionnaire are also available from your Parish Clerk or any Fenland District Council office if you are unable to use the online survey.

The Issues and Options consultation is taking place between 11 October and 21 November 2019.

Completed forms should be returned:

  • by email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or
  • by post to: Local Plan Team, Fenland District Council, Fenland Hall, County Road, March, PE15 8NQ

Consultation Events

During the Issues and Options consultation, there will be a number of drop-in sessions at local libraries. If you would like further information or have any questions, please come along to any of the following sessions:

  • Friday 18 October, 10:00-16:00 at Wisbech Library, 5 Ely Place, Wisbech PE13 1EU
  • Thursday 24 October, 14:00-18:30 at March Library, City Road, March PE15 9LT
  • Friday 25 October, 10:00-16:00 at Whittlesey Library, 13 Market Street, Whittlesey PE7 1BA
  • Friday 1 November, 10:00-16:00 at March Library, City Road, March PE15 9LT
  • Monday 4 November, 10:00-16:00 at Chatteris Library, 2 Furrowfields Road, Chatteris PE16 6DY

Additional Consultation

The District Council is also inviting site submissions, local green spaces nominations, and requesting comments on the Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report

Call for Sites - Submit a site

To provide a supply of sites to meet the area's development needs, the Council is inviting land owners, agents, developers and other individuals and organisations to submit sites to be considered for inclusion in the new Local Plan. New sites are needed for future development of homes, Gypsy and Traveller pitches, employment, retail and leisure.

You can submit a site online via the Issues & Options Online Questionnaire or by completing the site submission form -

Site submissions must be received by 21 November 2019. All sites will be assessed in accordance with the PDF Filetype icon Site Assessment Methodology. Preferred sites will be included in the draft version of the Local Plan due for public consultation in Spring/Summer 2020.

Nominate a Local Green Space

Local Green Space designation grants protection to open spaces which are of special importance to the communities they serve. The Council is inviting local communities to nominate open spaces for designation as Local Green Spaces.

You can nominate an open space online via the Issues & Options Online Questionnaire or by completing the Local Green Space nomination form -

Following detailed assessment, preferred Local Green Spaces will be included in the draft version of the Local Plan due for public consultation in Spring/Summer 2020.

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Parish Council July Meeting

The meeting started with the Chair welcoming our new Councillor, Sharon Aldridge to the Council.

Public time followed, which was dominated by a lengthy debate about the lack of progress on the extension to the pathway on Upwell Road. Discussion of this subject later in the meeting resolved to hold a meeting as soon as possible with the builder who has accepted the cost of the extension, but is currently waiting for a house sale to go through to provide the funds. The PC discussed other options to try and speed up the process which has been overly long-winded.

Further discussions in public time included asking about the new speed indicator sign, which should be going up soon, and about Speedwatch, which is being taken over by a resident. He is looking for volunteers to help with this; details will appear in the Heron.

The refurbishment and repair to the War Memorial in the Churchyard has been completed. All who have seen it were very impressed by the results.

Councillor Miller reported that the school will be taking part in a cobble painting project, funded by the PC. The children of the school have been asked to paint a cobblestone with their thoughts on “Christchurch”. The cobbles will be varnished for protection and set in concrete around the bus shelter to replace the rather forlorn grass.

A working party was set up for the weekend of the 13th July to trim trees and shrubs around the Recreation Ground, along with an obscured streetlight on Crown Road.

Councillor Hughes volunteered to collate and format the forthcoming Parish Council report, which will report on past, current and future PC projects to help with keeping the community informed of PC activities.

It was decided to pay for the installation of a dog waste bin at the end of Green Lane where it joins Padgetts Road. This is a popular place to walk dogs, and Councillor Gladwin reported that piles of poo bags have simply been left in the middle of the lane. It is hoped the addition of a bin will mean this will stop.

District Councillor Sutton reported that two more parishes have agreed to extend their contributions to the joint Local Highway Improvement scheme for “The Forgotten Corner” which will help greatly with funding for this Sixteen Foot River safety project.

The Clerk reported that progress with the new Community Centre Charity and the recreation field had been complicated, after discovering that the land is owned by the charity. Investigations on how to proceed are continuing.

The chair passed round quotes for equipping the Community Centre with solar panels. A grant application is being prepared to go the Whitemill Environment Fund to pay for environmentally friendly addition to the hall.

The date of the next Parish Council Meeting will be Monday 9 September 2019. Items to be included on the Agenda should be with the Clerk by Friday 30 August.

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Parish Council June Meeting

This report is a quick précis of the meeting, for full details you should consult the minutes of the meeting.

There was a good turnout for this meeting, with many people wanting to discuss the use of the Recreation Ground to walk dogs, where they are currently banned. One resident reported she had been threatened with physical violence when she approached a dog walker on the playing field. Some residents asked whether fencing off an area of the playing field specifically for dog walking would be possible. The Parish Council will look into the feasibility of this, but is concerned at the cost of fencing, and whether a fence would be good enough to keep irresponsible dog owners from letting their dogs foul the children’s play areas and football pitch. There is also an issue with keeping a fenced off area of grass cut. It was also asked whether it would be possible for the PC to provide an alternative area, for example a nearby field, for dog walking, but the availability and cost of such a field would likely be prohibitive. Although the council do own a field next to the playing field, it’s currently rented out for the next 5 years for farming purposes, a useful source of income to the PC.

A new member of the Parish Council was co-opted onto the council at this meeting. Sharon Aldridge is our latest member, and joined the council for the rest of the meeting.

Following a report of Local Highways Initiative bids from the Clerk, Graham Chappell of the Charlotte’s Way charity gave an eloquent report on the proposed joint LHI bid for “The Forgotten Corner” on the Sixteen Foot Bank. There has been an increase in the monies available from Highways and the PC voted to increase our percentage contribution to this accordingly. This is a combined bid between Christchurch, Manea and Wimblington & Stonea Parish Councils, along with a generous contribution from the Police & Crime Commissioner, the Middle Level Commissioners and local firms to install Armco barriers along that section of the river.

The PC will be putting together a working party to trim trees along the edge of the Recreation Ground; all helpers gratefully welcomed on the day! More details will be posted later.

Work on refurbishing the War Memorial is to be started very soon, as weather permits.

It was reported that the Euximoor Drove bridge barriers have been made safe, but Highways will need to do a lot of replacement work in the near future to repair it fully. It was suggested that fluorescent tape be used to improve visibility of the bridge ends at night. This will be passed onto Highways.

The PC, as part of our communications strategy, voted to produce a small booklet report, to be distributed with the Heron, to show what works the PC had done during the year, and what is planned in the future.

The next meeting is on July 8th.

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Parish Council Vacancy

Following the recent election for members of Christchurch Parish Council, a vacancy has arisen in the office of Councillor. This vacancy is for a four-year term of office until May 2023 and will be filled by co-option at the June meeting of the Parish Council.

If you are a resident of the Parish and would like to play a part in maintaining local amenities and improving the lives of local people, please contact the Clerk, Dave Gibbs, on 01945 870083 to discuss the role.

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Election Result

As there were fewer candidates than seats on the council, no poll was held and the following people were elected unopposed:

Jill Bliss, Roger Gladwin, Geoff Harper, James Hughes, Kay Miller and Peter Owen.

The seventh seat will be filled by co-option.

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Annual Parish Assembly

The Annual Parish Assembly will take place on Monday 8th April at 7.15pm in the Community Centre.

This is your opportunity to find out more about the work of your Parish Council and their achievements over the last twelve months. The meeting also offers you the chance to make suggestions about future projects.

The Parish Assembly will be followed by a full Council meeting, which you are welcome to attend.

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Notice of Election

Elections will be held for Fenland District Councillors and Christchurch Parish Councillors on Thursday 2nd May.

The official Notices of Election are published below.

Notice of Election District Councillors
Notice of Election Parish Councillors
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Website Goes Live!

Christchurch Parish Council's new website has been launched, to provide enhanced details of the work of the Parish Council and to assist residents in accessing the services provided by Fenland District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council.

There is much more to be added to the site, so visit regularly to see new information as it is added.

If you have ideas about information you would like to see on this site, please contact a member of the council.

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