No election called, so the parish council will fill the vacancy via co-option

Buckinghamshire Council has advised that no by-election has been called by residents and therefore the parish council will seek to fill the current vacancy via co-option.

More details of the vacancy can be found here: https://pitstone.co.uk/ppcnews/casual-vacancy-in-the-office-of-parish-councillor/

Our thanks to those residents that have already expressed an interest. If you are passionate about our community and have plenty of time to volunteer as a parish councillor, please do get in touch as soon as possible so that we can hand deliver a full information pack to you. Telephone: 01296 767261 (please leave a message if we are unavailable when you call) or email parishclerk@pitstone.co.uk.

Deadline : 20 March 2023

Does your community group need a grant?

The parish council offers grants to local community groups and local charities that specifically benefit Pitstone residents.  Applications are considered quarterly.   The next opportunity for grants to be considered is coming up on 27 April 2023.

Some of our most recent recipients include Windmill Pre School for outdoor play equipment, Pitstone Memorial Hall Charity for two current projects and South Central Ambulance for a further dedicated kit for our Community First Responders.

Please see the grant policy on this web site (http://pitstone.co.uk/ppcinfo/grant-policy/ ) for further information or contact the parish clerk for an initial chat.

Applications must be received at least 10 days ahead of the meeting date so that the information can be circulated to all members ahead of the meeting and your application can be advertised on our agenda.

Casual Vacancy in the Office of Parish Councillor

Due to the resignation of Councillors Mrs A Dragon due to a change in personal circumstances, we currently have a casual vacancy for a parish councillor to serve out the remaining term of office until the next election.

Unless 10 electors request a by-election by 9 March, the parish council will seek to fill this vacancy via co-option. See Notice of Vacancy :

When you join the parish council, you also become a corporate trustee to two local charities.

Do you have a passion for Pitstone and plenty of spare time (an average of 3 hours per week) to volunteer? You can find some initial information here: https://pitstone.co.uk/ppcnews/calling-all-community-heroes-become-a-parish-councillor-elections-in-may-2021/ and please contact the parish clerk on parishclerk@pitstone.co.uk as soon as possible and we will provide a full information pack.

We would be grateful if you could reach out to us by 9 March.

Help me get back home

We’d like to reunite this little fellow with his family. If you think he may belong to you, please ring 01296 767261 or email parishclerk@pitstone.co.uk

Pitstone Parish Post editorial deadline – 31 December 2022

If anyone/local groups have any articles that they wish to appear in the next edition of Pitstone Parish Post, please ensure that they are received by the editor by 31 December 2022.   Email address: pppeditor@pitstone.co.uk

If you wish to place an advert, please click this link to place your booking and upload your artwork: https://pitstone.co.uk/pppadverts/

Thank you.

Last youth cafe before the Christmas break

The last youth cafe of this term will be taking place on Wednesday evening (14 December) from 6.30-8.00pm with a Christmas Disco and Snacks.

We wish all the attendees and volunteers that make this possible a wonderful Christmas, and we look forward to seeing you all again in the New Year.

Seasons Greetings

Seasons Greetings to all our residents. Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas followed by a happy & healthy 2023.

Christmas lights at Pitstone pavilion

Friends and family visiting over Christmas / New Year and need more space?

We have a few bookings in the diary for local residents that have friends and family visiting over the Christmas and New Year period, but need a bit more space than they can comfortably accommodate at home. If this rings true for you, why not consider hosting your event at the pavilion?

Our facility was newly built just a couple of years ago and has a light, bright room with beautiful views across the football field and farm land beyond. It can accommodate 40-50 people and has a modern kitchen, tables/chairs, crockery etc. The venue is secure so children can happily play. We have a dedicated car park, and the grounds are accessible by both the cycle and foot path. You can find photographs, hire rates and more information here: https://pitstone.co.uk/localinfo/pitstone-pavilion/

The facility is normally reserved for the football league on a Saturday afternoon / evening but the following dates are available for the forthcoming holidays: Saturday 24 December, 31 December and 7 January.

We also have some availability on 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30 December, plus 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 January (as some of our regular hirers and classes are taking a break over the holidays). Christmas Day itself and 2 January are already booked.

Please note that our premises licence requires all hire periods to end by 11pm and anyone wishing to sell alcohol to arrange for a personal licence holder to be on site throughout your hire period. We have no bar. Therefore our venue is not best suited for late night parties or those where you wish to sell alcohol, but we are ideally suited for family gatherings etc.

To make a booking click here: https://v2.hallmaster.co.uk/Diary/ViewWeeklyDiary/9570

To come and visit or make enquiries, please get in touch with the parish clerk via 01296 767261 or email parishclerk@pitstone.co.uk

Does your community group need a grant?

The parish council offers grants to local community groups and local charities that specifically benefit Pitstone residents.  Applications are considered quarterly.   The next opportunity for grants to be considered is coming up on 26 January 2023.

Some of our most recent recipients include Windmill Pre School for outdoor play equipment, Pitstone Memorial Hall Charity for two current projects and South Central Ambulance for a further dedicated kit for our Community First Responders.

Please see the grant policy on this web site (http://pitstone.co.uk/ppcinfo/grant-policy/ ) for further information or contact the parish clerk for an initial chat.

Applications must be received at least 10 days ahead of the meeting date so that the information can be circulated to all members ahead of the meeting and your application can be advertised on our agenda.

Does your community group need a grant?

The parish council offers grants to local community groups and local charities that specifically benefit Pitstone residents.  Applications are considered quarterly.   The next opportunity for grants to be considered is coming up on 3 November 2022.

Some of our most recent recipients include Windmill Pre School for outdoor play equipment, Pitstone Memorial Hall Charity for two current projects and South Central Ambulance for a further dedicated kit for our Community First Responders.

Please see the grant policy on this web site (http://pitstone.co.uk/ppcinfo/grant-policy/ ) for further information or contact the parish clerk.

Applications must be received at least 10 days ahead of the meeting date so that the information can be circulated to all members ahead of the meeting and your application can be advertised on our agenda.

Announcement of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II

1926-2022

The Parish Council would like to express its great sadness at the passing of our late Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth the Second.  We are sure that the people of Pitstone will remember with affection and gratitude the lifetime of service given by our longest reigning Monarch. 

A local Book of Condolence will be available for you to record your thoughts and memories and to take a moment for quiet reflection. The book will be available at Pitstone Pavilion at set times each day, commencing with 1-3pm, Friday 9 September 2022, and includes daytime, evening and weekend availability so that as many local residents as possible have an opportunity to record their memories and condolence. The Book of Condolence will be closed on the day following the funeral. The Pavilion is fully accessible for the disabled and has ample parking.

The Book will form a local record of the sentiments expressed by local residents on the death of Her Majesty. It will form part of the Authority’s archive, and be held at the County Record Office, so that future generations are able to easily gain access to them and find out the way in which this sad occasion was marked in the area.

Opening times for Book of Condolence:

  • 1-3pm Friday 9 September 2022
  • 10-12 noon Saturday 10 September 2022
  • 10-12 noon Sunday 11 September 2022
  • 10-12 noon and 6.30-8.30pm Monday 12 September 2022
  • 6.30-8.30pm Tuesday 13 September 2022 by appointment, please call 07712836871
  • 10-12 noon Wednesday 14 September 2022
  • 6.30-8.30pm Thursday 15 September 2022by appointment, please call 07712836871
  • 3-5pm Friday 16 September 2022
  • 10-12 noon Saturday 17 September 2022
  • Sunday 18 September 2022 – available by appointment, please call 07887 390083
  • Monday 19 September 2022 10am onwards the Book of Condolence will be available throughout the free live cinematic screening of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Pitstone Memorial Hall.
  • 12noon to 1.30pm Tuesday 20 September.

You are welcome to bring floral or other tributes during the above opening times to lay at the base of the Jubilee tree which is located in the rear of the grounds. Flowers should be unwrapped and removed from any cellophane wrapper where possible. No naked flames or candles should be left. Floral tributes left in other areas of the site, when the venue is not open, will be moved to this location. All flowers and tributes will be removed on the morning after the funeral, the flowers composted and any cards collated to be sent to the archives with the Book of Condolence.

If you cannot attend in person, you may prefer to sign the Buckingham Palace e-Book of Condolence, available at www.royal.uk.

Ivinghoe have a Book of Condolence available for signature at St Mary’s Church. The church is open 10am to 7pm daily.

The Royal Family suggest that citizens may like to consider making a donation to one of Her Majesty’s many charities and patronages, as a fitting
way of paying tribute to Her extraordinary legacy. Read further information on how you can donate and a list of Her Majesty’s charities and patronages here: https://www.royal.uk/charities-and-patronages.

The basis on which our monarchy is built has ensured that through the centuries the Crown has passed in an unbroken line of succession. The proclamation ceremony does not create a new King – it is an announcement of the accession which took place immediately on the death of the reigning monarch.

At 1pm on Sunday 11 September, on the steps of Exhibition Suite, Market Square, Aylesbury HP20 1TX, the High Sheriff, Debbie Brock, will read the Proclamation of our new Sovereign, His Majesty, The King, Charles III. The Lord Lieutenant, The Countess Howe will open the event and invite the High Sheriff to read the Proclamation accession speech. The High Sheriff will briefly give a speech before reading the Proclamation. At the end of the Proclamation, the High Sheriff will call for three cheers for His Majesty the King. Citizens are welcome to attend the reading. Parking on the day is free in all Council-owned car parks. Spectators are asked to approach Market Square on foot. Anyone attending this event may also want to lay flowers or tributes at the temporary memorial next to The Queen Elizabeth II statue in Market Square (next to the steps of Metro Bank). For people who cannot attend the reading, it will be live streamed on Facebook and can be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/BucksCouncil/.

To mark this sad occasion there will be a two-minute silence at the start of the Parish Council meeting scheduled for 29 September 2022. No parish council meetings will take place during the national period of mourning.

Charity Commission Charity: Pitstone Recreation Ground

The Commission proposes to make a Scheme (a legal document) for this charity. The Scheme will permit the transfer of a small strip of land to Pitstone Memorial Hall Charity. A copy of the Scheme can be seen at 

www.charitycommission.gov.uk/our-regulatory-work/how-to-comment-on-a-scheme/schemes-and-orders

If you cannot access this please call our contact centre on 0300 066 9197. 

Comments or representations on these proposals can be made to the Commission within one month from Friday 2 September 2022 by completing the form on our website. Please quote NM C-037190.

(Essentially, this relates to the undercover walkway and an area of garage, which are utilised by the Memorial Hall Charity but were historically never officially transferred.)

Youth Cafe re-opens 7 Sept 2022

A reminder that the youth cafe re-opens once the school term starts again ie from Wednesday 7 September 2022.

We look forward to seeing you all again.

Calling all parents of children with disabilities

The parish council tries to ensure that all our playgrounds are both accessible and include a range of play features that are designed for use by a wide variety of disabilities.

Features in our parks include play equipment such as an extra wide slide so that you can travel down with a child, rocking equipment, sunken trampoline with wheelchair access and basket swings.

Ancillary equipment includes benches with back rests and arms, contrast-coloured gateways and a wide variety of colours and textures for the visually impaired.

If you are a Pitstone parent and your child has a specific need that is not currently being met, please contact the parish council on parishclerk@pitstone.co.uk so that we can take this into consideration whenever we next plan any playground renovation work.

Thank you.

A warm welcome to Councillor Frances Nash

Councillor Frances Nash

Pitstone Parish Council would like to introduce our newest member, Councillor Frances Nash.

Cllr Nash says “I moved to Pitstone from Surrey almost 20 years ago … and I certainly wouldn’t go back!  I enjoy the sense of community here, I love making the most of our local green spaces and I’m interested in our local history too.  But our village is growing and changing, which brings both challenges and opportunities.  I’m keen to see Pitstone continue to be a great place to live and work, and – having recently retired from full-time work – I now have more time to give to local issues.  So that’s why, when an opportunity arose to join the Parish Council, I was keen to put myself forward.

Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Cllr Nash.

ANNUAL NOTICE OF ALLOTMENT FEES FOR 2022/23

The cost of renting an allotment is divided into two parts, the first being the tenancy fee charged by the parish council and the second being a membership fee charged by Pitstone Allotment Association.

Pitstone Parish Council resolved that the tenancy fee would remain static at £9.00 per annum per quarter plot for the forthcoming year.   This fee covers the cost of water, tree works, maintenance and remedial works to the car park/gate/noticeboard etc that may be necessary.   The council does not include a charge to tenants for their administration of the allotment site, liaison with National Trust, nor the public liability insurance which covers the communal areas.  Any funds collected by the parish council which are surplus to the running costs are ring-fenced for future maintenance and development work at the allotment site.   The council may also contribute to capital development, from other public funding within our remit.

Pitstone Allotment Association resolved to maintain their subscription fee for the 2022/23 season at £6.00 per quarter plot per annum.  For the convenience of plot holders, this fee is collected by the Parish Council at the same time as your tenancy fee and passed direct to PAA who use these funds to pay for NSALG membership which also provides tenants with ‘on plot’ insurance, insurance for PAA members and the cutting of hedges/communal grass.

The total cost per quarter plot will therefore be £15.00 for the 2022/23 season.  

As per the terms and conditions of your Allotment Garden Tenancy Agreement, the renewal rental will be payable in full on or before 30 September 2022.   New paperwork, for your signature, will be issued towards the end of August.

We hope that you continue to enjoy your allotment garden in this beautiful location and reap the benefits for your families.

If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me at parishclerk@pitstone.co.uk.

Pitstone Parish Post Issue 133

Issue 133 of Pitstone Parish Post is currently being hand delivered to every home and every business within the parish of Pitstone.

You can access the online edition here: https://pitstone.co.uk/ppcpubs/pitstone-parish-post-issue-133/

You can access the parish council extract here: https://pitstone.co.uk/ppcnews/pitstone-parish-council-extract-from-ppp-issue-133/

You can access the dedicated Community Speedwatch page here: https://pitstone.co.uk/ppcnews/speedwatch/

Pitstone Parish Council extract from PPP Issue 133

Thank you to our PPP Editor

Our thanks to our Editor, Sue Nicholls, who is retiring from her role.   We wish Sue all the very best for the future and thank her most sincerely for all the time and commitment she has dedicated to the magazine.  As we have not been able to find a replacement volunteer editor, the parish council has taken production of the Pitstone Parish Post in-house and will be producing the magazine ourselves.

Skatepark

The skate park event was very well received, with 25 young people enjoying free lessons, and everyone receiving some giveaways and chances to win merchandise.  We received many positive comments and praise for providing the facility from children, teens, adults and parents alike, so it is wonderful to know that the new facilities are very much appreciated.  It is particularly lovely to see whole families enjoying the facilities together and benefitting from outdoor physical activity with all the emotional, mental and physical benefits that brings.  The park continues to be very well utilised, from toddlers right through to mature adults. 

The ground renovation works continues and is being monitored on a regular basis by the council and groundkeeping staff with further actions taken where necessary.  We hope to get the football pitch back into playable standard ahead of the upcoming season.  Two further joint litter & recycling bins have now been installed.  As has a memorial bench, in memory of Matt Court & Jake Saintey, facing into the skatepark.

Parents should be aware that wheeled sports class as dangerous activities and accidents are inevitable, though RoSPA concluded that accidents were less likely with a skatepark facility provided than if young people were trying to free skate.  RoSPA produce useful information on the types of accidents likely to occur at a skatepark, and how you can help protect your child, which can be found here:  https://pitstone.co.uk/ppcinfo/sport-and-recreation/  Please make sure your child wears the recommended personal protective equipment, carries a mobile phone & basic first aid supplies with them and knows your number in case you need to be contacted. 

On a negative side, the near neighbours are being disturbed by unacceptably high-volume music being played by users of the skatepark, ball court and recreation ground.   Please remember that your choice of music may not reflect the tastes of others, and that the recreation ground is not licenced for the broadcast of music.  So please either play music through your headphones or keep the volume so low that only you can hear it.    No music should be played after 8pm.   Additional signage will be erected, asking users to be considerate.   Thames Valley Police are patrolling the area. 

Multi Use Games Area and replacement car park

Discussions are ongoing with Nicholas King Homes and Buckinghamshire Council regarding these facilities.   We will provide any further updates whenever we receive them.

Double Lane Cricket Practice Nets for the Recreation Ground

We are pleased to let you know that the planning application has now been approved by Buckinghamshire Council.   The funding proposals are already in place, so the parish council is now working closely with the Ivinghoe & Pitstone United Cricket Club to finalise the logistics of the installation of these nets.  The installers currently estimate a March 2023 installation.

Fibre to Property Broadband

The deadline has now passed to register your initial interest.  The details are being submitted to OpenReach who will now evaluate whether there is enough interest to undertake a scheme installation.  As soon as we hear back from them, we will keep you advised.

(Subsequent update: we are also aware that Trooli have been laying fibre broadband cables in Pitstone and will provide any further details as/when we receive them.)

Children’s Competition to help combat escalating levels of litter

Our congratulations to Rue, Alexandra and Freya for producing this colourful artwork, which is being converted into signs that we can display around our open spaces over the summer to encourage everyone to act responsibly, not to drop litter & to pick up dog fouling.   Sadly the volumes of litter have soared in the last 18 months.  At the start of the Covid pandemic, there was a short period where the village remained very clean, but now the problem is worse than ever, and it is sad to see that so many people have such little respect for the natural environment and the facilities provided within our community.   We wholeheartedly thank our staff members and the many volunteers who litter pick within Pitstone to keep our community tidy.

The winning artwork can be viewed on our dedicated post or in PPP.

We need your time & help to keep the youth café running

Café is once again proving very popular with the year 6 cohort that are shortly moving up to secondary school.   However, some of our original volunteers that had to step down during the pandemic have been unable to restart, and we desperately need more adult volunteers (must be at least 18 to count towards the legal adult:child ratios) to come forward to enable us to continue providing this much needed facility.  

We welcome volunteers of all ages and with a wide range of interests/abilities.  Many are retired, so age is no barrier.  Some volunteers like to teach the young people crafts or board games, some help supervise console games and indoor activities, some prefer to join in physical activities such as rounders.   Whatever your interest/ability, we are bound to have a role for you, so if you are free on a Wednesday evening between 6.30pm and 8pm (you don’t have to come each week, as we produce a rota), please do get in touch with us as soon as possible.

Memorial benches

Our thanks to the families of William Ruck and Matt Court & Jake Saintey for the kind donation of the two new memorial benches which have now been installed at the junction of Glebe Close/Marsworth Road and looking into the skatepark.  These facilities have been added to our asset register and will be monitored and maintained by the parish on an ongoing basis.

Policies

Wondering if you can use the village green for a commercial class? Or whether you can put a poster in the noticeboards for a community event?  Want to know the procedures the council must follow at a meeting?  All the parish council policies can be found on our website – www.pitstone.co.uk

Calling parents of children with disabilities
We try to ensure that all our playgrounds are both accessible and include a range of play features that is designed for use by a wide variety of children with a variety of disabilities.  Features in our parks include play equipment such an extra wide slide so that you can travel down with a child, rocking equipment, sunken trampoline with wheelchair access or the basket swing.  Ancillary equipment includes benches with back rests and arms, contrast-coloured gateways or a wide variety of colours and textures for the visually impaired.  If you are a Pitstone parent and your child has a specific need, please contact the parish council on parishclerk@pitstone.co.uk so that we can take this into consideration whenever we next plan any playground renovation work.

Criminal Activity

Sadly, the parish has been experiencing a spate of increased criminal activity including thefts of/from motor vehicles, burglaries, vandalism of parish council & other property and repeated instances of graffiti all around the village.  Even sadder, is that some of this behaviour has been undertaken by children as young as 12 or 13 years.  Thames Valley Police are aware, are increasing patrols in the area and building intelligence towards carrying out an operation. 

Annual Parish Assembly 19-5-22

Thank you to everyone that attended this years’ annual assembly, and to all our guest speakers.  The draft minutes are available to view on the website.

Pitstone Volunteer of the Year 2022

We would like to congratulate Howard Jones, who was awarded Volunteer of the Year 2022 at the annual assembly in May for his outstanding contribution to the Pitstone Community Car Scheme.  Reaching hospital and healthcare appointments was as important as ever to residents during Covid, but many previous volunteers were unable to assist during this time, and Howard handled over half of all the requests we received.  The Chairman presented Howard with a framed certificate, card and £50.00.

The Parish Council runs the Volunteer of the Year scheme to celebrate the unsung heroes within our community.  If you know someone who goes that extra mile and provides an outstanding voluntary service to the residents of Pitstone, please submit your nominations to the parish clerk so that they can be taken into consideration for the 2023 award.

If, like Howard, you could spare some time to join the scheme as a volunteer driver, please do get in touch with Stephen Davies on communitytransport@pitstone.co.uk.

Can you help the hedgehogs?

Hedgehogs are in decline in Britain and are now listed as “Vulnerable” on Britain’s red list of mammals. According to the latest State of Britain’s hedgehogs report, numbers of hedgehogs have fallen by up to 30% in urban areas and 50% in rural areas since the Millennium.  There are a number of ways that you can help. One of the best things you can do for the local Hedgehog population is allow them access in and out of your garden. A 12cm x 12cm hole is all they need. Encourage neighbours to do the same.  Why not frame your access hole with one of our Hedgehog Highways, just £5 per surround.  Please get in touch to order yours today: parishclerk@pitstone.co.uk or 01296767261.

Westfield Road

Buckinghamshire Council installed pneumatic speed monitoring strips to capture a snapshot of vehicle classifications and speeds.  The report can be viewed on our website via this link: https://pitstone.co.uk/ppcnews/westfield-road-pneumatic-strip-speed-classification-report/ .  In summary, the average recorded speed was 37/38mph and the 85th percentile speed (ie the speed at which 85% of vehicles will be travelling at, or slower than, slower than) was 45mph. 

The Parish Council asked for the report to be referred to the Road Safety Team who investigated and reported back that “Unfortunately we would not look to install any remedial measures here as there is no injury collision history.” However they agreed that the speeding did represent an enforcement issue and the data was passed to the “police authority with a request for tasking. It will be up to the police authority to determine if they will make Westfield Road an enforcement site.”   Thames Valley Police carried out their first speed enforcement activity w/c 15/6/22 and we hope this location will become part of their regular patrols. 

(Subsequent update: Thames Valley Police have advised that Westfield Road has been accepted as a speed monitoring location and will be patrolled by their traffic team in rotation with all the other approved locations within their area.)

We have also sought the input of the Buckinghamshire Councillors/Community Board, relaunched an appeal for volunteers to operate a Community Speedwatch program (further details are below), and asked Taylor Wimpey to cut back the shrubs/scrub in front of the village gates to improve visibility.

(Subsequent update: Taylor Wimpey has now cut back the shrubbery and grass within the derestricted section of Westfield Road and cleared the gutters of weeds. The parish council resolved at the full council meeting on 28 July to apply to the Community Board for grant funding towards two Speed Indicator Devices which could be rotated around our four through-roads, alternating with our existing mVAS units.)

Is reducing speeding through the village important to you? Would you be willing to volunteer as a Community Speedwatch operator?

On a number of previous occasions, the parish council has investigated whether there is a sufficient volume of local residents for whom speeding through the village is a concern, and whom are willing to volunteer to join a Community Speedwatch project. Historically, few volunteers have come forward, and a scheme has not been able to be implemented. As part of Westfield Road has now been adopted, so could be included within any scheme, we are once again gauging if any residents would wish to participate.

What is Community Speedwatch, what is involved, and how much time would you need to commit?

The parish council would loan the camera kit from Buckinghamshire Council. The kit contains: hi-vis and jackets, signs for the road, the camera, tripod and ancillaries. The camera is set up at the side of the road, facing oncoming traffic, in locations that have been previously assessed and approved by Thames Valley Police and Buckinghamshire Council. Two large community speedwatch signs are placed 20-50 metres from camera point (and locations would be agreed by TVP/BC as part of the review process). The camera is calibrated to catch speeders 150 metres up the road, there is a 20% allowance on the
speed. For example, in a 30mph zone, vehicles exceeding 36 mph will be recorded.

You need a minimum of 2 (and maximum of 4) volunteers to set up and carry out the Speedwatch each time it is operational. Recommended duration of the camera is up to 2 hours at the site (so you would need to be available for 2.5-3 hours to include setting up and packing away the equipment). The volunteers then need approximately the same amount of time again (ie 2 hours) to process the data and submit it to Thames Valley Police within the subsequent 48 hours.

Whilst monitoring the traffic, for each speeding vehicle detected, the volunteers need to fill in the data sheet, recording the following information:

  • Registration number
  • Speed
  • Vehicle Colour
  • Make
  • Model
  • Offence Time
  • Comments

Every volunteer would also need to attend a training session on how to use the
camera, the set up, understanding the risk assessments, and protection of personal data, before joining the scheme.

What do Thames Valley Police (TVP) do with the information?

When the information is passed to TVP an initial letter is sent to the driver informing them that they have been captured speeding. If they are caught again within three months, a second letter is sent, if they are caught again within 6 months, the driver is visited by TVP. Offenders do not receive fines or points on their licence, as they would if captured via TVP operated speed traps or official cameras.

  • 1st letter – 3 months
  • 2nd letter – 6 months
  • 3rd letter hand delivered by police

  • What is the aim of Community Speedwatch?

The aim of the Community Speedwatch is to educate drivers about the dangers of speeding in the location they were caught.

If enough volunteers come forward, what will the parish council need to do next?

  • We would need to work with Thames Valley Police and Buckinghamshire Council to identify locations on our through roads that would meet their criteria and be approved.
  • Arrange suitable training for all volunteers.
  • Arrange to be included in the schedule of loan equipment.
  • Agree participation in the scheme with the TVP data processing team.
  • Arrange suitable insurance cover for the loan equipment and volunteers.
  • Arrange safe storage for the equipment when not in use, and collection/return facilities/process for the volunteers.
  • Purchase the necessary dedicated laptop, with encryption, to keep Speedwatch data separate from other data and set up a dedicated email address for the transfer of data to TVP.
  • Put in place all the necessary measures to ensure compliance to GDPR re the storage and wiping of the data collected.

More information about Community Speedwatch can be found here: https://communityspeedwatch.org/FRONT-v2-Home.php

How do you register an interest in volunteering for this scheme?

If you would like to register your interest in volunteering for such a Community Speedwatch scheme, and can commit to the above hours, please email your contact details and any other relevant information to: parishclerk@pitstone.co.uk by the middle of August 2022 (which enables this information to be printed in the next edition of PPP and hand delivered to every home and business in Pitstone so we can make sure that everyone has been reached).

The parish council can then review the level of interest to see whether a Community Speedwatch scheme is important to our residents and viable to operate.

Ivinghoe & Pitstone Safety Scheme works to commence over the summer

Following a public consultation in the spring, Buckinghamshire Council will install the proposed safety scheme measures along Marsworth Road by Brookmead School over the summer holidays.   The proposed changes for Maud Janes Close will follow later in the year.  These works have been jointly funded by Ivinghoe and Pitstone Parish Councils, and the Buckinghamshire Council Community Board.

And an update on local matters within the control of Buckinghamshire Council:

Castlemead

Buckinghamshire Council adopted the section of Westfield Road that lies between the gates and the Marsworth Road junction, including the immediate grass verges (but not the grass banks) and some of the internal estate roads from phases I-III.  Taylor Wimpey have yet to complete the remaining remedials, so the remaining residential roads and the business park, remain their responsibility.   Buckinghamshire Council will not be devolving power to the parish council to cut these grass verges during the current season, and they have been added to BC’s rural grass cutting program.  BC have yet to determine any devolved service offering for Town/Parish Councils for subsequent years, so we hope that there may be an opportunity for the parish to undertake these verges in the future (which would enable a greater number of cuts per season).

Croudace, Bellway and Nicholas King Homes Developments

All still fall within the care and maintenance of the respective development companies and have not yet been adopted. 

Highways/paths updates

Marsworth Road does not yet qualify for resurfacing.  The sunken footpath along Queen Street remains outstanding, as does the cutting back of the vegetation and siding out along the footpath between Pitstone and Marsworth.  Any resident can report a defect with the highway (eg pothole) or footpath to Buckinghamshire Council via their website https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/transport-and-roads/report-a-highways-problem/ or via the Fix My Street website.

The parking restrictions near the quarry have been approved and implemented.

The Buckinghamshire Council Freight Strategy looks is likely to be adopted and implemented by the autumn.

Planning

There are several local planning applications for which we are still waiting for Buckinghamshire Council to provide a determination including submissions relating to the commercial areas within the Nicholas King Homes development (their application sought to convert these sites to residential use, and their first application has subsequently been referred to the Planning Inspectorate for consideration (to which the parish council has submitted further objections)), the additional properties by The Haldi and the business park development off Westfield Road.   As always, you can find full details of all planning applications on the Buckinghamshire Council Planning Portal.

Congratulations!

Very many congratulations to Freya, Rue and Alexandra for their excellent drawing and colouring skills, that won the Children’s Competition to produce artwork that we could turn into signs to discourage littering and dog fouling.

Photograph of prize giving
Photograph of prize giving
Photo of prize giving

Parish Council Chairman, Dave Nicholls, was delighted to award each winner with a copy of their artwork made into a sign, and a certificate.

The signs have now started to go up around the village, our play areas and open spaces.

No Youth Cafe Tonight

NO YOUTH CAFE TONIGHT. Due to unforeseen circumstances, there will be no youth cafe today. Hopefully back next week.

Congratulations to Howard Jones, Pitstone Volunteer of the Year 2022

We would like to congratulate Howard Jones, who was awarded Volunteer of the Year 2022 at the annual assembly in May for his outstanding contribution to the Pitstone Community Car Scheme.  Reaching hospital and healthcare appointments was as important as ever to residents during Covid, but many previous volunteers were unable to assist during this time, and Howard handled over half of all the requests we received.  The Chairman presented Howard with a framed certificate, card and £50.00.

The Parish Council runs the Volunteer of the Year scheme to celebrate the unsung heroes within our community.  If you know someone who goes that extra mile and provides an outstanding voluntary service to the residents of Pitstone, please submit your nominations to the parish clerk so that they can be taken into consideration for the 2023 award.

If, like Howard, you could spare some time to join the scheme as a volunteer driver, please do get in touch with Stephen Davies on communitytransport@pitstone.co.uk.

Aerial runway / zipwire

Our apologies that the aerial runway is currently not available at the Recreation Ground site. This has suffered some damage to the spring and the seat fixings, so has been removed whilst we obtain the necessary spare parts. It will be returned as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

What butterflies will you spot in the Local Wildlife Site?

Did you know that the field off Westfield Road is a designated Local Wildlife Site? The designation includes all the woodland behind the fields (across to Church Road), and stretches up to the Upper Icknield Way.

A Local Wildlife Site is an area of land that is especially important for wildlife, and form some of England’s most valuable wildlife areas. Click here for a short guide to Local Wildlife Sites: https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2018-05/LocalWildlifeSites%20_ShortGuide.pdf

The site off Westfield Road is a particularly important site for the small blue butterfly, as well as several species of orchid and other important plant life.

small blue butterfly

We are currently working with the Bucks & Milton Keynes Environmental Records Office, and local volunteers, to produce some information panels for display at the site.

In the meantime, do let us know what treasures you spot.

Two new memorial benches

Bench in memory of Mr W Ruck
Bench in memory of Matt Court and Jake Saintey

We would like to thank the families of William Ruck and Matt Court & Jake Saintey for their kind donations of memorial benches.

William Ruck was a centenarian who resided in the village. His bench is located at the junction of Glebe Close & Marsworth Road, where Mr Ruck used to like to admire the view across to the hills.

The bench for Matt Court and Jake Saintey looks into the skatepark, a facility that the longed for.

We hope that our residents gain much pleasure and benefit from the new facilities. They have been added to our asset register and will be maintained and safety checked by the parish council on an ongoing basis.

Westfield Road pneumatic strip speed & classification report

As part of the remedial measures undertaken, Buckinghamshire Council agreed to install a pneumatic monitoring strip to assess the speed and classification of vehicles at the location of the changes.

The two result reports provided by Buckinghamshire Council are available here:

The mVAS reports, which show the data from the mobile flashing speed units from further down Westfield Road are available on this webpage: https://pitstone.co.uk/ppcinfo/mobile-vehicle-activated-signs/

In all the reports, the “Average Speed” is the mean average calculated for all vehicles. The ’85th Percentile Speed’ shows the speed at, or below, which 85% of vehicles were travelling. It is used by the DfT (and other organisations around the world) as a measure of the ‘actual’ speed of the road as compared to the speed limit. Unlike the mean it is not skewed by vehicles travelling below the limit.

The 85th percentile for the 3 locations shows 85% of vehicles are travelling at, or below, 45mph at the point of the new measures (recorded by the pneumatic strips), decreasing to 40mph by the first mVAS (around the Warwick Road junction), then decreasing to 35mph by the second mVAS (opposite Bolebec End).

An initial decrease in speed following the introduction of the measures is no longer evident.

Following receipt of the report:

  • The Parish Council asked for the data to be referred to the Road Safety division of Buckinghamshire Council. They have reviewed all the data available for this location, and advised that “unfortunately, we would not look to install any remedial measures here as there is no injury collision history at the site.” The Buckinghamshire Council highway policies, including their Network Safety Policy, are available via this link: https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/parking-roads-and-transport/policies/highway-policies/
  • Buckinghamshire Council agreed that the speeding did represent an enforcement issue and they “passed the data to the police authority with a request for tasking. It will be up to the police authority to determine if they will make Westfield Road an enforcement site.” Thames Valley Police have since undertaken one speed monitoring exercise along Westfield Road. Once we have any firm information from them about ongoing activity we will keep you posted.
  • We’d raised a separate request with Taylor Wimpey to cut back the roadside shrubs/verge to improve visibility of the gates.
  • The BC Community Board, initially assisted with Westfield Road issues. The parish council has escalated the reports and subsequent activity to Buckinghamshire Councillors Town and Brazier (who sit on the Board) to see if this group can offer any further assistance/input.
  • Residents may also be interested in registering an interest to become a volunteer for a Community Speedwatch program. More details available via this link: https://pitstone.co.uk/ppcnews/speedwatch/

Is reducing speeding through the village important to you? Would you be willing to volunteer as a Community Speedwatch operator?

Community Speedwatch logo

On a number of previous occasions, the parish council has investigated whether there is a sufficient volume of local residents for whom speeding through the village is a concern, and whom are willing to volunteer to join a Community Speedwatch project. Historically, few volunteers have come forward, and a scheme has not been able to be implemented. As part of Westfield Road has now been adopted, so could be included within any scheme, we are once again gauging if any residents would wish to participate.

What is Community Speedwatch, what is involved, and how much time would you need to commit?

The parish council would loan the camera kit from Buckinghamshire Council Community Board. The kit contains: hi-vis and jackets, signs for the road, the camera, tripod and ancillaries. The camera is set up at the side of the road, facing oncoming traffic, in locations that have been previously assessed and approved by Thames Valley Police and Buckinghamshire Council. Two large community speedwatch signs are placed 20-50 metres from camera point (and locations would be agreed by TVP/BC as part of the review process). The camera is calibrated to catch speeders 150 metres up the road, there is a 20% allowance on the speed. For example, in a 30mph zone, vehicles exceeding 36 mph will be recorded.

You need a minimum of 2 (and maximum of 4) volunteers to set up and carry out the Speedwatch each time it is operational. Recommended duration of the camera is up to 2 hours at the site (so you would need to be available for 2.5-3 hours to include setting up and packing away the equipment). The volunteers then need approximately the same amount of time again (ie 2 hours) to process the data and submit it (online) to Thames Valley Police within the subsequent 48 hours.

Whilst monitoring the traffic, for each speeding vehicle detected, the volunteers need to fill in the data sheet, recording the following information:

  • Registration number
  • Speed
  • Vehicle Colour
  • Make
  • Model
  • Offence Time
  • Comments

Every volunteer would also need to attend a training session on how to use the
camera, the set up, understanding the risk assessments, and protection of personal data, before joining the scheme. TVP insurance covers volunteers whilst you are volunteering by the roadside.

What do Thames Valley Police (TVP) do with the information?

When the information is passed to TVP an initial letter is sent to the driver informing them that they have been captured speeding. If they are caught again within three months, a second letter is sent, if they are caught again within 6 months, the driver is visited by TVP. Offenders do not receive fines or points on their licence, as they would if captured via TVP operated speed traps or official cameras. Speedwatch has now been made a national scheme, instead of a series of local schemes, so if you are caught by a Community Speedwatch team in Dundee one week and again by a Speedwatch team in Pitstone the next month, it will still count as a second offence.

  • 1st letter – 3 months
  • 2nd letter – 6 months
  • 3rd letter hand delivered by police

What is the aim of Community Speedwatch?

The aim of the Community Speedwatch is to educate drivers about the dangers of speeding in the location they were caught.

If enough volunteers come forward, how will the parish council support the scheme and what would it need to do next?

  • We would need to work with Thames Valley Police and Buckinghamshire Council to identify locations on our through roads that would meet their criteria and be approved.
  • Arrange suitable training for all volunteers.
  • Arrange to be included in the schedule of loan equipment.
  • Agree participation in the scheme with the TVP data processing team based in Amersham.
  • Arrange safe storage for the equipment when not in use, and collection/return facilities/process for the volunteers.
  • Purchase the necessary dedicated laptop, with encryption, to keep Speedwatch data separate from other data.
  • Put in place all the necessary measures to ensure compliance to GDPR re the storage and wiping of the data collected.

More information about Community Speedwatch can be found here: https://communityspeedwatch.org/FRONT-v2-Home.php

How do you register an interest in volunteering for this scheme?

If you would like to register your interest in volunteering for such a Community Speedwatch scheme, and can commit to the above hours, please email your contact details and any other relevant information to: parishclerk@pitstone.co.uk by the 15 August 2022 (which enables this information to be printed in the next edition of PPP and hand delivered to every home and business in Pitstone so we can make sure that everyone has been reached).

The parish council can then review the level of interest to see whether a Community Speedwatch scheme is important to our residents and viable to operate.

Does your community group need a grant?

The parish council offers grants to local community groups and local charities that specifically benefit Pitstone residents.  Applications are considered quarterly.   The next opportunity for grants to be considered is coming up next month on 28 July 2022.

Some of our most recent recipients include Windmill Pre School for outdoor play equipment, Pitstone Memorial Hall Charity to fix their roof and South Central Ambulance for a further dedicated kit for our Community First Responders.

Please see the grant policy on this web site (http://pitstone.co.uk/ppcinfo/grant-policy/ ) for further information or contact the parish clerk.

Applications must be received at least 10 days ahead of the meeting date so that the information can be circulated to all members ahead of the meeting and your application can be advertised on our agenda.

Thank you to all our volunteers

This week is National Volunteers Week.

We have over 100 people in the parish that volunteer with the parish council, in a wide variety of roles, including:

  • driving residents to their hospital and doctor appointments
  • helping supervise the youth cafe
  • editing, distributing and delivering Pitstone Parish Post
  • running the allotment site
  • monitoring street lighting
  • helping with the fibre broadband project
  • sitting on the sports and leisure committee
  • helping with major development projects like the skatepark
  • even your parish councillors are volunteers!

There is also a hidden army of volunteers that support other groups within the community eg the school, preschool, scouting, guiding, the museum, the watermill, the windmill, the football clubs (senior and junior), the cricket club, the memorial hall, the over 60’s, the WI etc etc.

We send a massive thank you to each and every one of you, you make our village the wonderful place to live and work that it is.

If you are interested in putting back into your community, do get in touch, there is bound to be the ideal role for you.

Platinum Jubilee

Queen’s Green Canopy

The parish council has participated in the Queen’s Green Canopy jubilee project to create a lasting legacy for future generations and planted a commemorative tree and plaque in the grounds of the pavilion.

If you haven’t yet pledged to plant a tree, you can find out more information and sign up via this link: https://queensgreencanopy.org/

Platinum Room

In honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and as a lasting memorial, the function room at the Pavilion has been renamed The Platinum Room and a commemorative plaque is being erected.

Yarn bombing

Our thanks to the Ivinghoe and Pitstone Women’s Institute for the knitted village decorations in both Pitstone and Ivinghoe.

Street parties and community events

Buckinghamshire Council waived the temporary street closure fee for Jubilee street parties over the Bank Holiday weekend and more than 90 groups have taken advantage of this offer. We know that many of you are planning to get together with friends and neighbours and we hope that you all enjoy your celebrations.

There are many community events taking place across the county, from Big Lunches to parties, many of which are listed on the BC events directory available here: online directory.

Jubilee activities

Jubilee activity packs are available to download from via this link. These have also been sent out to schools and care homes.

A Jubilee resource pack from Learning and Sharing Together is also available with ideas for celebrating with different generations.

Celebrate the Jubilee with Buckinghamshire Libraries

Buckinghamshire libraries are also offering an array of diverse and interesting Jubilee events from talks with a town crier and a former royal footman to commemorative pebble painting and crafts galore for children, there are over 60 planned events in Buckinghamshire libraries for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Discover what’s on for the Jubilee in your local library.

Buckinghamshire Archives Jubilee Exhibition

In addition to the above events, Buckinghamshire Libraries are delighted to be hosting a pop-up exhibition by Buckinghamshire Archives demonstrating how the county has celebrated past Jubilees.

The exhibition will be travelling around Buckinghamshire Libraries on these dates:

  • 16 May to 7 June – High Wycombe Library and Princes Risborough Library
  • 9 June to 22 June – Marlow Library and Aylesbury Library
  • 24 June to 16 July – Amersham Library and Buckingham Library

Bernwood Jubilee Trail

Buckinghamshire Council has revitalised the historic Bernwood Jubilee Trail, a 61-mile walking and cycling route which circles the former Royal Hunting Forest of Henry II.

The trail, which runs through 31 parishes, is a beautiful path through woods, meadows and wildflower fields, with magnificent views and rare native flora and fauna as well as butterflies, birds and wildlife.

We’ve produced ten new walking and cycling maps for the trail, to enable people to explore the beautiful Buckinghamshire countryside.

Click here to download the maps.

Lord Lieutenant’s Service of Thanksgiving

Lord Lieutenant for Buckinghamshire, Countess Howe, hosted a Service of Thanksgiving for HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at All Saints Parish Church in High Wycombe on Sunday 29 May. Attendance at the service was by invitation only, but everyone is invited to watch the recording of the service.

Last week to submit your entries to the children’s poster competition – closing date 6 June 2022

example of a poster discouraging littering

We hope you are enjoying your school half term holiday.

If you are looking for something to keep the children active for a while, and you haven’t yet entered, why not get them to design a poster for our Keep Pitstone Tidy competition? The winning entries will be converted into signs and displayed around our open spaces and the village.

Each winning entrant will also be awarded a copy of their sign and a certificate.

Click this link to upload your artwork or find out more information: https://pitstone.co.uk/keeppitstonetidy2022/

Criminal Damage to Hurst Path noticeboard and Hever Close memorial bench

We are sad to report that a group of 5 or 6 ‘young’ teenagers (approx 13-14 years) decided to attack the Hurst Path noticeboard on Saturday evening and completely bring it to the floor. Our contractor attended on Sunday to remove the board and make the area safe. This criminal damage has been reported to Thames Valley Police who will be investigating. If you reside in one of the properties overlooking this footpath/play area and also witnessed anything and/or have CCTV footage (approx 8-8.40pm Saturday evening) please contact Thames Valley Police. Our apologies to the residents that normally rely on this noticeboard, it will be reinstated once we have sourced suitable replacement parts and carried out the necessary repairs.

Criminal damage to noticeboard on Hurst Path

Also sad to see that the memorial bench, dedicated to the Morris family, in the Hever Close playground, has been graffiti’d. Staff will be attending to try and remove this graffiti.

Hever Close Memorial Bench

Westfield Road and Castlemead update 5-5-22

Buckinghamshire Council has adopted a section of Westfield Road, including the section near the revised road layout, so they have now been able to arrange for the installation of the pneumatic speed monitoring strips to check that the new infrastructure is having the desired impact. The strips are currently scheduled for installation this week.

Taylor Wimpey has not yet completed the remainder of the remedial works in phases 1-4 of Castlemead, so these have not yet been adopted and remain under the care/maintenance of Taylor Wimpey.

Remedials for the business park and Phase 5 of Castlemead will start to be scoped after the final completion of phases 1-4.

Pitstone Parish Council – casual vacancy for the office of parish councillor

ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT OUR VILLAGE?

WOULD YOU LIKE TO JOIN PITSTONE PARISH COUNCIL? 

Following the resignation of Councillor Kirk (due to a change in personal circumstances) we have one vacant seat on the parish council.  Please find below the official Notice of Vacancy. Unless 10 electors request a by-election within 14 working days, the parish council will fill this vacancy via co-option at the 26 May 2022 annual parish council meeting.

The new member will serve out the remaining term of office until the next election.

The corporate body of the parish council also acts as Sole Trustee to two local charities.

Initial information about the role of parish councillors, and charity trustees, is available on our website www.pitstone.co.uk.

If you are interested in joining us, have plenty of spare time (an average of 3 hours per week) to volunteer (councillors receive no wages or allowances), and are passionate about the village we live in, please contact the parish council for a full information pack as soon as possible to ensure you have plenty of time to read through all the materials.

Applications for co-option should be submitted by email to parishclerk@pitstone.co.uk by close of:

THURSDAY 24 MAY 2022

If a by-election has been called, we will advise you accordingly.

If you are interested in calling for a by-election, please see the information in the attached notice and replicated below:

PITSTONE PARISH COUNCIL

Local Government Act 1972- Sections 87 and 89

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that due to the resignation of Councillor Alistair Kirk (due to a change in personal circumstances) a casual vacancy has arisen in the Office of Parish Councillor for Pitstone Parish Council.

If by 24 May 2021 (within 14 days excluding Dies Non after the date of this notice) a request for an election to fill the vacancy is made in writing to the Returning Officer, Buckinghamshire Council, The Gateway, Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, Bucks HP19 8FF or via email to elections@buckinghamshire.gov.uk** by TEN electors for the Parish, then an election will be held to fill the vacancy, otherwise the vacancy will be filled by co-option.

Dated: 3 May 2022

Signed: Laurie Eagling, Parish Clerk

Pitstone Parish Council, Pitstone Pavilion, Marsworth Road, Pitstone, Beds, LU7 9AP

** Residents of the parish who wish to request an election must include their names, addressses and a signature and if using the email address we recommend a scanned copy.

Have your say on the Ivinghoe & Pitstone Safety Scheme proposals for Brookmead School and Station Road

In the recent past both Ivinghoe and Pitstone Parish Councils separately engaged Ben Hamilton Baillee Associates to draw up a concept safety scheme for the individual villages to enable both pedestrians and road traffic to coalesce safely together within the villages.

Both Parish Councils have been busy behind the scenes in progressing this concept with Buckinghamshire Council and Transport for Bucks as the highways authority. As a result the two separate schemes are now known as the Ivinghoe and Pitstone Safety Scheme.

After many different surveys, concept designs, etc we are now at a point where both phase 1 and phase 2 can now be implemented. Both of these phases were chosen for early implementation as they have a direct effect on the younger members of our villages.

Phase 1 – Station Road, Ivinghoe

Phase 2 – Brookmead School

Many of you will have seen the resurfacing work that has taken place recently along Station Road by the junctions with Maud Janes Close and Ladysmith Road as well as outside Brookmead School. This work was in preparation for the implementation of these two phases of the Safety Scheme.

Diagrams of the two phases can be viewed at the library in Ivinghoe. Alternatively you can view the Station Road proposals here:

and the Brookmead proposals here:

Any comments about the schemes can be sent to the following

  • By email to parishclerk@pitstone.co.uk.
  • By post to Pitstone Parish Council, Pitstone Pavilion, Marsworth Road, Pitstone, Beds, LU7 9AP.
  • In person, simply drop your comments into the BLACK post box in the foyer of the Town Hall.

Phase 1 – Station Road, Ivinghoe

The design concepts here are:

To provide a ‘safety zone’ to enable a safer crossing point for children attending Brookmead School and also to provide additional parking for residents and the dropping off and picking up of children from Brookmead School.

The scheme incorporates:

  • A new crossing point in a slightly different location to the existing one.
  • 2 new informal roundabouts
  • New signage both on the road and on the road side
  • Early warning markers when approaching from Great Gap/Ford End
  • A ‘grasscrete’ parking bay for 5 vehicles (time limited parking during day time hours)
  • A footpath from the parking bays to connect with the existing footpath to Brookmead School
  • Anti-skid road surfacing
  • New tree planting to increase bio-diversity

It is envisaged that motorists will have plenty of early warning on the approach to the safety zone, with the informal roundabouts slowing the traffic further on the approach to the crossing point.

Ivinghoe Parish Council have already consulted with local residents on the initial drawings for this scheme and residents views have been taken into account with this latest design.

It is currently planned for the work to be completed during the school summer holidays in late July/August.

Phase 2 – Brookmead School

The design concepts here are:

To provide a more visible presence to motorists that they are within a school zone.

The scheme incorporates:

  • Red anti-skid tarmac surface across the whole school zone
  • Buff coloured anti-skid tarmac for the bus stop area
  • Road markings to give the appearance that the road is narrower
  • ‘Pencil’ bollards in various colours (see picture) to highlight both the school and children’s presence
  • Treatment of the verge opposite to increase sight lines for motorists
  • Additional road markings on the approach to the area
  • Definitive road markings to delineate the end of the roadway along the side of the brook.

It was envisaged that the speed limit would be reduced to 20mph along this stretch of the road, but we have not been given permission yet to enable this to happen. We will be actively pursuing this to be implemented at a later date, if funding is available.

This phase of the Safety Scheme is partly within Pitstone and partly within Ivinghoe and as such both Parish Councils have had an input in its design. Brookmead School has also been consulted.

Some works are due to start late April/early May with the anti-skid surfacing going down. Full completion is expected during the school summer holidays.

Issued on behalf of Ivinghoe & Pitstone Parish Councils and Buckinghamshire Council.

Vandalism – graffiti

Sadly a number of locations have been tagged with graffiti over the weekend. We’ve been able to remove the vandalism from our noticeboards but the skate park will take us a little longer, please bear with us. All instances have been reported to Thames Valley Police.

Help the hedgehogs

Hedgehogs R Us photograph of a hedgehog

Hedgehogs are in decline in Britain and are now listed as “Vulnerable” on Britain’s red list of mammals. According to the latest State of Britain’s hedgehogs report, numbers of hedgehogs have fallen by up to 30% in urban areas and 50% in rural areas since the Millennium.

There are a number of ways that you can help. One of the best things you can do for the local Hedgehog population is allow them access in and out of your garden. A 12cm x 12cm hole is all they need. Encourage neighbours to do the same.  Why not frame your access hole with one of our Hedgehog Highways!

This gap allows hedgehogs to:

   * Forage for food 

   * Meet mates to breed

   * Access nesting sites

Why should I get a Hedgehog Highway Surround?

Highway surround on a fence

1. You must admit, they look super cute!

2.  They raise awareness to hedgehogs’ struggle for survival 

3. They create a talking point, encouraging others to create a highway of their own and take part in the project

4. Hedgehogs R Us donate money from all the units the parish council buys to help the rescue of sick and injured hedgehogs

You can order your hedgehog highway surround (£5 each) from the parish council. You’ll receive your surround and a leaflet giving details of how to help the hedgehogs. You can arrange collection or we can deliver (Pitstone only). Payment accepted via cash or bacs transfer. Please contact us on:

  • Telephone: 01296767261
  • Email: parishclerk@pitstone.co.uk
  • Send us a message via our social media channels
  • Pop in to one of our meetings at the pavilion, or call round to 9 Warwick Road, to buy direct (cash only)

There is lots of other advice on how to make your garden hedgehog friendly, on the Hedgehogs R Us webpage, including:

  • creating wildflower areas
  • making your pond safe
  • keeping your garden netting and rubbish free
  • stop using chemicals
  • put out suitable food and water
  • providing a hedgehog house and
  • checking before you strim

Link available here: https://hedgehogsrus.co.uk/helping-hedgehogs

Youth Cafe Easter Holiday

Just a reminder that the youth cafe is closed for the Easter holidays. No sessions on 13th or 20th April.

We look forward to seeing you all, and the new year 6 attendees, after the Easter holidays.

Skatepark event Saturday 23 April 2022 2-4pm

Weather permitting, we hope to host a skatepark event this Saturday, 23 April 2022, from 2-4pm at the skatepark.

teenager on skateboard

If the park is wet, it isn’t safe to skate, so the event will be postponed. Check back here for details.

Never skated? Want to learn how to improve? We’ll have qualified & DBS checked tutors on site to run sessions for beginners, improvers, or do a girls only session. Please check in to the registration desk when you arrive and chat to our hosts about what you need, and we’ll try and tailor the sessions to those that attend.

Not got any equipment? We have a small number of scooters, skateboards and safety equipment that we can loan to you whilst you have your lesson. However, if you have your own gear, please bring it along.

Already an expert skater? You are welcome to also come along to the event, but please be aware that some of the park may not be available for general use when we are running lessons.

Make sure you collect your freebies from the registration desk when you arrive (while stocks last). There will also be competitions running throughout the afternoon with some Vans merchandise up for grabs (the competitions will be tailored to the people at the event). No need to pre-book.

  • Refreshments will be available at CuriosiTea – including hot & cold drinks, cakes, snacks, hot food and ice creams.
  • Toilets will be available at Pitstone Memorial Hall.

Whenever you are at our site:

  • Please remember that there are neighbours and a children’s playground close by.
  • Please set a good example and make sure your language and behaviour is appropriate for small children to overhear / see.
  • Please be respectful of other skatepark and recreation ground users at all times.
  • Please dispose of all litter in a bin.
  • We recommend you keep hydrated. Please bring your water bottles/refreshments. If you need to purchase refreshments, the nearest locations are : CuriosiTea cafe situated at the end of Pitstone Memorial Hall, or Masons store on Marsworth Road.
  • Please note that there are no public toilets in Pitstone.
  • If you subsequently visit our skatepark during an evening, please ‘quiet skate’ after 8pm by switching all music off.

Skateboarding is a high risk sport. For more information about the type of accidents that may happen, and how to help keep yourself and your children safe, please click here: https://pitstone.co.uk/ppcinfo/sport-and-recreation/

4 weeks left to register your interest to upgrade Pitstone to full fibre

Link to full information

A big thank you to all the residents that have already expressed an interest in upgrading to full fibre. Remember that you need to register by 30 April, as after this date the information will be submitted to Openreach.

The more residents that sign up, the more likely it is that Openreach will agree to install the upgrade. So, if you are interested in faster broadband, please follow the link above.

Ball court vandalised

We are aware that the ball court has been vandalised over the weekend, and have reported this to Nicholas King Homes requesting that they urgently attend to make safe and carry out the necessary repairs.

Please take care in this area until they can attend site.

Please welcome Councillor Amy Dragon

The parish council was delighted to appoint Amy Dragon to become a member of the council.

Councillor Amy Dragon

Councillor Dragon says “Myself and my partner moved to Pitstone just over a year and a half ago as we want to build a life here together surrounded by natural beauty. We feel lucky to have found such a beautiful place to live that has such great community spirit. I felt eager to be a part of the Parish Council so that I could help and support our community as I enjoy being involved in local projects, supporting local businesses to thrive and I feel passionate about protecting our special place that we live in and call home.”

Please make Councillor Dragon feel very welcome in her new role.

There are currently no vacancies for councillor seats on the parish council, but if like Amy, you would be interested in joining us, please let us know. There are often ways that you can get involved as a volunteer and we can let you know if another vacancy arises. Please note that being a parish councillor is a voluntary role.

Skate park now open!

We are delighted to announce that the skate park is now complete and open for use, almost 3 weeks ahead of schedule.

The new Pitstone Skate Park

The skate park has been funded by a release of Section 106 sports and leisure funding, a community chest grant, a community leader grant, the parish council, some sponsorship from local companies and some fundraising by the users.

A skate park event is being organised, so look out for the details which will be announced in a couple of weeks.

We are absolutely delighted to be able to provide these facilities and are sure that they will be well utilised by all the skaters/riders from Pitstone as well as our surrounding villages.

Our skate park is located next to the recreation ground and Huck Teck play space:

https://goo.gl/maps/H6zL6hjyPfR2p2tL9

Google Pus Code: R9J4+73 Leighton Buzzard

Does your community group need a helping hand?

The parish council offers grants to local community groups and local charities that specifically benefit Pitstone residents.  Applications are considered quarterly.   The next opportunity for grants to be considered is coming up next month on 28 April 2022.

Some of our most recent recipients include Windmill Pre School for outdoor play equipment, Pitstone Memorial Hall Charity to fix their roof and South Central Ambulance for a further dedicated kit for our Community First Responders.

Please see the grant policy on this web site (http://pitstone.co.uk/ppcinfo/grant-policy/ ) for further information or contact the parish clerk.

Applications must be received at least 10 days ahead of the meeting date so that the information can be circulated to all members ahead of the meeting and your application can be advertised on our agenda.

Congratulations to the winners of the children’s photography competition

Very many congratulations to Emelia, Isabelle, Mathilda, Rue, Charlie and Taleah whose submissions into the Pitstone Summer
Photography Competition were selected as the winning entries.  Each child received a canvas of their winning photograph along with a certificate, and a further copy of the canvas has been mounted on the wall of the pavilion for all our hirers to enjoy.

Look out for details of this years’ competition which will be announced soon.

2ND APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED BY NICHOLAS KING HOMES FOR LAND ADJOINING THE RECREATION GROUND – PITSTONE DEVELOPMENT AREA (OR “PDA SITE”) COMMUNITY FACILITIES OR MORE RESIDENTIAL HOUSING ??

Residents may be aware that Nicholas King Homes PLC, the developers of the PDA Site (being marketed by them as their “Ravensmoor” development), have recently submitted second planning applications for the two small remaining pieces of the overall site.

They are new applications from Nicholas King Homes in addition to the ones they made last summer.  If you have views on these new applications, you should make them known in the normal way – please do not assume that any comments previously submitted will be considered by Buckinghamshire Council when determining these new applications.

These are the land parcels which the Pitstone Neighbourhood Plan, adopted in 2016 following a referendum in which 97% of the votes cast were in favour of the Plan, requires to be made available (subject to viability) for community purposes such as a pub/restaurant and nursery.

The planning application which has been submitted is for residential housing.

You can view the application and supporting documents on the Buckinghamshire Council website, by clicking here.  The reference numbers of the latest applications, which you will need to enter in order to find them, is 22/00452/APP for the restaurant/pub site and 22/00451/APP for the nursery site .  You can also submit comments online (and will need to indicate whether you support or oppose the application, or are neutral about it).

The application will be considered at the planning committee meeting convened for 7.30pm on Thursday 10 March 2022 at Pitstone Pavilion.  Residents who would like to express any views about the application can email the Parish Council in advance, or attend the meeting, or indeed both.

The Parish Council has no power to decide this application.  It is simply being consulted by the Local Planning Authority (Buckinghamshire Council), as part of its overall consideration of the application. 

We would therefore encourage any residents with views about the application to submit them to Buckinghamshire Council online so that they can be taken into account.  The deadline for comments is Thursday 11 March.  If doing so, please send a copy to the Parish Council at the same time.

We would also encourage any potential operators of community facilities, that might be interested in purchasing either land parcel, to make themselves known to the Parish Council.  We can therefore put them in touch with the developers / its agents to initiate discussions about a potential purchase.

18 February 2022

Help for the birds

Link for Sunnyside: https://www.sunnysideruraltrust.org.uk/our-sites/northchurch/

Link for the RSPB: https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/advice/how-you-can-help-birds/