Summary of Parish Council Meeting held at the Village Church Hall

on Thursday 6th October 2022

The Chairman, Cllr Richard Fonge, opened the meeting by welcoming a full Council and seven villagers to the meeting. He also introduced Lisa Roberts, who will be taking over compiling the monthly newsletter from January.

Paul Wilkinson and Roger Ellis were then remembered. Two villagers who had died recently.


Proclamation Ceremony for King Charles III

The Chair reported on the Proclamation Ceremony held on the 11th of September


High Speed Rail (HS2)

Cll Sara Staples  reported on HS2. She would be reporting back on two bad driving incidents and asked for any concerns to be reported back to her. Next liaison meeting Friday 14th October.


Anglia Water.

Council agreed to inform Anglia water of the terrible signing of works. No thought given to residents. Complaints about regular breaks, with little hope of action.


Village Church Hall.

Cllr Staples, Powell and Castle had met with three members of the P.C.C and Hall manager Janet Smith. A positive meeting . Council to put a questionnaire to all residents for ideas and general feedback. This liaison group will meet again in January ‘23.


Village Display Board

Martin Sirot-Smith reported that the new display board being prepared by the Sulgrave History Society had been approved to be placed near to the Millenium bench, and asked if the P.C would pay the invoice, so that the V.A.T could be reclaimed by the Society. The Clerk advised that this would be illegal. Conclusion – History society to pay.


Street Lighting (Possible reduction of illumination hours)

The Chair said that as much as they would like to reduce the hours of lighting it was not possible for the following reasons:

1. The road through the village was a salted route and highways wanted it lit

2 If lights were turned off and anyone had an accident as a consequence the P.C. would be liable.

3 Each lamp has a driver. To reset all lamps would cost thousands

Council agreed to take no action, on economic and safety grounds.



Christmas Tree to be ordered. P.C to work with Danny, Ryan and Graham Trower to have Carol singing round the village on tractor and float. The choice of charity, and date to be confirmed at November meeting.


Pocket Park.

Cllr Castle reminded all that working party for Saturday 8th of October. Chair had watered oak tree and it was looking much better. He had also moved the plaque to a more visible position on the Diamond Jubilee oak, planted in the Millenium wood.


Vehicle Activated Speed Sign for Magpie Road

Cllr Priestman reported that he and the Chair had toured the area looking at speed signs. Council agreed that the one proposed for Magpie Road must be a solar powered one, and the Council would wait for further research and costs before making a decision on its final positioning.


Sulgrave Manor.

Cllr Priestman reported that the sale of Kiln Farm and the Cottages both awaited completion.



Soldier Silhouette to be placed out in late October. Two minute silence on Castle Green Friday 11th of November at 11am.


Meeting closed at 8.45 pm


Richard Fonge.


P.S. All are welcome to attend meetings of the Parish Council, and ideas and feedback are always welcome too.

Summary of Parish Council Meeting held at

the Village Church Hall on Thursday 1st September 2022

The Chair, Cllr Richard Fonge opened the meeting.

Apologies received from Councillor Sara Staples, Martin Sirot-Smith and Colin Wootton.


Matters arising from the Minutes of the Previous Meeting

Dog waste bin for Castle Green on order. Bamboo destroyed in Helmdon Road.


Village Newsletter

The Chair was pleased to announce that Lisa Roberts of Manor Rd had agreed to edit the Sulgrave Newsletter taking over from Janet Smith.


High Speed Rail (HS2) 

Road closures. Banbury Rd 26th to 30th October and 3rd to 30th November. These will be 24/7 closures.


Sulgrave Manor.

Cllr Priestman reported that visitor numbers were up from last year. The Manor Road cottages had been sold and new trustees appointed.

The Chair then thanked Danny Webster for his excellent catering at the Manor which would be much missed and wished him well in his new premises in Brackley.


Pocket Park. 

Cllr Castle reported that the zip wire had been inspected, but not to the specification we had asked for. She then advised that until done satisfactorily we should display signs. “Use equipment at own risk”. All agreed.

There will be a working party for general  maintenance on Saturday 8th October at 10.00 am.


Best Village.

Sulgrave has been awarded a bronze certificate, with silver for the pocket park. The written report is still awaited. All agreed that it had been worth entering and we should do so again next year.


Sulgrave Welcomes Ukraine ”event on Castle Green.

The Chair reported on a great afternoon. The Prolisok Ukrainian Dance Ensemble raised £1104 in their collection. He also congratulated Steve and Nicky from The Star for their generosity to the Ukraine appeal which continues into the Autumn.

He thanked all those who had helped put on the show and letters of thanks would be sent to the many generous sponsors from the village.


Village Church Hall

The Chairman reported that he was meeting Father Nick the Sulgrave vicar to discuss hall matters.



The allotment ditch is to be done later in Autumn.


Village Library.

The Chair reported that in its first year the Library had been in regular use and was a definite success. £80 had been put in collection box and given to the Church.


Councillors’ Reports.

Cllr Powell had been in correspondence with Anglia Water. No new water main pipe budgeted for in the immediate future.

A letter had been received from Brackley Hospital Charitable Trust, to say new X Ray equipment costing £90,000 was now in place.


Public participation. 

Clive Nichols asked about the bollards outside shop. The Chair replied that they were paid for three months ago. Clerk to chase up.


Matters for next months agenda.

Signs. Christmas tree. Help with energy costs.


The meeting closed at. 8:05 pm


Richard Fonge, (Chair)







The Chair Cllr Fonge opened the meeting with a full Council present and six villagers.

In matters arising he reported on the open shop meeting, where some thirty six people attended, but not much achieved.



Cllr Sara Staples reported on HS 2. Road to Marston cross roads closed till 10th July. New road to Greatworth T junction put back to next spring. HS2 to renew water main where their works cross Banbury Rd. Cllr Powell to follow up with Anglia water, to make sure rest of pipe is renewed. HS2 representatives will be in Church hall car park on July 26th to answer any questions from 6pm to 8pm.



Cllr Priestman reported that Clive Preston, a trustee, was now our contact, replacing C.E.O.



The Chair and Councillors Powell and Staples would attend presentation  evening on July 11th at East Hunsbury.



Agreed to put new bin on entrance to Castle Green. Contractors now emptying. Suggestion made that dog owners might like to make a £5 a year contribution to cost of disposal. Feedback welcome.



Cllr Priestman reported that 30mph signs moved back 100 metres up Magpie Rd. Council agreed that he look into the purchase of variable active speed display. New Sulgrave sign put on old posts. Clerk reported that new posts would come when bollards put up outside shop.



Cll Jen Castle reported that a quote for new equipment had not yet been received.

Annual safety report discussed. All agreed that Zip wire needed an inspection.



Present editor Janet Smith wishes to retire after eleven years. Cllr Powell to write a recruitment article for a replacement editor.



The Chair had been in touch with a Ukranian dance ensemble. Unanimous approval that an event be held on Castle Green on Saturday 27 August organised by the Parish Council. Details in August Newsletter.



Cllr Higginson reported that he was in contact with grass contractor to have roadside cut at the bottom of Helmdon rd.


Graham Roberts highlighted the danger as you exited the footpath at that point. He also pointed out that a short section of wall in Park rd needed attention.

Meeting closed at 8.25 pm.

Richard Fonge. Chair.






Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Mike Powell.

HS2 (High Speed Rail)

Cllr Sara Staples reported. No confirmation of construction dates as yet. Road from Magpie to Marston Crossroads to be closed for hedge removal and road strengthening. No further news on Greatworth junction. Information on these matters will be posted on the Village Website as soon as available.

Sulgrave Manor.

Cllr Priestman reported no further information from the Manor at the present time. Chair Cllr Fonge reported he had been a guest at the Colonial Dames luncheon. He had since been in contact with the Manor board Chairman, Mr Nigel Bowles who had extended an invitation to the village to visit the gardens. The Chair and Cll Priestman to meet to arrange this visit.

Pocket Park.

Cllr Jen Castle reported that she was waiting for a quote to improve some of the equipment, and thanks were expressed to Nick Jackson for making the back boards for the basketball hoops.

Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Event on Castle Green.

The Chair reported on a great village event, and thanked all who had contributed to the day

Sulgrave Village Shop.

The Chair congratulated the community shop on winning the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. An open meeting is to be held in the Village Church Hall on Thursday 23rd of June to celebrate this award and discuss the future of the shop

Best Village Competition.

Chair reported that the visit of the judges had gone well. Results will be announced on the evening of July 11th. The Chair and Cllr Higginson to attend.


Councillors Reports.

Cllr Higginson reported that he had received a quote to remove bamboo from bank in Helmdon Road and ivy growing up a lamppost nearby.

Cllr Priestman reported he was keeping pressure on West Northants Council to move the 30mph signs on Magpie Road, it now being some two and a half years since this was agreed. The Chair had written to WNC Area Councillor Alison Eastwood, complaining of the general inefficiency and lack of action by the Council.

Dog Waste Bins

It was agreed to have an extra dog waste bin placed on Castle Green and to have all of the bins emptied by a contractor on a weekly basis. Up to now the bins have been emptied by volunteers but with the increase in the number dogs in the village this has become an onerous and unpleasant task for the small number of villagers prepared to undertake it.


For the Sulgrave History Society, Martin Sirot-Smith presented a proposal to erect a village history walk signboard next to the millenium seat near the bus shelter. This to be funded from the surplus from the Castle Hill Project and based on the Sulgrave Walks Booklet. He also reported on the proposal to reprint “The Chronicles of Sulgrave” Book. The Parish Council, as copyright holders of both, agreed for him the progress both and report to the next meeting.

The Meeting closed at 8.25 pm.

Richard Fonge (Chair)



Summary of Parish Council Meeting held at the Village Church Hall on Thursday 5th May 2022

Cllr Richard Fonge was elected as Chair for the forthcoming year, with Cllr Will Priestman as Vice Chair.

Sulgrave Village Shop.

Cllr Fonge welcomed Neil Johnston the Chair of Sulgrave Village Shop. Neil presented a paper on the present situation at the shop, with a shortage of volunteers and the need for a new committee the main concerns. After a positive discussion, also open to the public, the Council agreed to hold an open meeting in late June. A note will go in the June newsletter from the Council supporting the shop in its recruitment drive.

High Speed Rail (HS2)

Nothing new to report on HS2

Sulgrave Manor

The Colonial Dames of America are visiting the village during the week beginning 16th of May. There will be a Church Service followed by a luncheon at the Manor on Saturday 21st May.


This is due to be erected in the churchyard on 23rd of May. The Council resolved that only the Union, St George’s and Star and Stripes be allowed to be flown.

30 mph sign.

Still no news of when it will be moved back or when the new Sulgrave sign will be in place, despite constant reminding by Cll Priestman.

Pocket Park.

Cllr Castle reported: New beam fitted on climbing apparatus, and climbing board taken down as dangerous. Recommended to look at other alternatives as whole frame not looking at its best. Information boards cleaned.

Queen’s Platinum Jubillee Event on Friday 3rd June.

The organising committee has met. Flyers are to be distributed around the village, with posters on lampposts. Event to start from 1 pm with picnics. Loyal toast at 2.00 pm. The Village Camera Club are to take pictures of everyone present from a position on the top of the hill. Childrens games to follow, including a fancy dress competition for under 11s, being themed Kings and Queens. Other events will comprise skittles, welly wangling etc .

Best Village Competition.

Sulgrave has been entered into this competition, which will be judged on Wednesday May 18th

Bollards in front of the Village Shop.

The local highway authority has agreed to the placement of two concrete bollards in front of shop to stop ram raiding. The work will be funded by the Parish Council at a cost of £1200.

Parish Council Finances

The accounts were approved by the Council, with the Agar agreement being signed off


The Council agreed to write to Hook Norton Brewery asking for the ditch below the allotments to be cleaned out.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held in the Village Church Hall on Thursday 9th June at 7.30 pm.

The Chair closed the meeting at 8.30 pm

See here for a Summary of the Annual Parish Meeting held at the Village Church Hall on April 7th 2022


Summary of the Parish Council Meeting held at the Village Church Hall on Thursday 10th March 2022.

All Councillors were present, along with six villagers.

The Chairman, Cllr Richard Fonge, opened the meeting with a minutes silence for Ukraine, followed by an appeal for all to support the Spring Fare to be held on Saturday the 19th in the hall, where the proceeds would go to the Ukraine relief fund.

High Speed Rail (HS2)

Cllr Staples reported on HS2. Greatworth T junction put back three months to the summer. Mobile exhibition to be arranged for Hall car park.  A representative from HS2 to attend Parish meeting on April 7th.

Sulgrave Manor. 

The Chairman reported that he had a report from a trustee. The Wool house in Little Street had been sold. The planning application for five new houses at Kiln Farm had been withdrawn for the present. The Trustees were in conversation with another villager.

Pocket Park.

Cllr Castle reported that a new beam for the climbing frame had been ordered.    Mr Nick Jackson was thanked for his work in making the back boards and erecting the first basketball hoop, with the assistance of Graham Roberts, Cllr Higginson and Cllr Priestman. Graham Trower was thanked for servicing the mower. Two oak trees had been planted, one in the park, the other by the bench on the Moreton Rd. Plaques to be bought to commemorate the Platinum Jubilee. Andrew Osmond was thanked for his help.

Litter Pick. Cllr Priestman reminded all of the date of the Annual Village Litter Pick.  26th of March at 10 a.m.  Meet in the car park of the village church hall.

Platinum Jubilee.

Plans for the village picnic on Castle Green and Castle Hill to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee are well in hand. Full update in the  Newsletter at end of month.

Village Sign on Magpie Road.

West Northants Council will pay for the posts, but not the name plate. Given the replacement cost of £750,  Cllr Mike Powell volunteered to have a look at the sign with a view to repairing it.

Dog Fouling.

It had been reported that it was getting worse again, in particular the Stockwell lane area and in the fields. Note to be put in next newsletter.

Sulgrave Village Shop.  

Cllr Staples reported that the new lease had been agreed and signed for the next seven years.


Cllr Higginson reported that the flagpole site in the churchyard had been agreed by the Church and he would liaise with the Churchwardens. Cost to the Parish Council will be £880.

Date of Next Meeting

April 7th. This will be the Annual Parish Meeting. The Clerk  reported that invitations had gone out to all parties due to report.

The Meeting concluded at 8.20 p m.


Richard Fonge.  Chairman

Agenda for Parish Council Meeting to be held in the Village Church Hall on Thursday 17th February at 7.30 pm.

See here for details of the Kiln Farm Planning Application


Summary of Parish Council Meeting held at the Village Church Hall on Thursday 3rd February 2022

All Parish Councillors were present, together with Councillor Alison Eastwood of West Northants Council and eight villagers.

Matters discussed:

Sulgrave Manor

The Chairman, Councillor Fonge and Councillor Will Priestman had met with Alison Ray, C.E.O of the Manor and Trustee Clive Preston. Councillor Priestman reported that the Manor was now selling the two thatched houses with Kiln Farm Yard as one development lot. The Wool House is on the market but there is no movement on the size of the houses proposed for the Kiln Farm development. However, lines of communication between the Parish Council and Manor are now ongoing.


New Planning Application for Housing Development at Kiln Farm

This had been submitted with a business plan two days earlier. The Chairman explained that the application only differed from the previous one in small detail, whilst the business plan set out in full the reasons for the use of the Enabling Act to justify the granting of planning permission which was otherwise likely to be refused. The plan also emphasised the limited opportunities which the Manor had in raising income from events so as to provide it with long term security.

West Northants Councillor Eastwood had met with her Council’s Planning Officer as a result of which she advised the Parish Council to take professional advice on this matter.

After some positive comments from members of the public attending, it was agreed that as many letters of concern as possible should be submitted to West Northants Council by the deadline of 22nd February.

It was further agreed that the Parish Council would meet again on 17th February.


Pocket Park

Councillor Fonge reported that Andrew Osmond had cut back the overhanging tree by the pond, and felled the dead oak in the woodland area, caused by squirrel damage to the bark. The new fencing posts were ready to be put in and the kissing gate had been strengthened.


High Speed Rail (HS2)

Councillor Staples reported that electric cabling was being laid for traffic lights on the main road to Thorpe Mandeville to be installed when the road strengthening takes place.

HS2 Contractor’s representative to be invited to a future Parish Council meeting.


Dog Waste Bins

These are becoming increasingly onerous for the volunteers to deal with and the Clerk was asked to ascertain the cost of having these emptied by the local council.

Sulgrave Village Shop.

Councillor Staples reported upon the matter of the shop lease and all were agreed on a new ten year lease.


The Annual Village Litter Picking Day was agreed for Saturday March 26th at 10.00 am. Meet at the Village Church Hall Car Park. The Best Kept Village Competition had been entered.


Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations.

Plans for the picnic on Castle Green and Castle Hill had been advertised by the Castle Green Committee, with a meeting in the Star planned for 10th February to progress the matter further.

The Meeting closed at 8.30 pm.



Agenda for Parish Council Meeting to be held in the Village Church Hall on Thursday 3rd January at 7.30 pm.

Summary of the Parish Council Meeting held at Sulgrave Village Church Hall on Thursday 6th January 2022

The Chairman welcomed to the meeting Mr Nigel Bowles, Chair of the Sulgrave Manor Board, along with two trustees, Mr Clive Preston and Mr William Twiday

In his opening statement the Parish Council Chairman reminded them of the Parish’s objection to the proposed development of Kiln farm in its present form, the village’s embarrassment with the two derelict cottages, and the lack of co operation between The Manor and village.

A power point presentation was then given by the trustees, showing the financial situation, their obligations as trustees and reasons for the development.   Some good questions were then asked of them, but no movement in their position on planning was forthcoming.

Other points on the agenda.  

Allotment hedge to be discussed.

Precept for next year to rise by 3% . Basketball hoops bought and paid for by Sulgrave Charity . Mr Nick Jackson making backboards.

The Chairman thanked Sarah Garnet for organising and making of the sixteen wreaths, that were hung round the village. Also Danny Webster and all those who helped him, in organising the Winter fair, which raised in excess of £1600.

Castle Green committee to organise Platinum celebrations.

Clerk to report poor road repairs not long done in Magpie road.

Richard Fonge, Chairman, Sulgrave Parish Council


Summary of Parish Council Meeting held at Sulgrave Village Church Hall on 4th November 2021

 The Chairman, Cllr Richard Fonge, welcomed all to the meeting, which included eight villagers and our guests from HS2, Chris James and Steven Davies, senior engagement officer and local engagement officer respectively.

HS2 (High Speed Rail)

With the aid of our new projector and screen a good presentation was given by the HS representatives. See below for full report by Councillor Findlay-Staples.

West Northants Council.

The Council’s model code of conduct was approved .


It was unanimously agreed to not go ahead with the flagpole for the present.Pocket Park

Cllr Castle was getting prices for new netball hoops. Quotes not received as yet for fence repairs
Chairman to meet with Andrew Osmond, village tree warden to discuss any remedial work and new planting.

Welcome Pack.

The Welcome Pack for new residents is nearly ready.

Village Church Hall

New signs bought by the Parish Council are ready for erection. There have been some positive responses to the idea of a table tennis table. Council to follow this up. Council agreed that the projector screen and stand should remain the property of the ParishCouncil, but would be available for the use of all who used the hall.  Ingram Lloyd reminded everyone of the official opening on Saturday 13th November at 12.30.

Christmas Tree on Castle Green

This is due to arrive in early December and new lighting has been bought for it. There will be a Fair on the Green on 11th December.

Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations.   

Martin Sirrot Smith reported that the Castle Green Committee and the Parish Council would organise an event on Green. A village picnic was proposed. Further ideas are welcome.

Neighbourhood Watch

Sarah Garnet has agreed to take the position of Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator.

Richard Fonge (Chairman


HS2 (High Speed Rail) Report

At the last P.C. meeting we welcomed Chris James and Simon Davis, the Engagement Managers working in partnership with Hs2. Chris and Simon gave a presentation with an overview of developments at the Greatworth Compound next to both Sulgrave and Thorpe Mandeville.

A number of points were raised and the following updates were given;

Traffic: Banbury Road will continue to be closed for a minimum of 4 weeks to allow preparatory works to complete a crossing area for large plant and machinery. They will create a crossing area where the internal and access roads from the compound will cross the highway. In order to protect the road and any utilities underneath they need to strengthen the surface using concrete and large machinery. The road will close again in 2022 but no specific dates can be given at this time.

Water Mains: The new traffic route for the compound will require Hs2 to replace sections of the water pipe in two phases. However, the weakest point and where the pipe has burst previously is much further along the pipe and is therefore the responsibility of the utility company. Hs2 have agreed to help discussions with the utility company to see if repairs can coincide with Hs2 work and hopefully get the repair completed.

Construction: The Greatworth Compound will continue to be developed in preparation for the tunnel and viaduct near Thorpe Mandeville. This will include the ongoing earthwork, some more footpath disruption, the continued use of the concrete batching plant and the introduction of offices for engineering staff.

Further information regarding development of the site is available at You can also receive specific updates for our area at

Sara Staples

Summary of Parish Council Meeting held at Sulgrave Village Church Hall on 7th October 2021

The Chair, Cllr Richard Fonge ,opened the meeting by welcoming everybody to the newly re-furbished hall.

Sulgrave village sign on Helmdon Rd, will not be replaced by West Northants Council. Agreed that a new sign, identical to the one on Helmdon Rd be bought by the Parish.

Cllr Staples and Anna Faure reported on HS 2.   Road from Magpie to Thorpe to be closed for a month from October 25th. Agreed to ask for traffic lights at Marston cross roads due to the increase of traffic at a dangerous place. Ask for a meeting with HS2 at next months meeting to update on developments. Anglia water to be kept aware of poor state of pipeline.

Cllr Castle reported on a successful Pocket Park working party, and thanked all who came. A dog tether to be put on gate post.

The Chair congratulated all those responsible for the excellent makeover of the hall. The Council to pay for the new name sign for the hall. Councillors to ascertain if there was interest in starting a table tennis club. If so the P.C would buy a table.

No further progress on moving 30m.p.h sign back on Magpie Rd. Alison Eastwood, West Northants Councillor for our ward, agreed to pursue this matter.

Cllr Priestman reported on Flagpole siting difficulties. All councillors to meet to look at optional sites.

Agreed to buy another bookcase for the church library.

Christmas tree ordered and to be placed on Castle Green as last year. Lighting to be improved. Danny Webster planning an event for Saturday 11th December. More info in newsletter.

Remembrance Sunday.  Last year with the Church closed, the ceremony was held on Castle Green. This year wreaths to be laid as is normal at the Remembrance Service in the Church on Sunday 14th November.

Agreed to accept the quote from Parkland Fencing for the allotments

Celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year to be considered. Ideas are sought.

The village drains had been cleared after some waiting but two complaints on pothole and pavement had been turned down by highways.

Graham Roberts, footpath warden, reported problems with the two kissing gates in Madams close.

Richard Fonge.  Chair.

Summary of Parish Council Meeting held at Marston-St-Lawrence Village Hall on Thursday 9th September 2021

The Chair, Councillor Richard Fonge, opened the meeting by proposing that Sara Staples and Jen Castle be co-opted onto the Council. All agreed and they were duly welcomed.

HS2 (High Speed Rail)

Recent changes of staff has unfortunately led to a deterioration in liaison with the Contractors. White collar employees to start work in Greatworth Compound in October, where there will be parking spaces for 300 cars. The Chair has liaised with Thorpe Mandeville PC Chair. Councillor Sara Staples to attend a meeting on September 17th which will be chaired by Dame Andrea Leadsom MP.

Anglian Water.

Many complaints have been received during recent burst water mains. After a discussion the Council agreed to keep in correspondence with Anglian Water to make sure that they renew the pipe line from Thorpe Mandeville, especially given the need for water supplies for the HS2 concrete batching plant.

Proposed Village Flagpole.

There are a couple of queries to resolve before proceeding with this matter.

Pocket Park.

Action agreed following the Annual Safety Report: Replace three broken fence posts. Employ a specialist to check the zip wire as a matter of precaution. Councillors Fonge and Higginson had tightened up bolts on swings and baskets and taken down rotten net ball backs. A new roof had been installed on the shelter. It was agreed to have the pond dredged by Luke Warren later this Autumn. Working party for Sat Sept 25th at 10am.

Vehicle Activated Speed Signs.

Cllr Priestman to put pressure on West Northants Council to move 30mph signs further back up the Magpie road ready for fitting of speed sign. Agreed that new village sign for Magpie road, to be the same as Helmdon road.

Church Hall.

Work is progressing and should be completed by the end of September.

Remembrance Day

Agreed that Chair and Cllr Higginson meet with Church Wardens to discuss arrangements for Thursday the 11th Nov.

Church Clock.

Requests have been made for the Parish Council to contribute to the maintenance of the clock but this would be illegal. Alternative means of contributing are to be thought through.


A letter had been received introducing Police Constable Carter to the Council. Agreed to invite him to a future meeting.

Public Participation.

Car rally on night of 18th Sept. Only one complaint. Chair had corresponded with organisers.

Ken Christy asked if the council would appoint a person to welcome new residents with an information pack as in the past. Cllr Castle offered to take it on.

Richard Fonge, Chairman


Parish Council News at the end of August 2021

Although the Parish Council does not meet in August, events still occur. With the Covid rules being relaxed we were able to open the library in the church. Opening times10 am – 4 pm Monday to Friday. My thanks to Susan Sanderson for putting the library together with a wide range of titles for all ages. and to those who have contributed books. We now have plenty with some in reserve. This is an example of two organisations working together for the village’s benefit. The P.C.C. and the Parish Council invite all to a coffee morning with light refreshments, to officially open the library on Saturday 11th September.

Two bad water bursts, the second on the main road to Thorpe have caused great concern, worry and disruption. Many individuals and your Council have written to Anglian Water, Ofwat, Environmental Health and our M.P. Andrea Leadsom. Thank you to all who have written and an update will be given at the next Council Meeting on September 9th.

The silted up drains have been reported in Park Lane and Magpie Road.

DATE FOR THE DIARY: September 25th at 10 am. Meet at the Church Hall for Autumn Litter Pick and Pocket Park Working Party.

Richard Fonge, Chairman


Following on from the recent incidents with the village being without water for long periods of
time and without notice, the Parish Council have been communicating with Anglian Water. There
is a register for vulnerable residents.


There is a priority service register (PSR) available for vulnerable customers. Some of the reasons
why a customer could be added include:
•Hearing Difficulties
•Partially Sighted
•One or more children under 12 months old
•Suffers from condition that requires extra water use
•Haemo (kidney) dialysis patient & has dialysis machine at home

When a customer is registered to the PSR they will automatically benefit from priority contact
during an incident and bottled water delivery (where needed), they may also choose to opt in to
any of the other available services which include:

• Adding a nominated contact who can discuss the account, receive bills and letters or be
contacted during an incident
• Alternate bill format (Large print, Braille, audio (CD disc)
• Bills read out and explained over the phone
• Password
• Help reading the meter (when no one in the property is physically able to do so) •
Telephone translation services
• Knock and wait
• Call and wait
• Additional presence preferred
• A home visit to help with bills

Customers can sign up online at or by calling 03457 919155.

Richard Fonge, Chairman


Summary of Parish Council Meeting held at Marston-St-Lawrence Village Hall on Thursday 1st July 2021

Matters Arising from the Minutes of the last meeting:

The Clerk reported that despite many calls to Eon they had not repaired the street light on Magpie Road. It was resolved to contact the suppliers.

The Chair, Councillor Richard Fonge reported that the bookcases had been made for the Church Library, casters put on for ease of movement and Susan O’Sullivan had made a start with the Library, hopefully to be complete by Friday 16th July. Those donating books should leave them in the South Porch on that morning. Books to be in good condition.

HS2 (High Speed Rail)

The road from the Magpie to Marston crossroads to be closed the week beginning 5th July.

Sulgrave Manor.

Opening Day on 4th July, including the new Tea Room. The Council wished the Websters well with the latter enterprise.


Graham Trower the new Chairman of the Allotment Committee with Ryan Barnes as Treasurer. Council agreed on the provision of post and rail fencing and gate, subject to satisfactory quotes.

Church Hall Renovations.

These are progressing well. The improved premises are to be called “The Village Hall” for promotional reasons.

Proposed Village Flagpole. 

A letter from Helmdon Parish Council had been circulated highlighting some pitfalls to be avoided together with information on costs. The Council resolved to consult the villagers on the proposed site for the flagpole and any thoughts they may have, via the Village Newsletter and the Website.

Village Entrance Signs

The Council resolved to investigate costs and permitted designs for the two new village signs.

Wild Flowers.

There was a discussion on the possible planting of white clover on the Castle Green Field.

Pop Up Picnic.

A risk assessment had been carried out by the Clerk in respect of the Pop Up Picnic to be held on Castle Green on Sunday 11th July. Councillors concurred in hoping for a good day and attendance.

Planning Matters.

All planning matters set out in the Agenda were approved.

Richard Fonge. Chairman.

Click here for the agenda for Parish Council Meeting to be held at Marston-St-Lawrence Village Hall at 7.45 pm on Thursday 1st July 2021

Summary of Annual Parish Council Meeting held on Thursday 13th May 2021

Cllr Richard Fonge re elected as Chairman. Cllr Will Priestman Vice Chairman.

The Chairman gave a comprehensive report on the Council’s activities over the past year. Click here to see a copy.

A report of a meeting with HS2 was given by the Chairman. For full details of proposed road changes go to the HS2 home page and scan down past the Introduction.

Cllr Priestman reported on the new opening times for the Manor. There is an online Seminar on the 10th of June with ten places reserved for Sulgrave residents. This will be an academic discussion, with papers from notable historians of Anglo/ American history.

The Pop up Picnic on the 11th of July. Starts at 1.30. Picnics can be ordered from Websters at £10 each, or bring your own. See newsletter for further details. It was agreed to ask as originally intended Caryll Bellingham from the Brackley Community Hospital to be our guest. A chance to say thank you to the N.H.S and donate to our local hospital.

A fallen Willow had been cleared up in the pocket park by Andrew Osmond, and the felt on the shelter roof to be re newed.

All agreed on the idea of a flagpole for the village. The Clerk to ask Helmdon, the cost and source of theirs.

The Chairman reported that Anne Dyde had been appointed by the P.C.C to liaise with the P.Council. A meeting had taken place in the Church, Susan O’Sullivan will be setting the library up next month, with Rose Shillito. It was agreed to buy bookcases from IKEA. Nick Grant to put castors on them for ease of movement.

Manhole on Stocks Green had been repaired with new cover. Cllr Powell to report bad storm drains at top of Magpie Rd. Clerk to report to Eon on the unlit lamp in Magpie Rd

Year accounts and audit approved.

Public participation. Martin Sirot-Smith, Chairman of the Castle Green Committee reported that dogs must be now be kept on leads on the Castle Mound, where sheep are now grazing. Signs had been put up, and he would write a piece for the newsletter.

Meeting Closed. 8.25 pm

Richard Fonge

Click here for the agenda for the Parish Council Meeting on Thursday 15th April 2021

Click here for a Summary of the Parish Council Meeting held on Thursday 4th March 2021

Click here for the agenda for the Parish Council Meeting on Thursday 4th February 2021

Click here for a Summary of the Parish Council Meeting held on Thursday 7th January 2021

For a Summary of the “Zoom” Parish Council Meeting held on Thursday 5th November, see Pages 14 to 16 of the December edition of the Village News letter – Click Here

Summary of Parish Council Meeting held in the Church Hall on Thursday 3rd September 2020

The Council met in the Church Hall for the first time since March with all Members present.

Points of Discussion:

Library in the Church not able to proceed until the Church is once again open on weekdays.

The rutted verge near to the shop was discussed. Proposed remedy to fill the hole in and put two planters there to stop cars parking.

The poor state repair of the pavement in Helmdon Road and a section of the pavement in Manor Road to be reported to the County Council.

No news re HS2 applicable to Sulgrave.

Councillor Faure reported on the proposed improvements to the Church Hall. Hywel Lloyd now the project manager. The outside walls of the Hall need pointing so there will be less money available for interior developments.

Councillor North reported on the Pocket Park. The roof of the shelter needs re-felting and two fencing slats are broken. The Chairman to get replacements from M.L.T. in Woodford Halse and fix them. A discussion was held on the need for an extra swing in the play area and it was agreed not to proceed with this at the present time.

The solar powered speed sign for Helmdon Road. No action so far. Councillor Priestman and the Clerk to press the County Council to erect the pole for this sign.

It had been brought to the Council’s attention that too many vehicles of all types were speeding out of the village down the Helmdon Road. Action: To put a 30 mph sign on the telegraph pole outside Eagles Court. Chairman and Councillor Priestman to follow up.

The Council had received three quotes for tree work and accepted one from C.G.M. Mr Halliday. Work to be carried out: Essential reduction of the beech trees on the Green by the Stocks. Cutting back and re-shaping of the two ornamental crab trees in Church Street and two flowering cherries in Manor Road.

Pop Picnic on Castle Green scheduled for Saturday 19th September. Fund raising at this event for the new Brackley Hospital. The Village Shop is organising a raffle with the main prize being a Shop Hamper. To comply with Coronavirus regulations sanitisers are to be available on the entrances to Castle Green together with a book to sign for “Track and Trace”. Posters for this event are to be put up around the village. The Chairman of the Sulgrave Manor Board and the Chief Executive Officer have been invited. In his closing remarks the Chairman expressed the hope that the event would be blessed with good weather and that it would be well attended by villagers.

Richard Fonge. Chairman. Sulgrave Parish Council.


Summary of “Zoom” Parish Council Meeting held on Thursday 2nd July 2020

July 6th, 2020

Pocket Park notice listing the rules to be observed by visitors

The chairman opened the meeting by welcoming Mr Mike Powell of 9 Spinners cottages to the meeting, and he was duly co opted on to the council. The parish council has now it’s full compliment of six members.

The model standing orders, and financial regulations were then approved.

The idea of a village library had the full support of the council. The chairman reported that the P.C.C had agreed to have the library in the Church. Two volunteers had come forward to set it up and Councillor Priestman would be the council representative. So a library run by the council with the full support of the Church. To be proceeded with when Covid restrictions allow.

An event for the whole village to be held on Castle green on the 19th of September, was agreed. Websters to put on a village picnic. Further details in the August newsletter. An event that not only brings the village together, but will act as a fundraiser for Brackley Community Hospital.

Great improvements to the allotments, with only one unused plot. The council had paid for the ditch to be cleared out. The chairman thanked Graham Trower for getting the small digger and with his many helpers getting the job done.

Councillor Priestman reported that the solar speed sign would soon be installed in Helmdon Rd

Pocket park to be opened on July 4th with appropriate signage. (See photograph above).

Street signs to be re painted in Helmdon Rd and Spinners cottages. New sign to be asked for Manor Rd

Church Hall improvements. Andrew Dixon, on behalf of the Parochial Church Council, had sent a comprehensive report, updating the council on progress. Grant from HS2 soon to be released enabling estimates to be got for work..

Neil Higginson reported on grass cutting . All agreed on the excellence of our contractor
and will sign him up for another three years on the same terms. N.C.C will come and tidy up ash tree in church lane. All other trees under care of council to assessed under duty of care. The Council unanimously expressed its thanks to Ingram Lloyd for her work in reseeding the grass triangle at the junction of School Street and Church Street.

Richard Fonge. Chairman.



ON 7TH JUNE 2020

Councillor Richard Fonge was elected as Chairman and Councillor Will Priestman as Vice Chairman for the forthcoming year.

The Chairman presented his Annual Report (Click here to read the report)

A formal notice is to be put on notice board to advertise the one vacancy on the Council and asking for applicants

Councillor Will Priestman gave an update on the speed signs on the Helmdon Road. The delivery of the Solar Powered Speed Warning Sign is awaited (for erection by the Council). The moving of the 30mph signs back up the Magpie road, is awaiting approval.

Councillor Neil Higginson reported on the grass mowing. Very satisfactory. One complaint, that they had missed a small area in Towrise. He had spoken with the contractor.

Councillor Laura North reported on behalf of the Allotment Committee. Two more plots had been taken and cultivated, with the last two going to be cleared and left ready, making it easier to take on. To be advertised in this months newsletter

The Chairman reported that the Pocket Park was in good order, with the newly planted trees establishing well. It will remained locked until such time as the Government says otherwise

It was noted, what a tremendous job the Village Shop was doing for the whole community .

Footpath Warden Graham Roberts presented his report. All footpaths were in good order apart from AY3 which crosses the old railway line on the way to Moreton Pinkney.

Colin Wootton presented the report of the Castle Green Committee, including the news that the proposed Midsummer Fair has been cancelled. (Click here to read the report)

Councillor Anna Faure is to contact HS2 (High Speed Rail) about a number of matters.

Councillor Richard Fonge (Chairman)


17th April 2020.

Richard Fonge writes:

The Council met on a Zoom (remote video) meeting to pass a resolution to enable our clerk to carry out her statuary duties until such time as we can meet again and in a proper manner. A two minute meeting!!

The 30m.p.h signs have now been moved back up the Helmdon Rd and we await the arrival of the solar powered warning speed sign to be put where the 30M.P.H sign was.

This may be delayed under present circumstances, but the grant we were successful in getting to cover the cost of the panel is now in our bank account.#

The April meeting should have been The Annual Parish Meeting where all the organisations within the village and the County and district council representatives give their annual reports to the Parish Council. As this was not possible, could I ask that the village organisations that usually report, submit a report to the village website and the next village newsletter, thereby keeping us informed of their progress.

We have at present a very good contractor mowing and strimming the village, who takes pride in his work, so could I please ask that all vehicles are parked off the grass so he can do his work.

Finally the Council would like to thank all those kind volunteers, helping others in our community, and a very special mention to Sulgrave Village Shop for providing such an excellent service in these difficult times. The dedication and organisation of all concerned is much appreciated by all . Thank You.

Richard Fonge. Chairman.

A Message from Parish Council Chairman Richard Fonge in respect of the Coronavirus Pandemic

“As we are all well aware the corona virus has impacted on all our lives. Therefore next months Annual Parish Meeting has been cancelled, along with the local elections on May 7th. When we meet again as a Council may not be till later in the summer.

Rest assured though, your Council members will be making sure that we will be doing our best to carry out our responsibilities.  If you wish to contact with a particular concern or thought, our names and telephone numbers can be found on the Parish notice board at the shop.

Richard Fonge, Chairman

Summary of the Meeting held on Thursday 5th March 2020

Present:  Cllrs. Richard Fonge (Chairman), Neil Higginson, Laura North, Will Priestman.

Apologies: Cllr Anna Faure.  Graham Roberts.

Resignation: Cllr Mike Harmon had resigned, due to his move to Shropshire. The Chairman thanked him for his contribution to the Council.

HS2 (High Speed Rail). In the absence of Cllr Faure, the Chairman gave a report on HS2. He had attended a meeting at Chipping Warden, which only concerned the roadworks on the A361 and its disruption to that village and Wardington. There will be archaeology digs in the Lower Thorpe area during the early Summer. Sulgrave Parish Council are trying to organise an open meeting with HS2 and will notify the village when arranged.

Sulgrave Manor: Cllr Priestman reported,that Sulgrave Manor would be opening on April the 2nd for the season, and the interior works were going to schedule.

Vehilcle Activated Speed Signs: Cllr Priestman reported that the Council had been successful in obtaining a grant which would cover the cost of the speed warning sign on Helmdon Road. This sign is identical to the one in Helmdon, and he was expecting the 30m.p.h signs to be moved back and the sign installed within the next eight weeks. The chairman thanked Cllr Priestman for his work on this, and said we could now afford to do the same for the Magpie Road.

Trees/ Potholes:  Cllr Higginson reported, that Western Power would be pruning the Ash tree in Church Road, where the main line passes through. He had reported various potholes, which had now been filled.

Elections:  The Chairman informed the meeting of forthcoming elections on May 7th for the new Unitary body, the Police and Fire Commissioners and if needed the Parish Council. He asked for people to come forward to serve on the Parish Council. The Unitary Council for our area, is West Northants, replacing the old Northampton Town Council and Daventry and South Northants Councils. The Police and Fire Commissioners are holding an open meeting in Brackley Town Hall on Monday 23rd March 7.p.m .

Best Village (Sponsored by the Council for the Protection of Rural England): The Council had entered with a supporting statement of 500 words. Chairman stated we should be proud of our community, and our many attributes as a village. Judging to take place in April/May.

Village Litter Picking: Cllr North reminded all of litter picking day. Sunday 29th March . Meet at Church Hall At 10 a.m

Annual Parish Meeting: The next meeting will be the Annual Parish Meeting, giving an opportunity for all village organisations to report on their activities. Date to be advised.

Brackley Community Hospital:

The Chairman introduced Councillor Caryl Billingham of South Northants Council who is the Chairman of the Brackley Community Hospital 2020 Trust and a former Mayor of Brackley. Councillor Billingham attended the meeting to talk about the new hospital and how Sulgrave village could contribute towards it.

Floor Plans and Elevations of the new building were shown to the meeting.

Councillor Billingham began by giving some background information on the new hospital, currently under construction, which will be a replacement for the former Brackley Cottage Hospital. The old hospital had contained 8 beds for intermediate care usually being occupied by patients no longer needing intensive care but too ill to go home. The NHS had decided to close the old hospital in 1990 but a Trust was formed to save it and with the help of public subscription it kept going for another 25 years, finally closing in 2015.

The construction of the new hospital is being funded by the Dudley Taylor Pharmacy who have agreements with the NHS to hire out the building. There are agreements with Brackley Medical Centre and also with the company that manages occupational health for the NHS, who will thus be able to use the facilities in the new hospital without capital investment other than the need to equip the rooms.

The hospital is located on the left of the road into Brackley from Northampton, by a new roundabout near the Turweston Road.

There will be consulting rooms on the ground floor, with the Northampton Health Care Foundation Trust renting other ground floor rooms. There will be a café which will hopefully be run by volunteers. A lead lined room is being built for X ray equipment with an ultra sound scanner next door to it. There will be a Walk In Clinic like the one at Brackley Medical Centre. There will be facilities for charities like Mind, Home start, Children’s Play and Yoga classes. These will be free to charitable institutions but there will be a charge for those who receive an income from the activity.

The first floor will have consultants’ rooms with facilities for physiotherapy, podiatry and a gym. It is hoped that consultants from the Oxford Hospitals will see patients at Brackley, obviating the need for driving to Oxford.

There will be rooms for 16 intermediate care beds, each of them en suite. There will also be a family room, a sitting room and a kitchen.

The NHS will provide only the basic furniture and equipment and so the Brackley Community Hospital Trust will be seeking to enhance these facilities with the help of publicly raised funds. Their over arching objective is a digital state of the art X ray machine allied with fibre optics so that Xrays can be analysed in house thus avoiding the delay involved in sending Xray plates to the Horton in Banbury. Hopefully, specialists such as ophthalmologists will install equipment in the consulting rooms which would also obviate the need for patients to go to the Oxford hospitals.

The aim is for the hospital beds on the second floor to have hoist compatible recliner chairs nearby. These are useful for elderly people likely to spend a lot of time in bed. However these are £2500 each. The Trust hope to raise enough funds to make a donation to the NHS to install and maintain these items.

Councillor Billingham is visiting each of the relevant Parish Councils seeking funding for a television to be put in each of the 16 rooms. Hopefully these should be Smart Televisions that are Skype and Face Time compatible so that patients can communicate with their families. These could also used by the medical staff for case conferences. They will cost about £500 each. If each parish had one event in the village which raised £500 that would guarantee the provision of the television sets.

The Parish Council chairman gave details of a Midsummer Fair to be held in the village with a view to making a contribution to the Hospital Trust.

Councillor Billingham then dealt with a number of questions. Concern was expressed that the new hospital could undermine the current battle to save the Horton Hospital in Banbury. Councillor Billingham said that the services the new hospital is going to offer will be very low key and will not be in competition with the Horton, There will be no acute services. In fact it may be that patients from the Horton not needing specialist care but too ill to go home could be accommodated at the new Brackley hospital, thus freeing up beds at the Horton. Given the growth of Brackley, Banbury and Towcester there is going to be an increasing demand for hospital facilities of all kinds.

It was suggested that a village which had raised sufficient funds for the new hospital might have a room named after it and this suggestion was taken on board.

Concern was expressed about escape routes for patients on upper floors. Councillor Billingham agreed to stress this concern at the next meeting of the Trust.

In reply to a question, Councillor Billingham said she saw no reason why there should not be infant care facilities at the new hospital. She added that there will be no maternity facilities but there could well be a hearing clinic.

There was a discussion about the provision of beds for relatives of patients who wished to stay the night. It was suggested that drop down beds which fold away when not needed, might be the answer. Councillor Billingham will relay this suggestion to the Trust.

Councillor Billingham added that there will be charging points for four electric cars and a free car park for seventy cars.

Parish Councillor Will Priestman thanked Councillor Billingham for her excellent presentation. He was sure that the new hospital will be an asset to the whole area and assured her of the support of the Parish in fund raising for this worthy cause.

Richard Fonge (Chairman)

Summary of the Meeting held on Thursday 6th February.

Present: Cllrs Richard Fonge (Chairman), Laura North, Anna Faure, Neil Higginson
and Will Priestman.

Apologies: Cllr Mike Harmon. Graham Roberts and Janet Smith.

Declarations of Interest: Councillor Faure in respect of a planning application for
changes to The Cottage, Magpie Road.

HS2 (High Speed Rail)

There continues to be concern about the location of a concrete batching plant on
the construction compound to be located near to the Magpie Farm. Further
reassurances are being sought from the contractors.

Enabling works are continuing at the junction of Sulgrave Road, Greatworth with
the B4525. These comprise earthworks and telecom diversion works which are
expected to take another four weeks after which highway surfacing works will follow
to reinstate the road. In addition a programme of archaeological investigation work
is being undertaken in the Greatworth area. A number of trial trenches are being
dug, which will be backfilled after the investigation works have been completed.
Councillor Faure reported that HS2 will be holding a presentation event in Chipping
Warden Village Hall on 12th February.


The Chairman has spoken with Dom North of the Allotments Committee with a view
to expediting the re-letting of unused allotments.

Sulgrave Manor.

Councillor Priestman reported that interior works to the Manor were on schedule for
completion in time for the new season, with penalty clauses in place.
The Manor had agreed to have a participation in the Summer Fair on Castle Green.

Pocket Park:

The chairman reported that some seventeen adults and children had planted
fourteen trees – two Rowans and two crabs by the pond, two poplars, two silver
birches, two oaks, three hollies and five laurels in the wood. He expressed his
thanks to all who came.

Castle Green:

Martin Sirot-Smith, Chairman of the Castle Green Committee, outlined the plans for
the Midsummer Fair to be staged on June 21st. It will be an afternoon/ evening
event, which will be raising funds on an equal basis for Castle Green and the
Brackley Community Hospital. The fair will be a truly community occasion for all to
enjoy. More specific details to follow. Martin also reported that the Committee had
agreed a location for the kissing gate to be placed in the fence between Castle
Green and Castle Hill. A notice inviting villagers to visit the hill itself via the gate had
been prepared and was presented to the meeting.

Vehicle Activated Speed Signs

Councillor Priestman reported on a meeting with Steve Barber from Northants
Highways. Progress was being made, with a funding application for grant aid on the
Hemdon road sign being submitted. He and the Chairman had looked at a variety of
signs and recommended the one in use in Helmdon. This proposal was agreed
unanimously. It was also agreed to proceed with an application for an identical sign
in the Magpie Road.

Grass Verges:

Councillor Higginson reported that he and the Chairman had looked at three areas
of concern. Council gave their approval for the removal of two Lilandii obstructing
the path by Castle Hill house. Two other areas in need of repair, one in Towrise and
the other by the shop, would be repaired in the spring. To avoid additional costs,
this work will be done on a voluntary basis.The challenge will be to protect the
areas from vehicles parking after re-seeding.


Payments were approved as set out in the Agenda for the Meeting.


It was agreed to defer a decision on the planning application for a garden room to
replace the conservatory at The Cottage, Magpie Rd until after the site meeting on
Saturday the 8th February.

Other Matters:

A thank you letter had been received from the Parochial Church Council for monies
for the Church clock.

Councillor North proposed a village litter pick for Sunday March 29th. Volunteers to
assemble in the Church Hall car park at 10 am. This was agreed.

The Chairman thanked Peter Ormond for making and fitting a bench in the bus
shelter at no expense to the Council. He also thanked Councillorl Priestman and
Micaela Haslam for their continuing litter picking activities.

Date of Next Meeting.

Thursday 5th March when Caryl Billingham of South Northants Council will speak on
the new Community Hospital in Brackley. The Chairman expressed his wish that as
many villagers as possible should be encouraged to attend this meeting.
The Meeting closed at 8.30 pm.

Agenda for the Meeting on Thursday 6th February

20/19. To receive apologies for absence

20/20. To receive Declarations of Interest under the Council’s Code of Conduct relating to business on the agenda

20/21a. To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 9th January 2020

20/21b. To note any matters arising from the minutes not included on this agenda for report only

20/22. To receive an update on HS2

20/23. To receive an update from Sulgrave Manor

20/24. To receive a report from Pocket Park

20/25. To receive a report from Castle Green

20/26. To receive an update on the VAS

20/27. To discuss parking and grass verges

20/28. Finance

To approve the following payments:
£28.00 to Carol Churchill (Neighbourhood Watch signs)
£120.00 at F N Pile (mower service)
£393.13 to European Electronique Ltd (service package for new laptop)
£30.00 to Parish Clerk (broadband contribution)
£198.50 to Sulgrave Church Hall (hire of hall for meetings)

20/29. To receive an update on Planning
S/2020/0028/FUL, Removal of existing conservatory and replacement with proposed garden room at The Cottage, Magpie Road. Under consideration.

To discuss any other applications received before the meeting

20/30. Correspondence

From Sulgrave PCC, Thank you letter

Northants ACRE, Annual Good Neighbours Scheme event on 18.03.20

20/31. Councillors Reports

20/32. Public participation session (Members of the public are invited to address the council. The session will last for a maximum of fifteen minutes with any individual contribution lasting a maximum of 3 minutes)

20/33. To consider matters for the next meeting

20/34. Date and time of next meeting, Thursday 5th March 2020

Signed C Coles (Parish Clerk) Dated 31.01.20

Please note, this is a public meeting and you may be filmed, recorded or published

Summary of the Meeting held on Thursday 9th January 2020 at 7.30pm

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Laura North and Janet Smith
There were no Declarations of Interest.

The minutes of the meeting held on 7th November 2019 were approved and signed

Footpath Wardens

A proposal by the Chairman that Graham Roberts and Guy Churchill should be joint Footpath
Wardens was seconded by Councillor Priestman. This was unanimously approved.

Update on HS2

HS2 are obliged to consult local communities on Common Design Elements but the extent of the
requirement is quite limited. Currently they are only required to ask for opinions regarding the finish
of the concrete used in structures.

Update on Sulgrave Manor

Councillor Priestman reported that restoration work is continuing. Oil-based paint that was applied
some years ago is being removed and replaced with paint that will allow the walls to breathe.
Redecorating will follow as will the installation of a new heating system.

Update on the allotment area

The allotment area has been strimmed, but it is still untidy.
A notice will be placed in the Village Newsletter inviting people to rent allotments. Currently there
are 6 available

Update on the dog waste bins

The 2 waste bins have been installed and are in use. They are being emptied by the Chairman and
Mel Kirkpatrick once a week. The system appears to be working well.

Update on Neighbourhood Watch

It was noted with sadness that there have been two serious break-ins at the Village Shop and two
burglaries of homes in the Village. Councillor Higginson reported that he had met with Carol
Churchill who leads on Neighbourhood Watch for Sulgrave. There will be new signs around the
Village stating that this is a Neighbourhood Watch Area. Carol has spoken of email alerts for
people who sign-up to receive them.

Electricity supply for the defibrillator located at the side of the Village Shop

A complaint has been received by the Parish Council regarding the colour and routing of the
conduit housing the electricity cable for the defibrillator. Councillors discussed the complaint and
unanimously decided to leave matters as they are.

Summary of Council Meeting held on Thursday 7th November

Declarations of Interest – there were no declarations of interest.

The minutes of the meeting held on 3rd October 2019 were approved and signed.

Matters Arising

Western Power has looked at a tree by the Old Forge in Church Street. NCC has accepted responsibility for the work that is required and will schedule it.

Update on HS2

No one was able to report. It was noted that HS2 are running a liaison meeting in January. The Chairman will attend.

Sulgrave Manor

The toddler event held over Half Term went well. Restoration work is underway. Toddler Crafts will run through November

Update on Castle Green

Martin Sirot-Smith reported that Paul Lewis had completed his work. Trees and branches have been cut back and a stock proof fence constructed around the site. Some elder trees and saplings have been removed. The standard of work is very good. Notices will be placed around the site. The working party went well. Thanks were expressed to everyone who took part and to Ian Cherry for the loan of machinery.

Villagers are invited to visit the site and climb to the top. However, in the event of winter snow, tobogganers should take care and remember that they are on an historical site.

Dog fouling

Dog poo bins have been ordered and should be installed next week. A letter was placed in the Parish Magazine last month asking dog walkers to be considerate and to clean up.

Replacement bench on the Gated Road

The vandalised bench has been replaced. Thanks were expressed to Laura North for sourcing and arranging the installation of the new bench. Mrs Tattersall has seen and approved it. Plaques have been ordered and will be installed at the weekend.

Footpath Warden

Graham Roberts and Guy Churchill both volunteered and have agreed to share the duties between them.

Update on the allotment area

A quote has been obtained from the company that mows the grass verges. This has been accepted. Work will begin to strim the area.

Use of the bus shelter for a Christmas display

The request was approved.

Encouraging candidates to participate in the next parish council election in May 2020 elections

The next parish council election will take place on May 7th 2020 at the same time as elections for the new Unitary Authorities which will replace the current Northamptonshire County Council and the District Councils. The election for a new Police Commissioner will take place at the same time. Current councillors have been asked to decide if they are willing to stand again and to encourage residents to accept nominations and stand in the elections.

The Chairman emphasised his belief that Parish Councillors should be leaders within the community, seeking to promote and lead initiatives within the village.

Vehicle Activated Speed Signs

Will Priestman is working on an application that has to be submitted by the by 29th November. The submission requires evidence of the nature and scale of the problem. Villagers are asked to write down any evidence of speeding on Helmdon Road and send it to Will. If we miss the deadline there is another window in February 2020.

In the October Council Meeting there were suggestions that a device should be installed on Magpie Road. This would require a separate application. Will advised that we should complete Helmdon Road first.


Payments to suppliers were approved and cheques signed off.

Planning Applications

Application S/2019/1979/LBC, LBC to install flue for oil boiler at Old Sulgrave Stores, School Street was agreed.

Application for a Proposed Sufi Artisan Meditation Retreat at the Old Windmill was agreed.


Correspondence had been received from:

  • Northants CALC, Building Communities Prospectus
  • SNC, Review of South Northants Polling Districts and Polling Places, Second consultation
  • Villager, grass cutting

Councillors Reports

Laura North passed on a question about planting wild flowers on the patch of grass opposite the Old Shop – around the tree. Councillors wondered if bulbs would be better? Laura will take the question back.

Last Saturday a working party had been planned on Stocks Green. It was cancelled because of Rugby World Cup Final. The working party has been rescheduled for Saturday 9th November.

There will be a working party on the 7th Dec at 10.30am in Pocket Park to clear the pond and trim branches back.

Public participation session

The new bus service is working well, however, there is nowhere for people to sit while they wait for the bus. A request was made either for a fixed or fold-down seat to be installed in the bus-shelter.

Matters for the next meeting

Nothing was noted.

The first meeting in the New Year will be on the 9th January 2020

The meeting closed at 8.14pm.


Summary of the Parish Council Meeting: 3rd October 2019

Richard Fonge was elected as Chair.

Councillors present: Richard Fonge, Mike Harmon, Neil Higginson and Laura North

Apologies for absence were received from: Will Priestman; Anna Faure; Graham Roberts

There were no Declarations of Interest.

The minutes of the meeting held on 5th September 2019 were accepted. Thanks to Christine for producing a comprehensive record.

Matters arising:

Robbery at the Village Shop

The Village Shop had been broken into during the night of Saturday 28th September. Council members condemned the criminal actions which had caused considerable damage to the structure and contents.

Members wondered if it was possible to upgrade the speed camera to be installed on the Helmdon Road to collect number-plate data and to install a matching camera on Magpie Road. It was agreed to put these thoughts to a meeting of the Shop Committee and to list the item for discussion at the November Parish Council Meeting. Clive Nicholls agreed to inform the Shop Committee


Neil reported that contractors had carried out work on the beech trees by the stocks. A number of branches had been removed but the crown of the trees had not been raised.

The tree that had been causing concern in Church Street has been dealt with.

Update on HS2

Anna had sent a message to say that the latest position on HS2 was on the Village website. It was noted that the viability of HS2 is up in the air while the Government review takes place. The planned work to remove trees and hedges has not taken place.

A walk of the HS2 site and work areas has been organised for Thursday 10th October. Walkers will leave from the Church Hall at 9.30am


A discussion of the following village amenities took place:-

The Allotment area

Only a handful of allotments are actually rented and even less are cultivated. The area in general is overgrown and untidy. A working party followed by a BBQ had been planned but was cancelled.

Questions were raised about whether anyone actually wanted the allotments. There were claims that if the allotments were given up the land may be used for housing development.

Richard suggested using weed killer and then strimming to clear the overgrown weeds. Neil agreed to talk to the contractors who had completed the tree surgery to see if they would quote for this work.

Pond Area

The pond in Pocket Park needs clearing. Villagers are invited to help in a working party to be held on Sunday 1st December


It was agreed that Sulgrave needs a Footpath Officer. An advertisement will be placed in the Parish Magazine and a job description drawn up

Report from the Castle Green Committee

Martin Sirot-Smith reported that castle Green is now owned by the village. Contractors have been appointed to build a stock-proof fence. Rams will continue to graze on the site.

Dog fouling

The incidence of dog fouling generated a lot of discussion. There was anger directed to irresponsible owners who do not clear-up. The grass cutting contractor and villagers who use their own mowers to keep verges trimmed have been showered with dog turd lying hidden in the grass. The health risks of toxoplasmosis were noted. SNCC have suggested issuing fines.

The following action was agreed:

  • An article will be placed in the Village Newsletter describing the problem and the associated health risks.
  • Two “dog poo” bins and bin liners will be purchased and placed either side of Madam’s Close. Melanie Kirkpatrick offered to empty and service the bin at the Little Street end of Madam’s Close. SNCC charge for emptying the bins

Repairs to the bench on the Gated Road

Thanks were extended to Laura who organised the Cake and Coffee Morning to raise money. £752 was raised. This is more than enough to replace the bench. The excess money will be given to the Millennium Wood. It was noted that this land had been gifted by Mr and Mrs Tattersall. Laura thanked everyone who attended and made cakes for the event.

Action: Richard and Laura will purchase a bench and an engraved plaque

Clearing leaves from around the Stocks

A working party has been arranged for Saturday 2nd November. Meet at the stocks at 10.30am. Bring your green wheelie bins and rakes


All payments were approved and authorised.

Planning Updates

None were received.


Northants Highways – Proposed Speed Limit Changes

SNCC are currently working on the Brackley by-pass. Once that project is completed they will install the flashing speed sign on the Helmdon Rood

Sulgrave Manor

Will Priestman liaises with the Trust and has provided the following:

Sulgrave Manor is now closed. It will re-open in April 2020. During the closed season:

The Toddler Group will continue to meet.

School visits will continue

Some renovation will take place

The Trust plans to refurbish the thatched cottages in Manor Road, however, they need to raise money to pay for the work.

Public participation session

  1. Can the flashing speed sign planned for Helmdon Road be moved further up the hill out of the village. The sign will be moved to the top of the hill. The “30” speed limit will be moved to a position 10 yards before Mrs Constables bungalow.
  1. If there is a similar sign installed on Magpie Road could that be moved up the hill. It was suggested that the first focus should be the Helmdon Road sign and then consideration given to Magpie Road.
  1. Many of the street name signs in the village are faded and unreadable. Could they be replaced or repainted.
  2. Action: Christine will contact SNCC to find out the process.
  1. Mowing under the beech trees by the stocks had damaged the grass. Neil reported that the tree canopy made it very difficult for grass to grow there. The contractors had realised this and restricted the cutting. The last cut of the season would take place soon.

Matters for the next meeting

Number-plate recognition cameras and the views of the Sulgrave Village Shop Committee

Next meeting: Thursday 7th November 2019 at 7.30pm



Summary of the Parish Council Meeting: 5th September 2019

Election of Chairperson

Will Priestman agreed to act as chair for this meeting

Co-option of New Councillor

Roger Fonge agreed to be co-opted as a member of the Council.

No apologies for absence were received

The minutes of the meeting held on 4th July 2019 were accepted as a true record.

Any matters arising

There were no matters arising

Update on HS2

Andrew Dixon summarised the history of the PCC’s grant application to HS2 and the conditions they had specified when they awarded £75,000 to pay for refurbishments to the Church Hall. He described the latest information given to him by the Diocese of Peterborough. He was hopeful that the Diocese was working on an innovative solution, but was awaiting detail.

Councillor Responsibility for Bus Service Liaison and Village Shop Liaison

Richard Fonge agreed to be responsible for the bus service liaison and Laura North will be liaison with the village shop.

Trees by the Stocks

Neil had received quotes to carry out work on the trees by the stocks. The quotation from Cotefield Treecare was accepted. Work is scheduled to begin on the 24th September. The contractors will remove some of the lower branches to raise the crown of the trees and thin out branches. They will also ensure that branches do not snag the telephone wires currently running through the trees.

There are other trees requiring attention in Manor Road- Tow Rise and Church Street

Update on the VAS

There is some money available via the OPFC and a 22 point checklist has been emailed through. There does not have to be match funding. A letter of support has been received from a villager on Helmdon Road. Work will continue in trying to secure funding.

SNC Electronic Planning Consultation

SNC are looking to introduce electronic planning applications. This means that no hard copies would be posted out. Parishes are invited to order a laptop, projector and screen to help with the transition and training will be organised. These items will be funded by the New Homes Bonus Grant. It was agreed to order a laptop, projector and screen. The Parish Clerk will make the application.

Local Community Bus Service

Representative from Ability Northants attended PC meeting in July. The Parish Clerk has received confirmation from SNC that they can apply for the £500.00 fee via the New Homes Bonus Grant. It was agreed to proceed with the service. The Parish Clerk will make the application.


The following payments were approved:

£35.50 to Texprep (newsletter printing)

£203.57 to EON (electricity)

£82.80 to John Hicks (Pocket Park inspection)

£650.00 to D North (work to bus shelter)

£20.00 to SNAST (Neighbourhood Watch)

£234.20 To Parish Clerk (hours)

£13.60 To HMRC

£19.35 to Parish Clerk (mileage)

£79.62 to Texprep (newsletter printing)

£36.00 to CPRE (membership)

A copy of the unaudited village shop accounts for the period 31st December 2018 to 31st March 2019 was passed to the Clerk for filing. A profit payment of £145.00 will be given to the Parish Council.

Planning applications received before the meeting

No update was given


Several items of correspondence were highlighted:

  • The UK Cycling Event takes place on Saturday 19th October and there be cyclists going through the village. It is not a big event and there will be no road closures.
  • Villager, Trees and Pocket Park – Pocket Parks were created to become nature reserves. Every tree and shrub planted within the park and neighbouring wood is a British Native although there is one exception. It was agreed to take note of these comments and not plant the trees in Pocket Park.
  • The second phase of restoration work will begin on Sulgrave Manor in late October. An out building will be re-roofed, but most other works will be internal – electrics, heating, plastering and decoration. The site will be closed to visitors apart from advertised dates and pre booked activities. There are details on the website and Facebook. There may be occasional disruption to phone/email services for the Manor while systems are upgraded

Public participation session

Richard Fonge thanked Julian Antony for his help with the pond area in Pocket Park. A dip on the left has been filled with seven tonnes of top soil and grass seed put on. The area has been mowed for the first time and will start to improve. There is one dead tree and others to be cut down. A working party will be arranged.

It was noted there is a lorry parked outside the shop on a regular basis that is damaging the verge.

Matters for the next meeting

Damage to the grass verges around the village

Date and time of next meeting

Thursday 3rd October 2019 at 7.30pm


The Parish Council’s final meeting before the summer recess was well attended by villagers. Many of whom were interested to hear from the meeting’s guest speakers, Ability Northants.

Guest Speakers – Ability Northants

Ability Northants (a social enterprise in Northamptonshire) discussed their community bus service. Ability Northants’ aim is to reduce loneliness and isolation across the county by providing a bus service for those who need it to reach services.

The community bus service requires users to register and then subscribe to a service which varies from Basic (no annual charge, £2 booking fee and fare costs) to Gold (£36 per year, no booking fees, and fare costs). Valid Concessionary Bus Passes are accepted, but if you do not have a bus pass, the normal fare rate applies. The scheme also requires the Parish Council to pay a one off subsidy of £500 to establish the scheme in the village.

Ability Northants has recently commenced services to Thorpe Mandeville, Culworth and Eydon.

Council will consider joining the scheme and will discuss this at the next Council meeting.

Matters Arising

Pocket Park – While a bin has been placed in the Pocket Park for the convenience of park users, it has been reported that soiled nappies are being left in it. As this bin is emptied by a volunteer from the village, Pocket Park users are reminded to take soiled nappies home to dispose of them.

Bus Shelter – Villagers will have noticed that work on repairing the bus shelter has commenced, with rotten weather boards having been recently replaced. These boards will be stained and painted to match the existing boards. The interior of the shelter will also be painted before the end of the summer.

Councillor Responsibilities

Council discussed the various roles that were needed to support activities in the village. Councillors agreed the following responsibilities:

Cllr Priestman – Castle Mound/Castle Green, Sulgrave Manor liaison, Flashing Speed Sign Project;

Cllr North – Pocket Park;

Cllr Faure – HS2 and HS2 related activities;

Cllr Higginson – Grass cutting, trees, roads and drainage;

Cllr Harmon – Community engagement, communications and newsletter updates;

Responsibilities still to be assigned include: Sulgrave Village Shop liaison, bus service liaison;

Mr. Troy Daniels will remain the village’s defibrillator warden.

Should you have any questions about activities in these areas, please contact the relevant councillor.

HS2 Update

As Cllr Faure was an apology for the meeting, the regular HS2 update was held over until the next Council meeting. Councillors did discuss the offer from HS2 to provide a number of ornamental cherry trees. Council agreed to take up the offer from HS2 and to request 4 trees in the first instance to be planted in the village and Pocket Park. Concerns were also raised regarding the safety of the 5 ways intersection at the end of Magpie Road once HS2 construction commences. Council agreed to send a letter to HS2 asking them to review the safety of the intersection.

Trees on Stocks Green

The trees on Stocks Green were last assessed in 2012, however recent concerns about the extent and safety of the branches and overhang onto Magpie Road has meant that Council has had a number of specialists look at the trees and provide advice and quotes on their maintenance. Council will receive at least 3 quotes on the maintenance of the trees and will agree a course of action at its next meeting.

Castle Mound

The Castle Mound Committee has been busy rectifying fencing within the Castle Mound precinct and will be erecting fencing and signage in relation to the continued use of livestock on the site. This will help to ensure that visitors can safely visit the mound.

Public Participation

Concerns were raised that there had been an increase in villagers not picking up after their dogs and not disposing of their bags of dog waste appropriately. Council agreed to remind villagers to pick up after their dogs, and also thoughtfully dispose of their dog’s waste after they picked it up by taking it home and putting it into their own bin.

Finally, Parish Council Chairperson Cllr Daniels announced that he was stepping down from Council at the conclusion of the meeting. Cllr Daniels who has been a Parish Councillor since 2016 and Vice-Chairperson and Chairperson since 2017 was stepping down due to work reasons. Cllr Daniels thanked the Parish Council and the villagers for the opportunity to serve the village during his time on Council and wished the Parish Council all the best for the future.

Matters for the Next Meeting

At its next meeting, the Parish Council will select a new Chairperson and co-opt a new Councillor. It will also discuss HS2, the flashing speed sign project, the trees on Stocks Green and the community bus service.

Next meeting will be held on 5th of September at 7.30pm.

Summary of the Parish Council Meeting: 6th of June 2019

It was pleasing to see the Parish Council’s June meeting well attended by nine villagers. Cllr North was an apology for the meeting, whilst all other Councillors were in attendance.

Co-option of New Councillors

The first order of business saw the Parish Council co-opt a new member. Mike Harmon of Bell Cottage has joined the Parish Council. The Parish Council welcomed Mike as a great addition to the Council. We thank Mike for putting himself forward to work for the village and look forward to his contribution during his tenure.

Matters Arising

The only matter arising from the minutes of the last meeting was an update on the grass cutting. Council has now made an arrangement with the grass cutting contractor to provide advanced warning of the grass cutting dates. Council will update the village via the ‘Next Door’ website so that villagers can move their cars to allow the contractor access to the verges.

HS2 Update

Members of the Parish Council and the Parochial Church Council recently met with Fusion, the community engagement contractors for HS2 to discuss a further update meeting with the village. Fusion have indicated that they would like to hold a ‘drop-in’ surgery style event that would allow villagers to attend at their leisure to discuss the current situation with HS2 and potential impact on the village. Fusion will come back to the Councils with a proposed date for the meeting.

In other news, works are to commence on what HS2 are calling ‘Sulgrave Junction’ on the B4525 Banbury Road by the end of the year.

Finally, HS2 have offered the village a number of Cherry Trees. The Parish Council will consider the offer and make a decision on the offer at its next meeting.

Update On Flashing Speed Sign

Council has been examining the requirements for making funding applications to the Northamptonshire Road Safety Community Fund and the New Homes Bonus Grants. As applications are sought quarterly for these funding streams, Council has agreed to take some time to gather the information it needs to make applications to these funds.

Relationship With Sulgrave Manor

As seen in the last newsletter, Sulgrave Manor is again offering annual passes for Sulgrave residents. The Parish Council has also reopened a regular dialogue with the Manor. This continuing dialogue will be headed by Cllr Priestman.

Public Participation

A concern was raised about the size of the trees on Stocks Green and the extent to which they are starting to encroach upon Magpie Road. Council agreed to have someone look at the trees to determine whether they should be cut back.

The Sulgrave History Society reported that the land registry documents relating to the purchase of the Castle Mound had been received. Whilst a few informal meetings have been held, no major works have been planned for the site in the near term. The Sulgrave History Society also have the remaining stock of the Sulgrave History and walking leaflets. Martin Sirot-Smith is now the contact person for obtaining more leaflets.

A number of minor works were also raised for Council’s action, including streetlights and pot holes. These will be investigated for rectification.

Matters for the Next Meeting

At its next meeting, the Parish Council will receive an update on HS2, and progress on the Castle Mound works. Council will also discuss and allocate Councillor roles.

Next meeting will be held on 4th of July at 7.30pm.

Summary of the Parish Council Meeting: 2nd of May 2019

The Parish Council’s May meeting was sadly not attended by any villagers. The meeting commenced with the election of Council office bearers. Cllr Troy Daniels was elected as Council Chairperson and Cllr Will Priestman was elected as Vice-Chairperson.

Co-option of New Councillors

Parish Council discussed the co-option of new Councillors. Council needs two more Councillors to fill current vacancies. This a great opportunity to help the community, promote the village as a great place to live and encourage people to participate in village life. Parish Council also has a say on local planning decisions and represents the village on districts and national issues. Having a thriving Parish Council is important to make sure that local decisions are made locally. If anyone is interested in joining the Parish Council, please talk with any of the existing Councillors.

Matters Arising

A number of matters from Council’s last meeting were discussed. Notably that the work on repairing the bus shelter will commence from around the middle of May. In a addition, the Castle Green committee reported that the Church Street wall around the Castle Green does not need repairing but will be monitoring.

Feedback on the Installation of the Defibrillator

The installation of the defibrillator cabinet at the shop was carried out in October. It’s installation was completed as sympathetically as possible and further work is still to be carried out to paint the electrical conduit piping the same colour as the shop wall. A complaint has been received by Council about the conduit piping on the outside wall of the shop. Council will be seeking to address this complaint without impacting on the village’s access to the defibrillator.

HS2 Update

Effiage Kier who is the contractor carrying out the engineering works for the new HS2 line have offered to speak to the village at a meeting in June in the Church Hall. Council will advertise the date of this meeting once it has been confirmed.

Update on Flashing Speed Sign

Council has received quite a few quotes for a flashing speed sign ranging in price from £2.5K to £3.2K plus VAT. Council considered the different types of signs available but agreed that funding would be sought for a permanent solar powered sign. The agreed location for the sign was the Helmdon Road. Council agreed to seek grant funding to pay for the sign from the Northamptonshire Road Safety Community Fund or the Northampton Community Safety Fund. Funding would also be sought from the New Homes Bonus grants.

The 30mph sign at the Helmdon Road end of the village will be moved further out of the village when NCC’s funds allow. Councillors discussed the increased traffic on Helmdon Road. Councillors discussed other physical works such as chiccanes and sleeping policemen. However, Council noted that these would require public consultation and have to be funded by the Parish Council at a significant costs.

Matters for the Next Meeting

At its next meeting, the Parish Council will receive an update on HS2 and the flashing speed sign. It will also discuss the relationship between the village and the Manor.

Next meeting will be held on 6th of June at 7.30pm.


Summary of the Parish Council Meeting: 7th March 2019

The last ordinary Council meeting for the 2018/19 year was well attended by villagers. The next Council meeting is Council’s Annual Meeting on 4 April 2019. Items discussed at the Council meeting included:

Bus Shelter

Quotes have been sourced for repairs to the bus shelter. Council will try to maintain the look of the shelter as it is repaired.

Purchase of Castle Mound

Following representations from Council, the solicitors handling the transaction on behalf of Council have revised their fees to a reasonable amount. The purchase of the castle mound by the Council is now being finalised.

Village Bus Service

Meetings have been occurring with neighbouring Parish Councils regarding replacement bus services for the area. However, there are concerns about the sustainability of the proposed replacement services. Further meetings are to be held with neighbouring parishes.


Construction plans continue to progress. Council will provide updates as they become available.

Funding for the renovations to the Church Hall has been secured from HS2. Additional funding will be sought from South Northamptonshire Council through the New Homes Bonus Grants to assist with the costs of the renovations.

Church Street Wall

Part of the Castle Green retaining wall has been reported as requiring attention. Council will seek quotes for its repair.

Council Changes

Council Chairperson Cllr Chris Jackson announced that he would be stepping down from the Parish Council at the conclusion of the meeting. Councillors expressed their thanks to Cllr Jackson for his outstanding work during his time on Council and as Council Chairperson.

Council’s next ordinary meeting will be on 3 May 2019.


Summary of the Parish Council Meeting: 1st of November 2018

The last Parish Council meeting for 2018 was well attended by villagers.

Defibrillator Project

The defibrillator cabinet has arrived and will be installed on the corner of Stockwell Lane and Magpie Road (at the village shop). Instructions on how to use the defibrillator will be printed in the next newsletter and training in the use of the defibrillator will be offered in November. A second training session will be offered early in the new year for villagers who missed out in November. Thanks go to Richard MacDonald from Cardiac Science for donating the defibrillator and to the South Northamptonshire District Council for a grant for the purchase and installation of the defibrillator cabinet.

Pocket Park

Mr Richard Fonge informed Council that he had cleared the pond area of the overgrown vegetation. However, the pond area had to be locked due to concerns about its safety for park users. Council will consult with the community and consider options for the pond area.

Community General Works Activities

Five people attended the leaf clearing on Stocks Green in October. Council is encouraging villagers to attend the next leaf clearing event on the 25th of November.

Given the need for the community to take a greater role in the maintenance of the village, Council will seek suggestions from the village for activities (such as the litter pick, clearing of the Little Street footpath) that can be undertaken by the village. Council will then prioritise a few of these each year to maintain community enthusiasm and involvement. Should villagers have suggestions, they are encouraged to speak about these to a Parish Councillor.

SNC Local Plan Update Part 2

Mr Colin Wooton has placed an update on the village website regarding the changes which have been made to the Sulgrave Local Plan. Council will respond to SNC on behalf of the village.

HS2 Update

The Parish Council and the Parochial Church Council have submitted an application for funding to renovate the Church Hall. Council extended its thanks to Ingram Lloyd and Cllr Anna Faure for their work on the application. In other HS2 news, preliminary works are being undertaken along Banbury Lane and the Greatworth Road. Work on upgrading the Greatworth road junction is likely to start in early 2019 with construction of the Greatworth cutting likely to commence in the second half of 2019. Concerns were also raised about the impact of construction to the AY12 footpath. Thanks go to Mr. Colin Wooton for his updates on HS2.

Addressing Speeding in the Village

Cllr Priestman has undertaken further investigation into getting an illuminated speeding sign for the village. After consulting with Helmdon Parish Council on their experiences, Cllr Priestman has sought quotes from local companies for Council to consider at its next meeting. Council has not yet agreed to progress the purchase of a speed sign and will need to consider sources of funding should it wish to move forward.

Cllr Priestman will also arrange a site visit from Northamptonshire Highways to discuss the potential placement of an illuminated speeding sign as well as the possibility of moving the 30 mph signs further out of the village along Helmdon Road.

Local Bus Services

Council have been advised that Greatworth Parish Council and Helmdon Parish Council have partnered to provide a free weekly replacement bus service to its residents. This is costing a total of £90 per week to run, but is reportedly well used. Council considered whether Sulgrave might run a similar scheme or join the Helmdon/Greatworth scheme. However, questions were raised as to whether the need existed in the village. Council resolved to seek further information on the need for a replacement bus service in the village.

General Works

A number of maintenance issues were raised. These included:

  • Drains at the bottom of Manor Rd and Little St require sweeping – Council will put a request in to Northamptonshire Highways;
  • One streetlight requires maintenance to remove water pooling inside it – Council will contact the lighting contractor;

Next Meeting

As Council does not traditionally meet in December, the next meeting will be held in January 2018.


If you would use a replacement bus service from the village, please answer the below questions, tear off this section and return it to a Parish Councillor. You can also return them to Cllr Daniels in Bluebell Cottage (Helmdon Road).

I would most use a replacement bus service which travels to: (please tick one)

____ Banbury

____ Brackley

I would most use a service which was provided: (please tick one)

____ Once each day

____ Once each week

____ Once each fortnight

­­­­____ I would be prepared to pay to travel on a replacement bus service

____ I would prefer the replacement bus service to be free of charge


Sulgrave Parish Council Update

4 October 2018

Darker nights greeted the October Parish Council Meeting, which was attended by five villagers and Councillors (Cllr North sent her apologies).

Matters discussed at the meeting included:

Speed Signs

Cllr Priestman has researched the installation of an electronic speed sign in the village, holding discussions with Northants Highways and Hemldon Parish Council about their experience of installing a sign. Coucnillors agreed to progress the project and arrange a site visit to determine where a sign might be located and to obtain quotes. Council also agreed to write to Northants Highways to request that the 30 mph speed limit sign be placed further out of the village along Helmdon Rd to ensure that more of the village’s residences are included within the 30 mph zone.

Pocket Park

Mr. Richard Fonge raised concerns about the Pocket Park pond area and the need for a long term commitment to keeping the area trimmed and tidy. Mr. Fonge offered to keep the area cut back and tidy. Council gratefully accepted the offer, but noted that it was an activity that the community could be encouraged to help with.

Mr. Fonge will also be removing a large and potentially dangerous tree bough within the Pocket Park. Council again expressed its thanks to Mr. Fonge.

Sponsoring Street Signs

Following the successful restoration of the Park Land street sign, Mr. Robin Prior raised with Council the potential for people within the village to sponsor the restoration of other street signs around the village. Possible signs for restoration may include the Little Street, Helmdon Road and Manor Road signs. Council agreed to canvass this idea with residents.

Council further discussed encouraging the village to work together to address other issues around the village. An Autumn leaf pickup on Stocks Green will be organised.

Council will start gathering ideas for activities and issues which can be addressed in 2019.

Purchase of Castle Green

Council has appointed a solicitor who is working through the legal requirements to transfer the title for the Castle Mound to the Parish Council. To date, Council has received £6,000 in donations from the community.

Council also received an update on the successful Michaelmas Fair from Mr. Martin Sirot-Smith of the Sulgrave History Society. He offered thanks to all involved in the organisation and running of the Michaelmas Fair and advised that an update would be provided in the village newsletter.

Grass Cutting

Cllr Higginson reported that there are two more grass cuts remaining for the current year. He reported that overall, the quality of the grass cutting has been excellent and the Parish Council offered their thanks to the contractor for his work. The grass cutting contractor has provided feedback that cars parking up against or on grass verges has made the mowing difficult at times. Council will consider ways of making villagers aware of when grass cutting will occur to help with the grass cutting.

Update on HS2

Cllr Faure provided an update on the meeting with HS2 representatives which was well attended by villagers. Cllr Faure advised that the HS2 representatives were committed to doing more work in the community and would like to come back to the village with further answers and ideas. Council has agreed to keep communications open with the HS2 representatives. Council will peruse a further meeting with the HS2 representatives early in 2019. Cllr Faure also reported that work was continuing on the grant application for improvements to the Church Hall.

South Northants Council Local Plan Part 2

Mr. Colin Wooton advised Council that he would be working on drawing out the implications for the village from the SNC Local Plan Part 2. He will put these on the village website for the village’s attention. Council will consider the Plan and respond as necessary.

Community Bus Services

Council has agreed to follow up with surrounding villages to see how we can work together on providing a village bus service that will meet the needs of the village. Council will also look at other alternatives to meet any demand for a bus service through the village.

Pot Holes

Council noted that although some pot holes had been filled in recently, the roads within the village were deteriorating. Council agreed to keep up pressure on Northants Highways to fill in the remaining pot holes and improve the condition of the village’s roads.


Sulgrave Parish Council Meeting Update

6 September 2018

The Parish Council met following its summer recess. It was a pleasure to see 8 villagers join the Council for its meeting.

Castle Mound Update

The Sulgrave History Society continues to seek donations to help the Parish Council purchase the Castle Mound and maintain it for the benefit of the village. To date, the Sulgrave History Society has received donations from the village totalling £1070, while the Parish Council has received £300 worth of donations. Both the Sulgrave History Society and the Parish Council believe that there are now sufficient funds to move forward with the purchase of the Castle Mound. The Parish Council moved and agreed to appoint Bretherton’s of Banbury to act on the Parish Council’s behalf in the purchase of the Castle Mound.

Council also discussed an approach by Sulgrave Manor to use the Castle Mound as part of their education programme. In return, the Manor has offered a nominal fee of £20 per excursion using the Castle Mound to Council to assist in the maintenance of the site. Council agreed to gather views on this approach from the Manor.

Defibrillator Project

The project to install a defibrillator next to the Sulgrave Village Shop has progressed with an updated quote being obtained for the defibrillator cabinet and mounting post and quotes being obtained for the physical and electrical installation. Council agreed to order the defibrillator cabinet and mounting post and to progress with the installation of the defibrillator. Unfortunately, during the time between Council successfully applying for the New Homes Bonus Grant for the installation of the defibrillator and now, there has been a cost increase on some of the cabinet components and other costs not available at the time of the grant application are now known. As a result, Council approved an increase of £500 to the budget for the defibrillator project.

Council anticipates that all going well, the defibriallator will be in place by the end of October. Council is currently looking into training for villagers interested in knowing how to use the defibrillator.

Illuminated Speed Sign

Enquiries have been made into the experiences of neighbouring villages with static illuminated speed signs. Helmdon reported that they had purchased a solar powered illuminated street sign for £5,000. They felt that, although the sign was expensive, that it has reduced speeding through the village.

Council agreed that further research, community engagement and searches for sources of funding should be undertaken on this issue. Councillor Priestman volunteered to take the lead on this work.

Village Advent Windows

Council agreed to the bus shelter being used as part of this year’s village advent windows.

Update on the Meeting with Sulgrave Manor

Council Chairman Chris Jackson met with the General Manager of Sulgrave Manor to discuss the relationship between the village and the Manor. The relationship between the village and the Manor is improving, with the Manor recently hosting the Sulgrave Camera Club. The Manor has developed a business plan which, in part, seeks to increase its income through more events on site. Council will continue to liaise with the Manor as it continues to put into action its plans for the future.


Many villagers will have noticed the site works and access that has appeared on Thorpe Road. This site is housing vehicles and staff undertaking preparatory and environmental works for the Sulgrave section of HS2. However, we don’t expect to see major works commence until mid 2019 or later.

Ongoing concerns were raised by villagers regarding heavy transport and increases in traffic from commuting personnel. Councillor Faure has arranged for community engagement officers from HS2 to visit the village to answer questions on the 27th of September. You can either attend the meeting and ask any questions that you have at the time, or send them in advance to Councillor Faure.

Anglian Water

Council has recently sent correspondence to Anglian Water to express its dissatisfaction following a number of water leaks in the village. At this time, no response has been received from Anglian Water.

Salvation Army Clothing Collection Bin

The Salvation Army recently wrote to the Parish Council seeking permission to site a clothing collection bin somewhere in the village. The Parish Council noted that it did not have any land on which a clothing bin could be sited and agreed that it would refer the enquiry to the Parochial Church Council as the Church Hall carpark was the only possible location for the siting of a clothing collection bin.

Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Parish Council will be on the 4th of October. At this meeting, Council will discuss the Pocket Park pond, Illuminated Speed Sign, HS2 and the Defibrillator Project.

Agenda for the Meeting to be held on Thursday 6th September 2018

Summary of the Parish Council Meeting: 5th of July 2018

AY4 Footpath (See here for map showing route of AY4)

Council was advised that the AY4 footpath changes had been completed. However, there was still a
need for new signage so that pedestrians and riders were aware of the respective pathways. Council
committed to following this up with the landowner.

Park Lane Street Sign

A meeting was held with Northants Highways regarding the placement of a replacement street sign.
The location for the new sign as proposed by Northants Highways was unacceptable to Council and
local residents. Instead of having a new sign placed by Northants Highways, Council has instead
decided to refurbish the existing sign and place it in its previous location.


Concerns have again been raised regarding the drains on Manor Road and Little Street. Although
there has been no rain to create drainage issues, there are concerns about the amount of dirt which
currently seems to be blocking the drains. The Parish Council will follow this up with South
Northants District Council.

Pocket Park

Richard Fonge has been hard at work in the Pocket Park and has cleared the pond area of nettles and
wild rhubarb. He also noted that one of the benches at the pond was broken. Council thanked
Richard for his work at the Pocket Park and will look to remove the broken seat from the pond area.

HS2 Update (See here for details of the construction works in the Sulgrave area)

Cllr Faure recently met with HS2 representatives with a view to arranging a public meeting in the
village. Council will try to arrange a public meeting with HS2 representatives in September. In other
news, the application for funding to renovate the Church Hall is progressing well.

Dial-a-Bus Service

Council has made contact with the surrounding villages regarding replacement bus services for when
the District Council ceases its existing bus service. Currently, a number of our surrounding villages
are looking into alternative services. This work is being coordinated by Northants Highways. The
Parish Council hopes that this work will progress and we will have some good news about
replacement bus services in the near future.

Speeding in the Village

Council considered and discussed the issue of speeding through the village, particularly at Five-Ways
and the Helmdon Road end of the village. Options highlighted for further investigation by the
Council included: additional and/moved street signage; a flashing speed sign; and enforcement
activity by Northamptonshire Police. Councillors will further consider these options and will make
contact with both Northants Highways and Northamptonshire Police to investigate their cost and

Castle Mound (See here for details of the original Castle Hill Project)

The option to purchase the castle mound on behalf of the community was recently extended to the
Parish Council. Given the significance of this historic monument and its importance to the village,
Council agreed that purchasing the mound would be in the interests of the village. However, as the
Parish Council did not have enough funding in its reserves to meet the full cost of purchasing the
land, it was agreed that Council would work with the Castle Green Committee, the Sulgrave History
Society and Sulgrave Charities to collectively fund the purchase. Council itself has agreed to make a
contribution of £2000 towards the purchase of the site and essential tree maintenance. The
remainder of the funding will be provided by the Castle Green Committee, the Sulgrave History
Society and Sulgrave Charities.
Council is committed to keeping the use of the castle mound ‘as is’. That is, to safeguard it as a
historical monument of local and national importance. However, Council will provide open access to
the site for the community. To that end, the Castle Green Committee will take on the management
of the site.
The Parish Council is excited to take ownership of this nationally important historical monument for
the community. The castle mound is a vital link to Sulgrave’s past and Council hopes that by being
able to access the site, the community will forge even stronger links with the village’s heritage.

Next Meeting

Traditionally, Council does not have an August meeting. The next Parish Council meeting will be on the 6th September.

Financial Documents for 2017/18 can be seen on the Parish Council Page.

Summary of the Parish Council Meeting: 7th of June 2018

The Parish Council’s June meeting commenced with public participation time. A number of matters were raised for Council’s consideration, including questions about the completion timeframe for the AY4 footpath and concerns about the loss of bus services to the village. In response to these issues, Council has undertaken to enquire about the progress of the refurbishment of the AY4 footpath and to enquire about replacement bus services that may be servicing neighbouring villages. It was also noted that there was very little litter in the Pocket Park of late. Council expressed its thanks to villagers using the Pocket Park for keeping the park clean. Grass reseeding had also taken place on Stocks Green, with the new grass starting to take.

HS2 Update

Cllr Faure attended a further meeting on HS2. At this meeting, HS2 contractors discussed the expected traffic impacts and their plans to minimise congestion associated with construction. Unfortunately, we are still waiting for the specifics of these plans, including the relevant HS2 contact people and complaints process. The Parish Council will be inviting the HS2 community engagement team to the July Parish Council meeting to consult with the local community about traffic issues.

Report on the Defibrillator Project

Cllr Daniels reported that after a hiatus, the defibrillator project was continuing. The Parish Council will be moving the project forward and has written to the Sulgrave Village Shop Committee regarding the placement of, and power to, the defibrillator cabinet. The project will progress during the summer and Parish Council hopes that the defibrillator will be in place soon.

Park Lane Street Sign

Northamptonshire Highways has contacted the Parish Council regarding the replacement of the street sign. They have insisted on placing the new sign on Highways land on Stocks Green. The Parish Council will meet with Highways regarding the placement of the sign on Stocks Green to reduce any negative impact upon the green.

Change of Landlord at The Star Inn

Council noted that the landlord of The Star Inn would be changing at the end of June. Tom and Chris will be leaving The Star on the 24th of June. Councillors expressed their thanks to Tom and Chris and wish Nikki and Steve the best of luck as they take over the running of The Star.

Village Relationship With Sulgrave Manor

Concerns have been expressed by villagers about the deteriorating relationship between the Manor and village. Council noted that initial discussions had been held with the Manor’s General Manager through the Cllr Jackson. Council was advised that the Manor is currently working on a business plan and that they would be in a position to share this with Council in the near future. Council committed to respond to the plan and provide comment when it is shared with us.

Next Meeting

At the next meeting, Council will discuss HS2, speeding through the village and the Castle Mound.

Agenda for the Meeting to be held on Thursday 7th June at 7.30 pm in the Church Hall.

Parish Council Update from Meeting on May 3rd 2018

The Parish Council’s May meeting was attended by 5 villagers and commenced with the election of Council office holders. Cllr Chris Jackson was returned as Council Chairperson and Cllr Troy Daniels was returned as Vice-Chairperson.

During public participation time, a number of villagers praised the work of the new crass cutting contractors. Commenters observed that on the whole, the grass cutting was being done to a high standard across the village. It was raised that there were some areas on Stocks Green that needed further attention including reseeding. It was suggested that this was an area that villagers could work together to address.

HS2 Update

The Parish Council and the Parochial Church Council meeting about the funding application for the renovation of the Church Hall was well attended by villagers. Work on the funding submission is also progressing well. Colin Wooton reminded the Council that up to date information about HS2 can be found on the Sulgrave Village website. Colin also advised the Council that work on the Greatworth intersection is due to start in the Autumn.

Feedback on Little Street Gravel Removal

Cllr Daniels reported on the gravel clearance on Little Street. Around 15 villagers attended the clean up including at least 6 residents of Little Street. A large amount of the loose gravel was removed from the footpaths. Reports about the work have so far been positive. Council offered its thanks to Richard Fonge and all the villagers for their hard work on the day.

Park Lane Street Sign

Council contacted Northamptonshire Highways regarding the replacement of the street sign. They advised that they would replace the sign for free but would place it on Highways land on Stocks Green. It was suggested that this would negatively impact upon the Green and therefore Council will request that the sign is replaced in situ rather than being moved.

General Works

Council discussed areas of general works for the future, including those in which the village could take a leading role. These included:

  • General works and reseeding on Stocks Green (Cllr Higginson to lead);
  • Trimming verges and pathways;
  • Repainting of benches (Cllr Daniels to lead with Castle Green Committee);
  • Maintenance of Pocket Park pond and wood (Cllr North to lead);
  • Investigating further refurbishment of the bus shelter;

Cycle Event

Council has been advised that the Sigma Sports Cobbler Classic cycle event on the 9th June will see around 300 amateur cyclists travel through the village. There will be signs and marshals posted in the village, but no road closures. While Council supports the event, we will write to the organisers and draw their attention to the need to ensure that any litter is cleared up.

Next Meeting

At the next meeting, Council will discuss repairs to the bus shelter, seeding of Stocks Green and addressing speeding through the village.

See here for the Agenda for the Sulgrave Parish Meeting to be held at the Church Hall on Thursday 5th April at 7.30 pm.

Parish Council Update from Meeting on 1 March 2018

After a snowy Parish Council Ordinary Meeting on the 1st of March 2018, there are a few updates that the Parish Council wishes to share with the community.

Park Lane Street Sign – The Parish Council is looking to identify an appropriate location for a replacement sign and will also enquire into replacing the street sign on Helmdon Road.

Village Bus Services – Concerns have been raised with the Parish Council about the impact of the Northamptonshire County Council’s (NCC) decision to de-subsidise rural bus services. Residents who rely on bus services to the village are concerned about their independence suffering if bus services are eventually discontinued. Sadly, the feedback which the Parish Council had provided on the cessation of bus services during the recent NCC budget consultation fell on deaf ears. However, the Parish Council will make representations to the NCC again on the matter if the opportunity arose.

Speeding – concerns regarding speeding traffic both in the village and along Banbury Lane at the 5-ways intersection have been raised and are being considered by the Parish Council. Council will be looking into traffic calming measures within the village and will contact Culworth Parish Council and Thorpe Mandeville Parish Council to explore their concerns about speeding traffic on Banbury Lane. We hope to work with these Parish Councils to identify any potential joint actions to address this issue.

Grass Cutting – The new contract for grass cutting in the village has been awarded and will commence in April.

Excess gravel in Little Street – The Parish Council contacted Northamptonshire Highways regarding the excess gravel on the footpath and roadway in Little Street. Unfortunately, Northamptonshire Highways advised that although they may sweep the street again, they are not able to give advanced warning of when that may occur. The Parish Council feels that this response is unsatisfactory, and as a result, we will address this issue ourselves. Council will arrange a community sweep of the gravel in Little Street as part of the village litter pick once that has been rescheduled. The residents of Little Street will be advised via a letter box drop so that they can ensure that their cars are not parked on the street during this time.

Villagers will have noticed that due to the extreme weather conditions, the village litter pick did not go ahead as planned. However, you should find a revised date in the village newsletter.

Council has noted that due to budget pressures at county and district council level, the Parish Council and the community may have to take on greater responsibility for addressing issues in the village. The Parish Council will work to help bring the community together to help address issues where it can.

Villagers are reminded that the next Ordinary Council Meeting will be held in May. At this meeting, we will discuss Neighbourhood Watch – with an invitation being extended to the new Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator; and village improvements which the Parish Council can organise and carry out.

The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on Thursday 5th April 2018 at 7.30pm. This will be the Annual Parish Meeting.

See Agenda for the Parish Council Meeting on Thursday 1st March

Summary of the Parish Council Meeting: 2nd February 201

The Parish Council’s February meeting started with an update on actions from January’s meeting. Notably, that Council was awaiting a response from Northamptonshire Highways regarding the grit bin on Helmdon Road and the replacement of the Park Lane street sign.

During public participation Council received an update on the Sulgrave Village website. The site has recently been updated and a Parish Council news page has been created to help keep villagers updated. Recent works in the Pocket Park has seen one willow tree felled and limbs that came down in the recent high winds were cut up and burned. The Parish Council will meet with the land owner to discuss felling branches from trees hanging over the boundary fence into the Pocket Park. The Parish Council wishes to thank Richard Fonge for his work in the Pocket Park. Villagers noted that the verge outside of the shop which had been resown last year has again been wrecked by vehicles. Council will look to do repairs in the Spring and explore signage to prevent further damage. Concerns were raised about speeding traffic through the village, particularly along Helmdon Road. Council will investigate traffic management options. Concerns were also raised about the drains outside the shop and pot holes along Magpie Road. Council will report these on Street Doctor, but also encourages villagers to do the same as more reports on Street Doctor may help these issues to be acted upon sooner by the District Council.

HS2 Update

The Parish Council has met with the Parochial Church Council and the HS2 grant administrators. Council will undertake a survey of villagers to further consult on the proposed project, develop a scope of works and will seek quotes from a range of builders. The HS2 page on the village website will be regularly updated. Advice to date indicates that designs and costing for the Sulgrave section of HS2 will be completed by the end of 2018 with upgrade to the Greatworth intersection to be commenced at around the same time.

Pocket Park

Council approved funding for four new trees to be planted in the Pocket Park.


Council noted that littering seems to be on the rise in the village. In particular, concerns were raised that dog waste was not being taken home by villagers walking their dogs and was being deposited in other people’s bins. Council asks that villagers take their own dog’s waste home with them after a walk and dispose of it in their own bin. Council will also arrange a litter pick in the Spring.

Grass Cutting Tender

The tender for grass cutting in the village has been completed. After examination of the cost, meetings with the tenderers and seeking references, Council resolved to award the tender to a company called Groundcare. This company not only provided the lowest quote, but also had excellent references. Council will seek an April start for the contract and will monitor performance throughout the year.

Neighbourhood Watch

Carol Churchill is the new Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator for the village. Council encourages all villages to sign up for email or text updates via the Neighbourhood Watch Website ( or via Northamptonshire Neighbourhood Alert (

The next Parish Council meeting will be on the 1st of March with the Annual Meeting of Electors will be held in April


See Agenda for the Parish Council Meeting on Thursday 1st February

Summary of the Parish Council Meeting: 11th January 2018

It was good to see the first Parish Council meeting of the year being well attended by villagers. During public participation, it was noted that works to the hedges in the Pocket Park had been completed and three trees felled. The mower for the Pocket Park has been purchased and stored. It will be used to provide additional mowing for the park during the growing season. The ongoing relationship between the Sulgrave Village Shop and the Parish Council was also discussed. An in-principle profit sharing agreement has been struck between the Shop Committee and Parish Council which will ensure that the shop’s rent will remain unchanged into the future, while the Parish Council will share in 10% of the shop’s profits, capped at £350 per year. The Parish Council and Shop are excited to enter this new phase in our relationship and to enhance our shared interests in each other’s success.

The Council also offered a vote of thanks to the organisers of the village Christmas Advent Windows. Council also wants to thank everyone who decorated their windows or attended the openings. We look forward to the offerings in 2018!

Bus Shelter Project Consultation – Council received a report on the recent consultation on the bus shelter project. Council received 17 submissions during the consultation. Of these, 20% (3) of the submissions were in favour of a Public Works Loan (PWL) to replace the existing bus shelter; 70% (12) of submissions were against the replacement of the existing bus shelter and funding through a PWL while 10% (2) of submissions did not provide a clear indication of either support or opposition. While there had been support in the community for the project, with around a third of households in the village participating in the choice of a replacement bus shelter, this most recent consultation showed significant push back from parts of the community towards the proposition of paying for a replacement shelter through a PWL.  On this basis, Council would not be able to evidence the necessary community support for a PWL application.  As a result, Council agreed that it would not seek to progress the bus shelter project.

Church Hall Consultation – The recent consultation regarding renovating the Church Hall received a favourable response from villagers. This project would see the Parochial Church Council, with support from the Parish Council, apply for a grant from HS2 to renovate the Church Hall. Although there was some misunderstanding as to what could and couldn’t be done with the Church Hall, there was overall support for the project. The Parish Council agreed that it will continue to work with the Parochial Church Council and further engage with Church Hall neighbours, the community, builders and architects to develop a strong grant proposal.

HS2 Community Liaison Group – The most recent HS2 update received by the Council indicated that it is unlikely that there will be detailed plans of the part of the route which includes Sulgrave until 2019. Council also noted that the Road Safety Fund for the South Northants section of the project will only amount to £1.65 million over 10 years. A further Liaison Group meeting will be held on 9 February where the HS2 grant funding administrators will provide an update. Should any villagers have specific questions regarding HS2, please contact Cllr Anna Faure.

Council’s HS2 Communications Strategy – Council has adopted and is implementing its strategy to keep villagers updated on the progress of HS2. Although there is limited information on HS2 at the moment, information will be posted on the under a HS2 section currently being constructed for the Sulgrave Village website as well as on the Council notice board outside the village shop, as it becomes available.

NCC Budget Consultation – The Council has received a consultation request from the Northampton County Council on its second phase of budget cuts. This phase sees budget cuts being made mainly in NCC administration and social care. However, it also indicates that from April 2018, Council Tax will increase by 4.98%. Councillors are currently working through the consultation document to see what impact these proposals will have on residents. A response from the Council will be drafted and sent to the NCC in the near future.

Neighbourhood Watch – In the last newsletter, the Council sought a volunteer from the village to act as our Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator. Luckily, Council did receive an enquiry about the position. Following clarification of the role from the regional Neighbourhood Watch people, we hope to have a new Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator and scheme for the village.

Grit Bins – Council noted that Northamptonshire Highways had, possibly mistakenly, replaced a grit bin on Manor Road. Council also received correspondence from Northants Highways that that they had assessed the destroyed grit bin on Helmdon Road and has determined that it did not require replacing. Council will write to Northants Highways to again highlight the poor state of this grit bin and request that this bin also be replaced. Council noted that as part of their recent budget consultation, NCC is proposing to cut grit replenishment services. Council agreed that keeping the grit bins replenished was essential for the village during winter and committed to include this in the 2018 budget.

Grass Cutting – Council received 3 tenders for the village grass cutting contract. These varied significantly in cost, but nearly all exceeded the amount Council had previously budgeted for grass cutting. As a result, Council agreed to work with the tenderers to seek a better deal and to increase the budget amount for grass cutting (by reducing budget allocations in other areas).

Council also agreed to contribute £150 to support the servicing of the church clock.

Budget – The Council budget for 2018 was also greed. This will see the Council’s precept increase by 2.5% to £13,800. This modest increase is in line with inflation and will help the Council to meet the increased grass cutting costs, the cost of replenishing the grit bins next winter and the cost of repairing and maintaining some of the village assets.

Other Matters – The Council will be organising a village ‘Clean Up Day’ in the coming weeks to help shift leaves, pick up litter and tidy the village before Spring. More information on this will soon be available on the village website and on the Council notice board. Finally, to help villagers get to know their Parish Councillors, we will be placing short biographies of each Councillor, including their picture and contact details, on both the village website and in the Parish Council noticeboard outside of the shop.


Summary of the Parish Council Meeting: 2nd November 2017

To keep villagers updated on the work of the Parish Council, we will publish a summary of each meeting in the following month’s newsletter.

The November meeting was well attended by villagers who raised a number of issues during public participation. In particular, a concern was raised that there were a number of places in the village where plants and trees were overhanging footpaths creating safety issues. With the cold weather and shorter days already here, villagers are asked to cut back overhanging tree branches and plants so that pedestrians do not have to walk on the roads or slippery verges.

Council business discussed at the meeting included: Replacing the bus shelter; Pocket Park maintenance; grass cutting; HS2; Neighbourhood Watch; and the 2018/19 budget.

Replacing the Bus Shelter – The existing shelter has been in place for over sixty years and will become structurally unsafe eventually. Its replacement has been an agenda item for the Council for a number of years. In July, villagers chose a new shelter to replace the existing one. Council discussed the cost of replacing the existing shelter and agreed to apply to use the remaining New Homes Bonus Grant to part fund the new shelter, while the Sulgrave History Society offered to contribute financially to the project. It was agreed there are insufficient reserves to draw upon and the whole shortfall cannot be added to the precept. It was agreed that Council would investigate funding the remaining costs through a public works loan. Councillor Daniels continues to lead on this project.

Pocket Park – Councillor North provided an update on maintenance carried out at the Pocket Park. It was agreed that the hedging work carried out by Mr Richard Fonge last year would be continued and would commence in December. Council agreed to a proposal by Mr Fonge to purchase a mower and fund more regular grass cutting for the Pocket Park. The total cost of acquiring the mower and grass cutting will be added to the Parish Council’s 2018 budget.

Grass Cutting – The grass cutting contractor has advised they will be unable to continue with the contract from the end of the season. Council will now undertake a tender to appoint a new contractor.

HS2 – Following the successful HS2 consultation visit to Sulgrave in October, Council discussed and adopted a strategy to ensure that villagers were kept up to date with HS2 developments throughout the design and construction process. Council will keep villagers up to date through this newsletter, the village website and on the notice board as information on the progress of HS2 becomes available. Once more information comes to hand, Council will arrange another information event. Counsellor Faure will attend the SNC HS2 Liaison meetings. The Parish Council is strongly committed to working with villagers to try to mitigate the impact of HS2 on the village.

Neighbourhood Watch – Council discussed and agreed the benefits of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in the village. While it was noted that Neighbourhood Watch schemes are moving more online, if we are to establish a scheme in the village, we will require a Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator. To date, there have been no volunteers for the position of Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator. Council will be seeking a Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator over the coming weeks.

Other business – Council discussed setting the 2018/19 budget. Council agreed to keep the 2018 precept as low as possible by limiting increases. The 2018/19 budget will be decided next meeting.

As there is traditionally no Parish Council meeting in December, the next meeting will be in January 2018. At this meeting, Council plans to receive an update on the bus shelter project, set the precept for 2018/19 and receive an update on HS2 and Improvements to the Church Hall.


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