THE recent bad weather once again seemed to outwit the authorities and the
top photo shows clearly how badly affected the A1307 was at Linton. We even made
the national news because the road was blocked again. However it became an
unexpected holiday for the schools in the village and many youngsters took full
advantage of the conditions to enjoy a rare chance to build snowmen and play in
the snow. There is also a beautiful picture of an adult in the snowy landscape
on page 5.
Photos courtesy of members of Linton Camera Club.
THE members of the Linton News committee enjoy making their contribution to
village life and they always hope that the paper is well received and
appreciated by its readers. Now we have proof that many people must read and
digest our articles by the fantastic response to last month's front-page plea
for a bulk distributor.
We had no less than eight kind villagers who contacted the editor to offer their services in one form or another. Thank you so much to all who responded; by now you will have been contacted by one of the team.
It is gratifying to know that among our readers we can find people with the interest, skills and dedication to fill various posts on the paper when they become vacant.
We would also like to introduce our new editor Wendy Foster, who has been producing some of the pages for a few months, but is now taking over the 'Top Job' from our retiring editor Hazel Olway. Hazel is stepping down to take a full time course in journalism and we would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her hard work and leadership. We will miss her unique headlines!
See page 2 for a note from the new editor.
A GOLD star for all deliverers and their stand-ins! Just a line to say how
much I appreciate your help in advising of holiday arrangements, accepting the
extra pages of Parish Matters in the Linton News and the additional work
involved in delivering the Linton Directory last year. A big thank you to
everyone concerned. Your constant good humour is also appreciated, especially
when I've counted the wrong number of papers.
Well of course, I asked for it myself. The other night I thought that the
Police helicopter was going to put down in my garden. Last year it was a
Spitfire from Duxford, and then two army helicopters. That will teach me to
leave the landing light on!
The season of Glumner is still upon us, but in the recent milder weather I have ventured outside for the first time for leisure purposes since before Christmas, to be greeted with buds, shoots, and even the odd snowdrop. It may be hard for those of you not in my position to understand what a lift to my spirits this was.
Whilst we are not out of the woods yet as far as Glumner is concerned, there are glimpses of hope to be found in gardens and verges and I consider that we have been very fortunate indeed with the weather. Except, of course, the snow that fell. From where I'm sitting, it was the subject of great interest, and child-like excitement, although I did feel for those that had to travel, as it again brought home the fact that the A1307 is a treacherous road, whether because of rain, snow, wind or simply traffic.
I recall in younger days watching the cars travelling to Haverhill from an upstairs window in a farmhouse at Hanchet End. Snow had been falling quite hard for a number of hours, and we gazed at the magical event unfolding before our eyes as cars slowed to a stop on the road by Mr. Haylock's bungalow. Armed with a shovel we went to help the stranded cars. I think we managed to get half way before giving in, and only just managed to get back. How foolish we were, and how easy is it to not take these situations seriously. I do think the UK is just not prepared for any extremes of weather. We are known world-wide for talking about it, but when it comes to reacting or planning, we are always amazed at its power and ability to disrupt our lives.
Then, the excuses start. When are we going to send a deputation to the likes of Sweden and Canada to see what snow and bad weather is really like, and the total lack of effect on people's lives it has?
'It's the greenhouse effect', some say. It's my Dad's fault; he has two. But if our climate really is changing, so must we, not cross our fingers and hope we muddle though another year. In reality, people elected to represent us will analyse it, meetings will be held, discussions as to responsibility will take place, blame will be apportioned, and the accused will say that because of lack of funding, no other course of action could be taken at the time.
And so another year will pass, establishing the ideal approach to finding ways to do nothing at all. Next time, the process will begin again, by which time those involved will have moved on, forgotten about the whole affair, or lost the paperwork. This isn't the way it works you say? Well, you could have fooled me.
The above views are not necessarily those of the LNT.
Finally, on to the weather. According to my detailed and complex equipment (I've found the seaweed) and weather patterns over the last fifty years, March will be cloudy but dry most of the time with only the occasional shower. Winds will affect the northern part of the UK, but that is unlikely to bother us in Linton. Dry, mild and sunny at times, but mostly cloudy seems the best way of describing March.
Please take care out there, and I'll see you next month.
ONCE again the annual pilgrimage to the seaside is being planned by the
Flaxfields Sheltered Housing group. The venue is Eastbourne, and the date is
20th June to 26th June inclusive. This year a wheel- chair friendly coach and
hotel have been arranged. For further details please contact:
BALSHAM Manor Garden and Maze is opening once again for its spring display of
bulbs and shrubs from 1.00-5.00pm on Sunday 21st March in aid of The National
Gardens Scheme and The Friends of Addenbrookes.
This delightful place has also got a large dew pond with a fleet of ducks, some splendid huge trees, an alpine garden hidden in the hedge maze, an acid bed and an elegant tearoom (with classy home-made cakes) as well as an under fives play place.
PLEDGES are starting to come in for the Auction of Promises, to be held by
the Friends of Linton Heights on Saturday 8th May. Among the prizes already on
offer are a signed Cambridge United football, a day's clay pigeon shooting, a
waterskiing lesson for two, a personal manicure and a watercolour by a local
artist. You can bid for Northampton Saints rugby match tickets, a guided walk
around Wandlebury nature reserve, a day at the Cambridge Evening News, or a
surprise dinner party for six people donated by the intriguingly named Tarts
with Tops On.
The auction is being held at Linton Heights Junior School and it promises (sorry about the pun) to be a highly enjoyable occasion, with head teacher Rod Halls wielding the hammer as auctioneer. The school will be open in advance for people to view the prizes and look through the catalogue. All of the money raised will be used to purchase new computer equipment, as recommended by the recent Ofsted report which highlighted the shortage of essential materials for children learning information and communication technology (ICT) - a key subject on the national curriculum.
There is still time to get your promises in. Pledge forms are available from the school office, Sweet Talk News and Boyz 2 Men hairdressers. The format is simple ñ you promise something and it is sold to the highest bidder. It could be a service (gardening, cleaning, walking the dog), a skill (photography, cookery, cake decorating), a work of art or a more traditional gift such as whisky or champagne. Perhaps you have a hobby that you could share with someone for a day. Whatever it is, there is sure to be someone who wants it.
Anyone can take part in this. The Friends would be especially pleased to hear from any former pupils of the school who have something to offer. Even if you cannot make a pledge, please put the date in your diary and help to make this a special occasion. And if you have always fancied waterskiing or clay pigeon shooting but somehow never got round to it, here is your chance!
AS an editor who comes with no experience of journalism but lots of
enthusiasm, I would not have taken on this post if I did not have complete
confidence that the paper will continue to run as smoothly as always, thanks to
the team support which has already been invaluable during this first month's
learning period. I hope you do not see the join!
I have been having a think about introducing some new features for the Team to consider. Does anyone out there have a talent for creating crosswords or perhaps writing a recipe corner, or giving us some tips on road safety for example and would like to share them or any other ideas with us? Do please write to me and let me know.
THE winners of February's K-Club monthly draw:
1st prize (£50) Mrs. B Rogers (No. 374); 2nd prize (£25) Harold Brownbill (No. 108); 3rd prize (£10) Marianne Fuller (No. 387).
IN the absence of WI President Tricia Lewis, members were welcomed by Ann
Simpkin to the February meeting. A moment's silence was kept to remember one of
our members, Heather Brine, who had died recently.
Birthday posies were distributed and the minutes of the January meeting read.
Although Eileen Impey was unable to be with us, a basket of spring flowers and greenery was taken to her as a thank you for the many Christmas cakes which she generously made and gave every year to the WI. Eileen never eats Christmas cake but loves making them, and we all enjoy eating them.
A little more business was discussed before we served home-made soup and rolls. The night was to be a little different ñ a games evening. Some played a game of cards, some the game of beetle and others scrabble, and it proved to be a very enjoyable evening. Coffee and tea were served and the raffle drawn.
The next meeting is on 2nd March with 'Dreams of Asia' by local residents John and June Keeble. Visitors welcome.
MR BRIAN Arbury, a collector of military memorabilia and antiques, who runs a
shop in Saffron Walden, gave us a most in depth talk on the local Regiments,
with illustration of their various badges, medals, weapons, etc. Many of the
historic regiments were disbanded or amalgamated over the years. The Cambridge
Regiment existed only up until 1881, and Mr Arbury has never come across any
memorabilia from this Regiment (yet)! Linton is mentioned in a book called 'We
Also Served' along with the Cambridge and Isle of Ely Regiment. The only photo
available of a Linton Company is of the 1st Linton St Mary's Church Lad's
Mr Arbury managed to cover the history of the very many local and nearby regiments, their various changes of names and amalgamations including Volunteers, Naval, National Reserves, Home Guard to name a few. A large number of badges were described and some war medals, which are now very collectable items, some being quite valuable especially with provenance. But warning was given of the many fakes now being made and also of stolen items, so collectors are advised to be very wary when buying.
His talk was most interesting and he was warmly thanked by Bernard Richardson.
The next meeting is on 16th March, when Mr Barry Stevenson will run an Antiques Road Show (without valuations), and members are asked to bring their items for him to describe and discuss.
Anyone who is interested in joining the outing on 30th June to Gressinghall Victorian Workhouse Museum and 1920's working farm please contact:-
I would like to make one comment regarding Cllrs Joan Smith and John Batchelor's article 'Bin having problems'.
They mentioned that personal mail should be put in the green bin. However, this implies that it would not be destroyed but will remain legible while, quote, '... help[ing] to aerate the green material and make composting easier.'
I was lucky enough to get through to the hotline service last year, and questioned them as to how they defined Junk mail. Their answer was, ìIt is mail that is not addressed to you by name, nor containing any confidential information. Therefore, mail that has identification of your address or any personal details should not be put in the green bin.î
By inference such confidential mail should be put in the Green box as this will then presumably be destroyed in whatever processing is used on this paper.
In fact it is strongly suggested by the media and financial watchdogs that any papers which contain personal details (e.g. bank details, credit card numbers etc.) should either be shredded or burnt.
Can anyone help with our fund raising for Chestnut Playgroup and Little Acorns? We are collecting empty ink cartridges, including laser cartridges, and any old mobile phones for recycling. If you can help, every cartridge or mobile will contribute, and it would be much appreciated. I can collect them from you; please contact me on % 893125 if you can help. Thank you.
Further to last month's helpful article giving updated information on recycling, (Bin having problems?). I would like to ask our two district councillors why otherwise admirable refuse collectors are not always following the rules? It was originally stated in the South Cambs magazine that overflowing bins would not be accepted, and excess bags would be removed and labelled to that effect. A few weeks ago I saw that instruction being followed, but on the last black bin collection day (9th Feb.) an overflowing bin outside the same property was emptied.
What encouragement is that to those who play the game, and try to stick to the rules and what redress is there against those who don't?
Name and address supplied
May I say how much my granddaughter enjoys the morning fun and games sessions run by the Sports Centre during the holidays. She wouldn't miss is for worlds but she is disappointed that so few girls attend. Besides, we are all being told to encourage children not to be ìcouch potatoesî. They have a lot of fun and activity which does calm them down for the rest of the day.
So can I recommend it to all mums and grans and at the same time thank the staff for the programme they put on. It is much appreciated and valued
A grateful Gran
PS The Multi-Sports mornings run from 10 am to 12.30 at a very reasonable cost.
Name and address supplied
May I and the family of the late Will Palmer thank all who sent kind messages of sympathy following our sad bereavement.
Thank you also to all who attended the funeral service and sent kind donations for the British Heart Foundation in his memory. Please accept this as an expression of our sincere
gratitude. Thanks also to H.J.Paintin Ltd. for all their kindness at this sad time.
ON 14th December the committee of the Chalklands Residents' Association
incorporating Paynes Meadow organised a children's Christmas party. The social
centre was definitely buzzing with activity. There were fun and games, dancing
to the disco and gifts from Father Christmas. There was also a large buffet of
food and a plentiful supply of drinks. At the end a number of children thanked
the helpers for the party and the committee has since received several letters
of thanks. The event was offered completely free to the children and their
parents. Funds had been raised by a raffle and a cheese and wine evening. The
Residents' Association also organised a Christmas lights competition and a
bottle of Champagne was presented to 54 Chalklands for their colourful display.
Apologies, regrettably this was omitted from the February issue.
This has taken me over five months to create and is now looking for a party.
WHAT you see are two tiers (one 12 inch and one eight inch diameter fruit cakes) of a partly completed three tier wedding cake. Yet to be made is the middle tier which will be a 10 inch sponge. The whole thing is designed to be presented on a Swan Stand.
It was made for a ìfriendî who told me at the last minute that she had asked another friend of hers to make it and had omitted to inform me. It is iced with cream coloured fondant icing and will be decorated with the sprays of cream and burgundy hand made sugar roses which you can see on top of it.
If you would like this cake for your wedding, it will keep for at least another three to four months as it has been very well brandied, (you can taste a piece of my Christmas cake if you are quick; it was made from the same mixture.) I would be glad to sell it to you at a very reasonable price, well below the going rate. Of course I would be quite happy to split the tiers, so if you have an important celebration coming up maybe you would like part of the cake. If you are interested I would love to hear from you.
IT is 10 years since the Fairtrade Mark was launched and 25 years since
Traidcraft began trading.
Recent surveys show that more than a quarter of British people recognise the Fairtrade Mark and realise that buying goods carrying the Mark does make a difference to the lives of farmers and workers in developing countries. But fairly traded goods form only a small proportion of the weekly shopping. If that proportion could be increased, then more producers would be helped.
Most people take just seconds to choose their groceries, yet this decision has a lasting impact on the farmers and their families. Choosing food with the Fairtrade Mark can help to change lives. We can choose to make a difference. We can choose Fairtrade.
Traidcraft is one of the companies which helped to launch the Fairtrade Foundation, which awards the Fairtrade Mark. Traidcraft aims to help people work their way out of poverty and give them a fresh hope for the future.
As well as selling fairly traded goods, Traidcraft works to overcome the barriers which stop disadvantaged people in developing countries benefiting from trade, particularly international trade.
To find out more about the work of Traidcraft and the need for Fairtrade, you are invited to an 'Evening of Celebration' at the Methodist Church, Castle Street, Saffron Walden at 7.30pm, on Tuesday 30th March. There will be videos, talk and activities with Traidcraft goods on sale; free admission including light refreshments.
In Linton, Fairtrade goods can be bought in the local supermarket, at the Traidcraft stall on the second Sunday of each month after the morning service at St. Mary's Church (14th March), or on the second Wednesday of each month from 2.00-3.00pm at the Social Centre, Coles Lane (10th March).
I WOULD like to bring your attention to something which is very important to me and which should be to everyone as it affects us all. In the Haverhill Echo this week there was an article on driving. The author stated that if only people were more considerate there would be fewer accidents. Please can we all take this on board and make Linton a very safe place to live.
ON 12th February the Police Consultation Group met at Linton Village College.
The meeting was attended by representatives and residents of many of the
villages served by the Sawston Sector.
The meeting began with a presentation from the Safety Camera Partnership given by Sgt Andy Chadfield representing the police, and Philip Sharp from Cambridgeshire County Council. The major reason for the cameras is to reduce accidents and not, as most people assume, to raise money. They explained the benefits of such cameras and the criteria that sites had to meet before a camera could be placed. They also explained that the cost of the cameras (approx. £24,000) limits their numbers and means that the mobile cameras were the most cost effective as they could be moved from one route to another. Discussions followed on various traffic controlling methods and again the safety of the A1307 was questioned, but we were assured that the mobile safety cameras would continue to be a regular sight on the road.
Police Authority Chairman John Reynolds then spoke about the choices that Cambridgeshire Police Authority faced when setting the policing element of Council Tax for the coming financial year. Three options were given of a 6%, 10% or 15% rise. Explanation of these rises showed that so much expenditure was predetermined by the Home Secretary (pensions etc.) and the fact that the Police helicopter would need replacing means a high capital budget. The 6% (12p per week) option would not deliver the same service, the 10% option (22p per week) would allow the service level to remain the same and a 15% (32p per week) would allow for improvement. A decision would be made by the Authority on 16th Feb. Since this article was written it has been reported that they in fact got 14%,
Inspector Stephen Maycock then gave a full report on the Sawston Sector and how well it had performed. The Sector performed within the top 25% for most of its criteria with only its record of criminal damage letting the force down. The floor was then opened for 'local issues' and a heated debate followed. Inspector Maycock is well aware that Linton roads are being treated as 'race tracks' after dark and they are looking for new ways to control this. A member of the public thanked PC Dave Hall for his success in dealing with the large groups of young people congregating at night, although they do hope that this success will be continued during the long summer nights.
Many from Linton had attended the meeting with concerns and criticisms, but after hearing stories from other villages within the sector people realised that we are serviced better than most. Other villages and Parish Councils seem to have 'lost' their community beat managers and struggle to contact them. In Linton we have both a Community Beat Manager and one of only three PCSO's based in the Sawston Sector to help combat anti-social behaviour and illegal parking etc.
However Linton does still have its problems and it is vital we continue to report all crime and give the Police a chance to deal with it. Esther Cornell
SOME of you will have noticed that Insurance Consultant Gary Hall is no
longer operating from Linton.
Gary has provided the Linton News with the following information about his decision to move his business to Saffron Walden.
I AM pleased to advise you that after much deliberation, I have decided to merge my business with Saffron Insurance. This will reduce the administration burden and financial costs involved in remaining competitive and efficient.
Let me assure you that my decision does not affect customers' insurance in any way. What it does mean, however, is that your insurance requirements will now be serviced by Saffron Insurance from their branch at Castle Chambers, 37 Castle Street, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB10 1JQ (% 01799 522293)
I have carefully selected Saffron Insurance because of their commitment to provide quality advice and assistance on any insurance matters. I am pleased to tell you that I shall continue to handle your insurance requirements with the help of their staff. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my customers for placing their insurance with me in the past and I hope that you will continue to use Saffron Insurance for many years to come.
Snow...? I'm sure I'm the wrong colour for this....
WE are pleased to announce the launch of our official website, www.lintonzoo.com. You can get all the latest information and news including details of events and activities. The website is being developed and managed by keepers and volunteers so if you have any advice for us or wish to make comments about the site please feel free to do so via e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will soon be a page to include local events and activities. We have thousands of visitors every year and many take time to visit our lovely villages too. If you would like to encourage this and attract them to your event, such as fetes, craft fairs, jumble sales, concerts, garden parties, shows etc. let us have some details to include on the web.
A new programme of keeper talks, animal encounters and activities started at half term and has been extended to include 'Lion cubs play time'. Riziki and Karla, the two lion cubs were recently introduced to each other and very quickly the pair have become the best of friends.
Like all babies the cubs sleep quite a lot so sometimes it is difficult to see them. To ensure that visitors are able to get a glimpse of them we encourage the pair out into their enclosure to play twice a day during a scheduled talk at the weekends and during the school holidays.
Riziki, the first cub we received has grown well; he is very docile, laid back and a little shy. Karla on the other hand is very much an extrovert and very boisterous.
Our Amur tiger cub Anastasia, born February 2003, has now been moved to her new home at Colchester zoo where she will soon be paired with a young male. Colchester have told us that Ana has settled down well. Our adult pair Deja and Mirko have been put back in together so we hope we will be able to report the patter of more tiny tiger cub's feet in a few months time.
Weekend talks and activities for March and April (weather permitting) are 'Furry Friends Encounter' (especially for the younger visitors), 'Lion Cubs Play Time', 'Tiger Conservation Talk', 'Tapir Feed and Keeper Talk (a good opportunity to see and find out more about the latest baby tapir), 'Barn Owl Conservation Talk', 'Meet Becky our Barn Owl' and 'Snakes, Bugs and Little Beasties'. Details of times are on the news section of the website.
Other exciting news we would like to share is that we recently received the ìCambridgeshire Family Attraction of the year 2004î award. Thanks to everyone who voted for us. Kim Simmons
THIS month we opted for warmth and comfort and met at the Social Centre to
view some of our efforts ñ and they were very pleasing to the eye! A good
selection of autumn and winter scenes (the recent snow did have its uses after
all) and even some non-seasonal butterfly and flower pictures to make us think
of warmer days to come. Plus some old cars at the NEC exhibition ñ what a trip
down memory lane it was when we saw some of those.
It's always good to look at what we all do and see how they compare and what ideas we can come up with to make pictures more interesting.
We were very pleased to welcome another two new members, John Young and Len Smith, but we are still looking for a few more ladies to join Tracey and Jan. Can we believe that there are only two females in Linton who like taking photographs enough to want to join the Camera Club?
At the next meeting on 14th March we will visit Ely and we will be meeting in the car park in Coles Lane at 9.30am in order to get a good start.
Please do think about joining us. It should be a good day and we always manage to find somewhere to stop and have a coffee and bun to keep us going!
Also in the planning stages is a workshop in May to learn about taking portraits, so to see a few samples of our pictures and to find out a bit more about us do look at our web-site at www.camclub.info.
We are looking forward to seeing more new members at our next meeting ñ go on, give it a go! Jan Shambrook
And more snow! Photo Mike Crofts
ON 26th March Friends of Linton Village College will be hosting an evening
with House of Colour, image and colour consultant Vicky Everall and 'Better Than
Chocolate' ladies' lingerie and more from Saffron Walden.
This will be a ladies only night for mums and daughters, grannies, and aunts with an emphasis on fun. There will be no selling taking place, just an opportunity to learn and have an enjoyable time.
Please keep a look out for more details nearer the time.
LINTON Farmers' Market is moving to the main hall at Linton Village College
as from 6th March and it will be held there every first Saturday in the month
from 10am to 1.00pm.
Charlie Baker of Meadow-brook Farm. who started the market some two years ago with his colleague Steve Barker was enthusiastic about the move.
'All the present suppliers are moving to the college together with several new producers, which will make us one of the largest farmers' markets in the area.'
He added 'The college could not have been more helpful and The Friends of Linton Village College will be on hand with refreshments for visitors.' 'We look forward to seeing our old customers and perhaps a few new ones trying out our produce on 6th March.'
With the increasing demand for food direct from the producer, the market traders are pleased to offer everything from organic vegetables, fresh and cooked meats, savoury and sweet pies, cheeses, eggs, bread and fish to cakes and potted flowers plus many other products.
Several of the suppliers are featured in the Tastes of Anglia Local Food Guide and the North East Essex Local Food Directory.
The Cambridge Oxfam Walk 2003 was held at Wimpole Hall and Home Farm and benefited from glorious weather. Let's hope this year is even more successful.
ENJOY a lovely walk in your local countryside and help raise £50,000 for
Oxfam's emergency fund. By taking part in the 37th Cambridge Oxfam Walk on
Sunday 16th May at Chilford Hall and gaining sponsorship for a distance of
either 7, 14 or 21 miles, you will be giving practical help to communities all
over the world suffering from armed conflict and natural disaster.
'A great excuse to spend some quality time walking the lovely Cambridgeshire countryside and raise money for Oxfam's excellent work.' said James Blatch, news presenter BBC Look East of last year's walk.
Oxfam believes that everyone has a right to protection from floods, famine, persecution and violence due to armed conflict - events that mean death and despair to millions of people worldwide. Many are already poor, so when disaster strikes they are left with nothing.
Oxfam's emergency teams respond immediately to crises with the life-saving knowledge and equipment they have built up over the years. They then continue the work with local communities in the slow and careful process of rebuilding and recovery.
The Cambridge Oxfam Walk 2003 raised £34,000. It is Oxfam's largest local fund-raising event and it is organised entirely by volunteers. This year, the walk is centred on Chilford Hall and passes through Hildersham, Little Walden and Hadstock. To ensure the walk's continued success we need lots of walkers and helpers.
Registration forms are available from 8th March onwards by phoning %502798, or by emailing email@example.com. You can also find registration forms on the web at www.oxfam.org.uk/go/walk. Oxfam shops or a Cambridge branch of the Cambridge Building Society will also be stocking the forms.
If you would prefer to help for a few hours on the day as a marshal or steward, please contact Ron Dimelow on %01767 677945 or email Ron at firstname.lastname@example.org. Bring the family, enjoy yourselves and help others by taking part in a great day. See you there!
ALL the thinking, fundraising and planning is at last coming together for the
improvements to the College site. Thanks to South Cambs District Council,
Cambridgeshire County Council and the Football Foundation the £1m sports
refurbishment is about to go ahead. This will result in brand new changing rooms
and showers, a fitness suite doubled in size including its own conservatory
entrance, changing facilities etc and a new full size all weather, floodlit
Astroturf pitch. Recent additions to the project are a three court floodlit
tennis/netball area and two new grass football pitches on newly acquired land.
Of course you don't get all this without major disruption so please bear with us
while the building continues throughout the spring and summer. We hope to keep
the actual closure of the Sports Centre to the barest minimum but it is still
likely to be for four months. We hope to provide temporary facilities however to
minimise the negative impact of this.
As this project draws to its conclusion, work will commence on the new Special School, which has to be ready to open in September 2006. This will mean a new entrance to the College with traffic lights which will be constructed opposite the current entrance to the Crofton and Libra industrial area.
This will be linked to the existing entrance road, which will be widened and will in turn be extended to run along the front of the College buildings before turning right down to the new School and Sports Centre. This will be well lit and lead to new parking for Sports Centre users and the new School. The Special School will contain meeting rooms, sports facilities and a hydrotherapy pool which will be available for community use during the evening and weekends. A hydrotherapy pool is not a swimming pool because it is smaller and much warmer. However it will be very well suited to young children and adults who would benefit from a warmer water environment.
The third part of this major redevelopment is the replacement of the Vic Hallam part of the main College site. This is the prefabricated area which was built in the 1960s. The replacement building (£7m development) will include a new main entrance (using the new road), offices, social areas, seven science laboratories, a library/resource area and new classrooms added to the current 'new' block and technology areas. In addition a drama studio will be added to the music block, and new community rooms for playgroups, youth clubs and the ATC will be built. This project ñ Phase 3 will commence in 2006. As you can see we are in for some difficult but exciting times which will see around £15m invested in this site over the coming five years.
Clive Bush, Principal
LINTON Activities and Care for the Elderly are having a fund raising event on
Saturday, 23rd March at the Social Centre.
This will be sherry and shortcake (included in the entrance fee) a raffle, an auction and stalls, along with an update on the work of Linton ACEs (very short. as these things can get a bit tedious!). Final details to be announced by poster on the notice boards, etc.
Everyone welcome; the more the better and all for a good cause. Thank you!
LAST month, to a very full house, Caroline Holmes showed slides of Edwardian
gardens devised by Gertrude Jekyll accompanied by an easy flow of interesting
details about both the planting and the designer. Gertrude was a consummate
artist who went to art school in 1843, also excelling at craftwork and
embroidery, thus ruining her eyesight. She was a contemporary of Monet who
worked on his Giverny garden at the same time as she developed her own at
Munstead Wood, but their poor vision did not prevent either from spotting a dead
flower head at a distance.
She collaborated with architect Edwin Lutyens and was influenced by William Morris to create designs in the arts and crafts style. Using natural materials such as local brick and stone she erected open and covered pergolas and popularised the art of training climbers on swags. She moved with the times making use of a camera, and much later created Japanese gardens following a Japanese exhibition in 1910. It was recorded that she took as much trouble in designing a window box as for larger gardens, but coming from the upper middle class she was used to sparing no expense in her projects and followed the aphorism that however small your garden you must always put aside five acres for woodland!
The meeting on 9th March in the Social Centre will feature a talk by Sue Robinson on autumn and winter colour and there will also be a sale of gardening books. We would be very pleased to see again all those who joined us last month.
A COUPLE of dark random brush-strokes on a white virgin canvas visually imply
something three dimensional. On Wednesday evenings it's not only the windows of
my house I ease open to hear the voice of St Mary's Church. The sublimely simple
sound of the bells adds a little magical perspective to village life and the
same is true of the echoing laughing quacks of ducks and hoarse goose hoots from
Horn Lane on a sunny Sunday morning. The fowl interpret any ol' bag carried
across the bridge as bread, though too much may mean death for some, so try
giving a little grain too.
My accurate prediction of the recent weather by observing the behaviour of rooks and other natural signs was grandly gratifying, and I thank those who called to congratulate me. Of course I am not a weather expert and my senses are no more acute than your own, but many country folk I've known have awakened their senses to nature's sights and sounds through a little patient observation and solitude, which I try on occasions to attain.
When relieved momentarily from the duties of our busy lives we are bombarded by the promise of modern digital enlightenment. The colourful and tempting world of artificial sights and sounds from TV to techno-games endeavours to make it harder to pause and have a prolonged look at that brown tree you pass every day, or to observe in detail the antics of a common bird on the lawn. Perhaps human beings really belong out of doors, hand in hand, metaphorically, with the wilderness. Social conditioning left un-neutralised has the effect of making us all scurry back to our dens as quickly as possible, yet when certain conditions apply, what a pleasure it is to return to roaming our land, and notice how quickly we do so.
On such a day, the schools closed, the traffic calmed and peace prevailed whilst the chalky winter-land of Linton was laid quietly white with ice jewellery fallen from the sky. I walked with my friend Laura towards the zoo, tracking fox, deer, rabbit and hare from the old railway. The dense white flakes covered the landscape like a decorators sheet hiding valuable furnishings. The usual abundant detail was reduced to a few cobalt blue shadows and a dark umber on the sheltered sides of boughs. The wind whispered with a sharp tingling sensation upon bare ears whilst that great big gas heater we call the sun seemed unable to counter the dropping temperature. Laura discussed the documented evidence of health benefits on travellers to the Antarctic. I was not convinced, but then I realised, despite the cold, how restful it felt with such little visual stimulation once everything was covered in snow. I once prided myself on being able to track the movement of a fly on a wall from fifty yards or more, but time, life and the years of toiling at the easel have taken their toll. To compensate, my brain still yearns to express on canvas an insight from observing detail, especially when words worth mentioning fail me by adverse ambiguity.
Not ones for seeing the world in black and white, Laura and I stumbled on a view of zebras in the snow and for a moment I felt quite disorientated. Where else but Linton would one come across such a scene, she remarked! I was still struggling with the lack of detail and reflected light as we traipsed on, but then I remembered something. Every single snowflake which made up this great white blinding sheet before us is reputed to be unique in shape, yet every one of them is, unless damaged, hexagonal! I decided to verify this but by the time I had set up my computer with the microscope/camera, the snow had melted. Plan B involved calling Mr Pettit from Small Gifts whom I know to be a fount of knowledge and fellow observer of minutiae. He confirmed it to be true, and pointed out that whereas many things in nature are octagonal the dear little snowflakes exist as hexagons but have different patterns within the hexagonal plane.
Now to understand the reason for their individual patterns I decided that you and I must look at the life of a snowflake. Stella dendrites (tree-like) and sectored plates are for me two of the most beautiful basic snowflakes to be found. There are many others, still hexagonal yet needle and column-like. The flakes are born in the clouds when water molecules condense, usually on minute dust particles. They soon develop into a basic hexagon and whilst blown about in the super-saturated air the six corners of the crystals grow like branches. Assuming the ambient atmospheric conditions across the crystal are identical, the six branches grow at a similar rate. Since no two flakes experience exactly the same conditions on their path to earth the ice crystals grow in different ways. A keen snowflake spotter carries a small magnifying glass and wears black sleeves upon which the flakes are best viewed. I have a theory that snowflakes around the electricity pylons in Linton may be of great interest or of unusual shapes, since water molecules diffuse differently in the air when charged.
So there you have it on the authority of an artist and a jeweller! Next time you see a snowflake remember, like each and every one of us it is unique and very special; growing, shining and silently melting away. But then things are never crystal clear, for I have just learned of the existence of twelve-sided snowflakes. Typical! Oh well, for a little fun you could attempt growing ice spikes in your home freezer by using distilled water in an ice-cube tray. Now here's a phenomenon. The Galileo spacecraft took pictures of what are believed to be ice spikes rising to three hundred feet on Callisto, the most distant of Jupiter's four large moons. Our drop of snow has gone for now but the snowdrops Galanthus (meaning milk-white flower) are here and spring is ringing-in!
THIS morning we awoke to a different view ñ the storms had brought down a tree,
mainly hollow trunk but with one living branch, home to a roost of bats. It has
fallen into the river, causing no harm, but of all the trees that needed to be
reduced, why did the winds pick on mine?
By now we should have a new Parish Councillor. Best of luck! They should be prepared for hard work and frustration. For example, the PC and Traffic Working Party put a great deal of effort into traffic and disabled access/safety schemes, only to fail to get funding. As the rules had changed without notice, we are questioning this decision. When we do succeed in effecting change the results are heartening, but then no one notices good things and maintenance ñ such is life….
How many times have we moaned about some aspect of village life? Well, instead, why not write or tell the PC? We could update you on what has been or is being done. The PC is working on many projects to improve or preserve the village, but is limited by the quagmire of the bureaucratic process and funding constraints. Your input can add weight to our arguments, ensure we reflect the will of the community and speed action. Public input influenced the decision not to fund a PCSO from our village precept and helped decide that there could be further development at Paynes Meadow. Your input is effective.
There is much that is rewarding in voluntary work and we must all consider how we can positively affect the lives of others. It was an honour to attend the awards evening for Linton Squadron ATC. The work put in by the young people and the voluntary staff is staggering ñ how many people get the chance to fly, shoot, gain skills and develop themselves through team work? The ATC is well worth joining and supporting, but it only exists through voluntary input.
Look to see how you can affect village life ñ it is more productive than moaning!
Meanwhile, has anybody seen my bats?
Members of the Linton Out of School Club 'Walking Bus' part of the Safer Routes to School
Photo courtesy of the Cambridge Evening News
The current LPC Traffic Working Party was formed when it became impossible,
within the bi-monthly Council meetings, to discuss all traffic related problems
in sufficient detail to allow the Council to be able to make well informed
decisions. The TWP meets at regular intervals as necessary throughout the year
reporting directly to Full Council. Any councillor can be a member of this
working group in the same way as any Linton resident can offer their time free
to become a Councillor.
It is a well recognised fact that traffic issues both within the village and on the A1307 have escalated during the last 5 years as a direct consequence of significant development within both Linton and Haverhill. Since Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) have limited funds available for traffic control throughout the entire County it was essential that the problems facing this area were brought to the fore. To ascertain public opinion and initiate the formation of an essential pressure group, other than LPC, the TWP organised public meetings in February 2000 and June 2001. As one would expect each resident had their own view on the solution's) to all Linton's traffic problems. The TWP however had to draw up a single plan of action based on public response at the time and knowledge of the CCC funding system.
Several areas of concern were addressed some of which are now completed, some agreed but still waiting to be implemented and some still under consideration. All have been discussed with the CCC. One source of funding available to us is the Jointly Funded Minor Improvement Scheme (JFMIS) system which considers traffic improvements costing between £5000 and £25000 and is funded partly by LPC, up to 60p per electorate, and partly by CCC. All recent JFMIS bids have been initiated by the TWP and not CCC.
In the last 5 years traffic issues addressed include:
- Yellow Backed 30 mph signs entering the village - JFMIS;
- Coop delivery lorries to approach from one direction and avoid peak school time - agreed by Coop;
- Survey/improvement of road signs for HGV's;
- Safer Route to School - all 3 schools have now been accepted on to the scheme opening up new funding opportunities for pedestrian safety schemes;
- Request to Stagecoach that drivers communicate with each other once in Linton to avoid buses passing in the High Street.
Under consideration by CCC and/or awaiting funding
- Re-route buses to Haverhill- use Coles Lane, Back Road, Balsham Road - bus company agreed once junction improved - (unsuccessful bid for JFMIS);
- Roundabout at Bartlow Road;
- A1307/High St junction - traffic lights to assist vehicles and pedestrians;
- Protection of Listed Building at High St/Coles Lane junction - funding available for white road marking together with priority road signage - agreed July 2002 still waiting for signage;
(NB. If white line unsuccessful CC to consider narrowing Coles Lane entrance)
- Installation of four interactive signs on the A1307 - JFMIS agreed December 2002 - still waiting;
- Double Yellow Lines top of Joiners Road;
- Survey/improvement of dropped kerbs and pavements to assist wheelchair / pushchair access - completed awaiting funding for implementation (unsuccessful bid for JFMIS);
- Request for Multi-Modal Study for the A1307 between Fourwentways and Haverhill - currently underway
- Mini-roundabout at junction of Balsham Road/High Street - (unsuccessful bid for JFMIS);
- Re-surface path/new Kissing gate in Camping Close - path completed still waiting for new gate;
- HGV's one way along the entire High Street;
- Pedestrian crossing near Copperfields;
- Dalehead Food Road Improvement Scheme;
- Traffic Calming in Chalklands;
- Increasing the pavement width on the north side of the High St in the narrow section;
- Examine possibility/implications of making part of the High Street one-way - would require initial trial period;
- 20 mph in the High Street;
- Interactive signs on Horseheath Road;
- Declassification of the B1052 throughout the High Street;
- Access to LVC from Stantons Lane for disabled/cyclists/pushchairs needs improving.
The CCC itself having agreed our initiatives can not fund projects as quickly as we, or they, would like due to funding restrictions imposed by the Government. However, the TWP will continue to address traffic issues as they arise and bring them to the attention of CCC.
Linton residents can help themselves, however, by questioning their own driving habits, eg walk children to school, do not use the High Street as a through road, do not park on double yellow lines at any time, avoid the High Street at peak times, and keep to the speed limits.
Linton PC Traffic Working Party
I HAVE been a member of the Parish Council since 1981 (Vice-chairman 1982-85
Chairman 1985-1988) and in that time have seen many changes to the village.
Unfortunately not all the changes have been beneficial.
Over the last 30 years Linton has expanded enormously, but public participation in voluntary activities within the Parish has not grown at the same time. The same small group of people can be found on all the major village organisations. More newcomers and long standing residents need to get involved in the varied activities, in order that a community spirit can continue to be fostered and maintained. We must fight for an alleviation of the problems of the A1307 and resist further major expansion of the village. As a University Scientist I have been studying the health and lifestyle of the British population for many years and I can say from my observations that Linton has many advantages compared to so many other communities, as far as its environment is concerned. However, we need to be vigilant to make sure that the village remains a pleasant place to live. I would like to see more members of the public at Parish Council meetings so that it can be seen that the Parish Council always tries to act in the best interests of the village. Unfortunately the powers of the Council are limited, but it needs to know when there are problems so that pressure can be put on those who do have greater powers to act (County and District Councillors).
I came to live in Cambridge in the 1960's, (those were the days!) to study
for a higher degree and have lived in the area nearly ever since and for the
past 23 years in Linton with my husband and three children. I have been involved
with the PTA's of all three schools and with fund raising for the tarmac area on
the Recreation Ground. I became involved with the Parish Council through this
work and was appoint a Trustee of Linton Action for Youth and I support the work
the staff are doing for our young people.
I felt the ford near the church was in need of refurbishment and organised this project. There is always more to be done, and as the Councillor responsible for wildlife and footpaths I hope to assist the newly formed Linton Environmental Action group to acquire funding for local projects relating to these issues.
I stood for Council because I feel Linton should be recognised as a Quality Parish Council and I volunteered to help organise the Parish Plan project as part of this application.
MINUTES of the Meeting held on Thursday 22nd January.
There were 12 Councillors present Dr T Bear (CC), Mrs Smith (DC), Mrs K France (Press), and Ms A Barnard (LA4Y) were also present.
In public participation Ms Barnard, Senior Youth Worker for Linton Action for Youth gave Council an update on the work of the centre. It is currently open 3 evenings a week as a drop-in for youths 13-19. It is also in use some afternoons for special project work including Youth Achievement Awards and a Rural Discovery project. The average numbers at each session is 20. The Chairman thanked Ms Barnard for her report and asked if there were any questions. There were none. The Chairman then requested that Ms Barnard keep the Council updated from time to time.
The minutes of the meeting held on 8th January were agreed and there were no matters arising.
The report from the Police followed in which 23 crimes were reported for December. These included 4 dwelling burglaries, 2 other burglaries, 8 incidents of criminal damage and 7 incidents of theft. Discussion then took place during which councillors voiced their concern over the rise in reported crime recently. It was mentioned that this could be a seasonal situation, however, the crime figures for December 2002 had shown 13 incidents. It was therefore agreed that the Clerk should write to the Sawston Inspector voicing the Parish Council's concern.
In the report from the County Councillor Dr Terry Bear stated that the County Council had not been able to set the level of Council Tax for the next financial year yet because it was in dispute with the Government. At the moment the County Council was minded to set a tax increase of 6% and was consulting the public on the options of 6, 8 or 10% increases. However, the Secretary of State for Education has directed the Council to put more than £4m extra into education. This would mean a Council Tax increase of 9%. At the same time the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has told all councils that they would be capped if they raised the Council Tax by more than 5%. The Leader of the County Council has said that if the public consultation (due to end on 27th January) shows that the residents of Cambridge are not prepared to pay a large tax rise, then he would appeal against the direction. This would mean that the decision on the level of increase of Council Tax would be determined on the floor of the House of Commons after debate. The Chairman thanked Dr Bear for his report and there were no queries at this time.
The reports from District Councillors followed. Mrs Smith had circulated a written report. The Chairman asked if there were any queries. The issue of payment of recycling credits was raised. Payment from SCDC was late, but notification of how much was due to arrive had been given and it was less than last year. It was queried how this could be so when the payment due was for the first full year of green box collections. Mrs Smith reported that the price paid for some glass and paper was now much less. She agreed to chase up the credit due. A number of councillors reported the confusion which occurred when the green box collection was late. Mrs Smith reported that Cleanaway had now hired more staff and bought more vehicles so this should not re-occur. It was in part due to the success of the recycling. Cllr Potter asked whether any changes in collection day could be notified to the Linton News. Mrs Smith noted this.
Mr Batchelor then reported on a SCDC Cabinet meeting which was trying to agree the Council Tax for 2004/05. This had still not been possible. However, it would seem likely that SCDC would not increase its part of the Council Tax this year, although this could not continue. The amount required to cover spending was already far in excess of the Council Tax and was currently being subsidised by council reserves and sale of council house monies. This could not continue. Cllr Gore commented on the report which had been circulated regarding the SCDC footway maintenance schedule. It was apparent that the list of works which should be completed within the village was not always carried out. The Clerk was to organise a response detailing the Council's misgivings and pass them on to Mr Robin Carter at SCDC.
The planning and finance minutes were considered with no queries and the payments due list was agreed by the meeting with Cllrs Batchelor and Gore signing the cheques.
Council then considered the provision of a PCSO for Linton. The Chairman reported on the response to the article in Parish Matters seeking residents views. Of all the responses an overwhelming majority (72%) were not in favour of the parish paying the police direct to fund additional police community support officers. Discussion took place regarding this during which it was noted that both government and district council funding for the PCSO's already in place was for a three-year term only. It was therefore suggested that this council consider its position again in 18 months time, when possible forward funding for a further term by both government and district council would be known. This was agreed by the meeting.
Council then considered the future use of Paynes Meadow Open Space. The Chairman drew attention to the notes of the public meeting held on this issue last year. Since that time further public consultation had taken place through Parish Matters. The Chairman reported that from both of these it was apparent that the land could not be left as it was and that the vast majority of residents did not object to some further development on the site. It was noted that the provision of some open space and the protection of the hedgerow to the east, as it borders Rivey Lane was paramount. Discussion then took place with Cllr Gore stating that there was considerable demand in the village for affordable housing and that the residents currently living in the properties provided by Hundred Houses were happy. It was noted that at the public meeting Hundred Houses and the District Council officer had mooted a development of some 12-15 dwellings. Cllr Urwin proposed that this council should influence the mix of the properties of any proposed development at this time, seeking a majority of smaller 1 and 2 bed properties on any development, and also that the properties should be as the present ones, removed from the 'right to buy', to ensure they remain within the rental sector. This was agreed by the meeting. The Chairman noted that the parish plan results supported this also. Cllr Potter noted that the hedgerow should be protected and Cllr Batchelor suggested applying for a protection order now. Cllr Potter, however, was concerned that should the hedgerow be 'fenced off' this would lead to the area becoming a dumping ground for rubbish and it was clear from discussion that this issue would require careful consideration. Cllr Rossiter had circulated a proposal for the site discussed at the meeting. This and the minutes of the public meeting should be forwarded to Hundred Houses for their consideration which would assist in arriving at a suitable design. Cllr Potter further suggested that Hundred Houses should forward any proposal or plans to this Council prior to submitting them to SCDC Planners to ensure there was agreement in principle prior to submitting them officially. This was also to be suggested to Hundred Houses. Subject to the above, this Council agreed that it had no objections, in principle, to Hundred Houses' further development of this site.
Council then considered the recommendation of the Precept meeting. The Chairman noted the circulation of the notes of the Precept meeting and handed over to Cllr Potter. As Chair of the Finance Committee, Cllr Potter reported on the notes of the Precept meeting and stated that he had received no queries from councillors regarding its recommendations. He therefore proposed that the recommendation for a precept of £94,225 be agreed by the meeting. This was seconded by Cllr Gee and agreed by a vote of 11 to 0.
Council then considered the notes of the Linton Steering Group (Traffic). These had been circulated previously and included a copy of the updated Action Plan. The Chairman handed over to Cllr Urwin, Chair of the Traffic Working party and member of the Steering Group. Cllr Urwin asked if there were any queries. Cllr Rossiter asked where the priority signs for the High Street/Coles Lane junction were? Cllr Urwin replied that the CC Highways had reported difficulty in finding a site that conformed with requirements in the east to west direction due to the narrowness of the footpath. However, the group members had impressed upon the CC officer that the west to east sign was not a problem and should be erected immediately. The whole principle of the new 'hatching' painted on the road itself would not operate correctly without the signage in both directions, especially east to west. Dr Bear queried whether the issue raised by a resident of the Back Road regarding a new footpath from The Woodlands to Symonds Lane had yet been placed on the agenda for the Steering Group. The Clerk reported this would be raised at the next meeting. Cllr Batchelor reported that the access arrangements for the proposed SEN School at LVC had finally reached agreement with the Highways. It was now being proposed to have traffic lights on the A1307 at the junction of the entrance to Libra Scales and the Crofton Engineering site by moving the old Poplar Drive entrance to the college opposite. These lights would be 'intelligent' lights and only operate when access/egress was required. The Chairman noted that these new plans would be available for public viewing on Tuesday 27th January at Linton Social Centre between 3-5 and 7-9pm.
Council then considered a date for the Annual Parish Meeting. Discussion took place and as it a result it was proposed that the Annual Parish Meeting would be held at the Social Centre on Tuesday 27th April at 8pm. This was agreed by the meeting.
From the correspondence received the following items were particularly noted: A letter from Linton Garden Club requesting permission to use the 1994 Centenary Cup for a Garden Show photographic competition. Discussion took place whereupon it was noted that the cup was originally donated to be used as prize for 'Best Garden' in the village. It was agreed that the Garden Club committee would be requested to investigate whether this competition could be resurrected. A letter from CPRE with details of a workshop for members of planning committees in dealing with responses to planning applications. Any member wishing to go should contact the Clerk. A copy of the letter sent by Cllr Gore, Public Transport representative, to Stagecoach regarding change of Service 13 bus times and route and it was noted no response had yet been received.
A concerned resident had written regarding problems within the public car park in Coles Lane. This had been forwarded to SCDC who are responsible for the public car park. CCC had forwarded details of the scoring for and list of Schemes submitted for the Jointly Funded Minor Improvements. This Council had already been advised that neither of the two bids entered by us had been successful. However, on a more favourable note a further letter from CCC included plans proposing sites for our successful JFMIB from 2002/03 for interactive signs on the A1307. The Chairman passed this over to Cllr Urwin who reported on the details. She firstly reminded Councillors of the original bid and the reasoning behind it. She then reported that the proposal just received did not place the flashing signs where they had been requested and the sites offered would not fulfil the original intentions. Added to this was the current situation with regard the proposed SEN entrance at the Village College which had been reported on earlier, which could mean that the 40 mph limit on the approach from Cambridge may well have to be moved. Cllr Urwin requested permission to negotiate with CCC regarding this proposal to firstly, suspend siting of the two signs on the approach from Cambridge until the SEN entrance was agreed, and secondly, to try to organise the siting of the two signs on the approach from Haverhill as close as possible to where they were originally requested to be. This was agreed by the meeting. SCDC had forwarded a copy of the footway maintenance schedule which should be carried out by SCDC operatives in Linton. This 'schedule' caused much concern and discussion. It was agreed that it should be placed on the agenda for the next meeting to give councillors time to consider their response. An invitation for the Chairman to attend the ATC presentation evening was accepted with pleasure.
The meeting closed at 21.46.