New safety zone on the way for village

Gloucestershire Highways is looking to make improvements to the School Safety Zone on the A436 by Andoversford Primary School.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson with Andoversford resident and mum Emma Bowen who have both been pushing for greater road safety

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson with Andoversford resident and mum Emma Bowen who have both been pushing for greater road safety

The aim of the scheme is to try to increase driver awareness, reduce vehicle speeds and create a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists on Gloucester Road in the village during peak school times.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson has been chairing the ‘No Crash’ campaign (North Cotswolds Rural area Against Speeding Harm)  for greater road safety along the A436 and in surrounding villages:

“We have been pushing for added road safety measures and its great to see the possibility of safer roads around the school and along this busy road which runs though the village.”

The proposed scheme will feature new signs indicating ‘Max Speed 20 when lights flash’ and a school warning triangle sign which will notify drivers of their entry to the School Safety Zone. These will be supplemented by flashing ‘wig-wag’ lights that will operate at the beginning and end of the school day.

Glos Highways is also suggesting red patches on the carriageway with SLOW markings.

Consultation on these proposals is now taking place with a view to the scheme being introduced in the next year.

Easter gift for Cotswold schools

A Cotswolds councillor has welcomed a scheme promoted by the coalition government that will pump nearly £1,000,000 of extra funding into schools in the district.

pupil premium

The extra cash – amounting to £900 per child under the Pupil Premium initiative – will be used to help children from less privileged backgrounds reach their full educational potential. All children registered for free school meals in the last six years qualify and the money will be given to their school heads who can decide how to spend it on their behalf.

The extra money comes into effect from 1 April. Many schools across the district stand to benefit from the scheme. Bourton primary school is receiving an extra £39,600 whilst Chipping Campden School is receiving £78,300. Andoversford Primary School gets  £7,200, the Cotswold Academy £101,700 and Northleach Primary School £10,800.

The Pupil Premium was a major manifesto commitment by the Liberal Democrats at the 2010 general election, playing a key role in the negotiations that led to the coalition agreement.

Original plans for an extra £430 per pupil have now been boosted, pushing the amount paid per qualifying child to £900.

News of the extra money for the Cotswolds comes after Schools Minister, David Laws, recently announced that the total Pupil Premium funding from next week will rise to £1.65bn, more than double the amount in 2011-12. It will rise again each year until 2014-15 when it will be worth £2.5bn.

Now, councillors are encouraging all schools to ensure that every child who qualifies is registered for the scheme so that they receive the maximum funding.

Cotswold District Council Lib Dem Leader, Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (Churn Valley), said he was encouraged by the extra cash for local schools.

“Though the Cotswolds is seen as an affluent area full of wealthy weekenders, the truth is that there are pockets of deprivation in the district, particularly in some of the rural areas.

“With low average wages and sky-high house prices, it is no wonder that so many children qualify for free school meals. This additional help for hard-pressed schools is extremely welcome.”

“The Pupil Premium is extra support for the children who need it the most, whether it is catch-up classes, one-to-one tuition, extra IT support – whatever the school thinks best.”

“We now look forward to working with our schools to help overcome any barriers to achievement that some of the pupils in our community currently face.”

Note: The complete list of pupil premium figures is publicly available at the Department for Education website.

 

 

Will you be part of the Big Project?

An appeal to raise funds for one of our local primary schools has been launched.

NorthCerneySchool

L to R: Jane Burr Headteacher of North Cerney School, Cllr Paul Hodgkinson, Jenny Forde Big Project Leader.

The Big Project is a charity that has been set up to help raise some of the funds required to to build a new classroom/assembly hall at North Cerney primary school.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson is backing the project, “We’re fortunate in having two excellent primary schools in our area – at Coberley and North Cerney. In North Cerney, the school has educated generations since 1843 and is currently thriving with 60 children, a committed head, staff and governing body. It really does sit at the heart of the local community.”

Jenny Forde from Bagendon is leading the bid, “Building this new extension requires a budget of £150,000. To realise this the school intends on making a bid to the Local Education Authority this Spring for funding. However, it’s anticipated that only 50% would be available for any one grant so, in our case, that would leave us with a target of £75,000.”

“But time is against us – our deadline is 28th February 2013! You can be a part of that excitement by supporting local children and families with a donation. All contributions of £500 plus will be appear on a plaque in the new building.”

Please contact Jenny Forde at jenniferforde@hotmail.co.uk or 01285 831193 if you’d like to support the Big Project.

Bourton road crossing gets moving!

A call for a safer road crossing in Bourton on the Water is now coming to fruition.

Paul Hodgkinson and Ginie Moss at Shire Hall

Two Bourton on the Water residents, Ginie and Patrick Moss, gathered 1100 names on a petition that called for the installation of a 24/7 crossing facility on Station Road in the village.

Ginie Moss, a teacher at the Cotswold School, delivered the petition to Gloucestershire County Council in May this year with Cllr Paul Hodgkinson.

Now, Gloucestershire County Council have told residents that they are currently working on some advance design work for a signalised crossing on Station Road as  it has ‘scored well in assessment for funding.’

The installation of the crossing cannot be confirmed until funding has been approved for the next financial year.  However, this is fantastic progress and the application for this much-needed crossing would not have got this far without the tenacity of Mr and Mrs Moss and without all those who signed the petition.

Paul thanked Ginie and Patrick for their hard work on the issue, “A huge congratulations should go to them for their persistence in pushing the Council to act.  I will continue to support this in whichever way I can – after all, this is about road safety for school children, elderly residents and parents.”

Farm Project to give youngsters a taste of the country

A Churn Valley project, based out of Woodmancote, has been given the thumbs up by Cotswold District Council.

Paul (left) with Dan and Emma Costley-White plus pigs!

A small pot of money has been made available to each CDC councillor to spend on local youth projects.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson has already chosen projects which the funding will go to in the Churn Valley, “Ollie Wakefield has been running a fitness class which we featured previously and that’s been up and running since the start of the year. Now, Emma Costley-White’s Scrubditch Care Farm Project will be getting some support too.”

“Emma is trialling two weeks of  ‘Activity Days’ for young people over the summer. For the weeks starting 23 and 30 July, those under 17 can book a date to look after the animals on the farm, go on a nature safari and make some live art sculpture amongst other things.”

For full details contact Emma at emma@costley-white.com.

Happy Christmas and New Year!

A very Happy Christmas to all in the Cotswolds and the Churn Valley!

Snow along the Churn Valley in 2010 isn't set to be repeated this year - a mild Christmas is predicted this time round

Two weeks ago, North Cerney School held its fundraising Christmas Fair at the North Cerney Memorial Hall and raised some great funds for the school.

Lots of people attended and you can see Paul being interviewed at the Fair by clicking on the link below, kindly provided by Cotswold TV who are based in Woodmancote:

http://www.furryfeet.tv/videofeeds/paullibdem/ctv_paul_538_440.php

Paul says, “2012 isn’t going to be easy for sure but I hope all Churn Valley and Cotswolds residents get what they wish for in the New Year.”

Extra cash for Cotswolds schools

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson has welcomed a scheme promoted by the coalition government that will pump nearly £450,000 of extra funding into schools in the Cotswold district.

North Cerney School is one of those benefiting from the extra cash

The extra cash – amounting to nearly £500 per child under the Pupil Premium initiative – will be used to help children from less privileged backgrounds reach their full educational potential. All children receiving free school meals qualify and the money will be given to their school heads who can decide how to spend it on their behalf.

Primary and secondary schools in Cirencester will see the most benefit with Chesterton Primary receiving a total of more than £18,000, Watermoor Primary £19,000 and Deer Park school £32,000. In the Churn Valley, North Cerney Primary School will benefit by £7320 this year.

The Pupil Premium was a major manifesto commitment by the Liberal Democrats at the 2010 general election, playing a key role in the negotiations that led to the coalition agreement.

Original plans for an extra £430 per pupil have now been boosted by £100m, pushing the amount paid per qualifying child to just under £500.

News of the extra money for the Cotswolds comes after, Liberal Democrat Children’s Minister, Sarah Teather recently announced that the total Pupil Premium funding for next year will rise to £1.25bn, double the amount in 2011-12. Thanks to Liberal Democrats, it will rise again each year until 2014-15 when it will be worth £2.5bn.

Paul commented; “It is shocking that, nationally, pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are three times less likely to achieve five good GCSEs than their more well-off classmates. This extra money finally reverses this worrying trend which was allowed to continue under the previous government.”

“We now look forward to working with our schools in the area to help overcome the barriers to achievement that some of the pupils in our community currently face.”