Speed gates come to the Churn Valley

Road safety has been an ongoing concern for residents who live along the A435 in the Churn Valley.


In particular the speed of traffic going through North Cerney. There have been regular speed checks by the police and community which show a small but persistent number of drivers exceeding the 40mph limit.

The centre of the village sees pedestrians including school children crossing the road to catch buses, a busy junction into the village and accessing the pub and primary school.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson discussed these issues with North Cerney Parish Council last year and – after meeting Highways on site – agreed to jointly fund a set of 4 gates at either end of the village. These gates are a feature of some other villages in the Cotswolds and the aim is to alert drivers to the fact they’re entering a village environment and a lower speed limit.

The gates have been jointly funded by Paul with the small pot of money he gets each year to fund highways projects, North Cerney Parish Council and Gloucestershire Highways.

The good news is that all 4 gates are now in place.

Further up the A435 heading to Cheltenham, two trial gates have been installed approaching the turning into Rendcomb. The aim of these is once again to slow traffic after numerous complaints about difficulties in exiting the junction there safely. These gates have also been jointly funded with Rendcomb Parish Council.

County Council election this Thursday May 2!

A councillor from the Cotswolds has made election history by producing a video for his campaign to be elected to Gloucestershire County Council.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (Churn Valley) is standing for the Northleach & Bourton area this Thursday May 2. The ward also includes the Chedworth, Withington, Andoversford, Shipton and Brockhampton areas.

The video – filmed in Bourton, Northleach and along the A436 – is a personal account of Paul’s record of action. He talks about the campaign to reduce speeds along the A435, A436 and through our villages as well as the problems of over development and the need to bring empty properties back into use.

Paul says, “No other council candidate in Gloucestershire has made a video of this kind. It’s a different way of getting a message across and it just brings to life the issues I’ve been campaigning on already and which I feel strongly about.”


County Council Elections – May 2nd

On Thursday May 2 I’m putting myself forward to be the next county councillor for our area.


I’m already an experienced Cotswold District Councillor for the last 6 years and am standing for the Northleach & Bourton area. This also includes the Churn Valley, Chedworth and Withington, Andoversford and Shipton areas.

I have a record of action. I led the campaign to stop the crazy Air Balloon roundabout proposals,  fought to bring in kerbside plastics recycling and have campaigned to reduce speeds along the A435, A436 and through our villages.

My priorities are:

  • Mending our roads properly – the County Council has failed spectacularly to do this
  • Keeping our greenfields intact whilst bringing empty properties back into use for affordable housing
  • Lowering the car parking charges across the Cotswolds
  • Supporting our village schools
  • Connecting with residents to make sure their concerns are listened to rather than neglected by the Council.

I’ve lived in the Cotswolds for 25 years. Now, I would be honoured to have your support on May 2.

Take a look at my campaign video here: http://vimeo.com/62418274

Thank you,

Paul Hodgkinson


New funding gives Hall a boost

A welcome cash initiative from Cotswold District Council has given a Churn Valley landmark building a new lease of life.

Hall Committee Chairwoman Denise Ewbank (left) with Paul Hodgkinson (2nd left) and the Community Payback Team who have been working on the Hall’s renovation

The funding for community projects has allocated £10,000 to the North Cerney Memorial Hall to help with its renovation.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson has worked with the Hall’s management committee to get the grant from the Council. The money will be pooled with cash raised from other fundraising events, grants and generous donors to bring the Hall back to its former state for the benefit of local villages:

“The Hall’s committee – along with other local people – has been working like stink to raise money to make the building a really welcoming, warm and attractive venue for everyone to use. It’s got a lot of history and is already looking great with new decoration inside. I know the toilets will be replaced soon and the heating upgraded later in the year so the place is going to look splendid!”

“Along with the excellent village hall at Rendcomb, the Churn Valley will soon have two community buildings which we can use and be proud of.”

Rendcomb Cycle Path – options heard

The Churn Valley Safer Cycle and Walkers Path was up for discussion last week.


A meeting of the volunteers group which has been working on the path for four years was held at Rendcomb College on May 1. The meeting – chaired by Cllr Paul Hodgkinson – heard about a number of options for extending the path from North Cerney to Rendcomb.

Cllr Hodgkinson said, “The path at the moment runs along the existing bridlepath between Stratton and North Cerney, winding its way through Baunton and Perrotts Brook. Now, we are considering a number of potential routes so that walkers and mountain bikers can safely go to Rendcomb without having to use the more dangerous A435.

Members of the group will walk various routes shortly and are working with Glos County Council Rights of Way officer Mike Barton to find the best route.

Paul added, “We’re talking to landowners to make sure that any route is fine by them. Using existing bridlepaths means we keep the costs to an absolute minimum whilst getting something in place which will be of real value to the local villages and College.”

We will keep you posted on the route when more has been agreed.

Cycle and walkers path gets new website

The Churn Valley safer cycle and walkers route, which runs between Stratton and North Cerney, has been a talking point for residents this year.

Paul (right) with members of the Churn Valley cycle group at the start of the route in Bowling Green Lane

The route uses the existing bridlepath starting at Bowling Green Lane, Cirencester and running via Baunton and Perrotts Brook to North Cerney and is suitable for horses too.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson chairs the group which has been bringing the path up to the correct standard. The group has now produced a website to show residents a map of the route along with updates on progress. The group was set up in 2008 and has made great progress in updating the bridlepath.

The website is at: http://churnvalley.blogspot.com/

Paul says, “A lot of people are interested in this – I’m always being asked where the route is and what progress is being made. The public meeting we held in North Cerney to tell people what we were doing in March attracted 60 people.”

“Our next aim is to extend the route from North Cerney to Rendcomb and we are at the moment talking to the Wills estate at Rendcomb and the County Council’s rights of way officer to see how existing footpaths can be used.”