‘No Crash’ group fights for safer roads

A road safety group called ‘No Crash’ has been lobbying for road safety measures. It has been chaired by County Councillor Paul Hodgkinson and includes residents and parish councillors from Coberley, Shipton, Andoversford, Notgrove and Whittington.

Paul with Andoversford Primary School students at the opening of the School Safety Zone in 2015

The group has successfully lobbied for a School Safety Zone in Andoversford and for action to be taken against dangerous overtaking on the A436.

Now, the group has met again in June with residents and Paul says that further action will be taken to promote road safety:

“Parents with children at Andoversford Primary School have repeatedly voiced real safety concerns when walking to school along the busy roads with narrow pavements. A traffic survey was done by Glos Highways and showed that although most people were obeying the 30mph speed limit a significant minority weren’t. Not only that but even less drivers were taking notice of the flashing 20mph signs during peak school times.”

Glos Highways have now taken the concerns away to look at various options to slow traffic. Shipton already has a thriving ‘Community Speedwatch’ team of volunteers who are trained to check vehicle speeds. The aim is to get the same in place in Andoversford – if you’re interested please contact the Parish Council there.



Bid to give primary schools a cash lifeline

A call is being made to throw Cotswolds primary schools a cash lifeline.

Matt Fulford (left), Chedworth School Chair of Governors, with Paul Hodgkinson.

Matt Fulford (left), Chedworth School Chair of Governors, with Paul Hodgkinson.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (Leader of the Lib Dem Group on Cotswold District Council) has publicly asked for primary schools to be included in the Council’s waste collection service.

At present, all primary schools are classed as ‘businesses’ and have to pay for their waste to be collected by private contractors.

Now, Cllr Hodgkinson believes the time is right for the Council to be flexible:

“I asked the Leader of the Council to be bold and generous. His administration currently doesn’t collect waste from primary schools in the district. However, small rural schools like Chedworth, Temple Guiting and North Cerney pay as much as £1,000 each year for this – when their budgets are very stretched. 

“At the moment a school like Chedworth has to pay for a private waste lorry to come into the village especially to pick up one or two bins of rubbish. That doesn’t make any sense from a green or cash perspective.

“Given that CDC’s domestic waste lorries literally drive past the schools every time they collect rubbish from residents and could easily pick up their bins, I feel the Council Leader should throw a lifeline to our small schools by including them in waste collections. This would save schools much needed cash.”

At this week’s CDC Council Meeting Cllr Hodgkinson received no commitment from the Council Leader to his suggestion but remains undaunted:

“I will continue to push this very reasonable proposal until the Council sees sense.” 



Will you be part of the Big Project?

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


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.

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.”