News Archive


On Tuesday 11 November, Coberley parishioners, children from the local primary school, parents, members of the parish council and the County and District Councillor held a ceremony to unveil a commemorative a plaque, in honour of all those Coberley parishioners who served in World War I.

Placed on the existing monument on the green in Coberley village, this plaque has been funded by a grant from Cotswold District Council.

The Reverend Cliff Pooley, Associate Priest in the Churn Valley Benefice, who led prayers and dedicated the plaque, also gave a short address on the people who served in the War.
County and District Councillor, Paul Hodgkinson spoke of the funding which Cotswold District Council has provided through Ward Members to commemorate, through various activities, those in the District who served in WWI.

Children from Coberley Primary School played their part by unveiling the plaque and reading the Roll of Honour of names, followed by words of remembrance.

The ceremony closed after observation by all attendees of the two minute silence, during which the rest of the school stood in silence around the Union flag flying at the school.

“We were delighted that the children from Coberley School joined us to play a part and learn from the experience of this occasion. By doing so, the memory of the brave men from Coberley Parish who served in the Great War continues to be kept alive” said Duncan McGaw, Chairman of Coberley Parish Council. “We are most grateful to Councillor Paul Hodgkinson and Cotswold District Council for providing the grant which enabled this event to happen”

Evenings & Sundays added to bus service from Cirencester to Cheltenham

We understand that the bus service between Cirencester and Cheltenham (number 51) is well used by residents in our area. Our District Councillor Paul Hodgkinson has been lobbying for an evening and Sunday service for some time.
The good news is that from 23 June 2014, there will now be evening buses until 10pm and a new service on Sundays.
You can see the new timetable here:

Book Share back in operation!

We're delighted to report that the Book Share in the old Coberley village telephone kiosk is now back in operation, having been inaccessible for a few months following its accident. Unfortunately the old door was irreparable and, as a rather specialist item, it took a while to arrange the replacement. With a new door fitted, we hope parishioners will now make the most of the facility once again - and spread the word!

Council back to full strength!

Following the resignation of David Plews from the Council in August last year, we are delighted to be back now to our full complement,as we welcome Sarah Webster to the team as our new Parish Councillor. Sarah has lived in the Parish, on and off, since she was a school girl and is therefore, well-known to a large number of our parishioners.

Sarah has a good deal of community board experience, having been an inner-city primary school governor in London, where she was involved with a number of fund-raising and community projects. Her family has been very involved with the Council over the years, with both her Mother, Jill Pick and her Brother, James, having served as Councillors.

Sarah has a strong community spirit and is passionate about ensuring that parishioners are able to live their lives comfortably. She is keen to make sure that our parish community has a voice.

Please join us in welcoming Sarah to the Council.

Our thanks to the Cotswolds Voluntary Wardens!

The Council is extremely grateful to the team of Cotswolds Voluntary Wardens which recently gave the Seven Springs area a good tidy-up, clearing the overgrowth. They also erected the information plaque which the Council has had produced to acknowledge the sponsors who generously funded the restoration of a major section of the dry stone wall and to provide visitor information about this local natural history landmark. The Wardens have also very kindly reinforced the posts of the parish notice boards in Coberley village and at Ullenwood. Very many thanks!

Parish Council welcomes new Clerk

The Parish Council is delighted to announce the appointment of Verna Spires as its new Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer, following the departure of Helen Jones at the end of February. Verna, who is also Clerk to Shipton Oliffe Parish Council, joined us on 1st March and brings considerable experience of rural parish council administration. We feel sure that Verna’s enthusiastic approach to the role and keen interest in issues which affect the local community will be of great benefit to Coberley Parish.
We are sure parishioners will join with us in welcoming Verna to Coberley Parish Council!

Council seeks new Clerk

Sadly, our Clerk, Helen Jones, will be leaving us at the end of February. We are therefore, seeking to appoint her successor as quickly as possible.

We are proud of our Council's energetic approach to our community’s life and its issues and, as such, we are seeking a Clerk who will display similar enthusiasm, flexibility and initiative.

The successful candidate will:

  • ensure that statutory and other provisions governing or affecting the running of the Council are observed; ensure that Council’s obligations for risk assessment are properly met.
  • be required to attend regular Council meetings (6 per year), the Annual Assembly as well as any special meetings which become necessary; produce agendas (in conjunction with the Chairman and appropriate members) and minutes.
  • implement the decisions made by the Council.
  • deal with all communication with the Parish Council (mail, e-mail, telephone, verbal) and maintain appropriate records; issue correspondence as a result of instructions of, or the known policy of, the Council.
  • act as the representative of the Council as required, including attendance at external meetings, conferences or seminars.
  • manage the Council’s web site in conjunction with the Chairman and appropriate members.
  • be involved with the Chairman and Council members as appropriate in the Council’s public relations activities, including preparation of press release material. 
  • be the Council’s Responsible Financial Officer and manage all financial transactions, including council insurance, salaries, payments, bank accounts; keep proper records of account and produce annual accounts in preparation for audit; manage the audit process; prepare regular financial reports for the Council; maintain register of Council assets.
  • be expected to attend appropriate training courses, at the Parish Council’s expense.

In addition to instances mentioned specifically above, general support is given by councillors.

The successful candidate will be computer literate, have a good command of the English language, be competent in accounting processes and figure work and will work from home. Ideally, the candidate will have the CiLCA qualification, or equivalent, but this is not obligatory.

The contract, which will be subject to a three month probationary period, will be for a basic 4 hours per week on the national salary scale SCP 15 - 21 (£8.344 to £9.941/hour). Salary level will be agreed in accordance with the candidate’s abilities and experience. This role requires flexibility to handle the varying workload demands. As such, the successful candidate will be required to work additional hours when the Council’s caseload or projects necessitate.

Where appropriate, an allowance will be paid for use of own office equipment and other office expenses. Mileage allowance for use of own car will be paid at the rate recommended by the National Joint Council for Local Government Services.

To apply, please e-mail the Chairman of the Council, Duncan McGaw, enclosing your CV and including all relevant experience and qualifications, by Friday, 22 February 2013.

Parish Council welcomes new Clerk

Following the retirement, at the end of November, of David Carlton who has given a greatly valued service to Coberley Parish as Clerk since 2007, Coberley Parish Council is pleased to announce the appointment of Helen Jones as our new Clerk to the Council, effective from 1 December 2012. Our recruitment process was carried out jointly with our neighbouring parish, Cowley and as a consequence, Helen has also been appointed Clerk to Cowley PC. We believe this will be greatly beneficial to the two parishes, which have so much in common.

Helen brings valuable expertise to the role, having worked for many years as a Planning Officer and subsequently held two Parish Clerk roles.

The Clerk is the point of contact for all enquiries and correspondence to the Council and Helen can be contacted on e-mail:

We feel sure that all our parishioners join us in wishing all the very best to David and his wife, Penny, for the future and in extending a warm welcome to Helen!

Seven Springs gets a face-lift

As part of efforts by Coberley Parish Council to improve the Seven Springs natural history landmark, work has been completed to restore a major section of the dry stone wall which separates it from the A436.

“The Council is extremely grateful to the four organisations which have provided funding for this project” said Dan Powell, Chairman of the Parish Council, “Without their generosity it would not have been possible”

The four sponsors are:

Cotswolds Conservation Board (Countryside Fund)

Friends of the Cotswolds

Gloucestershire County Council Highways

National Grid

Gloucestershire County Council Highways Department has also tended to the ageing trees which line the outside of the wall, some of which had to be removed for safety. With the wall now restored, the Parish Council will review with Highways the suitability of some replanting.

Dan Powell added, “The Parish Council, together with Cotswold Voluntary Wardens and other volunteers, will continue to maintain the common land around the Springs to ensure that it is kept in good condition, reflecting the pride that our local community has in this special place of interest within our Parish”. Volunteers have already put in over 70 hours of work at the site including tidying up the spring area, planting wild flowers, thinning saplings, clearing rubbish and laying boulders along the edge of the lay-by to prevent incursion by vehicles.

Despite the controversy over the years, Seven Springs is certainly one of the sources of the River Thames, and is held by many to be the ultimate source.

Although it is the source of the River Churn, which flows into the River Thames at Cricklade, the location of Seven Springs is furthest from the mouth of the Thames, and adds some 14 miles to the length of the river flow. The springs at Seven Springs also flow throughout the year, while those at Thames Head, which is quoted as the official source of the Thames, are only seasonal. The Churn/Thames river may therefore, be regarded as the longest natural river flow in the United Kingdom, beating its nearest rival, the River Severn, by some 9 miles.

Two stone plaques are set into the walls above the springs, both bearing the Latin inscription “HIC TUUS O TAMESINE PATER SEPTEMGEMINUS FONS” reportedly translating as "Here, O Father Thames, is your sevenfold source".

Below the inscription are the initials T.S.E. to whom the words can presumably be attributed. “We can find no link to the name which immediately springs to mind – T.S.Eliot” continued Dan, “So we would be most interested to hear from readers if anyone can provide evidence to identify the true author”.

In due course, it is intended to erect a plaque adjacent to the site to recognise the sponsors who have made this project possible and to provide some information on this place of interest to the many visitors who stop beside it.

Information from our sponsors

Cotswolds Conservation Board (Countryside Fund)

The Cotswolds Conservation Board is the organisation that exists to conserve and enhance the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Established in 2004, the board is the only organisation to look after the AONB as a whole and is a statutory body created as a result of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (CROW) 2000.

Nicola Greaves of the Cotswolds Conservation Board said: “This is an excellent project which has helped to restore such a significant historic landmark of the Cotswolds and we are delighted with the contribution that our wardens have been able to make.”

The purpose of the Countryside Fundis to further the work of the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens, the voluntary arm of the Conservation Board, and in particular to enable projects identified and endorsed by Wardens, provided they are within the aims and objectives of the Cotswolds Conservation Board.

The Fund is made up of collections from landowners and members of the public who donate money on guided walks, talks and work party activity carried out by theWardens. The money is used to support projects like this within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty including restoration of milestones, supporting schools to access the countryside and creating easily accessible walking routes.

Friends of the Cotswolds

Friends of the Cotswolds is a charity, formed in 2006 to support the conservation and enhancement of the environment and landscape of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. They also seek to raise awareness of its distinctive qualities which make it such a special place to live, work and visit.

David Glenn, Trustee for the Friends, said “The Friends of the Cotswolds are especially pleased to be associated with the good works of Coberley Parish Council. The work enhances a very popular picnic spot used freely by the public and it also raises the environmental awareness of the links to our tenuous water resources

The Friends provide grants to a wide range of groups and organisations who undertake projects which benefit the landscape and local communities. They rely totally on donations to support the work.

Gloucestershire County Council Highways

Councillor Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for communities, said: “On behalf of the County Council, I would like to congratulate Coberley Parish and their generous sponsors for their work to restore this piece of natural history.

Gloucestershire Highways was happy to work with the parish on a scheme which demonstrated a high level of community support.”

National Grid

Tim Vaughan, project manager for National Grid's Wormington to Sapperton gas pipeline project said:  “We are delighted to support this excellent initiative to improve and conserve this valuable feature. Care for the environment and supporting the communities in which we work is important to us, and we are pleased to contribute towards this lasting legacy following our recent work in the area.

Council Opens Book Share in Telephone Box

Coberley Parish Council have purchased and refurbished the telephone box on the village green. Just before Christmas 2011 it was opened as a book share by Joan Wilson who is the sister of Jim Beard who died last year. The book share is dedicated to Jim who lived in the parish for most of his life and gave very valuable service to the community.

The Book Share is open to anyone who is willing to use the following guidelines which can be found in the telephone Box:-

Coberley Book Share Guidelines

  1. Place  books that you have read and would like to share with others in the Telephone Box (Please write the date inside the front cover)
  2. Select a book or books for reading
  3. Return book(s) to the Telephone Box with a short review (optional).
  4. The books will remain in the system until more room is needed, then taken to Red Cross shop.

The box is already quite well stocked with books so do come along and use this facility.



Refurbishing of Dry Stone Wall at Seven Springs

Coberley Council have been offered grants to refurbish the dry stone wall at Seven Springs. The work will start early in February.

The work has been funded by generous grants from the following:

The National Grid

The Countryside Fund

Gloucestershire County Council-Highways

Friends of the Cotswolds

12 December - Parish Council writes to residents around Coberley village green regarding traffic and parking issues

Local traffic and parking related issues in Coberley village


·         Restricted access for large vehicles – particularly near the ‘phone box

·         Damage/erosion of greens due to parking on them

·         Insufficient parking allocation for current demand

·         Congestion during school drop off/pick up times


Dear Parishioner


Coberley Parish Council is well aware of these on-going issues, and has had formal requests and communications from many sources to address these issues and try to find solutions to them.


Recently, a number of your councillors have been to the village to try and understand the problems in more detail and to talk, informally, to those experiencing these problems first hand, in an attempt to identify what possible solutions there are – or could be.


Simply doing nothing at all is not an option, as the problem will surely become worse in time, and we need to be able to plan for the future of the village - and not just reflect upon the past.


To this end, we are getting the ball rolling by sending you this informal letter as an initial way of communicating what we are intending to do about the situation – but we very much need your thoughts and input to help find resolution to these challenges.


As a first step, we have sought from Cotswold District Council the formal boundary plans for the areas in question, in addition to confirming where the responsibilities lie with respect to ownership, maintenance and the Gloucestershire County Council Highways Department.


The Parish Council is planning to arrange an informal meeting before Christmas to identify and consolidate the possible options, as we see them, together with cost implications, and to outline them on enlarged scale plans of the area.


The next step would be to ask all parishioners to a meeting to view and discuss these options, but as a priority, for usall totake the opportunity to hear individual views and ideas.


From this meeting, we should be able to take actions necessary to create a plan for an improved environment and a mutually respectful outcome to what is a fantastic village with real Cotswold provenance.


In the meantime, if you would like to offer any contributions before we meet – please write/contact the clerk to the Parish Council, David Carlton, The Old Post Office, Coberley or email him


With best wishes

Coberley Parish Council                                                          10th December 2011


Leckhampton Hill road safety campaigners help with cut-backs

Local road safety campaign group S.A.F.E.R. (Salterley Action Force to Enhance our Roads) worked with Gloucestershire County Council Highways Department on Friday 4 November to set up a real example of the ‘Big Community’ by bringing together a team of volunteers to cut back the excess foliage along the sharp bends in the 3/377 Leckhampton Hill road (formerly B4070) between Hartley Lane and Salterley Grange, in order to improve road-users’ visibility.

In recent years, these bends saw numerous serious accidents, but thanks to a concerted effort by S.A.F.E.R., a number of key measures implemented by GCC Highways and a raised profile in the local media, the last 12 months have seen a dramatic improvement.

Now, with the support of GCC Highways, the campaigners set to work to cut back the overhanging shrubbery, branches and dense undergrowth to give improved visibility across the bend and along the road from the Hartley lane junction in order drivers can be more aware of on-coming traffic and take extra care.

“We are really pleased that the number of incidents has reduced so significantly over the last 12 months, - but we must strive to keep it that way” said Duncan McGaw, Coberley Parish Councillor and S.A.F.E.R. member. “And as we move into the winter months, we must remind drivers of the need for raised awareness and extra caution. We believe better lines-of-sight are key factors to a safer driving environment”. “S.A.F.E.R. volunteers are providing the labour to get the job done with Highways providing health and safety guidance as well as the necessary traffic management signage. A great co-operative effort!”

County Councillor Fiona McKenzie, who has supported S.A.F.E.R. since its inception, commented, “This is a great example of the Big Community in action. County Council budgets have been dramatically reduced, so resources are stretched, but when the community is prepared to get stuck in and help make things happen, it is a very encouraging sign for the future”

And Paul Hodgkinson, Cotswold District Councillor and part of S.A.F.E.R. added, “From the outset, this community has been determined to see improvements in safety on this road and the fact that it has been prepared to get physically involved to achieve it, speaks volumes. I hope that drivers using this road get the message they are sending out, respect it and keep their speeds down”.

Having responded very positively to S.A.F.E.R.’s campaign last year, by implementing improvements to the road surface and key signage advising maximum 30mph speed on the bends, Gloucestershire County Council Highways Department was enthusiastic to support this latest project. “This is a fantastic example of how working together we can get the best for a community,” said Cllr Will Windsor Clive, GCC’s cabinet member for communities, which includes highways. “S.A.F.E.R. is an extremely proactive group, which has already made a big difference to the local area and this new project further builds on that success.”


See Gloucestershire Echo coverage of this event on Saturday, 5 November

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