Covid 19 Update – where to get your rapid flow tests from and other vital news

Update on the AstraZeneca vaccine

In the news last week, updated medical advice was provided nationally for use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. Public Health England has put together a leaflet with further information, including what to look out for after vaccination for anyone who may be worried.

Rapid Covid-19 testing for all

Since Friday 9 April everyone has been urged to take twice-weekly Covid tests. These are tests for people who do not have any of the symptoms of Coronavirus. (Anyone who has symptoms should still isolate at home and organise to take a PCR test.)

Twice-weekly rapid testing will help to identify cases of Covid-19 that would otherwise be missed. With 1 in 3 people with coronavirus showing no symptoms and potentially spreading it without knowing, rapid testing of people with no symptoms helps to identify positive cases quickly, preventing the spread of infection. 

There are several ways for people to access rapid testing, with the following options:

  • Community testing: You can take a supervised test at rapid testing sites locally – there are eight in Cambridgeshire set up to test asymptomatic adults. Find your nearest site in Cambridgeshire.
  • NHS Test & Trace sites: These are across the country and operate as symptomatic testing sites in the morning but are currently providing an afternoon collect option, where you can pick up a box of tests to use at home. 
  • Pharmacy collect: Pharmacies are currently signing up to offer pharmacy collect from this month. Residents will be able to visit a participating pharmacy and pick up a free box of tests to use at home. 
  • LFD Direct: For people who can’t access tests through the other routes, you can order a box of tests online or by calling 119, which will be delivered to your home.

View a map of your area to see what options you have locally to take regular tests. 

6 May elections: voting during the pandemic

There are a number of elections taking place on 6 May, including the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Mayor, the Police and Crime Commissioner, County Council elections, plus a handful of local polls.


There are a number of deadlines related to being able to vote, some of which people may find more relevant this year while voting during the pandemic. Elections teams are working incredibly hard to make voting in person on 6 May Covid-secure, but some people may wish to vote by post or to apply for a proxy – anyone can choose to vote by post or proxy, but you have to apply by the below deadlines.


  • Monday (19 April) – the deadline to register to vote
  • 5pm, Tuesday (20 April) – the deadline to apply for a postal vote (you must already be registered to vote).
  • 5pm, Tuesday 27 April – the deadline to apply for a proxy vote (you must already be registered to vote). A proxy vote is when you appoint someone to visit your polling station on your behalf.
  • Anyone who needs to self-isolate on election day because of Coronavirus, and is already registered to vote, will still be able to vote. This will be via new emergency proxy voting measures, even if they have not applied for a proxy vote before the above deadline. Anyone in this situation will be able to access an emergency proxy vote up until 5pm on election day.

Reopening village halls

National charity, Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) has issued new information to help people running village halls make sense of the latest announcements about the lifting of national lockdown restrictions. Apart from a small number of permitted activities, village halls will have to wait until 17 May before they can be hired out for many functions including exercise classes, coffee mornings, performances and celebrations. 

Recovery funding

1.    Intergenerational Family Learning Grants

Cambridgeshire Skills’ Family Learning Grants are intended to help schools, charities and voluntary and community groups to host free local activities for all generations that are three hours or longer. Activities should be fun, informal and promote a culture of learning as a family. Total funding available in 2021 is £20,000 for engagement with at least 200 adults, so £100 is available for each adult engaged in activities. For more information email Sue Watsham or call 07788 247482, or email Tom Heffer or call 07763 969604.   

2.    Sports Clubs in Crisis fund

Cambridgeshire Community Foundation has teamed up with Made By Sport (a charity which raises awareness of the power of sport and fundraises for organisations using sport to support young people) to offer the Clubs in Crisis fund, for local sports groups supporting young people as lockdown eases.
Cambridgeshire Community Foundation will be administering the fund and awarding unrestricted grants of £2,021 to clubs and organisations in Cambridgeshire. Sports clubs and community organisations can apply to the fund if they use sport to improve young people’s lives through:

  • Developing life skills
  • Building strong communities
  • Improving mental health
  • Developing employability skills, or
  • Reducing crime and anti-social behaviour 

3.    Covid Recovery Community Chest Grant

Applications are welcomed from community groups and parish councils which are resuming activity to bring people together after Covid. Anything which brings communities together to heal and any schemes designed to mitigate the effects that Covid has had on our communities, mental health and wellbeing wise, will be considered. The criteria has deliberately been set very simply to allow as many applications in as possible, so please make sure your groups apply for this funding. Email community.chest@scambs.gov.uk with any questions, but if your group is restarting, bringing residents back together after Covid, then we welcome an application from you.


This is a temporary change to Community Chest Grant guidance and the upper limit for grant awards has been raised to £2,000. Covid recovery related applications are restricted to one application per eligible body, and a group may apply for both a Community Chest Grant and a Covid Recovery Grant in the current financial year. Please note that the standard Community Chest Grant scheme continues to run, and applications are welcomed as normal. Full details can be found on our website’s grant pages.

Wellbeing support

1.    Wellbeing Together Training

Living Sport and Cambridgeshire, Peterborough & South Lincolnshire MIND are partnering to deliver a new online community training programme to equip community volunteers/workers to support others in the community to look after their mental health, and signpost them to further help when needed.


Funded by the How Are You Cambridgeshire & Peterborough project, the course starts on 20 April, and attendees are expected to participate in all sessions over a number of weeks. The course is free but a donation is suggested. You can book, or find out more, online or email Christine Sprowell.

2.    Online Wellbeing Peer Support Group

C3 Churches are offering a virtual peer support group for anyone feeling isolated, overwhelmed or disconnected. This will run on Wednesdays at 7.30pm for an hour. The next eight session block starts on 21 April. There are limited places so please book online in advance at the C3 website


Best wishes

Sustainable Communities and Wellbeing Team

South Cambridgeshire District Council

Details of Church services, condolences and donations in memory of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.


The online book of condolences can be accessed at:




Buckingham Palace has issued the following request:

Members of the public may wish to consider making a donation to a charity of their choice, or one of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Patronages in memory of His Royal Highness, instead of leaving floral tributes.

Church Services

Shepreth Parish Church is holding Holy Communion service on Sunday 11th April at 11am at All Saints, Shepreth or at 9.30am at St George’s, Thriplow. Details of the services can be found on https://www.thefourchurchbenefice.org.  If you wish to book a seat (Covid compliance), please contact Malcolm Price by email only on malcolmprice6@gmail.com.

Household Recycling update 01.04.21

Dear Councillors


An update for you all on the current arrangements at the Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) as we approach the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.


Easter is typically a busy time at the Household Recycling Centres, especially when this coincides with good weather, and this year is the first Easter we have operated the sites with COVID measures in place which significantly reduces available capacity. Last year the sites were temporarily closed over Easter as we were in the first full lockdown and everyone was urged to stay at home to avoid spreading coronavirus.  To help manage the anticipated high demand residents are being asked to sort materials in advance to make visits quicker and abide by the one booking per week limit.


From 1st April to 30th September all sites will be operating for the longer summer opening hours.  Please note that March, Milton and Whittlesey sites will operate Sunday opening hours on Good Friday (2 April) and Easter Monday (5 April). Site opening hours are published here.


We are continuing to maintain two metre social distancing at all sites and the booking system for all users remains in place at Alconbury, Bluntisham, Milton, St Neots and Thriplow sites (Booking system for Household Recycling Centres – Cambridgeshire County Council) The booking system for vehicles requiring e-permits remains in place at all sites. We have been monitoring the time residents actually spend on sites, where possible (and it is safe to do so) we have increased capacity for bookings by adding extra booking slots for each 15 minute period at Alconbury, Bluntisham, Milton, St Neots and Thriplow sites.  Temporary yellow signage remains in place at Alconbury, Bluntisham, Milton, St Neots, Thriplow and Witchford with information advising of the booking system, where required, and requesting residents do not queue on the public highways outside the sites.


There are still approximately 1,100 residents every week who book a slot and then do not use or cancel their booking and 300 to 400 who arrive without making a booking. As the number without bookings is lower than the unused bookings site staff continue to apply a light touch with enforcement.  Information has been added to the booking confirmation e-mail requesting residents cancel bookings if they will not be used to allow the slot to be utilised by someone else.


We have been informed by the highways scheme manager for the works at Lancaster Way (on the approach to the Witchford HRC site) that the plan is to have the traffic light controls removed for the four day Bank Holiday weekend, however this will depend on the laying of asphalt on Thursday going according to plan to ensure the road surface is fit for traffic.


The communications team have been helping us to remind residents that we have reduced capacity, to make a booking where this is required and of the changes to opening hours.  We continue to request that bookings are limited to one per household each week to allow fair access to all.


Further details are available on the HRC webpages Household Recycling Centres – Cambridgeshire County Council.


If you have any questions, please let me know by return.





Kind regards


Adam Smith
Group Manager, Waste Management
Place and Economy
Cambridgeshire County Council, SH1213, Shire Hall, Castle Hill, Cambridge, CB3 OAP
Tel:   01223 727977

Mob: 07796 948 332

Temporary Road Traffic Order

Meldreth Road, Shepreth
ORDER 2021/437
NOTICE is given that Cambridgeshire County Council has made an Order pursuant to the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, as amended by the Road Traffic (Temporary Restrictions) Act 1991, the effect of which is to stop any vehicle from proceeding along Meldreth Road, Shepreth as lies between points 20m either side of the railway level crossing situated there as measured from its gates or barriers.
Access will be maintained to properties affected by this order.
The alternative route for vehicles is via High Street – Frog End – A10 – Station Road, Meldreth – Whitecroft Road – High Street – North End and vice versa.
The Order is made to facilitate essential maintenance works which are being carried out on or near this highway and it will come into operation on 11 May 2021 and continue until these works have finished or on the 10 November 2022 whichever is the earlier.
It is anticipated that these works will be carried out overnight between 00:01hrs and 05:00hrs 11 May 2021.
The Order shall not apply to any persons lawfully engaged in connection with any works for which it is made, any member of the Police Force, Fire and Rescue Service, Ambulance Service, a vehicle being used by Special Forces during the execution of their duties or to any person acting with the permission or upon the direction of a Police Officer in uniform.
Steven Cox, Executive Director, Place and Economy, Shire Hall, Castle Hill, Cambridge CB3 0AP
Thursday 29 April 2021

Parish e-bulletin from South Cambs District Council for March 2021

March 2021 parish e-bulletin

News and information from South Cambridgeshire District Council

Welcome to the latest e-bulletin. We hope you and your communities are well and preparing to welcome the upcoming phases of the road-map out of lockdown. Our Council teams continue to face challenges as we respond to the Coronavirus pandemic and the recovery plans, and we are keeping in touch with you and local Covid-19 community groups to update you on this on a regular basis. This bi-monthly parish e-bulletin covers important notices we would like to draw your attention to from other teams in the Council.



  1. Elections on Thursday 6 May. 1
  2. Funding opportunities. 2
  3. Planning updates. 5
  4. Easter Bin collection dates. 5
  5. Young people’s wellbeing. 7


1. Elections on Thursday 6 May

Elections are taking place on Thursday 6 May across South Cambridgeshire, including elections for the Police and Crime Commissioner, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Mayor and Cambridgeshire County Council. There will be processes in place at our polling stations to make them as safe as possible. The deadline for registering to vote is 19 April and the deadline to apply for a postal vote is 20 April at 5pm.


Contact: elections@scambs.gov.uk

2. Funding opportunities

2.1. COVID Recovery Community Chest Grant

To help groups and projects begin to resume their activities as we come out of lockdown, we have earmarked a £30,000 Covid recovery grant fund as part of our Community Chest funding. This is specifically designed to help local community groups and Parish Councils resume community activities which have been difficult or impossible during the pandemic.


The eligibility criteria for our Community Chest Grant scheme have been temporarily amended to allow applications for grants of up to £2,000 for Covid recovery related projects and initiatives. Previously, few parish councils could apply to the scheme but for the next eight weeks – up until 10th May 2021 – it is open to all Parish Councils as well as community groups, with applications being considered at the May 28th Grants Advisory Committee meeting. Meanwhile, the normal Community Chest scheme continues to run for community groups for a maximum grant of £1,000.

The process is the same for both types of application – just select which grant you are applying for at the start of the process.


Contact: Community.Chest@scambs.gov.uk

2.2. Parish Councils may be eligible for support grants for properties

Parish Councils may be eligible for one of the Local Restrictions Support Grants for properties with a rateable value that were mandated to close due to Coronavirus restrictions (since November). The deadline to apply for this grant is 31 March. If you have not applied and think you may be eligible, please apply before the deadline.


Contact: BusinessGrants@scambs.gov.uk

2.3. Community ownership fund

The Government has launched a new £150 million Community Ownership Fund. The fund is aimed at helping to ensure that communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can support and continue benefiting from the local facilities, community assets and amenities most important to them. At this stage, we know that community groups will be able to bid for up to £250,000 matched-funding to help them buy or take over local community assets at risk of being lost, to run as community-owned businesses.


We do not know at this stage if there is any link between this fund and assets that have already been registered as an Asset of Community Value – a process we administer. The first bidding round for the Community Ownership Fund will open by June 2021. At that point, the Government has said that a full bidding prospectus will be published.

More information is available on the Gov.uk website.

Contact: duty.communities@scambs.gov.uk

2.4. Tools and funding to make your community safer and stronger

The Community Safety Partnership between South Cambridgeshire District Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, the Police, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, the NHS and the Probation Service, meets together to tackle local crime and anti-social behaviour. We want to encourage residents to take ownership of some of these local issues to create local solutions – and there is funding and support available to help you do this.


Grants of between £50 and £500 are currently available to improve community safety as well as improve cohesion. Apply before 30 September 2021. Voluntary groups, charities, parish councils and enthusiastic individuals can apply for funding for anything from printing leaflets or posters, hosting a website, buying equipment for a Speedwatch group, litter picking, creating a community garden or accessing training. For further information, please contact Linda Gallagher: 07376 901 019.

2.5. Zero Carbon Communities grant: Round 3 opens 10 May

Round 3 of our Zero Carbon Communities Grant will open on Monday 10 May to provide funding of between £1,000 and £15,000 to parish councils and voluntary sector organisations for projects that support the shift to zero carbon emissions by 2050.


This time, we will be inviting applications under two main themes plus an extra general theme for exceptional projects; with each theme being allocated a nominal percentage of a £100k grant fund:


  • Community buildings (40%)
  • Nature (40%)
  • Other projects (20%)

The closing date for applications is 30 July.


Please email zcc@scambs.gov.uk if you would like to discuss your potential project before making an application. More information will also be available soon on this part of our website.

2.6. Funding for creativity in the lives of people with mental ill health from ethnically diverse backgrounds

The Baring Foundation, an independent foundation which protects and advances human rights and promotes inclusion, has launched a new fund for projects that promote the role of creativity in the lives of people with mental health problems from ethnically diverse backgrounds.


Grants of £10,000 to £40,000 are available for projects that: 

  • find ways to attract participatory artists from ethnically diverse communities into this area of work, and/or
  • undertake activity to offer creative opportunities to members of specific ethnically diverse communities who have mental health problems.

3. Planning updates

3.1. Planning Area Teams

Contact details for the new Area Teams officers in the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service are now regularly updated on our website. If you have a query about a planning application, please visit our Development Management Area Teams page and for all other planning contacts, visit our planning contacts page.

3.2. Parish Area Forums

Thank you to everyone who has attended our first round of the new-style Area Forums for parish councils. We hope you found them useful and all parishes should now have received the links to the Zoom recordings. If you missed the links, please email Beverley Childs.

3.3. Housing trajectory published

The Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service has now published its updated housing trajectory and five-year housing land supply position statement.  This concludes that Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire jointly have 6.1 years of housing land supply for the 2021-2026 five-year period. This conclusion is based on our five-year housing land supply being calculated jointly, using the Liverpool methodology, and applying a 5% buffer. 


For more information please visit our Monitoring delivery webpage

4. Easter Bin collection dates

All bin collection dates over the Easter weekend and the following bank holidays will be later this year. Dates can also be checked using the online calendar.

Usual collection day

Revised collection day

Good Friday 02 April

Tuesday 06 April

Easter Monday 05 May

Wednesday 07 April

Tuesday 06 April

Thursday 08 April

Wednesday 07 April

Friday 09 April

Thursday 08 April

Saturday 10 April

Friday 09 April

Monday 12 April

Monday 12 April

Tuesday 13 April

Tuesday 13 April

Wednesday 14 April

Wednesday 14 April

Thursday 15 April

Thursday 15 April

Friday 16 April

Friday 16 April

Saturday 17 April


Monday 19 April – Friday 30 April

Collections as normal


Monday 03 May

Tuesday 04 May

Tuesday 04 May

Wednesday 05 May

Wednesday 05 May

Thursday 06 May

Thursday 06 May

Friday 07 May

Friday 07 May

Saturday 08 May


Monday 10 May – Friday 28 May

Collections as normal


Monday 31 May

Tuesday 01 June

Tuesday 01 June

Wednesday 02 June

Wednesday 02 June

Thursday 03 June

Thursday 03 June

Friday 04 June

Friday 04 June

Saturday 05 June

Monday 07 June

Back to normal


Contact: waste.enquiries@scambs.gov.uk

5. Young people’s wellbeing

5.1. Wild Minds: outdoor wellbeing activities for teenagers

South Cambridgeshire District Council with Cambridge Sport Lakes Trust is running eight-week programmes of FREE weekend wellbeing sessions for 14-17 year olds who are experiencing some anxiety, low mood, or other mild mental health difficulties. Based at Milton Country Park, the small group of 8-10 teenagers will be supported by skilled instructors and youth workers in therapeutic outdoor activities such as bush craft, survival skills, yoga, and paddle boarding on the lake. The project is also supported by a Clinical Psychologist. The two-hour sessions place particular emphasis on young people being in contact with nature and the outdoors, and aim to improve mental health and build confidence and connections with peers in a therapeutic environment.


Visit our website for more information or contact Leah Collis: Leah.Collis@scambs.gov.uk

5.2. A summer of play

Child development experts are calling for a summer of play. If you would like to support the summer of play in your community, please feel free to access some useful resources:

Add your signature to this petition to fight against 25,000 homes in this area

  • Petition is online, but residents can write or phone if they wish to sign but do not have internet access:
  • The deadline for signing is 5pm on Wed 31st March as we hope to get it debated at Full Council by SCDC in April.