Further to the Deep Spinney note published on the 10 February 2017,  please find below a document containing the detailed background regarding the project inception and discussions held at Sub Committee and Parish Council level. roundabout background document

The Parish Council is anxious that everyone should a final opportunity to comment on this project.

Please provide comments on the feature by 13th March 2017, using the comments link below or writing directly to info@biddenham.org.uk.

To help visualise the roundabout in question a couple of pictures are attached:-

basic-roundabout-picture basic-roundabout-2-picture

Comments (11)

  • Simon Edgar

    Thanks for publishing the background document.

    £6,000 seems reasonable, but £14,000 for the ‘pillars/crayons’ seems extremely steep. I would prefer a more cost effective alternative and with the extra cash, some white lines for the approach to the roundabout from the Great Ouse Way – is it two lanes or just one? I digress.

    Sadly there were no photos accompanying the article and having missed the Biddenham Show I remain in the dark about the alternatives. With a slimmer majority than Brexit in favour of the ‘pillars’ I am sure the debate will go on and on though!

    If you want to make this a choice of the people living in Biddenham, then I think you need to involve them all in some form or another – competition mentioned already, or a newsletter showing the alternatives and raising the awareness of this or the parish council website so people can vote online (or return a slip to the village hall).

    I am all for democracy and irrespective of the small majority I am content to accept the result but I do appreciate your decision to give us all a say now.

    Having lived here over 20 years now, this exercise may be the catalyst that promotes greater community adhesion, draws peoples attention to this and the parish council website and hopefully triggers a Biddenham Facebook page – the latter working so well for other local communities eg Great Denham already has over a 1,000 members and allows for quick dissemination of messages and gathers feedback rapidly when required. Perhaps Biddenham is about to enter the modern era…

  • Peter Leverkus

    I like the idea of a competition, maybe involving the schools in the parish of Biddenham.

    One question I have is: Is this “Biddenham Dovecote Roundabout” or “Deep Spinney Roundabout”? It’s not actually in Deep Spinney which, as I recall, has its own “entrance plaque”, yet it is in Biddenham parish.

    I suggest that the roundabout should have a simple feature at each entry point saying (eg) “Dovecote Roundabout, Biddenham”, engraved in stone, at driver’s eye level. Maybe with a dovecote feature in the centre of the roundabout. But let’s see what the competition brings.

    And yes, let’s use modern media but not forget the old. I use LinkedIn and WhatsApp, selectively, but refuse to use Facebook and Twitter. Now we have Nextdoor too. But what about those who prefer the printed word? We must be inclusive of the whole population!


    • Simon Edgar

      I agree with Peter, it’s certainly not Deep Spinney exclusive. I like the name ‘Biddenham Dovecote Roundabout’ or ‘Dovecote Roundabout, Biddenham’.

      I also agree with Peter’s comments regarding social media. Love it or loathe it, it’s now the norm for many and certainly the most interactive, but I accept that with so many alternatives one can only focus on a couple and the main ones by a long shot are Facebook and Twitter.

      A paper based Newsletter will be costly (which can be offset by advertising) and time consuming for the Parish Council and will fail to replicate the spontaneity of the free online alternatives, BUT, it needs to remain a quarterly option at the least (in my humble opinion with so much going on) for those that prefer it. Maybe give people the option to ‘sign up’ for it on the website (or by returning a slip on the next mailshot/newsletter you do). It would avoid the need for unnecessary printing and reduce the onus on volunteers tasked with delivering them!

      Also, many people are unaware of new Facebook settings that allow members to hide their identity/presence. This has until recently been a big factor in deterring membership, so it’s good to see they have addressed it. If this were highlighted, more may be inclined to join a ‘one off’ Biddenham Group.

  • Angela Chappell

    I like the idea above suggested by Peter Leverkus of simple stone sign saying Dovecote Roundabout, Biddenham, with a replica of the original dovecote in the middle.

    I also agree with the comment on the double/single marking of the road from the Great Ouse Wayonto the roundabout by Simon. I feel that it would assist the flow of traffic during busy periods as there is plenty of space for a double entrance on to the roundabout.

    I hope my comments are helpful.

  • Peter Chase (Chairman, Biddenham Parish Council)

    Thanks for the comments so far.

    We would like to re-christen the roundabout “Dovecote Roundabout”. Simple, small name plaques with white letters on a black background are used commonly on other roundabouts. I think the Borough might be persuaded to install these at their cost as normal highway signs (although I may be being hopelessly optimistic).

    We have considered a wide variety of alternative designs already; you’ll have to trust us that the current proposal is the final one, after much consideration.

    The Biddenham Loop is the de facto newsletter of the village. We should give it our every support and use it as much as possible where the written word is a helpful / appropriate form of communication. A new parish council newsletter would, I fear, simply undermine the Loop and lead to two, less successful publications.

    We debated Facebook at a recent council meeting and felt we should, for now at least, focus all our energies on the new website.

    Finally, we lobby the Borough’s Highways department all the time to improve our roads, and can certainly appeal to them to do something about the way the new bypass joins the roundabout. This would be up to them though, and the cost would come from their budget.

    • Simon Edgar

      Thanks for clarifying Peter. I was under the impression that the subject was still open to debate.

      I like the name and ‘Dovecote Roundabout’ and the way it will be presented. I dislike the Pillars and associated cost but accept the majority decision. Thank you for giving the 3 of us the opportunity to read about it and offer feedback; apologies that 100% of us were against it!

      I do appreciate the time and effort you sacrifice each month looking after all these and associated matters, although I have to say it disappoints me that you don’t get the recognition you all deserve.

      Hopefully the website will raise your profile but it will be a very slow process – as is always the case, if people don’t know about it, they won’t come, no matter how good it is. . . you need to blow your own trumpet more.

      The Loop Newsletter is a Church publication on a subscription only basis I believe? I know I have never seen an issue in the 20 years I have lived here, so I don’t think that should be the only medium for conveying your messages and encouraging feedback. I do concur with your thoughts about the questionable success of another paper based solution – articles are often historical and feedback as a result, irrelevant (similar to this Roundabout experience!).

      I think you would do well to reconsider social media given that most people now have access to the internet in their pocket 24/7 let alone in their homes on their laptops and PCs.

      Have you seen how Great Denham does theirs? It’s incredibly successful with a large percentage of the population being kept abreast of developments immediately they occur. They can gauge public feedback on a subject within 24 hours, publicise events at the drop of a hat – and remind them the night before – if there is suspicious activity, everyone knows about it within minutes, if a person needs help someone will be there for them – this is Community support that compliments what you do, perfectly… take a look to see how they do it. It’s free and simple:-


      Over a 1,000 members in such a short time; because they tell people about it in writing, word of mouth etc. etc. and then they use it. Better still, you can integrate it into a website, so update Facebook and your website updates automatically – no extra time required. With a massive influx of new residents, now is the time to do it… welcome packs for new residents, a one off mailshot through every door with the website and facebook details, job done…

      Good luck and keep up the great work.

  • Peter Leverkus

    Without wishing to prolong this debate unnecessarily:
    – I thought the Parish Council was looking for responses up to March 1.
    – I agree with Simon that the Parish Council does a great job, often in difficult circumstances and with challenging residents … 🙂
    – I thought the 2 tall pillars was a suggestion, not a “fait accompli”. Personally, I think more elegant designs are possible.
    – Facebook is fine for those who (1) are computer literate and (2) wish to have their lives taken over by it. There will be many residents who are neither and we must also cater for them. We need a “multimedia” approach!
    – I am horrified that Simon has never seen the village magazine The Loop (formerly the Biddenham Bulletin). Simon, call me on 353662 and I will ensure you get a free sample copy! It is a village magazine, published as a public service by the church for the residents of Biddenham and Great Denham. It only costs £10 a year for 10 issues!
    Best regards to all
    Peter L

    • Simon Edgar

      You are right Peter, the original post states;-

      “ …there has been a number of references to the idea in “The Loop”. As a result of one of those references there has been a request for further consultation and publicity…The Parish Council is anxious that everyone should have an opportunity to comment on this project… Please provide comments on the feature by 1st March 2017”

      I assume from Peter C’s comments that the original website posts were not explicit enough and that the ‘pillars’ have been agreed and they are only seeking feedback on the Dovecote Roundabout signage and how best to display that… perhaps someone can clarify that? Shame. Would have been a great way to publicise the website and encourage a genuine community activity.

      Yes you are right about the need to maintain a ‘multi-media’ approach and thanks for the offer of a copy of ‘The Loop’. I am going to pop round to my neighbours who are just back from holiday – if anyone round here knows about it, they will. If I draw a blank, I will give you a call! As for subscribing, I think I may well pass up that opportunity now that Joe has the website running smoothly… I am confident that everything will be on there as well.

      • Peter Leverkus

        OK Simon – but I can guarantee that there is a lot more in The Loop than on the website!!

        Peter L

  • Heather Marks

    I note there will be no cost to Council Tax payers of Biddenham but the money will still come from public funds. At a time of austerity I consider this money could be better spent on other facilities within the village or used for the local community.
    Other uses for the money could be to tidy the entrance to Biddenham Turn, re-plant the verges, pick up the litter, (especially from the river path), an outdoor gym or to re-paint the white lines on the roads.
    Willington is the ‘dovecote’ village of Bedfordshire where Biddenham is known for its charming mix of domestic architecture, trees, lovely gardens and open vistas, never two ten-foot high stone pillars denoting a long gone dovecote.
    I am also concerned that the stonework is a risk to drivers should they have an accident. I assume that there will also be an insurance cost for the stonework with the potential for an increasing premium in the event of damage to the Parish Council.
    The roundabout expressing Biddenham should be planted with beautiful trees, flowering shrubs and spring bulbs, all at a fraction of the cost proposed.
    Yours sincerely,
    Heather Marks

  • Simon Edgar

    Until today I hadn’t seen an image of our long lost Dovecote, so i share it here so others understand a bit more about it ; http://www.facebook.com/biddenhamvillagepond

    It’s such a shame that the previous generation didn’t maintain it for the enjoyment of the current and future generations. Maybe put the £14,000 as a down payment towards rebuilding it – and using it to store the equipment for maintaining the pond, even a pump for a fountain(!) and then go with Heather’s suggestion of simple but effective planting on the roundabout.

    I did take a look at the Great Denham Roundabout and that looked nice although I share Heather’s concerns about obstructing the view on what is becoming a fast roundabout. I also spotted the sign for the Royal Observer Corps; nicely done but I agree with Peter, do we need signage that elaborate on a roundabout?

    I remain to be convinced about the ‘needles’ on the roundabout and I don’t think people will be able to appreciate a tiny drawing 12ft up on the top of them.

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