Category Archives: News

The Great Big Clothes Swap


Rutland Climate Action

Rutland Climate Action is organising a ‘Great Big Clothes Swap‘: Drop any good condition / clean clothes (any age), shoes, accessories to Uppingham Town Cricket Club on Friday 24th September between 17:30 and 18:30. Receive a raffle ticket for each item.

Come back on Saturday 25th between 10:30 – 12:30 to exchange your raffle ticket /s for fabulous ‘new to you’ items. An environmentally and purse-friendly way to reinvigorate your wardrobe!

Councillors have voted to withdraw Rutland’s Submitted Local Plan from examination.



The decision was made at a Special Meeting of Rutland County Council last night.

It followed councillors voting at the full meeting not to revisit a previous decision made in March to reject a Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) grant of £29.4million.

The funding was needed to support the development of a new garden community at St George’s Barracks.

Instead, councillors voted to start afresh with a new Local Plan at a cost of £1.4M, in line with recommendations from council planning staff, as recently reported by Nub News.

Proposals for a St George’s garden community were included in the Draft Local Plan on the basis that Rutland had been awarded a HIF grant by Homes England.

The Draft Local Plan was approved by Councillors in February 2020 and submitted for examination in February 2021, following a final round of statutory consultation.

Councillors subsequently voted not to accept HIF funding for St George’s in March 2021. It has since been confirmed that no alternative source of funding is available.

In the absence of major funding for critical infrastructure, current St George’s garden community proposals are not viable. This in turn undermines the viability and soundness of the wider Local Plan.

All Local Planning Authorities must have a valid Local Plan that sets out where future housing, employment and other development will take place over a period of at least 15 years. There is an expectation from Government that up-to-date plans should be in place by December 2023.

Rutland County Council says the decision to withdraw the Local Plan means work must now begin on a new Plan. It is anticipated this will take around four years to prepare.

Councillors also voted to set aside almost £1.4million to cover the cost of making a new Plan and operating without one during this period. Work on a new Local Plan for Rutland will begin as quickly as possible.

The Council will confirm the steps that need to be undertaken, as well as indicative timescales, in due course.

A council statement issued this afternoon warned Rutland will not have an up-to-date policy framework to meet its housing and development needs while a new Local Plan is being prepared.

The absence of a valid Local Plan will also impact Rutland’s five-year housing supply and make the county more susceptible to speculative, unplanned development.

Counr Oliver Hemsley, Leader of Rutland County Council, said: “I am disappointed with the decision to withdraw the Local Plan, in light of the wider implications for our county.

“However, I am committed to working with all Councillors to deliver a new Local Plan that allows Rutland to make the best of future housing and development opportunities.

“We need to protect what is unique and special about our county while meeting the needs of families, businesses and young people.

“The decision to withdraw the existing Local Plan is not without serious risks, which were made very clear to all Councillors.

“Our full focus must now be on working together to manage these risks and preparing a new Plan as quickly as possible.”

The agenda and report for Wednesday’s Special Full Council meeting can be read online at: http://www.rutland.gov.uk/meetings.

Minutes of the meeting will be published within 10 days.

Wing Broadband Project – Update 1


Wing Parish Council

Dear Wing Resident

You may recall that back in May, we circulated a form around the village to ascertain interest in a project to get Wing’s broadband infrastructure upgraded from ‘Superfast’ to ‘Ultrafast’.  The outcome of that activity was very positive with many residents confirming they will either upgrade or seriously consider upgrading their broadband service if the project goes ahead.

Over the last few weeks, we have been working with Openreach to calculate the upgrade cost for the whole village (149 properties) including the properties on Preston Road and Station Road.  This cost has now been confirmed as £79,479.

As we are a rural community, we have access to the Government’s voucher scheme which means that all this cost could be met by vouchers issued by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

In simple terms, a residential voucher service is worth £1,500.  So, if 55 residents are willing to make a binding ‘pledge’ to the DCMS that they will upgrade from a ‘Superfast’ service to an ‘Ultrafast’ service, Openreach will upgrade the village in late 2022 without the need for village contributions.

On that basis, we have asked Openreach to secure the necessary DCMS approval for the Wing project.  When approved, we can move to the next step of the process which is outlined in the table below.  DCMS approval is expected around the end of August 2021.

For reasons associated with the Government’s national broadband project for rural communities (Project Gigabit), we will only have until 24 September 2021 to secure the required number of pledges.   If we miss this date, it is highly likely that a Wing upgrade will not be achievable until 2024/5 at the earliest.

We must NOT miss this opportunity for a free broadband infrastructure upgrade!!!

The main purpose of this update is to give you advance notification that we will seeking ‘pledges’ from residents between 1 and 24 September 2021 and to let you know how you can ask questions relating to the project.

Important Point

There are two parts to broadband.  They are a) the underlying infrastructure and b) the service.

For Wing, the underlying infrastructure will be provided by Openreach.  Hopefully, the cost of this infrastructure will be covered by the DCMS vouchers.  The choice of service provider is a resident decision.  Popular choices include BT, Sky, TalkTalk and PlusNet.  The cost of the chosen service will need to be met in full by the resident.  In most cases, this is a monthly service charge.

To help us deliver this project for you, we really need to be able to communicate with you by email. Please reply to the wingrutlandpc@gmail.com if you would like to pledge to receive full fibre broadband and email communications about this project. We will only use your email for the purposes of delivering this project to you and will not share your email with anyone without your consent. If you have any questions, please email the above address and we will do our best to answer them.

DCMS Process

ActivityDateStatus
Parish Council asks residents for approval to add their address to the Openreach Community Fibre Partnership portalMay 2021Complete
Parish Council receives initial estimate from OpenreachJune 2021Complete
Parish Council accepts the initial estimateJune 2021Complete
Parish Council asks Openreach for a formal quotationJuly 2021Complete
Parish Council receives formal quotation from OpenreachAugust 2021Complete
Parish Council accepts formal quotationAugust 2021Complete
Openreach seeks pre-approval from DCMSAugust 2021In Progress
Openreach builds a ‘Connect my Community’ web portalEarly September 2021 
Residents go to the portal and pledge their vouchers to OpenreachEarly September to 24 September 2021 
When the threshold is reached Openreach applies to DCMS for full approvalOctober 2021 
DCMS contacts residents to ask them to sign up to the voucher termsOctober 2021 
DCMS authorises the scheme and informs OpenreachOctober 2021 
Openreach has 9 months to build the infrastructureTo August 2022 
DCMS pays Openreach the value of the pledged vouchersAugust 2022 
Residents have 3 months to order an Ultrafast service from their preferred service providerSeptember to December 2022 
DCMS contacts residents to check they have ordered an Ultrafast serviceDecember 2022 

Ultrafast Broadband Project – Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Superfast broadband?

    This is broadband where the cable coming into your house is copper.  This type of service is sometimes called Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC).  In most cases, this cable also carries the 737XXX telephone line.

    The maximum download speed with FTTC is 80Mbit/s.  (80 megabits per second)

  2. What is Ultrafast broadband?

    This is broadband where the cable coming into your house is fibre.  This is sometimes called Fibre to the Premises (FTTP).

    The maximum download speed with FTTP is 1 Gbit/s.  (1 gigabit per second) 

    1Gbit/s = 1000Mbit/s

  3. Does the FTTP have to be provided by BT Openreach?

    We have decided to work with BT Openreach because it is present in the village and legally required to work with all UK service providers.  This provides maximum choice to residents.

  4. Who can provide Ultrafast services in Wing?

    BT Openreach has a checker at www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband .  Enter the postcode LE15 8SA and select 1 Morcott Road.  In theory, this list all the service providers that can provide service in Wing.  However, it may be worth double checking on your preferred service provider’s web site as well.

  5. What is meant by pledging?

    In summary, you are confirming to both BT Openreach and DCMS that you will upgrade to an Ultrafast broadband service within 3 months of project completion.  Our understanding is that DCMS will check up to make sure you have placed an order with a service provider.  We do not know what the implications are for pledging and not upgrading.

  6. How much does Ultrafast Broadband cost?

    As an example, BT’s current packages range from £27.99 to £59.99 per month.  This includes a landline service.  There may also be a small fee for activation and equipment delivery.

  7. How long will I need to commit to using an Ultrafast service?

    We assume 12 months.   We don’t believe moving house within 12 months would be an issue.
  • If I do not want to get involved now, does that mean I cannot have an Ultrafast service in the future?

    No.  If you do not want to get involved now, you will be able to order an Ultrafast service in the future.  However, if most residents adopted this approach, the project would not go ahead in 2022 and the availability of Ultrafast services would remain limited to the properties near the Village Hall.

  • If the project does go ahead, when is the village likely to be cabled with fibre?

    Mid to late 2022.

  • Will BT Openreach need to dig up roads and pavements?

    In most cases, BT Openreach will use existing ducts and poles.  In certain areas, e.g. Mill Close, new ducts or poles is a possibility.

  • When will the new fibre be connected to my house?

    The main BT Openreach project will provide new fibre to the existing village poles.

    The new fibre from the pole to your house will be installed after you have placed an order with a service provider.

  • Will the existing copper cable to my house be removed?

    Probably not.  This cable will still carry your 737XXX exchange line.  We are aware that BT Openreach has a combined fibre / copper cable but we don’t know if they will use it in Wing.    

  • What is the future for exchange lines delivered over copper cables?

    BT Openreach is turning off its long-standing fixed telephone network in 2025.  If you want to retain a physical telephone in your house after that date, you will have to sign up to a telephone service that is delivered over broadband.  As part of the move to Ultrafast broadband, most people either cease their landline number or move it to their broadband provider. 
    When you move to Ultrafast broadband, the Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) has a telephone socket that is effectively the same as your current BT socket.  So in theory, your existing telephones will continue to work.

  • What is the difference between BT Openreach and BT?

    They are both companies in BT Group.  BT Openreach is the infrastructure part.  BT is the service part.  By law, BT Openreach has to offer access to all UK Communication Providers, e.g. Sky.