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Thanks to all of you who took the time to vote in the Neighbourhood Plan referendum on 23rd March. The result was a resounding 94% YES vote which means that the plan will now be 'made'. We had always been informed that as soon as a 'yes' vote was officially recorded the plan would be be in force. It now transpires that the Neighbourhood Plan must be made (brought into legal force) by the local planning authority (EHDC) within 8 weeks of the referendum. The plan will therefore be 'made' by 18th May. At this point it will be used as a material planning consideration by EHDC when deciding any future planning applications, although until that date it still carries 'significant weight'.

The official referendum figures were:

★ 1351 votes cast, of which 1268 votes were in favour of Yes (94%) and 82 votes cast in favour of No (6%).

★ 1 ballot paper was rejected.

★ Turnout was 22.3%.

The Buntingford in Bloom competition will again be held this year sponsored by the Civic Society. Judging will be on 1st July and will be limited to front gardens (to allow easier judging if entrants are out or away). An entry form is available here or copies are available from the Manor House.

The Civic Voice heritage day will take place this year on 17th June. Buntingford Civic Society will be marking the event with a rural footpath ramble and a repeat of the guided Town heritage walks. There will be further details on these events in coming weeks.

The bench along the Causeway, which was donated to the Town by the Civic Society years ago, is now in a state of disrepair and beyond saving. A new bench (of wood-effect resin and therefore longer lasting) will be purchased by the Civic Society to replace the old one and should be in place within the next month or two.

Many of you will have seen the Gazebo now in Layston Gardens. This was erected by the Town Council to commemorate the Queen's 90th birthday and was 'opened' on 25th March by Councillor Mrs Bonner, the Chair of Amenities, and Mayor John Noades. The opening was attended by our MP the Rt Hon Sir Oliver Heald and his wife and the Chair of EHDC. Thanks go to Freman College for the musical interludes. Well done to all involved in the project - another worthy adddition to our Town.

Graham Bonner, Chairman, Buntingford Civic Society

If you have any queries about Buntingford Civic Society or issues you would like to raise, you can email the Chairman direct at chairman@buntingfordcivic.org.uk.

Mark Addison Ceramic Tiler

Marketing Zone

Meeting House Kennels

Paul Wainwright

Jack Poulton & Sons Ltd

Reboot IT Solutions

Riverside Taxis

SJ Tokely Ltd

SJS Plumbing & Heating

Teen Spirit Coaching

The Woodman Inn

Touch Of Glamour

Wood Bros Ltd


Kate Bennett Legal

Buntingford Dancing School