Bridewell Street and Callis Street, Clare –  Drainage Improvement Scheme

12th January 2019

Suffolk Highways are carrying out drainage investigation works along Bridewell Street, Clare from junction with Callis Street until Hermitage Meadow and along the full length of the road of Callis Street, Clare.

This work is necessary to attempt to flush out the drainage system and determine if any further works are required.

The work is planned to be carried out between Monday 14th January 2019 and Friday 8th January 2019 during the hours of 9am and 3:30pm. The times and dates of the works may change depending on weather conditions. If they do change, we will let you know by updating the signs on site. The roads will be temporarily closed to through traffic to allow the works to be carried out safely. During the period of the closure, traffic will be diverted via; Stoke Road, A1092, A1017, B1061 Sturmer Road, A143, The Street B1063 and vice versa.

If you have any questions about the work, please call Suffolk Highways on: 0345 606 6171.


At last Suffolk County Council accepts the need for TRO

4 January 2019

At a meeting today between representatives of Clare Town Council, County Councillor Mary Evans and Suffolk Highways, it has been agreed to work to introduce an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order putting a weight restriction on the A1092.

In effect this would be a ban on the larger HGVs (those over 17.5 tonnes) using the road as a through route. It would not be a complete HGV ban. Vehicles starting and ending their journey or stopping to make collections/deliveries along the route and those below 17. 5 tonnes would not be affected by this move.

The effectiveness of a temporary ban will need to be assessed before a permanent TRO could be created.

While Suffolk Highways will take responsibility for putting the TRO in place, the funds for it will need to be found locally.  Suffolk Highways has no budget for this project. A rough guesstimate is about £10,000-£20,000.  Any local objections to a TRO proposal which require it to be considered by the SCC Development Control and Regulation Committee will be a significant cost factor.

Creating a TRO can be a lengthy process.

As a first step, Cllr. Evans will set up a meeting with Clare Town Council and an officer from the Road Safety, Speed and Traffic Management team who will lead on this for Suffolk County Council and representatives from neighbouring parishes that will be affected.

The Town Council is likely to formally consider this matter at its February meeting.

Paul Bishop

Chair of Clare Town Council


Congratulations to a new councillor

22 November 2018

Congratulations to Rosemary Warmington, who was elected to Clare Town Council at the by election on 15 November, by 350 votes to 202.

Power cuts: help for customers in vulnerable circumstances

28 March 2018

Since UK Power Networks was formed in 2010 we have significantly reduced the frequency and duration of power cuts. Although they now happen less often, we know that for some customers, especially those in vulnerable circumstances, power cuts can be inconvenient and worrying. That’s why we provide extra help to these customers in the event of a power cut.

Our free Priority Services Register enables us to identify and help older and disabled customers, those whose medical equipment requires electricity, families with young children and many others.

In the last two years we have more than doubled the number of customers on our Priority Services Register, but we know there will still be customers who are entitled to free help who are yet to register.

Register by calling 0800 169 9970, or by completing the online form.

This is an extract from their Spring Newsletter to Councillors 2018.

Event for your diary

CHOC quiz poster

Congratulations to a new councillor

9 February 2018

Davina Neale has been elected as a town councillor, following a poll yesterday.

The returning officer for St Edmundsbury Borough Council has declared the result as follows:

Davina Neale                     367 Votes
Rosemary Warmington        275 Votes

Davina Neale is duly elected.  There were no spoiled ballot papers.  Turnout was 37% out of an electorate of 1756.

The official notice may be found here.

Think before you park posterParking problems in Clare

17 November 2017

Station Road is a parking black spot in our community.  Pavements are frequently obstructed by misparked cars.  This denies safe access to pedestrians, particularly parents with buggies and disabled persons on mobility scooters.

One of our councillors had to assist one man whose scooter had toppled over – the lowered access point was blocked by a vehicle.

Station Road is a key access point for visitors and others who need to use the Disabled Toilet facility just inside the Park gates.

The poster on the left, provided by the Haverhill Safer Neighbourhood Team, is available as a PDF – download this, print it out on a A4 sheet and put it up in your window.  The poster is here.


Councillor Vacancy

15 November 2017

Due to the resignation of Councillor Gayle Mallows, a vacancy has arisen in the office of Councillor for the Town Council.

The full notice, also posted in Pashler’s Alley, is here.

Briefly, if ten electors of Clare want an election to be held, they must request this from the Returning Officer by December 4th.  If no election is requested, then the vacancy may be filled by co-option.

Copper beech for the cemetery

7 November 2017

Copper beechAt the last Environment Committee meeting of the Town Council, approval was given to plant a replacement tree for the Weeping Ash that was felled near the Chapel in the cemetery: see the announcement on 13 September below.

During this winter a copper beech (Fagus sylvatica purpurea) of the columnar Dawyck variety will be planted, close to the same site.  This slow-growing variety of beech prefers to be left alone and does not require regular pruning. The leaves are red in spring and they then develop into a deep purple colour, before finally turning brown in the autumn; the leaves hold on the tree through winter.  It will reach 12m in height over 20 years.

The stump of the weeping ash will be sawn to create a platform for a seat.

Other tree news

Planning permission has been applied for to manage the beech trees along the south side of  Nethergate Street and the two chestnuts at the beginning of Stoke Road.  Branches that overhang both neighbouring properties and the roadway will trimmed in a balanced way; dead and damaged branches will be removed.  Once approved, the work will be carried out over the winter.

For your diaries 1

23 October 2017

If you want to print a copy of this poster, download this PDF.

For your diaries 2

23  October 2017

Christmas Fair and Festival 2017

There will be some fun and fantasy in Clare on the evening of Friday 24th November when the Clare Winter Festival launches with the two-day Christmas Fair at St Peter and St Paul’s church in the centre of the town.  The three-week Winter Festival will encompass a large number of events in venues around Clare, culminating with the Christmas Market on Market Hill on Saturday 16th December.  Full details appear on

The Festival celebrates its opening with a children’s parade, carol singing and lots of fabulous family entertainment organised by the Clare Community Association, the Cock Inn and The Globe on Callis Street.

With music, hot food, mulled wine and hot chocolate, street entertainment, the Snow Queen and her Snowman Friend and a very special visitor from the North Pole, this promises to be a great start to the festive season.

The Christmas Fair, which was a great success last year, will showcase a selection of gifts, decorations, crafts and Christmas produce all in the atmospheric candlelit surroundings of the church and is a wonderful way to do some of your Xmas shopping.

You will be welcomed with a complimentary glass of something warming to enjoy while you browse the stalls which will offer a variety of lovely goods including jewellery, chocolates, cheeses, dolls, collectable teddies, ceramics, turned wooden items, artwork, Christmas wreaths, candles, felted gifts, toys, cards, decorative and stained glass and much, much more….PLUS the chance to buy one – or two! – items from the delicious Clare festive pudding range which now includes luxury chocolate and sticky toffee sauces.

Other refreshments will be available and you will be able to sit, relax and listen to some carols.  There will also be the opportunity to buy raffle tickets with great prizes and all proceeds go to help maintain Clare’s beautiful church.

The Fair and the Festival Launch will take place from 5-8 pm on Friday 24th November and the Fair will be open again on Saturday 25th from 10 am – 4.00 pm.  Entry is free to both the Fair and the Festival Launch.

Weeping Ash in the Cemetery

Weeping ash in Clare cemetery

13 September 2017

As one enters the cemetery proper, a large weeping ash tree stands on the right-hand side.  This was probably planted when the cemetery was opened in 1887; the churchyard was closed for burials in December of the same year.  There is a photograph of it from the 1900s.

Three years ago a major branch split away from the tree and was removed.  Sadly damage to the tree has grown.  In the high winds of last night a further major branch, extending almost at right angles from the trunk, has begun splitting away; much of it is now resting on the nearby hedge.

Our tree contractor has advised that it would be better to fell the whole tree rather than end up with an unsightly remnant, even after pollarding.   Further consultation will take place with him, but it is likely the work will take place on Friday, weather conditions permitting.

A tree of a native species will be planted in the same area within six months, following agreement with West Suffolk.

Hanging Baskets – a bouquet of thanks

11 September 2017

An appeal was launched in July’s Chevron by the Chair of the Town Council for sponsorship of hanging baskets throughout the town.

‘Dressing the town’ through the summer enhanced the prospect of visitors who come to Clare seeing that the town looks attractive and therefore stopping to look round our shops and maybe even coming back to stay.  Of course, the hanging baskets were not only for the benefit of tourists but for all of us who live in Clare and who walk past them every day.

Over £1400 was raised by contributions from residents, groups and businesses.  Let’s give a warm thank you to those 32 contributors.  Six of them chose to give anonymously; here are the others – in no particular order:

Mrs J Simpson, Sea Pictures Gallery, Mr & Mrs Pritchard, Mr & Mrs Scott, Ms M Taylor, Mr Pearce-Higgins, Mr & Mrs Maddison, Mr R Miller, Mr D Burge, Mrs G Mallows, Mrs L Perceval-Maxwell. Mr & Mrs Daniels, Mr J Berry, Focus Publications, Treble C Choir, Mr & Mrs Merch-Chammon, Mr & Mrs Draper, TCM Ltd, Ms P Cowper, Mr & Mrs McKenzie, Mrs S Tumilty, JAP Architects, Volume One, Mr & Mrs Geare, Mr & Mrs Pledger, Clare Society

We hope to extend the number of hanging baskets next year and that the generosity of sponsorship will step in again.

 Clare Playing Fields Association logo



24 August 2017

I met earlier this week with the new team of Clare Playing Field trustees to discuss our various roles and responsibilities (details below).  I am thrilled to have such a strong team around me and am confident that we can work hard to build on the legacy of previous CPFA committees.

For now, our focus is getting to grips with governance issues and familiarising ourselves with what being a CPFA trustee involves.  In the next few months we will be going through a transitional period and clearly there are changes to be made. We need to be open about what has worked well and where we can make things even better.

We are keen to develop a vision for Clare Playing Field and Pavilion and I will continue to provide updates of what those plans involve and how you can have your say.  We have had initial discussions about the Pavilion’s 10th birthday next summer and hope to organise Pavilion 2018 to celebrate.  Watch this space!

I am particularly keen to get talking with as many different organisations in and around Clare as possible; indeed, those conversations have already started. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly so that we can have a chat – over a cup of tea – about how we might be able to work together.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Wishing you well

Suzanne Culshaw

PS: You can now follow us on Twitter @CPFA_Clare

Name                     Role/Responsibility

Derek Blake            Strategy
Andy Brader            Building & Grounds
Suzanne Culshaw     Chair & Secretary; Strategy; Marketing & Promotion
Jo Everitt                Marketing & Promotion
Charlie Godfrey       Vice Chair; Strategy
Mandy Messenger     Treasurer; Bookings & Finance
Ian Mills                   to be confirmed
Robyn Sheppard       Bookings & Finance

Registered Charity 1172604
T: 01787 277 782     E: suzanne.culshaw(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)

Cavendish Road closure

updated 16 August 2017 from 7 August

A public session was held in the Town Hall on Tuesday 15 August where Cadent gas staff explained the works (to be carried out from 28 August to 2 September) as announced on this page on 27 July (see below).  A letter has been circulated to all residents.

The road has to be closed across the whole width, yet allowing pedestrians and cyclists to pass.  Following the death of a workman in a hit-and-run incident in Lidgate three years ago, Suffolk County Council has increased the safe space at road works to 1.5 m from the barrier to the excavation.  On a road as narrow as Cavendish Road where utilities may not lie on the edge of a roadway, safe working areas do not allow enough space for traffic to pass: 3 metres is the minimum width for a single carriageway.

Sponsored Bike Ride

15 August 2017

Ride and Stride for Suffolk Historic ChurchesRide & Stride is a national event and takes place this year on Saturday 9 September from 9 – 5.  The idea started in Suffolk which county still raises the most money – donated to the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust and whichever church a cyclist wishes to nominate.  It is manned by volunteers at 728 open churches.

“This year look out for the yellow balloons at the hundreds of churches that are open,” said Patrick Grieve, the Chairman of Suffolk Churches Ride and Stride.  “It’s a great day out for everyone, gently travelling the countryside and visiting our glorious churches and chapels. Do your bit, and get fit.”

Celebrating Community: National Citizen Service in Clare

11 August 2017

A group of young adults are running an afternoon of fun in Clare Castle Country Park on August 18 from 11-4.

Games for children, Charity Stalls and independent companies: free admission free with cake! with the aim of bringing the community together.

The National Citizen Service is a programme for 15-17 year olds across our region. 

For more information, contact Charlie on 07463 783 038 or email: charlie_leigh(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)


New trustees for the CPFAClare Playing Fields Association logo

3 August 2017 

Message to all parishioners

I am delighted to introduce myself as the new Chair of the Clare Playing Field Association (CPFA).  As a local charity, Clare Playing Field has a tradition of providing sport, leisure and recreation facilities for the people of Clare for almost half a century.  In summer 2018, we will be celebrating 10 years since the purpose-built Pavilion was officially opened.

We are a new and motivated team of trustees, keen to build on the history of the CPFA.  We are committed to maintaining our well-established activities and excited about new opportunities for current and future generations of beneficiaries.  I know that the CPFA can play its part in contributing to key aspects of the Clare Community Action Plan, including

  • Developing Community Spirit
  • Supporting the Development of Sport and Leisure
  • Encouraging Activities for Young People

Pavilion Clare Playing FieldPlease bear with us as we settle in to our new roles; I will meet again soon with the trustees and will provide regular updates – including introducing the team – via our own CPFA website, and the council website, social media and notices.

There is a lot to celebrate and there is a lot to do.  We are up for that challenge.  If you are interested in following, shaping or even joining us on the next part of the CPFA journey then please do contact me directly, so that we can talk about how we might work together.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Wishing you well

Suzanne Culshaw

Registered Charity 1172604
T:  01787 277 782     E: suzanne.culshaw(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)

To the past members of the trust

We must thank the outgoing trustees of the CPFA for the tremendous efforts they have put in over the last four years.  They have put in place policies and procedures for the first time, covering lettings, repairs, safety checks, finance, bringing in a degree of self-organisation not seen before.  They have liaised with the Town Council on grass-cutting, line-painting and tree maintenance to help lower costs jointly.  Our footballers of all ages have continued to enjoy well-managed facilities. The recent installation of a running track is to be commended.  They have prepared a programme for the serious repair and maintenance work that needs to be carried out in the near future upon the pavilion itself.

Paul Bishop, Chair, Clare Town Council

Planning – an additional Town Council meeting

3 August 2017

A town council meeting has been called for 10 August in the Pavilion at Clare Playing Fields at 7pm.  The agenda may be found here.

The main item is a planning application for 53 dwellings with associated access, infrastructure and landscaping for land off the Cavendish Road (between Stour Valley Community School and Clare Hall Farm).  Full details are available on the West Suffolk planning site.

Are you paying too much for your gas & electricity?  Free energy clinics in Clare

31 July 2017Citizens Advice Suffolk West

Would you like to 

save money on your energy bills?
get extra help from your energy company?
insulate your home more ?

Bring along your latest gas & electricity bills and we will see if we can help you

Citizens Advice will be in your local library in Clare on these Wednesdays from 11 to 12.30

August 23electric kettle icon
September 20
October 18
November 15
December 20

This service is funded: every clinic is free.  Anyone paying a fuel bill can come.

Keeping households in Clare warm this winter for less
Have you a neighbour or family member we can help?

Clare Playing Fields: strong response from our community

29 July 2017

Chair  of the Town Council, Paul Bishop has announced that an impressive number of nineteen individuals have put themselves forward to serve as trustees of the Clare Playing Fields Association made in response to Monday’s appeal for new trustees, announced on the website and on the Pashler’s Alley noticeboard.  Their details have been forwarded to the current chair of the CPFA, who has now written to each individual about the next stage of selection.  This gives the existing trustees the best opportunity to pick a powerful and responsive team to take the trust forward.

Early Warning: Cavendish Road closure

27 July 2017

Construction work continues on the old site at Burlington House, Cavendish Road.  From 29th August to 2 September there will be diversions in place when Cavendish Road is closed to all but pedestrians (and cyclists on foot) for work by Anglian Water, BT, Cadent (formerly National Grid) and Suffolk County Council.
No further details as yet – information from Suffolk County Council’s roadworks site.

Clare Playing Fields: new trustees wanted

23 July 2017

All the trustees of the Clare Playing Fields Association have resigned with effect from Monday 7th August.  Their letter of resignation, which includes reasons for returning management of the Playing Fields to the responsibility of the Town Council, may be found here

A quotation from the letter, “Why should we, as parishioners, work with Town Councillors who display or condone such disgraceful conduct?”, reveals the heart of their complaint.  This must be a matter of the most serious concern for our community, which must consider long-term steps to ensure such a failure of support does not occur again.Clare Playing Field

The CPFA has done sterling work over the last four years, raising funds, arranging hire of the pavilion’s facilities, ensuring the quality of the pitches, preparing maintenance and repair plans, to the satisfaction of all users.  Much of this hard endeavour by volunteers has not been recognised fully by the community and some of its representatives.  Now potentially there is a risk that the Football Foundation could recall its grant if the Town Council is unable to maintain the function of providing football training and playing facilities.

If anyone individually or with others are willing to offer their voluntary services and discuss what their involvement and role in the immediate and long-term future of the Clare Playing Fields might involve, they should contact the chair of the Town Council, Paul Bishop (paul.bishop(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign) with an expression of their commitment by Friday 28th July. 

The process

The Charity Commission will require the full name, date of birth, address and email address of all those who wish to become the new trustees.  Prior to 7th August, an inaugural meeting of those trustees should be held and a chairperson must be selected. That person will become the main contact for the monitoring organisations, suppliers and hirers etc.

No specific qualifications are required to stand as a trustee for the CPFA, but the trust does need people responsive to its needs.  For the Playing Fields, experience in property maintenance, financial management, marketing skills and engagement with other volunteers would be useful, plus having an overriding interest in the provision and maintenance of sports facilities for community groups of all ages.

Annual electoral canvass

21 July 2017

West Suffolk is sending out an annual household enquiry form to be returned or completed online ( by 4 August

Going online is simple, but you’ll need the form to use the registration numbers.  There is a free-mail envelope to send the form back.

Editorial comment: a strange time of year to send this out; so many families are off on their travels this time of year and will not be at home to receive it.

New Market for ClareClare products & produce market

10 July 2017

West Suffolk will shortly be putting up posters to publicise the Products and Produce Market that will be setting up stalls on Market Hill on Saturdays once a month from August 19th.

Council’s financial statements

10 July 2017

The accounts for 2016-17 are available for public viewing – see here for details.

One Council for West Suffolk?

9 July 2017

Proposals by Forest Heath District and St Edmundsbury Borough to create a new single council for West Suffolk have just been announced.  This would entirely replace the Borough and District Councils but continue to deliver the same services.  Clare Town Council will discuss its response at its meeting on 20th July.

Visit the West Suffolk website to have your say.

Urgent notice

13 June 2017

In order to avoid inaccurate information being circulated via social media, the Town Clerk has released this statement:

‘The Trustees of Clare Castle Country Park have asked the Town Council to consider a change to the legal documents in order for the park to be eligible to apply for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.  Although this item appears on the Town Council agenda for this Thursday’s meeting, the chairman is minded to propose that no decision is made until further information and advice has been taken.  Therefore this item will be proposed to be deferred until the July Town Council meeting.’

Clare Castle Country Park logoClare Castle Country Park survey – update

22 May 2017

Do visit the park’s website and click on ‘have your say on the future of the Park – CLICK HERE’.  It’s a short survey for all visitors and residents which will help the consultants who are advising the park trustees on the full Heritage Lottery Fund bid.

You can also collect a printed copy from the Library or Platform One cafe in the Park.

The latest newsletter from the Trust can be seen here.

Clare  Open Gardens 2017

19 May 2017

Residents of Clare invite you to Clare in Bloom Open Gardens weekend.

CPen gardenome and visit 10 town-centre gardens in Clare during the weekend of Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th June between 2 and 5 pm each day.

There will be a variety of gardens open in different locations and of varying size, some of them never before open to the public.  Refreshments with homemade cakes will be available and a Plant stall will enable you to buy  plants to take home. Sunday will include musical diversions  performed by students from Stour Valley Community School.

Cost : £5 admits one adult to all gardens on both days ; children are free.  Tickets available on the day at each open garden or beforehand at Hudgies, Harris and Harris,  and the Pharmacy in Clare.

Clare in Bloom
All Proceeds to Clare in Bloom
Further details Nickie Carpenter, Chair Clare in Bloom
Tel: 01787 278 275   E: cpetenickie(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)
Find us on the Open Gardens National Directory

Clare Combined Charities Support FundCombined Charities Clare

19 May 2017

Could you use a little extra financial help?

The Support Fund is a new arm of Clare Combined Charities.  Small grants of money are available for ‘residents in the greater part of Clare’ (Clare Parish).  The residents of Clare have for many years been supported through historical trusts managed by the Trustees of Clare Combined Charities.  This includes the management of the Common and of the adjacent land partly set for allotments, the Almshouses and some smaller trusts for making grants for Education support for pupils of secondary school age.

The Charities, through the Trustees, are now able to make small grants to individuals who find themselves in need of a little extra financial help.  These grants may be available from the Charities by application in writing to the Clerk to the Trustees: address below.

Ron Longland, 23 Clarence Road, Clare CO10 8QN
T: 01787 277 769   E: ron.longland(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)

Vehicle-activated signSpeed Indicator Sign

15 May 2017

A new page has been created on this site to show results from our VAS equipment, data that is forwarded to Suffolk Police as part of their attempt to apply enforcement to speeding motorists.

Community Survey

12 May 2017

Community Plan Highlights, the short version of the results and the consequent action plan, is being distributed to residents over this weekend.  The full report may be found in our pages here.  This is the culmination of a town-wide survey collected by councillors and compiled into a set of actions to be completed not just by the Town Council but by other authorities and the people of Clare themselves.  Take the trouble to view these pages and share in our progress.

New book launchClare: a photographic record of the 20th century, by Robin Stone

2 May 2017

Harris & Harris, our town’s leading (and only) bookshop is holding a launch for a new book: Clare, a photographic record of the 2oth century, on Thursday 11 May from 5-7pm.  Compiled by Robin Stone, the 196 page book contains 380 photographs of Clare.  The person who first pre-ordered the book will be presented with the first copy hot from the press.  Robin will be on hand to sign copies.


Clare Castle Country Park logoClare Castle Country Park survey

2 May 2017

Do visit the park’s website and click on ‘have your say on the future of the Park – CLICK HERE’.  It’s a short survey for all visitors and residents which will help the consultants who are advising the park trustees on the full Heritage Lottery Fund bid.

Works at Church Farm – again

28 April 2017

A successful attempt was made by Dyno Central to connect up Church Farm surface water drainage to drains in the High Street.  They dug a trench close to the property, temporarily closing part of the pavement.  They completed the work on time within the week.  Entrance to the cemetery was unimpeded; there were parking restrictions in the immediate area.


Chevron: Clare Town Council badge 2017 © Clare Town Council