The snowdrops and crocuses are out, so it’s nearly time for the Bulb Sunday service again.
 
In this issue:
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The Bulb Sunday Service will be held in St James’s Church on Sunday 21st February at 3.00pm. The service will be conducted by Rev. Claire Lording, and tea and cake will be available in the Village Hall afterwards.
 
Meanwhile, teas for visitors to the churchyard bulbs will be served in Birlingham Village Hall on Saturdays and Sundays between 11.00am and 4.00pm until Sunday 5th March.
 
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The annual litter pick will take place slightly earlier than usual this year, on Saturday 5th March, to coincide with the ‘Clean for the Queen’ initiative, which is part of the Queen’s 90th Birthday celebrations. Please join us for this occasion and help us to create a tidy village. Meet on the village green at 10.00am. Litter-picking equipment is provided and this year we have been promised that the litter pickers will be adorned with the Union flag!
 
The Parish Council are also proposing a second litter pick, on Saturday 19th March, to concentrate on the areas around Swan’s Neck and Nafford.
 
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You will all have noticed how well kept the grass is in front of Birlingham Village Hall. The grass cutting has been done by a small group of people, which meant that the cutting duty came around every four to six weeks. With a couple of people leaving the village and others no longer able to perform the task, the Village Hall Committee are now looking for fresh volunteers to help with this simple task. If you can spare an hour or so every few weeks and would like to help out, please contact Kelvin Hartshorne on 01386 750547.
 
If you would like to do more to help the Village Hall, you might also consider joining the Village Hall Committee at their AGM, which takes place on Thursday 24th March at 7.30pm. Contact Kelvin for more details of what is involved in being a member of the committee.
 
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Charities and voluntary groups are once again being asked by Wychavon District Council to submit bids for community grants. The total available this year is £50,000 and bids can be made for up to £10,000 for individual projects. (£10,000 is the maximum that can be bid for and only in exceptional circumstances; most bids are likely to be lower.) The theme for 2016 is ‘Get Active’.
 
Bids can be for all aspects of community life: community buildings, sports, arts etc. – any project that makes a lasting contribution to the local community by helping people become more active.
 
More information on how to apply is available on Wychavon’s website at www.wychavon.gov.uk/grants or by calling 01386 565168. The deadline for applications is 31sr March at midday. The District Council’s leaflet on community grants can be viewed at www.birlingham.org/docs/community_grants_leaflet_2016.pdf.
 
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Although most of Birlingham now has access to Superfast Broadband, the part of the village served by Eckington ‘Cabinet 601’ is still without this new service. The current status report suggests that this part of the village will be upgraded between January and September 2017.
 
The latest information from the Superfast Broadband team can be found at www.birlingham.org/docs/superfast-extension-programme.pdf. Full details of the programme are available at www.superfastworcestershire.com.
 
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The following planning application has been determined by Wychavon District Council:
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