PRESS RELEASE - Tranche 3 Grant Awards


Tranche 3 Grant Awards

Headline: Town Council awards Major Capital Grants to Sports and Leisure Groups

At an all-day Special Meeting on Saturday 11 May 2024, Full Council made a total award of £223,841 to 15 organisations providing sports and leisure services in Bishop’s Stortford.

Applicants made an in-person pitch to Councillors sitting in the Council Chambers at the meeting which was chaired by the Mayor, Cllr Richard Townsend, for projects that involved capital expenditure.

Whilst not all of the 21 applicants were successful (either in part or in full), Council set out carefully its decisions and conditions of use based on a list of rigorous scoring criteria and against the background of its own funding rules.  For example, where some applicants were deemed to be ineligible for a grant because the application was for revenue funding, other sources of potential income were identified and the groups directed to apply for these, if appropriate.

Details of the awards made are set out below.

Organisation and Application


Bishop's Stortford Band - 

Instrumental and Equipment Upgrade



All Saints Primary School - 

Play and Exercise Equipment Installation



Bishop's Stortford Vikings Basketball Club - 

Basketball Equipment



Bishop's Stortford Musical Theatre - 

Improving Public Engagement and Experience of Local Theatre



Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club - 

Purchase Indoor Hockey Equipment



Bishop's Stortford Bowling Club - 

Purchase Artificial Outdoor Bowling Surface


Bishop's Stortford Running Club - 

Replacement Lights



Bishop's Stortford Squash and Racquet Club

Energy Reduction and Efficiency



Bishop's Stortford Community Sports Club

Bicentenary Pavilion



Bishop's Stortford Swimming Club - 

BSSC Equipment Upgrade 2024



Bishop's Stortford Social Club - 

Sports Facilities



Hockerill Sports and Social Club - 

Refit of Disabled toilets



Stortford Gymnastics – 

Gymnastics Equipment


Stortford Strollers Walking Basketball –Basketball equipment


Bishop's Stortford High School - 

Auditorium/Drama Studio Audio Visual Equipment



Bishop's Stortford High School - 

Strength and Conditioning Centre






























Special Town Council Meeting

A special meeting of the Town Council will take place on 15th April 2024 at 7.30pm in the Council Chamber. There is one main agenda item, to discuss the problem of drugs and drug dealing in Bishop's Stortford, together with Hertfordshire Constabulary. The meeting is open to the press and public.

View the Agenda here.

Mayor's Civic Night - Friday 19th April 2024

Mayors Civic Night

Mayor's Civic Night- Friday 19th April 2024

The Mayor of Bishop's Stortford, Cllr Richard Townsend cordially invites you to his Mayor’s Charity Civic Night on Friday 19 April 2024 at 7pm.
Please come and join us for an evening of dinner and entertainment in aid of Hummingbird Cancer Support ( and Isabel Hospice (

The event takes place at South Mill Arts, 1-3 South Road, Bishop's Stortford, Herts, CM23 3JG.

There is car parking at the South Mill Arts.

For tickets please email:
Tickets are £50 per person and can be paid via:

  • BACS ~ Please use your name as your reference ~ Sort Code: 30-90-84 ~ Account Number: 01042565 
  • Cheque ~ Please make it payable to ‘Bishop’s Stortford Town Council Mayor’s Charity Appeal’

The Mayor hope you can join him!

PRESS RELEASE - Town Council Major Capital Grants (Sports and Leisure) – Spring 2024

Town Council opens Grant Scheme for deserving Sports and Leisure organisations in Bishop’s Stortford.

At its meeting on 5th February 2024, Full Council approved a recommendation of its Finance and Policy Committee to open a new tranche of  ‘Sports and Leisure’ grants of up to a combined total value of £250,000 to qualifying Bishop’s Stortford organisations for capital projects.  It is envisaged that this will be of particular interest to local sporting clubs and leisure providers.

The award follows on from two previous major grant awards made by the Town Council in recent years.  In December of last year, the Council agreed not to proceed with part funding a sports complex to the North of the town, where a notional sum of £2.5m million had been notionally ringfenced.  At the same time, it recognised the importance and need for sports funding and made a commitment that it would seek ways of helping those organisations who were most in need of extra financial support.  As such, the opening of a grants scheme was deemed to be the most practical way of realising this goal.

Applications forms and guidance notes are available for download on the Council’s website:

Completed forms to be submitted electronically to:

The scheme will also be promoted through the Press and the Town Council’s Communication Channels (and those of its partners).

The grant applications will be determined at a Special Council meeting on 11th May 2024.

The deadline for the receipt of applications is Tuesday 2nd April 2024 at 9.00am.  Applications which are deemed not to satisfy the eligibility criteria may not be successful in reaching the determination stage.  Applicants are reminded that the grants will only be for capital (not revenue) projects and must be related to sports or leisure in Bishop’s Stortford.

PRESS RELEASE - Bishop’s Stortford Town Council Precept Demand 2024/25


Bishop’s Stortford Town Council Precept Demand 2024/25

Headline: Town Council freezes Council Tax for seventh year, for Bishop’s Stortford Residents

At its meeting on 5th February 2024, the Town Council set the precept demand (the Council’s share of the Council Tax for the year) at £1,203,799. 

Town and Parish Councils take just 2% of the full council tax allocation and receive no direct funding from Central Government.  Other areas of funding, such as the New Homes Bonus, are also no longer passed on to the Authority by East Herts District Council.  Whilst the majority of Town Council income received is levied from the Council tax, it also receives income from lettings, investments and certain paid services (such as allotment rents and cemetery fees).  The Council also seeks to reduce overhead expenditure by obtaining grants or contributory funding where possible (such as s.106 developer contributions).

As such, the Band D household will continue to pay £68.69 per year for all Town Council Services. 

Town Council Leader, Cllr Miriam Swainston announced:

“The Council is acutely aware of the ongoing cost of living crisis facing residents and has decided not to increase any costs to household budgets for Bishop’s Stortford households in 2024/25 for all of the varied services that we provide. Whilst the Town Council does not face the same financial challenges as those currently being experienced by the District and County Councils, it is still mindful of the price rises that it too will face – especially for energy and materials.  However, by careful financial management we believe that we can absorb these higher costs and continue to expand our range and quality of work. We remain on track to deliver on all of the promises outlined in the Strategic Plan. We also believe that the agreed budget for the year ahead provides excellent value for money.”


Annual Town Meeting - Monday 18th March 2024


Monday 18th March 2024, at 7.30pm
At South Mill Arts, 1-3 South Road, CM23 3JG

Dear Residents of Bishop’s Stortford,

You are cordially invited to the Annual Town Meeting called by the Mayor, Cllr Richard Townsend.
The Annual Town Meeting is held at South Mill Arts and is an opportunity for electors to have their say on anything they consider to be important to the people of Bishop’s Stortford

All are welcome and light refreshments (tea/coffee) will be provided from 7.00pm.

The Agenda will be published on the website and town noticeboards on Thursday 7th March 2024. The agenda can be found here:

Questions must be submitted in advance by Monday 11th March 2024 to:

PRESS RELEASE - Town Council launches Strategic Plan to 2027


Town Council launches Strategic Plan to 2027

The Strategic Plan sets out what the Council intends to focus on until 2027 (the next Local Government elections) and will help it to continue with its achievements in a structured way. 

The intention is to make Bishop’s Stortford an even better place for all residents, businesses and visitors to the town.  The document is intended as a clear route map for the Council to follow and is intended also for use by the general public to measure the Council by the various objectives that are set out in a user-friendly format and written in plain English.  Meetings of the Town Council and its Committees are open to the press and public and the Council actively welcomes attendance.  Details of meetings can be found on the Council’s website: 

The two key priority areas that have been identified are:

  • The Environment
  • Communication

Town Council Leader, Cllr Miriam Swainston announced:

“I am delighted that Members of all parties were given the opportunity to collaborate with the Chief Executive Officer to develop a Strategic plan that has cross party support and sets a clear framework and action plan for the Council’s work and priorities over the next four years.”

View the Strategic Plan 2023 to 2027 at:

PRESS RELEASE - Waterside Stortford awarded Green Flag status by Keep Britain Tidy.

Waterside Stortford Press Release
Waterside Stortford Press Release

Waterside Stortford awarded Green Flag status by Keep Britain Tidy.

Waterside Stortford is a riverside and countryside trail passing through the historic market town of Bishop’s Stortford.  The trail features twenty-one information boards along its length illuminating its history and ecology. It is possible to do all of the walk or part of the walk and the entirety of the trail takes approximately 3 hours.

With the option to cycle or stroll through the 3.5 mile (5.6km) the public can enjoy beautiful relaxing views of the water, nature and wildlife. Waterside Stortford winds gently through the valley of a chalk stream, through to the maltings of historic Bishop’s Stortford and the canal scenes of the Stort Navigation. One can walk through the market town enjoying the views, whilst doing a spot of shopping or stopping to have a bite to eat or drink in the various restaurants, historic pubs and popular bars.

Waterside Stortford is an initiative created by Bishop's Stortford Town Council, Environment Agency, East Herts District Council, Hertfordshire County Council, Canal and Rivers Trust and a number of other stakeholders.  These organisations have recently collaborated to produce a flyer detailing their involvement with The Waterside Stortford Project. 

Copies of the Waterside Stortford Trail Guide are available at the Tourist Information Centre located in Market Square.

PRESS RELEASE - Town Council Set to Progress Cemetery Bill Through to Next Stage

Map of Cemetery
Register of Burials

The Town Council is delighted to report that following a two day Committee at the House of Lords on 6 and 7 July, a Private Bill to extend its powers to reuse burial space in the Cemetery at Bishop’s Stortford has progressed to the next stage.  A vote will now be taken by the Lords which should then proceed to a further hearing in the House of Commons before being enacted.

The Council believes that the Bishop’s Stortford town centre Cemetery holds significant value to the local community by providing a local place of burial and a place where relatives and others close to the deceased can visit to honour and remember their lost family and friends.  Without enacting a Private Bill it is estimated that burial space will run out within the next 12 years.  After this time, the Council would not be able to offer burials within the Town until at least the year 2080.  In fact, the practice of reusing graves is fairly common in many churchyards and has been carried out by the Council in certain specified circumstances since 2018.  However, even with these existing powers of reuse, space in the Cemetery will run out in about 2036.

The Lords listened carefully to the arguments and evidence of the Town Council which were being promoted by East Herts District Council and after careful consideration dismissed arguments by objectors that there was sufficient space within the existing cemetery, that alternative sites could be found and that the extra burial space was not needed as more people chose to be cremated rather than buried. 

In essence, the Bill allows the Council to extinguish rights of burial in grave spaces and to disturb graves for further interments; a practice that the Church of England approves of and one with sufficient safeguards to ensure that graves are treated with dignity and respect.  These safeguards  include protecting certain graves which are of special significance (such as War Commission graves) and those where families object to disturbance.  During the Committee, the Lords asked the Council to broaden its interpretation of the word “relative” which means that not only lineal descendants but also lineal descendants of grave owners and other relatives will be able to object to specific graves being reused.

A similar process has been followed by other burial authorities, notably at Highgate Cemetery in London and it is hoped that the same practice can apply at Bishop’s Stortford Cemetery.  A further public consultation will follow should the Bill reach the Commons stage and the Council will continue to keep residents informed of developments.