from County Councillor Peter Hudson
We are pleased to have a comprehensive report on recent County Council activity from Peter Hudson, the new County Councillor for Willingham and Longstanton. Thank you, Peter; we hope this will be the first of many. The report can be read in full by clicking the more link below and there is also a printable pdf version in the Parish Council documents area. Please note, however, that the web links in the pdf version do not work whereas those below (hopefully!) do…
Planning for the future of recycling in Cambridgeshire
Work to develop the household waste recycling services in Cambridgeshire is now under review. The review will look at how to provide an efficient and cost effective recycling service coupled with the need to contribute to the £149 million in savings required from the authority’s budget over the next five years.
The options being considered include looking at the location, usage and potential closure of some household recycling centres (HRCs) in the county as well as proposals such as charging for certain wastes such as hardcore and plasterboard or reducing weekday opening hours at sites. As part of this review, the Council will work closely with the local authorities of RECAP – the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Waste Partnership to ensure any potential issues such as flytipping are taken into account.
Local County Councillor Peter Hudson, said: “Across the council we are looking to find savings to deliver the core services which Cambridgeshire and our residents need in the years ahead. No service is immune from this process as we try to manage the increasing demands on our budget. We have an excellent record for recycling in Cambridgeshire and with the support of the City and District Councils we have worked hard to minimise the waste we send to landfill. The challenge we face is to deliver the savings we need without incurring the greater costs of burying rubbish in the ground, deterring recycling, or causing additional pressures on City and District Councils through flytipping.
“This means we are looking very closely at how our household waste recycling service can either save money or generate income to offset its costs. These are not issues which we face in isolation, other authorities across the country are facing the same tough choices but we hope with the help of the public we can create a service which will meet all our needs in the future.”
The first phase of the broadband roll-out is close to completion with 90 new fibre cabinets going live providing superfast broadband access for over 20,000 premises. The second phase of the roll-out runs from June to September 2014 and will see the programme reach over a third of its final target of 90,000 + premises.
A new coverage map is now available on the Connecting Cambridgeshire website allowing people to see the progress of the superfast broadband roll-out in greater detail. The colour-coded map uses postcode data to show where superfast broadband is available, coming soon, or in a later phase of the programme. It also helps to show where postcodes are served by new cabinets.
The ‘my area’ pages have been updated to show the next phase of the roll-out with some areas scheduled to go live earlier than expected, together with useful advice on how to get superfast broadband. Find out more at www.connectingcambridgeshire.co.uk.
More Broadband Champions
Connecting Cambridgeshire now has over 120 Broadband Champions volunteering to keep their local communities informed and enthused about the roll-out of superfast broadband. Over 35 Champions and Parish representatives attended our annual Broadband Champions event held at South Cambridgeshire Hall in late April for an update on the programme. We also issue a monthly newsletter to keep them updated. Case studies show that take-up of superfast broadband is much higher in areas with active champions, who help to spread the word using posters, websites and newsletters. We will be providing publicity packs for all Parishes in the next phase of the roll-out and are asking local Members to nominate a Broadband Champion if their area does not already have one.
Destination Digital takes off
Through Destination Digital, small and medium sized businesses in Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire may be eligible for Internet connection vouchers of up to £3,000 towards the one-off cost of upgrading to superfast broadband, in addition to free advice and grants for digital products. A Cambridge start-up company and a growing communications agency are among the first to use the vouchers to install their own fibre lines bringing high-speed faster Internet access. Find out more at www.destinationdigital.info.
Billion pound signing for innovative city deal
An innovative City Deal that could see a £billion investment in the Greater Cambridge area has been signed by Government, Council leaders, businesses and the University of Cambridge. The signing is the latest step in securing potentially hundreds of millions of pounds of extra money that will be invested in improving transport and facilitate housing delivery in the Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire area.
The game changing deal was announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his budget speech this year and follows intensive negotiation by Cambridge City Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, The University of Cambridge and the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership. The Deal aims to secure hundreds of millions of pounds of additional funding for investment in transport infrastructure to support high quality economic and housing growth over the coming decades. According to local business leaders one of the main barriers to economic success is lack of housing or transport measures. The first £100m of funding will be made available in the five years from April 2015. Transport improvements as a result of the Deal will start to be seen within the first year of this period.
As long as certain conditions are met, a further £200m will be available from April 2020 onwards and a final £200m from April 2025 onwards. The £500m of Government money will supplement similar levels of funding from local sources so that around a £billion in total will be spent on supporting the delivery of vital infrastructure necessary to provide good quality and sustainable growth for the area for decades to come.
The deal will accelerate delivery of around 33,000 planned homes and enable the delivery of an extra 1,000 new homes – creating more homes for families across the region and allowing people to live and be more able to afford homes within a reasonable commuting distance.
The deal will also help local young people develop the skills they need to take advantage of these new opportunities: the City Deal will deliver over 400 new Apprenticeships for young people and create new teams to help increase apprenticeships by acting as brokers between training providers and businesses, as well as supporting the guidance that is given in schools and colleges to encourage young people to take up vocational careers.The partners have come together, crossing political and geographical divides, with Government to deliver this innovative deal to secure the economic success of Cambridgeshire and the communities they serve.
Local County Councillor Peter Hudson, said: “This is a real game changing deal for Greater Cambridge and the surrounding County. It will see a step change in transport infrastructure, create jobs and boost the local economy. The success of this will also be felt outside the Cambridge area so all our communities benefit.”
Cambridgeshire says Tar to nearly £2 million extra pothole fund
Cambridgeshire roads are about to get an extra £2 million spent on them to fix potholes after a successful bid to Government. The County Council has found out that the authority was successful in the bid and has been given an extra £1,933,337 for highway repairs. This is on top of the £1,531,297 that the council was awarded in March this year to help repair potholes following the bad weather.
This means the Council has successfully made the case to Government that the county deserves the extra funding. It received in total around £3.5 million on top of the £10 million road maintenance grant it had been given.
Local people have their say on highway improvements
Cambridgeshire County Council is again giving local communities a chance to have a real voice in deciding on highways improvements in their area. The Council is inviting communities to apply for funding which has been made available for the next financial year, and parish councils, community and residents groups and charities are all eligible to apply.
Successful projects will be those providing highway improvements that benefit the local community. For example, better signing and road markings, pedestrian improvements, parking controls or dropped kerbs. Applicants can seek up to £10,000 as a County Council contribution to their scheme with an expectation that they will provide 10% or more of the overall cost. The County Council is also offering loan facilities for those who wish to spread their contribution over 2 or 3 years.
The scheme is part of the County CounciI’s move to help communities deliver projects that make a real difference in their local area but would not normally be funded elsewhere.
Local County Councillor Peter Hudson, said: “Local people are the real experts in knowing what they need in their area. This funding gives communities a real say on what they want and make sure it is delivered.
“We hope they grasp the opportunity for them to put forward ideas for improvements to the highway network that will benefit everyone in their area and to work in partnership with the county council — it’s Iocalism in action.”
Applicants have until 12th September to submit details of their scheme and an application form is available online at: www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/Ihi.
Northstowe phase 1 development
Northstowe phase one planning permission was issued on 22 April 2014. This allows for up to 1500 dwellings in Northstowe . The first public building in phase 1 will be the primary school, sponsored by the Diocese of Ely, with a proposed opening date of January 2016. It will eventually cater for 630 4-11 year olds and will also include Early Years educational provision.
For the first three to five years the school will play a critical role in hosting a range of temporary community activities and facilities for early residents, until permanent community facilities are constructed. As part of phase 1 of the Northstowe settlement the school will also host Key Stage 3 (KS3) secondary pupils for a period of up to three years until the initial phase of the secondary school is constructed.
Primary Leadership Briefings
The summer term Leadership Briefings have taken place. These were well attended, with one hundred and fifty schools represented. The briefings included an input from an HMI on preparation for Ofsted inspections. The team provided ideas for improving planning and monitoring systems and an update from English and Maths advisers about the new curriculum and assessment arrangements.
Head teachers particularly valued the inputs from how to involve pupils in creating and monitoring the schooI’s termly operational plans and tracking systems for Pupil Premium pupils. The evaluations were very positive and Heads reported that ideas from the briefings will have a positive impact on their work in schools.
Park and Ride charges due to come in from July
From July 2014 a £1 parking charge will be introduced for anyone to park at each of the five Cambridge Park & Ride sites
- Babraham Road
- Madingley Road
- Newmarket Road
How much will it cost?
The £1 charge will allow you to park for between 1 and 18 hours There will be a 1 hour free period to allow drop-offs and pick-ups of bus passengers and also to enable people to pick up purchases from the John Lewis distribution centre based at Trumpington.
How do I pay?
Daily tickets can be purchased from ticket machines outside the main buildings on the sites.
There are no barriers and the ticket does not need to be displayed in the vehicle. The system uses cameras that have automatic number plate recognition on entrances and exits. Failure to purchase a ticket after 1 hour will be treated as a parking violation and enforcement action taken by the issuing of a Penalty Charge Notice.
Does it affect concessionary bus pass and blue badge holders?
At present concessionary bus pass holders can still use their pass for free travel on Park & Ride services but they must still pay to park or a penalty Charge Notice will be issued. Blue Badge holders are also required to pay for parking.
Can I park for longer?
Parking for longer than 18 hours will be allowed but the following charges will apply
- Between 18 and 24 hours £10
- Between 24 and 48 hours £20
- Between 48 and 72 hours £30
The maximum permitted stay is 72 hours. The above tickets are available from the ticket machines or online (see below).
Are there discounts for advance purchasing?
Discounts are available for advance purchasing of tickets on-line or via a mobile phone. Discounted prices for advance purchasing are as follows:
- Weekly (up to 7 days) £ 5
- Four weekly £ 18
- Annual £230
Discounted tickets will be available on line from the website listed below. Customers wishing to pay by mobile phone will also need to register first on the same website: www.cambridgeparkandride.com.
When do I get my bus ticket?
- Park and Ride passengers may pay for the bus service that they require at the same time as they purchase their parking ticket. Or they can get the ticket from the driver but you must have purchased a valid parking ticket first
- National Express passengers must pay for parking at the Park and Ride site and buy a ticket for their journey from the driver or in advance according to National Express rules
Free childcare for 2-year-olds now available for low-income families
Free childcare for two-year-olds has been extended to families on a low incomes. Families who receive Working Tax Credit are eligible, as long as household income is less than £16,190 per annum.
Cambridgeshire County Council wants as many parents as possible to take up the offer, which benefits children through play and learning opportunities outside the home, and the chance to meet other children. Children can receive up to 15 hours of early learning and childcare a week, over school terms (38 weeks), or spread the hours more evenly over the year.
Places for two-year-olds have specifically been made available in high quality childcare settings, including childminders and nurseries. The free childcare for two- year-olds is in addition to the 15 hours per week that all three and four year olds can receive.
From September 2014, children who are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance, or who have a statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) or Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, will also be eligible. Interested parents can visit a Cambridgeshire Children’s Centre, or call the CounciI’s Family and Childcare Information helpline on 0345 0451360. Find out more at www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/childcare
To give your points of view on any of these issues, contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. As Your County Councillor I welcome hearing from you on these and/or any other issues that affect our community.
County Councillor Peter Hudson