Wednesday, 30 July 2014

eCops: New Special Constable Ceremony

TWENYTWO new special constables are to be presented with their warrant cards at an attestation ceremony after completing 13 weeks of training.

The ceremony will take place on Wednesday, August 6, from 7pm at the Cambridgeshire Constabulary HQ in Huntingdon.

Head of Cambridgeshire Special Constabulary, Victor Kerlin said: “We are always pleased with the recruitment of new special constables.

“The new officers are part of our on-going recruitment campaign to attract local people who wish to contribute to policing and community safety.

“The level of dedication, effort and flexibility provided by our special officers is a matter of immense pride for the force.

“CC is recognised as a pioneering service when it comes to engagement with SC, opportunities that are offered to SC and the resources that the constabulary invests.”

The special constables will receive their warrant cards from Deputy Chief Constable Alex Wood and sworn in by Magistrate Benjamyn Damazer. Police Crime Commissioner, Sir Graham Bright will also attend to meet the new officers and their families.

The Special Constables will be posted across the county.

Driverless cars heading to public roads

In a bid to encourage the development of driverless cars on British roads, Vince Cable has announced a £10 million investment for research projects.

Currently, driverless cars are only allowed on private roads. However, with funding from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Transport, driverless cars are expected to begin testing on public roads in 2015.

From today, interested local research institutions will be able to apply for funding by submitting a business case.

The Department of Transport will also launch a review of road regulations to remove red tape and provide legal framework to facilitate driverless vehicles taking to British roads.

In his announcement at the Mira Test Track in Nuneaton, Vince said:
"By building on our world leading science and engineering base, the UK can become the global hub for research and development in to driverless vehicles. Today's announcement will see driverless cars take to our streets in less than six months, putting us at the forefront of this important technology and opening up new opportunities for our economy and society. 
 "Through the Government's industrial strategy we are backing the automotive sector as it goes from strength to strength. We are providing the right environment to give businesses the confidence to invest and create high skilled jobs.”

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Local Lib Dem Councillor Acts On Safety Fears As Work Begins On Milton Road Underpass

Fears for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists as long-awaited work begins on Cambridge’s Milton Road underpass today (Tuesday, July 28) have been expressed by Cambridgeshire County Councillor, Ian Manning.

Cllr Manning, who represents East Chesterton, is worried that vulnerable road users could be put at risk as an alternative route means pedestrians have to cross the busy road at several points. The work also leaves cyclists competing with traffic for restricted road space.

He will visit the site tomorrow (Wednesday, July 29) with County Council officers, residents and members of Cambridge cycling campaigners to see how traffic management is working and will push for a safer alternative route for pedestrians and cyclists.

The underpass is being demolished and rebuilt as part of plans to build the new Science Park station on the site of the old Chesterton sidings. Work is expected to finish in December.

“Clearly, this is an important project and naturally there will be disruption to traffic, pedestrians and cyclists while the work is taking place,” said Cllr Manning. “But I am worried that motor traffic has been given priority leaving those people that use the underpass vulnerable.

“I have gone into detail with officers and the contractor, Balfour Beatty. It seems that we are restricted as to what can be done by national legislation. We have to have a road width of 6.75 metres and the rest of the road is needed for machinery.

“But it is vital that we do everything we can to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe. I want to check to see whether we can find a safer and more convenient route for them and maybe free up some of the restricted road space.”

Monday, 28 July 2014

Councillor Nearer To Success In Long Campaign To Improve Residents' Lives

Cllr Hazel Smith
This week Cllr Hazel Smith, Lib Dem representative on South Cambridgeshire District Council for Milton, was able to report to local residents that they were one step nearer to getting the new sewer they have been waiting for, for over 30 years.

New guidance has been issued in Wales which requires water companies to take into account permanent caravan sites in their calculations to determine whether or not a sewer should be provided. Following the Welsh lead it is expected that Defra will recommend that the same guidance be adopted in England - this would eventually improve the environment for the whole community and especially those living at Fen Road, Chesterton.

Cllr Smith said: “This is really good news. We made submissions during the review and we’re happy to see that these have been fully taken into account. When the water companies decide whether they will provide a sewer for residents where there is environmental damage occurring, now permanent caravans and utility blocks will be treated like buildings."

“Unfortunately nothing will change very quickly – the guidance in England may come out fairly soon, but the next step after that would be another petition like we presented in 2007. If it is successful the water company would then be duty-bound to provide a sewer within seven years."

Chesterton Fen residents have reacted positively to both the changes in Wales and the prospect of future changes in England.

Fen Road resident Nelson O’Connor said: “This is good news! We just can't wait for this sewer. It’s ridiculous to have waited so long, we have lived here for 30 years, and if we had been living in a house this would all have been sorted out a long time ago."

Chesterton Fen Road has an extensive Traveller site where, earlier this year, Cllr Smith conducted a survey which counted 274 toilets - all of which currently feed into septic tanks, cesspits and small treatment plants.

Cllr Smith said; “Given the large number of residents and that this is a low-lying area with a relatively high water table it’s good for the whole of Chesterton and everyone who uses the river to see progress like this."

The additional guidance, which requires Water Companies to provide a sewer, has had the following text appended to it in Wales;

"For the sake of clarity, buildings should include mobile homes and caravans on permanent sites, such as holiday parks, and permanent facilities blocks containing toilets and washing facilities.”

Cambridge MP Meets Apprentice Working For Company With World Cup Connection

Apprentice Joshua Bird scored a winner when he landed a place with a Cambridge company with a World Cup connection

And tomorrow (Tuesday, July 29) Joshua, 21, will meet Cambridge MP, Julian Huppert to tell him about his engineering apprenticeship with Sepura which designed radios for the World Cup in Brazil.

Julian is visiting Joshua at Sepura - a global leader in the design, manufacture and supply of digital radios - in St Andrew’s Road as part of his monthly initiative, Celebrating Apprenticeships.

Joshua dropped out of university to take his apprenticeship, a mix of college-based learning at Cambridge Regional College and work-based training at Sepura.

He said: “It was probably the best thing I have ever done. I found university wasn’t really covering exactly what I wanted; it wasn’t really getting into the technical side of engineering.

“At Sepura we make mobile radios mainly, for all sorts of people, but mostly public services, and also for the Fifa World Cup.

“I am absolutely loving my work. It is one of the best things I have done in my whole life. It is a brilliant opportunity and I’m really trying to make the most of it.”

Julian, who launched Celebrating Apprenticeships to give him the chance to find out more about apprenticeships available in the city for young people, said: “I’m delighted that Joshua is enjoying his apprenticeship.

“Learning new skills alongside such talented people as those working at Sepura while also being given the chance for college-based learning is an excellent way to find out more about an industry and get a good start.

“There are so many different apprenticeships available and they bring huge benefits to both young people and the companies employing them. Sepura has shown huge commitment to the apprenticeship programme and I hope other companies will be encouraged to give their support and offer young people opportunities.”

Sepura launched its apprenticeship programme two years ago and it won Cambridge Regional College’s Engineering Employer of the Year last year.

Karl Forbes, Head of Product Realisation for Sepura said: “Our apprentices have been growing professionally and adding a considerable amount of value to the teams they have joined.

“The success of our Apprenticeship Programme is not only confirmed by their impressive progress, but is also affirmed by Sepura’s growing investment which is enabling a larger intake of future engineers this year.

“The scheme reinforces Sepura’s commitment and involvement with its local community whilst laying the foundation of a positive legacy for future generations.”

eCops: Can You Help Give Victims The Justice They Deserve?

As part of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s consultation ahead of the introduction of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 later this year, we're asking you to take a couple of minutes to complete a short survey.

The new act comes into force fully in October, bringing with it sweeping changes aimed at ensuring those responsible for dealing with anti-social behaviour are putting the needs of victims first.

Among the changes, in future a ‘Community Remedy’ will give victims a say in the out-of-court punishment of offenders through a list of ‘options’ that can be chosen from. These options must reflect the effects on the victim by having either a punitive element, achieving financial or other amends for the victim, addressing the causes of the perpetrator’s behaviour, or a combination of these.

In addition to giving victims a voice, the remedy will offer offenders an alternative to going to court and getting a criminal record with the aim of ultimately reducing re-offending.

Before the options are finally decided upon and listed in the Community Remedy document, we are consulting with members of the public, community representatives and local authorities to find out their views, so we invite you all to take part in this consultation.

Further information about Community Remedy and a link to the questionnaire are below.

Kind regards,
Lauren Alexander

Julian Huppert's Summer Survey

If you work in Cambridge or travel there frequently you might be interested in completing the survey the liberal democrat MP for Cambridge has just put online.

Here's the link;

Please feel free to share it with your friends/ colleagues.