Thursday, 17 April 2014

UK Unemployment Falls Below 7%

New figures show the rate of unemployment has fallen below 7% for the first time since the recession. The number of people out of work dropped by 77,000 in the last three months, while total employment has seen the biggest annual jump in a generation.

There are now more people in work than ever before, with nearly 0.7 million more people in employment since this time last year, showing that the Lib Dem plan to create a million jobs is working.

There's also good news on salaries, with wages rising an average of 1.7% since last year, while inflation has dropped to 1.6%. Coupled with the Lib Dem £700 tax cut, which was delivered last month, this means that working people get to keep more of their take home pay, helping to ease the squeeze on family budgets.

Commenting on these figures, Danny Alexander, the Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury said:
"These figures are some of the strongest evidence yet that we are embedding the recovery. We have record numbers in work and unemployment falling at the fastest rate in over a decade. With earnings now rising in line with prices and employment rising, these figures reinforce the fact that the only way to higher living standards is to take the difficult decisions needed to deliver our long term economic plan. 
There is still a great deal more to do, but today's announcement is solid progress on building the stronger economy in a fairer society that Liberal Democrats entered coalition to deliver."

Cambridge Manufacturing Companies Urged By Cities MP To Compete For National Awards

Cambridge manufacturing companies are being encouraged by the city’s MP Julian Huppert to enter a national competition which recognises and celebrates innovation in industry.

The Manufacturer of the Year awards are open to all businesses regardless of size and are divided into 13 categories including Young Manufacturer of the Year and Apprentice of the Year.

Julian said: “We have some outstanding businesses in Cambridge and this is a chance for them to get the national recognition they deserve.

“I am delighted to see the awards include categories designed to mark the achievements of young people and others learning through the apprenticeship programme. It is good to see that their contributions are highly valued.

“I hope businesses in Cambridge will take the time to enter. Our manufacturing industry nationally contributes billions of pounds to the British economy and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs.”

The 2014 Awards were launched in Parliament by Business Minister Michael Fallon. More than 200 senior business leaders attended the launch including representatives from Rolls Royce, GE Aviation, Mulberry, BAE Systems.

Details of how to enter can be found here:

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Nick Clegg Calls For Publication Of Chilcot Report On Iraq War

Nick Clegg has called for the publication of the Chilcot report into the Iraq war, which identifies exactly what happened in the run-up to the conflict in Iraq.

The Chilcot report includes about 200 cabinet-level discussions, 25 notes from Tony Blair to George W Bush and more than 130 records of conversations between the former US president and Tony Blair.

The progress of the report began in 2009 and has cost millions of pounds so far. However, it is not clear why there is a delay in the process and Nick believes that some of those in line for scrutiny are holding up the process. He followed on to say that those who might be criticised must accept that this will happen considering that it was "one of the most momentous, one of the most catastrophic decisions in British foreign policy".

"I'm sure Chilcot himself would like to get on with it as quickly as possible, I can't comment on exactly the reasons why, given there's a lot of to-ing and fro-ing about what is finally produced in published form in the report.

"Exactly what the holdup now is - this involved a lot of people, a lot of legalities and, of course, is a very, very sensitive issue.

"But I really do think now, everybody involved - including those who know they will be subject to renewed scrutiny from the Chilcot report - they all now accept that it is time that the report was published so the record can be scrutinised in the most objective way possible."

eCops: Theft From Garage 16/04/2014

Between April the 13th at 1830 and April the 14th at 0700 hours, a breaking to a garage took place in Robin Close, Bar Hill. Perpetrator(s) has forced the garage door to open and has removed a child motor cross bike.

If you saw the happen, Please get in touch.

Thank you

PCSO 7009 B Mani

Cambridge MP Takes Blindfolded Bus Ride Across The City

Cambridge MP, Julian Huppert is to take a blindfolded bus ride across the city on Friday, April 25 to push the case for “talking buses”.

Julian will be led by a guide dog for the 10 minute journey from the railway station into the city centre and then guided round the bus station to try to identify bus stops.

The trip has been organised by the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association to highlight its campaign for audio visual (AV) technology to be fitted to all buses and every driver to be given visual awareness training.

Julian has called for a change in the legislation so that there is a legal requirement for buses, as there is for trains, to announce stops.

“Taking a bus journey for sighted people is a relatively easy thing to do,” said Julian. “But for those with partial sight and blind people it can throw up all sorts of challenges.

“Firstly, they have to find the right stop to catch the bus that will take them where they want to go; then they have to rely on the driver or another passenger telling them when they have reached their destination. Fitting AV technology onto every bus would give them back their independence and freedom and make the whole journey easier, less fraught and more enjoyable.”

Research shows than nine out of 10 blind passengers have got off a bus at the wrong stop because of the lack of AV. The result is that people are put off travelling and miss social occasions, medical appointments and interviews.

Installing AV in a double decker bus costs £2,550 and it would cost the government £5.75 million a year to fit every new bus with AV.

At present, less than 20 per cent of UK buses have AV and most of those are in London, yet statistics show that it increases the numbers of bus passengers. It helps not only blind and partially sighted people but the elderly, tourists and the occasional bus user.

Recently, Julian took a blindfolded walk through Cambridge city centre with a guide dog to experience the problems blind and partially sighted people face on a routine visit.

He was impressed by the confidence he felt with the guide dog by his side but realised how much people with impaired vision rely on their other senses.

“I’m looking forward to finding out the problems blind and partially sighted people face travelling on the buses,” said Julian, “but I must admit I am a little apprehensive. I have complete faith in the guide dog though.”

Cambridge MP Welcomes Fall In Unemployment In City And Nationally

Figures showing that unemployment continues to fall in Cambridge and the number of those out of work nationally has dropped below seven per cent have been welcomed by the city’s MP Julian Huppert.

The number of people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance in the city fell to 1,103 in March, 497 lower than in the same period last year and 46 fewer than in February 2014. The figures mean that just two per cent of the working population aged between 16 and 64 are without jobs.

National figures released today have seen unemployment fall to a five year low and earnings, which have grown by 1.7 per cent, are higher than inflation at 1.6 per cent.

Julian said: “This is very good news all round. Our economy has turned the corner and we are seeing real growth, not only in the number of jobs which have come with the renewed confidence among employers but also the fact that they feel able to increase wages.

“It is good to see unemployment continuing to fall in our city. We have seen month on month improvement and I am optimistic this will continue as companies feel able to grow and expand and new firms come in.

“I hope this new growth in our economy will bring better news for those still seeking work. There is no doubt that it is difficult for those families surviving against a backdrop of unemployment and I have sympathy with them. I hope they can see light at the end of the tunnel and their fortunes will soon improve.”

Bar Hill Skate Park Consultation Update

Just a fairly quick update on the output from the Skate Park consultation day on the 29th March - apologies for the time this has taken to write!

The day started off fairly well with myself, Cllr Sue Jenkins (Bar Hill PC Vice Chair), and Cllr Anna Saunders setting up the room with the examples from the four Skate Park companies that had provided us something to present; Canvas, Clever Curves, Rampmental, and Wheelscape.

We have PDF's from each of the companies, if you are interested in more detail drop me an email.

The day started off quite, the displays from the various companies had paper and pens by them so people could jot down their comments on the displays, and people just got to walk around asking us questions as they went or just writing their comments onto the paper.

Here's a summary of the comments for each of the designs;
- The bowl could work
- Maybe the one with the dirt track
- Pre-fab metal can be done right
- Wood is best but need repairing
- Happy with concrete
- User friendly for skateboards BMX and scooters
- Looks good, got to be at least 6ft though!

There were lots of comments - and trust me that just because I've not listed your comment on here in the summary doesn't mean it's not being considered - but near the end of the day people started drawing together various parts from various designs and sketching out what they wanted.

One of the concerns that was raised was that the existing orientation of the park meant that when people used the ramps they had the sun directly in their eyes. There were also concerns about the "blind spot" at the back of the park so we ended up with this design (with a plea for no ramps with surface metal!);

The sketch shows the skate park swung around 90 degrees and built at the back of the existing hard standing area.

What it also shows is a 6ft and 4ft ramps, the detail for these was drawn on an additional sheet;

In addition to the designs for the two ramps (plus the jump box) you'll see the signatures of the people who supported it plus a general note that the preferred materials were a wooden surface with a metal frame (this is the design favoured by Rampmental).

All in all it was a good day, there were lots of discussion around the plans for the skate park and a phenomenal amount of support for what we (Sue, Anna, Anthony and myself), with your help, are trying to achieve.