Thursday, 31 March 2011

Let Down By Labour

With the Local elections (not to mention the AV referendum) approaching in May I think it's a good time to remind ourselves of exactly how bad the financial mess is the previous Labour government left this country in.

I think the graph below shows it best;

As you can see we are currently spending more money servicing Gordon Browns debts that we are spending on our National Defence, Schools, Police Service, Care for the elderly, and our Justice System.

And the amount we owe is increasing every single day, and will probably continue increasing for the rest of the year until the cuts the coalition government have been forced to make actually begin to take effect and the amount of money this nation spends over and above the amount that it earns starts to diminish.

Even Ed Milliband admits that the previous governments spending plans were not sustainable, he also says that he accepts the need for cuts to deal with the deficit. However he opposes just about every proposed cut without announcing any alternatives.

From now until May the 5th the Labour party will be doing it's best to convince people that the last few years of Labour Government didn't happen and that this debt magically appeared the day David Cameron and Nick Clegg set foot in 10 Downing Street.

Don't let them get away with it.

E-Cops - Your weekly new 26-MAR-2011

We have had 16 incident report this week, however most of these incidents are messages and information not crime related.

On Wednesday 22 March, there was a report of criminal damage in Appletrees, Bar Hill. During the darkness hours unknown person(s) have painted writing on one of the residents door, with white paint using a brush. There was also an other two incidents reported to us at the same day and place. Unknown person(s) have walked into two different drive way's, and painted vehicle's with white paint.
If you seen this happened, or seen any one behaving suspiciously in the area, please do get in touch.

On Saturday 19th March, there was a report from a taxi driver which and being hired from Cambridge by two females. Females then asked the taxi driver to stop at Cambridge services in Boxworth, which then they got of the taxi, and got into a vehicle which was waiting for the females in the area, and made off without paying the fare £20.

On Monday 21st March, there was a report of a dangerous dog in Bar Hill, in the fields beside the library. The owner of the dog was asked by a Bar Hill resident what type of dog it was, and said an American Pitbull. There has been no sign of aggression from this dog, however inquiries were made with RSPCA, and they have confirmed that this type of dog is illegal.
If you come across this dog in your village, please drop me a line, would be good to locate the owner of this dog and find out the details needed.

On Tuesday 22 March, Whilst I was on patrol in the village, I came across to a suspicious looking man at The Bramble area, Bar Hill. I spoke to this man, and carried out the necessary checks, and was all in order.

I and PC Reeves have carried out regular patrols at the skate park in Bar Hill, and have engaged on speaking to a lot of youths making use of the area, all seem to be fine, and under control at this present time.

On Wednesday 23 March, I and Pc Soni have carried out speed checks on Saxon Way, Bar Hill, two vehicles were stopped and advised of their defect lights. One vehicle was seen speeding in a excess of 46mph. Vehicle was stopped and dealt with promptly.

On Thursday 24th March, Pc Reeves has carried out speed checks in Scotland Road, Dry Drayton, three drives were stopped and given words of advice regarding the manor of their driving through the village. One driver was issued with a £60 fine and points on their licence.

On Thursday 24th March, I and Pc Reeves have carried out speed checks also in High Street, Boxworth, only one vehicle was stopped, and given wards of advice regarding the manor of the driving through the village.

I have also spent some time on dealing with vehicles holding no valid road tax in Appletrees, Bar Hill. Registered owners have being warned of this matter, and they will be reported to Driving Vehicles licence Department.

Kind regards
PCSO 7009 Buajr Mani
Histon Neighbourhood Policing Team

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Save Our Libraries

John Marais, Chair and Organiser of the Friends of Arbury Library (FOAL) in conjunction with other Friends-of groups across Cambridgeshire has organised the following petition that your Local Liberal Democrats encourage you to not only sign but to circulate as far as you can.

The petition reads;

"We the undersigned call upon Cambridgeshire County Council to reject proposals to close libraries or to replace the existing professional service with a reduced service run by volunteers.

We believe that libraries are a vital part of the community."

If you'd like to sign it you can either sign the petition electronically by visiting this website;

Or you can download and complete a form to printout (using Adobe PDF) from here.

Friday, 25 March 2011

A Fair Deal For Elderly People

The Conservatives in Cambridgeshire are cutting the care provided to elderly people by a massive 25%. Your local Liberal Democrats would reverse this.

Under our Liberal Democrat alternative budget, those elderly people who need it would get more personal care to get washed, dressed and fed at a time in their life when they most could do with the help.

"It’s not fair to punish people who have worked hard all their lives by denying them care when they need it the most and are least able to stand up for themselves", said County Councillor Andy Pellew, "It's very disappointing that the Conservatives in Shirehall are closing libraries, ending bus subsidies, cutting highway maintenance, while at the same time failing to eliminate waste".

The Liberal Democrat Alternative Budget - rejected unanimously by the Conservatives in Shirehall - would have made this cut to the care budget for the elderly unnecessary while at the same time freezing Council Tax in 2011 and keeping future tax rises below the current rate of inflation.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

We Came, We Were Consulted, We Were Ignored

Other than schools, roads and libraries are the main services that the average council tax payer will enjoy. Indeed, libraries are amongst the top three most-valued services identified by the County Council's own public consultation.

Yet in the budget cuts pushed through County Council last month by the ruling Conservatives, the Library Service is taking the biggest percentage cut - 48% - of any county council service. A total of 13 libraries have now been told them must convert to community run libraries, or close. In South Cambs, these include Comberton, Cottenham, Linton, Sawston and even Shelford - a library only just reopened after a costly refurbishment.

A vast amount of officer time will now be spent, and a great deal of community upheaval will be endured, trying to make these conversions succeed in order to prevent outright closures. All in all, 13 library conversions would be expected to save the Council a measley £300K at most, out of a budget of nearly £500 million.

Those same communities are already paying their council tax out, of which they have every right to expect the library service that has been in place until now. Those same communities are also being asked to pay for the rescue of youth clubs and bus services.

It is feared that overburdening local communities with too many demands for rescuing public services dumped by Cambridgeshire County Council’s Conservatives will mean spreading precious resources to thin and therefore less chance of saving anything at all.

Please circulate this Cambridgeshire petition against library closures:

You can also support Cambridgeshire libraries by joining Save Cambridgeshire Libraries on Facebook.

A national campaign challenging local authorities to uphold their statutory duty to provide libary services can be found at:

Sunday, 20 March 2011

E-Cops - Weekly Update - On behalf of PCSO B. Mani and PC Claire REEVES

PCSO Mani has been on holiday, PC Reeves has been very busy with her crime enquiries and training commitments however, they have arranged for appropriate cover during this period.

This week calls for service have ranged from, persons trying to get a resident to sign up and make regular contributions to their charity, a range of domestic issues, alarm activations, silent 999 calls, problems with young persons and a dog running loose.

The incident involving persons claiming to represent a charity and being very assertive about signing up to making regular financial contributions may be of interest to some of you.

Increasingly, charities are having to resort to training volunteers to go door to door in order to secure regular income sources for their charities. Of course charities are perfectly entitled to seek funding.

Equally, there will be a very small minority who may wish to exploit these circumstances in order to take advantage of people's goodwill. Our advice to you would be, do not let people into your home unless you know them or can verify their identity.

There have been a couple of issues of anti social behaviour in the Brambles area and Little Meadows that PCSO Mani and PC Reeves will be keeping their eye on in the coming days.

Finally, please remember you are all in a generally safe area, however, keep an eye on your neighbours' properties (particularly if they are away) and ensure that you report any suspicious activity to the police.

Reporting procedures: Urgent matters - 999, Non urgent calls - 03454 564 564. Confidential reporting 0800 555 111.

Liberal Democrats: Our Manifesto in Practice

The Liberal Democrats have been in government for only ten months, but we have already implemented many of our manifesto policies.

In this document (attached PDF - view download) you will find details of how we are putting our manifesto into action. The list does not even include those of our policies that are in the Coalition Programme but have not yet been implemented, so this list is just the first part of a long line of Liberal Democrat policies to come.

This document is a striking illustration of the influence the Liberal Democrats are having in government.

Chris Fox
Chief Executive, Liberal Democrats

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Labour's shameful confession over tuition fees

A confession that Labour would have increased tuition fees significantly if it had won the 2010 General Election has emerged from a former Cabinet minister.

The revelation from Peter Mandelson in the forward to the paperback edition of his book The Third Man: Life at the Heart of New Labour, comes as no surprise to Cambridge Lib Dem MP, Julian Huppert who voted against an increase.

He said: “I have never been in any doubt that Labour would have increased fees if they had won the election; that was why they set up the Browne Review. It has been easy for them to sit back and pretend that it would never have happened; but now we have the truth in black and white.

“Labour were responsible for introducing tuition fees in the late 1990s; the Labour MP, Anne Campbell voted for them despite promising 'No fees here'.

“She then lost her seat partly for failing to vote against a tripling of fees a few years later. In contrast, I voted against a fee increase when I had the chance. Now we know Labour intended to raise fees again."

In the forward to his book, Lord Mandelson, former Business Secretary says: “When I [set up the Browne review] in November 2009 I assumed, as the Treasury did, that the outcome would have to include a significant increase in tuition fees.”
Julian added: “Lord Mandelson has made it quite clear that under Labour students would have faced an increase in fees. The party knew that after 13 years in government, it had left the country facing financial ruin. It would have increased fees to try to dig its way out of the hole it created.

“I'm glad Lord Mandelson is at last coming clean on this shameful truth; it's a shame he didn't do so earlier.”

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Liberal Democrats in Government: Reducing Income Tax

At times like this when all you get to hear is bad news about the economy and the tax burden I just thought I'd share this piece of good news with you regarding Liberal Democrat achievements in government and how these are affecting real people doing real job in Cambridgeshire.
Needless to say it's been a very difficult time for the coalition but as part of the coalition programme the Liberal Democrats have achieved a reduction in the income tax burden for the very lowest paid. This is due to our policy of raising the income tax threshold - contrast this with the mess the previous Labour Government made with it's 10p tax changes.
As an example in the whole of Cambridgeshire approximately* 6,200 people will pay no income tax at all - and almost 270,000 people will pay £200 less in tax than they had done under the last Labour Government.
Specically looking at South Cambridgeshire there will be around 1,300 people who will pay nothing and more than and around 67,000 who will be paying £200 less from their April pay packets onwards.
* - All these numbers have been calculated from publicly available statistics

Will your child’s school get less money this year ?

There will be no major reduction in basic spending for schools this coming year. Schools are funded according to how many pupils they have so schools with falling rolls will obviously get less but the reduction in the per pupil payment will be limited to 1.5%. The serious cut is in the money for minor capital works (roof repairs, external painting etc). This will be reduced by about 80% from last year’s figure. Those schools which have forward spent their anticipated Devolved Formula Capital will have to find the money from their main budget and that could cause problems.

The good news is that the Liberal Democrat policy of a ‘Pupil Premium’ for the poorest children will be implemented from April 2011. Every school will receive £430 for each pupil registered for Free School Meals. This can be spent at the school’s discretion provided it contributes to helping the poorest children make greater progress.


Education Minister Michael Gove’s policy on academies is costly, divisive and unfair. On top of their regular funding, Academies get extra to pay for the services they no longer receive from the Local Authority. This extra money, which is usually more than they need, comes partly from what the LA holds back to help children with acute special needs and partly from the general grant to councils. This year Cambridgeshire alone has lost £1.71 million on top of all the other cuts it has suffered.

The Liberal Democrats voted at their conference last September to try to dissuade school governors from taking this course of action. Liberal Democrats believe in good local schools for all, democratically accountable and fairly funded.

For more detail on academies, see the web-site of the Cambridgeshire CC Lib Dem spokesman on education:

Saturday, 12 March 2011

E-Cops - Your Weekly Update 12-MAR-2011

Myself and Claire have been carrying out dedicated burglary patrols over the last week and we are still asking residents across all the villages that we have responsibility for to report any suspicious people and vehicles on 0345 456 456 4 or in an emergency 999.

On Saturday 5th March, there was a report of a burglary in a dwelling, in Hollytree’s, Bar Hill.
Between 19:00 and 21:45 that day, unknown person(s) have gained entry into a property via forcing side windows open. Jewellery worth £1700 was stolen from the premises.
Police have made arrests in relation to this burglary and it is an ongoing investigation. 

On Tuesday 8th March there was report of theft at The Brambles, Bar Hill. A resident in the location heard a knock on their door, it took the informant some time to answer the door. When the informant opened the door they saw a man in the garden removing items of household bits and pieces with no permission to do so. We have this man(s) vehicle registration and this crime is under investigation.

I attended the coffee morning in Dry Drayton, on Thursday 10th March, where I had an opportunity to consult with local residents. I am pleased to say consultation was very positive. 

Please note that the police surgery for Bar Hill will not be in the Parish Council Office this month. 
As from this month we have been introducing door to door police surgeries. Do not be surprised when I come and knock on your door. 

If there is anything you feel may need my attention in your village, please let me know.

Look forward to speaking to you all at some stage.

Kind regards 

PCSO 7009 Bujar Mani
Neighbourhood Policing Team

Friday, 4 March 2011

E-Cops - Weekly Update 26-FEB-2011

PCSO Mani has been on annual leave this week, so it is a good opportunity for me to write and introduce myself to those who don't already know me.

I am PC Claire Reeves and I work at Histon Station. I am the Community Beat Officer for your villages working alongside PCSO Mani. I also look after the Papworth & Elsworth Beat with PCSO Kerrie Macinnes. My main role is conducting crime investigation in your villages, tackling anti-social behaviour and dealing with community concerns. I regularly attend Police Surgeries with PCSO Mani, so please do come along to the next one, say Hello and let me know of any neighbourhood concerns you may have.

Over the past week, there have been four reported crimes, all of which have been in Bar Hill. There have been two reported thefts from vehicles whereby the wheel trims have been removed. Within the industrial areas there has been a theft where two wheelie bins have been stolen. There has also been a burglary where unknown offenders have climbed the fence and entered a container within the yard. It is not known if anything was stolen from this container. Did you see or hear anything suspicious or that may help us with our enquiries? If so, please call 0345 456 4564 to report.

In response to concerns that have been raised regarding vehicles breaking the speed limit along Scotland Road in Dry Drayton, we wanted to get a full picture of the extent of this problem. Over a continuous period of 7 days we have conducted a traffic survey which is done using either 2 black rubber strips across the road or with a small black box which is attached to a telegraph pole/lamp post (this is therefore not a high visibility check, so vehicles cannot slow down in reaction to the check) it gains a more accurate picture of the speed vehicles are travelling along the stretch of road. The equipment was placed approximately mid way through the 40mph stretch of Scotland Road. The results for the 7 day long check are as follows...

Speed limit 40mph
Northbound Southbound
Total Vehicles 15,366 12,636 
Average MPH 42 38 
Total exceeding authority guidelines (10% + 2mph) 4,942 835 
Percentage exceeding authority guidelines 32.16% 6.61% 

Kind regards
PC 2207 Claire Reeves