Monday, 29 August 2011

County Council And Natural England Join Forces To Support Countryside Volunteers

The County Council and Natural England are about to build on a highly successful 25-year partnership to further improve the County’s rural path network (footpaths, bridleways & byways) across Cambridgeshire.

The oldest footpath in Cambridgeshire was first recorded in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth I and helping to maintain this ancient network can take many forms.

Over the last quarter of a century an army of volunteers has been working across the county to keep paths clear, report problems, put up waymark arrows and to organise walks in the countryside.

Now thanks to a £2,000 grant from Natural England, the County Council is about to expand the network of volunteers and provide further training for existing and future recruits.

For further information on becoming a volunteer call 0345 045 521 or go to:

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Lib Dems attack money-wasting NHS bureaucracy

Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats have attacked plans to use vital NHS resources to create another unnecessary level of bureaucracy.

They have spoken out about the creation of a Strategic Health Authority cluster which will cover the West Midlands and the East of England for the next two years.

The off-shoot of the current SHAs is designed to oversee day to day delivery of care, build on the government’s NHS reforms for the future and support staff. At the same time, SHAs will continue their work unchanged.

But Lib Dem Shadow Cabinet Member for Health, Geoff Heathcock, believes it is an unnecessary waste of money that could be used directly for patient care.

He said: “Our hospitals and health services across the community generally need resources and yet we have this new level of bureaucracy being created which will take vital money that could benefit them.

“The NHS is moving forward with the creation of locally determined GP commissioning groups close to patients. What we do not need is an organisation of administrative staff absorbing taxpayers’ money for the next two years when we could find much better uses for it.

“Get rid of it now and let the real work be done at the front end.”

Thursday, 25 August 2011

E-Cops - Your weekly news 20-AUG-2011

I have just returned from leave to a rather busy week dealing with a number of crime enquiries in Bar Hill, Dry Drayton, Boxworth and Girton. I have also been providing cover for colleagues on holiday.

On Wednesday, 17th August, we have had an incident report of rowdy nuisance in Pheasant Rise, Bar Hill. The occupants of the house had gone away on holiday and left the lodgers in the house. The lodger and some friends were playing the trumpet in the street and causing a nuisance to other neighbours. Police attended and made sure that order was restored.

On Saturday, 13th August and Sunday, 14th, August between 19:00 and 11:00 there has been a report of theft from a motor vehicle in Almond Grove, Bar Hill. Unknown offenders removed a vehicle badge causing slight damage whilst the vehicle was on a private driveway. I have investigated this crime, however due to sufficient evidence the crime has been filed.

If there is anything that may need my attention in your village, please get in touch.

Kind Regards

Histon Neighbourhood Policing Team

New Enterprise Zone Will Benefit Cambridge City and Surrounding Area

Cambridge City Council Leader, Sian Reid and Cambridge MP Julian Huppert have both welcomed the new Enterprise Zone on Alconbury Airfield (Just north of Huntingdon) believing it will bring great benefits for Cambridge.

They say the new zone, designed to encourage investment, attract innovative companies and create around 8,000 jobs, will provide manufacturing land for high tech companies in the city allowing them to grow. It will also include a terminal for rail freight.

Cllr Reid, a member of the Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Cambridge is justly proud of its reputation for business and research; but at the same time, we recognise the need to move forward to retain our competitive edge.

“The challenge we face is the shortage of land for industrial and manufacturing uses because of the high value of housing land and intense pressure to develop brownfield sites.

“I believe this new Enterprise Zone will bring great benefits to Cambridge.”

Julian said: “This new Enterprize Zone is very welcome and I am encouraged that it will include a terminal for rail freight.

I congratulate the Local Enterprise Partnership on achieving this success andI am pleased that the government is giving support to this region.”

Monday, 22 August 2011

A14 Junction 32 (Histon) to Junction 31 (Girton): Westbound Repair Works

There is going to be substantial patch work to fix problems with the A14 between junctions 32 and 31 starting on the 1st September - this includes two nights of closures which will no doubt substantially affect traffic.

The details of the works are reproduced from the letter below;

"On behalf of the Highways Agency, I am writing to inform you of overnight repairs to the westbound carriageway of the A14 Trunk Road between Junctions 32 (Histon) and 31 (Girton).  The works will involve patching to worn out sections of the carriageway.

The works are due to commence on 1 September for 2 nights.  The working hours will be between 

8.00pm and 6.00am Thursday night
8.00pm and 8.00am Friday night

During the works it will be necessary to implement overnight closures of the westbound carriageway between Junction 32 (Histon) and Junction 31 (Girton). A signed diversion route will be in place for traffic wishing to travel westbound on the A14.

Through traffic wishing to travel westbound on the A14 will be diverted onto the A11 southbound at Junction 36 (Nine Mile Hill) to join the A505 westbound at Abington. Traffic will be directed onto the M11 northbound at junction 10 (Duxford) to re-join the A14 at junction 31 (Girton).

The A14 westbound carriageway will remain open between Junction 35 (Stow cum Quy) and Junction 32 (Histon) for local traffic only.

Access will be maintained at all times for Emergency Services. 

CarillionWSP will endeavour to keep delays to a minimum and complete the repair work as quickly as possible but delays are expected and you should allow extra time for your journeys or seek alternative routes.  We apologise for any inconvenience caused during these essential works.

If you have any queries concerning this scheme, please contact CarillionWSP on 01767 684633 during the hours of 9am and 5pm or the Customer Care department at who will be pleased to help, or alternatively the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000 when out of the above times. 

Yours faithfully
For and on behalf of CarillionWSP

Toni Yendell
Customer Communications Coordinator"

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Heathcock Calls On BT To See The Light Over Phone Kiosks

Telephone giant, British Telecom, is being urged to think again after deciding to switch off the lights in public phone kiosks across Cambridge.
The call comes from Cambridge County Councillor, Geoff Heathcock after he alerted BT to the fact that the internal light was out in a payphone kiosk in Hills Road.
He also told the company that nearby vegetation had been allowed to become overgrown making the location even darker.
BT told him that, having looked at its environmental policy, it had decided to turn the lights off in kiosks that were not being used on a regular basis.
Cllr Heathcock, who represents Queen Ediths, said: “This is a chicken and egg situation; people are unlikely to use the phone kiosks if they can’t see inside.
“I have urged BT to review this decision especially for kiosks in areas with a significant student population. Young women will be especially anxious about using a payphone in the dark. I hope the company will see how its decision will make life difficult in the city and think again.”

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Council Care Budget Careers Further Out Of Control

Figures uncovered from the County Council show that the care budget for people with Learning Disabilities is even more overspent than was reported just a fortnight ago.

Councillor Fiona Whelan has discovered that reports of a deficit of between £2.1 and £3.1 million are in fact now predicted to be £3.5 million in Learning Disabilities. This is in addition to the forecast overspend of £9.1 million in the Older People’s budget revealed in late July.

Lib Dem Shadow Cabinet Member for Adult Care, Cllr Fiona Whelan, said:

“The County Council has lost control of its budgets and people needing care will be the losers.

“The Conservatives have brought in huge cuts in care for elderly and disabled people. Now the cuts will need to be even bigger.

“For most of the past decade, the Conservatives running the County Council have been too incompetent to set a realistic budget. They are prepared to make cut after cut to people’s care but they do not sort out the way the council is run so that they keep track of their spending.”

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

E-Cops - Re-appeal over two CCTV images

We are still trying to trace two people in connection with the disorder in Cambridge on Tuesday (August 9) and would ask you to view two CCTV images we have released.

Officers were called to reports of between 30 and 40 youths, some wearing face coverings, hanging around Midsummer Common at 11.35pm. The group made their way towards the Grafton Centre and some threw items, including rubbish, at officers. Two officers suffered minor injuries.

The images can be found at the bottom of this email (web link).

We are keen to hear from anyone who recognises these people. I would also urge the people who are pictured to contact police themselves. Anyone with any information should call me on 0345 456 456 4 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

Detective Sergeant Emma Compson - Cambridge CCTV 1 - Cambridge CCTV 2

Monday, 15 August 2011

E-Cops - Weekly Update 13-AUG-2011

A busy week this week for us all. You will have no doubt received various E-cops messages this week regarding the disorder in London, and I would like to thank you for your messages of support at this time. We have been working twelve hour shifts and have had all our rest days cancelled in order to assist the Metropolitan Police as well as maintaining our service to the residents of Cambridgeshire.

Unfortunately, I have to report that we have had two dwelling burglaries in Park Lane, Dry Drayton since last Saturday. The first being where three unknown male offenders have forced their way into the home of an elderly gentleman and held him while they searched his home for cash. This occurred at approximately 09:00 hours on Saturday 8th August.

On Wednesday 10th August, between 14:00 and 17:00 hours, unknown offenders have forced the front door of a property and conducted an untidy search of the kitchen before taking a vehicle from the driveway.
On Sunday 7th August, a local resident reported to Police that they had seen three males that were wearing gloves and acting suspiciously in the High Street area of Dry Drayton. This was responded to by our helicopter and on the ground by officers from Cambourne/Parkside and the dog unit. The helicopter was able to identify the males discarding items and also talk in officers on the ground to where these items and the males were. All three males were arrested and charged for theft. It is not believed this incident is related to the two burglaries in Park Lane.

We have had a theft of oil from Boxworth. This is believed to have happened anytime between 19th July and 8th August.

Between 18:30 hours on 8th August and 08:00 hours on 9th August, there has been a report of a theft of fuel from a vehicle that was left parked within the industrial area in Bar Hill.

We are keen to hear from anybody who may have witnessed any of the above crimes or who can provide any further information. If you can help, please contact us on 0345 456 4564.

Kind regards
PC 2207 Claire REEVES

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Petition Launched To Oppose Cuts To Front-Line Fire Service

Liberal Democrat Fire Authority members have launched a petition against cuts in front-line fire emergency services. The petition is in response to plans by fire chiefs in Cambridgeshire for £6 million of cuts to the fire service budget of the Conservative-controlled authority.

The petition can be signed on-line or can be printed off in order to collect further signatures and will be presented to the Fire Authority at its meeting in October.

Opposition Leader on Cambridgeshire Fire Authority, Councillor Nigel Bell said:

“I urge people in the county to sign this petition to oppose the plans for cuts in front-line services.

“There are serious concerns about the £4 million of cuts already imposed but the extra £2 million of cuts, which will see the closure of up to 4 fire stations and the removal of fire appliances, is unacceptable because of the risk to lives through increased response times.

“We believe that cuts to front-line services are dangerous and unnecessary. Instead we should be raising Council Tax in line with current inflation and be pressing for a fairer grant settlement achieved for rural fire services. We also believe that by closer working with neighbouring Fire Services we can save money through economies of scale, for example in our management costs.”

The petition can be found at:

Friday, 12 August 2011

E-Cops - Thank You For Your Continued Support

We would like to thank the residents of Cambridgeshire for remaining calm after untrue rumours of disorder in the county.

Extra patrols were carried out last night and the county remained relatively quiet with no reports of disorder or damage to property.

Plans remain in place in response to disorders in London and other cities, however there is no information to suggest a threat in Cambridgeshire.

Patrols were increased in the county and we are continuing to allocate extra resources.

We are encouraging residents to continue going about their lives as usual and are working with our partners and community leaders to address any concerns.

Anyone who uses the current national issues as an excuse to commit crime will feel the full force of the law.

We would like to thank the community for their continued calm and support of officers working to keep the county safe.

Kind Regards,

Your Neighbourhood Policing Team

Thursday, 11 August 2011

And Then There Was One ...

Of the people identified by @cambscops yesterday as being involved in the disturbance in Cambridge during which police officers were injured only one still remains "at large";

Image is click-able - any information call the police on 0345 456 4564.

Fantastic response from the people of Cambridge, 24 hours later and only one left unaccounted for! The support for the police has been fantastic - remember that if you want to keep track of what is going on in Cambridgeshire then the most reliable source for news is the Cambridgeshire Cops Twitter feed;

County Council May Face Massive Cash Cuts To Fund Academies

Cambridgeshire County Council may soon find itself forced to make cuts in this year’s budget to find the extra money needed to fund the schools that have become academies.

The government has realised that it is wildly over budget for its academy programme and is now consulting about how to plug the gap.

In a recent consultation document the government conceded that it is facing a shortfall of over £600 million over the two year period 2011-2013. This has arisen because it is paying academies more money than they need and consequently more schools have decided to become academies than expected.

Lib Dem shadow cabinet member for Education, Cllr Peter Downes said:

“This amounts to a bribe to persuade schools to convert to academies and leave the Local Authority so that Mr Gove can demonstrate the 'success' of his academy policy. This will fragment our education system, which is already under financial pressure.

“Mr Gove's policy, clearly supported by the Tories in Cambridgeshire, is divisive, unfair and unsustainable.”

In Cambridgeshire four primary schools have become academies and two more are expected to convert by October 1st. 17 secondary schools have left the Local Authority already and five more are on the way.

The Council has already lost £1.71 million from this year’s budget and now stands to lose a further £3 to £4 million, depending on exactly when schools convert.

Cllr Fiona Whelan, Lib Dem shadow cabinet member for Adults’ and Children’s Social Care said:

“It is impossible to defend or justify transferring money out of services to the most vulnerable adults and children just so that a few relatively privileged schools can get a cash boost.”

Council officers expect to hear the government’s decision early in September.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Police Advice Regarding Social Media and Riot Rumours

Cambridgeshire Police have been urging people across Cambridgeshire to ignore the various riot rumours circulating on social networks (Twitter, Facebook) in relation to Cambridgeshire. Cambridgeshire Police have their own Twitter feed which is updated regularly and is probably the best place for news and local updates;

The official news release is below.

"We are urging social media users not to believe everything they read on Twitter or Facebook – unless it’s an official feed.

We have been receiving a number of calls and Tweets, following rumours and speculation circulating on social media sites.

There is no truth in these rumours, and we have been working hard to reassure the public through their official Twitter feeds @cambscops and @suptpaul.

We would urge people not to believe everything they read on social media sites – unless it from an official police feed. There are a number of unhelpful postings and rumours that are simply untrue. 

We are also actively pursuing anyone we believe to be using social networking sites to incite violence and disorder.

Young people are particularly reminded of the risks of committing serious criminal offences with items they post on social networking sites. 

We continue to monitor the situation across the county – as well as other parts of the country, and are committed to keeping the people of Cambridgeshire as informed 
as possible through our official channels.

Anyone concerned about issues in their area can keep an eye on our Twitter feeds @cambscops and @suptpaul"

Monday, 8 August 2011

Lib Dems Gain Assurance That NHS Won’t Increase Waiting Times

Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats have sought and received an assurance from Cambridgeshire PCT that the local NHS will stick to the 18 week target for operations and treatment in the county.

Shadow Cabinet member for health, Cllr Geoff Heathcock, asked for an assurance from Cambridgeshire PCT after it emerged that some PCTs were ignoring the 18 week target in order to make savings.

Cllr Geoff Heathcock added:

“It’s a relief to know that patients will not be kept waiting longer. To wait at all when you are in pain can be very distressing.”

Sunday, 7 August 2011

E-Cops - Weekly Update 05-AUG-2011

As you may already be aware, PCSO Mani is on annual leave this week.

I would like to take this opportunity to say a big congratulations to all the winners of the Bar Hill skate park competition on Saturday 30th July. Thank you to everybody who attended and either took part or just watched and enjoyed the day. The day proved to be a huge success and thankfully it didn't rain! We hope to make this an annual event and aim to get even more people to take part in the competition next year. We couldn't have run the day without the support of Billy's in Cambridge who kindly provided their staff to judge the competition and donated all the prizes that were given out to the winners. I would also like to say thank you to Bar Hill Tesco's who also supported the competition by providing staff to hand out 'goody bags' filled with bottled water, crisps, apples and a mars bar which were funded by Tesco's themselves.

Unfortunately, we have received a report of a house burglary this week in Lolworth. The burglary occurred during the daytime on Monday 1st August. Mainly jewellery has been taken from the property. If you have any information regarding this crime, please telephone Cambridgeshire Police on 0345 456 4564.

We have also received a report of a business burglary in Bar Hill. This occurred during the morning of Friday 29th July, where an unknown offender has entered a staff only part of the premises and stolen a jacket.

Some of you may have noticed the arrival of some caravans on the temporary car park at Cambridge Services, Boxworth. This is a field area between the A14 and the main car park for the services. We are aware of this, and have been keeping regular communication with the site managers. The Police have been supporting the land owner's civil eviction of the caravan's and occupants. I have just been advised that this eviction has been successful and all caravans have now gone.

If you wish to report a crime, suspicious behaviour or activity please ring 0345 456 4564. If you believe that a crime is in progress please ring 999. I also welcome anyone to contact me directly on: if you wish to let me know of any issues you may be experiencing.

Kind regards
PC 2207 Claire REEVES

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Unicef: Horn of Africa Disaster Appeal

I've received the following email from Paddy Ashdown (President of Unicef and former Liberal Democrat Leader);

"As I write this, there is a crisis in the Horn of Africa that is claiming the lives of thousands of children. Famine has been declared. Millions face starvation. In Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia we are witnessing the worst humanitarian catastrophe in a generation.

It is a crisis that has unfolded slowly, so much so that the media has found little drama to force it to top of news bulletins - which have instead been dominated by the phone hacking scandal. But a starving child is a starving child whether a camera is pointed at them or not. There are an estimated 10 million people in desperate need of emergency relief and we must not ignore them.

Unicef, the UN’s children’s agency of which I am the UK president, has called this crisis a “children’s famine”. In those most severely affected regions of Somalia – Bakool and Lower Shabelle – acute malnutrition due to poor diets or inadequate food is now exceeding 50% and the daily death rate for children is peaking at 13-20 per 10,000 children. That's more than 250 children or one child every six minutes. Unless we can have a swift intervention the forecast is that drought will spread to the other five regions in the south between August and December.

We should all be proud that the British government is leading the way, already providing more than £90m of aid to the region, giving emergency assistance to more than 2m people. This means, for example, treatment for starving children and access to clean drinking water. But this is not enough, not by a long shot.

As a government, the Coalition will, I am sure, continue to press our international partners to join us in taking urgent action. As individuals, we can help by contributing to the Unicef East Africa Children’s Crisis Appeal. The British people have been incredibly generous, but we can and must do more. I urge you to give all you can.

As President of UNICEF, I naturally hope you will donate to their appeal - but whatever means to choose to make a contribution, I urge you to do so as soon as you feel able to. This help is needed NOW.

To donate £10 text word FAMINE to 70099; to donate more go to Unicef UK or telephone 0800 316 5353 or visit one of the other donation sites which are available, such as the DEC Appeal.

Thank you.

Paddy Ashdown

President of Unicef UK
Former Leader of the Liberal Democrats

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

E-Cops - Weekly Update 30-JUL-2011

I'm sure you will be pleased to hear that Bar Hill, Dry Drayton, Boxworth and Lolworth have all been very quiet this week with only one crime being reported in Bar Hill. This crime relates to a mobile phone being left on a dispay unit within Tesco's, and when the owner has returned to collect the phone they have found it to be missing.

We have also received a report of some teenagers that were skateboarding down the hill from Oatlands Avenue towards the industrial estate in Bar Hill. PCSO Mani attended and located the group who were all given words of advice regarding the use of the road for skateboarding.

We have conducted some speed checks in Crafts Way, Bar Hill, and I am pleased to report that no vehicles were caught travelling in excess of the speed limit.

After today, PCSO Mani will be on holiday for two weeks. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any concerns while he is away.

Kind regards
PC 2207 Claire REEVES

Monday, 1 August 2011

Care Budgets In Turmoil As Tory Mismanagement Returns

Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats have slammed the Conservative-run County Council for financial mismanagement of its care budget for adults, now forecast to be at least £11 million adrift.

Cambridgeshire’s troubled Adult Care department faces end-of-year deficits of £9.1M in its Older People budget and £2M in Learning Disabilities. The figures for Mental Health are not available.

The figures, announced at yesterday’s Cambridgeshire Care Partnership, are likely to result in front-line services for elderly people being cut back even more drastically in a desperate bid to balance the books by April 2012. The Conservative Council’s budget had already proposed massive cut backs for vulnerable adults as part of a package of cuts that go way beyond what was required by central government.  It now appears that these targets were not realistic.

Shadow Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Cllr Fiona Whelan said:

“I’m truly shocked at the scale of the projected overspends across Older People and Learning Disability Services. This issue used to come up every year. We were told the problem was sorted, but now it’s back.

“Once again there appears to be a complete inability of the Conservative Council to set a realistic budget for adult care and stick to it.

“This affects the most vulnerable people in our county. It would be an appalling consequence of a lack of decent financial control at the County Council if even more savage cuts now have to be made to the ones already planned.

Shadow Cabinet Member for Health, Cllr Geoff Heathcock said:

“I am particularly exercised at the lack on information available on the control for the mental health budget within the County Council and the distinct lack of urgency there appears to be in giving mental health clients a timely review of their care package.”