Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Liberal Democrat Community Newsletter (Guest Post From Cllr Susan van de Ven)


Liberal Democrat Community Newsletter

For Foxton, Heydon, Melbourn, Meldreth, Shepreth and the Chishills

We are writing to you, as your councillors and campaigners for our interlinked cluster of villages, to keep you informed of local issues involving the District and County Councils. If you would prefer not to receive this email newsletter, please reply asking to be removed from the distribution list. If you know of someone not receiving this email newsletter who would like to do so, please ask them to email susanvandeven@yahoo.co.uk.

METTLE HILL TO BE PURCHASED BY MELDRETH PARISH COUNCIL

As was known from the start, Cambridgeshire County Council as owner of the Mettle Hill disused Traveller site was required to offer ‘first refusal’ to both District and Parish Councils in any initiative to sell the site. Unbeknownst to the Parish Council or to any of Meldreth’s elected representatives, the District Council had for five months been working up a proposal to purchase and reopen the disused site, without any consultation with the community – in spite of the District’s long-held view that for profound historic reasons, the old site would be unsuitable for reopening.

Supported by all of Meldreth’s elected representatives, the Parish Council has now submitted a bid for the land which has been accepted by Cambridgeshire County Council, subject to contract. The Parish Council will be consulting with local residents on the future use of the site, for community benefit.  The District Council withdrew its interest in purchasing the site on the basis that it would be inappropriate to enter a bidding war.

Susan has been coordinating the Parish Council’s ‘Mettle Hill Working Party’ and continues to liaise between Parish and County Councils as land purchase arrangements are completed.  A newsletter from the Mettle Hill Working Party, together with a full archive of the campaign, can be found at www.mettlehill.com.

DRAINAGE IMPROVEMENTS TO MELBOURN HIGH STREET

A collaborative effort involving Melbourn Parish Council, Melbourn Village College and Cambridgeshire County Council is underway to address long-standing drainage problems in the vicinity of Melbourn High Street.  The work is taking place in tandem with the clearance of the Old Police Site, and the start of building work on 13 affordable homes and a Community Hub which will provide a permanent site for Melbourn Library. Please contact Jose with any questions.

FOXTON LEVEL CROSSING FEASBILITY STUDY

Network Rail reported to the December meeting of the Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Rail User Group meeting that its feasibility study into the closing Foxton Level Crossing has entered a detailed phase, following an initial scoping exercise which determined conclusively that there is a strong case upon which to go forward.  In line with its national level crossing closure policy and its intention to look at ‘all options’ in the Foxton study, Network Rail will also be considering the future of some of the more rural level crossings in the area.

The pedestrian gate upgrade package is now complete.  An electrical earth problem causing gate failure earlier in the autumn is being addressed.  A summary of the meeting is at http://melbourn.org.uk/railusergroup/foxton-level-crossing-feasibility-study-moving-forward/.

WINTER COMPANIONSHIP FOR THE ELDERLY: SUPPORT BOBBLE DAY 8 FEBRUARY

Age UK reports that last year, over half a million older people in the UK spent Christmas Day alone.  Over one million older people around us have not seen a friend, neighbour or family member in over a month, and cold weather can have a devastating impact.  Age UK is calling on people across the UK to help ‘Warm Up Britain’ on Bobble Day, Friday 8th February 2013. ‘We aim to bring lonely older people together for hot meals, friendship activities or just by supplying toasty heaters, hot water bottles and socks. With the help of your Council the money raised will help us to reach over 500,000 older people this winter.’

All you need to do is plan to wear a bobble hat or woolly jumper for the day, paying £1 to do so: Register now at www.ageuk.org.uk/bobbleday or call 020 3033 1725 for all your support materials.

SCDC ARTS GRANT CUTS – LETTER FROM MELBOURN VILLAGE COLLEGE

MVC Principal Simon Holmes has written to all parents and carers asking them to respond to the SCDC consultation on arts grants cuts, which would have a significant impact on the college.  You can read the letter at http://susanvandeven.mycouncillor.org.uk/2012/12/17/melbourn-village-college-requests-support-over-arts-cuts/  The consultation deadline is 20 December; if you miss this date, it is probably still worth communicating any concerns you may have to SCDC – please contact Jose or Surinder for more details.

SUPERFAST BROADBAND REGISTRATIONS: PRESSING ON

Thanks for continuing to register interest in bringing Superfast Broadband to our villages, via www.connectingcambridgeshire.co.uk. Some people have reported McAfee virus warnings on the website and this has been reported to the County Council.  You can also contact any of us, providing your landline number and postcode, which we will pass on directly to the Council to add to the register.  Registration rates have improved markedly in our area.  However they are still significantly lower than those in other parts of the county.

FROZEN BINS

This is a widespread problem but probably more so in the Chishills and Heydon where the average temperature is a bit lower.  There is no way that the bin men can release frozen green bin contents, and they have no choice but to leave frozen bins un-emptied. The advice is to avoid putting bins out until close to collection time, and storing bins in a shed or garage if possible, or adjacent to your house where they may keep a bit warmer.

GAS LEAK: A10 FOWLMERE RD JUNCTION, SHEPRETH

Road closure at this junction, for emergency works to repair a gas leak, should have been resolved by the end of last weekend.  Susan is liaising with County Highways.

 HEYDON BURGLARY ALERT

Melbourn E-cops reports that ‘Three burglaries have taken place at the start of the month in Heydon. One in each of the following locations; Chishill Road, Fowlmere Road and High Close. All the premises were sheds where tools have been stolen.’

REQUEST FOR PAVEMENT AND ROAD SURFACE IMPROVEMENTS

Working through the Scrutiny process, Lib Dem councillors at Cambridgeshire County Council have successfully recommended a £90 million investment over four years in roads and pavements, which have been in a state of severe decline.  A priority list of urgent areas for attention is being sought from each parish in our division.

URGENT POTHOLE REPORTING

As always, please report potholes directly to street.scene@cambridgeshire.gov.uk.

FENNY LANE AND HIGH STREET DRAINAGE, MELDRETH

A follow-up meeting by the District and County Council drainage officers to sort out possible tree root blockage in under-road drains should take place imminently, with the aim of sorting out the flood risk around the Stock which caused property damage at Meldreth Manor School last summer.

CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU: POSTCODE ANOMALY

If you have had any difficulties accessing help at Cambridge Citizens Advice Bureau due to an SG8 postcode, please let us know. Thanks to the Melbourn resident who brought this to attention.

YELLOW LINES RESOLUTION, MELDRETH AND FOXTON

An apology has been received from County Highways on the inappropriate delay in putting down long-awaited yellow line restrictions in Station Road Foxton and High Street Meldreth.

POST-16 RAIL DISCOUNT: WEBSITE LINK FOR CAMBRIDGESHIRE DISCOUNT

Anticipating the start of a new term, some parents have been looking to renew their children’s rail discount pass, which is the best offered anywhere on First Capital Connect’s patch at 50% rather than 30% off the adult fare.  Please follow this link – there have been website glitches so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any difficulties:

http://www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk/tickets-and-fares/season-tickets/student-connect/student-connect-cambridge-faqs/

THE CASE FOR POLITICAL PARTIES IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT

A discussion evening will take place 1 February, 7:30 PM, at the Elin Way Sheltered Housing Community Room, Meldreth.  Tea and coffee will be served. There is no charge and everyone is welcome.

SURINDER’S DROP-IN SURGERIES

Meldreth, Elin Way Community Room:  7 January, 7-8PM (and first Mondays of the month).
Shepreth, Village Hall Meeting Room:  14 January, 7-8PM (and second Mondays of the month).

SUSAN AND JOSE’S DROP-IN SURGERIES

Melbourn Library Access Point, in the green portable cabin adjacent to the Melbourn Village College Entrance in The Moor: 7 January and first Mondays of the month, 2:30-3:30 PM.

A10 CORRIDOR CYCLE CAMPAIGN: NEW YEAR LAUNCH

Thank you to everyone who has responded with interest in an A10 Corridor Cycle Campaign. The idea is to help promote improvements to cycling both along the A10 itself (between Royston and Cambridge) but also, in and between the villages that straddle the A10.

A launch meeting will take place Tuesday 29 January, 7:30PM, at the Elin Way Sheltered Housing Community Room, Meldreth.  Tea and coffee will be served and anyone is welcome to come along, whether to join or just find out more.

A very happy Christmas to all, and best wishes for 2013.

Sincerely yours,

Susan, Jose and Surinder

Susan van de Ven, County Councillor
Foxton, Heydon, Melbourn, Meldreth, Shepreth and the Chishills
Contact details at www.susanvandeven.com
Twitter @susanvandeven

Jose Hales, District Councillor, Melbourn, Heydon and the Chishills
Contact details at www.josehales.com

Surinder Soond, District Councillor, Meldreth and Shepreth
Contact details at www.surindersoond.mycouncillor.org.uk
Twitter @surindersoond (#3villagesSPEP)