Sunday, 30 March 2014

Guest Post: Liberal Democrat Community Newsletter 30-MAR-2014 by Cllr Susan van de Ven

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 or jose@josehales.me.uk.

HOUSING GROWTH FOR GREATER CAMBRIDGE VOTED THROUGH

The South Cambs Local Plan has now been adopted by SCDC. This sets out parameters for the development of 19,000 homes in the district up until 2031.  For our area this includes 65 new homes off Victoria Way, Melbourn, but not 270 homes off New Road - reflecting the objectives of the Melbourn Housing Development Awareness Campaign (MELHDAC), which spearheaded the effort to ensure that every household in Melbourn had a clear opportunity to respond to the SCDC consultation.  Melbourn produced the highest rate of consultation response of any parish in South Cambs and Jose Hales worked to ensure that the response was taken into account.

Meanwhile, Cambridge has adopted its Local Plan for the development of 11,000 homes in the same time period.  The two plans work in tandem and are linked to the Transport Strategy for Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire - the objective of which is to create opportunities to travel in and around Cambridge by public transport and bicycle.  A variety of government grant schemes come into play for transport funding, the most significant of which is the recently announced City Deal.  This is worth £100 million in the first five-year tranche and another £400 million in the longer term.

While creating transport infrastructure such as cycle paths and park and ride facilities is relatively straightforward, the running of public transport services is less so.  Innovative thinking and strong cooperation across transport operators, the Department for Transport and local authorities will be necessary.

STUDY AT THE HUB – LESS TRAVEL, MORE CAKE

Just as at Cambridge Central Library, all students are always welcome to use the Melbourn Hub for revision.  Please come along any time during the Easter holiday and May half-term. You can choose to work at regular tables in the cafĂ© area and possibly be offered a dedicated quiet room if one is available – just ask at Reception.  The Hub has four new laptops free to borrow, and high speed internet with free access. Opening hours are 9-5 weekdays and 9-4 Saturdays.  Please contact Jose with any questions about the Hub.

WORK CONTINUES ON HEYDON LANE

The County Council Enforcement Officer is continuing to work with the land-owner and Heydon Parish Council to bring about a positive resolution to the water run-off problem.

SCHOOL CROSSING PATROL OFFICER STARTS TOMORROW

After much work to safeguard the role, and then to improve the fairness of the recruitment process, a new School Crossing Patrol Officer for Melbourn has been appointed and starts work on Monday 31st March.  The officer will assist children in crossing the road at the junction of The Moor, Norgett’s Lane and Melbourn High Street.

WHAT IS TRAVEL FOR WORK AND WHY SIGN UP?

Through the Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Community Rail Partnership, Shepreth Wildlife Park has signed up with Cambridgeshire County Council’s ‘Travel for Work’ scheme.  This is about encouraging local businesses to help their employees to travel to work by sustainable transport. A large proportion of Wildlife Park employees travel to work by rail and bicycle, and various incentives and discounts are available for employees of businesses signed up for the scheme.  For more information, please contact mark.webb@cambridgeshire.gov.uk.

A10 ANNUAL CYCLE RIDE: MAY 18th

The A10 Corridor Cycle Campaign will hold its annual Awareness Ride on Sunday May 18th. There will be two departure points – Royston Heath and Trumpington Park and Ride – each one at 10AM, with Meldbourn’s Phillimore Garden Centre once again the destination.  This year, the tea stall will be set up a bit further into the Phillimore site, in the field on the left as you go in. Thanks to JR Tech, Shepreth, for its generous donation toward teas and cakes for participants – to be supplied as last year by the Teapot, Phillimore.

The A10 Corridor Cycle Campaign’s next meeting is Wednesday April 2nd, 7:30PM, at the Melbourn Hub – doors opening at 7PM for tea and coffee.   Membership is free and more information is available at www.a10corridorcycle.com.

NETWORK RAIL: LOCAL SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS

Network Rail is in the process of implementing safety improvements at Shepreth Station by closing off the gate leading down to the crossing from the London platform.  More information at http://susanvandeven.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/03/25/network-rail-responds-to-shepreth-station-vulnerabilities/.

At Meldreth, visibility on both approaches of the Station Road bridge has been greatly enhanced through cutting back of vegetation, line painting, speed limit signs and reflective markings.

FOXTON CROSSING PEDESTRIAN GATE PADLOCKED, STATION SIDE

Foxton Crossing’s pedestrian gate on the station side has been out of use all this week, due to problems with a hinge.  Network Rail is trying to get this sorted with an engineering firm, and has opened up access to the contingency pedestrian path.  This path takes pedestrians closer to moving vehicle traffic.

COMPOST BIN FOR STATION GARDEN - SUMMER ANNUALS NEEDED

Another compost bin has been donated and will be placed at Meldreth Station Flower and Veg Garden, which this weekend had its first tidy-up of the year with help from Melbourn and Meldreth residents aged five upward.  The watering rota for Shepreth Station is being organized by Philippa Hart (philippajhart@btinternet.com), for Meldreth Station by Tim Gane (tim@meldreth.fsnet.co.uk) and for Foxton Station by Susan.  Please get in touch if you would like to join in with planting up the tubs, help with watering, or if you have any summer annuals to donate.

SECTION 59 ORDERS: MELBOURN HIGH STREET CAR PARK

Jose, Susan and Cllr Val Barrett are supporting the Police in their work to monitor vehicle nuisance in the Melbourn High Street car park.  Thanks to residents for contributing to problem-solving efforts, by taking the time to report incidents to 101 – the non-emergency police number which creates a log of events, key to deployment of police resource. The Police have indicated that they will deploy Section 59 powers to seize vehicles ‘that are driven in an Anti-Social manner.’

FENNY LANE CROSSROADS

A meeting of county and parish officers and councillors took place earlier this week to look at options for making this crossing safer, after a spate of accidents, in spite of the new 30MPH speed limit.  Some of the options suggested by councillors were not feasible due to stringent regulations set down by government – including stop signs.  The costs of traffic lights and roundabouts are exorbitant – in the hundreds of thousands of pounds, and therefore not realistic.  However, a range of small but sensible measures to improve visibility and awareness were discussed to be taken forward, and will be reported at Meldreth Parish Council’s meeting this Thursday, April 3rd, 7:30 PM.

CLEAR CRESCENT AND MEDCALFE WAY PARKING SORTED

A new parking layout is now in place at Clear Crescent and Medcalfe Way, creating extra provision and alleviating pressure. Jose approached district council officers with his idea for the new layout, and work was completed in early March.

MELBOURN HIGH STREET LIGHT COLUMN: ONE YEAR ON

A year ago Balfour Beatty promised to relocate a new street lamp in Melbourn High Street back to its original position.  Affected residents have been reminding the company of its unfulfilled promise, and only recently did we receive a message indicating that placing the column in its original position is in fact not possible. This week Jose and Susan are meeting on site with Balfour Beatty and affected residents to work out a solution.

RAINBOW FLAG

In the same week that gay marriage has been legalized, Cambridgeshire County Council has voted through a Lib Dem motion to join Cambridge and South Cambs District Council in flying the Rainbow Flag during LGBT History month.

INTERACTIVE MAP: HOW MANY JOBS NEAR YOU?

An interactive map pinpointing steps toward successful job creation in our area can be found at http://www.libdems.org.uk/how_many_jobs_near_you.

SUPPORTING LOCAL LINKS TO KENYA COMMUNITY WORK

Link Murang’a is a small organisation within the Parish Churches of Melbourn and Meldreth that supports the Diocese of Mt. Kenya Central in its community work.  This includes the building of a dispensary in a remote village that currently has no health care available, and the building of a girls’ dormitory in a residential vocational training centre.

On Sunday 27th April the group is holding annual its annual walk to help raise funds, and would welcome more walkers.  A donation of £5 is requested in exchange for a goodie bag containing a bottle of water, snacks, and a map of the walk area.  The walk is approximately eight miles through beautiful Essex countryside, mostly off-road and on established footpaths.  The start and end point is the car park outside the church at Chrishall, and will set off at 11am.  For further details and to book a place, ring Sue Cane on 01763 262320 or David Hollamby on 01763 261082.

DROP-IN ADVICE SURGERY

Our surgery continues on the first Monday of the month, 2:30-3:30 PM, at the Melbourn Hub – next one on April 7th. If this is not convenient and you would like to arrange an appointment for a different time or closer to home, please let us know.

ANY ITEMS TO RAISE?

If you have any issues which you would like us to help address, or to highlight via this newsletter, please let us know.

Sincerely yours,

Susan and Jose

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

Jose Hales
District Councillor, Melbourn, Heydon and the Chishills
jose@josehales.me.uk
Tel 01763 221058