Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Councillors Report 2014-06 by Andy Pellew

Sebastian Kindersley, Lib Dem PPC
Welcome to the first of my Councillor reports. My hope is to put together a monthly email/ blog post in relation to what I've been doing and what I'm planning to do in the near future.

The first item has to be the selection of South Cambridgeshire's parliamentary candidate. On the 8th June Liberal Democrats met in Harston Village Hall to hear from the three prospective candidates and to pick the one person we'd all be rallying behind in the election to replace Andrew Lansley our current Conservative MP here in South Cambridgeshire.

It was a good evening, it's always refreshing to hear people talk who are so passionate about the Liberal Democrats. I was on the Selection Committee (which vetted the applications) so wasn't actively involved in any of the campaigns but it was good to see the party come together behind Sebastian as our candidate and I'm very much looking forward to working with him during the coming campaign. At the District Council elections the Liberal Democrats were in second place within 3% of the Conservatives so it will at least be close!

On the 10th June in relation to my role as a Governor for Bar Hill Community Primary School I attended a briefing on the new “Computing” curriculum. As someone who works in IT and has a child in reception at the school I'm keenly interested on this new programming-focussed approach. While it was interesting, it didn't really cover any new ground. Primary schools (like Bar Hill) are already quite far forward on rolling out the new curriculum. I think the key message I took away from this morning was the amount of hard work that *teachers* are going to have to do in order to be able to teach this subject. IT has a language all it's own and things like abstraction, algorithms, etc can be daunting to people moving into this new area. Certainly a lot more complicated that Word or PowerPoint!

This months Parish Council meeting was held on the same night as England’s first world cup game and yet was surprisingly well attended!

The meeting opened with two guests; the first was from the Village Hall Management Committee to discuss the installation of Solar Panels. It’s going to be quite expensive to get this done and it’s not clear how this will be funded. While everyone agrees this is a good idea it’s not clear how we get the money. We were shown some projections but they didn’t include a plan for maintenance or monitoring. There is a lot of work to do on this, but it looks like they’re making a good start and heading in the right direction. I look forward to seeing the next proposal!

The next visitor was David Whitehouse who was discussing the installation of a Defibrillator for the village. This would be free to buy only requiring the Council to install and maintain it (which was a few hundred pounds a year, a few hundred more if it’s used). This was massively popular and was approved by the Council. It will be cited at the Parish Council offices, I’ll let you know when it gets installed!

We then went through the standard Agenda with updates in relation to the Willows, Farmhouse, Skate park, Village hall, Village Fete, and Website.

There were no contentious issues in this Parish Council. We discussed briefly the setting up of the Dry Drayton Solar Farm, the Post Office closure and relocation to Tesco (this has actually been abandoned but we didn’t know that at the time), and the Bill Norton Memorial prize.

It was a quiet meeting, we were joined by John Reynolds our County Councillor for a discussion of the County issues but not much there to report either.

I’m planning to be out and about in Bar Hill conducting a residents survey and delivering some new literature in relation to our new PPC. Feel free to stop me for a chat if you see me!

Well that ends this months report. Hopefully I’ll be putting one of these out every month from now on, if there's anything you'd like more detail on let me know.