- Melbourn village website: www.melbourncambridge.co.uk.
- Susan’s monthly reports to the parish council are posted under parish council minutes. She also writes regularly for the Melbourn Magazine.
- Village groups
- If you run a village group and would like help advertising an event or recruiting volunteer helpers, please let Susan know and she would be glad to include a few lines in her monthly community e-newsletter.
Melbourn Parish Council November 2013 County Councillor Report
Virgin hook up: Melbourn has what is considered to be a good service through Virgin cable, but a significant number of individual homes are not hooked up. There is a commitment within the Superfast Broadband roll-out to address these anomalies. However, people can take steps to try and improve the quality of their broadband service immediately by contacting Virgin. It isn’t likely for the Superfast Broadband programme to reach our area until late 2015.
A resident of The Moor recently emailed Virgin to explain her family’s very poor Broadband service from a different provider and got a constructive response very quickly – no promises, but the right noises. Contact details: CableMyStreet@virginmedia.co.uk
A10 cycling path: Work on the Frog End junction to Foxton path has now started from the Foxton end, working its way down to the Melbourn Science Park turn-off.
The Cambs County Council cycling officer and I are meeting our Hertfordshire counterparts in mid-December to discuss strategies for tackling the county border from each side. The next meeting of the campaign is 14 January and will take place in Royston, to emphasize cross-border working.
The 128 bus is officially stopping at Morrison’s now, thanks to intervention by the County Council passenger transport team.
Pot hole compensation: Many people are reporting pot hole accidents and damage to their cars. Here is the on-line system for applying for compensation: http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/transport/roads/highways/
Royston and District Community Transport are recruiting new drivers and also anyone who can help with admin. Please help spread the word.
New constitution: The county council is working well toward reconstituting itself under a service area committee system, to replace the cabinet system. The draft constitution is on-line at the county website. From my perspective, already the council’s work is more transparent and councillors are probably better informed, and more naturally able to work together across party groups. The involvement of a wider range of people in decision-making means a potential to draw on a wider range of expertise.
Children’s Centre Restructure
It is very concerning that following on from a very recent reorganisation of Children’s Centres in the region in which most universal service was withdrawn and the focus was very firmly on those with highest need, that we are facing further need to save £6m by 2018 from the aptly named Enhanced and Preventative Services. These services play a key role in providing support and services to children and families, often targeted on the basis of need and seeking to prevent need from escalating. £1.5m of these savings are to be made from the already small budget for children’s centres. This represents 22% of the current budget. The proposal is to move from the current 40 centres throughout the county to a ‘cluster’ model of Hub and Spoke design, the Hub being located in areas of highest need providing outreach ‘spoke’ service to surrounding areas. The initial information document says that ‘Clearly savings of this scale will result in a reduction in services to families. Where possible closure of Children’s Centres will be avoided, but opening hours will be reduced in many’. A consultation is to be launched shortly for local members. For Melbourn, Cambourne would be the hub, also taking into its sphere Bassingbourn and Gamlingay.
Housing Support for Older People
Changes are to be made to the support offered to elderly people living in their own or sheltered housing. The services for most of Cambridgeshire are going out to tender, but South Cambs and the City are being consulted to see if they can deliver this support themselves. The rationale behind the reorganisation is that traditionally support was only offered to elderly people living in local authority sheltered housing but as this is only 5% of our elderly population in the county, it stands that many people who may benefit from support are not getting it. The new service aims to provide support to all elderly people assessed as needing it regardless of where they live, and to target those who need it most. Much of this support has been assessed as being short term or one-off so the fundamental ethos is that a preventative service is designed that will keep people in their own homes, avoiding hospital and care service admissions. So, all good in theory – let’s see how it goes in practice.
Statement of Community Involvement – consultation
The parish council will have received this exhaustive document outlining all the ways in which the county council currently engages with the public, around all aspects of planning. This is a required exercise on the county council’s part. I have asked for advice in case I’m missing any obvious points of concern and will let you know – but the consultation closes on December 20th.