Susan van de Ven

Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Bassingbourn, Melbourn, Meldreth and Whaddon Learn more

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Community Newsletter

by Susan van de Ven on 6 September, 2017

We are writing to you, as 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 newsletter who would like to do so, please ask them to contact philippajhart@btinternet.com, jose@josehales.me.uk or susanvandeven5@gmail.com.

 

LOCAL PLAN UPDATE

 

The South Cambs District Council Head of Planning has told members that 1675 homes need to be delivered in the District per year for 20 years and that it is contemplated that there will be 44100 jobs generated in that time.

 

Philippa writes: The Local Plan has been suspended for almost as long as I have been a district councillor but it is something to be able to report that the examination in public finished July 2017! The Inspector’s report is expected autumn 2017 which may require potential modifications to be made by SCDC Planning department. With a following wind, adoption of the Plan is hoped for early 2018, by which time the Council will be starting to consult in the next Local Plan!

 

STATUS OF SPECULATIVE PLANNING APPLICATIONS

 

Here’s an update on speculative planning applications going to SCDC Planning Committee – there are others in the pipeline but not yet officially lodged.  Any questions, please let us know.

 

150 homes, Whaddon Road Meldreth: Following a deferral in July, the SCDC Planning Committee will consider this application on 6 September.

 

199 homes off New Road, Melbourn:  Work on site has begun, with diggers clearing further areas for archaeological purposes.   If the Reserved Matters application is approved, then builders intend to start the development in February 2018.

 

23 homes off The Moor, Melbourn:  This application is expected to go to the October SCDC Planning Committee.

 

160 homes off Cambridge Road, Melbourn:  This application is expected to go to the October or November SCDC Planning Committee.

 

THE NEW MAYOR: STAFFING AND CONSULTANCY EXPENSES UNDER SCRUTINY

 

The Mayor, James Palmer, has had his plans to increase his budget for Staffing his office by £500,000 over his campaign pledge of £1.3million thwarted by the Combined Authority Scrutiny and Overview Committee calling the decision in. The Committee has also expressed concerns over consultancy fees which run into hundreds of thousands of pounds and which do not appear as staffing costs even though they are. The call in requires the Combined Authority Board to hold an EGM which takes place on Monday 4th September. Philippa is a member of the Scrutiny and Overview Committee and can answer any queries.

 

COMBINED AUTHORITY TRANSPORT STRATEGY: WHERE’S SOUTH CAMBS?

 

Various projects have been given the green light by the Combined Authority to be explored which include a rapid transport strategy for Cambridge, possible dualling of the A10 north of Cambridge, and improving the A47 to improve connectivity for the Fens. None of this is set in stone and in the meantime South Cambs Planning Committee is passing planning permissions for hundreds of new houses in advance of any prospect of infrastructure improvements.

 

CAM VALE BUS USER GROUP 27 SEPTEMBER

 

All welcome to the next meeting of the Cam Vale Bus User Group, 27 September, 7:30PM, at the Elin Way Meldreth Community Room.  If you depend on buses and are concerned about the future of services in our area, this group is designed to provide a collective voice.  In particular we aim to be proactive in anticipation of the demise of essential council subsidies next financial year.  We are also working with Royston and District Community Transport, who can provide some help, within the bounds of tight licensing guidance from the Department for Transport.

 

Royston and District Community Transport and A2B coaches, who are now running the 127 and 128 council subsidized buses, have both said they will attend.

 

POST-16 STUDENT LIFTS: BASSINGBOURN AND WHADDON TO MELDRETH STATION

 

For a full update on efforts to help get sixth form college students to much needed public transport, please see Susan’s update here. https://susanvandeven.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/08/22/post-16-student-lifts-to-meldreth-station-and-community-transport/#page-content

 

STATION GARDENERS OLD AND NEW: 18 SEPTEMBER, THE PLOUGH SHEPRETH

 

Anyone who gardens or might like to garden at Meldreth, Shepreth or Foxton Stations – whether you live in the villages or not – would be very welcome to join the Station Gardeners for a drink at The Plough Shepreth on 13 September, 7:30PM, to make plans for the coming year.

 

NATIONAL NON-DOMESTIC RATES LOCAL DISCRETIONARY RELIEF

 

Recent government changes to business rates, although they have benefitted some businesses, have also resulted in a number of small businesses having their rates increase dramatically. The District Council has a ring-fenced amount of money and runs a discretionary scheme to businesses experiencing hardship as a result of the changes.  For more information please see here. https://www.scambs.gov.uk/…/around-300-south-cambridgeshire-businesses- could-receive-funds-rate-relief

 

BASSINGBOURN AND MELBOURN CHILDREN’S CENTRES: SEPT 14 PUBLIC CONSULTATION
Over the summer, the County Council has announced proposals to close 19 children’s centres across the county, including Bassingbourn.  Melbourn’s service would be significantly redesigned and would not take place in current premises.  There is a great deal we don’t know, including how Bassingbourn families would access the services they need – if new arrangements are in place for Bassingbourn, what and where, and who will have access?  If outside the village, how will people get there?

 

We’ve persuaded the council to hold an information drop-in session at Bassingbourn Children’s Centre, located adjacent to the primary school, on 14 September, 5-7PM; a consultation event was requested for Melbourn too but the council said this was not necessary.  Please do attend the September 14 event if you can, as this is open to all.

 

The council’s proposals are here. https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/children-and-families/children-s-centres/children-s-centres-consultation/

 

Lib Dem councillors have launched a petition to stop these cuts.  http://www.cambridgelibdems.org.uk/petition_launched_to_halt_children_s_centre_cuts
Last year, planned cuts to winter gritting, also resulting from unnecessary council tax freeze, were halted after a public outcry, with funds to restore the service taken from council reserves.

 

CAM SIGHT SCHOOL VISITS: NATIONAL EYE HEALTH WEEK

 

Local school assemblies will be hosting Cam Sight during National Eye Health Week, beginning September 18.  Warren Wilson will be talking to students and demonstrating goalball techniques at Meldreth Primary School and Melbourn Village College.  MVC will hold Bright for Sight non-uniform days, with proceeds going to Cam Sight – more information on Cam Sight’s practical support for people living with visual impairment is available here.  www.camsight.org.uk

 

ENERGY SWITCH:  HELP GETTING BETTER ENERGY RATES

 

Cambridgeshire Energy Switch, which includes the County and District Councils and residents, is a scheme to get people cheaper energy tariffs.  Many people are paying too much for their gas and electricity and haven’t changed suppliers in years, if at all.  Residents are encouraged to register on the Cambridgeshire Energy Switch scheme to see if they can secure a good rate for the year ahead.

Taking part in the Cambridgeshire Energy Switch is free and without obligation. The Cambridgeshire Energy Switch will hold an online energy auction on Tuesday 10 October. The supplier who offers the cheapest tariff in the auction will be recommended as the new energy supplier to those who have registered with the scheme. Residents will receive details about how much money they could save on their annual energy bill before they decide if they want to accept the offer or not.

We have used the scheme and found it easy and effective.  To sign up or learn more please see here. www.cambridgehsire.gov.uk/switch

ELITE ATHLETE AWARD SCHEME

 

The Elite Athlete Award Scheme opened for applications on 1 September with £10,000 available to help support local elite athletes reach their potential. The scheme is open to both able-bodied and disabled athletes, who live in South Cambridgeshire, whether competing regionally, making progress nationally or representing Team GB. Grants can be used to fund any aspect of equipment, training or competition costs. The maximum grant award will be £2,000 per applicant.

Full details and an online application form can be found on line.

https://www.scambs.gov.uk/eliteathlete

Any questions: duty.communities@scambs.gov.uk or 01954 713070.

 

COMMUNITY CHEST GRANTS

 

There has recently been a windfall of £30,000 into the Community Chest administered by SCDC owing to a community project not getting off the ground. Local groups and charities are invited to apply for grants up to £1,000 for identified projects or contributions towards them. The Community Chest Grants scheme is available to voluntary and community sector groups and parish councils and funding is allocated on a first come, first served basis and awards are decided at the Finance and Staffing Portfolio Holder’s meeting (usually monthly). For further information on eligibility and information needed to support an application please see here.  https://www.scambs.gov.uk/communitychest

 

CAMBRIDGESHIRE SCRAPBOOK 1897-1990

 

Mike Petty, the Cambridgeshire local historian and formerly of the Cambridgeshire Collection, writes:

 

For more than 20 years I have been compiling A Cambridgeshire Scrapbook. It comprises over 3,000 pages and more than 20,000 fascinating facts, features and (occasional) fallacies reported in Cambridge newspapers between 1897 and 1990. It is arranged week by week – so you can check to see what was hitting the headlines whenever you first took an interest in the area and how it has developed since then.  It is free to read, free to download, free to use. Just search ‘Cambridgeshire Scrapbook’.

 

I have also put together scores of mini-scrapbooks. These Scrapbooks reveal some of the events that have helped shape the community of today and put the present in its context. To see the full range of Scrapbooks and other resources to help you discover our area just click ‘bit.ly/CambsCollection

 

It’s my way of saying ‘thank you’ for all the help folk have given me over more than 50 years of trying to discover something of this fascinating county.  I hope also it will draw attention to the resources of the Cambridgeshire Collection, which has been an essential part of Cambridge’s public library since its establishment in 1855. Long may it continue to be freely available to folk of all ages and ability in the heart of the city that established and nurtured it.

 

Feel free to contact Mike: www.mikepetty.org.uk,  mikepetty13a@gmail.com,  Tel  01353 648106

 

DROP-IN ADVICE SURGERY

 

Drop-in advice surgeries are held on the first and third Mondays of the month, 3-4 PM, at the Melbourn Hub and The Limes Bassingbourn respectively.  Next up:  Melbourn Hub Café, 4 September, 3-4PM and The Limes Bassingbourn 18 September 3-4PM.
ANY ITEMS WE CAN HELP TO RAISE?

 

We would be delighted to address any concerns you may have, or help raise awareness of issues affecting our community via this newsletter.

 

WHAT WE STAND FOR

 

The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. We aim to disperse power, to foster diversity and to nurture creativity.   Learn more about or join the Liberal Democrats at http://www.libdems.org.uk

 

Sincerely yours,

 

Philippa, Jose and Susan

 

Philippa Hart, District Councillor for Meldreth and Shepreth

philippajhart@btinternet.com, Tel 01763 261255

 

Jose Hales, District Councillor for Melbourn, Heydon and the Chishills

jose@josehales.me.uk, Tel 01763 221058

 

Susan van de Ven, County Councillor for Bassingbourn, Melbourn, Meldreth and Whaddon

susanvandeven5@gmail.com, www.susanvandeven.com, Tel 07905325574

@susanvandeven, https://www.facebook.com/SusanSouthCambs/

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