by Susan van de Ven on 15 October, 2018
Liberal Democrat Community Newsletter
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 us – details are below.
JUNIOR TRAVEL AMBASSADORS TAKE CAMBOURNE BY STORM
Check out Meldreth Primary School’s delegation to the Greater Cambridge Partnership meeting, near the start of the video, here.
OXFORD-CAMBRIDGE RAIL LINE: STAY INFORMED
About 150 people attended Shepreth Village Hall on 25 September to hear the CamBedRailRoad Group’s presentation on possible routes for the Oxford-Cambridge Rail line, and the final connection between Bedford to Cambridge. The likely single ‘preferred route’ to be announced in late 2018 runs alongside Bassingbourn, Whaddon, Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton.
The CBRR Group is highlighting the potential advantages of an alternative route aligned with the A428 corridor, where the overwhelming bulk of South Cambridgeshire planned housing development will take place but which lacks public transport links.
More information here.
COUNTY COUNCIL FINANCE: THE GRINCH STEALS CHRISTMAS
Recently it’s been announced that Council staff who earn more than £25K per year will be required to take three days unpaid leave between Christmas and New Year, in order to save the council £880k. Meanwhile, the Council Leader openly predicts that CCC will follow the Northamptonshire bankruptcy path in two years. However, there are choices to be made:
If the County Council had taken recent council tax increases permitted by Government, it would have an extra £26 million revenue this year. Going forward, the administration plans to resume council tax freezes for three years, starting in 2020. It concedes that this is due to a perceived advantage in local elections, even though freezes mean more cuts.
Soon the council will receive no further Revenue Support Grant from government – instead ‘Negative Revenue Support Grant’ will kick in, whereby the County Council must pay into to central government coffers rather than the other way around. This is central government policy.
Our budget papers cite risks around Brexit – especially workforce shortages for the care industry, but also a national economic downturn.
The Grinch could be turned away.
EUROPE IN MY VILLAGE
You’ll spot some familiar faces in ‘Europe in My Village’, showing how being part of the European Union has worked for Cam Valley Orchards, Shepreth Wildlife Park, Maycroft Care Home, Melbourn Village College, and more. Printed at Esson Print Shepreth, and available at One Stop Meldreth – or read it here.
COULD YOU BE A TEACHER?
As you may know, we are facing a teacher shortage in Cambridgeshire. The County Council has organised an Initial Teacher Training provider event to make people more aware of all the options open to them. Please help us spread the word about the Getting into Teaching event at Anglia Ruskin University on Monday 19 November 2018, 6-8PM. There will be a range of local providers attending offering all phases and routes such as school centred places, PGCEs, B.Ed or internships. To book a place for the event, please follow this link.
CHILDREN’S CENTRE SERVICES
Given big changes that took place at Bassingbourn at the end of August, and the fact that outreach services are as yet non-existent, we would be grateful to hear from anyone with their concerns – thank you. Changes have taken place too at Melbourn– so again, please get in touch.
£400K COMMUNITY GRANT POT
Voluntary and community groups are being asked to bid for a share of over £400,000 of grant funding to help make sure vital services are delivered in South Cambridgeshire villages.
The three-year funding deal by South Cambridgeshire District Council will see money available for groups supporting communities on issues ranging from community transport and homelessness to living independently and support for people for upcoming national changes to benefits.
Full details of the service support grants available along with application forms can be found here. Jose chairs the Grants Committee and would be happy to answer any questions.
AGE UK HANDYPERSON SCHEME
District and County Councils together run a countywide Handyperson Service, delivered by Age UK. The scheme entitles older people to a free home assessment and will fit any grab rails for free. More information here.
ENERGY EFFICIENT COUNCIL HOUSING
Council homes across South Cambridgeshire are now among the most energy-efficient Council properties in the country. They are better for the environment, and easier and cheaper to heat and run for tenants. This follows a £15 million, four-year programme to make the District Council’s housing stock as green as possible. This has been funded almost entirely by the authority itself through the rent it receives. Improvements carried out since 2014 have combined to give the Council’s 5,700 homes the equivalent of a ‘C’ score on Energy Performance Certificates.
This was achieved by upgrades to homes, including the installation of extra loft insulation, fitting external solid wall insulation and improving heating systems, especially at homes not supplied with mains gas. The programme has also seen older windows replaced with triple glazing and older doors bought up-to-date to prevent draughts.
Additionally, during the past few years, around 2,400 Council properties have benefited from the installation of solar panels, providing clean, renewable electricity and further reducing energy bills. Where possible and appropriate, air source heat pumps have also been installed. Please contact Jose for any further information.
Finally, thank you to those who’ve asked us when the Sustainable Parish Energy Partnership might be revived – Philippa is taking this forward at SCDC, so watch this space.
ENERGY SWITCH AND OIL CLUB REMINDER
Our local Oil Club can help with finding lowest prices on household heating oil. We get a rebate every year which is donated to a local community group; last year this went to the Citizens Advice Bureau drop-in service at the Melbourn Hub. Our supplier’s details: Jeremy Cole on 01954 719452 for more information – or email email@example.com or see www.agricole.co.uk.
In addition, Cambridgeshire County Council facilitates energy supplier switches – information here.
CHARGES FOR SECOND GREEN BINS
Changes to some aspects of bin collections in Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire are being proposed to streamline what is a shared service. Most of the changes affect Cambridge City only, but the one proposed change for South Cambs residents is the introduction of a charge for those who want more than one green bin, for which Cambridge City residents already pay. The first green bin will remain free. 95% of Councils that offer a garden waste service already charge for additional green bins. The cost will be £35 per year but reduced to £20 for the first year. The scheme would officially begin in April 2019 with residents able to sign-up from early next year. A formal decision will be made on November 8th. Any questions, please contact Philippa.
Recently, Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Rail User Group representatives attended a meeting at King’s Cross with senior GTR staff to press for the restoration of the May timetable and semi-fast London services, and other issues of concern raised by rail users. Some services have now been reintroduced and the rest of our missing weekday services should be restored by December. The Rail User Group is now pushing hard on a plan for restoration of weekend services. A full report of the meeting is posted here. http://meldrethsheprethfoxtonrail.org.uk/2018/10/10/govia-thameslink-railway-and-meldreth-shepreth-and-foxton-rail-user-group-meeting-28-september/
NEW PLATFORM SHELTERS ON THE WAY
We are told by GTR that Foxton and Shepreth Stations will see new shelters erected on the Cambridge platforms by December, while Meldreth Station’s first ever Cambridge platform shelter is scheduled to be installed by March.
STATION TUBS: JOIN THE PLATFORM GARDENERS
Tubs will be planted up for winter shortly – at Shepreth on October 20 morning, Meldreth October 27, 9:30AM, and Foxton details soon to be announced. If you’d like to help, please come along on the day, or contact us for more details.
A10 CORRIDOR CYCLING CAMPAIGN MEETING: OCTOBER 17
All welcome at 7:30, upstairs at The Plough, Shepreth – grab a pint and come along. The agenda and more about the campaign can be found here.
MALTON LANE MELDRETH ROAD CLOSURE
From 5-16 November, 8:30-15:30 daily, Malton Lane will be closed in order for County Highways to carry out remedial drainage works near the junction with North End – action arising out of the Meldreth Flood Avoidance tour last spring.
TOWER CLOSE VISITED BY DRAGON PATCHER
Tower Close Bassingbourn pot holes have recently been treated by County Highways’ new and improved Dragon Patcher. It will be good to see if the fillings stick through the coming winter, which would be an improvement. Thanks to everyone who so diligently persisted in reporting pot holes on line, as the cluster of reports made an impact.
The District Council helps volunteers to set up new Repair Cafes. If you are interested in setting up a Repair Cafe and would like support, or if you would like to volunteer as a repairer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01954 713070. Or if you have items you’d like to see fixed, see here for details of repair cafés coming up. Any questions, please ask Philippa.
COMMUNITY CALENDAR: GET YOUR EVENT PUBLICIZED
Gareth.Bell@scambs.gov.uk, at the Communications Team at SCDC, can see about putting your community event in the Community Calendar in the South Cambs Magazine. The Magazine comes out quarterly – so think about advertising Christmas events now.
TUESDAY EVENING YOUTH CLUB AT MELBOURN PAVILLION
This free youth club is open to 11-16-year-olds in our area – for more information please see here.
CELEBRATING AGES: TEA WITH TEENS
The very popular fixture will take place on November 19 at the Cambridge Motel, with Melbourn Village College students sitting down to chat with older residents of our community. Please contact Jose if you’d like to attend. Meanwhile Bassingbourn Village College is exploring the possibility of holding a similar event in Bassingbourn – watch this space.
PARLIAMENTARY BOUNDARIES: LETCHWORTH AND ROYSTON CONSTITUENCY
The Boundary Commission for England has now published final recommendations for changes to Parliamentary constituency boundaries.
The Melbourn and Bassingbourn wards both fall fully within the proposed Letchworth and Royston Constituency. Though they would remain in the county of Cambridgeshire, their MP would cover an constituency stretching over two counties. The final recommendations will need to be passed by Parliament; they would then take effect at the next Parliamentary election, currently scheduled for 2022. Otherwise the current constituency boundaries would remain in place.
DROP-IN ADVICE SURGERY
We are at the Melbourn Hub every first Monday of the month, 3-4PM, and Susan is at the Limes Community Room Bassingbourn every third Monday of the month, 3-4PM. If these times are inconvenient for you, let us know and we’ll arrange another date and time to suit.
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.
Philippa, Jose and Susan
Philippa Hart, District Councillor for Melbourn, Meldreth, Shepreth and Whaddon
Philippajoyhart@gmail.com, 07811323571, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/phillipa.hart.963
Jose Hales, District Councillor for Melbourn, Meldreth, Shepreth and Whaddon
email@example.com, 07703 262649, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jose.hales.9
Susan van de Ven, County Councillor for Bassingbourn, Melbourn, Meldreth and Whaddon
Twitter: @susanvandeven, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SusanSouthCambs/Leave a comment