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 15 May, 2019

Community Newsletter May 2019

DRAINAGE TOURS

Low-lying Meldreth, with its many watercourses and drainage ditches in addition to the River Mel, has an active Flood Avoidance Committee which over the past 14 years has conducted an annual tour of the village with our Local Highways Officer, in order to keep an eye on the network and stay alert to potential problems.   Last year’s tour resulted in significant improvements to Malton Lane drainage. 

Melbourn has had its own drainage challenges and a tour is scheduled for June.

Our Local Highways Officer reminds us that for the purposes of record keeping, logging drainage concerns on the Cambridgeshire Report a Fault website is key.  Here’s the link – please take a look at the variety of issues that the site is set up for (not just drainage, not just pot holes).

https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/travel-roads-and-parking/roads-and-pathways/roadworks-and-faults/

ZERO CARBON COMMUNITIES GRANT

South Cambridgeshire District Council has approved a new Zero Carbon Communities Grant which will provide support to parish councils and community groups for projects which will reduce reliance on fossil fuels and promote behaviour change. This is a ring-fenced fund and applications can be for sums up to £15,000. Match-funding will be encouraged – this need not necessarily be in monetary sums, but could be measured by contributions of time and skills. Consideration of applications for these grants will be done by the Grants Advisory Committee and assistance and advice will be provided by the Communities team at SCDC. All projects are required to show a level of community engagement.  More information here:

https://www.scambs.gov.uk/fund-to-help-communities-shift-towards-zero-carbon-approved/

WHAT’S A LIBERAL DEMOCRAT COUNCIL EVER DONE FOR ME?

Here’s a practical look at what the Liberal Democrat District Council has undertaken in its first year here in South Cambridgeshire, and its plans for next steps.

https://www.sclibdems.org.uk/south_cambs_lib_dem_council_one_year_on?recruiter_id=18395&fbclid=IwAR3xGrOtf_cwue1BCnIaNZfAu6DQeo9l4gOh75JXSQu7XSlu5YiTntlhApg

And if you would like to see a video highlighting some of these things, please follow this link:

https://www.facebook.com/SouthCambridgeshireDistrictCouncil/videos/301743747412455/

PARISH COUNCILLORS ARE VOLUNTEERS

The most local level of democracy is the parish council.  Parish councillors volunteer their time freely to their local communities.  Their duties include responding to local planning applications, helping to kickstart and shepherd strategic projects like Neighbourhood Plans or Futures groups, ensuring Recreation Ground equipment is in good condition, holding regular public meetings for transparent decision-making, commission new village signs (as Whaddon has recently done) and a whole host of issues relating to the basic fabric and well-being of the community.   They can also take the initiative on big community projects (like the Melbourn Hub), requiring very considerable time and effort and bringing much benefit for local residents. 

Do google your local parish council, check out their websites, and see what they’re up to!  If you’re intrigued, please contact your parish clerk – vacancies regularly arise so there’s always a chance to contribute to your local community as a parish councillor.

BABY WEIGHING CLINICS: STAFF SHORTAGES

There is a national shortage of health visitors, and a shortage here in South Cambridgeshire. On more than one occasion, the Baby Weighing Clinic at Orchard Road Melbourn has been cancelled for this reason.   Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any concerns.

ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL: EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ELECTIONS

As has been said many times, our future relationship with Europe has a direct impact on our district and county councils in terms of their responsibilities for providing public services, and the resources available to them to do so.   

For example, the County Council has already been impacted by negative economic consequences of Brexit on UK public finance, and by workforce shortages in health and social care – its biggest area of expenditure and responsibility by far.  

The Lib Dems were the first to call for a People’s Vote in 2016, and have been fighting for it ever since. We want Britain to remain in the EU because it’s best for our economy, our public services and best for the environment.  We believe in reform from within, at every level of government – and every level of government always needs reform.

Our manifesto

PASSENGER BENEFIT FUND

Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Rail User Group and Royston and Villages Rail User Group have been asked by Govia Thameslink Railway to canvass their rail users for appropriate ways of spending £80K at each of our stations, as recipients of the Passenger Benefit Fund, deriving from the fine imposed on Govia Thameslink Railway in the wake of last summer’s timetable meltdown. 

More information about the fund, including suggestions for how it might be spent, is posted on the Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Rail User Group website here

As well as the Royston and Villages Facebook page, here

Do feel free to get in touch with any ideas – contact details on both links.

MELDRETH SHEPRETH AND FOXTON RAIL USER GROUP MEETING 19 JUNE

We meet next on June 19, 7:30-9:00PM, at Elin Way Community Room, Elin Way Meldreth, SG8 6LT – a five-minute walk from Meldreth Station.  An agenda will be posted on our website nearer the time; this will include consideration of the Passenger Benefit Fund.  All welcome.

A1198 FOOTWAY KNEESWORTH PINCH POINT: SIDED OUT

In response to concerns that pushchairs could not pass along a very narrow stretch of pavement alongside the Kneesworth traffic calming bollards, on the north side of Kneesworth toward the Barracks entrance, the Local Highways Officer has sided out this pinch point.  A request has now been made to South Cambs District Council to sweep the length of the path.

Meanwhile, the hedging along the path near Kneesworth Hospital badly needs cutting back.  This has been reported on the Cambridgeshire Report a Fault webpage.

https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/travel-roads-and-parking/roads-and-pathways/roadworks-and-faults/

MELBOURN PRIMARY: WALK TO SCHOOL ROUTE ASSESSMENT

Following concerns about the safety of the walk-to-school route to Melbourn Primary, from the south side of Orchard Road and crossing over the junction at New Road and Mortlock Street, it’s good to report that the Road Safety Officer has agreed to carry out a new assessment of traffic dynamics at the junction.  After the assessment has been done, we’ll discuss options for safety improvements.

DOES YOUR HOME HEAT RELY ON OIL?

If so, it may be useful to know that we have a bulk-buying household heating oil club to help households access lowest prices.  Please see here for more details.

Our bulk buyer is Dr Jeremy Cole at Agricole Oil.  Please feel free to contact him with any questions, on Tel 01954 719 452 / 07860 904 045.

Every year the Oil Club gets a rebate from Agricole, for community benefit.  This year’s rebate supports Young Carers at Melbourn Village College and Bassingbourn Village College.

COUNTY COUNCIL’S INNOVATE AND CULTIVATE FUND: APPLICATIONS DUE AUGUST 1st

The next deadline for Cambridgeshire County Council’s Innovate & Cultivate Fund applications is 1st August – Cultivate grants (£2,000 – £19,000) and Innovate grants (£19,001 – £50,000).

The aim is to support initiatives that strengthen communities and reduce pressure on County Council services. There are two funding streams: a ‘Cultivate’ fund for smaller projects that build community support networks and an ‘Innovate’ fund for bigger, bolder and more innovative initiatives. Council services that are inviting applications include adult social care and children and families services.   Projects thus far have included Timebanks, Good Neighbour Schemes, Dementia-Friendly Communities and Men’s Sheds.  

The fund is open to voluntary, community and social enterprise sector organisations based in and outside of Cambridgeshire, and public sector organisations in Cambridgeshire.   More information here.

A10 ANNUAL AWARENESS RIDE

This family friendly event takes place on Sunday June 9, leaving Trumpington Park and Ride at 10AM and riding out to Phillimore Garden Centre Melbourn for refreshments, and finishing around noon.  If anyone would like to help out on the day, as a marshal or with refreshments, please get in touch.

The Melbourn Greenways consultation will be launched on the same day: this is the Greater Cambridge Partnership project that could play a key role in delivering a path and bridge connecting Meldreth/Melbourn to Royston, plus other useful additions and tweaks to the evolving A10 corridor cycle path. 

The Greenways team will also be holding a consultation event at the Melbourn Hub on July 11, 6:30-8:30PM. 

GET BACK TO THE VILLAGES QUICK GUIDE

Thanks to Tim Holmes of the Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Rail User Group for posting helpful information on the quickest way of getting home by train from London, which involves a change at Stevenage instead of Royston.   See his post here:

http://meldrethsheprethfoxtonrail.org.uk/2019/05/14/new-timetable-20th-may-2019/

ADOPT A STATION FLOWER TUB

The Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Community Rail Partnership is appealing to businesses, families or any local community groups to sponsor a tub on the platforms at any of our three stations. This involves replanting the tub twice per year and helping to look after it.  It doesn’t take much time, and makes a big difference to the look and orderliness of the station environment.   

It was the station flower tubs that allowed the Rail User Group to negotiate the lowering of car park charges at Meldreth, and the elimination of car park charges at Shepreth.

We usually have a team of Duke of Edinburgh student volunteers helping with the watering – do get in touch anytime if you’d like to know more about Duke of Edinburgh opportunities.  

BASSINGBOURN BARRACKS COMMUNITY GARDEN

A new community garden is being started up by young mums and children living on the Bassingbourn Barracks site.

They would greatly appreciate any donations of plants, seeds, pots, disused water butts or compost bins, watering cans, tools or any other odds and ends that could be put to good use.

They are hoping to rig up a clever water capturing system – there is a nearby building with drainpipes but something directly on site might be possible too, as has been set up at the Shepreth allotments.

Please contact Susan if you have anything to offer and she will put you in touch; thank you for all the wonderful contributions made thus far.

VISITORS DAY AT SHEPRETH WILDLIFE PARK

Shepreth residents are invited to visit the animals at Shepreth Wildlife Park on 24th May, between 10 AM and 5:30 PM. Please show reception staff a utility bill for proof of address, for entry.

NEW SHELTER AT MELDRETH STATION

Do nip down to the station if you haven’t already seen the new shelter on the Cambridge Platform.  A tub replanting day has been set for June 6, 10AM, when we’ll break for cake and raise a tea cup to Meldreth’s station masters, including David Piggott who would be amazed that the shelter has at last been constructed, and Bern Parsons, who is widely known and greatly appreciated for his detailed assistance to passengers.

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 here.

Sincerely yours,

Philippa Hart, District Councillor for Melbourn, Meldreth, Shepreth and Whaddon

Philippajoyhart@gmail.com, Tel 07811323571

Jose Hales, District Councillor for Melbourn, Meldreth, Shepreth and Whaddon

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

Twitter: @susanvandeven

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SusanSouthCambs/

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