Susan van de Ven

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

Bassingbourn report

Bassingbourn Parish Council November 2019

County Councillor Report

Bus User Group News

Recently, I met up with councillor colleagues and officers from Cambs and Herts to discuss pooling resources on both sides of the county border, in order to enhance current bus services: This would be accomplished by joining together the 127 with the 90/91 service.

Through the Village Voice I’ll be asking residents to let me know if they would support or not support the idea of expanding the reach of our current service beyond Guilden Morden, to take in Ashwell village, Baldock and Letchworth.  The new service would not connect to Ashwell Station but would connect to Letchworth Station (difficulties in creating a workable timetable, but still serving a new rail station in addition to Royston as at present).  There would be no significant impact on the current timetable, in terms of adding extra time to the configuration of service within South Cambs villages, though it should be noted that the longer a route, the greater the potential for problems on one part to impact elsewhere.

If opinion is positive there will be much work ahead, but a clear steer will allow investigation of the idea to proceed.  We need to gauge opinion by 22 January, when the Bus User Group meets at 2PM at The Limes.

Walking Bus

I was delighted to be contacted by Sarah Dixon and Alix Valentine about the idea of a walking bus to school – something that will always be in the realm of possibility when so many parents already walk with their children to school every day.  So long as there’s no magic bullet for peak-time traffic chaos, the more walking rather than driving the better, as it helps even a little bit to reduce the number of cars on the road.  

More importantly, from a public health angle, the County Council as our Public Health Authority is always seeking to impart the message that good daily physical activity is vitally important, especially for young children but of course for everyone else, too.   For that reason, the walk to school is something that is always specially promoted!  I’ll be dropping in to see Alix’s stall at school pick-up time on November 20th.

Parking on pavements – conflicting information from the Police

Contrary to communication from the Police at a July Parish Council Liaison meeting held at South Cambs District Council, when it was suggested that reporting pavement parking three times would result in Police action, the following Police communication has now been received.  This is in the process of being challenged by SCDC.  I’m sorry because following an earlier post of mine in the Village Voice, it seemed that there was a possible route to action.

The Police are now emphasizing:

“There is no longer an ethical case to focus police resource on parking when there is, immediate and growing violent crime and safeguarding to issues tackle.

–        Whilst our increase in officers will be focused on these serious matters it will mean some extra time can be given to matters such as parking. Remember however time ‘on the beat’ is precious and over 101 parishes remains a challenge

–        PCSOs are often perceived as having very simple front-line roles, this is not the case, a good deal of their time is spent helping officers tackling priority issues such as risks to young people, the elderly and vulnerable.

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interventions is positive, but proves the rather useless nature of enforcement, as over time we have proven without doubt that enforcement makes no long term difference.  Whilst seeing tickets on windscreens is satisfying for a moment in time a new way must be found to tackle this issue, we have tried to be innovative and offer some alternative ideas.

–        We have worked with SCDC who have similar challenges with balancing resource, budgets and officer’s time against what is a persistent but low risk issues.”

Finally, the Police ask that reporting for non-emergency matters be made on line.

Local Highways Initiative – A1198 speed reduction, led by Whaddon:  Highways has essentially redrafted Whaddon’s LHI application, having concluded that the average speeds indicated by the Police survey work are too high for an imposed lower limit to succeed, without significant traffic calming measures that would fall out of the scope of an LHI project.   This has come about quite late in the day. Whaddon PC and I will be meeting Highways on site on Dec 5, and Paul Morris on behalf of the Barracks has contacted senior County officers to request support, given their concern about the dangerous entrance off the A1198 into the Barracks site.