Susan van de Ven

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

Bassingbourn report

Bassingbourn Parish Council, January 2020 – County Councillor report

County Climate Change and Environment Strategy – consultation on draft:  Please do respond to this consultation by the deadline of 31 January.  This strategy is aimed at what the County Council can do, rather than what should be done across the county – bearing in mind for example that the County Council no longer has the remit of Transport Authority. 

Many parish councils now have their own Green/Environment policies, which support their work in numerous ways, especially in the realm of planning, but also local community groups and initiatives concerned with action on climate change.  I will collate some examples of best parish council practice to bring to the next PC meeting, and raise the subject of Village College involvement in Bassingbourn action on climate change at the upcoming Practical Solutions Group meeting.

Potholes: Thanks so much to residents and parish councillors for reporting pot holes and other highways problems on line and alerting me to having done so.   This really helps to get repairs into the queue sooner rather than later.  Unfortunately, we continue to exist in reactive mode with emergency repairs and no prospect of any significant change to the status quo.  Please note that the County Council now requires its employees to take off the Christmas to New Year holiday period, which means that there’s no one in the office to process reports of Highways faults during that time, causing a backlog in January.  Our Highways officers do their best in very difficult circumstances – lacking the resource to do their jobs to the standard people rightfully expect.

Park Close:  I’ve asked our Local Highways Officer if he could possibly find a way to provide meaningful improvements to the road surface in Park Close, beyond emergency pot hole repair.

Bus passes: Following a couple of questions from local residents, please note that the council no longer offers bus passes in paper form.  To apply for a concessionary bus pass you need to ring 0345 045 1367 or go on-line.  To apply on line: https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/travel-roads-and-parking/buses/free-bus-pass. Please get in touch if you’re experiencing any frustrations.

Outcome of Bus User Group meeting and new options for the 127 bus:  A Bus User Group meeting to gauge opinion on options to extend the 127 service to Baldock and Letworth takes place tomorrow 22 January, by amalgamating bus subsidies from Herts and Cambs County Councils and aligning bus services on either side of the county border.  Meanwhile, the County budget meeting in February will set the financial position for bus subsidies (the 127 being fully subsidized). 

Royston and District Community Transport:  Volunteer drivers from the Bassingbourn area are needed by Royston and District Community Transport, which provides a vital service for those with no access to private transport or who need more than what our minimal bus service can provide.  Please ring 01763 245228 to find out more about what volunteering entails.

County Council new premises:  Construction has started on the County Council’s new Civic Hub (HQ) in Alconbury, which is advertised as being in synchrony with new transport links, though it’s unclear as to what these are, other than driving.  The site is notable for its lack of public transport, which is why it’s a bit of a mystery that it was selected over other well-connected options.  The Shire Hall site will be leased and developed into an hotel and office space by Brookgate, the CB1 (Cambridge Station area) and Cambridge North Station developers. o