Melbourn village website: www.melbourncambridge.co.uk
Melbourn Parish Council County Councillor Report July 2017
Children’s Centre Consultation: A public consultation concerning the closure of many children’s centres, and the demotion of many others, was announced. This runs until 22 September. The only purpose of the exercise is to save £1 million, as required following the controversial decision in February to freeze council tax (Conservative/UKIP supported). The freeze causes an extra cut of £5 million, replicating the same decision of the year before, so that the council is now £10 million worse off than it needs to be, over and above continuing central government cuts.
For Melbourn, the children’s centre will no longer be located in the same building, but it isn’t known where the new premises will be. It will be amalgamated with some children’s health services that now operate from Orchard Rd premises. Bassingbourn, Linton and Caldecote will be ‘redesignated’ (closed). There is only one public consultation event for South Cambs, to take place in Waterbeach on September 15. All in all, there is very little information about how the new service will look.
Buses: The new timetable for the hourly 26 bus now begins. A number of Whippet bus deregistrations are taking place around the county, and the council is under pressure to find new operators. The 128 which connects Melbourn-Meldreth is due to have a new operator take over next week but there appear to be problems. The Cam Vale Bus Users Group has held its second meeting – mostly Meldreth & Bassingbourn residents who may soon be without any bus service.
County Council allowances: The council is required to commission an Independent Remuneration Panel to make recommendations on councillor allowances. The IRP made recommendations that would have reduced overall public spending on councillor allowances, and reconfigured the way the pot would have been dispersed across various roles in the new council.
The IRP proposals were rejected by the council’s ruling Conservative group, which proposed a different scheme, increasing the pot by nearly £100K and creating unnecessary new additional remunerated roles. Two new committees have been formed, which be costly to run, as well as new ‘Area Leads’ for each district of the county. The Area Leads are generously remunerated and have no electoral mandate over the district areas outside their county divisions. I voted against this proposal.
Transport powers transferred to mayor: The County Council’s constitution has now been amended to transfer transport powers to the new mayor. The council’s function has significantly shrunk.
GP Out-of-Hours service: This moves from Chesterton Hospital to Addenbrooke’s very shortly.
Cambs/Pet Clinical Commissioning Group proposed cut to IVF services: The cut would save the NHS £700K per year. The consultation has been extended until 31 July. The service currently allows one cycle of IVF treatment; this carries a 60% success rate. About 200 women annually currently receive this treatment. Please respond if you are concerned about this cut. https://www.cambridgeshireandpeterboroughccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/consultations/ivfconsultation/
Fire Authority: The Police and Crime Commissioner is proposing taking over the Fire Authority – amalgamating the two with one politician leading both. The County Council is unanimous across all political parties that this is a bad idea – two very different services with all power invested in one person. Please respond to the consultation: http://www.cambridgeshire-pcc.gov.uk/police-commissioner-launches-consultation-changing-responsibility-fire-service/
Cycle path: New signage is in. I’m chasing the uneven verge issues – apologies for the delay.