Susan van de Ven

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

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Melbourn report

Melbourn Parish Council May 2018, County Councillor Report

The County Council has been quiet during purdah with all decision-making meetings generally postponed.  We’ll now have a flurry of activity.

Pot holes:  I’ve submitted a formal question to tomorrow’s County Council meeting about pot holes and repair techniques.

I have received many reports from people who’ve sustained expensive damage to their bicycles or cars, due to pot holes.  So far, no one I have spoken to has felt it worth their while making a compensation claim, often saying that they don’t trust the council processes to yield a satisfactory result.  I’ve inquired; it is true that if a road has been inspected according to agreed schedules, and no pot hole has been reported, compensation is ‘less likely’.  Therefore, it’s in the public interest to report pot holes (using the on-line system is best).  Having said this, I’m told that the number of compensation claims made this year is about 4-5 times higher than last year.

Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Rail User Group and Community Rail Partnership:  Our new project officer Sarah Grove has set up a new ‘Meldreth Shepreth Foxton Rail’ Facebook page as a forum for local rail users, having received feedback in the past month from Meldreth station commuters facing a more difficult commute under the new Thameslink timetable.  Other commuters have said that the new timetable with its direct service to London Bridge will suit them well – so there are obvious pluses and minuses.  The new timetable takes effect May 20; trains will run to King’s Cross until December 2019 when they will run through St Pancras.

Sarah and I attended the opening of London Bridge Station with a view to learning more about opportunities to get the best outcomes for our area.  We spoke to the Govia Thameslink staff whose job it is to work out the massively complex new timetable for the whole of the Southeast.  The timetable starting on 20 May will be a work in progress; they were well aware of the concerns from London commuters from Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton and will be expecting our feedback as tweaks are made within the overall timetable structure to try and ease individual problems.

The Community Rail Partnership meets formally on 17 May, and an invitation has been sent to Meldreth, Melbourn, Shepreth and Foxton Parish Council chairs, as well as district and county representatives, Govia Thameslink, Network Rail, Railfuture and the Association of Community Rail Partnerships. The purpose will be to agree a line action plan and community-based projects for the coming year.  The Edible Gardening Project at Melbourn Primary School, initially set up with a CRP sponsored grant, continues now as a school-wide gardening club, supported by a CRP volunteer.  A Meldreth Station gardening session takes place this Saturday 19 May, 9AM – all welcome.

Cam Vale Bus User Group – We met last month at the Elin Way Meldreth Community Room, with the bus operator, Royston and District Community Transport and the County Council, and agreed timetable changes to the service now to be called the 127, not 128.  Since then we’ve been invited by a Cambridge area-wide bus user group to work together to lobby the mayor to exercise his franchising powers in a way that would inject significant support to rural bus services.

A10 Annual Awareness Ride – This took place on May 6th and was wonderfully supported by residents and children from Melbourn Village College and local primary schools, some of whom serve as school ‘Travel Ambassadors’ and have urged as many people as possible to support Walk to School Week which starts this Thursday.  I hope we can work with schools and MVC to explore more ways to help persuade more people to walk/scooter/cycle for short distance trips around the village, year-round.