Meldreth Parish Council March 2018, County Councillor Report
Flood Avoidance subcommittee – April walk? The local highways officer post is still vacant, but the senior Highways officer is very happy to step in for a Flood Avoidance tour in April. I can work out a couple of possible dates if everyone is content.
Malton Lane verges: The verge on the south side of Malton Lane immediately after turning left from North End is badly eroding, due to vehicles overrunning. The new gap has created the impression of a lay-by and not infrequently is used for parking (for phone calls), though this is very dangerous for all concerned due to the blind corner. Part of the erosion has created draining issues too. I’ve suggested to the owners of the adjoining property that the problem should be lodged with the PC.
Defibrillators: The East of England Ambulance Service recently attended the County Council Health Committee and applauded the rollout of defibrillators in many parishes. They advise that it would also be very good to appoint more ‘Community First Responders’ – professionally trained people in the community. I’ve asked for more information and will circulate as soon as I have it. Meanwhile, please let me know if there’s anything more needing doing for the Meldreth Station defibrillator.
Oil Club: This year’s Oil Club rebate from the supplier has amounted to £140, higher than previous years on account of the additional new participating households from Whaddon and Bassingbourn. The rebate has been donated to the North Herts and District Citizens Advice Bureau, specifically to support the CAB outreach work which takes place in Bassingbourn (pre-book service) and at the Melbourn Hub, where the drop-in service takes place 1st and 3rd Thursdays from 9:30-12:00.
Community Rail Partnership Project Officer in post: The Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Community Rail Partnership has appointed its first Project Officer, Sarah Grove. Parish Councils will be invited to a launch meeting of the CRP under its new Terms of Reference, including oversight by the new Meldreth, Melbourn, Shepreth and Foxton Community Interest Company. Sarah will be visiting all the parish councils in due course.
Melbourn-Royston off-road link: As I’ve reported previously, the Melbourn Greenways proposal includes a link to Royston. An off-road path and bridge over the A505 is also the subject of a business case study by the Greater Cambridge Partnership, and will be considered in July.
Council Tax: The council was in agreement on supporting the government’s permitted 2.99% general council tax rise, alongside the 2% social care precept. As I have been reporting, council tax has been frozen for several years, which has compounded the crippling effect of government cuts. The council was split on how to deploy this extra funding. The Conservative group voted to put it into reserves; I supported the Labour & Lib Dem amendments to deploy it to services but this was lost.
Children’s Centre update: I continue to check in with the County Council on a regular basis to learn whether any progress is being made on the future of the Melbourn Children’s Centre. There is still nothing to report. Ironically, it seems that the plans to cut back expenditure from April 1st is not going to be possible because alternative plans for delivering ‘the same or better children’s services as before’ have not been worked out. Therefore, funding children’s centres will need to draw from reserves to make the numbers add up.
Community Sweeper Pilot Project: Four volunteers have now been fully trained the drive the South Cambs sweeping machine. One is from Melbourn, one from Foxton and two from Royston; three of these have come forward via the A10 Corridor Cycling Campaign. Wyevale Garden Centre has kindly agreed to store the sweeper and skip for holding the debris collected. A test run will take place on March 2nd, on the Melbourn-Shepreth path along Cambridge Road. I’d not appreciated how complicated the project would be, but so far so good.
Visit to Waterbeach Recycling Centre 27 March 10-12: Another public visit has been organized – please contact Jonathan.firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up. There are 11 spaces available.
Completing the Kneesworth footway to Five Acres: Many of the women and children at Five Acres have told me they would like to be walking more, in large part for health reasons. A number of women living at The Boulevard have built up an impressive walking range and the footway that leads from their site helps to facilitate and encourage this. Residents at Five Acres have been anxious to see the footway extended up to their site, as traffic (in spite of the new speed restrictions) makes walking in the road too dangerous, especially for unaccompanied children who might want to walk to and from school. I’ve already reported that we’ve had a lower estimate on the cost of doing this (£7K – quote obtained by Highways); other quotes could be pursued. For now, several of the women and their children and I have planned to meet during the spring school holidays to set up a sponsored walk fundraiser to help get things started. We’ll report back.
Meldreth Station, Cambridge platform shelter: After years of Rail User Group campaigning, a shelter at Meldreth Station’s Cambridge bound platform is due for installation this spring. In consultation with the Station Gardening Group, the plan is to use the patch of land behind the platform adjacent to the steps down from the Gents Toilet, for an enclosed shelter of the type recently installed at Royston Station – all due to take place in the next few months.
A10 resurfacing June, and preparations next week: It’s good to report that A10 largely around the Melbourn Bypass will be resurfaced in June. It will be tricky to manage necessary traffic alternations without disruption. The plan is to carry out works over a period of five days using a traffic light control system on the A10. Highways have asked Melbourn Village if they would be content to allow a one-day diversion through the village which would allow intensive work on the A10 to be completed in the space of 24 hours. At Melbourn PC earlier this week, a number of concerns were raised including the narrow width of the High St south of the Cross where two vehicle have difficulty passing one another, and lorry deliveries to High Street shops. For Meldreth residents under this scenario, access onto the A10 at Melbourn would be blocked, and Bury Lane Shop would face difficulties. I’ve fed these concerns back to Highways. Meanwhile, I’ve received this advance notice:
Re: A10 – A505 to Harston: I am writing to advise you that our contractor Cambridgeshire Highways, will commence night time carriageway patching and preparation works to sections of the A10 on Wednesday 7thMarch 2018, in advance of carriageway Surface Treatment later in 2018.
Works are anticipated to take 13 nights; and whilst the work is in progress, during operational hours, the road will be closed from 8pm to 6am, and vehicular access will be restricted. A signed diversion route will be in place for through traffic.
In order for the contractor to complete the work with minimum disruption, it is essential that no vehicles are parked on the road. If you have particular access requirements, please speak to a member of the team onsite who will be able to assist.
Access to properties within the closure area will be possible, but are subject to working conditions, and delays are to be expected.
Please look out for the advanced notices on site, as these will give the most up to date information; or contact our call centre or email as above. There will obviously be some noise and disruption associated with the work, and I apologise for any inconvenience that you may suffer.