Susan van de Ven

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

Meldreth Report

Meldreth Parish Council February 2021

County Council budget

The County Council ruling group does not produce a draft budget ahead of the budget meeting: instead, it asks officers to publish a budget against which they propose an amendment at the annual budget meeting, this year on 10 February.   Detailed report to come.

Foul water drainage

During the January flooding we were alerted to a number of neighbourhood hot spots, including residential properties affected by an Anglian Water foul sewerage system clearly at or beyond capacity.

Cambridgeshire Highways has taken the matter up with Anglian Water on our behalf and will be reporting back to us shortly.  Please can we encourage anyone concerned about foul sewerage issues on their property to contact Anglian Water on 03457 145145.

No date yet for gulley emptying…

We’re waiting and chasing.

Fenny Lane pavement resurfaced

Local walkers will have noticed that Fenny Lane has at last seen its footway resurfaced.  The rest of the High Street west side should happen before end of financial year! 

Ploughed over footpaths

We’ve received reports of some ploughed-over footpaths.  These should always be reported on the Highways on-line reporting site: https://highwaysreporting.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/

South West Cambridge: Freedom of Information Request denied by Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has been denied, on the basis that information revealed would be a ‘distraction’ and that ‘it is not in the public interest to disclose this information at this time’. 

The request was for information relating to a Cambridge ‘Development Corporation’ – a central government vehicle for creating new towns that bypasses normal planning processes.  SWCAG is seeking to confirm whether or not the Development Corporation is tied to the proposal by Thakeham developers.

Note: In last year’s budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the setting up of a Cambridge Development Corporation, but did not reveal any details, including where exactly the new town would be situated. There has been no engagement, nor any timeline published.

The FOI response has been shared with Anthony Browne MP and is published here for public information.  The decision will be appealed.

A copy of the FOI response is posted at www.swcag.org.uk

Train service reductions:

Govia Thameslink Railway write:  “With the impact of coronavirus and the new national lockdown measures, our passenger numbers have fallen to around 15% of pre-Covid weekday levels. Additionally, the impact of coronavirus on our own crew availability, as colleagues may need to self-isolate or shield, means we must adapt our timetable to ensure we continue to deliver a resilient and reliable service for our customers.

For introduction from 22nd February onwards, we have developed a revised weekday plan which will better match anticipated demand. The plan focuses on maintaining services earlier in the morning, later in the evening and at peak times, based on feedback from key workers and stakeholders. We have also aimed to maintain services for ‘school trains’ at suitable times in readiness for all students returning. Weekend services are not due to change, but engineering work continues which can of course amend the regular patterns. 

As you will know, the area is currently served by three GTR service groups; “fast” Cambridge flyer services to King’s Cross, semi-fast Thameslink services to St Pancras International that call at Royston, and slow all-station Thameslink services to King’s Cross.  Of the three, the slow service to King’s Cross will reduce from half-hourly to hourly between Cambridge and Royston outside of peak and school times. Royston also receives calls from semi-fast Thameslink services.  

Connectivity between Cambridge/Royston and the three community stations of Foxton, Shepreth and Meldreth will reduce to an hourly service outside of the peaks and school times.    We recognise this will mean that some customers will need to change their travel plans and will be doing everything we can to raise awareness of the timetable change. Individual journeys will be available to view in journey planners such as www.nationalrail.co.uk . 

As ever, we would be very keen to hear from you on any aspect of this new timetable, and we will continue to review the service ourselves to ensure we best meet demand in the future.”

Foxton Travel Hub Car Park

Continuing local concerns that the Foxton Travel Hub, approved as a Greater Cambridge Partnership scheme last summer, could emerge as not much more than a gigantic car park were put to the Greater Cambridge Partnership in a recent parish meeting.  The challenge was put to make this very significant investment work as a true ‘travel hub’, with all the connectivity the term implies. 

While the approved scheme is for 900 car park spaces, the GCP has indicated a reduced scope of 500 spaces in the first iteration.

Both the A10 Corridor Cycling Campaign and the Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Community Rail Partnership have actively participated in the ‘non-motorized user group’ discussions on the detail of pedestrian access between the car park and the station, in order to provide the knowledge and experience of local users.  Final design proposals are awaited.

A public consultation on the Foxton Travel Hub ahead of Planning consideration is expected in March.