Whaddon Parish Council County Councillor Report July 2018
Grass cutting – public rights of way
In response to Malan’s question in June, and similar questions from neighbouring parishes where the same problem of overgrown paths have been reported, I’ve queried with County on arrangements for maintenance of rights of way. In the same way that village grass cutting payments are made, it is possible for the parish to seek lump sum payments from the County Council for the maintenance of parish rights of way. For now, paths 1-10 appear to have been cut by County Highways. Sorry that paths 11 and 12 seem to have fallen off the radar – this seems to arise from the fact that they have been cut privately (for which many thanks) for so long. Thanks to the Parish Council for organizing this to be done.
Question to County Council:
I’ve submitted this formal question to the July full council meeting, following a local resident complaint about the County Council’s rejection of his compensation claim:
‘Given the state of ‘managed decline’ of the County Highway network, which is reflected in the dramatic jump in numbers of pot holes reported and compensation claims made thus far in 2018, should the County Council be reviewing and increasing its network inspection schedules?’
NHS Funding Boost and us
I have reported to you previously on the responsibility of the Council’s Health Committee to scrutinize various aspects of NHS funding. Last month, there was a national announcement of an NHS funding boost. I’ve queried whether this would offer some relief to the County Council’s Public Health budget – PH responsibilities now sitting with local authorities. It would appear that the NHS funding boost excludes Public Health, so our task will be to find about £700K in ‘savings,’ also called ‘disinvestments,’ for 2019-20. This affects the delivery of public health contracts in our community. Of course, we try to identify waste and save money that way, but after so many years the reality now is increased ‘targeting’ – deploying funds to the most extreme need first.
Police community support, in response to local rise in crime
The Neighbourhood Police Panel meetings no longer exist and policing is clearly being done in a ‘new way.’ South Cambs now has one police station, which is located in Cambourne and is closed Tuesday-Sunday. Opening hours are Monday 10-3. The phone number is 101.
Anyone on the Ecops mailing list will have noticed the rise in reported incidents of crime in South Cambs villages over the months. I’ve been personally contacted by the victims of two local violent assaults this past spring, both concerned about lack of visible police presence in the villages. Other councillors in other South Cambs villages have also raised concerns. I’ve asked for a briefing to answer residents’ concerns and have been offered a meeting in early August. I will report back.
Trains: The Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Rail User Group meeting on June 27 was attended by about 70 people. While it provided none of the answers we wanted (ie, when will things get better; how will compensation be properly addressed), it was important in keeping our three stations on the radar of all those in positions of responsibility. I’ve provided an update for Whaddon Village email, attached here.