February 21st, 2014 by Andy Blackhurst
A campaign launched by Paralympic hopeful, Claire Connon and Cambridge MP Julian Huppert urging residents to report broken pavements across the city has drawn numerous examples.
People have been visiting the website www.fixourpavements.co.uk to log their complaints saying some pavements are so dangerous they are unusable.
Rower Claire, who is tipped for a place in the 2016 Rio Paralympics, took Julian and councillors on a wheelchair tour of the city last year to give them first-hand experience of how difficult it is to navigate cracked and broken pavements in a wheelchair.
Claire told them how she had fallen out of her wheelchair twice in 10 days in Cambridge, the second time landing on her wrists which could have ended her rowing career before it had even started.
Here in Trumpington residents are frustrated by the state of our pavemnets too. While the County has recently done some useful work in the middle section of the ward, pavements in the Newtown and in the village are neglected. Please add your comments to www.fixourpavements.co.uk
February 19th, 2014 by Andy Blackhurst
Cambridge’s blueprint for the future – the 2014 Local Plan – will now go forward for government scrutiny after more than 18 months of work.
A total of 21,000 residents, organisations and other local authorities have taken part in the consultation process – including almost 3,000 in the last round of the process alone – and Cambridge City Councillors backed the plan at a special meeting on Thursday evening.
Cambridge City Executive Councillor for Planning and Sustainable Transport, Tim Ward, said: “We have carefully considered 21,000 representations received as the plan has been through the various consultation stages since June 2012 and have continued to steer what we believe to be the best course.
“This plan supports Cambridge’s thriving economy, providing more housing to meet both existing demand and that which will come from expanding industry.
“It maintains our city’s quality of life and its history and supports growth in a sustainable way, with planning aimed at reducing the need to travel and to offer sustainable travel alternatives. New development will be required to minimise carbon footprint, maximise water efficiency and reduce flood risk.
“Our officers have worked within a legal framework which has proved to be somewhat of a moving target for most of the duration of the project and even now they are tracking new case law to make sure our proposals are as legally sound as they can be.”
Trumpington’s Lib Dem councillors welcomed the plan which seeks to preserve Cambridge’s character as a compact historic city, while providing for continued economic growth. Cllr Andy Blackhurst noted, “The key thing is that this provides a blueprint for planned growth. Had we failed to deliver this plan now, we should have been vulnerable to speculative planning applications in the coming months”.
February 1st, 2014 by Andy Blackhurst
The designs for the new community centre on Clay Farm have now been submitted for planning permission. The application can be seen online, http://idox.cambridge.gov.uk/online-applications/ and search for 14/0093/FUL.
The key document is the Design & Access Statement which is divided into 4 parts (which total 50MB). The closing date for responses is 19 February and it’s expected that the application will be before the April meeting of the Joint Development Control Committee.
The building will house Trumpington’s new library and the relocated and expanded doctors’ surgery. It was good to hear the practice’s plans first hand at Southern Fringe Community Forum on 30th Jan.
Also at the Forum, the City Council launched a competition for the name of the building. The closing date for this is 11 April.
Groups and individuals may submit proposed names for the building explaining the logic of the suggestion in no more than 140 characters (this limit is set to simplify the assessment of the suggestions). There is no cash prize for suggesting the name that is ultimately selected, but person (or persons) submitting the name selected for the building will be invited to perform a key role at the opening ceremony for the new community centre.
The project board will agree a short-list of appropriate names to put forward to a panel to select the name. The panel will consist of one representative from each of the five main project partners: Cambridge City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, the medical practice, the Police and bpha Limited (the affordable housing provider). The decision of the panel will be final and the ‘winner’ will be notified in the early summer. If the chosen name for the building has been nominated by more than one person, the winner will be drawn from a hat!
January 25th, 2014 by Andy Blackhurst
The next meeting of the Southern Fringe Community Forum, chaired by Cllr Andy Blackhurst, will be held in the village Hall at 7.00 pm on Thursday, 30th January. This sessions theme is “health”. Find out more about the medical practice’s plans for its new home in the Community Centre on Clay Farm and about the hospital’s growth plans. We’ll also be launching the city council’s competition to name the new Community Centre.
Please do come along
January 18th, 2014 by Andy Blackhurst
Newnham Lib Dem Councillor Rod Cantrill is pushing for the City Council to insist that contractors tendering for the council’s cleaning contract pay workers the living wage.
Rod, who has been driving the campaign to get all staff working for the council to receive at least the £7.65 an hour pay, has urged members of the council’s strategy and resources committee to back the move and has proposed an amendment to reinforce the commitment.
He said: “The council has made real progress on introducing the living wage over the last 12 months, extending the living wage to council staff and agency workers and I want to see that commitment extending to the services it receives from third party providers. This is the logical step in the work the council has been doing in this area.
“We know that many families are finding it tough to make ends meet and the living wage gives them extra money for the family budget and recognises the excellent work they do.”
The issue will be discussed by committee members on Monday (January 20).
January 16th, 2014 by Andy Blackhurst
Earlier today the City Council resolved to pursue the creation of a management company to run Trumpington’s new community centre on the Clay Farm site, which is due to open in late 2015. The facility is being built by the City Council, but will contain a number of different functions. Delivery is being managed by a project board representing interested parties (including the Trumpington Resident’s Association) and led by the City’s Head of Strategic Housing. ADP Ltd. has been working on the designs and a planning application is expected very shortly.
The idea of creating a management company evolved from a workshop held in November 2012 to consider various interests’ needs. The key message emerging from that event was stakeholders’ wish that the centre be seen as a unified facility and not as a collection of different services.
It has been agreed that the City Council should retain ownership of the Centre but lease it to a management company with its own Articles of Association. The company will sub-let the residential accommodation (on the 3rd and 4th floors) to Bedfordshire Pilgrims Housing Association, the 2nd floor to the health partner (to provide GP surgeries) and an office on the 1st floor to the police. The rest of the first floor will provide community meeting / activity rooms and a reading area. The ground floor will provide a community hall, large meeting/activity room, library and a café. The company may lease the café to a charitable organisation, or social enterprise, or run it directly.
The company Board will consist of Directors (to be agreed) nominated by the City and County Councils, with the City Council having the majority of Director nominations. The partners also want the ability to co-opt a small number of other local stakeholder representatives (non-voting) onto the Board.
January 14th, 2014 by Andy Blackhurst
Work will soon start on one of the schemes nominated by councillors on the City’s South Area committee for funding using the monies provided by developers under the “section 106” provision following a number of campaigns and petitions led by residents and councillors in the area.
The foot and cycleway on both sides of Long Road will be widened and provide a smoother surface for people wishing to walk or cycle along this section of Long Road. There will also be more space for crossing Sedley Taylor Road.
The improved foot and cycleway
• The shared-use path will be about 3m wide between Rutherford Road and Sedley Taylor Road. This will involve removing the grass verges between the road and the cycleways, which have been cycled on for many years.
• The crossing area at Sedley Taylor Road will be widened and improved.
• Vegetation, which currently grows over the foot and cycleways, will be cut back.
• Drainage will be upgraded to reduce localised flooding.
• The waiting area at the pedestrian crossing near Long Road 6th Form College will be widened on the city side to create more space both for those waiting to cross and pedestrians and cyclists using the path.
How long will it take to build?
Construction is scheduled to start in early February and the project is expected to take
about six weeks to complete. During construction, one footpath and cycleway will always be open. The road itself will be narrowed to create a safe working area, and temporary traffic lights will be required. All work will be carried out during off-peak hours (9.30am – 3.30pm). This will mean that the
temporary traffic lights are only needed during these times and not in the busier peak hours.
Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 by Ian Manning
Parents: if your child lives in, or is moving into Cambridgeshire, you will need to make an application through the Council for a school place at any maintained school, including academies.
If your child was born between 1 September 2009 and 31 August 2010, they are due to start primary school in September 2014 and you must apply for a school place by 15 January 2014.
Full details are on the County Council’s website:
January 9th, 2014 by Andy Blackhurst
At next week’s Community Services Scrutiny Committee budget approval will be sought for a £16 million investment in new homes on council-owned land immediately east of Foster Rd, next to the new publis square on Clay Farm.
Your Lib Dem councillors have argued that the city’s ownership of this land presented the opportunity to deliver a flagship development setting exemplar sustainability standards by achieving level 5 of the Code for Sustainable homes and BREEAM excellent on the commercial element, within a scheme that delivers 50% of the housing as “Affordable Housing”.
The recent procurement process to select a developer has ensured that this vision will be realised. The Council has a conditional contract to sell the land at Clay Farm to Hill Residential Limited (Hill) to develop the site. The Executive Councillor for Housing has already agreed that the Affordable Housing element within the project will be delivered by the Council and will be managed thereafter by the Council’s City Homes department.
It is proposed that 75% of the Afforadble dwellings on Quad will be “Affordable Rent” (that is priced below market rent levels) and 25% of the Affordable dwellings will be “Shared Ownership”. Shared Ownership is a tenure that allows a household to purchase a part share of a dwelling. In this case the Council will retain the remaining share and a rent will be paid to the Council on the unsold equity. The mix of tenure between rented, shared ownership, and private dwellings, provides a good range for a mixed and balanced community.
An indication of the possible rents on these properties
Affordable Rent (AR) Levels
2 Bed Flat £141.88 3
4 Bed House £222.07
Shared Ownership Rent Levels
2 Bed Flat (based on buying 30% share) £90.33
4 Bed House (based on buying 30%) £155.45
The scheme would also require planning approval before it could proceed.
January 4th, 2014 by Andy Blackhurst
The good news is that the County Council have undertaken to resurface the footpath of Trumpington Road between Brooklands Avenue and Long Road on the East side. Work is scheduled to start on the 20th January 2014 and are expecteded to last 3 weeks. Work will take place between 9.30 and 15.30. For safety reasons sections of the footpath will be closed to pedestrians and the bus lane may be suspended at times.
Trumpington County Councillor, Barbara Ashwood, welcomed the news but wrote to remind officers that the western side also needs attention, particularly around the townward bus stop opposite Porson Road.
She added, “as a pedestrian, I know that the High Street in Trumpington is in even worse condition. We have a number of older residents who have complained about the state of it, particularly those who use electric buggies”. This resurfacing programme must be extended southwards urgently and we will be pressing the County to do so.