Trumpington & Newtown Liberal Democrats

Working for Trumpington & Newtown – all year round

Huppert Takes Lead Role In Lib Dem Pre-Manifesto

Monday, September 15th, 2014 by Ian Manning

MP Julian Huppert has played a lead role in writing the Liberal Democrats’ pre-manifesto which will shape the party’s national campaign for next May’s General Election.

The pre-manifesto outlines the key issues that the party believes are crucial to Britain’s future success. They will be voted on by its members at the Lib Dem Autumn Conference in Glasgow next month.

Julian said: “This pre-manifesto gives a clear view of the issues that we believe are vital to make sure that everyone has a fair and equal chance in our society. We have achieved a great deal in this Parliament but there is still so much more we can do for the people of Cambridge and across the country as a whole.

“We have overturned 30 years of financial neglect in our schools, achieving an extra 23.2 million for Cambridgeshire and our pre-manifesto commits to a national fairer funding formula which would give our schools even more money.
“And we have invested in measures to give youngsters the best chance. Our Pupil Premium is helping disadvantaged youngsters keep up with their classmates and our younger children 15 hours a week of free nursery schooling. We would increase that even further to 20 hours in a new Parliament.

“We have also cut tax bills by £800 a year and lifted the poorest out of paying tax altogether; we would push that further to give workers back another £400, raising the threshold at which people start paying tax to £12,500. That’s a huge help for hard working families.

“We would also introduce a new Freedom Bill to protect citizens from excessive state powers and pass a Digital Bill of Rights. These Bills would make sure that the government would never have the power to intrude on anyone’s privacy as outlined in the so-called Snooper’s Charter that we killed off.”

Other proposals in the pre-manifesto include:

• Pushing forward with the Regional Growth Fund, which has already delivered 99,000 jobs with a £3.6 billion investment, to back growing businesses;

• A discounted bus pass for the under 21s so that they can afford to get to work or college. This would provide another boost for our young people following the success of the apprenticeship programme which has helped almost two million people;

• Cutting £50 from household energy bills and boosting competition among suppliers;

• Introducing a £250 Carers’ Bonus to give carers a proper break every year;

• Keeping house prices and rents affordable and boosting house building to 300,000 a year.

“Our economy is growing and more jobs are being created but there is so much more than needs to be done,” added Julian. “This pre-manifesto sets out those areas where we can make a difference.”


September 7th, 2014 by Andy Blackhurst

Trumpington councillor, Nick Avery, has spoken of concerns that plans for a new five-storey office building could lead to further traffic congestion and has called for a new guided bus stop to be provided alongside.

Nick is worried about the impact of the project which will provide a new headquarters in Shaftesbury Road for Cambridge Assessment – Cambridge University’s international exams group.

He wants to see further investigation into the possibility of a new stop on the Guided Busway before planning permission is granted.

Cllr Avery raised his concerns with members of the City Council’s Planning Committee today (Wednesday, September 3) when they were recommended to approve the application.

He says: “Brooklands Avenue was constructed as the drive leading to Brooklands House from Hills Road. If we were designing the principle approach roads to a development of this size from scratch it would look nothing like Brooklands Avenue.

“It’s a beautiful tree lined avenue now but we must remember that it was originally a cart track. The road space is very narrow – a car passing a cyclist must cross the centre line – and the trees constrain space available for a shared pedestrian/cycle path. Leaf drop creates a very difficult surface for most of the year.”

He warned councillors that during construction of the offices there will be 226 vehicle movements each day – an average of 14 per hour – and once opened, the offices will accommodate 2,300 staff rising to 3,000 under current plans.

Cllr Avery wants to see a full appraisal carried out into the possibility of a dedicated stop on the guided busway to serve the new development.

“The development sits within 10 metres of the guided busway,” he said. “The suggestion is that there would be an adverse effect on journey times if a stop was built here – well, that’s how a bus works isn’t it?

“It seems there will be a new stop to service the proposed Astra Zeneca building – so why not here?”

Cllr Avery is also looking for assurances that the developers will not enter into an arrangement with other local land users or occupiers which would undermine the commitment they are making to reduced car use. He is worried they could look to provide overspill parking on surrounding land if the planned car park proves inadequate for the 7.2 per cent of employees’ cars which is anticipated.

“That target of 7.2 per cent has been described by Cambridgeshire County Council as both ‘challenging’ and ‘very ambitious’ and the observation has been made that the nearest comparable that has actually been achieved in this area is 15 per cent,” he warned. “These concerns should be taken seriously and not just brushed under the carpet.”

And he stressed the requirement for contractors and sub-contractors to be obliged to park on site or in a designated compound to avoid congestion in nearby residential streets.

“The site is large enough to accommodate contractor parking so it should be made a mandatory term of any developer bid and it should be properly enforced,” he added.

Trumpington Post Office refurbishment

August 24th, 2014 by Andy Blackhurst

Trumpington Post Office in Anstey Way will close at 17.30 on 9 September and remain closed until 13.00 on Friday 19th September while refurbishment work takes place to create a new look local Post Office.  During the closure Post Office facilities will be available in Great Shelford (18 High Street Green), Newnham (26 Derby Street) or at the Tesco on Hills Rd.

Area Committee changes reduce residents’ chance to have their say

Monday, July 14th, 2014 by Ian Manning

Cambridge Liberal Democrats fear sweeping changes to the City Council’s area committees could seriously reduce residents’ say in decision making.


The changes mean that the Labour ruling group intend to reduce the frequency of area committees by over 30 per cent a year.


Lib Dems fear this will severely impact on residents’ opportunities to hold their councillors to account.


Councillor Rod Cantrill said: “This is a backward step for the City Council. It will mean the loss of local decision making and more decisions will be taken behind closed doors in the Guildhall.


“Cllr Lewis Herbert, The leader of the Council indicated at the Council’s Annual Meeting that the Labour ruling group intended to ‘refresh’ Area Committees – this step highlights that the new ruling group intend to do the opposite and ‘suffocate’ Area Committees


“Area committees provide an environment for residents to speak without feeling intimidated which they sometimes feel when attending meetings at the Guildhall.”


Cllr Mike Pitt said: “Labour has wasted no time in making this move which will lessen residents’ involvement with the City Council. They have taken this decision without consulting residents who will be directly affected by these proposals.


“I hope that it is not a sign that Labour are being arrogant with the democratic power the residents of Cambridge have entrusted them with”

Busway lighting fiasco

July 12th, 2014 by Andy Blackhurst

Anger and dismay have been the responses to the news that the County’s Economy & Environment Committee failed to approve the extra funding required for the lighting last week, instead voting to defer the decision until the committee’s next meeting.

The vote was 9 for deferral, 7 against, the votes to defer coming from UKIP, Independent and all but two of the Tory councillors. The chair abstained.

The reasons given betrayed acomplete lack of understanding on the part of several councillors of how Section 106 funding works and in particular, how a link has to exist between the scheme and mitigation of development transport impact.

Obviously the fight must continue as the bridle path now provides a vital link for our growing community

Have your say on controversial Trumpington Rd proposal

June 22nd, 2014 by Andy Blackhurst
Cambridgeshire County Council is consulting on  “improvements” for cyclists on Trumpington Road.
The proposals include:
·         removing Pay & Display parking on the outbound side of Trumpington Road, alongside the Botanic Garden.
·         removing the pedestrian crossing near Bateman Street and installing a new crossing for use by cyclists and pedestrians further north.
·         changes to the Chaucer Road exit aimed at improving it for cyclists.

There’s an exhibition of the proposals onThu 26 June, 4.30-7pm, in the Terrace Room at the Royal Cambridge Hotel, Terrace Room, Trumpington Street.

An online survey, further information and updates on the scheme are available on the website:
The leaflet is also available from Cambridge Central Library.  The consultation is scheduled to run until 30 June.

Please do get involved.  Many local residents have grave misgivings about these plans, so it is important that County get a full picture of what people are thinking

It’s Trumpington v .Queen Ediths in design award race!

June 22nd, 2014 by Andy Blackhurst

The former Lib Dem administration of the City Council always recognised that the new neighbourhoods created on the southern fringe had to be imaginative and distinctive in their design and layout and constructed in a sustainable way using good quality materials. We are proud to say that the efforts that were put into getting those aspects of Trumpington’s growth right are bearing fruit.
In 1947 Aneurin Bevan, then Minister for Health with responsibility for housing, announced that his Ministry would be giving annual awards for public housing design and layout. After consultation with RIBA, the Royal Institute of British Architects, awards committees were set up for each of the then four English regions. In 1960, the scheme was reconstituted as the Ministry of Housing and Local Government Good Design in Housing Awards, sponsored jointly with the RIBA. The new scheme covered both private and public sector housing. In 1981 the NHBC joined the DoE and the RIBA as sponsors, to create the Housing Design Awards. In recent years there has been an emphasis on the role of local authorities in helping to bring forward good quality housing. Since 2005 the planning authority has been recognised alongside the developers, architects and contractors to reflect this.
Cambridge is strongly represented in the shortlist for the 2014.
In the category for already completed projects, the north and south of the ward are in contention, as the “Abode” development on the Showground site north of Shelford Rd, designed by Proctor and Matthews faces competition from among others the “Ceres” development on the CB1 site, designed by Pollard Thomas Edwards..

In the “project stage” category Bovis Homes “Clay Farm Phase 2” development has been short-listed. In this category there’s competition from another “southern fringe” project, Queen Ediths “Bell School” site, designed by PRP Architects.

Contemporary design may not be to everyone’s taste, of course, but these nominations underline the fact that we really have secured high-quality design on the southern fringe.

Next up, “The Quad”, the first major new development of Council Housing in the City for many years. An application for planning permission is expected this month.

Enjoy the rich diversity of Cambridge at the Mela

May 14th, 2014 by Andy Blackhurst

The Big Weekend 2014 will again host the Cambridge Mela in July 2014. The “Mela” (a Sanskrit word for “gathering” or “to meet”) aims to bring communities from different backgrounds together giving them the opportunity to enjoy the many and vibrant cultures in Cambridge, learn about those cultures and meet the local people.

The Mela showcases Cambridge’s Asian communities, celebrating the diversity that exist in Cambridge, bringing people together through sharing and enjoying good food and hearing music from up and coming artists’ as well as acts from well renowned national and international performers.

The Mela has made a lively and entertaining contribution to City’s annual Big Weekend for the past 4 years and continues to go from strength to strength. An incredible attendance of over 10,000 people enjoyed the day last year.

We hope the Mela will again be a major success in bringing the communities of Cambridge together to enjoy and embrace aspects of the many different cultures in the City.

Papworth move to Addenbrooke’s is confirmed

May 1st, 2014 by Andy Blackhurst

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert has welcomed the news that the government has approved a £165 million deal to move Papworth Hospital to Cambridge.

The decision comes after Julian lobbied Ministers, raising the issue in the Commons and at a large number of private meetings.

He spoke many times with Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, who praised him for his efforts, and also with Health Ministers after fears that the Treasury was blocking progress on the move.

And he took the concerns of Papworth Hospital to the heart of government after the project stalled earlier this year.

Julian said: “This deal is excellent news for Papworth Hospital and for Cambridge. It combines the heart and lung expertise at Papworth with Addenbrooke’s Hospital’s status as a major trauma centre which is excellent news for patients across the region and health care generally.

“This move will ensure that Papworth retains its reputation for world class treatment by moving to a centre with the latest medical technology. And it combines it with Cambridge’s position as a world leader in ground breaking scientific research and development.

New Library and Youth centre approved

April 17th, 2014 by Andy Blackhurst

The development of Trumpington has leapt forward with approval of plans for the new community centre

The £8.2 million community centre on the Clay Farm site, which will serve the expanded community of Trumpington, was approved by the joint development control committee yesterday.

This facility will be the keystone of the new Trumpington, housing many of the things around which the community will come together. The 41,000 sq ft complex will incorporate a library, a public hall, a health centre to house an enlarged Trumpington GPs’ surgery, a community café, and a youth centre. The five-storey building will also host offices for police and social services, as well as providing 20 housing association flats. The building will be managed jointly by the local authorities.

The new facility is due to open in the autumn of 2015.