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Welcome to the July 2018 Cambridgeshire Matters newsletter

Welcome to the summery sixth edition of Cambridgeshire Matters, designed to keep you up to date with Cambridgeshire County Council's latest news and features relevant to you and your council.

Please do share this e-newsletter with your councillors and feel free to use any of the features in your own newsletters or social media.


We've also put together a survey to find out what you think about Cambridgeshire Matters - we want to know how you receive it, what you like about it and what you'd like to see more or less of each issue. We really appreciate your feedback, so please take part in our survey

Latest news

Warm weather advice

This summer’s warm weather has been welcomed by many, but for some people, such as older people, those with underlying health conditions and young children, the summer heat can bring real health risks.

Much of the advice on beating the heat is common sense. But Public Health England is urging everyone to keep an eye on those they may know who might be at risk this summer. So if you're able, ask if your friends, family or neighbours need any support.

Top ways for staying safe in the heat are:

  • Make sure you take water with you if you are travelling
  • Wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
  • Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
  • Drink plenty of water as sugary, alcohol and caffeinated drinks can make you more dehydrated
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle - especially infants, young children or animals
  • Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
  • Take care and follow local safety advice, if you are going into the water to cool down
  • Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat, if you have to go out in the heat
  • Avoid physical exertion during the hottest parts of the day
  • Look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions


With all this warm weather, the Highways Team are making great progress fixing potholes across the county.

Cambridgeshire Highways inspectors are out on the roads every day, identifying potholes as part of a regular maintenance programme. If you want to know how many potholes have been repaired each week, check out our report a highways fault page which includes a counter that shows how many have been fixed.

Please encourage all your councillors and residents to continue using our online reporting tool.

Grass cutting facts - where and when we cut

It's been a lovely start to the summer and our grass cutting season is now in full swing!

The majority of the grass cutting across Cambridgeshire is carried out by one of our sub-contractors, but we’d also like to say a big thank you to all the parish councils we have formal agreements with, who carry out the grass cutting in their own villages.

If you have a query about grass cutting in your village or neighbourhood, take a look at our lists to ensure you are contacting the correct organisation:

To find out when grass will be cut in your area, please visit our grass cutting page for information on:

  • Who is responsible for grass cutting in your area
  • When does the grass get cut
  • Village grass cutting schedules
  • Verge cutting scedules
  • How to report an issue
  • Weed spraying
  • Maps of our verge cutting and village grass cutting routes

Be part of the Local Council Development Project

Neighbourhood planning event on 14 June 2018

As part of the Support Cambridgeshire 'Local Council Development' project, commissioned by Cambridgeshire County Council, Cambridgeshire ACRE are working with partners to share parish and town councils’ knowledge and experience – here’s the latest news:

Parish Profile: Great Staughton

As part of an ongoing series of parish profiles, Cambridgeshire ACRE recently spoke to Bob Jewell, Chair of Great Staughton Parish Council. Great Staughton is a village of 1,000 people around 8 miles from Huntingdon. The village has good facilities, making it a great place to live, including a church, a GP surgery, a butcher’s shop, two hairdressers, two pubs, a primary school including a pre-school, a village hall, a playing field with its own pavilion and a children’s play area complete with a skate ramp. The parish council lead, or are involved in, many of the community projects that take place there. 

Read the full interview with Bob

Recent Neighbourhood Planning Event

Cambridgeshire ACRE and Huntingdonshire District Council recently co-hosted a successful Neighbourhood Planning Networking and Peer Learning Event on 14 June 2018 attended by 50 delegates.

The event brought people together to share their experiences and had a focus on design issues with presentations from: 

  • Lucy Batchelor-Wylam, a freelance chartered Landscape Architect
  • Nick Green, an architect with Saunders Boston
  • Sarah Wilson from Godmanchester Town Council and Bernie Talbot from Great Abington Parish Council, talking about their experience of neighbourhood planning
  • Huntingdonshire District Council on the support that was available from local authorities

Download presentations and the evaluation

The feedback has been really positive and discussions are already underway about a further event. Please get in touch with any topics you would like to see covered at future sessions.

Join us for the next Cambridgeshire Local Stakeholder Group and Peer Networking Event

All clerks and councillors are welcome to attend on Wednesday 12 September 2018 from 6.00pm to 8.30pm at Horningsea Millennium Pavilion. This group helps set the agenda for the annual conference and peer learning events, steers the Local Council Development Project and shares ideas and experiences. This event is divided into two parts, a short meeting where stakeholders are invited to look at progress being made with the deliver of the Local Council Development Plan and then a more informal networking session where our hosts, Horningsea Parish Council, will talk about how they run the council and what makes their community special. 

Sign up to attend

Cambridgeshire Local Councils Conference 2018

Plans are afoot for the next annual Conference for Cambridgeshire Local Councils which is likely to be in late November. We're looking to make this year's event bigger and better than before and hope to be able to confirm a date and venue in the next issue of Cambridgeshire Matters and will be emailed directly to local councils.

For further information about this and all the opportunities above, please visit www.cambsparishes.wordpress.com or email [email protected].

Innovate and Cultivate Fund

Parish and town councils are encouraged to apply to the County Council’s Innovate and Cultivate Fund, either on their own or in partnership with local community groups. The fund supports initiatives that strengthen our communities and reduce pressure on county council services, thereby giving a return on investment. It’s open to voluntary and community groups, social enterprises, and public sector organisations including parish councils, and invests in projects that help to deliver the council’s priorities for children and families, vulnerable adults, and older people.

The next funding deadlines are:

  • 1 August 2018 - small 'cultivate' grants (£2,000 - £10,000)
  • 1 November 2018 - small 'cultivate' grants and large 'innovate' grants (£10,000 - £50,000)

If you’d like to talk through your project idea, please join us for an advice session on 24 September 2018, 9.45am - 12.00pm at March Community Centre. 

The latest round of newly funded projects include:

  • A project to support female victims of domestic abuse and their children
  • Support for young and vulnerable people living in the Trumpington area
  • Support for vulnerable women during and after pregnancy
  • Youth outreach cafes in high needs areas
  • A new timebank in Ramsey
  • Improved systems for older people's hearing aid maintenance
  • A project to enable churches to run new community projects

Further information and online application forms are available on the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation website.

Community Reach Fund - applications welcome

What is the Community Reach Fund? It’s small grants for projects that benefit children, young people, their families and communities.

The Community Reach Fund is open all year round for applications. Your Youth and Community Coordinator (YCC) is keen to support local people and small groups to work at the heart of their community. If you want to deliver positive activities or to make a difference to your community and need financial support to get started please contact your YCC to begin an application.

If you’d like to apply or find out more, please use the following contacts depending on which area you’re based in:

Cambridge City
Paul Connelly - [email protected] - 01223 729 075

South Cambridgeshire
Amanda Silvester - [email protected] - 01954 286 011

East Cambridgeshire
Lizzi Wales - [email protected] - 01354 750 424

Kerrie Tonks - [email protected] - 01354 372 449
Carl Suckling - [email protected]

Alison Preece - [email protected] - 01480 376 208
Julie Gunn - [email protected] - 01945 482 996

St Neots Northern Foot and Cycle Bridge consultation

Location for the new foot and cycle bridge in St Neots

A public consultation has been launched to gather residents’ views on designs for the new St Neots Northern Foot and Cycle Bridge.

This is following on from last year when a public consultation was held asking St Neots residents to have their say on whether they supported the northern foot and cycle bridge project as a whole, and which bridge location they preferred. A location was chosen, and now the people of St Neots are being asked to express their opinions about how they would like the new bridge to look. The consultation contains three design options for the bridge, which will span the River Great Ouse.

This project is part of a wider masterplan for St Neots, which has been developed in partnership with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Huntingdonshire District Council, and St Neots Town Council.

The three design options put forward include an Arch Bridge, a Cable Stayed Bridge and a Suspension Bridge. Each design is estimated to cost around £4 million, and is to be funded by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority along with Section 106 developer contributions.

For more information, please visit our St Neots Bridge page or pop along to one of the events:

  • Thursday 19 July 2018 - 1.00pm - 4.00pm - The Priory Centre, Priory Lane, St Neots, PE19 2BH
  • Saturday 4 August 2018 - 12.00pm - 3.00pm - St Neots Charity Dragon Boat Festival, Regatta Meadow, St Neots

Hard copies of the consultation document can be found at St Neots Library or local GP surgeries or residents can fill out a survey online. The deadline for questionnaires to be completed is Friday 10 August 2018.

Following this consultation, results will be presented to Cambridgeshire County Council’s Economy and Environment Committee for final approval.

A10 Harston - footway improvements

A scheme to improve the shared use footway through the village of Harston in South Cambridgeshire has now been completed. Local journeys for all users will be enhanced in the village, especially for families travelling to Harston and Newton Primary School. It also adds to the wider network for people travelling by bicycle between Cambridge and Melbourn.

The existing footway has been widened to three metres through the majority of village. And working with internal partners, all signalised pedestrian crossings have been upgraded, along with a new provision at the southern end of the village to assist people travelling to school. The carriageway has also been resurfaced through the village.

If you’d like to know more please visit our A10 Harston page.

Waterbeach New Town

The first planning application for the redevelopment of the former Waterbeach Barracks and Airfield was submitted to South Cambridgeshire District Council in March 2017.

This is an outline application made by Urban and Civic/Defence Infrastructure Organisation for the comprehensive development of the entire Ministry of Defence land holding at Waterbeach comprising 6,500 homes. The totally new town will comprise in the region of 9,000 new homes, a relocated railway station, retail facilities and new employment. The County Council is currently considering the application in terms of schools, transport, libraries and community support facilities.

The Economy and Environment Committee will consider the application in the summer with a recommendation following to South Cambridgeshire District Council who should give a decision on the application in the autumn. It is expected that houses could be built by 2020.

A141 Wimblington Road Safety Scheme

The junction of the A141 (Isle of Ely Way) and Manea Road is a site with a history of collisions between turning vehicles and those travelling straight ahead on the A141. To solve these current issues and improve pedestrian safety, new traffic signals are being installed to manage turning movements.

This project started in March 2018, and two of the traffic islands are now installed in addition to all underground pipes required to power, control and link the traffic lights together. Additional work has been completed in collaboration with the local energy supplier to avoid the new road surface being dug up in the near future.

The road resurfacing, traffic light installation and associated works recommenced in June 2018, after the completion of Anglian Water’s water main works in Westry, north of March.  During this time road maintenance will also be completed further north on the A141 between the new traffic lights and Eastwood End/A141 junction.

If you have any queries, please contact [email protected].

Drought damage and road repairs

In 2017, Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council jointly submitted a bid to the Department of Transport (DfT) to joint fund a long term solution and reconstruct 21 sections of road that have been damaged by drought. The roads chosen for this scheme are fen roads which were built on peaty soil and are poor at bearing heavy loads. The foundations of these roads have now deteriorated to the point that speed restrictions, road diversions and closures are becoming necessary. This is leading to growing disruption for local residents and increasingly frequent road repairs.                                                                                                 

The DfT confirmed the success of the bid late 2017, resulting in a challenging delivery period for these schemes.  However, the first Cambridgeshire scheme was completed at Mildenhall Road, Littleport in April. The construction approach of this project utilised innovate solutions to solve the issue with the fen soils whilst recycling 12,000T of material, resulting in both environmental and financial savings. The remaining Cambridgeshire schemes are to be completed this year.

For further information and to find out when this is happening, please visit our page on drought damaged road repair schemes.

A1123 Bluntisham Cycle Scheme including Needingworth

This scheme is designed to continue the cycleway that finishes in Bluntisham through to Earith. It has included the installation of three traffic islands, the realignment of the Holliday’s Road junction and the widening of the footways to create this link. The work is progressing well and will have been completed by the time you receive this newsletter!

During these works the road was also resurfaced through Bluntisham (A1123) which ensured a coordinated approach was taken. By undertaking this resurfacing when we did, it meant that the traffic islands and junction works were completed first to ensure the new surface would not be unnecessarily broken into at a later stage of the cycleway works. This scheme has seen Cambridgeshire Highways reduce its carbon footprint by specifying that the existing surface taken up along the A1123 was recycled and used to construct the new cycleway / footway between Bluntisham and Earith.

 The remaining section of cycleway between Needingworth and Bluntisham has seen the new cycle/foot bridge installed and work to finish the remaining links of cycleway / footway up to the bridge is also now complete!

Local Highways Improvement Initiative 19/20

We are still accepting initial applications for the 2019-20 Local Highway Improvement (LHI) programme. This year, applications will be available in electronic forms that can be downloaded from our website and emailed to us directly. The final date for initial applications to be submitted will be Tuesday 31 July 2018. After the submission date, a member of the Highway Projects team will start the feasibility study on your application and contact you in due course.

If you have any questions about the process, please email [email protected]

Highway events for your diary and how to book a road closure for a street party

The updated Cambridgeshire County Council highway events webpage features an interactive map where viewers can zoom in and out on all the known events across the county. The map is set to a 3 month period from the day of viewing however this can be adjusted to focus on a short time frame or a single day by clicking on the calendar icon in the top right of the map, recommended if there is a large number of events scheduled in a single area. Clicking on the icons on the map opens a further box with more information on the event including its unique reference and traffic restrictions associated with the event.  The map is run by third party software and is picked up by some satellite navigation software assisting everyone to plan their journeys on the public highway and helping to keep the highway network moving as smoothly. 


Cambridgeshire Rock Festival - Thursday 26 to Sunday 29 July 2018. The rock festival returns to its site off of Dean Road, Horse Heath. Festival traffic will be expected throughout the weekend but especially on 26 and 29 July as campers arrive and depart.


Cambridge Folk Festival - Thursday 2 to Monday 6 August 2018. Based at Cherry Hinton Hall, the annual musical festival brings additional traffic to the venue and camping venue on Coldhams Common. 

Ely Monster Racing Triathlon - Sunday 19 August 2018 - sees some roads in Ely Centre closed to facilitate the safe running of the triathlon. Please take care around the city as the cycle route mainly occurs on the open road.

Festival of Water - Saturday 25 to Monday 27 August 2018 - taking place across the bank holiday weekend on Regatta Meadow, St Neots and on the River Great Ouse, this event draws thousands of people to St Neots. Additional parking is available on the meadow.

Little Gransden Air Show - Sunday 26 August 2018 - raising money for Children In Need, the air show takes place at Little Gransden Airfield and features a car show. In order to facilitate the safe flying, some bridleway closures and traffic management will be present in the area.

In addition to improving the communication of events affecting the public highway, the updated page also features information on what to do if you want to plan an event, like a street party, on the public highway. The page gives advice on timeframes, costs and has some handy guides on managing events on the highway. Application forms, including a streamlined street party specific form, and their associated guidance documents can be downloaded from the site so event organisers can easily apply for a temporary traffic regulation order (TTRO) that is required to legally close part of the public highway.  It is important to note that if it is practicable for an event to be held away from the public highway then it should be and we cannot accept all applications however we will offer advice and guidance to applicants to help them facilitate their events.

We would love to have your feedback on the map and the webpage to help us continually improve our service. You can always contact the Highway Events Liaison Officer at [email protected]

LED rollout continues across Cambridgeshire

LED lighting - before and after

Work is continuing throughout the summer on the LED lantern replacement project being carried out by Balfour Beatty on behalf of the County Council. By the end of December 2018, 3,635 energy-saving LED streetlights will have been installed.

The energy-saving LED lanterns being installed across the county will replace existing lanterns and will not involve any excavations in the roads or footpaths and each lantern replacement will be completed within one working day.

The benefits of the scheme will be clearly visible and include:

  • Brand new streetlights using the latest technology
  • More effective "white lights"
  • Energy cost savings
  • Reduction in required maintenance and associated costs

Find out when the upgrades are happening in your area

If you have any queries regarding the works, please email [email protected] or telephone 01954 233 331.

Award for renewable energy

Centre: Sheryl French, Project Director for the Council's Energy Investment Unit, accepting the award.

Cambridgeshire County Council’s Energy Investment Unit won a British Renewable Energy Award 2018 last month for its pioneering approach to energy work.

The prestigious event, held at the Savoy Hotel in London, recognised outstanding achievements in several areas of renewable energy and clean technology. The Pioneer category was developed for an organisation in a sector not previously associated with renewables that has now become involved and created a pathway that others can follow.

The Council was nominated for the award for a number of reasons including its work on smart energy grids which is bringing forward innovations in new business models to overcome significant market barriers. This involves the upskilling of staff and councillors to understand what a future energy system will look like, plus the development of a pipeline of projects and investments in renewable energy showing strong political leadership.

The largest project to date is a 12MW solar farm operating in Soham, which will be followed by the three smart energy grids at St Ives, Trumpington and Babraham Park and Ride sites which are in the development pipeline. Equally important are the projects supporting schools to reduce their energy consumption and generate energy and work on their own buildings. 

For further information on the work the Energy Investment Team is involved in please visit www.mlei.co.uk

Local public sector organisations to get high speed connectivity

MLL Telecom, a leading provider of secure managed network services for the UK public sector, has been awarded the EastNet contract to deliver a new Wide Area Network (WAN) solution and centralised services to Cambridgeshire County Council and the wider community served by EastNet.

The new contract will enable all public sector organisations, including local schools, NHS Foundation Trusts, district and city Councils, county councils and Blue Light Services in the region to access a secure, market-leading regional network – allowing them to benefit from full-fibre gigabit speed connectivity. EastNet is a partnership between public sector organisations across the region, with Cambridgeshire County Council acting as the lead authority.

MLL Telecom will be engaging with each EastNet partner to provide a new fully managed Wide Area Network (WAN), which will include connectivity into the Public Services Network (PSN) and the Health and Social Care Network (HSCN), as well as other centralised services – including managed Wi-Fi and firewalls – in a low-risk transition over the next 12 months.

Connecting Cambridgeshire update

The Connecting Cambridgeshire programme, led by Cambridgeshire County Council, is improving the county’s digital infrastructure – including broadband, mobile and public access WiFi coverage - to drive economic growth, help our communities to thrive and streamline public services.

The superfast broadband rollout has already reached over 96% of homes and businesses, and is targeting over 99% coverage countywide by the end of 2020. Take-up of superfast broadband is among the highest in the country at over 54%. A third phase of the fibre broadband rollout is underway, and a fourth phase is being planned to reach remaining areas over the next two years.

The digital connectivity programme is now being extended to work with telecoms providers and mobile operators to improve mobile coverage (2G and 4G), extend full fibre networks so more homes and businesses can access Fibre to the Premise (FTTP), expand public access WiFi in public buildings and open spaces, and trial 5G (next generation mobile) over the next four years.

These ambitious plans will be supported by a £5.6m investment by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, as part of a shared vision for fixed and mobile connectivity to underpin the region’s growth and prosperity.

The programme has also been allocated £4m additional Government funding for Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) to provide fibre upgrades to around 30 public buildings, increase full fibre availability along a ‘digital innovation corridor’ from St Ives to Linton and support businesses to access Gigabit fibre networks.

The Connecting Cambridgeshire website is currently being updated to reflect the wider programme.

Getting superfast broadband - advice for households and businesses

  • Connecting Cambridgeshire is rolling out superfast broadband access to homes and businesses that would not be able to get it otherwise, but the higher speeds are not automatic - you need to upgrade to a fibre broadband package with your chosen Internet Service Provider.
  • Check current and planned broadband coverage for your area using the postcode checker on the Connecting Cambridgeshire website, which has advice on how to upgrade to superfast broadband. You can also register your contact details to be updated when superfast broadband goes live in your area.
  • Once you have upgraded to superfast broadband, if you are not happy with the speeds, find they vary, or have problems with the service dropping out, you need to take this up with your Internet Service Provider first.
  • Some broadband problems can be caused by internal wiring. One of our longstanding broadband champions has provided some useful tips to help improve your broadband speeds on his website.
  • There are options available if you cannot get superfast yet, including satellite, mobile or wireless technology. You may be eligible for the Government's Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme offering vouchers of up to £400 to help pay for installation and first year service costs if your area is not due to be covered by the rollout within 12 months. Further details and an application form are available on the Connecting Cambridgeshire website.
  • If you have any further queries, please email [email protected] including your full address and postcode to help us look into your issue.

How clean is your air?

The Council’s Public Health team recently organised a Cambridgeshire-wide Air Quality Learning and Networking Event in order to increase knowledge and promote closer working across the county on air quality.  The event heard from national and local air quality experts, who shared experiences and identified future steps in order to improve air quality. 

The event forms part of a broader programme of work to raise awareness of air pollution amongst partners which include a joint air quality training session for county council transport officers and district council air quality specialists and development of a new air quality section on the Cambridgeshire Insight website.

The air quality page provides links to local authority air quality status reports plus links to pollution forecasts etc. You can also see the air quality management sites on an interactive environment map.

Trading Standards shut down sham TV sales website

An online business offering cut price TVs, purporting to be based in Cambridge, was taken offline by Trading Standards following a sudden influx of complaints from the public about non-delivery.

The website from which they were being sold, which had gone live days earlier, published Terms and Conditions cribbed from John Lewis and a Buying Guide identical to Curry’s, re-branded with cambridgetv.co.uk’s logo. They had disguised the identity of the person registering the website. With no means of rapidly tracing the individuals behind this sham business, Trading Standards worked with the website Registrar to shut down the site, preventing further losses to members of the public.

365 days representing HM The Queen in Cambridgeshire

Becoming the county’s first Lord-Lieutenant on Twitter, appointing its first Sikh Deputy Lieutenant, Mr Jaspal Singh, and overseeing attendance at 24 different Remembrance services in a single day – Julie Spence’s first year as Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire has been both hectic and remarkable.

Reflecting on her first year, Mrs Spence, whose role is to be the representative of the Crown in Cambridgeshire and who was formerly the county’s Chief Constable, admits that in the early stages she found her responsibilities ‘rather daunting’.

“Everyone expects you to know what you are doing, for example if you are the first to lay a wreath. That said, with a dose of common sense, good fortune and support from others, I have navigated the elephant traps and maintained the dignity required of the office I proudly hold.”

To find out more about what Mrs Spence has been up to over the past 12 months read her story.

Wisbech schools receive Arts Award Discover certificates

Children of Nene and Ramnoth Schools in Wisbech took part in the "Arts Award Discover" day on 20 June 2018 and gained their Discover Arts Awards certificates.

Three hundred children from Wisbech schools have been taking part in arts workshops in Wisbech Library and Museum during June and July 2018. The children also gained an Arts Award qualification by taking part. The “Arts Award Discover” days have been an opportunity for classes to work with professional artists, and have fun with art and drama, as well as learn more about the library.  

The children have attended from six local primary schools, and one of the teachers said “It’s great to do arts activities in the library and museum, it shows just how versatile the space is and makes the children feel they’re really welcome.”

The Discover days were in preparation for Wisbech Reads Festival which ran from 10 - 12 July 2018 and the Summer Reading Challenge for children taking place in July and August 2018.

The sessions in the library have been part of The Library Presents programme, funded by Arts Council England and we are looking forward to an exciting autumn season of arts events for all ages in libraries, including Wisbech Library. The autumn season programme and tickets will be available from August 2018.

Summer Reading Challenge

The Summer Reading Challenge takes place every year during the summer holidays. Children can sign up at their local library, then read six library books of their choice to complete the Challenge. There are exclusive rewards to collect along the way, and it’s free to take part. 

This year’s theme is ‘Mischief Makers’, in partnership with The Beano. Children will explore a map of Beanotown to find the mysterious buried treasure and become an ultimate mischief maker! Dennis and Gnasher will help them solve clues and collect stickers. There is a medal and certificate for all children who read 6 books to complete the challenge.

The Summer Reading Challenge is open to pre-school and primary school aged children and is designed for all reading abilities.

Children will be able to sign up in participating libraries from Saturday 14 July 2018.

Cambridgeshire Libraries Events Brochure

We are delighted to present the first quarterly Cambridgeshire Libraries Events Brochure.

This edition covers June to September 2018 so is full of the wonderful activities and events taking place in all our libraries for families throughout the summer holidays. It also includes information about how to join this year’s National Summer Reading Challenge: Mischief Makers, which celebrates the 80th anniversary of the Beano.

However, we haven’t forgotten our more mature audience who are invited to meet an author, find out about being safe online, and learn about their local history, among many other things, through our monthly  engage programme.

In September ‘The Library Presents…’ project will be offering a programme of performances and workshops for all ages in twenty libraries across the county, chosen by members of the community via the ‘Choosing Parties’ that took place in early June 2018. 

We have taken the opportunity to highlight some of our existing services, such as the Falling in Love with Reading Courses for parents/carers and their 3-7 year olds, and the re-launch of our Volunteering Offer, ‘My Library, My Space, My Volunteering’. As well as brand new services and events to look out for in the autumn such as Homework Clubs and Fun Palaces. And, of course, no library brochure would be complete without a selection of books to discover, so we have included ten recommended holiday reads. There will also be the opportunity to chat to staff at one of our ‘Meet the Manager’ sessions to tell us what kind of events you would like to see in this brochure in the future.

For a hardcopy of the brochure please call in to your local Library, including mobile libraries.

The Library Presents... funding announcement

We are delighted to share the wonderful news that ‘The Library Presents’ programme has been funded by Arts Council England until 2022 and we will be working with libraries across the length and breadth of Cambridgeshire to develop brilliant and unmissable arts events.

An open call for artists was released in April 2018 for the autumn programme, and our team has worked alongside partner Babylon ARTS to compile a varied and exciting selection menu. Selection parties for the Autumn 2018 Programme were arranged for 19 libraries, with the other four working towards Spring 2019.

Our autumn season of events will start in September 2018 so please keep an eye on The Library Presents webpage for event details and to book tickets.

The Library Presents... looking for volunteers across Cambridgeshire

The Library Presents is looking for volunteers across Cambridgeshire! We need your support to transform your local library into a performance space for arts activities; moving bookcases, setting up audience seating and doing some heavy lifting. 

For those of you who prefer there is the option to help with promotion, stewarding, checking tickets and serving drinks.

As an event volunteer you can attend the arts activity on the day if you choose, meet new people and have fun. We also offer training so you can build your skills. 

You can commit to as many or few hours as suits you. Events will be happening from September to December 2018 so please contact us at [email protected] or call 01223 706 779 to find out more.

Cambridgeshire Archives Centre - the move to Ely

Work on the new Archives Centre in Ely is now underway! Coulsons, our contractor, started work onsite, ahead of schedule, in mid-June 2018.

The first phase is the strip-out and demolition work within the current structure.

Construction of the new archives repository will then begin and handover of the completed building is currently anticipated for June 2019. The archive and registration records will then be moved in.

In the meantime, archives staff will be working to clean, repackage and data-capture all documents.

Please note that the Archives’ public service will close in December 2018 for six months to enable this work, before it re-opens in Ely next year.

Cambridgeshire schools call for Fair Funding

Cambridgeshire is one of the worst funded education authorities in England. The county receives £400 less per child than the average funded authority and £1,600 less per child than Westminster.

The Cambridgeshire Schools Forum has written to the Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds and Cambridgeshire MPs to call for an increase in funding for all the county’s early years, primary and secondary schools and has also responded to calls for evidence on school and college funding and support for children with special educational needs from the Education Select Committee.

Although two-thirds of Cambridgeshire schools saw a modest increase in funding for 2018-19 this has been more than completely eroded by increasing costs including salary increases and growing recruitment costs, inflation and the apprentice levy.

The nature of our county means that there are a high number of small, rural schools who have been seriously disadvantaged by the cut in the lump sum allocation for each school from £150,000 to £110,000. This is equivalent to the full costs of about one teacher. The High Needs budget is also under enormous pressure with increasing numbers of children with high needs and the complexity of their needs is rising as well. Funding for early years childcare is also under pressure as Government funding levels for 30 hours of ‘free’ childcare do not cover the costs of delivery.

To show your support for our campaign, please sign and share the Government petition.

"Talking Together" to boost young children's life chances - Huntingdon, Wisbech, Chatteris, March and North-East Cambridge

A project to boost communication, language and literacy has been launched by Cambridgeshire County Council, with the support of the National Literacy Trust.

Across Cambridgeshire, the percentage of children achieving a good level of development at the end of their first year at school is in line with the national average (70%) However, for some children in some parts of the county, this is not the case – for disadvantaged children this figure was less than 50%.

The Council’s Community Literacy Project ‘Talking Together in Cambridgeshire’ will focus on Huntingdon, Wisbech, Chatteris, March, and North-East Cambridge where the language and literacy levels of young children are lower than in other parts of the county. Launch events were held earlier this month.

Talking Together in Cambridgeshire will focus on raising awareness of communication, language and literacy development for children aged 0-6 with parents, childminders, practitioners and others in the community.

The project will also look to support family members who may have language or literacy difficulties.

The project team will champion the benefits of parent – child conversations using a ‘talking tennis’ approach in order to broaden children’s vocabulary. They will also be inspiring parents to create stories for their children based on their child’s day-to-day experiences.

The team will deliver training to childminders and practitioners across the project reach areas, and community groups will be able to bid for funding to put on activities in their own communities that support the project aims.

For more information about the project, including volunteer opportunities, please contact:

Helen Wootton - Early Years Literacy Advisor
[email protected]
01223 699 671

"Train like a Jedi" this summer with Public Health England

Public Heath England (PHE) will be launching their annual physical activity campaign aimed at children and families throughout the school summer holidays  in July 2018.  The campaign will be focused on a Star Wars theme, including a ‘Train like a Jedi’ video starring Olympic gold medalist Jade Jones, which will guide children through the 12 special moves which will help them master the ways of the Jedi. The campaign will help children to stay active and healthy over the summer. More information is available on the NHS website.

Cambridgeshire County Council's Public Health Team will be promoting the campaign across pharmacies, libraries, child and family centres and other local front-line services supporting them to engage families locally.

Also planned is a social media campaign and news releases. The CCC commissioned lifestyle service provided by Everyone Health and the countywide physical activity programme "Let's Get Moving Cambridgeshire" commissioned from the district councils and Living Sport will also be providing information to families and communities about local opportunities to participate in.

Win or lose - domestic violence increase during the Football World Cup

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership and Public Health have been working together with agencies across the county to raise awareness of a potential increase in domestic abuse during World Cup Competition. A poster and social media campaign highlighted evidence undertaken by Lancaster University that incidents of domestic violence increase during World Cup Competitions both when England win and lose matches. Alcohol consumption, especially binge drinking, is often involved in and may increase domestic violence incidents and was expected to have increased during the World Cup period.

Professionals and the public are being reminded about support and advice for anyone experiencing domestic abuse at any time, which can be found on the Cambs DASV website.

Support for anyone wishing to seek help for their substance misuse can be found on the Inclusion Cambridgeshire website and the Aspire Peterborough website.

Cambridgeshire County Council is also supporting the White Ribbon Campaign to end male violence against women, once and for all. White Ribbon have resources to support the World Cup campaign which can be found on their website: www.whiteribbon.org.uk

Health and wellbeing outcomes revealed

Public Heath England (PHE) has recently published their quarterly update to the Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF), with data for all county, district, and unitary local authorities.  Cambridgeshire is generally a healthy place to live with higher than average life expectancy, but some PHOF indicators are worse than the national average. Notable variation is also seen across the districts of the county, often linked to levels of deprivation.

Further information on what the PHOF shows for Cambridgeshire can be found on the health and wellbeing pages on Cambridgeshire Insight. The latest version of the PHE Fingertips PHOF Data Tool is available and provides a number of ways of viewing and mapping the data.

Zero suicide campaign / stop suicide relaunch

‘STOP suicide’ is our local voice for suicide prevention and the zero suicide ambition. ‘STOP suicide’ was set up in 2014 and is funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council and implemented by CPSL MIND.

A short film has been produced on suicide prevention with the simple message ‘I’d ask’, to encourage people to be aware of others who may be struggling with mental health issues and directly ask them about suicidal thoughts. The film was shown at various venues around the county, as part of the STOP suicide roadshow, including Cambridge station and Cathedral Square in Peterborough during the month of May 2018. The campaign will also include banners on buses and social media publicity to reach as many people as possible in the local community.

Both Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council have signed up to the National Zero Suicide Alliance as part of the ambition towards zero suicide. Both local authorities will be promoting to staff, the free online suicide prevention training offered by the Zero Suicide Alliance.

STOP Suicide - 'I'd Ask'

Looking for a job where you can make a real difference? Become a Reablement Worker

Cambridgeshire County Council's Reablement recruitment campaign is continuing, and you may have seen a range of different approaches being used to advertise it. These include advertising on radio, buses, bus shelters and libraries, as well as on social media.

Since March 2018, 14 new workers have started and 19 new candidates are waiting for a start date, but the team are still looking for more support workers. Can you make a difference?

Becoming a Reablement Worker

  • Would you like to have a job where you help people to enjoy life again?
  • Do you have great communication skills?
  • Are you a team player with good decision-making skills, with a can-do attitude and a flexible approach?
  • Do you have a full driving licence, and access to a car?

If so, we would love to talk to you about our Reablement Support Worker roles. Having the right values and behaviours is more important than a social work qualification. We can support you to gain a qualification while doing the job. 

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