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Welcome to the March 2018 Cambridgeshire Matters newsletter

Welcome to the fourth 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.

Bring on the spring

Going the extra mile on foot to care for elderly people

Snow heroes - Lynne Pope, Reablement Worker

With spring around the corner, we must give a huge thank you to our amazing Reablement Teams who battled the ‘Beast from the East’ at the start of March to deliver vital care around Cambridgeshire.

Support workers delivered more than 1,600 visits to vulnerable elderly people recently discharged from hospital, despite treacherous arctic conditions across Cambridgeshire. Many staff literally went the extra mile walking to people’s homes when it had become difficult to drive safely because of the snow or freezing conditions.

The role of the Reablement Service is to provide support for a time limited period to enable someone to regain their independence and be able to carry out daily tasks like cooking, cleaning and self-care without needing anyone to help. They’re an energetic and positive team who are highly committed to their work, and Cambridgeshire County Council is currently expanding the Reablement Service so there’s a chance to join the team and enjoy the flexible working opportunities it offers as well as make a real difference to the people they support.

To find out more about Reablement and the work teams do, watch our video below.

Apply for a Reablement post

How we help people become independent again

Dragon fires up on Cambridgeshire roads

The Cambridgeshire Dragon Patcher is now working its way across the county's roads to complete pothole repairs. It is the first in the region and has already made around 1,700 repairs.

It can repair up to 150 potholes a day, and is faster and quieter than traditional methods and our contractor, Skanska, will be firing it up on a road near you!

Please encourage your residents to report highways faults, including potholes, using our online reporting tool.

Cambridgeshire's Dragon Patcher

Parish Paths Partnership

Cambridgeshire Local Access Forum (CLAF) would like to discuss with Parish Councils about management of their rights of way networks.

In the past, P3 Parishes were supported through the P3 Scheme, which was funded by the County and District Councils. This funding was withdrawn in 2011. However, some Parish Councils have continued to manage their own rights of way networks for the benefit of their local communities.

The CLAF would like to hear from those parishes that continue to carry out rights of way management or deliver community-led initiatives that provide access to the countryside, as well as from those Parishes who would like to, but don’t necessarily have the resources / skills to do so. This will help the CLAF to understand if there is potential for closer working with parishes and the possibility of a half-day conference during summer 2018 to discuss how we might take this forward.

The CLAF aims for a more joined-up, better quality public access network across the county that provides benefits for a range of population groups, businesses and the natural and historical environment.

Find out more information about the CLAF

If you would like to be involved in a half-day conference or have any questions, then please contact:

Phil Clark
Cambridgeshire Local Access Forum Coordinator
Cambridgeshire County Council
Telephone: 01223 715 686
Email: [email protected]

LED street lighting

Over the next couple of months, letters will be sent to Parish Clerks regarding the start of the LED programme – Balfour Beatty will be replacing old bulbs around the region with new, energy efficient and much more reliable LED bulbs. Installation work will start in April and is due to finish 31 December 2018.

£1 Park and Ride charge dropped and record numbers using the Guided Busway

Motorists will benefit from free parking at Cambridge’s seven Park & Ride sites from 1 April 2018.

The £1 parking fee is being removed next month to encourage more people to get out of their cars and use greener and more sustainable modes of transport to travel into Cambridge city centre.

The removal of the £1 parking fee is a positive move to continue to make the Park & Ride the first transport choice for people coming into the city.

The County Council wants to encourage people to use more sustainable methods of transport and is committed to reducing congestion and improving air quality for everyone.

There have been a number of improvements made at the sites in recent months to make it easier for people to access the bus services.

Almost 100 new cycle lockers have been installed to enable cyclists to securely store their bikes and hop on the bus to travel into the city, and further lockers will be installed in the coming months.

There is also no longer a need to queue at a machine for a travel ticket, as passengers can buy all their tickets from the bus driver - as all buses now accept contactless payments as well as cash.

The seven sites are those at Babraham Road, Madingley Road, Milton, Newmarket Road, Trumpington, Longstanton and St Ives.

Help design Cambridgeshire's first Rural Travel Hubs

Sawston and Oakington are earmarked to benefit from the county’s first Rural Travel Hubs after the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s Executive Board agreed to progress the project to the next stage last month. The Board is now urging people to get in touch and provide feedback to ensure the hubs meet the community’s needs.

Rural Travel Hubs are bespoke rural transport interchanges to connect residents in South Cambridgeshire with public transport and cycling or walking routes. From late spring / early summer, the project team will be asking for detailed feedback on the ideas for hubs in Oakington and Sawston. In the meantime, residents can find out more about the project by attending events as part of the Cambridge South East Transport Study consultation.

Further information on Rural Travel Hubs and upcoming events can be found on the Greater Cambridge Partnership website.

Cycling projects in Linton, Sawston, Bottisham, The Swaffhams and Horningsea

The next round of engagement sessions on the Cambridge Greenways project is about to start, with routes to Linton, Sawston, Bottisham, The Swaffhams and Horningsea up for discussion at a variety of venues during the evenings.

Enabling works for The Chisholm Trail, including Abbey-Chesterton Bridge have just been completed. The work entailed vegetation clearance and tree felling on the former Mildenhall railway line, and areas adjacent to the River Cam where the new Abbey-Chesterton bridge lands. The work was in advance of the Bird Nesting Season.

A new contract for the delivery of Bikeability cycle training in schools is due to be awarded shortly. This is a two year contract which will allow the continuation of cycle training being offered free to all children in their last year of primary school, funded by the Department for Transport (DfT).

Mike Davies
Team Leader - Cycling Projects
Email: [email protected]

Recommendations from the Ely to Cambridge transport study

The Ely to Cambridge Transport Study has recommended a £500 million transport upgrade for travel between Ely and Cambridge - including dualling of the A10 between Ely and Cambridge.

The study says a whole range of transport improvements are needed to ease congestion and bring forward tens of thousands of new jobs and homes right along the route and beyond.

The A10 north is a key transport route for economic growth in the region, linking Ely, and other towns and villages to the north, with the city and wider transport network.

The study looked at current transport challenges and future opportunities to support growth. Recommendations include:

  • Dualling or part dualling of the A10 between Ely and Cambridge
  • A new Park and Ride north of Waterbeach
  • Relocation and expansion of Waterbeach Railway Station
  • A new segregated public transport route between Waterbeach and Cambridge, together with new cycling and walking facilities
  • To dual the section of the A10 between the Angel Drove and Witchford Road Junctions

Rapid growth in recent years has seen demand on the local network surge with roads, junctions and rail journeys all frequently operating at capacity.

Tens of thousands of new jobs and homes are planned along the route - including between 8,000 and 10,000 new homes at Waterbeach alone and plans for further development in North Cambridge.

The public will be invited to give their views on the initial options for various cycling, walking, public transport and road-based solution improvements in and around the A10 during the summer.

View the study online

Public consultation - Cambridge South East transport study (formerly known as A21307, Three Campuses to Cambridge)

Have your say on:

  • New public transport links
  • New and improved walking and cycling routes
  • Road safety improvements along the A1307

To have your say, visit the Greater Cambridge Partnership website.

Drought damaged road repair scheme - Littleport, Ramsey, Farcet, Isleham, Wicken and Whittlesey

Cambridgeshire County Council will be carrying out repairs to sections of road around the region that have been damaged by drought.

To allow for major road reconstruction, roads under this scheme will need to be closed 24 hours a day for 7 days a week.

View further information for residents in Littleport, Ramsey, Farcet, Isleham, Wicken and Whittlesey impacted by these works. 

View the timetable containing dates for these works and locations.

Broadband information evening for parishes in North Huntingdonshire

Parish Councillors and residents from 14 North Huntingdonshire parishes are being invited to attend a Broadband Information Evening this month (March) to discuss current and future plans for broadband and mobile coverage in the area.

The event on 21 March 2018 at Stilton Primary School from 7.00 - 8.30pm has been organised by Huntingdonshire District Councillor Tim Alban and Cambridgeshire County Councillor Simon Bywater for the parishes of Alwalton, Chesterton, Conington, Denton & Caldecote, Elton, Folksworth & Washingley, Glatton, Haddon, Holme, Morborne, Sawtry, Sibson-cum-Stibbington, Stilton and Water Newton.

Representatives from the Connecting Cambridgeshire Programme, led by the County Council, and BT Openreach, who are rolling out superfast broadband across the county, will be on hand to discuss broadband coverage for these areas and the challenges involved. It will also be useful to highlight poor mobile coverage.

Places are limited so please confirm if you wish to attend by emailing [email protected] or [email protected] with your name, parish and area of concern.

You can check your current and planned broadband coverage using the postcode checker on the Connecting Cambridgeshire website.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have already exceeded the national average with more than 96 per cent of households and businesses having access to superfast speeds of 24Mbps and above with some of the highest take-up in the country at over 50%. 

The Connecting Cambridgeshire rollout programme is now aiming to reach over 99% of homes and businesses with superfast broadband, by the end of 2020, with Phase Three of the rollout currently underway and solutions being planned for Phase Four.

Connecting Cambridgeshire team
Telephone: 01223 703 293
Email: [email protected]

New Cambridgeshire Insight website now live

Cambridgeshire Insight showcases local research and information from a host of partners. The site also acts as a local response to Open Data and users can access a range of local datasets including population estimates, population forecasts and local housing completions.

What has changed?

The aim of recent updates to Insight has been to try to make it easier for users to find the data, information, research or analysis that they require about their local area.  The focus of the update has been around making it easier for users to access interactive data tools and research reports across a number of themes including:

  • Crime and community safety
  • Economy and employment
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Housing
  • Joint strategic needs assessments
  • Population
  • And more!
  • Interactive maps by theme
  • Instant reports by area
  • Quick ward profiles
  • Document library

How can Cambridgeshire Insight support my parish?

Nobody knows your parish better than you but Cambridgeshire Insight allows you to access and share local data, find and download reports and discover intelligence about your local area. It acts as a valuable planning tool to support strategic planning for growth and development of services in the county but there are opportunities to also support evidence led decisions within your parish. The evidence and data released on Cambridgeshire Insight, such as parish demographic profiles, can help you to develop your parish plans and identify opportunities to improve the lives of your residents.

Comments / feedback / suggestions

If you have any comments, feedback or suggestions on any of the above, please contact [email protected].

Get ready for the Big Lunch

The Big Lunch is the UK's annual get together for neighbours. Every year in June since the idea began in 2009, millions of people stop what they're doing and get together with neighbours in a nationwide act of community and friendship.

A Big Lunch can be anything from a small gathering in a garden, park or driveway, to a larger party with trestle tables down the middle of your street. The idea is that by starting simple, all sorts of friendships, ideas and projects can come out of a Big Lunch. It gets people together and talking — and with a few inspired folk, it can lead to people doing more within their community, and tackling the issues that matter to them most.

This year's Big Lunch is on Sunday 3 June 2018 but if the official date isn't practical for your community, you can run one at any time you fancy.

Find out how to organise a Big Lunch in your community

Do you run youth clubs, family activities or community events?

Community Activities and Resources Hire Centre (Community ARC) offers low-cost hire of resources such as giant games, sports and craft activities to support non-profit making clubs, voluntary organisations and community projects throughout Cambridgeshire. There are Community ARC stores in Chatteris, Huntingdon and Cambridge. To help keep this County Council service running, there is a wedding / private occasion package which is charged at a little extra cost.

For more information, email [email protected] or contact your local centre direct:

Cambridge - [email protected]
Huntingdon and Fenland - [email protected] 

Community Arc poster

Size: 122.74 KB File format: pdf

How Support Cambridgeshire can support you

Support Cambridgeshire is commissioned by Cambridgeshire County Council to support voluntary organisations, community groups and Town and Parish Councils.

Support Cambridgeshire is a countywide partnership between Hunts Forum, Cambridge CVS and Cambridgeshire ACRE who:

Events being planned for the year include a Neighbourhood Planning Networking Session in Huntingdonshire and an Affordable Housing Mythbuster Tour, most likely in East Cambridgeshire, on Tuesday 3 July 2018. Further details, including how to book places, will be sent directly to all local councils in due course and provided on the Cambs Parishes website. For more information, please email [email protected].

Three ways for your Parish Council to get funding

Wren's Community Action Fund opens for 2018 applications

Wren's Community Action Fund has re-opened to applications for projects taking place in areas of England and Wales close to Waste Recycling Group landfill sites.

Grants of between £2,000 and £50,000 are available for projects that can demonstrate how they fall into Object D of the Landfill Communities Fund.

For details about upcoming application deadlines and more information about the fund please visit the Wren website

Innovate and Cultivate Fund deadlines

The Innovate and Cultivate Fund is Cambridgeshire County Council's ‘£1 million fund’ to help community organisations, social enterprises and public sector bodies to address the needs of local residents.

If you or someone in your Parish Council has a great idea that would benefit Cambridgeshire residents then it is not too late to apply for funding with a new round of applications invited in the spring.

The deadline for smaller projects (up to £10,000) is 1 May 2018.

Find out more or apply

Garfield Weston Foundation celebrates 60th Anniversary with one-off charitable fund

Registered charities, places of worship and state schools in the UK can apply for the Garfield Weston Foundation’s new one-off capital fund to benefit communities.

The Fund is exclusively aimed at supporting capital costs and total project costs must be above £30,000. To find out what funding is available, please visit the Garfield Weston website.

The deadline for applications is 30 June 2018.

Libraries set to deliver more at the heart of communities

At the Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee on 13 February 2018, councillors approved a series of proposals to transform libraries, putting them at the heart of the Council’s delivery in local communities and offering more services under one roof.

It followed a series of engagement events where people told us they valued their libraries and wanted us to explore commercial initiatives in order to protect the future of the service rather than reducing it. The majority of people who gave their views were positive about starting paying for services and activities libraries already provide to protect the service.

Through a range of initiatives, libraries are set to generate new revenue and progress towards becoming more financially self-sufficient. This will allow the Council to invest £230,000 back into the book fund in 2018/19 so stock remains relevant and up-to-date.

Details on how these changes will be implemented will be advertised in advance in libraries and on the Council’s website. Read more information.

These new initiatives are the beginning of a long term transformation process and their progress will be monitored to ensure all of our residents (including the most vulnerable of library users) can still access all the library services they want and need.

Library Newsletter

Take a look at the latest edition of the monthly libraries newsletter, where you can find upcoming campaigns and events happening in libraries. Please sign up to receive your regular copy straight into your email inbox.

Changes planned to school meal provision in Cambridgeshire

On 23 February 2018, Members of the County Council’s Commercial and Investment Committee approved the recommendation that Cambridgeshire Catering & Cleaning Service (CCS) withdraw from the school catering and cleaning market by the end of this calendar year. 

In recent years there has been a slow but steady decline in the overall number of schools receiving a catering service from Cambridgeshire Catering and Cleaning Services (CCS), from 202 contracts in March 2015  (54% of Cambridgeshire market for schools catering) to 174 contracts in November 2017 (46%). There has also been a steady decline in the number of sites receiving a cleaning service, from 125 in January 2009 to 79 in November 2017.

The decision to withdraw is based on the increase in providers to the market following the introduction of universal free school meals and the ability for CCS to be competitive in this market.  The service is currently making a marginal return, however, we expect this to decrease over the next year, so we are taking this decision now so we can support schools with a smooth transition to new providers. Particular help and support will be given to more rural schools, and no school will be left without a service offering high quality, healthy and cost-effective meals. We remain committed to supporting schools to maintain a balanced and healthy meals.   We are confident that many of those currently providing meals in schools or cleaning the premises will be able to transfer to the new providers and we will work with the new suppliers.

New look for Cambridgeshire's Child and Family Centres

Our new approach to supporting Cambridgeshire families will launch in April 2018. The redesigned Child and Family Centres will better meet the needs of our growing and rural county with activities and events taking place in a range of new locations across the county and an extended focus on families with children of all ages.

The changes were agreed at full council in October 2017 following public consultation and will be discussed at the Children and Young People Committee meeting on Tuesday 13 March 2018.

Activities will be run from new communities at Northstowe and Clay Farm for the first time as well as outreach in other new locations across the county. Adaptions have been approved to transform a youth centre at Scaldgate in Whittlesey into a new Child and Family Zone and a new space for families with children of all ages is planned for Sawtry. Centres will create better links with and provide a base for other services including adult learning, health visiting, midwifery and social care.  

Buildings that will no longer be operating as Children’s Centres will be used to boost childcare provision with up to 325 new places provided for under 5s. Changes will also allow much-needed school expansions to take place in Sawtry and Whittlesey.

Frontline staff and managers are now working in new district-based teams and any remaining vacancies have been advertised. 

View the What's On events programmes for the summer term. Additional online information and new district Facebook pages will be launched in April 2018.

Call for foster carers

We are encouraging people of all ages and backgrounds to consider fostering this month. So far this year we have focused on tackling some of the myths about who can be a foster carer to try and prevent people from unnecessarily ruling themselves out - for example, because they think that they are too old, they don't own their own home or they don't think they will be supported.

Please encourage people to visit our fostering webpages to find a type of fostering that may suit them. 

New opportunities in Fenland and East Cambridgeshire to raise education standards

Ambitious plans have recently been published to help six areas, including Fenland and East Cambridgeshire, increase educational opportunities and social mobility.

The first school visit by the new Education Secretary Damian Hinds, who announced the plans, was to St Andrews C of E Primary School in Soham. The package of measures includes a focus on attracting more teachers to work and train in the area.

Thank you for reading the March 2018 issue of Cambridgeshire Matters. We value your input so please do let us know your thoughts on this issue by emailing [email protected] or by clicking  on the "Did you find this information useful" buttons at the bottom of the page.

Have you got a story you'd like included in the next issue? Please email it to us at [email protected] and title the email - "Cambridgeshire Matters Content Submission".


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