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Welcome to the May 2019 Cambridgeshire Matters newsletter

Welcome to the May issue 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 parish council colleagues and feel free to use any of the features in your own newsletter or social media.

You will notice the addition of our 'news from partners' section. If you have an item you'd like to submit for future editions or the July issue (content deadline is 3 July), please send your submissions to [email protected]

Welcome to all our new parish and town councillors

A very warm welcome to all the new town and parish councillors who have joined us following the local elections in Fenland and East Cambridgeshire. If you'd like to view the last couple of editions of Cambridgeshire Matters, please visit our website for January and March.

If you would like to add any new councillors to our email list so they can receive future editions of our newsletter, please email the details to [email protected]. Please also let us know if any councillors have now left and should be removed from the email list.

Latest news

News from partners

Innovate and Cultivate Fund – NEW Cultivate Seed Fund Projects launched

Local 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. Grants are available for initiatives that support the needs of our residents and help to deliver the council’s priorities for children and families, vulnerable adults, and older people.

We’ve launched our new ‘Cultivate Seed Fund Projects’ to offer inspiration and guidance for projects that meet the fund criteria and can be set up and run by parish councils or community groups. We’ve built in local training and support to help make them a success. Projects include timebanks, good neighbour schemes, men’s sheds and dementia-friendly communities - these fabulous local projects are sure to inspire!

Colne Caring Community Friendship Club

Houghton and Wyton Timebank

Ramsey's Men Shed (Ramshed)

St Ives Dementia Friendly Community

The next application deadlines are:

  • 1 August 2019 - Cultivate grants (£2k-£19k) and Innovate grants (£19k-£50k)
  • 1 November 2019 – Cultivate grants only (£2k-£19k)
  • 1 February 2020 - Cultivate grants (£2k-£19k) and Innovate grants (£19k-£50k)
  • 1 May 2020 - Cultivate grants only (£2k-£19k)

If you’d like to talk through your project idea, please register here for an advice session on Tuesday 18 June, 9:30am-12:30pm at Huntingdon Youth Centre.

More information about the Cultivate Seed Fund Projects, our funding priorities, eligibility and how to apply may be found on the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation website.

Community Reach Fund

The Community Reach Fund is now available with small grants of up to £1,000 to support community projects with children, young people, and their families living in Cambridgeshire. 

Funds should be spent within 12-18 months of being awarded (please note that up to 18 months is at the discretion of the Youth and Community Coordinator). 

To find out more and to receive an application form, please contact your area Youth and Community Coordinator:

Projects must aim to achieve the following:

  • Help community members to develop their own initiatives and by doing so contribute to community resilience
  • Be inclusive and have a shared benefit to their communities
  • Motivate and empower other community members to take part and by doing so develop social capacity
  • Develop opportunities for children, young people and their families to engage in positive activity which is beneficial to their health and wellbeing

Projects should also consider how they might sustain and further develop their projects.

Grants available for churches

Cinnamon Network helps churches transform communities by reaching out and building relationships with those in greatest need.

The County Council are working alongside the Police to fund Cinnamon Network to work with 10 local churches to start tried-and-tested social action projects such as:

  • Parish nursing to provide local whole person healthcare to support people's wellbeing
  • Linking Lives, a unique befriending service, primarily for isolated older people
  • TLG Early Intervention to support primary school aged children at risk of exclusion
  • 4Family to support isolated, lonely or vulnerable families in their communities

Cinnamon Network are offering £2,000 micro-grants and start-up training to equip churches to deliver these projects.

Churches can apply here by midday on 31 May 2019 and there will be a further round in July 2019.

Please pass on to churches in your parish and encourage them to take part.

A Big Lunch or a Great Get Together?

This year we’re encouraging communities across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to take part in this year’s Big Lunch and Great Get Together celebrations in June - to share food, have fun and get to know each other better.

The Big Lunch will be taking place on 1-2 June and The Great Get Together will be taking place on 21-23 June. 

Both national events celebrate kindness, respect and all we have in common, providing a great opportunity to bring neighbours and communities together, including those who might be more isolated. We’d like to see as many community events as possible across our area – so do please keep in touch and let us know how your event goes if you hold one.

For information on how to get involved and make these events happen please visit their websites to find out how you can get involved: 

Big Lunch: www.thebiglunch.com 

Great Get Together: https://www.greatgettogether.org/

This is part of the Campaign to End Loneliness that follows on from the #50000reasons campaign that was launched over Christmas to encourage people to reach out to isolated people in their community who may be experiencing loneliness.

Fostering a hopeful future in Cambridgeshire

Our campaign to recruit more foster carers is starting to deliver some really good results - but we still need your help, so that even more local children can remain in local homes. 

Foster Care Fortnight has already started and runs until 26 May. It is the UK’s largest foster care awareness raising campaign, it aims to show the positive impact foster care has on children’s and young people’s lives and this year the theme is ‘Change a Future’.

We urgently need people from all walks of life to come forward and help to change a future for children and young people in Cambridgeshire. We are particularly keen to hear from those who can care for sibling groups of brothers and sisters, children with additional needs and teenagers.

Please look out for and share our social media posts throughout Foster Care Fortnight and spread the word about our fostering information session:

  • 23 May 2019, 3.30pm – 6.00pm, Ely Library (CB7 4ZH)

To register interest please email the team or call 0800 052 0078 or visit the website.

Community Highways Volunteering Scheme

Wimpole Parish Council organised their first Litter Pick in the Village on Saturday 13 April and it was a resounding success!

Ian Hack, Chairman of Wimpole Parish Council, reported that “We had 18 volunteers and over the course of 2.5 hours, we collected 15 bags of litter, washed and cleaned all the road signs and cleared the path of overgrowing vegetation near the new footbridge.

“All rubbish was disposed of correctly at Thriplow Recycling Centre! We will aim to hold similar sessions throughout the year as and when required.”

Also recently spotted by our Highway Maintenance Manager Jon Clarke were some Witchford volunteers - picking litter from the ditches approaching the village.

Well done Wimpole and Witchford!!

The upkeep of our highways and the surrounding environments are vital in keeping our communities connected and safe on the move. The Community Highways Volunteering Scheme allows parishes, towns and community groups to undertake small scale routine maintenance activities within their own communities, such as:

  • Litter picking
  • Cutting back vegetation
  • Cleaning signs
  • Siding of footpaths

Frequently asked questions and information packs (one for Cambridge City and one for the rest of the county) have been created to help you learn more about the scheme and arrange to get involved.

If you’d like to find out more, please contact your Local Highway Officer (LHO) in the first instance or visit our improve highways and the environment webpage.

Investment from Government for county’s roads

The government has announced further funding which will benefit roads in Cambridgeshire.

Both Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have received the maximum amount of additional road maintenance funding from the Department for Transport, with £2.5m for Cambridgeshire County Council in recognition for making the best use of funds available and prioritising the needs of the public.

This year (2019-20), Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have also received funding totalling £990k to help prevent and fix potholes.

Our roads are important to us and we are listening to people by spending more money on repairing and resurfacing our roads in Cambridgeshire. We will also combine this with our specialist machines, known as ‘dragon patchers’ as we continue our battle on potholes.

In order to keep our roads maintained, people need to help us by coming forward and reporting them using our online highways reporting tool.

Find out how we repair potholes

New technology for Real Time Displays at bus stop

CCC’s Integrated Highways Management Centre (IHMC) team, in collaboration with Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI) contractor VIX Technology, have introduced the first solar powered e-ink technology displays (think Kindle screen) providing real times for bus arrivals.

Replacing mains powered LED standard displays with energy efficient e-ink technology not only brings cost reductions, but also mitigates the environmental impact.

E-ink is a green and future-proof solution which is flexible in meeting changing business and passenger needs. It’s capable of displaying weather information, monochromatic pictures and of course those all-important bus arrivals.

Mains connections are not required so the units are also very flexible in terms of being able to sit in challenging locations, and the new display technology allows content to be viewed in direct sunlight and the units are also equipped with LEDs for night-time illumination.

So far (May 2019), nine displays have been installed to test the new technology:

  • Four displays at the Grafton Centre in Cambridge
  • One display on Chesterton Road in Cambridge near Hertford Street
  • One display in the village of Sutton to address power problems
  • One display on Ermine Street in Huntingdon
  • Two displays on Stukeley Road in Huntingdon

The technology simplifies the project management process, which is a big step for this small RTPI (Real Time Passenger Information) project in saving time, as it eliminates both power issues and traffic delays during installations - meaning very little disruption to the public.

Another twelve displays will be delivered in the next three months:

  • Eight displays on U route in Cambridge
  • Two displays on Madingley Road in Cambridge
  • Two displays in Witchford

Transport Investment Plan (TIP) now available as a map

The Transport Investment Plan (TIP) is a list of potential transport schemes that have been identified to support growth in Cambridgeshire. Not all the schemes in the TIP have funding or an associated programme; it is in some ways a ‘wishlist’ of schemes that could support growth.

Work has been underway to map the TIP schemes, and we are happy to share with you the completed map available on the County Council website.

If you would like further information about the TIP, including the list of schemes in each city / district and guidance on how to navigate the map, please visit the main TIP webpage.

For any questions or comments, please email [email protected]

Cambridgeshire's Local Street Gazetteer ranked GOLD again!

For the second year running, the County Council’s Local Street Gazetteer (LSG) has been ranked at the highest possible level for the quality, accuracy and currency of its data.

The LSG is the definitive record of public highways maintained by the County Council, and is used to schedule and co-ordinate the maintenance of roads and the issuing of street works permits across Cambridgeshire.

It makes up part of the National Street Gazetteer, which is compiled and distributed by the Ordnance Survey and GeoPlace, who have awarded the Gold ranking based on a series of metrics for data entry standards and resolution of errors.

The Asset Information Searches Team in the Highways Service are responsible for maintaining this critical database, and the Gold award is recognition of the good work undertaken by the team and the enhanced understanding it has developed of the LSG.

Have you filled out the Highways and Street Lighting surveys?

The aim of the questions in the Highways Service and Street Lighting Service is to gain your opinion in order to ensure we continue to monitor our performance and where possible improve our future service delivery.

Highways Service survey - https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/N3UFW/
Street Lighting Service survey -  https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/BO6ZG/

The deadline for completing both surveys is 31 May 2019.

A final decision on how these routes will be progressed will take place this winter.

Thank you to everyone who took the chance to have their say on helping shape the Greater Cambridge Greenways.

News from Greater Cambridge Partnership

Last year the Greater Cambridge Partnership set out to consult with the public on our proposals for new and improved cycle, walking and equestrian routes from Waterbeach, Fulbourn and Comberton into Cambridge.

Having analysed the results of these consultations we have now published them as reports, which are available to view on our website:

Waterbeach Greenway
Fulbourn Greenway
Comberton Greenway

You can also find a snapshot of the results below.

A final decision on how these routes will be progressed will take place this winter.

Thank you to everyone who took the chance to have their say on helping shape the Greater Cambridge Greenways.

Notice of intention to consider bus franchising by the Combined Authority

In January 2019, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Board approved the development of business cases for a range of operational models for bus delivery in the region that are available to the authority under the Bus Services Act 2017. In May 2019, a formal notice of intention to consider bus franchising was issued, as required by the Bus Services Act before work on the assessment can start. View the notice in full here

Ely Registration Office – new opening hours

The relocation of the Ely Registration Office to the new Cambridgeshire Archives building in late summer 2019 provides the opportunity to improve customer service, and operational reasons have resulted in a positive change to the opening hours being introduced in advance of the move. 

Previous opening hours were limited to Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9.30am to 4pm (with some Saturdays available for ceremonies). 

The new opening hours (which have been in place since 1 April 2019) mean customer appointments (births, deaths and notices) are now available during every day Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm – the same as the other full-time registration offices across the county (Saturdays for ceremonies are currently unaffected). All services continue to be by appointment only. 

This has benefited customers immediately and also gets the new hours embedded in people’s minds prior to the physical move itself.

Financial abuse of older people 

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership has linked up with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Safeguarding Boards, and with national organisation Action on Elder Abuse, to create a new poster highlighting the issue of financial abuse experienced by older people from family members. 

On average, the best estimate for the UK is that between 1 and 2 percent of people aged 65 or over in the United Kingdom today have suffered (or are currently suffering) financial abuse since turning 65.  This is likely to be a conservative estimate, and the suspicion remains that the true extent of financial abuse – particularly if we use the wider definitions – is actually much greater. Financial abuse is a form of domestic abuse under Safeguarding Adults legislation within the Care Act 2014. 

The poster will be shared across the county with partner organisations including libraries and GP surgeries or it can be downloaded from: https://www.cambsdasv.org.uk/website/posters_for_free_download/397373

If you would like more information, please contact [email protected]. 

Simple strength and balance exercises can keep you doing the things you enjoy

Following on from our previous updates, a local women has put a spring in her step after joining strength and balance classes to keep her doing the things she enjoys.

Rita, aged 77 from Ely, joined the fun and sociable class at the local library class having heard about it from a friend after a recent fall. The class featured as part of the successful Stronger for Longer campaign.

Rita said: “The class has helped me with my walking, strength, balance, and posture, along with confidence outside of the class.”

“I can see the difference in myself, I do a lot of walking and since going to classes I am now able to walk that bit longer without any problems – which means I can go out more and enjoy with my friends.

“Coming to the class will improve your well-being and help you to keep active. You will meet new people and it can be fun.”

Since the launch of the Stronger For Longer campaign back in October, over 100 new people have joined strength and balance classes around the county and are now stronger and steadier.

Simple strength and balance exercises twice a week are proven to keep older adults stronger for longer helping them to stay independent and enjoying the great things in life, whether it’s playing with grandchildren, shopping, socialising with friends or gardening.

For success stories and more information on classes and activities in your area visit: www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/strongerforlonger.

NHS Health Checks - have you had your check?

Cambridgeshire County Council Public Health has been promoting an NHS Health Checks campaign. The campaign focused on a ‘call to action’ to attend a ‘free NHS Health Check’ for those eligible, and follows the national Diabetes Prevention campaign that aims to raise awareness of ways to prevent Diabetes. 

The NHS Health Check is a health check-up for adults in England aged 40-74 who do not already have a diagnosed ongoing health condition. It's designed to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or dementia. As we get older, we have a higher risk of developing one of these conditions. An NHS Health Check helps find ways to lower this risk. For more information on NHS Health Checks visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-health-check

To get your NHS Health Check interested persons should contact their GP surgery and make an appointment, it takes 20-30 minutes and is a great way to identify health issues early, and access useful advice on how to improve your health. 

News from partners

Rural affordable housing showcase

Cambridgeshire ACRE will once again be delivering a showcase of rural, affordable developments in Cambridgeshire this summer during Rural Housing Week.

The event will taking place on Wednesday 3 July 2019 and will be focused on a geographic area on the Huntingdonshire / South Cambridgeshire border. Starting with a short presentation in a village hall, participants will then board a coach and be taken around a variety of sites, with a short break for lunch midway, before returning to the setting-off point.

An invitation containing full details will be sent to all local councils in due course but if you wish to pre-register your interest, please email Alison Brown at [email protected].

Connecting Communities Conference - Care, Dare and Share to tackle loneliness

Loneliness is a growing problem in our society, and it’s increasingly recognised as being closely linked to physical and mental health issues.

The government is starting to take this matter seriously, but community organisations like parish councils can play a key role too. We know our communities, because we are a part of them and our local knowledge can be really useful.

People who are trapped in unwanted social isolation might be seen by community organisations as a complex challenge and a big drain on the organisation’s resources, particularly where health issues are involved.

Our conference, kindly funded by Huntingdonshire District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council through the Support Cambridgeshire contract, aims to turn this around.

Lonely people’s health issues are often the result of social isolation rather than the cause. Think of them as volunteers rather than beneficiaries, and everyone can benefit. Rather than being a drain on resources, they can become assets.

By playing an active role in reaching out to the lonely, we can increase our ability to deliver the services we exist for. But first we have to:

CARE to make a difference and help tackle loneliness
DARE to reach out and welcome
SHARE the positives, share the benefits and share best practice.

Through a series of workshops and speakers we will:

  • Discover how to identify and reach out to volunteers who are lonely and isolated
  • Discover how to engage with potential volunteers and connect people, using the Care Network Open Arms Project as an example
  • Learn ways in which to support and nurture volunteers, some of whom may have been previously isolated
  • Demonstrate the importance of volunteering and how to assess its impact
  • Talk to funders who fund initiatives to tackle isolation and loneliness in our Game of Funds workshop.

To find out more, please join us at the free Connecting Communities Conference at the Corn Exchange, St Ives on Thursday 20 June 2019 between 9.30am and 2.15pm. To book a space visit https://www.cambridgecvs.org.uk/training-events/view/301.

Brightening up your community with Cath Kidston

For over 25 years Cath Kidston has sought inspiration from treasure troves of quirky British finds, creating pretty, colourful prints with a nod to nostalgia that turns modern products for women, kids and your home, into something witty, fresh and fun. 

Today we want to brighten up and entertain communities, and reinvigorate local areas. With the rise of digital, we talk less to one another - so Cath Kidston wants to encourage us as a nation to have more face-to-face chats, to connect people from all walks of life, to meet new faces and enjoy new conversations. So, we would like to hear your thoughts on the following ideas:

  • Friendship Benches: We want to create colourful ‘Cath’s friendship’ benches placed in local areas that can be used to try and get the community engaging and talking with each other. The benches will play an important role within your communities; acting as a place for people to meet, spend time together and, most importantly, talk. With loneliness and social isolation on the rise, feeling part of a community is more important than ever.
  • Murals: They aim to brighten up a grey area or wall with a colourful mural painted by a local artist and local people. This will enocurage communities and schools come together to create a mural that is bright and fun! Cath Kidston understands the importance of getting communities and local people together.

Would you like to see this in your area? Please email your thoughts and suggestions to: [email protected].

Become a CAPALC Board Member

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Association of Local Councils (CAPALC) is a membership organisation that provides training and support for more than 2,000 parish councillors across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, along with CILCA (Certificate in Local Council Administration) training for clerks. 

CAPALC are recruiting new board members to support their next phase of development and are specifically seeking expertise in fundraising, communication and human resources, along with an experienced treasurer.

For more information, we have a comprehensive website which you can find at www.capalc.org.uk. Please email Henry Clark, CAPALC Board Chairman, at [email protected] with your expression of interest.

Cambridge Women's Aid - Ask Me Project - domestic abuse

Are you passionate about ending domestic abuse? You could become part of a nationwide network of hundreds of Ask Me community ambassadors helping to eliminate domestic abuse.

Following successful pilot projects, Cambridge Women’s Aid has been selected to roll out the national Women’s Aid ‘Ask Me’ project in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, as part of the wider Change That Lasts approach to domestic abuse.

Change That Lasts evolved from discussions with survivors’ communities which noted that while communities are often the first to know that domestic abuse is happening, the lack of understanding and confidence can make people afraid to talk about it, and unsure of how to respond when someone speaks out. The Ask Me project is an initiative that equips everyday people with an understanding of domestic abuse and how to respond to survivors. This knowledge will enable a community to play an active and empowering role in ending domestic abuse.

Cambridge Women’s Aid is looking to invite and train members of the local community from Cambridgeshire to the Ask Me scheme to become volunteer community ambassadors to eliminate domestic abuse. The scheme offers 12 hours of free training on domestic abuse, how to raise awareness about it in communities and how to direct survivors to specialist services.

So if you’re passionate about ending domestic abuse, or are a member of a community, group, or a club interested in learning about domestic abuse and supporting and signposting survivors and communities to specialist services, please visit Cambridge Women’s Aid to find out more about the Ask Me scheme and sign up for the training or register your interest through the online form. (Please note the training is aimed at community members and is not intended as professional development.)

To enquire about Ask Me in Cambridgeshire please contact Emilia Merenmies or Sophie Meuwissen; [email protected] / [email protected].

Don’t forget to visit our news pagelike us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to keep up-to-date with the latest announcements.

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