Member Newsletter April 2018
Welcome to the April edition of the Member Newsletter!
This newsletter has been produced by the Communications and Information Service to inform all Members of the latest council news and projects taking place across the county.
- Service 46 bus changes: Wisbech - Guyhirn - March
- Highway events webpage
- Work on Ely Southern Bypass steams ahead with first phases of construction complete
- Residents Parking Schemes
- Cambridgeshire LED Lantern Upgrade Programme
- Connecting Cambridgeshire
- Time credits #50,000 hours
- Cambridgeshire and Peterborough join forces to support the local military
- Battle's Over - A Nation's Tribute 11 November 2018
- Updated Tables and Chairs Policy
- Beast from the East
- New library at the heart of Clay Farm Centre
- Changes to library computer access
- New weekly newsletter for schools
- Focused Ofsted inspection of Children's Services
- Scams awareness
- National No Smoking Day
- Suicide prevention
- Keep Your Head website
- Adult Early Help Team host a visit from Bucks CC
- Innovate and Cultivate Fund deadlines
- Wisbech Community Led Local Development
The County Council has stepped in to fund a replacement service for the 46 bus route from 30 April 2018. It was agreed to fund a replacement bus service in the short term, at a cost of £36,000, and this support will stay in place until 25 August 2018 – ensuring a continuous service during the critical school exam period, while a more permanent solution is found.
The new timetable has been scheduled around school times, to ensure students for Neale Wade Academy will see no break in service. The timetable will change from an hourly service to every hour and a half.
The service will continue to be operated by Stagecoach and in the meantime the County Council will be working with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mayor James Palmer and the Combined Authority to consider further longer term options.
The corporate webpage for highway events has been improved by adding an interactive map that gives users the ability to view what events are happening around the county. This includes information such as road closures and dates along with diversion routes. Moving forward, we aim to improve the quality of information further by taking on board user feedback.
We have refined this, making it simpler for event organisers; producing updated, clear guidance for events that affect the highway, filming on the highway and street party / playing out events. By putting all the events information in one place it will make it easier for users to find the information they need quickly and easily.
Ely Southern Bypass - timelapse of project so far
The project to build the Southern Bypass around Ely has now passed several major milestones.
Ely Southern Bypass will provide a huge boost for the area and will ease congestion in and around Ely by providing a new link between Stuntney Causeway and Angel Drove, reducing journey times by 56%.
The new route will remove the need for heavy goods vehicles to use the railway level crossing – currently closed for 35 mins in every hour, a time set to increase as more trains use the line - and reduce collisions at the low railway bridge.
Construction is progressing well, with the eastern, central and western embankments built. The abutments, which is where the bridge starts and ends, and the central pier over the railway are also complete.
The steel beams, weighing up to 350 tonnes each, which form the bridge deck have been lifted into place. The V-piers that support the viaduct over the River Great Ouse are complete. We expect the project to be completed in October.
Appreciating how important the scheme is to alleviate the misery felt by many residents in the area, working with partners the County Council found the initial funding to develop the much needed scheme as early as possible to get the work underway. The Council had feared if we hadn’t committed to deliver the project when we did, the funding could have been lost and at best, the bypass would have been delayed a further 12-18 months.
The new bypass is being built across a flood plain and the poor Fenland soil has resulted in large amounts of additional work and material being needed as the ground conditions have been even worse and more unpredictable than expected.
Working under these tricky conditions and near a national heritage site has meant costs have increased by £13 million to an estimated £49 million, which we’re working with our contractor Volker Fitzpatrick to minimise.
This project has been funded by Cambridgeshire County Council, East Cambs District Council, Network Rail and the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership grant - £22m Growth Deal including £16m from Department for Transport (DfT).
The introduction of new RPSs (Residents Parking Schemes) across Cambridge City is progressing well. The public consultations for four new schemes (Accordia, Staffordshire, Newnham and Coleridge West) are now complete and have shown that the majority of those who responded to the consultation, supported the parking controls proposed.
Two of these schemes (Accordia and Staffordshire) have now progressed to the statutory consultation stage with the TROs (Traffic Regulation Order) which underpin these schemes being formally advertised. The TROs for the remaining schemes (Newnham and Staffordshire) are due to be advertised in May. Any objections received from these consultation are scheduled to be considered by CJAC in April and July 2018.
Other schemes currently being considered are for the area surrounding:
- Victoria Park (Victoria) and Gilbert Road (Ascham) - both pending public consultation which is scheduled for May 2018
- Richmond Road (Benson North), Stretton Avenue (Stretton) and Wilberforce Road (Wilberforce) - all of which are scheduled to move to pending public consultation July 2018
We continue to work closely with councillors to ensure schemes best suit local needs.
To ease the pressure on RPSs and to promote more sustainable modes of transport, we are working closely with our colleagues at Cambridge City Council to offer residents a viable and comprehensive car club option. Although the procurement of this service is ongoing, we hope to be in a position to offer this option in all new schemes.
Cambridgeshire County Council and Balfour Beatty are very pleased to announce the new LED upgrade programme. The upgrade will include streetlights that were adopted post July 2012 and will be upgraded with more energy efficient lighting and these will emit a white light.
The works are to replace the lanterns and will not involve any excavations in the road / footpaths and each lantern replacement will be completed within one working day. Energy saving LED lamps are set to be installed.
The benefits will include:
- Brand new streetlights using the latest technology
- More effective "white lights"
- A saving of 8.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity
- A saving of 4.5k tonnes of carbon emissions per year
- New, safer steel columns and an innovative, future-proofed asset
View full details of the streets to be included in the programme.
If you have any queries, please contact [email protected].
Connecting Cambridgeshire, led by Cambridgeshire County Council, has been awarded additional funding to ensure the county has ‘outstanding digital connectivity’.
The successful programme is developing ambitious plans for improving mobile, broadband and public Wi-Fi coverage for everyone – whether at home or work, on the move, in market towns or rural villages.
The plans will be supported by a £5.6 million investment recently agreed by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Board, as part of a shared vision for fixed and mobile connectivity to underpin the region’s growth and prosperity.
The programme has also recently been allocated £4 million additional Government Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) funding, which includes increasing the availability of full fibre networks along a ‘digital innovation corridor’ from St Ives to Linton, providing fibre upgrades to 31 public buildings in rural areas, and supporting businesses to access fibre networks.
With the additional funding the programme will be extended to target improvements in mobile (2G & 4G), extend full fibre networks, trial 5G (next generation mobile) and increase public access Wi-Fi coverage over the next four years.
Connecting Cambridgeshire has already brought superfast broadband access to over 96% of homes and businesses, and is aiming for 99% coverage countywide by the end of 2020. A third phase of the fibre broadband rollout targeting the last few percent is now underway and a fourth phase is being planned to reach remaining areas in scope over the next two years.
The Connecting Cambridgeshire website has a postcode checker showing the availability of superfast broadband and how to upgrade.
Cambridgeshire Time Credits have been running in areas across Cambridgeshire since 2014. The programme is funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and the CHS Group working in partnership with Spice, a social enterprise. The programme has broadly focused on supporting Older People, Strengthening Families and Skills and Employment.
Time Credits provide the opportunity for people to get involved in their local community. For every hour they give to an organisation participating in the Time Credits scheme they receive one Time Credit which can be spent on an hour's activity. This could be swimming, adult education, a visit to the cinema or a trip to St Paul's Cathedral in London.
In March 2018, we celebrated volunteers giving #50000hrs - that’s 5 years and 8 months - to supporting communities since the inception of the programme. Volunteers have learnt new skills, found work and strengthened their communities.
Find out more about Time Credit areas in Cambridgeshire.
A joint project that supports armed forces and their families has been awarded nearly £90,000 to strengthen and develop the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Military Covenant.
Supported by the Ministry of Defence’s ‘Covenant Fund’ the Community Covenant Development project aims to strengthen the work councils do to help support our armed forces community in local life. The project will promote understanding and awareness among the public of issues affecting the armed forces community including mental and physical health, housing, finance, and support after service. The Community Covenant was signed back in 2012. The project is supported by a partnership across local authorities, health, the police service, the voluntary sector and other organisations.
The bid for the fund was led by Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council on behalf of the partnership, and will involve working closely with Cambridge City and all district councils. The aim is to work in partnership with local organisations and communities to come together and support all our armed forces and their families living locally.
With there being five Armed Forces bases to support in Cambridgeshire, the Community Covenant focuses on the military community which includes, Reservists, Cadet Adult Volunteers, Veterans, wounded, injured and sick, military spouses and partners who are not in active service.
The funding will be used over a two year period to deliver campaigns and community engagement events including ‘Armed Forces Day’ (30 June), contributing to the ‘Battle's Over – A Nation's Tribute’ (11 November) and ‘RAF 100’ (April – November) to reach out and spread awareness of facilities available to Armed Forces personnel and their families.
The organisers of Battle’s Over, a national and international event marking the armistice, want to see more than 1,000 churches and cathedrals participate by ringing their bells simultaneously at 7.05pm on the night of 11 November 2018.
The event has four charities linked to it – The Royal Naval Association, Army Benevolent Fund – the Soldiers Charity, RAF Benevolent Fund and the Merchant Navy Association.
More information on Battle’s Over – A Nation's Tribute 11 November 2018, and how to take part, can be found at www.brunopeek.co.uk.
Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee has approved the newly updated Tables and Chairs Policy, part of the Highway Operational Standards 2018-2028.
The new policy includes provisions designed to aid blind and partially sighted pedestrians which were suggested by disability groups. In future, in areas of significant footfall, pavement café areas will need to be enclosed, to demarcate the licensed area and contain the tables and chairs, thus making it distinguishable to other pavement users.
Licenced premises will also be required to display a ‘licence summary sticker’ which confirms the licence duration and provides details of whom to contact if there are any concerns with the operation of the area.
It is intended that these changes will allow for an amenity that will benefit not only those using it but also those using the area around the tables and chairs.
Spring may be here but the Beast from the East visited Cambridgeshire, as well as most of the country, for a second time at the end of March.
Cambridgeshire’s 37 strong gritting fleet and Skanska’s team of drivers were kept very busy throughout last month, with 14 gritting runs being completed. The challenges faced by the teams include deciding when to go gritting following receipt of the forecast, ensuring supplies of salt, brine and fuel are maintained at the correct levels at the depots, and that a rota of drivers is available to ensure continuous gritting can be carried out when required. Salt stocks were reported daily to the Department for Transport as resilience levels are monitored across the country. Cambridgeshire used over 2,000 tonnes of salt keeping the roads open and traffic moving.
Assisting the team are a small army of volunteers who look after the footways in their community. These volunteers provide an invaluable service helping the local community and we are very grateful for all their efforts.
Cambridgeshire County Council’s newest library, at the heart of the Clay Farm Centre, opened on Wednesday 4 April.
This is a first for Cambridgeshire Public Library Service because we are working in partnership with Cambridge City Council to deliver this latest addition to the library service and we are very excited about the benefits it will bring to the local community.
We are also planning a series of events throughout the year in the Centre including our well-loved ‘Read It Again’ award event for primary school children that celebrates a love of reading and books.
For all the latest information, please visit the Clay Farm Centre webpage on the Cambridge City Council website.
From 1 May 2018, we will be introducing a £1 hourly charge for computer access after an initial 30 minutes free.
This will help prevent people from monopolising limited facilities in our libraries and will allow us to make sure everyone has fair access to computers, as well as generate income to be reinvested in our book stock.
Everyone will be able to use computers for free for the first 30 minutes. Children up to the age of 18 and Jobseekers will be able to continue using computers free of charge at all times. Additional websites for government and council services (such as universal credit, child benefit applications, etc.) will remain free to browse.
Charging for computer access is one of the proposals agreed by the County Council in February to transform libraries, putting them at the heart of the Council’s delivery in local communities and offering more services under one roof.
Find out more about our plans to transform libraries.
A new weekly newsletter for schools was launched after the February half-term and has been well-received by our schools.
It features news relevant to schools, as well as training opportunities and key dates and is sent to to all schools, governors and all education directorate staff.
This newsletter should be used for sharing news and updates from all our teams to better co-ordinate our communications with schools and reduce the number of emails that they receive from Cambridgeshire County Council. Unless it is urgent information that needs to be shared straightaway or that is only relevant to one individual school please use this method to communicate with schools. Items for the newsletter should be sent to [email protected].
The newsletter is sent on Wednesdays and the copy deadline is the end of the day on the Friday of the preceding week.
Ofsted inspectors made a focus visit to Cambridgeshire County Council Children’s Services last month to look at our arrangements for children in need and those subject to a child protection plan.
Inspectors agreed that our self-assessment accurately reflected our strengths and areas for development, and commented that all of the staff they met with or spoke to during the inspection were engaged and enthusiastic.
They noted that leaders know the service well and that social workers, managers and clinicians are confident, capable and know children well. Strong partnership working ensures that children in Cambridgeshire are protected. Children’s needs are quickly identified and the services provided reduce risks and enable children to remain at home with their families.
Wendi Ogle-Welbourn, Executive Director for People and Communities said, “I would like to thank all the staff who made the inspection team feel really welcome. Inspectors recognised that we have a passionate team of staff and managers who work hard to ensure that the children of Cambridgeshire are protected and speak very positively about the children that they work with.”
Areas for development include a continued and sustained focus on the recruitment and retention of suitably qualified and experienced social workers, which along with other initiatives, will help to address high staff caseloads and ensure that expected timescales are consistently met.
Officers have received details of the 122 Cambridgeshire residents who were caught up in a national scam. Officers are providing support and guidance to those affected and will be working with the fabulous 140 Community Coordinators who have recently taken over the running of their own No Cold Calling Zones and Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders schemes.
National No Smoking Day was celebrated on Wednesday 14 March. The local stop smoking service CAMQUIT, which is part of the Integrated Lifestyle Service provided by Everyone Health, worked with colleagues in Public Health to ensure that GP practices, libraries, community pharmacies, community centres and schools involved with the youth smoking prevention programmes had resources and event materials.
In addition the Stop Smoking Service led information sessions as part of the Cambridgeshire County Council funded NHS Health Checks sessions which the Service provide in local libraries.
Digital media including Facebook adverts and tweets supported the campaign to raise awareness of the importance of stopping smoking, the benefits of stopping and also signposted to local services. During the campaign period last year (2017), over 200 people engaged with a stop smoking programme as a result of the campaign and it is hoped that the feedback for this year will be available in May / June.
For more information, please contact:
Consultant in Public Health
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Suicide Prevention Strategy has been refreshed to cover the period until 2020. The strategy builds on and supports the National Suicide Prevention Strategy – ‘Preventing suicide in England’, Dept. of Health 2012 and was approved by the Peterborough and Cambridgeshire Health and Wellbeing boards on 4 December 2017 and 1 February 2018, respectively. Its key purpose is to ensure that there is co-ordinated and integrated multi-agency agreement on the delivery of suicide prevention services that is tailored appropriately to local need and is driven by the involvement and feedback from service users. With a focus on zero suicide, the strategy emphasises the requirement for senior level engagement with all relevant organisations to ensure quality improvement across the pathways of care for suicide prevention.
The strategy includes updates on national and local suicide statistics, initiatives, evidence and forward planning. Recommendations for actions are set out in the Suicide Prevention Action Plan 2017-2020.
For more information, please contact:
Consultant in Public Health
Adults in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough now have access to a mental health support website - www.keep-your-head.com. The site, which has been successful in signposting children and young people to sources of support for their mental health, has been expanded to now provide local residents of all ages with a ‘one-stop shop’ for information on wellbeing and mental health.
The site provides a range of local and national information on looking after your mental health, self-help resources, and services that can help when you need more support. There are also dedicated pages for professionals which hold information on referral options and key contact information for services.
The site has been developed by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, Cambridgeshire County Council, Peterborough City Council, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust and the SUN Network. The SUN Network ([email protected]) will be maintaining the site, on behalf of all the partners, ensuring content remains up to date and engaging.
Buckinghamshire County Council are undertaking a transformation programme within Adult Social Care and are implementing a 3 pillar approach very similar to our own Transforming Lives model. We were contacted by Thomas Mills, Senior Business Analyst within their Adult Social Care Transformation Programme who wanted to visit Adult Early Help to look at what learning could be drawn to shape development of their own service.
Thomas visited us on 5 April and spent time discussing the establishment of Adult Early Help, some key learning points, performance and successes and case examples. He also listened in to what turned into a lengthy call that covered a broad range of the areas of work our team cover.
Tom fed back that he found the visit insightful and found listening to the call really helpful. It gave him a clear indication of how a similar service in Buckinghamshire may look and he particularly noted: “The range of professionals within the team and depth of knowledge is impressive and the practice within the team is something I’d like to replicate at BCC”.
We have offered to support further in their review if needed and also offered to host further visits for their front line staff as they transition to a new way of working.
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 someone in your local area has a great idea for a project that would benefit Cambridgeshire residents and reduce the demand for council services, then it’s not too late to apply for funding as the deadline for smaller projects (up to £10,000) is 1 May 2018. Find out more or apply.
Local organisations and community groups in Wisbech are being encouraged to apply for financial support through the European Social Fund (ESF) Community Led Local Development (CLLD) - a European funding programme which aims to mobilise and involve local communities and organisations to contribute to achieving smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
The programme will be distributed through an up to three-year competitive grants scheme to address local priorities including offering help to build work-related skills, providing help to find and access work, supporting local and community businesses and offering support to increase household incomes.
The first stage of the programme, which started in early March, is a call out to all organisations, local community groups, training organisations, colleges, employers or the voluntary sector, to come forward with their ideas on how they could support people into work or enterprise.
Cambridgeshire Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE)
Telephone: 01353 865 029
Email: [email protected]