Library transformation programme
The Library Service is working with the Transformation Service on a comprehensive and ambitious programme of transformation to improve the service our libraries provide to residents and to find new ways to meet their needs as they change over time. The programme aims at positioning libraries as the ‘front door’ of the Council across the county while achieving long-term financial sustainability with a service resilient to future budget pressures. The programme is building on the themes from our 2015 strategy: ‘Cambridgeshire Libraries: Developing our Approach for the Future’ and on ‘Libraries Deliver: Ambition for Public Libraries in England’, recently published by the Department of Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) which sets out the Government’s ambition for public libraries for the next five years.
We are looking at providing options for an in-depth transformation of the service that will place the library service at the centre of the County Council’s commissioning intentions. In practice, this will mean libraries being the first point of entry for a variety of internal and external customer-facing services.
Some of the other opportunities that are being explored include but are not limited to:
- Co-location with other public and private sector partners
- Roll out of ‘Open Access’ technology in our libraries, enabling self-service access to buildings and longer opening hours
- The widest possible range of income generation opportunities
- Alternative governance or delivery models
From August onwards we will engage with key community stakeholders and local partners in a series of informal events to gather ideas and views that will help shape the strategy. Co-producing changes to libraries together with communities should create a better outcome for the service as a whole. Five engagement events are already scheduled in locations across the county between Monday 21 and Friday 25 August 2017 in Huntingdon, Cambourne, March, Ely and Cambridge. You will have received an invitation to attend and take part in these sessions.
These workshops will mark the beginning of what we hope will be an open and rich conversation that will continue to flow in the coming months with more workshops scheduled in September in different locations and more localised discussions with the Council’s team where requested. A seminar for Members is also scheduled on 8 September, intended to help ensure we get early input to help shape members’ consideration of the options. We expect to present proposals for the future of the service to committee in December. Those proposals will then be subject to formal consultation in due course.
Ramsey Library and Community Hub
Cambridgeshire’s Ramsey Library is one of five case studies featured in an Arts Council England report on the contribution of public libraries in place-shaping.
Ramsey Library was chosen among library services across the country for its innovative ways of using the service for place-shaping that others could learn from. It has been recognised for the niche it has carved as an incubator and ‘hub’ for community projects which meet the specific needs of the small fenland market town since its reopening in 2011. The full report and five case studies can be found here. Full link to ACE report. Contact: Julie Kisby, District Library Manager. [email protected].
Official opening of Cambridge North Station by Transport Minister Chris Grayling
Transport Minister Chris Grayling unveiled a plaque at Cambridge North, Cambridgeshire's newest station on Monday 7 August 2017 to officially mark its opening, after passengers started using it at the end of May.
Funded by the Department for Transport and developed by Network Rail in partnership with Cambridgeshire County Council, Cambridge North Station provides an alternative connection point for commuters in the north east of the city and provides improved access and journey times for passengers. In 2019, a new direct Greater Anglia Norwich to Stansted Airport service will be introduced, stopping at Cambridge North, when the company brings in new trains across every route on its network during 2019/20.
You can listen to Chris Grayling speaking at the opening, plus a discussion with Cllr Ian Bates (Chairman of the Council's ETE committee) and James Palmer (Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough). Begins 1.19.40.
New Highway Services Contract 2017
Following Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee approval on 21 February 2017, Cambridgeshire County Council announced their preferred Partner to engage with on a Highway Services Contract for the next 10 years, with the possibility (based on performance) of running for a further 5 years. The contract began on 1 July 2017 with Skanska. As part of the contract, the works include highway maintenance, improvement schemes and addressing the growth agenda, with design and other professional services available too. Contact: Emma Murden, Highway Commission Manager. [email protected]
Changes to the Local Highway Improvement (LHI) Initiative and new privately funded (PFHI) process.
Changes to the Local Highway Improvement (LHI) Initiative were approved by the County Council’s Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee on 11 July 2017. These changes ensure that the authority is able to recover the cost of delivering the initiative and the projects that are funded through it, whilst providing greater support for applicants in developing and delivering improvements to their local highway including:
- Applicants will now be contacted by highways officers following the initial application deadline, to carry out further work in developing the feasibility and cost of solutions that meet their objectives. An updated application incorporating the outcome of this work will then be included in the information presented to the LHI assessment panels.
- This initial deadline is scheduled for 30 September 2017, followed by further development with officers and local communities throughout October, November and December.
- The budget for projects will now be required to include the cost of the officer resources necessary to deliver them. This will be estimated by officers during the feasibility assessment stage outlined above.
- Multiple applications will now be accepted from Town Councils, limited to the number of County Council divisions in their authority area.
- New webpages will go live in early August, providing information on both the LHI and new Privately Funded Highway Improvement (PFHI) processes. Detailed guidance on the solutions to common highway issues will also be incorporated, providing a resource for applicants to inform their decision to fund minor improvements to their local highway.
For further support and guidance in applying to the LHI initiative or PFHI scheme please email: [email protected]
Wisbech Access Strategy
Work on the Wisbech Access Strategy project (that is being funding by the GCGP LEP’s Growth Deal) is progressing, guided by a member steering group made up of County, District and Town Councillors. A public consultation on schemes that have been developed as part of this work starts in September and runs for a month. Following the consultation, the results will be reported to County Council’s Economy and Environment Committee on 7 December, and by Fenland District Council, prior to a report being taken to the LEP Board later in December. The report to the LEP Board will make recommendations on which schemes should be delivered using the £10.5 million of Growth Deal funding that is available for scheme delivery. Contact: Jack Eagle, Principal Transport & Infrastructure Officer. [email protected]
Queen Adelaide, Ely - Level Crossings Traffic Study
Work is ongoing on the traffic study investigating the level crossings in Queen Adelaide. The Council has been working closely with Network Rail on this project. A targeted engagement event is being planned for September, where residents and businesses in Queen Adelaide will be asked how they travel and use the B1382 and the level crossings.
Chisholm Trail Cycle Route Cambridge
The planning application for this strategic off road cycle route through Cambridge was approved by the Cambridge Fringes Joint Development Control Committee (JDCC) on 19 July 2017. Contact: Emma Fitch, Business Manager - County Planning, Minerals and Waste. [email protected]
Kings Dyke Crossing
The tender process for design and construction is complete and negotiations for the purchase of land are nearing completion. The final target price together with the adjusted land values will be reported to the Economy and Environment Committee on 10 August 2017 where approval will be sought to award the contract for construction. Contact: Brian Stinton, Team Leader - Highways Infrastructure Team [email protected]
Ely Southern Bypass
Work began on the bypass in January. Site accesses, haul routes, the compound and the site office have been established. Temporary fencing has been installed where required. MP Lucy Frazer made an on site visit on 8 August - and we have also had a media visit.
The scheme has generated significant interest from schools and visits by Witchford Village College and King’s School have taken place. The complexity of the scheme has also raised interest from professional bodies. Contact: Brian Stinton, Team Leader - Highways Infrastructure Team [email protected]
Smart bus travel using real-time data
Bus users can now get more accurate predictions for when their bus will arrive using real-time data fed directly from the Smart Cambridge intelligent City Platform (iCP), developed by the University of Cambridge and funded by the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP). Almost all buses in the region now have GPS sensors installed which gives their position. Smart Cambridge have a feed of this data which is being fed into the platform and processed to give an accurate prediction of arrival time. This allows commuters to obtain real-time updates as buses are affected by traffic and other delays.
The project is a collaboration between Google Maps and transit data specialist Ito World, a local Cambridge-based company as part of the Smart Cambridge programme. The journey information is in addition to the collaboration between Cambridgeshire County Council and the bus operators to provide real-time information on-street.
Can you help to test the new travel app?
Initial testing has started on the Beta version of a new travel app being developed through the Greater Cambridge Partnership to help improve people's journey times and encourage more sustainable transport use in and around Cambridge.
The free app will bring together 'real time' local data to suggest alternative travel itineraries using public transport. As the technology develops the app will handle more complex situations where different modes of transport are required for each stage of the journey and display additional information that travellers will find useful based on their feedback.
Wider testing will take place later in the summer to gather valuable feedback from regular public transport users to help to refine the app before it becomes available to download from App Stores for both Android and IOS mobiles. If you are interested in testing the app, please email [email protected] with your contact details.
Contact: Dan Clarke, Smart Cambridge Programme Manager, [email protected]
Deadline approaching for working parents to sign up for additional free childcare
Cambridgeshire parents have until 31 August to claim their extended entitlement to 30 hours free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds from September 2017.
The 30 hours extended entitlement is double the universal entitlement of 15 hours which is available for all three and four-year-olds. Working parents can use it as 30 hours per week during term time or 22.8 hours per week if you choose to ‘stretch’ your entitlement across 50 weeks of the year. (1140 hours in total). You can check if you are eligible and apply for the extended entitlement through the Childcare Choices website. Parents who want to take up the entitlement from September 2017 need to apply for a code by 31 August 2017. Codes issued after this date cannot be used to access free childcare until the start of the next term (1 January 2018). Find out more.
Drop in chat about our Children's Centre consultation
Parents are invited to attend a series of drop-in sessions where they can talk one to one about proposals to redesign Cambridgeshire’s Children’s Centre Services. The wide ranging plans propose to create family friendly services in the heart of communities, offering support to families of all ages, from expectant parents to young adults.
Families can read more about the consultation here and share their views. The new Children’s Centre services will be more flexible and tailored for each community, delivered in places they know or already use, and in doing so, the Council will make savings of £1 million. Staff will be on hand to answer questions about the proposed changes and help will be available for people who need support to complete the consultation. Find out more.
Rogue Trading – keeping residents safe
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trading Standards have seen a large increase in rogue trader reports in the first quarter having received 34 reports, compared to 51 for the whole of 2016-17. These crimes have a devastating impact on the lives of the elderly and vulnerable people concerned. Many lose their life savings to these organised crime gangs. In addition to the financial detriment suffered, a person defrauded in their own home is 2.5 times more likely to either die or go into residential care within a year.
What Members can do to help:
- Encourage local vigilance within your local community. If residents see anything suspicious at an elderly person’s house they should speak to the elderly person where possible or contact the police on 101. They should dial 999 if someone suspected of being a rogue trader is still at the property or due to return imminently for payment. A joint Police and Trading Standards protocol is in place to respond in these circumstances. Additionally we would urge them to report all ‘Cold Callers’ as it is the classic method used by rogue traders to identify vulnerable residents whom they can target.
- Residents might want to consider setting up a ‘Good Neighbours’ scheme for their local community. A local coordinator will be provided with a supply of useful information, leaflets and door stickers to deter cold callers and rogue traders which they can share with their neighbours.
- Urge residents not to use tradespeople that call at their door unsolicited telling them there is an issue with their roof, driveway, trees etc. If they are worried there might be some truth in what they are saying, they should seek an independent professional opinion. In most cases the issue will be fictitious.
- If in the rare case there is an issue, they should seek quotes from three tradespeople, preferably on recommendation from a friend or family member, or from the ‘Buy with Confidence Scheme’ which is operated by Trading Standards and is free of charge. You can access details of traders on the scheme by contacting the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.
If you would like more information about rogue trading and the work Trading Standards is doing to tackle it, or if you would like to shadow some of its officers to get a greater understanding of the problem, please contact the Consumer Protection Team Leader - [email protected] f you would like more information about Good Neighbours schemes then please contact the Community Protection Manager [email protected].
Frank's Garden is Blooming!
Frank is a Somersham Timebank member living with Dementia. He has spent his life outdoors farming and planting fruit and veg in his own garden. His family were concerned that his garden had become a bit overwhelming and so he hasn’t been keeping active, but sitting inside watching TV. Bring in ‘Team Timebank’ who helped to clear his garden, donate plants and encouraged him to get outside and put them in his newly prepared plot. Members were so supportive and friendly, giving him the time and space he needed. Since then he has been out watering and tending to his new plants. This is what Timebanking is all about; enabling and working together. Find out more at Somersham's Timebank website: https://somershamtimebank.wordpress.com/
Cambourne Children’s Science Fair
Children from Cambourne presented science projects at the Hub community centre at the Cambourne Science Fair. They had chosen the topic themselves and showed it to all the visitors. People from in and around Cambourne looked at the projects, asked questions and interacted with the young scientists. Heidi Allen, MP for South Cambridgeshire, was on hand to meet the budding scientists and give out the certificates.
Cambourne Timebank member and Parish Councillor Shrobona said “We found children who are confident and well spoken, they are willing to take part and they can take up the responsibility. With their winning spirit could they be leaders of the next generation?"
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trading Standards shortlisted for two APSA awards
The newly merged Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trading Standards Service has had two entries shortlisted in the prestigious Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) Awards in the category “Best service team of the year - Trading Standards making a difference locally, regionally, and nationally”. The first of the submissions related to the Service’s innovative and highly effective approach to tackling the influx of pets entering the country illegally, bringing with them the risk of Rabies.
The second related to their overall approach to service planning and delivery, with Intelligence and partnership working at its heart. APSE received over 310 award submissions from over 100 organisations, making the shortlistings for a team of just 23 staff all the more of an achievement. The results will be announced on 7 September.
Schools Energy Programme
Eleven schools are looking forward to energy measures being installed during the summer holidays. All have either signed contracts already or will shortly do so. The schools include:
- St Ivo School
- Sutton Primary School
- Over Primary School
- Great Abington Primary School
- Linton Village College
- The Meadow Primary School, Balsham
- Park Road and New Lane Primary Schools, Whittlesey
- The Lantern Primary School, Ely
- Soham Village College
- Chesterton Community College, Cambridge
Contact: Jane Frank, Project Manager, Energy Investment Unit. [email protected]