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Member Newsletter August 2018

Welcome to the August 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.

Latest news

Community transport report

On 31 July 2018, the Audit and Accounts Committee held an all-day meeting to discuss the PKF Littlejohn report into concerns raised about community transport. 

Sawtry Community Centre launch event

The library has moved from Sawtry Village Academy to the refurbished community centre in Green End Road. The library offers a fresh new look in a more central village location, providing many opportunities to work more closely and collaboratively with local groups and partners. The new library hosts a wide range of stock, services and activities for all and many volunteering opportunities. It has already seen hundreds of visitors and hosted its first Rhymetime event.

On Saturday 21 July 2018, an opening event was held for the newly refurbished Sawtry Community Centre. We had around 100 people attending, £220 was raised for local community groups and 56 children signed up to the Summer Reading Challenge. Thanks to everyone for their hard work in making the event a success.

Opening of the newly refurbished Sawtry Community Centre

St Neots Library

Work is due to start on a new lift in St Neots Library on Saturday 1 September until 8 October 2018. This work is essential to improve fire safety provision and provide accessibility for all. The ground floor of the library will remain open throughout this period, although access to some facilities will be limited. Library staff will continue with business as usual throughout this time and regular events will be unaffected.

Ely Library

Work is due to begin on a new lift at Ely Library from Saturday 8 September until 17 October 2018. The library will remain open, apart from the following days, 8, 10, 11 September and the 13, 15 and 16 October. There will be a mobile library parked on the market place on Saturday 8 September and Saturday 13 October.

The Library Service is promoting the ‘Library at Home’ service customers can access throughout this period that will deliver books to customers' homes. There will also be a book drop on the ground floor while the work is carried out and a telephone number will be displayed on the ground floor that is a direct line through to the library desk on the first floor.

Summer Reading Challenge

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

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

Schools Forum update

Since 9 July 2018 more than 3,000 Cambridgeshire residents have signed the Cambridgeshire Schools Forum petition calling for fair funding for the county's schools.

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

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

What Works Centre

Cambridgeshire County Council has been selected as one of only 21 local authorities and trusts to work with the new What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care to develop, research, and test products and services that support and encourage the use of evidence in children’s social work practice. 

We will work with the Centre’s Research Partner (CASCADE at Cardiff University) to explore what makes good supervision and how it supports informed decision making and makes a difference for children and families. We will also support the design and development of a digital peer-to-peer platform to enable social workers to access a wider network of quality assured advice.

“I’m delighted that our commitment to evidence-led social work practice has been recognised in our selection as a wave one partner contributing to the What Works Centre. The focus of our research will be on understanding how supervision helps with decision making and how staff work together to choose the best approach. This work is vital as it will inform how decisions are made to protect and safeguard children and young people, not just in Cambridgeshire but across the UK, to ensure that they receive the best care and can achieve their potential.” - Cllr Simon Bywater, Chairman of the Children and Young People Committee, Cambridgeshire County Council.

The Centre will share learning from the partnerships as they progress, including what is proving promising, and why and how the approach may have been adapted as a result of what the Centre has learned. The full press release is available to read.

Grass cutting

The majority of the grass cutting across Cambridgeshire is carried out by one of our sub-contractors, but we’d also like to say a big thank you to all the parish councils we have formal agreements with, who carry out the grass cutting in their own villages. If you have a query about grass cutting in your village or neighbourhood, take a look at our lists on the grass cutting page to ensure you are contacting the correct organisation. On the same page, you can also find out:

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

LED rollout

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

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

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

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

Find out when upgrades are happening in your area

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

White Ribbon at the Cambridge Folk Festival

Cambridgeshire County Council's commitment to tackling domestic abuse and sexual violence has been recognised with White Ribbon accreditation and will be celebrated this weekend with a presence at the Cambridge Folk Festival.

Working with Cambridge-based charity Oblique Arts – art partners at the Folk Festival – we are there all weekend talking about the White Ribbon campaign and sharing White Ribbon stickers, pins and postcards as well as providing leaflets and other information about domestic violence support services in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Festival goers can look out for wooden White Ribbon logos tied to trees around the festival site and we will have large cardboard White Ribbons at the stall where people can write messages of support for domestic abuse survivors.

Councillor Kevin Cuffley, White Ribbon Ambassador and lead member for community safety and domestic violence, said “I am really pleased that Cambridgeshire County Council has achieved White Ribbon accreditation which demonstrates our commitment to ending male violence against women. It is a cause close to my heart and I believe we can all help to tackle domestic abuse. I'm looking forward to being at the Cambridge Folk Festival this weekend to share information and advice about this issue and would like to thank Cambridge Live Trust and Oblique Arts for hosting us. This is the first of a series of events and activities leading up to White Ribbon Day on 25 November - the UN Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women."

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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