Developing the economy for the benefit of all

Community and Cultural Services awarded four year funding to bring arts to libraries

Cambridgeshire County Council’s Community and Cultural Services will become a ‘National Portfolio Organisation’ and have been awarded a £694,980 grant from Arts Council England for a four year programme of arts events and activities for 2018 in libraries, entitled ‘The Library Presents’. 

This support will enable a programme of performances, book festivals and workshops across the County’s libraries. In this new programme the Council will work to transform library spaces for these activities and bring a professionalism to the experience without losing the familiar friendly and welcoming elements which make such a positive difference to our participants and audiences. Find out more.

Cambridgeshire's 'Smart Energy Grid' features on BBC Look East

Find out more about our plans for a Smart Energy Grid at the St Ives Park & Ride - and how the innovative technology has already been a success at Great Paxton Primary School, as part of a wider piece on a 'Green Cambridgeshire' on a BBC Look East feature that aired on the 6 July. Sheryl French, Project Director Mobilising Local Energy Investment and Cllr Josh Schumann featured on the 6.30pm news programme along with Bouygues Energies and Services Ltd. The feature is 05:57 minutes in -

Ground breaking deal pays off for Cambridgeshire

Our negotiations to deliver a ground breaking pilot deal with Government to retain additional growth in business rates netted Cambridgeshire County Council more than £450,000 towards funding frontline services – and benefitted all of Cambridgeshire district and City Councils who retained 80% of the additional growth raised in their area.

Leader Steve Count told the media last week that Cambridgeshire is one of only two areas in the UK to have successfully secured this concession.  The money will be used to support services that care for vulnerable children and adults in the county.  Find out more

St Neots set for its own tale of four bridges with proposals for a new northern foot and cycle bridge

The St Neots foot and cycle bridge consultation is now open. The public are being asked to have their say on proposals for a new northern foot and cycle bridge in St Neots. Cambridgeshire County Council launched a public consultation on Monday, June 26 to ask people their views on four possible locations of the bridge that would be built over the River Ouse. A consultation in 2001, found walking and cycling improvements were felt to be important for a growing town and there was overwhelming support (75%) for both a southern and a northern foot and cycle bridge.

Ely Southern Bypass

Stage 1 of the 2-stage contract for Ely Southern Bypass has been successfully completed. The second stage is now underway and initial work on site has commenced. Based on the agreed cost, the Department for Transport has approved Growth Deal Funding of £16m towards the scheme. The road is due to open in spring 2018. Take a look at the animated walk-through of the proposed Ely Southern Bypass. Contact: Brian Stinton, Team Leader - Highways Infrastructure Team [email protected] for further information.

Priority ‘Greenways’ routes announced

The Greater Cambridge City Deal has announced Waterbeach and Fulbourn as the first two Greenway cycling routes to be explored, alongside residents, parish councils and local communities. The Waterbeach Greenway travels from the South Cambridgeshire parishes of Milton and Waterbeach, to Chesterton ward in the City; the Fulbourn Greenway from the South Cambridgeshire parish of Fulbourn, to Romsey and Cherry Hinton Wards in the City.

Works are nearing completion to improve conditions for cyclists and pedestrians in Trumpington Road, Cambridge, near to the Botanic Gardens. The £700,000 Department for Transport funded scheme will provide more space for walking and cycling at the expense of car parking. The scheme seeks to improve safety in an area that has become increasingly busy with commuters and for school journeys with lots of educational establishments in the area.

Cambridge North station

Cambridgeshire County Council, the DfT, Network Rail and Cross Country services are in talks about the possibility of a stop for the Birmingham to Stansted service at Cambridge North – all sides are hoping to reach a solution for this issue, but we’ll be keeping Members updated on the progress.

In the meantime, look at this film produced by Network Rail of Cambridge North station’s development to get an insight into why the project was launched. The station is now open and transporting passengers between Ely, London and Norwich.  A formal opening for the station is planned this summer.

True grit in soaring temperatures

Gritters have been out in force across Cambridgeshire as soaring temperatures have seen roads melting as surface temperatures reach over 40 degrees. In an unprecedented heatwave, tarmac has been melting on to drivers' tyres literally ripping it from the surface.

Listen to the news report which looked into how we are tackling this problem.

Google Transit real time data improves travel experience for all county bus commuters

Bus users across the county can now get more accurate predictions for when their bus will arrive using real-time data. Google Transit is using location information fed directly from the Smart Cambridge data platform, supported by the City Deal. This allows commuters to obtain real time updates as buses are affected by traffic and other delays. For the first time in the Cambridge region, commuters will not have to rely solely on the published timetables. Almost all buses in Cambridge now have GPS sensors installed which gives their position - this data is then fed into the platform and processed to give an accurate prediction of arrival time. Find out more.

Hills Road Cycleway

Road closure for Hills Road cycleway construction commenced on the 19 June 2017. The planned end date for the works remains Monday 4 September. Local households were updated with details of the plans and roadside signage will be in operation to provide information and advance warning to road users. Find out more information.

Chisholm Trail application

Officers are looking to take the Chisholm Trail planning application to the Joint Development Control Committee (JDCC) on 19 July, subject to receiving final consultation comments on the updated information submitted. Once further information is known on this, officers will provide further updates. Contact: Emma Fitch, Business Manager - County Planning, Minerals and Waste

[email protected]

Abbey to Chesterton Cycle Bridge application

A Judicial Review challenge against the Abbey to Chesterton Cycle Bridge application was not received by the deadline of Friday 31 March 2017. However, this does not preclude a late application, so officers will provide further updates should a challenge be received. Contact: Emma Fitch, Business Manager - County Planning, Minerals and Waste, [email protected]

Cambridgeshire County Farms - how much do you know?

Since 1907, Cambridgeshire County Council have been operating farms to provide a step on the ladder for new farmers. Today Cambridgeshire’s Farms Estate comprises 13,400ha and has 197 farm tenants, and is the largest in the UK. 

 The Estate provides significant financial returns for the council, generating £4.1 million in rent each year. In addition, since 1993 the sale of surplus properties has raised more than £51 million – helping to keep council tax low and contributing towards council services in our region. Listen to Hugo Mallaby, our county farm manager talking about our County Farms on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire this weekend – at 13:06mins into the show

Cambridgeshire County Farms photo

Launch of new solar farm in Soham will help to energise our future

A new 12MW solar farm built by Cambridgeshire County Council was officially launched in Soham on Monday June 19. With 45,000 photovoltaic panels across 70 acres, the solar farm will generate enough electricity to supply more than 3,000 homes each year – and has the option of sheep grazing to keep the grass low. It will also avoid the release of 123,000 tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime.

Cllr Ian Bates was recently on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire speaking to Chris Mann about the new solar farm at Soham. If you missed his interview why not listen at 1hr 19 mins into the recording?

Soham solar farm photo

Soham solar farm - Image courtesy of Bouygues Energies & Services

Greater Cambridge City Deal develops and rebrands into the Greater Cambridge Partnership

The Greater Cambridge City Deal has changed its name to the Greater Cambridge Partnership, with a strapline of: ‘Growing and sharing prosperity’.The new name will be used across the partnership and on all communications branding. The partnership’s new website can be found at

Greater Cambridge Partnership logo

Cross Boundary Planning Application – Horsey Toll Farm           

Since a S101 (1) of the Local Government Act 1972 agreement was approved for the above planning application in January 2016 to allow the decision to be delegated to Peterborough City Council (PCC), officers have worked with PCC to consider the proposals submitted. On the basis that the applicant/agent did not submit the additional information requested, PCC officers are looking to take the application to their Planning Committee on 4 July 2017 recommending refusal based on insufficient details to be able to assess it. This approach was supported by our Planning Committee on 16th February 2017 and officers have provided comments on the draft officer’s report and planning reasons for refusal. In the event that the applicant / agent appeals this decision, or a new planning application is submitted, then officers will provide further updates. Contact: Emma Fitch, Business Manager - County Planning, Minerals and Waste, Email: [email protected]

National Productivity Investment Fund application for March and Wisbech schemes

National Productivity Investment Fund application for March and Wisbech schemes. As part of the Autumn Statement 2016, the Government announced the creation of the National Productivity Investment (NPIF) for investment in areas that are key to boosting productivity, transport, digital communication, research and development, and housing. Each local highway authority is allowed to submit a maximum of two bids. The aims of the Fund are to: ease congestion and provide upgrade on important regional and local routes; unlock economic and job creation opportunities, or enable the delivery of new housing developments. The prioritised list of Cambridgeshire schemes were considered by the County Council’s Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee on 30th May 2017 and its Economy and Environment Committee on 1st June 2017 and both Committees resolved to support the submission of these two schemes:

• March Junctions Improvements – A package of junction improvements in March to address congestion problems and provide capacity for housing and employment growth.

• Wisbech Development Access Improvements – improvements as part of the wider Wisbech Access package to provide a link from Boleness Road to the Wisbech South development area and a new roundabout to replace the current priority junction of the A47 with Broadend Road.

As encouraged by the DfT, the two Cambridgeshire proposals and two more from Peterborough are ranked by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority for submission. The Cambridgeshire bids will shortly be available on the County Council’s website.

The Neighbourhood Cares project - pilots in Soham and St Ives

Recruitment is currently underway for two pilots for the Neighbourhood Care project which will be in Soham and St Ives with a view of starting these in autumn 2017.

The project aims to pilot a radically different model of social work/care in Cambridgeshire funded by the Transformation Fund.  The model has more emphasis on staff working directly within the community and the key outcomes we want to achieve included freeing up staff to have more direct contact with the people we need them to work with; improve the quality and continuity of service user experience; generate capacity where we currently have capacity gaps, particularly in home care; reduce the cost of care (in the back office and commissioned care). Learning from the pilot sites will be the basis for the wider transformation of the whole system.

Judicial review update in relation to Dimmocks Cote Quarry, Wicken

The formal judgement on the Dimmocks Cote Quarry Judicial Review was read out in court on 9th June 2017. The judgement by David Elvin QC rejected all three grounds made against the council so the decision was found in our favour and dismisses the claimant’s application for judicial review. The claimant has until 30th June 2017 (21 days following the decision) to make a further application direct to the Court of Appeal, so a further update will be provided if an appeal is made. In the meanwhile we should be able to recover limited costs (capped at £5,000) from the claimant. Contact: Emma Fitch, Business Manager - County Planning, Minerals and Waste, [email protected]

Cambridgeshire Growthnationwide recruitment campaign launched

 Connecting Cambridgeshire

The Connecting Cambridgeshire programme is improving the county’s digital connectivity infrastructure to drive economic growth, help our communities to thrive and streamline public service delivery. The team works closely with a wide range of county and district teams together   with partners in business, academia and health, Government bodies such as BDUK and external organisations including BT and Openreach.  A “21st Century Digital Infrastructure Blueprint” with new targets to 2020 was agreed by the County Council’s Economy and Environment Committee in March 2017. The committee paper providing more detailed information on the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme progress is available here. A pdf of the blueprint summary is also available here.

Total Transport – saving money on home to school transport

Total Transport is a project that from September 2017 will concentrate on home to school transport to ten village colleges in order to achieve significant budget savings – expanding early principles that vehicles are never filled to their theoretical maximum, that they can arrive slightly earlier or later than currently, that pupils groups can be mixed from primary and secondary schools and that journey times are used to the maximum within the policy and national guidelines. Contact: Paul Nelson, Interim Head of Passenger Transport Services, email: [email protected]

Supporting and protecting vulnerable people

Cambridgeshire ranks fourth in Stonewall’s Education Equality Index 2017

Cambridgeshire is leading the way when it comes to tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) bullying in its schools ranking in the top five authorities in a prestigious index. The County Council has been listed as fourth in LGBT equality charity Stonewall’s Education Equality Index 2017, which was published on June 28.

 It showcases how well local authorities from across the country are celebrating difference, supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) young people in school and in their local communities and tackling homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in schools.

 Cambridgeshire has ranked in the Top 5 authorities in the Index since its inception in 2011 and has been a member of Stonewall’s Education Champions Programme since it started in 2008. As part of the programme, local authorities work with Stonewall to champion LGBT issues and establish ways of tackling HBT bullying.

 Cambridgeshire’s submission for the award was led by CREDS (Cambridgeshire Race Equality and Diversity Service) in partnership with their newly-branded Kite Trust – the local charity that supports LGBT children and young people in the county.

Stonewall photo

New shared management arrangements for Children, Families and Adults services (CFA) leads to savings of just over £1.2 million

Following extensive consultations, proposals to share a number of corporate director roles across Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council have been agreed. The arrangements will replace the ten existing director roles within the CFA team, with five joint service directors working across both authorities, confirmed on 28th June as Charlotte Black (Adults); Will Patten (Commissioning) ; Adrian Chapman  (Community and Safety) and Lou Williams ( Children’s Services).  There was no appointment made to the joint Education director role which will now go to national advertisement.    The new structure aims to provide ‘one joint voice’ for the service and eliminate significant duplication. Each authority will have an assistant director to support these new roles and to help manage the day-to-day running of the services and the new team. Wendi Ogle-Welbourn was confirmed as overall Executive Director. 

Each directorate will have an AD focus on either Peterborough or Cambridgeshire – and these have been announced too

Claire Bruin was appointed Assistant director – adults  in Cambridgeshire County Council, Meredith Teasdale assistant director – Commissioning in Cambridgeshire, Sarah Ferguson, assistant director in community and safety but with the thematic lead for housing and Sarah-Jane Smedmor, acting assistant director Children’s, for Cambridgeshire

Wendi Ogle-Welbourn photo

Wendi Ogle-Welbourn (Executive Director)

Children’s Centres – public consultation

The County Council has been working with partners on how best to deliver children centre activities across Cambridgeshire.  The transformation of children’s centres means that activities will still continue and with a greater opportunity to reach out to families within their local area.  The team have been engaging a number of parent groups and partners and a public consultation will be launching this month. 

Ofsted finds an improving outlook for SEND in Cambridgeshire

The County Council were recently jointly inspected by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in March 2017 to judge the effectiveness of the areas in implementing the disability and special educational needs reforms as set out in the Children and Families Act 2014.  The Inspectors were here for 2 weeks and involved many of the partners as part of the inspection as well as liaising with children, young people and parents and carers.  Cambridgeshire are very pleased to say that the inspection outlined overall was Good and Inspectors are impressed that the County Council self-assessment reflected the areas for development and improvements. See the full report

New Special School planned at Alconbury Weald

Cambridgeshire County Council invites proposals to establish a new special school – opening in 2019/20 - to provide for children aged 3 - 19 to serve the new development at Alconbury Weald and the surrounding areas. On completion, Alconbury Weald will consist of up to 5,000 dwellings. The special school will admit children based on need, up to its capacity of 110 pupils. It is envisaged that between a quarter and a third of the pupils attending the school will be residents of the new development. Application forms are invited by 10am on Friday 25 August 2017.

Janet Dullaghan MBE recognised in Queen's Birthday Honours

Janet was recognised for 20 years’ service improving the lives of children and families in Cambridge and Peterborough. Not only is she head of commissioning for child health and wellbeing, but she is also a link carer for children with disabilities- providing care at home for children with special and challenging needs to give their families a break.

Janet Dullagahn photo

Lisa Reid – new Head of Partnerships and Quality Assurance (PQA)

Partnerships and Quality Assurance, formerly known as the Safeguarding and Standards Unit (SASU), have realigned their structure and service as part of the children’s change programme. Lisa Reid has become the new Head of Service.  The service will support and guide colleagues as the organisations ‘critical friend’.

Scams awareness month in July

Scams can seriously devastate lives. The impact of scams can be hugely detrimental, with people sometimes losing their life savings. Other scams are relatively small and often go unreported; but they still add up, they still make your residents’ lives more difficult, sometimes forcing people to seek support from the council — and they are crimes. Help consumers to upskill and be #scamaware by finding out more.  

Scams awareness month photo

Helping people live healthy and independent lives

Ofsted outcomes

The proportion of primary schools judged good or outstanding has risen to its highest ever level at 85.2% (National = 89.6%).  There is also great news for secondary schools where the proportion judged good or outstanding has risen to 80.6%: this is above national (78.2%) and an outstanding improvement on the position two years ago when the percentage was below half.  Nursery and area special schools are 100% good and outstanding. 

School allocations 2017

93.1% of primary school applications secured their first preference – the highest ever and one of the highest in the country.  Secondary school ‘first preferences’ was 92.50%, in line with the previous two years.

MJ Local Government Award for Joint Commissioning Unit

The County Council has been highly commended in the MJ Achievement Awards announced at a national event in London on Thursday 15th June 2017. The County Council was jointly commended by the judges with Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, for the Reinventing Public Services category.  Working together has resulted in a more efficient and effective use of resources helping to provide the right intervention at the right time to really make a difference to children and families.

Municipal Journal local government awards photo

Transfer of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service to Peterborough City Council

Following HC&I Committee approval on 17 January, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service formally merged with Peterborough City Council’s Trading Standards Service on 1 April 2017 to become ‘Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trading Standards’. Cambridgeshire staff were TUPE’d to Peterborough City Council and the Service is now overseen by Peter Gell, Head of Regulatory Services for Peterborough City Council. Cambridgeshire staff will continue to be based at the Cambourne office delivering front-line services across Cambridgeshire on behalf of the County Council. This move provides an opportunity to streamline and combine senior management and back office processes to ensure that the services we offer across our whole range of services provide the best value for money.

For more about the Trading Standards service - e.g. a visit, the opportunity to shadow an officer, or a meeting with Peter Gell – then please contact [email protected].

Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence update

In order to develop a new 4-year strategy to help support victims of domestic abuse and tackle domestic abuse and sexual violence, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner have completed a needs assessment. Together with other councils a, nationally-recognised ‘Victims’ Hub’ was established in 2014 to support victims who report domestic abuse to the police, but who do not qualify for an Independent Domestic Violence Adviser – ensuring they are still fully-supported within the community by the relevant organisations.

As a result of the huge success of this cross authority working, £700,000 was awarded from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). Those impacted by domestic abuse across the area now have access to outreach support, additional security for their homes, mental health advice and treatment and additional specialist sexual violence counselling.  For those who are in refuge accommodation, there is now a fund available to support them to move into independent accommodation with their children, into a property that is furnished and has essential goods and services.

 Change 4 Life campaign

Public health will be working with local pharmacies during July to support this summer’s ‘Change 4 Life’ campaign. Change 4 Life helps families to be healthier and happier, with lots of ideas for activities, recipes and games - including the ‘Ten minute shake-up’ and a Be Food Smart app, which shows how much sugar, saturated fat and salt is in food and drink, just by scanning the barcode. Find out more.  

Brampton library now open for business!

The new community-managed library in Brampton has opened its doors for the first time. The library, which will be managed and run by volunteers and supported by Cambridgeshire County Council, will operate from Brampton Community Centre three days a week. An official opening will take place shortly. 

Heatwave advice

During the spell of hot weather in June, we made sure that information on how to stay well in the high temperatures, and how to look out for people who were more vulnerable, was posted on the Council’s website and social media. You can find out more about public health advice for staying safe during hot weather.

Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment

Cambridgeshire Health and Wellbeing Board has a statutory responsibility to publish and keep up to date a statement of the needs for pharmaceutical services for the population in its area (the Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment or PNA).  The PNA is used by NHS England, when making decisions on applications to open new pharmacies. The first PNA for Cambridgeshire ran from 2014-17. A draft PNA for 2017-2020 was approved by the HWB Board earlier this year for three months public consultation, and the final draft, incorporating consultation feedback, will be taken to the Health and Wellbeing Board on 6th July for approval.

The PNA concludes that currently there is sufficient pharmaceutical service provision across Cambridgeshire and no need for additional pharmaceutical service providers was identified. However it is recognised that significant new settlements and population growth are expected in Cambridgeshire in future, and a monitoring protocol has been developed for keeping the PNA up to date and producing supplementary statements if necessary, until the next scheduled update in 2020.

 The PNA is available on weblink

Health and Wellbeing Strategy

All Health and Wellbeing Boards are required to produce a joint assessment of the health and wellbeing needs of their population (the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment or JSNA) and to develop a joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy to meet these needs. The current Cambridgeshire Health and Wellbeing Strategy runs from 2012 to 2017, and therefore needs to be renewed. A paper is being taken to the Health and Wellbeing Board on 6th July, to propose a process for updating and renewing the Strategy in consultation with stakeholders and the public. More information is available here

Also of interest

Cambridgeshire archives moving to Ely

Cambridgeshire Archives is moving to a new home at the former Strikes Bowling Alley building in Ely. Plans for the site include an enhanced digitisation suite, so that more documents are available online. The move is due to take place in the late spring of 2018.

Sons of Cambridgeshire publication

Heritage Lottery Funded heritage project, ‘The Battle of the Somme,’ commemorated the men of Cambridgeshire who gave their lives in 1916. The final element of the project - publication Sons of Cambridgeshire is now available in libraries and at the Archives service. 

Sons of Cambridgeshire publication photo

Family fun day

The County Council are holding a free event for Cambridgeshire’s Looked After Children, Young people, foster carers, residential workers and other professionals for a fun day.  Many activities have been organised for the event for everyone to join in and support the event.  It will take place on 24th July, 11-3pm at Hemingford Grey Pavilion.

  • 11 July Fulbourn Greenway pre-consultation engagement workshop, Cherry Hinton C of E Primary School 17:00-20:00
  • 12 July, Waterbeach Greenway, pre-consultation engagement workshop, St John’s Church, Waterbeach  17:30-20:00
  • 12 July, Chisholm Trail LLF, Barnwell Baptist Church
  • 18 July, Fulbourn Greenway, pre-consultation engagement workshop, Fulbourn Primary School, 16:30-19.30
  • 19 July Waterbeach Greenway, pre-consultation engagement workshop, Waterbeach Primary School 18:30-20:30
  •  Autumn 2017 - Engagement on Greenways
  •  Autumn 2017 – Consultation on Cambourne to Cambridge (round two)
  •  Early 2018 – Consultation on A1307 (round two)

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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