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Reablement - major campaign begins

Work to increase the number of reablement support workers has been continuing at pace this year and, since 9 March 2018, nine new workers have started work, with ten more being offered positions and finalising their start dates. Schemes in place to boost this number include:

  • 'Refer a friend' scheme
  • Linking with Peterborough City College's 'Work Academy' programme to train a cohort of workers to gain Health and Care qualifications
  • Adverts online
  • Library drop in sessions
  • Working with area champions to promote the roles in their communities
  • Building relationships with job centres

A major multimedia recruitment campaign, developed following workshops with existing carers and the Reablement team, launches from week beginning 7 May 2018.

Delay in transfers of care

Helping people leave hospital when they are ready to go home is a high priority for all health and social care partners across Cambridgeshire.

April to August 2017 saw a challenging rise in delays in transfers of care (DTOC). More recently there has been significant reduction in the number of delays attributed to social care across Cambridgeshire. Since August 2017, five of the following six months saw a month on month reduction in lost bed days in hospitals.

However, DTOC still represents a considerable challenge, with the local system still under significant pressure. This is due to a range of issues, but is particularly an increase in admissions to hospital, of people aged 80+. Between April to August 2017 admissions for this age group increased by 8% compared to the previous year.

To meet the challenges around DTOC, both the NHS and the County Council have embarked on a programme of improvement. This has included coordinated action to improve operational and commissioning approaches and targeted investment through the Sustainability and Transformation Plan and the Better Care Fund. For example, through the NHS led Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) there is a commitment to increase the number of Intermediate Care Workers employed by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust. The County Council, too, has committed to investing £1 million to expand its current reablement workforce who help people leaving hospital become independent in their own homes, which also helps meet the shortfall in home care. Additionally, other initiatives are in place to support home care development.

These include:

  • The Neighbourhood Cares pilot currently being piloted in Soham and St Ives
  • The introduction of a dynamic purchasing system for home care, resulting in a more than 50% increase in the number of home care providers operating in Cambridgeshire
  • The expansion of the County Council's Brokerage to become a single purchasing unit for home care and care homes, for the County Council and all NHS organisations in Cambridgeshire

Record road repairs pave the way for a smooth summer

The county’s roads have been suffering since the Beast from the East paid a visit, and with a record number of potholes being reported the Council’s Highways team have pulled out all the stops to fix them in equally record times.

 Fixing the roads is a number one priority and Cambridgeshire County Council is delighted that so many local people are using their  online reporting tool - which not only gives them vital information, but allows people to keep an eye on progress.

 The public have reported 8,477 pot holes using the online system since 1 January 2018, a massive 50 per cent more than were reported in the whole of last year. In addition to this, Cambridgeshire Highways inspectors are out on the roads every day, identifying more potholes as part of a regular maintenance programme. This means that during the same period the Council have already fixed a remarkable 15,040 potholes across the county.

 With eleven dedicated crews on the ground, plus the dragon patcher, more than 1,300 potholes are currently being filled every week, more than the Council has ever done before. 

 261 new reports were made by the public in the week to 27 April and with improving weather, and two more dragon patchers due to join the team, the pothole crews hope to soon be ahead of the game.

 This year, along with additional government funding, the Council has £6.3m to repair potholes and keep traffic moving safely around the county.

Cambridgeshire Surface Dressing Programme

Surface treatments provide a robust, cost effective method of maintaining our existing road surfaces. Cambridgeshire’s annual Surface Dressing Programme coats existing road surface with a liquid bituminous binder from a spray tanker, followed by the application of aggregate (chippings) of varying sizes, usually 6mm, 10mm or 14mm.

It’s designed to seal in the existing carriageway, preventing water forcing its way into cracks and reducing the likelihood of potholes developing. Aggregate within the design will restore the texture of the surface and, after it’s embedded, will improve skid resistance. Surface treatments also provide a more uniform surface, when the appearance of the road is scarred by repairs and reinstatements. The general aim of a treatment is to extend the life of an existing road surface by upwards of eight years at around 25% the cost of conventional methods.

Cambridgeshire’s annual capital budget for surface treatments is £5m, and in 2018, there are approximately 38 Surface Dressing sites with 85 Micro Asphalt sites being delivered later in the year.

List of surface treatments scheduled for 2018

All surface treatment processes are weather dependent, and therefore programmes are subject to change at short or no notice. Every effort is made to enable traffic to continue to use a road whilst the surface dressing takes place, however many roads will not be wide enough to keep open, and will need to be closed.

Electrification of transport

Cambridgeshire County Council’s Commercial and Investment Committee approved the concept of developing a network of Smart Energy Grids on its Park and Ride sites. The Smart Energy Grids generate renewable electricity which can power electric buses, cars and bikes reducing the impact of carbon dioxide emissions and other air pollutants. The first demonstration project is scheduled for delivery this year at St Ives Park and Ride and the intention is to replicate this scheme across Cambridgeshire.

For further information, please contact:
Sheryl French - Projector Director
Energy Investment Unit
01223 728 552
[email protected] 

Local energy projects for Trumpington and Babraham Park and Rides

Work has started assessing the feasibility for smart energy grids on Trumpington and Babraham Park and Ride sites on the edge of Cambridge. The projects will include solar panels installed on carports which generate green electricity.  The electricity is fed into battery storage, lighting and electric vehicle charging.  Excess electricity will be made available to local businesses for sale through a Power Purchase Agreement.  

Public engagement started in March 2018 at the Park and Ride sites and this will continue over the next few months.   

For further information please contact:
Cherie Gregoire - Special Projects Manager
Energy Investment Unit
01223 715 689
[email protected] 

Artist's impression of the Trumpington project

Managing the costs of energy through the power of group switching

593 Cambridgeshire households signed up to switch energy suppliers in the February 2018 auction. The outcome of the auction provided households with the opportunity to save an average of £167.23 per year. The winning suppliers were: So Energy, Green Star Energy and Economy Energy. All of the suppliers provide energy that is wholly or in part derived from renewable resources.

For further information please contact: 
Emily Bolton - Energy Projects Officer
Energy Investments Unit
01223 714 732
[email protected] 

Cambridgeshire Retrofit Programme

The Cambridgeshire Retrofit Programme continues to do well with 40 schools across the county and seven corporate sites having undertaken a whole site energy efficient retrofit project.  This equates to a total investment of £8.7 million and an average of 16% energy savings.

These projects are delivered through Energy Performance Contracts which provide a guarantee that schools actually realise the energy savings in the original business case.  Should the savings not be realised, and the sites have been appropriately managed, the service provider Bouygues are required to make a shortfall payment but so far this has not been necessary. 18 of the completed projects have enjoyed at least one year of the full benefits of the energy conservation measures installed.  Overall performance from these sites is exceeding the targets by about 6% and collectively they are receiving a financial benefit in excess of £300,000.

The next tranche of the programme is in development with a £2.5 million pipeline of new school projects.  The first project will be at Impington Village College which has formally agreed to go into the first stage of contracting for a half million site wide energy retrofit project including solar PV, new combined heat and power plant, LED lighting upgrades and other heating and control measures.

For more information, please contact:
Jane Frank - Programme Manager
Energy Investment Unit
01223 715 545
[email protected] 

Have your say on options to extend platforms at Manea and Whittlesey

There is still time to take part in Fenland District Council's consultation on Whittlesey and Manea Station Enhancement Platform Lengthening which continues until 30 May 2018.

Currently both Whittlesey and Manea have platforms that are only long enough to accommodate two carriage trains. This means fewer additional train services can stop at these stations and there is selective door opening on some train services that do stop.

Work has been ongoing to develop viable options to increase platform lengths at both stations to accommodate four car trains. Three options have now been identified for each station that could achieve this. This consultation explains the work that has been undertaken so far to get to the options stage.

Have your say

Fenland District Council would like to know what you think about the options for the platform extension at Manea Station and the platform extension and footbridge at Whittlesey Station.

To give your views about the options, please complete the consultation survey. The closing date is Wednesday 30 May 2018 at 5pm. 

Abbey - Chesterton Bridge

The project is moving towards the construction phase now, with just a few issues still to be finalised.

Most of the remaining planning conditions which needed satisfying before work can begin are being checked, before the planners issue them for comment to statutory consultees. The target date for this to happen is 17 May 2018.

In advance of this, work has happened on scrub clearance, tree felling and the removal of former railway track (former Mildenhall Line) by a Norfolk based railway society for re-use. This was done under supervision of a chartered ecologist to ensure no disturbance to birds or bats.

Land deals and licence agreements with parties including Network Rail, Cam Conservators and a Cambridge college are being finalised.

A ‘target cost’ for construction has been submitted by the contractor, Tarmac. Consultants WYG Ltd will administer the contract on behalf of the County Council, and will act as Project Manager and Site Supervisors for the construction phase. The bridge will be made in Yorkshire, and brought to site in sections, to be lifted into place by a crane sited on the Chesterton side of the river.

The bridge should be in place by this time next year.

For more information, please contact:
Mike Davies - Team Leader for Cycling Projects
[email protected] 

Kings Dyke crossing

Kier, the appointed contractor, is currently working on the detailed design. Progress has been slower than expected owing to delays in agreeing access to land for surveys and ground investigation which has limited the design that can be undertaken. However, access has now been agreed and surveys and investigation are underway.

Agreement on the broad terms of acquiring the land have been agreed and the legal processes are underway.

Work to programme diversion and protection of services is continuing so that as much work as possible can be carried out in advance of the main construction. Trial holes to locate underground services (gas, water and electricity pipes) are currently underway.

Early estimates for the scheme indicated a cost of £13.6m. Revised estimates, reported to Economy and Environment (E&E) Committee have shown that the estimated cost could increase towards £16.9m. The scheme costs will become more robust as the design progresses.   Any additional funding requirements will be reported to the E&E Committee and the General Purposes Committee.

It is anticipated that the design, which will be the basis for a detailed target cost, will be completed in the autumn. It will be considered by Economy and Environment Committee, when approval to commence Stage 2 of the contract will be sought.

The current indicative programme suggests that the scheme will be completed in Spring / Summer 2020. Time scales will become clearer as the design progresses.

Trading Standards: working to keep the UK Rabies-free

A relaxing of the animal importation rules, coupled with an ever-increasing online market for imported pets, has led to a surge in illegally imported animals, bringing with them the risk of Rabies.

Trading Standards has developed an effective alert mechanism whereby vets can alert officers of any illegal import suspicions, and Trading Standards will then quarantine them.

In April 2018, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trading Standards received two reports from vets. The first related to a Spaniel imported from Spain with a fake passport which provided false information about its microchip (the microchip pre-dated the dog). The dog was quarantined for three weeks as Spain is a low risk country. The second related to a Dachshund, identified by a vet as an illegal import. The pet passport stated he was from Romania but it is believed he was actually imported from Serbia. This dog was quarantined for longer due to the passport anomaly.

Illegal pet imports are a national problem and put in jeopardy our ‘rabies-free status’ that we have worked so hard to maintain since the middle of the last century.

Working in partnership to claw back proceeds of crime

Trading Standards offered its financial Investigation services to Huntingdonshire District Council to support a case being brought by their Fraud Team. A defendant found guilty of claiming social housing despite owning a property that she rented out privately, was ordered to pay back more than £31,000 – the proceeds of her offence. Huntingdonshire District Council will recover 37.5% of this to re-invest in further crime prevention. Trading Standards Financial Investigator services are charged on an hourly rate, so the service’s costs were completely covered.

Trading Standards: making sure crime doesn't pay

In 2007, Trading Standards successfully convicted a Wisbech market trader of counterfeiting offences. Following a lengthy proceeds of crime investigation, in 2010 he was ordered to pay £30,000 by the Courts, representing the ‘benefit figure’ from his crimes. He only paid half of this, so on Friday 13 April 2018 he was sentenced to 261 days in prison for breaching the order.

Keeping up to date with the Archives

Exciting times for the Archives Team who are celebrating that their Instagram account, set up just over a year ago, now has more followers than any other county-level archive service in Britain (except one).

Excellent work by the whole team and Archive Assistant Tiff Kirby who does the bulk of their instagramming!

View the Cambridgeshire Archives Instagram page

Change to computer access in libraries

From 1 May 2018, a £1 hourly charge has been introduced for computer access in libraries after an initial 30 free minutes. 

Children up to the age of 18 and job-seekers can continue using computers free of charge at all times. All websites for government and council services (ending in gov.uk or nhs.uk) as well as a number of other sites remain free to browse for everyone.

Access to Wi-Fi continues to be free in all libraries.

This new charge will help make sure everyone has fair access to computers, as well as generating income to be reinvested in our book stock.

Charging for computer access is one of the Library Transformation proposals approved by members at the Highways and Community Infrastructure committee in February 2018 – after it received public support following extensive consultation. The committee will review the implementation of the charge in September 2018. 

Library staff are happy to answer any queries you may have or you can email your query to [email protected], 

Our libraries highlighted

Sue Wills, our Library Service Manager wrote a blog for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports  about the transformation plans for our libraries following the visit of Arts Minister Michael Ellis to Cambridge Central Library last month.

Read the blog post

Understanding health issues in Cambridgeshire

Most child health indicators for Cambridgeshire are similar to or better than the national average, according to the annual update of information from Public Health England.

There are some notable exceptions.  More young people aged 10 -24 are admitted to hospital as a result of self-harm than the national average, but this has improved from 763 admissions in 2015/16 to 606 admissions in 2016/17.

The rate of smoking during pregnancy is of concern and appears worse than the national average, but the data is difficult to interpret as it covers a wider area which includes both Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

The annual update of data in the national Public Health England Child Health Profiles interactive tool which offers data on factors related to the health and wellbeing of children, young people and pregnant women was published on 6 March 2018 and can be found on the Public Health England website.

For more information, please contact:
David Lea - Assistant Director Public Health Intelligence
[email protected] 

Health and Wellbeing Board update

At its meeting in April 2018, the Cambridgeshire Health and Wellbeing Board recognised the strategic benefits of closer joint working with Peterborough City Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board, and agreed to further work on developing a Joint Subcommittee. The outcome of this work will be taken to both Health and Wellbeing Boards for consideration on 31 May 2018.

The Board also agreed to extend the current Cambridgeshire Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy until 2019, and to focus on three priorities until then:

  • Priority 1: Health inequalities, including the impact of drug and alcohol misuse on life chances
  • Priority 2: New and growing communities and housing - with a focus on health and wellbeing issues / services
  • Priority 3: Integration of services - including the Better Care Fund Plan; progress on delayed transfers of care; and a place based approach building on the strengths of local communities

The Board received a detailed review of current partnership work across the local NHS and Adult Social Care to ensure that patients who are medically fit to leave hospital are able to do so with clear support plans and services in place, and on the impact which this work has had on ‘delayed transfers of care.

It also endorsed a cross organisational ‘Living Well Concordat’ to support a whole system approach to health and wellbeing across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

CREDS consultation outcome

We are sorry to announce the decision to close the Council’s Race Equality and Diversity Service (CREDS).  The Service, which has been in existence for over 30 years, has been funded since 2011 from money the schools have control over to buy support from the Dedicated Schools Grant agreed with maintained primary schools.

In December 2017, those schools took the decision to cease that funding arrangement from 1 April 2018.

A 45 day consultation was carried out and despite receiving very positive comments about the services provided and the evident high regard in which staff are held for their knowledge and expertise, no alternative options were put forward for finding the £575,748 needed annually to continue to run CREDS in its current form beyond April 2018. 

Funding has been secured to enable home to school liaison support for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children and families to be maintained initially up to the end of December 2018.  In addition, services will continue to be provided for a small number of schools and academies who have requested support during the summer term on a pay-as-you use basis. 

We would like to thank everyone concerned for the feedback received, but most importantly, thank all staff for their commitment and contributions to supporting schools, children and families.

Religious Education changes in Cambridgeshire

A new syllabus for teaching Religious Education is being launched in Cambridgeshire on 3 May 2018.

Cambridgeshire County Council’s SACRE (Standing Advisory Council Religious Education) has been working in partnership with Northamptonshire County Council, Rutland County Council and Peterborough City Council’s SACREs over the last 15 months to produce the new agreed syllabus which covers all major religions and a secular world view (humanism).

The new syllabus is shorter and more concise than its predecessor giving schools more flexibility on what to teach.

It is being launched as part of the Making a Difference RE Conference in Huntingdon for RE teachers on 3 May 2018 in Huntingdon.

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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