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Member Newsletter October 2018

Welcome to the October 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

LGiU and CCLA Cllr Achievement Awards 2018

Cllr Ian Bates and Cllr Steve Criswell have both been shortlisted for the LGiU & CCLA Cllr Achievement Awards 2018.

Cllr Ian Bates is in the running for the Technology and Digital Award, and Cllr Steve Criswell has been shortlisted for the Community Champion Award. Nearly 200 outstanding nominations were received this year, so congratulations to both Cllr Criswell and Cllr Bates on being shortlisted.

Now in its ninth year, LGiU’s Cllr Achievement Awards brings together the brightest and best councillors from across the country, as well as council leaders, other senior local government figures and MPs, for an evening of celebration and networking against the beautiful background of the Guildhall in London.

The full shortlist is on their website and winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on the evening of Tuesday 6 November 2018 in the Livery Hall at the Guildhall, London.

'Stronger for Longer' strength and balance campaign

Strength and Balance Challenge

The Cambridgeshire ‘Stronger for Longer’ campaign, which launched on 1 October 2018, has been designed to encourage older people to take up strength and balance exercises twice a week to reduce their risk of falling and keep them doing the things they enjoy.

The campaign will encourage older people (particularly women 70 - 79 years old) to join local classes or do exercises at home twice a week as well as access information and advice on the Be Well website.

Falls are one of the most common reasons older people are admitted to hospital. These hospital admissions often lead to further needs identified for adult social care, either for home social care packages or admission to residential or nursing homes.

The campaign has been developed locally by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Public Health Team in partnership with Cambridgeshire County Council Communications Team, CPFT and community partners. It featured on BBC Look East on 3 October 2018 and can be seen below.

Please contact Helen Tunster - [email protected] - if you would like to know more or support the campaign by sharing details with your constituents.

The Stronger for Longer campaign

Stay Well campaign 2018/19

This year, Public Health with support from the Communications Team, is once again working with partners to mitigate the risks associated with cold weather to the health and wellbeing of vulnerable groups. The key aim of this campaign is to provide vulnerable groups with the appropriate information on how they can minimise the effects of the cold, along with where they can find the support and services provided by voluntary organisations and district authorities that are vital in cold weather, such as heating grants and boiler repairs.

By helping vulnerable people stay well during cold weather, their risk of hospital admission for respiratory and heart disease is reduced, which in turn prevents increased demands on adult social care to facilitate hospital discharge.  

Ely Bypass

Ely Southern Bypass is progressing well and on track to open by the end of October 2018. These photos show the new walkway being lifted in place, which will feature on the bridge over the River Great Ouse providing a walking route for residents and visitors to Ely. The new road will connect the A142 at Angel Drove to Stuntney Causeway and has been a much wanted scheme for 20+ years.

The scheme includes a 1.7km long single carriageway road including a viaduct crossing the Great Ouse and bridges over two railway lines. The road will solve long-standing problems and reduce journey times for drivers. The area around Ely station is heavily congested with lorries and other larger vehicles not being able to use the low underpass, once the bypass has opened, work on the existing underpass at the low bridge will begin, to improve access for pedestrians and cyclists.

Kings Dyke contract to be discussed at Committee

Detailed design work for the level crossing replacement scheme (to build a new road and bridge over the Ely to Peterborough railway line) at Kings Dyke on the A605 between Whittlesey and Peterborough is nearing completion, and the project is now in a position to progress to the next stage.

Whilst the overall budget required has increased from earlier estimates to just under £30m, an independent review of the project and construction costs reveal that the benefit of continuing with the scheme remains extremely high.

The scheme, to build a new road and bridge over the Ely to Peterborough railway line, will be discussed by members of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Economy and Environment Committee. at the meeting on Thursday 11 October 2018 to approve the award of the stage two construction contract to Kier, along with completion of land purchases, subject to the approval of the additional funding required by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority at its Executive Board on 31 October 2018. 

You can read more information on our website.

Soham Solar Farm outshines expectations

The 12 MW solar farm built by Cambridgeshire County Council and Bouygues Energies & Services in Soham went live a year ago.

The solar farm, which receives support from Contracts for Difference, covers nearly 70 acres of Grade 3 agricultural land and still supports grazing sheep.

Following a full year of operation, Bouygues was pleased to report that the solar farm produced 5% more green electricity than expected.

This will increase the net income to the Council by £50,000 over the expected £1m. Part of the income will go to pay off the loan used to finance the scheme, while the rest will be used to support frontline services provided by the Council.

CCC runner up in Department for Education Schools Energy Efficiency Award 2018

The Energy Investment Unit’s schools energy efficiency retrofit programme has been nominated for a Department for Education (DfE) Schools Energy Efficiency Award, and selected as a runner up in this category.

The DfE were impressed by the innovative energy efficiency projects undertaken across many schools and by the Soham solar farm.

The Mobilising Local Energy Investment (MLEI) programme is working with schools across Cambridgeshire and other council assets to implement energy conservation and renewable energy generation measures.

So far 55 schools are involved with the programme. Low cost loans and off-balance sheet solutions have enabled both maintained schools and academies to install measures such as solar PV, Building Energy Management Systems, LED lighting and high efficiency boilers that pay for themselves via energy cost savings.

The programme has also delivered a 12 MW solar farm in Soham and is developing innovative smart energy grids at three park and ride sites.

Schools anticipate smooth move to new suppliers

Back in February 2018, our Commercial and Investments Committee agreed we should stop providing catering and cleaning services to schools by the end of 2018. The introduction of Universal Free School Meals for younger children made the market very attractive to commercial competitors, meaning our in-house service - who were providing services to fewer than 50% of Cambridgeshire schools - simply couldn't compete.  But we're pleased to say schools contracted to the in-house service are all on track to move to new providers, or deliver the service themselves, from the start of next half term (29 October 2018).

CCS (Cambridgeshire Catering and Cleaning Services) has been working closely with schools since April 2018, providing them with the information they need to tender for new services.

The majority of CCS staff based in schools will transfer to the new catering and cleaning providers. The non-site based staff who are at risk of redundancy are being supported in a variety of ways including help with CV writing and interview skills assistance. 

The importance of Cambridgeshire Archives

A petition to the Bedford Level Commissioners from 3 April 1740 requests they dig out all the mustard seed on the dyke banks. "The growing of mustardseed upon your Banks...have been found very injurious to the said Banks, by making them Spungy, light and loose, and so less able to withstand the Force and weight of the Water upon any great Freshes or Flouds, but doth endanger their blowing up by any such sudden Presssure of Water...if any of the said Mustardseed grows from the old Seed...cut it down when young."

Cambridgeshire Archives searchrooms recently received a visit an American academic who was carrying out research into the planting of rapeseed and mustard seed specifically during the 16th to 19th centuries.

Mustard seed and rapeseed research is a hot topic in the USA at the moment because of the rise of biofuels and increasing demand for non-petroleum-based stuff to spread on fields, and is a tricky area of study because archival catalogue entries tend not to mention species of plant.

The visiting researcher, who has a PhD from the University of Chicago in historical environmental geography, was thrilled to find that while most historical documents only talk about how great mustard seed is, as its oil kills many soil pathogens, here in the Archives we uniquely have one from the 3 April 1740 which says it’s terrible and should be pulled up!

Which just goes to show how important our Archives are and how they hold a wealth of unique historic records and other resources.


One of the things residents are most concerned about in Cambridgeshire is the condition of their roads - and our highways teams have been preparing for the coming winter months by using new techniques to repair the potholes which the cold weather will bring.

Watch the first and second episodes in our new three part pothole video series to find out what they’re up to - which we are sharing across our social media platforms. The next episode will be available from Monday 15 October 2018.

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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