Welcome to the September 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. News articles have been ordered by our strategic priorities.

Developing the local economy for the benefit of all


Join together with 266 shire county MPs to press for change


In August, the County Councils' Network released: A New Deal for Counties: Our Plan for Government, which sets out the collective priorities for county authorities across England.

It shows that County Councils receive less funding per head than all other council types, while levels of demand are rising faster in rural areas than those in more urban areas - particularly in adult social care and children's services, which are our key responsibilities.

It also makes clear that it is more costly to deliver services in rural areas to fulfil the Government's agenda for greater independence and choice - e.g. home to school transport, home care and faster broadband / improved mobile access. However, while we know this, funding for local government beyond 2020/21 is unclear. Therefore, during September 2017, we will be working with other shire counties across England to give a clear message to our own MPs to take back to Government that we urgently seek reforms to local government finance to secure sustainable and fairer funding for county areas, and we need your help to support us.

How can you help?

Please help us and offer your support to the campaign by writing to your local MP and urging them to speak up in Parliament and join with the other 266 shire county MPs to press for change.

Highways Improvement Initiative

Submit your funding proposal

Groups and organisations that represent the local community are invited to submit a proposal for funding from the Local Highways Improvement (LHI) Initiative scheme to bring forward their own highway improvements within their community.

Schemes are delivered by the County Council on a jointly funded basis and applicants are able to apply for funding of up to £10,000 as a contribution, with applicants expected to provide a minimum contribution of 10% of the total scheme cost. This enables applicants to deliver minor improvements for as little as £500.

The deadline for LHI applications has been extended to 15 October 2017, after which you will be contacted to look at the feasibility of your application in more detail. Your final application will then be presented to the LHI Member Advisory Panel in February 2018.

Due to the popularity of this initiative, only one application per group can be submitted. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

Queen Adelaide traffic survey - have your say

An engagement event to find out more

An engagement event is being held to understand more about the way residents and businesses use the roads in and around Queen Adelaide. Cambridgeshire County Council and Network Rail would like to understand more about how the traffic flows through the village and get people's views on the impact the three level crossings have on those in the area.

The event will be held on Thursday 14 September from 6pm - 8pm at Queen Adelaide Village Hall.

Find out more

Contact: Jack Eagle
Principal Transport and Infrastructure Officer
[email protected]

Department for Transport (DfT) Challenge Fund Bid success

Bid to repair damaged fen roads success

Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council submitted a joint bid in February 2017 for funding from the DfT's Challenge Fund, which has been successful and has awarded the authorities £3.5 million towards a programme of work to repair roads that have been affected by extreme weather conditions across fenland areas in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. This was one of only 19 successful bids nationwide.

This funding, together with contributions from the authorities, will help enable a long term approach to the maintenance of these roads, preventing the need for inefficient short-term repairs and the associated repeated disruption to drivers.

Find out more about the bid

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough One Public Estate Programme

Enabling local authority partnerships to work successfully with central Government and local agencies on public property and land issues through sharing and collaboration

The One Public Estate Programme is an initiative funded by the Cabinet Office, Government Property Unit (GPU) and delivered in partnership with the Local Government Association (LGA). The programme has four main objectives:

  1. Create economic growth - to enable released land and property to be used to stimulate economic growth and regeneration, e.g. new housing and jobs
  2. Deliver more integrated and customer focused services - to encourage publicly funded services to co-locate, to demonstrate service efficiencies, and to work towards a more customer-focused service delivery
  3. Generate capital receipts - to release land and property to generate capital receipts
  4. Reduce running costs - to reduce the running costs of central and local government assets

Further background information on OPE and case studies showing how working in partnerships have benefited all partners and communities can be found on the LGA website.

Resurfacing work planned for six locations in Cambridgeshire

Overnight resurfacing work is due to start next month on three major routes in Cambridgeshire

The proposed work includes resurfacing and new road markings on the A505 Whittlesford, A505 M11/Duxford Interchange, A505 Duxford, A505 Flint Cross, A1303/4 Stetchworth Roundabout and A10 Hauxton/Harston.

Find out more

Supporting and protecting vulnerable people

Innovate and Cultivate Fund

Now open for applications!

We are delighted to let you know that the Innovate and Cultivate Fund is now open for applications! Previously known as 'Cambridgeshire Communities Innovation Fund' - the County Council's up to £1 million fund for community organisations. The fund has been refreshed and revamped to both simplify the process for applying for small grants, and to offer greater guidance to potential applicants on the Council's priority areas for this fund.

Who can apply?

The fund is open to voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors, based in and outside of Cambridgeshire and public sector organisations in Cambridgeshire. There are two funding streams: a 'Cultivate' stream for small grants of £2,000 - £10,000 and an 'Innovate' stream for larger grants of up to £50,000.

Workshop for applicants

A new round of funding is now open and the deadline for applications is 26 October 2017. A workshop for applicants will be held on 27 September, 2.00 - 4.15pm at St Ives Corn Exchange and is now taking bookings.

Find out more about grant applications and further information about the fund or if you have any queries about the Fund, please contact Cambridgeshire Community Foundation on 01223 410 535 or email [email protected]

Post-16 home to school transport

Who has responsibility?

There has been some issues with the availability of post-16 home to school transport in a small number of places in the county as schools began their autumn term, almost all of which have now been resolved.

Getting children to school is always the responsibility of their parents, although we do have a duty to provide transport options for pupils who are:

  • aged up to 8 years old and live more than two miles away from their allocated school
  • aged between 8 and 16 years old and live more than three miles from their allocated school

We have no statutory duty or funding to provide transport for post-16 pupils, although we do help by offering them spare seats on transport we arrange for younger children, subsidised for low income families, or at full cost for others.

Reviewing our properties in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster

What is being done to ensure our residents and staff remain safe?

After the Grenfell Tower disaster in London in June, Cambridgeshire County Council began an immediate review of the fire safety arrangements of its own properties, school properties we either own or manage, and properties where we commission care, such as residential homes for older people.

All our own council properties have up to date fire risk assessments and we've heard back from all the schools where we have direct responsibility and are working with those (less than half) who need follow up actions relating to their fire risk assessments. However, none are high rise and none are residential. All but 13% of academies, voluntary aided and other schools, where the prime responsibility lies with the Department for Education (DfE), have also sent us up to date copies of their fire risk assessments. We are also following up the 41 of the 347 providers of residential care commissioned by People and Communities who have yet to complete a survey about their fire safety arrangements.

During September, we are also contacting the 48 mainstream and 23 special schools outside of Cambridgeshire where we fund pupils, to check on their fire safety arrangements as part of our duty of care.

New special school for Alconbury Weald

Special school due to open in 2019/20

Alconbury Weald will consist of up to 5,000 dwellings, three primary schools providing a total of 1,700 places and an 11 - 18 school with capacity for 1,200 secondary pupils plus sixth form provision.

The special school will admit children based on need, up to its capacity of 110 pupils. Although Alconbury Weald will not generate demand for a special school in its own right, it is likely that between a quarter and a third of the pupils attending the school will be residents of the new development.

Find out more

Flick the switch and save on energy!

Delivering the competitive energy tariffs to residents

Cambridgeshire County Council has partnered with iChoosr, the UK’s leading expert in collective energy switching, to deliver bespoke and highly competitive energy tariffs.  Taking part in the Cambridgeshire Energy Switch is free and without obligation. The more people that participate in the scheme the more likely people will be able to achieve cheaper energy prices.

An auction will be held on Tuesday 10 October after which individuals will receive a personal offer, and can then make a decision on whether to switch to the winning supplier.

The rates are exclusive to residents switching through the scheme and are not available direct from the suppliers or via price comparison websites.

Find out more information on how you can encourage residents to join the Cambridgeshire Energy Switch scheme.

Working towards a 'zero suicide' ambition

New suicide prevention strategy for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to be launched in October 2017

The multi-agency strategy will outline the actions that are needed to work towards a ‘Zero Suicide’ ambition. Funding has also been granted through the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) to establish a bereavement support service for people affected by suicide. This aims to offer support to those bereaved in the first days and weeks after the death of a loved one and to signpost them to services and resources. In addition, STP funding will enable training in suicide prevention for General Practitioners across the county. The Stop Suicide campaign will also have lots of activity for World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September 2017.

To find out more, please contact:

Kathy Hartley
Public Health Consultant - Adult Mental Health
[email protected]

Helping people live healthy and independent lives

Cambridgeshire Stoptober Campaign 2017

Helping people to stop smoking in 28 days

During October, Public Health England is leading a national campaign to engage people to stop smoking as part of a 28 day challenge. Our Public Health team is supporting the campaign locally and working with the Stop Smoking Service CAMQUIT to provide promotional events, increased media coverage, including Facebook adverts, twitter feeds, promotional packs out to GP practices, pharmacies and other health settings and local workplaces. The Stoptober promotional materials will promote the use of the stop smoking services alongside treatments available on NHS prescription. Public Health England and other authorities now consider E-cigarettes to be significantly less harmful to health than tobacco and have the potential to help smokers quit smoking. Consequently, the campaign will also be promoting the use of electronic cigarettes as an effective tool to support quitting smoking. Find out how you can get more involved by contacting:

Claire Mead
Team Leader - Primary Care Commissioning
[email protected] 

A personal touch to encourage flu immunisation

Increasing annual influenza vaccination uptake

In 2016, the Cambridgeshire Health Committee made funds available to Public Health to improve vaccination rates, which were used for a project to increase annual influenza vaccination uptake amongst pregnant women.  Although pregnant women are amongst the highest priority risk group for protection from influenza, suboptimal uptake of vaccination has been seen repeatedly since 2012.  This project was an intervention study to investigate the effectiveness of personalised invitation letters from GPs followed up by a phone call from the practice to improve the uptake.   

29 practices with 3,100 pregnant women expressed interest to participate in the project.  The results show that the odds of receiving the vaccine were 1.5 times higher amongst patients in the intervention practices compared to practices sending routine invitations.  Overall, the odds of uptake increased by 75% in the target population in 2016/17 flu year compared to the previous four years.

Following the success of this work, the project is ongoing, working with GP practices to further increase uptake of flu vaccination.  Efforts to increase vaccination uptake amongst front line social care teams continues.  An ‘outbreaks workshop’ took place for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough care homes on 29 August 2017, the agenda for which covered flu.  Public Health continues to concentrate on promoting the annual seasonal flu vaccination programme, working with NHS England who are the lead commissioners of this service.

To get more involved, please contact:

Tiya Balaji
Health Emergency Planning and Resilience Officer
[email protected]

Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)

Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) is the process by which key health and wellbeing needs are identified for local populations. The needs from JSNA are considered by the Cambridgeshire Health and Wellbeing Board and form an integral part of the local joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

In late September 2017 the Cambridgeshire Public Health Intelligence team will publish a key document summarising data and information on local demographics; wider determinants of health and wellbeing; lifestyle behaviours; health and social care utilisation; and health outcomes. This will be called the “Joint Strategic Needs Assessment Core Dataset, 2017”. Published alongside this will be a summary of local JSNA programme work to date. It is hoped that these documents will be useful in supporting the development of the next Cambridgeshire Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

More information about Cambridgeshire's JSNA can be found at http://cambridgeshireinsight.org.uk/jsna and this will be the location for the published documents. Further health and wellbeing data for Cambridgeshire can be found at http://cambridgeshireinsight.org.uk/health.

World Mental Health Day

Mental health in the workplace

World Mental Health Day will take place on 10 October 2017. This year’s theme for the day is mental health in the workplace. A range of activities will be taking place locally, including a conference led by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust, which the County Council is supporting. The conference will examine how to reduce staff stress and support colleagues with mental and physical health challenges. There will also be free mental health training available for the County Council’s workforce, and promotion of key messages and resources.

To get more involved, please contact:

Claire Harris
Mental Health Promotion Lead
[email protected]

Annual public health report

A report on the health and wellbeing of Cambridgeshire residents

As Director of Public Health, Dr Liz Robin has a statutory duty to prepare an independent annual report on the health of Cambridgeshire’s population. The ‘Cambridgeshire Annual Public Health Report 2017’ will be presented to the County Council’s Health Committee in September and published on the Cambridgeshire Insight website. The focus of the report will be on the wider social and environmental factors affecting our health and wellbeing, and how these influence the differences in health outcomes we see across the county. The report also looks at key lifestyle behaviours which impact on longer-term health and wellbeing, and at trends in life expectancy and preventable deaths in the county. 

Find out more


Dr Liz Robin
Director of Public Health
[email protected]

Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy

A report on the health and wellbeing of Cambridgeshire residents

The Cambridgeshire Health and Wellbeing Board is a County Council led partnership board which includes senior representation from the local NHS, District Councils, HealthWatch and the Voluntary sector. The HWB Board has a statutory duty to produce a joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy to meet the health needs of local residents, as identified in the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA). The current joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy covers the period from 2012-2017 and now requires renewal. To start the process of renewing the strategy, potential strategic priorities will be discussed by the HWB Board at a development session facilitated by the Local Government Association (LGA) in early September, followed by a wider stakeholder event on 21 September. 

To find out more, please contact:

Dr Liz Robin
Director of Public Health
[email protected]

Also of interest

Fun palaces

Putting culture at the heart of our community

Free fun palaces are taking place at the following libraries on 7 or 8 October:

  • Arbury
  • Ely
  • Huntingdon
  • St Neots
  • Wisbech

'Everyone an artist, scientist, techie. Fun Palaces shouts, sings, shimmies, stomps from the rooftops; arts and sciences, all culture, is a crucial part of human life, and they are truly glorious.'

This is an exciting venture for us all, as we get involved with Fun Palaces for the first time; the aim is that these are very much led by what the community wants. Please take a look at the Fun Palaces website, where you will find lots of information, and a link to a toolkit can be found there too.

Local bus route changes

Whippet Coaches services to be affected

Councillors recently agreed to provide alternative arrangements for services following an announcement from Whippet Coaches. The services affected are the Whippet numbers:

1, 1A, 2, 3, 5, 7A, 8, 9, 12, 15, 16, 18, 21, 45, 45A, 114, 117, 476, 477, Busway C and U

A full breakdown of the changes and their impact can now be viewed on the Council's website. Alternatively, you can contact 0345 045 0675 or email [email protected].

For services operated by Whippet, residents can get timetable information directly from them on 01954 230 011 or www.go-whippet.co.uk.

For services that will be operated by Stagecoach, timetable information is available directly from them on 01223 433 250 or www.stagecoachbus.com.

Councillor Ian Bates, Chair of the Economy and Environment Committee, said: "Our officers have been working extremely hard to provide this information as quickly as possible for residents who were understandably concerned by the Whippet announcement. Whilst we have agreed to help on a short term basis, we now need to start thinking about the longer term solution and I'd urge communities and Parish Councils to help us and consider any location solutions. For instance, could they run a village car scheme in their area?"

Ramsey library and community hub

Local library highlighted for its innovative ways in Arts Council England report

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

Workshops on the future of libraries in Cambridgeshire

How your residents can help shape our libraries

In August, the Council started an informal discussion with library users and community groups on the future for libraries in Cambridgeshire through a series of workshops. Cambridgeshire’s library service is growing and we want to hear the community’s ideas and suggestions on how to sustain, improve and develop the service libraries provide to residents and find new ways to meet library users’ changing needs and demands. We’ll use this to inform our work and define together how libraries can achieve long-term sustainability and continue to thrive. We are using 'Libraries Deliver: Ambition for Public Libraries in England 2016 to 2021', recently published by the Government, as a framework to refresh our own strategy over the coming months. Workshops are being held at the end of September as follows:

  • Monday 25 September, 10.00-12.30 - The Eastrea Centre, 2 Roman Gardens, Coates Road, Eastrea, Whittlesey, PE7 2BA
  • Tuesday 26 September, 18.30-21.00 - St Andrew's Centre, School Hill, Histon, CB24 9JE
  • Wednesday 27 September, 13.30-16.00 - The Priory Centre, Priory Lane, St Neots, PE19 2BH
  • Thursday 28 September, 12.30-15.00 - The Ellesmere Centre, Ley Road, Stetchworth, Newmarket, CB8 9TS
  • Monday 2 October, 18.30-21.00 - Cambridge Central Library, 7 Lion Yard, Cambridge, CB2 3QD

To find out more, please email [email protected] or listen to Cllr Mathew Shuter, Chair of the Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee, who was on the BBC Radio Cambridgeshire Breakfast Show on 21 August to talk about these workshops at 02:06:10 into the programme.

Can you help to test the new travel app?

Help improve people's journey times

We have started testing 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 residents are interested in testing the app, they can email [email protected] with their contact details.

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. 

Did you find this information useful?

Website Feedback