In your constituency

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 on the Arts Council England website.

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.

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 local solutions, for instance could they run a village car scheme in their area?”

Department for Transport (DfT) Challenge Fund Bid success

Bid to repair damaged fen roads a 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

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

In Cambridgeshire

#Fairdeal4Cambs

Join together with 266 shire county MPs to press for change

At our first business breakfast meeting for Cambridgeshire MPs on September 15 – Council Leader Steve Count and Gillian Beasley, the County Council’s Chief Executive, outlined progress on the FairDeal4Cambs campaign.   This is the local response to the  County Councils' Network publication -  New Deal for Counties: Our Plan for Government, which sets out the collective priorities for county authorities across England.

It shows 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.

There were helpful conversations with those MPs who were able to attend and who have pledged support in linking with other MPs in shire counties to push forward messages, and write letters to government ministers.

It was also agreed that, to fit in with MPs' timetables, suggested regular meetings with Cambridgeshire County Council would be better arranged to follow PMQs.

MPs Business Breakfasts

Dates for your diary

Outline dates have now been set for the next MP business meetings as follows:

  • Wednesday 13 December 2018
  • Wednesday 14 March 2018
  • Wednesday 20 June 2018

The briefings are due to take place at 1.00pm following PMQs.

Fairdeal4 - campaign success

Cambridgeshire County Council calling for a fairer deal on funding for adult social care services from Government

Press release from 19 September 2017

Recent coverage:

Cambridgeshire County Council calling for a fairer deal for Cambridgeshire children

Press release from 6 September 2017

Recent coverage:

Schools funding formula

Understanding the implications of new funding formula for Cambridgeshire

On 14 September, Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Education, announced a new funding formula for schools. Illustrative figures show an overall uplift of funding for Cambridgeshire of approximately £8.8m (2.2%) when compared to 2017/18 baselines.  This is made up of £7.9m in the Schools Block, £0.84m in the High Needs Block and £0.05m in the Central Block.

Councillor Simon Bywater, Chairman of the Children and Young People Committee, said, “Given the years of low funding for Cambridgeshire schools this review of the National Funding Formula for schools is a welcome step in the right direction. This increase is welcomed but the impact for individual schools will be dependent on a number of factors such as the number of pupils they have on the school roll at the October 2017 census and how the local funding formula is applied following consultation with schools and Schools Forum."

County Council officers are analysing the details behind the funding formulae for both Schools and High Needs in order to understand the implications for Cambridgeshire. As there continues to be some local flexibility in how the national funding formula is applied locally the Schools Forum will be discussing the issues and approach for Cambridgeshire, potentially supported through additional working group meetings. Schools will then be consulted prior to the final schools formula for Cambridgeshire being confirmed for 2018-19 by the Department of Education deadline of January.

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, VA and other schools – where the prime responsibility lies with the 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 have also been contacting the 48 mainstream and 23 special schools outside Cambridgeshire where we fund pupils, to check on their fire safety arrangements as part of our duty of care.     

Business broadband survey

Where are the gaps in superfast coverage?

Businesses across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are being urged to fill in a short survey about their broadband connectivity in a bid to fill remaining gaps in superfast coverage, particularly in rural areas. The online survey is being carried out by the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme, which has already rolled out superfast broadband to thousands of businesses and homes that would not be able to get it otherwise. The programme has previously helped almost 2,000 businesses across the county to get connected, buy the latest technology, gain vital digital skills and create jobs, through Government and European Union funded grant schemes, which have now closed.

Feedback from the survey will be used to support bids for future funding to help more businesses benefit from fast and reliable internet connectivity.

Businesses are urged to complete the survey by 16 October.

Joint health and wellbeing survey

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).  Which now requires renewal. To start this process, potential strategic priorities were discussed by the HWB Board at a development session facilitated by the Local Government Association (LGA) in early September which was followed by a wider stakeholder event on 21 September. To find out more contact our Director of Public Health, Dr Liz Robin at [email protected].

New emotional health and wellbeing provider for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

From January 2018, CHUMS is to begin delivery of emotional health and wellbeing services for young people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

A competitive procurement was undertaken to ensure there was continued service provision for young people when the existing contracts with Centre 33, YMCA and Stars end at the end of December 2017. The new service will benefit from additional investment from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG. For more information, please contact Holly Hodge, Public Health Manager - [email protected].

Greater Cambridge Partnership

From 25 September through to November, Greater Cambridge Partnership will be holding a 'big conversation' in the Greater Cambridge area – creating opportunities to have as many conversations as possible. They want to  chat about the Greater Cambridge growth story, how this affects people, how the Greater Cambridge Partnership could help, and most importantly, listen to people's thoughts for the future of the area. 

Find out how you can get involved

Supporting and promoting Cambridgeshire

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.

The fund is open to voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors, based in and outside of Cambridgeshire and public sector organisations in Cambridgeshire and 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. A new round of funding is now open and the deadline for applications is 26 October. If you have any queries about the Fund, please contact Cambridgeshire Community Foundation on 01223 410535 or email [email protected].

Highways Improvement Initiative

Deadline extended until 15 October

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. 

For more information, please contact [email protected].

Workshops on the future of libraries in Cambridgeshire

How 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:

  • 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
  • Tuesday 3 October, 13:00 - 15:30 - The Hub Meeting Room, High Street, Cambourne, CB23 6GW

If you would like to know more or would like to take this opportunity to work more closely with the library service please contact Sue Wills, Library Service Manager - [email protected].

Also of interest

Flick the switch and save on energy!

Delivering 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. 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

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. 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

The ‘Cambridgeshire Annual Public Health Report 2017’ was presented to the County Council’s Health Committee in September and published on the Cambridgeshire Insight website. The focus of the report is 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 on the Cambridgeshire Insight website or from Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health - [email protected].

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trading Standards winner of the APSE Service Awards 2017

The newly merged Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trading Standards Service won “Best service team of the year” at the prestigious Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) Awards on 7 September in the category for Trading Standards, Environmental Health and Regulatory Services. The award recognises the impact the service is having, locally, regionally and nationally. 

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. 

Find out more on the Stop Suicide campaign

Contact: Kathy Hartley, Public Health Consultant for Adult Mental Health - [email protected]

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 Find out how you can get more involved by contacting Claire Mead, Team Leader for Primary Care Commissioning - [email protected].

The Library Presents...Arts Alive

Autumn programme brings arts to libraries across our county

The programme has been put together by Library Friends and Local Community groups from each of the 10 libraries taking part. Events include theatre, music, magic, art, literature and puppetry. There is something for everyone to enjoy! Tickets are now on sale for the events and available to purchase through our website or the host libraries.

Full list of events and how to get involved

The Library Presents ... Arts Alive is funded by Arts Council England and created in partnership with Babylon Arts.

National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP)

Annual measurement of height and weight of each child in Reception and Year 6

Over 90% of eligible children in Cambridgeshire take part each year in the Programme. It provides reliable and robust information to help build an understanding of national and local trends in child weight. For more information, please contact Helen Reed, Health Improvement Specialist - [email protected].

Cambridgeshire Insight

Find out the latest facts and figures for your constituency

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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