County Councillor’s Report June 2021

Tel: 07548 745197,  Ros.Hathorn@cambridgeshire.gov.uk    https://hiopcouncillors.wordpress.com/

Cycling and Walking Consultation

The LCWIP cycling and walking consultation runs until July 13, if you have views on active travel; what should be prioritised, what routes are most important please make sure you have your say. 

https://consultcambs.uk.engagementhq.com/ccc-local-cycling-and-walking-infrastructure-plan-consultation-2021

The Future of Milton Household Recycling Centre Consultation

Every household should have received a leaflet about this. In summary, the recycling facility is going to be separated from the landfill function and will be redesigned.  Amongst other things the new layout will be on two levels so you should not have to climb up steps to put items in a skip, there will be bicycle access to the site (long overdue) and a shop. Consultation closes 27 July. https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/news/consultation-to-launch-on-plans-for-a-new-household-recycling-centre-at-milton

COVID

Covid rates are rising everywhere, the highest rates are currently in South Cambs and the city, with cases at 216 per 100,000 in the city, 100 per 100,000 in South Cambs and overall an average of 92 per 100,000 across the county. Most cases are in 18-30 year olds.  There has been one death in the last month and hospital admissions remain low. Worryingly vaccination rates are particularly low in the city.  There will be a big push for vaccination on the weekend 11/12 July and there are walk in centres across the county including at Chesterton Bowls club and the Grafton centre for second vaccinations for 40 year olds and over to have their second jab. Please continue to remain cautious the pandemic is not over.  

Secondary school students are still asked to test twice a week.

LHI bids (Local Highways Improvement Initiative)

This scheme has now opened for bids with the scheme closing in September, there will be training available for Parishes.  Apparently the scheme is slightly in flux with the new administration. There is more information on the website which will be updated accordingly.

Road Safety, Histon & Impington Infant School

I met with a group of council officers and the school headmaster to discuss mitigation measures.  I have reported on this meeting on the HIOPCouncillors blog (see link above)  for those interested in more detail but measures including double yellow lines at the end of Cottenham road, increased and improved signage, dropped curbs and a modification of the layout at the front of the school have been agreed. In my opinion significantly more needs to be done to address the speed of the road but this is a start.

Road Safety, Impington Village College

I have had regular meetings with a small group including the Parish Council Highways Committee chair and the college Principal to discuss road safety and access to the school.  Whilst it is exciting to have a Walter Gropius designed listed building in the village this sense of preservation should not also be applied to the road layout which, relatively unchanged since 1939, is not fit for either the number of students attending the college or the level of road traffic. This is an ongoing piece of work but the village college has sent a survey to all students, the data is back and again detailed on the HIOPcouncillors blog.  New Road is listed as a potential location for active travel in the LCWIP cycling and walking survey for those who wish to make comment.

Orchard Park

After a number of false starts (track and trace alerts and so forth) I am finally due to meet with the local Highways Officer on Friday 2 July where we will discuss the issues of trees and planters on streets amongst other things.  So will report back in the July newsletter.

BALANCING BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY NEEDS

Kings Meadow – Meadows Centre/ Buchan Street development

I attended the residents meeting on 30 June, this took place 24 hours after signs were posted informing the community that the football pitch area was due to close on 1 July.  We were told that it would remain closed until next summer to develop the football pitch area and also how a number of traffic works were specifically scheduled for the summer holidays to avoid disruption so it was disappointing that the disruption of closing a large recreation field just before the summer holidays was not considered. A flurry of email activity followed the meeting from both myself and residents which lead to a small victory with the project agreeing to close the site for a fortnight for the archaeological survey then reopening as much as possible until the autumn, providing access to green space during the summer holidays.

CLIMATE EMERGENCY – DECARBONISING TRANSPORT

Improving the cycle crossing at the A14 junction

After much persistence from the County Council Cycling team Highways England finally returned to the cycle path on the A14 roundabout and made it fit for purpose relocating the post, improving the space and extending the dropped curb so that several people can use it simultaneously, it now feels safe for families and those with non standard bikes or wheelchairs, mobility vehicles and those with bike trailers.

Bikeability

Year 5 at Histon & Impington Junior school had their Bikeability training with Outspoken, organised by the County Council Cycling tea, nurturing the next generation of cyclists who are safe, confident and independent.

MAKING CAMBRIDGESHIRE FAIRER

Children and Young People’s Committee

Once again the government is avoiding paying for food vouchers for those entitled to free school meals.  The Children and Young People’s Committee this month voted to provide £573 k of additional funding to cover the gap in government funding.

This is expensive and will have an impact on other council spending but across Cambridgeshire community’s have made it explicitly clear over the last 16 months that they do not want to see families going hungry in Cambridgeshire.  

Layers of democracy within Cambridgeshire

I am happy to amend this as advised and intend to include a shorter version of this table in all reports as not understanding how local democracy works is a barrier to achieving effective change.   I thought it would be relatively easy to compile this list.  That was naïve.

County Council
Responsibilities; Education, Transport, Highways, Heritage, Social care, Libraries, Trading standards, ­Waste management -source Wikipedia couldn’t find the information on Cambridgeshire County Council website
Finances Of the total gross spend of £754 million that the council has budgeted to spend in 2021-2022, the council will raise £325 million from council tax (council tax requirement of £324m plus a surplus on the collection fund of £1m). The council tax requirement figure is divided by the council’s tax base of 231,331.0 to give a council Band D Council Tax of £1,399.77 for 2021 to 2022. For 2021-2022, the County Council’s share of council tax includes a levy of £9,246,016 issued by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) for the delivery of transport services.’-Source county council website
District Council
Responsibilities; Council tax payments and benefits, Household bin collections, Housing and housing benefits, Council leisure facilities, Environmental health, Residential planning -source Cambridgeshire County Council website

South Cambs District Council Finances

SourceGross estimated income (2020 to 2021)- £millionGross estimated income (2020 to 2021)- %Gross estimated income (2021 to 2022)- £millionGross estimated income (2021 to 2022)- %
Grant from Government (Rural Services Grant)0.130.2%0.240.32%
Retained business rates11.7916.7%9. 1412.11%
New Homes Bonus2.773.9%2.192.90%
Investment income4.546.4%5.647.47%
Grants, fees and charges, using up savings36.0150.9%42.0255.67%
Council tax15.5422.0%16.2521.53%

-source South Cambs District Council website

Parish/ Community Council
Responsibilities;  Looking after community buildings, Open spaces, Allotments, Play Areas, Bus shelters -source Cambridgeshire County Council website
Finances – a variety of sources including the precept from council tax.
Greater Cambridge Partnership (Greater Cambridge Partnership)
‘The local delivery body for a City Deal with central Government worth up to £500 million over 15 years, to vital improvements in infrastructure (decarbonising transport), supporting and accelerating the creation of 44,000 new jobs, 33,500 new homes and 420 additional apprenticeships.’ Partnership between (in alphabetical order); Cambridge City Council Cambridgeshire County Council South Cambridgeshire District Council University of Cambridge -Source GCP website Nb I understand that there is a great emphasis on finding match funding for some types of GCP projects.  
The Combined Authority, Cambridge and Peterborough our elected Mayor.
‘A combined authority (CA) is a legal body set up using national legislation that enables a group of two or more councils to collaborate and take collective decisions across council boundaries. It is far more robust than an informal partnership or even a joint committee. The creation of a CA means that member councils can be more ambitious in their joint working and can take advantage of powers and resources devolved to them from national government. While established by Parliament, CAs are locally owned and have to be initiated and supported by the councils involved. ‘ -source the Local Government Association What our Mayor does – Business support, skills, housing, transport, environment, international, digital connectivity, resilience, research and strategy. -source the Combined Authority website headings of web page links  
Financials – I can’t find them easily.  Is this a deficit of democracy or have I missed something? I have raised this with the leader of the council.  This information should be clear and easily accessible. Hopefully the new Mayor will be more transparent.
Police and Crime Commissioner, Cambridge and Peterborough
The primary role of the Commissioner is to support and challenge the Chief Constable to provide effective and efficient policing services for the area.  Source – Police and Crime Commissioner, Cambridge and Peterborough website
Finances Home Office Grant; £85.4 million Precept (council tax); £67.0 million Total income; £152.4 million Local policing; £91.4 million Collaborated policing functions; £38.7 million Business support; £20.3 million Source – PCC website as above

In addition to that any number of other government agencies and departments play a role in the workings of the county but hopefully I’ve captured the key players above. As you will notice the specific responsibilities are not always clear which is problematic in terms of holding government to account.   All councils participate in activities above and beyond their statutory responsibilities.  

Ros Hathorn, Histon & Impington County Councillor

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