County Councillor’s Report July 2021

Ros Hathorn, 76 Cambridge Road, Impington, Cambridge CB24 9NU

Ros.Hathorn@cambridgeshire.gov.uk

Tel: 07548 745197 https://hiopcouncillors.wordpress.com/

COVID

Anything written about Covid quickly becomes out of date but Impington Village College in particular suffered severe disruption at the end of last term.  Vaccination rates have really slowed down and persuading often younger people to get a vaccination is one of the biggest challenges we face.

Road Safety, Histon & Impington Infant School

Fri 2 July, I met with residents of Narrow Close, the end of Narrow Lane and those on the corner of Cottenham Road to discuss the parking situation at the new school. 

There was consensus that the combination of parents parking, other drivers (deliveries etc) along the primary access route for families (Narrow Close/ Narrow Lane) was dangerous.  Whilst we waited there were a number of instances of drivers reversing into people. 

There was a request for a Traffic Restriction Order (TRO) in Narrow Close and a carpark on the Buxhall Farm land.  I reported this back to the School Projects Team, the car park has previously been refused.  The TRO was referred to the council Highways Safety officer.  If you have evidence of dangerous driving please report in writing, photographs or film email  road.safety@cambridgeshire.gov.uk copying me in.  

Kings Meadow

I met with Kings Meadow resident Lucy Seymour, Parish Councillors and representatives from Clarion, the housing association.  We discussed a general clean up and gardening projects and hope to develop a future constructive relationship with specific events.

CLIMATE EMERGENCY – decarbonising transport, green energy, green spaces 

Orchard Park

I finally met with the Local Highways Officer early July (it had been hard to meet him after various pinging incidents, upon arrival he immediately informed me that he was getting married in 7 days and changing jobs in 14 days).  He was happy to try to action street trees for the Topper Street side of Marmalade Road and agreement was reached to trial a planter on the corner of Topper Street. Technically this has to be an informal arrangement as the Highways Team will not take responsibility if there is an accident but if successful this could provide a model for further planters across Orchard Park which might in turn reduce pavement parking.

Update –  South Cambs District Councillors are trying to move this forward in terms of planning permission for the planter and planting of trees.

Consultations

The Active Travel Consultation runs until Tuesday 24 August and includes the no through road proposal for Station Road near the war memorial to encourage walking and cycling locally discussed on HIHub. This proposal would lead to the loss of a bus stop.  If you feel strongly about this please complete the consultation. I spoke with the bus officer from the combined authority who didn’t have any great solutions but did confirm that this scheme was one of the two worst in terms of disruption to bus services.  It is worth pushing for a ‘bus gate’ here.

https://consultcambs.uk.engagementhq.com/cats

The Cycling Plus: Investing in Greater Cambridge’s Active Travel Network survey runs until midday on 16 August. This considers an Impington to Milton route which could revolutionise access to the Impington Village College site, also discussed on HIHub.

https://consultcambs.uk.engagementhq.com/cycling-plus

I have written a blog post on active travel and the challenges involved in pushing schemes forward.

County Council, Environment and Green Investment Committee

All motions were passed. Of particular note were the St Ives Park & Ride renewable energy scheme and the 6 month strategy review.

St Ives Park & Ride scheme.  The electricity network in Cambridgeshire is at full capacity an example was given whereby a renewable energy scheme which cost £600,000 would be charged £2 million to join the grid.  The economics of this are not viable.  The St Ives scheme puts renewable energy onto the Park & Ride site and is a ‘demonstration’ scheme for a small scale renewable project where energy is sold directly to consumers thereby avoiding the connection fee.  This scheme qualified for an EU grant of nearly £2million and is intended to provide a model for other councils and businesses. 

A full review of the Council’s climate change strategy will consider if targets could be moved towards 2030 to be published December 2021.

Former Histon and Impington Infant School Playing Field.

The Parish Council and County Council have been working together to create a long term arrangement allowing community access to the playing field at the former Infants School in Histon. As this is a legal arrangement involving lots of bodies including the Department of Education it is a slow process, in the interim a short term temporary agreement has been reached and the site should be open to community from early August.

There is a condition that this space should be used for educational purpose, which the Early Years Centre and Church groups have made use of.  Please contact the Parish Council if you are interested in a space for educational provision to discuss.

MAKING CAMBRIDGESHIRE FAIRER

Adult Care Needs Assessments and how to get them.  

My mum had dementia and I was unable to get an adult care needs assessment for her.  It took me 7 months to identify what I needed and when I tried to get one the call centre wouldn’t let me have one (by repeating ‘you don’t really want one’ until I hung up in despair). That was several years ago.  I have followed this up with the care needs team and have been assured that everyone contacting the helpline who asks for an assessment will get one.

I want to make it clear that regardless of how much money you have EVERYONE WITH HEALTH OR SOCAL CARE NEEDS IS ENTITLED TO AN ADULT SOCIAL CARE ASSESSMENT. Through this assessment you can access other services such as occupational health and care. Some people will be entitled to free care and others will have to pay but everyone is entitled to the assessment.  If you are self funding the assessment team can help you put the correct care package in place and offer support.

Call centre details: Telephone: 0345 045 5202  8am to 6pm Monday to Friday,  9am to 1pm on Saturday

https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/adults/organising-care-and-support/care-needs-assessment

If you have problems getting an assessment let me know. I will chase this up.   I’d also be interested in feedback, for example if you go the website and type in ‘dementia’ you don’t get directed to the call centre.  You have to know the correct name of what you are looking for to find it.   I believe the service can be better so if you have suggestions get in touch.  

The local dementia team

I met with Sarah Brown and Jan Payne to discuss their Project Forget-me-not, a village initiative (as part of HI Friends) to become a Dementia Friendly Community accredited by the Alzheimer’s Society.  They were fully aware of the need to work with families and welcomed people getting in touch and feeding in ideas as everyone who has experience of this condition has something to offer. Sarah is already supporting a number of families locally.  If you need support get in touch with HI Friends dementia worker, Sarah, sarah@hifriends.org.uk or her work number 07934 817316 

Kings Meadow is part of Histon & Impington but Sarah is an excellent first point of call for everyone needing support including Orchard Park residents. 

There is also a facebook page ‘HI and around Dementia family and carers’ – apologies for the clunky name I set the group up some years ago when caring for my mum.

BALANCING BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY NEEDS

Business changes in Histon & Impington; two new cafes and one goodbye and considerate parking

In July we welcomed two new cafes to the village; Stir on the High Street and Histon Station House on Station Road and said a sad goodbye to The Geographer.

Customers of Histon Station House are politely requested not to park in the two slots in front of Station Stores and leave your car there for hours. There is on street parking nearby.  These spaces have 30 minute waiting limits and are well used spaces by Station Stores and Richard Stebbings Funeral Services’ customers.  Occupying those spaces for extended periods is affecting those businesses.   

There have also been reports of poor parking by Stir customers, please enjoy our cafes but please park considerately.

Meetings attended in July: 

Full council,

Environment and green investment Committee,

Communities, Inclusion and Social Mobility Committee.

A quick flavour of the committee meetings at the moment could be described as deeply antagonistic. A peer review process identified that the Conservatives feel it unfair that they lost of the council.  In all honesty the environment feels somewhat toxic.  The Joint Administration is planning to decentralise some decision making, which may move things forward although I suspect committee meetings across the council will be no less combative. It would be great to find some areas of cooperation where we can work constructively.

Councils, responsibilities and key government funded organisations

If you have a problem or concern don’t worry too much about who can solve it just ask the question to the village clerk or a councillor and they will point you in the right direction.

The organisational structure of Cambridgeshire is complicated but it is important to identify where responsibility lies.

County Council
Responsibilities;  Education, Transport, Highways, Heritage, Social care, Libraries, Trading standards, ­Waste management, Maintaining their estate. Some of these services are shared between Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council but any concerns should be directed to the county council.
District Council
Responsibilities;  Council tax payments and benefits, Household bin collections, Housing and housing benefits, Council leisure facilities, Environmental health, Residential planning
Parish/ Community Council
Responsibilities;  Looking after community buildings, Open spaces, Allotments, Play Areas, Bus shelters
Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP)
‘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 Cambridge City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council, University of Cambridge
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. ‘ What our Mayor does – Business support, skills, housing, transport, environment, international, digital connectivity, resilience, research and strategy. New homes
Police and Crime Commissioner, Cambridge and Peterborough
To support and challenge the Chief Constable to provide effective and efficient policing services for the area. 
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority
The Fire Authority is the governing body responsible for delivering a fire and rescue service to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.  It is made up of Cambridgeshire County Councillors and Peterborough City Councillors.

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