District Councillors’ Report for July/Aug 2021

Our report is below. You can also download it in PDF format to read offline.


District councillors’ monthly report for the communities of Histon & Impington, Orchard Park and King’s Meadow.

Your Councillors are always ready to help. If you have any questions about these – or indeed any other – matters, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Steve Hunt: 01223 455180  Cllr.HuntS@scambs.gov.uk

Martin Cahn: 07826 748407  Cllr.Cahn@scambs.gov.uk

Pippa Heylings: 07837 228416  Cllr.Heylings@scambs.gov.uk

You can also follow us on our webpage & blog at http://hiopcouncillors.org, on Twitter @pippa4hiop @stevehunt4hiop, and on Facebook @pippaheylings4hiop

Call for Sites

The District Council have now released their much awaited ‘short-list’ of parcels of land in South Cambridgeshire that they believe have planning merit and will be taken forward to the next stage of the process. This short-list was derived from a much longer list of sites put forward by potential developers and landowners earlier this year. The proposals put the Environment right at the centre, driving the sites selected and they propose to add a further 11,596 to the current 37,198 in the pipeline in both adopted local plans.

The outcome is that NONE of the parcels of land in our area are being taken forward by South Cambs (apart from the Impington Lane site that is already nearly completed but falls within the plan period). The policy is to concentrate the major development into existing and forthcoming settlements, such as Cambourne, Northstowe, Waterbeach, Bourn Airfield etc. with a few minor releases of the Green Belt to the East of the City, in a strategy designed to minimise travel emissions. The overall level of development is to be limited due to water supply constraints – the aquifers will not be able to cope with additional depletion and new resources must be found which is not logistically feasible until the local plan following the one currently being drafted has commenced.

A thank you to all those that had an input into the process so far but there will be further public consultation on these short-listed sites, should anyone wish to make further comment.

Read the press release here: https://www.scambs.gov.uk/environment-put-at-the-heart-of-local-plan-as-possible-sites-announced/

Full site listings can be seen at – https://www.greatercambridgeplanning.org/localplan

Covid-19 Update

The case rate is 307.2 per 100,000 in  Cambridgeshire (2 September), a very gentle decrease in our region even though the national rates are still increasing. decrease on the same time last week. This compares with national rate of 332/100,000 cases, but higher than the regional average (283 cases per 100,000). South Cambridgeshire has a rate of 279 per 100,000, and Histon, Impington and Orchard Park 298 per 100k., about the regional average.

Public Health England and CCG have set up more pop‐up vaccination clinics and encouraging young people 16‐17 who only became eligible in August to get their vaccination. Anyone can book their vaccine online at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus‐covid‐19  or by phoning 119, or from the walk‐in centres and pop up clinics in their area. Find the closest at  www.thevaccinators.co.uk

Secondary school students are being encouraged to test twice a week to help identify those who have Covid without symptoms and young people aged 16 – 17 should get vaccinated before the start  of term. While children returning to school will no longer be in bubbles and school life will look more like it did pre-Covid, families are still being asked to be cautious and to stay alert for the signs of Covid and get a PCR test if they have symptoms.

Please take extra precautions, wear a face mask in public places, limit contact with others and consider those who are more vulnerable. Hands-Face-Space is still the wise thing to do.

New Business Growth Fund

The District Council has launched a new fund that businesses looking to grow and expand can now apply for. It’s aptly called the ‘Growth Fund’ and between £1,000 and £50,000 can be applied for at one time. Full eligibility criteria can be found here – https://www.scambs.gov.uk/business/business-support-and-advice/growth-fund-grant-scheme or by email openforbusiness@scambs.gov.uk

Visit South Cambs – Business Listings

South Cambs have launched a new business directory of businesses in the District. This is to try to boost local commerce now that we are coming out of Covid restrictions. Any viable, independent, business in South Cambridgeshire can apply to be listed on the website. It is essentially free advertising! – https://www.visitsouthcambs.co.uk/

COMMUNITY ISSUES

Rehoming Afghan Refugees

South Cambs Council has agreed to support three Afghan families by providing homes for them in the district. The families will relocate to the UK through the Afghan Locally Employed Support (LES) scheme.

You can read more about the resettlement on the council website at https://www.scambs.gov.uk/council-commits-to-resettle-refugees-from-afghanistan/ and hear the Lead Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr John Batchelor’s radio interview at

If you are interested in volunteering to help refugees then have a look at the charity Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign at https://www.cambridgerefugees.org/index.html

Local development proposals

The proposed mobile phone/5G mast and associated cabinets on New Road was turned down by planning officers because of its impact, but has been resubmitted. It is reduced in height (now 15m), but still of a significant scale. Comments should be made rapidly since this is a prior notification development and the local authority has a limited timescale to react. The new application reference is 21/03731/PRI16A and comments should be submitted by 24th September (extended from previous date of 8th September)

The proposal for a house on Impington Lane is to be considered by committee due to its drainage implications.  Following previous problems in gardens adjoining the new Impington Lane development, which proved difficult to resolve within the statutory powers and procedures (although the developer is apparently making proposals to rectify the problems), this has become a current issue and procedures need to be reviewed in the new local plan.

Civil Parking Enforcement

We welcome recent progress on plans to improve the way illegal parking is tackled.

Introducing civil parking enforcement in South Cambridgeshire, which was discussed at Cambridgeshire County Council on 7th September, would see responsibilities for tackling illegal parking shift from Cambridgeshire Police to the County Council. This would mean drivers parking illegally and inconsiderately, such as on double yellow lines or too close to a junction or a school, could be fined by Civil Enforcement Officers. This arrangement is common in most other parts of the country and will be considered for South Cambridgeshire by the District Council’s Cabinet as the County Council’s plans progress.

The County Council will now prepare an application to the Secretary of State for a Special Enforcement Area, via the Department for Transport, to introduce civil parking enforcement in South Cambridgeshire, as well as the districts of Huntingdonshire and Fenland.

In South Cambridgeshire, the work to draw up these plans will be funded by the Greater Cambridge Partnership and a formal update on this funding arrangement will follow later this year. A consultation process would be part of the developing plans, allowing residents and businesses to have their say. All civil parking enforcement schemes need to generate enough income to pay for themselves, which will inform how the scheme is developed for South Cambridgeshire.

The report presented to Cambridgeshire County Council’s Highways and Transport Committee contains a timetable which shows that, if all agreements are reached and the District Council’s Cabinet agree, civil parking enforcement could be in place in South Cambridgeshire in 2023. Until this is the case, tackling illegal parking in South Cambridgeshire remains the responsibility of Cambridgeshire Police.

6  Free Trees

You may remember that last year the District Council ran a scheme whereby they offered vouchers to parish councils for the value of 3 free trees that could be redeemed from local garden centres and planted on parish council land. This is scheme has been rebooted but with the offering doubled at 6, rather than 3 trees. Please do take advantage of this if your parish council has the land to plant them.

It is a very simple process to apply and the deadline is Thursday 30 September 2021. Check out more information and application at https://www.scambs.gov.uk/nature-and-climate-change/six-free-trees/ The supplier will deliver trees direct to parish councils. If you have any questions, please email the Zero Carbon Communities team zcc@scambs.gov.uk

2021 Annual Canvass

As part of its annual canvass, South Cambs has written to all households to check that the information on the electoral register is correct. We ask that residents please read the letter and respond if needed to report any changes or confirm that the information is correct.

Meetings in July/August

July 8thJDCC briefingSteve
July 14thPlanning CttePippa, Martin
July 20thScrutiny and Overview CtteSteve, Martin
July 22ndCouncilPippa, Martin
July 23rdJDCCSteve
July 27thPlanning CttePippa, Martin
July 29thAudit and Corporate Governance CtteSteve
Aug 11thPlanning CteePippa, Martin
Aug 18thJDCCSteve
Aug 27thDiscussion with Anglia Water on flooding and water issuesSteve
Aug 31stLocal Plan briefingPippa, Martin, Steve

Meetings in September

7THLicensing CommitteeSteve
8thPlanning CteeMartin (online)
9thCivic Affairs CommitteeMartin (online)
13thClimate Change and Envt CteePippa, Martin
17thJoint Development Control CommitteeSteve
21stScrutiny and Overview Committee (Local Plan)Martin, Steve
21stClimate Change and Environment Committee (Local Plan)Pippa, Martin
23rdCouncilMartin, Pippa
27thCambridge North briefingPippa, Martin, Steve
29thLocal Govt Finance TrainingPippa, Martin, Steve

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