We did it! Funding for Nightingale Park

1Z6A8078SmNightingaleParkPavillionQECouncillorsI have been working together with other local councillors for the last five years on a project to replace the Nightingale Avenue Pavilion. We are pleased to confirm that this proposal was approved unanimously by all councillors at the South Area committee meeting that took place on the 14th  December 2015.

Working together, the newly formed group “Friends of Nightingale Park and council officers developed a proposal to demolish the current pavilion (which is in a poor state of repair and regarded as an eyesore) and replace it with a new one.

This proposal would have an extended footprint and be more sustainable and attractive, in keeping with the natural surroundings of the park.

As your local councillors and members of the Area Committee, we had already earmarked £200,000 of devolved outdoor sports contributions for this project in 2013/14. In addition to this allocation we asked for a further allocation of £203,000, which was unanimously approved by us (this sum includes up to £170,000 more outdoor sports contributions and around £33,000 community facilities contributions).

The main likely features of the new pavilion (which would be project managed by council officers) are as follows.

  • The sports pavilion would include two changing rooms (including access doors, lockers, toilets and cubicle showers), a referees’ room and, possibly, pitch (muddy) storage (eg, for goalposts).
  • There would also be a multi-use community meeting space, accessible kitchenette and new, secure, ‘clean’ storage;
  • Park users would benefit from: two outside-access toilets; an outside boot-cleaning area; accessible paths at either side of the building; entrance steps on the park-side; and a new sun-shaded and rain-sheltered outdoor space in front of the pavilion

We also approved 25,000 towards the development of a community green space on the former bowling green at Nightingale Avenue Recreation Ground, and an upgrade to the Nightingale Avenue Rec Ground play area, This could involve more play equipment (say, four more pieces), safety surfacing, landscaping and fencing. For example, the play area may need to be extended towards the pavilion: this might have the benefit of allowing parents to be able to keep an eye on their children in the play area from the pavilion.

The committee has approved £25,000 towards the Refurbishment of Memorial Hall and Church Hall on the corner of Hartington Grove and Cherry Hinton Road. This development will offer an additional community resource.

There was also good news for Rock Road Libary: funding for a separate entrance, and a new kitchen.

Welcoming Papworth but asking Addenbrooke’s to be a good neighbour

Cambridge City Council’s planning committee this week discussed the relocation of Papworth hospital to the Addenbrooke’s site. The application is for a New Papworth Hospital allowing relocation from the Hospital’s current site in Papworth Everard, 13 miles from Cambridge. The hospital is the largest specialist cardiothoracic hospital in the UK and includes the country’s main heart and lung transplant centre.

This would be built on the land to the west and south west of the Addenbrooke’s Campus in Robinson Way, Cambridge and the proposals is for a new hospital and associated amenity space, planting, a vehicle drop-off area, cycle parking, an energy centre/plant room and servicing area.

Although we welcomed the new development, I expressed concerns that the travel plan and parking arrangements for staff and visitors will not be sufficient to meet the needs of the new development. I and others argued that Addenbrooke’s has not been a good neighbour when it comes to parking, and the pressure on the local Queen Edith’s community will only increase if the relevant measures are not taken. One of the suggestions I made was to reduce the staff car park charges to make it affordable and attractive to be used by the staff. I also asked Addenbrooke’s to take responsibility for cleaning the cigarette ends and coffee cups from the perimeter of the hospital.

The application was passed by 6 councillors voting in favour but I abstained, because my requests fell on deaf ears!

Planning applications, 19th November

Cambridge City Council’s South Area Committee will decide planning applications for the south of the city on 19th November. Here is an agenda.

Three are in Queen Edith’s:

12/0956/CLUED – Cantabrigian RUFC, Sedley Taylor Road
Certificate of Lawfulness for the car park to be used as such
12/1033/FUL – 100 Glebe Road
New house to replace existing garage
12/1020/FUL – 167 Queen Edith’s Way
Residential extension

The meeting begins at 7.30 p.m.at the Guildhall in central Cambridge. It is open to the public and you can speak if you have written in about  the application you wish to speak on. You need to inform the Committee Manager by 12.00 on the 16th November.

Boundary Commission proposals still leave Queen Edith’s out of Cambridge

The Boundary Commission has published its latest proposals  for changing parliamentary constituency boundaries. It is still rejecting local people’s suggestions to include Queen Edith’s in the City of Cambridge constituency. Although Queen Edith’s elect councillors to Cambridge City Council and residents pay council tax to Cambridge, unlike the rest of Cambridge , we are not represented in Parliament by Julian Huppert, but by Andrew Lansley, and we are in ‘South Cambridgeshire’ at present. Party politics and personal qualities aside, we have little in common with the other villages that make up this constituency.

The Boundary Review is tasked by the government with reducing the number of MPs from 533 to 502, and arranging the numbers so that every MP represents a similar number of voters.

They are proposing to move Queen Edith’s out of South Cambridgeshire – not into the city, but into another rural constituency, South East Cambridgeshire, where it will sit with places like Dullingham, Soham and Bottisham … many closer to Newmarket than Cambridge. This is frustrating, as the Commission say they have ‘some sympathy’ with a counter-proposal to move  Queen Edith’s into the Cambridge constituency. Their only justifications for not doing so are:

the main political parties agree with the initial proposals

Not entirely true, as the South Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats proposed that Queen Edith’s go into the city). In any case, why should the political parties’ views matter more than those of voters?

the counter-proposal was advanced by ‘a very small number of individuals’.

At least five people from Queen Edith’s made representations – it is hard to tell from the Commission’s website how many more, as you can only search by a name, not by a postcode or area.

If you still feel strongly that Queen Edith’s belongs in the city, then you have until 10th December to make a representation to the Boundary Commission. If you want to help make the point, please do so – here is an online form: https://form.boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk/review-team/revised_proposals/consultation/intro/view

You do not have to write a long piece: some of the comments on their site from the last round of consultation are only one or two sentences.

You can also email the Boundary Commission at: eastern@bcommengland.x.gsi.gov.uk. Please post a copy here, so we know the real number of people making representations.

Transport and traffic are two of the hottest topics of debate in Cambridge. So we know there are lots of ideas for improving transport. Now is the time to come up with proposals.

By law (Town & Country Planning Act 1990), councils may require financial contributions of developers to reduce the effects of their developments. As this is laid out in Section 106 of the Act, the contribution is dubbed ‘Section 106 money’ by councillors. I do not know what the developers call it.

Cambridgeshire County Council is asking us for our ideas on how this money should be spent in the south of Cambridge. Projects should ‘mitigate the effect of the additional transport-related movements from new development’. The officers have come up with some ideas already:

  • steps and cycle channels from the Hills Road Bridge to the Guided Busway cycle route
  • a clean-up of signage on the ring road

They are asking us for more ideas, and will be coming to the next South Area Committee on 5th March (Cherry Hinton Village Centre).

So please let me have your ideas – come to the meeting too, if you can. We will post an agenda on this site nearer the time, so you can see where the discussion on transport plans is. If you’d like to join in the discussion, why not post a comment here?

Christmas Lights in Queen Edith’s next Tuesday

Schools, churches, councils, the police and fire service are coming together next Tuesday to celebrate Christmas outside the Wulfstan Way shops in Queen Edith’s.

There will be children’s craft activities (under 5s) from 5.30, then the Mayor of Cambridge, Cllr Ian Nimmo-Smith, will switch on the Christmas lights at 6 p.m. Next comes a community carol-singing, with special performances by the choirs of St James’s, St John’s and the Queen Edith Primary School.

It is hoped Father Christmas will come to join the fun.

See you there: 6 o’clock on the 6th!

Click here to download a programme.WWXmas2011

Mowbray Road drains

George noticed that when it was raining the other day, the cyclists were riding in the middle of Mowbray Road. Taking a closer look, he found that the rainwater was not being absorbed by the sewerage system, causing the cycleways to be under water.

George reported the problem to the Council’s Customer Support and the drains people were soon at work clearing the blockages from the system. The drain cleaning crew have said that two of the drains between 9 and 25 Mowbray Road are still very bad due to the fact that tree roots have broken the drainpipes.

He is continuing to work on this to try to resolve the situation.

Tree trimming time in Mowbray Road

Tree trimming time

On the 13th of July the work to trim the trees in Mowbray Road began.

The long awaited trimming of these trees was welcomed by the local residents with whom I had a number of meetings beforehand. They were able to expresses their wishes as to what they wanted done with the trees and the Council confirmed what is and what is not doable.

The work should finish within this week.