East Area meeting this week: policing report

The next East Area meeting is Thursday 12th July, at the Cherry Trees Day Centre in St Matthew’s Street. It starts with an Open Forum when anybody can ask a question or raise an issue with councillors. Although the area meeting cannot always sort things out on the spot, it can request action from council departments and get balls rolling.

It will include a report from the neighbourhood police on their activities in the last policing period (December to March 2018), including tackling anti-social behaviour on Coleridge Recreation Ground, and promoting and enforcing road safety. If you have issues you would like to bring to police attention, this meeting is a good place to do it. If you cannot attend, let me know if anything you’d like me to raise.

The full agenda is here.

Cambridge Residents’ Parking: Frequently Asked Questions

Sign

Q: What are the costs of residents’ parking in Cambridge?
A: Residents’ parking schemes are self-funding, ie they are costed to pay for themselves. At present, participating in a residents’ parking scheme starts at just over £1 a week per permit. There are discounts for less polluting vehicles. Each household can buy up to three permits.

Schemes that include weekends and/ or evenings are more expensive than ones running 9-5 Monday to Friday or less.  There is usually a joining fee to cover set-up costs but the Greater Cambridgeshire Partnership is currently funding these.

Q: What about visitors?
A: Residents may purchase up to 20 visitor permits a year, which allow visitors to park for up to 5 days at a cost of £2.40 a day or part of a day. Anyone living in the area of a scheme can apply for visitor permits for their guests. You do not have to have a residents’ parking permit to have a visitors’ permit.

Businesses can apply for permits.

Blue badge holders are entitled to one free annual visitor’s permit.

Q: What happens if I have carers or medical visitors who need to park?
A: There is a free medical permit scheme for people who need visits from relatives or health professionals. Your doctor will need to assess your infirmity or lack of mobility and provide an estimate of the number and frequency of official visits required. There are dispensations for medical professionals who attend emergencies or who carry special equipment.

Q: What happens if I have people working on my house who need to park?
A: Tradespeople are able to purchase one or two permits for the area in which they are working.

Q: What about shops/ schools/ churches?
A: It is possible to include short-stay bays for community facilities as part of a scheme. They should be incorporated at the time the scheme is developed.

Q: Does a residents’ parking scheme guarantee a space?
A: It does not guarantee a space, but it gives residents a better chance of getting a space.

Q: Do you have to join if there’s a scheme in your street?

A: Only if you want to park in one of the on-street residents’ bays. If you have your own private parking, say on a drive, you need not purchase a residents’ permit.

Q: To whom should I report illegal parking?
A: Ring the County Council’s Civil Enforcement team on 01223 727 900. For dangerous parking, eg obstruction, parking on school zig-zags, or in bus lanes and cycle lanes, contact the police on 101.

Q: I am in a car club. Surely I would not have to pay £50+ a year when I only park in the street occasionally?

A: Residents who occasionally use car club vehicles can purchase visitor’s permits, or use the Pay & Display or short-stay bays if they are close enough to be convenient. Some schemes include spaces specifically for car club vehicles.

See the County Council website for more information including application forms for permits,  and the residents’ parking policy.

Bogus burglar alarm calls

burglar alarmKate Thwaites, Cambridgeshire Constabulary Community Safety Officer for Cambridge, has sent a warning about bogus burglar alarm sales calls.

Earlier this week we received a reported involving a Home Security company cold calling an elderly resident in Cambridge and trying to sell them an alarm system for their home. The salesperson for the company, based in Nottingham, went on to say they can provide a wireless monitored system and a lifeline alarm whereby their trained first aiders would visit very quickly if the alarm was activated.

If you’re thinking of purchasing an alarm system please be aware that some companies make false claims that they are accredited and are also misleading with their promises regarding response times by Police and medical staff.

When buying an alarm system it is always advisable to get at least 3 quotes, and look for companies that are accredited by N.S.I. (National Security Inspectorate) or S.S.I.A.B. (Security Systems & Alarm Inspection Board) Independent Inspectorates are not-for profit approval bodies who carry out inspection services for the security industry in order to protect customer interests. They are governed by UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) the sole accreditation service recognised by the government.

For additional information regarding alarm systems please see the relevant section in the attached Home Security Guide. Dwelling_Security_Survey_leaflet

If you receive any phone calls from alarms companies using high pressure sales techniques please don’t agree to anything immediately. Make sure you know what you’re buying and phone the Police if you’re concerned.

The Queen Edith’s News is out!

You read it here first … local news on The Netherhall School, parking, bins, transport projects, and new voting arrangements.

If you’d like to receive news bulletins on council and community matters, drop me an email at [email protected], and I’ll add you to my list.

Speedwatch in Queen Edith’s Way

SpeedWatch 2015-02-13 QEWSpeeding is a frequent cause of complaint to councillors – and most people are saying, ’Slow down!’  Fast traffic is intimidating, putting people off walking and cycling, or letting their children do so. The result: more motor traffic. Speed causes accidents – police say it is the cause of about a third of traffic collisions – at worst, it results in injury or death.

Cambridge is changing the speed limit in residential roads, and the 20mph signs should be coming to Queen Edith’s next – but as we all know, some motorists flout speed limits, either through carelessness; or worse, because they don‘t care.

Police do their best to enforce speed limits, and tackling anti-social driving is a priority in this area; but they cannot be everywhere at once. So how about some community action?

SPEEDWATCH enables volunteers to address speed concerns in their own neighbourhoods. Teams of three people set up roadside speed monitors. When a vehicle passes, the monitor flashes up the speed the driver is doing. Volunteers clock vehicles that are over the limit, and police then follow up with letters of advice.

2016-02-15 13_53_29-Cambridgeshire Maps

Accidents in Queen Edith’s

Jennifer Page-Croft of Wulfstan Way and I met PCSOs Michaela Bright and Decca Riondino for a training session – you can see us here in our yellow Speedwatch tabards. We chose Queen Edith’s Way to practise in, as it’s a road that generates a lot of complaints.

The officers showed us how to set up the signs and speed monitoring device, and how to record the cars. You record the details of the cars exceeding the limit: speed and time, vehicle colour and – slightly harder for me – the make and model.

If you’re one of the people anxious or annoyed about speeding in the area, can I invite you to get involved? We need some more people in the south of Cambridge to make this work.

The police have another training session next Tuesday evening at Parkside Police Station. I’m told there are even a couple of parking spaces (priority for people with disabilities).
Tuesday 23rd February 6.30-8.00pm
If you’d like to attend, email [email protected]

Parking survey in the Morley area

Working witMarshall Roadh residents, I am surveying the streets in the north of Queen Edith’s on parking problems.

The streets suffer from a daily influx of visitors: students, office workers, shoppers, Leisure Centre visitors – and even hospital staff. This severely limits the parking spaces for  local people, and there has also been dangerous parking, cars on the pavement, blocked drives, damage and petty crime.

Parking is a problem throughout Queen Edith’s, but it makes life particularly difficult in the older housing opposite the sixth form college and Homerton, as many of the houses have no drives.

Parking controls for some streets in the area have been agreed twice, in 2004 and 2009, but then not implemented by the County Council due to policy changes.

Residents ran a petition to Hills Road VI Form College earlier this year asking them to stop their students from parking in residential streets. I am working with some of the residents and with County Council officers  charged with addressing parking issues in Cambridge. Following a meeting and a walkabout with the officers, we are now gauging the support for parking controls – which could include a residents’ parking scheme*. If you live between Blinco Grove and Rathmore Road, you should receive a survey through your letterbox soon.

*For more information on how residents’ parking schemes work, including permits for visitors and medical professionals, see http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/info/20018/parking_permits_and_fines/9/parking/2

Streetlighting switch-off: councillors to discuss on Monday

switchoff mapConservative county councillors and County Council Highways officers are proposing to switch off streetlights between midnight and 6am in an attempt to make the books balance, in the face of swingeing cuts to councils from the government.

We believe this will have an unacceptable impact on road safety and on individual safety in Cambridge, given the high numbers of residents and visitors who are about after midnight or early in the morning.

A report on the lighting switch-off will be discussed at the South Area meeting on Monday evening.

Here is a link to the full agenda. There’s also an open forum session, an update on the late-running Hills Road cycle lanes and a report on environmental services in the south of the city (rubbish, graffiti and vandalism).

The meeting is open to the public and anyone can speak. If you cannot attend but would like to make a point, please contact me or one of the other councillors.

7pm, Monday, St John’s Church, Hills Road.

LOCAL BLOGGER CHRIS RAND HAS WRITTEN A DETAILED REPORT OF THE DISCUSSION AT THE MEETING. Read it here.

Police report

The neighbourhood police report a burglary in Gunhild Way this month, with forced entry breaking glass in a back door. There has also been criminal damage in the vicinity of Long Road.
Bicycles have been stolen in Holbrook Road (from a shed), Long Road, Hills Road and Addenbrooke’s.

The current police priorities for the next 3 months are:

  1. To combat Drug Dealing;
  2. To combat ASB on the Quarry Lakes
  3. To improve Road-safety (via combating inconsiderate parking/cycling etc)

To find out more about your Neighbourhood Policing Team visit https://www.cambs-police.co.uk/myneighbourhood/locate.asp

To contact Police:-
In an emergency always call 999
For all non-emergencies 101
For property registering, visit www.immobilise.com

Crimestoppers
To give information anonymously about crime. Call 0800 555 111.

Sedley Taylor Road: bother with builders

Builders are giving rise to concern in Sedley Taylor Road and last week residents requested my help in addressing issues around parking and anti-social noise.

Cars and larger vehicles are reported as parking on yellow lines and blocking driveways and pavements. I have taken this up with the local police and the County Council, the authority responsible for parking enforcement.

Our police sergeant, Sgt Chris Horton, has asked his PCSOs to include Sedley Taylor Road in their patrols. If you witness obstruction or dangerous parking, ring the police non-emergency number 101.

One of the County’s enforcement officers has already been to see the building firm and has made it clear that vehicles must be parked legally and safely, since this street gets a lot of pedestrians, including children.

At present some of the plates stating the parking restriction times for the single yellow lines are missing. It’s not certain when or why the plates disappeared but I’ve asked for them to be replaced, which will enable traffic wardens to issue offenders with FPNs. If you see illegal parking on yellow lines, ring the County on 727900.

People have said that builders and delivery vehicles are arriving very early, sometimes before 7am, and creating a lot of noise. I have asked the City Council what conditions on hours were attached to the planning consent, and what else might be done to restore tranquillity.

UPDATE:

The City Council responding saying:

You are quite right, there is no condition on this consent controlling working hours so the Local Planning Authority has no control in this regard. We wouldn’t normally put this type of condition on a householder application. I suggest that this is taken up with Environmental Health if the concerns cannot be resolved between neighbours.

Guided Busway lights are going in!

Cones for the trenches for the lights

Cones for the trenches for the lights

Amanda with one of the new light columns

The new lights are in hand!

At long last, work has begun to instal lights on the bridleway along the Guided Busway.

This is the culmination of a campaign that started in 2012, with a LightTheCycleway! petition presented to the Conservative County Council Cabinet requesting lighting on the southern section of the Busway, between the railway station and Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

Trenching work began on Monday near the Hauxton Road bridge, and column positions have been marked out this week. The plan is to complete the lighting by the autumn, in time for the darker evenings. Here’s a County Council document with more information.

See background on the reasons for the lighting.