Enough Food for Everyone IF

IFThe world produces enough food for everyone, but not everyone has enough food.

Today, I attended the Cambridge launch of the ‘Enough Food for Everyone If‘ campaign at Great St Mary’s Church, Cambridge, together with a crowd of people including some the city’s campaigning organizations, including the Humanitarian Centre, World Development Movement, members of Great St Mary’s,  and fellow members of Cambridge Fairtrade Steering Group.

Steve Jones from the Humanitarian Centre eloquently described the scandal that in our ‘developed’ society, one in eight people in the world goes to bed hungry, and the two million needless child deaths every year due to malnutrition. The Mayor of Cambridge, Cllr Sheila Stuart also addressed the meeting, and declared her support for the campaign.

The IF campaign is a coming together of UK-based organisations, including Oxfam, who share the vision of a world where everyone has enough to eat. We also have huge ambitions: to reach 20 million people across the UK with our message and inspire 5 million of them to get involved.

The catalyst for the campaign is the next G8 summit of world leaders, taking place in Britain this June, and the desire to lobby politicians and government leaders to impress on them the desperate urgency to put things right. The campaign has four main (more…)

Another round for the Queen Edith

Lib Dem Focus Team outside the old Queen Edith in 2003

Many people will remember that in November 2010, the City Council’s South Area Committee, chaired by myself, turned down an application to replace the Queen Edith pub with a purely residential development. We argued that the pub was an important community facility, as there is no other public house nearby, nor anywhere else serving food and drink in the evenings.  You will also remember there was a vigorous local campaign to keep the pub, with a 271-signature petition in its support.

Sadly, the Queen Edith closed in December 2011 for financial reasons. It was acquired in March 2012 by Danescroft Commercial Developments Limited. Danescroft have now applied for planning permission to redevelop the site. They propose to replace the existing building with a new community pub incorporating staff accommodation, plus 12 2-bedroomed flats. They have consulted widely already, so you may already have seen their ideas. Residents on Wulfstan Way and Queen Edith’s Way closest to the pub have been notified by Cambridge City Council.

The most noticeable difference between their proposals and the existing set-up is that the new pub will be at the front of the site and be seen from Wulfstan Way – more attractive than cars to look at when walking past, and more welcoming to customers. Cycle and car parking will be behind the pub – but fewer car spaces than at present, as it is less usual to drive to the pub these days. The flats have their own parking.

One unusual feature of the new pub is a ‘green roof’, which will have plants growing on it. This will absorb rainwater, provide insulation and have other environmental benefits.

You can look at the plans at the City Council’s Customer Services Centre in Regent Street, or on the council’s website http://idox.cambridge.gov.uk/online-applications/ (key in the application reference number 12/1616/FUL). It is expected that the application will be decided by the Council’s main planning committee, at the Guildhall.

Comments are accepted until 29th January.

To comment on the application, write, quoting the reference 12/1616/FUL, to:

Head of Planning

PO Box 700

Cambridge CB1 0JH

The application will be decided in February, by the main Planning Committee at the Guildhall.

 

Big Fairtrade event at Anglia Ruskin this month

Are you a Fairtrade supporter? Then come to the East of England Campaigns Day at Anglia Ruskin on 24th November. It is the first event of its kind in Cambridge and jointly hosted by Fairtrade Cambridge, Anglia Ruskin Fairtrade University and the Fairtrade Foundation.

The event will offer ideas and support for developing Fairtrade City campaigning.

We’ve got a great agenda lined up, including:

  • Interesting workshops such as ‘What next for your Fairtrade campaign?’, ‘What do we understand by the term Fair?’
  • Stalls, displays and Fairtrade tasters
  • Elections for the East of England National Campaigner Committee representative
  • Networking opportunities and the chance to share ideas and experiences

Date and time: Saturday 24 November 2012, 10am-4pm

Address: Anglia Ruskin University, East Road, Cambridge, CB1 1PT

Book a place at the East of England Campaigns Day here

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Apple Day at Rock Road Library

Today, the Friends of Rock Road Library treated the community to a celebration of apples today. It started with a biscuit and cake stall at the entrance – cakes are always a good start!

There was lots to do in the library garden: playing William Tell with a Nerf gun, Apple & Spoon, tasting apples, apple bobbing if you didn’t mind getting wet; while inside you could listen to apple stories and get crafty with tissue paper and decorative materials.

The Library Garden’s own apple trees were festooned with cardboard apple shapes printed with interesting facts about the gastronomic history of the area.

I enjoyed using the community apple press to juice my own apples – good exercise for the arm muscles too!

A Queen Edith II?

The Queen Edith Public House on Wulfstan Way closed at the turn of the year. I miss it.

Readers will remember that the previous owners, Punch Taverns, made an unsuccessful bid to demolish their pub and replace it with housing. This was vigorously opposed by local residents, and when it went to the Cambridge South Area meeting for decision, was rejected by councillors.

Despite being saved from the JCBs, the pub later fell to the VAT-man, and all this year, we have been without a pub on Wulfstan Way. In fact, there is no pub within the Queen Edith’s ward at all.

So I am pleased to see that the new owners of the property, Danescroft Commercial Limited, are proposing to create a new mixed development on the site, comprising flats and a community pub.

Here is a leaflet outlining their proposals. What do you think?

You may receive a printed version if you live near the site, but Danescroft kindly said we could link to it here as well. Please send any comments in to Mr Andrew Hodgson at the address on the leaflet by 1st November so that local views can inform the detailed planning proposal.

Community Day, Saturday 6th October

Cambridge City Council is organizing a Community Day outside the Wulfstan Way shops next Saturday. The event will include:

  • a Take it or Leave it Stall (to recycle good quality, small items – such
    as books and clothes)
  • a talk on Grown your own Food
  • Children’s cookery
  • Crafts for children
  • Plants & Cakes stall
  • Bread stall
  • Preview of plans for the Jubilee seat
  • Talk on basic gardening 10-11 (QE Chapel)
  • Details of plans for the new pub and Bell School development, and information about grants (QE Chapel)
  • Guided tour of the Nature Reserve, 12 pm

For more details, or to help, contact [email protected] or Queen Edith’s ward councillors.

6th October               10 a.m. – 12 noon                                                                 Download a flyer: Community Event

Cambridge City Food Bank in need of your help

Cambridge City Foodbank is a local charity run by people from the city churches. It helps people in crisis by providing 3-day emergency boxes of food and other essentials while they are waiting for other care agencies to start work. Today, a representative visited St John’s Church to speak on how they are doing – and to request help.

The charity collects food – from supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, as well as from churches and schools and takes it to Pickfords on Clifton Road. There, it is boxed up to provide food boxes for three days. Those in need apply via the Citizens Advice Bureau, health visitor or other care agency. Food boxes are given out four times a week, from Cambridge Community Church, St Paul’s Church and Our Lady and the English Martyrs.

There is a box at St John’s Church on Hills Road. Every Sunday, whether you’re a member of the church or not, you can leave food there just before 10am or 6pm. St John’s is on Hills Road, opposite Homerton College and next to the EF Language School, near the Cavendish Avenue junction.

The Food Bank is always in need of people to collect at the supermarkets – and also for people to distribute the boxes. They are also looking for more warehouse space – if you know of any empty warehouses that could be lent by their owners for the Food Bank, get in touch with them: [email protected]

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Defend local pubs and independent shops

On Tuesday 10th July Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge, Julian Huppert, will propose new measures to defend local pubs and independent shops from being taken over. Under the current system, councils and local residents often have no opportunity to stop the process.

Julian will ask to bring a Bill preventing the demolition or change of use of a pub or local independent shop without planning permission. Planning permission would also be needed before premises or land could be used for a supermarket.

If you agree that pubs and independent shops need greater protection against being lost, please sign Julian’s petition here.

A community bakery for Cambridge?

Would you like to eat locally baked bread made from local ingredients? Cambake, an offshoot of Transition Towns, describes itself as being ‘for people in Cambridge that love bread – not taste-less, soul-less industrial bread but bread that still remembers the oven it was born in, made locally – from the finest locally produced ingredients.’

Locally, I enjoy the breads from Balzano‘s on Cherry Hinton Road, the filled Continental rolls at the Coffee House on Wulfstan Way and the cosmopolitan selection of loaves on Cambridge Market. We could certainly do with more ‘real bread’ in Cambridge.

CamBake is carrying out a survey – help them with their planning by telling them about your bread habits and hopes.