Cambridge Four Seasons Fair — have fun and save energy at the same time!

Tuesday 7th September 2010 marks the first Four Seasons Fair, which will be held at St James’s Church in Wulfstan Way. It runs from 5.00pm to 8.00pm The fair promises to help households in Cambridge with a wide variety of services available to the residents and entrance is FREE of charge.

The fair will showcase a range of services available to residents from the City Council as well as the police, fire service, and local clubs and societies.

The fair is being launched by Cambridge City Council to help people become more energy-efficient, as Queen Edith’s has high levels of energy use. There will be free low energy light bulbs and an EOn Powerdown for each household that attends the fair.

There will be something for everybody at the event as the City Rangers will be in attendance as will the City recycling team, local councillors, the Home Improvement agency, Queen Edith’s Medical Practice and many more.

The Council’s survey of the area suggests that households could save up to £300 a year off their energy bills if they were to take advantage of current grants available and with the advent of the feed in tariff where energy companies pay householders to generate electricity, the chance to earn extra money is also available.

The Womens Institute (W.I.) are planning to offer free refreshments at the fair and other stallholders are planning to show householders how they can save money as well as improve their own quality of life economically.

The stage is set for a really good evening for people of all ages and circumstances.

Drinking up time at the Queen Edith?

Councillors at the pubCambridge City Council has received a planning application on behalf of Punch Taverns (10/0815/FUL) to demolish the Queen Edith Pub (the only pub in the Queen Ediths ward) on Wulfstan Way and replace it with eight 4-bedroomed houses. I think this was a surprise to everyone.

Contrary to some suggestions, the City Council does not own the pub or the land on which it stands, only the forecourt — although it does own the shops on Wulfstan Way and much of the housing.

You can view the application here and make comments on the proposals, which will be taken into account by the Council. Please explain your reasons why you like/ dislike the proposals – e.g. the importance of the pub to the community and its needs, how the proposed new houses fit into the existing layout, any possible impact on neighbours such as overlooking, etc. Councillors have to follow national guidance when deciding whether or not to approve the application. as well as the Cambridge Local Plan, so you might like to look at that when making your comments.

If you would like to discuss the application and what factors will be taken into consideration in the decision on whether or not to grant planning permission, please get in touch with me or one of the other councillors. We would very much like to hear what you have to say about this. Please understand that because we will be taking the decision, we cannot commit ourselves one way or the other until the meeting itself, as we have to keep an open mind till we have heard all the arguments.

The application is likely to be determined by city councillors at the South Area Committee, which at present meets at Homerton College every two months. The pub decision will not be taken at the meeting next Thursday (9th Sept) because the Council is still  consulting on the plans but later in the year). Members of the public can speak at this meeting, either by way of a public question, petition or a statement about a planning application. We will, however, be discussing the improvement plans for the shops on Wulfstan Way, so you may find it interesting anyway. See my previous post for details.

The Cambridge News is now covering the story here .

Speak up for your local library

Rock Road LibraryCambridgeshire County Council is looking to save £2 million from its library budget — about 30%.

On Monday (August 9th) they launched a consultation on different services and facilities. There is a series of public meetings and roadshows as well as a questionnaire at libraries and online at the County’s webpage.

Views are sought on the following cuts:

  • possible new shared and/or externalized management and support
  • self-service machine and greater use of volunteers
  • streamlining the mobile library service
  • new support for Library Access Points
  • a review of library provision in the city and surrounding area

as well as ways of increasing income.

The meetings in the city are at Central Library: the first was on 10th August and the next is 9th September, 7.00 – 9.00 p.m.

The Library Garden Project website is being used as a discussion forum for the consultation.

Users of Rock Road Library in Queen Edith’s may also be interested in becoming a Friend of Rock Road Library, which supports the library by raising enthusiasm as well as funds, putting on various events.To join the Friends, contact the Membership Secretary Katie Knapton at 61 Rock Road. One of the benefits is 12 free DVD loans a year.

Two more library dates for your diary:

Saturday 4th September, 10.00 – 11.30 a.m: Second-hand book sale

Friday 24th September, 7.30 p.m.: Friends’ AGM and Library 75th birthday celebration

Mayor joins families at Nightingale Avenue party

Mayor opening the new MUGA at Nightingale Avenue

Thanks to all who came to the launch of the new facilities at Nightingale Avenue Recreation Ground last Saturday:

  • to the Mayor, Cllr Sheila Stuart, who cut the tape of the new games area and also cut the cake
  • to the CHYPPS team who ran the games and painted faces
  • to Mark Buckton, who ran the Bin Challenge and gave recycling tips
  • to Authentic Cakes, who made the cake
  • to the City Council’s Active Communities team who managed the series   of improvements to the recreation ground over the past few years
  • to James Day, who took this photo.

The games area can be used for a variety of ball games whatever the weather. The other recent enhancements have been:

  • a second tennis court
  • a revamped playground
  • a second tennis court
  • a path around the recreation ground that can be used by wheelchairs and pushchairs
  • recycling bins for bottles and cans
  • new benches

It was great to see a mixture of all ages enjoying the event and the sunshine!

New primary school contest

The two organizations bidding to run the new primary school on Gunhild  Way in Queen Edith’s will be presenting their proposals to the public at the Cambridge Professional Development Centre in Trumpington (CB2 9NL) this Thursday 15th July. There will be public displays from 5 to 6 p.m. before the presentations. The meeting is open to everyone.

There are just  two bidders: The Queen Edith Community Federation Group and the Roman Catholic Diocese of East Anglia.  You can read their full bids here, or see a summary and fill in a questionnaire here. If you can’t make the meeting, you can comment by contacting:

David Clark,  CYPS Infrastructure, Cambridgeshire County Council, Box CC1209, Castle Court, Castle Hill, Cambridge, CB3 0AP.

[email protected]

The new primary school will be on what is now Netherhall Lower School, off Gunhild Way and it is to cater for the ever rising numbers of children in the south of city. It is intended it will open in September 2011.

The Queen Edith’s bid includes proposals to create a catchment area of children from the existing Queen Edith Primary School catchment area, as well as those of Morley Memorial and Ridgeway. It has broad support, including from local councillors and from the Diocese of Ely.

The Roman Catholic bid covers a broader area, and in their own words, ‘will serve in the first instance, the Catholic community of South Cambridge’.

From police to planning, going to St Ives on the way… Cambridge City Council South Area meeting, 8th July

Cambridge City Council has four area committees, which take decisions on grants and other local matters, s well as planning applications.

Next Thursday (8th July), the South Area Committee meets at Homerton College, and will be discussing safer neighbourhoods (that’s council-speak for community
policing), licensing policy, a presentation on how people can view planning applications at the Council’s Customer Service Centre in Regent Street, grants and planning applications.

    The police will be presenting crime figures and reporting on their activities over the past quarter, and recommending priorities for the next. The public and councillors should be asking questions and commenting on those priorities. See the policing report here.The big change for planning is that people can visit Cambridge City Council’s new Customer Service Centre in Regent Street to view applications on line, or speak to a planning officer if they wish. The Council’s new online facility can be used to view plans and applications, leave comments and set up an alert about new
    applications where you live.
    We will be looking at community development grants for playgroups (a trip), residents’ associations (Christmas fun and a trip to St Ives)  and youth groups (camping kit). Although the committee covers Queen Edith’s, Cherry Hinton and Trumpington, there are no bids from groups in Queen Edith’s this time. If you are involved in a community group hat could use extra funds, please contact one of your councillors and we can explain the sorts of things that can be funded and to whom.

    The other decision to take is on environmental improvements. One is a survey for the Wulfstan Way shopping area to progress the already agreed works (see previous post on Wulfstan Way shops); the other is for a traffic calming scheme in Clarendon Road and Shaftesbury Avenue, subject to its getting the thumbs-up from public consultation. See teh details here.

    There are two planning applications: a retrospective application for a 2m fence round a house, the other for two new houses on Glebe Road.

Here is the agenda. I look forward to seeing you there!

If you can’t come along but would like me to raise an issue on your behalf, please let me know.


Come and party in the park at Nightingale Avenue – Launch Event 17th July



Saturday 17th July

3.00 – 5.00 p.m.



Families in Queen Edith’s are to be invited to party in the park to celebrate the opening of a new games area at the Nightingale Avenue Recreation Ground.

The event is being organised by myself and the other three Lib Dem councillors for the area and there will be games, sports and possibly face painting during the afternoon of Saturday, July 17th.

Cambridge Mayor, Sheila Stuart will open the new multi-use games area for basketball, volleyball, netball and football at the Nightingale Avenue recreation ground, marking the culmination of a series of improvements to the park.

These include an improved children’s playground, extra tennis court and a pushchair and wheelchair friendly path around the edge of the park. New cycle racks and benches have also been added. So there should be something for all ages!

We have been working on making the park better to serve different people’s needs for some years. Many of the ideas have come from residents of the area, notably the path round the outside of the rec, a bright idea that the council was able to make a reality.

I hope local families will come and bring a picnic to enjoy the celebrations and help us officially open the new area.

Please tell your friends!

Midsummer Fair, thanks King John

Midsummer Fair, starting this Wednesday on Midsummer Common, is one of the big dates in Cambridge’s civic calendar.

 King John granted permission for a fair on the Common back in 1211: in those days it was an opportunity for different merchants to meet and trade their wares. For more information see here. These days it is more of a funfair than a trade fair, with rollercoasters, ghost trains and, of course, the ubiquitous dodgem cars.

It is still authorized by Parliament under an Act of 1850. When the City Council wished to alter the time of the opening proclamation from the afternoon to the evening, we had to get government permission!

The tradition is upheld by a procession of the Mayor, council chief executive, macebearers and councillors, often joined by the ‘chain gang’, civic dignitaries from neighbouring councils. There is a civic proclamation of the Fair by the Chief Executive and Town Crier with a warning about good behaviour, then the Mayor, Bailiffs and councillors throw newly minted pennies at the crowd before proceeding to a crazy circuit on the dodgem cars.

The opening ceremony is 6.30pm on Wednesday.

Queen Edith’s en fête


Two more summer events in the community for you to spend your money and have a good time at:

Summer Fair this Saturday afternoon (3-5 p.m. 19th June) at St John the Evangelist on Hills Road. Cakes, plants, tombola, games and cream teas  which are likely to be home-made, scones, jam and all.

Summer Fête at Morley Memorial Primary School on Saturday 26th June, 12 noon – 2.30 p.m. Books, toys, games, hand-made goods and an awesome array of things to eat from the many different countries represented amongst Morley families!

Party in the park — to celebrate new facilities at Nightingale Avenue Recreation Ground

Have you visited the Nightingale Avenue rec’ lately?

The City Council has put lots of extra kit in over the last few years — new climbing frames and spinners in the children’s playground, a second tennis court, a wheel-friendly path round the park, and most recently, a multi-use games area that can be used for basketball, volleyball, netball or football if, like today, it’s raining and the grass is not suitable to play on. The games area is constructed from wood specially chosen to mimimise noise and as the non-wood parts are dark leaf-green, it blends in well with the local environment.

There’s also some new benches and cycle racks. The other things I really like are the recycling bins for bottles and cans – which arrived this morning.

When I first raised this at the Council, the prevailing view was that people wouldn’t bother to recycle when they’re in a public place but if you are recycling at home then why not when you’re out and about too?

Abbey Pool and Romsey Rec have got some bottle and can bins too and I’m hoping we’ll collect more than they do!

I am currently working on arranging a summer party on Nightingale
Avenue, to celebrate all the improvements, as well as publicise leisure activities and events this summer.

I’ll post details when they are settled; in the meantime, if you would
like me to update you by email, drop me a line at [email protected]