Environmental blitz in Queen Edith’s

Fag butts outside Addenbrooke's

Fag butts outside Addenbrooke’s

In May, the City Council’s Refuse & Environment & Streets and Open Spaces teams ran a ‘ward blitz’ in Queen Edith’s, focussing on areas highlighted by councillors as needing attention.

They will be reporting on this work at the next South Area meeting as well as reporting on how they have addressed specific problems identified by councillors. In Queen Edith’s, these include:

  • verge parking on Mowbray and Fendon Roads
  • smoking-related litter in streets near Addenbrooke’s and Long Road Sixth Form College
  • dog fouling at Nightingale Rec and in Gunhild Way, Godwin Way and Godwin Close; purchase of dog bag dispenser for Nightingale Rec
  • deep cleanse of Holbrook Park

At the meeting there will be a chance to ask questions and raise any issues.

7pm, Cherry Hinton Village Centre, Colvill Road, Monday 29th June.

 

 

 

 

201Environment report June 2015

Queen Edith’s being pushed eastwards!

QE red wardThe Boundary Commission has just published proposals for changes to the Cambridgeshire electoral divisions, as part of its periodic review. The Commission is charged with arranging the boundaries of the divisions so that they all have roughly the same ratio of electors per councillor. For example, at present, Cherry Hinton has 6,344 voters, while Market Ward in the city centre has 8,495. The new boundaries are intended to come into effect in 2017, when we next have Cambridgeshire County Council elections, so the figures take account of projected housing growth, eg the Bell School. The other factor is that the total number of councillors will be reduced from 69 to 61.

This review is for the county council elections and will not automatically change the Cambridge City Council ward boundaries, although the City Council may well follow suit so that people are in the same voting areas for all local elections. Who knows what impact it will have on a future parliamentary boundary review? Maybe there will be a chance to address the odd situation of Queen Edith’s having a different MP to the rest of Cambridge, but there are no guarantees.

Although Queen Edith’s is in between the two extremes with just over 7,000 voters, the proposal is to shift us eastward in order to get the numbers right on other wards which will have greater housing growth.

The Commission wants to move the odd side of Hills Road and everybody to its west into Trumpington, and to move parts of Cherry Hinton Road and streets leading off it into Queen Edith’s. Ironically, that would echo the ward boundaries before the last review. We’d lose Addenbrooke’s and Long Road Sixth Form College, but gain Hills Road Sixth Form College. Although the colleges don’t have any residents, it makes sense for the institutions that affect a community to be represented by the same councillor.

The Commission is also proposing to add the Greystoke Road area and the Cherry Hinton chalk pits – which have more of a Cherry Hinton feel to them than a Queen Edith’s one. It makes the ward a very strange shape. Here’s a map: https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/4143

The Commission is inviting your comments up until 6th July.

Welcome to Papworth but pleas for 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 councillors welcomed the new development, Queen Edith’s councillor George Pippas 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. He 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 George made was to reduce the staff car park charges to make it affordable and attractive to be used by the staff. He also called on 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 George abstained, because his requests fell on deaf ears!

Got a local grotspot?

abandoned bikeCouncillors are being asked to nominate areas for special attention by the City Council’s Enforcement team, which acts on a range of environmental nuisances such as fly tipping, litter, graffiti, verge parking, abandoned vehicles, and dog-related offences. (NB This team does not deal with parking nuisance.)

I am aware of many local grotspots for litter, such as near the sixth-form college and in passageways between streets, eg Hulatt Road; and we are well aware of the littering around Addenbrooke’s, especially smoking-related rubbish. Bikes (possibly stolen ones) are frequently dumped in the park or passageway near my home, while dog fouling is another recurrent complaint.If you haven’t already been in touch about your local grotspot, please contact me or George, Tim or Viki.

At the South Area meeting next Monday, December 8th, we will nominate areas for action, and decide sites for new bins. The meeting is open to the public and is at the Cherry Hinton Village Centre, starting at 7pm. Here is a link to the agenda.

 

Success for Fendon Road roundabout campaign

fendon_7875_WEBThe Lib Dem campaign for remedial work on theFendon Road roundabout has resulted in allocation of transport funding by the Cambridgeshire County Council..

The roundabout connects Queen Edith’s Way, Fendon Road and Mowbray Road and is ua key route to Addenbrooke’s Hospital. It is used by more than 300 cyclists an hour, yet has the second worst cycle accident record in the city. It is also so difficult to cross for pedestrians that some people even take a taxi to the hospital rather than risk their lives crossing the road.

Queen Edith’s City Councillor, George Pippas has been campaigning for a crossing and Cllr Tim Moore ran a traffic count about this time last year, covering the morning and evening rush hours. In just one hour he witnessed two near-miss accidents involving pedestrians and a further incident where a cyclist was forced to jump on the pavement to avoid being hit by a vehicle.

Yesterday Tim attended the County Council’s Economy and Environment Committee to describe his findings and to support the project.

Now the junction, which is a main route for children going to school and students heading for the city’s sixth form colleges, will be improved with a share of a £2.3 million Cambridgeshire County Council improvement fund, which will also pay for improvements to Cherry Hinton Road and Queen Edith’s Way, where the current dual use for cyclists and pedestrians causes many conflicts.

I am relieved that we are finally going to get improvements and a crossing that are so desperately needed at this junction to keep cyclists and pedestrians safe. I am pleased our concerns have been heard and acted upon so that we can put in place safety measures and hopefully reduce the accident risk at this junction.

We did it! Busway lighting agreed

Busway 1Cambridgeshire County Council has agreed to provide LED lighting on the guided bus bridleway – a victory for all the 230 people who petitioned for lights in the interests of public safety. The new lights will go along the Busway maintenance track from Cambridge railway station to Trumpington Park and Ride.

The County Council’s Economy and Environment Committee voted almost unanimously for it yesterday, following speeches in support from myself and  Trumpington county councillor Barbara Ashwood as well as Jim Chisholm of the Cambridge Cycling Campaign.

I am delighted that at last we will be getting lighting along the bridleway. Usage doubled in the first year alone and there are now over 2,000 journeys a day, including many peoplewalking or cycling to work. Because it is completely unlit, it is unsafe in the early morning and evening, especially now the clocks have gone back. There have been accidents to individuals, and there are many who won’t use it after dark because of personal safety concerns.  This is very good news for everyone who uses the cycleway. Thank you to everyone who has supported this campaign.

VIKI SANDERS FOR QUEEN EDITHS

Viki 2014_1The local Liberal Democrats have chosen Addenbrooke’s nurse Viki Sanders to be our  candidate for the Queen Edith’s by-election on November 13, caused by the resignation of former Labour councillor Sue Birtles.

Viki, a sister in the fracture clinic at the city’s Addenbrooke’s Hospital, served a four-year term on the council between 2007 and 2011, deciding afterwards to support her daughter who was taking GCSEs at the time.  During her time as councillor she played a key role in improving local facilities from securing dropped pavement kerbs to help disabled people to the facelift of the Wulfstan Way shops. She also campaigned for more comprehensive gritting of pavements during the winter. In the intervening years she has remained an active campaigner on local issues raised by neighbours and colleagues and supported us at community events such as sales and the annual Christmas carols.

Born in Ely, Viki, of Hulatt Rd moved to Cambridge and attended Chesterton Community College, then Long Road Sixth Form College before nursing training at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

I have known Viki and her family for more than 20 years and worked with her previously on the city council. I appreciated her common sense approach to sorting out problems for local people as well as her sense of humour.

The by-election is for a new councillor to sit on Cambridge City Council until May 2016. You need to be on the electoral register, but if you are eligible to vote and are not on the register, you can be added up till 28th October. If you are away, you can vote by post or by proxy but need to apply by 29th October. Contact [email protected]

Queen Edith’s residents say ‘No’ to Addenbrooke’s smoking litter!

Those little brown things aren’t flowers!

Addenbrooke’s Hospital introduced a total ban on smoking this year. An unintended consequence has been that people go just off site to smoke, and leave litter behind. The smokers congregate in local streets such as Red Cross Lane, and residents are annoyed about their loss of privacy as well as by the copious litter left behind — not only cigarette butts but sandwich packets and drink cans too. The Liberal Democrat City Council is clearing up after the smokers by providing more litter bins, at some expenses.

My colleague Cllr George Pippas has called on the hospital to provide somewhere for people to smoke on site. We hope that Addenbrooke’s will take steps to stop staff and visitors causing nuisance to local residents in this way.

Floating bus stops, what do you think?

floatingbusstopHills Road is to benefit from over a million pounds of government funding for a new road layout that aims to improve conditions for pedestrians, bus users and cyclists. There is a plan for segregated cycle lanes in three of the main roads into the city: Hills Road, Trumpington Road and Huntingdon Road.

An innovative feature of the scheme will be ‘floating bus stops’, which have proved successful in Brighton and London. This will avoid the danger of cyclists overtaking buses at stops, but it will be important to make sure it is safe for bus passengers.

The County Council is running a consultation begins next week, with exhibitions and events at various local centres. There has already been one at St John’s Church and there are more at Addenbrooke’s (Friday March 14th, 11.00am-2pm) and the Perse School ( Wednesday March 26th, 6,30-8.30pm).

For full details, see http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/CMSWebsite/Apps/News/Details.aspx?ref=1330

The meeting will also include a presentation from the neighbourhood police and planning applications, including one for flats in Queen Edith’s Way – yes, more flats.

The meeting begins at 7pm, with an Open Forum, at which anyone can ask questions or make statements.

Cambridge Park and Ride parking charges: to be decided on Tuesday

P&RThe Tory Cabinet at Cambridgeshire County Council is to vote on parking charges for the Cambridge Park and Ride sites on Tuesday.

The rot set in last September, when the Tories proposed a £1 charge, but the vote on Tuesday will be on a schedule of parking charges, which starts at a £1 but goes up to an eye-watering £30 for a longer stay.

There have been nearly 200 objections, focussing on shifting the parking elsewhere and the threat to the Cambridge evening economy.

I objected, as I fear that even a £1 charge will displace parking to residential streets, which in this area are already blighted by commuter parking. There is an amendment for new parking restrictions in Babraham Road itself, which will stop parking on the highway and on the grass verge and this is welcome – but I do not think this will be enough. Once away from the Park and Ride site, a commuter might as well park elsewhere and catch an ordinary bus. My objection

Park & Ride was introduced to keep cars out of Cambridge city centre and the charging for parking, on top of the bus fare, is a regressive move. While the P&R sites need to make more money, we in my party do not believe this is a wise way of raising it, and would prefer the Council to look at other ways of raising revenue, eg retail or catering at the sites, or raising the bus operator’s departure charge.

The £10 charge will be a lot to pay for low paid shop workers if they work long shifts, and jeopardises the evening economy, as it will be costly to do any shopping or socialising in the city after a day’s work. It will have an additional sting at the Babraham Road Park & Ride site, which is closest to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in my ward: it could well catch people who have to stay at the hospital longer than they expect to, for medical reasons, even the newly bereaved. There is an amendment to the original charging schedule to make this 18 hours instead of 12. I hope this is accepted.

The decision on the charging structure is to be made by the County Council Cabinet on Tuesday. You can read the report and recommendations here: http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/CMSWebsite/Apps/Committees/AgendaItem.aspx?agendaItemID=9419