Reprieve for mobile libraries and roads maintenance

Cambridgeshire Lib Dem councillors are relieved that the County Council (Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee has had a change of heart on the axing of the mobile library service and cuts to highways maintenance (eg potholes) and will no longer recommend these cuts to the Council’s General Purposes Committee.

We were appalled that the Council was even considering ending the mobile library service. Sometimes the mobile library is the only contact people in rural areas have with the councils. Time and time again when I spent a day on the van, borrowers described it as ‘a lifeline’.

Potholes and cracked pavements are amongst the most frequent complaints that councillors receive. They make life so difficult for people tryjng to get about, whether by car, on foot or on a bike. Poor surfaces are particularly dangerous for older people, sometimes resulting in broken bones and hospitalisation. Cutting this budget would have been not only a false economy but a slap in the face for the people of Cambridgeshire, so I’m pleased that the committee saw sense and decided to maintain funding for this core service.

But we were disappointed that Conservative councillors voted to endorse:

stopping school crossing patrols
turning lights off at night
cutting grants to agencies such as the Citizens Advice Bureau — when the need for help with money and benefits grows ever more acute.

We were sorry that Labour councillors sat on their hands for the votes on the streetlighting switch-off, mobile libraries and the CAB grant. What was the point of their being at the meeting if they do not vote?
These cuts will be included in the budget recommendations to the Council’s General Purposes Committee, which meets later this month. You can help defend these services by writing to your county councillor.


CAB Advice Hub points

Advice hub

Cambridge Citizens Advice Bureau and has 16 touch screen kiosks giving advice on a range of issues, including housing, employment, debt and benefits. The kiosks make it easier for people to get advice, by providing it where people are, and in a variety of languages. Nine of them are earmarked for Cambridge City, funded by Cambridge City Council.

There are kiosks at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and the City Council’s Mandela House amongst other locations, and the CAB is looking for some more places in the city to put kiosks. They are visiting the City Council’s South Area meeting on 7th November to gather feedback. The meeting, open to all, starts at 7 p.m. and this item will be taken after public questions and the police report. If you cannot attend the meeting, do send any thoughts to me or one of the other councillors for Queen Edith’s, Trumpington or Cherry Hinton.

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