Cambridge South Area: streetlighting Q&A plus new layout for Cherry Hinton High Street

The next South Area meeting is at St John’s Church Hills Road on Monday 30th March and here is the agenda.

The County Council’s streetlighting contractor Balfour Beatty will be sending a representative to explain the lighting contract, and answer questions about replacements in Queen Edith’s.

There will be reports on changes to the road layout in Cherry Hinton and Hills Road, and environmental services activity. Finally, the committee will vote on grants to community groups.

The meeting is open to the public and there is a slot at the beginning of the meeting to ask questions of councillors. Sometimes questions can be answered on the spot, and if questions highlight issues that need to be addressed, they will be taken up by councillors after the meeting.

Get fresh with Rock Abundance: coming to Cherry Hinton Road this Friday

ROCK ABUNDANCE: “One person’s glut is another person’s feast”

Were you lucky enough to catch the Transition Cambridge pop-up stall at Rock Road Library last Saturday? I was, and went home happily with some beautiful sweet peas, a little jar of redcurrant jelly, and a prickly cucumber. The idea is that you take along any spare produce from your garden, and swap it for someone else’s superfluity.

This Friday, the group will hold its second ‘Rock Abundance’ stall outside the Blazing Saddles bike shop at 102 Cherry Hinton Road – that’s on the corner of Rock Road, for those who haven’t already discovered this gem of a bike shop.

It’s a brilliant idea: you just take along any home-grown (or foraged) fruit, vegetables, flowers and herbs; and you swap them for your neighbours’ goodies. Even if you don’t have anything to take, you can take produce and make a donation. When Rock Abundance took place at the library donations went to the Friends of Rock Road Library for community events; this time they will go to the Homerton Children’s Centre community garden. Any excess food will be distributed to FoodCycle or other local charities.

sweet peasThe stall is just there for an hour, between 5.30 and 6.30pm on Friday – set up an alarm so you don’t miss it!

Further details: www.rockabundance.org.uk (Facebook: /RockAbundance; twitter @RockAbundance) [email protected]; or telephone Rebecca Jones, volunteer and first co-ordinator: 07792 531 400.

Cambridgeshire volunteers first winners of new award

When Cambridgeshire libraries put out a call for volunteers a couple of years ago, both the Library Service and the Friends were delighted with the numbers of people who came forward. At Rock Road Library, people come to help with gardening, reading with children, giving talks, and telling stories. I’ve seen people of all ages taking part, from the under-8s to the over-80s.

Now the willingness of local people to get stuck in with supporting these great community services has been recognized with a special award.

Cambridgeshire’s Library and Archive Service has been presented with the Five Star Focus Award for its volunteering programme by Volunteering, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, a partnership of Volunteer Centres.

Not only that, but the Library & Service is the first winner in the county.

Cambridgeshire Libraries, and Archives have a wide range of valuable volunteers of all ages – from Computer Buddie and Rhymetime Assistants to the Library at Home service.

Anyone interested in a volunteering opportunity with Cambridgeshire Libraries and Archives can find out more on the Cambridgeshire County Council website, at http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/leisure/libraries/community.htm

Fancy a pint? Decision on a new ‘Queen Edith’ this week

Queen EdithIn three days’ time, we shall know whether we are to have a drinking hole once more in Queen Edith’s.

There was for many years a pub called The Queen Edith in Wulfstan Way. The definite article is appropriate, sinced it was the only pub in the Queen Edith’s ward.. The owners, Punch Taverns, didn’t support the pub properly, and in 2010 they applied to Cambridge City Council to knock it down and sell the site for housing. The application went to the South Area Committee in November 2010, which I chaired at that time.

Planning officers recommended councillors accept the application; however, we threw it out because we believed that the pub represented an important community facility – see previous post.

Sadly, although we had rescued the pub from the JCBs, we didn’t manage to save it from the VAT man. Just a few weeks later, the pub closed for financial reasons and it’s been boarded up ever since.

In 2012, it was sold to Danescroft Commercial Ltd who also have designs on the site: http://www.danescroft.co.uk/project-profiles/current-projects/queen-edith/. They too have applied to knock down the existing building, but the difference between Danescroft and Punch Taverns is that they plan a mixed scheme – 12 flats plus a new community pub with accommodation. That is what councillors will vote for or against on Wednesday.

The planning officer handling the application is recommending approval on the basis that ‘the redevelopment will provide a new public house, thereby retaining the existing community use on the site’. See the City Council’s website for the full report.

Not just for children…

trim trailNightingale Recreation Ground is going to have a trim trail, which will give people of all ages the opportunity to keep fit in the open air.

This is being funded by building developers’ ‘Section 106’ contributions.

A trim trail was one of the ideas put forward by residents at a seminar last autumn on ideas for improving the local community, and Cambridge City Council is consulting on the specifics, such as the location within the park, and what equipment should be included.

Your views are valuable whether you are a possible user of the trim trail, or a user of the existing facilities. Please have a look at the on line survey, and say what you think:

https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/fitness-equipment-consultation

and please share the survey with anyone you know who lives in the area. Closing date is 12th July.

What is a ‘trim trail’? 

The term ‘trim trail’ usually means a series of wooden exercise stations, scattered in parkland or other locations beside a jogging or walking trail, which can be used to develop balance, strength and co-ordination. They are suitable for both adults and children, and the individual stations are scientifically designed to provide a range of exercise. Most have simple instructions attached and can include balance beams, sit-up bars, chin-up bars, parallel bars, and more challenging feats such as pole climbs and ladder walks.

You can see trim trails locally at Romsey Recreation Ground and Cherry Hinton Hall.

 

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.

 

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

A council grant for your group – apply in September, enjoy in 2013

Cambridge City Council gives community development and leisure grants to community groups, sports teams, social clubs, residents’ associations etc. The money could help with events, equipment or outings.

Here is a list of the types of organization and activity that attract grant funding:
  • Organisations that provide activities and services to people who are disadvantaged or marginalised by their social or economic circumstances
  • Organisations that enable people to improve their own well being and participate in their communities
  • Organisations that enable people to participate in making decisions and influence the services that affect their lives
  • Activities which increase people’s awareness of the city’s cultural diversity, and provides opportunities to celebrate it
  • Activities which bring people together to identify common issues and bring about positive changes in their communities
  • High levels of user involvement in identifying local needs and developing projects which respond to those needs
  • Organisations which develop and deliver sustainable solutions to social and economic challenges

Grants for Queen Edith’s, Cherry Hinton and Trumpington are assessed by the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, which makes recommendations to councillors at the South Area Committee, which meets approximately every two months. The next deadline is 30th September and the grants will be decided in December.

For more information on grants, and to download forms and eligibility rules, see the Council’s website or download a leaflet here: AC publicity leaflet

Contact the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation on Cambridge 410535.