Save The Haven!

People outside building

Conservative-run Cambridgeshire County Council is planning to close The Haven, a supported living scheme in Wulfstan Way.

The Haven was purpose-built – only 13 years ago – for older people with mental health problems, but now the County Council is saying it’s not up to standard and must close.

The scheme comprises eight flats as well as communal rooms, a garden, a manager’s office and a bedroom for staff on night duty.

Residents moved to The Haven with the promise that they would not have to move again. They take part in a recovery programme there enabling them to develop confidence and become members of the community — both the ‘family’ at The Haven and also the local Queen Edith’s community.

If this very successful unit closes, the upheaval will have a profound impact on the lives and mental states of these vulnerable residents, who will take a long time to adjust and to learn to trust again. And the dedicated and experienced staff there will lose their jobs.

The local churches and other members of the community are running a petition to the County Council asking them to reconsider. I and your other Lib Dem councillors are supporting this and invite you to sign the petition at bit.ly/the_haven. This will be presented to the Conservative councillor responsible for adult care provision and her committee.

If you prefer to sign a paper form, download one here, or sign at St James’s Church, the Queen Edith Chapel, or St John’s Church. We would welcome any other local places that can display the petition.

The Haven – letter – CCC

What would be your top three choices for new mobility crossings?

18 years of dropped kerbs!

Could I have a dropped kerb on Blinco Grove, please?

That was the very first thing I was asked to do as a new councillor back in 1994 when I was first elected. The request came from a lady who used a wheelchair and needed a dropped kerb near her home, (‘mobility crossing’) in order to cross the road. I am sorry to say that I had a forest of bureaucracy to fight through before we got the dropped kerb. Nevertheless, it is a request that comes up time and time again.

I was pleased to help, but it was only when I tried to cross East Road wheeling a friend’s toddler in a pushchair that it really came home to me how difficult it is to do a simple thing like crossing the road if the varying levels of kerb and road mean your wheels don’t work. At the time, I drew a deep breath and heaved up the pushchair  – and thought about how much harder this would be for someone in a wheelchair.

Over the years I’ve been a councillor there have been many new dropped kerbs in Queen Edith’s. Although the public highways are really the responsibility of the County Council, the City Council has funded many dropped kerbs through its environmental improvements programmes. I think the most recent one round here is on Hills Road, to allow easier access from the hospital to Nightingale Avenue.

If you have ideas for new ones in the south of the city, please tell me or one of the other councillors. as there is a possibility we may have funding for a few new ones.