Residents’ parking – make your mind up time for Queen Edith’s

Marshall RoadLast year, I ran an informal survey on parking in the north-west corner of Queen Edith’s — the streets opposite the colleges on Hills Road. Residents there experience heavy commuter parking from the sixth form college as well as Addenbroooke’s, Cambridge Leisure and other businesses. Many houses in the streets there do not have their own drives, so residents struggle to park their own cars in the locality.

My survey resulted in a 2-1 majority in favour of parking controls, including residents’ parking. It has taken much longer to move things on than I would have liked, but  Cambridgeshire County Council will be asking residents if they want a residents’ parking scheme. This will take the form of an official consultation; if there is a majority in favour, the Council will launch the statutory process.

Morley area

Morley area

The streets included will be: Elsworth Place, Rathmore Road, Hartington Grove, Rock Road, Blinco Grove and Magnolia Close, Marshall Road, and the sections of Hills Road and Cherry Hinton Road which adjoin these streets.

Residents will very soon be receiving a mailing from Cambridgeshire County Council outlining the proposals. This will include a map showing the proposals, and there will also be information on display at Rock Road Library. You can respond either using the form provided, or on line.

For information on residents’ parking in Cambridge, see http://amandataylor.focusteam.org/2016/10/28/residents-parking-frequently-asked-questions/.

Queen Edith’s to stay single!

New Queen Edith's county council divison

New Queen Edith’s county council divison

The Local Government Boundary Commission has made its final recommendations on the new county division boundaries – and Queen Edith’s is to stay as an independent division, and NOT be merged with Trumpington, despite their earlier recommendations.The new division will be larger than the current one, with  an estimated 8,342 electors compared to 7,694 now.

Queen Edith’s moves eastward, losing ground in the west and gaining some in the north and east. Part of Long Road, most of the western side of Hills Road, Luard Road and Close and Sedley Taylor Road will return to Trumpington, where they used to be before the last boundary changes; and parts of Cherry Hinton Road and its side roads will come into Queen Edith’s. Institution-wise, we will lose a hospital and a university college; we will gain a chalk pit, a caravan park, cinema and bowling alley.

They listened

The Commission had a change of heart after reading submissions from local people. Over 40 submissions opposed the proposal for a two-member Trumpington & Queen Edith’s division, plus several others who opposed double divisions in general. There was just one submission in favour of the merger. A big thank you to everybody who considered the recommendations and made submissions.

The Commission writes:

‘We have adopted the single-member divisions of Trumpington and Queen Edith’s, which take into account evidence received from local respondents that Trumpington and Queen Edith’s should be in separate divisions.

The majority of local residents in the Queen Edith’s area of Cambridge were opposed to our proposed two-member Trumpington & Queen Edith’s division. They preferred the division to be split into two single-member divisions. We have modified our recommendations and propose a single-member Queen Edith’s division. We consider this division effectively balances our three statutory criteria and it forms part of our final recommendations.’

The final step is for the recommendations to be put before parliament. Subject to parliamentary scrutiny the new boundary will come into force at the county council elections next May. City council and parliamentary boundaries remain the same until they too are reviewed.

Boundary review

TQEThe Boundary Commission is re-consulting yet again on its new county council division boundaries, following complaints about the last, rather rushed, phase of consultation.

You can see their recommendations on the Boundary Commission website at: http://www.lgbce.org.uk/current-reviews/eastern/cambridgeshire/cambridgeshire-county-council.

The number of divisions (voting areas) is going down by roughly 10%. Cambridge will in future have only 12 councillors representing it on the County Council instead of 14, as at present.

The big difference for us is that Queen Edith’s no longer appears on the map as a separate division, but would be merged with Trumpington to create a huge double division running from the Cherry Hinton chalk pits up to the M11, projected to contain over 16,000 people by 2020. It would be represented by two county councillors.

As your county councillor, I want Queen Edith’s to stay as a division on its own, as we are very different from Trumpington and the two areas have different priorities and needs. We have suggested that the Boundary Commission should keep the two divisions distinct by drawing a dividing line down Hills Road, where it sat before the last review.

Please have a look and let the Commission know what you think. The last (hopefully!) consultation phase is open until 20th June.

The types of questions the Commission is asking at this stage are:

a.    Do the proposed electoral divisions reflect local communities?

b.    How do you think the proposals can be improved whilst maintaining electoral equality?

c.    Are the names of the proposed divisions right?

To comment:

Write on the Boundary Commission’s website: https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/4143

email [email protected]

or write to:

The Review Officer (Cambridgeshire), LGBCE, 14th Floor Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP
 
 Amanda’s LGBCE submission 0516
Please write before 20th June.

Speedwatch in Queen Edith’s Way

SpeedWatch 2015-02-13 QEWSpeeding is a frequent cause of complaint to councillors – and most people are saying, ’Slow down!’  Fast traffic is intimidating, putting people off walking and cycling, or letting their children do so. The result: more motor traffic. Speed causes accidents – police say it is the cause of about a third of traffic collisions – at worst, it results in injury or death.

Cambridge is changing the speed limit in residential roads, and the 20mph signs should be coming to Queen Edith’s next – but as we all know, some motorists flout speed limits, either through carelessness; or worse, because they don‘t care.

Police do their best to enforce speed limits, and tackling anti-social driving is a priority in this area; but they cannot be everywhere at once. So how about some community action?

SPEEDWATCH enables volunteers to address speed concerns in their own neighbourhoods. Teams of three people set up roadside speed monitors. When a vehicle passes, the monitor flashes up the speed the driver is doing. Volunteers clock vehicles that are over the limit, and police then follow up with letters of advice.

2016-02-15 13_53_29-Cambridgeshire Maps

Accidents in Queen Edith’s

Jennifer Page-Croft of Wulfstan Way and I met PCSOs Michaela Bright and Decca Riondino for a training session – you can see us here in our yellow Speedwatch tabards. We chose Queen Edith’s Way to practise in, as it’s a road that generates a lot of complaints.

The officers showed us how to set up the signs and speed monitoring device, and how to record the cars. You record the details of the cars exceeding the limit: speed and time, vehicle colour and – slightly harder for me – the make and model.

If you’re one of the people anxious or annoyed about speeding in the area, can I invite you to get involved? We need some more people in the south of Cambridge to make this work.

The police have another training session next Tuesday evening at Parkside Police Station. I’m told there are even a couple of parking spaces (priority for people with disabilities).
Tuesday 23rd February 6.30-8.00pm
If you’d like to attend, email [email protected]

Boundary Commission wants to merge Queen Edith’s with Trumpington!

The Boundary Commission has just published yet another proposal for Cambridgeshire county council divisions. This time, they are proposing to create a super-ward comprising Queen Edith’s and Trumpington. Here is a map: as you can see, we would be the largest division in the city, and there would be two county councillors.

You can make a submission on the further draft recommendations up till 30th November by sending an e-mail to [email protected], or by writing in to the following address:

   The Review Officer (Cambridgeshire)
   Local Government Boundary Commission for England
   14th Floor Millbank Tower
   21-24 Millbank
   London
   SW1P 4QP

Parking survey in the Morley area

Working witMarshall Roadh residents, I am surveying the streets in the north of Queen Edith’s on parking problems.

The streets suffer from a daily influx of visitors: students, office workers, shoppers, Leisure Centre visitors – and even hospital staff. This severely limits the parking spaces for  local people, and there has also been dangerous parking, cars on the pavement, blocked drives, damage and petty crime.

Parking is a problem throughout Queen Edith’s, but it makes life particularly difficult in the older housing opposite the sixth form college and Homerton, as many of the houses have no drives.

Parking controls for some streets in the area have been agreed twice, in 2004 and 2009, but then not implemented by the County Council due to policy changes.

Residents ran a petition to Hills Road VI Form College earlier this year asking them to stop their students from parking in residential streets. I am working with some of the residents and with County Council officers  charged with addressing parking issues in Cambridge. Following a meeting and a walkabout with the officers, we are now gauging the support for parking controls – which could include a residents’ parking scheme*. If you live between Blinco Grove and Rathmore Road, you should receive a survey through your letterbox soon.

*For more information on how residents’ parking schemes work, including permits for visitors and medical professionals, see http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/info/20018/parking_permits_and_fines/9/parking/2

Guided Busway lights are going in!

Cones for the trenches for the lights

Cones for the trenches for the lights

Amanda with one of the new light columns

The new lights are in hand!

At long last, work has begun to instal lights on the bridleway along the Guided Busway.

This is the culmination of a campaign that started in 2012, with a LightTheCycleway! petition presented to the Conservative County Council Cabinet requesting lighting on the southern section of the Busway, between the railway station and Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

Trenching work began on Monday near the Hauxton Road bridge, and column positions have been marked out this week. The plan is to complete the lighting by the autumn, in time for the darker evenings. Here’s a County Council document with more information.

See background on the reasons for the lighting.

 

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.

Queen Edith’s Labour councillor resigns her seat: by-election set for 13th November

rosettesQueen Edith’s Labour councillor Sue Birtles resigned her city council seat last Tuesday. We do not know the reasons for her standing down after little more than two years as a councillor.

If councillors resign in the spring, their successors can be elected in May at the same time as the annual council election. The timing of Sue’s resignation mean we shall have a by-election so as not to leave people unrepresented until the May 2015 elections.

This will take place on Thursday 13th November.

If you are new in Queen Edith’s and not yet registered to vote, you can do so until 28th October. If you need a postal or proxy vote, the deadline is 29th October. You can register to vote and apply for a postal or proxy vote by contacting the City Council: [email protected]

https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/sites/www.cambridge.gov.uk/files/documents/queen-ediths-ward-casual-vacancy-september-2014.pdf

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.