Who was Queen Edith?

Who was Queen Edith, and why is the south-eastern tip of Cambridge named after a queen who was born before the 11th-century architects had designed the castle?

When 21st-century architect Jeremy Lander moved to Nightingale Avenue in Queen Edith’s, he was intrigued as to how the area got its name. At the time he had no idea of the connection between his children’s school, the Queen Edith Primary School and King Harold, let alone an obscure Saxon noblewoman called Edith Swan Neck …

When Jeremy asked people why the area was named Queen Edith’s, he was told it was named after Queen Edith the wife of Edward the Confessor. He was left ‘unsatisfied’ by this explanation, and, in his own words, ‘dug a little deeper’.

He will be sharing his discoveries at Rock Road Library on Wednesday 2nd October with a talk entitled The story of a Saxon king, his lover, and a Cambridge suburb.

The event is being arranged by the Friends of Rock Road Library, and is free of charge, though donations are welcome. Refreshments are provided. No need to book; just turn up on the night. Doors open at 7.45pm.

Wednesday 2nd October, 8-9.30pm, Rock Road Library, 8-9.30pm.

Postscript: For those who were unable to get to Jeremy’s talk, here is a link to his post on Queen Edith’s identity and the history of our area: http://queen-ediths.co.uk/why-is-this-area-of-cambridge-called-queen-ediths/.

Lib Dems announce free school lunches for infants

At the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow last week, I heard the good news that all pupils at infant schools in England are to receive free school lunches from September 2014.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg used his speech to Liberal Democrat conference to make the formal announcement. In addition, disadvantaged students at sixth form colleges and FE colleges in England will also be eligible from next September. Money is also being provided for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, should their devolved parliaments choose to spend the money on free lunches.

Free school meals were one recommendation in The School Food Plan, commisioned by the Government and launched in July by Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent. They found that in pilots where all children had been given a free school dinner, students were academically months ahead of their peers.

Nick Clegg said:

“Teaching healthy habits young, and boosting attainment early, will bring the biggest benefits. Universal free school meals will help give every child the chance in life that they deserve, building a stronger economy and fairer society.”

In closing the Liberal Democrat Conference in Glasgow, Lib Dem Leader Nick Clegg re-emphasized the impact the Liberal Democrats are having in Government. Click here for a copy of his full speech.

The draft local plan and the green belt

local planCambridge  City Council has published its draft Local Plan, which sets the framework for future development in the city, and now is the time to give your views on it, for the government Planning Inspectorate to consider.

By law, local authorities must set a Local Plan for their areas, stipulating what kind of development can take place where. It covers employment and leisure facilities as well as housing, so it very much determines where people live and work and how they get about.  It is the master document against which individual planning applications are assessed, and incorporates local planning policies. For example, an important policy this time round is special protection for pubs, to preserve pubs as community facilities.

This Wednesday 28th August, there will be an exhibition on the options for the Cambridge Local Plan in the Hall at the Queen Emma Primary School, Gunhild Way, 2.30-7.30pm. You can also comment on line on the Council’s website set up for this purpose: http://cambridge.jdi-consult.net/ldf/

Cambridgeshire County Council‘s Transport Plan will also be on display. There will be officers from both councils to talk to.

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Morley Memorial School Fête this afternoon

feteToday, Saturday July 6, Morley Memorial Primary School holds its annual school fête.

There is something for everyone: face-painting, bouncy castles and trampolines for the under 8s, arts and crafts for the creative types, and plenty of scope for finding a bargain or something special from the various stalls, which include local businesses such as Phoenix Cards and Orchard Toys.

There will also be a wide range of stalls selling plants, cakes white elephant, books and toys.

Morley fêtes are well known for their great range of international food, with dishes from different parts of the world. This year, the school is welcoming special guests from Inder’s Kitchen.

1.00-3.30pm, Blinco Grove.

Congratulations, Queen Emma!

Queens' FederationWell done to Queen Emma Primary School, which has just received a ‘good school’ rating on its first OFSTED report. This is very impressive, as the main school has only been open for 18 months, and the nursery only 3 weeks!

The Queen Emma, on the old Netherhall site in Gunhild Way, is the sister school of the well established Queen Edith’s Primary School in Godwin Way. Both are run under the aegis of the Queens’ Federation.

The school was judged good in terms of overall effectiveness, and outstanding in two areas: pupil behaviour and leadership and management.

Click here to download a copy of the OFSTED report.RV5 Final 400316

Consultation on Children’s Centres

Cambridgeshire County Council Children’s Centre team will publish a consultation shortly about new arrangements for Children’s Centres in Cambridgeshire. Some changes are proposed to the current model which will see the merging of some of Cambridgeshire’s children’s centres. Children’s centres have developed in Cambridgeshire since 2005 under the Government’s Sure Start initiative to deliver early intervention and preventative services for families with children under 5 years of age.

Each centre serves a ‘reach’ area where there are between 900 and 1200 children under 5yrs. The April consultation will be about making some adjustments which will include proposals to form a smaller number of larger reach areas with some changes to management arrangements. At present there are no plans or suggestions that any children’s centre buildings should be closed. (more…)

Fair trade in Chesterton: One Step at a Time

fair tradeIt’s FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT – always a busy time for me and for other members of the Cambridge Fair Trade Group. On Tuesday morning, I caught an early bus to Chesterton Community College, to meet their staff and talk to their Year 11 students about the Cambridge Fair Trade Group.

I was welcomed with a big smile and a steaming mug of fairtrade tea by Chesterton’s Head of Humanities Kath Hutchinson, who told me all about the school’s journey towards fairtrade school status … ‘one step at a time’.

There’s a lot on. Also this week, Chesterton will be welcoming Jennifer Day of Traidcraft, and holding a fair trade tea party with cakes and Green & Black cookies. It all sounded extremely chocolatey and scrumptious. (more…)

How long does it take to paint a yellow line? Up to seven years in Conservative Cambridgeshire

Quizzing Cllr Tony Orgee about parking in QE

Quizzing Cllr Tony Orgee about parking in QE

Last December, Cambridgeshire County Council advertised a suite of Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) for parking restrictions in nearly 20 streets in Queen Edith’s – see previous post.

Many were intended to create some order out of chaotic commuter parking in the streets near Addenbrooke’s Hospital; a couple are to make school routes safer, eg Godwin Way/ Close.

Some of the proposals are ancient and pre-date most of the Queen Edith’s councillors: one proposal for Hinton Avenue responds to a petition presented to the County Concil in 2006.

The orders were advertised two months ago, coinciding with a broader review of parking across the south of Cambridge, the aptly named South Cambridge Parking Plan.

Consultations on the TROs and the parking plan both closed two months ago: the TROs on 17th December and the parking plan on the 21st December. Since then – a deafening silence.

The Council’s Highways officers can’t say what representations were received – it seems they haven’t yet read through them all properly. So the parking restrictions and the parking plan appear to have been … er, parked.

Meanwhile, many people in Queen Edith’s are asking me and other members of the Lib Dem Focus Team what’s going on … ‘When are we going to get our yellow lines?’

Cambridgeshire County Council held their full council meeting today and I took advantage of their public question slot to quiz the Cabinet Member responsible for parking. All he could tell me was that comments are still being ‘processed’, but he expects to be discussing them with local councillors in 2-3 weeks. So that’s something.

Parking Promenade

As I’d like Cllr Orgee to see just how clogged up with parked cars we are round here, I have invited him to come for a walk around Queen Edith’s and look at some of the most congested streets – and he’s accepted, so I’ll try and settle a day with him soon.

UPDATE: We have now agreed a date for our walkabout with Cllr Orgee: Wed 13th March.

Weekly police report for Queen Edith’s

Cycle theft continues to be a problem in Queen Edith’s, with thefts in Marshall Road and Wulfstan Way, as well as near Addenbrooke’s Hospital and Netherhall School.

There has been one domestic burglary in Queen Edith’s Way. Once again, the burglar got access with a gardening implement taken from the shed. Police recommend locking garages and sheds to avoid this happening amongst their home security tips.

PCSO Chris Blewett will be holding a police surgery at Addenbrooke’s Hospital on Monday November 26th, between 12pm and 1pm

Police priorities for South Cambridge

  • The South Area meeting at the Cherry Hinton Village Centre last night set five policing priorities for the coming four months:
  • Anti-social behaviour in Cherry Hinton
  • Mini-moto misuse in Cherry Hinton
  • Dangerous driving and parking outside schools in Queen Edith’s
  1. SpeedParking at Homerton Childrens Centreing in Church End, Cherry Hinton
  2. Domestic burglaries

The police recommended carrying on with the school parking and asked to add another, domestic burglaries. They asked to discharge the three Cherry Hinton objectives.

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