South Area Labour chair moves local planning applications to the Guildhall

Cambridge city councillors will determine six planning applications on 19th November – half of them for sites in Queen Edith’s and the other half for Trumpington. If you want to speak on the applications or listen to the debate, you will need to go into town, as they are being heard not locally at the South Area meeting, but at the Guildhall.

All three of the Queen Edith’s applications have objections to them and are controversial, so it is surprising that the meeting is not to take place in the area where people live. It is a regressive step to take local decision-making out of the community and require residents to go to the Council rather than the other way round, but possibly a sign of what we can expect now that the committee is chaired by a Labour councillor.

Here is an agenda, and a short summary of the applications in Queen Edith’s:

  • 12/0956/CLUED – Cantabrigian RUFC, Sedley Taylor Road |Certificate of Lawfulness for the car park at the HRSFC sports pavilion to be used as such
  • 12/1033/FUL – 100 Glebe Road |New house to replace existing garage
  • 12/1020/FUL – 167 Queen Edith’s Way| Extension

For details of these applications use this link   http://idox.cambridge.gov.uk/online-applications/ and enter the reference number.

The meeting starts at 7.30 p.m. and will be in the Committee Rooms at the Guildhall. It is open to the public but you can only speak if you have made a written representation to the application on which you wish to speak. You also need to give notice to the Committee Manager by noon on the 16th November.

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.