The Queen Edith’s Lib Dem Focus Team has a new councillor, Cllr Colin McGerty. In yesterday’s City Council elections, Colin polled 1,259 votes to become our new city councillor for the next four years.
Here is the result:
Colin McGerty, Liberal Democrat: 1259 votes (44.2%)
Dan Greef, Labour: 827 votes (29.0%)
Manas Deb, Conservative: 543 votes (19.1%)
Joel Chalfen, Green: (27.7%)
Thank you to everyone who supported Colin and the Liberal Democrats, to our opponents for an honest and high-quality contest, and to the Queen Edith’s Community Forum for another fine hustings event.
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.
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.
Queen 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]
Rock Road Library is looking set to be a bit of a bear garden this Saturday.
First off, there’s the regular Rhyme Time and Story Time sessions for young children. These events are run by two lively and inspiring storytellers, Judith and Judy. The number of children grows every time: what more can I say?
Next is a Teddy Bears’ Picnic, organized by the Friends of Rock Road Library. Bears and their owners will get to see the new garden benches for the first time, as they will be unveiled at the picnic. These are no ordinary benches, but the first democratically elected benches I have heard of. Normally people get elected to se
ats, but these benches were voted for by local people, when presented with a choice of different bench designs last year.
The latest news is that a celebrity bear is visiting to join in the fun – the Bookstart Bear, whom you’ll know if you have young children, as Bookstart Bear is the mascot of the Bookstart reading programme for babies and toddlers. Bookstart Bear will be unveiling the new benches as well as meeting children.
So here is the programme:
11.30 Picnic in the library garden and unveiling of the new benches
Children should bring a rug, a picnic and their favourite teddy bear or other furry friend.
We campaigned on a range of key issues in the Queen Edith’s ward, including roads & pavements maintenance, parking management, road safety and policing, as well as community amenities, such as playgrounds and the local library.
Lib Dems in Queen Edith’s have a tradition of working all the year round, but the election campaign proper began in March, with lots of lovely snow! Thank you to those of you who bravely opened their doors to us. Between then and the belated appearance of spring, we called on as many people as we could, and had a wealth of conversations about the local area, garnering many good ideas as well as things that need to be sorted out.
My thanks as a candidate also go to my fellow Liberal Democrat councillors Jean and George, as well as to the army of helpers who delivered leaflets and got the message out. And to retiring county councillor Geoff Heathcock, who has set a high standard of hard work and commitment for the Queen Edith’s area.
The work starts immediately: tomorrow morning I shall be making my first visit to Shire Hall for my induction as a county councillor – an opportunity to raise a number of local issues with officers, building on my work over the past year and during the campaign.
The 15th November 2012 will see Britain’s first ever elections for individuals to be in charge of our police forces. Everyone in England and Wales outside of London will go to the polls to vote for a Police & Crime Commissioner for their county. Chief Constables will answer to the new commissioners, who will set budgets and set policing priorities. Here is a list of the candidates standing for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
Tomorrow’s your last chance to apply for a postal vote or register to vote – you can fill in this form. Postal vote applications need to be in by 5 p.m. but you can register to vote up till 11.59 if you like to be up against the wire. Here is a form for that too. You can apply for a proxy vote (somebody else votes on your behalf) up to 7th November.
The Police Commissioners are intended by the Conservatives to provide greater accountability to the communities they serve. I am not convinced that one person is more accountable than the existing police authorities comprising a number of people: nevertheless, it is an opportunity to get people thinking seriously about policing matters, including how best to handle offenders and prevent reoffending.
On 5th May we have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to change the way we elect our MPs. Today’s Unfair System
Under the present ‘first-past-the-post’ (FPTP) system, most MPs get elected even though they are not supported by half of the voters in their constituencies.
Under FPTP, Labour won the General Election in 2005 with the support of only 35% – roughly one in three – of the people who voted.
Tomorrow’s Fairer System
Under the ‘alternative vote’ (AV) system, a prospective MP will have to get at least half of the votes to be elected.
AV is a simple system. Instead of voting for just one candidate, you list candidates in order of preference. If no candidate obtains half of the votes, the candidate with fewest votes drops out. All votes are counted again (both the first and second preferences of those who voted for the bottom candidate). If one candidate then gets at least half of the total votes, then that candidate is elected. If not, the process is repeated until one candidate does get at least half of the total votes.
So the person elected as your MP will have won with the support of at least half of those who voted. Under AV, Parliament will more accurately reflect the political complexion of the nation as a whole, not just of a minority.
Under AV, no MP will have a safe seat and a job for life. Politicians will be brought down to earth: they will have to pay attention to all of their constituents.
Our present voting system is not very democratic – it is based on a minority rather than a majority vote. Do you want to reform it so that elections are fairer? The British National Party does not – it wants to stick with first-past-the-post.
But Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Eddie Izzard, Greg Dyke, Honor Blackman and Martin Bell are among the many who want to change to AV. Do you?
Let’s make history on 5th May! Vote YES to AV!