by Hazel Smith on 2 March, 2018
County Councillor’s Report for Parishes – March 2018 – Anna Bradnam
for Milton, Landbeach, Waterbeach, Chittering, Horningsea and Fen Ditton
The County Council voted to increase Council Tax by 2.99% on top of the 2% increase for Adult Social Care. This will raise nearly £8 million. All parties agreed the increase and that the first £4.3 million should be used to plug the budget gap. Parties differed on how they thought the remaining money should be spent. The Lib Dems wanted the remaining £3.7 million to be used to reverse the cuts to Libraries and Children’s Centres that the leading party proposes and a bus pass for 16-18 year olds but the Council majority voted to put the remainder into a ‘smoothing reserve’.
Waterbeach New Town
South Cambs District Council has arranged a Waterbeach Community Forum on Wednesday 14 March, which replaces the previous Joint Parishes Meetings. It will be at St Johns Church Room, a drop-in session from 6-6.45pm and a meeting 7-9pm.
Amey’s application for an Energy from Waste plant (incinerator)
Responding to the concerns expressed by residents, Cllr Tregoing arranged a public meeting in Waterbeach on 29th January. The meeting was chaired by the Chair of Horningsea PC and included representatives from Amey, County Council Planning Minerals and Waste, an independent air quality consultant, the Environment Agency, a representative of Public Health England, and members of the County Planning Committee, namely Cllr Connor and myself. MP Lucy Fraser was unable to attend.
Following a presentation by Amey, written and verbal questions were taken from audience. Many questions were of a technical nature, some of which Amey were not able to answer. Although Amey had undertaken the necessary formal public consultation, many residents were unaware of the application and felt they had insufficient time to respond to the 120 documents submitted, especially as representations had to be submitted by 7 February.
After the meeting I asked Amey directly, and through the County Planning Manager, to undertake a further round of consultation, with advance warning by door-to-door leafletting and an exhibition in Waterbeach. I also requested a more extensive FAQs to be published on the Amey website. Amey agreed to the additional consultation period. This means it is unlikely that the application will come before the County Planning Committee before May. You can see the application here http://planning.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/swift/apas/run/wphappcriteria.display
Planning reference S/3372/17/CW.
A local group has arranged another public meeting but they have been advised that the proposed date falls within the ‘purdah’ period of SCDC elections. During this period public officers, who might otherwise be able to answer questions, will be limited in what they can say about the application. To avoid purdah, I have suggested they hold the meeting before 27 March. They reorganised it for 20th March.
Mobile Vehicle Activated Sign
The parish Clerks have obtained permission from Balfour Beatty to attach the clamps to specific street lamps and I collected the sign today.
Key Clamp Rail on Milton Road
Some time ago a parish councillor alerted me to a dangerous section of footpath along Milton Road. For cyclists coming north along the Guided Busway path, at the junction with Milton Road, there was an enticing section of footpath apparently leading northwards toward the Cambridge Business Park. This section of path unexpectedly narrows to nothing as you go further north. I alerted County Highways and they have installed a ‘key clamp rail’ as a barrier to prevent pedestrians and cyclists from starting out on this dangerous route.
Shared use foot/cycle path to Cambridge North
I am trying to find out which authority is responsible for sweeping and gritting the path from Milton Road towards the station. Milton residents cycling through to Moss Bank have slipped on the path in frosty weather and on wet leaves. Currently County, City, Network Rail and Greater Anglia are all denying responsibility.
Network Rail proposed Level Crossing Closures
Throughout the country, Network Rail have proposed level crossing closures, to improve safety on the rail network. Currently Network Rail are proposing some 100 closures throughout Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Essex. This means that numerous crossings on footpaths and on agricultural land have been threatened with closure. I attended a site visit to a local farming business, who own and work over 3,500 ha on both sides of the railway between Waterbeach and Stretham, who are faced with the possible closure of two of the three crossings linking their land. The public hearing took evidence in the autumn and closed on 23 February. The Inspector will now consider evidence but has said when she hopes to produce a report.
I attended the Fen Line Station Review Meeting
Greater Anglia may be asked to pay to extend the canopies at Cambridge North. There is no GN timetable on display boards
Fen Road Level Crossing
I continue to seek meetings with County Transport Officers to find a pedestrian route around the Fen Rd crossing, as down times have increased since Cam North opened.
Local Highways Improvement Panel
I spent two days assessing parish bids for LHI funding. It gave me an insight into the work required to submit a successful bid and an understanding of the kinds of bids that appear more likely to win funding.
Land in parish ownership
Old Poplars beside the A10 have fallen into the paddock north of the allotments. Highways said the trees belong to the parish, but Deeds show parish land is bounded by the fence. I arranged a site meeting with County Highways and the parish to clarify responsibilities. This matter is ongoing with the County.
An introduction to local government and the County Council
I was invited to speak to the Landbeach Society and was delighted to give a talk, explaining the work of a County Councillor.
District Councillor’s Report for Milton PC March 2018 – Anna Bradnam
South Cambs District Council
The Council’s Corporate Plan “Your Place Our Plan” was approved despite some wry observations about “Whose Place?” and the lack of policies to protect the environment or the character of our villages. The Council’s Budget was voted through with a Parish precept of £71.21 for a Band D home in Milton.
As the time approaches when we hope to receive the Report of the Local Plan Inspector (and she has not indicated recently that there is anything wildly wrong with the proposed joint trajectories of SCDC and Cambridge City for our 5 year supply of land for housing) we are advised by our Local Plan Barrister we can begin to have more confidence that they will be adopted. It’s a subtle point but where speculative applications for large number of houses outside the village framework have already been approved, we may have the beginnings of a case to justify refusal of any similar new applications, on the grounds of cumulative impact.
Not everywhere – but the balance appears to be tipping in favour of Melbourn and Swavesey. Roll on the Inspector’s decision…..
Milton Air Quality Working Party
We have scheduled meetings with FCC Environment on 20 March and with Anglian Water on 14 May.
Hazel and I led a very successful Litter Pick with some regular and some new volunteers. One new volunteer aged six worked hard for the full two hours with her Dad. The rubbish we bagged up was collected by SCDC waste services the next day – along with some large items (tyres, metal frames, bikes, broken fishing stools) found behind the doctor’s surgery. Thank you to everyone who gave their time to help. The next one will be on a Sunday afternoon in the June half term break.
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