Milton and Beaches Lib Dems

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September 2018 report

by Hazel Smith on 30 September, 2018

District Councillors Report – September 2018 – Hazel Smith

It has been a busy summer for me, with no let up in meetings or press coverage of Housing matters at South Cambs.

Bus improvement group
I went to a meeting at Clay Farm where the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s transport officer Peter Blake gave a presentation of his view on the way forward. On the ground, though, all we see is cuts.

Waterbeach planning
We 3 local councillors met with RLW to go through their ideas in July. They don’t entirely accord with the SPD. Over the summer the SPD has received a lot of attention at the Council and has been looked at by Cabinet and the Scrutiny Committee. It will return to Cabinet before going out for consultation.

Housing tenants
I attended my first Tenant Participation Group meeting at Denson Close, Waterbeach: very interesting to see how committed that group is to keeping an eye on what we’re up to in the Housing department. The annual Best Kept Garden competition prizegiving is coming up and I’m looking forward to that.

New Housing developments
I went with one of the housing development officers on the ACRE tour of exception sites in East Cambs, South Cambs and Hunts areas. It is always useful to meet the developers and Housing Associations and to see how their developments and what the councils ask for differ from one another in different areas. In August Bridget Smith and I cut the ribbon on the first council housing additions since May: a very impressive group of homes (8 council houses, 20 in all) in Gt Abington.

A group of us went to see Lucy Frazer MP at her surgery in Fulbourn to try to persuade her to change her stance on Brexit. She stands firm behind her leader in spite of representing an area that voted the other way. We intend to try to go again in September.

Having responded to the consultation on stronger powers for the police to move Travellers on, I went with 3 officers to a Westminster Briefing where we had hoped to lobby ministers about more effective methods of dealing with itinerant Travellers. The conference was interesting, but the hoped-for ministers were busy in the House of Commons voting on Brexit …

Their “alternative” plans for the East-West rail route were unveiled in July and have received quite a bit of attention. The first draft shows a railway line skirting the southern end of Landbeach, North of the Milton Cemetery, and crossing the A10 near Penfold Farm to join the Kings Lynn railway line between Milton and Waterbeach. This section would be under ground. Our presentation from CamBedRailRoad in Landbeach is on 10th September.

Fen Road Chesterton, sewage arrangements 
Anglian Water have now accepted my petition for a sewer on Fen Road and are again starting to assess the site. 2 of their staff visited in August and came with me to look at the changes on the ground (Cambridge North station, and the development just the other side of the tracks, and the extra permanent buildings that have gone up in the last 11 years since my last petition). The Chief Executive of South Cambs also visited this week and I was able to show her the whole area, from there and the Science Park up to North of Waterbeach and Landbeach.
This was useful, as the following day we were discussing our aspirations for Cambridge Northern Fringe East: the Science Park development is intensifying already and development is planned around the Station Square and for the Abbey-Chesterton bridge. We are still waiting for a decision from Government (HIF bid for about £200m) on whether they will fund moving the sewage works – the final decision is now expected in February at the earliest but they are working on the business plan and it all looks positive so far.
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