Joint District Councillors’ Report – Nov 2021

Welcome to the November report. Read it here or download the PDF.


Joint District Councillors’ Report for November 2021

District councillors’ monthly report for the communities of Histon & Impington, Orchard Park and King’s Meadow.

Your Councillors are always ready to help. If you have any questions about these – or indeed anyother – matters, please do not hesitate to contact us.

  • Steve Hunt: 01223 455180 Cllr.HuntS@scambs.gov.uk
  • Martin Cahn: 07826 748407 Cllr.Cahn@scambs.gov.uk
  • Pippa Heylings: 07837 228416 Cllr.Heylings@scambs.gov.uk

You can also follow us on our webpage & blog at http://hiopcouncillors.org, where this report and previous ones can be read or downloaded in PDF form. Keep in touch with us on Twitter @pippa4hiop @stevehunt4hiop, and on Facebook @pippaheylings4hiop

Update on the development of the next Local Plan

The consultation period on the ‘first proposals’ stage in the preparation of the joint Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire Local Plan runs until 5pm on December 13th. Please make your contributions, personal or official, soon, either by the website:  https://www.greatercambridgeplanning.org/localplan   or by direct e-mail to the local plan team: localplan@greatercambridgeplanning.org

New Golden Number

South Cambs DC has introduced a single Golden Number to be used to contact the council. This should help you to be able to talk to the best person within the council more effectively. We have also introduced a call back facility so that you don’t have to hang on the phone during busy periods. The number is:  01954 713000.

Investment Strategy

There is an updated Investment Strategy at S Cambs.  Policy remains to generate 20% of income from investment by 2025 to minimise need to raise Council tax. We are one of the very few councils in the East of England which is leaving the pandemic with their finances in a healthy state due to the purchase of investments as a hedge again fluctuations in support when it was possible under Government regulations.

Capital Strategy

The Council has updated the Capital spending programme.

Empty Homes Strategy

A new Empty homes Strategy has been published for consultation. The objective here is to bring empty properties back into use and reduce the number of long term empty homes. In a survey in October 2021 there were 663 empty properties of which 207 were long term empty properties empty for 2 years or more. There are various reasons why this may occur, and only a few of these are causing a nuisance, but that nuisance can be quite severe. The problems in dealing with an empty property in Impington village were discussed by your councillors when Scrutiny Committee examined the report and the need for action noted. The appointment of a new Empty Homes Officer is proposed to facilitate the return of these properties into active residential use and should be in post early in the New Year.

Fees & Charges

There is an updated schedule of fees and charges for 2022/23

Grant aid support

Councillor support was obtained for an application for a Children and Young People’s grant of £8000 from South Cambridgeshire DC put forward in cooperation with the Cambridgeshire “Think Communities” team and designed to engage with young people in the Orchard Park community. This will now be considered by the Grants Committee. If successfully funded it would be delivered by Romsey Mill and would also involve additional activities from other providers in cooperation with the community council.

COViD-19

The severity of the epidemic is not relaxing here and the incidence of Covid-19 in South Cambridgeshire is now at its highest ever, although the number of deaths in the county is still small compared to previous waves. The Government has now introduced compulsory mask-wearing in shops, banks, and hairdressers, but not in hospitality settings.

Topper Street

An approach was made by the developers of the L2 site to remove street trees to make a new access. We put the planners in contact with residents of Marmalade Lane who wished to plant street trees on the side of Topper Street facing the entrance to the L2 development on a stretch where they had not been planted previously in anticipation of that being the entrance to the Marmalade Lane site (but which was eventually placed elsewhere). We hope that a solution will be found by negotiations between the local authority and the developers so that there is an increase in the number of trees overall on the street.

Another Monopole Application

Another month, another application for a 5G monopole mast and associated cabinets – this time just outside the cemetery in the mouth of Ambrose Way/Mill Lane. Note that these are “prior approval” applications and the process for these is truncated compared with a normal planning application, so if you wish to make representations either in support or against this application the deadline for comments is 14th December. Go to the Greater Cambridge Planning site and search for 21/04971/PRIOR.

Please bear in mind that the planning officers and committee can only consider objections that relate to applicable planning policy/planning law.

Fuel Bank voucher scheme

People facing fuel poverty this winter may be able to get help from a Fuel Bank. This scheme is aimed at people with prepayment meters who are already accessing help from a Food Bank. For more information see https://quidsinmagazine.com/blog-post/this-fuel-scheme-could-ease-the-pressure-this-winter/

Impington Farm

A prior approval application has been made to demolish the above building which adjoins the bypassed section of Cambridge/Histon Road just S of the A14 and is in derelict condition. Representations have been made about the historic interest of this property which is believed to be one of the farms constructed following the Enclosure Act for the village in 1806.

Meetings in November 2021

4th NovJDCC Development Control ForumSteve
10th NovPlanning CommitteeMartin
11th NovScrutiny and Overview Committee (Local Plan)Martin, Steve
17th NovJDCCSteve
22nd NoNECAAP briefingAll
23rd  NovClimate Change and Environment CommitteeMartin
25th NovFull CouncilCancelled
26th  NovGrants CommitteeMartin (sub)
29th NovLicensing CommitteeSteve

Meetings in December 2021

7th DecCivic Affairs CommitteeMartin
8th DecPlanning CommitteePippa, Martin
13th DecAffordable Home Ownership WorkshopAll
15th DecJDCCSteve
16th DecScrutiny and Overview CommitteeSteve

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