County Councillors Report January 2022

CONTENTS: Household support fund, Supporting social care providers, Histon Library, Consultation on school club’s transport (after schools clubs) for special schools, Love your local heritage? Here’s your chance to have a say and help us protect Cambridgeshire’s local heritage, This Land, 20mph schemes, Local 20mph campaign at Park School, Increased funding for climate change, Improved energy efficiency in Cambridgeshire homes.

Histon Library (image courtesy of HILF)
A Fairer Cambridgeshire
Household support fund – if you are struggling with money or know someone who is get in touch, the County council has funding to support you. Cambridgeshire County Council is offering a payment of £20 to all 39,000 people in the county on Universal Credit to help them manage rising costs of living this winter.  This is £3.5 million from central government the county council in partnership are tasked with getting to the most vulnerable.  So get in touch if you need help and get in touch if you have any trouble accessing the scheme. https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/coronavirus/household-support-fund  
Supporting social care providers A vital approach to help manage the pressures that social care providers, such as care homes learning disability services experience has been approved.  Members of the Adult’s and Health Committee agreed to invest £4.2million to ensure continued support for services to help meet the needs of people across the county.   The agreed approach will help resolve these issues by focusing on additional investment to support providers and workforce development, with the aim of ensuring providers can continue to give the right kind of support to people who need it.  The pressures on this service are only likely to grow.  
Histon Library On Thursday 20 Jan 2022 Histon Library re-opened it’s doors.  Reactions from the community seem very positive and there was much excitement.  Previous County Councillor David Jenkins worked extremely hard to secure the future of this library and we are very lucky to have such a great space in our community supported by the County Council.   On a slightly less positive note I have concerns about the delays and project management, echoed by David Jenkins at the recent Parish Council meeting.   This library opened 7 months later than neighbouring businesses and without wifi.  Whilst the opening has been greeted with great enthusiasm how many people who rely on the library for educational or employment purposes have not been able to access the services whilst it was closed?  How many isolated people for whom the library is so important have been denied access to a vital space for longer than necessary?   I have raised this within the council, started a review and will be bringing this to the next Communities (COSMIC) committee in March. Other communities should not have to experience similar delays.    
Consultation on school club’s transport (after schools clubs) for special schools. This is an important issue as there is a significant financial cost associated in an area which already has the largest budget deficit of any council service so making the right decision is important. Please if this is an issue you have a view on engage with the consultation.  There is more information on the website. https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/news/consultation-launched-on-after-school-clubs-transport-arrangements-for-special-schools  
Around Cambridgeshire
Love your local heritage? Here’s your chance to have a say and help us protect Cambridgeshire’s local heritage. A new website has been launched –  https://local-heritage-list.org.uk/cambridgeshire – with guidance on how you can get involved in the initiative and nominate buildings and archaeological sites to be considered for the Local List, which will recognise their importance and help preserve them.  
This Land, Cambridgeshire County Council’s ‘arms-length’ property development company familiar to readers of Private Eye was discussed at the Strategy and Resources committee.  Examples of serious mishandling and dubious business and ethical practises came to light.  There will no doubt be more to report about This Land in future reports.  
Climate Emergency
20mph schemes. There are two types which can introduced by the council – 20mph limits and 20mph zones. A 20mph limit typically covers individual or a small numbers of streets and requires signs only, while 20mph zones typically cover larger areas and require both signs and markings. The former are more cost effective, but the latter have been found to have a greater effect in reducing speed limits, especially when accompanied by traffic calming measures. It is anticipated that details outlining how applications for 20mph schemes will be prioritised, once submitted, will be brought to a committee meeting later this year.  
Local 20mph campaign at Park School H&I Park Primary School’s campaign for a 20mph has demonstrated great community support for this issue.  I am working with the school, parent group, parish council and county council to try to identify the next steps.  
Increased funding for climate change. Part of next years budget is to be allocated to the new ‘Just Transition’ fund which will fund schemes that: Increase flood prevention, continuing a recent rapid increase in gully clearing Help tackle climate change Widen opportunities for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Increase Independent Living Services Expand direct payments and individual service funds – where adults assessed as needing support can choose and manage their own care services Expand the ‘Care Together’ programme, providing care services close to where people live   ‘Just Transition’ has a specific meaning in climate change terms. A good example would be a community built around a coal mine, if you simply close the coal mine with no interventions the community will feel resentful, angry and possibly fight against climate change but the argument is that if you work with the community, ensure everyone is supported and provide economic solutions to enable the community to survive then the rationale is that that will enable those people to ‘transition’ to a zero carbon future.    Whilst this sounds very admirable in all honesty I haven’t heard a great deal about this within the council, there is discussion of climate change but little about the granular detail of supporting those unable to make the transition.  When I raised this in the context of the County Council’s response to the Greater Cambridge Local Plan and whether there was any way the future of petrol station owners could be supported as part of a Just Transition no one in the room seemed to understood the point I was making and I got some very odd responses.  There may not be a solution to how petrol station owners transition to different economic models within planning but these are the questions we need to ask.  I will keep asking the questions.
  Improved energy efficiency in Cambridgeshire homes. Nearly 400 homes across Cambridgeshire will benefit from improved energy efficiency thanks to government funding of more than £6.5 million. Action on Energy Cambridgeshire – a collaboration between Cambridgeshire County Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council, Huntingdonshire District Council, Fenland District Council, East Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City Council – has successfully secured grant funding from the Government’s Sustainable Warmth Competition designed to support improvements to low income, low energy efficiency rated homes. The latest funds will support Cambridgeshire residents on low incomes who are living in energy inefficient homes (EPCs – Energy Performance Certificate – of D and below) to reduce energy bills and support national targets of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050, while it will also create more skilled jobs and training opportunities. It will enable the installation of various energy saving measures including loft, cavity wall and external wall insulation, solar panel systems and air source heat pumps.
  Meetings attended Environment & Green Investment Committee Local Highways Improvement Panel for South Cambs, day 1  

INFORMATION

Report a Highways fault If you see a problem; blocked gully/ drain, pot hole or other Highways issue please report it using the tool below. https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/travel-roads-and-parking/roads-and-pathways/roadworks-and-faults
Adult care assessment Call centre: 0345 045 5202  8am – 6pm Mon to Fri,  9am – 1pm Sat https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/adults/organising-care-and-support/care-needs-assessment Do get in touch with me directly if you have any problems, questions or concerns.
I’ve got a problem who do I contact? Organisational structure in Cambridgeshire is complicated, just ask the question email me, a district councillor or the parish clerk we’ll all point you to the right person (or try to).
Government Structure in Cambridgeshire – I’m always happy to amend I think everyone is trying to work this out. Please get in touch if you have comments.
County Council  Responsibilities;  education, transport, highways, heritage, social care, libraries, trading standards, ­waste management, maintaining their estate.
District Council Responsibilities;  council tax payments, household bin collections, housing and housing benefits, council leisure facilities, environmental health, residential planning
Parish/ Community Council Responsibilities;  looking after community buildings, open spaces, allotments, play areas, bus shelters
Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) ‘The local delivery body for a City Deal with central Government worth up to £500 million over 15 years;… infrastructure (decarbonising transport), 44,000 new jobs, 33,500 new homes and 420 additional apprenticeships.’ Partnership between Cambridge City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council, University of Cambridge
The Combined Authority, Cambridge and Peterborough, our elected Mayor. CPCA A board consisting of representatives from the District, City and County Councils and Peterborough Unitary Authority, headed by the Mayor.   Responsible for – Business support, skills, housing, transport strategy-liaising with Department of Transport, environment, international, digital connectivity, resilience, research and strategy and new homes.
Police and Crime Commissioner, Cambridge and Peterborough To support and challenge the Chief Constable to provide effective and efficient policing services for the area. 
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority the governing body responsible for the fire and rescue service, made up of County Councillors and Peterborough City Councillors.

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