County Councillors Report May 2022

CONTENTS: Ongoing and forthcoming consultations, Household Support fund, Ukrainian Refugees, Histon library, Mere Way, Park School, Stagecoach Busway, Decarbonising small businesses

Ongoing and forthcoming Consultations: Cambridgeshire Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan consultation runs until 23.59 27 July. https://consultcambs.uk.engagementhq.com/ccc-local-cycling-and-walking-infrastructure-plan-consultation-2021 The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority’s Transport Future consultation https://yourltcp.co.uk/  
A Fairer Cambridgeshire
Household Support Fund – The County Council will again be offering food vouchers to those families eligible for free school meals during the school holidays. There is a big cost attached to this (£15 per household) but the pandemic demonstrated how vital that support is.  

The government has allocated additional funding for those in need through the ‘Household Support Fund’ which the County Council has to get to recipients directly and with partner agencies. Rishi Sunak’s announcement about pensioners made that a lot harder.  
 
The government’s total allocation for Cambridgeshire is £3.58 million
Free School Meals cost £1.96 million 
Rishi Sunak then specified in parliament that 1/3 of the fund £1.19 million must go to pensioners.  If the County Council does not hit this allocation to this targeted group they will not be able to claim the full £3.58 million.
After the deductions for Free School Meals and Pensioners that leaves £0.43 million
The County Council are boosting the fund with an additional £0.75 million  

So far fewer than 400 pensioners have been identified at £100-£200 per household this takes us to a £40,000- £50,000 allocation of funding. Reaching the £1.19 million particularly over the summer when household heating bills are smaller will be a challenge which will take focus away from some households in real need.   
Ukrainian Refugees  There are 2 schemes
1.The Ukraine Family Scheme where applicants join family members or extend their stay in the UK – the County Council have very little involvement with the scheme and have no idea of numbers locally.  The County Council website encourages those on this scheme to register* so they can access the support available for scheme

2.Homes for Ukraine scheme – where Ukrainian nationals are sponsored to come to the UK to live with hosts Under both schemes refugees can stay for up to 3 years and have access to live/work/study and benefits.  

The County Council will receive £10,500 per refugee under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, with no guidance on how that should be split between District and County.  This money is predominantly for the impact on services.  There is an additional allocation for education (approx. £3,500) but no indication of future sums.   There is no lump sum for those here under the Ukraine Family Scheme.  
*In all honesty if I was in this position I may have reservations about registering – this request is made in good faith but if anyone wants to discuss this please get in touch.
Around Cambridgeshire
Histon library, the library was officially opened in May with a ribbon cutting, enormous walking lion, book sale and lots of enthusiasm.  The internet is now fully working and the trial out of hours opening scheme has begun, one of 5 libraries on this trial scheme please sign up at the library.
Climate Emergency
Mere way, a meeting has been set up with the Director of Highways to attempt to progress this. The meeting is scheduled for 16 June I hope to report more next month.
Histon and Impington Park School Parking, a meeting is to take place in June between local residents and the County Council to agree a best solution.
Stagecoach busway services are responding to customers requests in an effort to improve customer numbers.

Improved frequency
4 buses have been added to the service which means as of 6 June daytime buses every 10 minutes and a 30 minute evening service Monday to Saturday
a 30 minute service on Sundays all day.

Great new tickets these prices are for the Cambridge Town zone out as far as Northstowe Flexi travel from £2.94 a day with Cambridge Flexi tickets when you buy a book of 10 on the Stagecoach app valid until end 2022.
Youth under 19s and students with valid IDs can get 33% off travel.

Group Day rider tickets – perfect for families
Small Group 1 adult plus 2-3 young people (5-18) travel for £6.20 (a saving of £2.40)
Large Group any 5 passengers £8.40 (£1.68 per passenger) a saving of £4.60

…..but this really is a case of use it or lose it. Passenger levels are still 20% below where they were pre-pandemic. These fares are trying to stimulate usage.
Support to decarbonise small businesses A new scheme to support small and medium sized businesses to cut costs and save carbon has been launched by Cambridgeshire County Council.

The Low Carbon Business Support programme will offer support and guidance to businesses looking to take their first steps to reduce their carbon emissions, as well as those who have actively started their low carbon journey.

The programme runs from June until February 2023 and is being led by Deyton Bell, in partnership with Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) and with support from the European Regional Development Fund.

All the support provided will be free. More information about the programme, including eligibility criteria and how to apply, is available by visiting https://lowcarbon.deytonbell.com/
 Meetings attended No committee meetings but I have had meetings in regards to waste, active travel, repair cafes, household support fund and the communities committee alongside a number of local meetings. I am now the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on the Communities, Inclusion and Social Mobility committee.

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).
Climate Emergency the county council wants to hear your thoughts.  What are your ideas?  What have you done?  What projects could do with some help?  The County Council really wants to hear your ideas email climate@cambridgeshire.gov.uk .  

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