Joint report from district councillors for Histon, Impington and Orchard Park
Cost of living
Every one of us is beginning to feel the pinch of the cost of living crisis. The South Cambridgeshire magazine this month has a 2 page pullout of information that we hope will help as well as a website signposting residents to support available – such as energy bills or ensuring residents check what they are entitled to (whether it be Universal Credit , help with Childcare costs, Disability and Carer’s benefits etc) and then encouragement to claim entitlements – especially focused on Local Council Tax support and Discretionary Housing Payment.
Support is also available is also available from our partner agency, Cambridgeshire Home Improvement Agency. This includes highlighting grsnt funding available to replace a boiler for a homeowner whose health is impacted by a lack of is eligible for a grant because the existing boiler doesn’t work or doesn’t work as well as it should.
Better buses scheme
A decision will be taken by the greater Cambridge Partnership in September about whether to start a consultation on the proposed “Sustainable Travel Zone” road user charge. The plans are part of the package to deliver improvements to public transport, reduce congestion in the city, and to help the environment through lower emissions. The proposals follow the Partnership’s ‘Making Connections’ consultation, which the authority said showed the public was supportive of improvements to the public transport network, as well as its aims to reduce pollution and congestion.
After many years of buses and public transport being eroded in the Cambridgeshire area, this new scheme could potentially finally provide better bus services, as well as accelerate the active travel options.
It is really important that the consultation hears all the details and residents engage.
South Cambridge is looking to work with local communities, Parish councils and charities to deliver warm hub centres this winter, where people can go to keep warm, have a cup of coffee and potentially a hot meal. This is made possible by funding from the Integrated Care Service.
we would like to talk with the Parish and OP Community Council, charities and Council of Churches to see if this is something that we should be offering here in Histon, Impington and Orchard Park. This may be something that is already being planned and it would be good to integrate.
Reported cases of Covid 19 rose slightly in South Cambridge between the 20th and 26th of August 2022. However, there was a decrease in the number of patients admitted to hospital with Covid 19, none of these needed mechanical ventilation.
The NHS will rollout the autumn booster vaccination programme starting 5th September. The UK is the first healthcare system in the world to use the bivalent Covid vaccine. Details are available on the NHS website.
The flu jab will be offered in October 2022. People in age groups 50 – 64 who are not a clinical risk will be offered a flu jab this year.
If like Sunita, you would like to volunteer with the vaccination programme, your help will be gratefully received by The NHS Volunteer Responders team. Details are available on their website.
Local Covid Commemoration
The UK Commission on Covid Commemoration has been established to gateher information about commemoration activities around the country and Councils are being encouraged to provide the information. Should we consider doing something? Is something locally being already planned? It would be very good to do so. Such as a memorial garden or an event to thank everyone for all they did to help in the response. Please do let us know so that we can provide the information to the national survey.
The Community Safety Partnership includes policing. There are announcements about the increase in local police presence and we hope to see that happening in our area. As a result of work by the multi-agency Community Safety Partnership, Orchard Park has had excellent support from Community Police Officers so that the crime level has dropped considerably which is good to hear.
SCDC 4 DAY WORKING WEEK
A 4 day working week will be trialled at South Cambs District Council for a period of 3 months from January to March, following 3 months of planning and consultation with all staff. If successful, this may be extended to one year.
Key criteria that we will be pursuing is the level of productivity and coverage. If the trial shows that there is a drop in the level of service then the scheme will not be adopted. It is to be hoped that the 4 day working week will mean that people will adapt to more efficient ways of working to provide 100% of service while having a good work/life balance.
The service our staff provide are in more demand than ever with the cost of living crisis and we need to be able to retain and recruit these kind of brilliant people and professionals.
We are the first Council in the country to trial this and many Councils are watching us. At the same time many other organisations are undergoing a nationwide trial.
All guidance on enforcement and compliance with planning regulations has now been updated and consolidated into one page within the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service. The link https://www.greatercambridgeplanning.org/ is available from the South Cambridge District Council website.
There is information on what is and is not a breach of planning control. The service hopes that this will enable residents and others to understand the issues involved in securing compliance with planning regulations.
An eform is included for submitting complaints and the process is explained with a video.
The Local Government Authority accounts for 2017 – 2018 and 2018 – 2019 have been signed off. The draft for 2019 – 2020 was approved at the end of summer.
The council hopes to complete 2020 – 2021 this year and 2021 – 2022 next year.
There are mixed views in the community about the impact of new aircraft noise over the area as a result of changes to ‘stacking’ routes. Government policy does not prioritise noise above 7000ft. , there was very little about noise pollution. A weighting in favour of the decision was that Government policy is to put flight paths over the least number of houses.
In February 2023 there will be a Post Implementation Review when Luton will submit all the complaints it has received and other data to the Civil Aviation authority (CAA). The CAA may tell them to make changes if they think the agreement was wrong in light of data and complaints.
In the meantime residents should continue to email concerns directly to :