MP calls on Minister to act on city issues
November 23, 2011
An influential Government Minister heard first hand today (Wednesday, November 23) about the major issues affecting the people of Cambridge.
MP Julian Huppert met Communities and Local Government Minister, Liberal Democrat Andrew Stunell to raise concerns brought to him by constituents.
And he asked Mr Stunell to act on the issues, some which have plagued the city for a number of years.
One of the biggest concerns he told the Minister was the change in housing benefit, introduced by the Labour government which has left some tenants, renting from private landlords, unable to meet their rent.
The problem is caused by the government’s Broad Rental Market Agreement which sets average rents for Cambridge in line with those in cheaper areas such as Haverhill and Wisbech.
Julian urged Mr Stunell to act to change the boundaries so that Cambridge can be assessed for average rents alongside similar towns and cities.
He also raised the problem of homelessness and the city’s long waiting lists for affordable housing. The need to build homes which are within reach for the average family was paramount, he told the minister.
Cambridge’s struggle to protect its independent shops against the march of the large multi-nationals was on the agenda.
Julian talked about the uniqueness of areas in the city such as Mill Road and the city council’s need to have greater powers to make sure that they survive.
And he raised the problems of making sure cycle lanes in the city were respected by drivers. Julian urged Mr Stunell to push for the remaining parts of the Road Traffic Act to be brought in to make sure mandatory cycle lanes were enforced.
“This was a good meeting,” said Julian. “I was able to raise many of the issues that come up time and time again from my constituents. These are issues that affect their everyday lives and we need the government to act if we are to address them properly and effectively.
“Mr Stunell listened intently to my concerns and was very understanding. I hope that we will see some positive action in the months to come.”