'PURPLE TUESDAY’ PROMPTS NEW CALL TO CITY COUNCIL ON DISABILITY CHARGES

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Lib Dem City Councillors in Cambridge have welcomed the first nationwide ‘Purple Tuesday’ this week which aims to promote the awareness of businesses to the needs of people with disabilities  in navigating the retail environment. But they have also called on the City Council in Cambridge to do more to help.

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Lib Dems repeat call for a Cambridge Living Wage

Lib Dem City Councillor and Parliamentary Candidate, Rod Cantrill has repeated his call for Cambridge to promote a Living Wage level which is specifically adjusted to the higher-than-average local cost of living in Cambridge.  His call comes with the announcement of the new Real Living Wage rates as part of the Real Living Wage week.  A Cambridge Living Wage would help address the high cost of living in the city that has continued to increase at unacceptable rates in the last few years.

Cllr Cantrill commented:

“For the majority of residents, particularly young people and families, the cost of living in Cambridge means that they struggle to make ends meet.

As Executive Councillor, I introduced the Real Living Wage into the City Council and started the process for the council to become an accredited employer with the Living Wage Foundation.  This step acted as a foundation stone for the council’s work on promoting the Real Living Wage in recent years.  But the cost of living, particularly in relation to housing has continued to increase, whilst wages have not kept pace for the majority of employees.

I moved a motion in council earlier this year calling on the council to look again at this important issue.  The Cambridge Living Wage would be higher than the Real Living Wage (that will be at £9 per hour for 2019) and would be linked to the London Living Wage (that will be £10.55 per hour for 2019).  The Cambridge Living Wage would be pegged at 95% of the London Living Wage and so in 2019 would be just over £10 per hour.

The Cambridge Living Wage would not be unique, Oxford, a city that has very similar cost of living pressures, has promoted the Oxford Living Wage for a number of years..”


Milton Road plans - better, but still not 'optimum'!

Liberal Democrat Councillors have judged the latest City Deal’s Milton Road proposals as “Close, but oh so far”.

 

“It’s right we recognise the huge strides forward the project has taken under the project manager appointed last year” said Cllr Ian Manning “but there are still fundamental flaws in the proposals that must be fixed before the project can progress.”.

 

The Lib Dems have identified the following headline issues:

 

  1. Junction design that favours road widths over safety and convenience of pedestrians and cyclists.
  2. Confusing forward stop lines that will stop the Copenhagen style crossings working properly.
  3. Imaginative design concepts around the library area, which came out of resident workshops, seem to have been totally forgotten.
  4. There’s still no guarantee the beautiful tree line will be replaced with the same quality as is there now.
  5. With the aim of getting buses to Mitcham’s Corner more quickly, we still don’t have a convincing explanation for how this will integrate with potential changes to the gyratory system

 

Newly elected Cllr Jamie Dalzell said: “I’m worried that, with Mayor Palmer’s pressure for delivery over quality, we’re getting less than the full picture here.  There are many unanswered questions, and a disappointingly large amount of shared use pedestrian/cycle path, which are dangerous for both groups.”

Read on for more detailed comments from the team:

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World Homeless Day – Cambridge Lib Dems call for renewed effort to address Cambridge homelessness

To mark world homeless day, Cambridge Lib Dems are calling for a renewed efforts to address Cambridge’s homeless issues.

The call comes as research released this week shows that at least 449 homeless people died in the UK in the last 12 months.

It also follows the detailed report on homelessness in Cambridge undertaken by Lib Dem councillors Tim Bick and Nichola Harrison, published earlier this year.  The report set out a number of recommendations including exploring a Cambridge Charter for rough sleeping and considering a Housing First approach to the provision of accommodation for people who are homeless.

Rod Cantrill, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Cambridge said, “As a trustee of a local homeless charity, I have seen at first hand the number of people who are homeless in Cambridge increase by a large number over the last few years.  The winter period is especially tough for people who are forced to sleep rough on the street.  The council’s recent policy of offering people at risk of being homeless accommodation up to 50 miles away from Cambridge could potentially make the problem worse.

It is clear the council has not been able to make a material break through on solving this issue, despite Cambridge being a city of immense prosperity.  Cambridge Liberal Democrats have been calling for the council to double its efforts and explore creative new ideas in conjunction with the homeless charities in the city.  Such ideas include a Cambridge Charter for rough sleeping and  for Cambridge and Housing First a targeted provision of housing for homeless people linked with a comprehensive support programme.”

 

Notes

Copy of homeless report by Cllr Tim Bick and Cllr Nichola Harrison https://drive.google.com/file/d/1sym-rbTO5UCC9lmQjeiNjzUWYwycPBQ2/view


Close-up view of the cambridgeshire cliff-edge: it doesn’t have to be like this

Already, County Council budget planning discussions for February have been taking place in earnest, with a close-up view of what is increasingly accepted as potential bankruptcy by 2020.  At the same time, Council staff are being forced to take unpaid leave.

 

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Lib Dems repeat call for Local Living Rent

Cambridge Lib Dems have repeated their call for Cambridge to have a Local Living Rent, based on one third of household disposable income.  The call is in response to the BBC research released today on cost of renting for young people between 22-29 across the country.  The Labour City Council has so far refused to consider such an option.

The BBC research highlights that rent for a 1 bedroom flat costs over 60% of an individual’s income in parts of Cambridge.

Councillor Rod Cantrill, Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate for Cambridge said, “I have been calling for some time for Labour to look at a Local Living Rent for Cambridge.  Our amendment to the Council Budget in February included proposals for a Local Living Rent that were rejected by the Labour ruling group.

As the BBC research highlights, many young people such as teachers and nurses, who are the glue that makes Cambridge work cannot afford to live in the city or the surrounding area.  We need to do something to help these people – and a local Living Rent does this.” 

 


Social care profiling

I've submitted the following written question to the next meeting of the County Council:

In September, it was reported that some Councils have been developing profiling for at risk residents and/or families:
Has the County Council any plan now or in the future to do this?

County Council newsletter September

The County Council publishes a newsletter once a month, the latest can be found at:  https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKCAMBSCC/bulletins/20cf3ba

Remember this is produced by the County itself, it is not a Liberal Democrat view on issues.


Labour’s Half-Hearted U-Turn on Shopmobilty

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Following sustained pressure from a LibDem campaign, Labour run Cambridge City Council have today announced a 50% reduction in charges for the Shopmobilty services, which they introduced in May. Previously the service had been free.

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Call for Leadership on Minorities' Rights

Cllr Tim Bick, Lib Dem leader of the Opposition on Cambridge City Council issued the following statement in response to the resignation of Labour Cllr Ann Sinnott: 

"It is incredible that the Labour Party chooses not to comment when one of its councillors resigns her seat on the council and then quits her party, bitterly criticising their counci's policy.

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