A reminder that I'll ( Cllr Manning) be running a workshop on parking controls for the Chesterton area North of Milton Road from 1800-2000 on Wednesday at Milton Road Lilbrary.
Please let me know if you are thinking of attending, or you wish to be kept updated.
All residents are welcome to attend: worth noting that I'll be starting from a blank canvass, rather than starting with the Council officer drawings, as a result of feedback from my FAQ meeting last week.
I'll publish a copy of FAQs from the meeting last week later tonight.
Do you have an idea for a small improvement to your local road environment? This Sunday 15th October is a deadline for applying to a fund to realise your ambitions.
The County Council has a scheme for funding changes up to £10,000, and Cllr Manning and the rest of the North Cambridge Lib Dems want to hear from you for your ideas!Read more
An illusion of choice and an opportunity not to be wasted
On Tuesday (3rd October), I attended the second GCP workshop regarding the development of the ‘final’ designs for City Deal alterations to Milton Road. This workshop focussed on trees, the removal of which under original proposals led to outcry from local residents and the development of their own Do-optimum alternative.
Cllr Ian Manning has provided a summary of the workshop structure and explained his concerns regarding the project. Here I note my own observations.Read more
Reminder that I'll (Cllr Ian Manning) be at Milton Road Library tonight, 1800 - 1900 to answer questions about the proposals for parking restrictions north of Milton Road.
This will help me build up an FAQ to publish on here ahead of the workshops.
See http://www.cambridgelibdems.org.uk/chesterton_triangle_parking_on_pause for the history.
The answer I was fearing, and I'm afraid got, is "When it's a way of not really consulting."
Last night I attended the second of two workshops for the City Deal Milton Road LLF. This was meant to be on "trees" but actually had two sections: one on types of trees and one on creating "senses of place" at certain points along the length of Milton Road.
In September 2016, nine new council houses were completed on Hawkins Road, replacing a set of garages with desperately needed new homes. Initially there were some objections to the plans, but I have spoken to many affected residents who understand the extent of the housing crisis and who were glad to support the project.
Sadly, one year later and to the considerable frustration of the community, these houses continue to sit empty. Failures in project management mean that the properties remain without electricity and, in turn, more people suffer due to the Cambridge housing crisis.
These houses are just one part of the ‘146 Programme’, a project to build 146 homes across the city and awarded to the developers at Keepmoat. The management of this contract has clearly failed, with local Cllr Kevin Price taking to Cambridge News to voice his frustrations. Cllr Price blames Keepmoat for the delays and failures (and seeks to end their contract). As the Exec Councillor for Housing, this is the the crudest form of contract management available to Cllr Price and fails to address the project management weaknesses of the Council that led to these delays in the first place.
I have raised this issue with Rod Cantrill, the local Housing Spokes for the Lib Dems, who has repeatedly challenged the Council Exec for faster delivery of homes. He recently commented that Hawkins Road is another “illustration of the shameful position the council has got itself into. When there are over 2500 households on the councils waiting list, it can’t even deliver 9 new homes for 9 of those households.”
Nine new homes are not going to solve the Cambridge crisis, but they are going to solve the crisis for nine households currently unable to find security in our city. The project could also be used as an important lesson for improvement in the future. I recently congratulated Kevin Price on his appointment to Chair of the GCP Assembly, but upon reflection I would recommend that Cllr Price should take lessons from this recent failures and refocus his efforts on his existing responsibilities to deliver homes in our city.
The title of this post is a common question I get: often I find that people think County Councillors have an office and/or staff. There is also an issue of transparency.
So, I've started, in a very modest way, to try and record how much time I'm spending on activities I consider I do "because" I'm a Councillor. I've deliberately made the definition of this very wide.
I've been a Councillor for East Chesterton and the new County Division of Chesterton since 2010 - long enough that several large scale projects have gone from dream to preparation to reality. The most obvious examples are of course the Cambridge North station (although that started before my time), and Chesterton Primary School, but there are numerous others.
One example is the new housing that is finally being occupied on Water Lane.
A £193m bid to unlock an extra 5,200 new homes on and around the site of Cambridge’s Sewage Works could go forward to the Government, if the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority accepts a recommendation to back it at their meeting on 27th September.
Success with the bid to the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund would enable the relocation of Anglian Water’s plant outside the city and the realisation of the full potential of the important north Cambridge site, transforming the scale of development near the new train station from the currently envisaged 2,400 new homes to 7,600.
Cllr Rod Cantrill and Cllr Tim BickRead more
Jamie Dalzell and I both attended the first specific workshop for the City Deal (sorry, "Greater Cambridge Partnership") Milton Road Project.
Jamie has done a write up, which very accurately describes the meeting, and I've added more of my thoughts if you hit Read More.Read more