North Area

The North Area includes Arbury, East and West Chesterton, and Kings Hedges, and has an active Lib Dem team. See our blog below for what we've been doing for your area recently!

Milton Road Update

Tonight was the latest Milton Road Liaison Forum - the local meeting which is meant to be residents' way of inputting into the CIty Deal's plans for the area.

Tonight was the official consultants response to the Residents' Association/Cycle Campaign alterations to the original proposals (known as "Do Optimum"), and I'm afraid to say I'm disappointed overall.

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Cambridge North: what needs correcting

Whilst it is very welcome that Cambridge North station is finally open, there are a number of issues that Cllr Manning Cllr Anna Bradnam (waterbeach) and the Chesterton team are dealing with - read on for more detail.

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Station/Long Reach Road barrier

Cllr Ian Manning has been working with South Cambridgeshire colleagues Cllr Anna Bradnam and Cllr Hazel Smith to investigate concerns that Network Rail are breaching their agreed plans for the station, specifically where it runs up to Long Reach Road.

The nature of the station site means both South Cambridgeshire and City Council officers are involved, hence Lib Dem Councillors working together to ensure the issue is given sufficient attention.

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Out of hours move goes through despite opposition

We're extremely disappointed to report that the Clinical Commissioning Group has decided to authorise the move of the out of horus service to Addenbrooke's despite significant local opposition.

More soon...

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Chesterton Out of Hours: NO MOVE BEFORE MORE WORK HAS BEEN DONE TO PROTECT THE MOST DISADVANTAGED

Manning and Dalzell tell CCG to respect Heath Committee decision and community feelings

Cllr Ian Manning, Lib Dem East Chesterton County Councillor and candidate for Chesterton and Jamie Dalzell, Lib Dem candidate for Kings Hedges are calling on the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to respect the calls from the County Council’s Health Committee to go away and do more work on mitigation measures before the out of hours service is moved.

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Chesterton Out of Hours consultation response

Chesterton and Kings Hedges Liberal Democrats have released a joint response opposing the proposal to move out of hours services to Addenbrooke's.  The full submission can be found here:  https://t.co/i4eQIZW1rW

Cllr Ian Manning said "Chesterton contains some of the most deprived areas of the City.  Whilst we need to recognise the massive pressures on the NHS - and the failures of successive Governments of all political colours to deal with them - this is not the solution as it will disadvantage some of the most vulnerable residents of our City."

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Some local questions

Questions regarding King’s Hedges from Cab Davidson:

In response to confirming my candidacy for King’s Hedges in May’s County Council elections, Cab Davidson (@gnomeicide) raised some important local questions. I don’t think Twitter (140 characters) allows for a proper response; so please find my answers below:

[A] cycle route on remainder of Arbury Road is needed to best serve KH residents. Which do you support, parking or bike lanes?

I assume this is referring to the stretch of Arbury Road running between Milton Road and the Cambridge Gurdwara. I ride a recumbent tricycle and therefore I am acutely aware of how vulnerable cyclists can feel in this area, especially when riding up from Milton Road with cars parked on the left hand side.

Following recent boundary changes this area will fall within the new Chesterton Division and therefore is not an area where I have spoken to residents (yet – but I plan to now join Cllr Ian Manning in that area to discuss this very issue). As the King’s Hedges candidate, it may be politic to suggest that parking restrictions are applied and a full cycle lane added. However, this would be a very significant change that is likely to adversely affect the residents on Arbury Road (who have bought houses with on-street parking). Therefore I think it’s important that we discuss options with local residents and campaign groups (e.g. Cambridge Cycling Campaign) before making major changes. Where one group will be adversely affected, we must seek to find mitigations to help limit impact and provide compensatory measures.

From my travels across King’s Hedges, I have already highlighted to Council Officers a number of problems in the existing cycling network (e.g. the pram irons between Ramsden Square and Campkin Road, the narrow chicane leading onto Arden Road etc.).  As we seek to improve transport efficiency, we should be constantly identifying opportunities that will help reduce conflict between pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

Thus far, [I have] seen no progress in dealing with pavement parking and grass verges being wrecked - how will you approach this?

First priority is identifying locations where this is a problem (usually created through parking of cars on grass), which we are doing through discussions with residents across the area.

Once identified there are two primary options; greater protection through clear and enforced parking restrictions, or paving over the area so that additional parking is available without messy mud pits.

As well as a cyclist, I am a naturalist (my undergraduate degree was Plant Biology), so my instinctive preference is towards preserving the greenspaces in the area, a huge asset of King’s Hedges which can be under-recognised. However I think there may some instances where the space under discussion has minimal environmental value and, with local resident consensus, we may consider extending car parking. For example, I am open to discussions with residents on Haviland Way who have suggested extending some parking bays on their road to remove the existing mud-pits.

Re[garding] trees/hedges in the ward; what are your priorities? Aesthetics, habitat or ease of management?

As noted, I do really value the greenbelts that run across King’s Hedges which significantly enrich living (and canvassing) in the area. There is also clear evidence of vibrant suburban ecosystem; there are not many city divisions where you get to see a Green Woodpecker on your travels.

I think aesthetics and habitat will normally be served together; a diverse and healthy environment is also more interesting and beautiful. However, there can obviously be need for compromise when considering ease of management and the other needs of local (human) residents, which I think is best addressed at initial planning stages.

For example, speaking to people on Apthorpe Way and Beales Way, some trees in that area have now grown so large that roots and branches have caused damage to local housing and some being inevitably removed. Such expensive and damaging interventions could have been avoided with better initial planning for the long-term, with consideration given to the species of trees planted and their distance from homes.

My priority will therefore be to work with officers, residents and local groups to develop the long-term plans for our area. I was recently admiring the Exeter St James Neighbourhood Plan and I am keen to discuss ideas for a similar project with local community groups. I understand that one such scheme is just beginning in South Newnham and I would be keen to work with the local community on a similar project.

I've got a BIG problem with Rosenstiel - he's still active among local LibDems. Are you ok with that?

I am attempting (possibly naïvely) to avoid personal disputes in my campaign as I’d rather focus on the issues around King’s Hedges. I understand that you are referring to an event that happened before I joined the party and I think it would be inappropriate for me to make public comments about sensitive personal matters.

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Post office to remain closed

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Chesterton Community College Expansion Confirmed!

Following a school/parent led campaign, supported by Cllr Ian Manning and Cambridge Liberal Democrats, the Children & Young Person's Committee finally agreed to fund the expansion of Chesterton Community College!

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Cllr Manning comments to CYP committee on Chesterton expansion

Cllr Ian Manning has submitted the following comments to today's CYP committee:

This decision should, I believe, be a no-brainer for the committee, despite the layers of obfuscation that have been piled onto it.  It is in fact the first of multiple decisions to be made about expanding places, as the figures show clearly that demand is to rise across the whole north area.  This is reflected in the recommendations in the rest of the paper, and specifically d).

Regardless of what is happening in the wider area, I need to be clear though that committee should approve Chesterton's expansion today.  Demand from areas for which is is the natural school is not being met currently, and would be by an expanded Chesterton.  That Chesterton, which was first approached by The County Council about expanding in 2013, should still be waiting for a decision should be embarrassing for us all. 
Please approve item 4 as a whole and 4c in particular.
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