Market Ward's local councillors have put together a new update with key information on local services, which we hope will be helpful. We are all grateful for the acts of kindness and committed public service that abound in these difficult times. It obviously remains vital for us to follow the guidance that is being set and to hope for a gradual end to this crisis. Stay safe!
The bins – The collection of green bins by the city council is resuming this month. Collections days will be the same as the blue bins. Because it has become slightly more labour-intensive to ensure social distancing among the crews, they are only guaranteeing one of your two dates in May and will just do their best to achieve the other: you can check against your address here: https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/check-when-your-bin-will-beemptied.
- If you use brown bags rather than green bins, and you need more bags, please tell Tim at his email address firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Out-of-town recycling centres – The county council is re-opening these next week (including our closest at Milton). The emphatic message is only to visit if it is really essential, ie if you cannot store the waste at home safely or use kerbside or bulky waste collections. Because of the social distancing challenges and the potential for a lot of suppressed demand, a series of new operating rules have been introduced, including some limitation on items accepted, which you would be well-advised to consult before setting out to avoid disappointment. You can find them here: https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/news/household-recyclingcentres-will-be-open-on-monday-11-may-for-essential-use-only.
Parking – The current position is that the county council has suspended enforcement, apart from cases of obstructing the highway or other dangerous parking. The city council is also not charging for use of its surface car parks (like Adam & Eve Street). No decision has been taken over how long these things will last, but clearly once shops and offices in the city centre start to open again, the system will need to revert to normal. The council has promised to give due notice before enforcement restarts, and obviously we will do our best to spread the word when news reaches us.
Rough Sleepers – We said last time that the council is trying to get all rough sleepers into accommodation so they can self-isolate. By the end of last week 120 have been offered and accepted rooms, but a small number have been evicted or refused and additional individuals are still being found. The accommodation includes local hotels, student rooms and some council properties. We are keen to see a longer-term plan to prevent people going back to rough sleeping after the lockdown is over: there could be lasting progress here! Meantime, to highlight an individual who is still rough sleeping so an offer can be made, call 0300 500 0914 or report online at www.streetlink.org.uk.
Aggressive begging – We’ve heard reports of some aggressive begging around the city centre. This won’t necessarily be rough sleepers and may be a facet of less footfall on the streets making begging less lucrative. Please report any incidents of this to the Police on 101 or online at https://www.cambs.police.uk/report/Report. Our advice remains not to give money to beggars and contribute instead to the local charity which has been set up as a positive way of helping people off the streets: https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/cambridgeshirecommunity/csa.
Mutual Aid Teams – These great networks of neighbours remain in operation and are an important place to turn for those who need help while self-isolating. If you would like to either offer or receive help, email MarketWardAid@gmail.com or, if not an email user, call the city council on 01223 457000 who will put you in touch - or ask any of us. Please let others know about this, especially if they may be needing help. Contact us if we can help in any way.