Lib Dems reveal six year plan to improve local centres

February 6, 2014 12:37 PM

Andrea Reiner Market Ward 2011Cambridge Liberal Democrats have proposed a six year programme aimed at improving local centres around the city thanks to a substantial increase in income from business rates for the City Council after funds were freed up by the government and returned to local authorities.

Mitcham's Corner will be the first area to undergo improvement for residents and traders under the ambitious programme revealed by Cambridge Liberal Democrats.

At least two other projects will follow expected to cost between £200,000 and £340,000 each, aiming to encourage parallel investment from developers and businesses.

In addition to the increased business rate income, the programme will also be funded from funds freed up from adjustments to staff pension scheme contributions and committed savings plans, which are exceeding targets.

It has also become apparent that here is a need to invest a smaller amount than expected into the staff pension scheme which has made more money available while at the same time committed savings plans are also exceeding targets.

Cambridge City Executive Councillor for Public Places, Andrea Reiner (pictured) said: "These improvements will make a huge difference to our local centres, improving their quality and hopefully giving residents and traders greater pride in the environment.

"We will be going out to full public consultation on each scheme and it is hoped the programme can also benefit from other funding such as developer contributions. These are very important investments in the future of our city."

Cambridge City Council Leader, Tim Bick said: "We have wanted to see this type of co-ordinated scheme for some time and we are very excited that it can now be afforded. I hope that the prospect of improvements will galvanise the involvement communities and businesses together. The area around Mitcham's Corner, already identified as an opportunity area in our new local plan, is exactly the right place to start.

The project will be funded with £50,000 in its first year and £195k in each of the following five years.

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