I’m so pleased there’s at least going to be a bit of variety available when I come to vote. That is all. Read this, then I promise not to bang on about the mayoral election any more, until much nearer the time.
I’m so pleased there’s at least going to be a bit of variety available when I come to vote. That is all. Read this, then I promise not to bang on about the mayoral election any more, until much nearer the time.
Surely the Council officers work for us, and we elect Councillors to tell them what to do. But it seems to be that salaried County Council officers think they can do what they like.
For those of you who like to know about local planning applications, I thought I’d do a roundup of what’s happened to some of those I’ve highlighted here in recent months. It includes an important petition which you might like to see, and news about Phase II of the Hills Road Cycleway.
A look ahead to the new year in Queen Edith’s ,and a chance for me to thank those people who represent us in government and our local authorities: it’s a largely thankless task, but it shouldn’t be.
As predicted, the developers want to cram six three-storey detached houses into the plot which has been occupied by numbers 3 and 5 Queen Edith’s Way.
On Hills Road, Emmanuel College has removed a mature hedge border between one of its properties and the street, replacing it with a wooden fence. It has only ‘retrospectively’ applied for planning permission.
I think that a mayor could be a good thing, if we elect the right person. All of our councils have been run forever by a seemingly endless succession of middle-aged white men wearing suits, and it’s been inspiring nobody.
What do they want to do? Almost inevitably, build a house at the bottom of a garden. This one’s sunk down with three bedrooms in a basement below ground.
The third application in a week for development in Queen Edith’s Way, this time right at the other end. And it’s one we’ve seen many times before.
At the start of the 20th century, most of Queen Edith’s was countryside. The north-western corner around Rock Road was the only real built-up area. Over a hundred years later, much of the area is showing the strain of its vintage.
It’s all happening on Queen Edith’s Way. The owners of “The Hollies” Residential Care Home want to convert the building into a 26-room guest house.
I understand that the owner of no.5 has bought no.3 and wishes to demolish both properties at the same time. There is no indication of what might be built in their place. The demolition application comes from Gibson Developments Ltd
Where? Mowbray Road, corner of Glebe Road. What do they want to do? Build a 47sq.m three-room bungalow at the end of the garden.
In this last of my five part series on the streets and transport, I’d like to bring you an update on where we are with the City Deal, because things have changed even since Monday. Thursday evening saw a meeting of the City Deal ‘Executive Board’, and the main item on the agenda was to decide on the next stage of the “A428 Cambourne to Cambridge Better Bus Journeys” scheme. Bear with me if you think this hasn’t got much to do with Queen Edith’s. As I mentioned before, they’ll be turning their attention to the A1307 Babraham Road soon, so forewarned is forearmed.
In a City with such skills, abilities and wealth at hand, a practical futuristic vision should be deliverable. Tim Moore explains.
Was there ever an initiative in Cambridge that united so many disparate groups of people against it, for so many different reasons?
Ever thought you’d like to see improvements to local streets, and said to yourself: “We’d chip in towards that ourselves if we had the chance”? Actually, you can.
Get ready for five daily blogs on transport this week, starting with this personal view of what the City Deal is trying to do. It’s not very encouraging so far. But see what you think.
Looking at the numbers, it would appear that Cambridge would make a perfectly sized constituency if it could gain as many people as happen to be in Queen Edith’s.
The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has now decided against the ‘marriage of convenience’ between Queen Edith’s and Trumpington.
Where? Strangeways Road. What do they want to do? Build a two-storey, 4-bedroomed house in a triangular area of land.
The following information has been sent to me by local resident Ken Hart, a member of a long-established group called South Cambridgeshire Against Marshall’s (SCAM),…
Where? 17 Hills Avenue. What do they want to do? Build a single-storey, 3-bedroomed house in the garden, adjoining 18 Cavendish Avenue.
Where? Cherry Hinton Constitutional Club, 142 – 144 Cherry Hinton Road. What do they want to do? Convert the club building into flats, and build a new club building behind the existing building.
I don’t think many people are aware of how much building and development is brewing in our area. Two events in the next fortnight will shed light on what’s happening.
Today the council published plans for cycle lanes on Queen Edith’s Way, including one idea which transplants the grass verge by the houses to separate the pavement and cycle lane. There’s also a plan for an innovative replacement layout for the Fendon Road/Queen Edith’s Way roundabout.
Going out of the city, traffic will soon be invited to speed up just as it approaches Cherry Hinton Hall Park and the alleyway opposite, an area where children are frequently crossing.
In the latest example of “Quick – there’s a space – let’s build on it!”, competing parties have their eyes on the plaza in the centre of the Leisure Park. First out of the blocks, in the black corner, are the owners of the site, X-Leisure (themselves owned by Land Securities), who want to build a new restaurant building between the Travelodge and The Light Cinema.
Jennifer received 1189 votes in Thursday’s election, a 43% share. This represents a big rise for the Liberal Democrats, reversing a trend and making Queen Edith’s probably the ‘safest’ Lib Dem council seat in Cambridge.
This Thursday, there are two elections taking place, one for the local council and one for the county-wide Police & Crime Commissioner, and I thought I’d preview them both here.
I’m convinced that there’s a much greater interest in the local council election than the fairly low voting turnouts suggest. This week’s hustings event showed that people want to know more. (Warning: contains videos featuring me!)
It’s little wonder that the people who get elected are usually the ones who stuff the most paper through our letterboxes every day in the lead-up to the election. We’d like to start changing things in a very small way, right here.
Smarter Cambridge Transport is asking for a six-month trial of city-wide neighbourhood parking schemes, allowing local communities to choose the most suitable parking controls for each area. Support its request by signing the petition at the Cambridgeshire County Council website.
Monday night’s council “South Area Committee” meeting heard what the Cambridge News described as a “blistering attack” on many local transport initiatives by Stagecoach bus chief Andy Campbell.
I don’t publish on this blog often, but we’ve got two news stories on consecutive days! In terms of its representation on Cambridgeshire County Council, Queen Edith’s is to be merged with Trumpington in a double-sized ward (‘division’) with two councillors, it was confirmed today.
Car parking is a growing problem in several parts of Queen Edith’s, most notably in the roads nearest to Addenbrooke’s and in the roads opposite Hills Road Sixth Form College. In Rathmore Road, Hartington Grove, Marshall Road and Blinco Grove, pavements are regularly blocked and gridlock can ensue as two-way traffic tries to fit into a single carriageway. One solution might be a residents’ parking scheme.
As part of the Greater Cambridge City Deal, this junction is being examined for improvements, and the views of residents and users are being sought.
It’s clear then that the proposed extension of the Biomedical Campus is not good news for wildlife. But according to Aidan Van de Weyer of the South Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats, “No one has demonstrated that there is any demand for the development of this land, let alone made a case that benefits of development would outweigh the damage that it would cause.”
Our streetlights may remain on overnight, after the city council has stepped in and proposed to cover the cost.
We may not have a village centre, or signs naming our part of the city, and we may not even be represented by the city’s MP, but I’d like to think Queen Edith’s is steadily continuing to develop more of a character as it grows in importance.
You may remember that six months ago, I wrote about a proposal to radically re-shape Queen Edith’s county council ward, as part of a wider council reorganisation. We now have a major update to that, and a final chance to have your say.
The County Council’s has granted us a consultation survey on the proposed streetlight switch-off. But there are still many questions to be answered, and many serious objections to the plan.
This is an exciting time in the development of our city, and if you’d like to take part, there are opportunities to do so.
Cambridgeshire County Council seems determined to press ahead with its plan to turn off the county’s streetlights after midnight. Here’s what residents were told at Monday night’s City Council South Area Committee meeting.
It was probably the best-attended South Area Committee meeting for a long time. Here’s what the council officer and contractors had to tell local residents about the cycleway saga.
The first ever Queen Edith’s Community Action Morning was considered a big success. Here are some photos!
A small, single storey house on Worts’ Causeway has been bought by a local property developer and plans submitted to replace it with two 4-bedroomed, 3-storey houses.
Following a letter from government inspectors questioning council plans, local residents are being urged to contact the council leader.
We often complain that major works like this are progressed without talking to the residents, so the council should be congratulated on holding a well-publicised consultation on this one.
The Boundary Commission has suggested new ward boundaries for the city which will radically reshape Queen Edith’s with respect to the county council.
At under 34%, George’s vote share was the lowest for the Liberal Democrats for over 20 years, but it was still easily enough to hold off Labour.
Heidi Allen is the new MP for South Cambridgeshire, following yesterday’s election, where she increased her party’s majority from 7,800 to well over 20,000
I don’t have access to any privileged information, but what the heck, let’s take some educated guesses as to what will happen on Thursday.
Matt says the problem with having all councillors from the same party is that if your view differs, you’re at risk of finding yourself without a voice.
Andy is a fan of more strategic approaches to issues. He has made his presence felt at South Area Committee recently, sometimes to considerable effect.
Joel would like to see Queen Edith’s find its identity between the city and the countryside, and see how we can support each other as a community.
A while back, Candido Channell thought that UKIP “seem like real people, like me” – unhappy with how things are but wanting to do something about it.
George Pippas decided to enter local politics for the first time four years ago, and was elected to the city council. He is now standing for re-election.
This could be a more interesting election than it appears. I would not be surprised if we get an interesting result.
The brand new “Queen Edith” public house in Wulfstan Way opened for business this Friday lunchtime. Mrs R and I were amongst the first at the bar.
Here are the five candidates, from all of the five major parties in England, standing for election as our new MP for South Cambridgeshire.
Our local newsletter has been given a grant to continue. Now, if we can get advertising from local businesses, we can make the issues more extensive.
South Cambridgeshire was only created as a constituency in 1997, so we have just four General Elections to look back on.
I’m amazed, especially with an election taking place, that the plan to switch off streetlights at night has not been a bigger issue.
The original plan has been completely revised, and the feeling is that the new design, as approved, will be better for both cyclists and pedestrians.
Most people in the area assume we’re in Cambridge. But it was decided a few years ago to ‘donate’ Queen Edith’s to the South Cambridgeshire constituency.
Addenbrooke’s roundabout handles a massive amount of traffic, yet has to cater for some of the most vulnerable members of society.
The South Cambridgeshire constituency now has a full slate of candidates from the five major political parties for the 2015 General Election. Here they are.
If you’re a Queen Edith’s resident, over the next few days you should be getting the relaunched issue of “Queen Edith’s Community News” through your letterbox. Here’s why I’m rather excited about this.
How on earth did something as hideous as “The Marque” get built? The city council commissioned a report to try to find out, and it’s just been published.
The remodelling of Hills Road to accommodate ambitious cycle paths, continues to cause some controversy between some residents and the council.
There has been considerable disquiet amongst members and visitors over a decision to make three of the seven rangers redundant.
This meeting was appalling, exposing the sheer awfulness of the whole system, from the way different parts of local government don’t talk to each other, to the exclusion of the public from decision-making.
The bimonthly South Area Committee meeting of Cambridge city councillors is coming to Hills Road, and there is a public speaking slot too.
The columns are taller, and can light up a wider area, but it seems to me that this just appears to have allowed a reduction in the number of lights.
The corner of Luard Road and Sedley Taylor Road catches both car drivers and cyclists unaware, and has been the site of regular accidents over many years.
Several well-researched submissions by local residents are known to have been provided, with the authors also planning to present their case in person.
Nightingale Park, South Area Committee, a new community website, 20mph consultation, the EF Language School, Networking lunch, and a load of Bollards…
I was rather hoping this blog had finished with the EF Language School development, but over the last few weeks, there’s been wholesale destruction of the greenery around the site.
This blog isn’t intended to be a community newsletter, but here are some of the publications which might bring local events to your attention.
I’d strongly encourage all local residents to wander over to Rock Road and take a look at the library display today.
Queen Edith’s has a new councillor, and it’s Viki Sanders of the Liberal Democrats.
By arranging this event, Homerton really showed Cambridge City Council how local democracy could – and should – be brought to the people.
Without rashly predicting who’s going to win, I reckon the winning candidate’s vote share will be low, and the gap between first and third places smaller than it’s been for years.
I’ve compiled a short guide to the details of our forthcoming byelection, including a list of candidates and links to their websites.
A short article looking at forthcoming local and national elections, discussing which parties might be most sympathetic to those wishing to reduce or prevent Green Belt development.
Including: if you get a visit from a prospective candidate, what issues should you be raising with them?
The South Cambridgeshire Conservatives have selected Heidi Allen to be its candidate in next year’s General Election, after Andrew Lansley’s retirement.
The election itself will be held on Thursday 13th November. Councillor Birtles’ resignation still does not have any official explanation.
On a personal level, I have found Councillor Birtles to have been approachable and effective as a councillor, and her resignation will be a loss to Queen Edith’s.
The South Cambridgeshire Conservative Association has chosen a shortlist of four to be the party’s candidate for the next election.
“The Marque” development has been nominated for a major award – but don’t worry, the world hasn’t gone mad, it’s for the “Carbuncle Cup”.
South Cambridgeshire constituency member of parliament Andrew Lansley has announced that he will be retiring as an MP at the next General Election. Mr Lansley…
Balfour Beatty project manager David Callow tells me that the work is scheduled to be completed on 26 August.
Few subjects get people worked up as much in Queen Edith’s as parking, and it’s not surprising, because the attitude of so many drivers is that the law, courtesy and consideration are things that only apply to other people.
I raise this point because I think the council should either make this clearer, or change the format of the meetings to make them more public-focused.
“The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” will be looking at how successful we’ve been (or haven’t been!) at making this area an attractive place to live.
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had the chance to communicate with all of the candidates. Here’s what I’ve found out.
Simply by reading the page I’ve put together, voters of Queen Edith’s will have far more idea about what they’re voting for than residents in any of the other 13 wards of the city.
In 2012, Queen Edith’s provided the most surprising result in the whole of Cambridge when it elected its first-ever Labour councillor: could it provide a shock again in 2014?
Indications are that there’s going to be more competition than last year, as I’ve already had information from three candidates through my letterbox.
Councillors surprisingly went against the advice of their own officers and approved a proposed development on the corner of Hills Avenue and Hills Road.
The main decision to be made seems to be whether to go for a cycle path partitioned off from the road by a kerb and posts, or one which has no barrier (but is wider).
Armed with a fair amount of government money, the council is planning to create wider and safer cycleways which go far beyond painting lines on the road.
The City Council met on Thursday to vote on its “Local Plan”, which will direct development in the area for the next 15 years. The result was a formality.
A special meeting of the City Council takes place this Thursday to consider two petitions objecting to aspects of the proposed Local Plan for the area.
The clique of county councillors called the “cabinet” has been stopped in enthusiastically leaping on the development opportunities looming off Wort’s Causeway.
The County Council has today been ensuring it plays its part in facilitating the locally unwanted development on the Green Belt in Queen Edith’s.
Last night I attended the first “South Area Committee” meeting of the year. I felt many of the 20-30 members of the public there came away unimpressed.
The Save The Cambridge Green Belt Campaign has produced this short guide to the otherwise rather baffling process of commenting on the local Council’s draft local plan.
Last week I had a bit of a rant here about a County Council decision which was simply a bad idea, yet looked like it was going to be implemented anyway. In a small victory for democracy today, the proposal was at least sent for discussion.
The developers have commenced a charm offensive by delivering a “Residents Newsletter” to neighbouring properties, explaining what they’re doing and how long it’s going to take to complete.
Today’s news that our County Council wants to start charging for parking at the Park and Ride sites is not just objectionable, it’s idiotic.
The campaign to save the Cambridge Green Belt now has a website at www.greenbeltsos.org.uk which includes a link to a petition on the subject at Change.org.
Cambridgeshire County Council was recently successful in an application for £4 million of funding to increase cycling in the city, with one scheme aiming to reconfigure Hills Road to provide segregated bike lanes.
Former Queen Edith’s county councillor Geoff Heathcock has condemned the approval of the Wort’s Causeway development in no uncertain terms.
I have now been sent the text of the speech made by Queen Edith’s councillor Jean Swanson outlining her concerns about development on the Green Belt, but explaining her position on supporting the Wort’s Causeway development.
At a special council meeting on Thursday night, none of the city’s Labour or Liberal Democrat councillors were prepared to vote to delete the two Wort’s Causeway sites from the Local Plan.
A number of additional documents have been sent to us which will be of interest to anyone following the case of the Worts Causeway development.
The go-ahead has been given for a new pub in the heart of the area, replacing the old Queen Edith pub on Wulfstan Way.
An excellent letter from local resident Jeremy Jones takes the council’s case for building on the Green Belt to task, on the grounds of it being based on bad data, misinterpreting national guidelines, and conceding to demands too easily.
The council has decided that development on the sites concerned (“GB1 and GB2”) is unavoidable if the required new housing targets are to be met.
In which we find that the proposal for the revised EF Language School development is scheduled to go before the council’s South Area Committee on Thursday 9 May.
In which we learn that the voters of Queen Edith’s have elected Amanda Taylor to be their County Councillor for the next four years.
In the third and final part of my look at the forthcoming County Council election here in Queen Edith’s, it’s time to assess the candidates themselves.
In which, with two weeks to the 2013 Cambridgeshire County Council elections, we see how much we can find out about the four candidates asking for our vote.
In which the revised (April 2013) proposals for the development of the EF Language School on Hills Road become available at the City Council Planning Website.
In which we look at the background to the forthcoming Cambridgeshire County Council elections and wonder if it’s worth voting when the compounded rural vote is likely to continue to dictate the majority on the council.
In which we see what a thoroughly well researched argument against a housing development looks like.
In which the EF Language School returns with a new set of plans for developing its Hills Road site, revealed to the public at an exhibition evening on 14 March.
There is to be a public exhibition of the proposals at the language school on Thursday 14th March, from 7-9pm. It would probably be in the interests of all local residents to attend.
The local campaign to “Save the Green Belt” and specifically to object to housing development on Wort’s Causeway is gathering momentum. A meeting of many of those concerned was held on 30 January, and I’ve paraphrased the minutes here for the benefit of anyone who couldn’t attend or who would still like to get involved.
A council review has identified six sites around the city which it feels could be released from the Green Belt; the two largest areas earmarked as having potential for housing are both within Queen Edith’s ward, either side of Wort’s Causeway.
Although the County Council’s long-awaited South Area Parking Review proposals were a huge disappointment after so much time, with very little of real substance, at least they’re giving residents the chance to express their views.
Whether it’s having nowhere to park ourselves, or having our driveways (and roads!) blocked by inconsiderate parking, the topic affects the majority of people in Queen Edith’s.
The arbitrary allocation of Queen Edith’s ward to the South Cambridgeshire parliamentary constituency, rather than the Cambridge city constituency, looks even more ridiculous in light of the latest boundary commission proposals.
In which Cambridge City Council does the right thing for the residents, the City and its environment.
In which the architects argue with the many points made by the Council Planning Officer when recommending that the application is withdrawn.
In which Cambridge Past, Present & Future objects to the EF Language School development with reference to a number of points in the Cambridge Local Plan.
Streets in the west of Queen Edith’s are being transformed into an overflow car park for Addenbrooke’s and Hills Road Sixth Form College.
In which Councillor Sue Birtles has a letter about the proposed EF Language School development published in the Cambridge News.
In which Senior Planning Officer Sophie Pain says: “the proposal cannot be supported because of a number of concerns”.
In which the Cambridge City Council Urban Design and Conservation Team objects to the development in a series of well-argued points.
In which the City Council’s Design & Conservation Panel describes the EF Language School development as “a confident and assertive introduction to the streetscene”.
In which we find that 221 Hills Road has a fascinating history, dating back to its construction in 1887 as a working-class residential apprentice school for upmarket building trades.
In which the council receives a strongly-worded objection to the demolition of the EF Language School building from The Victorian Society.
In which we get some local media coverage of the council Development Control Forum, held on 5 July.
A proposed Council strategy for the city doesn’t have anything directly to say about our part of Cambridge. Perhaps it should.
In which we learn the details of the Development Control Forum (“DCF”) for the proposed EF Language School development, including how to attend.
In which we get even longer to make our thoughts known, which is good, seeing as so many people are only just now finding out about the proposal.
In which those with a professional requirement to comment on the EF Language School development, and other interested organisations, get their say.
In which it’s confirmed that there’s support for a Development Control Forum (update: it’s happening on 4 July)
In which we get a little longer to comment on the proposed EF Language School development, and that’s most welcome.
In which the petition for the Development Control Forum is submitted, support is offered by local councillors, and more objections are published on the Council website.
In which neighbours start to make their objections heard, in the short time available to them.
In which we make a first move on expressing our thoughts on the proposed EF Language School development.
In which we discover that the building will have “a sense of movement on the facades akin to looking through the branches of trees”.
In which we discover that St John’s Church on Hills Road and residents of Lady Jane Court on Cavendish Avenue were shown early plans some months ago.
In which we discover that the EF Language School on Hills Road is to be replaced with a huge new building. Or that’s the plan.