Chris Rand writes: Last night (16 July) I attended the City Council’s South Area Committee meeting, held in Cherry Hinton Village Centre. My thoughts can be found by clicking here. The most relevant issue of the night to most Queen Edith’s residents will have been that of parking, and in particular, the progress of the County Council’s “South Area Parking Plan”, announced in 2010, which should be well into its implementation phase by now.
Unfortunately, as our County Councillor Geoff Heathcock has explained, the review appears to be running hugely late, apparently “due to budget and staffing cuts”.
Council officials appeared at the meeting last night, but their presentation was rather vague, in my opinion, as to when the report might come out, and what it might contain. They certainly didn’t give any impression that concrete measures were going to be implemented to relieve the gradual transformation of the streets in the west of Queen Edith’s into an overflow car park for Addenbrooke’s and Hills Road Sixth Form College; indeed the word “asset” was mentioned when referring to street parking spaces. I suspect the County Council view the streets as a revenue-generating opportunity.
There were some very angry residents at the meeting. Several claimed to have been campaigning on this issue for ten years, with little or no acknowledgement from the Council. One of them eloquently asked for the streets to be turned back into two-way thoroughfares, which sounds like a concept so simple it would make the basis of a great campaign.
With Council officials (note – not Councillors) showing so little obvious sympathy for residents, one has to ask: “What actually is the argument for not clearing our streets?” The aim doesn’t appear to be to help Addenbrooke’s, for example, which I believe is more than happy to provide sufficient parking spaces on site for its staff, at a charge of course. When the policy review is eventually published, perhaps later in the year, it will be very interesting to see what it contains. I feel it will be the overwhelming election issue in this ward next year.
Do have your own say below.