Parish Council report from County Councillor Nick Clarke
COUNCIL CHAIRMAN LEADS ARMED FORCES DAY CEREMONY
The Chairman of Cambridgeshire County Council, accompanied by Captain Victor Lucas RN, Deputy Lieutenant for Cambridgeshire, and Nick Clarke, Leader of the County Council lead the County Council’s flag-raising ceremony in recognition of national Armed Forces Day. Capt Lucas inspect the standard bearers of the Royal British Legion and cadets from Kimbolton School. Children from nearby Mayfield Primary School attended to watch the ceremony and talk to the veterans. A special Armed Forces Day flag was raised on the County Council’s flagpole at Shire Hall. The flag-raising ceremony event was one of many being organised to take place simultaneously across the country.
Leader of the County Councillor Nick Clarke said: “I am delighted at the way the whole country comes together to recognise the armed forces and the work they do. The flag-raising at Shire Hall will combine ceremony, celebration and dignity, but more importantly will contribute to a wider understanding of the armed forces and the crucial role they play in our national life.”
COUNCILLORS LISTEN TO PUBLIC ON FUTURE OF GAMLINGAY VILLAGE COLLEGE
Following careful consideration of all the options and local views Councillors have said the failing Gamlingay Village College should become part of a federation – keeping the school open. Cambridgeshire County Council Cabinet, after an extended cabinet session to focus on this important matter, emphasised that their main priority is the future and educational standards of the children at the school which was put in special measures by OfSTED earlier this year.
Councillors considered all the options for the school as well as looking at the results of a public consultation and the impact on the community. After careful consideration and hearing all the arguments as well as the results of community impact assessments the Cabinet agreed a federation should be established with another school – keeping Gamlingay open. The vast majority of respondents to the consultation – 611 – were in favour of keeping Gamlingay Village College open and federating it with Stratton Upper School in Biggleswade.
Cambridgeshire County Council Leader Nick Clarke said: “Gamlingay Village College is a failing school and at the forefront of our thoughts is the welfare and educational achievements of the local youngsters. When we are talking about the future of children it is the strength of argument rather than the strength of voice that we listen hardest to.”
“Clearly doing nothing was not an option but we listened carefully to the arguments for and against closure. We took particular attention of what local people were saying, as any proposals we make will directly affect the lives of their children and the impact of any decision on the community. Equally we listened hard to the people whose job it would be to try and turn this school around and have confidence in their ability and enthusiasm to do their best for the children of Gamlingay. That is why we decided to opt for the federation option.
ALCONBURY – A NEW ENTERPRISE ZONE
Government is being urged to back a bid to make Alconbury a new enterprise zone – signalling to the world that the greater Cambridge and Peterborough area is open for business. The decision to put forward Alconbury to Government would be a win for the whole area and urges communities to get behind the bid. Cambridgeshire’s economic success is vital for the country. Not only would local jobs and business prosper from an enterprise zone but it is well recognised that Cambridgeshire is an area whose success could kick start and grow the UK’s economy.
The Government’s enterprise zone initiative would see an area set up where businesses are encouraged to grow with the reduction of previously constricting red tape. In return the local communities across the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership area would benefit as the business rates are reinvested in the area rather than going to the treasury as they do now.
Developers working in partnership with Cambridgeshire County Council are planning a dynamic and innovative employment-led development on the former Alconbury Airfield just to the north of Huntingdon. The Enterprise Zone would cover 150 hectares of what is a very large 575 hectare site in total. Alconbury is ideally placed between Cambridge and Peterborough, and should help to enhance the economic links between the complementary business communities in and around those two cities.
Councillor Clarke, who sits on the Local Enterprise Partnership Board, said: “Although Alconbury was chosen out of the five bids if it is granted enterprise zone status it will benefit the whole area making it a win for everyone. Now is the time for us as councillors, our communities and businesses as well as our MPs to get behind this bid and do what we can to persuade Government that it’s in the local and UK interest to grant us an enterprise zone.
This would see more jobs and prosperity created while money raised locally is kept locally to benefit the area rather than going into a large Government pot. We know that the area is a world beater in innovation and is a leader in driving forward the UK’s economy.
FUTURE JOBS FUND
During the last 15 months Cambridgeshire County Council Adult Careers Service (Next Step) has worked with 35 local employers to support over 200 unemployed young people to find work. This six month job, funded through the Future Jobs Fund, has resulted in many young people moving into full time employment or going into further/higher education.
ROADS DRESSED FOR SUCCESS IN CAMBRIDGESHIRE
County Council Contractors have been out and about across Cambridgeshire carrying out an extensive programme of work to improve the roads. Over the past few weeks, the work costing a total of £1.2 million, has seen many miles of road surface dressed to improve the highways for all road users. The team have used recycled granite railway ballast, which will cut costs and protect the environment by re-using materials.
County Councillor Leader Nick Clarke, said: “This extensive programme of work is part of the County Council’s commitment to repair and maintain the highway network in the best possible condition within the resources available to us – by re-using the old railway ballast we can keep costs down and surface dress more miles of road within the same amount of money.”
ALL ABOARD TO PLAN YOUR BUSWAY JOURNEYS
Timetables for The Busway have been released so people can begin to plan how they will use the new reliable, fast and frequent bus service. Stagecoach and Whippet Coaches, who will run the services on The Busway, have now registered the new services and timetables, including maps showing stops the different services will use. Timetables are now available on The Council’s website by visiting:
Printed timetable booklets will be made available on current bus services between Huntingdon, St Ives and Cambridge before The Busway opens on Sunday 7 August.
The timetables confirm Busway services will run seven days a week, and from Monday to Saturday 7am to 7pm there will be buses running between St Ives and Cambridge at least every 10 minutes. Services to Huntingdon will be every 20 minutes with an hourly evening service running until midnight.
It is anticipated around 3.5 million trips will be taken on The Busway each year and the guideway will provide far more reliable journey times for passengers than current services. The timetables include bus services from the new Busway Park & Ride sites in St Ives and Longstanton. The southern section of the Busway will also open on Sunday 7 August and the completely traffic-free route will allow passengers to travel from the Trumpington Park & Ride to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in just four minutes.
Leader of the County Councillor Nick Clarke, said: “With 7th August opening of the The Busway fast approaching it is great news we have been able to publish the timetables so people can begin planning how they will use the route. With WiFi, air conditioning and leather seats the buses will offer a high quality rapid transit for journeys in and out of Cambridge. Each week more and more jobs are ticked off the list as anticipation is building to the grand opening.”
TOP NOTCH SURFACE FOR FINAL SECTION OF CYCLING SUPER HIGHWAY
Transport chiefs have announced a super smooth blacktop surface will be added to the final section of the 16-mile path next to the Guided Busway on the section between Swavesey and St Ives. would have an upgraded blacktop surface rather than crushed limestone as originally planned. Work has already begun to add a blacktop surface to the path for cyclists, walkers and horse riders and following the successful bid for £150,000 of Government links to schools funding, held by transport charity Sustrans, every section will now have the highest quality surface.
It has also been agreed to raise the level of the sections of the path next to the guideway between St Ives and Swavesey as approved by the Environment Agency. After the work is completed rain water will no longer collect, flood the path, and make it impassable for much of the year. The cost of raising the level of the defective path will be deducted from former contractor BAM Nuttall as they built the path at too a low level despite independent and official warnings.
The work is scheduled to take place in August and September and does not need to be completed before The Busway opens on 7 August. As originally planned, the path will be built above the level of the surrounding land.
Leader of the County Councillor Nick Clarke, said: “The path next to The Busway is going to be a fantastic addition for Cambridgeshire and it is great news that we have secured the funding to make sure it as attractive to use as possible. Cyclists I speak to are really excited about the path, which will be part of the national cycle network, and the blacktop on every section is a massive bonus.
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