The Leader of Cambridge City Council, Councillor Lewis Herbert, has added his tribute to Professor Stephen Hawking as the flag at the City Council’s Guildhall is lowered by the Council to half mast, following Stephen’s death today (14 March) at his home in Cambridge.
Councillor Herbert said: “The Council is lowering the Cambridge Guildhall flag today to remember our city’s most famous and respected citizen, Professor Stephen Hawking. He was a world renowned champion of science and rational thought and a champion of his home city of Cambridge. He was also a fierce defender of the National Health Service that looked after him so diligently, and was implacably opposed to current Government plans to the fragment it. An essential part of his enduring legacy will be to inspire all those like him who support the NHS, that helped him for so long, to grow stronger and instead of constant undermining be properly funded for the whole of the century we live in.”
The Chair of Cambridge Labour, Maureen Donnelly, has also paid tribute to Professor Stephen Hawking, who was a long time member of the Labour Party in Cambridge.
Ms Donnelly said: “Professor Hawking’s brilliant mind and remarkable life was an inspiration to millions all over the world and we were honoured to have him as a member of Cambridge Labour for the past 21 years. As well as unlocking the wonders of the cosmos for the ordinary person, he was also a passionate defender of the NHS. We send our sympathies to his family and will always remember his courage, humour and determination to get the most from his life.”
The Leader of Cambridge City Council, Councillor Lewis Herbert, has added his tribute to Professor Stephen Hawking as the flag at the City Council’s Guildhall is lowered by the Council...
Councillor Kevin Price, the City’s Executive Councillor for Housing, has welcomed news that the Government is to relax part of its freeze on benefits by raising the amount of housing benefit some private sector tenants can claim, known as Local Housing Allowance (LHA), for 2018/19 but said that the disparity between private rents and the LHA cap in Cambridge is so great that it will be of little use to most renters in the City because the formula used is an average from a wider geographical area.
Councillor Price said: “Those housing affordability crisis in Cambridge not only drives the market sale price of homes but also the rental value so even getting an affordable private sector tenancy is difficult for many, including those who work but are on low incomes. Housing benefit - called Local Housing Allowance for private sector tenants - is designed to help but the way it is set by averaging out rents across a wide area and then capping it at a low level simply doesn’t recognise that Cambridge has a much bigger affordability problem than our neighbouring districts.”
“It’s been frozen since 2015 so any change is welcome but the reality is that the planned increase of 3% to the cap for LHA rates within the Cambridge Broad Rental Market Area (BRMA), which includes the City, still won’t reflect the reality of rents in Cambridge, even at the lowest end of the market.”
Councillor Price added: “ Cambridge mustn’t become somewhere only the wealthy can afford to buy a home and only the well paid can afford even to rent a home. We do everything we can to help. In 2017/18 we have used over £41,000 to top up housing benefit through our Discretionary Housing Payment funding and we are also now using the Homelessness Reduction funding to help families stay in their homes, but we need changes to how the LHA rates are calculated and for the freeze on LHA itself to be dropped. Until that happens many will continue to be faced with a risk of homelessness or moving out of the city to cheaper areas.”
Councillor Kevin Price, the City’s Executive Councillor for Housing, has welcomed news that the Government is to relax part of its freeze on benefits by raising the amount of housing...
Letter of support from Labour group for UCU defence of University pensions
I hope you are well.
I am writing to share the position of the Labour Group of Councillors on Cambridge City Council who have unanimously agreed to provide their support for UCU defence of University pensions. They also wish me to point out that the Labour Group look forward to the promised change to the position taken by the University of Cambridge over this issue to date.
Our support for the current industrial action reflects our concern that Universities including the University of Cambridge are proposing a move from defined benefits to defined contributions that would cause significant erosion to the benefits members expect when they retire.
We are sure you are aware that the active support for the strike by members of the university is not something that has happened lightly, and it has strong support within the wider community as well as in the University and colleges. We are equally sure that many staff that have not taken industrial action also support those colleagues and are just as concerned about cuts to pensions. We hope you recognise that their lack of action is unlikely to be because they are happy with the proposed change to their pension. The divisions caused, including between staff, will in outcome likely damage staff relations, the culture in the workplace and the success and reputation of the University of Cambridge.
As Vice-Chancellor you rightly play a key role in the national scene and also play a strong leadership role locally. We hope and trust that you will recognise the damage these changes are bringing to the pension scheme in Cambridge and will work to ‘reinstate’ the status quo.
Councillor Martin Smart
Labour Group Secretary
Cambridge City Council
Dear Stephen Letter of support from Labour group for UCU defence of University pensions I hope you are well. I am writing to share the position of the...
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