Abbey


Re-elect Cllr Joan Whitehead to the County Council on May 4th

County Councillor Joan Whitehead

63 Abbey Road, Cambridge, CB5 8HQ, joan.whitehead@cambridgeshire.gov.uk

Dr Joan Whitehead retired recently from the Education Faculty at Cambridge, and has lived in Abbey Road since 1981. Joan says: "I have been actively involved in union work in the university, and campaigned successfully for improvements in conditions of service and equal opportunities for all University employees. As a County Councillor I aim to continue campaigning for equal opportunities, because most Tory-controlled authorities, like Cambridgeshire, are using ‘austerity’ as an excuse to make people redundant, and to undermine nationally agreed conditions of service and pay scales. Such measures should be opposed, and the hard-won rights of working people defended.

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"Talking to people on the doorstep it is obvious that many areas of Cambridge are badly served by the public transport system – bus routes seem to be determined for the convenience of Stagecoach, who are effectively a monopoly bus company, rather than meeting the needs of local people. This is particularly true in Abbey. The Labour Group on the County Council is determined to fight for better public transport and I will give the strongest possible support to that fight; and to efforts to improve our local footways, cycleways and highways."

 


Latest News and Campaigns

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Abbey to Addenbrooke’s bus trial gets go-ahead

The campaign by Abbey Labour Councillors for a bus to run from Barnwell Rd to Addenbrooke’s Hospital has proved successful. The County Council have finally agreed to spend over £90,000 of developer contributions on a trial of the badly-needed bus service.

The campaign, led by Cllr Richard Johnson and Cllr Joan Whitehead, collected more than a thousand signatures. Now funding for the trial has been agreed, and if enough people use it, then the route could become permanent. Go Whippet have agreed to manage the service for an initial nine month period, starting from April. The bus route will run from Newmarket Road park and ride to Addenbrooke’s via Newmarket Road, Barnwell Road, Brooks Road, Perne Road, Cherry Hinton Road and Hills Road.

Cllr Joan Whitehead, who presented the paper to the Council arguing for the route, said: "There seems little doubt that such a bus service would be welcome and used. It will provide a much-needed direct bus route to Addenbrooke's.” 

 

UPDATE: THE 115 BUS WILL COMMENCE ON TUESDAY 3 MAY - BELOW IS THE TIMETABLE. NOTE THAT THE BUS WILL STOP AT ALL BUS STOPS ON THE ROUTE, INCLUDING ON NEWMARKET ROAD NEAR MEADOWLANDS ROAD/JACK WARREN GREEN AND THE CEMETERY.

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Former West's Garage Site Latest 

Abbey councillors found out that developer Threesixty have withdrawn at the last minute their application for 195 student flats on the former West's garage site on Newmarket Road. Planning officers were to recommend approval to councillors of the plans on Wednesday 27 April which - despite concerns expressed by residents and councillors about height, appearance, transport, and loss of amenity - were judged to be an improvement on the previous proposals for the site. The first proposal was for 202 student flats and rejected by the City Council's planning committee in April 2015, only for it to be overturned at appeal by a Government Planning Inspector. 

The developer plans to unveil new proposals on May 3rd to residents. It is suspected Threesixty want to take advantage of the decision by the Planning Inspector in order to revise height and room figures.

Cllr Richard Johnson said: "Residents and councillors are concerned the developer wants to go back to the drawing board, so to speak, in order to extract more value from the site and ‘pack and stack’ more students in to the detriment of the area."

More funding won for improvements to Ditton Fields rec

At a meeting of the City Council's East Area Committee on April 7th, councillors voted to award £5,000 for a proposal to improve Ditton Fields rec. The proposal was submitted by Abbey Cllr Richard Johnson and the Abbey People community group. The project aims to improve the rec by making the entrances more welcoming and friendly, and provide new benches and a noticeboard. Council officers say that this project could be combined with the other project to install new play equipment on the rec (see below).

Abbey Councillors seek action on littering problems at Newmarket Rd Retail Park 

At the East Area Committee on April 7th, Cllr Richard Johnson asked for action to be taken by City Council officers on littering problems around the Newmarket Road Retail Park site, with a focus on removing the cans, bottles and wrappers that are thrown into shrubbery from B&Q to the main entrance junction. This will happen in parallel with efforts already underway by the City Council in tackling littering on the other side of the road by the Wickes and Staples stores.  

Meadowlands/Homing/Westering pavement to be relaid

Labour councillors over the last few years have received many comments from residents about the poor state of the pavement at Meadowlands Road, The Homing and the Westering. Following enquiries by Cllr Caroline Hart, the County Council have pledged to retarmac it in the next financial year. The County Council inspector, who accompanied Cllr Hart at a site meeting earlier in April, declared that several sections of the footway contravene health and safety standards, meaning there is a very real risk of injury to people - particularly those who are infirm or disabled - navigating the pavement.

Labour councillors will monitor the situation, will continue to remind the County Council of its commitment, and push for the project to be completed early.

McDonald's litter problems persist in Wadloes Rd

Wadloes Road residents have told Cllr Richard Johnson that, despite Richard persuading McDonald's a few years ago to increase the distance that their staff conduct litter patrols from the Newmarket Road restaurant, problems still persist.

Richard will be asking City Council Environment and Waste officers for a meeting with McDonald's management to discuss the situation.

Ditton Lane/Newmarket Rd toucan crossing project

A proposal for a new crossing at the Ditton Lane/Newmarket Road junction was awarded £60,000 of funding by the County Council's Eastern Corridor Area Transport Fund back in December 2011. However, over four years on, work has still not started. This has come as a source of great frustration to Abbey councillors. County Council transport officers say cutbacks and reorganisation since the government cuts, together with need to focus their priorities on delivering the City Deal transport projects, is why the project has stalled.

Following another attempt by Abbey councillors to prompt the County Council into action, a project officer has now been assigned the task of researching how to accommodate changes to the traffic signals in the existing roads as a result of the new crossing. Once this work has been completed the project will then progress to consultation.

'Wing' development approved by planners despite Abbey councillor plea for more affordable housing

The Wing development - a project for 1,300 new homes, shops and a new primary school, on land owned by Marshall's north of Newmarket Road near the Fison Road estate - had its 'outline' planning application passed by the Joint Development Control Committee (JDCC) on 20 April. The JDCC is a planning committee made up of councillors from Cambridge City, Cambridgeshire County and South Cambridgeshire Councils.

Abbey Cllr Richard Johnson appeared at the committee and spoke to the application. Cllr Johnson said he was concerned plans submitted contained a proposal to reduce the number of affordable homes for social rent by half - compared to previous commitments by Marshall - as part of a plan to reduce the total number of affordable homes from 40% to 30%.

Marshall's say they had no choice to because of land values and the cost of relocating its businesses to build the new homes. Cllr Johnson said he understood the desire of Marshall to make a financial return on the development, but reminded the Committee of the importance of providing much-needed affordable homes for workers in the Cambridge area, and for councillors to uphold current planning policy of there being at least 40% affordable homes at new developments. Richard also was concerned the lack of affordable homes would have an impact on how successful 'Wing' will be in intergrating with the neighbouring communities in Abbey. He called for the committee to defer or reject the application so Marshall could refine their plans to meet the 40% affordable homes target.

Despite Richard's best efforts, councillors voted for the application.

Labour Councillors win funding for new play equipment…

At the recent meeting of the City Council’s East Area Committee on 29 October, Labour councillors voted for funding for new play equipment for under-fives at Ditton Fields rec and replacement of worn-out equipment at Dudley Rec. Cllr Richard Johnson said: “I’m really pleased funding has awarded for Abbey play areas. It will take some time for the equipment to be installed but when eventually put in place it will be fantastic for local kids.”

… and apply for signage to stop lorries going down Stanley Road 

Cllr Peter Roberts and local residents have put in an application for funding of £2,500 for new signage to assist with and complement a proposed Traffic Regulation Order to narrow Garlic Row to prevent right-turning HGVs from travelling in the direction of Stanley Road. Councillors will now wait for news on whether funding will be granted by the County Council following a value for money assessment early in 2016.

"Ward Walks" launched to give residents a greater say in tackling Abbey 'grot spots'

Your Labour City Council has started a new initiative to allow identification of areas of our ward where cleansing is needed or works should be ordered to improve public spaces.

Officers from the City Council Street Cleaning Team, your councillors and interested residents attended three ‘ward walks’ in Abbey over the last few months at Riverside, Silverwood Close and Ditton Fields.

Among the works identified were:

  • Removing graffiti
  • Referring complaints about new street lights being too dim to County Council contractor
  • Installing new dog bins
  • Removing fly tipped rubbish
  • Removing build-up of litter to entrances Ditton Fields rec and Abbey Road to Swanns Road

Please let your councillors know if you want your area to receive a ‘Ward Walk’ visit.


Your Abbey Labour Team

City Councillor Richard Johnson

688 Newmarket Road, Cambridge, CB5 8RS, richard.johnson@cambridge.gov.uk, 07712 129529

rj.jpgRichard is Executive Councillor for Community, Arts and Recreation, which covers community centres and community development, sports and leisure, and arts and cultural events organised by the council.

Some highlights of Richard's work as Ward Councillor since he was elected in May 2012:

  • won funding for knee-high fencing to protect green spaces in Peverel Road and to improve access for pedestrians and cyclists to Stourbridge Common;
  • persuaded Newmarket Rd Tesco to build a new path linking the supermarket to the Rowlinson/Stevenson estate and replace its collapsing fencing;
  • successfully pushed for an improved new play area design for Coldham's Common;
  • found councillor support for his proposal for the County Council to do detailed work on identified key schemes for the Eastern Gate opportunity area on Newmarket Road - such as removing the Elizabeth Way roundabout to make the area safer for cyclists
  • worked with residents in Riverside and the police to tackle drug-dealing there.
  • successfully lobbied the County Council to include a new and improved library facility in the proposed East Barnwell Community Hub
  • lobbied Stagecoach over changes to the Citi 3 bus service which has made journey waiting times longer for Whitehill estate residents

Richard is currently campaigning for improvements to the Abbey public realm, for example to use developer contributions to redevelop Dudley Road play area. Richard also leads on the campaign to deliver a new bus service from Abbey to Addenbrookes hospital, with 1,000 having signed the campaign's petition.

 

City Councillor Caroline Hart

3 Galfrid Road, Cambridge CB5, 8ND, 01223 457242 or 01223 520027, caroline.hart@cambridge.gov.uk,

ch.jpgCaroline has lived in Abbey ward since 1987, and has always been actively involved in the local community. She worked at the East Barnwell Community Centre for eight years as an administrator; she also worked as a youth worker and a volunteer children’s worker, and for many years as a parent helper at the 29th Cambridge Cub Scouts.  She currently works as a civil servant in the plant health sector, and meets local residents daily on the number 3 bus on her way to and from work.

First elected as a Labour councillor in 2002, Caroline currently represents Cambridge City Council on the Marshall’s Airport Consultative Committee, and has also served as Deputy Mayor and Bailiff.

Local democracy is important to Caroline and she supports Abbey People, (previously Abbey Action), local residents’ groups and neighbourhood watch.  She regularly attends meetings in the ward dealing with specific community and residents’ issues as they arise, as well as dealing with individual residents’ confidential case work.

Giving all children a fair and equal start in life is very important to Caroline. She joined the Ditton Fields Nursery School Governing body in 1992 and continues to be a  governor at The Fields Children’s Centre, for many years as named governor on the Centre’s Equalities Committee, with special responsibility for Special Educational Needs.

Caroline has also continuously lobbied for funding for improvements to Play Parks in Abbey; and most recently secured improvements to our local shopping areas and street furniture in both Ditton Lane and Barnwell Road.

 

City Councillor Peter Roberts

pjr40@cam.ac.uk
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Peter Roberts, 29, was born in Derby and went to his local comprehensive. He has  worked  for a London council and as an MP’s office manager. He is currently completing his PhD in Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge University where he has also been an undergraduate supervisor.  Peter has helped organise events for the Global Poverty Project and has been an active supporter of Amnesty International and the co-operative movement. He is a member of the trade union Unite which he joined when he worked as a forklift driver to fund his studies.

Peter said “I will continue  to be a proactive ward councillor all year round and not just at election times. I hope I have been a strong voice for you on the council and promise I will continue to make myself easily contactable.”

 

County Councillor Joan Whitehead

63 Abbey Road, Cambridge, CB5 8HQ, joan.whitehead@cambridgeshire.gov.uk

jw.pngDr Joan Whitehead retired recently from the Education Faculty at Cambridge, and has lived in Abbey Road since 1981. Joan says: "I have been actively involved in union work in the university, and campaigned successfully for improvements in conditions of service and equal opportunities for all University employees. As a County Councillor I aim to continue campaigning for equal opportunities, because most Tory-controlled authorities, like Cambridgeshire, are using ‘austerity’ as an excuse to make people redundant, and to undermine nationally agreed conditions of service and pay scales. Such measures should be opposed, and the hard-won rights of working people defended.

"Talking to people on the doorstep it is obvious that many areas of Cambridge are badly served by the public transport system – bus routes seem to be determined for the convenience of Stagecoach, who are effectively a monopoly bus company, rather than meeting the needs of local people. This is particularly true in Abbey. The Labour Group on the County Council is determined to fight for better public transport and I will give the strongest possible support to that fight; and to efforts to improve our local footways, cycleways and highways."

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