Cambridge News

Councillor Gerri Bird and Fen Road area resident Carla McQueen have spoken of their shock after the multi car crash on Fen Road on Tuesday evening.

Councillor Bird said: “This is exactly what residents and ward councillors have been saying was bound to happen for months because of the dangerous and anti-social driving that has been happening in Fen Road, Green End Road and the High Street. Cars are racing each other down the road at high speed or mounting the pavements to overtake other drivers at speed on a daily basis. Less than a month ago we held a meeting about the anti-social behaviour and dangerous driving and couldn’t even get the police to come.”

Councillor Bird added: “Since then I’ve managed to get the Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite, to agree to meet with myself as ward councillor and some residents of the area but this shocking incident tonight just drives home how we need immediate and urgent action to address this from the police.”

Carla McQueen, who is standing for election to the City Council, said: “I live just off Fen Road and went down to the scene immediately. It’s a miracle no pedestrians or cyclists were seriously hurt but there is severe damage to the cars of several residents and to a wall.  I spoke to several residents who were very shaken up. There had been street racing down the road since the late afternoon. One person who saw it happen told me two cars were racing each other down Fen Road at very high speeds towards Water Lane, one hit a car coming the other way which caused a pile up and then slammed into the wall of the house next to the parking bays before smashing into the parked cars in the parking bay by the river.

What will it take for us to get real and sustained action to tackle this dangerous driving? This road is going to see even more pedestrians and cyclists using it as a route to the new railway station once the new bridge across the River Cam is built and it just doesn’t feel safe. It feels like a tragedy waiting to happen.”

Shock as Fen Road Residents’ Fears of Serious Car Crash Proven True

Councillor Gerri Bird and Fen Road area resident Carla McQueen have spoken of their shock after the multi car crash on Fen Road on Tuesday evening. Councillor Bird said: “This...

Councillors at Cambridge City Council will be debating a motion brought by Labour Councillors Peter Roberts and Peter Sarris at the Full Council meeting on Thursday 19 April to consider a lasting public tribute to Professor Stephen Hawking who died on 14 March 2018.  If agreed by councillors, the council would work with the Hawking family, Gonville and Caius, his department and the University of Cambridge as well as engaging with Cambridge residents to ensure the widest support for the scheme.

Councillor Roberts said: “Professor Stephen Hawking was a brilliant physicist who opened up the universe to people all over the world whilst his personal courage and tenacity inspired many facing their own challenges and showed that the human mind has no limits.  He was also a proud resident of Cambridge and a wonderful ambassador for our city. We hope that we can work with his family and colleagues on a fitting tribute to a rare genius and a much loved resident of the city.”

Cambridge City Council to Consider a lasting Public Tribute to Professor Stephen Hawking

Councillors at Cambridge City Council will be debating a motion brought by Labour Councillors Peter Roberts and Peter Sarris at the Full Council meeting on Thursday 19 April to consider...

Councillor Katie Thornburrow, Labour’s newly elected city councillor for Trumpington ward, has said that the Liberal Democrats should have acted much earlier as it emerged that Trumpington’s double-hatting Councillor Donald Adey has not just left Cambridge but has moved to Fife in Scotland and had already done so by March 2018,

Councillor Thornburrow said: “Trumpington is the largest and most diverse ward in the city with more than 9000 residents. It has an area which is firmly part of the core City in Newtown,  another which is very much a village and, of course, one which is a new and growing urban fringe to the city. Over the last six months I have spoken to almost every household and know the importance to them all of strong and effective representation on the City Council and my focus now is on ensuring that that happens.  However, at a stroke Councillor Adey has reduced their effective representation on the County and City councils by half by moving, not just out of Cambridge as the Liberal Democrat Group Leaders Councillors Bick and Nethsingha said yesterday in their statement, but to Cupar in Fife, Scotland.”

“It is clear that his departure was known much earlier this year and I am at a loss to know why Councillor Adey was selected to stand for a second council place by the Liberal Democrats only last year or why the Liberal Democrats waited until after he had left to threaten to withdraw the party whip. Had they acted earlier and made clear the reason, Trumpington residents would have had the chance to ask him directly how he could continue to represent them from 400 miles away.”

Councillor Thornburrow added: “People’s lives change and if Councillor Adey’s future is now in Scotland, I wish him well on a personal level. But the residents of Trumpington need councillors who don’t live a plane journey away and he should stand down and allow someone in the Cambridge community to take on the privilege of representing Trumpington on the City and the County councils. “

Trumpington’s New Labour Councillor Calls on Absent Councillor to Resign

Councillor Katie Thornburrow, Labour’s newly elected city councillor for Trumpington ward, has said that the Liberal Democrats should have acted much earlier as it emerged that Trumpington’s double-hatting Councillor Donald...

Councillor Lewis Herbert, Leader of Cambridge City Council, and other Labour councillors and activists are set to join the McStrike picket line tomorrow at 0800 on Newmarket Road in support of the striking McDonald workers.

Over 95% of workers at 5 stores voted in April for strike action. The BFAWU members are calling for £10 an hour, a choice of fixed-hour contracts, the end of unequal pay for young workers, and for union recognition.

Councillor Herbert said: “Labour councillors believe that McDonald’s staff deserve a decent wage for the work they do which often involves long and unsocial hours and their younger workers deserve to be paid equally with all colleagues for the same work. The company pay structure is complex but a move to £10 per hour as the minimum would be a real sign that the management recognise the contribution their staff make to the company and that the need to be paid properly to be able to afford housing costs in cities like Cambridge and London.”

Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, said: “I fully supported the McDonald strikers last September and am fully in support of their courageous action now, and I will be raising their case in the House of Commons on Tuesday. Their efforts in September showed that, with support from your union, workers can be heard by the bosses at the top. Those on strike are standing up for all McDonald’s staff in looking for better pay and conditions and I hope that management listen to them.”

 

City Leaders Message of Support to McStrike Workers

Councillor Lewis Herbert, Leader of Cambridge City Council, and other Labour councillors and activists are set to join the McStrike picket line tomorrow at 0800 on Newmarket Road in support of...

Councillors Anna Smith and Rosy Moore, who hold leadership positions on the City Council, have spoken to reflect on the changing position of women in society as a statue commemorating the life of the suffragist, Millicent Garrett Fawett, is unveiled in Parliament Square, London, today.

Councillor Anna Smith, who is the Executive Councillor for Streets and Open Spaces, said: “The first statue of a woman in Parliament Square is long overdue, and it is fitting that it is of Milicent, who was a tireless campaigner for women’s suffrage, equality in education and justice for society’s most vulnerable.

Milicent was a Cambridge resident and co-founder of Newnham College, and we were delighted to unveil a blue plaque to her on 6 February as part of the centenary of some women winning the vote.   On that evening we also remembered other leading Cambridge pioneer women, such as Leah Manning, a leading light in teaching unions and a campaigner for equal pay and equal votes, and Clara Rackham, one of my predecessors as a Romsey councillor, who campaigned for a 40 hour week and the protection of vulnerable children.”

Councillor Rosy Moore, who is the Executive Councillor for Environmental Services and the City Centre, said: “Millicent died in 1929, a year after women were granted the vote on equal terms with men but her legacy also continues to be to inspire women everywhere to carry on the fight for genuinely equal citizenship. As an 11 year old in primary school my classmates and I wrote and took part in a play about her life and work. I hope she would be proud that a majority of the Directors and the Chief Executive at the City Council are women, as well as Anna and myself holding leadership positions. There is still some way to go to ensure equal representation of women as councillors and MPs in local and national government by all political parties but this year over half of our new candidates are women.”

Leading Cambridge City Women Welcome Parliament Square Statue Commemorating Cambridge’s Millicent Garrett Fawcett

Councillors Anna Smith and Rosy Moore, who hold leadership positions on the City Council, have spoken to reflect on the changing position of women in society as a statue commemorating...

After incidents at the weekend of some Jesus Green users leaving their picnic mess behind them,  Cambridge City Council Leader, Councillor Lewis Herbert and the Executive Councillor in charge of parks and open spaces, Councillor Anna Smith, have appealed to people to keep all of the city's green spaces clean this summer.

Councillor Herbert said: "It's clear there is a big gap between the behaviour last weekend of most people and the actions sadly of a small, thoughtless minority.  Being out late Saturday myself, I saw that much used Laundress Green was pretty spotless thanks to responsible users there.

Yet several parts of Jesus Green had been trashed. I would hope that in reasonable tone, other users of the parks could point out their responsibility to people planning to walk away leaving a total mess.  All people who want to enjoy our parks in good condition need to leave them that way too.

Our staff are performing a stunning job every summer morning clearing the waste and recycling bin areas, and cleaning all our wonderful green spaces for the next day’s use. And our enforcement staff will be out and will issue fixed penalty fines to all litterers they catch, or are tracked down.  It’s individual behaviour and responsibility that matters here. We all need to enjoy Cambridge through a hopefully long warm summer and we want everyone to keep enjoying it, so I ask those not showing care recently to start doing so.”

Councillor Smith added: “'I’ve been out with our cleansing teams, and have seen for myself how hard they work, often before anyone is up and about, to keep our city clean and tidy. However, I was really struck by how much of their time is wasted by picking up litter that should never have been dropped in the first place. I urge people not to throw litter onto streets and parks but to use the bins provided or to take their litter home with them.”

City Leaders say Help Keep Cambridge’s Green Spaces Clean

After incidents at the weekend of some Jesus Green users leaving their picnic mess behind them,  Cambridge City Council Leader, Councillor Lewis Herbert and the Executive Councillor in charge of...

Councillor Lewis Herbert, the Leader of Cambridge City Council, has said he is delighted that councillors gave unanimous support to a motion brought by Labour Councillors Peter Roberts and Peter Sarris at the Full Council meeting on Thursday 19 April to consider a lasting public tribute to Professor Stephen Hawking who died on 14 March 2018.  The council will now work with the Hawking family, Gonville and Caius, his department and the University of Cambridge as well as engaging with Cambridge residents to ensure the widest support for the scheme.

Councillor Herbert said: ““I am delighted that the motion met with unanimous support from all members of the City Council. Professor Hawking loved his adopted city of Cambridge and his colleagues and our community loved him too. It is right that, as his local council , we will now work in partnership with the University and his college and department to agree how best to remember him. We want to continue to celebrate and share his excitement for scientific discovery with younger people and future generations to come.”

There is already a small statue of Professor Hawking at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology which was unveiled in 2007, and Trinity Hall named a conference/seminar room after him in 2015 but neither is open to the wider public as a tribute to his work and life. In the council debate many contributions focused on how Professor Hawking had made physics and cosmology accessible beyond the academic confines to millions across the world, particularly to young people, as well as how his personal courage and tenacity inspired many facing their own health challenges.

Councillor Anna Smith, the City’s Executive Councillor for Streets and Open Spaces, said: “As the lead for the Council on this project, I am looking forward to meeting with the University and Professor Hawking’s academic colleagues, and with others who want to contribute to developing jointly a project to remember our city’s most remarkable Cambridge resident in my lifetime.”

Cambridge City Leader Delighted by Unanimous Support for Lasting Tribute to Professor Stephen Hawking

Councillor Lewis Herbert, the Leader of Cambridge City Council, has said he is delighted that councillors gave unanimous support to a motion brought by Labour Councillors Peter Roberts and Peter...

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.

City Leader and Cambridge Labour Pays Tribute to Cambridge’s Most Famous and Respected Citizen

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.”

City Housing Chief says Planned Benefit Increase is too little to help City’s Struggling Private Renters

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...

Mrs Nicky Massey, a campaigning mother who sadly lost her son, Ethan, just before his fourth birthday in 2013, has welcomed the decision by Cambridge City Council to scrap funeral service  fees for children and young people under 16.

Mrs Massey spoke at the Cambridge City Council Budget meeting on 22 February to highlight the difficult position many bereaved parents found themselves in after the death of a child, with worry about how to manage the financial cost of the funeral.  She said: “In 2013 I lost my son just before his fourth birthday. The costs I faced for burial fees were a real concern at the time.  I was a single parent carer reliant on benefits and I did not know where money would be coming from, and what my future without my my youngest child would be.  Whilst most funeral directors already forgo payment for a child’s funeral, this hasn’t been the case for burial or cremation fees which grieving parents still have to face, and which can be substantial.”

“I fully support the campaign to get the government to create a fund for child burial fees from the Labour MP, Carolyn Harris, who also lost a young child and struggled to pay but so far they have refused to step up.  I am so pleased that Councillor Anna Smith and city council officers have taken the lead here in Cambridge in supporting parents and families through such a difficult time by waiving these fees. I will though carry on campaigning to ensure this valuable support is not a postcode lottery for families and that all grieving parents will have the burden of fees lifted from them.”

Councillor Anna Smith, the City Council’s Executive Councillor for Streets and Open Spaces, said: “Everyone in the Council chamber was moved by Mrs Massey's courageous and heartfelt questions, which showed us so clearly why we were right to scrap these fees. No family should have to go through what she went through at such a time. That's why, like Mrs Massey, I am calling on the Government to scrap child burial fees right across the country."

 

Campaigner welcomes Move to Scrap Child Funeral Service Fees

Mrs Nicky Massey, a campaigning mother who sadly lost her son, Ethan, just before his fourth birthday in 2013, has welcomed the decision by Cambridge City Council to scrap funeral...

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