Cambridge’s Labour controlled City Council has achieved so much in 2020, working with key partners in the third sector and beyond, to support our communities during one of the toughest times any of us has experienced. We’ve made over 200 offers of accommodation made to rough sleepers during COVID and provided the financial and practical support needed to establish and run a network of food hubs across the city. Our commitment to this work remains, and as we move towards 2021 our councillors are looking at ways to continue to make the changes our city needs.
There are 4 key priorities that we will continue to deliver on;
1. Achieving Net Zero Carbon working with Cambridge businesses and the local community, moving ahead of other UK cities. The City Council’s operational delivery generates 1% of carbon emissions, which we have cut by over 25% in the past 5 years. The rest of this work, addressing the remaining 99% of emissions, will be tackled by building a whole community partnership. We will also continue to explore the potential of Doughnut Economics in addressing some of the challenges our city faces. For more details of our Climate Change Strategy, take a look at the City Council’s web site: https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/climate-change-strategy.
2. Tackling inequality: we will continue to support work to tackle inequality in our city, with £900,000 worth of funding committed for 2021 to community organisations, as well as working with key partners to tackle food poverty in communities across Cambridge as part of the Food Poverty Alliance. For more information on our Food Poverty Strategy, go here: Cambridge City Council agree additional action on food poverty
3. Tackling homelessness: we will give all rough sleepers the option of a place to live and restart their lives, throughout the winter and beyond. Currently there are 17 extra homes underway at sites around the city, and we will also repurpose other council housing. For more information, take a look at our Homelessness strategy and consultation: Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy consultation.
4. Building more council housing: we are building 540 new council homes (exceeding our original target of 500) by 2022 for families and homeless people who badly need them, and we have a strategy to build a further 1000 with the aim also of zero carbon homes in the future. For more information, see our Strategy Report on 1000 New Council Homes.
We need to tackle our housing shortage, particularly for rent for people with no chance to buy their own home, and ensure sites for the full range of future jobs that will be needed as our economy recovers. But we must also deliver a Net Zero Carbon future and recognise the the environmental challenges of this, including a severe future water shortage. To keep up to date with the latest reports, take a look at the Greater Cambridge Local Plan.
Look out for details of further opportunities to contribute to the development of the Local Plan, to ensure that it meets the needs of residents and communities across the city and beyond.
How You Can Help
Many of you already contribute a huge amount to the collective efforts to address food poverty, and we THANK YOU for that. It really has made a huge difference to thousands of people having a tough time. If you can, please donate to your local food hub (time, food or money) and help one of city’s 14 Mutual aid networks. If you think someone in your community could benefit from their help, please pass on details of how they can access support: www.cambridge.gov.uk/coronavirus-ask-for-help. You can also make a difference this Christmas by donating to the city’s food poverty efforts here: Cambridge Sustainable Food Christmas Fundraising Appeal.
And lastly, all our councillors want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Better New Year! Enjoy your festive season, and #StaySafeCambridge
Councillor Lewis Herbert, Leader of Cambridge City Council