A number of concerned residents have contacted us about inaccurate claims made by one of the Liberal Democrats’ West Chesterton candidates in the upcoming local elections. We feel it’s important to set the record straight and put residents’ minds at rest.

Cllr Dalzell stated in his letter to residents that North Cambridge deserves better than being taken for granted by Labour. We believe residents deserve better than being fed false information.

Copy of Liberal Democrat street letter from Jamie Dalzell
Copy of Liberal Democrat street letter from Jamie Dalzell
Claim: Cambridge City Council is taking developer money intended for a swimming pool in North Cambridge and building a pool in Newnham with it.
Reality: This is simply not true. The City Council is not building a pool in Newnham.
Cambridge University is planning to build a pool on its site. We have made sure that they provide public access to this. We haven’t given them money from North Cambridge to build this pool. The claim in Cambridge Liberal Democrats’ letter is very misleading and we are calling on them to retract and correct it immediately.

Claim: The decision to use North Cambridge monies for a pool in Newnham was made at Planning and Transport Scrutiny on 11th January. 

Reality: In this committee, which was looking at the Area Action Plan (AAP), various topic papers were brought so that a transparent and open discussion of evidence could take place. One of these topic papers contained a suggestion that developer contributions for the North East Cambridge site (which are not likely to be enough on their own to generate the money for a swimming pool) could be put towards the university pool. Bringing a range of options for discussion is the duty of officers who want to inform members properly. The comment on the pool was a suggestion to aid discussion, but no decision was made on this issue at the meeting. 

NO decision was made on the allocation of North Cambridge swimming money. The committee only noted the findings of the background evidence documents and gave authority to the Executive Cllr, Katie Thornburrow to amend their substance before they feed into the public consultation.

The fact that no decision was made on the allocation of North Cambridge swimming money was clarified twice after the meeting (both in the press and in Full Council) by the executive councillor for planning, Katie Thornburrow, who made it clear that even building a pool on the North East Cambridge site itself had not been ruled out, and that decisions would be made once the sport and swimming strategy was in place, as part of wider discussions on the local plan. 


Our comment: The Liberal Democrats claim that they want to be part of open and transparent democratic discussions as councillors. They claim they want to know about things at an early stage, before everything is decided, so that they can input into the discussion. And yet, when that happens, they take papers out of context. Do they really want to close down in-public debate on difficult issues at an early stage and only have the ruling group present them with a ‘fait accompli’? 

If the Lib Dems were not happy with the reassurances they received on two occasions from Cllr Thornburrow, why didn’t they ask an officer to confirm it rather than sending a direct mail to scare residents? Why didn’t they ask Cllr Smith, whose portfolio includes swimming, to check what was happening with city swim facilities? Or might it be that they really don’t care about the facts?


The background:
  • Big developments trigger some money for swimming. The money isn’t enough for a full-size pool at the moment, so we are holding onto it until we get more.  We have not taken away any money due to North Cambridge.
  • In the meantime, we are updating our sports strategy, including looking at possible sites for a new full-sized pool when there’s enough money to build it.
  • We have not ruled out a pool being built on the North East Cambridge site. The strategy for that site is still being written. The North East Cambridge site, as well as some sites in South Cambs, will trigger further S106 money. The balance of the contributions might impact exactly where the final site goes, but clearly it will need to serve people in that part of the city, who currently don’t have provision.

We’re working towards more provision in North Cambridge, not less. The Liberal Democrats really should know better than to play on residents’ very valid concerns especially about health inequalities. Labour certainly cares, our North Cambridge councillors care about their communities – and we will continue to run a council that acts for those communities.

Link to Instagram Link to Twitter Link to YouTube Link to Facebook Link to LinkedIn Link to Snapchat Close Fax Website Location Phone Email Calendar Building Search