East Chesterton Liberal Democrats

East Chesterton Liberal Democrats Working for You – all year round

Huppert Takes Lead Role In Lib Dem Pre-Manifesto

Monday, September 15th, 2014 by Ian Manning

MP Julian Huppert has played a lead role in writing the Liberal Democrats’ pre-manifesto which will shape the party’s national campaign for next May’s General Election.

The pre-manifesto outlines the key issues that the party believes are crucial to Britain’s future success. They will be voted on by its members at the Lib Dem Autumn Conference in Glasgow next month.

Julian said: “This pre-manifesto gives a clear view of the issues that we believe are vital to make sure that everyone has a fair and equal chance in our society. We have achieved a great deal in this Parliament but there is still so much more we can do for the people of Cambridge and across the country as a whole.

“We have overturned 30 years of financial neglect in our schools, achieving an extra 23.2 million for Cambridgeshire and our pre-manifesto commits to a national fairer funding formula which would give our schools even more money.
“And we have invested in measures to give youngsters the best chance. Our Pupil Premium is helping disadvantaged youngsters keep up with their classmates and our younger children 15 hours a week of free nursery schooling. We would increase that even further to 20 hours in a new Parliament.

“We have also cut tax bills by £800 a year and lifted the poorest out of paying tax altogether; we would push that further to give workers back another £400, raising the threshold at which people start paying tax to £12,500. That’s a huge help for hard working families.

“We would also introduce a new Freedom Bill to protect citizens from excessive state powers and pass a Digital Bill of Rights. These Bills would make sure that the government would never have the power to intrude on anyone’s privacy as outlined in the so-called Snooper’s Charter that we killed off.”

Other proposals in the pre-manifesto include:

• Pushing forward with the Regional Growth Fund, which has already delivered 99,000 jobs with a £3.6 billion investment, to back growing businesses;

• A discounted bus pass for the under 21s so that they can afford to get to work or college. This would provide another boost for our young people following the success of the apprenticeship programme which has helped almost two million people;

• Cutting £50 from household energy bills and boosting competition among suppliers;

• Introducing a £250 Carers’ Bonus to give carers a proper break every year;

• Keeping house prices and rents affordable and boosting house building to 300,000 a year.

“Our economy is growing and more jobs are being created but there is so much more than needs to be done,” added Julian. “This pre-manifesto sets out those areas where we can make a difference.”

Help plant the new Nature Reserve extension!

September 11th, 2014 by Ian Manning

We’ve received this from the City Council, about the completion of a project started by the Liberal Democrats when we  ran the City Council:

The earthworks are nearing completion and we are soon to let the river flow into the newly created back water and reedbed habitat on Logan’s Meadow Local Nature Reserve.

We’d like to invite you to come and lend a hand planting young reed on the Saturday 18th October 2014, between 10.00a.m. and 4p.m. Meet at the base of the Swift Tower on the sports pitches, accessed via the white cycle bridge or Logan’s Way.

We’ll provide the plants, tools and gloves, you’ll need to bring your wellies!

Please let us know if you intend to join us at [email protected] or simply turn up on the day, you are welcome to stay for as long or as little as you are able.

Folk will be on site to explain the project and instruct where and how to plant the reeds.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Please feel free to pass on this invitation to friends, colleagues, local groups and residents. We hope to see you there.

Park street car park consultation

August 18th, 2014 by Ian Manning

The City Council are consulting about the future of Park Street multi-storey car park.  

There is a copy of the paper leaflet here:

Park Street Car Park Survey

Or you can respond online here:  http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/parkstreetcpsurvey

Please note all replies must be received by noon on Friday 19 September 2014.

Riverside bridge – maintenance and cleaning (at last!)

August 15th, 2014 by Ian Manning


riverside bridge

riverside bridge


After a lot of chasing and pushing, we’re pleased to announce that, as part of maintenance work, the Riverside foot/cycle bridge will be cleaned.

Repairs will also be made to the structure and replacements to the wires thatt were recently vandalised.

Cllr Ian Manning said “Many residents have been chasing getting the bridge cleaned up for a while.  It’s very difficult to clean the upper structure in a cost effective manner, so combining with maintenance works seemed very sensible.

It’ll be great to see the bridge looking clean as new again!”.

Underpass works update

July 31st, 2014 by Ian Manning

Further to the previous post, this was featured by the Cambridge News yesterday:


We will continue to update here.


Manning acts on safety fears as work begins on underpass

July 31st, 2014 by Ian Manning

Fears for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists as long-awaited work begins on Cambridge’s Milton Road underpass today (Tuesday, July 28) have been expressed by Cambridgeshire County Councillor, Ian Manning.


Cllr Manning, who represents East Chesterton, is worried that vulnerable road users could be put at risk as an alternative route means pedestrians have to cross the busy road at several points. The work also leaves cyclists competing with traffic for restricted road space.


He will visit the site tomorrow (Wednesday, July 29) with County Council officers to see how traffic management is working and will push for a safer alternative route for pedestrians and cyclists.


The underpass is being demolished and rebuilt as part of plans to build the new Science Park station on the site of the old Chesterton sidings. Work is expected to finish in December.


“Clearly, this is an important project and naturally there will be disruption to traffic, pedestrians and cyclists while the work is taking place,” said Cllr Manning. “But I am worried that motor traffic has been given priority leaving those people that use the underpass vulnerable.


“I have gone into detail with officers and the contractor, Balfour Beatty. It seems that we are restricted as to what can be done by national legislation. We have to have a road width of 6.75 metres and the rest of the road is needed for machinery.


“But it is vital that we do everything we can to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe. I want to check to see whether we can find a safer and more convenient route for them and maybe free up some of the restricted road space.”

When is a house not a house – long campaign to clean up Chesterton Fen gets a win!

July 28th, 2014 by Ian Manning

This week Cllr Hazel Smith, Lib Dem representative on South Cambridgeshire District Council for Milton, was able to report to local residents that they were one step nearer to getting the new sewer they have been waiting for, for over 30 years.

Along with East Chesterton County Councillor Ian Manning, Cllr Smith submitted plans to the Welsh consultation, knowing it would influence guidance for the rest of the UK.

Now that new guidance has been issued in Wales, and requires water companies to take into account permanent caravan sites in their calculations to determine whether or not a sewer should be provided. Following the Welsh lead it is expected that Defra will recommend that the same guidance be adopted in England – this would eventually improve the environment for the whole community and especially those living at Fen Road, Chesterton.

Cllr Manning explained the importance:  “Every year I get complaints about foul smells at Grassy Corner and along the River Cam.  Providing proper sewerage facilities will stop this blight on our area.”

Cllr Smith said: “This is really good news. We made submissions during the review and we’re happy to see that these have been fully taken into account. When the water companies decide whether they will provide a sewer for residents where there is environmental damage occurring, now permanent caravans and utility blocks will be treated like buildings.”

“Unfortunately nothing will change very quickly – the guidance in England may come out fairly soon, but the next step after that would be another petition like we presented in 2007. If it is successful the water company would then be duty-bound to provide a sewer within seven years.”

Chesterton Fen residents have reacted positively to both the changes in Wales and the prospect of future changes in England.

Fen Road resident Nelson O’Connor said: “This is good news! We just can’t wait for this sewer. It’s ridiculous to have waited so long, we have lived here for 30 years, and if we had been living in a house this would all have been sorted out a long time ago.”

Chesterton Fen Road has an extensive Traveller site where, earlier this year, Cllr Smith conducted a survey which counted 274 toilets – all of which currently feed into septic tanks, cesspits and small treatment plants.

Cllr Smith said; “Given the large number of residents and that this is a low-lying area with a relatively high water table it’s good for the whole of Chesterton and everyone who uses the river to see progress like this.”

The Welsh guidance says:

“For the sake of clarity, buildings should include mobile homes and caravans on permanent sites, such as holiday parks, and permanent facilities blocks containing toilets and washing facilities.”

Chesterton-Abbey Bridge feasability study

July 16th, 2014 by Ian Manning

In order to make the process as transparent as possible, Cllr Manning has put the documents that make up the feasibility study online here:


We should note that the County Council is not consulting on these documents – it is consulting on the options presented here:


although the options in the second link above are influenced by the feasability study, there are also questions of deliverability that are included in final options to be presented for public consultation.

Area Committee changes reduce residents’ chance to have their say

Monday, July 14th, 2014 by Ian Manning

Cambridge Liberal Democrats fear sweeping changes to the City Council’s area committees could seriously reduce residents’ say in decision making.


The changes mean that the Labour ruling group intend to reduce the frequency of area committees by over 30 per cent a year.


Lib Dems fear this will severely impact on residents’ opportunities to hold their councillors to account.


Councillor Rod Cantrill said: “This is a backward step for the City Council. It will mean the loss of local decision making and more decisions will be taken behind closed doors in the Guildhall.


“Cllr Lewis Herbert, The leader of the Council indicated at the Council’s Annual Meeting that the Labour ruling group intended to ‘refresh’ Area Committees – this step highlights that the new ruling group intend to do the opposite and ‘suffocate’ Area Committees


“Area committees provide an environment for residents to speak without feeling intimidated which they sometimes feel when attending meetings at the Guildhall.”


Cllr Mike Pitt said: “Labour has wasted no time in making this move which will lessen residents’ involvement with the City Council. They have taken this decision without consulting residents who will be directly affected by these proposals.


“I hope that it is not a sign that Labour are being arrogant with the democratic power the residents of Cambridge have entrusted them with”

A “pat on the back” for the Tour de France is not enough

July 14th, 2014 by Ian Manning

Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats claim it is not enough for the county to pat itself on the back for the success of the Tour de France but instead it should be creating a lasting legacy.

They have criticised a Labour motion to the next full Cambridgeshire County Council meeting which just congratulates organisations for their help and support without building on the event.

Councillor Ian Manning, Lib Dem Spokesperson for Corporate Resources said: “It is absolutely right that we should be proud of the way our county celebrated the Tour de France, but we should go further.

“There is a real opportunity here to create a lasting legacy but Labour’s motion fails to address that. We should be looking at the way this event can benefit our residents now and in the future.”

Cllr Manning says the County Council should:

  • Commit to completing the Chisholm Trail by 2020
  • Commend the publication “Making Space for Cycling” – written by the Cambridge Cycling Campaign – and asking for all highways schemes to officially consider its recommendations;
  • Publish a regularly updated map showing current aspirations for cycle routes across Cambridgeshire;
  • Investigate running a bicycle equivalent of the Ride to Work Day that is run for motorcyclists as part of International Bike to Work Day.