East Chesterton Liberal Democrats

East Chesterton Liberal Democrats Working for You – all year round

Primary School offers – 16th April

April 15th, 2014 by Ian Manning
Comment?

cp

sp

The National Offer Date for primary school admissions this year is 16 April 2014.

Offer letters will be posted out to parents on 16 April 2014, by second class post. Due to the Easter period, we expect that parents will receive their letters from 22 April 2014.

Parents who applied online however, will receive an email on the day, 16 April 2014, informing them of their offer.

The admissions team says:

Whilst we have managed to meet a high percentage of first preferences, we are expecting there to be a significant number of disappointed families who have not received an offer of one or more of their preferred schools.

Cllr Manning is able to help with the admissions and/or appeals process as ever – but please remember he cannot overrule any individual decisions.

Parents are required to contact the school they have been offered directly, to accept their offer. We have highlighted to parents that they will not be able to contact schools until after the Easter break – the majority of schools will re-open on 22 April 2014.

Any parent who has been refused a place at one or more of their preferred schools does have the right to appeal against this decision. All the information can be found on the County Council website http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/info/20059/schools_and_learning/363/apply_for_a_school_place/8

MANNING CALLS FOR OPEN THINKING ON COUNCIL TENDER

Monday, April 14th, 2014 by Ian Manning

osi_symbol

Cambridgeshire County Councillor, Ian Manning is encouraging open source based tenders for the council’s future back end systems.

The move would build in flexibility and potentially save on expensive licence costs.

Cllr Manning, who represents Cambridge’s East Chesterton on the county council, became aware of the idea through his membership of the Local Government Shared Services (LGSS) joint committee which runs the council’s shared services collaboration with Northamptonshire.

Currently, the Councils in LGSS have several “Enterprise Resource Planning” (ERP) systems in place and are looking to upgrade and replace them all with one platform.

“It’s great that the organisation is consolidating its offering – which will take LGSS from strength to strength,” said Cllr Manning.

“I’m concerned about the overall cost of the current solution, and feel that open source alternatives could provide a better, cheaper, and more flexible alternative.”

Cllr Manning is spearheading the adoption of more open source software across the Council’s IT platforms, and is looking to hear from organisations that provide commercial level support for those systems.

Notes:

[1]  The tender can be found here:  http://www.sourcenorthamptonshire.co.uk/contracts/show/id/10097

[2]  Government policy encourages councils to adopt more open source software instead of commercial software

Large funeral – St Andrew’s Church 16th April

April 11th, 2014 by Ian Manning
Comment?

We would like to make you all aware of a funeral that is due to take place this coming Wednesday 16th April at St. Andrews Church on St. Andrews Road. As most of you will be aware, the funerals that take place at the church are generally on a large scale which can cause some congestion in the surrounding streets.

The mourners will be arriving from approximately 10:30, and we envisage the area to be clear by 12:30. As usual, the bollard’s that are located on the junction of St. Andrews Road and Elizabeth Way will be dropped to allow better access for residents and visitors.
There will be police present at the funeral to help with flow of traffic, so should you experience any problems do let us know.

THURSDAY 20 MARCH: North Area Committee tonight – 1930 @ The Shirley School

March 20th, 2014 by Ian Manning
Comment?

Tonight is the latest meeting of the local council meeting covering West & East Chesterton, Arbury and Kings Hedges.

There is an open forum where you can raise any local issue you want and get answers from your Councillors (me included!) but the agenda also has:

Update on the 20mph speed limits project
Police & Crime Comissioner Graham Bright
Head of Stagecoach buses, Andy Campbell

There is also a discussion of community funding allocations and the Buchan Street neighbourhood centre improvement project.

The full agenda is http://democracy.cambridge.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=199&MId=2650&Ver=4 .

7 Church Street Redevelopment – public exhibition

March 19th, 2014 by Ian Manning
2 Comments

There is a public exhibition of plans for 7 Church Street on Wednesday 26th March. It is being run as drop in between 1600-1900 at St Andrew’s Hall. Please see attached poster.

7 Church Street Developemnt

Full Council on the internet will prevent members “hiding” – Manning

March 17th, 2014 by Ian Manning
Comment?

Cambridgeshire County Councillor, Ian Manning has called for full council meetings to be streamed on the internet and votes recorded to prevent some members “hiding” in the council chamber.

Cllr Manning, who represents Cambridge’s East Chesterton, claims the move will give the public an opportunity to judge whether councillors’ stands on particular issues are backed up by their voting record.

“Engagement with the public is key to a vibrant, successful local democracy,” he said, “but you won’t get that engagement by hiding behind the doors of the council chamber.

“With the change of governance to a committee system, we’re starting a new era so it is all the more important that residents can see how decisions are made and hold all councillors to account.”

Cllr Manning believes the lack of contribution from some councillors will affect how people vote in elections.

“Whether it is Labour failing to oppose the administration’s budget, or the silent backbenches of both UKIP and the Conservatives, residents will be able to judge far better who represents them,” he said.

Cllr Manning will propose the streaming of full council meetings across the internet and the recording of all councillors’ votes at the next full council meeting on March 25.

His suggestion builds on his efforts to open up the county council to the public.

It follows his successful move to reduce the number of signatures required on a petition to trigger a council debate. Residents fighting the threatened closure of Huntingdon’s Cromwell Museum used the new rule to prompt a debate on its future.

Talking about New York

March 13th, 2014 by Ian Manning
Comment?

Further to Cllr Manning’s suggestions of looking to New York for how to carry out Highways works – http://eastchesterton.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/03/12/county-should-look-to-new-york-for-highway-ideas-manning/ – he did an interview with BBC Cambridgeshire this morning.

You can listen here, starting 1hh 27mins in: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01sdnvm

MINISTER CONGRATULATES HUPPERT’S “ROBUST CAMPAIGNING” AS SCHOOLS GET £20M BOOST

Thursday, March 13th, 2014 by Ian Manning

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert has been congratulated in Parliament for his “robust campaigning” on extra funding for Cambridgeshire schools as it was announced that they will get an extra £20 million from next April.

Julian received praise from Schools Minister, David Laws who said that areas like Cambridge, which have seen an unfair amount of funding would receive the greatest boost.

Mr Laws’ congratulations came as Julian told Parliament that Cambridgeshire schools had been underfunded for 30 years and were “right at the bottom of the pile”.

“At last this government will do something about it where others haven’t,” said Julian, “and on behalf of all those campaigners, particularly the Schools Forum and the Cambridge News, which have campaigned for many years, thank you.

“Can I urge the Minister to make sure this actually happens?”

Mr Laws said: “I congratulate my honourable friend for being such a robust campaigner for these changes; hardly a week has gone by over the last few years when he hasn’t been lobbying me for fair funding for Cambridgeshire.

“I know there are schools within this county which are at the moment in vision distance of other schools in other authorities which are funded in a totally different way. That always was unfair and we are now addressing it.”

Julian, who has campaigned on this issue for over a decade, led a Westminster debate on the schools under-funding issue and has been pushing ministers to act, said the seven per cent increase was welcome news after schools suffered years of financial neglect under successive governments.

“The settlement is extremely welcome news because it means our schools will no longer be the lowest funded in the country,” he said. “Our children have been taught in schools that have been chronically short-changed for the last 30 years.

“There is no excuse for treating Cambridgeshire differently to other parts of the country. Our schools are doing a great job despite working against a backdrop of under-funding but they could do so much more for our children with a fairer settlement.”

Schools were receiving much less than the average – £600 per pupil per year less – putting them at the bottom of the nation’s financial league table.

The new settlement will give a two form entry primary school with 420 pupils an extra £275 per pupil per year from £3,950 to £4,225 That means the school will receive a total of £115,500 a year more.

There is now a consultation, and in a bid to make sure the extra funding happens Julian has launched a petition - http://bit.ly/CambsSchoolsFunding - calling on Mr Gove to implement the new settlement in full as quickly as possible.

The petition “Cambridgeshire schools deserve a fairer funding deal!” supports the extra funding and tells Mr Gove: “Please don’t leave our children short-changed any longer.”

County should look to New York for highway ideas – Manning

March 12th, 2014 by Ian Manning
1 Comment

Cambridgeshire should look to the streets of New York for innovative ways to solve some of its road and transport problems.

That’s the view from Liberal Democrat County Councillor, Ian Manning who is challenging highways officials to learn from the American city when making changes to public spaces.

He claims that often the way that Cambridgeshire County Council plans, implements and consults on highways changes crushes innovation and radical thinking, burying staff in bureaucracy and hampering councillors’ efforts to improve their communities.

“We spend months and months drawing up theoretical plans and consulting, only to spend all the money, then often realise something has been overlooked – and we have no money to fix it,” said Cllr Manning.

“Why not carry out consultation in the real world? This is what New York did and it proved really successful.”

Cllr Manning, who represents Cambridge’s East Chesterton on Cambridgeshire County Council has been investigating the innovative techniques employed by former New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg.

Fatal road accidents in New York City have fallen to their lowest level through traffic calming measures and providing more room for pedestrians on pavements and pathways.

A new model has been created for the city’s bus service and there has been large scale expansion of bike usage. There has also been an unprecedented level of investment in the city’s basic roadways, bridges and ferry infrastructure.

Many of the techniques have been adopted by other cities. Chicago has adapted a design for protected bike lanes, Buenos Aires has taken on board a technique for making intersections safer and simpler and the idea of pedestrianising shopping plazas overnight has been adopted by Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Mexico City.

Cllr Manning believes Cambridgeshire could learn a great deal from the New York experience.

He has contacted the New York City Department of Transportation which was involved in implementing the techniques to get the background on the challenges they overcame.

The experience gained over six years in America showed there was often less resistance and better outcomes, from residents being happier with schemes when implemented and, streets being demonstrably safer to businesses reporting higher footfall and takings.

A report reviewing six years of the New York experience can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/2013-dot-sustainable-streets-lowres.pdf

The truth about Chesterton Bowls Club

March 12th, 2014 by Ian Manning
Comment?

It has been brought to our attention by a number of residents that a letter was recently circulated by Labour alleging that there is a plan to build on Chesterton Bowls Club.

East Chesterton Lib Dems want to reassure you that there is no such plan.

A campaign group, protesting against development on Wort’s Causeway in Queen Edith’s, identified a
number of alternative sites, which included Chesterton Bowls Club. But building on this site was never a consideration as far as the City Council were concerned.

The Lib Dem-run City Council is firmly against developing on flood plains and green open
spaces, and has an excellent and proud record of not doing so. In fact, the last time a local housing development was built on a flood plain – at the Vie estate – happened under the framework Labour had put in place in 1996.

The Local Plan, the document that governs development of Cambridge up until 2031, was recently
voted through by Lib Dems on the City Council. You can find a list of sites under consideration for
development here (and note that Chesterton Bowls Club does not feature):

https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/sites/www.cambridge.gov.uk/files/documents/issues-andoptions-

2-part-2-sustainability-appraisal.pdf

Cllr Manning has also been pushing the County Council and Environment Agency for a flood capacity review in East Chesterton: “You may be hearing from County Council staff shortly regarding a property survey. If you are offered one, I strongly urge that you take them up on the offer as it’ll help us combat flood problems in the future.

If you are interested in hearing the findings of this survey, contact me.”

Previous