Brownsfield community planting day – 10th April

Cllr Ian Manning has worked with transition Cambridge to organise a community planting day at Brownsfields Youth Centre – to which all are welcome.

The planting will include herbs and edible flowers and is part of transitions project to encourage communities to produce their own food sources.

The day will be on the 10th April, where cllr manning and volunteers from transition will start prep work, with the community planting of the herb garden at 1pm.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing people there and producing something that doesn’t just look and smell nice – but tastes nice too!” Says cllr manning.

More details soon!

Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) consultation

Defra has launched the consultation on sustainable drainage system (SuDS) provisions in the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 which is a package of measures to implement the SuDS Approving Body (SAB) duties under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. The consultation deadline is 13th March 2012. The consultation document is available at http://www.defra.gov.uk/consult/2011/12/20/sustainable-drainage-systems-1112/

This is particularly important for East Chesterton as large parts of our ward are on a flood plain. Please contact Councillor Manning if you have any comments on the consultation.

In brief the SAB duties require any development with drainage implications to have SuDS approval before construction commence. The Lead Local Flood Authority (i.e. Cambridgeshire County Council) is required to establish the SAB in the local area. The SAB has the statutory duties to approve SuDS for new developments and adopt and maintain SuDS where appropriate.

This consultation package includes:
* A draft National Standards for SuDS
* Four secondary legislations covering Approval and Adoption requirement, Enforcement, SAB Procedures and Appeals

The consultation sets the following main proposals
* The SAB duties are commenced on 1st October 2012
* The SAB will be responsible for all the new surface drainage systems
* The phasing implementation set that only major developments (over 10 dwellings) will be required for approval by SAB within the first 3 years

The County Council’s draft response can be read here: 20120211CCCDraftResponseDefraSuDSConsultation

Green Dragon bridge improvements?

Cllr Manning met with officers this morning to discuss early stage proposals looking at improving the cycle/footbridge near the Green Dragon.

Officers are concerned about the amount of conflict between cyclists and pedestrians, particularly at the exit/entrances to the bridge.

Cllr Manning, with the support of local residents’ associations, has made the point strongly that the priority for any large amount of money spent in East Chesterton for Highways works should be Fen Road, that said he’d support a small scale scheme to reduce conflict and improve the area:

“I asked officers to look into a scheme which would only cost in the region of £10,000 and stressed that I was concerned that anything major so close to Fen Road would have locals querying whether the Council was listening to public opinion after our recent extremely well attended North Area meeting.

I was also interested in whether the visual appearance of the area could be improved, possibly by extending the green space in the area.”

View of the bridge

Lib Dems tackle Fen Road problems head-on for Residents

Cambridge Liberal Democrats are tackling problems on the City’s Fen Road head-on by working cross-party and with multiple agencies to find a solution for residents.

Cllr Ian Manning and resident Clare Blair took control of the issue this evening (Thursday, January 26) at a meeting of Cambridge City Council’s North Area Committee.

A working party has been set up which will co-ordinate the work between officers and councillors from the City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council and South Cambs District Council.

At the North Area Committee meeting, which was very well attended, Cambridgeshire County Council Cabinet member, Ian Bates, heard directly from residents about the daily issues they experience such as anti-social driving, noise and speeding and traffic calming measures that don’t work.

Mrs Blair said: “It was great to see so many people come to voice their opinions and experiences directly to those in power. A wide range of solutions was discussed and there was a clear preference for an alternative access route out of Fen Road to provide a real solution to problems in the area.”

Particularly important is the cross area working that the initiative brings. Cllr Hazel Smith of South Cambs District commented “A solution to the issues on Fen Road will only be found by joined up working between both districts and the County Council, and I’m pleased that this will be taken on by North Area.”

Cllr Manning said that the Chesterton Station project presents a real opportunity to make large scale change.

“I’m glad we’re looking at really radical solutions like a different route out of Fen Road, which will divert traffic away from East Chesterton, as well as highways improvements to the Water Street/Water Lane area and better traffic calming,” he said.

The item was put on the agenda of North Area Committee following a paper written by Cllr Ian Manning and Clare Blair which can be found here: http://bit.ly/xKlPtg

Cam cleanup event – 14th April

Camboaters, having organised the Cam Clean-Up over the past few years and as we look forward to spring, the Cleaner Cambridge Campaign area encouraging people to realise that it is the perfect time to grab a bin bag, litter picker and some enthusiasm for an amble along the river and around the Commons, to carry out a spring clean for visitors to our beautiful city, but more importantly for our local community and one’s own personal satisfaction.

This year The Cleaner Cambridge Campaign will organise a Clean-Up on Saturday 14th April 2012, email pamal.schofield@live.co.uk for more details. Please do get in touch and register your interest.

These are normally fantastic community events and a good day out, the ward team warmly encourage you to join them in volunteering.

Tree planting on the Halingway

Cllr Manning is investigating getting some extra tree planting on the Cam Halingway. The Halingway is the path which runs from the river nearby the Penny Ferry, up into South Cambridgeshire.

View of the start of the Halingway

Cllr Manning explains: The Halingway is one of the prettiest parts of our ward, and when I heard that there was a need to replace trees down it to maintain the natural beauty of the area I was keen to help out.

I’ll of course ensure that local residents are fully consulted over the proposed changes and will look to pull together various funding sources to complete the work.”

Fen Road to be discussed at North Area Community Forum


Before Christmas, Councillor Manning and campaigner Clare Blair produced a paper documenting the many problems for residents in the Fen Road area of East Chesterton.

They secured a special slot at this weeks North Area Community Forum in order to get together all the relevant parties to try and find solutions.

The meeting will be at the Shirley School, Nuffield Road, starting at 1930.

The paper Clare and Ian wrote can be read here: 20111121FenRoad Proposals.

Cllr Manning urges residents to come to the meeting so they can put all their concerns directly to those in power, including the County Council’s cabinet member Cllr Ian Bates: “I’m very pleased Cllr Bates, who is new to the job, has agreed to come to this meeting to listen to residents’ concerns. I’m sure he’ll learn a lot and I hope we can agree some proposed solutions which he’ll be able to support.”

Clare Blair said the new station provided an exciting opportunity: “If we, as a community, can impress on officers and the ruling group at the County Council the need to act on the issues in this area, the new Station in Chesterton may well provide the means to enact change.”

The City’s MP Julian Huppert supports the pair in their efforts: “I applaud Ian and Clare on the work that has gone into this document. I hope residents will take this opportunity to make their views known so that a solution can be found quickly.”

Environmental Improvement Proposals 2012-2013

East Chesterton Liberal Democrats have today published an initial wish list of Environmental Improvement (EIP) Schemes for 2012-2013.

The full proposals can be found here:

20120118EIPProposals2012-2013

Examples of past EIP schemes include: Water Lane bollard upgrades; Verge Protection on the high street; Kendal Way planting enhancements.

Do you have any ideas for small improvements to the ward? Please contact the team to discuss them and we can submit them on your behalf!

residents association forum

This evening, Cllr Manning attended a meeting of the residents’ association forum. This is a regular meeting happening once every 6 months, which he first attended as Chair of The Vie Residents’ Association, before his election as a county councillor.

The meeting is a Lib Dem City Council initiative to engage local residents directly with officers.

The meeting covered:

Reorganisation of the City planning teams
Density issues in new developments
Pre-application planning meetings – for which there is now a charge resulting in a modest income for the planning department which will be reinvested

Update on the public access system for planning applications. Examples given included 2 days admin time saved on the north west Cambridge site.
Cllr Manning commented that the system is almost a victim of its’ own success for complex applications – and a summary of these would be very helpful

Officers mentioned that the local plan will be updated next year and the city council is keen to involve the public and residents’ associations as early as possible.

Officers indicated they are happy to meet with local groups in addition to the standard Cambridge-wide meetings. A real example of how the lib dem run City Council understands localism in a way the Tory run County Council doesn’t.

Officers updated on a number of decisions including the height of buildings, the adoption of the Green Infrastructure strategy, placing more importance on protecting open spaces.

The officers asked for guidance on how to run consultations.

Comments that came back were around the accessibility of officers and the formality of the events. Officers welcomed this but noted a common problem that they are constrained by national regulations.

At the end there was a presentation by the CEO of Cambridge Past & Present and Future, Caroline Gohler who talked about their work managing over 165ha of Green Belt Land and listed buildings around Cambridge.

Particularly important as they are the group behind the Green Infrastructure strategy which was passed only last Tuesday.

They also mentioned their “Vision 2030” campaign: an attempt to ask us what we want to be like 2 decades hence.