Manning calls for ring-fenced funding to protect vulnerable

Liberal Democrat County Councillor, Ian Manning is pushing for a fund which supports vulnerable people to be maintained and ring-fenced to make sure those who benefit from it are protected.

The national Independent Living Fund was recently closed by the government and its responsibilities transferred from government coffers to the County Council.

Although the fund itself has not accepted new recipients since 2010, 82 residents in Cambridgeshire with complex physical or learning disabilities receive help from it. It supports them to maintain an independent lifestyle, stay healthy and, in some cases work full-time.

Cllr Manning, who represents East Chesterton on Cambridgeshire County Council called on the new chair of the County Council’s Adults Committee at yesterday’s (Tuesday, July 21) meeting of the full council to ensure the fund is ring-fenced within the County Council’s budget so that people continue to get the help they have been receiving.

He said: “To a small number of Cambridgeshire residents, the ILF is a vital resource to allow them to contribute and live their lives to the full.  Many employ staff to support them and are able to work themselves in jobs which are vital to the running of local services.

“We must ring fence this fund in the budget to ensure we protect the most vulnerable in our community.”

[1]  In 2014 the government confirmed their decision to close the Independent Living Fund on 30 June 2015 and transfer responsibility for meeting the eligible care and support needs of current ILF users to local authorities in line with their statutory responsibilities. The ILF has been closed to new applicants since 2010.

[2]  The ILF supports 82 service users in Cambridgeshire in receipt of ILF; 48 service users are people with a Physical Disability, 27 service users are people with a learning disability and 7 are older people who transferred from the physical disability or learning disability teams at 65 years.

[3]  Cllr Manning’s question can be seen here:

Ditton Meadows -> Fen Ditton walking route: right of way?

We’ve had a number of queries about the fact that this route has recently been closed off.  For example:

Having consulted the relevant officers, this appears to just be the owner enforcing the correct legal parh, which is shown on the annotated image below:

The purple line shows the actual right of way path

The purple line shows the actual right of way path

i.e. the often walked path was never a legally allowed right of way.  The only way to change this is to prove it was in unchallenged use for 20 years before 1999, the date the landowner registered it.  If you are able to show this, please contact Cllr Manning.

Update 2015-07-23

To clarify Cllr Manning’s position on this:

Lib Dems pour cold water on labour’s £120,000 bridge plans

Liberal Democrats have poured cold water on Labour plans to spend up to £120,000 on Cambridge’s Green Dragon river bridge labelling them as a “waste of money”.


They have backed modest improvement schemes for the area to solve the conflict between cyclists and pedestrians and to prevent drivers parking at the entrance to the bridge but claim plans for a major redesign don’t go far enough and would waste money with little benefit to residents.


The Labour-run Cambridge City Council has launched a residents’ consultation as it plans to share funding with Cambridgeshire County Council to make improvements to the bridge between Water Street and Stourbridge Common.


One of the options involves moving a ramp at the Stourbridge Common entrance and installing pedestrian gates and a cattle grid. A shared area would be created between the Green Dragon pub and the bridge to highlight the cross movement of cyclists and pedestrians. The scheme would cost a total of £120,000 but the Lib Dems say the money could be spent better elsewhere.


They claim they while they can see merit in an option to install double yellow lines to prevent parking at the Water Street entrance to the bridge, Labour’s expensive redesign is a waste of money.


East Chesterton Lib Dem campaigner Shahida Rahman said: “Tinkering with the bridge exits won’t resolve any concerns people have about conflict between pedestrians and cyclists on the bridge; that can only be achieved with a complete redesign of the whole structure to increase the width.


“While we can see some merit in putting some yellow lines on the Water Lane side, the proposals to spend up to £120,000 changing the ramp at Stourbridge Common are unlikely to meet either the needs of those concerned about conflict, or improve things for cyclists. It would be a complete waste of money.


“With the new bridge that will be built over the river near the new Cambridge North station, it may be that pressure on the Green Dragon bridge will be reduced in any case.”


Cambridgeshire County Councillor Ian Manning, who represents East Chesterton, added: “This money is earmarked for reducing pedestrian/cyclists conflict.  We’ve a number of other areas where this could be better spent – Union Lane and the High Street for example


“Let’s do the minimum here and let the money make a real difference elsewhere.”

Possible heavy rain this weekend

We just wanted to update you on the Met  and Environment Agency warnings we are getting for possible torrential localised downpours. The risk has been changing and is now low but we wanted to make sure you were aware as there is still some uncertainty and if, like in August last year, it falls in Cambridgeshire there is a chance of localised surface water flooding.

Services have been keeping an eye on the weather and are prepared just in case.

Environment Agency Flood Warning Duty Officer for Cambridgeshire has said:

–       There is the possibility of heavy rainfall on the 12th June between 20:00 and 04:00

–       We are expecting on average between 10-20mm with the potential for more localised downpours of 50mm in 12 hours although locations and timings are uncertain.

There is a yellow warning from the Met Office for rain. They say:

This means overall  there is a LOW surface water flood risk this afternoon and overnight into tomorrow morning with a LOW likelihood of localised significant impacts for parts of England and Wales. The river flood risk is VERY LOW for the next five days.

There may be persistent rain, locally very heavy that will spread across southwest England and south Wales today, whilst isolated severe thunderstorms may well develop further east bringing the risk of torrential downpours. There remains uncertainty on the exact location where this deluge may fall, but due to our recent experience we thought it appropriate to notify you.

Station planning and station access from Cowley Road

Network Rail have finally submitted their planning application for the station;  at the same time the Crown Estate, owners of Cowley Road business park, have submitted an application for access through the site to the station:

Lighting concerns

Now the work changing over street lights has started in earnest, please don’t hesitate to contact Ian with any concerns.

Issues we’re currently aware of, and are putting pressure on Balfour Beatty to correct:

  • Mortlock Avenue is very dark mid way down
  • Problems with the new lights in Evergreens
  • General issues with placement of works around lights

Terrible traffic management works

Cllr Ian Manning recently challenged contractors who had put safety cones… the middle of a cycle lane!

Before and after his intervention shown below:

beforeafterThe cones forced cyclists into traffic, which then is in danger of swerving into the oncoming traffic in the other lane.  The idea they were put their for safety is very worrying.