Discussion curtailed on destruction of Milton Road trees

blossom17:10 Thursday 2nd June 2016
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

CHRIS MANN: Plans to close key commuter roads in Cambridge during peak hours have passed their first hurdle. The proposals have been approved by business leaders and councillors at today’s City Deal Assembly. Our political reporter Hannah Olsson was there and joins me in the studio now. Hannah evening.
CHRIS MANN: Remind us what was being discussed today.
HANNAH OLSSON: Well Chris it was the eight part plan to tackle congestion in Cambridge that I told you about last week. It was outlined by City Deal officers. It includes as you say peak-time road closures in some key roads in the city, including Hills Road and East Road, charging some of the larger businesses in the city for commuter parking spaces, and increasing the number of park and ride and residential spaces. What it doesn’t include is a congestion charge, an idea that lots of people believe is the solution to Cambridge’s traffic problems, but that the City Deal officers say wouldn’t necessarily work, and would be unfair to people who live outside the city. Changes to Milton Road and Histon Road were also discussed today. They proved very controversial, because widening Milton Road involves cutting down the trees that line each side of it. Now if you travel up and down there at the moment, of course it’s near our studios here, you can see people have tied yellow ribbons to all the trees. Have you seen those Chris?
CHRIS MANN: Absolutely.
HANNAH OLSSON: Yes. The people that are campaigning to save those trees.
CHRIS MANN: So what was the point of today’s meeting?
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Cambridge City Council election 2016 – the city’s housing crisis

handwringing08:11 Tuesday 3rd May 2016
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

DOTTY MCLEOD: Cambridge City Council is under Labour control at the moment. How much do you think local politicians can do about this housing crisis?
SOPHIE BARNETT LABOUR: Well I think Cambridge City Council has already done quite a lot, but there’s obviously the national restrictions that we’re facing. So in terms of council housing, not being able to build enough. But what Labour have managed to do in thr two years that they’ve been in is to build a lot more council housing. They’ve bought back some land that had previously been sold and built council housing on it.
DOTTY MCLEOD BBC: So when you say a lot more council housing, how many properties are we talking about?
SOPHIE BARNETT LABOUR: I think it’s around 100, but I’m not sure of the exact figure.
DOTTY MCLEOD BBC: That’s nothing though is it, in the context of the number of people who want affordable homes.
SOPHIE BARNETT LABOUR: No and I think it’s really unfortunate with the national policies that we’re unable to borrow against the housing stock that we’ve currently got. So it means that you can’t get the finances up to build more housing.
DOTTY MCLEOD BBC: And you blame who for that?
SOPHIE BARNETT LABOUR: The national government really.
DOTTY MCLEOD BBC : OK. Let’s go to Roy then standing for the Conservatives. Sophie says it’s your party’s fault.
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Eastern devolution – the wooing begins

cake10:24 Wednesday 27th April 2016
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

PAUL STAINTON: Is your neighbourhood getting a rough deal from the rest of Cambridgeshire? That’s our question, after the Leader of East Cambs. District Council launched a scathing attack on fellow-council leaders across Cambridgeshire. James Palmer said they were too Cambridge focused. Areas like East Cambs have been forgotten about. One of his quotes: “I’m afraid some councillors who represent the city of Cambridge have no idea what exists within two or three miles of them. They think East Cambridgeshire is off the edge of some cliff, Fenland is at the bottom of it.” He’s happy to go it alone without Cambridgeshire, and forge a union down the Yellow Brick Road of Norfolk and Suffolk. Well let’s speak to the head honcho, Lewis Herbert, Labour Leader of Cambridge City Council. Morning Lewis.
LEWIS HERBERT: Good morning Paul.
PAUL STAINTON: Have you forgotten about some parts of Cambridgeshire, forsaking all others unto Cambridge?
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Milton Road trees at risk from Cambridge City Deal plans

There are plans to completely redesign both Histon and Milton Roads to improve access for buses and bikes

blossom07:08 Thursday 4th February 2016
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

DOTTY MCLEOD: If you live on Milton Road in Cambridge you’ve probably seen these signs that have appeared all the way down the street saying “SAVE OUR TREES”. The notices have been put up by members of the Milton Road Residents’ Association, as they believe plans to change the road could mean four out of every five trees there are lost. We went out and asked people what they thought of the plans.
PUBLIC ONE: We live in the area. We feel very very strongly we want to save them at all costs. Many times they have tried to demolish the trees, and they have failed. And I think they should be preserved. It makes this place look really beautiful, especially in the Spring with the blossom out.
PUBLIC TWO: I’ll get on to my pet subject. I know the last project they did here was actually create the cycle path, to save actually doing other amendments to the road. But then the next problem is the cyclists don’t use the cycle path. That would save one of the traffic problems and help save our trees.
PUBLIC THREE: Well I think things have to progress. As long as it doesn’t become a motorway.
PUBLIC FOUR: You come in May, the blossom here is beautiful. It makes this road beautiful. So ..
PUBLIC FIVE: I understand Cambridge has got to expand. I understand that. This is a key route in and there’s a lot of traffic on here, but the changes that are proposed aren’t going to benefit the residents. We’re just going to get stuffed basically.
PUBLIC SIX: it depends really on how much it’s going to change the road and make it better, and how much we lose more of the trees, environmentally for oxygen and that, and also for looks.
DOTTY MCLEOD: Well our reporter Julia Greenaway is on Milton Road for us this morning, and Julia, you’ve been taking a look at these plans for changes to the street.
JULIA GREENAWAY: Yes. You can probably hear it’s actually quite busy along Milton Road this morning. Anyone driving this way just can’t help but notice those signs that you’ve mentioned. They’re attached to most of the trees down here using a piece of string. So this is one of the key routes into Cambridge that the City Deal board is proposing to develop, to improve congestion and access into the city. There are plans to completely redesign both Histon and Milton Roads to improve access for buses and bikes. Here on Milton Road one of the ideas is to have two bus lanes running down the middle of the road, with cars on the outside of those, followed by raised cycleways and then finally pavements. But in order to put in these extra lanes the road here would need to be widened, so that means getting rid of most of the trees and verges, which many of the people living here aren’t happy about, hence the “SAVE OUR TREES” posters. They’re also concerned about the extra noise and vibrations from the traffic, and argue that they won’t see any benefit from the buses coming down Milton Road.
DOTTY MCLEOD: And Julia, the save Our Trees campaign, it has got some backing from local politicians.
JULIA GREENAWAY: The Labour Party in Cambridge who are the ruling party on the City Council has produced a leaflet saying “City Deal – we are listening”. The leaflet says they agree two bus lanes aren’t needed on Milton Road, and trees and green spaces should be kept. Although this is a good endorsement for the campaigners, it’s not the City Council’s decision. That’s down to the City Deal executive, which is also made up of councillors from South Cambridgeshire Council and the County Council too.
DOTTY MCLEOD: And when can we expect some kind of decision on this?
JULIA GREENAWAY: Well the proposals are out for consultation at the moment. If you live in the nearby areas you’ve probably had a leaflet through your door explaining all the plans, and inviting you to have your say. That consultation will end on Monday 15th February. The results will then go back to the City Deal board to be discussed. We’re not expecting building work to start on any of these projects until next year at the very earliest.
DOTTY MCLEOD: And there is actually a meeting to talk about these issues tonight.
JULIA GREENAWAY: It’s the North Area Committee Meeting. This type of meeting happens regularly all over the county, and they’re an opportunity for people to raise concerns to the police and to the Council about what’s happening in their neighbourhood. But there is only one item on the agenda at this evening’s meeting, and that’s the City Deal plans. Councillors and officers will be there to take part in a public question and answer session for both the Histon Road and Milton Road proposals. That starts at six o’clock tonight at Chesterton Community College. And if previous meetings on this subject are anything to go by, we can expect a full house and plenty of interesting debate.
DOTTY MCLEOD: Julia Greenaway, thank you very much. On Milton Road for us this morning. Well Gerri Bird is the vice-chair of the North Area Committee, which is holding its meeting tonight, and joins me now. Morning Gerri.
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Central bus lanes in Cambridge – radical steps for a city that works

In an historic but expanding city there isn’t enough road space for everybody to travel by car.

central_bus_lane09:23 Wednesday 20th January 2016
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

PAUL STAINTON: Council chiefs in Cambridge believe putting lanes down the middle of some of the city’s major roads could be incredibly successful. The project is called the Streetcar We Desire project. You see what they’ve done there? It’s the brainchild of two councillors from Coton and it will enable buses to travel in both directions on centre lane expressways. Now these could be installed along Cambridge’s major routes like Histon Road, Madingley Road and Milton Road. Many of the details on the front page of the Cambridge Evening News this morning. So do bus lanes give you the ‘wow’ factor or the ‘ow’ factor? Lewis Herbert is the Leader of Cambridge City Council. He’s Chair of the Cambridge City Deal. £500 million in your pocket Lewis. Are you going to spend some of that cash on this?
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Cambridge City budget proposals for 2016 – securing the long term future

Revenue from assets, a healthy reserve, Cambridge City is in many ways more fortunate than other councils.

cambridge17:38 Wednesday 6th January 2016
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

CHRIS MANN: Cambridge City Council’s ruling Labour group has just published its Budget proposals for 2016, and hot off the presses actually. They sent out the press release at barely four thirty. Joining me now is councillor George Owers, who is the Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources. Also councillor for Coleridge ward. George, evening to you.
GEORGE OWERS: Good evening.
CHRIS MANN: So some of the highlights you’ve put in this, street lighting funding will continue, the Shopmobility is going to continue. I know you’re putting some money into tackling homelessness and an anti-poverty strategy, and you want to help people like the Citizens’ Advice Bureau. For you, what’s the most important thing?
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Lucy Frazer and Daniel Zeichner on Budget 2015

gideon17:19 Wednesday 8th July 2015
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

CHRIS MANN: Let’s get reaction to what the Chancellor had to say in that Emergency Budget from a couple of people. We’ve got Lucy Frazer the Conservative MP for South East Cambridgeshire. Lucy hello.
LUCY FRAZER: Hello. Hi. Hi Chris.
CHRIS MANN: And also the Labour MP for Cambridge Daniel Zeichner. Hello Daniel.
CHRIS MANN: First Budget as MPs for both of them of course. Daniel, your reaction.
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South Cambridgeshire 2020 Vision

scdc_hq17:11 Wednesday 4th February 2015
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

CHRIS MANN: Plans for how South Cambridgeshire District Council’s services will be financed when all Government grant funding ends in five years time have been published this afternoon. The Government grants the Council receives to deliver services will be cut to zero by 2020. With savings in the region of £670,000 needed in this next financial year, that’s 2015/2016, to balance the books, there’s a lot of work to be done. I’m joined in the studio now by Simon Edwards, who is the Deputy Leader of South Cambs District Council. It’s a big ask.
SIMON EDWARDS: It is a big ask Chris, and this budget really is very different to previous budgets, because this one is all about vision, and I like to call it my 2020 Vision. I know it’s an overused phrase, but for the first time we can now see on the horizon of our five year strategy, in 2020 we will have virtually no, in fact we’ll have no revenue support grant from the Government.
CHRIS MANN: I know you said in a statement earlier that you need to innovate and generate your own income. So what ideas have you come up with? Continue reading “South Cambridgeshire 2020 Vision”