I’ve just come back from a busy Sunday afternoon in Trumpington Meadows and along Shelford Road, as one of a team of Labour volunteers aiming to talk to as many people as we could about the issues that matter to them.
You may have come home to find that we’ve left a leaflet at your house, and I hope you’ll get in touch to tell me about the things that concern you.
We heard people’s concerns about the quality of the new houses built at Trumpington, about the increased congestion on the roads making it harder for local residents to get around, and about the importance of reflecting global concerns about climate change in local policy – something that is very dear to my heart. Already the Labour team have passed these messages on to local councillors, and we’ll press them for answers.
We’ll be visiting every house in Trumpington ward between now and the election on May 4 2017, and I look forward to meeting and listening to many more people.
I was pleased to join our MP Daniel Zeichner and many others today as part of the ‘Save Our Books’ campaign, responding to a planned £325,000 cut to funding for books at libraries across Cambridgeshire.
The ‘Save Our Books’ campaign has gained more than 1,000 signatures on an online petition calling for Cambridgeshire County Council to change its plan. You can find out more and sign the petition at Daniel’s website.
I am so pleased to be writing this as the prospective county council candidate for the May 2017 elections.
I have been campaigning for social justice my whole life and have voted for the Labour Party since I could vote in 1980. I have been watching the current and last governments severely cut local funding and strip away the hopes of many members of our community to have a decent life, and that has prompted me to step forward and seek election as a Councillor.
Over the years I have watched Cambridge grow into a centre of research and technology and attract multinational investment in a way that has greatly helped local businesses but has also created enormous pressure, not least because it has made buying an average house being beyond the most hard working and ambitious young person. This is now a serious problem for key workers.
Now I want to help the people of Trumpington Ward be heard.
I’ve spent this weekend reading the ‘Greenways’ report from the County Council – find it on their website – about cycle routes into Cambridge and how they could be improved.
According to the report, a ‘greenway’ is ‘an attractive, linear corridor segregated from traffic or on quiet roads for use by those travelling on foot, by cycle or, where feasible, by horse’ – so a bridleway for the modern world!
I’m very fortunate as I can get from most of the way from my home into the centre of the City along the guided busway to the railway station, and now that the building works there are nearing completion it’s a good way to avoid traffic and junctions – but many aren’t as fortunate.
The goal seems admirable – building a network of routes around Cambridge to encourage cycling, and the report looks at routes that exists already but need improvement, or which are incomplete.
The next stage will involve consultation with landowners, and I know from my work as an architect that it’s vital to begin as early as possible and to listen carefully to concerns so they can be properly addressed. I’ll be keeping a close eye on this proposal, as it could be very important for reducing traffic and also making more areas around Cambridge liveable for those who can’t afford high rents closer to the centre.