Open Spaces in Cambridge

One of my roles on Cambridge City Council is to look after our open spaces, ranging from Midsummer Common, where we host so many community events, to the new allotment on Glebe Farm and everywhere in between.

The open spaces team do a magnificent job keeping them in good order, and ensure that they are accessible to everyone. They also work hard to keep them litter free

Open spaces are good for people but they are also good for the environment, helping support many species of plants and animals, especially now that we have planted so many wildflower meadows across the city to replace grass and formal flower beds.  

This has been a key element of our response to the biodiversity emergency which the council declared last year, at my request, along with our successful hedgehog awareness campaign.

We have also stopped using herbicides on land owned by the council.

Looking forward, I’m making sure we deliver on our tree strategy, looking after the thirty-three thousand trees in public places across the city and planting more as part of our Tree Canopy Project

I’m also continuing to work closely with all the relevant bodies to find a way to deal with the water stress that we face in Cambridge and the surrounding area, following the Forum I held last November. 

We still have a lot to do to ensure that our long term water supplies meet our needs and preserves the natural beauty of our chalk streams and the River Cam.

Keeping Cambridge Going

This is an enormously difficult time for so many people and we are all struggling in different ways as we cope with the pressures of being unable to live and work as normal as we deal with Covid-19.

As a City Councillor and member of the executive I’m spending a lot of time working to ensure that the council does everything it can. Many of our staff are working from home, and doing a great job, while some, like refuse collectors and street cleaners, have had to adapt their working practices in order to stay safe. Children’s parks are closed and we have limited car parks for use by essential workers.

The City Council has details of where to ask for help

If you live in Trumpington then we have set up the Trumpington.info network and there are details of local resources there.

And of course you can always contact me directly as your local councillor or for issues around planning and open spaces.

We all need to work together to get through this and I want to thank everyone for all they are doing. Stay safe.

We Need Safe Junctions in Trumpington

If you shop at the Waitrose in South Trumpington, or pass it regularly on foot, cycle or by car, then you may have noticed how hard it can be to turn into or out of the site, and how badly positioned the traffic lights are.

The issue of safety at the junction was first brought to my attention during my campaigning in 2017 and 2018, when I heard from several families with small children about their concerns. It’s not just that the road is inherently unsafe as cars approaching from the south can always turn into the junction, but it’s also impossible to teach young children to cross the roads safely as there is no safe way to cross here.

There are often queues building up to get into the carpark, and then a rush to drive over during the short period when the cars have the right to cross. And the visibility for cars turning in when coming from the M11 junction can be an issue if not kept under control.

When the junction was built, long before the thousands of homes in Trumpington Meadows and the new junior school, it was a minor inconvenience as it was only really used by people walking to Monsanto or cyclists heading south.

However, it is now part of a major thoroughfare.
There are many families who live in old Trumpington who cross twice a day to go to the Trumpington Meadows Primary School.
People who live in Trumpington Meadows use this route to go to the Clay Farm Centre, and the recreation ground.
Then there are visitors who go to the successful Country Park or want to walk over to Byron’s Pool Local Nature reserve.
And of course, the Harston – Trumpington cycleway also uses this route.

With so many more people using the junction, it has become a real concern, and not just because of the way cars turn into the site. Last week I heard a really worrying story from a local resident about a father and son who were heading south and waiting to cross.

A bus was pulling out but did not have enough time or space to leave the site, so ended up blocking the pedestrian route over the junction. The family crossed in front of the bus, with the father leading the way. The lights went green and the bus pulled forward without the driver noticing that the young son had not reached the safety of the crossing island.

As a result, the boy was trapped between the railings and the departing bus, and ended up bruised, and in shock. It could have been so much worse.

It’s clear that as well as some traffic control we need a safe crossing for pedestrians and cyclists before someone is seriously hurt. Having worked closely with local residents to support the campaign to put safety measures in place along the guided busway, I hope we can pull together similar support here.