The Trumpington Food Hub opened in the pavilion on Tuesday May 5 last year, supported by the City Council, the Trumpington Residents’ Association and Cambridge Sustainable Food, and this afternoon a group of the volunteers who have kept it going every week since will meet on the rec to reflect on what we’ve achieved and how we have worked to look after each other during the last sixteen months of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The way the community worked to support those in need, with mutual aid groups coordinated via WhatsApp, the trumpington.info website, and the Trumpington Volunteer Service all emerging to add to the work done by existing groups of all types and sizes, has been a real testament to our ability to care for and look after one another. Over the year we’ve seen prescriptions collected, pets walked, food delivered and all sorts of other support, especially for those who needed to shield during the most difficult periods as this awful disease spread.
Things are a bit easier now, with many of us fully-vaccinated and elements of day-to-day living restored, although we are clearly not through the pandemic and still need to be careful and responsible.
In 2019 I convened a Water Crisis Forum which was attended by representatives of many local organisations, as well as Anglian Water. That forum, and the hard work of many organisations that care about water like the Wild Trout Trust, FECRA, the Wildlife Trust, Cambridge Eco Schools, and Cam Valley Forum, managed to put concern over the local water supply on the news agenda, and made people more aware of the threat to our precious chalk streams from over abstraction of water from the chalk aquifers.
I’ve continued to talk and campaign about this issue, and have followed up on the report we issued last February.
In this video (which you can watch by clicking the link) I talk about biodiversity, and the chalk streams. Labour is committed to doing more to help, so please vote for your Labour candidate on Thursday May 6.
When I became a city councillor in 2018 one of the top items on my list of things to sort out was the delays in handing over allotments in Trumpington from the developers of the new estates to local residents. Since then we’ve managed to get three out of four sorted – Glebe Farm, Trumpington Meadows and Nine Wells are all now growing local food for local people.
However there are still issues over the Clay Farm allotments, and I’ve just written to Dave Fox at Cambridge allotments to explain what’s going on.
You can read it here
[the image shows a screenshot from allotments.net with a map of Clay Farm allotments]
The short version: the original agreements between the council and the developers in 2007 and 2010 weren’t properly thought through and the local councillors at the time did not seem to understand the issues.
It’s hard to know where to begin after reading the deeply objectionable remarks about Trumpington made by newly-elected LibDem county councillor Barbara Ashwood, reported in today’s Cambridge News. They reveal a set of attitudes towards the people she is supposed to represent that I find deeply depressing and worrying and that run completely counter to my views. They also seem to be based on hearsay and prejudice, with no supporting evidence.
I am sorry that Trumpington residents find that they have replaced the absent former LibDem Donald Adey with someone who seems to have no real understanding of the issues facing us and seeks to create social division by claiming – without any evidence – that newly arrived residents are responsible for problems in the ward.
I am also sorry that the real challenges that Trumpington faces as a result of rapid expansion will be overshadowed by this sort of ill-considered comment. We do have problems, because the ward has grown massively and this places a great strain on transport and other services. We have issues because we have less to spend after years of Tory and LibDem led cuts in public services as a result of the false narrative of austerity in public funding. And we have issues because many people are struggling, and some are failing, to keep their lives together.