Welcome to the Longstanton Ward page, covering the parishes of Longstanton and Oakington & Westwick.
Sarah Cheung Johnson
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We met with South Cambs District Council Community Officer Kirstin Donaldson to get an update.
She told us that the architects are currently working on the first draft of the plans for the Sports Pavilion.
As a note on sport pitches (following a question from Councillor Brash-Hall) - only the MUGA will be floodlit and these lights will be switched off at 10pm. There will be no lights on the grass pitches.
Forward-funding has been agreed by SCDC so that work on the Community Centre can be brought forward, before Section 106 money is released.
For the Civic Hub, they are waiting for the NHS to approve plans for the Health Centre. The land transfer from L&Q (formerly Gallaghers) is due at 350 homes, which we are set to reach in the next few months.
As plans for these buildings progress they will begin community consultations - we will keep residents updated on these.
The land transfer has been completed for allotments. L&Q have finished their work, adding top soil etc., and the plan is now to tender for the landscape design. Once the landscaping is complete, a society will be set up to run and maintain the allotments.
Meeting with Philip Harker of Homes England
We and the Oakington Parish Chair met Philip in February to discuss our concerns. These are the main points to come out of the meeting:
Southern Access Road East: Homes England is currently talking to landowners, which is a slow process. Offers have been made to landowners and negotiations are being carried out between agents. Homes England is constrained by the valuation of the land because, as a Government agency, it cannot pay over the odds.
Oakington attenuation work is part of Section 106 and needs to be achieved – this may or may not be linked to work on SAR East. Phase 3 may offer an opportunity to improve attenuation in future works.
On Oakington flooding concerns, the plan for Phase 3 is to monitor and control natural flow, and hold back discharge which is now naturally occurring without anything to hold it back. There will be no increase in greenfield runoff rates. Improvements will be made to culverts that are probably causing blockages. Overall, Oakington should see an improvement to its current situation.
Regarding traffic survey work, we are waiting for data to be compiled into a report so that it can be shared. Raw data is being used in traffic-modelling work, which will take two to three months to complete.
Mill Road Community Orchard will be transferred to Oakington Parish Council.
Green separation on the edge of Phase 3: Some of the land bordering Oakington is privately owned and therefore not part of Northstowe green separation. There can be no guarantee that the landowner would not bring forward plans for this land.
Homes England is on track to deliver its planning application for Phase 3 by late summer. This may include plans for Phase 3B as well.
Homes England has selected a developer for Phase 2a and we expect will expect this will be announced imminently.
Doctors' surgery update
Some positive changes have been made at the Willingham/Longstanton surgery, allowing it to manage the increased number of patients from Northstowe.
The surgery currently has 423 patients registered from Northstowe.
It now has a new Nurse Practitioner who triages patients. This is proving very popular, as patients receive a call from the nurse, who talks through their symptoms and directs them to:
- come in on that morning to see her;
- come to the emergency clinic at the end of that morning to see a GP;
- follow her medical advice given over the phone, and call back if symptoms persist or get worse; or
- wait for a phone call from a doctor.
The patients all seem very happy with this service, as it speeds things up and minor ailments can be handled by the Nurse Practitioner.
There was previously only one doctor on duty on a Thursday afternoon, but this session has been increased to three with the addition of the Nurse Practitioner and a new doctor, Dr Segal.
The surgery has also increased its pool of locum doctors to cover sessions when needed.
System changes enabled it to manage the winter pressures more effectively. Allowing more book-on-the-day appointments has decreased the number of emergency appointments that were added to the end of each doctor’s morning session. This has in turn allowed the doctors to have more time for referrals, bloods, letters, etc. The surgery has also limited the number of phone calls allocated to each doctor’s session, as these were previously as many as 20 per doctor per morning.
Cambridge Food Hub
We met with some of the team from the Cambridge Food Hub. This exciting project aims to increase access to sustainable food whilst supporting local producers and small businesses.
The Hub will be a centre for all aspects of food, from production and consumption to education and research. More info can be found here
The team are very keen to locate the Food Hub in Northstowe. We have arranged for them to have further meetings with colleagues at SCDC, including Council Leader Bridget Smith, to discuss how the Council can support this project.
Northstowe Parish Forum
The next Northstowe Parish Forum will be held on 15th May at the Community Wing. The agenda will be circulated shortly. Please let us know if there is anything you would like included.
Full notes on the last Parish Forum and slides from the Northstowe presentations can be found via our Facebook page.
Northstowe construction noise
We continue to receive reports of construction breaches to planning conditions at Northstowe, for both Phase 1 and Phase 2. We have also had reports of early working at the Woodside site in Longstanton.
We are encouraging residents to report this directly online as Enforcement advises this is the best way to collate the data and build a record of the breaches. It appears that Enforcement has not always had all reports from residents from the first dates of construction activity, which is very frustrating for residents.
We have become increasingly frustrated that there has been no action from Enforcement, despite repeated reports of breaches. We have therefore now escalated this to the Lead Member for Planning.
Second Northstowe primary school
A bid for the second Northstowe primary school has been received from the Catholic Education Service. This would be a voluntary aided school that selects its pupils based on faith.
We have no information on what other bids have been received.
Oakington Rural Travel Hub
The Greater Cambridge Partnership has published a report on the Oakington Rural Travel Hub Consultation.
Since then the GCP Executive have met to review the Rural Transport Hubs, and Oakington Chair Stephen Moore has given the views of Oakington Parish Council and residents.
We met Cllr Moore and Cllr Aidan van de Weyer, who is the GCP board member for South Cambs. We raised concerns about the Transport Hub at Oakington being considered in isolation, without additional services on the busway or better connections to Cottenham, and they took these onboard.
We are yet to confirm the GCP's formal position. But our understanding is that this project has been paused, and without greater support or other significant factors changing, it is unlikely to go ahead.
Reinstatement of non-motorised link between Longstanton bypass and Ramper Road
We have been contacted by a resident who has been raising the issue of this path for cyclists, pedestrians and horse-riders since 2016. We have now had the following response from the County Council:
"We do acknowledge that a solution is needed. We have been actively looking for funding streams to progress a solution here. I have updated you and others, through the Local Access Forum (LAF), on the County Council’s progress with funding bids to Highways England’s Designated Funds and A14 Legacy Fund to promote NMU improvements in and around the A14.
At the last LAF, I informed the Forum that the County Council had received principal approval for six schemes for the Designated Fund NMU pot. Since then, the County Council has been in talks with Highways England around making a second bid to the Designated Fund NMU pot for further funding for additional schemes. I can confirm that the NMU link across Longstanton Bypass you refer to is included as one of the schemes in this new bid.
We are only just finalising the details of the bid with Highways England, but I hope to be able to inform you of the outcome at the next LAF meeting in May. If successful, the County Council will engage further with you and other users/stakeholders to secure the best outcome to resolve the issue you raise."
We met with Cllrs Street and Brash-Hall, and Parish Clerk Libby White, to discuss ongoing concerns about the water level in the village and Kingfisher Pond.
We agreed to arrange a meeting with SCDC Leader Bridget Smith to discuss what action the Council can take.
Since this meeting we have heard from James Stone at SCDC that an engineer visited and took further readings from Clive Hayden’s well. Readings have improved very slightly from 7.55m AOD in May 2018 to 7.657m, but there is still some way to go to recover levels.
The Oakington EAG has done excellent work in surveying the drains in the village that are in a poor state, with many completely blocked.
This information has been forwarded to the Highways team at the County Council. We will attempt to coordinate with the CC so that we can get the street sweeper out before the drains are cleared.
The streetlights by the busway that are broken have been reported by Councillor Cheung Johnson again – she will chase again if they still don't get fixed!
We have received a number of complaints from residents regarding potholes and pavement surfaces around both villages.
We have reported these to the County Council and are encouraging residents to use the report system to log them as well.
Councillor updates and surgeries
We continue to be keen to meet residents, especially those who might find contacting us via email or social media difficult. We'll be confirming further surgery dates soon.
For those on social media we have a very active Facebook group covering the whole ward.
And please do not hesitate to email us if you would like to discuss the above matters or anything else:
Sarah Cheung Johnson email@example.com
Alex Malyon firstname.lastname@example.org
District Councillors for Longstanton, Oakington and Northstowe
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