October local news roundup - transport consultations, Covid-19 latest support information and more

We hope you are staying safe and well. Here's some local Covid-19 support info that you might find useful, as well as other South Cambs news from the past month. 

Covid-19 updates and reminders

All the areas of help and advice available from South Cambridgeshire District Council can be found on its Coronavirus page.

There is a shortage of testing capacity and new guidance now applies. Please only book a test if you have any of the key symptoms, and booking is essential – keep checking online or calling 119 as new appointments go live throughout the day.

All the information you need to apply for a government grant should you be required to self-isolate and consequently lose income is on the South Cambs District Council website

South Cambridgeshire Hall has been closed again as a safety measure. Please check the SCDC website for information about online services and other alternative arrangements. Do let us know if you experience any difficulties accessing council services.

The District Council now has a team of four officers dedicated to Covid-19 business support. If your business is struggling please contact them - their job is to help you. Read their latest newsletter

The District Council has also made available a £50,000 fund to help parish councils and community groups respond to any local Covid-19 outbreak. The money could be used for sanitiser, PPE, or emergency food among other things. Officers are contacting volunteer groups to assess their capacity and hear any concerns. 

If people need supermarket deliveries for good reasons the District Council can facilitate getting Tesco and Iceland delivery slots – currently key workers are the priority.

And Cambridge Water is offering tailored support to those who are struggling to pay their water bills due to Covid-19. More information can be obtained from the Cambridge Water website or on 0800 587 7701.

Finally a reminder that face masks and other items of PPE must be disposed of in the black bin, not the blue bin.

Upgrading streetlights as part of our zero-carbon plan

Last year Lib Dem-run South Cambs District Council announced a plan to replace the area’s streetlights as part of our wider vision to turn the district carbon neutral by 2050, and we are delighted to say that this work is now underway!

About 1800 streetlights across 84 villages fall under SCDC’s responsibility, and the council is now replacing these with more energy-efficient LED lamps. These will provide just as much light as the old ones but will offer better control and quality of light, which is warmer in tone and less polluting to wildlife - as well as saving money for parish councils. Read more on SCDC’s zero-carbon plans

More affordable homes ready to move in

One of the priorities of the Lib Dem District Council’s Business Plan is to provide more genuinely affordable housing, and it’s great to see nine new council and shared-ownership homes now ready for tenants in Foxton.

Other developments totalling 54 new energy-efficient council houses, at Taversham, West Wickham, Toft and Hardwick, are also due to be ready for occupancy this winter.

Mayor Palmer's Covid comments challenged

Lib Dem Mayoral candidate Aidan Van de Weyer has challenged Mayor James Palmer's flippant attitude towards Covid-19. Incredibly he claimed that Cambridge bus station was guaranteed to be free of the virus for 30 days after he had it sprayed, an unscientific claim he was forced to withdraw. Now he has ridiculed the notion of a short national lockdown when it is what many scientists believe is necessary to help reduce rapidly growing infection rates.

Transport consultations

Having a railway station at Addenbrookes has moved another step closer, with the launch by Network Rail of a consultation on the preferred location for the station. The Lib Dems have been campaigning for this station for over 20 years and will continue to do so until it's built! It is just south of the guided busway bridge, with access from both sides and plenty of parking for bikes (but not for cars, sensibly). The consultation runs until 29 November 2020. Be sure to have your say.

The Greater Cambridge Partnership are consulting on their preferred off-road route between Cambridge and the new travel hub/park & ride site at Babraham. See the plans and documents The consultation closes on 7th December 2020.

Local Lib Dems raise concerns about proposed planning reforms

Lib Dem parliamentary spokespersons Ian Sollom (South Cambs) and Pippa Heylings (South East Cambs) have jointly voiced their concerns about the government's proposed planning reforms, which appear to amount to deregulation in favour of developers. They have called on our local MPs to challenge the government about this - read their article published in the Cambridge Independent

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