Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Cambridgeshire Guided Busway: 2 Years Late and £65M over budget

Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats have welcomed news that the Guided Busway contract has finally been completed and the handover of the project has occurred, exactly two years late and £65M over budget.

The project was initially supposed to open in April 2009, but is now expected to open in late Summer or Autumn of 2011 -- well over two years late -- despite strident promises from the Conservatives that the project would be operational earlier.

The contract was initially budgeted to come in at £116M in total, but the soaring overspend has risen to £181M -- £65M over the budgeted cost. The Conservative-run county council has been paying for this overspend with borrowed money, which it will have to claw back in court.

Three successive Conservative leaders (Shona Johnstone, Keith Walters and Jill Tuck) promised the people of Cambridgeshire not to spend a penny of local taxpayers money on the scheme, which Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert branded a "white elephant"; but the Conservatives have already taken over £5M out of the local transport plan to pay for the soaring costs of the project, and set aside millions more to cover lawyers' fees for fighting the court case.

In the worst case scenario, if the Conservatives lose the court case the local taxpayer would be liable for £65M.

Lib Dem transport spokesman Kilian Bourke said: "Although it is two years late and £65M over budget, I think all of Cambridgeshire will welcome the news that the project is moving forward. People are sick and tired of this saga and want to see the busway up and running as soon as possible. I hope the Conservatives will make this happen as soon as possible.

"At the same time, the real headache is just beginning. With £65M of local taxpayers money at stake in the court case with BAM Nuttall we have to hope the Conservatives are right and they win the court case hands down. If not local people will be footing the bill for this project for decades."

Labour and Conservative county councillors originally voted for the scheme; every single Liberal Democrat voted against it.

A14 Congestion: No Solution In Site

The A14 congestion continues to cause residents in Bar Hill and the surrounding villages problems getting around, especially travelling to and from Cambridge with large queues and slow-moving traffic.

Problems are particularly acute in Lolworth where residents have to go North and at some times in the day take life in their hands.

Liberal Democrat County Councillor and Girton resident Belinda Brooks-Gordon (pictured with Peter Fane, Liberal Democrat Candidate in Bar Hill) said "If only the Tories had listened to the Lib Dem plans for the A14 years ago many of these issues would have been addressed. Instead they wasted our Council Tax paying for vanity projects like the Guided Bus. Instead Bar Hill residents are left with only this dangerous road as the only route out of our village."

At the last meeting of Cambridgeshire County Council Conservative Cabinet Member Cllr Pegram was asked a question in relation to the A14 upgrade project and promised that steering groups will start meeting within the next month but that there are no current sources of funding for the project so it would have to wait until after the next Comprehensive Spending Review.

Local campaigner and South Cambridgeshire District Council candidate Peter Fane said "I call on Cllr Pegram to make these badly needed and long-overdue investment in this major transport artery running through our communities a priority and to involve Parish, District, and County Councillors to ensure that the best possible deal is reached for the people of Bar Hill".

"Given that they have already wasted £37m on this scheme it's vitally important that any further money is spent wisely: residents must begin to see real benefits as soon as possible. I wholeheartedly support Cambridge MP Julian Huppert in his call to explore cheaper and greener alternatives."

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Tories select new leader by AV but "too complex" for voters

Cambridgeshire Tories selected their new leader by a form of the Alternative Vote – but are adamant it is too complex and confusing for the average voter.

They are saying NO to electoral reform which would see MPs voted into their seats using the AV system in the future.

Despite their objections to AV, they decided it was the right way to go when selecting new leader, Nick Clarke.

With four candidates in the running, they gradually eliminated them one by one as they polled the fewest votes in the contest. With just two left standing, they chose Nick Clarke.

The system is, in essence, what would happen in a General Election under the AV system. 

Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats Group Leader, Fiona Whelan said: “The Conservatives are showing how illogical their opposition to AV really is. They use it for choosing their own leaders at county and at national level but claim that it is too confusing and complex to be used in parliamentary elections. They insult the intelligence of voters.

“They make other outrageous claims such as that AV is much more expensive when the Treasury has confirmed that it would cost about the same as conventional general elections.

“It is a sign of their desperation to get a NO vote when David Cameron says 'he feels it in his gut that AV is wrong'. What kind of rationale is that?' He should stop trusting his 'gut' and have the guts to accept that we are living in the 21st century, not the 19th!”

Friday, 22 April 2011

Dry Drayton Speeding

Local Campaigner and Liberal Democrat candidate Peter Fane is taking action to reduce speeding in Dry Drayton following discovery that one of the 30mph signs in Dry Drayton is no longer working. Peters' discovery means that vehicles speeding through the village are not being warned.

"It is not good enough that the small measures we do have to slow cars down, do not even work. Dry Drayton has to be safe for children and adults and I will be monitoring this situation carefully with our local County Councillors." said Peter.

The Conservative-Controlled County Council is responsible for the maintenance of the highways across South Cambridgeshire - if you have a problem that you would like to report you can either report is using the Counties website (click here) or you can contact them directly on 0345 045 5200.

E-Cops - Your weekly news 22-APR-2011

To refer to my last E-cop, a nuisance motorcycle had been driven on foot paths in Bar Hill area, I am pleased to say that these youths have now been located and have had visits to their home address in presents of their parents. 

They have had warnings by myself and PCSO Whiteman on this occasion. If they continue to cause a nuisance in the village, it could cause them to get their motorcycles seized by the police and a heavy fine.

On Thursday 7th April, I had a report direct from the Primary School in Bar Hill. Three local youths were seen to jump the gates into the school premises without any reasons. Youths were captured on CCTV behaving in an anti social manor.

I have completed the relevant enquiries and have located their address. I and PC Reeves will visit and make them aware that they were committing an offence by trespassing into School premises. Because the School does not want to make a formal complain this time, the youths will get verbal warnings from us. 

On Sunday 3 April between 09:45 and 10:15, there was a report of criminal damage to a vehicle parked in Tesco car park, Bar Hill. Unknown person(s) have keyed the front offside door panel of a white Audi. If you were nearby and saw this happen, please drop me a line.

On Monday 4th April, I and PC Reeves have conducted speed checks in Scotland’s Road, Dry Drayton. 
Two vehicles were stopped by PC Reeves, and were advised of their speed through the village.

I and PC Reeves have carried on with our dedicated high visibility patrols in the village, and we are happy for you to get in touch with us, if there is anything that you might need to bring into our attention.

Thank you

PCSO 7009 Bujar MANI
Histon Neighbourhood Policing Team

Yes to Fairer Votes: Will you let them win?

Yes to Fairer Votes
This is our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

This referendum is our historic moment, our chance to make a difference for generations to come.

Without your support, there's just no way of saying how the vote will go, but if there are enough of you on the ground on that day, we know we'll win. No matter what smears the No Campaign plaster on their billboards.

Don't let the referendum pass you by without a fight. Dedicate your 5 May to getting people out of their houses and into the voting booths. Sign up to be part of our GOTV plan:


Right now, the election is in the balance. We can win fairer votes for everyone, or we could have victory snatched away from us by the cynical smears of the No campaign.

Are you happy to sit back and let them scaremonger their way to cheating this country out of the voting system it deserves? I'm not, that's why between now and 5 May I'm dedicating every ounce of energy to winning Yes votes for AV - and I want you to join me.

We need as many people as possible to give their time to getting those undecided voters to vote, and vote yes on 5 May. We know that we can do this, but we are relying on you to be part of it.

Sign up to our GOTV plans right now, make sure that you do something on 5 May you are proud of:


We've come so far in this campaign - let's make it count on the one day that matters.

With many thanks for all your hard work,

Jonathan Bartley
Co Chair, Yes to Fairer Votes
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Sunday, 17 April 2011

E-Cops - Your Weekly News 16-APR-2011

I have had a very busy week dealing with variety of neighbourhood and crime problems in the village.

Information was passed to me via Bar Hill Primary School that two out of three local youths were captured on their CCTV system trespassing. I managed to get them identified and am in the process of advising them. We all view the school as an important local facility and would do all we could to protect the premises. On this occasion it was only youths messing around and nothing criminal occurred, I have however made it clear to the Children and Parents how serious the community view this trespassing. 

I am also helping resolve some neighbour problems in Robins Close, in partnership with the local authority officers. If you are a resident and have any concerns please get in contact.

My crime enquiries this week have involved mostly collecting CCTV from Tescos in relation to drive offs. One particular vehicle a free lander is of particular interest to us because of the number of offences committed. The number plates of this vehicle are always covered at the time of offence.

Routine speed checks on Monday 11th April, in Oakington Road, Dry Drayton, resulted in three speeders being caught. Drivers should be reflecting on their driving standards as a result of the follow up action.

As part of the neighbourhood priority set for us by residents I have also been patrolling the skate park to ensure that the young people there feel safe using it. I am pleased to report that most of the people in the park are using it correctly and seem to be comfortable using the area. I must add that they were all very polite and well behaved. I have been talking with the Parish Council about ongoing work to repair some of the lights in the area. The youths were pleased to hear that they were being listened to, as after all I expect only a few were responsible to the original damage to the lights.

Best Regards
Histon Neighbourhood Policing Team

E-Cops - If you only read one Ecops this month....

Between myself and Sgt Capes and Sgt Davidson we read all the ecops messages that go out, and come back from subscribers. We receive many positive messages about some of the work our officers undertake in the community. I also receive a good deal of messages about issues that we were not aware of that do need to be looked at by my officers.

All yours messages and suggestions get fed back to our officers and we make every effort to take action in the areas your raise. However every three months I attend a Neighbourhood Panel meeting (public meeting) where we hear from residents and councillors alike what issues are current in your neighbourhoods and what you would like us to do. We prioritise these concerns above every thing else and commit to taking action over the next three month period. I also personally report to the audience what my team have been doing in the previous three months to tackle your concerns.

The meetings have much more value than this simple idea as also in attendance are District and County reps along side a number of County, District and Parish council reps who want to listen to anything you have to say about your neighbourhood. So between all three agencies and Parish councils we'd like to hear about any issue you feel we can help with from fly tipping, street lighting, speeding, crime and disorder. Alternatively perhaps you would just like to learn more about how each agency deal with a particular area of business.

To find out about the next meeting in your areas, visit our website, go to my neighbourhood and look under "dates for your diary".

Many thanks

Sgt Paul Rogerson

Friday, 15 April 2011

Yes! to Fairer Votes: Shattering the BNP Myth

Rather than defend First Past the Post, the No campaign have spent their millions trying to confuse and scare voters across the UK into voting against reform. Our latest poster will put the "BNP bogeyman" to bed once and for all - but we need your help to get it on a street near you.

Can you give £20 to tell the world that Nick Griffin is saying No2AV?

No2AV continue to peddle the lie that AV would legitimise the BNP and "give more power to fascists". But they are desperate to make sure people don't discover that the BNP is the only party to completely back a No vote.

Nick Griffin knows that AV would make it harder for him to get elected. They are using scaremongering tactics to distract from the fact that AV will be good news for voters and bad news for the cynical, old politics that they are clinging onto.

Yes2AV have identified 36 key areas across the UK where our Nick Griffin poster will have the greatest impact. Each poster van costs £800 a day and will be seen by tens of thousands of people.

There are just 22 days left. Don't let the this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity pass us by.

Monday, 11 April 2011

2011 District Council Elections

South Cambridgeshire District Council has published a full list on it's website of the people nominated to run in Bar Hill as candidates for the once vacancy on the District Council. The nominations are;

DAVIES Helene Yvette (UK Independence Party)
FANE Peter Robert (Liberal Democrat)
HALL Roger (Conservative Party)
SHEPHERD John Samuel (Labour Party)

Our candidate for the election is Peter Fane (pictured on the left with Liberal Democrat County Councillor Andy Pellew).

Peter is a surveyor and freelance consultant on public policy, specialising in rural development and renewable energy. He was Director of the British Agricultural Bureau in Brussels in the ‘90s and a Director of the Government’s Countryside Agency until its abolition in 2006. He has lived with his family in Dry Drayton for the last eight years, where he is also a parish councillor. He has been actively involved in promoting the village plan, working with neighbouring parish councils (including Bar Hill) in promoting the case for an off-road cycle path to Madingley and West Cambridge to secure a safe route for cyclists from all three villages to the Coton junction and to West Cambridge.

Peter Fane says “my experience in politics and elsewhere in Europe has led me to favour a new style of politics, where politicians from different parties set out their differences before the election but work together after the election to deliver the best possible service for the public. The coalition government’s commitment to 'Localism' – or community politics as we have long favoured in the Liberal Democrats – will mean more opportunities for local communities to decide their own priorities on planning and local services”.

Peter accepts the need to reduce the public sector deficit, to ensure Britain is not lumbered with unsustainable debt as is now the case in a number of other European countries; but this sets a real challenge for local government, and increases the need for those elected to local government to focus on the services which really matter – like local transport and access for all.”

Would you like to be more involved? Can you help us by delivering leaflets to your street? You can contact the team here and we'll get right back to you.

Nick Clegg: On your side

These are difficult times for people across Britain, but this week has shown that this can also be an opportunity to reshape Britain into a fairer, more equal and greener country.

Labour's financial legacy has left Britain needing to borrow an extra £400million, every single day, just to get by. Labour also left us paying £120million in interest on our debt each and every day - for that we could build a new primary school every hour. 

South Cambridgeshire’s share of the country’s debt now stands at a dangerous £5.16 billion and something needs to be done. 

But despite all this, Liberal Democrat policies coming into action this week are making a positive difference to people’s lives.

Over the last seven days in South Cambridgeshire, thanks to Liberal Democrats:
  • 61000 people are getting a £200 income tax cut - benefiting 23 million people across the country
  • 1600 people have been lifted out of paying income tax altogether, with more to come
  • £625million extra has gone to our schools, aimed at the most disadvantaged pupils - rising to £2.5billion a year by 2015
  • 30000 pensioners have been given an extra £4.50 a week – and those retiring from today will be on average £15,000 better off over their retirement.
Liberal Democrats in government will not stop there.

This week also saw Pensions Minister Steve Webb announcing that the Government will be introducing a simple, flat-rate state pension of £140 to replace the current complicated, unfair and means-tested system.

Business Secretary Vince Cable is cutting regulation to promote small business and create jobs.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Chris Huhne revealed that Britain will be hosting the 2012 Clean Energy Summit - putting Britain at the heart of the Green Energy Revolution.

The Liberal Democrats have entered government at one of the most challenging times for the country. We did not choose the moment but we have not shrunk from our responsibility to act in the national interest. We will not miss the opportunity we have to build a greener, fairer and more liberal Britain. 

Best wishes,

Nick Clegg
Deputy Prime Minister & Leader of the Liberal Democrats

Thursday, 7 April 2011

No joke: What do the BNP and the No2AV campaign have in common?

Yes to Fairer Votes
What do the BNP and the No2AV campaign have in common?

They'll both say anything to win. They'll both be defeated by passionate volunteers, campaigners who can tell the truth.

Last week saw the No campaign yet again try to hide the facts from the voting public. On one hand, they told us that the BNP would benefit from AV; on the other, they ignore BNP leader Nick Griffin's support for a No vote. They're using every deception in the book to try to knock us off stride - throwing insult after smear in our direction.

How do we stay on track? By showing them that this is a people's campaign, where talking honestly and openly, face to face and on the phone is the best way to win votes.


The only plan No2AV have is spin and trick - that old media classic. They're stuffed full of old guard politicians, who tell us that the broken status quo is what'll serve us best. Leave it to us they say.

How patronising.

We're not going to sit quietly. Everywhere I go, I sense the momentum for a Yes vote building. It really feels like we have ten grassroots supporters for every one of theirs. The No campaign's last desperate tactic is to try to suppress the Yes vote on May 5th through telling deliberate untruths.

Well, we can't let that win out, can we?

Join me - campaign at an event near you:


There are just 30 days left. Thanks for everything you're doing for fairer votes.

Willie Sullivan
Head of Field Operations

P.S. If you'd rather help out at your nearest phonebank than hit the streets, details can be found here.
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Saturday, 2 April 2011

Yes to Fairer Votes: Launch of the peoples' campaign for Fairer Votes

Yes to Fairer Votes
This morning we launched our peoples' campaign for Fairer Votes, and a few friends dropped by to lend a hand.

I didn't want you to miss this momentous occasion so we've filmed it for you - after all, it's your campaign.

Watch the highlights to find out why our Vice Chairs Kriss Akabusi, Amisha Ghadiali, Eddie Izzard, Greg Dyke, Rowan Davies and Martin Bell are saying Yes to AV.

You and I both know that this campaign launched months ago; but with just four weeks to go, the media and wider public are waking up to the exciting reality of the referendum.

The reality is that we finally have a chance to do something about the cynicism and let-downs that have too long dictated our votes. This is our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve the way we do politics in the UK.

We won't win this referendum just by hoping - we have to work for it. The naysayers, the cynics and their allies in the media don't want change - the status quo works fine for them.

But does it work for you?

Watch the video to find out what our supporters had to say this morning, then share it to inspire everyone you know to vote on 5 May.

Thank you for all that you are doing for fairer votes. It's more important than ever to keep it up.

Katie Ghose
Yes to Fairer Votes

PS As I said at the rally, we really do need people to donate their 5th May to getting the vote out on polling day.  Please pledge your day here:

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E-Cops - Your weekly news 02-APR-2011

On Friday 25th March, we had a report of metal theft from Foxhollow Bar Hill. A white van with three men was seen driving in the area behaving suspiciously, one of these men was seen to get out of the van and helped himself in some metal and other items from a skip which was located in a private property. The owner of the skip has asked this man to return the metal back, the man was not keen on doing so, however he has eventually returned, and placed the metal back into the skip. Thank you to the resident who managed to get the van's index number, and reported the theft to us immediately. The police attended, and these three men were arrested, and dealt with at Parkside police station.

On Wednesday 30th March, we had a report of suspicious activity between Watermead and Apletrees area. Whilst the police helicopter was flying above Bar Hill area for a different matter, a man was seen to be hiding under a bridge. Police were notified, myself and PC Reeves attended and conducted an area search for this man for a long time, in the end the man was located in Appletrees. This man was from Peterborough, and was leaflet dropping in the area. We did all the necessary checks, and everything was in order. This man was given strict advice to carry an identification document with him, and also because he was carrying beer in his bag, we advised him that alcohol consumption is not allowed in open spaces in Bar Hill.

On Wednesday 30th March, there was a report of vehicle nuisance in Little Meadow, Bar Hill. A young lad was seen to be riding a motorcycle on the footpath in the area. Unfortunately neither myself or PC Reeves were on duty at the time of incident, however police did attend, and conducted a good area search for the motorcycle, but there was no trace. Thanks to the person that reported this nuisance and passed on the registration number of the motorcycle, as this has made it easy for us to locate this lad and deal with this. 

We have had numerous reports of ASB, last week in Robin Close, Bar Hill. This matter has been a longstanding ongoing neighbourhood dispute. Police are doing their best to try and resolve these problems progress is slow as most of the issues are out of police hands. South Cambs ASB officer has been notified of these incidents, and will be on the case.

We have been carrying out our priority regular patrols at the skate par in Bar Hill, and have been speaking to a lot of youths making use of the area. So far all seems to be fine and under control at this present time.

If there is anything in your village you feel you may need to bring to my attention, please get in touch.

Thank you 

PCSO 7009 Bujar Mani
Neighbourhood Policing Team

Friday, 1 April 2011

Yes to AV: Who's pulling No's strings?

A vote for AV on 5 May is a vote for cleaner politics - an end to the cushy "jobs for life" culture that has debased Westminster and destroyed voters' confidence.

That's why we've just published a list of every last penny the Yes campaign has received to date.

We've given more details than required by law and we've given the details far earlier than required. This is a clean campaign for fairer votes - and we've got nothing to hide.

Now we're calling on the people behind the 'No' campaign to show the same commitment to honesty and transparency.
So who's funding the No campaign? Who's the big money behind the tacky ads, the cheap-shot publicity stunts, the shamefaced attempts to distract the nation from the debate in hand?

Eventually, we'll all find out who has donated to what - but we'll have to wait six months after polling day. We think you should know before you go to the vote, not after.

What has the No campaign got to hide? Add your name to my petition now - demand answers from No2AV today.


I'm amazed at the incredible supporters who have stepped up to invest in a fairer future for everyone. This really is the people's campaign. Already thousands of individuals just like you have given what they can afford to make a difference to the future of politics in the UK.

This referendum is a historic moment for the UK, and I think the UK deserves to know who is calling the shots in the No campaign.

Sign my petition now and demand an honest response from No2AV - who's funding their campaign?


We are running out of time, there are just 5 weeks left to win fairer votes for everyone.

Thank you for all that you are doing, please keep it up.

Yes to Fairer Votes Council
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