Wednesday, 31 July 2013

On Your Marks, Get Set For Park Life

A year on from the London Olympics, local people are being encouraged to get set and go to Park Life – South Cambridgeshire’s biggest free family sporting day out.

Running at Milton Country Park this Sunday (4 August) from 10am to 4pm, Park Life is organised by South Cambridgeshire District Council in partnership with Cambridge Sports Lake Trust. Last year’s event attracted over 4,000 people, and this year promises a bumper range of sports for all ages and abilities.

Park Lifers will be able to try out free sporting activities from golf, fishing, kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding to trampolining, climbing, archery, fencing and Tumble Tots agility equipment for younger children.

Bookings for the popular watersport activities will open at 9.30am for sessions up to 1.30pm and reopen at 1pm for sessions up to 4pm – places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Cyclists who get on their bike to come to the event can claim a free service from Dr Bike, and can use pedal power to reach their five-a-day by hopping on the smoothie bike.

Stalls with local crafts, a live music and entertainment stage organised by the Council’s Youth Council and local charities will also feature at the fun-filled event. Media partners Heart Radio’s Angels will also be helping keep the day lively with a range of games and activities for all the family. A range of hot and cold food will be on sale and picnic areas will also be available.

Cllr Pippa Corney, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member responsible for sport, said: “Sunday is set to be a fantastic day of free sport and entertainment for the whole family and we’re hoping for bumper crowds to come along and have fun.

“We’re committed to promoting active and healthy lifestyles for all of our residents and the sports taster sessions that we have on offer are a great way for people to try something new that could turn into a regular pastime, helping them to get active and keep fit and join local clubs.”

For a full list of activities and more information visit www.scambs.gov.uk/parklife

Parking at Milton Country Park costs £3 per vehicle.

Cambridge MP Raises A Glass To Competition Winner The Kingston Arms

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert has raised a glass to the city’s Kingston Arms after it won the best independent pub category in his Discovering Cambridge competition this month.

The pub in Kingston Street balances a traditional feel with innovations such as offering free internet access and texting drinks offers.

And it’s no stranger to recognition having being named in the Good Beer Guide since 2001 and winning three awards from Observer Food Monthly for Best Cheap Eats, Best Sunday Lunch and Best Place to Drink in East Anglia.

The Haymakers in High Street, Chesterton, which re-opened as an independent business in April after being closed two years before by a major brewery, was named as the runner up in the competition to celebrate Cambridge’s best independent businesses.

Julian has been campaigning to save the city’s independent traders from the threat of the multi-national chains and has been working to protect pubs, many of which have been lost in recent years. He led a Westminster debate on the issue and presented a Bill to the House of Commons.

The Liberal Democrat-run Cambridge City Council has also put in place a planning policy designed to prevent change of use of potentially viable pubs or redevelopment of the sites.

Julian said: “There are so many great independent pubs in Cambridge and there were a large number of nominations in this category.

“I congratulate the Kingston Arms for winning this month’s competition and The Haymakers for being named as runner up. And I would encourage everyone to visit our independent pubs. They offer great food and a wide range of drinks and they are such an important part of our communities that we must make sure future generations can enjoy them.”

Alistair Cook, officer for the Cambridge and District Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) said: “Julian’s idea of praising independent Cambridge businesses is excellent. He has always been very supportive of CAMRA’s aims so it’s great that we’ve got round to pubs.

“The number of responses underlines the enthusiasm Cambridge people have for the independent pubs in our city. Many of these pubs also sell locally brewed ales.”

Julian is seeking nominations for businesses specialising in Home and Garden products and services in August.

Nominations can be sent to Julian by email at julianhuppertmp@gmail.com or by Twitter at @julianhuppert or by post at Discovering Cambridge, Julian Huppert MP, 16 Signet Court, Swann Road, Cambridge, CB5 8LA.

Extra Consultation Events Confirmed Near Proposed New Village At Bourn Airfield

The details of two extra consultation events near a proposed new village at Bourn Airfield have been confirmed today (Wednesday 31 July) to give even more opportunities for nearby residents to have their say.

At a Council meeting last week concerns were raised about proposals for the new village as part of the Council’s Local Plan and councillors agreed to add the two events so as many views as possible could be heard.

The third and final round of consultation on South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Local Plan launched on Friday 19 July which is considering how to develop the district up until 2031 to provide 22,000 new jobs and 5,000 additional new homes.

Extra events:
Caxton Village Hall, Gransden Road (unstaffed display)
- Thursday 5 September 10am to 7.45pm
- Friday 6 September 10am to 4pm.

Bourn – Church of St Helena & St Mary, Church Lane (staffed event)
- Friday 6 September 2.30pm to 7.30pm.

Following two years of planning, assessments of over 400 potential sites for housing and two rounds of public consultation – where over 30,000 comments were made – the draft Local Plan proposals would currently see a new town built north of Waterbeach, a new village at Bourn Airfield and a major extension to Cambourne to support new jobs being created in Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire.

Around 900 of the homes needed are planned in six of the district’s larger villages which have the best services and public transport links. These will also help make sure the Council has a flexible plan for the future as larger new towns and villages take more time to deliver.

Sixteen events spread across the district had already been scheduled by the Council before the consultation closes at 5pm on 30 September and the events in Caxton and Bourn have now been added to the schedule.

The new homes proposed in the draft Plan are in addition to around 14,000 homes already committed to in South Cambridgeshire’s current Local Plan. Some have already been built or are under construction, while a number of others have planning permission in locations such as on the edge of Cambridge and at the new town of Northstowe.

During two rounds of public consultation over the last year the majority of local people wanted the Council to focus on a plan that would provide additional homes in a new town or village rather than spreading lots of them across existing villages.

All views will be considered at a meeting of all councillors next spring to review comments before the plan is submitted to government for independent examination.

Both South Cambridgeshire District and Cambridge City councils are consulting on their new Local Plans from Friday 19 July until 5pm on Monday 30 September.

Views can be given online at www.scambs.gov.uk/localplan and public exhibitions also give residents the opportunity to speak to officers to find out more.

Cllr Pippa Corney, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member for planning policy and localism, said: “We are pleased people feel so passionately about the future of their district and have always tried to give people as many opportunities to have their say throughout this very important and detailed consultation. During the first two rounds of consultation lots of events have been held to make sure we gathered as many views as possible and the extra ones will make it even easier.

“I strongly urge everyone to either go online or come along to an event as we want your views. We know there is a great need for more housing in the district to meet the needs of our residents into the future but recognise we must also strike the right balance between growth and protecting our villages and rural environment to keep South Cambridgeshire as one of the best places to live, work and study in the country.”

The tenth consultation event is taking place today in Cambridge and further events are scheduled for September to avoid the period where more people are away on holiday.

All events run from 2.30pm to 7.30pm unless stated.
(events marked with * are joint events with Cambridge City Council):

July
19 - Sawston, Spicers Pavilion, Cambridge Road
22 - Linton Village College, Cambridge Road
22 - Trumpington Pavilion, Paget Road *
24 - Comberton Village Hall, Green End
25 - Waterbeach Primary School, High Street
26 - Great Shelford Memorial Hall, Woollards Lane
26 - Cherry Hinton Village Centre, Colville Road *
29 - Bar Hill Village Hall, The Spinney
30 - Cambourne, The Hub, High Street
31 - Cambridge, Meadows Community Centre, St. Catharine’s Road *

September
2 - Sawston, Spicers Pavilion, Cambridge Road
3 - Caldecote Village Hall, Furlong Way
4 - Gamlingay Eco Hub, Stocks Lane
5 - Histon & Impington Recreation Ground, New Road, Impington
5 – Unstaffed display at Caxton Village Hall, Gransden Road (10am to 7.45pm)
6 – Unstaffed display at Caxton Village Hall, Gransden Road (10am to 4pm)
6 – Bourn, Church of St Helena & St Mary, Church Lane
9 - Melbourn, All Saints Community Hall, Station Road
10 - Swavesey Village College, Gibraltar Lane

Further information:
Forecasted jobs growth 2011-2031: 22,000
Forecasted homes required 2011-2031: 19,000 (of which 14,000 are already built, with permission or included in current plans – mainly developments on the edge of Cambridge and Northstowe)

Site details:
Larger strategic sites:
  • Waterbeach (new town) – 8,000-9,000 homes, 1,400 of which by 2031.
  • Bourn airfield new village – 3,500 homes, 1,700 of which by 2031.
  • Cambourne West – 1,200 homes, all by 2031.
Edge of Cambridge:
  • NIAB 3 site – not to increase the number of homes on the NIAB development but to make sure of a high quality development at an appropriate density
  • Near ARM, Fulbourn Road – a small area of employment land as an extension to Peterhouse Technology Park (along with 2 other small areas in City Council’s area).
  • Cambridge Northern Fringe East/proposed Cambridge Science Park Station area – redevelopment following joint area action plan being developed (SCDC and City Council).
Cambridge Airport site:
Airport itself not planned for development during the plan period. Held in reserve for possible development after 2031 if it becomes available (SCDC and City Council).

Two parts of the original Cambridge East site coming forward as planned;
  • Marshall’s Wing development north of Newmarket road – 1,200 homes (SCDC), and
  • North of Cherry Hinton for 110 homes (along with land in City Council’s area, for a total of 500 homes).

Smaller local sites:
  • Comberton: 90 homes opposite Comberton Village College which will deliver local benefits of a much needed football pitch and changing facilities and also community car parking that is also available as overspill parking for Comberton Village College
  • Gamlingay: jobs and 90 homes on a brown field site at Green End Industrial Estate
  • Histon & Impington: new gateway to the villages through revitalisation around the busway stop and 25 homes in Impington Lane
  • Melbourn : 65 homes on land to rear of Victoria Way 
  • Sawston: 540 homes in total - 200 homes by redeveloping part of the Dales Manor Business Park, 80 homes between Dales Manor Business Park and Babraham Road, and 260 homes south of Babraham Road to the east of the village.
  • Willingham: 50 homes on land east of Rockmill End

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Free Business Workshops Relaunched In South Cambridgeshire

Following the success of the South Cambridgeshire Business Support Service, a series of free workshops is re-launching to help business-owners in South Cambridgeshire become more successful.

The 15 half-day ‘how-to’ workshops are delivered by experts and have been designed to address specific issues of businesses in the local area, including business planning, improving profit, finding new customers and maximising market awareness.

The workshop programme begins with ‘How to plan for success’ on Wednesday 4th September and concludes on Thursday 12th December. The workshops will be held in Cambourne, Melbourn, Fulbourn and Over, and are free to attend for anyone in a South Cambridgeshire postcode.

Each session will be run by Exemplas – a leading business employment, skills and support solutions provider – on behalf of South Cambridgeshire District Council.

The workshops are being provided as part of the Council’s continuing commitment to support local businesses, with a total of £50,000 being invested to provide business support, workshops and the follow on advice service.

A unique feature of the workshop programme is the follow on advice available to all attendees, designed to help them implement what they have learnt from the workshops into their business.

The previous workshop programme had an extremely strong take up from local businesses, supporting 155 delegates over 15 workshops, with many impressed by the depth of content and expertise available.

Impington based Cernunnos took advantage of the free workshops when they realised gaps in their business knowledge were holding them back from reaching their full potential. The workshops introduced the theory and foundation they needed, particularly in regards to marketing, providing useful tips and advice to ensure they achieved the best possible results.

Leemya McKeown, Business Development Manager of Cernunnos, explains: “We had come into the business from an ethical standpoint, but we hadn’t come from business backgrounds and didn’t appreciate the dynamics of a business. The workshops have been an invaluable tool in developing our business knowledge and we are delighted to have had the opportunity to make a real positive change to our business”

Cllr Nick Wright, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member responsible for economic development, said: “The last series of workshops we ran were an overwhelming success and helped fill a vital gap for many local firms who are looking to set up, develop their business and grow. We know how important it is for us to support businesses so our economy can prosper and more jobs can be created for our residents.”

Malcolm Williamson, Director of Enterprise at Exemplas, said: “We are delighted to continue working with South Cambridgeshire District Council on its business support service. This gives Exemplas the opportunity to build upon the success of the workshop programme delivered over the past year and to introduce some new topics that, from research, we know that local businesses need. A key and unique element of the workshop programme is the business support provided by our experienced advisers to those who have attended a workshop”

The full workshop programme can be found http://www.exemplas.com/Southcambs/Workshops/

Workshop spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis. To book your place, phone 0844 346 0755 or e-mail southcambsbusinesssupport@exemplas.com

Rogues Dump Waste Landing Homeowner With Fine

A Cambridge man has been stung with over £1,000 in fines and costs after waste from his home was found dumped in the countryside.

Mr John Seeley, 41, who owns a property in Kelsey Crescent attended Cambridge Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (25 July) where he pleased guilty to failing to take reasonable measures to secure that the transfer of his waste was to an authorised person.

South Cambridgeshire District Council investigators tracked the waste, which included kitchen units and a worktop, back to Mr Seeley’s property in Kelsey Crescent and when interviewed he confirmed he had paid £160 cash to two people he didn’t know to take away the rubbish.

Magistrates fined Mr Seeley £500, he was ordered to pay costs of £625 and a victim surcharge of £50 totalling £1,175.

The waste had been dumped in Low Fen Drove Way off High Ditch Road in Fen Ditton.

Following this case Council waste bosses are reiterating that it is the responsibility of householders to make sure that they use authorised waste carriers, registered with the Environment Agency, to dispose of rubbish.

To check for licensed traders visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk and search the public register for waste carriers. You can also telephone 08708 506 506.

Cllr Mick Martin, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member for environmental services, said: “This case highlights how important it is to make sure you get waste removed by people who have the correct licence. If the deal sounds too good to be true it normally is and we urge you to check the credentials of the people you plan to employ to make sure they are registered waste carriers. If waste from your home is found dumped you will be held responsible and action will be taken. Fly tipping is a national problem which our residents detest and we will continue to take a tough stance.”

If you see someone in the act of fly tipping please contact the Police on 999. To report waste that has been fly tipped, please contact Chris Bradley or Martin Johnston at South Cambridgeshire District Council on 03450 450 063, or email chris.bradley@scambs.gov.uk andmartin.johnston@scambs.gov.uk

South Cambs Residents Give Bin Collections The Thumbs Up

Bin collections in South Cambridgeshire have been given a big thumbs up, with 97% of residents agreeing that the service is as good as, or better than, 12 months ago.

The South Cambridgeshire District Council satisfaction survey showed that, overall, 89% of residents are satisfied with the service, a one per cent increase from 2011.

Householders were also asked what could be done to improve the service, with the largest number of comments calling for an increase in the capacity of green and blue bins so that residents can recycle even more.

Asked about their local environment, dog poo not being picked up was highlighted as an issue of concern by 52% of respondents, however the majority of those who had reported incidents were satisfied with the Council’s response.

The survey was sent to 2,200 randomly selected residents, the Council’s consultation panel and was publicised on the council’s website, Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Cllr Mick Martin, lead councillor for environmental services at South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “It’s great news that our residents are pleased with our bin collection service. The service is very much a partnership between us and every household, and has led to us having a consistently high recycling rate.

“If residents find that they have too much blue bin recycling, any extra can be put out in a separate container next to their bin which we will empty and return. We know there is always room to improve and we and our bin crews will continue to do just that to deliver the very best service we can.

“When it comes to dog fouling, we rely on residents to tell us where this is an issue. We can investigate persistent problems and are able to issue warnings and fixed penalty notices to irresponsible dog owners who fail to clear up after their dog. We’ll also look at whether there are enough dog poo bins available, although this can never excuse people not clearing up after their pet.”

South Cambridgeshire households have three bins – a green bin for compostable waste including garden cuttings and food, a blue bin for dry recyclables like paper, metal, glass and plastics and a black bin for non-recyclable rubbish. The blue and green bins are collected one week, with black bins collected the following week.

Residents who want to report persistent dog fouling problems in their local area can report it here: www.scambs.gov.uk/form-type/report-it

Monday, 29 July 2013

Brooks-Gordon Speaks Up For LGBT Equality

Belinda Is Interviewed By Di Cunningham For Future Radio
Norwich After The Question Time Event
Equalities expert and campaigner, Belinda Brooks-Gordon spoke up for LGBT rights on Saturday claiming that Britain and Europe still have a long way to go to change outdated views.

Dr Brooks-Gordon, who has written a number of books on sexual politics including 'Sexuality Repositioned' and 'The Price of Sex', told a Norwich Pride event that inequalities still exist for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual people.

“We need to challenge many of the outdated assumptions that bind people into conforming to old models,” she said. “Much has been done, and I am proud of the Liberal Democrats in government voting through equal marriage.

“So today is a celebration of what has been achieved by campaigners over the years and another step towards absolute equality of LGBT people. We still have a long way to go, however, and many inequalities still exist across society at home and throughout Europe.”

Dr Brooks-Gordon, a candidate for the 2014 European Parliamentary elections, was speaking at an LGBT version of Question Time arranged for the Pride event at The Forum in Norwich.

It was the fifth anniversary of the Pride and the largest to date with over 5,000 people walking in a Sunshine Parade.

Cambridge MP Visits Harry's Chocs Where Opportunities Are Sweet

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert, who has campaigned for companies to employ people with autism, will visit a unique business on Wednesday (July 31) which exists to do just that.

Sawston-based Harry Specters provides luxurious handmade chocolates while at the same time offering job opportunities for young people on the autism spectrum.

The company was established by Mona Shah, who has a teenage son on the autism spectrum.

Mona  had been working with chocolate as a hobby for the past 15 years and had undertaken a professional chocolate making course at the internationally renowned Callebaut Chocolate Academy.

She had the idea to combine her passion for chocolate with a business which would provide employment for young people with autism.

As a social enterprise, 60 pence from every pound of profit the company makes is set aside for furthering the social aims of the business, providing social activities for   employees and opportunities for their personal development.

Mona said: “We are changing the lives of people with autism. Working with us gives them the freedom to unleash their unique perspective, creativity and skills. This combined with our passion for unique, handmade chocolates will give our customers a unique experience – a great cause and great chocolates.”

Julian, who employed a young man with an autism-spectrum condition in his Cambridge constituency office for a couple of years, will visit the business to find out more about its work and the opportunities on offer for young people.

He supported the National Autistic Society’s Undiscovered Workforce campaign, joining
forces with Cambridge Regional College and the city’s JobCentre Plus to promote the benefits of employing people with autism.

“I know from first-hand experience how valuable, bright and resourceful these people can be,” said Julian, “yet there is a whole potential workforce in our country which cannot find jobs because employers haven’t taken the time to understand the condition or put the support in place to employ them. These companies are missing out by not considering these people who are often highly intelligent and have achieved a high level of education.

“I am interested to hear about Mona’s experiences and find out more about how she is helping young people taking their places in the working environment.”

Sunday, 28 July 2013

E-Cops - E-cops Update

We have had 7 crimes reported to us since my last ecops message. Only 6 of these can be disclosed. 3 of these crimes are in relation to thefts from Tesco retail store.

Between the 16/07/2013 and the 17/07/2013 unknown offender(s) have caused damage to a memorial bench in Dry Drayton crematorium.

On the 17/07/2013 unknown offenders have stolen a watch which was accidentally left behind in the toilets of Cambridge Services on the A14.

On the 22/07/2013 an unknown offender made off with £60 worth of fuel from the BP garage on Huntingdon Road, Lolworth. The investigation still ongoing.

A bunch of keys have been found in Almond Grove, Bar Hill on 22nd July and have been placed at Histon Police Station. If you know anyone who has lost those keys, please ask them to contact with me.

If you wish to report a crime any other crime, suspicious behaviour or activity please ring our non emergency number which is 101. If you believe that a crime is in progress please ring 999. I also welcome anyone to contact me on alpo.mani@cambs.pnn.police.uk if you wish to let me know of any issues you may be experiencing.

Thank you

PCSO 7009 Mani
Histon Neighbourhood Policing Team

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Council Home Insurance Partnership Makes Peace Of Mind Affordable

A new home insurance scheme has been launched by South Cambridgeshire District Council to help tenants protect their possessions at a price they can afford.

The District Council has teamed up with insurance firm Jardine Lloyd Thompson Tenant Risk to offer tenants and leaseholders cheaper contents insurance that is more suitable to their needs.

The policy specialised for tenants provides contents cover of up to £9,000 for anyone under 60 and £6,000 for over 60s with no excess if a claim is needed. Other policies often have much higher levels of cover which many tenants have needed to pay for although they do not need it.

Mr Ray Pritchard, 83, of Ash Grove, Melbourn, is a Community Navigator volunteer for Care Network who helps older residents to find services that might be beneficial to them. He recently helped a District Council tenant to find out more about this scheme and she was very pleased.

He said: “On a personal note I’ve been looking at insurance for some time as it is a difficult matter that many older people struggle with. This is really good long term scheme that I am keen to raise awareness of in our communities as insurance is very important. I’d like to see more insurance companies take note of the scheme and have something similar for non-council tenants if they’re not already doing it.”

Cllr Mark Howell, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “Many tenants tell us that the cost of insurance puts it out of their reach and I am really pleased we have been able to work with Jardine Lloyd Thompson Tenant Risk to design this scheme. It has been heartening to receive calls from people who are so pleased we have been able to do this for tenants. It is both a scheme that meets many people’s needs at a price they can afford.”

The insurance scheme is specifically for Council housing tenants and leaseholders only.

For further information on the scheme visit www.scambs.gov.uk/content/tenants-home-content-insurance

Friday, 26 July 2013

Cambridge MP Calls For End To Tasteless Immigration Billboards

MP Julian Huppert has called on the government to end its billboard campaign on illegal immigrants claiming it is “disproportionate and tasteless”.

He has written to Home Office Minister, Jeremy Browne after the Home Office launched a pilot scheme to target areas of London with billboards announcing that people who have entered the UK illegally should “Go home or face arrest”.

Julian, Co-Chair of the Home Affairs, Justice and Equalities Commission and a member of the Lib Dem Federal Policy Committee’s Immigration, Identity and Asylum working group fears the campaign could lead to increased tension and animosity within communities.

He welcomed a complaint about the billboards made to the Advertising Standards Authority and urged the government to bring the pilot to an end and discard the campaign.

“The billboards are both offensive and insensitive,” he said, “and I share the concerns which have been raised about how they could lead to increased tension and animosity within communities.

“The billboard tactic is disproportionate and tasteless. A campaign targeting illegal entrants to the UK is likely to draw suspicion on people who do have an entitlement to reside in the UK and it is deeply troubling that innocent citizens might be demonized as a result of the Home Office’s actions.”

Residents Asked To Stay Alert After Spate Of Fires

Residents in a South Cambridgeshire village are being asked to stay alert following a spate of small outdoor deliberate fires.

Firefighters were called to a large fire involving 100sqm of dry cut hay in Bourn on July 7. Since the incident, local residents have reported at least five more small fires to community fire safety officers involving quantities of hay and straw, which luckily did not require any firefighting action.

The Aims Hill hay fire (July 7) was started deliberately and it is believed these subsequent small fires, many of which have taken place on a footpath between Bourn and Cambourne, were also deliberate.
Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service's community safety officers are now working with neighbourhood watch coordinators and local PCSOs to encourage residents to get in touch with information and report any suspicious activity.

Jim Meikle, Community Safety Officer for South Cambs, said: "Following the fire in Bourn at the start of the month, our investigations revealed a number of other small fires occurred.

"Residents are concerned about the potential risks these fires pose and rightly so. Fire can spread rapidly and all it takes is dry ground and a gust of wind to turn something that started as a small flame into a fire that could destroy a property and injure someone.

"We are urging anyone with information to get in touch with police by calling 101 and to also report any suspicious activity. Be sure to tell friends, children and family about the dangers of starting a fire and warn people the consequences of arson."

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Slowly But Surely The Coalition's Economic Plan Is Working

"Fixing the economy was always going to take time, but these figures are further evidence that the Coalition's plan is working.

"After wrecking the economy, Labour spent the last years rubbishing the Coalition's growth plan. They were wrong. Slowly but surely the plan is working and the economy is recovering.

"It is particularly encouraging to see the construction sector growing so strongly, providing a much needed boost to house-building, and to see manufacturing on the rise.

"The Liberal Democrats are building a stronger economy and a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life. Getting growth going and creating jobs is at the heart of that. We have helped businesses create a million jobs, now we want to help create a million more."

Inquiry Launched Into Nuisance Calls After Cambridge MP Backs Campaign

A campaign to outlaw nuisance phone calls and texts supported by Cambridge MP Julian Huppert has led to a Parliamentary investigation.

The Culture, Media and Sport Committee is to launch an inquiry into the issue and is calling for written evidence from anyone who wishes to contribute.

It comes after Julian backed a Private Member’s Bill calling on the government to reform the way personal data can be traded.

The Communication (Unsolicited Telephone Calls and Texts) Bill was presented to the House of Commons in June by Edinburgh West MP, Liberal Democrat Mike Crockart.

Mr Crockart has been running a ‘No to Nuisance Calls’ campaign for a year and has set up and now co-chairs an all-party Parliamentary group on nuisance calls. The group is working with cross-party MPs across the UK to help people plagued by nuisance calls and to keep a close eye on unsolicited marketing industry and its unscrupulous operators.

Julian said about the inquiry: “This is excellent news. Most of us have received calls or texts that we don’t want because our personal data has got into the hands of companies cold calling.

“For many of us this is a just irritating, but for vulnerable people the consequences could be much more serious as they are sold goods and services that they don’t want. A change in the law would offer much needed protection.”

Anyone wishing to contribute to the inquiry is asked to write a short submission in word format and send it by email to cmsev@parliament.uk with ”Nuisance calls” in the subject line. Submissions should be received by Thursday, 15 August 2013.

Local Parish Councillor Andy Pellew said; "The first step to blocking nuisance calls is signing up to the Telephone Preference Service, however this service was first launched a decade ago and is rarely publicised. I full support Julians efforts to further improve the situation and reduce the number of nuisance calls and texts."

Cambridge MP Meets Home-Based Entrepreneurs At The Business Lounge

MP Julian Huppert will meet some of the city’s home-based entrepreneurs on Monday, July 29 at the Cambridge Business Lounge.

Mainly sole traders, they run companies in sectors from technology to marketing and 3D printing to entertainment.

And occasionally they work from the Cambridge Business Lounge, where they are offered desk space and wi-fi access as a change of scenery from their home-based offices or to meet other small business people and exchange ideas.

Cambridge Business Lounge in Burleigh Street, Cambridge is run by Ed Goodman and Nicky Smerdon.

Ed said: “Nicky and I launched Cambridge Business Lounge in January this year to provide home-based businesses with a platform to work from, where they can share ideas and experiences, and access much of the support and interaction that working from home can sometimes lack.

“We are delighted that Julian is so keen to meet the diverse businesses who use our facilities and support small businesses in the Cambridge area. We look forward to welcoming him into our growing community”

It is estimated that there are 8,000 self-employed workers in Cambridge, many working from home and home-working has increased by 13 per cent to 46 per cent in the last five years.

Peter Robbins has been running his Artisan Entertainment agency from home for the last year but uses the Cambridge Business Lounge, often for just half a day at a time.

He said: “It gives me everything I want and need from office space – good company, fast internet access, pleasant surroundings and good coffee.”

Vhari Russell runs The Food Marketing Expert helping small retailers to grow and she finds the Cambridge Business Lounge invaluable for holding meetings and meeting other business people.

She said: “Sometimes it can be hard running a business on your own and it’s good to bounce ideas off other people and get a different viewpoint.”

And Len Keenan, who runs enablen3D which looks at how 3D printing can be introduced into primary schools, said: “One of the key things about running a business is that you can’t do it on your own.

“At the Business Lounge it’s like having an office with people in it. You never know who is going to walk through the door and you can make connections with people from all different backgrounds – computer, engineering marketing.”

Julian said: “It is really good news that there are so many successful self-employed workers and that home-working is on the increase.

“Home-working gives businesses, especially new start-ups, the opportunity to keep costs down and offers great flexibility.

“I am looking forward to finding out more about these businesses and meeting the people behind them.”

£10,000 Grant Pot For Future Sports Stars Announced On Olympic Anniversary

On the eve of the first anniversary of the London Olympics, funding of £10,000 has been announced to help South Cambridgeshire sports stars of the future reach their full potential.

The funding has been announced by South Cambridgeshire District Council in a continuation of its Elite Athlete Grant Scheme.

Since 2009, over 70 young talented sports performers have been awarded more than £50,000 to support their sporting dreams and hopefully follow in the steps of Cambridgeshire Olympic and Paralympic medallists like Robbie Grabarz, Johnnie Peacock and Louis Smith.

Grants of up to £1,000 are available to support athletes at all stages of their sporting careers, whether they are competing regionally, making steady progress at national level or representing GB in world class events like the Olympics and Paralympics.

Nicholas Beer, a Waterbeach-based triathlete who recently won the British Championships and has qualified for the World Championships in September has been awarded £4,450 from the scheme over four years. He says: “The grants I have received from South Cambridgeshire District Council have been instrumental in helping me achieve my goals and giving me the opportunity to help continue my quest to reach my potential. I am sure this is just the beginning of exciting things to come.”

Cllr Pippa Corney, South Cambridgeshire District Council cabinet member with responsibility for sport, said: “I’m delighted to announce the continuation of this scheme and am looking forward to awarding grants to more exceptional young sportspeople with South Cambridgeshire connections.  The talent and dedication shown by our Elite Athletes is phenomenal, and I’m very proud of the part we have played in supporting so many young people to excel in their chosen sport.

”As a Council we want to help people achieve their full potential but we are also really focussed on trying to get more people more active by giving sport a try.”

Park Life – South Cambridgeshire’s biggest free sporting event of the year – takes place on Sunday 4 August at Milton Country Park where all the family can get a taste for sports from golf and archery to kayaking and paddle boarding. The event begins at 10am and runs until 4pm. There is a £3 charge for car parking at Milton Country Park.

For more information about the Elite Athletes scheme and an application form visit www.scambs.gov.uk/eliteatheletes or call 03450 450 500. Two funding rounds will run this financial year. Applications must be received by Friday 27 September 2013 for grants awarded in October and 28 February 2014 for grants awarded in March. Previous applicants may apply.

Extra Consultation Events Planned Near Proposed New Village At Bourn Airfield

Two extra consultation events have been agreed by councillors today to make sure residents near a proposed new village at Bourn Airfield have more opportunities to have their say on plans for 22,000 new jobs and 5,000 additional new homes over the next 20 years.

A third and final consultation on South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Local Plan was launched on Friday, but following a meeting of Council today where concerns were raised about plans for the new village, extra events in nearby villages are now being planned.

Following two years of planning, assessments of over 400 potential sites for housing and two rounds of public consultation where over 30,000 comments were made to compile the draft Local Plan proposals would currently see a new town built north of Waterbeach, a new village at Bourn Airfield and a major extension to Cambourne to support new jobs being created in Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire.

Around 900 of the homes needed are planned in six of the district’s larger villages which have the best services and public transport links. These will also help make sure the Council has a flexible plan for the future as larger new towns and villages take more time to deliver.

Fifteen events spread across the district had already been scheduled by the Council before the consultation closes at 5pm on 30 September, but extra events in Bourn and Caxton will now be added.

The Council will now be finding out availability of venues in Bourn and Caxton for the events and details will be publicised on the Council’s website as well as local parish councils and interested groups informed.

The new homes proposed in the draft Plan are in addition to around 14,000 homes already committed to in South Cambridgeshire’s current Local Plan. Some have already been built or are under construction, while a number of others have planning permission in locations such as on the edge of Cambridge and at the new town of Northstowe.

During two rounds of public consultation over the last year the majority of local people wanted the Council to focus on a plan that would provide additional homes in a new town or village rather than spreading lots of them across existing villages.

All views will be considered at a meeting of all councillors next spring to review comments before the plan is submitted to government for independent examination.

Both South Cambridgeshire District and Cambridge City councils are consulting on their new Local Plans from Friday 19 July until 5pm on Monday 30 September.

The County Council’s draft Transport Strategy is also being consulted on at the same time, and sets out policies and proposals to address current transport challenges as well as improvements needed to support future growth to encourage the continued economic prosperity of this area. More information is online at  www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/tscsc, and available at the exhibitions being held by South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City Council.

Representations can be made online at www.scambs.gov.uk/localplan and 16 public exhibitions are also planned so residents can speak to officers to find out more.

Cllr Pippa Corney, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member for planning policy and localism, said: “We are pleased people feel so passionately about the future of their district and have always tried to give people as many opportunities to have their say throughout this very important and detailed consultation. During the first two rounds of consultation lots of events have been held to make sure we gathered as many views as possible and the extra ones will make it even easier.

“I strongly urge everyone to either go online or come along to an event as we want your views. We know there is a great need for more housing in the district to meet the needs of our residents into the future but recognise we must also strike the right balance between growth and protecting our villages and rural environment to keep South Cambridgeshire as one of the best places to live, work and study in the country.”

Public consultation events are being held across the district in July and September. All events run from 2.30pm to 7.30pm.
(events marked with * are joint events with Cambridge City Council):

Extra events are now being arranged in Bourn and Caxton.

July

  • 19 - Sawston, Spicers Pavilion, Cambridge Road
  • 22 - Linton Village College, Cambridge Road
  • 22 - Trumpington Pavilion, Paget Road *
  • 24 - Comberton Village Hall, Green End
  • 25 - Waterbeach Primary School, High Street
  • 26 - Great Shelford Memorial Hall, Woollards Lane
  • 26 - Cherry Hinton Village Centre, Colville Road *
  • 29 - Bar Hill Village Hall, The Spinney
  • 30 - Cambourne, The Hub, High Street
  • 31 - Cambridge, Meadows Community Centre, St. Catharine’s Road *

September

  • 2 - Sawston, Spicers Pavilion, Cambridge Road
  • 3 - Caldecote Village Hall, Furlong Way
  • 4 - Gamlingay Eco Hub, Stocks Lane
  • 5 - Histon & Impington Recreation Ground, New Road, Impington
  • 9 - Melbourn, All Saints Community Hall, Station Road
  • 10 - Swavesey Village College, Gibraltar Lane

Further information:
Forecasted jobs growth 2011-2031: 22,000

Forecasted homes required 2011-2031: 19,000 (of which 14,000 are already built, with permission or included in current plans – mainly developments on the edge of Cambridge and Northstowe)

Site details:
Larger strategic sites:
Waterbeach (new town) – 8,000-9,000 homes, 1,400 of which by 2031.
Bourn airfield new village – 3,500 homes, 1,700 of which by 2031.
Cambourne West – 1,200 homes, all by 2031.

Edge of Cambridge:
NIAB      3 site – not to increase the number of homes on the NIAB development but to make sure of a high quality development at an appropriate density
Near      ARM, Fulbourn Road – a small area of employment land as an extension to Peterhouse Technology Park (along with 2 other small areas in City Council’s area).
Cambridge      Northern Fringe East/proposed Cambridge Science Park Station area –      redevelopment following joint area action plan being developed (SCDC and      City Council).

Cambridge Airport site:
Airport itself not planned for development during the plan period. Held in reserve for possible development after 2031 if it becomes available (SCDC and City Council).
Two parts of the original Cambridge East site coming forward as planned;
Marshall’s Wing development north of Newmarket road – 1,200 homes (SCDC), and
North of Cherry Hinton for 110 homes (along with land in City Council’s area, for a total of 500 homes).

Smaller local sites:
Comberton: 90 homes opposite Comberton Village College which will deliver local benefits of a much needed football pitch and changing facilities and also community car parking that is also available as overspill parking for Comberton Village College
Gamlingay: jobs and 90 homes on a brown field site at Green End Industrial Estate
Histon & Impington: new gateway to the villages through revitalisation around the busway stop and 25 homes in Impington Lane
Melbourn: 65 homes on land to rear of Victoria Way    
Sawston: 540 homes in total - 200 homes by redeveloping part of the Dales Manor Business Park, 80 homes between Dales Manor Business Park and Babraham Road, and 260 homes south of Babraham Road to the east of the village.
Willingham: 50 homes on land east of Rockmill End

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Guest Post: "Andrew Lansley MP Wades Into Debate To Stop Bourn Airfield Development" by Cllr Tumi Hawkins

The debate about the suitability or otherwise of the proposals in the new draft Local Development Plan (LDP) for the Bourn Airfield Development goes up a notch as Andrew Lansley MP wades in with his views.

StopBAD (Stop Bourn Airfield Development) the campaign being led by Des O’Brien, is working hard to get this site removed from the LDP, and the group recently went to see Andrew Lansley MP for South Cambridgeshire at his Hardwick Consitituency office to ask for his support.

As the StopBAD website announced on 20 July 2013, Anne, Giles and Paul from StopBAD along with Eddie Blair (Caxton Parish Councillor) and Alison Elcox (District Councillor for Bourn Ward) had a very positive meeting with Cambridge South MP Andrew Lansley on 19 July. They were only supposed to have 15 minutes of Andrew’s time he actually gave them 45 full minutes!

Andrew agreed to and has written a letter of support to SCDC on behalf of the campaign and also confirmed he will submit a formal consultation response in due course.

Mr Lansley agreed that:
  • The Local Development Plan needs substantial review – especially in light of AstraZeneca’s move to Cambridge necessitating 2,000 new homes in next 2 years – an announcement that came after the sites in West Cambridge were selected. Andrew suggested that well-paid pharmaceutical staff would be seeking family homes in pretty villages, a need that would clearly not be met by new builds on Bourn Airfield or West Cambourne. 
  • Waterbeach development was being fatuously delayed to ensure Northstowe and A14 developments were prioritised. He suggested that developing Waterbeach would remove the need for further building on Bourn Airfield and West Cambourne as well as supporting the successful key worker strategy. 
  • Development at Bourn Airfield and West Cambourne was ‘undesirable’ (Giles did push for a more forceful word!) – as it would lead to coalescence of villages and a strain on existing infrastructure. He noted the strength of local opposition demonstrated in the BAD forum, the village hall meeting and e-petition. He said that news of BAD had even reached the corridors of Westminster! (corridors today – PM’s question time tomorrow?!) 
  • To offset the need for extra family homes within South Cambs he felt that the District Council should contact all Parish Councils to invite them to consider accommodating 30-40 new homes per village (in SE-SW Cambs). 
All in all, the campaign group considered it was a very successful meeting and I rather agree with them.

Andrew Lansley’s letter goes ahead of his formal consultation response as the e-petition organised by StopBAD is being presented to South Cambridgeshire District Council at is full council meeting to be held on Thursday 25th July 2013, at 2.00pm at the Council Chamber. I would strongly urge residents of the affected villages, in particular Bourn and Caldecote, to support the petition presentation on Thursday.

Please share this article with your friends and neighbours and anyone else you know who has an interest in this matter.

Council Staff Face Pay Cuts But Review Of Management Pay Delayed

Cambridgeshire County Council staff are facing possible pay cuts to meet a £3 million saving on employment costs, but negotiations on management pay has been put on the back burner for the time being.

The move has angered the county’s Liberal Democrats who claim it is wrong for senior management to take themselves out of a process that the rest of the staff are facing.

Ian Manning, Lib Dem Resources Spokesperson said: “We all know savings have to be made but it isn’t good enough for management to tell their staff that they face an uncertain future without facing up to it themselves. That’s why we are calling for senior management to be included in this round of negotiations on pay and conditions.”

Staff received a letter from council Chief Executive, Mark Lloyd about the possibility of reductions in pay and conditions in order to meet a budgeted £3 million saving in employment costs. But management negotiations are regarded as a “longer term project”.

Cllr Manning claimed that as senior staff are not part of national pay agreements, there is more flexibility to change their pay and conditions.

A letter was sent to staff of Cambridgeshire County Council from Chief Executive Mark Lloyd on 2013-7-22 advising on the consultation process to implement staffing cuts of £3m.

The letter states: "In addition to this work we have also agreed with the Trade Unions to review the pay and grading structures for the management band grades and other senior pay grades. This is a longer term project and you will be kept up to date with union discussions."

Books Of Congratulation Opened Following Royal Birth

An online book of congratulations has been opened for anyone wishing to send messages to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge following the birth of their son.

Cambridgeshire County Council has opened the book following the birth of the Prince of Cambridge.

Further books have been placed in the Reception areas of Cambridge City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council for residents to leave their messages.

Anyone wishing to convey their congratulations can do so in person by calling into The Guildhall in Cambridge Market Place, Shire Hall on Castle Hill or the Town Hall in Bridge Street, Peterborough.

The online book will then be printed off, bound and sent to Kensington Palace, together with the hard copies of the congratulations books.

Messages can be left online at:http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/council/congratulations

Because the Royal birth is an event of national and international significance, messages will be moderated before they appear online.

Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire Hugh Duberly CBE said: “I would like to extend my warmest wishes and congratulations to the Duke and Duchess on the birth of their baby, the Prince of Cambridge. I am sure many people will want to join me in sending their own personal messages to the couple, and the books of congratulation which have been established across the county will enable them to do just that.”

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Cambridge MP Backs Call For Gold Standard Of Breast Cancer Care

MP Julian Huppert has backed a cross-party Parliamentary report calling for a gold standard of care for older breast cancer patients.

The report “Age is just a number” outlines proactive measures to tackle the inequality of breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and support for women over 70 which has been a long suspected problem in the NHS.

It says that older women should be entitled to routine breast screening invitations and breast cancer patients should be judged by their fitness to undergo treatment and not by their age alone.

Julian attended the launch of the report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer which has joined forces with the UK’s leading breast cancer charities to tackle inequality amongst breast cancer patients.

He said: “There can be no justification for denying older breast cancer patients access to the full treatment and support options purely because of their age. We have an ageing population in this country and it is a known fact that the risk of developing breast cancer increases with age.

“I hope the government will take the report’s recommendations on board so that we can do everything in our power to give older women routine screening invitations and hopefully better treatment and more positive outcomes.”

Some of the main areas highlighted in the report as requiring attention are:

  • Breast awareness needs to be improved among older women to give them a better chance of survival.
  • The current breast cancer screening age extension trial should be extended further, up to 79.
  • Older breast cancer patients should not be judged by their age but by their individual fitness for treatment
  • The additional needs of older breast cancer patients must be taken into account at time of diagnosis to ensure that the best, tailored support system is provided.

The charities Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Campaign said in a joint statement: “No one’s age should dictate their access to the best possible treatments and care.

“For most women, getting older is the biggest risk factor for developing breast cancer so we must take action to ensure older breast cancer patients receive the same gold standard of care as younger women”.

Cambridge 20Mph Project: North Phase Public Consultation Results

Public consultation on the North Phase of the Cambridge city-wide 20mph Project took place between the 13th of May and the 5th of July 2013. The North Phase area includes Arbury, Kings Hedges, West Chesterton and East Chesterton Wards. A total of 4245 responses were received over the consultation period and the results have now been collated.

The results indicate that, overall the majority of respondents (65.6%) were in favour in principle with 20mph speed limits being introduced on residential and shopping roads in Cambridge. When asked if 20mph should be introduced specifically on the smaller (unclassified) roads in the North Phase area, 62.8% of respondents were in favour. The consultation also listed each of the five C class roads within the North Phase area, and asked if these should be made 20mph in turn. Responses indicate that: 56.7% of respondents were in favour of the proposal being introduced on Chesterton High Street, and 51.2% are in favour of 20mph for Green End Road. The majority of respondents were not in favour of 20mph being introduced to Gilbert Road or King’s Hedges Road (53.7% and 57.6% respectively). There was no overall majority for Arbury Road, with 49.1% in favour, 46.6% against and 4.3% with no opinion. These outcomes are based on the overall responses. The results have also been split into those received from addresses within the consultation area vs those received from outside. Tables outlining these results are appended below. The results will also be uploaded onto the project web page:https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/20mph-speed-limit where further information on the project can be found.

Executive Councillor for Planning and Climate Change, Cllr Tim Ward said; “These results indicate a significant level of support for the 20mph proposals on unclassified roads within the North Phase area. It is good that people took the time to respond to this consultation in such large numbers, which provides a strong foundation for the decision making process”

The North Phase of the project will be discussed at the next North Area Committee meeting which takes place from 7pm on the 1st of August 2013 at Manor Community College, 101a Arbury Road, Cambridge, CB4 2JF. The project will also be discussed and a final decision taken on whether/how to proceed with the North Phase at the next Environment Scrutiny Committee, taking place from 5pm on the 8th of October 2013 in Committee Rooms 1 and 2 of the Guildhall, Market Square, Cambridge. The public are welcome to attend and speak at either of these meetings.

Should the City Council approve implementation, further authority will be required by Cambridgeshire County Council before a statutory process can commence.

Subsequent phases are programmed to be consulted in the future, with the East of the city due for public consultation in late 2013/early 2014, followed by the South and then West/Central areas.

Special Needs Pupils 'Know Their Rights' Answers!

Pupils from special schools in Cambridgeshire proved they had the ‘rights stuff’ in a consumer quiz organised by the County Council’s Trading Standards team.

This year four schools took part in the quiz - Highfields (Ely); Meadowgate (Wisbech); Samuel Pepys (St Neots) and Spring Common (Huntingdon) – with participants and their supporters enjoying one of the most hotly contested Competitions in its history!

Eventually the team from Highfield took the gold medal. After a very close run with the remaining three schools tied, a tie breaker question resulted in Samuel Pepys coming second, with Meadowgate third and Spring Common fourth.

Consumer Challenge is designed for youngsters with special educational needs, helping to equip them with the knowledge and skills to be confident consumers when they are older.

The quiz follows a series of consumer workshops at the schools covering topics such as money and finance, shoppers rights, food labelling, age related purchases and recycling.

County Council Cabinet Member for Enterprise and Skills, Councillor Mathew Shuter, said: “Trading Standards does a really good job in supporting our communities and providing people with the knowledge they need to stand up for their rights.

“Holding a quiz is a fun way for the pupils to compete against each other and to learn about issues that may affect them in later life.”

Trading Standards Officer Sarah Freeman, who organised the quiz, said: “It is important that the pupils are made aware of their consumer rights and other trading standards related issues, and teachers always tell us that this is a fun way for the pupils to learn and become better informed consumers in the future.”

Sunday, 21 July 2013

"Petitions limit slashed. Road repairs taskforce set up" - By Cllr Amanda Taylor (LD, Queen Ediths)

Cllr Amanda Taylor
(LD, Queen Ediths)
The new Cambridgeshire County Council met last week. I spoke in two of the motions, both of which were voted through:

Petitions: the number of signatures to get a petition debated by the full Council is slashed from over 15,000 to just 3,000.

I seconded this motion, which was proposed by my colleague Cllr Ian Manning.

A Conservative amendment to change limit from 3,000 to 5,000 was defeated by 35 votes to 29 with both UKIP and Labour voting with the Lib Dem group to reject the proposed limit as still too high.

No petition had ever succeeded in reaching the old threshold, not even the massive Save Cambridgeshire Libraries petition of 2011, which was just over 8,000.

Tackling the road repairs backlog. proposed by Cllr David Jenkins

There is a staggering £300m backlog in our road repairs, and it is growing at £50m a year. Liberal Democrats in the last Council succeeding in getting a review, and an injection of £90m to do more work, which includes next month’s work on Hills Road, but it is not enough. This motion called for an officer taskforce to develop an action plan on addressing this deficit for next year’s budget.

I spoke on the importance of having decent roads and pavements for daily life, whether it is work, social or leisure activity; and the need for safe pavements of all of us, especially anyone with disabilities.

The motion was carried by 32 votes to 28.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Cambridge MP Welcomes Biggest Ever Rise In Pupil Premium

Julian Huppert MP and Sarah Teather MP at The Manor
Secondary School in Cambridge
Cambridge youngsters are to benefit from the biggest ever rise in the Liberal Democrats’ Pupil Premium.

The news that primary schools across the city will benefit from a share of an extra £564,800 next year has been welcomed by MP Julian Huppert.

“This money has been making a real difference in our schools,” said Julian. “Head teachers have told me how much it helps pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds have a better chance at keeping up with their classmates so that they can move onto secondary school at the same level.

“It is so vital that we give these youngsters a good start so that they can make the most of their education and reach their potential.”

Schools across Cambridge will receive £1,835,600 to be shared between 1,412 pupils in 2014/15. This figure compares to £1,270,800 for the current year.

Cambridge MP Is A Top Tweeter On Twitter

When it comes to Twitter, MP Julian Huppert is a top tweeter.

He virtually swept the board in most of the categories of a competition to find the best MP on the social networking site.

Julian scored top marks for engaging with constituents and regularity and nine out of 10 for being informative placing him third in the contest run by the website politics.co.uk.

The judges said: “He is to be seriously commended for being so open and engaged. As opposed to most MPs on Twitter, who rarely, if ever, bother debating with their followers, Huppert is extremely communicative. He is apparently open for discussion with anyone who tweets him and is constantly engaging with his followers.

“This informal approach cuts down barriers between MP and constituents. And Huppert offers detailed, substantive tweets on the key issues he follows, which branch out from the mainstream agenda to include topics like surveillance, drugs reform and immigration.

“His regular updates mean he is a constant presence online. A serious account for serious politics, with a refreshingly open and engaged attitude.”

Julian said: “I’m delighted that I’ve been recognised in this way. Social networking is such an quick and easy system to use and it’s great for giving me the chance to keep in touch with constituents. I can let them know what I’m doing and answer their questions.

“We are all busy and it means they can tell me about issues they are concerned about without having to take time out from their day to day lives. And I can let them know about decisions in Parliament, campaigns or events that I think they might be interested in.”

South Cambridgeshire District Council By-Election Results

Kevin Cuffley has been named as the new district councillor for Sawston after a by-election in the village yesterday (Thursday 18 July).

The by-election was triggered in June after former independent district councillor, Sally Hatton, resigned.

The new Conservative councillor joins Cllrs David Bard and Raymond Matthews – also both Conservative Party – in representing the ward.

The results of the election were:

  • Kevin Cuffley – Conservative Party – 477 votes
  • Michael Kilpatrick – Liberal Democrat Party – 110 votes
  • Mike Nettleton – Labour Party – 199 votes
  • Elizabeth Smith – UKIP – 233 votes

The turnout was 18.83%.


Seats now held on the Council are as follows:

  • Conservative Party – 34
  • Liberal Democrat Party – 14
  • Labour Party – 1
  • Independent – 8

Details of all district councillors can be found by visiting www.scambs.gov.uk

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Council Backs Manning's Drive To Open Up Democracy

Cllr Ian Manning
Campaigners fighting to get county council support for a petition will only have to generate 3,000 signatures to trigger a debate after Councillor Ian Manning celebrated victory with his plan to open up democracy.

Cllr Manning received the backing of full council for his motion to drop the number of signatures on a petition required to trigger a debate from just over 15,000 to 3,000. He also won support for call to political groups to give residents raising questions in the chamber a direct response rather than a written reply.

Only the Liberal Democrats supported the whole motion, however, with Labour, UKIP and the Tories not wanting public questions to get a response.

“I have been fighting for this for months,” said Cllr Manning, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Resources, “so I am delighted that common sense has now prevailed.

“We were elected by the people to represent them and we should be listening to them and addressing their concerns as quickly and as efficiently as we can. Now petitioners have a chance to see real debate in the chamber on the issues that concern them.

"Obviously I am disappointed all my proposals to open up council to the public weren't supported - and pretty shocked Labour in particular felt that they felt they shouldn't have to respond to residents questions in public."

Bar Hill Parish Council Meeting ** TONIGHT ** (18th July 2013)

Here's the agenda for next Thursdays meeting of Bar Hill Parish Council. It's slightly different than normal in that after the Open Forum (which is an invitation to anyone who wishes to attend to have any issue they want discussed by Councillors) there are three interviews for the vacant Councillor positions.

A G E N D A
Open Forum
Interviews
- 7.00pm – John Doland
- 7.10pm - Catherine Foley
- 7.20pm – Simon Munford

To receive apologies for absence and any declaration of interest
Approval of minutes

To approve minutes of Parish Council Meeting held on 20th June 2013 (available here - via Google Drive).

Matters for discussion and decisions to be made from Previous Minutes
- Midas Care Ltd – update
- Farmhouse - update
- FOOTPATH Committee – update
- Green Space Project (Rob Mongovan)
- Village Hall – supply of picnic tables
- Website - update

4. Clerks Financial Report
4.1 Approval of works by the Parish Council
4.2 Ongoing employment of Clerk’s assistant
4.3 Approval of accounts and payment of cheques for July

5. General Correspondence Received
5.1 SCDC – Planning Policy Monthly update – sent by email on 03.07.13
5.2 Community Project Funding – email re support for Women’s Netball Team
5.3 John Reynolds email – A14 Corridor traffic surveys
5.4 Wiser recycling – possible event for collection of waste in village
5.5 Email to Jonathan Clarke re footpath damage by Hanover Housing
5.6 Tesco – reply to letter about litter and rats

6. Chairman’s Report

7. Committee Reports
- Planning Committee (MP)
- Environment Committee (BW)

8. Other Reports
- Cambridgeshire County Council (JR)
- South Cambridgeshire District Council (BW/RH)
- Any other reports

9. Items for Information

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Government Investment in the East of England 2015 and Beyond

Here's a quick info-graphic put together listing the the governments infrastructure priorities as first publicised by Danny Alexander;


The "East of England" map comes courtesy of Wikimedia Commons (here) with the details coming from the UK-wide info-graphic from HM Treasury (here).

Clearly the two biggest impacts on South Cambridgeshire will be the A14 Upgrade and the Super-connected city (Cambridge).

Mid-July greetings from Cambridge Carbon Footprint!


Our Summer Swishing is taking place this Saturday afternoon, so if you're looking for new summery clothes or wish to find a new home to something that doesn't quite fit or is just left in the wardrobe most of the time, come along. Swishing isn't just for women, men's and children's clothing is also very welcome. So come along too, guys, for some great finds!

In August things calm down a bit, and we will be sending out only one newsletter. This will be a special edition introducing some of our plans for autumn, so watch this space!

1. Summer Swishing 20 JulySaturday 20 July, 2 - 3.30pm, St. Andrew’s Hall (St. Andrew’s Road, Chesterton) CB4 1DH

CCF is hosting its second Swishing of the year at St. Andrew’s Hall.

If you caught some of our Second Hand Fashion activities earlier this year, swishing needs no explaination! But for those who are unfamiliar with the term, Swishing is clothes swapping with style. Participants bring a few items of good quality, clean clothing, and get to take home a few items of their choosing from others (it doesn’t have to be a direct exchange).

One person’s item that just doesn’t fit anymore or turned out to not be the right colour after all is someone else’s favourite new item in waiting; swishing just makes the exchange happen! One almost always comes away from a swishing with some fabulous new clothes that are even cheaper than they would be in a charity shop, sometimes barely worn, while relieving yourself of the guilt of those old items you never wear! It’s the perfect way to rejuvinate your wardrobe and give existing clothes new life.

Read about two first-time Swishing experiences from CCF’s previous swishings in this article in Style Magazine, and this blog post from Retrovert!

Please book a place by emailing info@cambridgecarbonfootprint.org. Despite the trend of mostly women taking part in swishings, we do welcome men’s, kids and baby clothes too!

2. Volunteer for our July Swishing!If you enjoy Swishing, or if you're curious how they work, please come and help us run one for CCF on the 20th of July. We're looking for helpers for a number of things, like sorting out clothes, arranging them on racks and tables, serving tea and coffee, as well as setting up the change rooms and packing them up with us.

It's always a really fun day, lots of happy people finding new clothes and swapping their own for free. Everyone's welcome. Please contact Jocelyn at the office at jocelyn@cambridgecarbonfootprint.org or 01223 301842. Remember, even if you're not keen on helping out, feel free to come along and swap some clothes on the day, the more, the merrier!

3. Food blog volunteers
Are you interested in sustainable food? We are in the process of expanding our sustainable food blog to include a large variety of different food-related issues and are looking for volunteers to contribute to the blog on a regular basis.

We’re looking for someone who…
Is interested in low-carbon living, particularly food
Enjoys writing and can commit to writing regular pieces for the blog (such as once a week/fortnight/month)
Perhaps has a blog about low-impact living and would be interested to do a regular or one-off guest blog post

For more information go to the volunteers page or email elaina@cambridgecarbonfootprint.org.

4. Food waste: a request
We need some good quotes for materials we are writing on food waste for our Eco-coaching project. Please could you email us with the following:
description of any ways you have tried to cut down on food waste (it's OK even if not all these attempts succeeded - what we want are the experiences!)
any useful tips you have for cutting food waste

Please send replies to info@cambridgecarbonfootprint.org

Thanks!

5. Guinea pig needed!
From mid-August onwards we will be trialling our first Eco-coaching module (on food waste) and we are looking for someone willing to be guinea pigs for this. Ideally we would like someone who does not already have extensive knowledge of the carbon cost of food waste and how to reduce their personal food waste. There will be one or two questions to answer (by email) before the session and the session itself should take no more than an hour. If you are interested or know someone who might be, please contact the officeinfo@cambridgecarbonfootprint.org.

Please pass this on to others - there will be more modules ready for trialling soon, on holidays and travel and consumption, as well as another module on food, so we will be needing more guinea pigs! Thanks!

6. Gardening in mid-late July – time for soft fruits and summer puddings!
It’s a real ‘Berryfest’ down on the allotment at the moment! The ideal time to make summer pudding. I think the last 2 months have been excellent growing conditions with a variety of weather - sun, cloud, some cool days, some rain (in June), basically a bit of everything. A great contrast to last year’s over abundance of rain, flooding and the ‘Snailfest’ (e.g. remember the mega-downpour on 7th July before the Olympic Torch came to Cambridge?).

Read Keith Jordan's full gardening article on our website.

7. Help Cambridge Hub to write a guide to sustainable living!Cambridge Hub is in the process of writing a guide to sustainable and ethical living in Cambridge for new students. We need you guys to offer your pro-tips for getting involved in volunteering, campaigning and social entreprise in the colleges as well as little ways to reduce your carbon footprint and help local people. If you think you can help, even if it's just a few lines, drop us an email community@cambridgehub.org

8. The Liberated Feast 18 JulyThursday 18 July, 7 - 10pm, Emmanuel United Reformed Church, Trumpington Street

Join The Liberated Feast for a night of beautiful food, music and talks to enlighten and inspire. Share a gourmet 3 course meal, created from surplus food that has been donated by Cambridge food stores, food that would otherwise have been wasted. Wine (and vegan wine available too!) and Juices also included in the price.

Inspiring talks about Global Food Waste and creative projects working to reduce food waste.

There will be a local food fair and Fairtrade recycled crafts to buy, plus stands showcasing their work reducing food waste.
Live music and album launch from the amazingly talented Foulignouma, check them outhere.

Proceeds from the event will be going to The Milimani Academy feeding programme in Kenya and Cambridge Foodcycle.

Tickets £8 available to purchase from EventBrite.

9. Wildlife Wanderings 20 JulySaturday 20 July, 11am, Coldham's Common

Want to spend more time in Nature? Join our Wildlife Wanderings.
A leisurely meander through Coldhams's Common, taking our time to observe the nature that is taking place around us.
Meet at the gates to Coldham's Common, on Coldham's Lane, opposite Cromwell Road.
Bring a little notebook and pencil if you fancy starting a nature journal, we can show you how.
Please bring hats, suncream, suitable shoes and water.
And bring some simple healthy food to share, if you fancy staying for a picnic after.

Cambridge Carbon Footprint
www . cambridgecarbonfootprint . org
01223 301842

Facebook - https://www . facebook . com/CamCarbonFootprint
Twitter - http ://twitter . com/CCFcambridge

Unpaid Work For Benefits Cheat Who Failed To Declare Job

A benefit cheat who failed to declare that she had a job while claiming support has been sentenced to complete 40 hours of unpaid work.

Lindsey Broadhead, 35, of Windmill Close, Bassingbourn-Cum-Kneesworth,  pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to report a change in circumstances and two charges of making a false statement to obtain benefit at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Thursday 18 July).

When she started work in June 2009 Miss Broadhead failed to report the change to South Cambridgeshire District Council and when filling in a benefits forms she did not include details of her work.

The issue was picked up by investigators through the National Fraud Initiative (NFI) – a mass data matching exercise in which the Council submits information from its databases to the NFI and the data is matched against similar data held by other authorities to identify potential fraud and error. Since 1996 the NFI has identified nearly £1 billion in fraud and error.

It was found that she had been overpaid a total of £6,498.58 in Housing and Council Tax Benefits which are now being recovered.

Cllr Simon Edwards, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, said: “We’re committed to preventing and detecting fraud and have a very good record for taking action when it is necessary. We rely on the public reporting their suspicions but also have a number of methods to catch people who try to take money out of the system which should be there for the people who really need it.”

Christopher Freeman, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Fraud Manager, said: “It’s vital that changes are reported promptly to ensure that benefit claims remain correct. Failure to do so can result in a large bill for the overpaid benefit and even prosecution. Data matching is a useful tool in finding fraud and error but claimants need to make sure they take responsibility and keep us up to date when any change takes place.”

Suspected fraud can be reported through the Council’s hotline on 0800 7311892 or by email on benefitfraud@scambs.gov.uk.

For more information on the NFI visit www.audit-commission.gov.uk/national-fraud-initiative

South Cambridgeshire District Council Billed As Top Tax Collector

Council finances bosses have praised staff after cementing its place as one of the best authorities in the country for tax collection.

Latest league tables released by the Department for Communities and Local Government this week shows South Cambridgeshire District Council is the fifth best council nationally for collecting council tax and eighth for business rates.

In total the Council collects 84.6 million in council tax on behalf of itself, the County Council, Police and Crime Commissioners office, Fire Authority and parish councils. Maintaining last year’s record 99.3% of the money was collected.

A high collection rate of 99.5% was achieved for business rates in 2012/13, also equally the result from the previous financial year. A total of £66.7 million was due to be collected in business rates.

Councillors in charge of the collections team put have put the success down to the Council’s policy of dealing with each resident as an individual and offering early support and advice if debts begin to accumulate.

Cllr Simon Edwards, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, said: “I’d like to congratulate the collections team for continuing doing such a great job and achieving these excellent results. We try hard to work with our residents and speak to them early if they begin to fall into arrears and this has certainly helped us make sure we do our part by collecting the money due.”

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Danny Alexander Launches The Government's Trident Alternatives Review

Here's the transcript of the speech Danny Alexander made launching the Government's Trident Alternatives review;

"For generations this institute has expertly informed defence and security policy, and successive Governments have had good reason to be grateful for your rigorous research and objective advice.

Not least the current Government.

Much of the framework of the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review was informed by your analysis of the inheritance in Defence we faced, and the difficult choices we would need to make.

So let me take this opportunity to pay tribute to the men and women of our armed forces, whose service and sacrifice to our country is second to none.

I'm sure I speak for all of us here in expressing great sadness over the deaths of two Army reservists during a training exercise in the Brecon Beacons at the weekend. Our thoughts are with their families and friends at this difficult time.

As the Minister responsible for negotiating the latest Spending Review, I can attest to the vigour and passion with which those who represent the interest of Defence make their case.

But I can also attest to the fact that those same people I worked with on the SDSR and Spending Review understand the necessity for the nation's economy to be strong.

They recognise that our nation's defence is built on our nation's prosperity.

As Cicero put it, "finances are the sinews of war".

Prosperity and security: these are the first order responsibilities of Government.

They are inextricably linked - it is almost impossible to have one without the other for any sustained period of time.

To ensure both has required this Government to take some very tough decisions.

I want to speak to you today about one of the tough decisions that still remains to be taken - the future of Britain's nuclear weapons policy.

Today, the Government has published the 'Trident Alternatives Review'.

This is the most thorough review of nuclear systems and postures the UK has undertaken for decades. It is the most comprehensive analysis ever made public.

In this, it is ground breaking.

And more - this detailed and forensic analysis challenges conventional and outdated thinking about our nuclear posture.

For the first time in a generation, the Trident Alternatives Review shows that there are credible and viable alternatives to the United Kingdom's current approach to nuclear deterrence.

A different approach would allow the UK to contribute meaningfully to the new multilateral drive for disarmament, initiated by President Obama, while maintaining our national security and our ultimate insurance policy against future threats.

And it could allow long-term savings to be made against current plans - savings of about £4billion over the life of the system.

Let me be clear, this does not change current Government policy to maintain Britain's nuclear deterrent and prepare for a successor system.

But it does mean that we can, at last, have an open and much more informed debate about what our nuclear weapons are for and how they should be deployed.

And it provides us with a chance to change course before the Main Gate decision for a successor system is taken in 2016.

Today, I want to make the case for taking this opportunity.

Trident is the last, unreformed bastion of Cold War thinking.

Britain in the 21st century, almost a quarter of a century after the fall of the Berlin Wall, needs to think about nuclear deterrence and disarmament in a fresh way.

We have a big decision to make in 2016, and this study shows that there are credible alternatives that don't compromise our security but do allow us to move on from the Cold War.

We can adapt our nuclear deterrence to the threats in the 21st century by ending 24 hour patrols when we don't need them, and buying fewer submarines.

That way we can take a big step down the ladder of disarmament and keep our country safe.

But before I make that case, let me set out how we have come to this decision point.

RUSI's founder, the Duke of Wellington, once said: "All the business of war, and indeed all the business of life, is the endeavour to find out what you don't know, by what you do."

"Guessing what is at the other side of the hill" he called it.

So in defence policy there is a delicate balancing act to make.

Ensuring our military forces are configured to tackle the threats of today, while maintaining the flexibility to respond to the threats as they change.

Making sure that we are prepared to face the future, without sacrificing security, and indeed, prosperity, in the present.

In 2010, the new Coalition Government inherited a defence programme that was not fit for this twin purpose.

First, and most urgently, the finances of the defence programme were hopelessly out of balance.

At that time the black hole in the MoD budget by the end of the decade was more than one year's entire defence spending.

Difficult and very uncomfortable decisions were taken as part of the SDSR process by the National Security Council and by the MoD itself under the leadership of Liam Fox and Philip Hammond on the political side, and by General Sir David Richards and his chiefs of staff on the military side.

But thanks to those difficult decisions the defence budget is now in balance and the programme on a firm 10 year footing. I particularly want to pay tribute to Philip Hammond's work to permanently embed sound financial management in the defence budget.

And it is because of this firm grip on the transformation of the MoD that the Government is able to guarantee a real terms rise in the Defence equipment and support budget from 2015 and have been able to make further savings in day to day spending without any further reductions in uniformed personnel.

The test for the future will of course be to maintain the new discipline - making sure that the procurement schedule brings the right platforms on line, to the right specification, on time and on budget.

That brings me to the second challenge we faced in 2010.

Of course the size, shape, and configuration of Britain's conventional Armed Forces had changed quite radically since the end of the Cold War.

But remnants of Cold War structure and thinking still exerted considerable influence.

The over-emphasis on heavy armour, the lack of a formal joint forces command, the basing pattern, with over 14,000 still based in Germany.

The SDSR, underpinned by the National Security Strategy, throws off the last vestiges of Cold War thinking - reforming to face the new characteristics of warfare, rescaled to the requirement of Britain's security at a cost our the nation's finances can bear, and in the context of the UK's global role and responsibilities to our allies.

But there is one area of policy that was not changed as part of the SDSR - one that remains unreformed - our nuclear weapons policy.

The two parties in Government, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, have very different approaches to this issue.

The Conservatives supported the last Labour Government's decision in 2006 to press ahead with the procurement of a like for like replacement for the Vanguard class submarines to carry the Trident D5 missiles.

Of course, there are heavy weight Conservative voices arguing for change, including former Defence and Foreign Secretaries.

But the position adopted by that party in 2010 was that the decision had been taken and there was no need to revisit it as part of the SDSR.

The Liberal Democrats however voted against like for like replacement in 2007.

My party has argued that the decision was premature and that no serious consideration was made of alternative nuclear systems and postures that could provide long-term financial savings and be more suitable to the threat environment Britain faces now and in the future.

Governing together requires that we understand and respect each other's position.

So the Coalition Agreement set our joint Government policy.

The nuclear deterrent will be maintained, initial plans for the successor will proceed, but that the process of renewing Trident would be scrutinised for value for money - the Liberal Democrats free to continue making the case for alternatives.

The Value for Money study led to an extension of the life of the current Vanguard class submarines, a decrease in the number of warheads onboard each submarine, and a decrease in the number of operational missiles on each submarine. The overall impact of these changes has been to save £1.2billion and defer spending of up to £2 billion from 2010 to 2020.

The study also identified 2016 as the date by which the 'Main Gate' decision on Trident replacement should be taken.

This timetable has opened the space for a debate on Trident's future - a debate the Trident Alternatives Review published today is designed to inform.

This review was commissioned by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister in May 2011, initially with Sir Nick Harvey as the minister in charge. When I took over last autumn, I found a comprehensive and forensic analysis had been conceived by Sir Nick and was well underway. He deserves a huge share of the credit for this work.

It has been taken forward under the auspices of the Cabinet Office, but with a cross government team of expert civilian and military officials.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their hard work, for their commitment and their incisive analysis.

During my visits to Aldermaston, Faslane and Coulport as part of the Review, I met many of the submariners of the Royal Navy and the scientists, engineers and other civilians who support them. They are some of Britain's hidden heroes, often unsung, who operate at the limits of human understanding and human endeavour.

The sacrifice they make, and their families make, to maintain our nuclear weapons posture is enormous.

But they face the task with a professionalism and dedication that is awesome, in the true sense of the word.

Seeing them in action gives me great confidence that if the next Government were to change their mission, they would deliver it just as effectively - in the most efficient and militarily credible way.

And it is my belief that the Trident Alternatives Review provides the opportunity to do just that.

For the avoidance of doubt let me say what the review has definitively not been about.

First, it is not, and never has been, about short-term savings to help the Government deal with the current deficit problem.

It is possible that, under some options, savings against current plans will start to accrue in the mid-2020s.

But this is not about backfilling budgets in the next Parliament.

Of course, just at the point when capital expenditure on Trident's successor reaches its height in the 2020s, other major projects will be competing for limited funds.

So while cost is not the primary aspect when considering the future of the UK's nuclear capability, neither can competing pressures on the defence equipment budget be ignored. The review considered the whole life cost of alternative approaches to 2060.

Second, the Review has not addressed the question of whether or not the UK should remain a nuclear weapons power.

There is a respectable tradition in this country of opposition to nuclear weapons, and that argument will continue to be made.

Indeed, some people will take the opportunity of the debate I am launching today, to make that case.

But I don't intend to do so today for the purposes of today's talk.

Complete unilateral disarmament is not the stated policy of either the Liberal Democrats or the Conservative parties.

As we all know, in some parts of the world, we are not far from the possibility of a new round of nuclear proliferation. We do not know exactly what is at the other side of the hill, so it is right that the UK should retain some nuclear weapons capability.

What is at issue today is not whether we should possess nuclear weapons, but how the scale and posture of our nuclear weapons capability can change.

So the Review was tasked to answer three questions.

First, are there credible alternatives to a submarine-based deterrent?

Second, are there credible submarine-based alternatives to the current proposal?

Third, are there alternative nuclear postures which could maintain credibility?

The review has been thorough, detailed, extensive, and objective.

Let me take you briefly though the alternatives considered.

The analysis identifies specific combinations of platform, delivery vehicle and warhead design for detailed consideration, but excludes technologies that could not be ready by 2035.

From a starting list of more than 700 potential options, the work was narrowed to consider a small number of credible and deliverable platforms and weapons systems.

Variants of the current successor programme of SSBN and Trident ballistic missiles are included in the analysis.

In terms of alternative platforms, the review considered large aircraft, combat jets, surface ships, and multiple types of submarine, including dual role.

In terms of alternative delivery systems, the final analysis was focused on two types of potential future cruise missiles: a subsonic stealthy cruise missile and a supersonic cruise missile, each carrying one nuclear warhead per missile.

Warhead design issues were also considered.

An assessment of the UK's ability to develop and deliver the alternative options showed that producing the warhead and its integration into a cruise missile or bomb would be the critical challenge.

The reality is that the UK nuclear warhead programme is highly optimised around producing and maintaining warheads for the Trident missile.

The review has found that moving to an alternative would add technical, financial and schedule risk to the programme.

Delivering a warhead for an alternative system would take at least 24 years, deliverable with some risk by about 2040.

The crucial point is the review judged this warhead timescale to be longer than the Vanguard submarines can safely be operated.

Could this gap be bridged? There are options.

But when you look at the costs of alternative systems it becomes clear that each cruise-missile based option includes an extra £10billion on its price tag because of the need to bridge the gap.

The bottom line is this, as written in the review: "The analysis has shown there are alternatives to Trident that would enable the UK to be capable of inflicting significant damage such that most potential adversaries around the world would be deterred"

And had they been seriously considered at the time of the Labour government's 2006 White Paper there would not be a gap to bridge. These options would have been considerably cheaper than a like-for-like replacement.

The analysis shows that cruise missile based options are militarily credible. The potential for a single platform for both conventional and nuclear weapons would be an advantage. This is an argument for the very long term. But from the perspective of 2013, the timescales and the likely gap involved makes the argument much weaker than it would have been in 2006.

My conclusion is that a replacement nuclear deterrent based on the current Trident system is the most cost-effective in the period we are considering.

Four-boat successor operating continuous at sea deterrence is not the only viable approach available to the UK.

The review opens up a much greater opportunity for change in its consideration of alternative postures - and that in turn opens up the possibility of maintaining our nuclear weapons capability with fewer submarines.

Taken together, this is where the real opportunity resides for making long-term savings, for recalibrating our nuclear weapons policy to the requirements of our age, and to contributing to nuclear disarmament.

The analysis of the National Security Strategy and the SDSR confirms the position that successive Governments have adopted, that "no state currently has both the intent and the capability to threaten the independence or integrity of the UK. But we cannot dismiss the possibility that a major direct nuclear threat to the UK might re-emerge."

With no hostile backdrop and a surprise attack against the UK highly unlikely;

There are a number of viable and credible alternative postures the UK could adopt, while maintaining nuclear deterrence capability that meets the needs of national security.

The Review demonstrates that our current nuclear posture of 'continuous at sea deterrence' is not the only one available.

Let me briefly describe four of the alternative postures considered in the review - from highest to lowest readiness. Each of these represents a different rung on the nuclear ladder, down from CAS-D at the top.

A posture of focused deterrence would maintain a continuous nuclear deterrent for a specific period and in response to a specific threat.

At all other times, the system would adopt a reduced readiness level.

We considered 3 options for reduced readiness -

A sustained deterrence posture would mean regular patrols, which maintain deterrence capability but the number of platforms could be reduced.

Alternatively, a responsive posture would allow gaps of irregular frequency and length between deployment - so that a potential adversary could not predict when and for how long a gap in deployment might occur.

Finally, a posture of preserved deterrence would hold forces at low readiness.

No deterrent platforms would be regularly deployed, but the UK would maintain the ability to deploy if the context changed.

The platforms might be deployed without nuclear weapons for training purposes and could conduct conventional duties as long as they could be made available for deterrent duties if required.

The review clearly demonstrates that the concept of a ladder of nuclear capability and readiness is viable and credible...

And that there are a number of options for taking steps down the rungs without getting off altogether.

As described by the review's alternative postures, and indeed by Professor Malcolm Chalmers from this institution, these could include operating fewer Vanguard submarines, ending CAS-D for less frequent patrols, or un-armed patrols.

Of course, coming down the ladder depends on three things:

First - how we judge it best to sustain Britain's security in light of present and future threats.

Second - how best Britain can contribute not just to our own security but to that of our allies and international stability more generally.

Third - how the decisions we make contribute to our legal and moral responsibilities for nuclear disarmament under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

So a word about the consequences I believe coming down the ladder would entail.

Let me be clear, adopting a non-continuous posture does mean accepting a different calculation of risk than existed during the Cold War.

But it is imperative that we update our calculation of risk. If CAS-D is an insurance policy, we're paying too high a premium for our needs.

The 2010 National Security Strategy considers state-on-state nuclear war as a second-tier threat.

The argument that a current adversary would take the opportunity to target the UK during a period when no boat is covertly deployed and launch an overwhelming nuclear strike against Britain is frankly not supported by any analysis I have seen.

Nuclear weapons are weapons of mass destruction - the consequences of use in the strategic context are world ending. New scientific studies suggest the true scale of the humanitarian and climactic impact of firing a nuclear weapon is much greater than ever conceived before.

Nuclear weapons have no military utility except as a deterrent against nuclear attack.

This is the ultimate guarantee we often talk about.

But the reality is that in the current circumstances - and for the foreseeable future - that guarantee does not need to sit on a hair trigger.

We can afford to go much further in de-alerting our nuclear deterrent.

The option of non-continuous deterrence does not threaten current security.

And by changing postures we can reduce cost at the same time.

For instance, ending CAS-D and procuring one less Successor submarine would make a savings of about £4billion pounds over the life of the system.

The judgement is where on the ladder you believe it is credible to stand, providing the ability to scale up or down as threats change and the momentum of proliferation on the one hand and disarmament on the other shifts.

As a recognised Nuclear Weapons State under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, we have an obligation to move towards a world in which nuclear weapons are no longer part of states' security and defence postures.

It is true that Britain has made significant steps since the Cold War in disarmament terms.

There have been regular reductions of the number of operational missiles and operational warheads.

And there has been some progress in de-alerting, extending notice to fire, for instance.

Britain has the smallest nuclear arsenal of any of the declared nuclear powers.

Some would argue that Britain has done its bit for disarmament and we have reached the minimum level possible for nuclear deterrence to be credible before stepping off the ladder altogether.

This argument has been deployed at every point we've scaled down over the last 20 years - but each time it has proven not to be true.

The same argument will be made for maintaining continuous nuclear deterrence.

But we seem to find we have the ability to step down the nuclear ladder when we find the political will to do so.

And the next great big step down the ladder is to reduce the salience of nuclear weapons in our Defence policy itself.

And that means accepting that a Cold War style continuous deterrent has become unnecessary.

Just last month in Berlin, President Obama called for movement beyond 'the Cold War nuclear postures' and announced a major reduction in the US nuclear arsenal.

And it is my hope in the next Parliament that the UK will answer that call with a serious consideration of ending continuous nuclear deterrence.

So ladies and gentlemen let me sum up.

The Trident Alternative Review is the most comprehensive study on nuclear weapons platforms and postures ever published by the UK Government.

I believe that as large numbers of nuclear weapons remain and the risk of proliferation continues, it is right that the United Kingdom should retain a nuclear capability for as long as the global security situation makes that necessary.

That capability should be scaled and deployed to the threat we face now, and held as a contingency for the threats we may face in the future.

And, we should seek to balance the cost of this insurance policy against the other needs of Defence - and indeed other priorities across Government.

The conclusion I draw from the Trident Alternatives Review is that, while alternatives exist, there is no new system available before the lives of the current Vanguard submarines come to an end that meets those criteria.

And blame for this narrowing of options falls squarely at the feet of the previous Labour Government.

But there is a step down the nuclear ladder still available - ending 24 hour patrols and procuring fewer Successor submarines.

Moving on from an outdated Cold War concept of deterrence to one fit for the world we inhabit.

For the remainder of this Parliament, the Coalition Government's policy will remain as set out in the SDSR

We will maintain the strategic nuclear deterrent, and preparations for a successor system will continue.

But the final Main Gate decision as to whether to proceed with like-for-like Trident replacement will take place in 2016, after the next general election.

It is therefore up to the different political parties to decide the positions they will take before that time.

Liberal Democrats will be debating our position over the coming months and we will settle our view at our Autumn Conference this September in Glasgow.

For the country, publication of this review today marks the start of a national debate on one of the most profound questions of our time.

It will be the most informed debate we have ever been able to have.

I believe this review presents an unparalleled opportunity for all political parties, and also for you, our security thinkers and experts.

Let us move to break out of the orthodoxy that has stifled debate on nuclear weapons in this country.

Let us seize this opportunity together"