Census 2021 – the first results are published

A graphic showing the total number (59,597,300) of usual resident population in England and Wales on 21 March 2021

The Office for National Statistics has published the first results to emerge from the 2021 Census.

The main points from these estimates for England and Wales are as follows.

  • The usual resident population was 59,597,300―the largest ever recorded through a census in England and Wales.
  • The population grew by more than 3.5 million (6.3 per cent) since the census ten years ago.
  • The population grew in every region, but most of all in the East of England, which increased by 8.3 per cent from 2011 (up by around 488,000 residents).
  • There were 30,420,100 women and 29,177,200 men.
  • The population is ageing―18.6 per cent were aged 65 years and over, compared with 16.4 per cent in 2011.
  • There were 24,782,800 households―up by over 1.4 million (6.1 per cent) since 2011.

In Cambridgeshire the biggest population growth was in Cambridge and Peterborough, both far ahead of the national average. East Cambridgeshire was below average at 4.6 per cent. The number of households in East Cambridgeshire however increased by 7.5 per cent since the 2011 Census.

The district had a higher proportion of residents aged 65+ than the England average, but exactly the average percentage of under-15s.

Population density in the district increased marginally, but was still far below the England average.

Councils and other bodies will use these figures, and others in the Census, to plan for local services. In the meantime, the interactive maps in this initial announcement provide lots of interesting information.

Recent planning applications in the Sutton division

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East Cambridgeshire District Council has published the following planning applications in the Sutton division.

22/00557/FUL
Coveney
Hereward House 6A Main Street Wardy Hill
Alterations including bay window, Juliet balcony, and solar panels on garage roof.

22/00561/FUL
Mepal
Broadmead Boarding Kennels Witcham Road Mepal
Construction of three bed dwelling.

22/00749/FUL
Sutton
50 High Street Sutton CB6 2RA
Roof garden with spiral staircase access.

22/00538/FUL
Witcham
Land west of Hillcrest Mepal Road Witcham
Installation of solar panels and wind turbine.

22/00729/FUL
Witchford
Land parcel between Granny’s End Road and A142 off Marroway Lane Witchford
Construction of two three-bed bungalows with garage, parking and access road including acoustic fence.

22/00745/ARN
Witchford
Ridgeway Farm Common Road Witchford
Conversion of machinery storage building to residential dwelling.

You can find further information on the district council’s planning pages. If you would like to respond formally to the council about any planning application, please write to the district council and not to me.  You can comment

  • online using the council’s public access web page (the link above);
  • by email to plservices@eastcambs.gov.uk;
  • or by post to the Planning Department, The Grange, Nutholt Lane, Ely, CB7 4EE

Sunnica solar farm update

Bottisham councillor John Trapp and I visited the Sunnica exhibition at the Mandeville Hall in Burwell yesterday, about the changes to Sunnica’s planning application for a solar farm spanning the Cambridgeshire-Suffolk border.

These changes result from National Grid’s statement that it will not accept the original plan to extend the Burwell sub-station, which is where the electricity generated by the installation would enter the grid.

This extension was Sunnica’s original Option 1. Option 2 was an extension on the other side of the sub-station.

Sunnica have now come up with a new Option 3, which is now their preferred option and would mean three changes to the plans.

  1. Remove the extension to the Burwell sub-station as in Option 1.
  2. Transmit electricity between the sites at 400kV rather than 132kV.
  3. Install additional electrical infrastructure at three of the four sites in the application.

Sunnica are consulting on this change until 6 July. Details of the consultation are at https://sunnica.co.uk/ and responses should be made in writing by one of the following means:

  • By email to info@sunnica.co.uk
  • By post to: FAO Sunnica Energy Farm, Freepost SEC NEWGATE UK LOCAL

This is a limited consultation on this aspect of the application only, not on any other aspects of the application.

Accessible toilets in East Cambs—an opportunity missed

Bathroom Sink, Washroom, Porcelain Basin

On 21 April, Cllr Matt Downey and I proposed a motion to East Cambridgeshire District Council about the need for accessible public toilets across the district.

Conservative councillors refused to debate this proposal at the meeting, but referred it to the Council’s Finance & Assets Committee.

The Committee meets tomorrow, and it’s disappointing to see that they will substantially water down the proposal.

Our motion rightly drew attention to a matter in which the Council’s Conservative administration has failed the community of East Cambridgeshire, and indeed all those who come to visit our district.

  • There is only one fully accessible ‘Changing Places’ toilet in the whole of East Cambridgeshire —at The Hive leisure centre on the A10.
  • East Cambridgeshire was the only district in the county to receive no Government funding at all recently for provision of more accessible toilets—because it didn’t even bother to apply.

Cllr Downey and I proposed a motion which would have put the council in a strong position as a community leader on this issue. However, it’s clear from their amendment that Conservative councillors don’t want to be community leaders, which is deeply disappointing.

Their amendment removes from our motion our proposals to:

  1. Work with businesses and others across East Cambridgeshire to identify premises where a Changing Places toilet could be installed.
  2. Collaborate with them to seek grants or other funding.
  3. Signpost Changing Places toilets for the benefit of visitors.
  4. Ask retailers and leisure outlets to sign their toilets in line with Crohn’s & Colitis UK guidance.
  5. Seek advice from Crohn’s & Colitis UK on information and training for Council staff.

All these were positive proposals which would have benefited residents and visitors alike.

We are realistic enough to know that we cannot achieve the better solution we proposed while we do not run the council. The Conservative amendment will be forced through by sheer weight of numbers.

We will vote against the Conservative proposal to water down our motion, though we will support the motion when it has been amended because it’s better than nothing.

But we will commit to revisiting this as and when we lead East Cambridgeshire District Council, and we promise the people of East Cambridgeshire that we will be better than this.

Latest inflation figures: Govt must slash VAT now

The rate of inflation rose to 9.1 per cent in May, according to the latest Office of National Statistics figures. Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine MP responds.

“Rishi Sunak is standing by while millions of people suffer from eye-watering levels of inflation. He either hasn’t got any sense or any heart to not intervene.

“This Chancellor has hiked taxes time and time again, refusing to slash them to help with the cost of living emergency, even when we know slashing VAT is a sure-fire way to help families while keeping inflation under control. 

“Instead the Chancellor, his Prime Minister and his colleagues continue to sit on their hands while the country suffers. They are not fit for purpose.”

Recent planning applications in the Sutton division

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East Cambridgeshire District Council has published the following planning application in the Sutton division.

22/00702/CLP
Mepal
47 Laurel Close Mepal CB6 2BN
Construction of single-storey rear extension.

You can find further information on the district council’s planning pages. If you would like to respond formally to the council about any planning application, please write to the district council and not to me.  You can comment

  • online using the council’s public access web page (the link above);
  • by email to plservices@eastcambs.gov.uk;
  • or by post to the Planning Department, The Grange, Nutholt Lane, Ely, CB7 4EE

Fire safety tips as temperature set to soar

Fire, Field, Firefighting, Wildfire, Bushfire, Burning

As temperatures rise this week, Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service is reminding residents of important fire and water safety advice.

See their full advice here including how to prevent outdoor fires, and being ‘water aware’ at stretches of open water.

Fire chiefs also recommend downloading the free what3words app so that emergency services can locate you in case of difficulty.

Recent planning applications in the Sutton division

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East Cambridgeshire District Council has published the following planning applications in the Sutton division.

22/00598/RMA
Coveney
Meadow Croft Lodge 10A Gravel End Coveney CB6 2DN
Approval of the details for reserved matters for appearance, landscaping, layout and scale in respect of Plot 1 of planning application 18/01302/OUT.

22/00509/FUL
Coveney
9B Main Street Coveney CB6 2DJ
Change of use from tourist accommodation to residential dwelling (retrospective).

22/00514/FUL
Little Downham
33 Main Street Pymoor CB6 2ED
Single storey rear extension.

22/00529/FUL
Little Downham
Paddock Lodge 2A Black Bank Road Little Downham
Proposed rear extension with mezzanine floor, revised scheme of previously approved 21/01405/FUL.

22/00671/FUL
Mepal
22 High Street Mepal CB6 2AW
Demolition of existing rear extension, construction of new ground floor rear extension, infill side extension, first floor extension above existing garage, garage conversion, and replacing garage door with window.

22/00663/FUL
Sutton
27 Mepal Road Sutton CB6 2PZ
Raised height of dwelling, installation of new first floor windows, and single storey rear extension.

22/00665/FUL
Sutton
24 The Brook Sutton CB6 2PU
Front porch, two storey side and rear extension, single storey rear extension, and extended outbuilding.

You can find further information on the district council’s planning pages. If you would like to respond formally to the council about any planning application, please write to the district council and not to me.  You can comment

  • online using the council’s public access web page (the link above);
  • by email to plservices@eastcambs.gov.uk;
  • or by post to the Planning Department, The Grange, Nutholt Lane, Ely, CB7 4EE

Recent planning applications in the Sutton division

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ECDC-building-small-300x182.jpg

East Cambridgeshire District Council has published the following planning application in the Sutton division.

22/00649/FUL
Witcham
5B Martins Lane Witcham CB6 2LB
Construction of partially single and partially two storey rear extension.

You can find further information on the district council’s planning pages. If you would like to respond formally to the council about any planning application, please write to the district council and not to me.  You can comment

  • online using the council’s public access web page (the link above);
  • by email to plservices@eastcambs.gov.uk;
  • or by post to the Planning Department, The Grange, Nutholt Lane, Ely, CB7 4EE

Prizes up for grabs in parks photo competition 

As part of its #LetsGetOutdoors campaign, Cambridgeshire County Council is encouraging nature enthusiasts to send in photos of their local green spaces.

The best entries will feature on the new Cambs Open Space website. The top three photos will also earn rewards from the National Trust and Nene Park.

The new photo competition will run from 19 May to 23 June, with the National Trust offering a pair of tickets to Winter Lights at Anglesey Abbey, and a boat trip for four people at Wicken Fen. Nene Park Trust is offering a private trip on board their very own electric boat, Wyndham – an opportunity to take an otter’s-eye view of Nene Park, its thriving wildlife and inspiring landscape, for up to twelve people.

Other entries will also feature on the Cambs Open Space website and up to three runners-up will be offered a poster copy of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough GreenGround Map showing the network of parks and open spaces in the county.

  • Photos must be of parks and open spaces in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
  • Please avoid any pictures which involve faces of adults and children.
  • Please provide a name and location of the park or open space photographed.

Photos should be sent to FutureParks@Cambridgeshire.gov.uk and the winning entries will be judged by local nature experts.