Heavy vehicles update

This evening I attended the latest meeting of the group which is trying jointly to address the problem of heavy vehicles thundering through our villages.

As I’ve reported before, the group consists of parish councillors and others from villages including Sutton, Haddenham, Earith, Bluntisham, Cottenham and Hilton.  Its primary aim is to achieve a traffic regulation order restricting lorries cutting through the villages.  It’s been meeting now for over seven years.

I’m very pleased that there appears to be some progress towards the group’s goal, with a lot of evidence prepared.  I’m keen to ensure that the momentum continues, which will require the support of the various parish councils.  However, as many of these have elections on 7 May, the next stages will need to wait until then, so that the group can engage with the newly elected councils.

Concerns were expressed by the group at two planning applications in neighbouring areas: one at Dimmock’s Cote, Wicken which runs the risk of more than doubling the movement of heavy vehicles along the A1123 through Wicken and Stretham, and the other at Latta Farm in Colne which will add to the traffic joining the A1123 at the T junction in the middle of Earith.

 

Planning application: 29A High Street (Pharmacy)

A planning application has been received for the demolition of the existing timber extension to the pharmacy in the High Street, and its replacement with a new permanent structure and additional extension to create a single-bedroom flat. The reference number for the application is 15/00067/FUL and as usual the application details can be found online at the district council’s website.

Planning application: extended hours for Deli@65

Deli@65, in the High Street in Sutton, is applying to extend its hours of business.  The owners would like to open from 7:30am to 10:00pm Mondays to Saturdays and from 10:00am to 4:00pm on Sundays.  The reference number for the application is 15/00091/VAR and the application details are available on the district council’s website. To submit any comments you may wish to make to the council, you can use the council’s planning pages, or email the Planning Department.

Saudi Arabia off the East Cambs investment list

Very pleased to have succeeded today in getting East Cambs District Council to remove Saudi Arabia from its list of ‘approved countries for investments’.  A régime that executes its own citizens, and those of other countries, brutally and in public; inflicts barbarous punishments on people simply for expressing their views; and routinely represses women, is not one we ought to be having any truck with.

Planning application: extension to existing annexe, 35A The Row

A planning application has been received by East Cambridgeshire District Council for an extension to an existing annexe at 35A The Row.  The reference number for the application is 15/00037/FUL, and as usual the details are online or can be viewed at the District Council offices in Ely during working hours or at The Glebe by arrangement with the parish clerk.

Anglia Revenues Partnership fraudulent email allegation

At last night’s parish council meeting, parish councillor Graham Redman drew my attention to this piece of news, about a reported fraudulent email claiming to come from Anglia Revenues Partnership.

Anglia Revenues Partnership collects council tax and other monies from residents in East Cambridgeshire on behalf of the district council.

The advice from the council is very sensible.  Treat any email, however official looking, that asks for any personal information with deep suspicion.  The council (and Anglia Revenues Partnership) will never ask you to supply personal data by email.

Thousands in East Cambs not yet registered to vote

This year, following changes to the law, local councils up and down the country have moved to a new system of individual electoral registration. This means that instead of the old system or the ‘head of household’ (cue debate about who that is!) filling in one form for everyone living at that address, each person now has to register to vote individually.  For most people, their data has been matched with national databases and their voting rights have just transferred across to the new register.  But for many people, this national matching has not been possible and they need to apply for their vote.

2,500 people in East Cambs have not registered

Across East Cambridgeshire, about 2,500 people who were on the electoral register last year have not had their data matched, and have not yet registered to vote. They will still be able to vote in this May’s election, though after that they may be removed from the register.  If you haven’t yet registered to vote, you can do so online here, or by post. You will need your National Insurance number.  Remember: not only can you be liable for a fine for not responding to a request to register, it can also play havoc with your credit rating!

If you had a permanent postal or proxy vote, however, and haven’t yet registered to vote individually, you will lose it – and though you will still be on the register until May, you will not get a postal or proxy vote and will have to vote at a polling station.  You will need to complete your individual electoral registration and a fresh postal or proxy vote application to get your postal or proxy vote back.

900 people in East Cambs have been removed from the register altogether

Meanwhile, around 900 people in East Cambridgeshire have already been removed from the electoral register.  These are people who have not responded to each autumn’s electoral canvass for three years in a row.  Again, they will need to complete the individual electoral registration process to get their vote back.

Don’t forget 16 and 17 year olds need to register!

Over 18’s who are already on the register will have their registration carried across until May, as stated above. But if you’re 16 or 17, and haven’t registered individually under the new system, you’ll lose your right to vote when you reach your 18th birthday. So if you are 16 or 17 years old, or know someone who is, make sure you – or they – are registered.

 

Pothole compensation claims soar

Cambridgeshire is 24th out of 207 local councils in the UK for the number of claims by motorists in 2013/14 resulting from damage by potholes, the RAC reports.

485 claims were made against Cambridgeshire County Council for pothole damage, and half of them (242) were successful, resulting in payouts totalling £104,263.66.

This represents an increase of 177 per cent in the number of claims on the previous year, when 37 out of 175 claims (only one in five) were successful and £55,080.04 was paid out to motorists.

The success rate for claims in Cambridgeshire was more than double the national average of 23 per cent.

According to the annual ALARM survey of local authorities, the current backlog of road maintenance work on local roads in England and Wales is £12 billion.

A full statistical table can be viewed here.