Cambridgeshire Matters Newsletter - September 2019

The Cambridgeshire Energy Switch is back!

St Ives Park and Ride Smart Energy Grid - public presentations

Councillor Anna Bailey - Adults Committee Sept 2019

Innovate and Cultivate - funding available for local groups ready to leap into action

Cultivate ‘Seed’ Fund project - Ramsey’s Men’s Shed

Cllr Josh Schumann, Chairman of the Commercial and Investments Committee, gives more details about the County Council's commercial strategy.

Record breaking year for Music Live

Welcome to the September 2019 Cambridgeshire Matters newsletter

Welcome to the September issue of Cambridgeshire Matters, designed to keep you up to date with Cambridgeshire County Council's latest news and features relevant to you and your council.

Please do share this e-newsletter with your parish council colleagues and feel free to use any of the features in your own newsletter or social media.

With summer holidays now almost a distant memory, we have our first mention of Christmas in this issue and a reminder about winter volunteers!

Latest news

Cambridgeshire Local Councils Conference 2019 - save the date

Marriott Hotel, Kingfisher Way, Hinchingbrooke Business Park, Huntingdon, PE29 6FL
Friday 8 November 2019, 9.00am - 3.00pm

We are pleased to announce that this year's Annual Conference for Cambridgeshire Local Councils will be taking place on Friday 8 November 2019 in Huntingdon. 

The full programme for the event has yet to be finalised but we wanted to give as much notice of the date as possible so that all local councils in Cambridgeshire have a chance to consider sending one or more representatives along. More details on the programme and how to book will be released by mid-September. 

The conference will follow a similar format to last year's event with speakers, workshops, a marketplace of stalls, lunch and opportunities for networking with other attendees. 

This event will be useful to councillors and clerks from local councils, district and county councillors and representatives from organisations that work with, and support, local councils across Cambridgeshire.  

Please mark the date in your diaries now and look out for further information in due course. 

Any queries at this stage should be addressed to Alison Brown at Cambridgeshire ACRE on 01353 865 029 or at [email protected]

High energy bills giving you the hump? Join our collective energy switch today!
High energy bills giving you the hump? Join our collective energy switch today!

The Cambridgeshire Energy Switch offers households the opportunity to sign up to an auction scheme to receive cheaper energy bills. Run by iChoosr, the UK’s leading provider of collective switching, the scheme harnesses the power of collective bargaining to get better deals on gas and electricity tariffs. 

iChoosr does not supply energy, but across the country iChoosr has successfully switched over 40,000 families who have collectively saved nearly £6 million; making a difference to their household budgets. 

Registration for the October 2019 scheme is open now. 

Over 500 households signed up through Cambridgeshire County Council for the last auction, which took place in February 2019. On average 70% of residents that signed up were able to save around £120 per year on their gas and electricity bills. All without changing their energy usage.

Taking part in the Cambridgeshire Energy Switch is free and without obligation. Registering for the scheme only takes five minutes and the energy tariff offer is exclusive to residents switching through the scheme. The more people that participate in the scheme; the more likely we are able to achieve cheaper energy prices. 

How to sign up for the Cambridgeshire Energy Switch:

  • Go to 
  • Find your annual energy statement or recent set of energy bills
  • Click on the button “Sign up now”
  • Fill in your energy details and confirm your registration

Please do not hesitate to contact the team if you have questions about the Cambridgeshire Energy Switch. Call 01223 714 732 or send an email to: [email protected].

Design image of solar panel carports at St Ives Park and Ride
Design image of solar panel carports at St Ives Park and Ride

This will be a ‘first of its kind’ in the UK, paving the way for future green energy projects. 

The project will install carports above the two central car parking sections, to which solar panels will be fitted. These panels will generate renewable electricity - powering not only the site, but also electric vehicle charging points and local businesses in the years to come. 

Construction is expected to start in early 2020 and will take up to one year to complete. The car park will remain open, with construction work being carefully coordinated to minimise the impact on users of the site. 

The team behind the St Ives Park and Ride Smart Energy Grid will be in St Ives over three evenings in October 2019 to discuss the project and answer questions. 

When: Tuesday 8 October, Tuesday 22 October and Tuesday 29 October, 7pm – 8pm
Where: St Ives Corn Exchange, The Tony Burgess Room, The Pavement, St Ives, PE27 5AD 

For more information, email [email protected] or visit

Transport project consultations - Cambridge South East, Foxton Station, M11 J11 Travel Hub proposals, plus Bottisham, Swaffham and Horningsea Greenways

People will be able to have their say on transport projects that will transform journeys across Greater Cambridge this autumn. 

The Greater Cambridge Partnership is asking for views on schemes for a new public transport route and significantly improved walking and cycling routes that will help reduce congestion and improve air quality.

Views will be sought on phase two of the Cambridge South East Transport project which would create a new dedicated off-road public transport route to provide more reliable journeys into the city and to the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

People can also tell give their views on where a new travel hub near the A11 / A1307 / A505 should be located to best serve residents and commuters during the eight week consultation which began on 9 September 2019.

Key road safety improvements and upgrades to traffic signals as part of a £14m package of quick wins during phase one of the Cambridge South East Transport project are currently being delivered.

A six week public consultation on plans to improve capacity for parking at Foxton Station to encourage more people to catch the train into the city also began on 9 September. The proposals include better walking and cycling links, access to bus stops and more car parking spaces.

Proposals for a new travel hub to the west of M11 J11 were approved in June 2019. The new travel hub and the proposed improvements at Foxton Station would work together to intercept thousands of people who currently drive along the motorway and the A10 to enable more people to complete the ‘last mile’ of their journeys on foot, bicycle or public transport.

Public exhibitions looking at the designs for the travel hub will be held on 18 September 2019 at Trumpington Primary School and on 19 September 2019 at Harston Village Hall between 5.30pm and 7.30pm.

Finally, the GCP launched a public consultations on the Bottisham, Swaffham and Horningsea Greenways for six weeks – part of a network of 12 first-class walking, cycling and equestrian routes to connect villages and towns to Cambridge to encourage more people travel sustainably – on 16 September 2019.

Visit for more information and to have your say. 

Woodland Trust - free tree packs for communities

The Woodland Trust want to make sure that everybody in the UK has the chance to plant a tree. So they are giving away hundreds of thousands of trees to schools and communities. 

Over the next ten years, they are aiming to plant 64 million trees. Every sapling that provided is UK sourced and grown to minimise the risk of importing and spreading tree pests and diseases. The Woodland Trust always favour planting of native trees, as they provide a much wider range of other benefits, including wildlife habitats etc.  

They have two delivery periods per year, one in March and the other in November. They are currently taking applications for trees to be delivered in March 2020 

Further information can be found at on the Woodland Trust website.

Highway events diary

A couple of dates for your diary: 

Duxford, 21 - 22 September, Battle of Britain Air Show. The Imperial War Museum Duxford will transport visitors back to the 1940s for the weekend, offering displays of historic aircraft, vintage fashion, and plenty of air displays to entertain. Due to the event being so popular, there will be extra traffic on the roads in the area on that weekend. 

Cambridge, 20 October, Town and Gown 10K. Returning for its eighth year, the popular 10k run takes on an orange theme raising money for Muscular Dystrophy UK. Road closures will be in place for the event, so please bear this in mind if you plan on visiting Cambridge. 

Details of all upcoming highway events can be found on our highway events webpage.

Council to join national approach on adult social care charging

A consultation has launched on plans to change adult social care charging, bringing Cambridgeshire County Council in line with the majority of other local authorities.

The council’s Adults Committee carefully considered the plans on 13 September 2019 before voting to consult on the proposed changes. The alternative would be a reduction in the overall budget available to meet care needs or a reduction in prevention and services that help keep people living as independently as possible.

The council reviewed its charging policy two years ago and made no changes at that time. However, since then the financial situation has changed, other councils have made further changes and the pressure on the adult social care budget has significantly increased.

Find out more and watch Cllr Anna Bailey’s video message on the subject.


The council’s Innovate and Cultivate Fund has invested almost £1m into our communities, supporting projects like Ramsey's Men's Shed. Encourage your constituents seeking funding for a community project to find out more about the fund.

The next deadline for Cultivate grant applications (£2,000-£19,000) is 1 November 2019. Apply at

And don’t forget that our ‘Cultivate Seed Fund Projects’ offer inspiration, guidance and funding for projects that can be set up and run by parish councils or local community groups. These include timebanks, good neighbour schemes, men’s sheds and dementia-friendly communities.                                                                   

To read more about existing Innovate and Cultivate projects and the next round of funding, please read our news item.

Come and find out more about becoming a foster carer 

Have you ever considered fostering? The Fostering Service will be running a number of information events across Cambridgeshire to give people more information about becoming a foster carer and what they can expect. 

If you are looking to change direction or want to do something you feel passionate about, then why not join us. Sessions take place on:

  • 25 September 2019 from 5pm – 7pm at March Library on City Road (PE15 9LT)
  • 26 September 2019 from 5pm – 7pm at Huntingdon Library on Princes Street (PE29 3PA)

You are never alone as a foster carer. You will have a fostering social worker who will be your point of contact for ongoing support and advice.

We have foster carers from all walks of life and backgrounds, you will need a spare bedroom and need to be over 21. You can be single, married, in a civil partnership, in rented accommodation, retired.

If you would like to register your interest then email [email protected] or call 0800 052 0078. 

Sawston Community Hub - building work set to get underway this summer

Sawston Library burnt down in 2012 and Cambridgeshire County Council has been working hard to progress plans for its new home ever since. A temporary library building has been on site since the fire but now the council can announce that all legal agreements have been signed, allowing work to begin on site.

The building has been designed as a community hub, housing other services to benefit the residents of Sawston. It will include the relocated Children’s Centre, multipurpose spaces and an outdoor play area. 

Cambridgeshire County Council’s Local Member for Sawston and Shelford, Councillor Kevin Cuffley said “It has been a lengthy and complicated process to get to this stage, and we’re very grateful for the patience the local community has shown whilst we worked hard to invest in a brand new fit-for-purpose library that will also accommodate other services. We are in no doubt that the new building will become a much loved and well used community asset and we’re excited to see it start to take shape later this summer”.

The Library Presents - help choose the arts events in your local library

Selecting arts events from menu.
Help choose the arts events in your local library for the spring 2020 season of The Library Presents.

Help choose the arts events in your local library for the spring 2020 season of The Library Presents.

‘The Library Presents’ is inviting members of the public to help choose which performances and workshops they would like to see in our next season - spring 2020. 

The menu includes dance, theatre, music, magic, comedy, circus, puppetry, storytelling, poetry and workshops in a variety of disciplines, from visual and digital art to music, theatre and dance. 

Menus and “choosing slips” will be available in participating libraries from Wednesday 11 September 2019. 

Alternatively, people can browse the menu in the comfort of their own home and then go to the library to fill out the slip. The selection is open until Saturday 5 October 2019. 

Participating Cambridgeshire libraries are: Arbury Court, Barnwell Road, Buckden, Burwell, Cambourne, Cambridge Central, Chatteris, Cherry Hinton, Clay Farm, Cottenham, Ely, Great Shelford, Histon, Huntingdon, Littleport, March, Ramsey, Soham, St Ives, St Neots, Warboys, Whittlesey and Wisbech. 

Tickets for the autumn season programme of events can be purchased at the participating libraries, by phone or online at

The Library Presents Spring 2020 Menu
Tickets for our Autumn Season programme of events can be purchased at the participating libraries, by phone or online at
Size: 3.38MBFile format: pdf

Recycling Centres e-permit scheme for vans and trailers set to be introduced

Back in May 2019, Councillors approved plans to introduce a van and trailer e-permit scheme across Cambridgeshire’s nine household recycling centres (HRCs). 

The scheme, which will be commencing in October 2019 will allow the council to better regulate the use of vans and trailers at HRCs helping to ensure only household waste is delivered to sites. 

Any resident planning to visit an HRC with a van or trailer should obtain an e-permit using an online system beforehand. These e-permits will be limited to 12 visits per year. To allow larger household and garden jobs, there will be an exemption to the scheme for trailers up to 1.5m (5ft) in length (excluding the towing mechanism bar) and 570 litre capacity. 

Additional site staff will be available to help at all nine HRCs in the early months of the scheme being introduced. More information is available our HRC e-permit scheme webpage. Once live, information on how to apply will also be at this link. 

‘Every little helps’ as council diversifies its commercial portfolio to support frontline services

Two major investments have recently been announced by Cambridgeshire County Council as it moves to further diversify its commercial portfolio, making healthy returns to invest in essential frontline services. 

Members agreed to invest £51.4m in a 986 year lease of the Tesco site in Cheddar’s Lane, just off Newmarket Road in Cambridge – in a deal which will generate enough revenue to employ 56 social workers, pay for more than 149,000 hours of home care or support 80 older people with dementia each year. 

And in a further acquisition, the council has followed up the Tesco site lease purchase by buying a ten acre industrial estate in Peterborough, an £11.5m investment which will generate an annual return enough to fund the entire countywide Trading Standards operation.

Car Club for Cambridge City residents and businesses

Launched in August 2019, in partnership with Cambridge City Council and Enterprise Car Hire, the Car Club supports the council’s goals of improving air quality through the use of cleaner vehicles, reducing vehicle emissions and cutting congestion. 

The Car Club provides individuals and businesses in Cambridge with access to sustainable transport, which is available for hire by the hour or day. It also supports efforts to encourage more sustainable methods of transport use in the city, such as car sharing. 

Vehicles will be located at various car parks in Cambridge as well as on-street bays. The majority of the vehicles will be hybrids but there is an ambition to move to plug-in electric vehicles. 

Individuals and businesses can sign up and be driving within a few hours, booking and accessing the vehicle with a smartphone app. 

Car clubs help to reduce traffic congestion, which is one of the council’s key priorities. People can use them for business trips, rather than bringing their own cars into work, which relieves the pressure on the morning commute and on parking spaces. They also allow residents in Cambridge to have access to new low-emission cars on their doorstep. 

In addition to the 35 cars located in Cambridge, Enterprise Car Club membership enables Cambridge residents’ access to a growing network of 1,100 on-street vehicles available for rent 24/7, 365 days of the year, in more than 130 cities, towns and communities across the UK. 

Enterprise Car Club membership is available to drivers aged 19 years or older and costs from £20 per year. Vehicles are available from £5.30 per hour including VAT and 21 pence per mile. Cambridge residents can join for £20, plus get £20 free driving credit, with promotional code CAMB20

Join now using the CAMB20 promotional code

School children taking part in Cambridgeshire Music Live.
School children taking part in Cambridgeshire Music Live.

An evaluation of Music Live, a festival run by Cambridgeshire Music that brings bands and orchestras into the county’s schools where they give live performances, has found that it reached a record audience of 16,000 young people this year – many of whom have been inspired to take their music further. 

The report used data and feedback gathered from both the schools and the musical ensembles that participated in the live events, which ran throughout March this year. They included concerts, musical workshops, and masterclasses in which young musicians in Cambridgeshire were able to learn in small groups with the professional musicians involved. This year’s festival also involved some schools in Bedford and Norfolk, where other local music hubs, impressed by the success of Cambridgeshire Music’s work in this area in previous years, were keen to be involved. 

In total, over 16,000 young people experienced live music in their school, while more than 6,700 young musicians took part in workshops with leading professionals. These events included at least 2,200 young people with special educational needs and disabilities. 

The feedback from the schools themselves was overwhelmingly positive. 98% of respondents described the events as either ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. And 96% said that they would take part in future events. 

Many young people were excited and inspired by the experience. One teacher wrote that the event had created “a buzz of excitement and enthusiasm in the school,” adding: “The children have been inspired to try out what they learned through break and lunchtime and it has prompted some to come and ask me how they can get more involved in music activities at school.” A teacher from another school wrote: “Our children are rarely able to see live performances outside of school, so it is important to have musicians visit. Music Live allows us to offer this experience within our budget.” 

Music Live is supported using funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. The full report and further information are available on the Cambridgeshire Music website. 

Parish street lighting energy handover reminder

The withdrawal of services for managing street lighting energy for district and parish council street lights is due to be completed by October 2019. 

If your parish requires any assistance from the County Council or UK Power Networks on this issue then please contact us at [email protected] or by telephone on: 01954 233 331. 

Christmas decorations or festive lighting on street lighting columns 

REMINDER: If you are wishing to attach seasonal decorations such as lit Christmas decorations or festive lighting to street lighting columns owned by the County Council, then you must have made an application to the County Council at least 12 weeks prior to the proposed installation date of any attachments. 

Please see our street lighting webpage for further information. 

Contact: [email protected] or telephone: 01954 233 331. 

Community Gritting Scheme applications for winter 2019-20

A massive thank you to all the volunteers that took part in our Community Gritting Scheme last winter.  

For those hearing about the Community Gritting Scheme for the first time, it’s a scheme where local volunteers help to keep their community moving in freezing weather. The parish or town council agrees specific routes in their area which are important to the local community and agrees them with the County Council.    

If you are a parish or town council looking to join the scheme, please send your completed form by the end of October to [email protected] or speak to your Local Highway Officer 

For further information please see our gritting webpage

Help us help you this winter by getting your flu vaccination – it’s free because you need it 

This year the County Council, along with local partners is supporting the "Stay Well This Winter" campaign, which this year has the brand style called ‘Help Us, Help You.’ This is a joint initiative from NHS England and Public Health England based on the concept of reciprocity, encouraging people to take appropriate actions (be that getting the flu vaccination or accessing the appropriate service) to better enable the NHS to help them.  

As part of this campaign, we are encouraging children aged 2 years to those in Year 5, pregnant women, people with long term health conditions and those aged 65 or older to get their free flu vaccine. 

Those eligible are encouraged to get their free vaccine before the end of November 2019 to protect themselves and their families before flu reaches its seasonal peak. It is the single best way to protect against a potentially very serious illness. As well as getting the vaccine, practising good hand hygiene by catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throwing it away and washing your hands after can help limit its spread – catch it, bin it, kill it. 

Children in Reception Year to Year 6 will get their vaccine at school, whilst pre-school children should visit their GP. Eligible adults can get their vaccine from their local GP or pharmacy. 

More information about the flu vaccination, including who is eligible for the vaccine, can be found on the NHS website

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