Sam Davies

A new chapter

This will be the final entry in this blog.

Over the summer, our family decided that we would relocate away from Cambridge in early 2024. My term of office as the Independent city councillor for Queen Edith’s ward runs until next May, but as my long-term future isn’t in Cambridge, I feel it would feel wrong to stay in post any longer, continuing to make decisions which will affect the lives of those who will be here. I have therefore decided to relinquish the position with immediate effect.

It has been a great privilege to serve the residents of Queen Edith’s, and I am very sad to stand down. However, a further reason to resign now is that it is long enough until next May’s local elections that a by-election to fill my position will be held. This means I can be sure that Queen Edith’s residents will have continuous representation by a full complement of councillors.

Avoiding adversarial politics

I have been the only Independent councillor since my election in May 2021. This has enabled me to work with councillors from across the political spectrum to address casework and wider issues within the city, particularly related to my interests in planning, transport, community development and social justice. I chose to stand as an Independent because I dislike adversarial politics, and I’m very grateful to councillors from all parties who have offered their cooperation and support.

In particular, I must thank Councillor Naomi Bennett and her colleagues in the Green party, who I’ve sat with in an administrative group, for their help in navigating the more byzantine aspects of the Council’s operation. I have also benefitted from the expertise and dedication of some outstanding officers across all areas of the Council’s work.

Explaining what’s going on

During my time on the City Council I have been able to highlight the many challenges Cambridge faces. This blog has been a very effective way to do that. I know from many conversations with residents that they have really valued someone taking the time to explain what’s going on, why things are as they are, and how our local government structures are woefully inadequate for both tackling the problems and maximising the opportunities which the city’s growth presents.

I have worked as hard as I could to do my bit, but it is more apparent than ever that, without a major overhaul of local government structures, financing and powers, our council will struggle with relentless demands to maintain current levels of service and protect residents’ quality of life.

Readers of this blog will know how seriously I have taken my responsibilities to Queen Edith’s residents and to the city in which I have spent my entire adult life. Over that period, I’ve experienced it from several perspectives, including as Chair of the Queen Edith’s Community Forum since 2015 and more recently as your Councillor too. I hope that in both roles I have been able to make a difference – they have presented me with some of my biggest challenges, for example during the Covid pandemic, but also some of my proudest and most satisfying achievements.

A new chapter

I have been lucky enough to receive support from so many people in Queen Edith’s and beyond, and have had the privilege of working alongside some truly talented and dedicated individuals. Thank you all.

I will be moving on and starting a new chapter in my life next year, but this blog will remain online. I hope that the information and ideas which I have documented here in over 130 weekly articles since 2019 will be useful to those trying to secure better outcomes for the city and its residents, in the face of its pressing environmental and social challenges. ♥


UPDATE Thursday 12 October

Thank you so much for you kind messages, below and privately. Many people have said that they hope the work I’ve been involved with will continue. One direct way in which you can make this happen is to support our Community Food Hub with regular financial donations. The Food Hub is entirely community-run operation, which works efficiently and locally like almost nothing else I’ve seen in the area. But it will only last while people support it. Make a one-off gift, or set up a regular donation of a few pounds every week or month. It’s up to you. Details on how to donate are here.


Sam Davies


  • We will all miss you SO much, and cannot thank you enough for your tireless work on our behalf. In particular we are grateful to you for explaining so clearly how the structure of local governance in Cambridge has resulted in the utter chaos of transport and planning from which the whole city is now suffering. I can only hope that by highlighting this whole issue you will have added momentum to the Cambs Unitary Campaign.

  • Mixed emotions, Sam. I am delighted for you that you are opening a new chapter in a new place, with all the excitement that such a fresh start can bring. However, I am sad that QE will lose your tireless efforts on our part. You have been a true representative of the people, not of a party, and I thank you enormously for every single thing you’ve done – particularly sitting through all those frustrating council sessions, attempting to unravel and overcome the vast swathes of red tape and convoluted process of local government. You have truly earned your awards and recognition, and most definitely have earned a touch of the quieter life. I wish you every happiness. Thanks again.

  • Hi Sam,

    More than sorry to see you go, thanks for the help/advice you’ve given me over footpaths, planning and who knows what else. And thanks for being the best of councillors.

  • Sam, I don’t even live in QE but I always turn to your posts for clear eyed and easy to follow explanations of the more opaque processes in local government here. I was always sad my own councillors were not nearly as good communicators.

    You’ll be missed, even outside your ward – thank you for doing what you did for the city for the time you could do it for.

  • You have been such a fantastic tour de force for QE and the forum and you will be really missed. Thank you for your relentless hard work and I’m excited for your new adventures.

  • You have worked your socks off in the near 3 years as a Councillor – committed Councillors are hard to find and undoubtedly the rivalry between City and County helps Your contribution has been a fresh boost fot Queen Edith’s and I only hope whoever comes forward for election will continue your good work rather than being invisible for most of the time between elections

  • I am very sorry to see you go.You have worked tirelessly for our area. I wish you all the very best.

  • Thank you Sam for everything you have achieved for Queen Edith’s ward and the City. I really appreciate that as an Independent you have worked across party divides. We have all learnt a great deal from your weekly blogs. You’ve done so much in a single term and hope you can slow down (a bit) when you move!

  • Dear Sam,

    Your contribution has been exceptional – absolutely outstanding. In a word, exemplary.

    I and a great many others I know will sorely miss you. I can well understand the frustrations and indeed anger you must had had to bottle up over all these years, and I hope the move (hopefully to somewhere calm and restful) will give you a chance to recover and put it all behind you.

    With all best wishes,

    Len Rix

  • Sorry to see you leave,Sam. You have been the first councillor in my memory to keep us in the picture with local government issues. Thank you for your hard work and good example.

  • Thank you for all your hard work and efforts to understand and communicate the internal workings of the mire our local politicians have got themselves into over the years with no consensus as to how to extricate us. Political expediencies have continued un-hindered by hard reality, competent planning or anything approaching common sense.
    Before you disappear completely, you might drop a hint as to who YOU would vote for to replace you, who might take your work forward… God save Quen Edith’s doesn’t get lumbered with another useless Liberal or Labour party hack. Best wishes for whatever comes next, and Thank you

  • Desperately sad to hear this news. We have appreciated your commitment and dedication to this role and for your blogposts which so clearly explained the difficulties that are faced by councillors in their attempts to improve our city.

  • Sorry to see you go Sam. Your blog has been influential and read across many wards in the city and beyond – an example of best practice to any aspiring councillor.
    Best wishes from us north of the river.
    Michael Page

  • I hope you and your family have a successful move and lots of happiness ahead.

    My family, friends, neighbours and colleagues have valued your outstanding community leadership and benefited from your years of graft.

    We have learnt more about where we live, local and national government and the challenges involved from your informative blogs.

    Happy travels Ingrid

  • We are sat here talking about when we looked at where to live in Cambridge back in 2018 and discovering Queen Edith’s due to QE Community Forum and Nightingale Community Garden.
    Groups helping the local community caring for everyone, something that’s important to me.
    The epic work QECF achieved through the pandemic got our family out there supporting the NHS, local carers, families and the elderly all due to your enthusiasm and energy with your band of helpers to care for our neighbours.
    This has brought so much positives into my life for me, my family, my friends; neighbours and work mates.
    Lovely to live somewhere where people care, thank you for all you gave, the changes you have made have been life changing for some people and some areas. I feel proud to have been taken under your wing, inspired to do my best even when up against many challenges and to be kind even when others may be are not.
    Your strength of character and influence will be with me even when you move on, Immy 🙂

  • A big blow to those of us trying to understand and influence planning in this city… developers will no doubt be breathing a sigh of relief at this news!
    Thanks too for your generous partnership on the COVID 19 response — you have so many achievements to take away from your work in local gov’t – tucked in amidst all the frustration. You’ll be sorely missed.

  • Goodness, I am so sorry to see you go, you have done so much for our local community.
    Thank you, thank you for everything. And I wish you the very best for your future.

  • Sam, very sorry to hear that we will lose your drive, enthusiasm and leadership, and the way you are able to explain convoluted local government issues and responsibilities. Thank you for all the time and effort you have given to the local community over many years. Very best wishes to and your family for your new start next year.

  • We wish you all the best in your new home next year, Sam, and thank you for all you have done as our councillor. You will be hugely missed, and remembered as the only councillor it was ever worth contacting. You’ll be irreplaceable but I hope we get another independent at least – and not one of those useless party ones.

  • Very sorry to see you go Sam. You will be missed by so many. I wish you and your family every happiness in this next chapter. Please stay in touch.

  • Thanks Sam you’ve done a great job you’ll be missed. Good luck for your move.

  • Sam you are a tour de force who will be greatly missed here. Thank you so much for helping cut through the multi-layered complexities of decision-making and focusing on where positive change might be effected.

  • Sam, simply put, thank you! Good luck to you and your family on your new adventure. You will be missed.

  • Your clear explanations of the forces that govern will be sadly missed. Let’s hope you have set a template for any new candidate. A high bar indeed. Queen Ediths will miss you very much. Thank you Sam.

  • “Irreplaceable” comes to mind. Searching unlikely areas, extolling plain truths free from the party line – yours will be the hardest act to follow, if it’s followed at all . . .
    Wishing you and yours a reduced intensity of life henceforth.

    And from Sandy and me, a heartfelt – thank you!

  • I don’t envy your replacement, they will have some big boots to fill!

    You will be definitely missed by our local community

    I wish you all the best in your next chapter in life


  • Dear Sam,
    Good luck to you and your family, wherever life takes you next.
    It has been a novel experience to be so well represented, and to receive such illuminating communication about our local political situation. We will miss your astute and tireless contribution. You have a remarkable skill , and I hope that you can summon the energy to keep representing your community in some capacity, wherever you touch down. They will be lucky to have you!

  • Thank you for all you have given to the community: your time, common sense, perseverance, help and advice. So much more. And thank you for your weekly blogs keeping us up to date with local politics. No other councillor has been so involved and concerned.

  • Sam, we will be bereft! Here’s hoping that your tireless and exemplary work for the local area will have inspired another to follow in your footsteps and we have another Independent here.

    I hope your new adventures will be all you wish for and wherever it is they will be lucky to have you there – do try to go slower than RoadRunner and take more time out for yourself. We all need ‘Me time’ now and then!

    Take care.

  • Many, many thanks Sam. I can only reiterate everything that 34 other contributors have already written. Hopefully our local MPs might be aware of the sentiments conveyed in your blogs and indeed our appreciation and take on board the shortcomings inherent in our system of local governance.

    May I wish you all the best in your new location.

  • You have been amazing, I’m sure that there aren’t many eho work as hard for their constituents as you have. In the 2 years I have been coming to the food hub you have been a great support and always,a smiling face. Queen Ediths will miss you. I thank you fir all of your hard work and dedication.
    Good luck in the next phase of your life, enjoy

  • Thank you Sam for your tireless work for our local community. You have been the best representative and leader we have ever had. I’ve lived in Queen Ediths since I was 10 (middle aged now!) and we’ve never had so much life here – so much of that is down to your community organising efforts …. and everyone else’s contributions of course but you have been the lynchpin.

    You have made a massive difference to this underinvested area of Cambridge, more than you will ever know. I’m confident that you have left a lasting legacy which I hope we can build on for future generations.

  • So sorry to hear you’re leaving us Sam. You’ve been a fantastic councillor for us in QE. We couldn’t have wished for a better one. Yours will be very big boots to fill!
    We wish you every good luck in your next adventure

  • Many thanks, Sam, for all your hard work for us; you must be the best councillor we have ever had and will be a very hard act to follow.
    Very best wishes for your move and future.

  • A huge “THANK YOU”, Sam, for your amazing efforts and dedication, and everything you have done as Councillor for Queen Edith’s.

    You have stood out to me as a very hard working councillor, who has tried to work across the old, broken party politics and actually try and make things happen – a novel concept.

    And it’s been very clear to me that you have been driven to do this out of a commitment to public duty and a desire to serve the community, rather than ego.

    I thought the blog you wrote last year about the difficult dilemmas around the congestion charge represented the most sensible thing I’d read on that topic – by a long shot.

    Thank you, and best of luck for the future.

  • Dear Sam – this is very sad news, your tireless work will be hugely missed, how we all wish that local politics was as diligent and talented as you. Cambridge desperately needs people like you to provide commonsense and effectiveness to sort out the current administration.
    All the very best for the future.

  • Sam, like everyone else, I’m sad you are going, thank you for all you have done, and wish you all the best for the future.

  • Everyone else here has summed it up beautifully, you have been simply brilliant and hopefully other councillors will be looking at what you have done and the support you have got through keeping us all informed.

    Feel tempted to quiz any future councillors who may knock on the door about they “plan to emulate the sterling work of Sam Davies”. I wish you every success and happiness for the next adventure. Thank you.

  • Sam, thanks so much for all your hard work and service on behalf of your constituents and Cambridge residents as a whole. You have been a truly outstanding councillor and you will be missed. Best of luck in the next chapter of your life.

  • We may not have always agreed and we may have challenged each other on our views on the positives of Cambridge and its rapid growth alongside the unintended negative impact for communities. But dialogue and discussion enabled debate that often generated options and solutions on the ground for the people who lived here.
    You have certainly been an unstoppable force that has driven right through the bureaucracy of national and local government, always with the intention of making life better for your constituents in Queen Edith’s.
    Good luck to you, Steve

  • We are gutted to be losing you. Thank you so much for all the hard work you’ve done for us!

  • Very sad to hear this news. Thank you so much for all your hard work on behalf of QE. Wishing you all the best in the next chapter of your life outside Cambridge!

  • Yes, yes to everything that has been said about your departure. Thank you for representing us with such care and enthusiasm (and frustration, no doubt) and for making such a difference.
    All good wishes for your future.

  • Dear Sam – many thanks for the commitment and brilliant communication you’ve put into your time as councillor for our ward. I’m sure you’ve been an inspiration to other councillors as well as all the people you’ve helped. Wishing you the very best for your next adventures. Mark

  • Dear Sam,
    Thank you for all the wonderful ‘things’ you have done for us all over the years in so so many ways. We will really miss you. There will be a big void to fill. With all our very best wishes for your new venture. I am sure it will be most exciting!!!!

  • Sam, your constant very hard work and commitment to your local community, has been such an inspiration. It has made me believe in a different kind of politics, one that is respectful of everyone’s views, is non adversarial, one that shows that proper clear communication through thoughtful blogs can be so meaningful, and one that emphasises thoughtful analysis based on common sense and evidence and a refusal to accept the status quo,.
    You will be greatly missed in Cambridge.
    I send every best wish for you and your family’s future in a new location. No doubt they will all be charmed and inspired by you there. May you be very happy.

  • Thank you Sam for all the help and advice …you have done amazing work for this community and will be missed. Enjoy your new chapter. Best wishes
    Alex Pearson

  • The sheer number of comments here illustrates the difference you have made in Queen Ediths Sam. Mum and I will be very sad to see you go but will wish you and your family all the best when your new future calls. Thank you for everything you have done working for this community and to you and G for the things you’ve done for us.

  • Best wishes Sam, you are well appreciated by our Community and will be missed, who may follow will have a hard act to provide the input you have given.