Sam Davies

Roadworks and the Market (Your Councillor, week 2)

Here’s this week’s quick update including more on the Biomedical Campus’s plans for growth, roadworks updates and the new Market Square consultation. I hope you’ll find it of interest.

Further details of the Campus ‘Vision’

There was more coverage of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus ‘Vision’ for its future growth to 2050 in both the Cambridge News and the Cambridge Independent. As you will see in both articles, the Vision seems to suggest that the way to deal with problems created by the Campus’s growth in the last 20 years is to facilitate further growth.

I’m quoted in the News saying: “We really have to ask questions about how well [the Campus] has delivered on the promises it made relating to the current growth … and try to understand what it is going to do better in future to avoid compounding the problems that currently exist.”

Joined-up thinking about roadworks

As we all know, one of those problems is the volume of traffic parking on or passing through the streets of our neighbourhood. I am fielding many questions about these issues and following up with County Council officers where appropriate. (Regular readers will already be getting tired of me pointing out that Highways issues fall within the remit of the County Council, not the City Council).

Allocating roadspace and time slots for roadworks are also County Council responsibilities. In conjunction with the City Councillors for Cherry Hinton, I’ve been asking County officers what can be done to bring the roadworks at the Robin Hood junction to a rapid conclusion. These are set to overrun by at least six weeks, meaning an extended overlap with the disruption caused by the temporary lights at the Granham’s Road closure.

I’ve also been given notice that the Greater Cambridge Partnership will soon be proceeding with its planned works for the ‘Linton Greenway’ as it approaches Addenbrooke’s on Babraham Road and Hills Road. I campaigned under a slogan of ‘Joined-up thinking’ and the urgency for it becomes clearer with every day that goes by.

Casework and committees

City Council casework has focused on residents’ concerns about planning enforcement, both during construction and in relation to conditions of use once the project is finished. I’m also going to be working closely with officers and residents on Ninewells to try to bring various long-standing problems such as the ‘dry’ pond which isn’t dry (leading to a playground in which children can’t play) to a successful resolution.

This week, I’m preparing for my first full Council meeting on Thursday 27th. Government legislation now dictates that all Council meetings revert to being held in person, so we will be gathering at the Corn Exchange where there’s more room to socially distance.

However, there is a motion coming forward suggesting that Area Committees continue to meet remotely for the next year. I will be supporting this because online attendance does offer a way for more residents to get involved and see what goes on. One of my goals is to help shape South Area Committee so that it becomes more relevant and accessible; remote participation should help with at least the second part of that not-inconsiderable challenge.

Finally you may have noticed that the City Council has launched its consultation on the design and function of the Market Square. I know many of you have strong opinions about the proposed changes, which include both the physical space itself and also the operation of the market, so that “the square can be flexibly used for other community activities into the evening and night”.

It’s really important that this consultation, and wider discussion around the Council’s city centre Covid recovery plan, receives input from across the area. There are a lot of vocal commercial interests keen to have their say; these need to be balanced out by residents’ voices if we are to ensure the city centre remains a place for all of us.


Sam Davies

Add comment