“Allow people to be proud of their place”

How might some of the concepts being promoted by the New Local think tank work for a high growth area like Greater Cambridge? You can read Stephanie Riches thought-provoking blogpost here. This is part of the series on Community Power by the New Local think tank. I spent the last couple of years of myContinue reading ““Allow people to be proud of their place””

The unspoken barriers politicians must address when talking about empowering communities

The biggest one is time. Time to spend learning, reading, analysing, and debating the issues on their doorstep. But that’s not the only barrier. Cambridge Labour councillors met up with Steve Reed MP, the Shadow Local Government Secretary / Shadow of Michael Gove’s new empire in Brighton (where I lived for three years around theContinue reading “The unspoken barriers politicians must address when talking about empowering communities”

Lessons from Cambourne published in 2007 to apply to new developments in Greater Cambridge

I was invited to comment on Northstowe’s thought-provoking and detailed town strategy by Cllr Sarah Cheung Johnson (Liberal Democrats – Longstanton, Oakington & Northstowe) on a recent thread on recent large housing developments in and around our city. The headline relates to the 2007 document Lessons from Cambourne written by Stephen Platt. This week’s CambridgeContinue reading “Lessons from Cambourne published in 2007 to apply to new developments in Greater Cambridge”

Asking lots (of us) to give a little as we build back better

…rather than asking a few (of us) to give up a lot – something that former Mayor of Cambridge Paul Saunders talked to me about many moons ago (pre-EURef) when it felt like no one was taking much interest in local democracy, let alone politics generally. Both the EU Referendum (along with the Brexit fallout)Continue reading “Asking lots (of us) to give a little as we build back better”

Despondency over the future of Greater Cambridge – and the missed opportunities

Made all the more difficult to deal with because no one individual is to blame for where we are vs where we could be: There have been multiple shortcomings by many people and institutions – not just Central Government either. I want to start with one of the most controversial people in post-war Cambridge: MrContinue reading “Despondency over the future of Greater Cambridge – and the missed opportunities”

Does anyone have a positive vision for the future of local government?

The under-funded sector awaits what the new Secretary of State Gove has to say in terms of policy, but the rebranding of the department into something with far too many syllables doesn’t bode well Now The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. Which is a rubbish acronym. Let’s face it, they all were. DepartmentsContinue reading “Does anyone have a positive vision for the future of local government?”

Cambridge Ahead will need a strategy to engage with non-members in order to deliver on its vision & purpose

You can read about them here, and can browse through their member organisations here. This post invites Cambridge Ahead to engage systematically with people and organisations in the arts, sports, and leisure industries in the context of the future of Cambridge, including networks such as the Cambridge Art Network. “Who has the power to makeContinue reading “Cambridge Ahead will need a strategy to engage with non-members in order to deliver on its vision & purpose”

Reach PLC is damaging a historic newspaper brand – and it doesn’t need to

I was moaning earlier on about the lack of local council coverage in Cambridge’s daily newspaper the Cambridge News – formerly the Cambridge Evening News when I delivered it during my early teens on my paper round in the early 1990s. The one prize reporting role they used to have was the Local Government CorrespondentContinue reading “Reach PLC is damaging a historic newspaper brand – and it doesn’t need to”

How do we secure the future of public sport and leisure services?

Can we make use of the emerging local plan to help with this? For example not building all over every spare green space there is? ***Not another report!*** #SorryNotSorry You can read the full report here. The headlines make for depressing reading in terms of both the impact of Covid (£600million of revenue lost toContinue reading “How do we secure the future of public sport and leisure services?”

Early plans for a reservoir in the Fens to water Cambridge & South Cambs

The *earliest* it can open is 2035. Which means a five year gap between the start of the 2030 local planning period and when the first new homes in that period can be occupied Read Anglian Water’s document here. You can see the concept below. Above – p8 – projected area where a reservoir couldContinue reading “Early plans for a reservoir in the Fens to water Cambridge & South Cambs”