Could The Grafton Centre host a very large bookshop as a new anchor store?

It would be a mistake to think such a proposal would simply be another attempt to carve out a ‘Middle Class is Magical’ enclave out of an historic working class area. Just ask Marcus Rashford MBE. The Manchester United & England footballer Marcus Rashford recently launched a reading club. This was following his campaign onContinue reading “Could The Grafton Centre host a very large bookshop as a new anchor store?”

Penguin Specials – because we’ve been here before on so many contemporary issues

TL:DR – Look through the list, pick one you like, go onto Abebooks (or anywhere else for that matter), find a cheapo version that costs less than the postage, buy it, read it, tweet/blog about it, give it to a local charity shop. This post stems from a Lost Cambridge piece on how old booksContinue reading “Penguin Specials – because we’ve been here before on so many contemporary issues”

What is your town’s recovery plan for the post-Covid19 years?

TL:DR Every district, town and city will need to plan for this – and they need to start now I’m currently browsing through the index of some of the wartime era titles of the Vintage Penguin back catalogue. And it’s huge. (The RSPCA Bookshop on Mill Road, Cambridge has a big bookcase full of them).Continue reading “What is your town’s recovery plan for the post-Covid19 years?”

The Cambridge Hub’s Social Innovation Programme for students – and town groups

What happens when you put together [via Zoom of course] a group of undergraduates from various Cambridge colleges with local historians, councillors, and community activists? It sounds almost cliche to say it but I’ve been struggling to work out how Cambridge can take its local history profile up ‘to the next level’ so to speak.Continue reading “The Cambridge Hub’s Social Innovation Programme for students – and town groups”

More planning woes at Greater Cambridge Planning, but where is the root of the problem?

You may have seen the headline: The article from South Cambs District Council is here, ironically illustrated by one of the most ugliest pieces of architecture within 15 miles of Cambridge, one that aesthetically tells us nothing about what the function of the building is as far as local people are concerned. As things stand,Continue reading “More planning woes at Greater Cambridge Planning, but where is the root of the problem?”

That was corruption, and this is a resignation issue

Not for the first time, the Prime Minister’s judgement has been found wanting – only this one resulted in the resignation of the Prime Minister’s Independent Adviser on the Ministerial Code. The statement from Cabinet Office on the Prime Minister’s decision is here. I’m not going to waste too much time on this. A fewContinue reading “That was corruption, and this is a resignation issue”

Testing radical policy platforms at the local government ballot box

We saw headlines about a four day week today – but how to politicians and parties go beyond single headline-grabbing slogans and towards a set of co-ordinated policies in an interlinked manifesto? And what do community groups and civic society organisations need to start doing now to organise public debates & hustings, whether offline orContinue reading “Testing radical policy platforms at the local government ballot box”

Extending the Local Democracy Reporting Service to cover reporting trials at court

I picked up this case from Katie Ridley of ITV Anglia What could have been a standard byline/paragraph of a local news story ( “Woman prosecuted for head-butting window”) ended up being something far more serious – a three year prison sentence. I hope the perpetrator gets the mental health support she needs, and thatContinue reading “Extending the Local Democracy Reporting Service to cover reporting trials at court”