Ministers avoid the tough decision on the OxCamArc in their Levelling Up White Paper

This is not political leadership, it is political cowardice. All it leaves is a huge policy void that neither helps investors decide whether or not to invest in the region, nor local communities and environmentalists concerned about over-development in the face of the climate emergency. “I am glad the OxCam Arc appears nowhere in theContinue reading “Ministers avoid the tough decision on the OxCamArc in their Levelling Up White Paper”

Do our councils, hospitals, colleges, and wider public services discuss and sign up to shared aims? Part 2.

Above – the Old Addenbrookes from Britain From Above, as this post involves the hospital and its sisters. I had to write the Part 1 (See here) to give some historical and political context. This part looks at who could do what to improve our city (however you choose to define it) This pair ofContinue reading “Do our councils, hospitals, colleges, and wider public services discuss and sign up to shared aims? Part 2.”

Do our councils, hospitals, colleges, and wider public services discuss and sign up to shared aims? Part 1.

Furthermore, do they discuss and share what specific policies and actions they need from each other? Public policy note: This is ***very complex*** and not easy to do at all. When I started off in the civil service back in mid-2004, many old hands, some of whom started their careers in the 1970s, told meContinue reading “Do our councils, hospitals, colleges, and wider public services discuss and sign up to shared aims? Part 1.”

Cambridge to reclassify major roads as GCP unveils major expansion of rural cycling/walking routes around the city

In the meantime, Cambridgeshire County Council passes its annual budget, while next door in NW Essex, Uttlesford District Council (incl Saffron Walden) is stripped of its planning powers by the Minister for Housing due to its opposition to Stansted Airport’s proposed expansion. The Uttlesford District Council announcement seemed to come out of nowhere: …but asContinue reading “Cambridge to reclassify major roads as GCP unveils major expansion of rural cycling/walking routes around the city”

Sustainable Growth Ambitions for Cambridgeshire

Council leaders were unable to agree to a new Sustainable Growth Ambition at the last Combined Authority Board Meeting. Should we be concerned? Is the impasse the result of broken structures and systems that should be looking at more radical solutions over a longer period of time? You can read the article in the CambridgeContinue reading “Sustainable Growth Ambitions for Cambridgeshire”

Levelling up? Follow the money, follow the legal powers

Two articles in the FT caught my eye on Levelling Up. And as one former Downing Street insider once told me in my civil service days regarding newspaper trustworthiness: “Money does not lie to itself”. The articles are sub-headlined: “Reversing decades of regional disparity in the UK will require real devolution of power” by MartinContinue reading “Levelling up? Follow the money, follow the legal powers”

Why are Cambridgeshire’s public services chronically underfunded?

And what is the point of having a county full of Conservative MPs – including former and current ministers, if our spend per head on things like policing and schools remains some of the lowest in England? It was something I noticed at the meeting of the Police & Crime Panel where the Police &Continue reading “Why are Cambridgeshire’s public services chronically underfunded?”

“Cambs Slam Levelling-up Plan”

Joint Administration leaders tear into the ‘content-lite’ Levelling Up Plan from the Department of State responsible for Housing & Local Government. You can read both the summaries and the full documents of the Levelling Up Plan here along with the list of 34 headlines from BBC Newsnight’s Lewis Goodall here. “Is this it?!?!” …Asked theContinue reading ““Cambs Slam Levelling-up Plan””

“Sunnica, panels are calling me!”

Sorry – wrong company and wrong Millennium. That was Konica, see below. I’ve used the screenshot of the Combined Authority’s Independent Climate Change Report because it’s schemes like these that we’ll see more of and promoted as part of the county’s contribution towards its net zero target. Which is why this one in particular needsContinue reading ““Sunnica, panels are calling me!””

£20million for Northstowe (or is it?), a new website for Cherry Hinton, & a Public Inquiry for Cambridge South Station

Above – the sign at the Robin Hood Junction from the new Cherry Hinton website.Plus the changing of priorities with the Highway Code in the midst of the chaos in Whitehall. While all of the fun and games in national politics has been happening, Cherry Hinton Village now has its own website – see https://www.cherryhintonvillage.co.uk/Continue reading “£20million for Northstowe (or is it?), a new website for Cherry Hinton, & a Public Inquiry for Cambridge South Station”