Guided bus campaign
The Better Ways 4 Busways group are continuing to undertake research into the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP‘s) practices and procedures to identify any issues and into the comparisons of the GCP guided bus proposal and the A1307 alternative proposals.
Given the obvious synergies with C2C (Cambridge to Cambourne busway), we are liaising with Coton Parish Council and the action group, because of the similarities in the two schemes, and to challenge the overall strategy of a non-joined up network.
In all our deliberations (having met the GCP Executive Board in the summer) we continue to stress we are pro transport infrastructure improvements and will continue to put our case that the A1307 presents a far greater opportunity to link up the business parks and biomedical campuses in south east Cambridge (the original strategic aim of CSET) without the massive cost and environmental damage of the GCP’s scheme.
National planning Policy Framework covers greenbelt principles, notably that building in the greenbelt cannot be approved where there is a viable alternative.
What’s also relevant is that lots of fields are cut through, which will become uneconomic to farm and developers are already putting in their plans https://www.greatercambridgeplanning.org/.../call-for-sites/
We want better public transport where people live, not a route that runs through open fields (see map). And buried in the Making Connections consultation GCP say they will re-route the Saffron Walden No. 7 City service onto the busway so less busses serving our village centres
The GCP need to apply to Central Government for a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) in order to acquire compulsory rights of acquisition to build the scheme. The TWAO has been delayed apparently due to the realignment of the busway around the retirement village, and also issues on Crick Avenue within the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. It is now expected to be served in the next few months, because of these changes. This will then require a quick response from BW4B as our reasons for objection must be submitted.
The charity Cambridge Past Present and Future who manage Wandlebury is managing the public fund raising. Fundraising now needs to start in earnest and Better Ways For Busways (bw4b.org) directs the enquirer to the fundraising page.
Leaflets have been printed which alert residents to the issues and directs them to the new website Better Ways For Busways (bw4b.org) This is a brilliant website that informs including an interactive map for each village. Leaflets are now being distributed by volunteers around the village. They are also designed as a poster to put in one’s car!
Finally, the group includes Parish Councils, City and South Cambs District Councillors, Conservation Groups, Transport Consultants and other individuals.
Posted Jan 30 2023
THE BENEFITS OF DANCE
By Stapleford dance teacher Charlotte Yelton
From September to Christmas we’re glued to our TVs as Tangos, Jives, Waltzes and Rumbas light up our screens as we enjoy BBCs Strictly Come Dancing. We watch in awe, wishing we could dance so gracefully.
And whilst none of us are likely to practice for hours with a champion dance partner or face live national TV and the judges’ abuse, the fact is dancing is for everyone and it’s a great way to get fit.
Did you know that dancing can improve your stamina, strength and general fitness levels?
Here are just a few benefits of dance:
It safely strengthens bones and muscles
It tones your entire body
It increases your balance and improves flexibility and coordination
It reduces stress
It improves general health and improves your lung capacity
It improves your cardiovascular system and lowers the risk of coronary diseases and high blood pressure
It can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s
It gives your brain a great workout
Plus, far from the tedium of the treadmill at your local gym, a dance based fitness class gives you opportunity to meet new people. You don’t need any fancy gear or a specific space to dance: no fancy clothes, expensive gear or bulky accessories are necessary.
And if you never danced before, don’t worry – dance based fitness classes are easy. They usually only have 4 or 5 moves in each routine, making it easy to learn and master quickly.
So if you enjoy Strictly, how about trying a FitSteps class? FitSteps uses the Latin & Ballroom dances you see on Strictly but in the context of a fitness class. You do not need any dance experience or a partner to come along - the classes cater for all ages (16+), all abilities and all fitness levels. If you love good music and dancing, then FitSteps is the class for you!
The classes are every Monday at 6.30pm starting Monday 5th September.
Posted Aug 24 2022
Stapleford Parish Council eco blog – Oct 2021
Stapleford Parish Councillors declared a climate and ecological emergency at their meeting on 7th October. We may not have as much influence as local and county councils, but we can be a positive force for change within the community, support others who are already implementing changes, and create opportunities for individuals who want to make a difference.
Such a declaration is not just a string of words or virtue signalling; it is a key step in effecting and inspiring change. It will force us to challenge our ways of working and our values, and make us more adaptive and responsible. We have also prepared a set of priorities for action, some of which will be rolled out over the next few months, whilst others fall into a longer, three-year plan.
Top of our list is rewilding certain verges around the village, leaving them unmown from March through to the autumn so wildflowers can grow and set seed. To this end, we have recently met with Cambridgeshire County Council highways network and ecology officers for input and advice. We will be looking to recruit community support for creating, monitoring and maintaining nature verges, whether that’s individuals or local groups. And if you are handy with tools and have some spare wood, we’d love residents to make bird, bat and bee boxes which we can place around the village. Let us know if you can help and we can email you with suitable design guides. We also plan to create a meadow at the north end of the new cemetery, together with a contemplation area where people can sit quietly in nature with thoughts of family now departed.
Councillor Gatward is keen to establish a ‘community fridge’ for everyone in the village to use and to stock with surplus fruit, vegetables, etc, which is still in-date but would otherwise go to waste. He has had discussions with local shops, which seem keen to understand more about how the scheme might work and how they might be able to support it.
We would like to run regular clothes and toy swaps, recycling items that would otherwise be put into landfill, and possibly a repair café to allow residents to have worn or broken items mended by local people with relevant skills rather than having to buy new replacements. It could also be a bit of a community social event, bringing people together and sharing skills. Other skills we would like people to share could include meat-free recipes posted on local Facebook groups and a dedicated page on the Parish Council website.
2022 will be a great opportunity to plant many more trees around Stapleford – in both public and private areas – as we participate in the Queen’s Green Canopy project. Two new trees will soon be planted along the verge of the Rec on Haverhill Road, courtesy of the local WI and a scheme run by South Cambs. District Council.
To spread the word about the Parish Council’s environmental work and to involve the community, we will be holding our first ‘eco event’ on 26th Nov from 6.30-9.00pm in the Jubilee Pavilion.
We will talk about what our climate and ecology declaration means in general and our verge rewilding plan in particular. However, most time will be given over to Ashley Arbon, a superb local ecologist who will talk about our chalk streams and aquifers, and flora and fauna, and to Cambridge Past Present & Future to discuss its work on preserving and enhancing Wandlebury and wider local greenbelt for future generations. There will be opportunities to ask questions, to air your views and, if you wish, to volunteer your involvement in future community projects.
If you would like to attend – either as an individual or as a local interest group – please confirm approximate numbers by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cllr Michael Gatward
Posted Oct 31 2021