Cycleway: It seems that the money has run out to finish the cycleway. Given the current economic climate I guess we should not be surprised. I include an email from the county officer below.
“Unfortunately, mainly due to the effects of the cuts and anticipated cuts in public spending, it has not been possible to secure further funds for the completion of the route to Fen Ditton School, to provide the controlled crossing of the on slip to the A14 and link to and upgrade the controlled crossing of the off slip together with the provision of a pelican crossing at the school.
Indeed existing funding has been lost to fund the existing works and monies have had to be resourced to the detriment of other projected schemes.
When the current works are completed there will be an off road cycleway from Horningsea to the existing footpath / cycleway south of the A14. It is also planned to trim the sides of the existing footpath / cycleway. I am sure that you will agree that this off road route will be far safer than the previous on road facility.
Notwithstanding the above efforts will continue to try to secure the additional funding necessary to complete the scheme although, currently, no timescale can be promised.”
Library Access Points: Following a great deal of hard work the County has managed to save all Library Access Points. There will be changes revolving around stock etc and each LAP will have to sign a new agreement with the Council. These will be agreed individually. It will mean that some LAPS will have to become more efficient to meet their targets.
Mobile Libraries: A plan to save £200,000 from the mobile service has been drawn up. There will be a reduction in the number of visits, most to one a month. Where there is currently a service it will be retained at a reduced level of service.
Libraries: The County has announced the review publicly and will be going out to consultation very shortly. They are planning to hold one consultation meeting in each district. It is important to remember that no closures are planned. The whole operation will be reviewed to see what savings can be made. The County is looking at £2.1 million in efficiency savings over the next three years. If the target our target then a further review of library provision may have to be made.
Integrated Planning Funding Update: As you know there has been a significant tightening of the belt this year as a result of reduced funding. It is set to get worse. The governments emergency budget, whilst not yet fully understood, is likely to reduce funding by up to £9m a year on top of the savings already made. A lot of very tough decisions are going to have to be made and it will get tougher.
School expansions approved: Plans have been approved to increase the size of six primary schools in Cambridgeshire to cater for an expected rise in pupil numbers. Cabinet has agreed the proposed expansions of the six schools, providing an additional 170 places across the county.
* Abbey Meadows Primary School, Cambridge – an extra 30 Reception places from September 2010
* Colville Primary School, Cambridge – an extra 30 Reception places from September 2010
* Spring Meadow Primary School, Ely – an extra 30 reception places from September 2010
* The Weatheralls Primary School, Soham – an extra 30 Reception places from September 2010
* St John’s C of E Primary School, Huntingdon – an extra 30 reception places from September 2010
* Pendragon Primary School, Papworth Everard – an extra 20 reception places from September 2011
There is also a proposal for a new primary school in the south of the city. I am concerned that this additional capacity inside the city will have a negative impact on the schools close to the city. I have spoken with the cabinet member David Harty and made the case for some flexibility on how the number of classes are calculated.