Gavin Clayton councillor for cambourn writes:

Crier Column – January 2019 Edition

Political Literacy at School and Beyond : –

Happy New Year!

In December I witnessed a cohort of Year 11 making speeches as culmination of a Political Literacy course. I was very impressed with their articulacy and skill in making a case and it was cause for optimism at a time when government seems in such disarray. I am now even more convinced that 16 year olds should have the vote!

Cambourne saw off Starbucks…for now. I was pleased to play a role in the community led objections as Cambourne High St needs to be developed with a radical localised economy that supports local business and community needs. This application didn’t do that. Read my full objection on Facebook : /gavin.clayton.146

I ended 2018 with a visit to the Cambourne FoodBank. A place that should not need to exist in the 21st century, but where individuals and families come to collect a maximum of 3 emergency food donations in a 6 month period when issued with a voucher by GP, School, Church or Family Centre in the Library. I worry what they do for the other 21 weeks! The wonderful FoodBank staff told me that majority of claimants are working, but wages are so low they cannot meet their household budgets. They currently see around 10 families or individuals per week.

I will be watching closely what the impact of Universal Credit is on our community and pointing it out to Heidi Allen often as I can until she votes the way she speaks. If you experience trouble with Universal Credit or know someone that is please feel free to let me know and I can signpost and advocate to best of my abilities.

Now Xmas is over don’t forget the need for donations. Why not join the local Traveller community who donated £160 of food just before Xmas. You can read more about that on my Twitter page : @gavinclayton17 You can drop food off at Lower Cambourne Co-op and visit the website to see what foodstuffs are needed as priority : https://cambridgecity.foodbank.org.uk

I spoke on behalf of Cambourne residents at the Greater Cambridge Partnership Board meeting (Dec6) as they considered the off road busway to speed commuter journeys to Cambridge. As West Cambourne and Bourn Airfield are built traffic is set to get even more congested unless the agreed route is delivered. We also need interim measures now as journey times in the morning are affecting people’s lives on a daily basis. I will continue to ask about interim measures and ensure that Cambourne’s voice is heard amongst all the objections from parish councils and campaign groups along the route. Perhaps a meeting in Cambourne early in 2019 is one idea to get local views counted.

In addition to newly planned routes the cost of bus travel needs close scrutiny. When it costs £7 run to town from Cambourne as opposed to £4.50 rtn from Hardwick I think this needs challenging. A trembly bus pass for 6th form college is £250, for term time only. This means that compulsory post 16 education comes at a considerable cost of £1,500 just for the bus!

I hear it is affecting choice of college for some students whose families cannot afford these travel costs. This simply has to change and so a #FaresFairCambourne campaign is in the offing.

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