Notice of Election - District of East Cambridgeshire
Parish Councillors and District Councillors
Bottisham Parish Council Response to Planning Application - 23/00205/OUM
Bottisham Parish Council (BPC) strenuously opposes this application 23/00205/OUM and urges ECDC to refuse it on the basis of:-
1. NPPF protection of the Green Belt is covered extensively in paras 133 to 147 and BPC contends that there are no exceptional circumstances to override this. Importantly, only 3% of the land within ECDC jurisdiction, which includes Bottisham Parish, is protected under Green Belt regulations which must be respected.
2. The very minor changes to the applicant’s submission 20/00296/OUM in2021/2 do not justify a reversal of both ECDC’s decision to refuse the original application, and the refusal of the subsequent appeal by the Planning Inspectors ref 21/00033/REFAPP.
3. The applicant has not demonstrated a need for a Retirement Village in this specific location. Indeed, a virtually identical Village now under construction in Stapleford, 7 miles distant from Bottisham and within the same catchment area, would meet any need in the vicinity that might exist.
4. The demographic split of the population of Bottisham is already heavily skewed towards the upper age groups (Source: Census 2021) and this application would further exacerbate this.
5. 50 affordable homes are in the process of construction on a less sensitive site off Bell Rd adjacent to the A1303 which (i) will satisfy the village’s affordable homes need for many years (using ECDC calculations) and (ii) will, by encouraging younger families into the village, address the significant demographic imbalance described above. This new development will also provide a play area and allotments for the benefit of the village.
6. Elderly medical care is already covered by the three existing Care Homes in the village. That they are operating below capacity demonstrates the lack of need for accommodation provided by this application.
7. An influx of a large number of elderly residents would put Bottisham Medical Practice under an unacceptable strain.
8. Access on to the site is from a narrow point off the High Street, within the Conservation Area and close to the Primary School which would be dangerous. Visibility splays would be hampered by the 2 metre high wall to the north-western side of the access road, creating a definite danger. We would recommend that both the Conservation Officer (ref NPPF para 186) and Highways reject this application as being inappropriate.
9. By their own admission, the applicants have described this as a resubmission, which was technically prohibited after the appeal.
Bottisham Parish Council and ECDC have for many years opposed giving planning permission on Green Belt land without overriding exceptional circumstances and we request that ECDC do so again.
We recommend that this application should go to planning committee.
Response Submitted to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) on 22/2/2023
Bottisham Parish Council submits its response to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) Bus Strategy, dated November 2022, as follows:
Background, current situation in Bottisham regarding bus services, and current Bus Strategy
The large and vibrant village of Bottisham, in East Cambridgeshire but only 4 miles from Cambridge City’s boundary and 6 miles from the centre of Cambridge, was negatively impacted from October 2022 by the failure of the CPCA’s existing Bus Strategy. This failure was evidenced by the withdrawal, with very little publicised notice, of all our existing bus services – two once-per-hour Monday-to-Saturday bus routes and - at the time of the announcement of the withdrawal - no assurance that these bus routes would have any replacements that served Bottisham.
We note that the purpose of the Bus Strategy is not to examine detailed, granular issues around specific routes and services. However, it is Bottisham Parish Council’s contention that the issues around the withdrawal of specific bus routes and services in our village in October 2022 (and in other Cambridgeshire and Peterborough communities affected by Stagecoach’s programme of withdrawals at that time), and the issues around replacement bus services, reflect a failure of the CPCA’s existing Bus Strategy.
Mention of them is therefore key to a discussion of this new Bus Strategy, and we are very keen that the new Bus Strategy avoids the failings of the old (existing) Strategy.
We believe that CPCA’s existing practises and policies fail to deliver what CPCA aspires to in the‘Vision for Buses’ and in the foundational elements of the new Bus Strategy in four key areas: 1) Partnership; 2) Information and getting the message out, 3) An integrated, coherent network linking people to the places they want to get to, and 4) Value for money and simple, integrated ticketing.
We discuss these below:
1) The October 2022 bus changes demonstrate a lack of effective Partnership
We know that a‘Greater Cambridgeshire Bus Operators’Forum’ was set up in 2021 but to us the fact that there was only a short time between CPCA apparently being made aware of the forthcoming Stagecoach bus service withdrawals in October 2022 and them then taking effect demonstrates the lack of real partnership working between CPCA and the bus operators.
Another instance of the lack of practical partnership is the difference between a) the published timetable timings and actual stop patterns of Bottisham’s current bus service 12 post-October 2022 and b) what appears under the detailed Traveline timetables for this route, which we understand is input by CPCA. (This is important because accurate source data on scheduled timetables in Traveline is essential for enabling computer-based journey planners - used by travellers - to work properly).
We note that England’s National Bus Strategy‘Bus Back Better’ includes strong encouragement from central Government for authorities to adopt close partnership working with bus operators, with a move towards adopting formal‘Enhanced Partnerships’.
2) The October 2022 bus changes demonstrate the lack of a CPCA Public Transport Information Strategy
Since October 2022 the roadside publicity for the bus service which, we understand, is ultimately the responsibility of the CPCA as the Local Authority responsible for overseeing Public Transport, has been, and continues to be, atrocious. This projects a poor image which acts strongly against the concept of the bus service being an attractive proposition for most Bottisham residents, and thereby runs counter to the CPCA’s stated policy objectives in its new Bus Strategy.
We are not aware of any published and adopted CPCA Public Transport Information Strategy. In particular, we have been unable to find published policies on the following:
• Which organisations provide at-stop timetables
• Which organisations provide the bus stop flag, and
• Which organisations maintain the information and condition of those
In Bottisham this results in:
• most bus stops that were used by the previous Stagecoach services that ran until 29/10/22 having no timetables displayed (the bus stops have existing timetable cases which are empty),
• stop flags with information displayed which refers to the previous operator rather than the current operator, and, in some cases,
• stop flags with out-of-date route numbers on the stop flags
These give an incredibly poor image of public transport, and are confusing both to existing bus users and to those who would consider using bus services but don’t currently. This goes right against CPCA’s policy of delivering a vibrant, successful bus system. Other negative aspects of the lack of any CPCA Public Transport Information Strategy are:
• no single Cambridgeshire-wide or CPCA-wide bus brand
• no single, clear public transport information website for Cambridgeshire or for CPCA
• no bus maps for cities, towns or rural / interurban networks in the CPCA area
3) The October 2022 bus changes demonstrate the lack of a CPCA Strategy for an integrated, coherent network linking people to the places they want to get to
While Bottisham’s replacement commercially-operated hourly bus service that has existed since the end of October 2022 (provided by a bus operator that is new to the Cambridge area) is running successfully as far as we can tell, it omits some significant and important village – village links offered by the previous services. It also has shorter operating hours compared to the previous service.
4) The October 2022 bus changes demonstrate the lack of an effective CPCA Strategy for delivering value-for-money and simple integrated ticketing
The replacement bus service inevitably fails to offer the low-price single-operator through ticketing / fares options with connecting bus services that were offered by the previous services (whose operator – at that time - ran buses in most of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough). There is no longer through bus ticketing to other destinations in Cambridge (e.g. railway station, Addenbrookes Hospital, retail parks), other than the £8 Cambridgeshire Multibus ticket. Although, of course, Multibus is welcomed, it is more expensive than the through tickets previously offered by the previous operator prior to 31/10/22.
Regarding the specific questions on the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority's bus strategy consultation, Bottisham Parish Council has the following response:
Question 5: How much do you agree with the Vision of the Bus Strategy?
Bottisham Parish Council strongly agrees with the Bus Strategy Vision but believes that it is incompatible with CPCA's current Bus Strategy, which demonstrates a lack of effective Partnership with bus operators, and an absence of a strategy for Bus Information
Question 6: How much do you agree with the Aims of the Bus Strategy?
Bottisham Parish Council strongly agrees with the Bus Strategy Aims, but believes that the CPCA's current policies & practices regarding facilitating Convenience, Attractiveness and Ease (of Understandability and Use) of the existing Bus Network strongly act against the achievement of these Aims. The CPCA's current policies & practices serve to exacerbate the Bus Network's existing lack of Convenience, Attractiveness and Ease.
Question 7: How much do you agree with the four main principles of delivering the Bus Strategy?
Bottisham Parish Council agrees with the four main principles of delivering the Bus Strategy
Question 8. How would you prioritise our strategies?
Bottisham Parish Council has no particular views on prioritisation of the strategies
9. Do you any further comments on the Bus Strategy?
a) It should be noted that Bottisham is also subject to the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP)’s integrated Bus proposals, defined by GCP as one of the three parts in its‘Making Connections’ proposal, which was out for consultation in Autumn 2022 and for which responses to that are currently being reviewed by GCP.
East Cambridgeshire District Council is not represented on GCP, and the GCP area (‘Greater Cambridge’) explicitly covers only Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District (as defined in the‘Greater Cambridge City Deal Assurance Framework’updated 2022). However, some of GCP’s proposals, and specifically the Bus Strategy part of‘Making Connections’, explicitly cover extensive areas outside‘Greater Cambridge’. The‘Making Connections’ documentation describes‘Making Connections’ as a‘proposal in three parts’ of which the first part is‘1. Transforming the bus network. From mid-2023, we are proposing to transform the bus network through new routes, additional services, cheaper fares and longer operating hours.’ Also, the’Making Connections’ Map Book explicitly covers all the bus services running extensively into areas outside the‘Greater Cambridge’ (including Bottisham)’
Yet the CPCA Bus Strategy has only two small references to the Greater Cambridge Partnership Bus Strategy in 'Making Connections'. Given the latter's crucial importance to the bus services over a large part of the CPCA area (including those parts that are also outwith the GCP area) this seems a rather crucial omission from the CPCA Bus Strategy.
b) We note that ‘Bus Back Better’,the England National Bus Strategy,includes strong encouragement from central Government for authorities to adopt close partnership working with bus operators, with a move towards adopting formal‘Enhanced Partnerships’;and we see that CPCA’s original‘Bus Service Improvement Plan’ stated that an‘Enhanced Partnership’ would be put in place from April 2022, We also note that‘Bus Back Better’ gives the good practice example of Hertfordshire’s Intalink strategy which covers information and some other areas (‘Bus Back Better’, page 39), and that an operator interviewed during the process of writing CPCA’s‘Bus Service Improvement Plan’ commented positively on Intalink. We would recommend that CPCA gives serious consideration to adopting an‘Enhanced Partnership’ on the lines of Intalink.
c) The Bus Strategy seems to minimise the vast gap in provision and quality (regarding both the Bus Service level and the level of User Information) between the Network outlined in the 'Vision for Bus' and the Network that is provided now by CPCA and the bus operators. Whilst a gap is acknowledged in‘Setting the Scene’ (page 4), this omits a reference to the massive Stagecoach bus cuts at the end of October 2022, which both in themselves and in the response of the CPCA to them, revealed gaps in both the Partnership and User Information elements of CPCA’s existing Bus co-ordination activities. Omission of a reference to this reduces the Strategy's credibility.
d) We recommend that the Bus Strategy includes CPCA undertaking a programme of innovative bus service design in response to the continuing effect of the Stagecoach bus service cuts of last October, and that the Bus Strategy explicitly involves area and corridor traveller Groups in this programme. Bottisham Parish Council is a member of one such traveller group: the A TO B1102
It has been brought to the Parish Council's attention that Axis Land Partnerships intend to resubmit an application for planning permission for a Retirement Village on the land North of the High Street to the rear of 163 to 187 High Street.
We are seeking further advice from the Planning
Dept at East Cambs District Council and will advise when further information is
available to us
Cambridgeshire County Council - Community Flood Action Programme
This team has created guidance documents for county residents to inform them about their rights and responsibilities in maintaining watercourses. The objectives are to provide detailed information on rights and responsibilities for maintenance, guidance on watercourses, and how to reinstate a piped or culverted watercourse.
Click here for more information - Watercourse guidance will inform Cambridgeshire residents of rights and responsibilities - Cambridgeshire County Council
The Watercourse Guidance covers everything that can affect watercourse maintenance, from birds and bats to hedges, highways, and ancient monuments. There are eight documents available on our website: Watercourse guidance - Cambridgeshire County Council
Discussions are continuing about bus services serving the village. Stephensons have been awarded the contract to provide services 11 & 12. At this stage the 11 will no longer stop in the village but the 12 will come off the A1303 onto Bell Rd and then turn right onto the High Street to go to Newmarket and vice versa on the route into Cambridge.
The timetable is attached.
BOTTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL’S MEETING WITH OUR MP
The Parish Council was pleased to accept an invitation from our MP, Lucy Frazer, to meet with her and to have a tour of the Houses of Parliament; the Chair Cllr Jon Ogborn and Vice-Chair Cllr John Wilson met with Lucy on October 17th in Westminster.
The main items discussed were the threatened removal of the Stagecoach Bus Services from Bottisham to Cambridge and Newmarket, the importance of maintaining the Green Belt protection in East Cambridgeshire and the Government’s strategy on solar farms with reference to the Sunnica application and the impending more local application by Ridge Clean Energy.
On the bus route issue, Lucy expressed her strong support for the argument to retain the current services despite Stagecoach’s assertion that the routes were not economically viable. She stressed that this matter is devolved to the Mayor with whom she is having regular meetings to resolve the issue: but she emphasised that there is already a very substantial subsidy from central government for local transport. Hopefully, a positive outcome will have been achieved by the time this article is published.
Lucy agreed with our argument that the Green Belt should be protected and stressed that there was no pending legislation to alter that view. We pointed out that the new Cambridge Science Park North, currently at consultation level, will be on Green Belt land owned by Trinity College.
While being opposed to the Sunnica development on the basis of scale, Lucy felt that individual, smaller solar farm applications such as the Ridge Clean Energy site between the A14 and A11 should be left largely to the opinions and decisions of the appropriate Parish and District Councils. Parish Council met with the developers on October 26 and the issue was discussed at Parish Council on November 7th.
This was followed by a full 90-minute tour of Parliament followed by seats in the Visitors Gallery when the Commons was packed to review the Budget changes.
Overall, it was a very informative and worthwhile day.
Vice-Chair of Bottisham Parish Council
Accounts and Audit Report with details of how to obtain a copy
The Notice sets out the rights of any interested person to inspect and make copies of the accounting records for the financial year to which the audit relates
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN BECOMING A PARISH COUNCILLOR?
FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO YOUR COMMUNITY
All prospective councillors from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are welcome to attend.
Wednesday 16th March 2022 - 1830 til 2100
The session is bookable via our online booking system -CAPALC Booking Page.
Direct Booking Link
Wednesday 16th March
If you are planning to attend please can you let the Clerk know–Jonathan GilesClerk@bottisham-pc.gov.uk
We have a programme for the year which is set out below. We welcome non-members to any of our meetings for a fee of £2.00. Our secretary, Julia Green 01223 811467, can be contacted for any information.
Tuesday, 22nd February - Clematis, Ray Nunnington
Tuesday 22nd March - Flower Gardens & Flower Arranging, Jackie Lince
Tuesday, 26th April - Hanging Baskets, Caroline Deeth
Tuesday 24th May - Fuchsias-The Three Virtues, Nick Dobson
Tuesday, 28th June - Summer Social & Plant Swap
Wednesday, 13th July - Outing to RHS Hyde Hall
Tuesday, 27th September - Coping with Climate Change, Nigel Start
Tuesday, 25th October - AGM
Tuesday, 22nd November - History of Anglesey Abbey, Helen Ackroyd
Tuesday, 13th December - Christmas Social
The Housing and Community Advice Service Bus will be travelling to areas across our area to provide support and advice on topics ranging from debt and benefits to homelessness and COVID-19 recovery. The Community Hub bus is a one stop shop providing information, advice, and support to improve the wellbeing of our community. It will be in Bottisham every third Wednesday in the month
Next Stop in Bottisham - 19th January 2022
At Bottisham Community Sports and Social Club just off Downing Close.
The hubs provide FREE support and advice for individuals and their families covering drink or drug challenges, housing or homelessness issues, benefit questions, mental health advice, domestic abuse, money worries, they are also there if you just need someone to talk to.If you have any paperwork relating to your questions, try and bring it with you.
You do not need to make an appointment, just drop in and someone will see you as soon as they are available
You can attend any of the drop-ins. Have a look on the bus timetable for where the bus is next.
For more details visit: https://www.eastcambs.gov.uk/housing/community-hub
Dr Tamara Keith talks about the GP Crisis on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. Our surgery is working tirelessly to support our residents but we need to support them too. How? We ask that you consider what is urgent before you call so to ensure not overburdened any more. Look after yourselves, look after each other. Be kind and considerate to our GPs and recognise they are always working in our best interests. Listen to the You Tube Interview with Dr Keith Dr Keith shares the stresses and the strains that not only a doctor endures but also the statistics for the patients coming through our surgery.
BOTTISHAM PARISH COUNCIL – VACANCY x 3
Are you interested in Bottisham village community matters and your local environment?
Would you like to make a difference in your village?
Local issues need local people to speak up for them!
We are looking to co-op 3 new Parish Councillors could you fit the bill?
You could get actively involved in projects to deliver benefits to the community.
For More Information Contact:
Jonathan Giles, Clerk and Proper Officer
Tel: 07789 012761 Email: email@example.com
Bottisham Medical Practice Patients’ Participation Group
Masks: The guidance is for both staff and patients to continue to wear masks in healthcare setting. We would ask that all patients please continue to wear a mask when they attend to the surgery in order to protect them, other patients and our staff.
Blood Samples: Due to a shortage of equipment your GP may discuss with you postponing routine / non urgent blood tests.
Blood Tests: It may be the case that you are requested to have your blood test at the Newmarket Road, Cambridge Park and Ride location. The drop-in service will be available between 9.30am and 4.30pm, Monday to Fridays to anyone over the age of 16 and who has medical paperwork or a request for blood tests placed on the hospital computer system confirming they need a blood test.
With best wishes to you all during these difficult times. Stay safe.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU OR SOMEONE ELSE IS IN CRISIS
What is a mental health crisis?
You, or someone you know, might be in crisis if:
- You are thinking of hurting yourself or suicide seems the only option
- Someone you know has made threats to hurt you or someone else.
- You are experiencing extreme distress that seems overwhelming.
Who can help in a mental health crisis?
Call 111 and press option 2 for theFirst Response Service- a 24-hour service for people in a mental health crisis. This service is for anyone, of any age, living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Specially-trained mental health staff will speak to you and discuss with you your mental health care needs – instead of you having to go to accident and emergency departments of local acute hospitals.
If you are over the age of 16 you can access the Sanctuary in Cambridge or Peterborough - People in crisis across the whole of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will be able to access Sanctuary support. Staffed by mental health charity Mind in Cambridgeshire, the Sanctuary offers people practical and emotional support between 6pm and 1am and is accessible by referral from the First Response Service.
Call your local GP if you are concerned about your mental health and you feel unable to cope.
Some websites and apps which may be helpful to cope with isolation, anxiety and stress are on the following pages.
General mental health support:
Mindfulness for your everyday life
Just 10 days of Headspace can increase happiness by 16%
Explore guided exercises, videos, and more to help you get healthier and happier.
Meditation, mindfulness, stress and anxiety management
Keep Your Head brings together reliable information on mental health and wellbeing for children, young people and adults across Cambridgeshire & Peterborough.
Recourses for child and adult mental health
Moodgym is like an interactive self-help book which helps you to learn and practise skills which can help to prevent and manage symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Free Online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
The clinically proven online mindfulness course for better mental wellbeing
Specifically for children and young people:
Information and resources for children, young people and families who suffer with mental health problems. Helpline. Signposting for support. Educational materials.
Online counselling and support for children and young people.
Information and resources for children, young people and families who suffer with mental health problems. Helpline. Signposting for support. Educational materials
A charity that promotes positive mental health in teenagers and those who support them through education, resilience strategies and early intervention. Provided digitally through education programmes, apps, website and mental health conferences.
Free, confidential helpline for young people. Volunteers available 24/7 to offer support on a range of issues eg self-harm, bullying, drugs etc.
A website with helpful relaxation exercises for children with anxiety
A safe space for children aged 12+ years to have their questions answered accurately, and can access online counselling.
Apps to help with mental health:
https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/ A website to find apps recommended by the NHS
Be Mindful is an online course for reducing stress, depression and anxiety. It guides you through the elements of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT).
Learn to relax, manage your worries and improve your wellbeing with Chill Panda. The app measures your heart rate and suggests tasks to suit your state of mind. Tasks include simple breathing techniques and light exercises to take your mind off your worries.
Headspace: Mindfulness and meditation. There is a kids section.
Calm: Mindfulness and meditation. There are different age-specific sessions.
CalmHarm: An app designed to help people resist or manage the urge to self-harm. Private and password protected
Safespot: A helpful app (and website) designed to help young people cope and manage stressful situations. Personalised coping plan.
HappiMe: HappiMe is a free app that helps to raise self-esteem, self-confidence and happiness levels in children and young people by teaching them about the power of thinking positively and how to choose a more helpful way of thinking.
Big White Wall is an online community for people who are stressed, anxious or feeling low. The service has an active forum with round-the-clock support from trained professionals. You can talk anonymously to other members and take part in group or one-to-one therapy with therapists.
Thrive helps you prevent and manage stress, anxiety and related conditions. The game based app can be used to relax before a stressful situation or on a more regular basis to help you live a happier, more stress-free life.
Document prepared by Dr T Keith
Bottisham Medical Practice