Latest Stories

12-11-17

There are currently 2500 applicants on the housing register and the council are going to develop the Mill Road Depot to deliver 187 new homes.  94 of these will be Council Homes, open space will comprise 28% of the site area.  AND the YMCA are going to build accommodation for 140-150 people on the site.  

In return the council will take over their existing building on Gonville Place and that will provide an opportunity to level the YMCA building and the current Council Car Park to provide a large site for an underground car park and homes above; other options may be considered but we are set to deliver more council homes on this site.

 

3-11-17

Exhibition at Mill Road Depot was well received yesterday.  We will of course analyse and consider the public comments.  It is expected a planning application will be submitted on the 19th of November and that the planning committee will consider this in March 2018 

 ozzie_and_kevin.jpg Cllr Kevin Price and Ozzie

 

 

rosie_and_cyclist.jpgCllr Rosie Moore and Martin Lucas-Smith from the cycling campaign 

 

plan.jpg A plan view

range_of_homes.jpg The final tally of homes to be built

 

16-10-17

FOLLOWING EARLIER DISCUSSIONS WITH RESIDENTS

The City Council and their joint venture partners, Hill Investment Partnership, now want to consult people about detailed options for the site includ-ing the proportion of affordable homes which can be built. 

A new exhibition will, be held from 

3pm to 8pm on Thursday 2nd NOVEMBER 

November in the Bharat Bhavan (former Library) at the entrance to the depot on Mill Rd. 

 

9-10-17

This evening Strategy and Resources Committee agreed the arrangements for the Cambridge Investment Partnership.  This is potentially going to be the vehicle for delivery of the homes on Mill Road Depot.  No decisions have yet been made as to how this site will be developed but we have an assurance that at least 50% of the homes will be council houses.

 

There will be a further public consultation on the 2nd November.  Watch this space for time and venue 

  

To be able to view the current draft proposals which provide an outline of how the scheme may look go to  https://www.millroad-development.co.uk

cambridge.gov.uk/sites/default/files/mill_road_depot_planning_and_development_brief_-_low_res_version.pdf

To be able to comment on the current proposals go to millroad-development https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CIPMRD  

To view the current SPD for this site go to https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/sites/default/files/mill_road_depot_planning_and_development_brief_-_low_res_version.pdf

Cambridge Cycle Campaign have produced a very clear piece on the depot summarised on their website

 

Mill Road Depot Consultation

12-11-17 There are currently 2500 applicants on the housing register and the council are going to develop the Mill Road Depot to deliver 187 new homes.  94 of these will be...

If you want to object email consultation@stphilips.cambs.sch.uk 

Daniel Zeichner MP slams forced academisation of Cambridge Primary School during Westminster debate

 
Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge has challenged the Secretary of State for Education in the House of Commons over her lack of regard for parental choice after making reference to the academisation of Cambridge primary school St Philip's.
 
Mr Zeichner said:Extraordinarily, although a consultation is going on, the parents already have been told that the outcome is a forgone conclusion.“ And then posed the question: “Why is the Secretary of State so opposed to parental choice?“
 
Parents of St Philip's have been asked to provide feedback on proposals that would see the Church of England school become an academy and join the Diocese of Ely Multi Academy Trust (DEMAT). The schools Interim Executive Board (IEB) has stated that they believe academisation will best serve the long term interests of the school after it received a warning notice from the Local Educational Authority last Autumn.  
 
 
There have been a number of questions raised over the transparency of the process after it was confirmed by the IEB that they incorrectly informed parents that academisation could not be stopped. Since the consultation process started a number of parents have voiced opposition to academisation with a group even coordinating a petition that Mr Zeichner understands has already received 70 signatures.
 
Daniel Zeichner said: “My primary concern is that the parents and the local community are involved in the future of St Philip's.“
 
“It is not proven that academisation is always in the best interest of schools and improvements at St Philip's over the last year show that this school was capable of making the necessary improvements and returning to the high standards previously recognised by OFSTED. Forced academisation is the ideological fixation of a Government that is failing to resource schools properly - I hope the Regional Schools Commissioner will take note of the views of parents and staff and show that this is a genuine consultation, not a done deal."

 

 

 

2-11-17

At the meeting on the 1st of November there was a considerable discussion about the academisation of St Phillips.  The NUT provided a spokesperson who gave their view on what was happening.  A number of other parties related to this declined to attend.  People who wish to submit a response to the consultation should email direct to consultation@stphilips.cambs.sch.uk 

 

1st November - there will be a meeting to discuss the potential academisation of St Phillips at Notts Own Scout Centre, Cyprus Road, Cambridge at 1930

The question i want to ask is, "if the Ely Diocese is proposing to bring St Phillips into its academy then why cant they help St Phillips as it currently stands?".

Try to keep some time free to attend the evening of the 1st as no final decision has been made about if St Phillips should become an academy.

 

11th October 2017 update

At a meeting held last night at St Phillips School it became clear that the letter sent to parents that the acadamisation of St Phillips was a done deal was incorrect.  There is still time to argue for St Phillips to remain within Local Government control. 

We also managed to obtain an agreement that the consultation will be extended by at least 28 days.  As a consequence there is still time to join in the consultation.  

We are also attempting to get the education authority to hold a public meeting - watch this space. 

 

Is St Philips sleepwalking towards being taken over by an Academy Chain?

Is it in the best interests of the school and our children?

 

Dear residents/parents,

As parents of children at St Philip’s, we are worried that our school is about to be turned into an Academy and that this is being done with no genuine consultation.  There was a brief meeting just before the summer for parents to discuss this with the IEB (Interim Executive Board) and representatives of DEMAT (the proposed Academy Trust).  At that meeting some parents asked if there was anything we could do to halt this process.  We were told clearly, “No”.  We also asked if there had ever been a point in the past at which we could have halted this process.  Again, we were told, “No”.  Parents apparently had no choice in the matter at all.

We’re no experts, but the research we have done since that meeting suggests that there certainly was a time when we could have had a meaningful say in this, and that in fact we can still do so now.

Both staff and parents have been led to believe that the issuing of a “Warning Notice” to the school, followed by the appointment of an IEB, meant that Academisation was inevitable and unavoidable. It is for this reason that the IEB (which does not include any representatives from the parent community) made an application for this to happen. 

However, the guidance from the Department of Education is clear that while the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) may make an academy order (i.e. force a school to become an academy) when a school has been issued with a warning notice, it does not have to do so, and different methods of intervention can be chosen. The same is also true if an IEB has been put in place – this does not give the RSC the power to make an academy order.  If a school fails to comply with a warning notice, the RSC does then have the power to make an academy order but even then they can still opt for a different method of intervention if they wish.  While we know a warning notice was served, it is not clear St Philips failed to comply with it.  We would hope that parents would have been informed if that was the case.  Either way, it seems that the IEB was not compelled to take us down the academisation route and parents should be given an opportunity to have a genuine discussion about whether or not academisation is the road we wish to go down.

If you share our concerns, or just want to hear more about what is going on, please come along to the meeting at the school next Tuesday (10th October) and make sure parent’s voices are heard.

Please see over for some reasons that academisation is not always the best choice for a school in our position to make.

Richard Rippin – richard.rippin@gmail.com – 07886 757987

Alison Hoare

SOME FACTS ABOUT ACADEMIES

 

Academies bring risk with no evidence of benefits

  • Academisation does not improve schools: Local Authorities have a better record in school improvement. 
  • Academisation is politically risky: a new government could change the system.
  • MATs (multi academy trusts) are vulnerable to take overs by other academy chains. They can be gifted to other MATs with no consultation. Academy schools can also become ‘orphan schools’ with no sponsor/MAT willing to support it. There are over 60 schools already in this predicament.
  • Many MATs have a board of trustees that is not connected to its member schools and have no elected staff or parent representatives.
  • Academisation is forever: there is no way back to local democratic control.

 

Conditions for our teachers

  • Academies are free to set the pay and conditions of staff.
  • Academisation has seen the emergence of greater inequality in education. For example, there is a growing disparity between the salaries of headteachers and the CEOs of some MATS; there are over 100 CEOs earning more than £175,000, while the average headteacher pay in secondary school is £80,000 to £120,000, and less for primary schools.
  • Academisation is opposed by all the teacher trade unions.

 

Competition between schools

  • Academisation is based on a belief that creating a ‘free market of competing schools’ is a better way to provide education. All the evidence from education systems around the world suggests collaboration is more effective. 
  • Academies are businesses: education is not a business.

 

What is needed for an excellent education?

The best way to create a good school, and an inspiring environment for children, is to have excellent teachers, who are secure in their jobs and have a supportive leadership. We now have all of these elements at St Philip’s!

The school does not need to become an Academy!

 

 

Is St Philips sleepwalking towards being taken over by an Academy Chain?

If you want to object email consultation@stphilips.cambs.sch.uk  Daniel Zeichner MP slams forced academisation of Cambridge Primary School during Westminster debate   Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge has challenged the Secretary of State for Education...

Sadly, the Tories on the County Council voted Labour down and passed the cuts to children's services.

 

UPDATE 12-10-17

COME TO THE demonstration, it will be at 0930 am on Tuesday 17th October at the Shire Hall, Castle Hill, Cambridge.

 

 

Romsey Labour Party delivered a leaflet to every home in Romsey asking people to fill in the questionnaire on children's services; we also held two stalls outside the Coop talking to people about our campaign to keep Romsey Mill as a centre for children's services.  The County Council received over 2000 comments on their proposals and we are sure our efforts were in part responsible for such a huge response.  As a result the County Council have decided that this matter is too serious for the sub committee on children's services and will be taking the debate to full council on the 17th October.

We are yet to hear if the demonstration planned for the 10th will now be moved to the 17th.  Watch this space!

 

 

1st September

We held another street stall outside the Coop at 1100 today to highlight the County Council's questionnaire on children's services.

saveromseymill.jpg 

Daniel Zeichner MP joins Labour Councillors in fighting threats to ‘vital’ Children’s Centres

Labour's Sure Start initiative - a programme that brought hope, knowledge and resources to children and parents, recognising early years are crucial in ending disadvantage and inequality – is at risk from a threatened £1,000,000 cut to the Children’s Centres from the Tory-run County Council.  Labour County Councillors have come together with Daniel Zeichner MP to fight this. 

On 17 July, the County Council launched a consultation on the future of children’s centres across Cambridgeshire which would see three-quarters of its current centres facing the axe, including four in Cambridge. 

In Cambridge City the proposals would mean the loss of four current children’s centres at Romsey Mill, Fawcett, Homerton and Cherry Hinton.  Some wards in Cambridge are amongst the most deprived in the County and the proportion of children assessed as achieving a good level of development at the end of their Reception Year - seen as a key indicator for school readiness - is lower in Cambridge compared to most other areas of the County.

The Tories propose making £1m cuts in children’s centre services by using ‘flexible’ and ‘pop-up’ services in libraries and private homes in place of the dedicated and successful Sure Start children’s centres created by the Labour government.

At a public meeting held last Saturday (26 August) at Chesterton Community College the fight-back began with the launch of the County Labour Group’s campaign to 'Save Our Children's Centres'.

Daniel Zeichner MP joined Councillor Claire Richards (Castle), Councillor Jocelynne Scutt (Arbury ) and Councillor Elisa Meschini (King’s Hedges) to listen to residents’ concerns about the proposed changes.

Councillor Richards said: “These proposals would see the number of children’s centres across the county slashed to just a quarter of existing provision with four being lost in Cambridge.  The County Council’s own data shows how valued these centres are as places where young families can come together to access support services, improve their knowledge of parenting and help children develop their confidence and learning.  If we are serious about tackling inequality between the children of families in the greatest need and their peers and improving child and family health  we have to maintain our centres and not cloak closures under the pretence of remodelling and ‘pop up’ provision.”

Daniel Zeichner MP added: “Children’s Centres are a vital source of advice and practical support for families, especially disadvantaged families.  For all the government’s rhetoric on improving the life chances of all our children, no matter their background, the reality is that national spending cuts of almost 50% since 2010 have already meant the closure of hundreds of children’s centres and some services reduced to a skeleton level.”

The County Council consultation runs until Friday 22 September and details, together with the County’s data briefing, can be found here:  https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/children-and-families/children-s-centres/children-s-centres-consultation/

Further public meetings are planned, including one in Cherry Hinton on 2nd September led by Labour’s Councillor Sandra Crawford.  This will be at Cherry Hinton Library Hub from 2.00pm to 3.00pm.

This is an appeal to all Camaraderie readers to show your support for Children’s Centre services one of the Labour government’s proudest achievements.  Please help us to protest against these closures by responding to the consultation questionnaire (details above).

 

11th August Update

Romsey Mill are holding a number of consultations the dates and times that can be found here https://www.facebook.com/romseymillandcherryhintonchildrenscentre/photos/a.541878546001495.1073741828.541843396005010/733040356885312/?type=3&theater

 

 

The County Council are seeking to save a further £1 million on Children's Services in the next financial year - this comes on the heels of a £1.55 million cut in the last 3 years.

Romsey_Mill.jpg

As a lead into the cuts the County Council are making, they are holding a consultation on a re-arrangement and reduction of Children's Centres throughout the county.  The County and City Labour Party are opposing this change and are supported by Daniel Zeichner (our Labour MP).

 

5th August 

Romsey Labour organised an information stall outside the Coop on Saturday 5th August to highlight what was happening.

 romsey_mill_table3.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also were handing out leaflets with the link to the consultation    

Part of this reduction in Children's Centres will mean Romsey Mill will no longer be a venue for County Council Services and there is every likelihood that Romsey Mill's team will no longer deliver the service that they have provided.  Many residents of Romsey and the wider city are more than aware of the excellence service that the team from Romsey Mill have provided and have been in touch with us to ask what can be done.

We are asking everyone to read the consultation document https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/news/consultation-starts-on-children-s-centre-proposals/

romsey_mill_table2.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then we hope people will complete the actual consultation  

As a means of alerting people to the potential outcome of this consultation, I am asking if in reality this is 'a consultation on 'Children's Centres' or is this taking place as a cover to cut services?  I am doing this because people are questioning if the County Council will use this consultation to actually cut the service that is currently provided and not just the centres where services are being delivered.

One potential answer to that question is "Yes," because it seems unlikely that the County Council can save the £1 million they are planning to save from Children's Services if they don't cut services?

What I find amazing is that the proposal claims it will 'create family friendly services in the heart of the community'.  What I ask is Romsey Mill doing at present?  The services they provide are at the heart of our community and they are family friendly.  

One user of Romsey Mill has said the following:

“When I had my first child I didn’t have any parent friends and I felt so isolated. It was suggested that I visited the local children’s centre and that was where I found my community.

“It was a real safety net for me and I don’t know what I would have done without it".

Here in Romsey we will be campaigning against the proposed cuts to services and this page will be updated as we develop our strategy.  In the meantime you may wish to complete the consultation 

We are about to start a campaign in Romsey to defend children’s services, and because it is Romsey Mill we have a responsibility to represent an institution that may operate county wide but has its home is here in Romsey.

Some facts about Romsey Mill.

Romsey Mill’s Children’s Centre and staff have been contracted by the County Council to deliver support & services for families since 2008: the current contract ends on 31st March 2018.

Romsey Mill are also contracted to deliver services and support for Cherry Hinton Children’s Centre, but the majority of the staff are seconded from the County Council: the current contract ends on 31st March 2018. 

Romsey Mill are also contracted by the County Council to deliver Teenage Parents Support across the whole of Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire and this is funded via Children’s Centre’s: the current contract ends on 31st March 2018. 

No discussion took place with Romsey Mill about the current proposals or the consultation that was agreed by Cambridgeshire County Council’s Children’s & Young Committee on 11th July and went live on the 18th.

There is confusion about the relevance and accuracy of data and information and it is argued that some of this is misleading.

Romsey Mill are arguing that it is detrimental to the wellbeing of children and families to make further cuts to the funding of services to support the most vulnerable families in Cambridgeshire. 

Romsey Mill also recognises the current provision is preventative and that if early intervention is lost this will inevitably cost the County Council, and wider society, much more money as problems intensify and escalate and safeguarding, social care, police and health services are required to intercede later.

 

The County Council are seeking to save a further £1 million on Children's Services in the next financial year - this comes on the heels of a £1.55 million cut in the last 3 years.

As a lead in to the cuts the County Council are making they are holding a consultation on a re-arrangement and reduction of Children's Centres throughout the county.  The County and City Labour Party are opposing this change and are supported by Daniel Zeichner (our Labour MP).

 

Part of this reduction in Children's Centres will mean Romsey Mill will no longer be a venue for County Council Services and there is every likelihood that Romsey Mill's team will no longer deliver the service that they have provided.  Many residents of Romsey and the wider city are more than aware of the excellence service that the team from Romsey Mill have provided and have been in touch with us to ask what can be done.

Romsey_Mill.jpg

 

Well first, we are asking everyone to read the consultation document https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/news/consultation-starts-on-children-s-centre-proposals/

And then we hope people will complete the actual consultation  

As a means of alerting people to the potential outcome of this consultation, I am asking if in reality this is 'a consultation on 'Children's Centres' or is this taking place as a cover to cut services?  I am doing this because people are questioning if the County Council will use this consultation to actually cut the service that is currently provided and not just the centres where services are being delivered.

One potential answer to that question is "Yes," because it seems unlikely that the County Council can save the £1 million they are planning to save from Children's Services if they don't cut services?

What I find amazing is that the proposal claims it will 'create family friendly services in the heart of the community'.  What I ask is Romsey Mill doing at present?  The services they provide are at the heart of our community and they are family friendly.  

One user of Romsey Mill has said the following:

“When I had my first child I didn’t have any parent friends and I felt so isolated. It was suggested that I visited the local children’s centre and that was where I found my community.

“It was a real safety net for me and I don’t know what I would have done without it".

Here in Romsey we will be campaigning against the proposed cuts to services and this page will be updated as we develop our strategy.  In the meantime you may wish to complete the consultation 

We are about to start a campaign in Romsey to defend children’s services, and because it is Romsey Mill we have a responsibility to represent an institution that may operate county wide but has its home is here in Romsey.

Some facts about Romsey Mill.

Romsey Mill’s Children’s Centre and staff have been contracted by the County Council to deliver support & services for families since 2008: the current contract ends on 31st March 2018.

Romsey Mill are also contracted to deliver services and support for Cherry Hinton Children’s Centre, but the majority of the staff are seconded from the County Council: the current contract ends on 31st March 2018. 

Romsey Mill are also contracted by the County Council to deliver Teenage Parents Support across the whole of Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire and this is funded via Children’s Centre’s: the current contract ends on 31st March 2018. 

No discussion took place with Romsey Mill about the current proposals or the consultation that was agreed by Cambridgeshire County Council’s Children’s & Young Committee on 11th July and went live on the 18th.

There is confusion about the relevance and accuracy of data and information and it is argued that some of this is misleading.

Romsey Mill are arguing that it is detrimental to the wellbeing of children and families to make further cuts to the funding of services to support the most vulnerable families in Cambridgeshire. 

Romsey Mill also recognises the current provision is preventative and that if early intervention is lost this will inevitably cost the County Council, and wider society, much more money as problems intensify and escalate and safeguarding, social care, police and health services are required to intercede later.

One Mother has this to say about Romsey Mill Children's Services

“I first visited Romsey Mill when I was 17, and pregnant with my first child. I started antenatal there and it was a lifeline, I had no idea what to expect when I fell pregnant. I had no friends with children and was on my own. I learnt most of the things I know from Romsey Mill. The group was friendly and helpful. I was very isolated and had post natal depression and this was a huge lifeline. They would pick me up and take us to group. The family workers helped me no end with various things , benefits , housing, relationships , other organisations. I then went on to have a second child and stayed on at Romsey Mill by doing courses , such as maths , English , first aid etc . It was a great help for my confidence and to gain some kind of education whilst having free childcare . I also kept and made a lot of friends.”

 

 

 See what the Cambridge News has to say: 

http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/i-dont-know-what-would-13350311

Decisions relating to the final proposals for Children’s Centre Services will be taken by the Children and Young People Committee meets in the autumn. 

To protect services currently being offered 2 children by  please fill in questionnaire 

Taken from the County Council's website https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/news/consultation-starts-on-children-s-centre-proposals/ 

A consultation to redesign Children’s Centre Services has gone live, which aims to ensure every child thrives in Cambridgeshire. 

Families can read more about the consultation here and share their views.

The wide ranging plans, from Cambridgeshire County Council, propose to create ‘family friendly’ services in the heart of communities. It builds on the current offer, offering support to families of all ages, from expectant parents to young adults. The proposals look to deliver the same level of services in a more local way, so those families can access them easily.

The new children centre services will be more flexible and tailored for each community delivered in places they know or already use, and in doing so, the Council will make savings of £1 million.

The proposals will also see Children’s Centres work more closely with parents and health professionals to provide a set of integrated services that seamlessly support communities. This service could include health visitors, midwifery and speech therapists. The new approach includes:

  • 10 Child and Family Centres, delivered across 15 buildings, that will continue to offer services in places of high need with extended opening hours, with skilled staff able to meet families needs
  • 12 Child and Family Zones - these willuse community spaces, such as libraries and community centres, to deliver a range of services, including baby and toddler groups, activities for families with disabilities and places for community groups to meet. A video of a Child and Family zone can be seen here
  • Outreach Programme – The Child and Family Centres workforce will deliver support across a range of community venues so families, particularly in rural locations, can access a regular programme of services and responsive support.
  • Online Offer – there will be a comprehensive online offer to provide information and advice to help and support families

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Simon Bywater, Chairman of the Children and Young People Committee, said: “The welfare of families across Cambridgeshire is our top priority. They have told us that Children Centre Services are not always in places where they are needed most.  We want to change this to ensure we have the right services, support and opportunities available for families if and when they need us.

“This is the right time to be setting out our proposals as we need to make sure that these key services are able to meet the challenges of the future. However, we cannot shape these services without your views. Local people are the experts on their communities and know what is needed where they live. Whatever your views, we would welcome your feedback by inviting you to take part in our consultation.”

The consultation ends on 22 September 2017. Hard copy versions of the consultation can be found at Children Centres and Libraries. Frontline staff will also be at a range of events across the summer. Details of these events can be found on the consultation.

Website content can be translated for speakers of other language using the inbuilt google translate function. We can provide versions of the consultation in other languages and braille on request.  Please contact ask.childrenscentres@cambridgeshire.gov.uk.

Decisions relating to the final proposals for Children’s Centre Services will be taken by the Children and Young People Committee meets in the autumn. 

 

Meanwhile Labour and Jeremy Corbin are offering this

 

 

DFuhreOXUAAnqPK.jpg-large.jpeg

The consultation on Children's Services

Sadly, the Tories on the County Council voted Labour down and passed the cuts to children's services.   UPDATE 12-10-17 COME TO THE demonstration, it will be at 0930 am...

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