Friday, 30 October 2009

Half Term almost over

I was expecting a quiet week this week as the local school children are on half term. It hasn’t turned out that way!

I seem to have spent most of the week at Shire Hall looking at the budget for Adult Social Care for the remainder of this year, the provision of secondary and sixth form school places for local children, overfull buses travelling in to the city (watch this space on Monday as we’ve been promised a bigger Citi4 bus running at Peak times) and the expansion of the A14.

Roll on business as usual next week!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Surely there's a better way .....

On the first day of the Harrogate Conference last week, we lost most of our pre-arranged MP speakers as they were recalled to London to vote on what appeared to be a three line whip. They then returned later that evening.

I’m all in favour of tradition, but with the current communication facilities available to us surely there has to be a better way for MPs to vote.

What price the train fares, carbon footprint and working time for such an old fashioned way of doing things?

Shaping the future

I spent three days in Harrogate last week at the Children and Adult Services Conference. There were many topics of discussion – probably the most pressing one being the Green Paper on “Shaping the Future” for adult social care.

The statistics relating to the future cost of care for adults is truly terrifying given the declining number of adults in paid employment for the number of retired people. When the system was first set up in 1948, there were 15 people in employment for every one retired person. Today that figure has dropped to between 3 or 4.

As a Council we’re currently formulating our response to the Green Paper – all responses have to be back by 13th November.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

That aching feeling

As the County Council were debating TIF on Tuesday – and the need to do something to curb congestion in Cambridgeshire – all Lib Dem Cllrs left their cars at home and explored alternative ways of getting to Shire Hall.

Many years ago, as a reasonably fit teenager, I used to cycle from one end of Guernsey to the other to get to school. For those that know the Island I wasn’t quite fit enough to manage the Vals des Terres by peddle power so I walked up that part – but did cycle the rest of the way.

Tuesday morning reminded me of why it’s important to get more of us out of our cars and on to bikes – and when it stops hurting I know that I will appreciate it!

On a more serious note it was actually something that I will be doing on a more regular basis – weather permitting – and it was a real eye opener as to what cyclists face. In my case this included:

A motorist who crossed in front of me whilst I was on a clearly marked cycle path – because they didn’t want to wait for the car in front to turn right

The vegetation that would have taken an eye out if I hadn’t been wearing glasses

The overhanging low tree branch ready to knock someone off their bike

The non visible white lines in Hardwick that depicted the cycle path many years ago.

All noted and I’ll be reporting them.

And if any of you see me out in my yellow coat peddling – be kind and overtake gently – I may have discovered an alternative use for the L plates I took off my motorcycle just a few months ago!