Friday, 27 February 2009

Winter Gritting

Now that the weather has returned to a more familiar pattern and salt supplies have been restored, I have been told that the normal gritting routes have been resumed. There are also gangs of workers travelling the county repairing the many potholes that have sprung up in the bad weather.Some of these will be temporary repairs until the weather has improved sufficiently to carry out a permanent repair. If you spot a pothole, please call 0345 045 5212 or click onto to report it.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Winter Gritting

I have just received the following from the Director of Highways and thought it best to share it with you as soon as possible. I know that there have been complaints about gritting - no-one is ever happy, but I would like to put on record my thanks to Billy Gipp, who grits the roads in Longstanton, Over and Willingham. He can be seen driving a lorry called the BFG - Big Friendly Gritter.

You may be aware of the national shortage of rocksalt in the country. To address this the LGA and the Highways Agency have now set up a new system where deliveries are prioritised to those authorities in the most need. This has meant Cambridgeshire is no longer getting the deliveries it had been as authorities which are in the most need get first priority. I have discussed the challenges that this sets us with the Leader, Portfolio Holder and Chief Executive who have been kept appraised of the situation throughout last week.
In order to make sure we can grit as much as possible with the rocksalt we have the Council has, this evening, revised our main gritting routes. This means we will be gritting A roads and a priority network of B roads as well as waterside roads and access to hospitals.
More information on the roads we are gritting is available at:
This will be updated tomorrow with the roads we usually grit but are no longer doing so. We are emphasising to residents that they must take extra care as routes they are used to be gritted will not be. As soon as we can secure more supplies then we will reassess this suspension of gritting.
This is a difficult decision that we did not want to take and road safety is our paramount consideration. However, if we were to continue gritting the normal main routes our supplies would last for about three days, This measure, together with careful management of the amount of salt we spread per square meter will secure a couple of additional days of gritting. We will continue to advise GoEast of our stock situation so that they can supply us later in the week if needed.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Longstanton Park and Ride

I have received the following from the County Council about yet more temporary traffic lights along the B1050. I am sure I am not the only one who will be very relieved when the work is finally completed:

Work to build the new Park and Ride at Longstanton will begin on Monday (2 February). To make sure vehicles can easily access the Park and Ride when it opens the B1050 will be widened to build access roads.
For clearance work to take place temporary off peak (9.30am to 4pm) traffic lights will be in place from Monday 2 February until Sunday 15 February. To safely carry out the construction of the new access roads temporary traffic lights will be needed on a permanent basis from Monday 16 February restricting the road to a single lane. This work will be completed in the summer

Council Tax increases

This is the time of year when the council makes a decision on the level of increase in council tax. It is based on the amount of grant we get from government and the spending pressures we have. For as long as I can remember Cambridgeshire has always received an increase in government grant that is much smaller than most other authorities and this year was no different. At just 2% we were almost bottom - yet again. This means that the burden falls on the council tax payer. Our inflation pressures are similar to many of our residents - rising energy costs being the main one, but our rising population also means that we have to find money to pay for extra services. The council has looked hard at where savings can be made and next week will be proposing an increase in council tax of 3.9%. I can fully appreciate that this is above the rate of inflation and in the current economic recession might be seen as a large rise, but we will continue to have to make hard choices. As a gesture councillors have also decided to forgo their increase in allowance this year, which would have been 2.7%