County Council Update - 7th April 2020

Published: 07 April 2020

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough leaders send their best wishes to the PM

Following last night’s admission of Prime Minister Boris Johnson to intensive care after his Coronavirus symptoms worsened, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough leaders have extended their best wishes to the Prime Minister and his family.

Councillor Steve Count, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “We are all thinking of the Prime Minister and his family. I’m sure he will be heartened to see all the messages of support that have gathered online overnight when he makes a full recovery.”

Councillor John Holdich, leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “Like many of us, I was shocked when I heard the news last night that Boris Johnson’s symptoms had worsened. My thoughts and prayers are with the Prime Minister and his family and I wish him a full recovery.”
New £5m Communities Capital Fund to help Cambridgeshire community-led projects

A new £5m fund aimed at creating opportunities and improving lives and skills across Cambridgeshire has been launched by Cambridgeshire County Council today (Tuesday, 7 April).

The Communities Capital Fund will support projects that will make positive changes in the community, bringing people together and meeting the priorities that matter most to local people.

Grants of up to £500,000 are available to support community-led projects which improve the health, wellbeing, social and economic opportunities and outcomes in communities.

Projects will need to show how they will:

  • Bring people together and involve them in the design and implementation
  • Improve local places and spaces that are important to communities
  • Help to address local priorities e.g. increasing skills, reducing loneliness, improving physical and mental health
  • Improve access to new or existing services or activities e.g. sports, leisure, education
  • Demonstrate match funding – this include in kind contributions, land transfer, etc
  • Minimise any potential impact on carbon emissions

The fund is open to any voluntary, community organisation or social enterprise alongside public bodies such as district, parish and town Councils, schools or any other organisation that can demonstrate how their project will benefit Cambridgeshire residents.  Applications can relate to buildings, land, vehicles, equipment or any other capital related item.

The Communities Capital Fund was announced by Cambridgeshire County Council Leader Councillor Steve Count as part of the 20/21 Budget in February and its rollout will be overseen by the council’s Communities and Partnership Committee.

Community organisations that wish to submit an application must do so through their county councillor or community champion to ensure that projects meets with the strategic aims of the council and will add real value to local communities.

“We want to encourage bids for projects which will help to fill gaps in provision or service, and where the community wants some support to help them take the lead in meeting local need.  For example, we want this fund to help more rural communities to have the same opportunities to engage with services or activities that more urban places already enjoy,” said Cllr Steve Criswell, Chairman of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Communities and Partnerships Committee.

Further details of the Communities Capital Fund are available on the Cambridgeshire County Council website.
Dr Liz Robin vlog about staying home this Easter

Today Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health for Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council, reminds us that the national ‘Stay at Home’ rules need to be stuck to and shares details of the Councils’ ‘Stay at Home this Easter’ campaign – launched yesterday on Facebook and Twitter - to provide ideas of things to do at home and encourage us all to try something new.

Click here to watch today’s video blog.
Volunteers build protective screen in post office

A local community and volunteer group has pulled together to keep a vital village post office open during the coronavirus outbreak.

Sawtry Post Office was due to close last week over safety concerns for its staff and customers.

After hearing the news, the Sawtry Covid-19 action group and Councillor Simon Bywater decided what was needed was a Perspex screen on the counter to protect individuals and allow the post office to remain open.

They contacted the directors of local engineering company Spirotech, brothers Russell and Dave Gadsby, who provided the materials they needed.

The team from Spirotech worked to build the protective screen and the post office has remained open and continues to provide services for local residents.  They then did the same at Boots pharmacy and have started work at another local shop, John Greens Newsagent.

Councillor Simon Bywater, at Cambridgeshire County Council and local member for Sawtry and Stilton, said: “If the post office had closed it wouldn’t have only affected Sawtry, but all the villages around it too. Russell and David have been very generous in their support for the village and I want to say thank you on behalf of the community.”

Director of Spirotech, Russell Gadsby, said: “We’re part of this community and wanted to do our bit so we’re only too happy to help.

"We’re so pleased the post office has managed to remain open, particularly as lots of people in the community rely so heavily on it.”
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough prepare for temporary mortuary facility following coronavirus outbreak

Work has begun on preparing to site a temporary mortuary facility at Marshall Aerospace and Defence in Cambridge, if existing provision is not sufficient due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Marshall Aerospace and Defence has given us one of its hangers as a temporary facility and work will start on Wednesday (8 April) to ensure the facility is ready if needed.

Cambridgeshire County Council Leader Cllr Steve Count said: “Local authorities have a duty to ensure that temporary mortuary facilities are available, and while we hope we don’t have to use them, we have to be ready.

“We’re grateful to Marshall Aerospace and Defence in playing their part in helping us deal with this emergency situation and we really appreciate them coming forward in this way.”

The facility will be a pre-fabricated building inside the hangar and will only be used by funeral directors and those looking after the site and run to the highest standards.  There will be no public access or post mortem activity taking place at the site.
Houghton Primary share Easter joy

Staff at Houghton Primary School have put their own needs aside to help families whose lives have been affected by the lockdown.

The school became aware that some families of students who are not in receipt of free school meals were beginning to struggle because the Covid-19 outbreak has meant some parents are no longer able to work.

Following a plea in a closed staff Facebook group, donations of food flooded in, enabling staff to put together food packages for help families over the Easter period.  A member of staff’s husband even made a special trip to the supermarket to get fresh food to donate to the packages.

Georgina Young, headteacher at Houghton Primary School, said: “I’m so proud of the amazing team we have at Houghton Primary School. None of our staff want any of our students or their families to struggle over Easter, particularly at what is usually a time of celebration. We want to do what we can for those families whose circumstances have changed since the Coronavirus outbreak began, and I know our food parcels will be well appreciated. On behalf of our school can I wish all our students, parents and staff a happy and safe Easter.”

You can keep up-to-date with any changes to our services on our websites:
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