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Welcome to Cambridgeshire Matters February 2024 Cambridgeshire Matters is our monthly newsletter which aims to share good news, highlights and updates from across Cambridgeshire to help our network of district, city and community members stay informed.
Find out about the great work that is taking place to support everyone in the county. Share this newsletter with your communities and feel welcome to use any of the features in your own newsletter or on social media.

County agrees budget: Highways and anti-poverty services prioritised

Cllr Elisa Meschini, Cllr Tom Sanderson, and Cllr Lucy Nethsingha

On Tuesday 13 February, a meeting of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Full Council agreed a balanced budget for 2024/25. 

The county council had to close a gap of £37.4m – with 75% of the council’s net spend now being funded from council tax. 

The council has also prioritised a number of key areas, based on resident feedback from the Quality of Life survey, and are aligned with the vision to make Cambridgeshire greener, fairer and more caring. 

These priorities include sustaining critical adults and children’s social care, highways funding, and support for vulnerable communities. 

The county council agreed to a council tax rise of 4.99% (2% for adult social services) – raising £17.5m of local income to help maintain and protect critical services for the most vulnerable communities. 
Read the full story on our website.   

Have your say: Bus lane enforcement applications in South Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire

Image of a bus lane

There is still time for residents to have their say about two proposed applications regarding civil powers to enforce bus lane and bus gate restrictions in South Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire. 

The surveys close on Monday 11 March. 

Currently, bus lane and bus gate restrictions can only be enforced by the police. As part of the proposed changes, Cambridgeshire County Council is applying to the Department of Transport to transfer enforcement responsibilities from the police to the local authority. This would see offences treated as a civil matter and a penalty charge notice would be issued. 

Find the Huntingdonshire survey here, and the South Cambridgeshire survey here.   

Have your say on creating Healthy Places

Image of a park in St Ives, Cambridgeshire

Our public health team is inviting Cambridgeshire residents to have their say on how new and existing communities can be healthy, supportive and inclusive.

Work is currently underway to develop the Healthy Places Joint Strategic Needs Assessment for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, a piece of work which will support the development of healthier, easy to access, and inclusive communities. To inform this, the team has launched a survey asking for views on access to healthcare services, inclusive and accessible green spaces, opportunities for active travel and healthy play and leisure, and the provision of affordable healthy food options.

The survey is open until Monday 15 April at 5pm. Complete the survey here

It will take around 10-15 minutes to fill in and may be completed on behalf of yourself or someone you care for. If you’d prefer to complete a paper copy of the survey, you can pick one up from your local library or New Shire Hall from Monday 26 February.

If you have any questions about the survey or the Healthy Places Joint Strategic Needs Assessment for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, please email  

Make sure you and your family are protected against measles
Image of a nurse writing on a clipboard

With cases of measles rising in some areas of the country, we are asking everyone to check their MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination status and get vaccinated if not up to date. 

Measles is a highly infectious illness which can be very unpleasant and sometimes lead to serious complications. Two doses of the MMR vaccination give long-lasting protection against measles. 

In the UK, the MMR vaccination is given as part of the routine childhood vaccination schedule. The vaccine is free, available from GPs and anyone can catch up at any age on missed doses. An alternative MMR vaccination is available which does not contain pork products. 

Walk-in vaccination clinics are taking place across Cambridgeshire. These are for anyone over the age of one year who is not up to date with their MMR vaccinations. Details of upcoming clinics can be found here.

Individuals should check their vaccination status if possible before attending one of these clinics. Vaccination records are in a child’s personal health record (red book). Adults can check if they’ve been vaccinated with their GP or vaccination records from childhood.

Further information on measles including symptoms to look out for can be found on the NSH website.   

Share your views on electric vehicles and planning for more charging points

Image of an electric charger plugged into an electric car

With more and more electric cars on our roads, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority are asking people across the county for their views on electric vehicles (EV) and electric vehicle charging points. 

Working with Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council, the Combined Authority are seeking local opinions to help plan for more EV charging points in the region to help meet demand. 

The Combined Authority is responsible for transport planning in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and its recently approved Local Transport and Connectivity Plan aims to transform journeys in the region, including lowering greenhouse gas emissions to support net zero carbon emissions targets. 

The survey only takes five minutes to complete, and can be completed here. Alternatively, email your comments to or request a hard copy of the survey by emailing the same address or calling 01480 277180.

The survey closes on 26 March 2024. Download the poster to share in your community spaces.   

Download the ’50 things to do before you’re five’ app for fun experiences

Image of a parent and a child playing with building blocks

Parents and carers across Cambridgeshire can download the ‘50 things to do before you’re five‘ app, which includes free or low-cost activities for you and your child to experience together.

Each of the ‘50 things‘ on the app have been carefully developed by education experts, early years practitioners and parents to provide a diverse and educationally enriching range of activities for children aged 0-5 years old. 

All the suggestions on the app are free or low-cost experiences that include indoor, outdoors, seasonal, home-based, and out-and-about activities – that are not only fun but help with learning and language development. 

Also on the app is the option to create a memory bank of those special moments – to revisit, reflect on, and look back on later in life.

Download the app on the iOS app store or via Google Play.    

Read a Little Aloud sessions in libraries

Image of a reading group listening to an author read a book

Why not join one of Cambridgeshire Libraries ‘Read A Little Aloud’ sessions and listen to volunteers reading aloud in a friendly and relaxed environment. 

Six back, relax and listen – the sessions are a great opportunity to listen to a variety of poems and extracts from books, and discover authors who might be new to you. 

The monthly themed sessions take place in different locations across Cambridgeshire, and are drop-in events with no need to book in advance. To find the closest library to you offering ‘Read A Little Aloud’ sessions, please visit the Cambridgeshire Libraries website.   

Further updates from around Cambridgeshire

Find below an additional range of news, highlights and updates from around the county this month:
* Wisbech incinerator decision announced by Government.
* Honorary Alderman award for former ‘father of the council’
* Rural business opportunities on three council-owned farm sites.  * Access information and resources for your health and wellbeing on the Be Well in Cambridgeshire website
* Access support with running or starting up a business with the Business and IP Centre Cambridgeshire.

Updates from the Communities Service

Image of a person holding a smart phone

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise between the nation, the government and the Armed Forces community –  ensuring that those who serve, and have served, in the Armed Forces and their families, are treated fairly and are not disadvantaged by their service.

The Covenant covers all serving personnel, regular and reservists, and their families, as well as bereaved families, veterans and cadet adult volunteers. The Armed Forces Covenant Officer, Tommy Kelly, sits within the Communities Service, and plays a vital role across the county.

One very practical way all of us can support this work is to download the Forces Connect app on our smartphones. Hosted by Surrey County Council, and with the Cambridgeshire section maintained by Tommy, the app contains links to, and information about, support and advice for the Armed Forces Community.

There are links across all support areas to national and Cambridgeshire-based civilian and military-focussed organisations. The Forces Connect app is free, and downloading ensures you can provide signposting support for a member of the Armed Forces Community.

Download the Forces Connect app

You can download the app on both Google Play and the Apple app store. Use the links below or simply search “Forces Connect” in your preferred app store:
Forces Connect on the Apple app Store
Forces Connect on Google Play
For more information about the Armed Forces Covenant, please contact Tommy Kelly.   

Updates from Care Together
Carer holding the hand of an older person
Over 1,000 older people have already benefitted from Care Together

In the summer of 2023, we saw a number of the projects funded by Care Together start to deliver opportunities and impact for older adults across Cambridgeshire.

To date, over 1,000 older adults have benefitted from projects funded by Care Together. These have been co-produced with local communities, in partnership with City, District and Parish Councils, NHS colleagues and of course our vibrant Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector.

Projects that are making a significant difference in their communities include the Cambridge Independent Living Scheme Activities Coordinator, Over Day Centre Memory Café (in South Cambridgeshire), Cambridgeshire ACRE Community Hubs and Carers Neighbourhood Social Prescriber (both in East Cambridgeshire), Love to Move (in Huntingdonshire) and the Fenland Ferry Project Lunch Club. To find these and many other services in your community, search in your local area here.

The impact of these projects has included increased physical activity and better health outcomes for older adults, respite for carers of those with dementia, social inclusion in rural communities and urban centres, and increased quality of life for older adults across the county.

In addition, our team of Care Micro-Enterprise Development Officers have helped over 30 new Micro-Providers (CMEs) to provide local care and support across the county, with capacity for over 2,000 hours per week. You can find out more about CMEs on the dedicated webpage here.

For more information, as well as video interviews with partners and people accessing services themselves, watch our celebratory video made just before Christmas 2023, or contact the team at  

Improve your digital know-how with courses from Cambridgeshire Skills
Cambridgeshire Skills

Improve your digital know-how this year with Cambridgeshire Skills, including the brand new, free online course ‘Introduction to AI using ChatGPT‘. 

Learn more about ChatGPT and its capabilities, explore the ethical considerations in chatbot development, and discover practical applications of ChatGPT in real world scenarios. 

Browse the Cambridgeshire Skills online directory to find more digital skills courses, including ‘Advanced formulas using Microsoft Excel‘ and ‘Digital Functional Skills Level 1‘.  

Library coat rails keeping communities warm over winter Image of winter coats on a rail

Libraries in Cambridgeshire are helping dozens of people to stay warm this winter by offering free coats to those in the community experiencing financial hardship.

Libraries in Bar Hill and March, run by Cambridgeshire County Council, have a rail of winter coats that visitors can discreetly take without any questions being asked.

The rails in both libraries stock coats for adults and children and have proved very popular. Both libraries are still welcoming donations and plan to keep the rails available to anyone that might need a warm coat until the spring.

March Library is planning to replace the coat rail with other clothing soon to be in high demand, and Bar Hill Library is happy to receive suggestions of other services is can replace the coat rail with over spring and summer – if you have any ideas, get in touch with colleagues in the library, over social media, or by calling 0345 045 5225.

All our libraries are warm and welcoming spaces open to everyone. During particularly cold weather remember that you can visit your local library as a warm hub whilst taking advantage of their wide range of services. 

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