2G3S response to Green Infrastructure Survey

2G3S have responded to a ‘Green Infrastructure Survey’ organised by LUC (environmental management consultants) on behalf of SCDC and CCC.  You can see our response here.  We also submitted a map (based on Stapleford and Great Shelford Neighbourhood Plan recommendations).

Many thanks to Yasmin who co-ordinated the work on this.

Notes

Earlier this year, South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City Council appointed LUC to provide evidence informing the creation of an enhanced and expanded green (and blue) infrastructure network in Greater Cambridge (defined as the combined area of Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire districts).

The project specification includes a number of related work strands:

  1. Assess existing network
  2. Identify priority areas for enhancement
  3. Identify refined priority areas and identify deliverable opportunities for enhancement
  4. Policy development advice
  5. Further potential work, including provision of expert advice to Plan Making and Development Plan Examination.

The work, which will extend to January 2024, will form part of the Councils’ development plan-making process in relation to green infrastructure and biodiversity, and will also identify green infrastructure opportunities that could be delivered outside of the planning system.  The current survey is part of that process.

 

Cambridgeshire County Council has had a Green Infrastructure strategy since at least 2006.  The strategy demonstrates how green infrastructure can be used to help to achieve four objectives:

  • To reverse the decline in biodiversity
  • To mitigate and adapt to climate change
  • To promote sustainable growth and economic development
  • To support healthy living and well-being

The Time is Now meeting with Anthony Browne 29 June 2020

Overall around 14,000 people signed up to the lobby nationally, and up to 270 MPs held meetings throughout the week.  The mass lobby had been arranged at fairly short notice so that it could precede the Chancellor’s statement early this month; so all in all an amazing effort by all concerned.

We had our meeting with S Cambs MP Anthony Browne on Monday 29 June.  There were 40 people at the Zoom meeting, of whom about a quarter were 2G3S newsletter subscribers – well done everyone!

Mr Browne had asked for questions to be presubmitted; people could also submit questions on the day via the ‘Chat’ facility.  He read the questions out himself and managed to get through 20 questions in the hour he had allocated.  Inevitably there were several questions that were not reached, including all the follow-up questions.

Sam Hall, Director of the Conservative Environmental Network, was also present and gave some supplementary answers.

A couple of us took notes and you can read our full report, as accurate as we can make it, below.  How well or satisfactorily Mr Browne answered the questions is for you to decide.

TTIN SCambs Q&A Anthony Browne 29.6.20docx

 

Home Composting

Home compost needs a 50/50 mixture of ‘green’ (nitrogen rich) and ‘brown’ (carbon rich) materials:

Green: fruit and vegetable peelings, tea leaves and coffee grounds, old flowers and grass cuttings.

Brown: cardboard egg boxes, small amounts of scrunched up newspaper, used bedding from vegetarian pets, shredded paper and garden pruning.

Meat, fish, dairy and cooked food cannot be home composted, but they can go in your green food waste bin that the Council collects as this goes through a different process.*

The Council provides free kitchen food waste caddies to S Cambs residents to collect food waste in, before putting it in either your green bin or your own composting heap.

( *Note: Compostable or biodegradable ‘plastic’ corn starch liners, such as BioBag, cannot be accepted in green bins, even if they are EN13432 certified or display the compostable seedling logo.  These do not compost quickly enough for the council’s fast composting process.)

Edited extract from the SCDC Zero Carbon Communities newsletter, issue 2.

South Cambs District Council: latest on Zero Carbon plans

South Cambridgeshire’s Zero Carbon Strategy was adopted on 21 May 2020.  It outlines how Council will support the district to halve carbon emissions by 2030 and reduce them to zero by 2050, including delivering a reduction in their own carbon footprint of at least 45% by 2025, (on a 2019 baseline), and at least 75% by 2030.

More details here.

S Cambs publishes a  quarterly Zero Carbon Communities newsletter with the latest news about climate change action both at the Council and within the District.  The second issue (with a link to the first) is available here.

See an edited extract from the newsletter about home composting.

Proposal for a Cambridge Great Park to encircle the city

From ‘The Cambridge Independent’, 14 April 2020:

“Campaigners who want to see a new Cambridge Great Park for the city to protect green belt land are asking the public to add their own ideas to the proposals.

Led by retired architect Neil Ruffles, the group has already submitted an outline idea to Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council to be considered as part of their next Local Plan.

Now they want to hear from anyone who has a suggestion about how they could link up local green spaces into one huge green space that is open to the public and what they would want to see in the park………

……….to submit your ideas, email *protected email*.”

See the full article for more details.

Ask the County Council to reduce mowing of verges

The charity Plantlife are urging councils to reduce verge cutting.  They say:

“Roads have fallen quiet as lockdown is observed, as has the drone of many councils’ mowers. Councils are under considerable pressure due to the Coronavirus crisis and many have understandably reduced grass cutting down to essential management to maintain visibility and ensure road safety. There’s hope that reduced cutting frequencies might be a silver lining for verge wild flowers, giving once-familiar flowers, such as white campion, betony, greater knapweed and harebell, the chance to grow, flower and set seed. 

As well allowing precious wild flowers the opportunity to thrive, reducing cutting and adopting a more wildlife-friendly management regime will also help tackle the climate crisis. Over 300 local authorities have now declared a climate emergency, so sustaining reduced cutting regimes will also help councils bring down carbon emissions.”

You can sign a petition to the county council here

Coronavirus epidemic

Please note that, as you would expect, we are not able to meet in person during the current lockdown conditions.

Planning is still going ahead online.  Contact us if you would like to participate.

Pioneering WaterWorks project on the Fens

Water Works is a two year project aiming to look at ways to develop a more sustainable future for fenland resources – its soil, water and people. The project is trialing new farming methods designed to protect our precious peat soils and water resources, by using new science and technology to develop and monitor these techniques and by applying for UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status to support and unite people to create a thriving fenland economy and countryside.

The grant-funded project is managed by a partnership between the Wildlife Trust Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire; Cambridgeshire ACRE; The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology; and the University of East London.

For more info read the blog here

and for the latest on how they will introduce the amazing sphagnum moss and other plants, read here

 

Greater Cambridge Local Plan

Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council are working together to develop a Local Plan for the area, to cover the period until 2040.  The big themes are:

  • Climate change – how the plan should contribute to achieving net zero carbon and the mitigation and adaptation measures that should be required through developments.
  • Biodiversity and green spaces – how the plan can contribute to a ‘doubling nature’ vision, the improvement of existing green spaces and the creation of more.
  • Wellbeing and social inclusion – how the plan can help spread the benefits of growth, helping to create healthy and inclusive communities.
  • Great places – how the plan can protect what is already great about the area, and design new developments to create special places and spaces.

Further information here

Details on how to comment here.  The closing date for comments is 24 February 2020 at 5 pm.