20 November 2015
I hope you like the masthead to my weekly update. As Winston Churchill said "To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” I don’t think I will be changing often enough to achieve perfection but I thought it was probably time to give the heading a new look!
BREAKFAST MEETING WITH INWARD INVESTORS:
This week began with an informal breakfast meeting on Monday 16th November with potential Japanese investors to the area. Mary and I were joined at the meeting by Darren Hill and Tracey Harding of ECDC who helped to emphasise the advantages of investing in East Cambridgeshire, outlining its close proximity to the A14/M11, Cambridge Science hub and Newmarket and District’s racing industry.
On Tuesday 17th November, Neal Andrews from Cambridgeshire Trading Standards accompanied officers from the ECDC Commercial Team on their food inspections. Whilst ECDC officers inspected for food hygiene and safety, Neal Andrews looked at compliance with allergen laws and checked for adulterated spirits.
The Commercial Team sent information to all businesses when the new legislation on allergens came in last year and Neal Andrews was pleased to note a high level of compliance in our businesses. And more good news; the spirits tested were the real thing too!
The Local Government Boundary Commission for England released its draft recommendations this week on the new electoral arrangements for East Cambridgeshire District Council.
The Commission’s draft recommendations propose that East Cambridgeshire District Council should have 28 councillors in the future: eleven fewer than the current arrangements. The recommendations also outline how those councillors should represent three single-member wards, eight two-member wards and three three-member wards across the district. The draft recommendations are largely based on the proposals put forward by ECDC in the summer.
An eight-week public consultation on the recommendations has commenced and will end on 11th January 2016. The consultation is open to anyone who wants to have their say on new council wards, ward boundaries and ward names across East Cambridgeshire. More details can be found at www.lgbce.org.uk.
Local authorities across Cambridgeshire have successfully bid for extra Government money to pilot a stronger and more coordinated approach to detecting and fighting fraud. The Cambridgeshire Anti-Fraud Network (CAFN) brings together the five District Councils in Cambridgeshire plus the County Council to work together to identify local and cross-boundary fraud.
The Network won £335,100 from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) who made available £16 million for 2015/16 to help support 60 projects to expand and develop innovate counter-fraud activities. The CAFN has been created to identify and investigate all types of fraud against local authorities in Cambridgeshire including tenancy fraud, single person discount, council tax discounts or exemptions, procurement fraud, employee and identity fraud.
A central intelligence and data sharing facility based at Huntingdonshire District Council has also been created that will help to identify more local and cross-boundary fraud. It is estimated this will help to detect and prevent additional fraud in excess of £1 million per year against local authorities in Cambridgeshire.
The District Council recently took part in #OurDay bringing to life in 140 characters what local authorities do as part of a national tweetathon.
Our tweets were among thousands nationwide to tweet using the hashtag #OurDay to give residents an insight into the hundreds of vital jobs councils do every day, from considering planning applications and fixing roads, to taking care of vulnerable people.
#OurDay was organised by the Local Government Association, which represents councils in England and Wales. The LGA encouraged as many councillors and local authority staff as possible to take a couple of minutes out of their day to tell the world what they were up to as part of the 24-hour live tweetathon.
CHRISTMAS IS COMING:
Visit Oliver Cromwell’s House in Ely on Saturday 19th December for a Puritan Christmas Party at 2 pm
Find out what the Puritans really did get up to at Christmas and see how families celebrated behind closed doors. Joining the ‘party’ will be Norfolk based duo Doin’ Different (alias Gareth Calway and Anto Morra) who will be entertaining visitors during a guided tour of the House. Visitors will hear stories and poetry of the time and can join in some period carol singing as they enjoy a glass of mulled wine and mince pie to end the visit. £10 per ticket.
OLIVER CROMWELL BANNED CHRISTMAS – BUT DID HE REALLY?
Those who can’t make the party but plan to visit the House sometime over the festive season can view the exhibition on how Cromwellian families would have celebrated Christmas “Behind Closed Doors”. As they tour the House they can try and locate the Christmas objects that are associated with the festive season today and find out if the objects would have featured in the Cromwell household?
MEETINGS NEXT WEEK:
Monday, 23rd November at 2.00pm in the Council Chamber
Transformational Programme Sub-Committee
Wednesday, 25th November at 5.30pm in the Council Chamber
Commercial Services Committee
Friday, 27th November at 10.30am in the Council Chamber
LATC Establishment Committee
AGENDAS BEING DESPATCHED:
Planning Committee, 2/12/15 – on Tuesday, 24th November
Corporate Governance & Finance Committee, 3/12/15 – on Wednesday, 25th November
Tuesday, 24th November at 6.00pm in the Council Chamber – Code of Conduct
With kind regards,
Councillor Michael Allan
CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL
It is with regret we inform you that former Councillor, Mr Lionel Neal who served on the Council from 1979 to 1999, during which he served as Chairman of Council from 1992 to 1994, has passed away.
A Thanksgiving Service will be held on Thursday 26th November 2015 at 12.30 pm at St Andrew’s Church, Isleham.