14th June 2013
Last week I had the great privilege to attend the East Cambridgeshire Youth Games, which was a great success. Hundreds of children joined together to compete under the banner of their adopted nation and for the pride of their school. The competitors arrived at Littleport Leisure Centre representing countries from across the world and entered the sporting arena in procession carrying specially designed banners and dressed in their 'nation's' colours.
The children, aged from seven to eleven years, came from schools from the north, south, east and west of the district to enter a whole range of activities including Quadkids (athletics), cricket, Quicksticks (hockey) and tennis. As always the competition was very exciting with fantastic performances, personal bests and sportsmanship the hallmark of the event.
By the end of the day's activities the winners were:
- Tennis and cricket - Ely St. Mary's Primary School
- Quadkids - Isleham Primary School
- Quicksticks - Little Thetford Primary School
- Overall School Champions - Ely St. Mary's Junior School
These schools will now go on to represent the Witchford Partnership in the Sainsbury's Level 3 School Games finals on Friday 28 June in St. Ives. The day was organised by East Cambridgeshire District Council and the Witchford School Sports Partnership and supported by Sports Leaders, Young Volunteers and National Governing Bodies of Sport.
For me, the best scenes were when the children laughed and played across school boundaries to show that sport is about bringing people together to get fit and have fun. To see photos and video clips of the day please visit www.witchfordssp.co.uk
On Friday 7 June, the Vice Chairman, Cllr Michael Allan and his wife attended the 48th Fighter Wing Summer Orientation at RAF Lakenheath. They were present at the invitation of the Wing's Commander, Colonel Kyle Robinson and saw a number of demonstrations and exhibitions. This included a falconry display to show how the runways are kept free of birds and was followed by an impressive fly past of F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jets. The Orientation was designed to help foster entente cordiale between the American and local communities.
The financial case to restore Soham's status as a railway town and for improved links from Ely and Soham to Ipswich and Peterborough is beginning to stack up, as Councillors in East Cambridgeshire are to hear this week. A key stage of work has just been completed to scope out the potential for a new station at Soham which shows positive early signs in terms of demand for a station and likely revenue generation for operators.
At a meeting of the Development and Transport Committee at the District Council this week, members will hear how research forecasts that a station at Soham could generate significant revenue - up to £490,000 per annum if there is an hourly service. This information is part of a package of work, which Cambridgeshire County Council has been undertaking with ourselves and Network Rail to build the case for re-opening the station at Soham and to increase the frequency of services between Ipswich and Peterborough to hourly.
The station - a key element of the Soham Masterplan - would support the town's growing population and help attract new jobs to the area and provide direct rail links to Ely, Peterborough, Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich, and the potential for a future direct link to Cambridge. The next stage is for the development of a business case for the funding of the projected £6million capital cost of building the station, and the provision of additional services on the route. This will then be presented to the Department of Transport for consideration for inclusion in the next rail franchise for the Greater Anglia area.
I heard this week that ShapeYourPlace East Cambs has completed its first year with some great results. Through the hard work of ECDC staff and local partners we have engaged with 9675 members of the public (11.5% of the population of East Cambridgeshire) who have visited our five sites over 24,000 times. We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this success through responding to issues raised, engaging in local conversations and via proactively posting consultations.
Going forward ShapeYourPlace, along with other engagement tools, will be crucial to engage with our communities to deliver our corporate objectives and priorities. For further information, advice and guidance please contact James Nairn by email or on 616349.
The meetings for the week ahead are as follows:
Monday 17 June 2013
- Waste and Environment Sub-Committee – 11.30am – Council Chamber
Tuesday 18 June 2013
- Soham and East Neighbourhood Panel – 7pm - Soham Village College (Performing Art Centre)
Wednesday 19 June 2013
- South Neighbourhood Panel – 7pm - Ellesmere Centre, Stetchworth
With kind regards,