This month, we’re once again in unchartered waters, both nationally with regards to Brexit and also locally in terms of the City Deal. Whilst it’s frustrating to ask people to be patient, in this fast paced, modern, Twitter dominated world it’s easy to underestimate the value of scrutiny and consultation. We shouldn’t. Taking time to consult, probe and examine what is being put forwards is the starting point for any successful negotiation and I remain confident that we have some sound navigators at the helm, being held to account by democracy in action.
I have been vocal about my opposition to the City Deal plan for Busway 3 and 3A (Cambourne to Cambridge route via the Westfields.) I sense the City Deal board are rushing because of spending deadlines imposed at deal inception, so I am working with the board and central Government to see whether we might be able to link the City Deal with the impending Cambridgeshire devolution deal. I believe a more creative and workable solution is possible which offers better value for money than the £140million partial route currently on the table. I’ll make sure my voice is in the mix as these discussions move forwards.
The City Deal is just one of the ways I’m working with local and central government to improve things locally. My other big focus continues to be education. I’m not letting up on the fairer funding issue for our schools and met with Minister Nick Gibb recently to push for further action. I’m also championing a campaign to recruit more teachers into Cambridgeshire and have worked with the County Council and Anglia Ruskin University to host a Teacher Training Information Event. It will be held on 17th November, at 6pm at ARU and you can find more details on my website. If we have any budding teachers out there, this is your chance to find out how you can make a real difference to our children’s futures. Watch out for a follow up Teacher Recruitment Fair in the Spring too. I’m also speaking to our planning department to see how we can provide key worker housing to attract the best and most talented teachers to our constituency.
I met more of our extraordinary talent this month when I visited the Technology Partnership in Melbourn, with the Prime Minister’s new advisor on Industrial Policy. TTP flagged up a need to support British companies through sustained local growth that builds on R&D work, rather than outsourcing innovation to foreign suppliers. I’m proud of the work our local research is producing and will do everything I can to keep South Cambridgeshire as one of the brightest stars in the research, technology and science cluster.
The new Papworth Hospital found a unique way to celebrate their next phase of development as they invited me to ‘Top Out’ their new building on the Addenbrooke’s campus. Having helped to level out a slab of concrete, a fir tree was swung over the building to ward away bad luck. Apparently it’s a tradition of the Norwegian contractor Skansa! The new site is extremely impressive with state of the art theatres, en suite bedrooms and world class research facilities. Another great local NHS success story.
I highlighted the importance of your contributions to the Boundary Review in my last newsletter but if you live in Bassingbourn, the Mordens, Melbourn or Queen Edith’s and want to stay part of the South Cambridgeshire constituency, please make your voice heard on the consultation website - www.bce2018.org.uk. Every submission really matters, I don’t want to lose you!
I was thrilled and humbled to be awarded ‘Conservative Newcomer MP of the Year’ by the Patchwork foundation. The award looked at the work my team and I have been doing to give a voice to under represented people, such as the disabled community. I only learn about those without a voice because you tell me – so please keep your emails, thoughts and feedback coming - I’m listening.
As always, you’re welcome to come to my “no appointment needed” drop in surgeries. The next dates are Saturday 19th November in Longstanton or Saturday 10th December at a venue tbc. You can find full details on my website www.heidisouthcambs.co.uk/residents-drop-surgeries or drop me an email at email@example.com or call my office at 01954 212707.