Newsletter #15

As this is my first newsletter of 2017 may I start by wishing my constituents health and happiness in the New Year.  Let’s make it the best yet!

In the twilight of 2016 I visited the Blood Donation Centre in Long Road, Cambridge for my first ever blood donation. I have to say, it was utterly painless, parking was free and I had my choice of biscuits afterwards! Giving blood is easy, very quick (I was in and out in less than an hour) and it saves lives.  The blood service have come up with a great resolution for the New Year – ‘don’t give up, just give’.  If you can donate, please go to www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23 to book your appointment. 

I was honoured to be invited to the Gamlingay Cubs 100 year promise party. I’ve never been asked to do a ‘wolf howl’ at the start and end of a party before but I really enjoyed re-making my own pledge and seeing the excellent work of this Cub pack in action.  Thanks to Steve and all the Gamlingay Cubs for having me along.  

The Christmas period also gave me time to visit the Cambourne Food Bank, a poignant reminder that Christmas isn’t easy for those struggling with basic needs. It is open every Thursday from 10.00-12.00 at the Old Blue School on Eastgate. You can find out how to apply for a voucher here https://cambridgecity.foodbank.org.uk/get-help/foodbank-vouchers/ The Food Bank is run by kind, dedicated volunteers who try their very hardest to help with the many issues that bring someone to a Food Bank. I'm hoping to be able to work with them more in the future, unlocking some of the housing and benefit difficulties that are often at the heart of food poverty.

I’m delighted to share the launch of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Communities Innovation Fund which gives community groups the opportunity to apply for funding for initiatives which will improve lives.  If you know of a scheme that enhances your community and helps people stay safe and independent, please see www.cambscf.org.uk/ccif.html for details of how to apply. 

December saw the publication of the National Schools Funding Formula from the Department of Education.  I’m still analysing the data and will be writing to my schools for feedback on proposals. If you want to contribute, please make your views heard here https://consult.education.gov.uk/funding-policy-unit/schools-national-funding-formula2/. The consultation closes on 22nd March 2017. 

I’m continuing to push for safer and more efficient roads in our region and joined the A1307 Forum last month.  Constituents from Babraham or those who work at Granta Park will know the impact this road has on the surrounding region and the A505. These roads are no longer fit for purpose, so alongside an improved road crossing at Foxton, I’ll be pushing these initiatives in 2017.  With the city deal, devolution deal and the £1.1bn announced in the Autumn Statement for road congestion pinch points, I am confident we can build a strong case to put to Government.   

Turning to buses and trains, I’m inviting constituents to contact me about any issues they have with existing public transport services.  I have been contacted by a number of residents about unreliable services, so if you too have experience of this, please contact Nicola in my office on the contact details below.

One of the best parts of my job is getting to know you at my surgeries and events. If you have a concern you think I could help with, or some feedback you’d like to share with me, please get in touch. 

You can find details of my no appointment needed surgeries here www.heidisouthcambs.co.uk/residents-drop-surgeries  I’ll be in Comberton in February. Or you can phone 01954 212707 or email me at heidi.allen.mp@parliament.uk