I’d like to start by thanking the hundreds of you who took the time to contribute your views to the Fairer Funding Schools Consultation and submit your thoughts to me. I will be handing the letters and petitions over to Justine Greening next month as I continue to push for fairer funding for our South Cambridgeshire schools.
In my opinion, our schools are the best in the country and I was delighted to visit Coton Primary School to observe the Primary Life Education Unit teach pupils about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. This two-classroom mobile unit was part-funded by the Rotary Club and provides early education about healthy living and drug awareness to school children. The unit needs to access additional funding to survive, so if you’re a local business and would like to help, please contact my office who can put you in touch with the relevant people.
The importance of this early intervention was even more obvious after I took part in Alcohol Health Alliance’s ‘Day of Action’ by visiting the liver ward at Addenbrooke’s. AHA demonstrated the devastating effects of cheap alcohol on individuals and communities and reinforced the need for a community wide approach to tackling this problem. Whilst I was there I signed up with https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/register-to-donate/register-your-details/, please take a look at their website and have a think about whether you’d like to register to donate your organs too.
I’m a big advocate for community action, so am pleased to support Tesco’s Community Food Connection programme. Tesco have launched a new scheme to offer surplus food to local charities through a dedicated app. If you’re a local charity that could make use of some free produce please take a look at https://www.tesco.com/community-food-connection/. I think it’s a brilliant scheme.
I was asked to talk to both Hills Road Sixth Form College and separately, Duxford Explorer Scouts in mid-March about the job of being an MP. I am always encouraged when young people are interested in democracy and politics. Our democracy feels particularly alive at the moment so there has never been a better time to get involved. If you have ever considered a career in local or national politics, do get in touch and I’d be happy to share my experiences.
I was honoured to be the designated official ribbon cutter at two local events last month by formally opening CHS’s affordable and social housing development at Caxton as well as Great Shelford’s Post Office. It’s really important that we ‘use and don’t lose’ community assets like the Post Office so please support Prakash and Jayshri by visiting them and using their service. They work so very hard to serve their local community.
I spent a productive morning with local councillors and Highways Officers assessing the issues that many of you have raised about the Flint Cross junction on the A505. This road is firmly on the County Council’s radar and I’m working with them and local Parish Councils to make this road safer. We’re in the early stages of discussions but the consensus is there – improvements need to be made.
Work on the City Deal continues and I attended the Local Liaison Forum to support the launch of Option 6 – the Cambourne to Cambridge Better Busway. This proposal intends to utilise existing road structures to develop a fast yet cost-effective bus route into Cambridge, thus minimising the need for a costly busway development. I’m pleased that the City Deal have agreed to go back to the drawing board and assess all possible routes and P&R locations.
Many of you took the time to write to me after the devastating attack on Parliament last month. As I wrote at the time, we are all indebted to PC Palmer for making the ultimate sacrifice in defending our democracy. I thank all of you who took the time to share these sentiments.
As always, if you have anything you’d like to share with me, you can find details of my upcoming surgeries here - www.heidisouthcambs.co.uk/residents-drop-surgeries. I’ll be in Cambourne in April and Bassingbourn in May. You can also phone my Westminster Office on 020 7219 5091 about national issues or you can call my constituency office on 01954 212707 to raise local concerns. You can also email me at email@example.com.