Newsletter #20

As I write, it’s fair to say the summer’s been a mixed bag, but that hasn’t dampened the resolve of our villages to host traditional summer celebrations!  We saw cross-party cooperation in action at the Meldreth Summer fete as the elected ladies’ tug of war team took an early lead – my thanks to Susan van de Ven, Philippa Hart, Bridget Smith and the ladies of the Meldreth Parish Council for their sterling efforts at digging in against the men!  (OK, so maybe my husband Phil helped us a bit!) Steeple Morden Primary School’s fete in July championed the childrens’ fancy dress competition which I was honoured to judge.  It was also an opportunity to thank the Headmaster Mr Lloyd, for 11 dedicated years of service. 

Turning briefly to education, I was relieved to hear the Secretary of State announce just before we broke for Summer, that an additional £1.3 billion will be invested in front line schools funding. All of your contributions to the Fairer Funding Consultation helped to achieve this result so thank you to everyone who took part.

The rain really did take hold during Longstanton’s Picnic in the Park but this didn’t stop the Youth Council’s event grabbing imaginations with bug box building and a family picnic in spite of the wet weather.  On a personal note, my day was cheered by Phil’s success in the Tombola!  Events like these always raise vital funds for local causes, so please support your village fete when it is held.  Barrington’s Big Sing in Barrington Church was a brilliant example of local fundraising in action and the Grand Finale at the Royal Oak was a fitting end to a festive celebration.   

The feasting continued as I attended Girton’s Feast Week BBQ, straight after my monthly surgery at Abbeyfields. Good food was again on the menu at the Morden’s Save the Children’s Cream Tea celebration.  I was so impressed by their £100,000 fundraising effort that an extra slice of cake seemed the best way to celebrate! Is it any wonder that they say MPs put a stone on in the first year or two after they are elected!

Science has been firmly on my agenda as I attended several events this month designed to increase young people’s interest in all things STEM.  I was honoured to present young scientist certificates at the Cambourne Science Fair and join in with the Active Science Day at Cambridge United, co-hosted with the Cambridge Science Centre and Astra Zeneca.  I spoke about the role science has played in my career as a politician with an astrophysics degree, at the Women in STEM event at Corpus Christi College. It is so invigorating to be in the presence of so many bright, investigative young minds.

I’ve continued to champion local causes, so was pleased to hear the long standing campaign for a Post Office in Cambourne is being rewarded with a Mobile Post Office in the Hub Car Park.  This is the first step to securing a long-term solution for Cambourne so please do submit your support to the consultation at which ends on 19th September. 

The Greater Cambridge & Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership panel debate gave me the opportunity to exchange views with the people making decisions that affect our local economy.  I raised the same issues of growth, housing development, local services and transport with the new Chief Executive of South Cambs District Council, Beverley Agass when we met in July. To deliver the growth in our region in the right way, it is more important than ever that our stakeholders and public authorities work together, listening to the views and concerns of residents. I will continue to ensure the right people sit round the table together as we strive to find solutions to our challenges.

Many of you wrote to me about the Great Northern train timetable consultation; you can see my response to the proposals on my website. I will keep pushing for changes to the timetable as the current offering does not, in my opinion, serve South Cambs commuters well.    

You have also raised bus transport issues with me, in light of Whippet’s announcement to reduce some of their services. I would encourage you to direct your concerns to your County Councillor, as these are the people who will advocate for your local route.   I’ll be raising the strategic issue of South Cambs’  transport provision as a whole with our Mayor, James Palmer and the County Council at a strategic meeting later this month. In the meantime, you can find your local county councillor here

My office is moving on 9th August to premises on Sawston High Street.  We’ll be hosting regular open days, with the first in September for residents to drop in by appointment.  My next constituency surgeries are on Saturday 2nd September in Queen Edith’s and Saturday 21st October in Melbourn. These are drop in events with no appointment necessary Further information and news stories can always be found on my and you can email me at Our new updated telephone number will be on my website after the move. See you next month!