Concern of rushed projects
In a remarkable demonstration of unity, diverse community organisations across greater Cambridge have signed a letter to the Greater Cambridge Partnership, expressing their concerns about some projects being rushed through because ‘we have to spend the money’. The letter will be delivered on the 19th of July at the Joint Assembly of the renamed ‘Greater Cambridge Partnership’. Wendy Blythe, Chair of the Federation of Cambridge Residents Associations (FeCRA), and Bev Edwards, Chair of Barton Parish Council, will present the letter and ask for a response to reassure people that public funds will be used wisely.
Wendy Blythe: ‘The City Deal has been very successful in bringing communities together — an unintended consequence of the way they have rolled out their heavy-engineering programme. As residents and small businesses learn about projects to which they have had little or no input, they have met and supported each other. This is public money and should not be spent on outdated, environmentally damaging and hugely unpopular projects that could well be obsolete in ten years.’
Bev Edwards, Chair, Barton Parish Council:
‘It is good to see that the City Deal have recognised that things should be done differently in future. My concern is, that whatever improvements are made going forward, we seem still to be stuck with some projects — the A428 busway, for example — that are not evidence-based, and had a deeply flawed ‘consultation’ based on the ‘DAD’ model (Decide/Announce/Defend). We need genuinely fresh thinking to revisit the brief so that projects are looked at in a way that is
Joint letter to Greater Cambridge Partnership
Residents and businesses in Cambridge and the surrounding villages are concerned that the City Deal is rushing through plans for major development and transport schemes that lack a clear overall vision, are not evidence-based and have been progressed using a flawed model of top-down ‘consultation’.
The need to spend the first tranche of funding quickly has meant that so far this has not been a holistic programme to successfully manage rapid growth in a way that is sustainable and not environmentally damaging.
We call upon the City Deal to re-engineer the process to facilitate more effective partnership and collaboration so that the skills and talents of Cambridgeshire residents and businesses can also be engaged in proper research and evaluation of new infrastructure projects, in order to deliver a long-term vision for our region that is about health, well-being and community as well as economic success.