We need to be carbon neutral - Independent candidate tackles four issues at Cambridge City Council elections
Sixteen of Cambridge City Council's 42 seats are up for election on Thursday (May 2). We asked each party, plus the independent candidate in Queen Edith's ward, for their thoughts on four key issues.
Standing for election in Queen Edith's are:
Sam Davies - Independent
Manas Deb - Conservative
Dan Greef - Labour
George Gregory Pippas - Liberal Democrat
Elisabeth Jane Whitebread - Green Party
Here are the Independent candidate's answers.
By Sam Davies, Independent candidate
How do we protect Cambridge's special character as it grows?
Discussion of and action around protecting Cambridge’s special character only ever seem to acknowledge the city centre. As a candidate in one of the city’s outlying wards I think we’re quite special too! I would like to see investment in our local centres to create attractive liveable neighbourhoods which will improve quality of life, build social capital and provide a valuable alternative to trekking into town every time you need to get something done.
What should be done about congestion? Would you approve of a congestion charge in Cambridge and/or a workplace parking levy?
Queen Edith’s suffers from congestion twice over – from both vehicles heading to the Biomedical Campus and those passing through. We need better coordination across all the bodies responsible for planning and transport – why is there is no credible plan to manage the 30-40% forecast increase in trips to the Campus in the next five years? Bus franchising powers are a must, to give control over routes and fares. Some form of congestion charging is an inevitability – the trick will be to do it intelligently.
Do you agree there is a climate emergency and what can the council do to address it?
You can find a fuller response on the Carbon Neutral Cambridge survey https://carbonneutralcambridge.org/2019-cambridge-city-elections-queen-ediths-ward/ but in a nutshell – yes, there is a climate emergency. We need to be carbon neutral by 2030 at the latest, which will require focus and coordination within and between all local government bodies.There is no time left for tribal party conflicts or hollow virtue-signalling. Delivering sustainable housing that works for the environment and the community is a big priority in QE, and I have highlighted examples of best practice elsewhere.
How would you tackle the homelessness problem?
Homelessness is a tragedy but hugely difficult to address. Councillors can prevent some individuals from falling into homeless by effective case work; but the effects of budget cuts at national and County level are alarming, eg the proposals to close The Haven and Whitworth House, which cater for different groups of vulnerable residents. I commend our ward churches for taking an increasingly active role in tackling this issue.
Read all the answers
Read all the party pitches for your vote at Cambridge City Council local elections 2019