“Council implements dragon’s policy pledge”


On Cambridge City Council adopting a theme of Puffles’ 2014 election manifesto


Doesn’t it look beautiful?!?

Have a look at https://adragonsbestfriend.wordpress.com/a-manifesto-for-cambridge/ten-themes-for-a-greater-city/theme-7-on-public-buildings-and-public-spaces/ from Puffles’ 2014 manifesto. Essentially what this exercise currently being undertaken by Cambridge City Council is pretty much a carbon copy of what I wrote in Theme 7 above. ie. Have a big map that people can write on to locate where Cambridge’s community venues are – irrespective of who owns them.

The follow-up plan from Be the change – Cambridge which we weren’t able to follow through was around annual ‘hack days’ – something that The Junction in Cambridge and staff from Cambridgeshire County Council have experimented at one-off events. (And in my opinion demonstrated that the concept worked).

We’ve already got Volunteer for Cambridge – something that started life as a twinkle in Puffles’ eye

…until Cllr Richard Johnson took up office as executive councillor for communities, and along with Anna Malan of the Cambridge Hub turned it into Volunteer for Cambridge – a now annual event at the heart of our city’s volunteering calendar.

The consultation on provision of community events being run by the city council is at https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/consultations/help-us-review-community-provision-in-cambridge. There is a risk – and/or a fear from some residents that this consultation will automatically lead to some council facilities being withdrawn. Given the funding constraints imposed by Central Government that is unavoidable. However, given the approach I outlined in Theme 7, and given what officers are currently doing, my hope is that the research and data collection will result in an easy-to-use tool that ultimately will result in more bookings for community centres across the city from groups that we did not know about, and who did not know where all the centres are. That way, I’d like to think more community centres can become self-sustaining and not need permanent public subsidy.

Interestingly, one of the other organisations now using social media more frequently is Cambridge City Police – note their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CambridgeCity.police/ I declare an interest in that I delivered a social media workshop for PCSOs of Cambridgeshire Police a few years ago, so it’s nice to see these coming to fruition.

Finally – and at long last, various councillors and candidates are now getting in touch and asking about making short video clips in the run up to the Cambridge City Council elections on 05 May 2016. Oh it has been a bloody hard slog to get to here, but finally it seems that Cambridge’s local political establishment are coming round to the concept of using online video as one of their campaigning tools. Today I filmed Conservative candidate for Queen Edith’s, Manas Deb. Later this week I’m due to film three Lib Dem women candidates – Nicky Shepherd, Jenny Page-Croft, and Lucy Nethsinger.

That means in terms of total number of candidates’ videos the numbers will be:

  • Green Party = 7
  • Liberal Democrats = 4
  • Conservatives = 2
  • Labour = 2

One Conservative and one further Green candidate have also been in touch but no date confirmed yet. It’ll be interesting to see how the local parties and individual candidates respond to these new totals.



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