Midsummer Common “churn” latest

The City’s parks and open spaces officer has met the regional manager of Greene King, owners of the Fort St George, to discuss the deep gouging of the Common and the rubble used to extricate heavy vehicles from the mud. The damage to the Common is going to be made good, including re-seeding.

We are also pleased to report that the ugly bare patch caused by the bonfire on Nov 5th is going to be reseeded for the first time.

Measures are being prepared to limit the size and number of vehicles coming onto the Common. Details will be reported as soon as arrangements have been made after consultation with the pub and the restaurant.

Churn on Midsummer Common

Mud and puddles caused by cars on Midsummer Common

Local residents have been expressing their disquiet at the number of cars parked outside the Fort St George pub. They are dismayed by the deep tyre gouging of the grass edges of the common and breaking up of the footpath. There are even bricks and rubble that have been used to free a vehicle stuck in the mud — and then left deeply embedded in the ground.

Lib Dem city councillors have gone to see the City Parks and Open Spaces officers, and they have promised to take swift action. They will tighten up vehicle access to the pub partly by restricting the width at the gate so lorries cannot get through, and perhaps by locking the gate and giving access to the publican and genuine deliveries only. They will also speak to the pub’s owner, Greene King, in order to get the damage to the Common made good.

Lion Yard Toilets

Spending a penny at Cambridge’s Lion Yard toilets could “cost” nearly £11,500 a year for each one of the 21 cubicles if the planned closure fails to go ahead.

Cambridge City Council would be £240,000 a year worse off – the same amount that it spends on bus and taxicard subsidies in the city – making these among the most expensive public toilets in the world.

The city council believes the money could be better spent for residents while at the same time providing new toilets in the city’s Lion Yard which meet the most modern standards with regard to child friendliness and disabled access.

Relocating the toilets and converting the site to provide new shop units would save on management costs and bring in rental income for the city.

City Council Leader, Sian Reid said: “We are very aware that there are a great number of people who are not happy about the proposed closure of these toilets. But at the same time, we are committed to providing the best facilities for our residents and visitors while making sure that we get the best value for the taxpayer.

“Labour wants to see these toilets retained whatever the cost, which could be the equivalent of 3.6% per cent increase in council tax; with an attitude like that, it is easy to see  why our country is in the state it is following 13 years of Labour government.”

Cambridge City Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources, Neil McGovern said “We take pride in our city and as a result, we have won awards for our toilets. But those at the Lion Yard are not up to standard and we know we can do better.

“It is also testament to our city’s success that there is a growing demand for retail units and moving the toilets allows us to go some way to meeting that demand while bringing in extra money for city services. This would appear to be a sensible option bringing great benefits all round.”