Alliance on track to deliver 67 ‘individual actions’

county council funding

A scheme to provide food vouchers to families struggling in the pandemic continued over the school summer holidays through funding from Cambridgeshire County Council - Credit: Cambs County Council

The rainbow alliance now in control of Cambridgeshire County Council says they are on track to deliver 67 “individual actions” with five newly agreed following their success in the May elections. 

The alliance says “significant steps” have already been put into action.  

These included children eligible for free school meals across Cambridgeshire receiving vouchers over the summer holidays at the full rate paid last Christmas. 

The council says it topped up a “reduced payment” made available by the Government. 

And discussions are underway to see how eligible children and their families can continue to receive support with food costs during October half term – now government funding for this has ceased. 

The alliance says a report out in December will look at removing the 50p library book reservation charge for not just for those on Universal Credit, the original proposal, but for all library users. 

And the alliance says an in-year uplift has already been paid to the 1.7 per cent of eligible direct employees of the council who weren’t on the ‘real living wage’ which is currently £9.50 per hour. 

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The alliance says it will focus on fairer funding for education, protecting nursery schools and alleviating a “significant increase” in the need to improve support for children with special educational needs and disabilities.  

Council leader Lucy Nethsingha said they are not placing any great reliance on increased Government funding. 

“That is acknowledged by everyone as putting Cambridgeshire at a severe disadvantage,” she said. 

“It does not address the additional burdens placed on us by central government - this doesn’t mean we have given up the fight for it.”  

She said there was agreement by everyone that Cambridgeshire deserves a fairer share of government funding. 

“But we also know that Government promises of better funding have failed to materialise over the past four years,” she said. 

“We will continue to fight hard for that fairer share, but we also know we must look to our own resources to try to fix the funding gap we have been left by the previous administration.” 

Cambridgeshire County Council switched from Conservative control in May to a new alliance made up of Liberal Democrats, Labour and Independents.