New initiative will help to provide ‘Smart’ solutions to key challenges facing market town

The Smart solutions event in St Neots

The Smart solutions event in St Neots - Credit: Archant

St Neots residents welcomed the opportunity to share their views to help find ‘smart’ solutions to tackle some of the town’s challenges.

More than 50 people dropped in to the first Smart St Neots Meetup held at the new Art & Soul café to discuss key issues facing the town.

The event prompted a lively exchange of opinions and suggestions on a wide range of themes including transport, the environment, information and connectivity.

Representatives from Cambridgeshire County Council’s Smart Places Initiative, Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC) and The Neotists community group were on-hand to gather feedback and discuss ideas.

More than 250 comments and photos have been posted on the interactive map with traffic, parking, air quality and real-time local information among the most popular topics.

There is still time for people to add their feedback, which will be used to assess where ‘smart’ solutions using data and technology could be used to support the St Neots Masterplan, as part of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority’s programme to support market towns.

The Smart Places Initiative for St Neots forms part of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority’s St Neots MasterPlan and is being led by the county council’s Connecting Cambridgeshire programme in collaboration with HDC, St Neots Town Council and community groups.

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Cambridgeshire County Councillor David Wells, chairman of the St Neots Masterplan steering group, said: “St Neots is leading the way for our new Smart Places Initiative, which is exploring how we can use technology and data to support the growth of the town and create a better place to live. We’ve had lots of great suggestions and look forward to working with the community and local councils to take them forward.”

Darren Tysoe, executive councillor for digital at HDC, said: “This first Smart St Neots drop-in event gave residents and visitors a chance to share ideas and comments around issues they face in the town, and they didn’t disappoint. They gave us valuable insight into what is important to them and how becoming a Smart Town could benefit them. This event was just one of several planned events and it was good to have such a solid start to the initiative.”

Mayor of St Neots, councillor Barry Chapman, said: “The Smart Town event was an amazing success because so many took time out on a Saturday to share their ideas and interests in how St Neots could become an even better place to live. My thanks to the combined authority officers who now have the daunting task of collating resident’s valuable contributions.”

The next Smart Places event, on January 25/26 will explore future place, technology and culture. Further details will be posted on the website at