Protest about plans to “supersize” Cambridge

Stuart Weir, 2016 Jun 27
Who benefits from the City Deal? Come and have YOUR say
Who benefits from the City Deal? Come and have YOUR say

View/print the poster here.

Supersize Cambridge
Monday July 4th 7-9pm
Great St. Mary’s Church
Cambridge

You are invited to a major debate on the future of Cambridge on Monday 4 July.  Cambridge Commons is sponsoring a major meeting in Great St Mary’s church, from 7 to 9pm that evening, to raise serious concerns about the City Deal’s plans to “supersize” Cambridge.

We are joining the Federation of Cambridge Residents’ Associations (FeCRA) in this meeting which will ask the City Deal authorities to stop and think – and hold a genuine consultation with residents in and around the city.   FECRA has monitoring the way in which the authorities behind the City Deal are bulldozing through destructive road schemes behind a false façade of fragmented “consultations”.

The event on July 4, will discuss claims that local councils, colleges in the University of Cambridge, businesses, developers and major employers are engaged in a profit-driven race for economic growth at the expense of affordable housing, green spaces, public transport – and people.

Cambridge’s phenomenal economic growth over the past 30 years and more   has made a few people absurdly rich and has enriched a growing elite professional class – leaving a third of the population behind, many living in outright and precarious poverty.  It has created a legacy of rising housing costs, unaffordable homes and severely congested roads. Low-paid workers, many in vital public services, are being forced to live miles outside the city and to commute in on polluted, log-jammed roads. The near monopoly bus service is basically non-existent.

The City Deal’s central drive for ever more economic growth risks making the soaring inequalities caused by Cambridge’s existing economic surge still worse. It won’t tackle the very real problems for residents and will exacerbate them with road schemes designed to move traffic faster for the benefit of business.  Key decisions – like the rejection of a congestion charge – are taken suddenly with no consultation at all.

Terry Macalister will represent Cambridge Commons on 4 July, alongside Wendy Blythe, chair of FECRA, and Jodh Dhesi, head of Parkside School.

Terry, an expert on energy, is alarmed by the likely and unequal impact of the City Deal plans on ordinary citizens.  He says:  “Here we are a few months after the Paris Climate Change talks when 185 governments around the world agreed we had to create a whole new system of ‘greener’, low-carbon living, to beat global warming.

“Yet in Cambridge, planners, industrialists and developers plan to construct new roads, widen others, and do next to nothing to stop 87,000 cars coming into the city every day with all the pollution, carbon and danger that brings. Instead we should be getting top university climate scientists and engineers to help draw up a blueprint for a low-carbon Cambridge with vastly expanded public transport and vastly reduced car use.”