With the 2018 District Council election due on 3rd May, here's the tenth in our series about the Conservative candidates by the candidates.
In Cambourne we have three candidates: Ruth Betson, Shrobona Bhattacharya and Evelyne Spanner, who all live in the village.
Cambourne is forever growing – and it's because of its growth that in 2016 the Local Government Boundary Commission decided to make Cambourne a single parish ward with effect from this May – currently it is part of Bourn ward (Bourn, Cambourne, Caxton, Croxton and Eltisley). From May, Cambourne will be represented by three District Councillors.
Ruth Betson is a Bourn ward District Councillor, having convincingly won the by-election for the ward in May last year; Shrobona Bhattacharya is a Cambourne Parish Councillor; Evelyne Spanner was one of Cambourne’s first residents – she moved here 17 years ago.
Here's why they are standing:
"I want to continue the community work I've already started, first as a resident (I created the Cambourne Info Sessions), then as a Parish Councillor – I was on the Steering Committee for the Parish Plan.
In the eight months since becoming your District Councillor, I've been lobbying hard within South Cambs District Council – and with other local authorities – to ensure Cambourne is recognised as an important parish within Cambridgeshire.
Last September, I secured a visit by Cllr Peter Topping, the Leader of SCDC, to meet Cllr Joseph O’Dwyer, Cambourne's new Parish Council Chairman, and Vice Chairman Cllr Ruth Poulton.
His visit was very timely in view of the £2 million bid SCDC put in to the government just a few days later. This bid, if won, will help to develop the High Street in Cambourne and deliver more, much-needed, affordable homes.
We might be called a 'village' at the moment, but the size of our parish is the equivalent of a small town and should be treated as such with regards to infrastructure and transport, particularly developing the High Street and attracting more businesses, as well as travel and public transport to Cambridge and other commuter destinations.
I've also actively supported the Parish Council in its efforts to bring a Post Office to Cambourne – its first success was to secure a mobile service on Wednesday afternoons in the car park at the Hub. The next step is to open a permanent site.
Should I be re-elected in May, I will continue to champion these important projects through to fruition."
"Cambourne’s strength remains in its community – which I care for deeply.
I constantly listen to friends and neighbours and try to plan initiatives to engage the widest variety of residents – I'm also constantly striving to remove social isolation and ethnic barriers.
As a scientist and with my background in organising charity events, I run – and offer – many options for Cambourne’s community to engage and meet. With a high density of young families, these classes and events are always well attended:
- For the younger generation, I run an Electronics and Robotics Club from my home. It's unique in Cambridgeshire. SCDC today (4th January) announced it is giving the Club a Community Chest grant to enable us to purchase electronic kits, a projector and laptop.
- I'm also very involved with the highly successful Cambourne Science Festival for Children – do come to this year's event on 12th May.
- I love cooking and our Cookery Club showcases different cuisines, culminating in a Fundraising Dinner at the end of the year.
- The Cambourne Family Art Day brings out the creativity in both children and their parents. This year it's on 7th July.
I'm proud to be part of so much going on in Cambourne – the International Club, the Festival of Colours Holi International, the Festival of Lights Diwali International, the South Asian New Year and Cambourne Mela all create awareness of the many cultures here and promote Cambourne as an open, inclusive and welcoming place to live.
My focus as a Parish Councillor is to engage as many people as possible through technology, science, cookery, arts and literature – which, if elected on 3rd May as one of your three District Councillors, I want to continue."
"I'm an avid ice-skater and teacher of 'ice tots' in Peterborough. I'm also an IT consultant and have worked all over the world – India, Qatar and Brazil are just a few of the countries.
Back now in Cambourne and running a small business, I much prefer to use the services of Cambourne’s local businesses – and promote them, too. I'm very supportive of the work Ruth is doing with SCDC to improve the High Street – a vibrant High Street here in Cambourne is so important to our long term future; we need people to be able to say 'Why shop in Cambridge when I can get what I want and it's so much easier right here in Cambourne'.
My family is Royal Navy, so many of my interests stem from that background. I'm a keen supporter of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), the charity which saves lives at sea, and SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity giving lifelong support to our forces and their families.
I also used to train guide dogs as a 'puppy foster mother', and would like to see Canine Partners have a bigger presence in Cambridgeshire – the nearest training centre is in Leicester.
Should you elect me in May, I would like to work with the SCDC Health & Wellbeing Portfolio Holder to support initiatives dealing with social isolation and loneliness in the older generation, bringing my five years' experience as a volunteer house parent in an autistic home to bear."
All three ladies will be out door knocking around Cambourne between now and polling day on 3rd May. Please give them a wave if you see them – better still, stop and chat to them, or, to be sure you speak to them, please get in touch via their contact details below.
Ruth Betson, Shrobona Bhattacharya and Evelyne Spanner
Conservative candidates, Cambourne ward
South Cambridgeshire District Council election / 3rd May 2018
Councillor Ruth Betson
Councillor Shrobona Bhattacharya
07776 203 751
South Cambridgeshire Conservative Association
You can write or visit us at:
South Cambridgeshire Conservative Association
149-151 St Neots Road
01954 211 444