The following are the statements submitted by each candidate before the AGM. All of the following were elected at the AGM on 6th December 2016 (this article first published 24th November 2016, amended 19th January 2017).
Chair: Robin Heydon
I have lived in the Cambridge area for the last 16 years. I regularly cycles six miles to and from work. Having cycled in many other countries around the world, I have seen both great and not-so-great cycle infrastructure. Cambridge is still a long way from being a world class city that I think it deserves to be. There are three things that we need to achieve to make Cambridge and its surrounding rural villages as the best place to cycle in the world. First, we need high quality cycle infrastructure in the places that people want to cycle. We need to make the case for a comprehensive primary network of cycle routes, segregated cycleways mainly along the main roads that link where we live to where we need to be. Second, we need to create policies that foster these aspirations. I intend to work hard this year to create those policies both internally and in cooperation with other groups within the UK. And lastly, I intend to chair this campaign to create a sustainable and strong future for this organisation that will become a respected and trustworthy critical friend to the councils, developers, and residents.
Vice-Chair: Hester Wells
I’ve been a member of Camcycle for several years, and joined the committee at the end of 2013 as Secretary, the position for which I am re-standing. I came to Cambridge 15 years ago, and live and work in the city. It is in Cambridge that I started to cycle again, after not having been on a bike since I was a child.
In my history with the campaign I have written consultation responses, manned the stall at public events, written newsletter articles, counted cycle users on certain routes, met with councillors, officers and developers, talked about cycling to sixth-form students, organised social events and more.
My goal for cycling in Cambridge is that I’d like to feel I could take my niece and nephews cycling anywhere in the city and it would be safe and fun! I want a city where children can have independence on their bikes, and be active and healthy. And I want to be pedalling an e-bike or trike in safety long past the point where I can keep up with traffic.
Treasurer: Chris Howell
I am standing for the position of treasurer. I have lived and cycled in Cambridge for more than 25 years, and been a member of Cambridge Cycling Campaign for more than a decade. My main campaign interests are building quality new cycle routes and capacity, getting exemplar support for cycling in new developments, particularly on green field sites, and cycle parking.
I am a Chartered Accountant who qualified whilst working at the Cambridge office of a large accountancy firm, and now work in finance for a couple of small tech companies, as well as serving on the board of a small local housing association. Previously I have been a Cambridge City Councillor, and worked in IT. I would hope to bring my skills and experience to help the campaign meet its financial reporting and regulatory requirements and plan its finances for future campaigning.
Membership Secretary: Sue Edwards
I’d been doing little bits of helping with things like newsletter delivery since shortly after I joined the campaign in 2004. More recently I’ve been membership secretary for the last two years, which has meant that David Earl had time to develop a much better membership system for us and we’ve done lots of discussing and testing changes he’s made to that such as integration with the new financial management system. I’ve enjoyed doing that and being able to contribute to helping the campaign continue to work well and improve life for cyclists in and around the Cambridge area.
Liaison Officer: Martin Lucas-Smith
I am standing again for the position of Liaison Officer. I co-authored our main policy document, Making Space for Cycling, the first cycle planning document to be backed by every national cycling organisation in the UK. It outlines a strong ‘Go Dutch’ approach, seeking usable and safe infrastructure that is suitable for people of any ability, age, confidence or travelling at any speed. Being a geographer, I advocate a strong urban design perspective as part of this. I believe we need to work with other bodies such as the Councils, acting as a critical friend, always advocating high-quality proposals (and backing these publicly), but not being afraid to criticise poor-quality compromises. In my Trusteeship role, I believe I can continue to offer useful input into regulatory requirements and organisational development matters. I have a strong interest also in use of cycling data and online technology for advocacy, through my work (separate to the Campaign) as Developer and Director of the not-for-profit social enterprise CycleStreets, which is (amongst other activities) developing Cyclescape for campaign groups around the UK, including Camcycle.
Planning Officer: Al Storer
Planning is at the heart of much of our campaigning. With the pace of change in Cambridge early engagement is vital to try to get the best for cycling from new developments. As Planning Officer I’d like to try to improve our ability to get in early. Where this fails we’ve seen the effectiveness of objecting and especially following up the objection by attending planning committee. I’d like to build a volunteer network to help make this more efficient.
I have gained valuable experience in this in the last year and wish to build upon this again.
Newsletter Editor: Sarah Rodger
My name is Sarah Rodger. I have lived in Cambridge for 13years and in that time have gone from wobbly beginner, scared to take my hands off the handles to signal, to a local zipping through the town and further afield.
I am really keen for the public awareness of Camcycle (how much we do, and how much enthusiasm we have for Cambridge’s cycling future) to keep growing and to that end I would like to stand for the role of Newsletter Editor.
2016 saw a lot of work from the Newsletter team collaborating over the new layout and I am really pleased that members seem excited with our efforts and are keen to get involved.
Events Officer: Willa McDonald
I would like to stand for the committee as events organiser. I have been a member of Camcyle for six years and in the last year I have become more involved in activities. I see the role as one which supports our Camcycle officer (Roxanne) and campaigning members of the committee so they have more time on the campaigning activities. Events raise the profile of the organisation and help bring members together in shared activities and goals. This year I have become involved in helping with the newsletter, I have been at two stall bike events and have spoken at a council meeting in favour of the Chisholm trail. I love cycling and I love living in Cambridge and I am proud of what Camcycle achieves. We have a strong team and I hope I will help make it stronger.
Recruitment Officer: Tom McKeown
I have lived in Cambridge for ten years having moved here for a ‘Silicon Fen’ tech job. In that time I have become parent to two young children. Riding with them has dramatically demonstrated the difference in routes I’m comfortable to ride on my own, compared to with them on my bike, or riding alongside on their own. I see safe, protected space for cycling to be crucial for getting families like mine, and other not-yet-cyclists, out on bikes. I believe cycling is hugely important for the physical health and mental wellbeing of all children; connecting them to their community and environment, and providing them independence as they grow.
I’m standing to be Camcycle Recruitment Officer for a third year. I have previously been involved in the brand relaunch, producing recruitment leaflets and taking the stall bike out to events to encourage people to join the campaign. Over the coming year I have plans for a stall bike refresh to match the new brand, continuing to have a strong presence at Cambridge’s outdoor events and increasing our membership for a louder campaigning voice.
Web Officer: Neil Spenley
I have been a member of the campaign since 2010. I took over the web officer position in 2012 – the website needed a dedicated person to look after it, and the post had been created the year before, but it was vacant, and the existing committee were not able to devote adequate time on top of their other duties. I wanted to help out, and this seemed like the way I could contribute best (I develop software professionally – I’ve self-taught web-specific stuff). I’ve maintained the website since, with some of the work shared with a small number of other members who have relevant experience.
Press Officer: Franny Ritchie
My name is Franny Ritchie. I’ve lived in Cambridge for over 5 years and currently work as an urban designer and researcher at a Cambridge-based architecture practice. Before coming to the UK, I worked on cycle-share programmes in Boston and Chicago, helping to set up pilots in both cities (while working for city government and a university estate management offices). Since arriving Cambridge, I’ve worked for a consultancy that works with universities to develop and construct new buildings, and was also the Mill Road Coordinator for Cambridge City Council for about 15 months.
I am interested in becoming more involved with the Cycling Campaign because I have been cycling for transport and for exercise since 2007. Cycling has dictated in my choice of neighbourhood, my interior décor (I had a really elaborate storage system when I lived in a small flat), and many of my fashion choices (can I wear this on a bike?). In the past five years, I have been busy with a demanding job and/or a small child, but I would love to get more involved in my community and I’m passionate about cycling, so the Campaign seems like a perfect place to start.
My name is Richard Burgess and I am a retired building surveyor. I joined the Campaign in 1995 and was an occasional assistant until joining the committee some two years ago. My first real task was to produce the Campaign response to the Tenison Road proposals but more recently have taken on some of the treasurer’s work in our effort to break the task of treasurer into more manageable chunks.
I am in awe of the work and successes of Camcycle members over the years and am excited about the proposed cycle bridge and the Chisholm Trail. I am keen to assist the Campaign working to help achieve a great cycle infrastructure as part of a modern transport system appropriate for Cambridge. Also, I wish to assist it to be a flexible campaign, able to make a constructive contribution to the challenges, like electric bicycles and driverless cars and taxis, that will be introduced by technological change.
I’ve been a campaign member since day one, and commuted by bike long before I moved to Cambridge. For 15 years until 1985 I worked for a research arm of DfT, and although I never worked on cycling research or policy, I learned how unsustainable was the growth of, not only car travel, but ‘mobility’ rather than ‘accessibility’.
Clearly my main campaigning activity is the ‘Chisholm Trail’, and I have an early editor of the campaign newsletter to blame for suggesting that name. I’m humbled that it has stuck and now seems to be the official name, but it does seem to give me some responsibilities in working, in part behind the scenes, to ensure that things don’t stall.
I do try to give input to other sustainability issues locally, and also work with some groups nationally.
I’ve retired from work, and it would be nice to think I could retire from campaigning when the Chisholm Trail is complete, but until then I hope people will support me for a campaigning position on the committee.
Our streets are major parts of our shared public space heritage and I believe they should be both safe and pleasant places for human beings of all ages and abilities. The transportation uses of streets can and should be balanced between the different modes and the other roles that streets serve. I believe we should put the needs of people above those of machines, and so we should prioritise walking and cycling above motor traffic. I also believe a pleasant and livable city is one where everyone feels safe and respected when they choose to walk or cycle around, without being overwhelmed or harmed by motor traffic. The classic, compact, verdant and historic form of Cambridge is incompatible with heavy usage of automobiles. Walking and cycling will always be the best, most convenient, and healthiest way of navigating this city.
I came to Cambridge from Boston, MA in 2015. When I moved here I joined the Cycling Campaign because I believe it is an organisation that shares my values. Since then I have been helping out with various efforts to campaign for better streets, such as with the City Deal consultations and Huntingdon Road.
I joined Cambridge Cycling Campaign about ten years ago, shortly after returning to Cambridge where I grew up. I started going to the monthly meetings and got involved with helping produce the newsletter, as my skills and experience include small-scale publishing. I became Newsletter Editor in November 2007 and stayed on the committee – as a Trustee as the Campaign was by then a charity – when I stepped down as Newsletter Editor in November 2014. More recently, I have been helping with the Campaign’s finances, as a signatory on the bank accounts, and helping put in place new arrangements for managing our finances. These are now more complex because we are now both a charity and an employer.
I am a cyclist because I find cycling a good way of getting around, particularly in a compact and fairly flat city like Cambridge. As an everyday cyclist I aware of the challenges cyclists face every day in getting around the city. Cambridge is congested with buses, cars, delivery vehicles, taxis, cyclists and pedestrians all competing with space. But much has been done – and can be done – to make getting around easier and safer for all. I am willing to do what I can to help with this task.