Elections

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Question 2 - we asked:

Would you reinstate the full-time Cycling Officer position, or even expand this to two full-time posts? This post has been crucial in the past for scrutinising new developments for cycling-related issues, as well as developing work to promote responsible cycling.

We asked this question in all 17 wards, namely: Abbey, Arbury, Castle, Cherry Hinton, Coleridge, Cottenham, East Chesterton, Girton, Histon & Impington, King's Hedges, Market, Newnham, Petersfield, Queen Edith's, Romsey, Trumpington, West Chesterton.

43 of the 69 candidates (62%) who were asked this question responded as below.

Those candidate(s) which were elected are highlighted.

Tom WOODCOCK
(Cambridge Socialists)

Yes. I am opposed to all cuts and this post should not have been cut. The bankers should pay for the crisis they caused not people with the Jobs or the environment. Crucial roles like this that can help get traffic of the roads and areone of the ways we can hold developers to account.

Timothy James HAIRE
(Conservative Party)

No. I believe the needs of cyclists need to be embedded throughout the planning process to left as a bolt on to one person to look at plans after they have already been drawn up.

Richard Graham JEFFS
(Conservative Party)

According to the LGA (the Local Government Association), Cambridge City employs 915 full time equivalent staff, amongst the highest numbers for a District-level council in the country, and far more than South Cambridgeshire’s 463 (they have more residents than we do). This needs to be addressed. However, cycling is an important issue, and it ought to be higher up on the list of the Council’s priorities, especially given that Cambridge is famous world-wide for its cycling. Reducing inefficiency and waste in other areas of the Council’s activities could free up resources to devote to cycling issues – an area where a small amount of extra effort could lead to lots of progress.

Steven James MASTIN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Angela OZTURK
(Conservative Party)

I think it absolutely crucial that we reinstate the full-time Cycling Officer position and expand to two full time posts

Peter PATRICK
(Conservative Party)

It is important to have a cycling officer officer in Cambridge, as cycling plays a part in the lives of most people here. However, I don't think the role needs to be full time, and people need to be encouraged to take personal responsibility for their safety and health. This can be achieved by cycling proficiency being taught in schools by teachers, the Cambridge Cycling Campaign, councillor lead initiatives, and the consideration of new developments from the point of view of the cyclist (which can be done by anyone who cycles).

Philip SALWAY
(Conservative Party)

I think this would require more than just one councillors wishes to happen
but yes in principle I would support one officer, perhaps two if funds allowed
and would seriously consider applying myself for the post..

Alastair John SIMPSON
(Conservative Party)

This refers to Cambridge City’s cycling officer. The District Council has not had a full time cycling officer, but has always worked closely with Cambridgeshire County Council, which has responsibility for Transport. I do commit to reviewing relevant major local building projects personally to help ensure comprehensive cycle routes and provisions are provided from the outset, and would encourage other interested parties to do the same.

Edward James Anthony TURNHAM
(Conservative Party)

I consider the removal of the Cycling Officer to be a mistake. There are many more efficiencies that could have been made at the Council, instead of cutting this position. It should certainly be the case that all officers are well aware of the importance of making our roads cycle-friendly, but sadly this is not yet the case.

Sandra BILLINGTON
(Green Party)

As I am recently domiciled in Cambridge, I don't know how the Cycling Officer functioned in the past but the position seems valuable both for examining new developments and as an arbiter between cycling needs and those of other road and pavement users.

Ceri Barbara GALLOWAY
(Green Party)

I think that a full-time cycle officer on the Cambridge City Council is essential to actively promote the needs of current and future the cyclists in Cambridge. Due to the many new planning developments in the city there will be many new initiatives on the horizon that require careful guidance and thorough planning. This officer not only needs to promote cycling in Cambridge for current residents but also make sure that all future initiatives are appropriately resourced and that there are sensible links between the new developments and the cities facilities and the outlaying districts. We need to see an increase in cycling because once we have so many more people living in Cambridge our roads will become even more grid locked and this will impact essential goods and services. Cutting the full time post to a half time is post has been short sighted we could do with more resources in this particular department not less. A second officer would certainly be bonus and assist in making sure that plans are fully scrutinised and understood by councillors. I have experience in other fields within the council were posts have been devolved to other individuals with related posts normally means that they struggle to cover essential actions.

Brett Mark HUGHES
(Green Party)

Yes - without hesitation

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

I think the issue might getting cycling officers into all the main towns in Cambridgeshire. That way a culture of good design - and installation - might begin to emerge. How many times do we wonder "how could anyone (who's ever cycled) ever do that?" I remain hopeful that in time even the contractors will flag up duff designs...

Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

A full time cycling officer is essential for Cambridge. Two posts would be excessive under current financial conditions.

Douglas Raymond DE LACEY
(Independent)

Yes, but this is not an issue for South Cambs which (as far as I know) has never had such a post.

John HIPKIN
(Independent)

I might depending on wider budgetary factors.

Sue BIRTLES
(Labour & Co-operative)

Like all Labour candidates I would support the reinstatement of a full-time Cycling Officer which was abolished by the Liberal Democrat-run Council. Cycling provision is an essential part of the infrastructure of our city and the amount of work that effective provision demands is too much for one person. The role of the cycling officer is essential to ensure that the needs of cyclists are being taking into consideration as part of all planning applications.

Richard JOHNSON
(Labour & Co-operative)

In a word, yes. This is in the Labour manifesto. Labour councillors included funding to reinstate the full-time Cycling Officer in our alternative budget. If it were possible then we would support expanding the role to two full-time posts.

We believe having a full-time Cycling Officer is incredibly important. In addition to the reasons mentioned in the question, it would be easier than is the case currently to bring forward new capital investment in cycling infrastructure and deliver more secure cycle parking.

Having a full-time Cycling Officer would also enable a better working relationship with the County Council to rapidly fix cycleways and ensure better co-ordination with the County Council to deal with neglected pavements and potholes.

George OWERS
(Labour & Co-operative)

I fully support reinstating a full time cycling officer, as all Labour candidates do, in contrast to the ruling Lib Dems. As a sitting councillor, I voted for this as part of Labour’s 2012 city council budget amendment, but the Lib Dems voted it down. The current cycling officer does not have the time to fully support cyclists’ needs being taken into account in planning applications, and we need more staffing to help promote cycling projects in the city. We also need someone to bring forward greater efforts to provide more cycle parking in the city centre, funding for more cycle parking also being in the 2012 Labour budget amendment.

Margery ABBOTT
(Labour Party)

The Labour Party would reinstate the full-time Cycling Officer position, or even expand this to two full-time posts, this is in our Alternative Budget.
The currently redeployed Cycling Officer is available and also wants to return

Sarah CAIN
(Labour Party)

Yes; on page 10 of our Contract with Cambridge 2012 Manifesto, Labour has pledged to "Reinstate a full-time Cycling Officer with a remit of promoting safer cycling
through planning and other projects." I fully support this.

Robert DRYDEN
(Labour Party)

We would reinstate the full-time Cycling Officer position and we have and but this into our alternate budget. We would even like to have two full-time posts in the future because we think the council is losing out on external funding because it does not have the staff to do the bids.

Rachel ECKERSLEY
(Labour Party)

Yes, I would and the Labour Group on Cambridge City Council is committed to reinstating a full-time cycling officer; a crucial post in a city where more than 25% of local people cycle to work. It may well be possible to expand this to two full-time posts.

Huw JONES
(Labour Party)

I'm not sure. However, there should be an impact assessments of all council policies and decisions on cycling and walking.

Noel KAVANAGH
(Labour Party)

In complete agreement with the reinstating the full-time Cycling Officer. Was very disappointed when the Lib Dems rejected the proposal made by Labour Party to have a full-time Cycling Officer at the Budget Meeting on 23 February.I think the number of cyclists in Cambridge justifies having two full-time Cycling Officers.

Gail MARCHANT-DAISLEY
(Labour Party)

Yes, Labour provided for this in our budget and I argued for it in council, but it was turned down by the Lib Dems.

Mike SARGEANT
(Labour Party)

I completely support the reinstatement unlike the Lib Dems. In fact we could attract other moneys if we had the staff to make suitable bids.

Ashley WALSH
(Labour Party)

Yes, I support the reinstatement of the full-time Cycling Officer position. In the Alternative Budget set out recently by Cambridge Labour councillors, we committed ourselves to resinstatement and to exploring the creation of a second full-time post. Cambridge needs at least one full-time officer because it is currently missing out on funding and bids due to limits on the current part-time officer's time.

Salah AL BANDER
(Liberal Democrat)

There has been no capacity reduction to the provided service - what happened was that part of the work previously done by someone with the job title "Cycling and Walking Officer" is now done in a different Dept. During the debate of the restructuring of services it was assured that there is the same level of resource within the Council in comparison to the position before the restructure. Moreover, the new project team has the capacity to pick up all of the project work that the 2 part time Cycling and Walking Officers would otherwise have undertaken. I will, indeed, keep an eye on implementation and how this new arrangement will make the job be done more efficiently and effectively. The Council has a clear policy on cycle parking standards. As far as I know planning Officers are still after the re-structuring consulting the “Cycle and Walking Officer” on issues they need specialist input. Indeed, the new arrangements allow a wider range of promotional activity than took place previously.

Tim BICK
(Liberal Democrat)

I think it's better to talk about this in terms of work output delivered, rather than job titles. I have accepted the new situation on the basis that it is a different but more efficient way of performing the same work, not a reduction in the City Council's contribution to Walking and Cycling.
To increase the current resource I'd be driven by the specific extra output to the public that would be achieved, against the resources that we had available and the rival claims and their promised outputs. But I remain positive about the City Council's role in supporting cycling and I start from a sympathetic position.

Keith EDKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

I understand from my contacts on the council that the service provided has not been cut but merely reassigned. Hopefully one of them will cover this point in more detail. The appointment of extra staff in financially straitened times would need to be justified by very specific objectives. On the broad front I would prefer to see it made a clear part of every officer's remit to consider cyclists and pedestrians in all their deliberations (also important at the County Council, if anything even more so than the City).

Richard William GYMER
(Liberal Democrat)

This is a matter for Cambridge City Council.

Rhodri Mark JAMES
(Liberal Democrat)

My understanding is that the Cycle Officer job has shifted budget headings rather than been abolished, so doesn't really need reinstating as such. Given that the County Council finally seem to be taking cycling as part of their transport remit more seriously at councillor level, we're actually doing pretty well.

Alan LEVY
(Liberal Democrat)

I don't believe in getting hung up about job titles, however totemic, provided that the work is still being done. The city council has repeatedly made it clear that it has not reduced its capability to support cyclists or pedestrians and that the important work that was previously being done by the cycling officer is still being done. I would of course be much more concerned if that were not the case.

Yemi MACAULAY
(Liberal Democrat)

If we have this position in South Cambridgeshire District Council, I will fully support it.

Neil Michael MCGOVERN
(Liberal Democrat)

Firstly, I would note that the post is still in existence, and is now being done by two people, which can help provide different perspectives and ensure that full cover exists for holidays and in case of sickness. However, if funds allow, I would be delighted to expand the team.

Tony MORRIS
(Liberal Democrat)

I am not sure there has yet been a full time City Council Cycling Officer. I was involved in
making such an appointment at the County Council in 1993/4 and would support such a City
Council appointment when work load requires and finance permits.

Zoe Imogen O'CONNELL
(Liberal Democrat)

The same amount of officer time is available to cycling issues as was before, it has just been split up amongst different posts.

Mike PITT
(Liberal Democrat)

As I understand it the activity connected with the post has not been cut. The position has been included into a team which could and should allow projects to be more connected. The work is in a team of five "FTE" posts (plus a manager). There is a danger of isolating cycling from other aspects of the urban environment which would not be good. Cycling is recognised as important by Cambridge.

Sian REID
(Liberal Democrat)

Some of the work previously carried out by a cycling and walking officer role has now been included in a project management department of five FT staff plus a manager. This department has plenty of capacity to deal with cycling projects. There has been no reduction in the capacity of the City Council to address cycling issues in relation to development management and project delivery.

Catherine Helen Lindsay SMART
(Liberal Democrat)

As I understand it, this whole campaign is based on a misunderstanding. There has been no cut - just a reassignment of duties. The work, including a consideration of cycling facilities in developments, continues to be done.
On the question of more officers assigned to this work - when the budget is drawn up, it is usual to consider if there are areas of work which do not have the capacity that they should have. Should that be the case with work connected with cycling, I would expect that to go through the same process.

Amanda Joan TAYLOR
(Liberal Democrat)

The Council has not reduced any functions; the duties once carried out by the Cycling & Walking Offer are now done by another member of staff.

Ian TYES
(United People's Party)

I understand that a cycling tsar has been appointed - Cllr Martin Curtis - at Cambs CC. I am reluctant to make unfunded spending announcments prior to election. I would hope and expect that most if not all Councillors in Cambridge would be sufficiently aware of bicycle issues so that one of them (eg me if elected!) could be responsible for raising cycling issues at planning committees. This could include presenting issues raised by groups such as yourselves at these meetings. There is usually more than one solution or approach, so it might be counter-productive for a single person to be presenting these points, rather than from a multiplicity of sources.

Camcycle is a non-partisan body. All candidates are given an equal opportunity to submit their views. Information published by Camcycle (Cambridge Cycling Campaign), The Bike Depot, 140 Cowley Road, Cambridge, CB4 0DL.