In my article about how the system works back in July, I said the County Council was undergoing a reorganisation. Some of this has now happened, and the Transportation Department has been merged with the Corporate Planning department to become the Environment and Transport directorate. This brings the two functions under one management. It remains to be seen what effect this will have on the outlook of the department, but in the meantime, there has been a staff reshuffle, and we can expect to see a committee structure change at some point too. The Directorate has two divisions, not surprisingly Transport and Environment. Hopefully, though, the new structure will reinforce the environmental aspects of transport planning and the strong link between land use planning and transport.
The new director is Brian Smith, formerly director of Corporate Planning (the environment and strategic planning part, covering activities like the Structure Plan preparation). He replaces Mike Sharpe, and it is to him that you should write on any general or large matters – letters will then usually be forwarded to the most appropriate officer for a response.
The phone and fax numbers for more minor issues are still respectively Cambridge 717751 and 717735. We have had reports of phone calls receiving short shrift. If this happens, (a) please persist, and (b) report the matter to the departmental “customer care” officer (o.k. so the title is a bit corny, but that’s what they are there for). It has been stressed to us that the Council has to reply heavily on reports from the public about defective street lights, pelican crossings, pot holes and so on. Dangerous potholes should be at least patched up within 24 hours. On the other hand, most deliberate excavations are generally temporarily reinstated first and then supposed to be properly repaired within a few months after the repair has had time to settle – but not years!