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Passing 2nd year of degree as a mature student


The many law books!

It really does not seem possible that I have already finished the second year of my Law Degree.

Nor does it that I have covered the following areas; Family Law, Law of Business Associations, Equity and the Law of Trusts, Law of Tort, European Union Law, Contract Law, Foundations of Criminal Law, Constitutional and Administrative Law & Legal Method and Skills.

I am delighted to have been formally contacted confirming that I have passed the second year – which I have to say is a relief!

When I started the degree I was not sure what to expect. Especially going back into education after a fifteen year break. Certainly getting back into studying and exams took a little while to get used to.

It really has opened up a whole new world to me, making many new friends along the way.

Much has been said about the new funding system for university students. I have to say if it was not for the new system I may well not be writing this article. The reason being the concept of upfront fees was a real barrier to undertaking a qualification. What if I did not enjoy the course? What if I could not get back into the academic flow to be successful in the course?

I will now enjoy the summer before meeting the challenge of the third year in October.

Campaign success – making A10 junction safer

Landbeach Milton junctionThe ‘A10 Safer Junction’s’ campaign has now had its first success with improvements starting on Monday (July 8th) at the Landbeach/Milton junction.  The petition campaign was well supported with over 1,200 people signing and was directly credited with starting the consultation process for improvements.

Two schemes were consulted on. The chosen design as pictured will take 8 weeks to complete. It will create a new pedestrian and cycle crossing on the A10 junction between Milton and Landbeach

The scheme is great news for pedestrians and cyclists as it will offer quick and direct path across the junction. It increases visibility of and for pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross.

One of the reasons we launched the campaign for action this and the Landbeach-Waterbeach junction wasLandbeach footpath junction both have a high accident rate. Once the improvements are in place we will see if further action is needed. Last year the Conservatives put a new cycleway and footpath between Milton and Landbeach (something the local community have wanted for decades) and this is an additional welcome step. Pictured with local campaigner Sarah Smart where the footpath currently ends.

To further aid safety solar stud lighting will be laid along the edges of the whole dual use path. New street lighting will be provided near the crossing points.

This latest success follows on from securing a reduced 50mph limit along the A10 and street lights and traffic lights at the Denny End junction.

Boosting apprenticeships for our youth

On Friday, the Skills Minister, Matthew Hancock MP, announced a new range of apprenticeships in subjects like aerospace that are being designed by employers. But even more that this, the Governments wants to hear from employers interested in designing their own apprenticeships.

Since 2010 there have been 1.8 million apprenticeship starts, which includes developing a simpler and more rigorous system which works for employers and apprentices.

In my view helping create opportunities and supporting our young people achieve their ambitions is crucial to driving social mobility.

It is also about a choice issue as it must and be recognised as the norm for young people to go into an apprenticeship or go to university, two equally prestigious routes into employment.

So far the Government has;

Given employers greater control over apprenticeship courses. We are getting employers involved in setting apprenticeships to make sure they give people the skills they need to get a job.

Improved the quality of apprenticeships. All apprenticeships now must involve meaningful on-the-job training, as well as English and Maths for young people who haven’t yet achieved good GCSEs in these essential subjects.

Made it easier for companies to take on a young apprentice. Offering £1,500 grants for businesses of up to 1,000 employees to take on new 16 to 24 year old apprentices if they haven’t taken one on in the last year.

There are record numbers of new apprenticeships. Since 2010 more than 1.8 million young people have started an apprenticeships. In 2012/13 alone there were over half a million apprenticeship starts whereas Labour never exceeded 280,000 in any given year.


Pothole fund for Cambridgeshire welcomed

Cambridgeshire is set to receive £1.9 million pounds as part of the Government’s £168 million pound dedicated pothole fund. Coupled with the winter repair fund equates to £3.5 million.

WinfoldThis is most welcome news. Road and path maintenance features as a regular key issue to local residents in Waterbeach Ward. Recently we have seen some success with the resurfacing work on Winfold Road that local campaigner Sarah Smart and I campaigned on during the local elections. Many additional roads like Old Cambridge Road in Waterbeach and School Lane in Chittering for example need to see action. Hopefully this money can support the much needed road improvements locally. Although I am a District Councillor I will continue to press on this County issue.

The latest announcement combined with existing plans will mean more than £24 billion spent on England’s strategic road network between 2010 and 2021 – the biggest investment in the road network for forty years.IMG-20140421-02516

Youth projects important role in reducing crime

WAY visitI was delighted that our Police Commissioner, Sir Graham Bright visited the Waterbeach and Landbeach Action for Youth (WAY) project yesterday. Pictured also with Shelagh Robertson, Chairwomen of WAY Trustees.

The project is a great example of how youth projects can reduce crime. The local Police have on numerous occasions credited WAY with the work that they do. For example last winter some empty houses were broken into as a meeting point, the Lead Youth Worker identified those responsible and action was taken against those involved.

It was clear from the meeting, that our Police Commissioner is very active in supporting youth projects and recognises the important work that they do for the good of the local area.

Personally I have organised three charity events for WAY which raised, in total, over £2,000. I will continue to work hard to support this great local project.





Funds raised to feed the ponies

On Saturday,shetland my partner and I were delighted to open our home to help raise funds for the Shetland Pony Welfare Trust.

It is a fantastic local charity based in Landbeach on Waterbeach Road. They are doing great work to take in ponies that have either experienced mistreatment or that their owners can no longer afford to keep. The SPWT is a growing charity that has taken on more ponies in recent times. They now care for a total of thirty five ponies. This means that running costs have now increased to £40,000 per year.

As we are now coming into the winter, this means that the ponies switch from grass to feed. From the event we raised enough money to buy two weeks worth of feed.

If you would like to learn more about the charity please visit the website or on facebook

Supporting the children’s hospice – a worthy local cause

Each PhotoI was delighted to have held a charity fundraising event for the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice. They are a very worthy cause and now have three hospice’s, with Milton hospice just a few miles down the road from me.

I decided to organise the event after meeting some of the EACH team at their stall for the Ely Aquafest event in the summer. From this, I was invited to to the East Anglia Children’s Hospice in Milton which was a very moving experience.

They support families and care for young people with life limiting conditions and deliver a wide range of services including; short break care, specialist play activities, music therapy, hydrotherapy, parent groups, sibling groups, care at end of life and bereavement support.

But they are heavily reliant on voluntary donations to provide not only these services, but to be able to invest in their facilities. To learn more about the charity please go to their website;

Thank you to everyone who donated, attended and gave raffle prizes. We raised £315 for the charity from the event which all helps this great cause.


RECAP – ‘Choose Reuse’ showcase event

IMG-20130923-02199 I was delighted to attend ther RECAP Waste Partnership (Recycle for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough) showcase ‘Choose Reuse’ performance at Amey Cespa (based in my home area, Waterbeach Ward).

So what is the ‘Choose Reuse’ performance? Well, it is a great drama based presentation to engage with youngsters on waste reduction, recycling and reuse.

This is now the second year that the project has been running. It was interesting to hear from the Enact Performers of how from last year, many youngsters have been using the website and signing up to ‘Choose Reuse’.

The performance was really well structured and the two performers gave a flawless performance. From South Picture3Cambridgeshire District Council, our Portfolio Holder and a senior officer were also present.

The Chairman of RECAP, Nigel Mccurdy said that the performance will go to twenty six secondary schools for year 8’s. This represents a significant proportion of Schools in the Cambridgeshire area.

The ‘Choose Reuse’ day will be October 22nd. To find out more visit





A10 Safer Junction’s Petition presented – call for action

shirehallToday the ‘A10 Safer Junctions’ was formally received at the Cambridgeshire County Council Cabinet meeting. This follows on from me handing over the A10 Safer Junctions petition signed by over 1,200 local residents to Cllr Mac Maguire (Highways Portfolio Holder) at Cambridgeshire County Council Shire Hall on August 29th.

I was pleased that the petition was well received today – being signed by over 1,200 residents shows the strength of feeling and a clear call for action. We have seen serious accidents at both these junctions over the years. Many local residents have said the layouts of both junctions are not fit for purpose as they are unclear and confusing.

Since the campaign was launched in February, we have seen recognition from the County Council that the Landbeach/Milton junction needs to be made safer for pedestrians and cyclists. A consultation event is happening later in the month in Landbeach. This is welcome, but the junction needs to be made safer for all – cyclists, drivers and pedestrians. Over the years there have been discussions and ideas over improving the Landbeach/Waterbeach junction, we do also need to see this turn into action.

I am optimistic that we can succeed in this campaign. Both our last two A10 campaigns resulted in action – the reduced 50mph A10 speed limit and street lights and traffic lights on the Denny End junction.

This petition sends a clear message to Highways in the call to action. Thank you to all the local residents who supported the campaign”.

The County Council will send a formal response to the petition within the next 10 days.

Reflections on Ely by-election

ely catherdralFirstly, congratulations to Cllr Lis Every on being elected to East Cambridgeshire District Council to represent Ely East Ward. I am sure that she will do a great job representing local residents on the Council.

The victory was a result of a great candidate, great campaign and great campaign issues.

During the by-election, I found on the doorstep that Lis and the Conservative team messages on vital projects to help the local economy like; the by-pass, new cinema, leisure centre/pool and a revitalised the town centre – really resonated with residents.

Meanwhile the Lib Dems are opposing the savings needed to fund these projects. Draw your own conclusions.

Labour finished a poor 4th.

Clearly the residents of Ely East have spoken, I was delighted to have played a part in the successful election campaign.

Results in full were as follows;

John Borland Independent


Lis Every (Elected)
The Conservative Party Candidate


Jane Frances The Labour Party Candidate


Jeremy Martin Tyrrell UK Independence Party (UK I P) 


Dian Esther Warman Liberal Democrat