In this section we will be including colour or higher resolution versions of some of the photos included in the current issue of Willingham News magazine. From time to time we may also include items which had to be left out of the magazine due to lack of space. This page will also have any corrections to errors in the magazine not spotted before printing.
In this months extras we have the latest district councillors report, followed by some products offered by Bebe and Ju Crafts which we were unable to fit into the magazine.
South Cambs District Councillors report for May
Waiting Times at the Surgery
A presentation was made to the most recent meeting of the Parish Council by staff of the village’s GP Practice. Problems with long waiting times for appointments and the time it takes to get through to the surgery by telephone are not unique to Willingham. They are unconnected to the increase in the number of Northstowe patients which is already expected and planned for by the Willingham and Longstanton practices.
Problems are being faced by GP practices all over the UK as they deal with a backlog of problems related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Apart from the direct effects of the disease, there is latent demand from patients who were not seen during the pandemic, especially for routine procedures and minor surgery. Secondary care (i.e. the care patients receive after referral by a GP) is also at capacity and they are referring, back to GPs, some tasks normally carried out by themselves, such as the management of medication prescribed by them. Delays to secondary treatment also put acute pressure on GPs because they have to treat patients for longer (such as pain relief) before the root cause of the problem is treated by specialists.
The only way that surgeries can deal with the extra demand is by operating a triage system, whereby patients with acute and/or urgent medical problems are seen quickly with minor, non-urgent cases taking longer. The increase in demand has also led to a commensurate increase in the number of phone calls and the waiting time before they are answered, and practice staff are working hard to mitigate these problems. Unfortunately, staff are also having to deal with abuse from frustrated patients, which helps nobody. GP surgeries across the country are working very hard to catch up and they all ask for the public’s patience while they do so.
The District Council is incredibly busy responding to the Ukraine crisis, putting systems in place to undertake large numbers of DBS, home and welfare checks, make payments to Ukrainian individuals and their hosts, and to deal with many related issues. The picture changes on a daily basis and the council’s webpage, which is frequently updated is here: www.scambs.gov.uk/community-safety-and-health/support-for-ukraine.
From recent national news stories, residents will know that COVID-19 is still very much with us so we should continue to be cautious when in confined, indoor settings. The growth rate of new infections has been somewhere between 3% and 6% every day and, on 22 March, around 220 people were acutely ill with the disease across all Cambridgeshire hospitals. There is increased uncertainty in both national and regional estimates now, due to changes in testing policy, which make trends less clear and predictions less accurate and reliable. Further guidance is here: www.gov.uk/guidance/the-r-value-and-growth-rate.
Zero Carbon Communities Grant Scheme
The Zero Carbon Communities Grant Scheme, which is now in its fourth year, has so far provided £310,000 to 51 grassroots projects working to tackle climate change in South Cambridgeshire. A new round of grants has just opened and closes on Wednesday 1 June. This year, groups in South Cambridgeshire can apply for between £1,000 and to £15,000 from pot of over £120,000 which comes out of business rates from renewable energy sites, like solar farms.
Full information, eligibility criteria, ideas for projects and the submission of applications can all be made here: www.scambs.gov.uk/zerocarbongrant.
Energy Efficient Council Apartments
15 new energy efficient council apartments were recently handed over to SCDC in Sawston. They have private balconies, as well as shared gardens and good connections to wider development features like playgrounds. There are solar panels on the development, air source heat pumps, green roofs, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery and electric vehicle charging points for residents to use.
When complete, there will be 63 largely affordable-rent apartments and houses on the site, and some shared ownership properties. Rent is capped at being no more than 80% of the local market rent – including service charges where applicable. All of the properties there will be marketed tpeople with a local connection to the village in the first instance, before being opened-up to those from across the district. SCDC plans more Council homes like these in many more villages across the district.
Bill Handley and Dawn Percival, Cllr.email@example.com 01954 200287
Further products offered by Bebe and Ju Crafts.
See full article on page 7 of May’s Willingham News.