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Council’s mixed reaction to rail and health news

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County council leaders today welcomed news in the Chancellor’s ‘mini’ budget today, that Cambridge South Station and A428 Black Cat are on list of infrastructure projects to be “accelerated as fast as possible”.

But they expressed reservations about changes to NHS funding announced yesterday.

Council leader Lucy Nethsingha said of the infrastructure projects: “This is great news and will hopefully lead to the delivery of a range of benefits for people wanting to travel in and to Cambridgeshire – making it a far better place to live, work and visit.”

She said: “A new Cambridge South Station will unlock a complete range of additional travel options for people who want to reduce their reliance on carbon hungry car journeys. 

“We have had announcements like this before, so we are hoping that this time the money will follow the words quickly.”

But she was concerned about Health Secretary Thérèse Coffey and changes she announced yesterday.

Cllr Nethsingha said the changes “seem to indicate that local authorities will share funding that has already been allocated to the NHS rather than getting any increases in its own specific grants to improve discharge of people no longer needing hospital treatment to social care”. 

Deputy county council leader Elisa Meschini said: “We need to see the detail of what these announcements mean in practice.

“For instance, the announcement about a new £2.1b fund to support local authorities, housing associations, schools and hospitals invest in energy efficiency and renewable heating sounds wonderful. 

“But we have plans ready to go on this that were very recently turned down for lack of funding, so we are concerned that the money announced here might not be adequate.”

indicative visualisation of Cambridge South station from the east


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