Home > Uncategorized > Vote Anne Miller in Newnham on Thursday 4 May

Anne Miller is Labour’s candidate for the Cambridge City Council elections in Newnham.

Polls will be open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday 4 May 2023. You can find your nearest polling station here. Remember to take ID!

Why vote for Anne?

I’m Anne Miller and I’ve lived in Newnham for over 20 years and am standing for election as a city councillor not only because I want to represent my community but also to help Cambridge respond to the Climate Emergency. I have been involved in the fight against climate change virtually all my adult life, so have real expertise to offer.

I first came to Cambridge to study Engineering at Churchill College, then, after graduating, worked in Research and Development for several local technical companies. I was then one of the co-founders of a successful technical consultancy just South of Cambridge. During this time, I was particularly interested in developing tools and medical products, and invented power tools for Bosch, several products to help people with diabetes, and some fairly gruesome surgical tools. My publisher refers to me as “probably one of the world’s most successful female inventors”. I then set up my own business to help organisations be more creative and ran this from Newnham.

Climate Change and the environment have been important to me since I was a student. I am Chair of the community group Carbon Neutral Cambridge. We have been providing our expertise to help local councils tackle climate change since 2018. This included running an event that helped enable the excellent Net Zero Carbon Homes policy in the draft Local Plan. This policy will require all new homes to be so well insulated they’ll cost virtually nothing to heat. Over the next year or so, it will be important for us to defend this policy, because some developers will undoubtedly try to get it watered down.

I like getting hands on to improve the local environment, so regularly litter pick in Paradise Local Nature Reserve and on Grantchester Meadows. I’m also a committee member of Cam Valley Forum, helping with projects to raise awareness of the threat to our chalk streams, to reduce the sewage pollution of the Cam, and to tackle invasive weeds.

In winter 2016 and -17, many of us were shocked to see that a strange invasive weed, Floating Pennywort, had completely covered the Cam at Grantchester Meadows. I organised the funding, and over the next few years ran Cam Valley Forum’s project, together with Cambridge Canoe Club, to eliminate it. Now, 5 years on, we think we’ve successfully eradicated it from the Cam above Cambridge, but we remain vigilant.

Fairness is important to me. Everyone should have a right to an energy efficient home, so I have been involved in campaigns to improve the energy efficiency of student and social housing, and to enforce the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards in private rented homes. Cambridge has been making progress in this, but I’d like to see us move faster.

I support the principle of the Sustainable Travel Zone, because the aim of improving the buses and reducing congestion is clearly sensible and well supported. This helps those without a car, while making it easier for those that really do need to drive to get about. Nevertheless, I’m sure the initial proposal is not perfect, and I’m finding it very interesting hearing people’s ideas about how it can be improved. I am looking forward to seeing the outcome of the consultation and helping the initial proposal evolve into a fair and effective scheme over the next year or two.

Cambridge is doing many things right, but to cope with the unfair cuts that central government is imposing on us I think we’re going to have to be more imaginative in how we deliver the services we all want and need. I hope my experience in helping organisations be creative will be useful in this.

We need to tackle the housing shortage, but we mustn’t allow more growth than our limited water supply can support, so I want to make sure this is properly assessed. We must also make sure that there is enough water left to sustain and ideally improve our precious chalk streams.

I’m keen to explore new ways of tackling the shortage of housing, for example by reducing the number of empty homes and under-occupied short term holiday lets. We also have “meantime” spaces in the City, that are currently underused. These are places that are awaiting re-development, but which could potentially be used on a temporary basis, for example, as a temporary home, as a space for artists to work in or for communities to meet in, or for storage. I’m curious about whether we can do more to connect these with the people that could make use of them.

Newnham is a large and leafy ward, and I want to help it stay that way, while being fair to the needs of everyone else in and around Cambridge.