Councillors in South Cambridgeshire are celebrating 50 years of the council serving the community.

Officially established in April 1974, South Cambridgeshire District Council has worked to shape communities across 104 parishes.

Royston Crow: Council chair Cllr Peter FaneCouncil chair Cllr Peter Fane (Image: David Johnson Photographic)

To celebrate the 50th anniversary, the council hosted an event attended by deputy lieutenant of Cambridgeshire Jeremy Newsum, Cambridgeshire County Council chair Sebastian Kindersley, as well as current and former South Cambs councillors.

During the event there was a tree planting ceremony, a dance performance and exhibits outlining the council's history.

Royston Crow: The tree planting with deputy lieutenant Jeremy Newsum, vice chair Cllr Peter Sandford and chair Cllr Peter FaneThe tree planting with deputy lieutenant Jeremy Newsum, vice chair Cllr Peter Sandford and chair Cllr Peter Fane (Image: David Johnson Photographic)

Cllr Peter Fane, chair of South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: "The 50th anniversary is an opportunity to pay our thanks to the unwavering dedication and commitment of all those who have served on and worked for the council over the years as well as the continued support of our residents and stakeholders.

"Together, we have achieved remarkable progress and transformation, making our district a great place to live, work, and thrive."

Royston Crow: Dancers performing at the council's 50th anniversaryDancers performing at the council's 50th anniversary (Image: David Johnson Photographic)

Notable events in the council's 50-year history include six homes being provided for Vietnamese refugees in 1979-1980, residents opposing merging with Cambridge City in 1994-1995, and the council supporting construction of the East West Rail Line in 2018-2019.

In 1981, Cllr Roberta Cannon was elected the first female chair of the council, and the offices moved from Hills Road, Cambridge to Cambourne in 2004-2005.

The council has changed its way of working several times over the years, to adapt to evolving circumstances.

Royston Crow: Leader Cllr Bridget Smith with former councillor Mike MasonLeader Cllr Bridget Smith with former councillor Mike Mason (Image: David Johnson Photographic)

In 2013-2014, the council first allowed meetings to be filmed by the public, and in 2020 changes were made to allow for remote meetings during the pandemic.


Last year, the council began trialling a four-day working week for staff.

Cllr Fane added: "In 1979, only five years after the establishment of the district council, we provided six homes for Vietnamese refugees. 

Royston Crow: Ukraine guest Svitlana SushkoUkraine guest Svitlana Sushko (Image: David Johnson Photographic)

"I am so proud that almost 50 years on, we supported our communities across the district to receive almost 1,000 guests from Ukraine, following the start of the brutal invasion of their country. 

"I am particularly delighted we were joined at our anniversary event by one of our Ukraine guests, Svitlana Sushko, who gave a powerful speech."