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Agenda and minutes

Council
Thursday, 19th April, 2012 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall. View directions

Contact: Martin Whelan  Committee Manager

Items
No. Item

12/14/CNL

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 23 February 2012 pdf icon PDF 169 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 23 February 2012 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

 

12/15/CNL

Mayors Announcements

Minutes:

1.  Apologies

 

Apologies were received from Councillors Bird, Hipkin and Wright.

 

2.  Application for Lord Mayor status

 

The Mayor confirmed that the City Council’s submission to receive Lord Mayor status in connection with Her Majesty The Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations had been unsuccessful. The honour had been awarded to the City of Armargh.

 

3.  Reach Fair

 

The Mayor confirmed that the annual Proclamation of Reach Fair would take place on Bank Holiday Monday, 7th May. Newly minted pennies were available from the Sergeant-at-Mace.

 

4.  Elections

 

The Mayor confirmed that Councillor Margaret Wright and Councillor Roman Znajek would not be standing in the forthcoming elections. They were thanked for their contribution to the work of the Council during their respective terms in office. It was also noted that the Mayor would not be standing for re-election.

 

5.  Twinning

 

At the meeting of the Council held on 20th October, 2011, it was agreed to present the Honorary Freedom of the City to the City of Szeged. The Mayor confirmed that unfortunately it had not been possible to arrange a date for representatives of the City of Szeged to visit Cambridge during this calendar year. However it was hoped that a visit could be planned for 2013.

 

It was also noted that the Mayor and Consort would be visiting Szeged during the period 18th/20th May at their own expense.

 

6.  City Council annual meeting

 

The Mayor confirmed that the Council’s annual meeting would take place on Thursday, 24th May. Members were asked to let Sue Edwards know as soon as possible if they would like to reserve any guest seating.

 

 

7.  Declarations of Interest

 

Councillor

Item

Interest

Ward

12/19b/CNL

Personal – Proprietor of a website offering free adverts for shared housing, which is supported by commercial advertising.

Owers

12/19b/CNL

Personal – Lives in a house of multiple occupation

Ward

12/19b/CNL

Personal and Prejudicial – Frequent user of airport

Reid

12/19c/CNL

Personal – Joint owner of property, which may be subject to increased regulation if the motion was passed.

 

 

12/16/CNL

Public Questions Time

Minutes:

1) Mr Tom Woodcock addressed the Council and raised concern regarding the provision of affordable housing. Mr Woodcock outlined his view that the numbers on the Council Housing Needs Register were a significant under estimation of the number of people in need of suitable housing in the city, and that the register needed to adequately reflect the need in the city. Mr Woodcock also explained that, in his view, private rental accommodation was difficult to afford and this situation was exacerbated by excessive level of charging from letting agents.

 

Mr Woodcock highlighted the significant role that universities in the city had to play in the provision of suitable and affordable housing. Mr Woodcock also expressed concern that new provision was often the wrong type, built in the wrong place and at the wrong price.

 

Mr Woodcock challenged the Motion presented on houses of multiple occupation, and indicated that in his view it started from the wrong point, and that the focus should be on providing decent and affordable places to live.

 

The Executive Councillor for Housing acknowledged the concerns raised, and expressed considerable sympathy for the need to ensure the provision of affordable housing. It was highlighted that on the fringe sites, the City Council had been successful in obtaining 40% provision of affordable housing (split between social rented and intermediate housing). The Executive Councillor acknowledged the major role that the universities could play in the delivery of affordable housing. The Executive Councillor explained that the current situation was partially as a result of the system reaching “boiling point” due to building slowing, and noted that any efforts to further regulate the sector was likely to make the problem worse.

 

Mr Woodcock re-iterated concerns regarding the level of fees charged by letting agents and the negative affect that this had on developing cohesive communities. Mr Woodcock encouraged the Council to invest in a significant increase in the building and acquisition of new council housing.

 

The Executive Councillor explained that changes in the rules related to housing finance would allow the Council to invest in new council house provision. The Executive Councillor also encouraged tenants to report issues to the Citizens Advice Bureau, as charges may be illegal.

 

 

2) Mr Richard Johnson addressed the Council and requested the support of the Executive Councillor for Planning and Sustainable Transport for a campaign to increase the quality of bus services between Abbey Ward and Addenbrookes Hospital. Mr Johnson explained that the campaign sought to put pressure on Stagecoach to either add or amend an existing service. Mr Johnson explained that the existing services from Barnwell Road to Addenbrookes involved two separate bus journeys and over 50 minutes journey time. It was also noted that taxi and car travel was either prohibitively expensive, or difficult due to the limited provision of car parking. It was noted that Unison were also supporting the campaign. Mr Johnson also highlighted that he was currently organising a petition, and was hoping to present it to a future Council meeting.

 

The Executive Councillor for Planning and Sustainable Transport agreed with the principle of the campaign, and acknowledged that the existing level of service in Abbey was poor when compared with most other parts of the city. The Executive Councillor explained that in other parts of the county the current level of service would represent a significant improvement in existing provision. The Executive Councillor expressed reservations about the ability of the County Council to provide subsidy to new services, as they were in the process of reducing service subsidies. The Executive Councillor explained that the current City Council support for public and community transport would be reviewed in the next 12 months, and this issue would be considered as part of that review.

 

Mr Johnson welcomed the comments and sought the support of the Executive Councillor for the campaign. He requested a meeting with the Executive Councillor to discuss the campaign further.

 

The Executive Councillor for Planning and Sustainable Transport agreed to meet with Mr Johnson, but declined to support the campaign at this stage without sight of the detail of the petition.

 

3) Mr Richard Taylor addressed the Council and questioned the Executive Councillor for Community Development and Health:

 

·  An update was requested on the current status of the proposals for dispersal zones in the City Centre and the east of the city.

·  Clarification was requested on whether the decision to implement Neighbourhood Restorative Justice would be reconsidered in light of the discovery of a significant error in the information presented to the committee, which implied that the approach would also be available for more serious offences than previously intended. Comment was also requested on the view of the magistrates on the proposals, in the light apparently negative comments with regards to the scheme.

·  An update was requested on the status of the negotiations regarding the formation of the Shadow Police and Crime Panel.

·  Clarification was requested on the relationship between the Executive Councillor and the recently appointed Superintendent. The Executive Councillor was also asked if he had any role in the appointment of the Superintendent (Vicky Skeels) for the City.

·  An update was requested on whether the City Council was considering requesting police powers for City Rangers.

 

The Executive Councillor for Community Development and Health responded:

 

·  There were no active discussions regarding a dispersal zone in the east of the city, and the Police were not pursuing a Section 30 dispersal zone for the City Centre. It was noted that the latter had been discussed at West/Central Area Committee on 1st March 2012, and that the withdrawal of the Police request was to be formally reported to West/Central Area on 26th April 2012.

·  The oversight in the proof reading of the Neighbourhood Restorative Justice documentation presented to the Executive Councillor and Scrutiny Committee was acknowledged, however it was explained that the intention of the proposals was clear. The Executive Councillor explained that there would be further opportunities to refine the process.

·  The Executive Councillor challenged the assertion that the magistrates were against the scheme. It was noted that the response from the magistrates covered a wider range of issues. It was also highlighted that the response from the magistrates emphasised that they were committed to the common goal of making and maintaining Cambridge as a safe place.

·  The Executive Councillor explained that each Council was eligible for a seat on any Shadow Police and Crime Panel, but there was also a requirement to ensure political, geographical and skills/knowledge balance. Discussions on these issues were ongoing.

·  The Executive Councillor explained that he had no role in the appointment of Vicky Skeels. It was also explained that Cambridgeshire Police was a partner organisation, and that the Executive Councillor was not responsible for their actions.

·  The Executive Councillor clarified that the discussion on the power of City Rangers had been initiated by officers, and not by elected politicians. There was no intention to extend the existing role of City Rangers.

 

4) Ms Alison Power addressed the Council and spoke in objection to Motion 6b. Ms Power explained that she had been a resident of Cambridge for 18 years, and was worried by the proposal.

 

Ms Power expressed concern that the current approach could unfairly discriminate against various parts of the community. Concerns were also raised that the approach of the City Council appears to contravene the Housing Act.

 

Ms Power highlighted the positive benefit of housing co-operatives and the need to support the vital role of houses of multiple occupation in the future development of the city.

 

The Executive Councillor for Housing clarified the definition of houses of multiple occupation, and that the approach adopted by the City Council was consistent with the Housing Act. The Executive Councillor noted that the proposed Motion was potentially discriminatory and confusing, and did not have her support. The positive benefits of housing co-operatives were acknowledged, and that shared houses provided an essential role in the city.

 

Ms Power thanked the Executive Councillor for clarifying the current position of the City Council, and welcomed the opportunity for further discussions with the Executive Councillor. In response to a suggestion, the Executive Councillor agreed to ensure that the position of the City Council was clarified on its website.

 

5) Mr Meftah spoke in objection to the Motion 6b. He explained that shared housing was often the only option for many residents who were not served by social housing.

 

The Executive Councillor for Housing clarified what constituted a house of multiple occupation, and emphasised the positive benefits that shared housing provided to the city. 

12/17/CNL

To consider the recommendations of Committees for Adoption

12/17/CNLa

Area Committees - amendment to the Constitution to reflect functions delegated by the Executive pdf icon PDF 20 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved (22 votes to 0) to:

 

Amend the terms of reference of Area Committees, as contained in Section 12 of Part 3 of the Constitution, in accordance with the Appendix to the officer’s report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/17/CNLb

Review of the Council's Audio and Visual Recording Protocol pdf icon PDF 16 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Boyce proposed and Councillor Rosenstiel seconded an amendment to insert at the end of item 1 of the revised protocol:

 

“The Council will supply signs which will be deployed at any meeting all or part of which is to be recorded”

 

On a show of hands the amendment was carried by 22 votes to 11

 

Resolved (Unanimously) to:

 

Approve the revised Audio and Visual Recording Protocol as amended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/18/CNL

To deal with Oral Questions pdf icon PDF 563 KB

Minutes:

1. Councillor Dryden to the Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources

 

Is the Council’s emergency out of hours telephone number 457457, still the correct number to call when residents need to contact the Council for that reason?

 

The Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources confirmed that the emergency out of hours number was still in operation and manned by a dedicated call handler. When the call handler is dealing with an enquiry, any new callers would be given the option of leaving a message. These messages were then screened and dealt with in priority order. The Executive Councillor agreed to review the content of the recorded message and amend if more clarity was needed.

 

2. Councillor Herbert to the Leader of the Council

 

What further effort is planned to recover the missing Folk Festival ticket money?

 

The Leader of the Council responded and noted that Councillor Herbert had asked a similar question at a recent meeting. Whilst a full written response had been provided on that occasion, the Leader and the Head of Legal Services would still be happy to meet with Councillor Herbert to discuss the issue in more detail.

 

3. Councillor Brierley to the Executive Councillor for Environmental and Waste Services

 

The litter in the area between Cambridge Regional College (CRC) and Campkin Way Tescos has been\is a persistent problem. I know a significant number of Kings Hedges residents are interested in what actions are being taken to reduce and mitigate the problem?

 

The Executive Councillor for Environmental and Waste Services acknowledged that this was a heavily littered area but confirmed that work was being undertaken to address the problem. Enforcement Teams undertook regular visits to CRC to discuss the problem with students, and the Tescos store and the Ocean Dragon takeaway had signed up to voluntary clean up activities. Five additional litterbins had also been installed and the City Rangers arranged regular ‘clean-up days’ in the local area. The City Council also worked closely with national bodies such as ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ who engaged with national campaigns to lobby supermarkets to use less packaging.

 

4. Councillor Reiner to the Executive Councillor for Community Development and Health

 

Could you please report back to the Council on the result of your discussions with the Post Office on the shortcomings of its new office on St. Andrew's Street?

 

The Executive Councillor for Community Development and Health confirmed that, after moving in December 2010, local residents had complained of limited floor space, narrow doorways and the lack of an external post box at the St Andrew’s Street location. The Executive Councillor had met with both the Regional and the Branch Manager to discuss the issue and it had been agreed that the Post Office would reposition its floor space, submit a planning application for a new front entrance and install an external post box. Public consultation on the planning application for the new front entrance expired on the 20 April, and as yet no objections had been received.

 

5. Councillor Price to the Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources

 

How effective has the Cam-Conservators implementation from April 1st of only granting punt licences to businesses operating from the 6 identified punt stations been, and, subsequently, what has been the effect on the numbers and behaviour of punt touts operating in the City Centre?

 

The Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources confirmed that since the 1 April 2011 the number of touts operating in the City Centre had decreased and that local shops and colleges had reported that their behaviour had improved. In June 2011 there was reported to be 29 touts operating in the Kings Parade area, whilst a recent count had noted 2 on a Sunday and 7 on a Bank Holiday. The Executive Councillor also noted that only two complaints had been received since 1 April and that any ongoing issues would be looked at in partnership with the Cam Conservators and the local Police.

 

6. Councillor Owers to the Executive Councillor for Environmental and Waste Services

 

In light of the Council's catastrophically poor record at taking enforcement action against irresponsible dog owners for dog-fouling, are there plans to co-operate with PCSOs and/or Police Officers to bolster enforcement efforts against dog-fouling?

 

The Executive Councillor for Environmental and Waste Services confirmed that City Council officers continued to target the known hotspots and monitor the situation. To address the problem, over 70,000 dog waste bags had been distributed, three additional Enforcement Officers had been trained and 8 suspected offenders had been contacted by letter. However it was noted that in order to take formal enforcement action, the offence had to be witnessed. A suggestion was made by the Executive Councillor that Area Committees propose this as a police priority. 

 

7. Councillor Pogonowski to the Leader of the Council

 

The Citizens Survey results show increasing dissatisfaction with the Lib Dem-led Cambridge City Council. Particularly, results of how well the Council keeps residents informed of how it spends money, committee meetings and what they are for, and how residents can get involved scored high levels of dissatisfaction. What will the Leader and her group do to remedy this situation?

 

The Leader of the Council responded that results of the Citizens Survey confirmed that overall dissatisfaction had not increased, but remained constant at 15%. It was also noted that, on questions relating to how well residents were being kept informed, the Council had performed well. Ongoing work by the Council included; improvements to the website, continuation of written information and the increased use of social media. 

 

The Leader highlighted that delegating more functions to Area Committees would also ensure that decisions were being made at a local level and with the input of residents.

 

8. Councillor Pogonowski to the Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources

 

What powers does the City Council have to prevent punt-operating companies having too great a market share in Cambridge?

 

The Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources said that the Council had taken a number of initiatives to ensure diversity of punt operators on the River. These included establishing opportunities for independent punt operators to offer services to the public from La Mimosa, as well as providing a base for punt operators at the Mill Pond and Mill Pit West in addition to the sites used by Scudamores. Other punt operators used sites not within the Council's ownership such as Trinity Punts, based at Trinity College.

 

9. Councillor Reiner to the Executive Councillor for Environmental and Waste Services

 

Could the Executive Councillor please report to Council on the success of the Cam Cleanup, which happened over the weekend?

 

The Executive Councillor for Environmental and Waste Services confirmed that the Cam Cleanup was a volunteer event supported by the City Council. Thanks were expressed to the 100 volunteers that took part and the City Rangers that had helped to manage the event. It was noted that over 100 bags of rubbish had been collected along the river bank from Fen Causeway to Fen Ditton.

 

The Executive Councillor confirmed that, once appointed, the Street Champion Co-ordinator would encourage other communities to have Cleanup events such as this.

 

10. Councillor Herbert to the Leader of the Council

 

Will she support the merging of the Cambridge Local Plan to 2030 into a single joint plan with South Cambridgeshire?

 

The Leader responded that the current timetable for adopting a new Local Plan was April 2014. South Cambridgeshire District Councils (SCDC) timetable was October 2015. Adopting a single plan and timetable for delivering it would delay adoption of a new joint plan to at least the slower of the two current timetables. It was noted that neither Council has proposed producing a joint plan during the initial plan making stages over the last 12 months.

 

The Leader confirmed that it was not necessary to have a single plan in order to deliver a successful Local Spatial Strategy for Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire. Each new Local Plan would have potentially quite different visions and have a number of different issues to address. It would however be necessary to co-operate for the successful planning of the sub-region, particularly with developments on the fringe sites.

 

It was noted that, in order to take this forward, new political governance arrangements between the three Councils had been put in place, supported by officer working groups (the Strategic Transport and Spatial Planning Group). These would oversee and advise in relation to those issues that were of genuine mutual interest and which required a strategic approach. The arrangements were working well and two meetings had already resulted in consensus around the process that the three Councils should be considering for the fringe sites as part of their issues and options consultation stages. This will be an appropriate approach to securing a joint planning outcome, without needing a single plan to be developed.

 

The Leader confirmed that both Council's also have discrete issues for their Local Plans that could add to the overall timetable but which may not be of mutual interest e.g. the review of village envelopes in SCDC's 100 or so parishes would result in significant representations being submitted through the local plan consultation stages. These would all have to be dealt with and considered through the democratic process, which would take time.  The Leader questioned whether it would be right to delay adoption of a plan for the City whilst these issues were being dealt with. It was noted that a delayed adoption timetable could result in unwanted, speculative development coming forward and the planning of the City being carried out through the appeal process rather than by influencing it locally through a new local development plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/19/CNL

To consider the following Notices of Motion, notice of which has been given by:

12/19/CNLa

Councillor Price

In the light of complaints about work quality following the transfer of the planned maintenance contract to an outside contractor, and the promises made that the first year’s scheduled work would be completed on time and to quality standards after delays in mobilisation, this Council calls for a full internal audit investigation into the effects of the delayed handover, work delivery, management, and costings relating to this contract.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Price proposed and Councillor Dryden seconded the following motion:

 

In the light of complaints about work quality following the transfer of the planned maintenance contract to an outside contractor, and the promises made that the first year’s scheduled work would be completed on time and to quality standards after delays in mobilisation, this Council calls for a full internal audit investigation into the effects of the delayed handover, work delivery, management, and costings relating to this contract.”

 

 

Councillor Smart proposed and Councillor Blackhurst seconded the following amendment:

 

Delete all and replace with:

 

“This Council notes that:

 

-  The Planned Maintenance contract started in July 2011 and at the end of February £2.5 million of the scheduled £5.3 million was due for payment

 

-  Apollo have increased the team on site, mobilized their supply chain and given assurances that the rest of the first year's work will be speeded up and will be completed by July 2012

 

-  Orders have also been placed with Kier Services, the secondary contractor, including the important fire safety work in the Ekin Road flats.

 

The Council further notes that:

 

-  the level of satisfaction by tenants is 95%

-  the quality of work inspections records a level of 95.4%

-  that a double inspection regime operates for electrical work in view of the concerns expressed during the previous contract.

 

The Council further notes that:

 

-  an Internal Audit on the contract and how it was managed, was completed in November 2011 and gave a “significant” level of assurance.

 

-  Council urges any tenant who is unhappy about work that is being done, to let the Council know, either directly or through their councillor or tenant representative so that steps can be taken to improve things.

 

-  Council also requests that a full report covering quality standards, tenant satisfaction, costings and the amount of work completed come to the Housing Management Board after the completion of the first year of the contract.”

 

 

On a show of hands the amendment was carried by 22 votes to 14

 

Resolved (by 24 votes to 1) that:

 

This Council notes that:

 

-  The Planned Maintenance contract started in July 2011 and at the end of February £2.5 million of the scheduled £5.3 million was due for payment

 

-  Apollo have increased the team on site, mobilized their supply chain and given assurances that the rest of the first year's work will be speeded up and will be completed by July 2012

 

-  Orders have also been placed with Kier Services, the secondary contractor, including the important fire safety work in the Ekin Road flats.

 

The Council further notes that:

 

-  the level of satisfaction by tenants is 95%

-  the quality of work inspections records a level of 95.4%

-  that a double inspection regime operates for electrical work in view of the concerns expressed during the previous contract.

 

The Council further notes that:

 

-  an Internal Audit on the contract and how it was managed, was completed in November 2011 and gave a “significant” level of assurance.

 

-  Council urges any tenant who is unhappy about work that is being done, to let the Council know, either directly or through their councillor or tenant representative so that steps can be taken to improve things.

 

-  Council also requests that a full report covering quality standards, tenant satisfaction, costings and the amount of work completed come to the Housing Management Board after the completion of the first year of the contract.

12/19/CNLb

Councillor Marchant-Daisley and Todd-Jones

The Council recognises the vital contribution that well-run Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) make in providing housing for families, students, professionals and migrant workers.

 

However, given problems from some HMOs failing to deliver quality, safe housing, or creating serious problems for neighbours, the Council requests the Executive Councillor for Housing to bring forward a report to assess options to improve the operation and regulation of HMOs in Cambridge, including: 

 

1) extending the current HMO definition to include all properties with 3 or more people in two or more unrelated households, regardless of the building layout

 

2) improved enforcement of breaches of licences granted to HMOs, and

 

3) wider adoption of best practice on HMOs by comparable cities including Oxford,

 

and that the Head of Planning Services also report to the Executive Councillor for Planning and Sustainable Transport and the Development Plan Scrutiny Sub-Committee on the future option of denying permission for additional HMOs in any street or 200 metre stretch of any street where HMO numbers reach 25% of residential properties, to enable inclusion of this proposal in the summer ‘issues and options’ consultation on the Cambridge Local Plan 2014 to 2031.

Minutes:

Councillor Marchant-Daisley proposed and Councillor Todd-Jones seconded the following motion:

 

“The Council recognises the vital contribution that well-run Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) make in providing housing for families, students, professionals and migrant workers.

 

However, given problems from some HMOs failing to deliver quality, safe housing, or creating serious problems for neighbours, the Council requests the Executive Councillor for Housing to bring forward a report to assess options to improve the operation and regulation of HMOs in Cambridge, including:

 

1) extending the current HMO definition to include all properties with 3 or more people in two or more unrelated households, regardless of the building layout

 

2) improved enforcement of breaches of licences granted to HMOs, and

 

3) wider adoption of best practice on HMOs by comparable cities including Oxford,

 

and that the Head of Planning Services also report to the Executive Councillor for Planning and Sustainable Transport and the Development Plan Scrutiny Sub-Committee on the future option of denying permission for additional HMOs in any street or 200 metre stretch of any street where HMO numbers reach 25% of residential properties, to enable inclusion of this proposal in the summer ‘issues and options’ consultation on the Cambridge Local Plan 2014 to 2031.”

 

Councillor Smart proposed and Councillor Ward seconded the following amendment:

 

Delete all and replace with:

 

“The Council recognises the vital contribution that shared rented housing makes in providing homes for students, professionals, migrant workers and many people on low incomes. It acknowledges that housing is expensive in Cambridge and that this is the only way many people can afford to live in the city.

 

Council therefore rejects the idea of limiting the number of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in the city or part of the city. If restrictions are put in place, rents would rise and people would quickly be priced out of the city. Making it difficult for people to access shared housing in the city, could have a disastrous effect on the economy of the area. 

 

Council notes the desire of some to “extend the current HMO definition to include all properties with 3 or more people in two or more unrelated households, regardless of the building layout” but also notes that the conditions required in the legislation are not present in Cambridge to extend the licensing system in this way and agrees that it should be kept under review. However, Council also recognises that the implementation of the licensing of smaller properties can be deeply intrusive and lead to complex enquiries about details of people's relationships and domestic arrangements which are no business of the council. Any extension of the licensing system would need to be framed to avoid this.

 

The Council also notes that, while the majority of landlords are responsible and manage their houses in a satisfactory way, a minority are not, causing severe problems both to their tenants and to the neighbours.  It further notes that while the majority of residents are responsible people, some are not and are inconsiderate, irresponsible and cause considerable problems to their neighbours

 

The Council therefore endorses the actions of the Environmental Health Officers in responding to complaints and working towards changing the behaviour of the irresponsible minority in all types of tenure whether landlords, tenants or home-owners. It notes that advice, warnings, enforcement letters, injunctions, confiscations and full prosecution are all used to this end. 

 

However, Council requests that an annual report is brought to Community Services Scrutiny Committee detailing the number and type of complaints received by the Environmental Health Department and how they have been dealt with, including the number of prosecutions.”

 

On a show of hands the amendment was carried by 22 votes to 14

 

 

Councillor Pogonowski proposed and Councillor Ward seconded the following amendment:

 

To add at the end:

 

“The Council further recognises that the massive shortage of secure and affordable tenancies in the city is forcing many to live in inappropriate accommodation or in many cases housing poverty.

 

In order to help the Council implement housing and planning policy effectively, the Council requests the Executive Councillor for Housing conduct a comprehensive survey into city residents living in private rented accommodation, which looks at rents, agents fees, quality and safety, housing security and the location of housing.

 

The Council requests that the results from this survey go to Community Services Scrutiny Committee and the Development Plan Scrutiny Sub Committee to look at the findings and to help inform debate around the Local Plan Review with regards to HMOs.”

 

On a show of hands the amendment was carried unanimously.

 

Resolved (by 22 votes to 0) that:  

 

The Council recognises the vital contribution that shared rented housing makes in providing homes for students, professionals, migrant workers and many people on low incomes. It acknowledges that housing is expensive in Cambridge and that this is the only way many people can afford to live in the city.

 

Council therefore rejects the idea of limiting the number of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in the city or part of the city. If restrictions are put in place, rents would rise and people would quickly be priced out of the city. Making it difficult for people to access shared housing in the city, could have a disastrous effect on the economy of the area. 

 

Council notes the desire of some to “extend the current HMO definition to include all properties with 3 or more people in two or more unrelated households, regardless of the building layout” but also notes that the conditions required in the legislation are not present in Cambridge to extend the licensing system in this way and agrees that it should be kept under review. However, Council also recognises that the implementation of the licensing of smaller properties can be deeply intrusive and lead to complex enquiries about details of people's relationships and domestic arrangements which are no business of the council. Any extension of the licensing system would need to be framed to avoid this.

 

The Council also notes that, while the majority of landlords are responsible and manage their houses in a satisfactory way, a minority are not, causing severe problems both to their tenants and to the neighbours.  It further notes that while the majority of residents are responsible people, some are not and are inconsiderate, irresponsible and cause considerable problems to their neighbours

 

The Council therefore endorses the actions of the Environmental Health Officers in responding to complaints and working towards changing the behaviour of the irresponsible minority in all types of tenure whether landlords, tenants or home-owners. It notes that advice, warnings, enforcement letters, injunctions, confiscations and full prosecution are all used to this end. 

 

However, Council requests that an annual report is brought to Community Services Scrutiny Committee detailing the number and type of complaints received by the Environmental Health Department and how they have been dealt with, including the number of prosecutions.

 

The Council further recognises that the massive shortage of secure and affordable tenancies in the city is forcing many to live in inappropriate accommodation or in many cases housing poverty.

 

In order to help the Council implement housing and planning policy effectively, the Council requests the Executive Councillor for Housing conduct a comprehensive survey into city residents living in private rented accommodation, which looks at rents, agents fees, quality and safety, housing security and the location of housing.

 

The Council requests that the results from this survey go to Community Services Scrutiny Committee and the Development Plan Scrutiny Sub Committee to look at the findings and to help inform debate around the Local Plan Review with regards to HMOs.

12/19/CNLc

Councillor Ashton

The Council extends its wholehearted congratulations to Marshall of Cambridge for its outstanding contribution to the city, and most recently for persuading the European Office of ExecuJet to relocate from Switzerland to Cambridge, at a time when other firms are leaving the UK.

 

The Council is committed to supporting the continued success of all major Cambridge employers and welcomes the Marshall decision to retain its main base in Cambridge, thus helping to protect 2000 direct jobs plus an estimated 4000 further local jobs that currently service this great Cambridge company.  

Minutes:

Councillor Ashton proposed and Councillor Dryden seconded the following motion:

 

“The Council extends its wholehearted congratulations to Marshall of Cambridge for its outstanding contribution to the city, and most recently for persuading the European Office of ExecuJet to relocate from Switzerland to Cambridge, at a time when other firms are leaving the UK.

 

The Council is committed to supporting the continued success of all major Cambridge employers and welcomes the Marshall decision to retain its main base in Cambridge, thus helping to protect 2000 direct jobs plus an estimated 4000 further local jobs that currently service this great Cambridge company.”

 

Councillor Reid proposed and Councillor Taylor seconded the following amendment:

 

After:

 

“The Council extends its wholehearted congratulations to Marshall of Cambridge for its outstanding contribution to the city, and most recently for persuading the European Office of ExecuJet to relocate from Switzerland to Cambridge, at a time when other firms are leaving the UK.”

 

Delete the rest and replace with:

 

“The Council is committed to supporting the continued success of employers in the Cambridge area and notes and welcomes Marshall’s longstanding commitment to retaining its operating bases here, thus helping to protect over 2000 direct jobs plus an estimated 4000 further local jobs that currently service this great Cambridge company. It further welcomes Marshall’s apprenticeship programme and the company’s strong contribution both to the community and to the wider interests of the Cambridge economy. 

 

The Council is committed to supporting growth in the Cambridge economy, and notes that the combined South Cambridgeshire and Cambridge jobs have grown from 157,200 in 2000 to 180,300 in 2011 and that those in Cambridge itself have grown from 91,600 to 97,400 in the same period.

The Council further recognises the Centre for Cities report showing how well Cambridge has fared in the downturn compared to 64 other UK cities and how well it is placed for economic growth. 

 

The Council further welcomes measures to improve employment opportunities in Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire, particularly for young people. These include our partnership’s new Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire grant fund, the Council’s Economic Inclusion grants and Cambridge Regional College’s ‘100 Apprentice’ campaign. “

 

 

On a show of hands the amendment was carried by 18 votes to 13

 

Councillor Blencowe proposed and Councillor Owers seconded the following amendment:

 

After:

 

“The Council is committed to supporting the continued success of employers in the Cambridge area and notes and welcomes Marshall’s longstanding commitment to retaining its operating bases here,”

 

Add the wording:

 

“on its present site,”

 

The amendment was lost by 12 votes to 17

 

Resolved (by 17 votes to 0) that:

 

The Council extends its wholehearted congratulations to Marshall of Cambridge for its outstanding contribution to the city, and most recently for persuading the European Office of ExecuJet to relocate from Switzerland to Cambridge, at a time when other firms are leaving the UK.

 

The Council is committed to supporting the continued success of employers in the Cambridge area and notes and welcomes Marshall’s longstanding commitment to retaining its operating bases here, thus helping to protect over 2000 direct jobs plus an estimated 4000 further local jobs that currently service this great Cambridge company. It further welcomes Marshall’s apprenticeship programme and the company’s strong contribution both to the community and to the wider interests of the Cambridge economy. 

 

The Council is committed to supporting growth in the Cambridge economy, and notes that the combined South Cambridgeshire and Cambridge jobs have grown from 157,200 in 2000 to 180,300 in 2011 and that those in Cambridge itself have grown from 91,600 to 97,400 in the same period.

The Council further recognises the Centre for Cities report showing how well Cambridge has fared in the downturn compared to 64 other UK cities and how well it is placed for economic growth. 

 

The Council further welcomes measures to improve employment opportunities in Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire, particularly for young people. These include our partnership’s new Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire grant fund, the Council’s Economic Inclusion grants and Cambridge Regional College’s ‘100 Apprentice’ campaign.

 

 

 

 

12/19/CNLd

Councillor McGovern

This Council:

 

-  welcomes news that there will be no programme of post office closures under the Coalition Government.

 

-  recognises that the Post Office is more than a commercial entity and serves a distinct social purpose.

 

-  notes that the Coalition Government will support greater involvement of local authorities in planning and delivering local post office provision.

 

-  asks officers to investigate opening post office branches in locations where Cambridge residents access council services 

Minutes:

Councillor McGovern proposed and Councillor Reid seconded the following motion: 

 

“This Council:

 

-  welcomes news that there will be no programme of post office closures under the Coalition Government.

 

-  recognises that the Post Office is more than a commercial entity and serves a distinct social purpose.

 

-  notes that the Coalition Government will support greater involvement of local authorities in planning and delivering local post office provision.

 

-  asks officers to investigate opening post office branches in locations where Cambridge residents access council services”

 

Councillor Blencowe proposed and Councillor Price seconded the following amendment:

 

Add an additional bullet point that reads as follows between original bullet point 3 and 4:

 

-  “Notes that the Liberal Democrats running the City Council have had 12 years in which to investigate opening post office branches in locations where Cambridge residents access council services and only now

 

Add new bullet point at the end

 

-  Does not welcome the fact that the coalition government is allowing the privatisation of Royal Mail.”

 

The amendment was lost by 13 votes to 19

 

Resolved (by 19 votes to 0) that:

 

This Council:

 

-  welcomes news that there will be no programme of post office closures under the Coalition Government.

 

-  recognises that the Post Office is more than a commercial entity and serves a distinct social purpose.

 

-  notes that the Coalition Government will support greater involvement of local authorities in planning and delivering local post office provision.

 

-  asks officers to investigate opening post office branches in locations where Cambridge residents access council services.

12/20/CNL

Written Questions pdf icon PDF 138 KB

No discussion will take place on this item. Members will be asked to note the written questions and answers document as circulated around the Chamber.

 

Minutes:

Members noted the written questions and answers circulated around the Chamber.