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Agenda and minutes

Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 4th July, 2011 5.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1 & 2 - Guildhall. View directions

Contact: Martin Whelan  01223 457012

Note: The papers relating to item 13 were updated on 24th June to reflect updated statistics 

Items
No. Item

11/38/SR

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Rosenstiel. Councillor Saunders attended as an alternate.

11/39/SR

Declarations of interest

Members are asked to declare at this stage any interests that they may have in an item shown on this agenda. If any member of the Committee is unsure whether or not they should declare an interest on a particular matter, they should seek advice from the Head of Legal Services before the meeting. 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Saunders declared a personal interest in items 12 and 13 as a member of Transition Cambridge.  

11/40/SR

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 94 KB

To confirm the minutes of the Meeting held on 21 March 2011 and the Special Meeting held on 26 May 2011.  

Minutes:

The minutes were approved as a true and accurate record subject to the following amendment

 

11/27/SR

 

Delete “The Leader acknowledged the concerns and agreed to address the issues raised outside of the meeting” and replace with “The Leader acknowledged the question and agreed to address the issues raised outside of the meeting”.

 

The Leader confirmed that following an investigation it was confirmed that the Ward Councillors had been consulted on the issue. 

 

11/41/SR

Public Questions

Minutes:

It was agreed to defer the public questions to the beginning of the appropriate item.

11/42/SR

Record of Urgent Decisions taken by the Leader of the Council and the Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources

To note decisions taken by the Leader of the Council and the Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources since the last meeting of the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee. 

11/42/SRa

Olympic Torch Relay pdf icon PDF 41 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Olympic Torch Relay

 

The committee noted the record of urgent decision taken by the Leader of the Council regarding the Olympic Torch Relay.

 

Clarification was requested on the financial liability to the City Council. The Chief Executive advised that the briefing note appended to the original record of decision was based on the worst-case scenario of £150k shared equally between the City and County Council. The committee were advised that until the exact details of the route were confirmed, it would not be possible to provide an exact cost. It was noted that it was hoped to use the existing infrastructure of the Big Weekend and seek sponsorship to further reduce the cost to the Council. 

11/43/SR

Annual Treasury Management Report 2010/11 pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: To consider the Annual Treasury Management Report 2010/11

 

Decision of the Leader

 

The Leader resolved to recommend approval of the Annual Treasury Management Report 2010/11 to Council on 21st July 2011.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: N/A

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received the Annual Treasury Management Report 2010/11 from the Director of Resources.

 

The committee made the following comments on the report.

 

i.  Clarification was requested on the use of the terminology “dividend” on page 33 of the committee report. The Director of Resources explained that the report used standard treasury management terminology.

 

ii.  It was questioned whether the Council could obtain better rates of interest when lending to other local authorities. The Director of Resources explained that the interest rates available to the Council were significantly lower than rates available to individuals. In response to a further question of a similar nature, it was explained that the available rates varied day to day.

 

iii.  In response to a question regarding future trends, the Director of Resources explained that the majority of macro economic projections were predicting flat economic growth for the next couple of years.

 

iv.  Clarification was requested on whether it would be possible for the council to use the available reserves to fund the building of council houses instead of lending to other local authorities. The Director of Resources explained that the current Housing Revenue Account arrangements provided a disincentive to the Council to do this, but that this would change in April 2012. It was also explained that the sums of money listed were not generally available long term, so would not be available for 20-30 year projects.

 

v.  An update was requested on the progress with the Icelandic bank settlement. The Director of Resources explained that in relation to Lansbanki, the settlement in line with figures shown in the draft final accounts is anticipated based on the Icelandic legal decision. Heritable Bank is being liquidated under Scottish Law and payments continue to be made, with the next one due in August 2011.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendations by 5 votes to 0.

 

The Leader approved the recommendation.

11/44/SR

2010/11 Outturn - Strategy and Climate Change Portfolio pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: To consider the 2010/11 Outturn – Strategy and Climate Change Portfolio.

 

Decision of the Leader

 

The Leader resolved to recommend carry forward requests totalling £69,200 (Appendix C – Committee Report) to Council for approval.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: N/A

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report from the Director of Resources regarding the 2010/11 Outturn – Strategy and Climate Change Portfolio.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendations by 5 votes to 0.

 

The Leader approved the recommendation. 

11/45/SR

2010/11 - Outturn - Overview pdf icon PDF 265 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: To consider the 2010/11 – Outturn – Overview.

 

Decision of the Leader

 

The Leader resolved to recommend to Council for approval

 

i.  Revenue – Carry forwards requests totalling £768,010 - subject to the final outturn position.

 

ii.  Capital – Carry forward (net) capital resources to fund re-phased capital spending of £9,071,000

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: N/A

 

The committee received a report from the Director of Resources regarding the 2010/11 Outturn – Overview.

 

Clarification was requested on reference to redundancies related to the Customer Services Centre. The Chief Executive explained the principle of the Customer Services Centre and that provision had been made for the redundancy costs associated with the implementation of the business case.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendations by 5 votes to 0.

 

The Leader approved the recommendation. 

11/46/SR

Lion Yard Toilets Equalities Impact Assessment pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee received three public questions from

 

·  Janet Griffiths – Secretary of the Friends of Disability

 

·  Christine Philips – Secretary of the Cambridge Branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society

 

·  Georgie Deards

 

The public speakers made following comments

 

i.  The poor suitability of the suggested first floor location and the limitations of the main access routes to the first floor location.

 

ii.  The fear of lifts may discourage people from coming into the City Centre.

 

iii.  The symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis particularly bladder and bowel urgency/frequency were explained. It was suggested that the first floor location would result in people with Multiple Sclerosis not using the city centre.

 

iv.  The importance of providing well-placed and suitable city centre toilets was emphasised.

 

The Leader responded to the public questions and acknowledged the concerns raised by the speakers, and made the following points

 

i.  The Leader advised that following the previous decision an equalities impact assessment had been produced based on comprehensive consultation. It was explained that the EQIA focussed on the re-provision of the toilets and the use of lifts.

 

ii.  The Leader explained that the Planning Committee had refused the closure of the Fisher Square entrance in 2007, but that the Planning Inspectorate had approved the application on appeal.

 

iii.  The Leader explained that the report was proposing refusal of the previous proposal and the new proposal presented by the developers. It was emphasised that the new proposal was not endorsed or recommended for approval. The Leader advised that due to the significance of the decision and the wider implications for the city centre, the decision was the responsibility of the Leader. 

 

iv.  The Leader emphasised that due to the previous decision of the Planning Inspectorate the current arrangements may not be maintainable.  However the 2008 solution, closing the Fisher Square entrance but retaining ground floor toilets with a new exit, has landlord consent.

 

Georgie Deards responded to the Leader and emphasised the importance of maintaining and providing toilets in the city centre - The Leader agreed and advised that in the absence of a new scheme landlord consent remained for the closure of Fisher Square entrance and the relocation of the entrance to the toilets, with toilets remaining on the ground floor. It was noted that the consented scheme is not felt to be covered by the existing planning consent and that an EQIA would need to be considered as part of the process.

 

Christine Philips requested clarification on the access arrangements to the toilets after the shop closing times. The Leader acknowledged the concern for any future arrangements.

 

Councillor Bird addressed the committee and made the following comments

 

i.  Signage to the toilets in the city centre needed to be improved and lower.

 

ii.  The current entrance to the toilets was currently dim

 

iii.  There needed to be a proper fire assessment as part of any process looking at new schemes.

 

The Leader welcomed the points raised by Councillor Bird and agreed to forward all the suggestions to City Centre Management (for signs).  It was also clarified that the lighting issues in the Grand Arcade entrance should be progressed irrespective of the toilet scheme. The Leader said this point would be made to the Grand Arcade.

 

Councillor Bird thanked the Leader for the response. Cllr Bird also raised the possibility of involving disability groups in consultations with Love Cambridge. Councillor Bird was also thanked for organising the city centre wheel chair tour.

 

Matter for Decision: To consider the Lion Yard Toilets Equalities Impact Assessment.

 

Decision of the Leader

 

The Leader resolved to

 

i.   Agree that consent should not be given to any formal request from Aberdeen Asset Management for landlord’s consent to the relocation of the city centre public toilets at Lion Yard based on the original proposals (Option 1 Appendix B – Committee Report).

 

ii.  Agree that landlord’s consent should not be given to the revised proposal received from Aberdeen Asset Management on 15 June 2011 (Option 2 Appendix B – Committee Report) as the scheme does not adequately mitigate the negative impacts of the original scheme and introduces a new negative impact by reducing the male facilities.

 

iii.  Call on the developer to implement either the 2008 scheme (Strategy & Resources Scrutiny Committee - 1st September 2008) or an improved scheme both subject to Equalities Impact Assessment (EQIA), consultation, planning and landlords consent as required, or for the toilets to remain as presently located

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: N/A

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a committee report from the Director of Resources regarding the Lion Yard Toilets Equalities Impact Assessment. The Director of Resources clarified that the Grand Arcade was not managed or owned by the City Council, so that any improvements were the responsibility of DTZ.

 

Councillor Brown proposed an amendment to insert “city centre public” in recommendation a, immediately prior to the word toilet. The amendment was approved by 9 votes to 0.

 

Following discussion it was agreed to add a third recommendation calling on the developers to either implement the 2008 scheme or a better scheme, both subject to EQIA assessment, consultation, planning and landlord consent as required, or to support the toilets as presently located. It was agreed that Chair, Leader and Spokes would agree the precise wording. The amendment was approved by 9 votes to 0.

 

Clarification was required on whether an obligation on the Council would be created to grant landlord consent, if planning consent was achieved. It was explained that no obligation existed unless the Council acted unreasonably. The committee were advised that whilst landlord consent was principally in the control of the Council it could be challenged in the courts, if unreasonably withheld.

 

Reference was drawn to the EQIA, and specifically the comments regarding gender re-assignment issues. The committee were advised that transgendered individuals might feel uncomfortable using gender segregated facilities, and would prefer to use accessible facilities. The Leader acknowledged the concerns raised.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendations by 9 votes to 0.

 

The Leader approved the recommendations.

11/47/SR

Disposal of St Matthews Play Centre and Adjoining Play Area pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: To consider a report regarding the disposal of St Matthews Play Centre and Adjoining Play Area.

 

Decision of the Leader

 

The Leader resolved to

 

i.   Approve the sale of this property on the terms outlined in paragraph 6.1of the committee report.

 

ii.  Approve that a capital scheme of £55,000 be included in the Council's Capital Plan for new play equipment in the Petersfield area, in particularly Norfolk Street and Flower Street. It is proposed that the capital scheme be funded from the capital receipt generated by the disposal of the St Matthew's play area.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: N/A

 

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report on the disposal of St Matthews Play Centre and Adjoining Play Area from the Chief Estates Surveyor.

 

The committee made the following comments on the report.

 

i.  Mr Tweed was questioned about whether assurances could be given to the continuation of extended school services. It was clarified that the County Council as commissioner of school services would specify the continuation of extended school services in the event of a change of status.

 

ii.  Clarification was requested on whether the improvements to the school would enable an increase in the number of form entry. It was confirmed that this was the case.

 

iii.  It was suggested that due to the size of the Petersfield ward the re-provision of play equipment should be focussed in the immediate area of the existing facilities. Following discussion it was agreed to amend the wording to reflect that the funding should be focussed on the Norfolk and Flower Street Play areas.

 

The Chief Executive responded to the issues raised in the report regarding the possibility of the County Council buying the former Howard Mallet Site and using it as a land swap. The committee were advised that the current tenants Allia were 6 years into a 126-year lease and as a result of other developments, were required to dispose of the land for the best terms they could achieve. The County Council had stated they felt re-purchasing the site from Allia would be unaffordable.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered an amendment to replace “including” in recommendation 2.2 and insert “in particularly”. The Scrutiny Committee agreed the amendment by 9 votes to 0.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered the amended recommendation and approved the recommendation by 9 votes to 0.

 

The Leader approved the recommendation.

11/48/SR

Code of Best Practice on Consultation pdf icon PDF 146 KB

The public consultation on the Code of Practice closed on 24th June, after the internal deadline for officers to submit reports for circulation to this committee, a revised draft Code of Practice will be circulated early in the week commencing 27th June if any significant further public consultation responses are received in the final week of consultation.   

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: To consider a report regarding the code of best practice on consultation.

 

Decision of the Leader

 

The Leader resolved to approve the code of best practice on consultation and request that all relevant committees review current consultation practice in light the code.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: N/A

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report from the Head of Corporate Strategy regarding the Code of Best Practice on Consultation.

 

The committee made the following comments

 

i.  It was suggested that the tone of paragraph 9.3 was inconsistent with the aspirations of the rest of the document, and was overly negative. It was suggested that the paragraph should be removed. The Head of Corporate Strategy agreed.

 

ii.  Clarification was requested on whether there was a definition of major consultation. The Head of Corporate Strategy explained that it was very difficult to define and would be based on the judgement of senior managers.

 

iii.  The possibility of the council establishing a facebook page was suggested to support consultation. The Head of Corporate Strategy welcomed the suggestion and explained that Customer Services were currently exploring the possibility of setting up a page.

 

iv.  An additional recommendation was suggested requiring all relevant committees to review current consultation practice in light the code.

 

v.  Clarification was requested on why the reference to group leaders being automatically sent all major consultations had been removed. The Head of Corporate Strategy explained that different Councillors had different views on the subject, and agreed to address specific issues raised by Cllr Pogonowski outside of the meeting.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the following amendments by 8 votes to 0.

 

i.  Deletion of paragraph 9.3

 

ii.  Insertion of a third recommendation “All relevant committees should review current consultation practice in light the code”

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the amended recommendations by 8 votes to 0.

 

The Leader approved the recommendation.

11/49/SR

Installation of Solar PV and Feed In Tariffs (FITs) on Council Buildings pdf icon PDF 166 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: To consider a report regarding the installation of Solar PV and Feed in Tarrifs.

 

Decision of the Leader

 

The Leader resolved to

 

Financial recommendations

 

i.  Approve commencement of the Energy Management Initiative, included in the Council’s Capital Plan as two schemes – one within PR001, the Housing Capital Investment Programme and SC504, Energy Management Initiatives (General Fund).

 

Procurement recommendations

 

ii.  Approve the procurement and installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and other necessary equipment under the Planned Maintenance Framework.

 

iii.  Agree that if the quotation or tender sum exceeds the estimated contract value by more than 15% the permission of the Leader and Director of Finance will be sought prior to proceeding.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: N/A

 

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report on the installation of Solar PV and Feed in Tariffs (FITs) on Council Buildings.

 

Clarification was requested on whether the proposed project was within the remit of the planning maintenance contract. The Head of Corporate Strategy confirmed that the project was within the remit.

 

It was questioned why Abbey Pool was not included in the scheme. The Director of Resources explained that a number of factors were used to select suitable locations for inclusion in the scheme such as a south facing roof, and that not all buildings were suitable.

 

The Leader explained that the project was a balance between visibility and financial return, and that due to the nature of the tariffs the initial focus was on financial return.

 

Councillor Benstead requested that Scrutiny Committee consider the financial and procurement recommendations separately.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the financial recommendations by 7 votes to 0, and the procurement recommendations by 5 votes to 0.

 

The Leader approved the recommendation.  

11/50/SR

Climate Change Fund - Annual Status Report pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: To consider the Climate Change Fund – Annual Status Report and the draft annual greenhouse gas report.

 

Decision of the Leader

 

The Leader resolved to

 

i.  Approve the third annual status report for the Council’s Climate Change Fund

 

ii.  Reconfirm the purpose and aims of the Climate Change Fund

 

iii.  Approve the Council’s draft Greenhouse Gas Report (Appendix C – Committee Report), for publication on the Council’s website in July.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: N/A

 

The committee received a report from the Head of Corporate Strategy regarding the Climate Change Fund – Annual Status Report and the Draft Annual Greenhouse Gas report.

 

It was questioned why gases other than C02 were not included in the report – The Head of Corporate Strategy advised that the report also covered C02 equivalent gases.

 

The report was welcomed along with the wide range of activities undertaken across the Council to reduce the Climate Change impact of the Councils activities.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendations by 7 votes to 0.

 

The Leader approved the recommendation.

11/51/SR

Response to the petition presented at the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee on 21st March 2011 pdf icon PDF 49 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: To consider the response to the petition presented at the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee on 21st March 2011.

 

Decision of the Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources

 

The Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources resolved not to introduce a ban on the sale or distribution of fur on all council property, land and at Council events in light of the advice from Legal Services. 

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: N/A

 

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report from the Chief Estates Surveyor in response to the petition presented to the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee on 21st March 2011.

 

The committee welcomed the report. It was agreed that whilst the activities and processes remained legal, it was not appropriate for the council to make subjective moral judgements. The concerns of the petitioners were acknowledged, but it was suggested that the petition could have been better focused on the more objectionable aspects of the production of animal fur.

 

A comparison was made with historical issues associated with betting shops in Arbury Court. The Head of Legal Services explained that the situation was slightly different. The committee were reminded of the legal framework in which Councils operate.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendation by 5 votes to 0.

 

The Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources approved the recommendation.

11/52/SR

2010/11 Outturn - Customer Services and Resources pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: To consider the 2010/11 Outturn – Customer Services and Resources portfolio.

 

Decision of the Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources

 

The Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources resolved to recommend to Council for approval

 

i.  Carry forward requests, totalling £160, 860

 

ii.  Carry forward capital resources of £1,011,000 to fund re-phased net capital spending from 2010/11 into 2011/12 (and future years)

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: N/A

 

Scrutiny Considerations:

 

The committee received a report from the Director of Resources regarding the 2010/11 Outturn – Customer Services and Resources Change Portfolio.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendations by 5 votes to 0.

 

The Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources approved the recommendation. 

11/53/SR

Charter Market Regulations for the General Market and the Sunday Arts, Craft and Local Produce Market pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr John Curtis addressed the committee and expressed concerns regarding the proposed changes affecting the Sunday Arts, Craft and Local Produce Market.

 

The following issues were addressed to the Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources,

 

i.  The reduced number of “weeks off”

 

ii.  Concern about the lack of a waiting list and the potential for consequential delays in filling vacant stalls on the market.

 

iii.  The large number of traders who would prefer the retention of the existing terms and conditions.

 

The Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources responded to the comments from Mr Curtis. It was noted that there had been extensive dialogue regarding the proposed changes, and that the intention was to increase the vibrancy of the market and occupancy rate. It was also explained that a waiting list had previously existed but there were a number of logistical problems inherent in a waiting list based system.

 

The Head of Tourism and City Centre Management re-iterated the logistical difficulties in maintaining a waiting list. The process for filling casual vacancies was explained to the committee.

 

Mr Curtis responded that he didn’t agree that a waiting list would be difficult to manage. Concerns were also raised about the increasing number of weekday traders trading on a Sunday, and the reduced level of Arts, Crafts and Local Produce traders on a Sunday.

 

The Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources acknowledged the concerns raised by Mr Curtis. The Head of Tourism and City Centre Management explained that the overall principle was to align the regulations governing the Sunday and Weekday markets.

 

Matter for Decision: To consider a report regarding the charter market regulations for the general market and the Sunday Arts, Craft and Local Produce Market.

 

Decision of the Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources

 

The Executive Councillor resolved toapprove the updated Charter Market Regulations, which will become effective from 1st August 2011.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: N/A

 

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report from the Head of Tourism and City Centre Management regarding the Charter Market Regulations.

 

The committee made the following comments on the report

 

i.  The generous terms offered to stall holders were highlighted regarding notice required to cease trading on the market– The Head of Tourism and City Centre Management explained that in the old regulations no notice period was required if a trader decided to leave the market. A notice period of one month has now been introduced as part of the new regulations.

 

ii.  Clarification was requested on the average absence level – The Head of Tourism and City Centre Management provided an indicative overview of the normal levels of absences.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendations by 8 votes to 0.

 

The Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources approved the recommendation.

11/54/SR

Annual Review presentation by the Chair of Love Cambridge pdf icon PDF 2 MB

This item is included separately.  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr Richard Taylor addressed the committee and made the following points

 

i.  What mechanisms were in place to monitor the performance of the resident’s representative on the board?

 

ii.  The importance of Love Cambridge adopting democratic and transparent practices such as voluntary freedom of information registration.

 

iii.  Clarification was requested on the relative proportions of private and public money, which were used to support the partnership.

 

iv.  Further information was requested on the Customer Services prize won by Boudoir Femme.

 

v.  Clarification was requested on the consultation role of Love Cambridge.

 

The Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources responded

 

i.  It was confirmed that the accounts for Love Cambridge were freely available in full format from Companies House.

 

ii.  Commitments from the previous Executive Councillor were acknowledged regarding openness and transparency. The positive actions implemented by the partnership were highlighted, and it was suggested that the partnership was significantly more transparent compared with the Local Economic Partnership.

 

iii.  It was confirmed that the Customer Services prize had been judged and awarded by an external company.

 

The Head of Tourism and City Centre Management made the following additional comments in response to the public question.

 

i.  It was explained that the resident’s representative was seeking to forge a strong relationship with the new federation of residents associations, and had also recently attended a meeting of the Park Street Residents Association. It was emphasised that the current representative was very conscious of fulfilling the role effectively, but was a very busy individual with many commitments to be balanced.

 

ii.  It would be necessary to check the Memorandum and Articles of Love Cambridge to see what provision existed for rotating the role of Directors. The Head of Tourism and City Centre Management agreed to provide the precise details outside of the meeting.

 

iii.  The positive steps taken in relation to openness and transparency were highlighted, but the committee were advised that the approach to openness and transparency was consistent with the other 550+ similar partnerships across the UK.

 

iv.  The committee were advised that the partnership regularly circulates public consultation to members for onwards cascade.

 

The Leader outlined the limited progress in relation to promoting transparency with the LEP board. It was explained that the LEP agendas, papers and minutes would be published on the website, but at that moment stakeholders could only attend with the prior permission of the Chair.

 

Mr Richard Taylor responded to the responses with the following points.

 

i.  Clarification was requested on the split between private and public money.

 

ii.  The lack of a co-ordination role for consultations was questioned.

 

iii.  The lack of clarity on the recruitment mechanism for the appointment of the independent business representative was challenged. 

 

The committee received a presentation from the Chair of Love Cambridge regarding the activities of the partnership over the last 12 months and its future plans.  

 

The committee made the following comments on the presentation.

 

i.  The positive work of the partnership was welcomed and acknowledged.

 

ii.  Further clarification was requested on the relative balance between public and private sector funding support for the partnership. The Head of Tourism and City Centre Management advised that the split was approximately 75% private and 25% public at present. It was noted that the level of private sector funding had remained static, in contrast to many similar partnerships, which had seen funding removed or significantly reduced.

 

iii.  Additional information was requested on the accountability mechanisms for the individual members. The Chair of Love Cambridge advised that all directors were encouraged to be engaged and accountable to the wider community. It was explained that Directors would be challenged if they were not fulfilling their role.

 

The Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources advised the committee that both the City and County Council were represented on the partnership.

 

iv.  It was suggested that the principle of the meetings being open to the public to observe should be extended to the partnership – The Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources agreed to look into the suggestion.

 

v.  It was questioned whether there was a potential constraint on the ability of the partnership to promote independent business if the partnership was being funded by major chain stores – The Chair of Love Cambridge acknowledged that the partnership was partially funded by major chain stores, but they were committed to promoting independent shopping in the Cambridge. The Head of Tourism and City Centre Management highlighted that free advertising was provided in the Shopping Guide for up to 50 local businesses. It was also highlighted that all the core funders to the partnership were committed to promoting the independent businesses in Cambridge as they recognised the critical importance of promoting the “complete offer”

 

vi.  Concerns were raised regarding the level of engagement between the taxi trade and the partnership. Specific concerns were raised about the progress of a specific project – The Head of Tourism and City Centre Management advised that there were a number of taxi groups  in the city, some of which some were members. The Head of Tourism and City Centre Management highlighted that the survey mentioned was a city and county partnership project and the role of Love Cambridge had only been to help distribute the survey. It was agreed to follow up on the progress of the project mentioned as a concern of the taxi drivers.

 

vii.  Concerns were raised regarding the level of engagement between the taxi trade and the partnership. Specific concerns were raised about the progress of a specific project. The Head of Tourism and City Centre Management advised that there were a number of trade groups in the city, of which some were members. The Head of Tourism and City Centre Management also agreed to follow up on the progress of the project mentioned as a concern of the taxi drivers.

 

The committee thanked Mr Sandison and the Head of Tourism and City Centre Management for the presentation.

11/55/SR

Council Land at Clay Farm - Option Appraisal for Disposal pdf icon PDF 100 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: To consider a report regarding the options appraisal for the disposal of council land at clay farm.

 

Decision of the Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources

 

The Executive Councillor resolved to

 

i.  Authorise officers to pursue the disposal of the City Council’s land at Clay Farm as outlined in Option 2 of the committee report.

 

ii.  Delegate authority to the Director of Resources and the Head of Legal Services to agree a procurement process to select a preferred partner to dispose of the land to following consultation with the Leader; relevant Executive Councillors; and Opposition Spokespersons.

 

iii.   Note that a report be brought back to the Committee to authorise that a contract be entered into with the preferred partner.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: N/A

 

The committee received a report from the Head of Strategic Housing regarding the options appraisal for the disposal of council land at Clay Farm.

 

Clarification was requested on the benefits of option 2 over option 3. The Head of Strategic Housing explained that the site was not connected to the infrastructure network and that either the cost of the infrastructure would need to be met by the Council or one of the developers. The committee were advised that if the cost was passed to the developers it could impair the value of the remaining plots.

 

The possibility of emphasising the importance of prioritisation social housing was suggested. The Head of Strategic Housing explained that option 2 was designed to achieve the appropriate balance between capital receipt and delivering the aspirations of the Council.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendations by 7 votes to 0.

 

The Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources approved the recommendations.

11/56/SR

Temporary Agency Worker Provision as from November 2011

Minutes:

The committee resolved in accordance with paragraph 3 of the Part 1 of the Schedule 12a of the Local Government Act 1972 as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information – Variation) Order 2006 to exclude the press and public during the consideration of item 11/56/SR.

 

Matter for Decision: To consider a report regarding Temporary Agency Worker provision as from November 2011.

 

Decision of the Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources

 

The Executive Coucillor for Customer resolved to approve the recommendations in the exempt report.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: N/A

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report from the Head of Human Resources regarding the temporary agency worker provision as from November 2011.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendations by 5 votes to 0.

 

The Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources approved the recommendations.

11/57/SR

Upgrade to Fire Detection Systems pdf icon PDF 106 KB

 This item is included in the supplementary pack.

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: To consider a project appraisal to upgrade the fire detection systems.

 

Decision of the Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources

 

The Executive Councillor resolved to

 

Financial recommendations

 

i.  Approve commencement of the project, which is already included in the Council’s Capital Plan (Programme Reference PR024).

 

Procurement recommendations:

 

ii.  Approve the carrying out and completion of the procurement of the Upgrade to Fire Detection Systems.

 

iii.   Agree that if the quotation or tender sum exceeds the estimated contract value by more than 15% the permission of the Executive Councillor and Director of Resources will be sought prior to proceeding.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: N/A

 

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

N/A

 

The Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources approved the recommendation.  

11/58/SR

NNDR pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Minutes:

The committee resolved in accordance with paragraph 3 of the Part 1 of the Schedule 12a of the Local Government Act 1972 as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information – Variation) Order 2006 to exclude the press and public during the consideration of item 11/58/SR.

 

Matter for Decision: To consider write-off requests for NNDR (National Non-Domestic Rates)

 

Decision of the Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources

 

The Executive Councillor resolved to approve the write-offs as outlined in the exempt annex of the committee report.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: N/A

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

N/A

 

The Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources approved the recommendation.