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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, The Guildhall, Market Square, Cambridge, CB2 3QJ

Contact: Democratic Services  Committee Manager

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Items
No. Item

22/26/CNL

Minutes pdf icon PDF 462 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the 26 May 2022 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

22/27/CNL

Mayor's announcements

Minutes:

Commented that it was a privilege to attend so many jubilee events across the city.

 

Members were reminded that the annual Mayor’s Day Out to Great Yarmouth was taking place on Tuesday 16 August and that the Harvest Festival Civic Service would be taking place on Sunday 2 October at 10am at Great St. Mary’s Church.

 

Members observed a minute’s silence to mark the passing of former East Chesterton City Councillor Michael Bond. 

 

Member

Item

Interest

Councillor Baigent

All

Member of Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Councillor Davey

22/29/CNLd

Board Member of the Cambridge Investment Partnership

Councillor Bird

22/29/CNLd

Board Member of the Cambridge Investment Partnership

Councillor Thornburrow

22/29/CNLe

City Council Representative on the Conservators of the River Cam

Councillor Nethsingha

22/29/CNLe

Leader of the County Council

Councillor Dryden

22/29/CNLb

Director of Cherry Hinton Community Benefit Society

Councillor Dryden

22/29/CNLb

Director of Cherry Hinton Community Benefit Society

 

Under paragraph 4.2.1 of the Council Procedure Rules, the Mayor used their discretion to alter the order of the agenda items so that item 22/29/CNLd was considered at the end of the meeting. However, for ease of the reader, these minutes will follow the order of the published agenda.

22/28/CNL

Public questions time pdf icon PDF 105 KB

Minutes:

Members of the public asked a number of questions, as set out below.

 

Question 1

At the 2022 Annual Meeting, it was stated that Cambridge City Council is “absolutely committed to delivering on a site” to meet the needs of nomadic Gypsies and Travellers, who currently have no choice but to resort to unauthorised stopping in Cambridge, leading to repeated evictions. This is despite the centuries of historical ties that Gypsies and Travellers have to Cambridge, such as the much-loved Midsummer Fair.

 

The promise of a site is a significant step forward in this council’s commitment to upholding GRT rights. However, vital questions remain unanswered.

- Is this site intended to provide permanent pitches or temporary stopping places?

- What progress has been made in setting up the cross-party group promised by Cllr Healy at the Annual Meeting?

- What steps have been taken by this council to work together with Cambridge County Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council?

 

Executive Councillor for Equalities, Anti-Poverty and Wellbeing response:

Midsummer Fair had been a fantastic event following the pandemic, which a number of Councillors including the Mayor had attended. The Council had worked with the Showman’s Guild to ensure that Midsummer Fair was a welcoming event. Noted that there had been no unauthorised encampments during Midsummer Fair. Had committed during the Council’s AGM to the provision of a transient site but was still awaiting the findings of the Gypsy Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment (GTANA). Once the GTANA was available an assessment of need could be made and reflected in the Local Plan. A cross authority officer working group had been set up which was looking at potential negotiated stopping sites and permanent sites. Would be happy to speak further outside of the meeting.

 

Supplementary question

The member of the public commented that they did not place a lot of faith in the GTANA in terms of identifying the people passing through as noted that there could be some resistance to participating in the study when unknown officials came on to unauthorised encampment sites. Noted that there were few City Council Officer’s speaking with the travelling community themselves. Noted that little or no progress had been made on the provision of a negotiated stopping place over the last 2 years. Expressed concern that the Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill had now become law. Questioned what plans were being put in place for the travelling community over the summer period.

 

Executive Councillor for Equalities, Anti-Poverty and Wellbeing response:

Understood that officers had been meeting with the travelling community although this could be County Council officers as part of the multiagency approach. The GTANA would set out the minimum level of provision required, the Council could decide the more provision was needed than that detailed in the GTANA. The GTANA was a starting point. Regular meetings between the cross authority working group were taking place to look at potential negotiated stopping places.

 

Question 2

Last week, the consequences of the Police, Crimes, Sentencing and Courts Act (PCSC Act) was demonstrated when multiple vans of riot police were sent to evict a group of Travellers in Milton Keynes. According to news reports, this came despite the known presence of children at the encampment, and the fact that “there was little trouble” from those residing at the site, who left voluntarily. Four vehicles were impounded in this incident, potentially leaving families without homes.

 

Like Milton Keynes, Cambridge has no transit pitches for authorised stopping. Cambridge City Council has stated that it does not intend to bring criminal proceedings under the PCSC Act against those who stop on council land without authorisation, while refusing to commit to a moratorium on evictions in the absence of adequate authorised stopping provisions.

 

As this Council stated in its July 2021 ‘Motion on [the] Policing Bill’: “No family willingly stops somewhere they are not welcome.” Those who stop on council land without authorisation do so because they have nowhere else to go. This will continue to be the case once they have been evicted, and there is no guarantee that the landowner of their next encampment will take the same moral stance against prosecution. It is therefore not a matter if, but when this council’s actions will lead to criminal proceedings under the PCSC Act.

 

This does not have to be the case. At the 2022 Annual Meeting, Cllr Healy expressed a desire that this council explore options for negotiated stopping in Cambridge. It is increasingly clear that this provision cannot come soon enough.

 

What steps have been taken towards provision of negotiated stopping in Cambridge? What progress has been made with regards to:

- Working with Cambridgeshire County Council to provide negotiated stopping on Park&Ride sites?

- Working with the Churches Network to provide negotiated stopping on church land?

 

Executive Councillor for Equalities, Anti-Poverty and Wellbeing response:

The cross-council officer working group was working with other local authorities and the County Council to consider options for negotiated stopping places. Park and Ride sites were being looked at for this purpose. Did not believe that discussions had taken place with the Church’s Network and undertook to follow this up.

 

Executive Councillor for Recovery, Employment and Community Safety response:

Commented that the Council had supported a motion a year ago against the provisions contained within the Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill. The ultimate solution would be found by joint working with other local councils looking at permanent stopping sites. Reassured the member of the public that the work at looking to provide stopping places was being undertaken. She was working with the Police and had also brought the issue up with the Police and Crime Commissioner who had committed to meeting with the Gypsy Roma Traveller Community.

 

Supplementary Question

Noted that nationally the Police did not support the Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill and that this had since passed through Parliament with little opposition or changes. Expressed concerns that the new laws created a criminal offence. Noted that during the summer this was the time that the travelling community required stopping places and that an update on the situation at the next Council meeting in October may be too late.  

 

The Mayor noted that the issue could be discussed with the Executive Councillors in advance of the next council meeting in October.

 

Question 3

Represented UCU and Justice4CollegeSupervisors to discuss the payment of those who teach undergraduates for the colleges at the University of Cambridge. The Council was a living wage accredited employer, but only 1/31 of the Cambridge Colleges were. Believed that many of the people who provided undergraduate supervision were paid below the living wage and potentially below the minimum wage. It takes only 2 hours and 20 minutes of preparation for one contact hour to go below the living/minimum wage, something Cambridge UCU surveys suggested was prevalent. What actions has the Council taken in the past 3 years to investigate below minimum wage pay by the colleges and what actions will it take going forward?

 

Executive Councillor for Recovery, Employment and Community Safety response:

The Council was accredited with the living wage and wanted to make Cambridge a living wage place where every organisation and business pays the living wage. Noted that it was an expensive city to live in especially during the cost of living crisis, people often had to spend half of their wages on rent. Sympathised where colleges were not supporting their staff. Had spoken at rallies and the local MP had spoken on this issue. Expressed concern that people were still paid under the living wage and did not have contracts or job security. Noted that the University Unite Branch were working on a campaign for a 20% pay rise. Had spoken with some colleges about the living wage since becoming Executive Councillor. The Living Wage Foundation were going to announce the new living wage earlier in September as a result of the cost of living crisis. Wanted fair wages and Union recognition. 

 

Supplementary question

Wanted to follow up with a question regarding the rate of inflation of the living wage. The rate of inflation used to sit around double digits. The colleges had offered a 4.5% pay rise but felt this was a pay cut in real terms. Had been below inflation since 2009 and were £5 poorer per 1hour contact time. Asked what the living wage inflationary rise would be and this figure could be used for their own campaigning.

 

Executive Councillor for Recovery, Employment and Community Safety response:

Did not know what the living wage figure would be until the Living Wage Foundation announced it. This was expected in September and was based on a number of factors. Would follow the matter up with the member of the public outside of the meeting.


22/29/CNL

To consider the recommendations of the Executive for adoption

22/29/CNLa

Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Outturn Report 2021/22 (Executive Councillor for Housing) pdf icon PDF 172 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved (by 19 votes to 0) to:

 

Approve carry forward requests of £22,055,000 in HRA and General Fund Housing capital budgets and associated resources from 2021/22 into 2022/23 and beyond to fund re-phased net capital spending, as detailed in appendix D of the officer’s report and the associated notes to the appendix.

 

 

22/29/CNLb

Annual Treasury Management (Outturn) Report 2021/22 (Executive Councillor for Finance, Resources and Transformation) pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved (unanimously) to:

 

i)  Approve the report with the Council’s actual Prudential and Treasury Indicators for 2021/22.

ii)  Approve a loan of £50,000 to Cherry Hinton Community Benefit Society for their contribution to the building costs of the Cherry Hinton Hub.Subsequent to the committee meeting, the Strategic Project Manager for Community Services reported that the loan was not now being progressed.  The Strategy and Resources Committee Minute will also be amended to reflect this.

 

22/29/CNLc

General Fund Revenue and Capital Outturn, Carry Forwards and Significant Variances Report (Executive Councillor for Finance, Resources and Transformation) pdf icon PDF 7 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved (by 22 votes to 0) to:

 

i.  Approve carry forward requests totalling £2,132,920 of revenue funding from 2021/22 to 2022/23, as detailed in Appendix C of the officer’s report.

ii.  Approve additional budget in 2022/23 of £22k for Arboriculture and £12k for Project Delivery funded from reserves, as detailed in Paragraphs 3.6 and 3.7 in the officer’s report.

iii.  Approve carry forward requests of £71,909,000 of capital resources from 2021/22 to 2022/23 to fund rephased net capital spending, as detailed in Appendix D of the officer’s report.

 

 

22/29/CNLd

Budget for Land Acquisition (Executive Councillor for Finance, Resources and Transformation) pdf icon PDF 103 KB

The report contains exempt information during which the public is likely to be excluded from the meeting subject to determination by Council following consideration of a public interest test.  This exclusion would be made under paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council resolved to exclude members of the public from the meeting on the grounds that, if they were present, there would be disclosure to them of information defined as exempt from publication by virtue of paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

Resolved (by 25 votes to 0) to:

 

Approve a budget of £33.94 million for a loan to the Cambridge Investment Partnership to cover land acquisition for the scheme explained in the officer’s confidential report.

 

 

22/29/CNLe

Appointment to Conservators of the River Cam (Executive Councillor Open Spaces, Food Justice and Community Development) pdf icon PDF 6 KB

Minutes:

22/30/CNL

To deal with oral questions

Minutes:

Question 1 Councillor Holloway to the Executive Councillor for Housing

Can the Exec Cllr for Housing please give an update on homelessness numbers in the city?

 

Executive Councillor response

In 2021/22 the number of homeless exceptions was 101, this contrasted with 56 in 2020/21 and 90 in 2019/20. The lower figure in 2020/21 may be due to covid restrictions. In 2021/22 the number of new lettings to people on the housing needs register was 507, which could be contrasted with 534 in 2020/21 and 541 in 2019/20. During April – June 2022, the Housing Advice Team received  302 enquiries from people needing housing advice. The most common reason that people were contacting housing advance was that their private sector tenancy was ending. The second most common reason was that they were living with a family member / friend who had asked them to leave.  These two reasons were the two most common causes for homelessness for the past couple of years.  During this period the most common reason was that the private let was coming to end was that the private sector landlord wanted to sell their property. Officers were monitoring this to see whether it was becoming a trend.

 

Question 2 Councillor Bennett to the Executive Councillor

Cambridge Water has asked all customers to help save water by avoiding using hoses to water plants or clean cars, recycling water wherever possible, and taking shorter showers.  It is questionable how many Cambridge residents will either see or respond to this request. The water company maintains that there is no need for a temporary use ban (TUB) in the near future.  However, one of their senior staff reported earlier this month that heavy recent use of water has already led to some issues with low water pressure for some customers. The company has stated that they are now taking more water from the environment, which is no doubt contributing to the low levels of water in the Cam and associated chalk streams.

Would the Council work with Cambridge Water to get a TUB implemented as a matter of urgency, since there is no evidence that the water situation will improve in the near future.  As we pointed out last year in our response to the consultation on Cambridge Water’s Drought Plan, the triggers for implementing TUBs are completely inadequate in this time of rapid global heating.

 

Executive Councillor response

In preparing a response they re-read the final report from the Water Crisis Forum held in 2019, which was a cross party and cross boundary event which allowed local councillors to ask questions of representatives from Cambridge Water, the Environment Agency, Cam Valley Forum and others. It also involved local groups and school children.  The Forum explained how draught plans were activated, how there was increased monitoring across sites, increased water efficiency and meetings with the National Draught group. The responsibility of the water company remains in times of draught. Even if a draught is acknowledged (as in 2019) the water authority obligation is to supply customers with water having regard to the environment. The Water Companies also said at the time that they had a duty not to cause panic amongst the public. The City Council is not in a situation to be able to insist upon the implementation of measures by the Water Undertaker. 

 

Question 3 Councillor Gawthrope Wood to the Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Food Justice and Community Development

The learner pool in King’s Hedges has been a valuable resource for the North Cambridge community for decades, teaching generations of local children to swim. It closed temporarily during the pandemic, and remains closed. Can the Executive Councillor please give us an update on plans to reopen the pool?

 

Executive Councillor response

Noted that this was an important issue for people in north Cambridge. There had been issues for GLL in staffing the pool, which meant they had been unable to run the school lesson programme. Successive recruitment rounds had been unsuccessful. The local MP had noted there was a national shortage of swimming teachers in the Commons. Was pleased to report that there had been progress recently. Officers had met with GLL that week. It was hoped that general sessions would open over the summer holidays with a view to lessons starting in September. GLL would have engineers at the pool next week to start filling the pool to test the equipment. Was on track for a partial re-opening over the summer and re-opening for classes from September.

 

Question 4 Councillor Lee to the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Infrastructure

In Queen Edith a 5G phone mast has recently been approved on appeal by the planning inspector. Appreciated that to some extent prior approval means planning has less room for manoeuvre, but this means that telecommunications companies can and do place equipment with little thought and even less consultation. No-one is objecting to the phone mast itself or the need for infrastructure, but the mast dangerously obscures pedestrians using the zebra crossing from drivers, and this ridiculous situation could have been avoided by engagement with the local community including ward councillors who could have proposed a site not even 20m away. This contributes to an unnecessarily fractious relationship between planning, communities and companies. Could the Executive Councillor for Planning and Infrastructure write to the government to outline concerns and push for reform that would require more consultation with communities as to where infrastructure is placed?

 

Executive Councillor response

Shared Councillor Lee’s concerns. With the support of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme, the Shared Planning Service had begun a project seeking to proactively engage with the 5G rollout programme in Cambridgeshire to enable earlier dialogue and reduction in avoidable planning appeals. Expected to be able to report on the programme in the coming months. Would explore within the parameters of the planning regime how early input into the process might be increased. Would write to the appropriate Minister.

 

Question 5 Councillor Sarah Baigent to the Executive Councillor for Housing

Can the Exec Cllr for Housing please give an update on how many Ukrainian refugees have been housed in the city, and any associated issues?

 

Executive Councillor response

The total number of Ukrainian people welcomed to the city was 372 as of 20 July, this number was broken down as follows. 357 guests had arrived via the Homes for Ukraine visa scheme and there were 230 host households who were supporting their resettlement in Cambridge city. Was expecting 531 guests over the course of the scheme. 15 people had arrived on the family visa scheme. From the Housing perspective 21 homeless enquiries had been received. There were 13 active homeless applications and 12 were in temporary accommodation. Of the 21 enquiries 6 are from the Homes for Ukraine and 15 were from the Ukraine families scheme. There were 3 households in the designated Ukraine accommodation at Crossways. There was 1 pending re-match to South Cambs and 1 host pending return from holiday. There was concern around homelessness and temporary accommodation pressures. Continued to welcome a number of new guests each week (around 10) on the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

 

Question 6 Councillor Nethsingha to the Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Food Justice and Community Development

As many in this Chamber will know, a planning application has been submitted by Queens’ College for a major redevelopment of the Owlstone Croft site in Newnham.  This site runs next to the Paradise Nature Reserve, which is a hugely important area of our city for biodiversity.  I and many residents do not believe that the assessment of the environmental impact that the proposals may have on the Paradise Reserve have been sufficiently carefully assessed, given the importance of the reserve and the delicacy of the environment.  Could the Executive Councillor for Environment tell me whether she is aware of the concerns which have been raised about the impact on the reserve, whether she has visited the reserve to see how significant the loss of trees would be?  If she has not visited the reserve would she be willing to meet with me and residents of the area to look at the impact of the proposed development.

 

Executive Councillor response

The application had been considered by the Streets and Open Spaces Team as well as the statutory consultees and the Executive Councillors (it covered 3 x Executive Councillor portfolios) who were fully aware of the development and potential impact. Had been in touch with Friends of the Paradise Nature Reserve and had heard how passionate they and others were about the space, it was a beautiful space and crucial to the city’s biodiversity. One of the first things they did as an Executive Councillor was to walk round all the city’s local nature reserves as they wanted to understand them better. Had had a meeting arranged with the Friends organisation but unfortunately this had to be cancelled.  Had visited the site on several occasions and had considered the impacts.

 

Question 7 Councillor Divkovic to the Leader

What is your message to the Conservative leadership contestants from Cambridge?

 

Executive Councillor response

Wanted the contestants to take decisive and effective action to deal with the huge issues being faced including the cost of living crisis, the climate and biodiversity emergencies, the impact of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic. Felt the prime minister needed to show real hands on leadership. They needed to listen and value local government. The Council was still waiting to be properly compensated for the additional work taken on during the pandemic, which was on top of years of chronic under-funding. Noted that there should be proper central government funding for a decent pay settlement for council workers who had worked tirelessly during the pandemic.

 

Question 8 Councillor Copley to the Executive Councillor for Environment, Climate Change and Biodiversity

In the context of Tuesday’s record breaking temperatures, we have seen how the deadly temperatures that have been affecting those in the Global South as a direct result of the climate crisis are now directly affecting residents of Cambridge as well.

These impacts are not felt equally across the city - some residents are able to go to air conditioned workplaces or remain relatively cool due to having well insulated homes built to high specifications, and other residents have been exposed to extreme temperatures in their homes due to them not having been built to be resilient to extreme heat.

What work has the city council done to date to assess the climate resilience of existing homes in the City (including council homes) from the risk of overheating, and to put in places changes to protect residents from extreme heatwaves? As we all know, these will become increasingly common and intense with ongoing climate breakdown.

 

Executive Councillor response

The Council recognised in addition to reducing carbon emissions, Cambridge needed to ensure it adapts to the impacts of the climate crisis including increased hot summers, overheating, water shortages, draughts and floods. Overheating in homes was a nationwide issue and needed action and significant funding from Government to address it. Building Regulations required an assessment of the level of overheating risk in all new homes. No national level regulations had been developed for existing homes although the Government’s independent advisory body – the Committee on Climate Change were calling for this. Overheating in new council homes was considered as part of the design work and was also a consideration as part of the planning process. The council would use government funding to support improvements to private owners and the council was also investing in improvements to its council homes. Some of this work would contribute to climate resilience but further steps were required.

 

Question 9 Councillor Herbert to the Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Food Justice and Community Development

Can the Executive Councillor give an update on the management of this year’s Midsummer Fair and, in particular, both the clean-up operation and any plans for next year’s event?

 

Executive Councillor response

There were a number of elements in this year’s plan. There was a hub at Wesley Church. There were toilets and litter bins on Midsummer Common. There was additional cleaning on Sunday morning, and they thanked the Operations Team for their hard work. There was Police support for traffic enforcement. A rapid response Team was on hand to deal with washing down and deep cleaning as needed. A Licensing Officer was around to deal with the supply and sale of alcohol. The Communications Team managed social media messages. The foot bridge at the Fort St George was closed and there was additional police in the area. The council spent 169 working hours on litter collections over the 4-day period. Costs came to £9246 which was recovered from the Showman’s Guild. Would follow up what the additional fee for waste disposal was.  Despite the extensive clean-up operation there were several reports about broken glass on the common and extra response teams were sent out to clear it away. As it’s an extensive area and without specific locations it was difficult to know where all the glass was, but officers continued to respond to reports as they came in. The council remined committed to supporting the fair and working with the Gypsy Roma Traveller community and the local community to ensure that next year’s fair could be the best that it could be.

 

The following oral questions were tabled but owing to the expiry of the period of time permitted, were not covered during the meeting. The Mayor asked Executive Councillors if a written response could be provided to those questions that had not been covered.

 

Question 10 Councillor Payne to the Executive Councillor for Housing

Can the Exec Cllr update us on the council's actions so far and its future plans to address the backlog of council house repairs and maintenance?

 

Question 11 Councillor Bick to the Executive Councillor for Finance, Resources and Transformation

Councillor Davey told the BBC last month that there were lessons to be learned from the marketing of Ironworks and Timberworks homes to offshore property investors. What are they?

 

Question 12 Councillor Thittala to the Executive Councillor for Housing

Can the Exec Cllr for Housing please update us on the current state of progress with a) repairs and b) voids?

 

Question 13 Councillor Carling to the Executive Councillor for Recovery, Employment and Community Safety

In pre-covid 2019, the Children’s Commissioner reported that Cambridge was the fourth worst performing area in the country for young people on Free School Meals. How is the Council supporting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds through education and into the job market?

 

Question 14 Councillor Howard to the Executive Councillor for Finance, Resources and Transformation

Residents who are not able to pay their council tax on time are sent a reminder, after which they will be sent a court summons via magistrates court (see link below). In the context of a cost of living crisis, and when the threat of legal action is likely to cause immense anxiety, does the Executive Councillor agree that this punitive approach is incorrect, and that the next immediate step should be to make contact with the resident and offer them assistance with the cost of living crisis and / or a payment plan?

Reference: https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/council-tax-reminders-and-recovery-action

 

Question 15 Councillor Hauk to the Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Food Justice and Community Development

How are you supporting community development in our new areas around the city such as in my ward of Trumpington?

 

Question 16 Councillor Porrer to the Executive Councillor for Recovery, Employment and Community Safety

Could the Exec Cllr please update council on progress on purchasing noise cameras to deter the increasing unsafe anti-social behaviour, particularly at night, of scooters, mopeds, motorcycles and cars racing around the city streets, which is causing disruption to so many of our residents across the city.

 

Question 17 Councillor Pounds to the Executive Councillor for Recovery, Employment and Community Safety

Can the Executive Cllr for Finance and Resources update us on progress relating to the City Council building Council Homes with the Cambridge Investment Partnership

 

Secondary Questions

 

Question 1 Councillor Copley to the Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Food Justice and Community Development

A contract was signed for the Big Wheel on Parker’s Piece in 2021, representing privatisation of part of Parker’s Piece. 

 

Would the council provide a list consisting of the name of the item about which a contract has been signed, and the park or open space that it relates to for items which fulfil all of:

  • Contracts signed between the city council and another body
  • Which relate to parks and open spaces owned or managed by the City Council
  • Involve the privatisation of all or part of them for greater than 1 week
  • That have been signed between the date of the full council meeting where this was approved (ie approved that parks could be treated as assets to raise funds for the City Council) as part of the council budget and today (19th July).

Question 2 Councillor Howard to the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Infrastructure

In the context of record breaking temperatures, the positive impact of mature trees on streets in the city has been apparent to anyone fortunate enough to walk under or live near them. In the context of future heatwaves, is the cityscape being modelled from the context of a globally heated world, and tree selection taking place to mean that we have the greatest possible tree canopy cover on roads and streets in the city, when we will need it most?

Question 3 Councillor Bennett to the Executive Councillor for Equalities, Anti-Poverty and Wellbeing

What is the reason for the ongoing delay to the publication of the GTANA (Gypsy/Traveller Accommodation Need Assessment)?

Question 4 Councillor Divkovic to the Executive Councillor for Recovery Employment and Community Safety.

Can the Executive Councillor outline what steps are being taken to reduce cycle crime?

Question 5 Councillor Holloway to the Executive Councillor for Equalities Anti-Poverty and Wellbeing

What is the present situation in relation to our Ukraine programme – what are the numbers of guests welcomed, what support are we providing to guests and hosts and what happens at the end of the 6-month period?

Question 6 Councillor Pounds to the Executive Councillor for Equalities Anti-Poverty and Wellbeing

I’ve heard that the County council are intending to put the old Mill Road library up for sale shortly, what would be the process for a city council community consultation on this, since it is an asset of community value?


22/31/CNL

To consider the following notices of motion, notice of which has been given by:

22/31/CNLa

Councillor Robertson - Fireworks and Pets as Prizes

This Council notes:

 

Effects of Loud Fireworks on Animals

 

1.  Studies have found fireworks to be the most common cause for fear responses in dogs¹, and it is estimated that 45 percent of dogs show signs of fear when they hear fireworks². A New Zealand survey recorded 79 percent of horses as either anxious or
very anxious around fireworks or over the Guy Fawkes Day period.³

 

2.  Although there is limited direct evidence, it is also likely that fireworks and their debris will cause disturbance to wildlife, and are likely to cause suffering or distress, depending on the distance from the explosive and the noise level.

 

3.  The RSPCA believes that a licensing system would help with better enforcement of the law by allowing enforcement bodies to know where licensed events are being held so they can focus on locations and incidents elsewhere.

 

4.  This phobia can be treated (in dogs at least) in the long term but owners need to prepare themselves and their pets sooner, rather than just before the fireworks are let off. There is a need to raise awareness about the impact of fireworks on animals to the wider public to encourage them to be more considerate of those with pets, horses and livestock as well as local wildlife

¹ Blackwell, E., Bradshaw, J., & Casey, R. (2013). Fear responses to noises in domestic dogs: Prevalence, risk
factors and co-occurrence with other fear related behaviour. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 145, 15-25.
² Blackwell, E., Casey, R., & Bradshaw, J. (2005). Firework Fears and Phobias in the Domestic Dog. Scientific
Report for the RSPCA, University of Bristol, UK
³ Gronqvist, G, Rogers, C. & Gee, E. (2016). The Management of Horses during Fireworks in New Zealand.
Animals 6(20).

 

 

Pets as prizes

 

5.  That the RSPCA

a.  receives reports of pets given as prizes via fairgrounds, social media and other channels in England – and notes the issue  predominantly concerns goldfish

b.  is concerned for the welfare of those animals

c.  recognises that many cases of pets being as prizes may go unreported each year

d.  supports a move to ban the giving of live animals as prizes, in any form.

 

6.  That the city council has an existing policy that does not permit the use of live creatures as prizes at any event including circuses and funfairs on the Council’s parks and open spaces,


The Council agrees to:

 

A.  To encourage the organisers of all public firework displays within the local authority boundaries to be advertised in advance of the event, allowing residents to take precautions for their animals and vulnerable people

B.  To actively promote a public awareness campaign about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people – including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks.

C.  To write to the UK Government urging them to introduce legislation to limit the maximum noise level of fireworks to 90dB for those sold to the public for private displays.

D.  To encourage local suppliers  ...  view the full agenda text for item 22/31/CNLa

Minutes:

Councillor Collis proposed and Councillor Dryden seconded the following motion:

 

 Effects of Loud Fireworks on Animals

1.  Studies have found fireworks to be the most common cause for fear responses in dogs¹, and it is estimated that 45 percent of dogs show signs of fear when they hear
fireworks². A New Zealand survey recorded 79 percent of horses as either anxious or very anxious around fireworks or over the Guy Fawkes Day period.³

2.  Although there is limited direct evidence, it is also likely that fireworks and their debris will cause disturbance to wildlife, and are likely to cause suffering or distress, depending on the distance from the explosive and the noise level.

3.  The RSPCA believes that a licensing system would help with better enforcement of the law by allowing enforcement bodies to know where licensed events are being held so they can focus on locations and incidents elsewhere.

4.  This phobia can be treated (in dogs at least) in the long term but owners need to prepare themselves and their pets sooner, rather than just before the fireworks are let off. There is a need to raise awareness about the impact of fireworks on animals to the wider public to encourage them to be more considerate of those with pets, horses and livestock as well as local wildlife

¹ Blackwell, E., Bradshaw, J., & Casey, R. (2013). Fear responses to noises in domestic dogs: Prevalence, risk
factors and co-occurrence with other fear related behaviour. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 145, 15-25.
² Blackwell, E., Casey, R., & Bradshaw, J. (2005). Firework Fears and Phobias in the Domestic Dog. Scientific
Report for the RSPCA, University of Bristol, UK
³ Gronqvist, G, Rogers, C. & Gee, E. (2016). The Management of Horses during Fireworks in New Zealand.
Animals 6(20).

 

Pets as prizes

5.  That the RSPCA

a.  receives reports of pets given as prizes via fairgrounds, social media and other channels in England – and notes the issue predominantly concerns goldfish

b.  is concerned for the welfare of those animals

c.  recognises that many cases of pets being as prizes may go unreported each year

d.  supports a move to ban the giving of live animals as prizes, in any form.

6.  That the city council has an existing policy that does not permit the use of live creatures as prizes at any event including circuses and funfairs on the Council’s parks and open spaces,

 

The Council agrees to:

A.  To encourage the organisers of all public firework displays within the local authority boundaries to be advertised in advance of the event, allowing residents to take precautions for their animals and vulnerable people

B.  To actively promote a public awareness campaign about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people – including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks.

C.  To write to the UK Government urging them to introduce legislation to limit the maximum noise level of fireworks to 90dB for those sold to the public for private displays.

D.  To encourage local suppliers of fireworks to stock ‘quieter’ fireworks for public display.

E.  To encourage others in Cambridge to also ban the giving of live animals as prizes, in any form.

F.  write to the UK Government, urging an outright ban on the giving of live animals as prizes on both public and private land.

 

Councillor Porrer proposed and Councillor Nethsingha seconded the following amendment to motion (additional text underlined):

 

This Council notes:

Effects of Loud Fireworks on Animals

1.  Studies have found fireworks to be the most common cause for fear responses in dogs¹, and it is estimated that 45 percent of dogs show signs of fear when they hear fireworks². A New Zealand survey recorded 79 percent of horses as either anxious or
very anxious around fireworks or over the Guy Fawkes Day period.³

2.  Although there is limited direct evidence, it is also likely that fireworks and their debris will cause disturbance to wildlife, and are likely to cause suffering or distress,depending on the distance from the explosive and the noise level.

3.  The RSPCA believes that a licensing system would help with better enforcement of the law by allowing enforcement bodies to know where licensed events are being held so they can focus on locations and incidents elsewhere.

4.  This phobia can be treated (in dogs at least) in the long term but owners need to prepare themselves and their pets sooner, rather than just before the fireworks are let off. There is a need to raise awareness about the impact of fireworks on animals to the wider public to encourage them to be more considerate of those with pets, horses and livestock as well as local wildlife

¹ Blackwell, E., Bradshaw, J., & Casey, R. (2013). Fear responses to noises in domestic dogs: Prevalence, risk
factors and co-occurrence with other fear related behaviour. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 145, 15-25.
² Blackwell, E., Casey, R., & Bradshaw, J. (2005). Firework Fears and Phobias in the Domestic Dog. Scientific
Report for the RSPCA, University of Bristol, UK
³ Gronqvist, G, Rogers, C. & Gee, E. (2016). The Management of Horses during Fireworks in New Zealand.
Animals 6(20).

 

Pets as prizes

5.  That the RSPCA

a.  receives reports of pets given as prizes via fairgrounds, social media and other channels in England – and notes the issue  predominantly concerns goldfish

b.  is concerned for the welfare of those animals

c.  recognises that many cases of pets being as prizes may go unreported each year

d.  supports a move to ban the giving of live animals as prizes, in any form.

 

6.  That the city council has an existing policy that does not permit the use of live creatures as prizes at any event including circuses and funfairs on the Council’s parks and open spaces,

 

The Council agrees to:

A.  To encourage the organisers of all public firework displays within the local authority boundaries to be advertised in advance of the event, allowing residents to take precautions for their animals and vulnerable people

B.  To actively promote a public awareness campaign about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people – including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks.

C.  To write to the UK Government urging them to introduce legislation to limit the maximum noise level of fireworks to 90dB for those sold to the public for private displays.

D.  To encourage local suppliers of fireworks to stock ‘quieter’ fireworks for public display.

E.  To investigate the use of fireworks and firework equivalents that reduce carbon release and reduce noise, and to work with Cambridge University and colleges and other stakeholders across the city to share this knowledge to reduce the carbon and acoustic impact of future events.

F.  To encourage others in Cambridge to also ban the giving of live animals as prizes, in any form.

G.  write to the UK Government, urging an outright ban on the giving of live animals as prizes on both public and private land.

 

On a show of hands the amendment was lost by 8 votes to 19.

 

Resolved (unanimously) that:

 

Effects of Loud Fireworks on Animals

7.  Studies have found fireworks to be the most common cause for fear responses in dogs¹, and it is estimated that 45 percent of dogs show signs of fear when they hear
fireworks². A New Zealand survey recorded 79 percent of horses as either anxious or very anxious around fireworks or over the Guy Fawkes Day period.³

8.  Although there is limited direct evidence, it is also likely that fireworks and their debris will cause disturbance to wildlife, and are likely to cause suffering or distress, depending on the distance from the explosive and the noise level.

9.  The RSPCA believes that a licensing system would help with better enforcement of the law by allowing enforcement bodies to know where licensed events are being held so they can focus on locations and incidents elsewhere.

10.  This phobia can be treated (in dogs at least) in the long term but owners need to prepare themselves and their pets sooner, rather than just before the fireworks are let off. There is a need to raise awareness about the impact of fireworks on animals to the wider public to encourage them to be more considerate of those with pets, horses and livestock as well as local wildlife

¹ Blackwell, E., Bradshaw, J., & Casey, R. (2013). Fear responses to noises in domestic dogs: Prevalence, risk
factors and co-occurrence with other fear related behaviour. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 145, 15-25.
² Blackwell, E., Casey, R., & Bradshaw, J. (2005). Firework Fears and Phobias in the Domestic Dog. Scientific
Report for the RSPCA, University of Bristol, UK
³ Gronqvist, G, Rogers, C. & Gee, E. (2016). The Management of Horses during Fireworks in New Zealand.
Animals 6(20).

 

Pets as prizes

11.  That the RSPCA

a.  receives reports of pets given as prizes via fairgrounds, social media and other channels in England – and notes the issue predominantly concerns goldfish

b.  is concerned for the welfare of those animals

c.  recognises that many cases of pets being as prizes may go unreported each year

d.  supports a move to ban the giving of live animals as prizes, in any form.

12.  That the city council has an existing policy that does not permit the use of live creatures as prizes at any event including circuses and funfairs on the Council’s parks and open spaces,

 

The Council agrees to:

A.  To encourage the organisers of all public firework displays within the local authority boundaries to be advertised in advance of the event, allowing residents to take precautions for their animals and vulnerable people

B.  To actively promote a public awareness campaign about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people – including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks.

C.  To write to the UK Government urging them to introduce legislation to limit the maximum noise level of fireworks to 90dB for those sold to the public for private displays.

D.  To encourage local suppliers of fireworks to stock ‘quieter’ fireworks for public display.

E.  To encourage others in Cambridge to also ban the giving of live animals as prizes, in any form.

F.  write to the UK Government, urging an outright ban on the giving of live animals as prizes on both public and private land.

22/31/CNLb

Councillor Payne - BBC Look East

Cambridge City Council notes the recent announcement by the BBC to cease production of the Look East regional news output from Cambridge and only broadcast a regional news programme based in Norwich.

The 2021 census shows that the East of England has experienced the highest population increase across the English regions and Wales.  Cambridge is a key city in the region due to its rapid employment growth.   

Reducing BBC Look East’s operations to Norwich only will mean vital local stories in Cambridge, which may have significance across the region, may be missed. We believe that effective scrutiny is a key to good democracy and local journalists are a crucial part of this

Cambridge City Council expresses deep concern over the plans and believes that as a growing area our region requires more, not less, investment in local journalism.

Council therefore agrees

1.  To ask the Chief Executive to write to the Director General of the BBC to oppose these cuts to local and regional news.

2.  To seek support from other local authorities to highlight the growing importance of our region and that more, not less, local journalism should be focussed on the area in general.

Minutes:

Councillor Payne proposed and Councillor Nethsingha seconded the following motion: 

Cambridge City Council notes the recent announcement by the BBC to cease production of the Look East regional news output from Cambridge and only broadcast a regional news programme based in Norwich.

The 2021 census shows that the East of England has experienced the highest population increase across the English regions and Wales.  Cambridge is a key city in the region due to its rapid employment growth.   

Reducing BBC Look East’s operations to Norwich only will mean vital local stories in Cambridge, which may have significance across the region, may be missed. We believe that effective scrutiny is a key to good democracy and local journalists are a crucial part of this

Cambridge City Council expresses deep concern over the plans and believes that as a growing area our region requires more, not less, investment in local journalism.

Council therefore agrees

1.  To ask the Chief Executive to write to the Director General of the BBC to oppose these cuts to local and regional news.

2.  To seek support from other local authorities to highlight the growing importance of our region and that more, not less, local journalism should be focussed on the area in general.

Councillor Holloway proposed and Councillor Davey seconded the following amendment to motion (deleted text struck through and additional text underlined):

Cambridge City Council notes the recent announcement by the BBC to cease production of the Look East regional news output from Cambridge and only broadcast a regional news programme based in Norwich.

Council also notes with concern the proposed closure of the BBC News Channel that serves viewers in the UK and the potential impact on the coverage of UK news stories. As well as the loss of an important space on TV where MPs are able to discuss policies and constituency matters, local, regional, and non-metropolitan issues will struggle to find room in future programming, if this closure is allowed to go ahead.

We also note that the BBC has been required to cut its spending by £1bn a year between 2017 and 2022 as a result of a licence fee settlement imposed by the Government and that this has created significant pressures on the BBC.

The 2021 census shows that the East of England has experienced the highest population increase across the English regions and Wales.  Cambridge is a key city in the region due to its rapid employment growth.   

Reducing BBC Look East’s operations to Norwich only will mean vital local stories in Cambridge, which may have significance across the region, may be missed. We believe that effective scrutiny is a key to good democracy and local journalists are a crucial part of this

Cambridge City Council expresses deep concern over the plans and believes that as a growing area our region requires more, not less, investment in local journalism.

Council therefore agrees

1.  To ask the Chief Executive to write to the Director General of the BBC to oppose these cuts to local, and regional and national news. and expressing support for the Corporation’s attempt to achieve a full and sustainable funding settlement in future.

2.  To seek support from other local authorities to highlight the growing importance of our region and that more, not less, local journalism should be focussed on the area in general.

On a show of hands the amendment was carried unanimously.

 

Resolved (unanimously) that:

Cambridge City Council notes the recent announcement by the BBC to cease production of the Look East regional news output from Cambridge and only broadcast a regional news programme based in Norwich.

Council also notes with concern the proposed closure of the BBC News Channel that serves viewers in the UK and the potential impact on the coverage of UK news stories. As well as the loss of an important space on TV where MPs are able to discuss policies and constituency matters, local, regional, and non-metropolitan issues will struggle to find room in future programming, if this closure is allowed to go ahead.

We also note that the BBC has been required to cut its spending by £1bn a year between 2017 and 2022 as a result of a licence fee settlement imposed by the Government and that this has created significant pressures on the BBC.

The 2021 census shows that the East of England has experienced the highest population increase across the English regions and Wales.  Cambridge is a key city in the region due to its rapid employment growth.   

Reducing BBC Look East’s operations to Norwich only will mean vital local stories in Cambridge, which may have significance across the region, may be missed. We believe that effective scrutiny is a key to good democracy and local journalists are a crucial part of this

Cambridge City Council expresses deep concern over the plans and believes that as a growing area our region requires more, not less, investment in local journalism.

Council therefore agrees

1.  To ask the Chief Executive to write to the Director General of the BBC to oppose these cuts to local, regional and national news and expressing support for the Corporation’s attempt to achieve a full and sustainable funding settlement in future.

2.  To seek support from other local authorities to highlight the growing importance of our region and that more, not less, local journalism should be focussed on the area in general.

 

22/31/CNLc

Councillor Howard - Private Renters Charter

This Council resolves to update and publish a Private Renters Charter on its website, and in Cambridge Matters and to review it for updates at 6 month intervals.

 

The Council also resolves to consult with the Landlords Steering Group and local advisory bodies including Cambridge ACORN, Citizens Advice Bureau.

 

The purpose of this consultation is to:

·  agree ways to improve renters’ knowledge of their rights and encourage new renters to take advice before they sign agreements to protect their deposits and other rights, not when they encounter problems,

·  reach out to smaller landlords who are particularly likely to be using outdated, non compliant and overly onerous rental agreements and encourage the adoption of kinder, more modern agreements.

·  This could include taking information stands at Freshers’ Fairs, Cambridge Pride, Job Fairs and the Big Weekend

To report back to council quarterly on progress.

 

Notes:

1  42% of Cambridge households live in private rented accommodation.

2  Survey after survey reveals low levels of awareness of renters’ legal rights not just among renters but even landlords.

3  Greater awareness of rights can prevent loss of deposits and reduce the risk of eviction.

4  A white paper to improve renters rights was published in June 2022

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/a-fairer-private-rented-sector/a-fairer-private-rented-sector

5  With the current political instability we cannot predict if or when these proposals may become law. We cannot wait to take action but we also need to plan to update any action we take if new laws are enacted.

6  Supporting Cambridge’s private renters is particularly important because they are the biggest group of households in the city.

7   Residents from abroad may be used to more favourable rental regimes in their previous home countries and may be unprepared for the UK system. 

8  Model Private Renters Charters can be found here

 

https://www.norwich.gov.uk/info/20410/norwich_private_renters_charter

 

https://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgnl/housing/Private_housing/Renters_charter/Tower_Hamlets_Private_Renters_Charter.aspx

Minutes:

Councillor Howard withdraw Motion 6c under Council Procedure Rule 27.

22/31/CNLd

Councillor Copley - Rivers, Safe Swimming and Sewage

Background

Cambridge residents are deeply concerned about water quality and the impact of wastewater discharge, including untreated sewage, into the River Cam and its tributaries. Studies by the Cam Valley Forum show that sewage treatment works run by Anglian Water are the greatest source of faecal pathogens in the River Cam[1]. 

 

These are a major concern in relation to health of those who come into contact with the water, whether for work or leisure, - swimming in the River is increasingly popular.  In addition high levels of nitrate and phosphate and low levels of dissolved oxygen have a major negative impact on the ecological health of the river and streams.

 

The main sources of pollution are the numerous small village sewage works that are often totally overloaded and no longer fit for purpose and have failed to prevent sewage pollution of the Cam, Rhee and Granta rivers, upstream and downstream of Cambridge.  Releasing sewage into rivers and streams is no longer an emergency-only situation occurring as a result of severe storms, but is a regular occurrence even in ‘normal’ rainfall.

 

While Anglian Water have made long term commitments to making progress as set out in the notes, there are no plans in place to address the immediate unacceptable situation. 

 

Motion

This Council resolves to:

1.  Recognise the challenges facing our rivers and streams  due to the cumulative impact of sewage discharge events. 

2.  Engage with the Environment Agency as part of the forthcoming water resources management planning exercise (see notes) and seek to ensure that investment in the foul water treatment focuses on reducing discharges from existing treatment works into the rivers and streams in Cambridgeshire. 

3.  Organise a public meeting to discuss sewage discharge, its impacts on the City and priorities for action, inviting the Chief Executive of Anglian Water plus senior representatives from the Environment Agency and Natural England and South Cambridgeshire.

4.  Ask Anglian Water for clear information on all the treatment works that have an impact on the quality of water flowing through Cambridge: whether information is available to assess the impact of the number or duration of sewage discharges into the Cam catchment, and if it does have this information to share it (noting that this can only be requested, not required).

Notes:

1.  Anglian Water have stated:

“We agree that storm overflows are no longer fit for purpose, especially as our climate is changing and extreme weather is more commonplace.

 

Cambridge Independent 15 May 2022

 

2.  The company are currently running a consultation  and have stated:

 

Our draft DWMP indicates that over the next 25 years, investment of up to £3.5 billion is needed to address the future risks highlighted in our DWMP, as well as fixing some existing problems. And please note, while we await outputs from the Storm Overflow Action Plan this estimate of investment doesn’t include the assessment of costs required to meet the new storm overflow targets

 

3.  Anglian Water’s draft Drainage and Wastewater Management Plan is currently  ...  view the full agenda text for item 22/31/CNLd

Minutes:

Councillor Copley proposed and Councillor Howard seconded the following motion: 

 

Background

Cambridge residents are deeply concerned about water quality and the impact of wastewater discharge, including untreated sewage, into the River Cam and its tributaries. Studies by the Cam Valley Forum show that sewage treatment works run by Anglian Water are the greatest source of faecal pathogens in the River Cam[1]. 

 

These are a major concern in relation to health of those who come into contact with the water, whether for work or leisure, - swimming in the River is increasingly popular.  In addition high levels of nitrate and phosphate and low levels of dissolved oxygen have a major negative impact on the ecological health of the river and streams.

 

The main sources of pollution are the numerous small village sewage works that are often totally overloaded and no longer fit for purpose and have failed to prevent sewage pollution of the Cam, Rhee and Granta rivers, upstream and downstream of Cambridge.  Releasing sewage into rivers and streams is no longer an emergency-only situation occurring as a result of severe storms, but is a regular occurrence even in ‘normal’ rainfall.

 

While Anglian Water have made long term commitments to making progress as set out in the notes, there are no plans in place to address the immediate unacceptable situation. 

 

Motion

This Council resolves to:

1.  Recognise the challenges facing our rivers and streams  due to the cumulative impact of sewage discharge events. 

2.  Engage with the Environment Agency as part of the forthcoming water resources management planning exercise (see notes) and seek to ensure that investment in the foul water treatment focuses on reducing discharges from existing treatment works into the rivers and streams in Cambridgeshire. 

3.  Organise a public meeting to discuss sewage discharge, its impacts on the City and priorities for action, inviting the Chief Executive of Anglian Water plus senior representatives from the Environment Agency and Natural England and South Cambridgeshire.

4.  Ask Anglian Water for clear information on all the treatment works that have an impact on the quality of water flowing through Cambridge: whether information is available to assess the impact of the number or duration of sewage discharges into the Cam catchment, and if it does have this information to share it (noting that this can only be requested, not required).

Notes:

1.  Anglian Water have stated:

“We agree that storm overflows are no longer fit for purpose, especially as our climate is changing and extreme weather is more commonplace.

 

Cambridge Independent 15 May 2022

 

2.  The company are currently running a consultation  and have stated:

 

Our draft DWMP indicates that over the next 25 years, investment of up to £3.5 billion is needed to address the future risks highlighted in our DWMP, as well as fixing some existing problems. And please note, while we await outputs from the Storm Overflow Action Plan this estimate of investment doesn’t include the assessment of costs required to meet the new storm overflow targets

 

3.  Anglian Water’s draft Drainage and Wastewater Management Plan is currently out for consultation (30 June - 16 September): https://www.anglianwater.co.uk/about-us/our-strategies-and-plans/drainage-wastewater-management-plan/draft-plan/ . Final version to be published Spring 2023.  The plan itself is here: https://www.anglianwater.co.uk/siteassets/household/about-us/dwmp-draft.pdf 

 

Councillor Bick proposed and Councillor Thornburrow seconded the following amendment to motion (additional text underlined):

 

Background

Cambridge residents are deeply concerned about water quality and the impact of wastewater discharge, including untreated sewage, into the River Cam and its tributaries. Studies by the Cam Valley Forum show that sewage treatment works run by Anglian Water are the greatest source of faecal pathogens in the River Cam[1]

 

These are a major concern in relation to health of those who come into contact with the water, whether for work or leisure, - swimming in the River is increasingly popular. In addition high levels of nitrate and phosphate and low levels of dissolved oxygen have a major negative impact on the ecological health of the river and streams.

 

The main sources of pollution are the numerous small village sewage works that are often totally overloaded and no longer fit for purpose and have failed to prevent sewage pollution of the Cam, Rhee and Granta rivers, upstream and downstream of Cambridge. Releasing sewage into rivers and streams is no longer an emergency-only situation occurring as a result of severe storms, but is a regular occurrence even in ‘normal’ rainfall.

 

While Anglian Water have made long term commitments to making progress as set out in the notes, there are no plans in place to address the immediate unacceptable situation. 

 

Motion

This Council resolves to:

1. Recognise the challenges facing our rivers and streams due to the cumulative impact of sewage discharge events. 

2. Engage with the Environment Agency as part of the forthcoming water resources management planning exercise (see notes) and seek to ensure that investment in the foul water treatment focuses on reducing discharges from existing treatment works into the rivers and streams in Cambridgeshire. 

3. Organise a public meeting to discuss sewage discharge, its impacts on the City and priorities for action, inviting the Chief Executive of Anglian Water plus senior representatives from the Environment Agency and Natural England and South Cambridgeshire.

4. Ask Anglian Water for clear information on all the treatment works that have an impact on the quality of water flowing through Cambridge: whether information is available to assess the impact of the number or duration of sewage discharges into the Cam catchment, and if it does have this information to share it (noting that this can only be requested, not required).

5. Support the chair of the Environment Agency’s call to increase the legal accountability of water companies4 by requesting that the government introduce legal targets for intermediate and ultimately zero discharges, a sewage tax on discharges to contribute to supportive infrastructure, and increased criminal liability of company directors; and encourage Cambridge’s local MPs to join us in advocating this.

 

Notes:

1. Anglian Water have stated:

“We agree that storm overflows are no longer fit for purpose, especially as our climate is changing and extreme weather is more commonplace.

Cambridge Independent 15 May 2022

2. The company are currently running a consultation and have stated:

Our draft DWMP indicates that over the next 25 years, investment of up to £3.5 billion is needed to address the future risks highlighted in our DWMP, as well as fixing some existing problems. And please note, while we await outputs from the Storm Overflow Action Plan this estimate of investment doesn’t include the assessment of costs required to meet the new storm overflow targets

3. Anglian Water’s draft Drainage and Wastewater Management Plan is currently out for consultation (30 June - 16 September): https://www.anglianwater.co.uk/about-us/our-strategies-and-plans/drainage-wastewater-management-plan/draft-plan/ . Final version to be published Spring 2023.  The plan itself is here: https://www.anglianwater.co.uk/siteassets/household/about-us/dwmp-draft.pdf 

4. Environment Agency: Water and Sewerage Companies in England: Environmental Performance Report 2021:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/water-and-sewerage-companies-in-england-environmental-performance-report-2021/water-and-sewerage-companies-in-england-environmental-performance-report-2021

 

On a show of hands the amendment was carried unanimously.

 

Resolved (unanimously) that:

 

Background

Cambridge residents are deeply concerned about water quality and the impact of wastewater discharge, including untreated sewage, into the River Cam and its tributaries. Studies by the Cam Valley Forum show that sewage treatment works run by Anglian Water are the greatest source of faecal pathogens in the River Cam[1]

 

These are a major concern in relation to health of those who come into contact with the water, whether for work or leisure, - swimming in the River is increasingly popular. In addition high levels of nitrate and phosphate and low levels of dissolved oxygen have a major negative impact on the ecological health of the river and streams.

 

The main sources of pollution are the numerous small village sewage works that are often totally overloaded and no longer fit for purpose and have failed to prevent sewage pollution of the Cam, Rhee and Granta rivers, upstream and downstream of Cambridge. Releasing sewage into rivers and streams is no longer an emergency-only situation occurring as a result of severe storms, but is a regular occurrence even in ‘normal’ rainfall.

 

While Anglian Water have made long term commitments to making progress as set out in the notes, there are no plans in place to address the immediate unacceptable situation. 

 

Motion

This Council resolves to:

1. Recognise the challenges facing our rivers and streams due to the cumulative impact of sewage discharge events. 

2. Engage with the Environment Agency as part of the forthcoming water resources management planning exercise (see notes) and seek to ensure that investment in the foul water treatment focuses on reducing discharges from existing treatment works into the rivers and streams in Cambridgeshire. 

3. Organise a public meeting to discuss sewage discharge, its impacts on the City and priorities for action, inviting the Chief Executive of Anglian Water plus senior representatives from the Environment Agency and Natural England and South Cambridgeshire.

4. Ask Anglian Water for clear information on all the treatment works that have an impact on the quality of water flowing through Cambridge: whether information is available to assess the impact of the number or duration of sewage discharges into the Cam catchment, and if it does have this information to share it (noting that this can only be requested, not required).

5. Support the chair of the Environment Agency’s call to increase the legal accountability of water companies4 by requesting that the government introduce legal targets for intermediate and ultimately zero discharges, a sewage tax on discharges to contribute to supportive infrastructure, and increased criminal liability of company directors; and encourage Cambridge’s local MPs to join us in advocating this.

 

Notes:

1. Anglian Water have stated:

“We agree that storm overflows are no longer fit for purpose, especially as our climate is changing and extreme weather is more commonplace.

Cambridge Independent 15 May 2022

2. The company are currently running a consultation and have stated:

Our draft DWMP indicates that over the next 25 years, investment of up to £3.5 billion is needed to address the future risks highlighted in our DWMP, as well as fixing some existing problems. And please note, while we await outputs from the Storm Overflow Action Plan this estimate of investment doesn’t include the assessment of costs required to meet the new storm overflow targets

3. Anglian Water’s draft Drainage and Wastewater Management Plan is currently out for consultation (30 June - 16 September): https://www.anglianwater.co.uk/about-us/our-strategies-and-plans/drainage-wastewater-management-plan/draft-plan/ . Final version to be published Spring 2023.  The plan itself is here: https://www.anglianwater.co.uk/siteassets/household/about-us/dwmp-draft.pdf 

4. Environment Agency: Water and Sewerage Companies in England: Environmental Performance Report 2021:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/water-and-sewerage-companies-in-england-environmental-performance-report-2021/water-and-sewerage-companies-in-england-environmental-performance-report-2021

 



[1] Cam Valley Forum 2022 “Response to the Consultation on the Government’s DEFRA Storm Overflow

Discharge Reduction Plan”

22/31/CNLe

Councillor Carling - Cost of Living Emergency

Context:

Our residents are facing a cost-of-living emergency. According to the Office for National Statistics, 88% of adults in the Great Britain reported an increase in their cost of living in May 2022, due to a range of factors including rising inflation, increases in energy prices and government tax rises.

 

The cost of living has been increasing across the UK since early 2021. in April 2022, inflation reached its highest recorded level, and the ONS estimates that it is now higher than at any time since around 1982, affecting the affordability of goods and services for households. Consumer prices, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), were 9.0% higher in April 2022 than a year before. On 5 May, the Bank of England forecasted inflation to peak “at slightly over 10% in 2022 Q4, which would be the highest rate since 1982”. and predicted that it would remain above 9% up to and including Q1 2023.

 

Energy prices are another important driver of inflation , with both household energy tariffs and petrol costs increasing. From April 2021 to April 2022, domestic gas prices increased by 95% and domestic electricity prices by 54%. This is due in part to a return of global gas demand as pandemic restrictions are lifted and lower than normal production of natural gas. On 1 April 2022 the new price cap came into force. The regulator Ofgem announced the cap would increase from its current equivalent annual level of £1,277 per year to £1,971; a 54% increase. As a result, road fuel prices in the UK have increased and energy bills may also rise further. The chief Executive of Ofgem said on 24 May that he expected the price cap to increase to around £2,800 in October 2022, an increase of around 40%.

 

Food prices have also risen sharply, with incomes and benefits failing to keep pace. According to the British Retail Consortium, food inflation rose to 4.3% in May 2022, up from 3.5% in April, and has now reached its highest since April 2012. Fresh food has been particularly affected by price rises. The ONS has shown that a study of supermarket prices showed that even staple budget items like pasta rose 50% in the year to April 2022.

 

Alongside price increases, in April 2022, the Government also brought in tax rises, for both income tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs).

 

Council notes:

·  That the Cost-of-Living emergency is a key issue for us as a local authority, against a backdrop of financial factors at national and international level.

·  In these increasingly difficult times, there is a for us as a local authority to ensure advice and appropriate support is available to all residents.

·  The disproportionate impact of the crisis on low-income households, which will spend a larger proportion of their income than average on energy and food and will therefore be more affected by price increases and tax rises that result in reduced disposable income.

·  The work we are currently undertaking as  ...  view the full agenda text for item 22/31/CNLe

Minutes:

Councillor Carling proposed and Councillor Collis seconded the following motion: 

 

Context:

Our residents are facing a cost-of-living emergency. According to the Office for National Statistics, 88% of adults in the Great Britain reported an increase in their cost of living in May 2022, due to a range of factors including rising inflation, increases in energy prices and government tax rises.

 

The cost of living has been increasing across the UK since early 2021. in April 2022, inflation reached its highest recorded level, and the ONS estimates that it is now higher than at any time since around 1982, affecting the affordability of goods and services for households. Consumer prices, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), were 9.0% higher in April 2022 than a year before. On 5 May, the Bank of England forecasted inflation to peak “at slightly over 10% in 2022 Q4, which would be the highest rate since 1982”. and predicted that it would remain above 9% up to and including Q1 2023.

 

Energy prices are another important driver of inflation , with both household energy tariffs and petrol costs increasing. From April 2021 to April 2022, domestic gas prices increased by 95% and domestic electricity prices by 54%. This is due in part to a return of global gas demand as pandemic restrictions are lifted and lower than normal production of natural gas. On 1 April 2022 the new price cap came into force. The regulator Ofgem announced the cap would increase from its current equivalent annual level of £1,277 per year to £1,971; a 54% increase. As a result, road fuel prices in the UK have increased and energy bills may also rise further. The chief Executive of Ofgem said on 24 May that he expected the price cap to increase to around £2,800 in October 2022, an increase of around 40%.

 

Food prices have also risen sharply, with incomes and benefits failing to keep pace. According to the British Retail Consortium, food inflation rose to 4.3% in May 2022, up from 3.5% in April, and has now reached its highest since April 2012. Fresh food has been particularly affected by price rises. The ONS has shown that a study of supermarket prices showed that even staple budget items like pasta rose 50% in the year to April 2022.

 

Alongside price increases, in April 2022, the Government also brought in tax rises, for both income tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs).

 

Council notes:

·  That the Cost-of-Living emergency is a key issue for us as a local authority, against a backdrop of financial factors at national and international level.

·  In these increasingly difficult times, there is a for us as a local authority to ensure advice and appropriate support is available to all residents.

·  The disproportionate impact of the crisis on low-income households, which will spend a larger proportion of their income than average on energy and food and will therefore be more affected by price increases and tax rises that result in reduced disposable income.

·  The work we are currently undertaking as a city council across all departments to support the most vulnerable residents, including:

o  increasing our council housing stock, with over 540 new council homes already completed

o  retrofitting our existing council housing stock to help reduce fuel bills and also supporting fuel-poor homeowners with retrofitting initiatives

o  running a Real Living Wage campaign, paying our own staff a Real Living Wage and encouraging employers across the city to do the same

o  providing an extensive range of community grants to organisations supporting residents

o  addressing the digital divide during the pandemic and beyond

o  building on our strong track record of fighting for food justice, including continuing our support for the city’s network of food hubs

·  That, while many of the economic factors causing the current cost of living crisis are outside of our control as a local authority, it is essential that we focus our efforts on providing the assistance we do have at our disposal to those residents struggling the most.

 

Council resolves to:

·  Ensure that we continue to take a coordinated approach towards addressing the cost-of-living emergency, alongside working with our partners.

·  Set up a dedicated officer working group to address the cost-of-living emergency.

·  Address health and fuel inequalities through our health and heating project, which will employ a multi-layered approach that provides targeted support, working closely with community and voluntary sector partners.

·  Build food justice and address food insecurity by making Cambridge a Right to Food City. This means that we will:

o  Call on national government to enshrine the right to food in law

o  Write to the Secretary of State together with the Food Poverty Alliance asking them to strengthen the National Food Strategy to ensure that it provides support for people struggling to eat in this cost-of-living crisis.

o  Continue our support of the city’s food hubs and commit to working with our communities and members of the Food Poverty Alliance to form a vision of what the Right to Food looks like for Cambridge.

·  Ensure that council decisions are not disproportionately impacting on residents who are struggling the most, through introducing a socio-economic duty and separately considering socio-economic impacts in all our equality impact assessments.

·  Continue campaigning for and championing a real living wage for workers in our city, especially working closely with employers.

·  Commit to working with others to ensure that we can harness both the good will and the wealth in our city to benefit all our residents.

·  Review our small grants programme to make it easier for local groups supporting those struggling to get funding from our community grants.

Resolved (unanimously) to support the motion.

22/31/CNLf

Councillor Bick - Waste Reduction and Recycling Rates pdf icon PDF 8 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Bick proposed and Councillor Hauk seconded the following motion: 

 

Noting from the recent report of corporate performance that blue bin recycling rates have decreased over the past year and the proportion of black bin waste has increased, council requests a report to the next Environment & Community Scrutiny committee enabling focused scrutiny of this situation and examination of potential emphases to reverse these trends and get back on track.

 

Councillor Herbert proposed and Councillor Pounds seconded the following amendment to motion (deleted text struck through and additional text underlined):

 

This council notes; 

·  That waste and recycling rates have remained remarkably stable over the past two years, despite periods of lockdown with most workers and school children staying at home plus periods of service disruption due to staff shortages. 

·  That total waste and recyclate per household has reduced over the past four years, from 901.09kg per household in 2018/19 to 879.09 kg per household in 2021/22.  

·  That the weight of both residual waste and recycling collected has reduced. 

·  Despite service disruptions to green bin collections the weight of green bin waste has increased. 

·  Noting from the recent report of corporate performance That blue bin recycling rates have decreased over the past year and the proportion of black bin waste has increased as the weight of residual waste collected has been reduced. 

·  The waste hierarchy is to reduce, reuse, recycle, recover, dispose. 

·  Reducing the amount of waste going into the residual bin and then to landfill is a priority of the shared waste service. 

 

Council requests a report to the next Environment & Community Scrutiny committee enabling focused scrutiny of this situation and examination of potential emphases to reverse these trends and get back on track. to consider how this trend in residual waste reduction can be maintained and increased over the coming years.  

 

It was noted that there was a typographical error in bullet point 2 which should read ‘That total waste and recyclate per household has reduced over the past four years, from 901.09kg per household in 20189/19 to 879.09 kg per household in 2021/22. 

 

On a show of hands the amendment was carried by 19 votes to 7.

 

Resolved (by 26 votes to 0) that:

 

This council notes; 

·  That waste and recycling rates have remained remarkably stable over the past two years, despite periods of lockdown with most workers and school children staying at home plus periods of service disruption due to staff shortages. 

·  That total waste and recyclate per household has reduced over the past four years, from 901.09kg per household in 2019/19 to 879.09 kg per household in 2021/22.  

·  That the weight of both residual waste and recycling collected has reduced. 

·  Despite service disruptions to green bin collections the weight of green bin waste has increased. 

·  That blue bin recycling rates have decreased over the past year and the proportion of black bin waste has increasedas the weight of residual waste collected has been reduced. 

·  The waste hierarchy is to reduce, reuse, recycle, recover, dispose. 

·  Reducing the amount of waste going into the residual bin and then to landfill is a priority of the shared waste service. 

 

Council requests a report to the next Environment & Community Scrutiny committee to consider how this trend in residual waste reduction can be maintained and increased over the coming years.  

 

22/32/CNL

Written questions

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 were asked to note the written questions and answers that had been placed in the information pack circulated around the Chamber.