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Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Claire Tunnicliffe  Committee Manager

Note: The Leader will make the Executive Decision on Devolution following the Council meeting. Video recording of the meeting: https://youtu.be/k4xZePorJBM 

Items
No. Item

16/1/CNL

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

APOLOGIES

 

Apologies were received from Councillor Ashton, Avery, Roberts, Sarris, Smart, Smith and Tunnacliffe. Councillor Pippas had given apologies for lateness

 

 

16/2/CNL

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

No declarations were made.

16/3/CNL

Public Questions Time - see at the foot of the agenda for details of the scheme

Minutes:

Mr Carpen addressed the Council and made the following statement:

i.  Following publication of the devolution deal, he asked if the Executive Councillors for Housing and Planning were prepared to relinquish any of the Council’s powers and funding to a new potential Mayor of Cambridgeshire who the media widely reported the former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley as the favourite candidate earlier this year.

 

The Executive Councillor for Housing confirmed that he would not be relinquishing his powers.

 

The Leader responded with the following:

i.  There was only one reference to Planning within the devolution deal document and this provided that the Combined Authority and the Mayor could develop a Spatial Strategy for the whole area but that this would be a guidance document only. 

ii.  The Council had a veto so no Spatial Strategy for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough could be developed without the City Council’s agreement.

iii.  The devolution deal document would not be signed until after the consultation and a decision in October.

iv.  The Council would want to be clear on the housing deal before it signed up to the deal.

 

The Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport commented that the Spatial Strategy referred to sounded like the old Structure Plan. The City Council would continue to have its own Local Plan.

 

Mr Carpen addressed the Council and made the following supplementary statements:

i.  There was a lot of confusion between the Local Plan and the City Deal programme.

ii.  It had been confirmed that a new Prime Minister would be in place by 2nd September and he requested that Councillors kept the public informed about what was happening with the devolution deal.

iii.  Urged Councillors to consider a policy review of the risks associated with the devolution deal.

 

Mr Leigh addressed the Council and made the following statement:

i.  ‘Key Network Route’ in paragraph 28b of the devolution proposal, included only local authority roads and did not include the A14, M11, A11 or A428 and not the railways.

ii.  While Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire was rightly preoccupied with the affordable housing crisis, the opportunity should not be missed to address some of the flaws in the local strategic road and rail network.

iii.  The Soham station, the Newmarket curve, Ely North junction, the Ely Southern Bypass, the A14/A142 junction and the A47 all got a mention in the proposal document. 

iv.  Questioned where the Girton interchange was. Adding connections from A428 to M11 and A1307 would reduce congestion on the A1303 and through Toft, Comberton and Barton; reduce commute times by bus and car from Cambourne and Papworth to the city centre and Biomedical Campus and make park and ride at Girton Interchange viable. 

v.  Questioned where the additional connections were between the A11, M11 and A14. Three-way junctions would mean incidents and roadworks on any side of the triangle of roads could be bypassed without overwhelming the city and villages with huge volumes of heavy traffic.

vi.  Questioned where the new railway station was at Fulbourn. Commented that this would complement a new station at Soham and make Newmarket railway line a viable travel option for thousands of people travelling to the city centre and when the Cambridge South station opened the Biomedical campus.

vii.  Asked Councillors if they would take the opportunity to get a balanced set of strategic transport infrastructure commitments on paper from government before the devolution deal was finalised.

viii.  In the devolution deal under Governance paragraph 2 it stated that “local authorities of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough recognised and have agreed that the principle of subsidiarity should apply to the discharge of functions by the Mayor and Combined Authority and governance of this devolution deal.  This included the delegation of responsibility from the Combined Authority to individual Councils or appropriate bodies such as the City Deal mechanisms for delivery. In other words the City Deal would continue as now. 

ix.  The Mayor’s transport budget would be £20million / year. The City Deal‘s would be £40million from 2020. The Office of the Mayor would have its own Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Audit Committee yet the City Deal Board has neither.

x.  Asked if it made sense for the Office of the Mayor to delegate spending £40million / year to a board that was lacking public profile, accountability, transparency, critical overview, scrutiny and audit at the local level.

xi.  It could be thought that the City Deal Assembly held the Board to account, however the paragraph 4.3 of the City Deal Assembly’s terms of reference stated “the Assembly may receive and comment on (pre-scrutinise) reports to the Executive Board, may offer advice to the Board on the discharge of its functions and may review its work.

xii.  Pre-scrutiny was not scrutiny and qualifying every functions with ‘may’ rendered the Assembly impotent.

xiii.  Councillor Herbert as Chair of the City Deal Executive Board would claim to be accountable to this Council for the Board’s decisions, however the Board has delegated many of its decision making powers to an officer to minimise delays in delivery.

xiv.  Asked if the Mayor’s office was to live up to its billing for transparent governance and accountability then the City Deal must come under its purview and asked if the Leader would ensure that this happened. 

 

The Leader responded with the following:

  i.  There was specific reference within the devolution document to a Mayor and a Combined Authority if that should come into existence.

  ii.  There was clear reference within the document to rail investment and whilst Fulbourn Station was not specifically referenced it was on the Council’s list.

  iii.  In relation to the City Deal, accountability for people who represented organisations was back in those organisations.

  iv.  He was happy to look at the accountability for a Combined Authority, if there was one, and the role of Leader as the City Council representative.

  v.  He was happy to look at the issue of accountability for the City Deal but he did not have any say in how the governance arrangements for the City Deal were set up.

 

Ms Brennan addressed the Council and made the following statement:

  i.  Unison and other unions would want to be included in any consultation and did not want to rely on employers being consultees. Asked if Unions would be included in any consultation on devolution.

  ii.  Given the different political views in Cambridge and Peterborough she asked how these views would be represented fairly in a Combined Authority.

  iii.  In paragraph 20.1 of the devolution document it stated that the cost of the Mayor would be met by the constituent authorities, she asked how much this would cost.

 

 The Leader responded with the following:

  i.  Had requested a meeting with Unison and GMB to discuss several issues one of which would be devolution.

  ii.  Would discuss the consultation which would run from July to September and unions would have a full say as they represented the workers of the Council.

  iii.  The Combined Authority would include the County Council, Peterborough and 5 Cambridgeshire Districts, who all had different needs, interests and politics. Representatives of the authorities would all need to listen to each other.

  iv.  In terms of costs, County Council colleagues were to move a proposal on clear accountability, there was soon to be a Joint Chief Executive for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

  v.  He wanted any Mayor to be part of existing systems. An estimate of the salary might be in the region of £70,000 – £80,000, which was in line with the Police Commissioner’s salary for the same area. On costs all authorities would want to keep costs to a minimum. Would want to see existing officers involved as much as possible.  However recognised that some extra jobs would be created as there would be people project manging and ensuring that projects were delivered.

 

Mr Hanagan addressed the Council and made the following statement:

  i.  If Councillors were minded to proceed with the new tier of local democracy, he asked if Councillors would be minded to seek a mandate from the people who fell under the jurisdiction of that authority.

  ii.  Nowhere within the proposals was there a reference to how the Combined Authority Mayor would be elected. He asked that Councillors considered the electoral process and considered the adoption of proportional representation and consulted on this.

 

The Leader responded with the following:

  i.  The devolution process had been difficult. Quite a lot of the discussions had been behind closed doors however he had sought to report back.  There was the opportunity for members of the public to have a say as part of the consultation process.

  ii.  Referred the public to the County Council’s website which had a specific devolution page.

  iii.  It was unlikely that there would be a public vote but Councillors would be interested in and would consider the responses from the consultation.

  iv.  The City Council could make representations on the electoral process to be used for the election of a Combined Authority Mayor however the Government would make their own decision on the election process.

 

Mr Hanagan addressed the Council and made the following supplementary statement:

  i.  Thanked the Leader for his comments.

  ii.  He thought it was important that Cambridge made its views clear on what election process should be used to elect a Combined Authority Mayor.

 

Mr Logan addressed the Council and made the following statement:

i.  Referred to paragraph 9.5 of the covering document and the impact of view taken following consultation processes and stated that the result of paragraph 9.5 was that the proposal could be taken back to square one. Asked what the significance of this would be and asked if this meant that the timetable for devolution would be disrupted.

 

The Leader responded with the following:

  i.  There was a lot of detail contained within the City and Local Government Devolution Act which set out the background rules and arrangements which would have to be considered before the Council formally went into a deal.

  ii.  The City Council did not sign the original devolution deal document and it had been proposed that the other councils who had signed up could go ahead without Cambridge. Some of paragraph 9.5 was dealing with this. It would broadly be the Government’s decision whether devolution went ahead. There was no provision for the City Council to step out of the devolution deal if it had signed up however there was provision for the City Council to join the deal if it did not sign up.

 

 

 

 

16/4/CNL

Devolution to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough pdf icon PDF 167 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following Officer recommendation was put forward:

 

That Full Council considers whether it wishes to

 

i)  Approve the content of the Devolution Deal proposal (attached at Appendix A).

 

ii)  Endorse the conclusions and outcome of the Governance Review (attached at Appendix B), that the establishment of a Combined Authority with a Mayor for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area would be likely to improve the exercise of statutory functions in that area.

 

iii)  Approve in principle, the Governance Scheme (attached at Appendix C) and request the Chief Executive to undertake appropriate consultation on its content.

 

 If (ii) and (iii) are approved

 

iv)  To resolve to convene, if appropriate, a further meeting of Full Council to take place in October 2016 to consider whether to support, in principle, the granting of consent for the Secretary of State to bring forward such an Order to establish a Mayoral Combined Authority covering the area of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

 

Councillor Herbert proposed and Councillor Price seconded the following amendments:

Replace (iv) with

(iv) If the above are approved, resolve to convene a meeting of Full Council to take place in October 2016 to consider the results of the consultation exercise and whether to give consent for the Secretary of State to bring forward an Order establishing a Combined Authority with a Mayor covering that area of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

On a show of hands this was agreed by 24 votes to 0.

 

And add a new clause v):

 

v) Over the next three months

(a) develop a delivery plan for building at least 500 new council homes using the £70m allocated in the deal for affordable housing in Cambridge (the Cambridge Housing Plan), working with the Government, and in consultation with other partners (see para 11 of the Devolution Deal proposal); 

(b) contribute to work by South Cambridgeshire and the other partner councils in the Combined Authority on a plan for delivering 2,000 homes using the £100m allocated in the deal for this purpose (see para 20 of the devolution proposal). 

 

On a show of hands this was agreed unanimously

 

Councillor Bick proposed and Councillor Cantrill seconded the following amendments:

 

(vi) To note that, while the housing measures in the Devolution Deal are moves in a positive direction, they are proportionately small and uncertain contributions mitigating the recent serious destabilisation of affordable and social housing supply in our area in the wider context of both the council's 2012 HRA 30 year Business Plan ambition for 2000 extra social homes and the potential for the gains offered in this Deal to be offset by a national government housing policy, which is still unclear; and to therefore request officers to prepare an updated negotiating position with government to further and more fully meet local needs for approval at or before the October full council meeting which will consider the current Deal.

 

On a show of hands this was lost by 13 votes to 21.

 

(vii) To request officers to prepare a workable scheme for politically balanced scrutiny by City Council members of decisions taken by its representative on the Combined Authority, including pre-scrutiny where this is practical.

 

Officers are asked to bring proposals to Civic Affairs after consulting group leaders, before the first full meeting of the Combined Authority, with a view to recommendations to full Council.

 

On a show of hands this was agreed unanimously.

 

The amended recommendation was therefore put to the vote:

 

  i.  Approve the content of the Devolution Deal proposal (attached at Appendix A).

  ii.  Endorse the conclusions and outcome of the Governance Review (attached at Appendix B), that the establishment of a Combined Authority with a Mayor for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area would be likely to improve the exercise of statutory functions in that area.

 iii.  Approve in principle, the Governance Scheme (attached at Appendix C) and requested the Chief Executive to undertake appropriate consultation on its content.

 

On a show of hands recommendation i-iii were approved by 23 votes to 8.

 

iv.  To resolve to convene, if appropriate, a further meeting of Full Council to take place in October 2016 to consider the results of the consultation exercise and whether to give consent for the Secretary of State to bring forward an Order establishing a Combined Authority with a Mayor covering that area of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

 

On a show of hands this was agreed unanimously.

 

  v.  Over the next three months to
(a)
develop a delivery plan for building at least 500 new council homes using the £70m allocated in the deal for affordable housing in Cambridge (the Cambridge Housing Plan), working with the Government, and in consultation with other partners (see para 11 of the Devolution Deal proposal);
(b) contribute to work by South Cambridgeshire and the other partner councils in the Combined Authority on a plan for delivering 2,000 homes using the £100m allocated in the deal for this purpose (see para 20 of the devolution proposal). 

 

On a show of hands this was agreed by 34 votes to 0.

 

vi.  To request officers prepared a workable scheme for politically balanced scrutiny by City Council members of decisions taken by its representative on the Combined Authority, including pre-scrutiny where this is practical.

Officers are asked to bring proposals to Civic Affairs after consulting group leaders, before the first full meeting of the Combined Authority, with a view to recommendations to full Council.

 

On a show of hands this was agreed unanimously.

 

Resolved:

 

i.Approved the content of the Devolution Deal proposal (attached at Appendix A).

 

ii.Endorsed the conclusions and outcome of the Governance Review (attached at Appendix B), that the establishment of a Combined Authority with a Mayor for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area would be likely to improve the exercise of statutory functions in that area.

 

iii.Approved in principle, the Governance Scheme (attached at Appendix C) and requested the Chief Executive to undertake appropriate consultation on its content.

 

iv.Resolved to convene a meeting of Full Council to take place in October 2016 to consider the results of the consultation exercise and whether to give consent for the Secretary of State to bring forward an Order establishing a Combined Authority with a Mayor covering that area of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

 

v.Over the next three months to
(a)
develop a delivery plan for building at least 500 new council homes using the £70m allocated in the deal for affordable housing in Cambridge (the Cambridge Housing Plan), working with the Government, and in consultation with other partners (see para 11 of the Devolution Deal proposal);

(b) contribute to work by South Cambridgeshire and the other partner councils in the Combined Authority on a plan for delivering 2,000 homes using the £100m allocated in the deal for this purpose (see para 20 of the devolution proposal). 

 

vi.Requested officers prepared a workable scheme for politically balanced scrutiny by City Council members of decisions taken by its representative on the Combined Authority, including pre-scrutiny where this is practical.

Officers are asked to bring proposals to Civic Affairs after consulting group leaders, before the first full meeting of the Combined Authority, with a view to recommendations to full Council.