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Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Claire Tunnicliffe  Committee Manager

Items
No. Item

17/39/CNL

Minutes pdf icon PDF 370 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the 13 July 2017 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

 

17/40/CNL

Mayor's announcements

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Avery, Gehring, Ratcliffe and Tunnacliffe.

 

MAYOR’S DAY OUT

 

The Mayor advised that the annual outing for senior citizens to Great Yarmouth on 16 August was once again a huge success and thanked those Councillors who had helped with the stewarding.

 

ANNUAL FIRE WORK DISPLAY

 

Members were reminded of their invitation to the Annual Firework Display on Midsummer Common taking place on 4 November, starting at 6.00pm.

 

REMEMBRANCE

 

Members were informed that the Remembrance Sunday Civic Service would take place on Sunday 12 November, Great St. Mary’s Street, 10.55am. Anyone wishing to attend should inform the Sergeant-at-Mace of their attendance.  The Deputy Mayor would lead the civic procession to church.

 

The Mayor advised that he would be laying a wreath on behalf of the City at the War Memorial and anyone wishing to attend was welcome to do so which would start at 10.30 a.m.

 

A 2 minutes silence would be observed from the main entrance to the Guildhall on Saturday 11 November at 11 a.m. Councillors were invited to attend this act of remembrance.

 

CHEVYN SERVICE

 

The Mayor gave advance notice that the preaching of the Chevyn Sermon would take place on Sunday 28 January 2018.  Invitations would be sent out nearer the time.

 

BRIEFING FROM THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOUNDARY COMMISSION FOR ENGLAND

 

The Mayor stated that a member briefing on Monday 27th November, 5.30pm had been planned. This would be presented by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England, on the review of Cambridge City Council ward boundaries and what that would be involved, followed by a question and answer session

 

17/41/CNL

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Name

Item

Interest

Councillor Benstead & Johnson

17/46/CNLd

Personal: Member of GMB

Councillors Barnett, Hart, Herbert,  O’Reilly,  Sheil, Smart & Smith

17/46/CNLd

Personal: Works in public sector

Councillor, Bird, Herbert, Price, Sheil, Smart Smith & Todd-Jones

17/46/CNLd

Personal: Member of Unison

Councillor Dryden, Gawthrope, Roberts, Robertson &  Smart

17/46/CNLd

Personal: Member of Unite

Councillor Baigent

17/46/CNLd

Personal: Member of Fire Brigade Union

Councillor Adey

17/46/CNLd

Personal: Member of PCS

Councillor Sarris

17/46/CNLd

Personal: Member of UCU

 

17/42/CNL

Public questions time

Minutes:

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

 

1.  BenyaAtabani raised the following points:

  i.  Expressed an interest in politics.

  ii.  Expressed concern about climate change.

  iii.  Felt the City Council needed to plan for a sustainable future.

a.  Requested the council worked with partners to take action.

b.  Strategies needed quantifiable objectives.

c.  The city needed a local renewable energy company as per the City of Nottingham and Nottingham City Council.

d.  Suggested an electric vehicle incentive fund be implemented to encourage purchase of these vehicles.

 

The Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources responded:

  i.  How the city could reduce its carbon footprint had been a subject of debate.

  ii.  The City Council had taken measures to reduce its carbon footprint. For example meeting with business leaders to discuss how they could be more energy efficient.

  iii.  Cambridge City Council worked with the Robin Hood Energy Company based in Nottingham. However the Council did not buy electricity from Nottingham as it was not from a sustainable source.

  iv.  Cambridge City Council bought its electricity from a sustainable source.

  v.  The City Council could investigate the practicability of an electric vehicle fund but this may be larger scale work than it was able to implement on its own.

 

As a supplementary point Benya Atabani asked if the City Council would set up a renewable energy company similar to that of Nottingham.

 

The Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources said the scale of operation would be difficult but could be investigated. The Council had a scheme to encourage people to switch to cheaper electricity suppliers, sustainable ones could be reviewed in future.

 

2.  Dara Morefield raised the following points:

  i.  Understood there was difficulty in providing enough housing stock.

  ii.  Expressed concern that family homes were being lost as they were being bought and converted into flats.

  iii.  The city’s housing stock was becoming unbalanced and the Planning Committee appeared unable to stop this.A city wide plan was required to address this trend. 

  iv.  Asked Member to support a city wide plan.

  v.  Residents could, and do, object to individual developer demolish/replace applications. But this was becoming a futile exercise.

  vi.  Family houses, in family neighbourhoods, close to existing schools and facilities were disappearing. Many of the “childproof “units in the blocks which took their place often remained empty, or marketed as an AirBnB.

 vii.  Stated that in Queen Edith's ward alone, there were four such planning applications.

viii.  Enquired what the City Council could do to preserve the existing housing stock in Cambridge.

 

The Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport responded:

  i.  The City Council had to balance city needs against each other, such as local Plan policies to protect the character of the city and housing policy on future growth.

  ii.  Appreciated residents were concerned about how they perceived developers treated Cambridge eg buying properties to develop.

  iii.  The city needed a balanced stock of 1-2 bedroom houses and 4-5 bedroom houses for current and future needs.

  iv.  The Local Plan went through public consultation before becoming guidance for decision making eg protecting the character of an area.

  v.  Each planning application was considered on its own merit.

 

Dara Morefield made the following supplementary points:

  i.  Understood the difficulty of getting enough housing stock.

  ii.  Expressed concern about:

a.  Family housing was being lost through demolition and replacement with flats.

b.  City housing stock was becoming unbalanced in favour of flats over family homes.

c.  The Planning Committee appeared unable to stop the loss of family homes.

 

The Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport responded with the following:

  i.  People who were able to put in applications to demolish and replace family housing with flats then argue the case at Planning Committee.

  ii.  Re-iterated that each planning application was treated on its own merit in-line with local and national planning policy.

  iii.  Sometimes national planning policy undermined local policy.

 

3.  Anthony Martinelli raised the following points:

  i.  Expressed concern about air quality in the city.

  ii.  Queried progress on the Air Quality Action Plan mentioned at the 13 July 2017 Council meeting.

 

The Executive Councillor for Environmental Services and City Centre responded:

  i.  The Council were actively developing an Air Quality Action Plan to replace the current one. This would be scrutinised at the March 2018 Environment Scrutiny Committee after public consultation. It was hoped the Plan would have come to committee in January 2018, but this had been delayed due to external factors.

  ii.  The Council was taking action such as installing electric charge points for taxis (starting March 2018) which was just one example of addressing the air quality in the city.

 

As asupplementary point Anthony Martinelli asked if action was being taken on idling engines.

 

The Executive Councillor for Environmental Services and City Centre responded that this was a complicated issue which would be reviewed in the new Air Quality Action Plan.

 

4.  Kevin Roberts (GMB) raised the following points:

  i.  Thanked the Council for putting forward the motion, fair pay for public sector workers.

  ii.  If this motion was passed this would send a positive message to the council’s workforce.

  iii.  As a living wage employer who promoted the living wage this would send a good example for other local authorities to follow.

  iv.  Cambridge city had become a very expensive place to live. Lots of people who were on low income had to move out of the city. High cost of housing and rented accommodation made it impossible for low paid worker to make ends meet.

  v.  Cambridge had the highest deferential between the lowest paid and the highest earners in the country.

  vi.  The motion would go a small way in getting local people to work for their local authority.  Rather than having to commute it would help to reduce pollution.

 vii.  There had been seven years of government cuts and a reduction in public sector workers pay in real terms of 21%. The council had started to feel the effect of these cuts as it was getting more difficult to recruit and retain staff. The council in the past 4-5 years had reduced its staffing levels by 400% to cuts being imposed on them by the Government.

viii.  The Government needed to fund local government properly so that staff can be paid the living wage and that good services could be maintained.

 

The Executive Councillor for Finance and Resource thanked Mr Roberts for his comments which would be dealt with under Motion 8d.

 

17/43/CNL

To consider the recommendations of the Executive for adoption

17/43/CNLa

Executive Councillor for Housing: Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Medium Term Financial Strategy pdf icon PDF 7 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved (28 votes to 0) to:

 

i.  Approve proposals for changes in existing housing capital budgets, as introduced in Sections 6 and 7 and detailed in Appendix E of the document, attached to the Council agenda, with the resulting position summarised in Appendix H.

 

 

17/43/CNLb

Treasury Management Half Yearly Update Report 2017/18 (Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources) pdf icon PDF 195 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved(27 votes to 1) to:

 

i.  Agree the Treasury Management Half Yearly Update Report which included the Council’s estimated Prudential and Treasury Indicators 2017/18 to 2020/21.

 

17/43/CNLc

Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) October 2017 (Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources) pdf icon PDF 225 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved (by 27 votes to 1) to:

 

General Fund Revenue

 

  i.  Agree the budget strategy and timetable as outlined in Section 1 [pages 1 to 2 refer] of the MTFS document.

  ii.  Agree incorporation of the budget savings and pressures identified in Section 4 [pages 13 to 16 refer] including an additional £100k contribution to Sharing Prosperity Fund. This provided an indication of the net savings requirements, by year for the next 5 years, and revised General Fund revenue, funding and reserves projections as shown in Section 5 [page 17 refers] of the MTFS document.

 

Capital

 

  i.  Note the changes to the Capital Plan as set out in Section 6 [pages 18 to 23 refer] and Appendix A [pages 32 to 40 refer] of the MTFS document and agreed the new proposals:

Reserves

 

  i.  Agree changes to General Fund Reserve levels, with the Prudent Minimum Balance being set at £5.35m and the target level at £6.42m as detailed in Section 7 [pages 24 to 27 refer] and Appendix B [pages 41 to 42 refer].

 

17/44/CNL

To consider the recommendations of Committees for adoption

17/44/CNLa

Civic Affairs: Draft Annual Governance Statement and Draft Local Code of Corporate Governance pdf icon PDF 6 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved (unanimously) to:

 

  i.  Approve the Code of Corporate Governance (Appendix 3 of the Officer’s report attached to the Council agenda).

17/45/CNL

Licensing Committee: Statement of Licensing Policy pdf icon PDF 270 KB

Minute to follow

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved (unanimously) to:

 

i.  Approve the amended Statement of Licensing Policy

17/46/CNL

To deal with oral questions

Minutes:

Primary Questions

 

1) Councillor O'Connell to the Executive Councillor for Environmental Services and City Centre

 

Does the Executive Councillor for Environmental Services agree with me that it is unacceptable for the council to try to shift responsibility for overflowing refuse bins caused by delayed or missed collections on to residents?

 

The Executive Councillor responded that the Council and Shared Waste Service were not trying to shift responsibility for overflowing refuse bins on to residents.

 

2) Councillor Smart to the Executive Councillor for Streets and Open Spaces

 

What will the changes in toilet cleaning frequency proposed in the Streets and Open Spaces review mean in practice?

 

The Executive Councillor advised it was proposed to adjust cleaning times for low frequency visited toilets only. Residents and visitors would not see any difference in standards. Toilets were valued as assets in the city. The Council were trying to keep all public toilets open which provided good value for money without losing quality.

 

3) Councillor Sargeant to the Executive Councillor for Housing

 

Given that this is empty homes week, would the Executive Councillor for Housing tell council what is being done in Cambridge to bring empty homes back into use?

 

The Executive Councillor responded that the Empty Home Officer not only visited properties during empty homes week but on regular occasions. The intention was to meet owners and find out why properties were empty with the intent of bringing them back into use. Advice was provided to property owners on options available. If owners were unavailable, officers could obtain warrants to enter properties. The City Council had recently launched a scheme to help the owners of empty properties to bring them back into residential use offering loans of up to £25,000 to homeowners, which would enable them to carry out essential renovation works.

 

The Council had helped owners to bring 13 properties back into use in the last six months, many of which had been empty for a substantial period of time.

 

4) Councillor Bick to the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport

 

Does the Executive Councillor think that 7600 new homes can be built at Northern Fringe East including on the sewage works site?

 

The Executive Councillor responded, the land owner partnership had been working together for several years to unlock the delivery of the scheme through investment. A bid had been submitted to Housing Infrastructure Fund sponsored by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and the Greater Cambridge Partnership. The bid indicated the support that 7600 new homes could be built at Northern Fringe East including on the sewage works site. The Executive Councillor stated he would not disagree with this decision.

 

5) Councillor Holland to the Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

 

What income does the City Council receive from the private bike hire organisations: Ofo and Rutland Cycle Hire?

 

As a regular bike user, there have been occasions when there were no bike spaces in the bike rack on Peas Hill because approximately 25% of the spaces were occupied by Ofo bikes and Rutland Cycle Hire bikes, including a permanent advertising bike which has not been moved for several months.

 

The Executive Councillor responded that anyone could use bike racks across the city. The problems arose when bikes were left when people had finished using them, such as the bikes for hire or just abandoned. Officers were looking to remove these in future. The permanent advertising bike was a separate issue which would be investigated. The Council received no income from Ofo but business rates were collected from Rutland Cycle which the Council kept 6% with the remainder being remitted to central government, the County Council and the Fire Service.

 

6) Councillor Holt to the Executive Councillor for Streets & Open Spaces

 

Is the Executive Councillor's priority for the council’s provision of public toilets still best described as ‘let them use pubs’, which was at one time shorthand for her party’s policy? 

 

The Executive Councillor responded the Council had done a lot of work to persuade local businesses to open toilets to the public as part of the ‘free to use’ initiative. In particular Councillor Bird had been working to highlight the importance for disabled users to be able to use the facilities at local business with some positive results. Councillors would continue to encourage pubs/shops,cafes etc to welcome people to use their facilities as access was an important issue. There were currently 20 blocks of public toilets across the City which equated to 180 units that could be accessed by visitors and residents. In comparison Liverpool had 1 public toilet unit.

 

The Council was currently undertaking toilet refurbishment work.

 

7) Councillor Barnett to the Executive Councillor for Streets and Open Spaces

 

Can the Executive Councillor provide some more details about the proposed increase in the use of volunteers as set out in the Streets and Open Spaces review?

 

The Executive Councillor responded that people valued this initiative and there were a large number who had signed up to volunteer. Since the introduction of the scheme introduced by Labour in 2015, a total number of 73 volunteers had signed up and last year a total of 800 volunteer hours were logged.  There was a range of choice from litter picking, cycling champions to conservation.  Growing areas of the city would have increased populations and therefore more potential volunteers. Officers were putting together a plan on how to engage more people. The Council wanted to work in partnership with other organisations such as residents associations and friends groups to increase the number of volunteers.

 

8) Councillor Austin to the Executive Councillor for Streets & Open Spaces

 

How are you planning to stop cars and lorries parking illegally and driving irresponsibly on Midsummer Common?

 

The Executive Councillor responded illegal parking was a long standing and difficult problem. Councillors and Officers were concerned by this issue and unauthorised access to the common had been partly solved by the much improved barriers installed under the previous Labour Executive Councillor for Streets and Open Spaces, Councillor O’Reilly.

 

Damage had been caused to the common due to unauthorised parking by vehicles at the Fort St George Pub who did not use the designated loading area. Dialogue continued with the owners of Midsummer House, who were very proactive on this matter and the Fort of St George.  Action from Environmental Health Officers was pending on those vehicles who parked illegally.

 

9) Councillor Cantrill to the Executive Councillor for Streets and Open Spaces

 

Does the Executive Councillor agree with me that the City Rangers provide a unique service to the residents of Cambridge?

 

The Executive Councillor responded the 150 staff in the service did a fantastic job and thanked them all for their hard work, which included the Rangers. Advised that she would not describe the service that Rangers provided as unique, but there were some jobs that only Rangers did, and other jobs that were partly covered by other teams.

 

Local people placed high value on staff knowing the local area and local residents which fed into the service review.

 

 

 


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.

 

10) Councillor Todd Jones to the Executive Councillor for Streets and Open Spaces

 

Can the Executive Councillor update on what is being planned to limit the use of chemical herbicides?

 

11) Councillor Adey to the Leader

 

Would the Leader of the Council agree that a golden opportunity may be lost if a new Cycle Bridge is not built as part of the Mill Rd depot redevelopment, linking to Cromwell Road in Romsey?

 

12) Councillor T. Moore to the Leader

 

Does the leader agree that we should encourage moving around by cycling?  Therefore, does he, like me, welcome the concept of the greenways routes for people coming into Cambridge from the neighbouring villages?

 

13) Councillor Sinnott to the Executive Councillor for Communities

 

Can the Executive Councillor for Communities provide an update on preparations for the Volunteer for Cambridge community fair this Saturday, and inform Council how the public can be involved?

 

14) Councillor Sarris to the Leader

 

Will the Leader please update the Council on what progress has been made with the plans to develop the area around Northern Fringe East?

 

Secondary Questions

 

No secondary questions were submitted.

 

17/47/CNL

To consider the following notices of motion, notice of which has been given by: pdf icon PDF 219 KB

17/47/CNLa

Councillor Johnson: Universal Credit

Minutes:

Councillor Johnson proposed and Councillor Price seconded the following motion: 

 

This Council notes:

 

That Universal Credit (UC), a single monthly payment to replace a number of working-age benefits, is due to be fully rolled out in Cambridge by June 2018;

 

The way UC is administered, with recipients in some cases having to wait longer than six weeks for claims to be processed, is leading to real hardship. Across the 105 councils where the housing costs element of UC has already been introduced, the number of council tenants who have rent arrears has risen from less than 10% to 50%;

 

The cuts to work allowances in UC, and the decision to limit tax credit and UC payments to the first two children in a family, will likely increase child poverty;

 

That the pace and change brought about by UC has been condemned by organisations such as the Citizens Advice Bureau and Trussell Trust who believe that, without revision, it will do more harm than good for the most vulnerable.

 

This Council recognises:

 

The work it has conducted in recent years with JobCentre Plus, the CAB, credit unions, housing associations and the voluntary sector to prepare for UC and to best assist the most vulnerable in Cambridge in the transition to this new benefit and other changes to the welfare system;

 

The importance of its dedicated teams within City Homes, who are working with tenants at risk of falling into arrears, due to UC and changes to the eligibility criteria for the housing component of UC, thereby helping to support these tenants stay in their homes and prevent homelessness.

 

This Council resolves to:

 

Write to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, requesting him to halt the roll out of UC until further notice, as has been demanded by hundreds of charities and organisations working with the worst off in Britain. We call on the Secretary of State to redesign its administration, as well as reversing planned real-terms cuts to working families and ending payment delay, and for local authorities to pay the housing costs component from UC direct to landlords as is the case with Housing Benefit;

 

Continue working closely with council tenants, and those at risk of being adversely affected by the Government’s welfare reforms, through its City Homes and Revenue and Benefit teams and partnership work with other agencies as funded by the Council’s Housing Revenue Account, General Fund and Sharing Prosperity Fund;

 

Inform the city’s two MPs of this motion and to call for their support in lobbying the Government to achieve our objectives on this issue.

 

Resolved (unanimously)to support the motion.

 

17/47/CNLb

Councillor O'Connell ; Improved Councillor Scrutiny of Public Complaints

Minutes:

Councillor O’ Connell proposed and Councillor Austin seconded the following motion: 

 

Council notes the recent year-on-year rises in complaints to the council and their importance as a resource for improving services to the public. On the most significant issues raised, it believes there should be an opportunity for more of a public closure and plan for the future with the involvement of elected representatives, than is allowed for by the current minimal section of the Annual Complaints Report.

 

It therefore resolves to provide an automatic public review by councillors of the three service areas with most complaints across the council each year, based on detailed reports to the relevant scrutiny committees in the autumn meeting cycle, together with recommended improvement plans.

 

It calls on the Chief Executive, in consultation with group leaders, to define a fair and workable procedure for implementation.

 

Councillor Robertson proposed and Councillor R Moore seconded the following amendment to motion (deleted text struck through and additional text underlined):

 

Council notes the recent year-on-year rises in complaints to the council and their importance as a resource for improving services to the public. On the most significant issues raised, it believes there should be an opportunity for more of a public closure and plan for the future with the involvement of elected representatives, than is allowed for by the current minimal section of the Annual Complaints Report.

 

It therefore resolves to provide an automatic public review by councillors of the three service areas with most complaints across the council each year, based on detailed reports to the relevant scrutiny committees in the autumn meeting cycle, together with recommended improvement plans.

It calls on the Chief Executive, in consultation with group leaders, to define a fair and workable procedure for implementation.

value of the Annual Complaints Report to Civic Affairs Committee and the council and

 

  its importance as a resource for improving services to the public,

  the importance of providing public disclosure and an opportunity for councillors to review and question the complaints received, and

  the recording of actions taken to remedy them.

 

To further strengthen this, future Annual Complaints Reports will each year identify three areas of complaint meriting further investigation and report back to Civic Affairs.

 

The selection of the three areas in the report to Civic Affairs Committee will be based on an assessment of the change or lack of change in the number of complaints over the previous and preceding few years.

 

On a show of hands the amendment was carried by 24 votes to 0

 

Resolved (unanimously) that:

 

Council notes the value of the Annual Complaints Report to Civic Affairs Committee and the council and

  its importance as a resource for improving services to the   public,

  the importance of providing public disclosure and an opportunity for councillors to review and question the complaints received, and

  the recording of actions taken to remedy them.

 

To further strengthen this, future Annual Complaints Reports will each year identify three areas of complaint meriting further investigation and report back to Civic Affairs.

 

The selection of the three areas in the report to Civic Affairs Committee will be based on an assessment of the change or lack of change in the number of complaints over the previous and preceding few years.

 

17/47/CNLc

Councillor Cantrill: Mill Road Depot

Minutes:

Councillor Cantrill proposed and Councillor Adey seconded the following motion: 

 

The housing market in Cambridge is broken. The majority of residents cannot afford to rent or buy a property in the city. This is particularly the case for people on low salaries doing critical jobs such as care workers, nurses and teachers. Private rents have increased by 20% since 2014 (median private rent). In addition, affordable rents in Cambridge are not affordable for very many people. The Housing needs register has over 2,500 households seeking accommodation, with over 1,500 single households making up the register.

 

In the medium to long term, this issue can only be addressed by a fundamental review of the level of supply of housing of all kinds in and around Cambridge. However, in the short term, key stakeholders in the city should act to relieve this unacceptable pressure for residents.

 

The City Council, as a key stakeholder in the city, has a unique opportunity at this time to use its financial and social capital to help to address this important problem.

 

The Mill Road Depot site provides one of a small number of large strategic sites in the centre of the city that the council can use to address these critical housing issues. This is particularly the case as the Council is the owner of the majority of the site and is in receipt of £70m of devolved funds to build 500 social homes.

 

This council therefore calls on the Leader and the Executive Councillors for Housing and Finance to bring forward plans for the Mill Road Depot that:

 

  reflect the feedback from the public consultations undertaken - in particular the provision of community facilities

  have a level of affordable housing on the site of at least 80% (with the majority being social housing – rented on a Local Authority rental basis – as defined by Cambridgeshire Insight)

  provide an element of properties on the site that are rented on a ‘Local Living Rent’ basis to key workers (ie based on one third of an individual’s net income – rather than with reference to a discount to market rents) - this would be one of the first schemes of this nature outside London

  ensure that the development of the site is undertaken on the highest level of sustainability – including limiting the use of car usage on the site to a minimum and encouraging sustainable transport

 

Councillor Price proposed and Councillor Todd-Jones seconded the following amendment to motion (deleted text struck through and additional text underlined):

 

The housing market in Cambridge is broken. The majority of residents cannot afford to rent or buy a property in the city. This is particularly the case for people on low salaries doing critical jobs such as care workers, nurses and teachers. Private rents have increased by 20% since 2014 (median private rent). In addition, affordable rents in Cambridge are not affordable for very many people. The Housing needs register has over 2,500 households seeking accommodation, with over 1,500 single households making up the register.

 

In the medium to long term, this issue can only be addressed by a fundamental review of the level of supply of housing of all kinds in and around Cambridge. However, in the short term, key stakeholders in the city should act to relieve this unacceptable pressure for residents.

 

The City Council, as a key stakeholder in the city, has a unique opportunity at this time to use its financial and social capital to help to address this important problem.

 

The Mill Road Depot site provides one of a small number of large strategic sites in the centre of the city that the council can use to address these critical housing issues. This is particularly the case as the Council is the owner of the majority of the site and is in receipt of £70m of devolved funds to build 500 social homes.

 

This council therefore calls on the Leader and the Executive Councillors for Housing and Finance to bring forward plans for the Mill Road Depot that:

 

·  reflect the feedback from the public consultations undertaken - in particular the provision of community facilities

·  have a level of affordable housing on the site of at least 80% (with the majority being social housing – rented on a Local Authority rental basis – as defined by Cambridgeshire Insight)

·  provide an element of properties on the site that are rented on a ‘Local Living Rent’ basis to key workers (ie based on one third of an individual’s net income – rather than with reference to a discount to market rents) - this would be one of the first schemes of this nature outside London

·  ensure that the development of the site is undertaken on the highest level of sustainability – including limiting the use of car usage on the site to a minimum and encouraging sustainable transport

 

This Council notes that:

 

i) The combined effects since 2010 under first the Liberal Democrat and Tory coalition government, and now the Tory government, of a number of government policies in housing and welfare have had a severe impact on the problems of housing supply and housing affordability in Cambridge.

ii) Around a quarter of the City’s households earn under £16,000 a year and for people on lower incomes the provision of social housing for rent in Cambridge is vital, which is why the Council’s new build programme is targeted at those on below median incomes.

iii) The Housing Needs Register has around 2500 households seeking accommodation and over a quarter of annual lets are to those to whom the Council has agreed a statutory duty of homelessness.

iii) Our agreement with the Government for the Devolution Housing Grant and use of our retained Right to Buy receipts is to deliver at least 500 new council homes over five years, and council owned sites in both the Housing Revenue Account and the General Fund are key in delivering those homes.

 

This Council also notes that:

i) the only major General Fund owned site to be redeveloped by the Council in recent years is Clay Farm, where the Council achieved 50% of homes delivered as Affordable Housing but with a tenure split of 60% social rented and 40% shared ownership which is below the Council’s own Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (AHSPD) tenure recommendation of 75/25% and the high costs of shared ownership has meant that the units there are increasingly slow to sell.

ii) prior to Labour taking control of the Council in 2014, the practice of the then Liberal Democrat administration was to sell off a significant proportion of the land on small Housing Revenue Account redevelopment sites to be developed for market sale, and that the loss of existing and potential council homes was justified on the basis of the need for ‘mixed and balanced communities’ by the Liberal Democrats.

iii) The Mill Road Depot site provides one of a small number of large strategic sites in the centre of the city that the Council can use to address the critical need for affordable rented housing in Cambridge.

iv) the Mill Road Depot SPD was approved in March 2017 with the aim of achieving a new high quality, sustainable, mixed and balanced community.

 

This Council therefore resolves, having regard to the Mill Road Depot SPD:

i) to seek to achieve 50% of the homes delivered on Mill Road Depot as new council homes;

ii) to consider options for increasing the level and range of affordable housing delivered on the site above 50%, including where this unlocks the possibility of further affordable and council homes on other nearby sites

iii) to consider options for achieving, and where possible exceeding, other requirements stated in the Mill Road Depot SPD relating to open space and community facilities.

iv) to deliver an exemplary development by seeking for the homes delivered on Mill Road Depot to be constructed to the standards laid out in the Cambridge Sustainable Housing Design Guide.

v) to seek to meet the needs of the new community and the wider adjacent communities by integrating and connecting the site to the neighbourhood with a network of high quality pedestrian and cycle routes, including as part of the Chisholm Trail, and to ensure surrounding streets are not further pressured for car parking by the provision of an appropriate level of mainly underground car parking on the site.

 

On a show of hands the amendment was carried by 22 votes to 9.

 

Resolved (21 votes to 0) that:

 

This Council notes that:

i) The combined effects since 2010 under first the Liberal Democrat and Tory coalition government, and now the Tory government, of a number of government policies in housing and welfare have had a severe impact on the problems of housing supply and housing affordability in Cambridge.

 

ii) Around a quarter of the City’s households earn under £16,000 a year and for people on lower incomes the provision of social housing for rent in Cambridge is vital, which is why the Council’s new build programme is targeted at those on below median incomes.

iii) The Housing Needs Register has around 2500 households seeking accommodation and over a quarter of annual lets are to those to whom the Council has agreed a statutory duty of homelessness.

iii) Our agreement with the Government for the Devolution Housing Grant and use of our retained Right to Buy receipts is to deliver at least 500 new council homes over five years, and council owned sites in both the Housing Revenue Account and the General Fund are key in delivering those homes.

 

This Council also notes that:

i) the only major General Fund owned site to be redeveloped by the Council in recent years is Clay Farm, where the Council achieved 50% of homes delivered as Affordable Housing but with a tenure split of 60% social rented and 40% shared ownership which is below the Council’s own Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (AHSPD) tenure recommendation of 75/25% and the high costs of shared ownership has meant that the units there are increasingly slow to sell.

ii) prior to Labour taking control of the Council in 2014, the practice of the then Liberal Democrat administration was to sell off a significant proportion of the land on small Housing Revenue Account redevelopment sites to be developed for market sale, and that the loss of existing and potential council homes was justified on the basis of the need for ‘mixed and balanced communities’ by the Liberal Democrats.

iii) The Mill Road Depot site provides one of a small number of large strategic sites in the centre of the city that the Council can use to address the critical need for affordable rented housing in Cambridge.

iv) the Mill Road Depot SPD was approved in March 2017 with the aim of achieving a new high quality, sustainable, mixed and balanced community.

This Council therefore resolves, having regard to the Mill Road Depot SPD:

i) to seek to achieve 50% of the homes delivered on Mill Road Depot as new council homes;

ii) to consider options for increasing the level and range of affordable housing delivered on the site above 50%, including where this unlocks the possibility of further affordable and council homes on other nearby sites

iii) to consider options for achieving, and where possible exceeding, other requirements stated in the Mill Road Depot SPD relating to open space and community facilities.

iv) to deliver an exemplary development by seeking for the homes delivered on Mill Road Depot to be constructed to the standards laid out in the Cambridge Sustainable Housing Design Guide.

v) to seek to meet the needs of the new community and the wider adjacent communities by integrating and connecting the site to the neighbourhood with a network of high quality pedestrian and cycle routes, including as part of the Chisholm Trail, and to ensure surrounding streets are not further pressured for car parking by the provision of an appropriate level of mainly underground car parking on the site.

8dCouncillor Smart: Fair Pay for Public Sector Staff

Councillor Smart proposed and Councillor Bird seconded the following motion: 

 

Cambridge City Council notes that

 

  For most local government workers, pay and conditions are determined nationally by the National Joint Council (NJC) and, on average, NJC basic pay has fallen by 21% in real terms since 2010.

  NJC workers had a three-year pay freeze from 2010 to 2012 and have received capped 1% pay increases annually since then.

  While bottom-loaded NJC pay settlements are welcome, these have squeezed pay grade differentials between lower paid staff.

  The majority of NJC workers are women and the gender pay gap has widened in the public sector since the pay cap was introduced.

 

The Council

 

  Supports the GMB campaign to end the public sector Pay Pinch and end continuous cuts to public sector real pay, while being committed to protecting quality service delivery and council jobs, and will contact the Local Government Association and all East Region employer representatives on the NJC to that effect in relation to the 2018 local government pay negotiations.

  Welcomes the joint review of the NJC pay spine to remedy the effects of bottom-loaded pay settlements.

  In addition to already paying at least the Living Wage to all its staff, shares the GMB objective for a Living Wage of at least £10 an hour for all public sector workers, and the Council will investigate increasing minimum pay to City Council staff to £10 per hour from 2018.

  Will write to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, copied to GMB supporting the Pay Pinch campaign and the end to real public sector pay cuts, and to call on Government to provide vital extra funding to the public sector to achieve fair pay settlements without cutting services or jobs.

 

Resolved (unanimously) to support the motion.

 

17/47/CNLd

Councillor Smart: Fair Pay for Public Sector Staff

Minutes:

Councillor Smart proposed and Councillor Bird seconded the following motion: 

 

Cambridge City Council notes that

 

  For most local government workers, pay and conditions are determined nationally by the National Joint Council (NJC) and, on average, NJC basic pay has fallen by 21% in real terms since 2010.

  NJC workers had a three-year pay freeze from 2010 to 2012 and have received capped 1% pay increases annually since then.

  While bottom-loaded NJC pay settlements are welcome, these have squeezed pay grade differentials between lower paid staff.

  The majority of NJC workers are women and the gender pay gap has widened in the public sector since the pay cap was introduced.

 

The Council

 

  Supports the GMB campaign to end the public sector Pay Pinch and end continuous cuts to public sector real pay, while being committed to protecting quality service delivery and council jobs, and will contact the Local Government Association and all East Region employer representatives on the NJC to that effect in relation to the 2018 local government pay negotiations.

  Welcomes the joint review of the NJC pay spine to remedy the effects of bottom-loaded pay settlements.

  In addition to already paying at least the Living Wage to all its staff, shares the GMB objective for a Living Wage of at least £10 an hour for all public sector workers, and the Council will investigate increasing minimum pay to City Council staff to £10 per hour from 2018.

  Will write to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, copied to GMB supporting the Pay Pinch campaign and the end to real public sector pay cuts, and to call on Government to provide vital extra funding to the public sector to achieve fair pay settlements without cutting services or jobs.

 

Resolved (unanimously) to support the motion.

 

17/47/CNLe

Councillor Herbert: Membership of Strategy & Resources Scrutiny Committee

Minutes:

Councillor Herbert proposed and Councillor Sarris seconded the following motion: 

 

This Council is to agree:

 

To change the size of the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee from 6 members to 8 members for the remainder of the Municipal Year and to note that the two seats will be taken by the Independent and Green Group and the Labour Group. Council notes that this change does not affect the proportionality overall of seats on committees in any other way.

 

Councillor Herbert then moved to amend the motion, seconded by Councillor Sarris, in accordance with the Council’s Constitution 23.3, Council Procedure Rules as follows:

 

That there then be 8 members on S&R (5 Labour, 2 Lib Dem, Cllr Hipkin). A corresponding reduction to remove an anomaly on Environment Scrutiny Committee reducing the 5 Labour members to 4, a reduction of one to 4:2

 

Resolved by (26 votes to 0) to amend the motion

 

Members were advised that a change of proportionality required that no member voted against the amended motion

 

Resolved (26 votes to-1) to support the motion.

 

Therefore the motion was lost.

 

17/48/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:

The Mayor advised that no written questions had been received.