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Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Sarah Steed  Committee Manager

Items
No. Item

16/25/CNL

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Adey, Ashton, Gehring, Page-Croft and Sarris.

 

16/26/CNL

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

16/27/CNL

Public Questions Time

See the foot of the agenda for details of the scheme

Minutes:

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

 

1.  Wendy Blythe raised the following points:

  i.  Wanted to put on record comments regarding devolution and representation.

  ii.  Queried why local authorities who made up the combined authority gave the Local Economic Partnership (LEP) a vote on devolution. This gave them disproportionate influence.

·  The combined authorities were already spending money and having a large effect on public lives.

·  Devolution should be under democratic control.

 

The Leader responded that the LEP’s ability to vote was still to be determined.

 

Wendy Blythe made the following supplementary points:

  i.  The position regarding LEP voting power was unclear in the published agenda pack.

  ii.  People felt very strongly about this.

  iii.  Democratic representation was needed.

 

The Leader responded with the following:

  i.  The LEP represented a lot of small and large businesses.

  ii.  Acknowledged the point that people needed to be represented.

 

2.  Kelley Green queried what devolution meant and how it would help local businesses.

 

The Leader responded:

  i.  There were large and small businesses in the city.

  ii.  The LEP were consulted on devolution in the summer and were positive towards the package.

  iii.  The economy of Cambridgeshire needed to take into account the views of small businesses.

  iv.  Growth was affected by various factors such as Brexit.

 

16/28/CNL

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Devolution pdf icon PDF 440 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor ruled in for consideration Appendix 1A and the accompanying officer briefing note, despite a copy not being available for public inspection 5 clear days before today’s meeting.  He ruled under 100B (4b) of the Local Government Act 1972 the urgency is that all the Councils in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough must consider this item of business by end of 22 November.

 

The Chief Executive explained that P11 of the covering report contained a typographical error. The table should refer to 285, not 262 responses. All the percentages quoted were based on those 285 respondents, they were accurate and reflected the actual figures in the data tables.

 

The following Officer recommendation was put forward:

 

That Full Council considers whether it wishes to:

 

  i.  Consent to the Secretary of State making an Order to establish the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (Appendix A of the Officer’s report);

  ii.  Consent to the Council being a constituent member of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority with effect from the commencement date determined by the final Order;

  iii.  Authorise the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, to consent to the final draft Order and associated documents, specifically:

 

-  To agree minor drafting amendments to the Combined Authority Order to be laid before Parliament;

-  To consent to the Council being included within the draft Parliamentary Order thereby reflecting this Council’s decision;

 

  iv.  Authorise the Combined Authority to have a power to issue a levy to the constituent Councils in respect of any financial year. (This will be subject to the inclusion of a unanimity clause in the Combined Authority constitution on this specific matter);

  v.  Recommend to the Combined Authority that the costs of establishing the Combined Authority, holding the elections in May 2017 and running the Combined Authority (including Mayoral Office) for 2016/17 and 2017/18 are funded from the gain share grant provided by Government (as outlined in para 10.11);

  vi.  Appoint the Leader of Council to act as Council's appointee to the Shadow Combined Authority and once established, to the Combined Authority;

  vii.  Appoint Councillor Price to act as the substitute to the above (ref vi);

  viii.  Note the outcome of the public consultation on the establishment of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority as outlined in paragraph 5.1 and 5.2 and Appendices 2A - 2D;

  ix.  Note the timetable for the implementation of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough devolution Order as summarised in paragraph 7.1;

  x.  Note the Government's response to the outline business case for Housing capital investment funds secured as part of the devolution deal as set out in Appendix 3.

  xi.  Note that a report will come to Civic Affairs committee on 15 February 2017 making proposals for City Council scrutiny of its representative on the Combined Authority,  as requested by Council on 27 June 2016, and to confirm detailed arrangements for the Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny and Audit Committee.

  xii.  Note that in the interim period the Leader will report to Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee and to full Council on progress made with setting up the Combined Authority and the devolution deal.

 

Councillor Bick proposed and Councillor Avery seconded the following amendments:

 

Delete all original text and replace with:

 

Council notes:

 

·  the lack of democratic legitimacy in Cambridge for the changes to governance within our area which are inherent in the current Devolution Deal, especially its proposal for an extra layer of government in the form of an elected mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough;

·  that no other predominantly non-metropolitan area has so far accepted this model of “Devolution” and that several other councils of various political complexions have already rejected it to negotiate a different deal;

·  that there is no necessary relationship between the incentives offered by the government to accept this deal and the creation of an elected mayor and many have proven achievable elsewhere without acceptance of an elected mayor.

 

Council remains committed to:

 

·  bringing powers closer to communities of shared interest and substantial interdependence; 

·  working with neighbours to confront challenges, share benefits, co-ordinate planning and to gain economies of scale for the delivery of selected services;

·  achieving decision making structures which promote simplicity, joined-up policy, transparency and clear democratic accountability.

 

Council therefore resolves to withhold acceptance of the proposed deal at this time and calls on the Leader to:

 

·  establish an immediate dialogue with government to deliver on its welcome willingness to fund new council housebuilding in Cambridge in recognition of the need which they have now accepted;

·  in the meantime take action, which his colleagues are currently withholding, to improve and expand the supply of council homes in the city with powers and resources they already have; 

·  re-engage in discussions with surrounding councils and the government to secure devolved powers which may be operated on a shared basis without an elected mayor and for such an agreement to be legally enforceable;

·  couple this with building agreement to reduce the current two tiers of council, providing in our own area for a unitary council focused on the economic sub region of Greater Cambridge;

·  seek endorsement of the resulting package through a local referendum.

 

On a show of hands the amendment was lost by 11 votes to 26.

 

Resolved (by 26 votes to 1) to:

 

  i.  Consent to the Secretary of State making an Order to establish the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (Appendix A of the Officer’s report);

  ii.  Consent to the Council being a constituent member of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority with effect from the commencement date determined by the final Order;

  iii.  Authorise the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, to consent to the final draft Order and associated documents, specifically:

 

-  To agree minor drafting amendments to the Combined Authority Order to be laid before Parliament;

-  To consent to the Council being included within the draft Parliamentary Order thereby reflecting this Council’s decision;

 

  iv.  Authorise the Combined Authority to have a power to issue a levy to the constituent Councils in respect of any financial year. (This will be subject to the inclusion of a unanimity clause in the Combined Authority constitution on this specific matter);

  v.  Recommend to the Combined Authority that the costs of establishing the Combined Authority, holding the elections in May 2017 and running the Combined Authority (including Mayoral Office) for 2016/17 and 2017/18 are funded from the gain share grant provided by Government (as outlined in para 10.11);

  vi.  Appoint Councillor Herbert as the Council's appointee to the Shadow Combined Authority and once established, to the Combined Authority;

 vii.  Appoint Councillor Price to act as the substitute to the above (ref vi);

viii.  Note the outcome of the public consultation on the establishment of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority as outlined in paragraph 5.1 and 5.2 and Appendices 2A - 2D;

  ix.  Note the timetable for the implementation of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough devolution Order as summarised in paragraph 7.1;

  x.  Note the Government's response to the outline business case for Housing capital investment funds secured as part of the devolution deal as set out in Appendix 3.

  xi.  Note that a report will come to Civic Affairs committee on 15 February 2017 making proposals for City Council scrutiny of its representative on the Combined Authority,  as requested by Council on 27 June 2016, and to confirm detailed arrangements for the Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny and Audit Committee.

 xii.  Note that in the interim period the Leader will report to Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee and to full Council on progress made with setting up the Combined Authority and the devolution deal.

 

The Leader of the Council indicated he agreed with the recommendations in paragraph 2.2 of the Officer’s report. The record of decision is listed separately.