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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Corn Exchange, Cambridge

Contact: Democratic Services  Committee Manager

Link: Video recording of the meeting

Items
No. Item

21/12/CNL

To elect a Mayor for the Municipal Year 2021/22

Minutes:

Councillor Thornburrow proposed and Councillor Porrer seconded the nomination of Councillor Russ McPherson as Mayor for the Municipal Year 2021/22.

 

Resolved (unanimously) that:

 

Councillor Russ McPherson be elected for the Municipal Year 2021/22.

 

Councillor Russ McPherson then made the statutory declaration of acceptance for the Office of Mayor.

21/13/CNL

To elect a Deputy Mayor for the Municipal Year 2021/22

Minutes:

Councillor Herbert proposed and Councillor Page-Croft seconded the nomination of Councillor Mark Ashton as Deputy Mayor for the Municipal Year 2021/22.

 

Resolved (unanimously) that:

 

Councillor Mark Ashton be elected Deputy Mayor for the Municipal Year 2021/22.

 

Councillor Mark Ashton then made the statutory declaration of acceptance for the Office of Deputy Mayor.

 

21/14/CNL

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 25 February and 1 March 2021 pdf icon PDF 386 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of 25 February and 1 March 2021 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

21/15/CNL

To note the Returning Officer's Report that the following have been elected to the office of Councillor pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Minutes:

It was noted the following had been elected to the Office of Councillor:

 

Abbey

  Naomi Bennett

  Hannah Copley

  Haf Davies

 

Arbury

  Carina O’Reilly

  Patrick Sheil

  Mike Todd-Jones

 

Castle

  Sarah Baigent

  Cheney Payne

  Simon Smith

 

Cherry Hinton

  Mark Ashton

  Robert Dryden

  Russ McPherson

 

Coleridge

  Lewis Herbert

  Rosy Moore

  Anna Smith

 

East Chesterton

  Gerri Bird

  Michael Bond

  Carla McQueen

 

King’s Hedges

  Alex Collis

  Jenny Gawthrope Wood

  Martin Smart

 

Market

  Tim Bick

  Alice Gilderdale

  Katie Porrer

 

Newnham

  Markus Gehring

  Lucy Nethsingha

  Niamh Sweeney

 

Petersfield

  Mike Davey

  Richard Robertson

  Katie Thornburrow

 

Queen Edith’s

  Sam Davies

  Daniel Lee

  Jennifer Page-Croft

 

Romsey

  Dave Baigent

  Mairéad Healy

  Dinah Pounds

 

Trumpington

  Alan Cox

  Ingrid Flaubert

  Olaf Hauk

 

West Chesterton

  Jamie Dalzell

  Mike Sargeant

  Jocelynne Scutt

21/16/CNL

Mayor's announcements

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors A. Smith, McQueen, Payne, Todd-Jones and Sargeant.

 

The Council noted the appointment of Karin Voth Harman from St Andrews Church, Cherry Hinton as the Mayor’s Chaplain for the Municipal Year 2021/22.

 

The Council noted the appointment of Corporal Georgia Pescod, Corporal Matt Sayers & Marine Cadet, Max Loubell as the Mayors’s Cadets for the Municipal Year 2021/22.

21/17/CNL

To elect from among the Members of the Council four bailiffs of the City for the Municipal Year 2021/22

Minutes:

Resolved (unanimously) to:

 

Appoint Councillors Dryden, Pounds, Gehring and Page-Croft Bailiffs of the City for the Municipal Year 2021/22.

 

21/18/CNL

To consider the recommendations of the Executive for adoption

21/18/CNLa

Council Appointments to the Conservators of the River Cam (Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing)

Minutes:

Resolved (unanimously) to:

 

Appoint Councillors Thornburrow and Cox to the Conservators of the River Cam and to note the continuation of the appointment of Councillor Sargeant.

 

21/19/CNL

To elect a Leader

The Council is required to appoint a Leader. Article 7.3 of the Constitution states:

 

The Leader will be a councillor elected to the position by the Council and will remain as Leader until the day of the Annual Meeting of the Council in the year their term of office ends or until:

 

1.  death or disqualification; or

2.  resignation from the office; or

3.  removal from office by resolution of the Council.

Minutes:

On the nomination of Councillor Thornburrow and seconded by Councillor Smart it was

 

Resolved to:

 

Elect Councillor Lewis Herbert as Leader of Cambridge City Council.

 


21/20/CNL

To consider the recommendations of Committees for adoption

21/20/CNLa

Civic Affairs: Nominations for Committees for the Municipal Year 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 276 KB

Minutes:

Resolved (unanimously) to:

 

To agree the number and size of committees and to note the nominations listed below (as updated in the Information Pack):

 

Ordinary Committees

 

Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee  

(6 Labour + 3 Lib Dem + 1 Green and Independent)

 

H. Davies, Healy, S. Baigent, Sweeney, O’Reilly, Sheil

 

Payne, Hauk, Porrer

 

Copley

 

Alternates – Ashton, Gilderdale, Bond, S.Davies

 

Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee  

(6 Labour + 3 Lib Dem + 1 Green and Independent)

 

D. Baigent, S. Smith, Scutt, Gawthrope Wood, Pounds, Sargeant

 

Bick, Bond, Page-Croft

 

S. Davies

 

Alternates – Bird, O’Reilly, Porrer, Bennett

 

Housing Scrutiny Committee  

(6 Labour + 2 Lib Dem + 1 Green and Independent)

 

Bird, Sheil, Gawthrope Wood, Robertson, Gilderdale, Pounds

 

Dalzell, Lee

 

Bennett

 

Alternates – Sweeney, Sargeant, Page-Croft, Copley

 

Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee  

(4 Labour + 2 Lib Dem)

 

Robertson, H. Davies, Healy, S. Smith

 

Bick, Dalzell

 

Alternates – O’Reilly, Scutt, Payne

 

Civic Affairs Committee

(4 Labour + 2 Lib Dem)

 

Sargeant, Davey, O’Reilly, Dryden

 

Gehring, Flaubert

 

Alternate – Moore, Dalzell

 

Employment (Senior Officer) Committee  

(4 Labour +2 Lib Dem)

 

Herbert, Moore, A.Smith, Collis

 

Bick, Porrer

 

Alternates: S.Baigent

 

Licensing Committee  

6 Labour + 3 Lib Dem + 1 Green and Independent)

 

Bird, McPherson, McQueen, Dryden, Moore, Collis

 

Bond, Cox, Page-Croft

 

Bennett

 

Alternates – Scutt, Flaubert

 

Planning Committee

(5 Labour+ 2 Lib Dem)

 

Smart, D. Baigent, Thornburrow, Gawthrope Wood, Dryden

 

Porrer, Flaubert

 

Alternates – Herbert, McQueen, Page-Croft

 

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority

 

Herbert

 

Alternate - Smart

 

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee

 

Davey, D. Baigent

 

Alternates – Moore

 

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Audit and Governance Committee

 

Sargeant

 

Alternate – Moore

 

Greater Cambridge Partnership Joint Assembly  

(2 Labour + 1 Lib Dem)

 

S. Smith, Moore

 

Bick

 

Joint Development Control Committee - Cambridge Fringes

(4 Labour+ 2 Lib Dem)

 

Smart, D. Baigent, S. Smith, Thornburrow

 

Porrer, Page-Croft

 

Alternates – Scutt, Gawthrope Wood, Flaubert, Bond

 

 

 

 

21/20/CNLb

Civic Affairs: Nominations for Chairs and Vice-Chairs Municipal 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 252 KB

Minutes:

Resolved (unanimously) to:

 

Approve the nominations for Chairs and Vice Chairs as below:

 

Environment and Community Services

Chair – H. Davies

Vice-Chair – Healy

 

Planning and Transport

Chair – D. Baigent

Vice-Chair – S.Smith

 

Housing

Chair – Bird

Vice-Chair Sheil (nb. Tenant/Leaseholder is Chair of Part 1 of the meeting)

 

Strategy and Resources

Chair – Robertson

Vice-Chair H. Davies

 

Civic Affairs

Chair – Sargeant

Vice-Chair – Davey

 

Licensing

Chair – Bird

Vice-Chair – McPherson

 

Planning

Chair – Smart

Vice-Chair – D. Baigent

 

Joint Development Control Committee

Vice-Chair – Smart (South Cambridgeshire District Council has the Chair this year

 

21/21/CNL

Annual Statements

Group Leaders will each have the opportunity to speak for not more

than 5 minutes on their Group’s priorities for action and objectives for the forthcoming municipal year in the following order:

 

Councillor Herbert

Councillor Bick

Councillor Bennett

Minutes:

Councillor Herbert gave an oral Annual Statement on the Labour Group’s priorities for the forthcoming Municipal Year.

 

Councillor Bick gave an oral Annual Statement on the Liberal Democrat Group’s priorities for the forthcoming Municipal Year.

 

Councillor Bennett gave an oral Annual Statement on the Green and Independent Group’s priorities for the forthcoming Municipal Year, their Annual Statement was also appended to the Information Pack.

21/22/CNL

Public questions time

Public questions must be submitted by email and received by midday, Monday 24 May and will receive an oral reply from the relevant Councillor.   

 

Minutes:

Question 1

 

The new Mayor proposes to scrap CAM and call for a review of CSET. A report published in March 2021 by expert consultants i-Transport, commissioned by Stapleford and Gt Shelford Parish Councils and supported by local crowdfunding, affirms this strategy. It produced significant evidence of CSET's poor value-for-money compared with an alternative route along the existing railway corridor, which would connect our communities rather than bypass them and avoid destroying a swathe of our local greenbelt. Moreover, a tarmac road is carbon-intensive, as is the 2,000-space carpark needed at Babraham to support CSET. The latter will undermine local bus services by attracting people into their cars. 

Given Cambridge City Council’s stated support for doubling nature and preserving green spaces as part of its sustainability strategy for climate change, and the recent Cambridge Nature Network with its emphasis on the Magog hills, what conditions will need to be met for it to support a review of CSET in its role on the Executive Board of the GCP?’

Response

The Executive Councillor noted that the same question had been asked at South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Annual Meeting. They had a keen interest in sustainable transport and had looked at the values of the reasons for an off-road routes to the south east of the City. Noted resident’s felt there was a route which could go through the centre of Great Shelford however felt that there was no easy solution. Felt that the route proposed from Biomedical Campus to Babraham was the right route.

Question 2

The Council should be applauded for investing in the fabric and infrastructure of Cambridge's Central Market Square.  But the process so far has failed to involve meaningfully either Market Traders or the shoppers at the Market – on whom the Traders' livelihoods depend. 

The content and wording of the online survey questions reveal flawed, closed and narrow thinking. Public views on the proposals cannot be fairly ascertained when basic principles of good survey design are breached again and again. This skewed survey:

 - contains errors (Q8 & Q9);

 - fails to offer a balanced or sensible range of responses (Q10, Q15, Q16);

 - uses shamefully leading / biased wording (Q11);

 - offers inadequate space/scope for a sensible reply (Q14, Q18);

 - states the Project’s pre-existing "aim" and "intention" (intro & Q17).

The result is not to consult but to insult the public. 

QUESTION PART A): How can this be a meaningfulconsultation if the Project’s aim & intention has already been established? 

QUESTION PART B): Whatrights/privilegeshas the Council allowed versus restrictions imposed on US-owned ‘Survey Monkey’ regarding Survey Monkey’s use of data harvested from the sensitive demographic Qs 19-32 (on mental & physical health, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, disabilities etc.)? 

QUESTION PART C): At the 25/3/21 Environment & Community Scrutiny Committee, in response to questions from both the CMTA and a Market Ward Councillor, the responsible  Executive Councillor indicated unambiguously that the crucially important prototype ‘demountable' stalls "will be available during the consultation" on the Market Square. Cllr Porrer noted this as "a critical issue”. Where are they

QUESTION PART D): Will the Council agree that this badly written and badly timed survey must now be withdrawn, rewritten, and reissued only once the crucial ‘prototype stalls’ are available to be fairly assessed by Traders and the public on the Market Square?

Response

The Executive Councillor responded that the Council was seeking public views on a proposed Vision and Concept Design, approved for public consultation at the Council’s Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee on 25th March 2021. 

 

The public consultation was designed to be open, meaningful and based on the resolution passed at the March Committee. Had committed to present the results, including any recommended changes to the proposed Vision and Concept Design, back to Scrutiny Committee in October 2021.  Based on the March Committee resolution, had committed not to start on the next stage of the project (ie. detailed design) until the results of the consultation had been considered by Committee and a resolution to proceed was passed.

 

The consultation questionnaire used closed questions to aid effective analysis of responses, whilst also providing open question opportunities, through the inclusion of ‘other comments’ response options for participants to be able to add their own views, in their own words.  Closed questions required participants to respond to specific pre-set response answer options, thereby enabling the collection and analysis of quantitative data; while open questions enabled the collection and analysis of qualitative data.  The Executive Councillor felt the questionnaire provided a reasonable and fair balance between open and closed questions and associated quantitative and qualitative data analysis. 

 

The Council used the free online survey service provided by Survey Monkey as a highly effective stakeholder consultation and engagement tool. 

 

The questionnaire survey had been designed so that the respondent’s identity was anonymised. 

 

The inclusion of the demographic data questions was to enable the Council to assess how representative the response profile was of the wider community and to ensure the Council fulfilled its public sector Equality Duty.

 

The Council was in the process of developing a demountable market stall trial specification, market trader input would be sought before issuing to the stall supplier market to respond to.  The selected stall design options would be based on the results of the market testing. 

 

Had reviewed progressing the trial of the two prototype design options, included in the proposed Concept Design report. Had decided it would be prudent to first ‘test’ the available supplier market; and then subject to the outcome, to proceed with commissioning the prototypes.  Clearly the prototype option involved a design which was undeveloped, untested and therefore significantly more risky and costly, than going with an existing stall design product. 

 

Market traders would be involved in the stall selection and associated two stage trial process.  The first stage in the proves would be done at Cowley Road Depot, with the aim of using the results to identify a preferred design (or designs if no clear ‘winner’) which would then be trialled in a ‘live’ market situation on the market square.

 

Although the stall design trial was not likely to commence until after the 6 week online public consultation period had ended, they had committed to including the results of the trial, with the wider public consultation results to Scrutiny Committee in October 2021. 

Question 3

How are the public supposed to reasonably respond to the Council’s current consultation on the future of the market when the actual design for the market stalls has yet to be agreed? Understood the Council was now seeking further prototype designs from new (multiple) designers although this was not referenced in their own document.

Should the Council not delay the consultation until the stall design has been agreed in order that people can comment in a fully informed way? And, if the answer to this is “no” then why?

Response

The Executive Councillor responded that the Council was committed to continuing with the 6 weeks public consultation using the online survey as planned; and to running a separate stall design options trial engagement and consultation process, focused on market traders but also involving the wider public over the remainder of the summer and through the winter of 2021. 

 

The aim was to report back on the results of the summer stall design trial, along with the responses to the 6 weeks public consultation survey; and any recommended changes arising to the proposed Vision and Concept Design to the October 2021 Scrutiny Committee.

 

At this stage the consultation was being undertaken to obtain public views on proposed high level, concept design principles and proposals; and not detailed design or operational management considerations.  The aim of the current consultation was to establish whether or not there was public support for the proposed multi-functional use of the space and associated infrastructure design improvements including improved market layout, restoration of the granite setts and unified surfacing treatment, increased outdoor seating space, new underground market waste management system. 

 

Should the consultation results show there was insufficient support for evening and night-time use of the space or there were no viable suitable demountable market stall options available, they remained committed to delivering on the other remaining aspects of the proposed Vision and Concept Design.

 

The market and market square needed investment. The flooring, bins, electrics, lighting, toilets for traders and market infrastructure. Felt the works would make the market and more pleasant and attractive place to shop and spend time, which is what the project sought to achieve.

Question 4

Why was the Council consulting on a vision “to secure multi-million pound capital investment to transform the market square into a multi-functional outdoor space” when its own consultants Quarterbridge have said that there is no commercial case for borrowing the initial capital of between £4.47 and £4.96 million?  Why isn’t the Council being open and honest with the public about the financial realities of a project which looks more and more like a pipe dream?

A pipe dream for which nearly £500,000 has already been spent or allocated, without even establishing the most basic aspect of feasibility: whether the demountable stalls on which the whole vision depends are sufficiently robust to meet the needs of the traders, and to withstand the weather conditions in the market square.  Have any prototype stalls been commissioned yet? What was the brief to the designers?

Why was Council tax payers’ money and citizens’ time being wasted on the current consultation which, in the absence of prototype stalls, is totally premature as well as being biased and misleading? 

Why wasn’t refurbishment of the market as existing even mentioned in the consultation questionnaire?

Why was there nothing in or around the Market Square to tell people that the consultation is even happening?

How could the Council claim to support the 7-day-a-week traditional market when its draft Vision is clearly focused on hot food stalls and open-air eating, to the detriment of the current mix, and most particularly the non-hot food traders who have to cope with not only smells but residues of fat and grease? 

Quarterbridge suggest that to fund any vision the Council will have to apply for Lottery or other heritage grants. How long would it take, and how much more money and time would be wasted, before the Council finally realised that the existing traditional market was not merely a financial asset? That it had powerful health and wellbeing benefits, as well as providing incredible social value and living heritage? All these should be at the heart of any Vision for our central civic space and market square.

Response

The Executive Councillor responded that they felt the Council was being open and honest with the public about the financial realities of the project and the Quarterbridge report had recently been published as part of the proposed consultation. 

The published Quarterbridge report was formally noted by Committee and included an outline business case and investment appraisal for the project. The investment appraisal showed the proposed project was a strong candidate for Grant Funding due to its delivering a range of economic and social benefits, including job creation, reduced anti-social behaviour and increased footfall.  Although the Quarterbridge report demonstrated there was no viable business case for capital borrowing of the full project cost, it did confirm a commercial case for borrowing up to £2.5-3M. 

The Executive Councillor responded that the Council was in the process of developing a demountable market stall trial brief and market trader input would be sought before issuing to the stall supplier market to respond to.  The brief would set out the stall design requirements, including size, durability, wind-loading, weather protection, trader operational requirements and demountability. 

Although the stall design trial was not likely to commence until after the 6 week online public consultation period had ended, they were committed to reporting the results of the trial to Scrutiny Committee in October 2021. 

The Executive Councillor did not believe the Council was wasting tax payers money or that the consultation was premature, biased or misleading.

Refurbishment of the market, as existing, was not mentioned in the questionnaire because the Executive Councillor believed that it would represent a missed opportunity to address the needs and opportunities of the square.  They felt the current consultation on a proposed Vision and Concept Design met the needs of the community, including market traders and other city centre businesses, shoppers, residents and visitors.

Felt the creation of the open area in the centre around the fountain with additional tables and seating, reduction of the visual impact of the highway and the underground bin system would improve the square and the market.

As part of the consultation, posters would be placed in and around the square publicising the consultation from Tuesday 1 June. Consultation post-cards would be distributed from Thursday 27 May. These outlined the proposed project and consultation opportunity and could be collected from trader stalls.

Stated that the public consultation was the public’s opportunity to provide feedback on the proposals.

Question 5

The City Council has declared a Biodiversity Emergency.  It was not the only crisis threatening us; there are climate, soil, water, air, ocean and many other crises.  A flawed and perverse economic algorithm that puts growth above any consequent cost drives all these.  The scientific evidence clearly shows that when you are in a crisis, fast action can prevent it getting out of control.  A culture, evolved when conditions were stable, often prevents fast action, and decisions put out to consultation create further delay.  The evidence showed that culture is still driving actions in Cambridge: the Council was still using herbicide, trees were being planted in meadows, biodiverse sites are being destroyed for building projects, etc.  What immediate actions will the Council take to ensure that there is no further loss of biodiversity across the City?

 

Response

 

The Executive Councillor responded that the declaration of the biodiversity emergency was one of the most significant actions that had been taken as a Council. The current and future threat to biodiversity was not being underestimated. In proposing the motion Councillor Thornburrow called on the Council not just to offer a statement of intent but a plan of action. How biodiversity could be protected was embedded in all areas of council policy. The Council had stopped using herbicides on parks and had a ‘right tree in the right place’ policy. There were a number of strategic actions which would be taken in the year ahead.

 

The Council would be:

·  Working on a new biodiversity strategy, which subject to Committee approval, would be out for public consultation this summer.

·  Continuing with the EU funded canopy project which aimed to significantly increase the tree canopy in Cambridge from 17% to 19%.

·  Publishing a baseline site audit of all our Local Nature Reserves, Commons and larger green spaces

·  Developing a Biodiversity Supplementary Planning Document for consultation this summer.

 

In addition to these longer term, more strategic actions, the following are examples of some of the more local, operational actions we will take in the coming year:

 

·  To continue to significantly increase the area of our parks and open spaces managed as long grass and wildflower meadow

 

·  To continue with enhancement schemes on Cherry Hinton Brook and Vicar’s Brook through New Bit with local volunteers and the Friends Group, as part of wider Chalk Stream Project.

 

·  To continue to work with local charity, Action for Swifts, to ensure new nest box provision is included during our Council City Homes council housing renovations.

 

Question 6

 

For the process of this Cambridge Market Square Project to be honourable, fair and honest towards the hundreds and thousands of people who love and use out 1000 plus year old market certain basic levels of decent human interaction need to be in place. We know that at least 7300 people love the market because they readily supported it in the Jan 2021 petition.

 

With the risk of sounding a bit like good old honest Frank Skinner here, this cheating survey the project have released onto their web site is as far from human decency than we Friends of Cambridge Market have ever seen in a public consultation people are saying.

If I can draw an analogy to highlight the lack of fairness, 

If you had an orange, an apple and a banana and needed a room full of people to 'choose' one , say the banana, you would get the result you needed if you put the apple and pear on the shelf out the way and held up the banana saying 'which one do you choose?'.....

 

This is what is happening in this survey. 

 

We think there should be 3 options for market users to be able to choose from .

 

a. The Concept design proposals for a flexi space of the entire SQ.

b. A renovation of the existing fixed stall market with substantial improvements as set in some points in the  concept design plan.

plan.

c. A third middle way between the two with half the stalls remaining fixed for those businesses that need this for their business continuity.

 

Please see our market traders evidence of this in our archive on  lifeoncambridgemarket.com , A Day in the Life of a Market Trader.

 

The market square proposals stated that one of the key design proposals is for new demountable stalls and this is the only option cited in the survey.

 

The traders are saying they need durable market stalls, which meet their needs. The traders are trying to say this to the Project: that no type of demountable market stall would be suitable for their businesses, and would not meet their needs. 

 

Could the Executive Councillor clarify with the Project developers and explain to the Market Community how this can be a key design proposal if the market traders are not in agreement with the use of demountable stalls as they are incompatible with their businesses? Could the Executive Councillor also confirm with that if a trial period is undertaken, and the market traders find that the stalls trialled are not suitable for their business, that the renovations/refurbishments would proceed with non-demountable stalls so that the traders affected can continue their businesses?

 

Please withdraw this deeply flawed survey, amend it and re-issue for the decent people in this great city to be able to partake in with the sense of dignity they deserve. 

How can the results of the stall trial be included in the public consultation if the trial isn't due to finish until after next winter?

Response

The Executive Councillor responded that the central feature of the proposed Vision and Concept Design was the continuation of a successful and vibrant daily outdoor market. This meant that the market stall design needed to be durable and meet trader needs.  To make the most of the space the Council was proposing a flexible design, which allowed stalls to be easily taken down and set up to allow the central civic space to fulfil other community needs and wants when it wasn’t being used as a market.  This meant that the stalls needed to meet the needs of traders and be demountable.  The Council was committed to trialling available ‘off the peg’ and, if necessary, prototype, demountable stall designs with traders against an agreed specification, to see if there were any designs that were suitable which met both the needs of the market traders and the wider project. 

 

It was therefore considered premature for demountable stalls to be discounted at this stage, prior to the results of the planned trials.

 

Should the Council be unable to find a suitable demountable stall design, it was still committed to progressing the other elements of the proposed Vision and Concept Design. Demountable stalls were only one element of the project to revamp and improve the market square and the market.

 

The Executive Councillor did not consider the survey to be deeply flawed and did not feel the need to withdraw it.

   

The stall trial was scheduled to start this summer and run on into the winter.  The Council was currently committed to bringing the results of the public consultation and initial stall trials to the October 2021 Scrutiny Committee.  An assessment would be made, prior to that Committee date, to determine whether there was sufficient reportable results from the initial summer stall trial period to enable an informed discussion at Committee around any required changes.

Question 7

Residents expressed concerns about the environmental impact of the Big Wheel erected on Parker’s Piece. This public open space is enjoyed by thousands of city residents many of whom have very limited access to other green space in the city. This is common land yet a large section has now been commercialised and the public have to pay to access it as an event location.

We would like to know:

a) Why has Cambridge city council failed to register planning application 21/01392/FUL within 14 days of receipt as required by law under article 40 of the DMPO 2015?

b) Whether city council has sold off Parker’s Piece or is entertaining application 21/01392/FUL despite being prohibited from doing so by section 65 and section 327A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. Either A or B must be true.

c)  Who was consulted about this? Does this relate to the Wider Cambridge Consortium’s plans for the city centre as an event location?

Response

The Executive Councillor responded that the application was received on the 25 March and following checks was validated on the 29 April. This was after the 14 day period set out in Article 40 due to a backlog of work in the Planning service.

The planning application was accompanied by a certificate serving notice on the city council as landowners. The wrong ownership box was ticked on the application.  The Council had not sold Parkers Piece. Legal advice had been sought and it was considered that the current application was not invalid, however a new certificate had been asked to be provided. A further 21-day consultation would be carried out when this was submitted. The application would be determined by the Planning Committee after the consultation period had been undertaken. Planning application consultation details were available online and included internal and external consultees.

The structure had been erected under permitted development provisions, which allowed it to be there for 56 days. The wheel would be operational for 3 and a half months as originally consulted with the Ward Councillors. It was expected to only be present until around the 19 September.

Question 8

Further to the Cambridge Labour Party manifesto commitment to 'Champion the elimination of herbicides on public land, including grass verges, and work towards being a herbicide-free city' (1), The Making Cambridge a Pesticide Free City motion in July 2019 (2) and the City Council Biodiversity Emergency Declaration in 2019 can the City Council give us your assurance that this spring will be the last time herbicides are applied to road verges, footways and street infrastructure on both City Council land and that managed by the City on behalf of the County Council?

The 2019 motion (2) gives a date of 'end of 2022' to phase out pesticide use but, two years on, the Biodiversity Emergency worsens, and alternatives have been in use for some years now (3). Can we not end city council herbicide use now, as have many other towns (4)?

(1) page 11 of
https://www.cambridgelabour.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/117/2021/04/Manifesto-2021-web-site-1.pdf
(2)
https://democracy.cambridge.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=116&MId=3600&Ver=4
(3)
https://www.pan-uk.org/information-for-local-authorities/
(4)
https://www.pan-uk.org/make-my-town-pesticide-free/

Response

 

The Executive Councillor responded that the council remained fully committed to a herbicide free city. Since 2018/19 there had been a 24.5% reduction in the volume of herbicide used in the city but was aware there was still much more to do.

 

The Council recognised that the city’s parks, open spaces and road verges provide significant opportunities for habitat enhancement to help buffer and connect the existing network of natural green spaces, already designated and managed for their biodiversity value.

 

Herbicides were no longer used in maintenance regimes on the Council’s parks and open spaces as part of the biodiversity emergency motion.

 

Recent investment in new IT and software afforded us the opportunity, for the first time, to be able to produce digital plans and maps of our parks and open space sites and their associated physical infrastructure (eg. paths, benches, bins) and natural assets.  Using these asset plans, we can define designated zones/ areas for different types of management treatment, including long grass, close mown amenity grass and wildflower meadow.  This functionality is currently being developed for operational adoption from late 2021.

 

A Parks Biodiversity Toolkit had been produced to support residents and community groups to enhance the biodiversity in their gardens and neighbourhoods.

 

Other parts of the city were more of a challenge. This included council properties and County Council highway assets untreated ‘weeds’ in hard surfaces (including roads, pavements and cycle paths) presented a health and safety risk (including slips, trips and falls). Would continue to work hard to explore effective alternatives to chemical herbicides in those areas. The council was undertaking a review of street furniture and public realm to design out areas that require herbicide treatment.

 

Committed that any new environmental improvement schemes and adopted open spaces would not need herbicide maintenance and to adopt the Plantlife guidance on changes to verge maintenance.Reduce the need for the use of herbicides by adopting other viable alternatives and integrated weed control management system. Develop best practice and offer advice and maintenance services to others.

Question 9

Regarding the City Council trialling the new 'cut and collect' mowing regime can the council please tell us

1) precisely which verges have been put into the 'cut and collect' trial ?

2) Believed Barnwell verge was part of this trial yet large areas of flowers have been mown very recently (since 17th May). Was that a mistake or just the first phase of lowering the verge's soil fertility? If the latter then surely this has been done far too late this spring?

Many residents were deeply concerned when swathes of flowers were cut down like this. They knew the council is committed to mowing less and creating pollinator corridors, but the situation on Barnwell verge makes for a mixed message. 

Response

The Executive Councillor stated that there were some areas where the grass needed to be kept shorter this included sight lines at road junctions, there were clear safety reasons for continuing to mow there. Sport pitches which would be coming into use over the summer. Mowing was no longer the default option. Recognised how the council approached and planned cutting regimes had the potential to contribute to enhancing the city’s biodiversity. Since declaring the biodiversity in May 2019, lots of areas had been identified which could be left uncut until the autumn. A map of these areas was available of the council’s website. Money had been set aside to trial a cut and collect cutting machine. Which would help reduce nutrient build up from the cut vegetation and would improve conditions for flower plants. Were using the Plantlife good verge advice to review methods of cutting and the need to cut at all and this would be trialled in a couple of locations in the city.  Council Officers were investigating why the verge at Barnwell Road was cut so that it did not occur in the future.


21/23/CNL

To deal with oral questions from Councillors

Minutes:

Question 1

 

To:  Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment & City Centre

From:  Cllr Lucy Nethsingha

 

Please could the Leader let me know how long the Covid Marshals will be working in the City?

 

The Executive Councillor responded that the current Covid Marshal commitment was to the 20th June 2021, with a review date of the 14th June, when the Government was expected to announce its ‘road map’ progress and associated final step 4 decision. 

 

The 20th June target date was subject to a Government decision to proceed with its Step 4 lifting of all remaining Covid security measures from 21st June 2021.

 

The use of marshals had evolved in Cambridge. The current deployment plan (up to 20th June) was 4 x Covid Marshals operating Thursday to Sunday, 4pm to midnight to support COVID safe evening and night time economy queue management in the city centre. The Covid Marhsals in the evening had been doing a good job and were popular with the city centre businesses.

 

As part of the 14th June review the council would engage with the city centre management partners, including Cambridge BID and Police, to identify whether there was an ongoing need for an evening and night-time Marshal scheme to run along taxi marshalls which had been in operation for a number of years.

 

Question 2

 

To:  Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing

From:  Cllr Markus Gehring

 

Given that our open spaces have become more important over the last year and given that we are facing a climate emergency does the Executive Councillor agree that public water sources are an indispensable public infrastructure?

 

The Executive Councillor responded that access to public water sources was an important part of the council’s infrastructure. Use of single use packaging materials, including coffee cups and plastic bottles was a contributor to the climate emergency and anything the council can do to encourage re-use and to reduce their use should be encouraged.

 

Was aware of the importance of open spaces over the last year and making available public water sources in open spaces was an excellent way to achieve the reduction in use of single use packaging. The Council had made budget commitments to delivering where it can, more water refill points, using funds from its Environmental Improvement Programme.

 

There were a range of new and planned public water sources across the city, and, of course, when combined with the Refill app, residents and visitors can easily navigate the city and find accessible public water source locations.

 

Question 3

 

To:  Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment & City Centre

From:  Cllr Olaf Hauk

 

Could the Executive Councillor please explain why the market square consultation has opened with questions relating to the demountable stalls, when it appears that no example of this has been provided for members of the public and traders to test on site.

 

The Executive Councillor responded that the market square consultation plan included a range of engagement opportunities over the summer period, including the recently launched 6-week public consultation using the questionnaire survey response form and targeted ‘outreach’ engagement opportunities with different sections of the community, including market traders and young people. 

 

At this stage of the project, the aim of the consultation was to obtain public views on proposed high level, concept design principles and proposals for the market square.  The Executive Councillor did not feel that the absence of physical demountable stalls to test on site, during the initial 6-week consultation period would undermine peoples’ ability to engage in and make meaningful and informed responses to the consultation proposals. 

 

As part of the consultation plan trials of demountable stall design options would be undertaken in a two-stage assessment process involving market traders.  For the first stage there would be an initial assessment by markets traders of selected stall design options, erected at our Cowley Road Depot.  The results would then be used to identify a preferred stall design option (or options, if no clear ‘winner’), which would form the basis of the second stage, where the preferred option(s) would be trialled in a ‘live’ market situation on the market square.

 

Question 4

 

To:  Leader of the Council

From:  Cllr Haf Davies

 

Has the Leader had a reply to his letter about the EU settlement scheme?

 

The Leader responded that there was a high number of residents who were born outside of the UK and the June deadline to apply to the EU settlement scheme was grossly unfair. A number of EU nationals and Cambridge residents were not currently residing in Cambridge and had not had access to citizenship advice. This deadline would cause a lot of damage and their rights would not be observed.

 

Question 5

 

To:  Executive Councillor for Communities

From:  Cllr Martin Smart

 

What are the plans for the future of the food hubs post-pandemic?

 

Councillor Davies responded on behalf of the Executive Councillor that promoting food justice was one of the council’s top priorities. No-one should be struggling to put food on the table and the council wanted to do everything that it could do to address that. Even before the pandemic funding was in place for a central food distribution hub to help tackle food poverty and reduce food waste. Was currently working with Cambridge Sustainable Food to find a permanent base. During the pandemic there was an amazing effort to support those in need, 266 tonnes of food was distributed via staff and volunteers. There were over 36,000 food hub visits and over 15,000 cooked meals prepared. Thanked Cambridge Sustainable Food for their lead on food hubs. Needed to consider how the food hubs would work in the future. Food hubs were being trialled in Abbey, Trumpington and Cherry Hinton not only looking at food poverty but also looking at how these could meet other needs of those in the community. The Council was part of the Food Poverty Alliance and with the Council’s own Anti-Poverty Strategy were central to promoting food justice across the city.

 

Question 6

 

To:  Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing

From:  Cllr Michael Bond

 

Following the recent successful bid to the council for developer funding to provide a wildflower meadow in the Five Trees open space in East Chesterton (which I have actively campaigned for), can the Executive Councillor provide news of the nature of scheme that is now proposed, any local consultation that is envisaged and the potential timing of implementation?

 

The Executive Councillor responded that the funding award of £5000 for the Five Trees project was agreed at the Planning and Transport Committee on the 20th September 2020 following cross party working between Councillor Bird and Councillor Porrer.

 

Since October 2020, staff from Streets and Open Spaces, including the Tree Officer and the Biodiversity Officer, had developed plans for the site.

 

The proposed plans included tree planting, floral meadows, bee banks and other biodiversity enhancements, as requested and detailed in the funding application that was made.

 

A consultation would take place on the proposed plans, within the next six weeks and the works were proposed to be completed in the Autumn/ Winter of this year, reflective of the feedback from the consultation. Asked residents to respond to the consultation.

 

Question 7

 

To:  Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment & City Centre

From:  Cllr Carina O'Reilly

 

What has been achieved in 2021 to date in assisting city centre and Market food and drink businesses to increase operations and space for customers outdoors?

 

The Executive Councillor responded that the power to licence outdoor tables and chairs was given by Central Government to District Councils last summer and was due to return back to the County Council in September 2021.  The Licensing Team were doing their best to issue licences for outdoor tables and chairs where it was practicably possible.  With the £720,000 support grant from the Combined Authority, 17 picnic tables had just been placed around the market square and there were plans for another 13 to be placed around the city in the next few weeks. As part of the same project new lighting was going up around the city centre.

 

As part of the work on the new litter strategy and bin review, solar compactor bins were being trialled around the city centre. New ones had been put in around the market square. It was hoped this would keep the area around the new picnic tables clean and litter free.  The work undertaken by the Streets and Open Spaces Team was essential to keep the city centre tidy and clean.

 

The County Council continued to licence businesses who already had licences for outdoor tables and chairs before the pandemic.

 

Thanked the Environment Health Team for all their work during the pandemic.

 

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 8

To:  Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing

From:  Cllr Alan Cox

 

Given that Hobson's Park in Trumpington has finally been legally transferred to  the City Council, can the Executive Councillor explain how it will be managed?

 

The Executive Councillor confirmed that the land ownership transfer relating to the Hobson’s Park and the allotments happened on the 12th May 2021 and the Council is now the leaseholder for the site.

 

The Park was secured through the planning process and a S106 agreement and a management plan had been agreed, linked to a maintenance contribution received from the developer.  The site would be managed by the Council’s Streets and Open Spaces services in accordance with the agreed management plan.

 

Staff within the Council’s Streets and Open Spaces service are currently managing the allocation of allotment licences and were liaising with Countryside, the developer on a range of works that required rectification. 

 

Streets and Open Spaces team members also continued to support the build out of other open spaces on the development, including community gardens and open spaces negotiated and secured during the planning stage of this development.

 

The Council was now the point of contact for matters relating to the Hobson’s Park.

 

Question 9

To:  Executive Councillor for Planning & Transport

From:  Cllr David Baigent

 

How have the City Council’s transport plans changed as result of the election of a Labour mayor of the combined authority and the change of control at Cambridgeshire County Council?

 

Question 10

To:  Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing

From:  Cllr Katie Porrer

 

Could the Executive Councillor for Open Spaces explain whether Cambridge City Council has taken part in No Mow May this year?

 

The Executive Councillor confirmed that the City Council was aware of the No Mow May campaign promoted by the organisation Plantlife, but the Council did not take part this year.

 

No Mow May was a campaign to persuade individuals and organisations to stop mowing during the peak flowering period of May, when many pollinating insects emerge from hibernation to raise the next generation.

 

With such a large and diverse parks and open space estate to manage, there were some locations where the Council had to mow, for example sightlines at road junctions, sports pitches, paths through grassland cemeteries and areas used for recreation. 

 

The cutting regimes of the council’s parks and open spaces and highway verges had the potential to significantly enhance the city’s biodiversity and additional areas had been identified in 2021 to be left, uncut, until the autumn.  The Council was trailing a new cut and collect machine this year to help reduce nutrient build up from cut vegetation being left on site and improve conditions for flower plants. 

 

Officers were also continuing to work with County Highway officer colleagues to review, trial and adopt new methods of highway verge management, in accordance with the Plantlife Good Verge Guide advice.

 

Question 11

To:  Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing

From:  Cllr Jennifer Page-Croft

 

Does the Executive Councillor still agree with the July 2nd 2019 motion unanimously passed at full council, regarding reducing herbicides use across the city.

 

Question 12

To:  Leader of the Council

From:  Cllr Richard Robertson

 

What does the leader see as the biggest opportunities for Cambridge following the election of a labour mayor, and a change of administration at the county council?

 

Question 13

To:  Executive Councillor for Planning & Transport

From:  Cllr Jamie Dalzell

 

Would the Executive Councillor recommend that residents pay for the pre-application service when seeking planning permission for house extensions?

 

Question 14

To:  Executive Cllr Climate Change, Environment and City Centre

From:  Cllr Hannah Copley

 

With respect to the market square proposals that opened to public consultation recently, it has been stated that one of the key design proposals is for new demountable, yet durable, market stalls, which meet the needs of traders, while being easy to take down/ put up. I understand from some market traders that they believe that no type of demountable market stall would be suitable for their businesses, and thus would not meet their needs. Could the executive therefore clarify how this can be a key design proposal if the market traders are not in agreement that demountable stalls are compatible with their businesses? Could the executive also confirm that if a trial period is undertaken, and the market traders find that the stalls trialled are not suitable for their business, that the renovations will proceed with non-demountable stalls so that the traders affected can continue their businesses?

 

Question 15

To:  Executive Councillor for Communities

From:  Cllr Simon Smith

 

What support is being provided for those facing digital poverty?

 

Question 16

To:  Executive Councillor for Housing

From:  Cllr Ingrid Flaubert

 

Is there any way the city council can help residents of new housing in Trumpington who are suffering consistently poor internet connectivity, either by taking action itself or by advocating urgent attention by other organisations?

 

Question 17

To:  Executive Councillor for Housing

From:  Cllr Gerri Bird

 

What progress is being made with the building of Passivhaus council homes?

 

Question 18

To:  Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing

From:  Cllr Tim Bick

 

Could the Executive Councillor explain why the opportunity for public consultation, requested by ward councillors and agreed to by officers, over the proposed Observation Wheel on Parker’s Piece did not take place before the Wheel was erected and started operating this week?

 

Question 19

To:  Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing

From:  Cllr Daniel Lee

 

Could the Executive Councillor please provide some insight into why the pavilion in Nightingale Avenue Park, which was approved and scheduled for demolition in April 2019 by the previous council, is still standing after its most recent demolition date in April this year?

 

The Pavilion on Nightingale Recreation Ground is due for demolition during June 2021.

 

This has been delayed due to the small team of three in the Recreation team (two of which are part time) having been deployed on other Covid related matters over the previous year, and sign off of pre-commencement planning conditions and utility disconnections have held up the demolition start date this year.

 

The utility companies took months to come to site to decommission the energy services ready for demolition, and there is also a pre-commencement planning condition that was submitted at the start of the year, on traffic management and site management of the demolition, and awaited sign off since, to be able to commence on site.

 

Only in the last month have the County Highways team comments been fed back, who noted to refuse releasing the Condition as the mini tarmac ramp proposed from the road level to the top of the path kerb height may cause a localised flooding issue as it blocked the surface water drainage run offs to the highway road drains.

 

New updated plans have been submitted with a new method of working that will allow rain water flow underneath it.

 

The demolition contractor is to mobilise for demolition and complete the works and clear the site during June, and will be onsite for a week (5days) to demolish and clear the pavilion.

 

Officers will attend during the demolition, when then pavilion is levelled to the foundations to make a decision on the condition of the foundations and if they are to stay and be added to for the new extended pavilion footprint, or are to be fully removed. If they are to be removed the demolition contractor will continue into a second week to remove the concrete foundations from site, but all work is expected to be completed in June.

21/24/CNL

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

21/24/CNLa

Councillor Copley: Support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill

Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt in the UK and around the world. Global temperatures have increased by 1 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels. Atmospheric CO2 levels are above 400 parts per million (ppm) and continue to rise. This far exceeds the 350 ppm deemed to be a safe level for humanity.

Without more significant and sustained action, the world is set to exceed the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit between 2030 and 2040.

The increase in harm caused by a rise of 2°C rather than 1.5°C is significant. This is described by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C published in October 2018. According to the IPCC, limiting heating to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector and local communities. The costs of failing to address this crisis will far outstrip the investments required to prevent it.

According to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Commission on Climate Change, our area is at high risk from the effects of climate change and face a future of flooding, heatwaves and water shortages, and our region has such high emissions we will have “exhausted all of our ‘allowed’ share of emissions to 2050” in just six years unless drastic action is taken now. Investing now will bring many benefits in the form of good jobs, breathable cities and thriving communities.

Council states that:

(i)  All governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to do everything in their power to minimise and prevent Climate and Ecological breakdown. In keeping with this, the council has declared a climate emergency in February 2019 and a biodiversity emergency in May 2019.

 

(ii)  The council has set out a strategy for the council to reach net zero from it’s direct emissions by 2030 which represent 1.1% of carbon emissions in Cambridge, and in declaring a Climate Emergency in February 2019 called on government to make the investment and changes needed for Cambridge and the UK to reach net zero carbon.

 

(iii)  There is a Bill before Parliament—the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill (published as the “Climate and Ecology Bill”) which deserves the support of the Government, as it reassesses the urgency of the twin climate and ecological emergencies. According to the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill the Government must develop an emergency strategy that:

(a)requires that the UK plays its fair and proper role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with limiting global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial temperatures;

(b)ensures that all the UK’s consumption emissions are accounted for;

(c)includes emissions from aviation and shipping;

(d)protects and restores biodiverse habitats along overseas supply chains;

(e)restores and regenerates the UK’s depleted soils, wildlife habitats and species populations to healthy and robust states, maximising their capacity to absorb CO2 and their resistance to climate heating;

(f)  sets up an independent Citizens’ Assembly, representative of  ...  view the full agenda text for item 21/24/CNLa

Minutes:

Councillor Copley proposed and Councillor Bennett seconded the following motion:

 

Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt in the UK and around the world. Global temperatures have increased by 1 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels. Atmospheric CO2 levels are above 400 parts per million (ppm) and continue to rise. This far exceeds the 350 ppm deemed to be a safe level for humanity.

 

Without more significant and sustained action, the world is set to exceed the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit between 2030 and 2040.

The increase in harm caused by a rise of 2°C rather than 1.5°C is significant. This is described by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C published in October 2018. According to the IPCC, limiting heating to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector and local communities. The costs of failing to address this crisis will far outstrip the investments required to prevent it.

 

According to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Commission on Climate Change, our area is at high risk from the effects of climate change and face a future of flooding, heatwaves and water shortages, and our region has such high emissions we will have “exhausted all of our ‘allowed’ share of emissions to 2050” in just six years unless drastic action is taken now. Investing now will bring many benefits in the form of good jobs, breathable cities and thriving communities.

 

Council states that:

(i)  All governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to do everything in their power to minimise and prevent Climate and Ecological breakdown. In keeping with this, the council has declared a climate emergency in February 2019 and a biodiversity emergency in May 2019.

 

(ii)  The council has set out a strategy for the council to reach net zero from its direct emissions by 2030 which represent 1.1% of carbon emissions in Cambridge, and in declaring a Climate Emergency in February 2019 called on government to make the investment and changes needed for Cambridge and the UK to reach net zero carbon.

 

(iii)  There is a Bill before Parliament—the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill (published as the “Climate and Ecology Bill”) which deserves the support of the Government, as it reassesses the urgency of the twin climate and ecological emergencies. According to the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill the Government must develop an emergency strategy that:

(a)requires that the UK plays its fair and proper role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with limiting global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial temperatures;

(b)ensures that all the UK’s consumption emissions are accounted for;

(c)includes emissions from aviation and shipping;

(d)protects and restores biodiverse habitats along overseas supply chains;

(e)restores and regenerates the UK’s depleted soils, wildlife habitats and species populations to healthy and robust states, maximising their capacity to absorb CO2 and their resistance to climate heating;

(f)  sets up an independent Citizens’ Assembly, representative of the UK’s population, to engage with Parliament and Government and help develop the emergency strategy.

 

Council therefore resolves to:

(i)  Register our support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill

(ii)  Inform the local media of this decision;

(iii)  Write to our local MPs (Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire), urging them to support the Bill; and

(iv)  Write to the CEE Bill Alliance, the organisers of the campaign for the Bill, expressing its support (campaign@ceebill.uk).

 

Councillor Moore proposed and Councillor Gawthrope Wood seconded the following amendment to motion (deleted text struck through and additional text underlined).

 

Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt in the UK and around the world. Global temperatures have increased by 1 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels. Atmospheric CO2 levels are above 400 parts per million (ppm) and continue to rise. This far exceeds the 350 ppm deemed to be a safe level for humanity.

 

Without more significant and sustained action, the world is set to exceed the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit between 2030 and 2040.

The increase in harm caused by a rise of 2°C rather than 1.5°C is significant. This is described by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C published in October 2018. According to the IPCC, limiting heating to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector and local communities. The costs of failing to address this crisis will far outstrip the investments required to prevent it.

 

According to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Commission on Climate Change, our area is at high risk from the effects of climate change and face a future of flooding, heatwaves and water shortages, and our region has such high emissions we will have “exhausted all of our ‘allowed’ share of emissions to 2050” in just six years unless drastic action is taken now. Investing now will bring many benefits in the form of good jobs, breathable cities and thriving communities.

 

Council states notes that:

(i) All governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to do everything in their power to minimise and prevent Climate and Ecological breakdown. In keeping with this, the council has declared a climate emergency in February 2019 and a biodiversity emergency in May 2019. 

(ii) The council has set out a strategy for the council to reach net zero from its owndirect emissions by 2030 which represent 1.1% of carbon emissions in Cambridge, and in declaring a Climate Emergency in February 2019 called on government to make the investment and changes needed for Cambridge and the UK to reach net zero carbon.

iii) The Environment Bill which is currently at the report stage in the House of Commons and could embed environmental accountability in UK law, is now long overdue in replacing the environmental legislation lost due to the UK leaving the European Union.

iv) The Environment Bill does not go nearly far enough to protect biodiversity or to achieve the government’s own net zero carbon ambitions and yet it is essential to have this new legislation passed into law.

v) The government missed several opportunities to strengthen the Environment Bill by:

a)  Rejecting Labour Party amendments such as on setting a minimum standard of protection on the production and use of chemical substances, maintaining the ban on bee-killing pesticides, ensuring the independence of the proposed environmental watchdog and enforcing World Health Organisation targets on air quality by 2030.

b)  Rejecting two amendments from a cross party alliance which aimed to outline a clear objective for the Environment Bill to achieve and maintain a healthy, resilient and biodiverse natural environment that supports human health and to emphasise the sustainable use of resources. The second would have required the Secretary of State within six months of the Bill becoming law to report on the adequacy of current environmental law and policy in meeting the climate and ecological challenges the UK faces.

vi) The report stage of the bill gives another opportunity to set clear objectives with a proposed amendment which restates that anyone exercising responsibilities in relation to the Environment Bill must comply with broader commitments, including any that come about from the vital UN biodiversity and climate change conferences, COP15 and COP26, this year.

vii) (iii) There is alsoa Presentation Bill before Parliament—the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill (published as the “Climate and Ecology Bill”). A Presentation Bill does not involve a debate or a vote in Parliament but is a way of drawing attention to an issue which requires a real change in the law.

 which deserves the support of the Government, as it reassesses the urgency of the twin climate and ecological emergencies. According to the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill the Government must develop an emergency strategy that:

(a)requires that the UK plays its fair and proper role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with limiting global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial temperatures;

(b)ensures that all the UK’s consumption emissions are accounted for;

(c)includes emissions from aviation and shipping;

(d)protects and restores biodiverse habitats along overseas supply chains;

(e)restores and regenerates the UK’s depleted soils, wildlife habitats and species populations to healthy and robust states, maximising their capacity to absorb CO2 and their resistance to climate heating;

(f) sets up an independent Citizens’ Assembly, representative of the UK’s population, to engage with Parliament and Government and help develop the emergency strategy.

Despite not being able to be enacted into law the CEE Bill has ambitious aims and principles however

(a) the bill states that the UK must only use “natural climate solutions” to achieve net zero, excluding many of the technical solutions that are being developed, but in this climate emergency we need to use all solutions available to us to prevent further global warming.

(b) it seeks to sets up a Citizens’ Assembly which would bypass normal parliamentary processes and remove input from groups like affected workers and trade unions, therefore removing the likelihood of a just and equal transition that benefits all.

Council therefore resolves to:

(i) Register our support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill

(ii) Inform the local media of this decision;

(iii) Write to our local MPs (Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire), urging them to support the Bill; and

(iv) Write to the CEE Bill Alliance, the organisers of the campaign for the Bill, expressing its support (campaign@ceebill.uk).

This Council therefore wishes to express its strong support for urgent climate action and the need for ambitious and comprehensive environment legislation and significant new national funding to match the scale of the climate emergency and jobs crisis we face by:

1. publicly expressing its support for the proposed amendments to the Environment Bill and the need for the bill to be enacted into law.

2. welcoming the CEE Bill for raising awareness and sharing ideas

3. publicly expressing its support for many of the aims of the CEE Bill by expressing strong support for proposals, such as Labour’s Green Economic Recovery, which accelerate or increase investment in green infrastructure and jobs

4. increasing awareness of the carbon dioxide costs and impacts of everyday activities, and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions, on an individual, community and organisational basis through Carbon Literacy training for council staff, council members and local residents.

 

On a show of hands the amendment was carried by:

 

23 votes in favour: Councillors Ashton, D. Baigent, S. Baigent, Bird, Collis, Davey, H. Davies, Dryden, Gawthrope Wood, Gilderdale, Healy, Herbert, McPherson, Moore, O’Reilly, Pounds, Robertson, Scutt, Sheil, Smart, S. Smith, Sweeney, Thornburrow.

 

14 votes against: Councillors Bennett, Bick, Bond, Copley, Cox, Dalzell, S. Davies, Flaubert, Gehring, Hauk, Lee, Nethsingha, Page-Croft, Porrer.

 

Resolved to approve the motion by:

23 votes in favour: Councillors Ashton, D. Baigent, S. Baigent, Bird, Collis, Davey, H. Davies, Dryden, Gawthrope Wood, Gilderdale, Healy, Herbert, McPherson, Moore, O’Reilly, Pounds, Robertson, Scutt, Sheil, Smart, S. Smith, Sweeney, Thornburrow.

 

14 votes abstaining: Councillors Bennett, Bick, Bond, Copley, Cox, Dalzell, S. Davies, Flaubert, Gehring, Hauk, Lee, Nethsingha, Page-Croft, Porrer.

 

Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt in the UK and around the world. Global temperatures have increased by 1 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels. Atmospheric CO2 levels are above 400 parts per million (ppm) and continue to rise. This far exceeds the 350 ppm deemed to be a safe level for humanity.

 

Without more significant and sustained action, the world is set to exceed the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit between 2030 and 2040.

The increase in harm caused by a rise of 2°C rather than 1.5°C is significant. This is described by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C published in October 2018. According to the IPCC, limiting heating to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector and local communities. The costs of failing to address this crisis will far outstrip the investments required to prevent it.

 

According to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Commission on Climate Change, our area is at high risk from the effects of climate change and face a future of flooding, heatwaves and water shortages, and our region has such high emissions we will have “exhausted all of our ‘allowed’ share of emissions to 2050” in just six years unless drastic action is taken now. Investing now will bring many benefits in the form of good jobs, breathable cities and thriving communities.

 

Council notes that:

(i) All governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to do everything in their power to minimise and prevent Climate and Ecological breakdown. In keeping with this, the council has declared a climate emergency in February 2019 and a biodiversity emergency in May 2019. 

(ii) The council has set out a strategy for the council to reach net zero from its owndirect emissions by 2030 which represent 1.1% of carbon emissions in Cambridge, and in declaring a Climate Emergency in February 2019 called on government to make the investment and changes needed for Cambridge and the UK to reach net zero carbon.

iii) The Environment Bill which is currently at the report stage in the House of Commons and could embed environmental accountability in UK law, is now long overdue in replacing the environmental legislation lost due to the UK leaving the European Union.

iv) The Environment Bill does not go nearly far enough to protect biodiversity or to achieve the government’s own net zero carbon ambitions and yet it is essential to have this new legislation passed into law.

v) The government missed several opportunities to strengthen the Environment Bill by:

c)  Rejecting Labour Party amendments such as on setting a minimum standard of protection on the production and use of chemical substances, maintaining the ban on bee-killing pesticides, ensuring the independence of the proposed environmental watchdog and enforcing World Health Organisation targets on air quality by 2030.

d)  Rejecting two amendments from a cross party alliance which aimed to outline a clear objective for the Environment Bill to achieve and maintain a healthy, resilient and biodiverse natural environment that supports human health and to emphasise the sustainable use of resources. The second would have required the Secretary of State within six months of the Bill becoming law to report on the adequacy of current environmental law and policy in meeting the climate and ecological challenges the UK faces.

vi) The report stage of the bill gives another opportunity to set clear objectives with a proposed amendment which restates that anyone exercising responsibilities in relation to the Environment Bill must comply with broader commitments, including any that come about from the vital UN biodiversity and climate change conferences, COP15 and COP26, this year.

vii) There is alsoa Presentation Bill before Parliament—the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill (published as the “Climate and Ecology Bill”). A Presentation Bill does not involve a debate or a vote in Parliament but is a way of drawing attention to an issue which requires a real change in the law.

 

Despite not being able to be enacted into law the CEE Bill has ambitious aims and principles however

(a) the bill states that the UK must only use “natural climate solutions” to achieve net zero, excluding many of the technical solutions that are being developed, but in this climate emergency we need to use all solutions available to us to prevent further global warming.

(b) it seeks to sets up a Citizens’ Assembly which would bypass normal parliamentary processes and remove input from groups like affected workers and trade unions, therefore removing the likelihood of a just and equal transition that benefits all.

 

Council therefore resolves to:

This Council therefore wishes to express its strong support for urgent climate action and the need for ambitious and comprehensive environment legislation and significant new national funding to match the scale of the climate emergency and jobs crisis we face by:

1. publicly expressing its support for the proposed amendments to the Environment Bill and the need for the bill to be enacted into law.

2. welcoming the CEE Bill for raising awareness and sharing ideas

3. publicly expressing its support for many of the aims of the CEE Bill by expressing strong support for proposals, such as Labour’s Green Economic Recovery, which accelerate or increase investment in green infrastructure and jobs

4. increasing awareness of the carbon dioxide costs and impacts of everyday activities, and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions, on an individual, community and organisational basis through Carbon Literacy training for council staff, council members and local residents.

21/24/CNLb

Councillor Herbert: Area Committees / Changes to Decision Making

To agree that Area Committees continue to be run virtually up to 31 December 2021 initially, with a review by Civic Affairs Committee in the autumn on a more permanent change and to request that the Monitoring Officer make the necessary immediate amendments to the Council’s Constitution to give affect to this change.

Minutes:

Councillor Herbert proposed and Councillor Smart seconded the following motion:

 

To agree that Area Committees continue to be run virtually up to 31 December 2021 initially, with a review by Civic Affairs Committee in the autumn on a more permanent change and to request that the Monitoring Officer make the necessary immediate amendments to the Council’s Constitution to give affect to this change.

 

Resolved by 35 votes to 1 to approve the motion.

 

21/25/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:

There were no written questions.

21/26/CNL

Officer Urgent Decision

21/26/CNLa

Officer Urgent Decision: Non-Councillor appointment to Conservators of the River Cam pdf icon PDF 10 KB

Minutes:

The decision was noted.