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Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Democratic Services  Committee Manager

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21/27/CNL

Minutes pdf icon PDF 367 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the 27 May 2021 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

 

21/28/CNL

Mayor's announcements

Minutes:

Name

Item

Interest

Councillor Moore

21/32/cncld

Personal: Children worked at Jesus Green lido.

Councillor Sheil

21/32/cncld

Personal: Used Jesus Green lido.

 

Apologies were received from Councillors Gehring, Nethsingha, Page-Croft, Sargeant, A. Smith, Todd-Jones and McQueen

 

Mayors Volunteer for Cambridge Awards 

The awards scheme had been a huge success, acknowledging fantastic voluntary work primarily directed to the Covid crisis carried out by so many in the city. Individuals, voluntary groups and companies have all been awarded.

 

Upcoming events

·  Stourbridge Fair, was taking place on 4 September.

·  The Harvest Festival and the Chevin service were due to take place in October.

21/29/CNL

Public questions time

Minutes:

1.

Active travel and the deteriorating state and misuse of pavements in the city

 

Living Streets Cambridge recently published its report, from Risky Streets to Living Streets, detailing the results of a survey of over 300 

residents about their experience of using their local pavements for active travel. The report clearly emphasised the deteriorating state of footways in the city and the barriers this presents to active travel, especially for the disabled, the elderly and for parents with young children.  At the same time it revealed the importance of safe walking to economic activity in the city. Will the Council take the lead in organising a joint action task force charged with making our pavements safe for walking, by escalating repair and maintenance and enforcing regulations about cycling, the use of eScooters, and pavement parking in conjunction with the County Council and the relevant agencies?

 

Executive Councillor response:

Thanked the member of the public for raising the issue, had read through the findings of the report, particularly the concerns relating to pavement quality. Councillor Bird had raised this issue as Lead Councillor for Disability. The City Council was not the Highways Authority. Felt the County Council and Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) should lead any proposed Task Force. This had already been raised with the relevant members and officers. 

 

The City Council was soon to recruit an Active Travel Officer and this new role would be responsible for developing and undertaking a programme of activities in Cambridge City to promote walking, cycling and the use of public transport across a range of settings including schools, colleges, workplaces, and communities.

 

It was anticipated that through delivery of projects, activities, events and other initiatives, the post holder would raise the profile of active and sustainable travel to support modal shift to walking, cycling and public transport and thereby help reduce the level of congestion within the Cambridge City area. 

 

Supplementary question:

Felt some urgency with the issue and asked when work might start.

 

Supplementary Executive Councillor response:

 

Conversations had started with GCP and the County Council. They were aware of the issues that Councillor Bird had been raising and also the issue which had been raised in the public question. Confirmed she would let them know when the Active Travel Officer was appointed.

 

2.

 

I would like to refer councillors and officers to the following documents:

 

"Major Facilities Sub Regional Facilities in the Cambridge Area
- Review of Evidence and Site Options" published Jan 2013 (
https://files.cambridge.gov.uk/public/ldf/coredocs/RD-CSF/RD-CSF-020.pdf

 

and

 

Indoor Sports Facilities Strategy published and approved on 02 June 2016 (https://democracy.cambridge.gov.uk/ieIssueDetails.aspx?IId=16302&PlanId=0&Opt=3#AI15718)

 

Please can Cambridge City Council, alongside South Cambridgeshire District Council commit to undertaking a review and a progress update of both of these documents, and reporting back to the relevant committees, with specific reference to:

 

1) A new large concert hall - mindful of Cambridge University's recent announcement on a centre of excellence for music performance (https://cambridgetownowl.com/2021/03/25/the-time-for-cambridges-new-large-concert-hall-has-arrived/

2) A new large swimming pool - mindful that this was proposed by the University of Cambridge for their NW Cambridge site but which is yet to be delivered - despite significant actual and planned population growth.

 

I'm not looking for a comprehensive and detailed answer, just a commitment that such a review will take place and report back in the autumn. Otherwise, what's the point on spending a significant amount of money on the strategies in the first place if there is no intention to deliver what the strategies identify as the needs of our city.

 

Executive Councillor response:

 

Could not promise a formal review but would read the reports in full so they could inform her future discussions. Noted that there was now an ice rink.  A lot had happened since these reports were written. There were on-going discussions between the Councils and the Shared Planning Service about the commissioning of a Culture Infrastructure Strategy for Greater Cambridge. This would review the case for a new large concert hall taking into consideration the University of Cambridge’s recent announcement. The Councils would be updating their Sports Strategies to support the Greater Cambridge Local Plan although timings could be delayed due to the impact of Covid. A Swimming Pool Delivery Strategy to 2041 was scheduled to start early 2022 (Duration to completion approx. 6-months). This would take into consideration a new swimming pool proposed by the University of Cambridge. It is the Councils’ understanding that the University of Cambridge remains committed to providing a new swimming pool.

 

3.

 

Question submitted on behalf of Friends of the Cam. Two years ago noticed trees started to brown off and did not have enough water. This was the first sign that the springs had dried up, rivers were being maintained by pumps. Had been interested in water supply ever since.

 

On the 1st of July the Secretary of State for the Environment declared Cambridge Water an area of serious water stress. The Stantec Report, commissioned by Cambridge City Council and published last November, found that 'there is no environmental capacity for additional development to be supplied with water by increased abstraction from the Chalk aquifer. As things stand there was no other water in Cambridge. Even the current level of abstraction is widely believed to be unsustainable'. In view of this, should the council support a freeze on all further development?

 

A separate member of the public wished to register their support for this public question.

 

Executive Councillor response:

For sites to have been included in the local plan, the water companies must have committed to be able to provide enough water to service these sites. They have not indicated that this is no longer the case. There was no basis under planning law to withdraw planning consent. This was not an area where the precautionary principle could be applied. The responsible bodies needed to make clear statements of their inability to do what they had previously agreed they could do.

 

Stantec on behalf of the councils had produced a forecasting model that indicated the likely growth in consumption of existing local plan commitments over time. This recognised that not all of the growth within the adopted local plans would happen in the plan period (or even the new plan period to 2041). The conclusions suggested that growth in demand can be accommodated within the abstraction permits provided to Cambridge Water by the Environment Agency (EA).

 

Chalk streams were not adequately protected; potential damage to them were not planning grounds to alter planning decisions. The council was limited in what it could do. The designation as a water stressed area did not in itself change anything. It may mean Cambridge Waters’ permitted extraction levels could be reduced when the licenses are renewed but we do not know that. That was a matter in the hands of the EA not the Local Planning Authority (LPA) and to date, the EA has not objected to, or advised the LPA that the planned growth in the adopted Local Plan should not be allowed to proceed.

 

Supplementary Question:

It was stated that the Cambridge Water Companies were consulted and that they could supply these developments. They can, but at what cost. Data from the Environmental Agency this year stated that Cambridge Water were over abstracting local rivers by 22 mega litres of water per day and Anglian Water were over abstracting chalk streams by 189 mega litres per day. Anglian Water spent 170,537 hours dumping sewage into the rivers in its area.  There were unanswered questions from the Director of Planning. How could further development be supplied with water when water bodies are according to the Environment Agency already unable to support the ecology. Trees were drying up, ponds had been lost.

 

Executive Councillor response:

This was a very important issue. Was aware the speaker had collected information for the planning authority to include for the next local plan. There was more information coming out about research including water. Would try and keep the speaker up to date.

 

4.

 

The proposed goal of building good relations seems at odds with punitive actions toward and eviction of Travellers last year. I have seen and heard city councillors speak of a ‘process’ when they are made aware of Travellers arriving in their wards, but it is very unclear what this process entails. I am concerned, given what we know about police racism locally and nationally, that this process involves the police in a way that causes harm to our GRT neighbours. This is particularly worrying in the context of the new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill, which strengthens police powers. What exactly is the process for making contact with and supporting Gypsies and Travellers when they arrive in the city, who is involved in the process, and in the last two years to date how many contacts between council officials and Traveller groups who have stopped on Council land have ended in an eviction or Police action?

 

Executive Councillor response:

The City Council has/will consider a Motion on the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill this evening, and similar concerns have been/will be aired and debated.

Process with regards to unauthorised encampments including the impacts on the surrounding community.

 

The Council operates a protocol which has been developed to help manage the impact of unauthorised encampments.  The protocol considers rights of Gypsies and Travellers, our Public Sector Equalities Duties and how to make an assessment of the potential level of impact on nearby and local residents.

The protocol aims are to:

  To establish effective communication between partners, and Gypsies and Travellers;

  To help strike an appropriate balance between the needs and legitimate expectations of members, residents, local businesses and other landowners, and Gypsies and Travellers;

  To set out recommended courses of action which local authorities, the police and other partner agencies should follow to provide an effective response to unauthorised encampments in the city;

  To develop a more consistent approach to unauthorised encampments across the city; and.

  To improve records of unauthorised encampments.

 

We have an Enforcement Officer within Streets and Open Spaces and they are the key point of contact and responsible for the liaison and contacting those present in any unauthorised encampment.

 

Each encampment is also considered in respect of the welfare needs of those present.  We assess the reason for the visit, the intended length of stay, homelessness status, medical need, and access to services such as education and social care.

 

Each encampment location is considered on its own merits against criteria such as health and safety, traffic hazards, public health risks, environmental damage, and genuine nuisance to neighbours.

 

This needs to be a balance of need.

 

Any complaints or enquiries will be handled by council Enforcement Officer, who will inform the relevant contacts and partners, including local councillors and the Police. Where appropriate the council will share information about the encampment, arrange a joint visit to the site and discuss how the encampment will be managed and supported.  We only involve the Police where there is suspected criminal activity.

 

In the last two years we have dealt with 16 unauthorised encampments, involving 6 family groups. This did not include the most recent encampment at Arbury Town Park.  All of these have resulted in evictions after having followed due process and after a Court decision. 

 

We have made temporary accommodation arrangements where and when asked. The Council published information regarding unauthorised encampments on its website.

 

Supplementary Question:

Was involved in a number of the evictions last year which moved a family of 38 people. The immediate response of the council was a s77 order. The Enforcement Officer was responsible for giving the order to the families. The family had nowhere to go, Cambridge had no transit sites. The family were then issued with a s78 order. Was involved with a colleague in challenging this action. No elected councillors came to speak to the people. Challenged the procedure; it was a hostile procedure.

 

Executive Councillor response:

Immediate response is to talk to travellers about their welfare needs. The next steps are to apply for a s77 notice and if the notice is not complied with then a s78 order is sought.

 

Are looking at with neighbouring authorities at potential for stopping sites. This was an on-going process. During the pandemic, a site was provided by the depot on Cowley Road for anyone who needed to self-isolate, funding was also available from the County Council.

 

Agreed there was a lot more work to do but the start of the process was a lot more welfare focussed. 

 

5.

 

Market Matters

On the 19th July a message was received from the Head of Environmental Services stating that the report on the market redevelopment to the scrutiny committee has been moved from Oct 2021 to March 2022. Also that the design of a potential demountable stall will be revisited and consideration given to the types of evening events to be held. Market traders have a list of community focussed event and social engagement activities we want to present in this extra time window. 

 

However, the aim of this question is to point out that traders have had (1) A very poor 2020 with the majority of traders unable to trade for most of the year (2) A shut down in the start of 2021 (3) A phased reopening of the market (4) Some return to 'normality' on July 19th.

 

As a result of this some traders have had to use food banks in place of donating to food banks. The majority of traders have managed to survive by using their savings while retaining most of their staff. A very limited number of traders managed to operate throughout this period as they sell food and other essentials, even there the situation was abnormal and not sustainable being a 'roller-coaster' of over-demand crashing to very poor weeks and months. We are happy to have helped in this period and remain committed to selling local goods, supporting the local community and welcoming residents and visitors alike.

 

However, Market rents will return to 'normal' (currently they are ~20% lower than normal) in the near future based on foot-fall being 'only' 18% lower than a normal year.

 

Both market traders and many shop owners are aware that much of the footfall are local people unable to travel far and that we are still missing the large numbers of international tourists, students, conference attendees and other visitors. Records of takings have been supplied by some shops to Market Traders and these show that there is an income gap of 50% or so compared with a normal year (based on the last 5  years), the market overall sees this kind of income gap.

Similarly any redevelopment will inevitably produce disruption and/or displacement of market traders.

 

Timing of the redevelopment is key to ensuring continuity for small local businesses and the incomes of many local families.

 

SO - can the council confirm that such factors will be considered in timing of any redevelopment, met people do not want this year to be immediately followed by another period of disruption AND can they revisit plans to return the rents to normal as will happen in the next 2 months.

 

Executive Councillor response:

Was aware of the impact of the pandemic on businesses in the city, including market traders. As you have referred to in your question the Council has provided a programme of specific support to Traders over the last year, both through grant funding and other measures such as rent holidays (or rent free periods) as well as pitch discounts.  Council officers have 

organised a number of meetings with traders and will continue to do so to discuss future rent arrangements and consideration of timing of any future development or community use of the square which fit around the market.

 

The timing of any future market square development will obviously need to consider a broad number of factors including its place within the wider City recovery plans. Were still in the early stages of the project and were currently consulting on the concept design. The results of this would come back to Committee in March 2022. Depending on the outcome of the consultation may then move to the detailed and technical design stage. This would need to be consulted on again before any works start. Added to this still need to find the funding and a temporary location for the market. Was still a long way off the practical side of the work. Hoped life would have returned back to the new normal by then.

 

6.

 

I have a statement and question about Skaters’ Meadow Footpath, which County Council Highways propose to close to motor vehicles to ensure the safety of walkers and cyclists.

 

Do you personally know the footpath, and have you used it at different times of year?  I sent photos and a short summary to councillors by email yesterday and have received responses from some.

 

The footpath has been used for over 200 years, and the County Council Legal Department has established that it is legally a footpath, so motor vehicles have no legal right to drive and park on it.  Historically, the Footpath has been a green welcoming entrance to Cambridge’s iconic Grantchester Meadows, but in recent years, commuters, builders, campervans and local residents all seeking to avoid parking charges elsewhere have parked here, as well as visitors to the Meadows.  Volunteers have formed a Friends Group that is recognised by the Council.  They have watered saplings planted by the Council, and looked after the verges, sowing wildflowers to rewild the area and enhance biodiversity. Drivers have pulled up saplings to make space to park, destroyed signs about the rewilding project, driven over and pulled up protective fencing, and trashed rewilded verges. 

 

Installing bollards as proposed by Highways upholds the law and prevents vehicles from driving and parking there, thus protecting footpath users and enabling the verges to recover.  With the surface of the footpath no longer rutted by vehicles, it will be safer for all users, especially those with impaired mobility.  Visitors to the Meadows by car can park for free on nearby streets (less than a 5-minute walk), ensuring access for all.  Blue badge holders can park at any time without permits, and we suggest that 2-3 Blue Badge bays be placed at the end of Grantchester Meadows Road adjacent to the footpath.

 

The Highways initiative aligns with the City Council’s policies designed to enhance biodiversity and support active travel over car transport, and would help address the Climate and Biodiversity Emergencies that the Council declared in 2019.  The proposals from Anthony Browne, the MP for South Cambridgeshire, to convert Skaters Meadow Footpath into a Pay and Display car park to fund management of the Meadows as a county park, are in direct conflict with these City Council policies. 

 

Our Newnham Councillors have backed the Highways proposal.Can we depend on the City Council to support them and make clear to the County Council that no legal footpath in the city should be turned into a car park?

 

Supplementary question:

 

When casting their votes, many Cambridge residents really want to know where the Council are on the Climate and Biodiversity Emergency.  So, my follow up question is whether the Council is serious about the Climate and Biodiversity Emergency, if our Council Executive leaders are going to show decisive leadership or pay lip service to the emergency, and if our leaders support the rights of the pedestrian and sustainable travel on historic footpaths in line with Council policy vs the desire of motor vehicles drivers to park anywhere, regardless of the impact on the environment?

 

Response to follow.

 

7.

 

Will the City Council commit to ringfence funding to build Traveller sites within the boundaries of the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Team? Will you also commit to working with neighbouring authorities to safeguard against the displacement of Cambridgeshire’s permanent Traveller communities due to gentrification and detrimental consequences of local development projects?

 

Response to follow.

 

8.

 

Paid promotion of activities or products that are potentially harmful to mental or physical health or the environment, such as junk food, gambling, alcohol or the most polluting forms of transport, are very common on our television screens, radios, social media feeds and across a variety of out of home advertising media. Here in Cambridge, I have noticed in particular that there are many, many adverts for junk food on billboards and at bus stops.

 

There is a strong precedent for precluding such forms of advertising. Most forms of tobacco advertising and sponsorship were banned from 2003.

 

I learnt recently that several other councils have developed more ethical advertising policies, recognising both the public health benefits and potential savings to the public purse through restricting advertising of harmful products. Liverpool passed a "Low Carbon Advertising Policy" motion in January of this year. Bristol Bristol City Council became the first local authority outside of London to ban advertising for junk food, gambling and payday loans on ad sites it controls. In December last year, Amsterdam municipality voted to end advertising for petrol and diesel cars, airlines and fossil fuel companies. Amsterdam implemented this ban on its transport network in May 2021. And in Norwich, the Labour-run council unanimously voted in June 2021 to limit harmful categories of advertising and sponsorship such as gambling, junk food and environmentally-damaging products, through developing an ethical advertising policy/. Since 2019, Transport for London has banned junk food ads on its transport, and several London councils have followed suite since then. 

 

As a Cambridge resident, living near Newmarket Road, I've noticed that McDonalds has placed a LOT of adverts at bus stops which are of course heavily used by school children. The UK has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in the UK, and it's the NHS which has to pick up the pieces when heart conditions, diabetes etc results. It's a similar story with air pollution: as many as one in five cases of asthma in children in the UK is linked to traffic fumes and other pollution*. It's great to see Cambridge council officers working hard to encourage active travel in our city, and get people cycling and walking - but the council's messaging and investment in this is undermined by car ads. 

 

Will the city council develop an ethical advertising policy which avoids products that are potentially harmful to our communities advertising junk food, alcohol, gambling and damaging products etc. , building on the motion drafted by Norwich Council? https://cmis.norwich.gov.uk/Live/Document.ashx?czJKcaeAi5tUFL1DTL2UE4zNRBcoShgo=PPSsWDyo%2Btas7fUMyYUyk/bX9bOHQumaxIRT75xpZhKfGsYCpPWUFA%3D%3D&rUzwRPf%2BZ3zd4E7Ikn8Lyw%3D%3D=pwRE6AGJFLDNlh225F5QMaQWCtPHwdhUfCZ/LUQzgA2uL5jNRG4jdQ%3D%3D&mCTIbCubSFfXsDGW9IXnlg%3D%3D=hFflUdN3100%3D&kCx1AnS9/pWZQ40DXFvdEw%3D%3D=hFflUdN3100%3D&uJovDxwdjMPoYv%2BAJvYtyA%3D%3D=ctNJFf55vVA%3D&FgPlIEJYlotS%2BYGoBi5olA%3D%3D=NHdURQburHA%3D&d9Qjj0ag1Pd993jsyOJqFvmyB7X0CSQK=ctNJFf55vVA%3D&WGewmoAfeNR9xqBux0r1Q8Za60lavYmz=ctNJFf55vVA%3D&WGewmoAfeNQ16B2MHuCpMRKZMwaG1PaO=ctNJFf55vVA%3D

 

 

*https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/child-asthma-air-pollution-uk-nitrogen-dioxide-children-lancet-a8865016.html

 

Response to follow.

 

9.

 

We know that there are serious material issues affecting Gypsy and Traveller life expectancies and opportunities. For example, recent research showed that 74% of GP surgeries refused registration to nomadic patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Good relations depend on the provision of adequate support for Gypsies and Travellers, including for example site provision, access to schools and medicine where needed. What concrete actions will you take to build good relations with the Gypsy and Traveller communities in Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire?"

 

Response to follow.

 

10.

 

I raise concerns about the way in which this very important public project has been managed and presented to you, and at the Council’s failure to involve the public properly in the Market Square project, which is a matter of concern for all Cambridge people and their councillors.

 

I welcome 2 things:

1)  The improving dialogue between the Council and the market traders, notably that the officers are at last talking to each trader individually; and

2)  The postponement of the Market Square report until March 2022, after the trials of the market stalls.

 

BUT

3)  Can the officers please confirm by when they will have completed their current 1:1 meetings with all 150 Market Traders?

4)  These meetings, which are essential to understand the traders’ needs) should have been part of the RIBA Stage 1 briefing process.

5)  The draft Concept Design on which the Council has been consulting is premature in the absence of this vital evidence of the traders’ needs.

6)  Both the draft Vision and the draft Concept Design are also premature in the absence of feasibility assessments, to establish which of the range of potential alternative activities set out in the Council’s “wish-list” (and in question 17 of the public consultation) have realistic potential for the draft Concept Design.

7)  All the above information is required as part of RIBA Stage 1 “Agree the brief and establish that the proposals can be accommodated on the site” – but has not been done. Instead, this project, which I can only describe as half-baked, is being presented as a Stage 2 Concept Design.

8)  What’s also missing from all of the above is the PUBLIC, as key users and ultimate clients for the Market Square project.

 

Turning to the extended Public consultation:

9)  The questionnaire is very partial (for example there is nowhere in it for residents in or near the Market Square to register their particular interest);

10)  The trial stalls which Councillors promised would be on site during the consultation only arrived on 14 July, a week after the scheduled end of the consultation;

11)  Responses received before 14 July will not have had the chance to consider the potential stalls;

12)  Both the main consultation and the extended consultation and stalls have been very badly publicised to users of the Square. Try walking around the Square and looking for a poster!

13)  The Market Square Consultation page doesn’t link the demountable stalls survey https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Demountable-stall-trial

14)  For all these reasons, the consultation responses will need to be treated with a very large pinch of salt.

 

What is missing from all of this is any real public engagement in the Vision for the Square, and its surroundings.  I hope the Council will use the time until March 2022 not only to pursue the vital practical feasibility issues, but also to involve its public actively in visioning exercises for their Market Square and its surroundings.

 

Executive Councillor Response:

We welcome your comments about improved communications.  We believe that the current consultation has been widely promoted through media and other routes as outlined in my response to your question at Environment and Communities committee, and that there are plenty of opportunities to feedback, including an initial view of the demountable stalls trial, by the extended deadline of 31st July. There will also be further opportunities for stakeholder feedback as more detailed work on the wider city centre recovery is developed, and the project itself progresses.

 

The proposal to postpone the next report is to help ensure that we have fully considered the points you and others have raised at Council and Committee meetings.  Senior Council Officers have met with you and I know there are further meetings being planned and I would like to suggest that they pick up more detailed consideration of your points at those meetings. The Chief Executive also met with you on 2nd July for a tour of the market and to have an initial discussion of the issues raised in your questions. CEO and other senior officers have offered a subsequent meeting to you and other key market stakeholders to discuss the issues raised in more detail.

 

Some of the points you have asked here, have been superseded or are out of date following officer engagement with market traders and recent council announcements.

 

11.

 

While welcoming Cllr Healy’s Motion on the Policing Bill to be put to the full Council meeting on Thursday, 22 July 2021, it comes at a time of grave concern for the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities living within Cambridge and travelling through it. This Bill will pass. Its second reading on the 5 July passed in the House by 359 to 263 and will eradicate nomadic life in Britain – this despite the fact it is opposed by the majority of police forces in the country. What is of critical importance, therefore, is what the Council resolves to do in Cambridge. The precedents are not encouraging. To have a Labour Council chasing and evicting an extended family group of Travellers composed of 18 adults and 20 children around Cambridge last summer, is not a good look.

 

You do not have to wait for the results of a Gypsy & Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment (GTANA) to recognise need, which only seeks to identify need for permanent sites. Yet the lack of permanent and transit sites is a continual source of flash points between the GRT community and the settled population of Cambridge. Travellers have a close relationship with Cambridge due to the importance of the 800 year-old Royal Chartered Midsummer Fair within their culture – it is not an ‘event’ but a gathering of the tribes. Until the Council challenges the systemic racism towards this community and within itself, there will be no improvement in this relationship.

 

Question: With the imminent threat of the criminalisation of trespass, will the Council now prioritise, with immediate effect, the provision of transit sites in and around Cambridge through the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Team?

 

Response to follow.

 

12.

 

I'm very glad to see that Cllr Healy has put forward a motion to this meeting with the goal of putting pressure on the national government to fulfil their human rights obligations with regards to Travellers. However, the council also has human rights obligations to GRT communities at a local level, and they have repeatedly broken these with Traveller evictions during a pandemic that has disproportionately affected GRT people both directly and indirectly. Speaking as an infectious disease epidemiologist, evictions and a lack of access to safe, adequate, and legal sites are dangerous to public health. Will Council commit not to evict any more Travellers who stop on public land until adequate sites have been provided and access to health services ensured for GRT communities?

 

Response to follow.

 

21/30/CNL

To consider the recommendations of the Executive for adoption

21/30/CNLa

2020/21 Revenue and Capital Outturn, Carry Forwards and Significant Variances – Housing Revenue Account (Executive Councillor for Strategy and External Partnerships) pdf icon PDF 160 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved (by 25 votes to 0) to:

 

Approve carry forward requests of £18,610,000 in HRA and General Fund capital budgets and associated resources from 2020/21 into 2021/22 and beyond to fund re-phased net capital spending, as detailed in appendix D of the report and the associated notes to the appendix.

 

 

21/30/CNLb

Annual Treasury Management (Outturn) Report 2020/21 (Executive Councillor for Finance & Resources) pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved (by 32 votes to 0) to:

 

Approve the report with the Council’s actual Prudential and Treasury Indicators for 2020/21.

 

 

21/30/CNLc

2020/21 General Fund Revenue and Capital Outturn, Carry Forwards and Significant Variances (Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources) pdf icon PDF 109 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved (by 26 votes to 0) to:

 

i) Approve carry forward requests totalling £658,670 of revenue funding from 2020/21 to 2021/22, as detailed in Appendix C of the officer’s report.

 

ii) Approve carry forward requests of £49,211,000 of capital resources from 2020/21 to 2021/22 to fund rephased net capital spending, as detailed in Appendix D of the officer’s report.

 

iii) Approve the addition of £85,000 capital funding in 2021/22 to undertaken works to the Council Chamber/Committee Rooms to stream meetings/enable hybrid meetings.

 

21/31/CNL

To deal with oral questions

Minutes:

Question number 1

From   Councillor K Porrer

To    Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment & City Centre 

 

Question

Given the current heavy use of our open spaces throughout the day and into the evening, and in particular those around the city centre, would the Executive Councillor agree to the later opening of the public toilets on Jesus Green to 10 pm during the summer period, and to at least 8 pm in the winter period.

 

Executive Councillor response:

The Council had already responded to recent public demand to make a variation to the opening time at Jesus Green public toilets from 6pm to 8pm during the summer months.

This new arrangement became operational from Monday 19th July and brought this facility in line with other city centre toilet closing times.  Summer opening is from the 1 April to the 31 October. Would continue to monitor usage of all public toilets and extend or reduce opening hours as appropriate. Monitoring would also be done during winter usage but the operational closing time of 6.00pm in the winter based on historic usage is deemed sufficient given local availability of Quayside and Victoria Avenue facilities until 8.00pm.

 

Question number 2

From   Councillor R Robertson

To    Leader of the Council and Executive Councillor for Strategy and External Partnerships 

 

Question

What is the Council’s response to Government claims that last Monday was “Freedom Day”?

 

Executive Councillor response:

Unclear advice was provided to the public. The review of the pandemic situation on a 5 weekly basis was good provided that the current sitation was taken into consideration. Ahead of 19 July the current situation was not taken into consideration. Naming the 19 July as ‘freedom day’ was irresponsible and failed to recognise that there was still a severe risk with covid cases still rising. The Council’s position was that face masks should still be worn and people should be advised to wear them.  Cases were still rising, there were 15 cases of people with Covid at Addenbrooks. Self-isolation, vaccination and testing were all still vital.

 

Question number 3

From   Councillor J Dalzell

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

 

Question

Important trees on Alexandra Gardens are currently under threat of significant and irreversible damage in proposals that seek to protect the Council against potential legal claims from an insurance company. This claim primarily arises from an extension that was approved and built long after the trees had been established, with similar issues arising in wards across the city. What steps will the Council take to try to limit such issues arising in the future?

 

Executive Councillor response:

Clarified some of the detail in the question. While building extensions and conservatories are more at risk of tree related subsidence, the situation at Alexandra Gardens did not involve damage to an extension but to the main body of the building

In response to the question:

Policies were published in relation to subsidence in the City Council’s Tree Strategy and safeguarding urban forest sustainability.

The Council would not normally remove or hard prune a healthy tree. A commitment had been given to increasing the city’s tree canopy cover, the default position was to protect trees wherever possible. However, occasionally healthy trees did need to need to be managed for example in the case of Alexandra Gardens and circumstances where the tree has caused damage to property.

Policy GM9 set out the key principles that the Council would manage all claims directed at Council owned trees, and that we would challenge unwarranted claims based on poorly investigated or inaccurate evidence.

In this case Officers have followed Policy GM10 which set out a range of information the claimant/property owner or their building insurers must provide the Council.

Insurance claims were dealt with on a case by case basis, each case dealt with on its own merits and a tree would not necessarily be felled because of a claim. 

Question number 4

From   Councillor D Baigent

To    Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport

 

Question

Does the Council support the report by Professor Jo Ulanowski on the impact of traffic restrictions on pollution?

 

Executive Councillor response: 

The data was generated by a Cambridge City trial of low cost sensors which was intended to evaluate both the effectiveness of the sensors and the impact on air quality of traffic changes including the bridge closure and elsewhere in the city. The results had been used in that paper. The report stated that PM10 and 2.5 are more local pollutants and that there is no air quality data available for Mill Road outside the 2019 study. This was not born out by other studies and information they had. An overall drop in vehicle pollution in the lockdown was also shown in a report from the GCP dated January 2021, which used data from the City Council’s continuous sensors. These provided the most accurate measurements for nitrogen dioxide. Overall supported the report as adding valuable analysis pollution data but it was not in itself conclusive and must be considered with the many other reports some of which were based on far more sensitive recording equipment.

 

Question number 5

From   Councillor C Payne

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

 

Question

Can the Executive Councillor please give us her reaction to the trial demountable stall currently on the market square?

 

Executive Councillor response:

Were in the very early stages of one type of demountable stall trial, which they were able to hire ‘off the peg’ at short notice. As they were still only in the concept design stage of the project they did not plan to trial the stall designs at this stage as they expected to do that at the detailed design stage if there was support from the current public consultation. Due to concerns of the traders on the design of the stalls, they had brought forward possible designs of demountable stalls.  The stalls on display in the market square were a sample product and smaller than the proposed design of 3m x 3m. No decisions had been made regarding the colour of the awning.

 

Were in talks with a council who had had their own demountable stalls made. Were still open to having own prototypes made if none of the readily available ones were found to be suitable. In the coming months would trial one or a number of styles of stall in use on the market including over the winter months.

 

Question number 6

From   Councillor H Davies

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

 

Question

Can the Executive Councillor give an update on the click and collect trial for verge management?

 

Executive Councillor response:

The Operations Team had been trialling an Iseki Cut and Collect machine, on a 6 month hire contract. The trial began in May 2021 and will run through to November. The machine was similar in scale and operation to the existing gang mowers that cut our smaller parks, play areas and road verges, however it could collect the arising to be disposed of, either in a designated area on a space or off site for green waste collection. The advantage of this approach is that over time the removal of cuttings depletes the nutrients in the soil, resulting in reduced grass vigour and less cuts in future years. In addition to financial savings, less cuts of lower nutrient verges favours native wildflower species so should lead to increased biodiversity. This had been successfully demonstrated by Dorset County Council who now had a fleet of similar machines.

Early results identified some issues with this machine, primarily with length of grass that could be cut without risk of blocking the chute that fed the hopper. Initial frequency of cuts would need to be reviewed to address this. Also planned to trial the cut and collect machine in the management of the pictorial meadows and Local Natures Reserves this autumn.

Question number 7

From   Councillor  M Healy

To      Executive Councillor for Housing 

 

Question

Can the Executive Councillor update us on the progress that is being made towards meeting our commitment to house more Syrian refugees.

 

Executive Councillor response:

At a previous Council meetings the Council had unanimously agreed to support Syrian Refugees with South Cambridgeshire District Council. The Home Office Syrian Vulnerable Peoples Relocation Programme and Vulnerable Children Relocation Programme had pledged to support 200 further syrian people to relocate to Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire over the next 5 years. Eight houses needed to be provided per year and one house had been provided since the pledge was made. The City Council and South Cambridgehsire District Council provided the housing and other agencies provided further support services for example education, health care etc.

 

Question number 8

From   Councillor R Dryden

To    Executive Councillor for Communities and Statutory Deputy Leader

 

Question

What are the current plans for reopening sport and leisure facilities?

 

Executive Councillor response:

Many of the council’s facilities were open in some capacity and many outdoor facilities had been open since late March. This included outdoor gyms, courts and the lido. Abbey and Parkside Pools had been open at reduced capacity and exercise classes had been running at reduced capacity since 17 May. The lifting of restrictions was often about increasing capacity or improving ease of access. For example Abbey and Parkside Pools would now be able to be open at 80% capacity as well as the lido. The flumes at the pools were opening for the first time at the weekend and paddling pools had been opened that week. Were also planning to open the Kings Hedges and Sheeps Green learning pool. There were exceptions, the Cherry Hinton Village Hall remained a vital part of the vaccination programme, which meant re-opening was more limited. Thanked the residents of Cherry Hinton for their pateince during this time. They were doing all that they could to ensure that venues opened in a safe way. Leisure Centres were recommending masks, sanitiser stations and cleaning regimes and are maintaining increased ventilation. A cautious approach was being taken to opening the Corn Exchange bearing in mind the vaccination programme. They were working towards this being opened on 31 August, based on public health advice and risk assessments. 

 

Question number 9

From  Councillor N Bennett

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

 

Question

I think all councillors will be well aware that drug dealing and linked antisocial behaviour have increased under lock down and also spread to different streets .  This means that many residents are having to report drug related anti-social behaviour for the first time .  Unfortunately, many residents are struggling with the reporting process and this means that problems are not being reported fully -if at all.  Lack of information means that the limited police resources are not allocated efficiently and the opportunity to catch these problems early is lost. Some wards have high levels of digital exclusion and cannot access the internet based information on how to report incidents.

Residents are also not well informed as to what information is shared between council and police. This makes it more likely that incidents won't be reported comprehensively. Residents then don't see an adequate police response and lose faith in the reporting process leading to even more under-reporting, fewer resources being allocated and further loss of confidence.Will the council (in conjunction with the police) undertake the following steps to make the reporting process easier and more effective ?

1  Put a simple one page guide in Cambridge Matters and Open Door to reporting used needles, anti social behaviour and related criminal behaviour together with up to date information on local needle exchange services ,preferably on a separate sheet that can be used as a poster.

2  Change the web based reporting so that there are Question prompts and click button links between council needle reporting, council antisocial behaviour reporting and council crime information.

3  Resolve the GDPR issues that inhibit sharing information between council and police by giving users a clear choice via suitably annotated tick boxes on the web pages as to whether information goes to council, police or both. 

4  Ensure that there is a clear anonymous reporting option on all web forms

 

Executive Councillor response:

Acknowledged levels of digital exclusion. Would take all 4 issues back to the Anti-Social Behaviour Team and would keep Cllr Bennett informed.

 

Question number 10

From   Councillor  O Hauk

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

 

Question

Several residents have raised repeated concerns to me about failing trees in the new developments of Trumpington (Abode specifically). This is a very understandable and urgent concern in the light of our climate and biodiversity crises. Some of these trees are still owned by the developers (e.g. Countryside), while some have been or will be adopted by the County or City Council. Can the Executive Councillor  explain how the council plans to work with developers to ensure that any replacement trees that the developers are still responsible for will be replaced and appropriately cared for?"

 

Executive Councillor response:

The trees on new developments are secured through the planning process and the provision often relates to conditions in the planning approval notice.  Where trees are of concern on sites, that we will not adopt the Planning Enforcement team can and do discuss planning breaches with Developers.

Where sites are to be adopted by the City Council, for example on parks and open spaces, Officers within Streets and Open Spaces follow a land transfer process which signs off key stages of the design, build, maintenance and transfer of new sites.  These stages afford us opportunity to pick up defects and seek corrective actions, such as dead, diseased, or poor health trees.

Officers within Streets and Open Space and the Shared Planning Service monitor defects in the land to be transferred and these are raised directly with the Developers as part of the ongoing dialogue and working relationships where sites have been adopted they will be managed under City wide Tree Strategy and added to 3 year cycle of inspection, maintenance and replacement planting to ensure continuity and development of tree cover.

 

Question number 11

From   Councillor I Flaubert

To    Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment & City Centre 

 

Question

Would the Exececutive Councillor agree to continue the reduced rent for our valued market traders past the recently announced cut-off date of 31st July 2021

 

Executive Councillor response:

Acknowledged it had been a difficult year for many traders as it had been for other businesses. Apprecaited that trade would not be back up to speed yet. Would not be able to commit to a blanket rent holiday in the council meeting. Negotiations took place individually with commercial tenants based on their accounts, income and grant funding. It was important for the Council to understand the ongoing financial impact before making any decision and would like to take the opprtunity to do that through separate meetings. The traders had been treated as a specific group during the last year, needed to be fair to all businesses in applying any further discounts.

 

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. Answers received have been included in the minutes.

 

Question number 12

From  Councillor A Gilderdale

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

 

Question

Can the Executive Councillor please advise members on measures taken in anticipation of the expected Midsummer weekend gathering on our city centre open spaces?

 

Executive Councillor response provided following the meeting:

As part of the planning for the weekend we established the following objectives: -

·  Ensure the City Centre including its parks and open spaces are a safe and well-managed environment.

  • Ensure Midsummer Common/ Jesus Green and their immediate neighbourhoods are safe and managed.
  • To support and encourage business as usual over the weekend.
  • Ensure members of the staff, public, councillors, and associated businesses are kept appropriately informed.
  • Help ensure that disruption to the City Centre and key areas is minimised.
  • Ensure that the City Council are prepared and can support the Police where it is requested.
  • Ensure that we are prepared and able to clean up a potential range of scenarios post the anticipated activities and return the city to business as usual as swiftly as possible.

Our focus over the weekend was: -

To work collaboratively with Cambridgeshire Police and in conjunction with advice from Cambridgeshire County Council Highways team.

  • To provide a planned response and contingency approach across Council service areas that maybe required to achieve the objectives.
  • To communicate factual messages across the Council in response to the anticipated activities/ pressures and their impacts.
  • To communicate clear messages to the local community in response to the anticipated activities/ pressures and their impacts

The City Council participated in the advance planning for this weekend along with Cambridgeshire Police, the Highways and Parking Enforcement teams from the County Council.

The Eastern Region Section of the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain also assisted with communications to the Gypsies and Roma Traveller Community that the Midsummer Fair for 2021 had been cancelled, and therefore permission to use the land was not granted.

As part of the advanced planning all partners consider the local resident requests following the 2019 unauthorised event.  This included

  • Closure the Ft. St. George bridge (as we do during the Midsummer Fair).
  • Limit road traffic into the neighbourhood and professionally signpost and control access at Ferry Path by the Light Blue Bike shop & De Freville Ave.
  • Provide Car parking.
  • Provide a visible security presence.
  • Provide toilets and rubbish containers.

As part of the planned response to the anticipated activities of the weekend we wrote and advised the local residents the following.

The Police, County and City Council have resourced our responses to support business as usual in the city as follows: -

  • A community hub based at Wesley Church from 8am until 8pm or later if required and a contact point was made available.
  • Additional toilets and litter bins on Midsummer Common, with additional cleaning programmed for Sunday morning. Additional cleaning of both Jesus Green and Midsummer Common permanent toilet blocks
  • Police support will be given to the traffic enforcement team to allow them to carry out their duties.
  • There is support from County Council Officers to update traffic information signs.
  • A licensing officer on duty to deal with the supply and sale of alcohol in and around the area.
  • A rapid response team to deal with wash down and areas that need deep cleaning.
  • A joint letter from the Universities and Public Health encouraging students to maintain COVID safety measures.
  • A range of social media assets to be used by partners to remind users of parks and open spaces and city visitors about COVID safety measures.

All these activities took place over the weekend. 

  • The hub received 10 contacts from members of the public, and we respond to these matters on the same day.
  • The additional toilets where used after being reset after vandalism and significantly reduced the numbers or urination incidents.
  • The traffic enforcement team issued 287 parking tickets on Saturday and 144 on Sunday.
  • The highways team did not need to deploy.
  • The licensing officer attended all the licensed premises around the immediate area.
  • We used the rapid response team five times to deal with broken glass reports.
  • The University letter was successful in discouraging large gatherings of students on the Sunday
  • The Partners repeated social messaging over the weekend.

We had previously explained to residents as to why the bridge could not be closed[1] and it is accepted that this did contribute to being able to effectively remove anti-social behaviour in a residential environment, however the Police where present and did respond to any Hub, 101 and 999 enquiries.

It is our intention to debrief with all Partners and review the planned response effectiveness in relation to this weekend.  We will use the log we took of all complaints and requests.  We will also discuss with the Showmen’s Guild how we can support the return of Midsummer Fair and the levels of resource they require in respect of their management of the event.

Ward Councillors have been updated and they too have raised issues with us that will part of the debrief but also the planning for 2022.

 

Question number 13

From  Councillor J Gawthrope Wood

To    Leader of the Council and Executive Councillor for Strategy and External Partnerships 

 

Question

What does he anticipate will be the Government’s proposals for devolution?

 

Question number 14

From  Councillor P Sheil

To    Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport 

Question

What are your transport priorities for Cambridge and for the GCP over the next three years?

 

Question number 15

From  Councillor N Sweeney

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

 

Question

Can the Executive Councillor let members know what progress there has been in discussions of continued public access to Grantchester Meadows, and what the City Council’s involvement has been?

 

Question number 16

From  Councillor D Lee

To    Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport 

 

Question

With the pandemic leading a revolution in how and where people work, with a notable increase in hybrid and home working, could the Executive  Councillor confirm whether the council will be reviewing the need for so many office blocks around the city that at the moment lie vacant and when occupied tend to generate congestion?

 

Question number 17

From  Councillor C McQueen

To    Executive Councillor for Housing 

 

Question

What support can the council provide for private renters?

 

Question number 18

From  Councillor T Bick

To    Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

 

Question

In the interests of clarity for the public and all the many stakeholders, could the executive councillor clarify whether the council is now undertaking an exercise to re-imagine the city centre to take account of the long term changes in the retail sector accelerated by Covid, as proposed in my proposal to council on 1st March and to Strategy & Resources Scrutiny Committee on 12th July, despite rejecting the suggestion on both occasions?

 

Question number 19

From  Councillor A Cox

To    Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment & City Centre 

 

Question

Given the recent interest in the Cows About Cambridge art trail, could the Exec Councillor for the Climate Change, Environment and the City Centre confirm whether there are any plans to extend these locations outside the central areas of Cambridge and into many of our other wards across the city?

 

Executive Counillor response provided following the meeting:

The Cows and about Cambridge is a partnership predominately funded and led by Cambridge Bid as principal partner and its sponsors.  The Cows are a temporary installation and will leave on the 4th September.

There are 44 large cows each one individually designed by an artist and sponsored by a business, and a further 46 mini moos created by schools and community groups around Cambridgeshire.

You can visit the cows using a trail app and the intention is to encourage visitors to the City Centre.

Their website says Trail explorers young and old will have fun rediscovering their city, learning about the artwork, and spending time together. They will get outdoors, walk more, and share their stories.

There is no further intention to move the Cows to Ward however the mini moos are visiting a range of schools and across the County.

Background

The mini moos are visiting these locations

Cambridge Academy for Science and Technology | Arbury Primary School | Cromwell Community College | North Cambridge Academy | St Faith’s School | Great Abington Primary School | Melbourn Primary School | Stapleford Community Primary School | Girlguiding Cambridgeshire East | Gretton School |  Marshland High School | St Peter’s Junior School | The Bellbird Primary School | Bottisham Community Primary School | Barrington C of E Primary School | Thorndown Primary School | St Mary’s Cambridge | St Matthew’s Primary School | The Grove Primary School | Great Wilbraham Primary School | Break Charity – Burrowmoor Road | On Track Education | Little Paxton Primary School | Studio Cambridge | Mind | The Meadow Primary School | Downham Feoffees Primary Academy | The Museum of Cambridge | Coates Primary School | Swavesey Primary School | Cambridge Junction: Total Arts | Bottisham Village College | Hauxton Primary School | Histon Early Years Centre | The Spinney School | Trumpington Park Primary School | Break Charity – Staying Connected Team | Swavesey Village College | Hills Road Sixth Form College | Pendragon Community Primary School | St Laurence Catholic Primary School | Colville Primary School | Trumpington Community College | The Netherhall School and St Alban’s Catholic Primary.

 

Question number 20

From  Councillor G Bird

To    Executive Councillor for Communities and Statutory Deputy Leader

 

Question

Where can people who are self-isolating or who still need to shield go for support?

 

Executive Councillor response provided following the meeting:

Cambridge City Council continue to provide financial support to those who are required to isolate following a positive test, contacted through track/trace or via the NHS App.

Eligibility criteria and guidance on how to apply can be found on our website Test and Trace Support Payment - Cambridge City Council

Due to increasing case rates locally, we’re experiencing a high volume of applications at present.  Assessments are completed as soon as we can, but may take up to 7 days.

 

We continue to work with partners in the voluntary sector to provide funding and staff resource to enable support for those who are isolating, including to those who require food parcels.

Cambridge Sustainable Food continue to support emergency food parcels delivered direct to those in need. Self-referrals can be made online, or through the food hub phoneline.

Support is also available via our customer services team and via the county council hub. Each individual case is assessed and appropriate support arranged. This might be an emergency payment, an emergency food delivery or a referral for more specialised support.

 

Whilst the national directive on shielding for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) is no longer in place, there will be some vulnerable members in the community who continue to need to take extra precautions and shield themselves at home.  

Community groups, the local voluntary sector and council services continue to work together to provide support and guidance for those who require assistance.

 

Question number 21

From  Councillor J Scutt

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

 

Question

Can the Executive Councillor update members on progress towards making Cambridge a herbicide free city?

 

Question number 22

From  Councillor Hannah Copley

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

 

Question

Abandoned needles and drug-related litter are frequently reported by residents and represent a real health hazard until both reported and safely collected. The Council has clear reporting mechanisms available for residents to report such items, but not a mechanism for residents to monitor and learn of hotspots where these items are found, which may be close to their houses or near to where their children play. Would the City Council create an online map updated in real time for residents to see where reported needles are/were located, in order to inform themselves about the safety of locations in which they want to spend time, and to be extra-vigilant in areas which are emerging hotspots?

 

Question number 23

From  Councillor S Davies

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

 

Question

Of 100 trees planted on the Ninewells development in the last five years, 11 are dead and several others have already had to be replaced for the third time, having been killed off by strimming damage or lack of watering. What further action does the Executive Councillor believe can be taken by the City Council to ensure that developers are obliged to not only plant, but also nurture to maturity, trees on new build estates in the city?"

 

Executive Councillor responses provided following the meeting:

British Standard 8545 (2014) Trees: from nursery to independence in the landscape – Recommendations states the following:

 

“It has been a widely recognized fact that a significant proportion of newly

planted trees fail to survive to maturity. The Trees in towns II report [1]

commissioned by the Department of Communities and Local Government

highlighted that as much as 25% of all planting undertaken in the public sector

actually fails. Although there has not been any comparable survey undertaken in

the private sector, anecdotal evidence indicates that the failure rates are similar.”

 

It indicates the vulnerability of transplanting young trees and difficulty in ensuring high rates of survival beyond the establishment period.

 

Best practice, such as that set out in this document can reduce tree failure rates but their vulnerability to both biotic and abiotic pressures suggest 100% success would be difficult or costly to achieve except in all but the most benign circumstances. Products such as strimmer guards can increase protection from damage, and irrigations bags increase the cost effectiveness of watering.

 

Consents for development require landscaping details to be submitted as part of the validation process.  Species selection, location and planting techniques will generally be submitted up front prior to consent, with details of how successful establishment will be ensured delivered as part of a management plan under condition. Submissions will be required to conform or exceed current best practice to ensure high standards of care are delivered.

 

 

Question number 24

 

From  Councillor S Baigent

To    Executive Councillor for Communities and Statutory Deputy Leader

 

Question

Can the Executive Councillor update us on developments in the period poverty initiative?

 

Question number 25

 

From  Councillor S Smith

To    Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport 

Question

How do you expect the Council will respond to Government planning reform legislation?

 

Question number 26

From  Councillor D Pounds

To    Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport 

Question

What are the opportunities and challenges for Cambridge from the Government’s Arc strategic planning framework, and future consultations?

 

Second questions

 

From Cllr Copley

To Executive Councillor for Strategy and External Partnerships

 

1. Some local residents who would like to take part in public meetings that are currently in person have asked if a hybrid meeting would be possible for them, so that they can have a right of reply during the Public Questions section of full council meetings. Will the council explore a hybrid meeting format for the "Public questions time" section of full council meetings, such that residents who are shielding or self-isolating, or carers for the vulnerable, can both read out their own question, and give a follow up question after hearing the response? 



 

21/32/CNL

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

21/32/CNLa

Councillor Collis: The Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration

The UN Environment Programme Food Waste Index Report (2021) highlighted the extent and environmental impacts of food waste, noting that if food waste were a country it would be the third biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions. This makes it a major factor in ‘the three planetary crises of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste’ (p.4). It is also behind UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, which aims to halve food waste and reduce food loss by 2030.

 

With the next major climate negotiations, COP26, due to begin in Glasgow later this year and with food waste still nowhere on the agenda, we have – collectively – a unique opportunity to put pressure on governments to address this issue. Without tackling food waste at international, national, regional and local levels, we won’t be able to meet key climate goals.

 

In the UK, initiatives such as WRAP’s Courtauld Commitment 2025, which is a voluntary commitment between participating retailers, farmers and growers, food manufacturers and hospitality businesses, across ten years to meet three targets;

-  a 20% per person reduction in food and drink waste associated with production and consumption of food and drink in the UK, post farm gate

-  a reduction in impact associated with water use and water stress in the supply chain

-  a 20% per person reduction in the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with production and consumption of food and drink in the UK

 

While initiatives such as the Courtauld Commitment aim to make positive changes, we also urgently need coordinated action at national government level.

 

Launched in December 2020, the Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration brings together ‘all types and sizes of local authorities – from small and medium sized towns to mega-cities, districts and regions, territories, federal states and provinces – to speak with a unified voice in renewing their commitments to develop sustainable food policies, promote mechanisms for joined-up action and call on national governments to put food and farming at the heart of the global response to the climate emergency.’. It is only by speaking with this ‘unified voice’ that we can put pressure on global decision makers to act now, before it is too late. 

 

Council therefore recognises;

-  the connection between environmental and social justice

-  the environmental devastation caused by the current food system, that results in one-third of all food that is produced globally being wasted before it even reaches the table.

-  that we have already taken a number of measures locally to address the issue of food waste including the adoption of a sustainable food policy (2018), our ongoing work with Cambridge Sustainable Food including the city’s recent award of Silver Sustainable Food Place status, including a specific objective on sustainable food in our new climate change strategy and trialling food waste collections in parts of the city.

-  that, as a district council, our capacity to ‘to assess GHG emissions reduction targets from food systems’ and directly achieve those reductions (Glasgow  ...  view the full agenda text for item 21/32/CNLa

Minutes:

Councillor Collis proposed and Councillor H.Davies seconded the following motion:

 

The UN Environment Programme Food Waste Index Report (2021) highlighted the extent and environmental impacts of food waste, noting that if food waste were a country it would be the third biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions. This makes it a major factor in ‘the three planetary crises of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste’ (p.4). It is also behind UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, which aims to halve food waste and reduce food loss by 2030.

 

With the next major climate negotiations, COP26, due to begin in Glasgow later this year and with food waste still nowhere on the agenda, we have – collectively – a unique opportunity to put pressure on governments to address this issue. Without tackling food waste at international, national, regional and local levels, we won’t be able to meet key climate goals.

 

In the UK, initiatives such as WRAP’s Courtauld Commitment 2025, which is a voluntary commitment between participating retailers, farmers and growers, food manufacturers and hospitality businesses, across ten years to meet three targets;

-  a 20% per person reduction in food and drink waste associated with production and consumption of food and drink in the UK, post farm gate

-  a reduction in impact associated with water use and water stress in the supply chain

-  a 20% per person reduction in the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with production and consumption of food and drink in the UK

 

While initiatives such as the Courtauld Commitment aim to make positive changes, we also urgently need coordinated action at national government level.

 

Launched in December 2020, the Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration brings together ‘all types and sizes of local authorities – from small and medium sized towns to mega-cities, districts and regions, territories, federal states and provinces – to speak with a unified voice in renewing their commitments to develop sustainable food policies, promote mechanisms for joined-up action and call on national governments to put food and farming at the heart of the global response to the climate emergency.’. It is only by speaking with this ‘unified voice’ that we can put pressure on global decision makers to act now, before it is too late. 

 

Council therefore recognises;

-  the connection between environmental and social justice

-  the environmental devastation caused by the current food system, that results in one-third of all food that is produced globally being wasted before it even reaches the table.

-  that we have already taken a number of measures locally to address the issue of food waste including the adoption of a sustainable food policy (2018), our ongoing work with Cambridge Sustainable Food including the city’s recent award of Silver Sustainable Food Place status, including a specific objective on sustainable food in our new climate change strategy and trialling food waste collections in parts of the city.

-  that, as a district council, our capacity to ‘to assess GHG emissions reduction targets from food systems’ and directly achieve those reductions (Glasgow Declaration points 14 and 15) is inevitably limited.

-  the importance and potential of a working with other authorities, including the Combined Authority and County Council, to address food waste and sustainability at a local level.

 

Council resolves to;

-  reaffirm our commitment to developing and implementing our own sustainable food policy, and to explore potential ways in which we can work with neighbouring authorities

-  add the voices of the people of Cambridge to these calls for action by writing to Alok Sharma MP, president of the COP26 summit, calling for food waste and food systems to be put on the agenda.

-  make Cambridge the first district council in the UK to sign up to the principles in the Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration and put pressure on national government to

o  address the environmental impact of food waste

o  recognise the fragility of our food systems, that has been highlighted under COVID-19 and shown, for example, by the demand on the city’s food hubs.

o  implement a food systems approach to accelerate climate action (and also to promote biodiversity and access to healthy and sustainable diets for all, among other co-benefits).

 

Resolved (unanimously) to support the motion.

21/32/CNLb

Councillor Healy: Motion on Policing Bill

This council notes:

·  The right to peaceful assembly and protest is a fundamental human right and a crucial part of our democratic society. The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill (hereinafter “PCSC bill”) undermines that right and represents a significant impingement on civil liberties. Additionally, the PCSC bill specifically targets Gypsy and Traveller communities, effectively criminalising their way of life.

 

·  The provisions in part 3, concerning the right to protest and assemble, represent an unprecedented extension of policing powers which would effectively give both police and Government ministers the powers to ban or impose undue restrictions on peaceful protests, which interferes with the right to peaceful assembly, enshrined in international law. Many measures are neither proportionate nor necessary. The Bill also sets out to crackdown on explicitly nonviolent dissent - a form of protest which is clearly protected by the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.? There is a huge risk of abuse of powers under the bill as it gives the Home Secretary unfettered power, to define “serious disruption” without parliamentary approval.

 

·  The current version of the bill would also allow police to restrict static assemblies and vigils, rather than just moving demonstrations. A picket line outside a workplace, a sit-down protest or a solidarity vigil (like so many peaceful vigils held in Parker’s Piece) could all be limited or banned if they are deemed to have an undue “impact” upon people. The whole point of demonstrations is to have an impact. If we think of some of the key moments in civil rights history, where change happened, it was through protests such as the civil rights movement in the US, the suffragette’s movement in the UK or the women’s strike in Dagenham factories which led to the equal pay act for women in the UK.

 

·  The change in criminal threshold significantly lowers the standard to find someone guilty of a serious offence and the provisions are open to such wide-ranging and discretionary interpretation that they would almost certainly give rise to even more arbitrary and discriminatory approaches to how protests are managed. This may disproportionately impact on ethnic minority groups, who already experience disproportionality in the criminal justice system. The PCSC Bill also includes greater police powers to enhance stop and search– a tactic already used disproportionately against people of colour. The structural inequalities in the criminal justice system need to be addressed first, not exacerbated.

 

·  It is a really serious criminal offence which includes fine up to £10,000 and 10 years in prison for causing “serious annoyance” for taking part in a noisy protest. There will be a huge deterrent effect in terms of participating in protests or vigils as a result of the potential to be imprisoned for lengthy periods of time. Amnesty International has warned about the possibility of this leading to prisoners of conscience in this country, as a result of the bill, with people locked up for years for engaging in peaceful protests. The sort of thing we see in dictator  ...  view the full agenda text for item 21/32/CNLb

Minutes:

Councillor Healy proposed and Councillor Herbert seconded the following motion:

 

This council notes:

·  The right to peaceful assembly and protest is a fundamental human right and a crucial part of our democratic society. The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill (hereinafter “PCSC bill”) undermines that right and represents a significant impingement on civil liberties. Additionally, the PCSC bill specifically targets Gypsy and Traveller communities, effectively criminalising their way of life.

·  The provisions in part 3, concerning the right to protest and assemble, represent an unprecedented extension of policing powers which would effectively give both police and Government ministers the powers to ban or impose undue restrictions on peaceful protests, which interferes with the right to peaceful assembly, enshrined in international law. Many measures are neither proportionate nor necessary. The Bill also sets out to crackdown on explicitly nonviolent dissent - a form of protest which is clearly protected by the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.? There is a huge risk of abuse of powers under the bill as it gives the Home Secretary unfettered power, to define “serious disruption” without parliamentary approval.

·  The current version of the bill would also allow police to restrict static assemblies and vigils, rather than just moving demonstrations. A picket line outside a workplace, a sit-down protest or a solidarity vigil (like so many peaceful vigils held in Parker’s Piece) could all be limited or banned if they are deemed to have an undue “impact” upon people. The whole point of demonstrations is to have an impact. If we think of some of the key moments in civil rights history, where change happened, it was through protests such as the civil rights movement in the US, the suffragette’s movement in the UK or the women’s strike in Dagenham factories which led to the equal pay act for women in the UK.

·  The change in criminal threshold significantly lowers the standard to find someone guilty of a serious offence and the provisions are open to such wide-ranging and discretionary interpretation that they would almost certainly give rise to even more arbitrary and discriminatory approaches to how protests are managed. This may disproportionately impact on ethnic minority groups, who already experience disproportionality in the criminal justice system. The PCSC Bill also includes greater police powers to enhance stop and search– a tactic already used disproportionately against people of colour. The structural inequalities in the criminal justice system need to be addressed first, not exacerbated.

·  It is a really serious criminal offence which includes fine up to £10,000 and 10 years in prison for causing “serious annoyance” for taking part in a noisy protest. There will be a huge deterrent effect in terms of participating in protests or vigils as a result of the potential to be imprisoned for lengthy periods of time. Amnesty International has warned about the possibility of this leading to prisoners of conscience in this country, as a result of the bill, with people locked up for years for engaging in peaceful protests. The sort of thing we see in dictator regimes in other parts of the world.

·  Part 4 of the Bill contains measures specifically targeting Gypsy and Traveller communities, who are some of the most discriminated against and marginalised minority ethnic communities in UK society. Yet the new PCSCB Bill further targets them by criminalising trespass to land. These measures will further exacerbate inequalities and discrimination, pushing these groups into the criminal justice system as Gypsies and Travellers unable to pay a fine (£2500) could be imprisoned (three months).

·  No family willingly stops somewhere they are not welcome, with no running water, waste disposal or electricity, and the way to resolve this is not by criminalising GRT families or by introducing anti-encampment landscaping in open spaces.,. The existence of encampments needs to be understood not only in terms of the age-old cultural traditions of Gypsies and Travellers, but in terms of the historic failure of government to properly meet their accommodation needs. The proposals are being put forward despite the existence of a range of other eviction powers for encampments, and despite alternative solutions such as negotiated stopping agreements.

·  The new provisions also allow authorities to seize property and caravans, which effectively amounts to seizing their homes and all their worldly possessions. The measure is clearly discriminatory and disproportionate. The consequences of these measures will be devastating for Gypsy and Traveller families – suddenly without a home or possessions and with the lead family member thrown into the criminal justice system. This will also have implications for Gypsy and Traveller families with children in Cambridgeshire, who may be at risk of entering the care system.


This Council resolves to:

 

·  Express strong concerns about the provisions in Part 3 and Part 4 of the PCSCB Bill, which will have a significant impact on the UK Government’s adherence to its international and domestic human rights obligations and which will also affect relations and trust in Cambridge with Gypsy and Traveller communities.

·  Stand in solidarity with Traveller and Gypsy communities in Cambridge and continue to build trust and good relations with them.

·  Write to the Home Secretary to express strong concerns about the provisions in the PCSCB bill which impact on civil liberties including the right to protest and peaceful assembly and in relation to the provisions targeting Gypsy and Traveller communities.

·  Continue to work with neighbouring local authorities in Cambridgeshire to find solutions where it is found that there is a lack of legal sites and stopping places for GRT communities.

·  Identify opportunities to work with the police to find best practice solutions to supporting Gypsy and Traveller communities when no legal site places are available and to enable them to move to safe stopping places.

 

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

 

This council notes:

?  The right to peaceful assembly and protest is a fundamental human right and a crucial part of our democratic society. The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill (hereinafter “PCSC bill”) undermines that right and represents a significant impingement on civil liberties. Additionally, the PCSC bill specifically targets Gypsy and Traveller communities, effectively criminalising their way of life.

?  The provisions in part 3, concerning the right to protest and assemble, represent an unprecedented extension of policing powers which would effectively give both police and Government ministers the powers to ban or impose undue restrictions on peaceful protests, which interferes with the right to peaceful assembly, enshrined in international law. Many measures are neither proportionate nor necessary. The Bill also sets out to crackdown on explicitly nonviolent dissent - a form of protest which is clearly protected by the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.? There is a huge risk of abuse of powers under the bill as it gives the Home Secretary unfettered power, to define “serious disruption” without parliamentary approval.

?  The current version of the bill would also allow police to restrict static assemblies and vigils, rather than just moving demonstrations. A picket line outside a workplace, a sit-down protest or a solidarity vigil (like so many peaceful vigils held in Parker’s Piece) could all be limited or banned if they are deemed to have an undue “impact” upon people. The whole point of demonstrations is to have an impact. If we think of some of the key moments in civil rights history, where change happened, it was through protests such as the civil rights movement in the US, the suffragette’s movement in the UK or the women’s strike in Dagenham factories which led to the equal pay act for women in the UK.

?  The change in criminal threshold significantly lowers the standard to find someone guilty of a serious offence and the provisions are open to such wide-ranging and discretionary interpretation that they would almost certainly give rise to even more arbitrary and discriminatory approaches to how protests are managed. This may disproportionately impact on ethnic minority groups, who already experience disproportionality in the criminal justice system. The PCSC Bill also includes greater police powers to enhance stop and search– a tactic already used disproportionately against people of colour. The structural inequalities in the criminal justice system need to be addressed first, not exacerbated.

?  It is a really serious criminal offence which includes fine up to £10,000 and 10 years in prison for causing “serious annoyance” for taking part in a noisy protest. There will be a huge deterrent effect in terms of participating in protests or vigils as a result of the potential to be imprisoned for lengthy periods of time. Amnesty International has warned about the possibility of this leading to prisoners of conscience in this country, as a result of the bill, with people locked up for years for engaging in peaceful protests. The sort of thing we see in dictator regimes in other parts of the world.

?  Part 4 of the Bill contains measures specifically targeting Gypsy and Traveller communities, who are some of the most discriminated against and marginalised minority ethnic communities in UK society. Yet the new PCSCB Bill further targets them by criminalising trespass to land. These measures will further exacerbate inequalities and discrimination, pushing these groups into the criminal justice system as Gypsies and Travellers unable to pay a fine (£2500) could be imprisoned (three months).

?  No family willingly stops somewhere they are not welcome, with no running water, waste disposal or electricity, and the way to resolve this is not by criminalising GRT families or by introducing anti-encampment landscaping in open spaces.,. The existence of encampments needs to be understood not only in terms of the age-old cultural traditions of Gypsies and Travellers, but in terms of the historic failure of government to properly meet their accommodation needs. The proposals are being put forward despite the existence of a range of other eviction powers for encampments, and despite alternative solutions such as negotiated stopping agreements.

?  The new provisions also allow authorities to seize property and caravans, which effectively amounts to seizing their homes and all their worldly possessions. The measure is clearly discriminatory and disproportionate. The consequences of these measures will be devastating for Gypsy and Traveller families – suddenly without a home or possessions and with the lead family member thrown into the criminal justice system. This will also have implications for Gypsy and Traveller families with children in Cambridgeshire, who may be at risk of entering the care system.

This Council resolves to:

?  Express strong concerns about the provisions in Part 3 and Part 4 of the PCSCB Bill, which will have a significant impact on the UK Government’s adherence to its international and domestic human rights obligations and which will also affect relations and trust in Cambridge with Gypsy and Traveller communities.

?  Stand in solidarity with Traveller and Gypsy communities in Cambridge and continue to build trust and good relations with them.

?  Write to the Home Secretary to express strong concerns about the provisions in the PCSCB bill which impact on civil liberties including the right to protest and peaceful assembly and in relation to the provisions targeting Gypsy and Traveller communities.

?  Change the approach to unauthorised encampments, from enforcement, to an approach which prioritises provision of sites and negotiated stopping arrangements.

?  Seek to identify suitable transit sites within the City of Cambridge for Travellers to legally stop at, recognising the immense cultural importance of the City to the Traveller community.

?  Explore with the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (CBC) team potential locations for a transit site to enable the close relatives of Travellers requiring medical care to have access to a legal transit site, as part of their conversation with local communities about the future of the CBC.

?  Continue to work with neighbouring local authorities in Cambridgeshire to find solutions where it is found that there is a lack of legal sites and stopping places for GRT communities.

?  Identify opportunities to work with the police to find best practice solutions to supporting Gypsy and Traveller communities when no legal site places are available and to enable them to move to safe stopping places.

On a show of hands the amendment was lost by 12 votes to 20.

 

Resolved (unanimously):

This council notes:

·  The right to peaceful assembly and protest is a fundamental human right and a crucial part of our democratic society. The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill (hereinafter “PCSC bill”) undermines that right and represents a significant impingement on civil liberties. Additionally, the PCSC bill specifically targets Gypsy and Traveller communities, effectively criminalising their way of life.

·  The provisions in part 3, concerning the right to protest and assemble, represent an unprecedented extension of policing powers which would effectively give both police and Government ministers the powers to ban or impose undue restrictions on peaceful protests, which interferes with the right to peaceful assembly, enshrined in international law. Many measures are neither proportionate nor necessary. The Bill also sets out to crackdown on explicitly nonviolent dissent - a form of protest which is clearly protected by the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.? There is a huge risk of abuse of powers under the bill as it gives the Home Secretary unfettered power, to define “serious disruption” without parliamentary approval.

·  The current version of the bill would also allow police to restrict static assemblies and vigils, rather than just moving demonstrations. A picket line outside a workplace, a sit-down protest or a solidarity vigil (like so many peaceful vigils held in Parker’s Piece) could all be limited or banned if they are deemed to have an undue “impact” upon people. The whole point of demonstrations is to have an impact. If we think of some of the key moments in civil rights history, where change happened, it was through protests such as the civil rights movement in the US, the suffragette’s movement in the UK or the women’s strike in Dagenham factories which led to the equal pay act for women in the UK.

·  The change in criminal threshold significantly lowers the standard to find someone guilty of a serious offence and the provisions are open to such wide-ranging and discretionary interpretation that they would almost certainly give rise to even more arbitrary and discriminatory approaches to how protests are managed. This may disproportionately impact on ethnic minority groups, who already experience disproportionality in the criminal justice system. The PCSC Bill also includes greater police powers to enhance stop and search– a tactic already used disproportionately against people of colour. The structural inequalities in the criminal justice system need to be addressed first, not exacerbated.

·  It is a really serious criminal offence which includes fine up to £10,000 and 10 years in prison for causing “serious annoyance” for taking part in a noisy protest. There will be a huge deterrent effect in terms of participating in protests or vigils as a result of the potential to be imprisoned for lengthy periods of time. Amnesty International has warned about the possibility of this leading to prisoners of conscience in this country, as a result of the bill, with people locked up for years for engaging in peaceful protests. The sort of thing we see in dictator regimes in other parts of the world.

·  Part 4 of the Bill contains measures specifically targeting Gypsy and Traveller communities, who are some of the most discriminated against and marginalised minority ethnic communities in UK society. Yet the new PCSCB Bill further targets them by criminalising trespass to land. These measures will further exacerbate inequalities and discrimination, pushing these groups into the criminal justice system as Gypsies and Travellers unable to pay a fine (£2500) could be imprisoned (three months).

·  No family willingly stops somewhere they are not welcome, with no running water, waste disposal or electricity, and the way to resolve this is not by criminalising GRT families or by introducing anti-encampment landscaping in open spaces.,. The existence of encampments needs to be understood not only in terms of the age-old cultural traditions of Gypsies and Travellers, but in terms of the historic failure of government to properly meet their accommodation needs. The proposals are being put forward despite the existence of a range of other eviction powers for encampments, and despite alternative solutions such as negotiated stopping agreements.

·  The new provisions also allow authorities to seize property and caravans, which effectively amounts to seizing their homes and all their worldly possessions. The measure is clearly discriminatory and disproportionate. The consequences of these measures will be devastating for Gypsy and Traveller families – suddenly without a home or possessions and with the lead family member thrown into the criminal justice system. This will also have implications for Gypsy and Traveller families with children in Cambridgeshire, who may be at risk of entering the care system.


This Council resolves to:

·  Express strong concerns about the provisions in Part 3 and Part 4 of the PCSCB Bill, which will have a significant impact on the UK Government’s adherence to its international and domestic human rights obligations and which will also affect relations and trust in Cambridge with Gypsy and Traveller communities.

·  Stand in solidarity with Traveller and Gypsy communities in Cambridge and continue to build trust and good relations with them.

·  Write to the Home Secretary to express strong concerns about the provisions in the PCSCB bill which impact on civil liberties including the right to protest and peaceful assembly and in relation to the provisions targeting Gypsy and Traveller communities.

·  Continue to work with neighbouring local authorities in Cambridgeshire to find solutions where it is found that there is a lack of legal sites and stopping places for GRT communities.

·  Identify opportunities to work with the police to find best practice solutions to supporting Gypsy and Traveller communities when no legal site places are available and to enable them to move to safe stopping places.

 

 

 

 

21/32/CNLc

Councillor Porrer: Pesticide-free Motion

Council notes:

 

That it unanimously voted in favour of declaring a Biodiversity Emergency on 18th July 2019;

 

That this included reducing and removing the need to use pesticides on highway footpaths and verges, and to find viable and effective alternatives;

 

That the recent Biodiversity strategy focusses on open spaces but excludes roads, pavements and infrastructure which are still being treated with pesticides by council staff;

 

That with the changed control of the County Council, there is real opportunity to stop day to day pesticide use for weed management across our city within the next year.

 

 

Council resolves:

 

To commit to making two wards completely pesticide-free from now on as a trial, and making the relevant ward residents aware of this trial;

 

In order to do this, to commit to purchasing or hiring brush cleaning equipment to use in the pesticide free wards (and others where possible) with active involvement of Pesticide Free Cambridge representatives and frontline council staff to select the product, prior to the next planned round of treatments in 2021; 

 

To report back to the Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee on the differences between the pesticide-free wards and those wards that are not pesticide-free, and on the use of the brush equipment before the start of the 2022 cycle of treatments. This would include information about operative time and savings or costs made, feedback from residents and operatives, and the level of any complaints or compliments;

 

To commit to publishing the planned dates of pesticide treatments by road/ward for the remainder of 2021 and thereafter on the council’s website, allowing residents to find out when a treatment is planned.  This is because it can take several days before it is clear that a pesticide treatment has been applied and residents need to be informed so that they can choose to avoid the area and to keep children and animals in particular away from the treatment sites;

 

To commit, in addition to the online listings, to displaying signage in situ on the relevant roads and pavements with dates of any herbicide treatments from 2022 onwards.

 

To commit to publishing the amount of pesticide used each month and the cost to the council;

 

To commit officer time to working with community groups who may wish to volunteer to clear their street spaces to avoid pesticide use;

 

To commit to making Cambridge City Council pesticide free by the end of 2022.

 

To publish a regular six monthly update to the Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee on any exceptional usage of pesticide (for example for Japanese Knotweed) and to establish a clear protocol for any such usage, ensuring that the least harmful options are selected, including sign off by a senior manager before any use is permitted.

 

To commit to sharing the data on our trials with other councils considering similar trials and allowing an exchange of information (and visits if possible) for council staff  to showcase and share Cambridge City Council’s learning.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Porrer proposed and Councillor Payne seconded the following motion:

 

Council notes:

 

That it unanimously voted in favour of declaring a Biodiversity Emergency on 18th July 2019;

 

That this included reducing and removing the need to use pesticides on highway footpaths and verges, and to find viable and effective alternatives;

 

That the recent Biodiversity strategy focusses on open spaces but excludes roads, pavements and infrastructure which are still being treated with pesticides by council staff;

 

That with the changed control of the County Council, there is real opportunity to stop day to day pesticide use for weed management across our city within the next year.

 

 

Council resolves:

 

To commit to making two wards completely pesticide-free from now on as a trial, and making the relevant ward residents aware of this trial;

 

In order to do this, to commit to purchasing or hiring brush cleaning equipment to use in the pesticide free wards (and others where possible) with active involvement of Pesticide Free Cambridge representatives and frontline council staff to select the product, prior to the next planned round of treatments in 2021; 

 

To report back to the Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee on the differences between the pesticide-free wards and those wards that are not pesticide-free, and on the use of the brush equipment before the start of the 2022 cycle of treatments. This would include information about operative time and savings or costs made, feedback from residents and operatives, and the level of any complaints or compliments;

 

To commit to publishing the planned dates of pesticide treatments by road/ward for the remainder of 2021 and thereafter on the council’s website, allowing residents to find out when a treatment is planned.  This is because it can take several days before it is clear that a pesticide treatment has been applied and residents need to be informed so that they can choose to avoid the area and to keep children and animals in particular away from the treatment sites;

 

To commit, in addition to the online listings, to displaying signage in situ on the relevant roads and pavements with dates of any herbicide treatments from 2022 onwards.

 

To commit to publishing the amount of pesticide used each month and the cost to the council;

 

To commit officer time to working with community groups who may wish to volunteer to clear their street spaces to avoid pesticide use;

 

To commit to making Cambridge City Council pesticide free by the end of 2022.

 

To publish a regular six monthly update to the Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee on any exceptional usage of pesticide (for example for Japanese Knotweed) and to establish a clear protocol for any such usage, ensuring that the least harmful options are selected, including sign off by a senior manager before any use is permitted.

 

To commit to sharing the data on our trials with other councils considering similar trials and allowing an exchange of information (and visits if possible) for council staff  to showcase and share Cambridge City Council’s learning.

 

Councillor Collis proposed and Councillor Scutt seconded the following amendments to motion (additional text underlined, deleted text struck through).

 

Council notes:

 

That it unanimously voted in favour of declaring a Biodiversity Emergency on 18th July 2019;

 

That this included reducing and removing the need to use pesticides herbicides on highway footpaths and verges, and to find viable and effective alternatives;

 

That the recent Biodiversity strategy focusses on city council owned open spaces but excludes county council assets including roads, pavements and infrastructure which are still being treated with pesticides herbicides by council staff;

 

The importance of working collaboratively and in partnership with the joint administration at the County Council to address herbicide use and Tthat with, the changed control of the County Council, there is real opportunity to stop day to day pesticide herbicide use for weed management across our city within the next year.

 

Council resolves:

 

To explore the potential for making two wards completely herbicide-free at the earliest available opportunity on a trial basis, including;

·  Carrying out a full assessment of the resources needed for any trial (which may include additional signage)

·  Working with local communities in the wards identified to raise awareness of the trial and encourage participation / feedback, which may include the need for additional signage alongside other digital methods such as social media/ council website

 

To commit to making two wards completely pesticide-free from now on as a trial, and making the relevant ward residents aware of this trial;

 

In order to do this, to continue our assessment of the full range of alternative weed control options available (including but not limited to brush cleaning equipment) commit to purchasing or hiring brush cleaning equipment to use in the pesticide herbicide free wards (and others where possible).

 

To assess alternative options with active involvement of Pesticide Free Cambridge representatives and frontline council staff to select the product, prior to the next planned round of treatments in 2021; 

 

To report back to the Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee on the differences between the pesticide herbicide-free wards and those wards that are not pesticide-free in any identified trial, and on the use of identified alternatives the brush equipment before the start of the 2022 cycle of treatments. This would include information about operative time and savings or costs made, feedback from residents and operatives, and the level of any complaints or compliments;

To explore the most effective methods of communicating with residents (and any additional resource implications) about any necessary herbicide applications, which may include the following commitments (both existing and additional);

 

·  To commit to publishing the planned dates of pesticide herbicide treatments by road/ward for the remainder of 2021 and thereafter on the council’s website, allowing residents to find out when a treatment is planned.  This is because it can take several days before it is clear that a pesticide treatment has been applied and residents need to be informed so that they can choose to avoid the area and to keep children and animals in particular away from the treatment sites;

·  To commit, in addition to the online listings, to displaying signage in situ on the relevant roads and pavements with dates of any herbicide treatments from 2022 onwards.

·  To commit to publishing the amount of pesticide herbicide used each month and the cost to the council;

 

To commit officer time to working with community groups who may wish to volunteer to clear their street spaces to avoid pesticide herbicide use;

 

To complete a comprehensive assessment of the resources needed to ensure we can makeTo commit to making Cambridge City Council pesticide herbicide free by the end of 2022.

 

To publish a regular six monthly update to the Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee be included in the environmental reports already made to Area Committees on any exceptional usage of pesticide herbicide (for example for Japanese Knotweed) and to establish a clear protocol for any such usage, ensuring that the least harmful options are selected, including sign off by a senior manager before any use is permitted.

 

To commit to sharing the data on our trials with other councils considering similar trials and allowing an exchange of information (and visits if possible) for council staff to showcase and share Cambridge City Council’s learning.

 

On a show of hands the amendment 19 votes to 12.

 

Resolved (unanimously) that:

 

Council notes:

 

That it unanimously voted in favour of declaring a Biodiversity Emergency on 18th July 2019;

 

That this included reducing and removing the need to use herbicides on highway footpaths and verges, and to find viable and effective alternatives;

 

That the recent Biodiversity strategy focusses on city council owned open spaces but excludes county council assets including roads, pavements and infrastructure which are still being treated with herbicides by council staff;

 

The importance of working collaboratively and in partnership with the joint administration at the County Council to address herbicide use and Tthat with, the changed control of the County Council, there is real opportunity to stop day to day herbicide use for weed management across our city within the next year.

 

Council resolves:

 

To explore the potential for making two wards completely herbicide-free at the earliest available opportunity on a trial basis, including;

·  Carrying out a full assessment of the resources needed for any trial (which may include additional signage)

·  Working with local communities in the wards identified to raise awareness of the trial and encourage participation / feedback, which may include the need for additional signage alongside other digital methods such as social media/ council website

 

In order to do this, to continue our assessment of the full range of alternative weed control options available (including but not limited to brush cleaning equipment) to use in the herbicide free wards (and others where possible).

 

To assess alternative options with active involvement of Pesticide Free Cambridge representatives and frontline council staff to select the product, prior to the next planned round of treatments in 2021; 

 

To report back to the Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee on the differences between the herbicide-free wards and those wards that are not pesticide-free in any identified trial, and on the use of identified alternatives before the start of the 2022 cycle of treatments. This would include information about operative time and savings or costs made, feedback from residents and operatives, and the level of any complaints or compliments;

To explore the most effective methods of communicating with residents (and any additional resource implications) about any necessary herbicide applications, which may include the following commitments (both existing and additional);

 

·  publishing the planned dates of herbicide treatments by road/ward for the remainder of 2021 and thereafter on the council’s website, allowing residents to find out when a treatment is planned.  This is because it can take several days before it is clear that a pesticide treatment has been applied and residents need to be informed so that they can choose to avoid the area and to keep children and animals in particular away from the treatment sites;

·  displaying signage in situ on the relevant roads and pavements with dates of any herbicide treatments from 2022 onwards.

·  publishing the amount of herbicide used each month and the cost to the council;

 

To commit officer time to working with community groups who may wish to volunteer to clear their street spaces to avoid herbicide use;

 

To complete a comprehensive assessment of the resources needed to ensure we can make Cambridge City Council herbicide free by the end of 2022.

 

To publish a regular six monthly update to be included in the environmental reports already made to Area Committees on any exceptional usage of herbicide (for example for Japanese Knotweed) and to establish a clear protocol for any such usage, ensuring that the least harmful options are selected, including sign off by a senior manager before any use is permitted.

 

To commit to sharing the data on our trials with other councils considering similar trials and allowing an exchange of information (and visits if possible) for council staff to showcase and share Cambridge City Council’s learning.

 

21/32/CNLd

Councillor Bick: Winter Opening of Jesus Green Lido

Noting the increased participation in outdoor swimming which has accelerated during the pandemic, and its recognised beneficial impact on wellbeing and mental health, council calls on the Executive Councillor for Communities to bring forward options for winter opening of Jesus Green Lido in consultation with GLL and the Friends of the Lido.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Bick proposed and Councillor Dalzell seconded the following motion:

 

Noting the increased participation in outdoor swimming which has accelerated during the pandemic, and its recognised beneficial impact on wellbeing and mental health, council calls on the Executive Councillor for Communities to bring forward options for winter opening of Jesus Green Lido in consultation with GLL and the Friends of the Lido.

 

Councillor Sheil proposed and Councillor Scutt seconded the following amendment to motion (deleted text struck through and additional text underlined).

Noting the This council notes that:

·  There is increased participation in outdoor swimming, which has accelerated during the pandemic, and its which has a recognised beneficial impact on wellbeing and mental health.

·  In April 2021, GLL expressed a wish to explore with the Council an extension of the season of the outdoor Lido beyond the traditional closing date in mid-September, and to keep the Lido open to run a reduced swimming programme over the winter months.

·  Initial discussions were held between officers and GLL in May, and after being given the go-ahead by the Executive Councillor to further these discussions, officers have continued to work with GLL to explore both the feasibility of swimming in the Lido over the winter, and what an extended offer may look like.

·  A general consultation questionnaire for swimmers at the Lido, The Friends of Jesus Green Lido, and other open water swimming groups, has been designed, in order to gain feedback and assess levels of support.

·  All feedback received will help further shape a final offer from GLL for continued outdoor swimming at the Lido.

·  Details of a final programme will be announced by the end of the summer.

·  Opening the Lido in the winter represents a significant undertaking and necessitates a great deal of work. It is therefore particularly praiseworthy that GLL and officers have put (and will put) so much time into this during such a difficult year.

 

council calls on the Executive Councillor for Communities to bring forward options for winter opening of Jesus Green Lido in consultation with GLL and the Friends of the Lido.

This council therefore resolves to:

·  Thank GLL for bringing forward this proposal and GLL team and officers both for the feasibility work done so far and for the further consultation and feasibility work planned.

·  Ask that the Executive Councillor and officers ensure that proposals made are compatible with the current contractual arrangements with GLL.

·  Ask that a review of the trial is brought to a future Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee.

On a show of hands the amendment was carried by 20 votes to 2.

 

Resolved (unanimously):

 

This council notes that:

·  There is increased participation in outdoor swimming, which has accelerated during the pandemic, and which has a recognised beneficial impact on wellbeing and mental health.

·  In April 2021, GLL expressed a wish to explore with the Council an extension of the season of the outdoor Lido beyond the traditional closing date in mid-September, and to keep the Lido open to run a reduced swimming programme over the winter months.

·  Initial discussions were held between officers and GLL in May, and after being given the go-ahead by the Executive Councillor to further these discussions, officers have continued to work with GLL to explore both the feasibility of swimming in the Lido over the winter, and what an extended offer may look like.

·  A general consultation questionnaire for swimmers at the Lido, The Friends of Jesus Green Lido, and other open water swimming groups, has been designed, in order to gain feedback and assess levels of support.

·  All feedback received will help further shape a final offer from GLL for continued outdoor swimming at the Lido.

·  Details of a final programme will be announced by the end of the summer.

·  Opening the Lido in the winter represents a significant undertaking and necessitates a great deal of work. It is therefore particularly praiseworthy that GLL and officers have put (and will put) so much time into this during such a difficult year.

This council therefore resolves to:

·  Thank GLL for bringing forward this proposal and GLL team and officers both for the feasibility work done so far and for the further consultation and feasibility work planned.

·  Ask that the Executive Councillor and officers ensure that proposals made are compatible with the current contractual arrangements with GLL.

·  Ask that a review of the trial is brought to a future Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee.

 

 

21/32/CNLe

Councillor Copley: Climate Change Task Force

This Council resolves to: 

 

·  Add our voice to calls for a joint local & national government Task Force to plan action to reach ‘net zero’ emissions.

·  Write to Alok Sharma MP, President for COP26, the Prime Minister and the Leadership Board of the LGA informing them of our support for a joint Local/National Government Climate Change Partnership Taskforce and asking for one to be established as soon as possible. 

 

Notes on the motion

 

1  Cambridge City Council’s Climate Change Strategy has an ambitious vision for Cambridge to achieve net zero carbon status by 2030.

 

2  This requires the co-operation of our national government, industry and regulators.

 

 

3  In 2018, at COP24, our national government made a commitment to having ‘domestic institutional arrangements, public participation and engagement with local communities’ so localities can play their part in delivering the UKs ‘Nationally Determined Contributions’ in the Paris Climate Agreement.

 

4  In May 2021 Alok Sharma MP, President of COP26 re-iterated this commitment;

 

 "Governments, business and civil society (sometimes called ‘non-state actors’ and including local government) need to work together to transform the ways we power our homes and businesses, grow our food, develop infrastructure and move ourselves and goods around" 

 

5  The Local Government Association, the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport and other organisations have called for a joint local & national government Task Force to plan action to reach net zero emissions

 

6  Despite these agreements and statements, no action has been taken to set up any formal structure for such a partnership between local and national government.

 

7  Such a partnership can set appropriate regulations, benchmarks and targets and create robust long-term funding mechanisms.  This is essential if local communities and economies are to decarbonise whilst remaining resilient and sustainable. 

 

8  The Covid-19 pandemic has showed how important local action is and how rapidly local authorities can respond to major challenges, provided that they are fully supported by our national government.

 

9  Without such support, this council’s vision to achieve net zero carbon by 2030 is unlikely to be achieved.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Copley proposed and Councillor Bennett seconded the following motion:

 

This Council resolves to: 

 

·  Add our voice to calls for a joint local & national government Task Force to plan action to reach ‘net zero’ emissions.

·  Write to Alok Sharma MP, President for COP26, the Prime Minister and the Leadership Board of the LGA informing them of our support for a joint Local/National Government Climate Change Partnership Taskforce and asking for one to be established as soon as possible. 

 

Notes on the motion

1  Cambridge City Council’s Climate Change Strategy has an ambitious vision for Cambridge to achieve net zero carbon status by 2030.

2  This requires the co-operation of our national government, industry and regulators.

3  In 2018, at COP24, our national government made a commitment to having ‘domestic institutional arrangements, public participation and engagement with local communities’ so localities can play their part in delivering the UKs ‘Nationally Determined Contributions’ in the Paris Climate Agreement.

4  In May 2021 Alok Sharma MP, President of COP26 re-iterated this commitment;

 

 "Governments, business and civil society (sometimes called ‘non-state actors’ and including local government) need to work together to transform the ways we power our homes and businesses, grow our food, develop infrastructure and move ourselves and goods around" 

 

5  The Local Government Association, the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport and other organisations have called for a joint local & national government Task Force to plan action to reach net zero emissions

6  Despite these agreements and statements, no action has been taken to set up any formal structure for such a partnership between local and national government.

 

7  Such a partnership can set appropriate regulations, benchmarks and targets and create robust long-term funding mechanisms.  This is essential if local communities and economies are to decarbonise whilst remaining resilient and sustainable. 

8  The Covid-19 pandemic has showed how important local action is and how rapidly local authorities can respond to major challenges, provided that they are fully supported by our national government.

9  Without such support, this council’s vision to achieve net zero carbon by 2030 is unlikely to be achieved.

 

Resolved (unanimously) to support the motion.

 

 

21/32/CNLf

Councillor Flaubert: A 'Developers' Charter'

Council awaits the government’s response to the recent consultation on its white paper “Planning for the Future” and notes the widespread objections amongst communities locally and nationally about the direction of the proposals, including through our own detailed Greater Cambridge representation.

 

We share concerns about the pace of national delivery of new homes, but we do not believe the solution lies in robbing local government of its role in shaping development in its area with input from local residents, both through local plan-making and the ongoing management of planning applications. In this Cambridge has demonstrated considerable success over many years.

 

We see the proposed removal of the democratically accountable and transparent process for approving planning applications, in favour of new zoning plans granting automatic permission, as a ‘developer’s charter’. We regard this as seriously harming the chances of achieving local support for development and of integrating new homes and communities successfully. In particular we call for the protection of residents’ rights to have their objections to individual planning applications properly considered before decisions are made.

 

The potential changes come on top of the government’s recent expansion of ‘permitted development’ which this council has separately opposed, which enables significant changes of use of existing buildings without planning approval, irrespective of plans and prevailing standards for their wider areas.

 

Council calls on the government to pull back from its White Paper proposals and focus instead on refreshing powers of responsible local democratic decision-making and exploring ways of encouraging timely completion of projects for which developers have already gained consent.  We request the Chief Executive to communicate this motion to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and to the MPs who represent the Greater Cambridge area, calling on them for their support. 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Flaubert proposed and Councillor Thornburrow seconded the following motion:

 

Council awaits the government’s response to the recent consultation on its white paper “Planning for the Future” and notes the widespread objections amongst communities locally and nationally about the direction of the proposals, including through our own detailed Greater Cambridge representation.

 

We share concerns about the pace of national delivery of new homes, but we do not believe the solution lies in robbing local government of its role in shaping development in its area with input from local residents, both through local plan-making and the ongoing management of planning applications. In this Cambridge has demonstrated considerable success over many years.

 

We see the proposed removal of the democratically accountable and transparent process for approving planning applications, in favour of new zoning plans granting automatic permission, as a ‘developer’s charter’. We regard this as seriously harming the chances of achieving local support for development and of integrating new homes and communities successfully. In particular we call for the protection of residents’ rights to have their objections to individual planning applications properly considered before decisions are made.

 

The potential changes come on top of the government’s recent expansion of ‘permitted development’ which this council has separately opposed, which enables significant changes of use of existing buildings without planning approval, irrespective of plans and prevailing standards for their wider areas.

 

Council calls on the government to pull back from its White Paper proposals and focus instead on refreshing powers of responsible local democratic decision-making and exploring ways of encouraging timely completion of projects for which developers have already gained consent.  We request the Chief Executive to communicate this motion to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and to the MPs who represent the Greater Cambridge area, calling on them for their support. 

 

Resolved (unanimously) to support the motion.

 

21/33/CNL

Written questions

No discussion will take place on this item. Members will be asked to note the written questions and answers document as circulated around the Chamber.

 

Minutes:

Members were asked to note the written questions and answers contained in the information pack.