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Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Democratic Services  Committee Manager

Note: The livestream of the meeting will be available via the following link: https://www.youtube.com/user/camcitco 

Items
No. Item

21/34/CNL

Minutes pdf icon PDF 945 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the 22 July 2021 meeting were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

 

21/35/CNL

Mayor's announcements

Minutes:

Apologies

Apologies were received from Councillors Ashton, Bird, McQueen and O’Reilly.

 

Mayor’s Announcements

Remembrance Sunday Civic Service would be taking place on Sunday 14 November at Great St. Mary’s Church at 10.55am.

 

The Chevin Sermon would be taking place on Sunday 30 January 2022 at St Andrews Church Cherry Hinton and invitations would be sent out nearer the time.

 

The Mayors Reception would be taking place on Friday 19 November.

 

Councillor Herbert made a brief statement regarding his recent announcement regarding his intention to resign as Leader of the City Council. An extraordinary Council meeting had been scheduled for the 30 November 2021 at 5pm for the appointment of the new leader.

 

No declarations of interest were made.

 

21/36/CNL

Public questions time pdf icon PDF 267 KB

Minutes:

Public Questions

 

Question 1.

Noisy motorbikes and cars were speeding up and down streets in Cambridge late at night stopping people from getting to sleep, or waking them or their children from their sleep. A bus shelter on Green End Road was demolished by a late night speeder and another speeding car crashed into a house on Highworth Avenue, just off Milton Road. This was an issue all over Cambridge reported on the platform ‘Next Door’.  Stated that the vehicles must have been modified to make the loud noises.  Asked for long-term and short-term solutions to this issue be investigated. 

 

Asked for the City Council to listen to residents and act as a co-ordinator for authorities like the Police and Highway Authorities who were best able to deal with the issues of noisy and dangerous driving. Asked Councillors to support Councillor Hauk’s motion.

 

Executive Councillor response:

Noted that the issue would be debated as part of Councillor Hauk’s motion. Summarised information provided by Councillors Bird and McQueen regarding measures which had been undertaken in East Chesterton. Had been working with residents regarding the reduction of anti-social driving in the ward, particularly in the Fen Road area. A Residents’ Forum had been set up and was now being led by residents at their request. Cameras had been put up in various points in the ward including Water Lane Boatyard, Fen Road and Green End Road. Recognised that cameras on their own were not the only solution. Was looking at putting a camera on the High Street near Tesco.  Asked that incidents were consistently reported to the Police. A Local Highways Improvement Bid had been submitted for chicanes on Water Lane and Fen Road. Confirmed the Police had anti-social driving and road safety as a priority. Partnership working on this issue was on-going.

 

Question 2.

Question related to the Local Plan and the huge number of documents which had been published in relation to the new Local Plan. Asked if the archived documents the Council deposited with the Cambridgeshire County Archive Collection could be made public. Particularly proposals which had been submitted in previous years. As an example referred to a document called Cambridge Futures 2 which was written in 2003 but had not been digitised but would help residents to be able to scrutinise the process.

 

Asked if the Council would make the commitment to digitise the documents themselves or give permission to a member of the public to do it for them. 

 

Executive Councillor response:

The question raised an important point about access to historical information. Increasingly information was expected to be made available online. If information wasn’t easily available online then people would stop looking for it and settle for what was available.

 

Would support a move to digitising historical public records, this would assist officers, councillors and members of the public. To do this, three issues would need to be resolved: money, rights and hosting. Scanning to archive quality was not the same as taking a photograph of a document on a phone. Getting the materials, cataloguing and scanning them and then storing them in a suitable way took time, cost money and at the moment there were no funds available. The rights in the materials may not necessarily be free of copyright limitations. They would have been commissioned and written for a number of different circumstances and contracted with different relationships than with the council.  The Council could not assume that documents were rights free and could be published online. Public bodies (including the Council) could digitise material for preservation purposes, but this did not mean they could make them available online. This issue would need to be investigated further. There would also need to be somewhere that the materials could be stored long-term. The Internet Archive was an interesting suggestion. Would like to discuss the issue further with the public speaker.

 

Supplementary Question:

In relation to the concert hall, one of the documents found in the Cambridgeshire collection was a study by a former Chief Planner of the Council which was published in the mid-1960s. He made a case for a new concert hall to be built with a minimum capacity for 2500 people, which would be significantly greater than the Corn Exchange. Also found a press cutting of an announcement made by a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Cambridge which said the University of Cambridge would contribute funds to cover 50% of the costs back in 1962. Encouraged Councillors to take up the former Chancellors offer.

 

Question 3.

The over-reliance of the City Council on the results of the delayed Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment (GTANA) was misplaced, particularly in regard to Transit Sites. The evidence of need was before you in plain sight. Last year, during the pandemic, South Cambridgeshire had 10 unauthorised encampments while Cambridge City had five.(1) Despite that, Cambridge City was the only council in the county to evict travellers during the first lockdown, and this punitive response had continued. There was a chequered history of GTANAs, with the 2006 GTANA being the most successful in reaching out to the Traveller communities across Cambridge and its surroundings (2). This was largely because of the County Council’s provision of Traveller Education (CREDS) and the existence of the Traveller Health Team. Both these services had been decimated. Cambridge City had little engagement between Councillors and Travellers in their constituencies or travelling through and camping on Council land. The 2011 GTANA was a desktop exercise, which failed in its duty to consult with the Gypsy & Traveller communities resulting in the ludicrous assessment of the need for only 1 pitch between 2011 and 2031 in Cambridge City. Judging by the number of successful Appeals, this GTANA was worse than useless. The 2016 GTANA produced by ORS (3), took place during the changes to the definition of Travellers for planning purposes (PPTS) (4). This resulted in a methodology by ORS wildly underestimating who should be included and with only a few interviews actually conducted, in large part because many families refused to speak to them. Despite this, their figures went into the Local Plan as the basis for housing policy for Travellers. There was little reason to expect the 2020 GTANA by RRR to have much greater success in reaching communities who had little to no trust in officials approaching them for personal information. This was due to the punitive fashion in which their needs had been dealt with and the systemic racism that characterises their experience of living in and around Cambridge. With the imminent threat of passage of the Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Bill, which would criminalise trespass and eliminate the nomadic way of life, the solution was obvious. Transit sites and negotiated stopping places were needed in Cambridge now.

 

Would the draft findings of RRR’s GTANA be available for public view and when and where will the Council conduct a meaningful period of public consultation? 

 

Executive councillor response:

Reiterated the commitments passed at the July 2021 Council meeting. The commitments remained unchanged. The Council were not going to prejudice the GTANA’s findings by second guessing what it would say. The findings were expected in January 2022.

 

Any decision regarding transit site accommodation like any other form of housing need, needed to be based on evidence. If the GTANA stated that there was a major need for transit sites and negotiated stopping points then that would be what the council would work towards. Any decision would need to be based on evidence. The Council had a duty to the whole community to allocate resources on the basis of identified need.

 

The new GTANA currently underway included survey questions for Gypsy Roma Traveller (GRT) communities across the study area about potential need and preferred location for transit stopping place provision.  Engagement with stakeholders would be used to identify any potential need and to inform the Council’s approach going forward. This would include informing the Greater Cambridge Local Plan and whether transit pitches or further negotiated stopping places should be explored. The Local Plan was subject to public consultation. The first proposal consultation which starts on the 1 November sought views on a range of issues including those related to planning and GRT sites and all communities were encouraged to take part.

 

Wanted the GTANA to accurately represent need as much as possible and wanted to encourage the GRT community to take part in this process. Was happy to have constructive discussions about how this could be done.

 

One of the reasons for selecting RRR Consultancy to carry out the work was because they had a good track record of engaging with GRT communities.

 

Question 4.

At the Full Council Meeting, on 22 July, the Council resolved to: Express strong concerns, Stand in solidarity, Write to the Home Secretary, Continue to work and Identify opportunities in its resolution on the PCSC Bill (1). No actions were listed to immediately support Gypsy and Traveller communities in the face of Section 4 of the Bill. In answer to Public Questions (2), with regard to ‘process’, the Executive Councillor stated that “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.”

 

With regard to the question of ‘eviction’, the Executive Councillor said “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.”

 

At the Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee on 7 October, the Council reaffirmed its commitment to promote equality and tackle discrimination in its ‘Single Equality Scheme 2021–24’.(3)

 

Despite these commitments, there had been at least three evictions since these documents were approved by the Council.

 

The Arbury Town Park unauthorised encampment was a case in point. The families were served with a S.77 Order by an Environment Protection Officer (nailed to a tree) and addressed to ‘the occupant/(s)’. One and a half days later, ‘Occupants and Persons unknown’ were issued with a Summons to appear at Huntingdon Magistrates Court. (4)

 

It was difficult to imagine at what point in these proceedings a welfare assessment was carried out. If the Council had done so, it would be odd if they hadn’t then referred to the family/(s) by name. Note also, that many Travellers of this generation are functionally illiterate and written documents attached to trees is not an effective form of communication. In this instance, reading the Order and Summons aloud and answering any questions would have shown greater respect and understanding for this communities’ oral culture. In any event, it was more than likely that the families would have refused to respond, precisely because of their mistrust of officials attending these encampments asking questions as well as the systemic racism this community had experienced over the years in and around Cambridge.

 

Punitive responses and universally applied evictions were incompatible with a welfare-based approach. The Council would never improve its relationship with this Community or tackle the discrimination they experience without offering real solutions, in this case the urgent provision of transit sites and authorised stopping places.

 

Would the Council now move urgently to the provision of Transit sites in the face of the imminent passage of the PCSC Bill?

 

Executive Councillor response:

The first thing the Council would do with an unauthorised encampment would be to carry out a welfare assessment. The Council’s process was led by that.

 

If families had welfare issues that meant they needed to remain in the area, the council would ask for some form of evidence. For example, if someone said they were there as they needed to be near the hospital then the officer would ask for evidence of need. Based on any evidence provided, officers would negotiate with the group around how long they could stay or whether it might  be more appropriate for them to move to another more suitable location. This would consider the results of the welfare assessment together with other issues such as location of the encampment and the potential impact of the encampment on other local residents

 

It was recognised that there may be some mistrust and a reluctance by some within the Gypsy Roma Traveller (GRT) community to provide personal information to the council, officers would wherever possible, try to avoid carrying out any eviction where evidence was provided that the family needs to remain. Without that evidence then the council may have no choice but to start proceedings. 

 

If eviction was necessary then then papers would be handed directly to a representative of the group, with a verbal explanation of what the papers involved. Not simply nailed to a tree as had been claimed. Displaying a notice at the site was a legal requirement to inform other interested parties, such as other residents in the area.

In the unusual event of not being able to serve notice in person, the papers would be left in a visible place (for example under a vehicle windscreen wiper); but this was very rare. 

 

Every case was dealt with on its merits, and there had been at least one example recently where the welfare assessment had led to allowing a family being able to stay for a period and where it was agreed that eviction would be inappropriate.

 

The Council continued to stand in solidarity with the GRT community, every councillor in the chamber was concerned about the implications of the Police Crime Sentencing Courts (PCSC) Bill. Anti-traveller racism was taken seriously and would be challenged when it was seen. Councillor Collis had done this recently in relation to the group currently on Arbury Town Park. 

 

It should also be noted that some families on unauthorised encampments may not need transit or emergency stopping place provision but may be in need of permanent site or bricks and mortar accommodation.  The group at Arbury Town Park had told the council very clearly that they were looking for a permanent location. This did not appear to indicate a need for a transit site.

 

Urged communities to agree to be interviewed by the consultants carrying out the GTANA study (RRR Consultancy). This would help the council to get a better picture of what the needs are for both transit/emergency stopping place and/or permanent site provision.

 

Question 5.

Under its Public Sector Equality Duty, the last Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee on 7th October [2021] approved an Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) regarding enhancements to the boundary of Trumpington Meadows. Under Item 11 Action Plan, it was stated ‘We have also contacted a Traveller representative, who had expressed concerns about previous project at this site, which was subsequently withdrawn’ (sic). Under item 13 Sign Off, there are no Traveller representatives listed amongst people consulted on the new plan. To my certain knowledge, neither myself nor my colleague, who were the Traveller representatives who raised objections to the scheme, were contacted. Our names were known by Trumpington Councillors including Katie Thornburrow and Peter Lord as we attended the meeting of the September 29th 2020 Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee on Microsoft Teams (as indicated in email communications with Democratic Services) (1). Councillor Lord put forward the S106 funding application on behalf of a resident, which was clearly aimed at the prevention of unauthorised encampments by building ditches, bunds and fencing around the perimeter thinly disguised behind provision of new habitats for wildflowers, flowering shrubs, insects and invertebrates. The posting on Facebook and the recording of the meeting no longer exists.

The Action plan (point 11.) states that impacts will be identified … throughout the planning and implementation stages and  ‘to stand in solidarity with Traveller and Gypsy communities and continue to build trust and good relations with them’ and resolves ‘to find solutions where it is found that there is a lack of legal sites’ to help mitigate potential impacts of this project. The Council have fallen at the first hurdle by incorrectly inferring that they consulted with any members of the communities impacted or with the Traveller representatives who were easily contactable. This seriously undermines this Equality Impact Assessment. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the solution to this issue is the urgent and immediate provision of transit sites and negotiated stopping places.

What actions would the Council now take to publicly correct the misrepresentations in the EqIA approved on the 7/10/21 and published 8/10/21 on the Council website, and what plans do they have in place to remedy the failure to consult with the Traveller community and/or its representatives, one of the groups impacted by the current enhancement Project on Trumpington Meadows?

 

Executive Councillor response:

The works referred to were actually scheduled to take place at Trumpington Recreation Ground on Anstey Way, not on Trumpington Meadows.

 

The Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) referred to was compiled in relation to a S106 project that was considered at Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee on 7th October 2021, relating to informal open space biodiversity improvements for the Recreation Ground.

 

The EQIA explored the likely impact of the proposed improvements. 

 

Believed the Action Plan contained within the EQIA was where the confusion arose. Agreed that this could be corrected to read ‘we will also contact’.

 

Since the project had been allocated funding (following the decision made on 7th October), it would be subject to a full public consultation. This is what would routinely be done with any project like this. During the consultation, there would be a range of opportunities to feedback and discuss the proposals. Encouraged all interested parties to make their voice heard during the consultation period. This included the traveller community either directly or through any of their representatives.  Welcomed a conversation with the public speaker as to how this could be done.

 

Part of the council’s job was to listen to the whole community. Would not presume to know what the results of the consultation would be and looked forward to exploring them in due course.

 

Noted reference to the planning and implementation stages of the project. The consultation was one of those stages. On the basis that those stages have not yet begun, felt it was premature to suggest that the council had ‘fallen at the first hurdle’. 

 

Asked the public speakers to meet with the Executive Councillor, the Open Spaces Team, the Housing Team and the Communities Team. They were ready for a positive and constructive conversation on the issues raised. 

 

The following public questions were tabled but owing to the expiry of the period of time permitted, were not covered during the meeting. Written responses will be published on the meeting webpage and sent to the members of the public.

 

Question 6.

Why has the council closed its waiting lists for the allotment sites at Auckland Road, New Street and Empty Common?

 

This is bad practice: the National Allotment Society “opposes the closure of waiting lists, irrespective of their length, because waiting lists are an important measure of the unsatisfied demand for plots, and thus of the need to expand supply if the allotment provider is to fulfill its statutory duty to provide a sufficient number of allotments.”[1]

 

Will you re-open these lists?

 

You could make it clear that waits are long without denying people the opportunity to register their interest in a particular site, informing demand for allotments in that part of the city.

[1]NAS policy on waiting lists

 

Question 7.

Over the past few months the world has watched in horror as a crisis has unfolded in Afghanistan, with the Taliban seizing back control of the country and forcing thousands of Afghan citizens to flee their homes. The UN has estimated that, by the end of 2021, this could be as many as half a million people. And this comes on top of 2.2 million Afghan refugees already in neighbouring countries and 3.5 million people forced to flee their homes within the country's borders. Some of those airlifted out of Afghanistan will be here in the UK, where local councils like ours will support them. Can you please update us on what progress the City Council has made in its commitment to resettling any refugees that arrive here?

 

Question 7 - supplementary question

How is City Council planning to develop the collaborative relationship and connections with the new county joint administration that strengthen the refugee resettlement offer?

 

Question 8 – First question.

My questions relate to the motions put by Councillors Moore and Bennett.  I am unable to come in person as I am speaking at a concurrent meeting. I raise my question as both Cambridge resident, and as Heritage Chair of the Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance (STBA) https://stbauk.org , a UK-wide group which brings construction industry, heritage, and sustainability interests. The STBA developed and promoted the “whole-house” approach to retrofit, now promoted by the Government.

 

Cllr Moore’s motion references 51,124 homes needing to be retrofitted, with 6,405 per year to meet the Council’s Net Zero carbon vision.

 

All such targets raise serious issues, including:

·  lack of industry skills and capacity, particularly in relation to traditional construction;

·  the time required to train a competent workforce; and

·  the risks of unintended consequences , wasting both money and carbon.

 

What consideration has Cllr Moore given to potential complementary approaches?  Including

·  the need for a risk-based approach

·  the potentially reduced need for retrofit as Grid Decarbonisation progresses ; and

·  promoting behaviour change. As Dr Tia Kansara said recently to the Environmental Audit Committee  “The fastest way to retrofit a building, if I may say so, is behaviour change. In a number of studies we have found that between 20% and 35% of energy can be reduced inside a building primarily with use.” 

 

Has Cllr Moore noted that the PAS 2035 standard (cited in the “proposed Policy Direction’ of the draft Local Plan Great Places topic paper “GP/CC: Adapting Heritage Assets to Climate Change”) costs £190, and that the companion standard BS 7913 (essential for traditional and historic buildings) costs £218?

 

Has Cllr Moore noted the free guidance prepared by STBA and other bodies, and will the Council join STBA and others in pressing for the key retrofit standards to be made freely available?

 

Question 8 – Second question.

Cllr Bennett’s motion cites the CLC’s “National Retrofit Strategy” which ignores the need for a different approach to traditional buildings, which form at least 20% of the stock (up to 35%, according to a study by the Building Research Establishment for the Government ). I ask Councillors to recognise that a “one size fits all” approach such as that being promoted by the CLC may not be appropriate for buildings of traditional construction.

 

I commend to all Councillors the STBA’s recently-published “From Retrofit to Regeneration – a blueprint for post-Covid recovery” https://stbauk.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/From-Retrofit-to-Regeneration-STBA-2021.pdf:  this looks beyond reductions in energy use, to potential co-benefits including health and wellbeing, and protection and enhancement of cultural heritage. These are also among the objectives of the PAS 2035 standard (which STBA helped to draft).


21/37/CNL

To consider the recommendations of the Executive for adoption

21/37/CNLa

Housing Revenue Account Medium Term Financial Strategy 2021/22 (Executive Councillor for Housing) pdf icon PDF 178 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved (by 24 votes to 0) to:

 

  i.  Approve proposals for changes in existing housing capital budgets, as introduced in Sections 6 and 7 and detailed in Appendix E of the officer’s report, with the resulting position summarised in Appendix H, for decision at Council on 21 October 2021.

  ii.  Approve proposals for new housing capital budgets, as introduced in Sections 6 and 7 and detailed in Appendix E of the officer’s report, with the resulting position summarised in Appendix H, for decision at Council on 21 October 2021.

  iii.  Approve the revised funding mix for the delivery of the Housing Capital Programme, recognising the latest assumptions for the use of Grant, Right to Buy Receipts, HRA Resources, Major Repairs Allowance and HRA borrowing.

 

 

21/37/CNLb

Treasury Management Half Yearly Update Report 2021/22 (Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources) pdf icon PDF 199 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved (by 23 votes to 0) to:

 

  i.  Approve the Council’s estimated Prudential and Treasury Indicators 2021/22 to 2024/25 (Appendix A of the officer’s report).

  ii.  Approve that the counterparty limit for building societies with assets over £100bn be increased by £10m to £30m (Appendix B of the officer’s report).

  iii.  Approve the changes to the Cambridge Investment Partnership loans in the counterparty list, to bring these into line with the approved expenditure per the approved capital plan (Appendix B of the officer’s report).

 

21/37/CNLc

General Fund Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) October 2021 (Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources) pdf icon PDF 369 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved (by 23 votes to 0) to:

 

i.  Agree the budget strategy and timetable as outlined in Section 1 [pages 5 to 7 refer] of the MTFS document.

 

ii.  Agree the incorporation of changed assumptions and specific, identifiable pressures, as presented in Sections 3 and 4 respectively [pages 19 to 30 of the MTFS document refer]. This provides an indication of the net savings requirement, by year for the next five years, and revised projections for General Fund (GF) revenue and funding as shown in Section 6 [page 36 refers]  and reserves [Section 7 pages 37 to 41 refer] of the MTFS document.

 

iii.  Agree the revenue budget proposals as set out in Section 4 [pages 19 and 20 of the MTFS document refer].

 

Description

2021/22

£000

2022/23

£000

2023/24

£000

2024/25

£000

2025/26

£000

Additional communications posts and digital consultation platform (license fee) - recurring

45

125

125

125

125

Additional costs of redevelopment of commercial units at Colville Road Phase 3

 

120

120

 

 

Set up costs of a new housing company and Registered Provider

73

 

 

 

 

Feasibility study to expand Cambridge City Housing Company

70

 

 

 

 

Total

188

245

125

125

125

 

 

 

 

iv.  Note the changes to the capital plan and funding as set out in Section 5 [pages 31 to 35 refer] and Appendix A [pages 49 to 52] of the MTFS document.

 

v.  Agree changes to the budget for the Meadows Community Hub and Buchan Street retail outlet scheme as set out below.

 

 

 

Ref.

Description / £’000s

2021/22

2022/23

2023/24

2024/25

2025/26

2026/27

Total

 

Proposals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SC694

Meadows Community Hub and Buchan Street retail outlet

(1,224)

2,551

158

-

-

-

1,485

 

Total proposals

(1,224)

2,551

158

0

0

1,485

 

vi.  Agree the replacement of third-party contributions of £210k for the community extension to Cherry Hinton library with council funding.

vii.  Agree the following in relation to the depot relocation programme, included in Appendix F of the MTFS Version 2.0 (for Council on 21 October 2021):

 

·  Approve capital funding of £10m for the depot relocation

·  Remove the Lion Yard shopping centre investment scheme from the capital plan, reallocating the funding from that scheme to the depot relocation programme

·  Allocate £1m of funding from the General Fund (GF) Development Reserve to the depot relocation programme

·  Allocate an additional £3m of capital receipts or borrowing to fund the balance of the scheme

·  That the capital plan and funding as set out in Section 5 [pages 31 to 35 refer] and Appendix A [pages 49 to 52] should be updated to reflect the changes arising from approval of the depot relocation programme

 

viii.Agree the transfer of £3.1m and £0.8m of GF reserves into earmarked reserves to support the delivery of the Our Cambridge transformation and recovery programme and to provide a contingency fund for the programme [page 41 of the MTFS document refers]. Furthermore, to agree authorisation to draw down funding from these reserves to be as described.

 

ix.  Agree changes to GF reserve levels, the prudent minimum balance being set at £6.64m and the target level at £7.98m as detailed in Section 7 [page 39 of the MTFS document refers] and Appendix B [pages 53 and 54 of the MTFS document refer].

 

21/37/CNLd

Council Appointments to the Conservators of the River Cam (Executive Councillor Open Spaces, Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing) pdf icon PDF 7 KB

Minutes:

Resolved (by 34 votes to 0) to:

 

i.  Approve nominations of three City Councillor appointments (two Labour and one Liberal Democrat appointment) to the Conservators of the River Cam commencing 1 January 2022:

·  Katie Thornburrow

·  Mike Sargeant

·  Alan Cox

 

21/38/CNL

To deal with oral questions

Minutes:

Question number:    1

 

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?

 

Executive Councillor response:

The covid pandemic showed the skills of Local Authorities and their skill to deliver with their communities. Devolution wasn’t just about council’s having power it was also about communities having power. Did not think devolution was something that the Government showed much interest in. The Council did get some benefit through the City Deal (now known as the Greater Cambridge Partnership) for transport and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority through the funding to deliver 500 new council homes. Felt when these organisations were set up that Government did not show any great sense of Devolution and felt these organisations made the governance of the area more complicated not better.

 

Question number:    2

 

From

Councillor H Davies

 

To

Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing

 

Question

Can the executive councillor please give an update on the planned herbicide free trial?

 

Executive Councillor response:

Herbicides had not been applied since the Motion was passed in July 2021. A short delay in the winter allowed time to thoroughly plan the trial including how it would run, what resources were needed and how it would be evaluated.

 

Officers from both the City and the County Council had met and set out an approach in a draft initiation document and continued to work to set out a plan for consideration at the Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee in January next year.  The County Council would make their decision on whether to support the trial in December this year.

 

The future report would set out recommendations on the trial wards, the communication plan, the stakeholder engagement plan, how volunteer work would be resourced and managed, and also consider a desktop review of the effectiveness of alternatives and agree which alternatives would be used and where.

 

A Biodiversity Project Lead Officer had been appointed on a fixed term contract to support the Streets and Open Space team to refine and develop the trial for implementation in 2022.  This role has also initiated engagement with Pesticide Free Cambridge and Pesticide Action Network.

 

Question number:    3

 

From

Councillor J Page-Croft

 

To

Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing

 

Question

Are there any plans to find transit sites for the Gypsey/Romany/Traveller (GRT) community to stay on for a few weeks, especially close to Addenbrookes?

 

Executive Councillor response:

For the City Council to consider a request to facilitate any transit sites, it had to have confidence in the evidence on which decisions would be based. The final Gypsy & Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment (GTANA) report was expected in January 2022.

 

The contact officers had with visiting groups who used the city’s parks and open spaces would often include Addenbrookes. Was aware that many groups would need close access to the hospital.

 

Felt that there may need to be discussions with Addenbrookes and Papworth about making provision available for the Gypsy Roma Traveller (GRT) community. These discussions would be informed from the results of the Gypsy & Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment.



Question number:    4

 

From

Councillor H Copley

 

To

Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing

 

Question

How many people have requested an allotment in Cambridge in the last two years, and how many of them were provided with an allotment?

 

Executive Councillor response:

Since January 2020 the council had had 508 applications for an allotment plot managed by the City Council.  The council also had allotments managed by societies but unfortunately information was not available on those applications at the time of the meeting.

 

Council officers had allocated 239 allotments of which 213 were from applications received after 2020. This figure was also influenced by Clay Farm where there were 151 plots and 152 applications since 2020. 25% of applicants since 2020 had rejected or failed to respond to allotment offers. Was happy to commit to an audit of current occupancy and waiting lists.

 

Question number:    5

 

From

Councillor M Healy

 

To

Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing

 

Question

Given public concern at recent high-profile attacks, can the executive councillor outline what is being done locally to ensure women’s safety?

 

Executive Councillor response:

Expressed shock and dismay at the recent attacks which had taken place in the Market Square. At a CLP meeting, Councillor Scutt, the Lead Councillor for Women, read out a list of the 81 women who had lost their lives through acts of violence since the murder of Sarah Everard. There was a long list of measures the council was doing and she would be happy to prepare a briefing note and circulate to members. Examples included that the Council marked the celebration of United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on the 25 November. An online conference was planned and would be delivered and led by survivors and local groups working in the field, Councillors Collis, A.Smith and Scutt would be attending. Paid tribute to the Community Safety Partnership. The 25 November was also White Ribbon day. Noted that Councillor Moore would speak to measures planned to make the market square safer. Noted concerns had been expressed regarding the level of street lighting.

 

Question number:    6

 

From

Councillor C Payne

 

To

Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment & City Centre

 

Question

I hope the Executive Councillor join me in expressing her horror at the report of the sexual assault which took place in the market square on Tuesday 13th October, along with her support to the alleged victim.  Will she offer the Council reassurance that actions are being investigated to improve the safety of the market square?

 

Executive Councillor response:

Was upset and disturbed that a woman was sexually assaulted in the market square last week and hoped that the victim made a good recovery after such a traumatic incident. 

 

City Council officers, including from Market Management, Licensing and CCTV services, were working closely with the Police, CAMBAC, both Universities and other partners with an interest in the city centre night-time economy (NTE), to review and agree continuing improvements in the way our night-time economy across the city centre was managed. 

 

In terms of the market square there was a project to renovate and update the market. This included new lighting and new market stalls which would improve the safety of the square at night, however it would be a while until that project was completed.

 

In the meantime, the council was actively reviewing with the Police and other night-time economy partners what further action could collectively be taken to improve the market square and the wider city centre from a community safety and visitor welcome perspective. This could include new lighting and reducing the amount of clutter in the market square to make it more visible. 

 

Question number:    7

 

From

Councillor M Bond

 

To

Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport

 

Question

A significant number of representations were made in last year’s consultation, calling for the North East Cambridge Area Action Plan to provide for more open space at the heart of this major new development and a closer matching of the standard for open space within our current local plan. Can you tell us whether this view has been received and understood and will be reflected in the final version of the plan when it is published shortly?

 

Executive Councillor response:

All feedback to planning consultations were important and were considered. A full response would be provided when the proposed submission of the North East Cambridge (NEC) Area Action Plan was published on the 22 November 2021 at the start of the committee process. A summary of the approach was included in the Greater Cambridge Local Plan First Proposal which had now been agreed by both Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District Council. The consultation would start on 1 November. The First Proposals included the NEC site and a summary of some of the changes that had been recommended to members including reducing the amount of jobs and enhancing the provision of on-site informal open space and children play areas.

 

Question number:    8

 

From

Councillor O Hauk

 

To

Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing

 

Question

Considering the obvious benefits of productive allotments to the community with respect to healthy and sustainable living, well-being, biodiversity and community spirit: Can the Executive Councillor push for a variation in planning permission for the Trumpington Meadows and Clay Farm allotment sites to allow buildings and structures of normal shed height on the land, or explain what constraints and possibly developer-led conditions prevent her from doing so?

 

Executive Councillor response:

Access to food growing spaces was important for wellbeing. Had recently visited allotments around the city including at Clay Farm.

 

Any application to vary a planning permission for Trumpington Meadows or Clay Farm would now have to be led by the City Council as the leasehold owner of the site.  As these sites were now built and transferred a change to allow sheds on sites would require a new planning application.

 

A change of position to allow sheds would be contrary to the design principles negotiated and set out at the outline planning application stage, which had influenced and delivered two new purpose-built allotment buildings intended to support the use and function of the new allotments.

 

If the Council was to support a change in permission for sheds, officers would have to review the planning strategy documents, the outline and potentially the various reserved matters applications and the deed of land transfers to determine whether this could be permitted.

 

The Trumpington Meadows building was operating as intended and the Clay Farm offer was almost complete. Until the Clay Farm building had been finished and handed over, it was not possible to determine whether there was a need, support, or a purpose for sheds on Green Belt land.

 

Question number:    9

 

From

Councillor M Davey

 

To

Executive Councillor for Communities

 

Question

Can we have an update on the progress towards achieving the resolutions in the council's Black Lives Matters motion

 

Councillor Healy responded:

This motion was passed last year and was in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Recognised racism both structural and individual used to be a serious problem including in Cambridge and noted recent reports of racism reported in the local newspaper. 

 

There were several actions arising out of the motion. In terms of progress which had been made, the covid-19 pandemic had a big impact on BAME communities in Cambridge. Requested and received a report from the Director of Public Health. Worked with community leaders supporting communities to help share public health messages and encourage vaccination uptake. Also organised a meeting with four voluntary and community sector groups supporting BAME communities and how the public sector could help promote race equality locally.

 

Another action was around producing a toolkit for businesses to increase understanding of race and equality in the workplace and Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum had been commissioned to produce this, making it locally relevant and adapted for the Cambridge context. This would be launched next month during the living wage week.

 

Another action was ensuring food provided through the food hubs met appropriate religious and cultural requirements which was also implemented in conjunction with Cambridge Sustainable Food and other organisations.

 

There were a couple of actions around recruitment, increasing a percentage of BAME employees and making recruitment processes better.

 

For Councillors it was also mandatory for all councillors to attend an equality and diversity briefing in their first term of office. Felt significant progress had been made against all the actions arising from the motion.

 

The following oral questions were tabled but owing to the expiry of the period of time permitted, were not covered during the meeting. Written responses which were received have been included in the minutes for information.

 

Question number:    10

 

From

Councillor T Bick

 

To

Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment & City Centre

 

Question

Do neighbourhood recycling centres feature in your view of the future of the waste service?

 

Question number:    11

 

From

Councillor J Dalzell

 

To

Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

 

Question

What lessons has the Executive Councillor taken from the collapse of Visit Cambridge and Beyond and the losses subsequently incurred by this Council?

 

Executive Councillor response:

 

Context

 

Despite having an approved business plan (which went through the Council’s due scrutiny/ decision making process) and associated financial support package from the Council, VCB was unable to generate sufficient income from its traded activities to achieve financial sustainability 

 

In January 2020, an already financially vulnerable VCB business was hit by the dramatic loss of the international visitor market and associated income, arising from the global COVID-19 pandemic.  In response, VCB undertook a strategic options review with the support of the Council, which culminated in the VCB Board approving the strategic restructure of the service to a core tourism business development function (1 FTE), but this quickly proved unsustainable; and in June 2020, the VCB Board approved the formal closure of the VCB business and company liquidation.

 

Lessons

 

Taking the learning from VCB and its associated unsustainable business model, any successor tourism development business needs to operate as a lean and agile organisation with minimal overheads, ie. office, staff, etc.  This is the model which Visit Cambridge, the new successor service, which the Council recently approved the establishment of as a Community Interest Company, is committed to following.

 

The new Visit Cambridge business will not directly employ staff; and instead, will use available capacity of its constituent partners, supplemented by external consultants, to deliver discrete externally funded project activity as required.  Any future decision to invest in directly employed staff will be informed by a detailed business plan, covering business need and benefit and ability to cover associated revenue costs.

 

Using external funding secured by the Council via the Combined Authority, Visit Cambridge is investing in a fully digital dynamic web platform and app, with bookable product functionality, using funding secured through the Combined Authority.  Rather than investing in the development and running of a ‘bricks and mortar’ VIC, Visit Cambridge is also working with the Council to procure a mobile unit with ‘pop up’ functionality, once again using Combined Authority funding.

 

Visit Cambridge aims to use its digital and mobile assets to generate a modest sustainable revenue stream that will be used to manage an equally modest overhead cost.  Any surplus generated from Visit Cambridge’s business operations will be invested back in projects and activities to support sustainable tourism development in the city. 

 

In addition, Visit Cambridge will target ‘soft’ funding sources, including public grants and donations locally and, through its DMO status, Visit Britain and Visit England nationally, to fund the delivery of sustainable tourism development projects and activities. 

 

Losses

 

Following the closure of VCB, the financial loss subsequently incurred by the council is £54K.  This relates to the write-off of rent and utilities billed to VCB.

 

Question number:    12

 

From

Councillor  A Cox

 

To

Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport

 

Question

As the number 25 bus is expected to cease running on the completion of the Trumpington development, can the Executive Councillor say what discussions she has had with Stagecoach about continuing the service and what the outcome is?

 

Question number:    13

 

From

Councillor K Porrer

 

To

Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment & City Centre

 

Question

Can the Executive Councillor confirm that the council will use its influence with the new Visit Cambridge organisation to ensure that the new website will have up to date and wide ranging information about our valued local market traders, in our vibrant market square, and also for those around the city centre, including at the Arts and Craft market and the stalls on Fitzroy Street.?

 

Executive Councillor response:

 

At the recent Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee, the Council approved the establishment of Visit Cambridge as a Community Interest Company (CIC); and for a nominated Council officer to have a seat on the company’s board. 

 

As a Company Director, the nominated Council officer will be legally required to represent and act in the best interests of the company, not their employer, the Council.  As an independent company, it is down to the Board of Visit Cambridge to agree how the business is managed, including the activities it pursues and how it uses its assets, in accordance with its legal duties and governance framework.  The Council needs to respect Visit Cambridge’s independence.

 

That said, to ensure the associated CIC ‘community interest’ test is met, Visit Cambridge has committed to establishing a community stakeholder advisory group.  Legally, this group will not be able to have any formal decision-making powers in relation to Visit Cambridge but would instead be able to support the Board with any required strategy or policy development advice.  As a key community stakeholder, the Council will be invited to be represented on the group and so, via the group, have the opportunity to influence Visit Cambridge plans and activities.

 

As the tourism development and destination management organisation for the city, Visit Cambridge, once incorporated, will play a key role in supporting the successful recovery and development of our city’s visitor economy post pandemic, including city centre visitor attractions, such as the market square and our diverse, vibrant and independent local market and street trader businesses.

 

Question number:    14

 

From

Councillor A Gilderdale

 

To

Executive Councillor for Housing

 

Question

Can the executive councillor give a report on the progress towards net zero carbon new council homes?

 

Question number:    15

 

From

Councillor A Smith

 

To

Executive Councillor for Open Spaces Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing

 

Question

Can the executive councillor give an update on progress towards increasing the city’s tree canopy cover?

 

Executive Councillor response:

The Cambridge Canopy Project aims to increase tree canopy cover across the city by 2%, by the 2050’s.

 

In order to achieve this, 16,000 additional trees across the whole urban forest are required – across all land ownership types.

Cambridge City Council are planting 2,000 of these new trees on public land and giving away 1,500 to residents through engagement schemes, for planting in residential gardens.

The remaining 12,500 trees required to achieve the target of 2% canopy cover increase will need to be planted by private landowners across the city. The communication, engagement and outreach work conducted by the Cambridge Canopy Project is directed at influencing and incentivising tree planting on private land in order to achieve this target. Whilst there is no way to definitively quantify the number of new trees being planted, every effort is being made to encourage and support it. For example, next month a discount voucher scheme for Cambridge city residents will be launched with an online tree nursery.

In terms of planting on public land, during the 2019/20 planting season, 500 new trees were planted, and during the 2020/21 planting season, 800 new trees were planted. Another 400 new trees are scheduled for planting during this upcoming planting season. The remaining 300 will be planted during the 2022/23 planting season.

Through our partnership with Trees for Streets, additional trees are also being sponsored for planting across the city’s streets and parks. So far these total approximately 60. Twenty-six of these will be planted in Arbury and King’s hedges from grant money provided as part of the partnership agreement with Trees for Streets.

Through the Free Trees for Babies scheme, funding for which has been bolstered through the Cambridge Canopy Project, the following numbers have been given away so far:

·  2019: 350

·  2020: 207

·  2021: c. 260 (currently being finalised for delivery in January)

o  Sub-total: 817

 

The first Neighbourhood Canopy Campaign was launched in January for the Whitehill Road estate in Abbey. Through this scheme which seeks to increase canopy cover in areas of the city with low existing cover and high deprivation, 81 trees were given to residents that applied to the scheme.

At the same time as the Whitehill Road Neighbourhood Canopy Campaign, approximately 100 fruit trees, mostly comprising heritage varieties of apple, were donated to the Cambridge CoFarm to help with establishing their community orchard.

The second Neighbourhood Canopy Campaign is currently open for applications. This is targeting the Verulam Way area of Arbury. There have been 93 applications to date, and the scheme is open to applications until 14th November.

In addition to the above, a community-led planting scheme for Logan’s meadow will be completed in December. This will introduce an additional 250 new trees on top of the 2,000 trees planned under the Cambridge Canopy Project. And a consultation to establish the city’s first ‘Tiny forest’ at Five trees in East Chesterton is currently live. If this proceeds, up to 600 new trees will be established as part of the proposal.

Question number:    16

 

From

Councillor I Flaubert

 

To

Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport

 

Question

Although it is fashionable to talk about biodiversity gain and new planted trees, the truth is that it is not clear how loss is monitored and the real wildlife gain.

 

Could the Exec Cllr explain whether the city council and its shared planning service has a mechanism to record tree loss on city land, including those recently planted that do not survive, as well as the loss of trees in conservation areas?

 

Question number:    17

 

From

Councillor  D Baigent

 

To

Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport

 

Question

What commitments are there to reduce the amount of traffic in the city?

 

Question number:    18

 

From

Councillor G Bird

 

To

Executive Councillor for Communities

 

Question

Following the decision not to hold the bonfire night event, what other, smaller, events are planned for the winter months?

 

Executive Councillor response:

 

This winter, two creative projects would brighten the frosty nights with colour and warmth: Winter Brights and Window Wanderland. 

 

Starting in December, Winter Brights will see two winning LED-light displays designed by schoolchildren from Queen Emma and Queen Edith primary schools installed in local shops, complementing the Christmas tree and other displays around Queen Edith’s ward. By highlighting the creativity of local children, this project will inspire young imaginations and show how self-expression can have an impact.

 

With further aspects of the project set to be announced, including additional lights displays around Cambridge neighbourhoods and in the city centre, Winter Brights will make Christmas this year even more festive than usual.

 

In January, Cambridge looks forward to the return of a project that got its start a year ago: Window Wanderland, a communal art project where households are encouraged to decorate their front windows with colourful displays of lights and paper. With an online map showing the locations of all households taking part, Window Wanderland will become a participatory art trail with neighbours in the same street inspiring each other to new heights of creative expression. 

 

The winners of the Winter Brights competition will be announced in mid-November, with their designs set to be unveiled in December. 

Window Wanderland will return from the week commencing 17 Jan 2022. For more information, and to learn how you can participate and spread the word in your neighbourhood, please send an email to lewis.anderson@cambridge.gov.uk 

 

Winter Brights and Window Wanderland are provided by Cambridge City Council, with generous support from sponsors Arm and Vodafone.

 

Question number:    19

 

From

Councillor M Gehring

 

To

Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing

 

Question

Reports of a rising number of cycle thefts at the station and in the Cambridge City Centre are very worrying, could the Executive Councillor update us on the efforts to improve cycle security?

 

Question number:    20

 

From

Councillor D Lee

 

To

Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport

 

Question

The much loved Flying Pig will shut its doors for the last time at the end of this month, barring a deus ex machina. At a time when the pandemic has demonstrated to us all the importance of community assets and cultural venues including pubs and music venues, it’s very disappointing that in losing The Flying Pig we lose a pub, a place to enjoy live music and a place for up and coming musicians to hone their craft. Without venues like the Flying Pig, the world have been deprived of Pink Floyd, and Katrina and the Waves may not have won the Eurovision song contest. Can the Exec Cllr confirm what the council is doing to protect Cambridge’s cultural heritage from wealthy developers taking community cultural assets from the city to give to themselves in the form of soulless office space?

 

Question number:    21

 

From

Councillor R Robertson

 

To

Executive Councillor for Housing

 

Question

Can the executive councillor report give an update on Cambridge Street Aid week?

 

Second Questions

 

Question number:    22

 

From

Councillor H Copley

 

To

Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport

 

Question

 

The Local Plan is being prepared at a time of great uncertainty in national planning policy. The sweeping reforms proposed in the Planning White Paper seem likely to be shelved as the new Secretary of State implements a new set of priorities – possibly including a refocusing of housebuilding towards the North of England. Meanwhile, the Government continues to push forward their plans for the Ox-Cam Arc, which would reportedly see 1 million new houses built between Oxford and Cambridge, and would interact with Local Plans in ways which are yet to be explained.

These uncertain external drivers threaten to take away the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning body’s autonomy and ability to determine for itself what level of housebuilding is desirable and sustainable in our region. Council acknowledges that we are experiencing serious and worsening water shortages, that the City is in essence facing a traffic congestion crisis, and that we have insufficient public green space and protected nature areas, but has thus far treated the housing allocation as a minimum. In the Greater Cambridge Local Plan first proposals, it is suggested that Greater Cambridge takes an ‘employment-led approach’ to quantifying housing need. This would increase the number of homes to be built beyond the original allocation, based on a projection that job creation will continue to grow (without any assessment of whether the latter is desirable in our overheated regional economy).

Cambridge Water and others are working on solutions to the water supply problem currently facing the region, while attempting to allow for a wide range of possible future growth scenarios. Water consumption has increased significantly during and since the pandemic to 151 litres/person/day, well above the national target of 110 litres/person/day, and even further from the Greater Cambridge target of 80 litres/person/day in new dwellings.

Question:

What attempt has been made to calculate the amount of development our area can support, taking into account that: water is already being over-abstracted and attempts to reduce per capita consumption have so far not succeeded; solutions to the current traffic congestion have yet to be found; suitable sites for building are limited; there is desperate need for more green space; and we have committed to ‘doubling nature’? What is the justification for taking an ‘employment-led’ approach to housing allocation (which increases the number of houses to be accommodated in the Local Plan), given the known environmental constraints to further growth in this region?

 

Executive Councillor response:

 

Local Plans were required to identify and plan for development unless any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits. The Local Plan First Proposals has been informed by a wide ranging and detailed set of evidence studies, which consider environmental social and economic impacts. Each of the topics referenced in the question have been explored. The proposals we are seeking views on would respond to the identified needs of the area, as well as environmental, social and economic issues.  We have been very clear on the need for water to be available, and that the issues need to be addressed at the regional level. The strategy approach has been guided by considerations related to climate change and carbon, as well as green infrastructure opportunities, and proposes robust policies on these issues. We now want to hear from our communities on these proposals, and we hope people take part over the coming weeks.

 

Question number:    23

 

From

Councillor J Gawthrope Wood

 

To

Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport

 

Question

What plans are there for new allotments within planning policy?


21/39/CNL

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

21/39/CNLa

Councillor Porrer: Single use plastic-free events at the City Council

Council notes:

 

The acceptance in May 2018 at council of a Plastics motion, which asked that caterers for City commissioned events approach these in as sustainable way as possible;

 

That this motion did not commit the Council to removal of single use plastics by a specific date;


The increasing urgency of the climate emergency, and the documented and evidenced detrimental effects of single use plastics on our oceans, waterways and beaches;


That the government consultation on the introduction of a ban on single use plastics is unlikely to be become law until at least 2023;

 

That events put on by the city council, and those on City Council land, are not yet required to be single use plastic-free, or to provide clearly marked on site recycling facilities, or to offer incentives for members of the public to bring their own cups and glasses (as is common in most cafes now).

 

Council requests the Executive Councillor commits to:

 

Introducing new standard contractual terms to ensure that organisers for any future events sponsored or supported by the City Council, or taking place on City Council land, must now:

 

-Cease the use of any single use plastic on site and provide evidence of this when planning or applying for the event, as well as displaying signage at events to inform the public of this;

 

-Encourage the use of compostable materials and if used, ensure that separate recycling is provided for these with clear signage;

 

-Ensure that any events using litter pickers and collections either separate rubbish on site using clearly marked bins, or have arrangements in place that can be provided as part of the application for the event to ensure that this is done off site;

 

-Install appropriate signage at the event to ensure that members of the public are aware of the different bins and to assist them in putting the correct rubbish in the right bins;

 

-Ensure that all stalls at least encourage but preferably incentivise the use of recyclable cups for beverages and other cutlery and crockery, for example by advertising discounts for these, as is already very common in cafes across the city;

 

Council also requests the Executive Councillor commits to:

 

Promoting the urgent need to remove single use plastic from all day to day use in businesses and events around the city.

Minutes:

Councillor Porrer proposed and Councillor Payne seconded the following motion. Councillor Porrer amended the motion with Council’s consent under Council Procedure Rule 26, deleted text struckthrough and additional text underlined. 

 

Council notes:

 

The acceptance in May 2018 at council of a Plastics motion, which asked that caterers for City commissioned events approach these in as sustainable way as possible;

 

That this motion did not commit the Council to removal of single use plastics by a specific date;


The increasing urgency of the climate emergency, and the documented and evidenced detrimental effects of single use plastics on our oceans, waterways and beaches;


That the government consultation on the introduction of a ban on single use plastics is unlikely to be become law until at least 2023;

 

That events put on by the city council, and those on City Council land, are not yet required to be single use plastic-free, or to provide clearly marked on site recycling facilities, or to offer incentives for members of the public to bring their own cups and glasses (as is common in most cafes now).

 

Council requests the Executive Councillor commits to:

 

Introducing new standard contractual terms to ensure that organisers for any future events sponsored or supported by the City Council, or taking place on City Council land, must now:

 

-Cease the use of any single use plastic on site and provide evidence of this when planning or applying for the event, as well as displaying signage at events to inform the public of this;

 

-Encourage the use of compostable materials and if used, ensure that separate recycling is provided for these with clear signage;

 

-Ensure that any events using litter pickers and collections either separate rubbish on site using clearly marked bins, or have arrangements in place that can be provided as part of the application for the event to ensure that this is done off site;

 

-Install appropriate signage at the event to ensure that members of the public are aware of the different bins and to assist them in putting the correct rubbish in the right bins;

 

-Ensure that all stalls at least encourage but preferably incentivise the use of recyclable reusable cups for beverages and other cutlery and crockery, for example by advertising discounts for these, as is already very common in cafes across the city;

 

Council also requests the Executive Councillor commits to:

 

Promoting the urgent need to remove single use plastic from all day to day use in businesses and events around the city.

 

Councillor Collis proposed and Councillor S.Smith seconded the following amendment to motion, additional text underlined, deleted text struckthrough.

 

Council notes:

 

-  The acceptance in May 2018 at council of a Plastics motion, which asked that caterers for City commissioned events approach these in as sustainable way as possible;

-  That this motion did not commit the Council to removal of single use plastics by a specific date;

-  The increasing urgency of the climate emergency, and the documented and evidenced detrimental effects of single use plastics on our oceans, waterways and beaches;

-  That the government consultation on the introduction of a ban on single use plastics is unlikely to be become law until at least 2023;

-  That events put on by the city council, and those on City Council land, are not yet required to be single use plastic-free, or to provide clearly marked on site recycling facilities, or to offer incentives for members of the public to bring their own cups and glasses (as is common in most cafes now).

 

Council requests the Executive Councillor commits to:

 

-  Introducing new standard contractual terms to ensure that organisers for any future events sponsored or supported by the City Council, or taking place on City Council land, must now:

-  Cease the use of any single use plastic on site and provide evidence of this when planning or applying for the event, as well as displaying signage at events to inform the public of this;

-  Encourage the use of compostable materials and if used, ensure that separate recycling is provided for these with clear signage;

-  Ensure that any events using litter pickers and collections either separate rubbish on site using clearly marked bins, or have arrangements in place that can be provided as part of the application for the event to ensure that this is done off site;

-  Install appropriate signage at the event to ensure that members of the public are aware of the different bins and to assist them in putting the correct rubbish in the right bins;

-  Ensure that all stalls at least encourage but preferably incentivise the use of reusable or recyclable (or both) cups for beverages and other cutlery and crockery, for example by advertising discounts for these, as is already very common in cafes across the city;

 

Council also commits to:

 

-  Promoting the urgent need to remove single use plastic from all day to day use in businesses and events around the city.

-  Instruct Officers to monitor and advise on best practice that is currently being developed by the Government, the Local Government Association and representatives from across the festival sector in relation to their commitment for 2023 to have standardised environmental objectives that local authorities must adopt when licensing festivals.

 

On a show of hands the amendment was carried by 22 votes to 15.

 

Resolved (unanimously) that:

 

Council notes:

 

-  The acceptance in May 2018 at council of a Plastics motion, which asked that caterers for City commissioned events approach these in as sustainable way as possible;

-  That this motion did not commit the Council to removal of single use plastics by a specific date;

-  The increasing urgency of the climate emergency, and the documented and evidenced detrimental effects of single use plastics on our oceans, waterways and beaches;

-  That the government consultation on the introduction of a ban on single use plastics is unlikely to be become law until at least 2023;

-  That events put on by the city council, and those on City Council land, are not yet required to be single use plastic-free, or to provide clearly marked on site recycling facilities, or to offer incentives for members of the public to bring their own cups and glasses (as is common in most cafes now).

 

Council requests the Executive Councillor commits to:

 

-  Introducing new contractual terms to ensure that organisers for any future events taking place on City Council land, must now:

-  Cease the use of any single use plastic on site and provide evidence of this when planning or applying for the event, as well as displaying signage at events to inform the public of this;

-  Encourage the use of compostable materials and if used, ensure that separate recycling is provided for these with clear signage;

-  Ensure that any events using litter pickers and collections either separate rubbish on site using clearly marked bins, or have arrangements in place that can be provided as part of the application for the event to ensure that this is done off site;

-  Install appropriate signage at the event to ensure that members of the public are aware of the different bins and to assist them in putting the correct rubbish in the right bins;

-  Ensure that all stalls at least encourage but preferably incentivise the use of reusable or recyclable (or both) cups for beverages and other cutlery and crockery, for example by advertising discounts for these, as is already very common in cafes across the city;

 

Council also commits to:

 

-  Promoting the urgent need to remove single use plastic from all day to day use in businesses and events around the city.

-  Instruct Officers to monitor and advise on best practice that is currently being developed by the Government, the Local Government Association and representatives from across the festival sector in relation to their commitment for 2023 to have standardised environmental objectives that local authorities must adopt when licensing festivals.

 

21/39/CNLb

Councillor Dalzell: Waste Electronic & Electrical Equipment Recycling For Everyone

Cambridge City Council notes:

·  Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is the fastest growing waste stream on the planet.

·  WEEE contains a high volume of critical raw materials (CRMs), which are vital components of many ‘green’ technologies.

·  Research in 2019 showing that:

o  51% of UK households had at least one unused electronic device;

o  45% had up to 5 unused devices;

o  82% of these households had no plans to recycle or sell their devices.

·  The City Council currently operates four recycling banks for small electricals, all of which are in Trumpington ward.

Cambridge City Council believes:

·  The climate crisis requires that we establish a circular economy and ensure the efficient use of CRMs.

·  That all households in Cambridge should be able to easily recycle electronic devices.

Therefore, Cambridge City Council requests that the Executive Councillor:

·  Establishes at least one small electrical recycling bank in every ward in the city by April 2022.

·  Promotes WEEE recycling in the next appropriate Cambridge Matters and on the City Council website.

·  Ensures that the emerging Household Waste and Recycling Policy includes ambitious targets to maximise recycling of CRMs.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Dalzell proposed and Councillor Nethsingha seconded the following motion: 

 

Cambridge City Council notes:

·  Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is the fastest growing waste stream on the planet.

·  WEEE contains a high volume of critical raw materials (CRMs), which are vital components of many ‘green’ technologies.

·  Research in 2019 showing that:

o  51% of UK households had at least one unused electronic device;

o  45% had up to 5 unused devices;

o  82% of these households had no plans to recycle or sell their devices.

·  The City Council currently operates four recycling banks for small electricals, all of which are in Trumpington ward.

Cambridge City Council believes:

·  The climate crisis requires that we establish a circular economy and ensure the efficient use of CRMs.

·  That all households in Cambridge should be able to easily recycle electronic devices.

Therefore, Cambridge City Council requests that the Executive Councillor:

·  Establishes at least one small electrical recycling bank in every ward in the city by April 2022.

·  Promotes WEEE recycling in the next appropriate Cambridge Matters and on the City Council website.

·  Ensures that the emerging Household Waste and Recycling Policy includes ambitious targets to maximise recycling of CRMs.

Councillor Moore proposed and Councillor Gawthrope Wood seconded the following amendment (additional text underlined, deleted text struckthrough).

 

Cambridge City Council notes:

·  Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is the fastest growing waste stream on the planet.

·  WEEE contains a high volume of critical raw materials (CRMs), which are vital components of many ‘green’ technologies.

·  Research in 2019 showing that:

o  51% of UK households had at least one unused electronic device;

o  45% had up to 5 unused devices;

o  82% of these households had no plans to recycle or sell their devices.

·  The City Council currently operates four six recycling banks for small electricals, all of which are at four sites in Trumpington ward.

·  The Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service are seeking additional funding that is now available from an electrical compliance scheme, as part of the producer responsibility regulation, to expand the number of banks within the City and introduce collections in South Cambridgeshire where there are currently no WEEE banks. 

·  Greater Cambridge Shared waste service has recently drawn up plans to expand the number of WEEE banks it provides from 6 to 14.

·  Locations have been chosen so that residents can also use other banks at these sites to recycle textiles, bulbs, and batteries at the same time, ensuring that the best service is available and the environmental impact of travelling to recycle items is kept to a minimum.

 

Cambridge City Council believes:

·  The climate crisis requires that we establish a circular economy and ensure the efficient use of CRMs.

·  That all households in Cambridge should be able to easily recycle electronic devices.

 

Therefore, Cambridge City Council requests that the Executive Councillor:

·  Establishes at least one small electrical recycling bank in every ward in the city by April 2022.

·  Introduce a network of eight additional permanent WEEE banks at existing (and new) recycling points across Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire in 2022. Using external grant funding to provide the estimated £56,683 cost of the project.

·  Promotes WEEE recycling in the next appropriate Cambridge Matters, and on the City Council website, with leaflets, stalls at events and new vehicle livery.

·  Ensures that the emerging Household Waste and Recycling Policy includes ambitious targets to maximise recycling of CRMs.

 

On a show of hands the amendment was carried by 36 votes to 1.

 

Resolved (unanimously) that:

 

Cambridge City Council notes:

·  Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is the fastest growing waste stream on the planet.

·  WEEE contains a high volume of critical raw materials (CRMs), which are vital components of many ‘green’ technologies.

·  Research in 2019 showing that:

o  51% of UK households had at least one unused electronic device;

o  45% had up to 5 unused devices;

o  82% of these households had no plans to recycle or sell their devices.

·  The City Council currently operates sixrecycling banks for small electricals, all of which are at four sites in Trumpington ward.

·  The Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service are seeking additional funding that is now available from an electrical compliance scheme, as part of the producer responsibility regulation, to expand the number of banks within the City and introduce collections in South Cambridgeshire where there are currently no WEEE banks. 

·  Greater Cambridge Shared waste service has recently drawn up plans to expand the number of WEEE banks it provides from 6 to 14.

·  Locations have been chosen so that residents can also use other banks at these sites to recycle textiles, bulbs, and batteries at the same time, ensuring that the best service is available and the environmental impact of travelling to recycle items is kept to a minimum.

 

Cambridge City Council believes:

·  The climate crisis requires that we establish a circular economy and ensure the efficient use of CRMs.

·  That all households in Cambridge should be able to easily recycle electronic devices.

 

Therefore, Cambridge City Council requests that the Executive Councillor:

·  Introduce a network of eight additional permanent WEEE banks at existing (and new) recycling points across Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire in 2022. Using external grant funding to provide the estimated £56,683 cost of the project.

·  Promotes WEEE recycling in the next appropriate Cambridge Matters, on the City Council website, with leaflets, stalls at events and new vehicle livery.

·  Ensures that the emerging Household Waste and Recycling Policy includes ambitious targets to maximise recycling of CRMs.

 

21/39/CNLc

Councillor Hauk: Tackling Anti-Social Driving

Council notes:

·  The number of complaints made by residents about the disturbance and danger caused to neighbourhoods by loud and speeding vehicles using the roads as race tracks.

·  That residential areas in Cambridge suffer heavily from the noise caused by some modified cars, motorbikes and scooters.

·  That some drivers of all types of motorized vehicles frequently break the speed limit and drive unsafely through residential areas. 

·  That anti-social driving has a negative impact on the environment, personal safety and people’s wellbeing, and discourages active travel.

·  That noise detection cameras have recently been installed in central London to detect engines revving at over 80 decibels and use video footage to record the offenders.

Council calls on the Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing:

·  To bring together representatives of the Highways Authority and Police to develop a joint strategy to combat anti-social driving.

·  To investigate the noise detection cameras being used in London, with a view to using a similar approach in Cambridge.

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Hauk proposed and Councillor Bick seconded the following motion: 

 

Council notes:

·  The number of complaints made by residents about the disturbance and danger caused to neighbourhoods by loud and speeding vehicles using the roads as race tracks.

·  That residential areas in Cambridge suffer heavily from the noise caused by some modified cars, motorbikes and scooters.

·  That some drivers of all types of motorized vehicles frequently break the speed limit and drive unsafely through residential areas. 

·  That anti-social driving has a negative impact on the environment, personal safety and people’s wellbeing, and discourages active travel.

·  That noise detection cameras have recently been installed in central London to detect engines revving at over 80 decibels and use video footage to record the offenders.

Council calls on the Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing:

·  To bring together representatives of the Highways Authority and Police to develop a joint strategy to combat anti-social driving.

·  To investigate the noise detection cameras being used in London, with a view to using a similar approach in Cambridge.

 

Councillor Collis proposed and Councillor Robertson seconded the following amendment to motion (additional text underlined, deleted text struckthrough)

 

Council notes:

·  The number of complaints made by residents about the disturbance and danger caused to neighbourhoods by loud and speeding vehicles using the roads as race tracks.

·  That residential areas in Cambridge can suffer heavily from the noise caused by some modified cars, motorbikes and scooters.

·  That some drivers of all types of motorised vehicles frequently break the speed limit and drive unsafely through residential areas. 

·  That anti-social driving has a negative impact on the environment, personal safety and people’s wellbeing, and potentially discourages active travel.

·  That noise detection cameras have recently been installed in central London to detect engines revving at over 80 decibels and use video footage to record the offenders.

·  That the issue of dangerous or antisocial driving is police-led, and that we should continue as a council to share any information we have with them.

·  The current discussions at Area Committees around antisocial driving that is often taken up as police priorities for those areas.

·  That, at a recent Community Safety Partnership meeting, it was reported that the police will make road safety a priority and will take action on anti-social driving, moped use and speeding.

·  The establishment of the new road safety partnership, Vision Zero, which incorporates the international Safe System policy approach for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Council calls on the Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing:

·  To bring together representatives of the Highways Authority and Police to develop a joint strategy to combat anti-social driving.

·  To investigate the noise detection cameras being used in London, with a view to using a similar approach in Cambridge.

·  Request the Community Safety Partnership to feed the concerns of residents and Councillors over anti-social driving, including interest in the noise detection cameras being used in London, into the Vision Zero Partnership and to work with that partnership to address the issues

·  To report back to council on the work of the Vision Zero Partnership.

On a show of hands the amendment was carried by 25 votes to 12.

 

Resolved (unanimously) that:

 

Council notes:

·  The number of complaints made by residents about the disturbance and danger caused to neighbourhoods by loud and speeding vehicles using the roads as race tracks.

·  That residential areas in Cambridge can suffer heavily from the noise caused by some modified cars, motorbikes and scooters.

·  That some drivers of all types of motorised vehicles frequently break the speed limit and drive unsafely through residential areas. 

·  That anti-social driving has a negative impact on the environment, personal safety and people’s wellbeing, and potentially discourages active travel.

·  That noise detection cameras have recently been installed in central London to detect engines revving at over 80 decibels and use video footage to record the offenders.

·  That the issue of dangerous or antisocial driving is police-led, and that we should continue as a council to share any information we have with them.

·  The current discussions at Area Committees around antisocial driving that is often taken up as police priorities for those areas.

·  That, at a recent Community Safety Partnership meeting, it was reported that the police will make road safety a priority and will take action on anti-social driving, moped use and speeding.

·  The establishment of the new road safety partnership, Vision Zero, which incorporates the international Safe System policy approach for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Council calls on the Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing:

·  Request the Community Safety Partnership to feed the concerns of residents and Councillors over anti-social driving, including interest in the noise detection cameras being used in London, into the Vision Zero Partnership and to work with that partnership to address the issues

·  To report back to council on the work of the Vision Zero Partnership.

 

 

21/39/CNLd

Councillor Bennett: Carbon taxes and Joint Local and National Climate Emergency Fund

This Council declares calls upon Rishi Sunak MP to review the IFS Report “Carbon taxes and the road to net zero “ and to enact legislation to ensure that all green taxes (including relevant VAT) are ringfenced and allocated to a new joint Local and National Climate Emergency Fund which would be utilised to support councils in implementing the National Retrofit Strategy

 

Minutes:

Councillor Bennett proposed and Councillor Copley seconded the following motion.  Consent of council was not granted for Councillor Bennett to alter motion 6d under Council Procedure Rule 26.

 

This Council declares calls upon Rishi Sunak MP to review the IFS Report “Carbon taxes and the road to net zero “ and to enact legislation to ensure that all green taxes (including relevant VAT) are ringfenced and allocated to a new joint Local and National Climate Emergency Fund which would be utilised to support councils in implementing the National Retrofit Strategy.

 

Councillor Moore proposed and Councillor Herbert seconded the following amendment (additional text underlined, deleted text struckthrough).

 

This Council declares calls upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak MP to review the IFS Report “Carbon taxes and the road to net zero “ and to enact legislation to ensure that all green taxes (including relevant VAT) are ringfenced progressive and are used to support a just transition to a green economy, including and being allocated to a new joint Local and National Climate Emergency Fund which would be utilised to support councils in implementing the a National Retrofit Strategy. We also ask our Chancellor to ensure that any new carbon pricing is used as a tax on fossil fuels as they are produced and that revenues should also be used to increase the flow of finance to developing countries to help them mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change impacts, as promised under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, thereby ensuring a just transition for all. 

 

On a show of hands the amendment was carried by 22 votes to 2.

 

Resolved (unanimously) that:

 

This Council calls upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak MP to review the IFS Report “Carbon taxes and the road to net zero “ and to enact legislation to ensure that all taxes (including VAT) are progressive and are used to support a just transition to a green economy, including being allocated to a new joint Local and National Climate Emergency Fund which would be utilised to support councils in implementing a National Retrofit Strategy. We also ask our Chancellor to ensure that any new carbon pricing is used as a tax on fossil fuels as they are produced and that revenues should also be used to increase the flow of finance to developing countries to help them mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change impacts, as promised under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, thereby ensuring a just transition for all. 

 

21/39/CNLe

Councillor Bennett: Fuel Poverty and Climate Change

This council calls upon Michael Gove MP to work to end fuel poverty, create new jobs and achieve the UK’s emission targets by adopting the National retrofit strategy set out in the Construction Leadership Council consultative document and in particular to fund the retrofitting of all  council homes and housing association homes by 2025.

 

Background notes on the motions

 

1  Councillors will be well aware that the UK is legally committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and of our own council’s ambitions of achieving that goal by 2030.

2  The Institute for Fiscal Studies (“IFS”) have published two reports in October 2021 that address how this plan might be funded.

3  IFS reports that most UK councils will require substantial additional funding to meet current service levels and statutory obligations.

https://ifs.org.uk/publications/15673

4  This shows that councils have only the most limited scope to fund this work.

5  This is borne out by Cambridge’s own forecasts and accounts.

6  Although the UK does not have a named carbon tax as such, it has had a variety of taxes that have a similar rule for 30 years. The positive impact of these taxes on business and consumer behaviour is well documented and is considered to be one of the principal drivers for the 38% reduction in UK greenhouse emissions between 1990 and 2018.

7  The Office of Budget Responsibility (“OBR”) reports that the tax yield from emissions taxes exceeds new government expenditure on reducing emissions and has actually fallen as a percentage of the total tax yield.

8   There is currently no rule of law that requires “green” taxes to be used for “green” purposes such as the establishment of a National Climate Change Fund.

9   IFS have reviewed the UK’s complex green tax system and have published an advance report timed to coincide with COP 26.

10   The report calls for review and reform as well as international co-operation on aviation and business taxes.

11   It also states that the 5% VAT rate on domestic gas is effectively a subsidy on emissions and a disincentive to energy efficiency improvements.

12   One in 7 UK households lives in acute fuel poverty (BEIS statistics 2019) and fuel bill fears affect a much broader demographic, 

13   While BEIS statistics note the value of insulation incentives in reducing fuel poverty, Green Deal and Green Homes grants were withdrawn in March 2021.

14   Cold homes are responsible for 11,500 of excess deaths every year and treatment for related conditions costs the NHS c £2 billion a year (ONS, CLC)

15   The Construction Leadership Council’s report “Greening our Existing Homes” states that homes use 35% of all UK energy and account for 20% of CO2 emissions. It sets out a detailed National Retrofit Strategy without which the UK emission targets cannot be achieved

16  Emissions taxation policy, fuel poverty and retrofitting existing homes remain inextricably linked. It is for this reason that we have chosen to put two linked motions before the council today. 

 

Further  ...  view the full agenda text for item 21/39/CNLe

Minutes:

Councillor Bennett proposed and Councillor Copley seconded the following motion.  Consent of council was not granted for Councillor  Bennett to alter motion 6e under Council Procedure Rule 26.

 

This council calls upon Michael Gove MP to work to end fuel poverty, create new jobs and achieve the UK’s emission targets by adopting the National retrofit strategy set out in the Construction Leadership Council consultative document and in particular to fund the retrofitting of all council homes and housing association homes by 2025.

 

Background notes on the motions

 

1  Councillors will be well aware that the UK is legally committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and of our own council’s ambitions of achieving that goal by 2030.

2  The Institute for Fiscal Studies (“IFS”) have published two reports in October 2021 that address how this plan might be funded.

3  IFS reports that most UK councils will require substantial additional funding to meet current service levels and statutory obligations. https://ifs.org.uk/publications/15673

4  This shows that councils have only the most limited scope to fund this work.

5  This is borne out by Cambridge’s own forecasts and accounts.

6  Although the UK does not have a named carbon tax as such, it has had a variety of taxes that have a similar rule for 30 years. The positive impact of these taxes on business and consumer behaviour is well documented and is considered to be one of the principal drivers for the 38% reduction in UK greenhouse emissions between 1990 and 2018.

7  The Office of Budget Responsibility (“OBR”) reports that the tax yield from emissions taxes exceeds new government expenditure on reducing emissions and has actually fallen as a percentage of the total tax yield.

8  There is currently no rule of law that requires “green” taxes to be used for “green” purposes such as the establishment of a National Climate Change Fund.

9  IFS have reviewed the UK’s complex green tax system and have published an advance report timed to coincide with COP 26.

10  The report calls for review and reform as well as international co-operation on aviation and business taxes.

11  It also states that the 5% VAT rate on domestic gas is effectively a subsidy on emissions and a disincentive to energy efficiency improvements.

12  One in 7 UK households lives in acute fuel poverty (BEIS statistics 2019) and fuel bill fears affect a much broader demographic, 

13  While BEIS statistics note the value of insulation incentives in reducing fuel poverty, Green Deal and Green Homes grants were withdrawn in March 2021.

14  Cold homes are responsible for 11,500 of excess deaths every year and treatment for related conditions costs the NHS c £2 billion a year (ONS, CLC)

15  The Construction Leadership Council’s report “Greening our Existing Homes” states that homes use 35% of all UK energy and account for 20% of CO2 emissions. It sets out a detailed National Retrofit Strategy without which the UK emission targets cannot be achieved

16  Emissions taxation policy, fuel poverty and retrofitting existing homes remain inextricably linked. It is for this reason that we have chosen to put two linked motions before the council today. 

 

Further reading  https://ifs.org.uk/publications/15653, https://www.constructionleadershipcouncil.co.uk/workstream/net-zero-carbon-workstream/

 

Councillor Moore proposed and Councillor Gilderdale seconded the following amendment to motion: (additional text underlined).

 

This council believes that a socially just and carbon-neutral recovery from the pandemic is not only possible but imperative if we are to meet the vision set out in our Climate Change Strategy 2021. However, up to now much of national Government’s proposed actions are little more than rhetoric. We really need to turn rhetoric into action.

 

Melting ice caps and forest fires can often seem like someone else’s crisis when many are taking effect so far from our homes. But crises closer to home affecting thousands of local families cannot be separated from those further afield.

 

Across the UK there are more than 24 million homes leaking heat, not just wasting the Earth’s precious resources and creating greenhouse gas emissions but also leaving many residents in cold, damp homes and in fuel poverty. There is no route to decarbonising the economy without retrofitting these homes. Doing so would not only help to protect our planet, improve housing and lead to cheaper energy bills but it would also create hundreds of thousands of good quality jobs across the whole country.

 

This council notes that;

 

·  The highest temperature ever recorded in the UK was here in Cambridge, in July 2019 and we know that we are already facing a serious water shortage.

·  Cambridge has approximately 51,240 homes which need to be retrofitted.

·  It is estimated that the average investment needed to fully decarbonise each home in the UK is a minimum of £50k.

·  Therefore, to decarbonise all homes in Cambridge would cost an estimated £2.562 billion.

·  To retrofit all homes in Cambridge by this council’s own Net Zero Carbon vision of 2030 would require 6,405 homes being completed each year.

·  To retrofit all homes in Cambridge by the government’s Net Zero Carbon target of 2050 would require 1,830 homes being completed each year.

·  We have commissioned two high-level retrofit studies to identify what energy efficiency and renewable energy measures would need to be installed for different property archetypes in Cambridge to reach net zero carbon emissions and to provide more accurate costings for retrofitting both council and private homes.

·  Over the period of the Council’s previous climate change strategies, we have invested £4.3 million in energy efficiency improvements to Council homes, focussing on bringing the lowest rated properties up to an EPC rating of C.

·  From 2020/21 to 2022/23, we have committed to investing a further £2.5 million to improve the energy efficiency of some of the remaining Council homes with EPC ratings of D to G, with the aim of bringing these up to a C rating or above where feasible.

·  In February 2021 the Council was successful in its consortium bid with other Cambridgeshire local authorities to the Government’s Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery (LAD) scheme and was awarded just over £2m to retrofit social and private housing.

·  As part of a Cambridgeshire local authority consortium, the council has recently submitted a further £5.5m bid into the Sustainable Warmth Scheme, which is scheduled to be implemented between January 2022 and March 2023 if successful.

·  The latest fuel poverty data for 2019 states 14.9% of Cambridge residents are experiencing fuel poverty. Energy efficiency also helps to reduce the impact of increasing energy prices and volatile energy markets.

·  Cambridge City Council is currently working with PECT with the Warm Homes scheme to provide support to those experiencing fuel poverty.

·  The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulation for the private rented sector restricts poor energy performing properties being available to rent. Cambridge City Council is implementing this regulation to improve the energy efficiency of the Cambridge rental sector.

·  We have established a working group to plan how we will retrofit our own council housing stock and how best we can support private homeowners and landlords to retrofit theirs.

·  Our project for Building Control to give homeowners energy saving advice using thermal imaging will launch at the end of this year.

 

 

The Great Homes Upgrade calls on the government to offer long term support to local authorities so we can help improve our residents' lives and homes, create thousands of high-quality jobs and decarbonise our housing stock in the face of climate change. 

 

 

This council commits to;

 

·  Join the “Great Homes Upgrade” campaign and for the leader to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Sec of State DLUHC asking for an additional £11.7bn for retrofitting over the next three years as part of the government’s spending review in 2021.

·  The leader will write toThis council calls upon Michael Gove MP asking him to work to end fuel poverty, create new green jobs and achieve the UK’s emission targets by adopting the National retrofit strategy set out in the Construction Leadership Council consultative document and in particular to fund the retrofitting of all council homes and housing association homes by 2025.

·  Widen the scope of our working group to include working with housing associations, private landlords and owner occupiers to help access investment and to build the skills and expertise necessary to reach our Climate Change Strategy aspirations. 

·  Work with local partners, including the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority (who lead on skills strategy), the Greater Cambridge Partnership, local councils, businesses and education providers to create the skilled workforce that we need.

·  Share best practice and stories of retrofit success with the campaign.

·  Write to neighbouring Local Authorities asking them to join the campaign.

·  Sign and circulate the Great Homes Upgrade petition.

 

Background notes on the motions

 

1.  Councillors will be well aware that the UK is legally committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and of our own council’s ambitions of achieving that goal by 2030.

2.  The Institute for Fiscal Studies (“IFS”) have published two reports in October 2021 that address how this plan might be funded.

3.  IFS reports that most UK councils will require substantial additional funding to meet current service levels and statutory obligations. https://ifs.org.uk/publications/15673

4.  This shows that councils have only the most limited scope to fund this work.

5.  This is borne out by Cambridge’s own forecasts and accounts.

6.  Although the UK does not have a named carbon tax as such, it has had a variety of taxes that have a similar rule for 30 years. The positive impact of these taxes on business and consumer behaviour is well documented and is considered to be one of the principal drivers for the 38% reduction in UK greenhouse emissions between 1990 and 2018.

7.  The Office of Budget Responsibility (“OBR”) reports that the tax yield from emissions taxes exceeds new government expenditure on reducing emissions and has actually fallen as a percentage of the total tax yield.

8.  There is currently no rule of law that requires “green” taxes to be used for “green” purposes such as the establishment of a National Climate Change Fund.

9.  IFS have reviewed the UK’s complex green tax system and have published an advance report timed to coincide with COP 26.

10.  The report calls for review and reform as well as international co-operation on aviation and business taxes.

11.  It also states that the 5% VAT rate on domestic gas is effectively a subsidy on emissions and a disincentive to energy efficiency improvements.

12.  One in 7 UK households lives in acute fuel poverty (BEIS statistics 2019) and fuel bill fears affect a much broader demographic, 

13.  While BEIS statistics note the value of insulation incentives in reducing fuel poverty, Green Deal and Green Homes grants were withdrawn in March 2021.

14.  Cold homes are responsible for 11,500 of excess deaths every year and treatment for related conditions costs the NHS c £2 billion a year (ONS, CLC)

15.  The Construction Leadership Council’s report “Greening our Existing Homes” states that homes use 35% of all UK energy and account for 20% of CO2 emissions. It sets out a detailed National Retrofit Strategy without which the UK emission targets cannot be achieved

16.  Emissions taxation policy, fuel poverty and retrofitting existing homes remain inextricably linked. It is for this reason that we have chosen to put two linked motions before the council today. 

 

Further reading  https://ifs.org.uk/publications/15653, https://www.constructionleadershipcouncil.co.uk/workstream/net-zero-carbon-workstream/

 

On a show of hands the amendment was carried by 25 votes to 0.

 

Under Council Procedure Rule 23.4, the Mayor permitted Councillor Dalzell to move his amendment to motion 6g in this debate. Councillor Dalzell proposed and Councillor Gehring seconded the following amendment to motion (additional text underlined).

 

This council believes that a socially just and carbon-neutral recovery from the pandemic is not only possible but imperative if we are to meet the vision set out in our Climate Change Strategy 2021. However, up to now much of national Government’s proposed actions are little more than rhetoric. We really need to turn rhetoric into action.

 

Melting ice caps and forest fires can often seem like someone else’s crisis when many are taking effect so far from our homes. But crises closer to home affecting thousands of local families cannot be separated from those further afield.

 

Across the UK there are more than 24 million homes leaking heat, not just wasting the Earth’s precious resources and creating greenhouse gas emissions but also leaving many residents in cold, damp homes and in fuel poverty. There is no route to decarbonising the economy without retrofitting these homes. Doing so would not only help to protect our planet, improve housing and lead to cheaper energy bills but it would also create hundreds of thousands of good quality jobs across the whole country.

 

This council notes that;

 

·  The highest temperature ever recorded in the UK was here in Cambridge, in July 2019 and we know that we are already facing a serious water shortage.

·  Cambridge has approximately 51,240 homes which need to be retrofitted.

·  It is estimated that the average investment needed to fully decarbonise each home in the UK is a minimum of £50k.

·  Therefore, to decarbonise all homes in Cambridge would cost an estimated £2.562 billion.

·  To retrofit all homes in Cambridge by this council’s own Net Zero Carbon vision of 2030 would require 6,405 homes being completed each year.

·  To retrofit all homes in Cambridge by the government’s Net Zero Carbon target of 2050 would require 1,830 homes being completed each year.

·  We have commissioned two high-level retrofit studies to identify what energy efficiency and renewable energy measures would need to be installed for different property archetypes in Cambridge to reach net zero carbon emissions and to provide more accurate costings for retrofitting both council and private homes.

·  Over the period of the Council’s previous climate change strategies, we have invested £4.3 million in energy efficiency improvements to Council homes, focussing on bringing the lowest rated properties up to an EPC rating of C.

·  From 2020/21 to 2022/23, we have committed to investing a further £2.5 million to improve the energy efficiency of some of the remaining Council homes with EPC ratings of D to G, with the aim of bringing these up to a C rating or above where feasible.

·  In February 2021 the Council was successful in its consortium bid with other Cambridgeshire local authorities to the Government’s Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery (LAD) scheme and was awarded just over £2m to retrofit social and private housing.

·  The premature closure of the Government’s Green Homes Grant programme in March 2021 due to a lack of uptake, which has been subsequently blamed by the Business Minister on “challenging timelines” and a failure to run local pilots.

·  The new Government ‘Heat and buildings strategy’, which seeks to introduce Home Upgrade Grants, but appears to provide insufficient policies and investments to decarbonise the UK in line with the Paris Accord.

·  As part of a Cambridgeshire local authority consortium, the council has recently submitted a further £5.5m bid into the Sustainable Warmth Scheme, which is scheduled to be implemented between January 2022 and March 2023 if successful.

·  The latest fuel poverty data for 2019 states 14.9% of Cambridge residents are experiencing fuel poverty. Energy efficiency also helps to reduce the impact of increasing energy prices and volatile energy markets.

·  Cambridge City Council is currently working with PECT with the Warm Homes scheme to provide support to those experiencing fuel poverty.

·  The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulation for the private rented sector restricts poor energy performing properties being available to rent. Cambridge City Council is implementing this regulation to improve the energy efficiency of the Cambridge rental sector.

·  We have established a working group to plan how we will retrofit our own council housing stock and how best we can support private homeowners and landlords to retrofit theirs.

·  Our project for Building Control to give homeowners energy saving advice using thermal imaging will launch at the end of this year.

 

The Great Homes Upgrade calls on the government to offer long term support to local authorities so we can help improve our residents' lives and homes, create thousands of high-quality jobs and decarbonise our housing stock in the face of climate change.

 

This council commits to;

·  Join the “Great Homes Upgrade” campaign and for the leader to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Sec of State DLUHC asking for an additional £11.7bn for retrofitting over the next three years as part of the government’s spending review in 2021.

·  Include in this letter an offer to host pilot schemes in Cambridge to help develop nationwide insulation programmes and to help avoid further failures like the Green House Grant scheme.

·  To put forward a clear deadline for getting all Council homes to an EPC standard of C or above in next HRA Budget Setting Report.

·  Widen the scope of our working group to include working with housing associations, private landlords and owner occupiers to help access investment and to build the skills and expertise necessary to reach our Climate Change Strategy aspirations.

·  Work with local partners, including the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority (who lead on skills strategy), the Greater Cambridge Partnership, local councils, businesses and education providers to create the skilled workforce that we need.

·  Actively support homeowners to identify and apply for Home Upgrade Grants, and any other government grants that become available, and promote such grant schemes more widely on our website, social media and in Cambridge Matters. 

·  Share best practice and stories of retrofit success with the campaign.

·  Write to neighbouring Local Authorities asking them to join the campaign.

·  Sign and circulate the Great Homes Upgrade petition.

 

On a show of hands the amendment was lost by 14 votes to 22.

 

Resolved (by 35 votes to 1) that:

 

This council believes that a socially just and carbon-neutral recovery from the pandemic is not only possible but imperative if we are to meet the vision set out in our Climate Change Strategy 2021. However, up to now much of national Government’s proposed actions are little more than rhetoric. We really need to turn rhetoric into action.

 

Melting ice caps and forest fires can often seem like someone else’s crisis when many are taking effect so far from our homes. But crises closer to home affecting thousands of local families cannot be separated from those further afield.

 

Across the UK there are more than 24 million homes leaking heat, not just wasting the Earth’s precious resources and creating greenhouse gas emissions but also leaving many residents in cold, damp homes and in fuel poverty. There is no route to decarbonising the economy without retrofitting these homes. Doing so would not only help to protect our planet, improve housing and lead to cheaper energy bills but it would also create hundreds of thousands of good quality jobs across the whole country.

 

This council notes that;

 

·  The highest temperature ever recorded in the UK was here in Cambridge, in July 2019 and we know that we are already facing a serious water shortage.

·  Cambridge has approximately 51,240 homes which need to be retrofitted.

·  It is estimated that the average investment needed to fully decarbonise each home in the UK is a minimum of £50k.

·  Therefore, to decarbonise all homes in Cambridge would cost an estimated £2.562 billion.

·  To retrofit all homes in Cambridge by this council’s own Net Zero Carbon vision of 2030 would require 6,405 homes being completed each year.

·  To retrofit all homes in Cambridge by the government’s Net Zero Carbon target of 2050 would require 1,830 homes being completed each year.

·  We have commissioned two high-level retrofit studies to identify what energy efficiency and renewable energy measures would need to be installed for different property archetypes in Cambridge to reach net zero carbon emissions and to provide more accurate costings for retrofitting both council and private homes.

·  Over the period of the Council’s previous climate change strategies, we have invested £4.3 million in energy efficiency improvements to Council homes, focussing on bringing the lowest rated properties up to an EPC rating of C.

·  From 2020/21 to 2022/23, we have committed to investing a further £2.5 million to improve the energy efficiency of some of the remaining Council homes with EPC ratings of D to G, with the aim of bringing these up to a C rating or above where feasible.

·  In February 2021 the Council was successful in its consortium bid with other Cambridgeshire local authorities to the Government’s Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery (LAD) scheme and was awarded just over £2m to retrofit social and private housing.

·  As part of a Cambridgeshire local authority consortium, the council has recently submitted a further £5.5m bid into the Sustainable Warmth Scheme, which is scheduled to be implemented between January 2022 and March 2023 if successful.

·  The latest fuel poverty data for 2019 states 14.9% of Cambridge residents are experiencing fuel poverty. Energy efficiency also helps to reduce the impact of increasing energy prices and volatile energy markets.

·  Cambridge City Council is currently working with PECT with the Warm Homes scheme to provide support to those experiencing fuel poverty.

·  The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulation for the private rented sector restricts poor energy performing properties being available to rent. Cambridge City Council is implementing this regulation to improve the energy efficiency of the Cambridge rental sector.

·  We have established a working group to plan how we will retrofit our own council housing stock and how best we can support private homeowners and landlords to retrofit theirs.

·  Our project for Building Control to give homeowners energy saving advice using thermal imaging will launch at the end of this year.

 

The Great Homes Upgrade calls on the government to offer long term support to local authorities so we can help improve our residents' lives and homes, create thousands of high-quality jobs and decarbonise our housing stock in the face of climate change. 

 

This council commits to;

 

·  Join the “Great Homes Upgrade” campaign and for the leader to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Sec of State DLUHC asking for an additional £11.7bn for retrofitting over the next three years as part of the government’s spending review in 2021.

·  The leader will write to Michael Gove MP asking him to work to end fuel poverty, create new green jobs and achieve the UK’s emission targets by adopting the National retrofit strategy set out in the Construction Leadership Council consultative document and in particular to fund the retrofitting of all council homes and housing association homes by 2025.

·  Widen the scope of our working group to include working with housing associations, private landlords and owner occupiers to help access investment and to build the skills and expertise necessary to reach our Climate Change Strategy aspirations. 

·  Work with local partners, including the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority (who lead on skills strategy), the Greater Cambridge Partnership, local councils, businesses and education providers to create the skilled workforce that we need.

·  Share best practice and stories of retrofit success with the campaign.

·  Write to neighbouring Local Authorities asking them to join the campaign.

·  Sign and circulate the Great Homes Upgrade petition.

 

Background notes on the motions

 

1.  Councillors will be well aware that the UK is legally committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and of our own council’s ambitions of achieving that goal by 2030.

2.  The Institute for Fiscal Studies (“IFS”) have published two reports in October 2021 that address how this plan might be funded.

3.  IFS reports that most UK councils will require substantial additional funding to meet current service levels and statutory obligations. https://ifs.org.uk/publications/15673

4.  This shows that councils have only the most limited scope to fund this work.

5.  This is borne out by Cambridge’s own forecasts and accounts.

6.  Although the UK does not have a named carbon tax as such, it has had a variety of taxes that have a similar rule for 30 years. The positive impact of these taxes on business and consumer behaviour is well documented and is considered to be one of the principal drivers for the 38% reduction in UK greenhouse emissions between 1990 and 2018.

7.  The Office of Budget Responsibility (“OBR”) reports that the tax yield from emissions taxes exceeds new government expenditure on reducing emissions and has actually fallen as a percentage of the total tax yield.

8.  There is currently no rule of law that requires “green” taxes to be used for “green” purposes such as the establishment of a National Climate Change Fund.

9.  IFS have reviewed the UK’s complex green tax system and have published an advance report timed to coincide with COP 26.

10.  The report calls for review and reform as well as international co-operation on aviation and business taxes.

11.  It also states that the 5% VAT rate on domestic gas is effectively a subsidy on emissions and a disincentive to energy efficiency improvements.

12.  One in 7 UK households lives in acute fuel poverty (BEIS statistics 2019) and fuel bill fears affect a much broader demographic, 

13.  While BEIS statistics note the value of insulation incentives in reducing fuel poverty, Green Deal and Green Homes grants were withdrawn in March 2021.

14.  Cold homes are responsible for 11,500 of excess deaths every year and treatment for related conditions costs the NHS c £2 billion a year (ONS, CLC)

15.  The Construction Leadership Council’s report “Greening our Existing Homes” states that homes use 35% of all UK energy and account for 20% of CO2 emissions. It sets out a detailed National Retrofit Strategy without which the UK emission targets cannot be achieved

16.  Emissions taxation policy, fuel poverty and retrofitting existing homes remain inextricably linked. It is for this reason that we have chosen to put two linked motions before the council today. 

 

Further reading  https://ifs.org.uk/publications/15653, https://www.constructionleadershipcouncil.co.uk/workstream/net-zero-carbon-workstream/

 

 

 

 

21/39/CNLf

Councillor Lee: Removal of Universal Credit boost

Council notes:

·  That in March 2020, the government increased Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit by £20 a week to support families through the economic challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

·  That this scheme officially ended on 6th October 2021.

·  That the cut to Universal Credit is the biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security since the modern welfare state began.

·  Analysis by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation indicates that 21% of all working-age families will experience a £1,040-a-year cut to their incomes due to the removal of the uplift.

·  The increase in the number of children receiving Free School Meals nationally, the increase in families relying on help from food banks nationally, and the increase in the number of families claiming Universal Credit in Cambridgeshire following the pandemic.

·  That pressures on family incomes are mounting, due to the rise in the cost of living as a direct consequence of this government’s actions in leaving the European Union, and inactions in failing to implement policies that could have negated some of its impacts.

 

Council believes:

·  It is a national disgrace that anyone should have to rely on help from food banks in one of the largest economies in the world.

·  That the withdrawal of the Universal Credit boost at this time will have a significant detrimental impact on the financial security and wellbeing of those affected in Cambridge.

·  That the decision to remove the uplift is deplorable, and not the actions of a responsible government.

 

Council resolves to:

·  Write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, to express this council’s grave concern at the impact that the cut of £20 a week to Universal Credit will have on many families in Cambridge, and request that the cut to the Universal Credit uplift be reversed.

·  Continue to offer support to our families who are on Universal Credit through our existing Council services.

·  Ensure the council website and social media provides clear signposting to sources of financial support.

Minutes:

Councillor Lee proposed and Councillor Nethsingha seconded the following motion. Councillor Lee amended the motion with Council’s consent under Council Procedure Rule 26, additional text underlined. 

 

Council notes:

·  That in March 2020, the government increased Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit by £20 a week to support families through the economic challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

·  That this scheme officially ended on 6th October 2021.

·  That the cut to Universal Credit is the biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security since the modern welfare state began.

·  Analysis by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation indicates that 21% of all working-age families will experience a £1,040-a-year cut to their incomes due to the removal of the uplift.

·  The increase in the number of children receiving Free School Meals nationally, the increase in families relying on help from food banks nationally, and the increase in the number of families claiming Universal Credit in Cambridgeshire following the pandemic.

·  That pressures on family incomes are mounting, due to the rise in the cost of living as a direct consequence of this government’s actions in leaving the European Union, and inactions in failing to implement policies that could have negated some of its impacts.

·  That due to the price of gas rising by 250% this year, energy bills have dramatically increased also, while Winter Fuel Payments, which were already inadequate, have not kept up with this rise.

Council believes:

·  It is a national disgrace that anyone should have to rely on help from food banks in one of the largest economies in the world.

·  That the withdrawal of the Universal Credit boost at this time will have a significant detrimental impact on the financial security and wellbeing of those affected in Cambridge.

·  That the decision to remove the uplift is deplorable, and not the actions of a responsible government.

 

Council resolves to:

·  Write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, to express this council’s grave concern at the impact that the cut of £20 a week to Universal Credit will have on many families in Cambridge, and request that the cut to the Universal Credit uplift be reversed.

·  Continue to offer support to our families who are on Universal Credit through our existing Council services.

·  Ensure the council website and social media provides clear signposting to sources of financial support.

Councillor S. Baigent proposed and Councillor Sweeney seconded the following amendment to motion (additional text underlined, deleted text struckthrough).

Council notes:

·  That in March 2020, the government increased Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit by £20 a week to support families through the economic challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

·  That this scheme officially ended on 6th October 2021.

·  That the cut to Universal Credit is the biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security since the modern welfare state began.

·  Analysis by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation indicates that 21% of all working-age families will experience a £1,040-a-year cut to their incomes due to the removal of the uplift.

·  The increase in the number of children receiving Free School Meals nationally, the increase in families relying on help from food banks nationally as well as food hubs locally, and the increase in the number of families claiming Universal Credit in Cambridgeshire following the pandemic.

·  That pressures on family incomes are mounting, due to the rise in the cost of living as a direct consequence of this government’s actions in leaving the European Union, including rising food prices and fuel costs as well as their failureand inactions in failing to implement sustained, long-term policies that could have negated some of its impact.

·  That the Winter Support Payments proposed by the Government are not at a sufficient level to meet the level of need.

·  The Welsh Government’s bold commitment to trial a Universal Basic Income (UBI) with 5000 residents over 24 months and welcomes its bold vision and clear commitment to tackling inequality.

 

Council believes;

·  That it is a national disgrace that anyone should have to rely on help from food banks in one of the largest economies in the world.

·  That the withdrawal of the Universal Credit boost at this time will have a significant detrimental impact on the financial security and wellbeing of those affected in Cambridge.

·  That the decision to remove the uplift is deplorable, and not the actions of a responsible government.

 

Council resolves to;

·  Write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, to express this council’s grave concern at the impact that the cut of £20 a week to Universal Credit will have on many families in Cambridge, and request that the cut to the Universal Credit uplift be reversed.

·  Continue to offer support to our families who are on Universal Credit through our existing Council services.

·  Ensure the council website and social media provides continues to provide clear signposting to sources of financial support.

 

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

 

Resolved (unanimously) that:

 

Council notes:

·  That in March 2020, the government increased Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit by £20 a week to support families through the economic challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

·  That this scheme officially ended on 6th October 2021.

·  That the cut to Universal Credit is the biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security since the modern welfare state began.

·  Analysis by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation indicates that 21% of all working-age families will experience a £1,040-a-year cut to their incomes due to the removal of the uplift.

·  The increase in the number of children receiving Free School Meals nationally, the increase in families relying on help from food banks nationally as well as food hubs locally, and the increase in the number of families claiming Universal Credit in Cambridgeshire following the pandemic.

·  That pressures on family incomes are mounting, due to the rise in the cost of living as a direct consequence of this government’s actions in leaving the European Union, including rising food prices and fuel costs as well as their failureto implement sustained, long-term policies that could have negated some of its impact.

·  That the Winter Support Payments proposed by the Government are not at a sufficient level to meet the level of need.

·  The Welsh Government’s bold commitment to trial a Universal Basic Income (UBI) with 5000 residents over 24 months and welcomes its bold vision and clear commitment to tackling inequality.

 

Council believes;

·  That it is a national disgrace that anyone should have to rely on help from food banks in one of the largest economies in the world.

·  That the withdrawal of the Universal Credit boost at this time will have a significant detrimental impact on the financial security and wellbeing of those affected in Cambridge.

·  That the decision to remove the uplift is deplorable, and not the actions of a responsible government.

 

Council resolves to;

·  Write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, to express this council’s grave concern at the impact that the cut of £20 a week to Universal Credit will have on many families in Cambridge, and request that the cut to the Universal Credit uplift be reversed.

·  Continue to offer support to our families who are on Universal Credit through our existing Council services.

·  Ensure the council website and social media continues to provide clear signposting to sources of financial support.

 

 

21/39/CNLg

Councillor Moore: Great Homes Upgrade

This council believes that a socially just and carbon-neutral recovery from the pandemic is not only possible but imperative if we are to meet the vision set out in our Climate Change Strategy 2021. However, up to now much of national Government’s proposed actions are little more than rhetoric. We really need to turn rhetoric into action.

 

Melting ice caps and forest fires can often seem like someone else’s crisis when many are taking effect so far from our homes. But crises closer to home affecting thousands of local families cannot be separated from those further afield.

 

Across the UK there are more than 24 million homes leaking heat, not just wasting the Earth’s precious resources and creating greenhouse gas emissions but also leaving many residents in cold, damp homes and in fuel poverty. There is no route to decarbonising the economy without retrofitting these homes. Doing so would not only help to protect our planet, improve housing and lead to cheaper energy bills but it would also create hundreds of thousands of good quality jobs across the whole country.

 

This council notes that;

 

·  The highest temperature ever recorded in the UK was here in Cambridge, in July 2019 and we know that we are already facing a serious water shortage.

·  Cambridge has approximately 51,240 homes which need to be retrofitted.

·  It is estimated that the average investment needed to fully decarbonise each home in the UK is a minimum of £50k.

·  Therefore, to decarbonise all homes in Cambridge would cost an estimated £2.562 billion.

·  To retrofit all homes in Cambridge by this council’s own Net Zero Carbon vision of 2030 would require 6,405 homes being completed each year.

·  To retrofit all homes in Cambridge by the government’s Net Zero Carbon target of 2050 would require 1,830 homes being completed each year.

·  We have commissioned two high-level retrofit studies to identify what energy efficiency and renewable energy measures would need to be installed for different property archetypes in Cambridge to reach net zero carbon emissions and to provide more accurate costings for retrofitting both council and private homes.

·  Over the period of the Council’s previous climate change strategies, we have invested £4.3 million in energy efficiency improvements to Council homes, focussing on bringing the lowest rated properties up to an EPC rating of C.

·  From 2020/21 to 2022/23, we have committed to investing a further £2.5 million to improve the energy efficiency of some of the remaining Council homes with EPC ratings of D to G, with the aim of bringing these up to a C rating or above where feasible.

·  In February 2021 the Council was successful in its consortium bid with other Cambridgeshire local authorities to the Government’s Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery (LAD) scheme and was awarded just over £2m to retrofit social and private housing.

·  As part of a Cambridgeshire local authority consortium, the council has recently submitted a further £5.5m bid into the Sustainable Warmth Scheme, which is scheduled to be implemented between January  ...  view the full agenda text for item 21/39/CNLg

Minutes:

This motion was withdrawn under Council Procedure Rule 27.

 

21/39/CNLh

Councillor Copley: Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

This Council resolves to:

-  Affirm their ongoing commitment to the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global heating to 1.5°C.

-  Endorse the call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, involving the end of new fossil fuel exploration and expansion, equitably phasing out existing production in line with the global commitment to limit warming to 1.5°C, and accelerating just energy transition plans.

-  Write to Alok Sharma MP, President for COP26 and the Prime Minister, urging them to endorse the call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

 

This Council notes:

-  The recent report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reaffirms the vital need for rapid and significant reduction of carbon emissions, and has been described as ‘a code red for humanity’ by the Secretary General of the United Nations, and that “The report must sound a death knell to coal and fossil fuels, before they destroy our planet”.

-  Global governments and the fossil fuel industry are currently planning to overshoot the remaining carbon budget (that would avert catastrophic climate disruption by limiting global heating to 1.5°C) by 120% by the year 2030.

-  That a recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) report states that the fossil fuel industry is subsidised at the rate of $11 million / minute.

-  That the construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure and expanded reliance on fossil fuels exposes communities to untenable risks to public health and safety at the local and global level.

-  That the economic opportunities presented by a clean energy transition far outweigh the opportunities presented by an economy supported by expanding fossil fuel use and extraction, and that the UK should be committed, as part of our Climate Emergency response, to a just energy transition and to ambitious investments in green infrastructure and industries that will create jobs and rapidly decarbonize our economy.

-  That the global initiative underway calling for a ‘Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty’, is deserving of support, and that other leading cities including Barcelona, Toronto, Los Angeles and Sydney have already endorsed the call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Copley proposed and Councillor Bennett seconded the following motion: 

 

This Council resolves to:

-  Affirm their ongoing commitment to the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global heating to 1.5°C.

-  Endorse the call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, involving the end of new fossil fuel exploration and expansion, equitably phasing out existing production in line with the global commitment to limit warming to 1.5°C, and accelerating just energy transition plans.

-  Write to Alok Sharma MP, President for COP26 and the Prime Minister, urging them to endorse the call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

 

This Council notes:

-  The recent report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reaffirms the vital need for rapid and significant reduction of carbon emissions, and has been described as ‘a code red for humanity’ by the Secretary General of the United Nations, and that “The report must sound a death knell to coal and fossil fuels, before they destroy our planet”.

-  Global governments and the fossil fuel industry are currently planning to overshoot the remaining carbon budget (that would avert catastrophic climate disruption by limiting global heating to 1.5°C) by 120% by the year 2030.

-  That a recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) report states that the fossil fuel industry is subsidised at the rate of $11 million / minute.

-  That the construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure and expanded reliance on fossil fuels exposes communities to untenable risks to public health and safety at the local and global level.

-  That the economic opportunities presented by a clean energy transition far outweigh the opportunities presented by an economy supported by expanding fossil fuel use and extraction, and that the UK should be committed, as part of our Climate Emergency response, to a just energy transition and to ambitious investments in green infrastructure and industries that will create jobs and rapidly decarbonize our economy.

-  That the global initiative underway calling for a ‘Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty’, is deserving of support, and that other leading cities including Barcelona, Toronto, Los Angeles and Sydney have already endorsed the call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

 

Resolved (unanimously) to support the motion.

 

21/39/CNLi

Councillor A.Smith: Parental Leave and Family Friendly Policies

This council notes the following.

1.  The community has a right to be represented by a diversity of councillors and residents should have a diversity of councillors for whom to vote.

2.  Analysis, by the Fawcett Society, of the 2019 Local Election results found that only 35% of councillors in England are women, up 1% since 2018. Of the seats up for election in 2018, 38% went to women, up just 3 percentage points on 2014 when these seats were last contested.

3.  Only 15% of councillors nationally are under 45 years of age.

4.  As of October 2020, 27 councils have passed the LGA Labour Group’s Parental Leave policy, and an additional 9 councils have their own parental leave policy.

5.   Cambridge does not have a formal parental leave policy for councillors.

6.  The role of a councillor should be open to all, regardless of  background, and  introducing a parental leave policy and other family friendly policies is a step towards encouraging a wider range of people to become councillors, and is also a step to encourage existing councillors who may wish to start a family to remain as councillors;

7.  Parental leave must apply to parents regardless of their gender, and should cover adoption leave to support those parents who choose to adopt.

8.  Parental leave is only part of the picture and other family friendly policies such as support for carers, remote/hybrid meetings, and becoming a breastfeeding-friendly council would further ensure a greater diversity of councillors.  And also that family friendly policies are in themselves only a small part of the wider need for policies which encourage truly diverse representation.

This Council resolves the following.

1.  To adapt to suit a Cambridge context the parental leave policy drafted by the LGA Labour Group’s Women’s Task Force and to bring the recommendations to Civic Affairs as part of the next round of discussions on councillor remuneration. Parental Leave Policy for Councils | Local Government Association

2.  To ensure that councillors with children and other caring commitments are supported as appropriate.

3.  To acknowledge this is only one part of the picture, and to commit to investigating other inclusive policies and bringing those recommendations forward in the future.

4.  To write to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to urge him to introduce legislation to allow councils to adopt remote and hybrid meetings where they deem it appropriate to do so.

 

Local Government Association

Parental Leave Policy for Councils

This Policy sets out Members’ entitlement to maternity, paternity, shared parental and adoption leave and relevant allowances.


Introduction

The objective of the policy is to ensure that insofar as possible Members are able to take appropriate leave at the time of birth or adoption, that both parents are able to take leave, and that reasonable and adequate arrangements are in place to provide cover for portfolio-holders and others in receipt of Special Responsibility Allowances (SRA) during any period of leave taken.

Improved provision for new  ...  view the full agenda text for item 21/39/CNLi

Minutes:

Councillor A.Smith proposed and Councillor Smart seconded the following motion: 

 

This council notes the following.

1.  The community has a right to be represented by a diversity of councillors and residents should have a diversity of councillors for whom to vote.

2.  Analysis, by the Fawcett Society, of the 2019 Local Election results found that only 35% of councillors in England are women, up 1% since 2018. Of the seats up for election in 2018, 38% went to women, up just 3 percentage points on 2014 when these seats were last contested.

3.  Only 15% of councillors nationally are under 45 years of age.

4.  As of October 2020, 27 councils have passed the LGA Labour Group’s Parental Leave policy, and an additional 9 councils have their own parental leave policy.

5.   Cambridge does not have a formal parental leave policy for councillors.

6.  The role of a councillor should be open to all, regardless of  background, and  introducing a parental leave policy and other family friendly policies is a step towards encouraging a wider range of people to become councillors, and is also a step to encourage existing councillors who may wish to start a family to remain as councillors;

7.  Parental leave must apply to parents regardless of their gender, and should cover adoption leave to support those parents who choose to adopt.

8.  Parental leave is only part of the picture and other family friendly policies such as support for carers, remote/hybrid meetings, and becoming a breastfeeding-friendly council would further ensure a greater diversity of councillors.  And also that family friendly policies are in themselves only a small part of the wider need for policies which encourage truly diverse representation.

This Council resolves the following.

1.  To adapt to suit a Cambridge context the parental leave policy drafted by the LGA Labour Group’s Women’s Task Force and to bring the recommendations to Civic Affairs as part of the next round of discussions on councillor remuneration. Parental Leave Policy for Councils | Local Government Association

2.  To ensure that councillors with children and other caring commitments are supported as appropriate.

3.  To acknowledge this is only one part of the picture, and to commit to investigating other inclusive policies and bringing those recommendations forward in the future.

4.  To write to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to urge him to introduce legislation to allow councils to adopt remote and hybrid meetings where they deem it appropriate to do so.

 

Councillor Porrer proposed and Councillor Gehring seconded the following amendment to motion (additional text underlined).

This council notes the following.

1.  The community has a right to be represented by a diversity of councillors and residents should have a diversity of councillors for whom to vote.

2.  Analysis, by the Fawcett Society, of the 2019 Local Election results found that only 35% of councillors in England are women, up 1% since 2018. Of the seats up for election in 2018, 38% went to women, up just 3 percentage points on 2014 when these seats were last contested.

3.  Only 15% of councillors nationally are under 45 years of age.

4.  As of October 2020, 27 councils have passed the LGA Labour Group’s Parental Leave policy, and an additional 9 councils have their own parental leave policy.

5.  Cambridge does not have a formal parental leave policy for councillors.

6.  The role of a councillor should be open to all, regardless of  background, and  introducing a parental leave policy and other family friendly policies is a step towards encouraging a wider range of people to become councillors, and is also a step to encourage existing councillors who may wish to start a family to remain as councillors;

7.  Parental leave must apply to parents regardless of their gender, and should cover adoption leave to support those parents who choose to adopt.

8.  Parental leave is only part of the picture and other family friendly policies such as support for carers, remote/hybrid meetings, and becoming a breastfeeding-friendly council would further ensure a greater diversity of councillors.  And also that family friendly policies are in themselves only a small part of the wider need for policies which encourage truly diverse representation.

This Council resolves the following.

5.  To adapt to suit a Cambridge context the parental leave policy drafted by the LGA Labour Group’s Women’s Task Force and to bring the recommendations to Civic Affairs as part of the next round of discussions on councillor remuneration.

6.  To ensure that councillors with children and other caring commitments are supported as appropriate.

7.  To acknowledge this is only one part of the picture, and to commit to investigating other inclusive policies and bringing those recommendations forward in the future.

8.  To write to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to urge him to introduce legislation to allow councils to adopt remote and hybrid meetings where they deem it appropriate to do so.

9.  Further to this council's resolution at Civic Affairs on 9th October 2019 (19/41/Civ), that this council shall continue to apply pressure via the Local Government Association and any other appropriate routes to allow for proxy voting for local government for those on parental leave, which is not currently permissible, despite already being available to MPs in parliament.

 

https://local.gov.uk/parental-leave-policy-councils

 

On a show of hands the amendment was carried unanimously.

 

Resolved (unanimously) that:

 

This council notes the following.

1.  The community has a right to be represented by a diversity of councillors and residents should have a diversity of councillors for whom to vote.

2.  Analysis, by the Fawcett Society, of the 2019 Local Election results found that only 35% of councillors in England are women, up 1% since 2018. Of the seats up for election in 2018, 38% went to women, up just 3 percentage points on 2014 when these seats were last contested.

3.  Only 15% of councillors nationally are under 45 years of age.

4.  As of October 2020, 27 councils have passed the LGA Labour Group’s Parental Leave policy, and an additional 9 councils have their own parental leave policy.

5.  Cambridge does not have a formal parental leave policy for councillors.

6.  The role of a councillor should be open to all, regardless of  background, and  introducing a parental leave policy and other family friendly policies is a step towards encouraging a wider range of people to become councillors, and is also a step to encourage existing councillors who may wish to start a family to remain as councillors;

7.  Parental leave must apply to parents regardless of their gender, and should cover adoption leave to support those parents who choose to adopt.

8.  Parental leave is only part of the picture and other family friendly policies such as support for carers, remote/hybrid meetings, and becoming a breastfeeding-friendly council would further ensure a greater diversity of councillors.  And also that family friendly policies are in themselves only a small part of the wider need for policies which encourage truly diverse representation.

This Council resolves the following.

 

1.  To adapt to suit a Cambridge context the parental leave policy drafted by the LGA Labour Group’s Women’s Task Force and to bring the recommendations to Civic Affairs as part of the next round of discussions on councillor remuneration.

2.  To ensure that councillors with children and other caring commitments are supported as appropriate.

3.  To acknowledge this is only one part of the picture, and to commit to investigating other inclusive policies and bringing those recommendations forward in the future.

4.  To write to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to urge him to introduce legislation to allow councils to adopt remote and hybrid meetings where they deem it appropriate to do so.

5.  Further to this council's resolution at Civic Affairs on 9th October 2019 (19/41/Civ), that this council shall continue to apply pressure via the Local Government Association and any other appropriate routes to allow for proxy voting for local government for those on parental leave, which is not currently permissible, despite already being available to MPs in parliament.

 

https://local.gov.uk/parental-leave-policy-councils

 

21/40/CNL

Written questions pdf icon PDF 202 KB

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 that had been placed in the information pack and was circulated around the Chamber.