A Cambridge City Council website

Cambridge City Council

Council and democracy

Home > Council and Democracy > Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Meeting Room - St Marks Community Centre, Barton Road, Newnham, CB3 9J2. View directions

Contact: James Goddard  Committee Manager

No. Item


Election of Chair and Vice Chair - WCAC


The Head of Property Services took the Chair whilst the West Central Area Committee elected a Chair.


Councillor Cantrill proposed, and Councillor Holt seconded, the nomination of Councillor Nethsingha as Chair.


Resolved unanimously that Councillor Nethsingha be Chair for the ensuing year.


Councillor Nethsingha assumed the Chair from the Committee Manager at this point.


Councillor Bick proposed, and Councillor Gehring seconded, the nomination of Councillor Holt as Vice Chair.


Resolved unanimously that Councillor Holt be Vice Chair for the ensuing year.


Welcome, Introduction and Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from Councillors Holland and Hipkin.


Councillor Ratcliffe reported that, following Ward boundary changes, Councillor Scutt’s Ward now included part of the West Central Area Committee and she would be attending future meeting. She sent apologies for this meetings.


Declarations of Interest

Members of the committee are asked to declare any interests in the items on the agenda. In the case of any doubt, the advice of the Monitoring Officer should be sought before the meeting.


No declarations of interest were made.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 367 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 9 March 2017


The minutes of the meeting held on 9th March 2017 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Matters and Actions Arising From the Minutes pdf icon PDF 181 KB

Committee Action Sheet from last meeting attached.






Matters Arising


Member of public raised concern about unsuitable site for the location of containers at Canoe Club.


If the new application to move the containers is refused Cllr Cantrill will write to the Planning Committee on behalf of WCAC to ask for the original permission to be revoked.



Councillor Cantrill


Head of Property Services (as WCAC Lead Officer)



Feedback at next WCAC 18/07/17


The containers had now been moved to a more acceptable location. Further work was on-going to improve the appearance of the site.



Matters Arising


Cllr Cantrill on behalf of WAC will liaise with strategic partners to investigate ways of address residents’ concerns of street capacity limits.



Councillor Cantrill



Feedback at next WCAC 18/07/17


This matter has been dealt with elsewhere and was removed from the action list.

Matters Arising


Cllr Gillespie will arrange a meeting with officers and facility staff in the Guildhall to make the defibrillator more accessible.



Councillor Gillespie



Feedback at next WCAC 18/07/17


City Councillors had been offered training in defibrillator use.


The Guildhall had been access as an unsuitable location for a public access defibrillator due to the limited opening hours.

Matters Arising


Ward Councillors to ask officers to investigate nuisance issue reported by residents of Richmond Road regarding property used by Airbnb.



Councillors Cantrill and Holland


Planning Enforcement Officers



Feedback at next WCAC 18/07/17


See open forum notes.

Open Forum


Councillor Nesthingha to receive an update from the County Council’s Highways Officer Andy Bahram. Andy confirmed that he will raise the issue with the Tree Officer to see if the roots can be removed without damaging the tree. Alternatively, the path could be re-profiled to make it safer. 



Councillor Nesthingha



Feedback at next WCAC 18/07/17


Officers had reported that this might be possible. However, work had not yet been completed.

Retain on action sheet until completed.

Open Forum


Councillor Nethsingha to ask Wendy Young if the Lammas Land bins are temporary; and if so, when would they be removed? Or, if they are permanent, will they be fixed properly into the ground?



Councillor Nethsingha


Wendy Young



Feedback at next WCAC 18/07/17


This matter would be considered further later in the year when the summer season was over and a more permanent solution could be investigated.


Consultations would be undertaken with stakeholders regarding a Management Strategy which could include more varied use of the land for community and commercial use.

2016/17 S106 Priority-Setting Round WAC


The Urban Growth Project Manager to find out whether grass damaged during the Shelly Row play area refurbishment works would be made good as part of the S106-funded project  (or advise a suitable alternative officer).





Tim Wetherfield





Feedback at next WCAC 18/07/17





From: John Parrott
Sent: 10 March 2017
Subject: Shelly Row play area


The grassed area will be repaired but we have been waiting for better weather. If action was taken too early we would have actually made matters worse. This should be done in the next couple of weeks.


Open Forum


Councillor Bick to

feedback at next WAC

regarding powers the

City Council may

exercise to bring the

disused cinema on

Hobson Street back

into use.

Councillor Bick

Additional feedback

The current owner of the site was committed to bringing the building back into use. An asset Manager had been appointed and various enquiries and suggestions were under consideration for the future use of the building.



Open Forum

Refer to the ‘Information for the Public’ section for rules on speaking.


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


1.      A member of the public raised concerns about the continued use of a three storey, residential property being used as an Airbnb short let. Residents stated that noise and anti-social behavior was making their lives difficult.


The Director of Planning and Economic Development, Stephen Kelly, stated that the issue of Airbnb use was complex as it covered three legal and policy areas. It was hard to regulate as it went largely unnoticed. Investigations were underway with other authorities to see if any solutions were working elsewhere. Changes to Licensing regulations were expected in September and this might offer a better solution than existing planning regulations.


This was a national issue and current policy did not adequately regulate the problems caused.


Councillor Nethsingha suggested that members of the public should keep a diary of any disturbances or incidents of anti-social behaviour.


Action Point:

The Director of Planning and Economic Development, undertook to produce a briefing note for members regarding this matter.


2.      Lilian Rundblad requested West Central Committee’s support for a LHI bid for double yellow lines on Carisbrooke Road.


Councillor Nethsingha said that this was a County matter and outside the remit of this committee.


3.      Colin Rosenstiel stated that the street lighting on Parker’s Piece had not been repaired despite being reported to council officers a number of times over a period of some months.


         Councillor Bick suggested that there was a similar problem with lighting to the Bus Shelter ???


Policing and Safer Neighbourhoods pdf icon PDF 168 KB


The Committee received a report from Sgt Kevin Misik regarding policing and safer neighbourhoods trends.


The report outlined actions taken since the last reporting period. The current emerging issues/neighbourhood trends for each ward were also highlighted (see report for full details). Previous priorities and engagement activity were noted as detailed in the report.


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


1.      Nationally acid and ammonia attacks are attracting press comment. Is this a problem locally?


Inspector Leadbeater stated that gang culture was spreading and that gang tactics had been copied locally. There had been incidents of ammonia attacks in the city in the last six months.


2.      At the recent Midsummer Fair various individuals with police powers were present. Were these out of county officers appointed by the Chief Inspector of Cambridgeshire police?


All police officers attending this event had been approved by the Chief Inspector of Cambridgeshire police.


3.      There appears to be a large increase in cycle theft. Why isn’t more action being taken?


         The statistics show that there is an increase in cycle theft. However, current policing prioritises people over property.


The Committee expressed disappointment that cycle theft was regarded as a low-risk crime and suggested that this was a crime against young people who could be put at risk if their only means of transport was stolen.


Councillor Gillespie stated local residents had complained that drug dealing was taking place in the street and that this should be a priority for the police.


Councillor Bick felt that the categories covered by the priorities suggested were too broad and that more focused approach produced better results. He suggested losing rough sleeping as a priority was disappointing however partnership working to resolve the wider problems might produce better results.


Sgt Misik stated that the priorities were necessarily broad and that this approach would allow the police to add value locally.


Inspector Leadbeater stated that a number of out of county criminal and drug dealers had been arrested in recent weeks.


Counselling Gehring expressed disappointment at the new approach to setting priorities. He suggested that Area Committees should be allowed to adopt a bottom-up approach with suggestions coming from the community.


The Committee discussed the suggested priorities:


1.   Street-based anti-social behaviour.


2.   Road safety.


3.   Youth-related anti-social behaviour.


4.   Alcohol-related violence and disorder.


5.   Taxi issues.


6.   Licensing issues.


Councillor Nethsingha suggested that based on the Committee’s discussions, priorities 1, 3 and 4 appeared to reflect the Committee’s concerns.


The committee also requested that action be taken on cycle theft but agreed not to make this a priority.


The following priorities were unanimously agreed:


     i.        Street-based anti-social behaviour.

    ii.        Youth-related anti-social behaviour.

   iii.        Alcohol-related violence and disorder.


Street Scene in Historic City Centre

Officer presentation to be followed by discussion by members of the public and committee.


The Committee received a presentation from the Christian Brady the Principal Conservation and Design Officer regarding the Street Scene in the Historic City Centre.


The presentation outlined the difficulties faced in preserving a beautiful and historically significant city whilst maintaining it as a vibrant place that people wanted to be a part of. The conflicting demands of traffic, tourists, modern street furniture, utilities and the need to protect the views of famous landmarks and picture postcard visual aspects were discussed.


The Officer confirmed that the Conservation Area Appraisal had recently been updated. The updated document would be available shortly on the Council’s website.


The Director of Planning and Economic Development, Stephen Kelly, stated that further work was on-going to commission research and consultation work. The project would map out the ways the spaces were currently used and would inform a future strategy. The project would be funded by the Greater Cambridgeshire Partnership. 


The Officers invited the Committee and members of the public to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the City. The following points were raised:


1.   The City was important and deserved Unesco World Heritage Status.

2.   All traffic should be excluded from the central area.

3.   City centre workers need to be able to use public transport for work.

4.   The intimate scale of the centre was valued.

5.   Tourists block important cycle and pedestrian routes into the City and needed to be managed.

6.   Fears were raised about the potential impact of light rail or other future transport options.

7.   The migration of Cambridge University to the fringes of the City with the possibility of the City becoming a sterile environment was a concern.

8.   The opportunity to turn the City into a people centred space as had been achieved elsewhere (New York).

9.   The working title of the project (Spaces and Movement SPD) was agreed to lack impact.

10.               Concerns were raised about getting this project wrong with resulting permanent damage to the City Centre.


The Director of Planning and Economic Development thanked those present for their contributions and assured them that the project would seek a coherent change strategy.