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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1 & 2, The Guildhall, Market Square, Cambridge, CB2 3QJ. View directions

Contact: James Goddard  Committee Manager

Note: Venue has changed from Castle Street Methodist Church 

No. Item




Apologies were received from Councillors Hipkin, Holland and Richards.


Declarations of Interest


No declarations of interest were made.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 287 KB


Councillors made the following comments regarding the minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2018.


17/37/WAC Open Forum

Councillor Scutt said a resident associated with Carisbrooke Road thought the Local Highway Improvement (LHI) bid for double yellow lines was the responsibility of North Area Committee. North Area Committee members have stated it was not their responsibility. The local resident was not aware of who was responsible for LHI bids under the current process.


Councillor Holland (by email):


“The County Councillor for Carisbrooke Road is the Arbury Councillor, but I think it would be clearer to state that this is a case of cross-border liaison as Carisbrooke Road remains in Castle Ward for City Council matters and will do so until the boundary changes in 2020.”


17/37/WAC Open Forum

1 ii. Suggested the LHI application had been made by the Histon Road Residents Association City Council, not a particular Area Committee.


17/35/WAC Policing and Safer Neighbourhoods

“Midsummer Common” incorrectly referred to as “Mid Summer Common”.


17/38/WAC Greater Cambridge Partnership - Verbal Presentation from Chris Tunstall, Interim Transport Director

Councillor Gillespie asked if minutes could include more details about discussions. For example he asked the Director to explain what the GCP were doing to take advantage of the opportunities coming from (and especially the combination of) car clubs, ride sharing, electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles and black box technology.


Councillor Nethsingha said she would liaise with the Committee Manager to review how much detail could be included in minutes after today’s WCAC.


Matters and Actions Arising From the Minutes pdf icon PDF 140 KB


Further update required at next WCAC 05/07/18 for the following:





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


Councillor Cantrill


The containers have been moved to a more acceptable location. Camouflage not correctly constructed.

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


Nick Kester, Enforcement Officer

To be confirmed if bins are needed, if located in appropriate places and whether they should be temporary or permanent.


Mental health issues relating to homelessness and drug use in the city to be future agenda item.




Councillors Harrison and Bick







Councillors Bick and Harrison were undertaking an enquiry into homelessness. Report available as of the New Year of 2018. Can be circulated upon request.

Councillor Cantrill asked for statistics on Severe Weather Emergency Provision regarding the number of rough sleepers brought in from the cold.

Councillor Nethsingha

Follow up with officers.

Request a report from the Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC), plus officer in attendance at next WCAC if possible, regarding:

       i.          The impact of the review on numbers of Police Officers in Cambridgeshire, with particular regard to the City of Cambridge.

     ii.          Request more information from the PCC and the City Council regarding the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme:

·       Scheme details.

·       Consultees and consultation process.

·       Who has/will be given powers and how can they be identified eg uniform?

Councillor Nethsingha




Seek response from PCC and City Council Events Team in response to questions by Councillor Gillespie and member of the public at 06/12/17 WCAC.

Report from the Senior Engineer, plus Executive Councillor in attendance at next WCAC if possible, regarding:

       i.          Remit of Environmental Improvement Programme.

     ii.          Further details on feasibility of projects marked red/amber in 06/12/17 Environmental Improvement Programme report.





John Richards, Senior Engineer

Councillor Nethsingha to seek (interim) information update on funding available and project feasibility from officer, to aid decision making when details formerly reported back to WCAC in future for decision.

To seek information about Local Highway Improvement:

·       Funding / decision making criteria.

·       If Panel meetings could be held in public.

·       If Panel role could be taken over by the Cambridge City Joint Area Committee in future.

Councillor Nethsingha

WCAC expressed a desire for transparency on Local Highway Improvement Panel decision making. The City Council and County Council had expressed concern about project delivery speed.



Open Forum


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


1.    Mr Papaloizou raised the following issues:

       i.          There was a deep pothole in Honey Hill (off St Peter’s Street).

     ii.          There were others on Bridge Street.

   iii.          What action was being taken to fix these safety hazards?


WCAC Councillors said potholes were a major issue across the city. The speed of repairs was expected to slow down in future due to county council funding issues.


The quality of repairs was a contractual issue as repaired surfaces often developed problems again. Heavy goods vehicles also damaged the road surface. The deteriorating road network was an issue.


People could sue the County Council for damage caused to vehicles due to potholes. Doing this may give the County Council an incentive to increase the speed of repairs.


To give a balanced picture, the Milton Road pothole issue was successfully resolved once reported to county officers. The contractor was paid to repair the surface, did a below par job and had to come back to make good. The contractor was only paid for the original job which gave them a cost incentive to get things right in future. WCAC reiterated that contractor quality was an issue.


Action Point: Councillor Harrison to follow up pothole issues raised by member of public. Areas affected are Honey Hill/St Peter’s Street and Bridge Street.


2.    Mr Taylor asked for an update on the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme.


Councillor Nethsingha undertook to follow this up.


3.    Mr Taylor raised the following issues:

       i.          Graffiti on Cutter Ferry Bridge.

     ii.          Some residents welcomed it (as decoration), some did not. Requested officers followed this up in future as an issue to be addressed through public art funding.

   iii.          He tried to make an environmental improvement project bid to address the graffiti issue but was advised only councillors could do this, plus the application deadline had passed. Requested councillors followed this up in future.


Councillors said they worked with resident groups to help them write project funding bids. Public art funding maybe a way to resolve the graffiti issue. It could also be raised with Enforcement Officers. Councillor Bick offered to help Mr Taylor with his environmental improvement project proposal.


4.    Mr Smith raised the following issues:

       i.          Aggressively inconsiderate parking in Conduit Head Road, Bradrushe Fields (and, likely other streets in the area).

     ii.          This obstructed access for refuse collection, delivery and emergency vehicles.

   iii.          Refuse lorry drivers said they stopped reporting incidents as no action was taken.

   iv.          Residents were charged each time a deliver lorry could not get through and had to be re-scheduled.


Councillor Nethsingha understood that emails had been exchanged between Mr Smith and county officers stating funding was not available to address the issue. However there may be some in future for Castle Street and Wilberforce Road. Residents in these areas did not want to be included in parking schemes, but if they were not, parking issues could be displaced and take longer to resolve. Double yellow lines could be brought in through a residents parking scheme or local highway improvement bid (the latter was slower).


Councillor Nethsingha undertook to raise the issue of anti-social parking with Police Sergeant Misik to monitor.


Councillor Cantrill said parking issues in Newnham were addressed through double yellow lines.


WCAC suggested councillors and residents should encourage refuse operators to take pictures as evidence of access issues.


5.    A member of the public submitted a question via email: “Even before the report from Cllrs Bick and Harrison I looked at the figures for needle disposal in the Environmental Report (as WCAC regulars will do) and wondered about the sharps bin provision in the city. Are there plans to provide significantly more in light of these extraordinary figures?”


Councillor Bick said he was aware of a bin review by city council and county council officers, he was unaware of their conclusions.


Councillor Bick said there was a conflict of needs: Provision of sharps bins versus putting them in created a magnet for use and disposal. There was no easy answer to this, but bins should be provided in appropriate places eg (private) toilet cubicles. He signposted a proposed public drug injection room in Glasgow (first in UK). These were more common on the continent. This could lead to safer use of illegal drugs and a platform to signpost rehabilitation.


6.    Mr Martinelli raised concern about lighting on Parker’s Piece, particularly the ‘Reality Checkpoint’ central crossing.


Councillor Bick said he had reported the ‘Reality Checkpoint’ lights were not working a week before this WCAC meeting. Some lighting was missing as the project was still to be completed. This was 3 years late so far. Money was available and the project had been approved.


Environmental Report - WCAC pdf icon PDF 737 KB


The Committee received a report from the Enforcement Officer.


Councillor Holland commented via email (ref needle finds P32, lines 12-25) the following streets were not in Castle Ward: Chesterton Rd, Mitcham's Corner and Thompsons Lane. WCAC commented there was a difference between city council and county council ward boundaries that may account for the discrepancy.


The report outlined an overview of City Council Refuse and Environment and Streets and Open Spaces service activity relating to the geographical area served by the West Area Committee.  The report identified the reactive and proactive service actions undertaken in the previous quarter, including the requested priority targets, and reported back on the recommended issues and associated actions. It also included key officer contacts for the reporting of waste and refuse and public realm issues.


The following were suggestions for Members on what action could be considered for priority within the West Area for the upcoming period.


Continuing priorities



Priority details


Enforcement and City Ranger patrols in the City Centre to address issues of illegally deposited trade waste and littering.

This priority has been included as a continuation to balance the high standard of trade waste management and litter patrols already existing in the West/Central area and to continue to build upon this work further.


Dog warden patrols to target irresponsible dog owners on Midsummer Common patrols are planned to focus on this area at key times and to gather intelligence / speak to dog owners about the issues in the area, dog fouling continues to be an issue in this area and officers recommend further works are done on the open space. .


New priorities



Priority details


Enforcement patrols to address abandoned vehicles in the Castle Ward.


The Committee discussed the following issues:

       i.          Sharps bin locations would be reviewed in future.

     ii.          Suggested following up with the local health partnership a proposal to make needles retractable for easier disposal and to reduce risk of injuries to people finding/collecting dumped needles. Single use needles were desirable.

   iii.          Referred to Councillor Holland’s point about location of needle finds. If statistics were wrong and needle finds were allocated to the wrong ward, it may lead to the misallocation of resources to an area.

   iv.          Graffiti, broken windows, fly tipping (including hazardous items such as canisters) and litter were citywide issues.

    v.          Blood left in public toilets by drug users.

   vi.          Abandoned bikes and cars, particularly around the CB1 railway station and Lammas Land


In response to Members’ questions the Enforcement Officer said the following:

       i.          Enforcement Officers looked for and investigated issues such as fly tipping. Evidence was sought and fines imposed where possible. Forty two Section 47 notices had been issued regarding inappropriate disposal of trade waste.

     ii.          Blood in public toilets should be reported to council officers for clean-up.

   iii.          Churchill was the contractor who looked after public toilets on behalf of the City Council, except for Drummer Street, which was managed by a private contractor.


Action Point: Enforcement Officer to confirm who is responsible for cleaning of Drummer Street public toilets. Also if there are signs saying this is the responsibility of the City Council (WCAC advised premises are maintained by private contractor).


   iv.          A review of the Streets and Open Spaces Service was in place currently. This affected the Ranger Service who were one Ranger short at present, but the vacancy would be held in status quo (no action to fill or remove post) until the service review finished at the end of March 2018.

    v.          Offensive graffiti was removed within two hours of being reported. Other types were cleaned when possible. This was standard operating procedure already. The council kept a database of tags (ie signatures) to pass onto the police to be used in evidence.

   vi.          Mechanisms were already in place for targeted patrols to look for (used) needles, and the Rapid Response Team to clean them up. Making this a WCAC priority would not lead to faster action (as it was already) but could take resources away from other work.

 vii.          Tags were put on suspected abandoned bikes to say they should be removed within seven days or they would be seized.

viii.          A number of vehicles were reported as abandoned in Castle Ward as residents did not like other peoples’ cars being legally parked in front of their properties.


Following discussion, Members unanimously resolved to approve priorities for action as below (amended in bold/struck through text):

       i.          Enforcement and City Ranger patrols in the City Centre

·       Also to include fly tipping (investigation and clean up).

     ii.          Dog warden patrols

   iii.          Enforcement patrols to address abandoned bicycles in the West/Central area vehicles in the Castle Ward


Area Committee Grants 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 347 KB


The Committee received a report from the Senior Grants Officer regarding Community Development and Leisure Grants.


Members considered applications for grants as set out in the Officer’s report, and table below. The Senior Grants Officer responded to Member’s questions about individual projects and what funding aimed to achieve.





Award £ 


Christ’s Pieces Residents’ Association

1 winter evening talk



Friends of Histon Road Cemetery

Information and activities



Friends of Midsummer Common

Community activities and maintenance of community orchard



Budget available


Total awards


Budget remaining



In response to Members’ questions the Senior Grants Officer said the following:

       i.          There was a rolling program of funding that bids could be made for.

     ii.          Formal or informal groups could bid for funding -  the "formal" applicant group would be the accountable group.


Members considered the grant applications received, officer comments and proposed awards, detailed in Appendix 1 of the Officer’s report, in line with the Area Committee Community Grants criteria.


Following discussion, Members unanimously resolved to agree the proposed awards detailed in Appendix 1 of the Officer’s report and summarised in the table above.


West/Central Area Committee Dates 2018/19

Proposed West/Central Area Committee dates for the municipal year 2018-19:


Thursday 5 July 2018

Thursday 20 September 2018

Thursday 6 December 2018

Thursday 14 March 2019


Venues will be agreed later.


Suggested start time is 7:00PM.


The following dates were agreed:

·       Thursday 5 July 2018

·       Thursday 20 September 2018

·       Thursday 6 December 2018 – provisionally

·       Thursday 14 March 2019


WCAC agreed dates for 2018/19 subject to review of 6 December 2018 as not all councillors would be able to attend.


6 December 2018 would remain the meeting date if an alternative could not be found.


Councillors would be asked for alternative dates between 19 November to 21 December. The start time would remain 7pm.


Action Point: Committee Manager to clarify if WCAC wish to meet on an alternative date to 6 December 2018.