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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Meeting Room - Wesley Methodist Church, Christ's Pieces, CB1 1LG. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Committee Manager

Note: In line with wider council policies on waste reduction, we are trying to reduce the use of disposable cups at area committee. Please bring you own reusable mug if you can. GCP item for discussion not decision. 

No. Item


Election of Chair and Vice Chair - WCAC


The Committee Manager took the Chair whilst the West/Central Area Committee elected a Chair.


Councillor Cantrill proposed, and Councillor Hipkin seconded, the nomination of Councillor Martinelli as Chair.


Resolved (by 8 votes to 0 – unanimously by all present) that Councillor Martinelli be Chair for the ensuing year.


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


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


Resolved (by 8 votes to 0 – unanimously by all present) that Councillor Porrer be Vice Chair for the ensuing year.


Councillor Nethsingha arrived after the voting took place. The Committee congratulated her on becoming a Member of the European Parliament.


Welcome, Introduction and Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from Councillor Richards who expected to arrive late.


Declarations of Interest


No declarations of interest were made.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 439 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 14 March 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Matters and Actions Arising From the Minutes pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Additional documents:






19/05/WAC Q1

Undertook to seek more information from the County Council highways department regarding planning application consultations.


Councillor Harrison

The County Council, Greater Cambridge Partnership and City Council need to work together on highway infrastructure items of this sort.

19/05/WAC Q2

To request a briefing note regarding plans to limit access to King’s Parade due to security concerns.

Councillor Nethsingha


The Cambridge City Joint Area Committee delayed a decision on this issue for the foreseeable future as a traffic regulation order cannot be used. No bollards are expected at present.

19/05/WAC Q3

To investigate the McManus Neighbourhood Watch groups concerns regarding the lack of response or feedback from the Police when issues were reported.

Councillor Scutt

Had communicated with Sergeant Mišík (about the police enforcement issue and residents’ concerns about homeless people standing near the entrance to the Coop) but he was on leave. Councillor Scutt had also spoken to Inspector Rogerson. The Police will follow up reports when given specific details.

19/05/WAC Q6

Investigate consultation process for public art project involving plastic cows.

Councillor Nethsingha / 

Committee Manager

Councillor Nethsingha said she had contacted Councillor Moore who was keen the project would go ahead. Plastic cows had been commissioned. There were no rules to prevent them being located on green spaces.


Councillors Gerhring and Chadwick expressed health and safety concerns about siting plastic cows on green open spaces or near children’s play areas. It was suggested the relevant Executive Councillor (as portfolio responsibilities had changed) could be invited to attend West/Central Area Committee (WCAC) to explain the plastic cow project and possible locations.


The Head of Environmental Services said:

       i.          Plastic cows were expected to be in place on a temporary basis for 8-9 weeks then sold off for charity.

     ii.          It was Cambridge BID project. The City Council contributed officer time but no direct funding. This came from commercial sources.

   iii.          Sites were currently being investigated and would be reviewed by specialist officers. There would be some liaison with the public before final sites were chosen by officers.

   iv.          Health and safety would be reviewed as part of the project


Councillor Scutt said London had installed plastic elephants in a similar project. These had been well received. Mitcham’s Corner (Cambridge) also had popular models.


Action Point: Councillor Martinelli to contact Councillor Thornburrow (Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces) to express WCAC’s concern about where plastic cows could be located; and invite the Executive Councillor to attend a future WCAC to discuss the matter.

19/05/WAC Q7

The Committee requested an update on the Spaces and Movement SPD

Terry De Sousa:

Senior Planning Policy Officer

Councillor Bick said the aim was to bring City Council and Greater Cambridge Partnership plans together to use space effectively. The SPD was the process to do this.


Details of contact person for Market Ward working group meetings to be forwarded to Cllr Bick

Nicholas Kester: Enforcement Team Leader

The Enforcement Team Leader contacted Councillor Bick.


Investigate the possibility of using mobile CCTV in known drug hotspots in the Kite area.

Nicholas Kester: Enforcement Team Leader

No response.


Action Point: Follow up.


Discuss the collection of recycling from Newnham area with a view to reducing fly tipping.

Nicholas Kester: Enforcement Team Leader

No response.


Action Point: Follow up.



Re-Ordering Agenda


Under paragraph 4.2.1 of the Council Procedure Rules, the Chair used his discretion to alter the order of the agenda items. However, for ease of the reader, these minutes will follow the order of the agenda.


Open Forum


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


1.    Footways on Parker's Piece are due to be repaired this year having been delayed last year, but is there any information about when?


The Public Realm & Project Delivery Team Leader had replied by email: Primarily S106 with a bit of EIP for a new lighting unit.  Various delays but works programmed to commence following Big Weekend mid July.  Primarily work to strengthen the grass path edges, with some improvement to the paths alongside too.


Happy to liaise if further detail required.


Action Point: Ward Councillors to follow up member of the public’s question about repair/maintenance of footways on Parker's Piece.


2.    Three areas around the McManus Estate had been designated as public open spaces. How could these be protected?


Action Point: Councillors Payne to liaise with Head of Environmental Services regarding process to safeguard open spaces.


Policing and Safer Neighbourhoods pdf icon PDF 532 KB


The Committee received a report from Inspector Rogerson 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 noted in the report were:

       i.          Drug-related behaviour in the Grafton Centre area.

     ii.          Poor behaviour of cyclists and moped riders in the City Centre. This included speeding, lack of lights and cycling on pavements.

   iii.          Night time road safety at the following junctions: Histon Road/Victoria Road and Chesterton Road/Magdalen Street.


The Committee discussed the following policing issues:

       i.          Drug dealing in the Brunswick area.

     ii.          How to improve the safety of the Huntingdon Road zebra crossing, particularly in rush hour.


Action Point: Councillor Chadwick to liaise with Inspector Rogerson about safety concerns relating to zebra crossing on Huntingdon Road.


   iii.          Illegal and anti-social moped driving. Apparent lack of enforcement due to CCTV cameras (eg around bus gates) being front facing whereas mopeds had rear facing number plates so they were not being identified.


Action Point: Inspector Rogerson to advise Councillor Chadwick of measures taken to address Illegal and anti-social moped driving, specifically through bus gates.


   iv.          Tattoo bar on King’s Parade appeared to be operating without the correct licence.


Action Point: Head of Environmental Services to liaise with Inspector Rogerson about the granting of a Peddler Licence to a tattoo bar on King’s Parade:

·       Has a licence been granted?

·       By which organisation, if any?

·       Type of licence granted/required? (May be two separate issues).


    v.          Anti-social behaviour linked to Mid Summer Fair.


Action Point: Head of Environmental Services to liaise with Inspector Rogerson about issues to make the Safety Advisory Group aware of, relating to fencing off public places before/during events such as Mid Summer Fair, to stop anti-social behaviour spilling into residential areas.


A member of the public referred to 19/05/WAC Q3 and asked for a response. McManus Neighbourhood Watch groups had concerns regarding the lack of response or feedback from the Police when issues were reported. Inspector Rogerson said he would follow this up.


Inspector Rogerson said the following in response to questions:

       i.          Members of the public reported issues to the Police, but sometimes gave vague details. Call handlers had to draw out details to triage details to determine if a quick was response was needed.

     ii.          The triage threshold had changed to make response times more realistic through the work of the support team who analysed information to categorise it for background information or immediate action.

   iii.          Operation Carmel had been completed in the Brunswick area so officers were now learning from the experience.

   iv.          The Police were working with the Street Life Working Group to get information about, and therefore be able to take action on, begging linked to drug dealing.

    v.          Noted Councillors’ concerns about the location of the city centre police station and rumours about a reduced presence. There had been some false information in circulation. The Chief Constable had committed to a city centre location.

   vi.          The licence application process was owned by the City Council. The Police responded according to whether data did or did not support licence applications. They provided a view on whether the application would cause issues or not. The Police did not make the case for or against applications; or speculate if applications could lead to future problems.

 vii.          Undertook to run a workshop about County Lines. Ward and county level groups were looking at issues. They reviewed how the Police could respond to issues eg working with schools regarding missing children.


Action Point: Councillor Martinelli to liaise with Inspector Rogerson about the date for a County Lines Workshop then publicise details to WCAC.


viii.          Police had access to CORA data but could not present it in their reports to Area Committees due to ICT issues.


Action Point: Councillor Martinelli to liaise with other Area Committee Chairs and write to City Police Commander to request CORA data in area committee reports.


The following priorities were unanimously agreed:

       i.          Street-based ASB around The Grafton Centre and Park Street car park areas.

     ii.          Anti-social activity on the green spaces in the area.

   iii.          Anti-social and illegal moped driving, specifically through bus gates in city centre.


GCP Project Updates pdf icon PDF 9 KB

(i)           Cambourne to Cambridge Better Public Transport Project

(ii)          Choices for Better Journeys


Additional documents:


The Committee received a presentation from the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) Communications Managers regarding:

       i.          Cambourne to Cambridge Better Public Transport Project

     ii.          Choices for Better Journeys


The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

       i.          Residents were concerned that bus routes had already been chosen. These could exacerbate existing congestion issues eg Grange Road.

     ii.          Queried what evidence had been used to decide bus routes.

   iii.          Expressed concern that other options had been discounted.

   iv.          Residents and commuters would express different views on congestion charging and transport options. Queried how GCP would balance these so people could commute into Cambridge (preferably on affordable public transport) without exacerbating existing traffic flow issues.


The GCP Communications Managers and Mott MacDonald Representative said the following in response to Members’ questions:

       i.          GCP would publish its Bus Strategy in future which set out routes options and evidence for these. An outline business case was available on the GCP website.

     ii.          Buses would go through Grange Road onto others (rather than stop in it).

   iii.          Bus frequency would be agreed with operators in future.

   iv.          The GCP Board were looking at ways to encourage people to switch from private cars to public transport.

    v.          GCP could work with bus operators but not co-ordinate their routes due to national de-regulation.


Confirm Meeting date for Winter Meeting

Committee to confirm the winter meeting date as 14th November 2019


Committee confirmed the winter meeting date as 5 December 2019.


Action Point: Toni Birkin to check if future WCAC meetings can move around different wards/venues.