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Agenda and minutes

Contact: Democratic Services  Committee Manager

Note: Note: If members of the public wish to address the committee please contact Democratic Services. Questions can be submitted throughout the meeting to Democratic.Services@cambridge.gov.uk and we will endeavour to respond to questions during the discussion on the relevant agenda item. If we run out of time a response will be provided to members of the public outside of the meeting and published on the relevant Area Committee meeting webpage 


No. Item


Welcome, Introduction and Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from Councillor Sweeney.



Declarations of Interest



No declarations of interest were made.



Notes of last meeting pdf icon PDF 294 KB


The notes of the meeting held on 25 November 2021 were noted by the Committee.


Cllr Porrer updated the meeting on:


Voi Scooters in Market Ward where constructive discussions with Voi were on-going about speed restrictions on some of the routes across the city centre open spaces.


Also at Park Street car park, as the site is being re-developed, information will now be added to the hoardings and Developer’s Website to advise customers of the location of nearby bike racks.  https://park-street.co.uk/alternative-travel-arrangements/


Additionally, the trial speed camera is due to be located on Maids Causeway in the next few days.


Open Forum


Members of the public asked a number of questions.


Full details can be found on the YouTube recording here:


West Central Area Committee - Thursday, 10th March, 2022 6.30 pm - YouTube


On 2nd March, Cambridge City council published a news release expressing heartfelt support for Ukrainian Refugees.  On 8 march we heard an emotional plea direct to the House of Commons from President Zelenskyy of the Ukraine for greater physical support.  There is no question that we should indeed be offering whatever support we practically and politically can for this desperate humanitarian situation and i acknowledge the Council’s statement within the news release.  My question then is around our track record of support, our ability to do so again and whether it is indeed enough.  In the link of the news release, it is declared that we have housed more than 100 people since 2015. In 2020 a further commitment for 200 more and 4 council houses each year for the next five years. We ought then have already have identified up to 8 council houses for refugees and supported more than 300 individuals.  


For the sake of clarity then, can I ask: 

1.    What has happened to the100 since 2015 - do they remain under our care?

2.    Have the further 200 been housed?

3.    Have we actually met or exceeded our target of 300 since 2015?

4.    How many of the council houses have been delivered to timeline

5.    What physical preparations have been made in anticipation of supporting Ukrainian refugees  

If indeed we have met our target to house 300 refugees in 7 years which is around 1 per week, should we not actually be aspiring to stretch these targets, for all refugees, especially given the very obvious need from Ukraine and continuing need form other countries around the world.


Cllr Payne responded on the Council’s current position and would follow up on the points made with officers.


Regarding night time diversion issues on Histon Road which may affect the Huntingdon Road, Castle Street and Mount Pleasant.  You have been sent the diversion route suggested by GCP Executive Board to be approved on 17th March.   This is a revised version now showing the diversion via A14 instead of previously Kings Hedges Road.  Pressure will then come directly down Histon Road and perhaps increase HGV numbers.  As the present signalling system is not functioning properly due to a damaged loop sunken down in the middle of Huntingdon Junction which has not been repaired, we might expect congestion and increased air pollution before the traffic can move forward to Castle Street and Mount Pleasant.  Please support that the Loop must be repaired before the Diversions from Milton Road start in April-May.


Cllr Payne undertook to follow this up, and the member of the public was encouraged to make the points to the Executive Board at its meeting on 17 March.


A member asked a question about the use of e-scooters/e-bikes and noted that the trial of Voi is being extended to the end of 2022.  But this will also give the Councils time to lobby Government on the use of the electric mopeds that are currently being classified the same as e-bikes.  It is the way that these vehicles should be managed in the future that local authorities need the Government to act on.  Anti-social behaviour from riders was a police priority as identified at the last West Central Area Committee.


Green bin collections


A member of the public made the following statement relating to this topic:

At the end of 2021, Green bin collections were stopped in early December, which if I’m perfectly honest caught me unawares. No thanks to climate change growing season ends later and starts earlier so we need to clear garden debris at times we wouldn’t normally expect to.

During the recent inability to collect green bins due to resource issues and frozen bins at beginning of January, many if not most residents of Newnham were ultimately left for extended periods without green bins being emptied. I need not emphasise that despite it being winter even microorganisms continue to thrive in our decaying food waste. 

During this period I learnt that the green bin emptying is not a statutory service but is in fact a contract service shared with S Cambs. This is really out of step with what we are trying to espouse in terms of ecological priorities and should be a statutory service.
Please do not say that the solution is to compost - this does suit some active and savvy people for many it does not:

·       Gardens are too small, yet still produce waste, compost needs space

·       Needs management and thought

·       Can attract pests if done poorly and inappropriate waste is composted

·       If people suffer from allergies compost spores will impact quality of life 

·       Waste food cannot be composted

·       Not all garden waste can be composted 

·       If most people are honest, compost takes a long time to decompose effectively and is really just another dump, but at the end of the garden and often just ends in the bins once the composting area is full.


Given the immense drive for recycling and reducing black bin landfill and the ever increasing impact of climate change on lengthened growing seasons - both start of and end if the year, is it not time to make some improvements in this rather rudimentary but essential service.

Recommendations on Green Bins

1.    Warn residents with a flyer on the penultimate green bin of the year that the service will pause over winter - everyone is then ready for the last green bin.

2.    Have separate food waste collections that continue throughout the year - I am aware there is discussion on this topic but surely this winter amplifies the need for change to actually happen

3.    Ensure the service finishes just one pick-up later and starts one pick-up earlier to account for extended growing season

4.    This committee should put forward a motion that the collection of green waste is a statutory service

Rebecca Weymouth-Wood responded to the points that had been made.  The shared waste service would look to increase communication with residents prior to the winter season.  Certainly the experience of each winter’s collection informs how to approach the following year (growing seasons/climate).  The waste service did keep track of where last collections had taken place or were missed because of lack of workforce (eg. Covid) to minimise the disruption for any particular area of the city.


Although a green bin service is not a statutory requirement to provide, central Government was expected to require mandatory waste food collections, the detail is awaited by waste collection authorities and when imposed it will require a re-think of the current waste collection services provided.


WCAC Area Committee Grants 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 391 KB

Additional documents:


Jackie Hanson introduced the report.


In supporting the grant applications proposed, Members noted that the officers would make the decisions on awarding the grants once all the area committees had met.


Members thanked Jackie for her work and wished her well for her retirement.


Environmental Report - WCAC pdf icon PDF 3 MB


Wendy Johnston introduced the report.  Members welcomed and supported the work of the team over the period covered in the report and endorsed the continued efforts directed at fly-tipping, particularly at the Adam and Eve Street recycling location.