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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Virtual Meeting via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Committee Manager  Email: democratic.services@cambridge.gov.uk

Note: If members of the public wish to address the committee please contact Democratic Services by 12 noon two working days before the meeting. 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 Councillors Dryden and Page-Croft.


Declarations of Interest







Personal: Member of Royal British Legion.



Personal: Community First Responder.



Notes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 305 KB



Matters and Actions Arising from the Minutes


Actions in the notes of 5 September 2022 were reviewed.


22/17/SAC Matters and Actions Arising from the Notes - 21/13/SAC Open Forum: Demolition of 1-2 Fitzwilliam Road and saving the window. No update, action point closed.


22/20/SAC Update on Cambridge Biomedical Campus: Chair suggested moving item to next meeting 6 March 2023 as Greater Cambridge Partnership item expected to dominate the agenda 28 November (as it had at other area committees).


Action Point: Councillor Hauk to invite in future for regular (annual / bi-annual) briefing from Cam Biomedical Campus.


22/18/SAC Open Forum: Public art.


Officer response after the meeting: If the public art is on city council owned land it is the responsibility of the council to maintain it.  And regarding the public art on Nine Wells it has been intentionally made to weather and erode over time.


All public questions answered after September committee.


Councillor Flaubert said public art was dependent on developer wishes and undertook to provide an update at the next South Area Committee meeting.


Action Point: Councillor Flaubert to query details with Officer and supply details for the minutes.


Open Forum


Councillor Ashton noted low numbers of public questions had been received since area committees moved on-line and asked Ward Councillors to engage with residents to encourage them to speak.


A members of the public asked via written statement (read by Committee Manager): Have councillors considered alternative approaches for S106 funding distribution including how to get more people involved in coming up with ideas? Can existing community events be used to hold stalls inviting people to come up with ideas not just for projects they would like to see happen, but groups they would like to see formed, and what input they are prepared to give to make this happen?


Councillor McPherson suggested that councillors could discuss s106 with residents through community groups etc to raise awareness of the grant program.


Response from Urban Growth Project sent via email after meeting: The Council’s approach to the use of S106 contributions follows the requirements set out in S106 agreements and local & national planning policy. Changes to the official regulations in 2015 have meant that:


·       the scope for securing new S106 contributions is confined to major developments;

·       the mitigations have to be evidence-based; and

·       the purposes now have to be specified in advance of planning approval being issued.


At the same time, the remaining availability of generic S106 contributions (agreed before April 2015) has run down to much lower levels than in previous years and is unevenly spread across the city. For example, Trumpington is the only ward in the city with S106 funding for play provision for children and teenagers left available (albeit under £35,000 unallocated), following the 2021 S106 funding round. And whilst, there is some informal open space S106 funding in all three wards of South Area, the funding is similarly limited.


The way that the Council manages these challenges was agreed by the relevant executive councillors in S106 reports to the Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee in March 2019. As part of this, the Council’s S106 selection criteria include the need for proposals to be an effective use of resources (e.g., reflecting priorities in Council strategies). This approach is reflected in our Overview of s106 funding.


The limited availability of generic S106 contributions has informed the arrangements for the next generic S106 funding round. Our S106 funding rounds web page explains:


The 2022 generic S106 funding round is now likely to take place between December 2022 to January 2023, culminating in recommendations for S106 funding in March 2022. Look out for more details on this page.

Given that the remaining generic S106 funds for play area and open space improvements is now available only in particular parts of the city, the development of proposals for the use of these S106 contribution types will focus on discussions with councillors in the relevant wards.

There will be a grants application process for S106 community facilities and sports funding. The 2022 funding round will also place greater emphasis on welcoming applications from local community and sports groups for small-scale improvements to the equipment, furnishings and equipment at their facilities, which could help them to provide additional benefit to their local communities.


This approach to the next generic S106 funding round was agreed by the relevant executive councillors in S106 reports to the Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee in October 2021.


Whilst officers were still keen to involve local councillors and local groups in this way in the next S106 funding round, they need to balance this with not raising public expectations in the context of the limited levels of S106 funding available.


Environmental Report - SAC pdf icon PDF 2 MB


The Committee received a report from the Community Engagement and Enforcement Manager.


She corrected a typographical error on P16: A corporate group from ABCAM, consisting of 166 16 volunteers completed a day’s volunteering where they weeded underneath old oak tree, renovated four benches, and completed various cutbacks in the nature reserve.


The report outlined an overview of the council’s Streets and Open Spaces, Environmental Health and Shared Waste service activity in the Area Committee area over the past six months.


The Committee discussed the following issues:

      i.          Requested officers to monitor clothes being left next to Glebe Farm recycling bins (instead of in them), or just being dumped.

     ii.          Volunteer groups and community payback welcome in Trumpington eg Baker Lane. Officers involved were unclear how to set this up for allotments etc. Could the Community Engagement and Enforcement Manager liaise with contacts to organise?

   iii.          Monitor plants, trees and hedges overhanging Trumpington footpaths.


Environmental Improvement Programme - 2022/23 Project Applications pdf icon PDF 786 KB

Councillors will review the projects received noting that the decisions will be taken by the Executive Councillor for Open Spaces in January 2023.


The Committee received a report from the Public Realm Engineering & Project Delivery Team Leader.


The report provided information on eligibility, funding criteria and funding budgets for the Environmental Improvement Programme (EIP).


The Public Realm Engineering & Project Delivery Team Leader said paragraphs 3.1 and 3.3 appeared to contradict each other. When the EIP was reviewed in 2019 funding would be available from both a central pot and local area pots devolved and divided between the four Area Committees.


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

      i.         Supported projects for:

a.    Hanging baskets.

b.    The Royal British Legion.

c.    War memorials.

d.    Drinking fountains.

e.    Nightingale Park Pavilion.

    ii.         Councillors sometimes used their own time and finances to support projects. It was hard to be re-imbursed.

   iii.         Funding could be allocated to individual wards and/or councillors so they did not have to compete with each other and filter out viable projects at an early stage of the process.

  iv.         Ward events to engage residents in EIP did not always fit into program deadlines. Queried how to feed in project ideas if people missed corporate deadlines?


The Public Realm Engineering & Project Delivery Team Leader said the following in response to Members’ questions:

      i.         Details about progress of previous EIP projects were listed in the Officer’s report and on the EIP webpage. Officers were happy to give further details if Councillors contacted them directly.

    ii.         EIP was a capital not a revenue scheme. Projects that applied for grants, but did not meet criteria, would not receive funding. Officers were unable to allocated grants to more hanging basket schemes. Likewise projects who provided insufficient details would not receive funding, this could be rectified if they submitted more information.

   iii.         As EIP was a capital scheme there were limited officer resources to process applications hence one bidding round per year. Revenue schemes may have a different approach. Officers signposted people to alternative funding streams if they did not get EIP grants. For example Nightingale Pavilion was more suitable for s106 funding.

  iv.         The Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Infrastructure was keen to install drinking fountains near City Council buildings to get infrastructure economies of scale when installing in different wards.

    v.         The Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Food Justice and Community Development would listen to Area Committees’ comments about their priorities than make an out of cycle decision on how to allocate funding. Councillors could also contact her direct to support schemes. There would be no other public meetings to hear councillor’s views. The purpose of tonight’s meeting (as with other Area Committees in November/December) was for Councillors to discuss the merit of schemes and support ones that Councillors wished to take forward.

  vi.         Other Area Committees had more projects than funding, so chose to support ‘green’ Cost Deliverability Eligible Rated projects, then some ‘yellow’ ones if unallocated funding became available. Only South Area had unallocated EIP funding, so overall the EIP was engaging residents well.

 vii.         Unallocated funding could not be rolled forward as the EIP scheme was coming to an end. Councillors could suggest unallocated funding be returned to the central pot if South Area were unable to identify any reserve schemes where to allocate funding if ‘green’ ones did not come forward.


GCP Item - Making Connections Consultation

Representatives from the GCP will inform councillors of the current consultation which runs until 23 December 2022. www.greatercambridge.org.uk/mc-2022


The Committee received a presentation from the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) Transport Director.


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


1.    Publicity for GCP consultations. Despite repeatedly photographing and sending social media posts to GCP corporate accounts of empty bus stop notice boards (eg at Hills Road Sixth Form College) and supermarket notice boards (Tesco's Fulbourn, Sainsbury's Coldham's Lane, & the Co-ops), no posters have been put up advertising the consultations. Why not? Why the repeated refusals?


GCP Transport Director response: A substantial publicity campaign had been undertaken.


2.    Given that the three Cherry Hinton Councillors have come out against the GCP's plans for road user charging, please can someone talk about proposed contingency plans, if as happened in the late 2000s, the public authorities are unable to secure the necessary political mandate to bring in such charges. (Q for GCP officers - what are their plans if the county council full council *refuses* to approve the measures necessary for road user charging)?


GCP Transport Director response: GCP were in the middle of a ten week consultation. The results of which would be analysed then passed onto decision makers for consideration.


3.    What discussions have been had about the possibility of an edge-of-town freight exchange for internet-ordered goods in small packets that can be transferred to local cycle/e-cycle couriers thus reducing traffic and wear and tear on roads?


GCP Transport Director response: Previous discussions regarding freight consolidations have been held with business groups and they would continue outside of the current consultation.


4.    What discussions have been had about retrofitting our part of Cambridge to deal with the climate emergency? This question is mainly about our road and street network - for example creating new segregated cycleways or re-designating existing roads to prioritise pedestrians, then cyclists/scooter riders, then cars, as has been successfully implemented in France. Grateful for any comments from councillors about how to involve schools and youth groups on a routine basis in choosing what are the best routes to designate based on their regular journeys.


GCP Transport Director response: City Deal started with a focus on sustainable economic group but was expanded some time ago to considering wider climate issues. Details listed on the GCP website. For example delivery of greenways and the Chisholm Trail.


5.    What other chargeable areas and funding models has GCP explored aside from what is laid out in the current proposal?


Background to question, for the benefit of councillors:


The current proposal will leave many Trumpington households and their visitors unavoidably spending up to £5/day and £1300/year traveling ~0.5 miles to the M11 for journeys which cannot be adequately served by public transport, and which contribute nothing to the problematic city-centre congestion. (This also has the knock-on effect of not discouraging city-centre driving once that daily charge has been unavoidably incurred already.)


A fairer but also sustainable and adequate funding model that disincentivises city-centre driving while allowing access to Cambridge residents’ nearest M11/A14 junction might be e.g. a mixed funding system in which there is (1) a relatively small increase in council tax per household across the whole county to reflect the potential benefits offered to all households by improved bus services, supported by (2) a smaller chargeable zone defined by e.g. the loop of Lensfield Road/Silver Street/Queen’s Road/Chesterton and Victoria Roads/Elizabeth Way/East Road/Gonville Place with the residents contained within exempt from charges. Under a model such as this, it may also be reasonable for the charge to be higher since reasonable alternatives are available to everyone.


GCP Transport Director response:

      i.          Officers had been looking at this issue for three to four years to reduce traffic levels. If a road was closed then traffic moved elsewhere instead of reducing.

     ii.          Officers had previous examined, and consulted, on other proposals such as city wide road closures, work place parking levy etc.

   iii.          Having consulted on different zones for roads, people were less supportive on an the inner zone (compared to outer one) and the technical assessment shows that radial routes such as Coldhams Lane, Newmarket Road etc get a significant increase in traffic.

   iv.          The intention of current consultation was to seek peoples’ views on what actions they wanted.

    v.          It was not within GCP’s remit to change Council Tax, local authorities would have to do this. Queried how changes to Council Tax would help manage traffic? 


6.    What is the decision-making timeline for the STZ, beyond the consultation?


GCP Transport Director response: reiterated GCP were in the middle of a consultation. There had been a significant response to date, and it is likely to take until the summer to analyse and review


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

      i.          There was a lack of public awareness about the consultation. Residents did not have the facts to comment upon before the consultation started, only qualitative information on social media.

     ii.          Suggested there could be discounts for people who lived in the zone as city residents were paying for out of town commuter traffic.

   iii.          Suggested people who lived out of town (eg Cherry Hinton) and did not travel in by car should be exempt.

   iv.          Queried if the impact of road closures would be more keenly felt by certain groups (eg self-employed) than others?

    v.          Suggested the charging zone was too wide. Expressed concern that access routes to Park & Ride sites plus Addenbrooke’s (as the regional hospital) were included in the congestion zone.

   vi.          Air quality was poor regardless of traffic levels being peak or off peak.

 vii.          Bus services had been cut already but GCP’s scheme did not propose to replace them.

viii.          Nationally to date there was poor investment in bus services. A lack of drivers meant more cars on the road.

   ix.          GCP could engage with councillors to make use of their local ward knowledge.


The GCP Transport Director said the following in response to Members’ questions:

      i.          Information about the consultation was available on the GCP website, libraries, public meetings etc so details had been publicised. If people wanted to change bus routes etc they were invited to make comments.

     ii.          Fifty three percent of traffic on the city roads came from city residents. Giving them a discount would not encourage them to switch from cars to other forms of transport. The consultation was looking at ways to address this. Such as charging vans more than cars, based on consultation responses. Consultees could suggest when to apply charges, or not (eg evenings and weekends).

   iii.          The consultation sought peoples’ views on how to charge different types of vehicles (ie less for smaller, quieter lower environmental impact vehicles?) and facilitate ease of travel.

   iv.          A large charging zone was proposed at present based on previous consultation responses. People’s views were sought on current proposals to refine options further to mitigate increasing congestion and (linked) poor air quality. If people agreed or disagreed with proposals they were invited to say why.

    v.          Residents, carers and key stakeholders were being consulted to look at issues and possible solutions to concerns about charges. Referred to information on the GCP website regarding the Equality Impact Assessment which was refreshed on an on-going basis.

   vi.          Congestion was caused by all traffic types. It was expected to get worse by twenty to thirty percent in future and worsen air quality accordingly. Peak hour traffic was extending into off peak times ie roads were getting/staying busier for longer. Off peak quiet times were expected to disappear in future as traffic levels increased.

 vii.          It was up to decision makers to consider if they would only introduce a charging zone if traffic met certain levels. This was a future consideration and only early stage options were being considered at present.

viii.          One hundred and twenty buses per hour were proposed in the GCP scheme. Officers would work with all sites to ensure appropriate infrastructure (including shelters) was in place. Fewer private cars were expected on the road when bus services increased so freeing up capacity.

   ix.          Transport modelling suggested that more people would visit the city if public services improved. This information would be passed onto decision makers after the consultation.

    x.          There was significant investment planned in electric Park & Ride vehicles so investment – but more investment across the network was required. This was proposed as part of the long term investment plan to get better public transport. Recruiting bus drivers and improving services were also part of this. A sustainable fund was needed for long term investment.

   xi.          People could travel to Park & Ride sites for free, access routes would be exempt from the charge zone.

  1. It was up to Stagecoach to comment on whether drivers had left after changes to their terms and conditions. Stagecoach were actively recruiting drivers.