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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Meeting Room - Cherry Trees Day Centre

Contact: Democratic Services  Committee Manager

Items
No. Item

16/30/EAC

Apologies For Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Baigent, Johnson and Sinnott, and from County Councillors Kavanagh, Moghadas and Walsh.

16/31/EAC

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.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

 

16/32/EAC

Minutes pdf icon PDF 245 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 13 October 2016.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 13 October 2016 were approved as a correct record.

16/33/EAC

Matters & Actions Arising From The Minutes

Reference will be made to the Committee Action Sheet available under the ‘Matters & Actions Arising From The Minutes’ section of the previous meeting agenda.

 

General agenda information can be accessed using the following hyperlink:

 

http://democracy.cambridge.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CommitteeId=147

 

Committee Action Sheet to follow.

Minutes:

The Action Sheet was noted.  The Chair read the following written reply from Councillor Price to Dr Grout’s question about funding available nationally for housing development:

 

In terms of the money available through the national Affordable Housing Supply Programme (AHSP), the city does apply for grant funding where it can and several sites in the past have been funded through a mix of capital funding and grant.  However there are criteria for applying which need to be considered. 

 

Firstly government grant cannot be used in conjunction with Right to Buy receipts. The City's Housing Revenue Account is under very significant pressure from Right to Buy receipts we have already acquired and are still acquiring, and which we need to be able to spend or have to give them back to government at a punitive interest rate. We will be using these with the City's £70 million devolution funding to replace council homes lost to Right to Buy since the discount was increased in 2012.

 

Secondly, the AHSP is primarily aimed at low cost home ownership not rented, and where it does fund some rented homes, they must be set at Affordable Rent levels not social rent. Of the money already allocated through the programme by January 2017, the government expect it to fund 39,403 homes with a tenure breakdown of 35,000 of those as shared ownership or rent to buy through mainly housing associations and only 5000 for Affordable Rent, with all of those in the supported housing sector rather than general needs housing. Although DCLG announced in November that the government would allocate extra money to the programme and relax the criteria limiting applications to mainly home ownership products, the new prospectus for the grant fund has made clear that in fact the funding will continue to support home ownership, some mainly specialist rental housing and not general rental homes or those for social rent rather than Affordable Rent.  They also ask for bidders who have existing social rent stock (which is the majority of the City's stock) to commit to converting some stock currently let at social rents to Affordable Rents as part of the bid process. Whilst that would generate increased income for the Council, it would mean a significant increase in current rents at a time which many on our waiting list would find unaffordable.  A further requirement is to raise additional capital by selling off some stock as well, something again which will do little to benefit us.

 

In short, although we do look at every funding stream for options, the restrictions and requirements on this one make it unlikely that it will help deliver the sort of social housing that the city needs the Council to build. Devolution of housing funding and the ability to set local criteria for the funding's use will be far more useful in building the new homes we need.

 

Many housing associations will be bidding for this funding and, as many of them are moving away from rental homes to the government agenda of home ownership, it makes the City's priority of building primarily social rent homes even more important.

16/34/EAC

Open Forum

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

Minutes:

Jim Chisholm spoke to draw the attention of all Councillors and members of public to the existence of a small group of people who were strongly opposed to the Chisholm Trail.  He urged Councillors to express their support for the trail.

 

In discussion, members

 

·  confirmed that allocation of land for the Chisholm Trail to pass under Mill Road railway bridge would be included in the redevelopment of the City Depot site

 

·  expressed the belief that the cycle bridge and cycle way would completely stop any other type of development on Ditton Meadows

 

·  said that there was no apparent opposition to the bridge in Abbey ward.

 

Speaking as Chairman of the City Deal Executive Board, Councillor Herbert said that where there were valid objections to the scheme, they would have to be given due consideration.  The Board was keen to deliver the Chisholm Trail; the fall-back position would be to deliver that part of the trail that the Board was able to deliver.

 

The Chair expressed appreciation for Councillor Herbert’s comments, and suggested that the Committee might wish to confirm its support for the trail and its awareness of the need to listen to objections.  Councillor Blencowe advised that he and Councillor Hart would have to abstain from any vote on the matter, because it might come to Planning Committee.

 

Resolved by a majority (no members against, and two abstaining) that:

 

the East Area Committee was committed to the concept of the Chisholm Trail but also appreciated the need to listen to such objections that might be put forward.

 

Richard Wood presented a petition signed by over 100 residents and friends of Perowne Street and Emery Street about the site of the former Walkers Garage.  He thanked Councillors, especially Councillor Sinnott, for their support in the matter.  The site suffered from a lack of positive management, and had attracted litter, pests and fly tipping.  He pointed out that the single storey sheds with pantiled roofs in Perowne Street had been identified as Buildings-at-Risk in the Mill Road Conservation Area appraisal document of 2011, and urged the Council to exercise its powers under the Building Act to take remedial action. 

 

Councillor Robertson replied that the site was a blot on the street, and planning enforcement officers were already considering action.  He undertook to follow the matter up and report back to the Committee.

Action: Councillor Robertson

 

Richard Taylor asked whether any progress had been made on the remodelling of the entrance to Stourbridge Common from Riverside, and whether the Local Highways Improvement Panel would be meeting, and be meeting in public.

 

Councillor Whitehead reported that John Richards regretted that there had been no progress but he would pursue this; she herself wished to see it resolved, but cuts in resources meant that departments were under pressure.  The scheme to improve access to the common had already been approved and had had funding allocated to it, so there would be no need to involve the Local Highways Improvement Panel.

 

Margaret Cranmer drew attention to the longstanding problem of bins being stored on the pavement of Mill Road outside the shops near Tenison Avenue; the bins were being used to keep the access open to a private alley.  She had written to the Mill Road co-ordinator in December about liaising with the businesses to ask them to stop leaving the bins out and using the alley for parking.

 

Asked whether the bins were large commercial City Council bins Ms Cranmer said that they were the large bins, and also some smaller ones from the flats, as the flats’ bin store was not accessible.  She thanked the Council for cleaning the alleyways.

 

Councillor Roberts explained that the environment team had got some bins moved from the pavement, but the Council had no powers of sanction.  He would ask an enforcement officer to talk to the Mill Road businesses in question, and a report would be brought back to the next Area Committee.

Action: Cllr Roberts and Wendy Young

 

Jenny Kirner thanked Councillors for their report back, but returned to the question of the overgrown trees opposite Bradmore Court, which were blocking daylight for residents of Bradmore Court.  She asked the Council to undertake their pruning if Anglia Ruskin University had no plans to do so.

 

Councillor Blencowe said that matter had been raised at the twice-yearly ARU liaison group and an estate officer had agreed to do some pruning this year.  The trees clearly belonged to ARU; he would try to ensure the work was done.  The Chair asked that the action remain on the Action Sheet for monitoring.

Action: Cllr Blencowe

 

Margaret Cranmer asked the Committee to support the proposal to replace the 16-pound cannon on Cannons Green in Tenison Road, which had been melted down during the Second World War.

 

Councillor Robertson replied that he was aware that residents were crowdfunding to replace the cannon.  He wished them well in their efforts, and said that members would do what they could to help.

 

16/35/EAC

Oral report - Deputy PCC Andy Coles

The Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner will discuss the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner, what his plans are over the next 4 years and then will be open to questions.

Minutes:

Andy Coles, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) introduced himself and his work.  He apologised for the lack of an exhibition before the meeting; he had not known that one was expected.

 

The Deputy PCC said that he had been appointed as deputy to the PCC, Jason Ablewhite.  He was himself a Peterborough City Councillor, and had been responsible for Children’s Services.  He had been a police officer for 30 years, working in Hackney and elsewhere in a variety of roles, ending as a Detective Chief Inspector in the Metropolitan Police.  He was now Chair of a local community association, liaising with local police in that role.

 

Mr Coles explained that under the legislation, the Police and Crime Commissioner was required to hold the Chief Constable to account, and to produce an annual report.  The draft job description was being developed in preparation for the next PCC election.  The PCC and Deputy PCC were also there to listen to what the community had to say about policing and their concerns; they tried to meet the public regularly in a variety of venues, such as supermarkets.

 

The Chair invited questions from members of the public.

 

Robert Hart asked what action the DPCC could take with regards to fear of crime

 

The Deputy PCC replied that there was not a lot it was possible to do about fear of crime when the crime was not there.  Cambridgeshire was one of the safest areas in the United Kingdom, and while there might be areas of Cambridge and Peterborough where crime was higher, in general crime levels were low.  In one beat in Hackney, he used to report 14 burglaries a day, compared with four a week in one ward in Cambridgeshire.  Vivid reporting on social media and in the wider media could however give the impression of high levels of local crime.

 

It was difficult to combat the fear of crime because putting information out about crime could itself increase the level of fear.  Although a bobby on the beat was a reassuring sight, it was not an effective means of combatting crime, because other crimes were being committed elsewhere in the time that the bobby was walking the beat.  It was difficult to combat fear of crime; there would always be greater fear of crime than the level of crime itself.

 

Richard Taylor said that he had arrived at 6pm for the advertised exhibition and to meet the Deputy PCC.  He had asked why the PCC had been unable to attend and been told it was because he had another unspecified engagement.  He had been unable to put various other questions; the question now was how could the PCC help with Area Committee local priority setting, for example in terms of getting more specific information about a violent crime, and when there was a difference of opinion between the police and the Committee on what was a priority such as enforcing the 20mph speed limit.

 

The Deputy PCC replied that what was needed in local policing, and what the PCC’s office did in holding the Chief Constable to account, could be two very different things.  People’s priorities across the county varied, and it was not for the PCC to dictate what the priorities should be across the whole of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough; this should be a local decision.  He would however like to see a mechanism whereby the local police commander was able to know what the priorities were locally.

 

James Woodburn expressed concern about enforcement of the 20mph limit, particularly in Cherry Hinton Road and Coleridge Road, where many vehicles exceeded the limit.  He suggested that the group ‘20’s plenty’ be invited to address the Committee to inform them of the national situation, and asked that enforcement of the 20mph limit be added to the Committee’s local priorities.  In the absence of enforcement, he wanted to have proper adaptive measures in place in the two roads to make it necessary for cars to reduce their speed.

 

Mr Coles said that the force policy was that a 20mph limit would not be enforced in the absence of additional amelioration measures.  Speaking as a Peterborough City Councillor, he said that the decision had been taken in Peterborough that it was not practicable to have 20mph limits, partly because of the cost of signing and additional measures, and partly because there were roads very near the city centre where the limit was 40mph.

 

Committee members’ questions and comments to the Deputy PCC included

 

·  Given that the Police were reviewing the future of Parkside Police Station, and need a better custody suite, would the opportunity be taken to provide an accessible, ground-floor, 24-hour police station where the public could report crime

 

Mr Coles confirmed that the police were looking to redevelop the site of the Parkside station, and did intend to provide a local police station presence within Cambridge, which could perhaps be within the Fire Station.  Frontline policing was of key importance; efforts were being made to achieve savings without impacting on local delivery

 

·  Could the Deputy PCC commit to continuing to give priority to maintaining a high quality of neighbourhood policing in the coming year

 

Mr Coles replied that frontline policing was of key importance; efforts had been made to make savings without impacting on local delivery

 

·  In view of the recent centralisation of police community support officers (PCSOs) in Cambridge, could the PCC, while not responsible for how the police operated on the ground, ensure that sufficient resources were provided to enable the provision of ward-based PCSOs.

 

The Deputy PCC confirmed that it was up to the local commander to decide how to deploy PCSOs, though in his view, there should always be a neighbourhood police officer whom local people knew.  In Peterborough, PCSOs had been centralised, but local teams had then been reinstated. 

 

·  Drew attention to the difficulty in getting a reply sometimes experienced by residents who contacted the police by phone or email, and asked whether efforts were being made to improve accessibility and remove barriers between residents and police.  One resident, for example, had had difficulty getting a response from the police when their dog had been killed by another local, well-known dog.

 

Mr Coles said that the 101 telephone system had been much improved and now had a full complement of staff; one member of the Police and Crime Panel had reported that his call had been answered within 30 seconds.  He said that, as Deputy PCC, he could see that matters were followed up, and offered to do so if the dog incident was still ongoing.  He also pointed out that the police were subject to a stringent complaints process, should anybody have cause to make a complaint about police conduct.

 

Members of the public asked further questions, both cycling-related.

 

Roxanne De Beaux, Cycling Campaign Officer of Camcycle (Cambridge Cycling Campaign), speaking in a private capacity, said that she had seen no sign of action in relation to close passes by cars of cyclists on Mill Road Bridge, a problem raised at previous meetings.  She reported that the some police forces made provision for cyclists to upload video evidence of close passes through their websites, and suggested that Cambridgeshire police should consider the use of similar technology.  More people would cycle if they felt less vulnerable to close passes.

 

The Deputy PCC acknowledged the importance of cycling in Cambridge, and that it was not always given as high priority as cyclists would wish.  The Road Safety Partnership looked at cases of serious and slight injury, but the number of officers available was limited.  If there was a wish to deal with issues about cycling and risk, it would be necessary to ensure that it did not clash with other local priorities when local priorities were being set.  The Chair pointed out that PCCs were now responsible for setting strategic priorities for police forces, and could include enforcement of 20mph speed limits where that was a local concern.  The Deputy PCC undertook to convey this point.

 

A Councillor acknowledged the importance of good driver behaviour, but drew attention to how difficult it was to see cyclists who rode without lights and in dark clothing.  She requested that enforcement action be taken against cyclists riding through red lights, and not being lit at night.  She urged Camcycle to impress on cyclists the importance of visibility.  The Deputy PCC, himself a motorcyclist, agreed with her on visibility, and stressed the importance of education and effective training from primary school upwards for drivers and for cyclists.  Enforcement alone would not be sufficient; a cultural change was needed with both cyclists and drivers.

 

Frank Gawthrop of Lyndewode Road said that it was important to enforce the requirement that bicycles be lit.  Lyndewode Road was on the east-west cycle route; he estimated that about 10-15% of the very large number using the route did not have a front light, and probably did not realise the danger they were putting themselves in. That cyclists did not have the equipment needed to make them visible at night was a longstanding and major issue in Cambridge.

 

The Deputy PCC replied that if this issue was believed to be a local priority, it should be declared as such.  He could not give a commitment to police enforcement, but he could make a strong case to urge officers locally to carry out enforcement.

 

A Councillor suggested that there was a lack of experience of the south of the county at the top of the police organisation.  He gave the example of a community meeting he had attended at Police Headquarters in Huntingdon about the involvement of minority communities with the police, where all the police officers, speakers and contributors had come from Peterborough.  Both the PCC and the Deputy PCC had a north-Cambridgeshire background; what assurance could those in the south of Cambridgeshire have that this lack of southern experience would not mean a lack of resources for the south.

 

The Deputy PCC said that the meeting in question had been the Assistant Chief Constable’s first attempt to bring minority communities together; there would be future meetings.  There had been no intention that Peterborough should dominate this first meeting, but Peterborough and Cambridge had the highest concentration of crime in the area.  He came from a farming background himself, as did the PCC, so he understood issues of rural crime such as diesel theft.  During his time in the London police, some of his work had been on a nation-wide basis.

 

16/36/EAC

Environmental Reports - EAC pdf icon PDF 408 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from the Operations Manager – Community Engagement and Enforcement. It outlined an overview of City Council Refuse and Environment and Streets and Open Spaces service activity relating to the geographical area served by the East 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 to be targeted in the upcoming period. 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 East Area for the period December 2016 to February 2017:

 

Continuing Priorities:

 

i.  Enforcement patrols to tackle fly tipping at Riverside, Ditton Fields and St Matthews Street area.

 

ii.  Early morning, daytime and weekend patrols for dog fouling at the following locations:

·  Ravensworth Gardens play areas

·  Snaky Path area

·  Mill Road Cemetary

 

iii.  Enforcement patrols to tackle environmental crime at Thorpe Way estate

 

New suggested priority:

 

iv.  Enforcement patrols to tackle fly tipping, litter, side waste and trade waste in the Petersfield area of Mill Road.

 

The Committee noted that stray dogs were all being chipped when they were returned to their owners.  There had been two instances of large numbers of needles being found in one location; all council staff were aware of the needle exchange scheme and passed on information about the scheme.

 

The Committee discussed the following issues:

 

·  The lack of specific information about action taken in response to complaints about noise.  The Operations Manager undertook to supply an expanded breakdown of the figures to the next meeting.  The Committee noted that enforcement was needed in only a minority of cases; most were resolved by knocking on the door and asking that the noise be stopped.

Action: Wendy Young

 

·  Action that could be taken against dustbins left out on the road.  It was noted that this was now a civil rather than a criminal matter, and enforcement was a cumbersome process requiring that the intention to issue a fine be notified to the bin owner in writing.

 

·  The reason for the additional priority.  This had been suggested because officers patrolling Mill Road had noticed an increase in the number of black and white sacks and litter, and in trade and domestic fly-tipping; appropriate education and enforcement action was recommended to address this.

 

·  Complaints about barbecuing on Stourbridge Common and on Jesus Green.  The Operations Manager advised that her team patrolled all the green spaces in the city centre as a standard action.

 

·  Blocking of access to a private alley on Tenison Road raised by an earlier questioner.  The Operations Manager agreed that the Enforcement Team could talk to traders about not blocking this access.  Action: Wendy Young

 

Following discussion, Members resolved (unanimously) to approve the continuation of the three previous priorities for action above, with the addition of a fourth priority, enforcement patrols to tackle fly tipping, litter, side waste and trade waste in the Petersfield area of Mill Road.

 

 

16/37/EAC

EAC Policing & Safer Neighbourhoods pdf icon PDF 177 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from Sergeant Ian Wood of South policing team for Cambridge.  Sergeant Wood introduced himself; he had been a police officer for 14 years in various places, including London.  He was now part of the Cambridge South policing team, which covered the whole of the city south of the river apart from Market ward.

 

The report outlined actions taken since the Committee on 7th July 2016. 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.  Continue to target the supply of controlled drugs

ii.  Continue to target street based anti-social behaviour (ASB) in and around Mill Road

iii.  Retain speed checks.

 

The recommendations to EAC were now:

i.  Safeguarding vulnerable residents (including Mill Road ASB)

ii.  Road safety

iii.  Combatting violent crime and theft.

 

In relation to Roxanne de Beaux’s earlier comments, Sergeant Wood said that they had done some work with Outspoken about 18 months ago.  A day of enforcement had been held, but had not yielded the results expected; police had been looking at motorists passing cyclists too close on Mill Road bridge, but had ended up giving advice to unlit cyclists.  He said that police officers on patrol would in general always be keen to speak to cyclists, motorists and pedestrians about road safety.  Any traffic offence reports would be referred to the central ticketing office, which would check what contact the police had already had with that cyclist, motorist or pedestrian, and consider what action was appropriate in each case.

 

In relation to earlier comments about speeding, Sergeant Wood said that he ran Community Speedwatch in Cambridge, and would welcome any expressions of interest in the scheme, particularly from schools.  He was aware of the situation in Tenison Road, where a speed indication device had been placed to give an accurate picture of speed.

 

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

 

In relation to anti-social behaviour in Mill Road, a local resident said the bus shelter on the Addenbrooke's-bound side near the Salvation Army premises acted as a focal point.  He asked whether the Salvation Army could be asked to encourage the people they helped to enter into a verbal contract whereby, in return for being given food, they would agree not to beg and not to drink in the vicinity of the premises; this would help to bring a sense of responsibility to the people receiving help.

 

Jim Chisholm drew attention to current ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) guidance, according to which enforcement action would be taken where there were complaints about speeding.  He suggested that more attention should be paid to enforcement where complaints about speeding were being received, and quoted the example of a local resident who had refused to pay a taxi driver who persisted in driving him up Tenison Road at 30mph in a 20mph zone.  In answer to a question from Sergeant Wood, he said that as far as he knew, the passenger had not reported the taxi driver to the City Council.

 

Roxanne De Beaux recalled that, at EAC over a year ago, she had been promised action about the issue of close passes of cyclists by drivers on Mill Road bridge.  This action was to have been over more than one day, and to have included news coverage and education, and she was to have been told about it in advance.  This had not happened; instead, the action taken had been of very brief duration, and behaviour had not changed.  She asked that the action be done properly, using Facebook and news coverage to publicise it, and offered her assistance.  She added that Camcycle did a lot to educate cyclists about the importance of being visible, but unlike drivers, cyclists did not kill people.

 

In answer to a comment from a member of the public that the Council said it was up to the police to enforce the speed limit, Sergeant Wood explained that the incident recounted by Mr Chisholm was a matter of taxi licensing.  He had links to the Cambridge Hackney Carriage Association and the taxi licensing team, both of which took complaints from the public seriously.  Police officers were also aware of the need to enforce speed limits with taxi drivers. 

 

Chief Inspector Paul Ormerod (Chief Inspector: Operations, Cambridge City) said that he had been attending Area Committees around Cambridge to give a consistent explanation of the police’s approach to enforcement of the 20mph limit.  It was a question of ACPO guidance and whether the limits were appropriate or not.  The guidance was clear on not supporting 20mph limits that were not clearly signed or indicated.  He was not saying that the police would never enforce 20mph; those deliberately breaking the limit would be targeted.  The police wished to promote road safety and reduce casualty numbers, and were keen to work together to reduce the speed of traffic.

 

The Committee discussed the following policing issues:

 

i.  Urged members of the public to report any taxi or hire car seen doing something it should not; details would be passed to South Cambridgeshire if it was a vehicle registered there.  Persistent Cambridge offenders would be brought before the Licensing Committee.

 

ii.  Sought an explanation of the large recent increase in violent crime and crime figures in the report.  Sergeant Wood said that there had recently been a focus on ensuring that national crime recording standards were being followed ethically and appropriately.  This had led to some incidents being recorded as a crime that would not have been so recorded a year ago.  He offered to bring a further report to the next EAC meeting.       Action: Ian Wood

 

The Deputy PCC confirmed that there was a nationwide rise in violent crime because of changes in recording, though it was known from health and other data that it had not increased in Cambridgeshire.  He and the PCC had been assured by the Chief Constable that the rise was due to recording changes.  The Chief Inspector added that future reports to Area Committees would break down the violent crime figures into those with and without injury.  There was an issue of violent crime in Cambridge linked to drug supply, and evidence that vulnerable people in the East Area were being targeted by dealers.    Action: Ian Wood

 

iii.   Returned to the question of enforcing 20mph speed limits.  The Chief Inspector explained that 20mph might not be appropriate for long, straight roads with nothing to prevent drivers from travelling at what they perceived to be a safe speed, but was appropriate for many side streets. 

 

Frank Gawthrop, Secretary of South Petersfield Residents’ Association, pointed out that at residents’ request humps had not been installed in Tenison Road, but other changes to the road environment had been made; was this or was this not an appropriate road environment for 20mph, and would the police enforce the limit.  Councillor Benstead suggested that the 20mph limit in Coleridge Road was suitable because of the park, routes to schools, and elderly residents, though the road was long and straight.

 

Chief Inspector Ormerod undertook to look at enforcement of the 20mph limit on different roads, especially on those EAC perceived as highest risk, including Coleridge Road.     Action: Paul Ormerod

 

Following discussion, the Committee resolved (unanimously) to agree the following amended priorities:

i.  Safeguarding vulnerable residents (including Mill Road ASB)

ii.  Road safety for all road users including enforcement of speed limits

iii.  Combatting violent crime and theft.

 

16/38/EAC

Palmer's Walk Consultation pdf icon PDF 811 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received a report presented by the Senior Assets Development Officer for Streets and Open Spaces setting out the background to and the feedback from the consultation on the proposal to widen the pathway alongside Petersfield Mansions known as Palmers Walk.  This had been raised some years ago, and a further consultation had been undertaken recently.  Two residents had also canvassed opinion on whether a cycling ban should be imposed along Palmers Walk.  It was noted that EAC would not be making any decision on the matter; the decision would be made by the Cycling and Pedestrian Steering Group at its meeting on 9th February 2017.

 

In the course of discussion, Committee members

 

·  pointed out that 58% of respondents had supported maintaining the current width of the path, so there was not a majority in favour of widening it

 

·  queried whether a ban on cycling would be practicable, and who would be responsible for enforcing it.  The Assets Development Officer said that enforcement was difficult in the absence of a byelaw or traffic regulation order (TRO). 

 

·  commented that cyclists were likely to ride on the path whether it were permitted or not.  Instead, measures to make it safer for the residents of Petersfield Mansions to leave the building should be considered, such as widening the path and putting in railings for about 30cm beyond the steps to stop cyclists riding too close to the steps.  EAC should confirm to the working party that it considered safety to be the priority in any scheme for Palmers Walk.

 

One of the residents who had requested the consultation said that any widening of the path would encourage people to go faster; they had an engineer’s diagram showing that a wider path would enable two-way cycling.  Using Palmers Walk gave a very short route saving, and there was no need to cycle it.  Since starting the campaign to reduce riding, there had been a noticeable increase in the number of people pushing instead of riding bicycles.

 

One of the petition organisers disputed the suggestion that they had been coercive when gathering signatures; they had simply wanted to widen access to the consultation exercise for elderly and infirm residents of Bradmore Court.  The Assets Development Officer said that no offence had been intended by the comment in the report; he had simply wanted to point out that time could be taken to consider the response to a consultation document through the letterbox, whereas a request to sign a petition needed an immediate answer.  There had been a 20% response rate to the consultation document from Bradmore Court residents, which was a not uncommon rate of return.

 

The Chair confirmed that the comments made would be reported to the Assets Development Officer so that he could share them with the Cycling and Pedestrian Steering Group.  Action: Anthony French

 

16/39/EAC

East Area Committee Dates 2017/18

The Committee is asked to agree the following meeting dates:

 

20th July 2017,

12th October 2017,

11th Jan 2018 and

5th April 2018. 

 

Members are asked to contact the Committee Manager in advance of the meeting with any comments regarding the above dates.

 

Minutes:

The following dates were agreed unanimously:

 

·  20th July 2017

·  12th October 2017

·  11th Jan 2018

5th April 2018.

16/40/EAC

Record of Officer Delegated Decisions in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair for East Area Committee

To note decisions taken by the Chair, Vice Chair since the last meeting of the East Area Committee.

 

16/40/EACa

S106: Ditton Fields play area improvements pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Area Committee noted the Officer Record of Decision on Ditton Fields play area improvements.