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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Meeting Room - Cherry Trees Day Centre

Contact: Democratic Services  Committee Manager

Items
No. Item

16/41/EAC

Introductions and Apologies For Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Benstead

 

16/42/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:

Councillors Baigent, Barnett, Kavanagh and Smith declared a personal interest in one of the Open Forum questions as members of Camcycle.

16/43/EAC

Minutes pdf icon PDF 366 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 12 January 2017.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 12 January 2017 were approved as a correct record.

 

16/44/EAC

Matters & Actions Arising From The Minutes pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Minutes:

The Action Sheet was noted.  Councillor Smith reported that she had held an initial meeting with the Police on the enforcement of 20mph speed limits.  The discussion had been productive, and a further meeting was planned before the next East Area Committee.  She would report further to that meeting.

Action: Cllr Smith

 

16/45/EAC

Open Forum

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

Minutes:

1.  Leila Dockerill asked that something be done to improve signage for drivers around the railway station, particularly that for the drop-off area.

 

Members said that the area of the station square was not public highway but was controlled by Abellio Greater Anglia.  In regular liaison meetings, Abellio had said it was developing a signage programme; Abellio was being urged to complete it soon.  The drop-off area was accessed off Great Northern Road, but drivers continued to drive up Station Road to the front of the station, despite ‘bus only’ signs; this was raised at every Brookgate liaison meeting.

 

2.  Jenny Kirner asked that measures be taken to address the chaos being experienced in Bradmore Street as a result of the creation of an entrance to ARU [Anglia Ruskin University] in the street.  Residents were unable to access their parking during the day, elderly residents were intimidated by difficult roads and pavements, and those with lung conditions were suffering from air pollution.  Also, the plane trees were continuing to block out the light from people’s homes.

 

Mairin Lennon added that some students appeared to be making use of falsely obtained blue badges, as was shown in a morning check by traffic wardens, and that access to the Bradmore Court car park was made difficult by parents dropping children off.  There was also obstruction caused by taxis dropping passengers off opposite parked cars.

 

Councillor Blencowe said that the ARU Estates Department had told him recently that works to the trees on Bradmore Street and Broad Street were scheduled for 11 April.  There clearly was inconsiderate parking on Bradmore Street; local members raised this regularly with the various parties involved in enforcement.  When ARU had obtained permission to build on its former car park, the understanding had been that students and staff would travel to ARU by other means, but some staff seemed to be trying to park in local streets.

 

Asked what measures residents would like to see taken, Ms Kirner suggested traffic calming restrictions, an increase in the hours of the residents’ parking scheme, and a taxi rank on Parkside, which would be an easy walk from ARU.  She said she would welcome input from others on how to tackle the problems.

 

It was agreed that local Councillors would discuss the matter with Ms Kirner and report back any additional points.

Action: Cllrs Blencowe, Robertson and Sinnott

 

3.  Richard Wood thanked members for their efforts in relation to the Walkers Garage site in Perowne Street, but expressed dismay at the lack of progress since the January EAC.  Local contractors were assessing the work, and the owners were due to tidy the site, but had not yet done so.  The pantiled sheds and barrier fence were collapsing; the site had been deteriorating since 2000, and residents would like it to be developed for housing.

 

Councillor Robertson reported that the difficulty lay with the owners, who for many years had not been responding to numerous requests for action.  The Council’s Planning Enforcement and Environmental Health departments were both pursuing the matter.  A planning enforcement investigation had been set up, a site visit carried out, and evidence had as to the state of the land had been collected  The owners had said that they had arranged for the site to be tidied and fencing made safe, but Planning Enforcement officers had confirmed on 6 April that nothing had yet been done; formal action was being considered in the form of serving an Untidy Land Notice. The Environmental Health Team had contacted the owner in an attempt to access the land to lay bait to test for the presence of vermin; the owner’s response was awaited. 

 

4.  Al Storer, speaking on behalf of members of Camcycle, raised the problem of the design of some street corner barriers installed years ago to reduce car traffic while still allowing bicycles through, particularly those at Gwydir Street, Hooper Street, Rustat Road / Greville Road and Herbert Street / Suez Road.  They were too narrow for tricycles or cargo bikes, and because only one bike could pass through at a time, they caused conflict, with many bikes using the footpath to go round the barriers.  Camcycle would like each of these barriers to be replaced with a single, central, removable bollard, using Local Highways Improvement Initiative (LHI) funding.  Mr Storer asked for Councillors’ support in this.

 

Councillor Kavanagh said that this initiative had his full support.  He knew the barriers, which had clearly caused problems to many bikes and trailers, and were in poor condition.  The Council should undertake a thorough assessment to see which bollards would be most suitable.

 

Councillor R Moore reported that she had already secured LHI funding for Coleridge, intended to improve barriers for all users, particularly pedestrians.

 

Councillor Blencowe undertook to reflect on Mr Storer’s request, pointing out that the barriers had been put in place to prevent rat-running.  They were at key junctions where there were three directions of travel, and movement at speed could itself be an issue.  Some users were impatient, but most waited for each other.       Action: Cllr Blencowe

 

Other members pointed out that a central bollard would allow motorbikes to pass both ways through a junction, something to which residents might reasonably object.  Mr Storer replied that anything that could stop a motorbike would also stop cargo bikes, trailers, tricycles and mobility scooters; the only way to stop motorbikes would be enforcement.

 

5.  Liz Wheeler spoke about Palmer’s Walk on behalf of Petersfield residents, following on from the report on the footpath consultation to the last EAC.  She reported that she had attended the meeting of the Cycling and Pedestrian Steering Group on 9 February, at which members had agreed not to widen the footpath, but would not entertain a cycling ban, despite 78% of respondents to the Council’s own consultation supporting a ban.  This meant that Petersfield Mansion residents continued to be at risk of collision with cyclists. 

 

She went on to say that there had been discussion of signage and access routes to ARU at the meeting, but similar proposals had been made over a year ago, with no result.  Councillor Blencowe had said at the meeting that the cycling ban had been outside the remit of the consultation; residents now intended to make a formal complaint to the City Council about the refusal to act on the consultation outcome, unless Councillor Blencowe would reconsider the matter.

 

Councillor Blencowe said that he had taken the decision on Palmer’s Walk as the Executive Councillor, as advised by the Steering Group.  EAC had considered the consultation at its last meeting because of complaints about the conduct of the first consultation.  The Steering Group was not obliged to follow the view of the consultation respondents; he and the Group had accepted that the clear local view was that the path should not be widened. 

 

He added that the question on the cycling ban had been included in the consultation document at Ms Wheeler’s request, but the consultation was about whether the path should be widened, and this context was important, because people could have been looking at the cycling ban as a secondary question, and fearing cyclists’ future use of a widened path. Palmer’s Walk should be viewed as part of the wider question of routes to ARU.  To him, the correlation between the question about a cycling ban and the main consultation question about widening the path was relevant.

 

Ms Wheeler said that she would have to make a formal complaint, because the huge majority of people who had responded to the consultation wanted a cycling ban on Palmer’s Walk.

 

6.  Margaret Cranmer reported complaints from Tenison Road residents about the conduct of private hire car and taxi drivers, including sounding horns, driving on the pavement, and speeding.  She asked how the taxi companies could be made to do more to ensure that drivers stayed within the law and behaved better.

 

Councillor Roberts said that advice to residents was to report any incident to the City Council, quoting the vehicle registration number.  He offered to set up a meeting between Ms Cranmer and the licensing officer, and to ask an officer to talk to Tenison Road residents; a site visit had been carried out some time ago.  Councillor Sinnott undertook to pursue the matter with officers as a member of the Licensing Committee.    Action: Cllrs Roberts and Sinnott

 

 

7.  Janet Griffiths reported a number of issues identified at the Birdwood Area Residents’ Association AGM:

a.  the poor state of pavements on both sides of Birdwood Road, Ward Road and Snakey Path

b.  parking on the verges in Birdwood Road

c.  the need for a bus shelter at Gray Road / Birdwood Road

 

Councillor Herbert said that he already had a list of cracked driveways on Birdwood Road; he undertook to pursue the matter and email the Residents’ Association.  Work was being done on bad parking in Perne Road, and some work on Birdwood Road.  He would look into the question of providing another bus shelter.      Action: Cllr Herbert

 

 

8.  Richards Wood expressed dismay at Chief Inspector Ormerod’s reply on enforcement of the 20mph speed limit at the last EAC meeting, and said that the 20mph signing on Mill Road was unclear, lacking sufficient repeater signs.  However, the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 left repeater signage to local discretion, and permitted the use of non-standard signage.  Mr Wood asked Councillors to commit to working with schools, the local authorities, and local members to bring in ‘hearts and minds’ signage to reinforce the limit, particularly for visitors to the area.  He showed examples of such informal signing, designed by local schoolchildren.

 

Councillor Smith said that a further meeting was due to be held with the Police, and they would look at the use of hearts and minds signage then.  The previous meeting with the Police about the 20mph limit had raised the question of education versus enforcement.

 

Councillor Herbert reported that, since the last EAC, he had raised the issue of contractors not having completed 20mph road markings to an adequate standard; some markings had already rubbed off, so could not serve their purpose of informing people about the limit.  The Chair undertook to arrange for a full report on the standard of painting to be brought to the next EAC.

Action: Cllr Smith

 

9.  Al Storer, speaking as a private citizen, raised the question of cars being parked on the pavement outside the new Co-op store in Perne Road, despite double yellow lines on the road, and obstructing pedestrians.  This happened in the evenings, when parking enforcement was not operating; he asked for regular parking enforcement patrols there.

 

Councillor Kavanagh said that other residents had made the same complaint.  He had already liaised with Philip Hammer, Parking Operations Manager, and tickets were being issued.  He had also secured LHI funding for bollards on that area of pavement, which should stop the parking and reduce the danger to the many children walking and cycling in the area.

 

16/46/EAC

Area Committee Grants 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 316 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from the Community Funding & Development Manager which detailed applications received for 2017-18 funding for projects in the East Area.  Members noted that no award had been proposed for the Hammer and Tong workshops because of lack of sufficiently detailed information, but discussions were continuing, and the unallocated sum of £3,611 could potentially be used for the workshops, or kept for later requests.

 

In reply to a member’s question, the Community Funding & Development Manager confirmed that all the organisations for which funding was being proposed were paying the living wage.  However, the Scrutiny Committee in January had decided paying the living wage should not be set as a criterion, because it would have to apply to all awards of council grants to the voluntary sector, and the fragility of the voluntary sector was such that this could compromise the stability of a service.  Only three in the whole range of organisations had not been paying the living wage, and work was being undertaken with them to see how they could be supported, but to implement such a criterion would be a wider-reaching corporate task.

 

In response to a request for members’ advice on suitable locations in the East area for Citizens’ Advice Bureau outreach sessions, members suggested

1)  Barnwell Baptist Church, Howard Road

2)  Tesco, Newmarket Road

3)  East Barnwell Community Centre, Newmarket Road

4)  Abbey Meadows Primary School - Community Wing, Galfrid Road

5)  River Centre, River Lane

6)  St Matthew’s Church

7)  the Cherry Trees Centre

8)  George Pateman Court

9)  St Thomas’s Hall, Ancaster Way

It was urged that the outreach sessions be located close to areas of deprivation, and some reservations were expressed about appearing to endorse a commercial outlet.

 

The Committee resolved unanimously to:

i.   Approve the awards detailed in Appendix 1 of the Officer’s report and summarised in the table at paragraph 2.1 of the Officer’s report.

16/47/EAC

Building Stronger Communities – Community Centres Strategy pdf icon PDF 728 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from the Community Funding & Development Manager providing an overview of the recommendations in the draft Community Centres Strategy and of the consultation plan; the public was being invited to respond to the consultation, which would remain open until noon on 5 May 2017.  Members noted that proposals round the Ross Street Community Centre were not seeking to reduce provision in Romsey, but to manage it in a different way to allow the Council’s resources to be targeted to areas of the highest need.  A voluntary sector organisation would be invited to take on the management of the centre under a Service Level Agreement, not as a commercial venture.  The review concerned eight centres, but there were 180 community facilities throughout the city.

 

In discussion, members

 

1)  reported that the County Council would be conducting a further, separate consultation on the Barnwell Hub, plans for which had been slightly altered following preliminary consultation

 

2)  noted that the agreement for management of the Ross Street Centre would include affordable hire fees for local use; any group concerned about meeting hire charges could approach the Community Funding & Development Manager or the Grants Team to see if their activity would be eligible for a grant funding for hire costs

 

3)  suggested that consideration be given to using faith-based facilities to meet gaps in community provision, such as Cambridge Community Church in Brookes Road

 

4)  noted that officers visited all the facilities which received funding to look at use and levels of use, and to deal with any issues as they arose.

 

The Chair thanked the Community Funding & Development Manager for her contribution to the meeting, and for all the work which had gone into the consultation.

 

The Committee resolved to

 

1)  Note the emerging proposals in the draft Community Centres Strategy detailed in section 3 of the report

 

2)  Note the consultation plan and opportunities for people to feed back their comments on the draft strategy detailed in section 5 of the report.

 

16/48/EAC

Environmental Reports pdf icon PDF 394 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from the Operations Manager – Community Engagement and Enforcement, outlining 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 targeting 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 upcoming period:

 

Continuing Priorities (with amendments shown in italics):

 

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

·  Ravensworth Gardens play areas

·  Mill Road Cemetery

·  Seymour Street / Cromwell Road area

 

ii.  Enforcement patrols to tackle environmental crime at Thorpe Way estate and St Matthew’s Street area

 

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

 

The Committee discussed the following issues:

 

1)  The inclusion of Ekin Road and Jack Warren Green in priority ii, as environmental crime continued in the area

 

2)  Progress with the shrubbery on the Newmarket Road retail park.  The retail park undertook regular litter-picks, and following an approach to Wickes, litter bins had been installed in the area.  Officers could visit or send a reminder letter if litter continued to be a problem

 

3)  Litter bins

a.  it was suggested that bins be installed on Glisson Road, outside Bodyworks; the Operations Manager undertook to speak to the Operations Team about the suitability of this site

Action: W Young

b.  it was remarked that on the St Matthews / East Road estate, fly-tipping was occurring particularly (but not only) where previously installed bins had been removed

 

4)  Rubbish within the fence around the electricity sub-station in Mercers Row; the Operations Manager undertook to speak to UK Power Networks, which had responsibility for the substation  Action: W Young

 

5)  Graffiti still appearing in the Elizabeth Way underpass.  The Operations Manager reported that work was continuing; work on concentrated areas was being undertaken in a streamlined way, with the aim of completing the job in 2017, to a standard that would not require repeated work

 

6)  The numbers of trolleys appearing on verges, for example in Ditton Fields

 

7)  The reported increase in derelict cycles.  The Operations Manager said that the rise could be the result of seasonal variation; any unclaimed bikes were donated to the OWL Trust.  Members asked what the plans were for dealing with abandoned Ofo bikes once the scheme started in Cambridge.  Members said that the City Council was working with the County Council to address the challenges posed by the scheme, which was due to start a small trial by the end of April.  The biggest challenge was the lack of space in the city centre; if the City Council found bikes causing an obstruction, they would be removed to the Mill Road depot.  No relevant legislation existed applying to this type of scheme.

 

The Operations Manager added that she had been talking to the Ranger Service about abandoned bikes and the issues of accessibility that they would cause.  There would be a charge for hire firms to retrieve bikes.

 

The Committee resolved unanimously to approve the continuation of the three previous priorities for action above, with the addition of Ekin Road and Jack Warren Green in priority ii.

 

The Chair thanked the Operations Manager for her team’s impressive work.

 

16/49/EAC

2016/17 S106 Priority-Setting Round pdf icon PDF 429 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from the Urban Growth Project Manager setting out ten proposals that had been received for making use of devolved Section 106 contributions to improve open spaces and play areas in the East Area.  The report set out the background to S106 funding, and described recent S106-funded projects completed in the area.  The Chair said that, as the Executive Councillor who would receive the report for decision in due course, she would not be voting on the recommendation.

 

Discussing the Abbey Mosaics and Memories project, members

 

1)  while acknowledging that the proposal had not met the criteria for public art funding or for public open space funding, asked that officers enter into discussion with the scheme’s proposers to see if some way could be found of realising the project    Action: T Wetherfield

 

2)  reported that a mosaic/public art element was being considered within the planning application for East Barnwell Hub, which included provision for public art.

 

Commenting on other projects, members

 

3)  welcomed the improvements to the tennis courts at Coleridge Recreation Ground, but expressed disappointment at the difference in quality between the superior court near Coleridge Road and the one near Davy Road.  Councillor Johnson undertook to raise this with the Sports and Recreation team in Community Services to ensure the issues could be rectified.      Action: Cllr Johnson

 

4)  requested a site visit to review plans for the Lichfield Road play area

 

5)  thanked the Urban Growth Project Manager for his work, and his efforts to produce detailed reports.

 

Members noted that Councillors would be involved in the consultation process for the projects, and asked that the Ward Councillors be included, with the Area Chair, Vice Chair and Opposition Spokes, in the list of members whose comments would be sought prior to sign-off by the relevant service manager.

Action: T Wetherfield

 

Following discussion, the Committee resolved (unanimously, apart from the Chair, abstaining) to prioritise the following local project proposals for the use of devolved S106 contributions from the Area, subject to business case approvals (as appropriate):

 

a. Coldham’s Lane play area improvements for older children (estimate: £60,000 ‘provision for children and teenagers’ and £20,000 ‘informal open space’ contributions);

 

b. Lichfield Road play area improvements (estimate: £30,000 ‘provision for children and teenagers’ and £15,000 ‘informal open space’ contributions);

 

c. St Matthew’s Piece play area improvements (estimate: £25,000 or more ‘provision for children and teenagers’ and £10,000 ‘informal open space’ contributions); and

 

d. Brothers Place landscaping and natural play (estimate: £4,000 ‘informal open space’ and £3,500 ‘provision for children and teenagers’ contributions.

 

Concluding the meeting the Chair on behalf of the Committee, thanked Councillors Moghadas and Walsh for their years of excellent service; they were not standing for re-election to the County Council in May.