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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Virtually via Microsoft Teams

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

Media

Items
No. Item

21/38/EAC

Welcome, Introduction and Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

No apologies were received.

21/39/EAC

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Item

Name

Reason

All

Councillor Baigent

Personal: Cam Cycle

All

Councillor Smith

Personal: Cam Cycle

All

Councillor Thornburrow

Personal: Cambridge Doughnut Economics

All

Councillor Davey

Personal: Cam Cycle

All

Councillor Copley

Personal: Cambridge Doughnut Economics

All

Councillor Shaler

Personal: Cambridge Doughnut Economics and Cam Cycle

 

21/40/EAC

Minutes pdf icon PDF 214 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 18 March were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

21/41/EAC

Matters and Actions Arising from the Minutes pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Minutes:

No matters were raised.

21/42/EAC

Policing and Safer Neighbourhoods pdf icon PDF 308 KB

Minutes:

Sergeant Stevenson presented a report which outlined the policing and safer neighbourhood trends and outlined actions taken since the last reporting period.

 

Local areas for concern were as follows:

 

  i.  Anti-social driving

  ii.  Cycle theft, and

  iii.  Drug dealing and the protection of local young people – child criminal exploitation.

 

In response to questions and comments from the Committee Sergeant Stevenson said the following:

 

  i.  If an electric scooter was not part of a hire scheme they should not be used on the public highways. Legally, private owned electric scooters are not approved to be on the public highway. Those scooters part of a hire scheme were GPS monitored and tracked.

  ii.  Mobility scooters were permissible on the highways. 

  iii.  The road safety operations undertaken each month did police electric scooters.

  iv.  Technically, cycling on a pavement which had not been identified as a cycle path was not allowed but there was a level of tolerance from some members of the public.

  v.  Electric mopeds which had pedals should be on the highways and not the path.

  vi.  The 20mph enforcement was taken very seriously by Police.

 vii.  There was varying enforcements which could be used when dealing with anti-social driving such as section 59, which could be issued to both vehicle and users. If more than one section 59 was issued to either the vehicle or the user then the vehicle could be seized.

viii.  Had received reports of anti-social driving regarding mopeds in one of the East Area wards and would be sending Police Officers out to try to witness those committing the crimes.

  ix.  All information reported to the Police was valuable and would be investigated; details of vehicles recently reported for anti-social driving had links to organised crime and one should not be on the road so would be seized when found.

  x.  Noted the comments regarding speeding on Riverside particularly around Beche Road.

  xi.  Would continue to observe roads in Abbey ward such as Wadloe Road, Whitehall Road, Ditton Road, Davey Road etc as highlighted in the report.

 xii.  Confirmed that Newmarket Road roundabout was on the road safety operation list; regarding stationary vehicles in this area keeping their engines idling particularly when the ques built up around the primary school, this was more of a highways issues rather than enforcement.

xiii.  A fixed penalty notice could be issued when dealing with speeding.

xiv.  There was a number of issues which could be classed as anti-social driving such as constant over revving of engines, ‘donuts’ on public green spaces, vehicles on pathways that should be on the highway.

xv.  Verified there was separate legislation regarding noise.

xvi.  Confirmed that as the Police had objected to the recently considered and approved premises licence application on Mill Road that they would support an appeal. 

xvii.  Details of the public who reported incidents direct to the control room were logged. 

xviii.  Street surgeries had been on hold due to the pandemic. These had been an opportunity for the public to talk to directly to the Police on a range of issues. These also provided opportunities for the Police to provide feedback on the work that had been undertaken. It was hoped that these street surgeries would be able to start again when restrictions had been lifted.

xix.  Noted the comment that the Dudley Road recreation ground was a hotspot for drug dealing.

 

The Chair thanked Sergeant Stevenson for his report and advised that the Committee had noted the content and the continued priorities.

 

21/43/EAC

Open Forum

Minutes:

Member of the Public: The matter of vehicle noise has been raised numerous times previously, highlighting areas across the East Area, but regularly around Barnwell Road, Newmarket Road, Wadloes Road, Whitehill Road...

 

The regular response from officials is to continue reporting the matter to collect data. Some people understand the importance of this data and have tried to do this, but after many months of reporting and the problem only getting worse, it's becoming difficult to continue. 

 

Reports also don't go very far without video evidence, which is defeated by the fact that the louder the noise, the further it travels and the more people it affects. In some cases, where the noisy vehicles (often off-road bikers) are in residential streets, they have removed number plates, making the reporting more difficult still.

 

The problem is, I think, getting worse. Since the end of the third lockdown, I find I am increasingly interrupted by extraordinarily loud motorists while I'm trying to get on with life -- in-person conversations, or phone calls for work or personal matters; and you cannot walk in the worst-affected areas for an hour without having a conversation interrupted by someone's modified exhaust. Going back to work near the centre of town, I have found the same problem increasing there too, with virtually every call or conversation I have interrupted by someone showing off on East Road, Hills Road, or Regent Street.

 

When will the matter genuinely be taken seriously? This cannot go on for years before we see / hear change. Most of the community needs more than platitudes about the increasingly regular disturbance, by those keen to disturb the peace...

 

I would be genuinely interested to see action, like that beginning to come about in other parts of the UK. Please see and discuss the following:

Kensington and Chelsea's solution: https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/newsroom/all-council-statements/acoustic-cameras-reinstalled-monitor-noisy-drivers

Such a solution would provide real monitoring and measuring of the problem, rather than relying on useless reporting, which relies on the public having the will to keep reporting. 

 

Sergeant Stevenson advised the cameras were operated by the County Council and those vehicle users causing anti-social behaviour / driving regarding noise came under environment health legislation.

 

The cameras could detect a certain level of noise deemed to be more than should be emitted by a regular moving vehicle which then becomes a statutory nuisance.

 

Had looked at the Kensington and Chelsea’s solution to this issue which was innovative.

 

Councillor Bulat advised that she would share the Kensington and Chelsea link with the relevant county officers and ask for their feedback.

 

Councillor Moore, as the Executive Councillor for Climate Change and the City Centre acknowledged that noise pollution was detrimental to quality of life. Would be happy to work with the resident on this issue to take the matter forward. Would speak with city council officers on what evidence was needed and the correct approach followed.

 

The collection of evidence was vital to take to court for noise abatement notices to be issued. Kensington and Chelsea had issued public spaces protection orders but to get the order agreed by the Court, evidence was required to prove there is anti-social behaviour taking place.

 

Member of the public: The application by Anderson Group (Planning application 21/02326/FUL) for development south of Coldhams Lane has land allocated for commercial development but included several wildlife sites and protected open spaces proposed as an urban country park.

 

The area is seen to offer green open spaces and for the city’s protecting biodiversity, however the application covers a large area with major changes in relation to the 2018 previous consultation. It is of such a scale that it will affect many people in the area, as well as the environment and wildlife. There is inadequate guidance to the huge number of public documents involved which are difficult to access and understand. The development would have numerous potential impacts, making it is very difficult to grasp fully what is planned and the time scale involved.

 

It is important to note the increase in future population of the with the relocation of the airport and further housing developments.

 

The statutory consultation process seems far from adequate and questioned if it would be possible to extend the consultation for people to fully understand what the issues are and provide a response.  Would it also be possible to improve procedure for the areas which are proposed for the country park and conservation areas,

 

Councillor Thornburrow advised in her capacity as the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport, she had asked the case officer to contact the Anderson Group to request they consider further public presentations as none had been planned.

 

To date 168 comments on the application had been submitted by residents.

 

Agreed it was vital that residents understood the documentation and would be happy to arrange assistance when looking at the drawings.

 

Member of the public: The experimental Mill Road Bridge scheme, created for both social distancing and encouraging walking/cycling, has shown a more pleasant Mill Road. Congestion, pollution, noise, and road danger are much lower. But the consultation to date has been badly done and no-one likes ugly orange bollards!

With the new Joint County Administration, a better, permanent scheme is possible. The Highways Committee considers Mill Road in July.

A new independent, cross-party group, Mill Road For People - millroad4people.org, have been working up compromise proposals to resolve the problems some people have raised. It aligns clearly with the new joint administration's Agreement. meeting with traders and distributing leaflets to residents to get their ideas. The proposals adjust the current bus gate scheme:

1. Retain the bus gate, which is the only way to avoid Mill Road being a rat run for the city centre.

2. Add practical, low-cost, improvements along the street to help traders and shoppers. E.g. disabled parking, delivery bays, short-stay shopper parking, zebra crossings, removing poles, adding cycle parking, seating areas for cafes while keeping the pavement clear for the partially-sighted, tree planters, seating, better bus stops, and other improvements. These would make the street accessible and welcoming for everyone, and really encourage people to come to Mill Road.

3. Consult on allowing taxis over the bridge, ideally just Hackney Carriages (suggested by Piero of the Traders' Association when we spoke with him), as they are regulated, and increasingly electric with wheelchair access.

4. Exempt traders delivery vehicles from the bus gate. We took up Cllr Howitt's suggestion of speaking with a county officer, who confirmed this can be done, as long as there’s a clear policy.

5. Consult on Blue badge holders also similarly being able to register to be exempted.

6. Work to reduce traffic on main roads around the city, as per the administration agreement, to help residents of Coldham's Lane and Cherry Hinton Road.

7. Consult properly with a simple, standard county council consultation, asking residents on the layout and specific options for exempting types of vehicles. Residents would fill in a standard leaflet, giving their address to avoid any duplicate submissions.

What do councillors think? We think a scheme like this will create something that most people would regard as a fair compromise and avoids going back to the road danger going on since the 1980s.

Councillor Shailer welcomed the work that had been undertaken and the feedback received from traders.  Stated the joint county council administration was the greenest that had been elected. Was aware the city council were working on a survey to collate feedback from a wider area.

 

Councillor Howitt advised the new administration at the county council were working with officers to determine that the decision would be based on facts and evidence.

Councillor Thornburrow stressed it was important to think about hidden disabilities that adults and children had when looking at the open spaces, how people moved through those spaces and how the community could be brought together.

Councillor Moore had requested that some of the government funding received for city centre improvements be allocated to other high streets outside of the city.  A strategic plan was needed for the whole of the city resulting in cleaner air and improved public transport.

 

Member of the public:  Please can you provide an update on next actions following the Coleridge residents survey.

 

What actions will EAC take to engage with The Junction as/when lockdown lifts, regarding engaging with the neighbourhood. When I was a subscribing supporter they mentioned they did not do door-to-door publicity - something that could be done to recruit local audiences especially last minute unsold tickets, & local subscribers.

 

At a future EAC can we discuss post-lockdown community fairs where each ward hosts an event that community orgs & campaign groups can hold stalls & meet the local public?

 

Similarly the 3 but on a much larger scale - for The Junction to host, a societies fair but for South Cambridge (and a similar one in the north), covering sports groups & clubs.

 

Councillor Smith (Executive Councillor for Communities) advised she would speak with representatives from the Junction regarding local community engagement and bring back this information back  to the Committee (ACTION).

 

Acknowledged that community fairs could be a positive thing to hold. As a Ward Councillor would be interested in exploring the different creative approaches. It was important to speak with the community and voluntary sector to determine what they needed as it did not always have to be a community fair but could be a conference instead, as an example.

 

Councillor Smith concluded she would welcome working with the member of the public on exploring communities fairs etc.

 

Councillor Moore explained that following the survey this was due to be discussed at the Coleridge Community Forum in March 2020 but had been cancelled due to the pandemic. Coleridge Cordaid and Coleridge Food Hub had been set up to assist local people in need. The group would be officially constituted and all those who took part in the survey would be invited. There was also the street party which was being funded by a community grant and the member of the public was invited to get involved.

 

Councillor Herbert suggested individual ward forums to talk to those groups, individuals and charities operating communities’ facilities in the area.

 

Councillor Davey advised he had spoken to the Junction’s Artistic Director in March who had undertaken some community engagement but would be concentrating in Romsey and Petersfield Ward.

 

Councillor Davey would contact the Junction’s Artist Director for an update (ACTION).

 

21/44/EAC

Outside Body Appointment: Cambridge Airport Consultative Committee

Officers seek nominations to this Outside Body Appointment.

 

The Committee is to note the appointment by Officers after this meeting.

Minutes:

Recommend to Officers that Councillor Davey be the representative for the Cambridge Airport Consultative Committee for the ensuing year.

21/45/EAC

Outside Body Appointment: East Barnwell Community Centre

Officers seek nominations to this Outside Body Appointment.

 

The Committee is to note the appointment by Officers after this meeting.

 

Minutes:

Recommend to Officers that Councillor H Davies be the representative for the East Barnwell Community Centre for the ensuing year.