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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1 & 2, The Guildhall, Market Square, Cambridge, CB2 3QJ. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Committee Manager

Items
No. Item

18/18/SR

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

No apologies were received.

 

18/19/SR

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Name

Item

Interest

Cllr Sarris

18/27/SR

Personal: Redevelopment by Trinity College. He is a Fellow of Trinity College. Did not take part in discussion or debate.

Cllr Baigent

18/28/SR

Declared a personal interest in item 18/28/SR.

 

18/20/SR

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 344 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 22 January and 12 February 2018 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

18/21/SR

Public Questions

Minutes:

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

 

1.  Vanessa Burkitt raised the following points:

i.  The Leader confirmed at a meeting last week that he was committed to retaining a car park at Park Street and supporting businesses in the local economy.

ii.  It was a time for the Council to support local businesses, retailers, restaurants, hotels, professional offices and safeguard local employment.

iii.  In 2017, 12,225 employees lost their jobs across the UK. In the first two months of 2018 half that number had lost their jobs already (6322).

iv.  Locally four retailers had tried to sell their leases in Bridge Street, St Johns Street and Trinity Street for two years without success.

v.  Asked that in the current climate of uncertainty that the Council maintained the large car park at Park Street for the next 5 years.

vi.  Had asked to see structural engineers’ reports and hydraulic surveys for the Park Street car park but none had been provided.

vii.  Requested that the decision on Park Street car park was postponed and the report sent back for more investigations to be undertaken.

viii.  If a decision was made, requested a moratorium of 3 years before any work was undertaken to give businesses a specific time frame in which to make plans.

ix.  Asked how many spaces the aparthotel would use; it was expected that 50% of the occupants would need a parking space.

 

The Executive Councillor for Strategy and Transformation made the following comments:

i.  He had met with Vanessa Burkitt on three occasions at different stages when considering the reports. It remained his view that the Council needed to look at the proposal to retain the car park in the medium to long term for the local economy. The city had a rapidly expanding tourist economy and he wanted people to stay in Cambridge for more than a couple of hours.

ii.  There were different views about the threat to retail in the city.

iii.  He was willing to have further discussions but wanted the Committee to look at the proposal contained in the Officer’s report and make a decision on it.

iv.  The original approach required the car park being shut for two Christmas periods, the revised approach would seek to minimize the time period that the car park was out of use and limit the closure to one Christmas but approximately 20 months in total.

v.  The proposal did not contain a specific reservation of parking spaces for the aparthotel. 

 

2.  Will Davies raised the following points:

i.  There was a lack of research and detail contained in the Officer’s report.

ii.  Asked for confirmation that the redevelopment of Park Street car park was not to raise funding for the Council to build 500 new homes.

iii.  The Council wanted to shrink the number of car parking spaces. Most people who did not own cars struggled to get into the city. The park and ride services were not great.

iv.  Commented that businesses made their money at the weekends.

v.  Raised concerns regarding air pollution around the Grand Arcade car park.

vi.  Commented that no information had been provided on how many floors or rooms the aparthotel would have.

vii.  Council Officers were working with figures that were two years old which was not acceptable.

viii.  No detailed time plan had been provided for the development. He asked where the 20 month time plan for the development to be completed had come from.

ix.  The development would bring more cars into the area.

x.  Commented that he had not seen a structural report for the car park and urged the Committee that the development should not be progressed.

 

The Executive Councillor for Strategy and Transformation made the following comments:

i.  He committed to sharing Council information that was not commercially sensitive.

ii.  The existing car park was not suitably designed for the current use, it was not accessible for all users and the sizes of the car parking spaces were not large enough.

iii.  The work on this project had been on-going for several years and he wanted to get the best deal for the wider community whilst retaining a reduced size car park.

iv.  Public transport on offer needed to be improved by the Greater Cambridge Partnership in conjunction with neighbouring Councils.

v.  A viability assessment had been undertaken and detailed what development was viable.

vi.  Proposed a liaison committee with local representatives of businesses and the local community.

 

The Strategic Director made the following comments:

i.  The recommendation in the Officer’s report was to progress the matter further and for further due diligence to be carried out.

ii.  Housing development at the Park Street site was found not to be viable.

iii.  Car park experts and structural engineers had provided the timescale estimates for the development.

iv.  A planning application and detailed archaeological investigations had to be carried out but it was hoped these matters would not impact on the 20 month time plan.

 

The Executive Councillor for Strategy and Transformation made the following comments:

i.  The figures for the development were currently commercially sensitive and it was not in the Council’s commercial interest to publish these.

ii.  The Council was committed to being open and transparent on other aspects.

iii.  The Council had looked at various proposed uses on the site which included residential, student accommodation and commercial uses.

iv.  It was for a commercial operator to take the site on and develop it at its own risk.

 

3.  William Bailey, Bursar of Cambridge Union Society raised the following points:

i.  Questioned the rush to make a decision at the meeting.

ii.  Commented that the Cambridge Union Society and Trinity College were working together on a joint development at Round Church Street and that their development would be opening up at the point that the Council undertook their development.

iii.  Requested a moratorium on the Council’s development plans. 

 

 

The Executive Councillor for Strategy and Transformation made the following comments:

i.  He was aware of Cambridge Union Society’s development, and the impact on local streets would need to be considered when the Council undertook their development.

ii.  The Council’s proposed development was in the public domain and would be subject to a planning application before any works could be undertaken.

 

4.  Dr Tariq Mahmood raised the following points:

i.  Questioned the 20 month time period that had been quoted for the proposed development to be completed.

ii.  Referred to the University Arms Hotel development and commented on the length of time the hotel had been under construction.

iii.  The Executive Councillor had commented that parking spaces in Park Street car park were not suitable and he commented that a simple solution would be to redraw the lines. 

iv.  Commented that there should be a moratorium on the Park Street development given the economic uncertainty for local businesses created by the Government’s decision to leave Europe.

v.  Wanted to know if the development went ahead how many car parking spaces there would be for the public.

 

The Executive Councillor for Strategy and Transformation made the following comments:

i.  He did not believe that the 20 month time period quoted for the completion of the development was unrealistic.

ii.  The issues with Park Street car park were not as simple as moving the parking lines. There were accessibility issues currently for disabled users, and he also wanted improved cycle parking and electric charging points. 

iii.  The Council had been working on the Park Street development proposal for a number of years and a decision needed to be made.

18/22/SR

Discretionary Housing Payment Update pdf icon PDF 316 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

The Officer’s report provided an update on the funding and use of Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) to support those affected by the Welfare Reforms.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

i.  Approved the carry forward to the 2018/19 financial year the final unspent additional DHP contribution (see paragraph 4.7 of the Officer’s report).

ii. Delegated approval for the future carry forward of any underspent additional DHP contribution, to Head of Revenues and Benefits.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The Committee received a report from the Benefit Manager.

 

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

  i.  Found the reports useful for gathering data on inequality.

  ii.  Commented that the local housing allowance appeared to have an upward trend.

  iii.  Asked with the benefit cap whether more people were moving onto the scheme.

  iv.  Asked for officer’s comments on the Discretionary Housing Payment.

 

The Benefit Manager said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The Council had a robust triage process and considered every individual benefit cap referral. Where the Council could support an individual into work the benefit cap did not apply. When the individual was not subject to a benefit cap, discretionary housing payment would not be made. 

  ii.  The Local Housing Allowance was based on a broad rental market area.

  iii.  Commented on the benefit cap that she had seen a reduction in caseload and this was not being replaced.

  iv.  The carry forward of the underspend would allow the Council to support the most vulnerable for the next few years. During which time a review of other grant income to support Discretionary Housing Payments would be undertaken. Discretionary Housing Payment support for Local Housing Allowance was generally a temporary support measure, however we are mindful that it is not always possible to assist people to move, as quite often, individuals in receipt of Discretionary Housing Payments had local caring responsibilities.

 

Councillor Cantrill proposed and Councillor Bick seconded an amendment to the recommendation to delete paragraph 2.2 of the recommendation.

 

On a show of hands the amendment was lost by 4 votes to 2.

 

The Committee resolved by 4 votes to 0 to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

18/22/SRa

3C Legal Service 2018/19 Business Plan pdf icon PDF 893 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

The 2018/19 shared business case for 3C Legal Services was presented for endorsement, the principles of which were approved on the 13th July and 12th October 2015.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

i.  Approved the business plan attached at Agenda Item 6a to the Officer’s report.

ii.  Delegated authority to the Shared Service Management Board to agree final amendments to the business plan in line with comments received form all three partner individual Councils

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Head of Legal Practice.

 

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

  i.  Asked what criteria and objectives were being applied to assess the business plans. 

  ii.  Asked whether the quality of service that had been provided over the past 12 months had been assessed. 

 

The Executive Councillor said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  In response to the question about criteria and objectives, he referred to page 39 of the Officer’s report and the key performance indicators for the service and also page 41 and 43 of the Officer’s report.

 

The Head of Legal Practice commented that the report contained the objectives for the Legal Practice for the year ahead and the past year.  He would try and capture further information on external spend and refer this to the quarterly management board meetings.

 

The Committee endorsed the recommendations by 4 votes to 0:

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

18/22/SRb

3C ICT 2018/19 Business Plan pdf icon PDF 735 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

The 2018/19 shared business case for 3C ICT was presented for endorsement, the principles of which were approved on the 13th July and 12th October 2015.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

i.  Approved the business plan at Agenda Item 6b of the Officer’s report. 

ii.  Delegated authority to the Shared Service Management Board to agree final amendments to the business plan in line with comments received form all three partner individual Councils

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Head of Digital and ICT.

 

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

  i.  Asked what criteria and objectives were being applied to assess the business plans.

  ii.  Asked if other authorities were following front end re-engineering.

  iii.  Asked whether the ‘Council Anywhere’ platform was just being rolled out to the City Council or whether the two other councils within the ICT shared service were also going to get the platform. 

  iv.  Queried whether the council who went first to implement new ICT software would be subject to more disruptions to service whilst troubleshooting issues were being resolved compared to the two other councils within the shared service. 

  v.  Queried the server room consolidation project referred to on p68 of the officer’s report.

 

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

  i.  A reasonable level of ICT infrastructure engineering had been agreed in the budget, business plan and route map. The route map laid out the plan for timescales.

  ii.  Part of the role of the Management Board, which was made up of Directors from each Council, was to feed back on the performance and quality of the delivery of the service.

  iii.  Commented that ‘Council Anywhere’ was a national initiative but that the City Council was going to be the first council within the ICT shared service to receive the platform. The planned roll out of the platform would be efficient to all three council’s within the shared service so there shouldn’t be a big burden on the council that had the platform first.

  iv.  Confirmed that there would be two server rooms under the server room consolidation project, one in Shire Hall and one in Huntingdon.

 

The ICT Development Manager said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The City Council was going to get the first batch of new ICT equipment, however in order to make financial savings, the equipment for all three councils within the shared service was bought in one procurement exercise. 

 

The Committee endorsed the recommendations by 4 votes to 0:

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

18/22/SRc

Shared Internal Audit Service - 2018/19 Business Plan pdf icon PDF 576 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

The 2018/19 shared business case for Internal Audit Services was presented for endorsement, the principles of which were approved on the 13 July and 23 January 2017.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

i.  Approved the business plan at Agenda Item 6c of the Officer’s report. 

ii.  Delegated authority to the Shared Service Management Board to agree final amendments to the business plan in line with comments received form all three partner individual Councils

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Head of the Shared Internal Audit Service.

 

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

  i.  Asked what criteria and objectives were being applied to assess the business plans.

  ii.  Commented that the Internal Audit Service was the eyes and ears for members to ensure that the council complied with its legal obligations.

  iii.  Asked whether there was sufficient capacity within the Shared Internal Audit Plan to deal with unforeseen work that arose.

  iv.  Asked how internal reviews were carried out for services that were shared with other councils and where the service was led by another council. 

 

The Head of the Shared Internal Audit Service said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  Resourcing was considered when the Shared Internal Audit Plan was developed and the resilience of a shared service should provide assurance. 

  ii.  He worked closely with his counterpart at Huntingdonshire District Council, when an issue arose regarding a shared service they would look to see which council was the host council and they would take the lead to provide assurance to the council who had requested the audit review.

 

The Executive Councillor commented that the Shared Internal Audit Service was not only the eyes and ears of members but also for managers to have services reviewed.

 

The Committee endorsed the recommendations by 4 votes to 0:

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

18/23/SR

Annual Update on the Work of our Strategic Partnerships - S&T Portfolio pdf icon PDF 617 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

The Officer’s report provided an update on the key external partnerships the Council was involved with as part of a commitment given in the Council’s “Principles of Partnership Working”.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Strategy and Transformation

i.  To continue to work with the Greater Cambridge Partnership and other growth-related partnerships and to work with the new model of delivery for the Local Enterprise Partnership under the Combined Authority, so that together we can address the strategic issues affecting Cambridge, to the overall benefit of citizens.

ii.  To continue to work within the Cambridge Community Safety Partnership to fulfill our obligations to help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the city.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Head of Corporate Strategy.

 

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

  i.  Referred to p108 of the officer’s report and asked whether the Housing Development Agency was truly a creature of the Greater Cambridge Partnership and how the Leader saw this going forward given that the views of Cambridgeshire County Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council diverged. 

  ii.  It was understood that the Housing Development Agency was intended to be self-financing and questioned whether the City Council would have to pay in the future for its services.

  iii.  Commented that it would be interesting to see how the Greater Cambridge Partnership would relate to the Combined Authority in relation to skills.

  iv.  Made reference to the digital wayfinding project in paragraph 5.9 and the City Access package in paragraph 5.12 of the officer’s report.

  v.  Asked whether the Cambridge Community Safety Partnership was involved in the Police restructure in the City.

 

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

  i.  Cambridgeshire County Council had taken the decision to transfer its assets into its own development company but they may require the expertise of the Housing Development Agency to deal with more complex issues.

  ii.  South Cambridgeshire District Council had taken services back in house but they may also require the Housing Development Agency’s expertise on complex sites.

 

The Executive Councillor for Strategy and Transformation said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The Housing Development Agency was created before the devolution arrangements.

  ii.  The Combined Authority was a commissioning body so it may be able to lead on some of the projects.

  iii.  The City Council wanted to get the best out of the Housing Development Agency and he believed that it would be self-financing as it could also win projects from other people in the future.

  iv.  The fact that the Greater Cambridge Partnership focussed on skills was important.

  v.  Confirmed that he had been consulted in advance about the restructure of the policing in the City and across the force area.

  vi.  Confirmed that his focus for policing would be to maintain neighbourhood policing and he would lobby for resources to continue to be focussed in the city. 

 

The Committee endorsed the recommendations by 4 votes to 0:

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

18/24/SR

Cambridge Northern Fringe East pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

The report was intended to update the Executive Councillor and the Committee on the current status and proposals for the Cambridge Northern Fringe East site and to recommend next steps.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Strategy and Transformation

i. To note the current status, indicative proposals and target timescales for the programme and the continued engagement with Homes England on progression with the HIF bid.

ii. Approved the timeline for the Master Developer tender process and delegate the final approval to the Strategic Director, in consultation with the Executive Councillor and Opposition Spokesperson, noting that the decision to run a procurement  in order to identify a master developer, was in consultation with the Leader, recognising that the offer was not certain at point of tender.

iii. To establish the terms for an appropriate joint venture vehicle, working with the Strategic Director, Anglian Water and advisers, subject to HIF bid outcome.

iv. Noted the proposed timetable for preparing the CNFE Area Action Plan for the proposed wider boundary area (contained in paragraph 4.2.6 and appendix 2a), which is programmed to run in tandem with the HIF bid and with the  subsequent regulatory process required for relocation of the Cambridge Water Recycling Centre.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Strategic Director.

 

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

  i.  Questioned whether 7600 homes would be able to be built and delivered on the site.

  ii.  Requested that Opposition Councillors were included to develop the Area Action Plans.

  iii.  Questioned where the water treatment plant would relocate to if the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) bid was successful.

 

 

The Strategic Director and the Group Property Director from Anglian Water said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The HIF bid put forward a proposal of 5000 houses on the core site which was owned partly by Anglian Water and partly by the City Council but it was hoped that if the core site got approval that this would be a catalyst to build further housing.  Anglian Water and the City Council did not own land beyond the core site and therefore the housing figures above 5000 houses were speculative figures.

  ii.  Confirmed that if the HIF bid was successful then officers planned to do more work and involve Opposition Councillors.

  iii.  Confirmed that if the HIF bid was successful Anglian Water would have to go through a process to look for alternative sites to relocate to.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

18/25/SR

Combined Authority update pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

The report provided an update on the activities of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) since the 22 January meeting of the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Strategy and Transformation

i.  Noted the update provided on issues considered at the meetings of the Combined Authority held on 31 January, 14 February and 28 February 2018.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Chief Executive.

 

The Committee asked the Executive Councillor to provide his comments and thoughts on:

  i.  The portfolio holders at the Combined Authority and in particular the housing portfolio holder. 

  ii.  The Transport Assessment Cambridge project.

  iii.  Why the Mayor took the Cambridge Metro project away from the Greater Cambridge Partnership and asked how much the Mayor would consult with Cambridge residents.

 

The Executive Councillor for Strategy and Transformation said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The Mayor appointed the portfolio holders for the Combined Authority and had particular interest in community land trusts. The Mayor was currently the Housing Portfolio Holder for the Combined Authority but he thought that he may appoint someone else to this role in the future.

  ii.  The devolution deal had transferred transport strategy to the Combined Authority Mayor and this meant that he had a say in strategic transport decisions. The Mayor recognised that the Great Cambridge Partnership, the City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council should have a say in transport decisions involving Cambridge. The Cambridge Metro project didn’t have a clear enough brief when it was reported to the Combined Authority but there was a stronger brief for the next stage. He would continue to seek partnership working in the delivery of this project.

  iii.  The Greater Cambridge Partnership would continue its work and continue looking at routes to the west and south east of Cambridge. The Mayor was looking to secure private investment for the Cambridge Metro project.

 

The Committee noted the update.

 

The Executive Councillor noted the update.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

18/26/SR

Strategic Development of Park Street Car Park

The Appendix to this report contains exempt information during which the public is likely to be excluded from the meeting subject to determination by the Scrutiny Committee following consideration of a public interest test. This exclusion would be made under paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

Report to follow.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

The report proposed the redevelopment of Park Street car park to provide a hotel over a basement car park to provide 225 car parking spaces including cycle parking and facilities for electric car charging.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Strategy and Transformation

 

i.  Noted the further appraisal of options for development and upgrading of the Park Street car park carried out for the Council by Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP).

 

ii.  Approved the principle that Park Street car park should be developed into an upgraded basement car park with cycle parking facilities and with a hotel developed above it in line with the proposal in section 2.1 of the report.

 

iii.Granted  an agreement to lease to CIP and request them to  appoint an appropriate developer to develop firm proposals for the scheme, and to request CIP to submit the agreed scheme for planning permission

 

iv.Delegated authority to the Strategic Director, working with the CIP, and the appointed Developer, to negotiate the final terms of agreement for approval by the Executive Councillor in line with the following parameters

 

-  The retention of the freehold of the site for the Council

-  The provision of a 225 space car park and appropriate facilities, at no additional cost to the Council, providing electric charging facilities and cycle spaces, to be owned and managed by the Council. The intention will be for a flexible design which may allow further changes in future

-  An additional capital receipt  for the Council, for reinvestment in further site assembly/council housing opportunities

-  A reduced level of repair and maintenance charges over a short to medium term period within the next  few years (owing to the new provision car park provision)

-  An ongoing income from the car park  (it is acknowledged that there will be a loss of income during the upgrade period which is estimated at 20 months)

 

v.  Confirmed that any capital receipt will be reinvested into HRA or General Fund for investment in housing.

 

vi.  Committed to report back to the Committee for information on the final agreement details ahead of works commencing.

 

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The Committee received a report from the Strategic Director.

 

The Opposition Councillors made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Expressed disappointment regarding the proposal as had argued for housing development on the site. 

  ii.  Questioned the parameters that had been considered as thought the housing development was originally going to fund the development of the car park.

  iii.  Commented that the City Council had committed to delivering 500 affordable houses and he believed that this site would be an opportunity to deliver housing on City Council owned land.

  iv.  Asked whether the park street redevelopment was required in order to deliver 500 new council homes.

  v.  Asked whether a different receipt had been modelled to the current proposal.

 

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

  i.  A considerable amount of officer time had been put into developing a proposal to include housing on the site however the cost of providing affordable housing on the site made any such development unviable.

  ii.  The cost of repairs to the car park were increasing year on year and to completely upgrade the car park would require extra funding; the delivery of housing was unviable on the site.

  iii.  Confirmed that the intention was to explore different financial options including a longer term return for the proposed development.

 

The Executive Councillor for Strategy and Transformation said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The November Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee report wasn’t just about affordable housing delivery, it was about housing delivery. He asked why the Council should contribute to put housing on the site when there would be no affordable housing.

  ii.  The car park in its current condition was not fit for purpose for future needs. The current proposal would fund the redevelopment of a smaller car park and also raise money for the redevelopment of affordable housing off site in the city.

  iii.  To put the decision off for two to three years was not going to help the council or the Cambridge community. 

  iv.  He had looked hard at the site and considered whether it was the right environment for those in housing need to live. It was felt that this was not an ideal location for affordable housing but the resources that that could come out of the current development proposal could do just as much good by funding affordable housing elsewhere in the city.

  v.  The 500 homes that the council had committed to building would be funded by the £70m Government devolution grant, Right to Buy receipts and by using Council resources.

 

Councillor Bick proposed and Councillor Cantrill seconded an amendment to the recommendation, to delete all after the first bullet point and insert ‘to request officers to pause any further action in order to review the financial parameters applied to a housing development, re-evaluating need for car parking and detaching the funding for a replacement car park from the rest of this scheme.’

 

On a show of hands the amendment was lost by 3 votes to 2. 

 

The Committee endorsed the recommendations by 3 votes to 2:

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

18/27/SR

Housing Investment Programme Proposal

A key decision by the Executive Councillor for Strategy & Transformation is required which has not been on the Forward Plan giving 28 days notice of that decision.  Under the Constitution, Part 4B-Access to Information Procedure Rules, this decision can still be taken if a notice is given setting out the reasons why compliance with the publicity requirement is impractical.

 

The reason that this decision cannot wait until 28 days notice has passed is that a decision is needed on 19 March, as explained in the officer report the timing is very relevant and therefore cannot wait until 28 days has elapsed.

 

This report and its appendices contain exempt information during which the public is likely to be excluded from the meeting subject to determination by the Scrutiny Committee following consideration of a public interest test. This exclusion would be made under paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

Report to follow.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

The Officer’s report detailed an Housing Investment Programme proposal.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Strategy and Transformation.

 

i.  Approved the Officer’s recommendations.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee resolved to exclude members of the public for this item from the meeting on the grounds that, if they were present, there would be disclosure to them of information defined as exempt from publication by virtue of paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.