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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Storey’s Field Community Centre, Eddington Avenue, Cambridge CB3 1AA

Contact: Democratic Services  Committee Manager

No. Item


Welcome, Introductions and Apologies


Apologies were received from:

·      Councillor Page-Croft and Councillor Thittala

·      Public members: Graham Lewis, Judith Margolis, Orsola Spivak, and Raheela Rehman

·      Staff members: Ariadne Henry, Alistair Wilson and Joe Obe



Declarations of Interest


No interests were declared.



Minutes of Previous Meeting and Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 265 KB


The minutes of the meeting of the 16th July were approved and signed as an accurate record.



Cambridge Local Plan Issues and Options Consultation pdf icon PDF 125 KB


The Panel received a presentation from Jonathan Dixon, Principal Planning Policy Officer, which included the following points:

i.      The Issues and Options report for the Local Plan has been produced as the first stage towards preparing the Greater Cambridge Local Plan - a new joint Local Plan for Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire.

ii.    The Local Plan will affect the way we live, work and play in Greater Cambridge over the next 20 years and beyond.

iii.   Consultation on the Issues and Options paper starts on 13 January and runs until 24 February

iv.  The Big Themes in the Issues and Options paper were introduced including:

o   climate change

o   biodiversity and green spaces

o   ‘great places’ (good design and protecting/ enhancing/ adapting our historic buildings and landscapes)

o   wellbeing and social inclusion.

v.    The Local Plan will include plans for new homes, jobs and business developments. The Issues and Options paper provides 6 broad options for where new homes could be built and asks for people’s views.

vi.  The Local Plan will also consider the need for additional Gypsy, Traveller and caravan sites, both for those who travel and those who are settled.

vii. The consultation process aims to be as inclusive and accessible as possible. For instance:

o   All information will be online on a dedicated, segmented, easy-to-use website (also accessible through smart phones)

o   All information will be provided in plain English

o   Officers will reach out to under-represented groups

o   Video and social media will be used

o   There will be a roadshow to over 20 community venues, including pop-up events

o   There is a Big Debate event on 18th February. This will be an opportunity for 8 local groups to share their ideas for what the new Plan should contain to a public audience.

The Panel Members asked the following questions and made the comments on the Local Plan:

i.               How will the Planning Service ensure its consultation process obtains views from people with a range of protected characteristics? 

ii.             Will the Local Plan also consider how new development relates to people who cannot afford to live in the city and South Cambridgeshire but who work in the city? Organisations, including Cambridge University, are finding it harder to recruit people who cannot afford to live in the city, but would finding transport into the city too expensive

iii.            In new developments, is consideration being given to enabling people to have more flexible working options (such as houses with workshops attached) so people do not need to commute?

iv.           Will the Local Plan focus on creating high skilled jobs and business locations to support the continued growth of the high tech sector, or will the plan seek to create local employment opportunities in new developments in a variety of industries and skill levels?

v.    How will young people be involved in the consultation process? Young people will grow up in the city and the Local Plan covers a large portion of their lifespan.

vi.    Might Sixth Form Geography students be able to help consult with schools?

vii.   How will University students be consulted? To engage with university students, the Planning Service could write to student bodies who might help promote discussion on the Local Plan on behalf of the Planning Service

viii.   It was felt that the £3 ticket for admission to the Big Debate event would prevent people on low incomes and families from attending, especially where people may already need to pay travel costs to attend.

ix.    How can disabled people and others how may not be able to attend consultation events be included? Ideas were shared as to how the Planning Service could reach different audiences such as participatory software and including reference to the Local Plan consultation on the Planning Service’s telephony system

x.         How will other equality groups, including LGBTQ+ and older people, be engaged in the consultation?

xi.        Important to consider how to get timely information on Local Plan consultation to village newsletters

Jonathan Dixon responded to the Panel’s comments:

i.          The Planning Service is ensuring it will obtain views from different protected characteristics by consulting with charities that are part of the Equality and Diversity Partnership in the city, and undertaking equalities monitoring of online consultation responses.

ii.        The Planning Service will consider whether new ideas suggested by the Panel members on how to consult with different groups can be taken on board.

iii.       It is expected that the roadshow will help the Service to seek views from a very wide range of people.

iv.      Views of young people will be sought by making Local Plan consultation documents available on smart phones, capturing views on Twitter as consultation responses, and through visiting Anglia Ruskin University and to local FE colleges. It has been difficult to engage with secondary schools because their curriculums mean they are pushed for time.

v.        The proposal for a £3 entry charge to the Big Debate was intended to ensure that those who book places at the event actually attend. However, the Planning Service will consider whether to make entry to the Big Debate event free of charge so that it does not exclude people with low incomes.

vi.      Inclusive growth and connectivity, also in relation to plans for transport, are very important to the Local Plan. People’s views on these issues, including those expressed by Panel members above, will be captured in the consultation.

vii.     Parish councils have been informed about the consultation early on and been asked to share this with local groups and/or in newsletters.



Cambridge Northern Fringe East - Equality Impact Assessment pdf icon PDF 844 KB


Julian Sykes, Principal Planner (Project Manager), presented on the North East Cambridge development and equality impacts identified for the project so far. He shared:

i.      The North East Cambridge (NEC) area is predominantly in business use with residential uses to the south, north and east

ii.    Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council are preparing a joint Area Action Plan (AAP) to provide a detailed policy framework to guide development and investment decisions in the area

iii.   The planning vision is for ‘a socially and economically inclusive, thriving, and low carbon place for innovative living and working; inherently walkable where everything is on your doorstep’

iv.  The Planning Service is going to use the EqIA to inform ongoing work on the AAP and its evidence documents

v.    Some equality impacts identified so far are:

o   How new district developments tend to attract a high proportion of families with young children. Draft proposals within the AAP will include appropriate education and healthcare facilities to serve new residents and those existing communities in the vicinity of the site.

o   The Draft AAP will seek the provision of sustainable public transport and pedestrian/cycle links to/from and within the plan area.  Such proposals will benefit those with reduced mobility ensuring the development is accessible for all.

o   There is an existing Gypsy and Traveller community close to the site. Consultation is planned with these communities during the AAP preparation and implementation.

o   Evidence suggests that some large new developments can create feelings of social isolation in the early years before the community is established. Community development and support will be a key element in the creation of this new city district.

Panel Members shared the following comments and questions:

i.      Is there scope to consult with existing communities in the North of the city that will surround the new development by attending Arbury Carnival and the Big Lunch?

ii.    Can carbon credits be used to provide people with low-incomes in the surrounding communities with home improvements to reduce energy bills?

iii.   How might the Council and other partners ensure that the Gypsy and Traveller communities have improved access out of Fen Road when the level crossing of Cambridge North station goes down?

iv.  It was suggested that Cambridge City Council could use learning from Trumpington around how new and existing communities can be brought together.

v.    That the Planning Service consider provision for young people, especially in the evening, which was identified as an issue for the Trumpington development

vi.  In consultation with the Science Park, can the Planning Service ensure it consults with employees and workers with a range of incomes who work there?

vii. Is the Planning Service considering opportunities there may be for people to earn money locally on the new development, which would include a range of jobs at different salaries?

Julian Sykes responded to the comments and questions:

i.      The community events in the North of Cambridge would be held too early for consultation (in that the papers are going to Committee at the end of June to be approved for consultation). However, the Planning Service might be able to attend the events to raise awareness about the upcoming consultation. A draft report to be consulted on will be publicly available for mid-May.

ii.    Agreed to investigate the use of carbon credits and upon recommendation of Helen Crowther, Equality and Anti-Poverty Officer, will also liaise with the Cambridgeshire Home Improvement Agency on opportunities

iii.   The Council cannot ask developers to improve road access to Fen Road, because Fen Road and Gypsy and Traveller sites are not on the North East Cambridge development site itself. However, as part of ensuring good planning for the wider area the City Council is discussing options with the County Council and Network Rail around access.

iv.  The Planning Service will consider how to consult with people on a variety of incomes.

v.    The Planning Service is seeking to ensure mixed use activities for the new development, that the surrounding communities with many households on low incomes can be supported and that the new development is inclusive.

vi.  The Planning Service will continue to consult with students at Cambridge Regional College and the Planning Service will identify other means to consult with young people.

vii. In late February / early March 2021, there will be a much more targeted consultation exercise on Community and Culture placemaking.

Members of the Panel were asked to provide any further feedback on the EqIA directly to Julian by 3 February 2020.



Cambridge Market Square Project pdf icon PDF 117 KB


Joel Carré, Head of Environmental Services, introduced the previously circulated briefing paper on the market square redevelopment project, and highlighted the following key points:

i.      The project is at the stage of initial concept design and financial planning work.

ii.    There is a feasibility assessment report publicly available on Cambridge City Council’s website that sets out information on the issues and opportunities related to redevelopment of the market square.

iii.   The market square is one of the few areas in the city centre with a public service function and in any redevelopment plans retaining the market function will be of key importance.

A Panel Member asked for clarification on what issues have been identified with the current function of the market. Joel Carré shared that these related to:

i.      The fact that stalls are fixed.

ii.    There is a lack of public seating.

iii.   There is a need to ensure the market is fit for purpose for the growing population of the city and the large number of tourists and visitors.

iv.  The surfacing of the market is not very accessible for people with mobility and/or visual impairments.

v.    The road and pavement area surrounding the market square itself is confusing in terms of use at the times of day when it is not being used by vehicles supplying shops and for setting up and taking down the market.

The Panel were asked to feedback their views on benefits of the existing use/ management of the market square space for different equality groups or people with protected characteristics. Panel Members identified some benefits as:

i.      Variety in cost (with some affordable options) of produce and good range of local goods.

ii.    The variety of small business ventures the market supports, which are mainly independent businesses

iii.   It is a meeting place for people and an established tourist attraction.

iv.  The positive function of the space for civic purposes, including for protest, demonstrations and vigils.

v.    Market traders are aware of and support some vulnerable members of the Cambridge community.

Panel Members were asked to comment on changes to the daytime use/ management of the space they felt would benefit different equality groups or people with protected characteristics. Some points raised included:

i.      Agreement that the cobbles provide accessibility barriers for some disabled people but also for people needing to use pushchairs and buggies. Levelling surfaces was identified as important.

ii.    There is a need to maintain vehicle access for deliveries to shops and to ensure that disabled people can continue to use disabled parking bays outside the shops.

iii.   There is currently no play space for children. The council could explore installing a fountain or water feature. Such features serve as free, popular play spaces in other cities, and are a means for people to keep cool in summer.

iv.  Consider accessibility of the space during busy periods

v.    In planning redevelopment, the Council should consider the urban environment the market is situated in, who uses it the most, and who we want to use it.

vi.  There was some debate about the current function of the market, with some Panel Members feeling that it was used by a mixture of residents, including people on low-incomes, and employees of local businesses, and other suggesting that it was more geared to tourists and did not fulfil the same function as traditional, genuine markets in other cities. Panel Members all agreed the market was heavily used by tourists and visitors.

vii. In managing market space, to acknowledge the variation in income of current stall holders and aim not to ‘price out’ some traders.

viii. Safety issues between pedestrians and cyclists, especially in area surrounding the market square.

Panel Members were asked about changes to the night-time use/ management of the space that would benefit different equality groups or people with protected characteristics. They shared views on:

i.      The need to consider community safety issues if the Council expanded the operational hours of the market or encouraged other evening and night-time uses of the market square space.

ii.    If the Council were to use the space to generate income from the night-time economy, then it would need to ensure that there is a staff presence to look after people’s safety.

iii.   How improved lighting and layout of CCTV may help prevent anti-social behaviour at night. Part of the reason why there is anti-social behaviour in the space at night currently is because there is no activity in the evening.

iv.  There is not much for young people to do at night, which could be considered in identifying potential night-time activities in the space.

v.    The toilets that surround the market currently shut at 8pm and this would need to be considered if the market space was to include activities later in the evening.



Any Other Business


·       There was a discussion regarding  whether the Council should have a policy on the inclusion of personal pronouns at the bottom of email signatures to be  inclusive and welcoming as possible to people with different gender identities, or whether this should be a voluntary matter for staff. Helen Crowther was asked to explore the matter further, in consultation with HR, staff and the trade unions.