A Cambridge City Council website

Cambridge City Council

Council and democracy

Home > Council and Democracy > Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Buchan Street Neighbourhood Centre, 6 Buchan Street, Cambridge CB4 2XF

Contact: Toni Birkin  Committee Manager

No. Item

Request to Film meeting

The Chair gave permission for Cambridge City Council and Richard Taylor to film the meeting. It was confirmed that the filming would cease if members of the public or speakers expressed a desire not to be filmed. Members of the public were given an opportunity to state if they did not want to be filmed.


Four members of the public replied that they did not wish to be filmed and this was communicated to those filming.



Apologies for absence


Apologies were received from Councillors Abbott, Sales and Scutt.



Welcome and Introduction (including Declarations of Interest)







Personal: Son is a Special Constable



Personal: Lives on Victoria Road

Councillor Pitt announced that this would be the last North Area Committee for Councillors Brierley, Boyce and Kerr and wished to thank them for their hard work and commitment. 


Under paragraph 4.2.1 of the Council Procedure Rules, the Chair used his discretion to alter the order of the agenda items. However, for ease of the reader, these minutes will follow the order of the agenda




To agree the minutes of the meetings of the 6th February 2014 and 30th March 2014.


Updates to Action Sheet to be noted.

Additional documents:


The minutes of the meetings of 6 February and 30 March 2014 were agreed and signed as a correct record.


The Committee noted the updated actions as detailed on the action sheet.


The following oral updates were noted:


With regards to the Developer Contributions and Devolved Decision Making – First Round-Setting for Play Area Improvement, there had been no update from Alistair Wilson, the Streets and Open Spaces Asset Manager, Cambridge City Council, despite repeated requests.


13/18/NAC Open Forum: Councillor Onasanya added no further comments to those on the action sheet. The matter would remain on-going.  


14/13/NAC: Councillor Pitt stated that he had nothing to add to his comments on the use of CCTV in Green End Road and the item could be closed.


14/13/NAC: Councillor Ward had nothing to add to the comments noted on the action sheet. However, this matter would remain on the action sheet to allow Officers to discuss the matter further with the Police.


14/26/NAC: Councillor Manning advised that an additional tree had been added to the list concerning the remedial work to the tree roots opposite Co-op Green End. The matter was still on-going.


12/26/NAC: Regarding the 20 mph consultation item on Victoria Road as this item was on the agenda for consideration it could be removed from the list.




7.40 pm


Timothy Skyes: As the Committee is probably aware the opening of the bridge to Jesus Green was delayed. This caused delays as well as problems for lots of people, in particular disabled people. Can you advise as to the reasons for the delay, the cost of repairs to the bridge, any additional costs occurred and what lessons had been learnt?

Councillor Manning responded that County Council Members of the West / Central Area Committee would be in a better position to answer the question regarding cost. However the reason for the delay as with the Green Dragon Bridge was that more damage had been found than anticipated which impacted on the time scale.

Action: Councillor Manning

Councillor O’Reilly recognised that the closure had created problems for residents particularly in South Arbury. The communication regarding the closure had been poor and suggested that a leaflet drop in the area would have improved the communication. No foundations to the ramp leading up to the bridge had been discovered which had created extra work and time to bring the bridge up to standard.

Councillor Pitt requested to County Councillors that they speak with Officers regarding the sparse communication to ensure improved wider forms of communication for future projects.

Action: Councillors Manning & Onasanya

   Lil Speed: Having read the literature from the Liberal Democratics in the run up to the elections I dispute their lies that life has never been better since they have been in power at the City Council.

Councillor Pitt thanked Lil Speed for her comments but there would be no discussion as Councillors were in a period of Purdah in the run up to the City Council elections.

  Lil Speed: I would like to challenge all Members of the Liberal Democratics to a public meeting. There is not enough time in the Open Forum to put forward all questions and comments that I have.

Councillor Pitt explained that the Open Forum offered an opportunity to put forward any questions to the Committee and spoke of the Councillor’s Surgeries which also provided a chance to put forward questions or opinions.

Colin Davidson: The trees on Arbury Road were cut down with little consultation. Over the years bats had used the trees to nest. Does the Committee consider that a wider consultation area is required next time?

Councillor Price reminded the Committee he had brought this item to the attention of the North Area Committee last year at the request of residents at Hanson Court. The consultation had extended to residents on Arbury Road but acknowledged that this could have been taken slightly wider.

Councillor Price then questioned how wide the consultation should have been. It was difficult to know if there were individual experts who may or may not have been in the consultation area who could have provided information regarding the bats. The time frame of the consultation had been time sensitive as the trees had to be cut before any birds started to nest in them.

The Committee were advised that the City Council were looking into the possibility of installing nesting boxes for bats on the side of the maisonettes in Hanson Court. Since the trees had been cut down many residents had expressed positive comments.

Councillor Todd-Jones confirmed that he had also received positive comments from residents on Arbury Road. The replacement trees would be more beneficial to the local wildlife and suggested that future consultations should include local wildlife groups. 

Andrew Preston, Project Delivery & Environment Manager, Cambridge City Council, confirmed that a survey had been carried out before the trees had been cut and there had been no evidence of bats nesting there. He also confirmed Councillor Price’s comments that nesting boxes for bats were being explored as part of the Environment Improvement Programme.

Councillor Pitt suggested that future consultation regarding the cutting of trees could be extended to those residents who would see the effect of the proposal from their property.





Policing and Safer Neighbourhoods - North Area Committee pdf icon PDF 220 KB

8.20 pm


The Committee received a report from Sergeant Wragg regarding Policing and Safer Neighbourhood Trends.


The report outlined actions taken since the North Area Committee of the 6 February 2014. The current emerging issues/neighbourhood trends for each ward were also highlighted (see report for full details).


Members of the public made the following comments:


Leila Dockerill: Who is assessing the 20mph zones, do you need to have a Traffic Warden as the Police do not have much time to do this?


Sergeant Wragg explained that the scheme for 20 mph compliance was still in the early stages but with the data that was being received, problem areas could be identified, allowing the Police to better engage their resources, ensuring more visible enforcement where required.


Kay Harris: With the lighter evenings will there be an increase in surveillance? The figures in the report showed Kings Hedges as having the highest crime rate. Will we see a higher percentage of surveillance in this area, particular in the evenings?


Kay Harris: Having listened to Sir Graham Bright at a recent meeting of the North Area Committee regarding future plans, are we going to see more people on the beat?


Sergeant Wragg advised that he could not answer those questions.


Timothy Sykes: Would like the Committee to note that I am supportive of the proposed priorities. I am aware how short staffed the Police are and would like to thank them for all their hard work.


Sergeant Wragg thanked Timothy Skyes for his comments


Richard Taylor:  Would like to see a more formal consultation brought into the public domain regarding how anti-social driving can be tackled on Fen Road, not just discussed within the Fen Road Steering Group.


Councillor Manning pointed out that that Fen Road Steering Group was a public meeting, advertised at both proceeding Area Committees. Councillor Manning also stated that he had repeatedly told Mr Taylor this personally, as well as in public.


Richard Taylor: I attended the Kings Hedges Anti-Social Behaviour meeting on 2 April and am surprised to note that there was no reference to that meeting in the Police report.  Two areas of concern raised at the meeting were:

  i.  Dog Fouling (It would be nice to know the outcome of the poster campaign in the area).

  ii.  Littering left on Campkin Road outside Tesco (an allegation was made that the litter was caused by students and members of the meeting were informed that the Police did not take action as they did not give out enforcement notices to young people).


Councillor Price informed the Committee that he also attended the same meeting where he had advised attendees that it was City Council Enforcement Officers not the Police who did not issue enforcement notices to under 18’s for a number of reasons. It was important not to blame the students entirely for littering but it had been recognised there was more littering during term time.


Michael Bond: I was delighted to see the team in Arbury Road enforcing the 20mph speed limit which did have an effect on driver’s behaviour. I acknowledge that it is difficult to keep to the 20mph limit.


Sergeant Wragg thanked Michael Bond for his comments.


Kay Harris: Police enforcement for speeding is needed overnight, perhaps cameras are needed to combat this problem.


Sergeant Wragg stated that the Police did carry out enforcement at night but had to prioritise their resources. Greater Police presence was required at the most vulnerable times such as the school run when the roads / pavements were being used being used by a high proportion of people as opposed to late at night or the early hours of the morning.


Colin Davidson: As more Police presence is needed to enforce the speed limits set in the North Area perhaps cardboard cut outs of Police Officers could be used.


Sergeant Wragg replied that there were some Police Forces that had used cardboard cut outs as deterrents in empty shops that seemed to have a positive effect.  But queried where the cut-outs could be positioned without being vandalised.


Timothy Sykes: What percentage of the Crime Figures were hate crime, in particularly disability hate crime?


Sergeant Wragg replied that this was very low.


The Committee made the following comments:


Councillor Ward acknowledged that there were a number of roads in the North Area which would benefit from the road safety priorities, such as Arbury and the top end of Histon Road.


Councillor O’Reilly stated that she supported the three priorities and would like to highlight Roseford Road and the top end of Histon Road as hot spots for police enforcement.


Councillor Todd Jones queried if there was a time period before drivers started to feel comfortable after the introduction of 20mph before enforcement started particularly on persistent hot spots.


Councillor Wragg acknowledged that it did take time for drivers to get used to the changes and to become aware of new signage and their environment. The Police were working on educating the public to those 20mph changes as this was still in the early stages. More details could be supplied at the next North Area Committee when Police Priorities Settings were on the agenda.


Councillor Manning referenced Nuffield Road as a hot spot for enforcement, particularly outside the School. He then asked if the Police would be able to report back to the Committee those areas where signage, particularly for 20mph, needed to be improved.


Councillor Bird recommended that County Council work with the Parking Enforcement Officer to try to elevate some of the issues during the school run on Nuffield Road.


Councillor Ward advised that signage issues should be reported to the Environment Improvement Manager who advised the Committee that there were restrictions on where signage could be placed.


Councillor Tunnacliffe stated that he believed Gilbert Road to be a hot spot with the issue of people cycling on the pavement. He had also received a number of complaints about motorbikes and scooters being driven that do not have silencers on and create a high level of noise. 


Sergeant Wragg acknowledged that Gilbert Road was a problem and that there were a number of issues with the road, including the design. If Officers did spot or hear a motor cycle breaking the noise level the driver would be stopped.


Councillor Bird inquired where the domestic violence figures had been recorded in the Crime Figures and noted that fly tipping had increased and questioned the reason why.


Sergeant Wragg advised that the domestic violence figures had been recorded in Violent Crimes. With regards to fly tipping he could not offer any explanation. 


Councillor Brierley asked for the crime figures to show drug related offences in a separate column. This would give visibility to those crimes and assist in identifying trends. He also suggested that Kings Hedges Road should also be included as a hot spot and queried if collaboration working would be beneficial and had been considered. 


  Action: Councillor Pitt.


Councillor Price stated that he was in agreement with the recommended priorities. But the crime figures in King’s Hedges showed an increase in many areas and queried if the priority settings took away from the day to day police presence in Kings Hedges.  With only one PCSO in the area did the Police hope to recruit more?


Sergeant Wragg advised that the recruitment freeze for PCSO’s had been lifted so there should be a visible increase in the area in the near future.


Councillor Pitt asked that the list of hot spots identified during the meeting be minuted. These were:


Top end of Histon Road

Roseford Road

Orchard Park

Gilbert Road

Nuffield  Rod

Kings Hedges Road

Arbury Road


The Committee:


Resolved (unanimously)to prioritise the following:


1.  Combat drug dealing in the North Area

2.  Road safety issues (including 20mph limit compliance) in the North Area.

3.  Anti-social behaviour in the green areas in North Area.



Proposed 20mph for Victoria Road pdf icon PDF 37 KB

8.40 pm

Additional documents:


The Committee received a report from the Director of Environment.


The report provided details on the outcome of the public consultation recently carried out as part of the Cambridge 20mph Project. This separate consultation had been carried out following the significant number of requests that had been received as part of the main North phase public consultation.


The Committee were asked to note the consultation outcomes and to make their recommendation to the Executive Councillor for Planning and Climate Change on whether to continue to the next stage of the implementation process. The Executive Councillor would then consider whether to approve the Committee’s recommendation at a meeting of the Environment Scrutiny Committee on 8July 2014.


The Project Delivery & Environment Manager explained if the Executive Councillor decided to progress the proposal to the next stage, authority from Cambridgeshire County Council would be required, before the legal statutory traffic order process could commence.


This approval would not only include authority to commence the statutory process, but County Council’s Highways and Community Infrastructure would decide whether to approve a departure from the existing speed limit policy that currently precludes 20mph limits on A and B roads across the County.


Initial County Council Officer feedback indicated implementing a 20mph limit for Victoria Road would not be recommended for approval, based on the lack of a clear majority in support of the proposal, particularly as it involved a departure from policy, as well as the existence of a strong objection from Stagecoach who could take the matter to a public enquiry.


The Committee were then presented with the speed survey results and the consultation outcomes.


Members of the public then made the following comments:


Kay Harris: Why is there a need to reduce the speed limit when the survey shows an average speed of 25mph or under? Reducing the speed limit down to 20mph would exacerbate the traffic on Histon Road creating a build-up of traffic. The main problem with speeding vehicles is late at night. During the day the volume of traffic on the road ensures that vehicles cannot speed.  More consideration is needed to this proposal.


Timothy Sykes: In principal I would support the proposal.  Although I have concern that drivers would use the side roads connected to Victoria Road as rat–runs. I would like to see some kind of enforcement such as cameras on these roads.


Timothy Skyes: Would like to remind the Committee that there are proposed new developments in the surrounding areas which could potentially increase the volume of traffic on Victoria Road. 


Philip Driver: How would 20mph be enforced?  As a resident living on Victoria Road, I have witnessed and experienced, large trucks speeding past my house, at various hours in the night and early morning. 


Philip Driver: How was the average speed of the vehicles measured and has the possibility of Victoria Road becoming a one way road been investigated?


The Project Delivery & Environment Manager explained that the average speed was measured at particular points on Victoria Road for all passing vehicles. If Victoria Road was made one way this would offer the potential to considerably speed up the flow of traffic. The road would also have to be narrowed at substantial cost.


The Committee were advised that there was emerging evidence that 20mph speed limits reduce congestion, with vehicles travelling at lower speeds making access from side roads onto the main route easier.


The Committee made the following comments:


Councillor Ward recommended residents to take the names of those truck companies who were breaking the speed limit and pass the details on to the City Council. Council Officers would be prepared to speak to the companies concerned which could help elevate the issue.


Councillor Ward then reminded the Committee that they had considered potential traffic calming measures on Victoria and Chesterton Road as part of the Environment Improvement Programme but could not reach an agreement on what should be installed.


Finally Councillor Ward informed the Committee that he had received two e-mails from residents who could not be present at the meeting but wished to express their support for the 20mph proposal.


Councillor O’ Reilly also stated that she had received many e-mails from local residents supporting the 20mph proposal and reminded those present that the side roads off Victoria Road were already 20mph.


Councillor O’Reilly specified there was a lack of enforcement for those vehicles that broke the speed limit particularly in the early hours of the morning. Trucks seemed to use Histon Road and Victoria as an alternative to the A14 and due to the structure of houses, caused the house to shake. There was also a real issue of weight enforcement for vehicles which needed to be addressed. 


Although Victoria Road may be deemed a main strategic route it was a narrow vulnerable residential road with two primary schools and sheltered housing. There were only two pedestrian crossings located at inconvenient sections of the road. The pavements were narrow which caused problems on bin day, forcing pedestrians out on the road particularly during the school runs.


Councillor Manning prompted those present that the proposal was about protecting local residents and should not be about protecting Stage Coach’s profits.  


Councillor Todd Jones informed the Committee that the sub structure of the road was linked to the foundations of the houses on Victoria Road particularly in the narrowest section. Therefore speeding heavy trucks did put a strain on the properties and supported the argument for the reduction in the speed limit.


Councillor Boyce queried why Victoria Road had an A road status. The City had managed without the use of Victoria Road when it had shut for six months due to the collapse of a sewer and therefore queried if it was a vital part of the City’s road network.


Councillor Ward highlighted that satellite navigation systems recognised Victoria Road as a perfectly reasonable A road which was part of the problem when drivers were looking to divert from the A14.


Councillor Ward then stated as part of the City’s Council’s transport review policy the A road status of Victoria Road would be evaluated. Also as part of the City Council’s Local Plan there was also the possible re-modelling of Mitcham’s Corner which could benefit from a 20mph speed restriction on Victoria Road.  Councillor Ward concluded that there was no reason not to make Victoria Road 20mph. 


The Committee:


Resolved (unanimously) to

  i.  Note the consultation outcomes.

  ii.  To recommend to the Executive Councillor for Planning and Climate Change to continue to the next stage of the implementation process.



The meeting ended at 9.45 pm