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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Shirley Primary School, Nuffield Road, Cambridge CB4 1TF. View directions

Contact: Toni Birkin  Committee Manager

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies were received from County Councillors Onasanya, Sales and Scutt.


Apologies were also received from City Councillor O’Reilly.


Welcome and Introduction (including Declarations of Interest)


The Chair welcomed the public and explained the format of the meeting.



Additional documents:


The following additions/amendments (noted below) were proposed:


14/40/NAC Open Forum (Jesus Green Bridge)


Cost of repairs to bridge at Jesus Green: Councillor Manning confirmed that the cost was likely to be around £330,000 and would form part of the railway station project.


Improvement to communication regarding future work projects: Councillor Onasanya confirmed that she had spoken with officers and had been assured that communication had been as wide as possible. Officers requested feedback from the public where they thought consultation and communication could have been informed. Councillor Manning said that the road works on Milton Road for the guided busway extention to the new station would be a good example of communication and how it worked or didn’t work.


14/57/NAC BMX Track at Brown’s Field:


Councillor Manning expressed regret about the delay on a project designed for young people being scaled down, and the message this sends to them given comments in the reports/meetings which imply that teenagers will bring ASB.


Officers were asked to look at an area which could be devoted to teenagers/older children - potentially resurrecting the parkour idea and combing this with a street biking facility. The underpass on Elizabeth Way with Newmarket Road was suggested as a potential location that wouldn't need much work and which was far away from residential properties.


14/56/NAC - Open Forum (Mr Taylor’s question)


Richard Taylor: Has the safety assessment for the junction between Milton Road and the new development between Milton Road and Woodhead Drive, which was required under a planning condition, been carried out?



It was also requested that full details of the Environmental Improvement Schemes (14/59/NAC), be included in the minutes.


With these minor amendments the Minutes for the meeting of the 3 July 2014 were agreed and signed as a correct record.


An updated Action Sheet was circulated to the Committee and made available for members of the public.


Members requested that the following also be added:


i.  Update on the development at Mitcham’s Corner

ii.  Update on the bid for a Tesco Express in East Chesterton




Frequency of Future North Area Committee Meetings pdf icon PDF 88 KB

At the Council meeting of the 24th July 2014, it was agreed that Area Committee meeting frequency was to be altered from the current ‘every eight weeks’ to ‘at least four times per year’ commencing from October 2014. Each Area Committee would set its own timetable of meetings for the municipal year.


Members are asked to review the meeting schedule for the coming year.



Agenda Items


Open Forum


Open Forum

Policing and Safer Neighbourhoods


Open Forum


Open Forum

Policing and Safer Neighbourhoods

Community Grants



Current schedule (September 2014 – May 2015) attached.



Resolved (unanimously) to:  


Retain the scheduled meeting dates for 2014/15 and revise the frequency at start of 2015/16 municipal year.




Michael Bond: The recent introduction of parking restrictions in the De Freville area has resulted in commuters invading the streets north of Milton Road. This means that those needing to get to Milton Road Library by car have access to only one disabled parking bay for most of the day. Can a time restriction be introduced outside of the library?


Councillor Manning agreed to raise the issue with the relevant County Ward Councillors and feedback at a future next meeting. It was suggested that this could also be raised at a future Joint Area Committee meeting, but this would depend on timescales.


Kay Harris: We have been continuously informed that there would be no disruption or extra traffic flow to the Milton Road area as a result of the construction of the new railway station.


Would Councillors like to comment on the chaos that presently exists and the length of time that has to be added to our journeys? 


Councillor Manning responded that the situation was currently unsafe for both pedestrians and cyclists. Whilst the County Council had contracted Balfour Beatty to undertake the work, they had sub-contracted the traffic flow work to another contractor.


Councillor Manning confirmed that he was addressing the issue at a senior officer level and would feedback at a future meeting.


Councillor Price responded that, whilst the Committee had strongly argued for assurances regarding parking issues once the station was complete; he felt it inevitable that there would be minor disruption during the construction phase.


Councillor Manning confirmed that there was at least £50,000 in the station project fund to address parking issues.


The Chair suggested a full officer update at a future meeting.


Lil Speed: I am concerned about the trees and bushes that are overhanging the pavements in Kendal Way. I have also phoned the County Council six times to report potholes and nothing has been done.


Councillor Manning confirmed that he had reported the overhanging trees and bushes and would discuss the issue in more detail with Ms Speed outside of the meeting.


Doug Whyte: I have been progressing with City Council officers the improvements to Buchan Street shopping area. Landscape architecture, blocked gutters and drain improvements are all progressing well.


Councillor Price thanked Mr Whyte for his persistence on this issue.


Michael Bond: The path at the low point across Pye recreation area is prone to flooding. Could this be looked at please, or possibly be turned into a permanent water feature?


Councillor Bird confirmed that she had put forward plans for a Splash Pad in Pye recreation area.


Local resident: I have concerns about the joint pedestrian and cyclist use areas on Milton Road. With two schools in this area it is becoming very dangerous for pedestrians and clearer lines are needed to distinguish the shared space. 


Councillor Pitt responded that a review of signage and labelling on Milton Road was being undertaken by the County Council.  A new scheme was expected soon and residents would receive information leaflets in due course.


Councillor Sarris highlighted that this was a problem across the North of the City and should be put forward as a Police priority.


Councillor Smart, as the City Councils Lead Councillor for Cycling, responded that the City Council would also be looking at the issue. The County Council’s policy on shared space added to the problem and improvements to signage and education in schools could be beneficial.


Policing & Safer Neighbourhoods pdf icon PDF 154 KB

Additional documents:


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


The report outlined actions taken since the North Area Committee of the 8 May 2014. The current emerging issues/neighbourhood trends for each ward were also highlighted (see report for full details).


Members of the public and members of the committee made the following comments:


Councillor Price: Is the increasing in violent crime due to better reporting methods?


Acting Inspector Wragg: A lot of officer discretion has been taken out of the reporting system and this could be one reason that the figures for violent crime appear to have gone up. Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) figures have decreased and it is felt that these incidents are now being recorded as violent crime instead. To emphasise this, the A&E department has not reported any increase in this type of incident. 


Safer Communities Section Manager: As this is a pattern across the City, the Alcohol and Violent Crime Group are undertaking some detailed analysis on the figures.


Councillor Sarris: Is there any more detail on the high number of needle finds in Nuffield Road?


Safer Communities Section Manager: This was an unusual case that I am unfortunately unable to go into more detail on, however no-one was put at risk. With a large find such as this a lot of work is undertaken with the ASB team to identify the users involved.


Councillor Benstead (Chair of City Council Licensing Committee and member of East Area Committee): How much of the ASB and alcohol related crime is associated with the Mitcham’s Corner area of West Chesterton?


Acting Inspector Wragg: As the area is heavily policed and a lot of enforcement work is undertaken with licenced premises, surprisingly little is directly associated with Mitcham’s Corner. What ASB is present is mostly low level.


Councillor Pitt: Burglary is still a concern in the area.


Acting Inspector Wragg: Lots of day to day work is undertaken in this area, and it is a local priority in the North and the East. 


Councillor Bird:‘Laughing gas' canisters are still being found in the area. What is being done to address this?


Acting Inspector Wragg: The Police are making ongoing enquiries and retail premises have been spoken to. It is not illegal to have these canisters but it is illegal to sell them to under 18’s.


Lil Speed: I am concerned that we will be losing our PCSO. Engagement with local residents is important and it would be a good idea to set up more Street Surgeries.


Acting Inspector Wragg: Two additional PCSO’s will be starting in the area shortly and will engage with local residents as part of their regular patrols. Street Surgeries have been held in Arbury Court but unfortunately they were not well attended.


Michael Bond: Nitrox Oxide canisters are an ongoing issue and are very dangerous. So called ‘legal highs’ are simply substances that have not been properly tested and education is needed to address the problem. 


This comment was noted.


Councillor Sarris: It is hard to address the issue unless the Police can identify who is selling the product. The Metropolitan Police are working with Trading Standards to address the issue which is a good way forward. 


This comment was noted.


Mr Whyte: The redesigned Hills Road junction has not been a success. The lack of a filter lane causes delays.


This comment was noted.


Shirley Fieldhouse: The 20mph limit on Green End Road has resulted in slower traffic and has been successful.


This comment was noted.


Resident: More publicity regarding Area Committee meetings is required. I had no idea that they happened.


This comment was noted.


Councillor Manning: I have looked at successful traffic schemes in New York and will report back to a future meeting.


This comment was noted.


Acting Inspector Wragg thanked the Chair for his letter regarding enforcement and penalty notices for vehicles parking on pavements and causing an obstruction. It was noted that the bulk of enforcement work in this area was undertaken by the County Council and local bye-laws were in place to help address the issue. The Police become involved if there is a specific obstruction caused, but unfortunately an ‘obstruction’ can be difficult to define.


Councillor Smart: Are the Police actively enforcing the new 20mph limits in the City?


Acting Inspector Wragg: As this has been a recent change it is taking time to embed within the City. Education is the first step but enforcement is taken where necessary. With regards to cyclists, every winter a scheme is undertaken to educate about the dangers of having no lights. 


Councillor Smart: Does this mean that a softer approach is taken with cars compared to cycles?


Acting Inspector Wragg: No. Speeding tickets for cars are also given out routinely as part of the Police’s day to day work. The Police do not take a side in the car vs cycle debate.


Councillor Manning: A dangerous driver is of more concern than a dangerous cyclist. The Association of Chief Police Officer (ACPO) guidance on pavement cyclists should be followed.


Acting Inspector Wragg: Poor signage and dangerous roads can lead to cyclists using the pavements and we therefore follow the ACPO guidance and use discretion where required.


Councillor Sarris: It is a difficult balance as many members of the public do have safety concerns regarding ASB cycling on pavements.


This comment was noted.


Councillor Austin: Cycle theft in the City is a big issue and it is now becoming more and more difficult to get cost effective bike insurance because of this. 


It was agreed that separate votes would be taken on the recommendations.


The Committee:


Resolved (unanimously)to prioritise the following:


i.  Continue with the work against drug dealers: this is a situation which could easily escalate and attracts other, potentially more serious, criminality. As an organisation, we are now putting more resources into this and linking with other Forces; the Met being one.


ii.  Continue with the support of the 20mph limit to assist in embedding it in local culture.


Councillor Todd-Jones proposed the following amendment to recommendation iii):


Delete and replace with:


Address cycle crime: this has gone up and focussing on this will also assist in addressing anti-social cycling


3 members voted in favour of this proposal


Councillor Sarris proposed the following amendment to recommendation iii):


Delete and replace with:


Address cycle crime and anti-social cycling


8 members voted in favour of this proposal



Councillor Manning proposed the following amendment to recommendation iii):


Delete and replace with:


Address cycle crime


1 member voted in favour of this proposal



The Committee:


Resolved to prioritise the following:


iii.  Address cycle crime and anti-social cycling.