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Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Sarah Steed  Committee Manager

No. Item


Election of Chair and Vice Chair - NAC


The North Area Committee Lead Officer assumed the Chair and invited nominations for the Chair.


Councillor Bird was proposed by Councillor Sheil, and seconded by Councillor McQueen. 


On a show of hands by 6 votes to 0, Councillor Bird was elected as Chair.  She assumed the Chair.


The Chair invited nominations for the Vice Chair.


Councillor Todd-Jones was proposed by Councillor Price and seconded by Councillor Smart. 


On a show of hands, Councillor Todd-Jones was elected by 6 votes to 0.



Welcome, Introduction and Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from Councillors O’Reilly, Sargeant, Gawthrope and apologies for lateness were provided by Councillor Todd-Jones and County Councillor Manning.


Declarations Of Interest


The Chair welcomed new city councillors Dalzell, McQueen and Thittala.


No declarations of interest were made.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 335 KB


Councillor Scutt circulated a written statement regarding the last meetings minutes.


The minutes of the meeting held on the 1 March 2018 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.



Matters and Actions Arising from the Minutes pdf icon PDF 241 KB


The Action Sheet was noted and an updated copy could be viewed at the following link under ‘Committee Action Sheet’-




Open Forum


Members of the public asked a number of questions, some answers were given during items on the agenda but questions and answers are set out below.


1.  A resident raised a noise disturbance issue with Cambridge Day Nursery on Milton Road. She highlighted that it operated Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm and meant that she suffered noise disturbance throughout the day as the nursery was operating in a residential area.  She had contacted Environmental Health who had visited the property and used noise measuring equipment but only for a short period of time. She stated that the Officers should be measuring the noise from 8am until 6pm.


Action: Councillor Manning confirmed he would speak with the resident during the break and would follow up.


2.  Kay Harris raised the following issues:

-  Commented that following the recent incident at Campkin Road, she wanted to highlight the condition of the speed humps and that parts of the road had not been resurfaced during the last resurfacing of the area and there was a lack of white lines.

-  Also raised concerns about the condition of the footpath / road outside the doctors surgery, it was overgrown with weeds, a large number of older residents use the surgery with young mothers, she asked whether the concerns would be rectified with the new concept of Arbury Road?


Councillor Price said he would liaise with Councillor Meschini, the County Council had a rolling programme to fill pot holes and will press for a resolution. The County Council was going to send officers down to check the area.


3.  Michael Bond made the following points:

- Thanked the Committee for the grant funding for Chesterton Festival Community Fun Day which was on the 23 June 2018. The grant funding made it possible to provide a safe and fun event for everyone.

- Referred to minute 18/46/NAC Q2, Chesterton Village sign and commented that a recommendation was going to the Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee to award the money previously earmarked for the sign to be delivered as part of the Elizabeth House redevelopment to be awarded to the Chesterton Community Association (CCA) subject to conditions that the CCA are happy with.  


4.  Lilian Rundblad raised the following issues on behalf of the HRARA:

-  Talked about the intensive HGV traffic in the last couple of months and asked for Item 17/25 regarding the maintenance of Histon Road to be refreshed.

-  Asked the Police about the camera on Histon Road by Carisbrooke Road:

i.  If the speed camera was working between 8pm and 6am.

ii.  If the speed camera registered HGV during night time when they travelled in convoys.

iii.  If so how many were speeding during May and June 17, 2018?


Inspector Rogerson confirmed that the speed camera worked any time day or night. The speed camera only recorded speed violations it did not record the weight of vehicles.  The County Council could purchase a piece of equipment that would enable the weight, speed and type of vehicle to be recorded.  The County Council owned the speed cameras; the police enforced any speed violations. 


Councillor Scutt confirmed County Council officers had been working hard on this matter and were going to raise the issue of the diversion and HGVs with Highways England. The diversions were not authorised through the County Council and they wanted to stop these diversions. 


5.  A resident wanted to thank and congratulate the Police on recent arrests and convictions in the area as it had made the area more peaceful.  He commented that:

-  Darwin Drive was proposed to be deprioritised (as an Area Committee priority) but experience showed that released inmates returned to offending. He asked whether there was any recognition or attempt to deal with this and if the council house occupied by the two recent convicts could be evicted of its tenants.


The Safer Communities Manager said that she would not be able to talk about specific cases but the Council had powers to evict people who had convictions based on their behaviour and issues with neighbours. Each case was looked at seriously and on its own merits.


6.  Mr Taylor stated that it had been a year since the noticeboard at the riverside had been vandalised and he wanted to see this either repaired or removed.  He also referred to a sign on seating area near the Green Dragon bridge.


Action: Councillor Bird confirmed that she would follow this matter up.


7.  Mr Elias asked when the CCTV camera was scheduled to go up on Fen Road. He also asked that a deadline could be set for the camera to go up as there had been excuses made for the past 12 months.


The Safer Communities Manager stated that all CCTV cameras were currently deployed however she was aware that 2 cameras were coming to the end of their current deployment and would be prioritised to be put on Fen Road.  She hoped that the cameras would be sited on Fen Road in the next couple of weeks but she could not commit to a specific date.




Policing and Safer Neighbourhoods pdf icon PDF 178 KB


The Committee received a report from the Safer Neighbourhoods Inspector, Police Sargeant and Safer Communities Manager regarding policing and safer neighbourhoods trends.


The report outlined actions taken since the last reporting period. The current emerging issues/neighbourhood trends for each ward were also highlighted (see report for full details). Previous priorities and engagement activity noted in the report were:

  i.  Criminality in and around East Chesterton

  ii.  County line drug dealing.

  iii.  To continue to recognise the need for Akeman Street and Darwin Drive area to receive special police focus.


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


1.  Mr Dunn commented that Ofo had banned parking their bikes in large parts of Chesterton and King’s Hedges. He asked whether there were any statistics for the theft of Ofo bikes or any means to encourage Ofo to reconsider this.


Inspector Rogerson commented that Ofo had not discussed their business model with the Police but there must be a threshold when they would report stolen bikes. Their business model impacted on how the Police could help them. It was an interesting question as to when an Ofo bike became ‘stolen’.


2.  Mr Bond commented that Ofo would need to provide clarity, he had seen deliberate vandalism of an Ofo bike as one had a saddle removed.


3.  Clare King made reference to Fen Road Steering Group notes from 2012 and the same issues were still being raised. £400,000 had been spent on a good cycle scheme but did not address the issue. These were issues regarding the Abbey – East Chesterton bridge which had 2000 journeys a day. The County Council were not undertaking a risk assessment. It was an important issue in East Chesterton which had been raised at Local Liaison Forums. Would expect the Police and Crime Commissioner and Cllr Herbert to be having discussions regarding a longer term solution.


4.  Mr Taylor raised the issue of dangerous dogs in Fen Road and Water Street areas. He asked for clarity on the Council versus the Police role in dealing with dangerous dogs. He commented that he valued the North Area Committee and referred to a private meeting which had been arranged with the Police, Cllr Bird and East Chesterton residents, he noted that these meetings were not minuted and queried if a special meeting of the North Area Committee could have been arranged.


Inspector Rogerson commented that the Police could call their own meetings.


Councillor Bird commented that the meeting was held with East Chesterton residents as it was a specific issue relating to them.


5.  Mr Taylor commented that he wanted to take an active part in the May 2018 local election but felt that he couldn’t as it was claimed by an election candidate that he was harassing them. 


Councillor Manning commented that the election candidate did not respond to Mr Taylor on twitter.  Mr Taylor then asked him why the election candidate was not responding. He commented that it took a lot to be a councillor. A lot of the work done by Mr Taylor was extremely valuable this was a single case where a person did not reply.


6.  Mr Bond commented that he had used the new police website and found it easy to use. There had also been a follow up to provide advice about the victim support unit.


In response to Members questions Inspector Rogerson and Sergeant Williams responded:


  i.  The proposal to de-prioritise special police focus for Akeman Street and Darwin Drive did not mean that the Police would completely withdraw from the area. Following the convictions of certain individuals the number of matters reported to the police regarding the Akeman Street and Darwin Drive area had decreased. 

  ii.  Police Officers and PCSOs will go out into the community and will target certain areas as a result of hot spot calls.

  iii.  He asked Members to liaise with the police regarding issues raised by residents and commented that councillors should not have to wait until a North Area committee to raise them.

  iv.  29 individual had been arrested with intent to supply, there had been an arrest the morning of the area committee meeting of an individual who had a large amount of class A drugs.

  v.  Asked if members of the public had intelligence regarding drug dealing that people emailed the police so that it could be followed up, members of the public could email in anonymously.

  vi.  With reference to an issue raised in West Chesterton about dangerous driving, the police required more details than just the colour of the car.  If it was possible to provide details of the make or model and the time of day then officers could be sent in either marked or unmarked cars to follow up. 


In response to comments by the Committee the Police and Crime Commissioner made the following points:

  i.  He was pleased with the feedback that had been given about the work that had been done on Fen Road.

  ii.  He was happy to meet with Councillor Herbert to look at what could be done as a long term solution about the Abbey East Chesterton bridge?

 iii.  On the County line issue, drug dealers came out of London and targeted the most vulnerable people.

iv.  When the police asked for intelligence on drug activity they needed to hear about it from the public, this information would be used to build up a picture to ensure that people further up the chain were convicted.

  v.  Drug taking was the issue; whilst there was a demand for drugs there would always be drug dealers.

vi.  Petty crime was drug related.


Action: The Safer Communities Manager to liaise with the Police to produce a clear protocol regarding the Council and Police powers with dangerous dogs.


The Committee were asked to nominate their local issues for focus over the coming months.

The following local issues were agreed (unanimously):


1. Criminality in and around East Chesterton.

2. County line drug dealing.

3. Summer and hot weather ASB in green and open spaces.


Update from Network Rail


Representatives from Network rail attended the Committee to provide an update on Fen Road level crossing.


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

i.  Asked whether the new station would have an impact on the time the barriers at Fen Road level crossing would be down.

ii.  Asked why it was decided to use full barriers rather than 2 barriers each side of the crossing.

iii.  A member of the public commented that they had been to see the signallers and they believed that the situation had improved in the last month. There was an extra signal person on duty all the time this meant that there were not as long delays waiting at the crossing.

iv.  Mr Dunn commented that he had monitored the period of time that the barriers were down for an hour between 7-8am and the barriers were down for 45 minutes in December however he understood the situation had improved.

v.  Spoke in favour of raising the footway as lots of families crossed there and cars drove fast up and down Fen Road.

vi.  Asked if there were any negative impacts if the footway was raised.

vii.  Commented that if the footway was raised then it would lead to bicycles using the road and being in conflict with cars. There was a gap in footway provision on the south side of the crossing going into Cambridge. Felt the amount of time that the barriers were down at the crossing was less.

viii.  Commented that the County Council needed to address the issue of the footway to ensure that it was continuous. 

ix.  Commented that there needed to be an alternative route into Chesterton Fen and this would be the solution to getting rid of the level crossing.

x.  When the barrier was broken this caused a danger to the public.  The cost to replace the barriers when they were broken was £1600 however the cost in penalties to Network Rail was in the region of £60,000.

xi.  The relocation of the sewerage works may impact on any future decision on the level crossing.


Action: Councillor Manning to see if the footpath at Fen Road crossing could be made continuous.


In response to the public and Members’ questions, the Network Rail representative said the following:

i.  With the opening of Cambridge North Train Station there would be an increase in the number of trains using the Fen Road crossing; this meant that the barriers would be down more often. There was the potential for a longer-term solution but this could take up to 5 years to be implemented.

ii.  There was only 1 barrier either side of the rail crossing as 2 barriers each side of the crossing would have caused constructability issues.

iii.  He asked the Committee and members of the public whether the footpath to the side of the road should be raised from the road and made into a dedicated footway. The benefit of this would be that pedestrians would be segregated but the negative was that currently because the road and footpath were level this gave lee-way to vehicles as the road was narrow, this would be lost of the footway was raised.

iv.  Commented that Network Rail’s priority was to close level crossings, they had a legal duty to do risk assessments to check level crossings were ok.

v.  Network Rail took public safety very seriously when anything failed trains were stopped. If the barriers were broken there would have to be a person present to flag the trains by.


Action: Representative from Network Rail to confirm how much it would cost to re-do the crossing.