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Agenda and minutes

Venue: This is a virtual meeting.

Contact: Email: Democratic.Services@cambridge.gov.uk  Committee Manager

Note: If members of the public wish to address the committee please contact Democratic Services by 12 noon two working days before the meeting. Questions can be submitted throughout the meeting to Democratic.Services@cambridge.gov.uk and we will endeavour to respond to questions during the discussion on the relevant agenda item. If we run out of time a response will be provided to members of the public outside of the meeting and published on the relevant Area Committee meeting webpage. 

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 Todd-Jones, and seconded by Councillor McQueen.


On a show of hands, Councillor Bird was elected as Chair. 


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


Councillor Todd-Jones was proposed by Councillor McQueen and seconded by Councillor Sheil.


On a show of hands, Councillor Todd-Jones was elected as Vice-Chair.


Councillor Bird assumed the Chair.


Welcome, Introduction and Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from County Councillors Meschini and Richards.


Declarations Of Interest


There were no declarations.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 316 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on the 27 February 2020 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Policing and Safer Neighbourhoods pdf icon PDF 266 KB


The Committee received a report from the Police 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 local issues and engagement activity noted in the report were:

1. ASB and dangerous driving on Fen Road

2. Street based drug dealing

3. Youth and knife crime


Members of the Public (MOP) and Councillors asked a number of questions as set out below.

i.  MOP raised the issue of increasing numbers of cycle thefts, and noted that incidents may not be being reported to the police as much as they should be so crime figures may not reflect the true situation. Asked whether this could be a priority or work could be undertaken to look into this.


Sergeant Emms confirmed he had looked into bike theft figures and noted that between April 2019 and August 2019 there were 1460 bike thefts reported and between April 2020 and August 2020 there were 892 bike thefts reported. The reduction in bike thefts being reported could be due to COVID-19. Reports of bike thefts had increased during August but were still not at the seasonal level would usually expect. There was an operation earlier in the year which specifically targeted cycle crime predominantly in the east and south of the city. This targeted both the people taking the bikes and also those who handled/sold them. There were a number of successful outcomes. He was happy to discuss further if there was a particular area of concern.


ii.  The MOP also raised the issue that they thought cycle racks at Cambridge North train station could be unbolted from the ground.


Sergeant Emms commented that he thought this issue had been resolved.


The Committee discussed the following policing issues:

i.  Had had communication from the North Cambridge Community Partnership about anti-social behaviour (ASB) and drug taking in the park at the back of St Kilda Avenue. Ward councillors had encouraged them to report incidents to the police and asked whether this issue was on the police’s radar.


Sergeant Emms confirmed his Team scanned incidents daily but he wasn’t aware of the specific issue at St Kilda Avenue.


ii.  Thanked the Team for the work undertaken regarding the ball bearings. Queried whether the police.uk data could be broken down into ward level, they were only able to find the whole of the North area data. Asked if the High Street could be mentioned within the Fen Road local area of concern. Also asked if the NO2 canisters and associated ASB could be included as a local area of concern.


Action: Sergeant Emms to check whether crime data on www.police.uk was available at ward level. 


iii.  Thanked the Team for the work undertaken regarding noise issues and also the work undertaken on county lines. Noted that speed reducing measures were needed on Fen Road.


Sergeant Emms responded that speed restrictions measures were not something that the police could initiate, it was a highways matter. He thought that raised speed restriction bands (sleeping policemen) were not used on Fen Road as heavy vehicles used the road and this would create noise concerns. 


iv.  Noted new cyclists were on the road because of COVID-19. Queried whether bike thefts were a priority for the police if the value of the bike was low.


Sergeant Emms confirmed that cycle thefts would be investigated where there were viable lines of enquiry.  It was difficult to investigate bike thefts unless there was a witness or CCTV to assist with an investigation.


v.  Referred to ASB at shops at Carlton Way and asked whether there was the possibility for the redeployable CCTV cameras in the area.


The Anti-Social Behaviour Officer confirmed that an application had been submitted for the redeployable CCTV cameras and they were waiting for a feasibility survey to come back.


vi.  Asked if there was an increase in ‘cuckooing’ and targeting of vulnerable residents as a result of COVID-19. Asked whether s60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 had been used for stop and searches locally.


Sergeant Emms commented that initially lockdown presented county lines dealers with a bit of a problem as they were a lot more prominent on the street and there were concerns that this would lead to an increase in cuckooing, however they believed the levels were still the same as pre-COVID-19.


Action: Sergeant Emms to confirm whether any stop and searches had been undertaken under s60 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.


vii.  Appreciated work undertaken with student bike thefts and asked what work was done with students when they moved into the area to advise them about bike thefts.


Sergeant Emms confirmed that there was an officer who provided bike security advice to Cambridge University students, Anglia Ruskin University students and foreign language students although he wasn’t sure how this would work because of COVID-19 circumstances.


Action: Sergeant Emma to report back on how advice would be provided to students regarding keeping / storing their bike safely during the current COVID-19 circumstances.


viii.  Asked for drug dealing in Fitzgerald Place, Ashfield and Bramblefields and Maitland and Mortlock to be looked at. Asked if the ASB Team could look into ASB by a group of people at Ashfield by the car park. Asked if the deployable CCTV camera could be put back up at Grumpy’s. Councillor Bird who brought this up said that she would email the ASB Officer with more details.


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


The following local issues were agreed (unanimously):


1. ASB and dangerous driving on Fen Road and the High Street and NO2 cannisters.

2. Street based drug dealing

3. Youth and knife crime



NAC - Environmental Report pdf icon PDF 3 MB


The Committee received a report from the Enforcement Team Manager.


The report outlined an overview ofthe council’s Streets and Open Spaces, Environmental Health and Shared Waste service activity in the Area Committee area over the past six months.


The Committee discussed the following issues:

i.  When new cycle areas were put in on Green End Road – new flower beds were put in but these had turned to weeds. Asked whether the flower beds on Green End Road would be looked after.


Action:The Enforcement Team Manager commented that these areas were usually the responsibility of the Highways Authority.  She agreed to liaise with the County Council regarding flower beds which had become overgrown with weeds on Green End Road.


ii.  Noted comments about fly tipping and thought this may be due to household waste recycling centre (Milton) being closed. Also noted that there were limits on what could be taken to the recycling centre and also that you had to book before you could go. Asked when the recycling centres would be taking non-essential items.


Action: The Enforcement Team Manager agreed to investigate with the County Council when the household waste recycling centre would be returning to normal operation.


Councillor Manning noted that there was a report going to the next Environment and Sustainability Committee at the County Council regarding the Milton Recycling Centre.


iii.  Thanked Wendy and her Team for the action taken regarding fly tipping in Kings Hedges. Noted that some of the communal recycling points had been taken away and replaced with individual household wheelie bins. She thought the next communal recycling point to be tackled was Edgecombe flats.


Action: The Enforcement Team Manager to investigate with the Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Partnership whether the communal recycling bins at Edgecombe flats would be replaced with household wheelie bins.


iv.  Commented on fly tipping at communal areas particularly at Cockerell Road flats. Queried the status of mini recycling points, particularly the one behind St Luke’s Church, which was accessed off Stretton Avenue.


Action: The Enforcement Team Manager to check with the Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Partnership if the mini recycling point at St Luke’s Church / Stretton Avenue are open or still suspended.


The Enforcement Team Manager concluded by stating that in future she would ask the Waste Team to provide information and updates on recycling points within the city within the Environmental Reports.




Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) - Update on Histon Road


The Committee received a presentation from Paul Van de Bulk, Senior Delivery Project Manager, on Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) projects.


The Histon Road presentation outlined:

  i.  The Histon Road project was well underway, works had started at the Mirkets Road junction at the beginning of the year but there had been a 7 week delay due to COVID-19.

  ii.  Works had since restarted and the decision was taken to implement phases b and c, which were the main stretches of Histon Road. The road closure was implemented, while the junction works were still going ahead and traffic was fairly quiet. This had worked quite well.

  iii.  Was aware that schools were returning the following week and the situation would be monitored closely.

  iv.  The variable message signs were back up on the A14, Skanska were asked to have extra staff on site during the first week back to school to ensure that children who had to interact with Histon Road could do this safely.

  v.  Junction area at Mirkets was nearing completion.

  vi.  Surface area of carriageway had been resurfaced although this still needed to have the red surfacing done for the cycle lane areas.

 vii.  Were on schedule to resurface the footpaths in the coming weeks.  The GCP were working with CityFibre to coordinate their works together.

viii.  Were working with the County Council who were also looking at resurfacing footpaths in the area.


Questions from members of the public (MOP) and Councillors:

  i.  Welcomed the joint working of GCP and CityFibre so that the area did not have to have works undertaken twice. Questioned whether there was any data collected regarding traffic and any displacement of traffic or whether it was too early to say or if the data would be difficult to collect due to the pandemic.


The Senior Delivery Project Manager commented that it was too early to comment on any traffic impacts and it was difficult because of the pandemic to make comparisons.  It would be useful to be provided with information from residents. Although inevitably some residents would be impacted because of the works.


  ii.  Commented that the GCP had produced a report for travel changes year on year which might assist with the traffic query however the only road which was measured in the north area was Milton Road. There had been a 10% reduction in traffic year on year on Milton Road. He had also asked the GCP Assembly that more roads, north of the river should be monitored as 9 roads were monitored south of the river.


  iii.  A member of the public asked ‘In respect of Arbury Road closure, will the North Area Committee communicate with the County Council's Highways and Transport Committee with a view to avoiding the concentration of most of the road's traffic, congestion and pollution onto the hundreds of families and children in the estates of Arbury and Kings Hedges whilst creating a pollution-free area for a privileged few; the halting of the fragile recovery of shops, businesses and the economy after lockdown; and the discrimination against the elderly and disabled who cannot do more walking and cycling?"


The Senior Delivery Project Manager commented that this question needed to be directed to the County Council as it was not a project that he was leading on. However if the County Council sought to close Arbury Road he would want to speak with the relevant officer at the county council regarding these works as it would have an impact on the traffic currently being diverted away from Histon Road.


Action: Cllr Bird to liaise with the resident regarding concerns about the Arbury Road closure.


  iv.  Asked whether there were any consequences if people drove into the closed areas.


The Senior Delivery Project Manager commented that contact had been made with schools asking them to contact parents to make them aware of the works and diversion routes in place and try to discourage parents driving to school and to encourage where possible that people walked / cycled while works were on-going. Where people made genuine mistakes and drove into the road closure they should be able to turn around however the police may take action if they witnessed drivers deliberately ignoring the road closure.


v. Asked if the 7 week delay due to COVID-19 had impacted on the Histon Road work completion date. She also commented that the County Council should be working with the GCP regarding works and closures proposed in the north area.


The Senior Delivery Project Manager confirmed that he would liaise with the County Council regarding works in the north area. The work on Histon Road was still on target for completion at the scheduled time because phases b and c were being undertaken at the same time and due to changes in contractors.


Councillor Manning confirmed that the second phase of the Arbury Road scheme was going to the County Council Highways and Transport Committee on the 15 September for a decision.


vi.A MOP thanked the GCP for the buses on Histon Road and commented that there had never been so many buses stopping at all the stops on Histon Road.


The Milton Road presentation outlined:

i.  This was still in the detailed design stage and a ground penetrating survey (GPR survey) had been carried out and the testing of the construction of the road had been undertaken. Trial holes would be undertaken in the future.

ii.  Aiming to take the Milton Road scheme to the GCP Executive Board in March / June 2021.

iii.  The Milton Road project had slowed down, whilst they were waiting for the Histon Road scheme to be completed.


The Waterbeach to Cambridge presentation outlined:

i.  This project was looking at providing a public transport walking and cycling route from the new town in Waterbeach to North East Cambridge. The GCP provided a briefing last night and there was a report going to the Joint Assembly on the 10 September 2020. Deadlines for public questions was 7 September 2020.




North East Cambridge Area Action Plan Consultation Update


The Committee received a presentation from the Special Projects Officer regarding the North East Cambridge Area Action Plan consultation.


The presentation outlined:

  i.  The council was currently in the middle of the consultation on the draft North East Cambridge Area Action Plan, there was just over a month left to run on the consultation as the consultation ended on the 5 October 2020.

  ii.  There had been a good response to the consultation so far, they had received several hundred responses.  They would encourage members and members of the public to continue to respond and spread the word about the consultation.

  iii.  The Planning Team had been doing some webinars and there were 3 webinars still to come on the 9, 15 and 21 September.


A member of the public made the following comment in response to the presentation:

  i.  There was a consultation, but there was a fundamental  problem with too many flats and offices in too small a space which wasn’t up for debate. The problems included:


a. Making the housing situation much worse - If there were 20,000 office spaces, would say that with people who work from home half the time that is 40,000 workers. As half the population works that means 80,000 people. With 18,000 people being housed at North East Cambridge that means there needs to be housing for about 60,000 people in addition to that provided. This would mean increasing Cambridge’s population by 50%.

b. Density – The development was very dense and there was inadequate green space. He had heard the density was twice that of central London and questioned how that helped quality of life.

c. Traffic - With nearly 40,000 extra people in the area each day, which might not all be in cars, the plan claims this will mean no more traffic on Milton Road, which was a complete fantasy. This was a fundamental basis of the plan and was wrong. Milton Road didn’t need many more cars on it to make it gridlocked.


He asked councillors to question the fundamental issue of the scale and density of the development as this hadn’t been included within the consultation for members of the public to challenge.


The Senior Planning Policy Officer responded that:

i.  A higher density was being proposed and this reflected the accessibility of the site as it was located near the guided busway and north Cambridge train station and close access to the A14. The site was not constrained in terms of heritage assets and was therefore a prime brownfield location to meet the greater Cambridge housing needs.

ii.  The site would work post COVID-19, as everything was within a walking / cycling distance, the local amenities would be on the door step.

iii.  They were looking to increase employment floorspace to provide 20,000 jobs in the service industries as well as the office working environments. Dwellings will provide accommodation for a population of around 18,000.

iv.  They were working with County Council colleagues on the transport strategy for the area to ensure that the development did not result in adverse impacts on residents,


The member of the public noted the Officer stated that the development was self-contained, but it did not contain all amenities for example there was no secondary school so children would have to go to Darwin Green.  Healthcare beyond primary care level or a swimming pool were not being provided.


The member of the public and the Senior Planning Policy Officer would follow up outside of the meeting.


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

  i.  Noted that the original plans included a library / children’s / community centre but didn’t appear to include this anymore.  The development needed to include relevant infrastructure.

  ii.  Noted that the level of green areas didn’t meet the requirements of the local plan and asked if this needed to be addressed given that the Council was the developer.


The Special Projects Officer clarified that 3 primary schools (including early years provision) were proposed as part of the development as well as a library and community facilities. 


The Senior Planning Policy Officer confirmed that they had spoken with County Council colleagues who did school place planning, the indications from the child yield modelling was that there was sufficient capacity within the existing secondary school network to cope with the population growth.  The plan period covered a long period of time so over time the child yield modelling could change, provision had been made within the Area Action Plan for a secondary school if this was required in the future.


The Senior Planning Policy Officer confirmed that the level of open space being provided had been raised with the team already.  He highlighted the amount of strategic open space which was being provided, which totalled approximately 25 hectares.  This might be slightly below the requirement set out in the local plan, but noted the figures in the plan were aspirational.  He also commented that consideration needed to be given to not just the quantum of open space but the quality of open spare which was being provided to ensure that it met the needs of residents.




Open Forum


1.  A member of the public raised the following issue regarding mobility Scooters and cycle lanes and referred to page 186 of the Local Transport Note 1/20 published in July 2020. This stated:


Manual powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters: these are defined as 'invalid carriage’s in law, and there are three classes:


Class 1- Manual, self-propelled or attendant propelled wheelchairs.


Class 2 – Powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters with a maximum speed of 4 mph


Class 3 – Powered wheelchairs and mobility scooter with a maximum speed of 8mph


Invalid carriages can be used on footways, footpaths, bridleways or pedestrian areas, provided that they are used in accordance with prescribed requirements. Users of invalid carriages have no specific right to use a cycle track but they commit no offence in doing so unless an order or local by-law exists creating one.


The Member of the public asked for confirmation that there were no orders or by-laws in Cambridge which prevented the member of the public from driving a Class 3 Mobility Scooter in the cycle lanes in Cambridgeshire.


Councillor Bird commented that she thought that mobility scooters could be driven in cycle lanes.


Action Point: Councillor Manning agreed to obtain a formal position statement regarding the use of mobility scooters in cycle lanes.




Committee Action Sheet pdf icon PDF 306 KB

Additional documents:


The Action Sheet was noted and an updated copy could be viewed at the following link under ‘Committee Action Sheet – updated post committee.




A member of the public (MOP) asked the following question:


1.  Referring to Item 4 on page 14 of the agenda. The MOP commented that she was not aware that any representative for HRARA has been contacted regarding this Air Pollution Question. 


The MOP was impressed to see the response provided within the committee action sheet but she had some questions.  Councillor Todd-Jones had referred to the 2019 Annual Status Report which also was the basis for the MOP question as well as contacts with Jo Dicks and Anne-Marie Hindley of Environmental Services of the City Council.


The MOP referred to the new 2020 Air Quality Annual Status Report (ASR) covering period 2019 ending March 2020.  The report started within the Executive Summary:


Air pollution is associated with a number of adverse health impacts.  It is recognised as a contributing factor in the onset of heart disease and cancer. Air pollution causes diseases of the heart and lungs, contributes to poor public health and shortens life.  Additionally, air pollution particularly affects the most vulnerable in society: children and older people.  There is also often a strong correlation with equalities issues, because areas with poor air quality are also often the less affluent areas.  Air pollution is harmful for human health at all levels, including below the legal limits, so it is important to do what we can to continue to improve air quality.  Public health data indicates in 2017, 47 deaths in Cambridge (5.6%) could be attributed to particulate air pollution.


The annual health cost to society of the impacts of particulate matter alone in the UK is estimated to be around £16 billion.


The MOP therefore raised the following issues:

i.  Referred to page 52 of the agenda and noted the costs obtained for one particulate monitor on Histon Road was £50000 plus running costs.

ii.  Referred to page 53 of the agenda which referred to GCP proposed works on Histon Road and she agreed that there had been a reduction in traffic with a beneficial impact on pollutants.  The MOP was waiting for the schools to return which might increase traffic again.  She commented that regarding the imposition of temporary traffic lights, the whole intention of the present closures was to minimise the red lights and to improve efficiency.  The result was that there has been a minimum of idling and queuing.  Residents had observed improvement in noise levels.

iii.  Referred to page 54 of the agenda and queried who was ‘Our’.  The North Area Committee members, GCP or Cambridge City Council.

iv.  Noted the comment on page 55 of the agenda that ‘Diffusion Tubes are not located at roof height’ but provided photographs from Histon Road south which showed the position of the diffusion tubes.

v.  Referred to page 56 of the agenda and the last paragraph‘If this has indeed been promised the GCP would need to either procure this privately or provide the City Council with funding and instruction to deliver this and that has not happened’ and referred to Councillor Lewis Herbert, who was chair of the GCP Executive Board at that time.

vi.  Referred to the comment ‘In any event there is little to be gained by what would need to be significant investment in further monitoring around this project as set out above’ and noted that there had been 47 deaths in 2017 and how many today, most likely in the Arbury area often described as a deprived area.  She questioned what one life was worth.


HRARA asked the officers in GCP and/or Cambridge City Council to provide facilities and tools to continue monitoring particles as well as emissions particularly in the deprived areas in Arbury along Histon Road.   


Action Point: Councillor Todd-Jones, Paul Van de Buk (GCP Officer) and Jo Dicks to respond to the member of the public.