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Agenda and minutes

Venue: via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Democratic Services  Committee Manager

Note: If members of the public wish to address the committee please contact Democratic Services. 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


Welcome, Introduction and Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from Councillors Bond and O’Reilly.


Councillor Scutt chaired the meeting as Councillor McQueen had experienced technical issues throughout the day.



Declarations Of Interest





Gawthrope Wood


Personal: Allotment holder at Chesterton Allotment Association on Howgate Road.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 441 KB



Committee Action Sheet pdf icon PDF 241 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.


Agenda for North Area Committee on Monday, 28th February, 2022, 6.30 pm - Cambridge Council


Open Forum


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


Question 1. 

  i.  Could you please give the dates/streets/wards of planned herbicide treatments in King's Hedges, East Chesterton and West Chesterton, for March, April, May and June 2022. I recognise that actual dates may later be changed due to the weather conditions. 

  ii.  Can you please give the web address of the City Council's website displaying this information to residents. This is so they can avoid herbicide sprayed areas which cause neurotoxicity and (World Health Organisation) probably cause cancer. This was verbally promised at Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee on 27th January 2022. 


Councillor Collis responded: 

On the 27 January, the Executive Councillor at Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee approved 

  i.  the Herbicide Reduction Plan Project Initiation Documentation. 

  ii.  Newnham and Arbury as the two trial Wards to be completely herbicide free for 2022; and 

  iii.  the introduction of up to 12 herbicide free streets in addition to and outside of the two-trial herbicide free wards. 


Officers were working to a launch of the herbicide free trials in early March. The dates of the planned herbicide applications would be made available ahead of any scheduled treatments.The webpages were not signed off but were at a very advanced draft stage. 


Question 2. 

The present situation on Histon Road is that the road was finished according to the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP).  But the residents did not believe so.  There were still important issues to finalise: 

  i.  The signalling systems (Donic) was not working properly due to a broken loop below the centre of the junction of Huntingdon/Victoria and Histon Roads.  

  ii.  The approved PRO 763 and 764 regarding 20mph in the southern part from the junction to Akeman Street and the northern part for the reduction of 40mph to 30mph from the A14 to the Cambridge city limit have not yet been implemented by appropriate signage.  

  iii.  This was quite concerning as the Milton Road night-timediversions were due to commence in April-May 2022.  If the signals did not function at that time, residents’may expect longer HGV stops with fumes at the Huntingdon junction and speeding all along the road.  The GCP had not committed to this construction due to heavy workload with Milton Road.  


Asked local councillors to support the residents concerning the night-time diversions by requesting the GCP to finalise the signalling issues and the speeding issues before the diversions come into effect in April 2022.  


Action: Councillor Todd-Jones agreed to meet with the member of the public and the GCP Project Officer (Paul Van de Bulk) to talk through the concerns which had been raised.  


Councillor Meschini confirmed that the GCP Project Officer was aware of the concerns which had been raised and was currently working through them. Agreed to work with Cllr Todd-Jones to liaise with the GCP Project Officer. 


Councillor Scutt noted that there had been problems sourcing batteries for speed cameras during the covid pandemic but this issue would be followed up. 


Question 3. 

Asked if the present design and construction of Histon Road was safe? 

In a questionnaire distributed to members and friends, HRARA asked which issues residents’ thought should be prioritised for improvements.  The first was the Junction by Huntingdon/Victoria roads, the second was unsafe pavements.  Safety for walking and cycling had been the backbone of the whole project as well as safety between the cycle lanes and pavements.  


Complaints had been made regarding both the Cambridge Kerb and the new cycleway demarcation blocks by ATS which were intended for Milton Road as well. The feeling is that these were unsafe.In a letter to the Cambridgeshire County Council Highways and Transport Committee HRARA pointed out:  

The pavement width is generally very variable and significantly narrower than the design, in some places as little as 0.96m and 1.02m. Residents would appreciate your response to these comments and confirmation that the proposed audit would be independent Post Project Review, as the HMT Green Book mandates, residents note that the aims of this project were to increase safety. 


Askedlocal councillors to support and work hard to improve the quality of the present construction and safety for walking and cycling along Histon Road.  


Action: Councillor Todd-Jones and Councillor Meschini agreed to meet with the member of the public and the Project Officer at the GCP to discuss the issues raised.  


Question 4. 

The Committee had acknowledged in the past that noise from motorbikes and loud engines was an anti-social problem, but the police had advised that they were unable to act without further evidence. Asked if the Council could install sound-activated cameras at appropriate points, and specifically along Arbury Road, to better capture data that would persuade the police to take action? 


Councillor Sargeant had contacted the local police sergeant about similar issues on Victoria Road, the Police had taken action and had impounded a vehicle.  


Councillor Dalzell commented that he had videoed one of the bikes causing the problem the week before only to find that the vehicle had no numberplate. He still reported the incident to the police.  Hoped discussions around this issue would continue with the Vision Zero Partnership.  


Councillor Meschini said she was well aware of the problem and would continue to press police to have a bigger presence in the area. 


Councillor Collis encouraged people to continue to report the issue to the Police and agreed to raise the issue at the next Community Safety Partnership meeting and as part of the Vision Zero Partnership.   


Councillor Todd-Jones noted that residents on Arbury Road had contacted him about the same issues and he had passed this information to the local neighbourhood police sergeant.  


Question 5. 

The Cambridge City Food Poverty Alliance provides food across half the wards in the city. There were food banks, but these required vouchers obtainable by interview from Citizens Advice and only covered up to three days emergency supply. Then there were food hubs, which did not require vouchers and were available for medium to long term relief, but many centres only opened for a couple of hours once or twice a week. In addition, there were pockets of deprivation in more affluent areas such as West Chesterton. 

  i.  Asked if there were any plans to extend the food hubs into wards that are not currently covered. 

  ii.  Asked if there were any plans to extend the number of days food was provided at food hubs. 

  iii.  Asked if there were any plans to publicise more effectively where food banks/hubs were located in order for residents to access food and donate food more easily.Noted most people only knew about food banks rather than food hubs, and thought they could only donate food at supermarket collection points. 


Councillor Collis confirmed that there were 9 food hubs and further details could be found via the link: Cambridge Food Poverty Alliance: COVID-19 — Cambridge Sustainable Food. The City Council did not plan to set up any additional food hubs, however if a community organisation wanted to set one up, the City Council would support them to do so. There were food hubs open every day except Sunday. Food hubs were usually open 1-2 hours per session and relied heavily on volunteers.  Some food hubs had a paid co-ordinator, but most relied on volunteers. Most food hubs would still give out food outside of their opening hours. The Communities Team had been asked to do some targeted communication to help people understand the differences between food hubs and food banks.  


Question 6. 

When would the Arbury Road modal filter be implemented? 


Councillor Scutt acknowledged the traffic issues on Arbury Road.  The Arbury Road modal filter went into the second tranche of the GCP programme and was part of a consultation process.  


Councillor Meschini confirmed the Arbury Road modal filer proposals were consulted on by the County Council and the results were passed onto the GCP. This issue was in the pipeline but a decision on this issue was unlikely to be made until the works on Milton Road had been completed. The City Access programme needed to be finalised by May 2024.


NAC Area Committee Grants 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 391 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee received a report from the Community Funding & Development Manager regarding Community Grants. 


Councillors were reminded that the Committee could not make decisions whilst the Area Committees were taking place virtually, but any discussion / debate would be taken into consideration by Officers when the delegated decisions were made. 


The Committee thanked Jackie for all the work that her Team had done processing the grant applications and the Queen’s Jubilee grant applications. They were pleased that community events would be able to take place this year and noted all the grants detailed in the report.   


Members also wished to express appreciation to Jackie personally as Jackie had worked at the Council for a number of years and would be retiring soon. 


Verbal Update from the Streets and Open Spaces Team on the Herbicide Free Trials


The Committee received a presentation from the Streets and Open Spaces Team on the herbicide free trials. 


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

  i.  Noted the photographs shown at the beginning of the presentation and that the officer had said it was more likely that initially, pavements would be seen with weeds. Expressed concerns for people with disabilities and the elderly in using pavements which had weeds.  


Noted that during the herbicide-free trial there would be a period of transition where streets in the trial would have weeds when herbicides were not used. The streets would need to be monitored. A slips, trips and falls risk assessment had been undertaken.  


  ii.  Noted that there were enthusiastic residents in West Chesterton who wanted to be part of the 12 herbicide-free trial streets. Residents had said they would help keep the streets weed free through local volunteering work. Asked how the streets would be picked as part of the 12 herbicide-free street pilot. 


The pilot had been set at 12 streets, this did not preclude more streets being involved, they just wouldn’t be part of the trial. They would still get support from the council. The only caveat would be roads which had speed limits over 30mph would not be included as these were too high risk. 



Environmental Report - NAC pdf icon PDF 3 MB


The Committee received a report from the Community Engagement and Enforcement 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.  Illegal fly-tipping at Cockerell Road. 

  ii.  Restrictions in place during the pandemic at the Milton Recycling Centre. and impact on waste collections / fly tipping.  

  iii.  Asked about the success of fly tipping enforcement. 

  iv.  Redeployable CCTV cameras at persistent fly tipping hotspots. 

  v.  Community clean up days in the north area. 

  vi.  Feedback to those who reported incidences of fly tipping. 


In response to Members’ questions the Community Engagement and Enforcement Manager said the following: 

  i.  Recognised the restrictions at Milton Recycling Centre impacted on residents’ ability to undertake lawful disposal. Hoped that since restrictions at the Recycling Centre had been removed that this may reduce the incidence of fly-tipping.  

  ii.  It was difficult to measure success with enforcement. It depended whether there was evidence to be able to pursue an enforcement case. Sometimes witnesses were not willing to come forward if the offence involved a neighbour and they did not want to attend court. A significant number of people were diverted from going to court and were issued fixed penalty notices. Some offences were genuine mistakes and people were issued education notices.   

  iii.  An application could be made for a redeployable CCTV camera at the persistent fly tipping hotspot on Cockerell Road. Noted that there could be a long waiting list for the cameras with other Departments who also dealt with anti-social behaviour incidents, or that an application could be rejected.

  iv.  A community clean-up day was booked in East Chesterton, at Ashfield Road, in the summer. The last one was carried out in October. 

  v.  An assessment was carried out for each fly tipping report. It may be investigated by the Enforcement Team, or it may be cleared up by the Operations Team. Fly tipped areaswere aimed tobe cleared within 5 days unless the waste was hazardous and then it would be cleared up sooner.