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Agenda and minutes

Venue: via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Democratic Services  Committee Manager


No. Item


Welcome, Introduction and Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from Councillors Thittala, and County Councillor Manning. Councillor McQueen provided apologies for lateness and County Councillor Scutt advised that she would need to leave the meeting after 30 minutes to attend another meeting.



Declarations Of Interest


No interests were declared.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 394 KB


The minutes of the meetings held on 19 November 2020 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.



Policing and Safer Neighbourhoods pdf icon PDF 238 KB


The Committee received a report from Sargeant Emms 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 areas of concern and engagement activity noted in the report were:

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

ii.  Street based drug dealing

iii.  Youth and knife crime


The Committee discussed the following policing issues:

  i.  Noted that police operations regarding ‘cuckooing’ had moved drug dealing to street based drug dealing. Asked if as a result of the pandemic whether drug dealers had returned back to cuckooing.


Sargeant Emms responded:

Due to lockdown restrictions there had been an increase in cuckooing but the Police had measures in place to respond to this. There was a cohort of people who were at risk of being victims of ‘cuckooing’ who were reviewed and the top 5 people who were at the greatest risk of harm were regularly visited so that they did not become victims of crime. The Police had had success with this approach and they also worked with other agencies regarding this issue. The Police also used ‘soft closures’ on properties which meant that only the occupier could be in the property, notices were placed to this effect in the properties windows and doors, which deterred people from going round. There was also a second cohort of people who were at risk who were visited 1-2 times a month by the Police.


  ii.  Noted at a Local Liaison Forum held on 8 March 2021 that a member of the public had asked whether Histon Road could be made permanently 20mph. Asked for the Police for their views.


Sargeant Emms responded:

Speed limits for roads were not set by the Police and there was a formal process which had to be followed, it was not therefore appropriate to comment on this. Was not aware that the Police had been consulted on this issue when previous 20mph limits were put in place.


  iii.  Asked how the Police would be addressing crime against women; particularly in the north of the city.


Sargeant Emms responded:

This was an issue that the Police were currently reviewing across the city. Would need to look at specific areas and whether there had been an increase in crime.


  iv.  Noted addresses where drug dealing was taking place including Nuns Way and Robert Jennings Close.


Sergeant Emms responded:

Noted that when these issues were reported by the time that the person got through to speak to an operator the drug deal could be completed. However encouraged members of the public to report these incidents as it helped the Police to build up a picture and highlighted patterns in terms of time of day / days of the week.  Officers could then be directed to these areas.


  v.  Thanked PC Payne for their assistance regarding ASB in the area and as a result there would be a multi-agency meeting to discuss this issue. This was a great example of community engagement.


  vi.  Had been in contact with the County Council regarding speed indicative cameras which needed batteries replacing and understood that these would be replaced shortly. Commented that it was scary for a woman to walk alone particularly at night in areas of darkness where there were no street lights, asked the Committee to consider this issue. Would welcome the reduction in speed limit on Histon Road to 20 mph.


 vii.  Asked whether the Police would be proactively monitoring Arbury Road in response to the public question.


Sergeant Emms responded:

Suggested rather than including a fourth local area of concern that the issue raised by the member of the public could be included within the existing local area of concern regarding ASB and dangerous driving to cover ‘across the north of the city’.


viii.  Noted two incidents of dangerous driving on Fen Road. Asked for officers to keep an eye on Jolley Ford Court as there was ASB occurring.


  ix.  Reports of young people gathering on Water Street which linked up with Fen Road.


Sergeant Emms commented that the Police had officers who were concerned specifically with Covid gathering concerns, if this was reported then officers could attend to disperse individuals.


Members of the public raised the following policing issues:

  i.  Data from a County Council Speed Camera which was installed on Arbury Road clearly showed that for a two-week measured period maximum traffic speed was consistently twice the speed limit e.g. 40mph instead of the 20mph limit. There were also at least five instances of traffic exceeding 60mph on Arbury Road

Arbury Road had 2 schools, shops, vets and other community buildings and had a 20mph designation to reflect the nature of the area as community / residential

Q1 Asked what measures the police were pursuing to reduce gross speeding violations on Arbury Road to prevent another fatality.

Q2 Asked if the committee would include Arbury Road speeding on the ‘recommended local areas of concern’ list for the next reporting period of the Policing and Safer Neighbourhoods Agenda item.


Sargeant Emms commented that it was the first time he was aware of the data and the level of speeding. Noted that the times that the speeding occurred was early in the morning and commented that these could be emergency vehicles responding to incidents. Noted that the remaining speeds recorded were generally compliant with the speed limits. The Police could only respond to issues when they were reported to the Police and encouraged residents to report incidents to the Police. Officers were all trained on the use of speed guns and as the issue had been highlighted patrols could be put in place. 


  ii.  Thought it had been reported that there had been 500 incidents of speeding on the Arbury Road camera. Asked whether there were more or less incidents of speeding since the speed camera was put in or whether this data was lost due to the batteries running out in the speed cameras.  Thanked Councillors Scutt and Richards expressing support for a reduction in the speed limit to 20mph on Histon Road.


Sergeant Emms commented that he would need to investigate whether there had been more or less speeding offences as he did not hold that information.


County Councillor Richards and Councillor Dalzell regretted that women and violence in the streets had not been included as a local area of concern.


The following local areas of concern were agreed:

i.  ASB and dangerous driving across the north of the city (including Fen Road and the High Street) and NO2 cannisters (unanimously)

ii.  Street based drug dealing (unanimously)

iii.  Youth and knife crime (by 11 votes to 0 with 1 abstention)



Tree Canopy Project pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Additional documents:


The Committee received a presentation from the council’s Senior Arboricultural Officer.


The presentation outlined:

  i.  The Cambridge Canopy Project was about planting more trees and giving protection to the trees already present.

  ii.  Wanted to make Cambridge more climate resilient. Using trees as a green infrastructure solution to achieve climate resilience.

  iii.  Was an urban forestry initiative, with the main aim to increase canopy cover by 2% (82 hectares – 120 football pitches covered with trees), from 17-19%. For this to be achieved an additional 16,000 trees needed to be planted. Through the Canopy Project the Council would be planting 2000 nursery raised ‘standard’ sized trees on public open space. So far 1300 trees had been planted.

  iv.  Sought to emphasize the social, economic and environmental benefits trees provided.

  v.  Shared ownership and collective responsibility; by planting a tree anyone can help with carbon capture, increase biodiversity and help create a more sustainable forest.

  vi.  Cambridge’s current canopy cover was approximately 17% made up of 330,000 trees and shrubs exceeding heights of 1.2m or more. Street trees owned by the County Council comprised 10% of the population, the City Council owned 16% many of which were large and long lived species, 74% were privately owned and managed.

 vii.  The greatest land use in Cambridge was residential comprising 39% of the land in Cambridge. Unlocking this land was one of the key aims of the Canopy Project.

viii.  Tree canopy cover was the layer of leaves and branches, stems of trees and woody shrubs which covered the ground when viewed from above. This could be monitored and policies adjusted accordingly based on growth or decline. Cambridge Canopy Project now had data for the last 10 years.

  ix.  Needed to understand what types of tree were present, where these were and the condition that they were in. Worked with Anglia Ruskin University to undertake an i-tree eco study with selected households to assess over 200 sample plots across the city. The data from this study would allow the council to describe urban forest value and the contribution it makes to society in monetary terms, help manage urban forest in sustainable terms and manage its resilience in a changing climate and in terms of pests and disease outbreaks.

  x.  1500 trees will be given away through resident’s engagement schemes (free trees for babies). 


The Arboricultural Officer provided the following responses to member questions:

  i.  All trees provided canopy cover. Larger long-lived trees provided greater benefit all round than shorter lived trees, but they were looking for diversity and were looking to increase conifer species in the city to ensure resilience against pest and disease. Ash trees were declining and this was expected within the next 10-50 years. There were a lot of ash trees in Cambridge and it was possible this population could be lost.

  ii.  Eachard Road was on the council’s list to plant more trees. A consultation process was required before any planting could take place but was aware of public support for trees.

  iii.  The anti-vandal strategy in tree planting terms was to plant again, if the trees continued to be vandalised, they would not plant for a few years and then would try again.

  iv.  When trees were planted they were extremely vulnerable to drought conditions as they would have a bare root system as the roots would have been cut. Contractors did most of the watering for the council. In the first year a tree needed to be watered every three days to keep the soil moist. Were encouraging residents to assist with watering trees. There was a tree volunteer scheme, so people went around and watered trees.

  v.  Would have a look at Water Street where two trees had been knocked down and see if they could be replaced.


NAC Area Committee Grants 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 396 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee received a report from the Community Funding and Development Manager. 


The Community Funding and Development Manager and the Committee thanked all mutual aid, voluntary and community groups for all their assistance and support they had and continued to provide during the pandemic this was greatly appreciated.


The Community Funding and Development Manager provided the following responses to member questions:

i.  Noted that bid N10 Sin Cru was an unclear bid, there was a lack of financial information and lack of clarity regarding beneficiaries. The Council was cautious to provide funding to groups which could receive funding from an alternative source.

ii.  There was no deadline for applications to come forward for the remaining grant funding which had not been allocated. Applications would be taken as they came forward. Grants would be reviewed in October, but the process was very flexible.

iii.  If there were groups coming forward who needed help to apply for grants asked that these were directed to the Grants Team. Some groups may work or continue to work together and may wish to apply for funding for a project. Officers had spent a lot of time re-assessing applications over the past year.

iv.  Groups could apply for funding each year, they were not prevented from applying if they had received funding in the past.





Award £


Brownsfield Adult Art Group (c/o Chesterton Community Association)

40 x 2-hour art sessions



Friends of Histon Road Cemetery

Information and activities



Headway Cambridgeshire

48 inclusive activities including sport and drop-in coffee sessions



Histon Road Area Residents’ Association

One day exhibition March 2022



Kings Hedges Family Support Project

2 weekly drop-ins x 50 at North Cambridge Children’s Centre and 1 x 50 at Brown’s Field




Meadows Centre Bowlers

Weekly 2 hour indoors bowls session



Meadows Children and Family Wing (The)

Active healthy lifestyles project



Oblique Arts

6 art workshops and 1 exhibition for neurodiverse young people



Red Hen Project (The)

Three summer day trips and family worker support



Sin Cru

Range of activities - social prescribing project pilot






Following discussion, Members resolved (unanimously):


To approve projects as set out in recommendation 2.2of the Officer’s report.



Open Forum


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


1.  They understood from County Councillor Scutt that a proposal had been put forward for a modal filter at the Arbury Road/Milton Road junction. Asked if the impact of traffic on Stretten Avenue been considered. Currently there was significant additional noise and vibration issues, particularly when HGVs and large delivery vehicles hit the speed bumps whilst using it as a cut through with the temporary closure of Histon Road. Asked how would this be prevented if a modal filter was approved?


County Council Officers from the Covid Transport Team provided the following response:

i.  Appreciated that the initial inclusion of Arbury Road within the first tranche of Active Travel Funding last year (before Officers recognised the need for more technical work on any project delivered on this road) had led to confusion in terms of what might be happening and when. There were considerable time pressures surrounding the Government’s tranche 1 funding last summer as Officers looked to provide better provision for cycling and walking, as well as social distancing, during the pandemic.

ii.  Tranche 2 funding came with longer timeframes, which meant they were able to spend more time on scheme design and development as well as engagement and consultation with local communities.

iii.  Outlined how officers were looking to engage on the Arbury Road scheme:

1)  Looking to consult across a range of Active Travel Fund projects initially. Due to pre-election restrictions in the lead up to the local elections in May, this was likely to happen in the summer. This was likely to take the form of a survey covering different proposals in different places, as they are considering a large number of projects at the moment. They may be working with the Greater Cambridge Partnership on this as they are also considering Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETROs) in Cambridge and are likely to be consulting at the same time. The survey will focus on gaining feedback about the key issues and concerns people have about the various projects, as well as considering whether projects should be pursued. The data would be taken back to the Chair, Vice Chair and senior officer who were delegated authority to make decisions on how to progress the Active Travel Fund projects last September. (Please note that it is quite possible that they may decide to refer some or all of the projects back to Committee for further debate and decision making but delegated powers mean that they do not have to do so at this stage.)

2)  It is likely that should changes go ahead on Arbury Road, then it would be in the form of an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO) which would start a trial scheme. ETROs can last up to 18 months. With ETROs there are technically two statutory (or legally required) stages which can be considered consultation.

a.  The statutory period – a form of consultation – included in the making of the Order i.e. when it is published on the County Council’s website and in the press when feedback is welcomed and;

b.  there is also the statutory 6 month consultation period which runs alongside any trial changes. Under the text of the order these 6 months are a “period for objections” and these objections have to be made in writing to the County Council.

c.  Like Mill Road, they would seek to do some additional type of consultation within these 6 months as well as asking people to write in. Whether this would be in the form of a survey or some other type of consultation such as focus groups was to be determined.

iv.  Appreciated ETROs were less well known than standard Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) and the concept of consulting alongside temporary changes is unfamiliar to many people, however, trialling road changes actually offers more opportunity for engagement and consultation than TROs as well as more opportunities to develop a project which works for the community.

v.  Trials of road changes (ETROs) shouldn’t be taken as fait accompli for permanent changes (TROs), there would need to be further decision making and at least statutory consultation for any ETRO to be replaced with a permanent TRO. If you’d like more background on Traffic Regulation Orders, then please do take a look at www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/etro.

vi.  It was likely to be several months before any changes might be made to the road.


Councillor Sargeant commented that the County Council were currently consulting on a modal filter on Arbury Road. There were a number of schemes proposed for the north in tranche 1, concerns were expressed to the County Council regarding Gilbert Road and Victoria Avenue proposals.


2.  a. Installation of a MVAS speed camera display was promised for Orchard Avenue over a year ago.  Paint marks on the footpath indicating the positioning of a new post are still visible.  Asked if there was any news on when this might happen.


Councillor Sargeant commented that the speed display had been held back because of the lockdown. Had been in conversations with officers and would follow up.


b. Asked if the last round of LHI bids had been adjudicated and asked where he could find a listing of the results / score cards.


Councillor Meschini commented that they sat on the panel on the 10 February and assessed the bids. An un-precise deadline (March – June) was given when councillors would know the outcome there were various rounds and panels involving councillors and officers.


c.When City Fibre were installing their cables in our area, residents were encouraged to write to Cllr Manning with any instances where the company was in breach of its customer care commitments.  We were told that a county council compliance officer would then be making claims for breach against the company.  Asked what the outcome of this was.


Councillor Sargeant commented that they had had good success with CityFibre through the County Council. Was happy to follow any issues up.


d. At last Wednesday’s North East Cambridge Community Forum a large number of questions were posted on the Chat function which could not be answered during the webinar.  We were told that answers would be forthcoming afterwards.  There is no reference to this or a video recording on the joint planning website – can the committee assist in progressing this.


Action: Councillor Sheil to follow up with officers.


e.What is the latest status regarding the redevelopment of the Tivoli building at Mitcham’s Corner?


Councillor Sargeant commented that he thought that the developer had pulled out of the Tivoli development. Planning permission had been granted but it would be whether this permission was relevant to a future company. 


3.  The Borrowdale bus stop featured a bus shelter on a narrow island and a pedestrian crossing in the 1.3 m wide cycle lane.  They had been assured by the officers that they would not be splashed by the cyclists passing in the cycle lane due to the new and effective drainage system installed on the pavement kerb.  However, safety for the pedestrians crossing the cycle lane to the island must be insured.  Raised tables, white zebra crossing markings in the road and signs alerting the cyclists about the crossing before they reach the bus stop must be included in the design. This is essential for bus-users with mobility issues.


The new COOP Bus stop and shelter, which is moved from the Aldi side, is similar to the present Aldi stop.  At the moment, they believed that the shelter would be on the pavement and have the wall side towards the parked cars by the stores (it was not marked in the design).  The bus-users would face the cycle lane.  Asked what safety precautions had been made to ensure that the bus-users can reach the bus safely.  Waiting in a bus shelter should be safe as well as reaching the bus. 


HRARA asked that the councillors contact the officers and request their special attention to the safety of the bus users whether in “floating bus stops” or in smaller bus shelters.


Councillor Todd-Jones stated that concerns would be passed on to the GCP and the project manager Paul Van de Bulk.


Councillor McQueen commented that a lot of residents had raised concerns that they would not be able to get to the floating bus stop in time. Queried what other measures there could be on Green End Road to stop speeding.


Action: Councillor McQueen would contact GCP and offer suggestions.


4.  Background: The Joint meeting of the Histon Road Local Liaison Forum and Milton Road Local Liaison Forum confirmed unanimously a resolution to ensure a prompt start of the Milton Road Project following finalisation of the Histon Road Project.


Understood that the Joint Local Liaison Forum meeting supported the proposal that a 20mph limit be set on Histon Road from Gilbert Road to Huntingdon Road, and requested whether support could be given by North Area Committee for that limit to be extended to the point where traffic comes in from Histon, namely in the vicinity of Kings Hedges Road. This would be appreciated by residents all along Histon Road.


Councillor Richards read out the resolution from the Local Liaison Forum (LLF) on behalf of Councillor Scutt. ‘Milton Road LLF is concerned to ensure that the Milton road project advances to construction no later than the beginning of 2022 to bring back the much needed improvements as set out in the detailed plans. Milton Road LLF is aware that residents were keen to have the construction commence so that planned safety improvements were delivered sooner rather than later’.


Councillor Richards was aware that residents were keen for the 20mph issue to move forward. Had worked with the Benson Road Residents Association and would support a resolution to support 20mph on Histon Road from Gilbert Road to Huntingdon Road.


5.  Residents were concerned about the flats above Milton Road Library remaining unoccupied, neither leased nor sold. Could information be provided as to what is happening, why the flats remain unoccupied, and if there was a resolution on the horizon.


Councillor Sargeant expressed disappointment with this development and management of the project.


Councillor Meschini also expressed disappointment with the development and thought this was due to the model used and a lack of expertise in housing.


6.  Resident concerned about pot holes on Milton Road, especially around Highworth Avenue.


Councillor Meschini asked members of the public to get in touch with her if anything remained outstanding. The County Council contracted a company to fill the pot holes, works were meant to start that day.




NAC - Environmental Report pdf icon PDF 2 MB


The Committee received a report from the Environmental Health 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.


In response to Members’ questions the Environmental Health Manager said the following:

  i.  There was a lot of fly tipping in the North and it was likely that this was due to the closure of the landfill / recycling centres during the pandemic. Enforcement was on-going but this had to be completed in a covid secure way. Would need to consider community clean up days in the future.

  ii.  Confirmed if extra cardboard was left by the side of the blue recycling bin on collection days this would be collected by the Waste Team. Noted that this could be publicised further.

  iii.  Noted concerns raised about littering on Jesus Green later in the afternoon / early evening, officers would be working to 7pm to collect this. Covid marshals would be employed to work until 9-10pm at night when required for the summer period. Further consideration needed to be given to the hours worked by those in the Open Spaces Team.

  iv.  Would look to see whether any further litter pick days were being organised and if any had taken place.  Would look into fly tipping concerns raised at Nicholson Way and Crowland Way.

  v.  Noted concerns about de-commissioned mini-recycling areas and fly tipping hot spots and confirmed discussions were in place with the Waste Team and Street Enforcement so that there was a partnership approach.



Committee Action Sheet pdf icon PDF 234 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.


North Area Committee Dates 2021/22

10 June 2021

2 September 2021

18 November 2021

3 March 2022



The following dates were agreed:

10 June 2021

2 September 2021

18 November 2021

3 March 2022