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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 pdf icon PDF 123 KB


Apologies were received from Councillors Gawthrope Wood, McQueen and County Councillor Rae. Councillor Smart advised that he may need to leave the meeting early.



Declarations Of Interest


No interests were declared.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 326 KB


The notes of the meeting held on 15 March 2021 were noted.



Policing and Safer Neighbourhoods pdf icon PDF 350 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee received a report from the Sergeant 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:

  ASB and dangerous driving across the north of the city (including Fen Road and the High Street) and NO2 canisters;

  Street based drug dealing; and

  Youth and knife crime.


In response to Members’ discussion, Sargeant Emms provided the following responses:

  i.  Welcomed residents’ and Councillors’ sharing data regarding speeding concerns, including specific areas/roads so that appropriate resources could be allocated.

  ii.  Confirmed that officers were aware of issues on Fen Road generally and officers were in the area that night. Confirmed that there was a city wide operation to look at electric scooters and noted that there needed to be communication provided to members of the public regrading the ‘Voi’ scooters which could be used on the road. Confirmed pony and traps could be used on roads provided that they complied with specific requirements.

  iii.  Noted concerns raised regarding anti-social behaviour at the Methodist Church and Nursery and would arrange for patrols to be made so that the Church and Nursery staff felt safe.

  iv.  Noted concerns regarding bike thefts and the broad-ranging impact bike thefts had on residents’ and members of the public’s lives. Stated that the City Centre Team were looking into this issue as there was a high incidence of bike thefts in the city centre. Confirmed the Police would always investigate bike thefts where there were viable lines of enquiry. Encouraged residents and members of the public to keep an accurate description of their bikes, including serial numbers and suggested that they could take pictures of their bikes too. 

  v.  Confirmed in relation to Operation Corduroy, that there were two individuals the police were trying to take through the court process to protect vulnerable residents at risk.

  vi.  Confirmed that if drug dealing moved back to street based drug dealing that the police were ready to undertake surveillance and respond to this issue. 

 vii.  Advised that signs of cuckooing included elderly people suddenly getting younger people visiting them in their homes or elderly people suddenly staying out of their house and not wanting to return home.

viii.  Said that county lines in Cambridge did not appear to be extending to trafficking in vulnerable or preyed upon young women.

  ix.  Confirmed Sergeant Misik was looking into issues around open spaces when events were cancelled.


Action: Councillor Bird to email Police reports through to the ASB Team regarding ASB at Methodist Church and Nursery as part of a request for the mobile CCTV camera to be located in the area.


Action: ASB Team to confirm time scales for securing funding from the Home Office regarding a block of flats in Perse Way (odd numbered side).


Members of the public raised the following policing issues:

  i.  Queried the plan attached to the Police report and whether this was correct as it didn’t include (for example) the McManus estate.


Action: ASB Team to investigate the plan attached to the Police report and correct if this did not show the correct area.


The Chair noted the following local areas of concern as discussed by members during the meeting:

  ASB and dangerous driving across the north of the city (including Fen Road and the High Street) and NO2 canisters;

  Street based drug dealing including cuckooing; and

  Youth and knife crime.


Open Forum


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


1.  First public question:

i.  Wanted to speak about the plans for a direct rail link between Oxford and Cambridge, from the perspective of a resident who lived within 70m of the present railway line and river bridge. 

ii.  East-West Rail (EWR) had consulted on their plans from 31st March to 9th June.  Referred to BBC Look East’s coverage of the consultation and noted members may have responded themselves.

iii.  The proposals involved building a new railway line from Bedford to Cambridge, via a new station for Cambourne.  The new line would join on to existing lines either from the south, near Shepreth, or from the north, between Milton and Waterbeach.  The southern route was described in the main document, but the full implications of the northern route were detailed in appendices to the Consultation Technical Report, rather than in the actual consultation document.  In the appendices, ‘our’ section was referred to as ‘The narrow railway corridor sandwiched by residential properties to both sides north of the River Cam’. 

iv.  EWR favour the southern approach for various reasons, the most important for residents in the north of Cambridge was the impact of the northern route on its surroundings.  To allow for the increase in trains, EWR stated that the existing Milton-Cambridge railway must be widened from two tracks to four tracks.  This would involve remodelling the new Cambridge North station and either building a second bridge to carry the extra tracks over the river or replacing the existing two-track bridge with a four-track one, as well as rebuilding several major road bridges.  The measures would be disruptive and expensive, but the concern for residents in the north of the city was the need to demolish between 39 and 84 residential and commercial properties to make way for the new tracks.  On present plans, the southern approach threatened five properties.

v.  There were pressure groups based south of Cambridge which were urging for the northern route to be re-examined.  One of these is Cambridge Approaches, which asserts that it would be straightforward to deliver the northern route over the existing two tracks.  East-West Rail were asked at a virtual consultation event whether there was any way of doing this and EWR stated they did not believe it to be possible.  A similar question was asked on Look East last week and got a similar answer from EWR’s Chief Executive Officer.  For the northern route, four tracks, and the associated disruption and demolition, would be unavoidable. 

vi.  Cambridge Approaches have distributed leaflets to residents, urging them to sign a petition requesting an equal evaluation of the northern route, partly out of concern at the possibility of rail freight traffic through Cambridge. Their leaflet did not make it clear that their favoured route also involved doubling the rail lines between Milton and Cambridge, with the negative consequences for the north of Cambridge area. 

vii.  Asked for elected Councillors and other local residents to take note of the outcome of the consultation which had just ended and be ready to examine any further EWR proposals for their impact on North Cambridge.


Councillor Sargeant was the Lead Councillor for Public Transport and had had a number of meetings with East West Rail. Understood that the proposed route was still to the south of the city. Supported what the public speaker had said and would continue to monitor this issue.


2.  Second public question:

i.  Residents were disappointed by some aspects of the Histon Road scheme and asked if there was time to amend them.

ii.  Pavements with a width of1.25m did not allow people to cross on the path with prams and wheelchairs without stepping out in the cycle lane on Carisbrooke Road to Hazelwood Close. Residents must be able to leave by car and safely cross to the carriageway that would take them inbound or outbound. People must be able to walk safely on the pavement on bin days.  Asked how this could be achieved.

iii.  Noted there are no improvements to width of payments - Akeman Street to Victoria Junction.

iv.  Noted that very few of the cycle lanes were of the latest standard width being 1.80m-2.00m.

v.  The bus stop was now by the entry/exit of the Recreation ground, there was a conflict with pedestrians and queues at the bus stop. The bus stop was earlier situated by the signalized crossing.

vi.  Signalling system at Victoria and Huntingdon Junction. At the latest trial, cars were queuing along Castle Street from Northampton Street. Victoria Road was constantly congested and only 4 cars went through outbound by Huntingdon Road on each signal. The signals must function properly or the whole Histon Road project was a waste regarding improvement on congestion. 

vii.  Histon Road had been fortunate during the construction period to have an excellent bus service in the outbound lane. Questioned when the project would be finished as conflicting dates had been provided. Asked what plans for good bus services the GCP had in mind.  Would prefer Bus A to remain and stop along Histon Road. 

viii.  The temporary 20mph speed limit should be made permanent.

ix.  HRARA requested that the officers and GCP Joint Assembly ensure that the road design that needs improvement after the present construction is finished will be corrected in a safe and efficient way. 


Councillor Todd-Jones noted that Paul Van de Bulk, GCP Officer was looking into the concerns raised regarding pavement width. Some curbing had been laid incorrectly and this was why there was a difference in the pavement width.


Action: Councillor Todd-Jones to work with HRARA and Paul Van de Bulk regarding issues raised with the GCP Histon road scheme.


Committee Action Sheet pdf icon PDF 236 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 Thursday, 10th June, 2021, 6.30 pm - Cambridge Council