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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1 & 2, The Guildhall, Market Square, Cambridge, CB2 3QJ. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Committee Manager

Items
No. Item

18/2/P&T

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

 

No apologies were received.

18/3/P&T

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

18/4/P&T

Minutes pdf icon PDF 213 KB

For Members information, the Scrutiny Committees have been replaced by the Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee and the Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee, as agreed by Council on 19 April 2018.  The minutes of the previous scrutiny and scrutiny sub-committees are submitted to the successor scrutiny committees for approval.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the Environment Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 13 March 2018 & 24 May 2018 were approved as correct records and signed by the Chair.

 

The Environment Scrutiny Committee had been replaced by the Planning and Transport Committee, as agreed by Council on 19 April 2018. The minutes of the previous scrutiny committee had been submitted to the successor scrutiny committees for approval.

 

18/5/P&T

Public Questions

Minutes:

There were no public questions.

18/6/P&T

2017/18 Revenue and Capital Outturn, Carry Forwards and Significant Variances - PP&T pdf icon PDF 410 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

To approve the 2017/18 outturn position (actual income and expenditure) for the Planning Policy and Transport Portfolio compared to the final budget for the year.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport

 

Resolved: To approve the 2017/18 Revenue and Capital Outturn, Carry Forwards and Significant Variances (actual income and expenditure) for the Planning Policy and Transport Portfolio compared to the final budget for the year.

 

Resolved: To agree to request that the Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources, at the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee on 2 July 2018, approved the following:

·  Carry forward requests totalling £10,250 revenue funding from 2017/18 to 2018/19, as detailed in Appendix C of the Officer’s Report.

·  Carry forward requests of £1,410k capital resources from 2017/18 to 2018/19 to fund rephased net capital spending, as detailed in Appendix D of the Officer’s report.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Principal Accountant (Services), Business Transformation.

 

The report presented a summary of actual income and expenditure compared to the final budget for 2017/1/8 (outturn position); and gave an overview of the revenue and capital budget variances with explanations and outlined specific requests to carry forward funding available from budget underspends into 2018/19.

 

The Principal Accountant and the Project Engineer (Team Leader) said the following in response to Members’ questions:

 

  i.  Would enquire with the relevant officer(s) if a report on the taxi cards could be presented at the next Planning and Transport meeting; highlighting the reasons for the continued underspend and issues with the cards.

  ii.  Agreed that all future budget reports would split the variance of income and expenditure for car parks and shop mobility to include a visibility of cost, such as a breakdown of staffing costs. This would apply to that one item only. 

  iii.  The City Council continues to contribute £50,000 annually to the jointly funded cycle ways scheme. This had historically been matched funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and shown as a credit on the account. This direct contribution had stopped but the County did invest through other budgets stream that they held.

  iv.  The rephasing of funding for the green scheme commitments had been a consequence of not requiring the full level of funding that had originally been budgeted for.

  v.  Improvement to the Green Dragon footbridge which had been estimated to cost £150,000 approximately, but only £20,000 had been spent. Further engagement with the County Council at delivery stage identified the bridge had a limited life expectancy and the County Council would seek to replace the bridge with a wider structure. Work had therefore been deferred.

  vi.  Staffing issues had been a factor in the completion under the cycle ways projects. These were now being addressed and a report to the Environment Scrutiny Committee in October 2017 had outlined future plans for a cycle ways programme in and around the city. A further decision had been agreed to cover the backlog of proposed spending although not all projects would be completed in 2018:

·  Up to £150,000 towards the improvements of the Maids Causeway crossing from Midsummer Common and the Four Lamps Roundabout. It was anticipated that significant funding would be spent in 2017/18 as the County Council were unable to take forward their capital funding to 2019/20.

·  £150,000 to improve the cycle route along Snakey Path from Brookside to Cherry Hinton (work was currently being undertaken but consent was required from a private landowner to carry the project forward).

·  £10,000 for Davy Road cycle path (the project was tied to the roll out of the new resident parking scheme).

·  £20,000 for a combination of the various minor scheme improvements.

·  £20,000 for various cycle parking improvements.

 vii.  The majority of spending on cycling improvements was on highways which the County Council had stewardship over but work was also undertaken on City Council maintained land and open spaces.

viii.  Expressed concern at taking on further additional maintenance and liability for adopting open spaces on future growth sites. Many of the transport connections on these sites would primarily be adopted by the County Council, alongside the rest of the road network.

  ix.  Agreed to bring a report to a future meeting which would provide detailed information on all cycle works project being undertaken.

  x.  The Green Deal had been repaid in 2017 and had been wrongly carried forward.

  xi.  The reason for under spend on the public transport subsidy was the charge from the County Council had been less than estimated. The subsidy covered the night time and evening services for Citi 1, 2 and 114.

 xii.  Believed the budget had included twenty one electric vehicle charging points throughout the city.

xiii.  Delivery of capital projects had always been a challenge; suggested that forecasting had been over optimistic with completion date and the cost of budget shown in one financial year which could be spread over a two year period rather than carried forward.

 

The Executive Councillor said the following: 

i.  An underspend on taxi cards had been a regular occurrence for three years, if not longer. If the underspend continued this would be investigated and how improvements could be made to increase demand.

ii.  Agreed that a report on taxi cards should be brought to a future committee meeting so that the matter could be looked at in greater detail.

iii.  At the last meeting of the Cycle Steering Group, several schemes had been considered to determine what projects should remain and this group would continue to scrutinise cycle projects.

iv.  The Public Transport Subsidy had not been looked for many years. The commitment to Citi routes 1, 2 & 114 had been made at least ten years ago which still meet a substantial need in parts of the city. Without the subsidy there would be less evening routes for the public to use.

v.  Electric vehicle charging points should be rolled out in this financial year, the project had revolved around match funding from Central Government.

 

The Committee unanimously endorsed the recommendation as set

out in the Officer’s report.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

18/7/P&T

Draft response to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Minerals and Waste Local Plan: Preliminary Draft Consultation pdf icon PDF 268 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

 

The report presented the Cambridgeshire County and Peterborough City Councils, Minerals and Waste Local Plan: Preliminary Draft(MWLP) for approval.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport

 

Resolved: To agree the response to the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Minerals and Waste Local Plan: Preliminary Draft Consultation (as amended)  that was consistent with the views set out in the report, and further agreed that officers may submit the final response online via the County Council’s website.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Planning Policy Manager, Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council.

 

Member of the Committee were advised it had been the intention to submit the joint response to the consultation after the meeting, with South Cambridgeshire’s District Council’s formal decision to be submitted after its Cabinet meeting on 28 June.

 

However, responses could not be changed after the close of midnight, 26 June, so South Cambridgeshire District Council had made an urgent Portfolio Holder decision on 25 June.

 

This reflected the proposed joint response and had added an additional sentence before the last sentence of what was paragraph 3.8 of the report to Cambridge Planning and Transport Committee, to read (additional text underlined):

 

The Councils would like to understand in more detail the issues affecting delivery at Block Fen/Langwood Fen and the potential implications for other areas. The consultation document talks of there having been questions raised around deliverability of the allocation and that progress has been slow `partly' due to the economy, but it is not clear whether there is substance to those questions and what the probability is of failure.

 

It was recommended that the additional text be included in the response which was carried nem com.

 

The Planning Policy Manager said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  Noted the Committee’s agreement, as outlined in the Officer’s report, which all councils were supportive of an approach to investigate the provision of permanent waste management facilities within new settlements or growth sites in principle, subject to achieving a suitable balance between competing land uses as outlined in the officer’s report.

  ii.  These waste facilities would be determined on a location by location basis, with officers’ considering if the relocation of waste recycling facilities to the area would be better used for employment facilities or vice a versa.

  iii.  The adopted plan for the Northstowe development had identified one of the general employment areas as a relocation of waste recycling facilities location. This had been secured through a phase 1 application which had set a marker for future growth sites.

  iv.  With regards to the relocation of the Cambridge Water Recycling Centre (WRC); the plan did not offer a potential location for a new WRC facility but recognised the need for the relocation.

  v.  A decision on housing infrastructure funding for the Cambridge Northern Fringe East Development had been put back due to Central Government arrangements. It was likely that a decision would not be reached until February 2019.  The detailed work of developing the feasibility study for the  relocation of the WRC was dependent on the funding. But work was being undertaken in the first instance to bring forward the business case for funding and the master plan for the site; relevant markers were also being put in place in the MWLP.

  vi.  Not possible to state if the waste reduction targets set by the European Union for 2020 had been taken into account when looking at future growth sites.

 vii.  Noted the comments regarding the waste collection programme for the new Eddington development (North West Cambridge); but the focus on the document was more on the strategic strategy and the specific allocation for household recycling centres rather than collection from individual development.

viii.  Understood the impact the A14 upgrade was having in and around Cambridge, particularly for residents on Histon and Milton Road when being used by heavy good vehicles. But this was should be covered by a transport strategy which had a wider scope for conditions that could be placed on these vehicles.

 

The Executive Councillor said the following:

  i.  This was the first stage of the process and there would be further opportunities to review the document.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the amended recommendation.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the amended recommendation

18/8/P&T

Review of Statement of Community Involvement following publication of new Neighbourhood Planning legislation pdf icon PDF 439 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

To approve the Statement of Community Involvement and the Neighbourhood Planning support offer to Local Communities preparing Neighbourhood Plans in Cambridge, this would be published on the Cambridge City Council website

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport

 

Resolved: To agree the addendum to the Statement of Community Involvement 2013 (amended) attached as Appendix 1 of the Officer’s report as amended.

 

Resolved: Toagree the Neighbourhood Planning support offer to Local Communities preparing Neighbourhood Plans in Cambridge contained within Appendix 2 of the Officer’s report.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Planning Policy Manager, Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council.

 

The report referred to the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) that each Local Planning Authority had a duty to prepare and maintain a SCI setting out how they would involve and consult with the public and wider stakeholders in respect of both planning applications and planning policy matters.

 

The Neighbourhood Planning Act (2017) had brought into effect a requirement to review and update any SCI that was more than five years old, and with a particular requirement to include specific information around the support that is available for Neighbourhood Plan preparation. 

 

The Planning Policy Manager advised the Committee that in 3.5 of the Officer’s report it stated a report would be brought for agreement by both Councils in late 2018/ early 2019 with a revised SCI to cover the Greater Cambridge area as part of taking forward work relating to the preparation of the Joint Local Plan. But there was a slight amendment to recommendation as the report would be brought to Committee in 2018 and not 2019, which could be deleted.

 

The amendment was carried nem com.

 

The Planning Policy Manager said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The South Cambridgeshire District Council toolkit consisted of a set of guidance notes to help parish councils in South Cambridgeshire District to prepare their plans.  As Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council moved towards a shared planning service these guidance notes would be adapted to be applicable for local communities in Cambridge.

  ii.  It should be recognised that Neighbourhood Planning was not an alternative to, but should complement, the Local Plan, which would be reflected in the toolkit. 

  iii.  Would make it very clear to residents that the Neighbourhood Plan could not be used to overturn planning decisions, but should be consistent with strategic policies and the Local Plan.

  iv.  It was not the officer’s job to write the local plan but offer support and guidance.

  v.  Would advise that a planning consultant should be hired to assist with Neighbourhood Plan as it could be difficult to navigate through the process.

 

The Committee resolved by 7 votes to 0 to endorse the amended recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the amended recommendations.

 

18/9/P&T

3Cs Shared Service Annual Reports 2017/18 - Building Control and Planning Shared Service pdf icon PDF 464 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

To note the content of the 3Cs Shared Service Annual Report for the 3Cs Building Control Shared Services and the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service during 2017/18.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport

 

Resolved: To note the report.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Strategic Director.

 

The report summarised the performance for the 3Cs Building Control Shared Services, and the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service during 2017/18.

 

The Business Plans for the Shared Building Control and Planning Services had been approved by the City Council, Huntingdon District Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council Committees in March 2018.

 

The Strategic Director and the 3C Strategic Lead Officer said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The arrangements for shared planning services and TUPE arrangements to South Cambridgeshire District Council had been designed so that officers could work as a single team from the start.

  ii.  The working practices of planning services and the different types of services available were being looked at as a priority, to determine best practice.

  iii.  The Director of Economic and Planning Development had had recently recruited two associate directors to ensure that the senior management structure allowed strategic thinking time to bring a standard way of working.

  iv.  Noted the Committee’s request for a report to be brought to a future meeting outlining the differences of the planning services working practices.

  v.  When shared services had been set up there had been an expectation that savings would be made from the start. This had not been made immediately but it would happen and should be shown after further twelve month period.

  vi.  When looking at the finances of both services it was important to remember if planning services had fewer applications this would equate to lower income. However alternative revenue streams would be looked at as part of the strategic process.

 vii.  The next Annual Report would demonstrate where potential savings had been identified or even made.

viii.  In the latter half of 2017, Building Control had cut ties with all agency staff in order to reduce costs. This had equated to an expected drop in performance for a period of time until four permanent staff members had been recruited. A further two vacancies would be filled as and when the workload required.

  ix.  Would double check the figure quoted in 4.1.3 of the Officer’s report regarding to ensure this was correct.

  x.  The overall expenditure and income included fee earning and non-fee earning work (70% and 30% split); the fee earning was an income target set against expenditure. This showed that Building Control Shared Services had overspent by £25,696 in 2017/18.

  xi.  The overspend of £25,696 had been recovered from the reserves. This had allowed the service to review their fees as the income was less than the cost of the service.

 xii.  The variance of the final outturn figure was due to the cost of the apprentice, which had been a Cambridge City apprentice scheme.

xiii.  Suggested that future Annual Plans could reflect on performance against the original Business Plan.

 

The Committee endorsed the recommendation to note the report by 7 votes to 0 as set out in the Officer’s report.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendation.