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Agenda and minutes

Venue: This a virtual meeting and therefore there is no physical location for this meeting.. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Committee Manager

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Items
No. Item

20/24/EnC

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

No apologies were received from substantive Members.

 

Apologies were received from:

·  Executive Councillor Massey who had no items on the agenda.

·  Strategic Director, Suzanne Hemingway.

20/25/EnC

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

 

20/26/EnC

Minutes pdf icon PDF 358 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 2 July 2020 were approved as a correct record.

 

20/27/EnC

Public Questions

Minutes:

There were no public questions in this section of the meeting.

 

20/28/EnC

Principles for a New Climate Change Strategy 2021-2026 and Annual Climate Change Strategy Update Report pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

The Council has had three climate change strategies since 2008, the most of recent of which covers the period from April 2016 to March 2021. The strategies set out the Council’s approach to reducing its own carbon emissions; supporting residents, businesses and organisations in Cambridge to reduce their emissions; and helping the city adapt to the predicted changes in climate.

 

The Officer’s report provided an update on progress in delivering key actions in the Climate Change Strategy during 2019/20.

 

It also set out a framework for a revised Climate Change Strategy covering the period from 2021-2026, ahead of public consultation in autumn 2020. It proposed a revised strategic approach that builds on what the Council has achieved to date but sets out new ambition for working with residents, businesses and communities in the context of the Climate Emergency.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment and City Centre

Approved the proposed framework for the revised Climate Change Strategy for 2021-2026 for public consultation.

 

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 Strategy and Partnerships Manager.

 

The Committee raised the following queries in response to the report:

  i.  What is the view on our current 2050 net zero carbon target for the city?

  ii.  When would the City Council produce its own roadmaps to decarbonise the organisation, to help establish reasonable target timescales?

  iii.  What was the council doing about the issues around flood risk, rivers and chalk streams?

  iv.  Requested more detail regarding the aim of the public consultation, and to what degree that consultation would affect the overall strategy. The councillor asked whether the consultation is planned to be a public engagement exercise or may affect the detail of the strategy.

 

The Strategy and Partnerships Manager said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The aspiration was for the city to be net zero by 2050, broadly in line with UN goals. When declaring a climate emergency in 2019, the City Council called upon the government, businesses and stakeholders to take action to meet this target by an earlier date. Part of the strategy development would be to review that aspiration. they cannot currently commit to a date until returning to committee in March.

  ii.  We would be developing a new carbon management plan, relating to buildings, fleet and services, including how best to achieve a net zero carbon aim. This was part of a road map to decarbonise the city.

  iv.  The primary purpose of the public consultation and workshops would be to give residents the opportunity to comment and make suggestions on their expectations of the city council as part of the  Climate Change Strategy, but also to receive feedback on their expectations for other organisations, including Cambridgeshire County Council, GCP and the Combined Authority.  Additionally, asking for suggestions on how best to work collaboratively with residents and businesses. The Council was open to advice from experts such as Cambridge Zero, ARU and Cambridge environmental groups. Councillors could signpost people to contact through the consultation process. The intention was to be as extensive as possible by using digital channels.

  v.  The cost of retrofitting housing was being reviewed through the design guide. Details would come back to committee in the January 2021 meeting cycle. This would cover [possible] carbon reduction measures and costs [if they were not implemented, or we did not build to net zero standards now]. The Council was looking at setting high standards for its house building program.

  vi.  Officers were looking at when net zero housing policy for private homes could be adopted through the Local Plan, so the net zero standard could be applied to council and privately owned dwellings in the city.

 vii.  Central Government promised significant changes that could affect City Council policies in future.

viii.  The council was producing a greenhouse gas emissions report coving buildings it owned or paid the energy bills for. The council owned the fabric of its housing stock, but did not pay the energy bills for them, or commercial buildings, so they would not be covered by the report.

 

The Executive Councillor said in response to members questions:

  i.  The net zero strategy would be part of the engagement the council has with residents.  There were also options over how reductions were planned, whether a constant gradual reduction, or using carbon budgets and making larger changes sooner.

  ii.  Hoped something would come out of the Cambridgeshire Climate Commission related to the city and county that may set out how to achieve net zero.  Also as mentioned in the report, the council would be using Climate View to measure emissions from different sectors in the city, to see what projects can reduce those emissions and build up a picture of where we were and where to focus efforts.

  iii.  We do have areas of risk from flooding, though not to the same degree as other areas of the country, but we do have issues of drought and water shortage. Councillor Thornburrow established a cross party, cross boundary conference looking into water resource and particularly chalk streams. Water gathering from the aquifer has now been added to evidence gathering for the new Local Plan, to assess the extent of the problem.

  iv.  The Shared Planning Service were using the Local Plan to seek the highest possible sustainable standards from developments.

 

The Head of Corporate Strategy said in response to members questions:

  i.  The council would have had larger plans for public consultation had it not been for the coronavirus issue.

  ii.  The Climate Change Charter set out what stakeholders, residents and Central Government could do to mitigate climate change.

  iii.  Cambridge Zero and the City Council were working in an innovative partnership to share expertise.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendation.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendation.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

20/29/EnC

General and Sunday Market Trader Covid Impact Business Support Offer pdf icon PDF 228 KB

Minutes:

Public Question

The Secretary of the Cambridge Market Traders Association addressed the committee as set out below.

  i.  Market traders were happy that the council was looking into ways to reduce the financial burden during the current situation. Reports in the press and their experience showed that interventions from both the government and the council could sometimes be very uneven in their effects. The Cambridge Market Traders Association hoped councillors were aware that COVID has affected some market sectors more than others.

  ii.  People whose trade focusses on tourists have seen trade fall by up to 90%. Therefore, any use of deferments and pay-back processes over longer periods would extend financial pain for many months and possibly years. It is hard to save, when you have fixed costs and limited income. In principle, would the scrutiny committee be amenable to schemes where rent/debt is written off, the precise details of which can be worked out later, for cases where market traders can demonstrate reduced financial circumstances through presenting accounts or other evidence.

  iii.  Many of the assistance schemes brought forward both by the council and the government have a qualification that if you have accepted help from elsewhere, you would not get any help under a new scheme.  So if a trader receives a modest amount of support from one scheme, it then prevents them from accessing support from many of the other schemes, and this has blighted the effect of many of the Government and Council introduced schemes, and made them effectively a form of empty gesturing. The Council say they are supporting people but the number that can access it is limited. Can Market Traders be assured that such a qualification would not be included in the current scheme and under any packages that you vote to bring forward in the future?

  iv.  Queried if a rebate could be factored into costs to help reduce them.

 

The Head of Environmental Services responded:

  i.  The City Council had a repayment plan available for traders to be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

  ii.  The City Council wanted the market to be viable and to support traders.

  iii.  Undertook to take the queries away and liaise with colleagues, plus the Executive Councillor, so a response could be given after this meeting.

  iv.  Noted that the City Council’s finances were under pressure, but there were no qualifications on support offered to traders. Was unable to comment on Central Government schemes.

 

The Secretary of the Cambridge Market Traders Association said he would forward copies of correspondence to date to the Head of Environmental Services for information.

 

Matter for Decision

On 11 June 2020 the Council recorded an urgent decision to introduce market trader Covid-19 impact business support measures, under paragraph 2 of section 9, Council Procedure Rules. 

 

In recognition of the continuing impact of Covid-19 on the trading conditions being faced by the Council’s General and Sunday Market traders and the need to sustain a viable city centre market, as a key factor to the city centre ‘high streets’ economic recovery, the Council is proposing extending the programme of support measures from 1 October to 31 December, 2020.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment and City Centre

In recognition of the difficult trading conditions and to help sustain General and Sunday market occupancy figures and a viable city centre market, the Executive Councillor agreed to:

  i.  Apply a 25% discount to all General and Sunday Market traders for each of the deferred monthly rental invoices (June/July/August and September 2020) and issue a combined invoice for this four-month deferred period in October 2020. 

  ii.  Continue with the discounted standard pitch rate of £10/ day, Monday-Friday (as per 11 June urgent decision); and introduce an additional discounted standard pitch rate of £25/ day, Saturday and Sunday; and premium pitch rate of £15/ day, Monday-Friday; and £30/ day, Saturday and Sunday, with effect from 1 October to 31 December, 2020; and any further extension subject to review.

  iii.  Waive the ‘casual’ trader premium charge of £5/ day until the end of the financial year (31 March 2021) with the aim of encouraging ‘casual’ traders to take on daily available vacant pitches to maximise market occupancy rates.  The corresponding recommended standard or premium pitch fee rates, as detailed in 2.2 above, would continue to be applied to ‘casual’ traders.

  iv.  Extend the ‘relinquishing of license’ measure (ie. removal of the four-week notice period condition to relinquish licence, introduced on 23 March 2020), until the 30 November 2020.

 

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 Head of Environmental Services.

 

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

  i.  Queried if communication channels were working effectively between the council and market traders given feedback from the Secretary of the Cambridge Market Traders Association.

  ii.  Asked the Head of Environmental Services for his view of the mood on the ground regarding the report recommendations.

 

The Head of Environmental Services said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  Would communicate the market pitch payment plan with traders.

  ii.  There appeared to be communication issues between the council and market traders. Channels that were used to date:

a.  A weekly bulletin to all traders.

b.  Traders were offered a surgery with officers.

c.  Officers were visible on the market.

d.  Officers had an engagement plan with traders regarding the market square development to shape the design concept.

e.  Officers liaised with the trade body representatives.

  iii.  Undertook to liaise with the Market Team to improve communication channels with traders.

  iv.  Market stall occupancy was 68% now. It was 90% pre-covid. Figures could be provided to Councillors after the meeting.

  v.  Officers had held discussions with Cambridge Market Traders Association. They had some insights into traders’ financial losses and which products were particularly affected eg food.

  vi.  Casual trade pitches were promoted through the weekly bulletin to traders and advertised through social and news media channels.

 

The Executive Councillor said:

  i.  The Market Team had sent a number of surveys to market traders and followed these up with phone calls to test the:

a.  Impact of COVID-19.

b.  Position now.

  ii.  The market square redesign project hoped to generate a diverse market open seven days a week in future.

  iii.  The Head of Environmental Services and his Market Team were doing what they could to support traders.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

20/30/EnC

S106 Community Facility Grants 2020 pdf icon PDF 276 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

The Council uses S106 contributions paid by developers to mitigate the impact of developments on facilities and amenities in Cambridge. In line with the arrangements for annual generic S106 funding rounds, agreed by the Executive Councillor in March 2019, the Council invited grant applications from community groups for improvements to their community facilities, which could be made available for wider community use, as part of the 2020 S106 funding round.

 

In view of the Covid-19 lockdown, applications for the 2020 round were invited over an extended period (from mid-March to the end of July). Six have been received and assessed against the Council’s S106 selection criteria. The Officer’s report outlined the applications and officer assessments and recommends four community facilities S106 grants, plus a provisional funding allocation for a grant proposal to be developed in more detail.

 

Alongside the 2020 generic S106 funding round, the Officer’s report also took stock of the need to increase outdoor sports S106 funding levels for a couple of sports pavilions in the city where extra community facilities S106 allocations are proposed as well.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Communities

Agreed to:

  i.  The following S106 community facilities grants and funding, detailed in paragraphs 4.1-4.2 and Appendices A and B of the Officer’s report, subject to:

·  planning and building control requirements being satisfactorily met;

·  business case approval;

·  signed community grant agreement, securing appropriate community use of the facilities; and

·  a review of relevant funding allocations if any of these S106-funded projects cannot progress to the implementation stage within 18 months (that is, by the end of March 2022).

 

 

Facility (and ward)

Purpose

Award

2.1.1

Nightingale Community

Garden (Queen Edith’s)

Outside covered informal kitchen and activity area

£8,650 grant

2.1.2

Nightingale Pavilion

(Queen Edith’s)

Multi-purpose community room, storage, kitchen & equipment

£20,000 costs

2.1.3

Chesterton Pavilion

(East Chesterton)

Storage facilities for meeting space and equipment

£20,000 costs

2.1.4

Notts Own Scout Hut,

Marmora Road (Romsey)

Kitchen and toilet improvements

£40,000 grant

 

  ii.  Provisionally allocate up to £100,000 for a possible community facilities improvement grant to St James’ Church, Wulfstan Way (Queen Edith’s ward) until the report on the 2021 S106 funding round when the project proposals will come back to this committee for further consideration. (Paragraph 4.2 of the Officer’s report refers).

  iii.  Allocate an additional £60,000 of outdoor sports S106 contributions for constructing and equipping the new pavilion at Nightingale Avenue Recreation Ground in Queen Edith’s ward (alongside the additional £20,000 of community facility S106 funding mentioned in 2.1.2 above), subject to amended business case approval. (See paragraph 4.4-4.6 of the Officer’s report).

  iv.  Allocate an additional £40,000 of outdoor sports S106 contributions for constructing and equipping the new pavilion at Chesterton Recreation Ground in East Chesterton (alongside the £20,000 of community facility S106 funding mentioned in 2.1.3 above), subject to amended business case approval. (See paragraphs 4.7-4.8 of the Officer’s report).

  v.  Instruct officers to review the progress of the East Barnwell Community Centre project in Abbey ward (currently allocated £255,000) and the steps that may be needed to ensure that those S106 contributions can be used on time, and report back to this scrutiny committee by June 2021. (Paragraph 4.5 of the Officer’s report refers).

 

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 Community Funding and Engagement Officer.

 

The Community Funding and Engagement Officer said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  In view of the Covid-19 lockdown, the application period for the 2020 funding round had been extended. It was envisaged that the arrangement for the 2021 round would revert to the normal timescales.

  ii.  Officers had offered support to projects listed in the report before committee. They recommended allocating funding as indicated. If projects were not eligible, they were signposted to other funding streams.

 

The Urban Growth Project Manager said that, given the reduced generic S106 funding levels and the need to invite community facility improvement applications only from those parts of the city where the S106 funding was available, the small number of applications received was to be expected. Further targeting of applications from relevant wards would continue in the 2021 round.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.