A Cambridge City Council website

Cambridge City Council

Council and democracy

Home > Council and Democracy > Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Buchan Street Neighbourhood Centre, 6 Buchan Street, Cambridge CB4 2XF

Contact: Toni Birkin  Committee Manager

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from Councillor Bird, County Councillors Onasanya and Sales.


Welcome and Introduction (including Declarations of Interest)


No interests were declared.


To Confirm What was Said (Minutes) at the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 105 KB

To agree the minutes of the meeting of the 30th October 2014 as a correct record.


Minutes of the meeting of 30 October 2014 were agreed and signed a correct record.


What we Have Done (Action List) pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Members will provide updates on outstanding action points.


 The following progress with actions were noted:


Trees on Milton Road affected by the bus route.

Councillor O’ Reilly read out the following statement from the City Council Tree Officer:

A previous Tree Officer designed the scheme back in 2009/2010 along Milton road.  This was to replace the various failing Cherries and Hawthorn etc along Milton road.  The new scheme mostly comprised mostly of Prunus Pandora, except the south eastern end/towards Mitchams Corner, where the Tree Team used Robnia Casque Rouge.  This was because of the tree pits and hard surfacing, which Robinia Casque rouge could tolerate.  There were a few planted on Junctions adjacent Woodhead Drive, Kendal Way, Downhams Lane etc, the north westerly end of the street.  This was done as to emphasise the junctions with a slightly different shape and larger tree crown than the other prunus along that stretch.

The reason the Tree Team chose the Robinia Casque Rouge was because of the vigorous growth, grow very well in poor soils, have a much smaller eventual height (6-10m) than their close relative Robinia pseudoacacia  (which are a very robust tree and proven to grow well in Cambridge), pretty pink flower, establish very quickly, have a pinnate leaf which allows dapple light through crown, and tolerate drought, Which lead us to believe that they were a good tree for a street situation.

The Robinia Casque rouge is a relatively new cultivar to our local Nurseries but is widely available across the country and into Europe.  Pre 2009 there weren't any planted or growing in the city.  The problems with R. Casque rouge, as the tree is very quick growing, there are sometimes issues with growth structures and weak branch union (Branch forks),  as we discovered.  They are cloned plants also, which means they share the same defects with regards to wood strengths right across that grown stock.  Because of this, we found that even in moderate to high wind, branches break or main branch unions fall apart.  We have also seen that in heavy rainfall this can also happen if the tree is in leaf.

The factors of Milton road running the same direction as the countries south westerly prevailing wind, means that this is also an added issue with R. Casque rouge weak crown/branch establishment.  This coupled with the fact it’s a main trunk road for the city, where large and high sided vehicles frequently travel through, the crowns of this species cannot cope with this environment.

Because of all the issues stated above, the Tree Team stop buying and planting R. casque rouge approx. two years ago.  We have tried to manage the tree by formative pruning, with little success and slowly we are replacing them with Prunus Pandora and other species where appropriate.

Councillor Pitt suggested that this action item and the tree replacement item on Milton Road and Gilbert Road were merged and left as ongoing until planting had taken place.

13/81/Open Forum (12) Request action from County Council to improve cycle signage in the North Area.

Councillor Onasanya will provide an update at the NAC meeting on 12 February 2015.

14/56/NAC Open Forum

Progress on the safety assessment for the junction between Milton Road and the new development between Milton Road and Woodhead Drive.

Councillor Price will provide an update at the NAC meeting on 12 February 2015.


14/66/NAC: Update on bid for Tesco Express in East Chesterton.

Councillor Bird will provide an update at the NAC meeting on 12 February 2015.


14/65/NAC: Parking restriction in De Freville area and impact around Milton Road Library

Councillor Scutt stated that she could not comment specifically on the De Freville area. Regarding the impact Milton Road she could confirm that steps had been taken to place double yellow on the corners of all the inter sections of Milton Road in particular, limited waiting time in Ascham Road.


Secondly Cambridgeshire County Council had appointed an Officer to look at parking in Cambridge and the problems that residents experienced and how to determine safe parking.


Michael Bond remarked that the impact of parking restrictions in the De Freville area meant that commuters parked in the area around Milton Road library and asked if a four hour parking restriction in this section of Milton Road.


Councillor Scutt advised that she would investigate this particular query (New action).


14/68/NAC Update on traffic flow disruption to Milton Road as a result of new station development.

Councillor Manning advised that the work should be completed in three to four weeks’ time.


Additional item not on the Action Sheet.

Councillor Sarris provided an update on an action which was not on the list concerning bins in East Chesterton. Ward Councillors had put together a list of bin requests for this ward and the bins had now been installed.


You Want to Know (Open Forum)

7.15 to 7.45


Shadia Rahman

I am in touch with residents of Eastfields who are threatened with losing their homes next year. Is there any possibility that these residents can be put onto Band A on Homelink to give them the best chance of being moved quickly?

Councillor Price: There is a procedure that tenants who require moving have to be followed. If there are any needs that would push these residents up this list, this would happen. If the question is ‘could we artificially move the residents further up the list’, the answer is no. All households have been visited and advised that an application needs to be made to Home Link in the first instance.


Councillor Manning asked Councillor Price as the Executive Councillor for Housing if policies in place do not cover these cases could the policies be changed if not now in the future?


Councillor Price replied that as there are procedures in the place these will be followed. However if it was felt that the policies require change then the question will be asked which is a different matter to the question raised.


Mike Sargeant: How do residents go about reinstating trees that had been lost over many years such as those on Humberstone Road?

Councillor O’ Reilly: Officers always have to rationalise why trees have to be removed permanently but if a list of streets could be e-mailed I would be happy to look into why the trees have not been replaced.


Richard Taylor: There was a sign on one of the trees on Warren Road which stated that this was to be felled. I responded to the consultation which was on the Cambridge City Website. The response received was that this was outside the Council’s tree consultation and process. This is an unsatisfactory response.  I have been further advised that the decision will be the responsibility of the Council and that County Councillor Manning supports the felling of the tree. Which Committee will make the decision?

The reason the pavement was ramped over was because the contractor picked up a job that was clearly marked not to action until further notice.  The decision was then made between officers and I that removing the tree was the best option, as the roots would simply grow through again otherwise - that tree is significantly wider than all the other trees in the road, and not appropriate for the size of area.


In terms of the consultation part of this question:  this tree is a historical anomaly that for reasons no one can trace, was never delegated from the County to the City.



Northern Corridor Area Transport Plan S106 Funding Update pdf icon PDF 14 KB

7.45 to 8.30

Additional documents:


The Chair welcomed Sinead O’ Donoghue, Capital and Funding Manager, Cambridgeshire County Council, who gave a presentation on the Northern Corridor Area Transport Plan approved projects.


The presentation provided details of schemes that had been approved for funding under the s106 agreements produced by Cambridge City Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council, identifying new transport infrastructure needed to facilitate new development in the north of the City and adjoining parishes in South Cambridge. Any new transport capacity created would include pedestrians, cyclists and public transport.


A copy of the presentation can be viewed at the link below on the Cambridge City Website.




Julian Sykes, Urban Extensions Project Manager gave a brief introduction to the Cambridge Northern Fringes East Area Action Plan and the area that it related to and the proposed redevelopment options, currently at the consultation stage.


Senior Officers from Cambridge City Council and Cambridgeshire County and North Area Committee Councillors sat with members of the public to discuss and listen to consultation feedback on the Cambridge Northern Fringes East Area Action Plan, and noting related transport issues that arose following the presentation of the Northern Corridor Area Transport Plan approved projects.


The feedback covered a range of comments which can be viewed at the link below at the Cambridge City Council website.





Policing and Safer Neighbourhoods - North Area Committee pdf icon PDF 222 KB

8.45 to 9.30

Additional documents:


The Committee received a report from Sergeant Wragg regarding Policing and Safer Neighbourhood Trends.


The report outlined actions taken since the North Area Committee of the 28 August 2014. The current emerging issues/neighbourhood trends for each ward were also highlighted (see report for full details).


Members of the public made the following comments:


Member of the public: Could the Police provide a date when those individuals convicted of burglaries referenced would be released?

Could not give a definite answer but had been sentenced to 2.5 years however there could be an opportunity to be released early for various reasons.


Mike Sargeant: Cycling on the pavements is a problem in Cambridge. There is a real problem in the area of Milton Road to Mitcham’s Corner where the cycle lane and bus lanes are often blocked with parked vehicles. Building work behind the Portland Arms is also causing the problem. How do the Police address these issues and how closely do you work with the County Council to address these issues?


Sergeant Wragg: If a problem is spotted we will deal with it. There can be times when the Police and Traffic Wardends work together but it is more effectively to work independently. Traffic Wardens are very proactive in the North Area. We are aware of the problems in the area mentioned which is in a busy part of town and have highlighted them on occasions. We also focused on this area when addressing road safety referenced in the report.


Richard Taylor: When an offender is released are the Police informed and advised which area they are released into?


Sergeant Wragg: We are made aware. The Defender Management Unit will make a visit in the first instance and there is a facility to offer support if required.


Richard Taylor: Each Area Committee requests a better / further break down of reporting figures. A different set of figures are produced for the Cambridge Community Safety Partnership, could these figures could be provided in the Area Committee forums?

Councillor Manning: The County Council has successfully bid for £112,000 of funding to support Open Data, working in collaboration with other agencies/Councils. It could be an opportunity to try to combine the Police data which could be accessed in one place.


Member of the public: Would like to endorse the comments made by Mike Sargeant regarding Mitcham’s Corner. Signage can be difficult to understand for cyclists around Mitcham’s Corner and beyond. Would it be possible to enforce cyclists not to cycle on the pavements once a night?

Sergeant Wragg: The Police are in the area every day; as well as PCSO’s who can and do stop the cyclists on pavements to address the issue.


The Chair advised that he had been working with PCSO’s to address the school warning road markings and signage on Arbury Road outside the School. Members of the public could bring their concerns regarding signage to their Ward Councillors who would liaise with Highway Officers and Police to take the matter further


Questions from the Committee.


Councillor Price: Could an update be provided on reported drug related activity at the skate park on Nuns Way Recreation Ground?

Sergeant Wragg: In the late summer a group of youths were selling cannabis, two of whom were currently on bail for theft. As the nights had become darker earlier the situation had improved. However this area would be closely monitored in spring / summer 2015. 


Councillor Sarris: What is the strategy for those areas (Green End Road, Fern Road and Northfields Avenue) identified as a problem for speeding?

Sergeant Wragg: There had been a greater Police presence in these areas and had been bidding for extra resources on a weekly basis while tasking officers to attend this area on late shift. The problem would appear to be anti-social rather than speeding which is still a road safety issue. Issue Section 59 Notices could be issued if required.


Are the Police able to address the issue of the laughing gas canisters being discarded outside Grumpy’s Pet Store in East Chesterton?

Sergeant Wragg: Will continue to be a Police presence but no problems have been identified in the last week.


Councillor Austin: Residents in West Chesterton have expressed concern regarding three to four speeding vehicles late at night in particular areas.

Sergeant Wragg: Would be happy to take the details and look into the matter further.


Councillor Pitt: Noted that cycle theft had increased across the North Area particularly in West Chesterton and requested that this is continued as a priority and not diluted down in anyway.


Councillor Smart: Would the Police consider anti-social behaviour in the hallways of the flats as a priority over the next quarter?

Sergeant Wragg: Would recommend this issue is not set as a priority. If there is a problem reported the Police would respond.


Do the Police patrol the problem areas identified for speeding late at night?

Generally these areas are patrolled during school drop off and pick up times when the impact on public safety is greater.


Councillor Manning: Are the Police able to sell the items that are recovered?

Sergeant Wragg: Under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) the Police can hold auctions to sell the items.


Councillor Scutt: Could we see Police support for getting the road markings and signage back on Carlton Way and Milton Road as cycle markings are not clear.


Councillor Manning proposed that continual work on 20mph speed limit enforcement was included in a priority.


The Committee:


Resolved unanimously to prioritise the following:


     i.        Continue with work against drug dealers

    ii.        Continue to address cycle theft

   iii.        Address 20mph speed limit.


Kings Hedges Road & Ramsden Square - Verge Parking Prohibition pdf icon PDF 91 KB

9.30 to 10.00

Additional documents:


The Committee received a report from John Richards, the Project Leader, Environment, Streets and Open Spaces.


The report asked the Committee to consider local public responses to a proposed Traffic Order that would prohibit parking on highway verges within Ramsden Square and the south-eastern extent of Kings Hedges Road, and determine whether it wishes to move forward with the scheme in whole, or in part, or not.


The recommendations were as follows:


     i.        Consider local consultation responses to a proposal to prohibit verge parking in Ramsden Square and part of Kings Hedges Road.

    ii.        Determine whether to proceed with the proposal to formal statutory draft Traffic Order stage on both, or either, of these two roads.


Comments from the Committee:


     i.        This is the result of residents asking their Ward Councillors what could be done due to the state of the verges in these areas.

    ii.        Noted that the consultation responses had produced a clear response in favour of a traffic order on Kings Hedges Road and a fifty / fifty response for Ramsden Square.

   iii.        Acknowledged that both schemes would bring an environment improvement to the area.

  iv.        Queried if this procedure could set a precedent in other areas

   v.        Advised caution and should avoid a one size fixes all.

  vi.        Suggested that a city wide approach should be considered by the Cambridge City Joint Area Committee.

 vii.        Questioned if more data was required before a decision could be made on Ramsden Square.

viii.        Remarked that Kings Hedges Road was more affected by this issue which was possibly why the return had more favourable.

  ix.        Suggested a holistic approach should be taken to look at the impact that this could have on the surrounding areas. If parking was not permitted in Kings Hedges Road this could cause people to park on Ramsden Square. A TRO would alleviate this problem.

   x.        The verges offered a safety aspect to the pedestrian with a TRO in place this would protect the verges.

  xi.        Recovery of the verges was not satisfactory and money needed to be sourced to fix the verges properly which would assist people’s perception that they are not to be parked on. 

 xii.        Surprised to note the response to the consultation was low.

xiii.        Could the scheme for Ramsden Square be modified and delegated to Cambridge City Joint Area Committee with limited parking available.

xiv.        Reiterated that if the TRO was implemented on Kings Hedges Road this would cause displaced parking on Ramsden Square.

xv.        Questioned where vehicles would park if the TRO’s were permitted and the over flow would become the next issue.


Officer response.


     i.        This could set a precedent particularly for Council Housing estates and housing on the ring road.

    ii.        Needs a consistent approach city wide but the solution may not always be the same.

   iii.        The number of returns was low but this equated to a 18% return which was not a “bad return”.

  iv.        The consultation had taken place at the end of the summer holidays when people return to work to try to maximise the number of returns. 

   v.        There are more cars than spaces so parking was displaced.

  vi.        Accepted that the situation needed to be controlled by either relocating parking or strengthening the verges to accommodate that parking although this could be seen as encouraging parking.

 vii.        Acknowledged that there were parts of the City where the verges had been strengthened to accommodate the need for parking but on this occasion the Committee should consider if there was a need protect the verges?


Councillor Pitt proposed that a TRO should be permitted for Kings Hedges Road and to defer the decision for Ramsden Square to the Cambridge City Joint Area Committee for further consideration.


2 votes in favour for this proposal.


Councillor Price proposed to proceed with the proposal to formal statutory draft Traffic Order stage on both of these two roads.


Resolved 8 votes in favour of this proposal.


The Committee:


Resolved unanimously to


     i.        Consider local consultation responses to a proposal to prohibit verge parking in Ramsden Square and part of Kings Hedges Road.

    ii.        Determine whether To proceed with the proposal to formal statutory draft Traffic Order stage on both, or either, of these two roads.