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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Castle Street Methodist Church, Castle Street, Cambridge, CB3 OAH

Contact: Claire Tunnicliffe  Committee Manager

Items
No. Item

14/56/WCAC

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies were received from City Councillors Bick and Reid.

14/57/WCAC

Declarations of Interest

Members of the committee are asked to declare any interests in the items on the agenda. In the case of any doubt, the advice of the Head of Legal should be sought before the meeting.

 

Minutes:

No interests were declared.

14/58/WCAC

Open Forum

Refer to the ‘Information for the Public’ section for rules on speaking 

Approx 7pm

Minutes:

Richard Price (Jesus Green Association and Park Street Residents Association): Whilst the resurfaced pavements are an improvement new lamp posts are urgently required on Jesus Green. These have not yet been replaced and the area is very dark.

 

The Executive Councillor for City Centre and Public Places said that problems had arisen with the project due to the multiple agencies involved – including Balfour Beatty and the County Council. Whilst Balfour Beatty had given a proposed date of 3 December for the works to be completed the City Council felt that this was unacceptable and were in discussions to arrange temporary lighting in the area.

 

Councillor Cearns agreed that this was unacceptable and confirmed that the County Council was committed to solving the problem before December.

 

Colin Rosenstiel: Project management and the lack of a joined up approach is the biggest issue. The new lighting should have been completed as part of the original project to resurface the pavements.

 

Resident: Residents have lost their patience with Balfour Beatty and the quality of their work. Can Councillors do anything to address this issue?

 

Edward Quigley - Cambridge Business Improvement District (BID) Manager: La Mimosa have also reported the lighting issue as it is affecting their business. We will be raising this with both Balfour Beatty and the County Council.

 

The Executive Councillor for City Centre and Public Places reiterated that the City Council would be providing some form of temporary lighting as soon as possible.

 

Courtney Van de Weyer: Signage and cycling within the pedestrian areas of Fitzroy Street and Burleigh Street is a big issue.  The following are of concern:

 

-  Hours for cycling in this area

-  Type of signage used, which is not clear and not universally recognised.

-  Location of the signage.

-  Lack of enforcement.

 

A separate cycle lane is needed for this area.

 

Councillor Smith stated that Police priorities had been set at the previous meeting and they would be reviewed at the next meeting. It was agreed that these comments would feed into the discussion.

 

Councillor Cearns said that, under highway law, there were restrictions on the type of signs that could be erected. He agreed to discuss the concerns raised with relevant officers at the County Council.

 

The Executive Councillor for City Centre and Public Places said that delivery vehicles continually blocking the parallel cycle route also caused problems in the area. 

 

Michael Bond: I think the signage used is to European Union standard and we are given little choice but to use it.

 

Noted.

 

Resident: Discussions are still ongoing about the future use of Parkside as a coach interchange facility. There is a lot of local opposition to this as the location is not suitable.

 

Councillor Cantrill confirmed that he had submitted a Motion on this issue to the Full Council meeting on 6 November 6pm. There had been a lot of opposition and the area would be changed forever if this was approved.

 

Councillor Nethsingha confirmed that no decisions had been made and that County Councillors had asked officers to investigate alternative sites.

 

Councillor Reiner echoed the concerns raised and asked residents to email her their views.

 

Resident: The County Council have made up their minds and this will be a tough battle to win.

 

Noted.

 

Resident: Please can I have an update on the lockable bollard planned for Adam and Eve Street and Burleigh Street?

 

Councillor Cearns confirmed that, whilst consultation was ongoing, the bollard was likely to be installed in the next few months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14/59/WCAC

Help Shape the Future of West / Central Area Committee (Open Session)

Approx 7.30pm

Minutes:

The Chair introduced the item and explained the proposed format.

 

Each table, made up of local residents, Councillors and Council officers was asked to discuss the following questions:

 

  i.  What are the key things that people want from an Area Committee? 

  ii.  Three key expectations from people for Area Committees.

  iii.  What do you find useful?

  iv.  What would you like discussed at the West/Central Area Committee?  Perhaps there are topics/issues which have not been on agenda which need to be addressed. 

  v.  Should the start time of West/Central Area Committee be changed, if so what time should the meeting start?

  vi.  How should Area Committees engage with the public?

 vii.  Are their regular updates about certain matters that people would like to see, eg, Police Priorities, Highway issues, S106 projects?

viii.  Which locations are best?  Is there a venue that you could recommend? Does the location impact whether or not people can attend?

  ix.  In what ways could the Area Committee meetings be promoted?

  x.  What are we doing right?

 

At the conclusion of the table discussions the following feedback was given:

 

What are the key things that people want from an Area Committee?

 

-  Fewer agenda items and shorter meetings.

-  Opportunity to engage with local Councillors.

-  Forum to raise local issues.

-  Minuted account of the meeting.

 

Three key expectations from people for Area Committees.

 

-  A ‘community feel’ to the meetings.

-  Layout should make the public comfortable and allow them to come and go as they please.

 

What do you find useful?

-  Attendance of the Police.

-  Chair reading out ‘Open Forum’ questions for those less confident at public speaking.

-  Opportunity to engage with Ward Councillors.

-  Discussions on S106 Projects.

-  Discussions on Highways issues.

 

What would you like discussed at the West/Central Area Committee?  Perhaps there are topics/issues which have not been on agenda which need to be addressed. 

 

-  A clear distinction on the agenda between ‘discussion’ items and ‘decision’ items.

-  Local planning items should return to Area Committees.

 

Should the start time of West/Central Area Committee be changed, if so what time should the meeting start?

 

-  7pm was the ideal start time.

-  The current meetings were too long.

-  A maximum of 1.5 hours.

-  Fixed time of 7.30pm – 9.30pm.

-  The Chair should time limit contributions on each item.

-  Timed agendas could help manage the meeting.

 

How should Area Committees engage with the public?

 

-  A clear, easily accessible and timely Action Sheet from each meeting available on the website.

-  Greater public participation was needed.

-  The involvement of a wider stakeholder group - e.g Cam Conservators, Cambridge Past Present and Future.

-  Better engagement with CambridgeResidents Associations (FeCRA).

-  Better use of social media.

-  Councillor Drop-in Surgeries.

-  Smaller discussion tables worked for some, but not all, agenda items. Flexible format and group work where appropriate.

-  Geographically themed agendas for each area.

 

Are their regular updates about certain matters that people would like to see, eg, Police Priorities, Highway issues, S106 projects?

 

-  Cross authority items for presentation and discussion – i.e. street lighting and air pollution. 

 

Which locations are best?  Is there a venue that you could recommend, does the location impact whether or not people can attend?

 

-  The use of Church Halls and other religious buildings may hinder attendance figures.

-  Moving venues around the 3 wards would increase attendance and ensure wider public participation.

-  A regular, static meeting venue would be better for the public

-  A more relaxed meeting venue such as a public house could be beneficial and increase attendance.

-  Wesley Church.

 

In what ways could the Area Committee meetings be promoted?

 

-  More publicity would increase attendance figures – i.e. Ward Councillors knocking on doors and sending invite emails.

-  Better use of social media.

-  Does the name of the committee ‘mean’ anything – and could it be changed?

-  A more detailed and well-advertised ‘Forward Plan’ of upcoming agenda items.

-  Leaflet drop in the local area.

 

What are we doing right?

 

-  Cross-authority agenda items and officer presentations worked well and encouraged public attendance.

-  Representatives from Residents Associations regularly attended Area Committee meetings. Information and decisions was therefore cascaded to a wider pool of people.

-  Area Committees allowed information to be shared across Residents’ Associations.

-  Useful engagement between Councillors and officers.

-  Very good meetings.

 

 

14/60/WCAC

Cambridge Business Improvement District (BID) pdf icon PDF 3 MB

Approx 8pm

Minutes:

The committee received a presentation from the BID Manager. The presentation can be accessed via:

 

http://democracy.cambridge.gov.uk/documents/b8463/BID%20Presentation%2029th-Oct-2014%2019.00%20West%20Central%20Area%20Committee.pdf?T=9

 

Katie Preston: What is being done to support independent shops in Cambridge?

 

The BID Manager confirmed that, whilst smaller businesses with a rateable value of less than £20,000 did not have to pay the levy, they still received support and services from the BID. Independents’ Month is an event held each year and specific support was provided to independent businesses.

 

It was also noted that Cambridge had very low levels of vacant shops and that the number had reduced further since the introduction of the BID.

 

Resident: The introduction of the Park and Ride fee had resulted in more shoppers and commuters using residential parking in the City. The County Council needed to be persuaded to reconsider this.

 

The BID Manager felt that the charge, as well as the method in which it was being administered, was causing problems. BID representatives had visited the Park and Ride sites and were discussing the issues with the County Council. 

 

The County Council had now agreed to put in more pay machines and clearer signage to guide users through the complicated process. Payment was also being suspended for the November 5 Firework celebrations in the City.

 

Resident: Who on the BID represents local residents? It seems that the main aim is to make the City Centre a safer place to get drunk. What work is done with licenced premises to address this issue?

 

Councillor Smith (Vice Chair of the Licensing Committee) urged residents to report any issues with particular premises so that licencing reviews could be undertaken.

 

The BID Manager confirmed that the Executive Councillor for City Centre and Public Places sat on the board to represent local residents. Engagement with the public was also undertaken at events such as this.

 

It was noted that alcohol related anti-social behaviour in the City Centre also affected businesses and CAMBAC (Cambridge Businesses Against Crime) worked closely with the Police and licenced premises to address the issue.

 

The Police Sargent confirmed that it was a Condition on many of the Licenses that the premises are a member of CAMBAC. 

 

Resident: Will the temporary urinals be used in the City Centre again?

 

The BID Manager agreed to look into this.

 

14/61/WCAC

University Arms Hotel: Temporary Use of Part of Parker's Piece to Facilitate the Redevelopment pdf icon PDF 525 KB

Approx 8.30pm

Minutes:

The Executive Councillor for City Centre and Public Places introduced the item and made the following points:

 

  i.  Planning permission for the redevelopment of the University Arms Hotel had been approved in November 2013.

  ii.  A public notice on the proposal for a compound on Parkers Piece received 63 responses.

  iii.  The period for comments would be extended until 7 November 2014.

  iv.  She hoped to respond personally to all comments received.

 

The committee received a report from the Open Spaces Officer.

 

The Head of Planning Services made the following points:

 

  i.  Welcomed the redevelopment of the University Arms Hotel.

  ii.  The approved design was a vast improvement and would enhance both Parker’s Piece and Regent Street.

  iii.  This was an important development for Cambridge but needed to be managed carefully.

 

In response to member’s questions the Executive Councillor and the Head of Planning Services said the following:

 

  i.  A fee of £200,000 for the use of a small part (2%) of Parkers Piece had been proposed. This equates to the commercial rent for the use of the land during this time.

  ii.  It was hoped that 50% of this fee could be allocated for improvements to parks and open spaces in the City. 

  iii.  It was expected that the developer would widen and resurface the paths as part of the project. This would improve the current ‘pinch point’ at Regent Terrace/Regent Street.

  iv.  The Highways Department had expressed no concern with the proposals.

  v.  A ‘Considerate Contractors Scheme’ would be in place for the development.

 

Councillor Hipkin confirmed that he had voted in favour of the application at the Planning Committee. He reiterated comments made by the Head of Planning Services that it was an important development for Cambridge. 

 

Councillor Hipkin read out a statement on behalf of Nigel Grimshaw, a local resident and contractor.

 

The statement covered the following points:

 

  i.  The main concern of the developer was to save money.

  ii.  The proposed build time was inaccurate. The Empire State Building took less time to construct than was being proposed for the University Arms Hotel.

  iii.  There was sufficient space within the existing footprint of the Hotel to complete the redevelopment.

 

The Operations Director (McLarens) made the following points:

 

  i.  The key concern for the developer was health and safety.

  ii.  Whilst the hotel could be rebuilt within its own footprint the use of an additional compound would reduce the construction time.

  iii.  The proposed build schedule for the hotel redevelopment was 129 weeks but this could increase as the works progressed.

 

In response to questions the Operations Director (McLarens) said the following:

 

  i.  The City Council would not discuss the proposed compound with the contractor during the pre-application phase.

  ii.  The Highways Department had issued the contractor with guidance during the pre-application phase.

  iii.  Construction vehicles would only be able to access the site during set hours – as per the Planning Conditions.

 

Councillor Cearns raised concern with the planning process and questioned why permission was granted if the developer had not specified how they intended to build it within the current footprint.

 

Concern was also raised regarding potential highways issues during the construction phase and the lack of early consultation with the public.

 

Councillor Cantrill highlighted that Parkers Piece was a unique and well used amenity space in the City and that the Council should require a larger fee from the developers. It was also noted that the Grand Arcade had been developed on a very restricted site and without the need for additional compounds outside of the footprint.

 

In response to questions from the public the Head of Planning Services said the following:

 

  i.  Consultation on the discharge of Conditions did not have to take place. These decisions were delegated to officers.

  ii.  The correct planning process had been followed.

 

Members of the public made the following additional points:

 

  i.  A fee of £200,000 was not enough.

  ii.  The potential savings for the Hotel and the contractor of an 18 month earlier completion time far exceeded £200,000.

  iii.  The development should be done within the existing footprint.

  iv.  A percentage of any fees should be given to Parkside School as it’s a major user of the open space.

  v.  The development would cause additional safety issues and conflict between pedestrians and cyclists.

  vi.  Information on the City Council’s website regarding the planning approval and the related Conditions was difficult to find.

 vii.  Access to the site by construction traffic would cause safety issues.

 

In response to further questions regarding the proposed fee of £200,000 the Chief Property Surveyor reiterated that this was based on the commercial rent of the land. Examples such as the land rented to Peterhouse at Coe Fen were also taken into account. 

 

The Executive Councillor for City Centre and Public Places reiterated that no decision had been made, the consultation period had been extended and that she intended to reply personally to everyone that responds. Prior to making any decision the main issues to consider would be:

 

  i.  Would allowing the compound reduce the disruption?

  ii.  Can we guarantee that the space would be returned to its prior condition?

  iii.  Could the funds generated be used to improve open space within the City, including improvements to Parkers Piece?

 

The Committee:

 

Resolved (nem con):

 

  i.  To note the contents of the report and that there were no decisions required at this time.

 

  ii.  To note the intention to extend the period for comments until the 7 November 2014.

 

 

 

14/62/WCAC

Minutes pdf icon PDF 118 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 4 September 2014.

Minutes:

Councillor Holland proposed the following amendments to the minutes:

 

14/50/WCAC Chairs Announcements

 

Insert:

 

"Councillor John Hipkin congratulated fellow Councillor Julie Smith on her recent elevation to the House of Lords"

 

 

14/55/WCAC Frequency of WAC Future Meetings

 

Insert:

 

"Councillors Holland and Hipkin suggested that there were less-costly alternatives to Area Committees by which members of the public might be engaged in the democratic process and involved in consultation as effectively as the present system.

 

Councillors Holland and Hipkin reminded the committee that all responsible authorities and in particular, Cambridgeshire County Council, are required to examine existing practices and find more cost-effective means of delivering services rather than cutting services. 

 

To this end, Councillors Holland and Hipkin recommend that Councillors have the responsibility to be more proactive in the way they communicate effectively with their electorate and public meetings might be called as and when needed by local residents.  Now that the planning element of Area Committees has returned to the central Planning Committee, the rest of the agenda needs to be scrutinised as to whether it merits separate and costly evening meetings which often duplicate what comes before scrutiny and regulatory committees."

 

Subject to these amendments the minutes of the meeting held on 4 September 2014 were approved and signed by the Chair.

14/63/WCAC

Matters and Actions arising from the Minutes pdf icon PDF 55 KB

10 minutes

Minutes:

14/29WCAC – Coach Station kiosk on Parkside

 

Councillor Reiner confirmed that this would not be coming to the Planning Committee in November. Timescales were to be confirmed.

14/64/WCAC

Citywide 20mph Project - Phase 3 Consultation pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Approx 9pm

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee received a report from the Project Manager regarding the Citywide 20mph Project - Phase 3 Consultation.

 

In response to members questions the Project Manager said the following:

 

  i.  In line with County Council policy there would be no 20mph zones on any ‘A’ or ‘B’ road, or any road where the average speed exceeded 24mph.

  ii.  Roads were currently being monitored to establish if their average speed exceeded 24mph.

  iii.  20mph zones should be self-enforcing and not require constant monitoring and police enforcement.

  iv.  Road layout would help lower speed.

  v.  The Police would undertake enforcement where required. Any areas of concerns should be highlighted through the Police priority setting process at Area Committees.

  vi.  Barton Road would be included in the consultation but as an ‘A’ road it would not be suitable for 20mph.

 vii.  Officers would look to ensure road markings were consistent throughout the City.

 

In response to public questions the Project Manager said the following:

 

  i.  Officers were investigating the appropriateness of using Flashing speed signs where needed.

  ii.  Success of the schemes would be determined by post implementation speed monitoring.

 

With regards to enforcement Councillor Hipkin felt it important to determine whether the public viewed it as a high, medium or low priority.

 

The following additional comments were made:

 

  i.  The success of any 20mph zone would rely on monitoring and enforcement in the early stages.

  ii.  Peak speeds on Maids Causeway were very high and enforcement was needed.

  iii.  Double yellow lines (and therefore no on-street parking) on the middle and bottom sections of Storeys Way allowed vehicles to travel at a high speed.

  iv.  Signage on Canterbury Street was confusing and led to people speeding. 

 

The Committee:

 

Resolved (nem con):

 

  i.  To note the project programme, and previous approvals from Environment Scrutiny Committee, and to note the proposed consultation area, consultation method, and content for Phase 3.

 

  ii.  To provide the comments and recommendations (as above) to the Executive Councillor for Planning, Policy and Transport (Councillor Kevin Blencowe) on the proposed consultation arrangements. Particularly with regard to which roads/sections of roads are specifically identified within Question 3 of the consultation document.

 

 

 

 

14/65/WCAC

Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 pdf icon PDF 45 KB

Approx 9.15pm

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee received a report from the Safer Communities Section Manager regarding the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

 

The committee highlighted that Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) should only be used as a last resort.  It was felt important to monitor the progression of the new Act before committing to putting forward areas for consideration. 

 

It was suggested that the issue could be discussed in more detail as part of a future Police and Safer Neighbourhoods agenda item.

 

The Safer Communities Section Manager confirmed that North Area Committee, South Area Committee and East Area Committee had identified areas for consideration. The Police were keen to progress with this work and would be gathering evidence over coming weeks and months. 

 

The Committee:

 

Resolved (nem con):

 

  i.  To note the new measures being introduced to address anti-social behaviour, as detailed in the attached report.

 

  ii.  Not to put forward any areas for consideration for Public Space Protection Orders at this time.

 

 

14/66/WCAC

S106 Devolved Decision-Making: Taking Stock and Moving Forward pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Approx 9.35pm

Minutes:

The committee received a report from the Urban Growth Project Manager regarding S106 devolved decision-making.

 

In response to public questions the public the Urban Growth Project Manager said the following:

 

  i.  The project proposals listed in Appendix E of the officers report had been suggested by members of the public during the 2nd S106 priority setting round in 2013, but not prioritised by the Area Committee. The inclusion of these proposals in Appendix E should not be taken as confirming their eligibility for S106 funding or implying officer views about their suitability or feasibility.

  ii.  Officers advised on the eligibility of project proposals for S106 funding in order to ensure that developer contributions are used for their intended purposes.

  iii.  The bidding round for S106 grant-funding (primarily for new/improved sports or community facilities) would begin in early November 2014 and last for a month. Further details would be available on the council’s Developer Contributions web page (www.cambridge.gov.uk/s106) in due course.

 

In response to questions regarding Rouse Ball Pavilion the Executive Councillor for City Centre and Public Places said the following:

 

  i.  The redevelopment of the Rouse Ball Pavilion was a great idea.

  ii.  The scheme was currently on the ‘on hold’ list of the council’s Capital Plan. The overall project had been estimated to cost in the region of £700k-£800k and options were being explored to secure the necessary external funding.

  iii.  Further discussions would take place with interested parties, such as Ward Councillors and Resident’s Associations.

 

The Committee:

 

Resolved (nem con):

 

  i.  To note the arrangements for the third and fourth priority-setting rounds in 2014/15 and 2015/16.

 

  ii.  To note the progress being made on S106-funded projects prioritised by the West/Central Area Committee in 2012/13 and 2013/14.

 

Public Attendance

A total of 20 members of the public attended the meeting.