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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, The Guildhall, Market Square, Cambridge, CB2 3QJ

Contact: Democratic Services  Committee Manager

Items
No. Item

20/54/CNL

Apologies and Declaration of Interests

Minutes:

Apologies

 

Apologies were received from Councillors Cantrill, Dryden, Lord, McPherson, McQueen, Davey, Thittala, Page-Croft and Price.

 

Councillor Gehring gave apologies for lateness.

 

Declarations of Interest

 

Member

Item

Interest

Baigent

20/58/CNL

Member of Cambridge Cycling Campaign and a member of Extinction Rebellion.

Green

20/56/CNL

Is a private landlord.

Moore

20/58/CNL

Member of Extinction rebellion.

Bick

20/56/CNL

Is a private landlord.

Todd-Jones

20/58/CNL

Member of friends of the Earth

 

20/55/CNL

To consider the recommendations of the Executive for adoption

20/55/CNLa

Executive Councillor for Housing: HRA Budget-Setting Report (BSR) 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In the absence of Councillor Cantrill, Councillor Matthews proposed the following amendment to paragraph (l) of the recommendation (additional text underlined):

 

Treasury management

I)  Approve the need to borrow over the 30 year life of the business plan, with the first instance of this anticipated to be in 2022/23, to

 

a.  Undertake a significant investment in the existing housing stock, with a specific focus on those homes that do not meet the Decent Homes standard especially the dwellings that fail the category 1 hazards assessment with a clear goal to achieve a zero position in the short term (note: 799 houses failed to meet the Decent Homes Standard in March 2019)

b.  Sustain the current level of investment of £10,000,000 per annum for the delivery of new homes

 

On a show of hands the amendment was lost by 12 votes to 20.

 

Resolved (by 20 votes to 0) to:

i)  Approve the need to borrow over the 30-year life of the business plan, with the first instance of this anticipated to be in 2022/23, to sustain the current level of investment, which includes £10,000,000 per annum for the delivery of new homes.

ii)  Recognise that any decision to borrow further will impact the authority’s ability to set-aside resource to redeem 25% of the value of the housing debt by the point at which the loan portfolio matures, with the approach to this to be reviewed before further borrowing commences.

iii)  Approve of capital bids and savings, shown in Appendix D (3) of the HRA Budget Setting Report, to include funding to begin to improve the energy efficiency of the existing housing stock.

iv)  Approve of the latest Decent Homes Programme, to include an updated recharge of capitalised officer time and timing of decent homes expenditure for new build dwellings, as detailed in Appendix E of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

v)  Approve of the latest budget sums, profiling and associated financing for all new build schemes, including revised scheme budgets for Akeman Street, Meadows and Buchan Street and Campkin Road, based upon the latest cost information from the Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) or direct procurements, as detailed in Appendices E and H, and summarised in Appendix K, of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

vi)  Approve re-phasing of budget for the Estate Improvement Scheme, to also include reallocation of the resource between capital and revenue based upon the projects identified to date, as detailed in Appendix E, and summarised in Appendix K, of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

vii)Approve the revised Housing Capital Investment Plan as shown in Appendix K of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

viii)Approve inclusion of Disabled Facilities Grant expenditure and associated grant income from 2020/21 onwards, based upon 2019/20 grant levels, with approval of delegation to the Head of Finance, as Section 151 Officer, to approve an in year increase or decrease in the budget for disabled facilities grants, in direct relation to any increase or decrease in the capital grant funding for this purpose, as received from the County Council through the Better Care Fund.

ix)  Approve delegation to the Strategic Director to review and amend the level of fees charged by the Shared Home Improvement Agency for disabled facilities grants and repair assistance grants, in line with any decisions made by the Shared Home Improvement Agency Board.

x)  Approve delegation to the Strategic Director, in consultation with the Head of Finance, as Section 151 Officer, to draw down resource from the ear-marked reserve for potential debt redemption or re-investment, for the purpose of open market land or property acquisition or new build housing development, should the need arise, in order to meet quarterly deadlines for the use of retained right to buy receipts or to facilitate future site redevelopment.

xi)  Approve delegation to the Head of Finance, as Section 151 Officer, to make the necessary technical amendments to detailed budgets in respect of the outcome of the review of recharges between the General Fund and the HRA and the outcome of the review of the pension fund deficit contribution, with any net impact for the HRA to be incorporated as part of the HRA Medium Term Financial Strategy in September 2020.

20/55/CNLb

Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources: Capital Strategy 2020/2021 pdf icon PDF 178 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved (by 20 votes to 0) to:

i.  Approve the capital strategy; and

ii.  Note the summary capital programme

20/55/CNLc

Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources: Treasury Management Strategy Statement Report 2020/21 to 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 176 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved (by 21 votes to 0) to:

 

i.  Approve the Officer’s report, including the estimated Prudential & Treasury Indicators for 2019/20 to 2023/24 (inclusive) as set out in Appendix C of the officers report.

20/56/CNL

To consider Budget Recommendations of the Executive for Adoption

20/56/CNLa

Budget Setting Report (General Fund) 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive presented its budget recommendations as set out in the Council Agenda and published on the City Council’s website.

 

Members were asked to note the updated Land Charge Fees which had been included on page 11 of the Information Pack and also the amended Appendix A(b), which had been circulated round the chamber and published on the council’s website which corrected an error with the County Council precept.

20/56/CNLb

Liberal Democrat Group Amendment to the Executive Budget Recommendations pdf icon PDF 223 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Liberal Democrat Group presented its alternative budget, as set out in the Council Agenda, on the amendment sheet circulated around the Chamber and published on the City Council’s website.

 

On a show of hands the Liberal Democrat Group’s alternative budget was lost by:

 

12 votes in favour: Councillors Bick, Chadwick, Dalzell, Gehring, Martinelli, Matthews, McGerty, Payne, Pippas, Porrer, Summerbell and Tunnacliffe

 

To 20 votes against: Councillors Ashton, Baigent, Barnett, Bird, Collis, Davies, Green, Hadley, Herbert, Johnson, Massey, Moore, O’Reilly, Robertson, Sargeant, Sheil, Smart, Smith, Thornburrow and Todd-Jones.

 

In accordance with the Council’s budget procedure, Councillor Bick moved separately the following proposals, which formed part of the Liberal Democrat Group alternative budget:

 

Reference

Details

B0014

Civic Bee Keeper (p333 of agenda pack)

 

On a show of hands the proposal was lost by:

 

12votes in favour: Councillors Bick, Chadwick, Dalzell, Gehring, Martinelli, Matthews, McGerty, Payne, Pippas, Porrer, Summerbell and Tunnacliffe

 

To 19 votes against: Councillors Ashton, Baigent, Barnett, Bird, Collis, Davies, Green, Hadley, Herbert, Johnson, Massey, Moore, O’Reilly, Robertson, Sargeant, Sheil, Smart, Smith and Todd-Jones.

 

1 abstention: Councillor Thornburrow

 

Reference

Details

B0021

Support for lone parents in / at risk of poverty (p334 of agenda)

 

On a show of hands the proposal was lost by:

 

12votes in favour: Councillors Bick, Chadwick, Dalzell, Gehring, Martinelli, Matthews, McGerty, Payne, Pippas, Porrer, Summerbell and Tunnacliffe

 

To 20 votes against: Councillors Ashton, Baigent, Barnett, Bird, Collis, Davies, Green, Hadley, Herbert, Johnson, Massey, Moore, O’Reilly, Robertson, Sargeant, Sheil, Smart, Smith, Thornburrow and Todd-Jones.

 

Reference

Details

CAP0009

Chesterton Rec Public Toilet Rebuild (p337 of agenda)

 

On a show of hands the proposal was lost by:

 

12votes in favour: Councillors Bick, Chadwick, Dalzell, Gehring, Martinelli, Matthews, McGerty, Payne, Pippas, Porrer, Summerbell and Tunnacliffe

 

To 20 votes against: Councillors Ashton, Baigent, Barnett, Bird, Collis, Davies, Green, Hadley, Herbert, Johnson, Massey, Moore, O’Reilly, Robertson, Sargeant, Sheil, Smart, Smith, Thornburrow and Todd-Jones.

 

Reference

Details

CAP0010

Scotland Road play equipment (p337 of agenda)

 

On a show of hands the proposal was lost by:

 

12votes in favour: Councillors Bick, Chadwick, Dalzell, Gehring, Martinelli, Matthews, McGerty, Payne, Pippas, Porrer, Summerbell and Tunnacliffe

 

To 20 votes against: Councillors Ashton, Baigent, Barnett, Bird, Collis, Davies, Green, Hadley, Herbert, Johnson, Massey, Moore, O’Reilly, Robertson, Sargeant, Sheil, Smart, Smith, Thornburrow and Todd-Jones.

 

 

 

Reference

Details

CAP0012

Succession Tree Planting on Parkers Piece (p338 of agenda)

 

On a show of hands the proposal was lost by:

 

12votes in favour: Councillors Bick, Chadwick, Dalzell, Gehring, Martinelli, Matthews, McGerty, Payne, Pippas, Porrer, Summerbell and Tunnacliffe

 

To 20 votes against: Councillors Ashton, Baigent, Barnett, Bird, Collis, Davies, Green, Hadley, Herbert, Johnson, Massey, Moore, O’Reilly, Robertson, Sargeant, Sheil, Smart, Smith, Thornburrow and Todd-Jones.

 

Reference

Details

CAP0017

‘Happy to chat’ benches - (p338 of agenda)

 

On a show of hands the proposal was lost by:

 

12votes in favour: Councillors Bick, Chadwick, Dalzell, Gehring, Martinelli, Matthews, McGerty, Payne, Pippas, Porrer, Summerbell and Tunnacliffe

 

To 20 votes against: Councillors Ashton, Baigent, Barnett, Bird, Collis, Davies, Green, Hadley, Herbert, Johnson, Massey, Moore, O’Reilly, Robertson, Sargeant, Sheil, Smart, Smith, Thornburrow and Todd-Jones.

 

Unless otherwise stated, all references in the recommendations to sections, pages and appendices relate to Version 2 of the Budget Setting Report (BSR).

 

This can be found via:

 

https://democracy.cambridge.gov.uk/documents/g3896/Public%20reports%20pack%2025th-Feb-2020%2018.00%20Council.pdf?T=10

 

It was RESOLVED to agree the Executive’s budget proposals by:

 

19votes in favour: Councillors Ashton, Barnett, Bird, Collis, Davies, Green, Hadley, Herbert, Johnson, Massey, Moore, O’Reilly, Robertson, Sargeant, Sheil, Smart, Smith, Thornburrow and Todd-Jones.

 

To 0 votes against

 

12 abstentions: Councillors Bick, Chadwick, Dalzell, Gehring, Martinelli, Matthews, McGerty, Payne, Pippas, Porrer, Summerbell and Tunnacliffe

 

To approve the following:

 

i.  Revenue Pressures shown in Appendix C (b) and Savings shown in Appendix C (c) of the officer’s report.

ii.  Non-Cash Limit items as shown in Appendix C (d) of officer’s report.

iii.  No bids to be funded from External or Earmarked Funds (which would be included as Appendix C (e) of the officer’s report).

iv.  Delegation to the Chief Financial Officer (Head of Finance) of the calculation and determination of the Council Tax taxbase (including submission of the National Non-Domestic Rates Forecast Form, NNDR1, for each financial year) set out in Appendix A (a) of the officer’s report.

v.  The level of Council Tax for 2020/21 as set out in Appendix A (b) as amended.

vi.  Delegation to the Head of Finance to finalise changes relating to any corporate and/or departmental restructuring and any reallocation of support service and central costs, in accordance with the CIPFA Service Reporting Code of Practice for Local Authorities (SeRCOP).

vii.  Any recommendation in respect of the proposals outlined in Appendix D(a) of officer’s report for inclusion in the Capital Plan including any additional use of revenue resources required.

viii.  The revised Capital Plan for the General Fund as set out in Appendix D (c) of the officer’s report, and the Funding as set out in Section 6, page 25 of the BSR.

ix.  The impact of revenue and capital budget approvals and approved the resulting level of reserves to be used to support the budget proposals as set out in the table in section 8, page 46 of the BSR.

x.  The creation of an earmarked reserves to be called the Transformation Fund and its associated remit on page 19 of the BSR.

xi.  The updated Corporate Plan 2019-2022 attached as Appendix B to the officer’s report.

20/57/CNL

To consider the recommendations of Committees for adoption

20/57/CNLa

Civic Affairs: Pay Policy Statement 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 180 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved (unanimously) to:

  i.  Approve the draft Pay Policy Statement 2020/21 attached as Appendix 1 of the Officer’s report.

  ii.  Delegate authority to the Head of Human Resources to update the Pay Policy Statement 2020/21 should a chief executive and/or chief officer and/or NJC pay award be agreed.

  iii.  Introduce a pay award mechanism with effect from 1 April 2020 for staff on Cambridge Live terms and conditions of employment, based on comparison to the NJC pay award and authority is delegated to the Head of Human Resources to implement any future pay awards, following consultation with the Chief Executive and Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources.

20/57/CNLb

Civic Affairs: Amendment to Council Procedure Rules pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved (unanimously) to approve a change to Council Procedure Rule 10 and the Scheme for Annual Statements as set out in the officer’s report.</AI7>

20/58/CNL

To deal with oral questions

Minutes:

1.  Councillor Porrer to the Leader

 

Could the Executive Councillor confirm that Cambridge City Council will continue to display the European flag at the Guildhall in future to show our support for our European residents and visitors and to highlight our city's ongoing strong connections to the rest of Europe?

 

The Leader responded that in addition to the Guildhall being lit up blue and yellow on the day the UK would be leaving the EU, the European flag would be flown on 9 May and would continue to be flown in perpetuity on 9 May. 

 

2.  Councillor Collis to the Executive Councillor for Communities

Could the Executive Councillor provide an update on the anti-poverty strategy?

 

The Executive Councillor responded that the Anti-Poverty Strategy was introduced in 2014.  As part of the strategy a Living Wage Officer had been introduced as well as the Anti-Poverty Fund. Hundreds of thousands of pounds had been granted to community groups and homelessness prevention projects. Support and advice had also been offered to universal credit claimants.  Cambridge was the most unequal city in the country and the council and residents wanted to challenge poverty and inequality.  The Anti-Poverty Strategy was regularly reviewed, and the council was currently undertaking a review of the strategy.  The Food Poverty Hub was a plan included in the budget which sought to distribute food across the city to help deal with food poverty.

 

3.  Councillor Dalzell to the Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

 

Following significant delays to the completion of the Council's statutory audit last year, which is still yet to be completed, can the Executive Councillor confirm what steps the Council are taking to prevent these problems recurring?

 

 

The Executive Councillor responded there was a delay in the audit of the Council’s accounts due to Central Government’s move to require a short timetable for all council’s to have their audits of accounts completed. The pressure on councils had been immense but it has also been immense on auditors themselves. Both CIPFA and the Institute for Chartered Accountants had complained to Central Government about the pressure which has been put on everyone. The pressures had led to many firms of auditors losing staff because of the pressure that the staff were put under to complete the work in such a short period of time. The Council’s auditors were unable to complete the Council’s audit in the reduced timescales.

 

Increased expectations arising from high profile corporate failures had also added pressure on auditors. The council was involved in complex activities, and additional requirements regarding disclosure were also imposed on the council.

 

The Executive Councillor acknowledged changes within the Council’s Finance Team had also created problems. Preparations were being put in place to ensure the 2020/21 year’s audit of accounts could be completed by October.

 

4.  Councillor Todd Jones to the Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment and City Centre

 

Can the Executive Councillor update us on what is known about Extinction Rebellion's plans for the city centre next week?

 

The Executive Councillor responded that she was aware of some of Extinction Rebellion’s plans which had taken place the previous week but was not aware of what any future plans might be.

 

 

5.  Councillor Pippas to theLeader of the Council

 

Given Cambridge’s large and peace-loving Chinese community, does the leader share my concern at reports of hate crimes against Chinese people in this area related to coronavirus? 

 

The Leader responded that he shared the concerns expressed by Councillor Pippas.  It was outrageous that Chinese residents and students had been targeted by hate crimes. Some blame lay with the media who had whipped up un-necessary fears regarding the Coronovirus. He understood why there was a need for the World Health Organisation to react.  The council needed to work with and support the Chinese community.

 

6.  Councillor Gehring to the Leader

 

Given that Brexit is far from being done, what are the City doing to prepare?

 

The Leader responded that the Council had made various preparations in readiness for a no-deal Brexit and its impacts on the council and communities the council supports.  The Council would continue to work to protect the rights of EU citizens. It was known that they would be able to vote and stand in the elections this year. The Government had made no statement to date whether that is an on-going commitment. There were 23,000 EU citizens in Cambridge, we need to protect their rights.  He feared that the UK would leave the EU with no deal in place.

 

7.  Councillor Bick to the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces

Now the 5-year contract with the ice rink and fun fair on Parker’s Piece has ended, what are the Executive Councillor’s plans for the future?

 

The Executive Councillor responded that officers from the Streets and Open Spaces Team were currently considering a range of options and were re-evaluating the impact of events as part of the review process. She was expecting officers to make recommendations in the next few weeks

 

8.  Councillor O’Reilly to the Executive Councillor for Communities

What measures are being taken to make the Folk Festival as green as possible? 

 

The Executive Councillor responded that the Cambridge Folk Festival had been working for some time to be as ethical as it could be. Some of the things addressed included the efficient use of renewable energy, seasonal sustainable ethically sourced food, getting rid of single use plastic bottles and having freely available drinking water. There were also festival water bottles available.  The Folk Festival also used (almost) 100% renewable energy, tried to do as much recycling as possible and provided compost toilets. Food donations were also made to Cambridge Community Lunches.

 

For the second year running the Folk Festival had been declared outstanding in the International Greener festival awards. This award assessed events and festivals which have demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainability and a reduction in environmental impacts. The Executive Councillor congratulated all of the Folk Festival Team and Cambridge Live staff in achieving this award. 

 

9.  Councillor Matthews to the Leader

Does the Leader support his group’s strategy to address sustainability?

 

The Leader responded that he was very proud of everything that the Council was doing and recognised that a lot more could be achieved on sustainability. He would highlight the following measures which had not been recognised in the budget debate. A Corporate Energy and Carbon Reduction Manager post had been created.  The Council had focussed on tackling biodiversity and making climate change a priority in the local plan.  He thought there was a need to move towards passivhaus provision. The Council had received funding from Europe for trees. The Council had also worked in partnership with the Climate Change Commission. He also highlighted the strategic implementation of the Biodiversity Emergency Strategy.

 

10.  Councillor Ashton to the Executive Councillor for Housing

Can the Executive Councillor inform Council of how many days the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) has been in operation during the last few months, how many rough sleepers have taken shelter under this provision since October 2019, and what steps the local authority takes, in concert with stakeholders, in promoting the provision in times of bad weather?

 

The Executive Councillor responded that the SWEP protocol has been in operation for 40 nights from the beginning of October 2019 and 12 February 2020. This had provided emergency shelter for 100 individuals. It would be invoked again from tomorrow until 2 March 2020 due to the predicted cold weather. The Council’s promotion of SWEP has developed significantly over the last 2 winters includes an email distributed to over 100 local partners (3 days in advance of SWEP) who can distribute it to people who will come into contact with rough sleepers. A Streets Outreach Service operated 3 shifts, 5 nights a week to encourage rough sleepers into accommodation. A new SWEP weekend outreach service which is an extension of the Street Outreach service which operates on weekend evenings when SWEP is triggered. Promotions on the Council’s social media sites and on the new Street Support website and app.

 

The following oral questions were tabled but owing to the expiry of the period of time permitted, were not covered during the meeting. The Mayor asked Executive Councillors if a written response could be provided to those questions that had not been covered.

 

11.  Councillor Cantrill to Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment and City Centre

Does the Executive Councillor agree with me that we should do everything possible to encourage residents to recycle?

 

12.  Councillor Martinelli to the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces

Is the Executive Councillor satisfied with the progress of the resurfacing works on Parker's Piece?

 

13.  Councillor McQueen to the Executive Councillor for Communities

Could the Executive Councillor advise what is being planned for LGBT+ History month?

 

14.  Councillor Chadwick to the Executive Councillor Planning Policy and Open Spaces

Does the Executive Councillor worry about the number of hotels in Cambridge?

 

15.  Councillor Payne to the Executive Councillor for Housing

 

Can the Executive Councillor comment on whether the recent claims in the Cambridge News that hundreds of Cambridge Council houses fail to meet basic living standards are justifiable?

 

16.  Councillor Summerbell to the Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment and City Centre

Can the Executive Councillor please outline the plans and targets in place to improve the recycling rate in Cambridge, particularly with respect to plastic recycling?"

 

17.  Councillor Smart to the Executive Councillor for Communities

 

What is being planned to support non-UK EU citizens in Cambridge?

 

18.  Councillor Davies to the Executive Councillor for Communities

What activities are being planned for young people over Half Term?

 

19.  Councillor Barnett to the Executive Councillor for Housing

Could the Executive Councillor for Housing detail the significance of the Council recently being awarded the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) accreditation?

20/59/CNL

Written questions

No discussion will take place on this item. Members will be asked to note the written questions and answers document as circulated around the Chamber.

 

Minutes:

Members were asked to note the written questions and answers that had been placed in the information pack circulated around the Chamber.