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Agenda

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

Contact: Democratic Services  Committee Manager

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 945 KB

2.

Mayor's announcements

3.

Public questions time

4.

To consider the recommendations of the Executive for adoption

4a

Housing Revenue Account Medium Term Financial Strategy 2021/22 (Executive Councillor for Housing) pdf icon PDF 178 KB

Additional documents:

4b

Treasury Management Half Yearly Update Report 2021/22 (Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources) pdf icon PDF 199 KB

Additional documents:

4c

General Fund Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) October 2021 (Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources) pdf icon PDF 369 KB

Additional documents:

4d

Council Appointments to the Conservators of the River Cam (Executive Councillor Open Spaces, Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing) pdf icon PDF 7 KB

5.

To deal with oral questions

6.

To consider the following notices of motion, notice of which has been given by:

6a

Councillor Porrer: Single use plastic-free events at the City Council

Council notes:

 

The acceptance in May 2018 at council of a Plastics motion, which asked that caterers for City commissioned events approach these in as sustainable way as possible;

 

That this motion did not commit the Council to removal of single use plastics by a specific date;


The increasing urgency of the climate emergency, and the documented and evidenced detrimental effects of single use plastics on our oceans, waterways and beaches;


That the government consultation on the introduction of a ban on single use plastics is unlikely to be become law until at least 2023;

 

That events put on by the city council, and those on City Council land, are not yet required to be single use plastic-free, or to provide clearly marked on site recycling facilities, or to offer incentives for members of the public to bring their own cups and glasses (as is common in most cafes now).

 

Council requests the Executive Councillor commits to:

 

Introducing new standard contractual terms to ensure that organisers for any future events sponsored or supported by the City Council, or taking place on City Council land, must now:

 

-Cease the use of any single use plastic on site and provide evidence of this when planning or applying for the event, as well as displaying signage at events to inform the public of this;

 

-Encourage the use of compostable materials and if used, ensure that separate recycling is provided for these with clear signage;

 

-Ensure that any events using litter pickers and collections either separate rubbish on site using clearly marked bins, or have arrangements in place that can be provided as part of the application for the event to ensure that this is done off site;

 

-Install appropriate signage at the event to ensure that members of the public are aware of the different bins and to assist them in putting the correct rubbish in the right bins;

 

-Ensure that all stalls at least encourage but preferably incentivise the use of recyclable cups for beverages and other cutlery and crockery, for example by advertising discounts for these, as is already very common in cafes across the city;

 

Council also requests the Executive Councillor commits to:

 

Promoting the urgent need to remove single use plastic from all day to day use in businesses and events around the city.

6b

Councillor Dalzell: Waste Electronic & Electrical Equipment Recycling For Everyone

Cambridge City Council notes:

·  Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is the fastest growing waste stream on the planet.

·  WEEE contains a high volume of critical raw materials (CRMs), which are vital components of many ‘green’ technologies.

·  Research in 2019 showing that:

o  51% of UK households had at least one unused electronic device;

o  45% had up to 5 unused devices;

o  82% of these households had no plans to recycle or sell their devices.

·  The City Council currently operates four recycling banks for small electricals, all of which are in Trumpington ward.

Cambridge City Council believes:

·  The climate crisis requires that we establish a circular economy and ensure the efficient use of CRMs.

·  That all households in Cambridge should be able to easily recycle electronic devices.

Therefore, Cambridge City Council requests that the Executive Councillor:

·  Establishes at least one small electrical recycling bank in every ward in the city by April 2022.

·  Promotes WEEE recycling in the next appropriate Cambridge Matters and on the City Council website.

·  Ensures that the emerging Household Waste and Recycling Policy includes ambitious targets to maximise recycling of CRMs.

 

6c

Councillor Hauk: Tackling Anti-Social Driving

Council notes:

·  The number of complaints made by residents about the disturbance and danger caused to neighbourhoods by loud and speeding vehicles using the roads as race tracks.

·  That residential areas in Cambridge suffer heavily from the noise caused by some modified cars, motorbikes and scooters.

·  That some drivers of all types of motorized vehicles frequently break the speed limit and drive unsafely through residential areas. 

·  That anti-social driving has a negative impact on the environment, personal safety and people’s wellbeing, and discourages active travel.

·  That noise detection cameras have recently been installed in central London to detect engines revving at over 80 decibels and use video footage to record the offenders.

Council calls on the Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing:

·  To bring together representatives of the Highways Authority and Police to develop a joint strategy to combat anti-social driving.

·  To investigate the noise detection cameras being used in London, with a view to using a similar approach in Cambridge.

 

 

 

 

6d

Councillor Bennett: Carbon taxes and Joint Local and National Climate Emergency Fund

This Council declares calls upon Rishi Sunak MP to review the IFS Report “Carbon taxes and the road to net zero “ and to enact legislation to ensure that all green taxes (including relevant VAT) are ringfenced and allocated to a new joint Local and National Climate Emergency Fund which would be utilised to support councils in implementing the National Retrofit Strategy

 

6e

Councillor Bennett: Fuel Poverty and Climate Change

This council calls upon Michael Gove MP to work to end fuel poverty, create new jobs and achieve the UK’s emission targets by adopting the National retrofit strategy set out in the Construction Leadership Council consultative document and in particular to fund the retrofitting of all  council homes and housing association homes by 2025.

 

Background notes on the motions

 

1  Councillors will be well aware that the UK is legally committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and of our own council’s ambitions of achieving that goal by 2030.

2  The Institute for Fiscal Studies (“IFS”) have published two reports in October 2021 that address how this plan might be funded.

3  IFS reports that most UK councils will require substantial additional funding to meet current service levels and statutory obligations.

https://ifs.org.uk/publications/15673

4  This shows that councils have only the most limited scope to fund this work.

5  This is borne out by Cambridge’s own forecasts and accounts.

6  Although the UK does not have a named carbon tax as such, it has had a variety of taxes that have a similar rule for 30 years. The positive impact of these taxes on business and consumer behaviour is well documented and is considered to be one of the principal drivers for the 38% reduction in UK greenhouse emissions between 1990 and 2018.

7  The Office of Budget Responsibility (“OBR”) reports that the tax yield from emissions taxes exceeds new government expenditure on reducing emissions and has actually fallen as a percentage of the total tax yield.

8   There is currently no rule of law that requires “green” taxes to be used for “green” purposes such as the establishment of a National Climate Change Fund.

9   IFS have reviewed the UK’s complex green tax system and have published an advance report timed to coincide with COP 26.

10   The report calls for review and reform as well as international co-operation on aviation and business taxes.

11   It also states that the 5% VAT rate on domestic gas is effectively a subsidy on emissions and a disincentive to energy efficiency improvements.

12   One in 7 UK households lives in acute fuel poverty (BEIS statistics 2019) and fuel bill fears affect a much broader demographic, 

13   While BEIS statistics note the value of insulation incentives in reducing fuel poverty, Green Deal and Green Homes grants were withdrawn in March 2021.

14   Cold homes are responsible for 11,500 of excess deaths every year and treatment for related conditions costs the NHS c £2 billion a year (ONS, CLC)

15   The Construction Leadership Council’s report “Greening our Existing Homes” states that homes use 35% of all UK energy and account for 20% of CO2 emissions. It sets out a detailed National Retrofit Strategy without which the UK emission targets cannot be achieved

16  Emissions taxation policy, fuel poverty and retrofitting existing homes remain inextricably linked. It is for this reason that we have chosen to put two linked motions before the council today. 

 

Further  ...  view the full agenda text for item 6e

6f

Councillor Lee: Removal of Universal Credit boost

Council notes:

?  That in March 2020, the government increased Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit by £20 a week to support families through the economic challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

?  That this scheme officially ended on 6th October 2021.

?  That the cut to Universal Credit is the biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security since the modern welfare state began.

?  Analysis by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation indicates that 21% of all working-age families will experience a £1,040-a-year cut to their incomes due to the removal of the uplift.

?  The increase in the number of children receiving Free School Meals nationally, the increase in families relying on help from food banks nationally, and the increase in the number of families claiming Universal Credit in Cambridgeshire following the pandemic.

?  That pressures on family incomes are mounting, due to the rise in the cost of living as a direct consequence of this government’s actions in leaving the European Union, and inactions in failing to implement policies that could have negated some of its impacts.

 

Council believes:

?  It is a national disgrace that anyone should have to rely on help from food banks in one of the largest economies in the world.

?  That the withdrawal of the Universal Credit boost at this time will have a significant detrimental impact on the financial security and wellbeing of those affected in Cambridge.

?  That the decision to remove the uplift is deplorable, and not the actions of a responsible government.

 

Council resolves to:

?  Write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, to express this council’s grave concern at the impact that the cut of £20 a week to Universal Credit will have on many families in Cambridge, and request that the cut to the Universal Credit uplift be reversed.

?  Continue to offer support to our families who are on Universal Credit through our existing Council services.

?  Ensure the council website and social media provides clear signposting to sources of financial support.

 

6g

Councillor Moore: Great Homes Upgrade

This council believes that a socially just and carbon-neutral recovery from the pandemic is not only possible but imperative if we are to meet the vision set out in our Climate Change Strategy 2021. However, up to now much of national Government’s proposed actions are little more than rhetoric. We really need to turn rhetoric into action.

 

Melting ice caps and forest fires can often seem like someone else’s crisis when many are taking effect so far from our homes. But crises closer to home affecting thousands of local families cannot be separated from those further afield.

 

Across the UK there are more than 24 million homes leaking heat, not just wasting the Earth’s precious resources and creating greenhouse gas emissions but also leaving many residents in cold, damp homes and in fuel poverty. There is no route to decarbonising the economy without retrofitting these homes. Doing so would not only help to protect our planet, improve housing and lead to cheaper energy bills but it would also create hundreds of thousands of good quality jobs across the whole country.

 

This council notes that;

 

·  The highest temperature ever recorded in the UK was here in Cambridge, in July 2019 and we know that we are already facing a serious water shortage.

·  Cambridge has approximately 51,240 homes which need to be retrofitted.

·  It is estimated that the average investment needed to fully decarbonise each home in the UK is a minimum of £50k.

·  Therefore, to decarbonise all homes in Cambridge would cost an estimated £2.562 billion.

·  To retrofit all homes in Cambridge by this council’s own Net Zero Carbon vision of 2030 would require 6,405 homes being completed each year.

·  To retrofit all homes in Cambridge by the government’s Net Zero Carbon target of 2050 would require 1,830 homes being completed each year.

·  We have commissioned two high-level retrofit studies to identify what energy efficiency and renewable energy measures would need to be installed for different property archetypes in Cambridge to reach net zero carbon emissions and to provide more accurate costings for retrofitting both council and private homes.

·  Over the period of the Council’s previous climate change strategies, we have invested £4.3 million in energy efficiency improvements to Council homes, focussing on bringing the lowest rated properties up to an EPC rating of C.

·  From 2020/21 to 2022/23, we have committed to investing a further £2.5 million to improve the energy efficiency of some of the remaining Council homes with EPC ratings of D to G, with the aim of bringing these up to a C rating or above where feasible.

·  In February 2021 the Council was successful in its consortium bid with other Cambridgeshire local authorities to the Government’s Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery (LAD) scheme and was awarded just over £2m to retrofit social and private housing.

·  As part of a Cambridgeshire local authority consortium, the council has recently submitted a further £5.5m bid into the Sustainable Warmth Scheme, which is scheduled to be implemented between January  ...  view the full agenda text for item 6g

6h

Councillor Copley: Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

This Council resolves to:

-  Affirm their ongoing commitment to the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global heating to 1.5°C.

-  Endorse the call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, involving the end of new fossil fuel exploration and expansion, equitably phasing out existing production in line with the global commitment to limit warming to 1.5°C, and accelerating just energy transition plans.

-  Write to Alok Sharma MP, President for COP26 and the Prime Minister, urging them to endorse the call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

 

This Council notes:

-  The recent report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reaffirms the vital need for rapid and significant reduction of carbon emissions, and has been described as ‘a code red for humanity’ by the Secretary General of the United Nations, and that “The report must sound a death knell to coal and fossil fuels, before they destroy our planet”.

-  Global governments and the fossil fuel industry are currently planning to overshoot the remaining carbon budget (that would avert catastrophic climate disruption by limiting global heating to 1.5°C) by 120% by the year 2030.

-  That a recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) report states that the fossil fuel industry is subsidised at the rate of $11 million / minute.

-  That the construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure and expanded reliance on fossil fuels exposes communities to untenable risks to public health and safety at the local and global level.

-  That the economic opportunities presented by a clean energy transition far outweigh the opportunities presented by an economy supported by expanding fossil fuel use and extraction, and that the UK should be committed, as part of our Climate Emergency response, to a just energy transition and to ambitious investments in green infrastructure and industries that will create jobs and rapidly decarbonize our economy.

-  That the global initiative underway calling for a ‘Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty’, is deserving of support, and that other leading cities including Barcelona, Toronto, Los Angeles and Sydney have already endorsed the call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

 

6i

Councillor A.Smith: Parental Leave and Family Friendly Policies

This council notes the following.

1.  The community has a right to be represented by a diversity of councillors and residents should have a diversity of councillors for whom to vote.

2.  Analysis, by the Fawcett Society, of the 2019 Local Election results found that only 35% of councillors in England are women, up 1% since 2018. Of the seats up for election in 2018, 38% went to women, up just 3 percentage points on 2014 when these seats were last contested.

3.  Only 15% of councillors nationally are under 45 years of age.

4.  As of October 2020, 27 councils have passed the LGA Labour Group’s Parental Leave policy, and an additional 9 councils have their own parental leave policy.

5.   Cambridge does not have a formal parental leave policy for councillors.

6.  The role of a councillor should be open to all, regardless of  background, and  introducing a parental leave policy and other family friendly policies is a step towards encouraging a wider range of people to become councillors, and is also a step to encourage existing councillors who may wish to start a family to remain as councillors;

7.  Parental leave must apply to parents regardless of their gender, and should cover adoption leave to support those parents who choose to adopt.

8.  Parental leave is only part of the picture and other family friendly policies such as support for carers, remote/hybrid meetings, and becoming a breastfeeding-friendly council would further ensure a greater diversity of councillors.  And also that family friendly policies are in themselves only a small part of the wider need for policies which encourage truly diverse representation.

This Council resolves the following.

1.  To adapt to suit a Cambridge context the parental leave policy drafted by the LGA Labour Group’s Women’s Task Force and to bring the recommendations to Civic Affairs as part of the next round of discussions on councillor remuneration. Parental Leave Policy for Councils | Local Government Association

2.  To ensure that councillors with children and other caring commitments are supported as appropriate.

3.  To acknowledge this is only one part of the picture, and to commit to investigating other inclusive policies and bringing those recommendations forward in the future.

4.  To write to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to urge him to introduce legislation to allow councils to adopt remote and hybrid meetings where they deem it appropriate to do so.

 

Local Government Association

Parental Leave Policy for Councils

This Policy sets out Members’ entitlement to maternity, paternity, shared parental and adoption leave and relevant allowances.


Introduction

The objective of the policy is to ensure that insofar as possible Members are able to take appropriate leave at the time of birth or adoption, that both parents are able to take leave, and that reasonable and adequate arrangements are in place to provide cover for portfolio-holders and others in receipt of Special Responsibility Allowances (SRA) during any period of leave taken.

Improved provision for new  ...  view the full agenda text for item 6i

7.

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.