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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Virtual Meeting via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Committee Manager  Email: democratic.services@cambridge.gov.uk


No. Item


Welcome, Introduction and Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from Councillor Rae




Declarations of Interest


No declarations of interest were made.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 346 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 15 June  were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Matters and Actions Arising From the Minutes pdf icon PDF 315 KB


Following a discussion on this agenda item the action sheet has been updated accordingly which can be viewed at the following link:


Agenda for West Central Area Committee on Thursday, 14th September, 2023, 6.30 pm - Cambridge Council



Open Forum


A member of the public asked the following question:


1)            Could residents be updated on the actions that the council and other bodies are taking on pedestrian safety in Fitzroy and Burleigh Streets as well as on nearby open spaces, particularly in areas where cycling is not permitted but where e-scooters and e-bikes are witnessed using the space, sometimes at speed and without due care for other users of the pathways.


The following response provided by the Public Realm Engineering & Project Delivery Team Leader was read out by the Chair of the Committee, Cllr Porrer:


The Council has led the establishment of a multi-agency partner steering group to look specifically at the current difficulties.  This has met twice thus far and led to a number of enhancement actions, with a further meeting planned this Autumn.


Council officers have checked highway signing in Fitzroy and Burleigh Streets and found that this accords with traffic restrictions in place.  Some signs are however looking a little tired so officers have flagged with County Council Highways colleagues the potential to enhance signs to make them more impactful.  This might be considered via any further round of Local Highways Improvements, if local ward members are supportive of an application.


The police have engaged closely with Voi and other micro-mobility providers and operators including the fast-food delivery sector, and stepped up patrols in Fitzroy and Burleigh Streets.  Council officers also have regular dialogue with Voi and the lead authority for the trial, to ensure that riders are aware of where they can and shouldn’t ride and that suitable controls are in place around poor behaviour.  The Police are running an education campaign during October advising the public of the legalities around e-scooter use.


On Midsummer Common, the Council proposes to introduce specific signage aimed at raising awareness and improving behaviour.  The detail is now agreed with an order for the work placed, which it is hoped will be completed before the end of October.


On Christ’s Pieces, which is the only open green space in the area where cycling is prohibited, signing was upgraded in 2015.  Officers have reviewed the legal basis for restrictions, which date back many decades, and concluded that unfortunately this is insufficient for direct enforcement action to be taken against offenders at the present time.


Government has however indicated its intention to bring forward new legislation around micro-mobility that should help address many of the current difficulties.  The Chief Executive is writing to the Department for Transport to encourage speedy attention to this.


Councillor Bick stated it seemed strange that despite prohibition notices on cycling at all entries and throughout Christ’s Pieces that this was not a basis for enforcement action.

ACTION Cllr Porrer / Cllr Bick to check with officers as to reasons for this.


Councillor Porrer advised she had received a couple of e-mails from residents in the Eden Street area who had raised an issue with cyclists at speeding on Fitzroy and Burleigh Streets and had suggested the following.

        i.         Where it was known there was a lots of delivery scooters, could the Council investigate the possibility of parking bays specially for these scooters.

ACTION Cllr Porrer to pass to the relevant officer.

      ii.         More market stalls in Fitzroy and Burleigh Streets to bring vibrancy to the area. ACTION Cllr Porrer – as above.



Update on Darwin Green Development Phase BDW2 pdf icon PDF 275 KB


The Committee received a report from the Strategic Sites Manager which provided an update in respect of the Darwin Green BDW2 development site, situated to the north of Huntington Road, Cambridge.


Before any discussion was permitted, the Chair advised those Councillors who sat on Planning Committee and / or the Joint Development Control Committee that Darwin Green was a live application, those members should not fetter their discretion and should be mindful of expressing any view which compromised this.


The Chair advised that the following questions had been submitted by members of the public in advance of the meeting which the Strategic Sites Manager had responded to.


1.         Are there any further updates on when exactly demolition work will begin as the start of October seems quite ambitious?


Before demolition work can commence, information must be submitted to the Councils building control and planning teams for approval. The approval proves will take a number of weeks, and it is unlikely that a decision will be made before the end of October. Officers have made BDW aware of this timeline.


2.         During the last public meeting, the demolition of 70 homes was mentioned whereas previously the figure of 96 was referenced in June. What is the reason for this difference?


The discrepancy relates to the variance in numbers that require a demolition notice (section 80) under the Building Act.  Where there are properties with only limited construction work undertaken, ie foundations, they do not require to be notified to Building Control. 


3.         (a)  Will all of the new homes on phase 2 be built with piled foundations? 

(b)  Are the homes on Franklyn Gardens all built with piled foundations?

(c)  If so, should we be concerned on phase 1 that ours are not?


(a)             BDW have confirmed that they will be utilising NHBC as the building control body for Phase 2, therefore 3C Building Control will not be able to confirm the foundation details. 

(b)             (b) BDW have advised that Franklin Gardens have piled foundations and any queries should be referred to BDW.

(c)             (c) Foundation designs are based on ground conditions and an assessment by a competent person.  This may vary across sites, depending on the results of any surveys undertaken.


4.                Is there any news about when any of the retail units may open as we have no such facilities at all still?


It is understood enquiries have been received regarding occupying some of the units on the recently completed local centre but at present residents have to travel to Eddington or Histon Road.


5.                BDW seem not to be consulting with our local councillors as our elected representatives. Can anything be done about this, otherwise resident views risk being misrepresented or dismissed?


The Council has actively encouraged BDW to consult with local councillors and resident associations.


6.                Will we be issued with any safety advice when it comes to the demolition e.g. will it be safe to leave windows open, advice for asthma sufferers etc.


Potential amenity impacts will be assessed as part of the review of the information submitted to the local planning authority. The Council is also encouraging BDW to provide updates to local residents about the demolition process via the website, letter drops to nearby residents etc.


7.             Regarding the green way opening between Darwin Green and Windsor Road. BDW are proposing motion activated lighting. I am a little uncomfortable with that. Does such lighting fit with whatever rules the council have about lighting and in particular the planning conditions for DG?


The details of the proposed lighting will need to be submitted to the local planning authority for approval.


Members expressed disappointment that no Planning Officer was present who could facilitate further discussion and respond to follow up questions in the meeting. West Central Area Committee was a much smaller relaxed forum, to some of the community meetings, which had been held on this issue which residents would have attended if an Officer would have been present.


It was stated that BDW were not consulting with councillors in any way on this matter and were described as appalling in their lack of response.


The company seemed to be immune to any issues which had not been delivered on site over time such the lighting that had been referenced in one of the public questions. There was an issue with the footpath and motion sensor lighting, the path was opened for walking and cycling but was open until 7am from 6pm. This should be a main route to Mayfield Primary School so not accessible, the footpath was surrounded by high fencing which users found intimidating.


Those Councillors who were not on Planning and JDCC asked that the Council show their support to residents and ask BDW to consult properly with residents and elected councillors as they needed to be accountable.

ACTION Councillor Porrer to pass this request and copy of the minutes on this item to planning officers with a request for an update prior to the next WCAC meeting.



Environmental Report - WCAC pdf icon PDF 2 MB


Before the Committee received a report from the Community Engagement and Enforcement Manager, a member of the public present put forward the following question:


1)        Could you please advise which authority is responsible for street cleaning the pavements, gullies, gutters and railings, including the removal of plastic ties and old posters, in Adams Road, Wilberforce Road, Sylvester Road, Hershel Road in the north Newham area.

There seemed to be a pathway in Burrells Walk where the maintenance fell between the City Council and County Council.  Usually, a resident from the neighbourhood would email for the area to be cleaned.

Residents would also frequently litter pick around Wilberforce and Adams Road as there were several construction developments and college maintenance, which despite the site managers best efforts left a mess.

Asked if there was a list of useful numbers which members of the public could have access to, to report such issues.


Councillor Nethsingha advised that Cambridgeshire County Council were responsible for cleaning underground gullies, while the City Council were accountable for the rest of the street cleaning.


Councillor Holloway advised that there was a form on the City Council website which members of the public could complete to request street cleaning of a certain area.

Report a street that needs cleaning or clearing - Cambridge City Council


The Chair and Community Engagement and Enforcement Manager, advised that at the end of the Environment Report published on the City Council’s website, on the East Area Agenda pages (public report pack), there were details of key contact (including names) and the areas which they covered. It may also be possible for the additional streets or area’s to be added to the regular cleaning schedule.

Agenda for West Central Area Committee on Thursday, 14th September, 2023, 6.30 pm - Cambridge Council



The Chair thanked the member of the public for attending and moved to the discussion of the Environment report.



The report outlined an overview of the Council’s Streets and Open Spaces, Environmental Health and Shared Waste service activity in the Area Committee area over the past six months, highlighting the number of corporate volunteer groups who had delivered quality work throughout the West Central Area Committee.


In response to Members’ comments the Community Engagement and Enforcement Manager said the following:

      i.         Noted the comments that the waste bins in the city centre had become dirty over the summer season and required cleaning. Would take this as an action point to speak with the relevant teams regarding the bin cleansing programme.

    ii.         Was not aware that the area at the edge of Grantchester Meadows had become a hotspot for litter, fly tipping etc and would highlight with the relevant two Officers who covered the area to include Grantchester Meadows as part of their patrol. 

   iii.         The Enforcement team would be the relevant Officers to deal with consistent littering caused by anti-social behaviour around the area of the canoe club.  Would raise this with the Area Officers who could investigate this further, whether on a particular day and time etc. Would also be worth speaking to representatives of the canoe club to ask for further information and if they required any support.

  iv.         Noted the comment that Grantchester Meadows was a popular recreation location particularly at weekends and when the weather was hot; additional litter picking was required.

    v.         If residents’ association of Castle ward wanted assistance with litter picking, such as being provided with the relevant equipment there was a booking system for equipment that could be loaned out.

Litter-picking kits for volunteers - Cambridge City Council

  vi.         The Enforcement Team had Cam back radio which were directly linked to the CCTV room if they needed assistance with such issues such as commercial waste becoming an issue and could request footage when required.

 vii.         Noted the comment regarding the problem with commercial waste in Market Ward, but this was difficult to resolve if the operators were not on site when the offence had taken place.

viii.         There were six redeployable cameras available for fly tipping and waste crime.

  ix.         Agreed that the needle pick up across the wards seemed high but compared to the data over 24 months the number of needles discarded had decreased. Every single needle report received would go through to a series of partners the same day or next working day which included the police, all the needle teams and outreach teams.

    x.         Section 47 notices were served on businesses stipulating how they needed to manage, control, and present their waste for collection. Failure to comply was a fixed penalty or prosecution offence.

  xi.         Welcomed the comments of thanks assisting with the litter pick on Histon Rec.

 xii.         Noted the comments of thanks from the Committee to the volunteers for their work that they had undertaken.


Committee Manager Note: The Operations Team Leader advised of the following on 22/09/23 to point i of the minutes.                                

Our rapid response team incorporate the exterior bin washdown as part of the Cambridge Bid deep cleaning schedule. This team are also tasked with the removal and replacement of internal liners. The cleansing of liners takes place within Cowley Road depot to limit the contamination of our City streets. We work in partnership with Cambridge BID to provide regular external cleansing of key locations within our City. The time dedicated to the internal washdown is limited due to proactively responding to washdown requests across the City. If we have any additional resource, we deploy them to support the cleansing program.