A Cambridge City Council website

Cambridge City Council

Council and democracy

Home > Council and Democracy > Decision register

Decisions

Decisions published

11/10/2021 - North East Cambridge 'In Principle' Commitment to Delivery of AAP ref: 5273    Recommendations Approved

To agree that the Council is committed to the delivery of the NEC AAP, including land disposal or assembly, and subject to formal adoption of the AAP in due course, to use its Compulsory Purchase Orders powers should they be required to facilitate delivery and there is a compelling case in the public interest.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Strategy and External Partnerships

Decision published: 17/11/2021

Effective from: 11/10/2021

Decision:

Matter for Decision

 

A joint Area Action Plan (AAP) is being prepared by Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District Councils for North East Cambridge that will promote future structural change in the layout and land use of parts of the area. This includes new strategic walking and cycling connections; residential use of Nuffield Industrial Estate; the consolidation of industrial uses around the aggregate railhead; and the relocation of incompatible uses.

 

In addition to landowners, developers and other delivery partners, the councils may have a role in facilitating delivery of a new spatial framework for the area. Depending on the circumstances and delivery options available, this may include the acquisition or disposal of land, and may require use of compulsory purchase order powers.

 

To take the AAP to its next formal stage, the councils must be able to demonstrate that the AAP is ‘deliverable’, including ensuring any required land assembly or relocations can be delivered. An ‘in principle’ commitment to delivery of the AAP is therefore sought from both councils to satisfy this requirement ahead of the respective authority’s consideration of the Regulation 19 draft of the Plan programmed for December 2021 – January 2022.

 

This is a not key decision as this report seeks to establish an ‘in principle’ commitment to deliver the AAP; a decision to acquire or dispose of land, or to use compulsory purchase order powers, would be subject to a separate report to outline the specific circumstances, the case for Council intervention, and resource implications.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Strategy and External Partnerships

 

i)  Noted that the North East Cambridge Area Action Plan is contingent upon the separate Development Control Order being undertaken by Anglian Water for the relocation of the Waste Water Treatment Plant being approved;

ii)  Subject to (i), agreed that the Council is committed to the delivery of the North East Cambridge Area Action Plan, including land disposal or assembly, and subject to formal adoption of the Area Action Plan in due course, to use its Compulsory Purchase Orders powers if required.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The Senior Planning Policy Officer introduced the report.

 

It was noted that the scrutiny committee and Executive Councillor were not being asked to consider the detail of the AAP.

 

The Committee resolved by 4 votes to 0 to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

 

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

Lead officer: Julian Sykes


11/10/2021 - Update on Recovery ref: 5271    Recommendations Approved

Update on progress following report to July Committee

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

Decision published: 17/11/2021

Effective from: 11/10/2021

Decision:

Matter for Decision

The report provided an update on the progress to date and proposals in regard to the recovery programme and followed on the update provided to committee in July 2021

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

 

   Noted the:

 

i)  content of the report and the update on financial support progress

 

ii)  emerging draft strategy and the intention to develop it further with partners and stakeholders before bringing it back to committee

 

iii)  requirement to review the plans for council assets and related activity outlined in section 5.10 to ensure that they align broadly with the vision and principles developed and discussed at committee in January 2021 and also with reviewed partner proposals around wider transport and other related issues

 

Approved the

iv)  in-principle proposals for residual grant funding support and delegated approval of final details, contracting and oversight of implementation and monitoring to the Strategic Director, in consultation with Chair and Spokes.

 

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The Committee received a report from the Strategic Director.  It was noted that the grant funding had only recently been confirmed hence the recommendation to delegate to the Strategic Director in consultation with Executive Councillor, Chair and spokes.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Important to focus on the impact the pandemic has had on opportunity for young people.

  ii.  Would like to see what the Council is doing outside of the city centre ie in the local neighbourhood centres?

  iii.  Appendix A (Making Space for People Jan 2021) needs to address the changes to retail ie internet shopping.  How will Appendix 2 (Emerging Draft Strategy) gel with both planned Local Plan and Transport Access to City consultations?

  iv.  Is there a clear listing of the urgent risks (and if not the Council’s whose) and prioritising the actions.

The Strategic Director replied on local neighbourhood centres that the Draft Strategy would address this, the current focus on the city centre was primarily because of the Council’s key assets in that area.

The Executive Councillor stated that the work undertaken by officers during this challenging time had to be recognised.  In answering the points, he explained that the Vision was a draft but believed it was better to present where we currently are, to share with the scrutiny committee and interested stakeholders and residents.  The Executive Councillor agreed that disadvantaged young people must be a priority.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved (i, iii, iv) and by 4-0 (ii) to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

Lead officer: Fiona Bryant


11/10/2021 - Combined Authority Update ref: 5272    Recommendations Approved

To enable the Committee to scrutinise the Council's representative on the Combined Authority.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Strategy and External Partnerships

Decision published: 17/11/2021

Effective from: 11/10/2021

Decision:

The Leader of the Council updated the Scrutiny Committee on the issues considered at the last three meetings of the Combined Authority.  Members of the Scrutiny Committee raised points about the use of regulated and un-regulated electric scooters in the city, noting that the Voi trial, which was regulated, had been agreed to continue to March 2022.

 

The Leader undertook to write to the Mayor seeking a wider consultation on pros and cons of the Voi pilot in the city.

 

The Scrutiny Committee noted the update on issues considered at the meetings on 28 July, 25 August and 29 September 2021.

 

Lead officer: Andrew Limb


11/10/2021 - Treasury Management Half Yearly Update Report 2021/22 ref: 5267    Recommendations Approved

Recommend the report to Council, which includes the Council's estimated Prudential and Treasury Indicators 2021/22 to 2024/25. Also, to revise any counterparty limits as applicable.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

Decision published: 16/11/2021

Effective from: 11/10/2021

Decision:

Matter for Decision

 

The Council has adopted The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) Code of Practice on Treasury Management (Revised 2017).

 

The Code of Practice requires as a minimum receipt by full Council of an Annual Treasury Management Strategy Statement – including the Annual Investment Strategy and Minimum Revenue Provision Policy – for the year ahead, a half-year review report and an Annual Report (stewardship report) covering activities in the previous year

 

This half-year report has been prepared in accordance with the Code and covers the following: -

 

·  The Council’s capital expenditure (Prudential Indicators);

·  A review of compliance with Treasury and Prudential Limits for 2021/22;

·  A review of the Council’s borrowing strategy for 2021/22;

·  A review of the Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Annual Investment Strategy;

·  A review of the Council’s investment portfolio for 2021/22; and;

·  An update on interest rate forecasts following economic news in the first half of the 2021/22 financial year.

 

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources to recommend that Council

 

  i.  Approve the Council’s estimated Prudential and Treasury Indicators 2021/22 to 2024/25 (Appendix A of the officer’s report).

  ii.  Approve that the counterparty limit for building societies with assets over £100bn be increased by £10m to £30m (Appendix B of the officer’s report).

  iii.  Approve the changes to the Cambridge Investment Partnership loans in the counterparty list, to bring these into line with the approved expenditure per the approved capital plan (Appendix B of the officer’s report).

 

 

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The Committee received a report from the Head of Finance.

 

In response to a request for further information, the Head of Finance undertook to provide to the scrutiny committee the value of the CCLA Property Fund investment each year since it was purchased.

 

Subsequent to the meeting, the following was provided:

Date

Nominal Value (Cash deposited)

Fair Value

31 March 2015

£10,000,000

£9,434,022

31 March 2016

£10,000,000

£10,000,348

31 March 2017

£15,000,000

£14,534,900

31 March 2018

£15,000,000

£15,225,160

31 March 2019

£15,000,000

£15,461,733

31 March 2020

£15,000,000

£14,908,706

31 March 2021

£15,000,000

£14,802,709

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

 

Lead officer: Caroline Ryba


11/10/2021 - Cherry Hinton Library Community Hub ref: 5270    Recommendations Approved

To approve capital funding and underwriting conditions for funding from the Royal British Legion, for a scheme to extend Cherry Hinton Library to create a new community hub.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

Decision published: 16/11/2021

Effective from: 11/10/2021

Decision:

Matter for Decision

To provide additional funding to the capital project following the decision by a key partner organisation to withdraw financial support.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

 

i)  Approved £210,000 of funding from capital receipts or borrowing (according to availability of receipts) in addition to the £282,000 capital funding already approved in the February 2019 budget bid (ref. 100256). This brings the total Council capital funding required to deliver this scheme to £492,000 within a total estimated scheme budget of £767,000.  

 

ii)  Delegated authority to the Strategic Director in consultation with the Head of Property Services and Executive Councillor for Finance & Resources, to approve any leases and associated management agreements for up to 50 years, as may be required for the management of the CH Hub building.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The Committee received a report from the Strategic Project Manager, Community Services.

 

The Committee expressed dismay at the way the Royal British Legion had conducted itself with regard to this project.  Members were supportive that this facility is provided in Cherry Hinton nevertheless.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

Lead officer: Allison Conder


11/10/2021 - General Fund Medium Term Financial Strategy 2021 ref: 5268    Recommendations Approved

To agree the budget strategy and timetable for 2022/23, the net savings requirements by year for the next 5 years, and the revised General Fund revenue, funding and reserves projections.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

Decision published: 16/11/2021

Effective from: 11/10/2021

Decision:

Matter for Decision

This report presented and recommended the budget strategy for the 2022/23 budget cycle and specific implications, as outlined in the Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) October 2021 document, which was attached and to be agreed.

 

This report also recommended the approval of new capital items and funding proposals for the Council’s Capital Plan, the results of which were shown in the MTFS.

 

At this stage in the 2022/23 budget process showed the range of assumptions on which the Budget-Setting Report (BSR) published in February 2021 was based need to be reviewed, in light of the latest information available, to determine whether any aspects of the strategy need to be revised. This then provides the basis for updating budgets for 2022/23 to provide indicative budgets to 2031/32. All references in the recommendations to Appendices, pages and sections relate to the MTFS.

 

The recommended budget strategy was based on the outcome of the review undertaken together with financial modelling and projections of the Council’s expenditure and resources, in the light of local policies and priorities, national policy and economic context. Service managers had identified financial and budget issues and pressures and this information had been used to inform the MTFS.

 

It was noted that the budgetary implications of the Depot Relocation reported elsewhere on the agenda and agreed by the Executive Councillor  would be incorporated into an updated version of the MTFS reported to Full Council.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources to recommend to Council

 

 

i)  To agree the budget strategy and timetable as outlined in Section 1 [pages 5 to 7 refer] of the MTFS document.

 

ii)  To agree the incorporation of changed assumptions and specific, identifiable pressures, as presented in Sections 3 and 4 respectively [pages 19 to 30 refer]. This provides an indication of the net savings requirement, by year for the next five years, and revised projections for General Fund (GF) revenue and funding as shown in Section 6 [page 36 refers]  and reserves [Section 7 pages 37 to 41 refer] of the MTFS document.

 

iii)To agree the revenue budget proposals as set out in Section 4 [pages 19 and 20 refer].

 

Description

2021/22

£000

2022/23

£000

2023/24

£000

2024/25

£000

2025/26

£000

Additional communications posts and digital consultation platform (license fee) - recurring

45

125

125

125

125

Additional costs of redevelopment of commercial units at Colville Road Phase 3

 

120

120

 

 

Set up costs of a new housing company and Registered Provider

73

 

 

 

 

Feasibility study to expand Cambridge City Housing Company

70

 

 

 

 

Total

188

245

125

125

125

 

 

Capital

 

iv)  To note the changes to the capital plan and funding as set out in Section 5 [pages 31 to 35 refer] and Appendix A [pages 49 to 52] of the MTFS document.

 

v)  To agree changes to the budget for the Meadows Community Hub and Buchan Street retail outlet scheme as set out below.

 

 

 

Ref.

Description / £’000s

2021/22

2022/23

2023/24

2024/25

2025/26

2026/27

Total

 

Proposals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SC694

Meadows Community Hub and Buchan Street retail outlet

(1,224)

2,551

158

-

-

-

1,485

 

Total proposals

(1,224)

2,551

158

0

0

1,485

 

vi)  To agree the replacement of third-party contributions of £210k for the community extension to Cherry Hinton library with council funding.

 

Reserves

 

vii)To agree the transfer of £3.1m and £0.8m of GF reserves into earmarked reserves to support the delivery of the Our Cambridge transformation and recovery programme and to provide a contingency fund for the programme [page 41 refers]. Furthermore, to agree authorisation to draw down funding from these reserves to be as described.

 

viii)To agree changes to GF reserve levels, the prudent minimum balance being set at £6.64m and the target level at £7.98m as detailed in Section 7 [page 39 refers] and Appendix B [pages 53 and 54 refer].

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The Committee received a report from the Head of Finance.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i)  Requested clarification on the additional communication posts.

  ii)  Will the Transformation Programme be analysed project by project by Scrutiny/Executive Councillor?

In reply to Members’ questions:

  i)  Officers would provide a note analysing the capacity and function of the corporate communications team and setting out the case foradditional communication posts.

  ii)  paper recommending additional communication posts.

  iii)  Transformation Programme projects would be taken to the relevant Scrutiny Committee, along with the necessary consultation with residents, staff and partners.

 

 

The Committee by 4 votes to 0 resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

Lead officer: Caroline Ryba


11/10/2021 - UK Municipal Bonds Agency Framework Agreement ref: 5269    Recommendations Approved

To recommend that the UK Municipal Bonds Agency (UKMBA) Framework Agreement is approved

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

Decision published: 16/11/2021

Effective from: 11/10/2021

Decision:

Matter for Decision

To seek approval for the council to enter into legal agreements with the UK Municipal Bonds Agency (the “agency” or “UKMBA”) to enable the council to borrow from the UKMBA in the future, should it wish to do so.

 

Decisions of Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

 

i)  Approved the council’s entry into the UK Municipal Bonds Agency’s framework agreement and its accompanying schedules including the joint and proportional guarantee;

 

ii)  Delegated authority to the Head of Finance as Section 151 Officer and the Head of 3C Shared Legal Practice as Monitoring Officer to sign those documents, as appropriate, on behalf of the council;

 

iii)  Granted the Section 151 Officer delegated authority to agree amendments to the framework agreement as appropriate.

 

Noted:

 

iv)  the framework agreement and its schedules, including the joint and proportional guarantee, as set out in Appendix 2;

 

v)  consideration of the council’s financial position and financial standing in section 5;

 

vi)  signing the framework agreement does not make the Council subject to the joint and proportional guarantee or other provisions of the framework agreement until such time it borrows from the agency; and

 

vii)  the assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of entering into the framework agreement in section 6.

 

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The Committee received a report from the Head of Finance.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

Lead officer: Caroline Ryba


24/09/2021 - Complaint Upheld by the Housing Ombudsman Service relating to Housing Repairs ref: 5263    Recommendations Approved

The Exec Cllr is recommended to note the findings of the Housing Ombudsman Service in respect of this case and the actions taken by the Council in response

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision published: 12/11/2021

Effective from: 24/09/2021

Decision:

Matter for Decision

This report summarises a complaint upheld by the Housing Ombudsman Service relating to a housing repair, acknowledges that there wereshortcomings in relation to working practices and sets out the action taken in response.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

·  Noted the findings of the Housing Ombudsman Services in respect of this case and the actions taken by the Council in response to these findings.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Head of Housing.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendation.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendation.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

Lead officer: Lynn Thomas


23/09/2021 - Combined Update on New Build Council Housing Delivery ref: 5264    Recommendations Approved

Regular update on the delivery of new council homes under the 500 programme, together with an update on the work being undertaken to deliver an additional 1,000 Council homes. This update report includes feedback on the Homes England Strategic Partnership Bid.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision published: 12/11/2021

Effective from: 23/09/2021

Decision:

Matter for Decision

This report provided an update on the housing development programme.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

  i.  Noted the continued progress on the delivery of the Combined Authority programme.

  ii.  Noted the work undertaken to date toward development of the new housing programme for 2022-2032.

  iii.  Delegated authority to the Section 151 officer to start the process to set- up a housing company as a Registered provider with a full report of the details of this proposal to be brought to a future committee.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Head of the Housing Development Agency.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

Lead officer: Claire Flowers


23/09/2021 - Report on Net Zero Carbon Pilot Schemes at Paget Road and St Thomas Road ref: 5260    Recommendations Approved

This report outlines work undertaken toward development of two housing infill schemes as a first pilot Net Zero Carbon development project, and seeks approval by the Executive Councillor for the proposed developments and associated budgets.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision published: 12/11/2021

Effective from: 23/09/2021

Decision:

Matter for Decision

Two garage sites had been identified for a proposed Net Zero Carbon pilot: St Thomas's Road Garages and playground (Coleridge) and Paget Road Garages (Trumpington).

 

The scheme was being brought forward because it represented an opportunity to redevelop existing garage sites to create new additions to the Councils rented housing stock, built in accordance with Net Zero Carbon Standards. It was hoped that the project would be seen as an exemplar for the region and will facilitate knowledge transfer of Net Zero Carbon technology

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

  i.  Approved the scheme budget of £3,947,000. This is split between St Thomas’s Rd Garages (£2,105,000) and Paget Rd Garages (£1,842,000). Part of the scheme budget totalling £265,0000 (£141,000 and £124,000 respectively) is subject to a successful bid to the ERDF to cover the cost of the uplift from Passivhaus to Net Zero. 

  ii.  Authorised the Strategic Director in consultation with the Executive Councillor for housing to approve variations to the scheme including the number of units and mix of property types and sizes outlined in this report.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Head of the Housing Development Agency.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

Lead officer: Ben Binns


23/09/2021 - Report on progress toward HRA Estate Regeneration programme Including a report on a proposed scheme at Aylesborough Close ref: 5259    Recommendations Approved

This report updates the committee on work undertaken to date toward outlining regeneration opportunities across the councils stock, and recommends approval by the Executive Councillor of proposed approaches to regeneration activities. This report is accompanied by an updated regeneration policy detailing the council’s approach to engaging with local residents and stakeholders.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision published: 12/11/2021

Effective from: 23/09/2021

Decision:

Matter for Decision

 

The Council committed to a proposed new delivery programme of 1,000 new Council homes at the Housing Scrutiny Committee on 24th September 2020.

 

The city’s constrained boundaries as well as emerging differences in quality standards across new and old council housing stock has led to a proactive approach by council officers to reviewing the potential for estate regeneration as part of the programme.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

  i.  Noted the progress made to date towards identifying possible suitable candidate sites to be considered for regeneration as part of the new housing programme and the estates that have already been identified.

  ii.  Noted that the programme of review of estates will be carried forward including survey work and consultation with residents. Ward Members will be consulted prior to the commencement of survey work and prior to the commencement of consultation with residents on particular estates.

  iii.  Approved the revisions to the Council regeneration policy as set out in Appendix 2 and discussed in Part 5 of the officer’s report and to add the policy to the council’s lettings policy.

  iv.  Approved that the scheme be brought forward at Aylesborough Close with an indicative capital budget of £19,030,000 to cover all site assembly, construction costs, professional fees and further associated fees.

  v.  Authorised the Strategic Director in consultation with the Executive Councillor for Housing to approve variations to the scheme at Aylesborough Close including the number of units and mix of property types and sizes outlined in this report. 

  vi.  Approved that, subject to Council approval of the budget, delegated authority be given to the Executive Councillor for Housing in conjunction with the Strategic Director to enable the Aylesborough Close site to be developed through Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) subject to a value for money assessment to be carried out on behalf of the Council.

 vii.  Delegated authority to the Strategic Director to commence Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) proceedings on Leasehold properties to be demolished to enable the development at Aylesborough Close, should these be required.

viii.  Delegated authority to the Strategic Director to serve initial Demolition Notices under the Housing Act 1985.

  ix.  Noted the work done to date toward investigating the potential for modular rooftop and infill development across the Council’s holdings as outlined in Part 7 of the officer’s report.

  x.  Approved the inclusion of airspace developments in the programme of new housing development for which finance has already been made available.

  xi.  Approved the outline approach of proceeding with a Joint Venture partnership as the preferred method for implementation of modular rooftop (airspace) development, subject to further investigation and a further report.

 xii.  Authorised the Head of the Housing Development Agency to approve a site for a pilot project subject to consultation with the Executive Councillor for Housing, the Head of Housing, the Head of Finance and the Ward Members.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Head of the Housing Development Agency.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Tenant and Leaseholder representatives had insisted that a letter was sent to tenants and leaseholders if their estate was being considered as part of the regeneration programme.

  ii.  Noted that a rigorous examination of sites proposed for regeneration would be undertaken and that this would include what further works were needed and any alternative options.

  iii.  Noted the proposal to use a joint venture to deliver the air space programme and queried if local people would be trained to retain specialist knowledge and skills in Cambridge.

  iv.  Questioned why a tenant in rent arrears might not be offered alternative housing. Referred to page 284 of the agenda.

  v.  Noted reference to compulsory purchase powers and demolition notices in relation to Aylesborough Close and queried what steps were taken to inform the community about these processes.

  vi.  Noted reference to roof top developments and queried if this could happen on existing homes. Asked what steps would be taken to support existing residents. Did not want the living standards of existing residents lowered as a result of these proposals.

  vii.  Noted that the number of units on site was doubled and asked if the density on all sites would be increased.

 

The Head of the Housing Development Agency and Head of Housing said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  Confirmed that they were only in the early stages of the joint venture air space project and that local labour and supply chains would be encouraged.

  ii.  Most tenants were on social rent, new homes would be built for affordable rent. There were clear provisions in the Council’s Lettings policy; tenants who were affected by redevelopment would be awarded emergency housing status and would therefore get top priority for rehousing.

  iii.  Confirmed that modular roof top developments would involve building on top of existing houses. There were benefits to this type of development as it was a good way to get improvements to existing housing stock for example adding a lift to the development.

  iv.  The recommendations proposed in the officer report were the same as those used on previous reports in relation to formal notices. Compulsory purchase powers had not had to be used before as they had been able to work with existing tenants. If it got to the point where there was only one tenant preventing the development going ahead then more serious options may need to be considered.

  v.  Noted that each site needed to be assessed on its own merits. Development was a planning led process, they were not working to a fixed density on sites.

 

The Executive Councillor commented:

  i.  That the council was only at the initial stages of exploring potential sites for redevelopment, no decisions had been made, they were only at the start of the process.

 

The Committee resolved:

- unanimously to endorse recommendations 2.1 and 2.2.

- unanimously to endorse recommendation 2.3.

- unanimously to endorse recommendations 2.4 to 2.8.

- by 7 votes to 0 to endorse recommendations 2.9 to 2.12.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

Lead officer: Claire Flowers


23/09/2021 - Shared Ownership Policy ref: 5266    Recommendations Approved

To agree a Shared Ownership Policy for current shared ownership stock held by Cambridge City Council.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision published: 12/11/2021

Effective from: 23/09/2021

Decision:

Matter for Decision

A Shared Ownership Policy has been produced to outline the Council’s approach to the management of the current units of shared ownership within the Housing Revenue Account, as well as the approach the Council will take to support current shared owners in working towards or achieving 100% ownership.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

  i.  Approved the Shared Ownership Policy for current stock.

  ii.  Agreed that the Council promotes staircasing, to 100% ownership where financially feasible, with current Shared Ownership Leaseholders.

  iii.  Agreed the revised approach for deciding on the repurchase of shared ownership units

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Head of Housing.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Noted that flexible tenure allowed leaseholders to sell back shares to the Council in times of hardship and expressed concerns about the removal of an option for people who were struggling financially.  Asked if there were any current examples and the costs involved of offering flexible alternatives.

  ii.  Queried who set the cost of re-buying shares in a property.

 

The Head of Housing said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  Short of repurchasing shares in a property (which as the report outlines the Council would only do if it made strategic sense for the Council to do so) the Council does not directly offer any intermediate housing options. With regard to social/affordable housing, there is a paragraph in the Council Lettings Policy which states:

 

4.12.1 In line with the ‘Allocation of accommodation: guidance for local housing authorities in England’, Cambridge City Council will usually only allocate social housing to homeowners in exceptional circumstances. However, the City Council may allocate housing that is in low demand. Applicants who are homeowners will usually be allocated a Band D status. In exceptional circumstances Cambridge City Council may consider a homeowner’s status. For example, Cambridge City Council may allocate housing to applicants who require support and whose age qualifies them for housing for older people, but who have insufficient financial resources to access housing for older people in the private sector.

 

If, like any other potentially homeless applicant, a shared owner has to sell their shares or defaults on the mortgage, is facing repossession and does not have the financial means to secure an alternative housing option the Council, through its homelessness prevention services, can assist an applicant to access the private rented sector through rent in advance and a rent deposit or via our Housing Benefit Plus scheme which offers a one or two year rent subsidy and employment support to help a household get back on its feet.

  iii.  The Council used a valuer to calculate the buy-back value of shares in a property. This was based on market value and depended on the percentage of the share.

 

The Committee resolved:

- unanimously to endorse the recommendation 2.11

- unanimously to endorse the recommendation 2.12.

- by 10 votes to 0 to endorse the recommendation 2.13.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

Lead officer: Catherine Buckle


23/09/2021 - Management of Residents Car Parking Spaces Provided on Housing Land Within Neighbourhoods and on Future New Builds Across the City ref: 5258    Recommendations Approved

To agree menu of car parking arrangements options with associated charges where applicable.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision published: 12/11/2021

Effective from: 23/09/2021

Decision:

Matter for Decision

This report sets out a car parking strategy for both existing residents’ carparking and future new build sites. Its aim is to provide a template for parking management at new and existing City Homes neighbourhood car parking areas across the City. 

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

  i.  Agreed to the approach to parking as set out in Figure 1 of the officer’s report and utilise this approach across new build sites, except for those that are managed by third parties (e.g. Management Company).

  ii.  Agreed to use Cambridgeshire County Council’s Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO’s) enforcement on the existing resident car parking areas identified by City Homes in the future.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Head of Housing.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Noted the system for issuing permits was poor and the proposals should improve services.

  ii.  Queried provision for active travel and access for the deliveries.

  iii.  Queried car club provision and expressed concern with the equality implication that ‘the issue of carers will be looked at’ and noted that informal carers would have no-where to park.  Noted that tension could arise if there were no spaces for workmen or contractors to park.

  iv.  Noted there were no EV charging points and queried the council’s strategy taking into consideration that the deadline for when diesel and petrol cars would no longer be produced would be 2030.

 

The Head of Housing said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  Noted the report was the start of the process and hoped it would make the process easier.

  ii.  Officers were working with the County Council regarding access and an area had been identified for e-cargo bikes. Access for deliveries and contractors where a barrier existed typically worked on a fob system with the ability to ring a flat for deliveries. In terms of e-cargo bikes, they wouldn’t expect them to use the barrier as there would usually be a cycle lane out. If not, a fob system would allow them entry and exit.

  ii.  Car Clubs were part of the Council’s Design Guide and would become increasingly important as car park ratios declined. The amount of car club spaces would also depend on how close and how many bays there were to the development.

  iii.  Noted that Environmental Health Officers were working with County Council Officers on a pilot on-street EV charging scheme.

  iv.  Noted that new build sites would be well served for EV charging provision but that further consideration needed to be given to existing sites.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

Lead officer: Anna Hill


23/09/2021 - Review of the Council's Empty Homes Policy ref: 5265    Recommendations Approved

To approve the revised Empty Homes Policy for adoption.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision published: 12/11/2021

Effective from: 23/09/2021

Decision:

Matter for Decision

The Empty Homes Policy is due for review every three years. The review of the Empty Homes Policy 2017 was delayed due to the Covid19 pandemic. The revised Policy reflects operational changes at Cambridge City Council, mainly the removal of the Empty Homes Loan and the inclusion of partnership working with Town Hall Lettings, the Council’s social lettings agency.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

  i.  Approved and adopted the revised Empty Homes Policy 2021 attached as Appendix 1 to the officer’s report.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Empty Homes Officer.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Asked to see a table showing the number of empty properties and length of time empty. Also for a link to the Empty Home Officer’s list of empty properties to the Council tax list of empty properties.

  ii.  Said it would be interesting to see if there were clusters of empty properties.

  iii.  Asked how many properties were empty due to probate delays.

  iv.  Queried if more information could be included on the Council’s website to explain why properties may remain empty for some time.

 

The Empty Homes Officer said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  There were 2 long term empty properties, over 10 years on their list due to probate delays.  There was not a list of which properties were empty solely due to probate.

  ii.  Asked to be sent details of empty properties that the committee were aware of.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendation.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendation.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

Lead officer: Simonetta Macellari


23/09/2021 - Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Medium Term Financial Strategy ref: 5257    Recommendations Approved

Approval of latest financial assumptions for the HRA financial forecasts, of any in year budgetary changes for the HRA and of the approach to setting the budget for 2022/23.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision published: 12/11/2021

Effective from: 23/09/2021

Decision:

Matter for Decision

The HRA Medium Term Financial Strategy provided an opportunity to review the assumptions incorporated as part of the longer-term financial planning process, recommending any changes in response to new legislative requirements, variations in external national and local economic factors and amendments to service delivery methods, allowing incorporation into budgets and financial forecasts at the earliest opportunity.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing (Part 1)

  i.  Approved the Housing Revenue Account Medium Term Financial Strategy attached to the officer’s report, to include all proposals for change in:

·  Financial assumptions as detailed in Appendix B of the document.

·  2021/22 and future year revenue budgets, resulting from changes in financial assumptions and the financial consequences of changes in these and the need to respond to unavoidable pressures and meet new service demands, as introduced in Section 5, detailed in Appendix D and summarised in Appendices G (1) and G (2) of the document.

  ii.  Approved delegated authority be given to the Strategic Director to be in a position to confirm that the authority can renew its investment partner status with Homes England.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing to recommend to Council (Part 2) to:

  iii.  Approved proposals for changes in existing housing capital budgets, as introduced in Sections 6 and 7 and detailed in Appendix E of the document, with the resulting position summarised in Appendix H, for decision at Council on 21 October 2021.

  iv.  Approved proposals for new housing capital budgets, as introduced in Sections 6 and 7 and detailed in Appendix E of the document, with the resulting position summarised in Appendix H, for decision at Council on 21 October 2021.

  v.  Approved the revised funding mix for the delivery of the Housing Capital Programme, recognising the latest assumptions for the use of Grant, Right to Buy Receipts, HRA Resources, Major Repairs Allowance and HRA borrowing. 

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Assistant Head of Finance and Business Manager.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Queried the cost of building new homes versus the cost of retrofitting older properties.

  ii.  Asked to see the greenhouse gas impact of the development proposals (ie: the effect on emissions if the council didn’t do anything).

 

The Assistant Head of Finance and Business Manager said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  No councils had been successful in gaining partnership status with Homes England, officers had a meeting with them the following day for feedback on their application. The benefit of having strategic partnership status was that it would have guaranteed a grant for the whole of the development process.

  ii.  Some registered providers had been successful in gaining strategic partnership status and these were generally larger organisations than the City Council.

  iii.  Ditchburn Place had some issues with void properties whilst refurbishments were being carried out but this was necessary to enable the refurbishment to be undertaken.  The Covid pandemic also had an impact as the vulnerable nature of residents and the number of communal areas meant that they weren’t able to re-let the properties. They were now able to re-let and were down to the last few properties.

 

The Committee resolved:

- by 10 votes to 0 to endorse the recommendations 2.1 – 2.2.

- by 6 votes to 0 to endorse the recommendations 2.3 – 2.5.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

Lead officer: Julia Hovells


23/09/2021 - Estates & Facilities Compliance Data ref: 5262    Recommendations Approved

The report provides an update on the Estates & Facilities on compliance related work within the service, including a summary on gas servicing, electrical testing and fire safety.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision published: 12/11/2021

Effective from: 23/09/2021

Decision:

Matter for Decision

The report provided an update on the compliance related activities delivered within the Estates & Facilities Team, including a summary on gas servicing, electrical testing and fire safety work.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

  i.  Noted current position of the Council regarding Compliance, and the progress of ongoing associated works.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Interim Risk and Compliance Manager.

 

The Interim Risk and Compliance Manager and Director of Neighbourhoods and Communities said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The asbestos register included garages as it covered solid structures.

  ii.  Would follow up whether the emergency lighting had been fixed.

  iii.  Had requested the Internal Audit Team considered potential for learning in relation to the gas safety issues, with a report coming back to this committee when that work is completed.

  iv.  Future reports would include an update on Hanover and Princess Courts and Kingsway until works had been completed.

  v.  Nobody would be left without heating for their home. If tenants had gas central heating, the proposal was to change them to electric central heating. 19 homes to date had been capped off.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendation.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendation.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

Lead officer: Lynn Thomas


23/09/2021 - Changes to Under Occupation Assistance Scheme ref: 5261    Recommendations Approved

Approve revised Under Occupation Assistance Policy.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision published: 12/11/2021

Effective from: 23/09/2021

Decision:

Matter for Decision

The report presented the revised Under Occupation Scheme Policy. Theproposed changes reflected the Council’s intention to provide help to more tenants who wished to move but lacked the financial resources to do so.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

  i.  Approved the revised Under Occupation Scheme Policy as set out in appendix 2 of the officer’s report.

  ii.  Approved the implementation of the revised Under Occupation Scheme Policy from 1st April 2022.

  iii.  Extend the spending limit under this scheme in Financial Year 2021/22 by £10,000 to a total £31,900 through virements from underspent budget areas, with BSR adjustments applied if necessary through the next budget cycle

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Head of Housing.

 

The Head of Housing said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The fundamental driver is that no-one suffers financial hardship.

 

Councillor Dalzell proposed the following amendment, additional text underlined and deleted textstruckthrough.

Under ‘2. Recommendations’ add an additional recommendation:

‘2.3  To extend the spending limit under this scheme in Financial Year 2021/22 by £10,000 to a total £31,900 through virements from underspent budget areas, with BSR adjustments applied if necessary through the next budget cycle.’

 

Under ‘3. Background’, amend:

3.7  To address the issues outlined, the council seeks to introduce the following:

·  In the current financial year, raise the financial cap on this scheme by £10,000 now through virements from underspend budgets, or through adjustments in the 2022/23 HRA Budget Report if required.

·  From 1 April 2022, reduce the under-occupation payment so that more tenants can benefit from the scheme

·  Introduce a Financial Statement assessment so that those who may be experiencing financial hardship are prioritised and the burden of debt is minimised or avoided.

 

Under ‘6. a Financial implications’

Approval would be given for overspends on the current budget for 2021/22 by up to £10,000 funded through virements from other budgets, which can be further supported by additional funding in 2022/23 HRA Budget Setting Report if required.

The budget of £21,900 for 2022/23 will remain unchanged and a mid-year review of the impacts of the new policy will take place in September 2022. To help inform the mid-year review, additional performance monitoring will be implemented to assess if the aims set out in this report have been achieved and financial adjustments considered within the MTFS.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to accept the amendments.

 

The Committee resolved unanimously to endorse the amended recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the amended recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

Lead officer: Anna Hill