Agenda, decisions and minutes

Council
Thursday, 29 November 2018 2.00 p.m.

Venue: Council Chamber - South Cambs Hall. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  03450 450 500 Email: democratic.services@scambs.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES

 

To receive apologies for absence from Members.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Nigel Cathcart, Jose Hales, Bill Handley, Dawn Percival and Aidan Van de Weyer.

2.

ALEX COLYER - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Council noted that Alex Colyer would be retiring as Executive Director at the end of December.  Alex had been with South Cambridgeshire District Council since 2009 and had contributed enormously to the work of the Council, both in his role as Executive Director and as Acting Chief Executive.  The Chairman, on behalf of the Council, placed on record his thanks to Alex for his hard work and dedication.

 

Councillor Bridget Smith, the Leader of the Council and Councillor Peter Topping, the Leader of the Opposition, both added their personal thanks to Alex for his support.

3.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

Declarations of interest were made as follows:-

 

Item 8(d)  - Ermine Street Housing – Re-phasing of Lending

 

·         Councillor John Batchelor declared a non-disclosable pecuniary interest in the above item in his capacity as one of the Council’s representatives on the Ermine Street Housing Limited Board.  He indicated his intention to withdraw from the meeting during discussion of the item.

·         Councillor Ian Sollom declared a non-disclosable pecuniary interest in the above item in his capacity as one of the Council’s representatives on the Ermine Street Housing Limited Board.  He indicated hisintention to withdraw from the meeting during discussion of the item.

 

Item 14(f) – Notice of Motion from Councillor Eileen Wilson

 

·         Councillor Tom Bygott declared a non-disclosable pecuniary interest in the above item as he lived opposite the site of the proposed Oakington Rural Travel Hub.

4.

Register of Interests

 

Members are requested to inform Democratic Services of any changes in their Register of Members’ Financial and Other Interests form.

Minutes:

The Chairman reminder Members that they needed to update the Register of Interests whenever their circumstances changed.

5.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 455 KB

 

To authorise the Chairman to sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 27 September 2018 as a correct record.

 

A confidential minute 19 (a) containing exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part I of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) has been circulated to Members of the Council only. The press and public are likely to be excluded from the meeting during any discussion on the accuracy of the confidential minute.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 27 September 2018 were confirmed as a correct record for signature by the Chairman.

 

With respect to exempt minute 19(a), Council AGREED that the minute contained exempt information, namely information relating to the financial or business affairs of the Council (and/or landowner), and that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

The Chairman accordingly indicated that he proposed to deal with the exempt minute following item 16 on the agenda.

 

 

6.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

To receive any announcements from the Chairman, Leader, the Executive or the Head of Paid Service.

Minutes:

There were no announcements. 

7.

QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC

 

To note that no questions have been received from the public. 

Minutes:

No questions from the public had been received. 

8.

PETITIONS

 

To note that no petitions have been received since the last Council meeting.

Minutes:

No petitions for consideration by the Council had been received. 

9.

RECOMMENDATIONS TO COUNCIL

9a

Review of the Statement of Gambling Act 2005 Policy (Licensing Committee - 17 October 2018) pdf icon PDF 307 KB

 

The Licensing Committee

 

RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL

 

The adoption of  the Gambling Act 2005 Policy Statement as amended.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Council AGREED to

 

1.    Adopt the Gambling Act 2005 Policy Statement.

 

2.    Authorise the Director of Health and Environmental Services to make any final grammatical or typographical corrections required to the policy before publication.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Anna Bradnam, the Chairman of the Licensing Committee, proposed the recommendations of the Licensing Committee, at its meeting held on 17 October 2018, with regard to adoption of the Statement of Gambling Act 2005 Policy.  Councillor Bradnam noted that a statement of this licensing policy was a requirement under Section 349 of the Gambling Act 2005.  In preparing the revised policy statement, officers had given full regard to both the requirements of the Act itself and the guidelines issued by the Gambling Commission in September 2015, together with, where relevant, Council strategies.  The draft policy had been subject to public consultation and four responses to the consultation had been received, although no changes had been recommended in relation to these responses.  The Licensing Committee had considered the draft policy at its meeting on 17 October 2018 and had recommended it for approval, subject to minor amendments.  There was a requirement to publish the revised policy statement by 31 January 2019.

 

Council was advised of the need to delegate authority to the Director of Health and Environmental Services to make any final grammatical or typographical corrections to the policy statement before publication.

 

Councillor Deborah Roberts seconded the motion, noting that the policy statement had been subject to thorough consideration by the Licensing Committee.

 

Council by affirmation

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the Gambling Act 2005 Policy Statement, as set out at Appendix A to the submitted report, be adopted.

 

2.    That the Director of Health and Environmental Services be authorised to make any final grammatical or typographical corrections required to the Policy Statement before publication.

 

9b

Review of the Statement of Licensing (2003 Act) Policy (Licensing Committee - 17 October 2018) pdf icon PDF 329 KB

 

The Licensing Committee

 

RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL

 

The adoption of the Licensing (2003 Act) Policy Statement as amended.

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Council AGREED to

 

1.    Adopt the revised Licensing (2003 Act) Policy Statement.

 

2.    Authorise the Director of Health and Environmental Services to make any final grammatical or typographical corrections required to the policy before publication.

 

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Anna Bradnam, the Chairman of the Licensing Committee, proposed the recommendations of the Licensing Committee, at its meeting held on 17 October 2018, with regard to adoption of the Statement of Licensing (2003 Act)  Policy.  Councillor Bradnam noted that a statement of this licensing policy was a requirement under Section 5 of the Licensing Act 2003.  In preparing the revised policy statement, officers had given full regard to both the requirements of the Act itself and to revised guidelines issued in April 2018 by the Home Office.   The revised policy had been subject to public consultation in July 2018, details had been circulated to all Responsible Authorities, together with persons or businesses who had been in contact with the Licensing section over the past year, and it had also been published on the Council’s website and circulated to Parish Councils. Three formal responses to the consultation had been received and based on these responses, minor changes had been recommended to the policy. The Licensing Committee had considered the draft policy at its meeting on 17 October 2018 and had recommended it for approval, subject to minor changes. 

 

Councillor Bradnam invited Council to additionally delegate authority to the Director of Health and Environmental Services to make any final grammatical or typographical corrections to the policy statement before publication.

 

Councillor Heather Williams seconded the motion.

 

Council by affirmation

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the revised Licensing (2003 Act) Policy Statement, as set out at Appendix A to the submitted report, be adopted.

 

2.    That the Director of Health and Environmental Services be authorised to make any final grammatical or typographical corrections required to the Policy Statement before publication.

9c

Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) 2018/19 (Cabinet - 7 November 2018) pdf icon PDF 240 KB

 

Cabinet

 

RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL

 

Approval of  the HRA Medium Term Financial Strategy as set out in Appendix 1 to this report, to include:

 

·         noting changes in financial assumptions as detailed in Appendix B to the HRA MTFS.

·         mid-year revenue budget changes, as detailed in Appendix D(1) to the HRA MTFS, which impact future forecasts for the HRA.

·         mid-year capital budgets changes, as detailed in Appendix E to the HRA MTFS, to include recognition of the virement of resource of £1,560,000 from the unallocated acquisition / new build budget for the acquisition of market dwellings, to ensure that right to buy receipts are appropriately reinvested in 2018/19.

·         updates in the new build budget and the new build schemes included in the Housing Capital Investment Plan, incorporation of the latest budgetary figures in respect of approved new build schemes, inclusion of new pipeline schemes with associated budgetary provision and re-phasing of expenditure in line with anticipated build timetables.

·         changes in anticipated receipt and use of capital resources for the HRA, as included in Appendix H to the HRA MTFS.

·         noting the HRA budget strategy for 2019/20, to include the exemplification of efficiency savings of £142,000, to facilitate the creation of a corresponding strategic investment fund also of £142,000 for 2019/20, with both reducing to £95,000 per annum from 2020/21 onwards for a further 4 years.

·         noting the early proposals for bids and savings in the HRA, as detailed in Appendix D (2) to the HRA MTFS in advance of formal consideration as part of the HRA Budget Setting Report in February 2019.

 

Appendix L to the HRA MTFS contains exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended). The press and public are likely to be excluded from the meeting during any discussion on this confidential appendix..

Additional documents:

Decision:

Council AGREED to

 

Approve the HRA Medium Term Financial Strategy as set out in Appendix 1 to this report, to include:

 

·         noting changes in financial assumptions as detailed in Appendix B to the HRA MTFS.

·         mid-year revenue budget changes, as detailed in Appendix D(1) to the HRA MTFS, which impact future forecasts for the HRA.

·         mid-year capital budgets changes, as detailed in Appendix E to the HRA MTFS, to include recognition of the virement of resource of £1,560,000 from the unallocated acquisition / new build budget for the acquisition of market dwellings, to ensure that right to buy receipts are appropriately reinvested in 2018/19.

·         updates in the new build budget and the new build schemes included in the Housing Capital Investment Plan, incorporation of the latest budgetary figures in respect of approved new build schemes, inclusion of new pipeline schemes with associated budgetary provision and re-phasing of expenditure in line with anticipated build timetables.

·         changes in anticipated receipt and use of capital resources for the HRA, as included in Appendix H to the HRA MTFS.

·         noting the HRA budget strategy for 2019/20, to include the exemplification of efficiency savings of £142,000, to facilitate the creation of a corresponding strategic investment fund also of £142,000 for 2019/20, with both reducing to £95,000 per annum from 2020/21 onwards for a further 4 years.

·         noting the early proposals for bids and savings in the HRA, as detailed in Appendix D (2) to the HRA MTFS in advance of formal consideration as part of the HRA Budget Setting Report in February 2019.

 

Minutes:

Council AGREED that Appendix L to the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Medium Term Strategy (MTFS) contained exempt information, namely information relating to the financial or business affairs of the Council (and/or landowner), and that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

The Chairman accordingly indicated that in the event of any discussion on the exempt appendix it would be necessary to exclude the press and public.

 

Councillor Hazel Smith, Lead Cabinet Member for Housing, proposed the recommendation of the Cabinet, at its meeting held on 7 November 2018, regarding the approval of the HRA MTFS 2018/19.  In so doing,  she referred to various developments since the HRA MTFS had been prepared, most notably the Government’s announcement in the Autumn of the immediate lifting of the HRA borrowing cap and the consequent need to build capacity to take advantage of that opportunity.  A report on the Green Paper was expected in the new year.  The Lead Cabinet Member for Housing further commented that there were now 2,438 households on the housing waiting list and provision of affordable homes therefore needed to be a high priority. She noted that it would be necessary to update her Foreword to the HRA MTFS to reflect those changes and any subsequent developments before the final version came to Council as part of the budget setting process.

 

Councillor John Williams seconded the motion.

 

Councillor Mark Howell asked the Lead Cabinet Member for Housing:

 

(a)  Whether it would be possible to build the 149 houses referred to on page 99 for £114k each?

 

(b)  Whether the 4% penalty interest payable referred to on page 104 was an extra 4% per year or at the end of 3 years and if the interest had to be repaid, this would be 3 year’s compound interest?

 

(c)  With respect to proposals on page 106, whether this would also be done for  Ermine Street Housing?

 

(d)  With respect to page 112, what action was being taken on rent arrears, particularly having regard to the changes to Universal Credit?

 

(e)  With respect to page 128 and the time limited S106 agreement, whether a guarantee could be given that these would not be returned to the developer?

 

In response, the Lead Cabinet Member for Housing:

 

(a)  Reminded Members that 30% of the cost of the houses could be funded by right to buy receipts and noted that roll forward budgets from Section 106 commuted sums were also available in the HRA capital fund to support the development of new build properties. The average cost per house was estimated to be in the region of £167k to £170k. 

 

(b)  Explained the basis on which the interest was calculated where Right to Buy Receipts were not spent within three years, noting that at the end of the three years the interest of 4% above the base rate was compounded and was therefore punitive.  She referred to her recent attendance at the Homes 2018 event where another local  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9c

9d

Ermine Street Housing - Re-phasing of Lending (Cabinet - 7 November 2018) pdf icon PDF 218 KB

 

Cabinet

 

RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL

 

The approval of bringing forward lending of £13 million to Ermine Street Housing into 2018/19 by re-phasing the Capital Programme and bringing forward budget from future years to enable the Company to continue the business expansion as agreed by Cabinet and Council in November 2015.

 

Appendix A to the report of the Head of Finance contains exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended). The press and public are likely to be excluded from the meeting during any discussion on this confidential appendix.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Council AGREED to bring forward lending of £13 million to Ermine Street Housing into 2018/19 by re-phasing the Capital Programme and bringing forward budget from future years to enable the Company to continue the business expansion as agreed by Cabinet and Council in November 2015.

 

Minutes:

Council AGREED that Appendix A to the report of the Head of Finance contained exempt information, namely information relating to the financial or business affairs of the Council (and/or landowner), and that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

The Chairman accordingly indicated that in the event of any discussion on the exempt appendix it would be necessary to exclude the press and public.

 

Councillor John Williams proposed the recommendation of the Cabinet, at its meeting held on 7 November 2018, with regard to the re-phasing of lending to Ermine Street Housing.  He noted that the Council had approved a business plan for Ermine Street Housing in November 2015 which provided for the Council to lend the Company up to £100 million to acquire a portfolio of 500 properties over a 5 year period.  The pace of acquisition had increased in the current year and approval to re-phase the lending was now being sought to enable the Company to complete the acquisition opportunities currently presented.

 

Councillor Dr.Tumi Hawkins, in seconding the motion, commented on the positive work of Ermine Street Housing and noted that the proposal did not involve providing additional monies, rather a re-phasing of lending already agreed by the Council.

 

Councillor Peter Topping referred to comments in paragraph 10 of the report regarding the opportunities in the housing market arising from uncertainty surrounding Brexit and asked whether in view of the potential risks associated with turbulence in the market, re-phasing the lending was a wise approach. He also requested the Lead Cabinet Member for Finance to comment further on the proposal in the context of reference previously made to the desirability of adopting an ethical approach with regard to Ermine Street Housing.

 

Councillor Nick Wright referred to earlier indications that the future of the Ermine Street Housing would be reviewed and questioned whether the proposal to facilitate the business expansion reflected a change in the administration’s approach to Ermine Street Housing.

 

Councillor Mark Howell spoke strongly in support of the proposal and of the work of Ermine Street Housing.

 

The Executive Director advised that the Council was being invited to lend to property assets and that this represented a long term hold strategy. It was anticipated that there would be fluctuations in the market but if there was no need to sell the assets in a downturn, the long term hold strategy would secure that they continued to generate a return that was acceptable to the Council.

 

Councillor John Williams remarked that any good business ought to be subject to regular review and that there was a need to look at the objectives of Ermine Street Housing to ensure that they aligned with the revised objectives of the Council.  The new administration had different housing and investment strategies and therefore it was appropriate to review how these strategies could be delivered.  The future role of Ermine Street Housing would form part of the new Housing Strategy.  It was important that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9d

9e

Appointment of Chief Finance Officer (Section 151) (Employment & Staffing Committee - 7 November 2018) pdf icon PDF 207 KB

 

The Employment and Staffing Committee

 

RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL

 

The appointment of Mr Robert Palmer as Interim S151 Officer with effect from 1 January 2019.

Decision:

Council AGREED to appoint Mr Robert Palmer as Interim S151 Officer with effect from 1 January 2019.

Minutes:

Councillor Henry Batchelor, the Chairman of the Employment and Staffing Committee, proposed the recommendation of the Committee following its meeting on 7 November 2018, with regard to the appointment of an Interim Section 151 Officer in the light of the forthcoming retirement of the incumbent.  He reminded the Council that it was obliged to appoint a suitably qualified officer as Section 151 Officer to be responsible for the proper administration of its financial affairs.  Councillor Henry Batchelor noted that the candidate proposed for appointment was suitably qualified.

 

Councillor John Williams seconded the motion.

 

Councillor Grenville Chamberlain was concerned at the cost of the appointment, suggesting that the fee paid to the interim might exceed the salary paid to the Prime Minister.  He noted that the cost would be met by salary savings from vacant posts but was mindful that the costs would be borne by Council tax payers.

 

Councillors Nick Wright and Peter Topping questioned why the Council had not entered into an arrangement to share a Section 151 Officer with another authority.

 

Councillor Mark Howell re-iterated earlier concerns about the cost of the interim appointment.

 

Councillor John Williams indicated that it was not intended that the interim appointment would exceed 6 months.  He additionally spoke about the challenges experienced in obtaining the services of a suitably qualified individual and that the Council would be negligent if it failed to ensure that an appropriately qualified and experienced officer was in place who was able to fulfil the statutory responsibilities involved.  Councillor John Williams further confirmed that the option of a sharing arrangement with neighbouring authorities had been explored, but had not proved fruitful.

 

The Chairman noted that voting upon appointments was not subject to a recorded vote.

 

Upon being put to the vote, with 28 votes in favour, 11 against and no abstentions, Council

 

RESOLVED

 

To appoint Mr Robert Palmer as Interim Section 151 Officer with effect from 1 January 2019.

 

The Chairman, on behalf of the Council, welcomed Mr Palmer to South Cambridgeshire District Council.

10.

CAMBRIDGESHIRE AND PETERBOROUGH COMBINED AUTHORITY pdf icon PDF 551 KB

 

Attached are the reports summarising the work of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority in September 2018.

Minutes:

The Council noted reports prepared by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority summarising the work of the Authority during September 2018.

 

The Council’s representatives on the Combined Authority were invited to comment on the reports, as summarised below.

 

Councillor Bridget Smith, the Leader of the Council, provided an update on the following issues:

·         The Combined Authority had established a number of committees.  She was a member of the Housing Committee and Councillor Eileen Wilson was a member of the Skills Committee.

·         The Housing Committee had met in the previous week and had considered its terms of reference. She was continuing the work of her predecessor, Councillor Peter Topping, in fighting to ensure that South Cambridgeshire received its fair share of the £100m affordable housing fund and that such funding was allocated on the grounds of greatest housing need by reference to a business case.  Additionally, she had emphasised the increased complexity in preparing scheme bids for the important strategic sites in South Cambridgeshire.

·         The boundaries of the Business Board (previously the Local Enterprise Partnership) would now be coterminous with those of the Combined Authority.

·         The Combined Authority was starting work to take on health and social care.

·         The outcome of the Business Rates retention bid was still awaited.

·         The recommendations in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Economic Review (CPIER) report had now been accepted by the Combined Authority and actions developed to respond to those recommendations.

 

Councillor Philip Allen reported that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee had met twice since September.  As reported in the press, the Mayor had acknowledged underestimating the cost of his administration’s running costs and that he should have supported the Cambourne to Cambridge busway.  The Overview and Scrutiny Committee had received a detailed presentation from the Interim Chief Finance Officer on the Medium Term Financial Plan.  The Interim Chief Finance Officer had referred to various on-going feasibility studies and had highlighted the need to prioritise schemes.  The Committee felt that it was finally beginning to receive the level of detail needed in order effectively to carry out its role.

 

Councillor Peter Topping reported that he had substituted for Councillor Chamberlain at a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  At the meeting the Housing Director had indicated that the Combined Authority had not received bids from South Cambridgeshire for the £100m affordable housing fund. Councillor Topping acknowledged the earlier comments by the Leader about the particular difficulties in bringing forward schemes in South Cambridgeshire, but understood that South Cambridgeshire’s previous Director of Housing had schemes in the pipeline and accordingly he urged that the Council put forward bids for affordable housing.

 

Councillor Tony Mason noted that the next Audit Committee meeting would take place in the following week and therefore there was no update for this meeting.

 

The Chairman then invited questions to the Council’s representatives.

 

Councillor Deborah Roberts expressed concern at the current operation of the Combined Authority, in particular highlighting the increase in the running costs of the organisation.  She therefore asked whether  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

MEMBERSHIP OF COMMITTEES AND OUTSIDE BODIES

 

To note and endorse any changes in the membership of Committees which have been made in accordance with the wishes of the Leader of the political group to which the seat has been allocated.

 

To note that Councillor Philippa Hart has stood down as the Council’s representative on the Francis John Clear Almshouses, Melbourn and to consider whether to appoint a replacement representative. 

 

To consider any other changes required in membership of outside bodies.

Minutes:

Council noted that Councillor Philippa Hart was standing down as the Council’s representative on the Francis John Clear Almshouses, Melbourn and was invited to consider whether to appoint a replacement representative.

 

The Chairman noted that there was no other obvious candidate amongst the existing councillors and it was understood that the charity wished to appoint former Councillor Val Barrett to the role, but pointed out that she was not in a position to represent the Council.

 

The Chairman accordingly proposed that the Council should decline the invitation to appoint a representative in order to enable the charity to make a direct appointment.  Councillor Bunty Waters seconded the motion.

 

No other changes to memberships of committees or outside bodies were reported by Group Leaders.

 

Council accordingly by affirmation

 

RESOLVED:

 

To decline the invitation to appoint a representative to the Francis John Clear Almshouses, Melbourn, in order to enable the charity to make a direct appointment.

12.

Appointment to the Independent Remuneration Panel pdf icon PDF 200 KB

 

To consider any recommendations from the Executive Director and Chairman of the Independent Remuneration Panel with regard to the appointment of a new member of the Independent Remuneration Panel.   

Additional documents:

Decision:

Council AGREED to appoint Mr Grant Osbourn as a member of the Independent Remuneration Panel for the remainder of the three year term of office ending on 31 July 2021. 

Minutes:

The Council was reminded that, at its last meeting, it had been reported that a member of the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) had indicated that he did not wish to be appointed for a further three year term of office.  The Council had accordingly authorised the Executive Director and the Chairman of the Independent Remuneration Panel to undertake a recruitment and selection process to identify a new member of the panel and to recommend a candidate for appointment.

 

The interview process had taken place on 21 November 2018 and the Council received an update outlining the recommendations of the Executive Director and Chairman of the IRP in respect of the appointment of a new member of the panel.

 

The Chairman of the Council accordingly moved the recommendation which was duly seconded by the Leader of the Council.

 

Councillor Peter Topping referred to the circulation of timesheets to holders of Special Responsibility Allowances asking them to record time spent on tasks associated with their offices and asked if this was pre-empting the work of the IRP.  It was noted that this exercise was being undertaken purely to gather data for the benefit of the IRP.

 

Council by affirmation

 

RESOLVED:

 

To appoint Mr Grant Osbourn as a member of the Independent Remuneration Panel for the remainder of the three year term of office ending on 31 July 2021. 

13.

URGENT EXECUTIVE DECISION pdf icon PDF 218 KB

 

To provide an information report on an urgent decision which was exempted from call-in under Scrutiny and Overview Procedure Rules 12.18 – 12.20.

Minutes:

The Council received an information report from the Monitoring Officer on a decision taken as a matter of urgency and which had been exempted from call-in under Scrutiny and Overview Procedure Rules 12.18 – 12.20.  Rule 12.19 provided that decisions taken as a matter of urgency must be reported to the next available meeting of the Council. 

 

The report indicated that a decision had been taken by Cabinet, at its meeting held on 24 September 2018, to agree the submission of the Business Rates Pilot Scheme 2019/20 bid, as detailed in the report of the Monitoring Officer.  The Government’s deadline for submission of bids had been 25 September 2018. The decision had therefore needed to be implemented before the expiry of any call-in period in view of the deadline set by the Government for submission of bids.

 

Council NOTED the report.

 

 

14.

QUESTIONS FROM COUNCILLORS

 

A period of 30 minutes will be allowed for this item to include those questions where notice has been provided (as set out on the agenda below) and questions which may be asked without notice.

 

Members wishing to ask a question without notice should indicate this intention to the Democratic Services Team Leader prior to commencement of the item.  Members’ names will be drawn at random by the Chairman until there are no further questions or until the expiration of the time period.

14a

From Councillor Pippa Heylings

 

It has been reported in the press that Swindon Borough Council has stopped collecting plastics for recycling to ensure that there is no risk of it ending up in overseas landfill or worse.  Will the Lead Member for Environmental Services advise what mechanisms are in place to track the ultimate disposal routes for our plastic waste?

Minutes:

It has been reported in the press that Swindon Borough Council has stopped collecting plastics for recycling to ensure that there is no risk of it ending up in overseas landfill or worse.  Will the Lead Member for Environmental Services advise what mechanisms are in place to track the ultimate disposal routes for our plastic waste?

 

Councillor Neil Gough, the Lead Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Licensing, reported on his understanding that Swindon Borough Council had now reversed its decision to stop collecting plastic.  He commented that all waste producers, including councils, had a duty of care responsibility to check that waste was only transferred to an appropriately licensed person or company and to keep records to demonstrate this. This provided an audit trail to track materials to end destinations.  The Council and Amey were subject to this duty of care obligation and records were maintained to demonstrate compliance.  Each month Amey provided the Council with details of outlets for materials during the previous month and the Council then reported this information quarterly to the Environment Agency. Since June 2018, the Cambridge and Peterborough Waste Partnership (RECAP) had put in place measures to enable closer scrutiny of the information provided by Amey. The Environment Agency had carried out duty of care checks on all councils responsible for waste collections in June 2018.  South Cambridgeshire’s measures had been reviewed and found to be appropriate. 

 

By way of a supplementary question, Councillor Pippa Heylings asked what percentage of plastic in the blue bin was incinerated. The Lead Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Licensing advised that the bulk of recycled plastic could be re-used.  However, where plastic was not of a sufficient quality or was contaminated, it could not be reprocessed.  10 – 15% of plastic in South Cambridgeshire was not of a sufficient grade to be recycled.

14b

From Councillor Nick Wright

 

Is the Cabinet member, the lead for planning, happy with the performance of the planning service?

 

Minutes:

Is the Cabinet member, the lead for planning, happy with the performance of the planning service?

 

Councillor Tumi Hawkins, the Lead Cabinet Member for Planning, observed that the Council processed a significant number of planning applications when compared to some other districts.  She also referred to the impact of the delay in approval of the Local Plan and the absence of a five year housing supply on service delivery. The Lead Cabinet Member for Planning drew attention to the availability of data regarding planning performance for all authorities on the GOV.UK website and pointed out that of 201 shire districts, South Cambridgeshire had handled the 5th largest number of applications and double the number received by some neighbouring authorities.  The Council was meeting the target for determining applications within 8 weeks (the district average was 83% and South Cambridgeshire was meeting the national target of 84%).  In addition to meeting performance targets, the Council had avoided designation, including in relation to appeals allowed.  In that context, the Lead Cabinet Member for Planning noted that performance in relation to appeals allowed reflected the number of speculative applications which had been received owing to the lack of an identified 5 year housing land supply.  There had been a significant improvement in planning service performance over the past 12 months owing to the hard work of the officers across the service.  Whilst she recognised that there was still work to do, the Lead Cabinet Member for Planning thanked the officers for their efforts in driving forward the improvement of the service to date.

 

Councillor Nick Wright, as a supplementary question, asked whether reports on performance of the planning service could be submitted to Scrutiny and Overview Committee in the same way as had happened when the performance of customer services had been subject to monitoring.  The Lead Cabinet Member for Planning indicated that she was content for reports on performance of the service to be presented to Scrutiny and Overview Committee.

 

14c

From Councillor Steve Hunt

 

Residents are experiencing service issues and delays in their interactions with Planning.  This has caused a significant amount of work for Members and officers dealing with the resulting queries and complaints. Would the Lead Member for Planning comment on the current situation, and advise Members of the initiatives that are being undertaken to improve the level of service?

 

Minutes:

Residents are experiencing service issues and delays in their interactions with Planning.  This has caused a significant amount of work for Members and officers dealing with the resulting queries and complaints. Would the Lead Member for Planning comment on the current situation, and advise Members of the initiatives that are being undertaken to improve the level of service?

 

Councillor Tumi Hawkins, the Lead Cabinet Member for Planning, acknowledged that the planning service faced challenges.  She reminded Members that in the previous Council it had been agreed to establish a shared Greater Cambridge planning service  which had been launched in April 2018.  The focus now was on implementing the new structure and driving forward more efficient and agile working.  A new customer engagement officer had been appointed who was developing an improved customer strategy and revised customer complaints procedures. Other corporate improvements would include better  management of customer calls and emails so that planning officers could focus on their core professional work.  The new ICT system would bring significant improvements to workflows and customer notifications and customers would be able to track the status of their applications and receive various alerts.  The Lead Cabinet Member for Planning recognised that there were still performance issues to be addressed, but asked for Members to support officers as they worked to develop a high performing planning service.

 

As a supplementary question, Councillor Steve Hunt asked if Members would also be able to interrogate the new ICT system to track the status of applications so that they could help to keep constituents informed and troubleshoot where necessary.  The Lead Cabinet Member for Planning indicated her expectation that Members would have access to the system, albeit that they might not see all of the detail.  However, she would get back to Councillor Hunt to confirm the position.

 

14d

From Councillor Graham Cone

 

Given that the administration has pledged to continue running Ermine Street Housing (despite previous criticism), can I please ask what changes have been made to the business model? 

 

Minutes:

Given that the administration has pledged to continue running Ermine Street Housing (despite previous criticism), can I please ask what changes have been made to the business model? 

 

Councillor John Williams, the Lead Cabinet Member for Finance, commented that, as in any good business, it would be appropriate to monitor and review the operation of Ermine Street Housing and to make sure that its priorities aligned with those of the Council.  Additionally it would be necessary to consider the implications of the lifting of the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap and the continuing market uncertainties associated with Brexit for the activities of Ermine Street Housing.  The Lead Cabinet Member for Finance reminded the Council that, earlier in the meeting it had approved a re-phasing of lending to Ermine Street Housing and that an updated Business Plan would be published in February 2019.  He reiterated however that it would be necessary to review Ermine Street Housing to ensure that it was delivering the Council’s new priorities.

 

Councillor Graham Cone, as a supplementary question, asked what the difference of approach of the new administration would be to Ermine Street Housing?  The Lead Cabinet Member for Housing reaffirmed that Ermine Street Housing would be subject to review and that the Housing Strategy, which was due to be coming to Cabinet at its next meeting prior to public consultation, would provide further clarification on the future proposed direction of the Company.

14e

From Councillor Ruth Betson

 

I was recently advised that there have been a number of submissions for the Discharge of Conditions regarding West Cambourne for which the District Council decided not to consult Cambourne Parish Council on. Local Parish Councils, especially those with a dedicated Planning Committee, have a major stake in large developments within or near to their boundaries – will this administration confirm that consultation, with sufficient lead time, will be made in future with Cambourne Parish Council and any other local Parish Councils dealing with major developments?

 

Minutes:

I was recently advised that there have been a number of submissions for the Discharge of Conditions regarding West Cambourne which the District Council decided not to consult Cambourne Parish Council on. Local Parish Councils, especially those with a dedicated Planning Committee, have a major stake in large developments within or near to their boundaries – will this administration confirm that consultation, with sufficient lead time, will be made in future with Cambourne Parish Council and any other local Parish Councils dealing with major developments?

 

Councillor Tumi Hawkins, the Lead Cabinet Member for Planning, commented that the input of parish councils into the planning process was much appreciated and that it was certainly the intention to ensure that effective consultation took place. She confirmed that Cambourne Parish Council had been sent notifications of discharges of conditions submissions which was the normal process for discharges of conditions and the process which happened for Northstowe discharges of conditions.  The Parish Council had been formally consulted on the design code condition and further details about the communications sent could be provided to Councillor Betson on request. It was the firm intention to continue to carry out effective consultation with parish councils and the Lead Cabinet Member for Planning indicated that if any parish had concerns about consultation they should raise this with their Local Member.

 

Councillor Betson asked whether the Lead Cabinet Member for Planning felt that it was a good use of the Full Council’s time to deal with such issues or whether the reintroduction of Portfolio Holder Meetings, at which issues of this nature could have been raised in the past, should be considered? The Lead Cabinet Member for Planning responded that the governance changes had been agreed by Cabinet collectively and pointed out that Members could always raise this or other similar issues via email or telephone.

14f

From Councillor Peter Topping

 

To ask the Council’s representative on the Board of the Greater Cambridge Partnership if he has any views on the proposed off-road route for the A428 busway?

 

Minutes:

To ask the Council’s representative on the Board of the Greater Cambridge Partnership if he has any views on the proposed off-road route for the A428 busway?

 

The Chairman of the Council noted that the question from Councillor Topping was addressed to Councillor Van de Weyer who was not present at the meeting.  A written response would therefore be sent to Councillor Topping and appended to the minutes.

14g

From Councillor Sue Ellington

 

In April 2018 the draft Health and Wellbeing Strategy was ready to be brought to be considered by Cabinet and Council. Can the Lead member for Housing and Health explain why this has not been brought forward or does this administration not feel it important to embody health and wellbeing in every element of Council policy and activity?

 

Minutes:

In April 2018 the draft Health and Wellbeing Strategy was ready to be brought to be considered by Cabinet and Council. Can the Lead member for Housing and Health explain why this has not been brought forward or does this administration not feel it important to embody health and wellbeing in every element of Council policy and activity?

 

The Lead Cabinet Member for Housing responded that it was the Project Initiation Document that had been prepared but not signed off prior to the election.  No work had started on the Health and Wellbeing Strategy at that time.  She had decided to review the document before work on the strategy had commenced to ensure that it would be aligned to the new administration’s priorities. The Project Initiation Document had now been reviewed and work to progress a strategy was under way, starting with gathering the relevant data. The County Council’s Director of Public Health, Liz Robin, had indicated that the existing County-wide Health and Wellbeing Strategy had been extended for another year while a new joint strategy was prepared with the Peterborough Health and Wellbeing Board.  As a result, the original plans to bring forward a revised Health and Wellbeing Strategy was on hold.  In the meantime the Council would be preparing its own Health and Wellbeing Strategy which would feed into the County-wide document and would set out the administration’s commitment to health and wellbeing in everything the Council did.   The Lead Cabinet Member for Housing also advised that the administration continued to support Councillor Ellington’s work on tackling loneliness and social isolation across the District. The social isolation toolkit was now on line and had received over 1600 views. 

 

Councillor Ellington highlighted the importance of equipping staff with the appropriate skills and knowledge in relation to mental health issues and asked, as a supplementary question, if mental health first aid training was still offered to staff.  The Lead Cabinet Member for Housing acknowledged the importance of raising mental health awareness and indicated that she was confident that HR would be arranging such training for staff.

14h

Expiry of Question Time

 

Housing Capital Receipts are used to supply much needed housing for the residents of South Cambridgeshire.

 

Can the Leader please guarantee that  Housing Capital Receipts from South Cambridgeshire District Council will not be given to Central Government?

 

Minutes:

The Chairman declared that the thirty minutes allowed for questions had expired and therefore there would be insufficient time to answer the questions from Councillors Mark Howell and Grenville Chamberlain.   The Councillors would be provided with written responses.

15.

NOTICES OF MOTION

 

A period of 30 minutes will be allowed for each Motion to be moved, seconded and debated, including dealing with any amendments.  At the expiry of the 30 minute period, debate shall cease immediately, the mover of the original Motion will have the right of reply before the Motion or amendment is put to the vote.

15a

Standing in the name of Councillor Pippa Heylings

 

Last month, world-leading scientists gave their starkest warning yet about the impacts of climate change if we do not make urgent and unprecedented changes to reduce GHG emissions. We are already feeling the effects in the UK of increased intensity and frequency of storms, flooding and heatwaves. We are also experiencing growing problems with water scarcity and air pollution. This motion proposes that South Cambs shows responsible climate leadership by supporting the transition to "Zero Carbon by 2050" in the next Local Plan.  This would enable planners, developers, businesses and residents to maximize the opportunities of green technology whilst decoupling emissions from our rapid growth agenda. As a local authority, we have the power to influence this transformation. Planning has an important role to play in supporting the transition to zero carbon, not just in terms of building-related energy but also transport-related emissions and the infrastructure required to support growth. This also includes some of the "softer issues" such as the role of green infrastructure and urban design approaches that can enable people to live lower carbon lifestyles.  A zero carbon approach is also the most effective way to drive down fuel poverty and ensure warm homes for the most vulnerable in our society, whilst providing clean air for all.

 

Decision:

Council AGREED the following motion:

 

Last month, world-leading scientists gave their starkest warning yet about the impacts of climate change if we do not make urgent and unprecedented changes to reduce GHG emissions. We are already feeling the effects in the UK of increased intensity and frequency of storms, flooding and heatwaves. We are also experiencing growing problems with water scarcity and air pollution. This motion proposes that South Cambs shows responsible climate leadership by supporting the transition to "Zero Carbon by 2050" in the next Local Plan.  This would enable planners, developers, businesses and residents to maximize the opportunities of green technology whilst decoupling emissions from our rapid growth agenda. As a local authority, we have the power to influence this transformation. Planning has an important role to play in supporting the transition to zero carbon, not just in terms of building-related energy but also transport-related emissions and the infrastructure required to support growth. This also includes some of the "softer issues" such as the role of green infrastructure and urban design approaches that can enable people to live lower carbon lifestyles.  A zero carbon approach is also the most effective way to drive down fuel poverty and ensure warm homes for the most vulnerable in our society, whilst providing clean air for all.

Minutes:

Councillor Pippa Heylings moved the following motion as set out on the agenda:-

 

“Last month, world-leading scientists gave their starkest warning yet about the impacts of climate change if we do not make urgent and unprecedented changes to reduce GHG emissions. We are already feeling the effects in the UK of increased intensity and frequency of storms, flooding and heatwaves. We are also experiencing growing problems with water scarcity and air pollution. This motion proposes that South Cambs shows responsible climate leadership by supporting the transition to "Zero Carbon by 2050" in the next Local Plan.  This would enable planners, developers, businesses and residents to maximize the opportunities of green technology whilst decoupling emissions from our rapid growth agenda. As a local authority, we have the power to influence this transformation. Planning has an important role to play in supporting the transition to zero carbon, not just in terms of building-related energy but also transport-related emissions and the infrastructure required to support growth. This also includes some of the "softer issues" such as the role of green infrastructure and urban design approaches that can enable people to live lower carbon lifestyles.  A zero carbon approach is also the most effective way to drive down fuel poverty and ensure warm homes for the most vulnerable in our society, whilst providing clean air for all.”

 

In moving the motion, Councillor Pippa Heylings highlighted the climate and health emergency that the world was facing, noting that in the previous month leading climate scientists had issued their starkest warning yet about the lack of action to stem global warming. Even though all world leaders had agreed in 2015 to keep global temperatures to 2°C  above pre-industrial levels and to seek to limit temperature increases further to 1.5°C, an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report had indicated that the world had already warmed by 1°C.  A recently issued Met Office report had also warned of possible future climate scenarios in the UK including more extreme weather events, increasing summer temperatures and droughts; wet winters and flooding. Councillor Heylings highlighted the potential consequential impacts, including for agriculture, water availability and public health, together with the likely increased demands on services.  She noted that the Secretary of State for the Environment had recently asked the National Committee on Climate Change to explore a zero carbon target. Moreover both the Greater London Authority and Cambridge City Council had already adopted a target for transition to zero carbon by 2050, whilst Bristol City and Manchester City Councils had set targets of 2030 and 2038 respectively.  In arguing in support of the adoption of the zero carbon target, Councillor Heylings commented on the action which the Council could take in support of the objective, highlighting, in particular, the significant role that planning could play. In the joint local plan with Cambridge City Council the Council could work towards designing homes that were energy efficient, used renewable energies, storage and sharing facilities; ensuring that developments were well served by low  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15a

15b

Standing in the name of Councillor Peter Topping

 

This Council has always supported the hard-working parish councils that do so much for the villages of South Cambridgeshire. The decision made by the Liberal Democrat Administration to bar parish councils from accessing the Community Chest funding is already causing surprise and dismay among small villages. This Council calls on the administration to re-consider its decision. 

 

Decision:

The following motion was LOST:

 

This Council has always supported the hard-working parish councils that do so much for the villages of South Cambridgeshire. The decision made by the Liberal Democrat Administration to bar parish councils from accessing the Community Chest funding is already causing surprise and dismay among small villages. This Council calls on the administration to re-consider its decision. 

Minutes:

Councillor Peter Topping moved the following motion:

 

“This Council has always supported the hard-working parish councils that do so much for the villages of South Cambridgeshire. The decision made by the Liberal Democrat Administration to bar parish councils from accessing the Community Chest funding is already causing surprise and dismay among small villages. This Council calls on the administration to re-consider its decision.”

 

Councillor Topping spoke of his concern that parish councils were no longer able to apply for Community Chest funding. He argued that parish councils were at the centre of their villages and that it was wrong that those who, as parish councillors, worked hard to represent and promote the interests of their villages, were now unable to seek Community Chest funding for local projects. He noted the argument that parishes could precept to fund projects but referred to previous instances where, for example, bids from schools had been rejected on the basis that funding could be accessed from an alternative source.  Councillor Topping believed that the Grants Advisory Committee could use its discretion carefully to evaluate any grant bids and argued that there was a precedent and ability to manage the process without excluding parish councils. He explained that in some cases, bids for Community Chest funding could leverage bigger sums from other grants providers, such as the Big Lottery Fund.  In that context, he noted that bigger grants providers required bidders to demonstrate an appropriate level of governance and process but suggested that this was not necessarily appropriate or practicable for smaller community groups and, as parish councils already had the necessary structures in place, this created a level of inefficiency.  Councillor Topping therefore encouraged the Council to review the decision to preclude parish councils from applying for Community Charge funding and to take account of the impact of the decision on the parish councils who were working hard to look after the interests of their villages. 

 

Councillor Heather Williams seconded the motion.

 

During discussion on the motion:

 

·        Councillor John Williams, the Lead Cabinet Member for Finance, observed that unlike the District Council, parish councils did not have a cap on the amount of Council Tax they were able to raise.  He acknowledged that there were a number of very small parishes where it would be difficult for the parish to raise any meaningful level of precept and an exemption had been made for such parishes.  However many parish councils would be able to precept for the cost of particular projects. The Lead Cabinet Member for Finance reported that the Community Chest scheme still allowed the Council to provide funding to grass roots based community groups and indeed £10k of grants had recently been approved to village community groups from all over the District and for a variety of schemes.  However the revised scheme meant that parishes needed to precept for specific projects in their villages.

·        Councillor Bridget Smith, the Leader of the Council, acknowledged the point raised by Councillor Topping about trigger funding.  However she  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15b

15c

Standing in the name of Councillor Grenville Chamberlain

 

This Council has a well-earned reputation for being effective and efficient, as a peer review carried out two years ago confirmed. Its officers are hard-working and enterprising. The Liberal Democrat Leader and Cabinet have decided to spend £50,000 on management consultants to decide "how the Council could best focus on delivering its priorities". This Council  is disappointed that the resources of the council's senior management are not being used to this purpose, and regards the decision as indicative of a lack of leadership and purpose, and calls for the money to be re-allocated to delivery of front-line services.

 

Decision:

The following Motion was LOST:

 

This Council has a well-earned reputation for being effective and efficient, as a peer review carried out two years ago confirmed. Its officers are hard-working and enterprising. The Liberal Democrat Leader and Cabinet have decided to spend £50,000 on management consultants to decide "how the Council could best focus on delivering its priorities". This Council  is disappointed that the resources of the council's senior management are not being used to this purpose, and regards the decision as indicative of a lack of leadership and purpose, and calls for the money to be re-allocated to delivery of front-line services.

Minutes:

Councillor Grenville Chamberlain moved the following motion as set out in the agenda:-

 

“This Council has a well-earned reputation for being effective and efficient, as a peer review carried out two years ago confirmed. Its officers are hard-working and enterprising. The Liberal Democrat Leader and Cabinet have decided to spend £50,000 on management consultants to decide "how the Council could best focus on delivering its priorities". This Council is disappointed that the resources of the council's senior management are not being used to this purpose, and regards the decision as indicative of a lack of leadership and purpose, and calls for the money to be re-allocated to delivery of front-line services.”

 

Councillor Chamberlain spoke in support of his motion and expressed the view that the Chief Executive was ably equipped to carry out the review being undertaken. He indicated that members of his group would also be willing to assist with the review in order to allow the £50,000 to be spent on service delivery rather than employment of management consultants.

 

Councillor Graham Cone seconded the motion.

 

During discussion:-

 

·        Councillor Neil Gough commented that the peer review had highlighted the need to provide clarity on a number of areas, including setting the new political and managerial leadership style and direction; partnership working models and commercialisation. He indicated that the review would focus on effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery and how to maximise the potential of the organisation and was being undertaken with staff involvement and engagement.  Councillor Gough acknowledged that the Council had a talented and hard working officer group but felt that the consultants would be able to bring a perspective on what was happening in the broader world of organisational change and to provide an evidence base to support decisions being taken to prepare the organisation for the challenges in the next 5 to10 years.  He argued that the review represented an investment, not a cost, in ensuring that the right experience was available to help craft an appropriate way forward to maximise the value and effectiveness of the organisation.

·        Councillor Tom Bygott was sceptical about the value consultants would add, noting that consultants used information gathered from within the organisation and this could be done internally. Councillor Bygott believed that the Chief Executive should lead the review, that councillors should set the vision for the organisation and that it was not necessary to spend money on engaging consultants.

·        Councillor Nick Wright supported the earlier comments of Councillor Bygott.

·        Councillor Philippa Hart pointed out that the Peer Review had been conducted two years earlier and that there had been no follow up visit.  She was concerned that a number of the Peer Review recommendations had not been addressed, including defining what commercialisation meant for the Council, its strategy and approach to shared services and its role in shaping growth in the area. The consultants had been engaged to enable an evidence base to be established to underpin future decisions on the Council’s future.  Councillor Hart also  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15c

15d

Standing in the name of Councillor Heather Williams

 

That this Council looks to adopt a premature and neo-natal baby leave policy that extends maternity leave and provides additional paternity leave for SCDC employees, in the event of having a premature or neo-natal baby.

 

Decision:

Council AGREED to refer the following motion for consideration by the Employment and Staffing Committee:

 

That this Council looks to adopt a premature and neo-natal baby leave policy that extends maternity leave and provides additional paternity leave for SCDC employees, in the event of having a premature or neo-natal baby.

Minutes:

Councillor Heather Williams moved the following motion as set out in the agenda:

 

“That this Council looks to adopt a premature and neonatal baby leave policy that extends maternity leave and provides additional paternity leave for SCDC employees, in the event of having a premature or neonatal baby.”

 

In so doing, Councillor Heather Williams outlined the driver for her motion and spoke from personal experience of the challenges of having a baby in a neonatal unit.  She explained that having a premature or sick baby in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or a special care baby unit (SCBU)  was an extremely traumatic experience for a new mother.  Pointing out that paternity leave had to be taken within 56 days of the birth of child, Councillor Heather Williams noted that this might be difficult in the case of fathers of premature and neonatal babies.  For example, two babies on her daughter’s ward had marked the anniversary of 100 days on the ward. Fathers were often unable to be present to bring their babies home unless they took leave. Councillor Heather Williams noted that whilst some mothers had family to support them, others did not and needed to rely more on their partners. Mothers might similarly need more support from their partners if they had undergone a caesarean section and were unable to drive. The experience for mothers and fathers of neonatal babies was likewise exacerbated where specialist hospital beds were not available locally and mothers were placed in hospitals some distance from their homes. Additionally, Councillor Heather Williams highlighted the financial impact of having a premature baby.  She explained that premature babies were more susceptible to infections and illnesses which further impacted on the length of stay in neonatal units.   Whilst the support of the medical staff was excellent, Councillor Heather Williams highlighted the serious emotional trauma experienced by mothers of neonatal babies and noted the incidence of development of post traumatic stress disorder.  She concluded by reporting that other councils such as Waltham Forest Council and the Greater London Authority had adopted premature and neonatal baby leave policies and felt that it was important for South Cambridgeshire to introduce a similar policy to provide certainty for staff unfortunate enough to find themselves in that situation.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Graham Cone.

 

The Chairman of the Council noted that the motion contained unquantified financial implications and accordingly moved the following procedural motion under Council Standing Order 14.10(g):

 

“That the motion be referred for consideration by the Employment and Staffing Committee.”

 

The procedural motion was seconded by Councillor Henry Batchelor.

 

Council by affirmation:

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the following motion be referred for consideration by the Employment and Staffing Committee:

 

That this Council looks to adopt a premature and neonatal baby leave policy that extends maternity leave and provides additional paternity leave for SCDC employees, in the event of having a premature or neonatal baby.

15e

Standing in the name of Councillor Philip Allen

 

While this Council recognises the urgent need for high-quality public transport connections between Cambourne, Bourn Airfield and Cambridge, which will be delivered through the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP), it believes that it is essential that decisions are made on the basis of publicly scrutinised evidence and advice to ensure that the best choices are made.

This Council therefore welcomes the undertaking from the GCP to publish the evidence relating to the northern off-road route as a first step towards a robust comparison, building on the work in the Combined Authority’s recently published Arup report, between that northern route and the southern route via Coton, both of which meet the new requirement of the Combined Authority that any route be CAM-compliant. 

This Council also acknowledges the commitment to ongoing work with the local communities along the proposed routes and calls for close engagement with representatives of the A428 Local Liaison Forum (LLF) throughout the process of the development of the outline business case for the Cambourne to Cambridge project.

This Council welcomes the offer from GCP officers to look at plans to introduce interim on-road measures along Madingley Road on Madingley Hill, which the ward councillors for Coton, along with the LLF, have been calling for.

 

Decision:

Council AGREED the following motion:

 

While this Council recognises the urgent need for high-quality public transport connections between Cambourne, Bourn Airfield and Cambridge, which will be delivered through the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP), it believes that it is essential that decisions are made on the basis of publicly scrutinised evidence and advice to ensure that the best choices are made.

This Council therefore welcomes the undertaking from the GCP to publish the evidence relating to the northern off-road route as a first step towards a robust comparison, building on the work in the Combined Authority’s recently published Arup report, between that northern route and the southern route via Coton, both of which meet the new requirement of the Combined Authority that any route be CAM-compliant. 

This Council also acknowledges the commitment to ongoing work with the local communities along the proposed routes and calls for close engagement with representatives of the A428 Local Liaison Forum (LLF) throughout the process of the development of the outline business case for the Cambourne to Cambridge project.

This Council welcomes the offer from GCP officers to look at plans to introduce interim on-road measures along Madingley Road on Madingley Hill, which the ward councillors for Coton, along with the LLF, have been calling for.

Minutes:

Councillor Philip Allen moved the following motion as set out on the agenda:-

 

“While this Council recognises the urgent need for high-quality public transport connections between Cambourne, Bourn Airfield and Cambridge, which will be delivered through the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP), it believes that it is essential that decisions are made on the basis of publicly scrutinised evidence and advice to ensure that the best choices are made.

This Council therefore welcomes the undertaking from the GCP to publish the evidence relating to the northern off-road route as a first step towards a robust comparison, building on the work in the Combined Authority’s recently published Arup report, between that northern route and the southern route via Coton, both of which meet the new requirement of the Combined Authority that any route be CAM-compliant. 

This Council also acknowledges the commitment to ongoing work with the local communities along the proposed routes and calls for close engagement with representatives of the A428 Local Liaison Forum (LLF) throughout the process of the development of the outline business case for the Cambourne to Cambridge project.

This Council welcomes the offer from GCP officers to look at plans to introduce interim on-road measures along Madingley Road on Madingley Hill, which the ward councillors for Coton, along with the LLF, have been calling for.”

 

In moving his motion, Councillor Allen acknowledged the need for the GCP to deliver high quality public transportation between Cambourne and Cambridge but argued that decisions needed to be made on the basis of properly evaluated publicly available evidence and should not ignore the outcome of public consultation.  He acknowledged that some progress had been made and welcomed the undertaking given by the GCP to publish evidence regarding the northern off-road route as a first step to enabling a comparison between that route and the southern route via Coton, both of which could be segregated and therefore CAM compliant. Councillor Allen felt that it was important to understand how the proposal aligned with future transport plans, including those for Girton interchange, the Cambridge Autonomous Metro (CAM) and connections to the wider network.  He noted that he had raised the issue with the Mayor at the Combined Authority’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee and had been advised that a fuller evidence base would be published shortly. Councillor Allen felt it was vital that regular engagement continued with the local communities along the route and with the A428 Local Liaison Forum (LLF) and its technical group. The offer of GCP officers to investigate the introduction of interim on-road measures on Madingley Hill, as called for by Local Members and the LLF, was also welcomed. Councillor Allen concluded by reiterating the need for full evidence to be available for public scrutiny which addressed the wider economic benefits, environmental impacts and funding implications, together with further assurances around connectivity.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Ian Sollom.

 

During discussion:-

 

·         Councillor Tom Bygott welcomed the call for publication of evidence, but opposed the motion because of the reference  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15e

15f

Standing in the name of Councillor Eileen Wilson

 

The Greater Cambridge Partnership is consulting on a proposed Rural Travel Hub at Oakington, which is served by the Guided Busway. The aim is to link up public transport, cycling and walking routes. This proposal could provide an attractive alternative to car journeys, promote health and wellbeing as well as helping to reduce congestion in and around Cambridge. For a village like Cottenham, with planning permission for over 500 new homes and the potential for ever increasing car usage, the Rural Travel Hub could encourage people to choose public transport over cars. 

 

There is, however, no provision for any form of public transport linking Cottenham to Oakington. Without such a transport link, it would be very difficult for residents who can't or don’t cycle to access the Guided Busway, but even for those who do cycle, it would be a dangerous journey without a safer cycle route. 

 

Further, any proposed Rural Travel Hubs require decent, onward travel options that are good value, timely and dependable. Instead, many residents along the Busway route find the service patchy, expensive and, at peak times, frustratingly impossible to board when buses arrive full. These proposals, however, do not make provision for additional services on the Guided Busway at peak times.

 

This Council, therefore, calls on the Combined Authority to bring forward the outcome of the strategic review of commercial, subsidised and community transport. It is only with these provisions that the residents of villages like Cottenham could, at last, look forward to having the integrated, streamlined public transport provision that will make car use the less favourable option. 

 

Decision:

Council AGREED the following motion:

 

The Greater Cambridge Partnership is consulting on a proposed Rural Travel Hub at Oakington, which is served by the Guided Busway. The aim is to link up public transport, cycling and walking routes. This proposal could provide an attractive alternative to car journeys, promote health and wellbeing as well as helping to reduce congestion in and around Cambridge. For a village like Cottenham, with planning permission for over 500 new homes and the potential for ever increasing car usage, the Rural Travel Hub could encourage people to choose public transport over cars. 

 

There is, however, no provision for any form of public transport linking Cottenham to Oakington. Without such a transport link, it would be very difficult for residents who can't or don’t cycle to access the Guided Busway, but even for those who do cycle, it would be a dangerous journey without a safer cycle route. 

 

Further, any proposed Rural Travel Hubs require decent, onward travel options that are good value, timely and dependable. Instead, many residents along the Busway route find the service patchy, expensive and, at peak times, frustratingly impossible to board when buses arrive full. These proposals, however, do not make provision for additional services on the Guided Busway at peak times.

 

This Council, therefore, calls on the Combined Authority to bring forward the outcome of the strategic review of commercial, subsidised and community transport. It is only with these provisions that the residents of villages like Cottenham could, at last, look forward to having the integrated, streamlined public transport provision that will make car use the less favourable option. 

Minutes:

Councillor Eileen Wilson moved the following motion, as set out on the agenda:

 

“The Greater Cambridge Partnership is consulting on a proposed Rural Travel Hub at Oakington, which is served by the Guided Busway. The aim is to link up public transport, cycling and walking routes. This proposal could provide an attractive alternative to car journeys, promote health and wellbeing as well as helping to reduce congestion in and around Cambridge. For a village like Cottenham, with planning permission for over 500 new homes and the potential for ever increasing car usage, the Rural Travel Hub could encourage people to choose public transport over cars. 

 

There is, however, no provision for any form of public transport linking Cottenham to Oakington. Without such a transport link, it would be very difficult for residents who can't or don’t cycle to access the Guided Busway, but even for those who do cycle, it would be a dangerous journey without a safer cycle route. 

 

Further, any proposed Rural Travel Hubs require decent, onward travel options that are good value, timely and dependable. Instead, many residents along the Busway route find the service patchy, expensive and, at peak times, frustratingly impossible to board when buses arrive full. These proposals, however, do not make provision for additional services on the Guided Busway at peak times.

 

This Council, therefore, calls on the Combined Authority to bring forward the outcome of the strategic review of commercial, subsidised and community transport. It is only with these provisions that the residents of villages like Cottenham could, at last, look forward to having the integrated, streamlined public transport provision that will make car use the less favourable option.”

 

In moving her motion, Councillor Wilson spoke of the importance of strategic transport proposals taking account of the need for connectivity with rural villages.  She noted that the GCP was currently undertaking a consultation on the Rural Travel Hub at Oakington, with a deadline for responses of 7 January 2019.  Whilst a number of residents of Cottenham and Rampton appeared to be supportive of the proposal for the travel hub, they were unsure of how they would be able to access it as there was no public transport available.  Moreover there was little or no parking proposed at the travel hub. Councillor Wilson questioned how residents could respond to such consultations when half of the offer appeared to be missing.  She noted that when the Guided Bus and the Cambridge North Railway Station had been built there had been an assumption that a direct public transport link would be available from Cottenham, but this had not proved to be the case.  The rural travel hub would provide the opportunity to put this right if an integrated travel solution was offered. Councillor Wilson noted that the anticipated expansion of the population of the village from 6,000 to 8,000 people would only lead to more cars on the road without an efficient and integrated public transport offer.   She argued that the Combined Authority strategic  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15f

16.

CHAIRMAN'S ENGAGEMENTS

 

To note the Chairman’s engagements since the last Council meeting:

 

Date

Venue / Event

Attending

 

October

 

Sunday 07  

Her Majesty’s Judiciary, Trinity College to St Mary’s Church, Cambridge 

Chairman

Sunday 14  

Godmanchester Civic Service, St Mary’s Church.  Godmanchester      

                                                   

Vice Chairman

Tuesday 16

Opening of Arlington Manor Care Home, Girton

 

Chairman

Sunday 21

East Cambridgeshire District Council Civic Service, St George’s Parish Church, Littleport

 

Vice-Chairman

Tuesday 23

Wear it Pink Raffle

Chairman

 

Sunday 28

City of Ely Councils Civic Service.  St Mary’s Church, Ely

 

Vice-Chairman

 

 

 

November

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday 07

Remembrance Flag Raising, Pathfinder House, Huntingdon

 

Vice-Chairman

Thursday 08

Remembrance Flag Raising, South Cambridgeshire Hall

 

Chairman and Vice-Chairman

Friday 09

Girton Glebe School Act of Remembrance

 

Chairman

Friday 09

Naming of the Men Ceremony, Peterborough.

 

Vice-Chairman

Sunday 11

Remembrance Day, Milton

Vice-Chairman

 

Sunday 11

Battle’s Over, St Andrew’s Church, Girton

Chairman and Vice-Chairman

 

Monday 12

Wreath Laying Ceremony, American Cemetery, Coton

 

Chairman

Friday 16

Cambridge Mayor’s Reception.

Chairman

Sunday 18

Service of Remembrance for Road Trust Victims.  University Church of Great St. Mary’s Cambridge.

 

Chairman

Wednesday 21

Turf Cutting Event at the site of the new Northstowe Education Campus

Chairman

 

Minutes:

The Council noted those engagements attended by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council since the last meeting. 

17.

Exclusion of Press and Public

 

The press and public are likely to be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item in accordance with the provisions of Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A (as amended) of the Act).

 

Paragraph 3 refers to information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

Decision:

Council AGREED

 

To exclude the press and public from the meeting during consideration of the following item of business in accordance with Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that if present there would be a disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended).

Minutes:

Council

 

RESOLVED:

 

To exclude the press and public from the meeting during consideration of the following item of business in accordance with Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that, if present, there would be a disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended).

18.

EXEMPT MINUTE

Minutes:

Further to Minute 5, Minute 19(a) of the meeting of the Council held on 27 September 2018  (which contained exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part I of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended)) was approved as a correct record, subject to inclusion of a reference to Councillor Peter Topping having read out comments made by Councillor Bridget Smith at a previous Council meeting on the subject of the ice rink.

 

Councillor Heather Williams also made a request that future minutes should include the surname and forename of any Councillor where more than one Member had that same surname.

19.

CAMBRIDGE ICE ARENA FUNDING AGREEMENT

 

Scrutiny and Overview Committee is due to consider this report at its meeting on 22 November 2018.  Council will be updated on any comments raised by the Committee.

Decision:

Council AGREED to:

 

1.    Note the independent report which concluded that the project is capable of completion within the forecast final account.

 

2.    Approve the extension of the loan facility to be provided to Cambridge Leisure and Ice Centre (CLIC) from £1.85m to £2.4m subject to the caveats recommended by Scrutiny and Overview Committee and to an additional caveat agreed at the meeting.

 

3.    Approve additional actions as recommended by the Scrutiny and Overview Committee.

 

4.    Approve, subject to completion of all outstanding matters, a delegation to the Chief Finance Officer, in consultation with the Lead Cabinet Member for Finance, to undertake further actions as specified in the report of the Executive Director.

Minutes:

Council received the recommendations of the Scrutiny and Overview Committee, at its meeting held on 22 November 2018, together with the report of the Executive Director, regarding the Cambridge Ice Arena funding agreement (which were not for publication by virtue of paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972).

 

Councillor Grenville Chamberlain, the Chairman of the Scrutiny and Overview Committee, moved the recommendations of the Committee, which were seconded by Councillor Brian Milnes.

 

Detailed discussion took place and Members asked a number of questions which were responded to by the 3C Legal Advisor and the Executive Director.

 

An amendment to include an additional caveat in respect of the extension of the loan facility was proposed by Councillor Tumi Hawkins and seconded by Councillor Brian Milnes.

 

On being put to the vote, votes were cast on the amendment as follows:-

 

In favour (17):

 

Councillors Phillip Allen, Henry Batchelor, Dr. Martin Cahn, Dr. Claire Daunton, Peter Fane, Neil Gough, Philippa Hart, Geoff Harvey, Dr Tumi Hawkins, Pippa Heylings, Steve Hunt, Tony Mason, Peter McDonald, Brian Milnes, Nick Sample, Hazel Smith, John Williams.

 

Against (13):

 

Councillors John Batchelor, Ruth Betson, Dr. Shrobona Bhattacharya, Anna Bradnam, Tom Bygott, Grenville Chamberlain, Graham Cone, Dr. Douglas de Lacey, Mark Howell, Ian Sollom, Peter Topping, Heather Williams and Nick Wright.

 

Abstain (3):

 

Councillors Clare Delderfield, Bridget Smith and Eileen Wilson

 

The amendment was accordingly declared carried.

 

Councillor John Williams proposed “that the question be now put” in accordance with Council Standing Order 14.11(a) (ii).

 

Councillor Mark Howell seconded the procedural motion.

 

The procedural vote was approved by affirmation.

 

Upon being put to the vote, votes were cast on the substantive motion as follows:

 

In favour (32):

 

Councillors Philip Allen, Henry Batchelor, John Batchelor, Ruth Betson, Dr Shrobona Bhattacharya, Anna Bradnam, Tom Bygott, Dr. Martin Cahn, Grenville Chamberlain, Graham Cone, Dr. Claire Daunton, Dr. Douglas de Lacey, Clare Delderfield, Peter Fane, Neil Gough, Philippa Hart, Geoff Harvey, Dr. Tumi Hawkins, Pippa Heylings, Mark Howell, Steve Hunt, Tony Mason, Peter McDonald, Brian Milnes, Nick Sample, Bridget Smith, Hazel Smith, Ian Sollom, Peter Topping, Heather Williams, John Williams and Eileen Wilson.

 

Against (0):

 

Abstain (0):

 

Council

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the independent report which concludes that the project is capable of completion within the forecast final account, be noted.

 

2.    That the extension of the loan facility to be provided to Cambridge Leisure and Ice Centre (CLIC) from £1.85m to £2.4m  be approved, subject to the caveats recommended by Scrutiny and Overview Committee and to an additional caveat agreed at this meeting.

 

3.    That the additional actions as recommended by the Scrutiny and Overview Committee be approved.

 

4.    That, subject to completion of all outstanding matters, authority be delegated to the Chief Finance Officer, in consultation with the Lead Cabinet Member for Finance, to undertake further actions as specified in the report of the Executive Director.