Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Council - Thursday, 24 September 2020 2.00 p.m.

Venue: Virtual meeting - Online. View directions

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

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

To receive Apologies for Absence from Members.

Minutes:

Apologies for Absence for were received Councillors Philip Allen, Peter Fane, Judith Rippeth, Bridget Smith and Dr. Ian Sollom.

2.

Declaration of Interest

Minutes:

Councillor John Batchelor declared a non-pecuniary interest in items 8a and 11 as an unpaid director of Ermine Street Housing Ltd. 

 

Councillors Nick Wright and Peter McDonald declared a non-pecuniary interest in item 13a as former directors of Visit Cambridge and Beyond.

 

It was noted that all Councillors had a pecuniary interest in item 9 the Annual Pay award.

3.

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

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 351 KB

To authorise the Chair to sign the Minutes of the meeting held on the 14 July 2020 as a correct record.

Minutes:

Council agreed the minutes of the meeting held 14 July 2020, subject to the amendment of the second sentence of minute 8(b) to read “… the Council was on target to achieve its ambition of doubling the number of Council houses it builds each year by 2024.” 

5.

Announcements

To receive any announcements from the Chair, Leader, the executive or the head of paid service.

Minutes:

The Chair congratulated Councillor Graham Cone on the birth of his son Spencer. Council observed a period of silence to remember former Councillors Christopher Gravatt and Bill Saberton, who had died since the last meeting.

 

Councillor Nigel Cathcart paid tribute to Bill Saberton, a shrewd Fenland Farmer, with great knowledge of housing and his local area. Councillor Hazel Smith added that Bill Saberton was a real gentleman and well respected. Councillor Cathcart also paid tribute to Christopher Gravatt, former member for Bassingbourn, a man of great energy who enjoyed running and hill walking. He will be missed.

 

Councillor John Williams explained that he was asked at the previous full Council meeting under what powers the Council was able to withhold parish council precept payments after a schedule of payments had been agreed.

 

He said the Local Authorities (Funds) (England) Regulations 1992 prescribes the way in which parish councils receive their precept payments and it states that 50% should be paid within one month of the start of the financial year and the remainder within six months of the start of the financial year.

 

In response to a further question although he considered it was clear from his answer to the original question that the Council had not followed the Regulation he was making this further statement to clarify the matter.

 

Because of the Covid-19 lockdown this Council as the billing authority was facing exceptional circumstances at the start of the new financial year and at the time the Council wrote to parish councils it was unaware that the Government was to reschedule the payment of Business Rate which eased the situation. Parish councils who asked for their precept payment to be paid in accordance with the regulations had their precept paid accordingly. When it became apparent that the Council did not require the help of the parish councils with its cash flow the outstanding precept was paid to them as quickly as the processes allowed.

 

Councillor John Williams again took the opportunity to thank the parish councils for their support. Councillor Dr. Richard Williams thanked Council John Williams for his answer.

6.

Questions From the Public

To answer any questions asked by the public.

 

The deadline for receipt of public questions is noon on Thursday, 17 September 2020.

 

The Council’s scheme for public speaking at remote meetings may be inspected here:

 

Public Questions at Remote Meetings 

6a

From Daniel Fulton pdf icon PDF 95 KB

"Does the Leader of the Council agree that public officers should discharge their duties on behalf of the Council in a manner consistent with the rule of law?”

Minutes:

Daniel Fulton asked the following question to the Leader of Council:

“The Council recently refused a request for access to environmental information pertaining to a pending planning application on the grounds that the information had been supplied to the Council by the developer, who the Council considers to be its “customer”. The Council stated that the developer, as the Council’s “customer”, was owed a “duty of confidence” by the Council that outweighed the public interest in the full disclosure of environmental information in the planning process and the statutory presumption in favour of the disclosure of environmental information under the provisions of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

 

“Is the Leader of the Council comfortable with the Council’s rationale for this refusal, and if not, will the Leader ask officers to look at this decision again, especially in light of the Council’s recent pledge in its Business Plan to be “a modern and caring Council” that “make[s] decisions in a transparent, open and inclusive way”?”

 

Councillor Dr. Tumi Hawkins informed Mr Fulton that she believed this question related to a specific requested submitted by him, and that the Council had a range of different customers who had competing priorities when making decisions in the public interest. She concluded that if Mr Fulton was dissatisfied with the response provided to him he could request an internal review of the decision, and if he was still not satisfied he could go to the Information Commissioners Office.

 

Mr Fulton thanked Councillor Dr. Hawkins for her answer.

7.

Petitions

To note all petitions received since the last Council meeting.

Minutes:

No petitions had been received. 

8.

To consider the following recommendations:

8a

2019/2020 Provisional General Fund Revenue and Capital Outturn (Cabinet 2 September 2020) pdf icon PDF 347 KB

Cabinet recommended to Council:

 

1.    A General Fund Revenue Carry Forward in the sum of £30,000.

2.    In relation to the Capital Programme:

a.     The carry forward of £2.801 million in relation to General Fund capital projects due mainly to slippage.

b.    Additional funding of £105,000 from earmarked reserves to meet the expected cost of the Lighting renewal programme.

 

Decision:

Council Agreed

 

A)       A General Fund Revenue Carry Forward in the sum of £30,000.

B)       In relation to the Capital Programme:

                      i.        The carry forward of £2.081 million in relation to General Fund capital projects due mainly to slippage.

                    ii.        Additional funding of £105,000 from earmarked reserves to meet the expected cost of the Lighting renewal programme.

Minutes:

Councillor John Williams moved the recommendation, as laid out in the agenda front sheet. He explained that there was an error in the recommendation and the figure should be 2.081 and not 2.801. He also explained that the figures were still provisional as the draft accounts had not yet been approved by the auditors. He was pleased to report that the Council was in a healthy financial position and he gave an explanation for the various variances.

 

Councillor Heather Williams requested that in future, reports in the Council agenda be written specifically for Council, instead of using the report that went to Cabinet. She supported the recommendations in the report, but expressed concern that there was an underspend in the planning budget and would have preferred this money to have been spent.

 

Councillor Gavin Clayton welcomed the £30,000 carried forward for the Gypsy and Traveller assessment and asked when the report was due. He also queried why the underspend in the Health and Wellbeing budget was not being carried forward, as funding mental health needs was a vital part of responding to the challenges created by Covid-19. Councillor Nigel Cathcart agreed with Councillor Clayton and hoped the relatively modest underspend could be spent constructively on assisting people through the crisis.

 

Councillor Brian Milnes expressed the hope that Cabinet had recognised the error in paragraph 42 of the report, which had a comma instead of a decimal point.

 

Councillor Dr. Tumi Hawkins assured Councillor Heather Williams that the Council intended to spend the planning budget, but were having difficulty in recruiting staff to the planning service.

 

Councillor Dr. Aidan Van de Weyer thanked officers for their work in preparing the outturn report and urged Council to support it.

 

Councillor John Williams agreed to investigate Councillor Heather Williams’ request. He also promised to find the date of the Gypsy and Traveller report for Councillor Clayton. He assured Council that there was sufficient funds in the Health and Wellbeing budget and so there was no need to carry forward the underspend.

 

Councillor John Williams proposed, and Councillor Dr. Aidan Van de Weyer seconded the recommendations in the agenda front sheet.

 

By affirmation, with one vote against (Councillor Gavin Clayton), Council Resolved

 

A)       A General Fund Revenue Carry Forward in the sum of £30,000.

B)       In relation to the Capital Programme:

                      i.        The carry forward of £2.081 million in relation to General Fund capital projects due mainly to slippage.

                    ii.        Additional funding of £105,000 from earmarked reserves to meet the expected cost of the Lighting renewal programme.

8b

Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Revenue and Capital Budget Provisional Outturn 2019/2020 (Cabinet 2 September 2020) pdf icon PDF 270 KB

Cabinet recommended to Council:

 

1)    The Housing Revenue Account Revenue Budget Carry Forwards in the sum of £0.020 million, in relation to tenant participation.

2)    In relation to the Capital Programme:

a.    The carry forwards to 2020/21 of £1.611 million in relation to HRA Housing improvements due mainly to slippage.

b.    The bringing forward of £1.530 million from 2020/21 in relation to HRA housebuilding during 2019/20, due to works being ahead of expectations.

Decision:

Council Agreed:

 

A)       The Housing Revenue Account Revenue Budget Carry Forwards in the sum of £0.020 million, in relation to tenant participation.

B)       In relation to the Capital Programme:

                      i.        The carry forwards to 2020/21 of £1.611 million in relation to HRA Housing improvements due mainly to slippage.

                    ii.        The bringing forward of £1.530 million from 2020/21 in relation to HRA housebuilding during 2019/20, due to works being ahead of expectations.

Minutes:

Councillor John Williams presented this report, which provided the Council with the HRA revenue and Capital outturn position for 2019/20 and invited Council to agree the proposed changes to the Capital Programme. He explained that paragraph 6 on page 32 provided details of the overspend of on the HRA revenue budget. Paragraph 8 on page 33 provided details of the variances. He stated that he was proud of the £1.5 million overspend on the new home building programme, as it showed the Council’s commitment to building affordable houses.

 

Councillor Hazel Smith, Lead Cabinet Member for Housing, stated that the overspend was expected and the house building programme was continuing following the cessation in April.

 

In response to a question for Councillor Mark Howell, Councillor John Williams agreed to ascertain whether Capital Receipts had been returned over the last period, or if there had been an extension due to Covid-19.

 

Councillor John Williams proposed and Councillor Hazel Smith seconded the recommendations in the report.

 

By affirmation Council Resolved

 

A)       The Housing Revenue Account Revenue Budget Carry Forwards in the sum of £0.020 million, in relation to tenant participation.

B)       In relation to the Capital Programme:

                      i.        The carry forwards to 2020/21 of £1.611 million in relation to HRA Housing improvements due mainly to slippage.

                    ii.        The bringing forward of £1.530 million from 2020/21 in relation to HRA housebuilding during 2019/20, due to works being ahead of expectations.

9.

Annual Pay Award 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 160 KB

Council is invited to approve an additional 0.75% to all spinal column points of the pay grade.

Decision:

Council Agreed to approve an additional 0.75% to all spinal column points of the pay grade.

Minutes:

Councillor John Williams, Lead Cabinet Member for Finance, explained that an estimate of a 2% pay award had been put in the budget for 2020/21. In June the Council had agreed with the unions to pay 2%, on the understanding that this would be reconsidered once the National Agreement was reached. This had now been settled at 2.75% and so Council were being asked to pay an additional 0.75%, backdated to April. In addition to the pay settlement an extra day’s annual leave for those officers on the least amount of leave, a car loan scheme and stress negotiation had also been agreed nationally. The latter items were issues that would form part of ongoing discussions with the unions.

 

Councillor Deborah Roberts stated that this pay increase could not be justified at a time when many businesses in the private sector were facing ruin.

 

Councillor Mark Howell disagreed with Councillor Roberts. He explained that the Council had a statutory duty to provide vital services for its tenants and residents and did not have the flexibility of a private business. He concluded that a 2.75% increase had been agreed nationally and the Council should match this. Councillor John Williams added that agreeing the 0.75% increase would help the local economy, as employees would spend more.

 

The Chair expressed his gratitude to staff, for working extra hours and working flexibly to respond to the challenges created by the pandemic.

 

Councillor John Williams proposed and Councillor Mark Howell seconded the recommendation.

 

By affirmation, with one vote against (Councillor Deborah Roberts), Council

 

Resolved      to approve an additional 0.75% to all spinal column points of the pay grade.

10.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority pdf icon PDF 496 KB

Attached are the reports summarising the work of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority from June-August 2020.

Minutes:

Councillor Dr. Aidan Van de Weyer explained that the Combined Authority Board had agreed a scheme for the delivery of affordable housing and approved the setting up of a group to investigate the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro (CAM). A Chair needed to be appointed. A climate change commission had also been set up and the Board was looking at a post Covid recovery strategy. An announcement of the new location of the Mayor’s office was expected soon.

 

Councillor Tony Mason explained that the Audit and Corporate Governance Committee had raised concerns regarding the appointing of sub-committees and the possibility of decisions being taken in meetings that were not open to the public. The Committee had also recommended that climate change be added to the Corporate Risk Register.

 

Council Noted the report.

11.

Membership of Cabinet, Committees and Outside Bodies

Council is invited to consider:

·         Appointments of Peter Campbell and Jeff Membery as Directors of the Council’s housing company, Ermine Street Housing Ltd, alongside their roles as Head of Housing and Head of Transformation respectively.

·         Appointment of Councillor Pippa Heylings to the outside body - Natural Cambridgeshire.

Decision:

Council Agreed to:

·         Approve the appointments of Peter Campbell and Jeff Membery as Directors of the Council’s housing company, Ermine Street Housing Ltd, alongside their roles as Head of Housing and Head of Transformation respectively.

·         Appoint Councillor Pippa Heylings to the outside body – Natural Cambridgeshire.

Minutes:

Council Noted the following appointments:

·         Councillor Neil Gough replaced Councillor Dr. Aidan Van de Weyer on the Greater Cambridge Partnership Executive Board.

·         Councillor Dr. Richard Williams as a substitute member of the Climate and Environment Committee.

 

The Chair proposed and Councillor Brian Milnes seconded the recommendations in the agenda front sheet.

 

By affirmation Council Resolved

 

A)       To approve the appointments of Peter Campbell and Jeff Membery as Directors of the Council’s housing company, Ermine Street Housing Ltd, alongside their roles as Head of Housing and Head of Transformation respectively.

 

B)       To appoint Councillor Pippa Heylings to the outside body – Natural Cambridgeshire.

12.

Urgent Executive Decisions pdf icon PDF 198 KB

To provide an information report on an urgent decision which was exempted from call-in under Scrutiny and Overview Procedure Rules 13.19 – 13.21.

Minutes:

The Deputy Head of Legal presented this report on a decision that was exempted from call-in under the Scrutiny and Overview Procedure Rules 13.19-13.21 of the Constitution. He explained that the decision related to a response to the Government’s consultation on the England Tree Strategy. To ensure the Council’s response was received within the deadline, the decision had been exempted from call-in, with the agreement of the Chairs of Council and the Scrutiny and Overview Committee. Processes had been put in place to avoid a repetition of this oversight by officers.

 

Council Noted the report.

13.

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 in the agenda below) and questions which may be asked without notice.

 

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

13a

From Cllr Graham Cone

When will the Council make a decision on which site we will back for the relocation of the Water Treatment Plant?

Minutes:

When will the Council make a decision on which site they will back for the relocation of the Water Treatment Plant?

 

Councillor Dr. Tumi Hawkins stated that at this stage the Council had not expressed a preference for any of the site options, but the authority had been in dialogue with the Project Team and would consider the options with the County Council.

 

Councillor Graham Cone stated that the location of the treatment plant affected the North East Cambridge Area Action plan and asked if the Council would show leadership on the proposed site, instead of being led.

 

Councillor Dr. Tumi Hawkins recognised that the location of the works was a factor in the North East Cambridge Action Plan and the Council would ensure that its views were heard.

13b

From Cllr Sue Ellington

Can the leader outline the source of the IT issue or issues which led to the significant outage experienced during  August and the steps which have been taken to mitigate the risk of a similar occurrence impacting council business or services in the future? 

Minutes:

Can the leader outline the source of the IT issue or issues which lead to the significant outage experienced during August and the steps which have been taken to mitigate the risk of a similar occurrence impacting council business or services in the future?

 

Councillor Neil Gough explained that the outage in question occurred at 1pm on 11 August and an estimated 350 devices failed. Unfortunately the automatic warning that should have notified officers that the licences were about to expire had not worked. The out of hours support team did not have immediate access to the necessary funds and the company initially sent out the incorrect certificates. Steps had been taken to ensure that the automatic reminders will work in the future, licenses were subject to a weekly check and the ICT infrastructure team would have access to funds for emergency expenditure.

 

Councillor Sue Ellington asked if there was an ICT disaster recovery policy in place and when it was last reviewed.

 

Councillor Neil Gough confirmed that a disaster recovery plan was in place and he would provide Councillor Ellington with the date of the last review outside the meeting.

13c

From Cllr Mark Howell

What progress is being made in replacing the vehicles/lorries in the shared waste service with electric alternatives?

Minutes:

What progress is being made in replacing the vehicles/lorries in the shared waste service with electric alternatives?

 

Councillor Brian Milnes stated that the Council would take delivery of an electric bin lorry later in the year and the plan was to replace the entire fleet over an eight year period.

 

Councillor Mark Howell expressed pride in this, but asked how the impact of the five new diesel vehicles would be mitigated.

 

Councillor Milnes stated that whilst it was disappointing that new diesel vehicles had to be purchased, these would be replaced with electric vehicles in time. He hoped whole fleet could be replaced with electric vehicles well within the eight year timescale.

13d

From Cllr Heather Williams

Will the Lead Cabinet Member for planning confirm how many incidents of developers gaining ‘Deemed Discharge of condition’ there have been in the last 12 months?

Minutes:

Will the Lead member for planning confirm how many incidents of developers gaining ‘Deemed Discharge of condition’ there have been in the last 12 months?

 

Councillor Dr. Tumi Hawkins explained that there had been one incident of developers gaining “Deemed Discharge of condition” in the last 12 months, at Church End, Arrington. This had been due to a period of change over, with one officer leaving and another starting.

 

Councillor Heather Williams stated that Arrington Parish Council had not received a letter or e-mail confirming this Deemed Discharge of condition, nor had they received an apology. Councillor Dr. Tumi Hawkins apologised, saying that she was unaware that no correspondence had been sent to Arrington Parish Council. She promised to take this matter up on Councillor Heather Williams’ behalf.

 

13e

From Cllr Nick Wright

Visit Cambridge and beyond has been forced into liquidation. 40% of its membership were South Cambs businesses. Can the Leader state how this administration will support those businesses in the future?

Minutes:

Visit Cambridge and beyond has been forced into liquidation. 40% of its membership were South Cambs businesses. Can the Leader state how this administration will support those businesses in the future?

 

Councillor Peter McDonald explained that the Covid-19 pandemic brought challenges to tourism within the District and the Council was engaging with a new group. He hoped that a new business support scheme would be put in place and the Council would be able to support the new group financially.

 

Councillor Wright stated that the District Council had long supported tourism in the Greater Cambridge area in partnership with the City Council, but now the District’s businesses were not being supported. He asked what could be done for these organisations.

 

Councillor McDonald stated that the Chair of Visit Cambridge had thanked the Council for its support and officers would continue to assist businesses with their marketing strategy. He assured Council that these organisations would receive considerable support in the future.

13f

From Cllr Sarah Cheung Johnson

Please could we get an update on the grant status for business? Have we had feedback from businesses?

Minutes:

Please could we get an update on the grant status for business? Have we had feedback from businesses?

 

Councillor Peter McDonald, Lead Cabinet Member for Business Recovery, stated that this was an extremely important area, which had seen the Council distribute £23.96 million to over 2,000 businesses. More funds had been distributed using the discretionary grant. This had made a real difference to businesses.

 

Councillor Sarah Cheung Johnson asked what the Council would like to see from the Government. Councillor McDonald stated that he had written to the three MPs in the area and asked them to extend the furlough scheme to help local businesses.

13g

From Cllr Dr. Claire Daunton

Could the Lead Member for Housing please provide an update on the effect of Covid-19, and consequent lockdown, on housing maintenance?

Minutes:

Could the Lead Member for Housing please provide an update on the effect of Covid-19, and consequent lockdown, on housing maintenance?

 

Councillor Hazel Smith, Leader Member for Housing, thanked the officers in the housing section for their sterling work in responding to the challenge created by the pandemic. Some tenants had refused operators entry to carry out mandatory gas checks, but the Council had remained compliant as this had been the tenant’s decision. Councillor Smith reported that 100% of the checks had now been carried out.

 

Councillor Dr. Daunton asked about the status of the Mears contract. Councillor Smith reported that the current contract expired in March 2022, but obviously preparatory work was being carried out before then, including the possibility of setting up an informal member workshop.

13h

From Cllr Pippa Heylings

How will the Leader respond to the Government's planning reforms that propose to both scrap S106 obligations and exempt developers from providing affordable housing on sites of 50 houses or less?

Minutes:

How will the Leader respond to the Government's planning reforms that propose to both scrap S106 obligations and exempt developers from providing affordable housing on sites of 50 houses or less?

 

Councillor Dr. Tumi Hawkins, Lead Cabinet Member for Housing, stated that the Council did not support the raising of the threshold for the delivery of affordable houses. The Government’s planned reforms disadvantaged rural areas, as most schemes were below the 50 house threshold. The Council would provide a robust response to the Government.

 

Councillor Heylings suggested that a uniform standard across the country was inappropriate in this case. Councillor Dr. Hawkins agreed and pledged to ensure a persuasive response to the Government.

13i

From Cllr Geoff Harvey

Given the view of public health experts is that the likelihood of a second wave of Covid-19 infection has increased significantly over recent weeks, will the Leader explain what measures are in place or can be put in place to both protect the our residents and support our local businesses?

Minutes:

Given the view of public health experts is that the likelihood of a second wave of Covid-19 infection has increased significantly over recent weeks, will the Leader explain what measures are in place or can be put in place to both protect our residents and support our local businesses?

 

Councillor Bill Handley, Lead Cabinet for Community Resilience, explained that protecting the District’s residents was a top priority for the Council. The authority was working closely with public health, parish councils, the community, businesses and volunteers to achieve this. There was insufficient time for Councillor Harvey to ask a supplementary question.

14.

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, or if the original Motion has been amended, the mover of that amendment now forming part of the substantive motion, will have the right of reply before it is put to the vote.

14a

Standing in the name of Cllr Heather Williams

Council expresses deep concern that:

 

·         Trades Union Congress (TUC) research revealed nearly half of workers had witnessed bullying at their workplace.  https://www.tuc.org.uk/resource/bullying-work

·         Female employees are more likely to be victims of bullying than males. https://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/Bullying%20at%20Work%202019.pdf

 

Council notes that:

 

·         16th to 20th? November 2020 is Anti-Bullying Week, organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance.

·         The theme of this year’s Anti-Bullying Week is ‘United against bullying’.

·         The Anti-Bullying Alliance’s definition of bullying is: ?“the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. It can happen face to face or online”?.

·         Bullying behaviour can be done by an individual or by a group, and can be physical, verbal, emotional, sexual or online.

 

Council resolves:

 

·         That bullying in any form, by any group or individual, in any walk of life, is unacceptable.

·         To adopt the Anti-Bullying Alliance’s definition of bullying.

·         That as councillors we should lead by example in our actions and interactions, and will support efforts in our communities to highlight and end bullying. We will further demonstrate this by asking members to sign a pledge that we will refrain from bullying behaviour.

·         That once signed these pledges will be displayed on councillors’ official Council website profiles to show that we take bullying seriously and are determined to stand up for our communities.

·         To launch a review to ensure that for Council colleagues and our residents, there is clear signposting to helplines and support groups- such as Childline, ACAS, Citizens Advice Bureau, Bullying UK, and others.

Decision:

Council

 

Agreed          To refer the following motion to the Civic Affairs Committee.

 

Council expresses deep concern that:

 

 

Council notes that:

 

  • 16th to 20th? November 2020 is Anti-Bullying Week, organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance.
  • The theme of this year’s Anti-Bullying Week is ‘United against bullying’.
  • The Anti-Bullying Alliance’s definition of bullying is: ?“the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. It can happen face to face or online”?.
  • Bullying behaviour can be done by an individual or by a group, and can be physical, verbal, emotional, sexual or online.

 

Council resolves:

 

  • That bullying in any form, by any group or individual, in any walk of life, is unacceptable.
  • To adopt the Anti-Bullying Alliance’s definition of bullying.
  • That as councillors we should lead by example in our actions and interactions, and will support efforts in our communities to highlight and end bullying. We will further demonstrate this by asking members to sign a pledge that we will refrain from bullying behaviour.
  • That once signed these pledges will be displayed on councillors’ official Council website profiles to show that we take bullying seriously and are determined to stand up for our communities.
  • To launch a review to ensure that for Council colleagues and our residents, there is clear signposting to helplines and support groups- such as Childline, ACAS, Citizens Advice Bureau, Bullying UK, and others.

 

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Heather Williams proposed the following motion, as laid out in the agenda:

 

“Council expresses deep concern that:

 

·         Trades Union Congress (TUC) research revealed nearly half of workers had witnessed bullying at their workplace.  https://www.tuc.org.uk/resource/bullying-work

·         Female employees are more likely to be victims of bullying than males. https://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/Bullying%20at%20Work%202019.pdf

 

“Council notes that:

 

·         16th to 20th? November 2020 is Anti-Bullying Week, organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance.

·         The theme of this year’s Anti-Bullying Week is ‘United against bullying’.

·         The Anti-Bullying Alliance’s definition of bullying is: ?“the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. It can happen face to face or online”?.

·         Bullying behaviour can be done by an individual or by a group, and can be physical, verbal, emotional, sexual or online.

 

“Council resolves:

 

·         That bullying in any form, by any group or individual, in any walk of life, is unacceptable.

·         To adopt the Anti-Bullying Alliance’s definition of bullying.

·         That as councillors we should lead by example in our actions and interactions, and will support efforts in our communities to highlight and end bullying. We will further demonstrate this by signing a pledge that we will refrain from bullying behaviour.

·         That once signed these pledges will be displayed on councillors’ official Council website profiles to show that we take bullying seriously and are determined to stand up for our communities.

·         To launch a review to ensure that for Council colleagues and our residents, there is clear signposting to helplines and support groups- such as Childline, ACAS, Citizens Advice Bureau, Bullying UK, and others.”

 

Councillor Heather Williams explained that a 2018 report discovered that every 1.2 minutes a woman was abused in her party and there was every reason to believe that this research would be replicated in other parties. Sutton Council had passed a similar motion in 2018 and she expressed the hope that the political parties of this Council could also unite against bullying.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Mark Howell.

 

Councillor Dr Claire Daunton proposed the following amendment, which was seconded by Councillor Pippa Heylings.

 

Following the words “Council resolves:”, delete the first four bullet points and replace with the following text:

 

“In order to keep all code of conduct guidance, including that on bullying and coercion, in one readily accessible place and up to date, to request that Civic Affair Committee considers adopting the new LGA Member Code of Conduct, once it has been formally launched later this year.

(https://www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/LGA%20Model%20Member%20Code%20of%20Conduct.pdf)”

 

The Deputy Head of Legal explained that the Council could refer this matter to the Civic Affairs Committee and that the amendment did not negate the original motion and so could be discussed.

 

Councillor Heather Williams stated that she would not accept the amendment.

 

Councillor Mark Howell stated that the amendment included a link to a document that councillors had not read and Council should not agree the motion without seeing the document.

 

On taking the advice of the Chief  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14a

14b

Standing in the Name of Cllr Dr. Richard Williams

South Cambridgeshire District Council recognises that illegal parking is a serious problem for many communities in our district. This council commits to tackling this problem and will explore the options available to us, as an authority, to assume the responsibility of civil parking enforcement, in common with over 9 in 10 local authority areas in England.

Decision:

Council

 

Agreed          that South Cambridgeshire District Council recognises illegal parking is a serious problem for many communities in our district. This council commits to tackling this problem and to continuing to explore the options available to us, as an authority, to assume the responsibility of civil parking enforcement, in common with over 9 in 10 local authority areas in England.

Minutes:

Councillor Dr. Richard Williams proposed the following motion:

“South Cambridgeshire District Council recognises that illegal parking is a serious problem for many communities in our district. This council commits to tackling this problem and will explore the options available to us, as an authority, to assume the responsibility of civil parking enforcement, in common with over 9 in 10 local authority areas in England.”

 

Councillor Dr. Richard Williams stated that illegal parking was a problem throughout the District. It endangered cyclists and motorists. The District was one of 13 authorities out of 327 councils that was not a civil parking area. Cambridge City Council had made the City a civil parking area in 2004, which had the potential to cause confusion in border areas.

 

Councillor Dr. Richard Williams explained that there were many different models of civil parking. He further explained that the Council had tried paying for extra time from PCSO officers but this had not worked. According to a Cabinet report in 2019, the Council had not looked at this in detail since 2006. The Greater Cambridge Partnership appeared supportive.

 

Councillor Heather Williams seconded the motion, explaining that parking was a problem near travel hubs and other popular areas.

 

Councillor Nick Sample proposed an amendment that replaced “will” with “to continuing to”. Councillor Richard Williams agreed with the amendment which was accepted without debate.

 

Councillor Brian Milnes supported the motion, but wanted to commend the work of the Development Officer – Climate and Environment carried out 18 months ago in her report to Cabinet.

 

Councillor Steve Hunt expressed his support for this and agreed with Councillor Dr. Richard Williams that areas such as Orchard Park and North East Cambridge would benefit from having the same rules as Cambridge City Council.

 

Councillor Anna Bradnam expressed her support for this motion, stating that parking was a problem in Milton, due to the proximity of the Science Park. The challenge was that all civil parking had to be self-funding.

 

Councillor Nigel Cathcart explained that this issue had been discussed many times and should not be seen as purely an enforcement issues. Many estates had been built when there were fewer cars and this issue could cause tension between residents. He hoped that the Council could take a holistic approach to this issue.

 

Councillor Nick Sample expressed his support for the motion. He noted that the scheme would have to be self-funding and would require the co-operation of the Police. He lamented that the Police and Crime Commissioned had refused the extension of PCSO work.

 

Councillor Graham Cone expressed his support for the motion, which was especially important in new developments.

 

Councillor Heather Williams acknowledged the work already carried out by officers. She stated that the District was changing and this was an ideal time to revisit this issue.

 

By affirmation, with one abstention (Councillor Nigel Cathcart), Council

 

Resolved      that South Cambridgeshire District Council recognises illegal parking is a serious problem for many communities in our district. This council commits to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14b

14c

Standing in the Name of Cllr Bunty Waters

Following residents contacting myself with concerns in relation to fireworks, I researched the topic and found helpful support from the RSPCA on how we as councillors could help. And with this in mind I would like to propose the motion below:

 

·         Once the Council becomes aware that a public firework display is to be held within the local authority boundary, to write to the event holder asking for it to be advertised in advance of the event, in such a way as to allow residents to take precautions for their animals and vulnerable people 

·         To actively promote a public awareness campaign about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks by committing to sharing suitable RSPCA content on social media about the impact on welfare and vulnerable people

·         To write to the UK Government urging them to investigate legislation to limit the maximum noise level of fireworks to 90dB for those sold to the public for private display

·         To contact the RSPCA asking for contact details of known local suppliers of fireworks and to thereafter write to any known local supplier to stock ‘quieter’ fireworks for public display.

Decision:

Council

 

Agreed          To actively promote a public awareness campaign about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks by committing to sharing suitable RSPCA content on social media about the impact on welfare and vulnerable people. This will use material produced by OPSS [Office for Product Safety and Standards], in partnership with the RSPCA, and as published at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/consumer-safety-awareness-campaigns-materials under section “Fireworks campaign”.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Bunty Waters proposed the following amended version of her motion:

 

“To actively promote a public awareness campaign about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks by committing to sharing suitable RSPCA content on social media about the impact on welfare and vulnerable people. This will use material produced by OPSS [Office for Product Safety and Standards], in partnership with the RSPCA, and as published at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/consumer-safety-awareness-campaigns-materials under section “Fireworks campaign”.”

 

Councillor Bunty Waters expressed her thanks to Councillor Brian Milnes for his interest in the issue and explained that she had agreed the amendments that he had suggested.

 

Cllr Graham Cone seconded the motion.

 

Councillor Brian Milnes thanked Councillor Waters for proposing this motion. Fireworks had the potential to disturb, domestic and farm animals, as well as vulnerable people.

 

Councillor Cathcart expressed concern that the Council would not have the resources to carry out his enforcement issue.

 

Councillor Heather Williams assured Councillor Cathcart that this was more a matter of awareness than enforcement and whilst the Council did not want to spoil anybody’s enjoyment, Bonfire Night was a real concern for many people.

 

Councillor Cone reiterated this message, stating that the aim was one of communication and making neighbours aware of concerns.

 

By affirmation Council

 

Resolved      To actively promote a public awareness campaign about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks by committing to sharing suitable RSPCA content on social media about the impact on welfare and vulnerable people. This will use material produced by OPSS [Office for Product Safety and Standards], in partnership with the RSPCA, and as published at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/consumer-safety-awareness-campaigns-materials under section “Fireworks campaign”.

 

14d

Standing in the Name of Cllr Geoff Harvey

Our recently adopted Zero Carbon Strategy highlights the need for a fundamental change in how we generate and consume energy in all aspects of our lives. Both electricity generation and distribution are undergoing rapid evolution, in both shape and scale. The distribution grid, must now cope with power flows in both directions and South Cambridgeshire is at the limit of renewable generation capacity for that reason. In scale, electrification of heat and transport will require a quadrupling of  electricity capacity. Local, community-based energy schemes can make a significant contribution to addressing both issues and encourage a sense of local empowerment to tackle climate change. Community schemes encourage local generation and storage to match local demand thus relieving pressure on the grid. Local schemes would be given new impetus and be able to contribute more renewable energy if local people could buy their electricity directly from local suppliers. But the disproportionate cost of meeting regulatory approvals makes it impossible to be a local energy supplier at a local scale and so, under the current system, this local energy gets sold back to the central grid.

 

The Local Electricity Bill is a private members’ bill with cross-party support that was introduced unopposed in June 2020. If this Bill was passed in Parliament it would give the energy regulator, OFGEM, a duty to create a Right to Local Supply. This would enable local community energy groups to achieve their vision of supplying generated energy back to the local area, help us as a Council to meet our carbon reduction aspirations for the district,and also bring multiple benefits to the local community. It is supported by many stakeholders, local authorities, and town councils (including Cambourne) and currently has the backing of 198 MPs. 

 

This Council

- resolves to support the Bill,

- authorises the Leader to contact our MPs to discuss their support for the Bill and how they can enable its passage into law

- authorises the Chief Executive to write to the Minister of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, supporting the aims of the Bill and asking for these aims to be taken into account in the forthcoming Energy White Paper.

Decision:

Council Noted that

 

Our recently adopted Zero Carbon Strategy highlights the need for a fundamental change in how we generate and consume energy in all aspects of our lives. Both electricity generation and distribution are undergoing rapid evolution, in both shape and scale. The distribution grid, must now cope with power flows in both directions and South Cambridgeshire is at the limit of renewable generation capacity for that reason. In scale, electrification of heat and transport will require a quadrupling of electricity capacity. Local, community-based energy schemes can make a significant contribution to addressing both issues and encourage a sense of local empowerment to tackle climate change. Community schemes encourage local generation and storage to match local demand thus relieving pressure on the grid. Local schemes would be given new impetus and be able to contribute more renewable energy if local people could buy their electricity directly from local suppliers. But the disproportionate cost of meeting regulatory approvals makes it impossible to be a local energy supplier at a local scale and so, under the current system, this local energy gets sold back to the central grid.

 

The Local Electricity Bill is a private members’ bill with cross-party support that was introduced unopposed in June 2020. If this Bill was passed in Parliament it would give the energy regulator, OFGEM, a duty to create a Right to Local Supply. This would enable local community energy groups to achieve their vision of supplying generated energy back to the local area, help us as a Council to meet our carbon reduction aspirations for the district,and also bring multiple benefits to the local community. It is supported by many stakeholders, local authorities, and town councils (including Cambourne) and currently has the backing of 198 MPs. 

 

Council

 

Agreed to

 

A)   Resolve to support the Bill.

 

B)   Authorise the Leader to contact our MPs to discuss their support for the Bill and how they can enable its passage into law.

 

C)   Authorise the Chief Executive to write to the Minister of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, supporting the aims of the Bill and asking for these aims to be taken into account in the forthcoming Energy White Paper.

Minutes:

Councillor Geoff Harvey proposed the following motion:

“Our recently adopted Zero Carbon Strategy highlights the need for a fundamental change in how we generate and consume energy in all aspects of our lives. Both electricity generation and distribution are undergoing rapid evolution, in both shape and scale. The distribution grid , must now cope with power flows in both directions and South Cambridgeshire is at the limit of renewable generation capacity for that reason. In scale, electrification of heat and transport will require a quadrupling of  electricity capacity. Local, community-based energy schemes can make a significant contribution to addressing both issues and encourage a sense of local empowerment to tackle climate change. Community schemes encourage local generation and storage to match local demand thus relieving pressure on the grid. Local schemes would be given new impetus and be able to contribute more renewable energy if local people could buy their electricity directly from local suppliers. But the disproportionate cost of meeting regulatory approvals makes it impossible to be a local energy supplier at a local scale and so, under the current system, this local energy gets sold back to the central grid.

 

“The Local Electricity Bill is a private members’ bill with cross-party support that was introduced unopposed in June 2020. If this Bill was passed in Parliament it would give the energy regulator, OFGEM, a duty to create a Right to Local Supply. This would enable local community energy groups to achieve their vision of supplying generated energy back to the local area, help us as a Council to meet our carbon reduction aspirations for the district,and also bring multiple benefits to the local community. It is supported by many stakeholders, local authorities, and town councils (including Cambourne) and currently has the backing of 198 MPs. 

 

“This Council

- resolves to support the Bill,

- authorises the Leader to contact our MPs to discuss their support for the Bill and how they can enable its passage into law

- authorises the Chief Executive to write to the Minister of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, supporting the aims of the Bill and asking for these aims to be taken into account in the forthcoming Energy White Paper.”

 

Councillor Geoff Harvey explained that it was very difficult for community energy companies to be established, due to the one-off set-up costs. He urged Council to support this motion to contact our local MPs and the Minister to support the Private Members Bill.

 

Councillor Heather Williams seconded the motion. She explained that the Conservative Group had contacted the Government Minister in June, expressing support for the Bill and a letter had been sent to Anthony Browne MP.

 

Councillor Nigel Cathcart expressed his support for the motion, due to the potential benefits of the Bill if properly enacted would mean savings for households from community renewable energy schemes.

 

Councillor Pippa Heylings supported the motion. She expressed concern that there had been a drop in renewal energy since the feed in tariff  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14d

15.

Chairman's Engagements

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

 

Date

Venue/Event

Attended by

Sun 13 September

Institution and Introduction of the new Rector of Girton and Vicar of Madingley

Chair

 

Minutes:

 Council Noted the Chair’s Engagement.

16.

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).

Minutes:

Council by affirmation, with one vote against (Councillor Deborah Roberts) agreed to go into private session.

 

The Chair proposed, Councillor Anna Bradnam seconded and Council by affirmation, with one vote against (Councillor Deborah Roberts),

 

Resolved      that the press and public 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).

17.

Minutes (exempt)

A minute 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 exempt minute.

Minutes:

The exempt minutes of the meeting held on 14 July 2020 were agreed as a correct record, subject to two minor typographical amendments.