Agenda and decisions

Council - Thursday, 22 July 2021 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

Presentation

1.

Apologies

To receive Apologies for Absence from Members.

2.

Declaration of Interests

3.

Register of Interests

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

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 284 KB

To authorise the Chair to sign the Minutes of the meetings held on 15 April, 4 May and 20 May 2021 as a correct record.

Additional documents:

5.

Announcements

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

6.

Questions From the Public pdf icon PDF 98 KB

To answer any questions asked by the public.

 

The deadline for receipt of public questions is Friday 16 July.

 

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

 

Public Speaking Scheme

7.

Petitions

To note all petitions received since the last Council meeting.

8.

To Consider the Following Recommendation:

8a

Civic Affairs Committee, 10 June: Babraham and Sawston Community Governance Review pdf icon PDF 388 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Council Agreed that

 

A)       A new parish boundary between Sawston and Babraham (as proposed by Sawston Parish Council) be adopted (as presented at Appendix A).

 

B)       A formal request be made to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) to realign the district council ward boundary between Duxford and Sawston wards so that they remain aligned with the new parish boundary.

9.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority pdf icon PDF 533 KB

10.

Greater Cambridge Partnership Executive Board pdf icon PDF 134 KB

11.

Update on the OxCam Arc pdf icon PDF 211 KB

12.

Appointments to Committees and other bodies

(a)  To note and endorse the following appointment.

 

Investment Partnerships Boards: South Cambridgeshire Investment Partnership LLP and South Cambridgeshire Projects LLP

 

·       The replacement of Councillor Peter McDonald by Councillor Henry Batchelor as the Council-nominated member on the Investment Partnerships Boards.

 

  

(b)  To note the following changes in the membership of committees or substitute appointments which have been made in accordance with the wishes of the Leader of the political group to which the seats concerned have been allocated.

 

Climate and Environment Advisory Committee

 

·       The replacement of Councillors Ruth Betson and Nick Wright by Councillors Sue Ellington and Mark Howell as Substitute Members of the Climate and Environment Advisory Committee.

 

(c)  To note any other 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 concerned has been allocated.

 

(d)  To agree any changes required in the membership of outside bodies.

Decision:

Council

 

Endorsed      the replacement of Councillor Peter McDonald by Councillor Henry Batchelor as the Council-nominated member on the Investment Partnerships Boards.

13.

Questions From Councillors

A period of 30 minutes will be allocated 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 Manager prior to the commencement of the item.  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 Councillor Peter Fane

Homes that are empty for 2 years or more are charged double the regular Council Tax, or an additional premium of 100% with effect from 1 April 2019.

In some cases, the empty properties surcharge is applied to owners / part-owners of domestic properties for the period before the completion of the purchase.

Has the Council considered whether it is right to apply the empty homes penalty immediately to new owners, in some cases penalising owners for a period of non-occupation prior to the purchase of the property, thus holding them liable for the circumstances of the previous owner?

 

13b

From Councillor Bunty Waters

How many privately-owned properties in South Cambs are empty and not in use, is Council Tax being collected from these empty homes and is there any assistance being given to the home owners to bring them back into habitable use?

 

13c

From Councillor Tom Bygott

Water levels in Kingfisher Pond in Northstowe have declined since work on building the new town began, and the pond has completely dried up on several occasions. Cracks have also appeared in All Saints' Church in Longstanton, a Grade I listed mediaeval building.

In May, an independent consultancy, HR Wallingford, released its Phase III Report, the final instalment in its three part hydrogeological assessment of groundwater levels in Longstanton and Northstowe.
What has this Council done, or what is it going to do, to address the issues raised in the report?

 

13d

From Councillor Heather Williams

Does the leader regret the budget decisions the administration has made since 2018 in relation to planning?

 

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 Councillor Martin Cahn

On 28th November 2019 the Council passed a motion which resolved, among other things, that:

 

 ‘In order to enable South Cambridgeshire and the rest of the UK to reach net zero carbon before 2050, to call on government, industry and regulators to implement the necessary changes with funding, transformed national infrastructure, policy, new technologies and legislation. 

 

In order to encourage Government to give more attention to climate issues and to assist it in meeting its avowed objective of ‘zero carbon’ by 2050, two important legislative initiatives have been taken forward by backbench MPs.

 

The Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill presented in the last parliament and represented on 21st June 2021 requires government to set forward a strategy for limiting climate change to 1.5C and gives especial emphasis to the restoration and expansion of natural ecosystems and public involvement.

 

The Climate Change Bill, a private member’s bill presented on 16th June 2021, lays emphasis on the creation of ‘green jobs’ and bringing forward the date of zero-carbon.

 

Both of these bills are designed to increase the urgency with which we tackle climate issues, the importance of which has become even more apparent over the last two years and which will be a major issue in the upcoming COP26 conference of the UN.

 

In the absence of any legislative initiatives on behalf of Government as we called for in 2019, it is important to emphasise the need for legislative support to promote the adoption of the necessary technology and management systems needed to achieve zero carbon as soon as possible.

It is recommended that the Council

 

i)               recognises that the threats to climate and nature are an emergency and continues to give high priority to investigating the means by which its own operations can begin to demonstrate reduction and avoidance of emissions of climate changing gases,  

ii)              expresses its support for the bills promoting a more rapid achievement of zero carbon,  

iii)            uses its influence as a member of the OxCam Arc and the CPCA to encourage government investment in the green economy in South Cambridgeshire, Cambridgeshire and the OxCam Arc.  

iv)            reiterates its call on government and other agencies to provide increased support for the research and development of technological and management solutions essential to deal with the emergency and requires the Leader to write to the Minister for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, local universities and the Business Board of the CPCA, copying in the MP, to express these views.

 

 

Decision:

This Motion was withdrawn.

14b

Standing in the name of Councillor Heather Williams

This council recognises that the minutes relating to private meetings can be made available to the public if the grounds for exclusion of the meeting no longer apply. This council will seek to share the minutes of meetings wherever possible and will only keep them confidential as an absolute last resort, recognising that it is to the public that we are accountable and it is in the public’s interest that we are as open and transparent as possible.

 

Decision:

Council Agreed the following motion.

 

This Council recognises that the minutes relating to private meetings of this Council and its Committees can be made available to the public if the grounds for exclusion of the meeting no longer apply. This Council recognises the importance of openness and transparency and will share the minutes of meetings wherever possible in accordance with the provisions of the law and the constraints of commercial confidentiality.

14c

Standing in the name of Councillor Dr Ian Sollom

Council deplores the decision of the Government to remove the ‘temporary’ uplift in Universal Credit on 1st October.

 

Council agrees with the former leader of the Conservative Party and architect of Universal Credit, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, and five of his successors (Stephen Crabb, Damian Green, David Gauke, Esther McVey and Amber Rudd) that a failure to keep the uplift in place would 'damage living standards, health and opportunities [for those that] need our support most as we emerge from the pandemic […] and the extra £20 [... ] has been essential in allowing people to live with dignity’.

 

Council therefore resolves to ask the Chief Executive to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to request that the uplift be incorporated permanently into Universal Credit.

 

Decision:

Council Agreed the following motion

 

Council strongly disapproves of the decision of the Government to remove the ‘temporary’ uplift in Universal Credit on 1st October.

 

Council agrees with the former leader of the Conservative Party and architect of Universal Credit, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, and five of his ministerial successors at the Department for Work and Pensions (Stephen Crabb, Damian Green, David Gauke, Esther McVey and Amber Rudd) that a failure to keep the uplift in place would 'damage living standards, health and opportunities [for those that] need our support most as we emerge from the pandemic […] and the extra £20 [... ] has been essential in allowing people to live with dignity’.

 

Council therefore resolves to ask the Chief Executive to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to request that the uplift be incorporated permanently into Universal Credit.

14d

Standing in the name of Councillor Pippa Heylings

The recent consultation by the Government on “Changes to the planning system” received over 2,300 responses, including responses from the cross-party Local Government Association and our own Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service.

 

The proposed reforms mean that in future local voice in planning will happen at the Local Plan making stage. The responses expressed strong concerns that this means that communities will not be able to influence individual applications in the same way as they do now which could further alienate communities.

 

Section 106 agreements are the primary route through which council housing is currently delivered. The proposed new Infrastructure Levy lacks detail as to how it will maintain existing levels of funding for affordable housing especially if threshold is raised to 40/50 for onsite requirement. It would also bypass Parish Councils and communities.

 

Last month the House of Commons with cross party support from MPs called on the Government to protect residents’ rights to object to individual planning applications in their own neighbourhood area if the area is zoned for growth or renewal.

 

This Council

 

  • believes planning works best when local communities are empowered to work together with developers to shape local areas and deliver new homes that are affordable to live in;

 

  • asks the Leader of the Council to call on the Government to protect the right of communities to have a voice on individual planning applications; and to ensure that any changes to the S106 system lead to an increase in the supply of affordable housing.

 

Decision:

Council Agreed the following motion:

 

This Council

 

  • believes planning works best when local communities are empowered to work together with developers to shape local areas and deliver new homes that are affordable to live in;

 

  • asks the Leader of the Council to call on the Government to protect the right of communities to have a voice on individual planning applications; and to ensure that any changes to the S106 system lead to an increase in the supply of affordable housing.

 

15.

Chair's Engagements

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

 

Date

Venue / Event

9 July 2021              RAF Alconbury Wing Commander’s ‘Welcome Back’ Reception

16.

Exclusion of Press and Public

The press and public are likely to be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item of business 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).

17.

Cabinet, 22 March 2021: Ermine Street Housing Business Plan

To receive the following item recommended by Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Council

 

Agreed           To receive the Ermine Street Business Plan for the period 2020/2021 to 2029/2030 for information.