Agenda, decisions and minutes

Council
Thursday, 21 February 2019 3.00 p.m.

Venue: Council Chamber - South Cambs Hall. View directions

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

Note: Meeting starts at 3.00pm OR at the conclusion of the Extraordinary meeting, whichever is the later 

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES

 

To receive apologies for absence from Members.

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor Judith Rippeth.

2.

Councillors Nigel Gawthrope and Edgar Monk

Minutes:

The Chairman reported, with sadness, on the deaths of Councillor Nigel Gawthrope, the Mayor of Cambridge and former South Cambridgeshire District Councillor, Edgar Monk.

 

The Council stood in silence in memory of Nigel Gawthrope and Edgar Monk.

 

Councillor Mark Howell spoke about his memories of former Councillor Edgar Monk.  Councillor Nigel Cathcart spoke about both Councillor Gawthrope and former Councillor Monk.

3.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

To receive declarations of interest from Members in respect of any business on the agenda.

Minutes:

Declarations of interest were made as follows:

 

·         Councillor John Batchelor declared a non-disclosable pecuniary interest in items 8(d) (Business Plan 2019 – 20) and 8(e) (Budget report) in his capacity as one of the Council’s representatives on the Ermine Street Housing Limited Board.  Councillor Batchelor remarked that he had withdrawn from the last meeting (minute 3 of the meeting held on 29 November refers) following legal advice.  However that advice had been given on the understanding that the representatives received reward for their roles.  In fact, Councillor Batchelor confirmed that neither of the Council’s representatives on the Board received any recompense for so doing.

 

·         Councillor Dr. Ian Sollom declared a non-disclosable pecuniary interest in items 8(d) (Business Plan 2019 – 20) and 8(e) (Budget report) in his capacity as one of the Council’s representatives on the Ermine Street Housing Limited Board.

 

·         Councillor Nick Wright declared an interest insofar as he had seen reference to the A14 upgrade in the papers before Council and he was a receiver of funds in compensation in connection with the upgrade scheme.

 

·         Councillor Sue Ellington declared a non-disclosable pecuniary interest in item 9 (Swavesey Byeways Rate 2019/20) as a resident of Swavesey (although not a ratepayer).

 

·         Councillor Nigel Cathcart declared an interest in item 8(d) as he rented a Council garage.

 

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 reminded Members that they needed to update the Register of Interests whenever their circumstances changed.

5.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 64 KB

 

To authorise the Chairman to sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 29 November 2019 as a correct record.

 

A confidential minute containing exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part I of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) is circulated for Members only at item 18 on the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 29 November 2018 were confirmed as a correct record for signature by the Chairman subject to the following corrections:-

 

·         Page 17 – Minute 15 (b) (Motion standing in the name of Councillor Peter Topping)

 

In the sixth bullet point, delete “without” and insert “with”;

 

·         Page 20 – Minute 15 (c) (Motion standing in the name of Councillor Grenville Chamberlain)

 

In the first bullet point, delete “Smith” and insert “Williams”.

 

It was noted that exempt minute 19 would be dealt with at the end of the meeting following consideration of the exclusion of the press and public.

 

The Chairman remarked upon the length of the minutes and indicated a wish to move towards more concise minutes.

6.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

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

Minutes:

Councillor Dr. Douglas de Lacey, the Chairman of the Council:

 

·          Indicated that, following comments after the previous Council meeting that he had been overly generous in allowing Members time to speak, it was his intention to adhere to the time limits in the Council Standing Orders at this meeting;

·          Reported that he would be attending Councillor Nigel Gawthrope’s funeral on the following day;

·          Congratulated Councillor Grenville Chamberlain on being awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours 2019; and

·          Encouraged all Members to attend his Charity Concert, “An Evening with Handel” which would take place on Monday 18 March 2019 at 7.00pm at Histon Baptist Church.  He would also welcome the donation of raffle prizes for the event and volunteers to help out on the evening.

 

Councillor Bridget Smith, the Leader of the Council, was delighted to report that the Council had now signed up to the Disability Confident scheme and had committed to achieving level 1. This initiative had arisen following the submission of a motion from Councillor Peter McDonald to a previous meeting of the Council.  Councillor Smith was also pleased to announce that Councillor Sarah Cheung Johnson had been appointed as the Council’s lead member to promote the scheme and to raise the profile of disabled people and their interests.

7.

QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC pdf icon PDF 88 KB

7a

From Dr. Josiane Chuisseu pdf icon PDF 88 KB

 

What are the procedures and timelines for actions when residents have reported issues with the upkeep of properties and more concerning when their tenants have been linked to substance misuse, intimidation and vandalism. What are the key performance indicators used by South Cambridgeshire Council to ensure that the properties it manages and the tenants in those properties adhere to the rules and laws in place? 

 

Minutes:

The following question had been received from Dr. Josiane Chuisseu:

 

What are the procedures and timelines for actions when residents have reported issues with the upkeep of properties and more concerning when their tenants have been linked to substance misuse, intimidation and vandalism? What are the key performance indicators used by South Cambridgeshire Council to ensure that the properties it manages and the tenants in those properties adhere to the rules and laws in place? 

 

The Chairman reported that unfortunately, owing to the later start time for the meeting, Dr. Chuisseu was unable to attend the meeting to ask her question in person and she had requested him to read out the question on her behalf.

 

The Chairman accordingly read out the question and noted that a written response would be sent and that this would be appended to the minutes.

8.

PETITIONS

 

To note that no petitions have been received for discussion at this Council meeting.

Minutes:

No petitions from the public for consideration at this meeting had been received. 

9.

RECOMMENDATIONS TO COUNCIL

9a

Pay Policy Statement (Employment & Staffing Committee, 17 January 2019) pdf icon PDF 115 KB

 

The Employment and Staffing Committee


RECOMMENDED THAT COUNCIL

 

Approve thePay Policy Statement for 2019.

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

Council AGREED to approve the Pay Policy Statement for 2019.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Henry Batchelor, the Chairman of the Employment and Staffing Committee, proposed the recommendations of the Committee at its meeting held on 17 January 2019.

 

Councillor John Williams seconded the motion.

 

Councillor Gavin Clayton was pleased to note that the current ratio between the highest and lowest pay points was 1:9.1, remarking that the average ratio in local authorities was 1:15.  However a social attitudes survey had suggested that 1:6 should be the preferred ratio and thus the Council still had work to do on this.

 

Councillor Heather Williams welcomed the indication in the report that the median pay gap was -13.18% in favour of females.

 

Councillor Sue Ellington referred to criticism in previous years that the Council had not sought to achieve accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation.  Councillor John Williams responded that it was not correct to say that accreditation had been sought, rather an argument had been put forward for payment of the true living wage to staff.  In that context, he was pleased to report that, taking account of the pay award for 2018/19 and the proposed pay award from April 2019, the Council would now be paying staff the living wage.

 

Council by affirmation

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Pay Policy Statement for 2019 be approved.

9b

Localised Council Tax Support Scheme (Cabinet - 5 December 2018) pdf icon PDF 114 KB

 

Cabinet

 

RECOMMENDED THAT COUNCIL

 

Approve the Income Bands Discount Localised Council Tax Support Scheme (Option 2) for 2019/2020.

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

Council AGREED to approve the Income Bands Discount Localised Council Tax Support Scheme (Option 2) for 2019 – 20.

 

Minutes:

Councillor John Williams, the Lead Cabinet Member for Finance, proposed the recommendation from the meeting of the Cabinet held on 5 December 2018 with regard to agreement of the Localised Council Tax Support Scheme for 2019/20.

 

Councillor John Williams reported that the Council was required to review the Localised Council Tax Support Scheme annually to make sure it remained fit for purpose and provided people in need with an appropriate Council Tax discount based on their circumstances.  The way the Council’s scheme was structured allowed discounts on all Council Tax bands.  Not all authorities did this but it was important that this was in place as both housing associations and the Council had properties in higher bandings.  The scheme supported the objective of ensuring housing was affordable to live in. There had been a need to review the scheme for the forthcoming year in view of the introduction of Universal Credit. To develop the scheme the Council had learned lessons from other authorities where Universal Credit had been in place for a longer period as indicated in paragraph 24 of the report.  Councillor John Williams indicated the expectation that a briefing would be held for Members on how the scheme was progressing.

 

Councillor Anna Bradnam seconded the motion.

 

Councillor Gavin Clayton noted that he had abstained from voting on this item when it had been considered by Scrutiny and Overview Committee. He referred to paragraph 4 of the report which suggested that the scheme had been designed so that those claiming Localised Council Tax Support should not in the main be worse off. Councillor Clayton was concerned at the use of the words “in the main” and commented on his understanding that Liverpool City Council had conducted a full equality impact assessment in respect of their scheme.  He hoped that appropriate mechanisms would be in place at this Council to support people in circumstances where they experienced a prolonged period of loss of income.

 

Councillor Anna Bradnam reported on her attendance at one of the briefings held for Members on the proposed changes and outlined the reasons why a banding system had been preferred, including providing greater certainty for residents and creating a system that was more manageable.

 

Councillor John Williams responded to the points raised by Councillor Clayton, noting that officers had reviewed the impact on all claimants and that 10 claimants would be slightly worse off under the revised scheme.  Funding was in place to support residents in cases of hardship.

 

Council, by affirmation

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Income Bands Discount Localised Council Tax Support Scheme (Option 2) be approved for 2019 – 20.

9c

Council Tax Empty Homes Premium (Cabinet - 6 February 2019) pdf icon PDF 144 KB

 

Cabinet

 

RECOMMENDED THAT COUNCIL

 

Approves the charging of an increased Council Tax Empty Homes Premium as set out in option 16A of the report of the Interim Executive Director.

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

 

Council AGREED to approve the charging of an increased Council Tax Empty Homes Premium as set out in option 16A of the report of the Interim Executive Director.

 

Minutes:

Councillor John Williams, the Lead Cabinet Member for Finance, presented the recommendations of Cabinet held on 6 February 2019 which invited Council to approve the charging of an increased Council Tax Empty Homes Premium as indicated in option 16A in the report.  In moving the motion,  Councillor John Williams noted that the aim of the new charging structure was to encourage as many empty homes back into use as possible. Given the housing pressures faced in the District, Councillor John Williams argued that it did not make sense to have houses sitting empty for many years.  He recognised however that there could be very valid reasons for a home to be left empty for some time, such as when it was going through probate, and therefore confirmed that officers would do their best to advise and guide property owners and that decisions would be made on a case by case basis.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Hazel Smith.

 

Council, by affirmation

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the charging of an increased Council Tax Empty Homes Premium, as set out in Option 16A of the report of the Interim Executive Director, be approved.

9d

Business Plan 2019 - 2024 (Cabinet - 6 February 2019) pdf icon PDF 155 KB

 

Cabinet

 

RECOMMENDED THAT COUNCIL

 

(a)  Approve the Business Plan (Appendix A), incorporating feedback from Scrutiny and Overview Committee.

 

(b)  Authorise the Chief Executive to make any minor wording changes required before publication, in consultation with the Leader of the Council.

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

Council AGREED to:

 

(1)  Approve the Business Plan (Appendix A), incorporating feedback from Scrutiny and Overview Committee.

 

(2)  Authorise the Chief Executive, in consultation with Lead Cabinet Members, to prepare detailed implementation plans and associated performance measures and ensure these are reflected in directorate service plans and quarterly position reports during 2019/20.

 

(3)  Authorise the Chief Executive to make any minor wording changes required before publication, in consultation with the Leader of the Council.

 

(Note: The Leader agreed to review the Business Plan with a view to making certain adjustments to reflect comments made by Members at the meeting)

Minutes:

Councillor Bridget Smith, the Leader of the Council, moved the recommendations from the meeting of the Cabinet held on 6 February 2019 which invited the Council to approve the Business Plan 2019 – 2024.  She was pleased to present the ambitious plan to the Council and highlighted the key elements, including proposals under each of the four priority areas “Growing local businesses and economies”; “Housing that is affordable for everyone to live in”; “Being green to our core” and “A modern and caring Council.”  Councillor Bridget Smith also emphasised that the Business Plan had been informed by, and responded to, feedback received following the public consultation exercise.  A new approach to gathering views on the Business Plan had been followed this year with feedback being sought on a set of high level priorities, rather than on a detailed plan.  There was therefore confidence that there was public support for the proposed priority areas.

 

Councillor Dr. Aidan Van de Weyer seconded the motion.

 

During discussion:

 

·         Councillor Ruth Betson pointed out that, despite the comments regarding the positive response to the public consultation, only 168 responses had been received.

·         Councillor Philippa Hart spoke on the “Modern and caring Council” priority, particularly highlighting the action to put the customer at the centre of everything the Council did by embedding it into the organisation’s culture to deliver continuous improvements.

·         Councillor Bill Handley was supportive of what he regarded as an exciting Business Plan and welcomed the package of proposals to support businesses, particularly the support for start-ups and small businesses and the proposed simplification of the Council’s procurement process.

·         Councillor Pippa Heylings spoke strongly in support of the proposed measures to tackle climate change in the Business Plan, including the commitment to becoming a Zero Carbon Council and the proposals for investing in renewable energy generation and for maintaining and improving air quality across the District.

·         Councillor Philip Allen was pleased to see the proposed measures for preventing homelessness and providing support for vulnerable people which he felt supported values of compassion and decency.

·         Councillor Sarah Cheung Johnson welcomed the commitment to deliver community facilities at Northstowe.  Citing the decision of the County Council not to relocate to Northstowe, she commented that Northstowe had not always felt supported by local government but believed that the proposal around provision of community facilities underlined the Council’s commitment to building a thriving community.  She thanked the Council’s Community Development Officers for their support.

·         Councillor Nick Wright expressed the view that the Business Plan built on the 2018/19 Plan and was pleased to see development of what he regarded as many of the proposals in the previous plan.

·         Councillor Anna Bradnam welcomed the proposals to review taxi licensing policies to incentivise taxi operators and drivers to improve air quality. She also referred to a Government consultation on statutory guidance to be issued to taxi and private hire licensing authorities on protecting children and vulnerable adults and was pleased to note that the Council already undertook many  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9d

9e

Medium Term Financial Strategy, General Fund Budget 2019-20 (including Council Tax setting), Housing Revenue Account Budget 2019-20 (including housing rents), Capital and Investment Strategies and Treasury Management Strategy (Cabinet, 6 February 2019) pdf icon PDF 158 KB

 

Cabinet

 

RECOMMENDED THAT COUNCIL

 

Revenue and Capital – GF

 

(a)          Approve the revenue estimates for 2019-20 as shown in the GF BSR Section 5 at Appendix 1 to this report.

 

(b)          Approve the precautionary items for the GF, GF BSR Appendix B, Appendix 1 to this report.

 

(c)          Approve the GF revenue forecasts as set out in GF BSR Section 6, Appendix 1 to this report.

 

(d)          Instruct the Executive Management Team to identify additional income / cumulative savings of £3m for the 5 years from 2019-2024.

 

(e)          Authorise that the use of the earmarked reserve for Business Efficiency initiatives is delegated to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Lead Member for Finance, and that £1m is transferred into this reserve from the General Fund reserve. As at the end of 2017-18 financial year, the General Fund reserve stood at £7,751,000.

 

(f)           Authorise £500,000 of Planning earmarked reserves, budgeted to support the shortfall in income in the year 2018-19, but not required due to sufficient over budget income levels being achieved, to be budgeted to use towards Business Transformation programmes in Planning in 2019-20.

 

(g)          Approve the GF capital programme and associated funding up to the year ended 31 March 2024, as set out in GF BSR Section 7, at Appendix 1to this report.

 

(h)          Set the Council Tax Requirement for 2019-20 at £9,092,962.

 

(i)            Set the amount of Council Tax for each of the relevant categories of dwelling in accordance with Section 30(2) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 on the basis of the District Council Tax for general expenses on a Band D property of £145.31 plus the relevant amounts required by the precepts of the Parish Councils, Cambridgeshire County Council, the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner and the Cambridgeshire Fire Authority, details of those precepts and their effect included with the formal resolution attached at Appendix 6.

 

 

Revenue – HRA

 

(j)            Approve the HRA savings, increased income, unavoidable revenue pressures, bids and reduced income items, as summarised in Section 4, and detailed in Appendix G (1) of the HRA Budget Setting Report at Appendix 2 to this report.

 

(k)          Approve the non-cash limit adjustments, as summarised in Section 4, and detailed in Appendix G (1) of the HRA Budget Setting Report at Appendix 2 to this report.

 

(l)            Approve the resulting HRA revenue budget as shown in the HRA Summary Forecast 2018-19 to 2023-24 in Appendix I of the HRA Budget Setting Report at Appendix 2 to this report.

 

(m)         Approve the retention of the balance of the 4-year efficiency savings target of £95,000 per annum from 2020-21 included as part of the 2018-19 HRA Medium Term Financial Strategy, and the corresponding Strategic Investment Fund for the same value.

 

Review of Rents and Charges

 

(n)          Approve that council dwelling rents for all social rented properties be reduced by 1% for the final year, in line with legislative requirements introduced as part of the Welfare Reform and Work Act, with effect from 1st  ...  view the full agenda text for item 9e

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

(1)  Council AGREED to:

 

(a)          Approve the revenue estimates for 2019-20 as shown in the General Fund (GF) Budget Setting Report (BSR)Section 5 at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

(b)          Approve the precautionary items for the GF, GF BSR Appendix B, Appendix 1 to the report.

 

(c)          Approve the GF revenue forecasts as set out in GF BSR Section 6, Appendix 1 to the report.

 

(d)          Instruct the Executive Management Team to identify additional income / cumulative savings of £3m for the 5 years from 2019-2024.

 

(e)          Authorise that the use of the earmarked reserve for Business Efficiency initiatives is delegated to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Lead Member for Finance, and that £1m is transferred into this reserve from the General Fund reserve. As at the end of 2017-18 financial year, the General Fund reserve stood at £7,751,000.

 

(f)            Authorise £500,000 of Planning earmarked reserves, budgeted to support the shortfall in income in the year 2018-19, but not required due to sufficient over budget income levels being achieved, to be budgeted to use towards Business Transformation programmes in Planning in 2019-20.

 

(g)          Approve the GF capital programme and associated funding up to the year ended 31 March 2024, as set out in GF BSR Section 7, at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

(h)          Set the Council Tax Requirement for 2019-20 at £9,092,962.

 

(i)            Set the amount of Council Tax for each of the relevant categories of dwelling in accordance with Section 30(2) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 on the basis of the District Council Tax for general expenses on a Band D property of £145.31 plus the relevant amounts required by the precepts of the Parish Councils, Cambridgeshire County Council, the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner and the Cambridgeshire Fire Authority, details of those precepts and their effect are as set out in the statutory resolution at (2) below..

 

(j)            Approve the HRA savings, increased income, unavoidable revenue pressures, bids and reduced income items, as summarised in Section 4, and detailed in Appendix G (1) of the HRA Budget Setting Report at Appendix 2 to the report.

 

(k)           Approve the non-cash limit adjustments, as summarised in Section 4, and detailed in Appendix G (1) of the HRA Budget Setting Report at Appendix 2 to the report.

 

(l)            Approve the resulting HRA revenue budget as shown in the HRA Summary Forecast 2018-19 to 2023-24 in Appendix I of the HRA Budget Setting Report at Appendix 2 to the report.

 

(m)         Approve the retention of the balance of the 4-year efficiency savings target of £95,000 per annum from 2020-21 included as part of the 2018-19 HRA Medium Term Financial Strategy, and the corresponding Strategic Investment Fund for the same value.

 

(n)          Approve that council dwelling rents for all social rented properties be reduced by 1% for the final year, in line with legislative requirements introduced as part of the Welfare Reform and Work Act, with effect from 1st April 2019.

 

(o)          Approve that affordable rents  ...  view the full decision text for item 9e

Minutes:

Councillor John Williams, Lead Cabinet Member for Finance, presented the recommendations of the Cabinet which invited the Council to approve the financial strategies and budgets as detailed in the submitted report and appendices.

 

In introducing the report, Councillor John Williams  highlighted the following points:   

 

·         The Business Plan changed the direction of the Council and so the General Fund Budget and Housing Revenue Account and Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) had also changed course and would include opportunities for income generation, partnerships and delivering a bigger programme.

·         The proposals supported delivery of a more responsive and productive organisation fit to tackle the challenges over the coming five years.

·         There was now no budget shortfall expected at the end of the financial year and more funds were available to increase the General Fund reserve in readiness for the Government’s Fair Funding Review and Brexit.

·         The need to borrow to lend to Ermine Street Housing and the Ice Rink had been avoided.

·         There had been some good fortune, such as the abandonment of the negative Revenue Support Grant and receipt of extra money to support expenditure on elections.

·         The Executive Management Team had done a sterling job in keeping costs down whilst maintaining frontline services.  This had enabled the Council to go beyond the one per cent pay award previously budgeted to help make working for South Cambridgeshire District Council more attractive.

·         As the Council transformed over the coming five years, it was expected that more income would come from commercialisation to offset the loss of Government funding and the expected diversion of some Business Rates away from district councils.  This would enable a more diverse investment portfolio that was aligned to the Business Plan to support spending on services to grow to over £20m by 2024.

·         Notwithstanding the positive position, there could be no let up on identification of savings and in order to build up reserves, a £3m savings target had been set over the life of the Medium Term Financial Strategy.

·         In return for the 10p a week increase in South Cambridgeshire’s Council Tax for households in an average property, it was planned to:-

o   Have more resources to support Universal Credit claims;

o   Increase resources to tackle fly tipping;

o   Spend more on building homes that were affordable;

o   Spend more on green initiatives to achieve the zero-carbon goal;

o   Support wellbeing and healthy living;

o   Provide capital funds to diversify income; and

o   Bring staff pay up to competitive levels.

·         The adoption of an investment strategy would ensure that the Council’s investments were aligned with the Business Plan, delivered value for money and put in place robust governance arrangements.

 

The Lead Cabinet Member for Finance thanked the Finance team, led by Bob Palmer, Interim Executive Director, for their hard work in preparing the Budget and HRA.

 

The Lead Cabinet Member for Finance accordingly proposed the recommendations, together with the statutory Council Tax Resolution that had been circulated in a supplement.

 

Councillor Tony Mason seconded the proposal.

 

During  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9e

10.

Great Abington former Land Settlement Association Estate Neighbourhood Plan - Making (adopting) the Neighbourhood Plan pdf icon PDF 194 KB

 

To set out the results of the referendum on the Great Abington Former Land Settlement Association (LSA) Estate Neighbourhood Plan and recommend that the Council makes (adopts) the Neighbourhood Plan.

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

 

Council AGREED to:

 

(1)  Note the results of the referendum on the Great Abington Former LSA Estate Neighbourhood Plan.

 

(2)  Make (adopt) the Great Abington Former LSA Estate Neighbourhood Plan as submitted.

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Council varied the order of business to take this item at this point in the meeting to avoid causing any further delay to a proposed speaker on the item.

 

The Chairman of the Council indicated that he had agreed to exercise his discretion to allow Mr Bernie Talbot, the Chairman of Great Abington Parish Council, to address the meeting. Mr Talbot referred to the significant work involved in developing the Great Abington Former Land Settlement Association (LSA) Estate Neighbourhood Plan to adoption stage.  He commented on the close working relationship developed between District Council officers and the Parish Council and its planning consultant throughout the preparation of the neighbourhood plan.  Mr Talbot particularly thanked Jenny Nuttycombe, Senior Planning Policy Officer, and Dave Roberts, Principal Planning Policy Officer, for their help and support throughout the process.

 

CouncillorDr.Tumi Hawkins, the Lead Cabinet Member for Planning, moved the recommendations in the report which invited the Council to make the Great Abington Former LSA Estate Neighbourhood Plan.  Councillor Dr. Hawkins spoke of the Council’s wish to support local communities in developing neighbourhood plans, noting that this was the first such plan to be completed in the District.  She thanked both the Parish Council and the officers involved in preparing the plan.

 

Councillor Henry Batchelor seconded the motion.  He noted that this was a landmark day insofar as this was the first neighbourhood plan to be adopted in South Cambridgeshire and he added his congratulations to the Parish Council and the officers.

 

Councillor Nick Wright also congratulated Great Abington Parish Council on developing the plan and thanked the officers involved in the project.

 

Councillor John Batchelor welcomed the development of the neighbourhood plan and offered his congratulations to the Parish Council and the officers.  He noted that a high turnout of over 60% had been achieved in the referendum but observed that the process involved in developing a neighbourhood plan was cumbersome, commenting that Linton Parish Council had been working on developing its plan for four years.

 

Councillor Bridget Smith, the Leader of the Council, felt that the development of the neighbourhood plan set a great example for other communities to follow and thanked the Parish Council and officers for their hard work.

 

Councillor Dr. Martin Cahn indicated that he had personal experience of such settlements which he felt were a very specific feature of the countryside.

 

Council by affirmation

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)  That the results of the referendum on the Great Abington Former LSA Estate Neighbourhood Plan be noted.

 

(2)  That the Great Abington Former LSA Estate Neighbourhood Plan be made (adopted) as submitted.

11.

ADJOURNMENT OF MEETING

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Council adjourned the meeting for a short break at 6.27pm.  The meeting resumed at 6.40pm.

12.

Swavesey Byeways Rate 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 104 KB

 

The Swavesey Byeways Advisory Committee

 

RECOMMENDED THAT COUNCIL:

 

Increases the level of the Swavesey Byeways rate from £1.10 to £1.20 per hectare for land within the charge paying area for the period 2019/20 in order to fund the required level of maintenance.

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

Council AGREED

 

To increase the level of the Swavesey Byeways rate from £1.10 to £1.20 per hectare for land within the charge paying area for the period 2019/20 in order to fund the required level of maintenance.

Minutes:

Councillor Dr. Tumi Hawkins, the Lead Cabinet Member for Planning, introduced this report, which recommended that the Swavesey Byeways rate be increased from £1.10 to £1.20 per hectare. Councillor Dr. Hawkins explained that this increase had been recommended by the annual meeting of the Swavesey Byeways Advisory Committee, which she had attended with the Director of Housing, Health and Environmental Services.

 

Councillor Dr. Hawkins proposed and Councillor Brian Milnes seconded this recommendation.

 

Council by affirmation

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the level of the Swavesey Byeways rate be increased from £1.10 to £1.20 per hectare for land within the charge paying area for the period 2019/20 in order to fund the required level of maintenance.

13.

CAMBRIDGESHIRE AND PETERBOROUGH COMBINED AUTHORITY pdf icon PDF 168 KB

 

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

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

 

·         Councillor Philip Allen reported that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, at its meeting on 25 February 2019, would consider a decision which had been “called in”.  Cross party support had been received for the call in of the decision.

·         Councillor Peter Topping noted that he had substituted at a meeting of the Scrutiny Committee and commended the committee for the proportionate and apolitical approach it had taken to the scrutiny of matters associated with the budget and business plan; the bus franchise plan and funding of the mayoral ball.

·         Councillor Tony Mason reported on his attendance at the meeting of the Audit and Governance Committee on 30 November 2018 at which it had been reported that the Interim Chief Finance Officer had been dismissed.  Councillor Mason noted that at a previous meeting of the Scrutiny Committee, the Interim Chief Finance Officer had highlighted his concerns regarding the priorities of the Combined Authority; the budget and the level of employment. A new Interim Chief Finance Officer had subsequently presented the budget to the Scrutiny Committee which had again highlighted the need for prioritisation and for head count reduction.  The Audit and Corporate Governance Committee had acknowledged that the Combined Authority was a new entity and was still in the early stage of its development but had asked Ernst and Young to work with the internal auditors to review ways in which audit and corporate governance could be improved going forward.  Councillor Mason hoped that at the next meeting of the committee on 29 March 2019 there would be some feedback from Ernst and Young on the terms of reference for such a review.

 

Council RECEIVED the reports summarising the work of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority in October and November 2018.

 

14.

MEMBERSHIP OF COMMITTEES AND OUTSIDE BODIES

 

To note and endorse the following change in substitute arrangements:-

 

Employment and Staffing Committee –  The replacement of  Councillors Bridget Smith and Aidan Van de Weyer by Councillors Peter McDonald and Clare Delderfield as substitutes on the committee.

 

To note and endorse 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 has been allocated

 

To consider appointing Councillor Pippa Heylings as the Council’s representative on Natural Cambridgeshire, in place of Councillor Peter Fane.  

 

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

Decision:

 

 

Council

 

(1)  NOTED and ENDORSED the following changes in substitute appointments:

·        Employment and Staffing Committee – Councillors Peter McDonald and Clare Delderfield (appointed in place of Councillors Bridget Smith and Aidan Van de Weyer).

·        Grants Committee – Councillor Peter Topping (appointed in place of Councillor Grenville Chamberlain)

 

(2)  AGREED to appoint Councillor Pippa Heylings as the Council’s representative on Natural Cambridgeshire (in place of Councillor Peter Fane).

 

(3)  AGREED to appoint Councillor Pippa Heylings as the representative of the Liberal Democrat Group on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee (in place of Councillor Philip Allen) to take effect following the next scheduled meeting of that Committee and to appoint Councillor Peter Fane as substitute.

 

 

Minutes:

The Council noted changes in membership made in accordance with the wishes of Group Leaders in respect of places allocated to their Groups on Committees and outside bodies.

 

Following a request from a Member for a report back from the Council’s representative on the Papworth Hospital Board, Councillor Bridget Smith, the Leader of the Council, agreed that reports should be submitted by all the Council’s representatives on outside bodies.

 

Council by affirmation:

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)  That the following changes in substitute appointments be noted and endorsed:

·         Employment and Staffing Committee – Councillors Peter McDonald and Clare Delderfield (appointed in place of Councillors Bridget Smith and Aidan Van de Weyer).

·         Grants Committee – Councillor Peter Topping (appointed in place of Councillor Grenville Chamberlain)

 

(2)  That Councillor Pippa Heylings be appointed as the Council’s representative on Natural Cambridgeshire (in place of Councillor Peter Fane).

 

(3)  That Councillor Pippa Heylings be appointed as the representative of the Liberal Democrat Group on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee (in place of Councillor Philip Allen) to take effect following the next scheduled meeting of that Committee and that Councillor Peter Fane be appointed as substitute.

 

15.

Calendar of Meetings 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 118 KB

 

To approve the Calendar of Meetings 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Council AGREED the Calendar of Meetings 2019/20.

Minutes:

The Council received a report which invited approval of the draft Calendar of Meetings 2019/20, as set out at Appendix A.

 

Councillor Douglas de Lacey, the Chairman of the Council proposed that the draft Calendar of Meetings 2019/20 be approved.

 

Councillor Anna Bradnam, the Vice-Chairman of the Council seconded the motion.

 

Council by affirmation

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Calendar of Meetings 2019/20, as set out at Appendix A to the submitted report, be approved.

16.

QUESTIONS FROM COUNCILLORS pdf icon PDF 87 KB

 

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.

16a

From Councillor Sarah Cheung Johnson

 

The previous administration approved the devolution deal which gave us the Combined Authority and the Mayor because we in South Cambs would benefit. Where is our fair share of the £100 million for affordable housing?  

 

Minutes:

The previous administration approved the devolution deal which gave us the Combined Authority and the Mayor because we in South Cambs would benefit. Where is our fair share of the £100 million for affordable housing?  

 

Councillor Bridget Smith, the Leader of the Council, responded that this was an ongoing issue which she had inherited on becoming Leader and commented on the efforts of her predecessor, Councillor Peter Topping, to ensure that the Council received its fair share of the £100m fund for affordable housing. The Leader indicated that she was continuing to press for a fair share of the money for South Cambridgeshire but there was on going discussion over what constituted a “fair share”.  She had called for the allocation to be based on the business case produced whilst Councillor Topping was the Combined Authority’s Housing Portfolio holder but the Combined Authority’s view was that allocation should operate on a “first come, first served” model. It had also allocated £40m of the £100m to a revolving fund. The Leader noted that she was a member of the Combined Authority’s Housing Committee and that she would continue to argue the case for South Cambridgeshire to receive its fair share of the funding.  She did note that some projects were going forward, including the proposed scheme for provision of 880 key worker units at Northstowe.

 

As a supplementary question, Councillor Cheung Johnson asked what impact the withdrawal of the East Cambridgeshire Local Plan would have on the funding already committed from the Combined Authority to East Cambridgeshire District Council. 

 

The Leader of the Council indicated that she had written to the Leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council when the announcement had been made about the withdrawal of the emerging East Cambridgeshire Local Plan.  He had responded to assure her that there would be no impact.  However the Leader felt that this would need further exploration given that funding had been allocated in respect of the East Cambridgeshire Community Land Trust.

 

16b

From Councillor Bunty Waters

 

Is the Leader of the Council confident that the Council’s Planning Department has sufficient capacity to handle the important phase 3 of the Northstowe planning application this summer?

 

Minutes:

Is the Leader of the Council confident that the Council’s Planning Department has sufficient capacity to handle the important phase 3 of the Northstowe planning application this summer?

 

The Chairman noted that Councillor Waters had withdrawn the above question as she had had to leave the meeting.

16c

From Councillor Nick Wright

 

Cotton Farm Windfarm started operating in January 2013. Noise emissions were immediately experienced and recorded in Graveley.  By 2016 these complaints exceeded 2000. The operators responded by working the turbines in curtailment and changing parts of the turbines. This resulted in new noise tests  by Huntingdonshire District Council to establish whether the windfarm was operating in the terms of its planning condition. The noise complaints continue.  Is the windfarm operating within the limits of its noise condition?

Minutes:

Cotton Farm Windfarm started operating in January 2013. Noise emissions were immediately experienced and recorded in Graveley.  By 2016 these complaints exceeded 2000. The operators responded by working the turbines in curtailment and changing parts of the turbines. This resulted in new noise tests  by Huntingdonshire District Council to establish whether the windfarm was operating in the terms of its planning condition. The noise complaints continue.  Is the windfarm operating within the limits of its noise condition?

 

Councillor Neil Gough, the Lead Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Licensing, reported that Huntingdonshire District Council, as the planning authority, had concluded that the facility was operating within the limits of the conditions.  However, that Authority was currently working to reconfirm its findings in terms of compliance with the condition and was liaising with South Cambridgeshire District Council and the Cotton Farm resident’s association in relation to this.

 

Councillor Nick Wright, as a supplementary question, asked whether a meeting could be arranged between residents, the Parish Council, and officers of this Council and Huntingdonshire District Council to discuss the complaint.

 

The Chairman noted that the Council could not commit Huntingdonshire District Council to any action.

 

Councillor Gough, the Lead Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Licensing, expanded on the nature of the work underway to gather and analyse data. He indicated that the Council would encourage all parties to meet together to discuss the complaints. Councillor Gough also noted that officers were engaging with residents to invite them to allow formal monitoring to take place within their homes.  To date one resident had come forward but it would be helpful if further residents participated in the monitoring exercise.  He noted that if no statutory noise nuisance was identified, there were limited powers at the Council’s disposal.  However officers were happy to work with residents in relation to their concerns.  

16d

From Councillor Peter Topping

 

Is the Leader satisfied that the drainage conditions issued with regard to the Persimmon development at Cottenham are sufficient to protect the residents from flood risk?

 

Minutes:

Is the Leader satisfied that the drainage conditions issued with regard to the Persimmon development at Cottenham are sufficient to protect the residents from flood risk?

 

Councillor Dr. Tumi Hawkins, the Lead Cabinet Member for Planning, responded that officers had checked the minutes of the Planning Committee on this item to ensure that the final wording of the drainage condition was as discussed by the Committee.  This had been confirmed.

 

As a supplementary question, Councillor Topping asked whether the Lead Cabinet Member for Planning was aware that the Cottenham Flood Forum considered the drainage condition to be weak and was considering taking action through the administrative courts to quash the condition.

 

Councillor Dr. Hawkins, the Lead Cabinet Member for Planning, indicated that she had seen a letter  to that effect but that the Council had taken advice and was satisfied that the condition was enforceable. The Council was happy to meet with the group and the Parish Council and indeed she understood that a meeting was scheduled for the following week.

 

16e

From Councillor Sue Ellington

 

I have been made aware that the commercial paper recycling bin is to be removed from Swavesey church car park. This would indicate that there has been a change in policy which would previously have been discussed at a portfolio meeting and circulated as a decision. As this is no longer the practice, can the Leader enlighten us as to all the changes in waste and recycling policy and what efforts have been made to identify the implication?

 

Minutes:

I have been made aware that the commercial paper recycling bin is to be removed from Swavesey church car park. This would indicate that there has been a change in policy which would previously have been discussed at a portfolio meeting and circulated as a decision. As this is no longer the practice, can the Leader enlighten us as to all the changes in waste and recycling policy and what efforts have been made to identify the implication?

 

Councillor Ellington indicated that she was content to receive a written response to her question but did ask whether a large bin could be put back on the site at Swavesey and other villages because it aided recycling.  

 

Councillor Neil Gough, as Lead Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Licensing, indicated that he would provide a written response but on the latter question indicated that there were many better solutions rather than replacing the bins, noting that there had been abuse of the “paper only” bins leading to contamination of the load.

16f

From Councillor Ruth Betson

 

The shared finance service between this Council and the City of Cambridge Council appears to have been terminated, with the majority of the officers being repatriated to the City of Cambridge. What officer resource exists going forward to support this Council in its financial and budgetary obligations?

Minutes:

The shared finance service between this Council and the City of Cambridge Council appears to have been terminated, with the majority of the officers being repatriated to the City of Cambridge. What officer resource exists going forward to support this Council in its financial and budgetary obligations?

 

Councillor Betson indicated that she was content to receive a written response to her question.

16g

From Councillor Graham Cone

 

Following recent changes in the communications department where will responsibility of reprographics and print services be located? 

 

Minutes:

Following recent changes in the communications department where will responsibility of reprographics and print services be located? 

 

Councillor Graham Cone confirmed that he would be prepared to receive a written response to his question.

 

16h

From Councillor Heather Williams

 

Where fees and charges are introduced for Council services, will these ever be applied retrospectively to our residents?

 

Minutes:

Where fees and charges are introduced for Council services, will these ever be applied retrospectively to our residents?

 

Councillor John Williams, the Lead Cabinet Member for Finance, replied that he could not foresee an instance where the Council could apply a retrospective change unless permitted by legislation or unless there was a contract in place to provide the services between the Council and the individual in the first instance.

 

As a supplementary question, Councillor Heather Williams asked how the charges would be applied for the new additional green bin service. 

 

Councillor Neil Gough, the Lead Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Licensing, responded that during the introductory period from April to September 2019 there would be a £20 charge per additional bin irrespective of when starting the service.  From October 2019 the cost would be £35 per additional bin per year.  

 

 

16i

From Councillor Shrobona Bhattacharya

 

Why Is the Council deliberately downplaying the success of the Cambourne Electronics and Robotics Club (CERC) that was supported by SCDC? The club has featured on BBC and ITV news channels and was shortlisted for national awards, and brings together 250 families, yet the previous South Cambs magazine for residents has not found a space to report its success. Can the lead member for communications explain this?

Minutes:

Why is the Council deliberately downplaying the success of the Cambourne Electronics and Robotics Club (CERC) that was supported by SCDC? The club has featured on BBC and ITV news channels and was shortlisted for national awards, and brings together 250 families, yet the previous South Cambs magazine for residents has not found a space to report its success. Can the lead member for communications explain this?

Councillor Dr. Bhattacharya agreed to receive a written response to her question.

 

17.

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.

17a

Standing in the name of Councillor Peter Topping

 

The Council notes with growing concern the reduction in the numbers of affordable housing proposed for the new settlement at Waterbeach, set against the increase in the numbers of houses proposed, and calls for the Council to drive forward development of this important new community for the benefit of both current and future residents.

 

Decision:

 

 

Following amendment of the original motion, Council AGREED the following motion:

 

This Council notes and welcomes efforts being made to maximise the numbers of affordable housing proposed for the new settlement of Waterbeach against the increase in numbers of houses proposed and the complexity of the site and calls for the Council to continue to drive forward development of this important new community for the benefit of both current and future residents.

Minutes:

Councillor Peter Topping moved the following motion as set out on the agenda:-

 

“The Council notes with growing concern the reduction in the numbers of affordable housing proposed for the new settlement at Waterbeach, set against the increase in the numbers of houses proposed, and calls for the Council to drive forward development of this important new community for the benefit of both current and future residents.”

 

In moving his motion, Councillor Topping provided background and context to the subject and highlighted what he regarded as a potentially worrying trend in terms of the apparent reduction in the number of affordable houses proposed for the new settlement at Waterbeach.  He asked whether, as had happened for Northstowe, a two stage approach would be adopted.  For Northstowe, the two stage approach had enabled the target number of affordable homes for stage one to be “caught up” in stage two of the development resulting in 41% of affordable housing overall.  Councillor Topping also sought further information on the actual number of houses planned for the new settlement and on the amount of the contribution from the developers for the transport mitigation requirements and asked what action was proposed if it was less than that targeted.  He noted that he had carefully constructed the wording of the motion and hoped that it would find favour with all Members.  

 

Councillor Nick Wright seconded the motion.

 

Councillor Dr. Tumi Hawkins, Lead Cabinet Member for Planning, moved an amendment follows:

 

“The Council notes and welcomes efforts being made to maximise with growing concern the reduction in the numbers of affordable housing proposed for the new settlement at Waterbeach, set against the increase in the numbers of houses proposed and the complexity of the site, and calls for the Council to continue to drive forward development of this important new community for the benefit of both current and future residents.”

 

Councillor Dr. Hawkins noted the concerns expressed in the motion around the level of affordable housing and indicated that the amendment was intended to provide reassurance that the Council was working towards maximising the numbers of affordable houses on the site in line with its policies. She acknowledged the extent of infrastructure works that needed to be delivered at the outset and confirmed that a phased approach would be followed to the development.  Officers were discussing with developers what could be delivered in the first phase and what could be delivered in subsequent phases.  It was necessary to acknowledge that the settlement would be developed over a number of years and to recognise that there would be a need to review delivery at each phase of the development with a view to ensuring that the Council’s policy requirements were met and the required number of affordable houses were delivered.   

 

Councillor John Batchelor seconded the amendment.

 

Councillor Peter Topping indicated that he was not prepared to accept the wording of the amendment as he believed it weakened his motion.

 

Councillor Nick Wright,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17a

18.

CHAIRMAN'S ENGAGEMENTS

 

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

 

Date

Venue/Event

Attending

 

 

 

December

 

 

 

 

 

Wed 12       

Chairman’s Reception. SCDC

Chairman

Vice Chairman

 

Wed 12

Quiz Night. SCDC

Chairman

Vice Chairman

 

Fri 14

Handing over of gifts to Fulbourn Hospital, SCDC

Chairman

Vice Chairman

 

Sun 16

Carol Service of 9 Lessons & Carols,

St Andrews Church, Girton

 

Chairman

Tue 18

Christmas Carol Service

Huntingdonshire District Council

All Saints Church, Huntingdon

Vice Chairman

 

 

 

January

 

 

 

 

 

Sat 05

Cambridgeshire County Council’s Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards Ceremony, Hinchingbrooke School, Huntingdon

 

Vice Chairman

Wed 23

Staff Celebration Awards SCDC

 

Chairman

Fri 25

Funeral of Edgar Monk

Chairman

 

Sat 26

CamCRAG Winter Fair & Sleep out (Chairman invited to speak) St Giles Church, Cambridge

 

Chairman

Sun 27

Holocaust Memorial Day Ceremony 2019

Great St Mary’s Church, Cambridge

Vice Chairman

 

 

 

February

 

 

 

 

 

Fri 01

Corpus Christi College, Annual Queenborough Feast

 

Chairman

Fri 01

Charity Fun Quiz, The Corn Exchange, St Ives (Mayor of St Ives)

Vice Chairman

 

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

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

19.

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).

 

 

Minutes:

The Chairman moved:

 

That the press and public be excluded from the meeting for 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).

 

Councillor Brian Milnes seconded the motion.

 

Council, by affirmation

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the press and public be excluded from the meeting for 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).

20.

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:

Minute 19 of the meeting of the Council held on 29 November (which contained exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended)) was approved for signature by the Chairman as a correct record.