Venue: Council Chamber - South Cambs Hall. View directions
In the absence of Councillor Grenville Chamberlain, Councillor Judith Rippeth took the chair and made several brief housekeeping announcements.
By affirmation, committee members appointed Cllr Sarah Cheung Johnson as Vice-Chair of the meeting.
To receive apologies for absence from committee members.
Councillors Grenville Chamberlain and Sally Ann Hart sent apologies for absence. Councillor Henry Batchelor substituted for Councillor Hart.
Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
There were two public questions.
Question from Daniel Fulton
The audio feed of the council’s planning committee meeting on 8 September terminated abruptly just as a member of the public began to accuse the council of serious malfeasance in regards to the issue under consideration.
After several delays, the council eventually stated that it was unable to restore functionality to the audio system, and the committee decided to abandon the meeting.
Certainly, one would normally assume that the occurrence of the apparent audio malfunction at the very moment that serious allegations of wrongdoing were being made was merely coincidental.
However, since that time, the council has declined to provide any contemporaneous evidence about the purported audio fault to members of the public—no software error codes or error logs and no contemporaneous emails or other documentation. The council has not even provided a vague description of the type of system being used to broadcast the council’s meeting—a system that we understand was obtained by the council earlier this year at considerable expense. All that has been provided is a technical note from the council’s A/V supplier, which was produced after the fact and doesn’t actually offer any clarity as to the cause of the audio malfunction.
If the council were to provide contemporaneous evidence as to the specific nature of the audio fault (and if events did actually happen as the council has described them), then members of the public could verify that the termination of the audio feed during the meeting was due to a technical fault, allaying the concerns of those affected by the abandoned meeting.
To provide some reassurance to the public, could the council please state if it has instructed any officer not to provide any evidence or information relating to the audio/video system or the events that transpired on 8 September to any party or to delay providing any evidence or information to any party?
Answer on behalf of South Cambridgeshire District Council
As you know, you have contacted several officers at the council about this matter and been provided with a written explanation on the 10 September as to the underlying cause about the technical failure. You then subsequently rang and spoke directly with the external engineers last week who provided verbal confirmation of the running order of the faults and the support they provided.”
There was no supplementary question.
Question from Phil Grant
The proposed direction for Policy S/DS Development Strategy, set out in First Proposals document, correctly places significant weight on aligning new development with investment in public transport. The Transport Strategy on page 42 confirms “Our proposed strategy is heavily informed by the location of existing and committed public transport schemes.”
However, a comparison of Figure 6 showing proposed sites for inclusion in the Plan, and Figure 11 showing existing and proposed major transport projects, illustrates that the spatial strategy is disproportionately reliant on the delivery of significant levels of new major and complex transport infrastructure projects such as the Cambourne to ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
The Scrutiny and Overview Committee received a presentation from officers, and considered a report seeking its comments on the proposed content of, and the participation and communication strategy for, the next formal round of consultation for the Greater Cambridge Local Plan, being prepared jointly with Cambridge City Council, and a mirror of this report was also being considered by the City Council.
The Committee considered the report under five themed headings, namely:
Members accepted though that these categories were for ease of process only and were not rigid or stand-alone. The Scrutiny and Overview Committee supported the recommendations in the officers’ report and made the following comments in response to the First Proposals and supporting documents.
Councillor Dr. Tumi Hawkins was in attendance.
Homes and jobs numbers and overall strategy
· noted the uncertainties and therefore judgement involved in identifying how many jobs had actually been provided and in forecasting future jobs growth.
· queried the approach taken in identifying the most likely forecast, noting the relative differences for Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire.
· asked whether different household sizes, including trends over time, had been taken into account.
Councillor Dr. Tumi Hawkins made the following responses to the above points, supplemented by additional officer advice for specific questions:
To Note the date of the next meeting
The next scheduled Scrutiny and Overview Committee meeting will be on Thursday 14 October 2021.
The next scheduled Scrutiny and Overview Committee meeting would be on Thursday 14 October at 5.20pm.