Agenda and decisions

Council
Thursday, 28 November 2019 2.00 p.m.

Venue: Council Chamber, First Floor

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

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES

To receive apologies for absence from Members.

Decision:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Philip Allen, Nigel Cathcart, Sarah Cheung Johnson, Gavin Clayton, Peter Fane, Philippa Hart and Tony Mason.

2.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Decision:

There were no declarations of interest.

3.

Register of Interests

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

Decision:

The Chairman referred to the email sent from Democratic Services to all Members requesting that they review their Register of Interests form to ensure that it was up to date prior to the commencement of the audit of the Statement of Accounts.  He accordingly requested that Members inform Democratic Services of any changes to their registered interests as soon as possible.

4.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 248 KB

To authorise the Chairman to sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 26 September 2019 as a correct record.

Decision:

With reference to Minute 11(d), Councillor Nick Wright queried the response given by the Lead Cabinet Member in relation to appeals officer capacity as it appeared to have been contradicted by a response given by an officer at a meeting of the Planning Committee. The Chairman ruled that this did not relate to the accuracy of the minutes before the Council.

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 26 September 2019 were approved as a correct record for signature by the Chairman.

 

5.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

Decision:

Councillor Bridget Smith, the Leader of the Council:-

 

(a)   was pleased to report that Councillor Bill Handley had been appointed as Chairman of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Waste Partnership (RECAP);

(b)   reported that she had requested Councillor Dr. Martin Cahn to lead preparations for Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January 2020; and

(c)   noted that she had been privileged to attend the launch of the Cambridge Zero initiative at the University of Cambridge.

6.

QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC

Decision:

The Chairman noted that questions had been received from four members of the public.

6a

From Sue Bell

I am a private individual with concerns about residential garden development.

 

When the new Local Plan was adopted by the Council in September last year, it was my understanding that planning applications in the local area would now be judged against the process contained in the newly adopted Plan:

 

Policy H/16 (NH/2:) – Development will only be permitted where it respects and retains or enhances the local character and distinctiveness of the local landscape and of the individual National Character Area in which it is located. H/16 also states – Residential gardens will only be used for the development of new buildings where there would be no significant harm to the local area, taking into consideration the character of the area, residential amenity, vehicular safety etc.

 

This standard of “no significant harm” is not applied by any other policy and yet the Council routinely ignores policy H/16 when making decisions on the development of residential gardens.

 

Does the Portfolio Holder for Planning agree that when making these decisions, the Council should take into account all relevant policies of the Local Plan, or is it acceptable for the Council to continue to ignore policy H/16 when it comes to the development of residential gardens?

6b

From Colin Wilson

The percentage of formal complaints resolved within the allotted timescale has been identified by the council as one of its key performance indicators. The council’s most recent performance report, dated 14 November, shows that this key indicator has been consistently and significantly below the accepted target since June 2018, and no data at all have been reported for this indicator since June 2019.

 

Will the Deputy Leader (Cllr Gough) please explain why there has been no improvement in this indicator since June 2018, why no recent data have been reported for this indicator, and what steps the cabinet will take to see that the reasons for the poor performance in this area are addressed?

6c

From David Brown

I worked for the Harlow District Borough Council for 23 years, and we were always told that if we witnessed any theft, fraud or corruption, we should report it to the relevant manager and the proper legal authorities and that we could do so without fear of reprisal. I was shocked to recently read in the South Cambridgeshire District Council Anti-Theft, Anti-Fraud and Anti-Corruption Policy (in paragraph 5.3) that employees who witness theft, fraud or corruption are prohibited from reporting these crimes directly to the police.

 

Does the Leader of the Council support the current policy or will she commit to changing the policy so that employees who have concerns about theft, fraud or corruption will be able to contact the police freely without fear of reprisals?

6d

From Daniel Fulton

This question is asked on behalf of the Fews Lane Consortium, a community action group based in Longstanton working to promote the principles of sustainable development and to advocate for accountability in local government.

 

Over the past year, the Consortium has been working with communities across the district that have been adversely affected by plainly unfair planning decisions taken by this council without regard for its own policies and without regard for basic standards of procedural fairness.

 

Time and time again, when responding to complaints from local residents, officers seem to have been instructed to concede nothing and to deny culpability at all costs and in all circumstances, even when the facts clearly and unambiguously point to mistakes having been made on the part of the council. It is as though officers feel that it is more important for them to protect the council from reputational damage than to actually address real instances of injustice resulting directly from unfair decisions made by this council.

 

In the council’s recently adopted business plan, the council has pledged to be ‘a modern and caring council’ that puts its ‘customers at the centre of everything we do’. What programmes or policies will the Leader of the Council commit to putting into place to see that these these values and organisational objectives are reflected in the way in which officers carry out their day-to-day duties on behalf of the council?

7.

PETITIONS pdf icon PDF 89 KB

An electronic petition, with 164 e-signatures, has been received in the following terms:

 

“Taxi drivers reject company door sign mandatory by South Cambridgeshire District Council.”

 

A copy of the letter received with the petition and a link to the online petition is attached.

 

As this item relates to the recommendations of the Licensing Committee, following its meeting held on 11 November 2019, in relation to the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy and Conditions, at item 8(f) on this agenda, it is anticipated that the Chairman will deal with the petition at that point on the agenda.

Decision:

Council AGREED to note the petition and to give it due consideration when considering the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy and Conditions.  

8f

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy and Conditions pdf icon PDF 212 KB

The Licensing Committee

 

RECOMMENDED THAT COUNCIL

 

Approve and adopt the revised Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy at Appendix A to the report of the Director of Housing, Health and Environmental Services with effect from 1 January 2020.

 

(Note: The Climate and Environment Advisory Committee made comments at its meeting on 19 November, which have been included in the attached report.)

Additional documents:

Decision:

Council

 

AGREED

 

To defer Agenda Item 8(f) (Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy) to allow for a further period of consultation and consideration, as appropriate.

8b

General Fund Revenue and Capital Provisional Outturn 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 297 KB

Cabinet

 

RECOMMENDED THAT COUNCIL  

 

Approve:

 

(a)          The re-designation of the established Business Efficiency Reserve as the Transformation Reserve and that the sum of £3 million be appropriated from the unallocated General Fund Reserve to the Transformation Reserve to enable the service transformation and organisational change programme to be resourced, noting that the General Fund unallocated reserve would then be £14.446 million;

 

(b)          The General Fund Revenue Budget Carry Forwards in the sum of £1.227 million as outlined in Appendix A to the report of the Head of Finance;

 

(c)           The General Fund Capital Budget carry forwards of £6.464 million due mainly to the slippage of capital projects as outlined in the report.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Council

 

AGREED

 

1.    The re-designation of the established Business Efficiency Reserve as the Transformation Reserve and that the sum of £3 million be appropriated from the unallocated General Fund Reserve to the Transformation Reserve to enable the service transformation and organisational change programme to be resourced, noting that the General Fund unallocated reserve would then be £14.446 million.

 

2.    The General Fund Revenue Budget Carry Forwards in the sum of £1.227 million, as outlined in Appendix A to the report of the Head of Finance.

 

3.    The General Fund Capital Budget carry forwards of £6.464 million due mainly to the slippage of capital projects, as outlined in the report.

8c

Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Revenue and Capital Provisional Outturn 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 260 KB

Cabinet

 

RECOMMENDED THAT COUNCIL 

 

Approve:

 

(a)          The Housing Revenue Account Revenue Budget Carry Forwards from 2018/2019 to 2019/2020 in the sum of £0.739 million, identified at Appendix A to the report of the Head of Finance;

 

(b)          The Housing Revenue Account Capital Budget Carry Forwards from 2018/2019 to 2019/2020 of £1.124 million, identified at Appendix B.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Council

 

AGREED

 

1.             The Housing Revenue Account Revenue Budget Carry Forwards from 2018/2019 to 2019/2020 in the sum of £0.739 million, identified at Appendix A to the report of the Head of Finance;

 

2.             The Housing Revenue Account Capital Budget Carry Forwards from 2018/2019 to 2019/2020 of £1.124 million, identified at Appendix B.

8d

Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places pdf icon PDF 232 KB

The Civic Affairs Committee

 

RECOMMENDED THAT COUNCIL

 

Agree that the current schedule of polling districts and polling places be retained with no changes.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Council AGREED that the current schedule of polling districts and polling places be retained with no changes.

8e

General Fund Capital Programme Update and New Bids pdf icon PDF 502 KB

Cabinet

 

RECOMMENDED THAT COUNCIL

 

Approve:

 

(a)          The allocation of additional funding of £545,000 from the Renewables Reserve to complete the footpath lighting upgrades given the environmental benefits, acknowledging that a full report would be submitted to Cabinet for approval that outlines the programme of work, timescales, costs and payback period;

 

(b)          The allocation of funding of £1,300,000 from the Renewables Reserve for a range of energy efficiency and green energy measures at South Cambridgeshire Hall, acknowledging that a full report would be submitted to Cabinet for approval that outlines the range of modifications and enhancements proposed, costs and payback period;

 

(c)           The revised General Fund capital programme for the period 2019/2020 to 2024/2025, reproduced at Appendix C of the report of the Head of Finance, to reflect the new scheme bids, amendments to the programme and the reprofiling of expenditure identified in the report.  

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Council

 

AGREED

 

1.             The allocation of additional funding of £545,000 from the Renewables Reserve to complete the footpath lighting upgrades given the environmental benefits, acknowledging that a full report would be submitted to Cabinet for approval that outlines the programme of work, timescales, costs and payback period;

 

2.             The allocation of funding of £1,300,000 from the Renewables Reserve for a range of energy efficiency and green energy measures at South Cambridgeshire Hall, acknowledging that a full report would be submitted to Cabinet for approval that outlines the range of modifications and enhancements proposed, costs and payback period;

 

3.             The revised General Fund capital programme for the period 2019/2020 to 2024/2025, reproduced at Appendix C of the report of the Head of Finance, to reflect the new scheme bids, amendments to the programme and the reprofiling of expenditure identified in the report.  

9.

CAMBRIDGESHIRE AND PETERBOROUGH COMBINED AUTHORITY pdf icon PDF 678 KB

To receive the reports summarising the work of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority in July and September 2019.

10.

Appointment to the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) pdf icon PDF 209 KB

To appoint an interim member of the Independent Remuneration Panel and to authorise the Interim Director of Corporate Services and Chairman of the Independent Remuneration Panel to recruit a permanent replacement member.

 

Decision:

Council

 

AGREED

 

1.    That a letter be sent to Simon Harris thanking him, on behalf of the Council, for his work as a member of the Independent Remuneration Panel.

 

2.    That Jane Phillips be appointed as an interim Member of the Independent Remuneration Panel until a permanent member can be appointed.

 

3.    That the Interim Member be paid an allowance, pro rata of the annual rate of £200, for the months served on the Panel.

 

4.    That the Interim Director of Corporate Services, in consultation with the Chairman of the IRP, be authorised to undertake a recruitment and selection process to identify a permanent member of the panel and to recommend a candidate for appointment.

 

11.

Membership of Committees and Outside Bodies

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

 

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

Decision:

Council NOTED and ENDORSED the following changes in Committee membership and substitute appointments:

 

(a)   Scrutiny and Overview Committee

                     (i)          Councillor Ruth Betson replaced by Councillor Dr. Shrobona Bhattacharya as a member of the committee; and

                    (ii)          Councillor Dr. Shrobona Bhattacharya replaced by Councillor Ruth Betson as a substitute member of the committee.

 

(b)   Cambridge Fringes Joint Development Control Committee

                     (i)          Councillor Steve Hunt replaced by Councillor Dr. Claire Daunton as a member of the joint committee; and

                    (ii)          Councillor Dr. Claire Daunton replaced by Councillor Steve Hunt as a substitute member of the joint committee.

 

 

12.

QUESTIONS FROM COUNCILLORS

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

 

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

12a

From Councillor Peter Topping

To ask the lead member for planning if the briefing that was arranged on the Five Year Land Supply at 0930 on the morning of the most recent Planning Committee meeting was a co-incidence or not?

12b

From Councillor Heather Williams

Has the employment of an additional partnership officer (RECAP) to coordinate fly-tipping intelligence (as set out in the Business Plan) led to any prosecutions?

 

13.

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.

13a

Motion from Councillor Pippa Heylings

This Council was one of the first District Councils to pledge a Zero Carbon target back in November 2018, before national government announced its Zero Carbon by 2050 legislation. The unanimous motion focused on delivering Zero Carbon by 2050 across the Greater Cambridge area through the next Local Plan and, indeed, the climate emergency is now a key issue for the new Local Development Plan, which is currently being drafted. Since last November, the Council has ensured that Zero Carbon is central to its corporate Business Plan, budget and new green investment strategy - in order to ensure the resources and officer time necessary to become the greenest Council. It has installed solar panels at the Waterbeach Waste Depot, drafted new Supplementary Planning guidance to support existing policy, and set up the new Zero Carbon Communities grant scheme. More still needs to be done. The Council is collating and commissioning evidence to determine how and when carbon reduction targets in each sector will be reached.

 

The Council, therefore, pledges to:

  1. Declare a Climate Emergency.
  2. Report to Full Council within 6 months on the carbon reduction targets and projects for the Council’s own buildings and operations.
  3. Ensure that all strategic decisions, budgets and approaches to planning decisions by the Council are in line with a shift to zero carbon.
  4. Ensure that the new Greater Cambridge Local Plan fulfills its role in bringing forward net zero carbon development, particularly in new housing and infrastructure, as well as ensuring that new development can adapt to our changing climate
  5. Work with partners across the district to deliver this target through investment, skills, strategies and planning; and
  6. In order to enable South Cambridgeshire and the rest of the UK to reach net zero carbon before 2050, call on government, industry and regulators to implement the necessary changes with funding, transformed national infrastructure, policy, new technologies and legislation.

Decision:

Council AGREED the following motion:-

 

This Council was one of the first District Councils to pledge a Zero Carbon target back in November 2018, before national government announced its Zero Carbon by 2050 legislation. The unanimous motion focused on delivering Zero Carbon by 2050 across the Greater Cambridge area through the next Local Plan and, indeed, the climate emergency is now a key issue for the new Local Development Plan, which is currently being drafted. Since last November, the Council has ensured that Zero Carbon is central to its corporate Business Plan, budget and new green investment strategy - in order to ensure the resources and officer time necessary to become the greenest Council. It has installed solar panels at the Waterbeach Waste Depot, drafted new Supplementary Planning guidance to support existing policy, and set up the new Zero Carbon Communities grant scheme. More still needs to be done. The Council is collating and commissioning evidence to determine how and when carbon reduction targets in each sector will be reached.

 

The Council, therefore, pledges to:

  1. Declare a Climate Emergency;
  2. Report to Full Council within 6 months on the carbon reduction targets and projects for the Council’s own buildings and operations;
  3. Ensure that all strategic decisions, budgets and approaches to planning decisions by the Council are in line with a shift to zero carbon;
  4. Ensure that the new Greater Cambridge Local Plan fulfills its role in bringing forward net zero carbon development, particularly in new housing and infrastructure, as well as ensuring that new development can adapt to our changing climate;
  5. Work with partners across the district to deliver this target through investment, skills, strategies and planning; and
  6. In order to enable South Cambridgeshire and the rest of the UK to reach net zero carbon before 2050, call on government, industry and regulators to implement the necessary changes with funding, transformed national infrastructure, policy, new technologies and legislation.

13b

Motion from Councillor Mark Howell

South Cambridgeshire District Council believes all sectors of the community should be able to access its services. This Council asks the Disability Task and Finish Group to  examine the British Deaf Association Charter which is designed as a vehicle to remove direct and indirect discrimination, empower local deaf communities and improve dialogue between South Cambridgeshire District Council and Deaf people.

Decision:

Council AGREED  the following motion:

 

South Cambridgeshire District Council believes all sectors of the community should be able to access its services. This Council asks the Disability Task and Finish Group to examine the British Deaf Association Charter which is designed as a vehicle to remove direct and indirect discrimination, empower local deaf communities and improve dialogue between South Cambridgeshire District Council and Deaf people.

13c

Motion from Councillor Peter Topping

This Council agrees that all budget holding “lead cabinet members” should hold at least 3 public meetings per calendar year.

Decision:

The following motion was LOST:

 

This Council agrees that all budget holding “lead cabinet members” should hold at least 3 public meetings per calendar year.

14.

CHAIRMAN'S ENGAGEMENTS

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

 

 

 

Date

Venue/Event

Attending

 

 

 

September

 

 

 

 

 

Thu 26

Quiz and Pizza Supper evening for staff. SCDC

 

Chairman/Vice-Chairman

Sat 28/Sun 29

Grand opening of the Cambridge Ice Arena and Gattiker Ice Rink

 

Chairman/Vice-Chairman

October

 

 

 

 

 

Fri 11

Phoenix Trust – Official opening of the new kitchen – Milton, Cambridgeshire

 

Chairman/Vice-Chairman

Wed 30

Black History Month.  SCDC

Vice-Chairman

 

 

 

November

 

 

 

 

 

Sat 16

Mayor of Cambridge’s Reception

Chairman

 

 

 

Sun 17

High Sheriff’s Service of Remembrance for the Road Victims’ Trust

Vice-Chairman

 

15.

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).

16.

Potential Property Acquisition - Cambridge Science Park

Decision:

Council AGREED:

 

1.           The investment of up to the sum referred to in the exempt report from the Interim Director of Finance, as amended by the exempt supplement and revised Appendix A circulated to all Members, comprising property acquisition costs and refurbishment and letting costs in accordance with the approved Investment Strategy, to acquire the property at Cambridge Science Park and to refurbish the building as a multi-let office investment.

 

2.           The re-profiling of the Investment Strategy capital allocations to bring forward sufficient funds to enable the property at 1. above to be acquired in 2019/2020 and refurbishment to be commenced thereafter.

 

3.           The use of the General Reserve, if required, for the potential revenue cost impacts of the acquisition, prior to the realisation and inclusion of the net additional income from the portfolio investment in the revenue budget.

 

8a

Investment Strategy pdf icon PDF 720 KB

Cabinet

 

RECOMMENDED THAT COUNCIL

 

Approve:

 

 

(a)          The updated Investment Strategy attached at Appendix A to the report of the Interim Director of Finance which includes (i) a range of investment indicators to comply with the Statutory Guidance on Local Government Investments and (ii) the governance arrangements that enable the Council to seek approval for priority investments in a timely manner in response to market conditions.

 

(b)          The consequent changes to the Scheme of Delegation to enable the Head of Commercial Development and Investment to progress investment opportunities, including due diligence checks, and to authorise the S151 Officer to submit non-binding offers in line with market practice.

 

Decision:

Council

 

AGREED

 

1.    The updated Investment Strategy attached at Appendix A to the report of the Interim Director of Finance (subject to the re-ordering of paragraphs 6.2 and 6.3), which includes (i) a range of investment indicators to comply with the Statutory Guidance on Local Government Investments and (ii) the governance arrangements that enable the Council to seek approval for priority investments in a timely manner in response to market conditions.

 

2.    The consequent changes to the Scheme of Delegation to enable the Head of Commercial Development and Investment to progress investment opportunities, including due diligence checks, and to authorise the S151 Officer to submit non-binding offers in line with market practice.