Standing in the name of Councillor Richard Williams The UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee states that “Biodiversity is the variety of all life on Earth: genes, species and ecosystems. It includes all species of animals and plants, and the natural systems that support them. Biodiversity matters because it supports the vital benefits humans get from the natural environment. It contributes to the economy, health and well-being, and it enriches our lives.” Protecting and enhancing biodiversity is a matter of great importance to the parishes and communities of South Cambridgeshire and is a key objective of national and local policy, as recognised in the emerging Greater Cambridge Biodiversity Supplementary Planning Document and the new Environment Act 2021. Parish and Town Councils have an important role to play in protecting and enhancing biodiversity and have a statutory responsibility to have regard to the purpose of conserving biodiversity in the exercise their functions. To help Parish Councils meet their statutory commitments and to help meet the aspirations of the communities of South Cambridgeshire this Council commits, as some other councils have done, to producing guidance for Parish and Town Councils as how they can most effectively conserve and enhance biodiversity in their areas, including a toolkit for drafting a Parish or Town biodiversity policy and carrying out a biodiversity audit. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the name of Councillor Heather Williams That this Council opposes congestion charging in Greater Cambridge. - My vote Support - Overall vote lost
Standing in the name of Councillor Mark Howell This council does not support the current CSET proposals. The Greater Cambridge Partnership Board member for South Cambridgeshire District Council will reflect the views of this council at future board meetings. - My vote Support - Overall vote lost
Standing in the name of Councillor Dr Ian Sollom Council notes that the draft First Proposals for the Greater Cambridge Local Plan identifies an urgent need for new strategic water supply infrastructure to provide for the longer-term needs of the plan and protect the chalk aquifer that supplies much of the area with water. Council further notes that Water Resources East timeline to address these issues through their new integrated water management strategy will only see new water supply infrastructure available from the mid 2030’s, resulting in further deterioration of both the aquifer itself, and the chalk stream habitats it feeds. Council also notes the requirement by the Environment Agency for the integrated water management strategy to include long-term nature recovery and resilience. Council therefore resolves that the Leader and Chief Executive write to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government highlighting these issues and urging them to find ways to support the water industry to deliver both the new water supply infrastructure and the improved water catchment management to restore the chalk stream habitats for South Cambridgeshire on a much faster timeline by the end of the decade. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the name of Councillor Dr Richard Williams Believing, as this Council does, that “planning works best when local communities are empowered”, “to shape local areas”, the Council calls for all Town and Parish Councils in South Cambs to be given the unimpeded power to require that a planning application in their area be determined by the Planning Committee rather than by officers.” Councillor Dr Richard Williams explained that this motion was designed to empower parish councils to be able to refer planning applications to the Planning Committee. He praised parish councils, which represented their communities and were attended by district councillors and residents. He suggested that if the motion was rejected, the Council was stating that it did not trust the District’s parish councils. - My vote Support - Overall vote lost
Standing in the name of Councillor Geoff Harvey The latest reports from the National Committee for Climate Change such as the "UK Housing. Fit for the Future?" and the UK's Sixth Carbon Budget "warn that the UK’s legally-binding climate change targets will not be met without the near-complete elimination of greenhouse gas emissions from UK buildings" and that UK homes are woefully unprepared for climate change". The Council's Zero Carbon Strategy also recognises the high level of emissions from existing housing. In order to meet our district-wide ambitions for net zero within the applicable legal frameworks, there is a need for practical outcomes which reduce carbon emissions. Listed and historic buildings form part of our building stock and a special part due to their cultural importance individually and within the wider setting. Many homeowners are interested in contributing to the fight against climate change. There is a need to ensure the vital cultural assets are preserved whilst enabling homeowners to adapt these homes to the changing climate. Following a recommendation from CEAC, the Council committed to adopting a proactive approach to the retrofitting of listed and historic buildings and to the weighing of the balance between conservation and the reduction of carbon emissions.
This Council notes that
Planning law establishes the principle that ‘harm’ to a heritage asset should be weighed against ‘public benefit’. and that though the weighting of the balance is subject to statutory guidance, the assessment of ‘public benefit’ cannot be blind to climate change nor to the context of the Council's declaration of a Climate Emergency and its adoption of a Zero Carbon Strategy.
It is for this reason that this Council resolves that:
i. In the officer reports accompanying applications for Planning and Listed Building Consent the reports will contain information making clear the way in which the balance has been made between public benefit, including where that benefit includes climate considerations, and the preservation of historic fabric.
ii. Where appropriate officers will seek the advice of the Council’s sustainability officer in addition to experts in conservation to contribute to the assessment exercise. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the name of Councillor Heather Williams At the next meeting of full council a report will be presented to council in relation to planning performance. It will clearly show the number of applications determined within the statutory time period, how many of those had extensions agreed and how many applications were awaiting determination at the end of each month. This report will cover the last 24months (September 2019 to September 2021) - Referred to Scrutiny and Overview Committee
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.
This was amended by others to - 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 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. - My vote Support (though disappointed that amendment watered it down) - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the name of Councillor Dr Ian Sollom 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. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
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.
- 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. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Leader of the Opposition's annual statement by Councillor Heather Williams.
Firstly, I would like to say how wonderful it is to see so many familiar faces at the meeting today safe and well. I recall a conversation right at the start I had with Councillor Bridget Smith and the most important thing we said to each other is “stay safe.” I would also like to welcome the new members of Council, and I wish them all the best as they start their new term. The Covid pandemic has challenged us all both collectively and individually, I would like to congratulate officers not only in the way they responded to the pandemic but also how quickly we were running business as usual and virtual meetings. The devotion that the public sector workers give whether they are Council, NHS, care workers or emergency services can never be measured or thanked enough, including those in the room with us today. We all owe a great debt of gratitude to them and collectively we would like to say thank you.
As individuals we have all faced our own challenges, for some that may have been adapting to new technology, naming no names for a few virtual meeting blunders, home-schooling, and caring for loved ones. Personally, potty training during a pandemic has led to some very interesting exits from virtual meetings and Councillor Cone having to dramatically interrupt and take over the chair of one of our group meetings. Inevitably there will always be times when we disagree as we have already experienced today, we have not always agreed about planning or how best to spend the Council’s finances but as a group we do not oppose for opposing’s sake. I am pleased we have found agreement on issues such as addressing the effects of climate change, tackling racism and discrimination, and supporting our communities during the pandemic.
This is the first time I am giving the leader of the opposition annual statement and that is quite a mouthful, and I would like to thank members of the Conservative Group of the trust they have given myself and Councillor Cone in our leadership. The support they have given us has led us to be where we are today, and we are grateful for the time and confidence they have shared with us. In our group one key piece of advice is given to us all which is “your priorities are in this order, your family, your residents, your Council, your party and your party is last” when we all come to face the ballot box next year we will be able to look our residents in the eye and know we have put them first, and I do wonder how many other Councillors, Chairman, will have a clear conscience that they also have always put people before party politics.
Standing in the name of Councillor Claire Daunton One of the many consequences of the Covid 19 pandemic is an increase in regular and frequent goods traffic through the villages of South Cambridgeshire. This traffic ranges from small delivery vans to large articulated lorries (HGV traffic)). The increase has come about at the same time as more of our residents are cycling and walking. It has also happened at a time when the government has put forward proposals to abolish the current weight restrictions.
A number of issues are linked to these developments. The increase in traffic, especially that of HGVs, has made the roads and pavements less safe for cyclists and pedestrians; and the air pollution, noise and speed has led to increased stress for residents, with consequent mental health problems. Further, the wider use of satnavs, which encourage drivers to take the shortest routes (often rural roads), is having a cumulative effect not only on the lives of residents but also on the state of our roads. Rural roads were not built for HGVs. Where weight restrictions are in place, they are little observed and the police have indicated they are not able to enforce.
We believe the way to tackle these issues is:
a) to encourage local communities to report HGV infringement of current restrictions;
b) to encourage the police to take action against persistent offenders;
c) to encourage satnav companies to incorporate the County’s advisory freight routes into their systems;
d) to encourage firms to move towards hybrid or electric vehicles as ways of cutting emissions rather than relying on heavier, longer vehicles;
e) to encourage the installation of appropriate 20mph speed limits, along with physical highway restraints, in the areas worst affected;
f) to use planning conditions to prevent or mitigate the problems, as appropriate - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the name of Councillor Pippa Heylings In its meeting of July 2019, this Council recognised that we are facing both an ecological and climate emergency and, in response, adopted Doubling Nature as a vision with one of our aims being that ‘the Council should be an exemplar for the landscape scale restoration of the natural environment’.
As a Council, we own very little land directly and, therefore, our Doubling Nature vision depends ultimately on partnerships and the sharing of a vision with communities, landowners, farmers and developers. Parts of South Cambridgeshire lie within the proposed Fens Biosphere buffer and transition zones. A Biosphere is a special status awarded by UNESCO to a unique and valuable landscape, such as the Fens. Biospheres connect people, economies and nature to secure a future where all can thrive. Following extraordinary, sustained and coordinated efforts by local (and national) stakeholder bodies, campaigners and enthusiastic members of the public, the proposed Fens Biosphere was awarded Candidate Status by UK Man and the Biosphere (UK MAB) on behalf of UNESCO in November 2019, opening the real possibility that the Fens Biosphere could become UK’s 8th UNESCO Biosphere designation; one of 714 in 129 countries, and the only lowland Biosphere in the country.
Within the proposed Biosphere buffer zone, activities will be focused on linking people, science and conservation to support the core zone of sites of specific conservation value. Such activities could include trialling new agricultural crops and techniques, encouraging communities to develop new spaces for nature and looking at how water resources can be managed on a landscape scale. As a centre of excellence and focus for a united community effort across the region, it can bring significant social, economic and environmental benefits.
In order to leap the final hurdle to gain UNESCO Biosphere designation, the Biosphere initiative needs to demonstrate the widest level of local support, including that of the local authorities. Although several local authorities within the candidate area have voiced support, it is critical that the support is demonstrated through formal endorsement. Senior proponents of the Fens Biosphere gave a passionate presentation to the Climate and Environment Advisory Committee in January along with a request for support, which was unanimously recommended by the Committee.
-recognises the value of the Fens Biosphere and formally supports its request for UNESCO Biosphere designation;
- authorises the Leader to write formally to convey its support;
- authorises the Leader and the Chair of CEAC to champion the Fens Biosphere initiative by writing to all relevant local authorities to encourage them to do the same. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the name of Councillor Geoff Harvey Fossil fuel divestment was once viewed as a moral undertaking; now it is as much about reducing financial risk. In October last year, Cambridge University finally announced its aim to have no meaningful exposure to fossil fuels in its investment funds by 2030. A University report summarised the long-running debate and included this recollection from visiting American environmentalist, Bill McKibben that …. Exxon built rigs to account for climate change-related sea rise while funding climate change denialism research (Oreskes and Conway 2010). He commented “intellectual dishonesty on that scale would get you kicked out of Cambridge in a minute”. But alongside the moral arguments, were those of sound finance: ‘Overall, there is little evidence to suggest that a global portfolio invested to exclude fossil fuels would underperform one that included them and such a portfolio might avoid the volatility that is likely to affect the fossil fuel sector in the coming years.’
It has been calculated that were oil companies to extract all oil in their existing developed reserves (oil fields), this alone, when burnt, would use up the remaining available carbon budget before breaching 1.5 degrees Celsius global temperature rise compared to preindustrial levels. Yet oil companies continue with oil exploration. Last year, BP announced a £14billion asset write-down acknowledging a shift towards renewable energy. There is a real risk of remaining invested in assets that will become stranded assets; the ownership of oil reserves that will now have to remain in the ground. In 2015, UK local authority pension funds lost nearly £700milion when the market for coal collapsed. Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, issued a blunt warning in 2015 that investors, like pension funds faced “potentially huge” losses as action on climate change could make vast reserves of oil, coal and gas “literally un-burnable”.
This Council has declared a climate and ecological emergency. We now know Investments in fossil fuels are not only harmful to the environment but also put the sustainable future of pensions at risk. In December last year, the National Climate Change Committee released a paper ‘Local Authorities and the Sixth Carbon Budget’. It lists 9 ‘overarching priorities’ for local authorities and one of these relates to pensions schemes investments. ‘Local authority pension funds should disclose their approach to assessing and managing climate risks and should consider investing in Net Zero aligned schemes within their legal duties.’ This aligns with Clause 124 of the Pension Schemes Bill currently before Parliament where the Act is likely to mandate larger private sector pension schemes to manage climate change as a financial risk and to report publicly on how so. We note from the Investment Strategy Statement of the Cambridgeshire County Council Pension Fund, ‘The Fund supports the principles of the [Financial Reporting Council] UK Stewardship Code and is working with the Fund’s advisers with the intention to sign up to the Code.’
We further note: this Code requires ‘Signatories systematically integrate stewardship and investment, including material environmental, social and governance issues, and climate change, to fulfil their responsibilities.’ The Pension Fund Committee, in partnership with Investment Sub Committee and Local Pension Board decides pensions investment strategy. Nevertheless, SCDC staff pensions are part of a Defined Benefits scheme, meaning that SCDC has a financial interest in the long-term efficiency of the fund since any future shortfall, including by failure to recognise any risks (or investment opportunities) associated with climate change, would be set against a balance sheet liability. Fiduciary obligations are aligned with the UK´s legal obligation to meet its climate goals. As a UK´s Pension Minister said of the Climate Change Act: “This legislation commits the UK to a path that pension funds must play a massive role in” which means no longer helping fund oil production and exploration and keeping within the remaining carbon budget.
This Council - Asks the Chief Executive to write to the Pension Fund Committee, Investment Sub Committee and Local Pension Board jointly, to request how they, on behalf of SCDC as an employer, intend to manage the effects of climate change as a financial risk to their investments, including the issue of divestment, and how this will be reported. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the name of Councillor Pippa Heylings We are living through an unprecedented crisis that disrupts and challenges in nearly every aspect of our residents’ lives, be it social, economic, in health or environment. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of the availability of local, good quality food. Cambridgeshire and the Fens are home to more than 50% of UK’s Grade 1, 2 and 3a Agricultural land. British farmers are proud to produce food to some of the highest standards of animal welfare, environmental protection and food safety in the world. More than a million people signed the recent food standards campaign petition. Yet, the Agriculture Act 2020 still risks putting our farmers in an untenable situation whereby they will have to compete with food imports that have been produced using methods and products that would be illegal on British farms, leading to the sale of substandard food.
The Back British Farming campaign sought to uphold and defend British food and farming standards through primary legislation but House of Lords amendments upholding this aim have been voted down by majorities in the House of Commons, including our own local MPs. As a far less robust concession to campaigners, the Government has placed the Trade and Agriculture Commission on a statutory footing, though without statutory powers. It is welcome news that MPs will have the chance to vote on the recommendation of the Commission in relation to any new trade deal but this alone does not give the strength of guarantee deserved of our farmers or our food security – and leaves British farming vulnerable to political convenience.
- believes that guarantees to uphold British food and farming standards should be written into primary legislation
- authorises the Leader to contact our local MPs to underline the importance of having food and farming standards written into primary legislation. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the Name of Councillor Geoff Harvey Launching the recently published Oxford-Cambridge Arc Economic Prospectus, Jeremy Long, Chair of the Arc Local Enterprise Partnerships Group, said:
“Our vision is for the Arc to be a global hub for innovation, and home to exemplary models of green development that will inspire communities around the world. The Arc’s place is at the forefront of the UK’s green recovery and this will be made possible through bold leadership that focuses on the big opportunities ..”.
The prospectus itself reveals the extraordinary breadth and level of ambition. Prominent within this vision for future sustainable prosperity are green and seamless transport infrastructure and research into green energy technology, including nuclear fusion and advanced battery storage. Yet from our own local experience, we know that local electricity infrastructure is at capacity, leading to schemes facing restrictions in relation to green energy or facing additional costs and delays to enable grid reinforcement to take place. Considerable work is therefore underway in the Greater Cambridge area to address this issue as part of our work on developing planning policy, as well as considering the role of the public sector in facilitating the delivery of additional infrastructure, working in partnership with the district network operator. This work is taking into account the electrification of transport and heat.
It is therefore concerning to note that the Prospectus does not explicitly mention energy infrastructure, which will be key to the Net-Zero ambition. The ambition for energy infrastructure should be equal at least to the ambition for transport infrastructure; the two are very much intertwined. Furthermore, a central government national infrastructure project of this scale offers unique opportunities to demand multi-agency cooperation; opportunities that may be grasped only once, or lost forever. For example, the electrified East-West Rail project could and should be under consideration as the first building block in a coherent energy infrastructure plan. For example, east-west HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) energy connectivity and storage might be installed along the track-side sufficient not only to power trains but also as a smart-grid or green energy spine to link together the many green energy assets envisioned for the Arc in years to come; whilst development of specialist switchgear, solid state transformers, smart grid management software and LVDC (low voltage direct current) distribution are all technology areas with export potential that can be part of a green recovery.
In short, we need not only an Ox-Cam Arc but also an Ox-Cam Spark.
- urges that green energy infrastructure, enabled by multi-agency cooperation, is considered at the earliest possible juncture in the Ox-Cam Arc national infrastructure project.
- requests the Leader and Chief Executive to raise the matter of timely consideration of energy infrastructure for the Ox-Cam Arc, within its political and governmental structures, as they deem appropriate. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the Name of Councillor Heather Williams This Council notes the outcome of the ‘First Conversation’ and ‘Call for Sites’ stages in the development of the next Local Plan for South Cambridgeshire and Cambridge City. The Council records its thanks to officers involved in developing the next Local Plan and recognises the work being undertaken by officers to draw up a list of preferred sites.
In light of the large number of sites put forward in the Call for Sites which affect almost every village/ town and community in our District, this Council calls for Parish and Town Councils to be offered the opportunity to comment on sites put forward for their area and for their views to be taken into account in the process of drawing up a list of preferred sites.
This was amended by others to The Council records its thanks to officers involved in developing the next Local Plan and recognises the work being undertaken by officers to support the selection of sites for the Preferred Option for the Local Plan, which will be published for full public consultation in 2021.
In light of the large number of sites put forward in the Call for Sites which affect almost every village/ town and community in our District, this Council confirms that Parish and Town Councils will be offered the opportunity to feedback information and comment on sites put forward for their area and that this input will be taken into consideration as part of the Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment which will inform the site selection for the Preferred Option stage. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the Name of Councillor Ian Sollom The Council notes:
-That numbers of pupils entitled to Free School Meals (FSM) are rising fast. Nationally, the percentage of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals has increased across all schools from 13.6% in 2018, to 15.4% in 2019 and 17.3% at the beginning of 2020. In South Cambridgeshire District, over 2,400 pupils were eligible and claiming FSM at the beginning of September, up by over 25% from January 2019, and numbers continue to rise due to the impact of the pandemic.
-That every child who is entitled to Free School Meals is a sign of a family under significant financial pressure.
-That this picture of increasing child poverty is supported by the rapid rise in the number of families dependent on food banks. The Trussell Trust have reported the period of April to September to be the busiest half-year period for food banks in the network since the charity opened, and more than a third of their three-day emergency food parcels went to children. The Cambridge City Foodbank has reported a 23% increase in the number of people fed between March and July compared to last year, included a 28% increase in the number of children fed.
-That children who are hungry are less able to learn and thrive at school.
-That the extension of the school meals voucher scheme campaigned for by Marcus Rashford to cover the period of the summer holiday was incredibly important and valuable to families in food poverty.
-That the second lockdown and the continuing rise in unemployment are likely to lead to further increases in child poverty in the short term.
-That the economic consequences of the pandemic risks further increases in child poverty in the longer term.
-That moves by the government to extend support over the Christmas holiday period and throughout 2021 are a welcome start in addressing the problems of food poverty, but that more will need to be done to ensure no child in the UK goes hungry.
This Council therefore supports the calls by the Child Food Poverty Task Force, supported by Marcus Rashford and many leading food suppliers and producers, which calls for:
-The expansion of free school meals provision to every child whose family is in receipt of Universal Credit or equivalent, or with a low-income and no recourse to public funds.
-That provision be made for food and activities during school holidays and periods of lockdown to support all families in receipt of Universal Credit or equivalent, or with low-income and no recourse to public funds.
-That Healthy Start vouchers should be increased in value to £4.25 and expanded to be made available to all those in receipt of Universal Credit or with a low-income and no recourse to public funds.
This Council therefore resolves to write to the Secretary of State for Education, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the MPs representing the District in Parliament to call for additional government funding for:
1.The extension of eligibility for free school meals to every pupil whose parents or guardians are in receipt of Universal Credit.
2.Equivalent food support to be made available for every one of those pupils in every school holiday and during any period of lockdown.
3.The extension of eligibility for free school meals to pupils from low-income families whose parents or guardians have no recourse to public funds and destitute asylum seekers as defined in the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the name of Cllr Heather Williams Council expresses deep concern that:
· Trades Union Congress (TUC) research revealed nearly half of workers had witnessed bullying at their workplace. https://www.tuc.org.uk/resource/bullying-work
· Female employees are more likely to be victims of bullying than males. https://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/Bullying%20at%20Work%202019.pdf
Council notes that:
· 16th to 20th? November 2020 is Anti-Bullying Week, organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance. · The theme of this year’s Anti-Bullying Week is ‘United against bullying’.
· The Anti-Bullying Alliance’s definition of bullying is: ?“the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. It can happen face to face or online”?.
· Bullying behaviour can be done by an individual or by a group, and can be physical, verbal, emotional, sexual or online.
· That bullying in any form, by any group or individual, in any walk of life, is unacceptable. · To adopt the Anti-Bullying Alliance’s definition of bullying.
· That as councillors we should lead by example in our actions and interactions, and will support efforts in our communities to highlight and end bullying. We will further demonstrate this by asking members to sign a pledge that we will refrain from bullying behaviour.
· That once signed these pledges will be displayed on councillors’ official Council website profiles to show that we take bullying seriously and are determined to stand up for our communities. · To launch a review to ensure that for Council colleagues and our residents, there is clear signposting to helplines and support groups- such as Childline, ACAS, Citizens Advice Bureau, Bullying UK, and others. - referred by others to the Civic Affairs Committee
Standing in the Name of Cllr Dr. Richard Williams That South Cambridgeshire District Council recognises illegal parking is a serious problem for many communities in our district. This council commits to tackling this problem and to continuing to explore the options available to us, as an authority, to assume the responsibility of civil parking enforcement, in common with over 9 in 10 local authority areas in England. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Councillor Bunty Waters proposed the following amended version of her motion: “To actively promote a public awareness campaign about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks by committing to sharing suitable RSPCA content on social media about the impact on welfare and vulnerable people. This will use material produced by OPSS [Office for Product Safety and Standards], in partnership with the RSPCA, and as published at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/consumer-safety-awareness-campaigns-materials under section “Fireworks campaign”.” - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the Name of Cllr Geoff Harvey Our recently adopted Zero Carbon Strategy highlights the need for a fundamental change in how we generate and consume energy in all aspects of our lives. Both electricity generation and distribution are undergoing rapid evolution, in both shape and scale. The distribution grid, must now cope with power flows in both directions and South Cambridgeshire is at the limit of renewable generation capacity for that reason. In scale, electrification of heat and transport will require a quadrupling of electricity capacity. Local, community-based energy schemes can make a significant contribution to addressing both issues and encourage a sense of local empowerment to tackle climate change. Community schemes encourage local generation and storage to match local demand thus relieving pressure on the grid. Local schemes would be given new impetus and be able to contribute more renewable energy if local people could buy their electricity directly from local suppliers. But the disproportionate cost of meeting regulatory approvals makes it impossible to be a local energy supplier at a local scale and so, under the current system, this local energy gets sold back to the central grid.
The Local Electricity Bill is a private members’ bill with cross-party support that was introduced unopposed in June 2020. If this Bill was passed in Parliament it would give the energy regulator, OFGEM, a duty to create a Right to Local Supply. This would enable local community energy groups to achieve their vision of supplying generated energy back to the local area, help us as a Council to meet our carbon reduction aspirations for the district,and also bring multiple benefits to the local community. It is supported by many stakeholders, local authorities, and town councils (including Cambourne) and currently has the backing of 198 MPs.
- resolves to support the Bill,
- authorises the Leader to contact our MPs to discuss their support for the Bill and how they can enable its passage into law
- authorises the Chief Executive to write to the Minister of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, supporting the aims of the Bill and asking for these aims to be taken into account in the forthcoming Energy White Paper. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the name of Councillor Sarah Cheung Johnson Council Notes:
1. The killing of George Floyd in June 2020, for which a Minneapolis police officer has been charged with second-degree murder and three other police officers have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
2. BAME people are 54% more likely than white people to be fined under the new coronavirus lockdown laws. (Link)
3. In the UK 26% of instances of police using firearms are against black people, despite black people making up only 3.3% of the population. (Link)
4. 51% of young men in custody in the UK are from Black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds, despite these groups making up only 14% of the UK population. (Link)
5. Around two thirds of healthcare staff who have died as a result of COVID-19 are from a BAME background whereas they make up 20% of the overall workforce. (Link)
6. Black people were 47 times more likely to face suspicion less stop and searches by police than white people. (Link)
Recorded its belief that:
A. Racism in all forms, both structural and in individuals, continues to be a serious and often unseen problem in the UK. This is as true in Cambridgeshire, where the ethnic minority population is 18.6%, as it is in areas with greater diversity.
B. Although progress has been made in combating racism, work to eradicate it entirely is far from complete.
C. This Council, representing people in South Cambridgeshire, has a duty as a public leader to actively lead that work.
Resolved to meet the challenge head on and
A) Ensure Black History month, an event initiated by Cllr Tumi Hawkins for the first time in SCDC’s history in 2019, is made an annual event at South Cambs.
B) Request Scrutiny and Overview Committee to convene a Task and Finish group to:
i. Review and examine the SCDC structure to ensure ethnic minorities are not disadvantaged. Understand specifically how many BAME staff we employ, where are they working, what barriers, if any exist to their career progression and whether a “name blind” recruitment process would aid in the recruitment of more BAME staff. Review the evidence, provide recommendations and devise a set of KPIs and a challenging outturn for us to achieve this.
ii. Consider BAME access to housing and to homelessness and welfare support, which are important parts of the council remit. The group would review and recommend concrete actions on how we adopt an actively anti-racist outlook within areas where we have influence, by reviewing our corporate equalities and diversity policies so that anti-racism is explicit and not implied; by routinely calling for transparent reporting and continuous monitoring of the impact on the BAME community: for example, continuing to request reporting on the BAME pay gap; by reviewing whether housing statistics can be broken down by ethnicity and if any other meaningful statistics that can be monitored regularly can be produced.
iii. Provide an input into the Equality policy currently being drafted.
iv. Conduct an audit of street names and any public monuments this Council is responsible for which name individuals or organisations, to review any that have racist links. Review this list and produce a set of recommendations on any actions that should be taken.
C) Write to the Secretary of State for education to review the national curriculum to ensure the inclusion of BAME history and culture in lessons, including providing further historical context for events normally only seen through the lens of white British history, and also ask South Cambridgeshire schools to include such material proactively.
D) Ask the Police & Crime Commissioner to:-
· report on what measures have been put in place to reduce the disproportionality of BAME people affected by the use of stop and search powers seen nationally and how often are these measures are reviewed; and to provide a regular report to the Community Safety Partnership as to initiatives and progress;
· Report on strategy to get more BAME officers recruited and developed for Cambridgeshire; and · put in place measures to ensure that arrest and custody measures are proportionate.
E) Request the Local Resilience Forum, as part of the recovery work being coordinated by the Strategic Command Group, to include in their review the impact of the coronavirus on BAME communities, with a breakdown to district level.
F) Ask the Combined Authority to produce a toolkit for businesses to help broaden their understanding of race inequality in the workplace, including but not limited to materials, signposts to relevant local groups and training that can be provided for staff, and links to relevant networks.
G) Work with NHS to ensure that it fully compensates BAME Covid-19 affected staff and families that have been disproportionately impacted.
H) Ask Scrutiny & Overview Committee to convene a sub-group to regularly review our progress on the measures above and recommend any additional steps required to achieve these goals.
I) Write to our District MPs to ask that while conducting another race inequality review, the Government also accelerate the implementation of recommendations from previous reviews - for example, the Lammy and Windrush recommendations. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the name of Councillor Nick Wright That South Cambridgeshire District Council, while committed to the promotion of exception sites, is dedicated to protecting the greenbelt in the emerging local plan in line with the National Planning Policy Framework. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the name of Councillor Heather Williams Given the unprecedented circumstances officers have been working in during the covid-19 pandemic, this council asks the chairman to correspond with all officers, of all tiers, to thank them for their on going work during this incredibly challenging time on behalf of all 45 councilors of South Cambridgeshire. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the name of Councillor Peter Fane This Council recognises the invaluable contribution of EU citizens working in jobs that provide Council services to residents and are crucial to key sectors of the economy in the City and South Cambs, including the health and care sectors, as well as their contribution to our society as a whole.
This Council therefore:
- Pledges to support all EU citizens who live or work in the District, throughout and after the Brexit process
- Confirms that it believes that all EU citizens in the District should retain their right to vote in and be candidates in local elections;
- Requests Cabinet to explore ways in which it can help EU citizens in the District apply for permanent residence and citizenship. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the name of Councillor Geoff Harvey With reference to the Future Homes Standard 2019 Consultation on changes to Part L (conservation of fuel and power) and Part F (ventilation) of the Building Regulations for new dwellings (consultation closed 7th Feb 2020):-
This Council deplores:-
1. That the Government wishes to take away from local government and planning authorities their already very limited powers to require energy efficiency standards higher than national minimum standards embodied in Part L of Building Regulations (now subject to revision).
2. That following revision, the proposed new Future Homes Standard will not be in force until 2025 3. That regarding transitional arrangements, of the two options consulted upon, this Government is promoting the option with the least focus on raising the insulation standards of building fabric.
4. That transitional arrangements will allow these already limited building fabric requirements to be side-stepped by the installation of green energy add-ons such as heat pumps and solar PV, masking a poor standard of insulation.
This Council urges Government to listen to and act upon the concerns raised nationally by professional planners, architects and engineers and by responsible developers alike; concerns being articulated, for example, by the London Energy Transition Initiative (LETI), representing the views of over 1000 built environment professionals.
When the Government scrapped the Zero Carbon Homes policy in 2015 it not only delivered a huge windfall to developers but also set back progress towards a low carbon future by many years. This Government is doubling down on that error by proposing a new standard that will not come into force until 2025. Transitional arrangements will allow developers to largely escape building to higher standard of fabric until that date so that 10 critical years will have been lost. Insulation standards proposed beyond 2025 are inadequate. At the same time, local planning authorities will be prevented from intervening. This policy direction will simply add to our stock of poorly insulated homes needing to be expensively upgraded in future with retrofit insulation.
The ‘fabric first’ approach to reducing emissions from dwellings is a central plank of the Greater Cambridge Sustainable Design and Construction SPD, adopted by SCDC 8th Jan 2020. Whilst green energy add-ons are to be encouraged, their operational lifetime is perhaps 25 years and they are more readily retrofitted. High quality building fabric would deliver its benefits for 100 years or more but is extremely costly when installed as a retrofit upgrade. The most effective way to reduce carbon emissions is to reduce heat loss at source as the first priority.
It is a national scandal that the Government, having announced a 2050 zero carbon target, is now consulting on plans effectively allowing poorly insulated homes to be built for another five years at least whilst further limiting the ability of local authorities to intervene. If building regulations are to have primacy in setting sustainability standards, these must encourage a ‘fabric first’ approach and the highest possible standards of insulation.
This Council authorises officers to write to the Ministry for Housing, Local Government and Communities to express these concerns. - My vote Against. Reasoning - "Councillor Heather Williams explained that the Government’s proposals were at the consultation phase and a reasonable cross-party response would be more likely to receive a positive response from the Government, than a motion that used emotive language and could be construed as an attack." - Overall vote passed
Standing in the name of Councillor Dr. Ian Sollom South Cambridgeshire District Council is proud of its efforts to tackle discrimination in all its forms and we condemn racism and antisemitism of any form. Following the Council’s very moving ceremony led by Cllr Cahn on Holocaust Memorial Day, and as part of the Council’s ongoing equalities work we resolve to adopt the internationally recognised International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) guidelines on antisemitism, which define antisemitism as:- ‘a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred towards Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.’ The guidelines highlight various manifestations and are accessible at:- https://www.holocaustremembrance.com/working-definition-antisemitism This Council underlines its condemnation of all forms of racism and religious discrimination in all its manifestations and adopts the IHRA definition of antisemitism as the working model for challenging and confronting incidents of this form of discrimination. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the name of Councillor Dr. Martin Cahn South Cambridgeshire District Council has no close links to other local authorities in Europe, either through membership of European local authority networks or through twinning arrangements. The Government insists that we are leaving the European Union, but not Europe, and it would seem an appropriate moment to emphasise that in South Cambridgeshire, at least, the desire for close links to Europe remains. The adjoining districts of both Fenland and Cambridge are twinned with European local authorities, as are Bourn, Comberton, the Fen Edge villages, Foxton, the Shelfords/Stapleford and Sawston as well as Huntingdon, St Ives, Ely and Soham Town Councils and Burwell Parish Council in adjoining districts.
Withdrawal from the EU also does not mean that we are necessarily withdrawing from all European programmes. The EU’s Interreg programmes promote interaction with local authorities across borders, including its external borders, and the North Sea, North West Europe and UK?Northern France programmes are currently open to Cambridgeshire. One can anticipate that the UK Government, if it is to keep to its promises, will continue to fund participation in these, but for South Cambridgeshire to do this it is necessary to build links with local authorities in Europe.
The development of such twinning links is generally done through the establishment of a twinning association. The twinning budget of Cambridge, which is twinned with both Heidelberg and Szeged, is £8140 including grants to the two twinning associations. Membership of international networks is generally more expensive than this, but may allow the development of more connections.
This Council notes the lack of international links in South Cambridgeshire and proposes that this Council:
1) emphasises our commitment to pan European activity by European local authorities.
2) supports the development of links with European local authorities in order to maintain our links with our counterparts in Europe following withdrawal from the European Union.
3) calls upon the Cabinet to:
a. examine in more detail potential means of increasing our own links with European local authorities and localities, examining the costs and the benefits, and report back.
b. examine means of supporting and promoting the development of European links by the parish and town councils in the District. - Against. Reasoning - Councillor Heather Williams stated that in its current guise the motion could appear to be anti-Brexit and it was time to move on.
Standing in the name of Councillor Heather Williams That this council opposes congestion charging in Cambridge. - My vote Support - Overall vote lost
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 fulfils 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. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
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. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
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. - My vote Support - Overall vote lost
Motion from Councillor Heather Williams South Cambs is a growth area, with 19,500 homes to be delivered in major new communities and existing villages. We know that many of these new homes will attract young families and the number of young people in the District will rise. It is therefore hugely important that the voice of young people is heard in the development of the Council’s policies for the future of the District. This Council encourages youth engagement in local politics and supports the greater involvement of young people in decision-making at the Council and requests Cabinet to establish a cross-party Members’ Task & Finish Group to consider options for delivering this. - My vote Support - Overall vote lost
Motion from Councillor Graham Cone That this Council requests Cabinet to publish a table on its website each month including the following:
· The number of planning applications received during the previous month.
· The total number of live applications remaining at the end of the previous month
· The average validation time that month
· The average determination time that month
· The average time for a decision notice that month
· The date of submission of the oldest live planning application held by the Council.
These figures should set out a breakdown of minor, major applications, pre-applications, decision notices, discharge of conditions, reserved matters. - My vote Support - Overall vote lost
Motion from Councillor Nick Wright With an external company now being involved in duties normally performed by officers of the Council’s planning department, the Council requests Cabinet to ensure true transparency by making it clear to applicants, agents, residents, parish councils and local members when a Terraquest employee/contractor is involved in an application and the extent of their involvement in the application. - My vote Support - Overall vote lost
Motion from Councillor Peter Topping This Council notes with some concern the five year land supply and housing trajectory calculations as they apply to South Cambridgeshire District Council that have been approved by one member of the administration, outside of any council meeting, or meeting to which councillors could have been invited to be briefed.
In particular, the Council notes that the five year land supply is now calculated to be 5.3, down from six, according to the Council’s own report published on 6 November.
The Council considers the proposed consultation on this issue – which is to send comments by email to the Director of Planning for the Council - to be insufficient in terms of challenge and discussion by elected members, given how important this issue is to all of our villages and towns and their residents, who are rightly concerned with the impact of speculative development. Therefore, this Council calls on the Lead Members for Housing and Planning to offer to, and attend with, members of this Council, a meeting and full briefing on the issue, to be arranged during the month of October. The purpose of the meeting would be to provide transparency on how the calculations have been arrived at, and to enable discussion, testing and challenge of matters such as the confidence rating attached to specific parts of the overall assessment. - My vote Support - Overall vote lost
Motion from Councillor Geoff Harvey Onshore wind is the cheapest new source of energy in the UK today - and the UK is the windiest country in Europe. New government policy is now needed to realise these benefits. Onshore wind can play a key role in an ambitious industrial strategy delivering clean, cheap and smart energy. Furthermore, onshore wind energy is vital to our aim of achieving 2050 net zero greenhouse gas emissions. Government statistics show that 79% of people now support onshore wind - fifteen times the proportion opposed. This Council resolves to make representations to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to request that the National Planning Policy Framework is amended so that applications for small-scale onshore wind developments in England of no more than five megawatts are treated in the same way as any other application for renewable and low carbon energy. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Motion from Councillor Sarah Cheung Johnson Council notes that domestic abuse against women is still too prevalent in our society. Men are also victims of domestic abuse but the statistics show women are overwhelmingly the victims. 2015 figures show two women a week are killed by a current or former partner and 6 out of 7 victims of Domestic Violence are women. This council commits to providing support to ongoing efforts by staff and councillors to take a stand against violence and to take the pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about men's violence against women. This Council notes that the White Ribbon Campaign is part of a global movement to end men's violence against women, and the Council commits to becoming a White Ribbon Accredited Authority so that it can ensure it has the necessary policies and procedures in place to reduce male violence against women in workplaces and public interaction.
Council understands that raising awareness plays a huge part in changing the cultural and social norms which are recognised as being highly influential in shaping individual behaviour, including the use of violence and Council will continue to work closely with local agencies and organisations involved in tackling violence against women to extend knowledge and understanding of the issues amongst South Cambridgeshire’s population. - This motion was referred to Cabinet without debate - My vote against not debating the motion - Overall vote to refer without debate - Supported the motion in principle
Motion from Councillor Alex Malyon This Council has already noted with great concern the issues associated with single use plastics and the global problem of plastic pollution. Currently 320 million new items of plastic are made every year, with this set to double by 2034. Every day approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans. There may now be around 5.25 trillion macro and microplastic pieces floating in the open ocean, weighing up to 269,000 tonnes. The Plastic Free Communities initiative provides a toolkit for communities to work to tackle this issue on a local level.
Communities can work towards Plastic Free Community status by raising awareness of the need to reduce single use plastic use through community events. They work with local businesses and other community influencers such as churches or schools, to reduce dependence on single use plastics and encourage the use of alternatives. Nationally there are 561 communities who have achieved or are working towards this certification including a local community group in Cottenham.
A resolution passed by this Council in July 2018 committed to exploring ways in which we can significantly reduce the sale, provision and use of avoidable single- use plastics. In doing so we acknowledged the important role that this Council had to play in influencing others to do likewise. This Council and its individual members therefore commit to supporting, encouraging and promoting the work of community groups and parishes who wish to join this growing network of UK Plastic Free Communities. This motion was referred to Cabinet without debate - I Supported the motion in principle
Motion from Councillor Nick Wright In the last year councillors been receiving inch thick planning agendas and cabinet agendas sometimes over 700 pages. This is not only damaging Councillors’ backs carrying them, but trees for paper supply; and causing unnecessary postage expenditure. The Conservative group proposes that SCDC Councillors’ documents become paperless unless individual members request otherwise. This motion was referred to Cabinet without debate - My vote against not debating the motion - Overall vote to refer without debate - Supported the motion in principle
Motion from Councillor Dr. Ian Sollom This Council:
Is deeply concerned by the financial outlook for schools in South Cambridgeshire due to a combination of inadequate government funding and increasing cost pressures.
Believes that successive Governments have not fairly funded schools which is jeopardising the education and future opportunities of young people in South Cambridgeshire and is particularly letting down more vulnerable children, such as those with special educational needs and disabilities, and those who need mental health support.
Notes with concern reports that many schools across the country are having to ask for donations from parents, cutting back teaching hours, reducing staff numbers, reducing mental health support and mentoring for vulnerable pupils. In South Cambridgeshire, where schools have historically been underfunded relative to other parts of the country, more extreme measures are beginning to be taken. For example, Fulbourn Primary School is switching to a four-and-a-half-day week from September, while another of our primary schools is likely to shrink to 3 classes from the current 4, meaning as many as 36 children from 3 different academic years, and up to 4 years age difference, will be taught in a single class. Many other headteachers in South Cambridgeshire are being forced to take similarly agonising decisions which will negatively impact educational outcomes. Schools are one of the cornerstones around which local communities in South Cambridgeshire are built and thrive, and the current funding situation risks real damage to those communities.
Further notes that years of real-terms pay cuts for teachers, coupled with the pressure caused by funding cuts in schools and an excessive workload that too often leads to physical and/or mental health issues, have led to difficulties in retention and recruitment in the teaching profession. This is driving thousands of dedicated professionals out of the jobs they love, and further undermining the quality of education in our schools.
Will make representations to the Secretary of State for Education and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, calling for them to take action during the next spending review to:
-Reverse, in full, the real-terms cuts to per-pupil school budgets since 2015 – meaning schools in South Cambridgeshire would receive £3,837,946 additional funding in 2020.
-Guarantee that all basic equipment and resources, including support staff, are provided so that teachers can focus on delivering a high-quality education to their pupils and the number of talented teachers leaving the profession due to excessive workload may be reduced.
-Provide additional funding to Cambridgeshire and others across the country, to give more, fully funded support to children with special educational needs and disabilities.
-Fix the historic underfunding of Cambridgeshire schools by putting in place genuinely fairer funding through the National Funding Formula. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Motion from Councillor Gavin Clayton This Council condemns the recent spike in hate crime and in particular that of homophobic hate crime. This Council notes the need for proactive policy development and recruitment of a specialist officer due to increased levels of hate crime as reported (in Parliamentary Briefing Paper Number 08537, 28 March 2019, Hate Crime Statistics, By Grahame Allen, Yago Zayed). It shows Police Reported hate crimes by monitored strands in England have increased by 123% since 2011. In particular: Race 98% Religion 415% sexual orientation 415% Disability 313% and biggest increase of all for people who identify as transgender 427% Now is not the time to be without a specialist Equality and Diversity Officer and with increasingly uncertain political and economic times ahead, this Council will work with neighbouring councils to build upon the Equality Pledge to construct and implement a Single Equality Scheme which is proactive in providing training across public, private and third sector partners and to join the Encompass Safer Spaces scheme so that there is a visible reassurance for LGBTQ+ residents of South Cambridgeshire. This motion was referred to Cabinet without debate - I Supported the motion in principle
Motion from Councillor Mark Howell That this Council amends the constitution so that there are recorded votes on all committees, including advisory committees This motion was referred to Civic Affairs Committee - I Supported the motion in principle
Motion from Councillor Peter Topping This Council instructs its representative on the Greater Cambridge Partnership Board to inform that body that until the Council has completed and published its own assessment of the environmental (including carbon neutral) requirements and conditions of the next Local Plan, so far as they relate to transport construction projects, this Council's representative will not approve any further work on bringing forward proposals for a park and ride at Harston or along the A428. - My vote Support - Overall vote lost
Motion from Councillor Pippa Heylings This Council recognises that:
- we are facing an ecological emergency as well as a climate emergency;
- the challenge to balance economic growth with measures to protect and enhance nature has never been more urgent, given the unprecedented investment in infrastructure in the district alongside the increasing decline in biodiversity;
- opportunities are available through the planning system for improving nature by embedding the “environmental net gain” principle into development, including housing and infrastructure, in order to deliver environmental improvements;
- the conservation and enhancement of the natural environment play a pivotal role in our economy and wellbeing, providing wide-ranging benefits such as clean water and air, food, timber, carbon capture, flood protection and recreation.
Therefore, this Council aims to double the area of rich wildlife habitats, tree cover and accessible green space in order for nature and people to thrive, and businesses to prosper. In order to do so, the Council will:
- Ensure the delivery of biodiversity and environmental enhancements through our planning policy and development control functions by providing high-level guidance to support existing biodiversity policies as part of the Greater Cambridge Sustainable Design and Construction SPD and more detailed guidance for developers through the forthcoming Greater Cambridge Biodiversity SPD. - Enable the development of a mandatory biodiversity net gain policy for South Cambridgeshire and Cambridge through the new Joint Greater Cambridge Local Plan, ensuring that this is a core principle for all future development across the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service.
- Identifying areas for tree planting for carbon sequestration, flood management, air quality improvement and other environmental services.
- Adopt the Developing Nature Toolkit and direct developers to use the toolkit to assist them in demonstrating a net gain in biodiversity, to be used from the very outset of planning new developments, and ideally at the time of selecting sites to acquire for development.
- Collaborate with our communities, Parish Councils and schools to encourage the planting of trees and the management of wildflower verges alongside roads.
- Continue to support Natural Cambridgeshire, the Local Nature Partnership (LNP), to deliver the Doubling Nature Vision for ‘Cambridgeshire to be an exemplar for the landscape scale restoration of the natural environment’. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the name of Councillor Peter Topping 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. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the name of Councillor Peter Topping 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. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the name of Councillor Pippa Heylings Last month, world-leading scientists gave their starkest warning yet about the impacts of climate change if we do not make urgent and unprecedented changes to reduce GHG emissions. We are already feeling the effects in the UK of increased intensity and frequency of storms, flooding and heatwaves. We are also experiencing growing problems with water scarcity and air pollution. This motion proposes that South Cambs shows responsible climate leadership by supporting the transition to "Zero Carbon by 2050" in the next Local Plan. This would enable planners, developers, businesses and residents to maximize the opportunities of green technology whilst decoupling emissions from our rapid growth agenda. As a local authority, we have the power to influence this transformation. Planning has an important role to play in supporting the transition to zero carbon, not just in terms of building-related energy but also transport-related emissions and the infrastructure required to support growth. This also includes some of the "softer issues" such as the role of green infrastructure and urban design approaches that can enable people to live lower carbon lifestyles. A zero carbon approach is also the most effective way to drive down fuel poverty and ensure warm homes for the most vulnerable in our society, whilst providing clean air for all. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the name of Councillor Peter Topping This Council has always supported the hard-working parish councils that do so much for the villages of South Cambridgeshire. The decision made by the Liberal Democrat Administration to bar parish councils from accessing the Community Chest funding is already causing surprise and dismay among small villages. This Council calls on the administration to re-consider its decision. - My vote Support - Overall vote lost
Standing in the name of Councillor Grenville Chamberlain This Council has a well-earned reputation for being effective and efficient, as a peer review carried out two years ago confirmed. Its officers are hard-working and enterprising. The Liberal Democrat Leader and Cabinet have decided to spend £50,000 on management consultants to decide "how the Council could best focus on delivering its priorities". This Council is disappointed that the resources of the council's senior management are not being used to this purpose, and regards the decision as indicative of a lack of leadership and purpose, and calls for the money to be re-allocated to delivery of front-line services. - My vote Support - Overall vote lost
Standing in the name of Councillor Heather Williams That this Council looks to adopt a premature and neo-natal baby leave policy that extends maternity leave and provides additional paternity leave for SCDC employees, in the event of having a premature or neo-natal baby. - This motion was referred to Employment and Staffing Committee - I Supported the motion in principle
Standing in the name of Councillor Philip Allen While this Council recognises the urgent need for high-quality public transport connections between Cambourne, Bourn Airfield and Cambridge, which will be delivered through the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP), it believes that it is essential that decisions are made on the basis of publicly scrutinised evidence and advice to ensure that the best choices are made.
This Council therefore welcomes the undertaking from the GCP to publish the evidence relating to the northern off-road route as a first step towards a robust comparison, building on the work in the Combined Authority’s recently published Arup report, between that northern route and the southern route via Coton, both of which meet the new requirement of the Combined Authority that any route be CAM-compliant.
This Council also acknowledges the commitment to ongoing work with the local communities along the proposed routes and calls for close engagement with representatives of the A428 Local Liaison Forum (LLF) throughout the process of the development of the outline business case for the Cambourne to Cambridge project.
This Council welcomes the offer from GCP officers to look at plans to introduce interim on-road measures along Madingley Road on Madingley Hill, which the ward councillors for Coton, along with the LLF, have been calling for. - My vote Against - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the name of Councillor Eileen Wilson The Greater Cambridge Partnership is consulting on a proposed Rural Travel Hub at Oakington, which is served by the Guided Busway. The aim is to link up public transport, cycling and walking routes. This proposal could provide an attractive alternative to car journeys, promote health and wellbeing as well as helping to reduce congestion in and around Cambridge. For a village like Cottenham, with planning permission for over 500 new homes and the potential for ever increasing car usage, the Rural Travel Hub could encourage people to choose public transport over cars. There is, however, no provision for any form of public transport linking Cottenham to Oakington. Without such a transport link, it would be very difficult for residents who can't or don’t cycle to access the Guided Busway, but even for those who do cycle, it would be a dangerous journey without a safer cycle route. Further, any proposed Rural Travel Hubs require decent, onward travel options that are good value, timely and dependable. Instead, many residents along the Busway route find the service patchy, expensive and, at peak times, frustratingly impossible to board when buses arrive full. These proposals, however, do not make provision for additional services on the Guided Busway at peak times. This Council, therefore, calls on the Combined Authority to bring forward the outcome of the strategic review of commercial, subsidised and community transport. It is only with these provisions that the residents of villages like Cottenham could, at last, look forward to having the integrated, streamlined public transport provision that will make car use the less favourable option. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the name of Councillor Grenville Chamberlain That this Council continues to oppose congestion charging for Cambridge. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the name of Councillor Pippa Heylings The issue of single use plastics is high in the public consciousness and the Council has a significant opportunity to reduce usage in South Cambs - through its roles as service provider, procurement agency, employer and advocate.
This Council notes:
· That 300 million tons of new plastic is made each year, half of which is for single use plastic such as packaging and convenience foods. Whilst some plastics have had a positive impact on our lives when used correctly, in many cases, such as plastic bags, straws, takeaway food containers, plastic bottles and coffee cups, there are practical alternatives available that are either reusable, recyclable or sustainable.
· That 800 million tonnes of the plastic produced each year ends up in our oceans. Plastic which ends up in the River Cam and other watercourses locally contributes to this total, and can release toxic chemicals which harm the health of wildlife. In 2016, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimated that by weight, there could be more plastic in our oceans than fish, as soon as 2050. As plastics are durable and strong they will stay in our environment for up to an estimated 600 years. (Columbia University)
· That 78 million tonnes of plastic packaging is produced every year, of which only 14% goes to recycling whilst 32% leaks into land and sea (Ellen MacArthur Foundation).
· That marine plastic leads to coastal / offshore dead zones, entanglement, death through ingestion, toxic transfer and, once degraded into micro plastics, contamination of the food chain – including our own. We are quite literally eating the plastic that has ended up in our seas.
· That South Cambridgeshire has a comprehensive recycling scheme for both householders and businesses and is able to collect the full range of plastic packaging for which recycling processes exist. We need to reduce the amount of plastic used whilst also ensuring that our collection system is used correctly and we capture as much of this plastic as possible. In 2017-18 the Shared Waste service collected 22,500 tonnes of recycling in the blue bins and 3,000 tonnes of this was plastic packaging.
· That the introduction of the 5p plastic bag levy has led to an 85% reduction in disposable plastic bag usage.
· That in 2015, Bristol adopted the “Refill” scheme which aims to get shops, cafes and businesses to offer free water refill points in every major city and town in England by 2021. Bristol city now has more than 200 free water refill points. It is estimated that if every city resident in Bristol refilled one bottle once a week, the city could cut the use of disposable bottles by 22.3 million a year. In December 2017, London Mayor Sadiq Khan pledged to create 20 new water fountains and other refill points together with a Refill app.
· That the Treasury has put out a call for evidence on Single Use Plastics and is exploring both a Deposit Return Scheme for plastic bottles and a reform of the Packaging Recovery Note system to strengthen Extended Producer Responsibility (a policy approach under which producers are given a significant responsibility for the treatment or disposal of post-consumer products).
This Council commits to become a leader in the reduction of single-use plastic waste, specifically:
· That the Council will become a single use plastic-free council by the end of 2018, by phasing out the use, provision and sale of the following avoidable single use plastic products: drinks bottles, cups, cutlery and drinking straws in all Council buildings and Council events, where it is reasonable to do so.
· The Council will review and extend its recycling system for office staff to increase the amount of recycling, including plastics, that we divert from disposal. This will be supported by an education campaign to staff as part of national recycling week.
· That the Council will promote the Refill scheme in its own Council buildings with a free water fountain in the reception area, and also through retail businesses across the district who agree to provide free water refills. The app that allows businesses to sign up is very easy to use.
· The Council will support local food retailers to choose packaging that is recyclable locally and help them to inform their customers of how to recycle it.
· The Council will increase its communication and advice to business regarding which items to recycle though our commercial collection service in order to increase use of the scheme. This will include new literature for customers and website.
· That the Council will organise with RECOUP (Recycling Of Used Plastics) a plastic education campaign (backed by plastic manufacturer and recyclers) for the public. This will focus on maximising recycling of plastic coupled with promotion of key reduction and reuse messages. That the Council will liaise with local schools as part of this campaign and encourage local pupils to promote the scheme with their families.
· The Council will promote plastic reduction and reuse as part of national “Zero Waste Week” in September 2018. As part of this awareness-raising, the Council will adopt and actively promote Cambridge Plastic Free Day on September 22nd (organised as part of Eco-Living Festival in Cambridge) making this a Greater Cambridge Plastic Free Day. The Council will organise a regional Plastics Conference in September 2019, involving businesses, supermarkets, research institutions, action groups and other local authorities to champion best practice and innovation.
· That the Greater Cambridge Waste Service will attend the National Communications Advisory Panel (NCAP) organised by WRAP (Waste and Recycling Action Programme) to ensure we incorporate the latest national campaign initiatives and guidance around plastic into our local campaigns to boost the impact of the education work we do.
· That the Council will use its membership of the Greater Cambridge Partnership and the Combined Authority to work towards increasing the amount of plastic products that can be recycled through doorstep and other recycling.
· That the Council will write to our members of Parliament and to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, urging them to adopt legislation and regulations on bottle deposit scheme and charges for disposable cups, which will reduce the amount of single use plastic used by society. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the name of Councillor Peter McDonald South Cambs DC face a growing gap in the skills we need to become a truly 21st century business and those available in the market. In the past we have had problems recruiting staff for several reasons.
There is an untapped market of potential employees who are disabled.
According to the Government’s Briefing paper on People with Disabilities in Employment published on 29th June 2018, only 50.75% of people of working age with a disability are employed as opposed to 81.1% of people without a disability. 9.1% of people with a disability are unemployed and 44% are economically inactive. Only a quarter of people with a learning disability, speech impairment or mental health condition are employed.
South Cambs Hall is fully DDA compliant. We have good parking, good access, a terrific working space and a supportive staff. However we will need to address public transport solutions so that people with disability can even better reach us from some parts of South Cambs.
This Council therefore requests the Employment and Staffing Committee to review the Council’s activity to promote equality and diversity amongst its workforce and, in particular, actively seeks ways to make South Cambridgeshire District Council an Employer of Choice for people with disabilities. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Standing in the name of Councillor Gavin Clayton That South Cambridgeshire District Council write to the Government Minister responsible requesting the immediate suspension of the Universal Credit roll out in South Cambridgeshire. This is now imperative following the National Audit Office report that raised the potential negative impacts on lives of claimants and the questionable economic rationale behind continued implementation. - My vote Support - Overall vote agreed
Copyright © 2018-2022 Councillor Heather Williams - All Rights Reserved.
Promoted by Luigi Murton on behalf of Heather Williams both of Broadway House, 149-151 St Neots Road, Hardwick, Cambridge, CB23 7QJ