Venue: Via Zoom Video Conferencing System
Contact: Linda Albon Member Services and Governance Officer
Councillor Boden welcomed members of the public and press watching the livestream of the Cabinet meeting via YouTube due to Government guidance on social distancing. The meeting was held in accordance with the provision set out in the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 and with Fenland District Council’s Virtual Meeting Protocol.
To confirm the minutes of the meetings held 6 August 2020 and 28 July 2020 respectively.
The minutes of the meetings held on 28 July and the 6 August were approved.
Councillor Murphy asked for it to be noted that under CAB/11/20, Capital Programme Update the £19,000 that Councillor Mrs French had referred to was actually being used towards lighting at West End Skate Park.
To inform Members that public consultation on the Coates Conservation Area Appraisal has been completed and for Cabinet to recommend to Council that these documents are adopted.
Cabinet considered the Coates Conservation Area Appraisal report presented by Councillor Seaton. He highlighted that there was a typographical error on the cover report which stated the incorrect ward which the appraisal covered and this had now been changed to reflect the correct ward of Benwick, Coates and Eastrea.
Councillor Murphy said that he is glad to see the green areas are being kept for perpetuity as they are an asset to the village of Coates and added that the old photographs within the report were wonderful to see.
Cabinet AGREED to recommend to Council the approval of the Coates Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan.
(Councillor Boden declared an interest in this item by virtue of the fact that he is a member of Whittlesey Town Council which has considered the Coates Conservation Area Appraisal, however, he will consider this item with an open mind).
(Councillor Mrs Laws declared an interest in this item as she has participated in discussions and voting on this item and is therefore predetermined and took no part in the discussion or voting thereon.)
Councillor Mrs Laws said that she would like to thank the officers for all their hard work and investigation they have undertaken on this policy and agreed that the photographs are very good.
To update on progress with the March Area Transport Study, report interim online consultation results and seek approval for proceeding to Outline Business Case stage.
Members considered the March Area Transport Study OBC Proposal presented by Councillor Seaton.
· Councillor Mrs French thanked officers for their hard work on this project, which has been ongoing for over two years. She said that it is very pleasing to see that that there is money available to do many schemes in March which would not happen without the help of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) and the support of Cambridgeshire County Council. (CCC).
· Councillor Tierney said that he is looking forward to the support the project brings for the benefit of the people of March.
· Councillor Seaton stated that he would like to thank Councillor Mrs French as she is the Chairman of the Steering Group. He added that they have carried out a great deal of work over a long period of time to enable this report to be brought forward.
Cabinet AGREED to
· Note and comment on the results from the online consultation
· Note the proposal to construct Quick Wins schemes using budget underspend from this stage of the study
· Note the preparation of a Strategic Outline Business Case for the schemes outlined in the Option Assessment Report , reported at the March 2020 Cabinet
· Note the programme and costs for Outline Business Case, providing funding is made available by CPCA Board and a suitable funding agreement between CCC and CPCA can be agreed.
(Councillor Mrs French declared an interest in this item by virtue of the fact that she is the Chairman of the March Area Transport Study Steering Group)
To seek Members endorsement of the Combined Authority Local Economic Recovery Strategy (LERS).
Members considered the Local Economic Recovery Strategy report presented by Councillor Benney.
· Councillor Boden said that given the amount of work that has been put into the report and strategy, and the urgency of action that is being taken, it is essential that the report is accepted and that it is supported when it comes before the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA). However he stated that he has a number of concerns, which he would like relayed to the CPCA at their next board meeting.
· Councillor Boden said that his first concern is over the calculations that have formed part of the report and the assumptions that the effects of COVID-19 have had on the local economy. He added that the report is not internally and sufficiently consistent and the disparity in the figures is far too great and needs to be looked at further.
· Councillor Boden added that it states than Fenland, which has one eighth of the population of the CPCA area, is said to have a gross value added cumulative effect of COVID-19 of only one eightieth of the total amount which is said to be seen in the CPCA area.
· Councillor Boden stated that the report has 35 interventions and his concern is that the CPCA may not focus on the limited areas where they can make a significant difference to outcomes and he would like to see that the CPCA gives consideration to a smaller number of the objectives, once the strategy has been adopted.
Cabinet AGREED to note the Combined Authority Local Economic Recovery Strategy and endorsed it in its current form, subject to additional comments raised by Councillor Boden as follows.
Councillor Boden stated that he would like his concerns to be relayed to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA), when the matter is considered at their next meeting.
Councillor Boden stated that he has concern over the calculations that have formed part of the report and the assumptions that the effects of Covid 19 have had on the local economy. He added that the disparity in the figures is far too great and needs to be looked at further.
Councillor Boden stated that report has 35 interventions and his concern is that the CPCA may not focus on the limited areas where they can make a significant difference to outcomes and he would like to see that the CPCA gives consideration to a smaller number of the objectives, once the strategy has been adopted.
Councillor Boden stressed that it is essential that the CPCA are encouraged to start work on the impact that COVID-19 has had on the local economy.
Significant capital funding has recently been made available to Fenland District Council via the following schemes:
· Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) Market Towns Initiative (which has been given the working title of Growing Fenland)
· Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) £5m Capital Communities Fund
This report gives an update on the progress of funding bids submitted to both schemes including any resulting capital or revenue implications for the Council should the bids be successful.
Members considered the Project Update report concerning the Growing Fenland and Cambridgeshire County Council Capital Community Fund (CCC CCF) presented by Councillor Boden.
· Councillor Mrs French said that as a member of Cambridgeshire County Council Communities Partnership and as a Champion of Fenland she is delighted that Fenland were successful in so many of the submitted bids. She added that March and Wisbech were fortunate and received a significant amount of funding, but Whittlesey and Chatteris did not appear to have featured in this round of funding.
· Councillor Mrs French added that she did enquire with the County Council as to whether Fenland would receive any additional funding, but this information will not be determined until budgets are set. She congratulated everybody and wished them well with their projects going forward.
· Councillor Mrs Laws said there is a short amount of time that the market towns have to submit their bid for funding. She added it is onerous task to have to submit information in such short timescales, but from a Whittlesey perspective it is anticipated that a bid will be submitted in September and October. Councillor Mrs Laws confirmed that she is referring to the CPCA applications
· Councillor Hoy stated that she has been disappointed with the CPCA and agrees with Councillor Mrs Laws regarding the turnaround being a very short timeframe for submissions. She added that match funding is very difficult because everybody is short of money and some of the schemes in Wisbech have been put in place as the Town Council have funded projects through the County Council fund. She stated that whilst she appreciates the £1,000,000 that has been awarded, it is a difficult sum to work with but is sure it will be utilised with various projects and stated that, looking forward, if the opportunity arises again to bid for further funding, then she would hope that the scheme would be administered differently.
· Councillor Mrs Laws stated that one project is for a Heritage Centre in Whittlesey and that due to the complex nature of engaging architects and specialists to work on the project this all takes time and therefore an application will be submitted with a caveat to state that further information will be provided as and when it becomes available.
CCC Capital Communities Fund:
Cabinet AGREED to:
· Note the projects that have been approved or submitted to the CCC CCF at Appendix F of the report.
· To approve £7,500 from the play equipment maintenance budget as match funding for West End Park Enhancements as set out in Appendix F of the report
· If successful at the next Committee stage, to approve £10,000 from the Capital Programme split over 21/22 and 22/23 as match funding for the Wisbech Park conversion of Changing Rooms project as set out in Appendix F of the report.
· Note the potential future revenue and capital implications for both projects with a further report to brought back to Cabinet on the Wisbech Park Changing Rooms project when further detailed ... view the full minutes text for item CAB19/20
For information purposes.
Councillor Boden presented the draft 6 month Cabinet Forward Plan for information.