Agenda and minutes

Cabinet - Monday, 20th May, 2024 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Fenland Hall, County Road, March

Contact: Linda Albon  Member Services and Governance Officer

No. Item


Previous Minutes pdf icon PDF 165 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of 18 March 2024.


The minutes of the meeting held on 18 March 2024 were approved and signed.


Wisbech - Government Long-Term Plan for Towns Funding pdf icon PDF 605 KB

To accept funding from the Government’s Long-Term Plan for Towns initiative for the town of Wisbech and make the necessary arrangements for delivery of the project.


Additional documents:


Members considered the funding from the Government’s long-term plan for towns initiative for Wisbech and to make the necessary arrangements for delivery of the project presented by Councillor Boden.  Councillor Boden drew members attention to the revised report that had been tabled, highlighting the amendments that had been made to the recommendation and some of the terminology, together with a new Appendix 6 outlining the composition of the Town Board.


Members made comments and asked questions as follows:

·         Councillor Seaton questioned who Iain Kirkbright is? Councillor Boden responded that Iain is the individual that is being proposed to be Chair of the Town Board and other members could provide further details.

·         Councillor Boden stated that this is the first formal step for Wisbech to benefit from the Government’s promised £20m towards Wisbech Town under its long-term plan for towns initiative, with there being a list of procedures to be followed and one of those is to delegate to officers the powers to accept the initial capacity revenue funding, which will allow the Council as the accountable authority to be able to operate and give guidance to the Town Board. He advised that the Government has produced a fair amount of guidance and supplementary guidance on how Board must operate and one of those is appointment of an independent Chair. Councillor Boden added that there is also the need to ensure the Chair’s suggested appointments to the initial Board are all in order and that the draft Terms of Reference and Code of Conduct are agreed. He stated that once constituted the Board will carry out the functions including membership and the Council as accountable body can provide assistance to the Board on various administrative and secretarial matters and this is an opportunity for £20m to be spent under local control to achieve many things that local residents want. Councillor Boden expressed the view that it should be minimised the amount of money that get dissolved into administration and it is important that the Board consists of local members, local residents and local businesses to monitor the sums that go into actual projects that benefit the town and its residents. He made the point that the Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) is unhappy with the arrangements that have been made, but the Government guidance is clear, it does not even mention the CPCA at all in terms of Board membership but does give the Chair the opportunity if he so wishes to make appointments to organisations associated with the area and he has decided so far as the CPCA is concerned to make a seat available to an elected member associated with the CPCA. Councillor Boden added that the Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire County Council has also expressed his concern that they have not chosen their own representative on the Board but the guidance does not say that the County Council has nomination rights only that there should be a county councillor on the Board, and it  ...  view the full minutes text for item CAB70/23


Whittlesea Station Enhancement Programme pdf icon PDF 137 KB

For Cabinet to support the delivery of a £3m programme of enhancements at Whittlesea railway station.


Members considered the Whittlesea Station enhancement programme presented by Councillor Seaton.


Members made comments as follows:

·         Councillor Miscandlon stated that this is a good way forward for Whittlesea station as it has suffered for many years from underinvestment and bringing it forward as a main station due to the fact that Whittlesey is growing will give it a better transport system out of the area for work and leisure.

·         Councillor Boden stated that it is a matter of ‘chicken and egg’ situation in that the poor facilities together with the short and disjointed platforms at the station discourage people from using it, therefore, additional trains are not put on because the service is infrequent so people do not tend to use the station so it is important that the cycle is broken and one of the ways to do this is through initiatives such as this to enable specific improvements to take place at the station to encourage more people to be able to use the station which may be able to be used to encourage the train operators to stop more frequently at the station. He added that it is not that trains are not passing through the station but too many passenger trains pass through and do not stop and it will be a big battle ahead that the Council has been fighting for some time but these proposals will assist in ensuring the battle is eventually won.

·         Councillor Mrs French stated this is a great idea, March was fortunate to obtain investment and wishes Whittlesey well.

·         Councillor Seaton made the point that one note of caution is Ely Junction, which is still the ‘elephant in the room’ and it is still awaited for these monies to come through from the Government to start that process as it is still a big block in what is trying to be achieved.


Proposed by Councillor Seaton, seconded by Councillor Boden and AGREED to:

·         Approve the delivery of a £3m programme of enhancements at Whittlesea railway station supported by CPCA Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) funding available between April 2004 and March 2027;

·         Authorise the S151 Officer to enter into a grant agreement with CPCA for FDC to deliver the enhancement programme for Whittlesea Station;

·         Reconfirm the June 2019 decision of FDC Cabinet relating to the Governance of the Whittlesea Station project. Enabling the existing governance arrangements and a Project Board to oversee the development and delivery of the £3m programme; and

·         Delegate authority to the Cabinet member for Transport, Heritage, and Culture to approve associated procurement in accordance with FDC procurement procedures, the terms of the GFA with CPCA and decisions by the Project Board.


Wisbech High Street Update pdf icon PDF 88 KB

To provide Cabinet with a monthly update regarding ongoing construction work at 24 High Street and progress regarding the options for 11-12 High Street, Wisbech.


Members considered the Wisbech High Street update report presented by Councillor Seaton.


Proposed by Councillor Seaton, seconded by Councillor Miscandlon and AGREED to note the progress in relation to the building of 24 High Street in Wisbech and note the ongoing work regarding the development of a viable option for 11-12 High Street, Wisbech.


Draft 6 Month Cabinet Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 77 KB

For information purposes.


Members noted the draft 6-month Cabinet Forward Plan.