Councillor G J Bull, Executive Leader to present on the activities of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.
Councillors R C Carter and T Hayward to provide an update on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
Councillor B S Chapman to provide an update on the Audit Committee.
Decision summaries for recent meetings of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Audit Committee and Board are attached to the Agenda for information.
In accordance with the Protocol agreed at the February 2017 meeting, this item provides an opportunity for District Council Members to ask questions and comment on Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority issues.
If Members wish to raise questions or issues requiring a detailed response, it would be helpful if they can provide prior notice so that the necessary information can be obtained in advance of the meeting.
(Notes: Update 10 Minutes
Questions 10 Minutes).
In conjunction with the decision summaries of the recent meetings of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Councillor G J Bull presented an update of their activities by way of a PowerPoint presentation. Copies of which are appended in the Minute Book.
Councillor Bull reported that the LEP had been absorbed into the Combined Authority, as at end March 2018 a new business board would be created under the Chairman of the Leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council, Councillor Roberts and sharing the Chief Executive with the Combined Authority.
Members were provided with an update on Mass Rapid Transport, improving links to Cambridge and investigation of potential mass transport options, with approval of a £600k budget to progress these ideas, including two tunnels under Cambridge for use by road worthy vehicles.
Councillor Bull reported that the budget had been approved by the Combined Authority, with no precept to the constituent authorities. He further reported on more changes to the Portfolio Holders and the potential to consider moving to three portfolios – Transport and Infrastructure, Housing and Economic Development. Members also noted that a steering group had been established for the St Neots Masterplan and business plans were under development for submission and consideration by the Combined Authority.
Attention was also drawn to the Combined Authority four year plan summary that outlined the strategic objectives of the Combined Authority and the projects and programmes in place to deliver these objectives.
Councillor T D Alban raised a question in relation to the rapid transport issue and the unintended consequences of the guided bus having a detrimental impact on bus services and concern for similar issues occurring, whereby Councillor Bull explained that a review of the bus subsidy programme was underway and would be in place later in the year.
Councillor T Hayward provided an update on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee. He provided a summary of discussions at their previous meetings and advised Members that the Committee had been looking at forthcoming decisions of the Combined Authority and held a special meeting for the budget on 12th February 2018, whereby concerns were raised in relation to how it had been set up and the scope of the business consultation had not been broad enough. He further reported upon the issues of the LEP and the Committee concluded that the budget could not be completed until the costs had been incorporated into it for the LEP. There was concern over the lack of detail and the £175m in reserves and questioned what this had been earmarked for. Members also requested further clarity on the forward plan of the Combined Authority.
Councillor Hayward reiterated his concerns with the further changes in Portfolio Holders and concern for these Members to fully understand their Portfolios and the associated budget. In outlining his concern for the four year plan, he highlighted to Members the difficulty with getting the background to the reasons for why decision had been taken by the Combined Authority, but had indicated that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee were represented by a good cross party of Members.
Arising from a question by Councillor Mrs S J Conboy on the cancellation of the meeting with the Mayor of the Combined Authority, Councillor Hayward confirmed that the meeting would be rescheduled.
On behalf of the Council, Councillor J A Gray thanked Councillor Hayward for his diligence and work in ensuring good governance of the Combined Authority.
Councillor T D Sanderson confirmed that he had not attended the Audit and Governance Committee and was therefore unable to report.