The Prospectus’ for Growth for Huntingdon, St Ives and Ramsey will be presented to the Panel.
Contact:C Kerr 01480 388430
With the aid of a report by the Service Manager – Growth (a copy of which has been appended in the Minute Book) the Prospectuses for Growth (PFG) for Huntingdon, St Ives and Ramsey were presented to the Panel. The Executive Councillor for Housing, Planning and Economic Development introduced the report and in doing so reminded Members that the PFG are Combined Authority documents and are currently in draft form. The PFG have been developed by Town Teams but there have been opportunities for Members to get involved to shape and develop them.
Councillor Corney mentioned that, as a Town Councillor, he was disappointed about the split of funds, however he recognised what the situation was and it was up to those involved to embrace the PFG. A further concern was raised by Councillor Chapman that the costs would spiral. In response the Panel was informed that each town would have up to £500k to bid for but that it is designed as seed funding. It was recognised that as St Neots was first the town has done well in terms of money invested.
A comment was raised by Councillor Chapman that the PFG could have more detail on digital infrastructure. There was general agreement that there should be more on digital infrastructure and the Executive Councillor added that he would like to see the Cambridge Effect become the Cambridgeshire Effect.
Councillor Chapman asked a question on the structure of the Town Teams and the governance arrangements in place. In response Members were informed that governance arrangements would be the subject of future discussions. Councillor Wells added that he thought the mixture of Councillors and people from the community worked well during the St Neots Masterplan process.
The proposed long-term removal of the ring road in Huntingdon was raised by Councillor Wakeford. He added that without additional detail and with reliance on it, a proposal to remove it could cause alarm. The Executive Councillor informed the Panel that the consultants who have written the PFG have done so using an economic point of view. It was stressed that without Highways Authority input, it was difficult to understand how feasible the proposal was.
A comment was made by Councillor Morris that there are no Action Plans included with the PFG and no reference to the Cambridgeshire wide Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan. The Executive Councillor informed the Panel that the PFG were aspirational documents and should not seek to control matters that would be for planning policy. It would be up to Town Teams to take forward the ideas they want.
Members enquired about the pedestrianisation of Godmanchester Bridge. It was noted that the Prospectus for Growth for Huntingdon did not mention it as the Town Team has not considered the idea. The Executive Councillor suggested that the Combined Authority should be encouraged to take a view on the Godmanchester Bridge.
a) that the Panel’s comments on the report and appendices be conveyed to the Cabinet, and
b) the Cabinet be recommended to delegate authority to finalise the Council’s comments to the Service Manager – Growth in consultation with the Executive Leader and Deputy Executive Leader, Managing Director and Corporate Director (Place).
(At 7.08pm, during the discussion of this item, Councillor J A Gray entered the meeting.)