BNC Text JT7

[Local Council meeting]. Sample containing about 12143 words speech recorded in public context

11 speakers recorded by respondent number C602

PS4TK X m (Evans, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS4TL X m (Rosensteel, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS4TM X f (Morgan, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS4TN X m (No name, age unknown, head of council) unspecified
PS4TP X f (Hoskins, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS4TR X m (Edwards, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS4TS X m (Jones, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS4TT X m (Hilliard, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS4TU X f (Coleman, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
JT7PSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
JT7PSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 124301 recorded on unknown date. LocationCambridgeshire: Cambridge () Activity: meeting

Undivided text

Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [1] Councillor [...] .
Evans (PS4TK) [2] I'm actually concerned that ... if we, did anybody know about this issue earlier on because I think this has been going on for quite some time erm probably over the last two years and if anyone did know then why didn't they address it before and if anyone didn't know, why not?
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [3] Certainly I I've been aware for a while now that there have been problems at Kingslane general in terms of of break ins erm not just specifically with the launderette but with also the community room er there and certainly I I've been engaged in making one or two suggestions about how security measures could be improved.
[4] Erm including discussing with officers the possibility of of fitting security erm erm ... er forgotten the word, shutters ... erm to the actual, the actual building itself.
[5] Some of the er that measure is not actually effective or not possible in the context of of the facility er I think there's been a search for measures which will be effective and er erm that's what the efforts gone in to, finding an effective way of preventing it.
[6] More than that I really just can't say.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [7] Call upon councillor
Rosensteel (PS4TL) [8] [...] getting increasingly frustrated on the subject of [...] other things, pelican crossings and that I've been concerned to hear since I've I've been requested [...] this question ... and er it was briefly reported in the Cambridge evening news last night [...] that they they've had almost continuous telephone calls today complaining [...] erm which shows the public as I [...] thought of my own experience er are very concerned about this and would like to ... erm ... first of all bring it to the council's attention and [...] do regard as serious and ask the chair if there is a proper investigation will be made into the way the council handles this subject.
[9] Erm ironically after I wrote erm ... the letter was typed on Monday erm to Mr Mr the only lights that have been fixed since are the ones at the end of my street and the next street not ... as I complained about [...] ones on the main road ... erm ... there's an example that's been going on for many months where a problem, [...] an acknowledged problem of access existed which was the reason for delay but that as I understand it has been overcome some time ago now and it's still there, this is a group of seven lights together, the lot, erm these lights are still out, they're not in my ward in fact, they're just [...] .
[10] Er, I understand there was problem because of the computer breakdown which caused a certain record to be lost but then I discover that there is no copy of man manual copy of orders sent to the contractors for repairs kept so that having lost the computer record the council do not know what lights have been reported to contractor for repair and then find out the basic clients [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [11] [...] number seventeen Mr Mayor er Councillor is making speech [...]
Rosensteel (PS4TL) [12] To the chair reasons for my concern here and reason for my asking her whether she will now agree to a full investigation of this service at ... to be conducted by councillors and for the council to be satisfied that the service can be put right.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [13] Just in the nick
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [14] Are you satisfied?
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Morgan (PS4TM) [15] All the members here will know that I have recently erm sent out a circular letter expressing my concern as to where the system doesn't seem to be working properly and asking for your help and cooperation in giving me information on just exactly ... where it is falling down.
[16] Er, I I I thought it extremely discourteous of Councillor instead of responding to my letter he goes to the press and starts complaining, this doesn't seem to me the way to sort out the problem at all and I am equally aware of the problem er and if it only helps me ... get some facts together then it it will strengthen my arm getting things sorted out.
[17] There are some problems that have ... erm ... had come to light recently.
[18] Apparently erm the compute software which controls the issues of orders to crac er contractor has a fault er [...] last been erm ... spotted and so that it can be sorted out and er there's going to be some reorganisation of the way in which ... erm ... erm faults are handled in the department.
[19] I'm hoping that this might lead to an improvement but I still ... please ask you all to keep me in touch with where things are going wrong so that they can be put right.
(PS4TN) [20] Thank you councillor [...]
Rosensteel (PS4TL) [21] Mr Mayor [...] point of [...] councillor letter came to me ... after I'd already written which she will be aware [...] long period.
[22] But erm I I don't, still don't see from this how we're going to look at the underlying systems because it's the system that concerns me.
[23] We don't have, we don't have a way of identifying [...] reports [...] and getting them fixed.
[24] I mean the w the pelican crossing case started with, when I was a councillor before nineteen eighty eight an and it's a difficult one to detect but if you haven't [...] occasionally come back late at night and there's no traffic that you can spot it because no vehicle d detect vehicles when there aren't any.
[25] But that that, I've been reporting that fault regularly, five years ago it's still there today.
[26] Something is breaking down in our maintenance system and it is at the clients side [...] .
(PS4TN) [27] [...] got fifteen seconds left to put your supplementary question.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
(PS4TN) [28] Councillor to councillor .
Hoskins (PS4TP) [29] Councillor do you think that you as the chairman of the citizens' charter ... defunct working party of the citizens' charter where it was generally agreed that whenever possible letters should be replied to, or at least acknowledged, within five to ten working days.
[30] Could you please give [...] some indication as to when you're likely to respond to the letter sent to you on the twelve of the first nineteen ninety three?
[31] About the su the pr your reported proposal for a supermarket on the M eleven roundabout and also you see the commitment as confined to the officers only.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [32] [...] yes okay [...] replied to various of your constituents and have conducted a robust discussion on this matter with councillor Jane and recorded in the the Cambridge evening news, I'm sorry I haven't replied, right.
[33] That's pretty [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh]
Hoskins (PS4TP) [34] [...] do you see it as a commitment for councillors as opposed to necessary just for officers.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [35] Thank you chair.
[36] I hope councillor hasn't been puzzling about this question [...] because I think she should have had adequate warning erm ... the cycling part of working party was agreed by city board on the ninth of ... on the seventh of December ... is to come to an end and such work has er relates to cycling [...] within a new transport working party.
[37] Can she please tell us when this demise will take place and when the new transport working party will be convened.
[38] Will she agree that in fact no rationale was offered for the end of the cycling working er party other than the desire to reduce committees?
[39] Does she agree that in fact this action is incomprehensible to the other participating agencies of the cycling working party?
[40] The county council ... [...] Cambridge and district council, could Friends of the Earth.
[41] This committee working party with a small budget has nonetheless through sharing funding with these other agencies has had it prum pump priming achievement of er creating a very successful project throughout the city over a number of years.
[42] Does she agree that this non-controversial form has a er essential role to continue er in Cambridge and that erm the the issues of safety, environment and the promotion of low cost schemes is something that must be preserved?
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Hoskins (PS4TP) [43] Yes I know [...] you'll have to [...] with me.
[44] Erm yes the cycle work working party has been very successful ... i er experiment and it has been much appreciated not only by people in the city but by the the other parties that have taken part in it.
[45] Er, ... we looked at it ... as you know when we were considering ... reorganisation of committees and I think this is perhaps one of the few things to come out of all that.
[46] It has only been met twice ... this year, the budget is quite small for the amount of work we can continue to do is quite small er it's quite possible that it would only need to meet once a year in future so it would be sensible to combine it with other ... non-policy and traffic matters as a working party.
[47] This doesn't mean to say that ... that we can't invite ... other people to a special once a year meeting of this transportation working party to deal with cycle issues.
[48] I think what we will do, erm certainly a lot of concern was expressed at the last meeting that this er forum should ... should die er but I don't think it will I think it is very simple, to set aside one meeting a year, devote it to cycles and invite the same people who have coming from the party [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [49] [...] does she agree that there's something bizarre in er I certainly agree [...] successful experiment [...] it bringing to an end because it's a successful experiment, er clearly the policy is only to continue with unsuccessful experiments.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [50] Er, ... yes I agree the funding that we provide at the moment, seventeen thousand I think, er i in in we've already committed erm for for wh for the coming year, is small but it is because of the example, because er people who wish to m er erm promote cycling schemes and cycling policies within South Cambridgeshire, within the county council can identify the example that we have been setting that ... hypothecated budget aimed at cycling have been er directed this way and have been spent amicably, constructively, sensibly by cycling working parties.
[51] Then this will not happen as we know, a transport working group is going to be er a controversial area where it will cease to be the [...] operation that we have had in the past from the county [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [52] It is coming to an end in May, it is not coming to an end in practice.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
(PS4TN) [53] We can now go to the second choice question.
[54] First of all councillor is lucky enough to get two bites at his cherry.
Edwards (PS4TR) [55] Well I must say Mr Mayor I was gratefully assured by the answer that councillor gave earlier on about the er strenuous efforts the council is making to improve the security at the Kingsway cash point as I now gather it's called.
[56] Erm, I'm slightly more concerned though about security in this building and in some of our other main buildings and it brought it home very starkly to me ... and I'm sure to all members of the board when we arrived at our meeting a few weeks ago and spent er over two hours standing, we didn't stay out, more or less standing out in the street [...] ... and ... [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh]
Edwards (PS4TR) [57] And it did bring it home to me that we have got a major security problem in this building and in our other municipal buildings and quite frankly the ease with which anybody can come into this building at virtually any time of the day or evening astounds me.
[58] When I go to other er council buildings er throughout the area ... they've all got these little er digital locks and people have got cards to get in and out with.
[59] Now I understand er that you know we are providing public service here and we have got allow for public access but [...] the cost of the council of having all its officers outside of this building for over er two hours must have been absolutely horrendous and I would have thought this would be an area where improving security ought to be a high priority so what are you going to do about it?
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [60] Councillor .
Jones (PS4TS) [61] Thank thank you Mr Mayor.
[62] I'm pleased to be able to answer my very first oral question.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [63] Hooray.
Jones (PS4TS) [64] [...] I mean, as councillor is aware in trying to move around this building there have been some changes in use of digital locks on some of the doors.
[65] I think it fair to say you can't actually list, you can't actually put preventative measures on hoax bomb scares.
[66] Somebody rings up and says there's a bomb [...] that doesn't matter how much security you've got, you've obviously got to clear the building.
[67] Having said that I mean I think there there has been obviously some concern about some ... security measures, other than terrorist or so called terrorist threats in relation to staff personal security in the building which is why we've actually moved towards more one stop per section area so there are limits to where the public are actually free to move around the building.
[68] I would hope over the next few years we actually do move towards increasing towards that but I think we will have some severe difficulties, particularly with the planning department where large numbers of members of the public do visit the area.
[69] But in the view of the action, the event that took place with the bomb scare there are s there are some reviews of security measures being undertaken.
[70] I cannot say any more than that.
Edwards (PS4TR) [71] I appreciate Mr Mayor that you can't stop bomb scares.
[72] Er but I say it, I was just using that as an example of how it brought it home to me how easy it is to get in.
[73] The other evening when we had our group meetings you can just walk in that side door, you can go virtually anywhere in this building unchallenged because we can't have security guards all over the place.
[74] There is no reason whatsoever why those doors should be left open after five o'clock.
[75] There ought to be a system er to allow limited access at least outside of normal hours, yes they're called keys [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh] [clapping]
Edwards (PS4TR) [76] And I'm disappointed that councillor is talking about a matter of years before we get something done about this.
[77] We want something done about it in a matter of weeks and months and not years.
Jones (PS4TS) [78] In fact to relation to one stop shops I [...] was talking about years, in relation to the new security I was not.
[79] ... Erm, I think it fair to say that if you'd asked more or less [...] to the next meeting and probably sub-committee would be quite, quite acceptable and I would thank you for drawing it to our to our attention.
[80] It's quite [...] quite a reasonable request.
[81] I trust you will be happy.
(PS4TN) [82] Councillor
Hilliard (PS4TT) [83] Thank you Mr Mayor.
[84] We've still got time have we?
(PS4TN) [85] We've only three minutes left.
Hilliard (PS4TT) [86] Right.
(PS4TN) [87] So you [...] .
Hilliard (PS4TT) [88] Very, very quickly then Mr Mayor.
[89] Earlier this year, or was it last year, I received this marvellous booklet.
[90] It consists of ... odd pages with some figures on and a load of pie charts.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [moan] [...]
Hilliard (PS4TT) [91] My ... my estimate says that each copy of this cost in excess of two pounds fifty.
[92] I have no idea how many were produced ... but I would ask you Mr Mayor whether you feel that this expenditure was money well spent?
(PS4TN) [93] Yes coun councillor I can advise you that in fact it did cost considerably in excess of two pounds fifty, it cost four pounds and sixty one pence each.
[94] As you will see ... they they.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh]
(PS4TN) [95] They are the colour of the leader of the council's shirt and as such ... as such I would have said cheap at half the [laughing] price [] .
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh]
(PS4TN) [96] And ... I, indeed I'm not exactly high gloss, they are not exactly high tech, what they do do is they
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh]
(PS4TN) [97] A substantial amount of information which is necessary and which indeed was asked for by members of your [...] I believe at a previous oral question time erm as to the number that were printed you may be shocked to know that one hundred copies were made which means that the total cost of this, I think you will agree, very worthwhile public information, was four hundred and sixty one pounds and twenty one pence.
Jones (PS4TS) [98] You, I don't think Mr Mayor, you you answered my question.
[99] Do you think it was money well spent?
(PS4TN) [100] Oh yes, yes I did answer your question, it is.
[101] It is information which is vital to any councillor who is trying to go through the analysis of cost centre by cost centre of the expenditures of this council and as such it's vital that this information is available to us not only by combing through all the relevant minutes and in er minutes of committees that have taken place but ... paraded together in one place for us all and members of the public to be able to get access to it.
[102] It is as councillor said one of the costs of democracy, as such money very well spent.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
(PS4TN) [103] Now we turn to the notices of motion.
[104] ... Before we do ... before we do ... given that it's just coming up to ten thirty could I ask somebody to propose suspension of standing orders [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [105] [...] Mr Mayor, we don't suspend standing orders, we book them.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [106] Ah.
(PS4TN) [107] That simple, thank you very much.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
(PS4TN) [108] Would somebody please propose in accordance with standing orders ... that we should extend our proceedings beyond ten thirty.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [109] Yes.
(PS4TN) [110] Thank you.
[111] Can I see those in favour of so doing ... yes, thank you and those against ... Call upon councillor to move the motion on public sector homes.
Coleman (PS4TU) [112] Thank you Mr Mayor.
[113] ... We bring this motion for the council tonight as committed as anybody in this chamber to social housing.
[114] In fact it's because of that very commitment Mr Mayor that we are so keen to see it used properly and effectively.
[115] Social housing should be just that.
[116] It should be housing designed to meet a social need, directed towards those with no other means, no other option of getting a roof over their head.
[117] It should not, Mr Mayor, definitely not be used simply as an easy option for those who could manage quite happily to provide for themselves, either renting or buying in the private sector but instead choose to let the state provide.
[118] It is ludicrous that the council should subsidise with public money, my money, your money, someone's housing provision simp if they are quite able to stand on their own two feet.
[119] It is particularly true if by so subsidising ... you are depriving a would be tenant who is cru in possibly far greater need of that self same provision.
[120] ... Our concern then Mr Mayor is to see social housing used correctly, for those in greatest need and this leads us to the conclusion that means testing is the best way to ensure, is positive discrimination in favour of people in such need.
[121] ... If I might turn briefly to see how such a scheme might possibly work.
[122] I would recommend that officers might visit South [...] council, where the scheme in fact
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Coleman (PS4TU) [123] works extremely well.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Coleman (PS4TU) [124] Amongst, points they might like to consider, are the fact that the scheme is very simple to operate and extremely cheap.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...] [laugh]
Coleman (PS4TU) [125] What happens for a simple [...] is that on first application ... you bring your financial details to the interview ... references are taken up naturally in confidence and you are then allocated a place or not if you meet financial criteria.
[126] The procedure is carried out once again when you reach the top of the list.
[127] If you don't provide the information you are simply not allowed on the housing list.
[128] If I might secondly Mr Mayor address some of the concerns that have been expressed and no doubt, will doubt be expressed later on.
[129] This is a good time to start this scheme because in a recession it's even more important that those in the greatest need get the most help.
[130] Means testing Mr Mayor, is undoubtedly equitable.
[131] Nobody in any sector, public or private, should offer benefits unless for a good reason.
[132] The public [...] should no more offer a subsidy of this kind using public money without checking if the recipient actually requires it or anybody else ... besides, means testing is nothing new, there are plenty of other benefits that are already means tested right across the board.
[133] ... In the press on Tuesday Mr Mayor, this motion was described as a shameful indictment of Conservative meanness and a re re a return to Victorian era.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [134] Yep.
Coleman (PS4TU) [135] If it's mean Mr Mayor to put those in greatest need first, I'm happy to plead guilty.
[136] If it is mean to be prudent how public money is spent, guilty again and finally if it is mean not to subside those who can quite stand on their own two feet I'm quite happy to send myself down.
[137] I will continue Mr Mayor that it is not meanness it is practical caring Conservative policy to ensure that this happens.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [138] He said that with a straight face
Coleman (PS4TU) [139] It is Mr Mayor ... it is Mr Mayor the Labour group who should lead the Victorian era and entertain the [...] of the twentieth century.
[140] It is Labour who rather than retreat into their dogma kennel, at the mere mention of the phrase means testing ... should wake up, adapt, adjust and welcome change .
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Coleman (PS4TU) [141] In conclusion Mr Mayor I repeat social housing to be effective, should be for those in greatest need, not an easy option.
[142] This motion sets out to address that issue and I hope it will gain all party support.
[143] I beg to move.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh] [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [144] I reserve my right.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
(PS4TN) [145] Standing order seven I move that the motion in [...] financial implications and those in favour of dealing with it tonight please show.
[146] Councillor .
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [147] Thank you very much Mr Mayor.
[148] Is the tape recorder still on because I have a word that is [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [149] describes this motion, I won't use it but it rhymes with rowlocks.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [150] It's interesting this isn't it, we've moved away somewhat from the old Tory philosophy of erm ... freedom of choice.
[151] We're not going to have ... people are not going to have the choice about whether they buy a house or rent privately or ... wish to be on the council housing list, we're going to force them off.
[152] What this is Mr Mayor an attempt by the Conservatives to create ghettos, to create ghettos for the unemployed and the low paid ... and the forthcoming victims of your leader's welfare schemes I think is the likely likelihood of this.
[153] What he's talking about and this is the same erm same councillor who was talking about living harmoniously side by side ... those that ... have are are buying them, those that are renting them but what he's actually saying is well I'm actually very, very sorry but if you haven't a job, if you haven't an income or you're income is so low, just ... go over there and stay away from us decent chaps with lots of cash.
[154] We don't want to live with you.
[155] We don't want you getting on the council housing list, clogging it up because ... you've got a job and a bit of money, we want council houses to create ghettos, we don't want people in an in employment, people with money to have council houses.
[156] You're just talking about as I've said, ghetto creation.
[157] What I wish ... erm Mr Mayor, because ... councillor tries this erm ... Tory party, central office philosophy time after time after time.
[158] I wish they would actually give him a w an award, and councillor the same award for services to Tory party policy above and beyond the call of duty.
[159] This needs throwing out Mr Mayor, it's rubbish.
(PS4TN) [160] Councillor .
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [161] I I I thank you Mr Mayor, erm well what a load of co Coleman balls, er ...
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [162] This motion really addresses a problem that doesn't exist, it's a fictional sort of problem.
[163] Something like seventy five percent ... or sixty six or seventy five percent of the, of the units which we actually let, of the houses that we actually let, go to homeless families ... you know, it is a complete fiction to suggest, or even try and suggest as this [...] does that somehow or other houses are being allocated willy-nilly to people who have massive resources who could ... go out and buy or rent in the private sector.
[164] The private rented sector as you should be well aware, is in fact declining ... quite rapidly in this country and no measure that the government has so far taken has managed to rev reverse that trend.
[165] The real issue over time ... I actually think is affordability of housing which relates directly, not to some sort of magic ... dogma of any sort but relates to the supply of housing, the supply of housing both in the public and in the private sector and it is the supply side of housing where this government has [...] fallen down.
[166] I mean, I've got ... figures here produced by Shelter, probably some sort of pinko left ... Labour party front like the L G I O or somebody like that.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [167] Turn to the public sector in say, in nineteen eighty nine only twenty two thousand units were actually [...] , twenty two thousand units actually completed.
[168] You don't actually address ... the problems of lack of sup this lack of supply by limiting access to what exists.
[169] The real question is increasing the supply and that is something that your government has no interest in.
[170] You have presided over an absolute, the increase in homelessness which is quite stupendous.
[171] The number of people that I hear saying ... things such as I don't remember stepping over people in the street five years ago and it's true, in this city I don't actually remember doing that, not with the frequency with which it happens today and your government and your party has no record to shout about, absolutely none.
[172] Now we have tried to be a pragmatic and innovative authority.
[173] We've managed to avoid the use of [...] overtime ... we have tried our best to ensure a decent supply of social housing but always against the odds, always against the tide ... of what is going on in our economy and in the housing ... situa in the housing market.
[174] Council housing ... public sector housing, equity share housing, indeed even private sector build ... if encouraged, would lead to a ra a range of housing that is affordable for different people at different points in their life.
[175] We are interested in the notion of affordability, not in the notion of means testing ... and we recognise crucially that the public sector provides an opportunity for people.
[176] This is something which I don't think registers with the Conservatives.
[177] ... It provides an opportunity to get out of the private rented sector.
[178] I ... personally and I'm sure it goes for many here, have spent a long time in the private rented sector ... and if the opportunity existed to get into council housing we would have taken it.
[179] Because you are very often dealing with the situation where you are personally very insecure.
[180] You have, six months time you could be out of the accommodation that you're in.
[181] You're afraid to ask you landlord for a repair ... because if you do, are you setting yourself up for a rent increase?
[182] Alright.
[183] You're afraid to ask perhaps for ... I mean I've lived in a house with a landlord, the landlord turned the heating down, turned the water heating off on occasions because we were using too much hot water between about four or five of us.
[184] Decent, affordable public sector housing provides opportunities for wide ranges of people in our country and your government does nothing to promote the right to rent, the ability to get into decent housing where people otherwise would have no such chance.
[185] Because they'll never be able to afford even equity share ... accommodation and it'll be difficult to afford anything more than that.
[186] I find it shameful that you try to ... promote the measure which doesn't even begin to address the basic problem of housing [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [clapping]
(PS4TN) [187] Councillor [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [188] Thank you Mr Mayor.
[189] This motion ... especially from the [...] that says to instruct the officers to investigate a simple method of ... means testing.
[190] There is no simple method of means testing.
[191] Means testing does involve officials digging very deeply into people's you have people spend your monies.
[192] Obviously the proposer and seconder of this motion ... do not remember what this scheme meant to people in the forties ... when it was demeaning and degrading and a great intrusion into their private lives and I do feel Mr Mayor that as it was a a it was demeaning and degrading in the forties it will be no less demeaning and degrading in the nineties.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [193] Hear, hear.
(PS4TN) [194] Councillor Joy
Evans (PS4TK) [195] Thank you Mr Mayor.
[196] Erm, [...] amendment that need to be made to this ... [...] words housing waiting list, we in fact no longer have a ... [...] standard housing waiting list but have a housing needs register erm that says a great deal about the system that we have is that it's judged on people's housing need and not on their income.
[197] Erm, I hope that ... [...] will be changed.
[198] Er, another thing that we need to consider is that sixty percent at least, of our tenants are on benefits and that hardly speaks of people income [...] in any way trying to to get round the system.
[199] I think this could be very discriminatory.
[200] We're also going to consider that Cambridge does have very high housing costs in terms of mortgages and that in the city, whereas it may be reasonable in other areas for people to be able to have the opportunity to buy.
[201] But the cost of housing in the city means that it is beyond them, particularly if they're on their own, young, single people.
[202] You need far more capital to get you going in a place like Cambridge that you perhaps do in Peterborough where some houses can still be bought for around thirty thousand and that needs to be borne in mind.
[203] I also wonder how the system copes with changes ... to people's incomes, er many people particularly in recession we heard that unemployment in Cambridge is now approaching ten percent and if you've been turned down ... by the council, your council housing on your means test are you really going to go back to them at a time when you may be under a lot of stress with unemployment to have your circumstances reinvestigated, I very much doubt whether people do go back.
[204] We know from the housing benefit system that there is a backlog of cases, I think hundred and a , quite a considerable number of people of where people are having problems producing wage receipts and evidence of income now ... and one dreads to think of the burden that will be putting on the letting section ... by erm inventing yet another system o of this kind erm ... I think people ... [...] we know that people are wary already of applying for benefits because of means testing and I think that there's that it would simply discourage people who really are in need from coming forward.
[205] I think the fact that [...] housing need register, not a waiting list and I therefore ask you to reject er this motion tonight.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [clapping]
(PS4TN) [206] Councillor [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [207] Thank you Mr Mayor.
[208] There er there used to be a time when it was fairly easy to predict what Tory motions would say.
[209] They they tended to say the same thing as the government, erm but recently Tory motions, in this council, have started to say the opposite of the government f for reasons which remain obscure to me ... and this is just another example.
[210] Now this motion does not seem to understand government housing policy so let me explain government housing policy, I don't agree with all of it but this, this is the policy bit.
[211] Government housing policy as we ... found tonight when we voted on the rates [...] is to bring public sector rents into line with private sector rents.
[212] Then, the government says, there'll be a level [...] private and public sector and it won't matter that we sh someone we we which sector people go for.
[213] In order to deal with the problem of means, the government says, we provide housing benefits and the subsidy, this is the government speaking, the subsidy goes into the demand, it goes into benefit ... there'll be no subsidy left if the government has its way on the supply side.
[214] No I think this this policy is misguided just from on practical grounds, because er experience shows that demand side owner subsidies do not increase the supply housing erm which [...] .
[215] In theory they do but in practice they never have.
[216] Nevertheless, going back to the way the system works in practice, you still have housing benefit.
[217] What housing benefit does, because its available for public sector tenants and for private sector tenants.
[218] Is it ... in effect equalises in terms of means, the people applying for housing so there is no need for a means test for potential tenants because they all have in housing terms, the same means, I I do you understand this, I mean it's vitally important you understand this just to see why this motion is nonsensical.
[219] There is no difference in needs for potential tenants.
[220] They have the same means and that's what housing benefit is meant to do.
[221] That is why selection for housing ... is based on housing need not on financial need, that's the point, that's why you do it according to housing need, not for money because the money side has been neutralised.
[222] I hope that's clear enough for it moves the motion to withdraw the motion.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [clapping]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
(PS4TN) [223] Councillor [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [224] Thank you Mr Mayor.
[225] I think that many of the points I wanted to bring forward and some that I didn't know about.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [226] Are erm erm have been made I'd like to simply to say I think two things.
[227] One, one of the most common question of the last weeks are we ... yes last weeks Sunday visiting that I was involved with in my ward was from people who were perturbed, not about means testing because that is not the word that it was about, but about something that is on the same kind of sphere and that was about whether ... erm East Gates which decided to be their own managers would also be able to to their own tenants and keep the ones that were less suitable away from the ones that knew that they were ... suitable.
[228] Now ... why's that relevant?
[229] It's relevant because at a time when I lived through the means test ... the [...] one that, the real one, er then that would have been a very serious point because you could switch and turn and twist the means test in such a way that people would be continually at a disadvantage and the nearest I can think of what the effect of that was, living in a very working town, a very industrial working town and it was nothing like as bad as the one in London more recently, was the homelessness of cardboard boxes cities ... in London.
[230] Now I know there was no means test there but there were other things there causing that.
[231] If you want really to get that in every town and city and country, have a means test.
(PS4TN) [232] Councillor [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [233] Mr Mayor I think we, we owe a debt of gratitude to councillor this evening because the sort of motions he's been putting forward has effectively united the progressive forces.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [234] And made one I think realise yet again why one is in politics and what it is that we you know, on progressive winger politics actually stand for.
[235] I'd like to put one simple note and I think it'll have to be simple for him to understand it but I would like to put one simple notion to him and that is that there is great merit in having public services sharing by people from all social classes.
[236] For example with education, it'll be a terrible thing for education if the middle classes continue to contract out in the way that they are so we have a divorced system of independent education quite separate from the state system.
[237] When that happens then the, some of the most effective voices on behalf of the state system will be silent, they'll have no interest in preserving the best features of the state education system.
[238] The same is true of the health service, the more the private health educa the pri private health welfare comes in, the less chance there is of people who are, who are articulate and people who count in British society start speaking up with the rest of us and saying come on we we've got a common interest and a common stake in this service and we want the best po for for everybody and the same will start happening in housing if you get your way.
[239] You really must withdraw this motion.
(PS4TN) [240] Erm, councillor
Rosensteel (PS4TL) [241] There I was, talking to people asleep this morning and I woke to the dulcet tones of [...] talking on the radio.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Rosensteel (PS4TL) [242] I must say to those of you who tend [...] we had nice interview [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh] [...]
Rosensteel (PS4TL) [243] [...] subject I sometimes wonder if ... sometimes the Tory politicians are like Jehovah's Witnesses really, they sort of set out into battle and say go out and convert these people, we're gonna slam the door on them.
[244] And I think there is this kind of elements, this kind of testing battle, go and defend ye indefensible.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh]
Rosensteel (PS4TL) [245] Give rise to the, we rise to the bait.
[246] I mean there are some Conservatives who do actually believe in the social welfare of the [...] but there are also, I'm I'm sure there are large numbers who actually know what vicious streak there is behind [...] a lot of the other measures of social control that have gone on in this country since consensus was [...] in nineteen seventy nine er you actually realise what what a tragedy it is in this area.
[247] I actually I I intend to believe you actually have been sent by the Jehovah's Witness to defend the indefensible, it's a kind of like a [...] and I I y'know, I'm I'm sorry but I don't really think this [...] actually deserves that.
(PS4TN) [248] Councillor
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [249] Thank, thank you Mr Mayor I I'll be very brief because I think that there have been a number of very good points made from all all sides of the chamber tonight and I think really er councillor er touched on the thing that that worried me so much about the creation of ghettos.
[250] If we're to take this motion seriously erm ... the tories are suggesting that council housing should be restricted to those in mo most in need.
[251] Now on the face of that that that that's seems fairly sensible, y'know if somebody is in need we ought to be doing something about it.
[252] But what happens to those families when they've been housed and they gradually improve their position, do we send our officers down and say ah, you've got some money in the bank now, you're not in need, get out of this council house we're gonna give it to somebody else.
[253] This is what they're really trying to do, this is the sinister path behind the Tory policy.
[254] Is actually to terrify the p poor and to drive them in into a s an under [...] and this is part of their philosophy that they've been following since nineteen seventy nine under Mrs Thatcher.
[255] And this is just ... a continuation of that that prejudice against those that ... appear to be living off the state and not justifying their existence and I think it doesn't deserve the time that we've spent on it tonight.
(PS4TN) [256] Thank you councillor , councillor .
Morgan (PS4TM) [257] Thank you Mr Mayor.
[258] Earlier this evening at the Tory twins were recommending to read the city council funding handbook, I would also like to recommend that they also learn something about Tory housing policy.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [259] For one final nail in the Conservative coffin .
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [260] [...] about means testing in general, the problem with means test is that they are a rather disguised and very crude form of taxation.
[261] They penalise people who are earning money, the penalise people for saving money.
[262] Now what is the point of saving money if you're in a job and you're worried about being made redundant when, if you become redundant you are ineligible for housing benefit because you've been saving money.
[263] Means test create poverty traps.
[264] They mean they make it, in many situations, make it pointless of people to try and found jobs.
[265] Of course that's so hard, they don't make it pointless for people to find jobs that they don't declare their income, so that means test would encourage the black economy.
[266] Now as we saw at the last council meeting, where a very right and proper and honest and law abiding council and we don't want to create a situation in which people are encouraged to break the law.
[267] ... To conclude I think that we should go along rather than hope [...] sort of an aspect of Conservative philosophy which is that people should be encouraged to earn money and they should be encouraged to save money and that therefore in this case this means proposing this Conservative motion, though I hope they will actually have the common sense to withdraw it.
(PS4TN) [268] Erm ... councillor
(PS4TN) [269] Well I I actually must have read completely different to anybody else ... from what I've been hearing, erm ... the way I looked at it, the situation that we have locally compared with what David was saying about the national erm what government are doing nationally and the situation we have here in Cambridge city.
[270] I'd like the people of Cambridge city to know ... that we do care about the people that are in dire situations financially and that we realise we we have got a problem in housing in the city ... and that maybe we should be saying ... no matter what 's going on nationally, that locally we want to pinpoint our social housing towards those people that we feel are financially less off and ... in more unfortunate situations erm ... get ghetto creation has been mentioned and I ... I wouldn't consider council houses to be ghetto.
[271] That, and we've had this in the past, where I would say that people that live in ... Yarbury North and South ... probably do earn less and live in ... houses that probably are, don't have as big gardens and things like that, so the natu the nature of the [...] is that they probably do earn less money erm but I I don't consider those to be ghettos at all.
[272] And so ... I I [...] they're not [...] agree with you so this surely isn't a situation that has arisen or will arise.
[273] We've got a problem now,w we have to try and s split that between our problems here in the city ... and what will happen in the future and what the government will intend to do about the problem.
[274] The problem we've got at the moment is that we have ... a lack of housing if you like, and we should surely put, pinpoint those houses for those people most in need.
[275] I wouldn't like to try and ... say you you're not good enough, go away and live somewhere else, I think that's [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [276] You might not but I bet he would
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh]
(PS4TN) [277] Terrible thing to suggest and anybody who thinks that I think has got the wrong idea of this motion.
[278] I think this motion is addressing the problem of Cambridge city and that the people that we feel we should be [...] erm ... affiliating [...] in so much as they need the housing.
[279] Let's try and at this moment in time, we're talking about now not the future.
[280] Let's try and aim it in their direction.
[281] I think that we should support this motion on my understanding of it.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [282] Councillor [...] I I'm speaking on it.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [283] I I think I think that's ... you're just in the wrong, I think because you're sentiments are all elsewhere but what is actually being proposed is every bit as vicious as what each of the members of both the other groups have said.
[284] That is the effect of it.
[285] I only want to tackle two things.
[286] One, one thing because it's crucial in in what was originally proposed in this motion and it's the lie that public sector housing, local authority housing is subsidised in preference to private sector housing.
[287] If you read any report that comes out from the government, any report that comes out from Shelter you will find that in fact private sector housing, your house, my house, our houses are subsidised twice as much by this government than so called public [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [clapping]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [288] [...] interest tax relief, it's M I D A S right, so let's not start talking about the benefit of public sector housing and to show the financial illiteracy of of of what's actually been proposed if you understand the government regulation about the ring fencing o of of of the housing revenue account and and the way in which housing benefit is now having to be subsidised by those other council house tenants then what's actually going to happen when your poor people inhabit those houses, those public sector houses and they need the housing benefit that David's been talking about.
[289] Because it's going to raise your government P A, P R because there is absolutely nobody left in in local authority housing who's able to pay it because they'll all be on housing benefit.
[290] So financial effect of what we're saying is completely incompetent.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [291] Hear, hear [clapping]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [292] Councillor debt.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [293] Thank you very much I think er councillor said that in er Tory erm motions goes against er Conservative er national policy but what it does identify is a very worrying sub text to the Tory policies of the moment because w ... means testing for hou for housing welfare has gone back to the worst aspects of the nineteen thirties politics basically.
[294] Th this company must be in a bloody sight worse a mess than we thought and the government are not letting us know this is what they're look for are scapegoats and they they're [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [295] Councillor [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [296] I'd just like to say that only Conservatives could actually put need in one paragraph and slip straight into financial [...] in the next and I assume they're talking about the same thing.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [297] Yeah.
(PS4TN) [298] Well I can't remember having so many councillors have all spoken at one evening.
[299] [...] as the chair.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
(PS4TN) [300] It goes seconded then back to the chair again.
[301] Councillor [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [302] I will because ... Mr Mayor I think that ... councillor started off ... his ... response to this by talking about ghettos and ... a lot of differences between the better off and the worst off and ... I, the feeling I got from his speech was that what he was actually driving at was he was attempting to perpetuate the class distinction that the Labour party have been so bound up with over the years.
[303] ... Right, erm ... ghettos ha have been mentioned by er a number of people.
[304] The, what we are proposing will by no means, create ... ghettos or or anything else within the housing stock any more than today's policies are doing anyway.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [305] The other aspect Mr Mayor that I, that I want t to dwell on is the thing about ... housing benefits themselves, there's been a lot of talk by a lot of speakers about benefits and ... er means testing in the years gone by and well okay I'll give councillor a few more years than I have, I don't remember the forties because I was born towards the end of them but, y'know, maybe that happened.
[306] But ... there are still today a large number of means tested benefits.
[307] Erm, income support, housing benefit, ... family credits, maternity expenses, cold weather payment, there's a whole host of means tested benefits which most people here will probably believe are reasonable to be means tested.
[308] You, that you can't have an income support policy if you don't means test because everybody will have some in that case ... and ... th there there is ... there is another point that erm ... that er ... that certain erm highly strung members of the liberal party have er mentioned.
[309] And that is that ... councillors [...] referred ... councillors referred to the fact that ... means testing would generate a poverty trap.
[310] It isn't means testing generates the poverty trap, it is the benefits that generates the poverty trap.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [311] So ... so I I I think Mr Mayor that although this debate has ... erm raised people's erm eye a little, I do believe that ... most of the people here have got the wrong end of the stick in what was being proposed ... right.
[312] We are proposing that those that have.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [313] Those that have substantial incomes should not be ... in a position to take up houses that might otherwise be allocated to those on a lower income and Mr Mayor i as a result of this I feel that that I would urge this council, although I suspect I shall be unsuccessful, in supporting this motion .
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [314] At least he got one thing right
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [315] Thank you Mr Mayor.
[316] I must say one thing.
[317] One of the great advantages of the advent of councillor and councillor to this council is in fact because of the motions which, I have to say even nine times out of ten I don't agree with a word of, or even ninety nine times out of a hundred I don't agree with a word of ... what have we been talking about this last three quarters of an hour, housing, yeah.
[318] What we have done is raised housing, what this sort of debate does is raise housing high on our agenda and that's a good thing, don't let us forget that.
[319] Everybody's taken part in this debate tonight and I for one am extremely pleased about that.
[320] Housing is vitally important to us all.
[321] It's one of the most basic ... needs we all have is to have a roof over our heads.
[322] Having said that ... I'll try and speak to this.
[323] ... Most of the points I think have been well, accurately made and I don't want to stand here making them perhaps less well wrapped and less well, less eloquently.
[324] I think that ... er the point was brought out very recently, I can't remember even by whom, of the fact that in the first paragraph it says the most needy in our society and further on it says for those in most financial need.
[325] Financial need is not the same thing as housing need.
[326] What we are in the business of doing is providing people with houses who are in housing need.
[327] ... Financial status can change overnight, we all know that.
[328] So what happens if you have, just supposing you went down to a crazy way o of [...] means testing.
[329] Today I haven't got a job, I get [...] a house tomorrow I have a job.
[330] My financial status has changed overnight, what happens?
[331] That's the sp the ridiculousness of this particular thing.
[332] What doesn't change so fast is housing need.
[333] If your living with your in-laws and you're having a baby and you want a house or if you have a baby and then you have another baby and you're still living with your in-laws housing need hasn't changed it just grows.
[334] ... We have ... on our a a a as councillor er er erm was saying must earlier on her piece, sixty six to seventy five percent of people housed are homeless anyway and will be housed because of that situation.
[335] People on our needs register ... are not swimming in cash, they're not people who think I shall have a cushy number here, I'll go and get myself housed by the local authority.
[336] Everybody, unless they've been had their head in the ground for the last thirteen years, know damn well that they're not going to get housed off the needs register particularly quickly and they only go to people who are most ... unable ... to be housed by any other means are going to bother even to put their names on the needs register.
[337] We already have a very sophisticated way of assessing housing need.
[338] Housing need ... and we do it ... and people come to the top of that register and get housed because of dire housing need, nothing to do with financial status.
[339] In any event, I think I put this to you ... financial status, okay, so you've got a job ... and you've got er er a reasonable income, what financial status [...] straightforward thing that financial status doesn't say what your outgoings are.
[340] You might be divorced and have all of family to keep.
[341] You might have ageing parents who you support and god knows how much other outgoings which are hidden ... and then you have to go down that road and say that you're going to look at at financial status you're going to have to say ... and exactly what are all of your outgoings in and now [...] down going to get real unpleasant intrusion into people's business.
[342] Horrible and I'm I lived quite happily for long enough to remember ... certainly means testing and [...] my parents.
[343] Who would have shu sh shuddered at the very thought that we are even considering such a time ... in this day and age [...] .
[344] ... I think erm most of the points as I've said before, have probably been made and I don't want to ... make them any more but I would just make one other ... when we're talking about means tested it's interesting that you're advocating means testing in that way.
[345] I think somebody mentioned mortgage interest tax relief, that isn't means tested as far as I am aware. [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [346] Means test the right to buy [...] .
[347] Erm, I would say to you ... er please vote this motion down, thanks very much.
(PS4TN) [348] Councillor you have the right to reply.
Coleman (PS4TU) [349] Thank you Mr Mayor.
[350] ... There's been an awful lot of discussion about this particular motion and I shan't attempt ... cos we haven't got till three o'clock in the morning I don't think, to answer all the points.
[351] I will just perhaps tackle one or two of them I think.
[352] Firstly the price about, the the points sorry, councillor made about getting housing.
[353] That's complete and absolute nonsense.
[354] The whole point of this thing is that, as I said in my ... speech, about trickle transfer ... is that people should mix as much as possible.
[355] If we were in fact to promote trickle transfer that would happen a great deal more than it does currently.
[356] ... Secondly councillor ... I take your point, sixty percent or so of people are on ... are erm ... sixty six p , I deferred your great knowledge [...] .
[357] There are still people who are waiting on on the list for seven years plus for a house.
[358] You also said that the government sh should should do more supply housing.
[359] This year you have the option of using a right to buy receipts to build more housing and yet you are turning it down.
[360] If there was ever a more golden opportunity to do that, and you are spurning it, I've never seen it, I never see it through a golden opportunity for that.
[361] ... Councillor ... it'll be discriminately certainly, I've no doubt about that, it'll be positively discriminatory for those in greatest need, I have no problem with that.
[362] ... Most importantly perhaps ... it is quite clearly a nonsense to suggest that this scheme could be introduced retrospectively for council tenants.
[363] That i that is completely ... infeasible for all for all sorts of reasons it would be grossly unfair ... on council tenants to throw them out of their house.
[364] Nobody's suggesting we do that, that would be a ludicrous situation.
[365] Finally Mr Mayor I might just take issue with councillor .
[366] It is an extraordinary assumption that only people ... with money are articulate councillor , perhaps we should introduce an articulatecy test ... as a way of getting a council house.
[367] If you're so keen to see people who are as you, as you say articulate and and [...] a go, in council houses it does seem an extraordinary argument to say that that those people are automatically not in need, it seems very bizarre argument.
[368] I appreciate obviously tonight we have are not not gonna carried today but nonetheless it is something that we believe in very firmly and I hope we have the opportunity to try and persuade you otherwise at some other time.
[369] Thank you.
(PS4TN) [370] Those in favour of the motion please show.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
(PS4TN) [371] Those against.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
(PS4TN) [372] Thirty nine against, thank you very much.
[373] ... Sixteen councillors, I take it that you [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [374] Unfortunately council leaders have to leave.
[375] ... Erm, I apologise first of all Mr Mayor er for the second meeting in a row dealing with traffic matters affecting High [...] to [...] full council.
[376] Erm, I hope that I won't detain the council for too long, I'm sure that this motion er won't be controversial.
[377] The closure of [...] causeway Mr Mayor, is scheduled to be implemented with the completion of southern relief road erm if ... after a public enquiry, that road is actually approved.
[378] In this motion I have actually requesting that the closure be brought forward in order to relieve what is a dangerous traffic situation at the corner of [...] causeway and [...] .
[379] The problem simply Mr Mayor is that during the morning peak period traffic enters the city via [...] causeway, going erm I think [...] erm this traffic that's coming over the [...] is joined by local traffic from roads leading off [...] causeway and the result of that is that er on many occasions er we get a long tailback of traffic er waiting to turn right at the junction of [...] causeway and [...] road.
[380] Turn right into er what is a very busy er road in any event at that time but that ... the dangers is that many drivers are becoming impatient with waiting their turn in the queue and what they're doing is driving down on the wrong side of the road in order to utilise a little back road that's a service road which runs alongside [...] road and leads into Nightingale avenue.
[381] Residents in the service road not surprisingly are complaining that excessive speeds are used ... er by these vehicles using this rat run and this is causing a danger to children going to the local school at that time of the day.
[382] These particular residents, the ones that live in the service road, are campaigning for the service road to be closed but not surprisingly the residents who live [...] aren't keen on that er road closure because that would affect their [...] use that route at other times other than the morning peak.
[383] What has happened because this problem has been recognised is that the police are having to go down there [...] on a regular basis and actually stop people doing this stupid manoeuvre.
[384] Er, because obviously they are putting motorists coming in the opposite direction er in er great danger and I feel that before too long we're gonna have a head on collision [...] er which is going to end up with serious injuries.
[385] The traffic engineers are well aware of this problem and I and er other Tory councillors have been er in contact with our officers and the trans traffic engineers at the [...] and the engineers er insist that the only answer is to narrow [...] causeway by physically putting in er road narrowing measures.
[386] Er, this will obviously stop people driving on the wrong side of the road but it certainly won't [...] or it won't prevent the excessive use of this service road which is very narrow indeed.
[387] The simple fact of the matter Mr Mayor is that vehicles coming in [...] have got a very er simple alternative route and when they come down the hill they can turn left, go by the golf course [...] knows very well, go round the roundabout ... and go round the roundabout and come in, alright they've got to join a queue there but they're in a queue anyway.
[388] This would be much safer than the dangerous right hand turn and the dangerous manoeuvre of overtaking vehicles on the wrong side of the road.
[389] Because there is this impasse between what the officers wanted to do and what the residents find acceptable ... the only way I can get this matter resolved is for the council to refer the possible closure to the committee so that the committee can consider all the facts er in the light of the advice of the officers erm and I therefore beg to move this.
[390] I would like to say I'm ... deeply grateful to councillor Elaine who wrote a wonderful letter to the director of transportation which has formed the basis of my speech.
[391] She sums it up well.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [392] I'll second that [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
(PS4TN) [393] Under standing order seven nine O [...] .
[394] Thank you councillor ... I rule that the motion has no material financial implications.
[395] Those in favour of dealing with it tonight please show ... councillor .
Morgan (PS4TM) [396] Earlier this evening ... Graham I thought you erm made a complaint about the number of reports that are coming to committee [...] er but it's not for that reason that I wanted to dispose of this motion now ... erm but there are other reasons.
[397] I do sympathise with the problem that that ... the local residents have there but I I dare say closing off the road wouldn't be a very good idea but it is something that only the county council can do and the county council have said that ... they will not do this in advance of the southern relief road being built so I think that really is simply [...] .
[398] Er, I did say.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh] [...]
Morgan (PS4TM) [399] Er you said you've had a erm contact with, discussions with the officers over this and certainly I've spoken to them a an they this is the case.
[400] But they tell me that they have put forward two possible solutions.
[401] One which would be closing off the slip road to Hills Road, oh he mentioned it did he?
[402] And the other one ... er the alternative would be to narrow the section of [...] causeway.
[403] [...] erm ... but [...] these things could be done without going to committees, without any problem whatsoever if we just have this experiment to see how it works.
[404] Er, I gather that the last letter ... that [...] had [...] from you dated the twenty fourth of November in which you say that you will get back as ... quite soon to decide whether you want to apply for one of these erm ... erm ways of dealing with the problem or not.
[405] Erm, I also suspect that one solution is erm not very satisfactory to one group of people and the other solution is not very satisfactory to another group of people and of course er since we are coming up to an election [...] don't want to offend either group of people.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Morgan (PS4TM) [406] To get the local residents to decide which of these measures er me m measures they would like to try erm an and try it out, since the other way forward is just a non-starter.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [407] Erm perhaps councillor would wish to put a question under [laughing] response time [...] [] .
[408] Councillor .
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [409] Thank you chair.
[410] Cou councillor has said most of things [...] gonna say.
[411] I do have some sympathy for cou councillor I do know this area and I I do know the traffic problems there and and we do really in the long term need to do something about it.
[412] My problem is that as everybody knows, that the southern relief road is going to public inquiry.
[413] This authority is taking a somewhat different view to that public inquiry than the erm the highways authority er after shire hill er erm so ... I I think if we were to take a decision tonight ... it could affect our position at the public inquiry adversely er and I would not want us to get into that situation so I think to some extent er councillor timing on this motions is wrong and we shouldn't be be er discussing it now.
[414] That is not to say that I haven't got sympathy for the problem that he's faced with.
(PS4TN) [415] Councillor .
Rosensteel (PS4TL) [416] Thank you Mr Mayor.
[417] [...] er I think councillor has made the case for the motion which he has put before us which is simply ... for a report to the environment committee which would deal with the ... the tactical if that's the right [...] that's just been raised by councillor .
[418] There's clearly a problem, any ward councillor who brings out t that sort of thing which is non non-trivial to this ... council er for the reasons he has it seems to me deserves er to be supported unless there's a very strong case against it and I don't worth considering and that's what I shall vote.worth co you don't.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [419] Hear, hear.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh]
(PS4TN) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [420] You know I I would seriously like to confer with councillor , he makes a very important point.
[421] I think if ward councillors bring a map of [...] have no [...] whatsoever.
[422] They ... it is brought forward on safety factors and I think that is a matter that should be considered by committee whatever political persuasion er I do use this road er regularly Mr Mayor, er I live there, I an indeed one of the people, if you like, er ... [...] inconvenienced.
[423] But my colleague has brought it forward on a matter of safety.
[424] It is true, [...] causeway because of the situation that exists we do have people driving on the wrong side of the road.
[425] They drive on the wrong side of the road for some considerable distance which actually amazes me, I'm sitting there lawfully in the queue and someone comes whizzing by on the right er without any sight of the traffic coming the other way, er ... interestingly we did have the police er have had the police up there ... monitoring the situation.
[426] There was two of them w wi with a Range Rover the other morning er with all sorts of notices and the following morning they had a motorcyclist er hidden behind the hedge as it were er that seemed to obviously put things right for a couple of days.
[427] I said good morning to them of course.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [428] Erm but I would say it does indicate the er seriousness of it.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [429] Apparently it has er this substantial police presence and so on.
[430] So to get back to the serious matter Mr Mayor if I may.
[431] My my colleague promoting this on safety grounds er is absolutely right er I I really do feel the southern relief road issue where indeed works causeway will be closed in the proposals er is one thing.
[432] [...] whether the southern relief road goes ahead or it doesn't er is is really not er pertinent with the moment.
[433] If it goes ahead it solves the problems but let's suppose it doesn't go ahead.
[434] Erm, then obviously we've still go to address this problem.
[435] If it does go ahead the proposals to close it will be somewhat late so why don't we look at them now.
[436] So the southern relief road isn't really pertinent to the to the argument [...] .
[437] There is a local problem of some substance, the police have been there, it is a matter because of circumstances people driving on the wrong side of the road, it's certainly dangerous conditions er and I think it's reasonable to ... to er take up councillor the this is the practical problem the committee could look at tonight.
(PS4TN) [438] Thank you ... erm councillor .
Morgan (PS4TM) [439] Well I'm sorry I'm still [...] I still think we should throw it out because, simply because I don't think you're putting forward, I don't think that the motion er proposes the right solution to the problem.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Morgan (PS4TM) [440] I would suggest er I wha , I have three suggestions or two suggestions to make.
[441] You could I I er it seems to me that body that you should go to with this is the joint sub.
[442] ... Because the county has to make a decision on the road closure so therefore it should go to [...] rather than.
[443] Or else you can try one of the, one of the solutions that has already been suggested by the officers.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
(PS4TN) [444] Councillor .
Evans (PS4TK) [445] I think perhaps the council will now see why I'm getting so frustrated and it's because we've been talking about this for over twelve months.
[446] I can't agree a solution with our officers ... that is acceptable to the residents I represent and I put it to this council to try and get something done about it and all I get from the chairman of the committee is the officer's comments pushed back down my throat.
[447] I do think er councillor , that you have got a duty to listen to all sides of the argument and not just repeat willy nilly what the officers tell you.
[448] That is not the way that we should be running this council.
[449] All we're asking for, as I think perhaps the council will knock it down anyway in all the letters they've written [...] you don't.
(PS4TN) [450] [...] get to councillor it is [...] it is [...] the procedures of the council that you are perfectly entitled to go to the committee itself and place this on the agenda for the committee.
[451] In that respect it seems to me that it is not something that is necessary to come through the full procedure of the council in order for you to do and I I thought that would ... would deal er establish [...] .
[452] Erm I I hope that is at least of some help erm in dealing with a resolution to this problem.
[453] Could we see those in favour of the motion, [...] ... and those against.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [454] Eighteen against.
(PS4TN) [455] I think we'll [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
(PS4TN) [456] Have it again please, those in favour of the motion, Nineteen
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [457] Nineteen.
(PS4TN) [458] And those against.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [459] [...] Are you voting.
(PS4TN) [460] Hang on and I'll tell you.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [461] Nineteen [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
(PS4TN) [462] On the mayor's, on the mayor's casting vote ... I vote this in favour of the motion.
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT7PSUNK) [clapping]
(PS4TN) [463] I call upon councillor to bring this motion.
(PS4TN) [464] Thank you Mr Mayor.
[465] Erm ... we we are [...] I will be er as brief as I possibly can be on this one.
[466] Erm, clearly we are in a room full of people who have a more than marginal interest in the political process erm and that goes for your boundaries of ... Cambridge city councils er remit and clearly contains also to parliamentary methods erm ... I'm trying not to be desperately partisan about this, I don't expect anybody [...] erm ... but ... a phrase has been used earlier this evening from another quarter about if it's not broke don't fix it, erm ... the boundary commission have looked at the boundaries of the Cambridge city constituency have found that it is up to ninety nine percent of the right and proper er number of electors.
[467] It has changed relatively [...] .
[468] People have just about got used to the new structure and it seems to me that it would behove us all to leave well alone.
[469] I'm [...] feel that it is the remit of this council, or indeed other district councils ... to talk about the whole of the county of Cambridgeshire, particularly when they start mucking around with issues well outside their own geographical area.
[470] I can see that perhaps if they want to have a [...] er they may feel they need to stray into other [...] boundaries but I did feel that when I read what Huntingdon district council proposed which was if you like, to completely re-drawing the electoral map for the entire county I wasn't actually looking at something that was designed to deal with the interests of the citizens of Huntingdon district council, I was looking at the straightforward political proposal which would be far better to come from a political party than from a district council.
[471] What I'm arguing for tonight is that given that we've [...] relatively recent boundary change, the people have just about got used to it, so by and large er it doesn't seem to have huge numbers of demerits as far as the city is concerned and ... that we are now very, very close, as close as is possible to the norm for the average constituency size that we actually endorse the boundary commissions proposals and leave well alone and ... the second part of the motion merely ... says to a neighbouring authority, y'know, please in some senses be punctilious about ... not to suddenly decide to poke your noses into something way beyond your it's not just a couple of parishes on the south boundary, a couple of parishes from from the north of their [...] but actually [...] way to our area but what candidly I can only see as a rather partisan er er [...]