BNC Text JT8

[Local Council meeting]. Sample containing about 12349 words speech recorded in public context

11 speakers recorded by respondent number C603

PS4U2 X m (No name, age unknown, head of council) unspecified
PS4U3 X m (Price, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS4U4 X f (Evans, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS4U5 X f (Thomson, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS4U6 X m (Howarth, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS4U7 X f (Gloucester, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS4U8 X m (Smith, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS4U9 X m (Nevis, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS4UA X f (Evans, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
JT8PSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
JT8PSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 124401 recorded on unknown date. LocationCambridgeshire: Cambridge () Activity: meeting

Undivided text

Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [1] That much sooner ... and ... in the last hour, couple of hours we've seen what I would call a Tweedledee and Tweedledum amendments erm because quite frankly there isn't that much difference between them er at the end of the day the impact on the people who've had to pay the bill is virtually the same.
[2] The amendment which has gone up there and which ... I think is being circulated is our amendment which is designed to achieve spending at the government target figure.
[3] ... Now, despite what er councillor said in the paper the other day, there are no real surprises in this, no rabbits to come out of our hats.
[4] Because of course we did put er these proposals, most of these proposals [...] until we've had to [...] erm at the board meeting er and we did give them full publicity in the Cambridge Evening News a couple of weeks ago.
[5] But you might say, and I [...] councillor did say in fact that of course we would be most unfair in the way that we did this because to quote from him er ... we were giving no time, no time for discussion, no time for evaluation [...] no time .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [6] No time for evaluation and no time for consultation.
[7] Well just I wonder how much time councillor actually wants to consider our proposals.
[8] I wonder if he's looked in the minutes of the council er for this time twelve months ago er when we proposed a very similar amendment to the one that's on the board there, the figures are reduced er but certainly lots of the areas are actually there and in fact if he looked back even further in the minutes he'll see that it bears a striking resemblance to what we actually proposed on the fourteenth of February nineteen ninety one.
[9] If two years isn't enough to consider the proposals that my group have consistently put forward, I don't know how long it's.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [10] It's consistently wrong.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [11] Well if they're consistently [...] it's amazing that you have accepted something, er actually moved in our direction this evening.
[12] Can I quickly, quickly go through the various points.
[13] First of all we're not prepared to put the nine thousand back into the environment committee budget to er to save the cooperative development agency.
[14] I wish I'd brought the environment committee before so I could quote from it but from er recollection it says that that organisation did not have a consistent record of producing a significant number of jobs and that the expenditure on funding them did not provide value for money.
[15] That's what the report said.
[16] Everybody I thought, accepted that in [...] committee, I can't remember what the liberal democrats did but certainly we did and certainly all the members of the labour group [...] .
[17] So I can't see any reason er for putting that back but obviously we've [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [18] The argument about the contingency fund ... erm I find that amazing that er y'know, up until a few hours ago you had to have two hundred thousand pounds.
[19] The labour group have now agreed to reduce it to a hundred thousand.
[20] I see no reason whatsoever for a council that will still have two and a half million pounds in balances after the labour group proposals, why on earth we need to build another hundred thousand pounds into the budget, paid for by er council tax payers to provide for unforeseen expenditure.
[21] I don't think we ought to provide it because that just means it gives the wrong impression to the officers I have to say.
[22] It gives the impression we're prepared to spend the money and that's what's happened in previous years and it shouldn't happen.
[23] If there was a desperate emergency you could find the money from other sources.
[24] I'm not going to go into any length about the community arts budget, that is one area of service provision that we feel, and I've said for the last two years, does not provide value for money.
[25] I ... I have not one person ring me up and say ooh you rotten tory taking that money out of
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh] [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [26] And I don't want any.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [27] So don't encourage the people to do that but that is true if it's so valued you would have thought there would have been an outcry, there hasn't been.
[28] The [...] , councillor I am not passionate about getting rid of union representation, what I am passionate about is union members paying for their own representation, not me, not the people out there, if they want a full time union official let them pay for it but don't expect other people to pick up the bill, it's ludicrous er to er put that sort of money in our budget.
[29] The local government information unit, the labour party in disguise er I don't think we need to er waste money on having propaganda coming from them just simply attacking the government, completely wasted.
[30] ... We've said all along that staffing the community centre should be reduced er and that we should be encouraging the community to take more interest in running their community centres.
[31] The do that in [...] ... wonderful community centre, I went there to a good function the other evening, very good fish and chips ... and [...] as well.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [32] They do it in [...] and up the road in Peterborough they've got about thirty eight community centre and the labour run council there is handing every one, every one of them over to the local communities.
[33] There's no reason why we need to put this money in our budget.
[34] ... The Corn Exchange ... er oh public relations well I think that speaks for itself.
[35] I really did find that we sunk to the pits when we started circulating recipes for cheesecake on er poll tax er payers money, that is absolutely ludicrous and we shouldn't be spending money on that.
[36] You made great play on how, ooh advertising is going to pay for it all, out of a budget of about sixty odd thousand pounds you've got fifteen hundred pounds in in advertising.
[37] That's hardly paying for the cheesecake ... recipe let alone the proper information which was being given to the public.
[38] The Corn Exchange well I've said that one so many time I don't think I need repeat it.
[39] Our philosophy is that it's not just conjuring twenty five thousand pounds out of the air, it's actually changing the way the Corn Exchange is [...] and we feel strongly about that but we are not going to waste your time going through all that.
[40] Reduction in committee administration budget of er fifty thousand pounds.
[41] This isn't just a figure drawn out of the air unlike councillor , I can actually back it up ... because I've got the detail of that budget.
[42] Do you know ... that in the last twelve months er we've produced or the office has produced, twelve hundred ... twelve hundred reports to committees at an average cost of six hundred pounds each and that's just in officer time in writing them, nothing to do with the paper they were printed on, the cost of printing, the cost of distribution, the cost of our time to discuss them and our attendance allowance.
[43] That is ... over a million pounds ... right in that budget for committee administration and you ask me where we can save fifty thousand pounds, well start producing a few less reports.
[44] Let's have a more radical view of the committee structure.
[45] We get rid of the cycling working party and what do we do ... out of the ashes rises another prefix, the transport work.
[46] ... What a waste of time, we all know that the county council is the ... the highway authority and is ... fully responsible for traffic management, we're in a minority [...] and to set up a working party is a complete waste of time. [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [47] Information technology costs, councillor said, don't worry we've already saved a hundred and fifty thousand pounds in the last year.
[48] Alright, fair enough, you accepted what we've been saying for ages that we had to go to voluntary competitive tendering ... right.
[49] Well why on earth, if you're s , y'know, you embark on that route ... why don't you put something in the budget for the fruits of that exercise and we believe that you can save money by that and that er this is going to be one of those budgets that's gonna end up er under strength at the end of the day because of that.
[50] The ... we're coming closer on the ... er figures for the er staff turnover and I believe that the four percent, which is easily achievable, on the thirty first of December nineteen ninety two the turnover savings were running just below four percent, alright we just cut some of the post out of today's budget but I still think ... if we give the wrong messages to the officers er we're in danger of spending money that we don't need to.
[51] We need to keep a tight control on staff turnover and we need to pay tight control on our staff budget.
[52] Let's face it, it's the largest amount we spend in this council, is money spent on our employees.
[53] The balance of this er well the community groups we don't feel it's right to spend that money at this point in time until we've sorted out er where the other four hundred odd thousand pounds is actually going in that budget before we start throwing even more money.
[54] The final point is taking money out of the reserves to make sure that we don't have to put back twenty two pounds on the council tax.
[55] That's obviously been accepted by the labour group because they have taken extra money out of reserves, we're simply going to take some more out to meet our er ... our figure that we're trying to achieve.
[56] ... Mr Mayor ... we all ... want to provide quality services by this council.
[57] Every one of us, we wouldn't devote our time, our precious time serving in local government if we didn't believe in local government and didn't want to provide the best possible services to the people of this city.
[58] But I come back to what I've said at the outset Mr Mayor in conclusion.
[59] There is a still a clear divide between the conservative groups and the other two groups on the council.
[60] ... Obviously ... labour and the liberal democrats have no desire to minimise council tax bills.
[61] We've been saying the same thing for the last three years and I've got the minutes here to prove it.
[62] That message needs to be got home, I'm pleased to note this evening that after three years of making these suggestions you have at last started to accept some of them.
[63] It is a step in the right direction.
[64] There's further to go and we're gonna keep saying these things until we're blue in the face, as well as
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh] [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [65] Keep on hammering that message home Mr Mayor and I beg to move this [...] .
(PS4U2) [66] Thank you is there a seconder for the amendment please.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [67] I'll second that, it was quite overwhelming [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
(PS4U2) [68] Debate on the amendment.
[69] ... Councillor yes I'm sorry [...] .
Price (PS4U3) [70] Thank you Mr Mayor.
[71] Couple of points, not the [...] one.
[72] I refer with er councillor to the remarks I made earlier about the tr the post of the trade union, I don't propose to say any more on that.
[73] But it's interesting isn't it that we have here the proposed deletion of subscriptions to local government information unit ... unit one thousand five hundred pounds.
[74] Is that a desire to save one thousand five hundred pounds or a desire to prevent the rest of us finding out what your government's really up to?
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
(PS4U2) [75] Councillor .
Evans (PS4U4) [76] I'd like to erm just say a few words about erm ... the three erm reductions in the budget of the erm ... er the erm ... community services ... erm the erm deletion of the arts budgets, you probably have heard this before, but I I do think it's a great pity that erm ... when it was on the basis and I think very little ... knowledge of un and understanding ... with erm ... er of what arts is about ... which is to delete one of the, was one of the erm ... the the erm ... things in this council which we actually do best, it's one of the things which has attracted attention from way beyond Cambridge erm and ... which is undoubt has undoubtedly ... to communities in which it takes place, erm ... as far as the erm ... erm ... oh the erm ... community, staffing of community centres erm ... this looks like erm in calculations involved handing over ... the r the management to the community centres to erm ... volunteers.
[77] In the first place volunteers are ... be there.
[78] There's no reason why we should change our, our method of managing er community centres.
[79] It's a judicious mixture between erm youth volunteers and the youth paid extra workers.
[80] Some of our, some of our er community centres are in fact run by volunteers, some of them are run, er most of them in fact have a very large substantial volunteer input.
[81] But when you have a community centre like ... street that is which a joint ... you can see the value of of of maintaining it as a ... a paid for as a a a erm ... and be substantial volunteer input that exists.
[82] Erm, ... to comparison with Peterborough's particularly useful but it might be, must be said that Peterborough do have problems with at least three or four of the their community centres all the time, in fact have quite a substantial budget on er staff involved in sorting out problems with voluntary managed community centres.
[83] The ... fifty thousand ... well I if they do they haven't been able to ... what what we intend to do.
[84] The the the er budget ... this year is is greatly over oversubscribed erm but applications for grants for people who are being ... of their work in their community.
[85] The additional money that we're looking for this year er a substantial amount of this will go to funding of the rent for the new premises for the c the Citizens' Advice Bureau and I don't propose to stand here and defend the Citizens' Advice Bureau because ... it doesn't need it, I hope.
[86] Erm, ... the rest of this money would be used ... part to to fund additional workers in er minority ethnic community groups, children's groups ... the community service ... strong support with housing officers in dealing with housing management problems and ... a a and possibly from community radio among others.
[87] ... We are here to serve people of Cambridge and it's quite clear that the people of Cambridge do want ... good services, they want, they want services which ... which improve the quality of life in in in the cities and this is precisely what is ... erm spending is there to do.
(PS4U2) [88] Thank you.
[89] I've got councillor [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [90] Erm thank you Mr Mayor, erm I'm taking up to speak about the community arts.
[91] I think it's fair to say that it's not quite as simple as just deleting that item out of the budget, there are in fact I think five or six people working for community arts and in the events of that item being deleted we would presumably have to add on the costs of making them redundant erm an an an and dis [...] erm ... the community arts scheme I think represents, it's true to say, a range of expertise.
[92] It's not something that can be done or reproduced very easily ... by people without expertise.
[93] Their expertise lies in enabling others ... and [...] others to take advantage of arts facilities and helping them erm or working with them to produce the things that happen, for example all the erm ... posters which were up during last years festival erm were produced in conjunction with community arts which [...] erm ... has erm ... er [...] produced on Ditchfern Place, erm and earlier this morning I was thinking that up as I think other councillors did, that more serious of projects which community arts are now entering into er in Chesterton in particularly in the children erm I think councillors went to Dickfield women's photograph project ... and it is things like that about giving people confidence to join arts ... in a way erm ... with which they might never otherwise have experienced ... and the community arts have taken just that.
[94] I think erm it's interesting erm to listen to desert island discs ... the last two weeks that the luxury item chosen has been a piano and people are saying that they would like very often, there are a lot of people who'd like the opportunity to have learnt a musical instrument.
[95] Now I don't think of us here and neither, certainly myself, I I would not claim to be any form of artist or expert but I think a lot of us can enjoy er getting our hands dabbling with paint erm paper mâché and other activities and in fact having that opportunity of ex enjoying those experiences that's we ought to be able to offer to people in Cambridge and many peop children in schools they they do get opportunities but I think particularly amongst older people who've never had that opportunity and I think you should be [...] do so.
[96] The community arts team, I believe is an example, an excellence in its field as a team.
[97] Sadly we're seeing things [...] too often which have expertise but I think on this occasion we should support the community arts team and not delete the item from the budget.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [98] Here, here [clapping]
(PS4U2) [99] Councillor [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [100] Yes thank you Mr Mayor.
[101] I just want to talk very briefly to the [...] about er reducing staffing at community centres and with particular reference to to one in in the ward that I represent which is [...] street.
[102] That centre for one of the staff who work there, make quite profound impact on the quality of life for many people living on our estates and I cannot see anything more short sighted than denying access to the sorts of services and the sorts of pleasures that people can get from use of a community centre like that by cutting back on staffing so that we can't actually use the capital resources that we've b the capital that we've invested in facilities like that.
[103] It's an absolutely crazy idea.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [clapping]
(PS4U2) [104] Councillor
Thomson (PS4U5) [105] Thank you Mr Mayor, erm I ... probably will repeat some of the things that have already been said with regard to community arts.
[106] We can't let this erm moment pass without actually er er er defending this particular service.
[107] Erm, I think it's important for us all to remember what community arts is about.
[108] Now the tory party are forever lecturing us about choice are they not.
[109] How a lot of this legislation will [...] about choice.
[110] Now for some of our members choice is is not something that they are fortunate enough to have because they are very needy and they do not have perhaps all the education that some of the tory party perhaps have, that they have been less fortunate in many, many ways.
[111] There are also there are many, many people with special needs who don't have much element of choice about their lives.
[112] The thing about community life is that ... even setting aside the actual word arts ... through the way in which community arts workers work with small groups of people who have come together because they're doing something interesting because it looks something that they want to do, brings groups of people together.
[113] That's then produces people talking to each other.
[114] It then helps them to share their problems, it then encourages them.
[115] Because they start talking they realise that there's something that they can do about their problems and then they can start to campaign.
[116] Now, to help those problems.
[117] Now that might stand ... oh you say, blurgh, y'know, rubbish [...] you you just sort of depend [...] in this particular way, it's not.
[118] Community arts is a very, very important part of the community development.
[119] It is through these means that the people, our people, all the people in this city many of them ... bound together and then able to go out and think about their ... civic lives if you like, their civic, the way th that this council works perhaps and take part much more in ... just go in and putting little crosses on pieces of paper maybe.
[120] People who have never voted before might think yes I suppose that's how we change things.
[121] ... By getting together and talking to each other in this way.
[122] That's what community development is about, that's what community arts is about.
[123] To say that it's not value for money, how can you.
[124] I had this ... councillor mentioned this morning that Mr community arts [...] erm until April and [...] Russell Street self image problem.
[125] Working with adults who have suffered or are suffering from mental illness using drawing and slide photography.
[126] This is not value for money, we're working with very, very needy people in our community.
[127] We can't just turn round and say right scrap this whole and very valuable part of this council's work [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [clapping]
(PS4U2) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [128] I I would support the community arts programme but I would point out that many elements of it are er the kind of things that technically are the responsibility of the county council's [...] services department.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [129] Although I don't, I don't support any the less for that.
[130] Er Mr Mayor there's only one point I I I want to make an and that is this is a rather typical conservative budget.
[131] I I was hoping for something different this year and for a budget that erm er proposed that didn't depend on er us taking far more from reserves than any other party.
[132] But this one does the same thing as ever.
[133] Er, the main part of conservatives er saving on the council tax is by taking, comes from taking eight hundred thousand pounds [...] than anybody else.
[134] Erm, if you compare for example erm their real savings on er er budgetary items er it comes to about half a million, just over half a million er compared to the ones we're putting forward about a third of million and if you look at the dips in the two budgets for that you'll see that erm we disagree with their saving on community arts and [...] that er they propose saving on in on information technology costs is unrealistic er that market is changing very rapidly there's another large organisation in this city which has found us going down track which we are now proposing to down, has produced no income at all, no no no reduction in cost at all .
[135] Erm so I don't think that one's achievable erm ... I think what this amounts to is that erm there are two cuts that we don't agree with er there's a vast [...] on reserves we don't agree with but we managed to put forward a thousand pounds for education at the same time erm i this does strike me as a budget of a party which it knows has no prospect of any sort of responsibility in this council for a long time to come.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [136] I'd just like to to address two points which.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [137] Which none of my colleagues seem prepared to direct to.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...] [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [138] Nonetheless the public has a right to know [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [139] That, that is the the questions which we've raised councillor over the contingency plan and also the three point five percent as opposed to.
[140] I think they're unfair questions to to respond to erm ... if you look at the potential calls on the contingency budget in the forthcoming year ... they're [...] been outlined by the officers.
[141] The first is the reduced [...] subsidy grant for council tax housing benefit.
[142] You can blame the government for that.
[143] The second is the increased take up of council tax housing benefits which we anticipate, you can blame the government for that.
[144] The third is the interest on [...] which will be unknown until the council's tax starts rolling in.
[145] You can blame the government for that.
[146] Support in court costs in respect of Sunday training, trading ... you can actually blame the government for that as well, for not sorting the mess out.
[147] The fifth is the Abbey Pool Parkside Pool non-closure ... potentially.
[148] And then you can't blame the government.
[149] But [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [150] Might be able to blame [...] constitutionalist [laughing] [...] [] .
[151] Erm ... and that I think, the response therefore to to your position on financial figures for the contingency fund is if you sort the government out we might be able to.
[152] The second point on the three point five percent turnover [...] .
[153] In the past three years we've adopted a three percent turnover [...] .
[154] We have not ever yet achieved a fourteen point two turnover [...] and I grant you that at Christmas we were up, just under the four percent mark.
[155] It's predicted for the end of this year that we will be under four percent on our turnover savings.
[156] Now those are in years for consistently what we have done is we have held those savings in order to do what we said earlier, [...] prune this council back and we structured the organisation by pruning back on staff and that's why th the vacancies had run as high as they have.
[157] Now, given that so much of that pruning has already been done and given that even given that situation we have never yet reached four percent contingent er turnover savings, I think it highly unlikely and so do the officers, that they will be achieved this year.
[158] Finally we did look once again at that area of the budget when you put that in.
[159] We got advice from the officers that three point five percent might be achieved and therefore we we acted on that advice in making the amendments which we did.
[160] I think that's a prudent way of going about things, it's responsive t to to the questions which you might possibly have read and but it doesn't make over optimistic assessments about the likely savings that the council control.
(PS4U2) [161] Councillor [...] second it.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [162] Thank you Mr Mayor.
[163] ... My modest er ... surprise at the beginning Mr Mayor was purely in recognition actually of my er colleagues presentation, bearing in mind all the previous criticism about ... being specific.
[164] If I may say so [...] very well councillor and you were specific and indeed backed up the particular figures, even though of course one is entitled to the [...] that I thought it was fair and well argued.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [165] But ... the first thing that's ... the first thing to bear in mind, the first thing to bear in mind of course is had our previous proposals in other years been accepted Mr Mayor we would need it as it were to make these cuts from this year.
[166] The second point is that of course as we accept [...] into the role of opposition indeed to give these alternative proposals, give this particulary case to come within the government guidelines.
[167] But I think of course we can all debate er the various individual proposals and I think if we were in control of the council not only of course would we have different policies but the sort of detailed matters which would come up in debate would be discussed in committee, things would be [...] in the normal way.
[168] So it's not ... necessarily ... that one has to be too critical of all the individual items in the way that some people have.
[169] The fact remains that we as a council if we wish to, can meet a proper prudent budget and the alternative proposals tonight, which is really the the er unfortunate ones which would appear to be going through, are really not recognisable, that this is not the time ... to impose additional council tax or anything else on the people of this city when generally speaking their personal finances are not at their best.
[170] This council ... is not sympathetic to that councillor.
[171] Er, basically this council will spend what it will, whatever the guidelines.
[172] Our role is to propose a prudent council tax and that is what we've done and at the end of the day I agree, the figures are juggled one way or another but it does show a net saving of one point three million ... and however you look at it Mr Mayor I'm sure the leader of the council, if he adopted these proposals, could then find somewhere a sum for a stress control officer.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
(PS4U2) [173] It was ... in the original setting [...] we realise the zany difference between myself and Chris that when Graham gets up to speak the earth moves [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [174] This is
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [175] and many of the matters have been dealt with erm ... I think by speakers on various sides of chamber.
[176] W what I [...] go for are two major points I think which actually demonstrate the fallaciousness of this budget that has been proposed to us as an amendment.
[177] The first is how much at variance it is with what actually a conservative government seems to expect.
[178] And that seems to be to demonstrate ... difference between what is happening whether we like it or not at ... central government level and input of somebody who is [...] perpetual [...] of opposing propositions [...] and that is the [...] to two particular ... items within this alternative budget.
[179] The first is the cut in public relations.
[180] We are being told time and time and time again, I think [...] once more talking about this, about openness and the need for the public to know.
[181] I'm personally going to throw up ... being told that this is [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [182] This is actually essential.
[183] Cutting public relations actually means saying to people in this city, you have got less access to information from the council.
[184] We're not trying to say to people, the information is there come in and get it, we're actually trying to present it to them.
[185] Whether they're [...] the citizens' charter, whether they are [...] response to people from the press or from the public or constantly ringing in to the switchboard, or whether it's by all the other ways in which we disseminate information.
[186] This is something which [...] the government has learned how to do, so I must think that this is highly motivated politically on their part, given the way in which the difference between public information and conservative party political propaganda is becoming a blur to [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [187] Erm ... that this council had a tradition of actually putting forward information in as straightforward a way as possible and indeed the [...] attitude of the citizens' er charter working party demonstrates that we actually put a value on this and it seems to me that there is a gap if you like, between what some people in the conservative group are doing in this context and what they're actually doing in working parties and in committees and it comes out elsewhere as well.
[188] Community groups, the community services budget in general.
[189] It's very interesting that the only way in which one [...] tory hand went up in support in community services committee for any of the things we had before us and I can only worry, was only because the [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [190] And they said, well ... you know, we was there [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [191] How long is he going to be la leader of the group [...] y'know [...] .
[192] On the ground when we look at services, your voters, your supporters and group not only in the budget [...] .
[193] We are talking about care in the community, we know there a [...] on ... [...] routine fifty thousand pounds extra to community voluntary groups which we can well afford it flies in the face of the [...] group, the instincts of the people that we represent and what the government is expecting.
[194] This ... is a bogus budget and we will happily throw it out with a fairly strong vote.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
(PS4U2) [195] Would you like us to take it in roman numeral order.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
(PS4U2) [196] [...] least you can do [...] .
[197] Thank you, okay, all those in favour of the amendment please show ... and all those against ... the new found conservative [...] .
[198] Right, can we [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [199] [...] Mr Mayor if I may ... amendment if I may.
(PS4U2) [200] Another amendment.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [201] A very brief one I'm pleased to say.
[202] ... [...] this is a fair chance ... I think Mr Mayor this amendment is very self explanatory, I think we seek to reinstate the noise budget pollution [...] to its original thirty thousand.
[203] The twenty thousand required to make that spend will come out of public conveniences budget.
[204] ... I think I speak for the vast majority of the environmental health committee when I say that the abatement and noise pollution has been one of our ongoing major concerns in things for the last twelve months.
[205] ... Noise Mr Mayor, is one of today's great irritants.
[206] Be it industrial, domestic or social it is a major cause of neighbour disputes.
[207] The problem is particulary acute in the evenings and at night when parties, music and other noise sources ... can have most effect.
[208] I'm sure we can all recall cases of being driven to distraction by blaring music and late night noise especially during the working week.
[209] The purpose of thirty thousand Mr Mayor, will be to extend the night time quiet service to all seven nights of the week.
[210] This will have great benefits for residents across the city who currently have little redress against any midweek neighbours making undue noise.
[211] As you know Mr Mayor, we are inside the chamber, don't believe in spending any more than is absolutely necessary in any part of any budget so rather than spend any extra money we are proposing an extra twenty thousand be taken out of the public conveniences budget.
[212] In the original proposals there was in fact scope for savings of a hundred and ten thousand pounds in this budget.
[213] In the event we agreed to only save seventy nine thousand pounds.
[214] As you can see therefore, there is at least some scope for further savings without actually causing undue pressure to this particular budget.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [215] As with all financial decisions Mr Mayor, this one comes down to a matter o a question of priority.
[216] This group places extremely high priority on the abatement of noise pollution and I hope it's something we can all support.
(PS4U2) [217] Councillor I I had to admit that I'm slightly lost in that one A ... now ends as I understand it ... with the roman numeral three that was proposed in the labour amendment.
[218] That is now the end because of the difference [...] of one A but if you're proposing that this comes at the end of one A, you're proposing to tack it on to the end of roman numeral three in the labour amendment as was the council's [...] which I take it, was not what you intend its effect to be.
[219] So could you please reformulate ... if you so wish, your amendment so that it comes in the appropriate point.
[220] ... Okay so, [...] .
[221] ... You want this added at the end of roman numeral four.
[222] ... Councillor [...] .
[223] Sorry is there a seconder for the amendment?
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [224] Er yes Mr Mayor, I would severely question the effect of this amendment in two parts and erm [...] the second part er restoring the bit for noise er if ... er we don't take a vote for [...] public conveniences.
[225] Er the erm ... the environmental health check I think he did discuss it at fantastic length, the question of our public lavatories an an and the savings that can be made and the judgement it came to in the end was a, was a very [...] one I think on the outlook against of what you can reasonably do, erm nevertheless I do gather that erm erm it is no longer necessary under standing orders, for erm amendments to the budget to be self financing because you can move amendments to simply increase the budget and er the amendment that I reserve I suppose, it's not very much.
(PS4U2) [226] Councillor .
Gloucester (PS4U7) [227] Yes well we as councillor has said, be it both of these matters should be discussed at great length by [...] .
[228] On the question of the public conveniences erm I feel ... there's been a lot of discussion about this, this kind of issue and I feel that what we've got now is a good agreement erm, we've got ... still providing a good level of service with attendance at the central ... I don't like referring to conveniences, at the time that they are most needed and I think that now I wouldn't like to see us go without that if we don't really need to.
[229] On the other issue ... the noise pollution again I feel quite strongly about this.
[230] I mean, this authority is actually erm the only authority [...] the council is providing a call out service at all.
[231] I think we are providing a good service here and we're meeting ... the needs of people erm we are providing a service on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday now at the times which are identified by officers as the crucial times when people actually need the service.
[232] Ipswich for example, was providing a full service and has now actually gone to the times that we're providing.
[233] They've actually gone from a full service back to this level because this is what they've found is what people need and obviously this is surely what we should be able to do, erm I think that ... you know by providing the extra ten thousand my concern now is that we actually make sure that our offices are fully covered here.
[234] The spend accounted to quite dangerous situations sometimes.
[235] We've got now quite a lot of new officers who don't necessarily have the experience of dealing with the situations.
[236] They may [...] need to go out in pairs which is why I think that we do need to put more money into the budget to provide ... this service and make sure that we're doing it in the best possible way, erm ... so I mean I think that it's very important that we're consistent about this.
[237] I think that to go to a full service [...] that is actually what's moving, go back again is actually just confusing the people.
[238] I think that people need to know what we are providing so we need to be monitoring, continually monitoring that this is actually at the times it's meeting people's needs and I'm sure that we will be hearing from members if it wasn't, and we're not I mean it seems to me that the level of services provided now is very satisfactory and we shouldn't y'know, obviously give our officers support to continue [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [239] Here, here.
(PS4U2) [240] Councillor .
Smith (PS4U8) [241] Right, agree with what councillor and councillor have had to say about the first part of this.
[242] I think we've already discussed over great length and I think we've gone as far as we can go at this moment.
[243] On the second part, well nobody feels more strongly that I do about the problems of noise pollution and I ... agree entirely there er with what councillor has to say but may I remind members that this council did have a full service for a six months period, you all seem to have forgotten that, we did have a full service, an experimental one ... which ran for six months, er we were advised by the officers at the end of that period it was not necessary to run the full seven day a week service, it was not necessary ... we are still being advised that that is not necessary, that is the advice we were given at the last committee meeting and er the majority of members supported that.
[244] Now I will give my pledge Mr Mayor that if and when the situation arises that a full service is required and needed, it will get my full support, er I hope it's not, but if it should arise I would have no hesitation in supporting the second part of the amendment.
[245] I don't know if any of you saw very recently, the horrific programme which was on television dealing with this problem in some of the London boroughs and god forbid if we ever reach that stage erm because it is quite horrific so I do think that although we have a problem, our problem is mainly confined to the weekend.
(PS4U2) [246] Councillor
Nevis (PS4U9) [247] Thank you Mr Mayor, yes just briefly erm.
[248] At the present time and in er ... the public [...] fund and the health committee we did decide to have a review after [...] so I think that is actually in control [...] I don't think we should mess about with it any more at this point.
[249] Erm, on the ... emergency call out I getting surprised that this council insist that ... it's lit if we don't need it er at all service, I'm sure, I'm quite certain that we have never been told that ... there's always been a question of anything that goes to actually give us a better call out service [...] .
(PS4U2) [250] Councillor I second it.
Evans (PS4UA) [251] Thank you erm, I'd just like to digress slightly to start off with.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Evans (PS4UA) [252] I feel I must ... if anyone in my [...] in my ward ... there are two rounds.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Evans (PS4UA) [253] At this moment, Stretton Avenue and Harvey Goodwin Avenue.
[254] They put traffic calming down Stretton Avenue, the result of this was that the traffic then moved round to Harvey Goodwin Avenue so ... j to avoid going over the humps ... they go up Harvey Goodwin Avenue.
[255] The re the reason I bring this up, the reason I bring this up, you've supported that in the past you know, they've said, those in the [...] you would agree with that, so the reason I bring this up is that ... if you ... we start off by offering a full service across the whole week.
[256] Then what happens is we say well we don't need the service of noise abatement Monday, Tuesday, Wednesdays erm so what we'll do is we will concentrate on Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
[257] Now ... one of the things that we have in this city that I don't think they have as many [...] in Ipswich ... are students and that must be one of the biggest, they are they party revellers of the century, they have parties all the time.
[258] So [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Evans (PS4UA) [259] For parties, they are quite a bright lot of students, if we are operating Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, they say aha ... there's no service Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Evans (PS4UA) [260] They start having parties on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Evans (PS4UA) [261] They're not too worried about getting up for work the next day.
[262] They may get up at ten or eleven.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Evans (PS4UA) [263] Ten or eleven for lectures, erm that [...] ... erm I I think that the [...] is is quite a strong reason, well the other reason is at the weekends are we providing enough cover?
[264] Is there enough cover?
[265] I was told today by, well I am actually through the process at the moment, where I'm acting as a witness in a case, erm for for noise ... erm ... so, well I checked.
[266] So ... the environmental health officer that is dealing with that said to me that he is very stretched at weekends.
[267] People are ringing up and [...] no I'm sorry I can't come out because I'm too busy.
[268] Seven or eight calls on one night.
[269] One of the problems is ... that you can't say one night you may get seven or eight calls.
[270] The next night you may get two.
[271] The poor chap's having to get up at two or three o'clock in the morning, this is being paid for it.
[272] I was quite surprised to see he was wide eyed and quite awake when when he came to my flat.
[273] But the point is.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Evans (PS4UA) [274] If you're going to, if you're going to provide the service you have to be careful that it, it is being effective, as effective as it can be, does it need to be more effective and should it be operating all week.
[275] I actually believe it should be operating all week and I think we should support this amendment.
[276] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [clapping]
(PS4U2) [277] [...] councillor [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [278] Mr Mayor, I do feel after councillor er er er [...] speech I just have to make a little comment erm people in my ward [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [279] But having [...] I could just tell councillor that the main problems which he felt he had to bring into this debate [...] , the main problem is parking across the driveways in Harvey Goodwin Avenue, both the residents get very fed up because the parking [...] .
[280] I accept that there is a certain [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...] [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [281] Do these cars parking across driveways have horns blowing?
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
(PS4U2) [282] I do detect a certain er levity here [...] ... I would point out that it is now twenty five past nine and we still haven't [...] this afternoon's business.
[283] There is a lot left to do so can we please er try and stick to the point I have to chair [...] right to respond should he so chose, but not about the cars in Stretton Avenue.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [284] I mean I I take this more more seriously ... [...] my [...] on Wednesdays and Thursdays have to be cancelled now because they will be [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [285] And Fridays and Saturday clearly a time when they get their heads down and write their essays.
[286] Now [...] my experience of the average student of this [...] .
[287] ... We we got lots of evidence to suggest that actually the amount of noise problem outside weekends is actually [...] and we don't actually have the staff to actually deal with this problem without considerably more expenditure than anybody in this council is actually talking about and our tendency towards this [...] erm again this is a bid of of what's [...] it sounds good and [...] as as to the public conveniences ... this has been liaised it's been negotiated about, it's been looked at very, very expansively indeed.
[288] We've now got a good package which saves us nearly eighty thousand pounds and to actually undo all of that and create an awful lot of public disquiet plus a [...] problem with regard to potential redundancy to [...] particular saving that accommodates this [...] as the absolutely completely inane ... and except for where it came from, I would be gobsmacked if it came [...] tonight.
(PS4U2) [289] Right, can we please move forward to the vote on this item.
[290] Proposed as it's been suggest by councillor [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
(PS4U2) [291] Those who would wish to take it in parts please show ... those against taking it in parts this evening ... we will vote on it as one amendment in that case.
[292] Those in favour of the amendment please show ... those against the amendment please show ... thank you.
[293] ... Do I have to call the abstentions?
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
(PS4U2) [294] Please, in the absence of any further amendments, we now move back to the [...] motion ... and give councillors the opportunity to debate the [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
(PS4U2) [295] [...] does have the right to stand up on his hind legs again.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [296] No.
(PS4U2) [297] Good, thank you very much.
[298] Those in favour of the [...] I did want to say something [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
(PS4U2) [299] It was very good of you to offer but er er I I did restrain myself, I was going to, I was going to talk about [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
(PS4U2) [300] Those in favour of the substantive motion please show ... and those against ... and my cast.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
(PS4U2) [301] I'll give my casting vover [laugh] vote in favour of the substated motion.
[302] ... Right, if we can now pass on to item ninety three A seven.
[303] ... Comments [...] no, thank you very much, ninety two A eight, sorry ninety two [...] , ninety three A eight sorry, capital resources.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [304] Ninety three A eight I would like to ask a question Mr Mayor.
[305] The same question I asked at city hall, it's slightly different in that now the council has left two and a half [...] available over the next erm three years given that it is not already taken.
[306] We've made it clear what we would do with the money, I still would like to know what the labour group plan to do with it?
(PS4U2) [307] I I have an amendment [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [308] [...] some sense is a technical amendment in that we know that there are a whole series of schemes which we [...] which have been [...] .
[309] Erm which it is the intent of this council to actually pursue for, y'know a wide variety of reasons.
[310] In addition we clearly want to have a relatively small scale of capital fund available for a wide variety of the needs and I have identified ... leisure uses, traffic calming, environmental improvements, that's the ones which I [...] .
[311] Okay we [...] a major cause of some five hundred thousand pounds and we give addition to the three point six five one million which has been identified in this amendment.
[312] And it would be helpful ... for councillor I would say that I know that there are [...] a third of our members [...] and from the program committees for capital expenditure which I suspect is going to be to excess ... of the five hundred thousand pounds per year which we actually have.
[313] Now that will need to be assessed by the council as a whole against it's priorities with regard to the balancing of the use of capital against capital to prop up the revenue er ... expenditure of the council and conceivably er to deal with the problems arising er out of government er ... legislation and clearly we are going to have to make some decisions decisions about this.
[314] But there is undoubtedly a need for council expenditure in this city and elsewhere in this particularly recommendation we clearly have [...] to realise more capital whether from the judiciousness of our asset or of course by [...] .
[315] It seems to me that all of us in this chamber have at one time or another, wanted to actually spend money erm it comes [...] programme of committees, I don't think it's behoved upon me at the moment to transgress ... on what programme committees are actually [...] er but to predict exactly where they will want their expenditure to go but I do know is that there is a huge backlog of member generated aspirations in terms of the environmental improvements, traffic calming [...] facilities, particulary [...] which I suspect were actually generated mildly in excess of the figures which we have before us tonight which is why we clearly leave open that further bids against capital can be made in the course of the next three years, erm which will be assessed against the overall financial position of the council and I think the council [...] much more than that.
(PS4U2) [316] Is there a seconder for that?
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
(PS4U2) [317] Thank you [...] ... reserving your right ... the debate on [...] please ... yes that's right, [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [318] [...] my my guess is that [...] by a side wind er can mix all the erm ... items on the list, terms would include erm maybe committed and maybe not committed expenditure [...] expenditure and that if it does affect [...] because erm there are some items erm in the erm not clear whether it's committed or not [...] Market Square er which we don't want to support.
[319] We think th th th th ... a good idea erm but an extravagance at this point.
[320] But I would like to clarify exactly what the effect of this amendment is on the question of ... erm ... council's policy on the items already on the list.
[321] [...] not been debated as part of the capital programme.
[322] [...] have a capital programme in obviously the sense that it would be difficult to get that [...] suggest.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [323] [...] I understand your concern an and were that the case [...] show your reluctance to go with the the amendment but [...] there is no such implication that the three point six five one million er [...] er thereby becomes committed in any sense and the big [...] this is an additional provision which may lead er may [...] gone up to er over and above that but it doesn't actually admit it to that.
[324] ... Okay, and I I think that as long as that's [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [325] [...] this is an, this is an additional amendment it's neither, it's neither specific nor unquantified.
[326] Cos that's what the answers in that figure are [...] .
(PS4U2) [327] Is there any further discussion on the amendment?
[328] ... No, councillor in that case ... no.
[329] [...] no, [...] .
[330] Those in favour please show ... those in favour of the amendment please show ... thank you and against ... none, okay, it's carried [...] .
[331] I wanted to say [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
(PS4U2) [332] Ninety three A nine ... right, we now turn to the document of the housing committee, ninety three G one.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [333] Yes Councillor .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [334] Thank you Mr Mayor, I I just.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
(PS4U2) [335] Any further interests, no, in that case councillor .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [336] Thank you Mr Mayor, erm I I want to be very brief Mr Mayor, that the debate on houses and rent increases has taken place and has been well aired over recent weeks and I don't have any intention tonight of re-debating those issues.
[337] My colleagues and I actually take no pleasure in agreeing to a rent increase which results in the highest public sector rates among our neighbouring districts er it is some eighteen percent higher than the average of eight local councils.
[338] Erm, the answer in our minds is to take positive steps to reduce the housing revenue account debt burden, a matter which we will continue to bate, to debate until something is done about it.
[339] We intend to participate fully in the promised review of housing revenue account expenditure which is er coming later in this year.
[340] I want to address the remainder of my, of my ri remarks Mr Mayor if I may, to the liberal democrats er ... party.
[341] Although basically
(PS4U2) [342] [...] you can still address them to me.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [343] Although er er physically on my right I I think their policies, in so far as I glean they have any, er are most definitely far from the right.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [344] More than John Major anyway.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [345] Their housing spokesman recently Mr Mayor was quoted ... as saying that the trouble is it is very difficult to think of a solution.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [346] When there isn't one.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [347] That surely Mr Mayor is the very essence of politics, to come up with a modern solution to today's problems.
[348] No one every said it was going to be easy.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [349] So Mr Mayor I would like to repeat my recent challenge to the liberal party.
[350] If you have a policy for housing, or anything else for that matter, how about sharing it with the rest of us, right and until you come up with an alternative policy, don't you start knocking us for having a policy which we are prepared to debate.
[351] Thank you Mr Mayor.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [352] We might as well be councillor and actually sort of erm ... stated the problem to which it is very difficult to find a solution and that problem is how do you keep council rents below nine and a half percent, that is a problem to which councillor does not have a solution.
[353] Councillor regrets that er we're bringing council rents up by nine and half percent but what we're doing is in fact precisely what his government is recommending us to do, so I'm a little sup so would councillor kindly at some point explain why he regrets his own government's policy.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [354] Erm, take some time off to read erm the handbook we got from the housing finance seminar because clearly he doesn't understand his contacts.
[355] Yes, look I'm sorry we've got to raise rents by nine and a half percent.
[356] Unfortunately the government is assuming that's all we are doing so they're cutting housing subsidy accordingly and we would have been left with no choice, that's all there is to be said on the matter.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [357] Neither have you.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [358] Thank you Mr Mayor erm I think for a for a tory councillor er if even form the shape of er.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [359] To choose er erm the labour party er [...] housing er strategy, their housing policy is ... well [...] gobsmacking but given that this is going to be recorded [...] perhaps not a very good idea.
[360] It abhors me, it hurts me [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [361] Ah [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [362] With regard to the now unimportant four percent increase which then if you may [...] made I'm sure [...] councillors deny it and if we are to believe [...] ... the reason that ... we have to bring our rents to this level is because government policy so dictates that we shall do.
[363] And the reason that ... rents in Cambridge are higher than in those in surrounding areas, or the eight that the councillor is talking about is because the rent levels which er the government require us to raise to are historically based on right to buy values and as he knows as well as I do, house prices in Cambridge have been relatively consistently higher than they have in surrounding areas.
[364] Our rent levels have always been in line ... in the case of [...] tenants guidelines and I of course there were savings that [...] about is insufficient [...] in in in [...] areas.
[365] Erm, in ... we were not sitting here at the end of our, how many years is it now, thirteen, fourteen years.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [366] Er of tory [...] council and policy ... perhaps we would not have to be saying to our tenants ... that we must raise you rents by nine point four percent this year and let's not forget seventeen nine, I think seventeen point six percent last year that were government guidelines.
[367] This is tory policy.
[368] ... Thank you.
(PS4U2) [369] Is there any further debate on ninety three two one?
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
(PS4U2) [370] Right in that case can we do it to ninety three T twenty.
[371] ... Erm, ... [...] yes, under standing order thirteen ... and permission of the council erm I do call upon the chair as he introduced this item, do I have your consent so to do?
[372] ... Yes, thank you very much.
[373] Councillor .
Thomson (PS4U5) [374] Thank you er er Mr Mayor, erm ... I knew we would get to that part of the agenda where [...] .
[375] I just want to briefly introduce this, I don't want to speak in any great [...] , we have had a long debate in house [...] do you if you wish to engage in a long debate again in view of the time tonight.
[376] The reason that this has been brought on, the reason that this er er agenda item brought to housing committee was basically er because it was there and er ... it's I think it's repulsive to bring forward to housing committee any ... er government regulations or [...] we need to look at debating [...] and er and that's basically the reason.
[377] Erm, I think I'll leave it at that for this moment in time and er if I may speak ... at at the end [...] .
(PS4U2) [378] You'll have the right to ... [...] .
[379] Erm, any further ... [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [380] Yes Mr Mayor I I have an amendment Mr Mayor.
[381] The amendment is very simple, members will have read it already before it gets flagged on on the wall.
[382] It is the alternative recommendation that we put forward to housing committee last week.
[383] ... Erm ... now councillor and I asked for this matter to be brought to this chamber because erm we felt that ... the matter w was important enough that all members of this council should have an opportunity to debate it.
[384] The background of the the the subject is, as far as I can work out, that the council main approaches to two housing associations with a view to obtaining their erm ideas on how a scheme to transfer void properties to the housing associations would work.
[385] This erm approach would have enabled the council to obtain ... some capital receipts under the terms of the chancellor's Autumn statement.
[386] The report ... that was put to committee by the the officers have arguments which I feel are fatuous, fallacious, erroneous and at best equivocal.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [387] Ooh.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [388] It puts forward a spurious long term disadvantages as reasons why we should ignore the short term benefits offered to us up to the end of this calendar year.
[389] The, another point is that that having raised the hopes of the housing associations ... the council is now actually ... trying to close a door that that we ourselves opened and this is tantamount to paying lip service to the health and the housing associations, yes, we'll support you but not if it means that we have to sell you our houses.
[390] Er ... the housing associations approached ... both have better records than us for rent collection and better records on void times.
[391] That is to say that no matter how much we ... are improving our performance, the associations have already beaten us to it and that, Mr Mayor, I would suggest is a very good case for transferring all our stock to housing associations ... and ... there is one final point I would like to make Mr Mayor.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [392] Mr Mayor, in a recent conversation with the minister of housing.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [393] Ooh.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [394] I was informed ... I was informed, Mr Mayor, that even labour controlled Leicester and labour controlled Sheffield have at last seen the wisdom of making capital receipts from hous er council house sales.
[395] These councils have found that they have more cash available with which to repair, maintain and improve their remaining stock and that is a lesson which we in Cambridge will be well advised to listen.
[396] I ask this council to ignore the recommendation from the housing committee and to support me in passing this amendment.
[397] Thank you.
(PS4U2) [398] Thank you.
[399] Is there a seconder for the amendment?
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
(PS4U2) [400] Who was it that mentioned tweedle dum and tweedle dee?
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh] [...]
(PS4U2) [401] Councillor please.
(PS4U2) [402] Oh dear.
[403] ... Erm well first, I mean I'm sorry to hear you're keeping some bad company Stephen [laughing] [...] bad news [] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
(PS4U2) [404] [sigh] Where to begin.
[405] I think the that the first thing to say is that one of the reason why ... this option ... this paper was asked for was that we, so we could actually begin to look to see whether or not trickle transfer made sense in Cambridge.
[406] Now you can't do that without going and asking ... think with the organisations such as housing associations, some factor information about where we would stand if we decide to go down that route.
[407] So we're not raising their expectations [...] that this is going to go ahead, that this is the committee policy of this council.
[408] We're just asking, if we chose to do this what would happen from your point of view.
[409] What would be the ... the consequences of it.
[410] I mean you can't actually examine the options without asking the question so, ... I mean I just think that's a rather foolish point to introduce into a into the debate there.
[411] Housing association is [...] time to rent arrears.
[412] Now come on Stephen you were at the same debate that I was at, the housing committee.
[413] Now we know some of the reasons behind the [...] time situation.
[414] Councillor our our void times are are are very good in terms of the turnaround.
[415] Now there are certain measures which housing associations enter into which we don't and for good reasons ... which enable then to have perhaps in, on occasions, to have slightly lower turnaround times, okay.
[416] Now we went through that.
[417] One of them was the fact that housing associations ask for the keys is or ask for notification up to a month in advance of the fact that someone's going to leave and that is not something which in terms of our stock, we find practical to do.
[418] So we've been through quite a lot of those and it's it, the case doesn't really stack up.
[419] ... Again we're back to the ... the the same arguments on the capital receipt and I don't intend to begin re-rehearsing those [...] but quite frankly, I mean I wouldn't claim by any [...] to have a vast or a ... a slightly deeper knowledge of housing finance but obviously since you've been on the council the same length of time as I have, I mean you've got even less.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [420] Ooh.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [421] Councillor [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [422] Yes well as in the c , Mr Mayor as in the case of the active promotion of right to buy nonsense.
[423] The argument in favour of er trickle transfer is fundamentally weak because we can't trust the government not to take the money away from us.
[424] The argument against trickle transfer is that it makes a nonsense of rational [...] rational housing management.
[425] What we ought to be aiming for is more localised revolved estate management.
[426] We should be more efficient and we should be more responsive to the needs of tenants.
[427] Now trickle transfer will do exactly the opposite.
[428] You'll what you'll end up with is different organisations managing houses scattered all over the city.
[429] This will lead to higher management costs per household.
[430] It means it it's going to be inefficient, it's going to be less responsive to tenant's needs.
[431] Now I'm sure the minister, councillor would like us to be more efficient and he would like us to be more responsive to tenants needs so let's do what the minister ask would like us to do and vote against this conservative amendment.
(PS4U2) [432] Yes cou councillor [...] councillor is second [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
(PS4U2) [433] Yes councillor [...]
Price (PS4U3) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Price (PS4U3) [434] I I think it's just words that [...] briefly talking about that issue [...] office states because I think in terms of management it just does not make any sense.
[435] I mean, it doesn't make sent I I I'm just saying what [...] is saying there.
[436] I mean yes of course we should live harmoniously together er ... who would y'know, [...] sector of those people who have taken advantage of the right to buy and [...] and so on and so forth but we talking about housing management in about housing management costs and if you have an estate of ... y'know being repaired similar houses which a lot of our estates are, it makes sense that they're managed as it were centrally er and because that's the most efficient way of doing it erm if you have a variety of different landlords in er one ... estate or one street and all the houses are similar, when it comes to things like modernisation and so forth it [...] it's duplicated a great deal of ... er er er of work and it is not cost efficient and it doesn't make any common sense at all.
[437] Erm ... and therefore I g I I I do think that is quite a big issue as far as this but all I [...] these these all these arguments have been rehearsed as we've said before, in housing committee, but I would just like to make one point and this is it.
[438] I strongly believe, as I'm sure ... all my group do and I think perhaps many of of of erm [...] opposition, in local authority housing function.
[439] I believe that local authorities should have a strong housing function that we as local authorities should be providing good, well managed social housing in which our tenants have a say, where we have good tenant participation, where we have tenants taking a part in ... the sorts of repairs that they want to see, where every year they are er consulted and asked about where they want us to go next in terms of modernisation and repair.
[440] I think that that is fundamental to ... a local authority, I think ... it is something that we have here in Cambridge, it is a centre of excellence for ... local authority housing.
[441] There may be things that we can improve and I'm damn sure there are and we work hard at
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [clapping]
(PS4U2) [442] Right ... can I ... see those in favour of the amendment, please show.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
(PS4U2) [443] It is your amendment [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
(PS4U2) [444] And all those against, please show ... thank you very much.
[445] ... Now ... call upon members ... oral questions to put their question [...] out on the sheet circulated, the order is determined by the drawing names at random out of a box in the parlour before this meeting.
[446] ... The fact that mine came nine has [laughing] absolutely nothing to do with it [] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
(PS4U2) [447] You are reminded that members are limited to two minutes in asking their questions.
[448] Chairs similarly limited to two minutes in their reply.
[449] The question [...] a [...] to ask a supplementary question referring to the previous answer and that chair must have two minutes to reply to that.
[450] ... Councillor .
Evans (PS4U4) [451] Thank you Mr Mayor.
[452] Councillor ... perhaps you could erm tell us the cost both spent and anticipated of writing this ... rather erm new electoral role leaflet that might be coming out if we feel like it?
Thomson (PS4U5) [453] Fo for [...] I would like to talk at length about my new electoral role [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
Thomson (PS4U5) [454] Erm ... we have always [...] out any er leaflet erm clearly so that people to put their names on the register erm that is a statutory responsibility erm ... the expenditure in excess of what we had er done in the past is actually going to be a very very small amount of one officer's time in redesigning the leaflet erm otherwise the expenditure will remain as it, as it always has for all intents and purposes and I think that answers your question if clearly you have problems about getting people on the electoral register that means there's something about your own electoral [...] .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
(PS4U2) [455] Yes, councillor .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [456] I have no problem at all with that councillor .
[457] What I would say is I just wonder ... what the point of it is ed on the principal of of why fix something if if it ain't broke, wouldn't it be better to perhaps spend officer's time elsewhere rather than fashion designs of three colour printing on new leaflets?
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [458] Erm, all councillors have been been circulated with this.
[459] I've clearly feel that you probably responded by saying that the old one which is led to under registration was perfectly adequate for your needs, which as I said says something about your view of the electoral process.
[460] This I think is actually more likely to get people to register to vote, I think regardless of any party affiliation you all have something to benefit from that and I suspect the vast majority of members of the council will see that any well designed leaflet that gets people to put themselves on the register is to the benefit of democracy.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [461] Here, here.
(PS4U2) [462] Councillor , [...] councillor .
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [463] Thank you Mr Mayor, er there is in Cherry Hinton ... er a new residents association on the ... [...] road, Colville Road estate.
[464] They have identified a number of problem areas which raise some environmental problems to ... very definite housing problems.
[465] We now have in place a new estates officer for Cherry Hinton ... er can I ask that that there is a special report brought to the housing committee er before the summer recess on the possible solutions to the problems that have been identified?
Thomson (PS4U5) [466] Er thank you er councillor erm I would actually welcome the er the new residents association which [...] the area.
[467] I think it's er, I think it covers the largest area for any er one association and er y'know it's g [...] very pleased about that, erm I am aware of your er meeting and I think it it's obvious that all new residents association will identify erm a lot of things which need doing er when they're first formed.
[468] And I think they're actually picking out a particular area for a report is is not necessarily good practice., erm ... I think we can identify er those areas piece by piece we will go through them, they can be brought forward to a variety of areas.
[469] I must ... prepare to say at this point that I have a special report on the Colville Road area ... [...] to er er committee, not just on the [...] now but I think we probably need to have further consultation with regard to the needs in that area.
[470] That has been quite a lot of money er spent in that area and which I'm quite happy to ... talk to you about erm ... I don't need [...] .
[471] I'll leave it at that [...] .
(PS4U2) [472] Thank you, councillor ?
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [473] No I have no supplementary, I'm perfectly satisfied with the reply er thank you.
(PS4U2) [474] Councillor , councillor .
Howarth (PS4U6) [475] Thank you Mr Mayor.
[476] I think we all recognise that traffic issues here in Cambridge are likely to be controversial issues and I think we'd all equally recognise that er the joint traffic management sub- committee has made considerable progress in recent years in the provision of cycle lanes for example, in dealing with illegal parking er on the city's road and in improving the environment for pedestrians in our main shopping streets.
[477] Now, one member of the joint traffic management sub-committee who has been closely associated with all of these three issues is county councillor Tony and I must say, Mr Mayor that I am surprised to say the least by the way in which councillor appears appears to have been treated by some members of the labour party in this city.
[478] I propose that honourable members of this council er would not wish to be associated with such a disgraceful campaign to oust councillor , even if he does have strongly held views and I would like to give councillor as chairman of the environment committee, this opportunity to set the record straight on that point.
(PS4U2) [479] Can I just clarify whether you've asked a question.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
Howarth (PS4U6) [480] I'm giving the chair the opportunity to erm er set the record straight on that point, that's my question.
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Gloucester (PS4U7) [481] Right, well I've been waiting since er what is it twelve o'clock this morning, what on earth this question can be and I certainly didn't er come up with this possible ... [...] , erm all I can say is that I have always got on extremely well with Tony and [...] .
(PS4U2) [482] Good.
[483] Do you wish to ask a supplementary question?
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JT8PSUNK) [laugh]
(PS4U2) [484] [...] councillor to the councillor .
Evans (PS4UA) [485] Erm, well my question about the break-in at the Kingsway flats launderette, erm ... in the launderette the facilities are controlled by a vending machine built into the wall.
[486] To collect the takings, er from the vending machine you have to go through the adjacent community room into a small box room at the far end.
[487] In that small box room you can gain access to the rear of the er vending machine.
[488] About three weeks ago, well let me just, the money actually falls into a tray at the bottom of the vending machine which literally slides in and out, it's a very quick method and c could
(PS4U2) [489] Councillor could I just perhaps request that you perhaps don't make it quite so easy for any future break-ins.