Members of County and City Council committees

This article was published in 2004, in Newsletter 55.

Since the City Council elections there have been a few changes to the membership of some committees which are of particular importance to the Cambridge Cycling Campaign.

The Committee which we follow most closely is the main decision-making body for transport matters – the Cambridge Environment and Transport Area Joint Committee, usually referred to as the Cambridge AJC. This Committee has councillor members from both Cambridge City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council – hence ‘joint’. South Cambridgeshire also has an Environment and Transport Area Joint Committee but so far we haven’t given much attention to its proceedings. The main responsibility for transport matters rests with the County Council rather than either the City Council or South Cambridgeshire District Council.

County Council Officers bring issues to the AJC and recommend whether schemes should be accepted or rejected by the Councillor members. For example, at the July meeting, the issues discussed were two-way cycling in Trinity Street and St John’s Street, possible traffic lights at the Fen Causeway-Lensfield Road junction, Milton Road bus priority (Mitcham’s corner to Arbury Road), Riverside traffic management near the proposed cycle bridge, and much more. Papers for each meeting are circulated to Councillors about ten days in advance. These include descriptions of the schemes to be discussed, Officers’ reports and results of consultations. Councillors meet their party political colleagues on the AJC before the meeting to decide on their policy, but there is then much discussion at the AJC meetings and sometimes opinions are changed or modified. We usually collect a copy of the papers ten days before the meeting; this gives us very little time to draft the submissions that we make to Councillors before their party meetings. If we want to talk directly to the Committee at the meeting, we can only do so if we submit a fifty-signature petition in advance.

Membership of the AJC is as follows:

City Councillors: Alan Baker (LD), Kevin Blencowe (L), Marie-Louise Holland (LD), Elizabeth Hughes (L), Sian Reid (LD), Colin Rosenstiel (LD). County Councillors: Joe Gluza (L), Julian Huppert (LD), Anne Kent (LD), Alex Reid (LD), John Reynolds (C), Colin Shaw (L). Chair: Sian Reid (LD), Vice Chair: Julian Huppert (LD).

We also keep a close eye on matters coming before the City Council’s Planning Committee. The main issues we are concerned with at Planning Committee meetings are cycle parking and cycle access in any new developments. For example, cycle parking at Cambridge Leisure (the old Cattle Market site), keeping access open through developments which affect the ‘Chisholm Trail’ and cycle parking and access to it for the Grand Arcade development have all come before the Planning Committee. On many recent occasions we have been given an opportunity to address the Committee when cycling issues arise in relation to some particular planning application.

Membership of the Planning Committee is as follows:

Jenny Bailey (LD), Alan Baker (LD), Kevin Blencowe (L), Mike Dixon (LD), Robert Dryden (L), John Hipkin (LD), Sian Reid (LD), Phillippa Slatter (LD), Richard Smith (L). Chair: Alan Baker (LD) Vice Chair: John Hipkin (LD).

If time and resources allow, we think that we should pay more attention to the proceedings of the City Council’s Environment Committee which are often relevant for cycling in Cambridge. The members are:

Donald Adey (LD), Alan Baker (LD), Ben Bradnack (L), Sheila Churchill (LD), John Durrant (L), Lewis Herbert (L), Marie-Louise Holland (LD), Sian Reid (LD), Tim Ward (LD). Chair: Sian Reid (LD). Vice Chair: Tim Ward (LD).

Details of all these and other committees can be found on the Councils’ web sites.

Cartoon: committee seated round a meeting table - on bikes - all voting in favour

Lisa Woodburn