Update 23rd January 2021

Dear All,

Update 23rd January, 2021

Cambridge Market – Environment & Scrutiny Committee Meeting

Thursday, 28 Jan, 5pm – For Agenda see link below.


Deadline to register to speak is midday, 2 working days before. Contact Democratic Services.

Cambridge Market Closure – Agenda items 5, 6, 7

If you have concerns or unanswered questions about the decision on 30 December to close Cambridge Market your chance to have your say is Thursday, 28 Jan at 5pm at the Scrutiny Committee. Many of the traders lost money because of the closure and because the decision was not due to government guidelines they are not eligible for compensation. For these small businesses this is hard. They say it does not bode well for them being equal partners in the market square redevelopment plans.

Cambridge Market Square Redevelopment plans – Agenda item 9

See comments. links below

A Splendid Victory and a Dire Threat to the Market by Glenys Self
Cambridge Market Square Proposals – John & Kati Preston
Cambridge Market Square – Dr Annabel Keeler

We will post further comments from traders, shoppers and local residents on the FeCRA website under Docs.

Questions / issues arising from the Committee report on the Market Square plans

Item 9 on the Agenda lists the item as “Consultation Draft Vision and Concept Design” but the item is headed Market Square Project – Consultation Concept Design”. 1.2 says specifically that the council is going out to consultation on the proposed project design. Many residents are saying why has there been no public consultation on the proposed vision?

The report lists wards affected as “Market” but residents say all Cambridge people have an interest. The petition to re-open the market for essential foods was signed by over 7,330 people.

3.3 RIBA Stage 1 (Preparation and Briefing) was completed last year, with the publication of an initial site assessment report, which identifies the issues and opportunities and associated feasibility and business need for the market square project.” But there has been no PUBLIC (as opposed to invited stakeholder) consultation at any stage:

· There was no public consultation on the Council’s initial brief

· When the Council published the Feasibility Assessment this was subject to a specific rider saying that “We are not inviting comments on any aspect of the project at this stage”

Many residents are asking why has the Council failed to involve the people of Cambridge in this important project until such a late stage in the process?

3.6 Invited “stakeholders” only – did not include shoppers, wider public, local residents. Reps attending as “stakeholders” were told meetings were held under strict Chatham House rules. They were not allowed to share information.

3.7 c) “New, easily demountable standard stall design” the design is experimental yet people’s livelihoods are at stake.

5.1 a) report to be made available online with online survey form but the Council will decide the form and the questions.

b) email / letter to “organisational stakeholders”

c) work with CMTA and NMTF

d) work with Communities and Housing teams to reach “targeted communities” but not shoppers or wider Cambridge public?

At the Council’s on line committee meetings no one knows who else is attending and you have to register in advance to speak.

6. Background papers used in the preparation of this report:

• RIBA Stage 1 – Feasibility assessment report

• RIBA Stage 2 – Stakeholder engagement workshop output

https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/media/8381/market-square-redevelopment-stakeholder-workshop-findings.pdf But this only includes Jan 2020 workshops, there is no mention of Nov 2020 workshops, feedback from them, and no publication on the website as was promised. No mention either of GCP’s Community Sounding Group meetings on city centre vision chaired by Faye Holland.

Appendix A – Market Square Project Concept Design report

Appendix B – RIBA Stage 2 stakeholder engagement list

No mention of shoppers or residents (apart from FECRA)

Appendix C – Equality Impact Assessment

No mention of the Quarterbridge report referenced in the Concept Design Report (Appendix A)

Traders have already shared concerns about the disturbing media reports about Quarterbridge

If you have concerns or questions the FeCRA committee suggest you write to Rosy Moore, Exec Councillor for the Environment and City Centre & Market rosy.moore@cambridge.gov.uk

For the list of Committee members to contact too , see link below

Alex Collis is Lead Councillor for Sustainable Food and Deputy Mayor  alex.collis@cambridge.gov.uk

Anna Smith, is Deputy Leader of the Council and Exec Councillor for Communities anna.smith@cambridge.gov.uk

Nicky Massey, is on the Transport & Planning Scrutiny Cttee, deciding on Spaces and Movement Strategy for city centre; nicky.massey@cambridge.gov.uk

Josh Matthews, is Lib Dem Spokes for Environment & City Centre josh.matthews@cambridge.gov.uk

Others to write to, we suggest both local MP’s:

Daniel Zeichner MP Shadow Minister for Food and the Environment is Co Chair of the All Parliamentary Group for the East of England. He is focusing on ‘transformational growth’. See link to the event below. Where does the city’s MP see Cambridge’s small businesses in this ‘transformational growth’?  https://www.built-environment-networking.com/event/east-england-development-plans/


Anthony Browne MP  anthony.browne.mp@parliament.uk

Councillor Katie Thornburrow Exec Councillor, Planning Policy , Open Spaces: katie.thornburrow@cambridge.gov.uk

Guidance for how to join virtual committees run via Microsoft Teams: https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/have-your-say-at-committee-meetings

Website: http://democracy.cambridge.gov.uk

Email: democratic.services@cambridge.gov.uk

Phone: 01223 457000

Best wishes,


Wendy Blythe
Chair, FeCRA


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