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Full Council to reserve timed slots for major debates

13 March 2023

The Chair of Cambridgeshire County Council has exercised his discretion to adapt the agenda of next week’s Full Council meeting on Tuesday, March 21 to make sure it can be inclusive as possible to members of the public keen to attend or follow key items online.

Cllr Stephen Ferguson will use his discretion to allow two items which have already generated high levels of public interest, to be dealt with at specific times on the agenda and be linked to any public questions or petitions related to them.

This means near the start of the meeting, which begins at 10.30am, Members will hear public questions and receive a petition relating to the proposed Cambourne to Cambridge (C2C) transport route. They will then debate a proposal that, following a seven-year development process into the C2C route by the Greater Cambridge Partnership, the County Council as the appropriate body, should apply for a traffic works order to begin work on the 13.6km route.

Then at 1pm, Full Council will debate a motion put by Cllr Steve Count calling for a local poll to be conducted across Cambridgeshire asking residents if they want to pay a charge in order to receive improvements in public transport. This motion will follow a petition on the same subject, being presented to Members. The Members will be voting only on the motion proposal of whether or not to hold a local poll, not on the Making Connection proposals themselves.

This changes the order of Full Council’s agenda which normally starts with the 61 Members of the Council hearing any public questions and then any petitions, before moving on to deal with a range of specific business items, and then any motions heard in the order they were submitted by Members.

It means the 20 seated public gallery at the council’s New Shire Hall headquarters in Alconbury, can be fully used by those people coming for specific items. Spaces will be reserved for public speakers and petitioners and otherwise be made available on a first come first served basis.

An overflow room with a large screen will be made available at New Shire Hall for people unable to watch proceedings live, or who may be waiting for their item which has seats for a further 28. In addition, the whole meeting can be watched remotely from anywhere on the council’s YouTube channel.

“I know that these two items in particular are generating a huge amount of public interest and want to make sure that as many people as possible can be present while Members debate them, “ said Cllr Ferguson. “I want those residents who ask questions or have signed petitions to have them considered properly, and for our Members to be allowed to hear and debate the points made properly and professionally.

“There are other items of business for the Council to deliberate on, and two other important motions, one from Cllr Lorna Dupre about Voter ID and another from Cllr Alex Bulat about standards of civility in public life to discuss next week, and of course we would want people to continue to watch and listen to those items as well.” He added.

Full Council papers can be found on our website - Council and committee meetings - Cambridgeshire County Council > Meetings (

The meeting will be live streamed on the council’s YouTube page.