Skip to main contentCambridge University Reporter

No 6335

Wednesday 29 January 2014

Vol cxliv No 18

pp. 320–353

Report of Discussion

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

A Discussion was held in the Senate-House. Pro-Vice-Chancellor Dr Jennifer Barnes was presiding, with the Registrary’s Deputy, the Senior Proctor, the Deputy Junior Proctor, and twenty-six other persons present.

The following Reports were discussed:

Review of governance and management arrangements for sport within the University, November 2013 (Reporter, 6328, 2013–14, p. 139).

Professor J. K. M Sanders (Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Affairs):

Deputy Vice Chancellor, in November 2012, the Council agreed to a request from the Sports Syndicate and the Registrary to initiate a review into the governance, management, and funding of sport in the University. I am Chair of the review committee responsible for this consultative report.

The other members of the review committee consisted of junior and senior members of the University with major involvement and interests in sport, together with two external members: Dame Shirley Pearce, former Vice-Chancellor of Loughborough University and external member of Council, and Mr Keith Zimmerman, Director of Student Administration and Services in the University of Oxford until September 2013. I am particularly grateful to our external members for their wise counsel based on their experience of sports governance and management elsewhere.

This is the first significant review of sport in Cambridge for many years. It is perhaps worth noting that Oxford sport has had three reviews in the past decade or so, resulting in a reorganization that appears to be very successful and that has informed much of the thinking of this review.

The review committee called in March last year for evidence from interested parties. All the written evidence has been published at The committee took oral evidence from respondents and others, and all of our resulting recommendations are unanimous.

The Sports Syndicate and its predecessor, the Athletics Syndicate, have been established for over 50 years, with little change in its constitution in recent decades. Its role, as laid down in Ordinances, is to advise the Council and the University about the policy, facilities, and arrangements for sport in the University. However, none of its members, other than the Director of Physical Education, need to be University staff, and there is therefore no guarantee of direct linkage to the major committees of the University.

Meanwhile, the University’s decision-making processes have changed beyond recognition: there is now a well-established annual planning round, covering both capital and recurrent expenditure, with competing demands being tested and tensioned against each other throughout that process. The Syndicate has become isolated, both in reporting terms and in respect of its membership, from the University’s major strategic and decision-making bodies, and that has limited the ability of the Syndicate to make the case for sport in the University. In addition, there is no effective over-arching supervision of sport in the Collegiate University, nor is there an articulated strategic vision. Furthermore, the Syndicate is not well placed to represent Cambridge sport as a whole to alumni or other interested parties, or to coordinate philanthropic fundraising across the whole spectrum of sports – major opportunities are being missed.

We have therefore recommended that a University Sports Committee should be established as a joint committee of the Council and the General Board. It should be given overall responsibility for all aspects of University sport, including funding (both internal and external) and organization, and health and safety and reputational risks. The review committee is clear that sport will gain a stronger and more influential voice through these arrangements, which bring it into the University system, than it has at present. We believe that in today’s University, the apparent independence of the Syndicate is actually a weakness, not a strength.

The review committee believes that the University should agree a vision that connects our aspirations for sport at all levels with the University’s mission. We have suggested a draft wording to provide initial guidance but this is something that should be considered further by the proposed Sports Committee.

We recommend that students should be the primary focus for our sports investment, but that the maximum benefit will only be realized from that investment if more serious consideration is given to the needs and participation of staff and the wider community.

In common with other important committees, the Sports Committee should be chaired ex-officio by a senior University figure – given the student focus we propose the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education – the Committee should have a broadly representative membership. We have sketched an embryonic sub-committee structure, but the details are for the Committee itself to decide.

We recommend that the current Department of Physical Education should be renamed the Sports Service. The Sports Service should provide more comprehensive administrative and infrastructure support to sports activities at every level. We believe that it will do so more effectively as part of the UAS, in common with many other student and staff services. The Director should report for a transitional period to the Registrary while the optimum structure for the Sports Service and line management arrangements for the Director within the UAS are determined and put in place.

It is important to say that we have taken no collective view on sports priorities or the correct level of future financial support for University sport. However, it was clear in the responses and in our deliberations that these are important and urgent matters for the proposed Sports Committee to consider and then bring forward to the University through the usual recurrent and capital planning processes.

If the Report’s broad principles are accepted, and if its recommendations are effectively enacted, then the committee believe that the long-term benefits should be transformational at all levels of sports participation and achievement.

Mr A. D. Lemons (Director of Physical Education and Hughes Hall):

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, it is with mixed feelings that I rise to comment on the recommendations within the consultative report under discussion today.

For a number of years the Sports Syndicate has tried to introduce change to the governance and management arrangements of sport in the University but has been unable to persuade Council of the urgency and the need for reform. It was therefore with great optimism that I welcomed the Council’s decision in 2012 to establish a committee and make such recommendations as are now before the University. The opening of the West Cambridge Sports Centre in August 2013 marked a step change in the provision for sport in the University, it marked another phase of the developments recommended by the McCrum Report in 1983, which have been repeatedly endorsed by Council since that time. It was anticipated that the review would recommend a significant transformation in the oversight of sport, grasping the opportunity to bring Cambridge to the forefront of national provision as compared to other universities. What we have before us is a document that is focused on the enhancement of the Unified Administrative Service (UAS) to the detriment of sport. Little consideration appears to have been given to the establishment of an Institute of Exercise, Sport, and Physical Education that could stand outside the UAS, perform all the duties that are proposed for the University Sports Service under the control of the Sports Syndicate. I will explain why I think sport should stand outside the UAS.

The University needs to decide what sport means to Cambridge. Look at the history of sport within the University – the great athletes we have produced, the sports that we were involved in the foundation of, which have become crucial parts of people’s lives around the world: the role that Cambridge University plays in the national sporting calendar, the boat race, the Olympics. We have a record of great athletes, of great intellects who combine academic achievement with physical achievement. This report envisages that sport should be downgraded to a service, like buying rubber bands or paper clips. It leaves no room for vision, imagination, or an innovative strategy. But it will be tidy and easy to control, potentially by people who have little or no interest in the contribution that sport plays in the life of undergraduates and the essential balance that sport and exercise can bring to their academic work. At a time when other universities are upping their game, recognizing the importance of sport to well-being, and to the status and reputation of their institutions, the consequences of this report would be that sport at Cambridge be tidied away into a minor subsidiary role.

Status of the Syndicate: It is not all doom and gloom. As already stated, the Syndicate has made recommendations to the Council over a number of years, and it is pleasing that the majority have been accepted by the review committee and are incorporated into their recommendations. In principle I support Recommendations 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 14, and 15. I will therefore pass over discussing these at this time.

However, Recommendation 1, that the Sports Syndicate should be downgraded to a committee, gives the first cause for concern. Whilst accepting that membership of the Sports Syndicate needs review, I see little advantage in the proposal. I support the proposal that the Syndicate should report to the Council – as is currently the case – and additionally to the General Board. However, the right of a Syndicate to report directly to the University on matters of great concern to the Syndicate is one of the important checks and balances that have sustained the University’s democratic processes, and as such should not be surrendered lightly. Such roles might well become necessary in the foreseeable future. I therefore advocate retaining the Sports Syndicate, but reviewing its membership to address its new roles and responsibilities.

Chair of the Syndicate: The Chair of the Syndicate, as with other Syndicates bar one in the University, should remain the Vice-Chancellor, who might appoint a Pro-Vice-Chancellor as his or her deputy. It is important that sport is represented at the highest level and that the Syndicate is chaired by a senior member of the University, at at least Pro-Vice-Chancellor level, who has both the appropriate skills and interests to perform this role. This might not necessarily be the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education as proposed in the report. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education may not, by chance, be the right person for the job.

Membership of the Syndicate: It is a matter of concern that the proposed committee has a membership devoid of representation from the major constituents of sport in the University. There is no role for the Senior Treasurers of sports clubs. There is no role for the major clubs of the University. There is a total absence of any expertise or individuals who one might expect to hold qualifications in sport or physical education, or of anyone who really understands the structure of sport in the University. This simply reinforces the view that the report is more about the UAS than University sport.

This report recommends that the ‘Head of Service’ (formerly the Director of Physical Education) acts as secretary but not as a member of the Committee in his or her own right. Such a situation would be unacceptable to any senior executive today, and if approved will severely impact on the quality of candidates that the University might attract for a post that should be one of the most prestigious in sport in the UK.

Recommendations in need of clarification: A number of recommendations, whilst acceptable in principle, need adjustment to detail: Recommendation 7, for example, proposes that the Service should pro-actively offer advice and support to ‘Senior Members’ of sports clubs. The title Senior Member is not defined. In Oxford, the Senior Member is the equivalent of Cambridge’s Senior Treasurer, is this a clue?

Recommendation 11 encourages consultation with a number of bodies, particularly College Bursars, but provides no proposals for how this might be achieved. This may seem unimportant, but in my time this issue has proved one of the greatest stumbling blocks to developing sport in the University.

Funding and resources: The review is at its weakest when addressing the funding and resources necessary to deliver the recommendations. For many years resources have been a fundamental problem for the Syndicate with no appropriate forum or representation on the University Planning and Resources Committee. Recommendation 13 does not help the situation; in fact it represents the status quo which has been spectacularly unsuccessful in providing the financial support needed by the Sports Syndicate. It is not clear whether the proposed Sports Committee, once it has determined the funding required, would make its bid to the University through the annual Planning Round as part of the UAS, or directly to the PRC as a centrally administered fund, as is currently the case. What is clear is that the funds necessary to implement the Recommendations are likely to be considerable, and this is not addressed in the review, with the consequence that the recommendations beg more questions than they answer.

Recommendation 10: Recommendation 10 that the Sports Service should become part of the Unified Administrative Service and the Head of the Sports Service should report to a senior officer within the UAS (not necessarily the Registrary) is revisiting a proposal that has previously been before Council and rejected. During discussion on the establishment of the UAS, the proposal to include the Department of Physical Education within the UAS was dropped for good reason. With the opening of the West Cambridge Sports Centre there is further good reason for the Department (or the Institute as I would wish to see) to remain outside the UAS. In a Collegiate University, where part of the provision for sport rests with the Colleges, where the 53 University sports clubs (or 85 if the recommendations are approved) retain a high public profile and a degree of independence, where there are very close – and, in some cases, legally binding – arrangements with the local authority and national governing bodies of sport, it is essential that the focal administration of sport in the University can operate with a degree of independence to the best advantage of the University and its students. It is also essential that the Head of such a Department or Institution is of the appropriate seniority to be in a position to brief the most senior officers of the University, to meet with Chief Executive Officers of national governing bodies of sport, and, from time to time, members of the government.

It is therefore my view that the Department (or Institute) should not move under the UAS, that it should be under the control of a newly establish Sports Syndicate and as such be similar to the University Library and the Fitzwilliam Museum. It is also my view that it is essential that the title Director of Physical Education or Sport be retained and not downgraded to Head of Sports Service. The Director’s line manager should be the Registrary and not some random senior officer.

May I conclude by pointing out that Suggestion 2 has been approved University policy for the past twenty years and is the basis for legally binding planning agreements with the local planning authority with relevance to the Fenner’s indoor cricket school, the athletics track and synthetic hockey pitch, and the West Cambridge Sports Centre. It has played a key role in helping the University to deliver planning approval for the West Cambridge Site and the North West Cambridge Site. This arrangement has enabled the Sports Syndicate to plan, and the Physical Education Department to deliver, in excess of £24m of new sports facilities for the students, staff of the University, and the public in recent years.

This must lead us to question how isolated the Syndicate is from the decision-making processes of the University, which this report would like us to believe.

Dr P. J. Fox (Computer Laboratory and CU Mountaineering Club):

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, the Cambridge University Mountaineering Club welcomes this report as it identifies the anomalous situation of sports such as ourselves, which are registered with the Societies Syndicate rather than the Sports Syndicate. We would welcome the ability to register as a sports club with whatever replaces the Sports Syndicate, but we do have some points that we wish to raise.

The report notes that

‘several student clubs ... could legitimately be described as sports but are not allowed to be registered with the Sports Syndicate. This is because the Sports Syndicate considers that its annual budget is already fully committed to giving grants to those clubs currently registered with it. Hence it does not allow any more clubs to be registered as sports clubs, whatever the merits of their claim to be classified as a sport.’

However, on the University Sports website there is a listing of Sports Clubs that says

‘These Sports Clubs are registered with the Sports Syndicate and provide training and competition to elite performance levels. Links to other recreational Sports Clubs may be found on the Societies Page’.

So is the distinction purely financial and will other distinctions such as that which I highlighted also be swept away if clubs such as ourselves are allowed to register as Sports Clubs? It should be noted that competition is a relatively small part of our activities, and also that the other ‘outdoor’ Sports Clubs, both in the University (particularly some other sports that are currently registered as societies) and more generally, have a relatively small competitive element.

Also, our training activities are focused on particular parts of the sport, particularly winter mountaineering, that pose risks above and beyond our usual activities. This training needs to be delivered by professional instructors. Very few people have any qualifications that allow them to professionally instruct mountaineering. These qualifications are expensive and take many years to acquire. It would therefore be intractable for us to provide training ourselves in a university environment where most members leave after three years. Therefore in common with the majority of clubs nationally – excepting schools and the military – we do not require our members to have training qualifications or provide training for our usual rock climbing activities. We certainly couldn’t claim to offer training to an elite level.

So where will this leave societies which become Sports Clubs with respect to funding from the University? Will they be put at a disadvantage because of lack of training and competition? Or will these distinctions be swept away? Will funding from the Societies Syndicate be transferred to ensure that there are not simply more Clubs competing for the same pot of money?

The Club, and also myself personally, also welcome the proposed uniform approach to governance and auditing of Sports Clubs. As things stand, Sports Clubs which are societies have virtually no oversight from the University, except for having to submit annual accounts. This leaves all other oversight, and particularly safety oversight, to a Club’s Senior Treasurer. Further, a Senior Treasurer has virtually no assistance from the University, either to help them do this job or if they feel intervention is necessary. It is not clear to me what I should do if the Club’s committee ran the Club in a manner which I considered unsafe.

Finally, we welcome the proposal for a sports transport service. A significant proportion of the grant we receive from the Societies Syndicate is used to assist in the costs of hiring and insuring vehicles to travel long distances, since there is no mountaineering near to Cambridge. Will the proposed transport service be set up to allow long distance travel? The existing CUSU (Cambridge University Students’ Union) service has a charging structure that makes its use for long distances prohibitive to the point of commercial hire companies being cheaper.

Dr J. R. F. Fairbrother (Sports Syndicate, Trinity College, and CU Real Tennis Club):

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, this consultative report contains a number of good suggestions (about which I plan to respond in detail in writing). However, there are two proposals which concern me and which I would like to address.

The first is a proposal to downgrade the Sports Syndicate from a Syndicate to a Committee reporting jointly to the Council and the General Board. The inwardness of this is that it will no longer have various statutory rights, including reporting directly to the University. It will no longer be chaired by the Vice-Chancellor (or his duly appointed deputy) as is customary for Syndicates, but by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, who may be an excellent Chair but have little interest in or knowledge of sport and may have conflicting priorities e.g., access. Interestingly, the only example I could find in the Statutes of a Syndicate not chaired by the Vice-Chancellor is the West and North Cambridge Estates Syndicate, which is chaired by

‘a person appointed by the Council as Chairman who shall be a person with experience and expertise in matters relevant to the affairs of the Syndicate’.

I think a similar condition should apply to the Sports Syndicate.

The revised membership of the proposed Sports Committee contains not a single Senior Treasurer as such (in contrast to the current Sports Syndicate which has by Ordinance two co-opted Senior Treasurers as well as, I think, currently at least two other members who happen to be Senior Treasurers): it is now proposed that the Clubs’ interests be represented by a student appointed by the Committee (there is, incidentally, no mention of the Blues Committee representatives). Those with long memories may recall that it was the Cambridge University Central Athletics Committee (CUCAC), formed in 1935 by the Senior Treasurers of the major athletics clubs, which requested that CUCAC should become a University Syndicate. Senior Treasurers have always played a major, voluntary, role in the provision of University sport and the running of Sports Clubs. The exclusion of representative Senior Treasurers appears to be a step backwards.

The second issue is a proposal that the Department of Physical Education should cease to be a Department of the University (‘suppress’ is the term used in the Statutes), and be replaced by a ‘Sports Service’ as part of the Unified Administrative Service, and that the Head of the new Sports Service (presently the Director of Physical Education) should report to a ‘senior officer’ in the UAS. This would be a clear downgrading of the role and importance of both physical education and sport (which are not quite the same thing – using or running a fitness centre, for example, is not a sport as I understand that word). It has serious implications for the recruitment and retention of the staff currently employed in the Department, as well as for the appointment of a new Director when Tony Lemons retires in some eighteen months’ time. It seems to me crucial that the senior figure responsible for sport and physical education should have direct access to the Vice-Chancellor on policy and strategy, even if they report on ‘pay and rations’ to part of the administrative machine. It would not be helpful to have the Director of Sport entrapped in some bureaucratic, army-like organogram, so beloved of management consultants. I doubt either the indoor cricket school or the West Cambridge Sports Centre would have seen the light of day without the intervention of the Vice-Chancellor of the time. And the University needs to ensure the best possible field of candidates for Tony Lemons’ job: downgrading the role just in front of such an appointment is not going to help secure the best candidates who can also speak on equal terms with the various national sports bodies and with sports representatives of other universities.

In brief summary, what this consultative document proposes is a designated Pro-Vice-Chancellor (who may have neither interest nor expertise in sport), some sensible and overdue regulatory reforms (which the Syndicate generally supports), and a transport service. In exchange we get a down-grading of the Syndicate, suppression of the Department of Physical Education to be replaced by a ‘Sports Service’, and a pious wish that the new, down-graded, Sports Committee should ‘bid’ for appropriate funds, as if ‘bidding’ was the key to ‘getting’. Contrary to what the report suggests, the Sports Syndicate has had a clear vision and strategy for Cambridge since 1983, when the University’s primary needs were identified in the excellent McCrum report. It just hasn’t had a lot of help until recently in securing the necessary resources to achieve that vision. It is a tribute to the efforts of both the Director of Physical Education and the current Chair of the Sports Syndicate, working with the Vice-Chancellor, that Phase 1 of that vision – the multi-purpose sports hall – has now been achieved. I am unconvinced that the proposed structural changes will be anything but damaging to the interests of sport in the University.

Professor K. Siddle (School of Clinical Medicine, Churchill College, and CU Cricket Club):

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, I have maintained a strong interest in both University and College sport since my playing days as a student. I continue to be actively and heavily involved in University sport in my role as Senior Treasurer of Cambridge University Cricket Club (CUCC), a position I have held for more than 20 years. This role in CUCC brings me regularly into contact with both students, Senior Members, and alumni involved in a wide variety of sports; and I hope this allows me to speak with a modest degree of authority. However, I acknowledge that I do speak today principally from the perspective of (and I quote) ‘one of the larger and more historic sports clubs’ that has been allegedly ‘operating with a large degree of autonomy’, although I would not agree with any suggestion that we lack ‘effective oversight by the Sports Syndicate or the Department of Physical Education’. In fact the Cricket Club has had a very good working relationship over many years with the Director of Physical Education, Mr Lemons, and has benefitted greatly from the advice and oversight of his Department.

I do very sincerely commend the review committee for its recognition of the importance of sport within the University and of the need for reform of the structures currently responsible for sport. I also applaud many of its administrative recommendations. The report deals very thoroughly with day-to-day issues affecting the operation of University Sports Clubs – registration, health and safety, facilities, and allocation of what little funding is currently available centrally. However, having also identified a continuing need for strategic vision, the report proposes a structure that appears most unlikely to deliver that vision.

The external profile of Cambridge University sport still owes much to a bygone era (just before I came!) when elite sporting prowess was frequently a factor in admission. Nowadays we very properly apply strict academic criteria for admission and that, together with the professionalization of sport nationally, has made it difficult to sustain the profile Cambridge University sport once enjoyed – although there continues to be a very high level of student participation in sport within the Collegiate University. That is all the more reason why we must now seek actively to provide the best possible support and facilities, and the greatest possible encouragement for sport at whatever level it is played, whether elite or purely social. Sport has always enjoyed a very high profile in US universities, and is increasingly being very actively promoted by leading UK universities, a notable example being the University of Bath (which coincidentally was awarded the title of ‘University of the Year for Student Experience’ by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2014). We cannot afford to lag behind in our profile and facilities as we compete for students in an increasingly international market, especially at the postgraduate level.

This leads me to ask who, within the proposed new structures, will be the champion for sport at the University of Cambridge, commanding the level of recognition and respect both inside and outside the University that will be required to formulate and deliver strategic vision?

I find it astonishing that a Sports Committee tasked with ‘articulating a vision and strategy for sport in the University’ would not explicitly include among its members any direct representatives of University Sports Clubs (as has already been noted, the present constitution of the Sports Syndicate includes two Senior Treasurers of University Sports Clubs), only a single student representative appointed by the Clubs, and no-one holding a position in sport nationally. It is recommended that the Chair of the Sports Committee ‘should be a senior academic figure who can act as an advocate for sport at the highest level of decision making within the University’. It is suggested that the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education would be appropriate, although in fact the holder of this office would not necessarily have any knowledge of sport in the University nor any personal interest in sport.

It is also proposed to suppress the Department of Physical Education and abolish the post of Director of Physical Education at a time when Sports Science and Sports Medicine are flourishing as academic disciplines in other universities, and both the Medical Research Council and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council have identified lifelong health and wellbeing as strategic research priorities. Instead we will have a Sports Service, within the Unified Administrative Service, with an administrative head whose activities will be overseen by a Sports Committee (replacing the Sports Syndicate). This does not seem calculated to attract, or even retain, the calibre of person the University should be looking for as its sports figurehead.

The report notes that ‘Senior figures in both the Department of Physical Education and the Sports Syndicate have come to believe that the University does not value sport’ – and I would add to that some Senior Treasurers. The proposed structures and lines of reporting embodied in Recommendations 1 and 10 seem to me to be a recipe for accentuating such concerns, not alleviating them.

Mr N. A. Pett (Executive Secretary for CU Rugby Union Football Club, and Magdalene College):

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Cambridge University Rugby Union Football Club (CURUFC) welcome the opportunity to respond to the review of sport within the University. It fully supports the statement of the University’s ambition for sport on page 6. The Club also agrees with the need for a Sports Committee that is integrated into the University hierarchy and understands the rationale that the Department of Physical Education should become the University of Cambridge Sports Services as part of the Unified Administrative Service. The reforms to lines of management and the clarification of roles make good sense. Thus we believe that it takes a number of positive steps in the right direction.

However, from our perspective as a large sport with a worldwide profile, we are concerned that there are a number of important omissions and that the review will therefore be a missed opportunity. The emphasis – certainly in the weight and orientation of the recommendations – is largely upon compliance and regulatory issues, organizational and institutional streamlining, and wider participation. We applaud these developments but are concerned about the absence of recommendations about, or sufficient weight given to, these other major aspects of university sport, for example:

• elite / representative sport;

• specialist expertise and support to elite athletes;

• contracted support staff such as coaches, medical and physiotherapists at all levels of University sport;

• competition with Oxford and other universities;

• inter-Collegiate competitions;

• the Sports Services’ relationship with the semi-autonomous large clubs.

We understand that the review is not concerned directly with defining a new vision and strategy of University sport, and that this important objective will be the priority for the new structure and personnel. However, the tone and content of the review persistently overlooks these key issues, which sends an unequivocal message to the reader that they will not feature, or are unimportant, in the future. Indeed, none of these major issues are addressed explicitly in any of the review’s 13 recommendations and two suggestions, yet the review has sought fit to make a very specific recommendation about delivering good value transport (Recommendation 12).

1. Specific comments on recommendations and suggestions

Recommendation 1: The proposed composition of the new Sports Committee has two major omissions. First, it does not have any representation from the larger Sports Clubs, which already run their sport within the University under the direction of that sport’s national governing body and often in a manner recognized by them as excellent. Second, it does not have any expertise or representation from elite sport. The suggested composition of the Sports Committee is mostly around the operational running of the smaller University (non-Collegiate) based clubs, and based on representation from existing University bodies. It is not structured or equipped to promote sporting excellence. However, it could utilize the expertise of the many alumni who hold significant positions on national governing bodies as coaches and administrators. Equally, representation from current undergraduate and post graduate sportsmen and sportswomen is minimal.

Recommendation 2: The creation of a vision and strategy should be carried out with specific inclusion of the large Sports Clubs. This would reflect Sport England’s pyramidal model, which is based upon the twin pillars of elite sports people and mass participation.

Recommendation 4: This recommendation overlooks the possibility that some sports already have health and safety arrangements which conform to, and are regulated by, their own national governing bodies, usually through insurance arrangements.

Recommendation 6: Does this mean that the Sports Service has the authority to regulate and to intervene in the running of Sports Clubs which are entirely self-funding? If so, what is the basis of that authority?

Recommendation 11: This recommendation concentrates upon ‘identifying and facilitating a mutually beneficial use of all sports facilities and services for all students and staff’. This conveys the clear impression that the onus is being placed upon ‘College bursars, managers of other University-related facilities and partner organizations’ to open access, without any shared responsibility on the part of the Sports Service to contribute to the funding, maintenance and development of those facilities. If this is not the intention, then it needs to be made clear. The review recognizes (p. 14) that most of the facilities for sport within the University are either run by Colleges or by certain larger Sports Clubs. These facilities extend far beyond ‘playing fields’ to include a stadium, changing facilities, running tracks, and boathouses.

2. Areas not covered adequately by the recommendations and suggestions

Inter-Collegiate competitions: Point 1 of the ‘ambition for sport’ states a commitment to ‘widespread involvement in sport’. The interface between participatory sport and elite sport are the various inter-Collegiate competitions, which attract hardly any comment in the review. They are a currently thriving and active aspect of sport within the University, but their organization requires resource and commitment which is currently dispersed around a variety of organizations and bodies.

The review overlooks the role of its largest Sports Clubs within their own national governing bodies, and their responsibilities for the running of inter-Collegiate competitions to those governing bodies. Some of these clubs, with help from their national bodies, employ appropriate staff to help the College clubs with coaching and attracting participation. The Collegiate nature of these sports mean they can be of great help to national bodies in trialling ways to improve participation at the critical 16–24 age range.

Elite athletes: Point 3 of the ambition for sport states ‘support of elite athletes to achieve their full potential’. As stated above, this ambition is not supported by any explicit recommendations within the review. What expertise in support of elite sport/athletes will the Sports Service provide? What happens to those involved at the highest level of a sport for which a University Sport Club is not appropriate? How will the Sports Service complement those Clubs which currently are providing for elite athletes? To achieve their aim the University needs to embrace fully and support the larger Clubs in this role.

The report does not include any discussion of the interface between admissions, degree courses, and part-time degrees. Does the University intend to attract elite sportsmen and sportswomen, if so, how? Through part-time degrees? Or through drawing upon existing disciplines and Departments to provide ‘sports science, coaching and administration’ degrees that are offered at other top UK universities?

Major events: The review makes no mention of the annual matches against Oxford which, by their elite nature, create a series of major events with a number of them televised. There is no sense in the review that these events are considered to be beneficial to the University (only negatives in terms of risks seem to be highlighted). They are an excellent opportunity for promotional and fund raising activities. To ensure the development and well-being of these events, the University (and Colleges) need to embrace and support them with help from appropriate bodies such as CUDO. The awarding of Blues and eligibility criteria, especially as part-time courses and students proliferate, requires coordinated and centralized University leadership and direction. All of these issues need to be part of any structure involving University Sport.

Strategy and resourcing: Any University strategy and resourcing will need to embrace fully the larger Sports Clubs, including their role in the running of inter-College competitions, not just those involved within the current University Syndicate structure. According to the review the Syndicate (£125,000) and Department of Physical Education (£960,000) currently spend around £1,000,000 which is similar to the amount spent by the larger Clubs. Added to this the Colleges must easily match this total amount with their expenditure on grounds, boathouses, teams, and equipment. This means that at least £4,000,000 is being spent on Sport within the University.

Any strategy and its resourcing needs to ensure all parties, specifically including the larger Clubs, are fully committed to it.

Dr D. I. Wilson (Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Jesus College, and CU Hockey Club):

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, my name is Ian Wilson, I am a Fellow of Jesus College, Reader in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, and I speak as the Senior Treasurer of the CU Hockey Club.

I have recently taken on this position and I wish to comment on the report in terms of how it will support sport in Cambridge at all levels in the future; and how it will develop sport at Cambridge.

As a Senior Treasurer, I find myself involved in the overall supervision and planning of the Hockey Club’s activities at College and University level. In this, as Senior Treasurer, I am supported by many former members of the Club.

The proposed constitution of the University Sports Committee (in Recommendation 1) has no representation from Senior Treasurers, even though these are the people within the University who have direct experience of the operation, planning, and requirements of the individual sports at both the Collegiate, inter-University, and regional levels. These are also the prime connectors between the current student body and former members. The latter are a valuable source of expertise as well as potential financial support. The report only mentions Senior Treasurers (labelled erroneously as Senior Members) in terms of supporting them in meeting their obligations in reporting within the regulatory framework of the University.

If the Sports Committee is to develop a vision, to plan how to deliver that vision, and to implement it, resources of all natures will be needed. One of the most important resources is the volunteer, who contributes time and expertise for the benefit of the University. However, the Committee membership has no formal place for the Senior Treasurers, who are both volunteers, leaders of volunteers, possible recruiters of volunteers, and will be important in the delivery of any such vision. As a new Senior Treasurer with no historical axe to grind on this point, I find this omission both surprising and, ultimately, disappointing.

I would ask that the Council consider the membership of the University Sports Committee on this point seriously, and review how it can be best constituted to deliver a lasting vision for the University.

Professor W. A. Harris (Department of Physiology, Development, and Neuroscience, and CU Ice-Hockey Club), read by the Deputy Proctor:

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, I am Head of the Department of Physiology, Development, and Neuroscience, co-Chair of the Cambridge Neuroscience Strategic Initiative, but many at the University know me as ‘the Ice-Hockey guy’. I am interested in sport at the University, not only because of my role as head coach of the University Ice-Hockey teams, but also because I am aware through studies of physiology of the difference that sport can make to physical and mental health. I have studied the draft report in some detail and I am pleased to say that several of the issues that I had flagged up in my earlier letter have been recommended. The report gives cause for optimism that things will improve. However, there are issues that I believe still need serious attention before a final report is agreed. I put these under three categories: Personnel, Finance and the student experience, and Future reviews.

Personnel: I am greatly relieved to see the recommendation that the Sports Committee be chaired by a Pro-Vice-Chancellor, as Pro-Vice-Chancellors carry weight and authority at the centre and sit on key committees. This was one of my main points in my letter to the working party, as such representation has been sorely missing in the past. But I also said in that letter,

‘the committee should be composed of real University leaders who are passionate about sport and are concerned with how to improve it’.

I am not convinced that a Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, on his or her own, can push hard enough across the whole sports domain that needs improving, especially as sport is never going to be an academic priority. The best way to ensure that this committee works and makes real progress would be to have both the head of the University Sports Service (which will be an administrative role), and another guaranteed sports enthusiast or professional (someone with good vision, political/fundraising potential, and the respect of the Vice-Chancellor – a Sports Czar or figurehead) on the committee. The University Sports Committee needs as strong a voice as possible if it is going to get anything worthwhile done. Otherwise improvement in sport, which is at the mercy of the monster that is the University as a whole, may simply get kicked into the long grass.

Finance and the student experience: Many of the recommendations in this report tend to be more bureaucratic than visionary. Finance and the student experience have to be part of this report, which at present puts too heavy an emphasis on complying with University rules. There is little on how to expand sports provision. If enacted simply as the report is now, a great deal of energy will go into standardizing employment contracts and health and safety procedures, without any gain to the sporting experience for the average student. Cambridge is clearly failing to offer a good experience in many areas of fitness and sports provision. Clearly, major fundraising for health and sport is going to have to go along with implementing strategies to improve the student experience. This report needs to come to terms with the fact that the provision for sport within Cambridge is suboptimal compared to other UK Universities and the surcharges are too expensive for the average student, who is already paying £9,000 a year to come here. Our Vice-Chancellor is clearly a strong supporter of sport, so I think the report needs to follow his stance and add focus to the financial side of the equation, i.e., the cost of making the Cambridge student experience a fully satisfactory one in terms of sports and fitness opportunities. The report offers some recommendations for how to achieve this but does not go far enough in terms of making this a priority.

Future reviews: We need to have quinquennial reviews of University sports to assure that real progress is being made.

Mr R. K. Taplin (Junior Proctor and Downing College), read by the Senior Proctor:

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, I write as both Junior Proctor, as Chairman of an International Sports Committee, and from having helped to manage British Skiing for over 35 years.

I am fully supportive of the majority of recommendations made in this paper, and the need to manage University sport in a more holistic manner. These sports often involve considerable investment in both equipment (e.g., boats, polo ponies) and infrastructure (pitches, courts, boathouses), and thus have a need to be managed into the longer term to ensure best use and conservation of such resource. They operate under the aegis of national and international governing bodies, and so have limitations on their operation imposed from outside the University. As a consequence, while their operations might vary year-on-year, they cannot simply be allowed to fade away. The infrastructure investment alone in sports means that they normally require specific and central guidance, funding, and management.

Societies, on the other hand, can be very much more ephemeral, and generally – with certain constitutional safeguards – have to be allowed to lapse, start and stop as interests and fashions change within the student body. They are generally very low in infrastructural investment, albeit some of them have considerable fund movements, particularly if they have been created to meet a specific, often short-term, charitable aim. Consequently, ‘Interest’ Societies cannot be equated with ‘Organized’ Sports. There is, indeed, a danger that having a single body attempting to cover the very different ethos of both types of organization would unduly limit the creativity and aspirations of the former.

Societies are creations of the general student body, and thus come naturally under the light-touch supervision of the Junior Proctor, with him or her drawing on additional advice as necessary. To attempt to merge the Societies Syndicate with the proposed Sports Committee would not serve either constituency well (but arguably worse for Societies) and thus I urge the Regent House to approach Suggestion 1 in this paper – to investigate merging the Societies Syndicate with the Sports Committee – with great caution.

Ms D. Lowther (Chair of the Sports Syndicate, and Girton College):

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, my name is Debbie Lowther, I am the Bursar of Girton College and I have been, as the Vice-Chancellor’s Deputy, the Chair of the Sports Syndicate since 2007.

I am speaking today on my own account and not on behalf of the Syndicate, which has not had the opportunity to meet to discuss the published report. The issues raised, however, are not new to the Syndicate, and individual members of it have participated in the review process in various ways.

I am very grateful indeed to Professor Sanders and the review panel for the careful and detailed work they have done, and for their very balanced and helpful report. The review was clearly long overdue and the panel has had to absorb and analyze a variety of complex and inter-connected issues which have been constraining the Syndicate for many years, to the disadvantage of sportsmen and sportswomen across the University.

The aim of the proposed reforms is to put sport on a proper footing in the University, to ensure that sport is fully recognized for its role in support of the academic mission of the University, and to enable the development of a coherent vision for sport at Cambridge.

Cambridge has an outstanding tradition of participation and achievement in sport. The opportunity to become involved in a diverse range of sports and physical activities at every level, from beginner to elite, is one of the greatest extra-curricular opportunities that a residential University can offer its students. Sport provides a wealth of benefits for students participating in a rigorous course of study: it helps them to maintain their physical and mental fitness and well-being; it provides an outlet for stress; and it facilitiates a sense of community. The strong communities which develop around sport are part of what makes the Cambridge student experience so special, and one of the reasons why alumni want to remain connected to the University, and to each other, long after they have graduated. That Cambridge can offer such a positive experience to its students, and that it has such a competitive advantage in alumni relations and community building, is an extraordinary heritage, but one which has at best been overlooked or taken for granted by the central bodies in recent years.

The existing governance arrangements have not helped the profile of sport within the University; the Sports Syndicate has a small budget and has been below the radar of the central bodies for many years. The most obvious example of the need for change in the governance of sport is the West Cambridge Sports Centre project. The need for such a facility had first been established shortly after the Second World War, and was reinforced by the McCrum Report in 1981. Granted that things often move quite slowly in Cambridge, it might seem that considerable progress had been made by the time I became Chair of the Syndicate in 2007. By that time, the University had already invested a substantial amount of money in developing the sports centre project on paper: it had identified a site, agreed on a detailed design, and obtained planning permission for it. Furthermore, the project had been approved for the purposes of the launch of the 800th Campaign. But hardly a penny had been raised for the project, and I was truly astonished to find that no-one in the central bodies – no Committee, no University officer – seemed to think that this was their problem, or that they should do anything about it. This was the extent to which the needs of sport had been neglected, and it struck me as a significant failure of governance that an approved project could so simply have been de-prioritized, when the need had been so long established. With hindsight, the isolation of the Sports Syndicate had as great a role to play in this as the fact that the central bodies had other priorities. However, I do think that it was a tragically missed opportunity for the University not to have been more actively and effectively fundraising for the sports centre project during the 800th Campaign, and I hope that, with the support of the proposed new Sports Service and Sports Committee, fundraising for sport will be tackled more strategically in the coming campaign.

We are very fortunate that the sports centre project was eventually resurrected, and a means of funding it was agreed. The sports centre is now open, and if you have not already visited it, I urge you to do so. I hope that it embodies a new beginning for sport in Cambridge. The proposals recommended in the governance review are intended to ensure that Cambridge gets the best out of this new facility, and that all the other many and diverse opportunities for participation in sport in Cambridge are exploited to the best advantage of students. This will also, ultimately, be to the benefit of the University, enhancing what is already a unique competitive advantage in the global market for higher education and research. I commend these proposals to the University.

Mr C. L. Pratt (Sports Syndicate and Jesus College):

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, I am afraid I have ‘form’ in this matter. I have competed for the University and for a number of Colleges in a number of sports. I have been Senior Treasurer of the University Athletic Club; I am a member of the Sports Syndicate; I chair the Hawks Charitable Trust – the main financial supporter of student sport individually within Cambridge. I can also claim, I think, to be the fons et origo of your presence here today, as Appendix 1 to the report makes clear.

I must say at once that I strongly support the remarks of both Professor Sanders and of the Chair of the Syndicate. It seems to me that the choice that the report puts before the University is one between isolation and integration. Isolation we have had for many years, and it has palpably failed us. I would draw attention in particular to page 15 of the report, which sets out the data of the comparative support for Sports Clubs from the University and from the Colleges. I think originally, the ‘deal’ between the University and Colleges was that that should be equal. Alas, that has not remained the case – I think Colleges have done well comparatively speaking but that the University has not kept pace. This is a clear example of the penalties of isolation.

I would also draw attention to the proposed sub-committee, which is largely to be of Senior Treasurers and representatives of the individual sports, thus giving them – in my judgement – more power and influence than in the past, not less.

I would comment on the title of ‘Head of Sport’. That is, in my interpretation, not a proprosal for a title, it is a description of a role. I believe that this report has set up excellent first steps. I would argue for a merger with the Societies Syndicate but that is for another day.

I would urge a very warm welcome to this report and look forward to seeing strong next steps flowing from it and, like Professor Sanders, I believe that this report has the potential to be transformational for sport in Cambridge, which is what I would like to see.

Annual Report of the Council for the academical year 2012–13, dated 25 November 2013 (Reporter, 6329, 2013–14, p. 158).

Professor G. R. Evans (Emeritus Professor of Medieval Theology and Intellectual History), read by the Senior Proctor:

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, the Council’s Report reassures us that the Woolf Working Group, formed to consider the lessons of the Woolf Inquiry into the LSE’s links with Libya and lessons to be learned1 ‘was substantially reassured’ that Cambridge’s policies and procedures on ethics, graduate admissions, donations, and ‘incidental links’ were ‘effective and fit for purpose’. ‘Fully’ would have been more reassuring than ‘substantially’.

It is broadly true that having adequate procedures and protections and ensuring that they work reliably to protect the University from reputational damage and actual misbehaviour, are two different things. I refer members of the Regent House to the published record of the Discussion held in this place last week in which concerns were expressed about the terms of a particular donation. It is not clear that the policies and procedures were ‘substantially’ adequate to satisfy concerns in this instance.

The recommendation that

‘the role of the Council’s Executive Committee should be expanded to act as an advisory body on questions relating to funding for University research and international activities (or for any other purpose), as well as for donations’

appears to have been agreed by Council approval only and not put to the Regent House. Is this not an important change, given the dangers of getting something wrong in these potentially controversial areas, and one on which there should be a Report?

Dr D. R. de Lacey (Faculty of Divinity):

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, I wish to raise, two, completely unrelated, issues arising from this Report.

North West Cambridge: We read (in an unnumbered paragraph)

‘Following a resolution to grant outline planning consent for the overall site by Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council in August 2012, negotiations were undertaken...’

This is not quite accurate; the outline consent was granted by a joint committee on which County Members also sit. But greater inaccuracy attends the Annual Report of the West and North-West Cambridge Estates Syndicate.1

This regards the whole of the negotiations over planning and other matters to be exclusively with the City; one could not realize from reading the Syndicate’s report that half of the site lies within the Parish of Girton. And this matters. It matters because under the present plans two neighbours, perhaps occupying a pair of semis, will discover that they are subject to very different conditions. One family will find that they qualify for generous educational grants for their children, respite care, healthcare costs, a taxi scheme to take members to hospital, provision of home aids if the family needs them through ill health or disability, and many other benefits through the Girton Town Charity which exists for all residents of the historic parish of Girton. Their neighbours may, I believe, qualify for a discount at the City swimming pool. Because the Syndicate does not seem to realize the geographical extent of its remit, early plans did not bother to show the Parish boundary and this situation has only recently become clear. The up-beat paragraphs in the Report before us completely ignore the potential social discord this situation may provoke. I ask the Council, even at this late stage, to re-route the so-called ‘Girton Gap’ to follow the Parish boundary so that at least there will be some modicum of separation between the haves and the have-nots, between the Parish and the City within the development. I may say that I continue to enjoy an excellent working relationship with the Project Directors of the North-West Cambridge development. But I assume such a change would be outwith their competence, it is – I guess – a matter for the Syndicate, which appears woefully ignorant of the nature of its charge. Please therefore would the Council instruct it in this matter.

University employment: It is no doubt comforting to senior officers to read that ‘a sub-committee chaired by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Institutional Affairs) was set up in Lent Term 2012 to review aspects of senior Pay and Reward’, but I wish to remind Regents that not all our staff are senior. The Report was presumably written too late to take account of the Cambridge News headline of 17 January, ‘Cambridge University pay more than 1,000 people below living wage and employ more than 800 zero-hour contract workers’.

That of course includes the Colleges, but the Cambridge News reports that ‘the University itself was also found to be paying 83 people below the living wage, and also to be employing 343 people on zero-hour contracts’.2

It is shameful that a University which carefully looks after its most senior members, including particularly our Vice-Chancellor, should pay any staff less than the living wage or press anyone to accept a zero-hours contract. I plead with the Council to rectify this.

Annual Report of the General Board to the Council for the academical year 2012–13, dated 19 November 2013 (Reporter, 6329, 2013–14, p. 166).

Professor G. R. Evans (Emeritus Professor of Medieval Theology and Intellectual History), read by the Senior Proctor:

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, I speak to draw attention to a development which arts and humanities scholars may not have noticed yet. Open Access, having created the problem of paying for the publication of one’s own articles, with all the attendant difficulties of allocation by the University and worries that doctoral students and post-docs will be dependent on senior patronage and approval to get started in publishing their research, is now moving on to monographs. The cost of paying for the publication of your book will be far greater and is bound to open up serious controversy about priority to be given to books over articles or articles over books, and perhaps between scientists and others, for control of their share of the available money offered through the University itself.

HEFCE announced a new project to investigate monographs and open access on 16 January, though it was launched before Christmas. Cambridge will no doubt be making its response. But members of the Regent House as individual scholars can respond and put their views into the body of evidence to be collected nationally. The implications of Open Access for academic freedom are potentially huge if publication of research comes to depend on institutional approval of the cost. This seems a topic which deserves a Report to the University. The Regent House has had as yet no input by that route into the development of the Cambridge system which may be found at

Reports and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2013 (Reporter, 6329, 2013–14, p. 171).

Mr D. J. Goode (Faculty of Divinity and Wolfson College):

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, on 30 October 2013 I wrote to the Vice-Chancellor to ask him to use his considerable influence to intervene in the ongoing pay dispute between the University and College Union (UCU) and the employers’ representatives, the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), and to try to break the deadlock in the dispute.

Over the last four years, the annual pay awards in Higher Education have fallen behind inflation such that, even before the imposition of the one per cent award last month, the pay of staff in the University of Cambridge has fallen by around 13 per cent. Yes, that’s right: our reward for four years of faithful, diligent service has been... four successive pay cuts.

In his reply to me on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, the Director of the Human Resources Division reminded me that:

‘There are national procedures in place to deal with disputes in negotiations within the New Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff, and it would be inappropriate for institutions to be involved at this stage of proceedings.

‘The Vice-Chancellor obviously hopes that current pay negotiations will be concluded as soon as possible…’

Which, I suppose, is a polite way of telling me that the Vice-Chancellor is not prepared to use his considerable influence to intervene on behalf of the staff of the University of Cambridge to try to ensure that our reward for faithful, diligent service does not worsen from four years of successive pay cuts to five years of successive pay cuts.

Unfortunately, it has. UCEA has told its subscriber institutions to impose the one per cent pay award, and the University has done that. But not quite everyone in the University has enjoyed a one per cent pay rise, or, as I prefer to call it with inflation currently at two per cent, a one per cent pay cut.

As has been widely reported recently, while staff are now enjoying a fifth successive annual pay cut, the Vice-Chancellors have enjoyed a rather less modest average increase of eight per cent1.

It has also been widely reported recently that our Vice-Chancellor’s remuneration has increased from £271,000 in 2011–12 to £289,000 in 2012–13, and that is not including the employers’ pension contributions. Add in the pension contributions, which are, let’s face it, just deferred wages, and his total remuneration rose from £314,000 to £334,0002.

Now, I’m not a mathematician, but that looks to me like a pay rise of £20,000, or 6.4 per cent.

Turning for a moment to the Report before us today, unless I have misinterpreted the financial statements, it seems that the University is doing all right. We have an endowment fund of more than £2 billion, with strong investment returns. We have a great capital investment programme, including the exciting North West Cambridge project, the impressive Sports Centre, and lots of new buildings on West Cambridge. We have an improved surplus for the year of £99 million.

The University appears to be investing in everything except its staff. The Vice-Chancellor could, and I believe should, have intervened, and applied pressure to the Chief Executive of UCEA to improve our pay award from yet another pay cut to, at the very least, the rate of inflation plus a modest element of ‘catch up’.

And there is still time for him to do that. The dispute may be over in the mind of UCEA, which has told its subscribers to impose the pay cut. It may be over in the minds of the Vice-Chancellors, as they think up enjoyable ways to spend the extra tens of thousands of pounds that they find in their pockets this year. But it is not over for the rest of us, and UCU members begin on Thursday the next phase of industrial action, with the first of a series of two-hour strikes.

So, I am going to ask again now, that the Vice-Chancellor stand up for his staff and use his influence to apply pressure to UCEA to end the pay dispute with a decent offer of at least inflation plus a modest element of ‘catch up’.

And finally, lest anyone get me wrong here, I am happy to say that I like our Vice-Chancellor. He’s a decent and honourable man, an excellent Vice-Chancellor, and worth every penny we pay him. I do not begrudge him a pay rise. What I begrudge is that while he takes that, the rest of us get a fifth successive pay cut.

Report of the Council, dated 23 December 2013, on the construction of a new annexe building to the Department of Engineering’s Electrical Engineering Division building (CAPE) at West Cambridge (Reporter, 6332, 2013–14, p. 254)

Professor A. P. Dowling (Department of Engineering and Sidney Sussex College):

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, I speak as Head of the Department of Engineering.

The Department of Engineering is badly in need of additional space. Post-graduate student numbers have risen from 600 in 2007 to 850 in 2013. Expenditure on research grants rose from £13.5m in 2001–02 to £34.9m in 2012–13. These increases are set to continue: in 2012–13 the total value of research grants won was nearly 70% higher than in 2011–12. In addition, we need to accommodate the growing activities of newly appointed members of the academic staff. All this is putting tremendous pressure on space in both our Electrical Division’s building (CAPE) at West Cambridge and on the central Scroope Terrace site.

The proposed new annexe building to the CAPE building will provide much needed laboratory and office space for research. There is currently insufficient space for substantial new research grants and a recently won Centre for Doctoral Training. Indeed it is impossible for the Electrical Division to meet the needs of its accepted grants without additional space. Orbit Architects have developed plans for an annexe between the existing CAPE building and the Roger Needham building, joining onto the CAPE building so that some facilities can be shared to maximize operational efficiency.

I would like to express the Department’s need and enthusiasm for this annexe and to urge support for the Council recommendation that the annexe be constructed.

Second-Stage Report of the Council, dated 23 December 2013, on the construction of a new annexe building for the Department of Engineering at Scroope Terrace (Reporter, 6332, 2013–14, p. 256).

Professor A. P. Dowling (Department of Engineering and Sidney Sussex College):

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, I spoke earlier about the Department of Engineering’s need for additional space. That need is equally pressing for research groups located on our central Scroope Terrace site. Nicholas Hare Architects have developed designs for an extension to the Baker building to be built in the car park of the Royal Cambridge Hotel. The current hotel car park is larger than required by the hotel and is the only undeveloped land adjacent to the Engineering Department’s Trumpington Street site. The recent expiry of the lease on the Royal Cambridge Hotel has provided the opportunity to renegotiate terms with the hotel operators.

The plan is to build flexible office space for research. The building design is planned to encourage greater interaction and interdisciplinary working, as well as providing an opportunity to showcase emerging ideas for building efficiency and monitoring. Studies have shown that an extension on this site is more cost-effective than adding additional floors to the existing building. The new building is expected to provide working space for about 20 academic staff, and 250 research staff and students.

Research groups expected to be located within the building include

• the newly appointed Regius Professor of Engineering, Professor David MacKay, and research in energy and resource efficiency;

• the Laing O’Rourke Centre for Construction Engineering;

• the Innovation Knowledge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction and a new Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Infrastructure and Built Environment; and

• an expansion of our bioengineering and materials activities.

The building is planned to be respectful of its site and the adjacent buildings.

I would like to express the Department of Engineering’s enthusiasm and support for this building and to urge support for the Council’s Report recommending its construction.