Agenda, decisions and minutes

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No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from Councillor David Bartholomew.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 195 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 23 January 2018 (CA3 (to be circulated separately)) and to receive information arising from them.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 23 January 2018 were approved and signed as a correct record.


Questions from County Councillors pdf icon PDF 205 KB

Any county councillor may, by giving notice to the Proper Officer by 9 am two working days before the meeting, ask a question on any matter in respect of the Cabinet’s delegated powers.


The number of questions which may be asked by any councillor at any one meeting is limited to two (or one question with notice and a supplementary question at the meeting) and the time for questions will be limited to 30 minutes in total. As with questions at Council, any questions which remain unanswered at the end of this item will receive a written response.


Questions submitted prior to the agenda being despatched are shown below and will be the subject of a response from the appropriate Cabinet Member or such other councillor or officer as is determined by the Cabinet Member, and shall not be the subject of further debate at this meeting. Questions received after the despatch of the agenda, but before the deadline, will be shown on the Schedule of Addenda circulated at the meeting, together with any written response which is available at that time.


Councillor John Sanders had given notice of the following two questions to Councillor Constance:

1.    “There is considerable disappointment that Frideswide Square is about to undergo disruption due to proposed road works.  Why has this been deemed necessary so soon after the completion of the current design?”

Councillor Constance replied:

Frideswide Square is an innovative scheme, specifically designed with tight corners to keep the traffic speeds low so that it is safe for all. Unfortunately, as a consequence of unlawful driving, some damage to kerbing and slabs has been caused which require repairing.    

At the same time we are taking the opportunity to install new dropped kerbs near the railway station to assist cyclists and to introduce improvements to help visually impaired users at all crossing points.

Phasing of the works will however be supported by tailored traffic management and whilst some delays can be expected disruption will be kept to a minimum by using manual traffic management during the daytime.”

2.    “There is concern that the widened pavement in Oxford High Street near Turl Street has obstructed bus traffic.  What measures does the Cabinet Member's department propose to carry out to ameliorate this problem?

Councillor Constance replied:


“The pavement widening was proposed because we and the bus companies knew these bus stops would become more popular after Westgate opened, and we all wanted to provide extra space for the waiting passengers.   

However the stops are in fact so popular that bus dwell times are long and this is exacerbating the blockages.

We are therefore considering changes to bus stops, loading bays and taxi bays in the area as well as changes to the pavement itself.

Proposals are being drawn up now, there will be consultation on the proposals as soon as they are ready.”


Councillor Howson had given notice of the following question to Councillor Hibbert Biles:


In light of the recent Section 8 report from Ofsted on St Gregory the Great School what steps can the county council take to reassure parents that the school will provide a satisfactory and safe education for their children?”

Councillor Hibbert-Biles replied:

“The situation at the school is clearly very concerning and the council is seeking assurances from the school / academy sponsor that every effort is being made to improve standards for pupils. We have also expressed concerns to the Schools Commissioner, who oversees the performance of academies.

Clearly the council cannot offer reassurances it is not in a position to make. It is ultimately the role of the Schools Commissioner to step in where necessary to ensure academies are providing an acceptable standard of education.”

Supplementary: Councillor Howson commented that another school within the multi academy trust had safeguarding issues and that it raised a question over the suitability of the multi academy trust to run the school. He questioned the tangled roles of the Education & Skills Funding Agency, Ofsted and the Regional Schools Commissioner when looking at the academy schools. Councillor Hibbert-Biles replied  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16/18


Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal pdf icon PDF 161 KB

Cabinet Member: Leader

Forward Plan Ref: 2017/173

Contact: Susan Halliwell, Director for Planning & Place Tel: 07500 109185


Report by Chairman of Growth Board (CA6).


The Cabinet Meeting will be to discuss and seek approval to the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal.  Once approved by the constituent authorities, delivery of the Deal will be overseen by the Oxfordshire Growth Board. The Growth Board is a statutory joint committee of the 6 Oxfordshire Local Authorities, the LEP and key strategic partners.


The Deal, as announced by Government in November 2017, provides £215 million of additional government funding for Oxfordshire, to deliver the key infrastructure required to underpin proposed housing development, and additional funds to increase the supply of affordable housing.  This funding is comprised of £150 million for infrastructure, £60 million for affordable housing and £5 million capacity funding. 


The additional funding will support Oxfordshire’s ambition to plan for and support the delivery of up to100,000 new homes across Oxfordshire between 2011 and 2031 to address the county’s housing shortage and expected economic growth. This level of housing growth is that identified by the Oxfordshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment 2014, and is consistent with that planned for in existing and emerging Oxfordshire Local Plans.


The Deal also includes a package of planning “freedoms and flexibilities” that will help Oxfordshire to plan collectively for the long-term, sustainable development of the county by offering some protection from the risk of unplanned speculative development for the duration of development of the JSSP and early years of its implementation.


Once approved by all Local Authorities confirmation, in writing, will go to the Secretary of State along with submission of the agreed Delivery Plan.


The Deal brings with it significant additional funds for Oxfordshire. This will require a step change in delivery at the County Council for the Infrastructure Fund as well as the processes that manage the finances of the Growth Board.


The Terms of Reference for the Growth Board establishes Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) as the Accountable Body for the Growth Board and OCC already provides both this, Section 151 and Monitoring Officer roles. It is proposed that OCC expand this role to include the Deal and to provide relevant reports to the Growth Board on a quarterly basis.


Subject to agreement of the Delivery Plan with Government officials, the Housing and Growth Deal Delivery Plan as well as a full report for the Cabinet meeting and recommendations will be published in advance of the Cabinet Meeting. 


Subject to the satisfactory completion of that process, Cabinet will be asked to approve the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Delivery Plan together with associated detailed recommendations.




Additional documents:


Cabinet had before them a report seeking approval of the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Delivery Plan together with associated detailed recommendations: the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal announced by Government in the November Budget, provides £215 million of additional Government funding for Oxfordshire, along with a package of planning freedoms and flexibilities for the Oxfordshire authorities. 


The outline agreement set out that full agreement of the Deal is subject to agreement by each local authority and the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Board (OxLEP) Board (referred to collectively as the “Oxfordshire Partners”).


Once approved by all Local Authorities confirmation, in writing, will go to the Secretary of State along with submission of the agreed Delivery Plan.


Councillor Hudspeth, Leader of the Council, introduced the contents of the report, outlining what it involved, the role of the Growth Board and the key deadlines in the first year.  Councillor Hudspeth moved the recommendations.


Sue Halliwell responded to questions from Cabinet clarifying the expected start of the 3 year land supply would need to be consulted on locally, and once adopted would be used during the development of the Joint Statutory Spatial Plan.  Sue Halliwell also confirmed that local planning authorities were leading on the S28 Committee and they had provided a realistic timescale for its establishment. A Cabinet member asked whether the possible question marks over the Chalgrove Airfield proposal which could affect the viability of the South Oxfordshire Local Plan, impacted on the Housing & Growth Deal. Sue Halliwell replied that there was a commitment to having a local plan in place by early 2019 and any major changes would need to be worked through to manage any potential difficulties for the Delivery Plan.


Cabinet expressed its thanks to officers for all their work. Cabinet noted that this was a County Council initiative and the Leader was congratulated on coming together with the Leaders of Councils in Oxfordshire and others to work together for the benefit of all Oxfordshire.


RESOLVED:             to:


(a)       Agree to the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal (the Deal) .


(b)       Agree the Delivery Plan (attached as Annex 2 to this report) as the basis for the Deal; noting that elements will be updated as detailed work programmes develop.


(c)       Delegate authority to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader and the Growth Board, to make minor changes to the Delivery Plan that may be required to secure agreement with Government.


(d)       Delegate authority to the Chief Executive, in consultation with Leader and the Growth Board, to agree the Year 1 affordable housing delivery programme, phasing and processes specified in the Delivery Plan.


(e)       Agree for Oxfordshire County Council to become the accountable body in respect of the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal.


(f)        Delegate authority to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader and the Growth Board, to review the terms of reference of the Growth Board and agree any amendments and any appropriate inter-authority agreements required to support the Delivery of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17/18