Agenda and minutes

Venue: County Hall, Oxford, OX11ND

Contact: Sue Whitehead  Tel: (01865) 810262; E-Mail:  sue.whitehead@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

48/10

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received on behalf of Councillor Jim Couchman.

49/10

Minutes pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 20 April 2010 (CA3) and to receive for information any matters arising therefrom.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 20 April 2010 were approved and signed.

 

50/10

Questions from County Councillors pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Any county councillor may, by giving notice to the Proper Officer by 9 am on the working day 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.

Minutes:

Councillor Jean Fooks had given notice of the following question to the Deputy Leader:

 

“There is still a problem with the new phone system in County Hall. I rang the main County Council number, 792422, the other day and the phone just rang and rang – then cut off, with no message or opportunity to leave a message. I was told that this is happening to other people too. Could the Cabinet member follow this up, as it is extremely poor customer service?”

 

Councillor Robertson replied that general enquiries were going to be transferred to the new contact centre on 5 July. Whilst all new systems had some teething troubles he understood the frustrations felt particularly by members of the public. The problem had been reported to IT support services for resolution and he would be upset if similar problems occurred in the future.

 

Councillor Jean Fooks had given notice of the following question to the Cabinet Member for Schools Improvement:

 “The most recent Admissions figures for September 2010 show that the County Council is very short of reception class places, particularly in the city of Oxford. It is very clear that new school places will be needed for September 2011 and the currently planned increases look to be inadequate. If the bulge is repeated in subsequent years, which looks extremely likely, more places are going to be needed right through the primary schools, putting huge pressure on existing schools and causing huge problems for parents.

What plans are being developed to meet this growing school population? The review of the city catchment areas is urgently needed as well as provision of new places, probably new schools, across the county. When will the review take place and when could it be implemented? Where does the cabinet member hope to be able to provide new school places throughout the primary phase?”

 

Councillor Waine:

 

·         Through the strenuous efforts of officers, working very closely with headteachers and governors, it has been possible, once again, to ensure that every child whose parents have requested a school place has been offered one; the overwhelming majority (c.90%) have received the offer of a place at their first preference school. This has required a number of tough decisions but I am committed to ensuring that the Council continues to meet its statutory duty to ensure an overall sufficiency of school places.

·         It is indeed the case that if you add up all the Published Admission Numbers of our schools there was a shortfall of places for Reception age pupils, but for September 2010 we have managed to create and additional 530 or so places. This has been achieved through a combination of installing temporary classrooms (as a precursor to permanent buildings), bringing classrooms back into use as teaching spaces, and schools being flexible about how they group children. In Oxford (and immediate vicinity) alone 220 places have been created.

·         Population forecasts suggest that the current levels of demand will continue for the next 2 -  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50/10

51/10

Petitions and Public Address pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Minutes:

The following requests to address the meeting had been agreed:

 

Speaker

Item

Cllr Purse (Shadow Cabinet Member for Growth & Infrastructure))

 

Cllr Mathew               

Cllr  Lindsay-Gale    

 

Julie Hankey  - Oxfordshire Upper Thames Residents Against Gravel Extraction (OUTRAGE)

 

John Taylor - Parishes Against Gravel Extraction (PAGE)

 

David Scott - Burcott and Clifton Hamden protection of river Thames (BaCHporT)

Item 6 - South East Plan: The Secretary Of State’s Proposed Changes to Policy M3 Primary Land-

Won Aggregates and Sub-Regional Apportionment, March 2010

Councillor Jean Fooks

Item 7 – Establishment Review

 

52/10

Consultation on The Secretary of State's Proposed Changes to South East Plan Policy M3 (Primary Aggregates Provision and Apportionment) pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Cabinet Member: Growth & Infrastructure

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/058

Contact: Peter Day, Minerals and Waste Policy Team Leader Tel: (01865) 815544

 

Report by Head of Sustainable Development (CA 6).

 

 

A review of the sub-regional apportionment of land-won aggregates in Policy M3 of the South East Plan is being carried out.  In March 2009 consultation was carried out on proposals by the South East England Regional Assembly (SEERA) for a revision of Policy M3, including a revised apportionment.  Following an Examination in Public held in October 2009, the Secretary of State has now published proposed changes to Policy M3 for consultation.  The apportionment sets the amount of provision that should be made for mineral working in the Minerals and Waste Development Framework.  It is therefore appropriate for the County Council to make a response.  The consultation closes on 1 June 2010.

 

The proposed new sand and gravel apportionment is based on a regional total of 11.12 million tonnes a year.  This is less than the government guideline figure but not as low as the figure proposed by SEERA.  The proposed sand and gravel apportionment for Oxfordshire is 2.10 million tonnes a year, which is 15% more than the current figure, and represents an increased share of regional supply.  This would increase the Oxfordshire apportionment to a higher level than since the early 1990s.  Actual production has been below this level since 1990 and has been steadily declining since 1998.  This proposed increase in the apportionment is unnecessary, inappropriate and unacceptable.  The proposed new crushed rock apportionment for Oxfordshire is 0.66 million tonnes a year, which is significantly less than the current figure and is acceptable.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(a)               agree the following response to the consultation by the Government Office for the South East on the Secretary of State’s Proposed Changes to Regional Spatial Strategy for the South East (South East Plan) Policy M3 – Primary land-won aggregates and sub-regional apportionment:

 

(i)                 the County Council objects to the proposed changes to the sand and gravel figures in Policy M3, particularly the regional figure of 11.12 million tonnes a year and the Oxfordshire figure of 2.10 million tonnes a year, for the reasons set out in paragraph 20 of this report;

 

(ii)               the County Council supports the proposed changes to the crushed rock figures in Policy M3;

 

(iii)             the County Council supports the other proposed changes to the wording of Policy M3, in particular the inclusion of a statement that apportionments will be subject to testing of deliverability in the preparation of MWDFs;

 

(b)              authorise the Head of Sustainable Development, in consultation with   the Cabinet Member for Growth and Infrastructure, to submit a response to the consultation based on this report.

 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a response (CA6) to the consultation by the Government Office for the South East on the Secretary of State’s Proposed Changes to the Regional Spatial Strategy for the South East (South East Plan) Policy M3 – Primary land-won aggregates and sub-regional apportionment.

 

Councillor Anne Purse supported the points made in the report and the recommendations. She commented that it did not appear fair for Oxfordshire to have increased totals whilst the South East saw reductions and that the approach referred to in paragraph 16 of not protecting anything below national designations was a threat to bio-diversity.

 

Councillor Charles Mathew spoke in support of the recommendations, thanked the Cabinet Member and officers for their work and spoke in particular about the level of production against the national annual usage and sustainability issues connected with transporting the additional materials outside Oxfordshire.

 

Councillor Lorraine Lindsay-Gale broadly supported the recommendations and referred to the threat to parishes in her Division of Dorchester and Berinsfield. She supported the views of local groups PAGE and BaCHporT. She stated that she would wish to see an even lower figure being pursued than the 1.58m tonnes/annum to reflect supply and demand. She wished to see the County do its own predictive modelling and to become one of the leading recyclers of aggregates.

 

Julie Hankey, Oxfordshire Upper Thames Residents Against Gravel Extraction (OUTRAGE) spoke endorsing the report, commenting that the increase was unsustainable in travel miles and that the proposals would destroy archaeology and diverse habitats.

 

John Taylor - Parishes Against Gravel Extraction (PAGE) referred to the impact on the quality of life for residents of Dorchester on Thames. The Group had spoken to people in local parishes who had raised key questions such as the basis for the raise to 2.1m tonnes when demand was less; why Oxfordshire would see an increase when other areas in the South East would see reductions and why the County was not developing a forecasting system.

 

David Scott - Burcott and Clifton Hamden protection of river Thames (BaCHporT) supported the points already made and highlighted that the increase was against a backdrop of decreasing demand. He queried the validity of Option 3 and commented that it was the County’s duty to seek a reduction in apportionment.

 

The Cabinet Member for Growth and Infrastructure responded to the comments made and drew attention to the additional point to be included in the response.

 

RESOLVED:             to:

 

(a)               agree the following response to the consultation by the Government Office for the South East on the Secretary of State’s Proposed Changes to Regional Spatial Strategy for the South East (South East Plan) Policy M3 – Primary land-won aggregates and sub-regional apportionment:

 

(i)                  the County Council objects to the proposed changes to the sand and gravel figures in Policy M3, particularly the regional figure of 11.12 million tonnes a year and the Oxfordshire  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52/10

53/10

Establishment Review - May 2010 pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Cabinet Member: Deputy Leader

Forward Plan Ref:  2010/012

Contact: Sue Corrigan, Strategic HR Manager Tel: (01865) 810280

 

Report by Head of Human Resources (CA7).

 

This report gives an update on activity since the implementation of the  Establishment Review and associated Recruitment Approval process on 1 August 2005. It provides detail on the overall objectives of the review and summarises progress made against the targets which were agreed to ensure delivery of those objectives. Details of the agreed establishment figure at 31 March 2010 in terms of Full Time Equivalents is provided, together with the detailed staffing position at 31 March 2010. These are shown in the report by directorate and service area.

The report also provides information on current activity and in addition there is information on grant funded posts and the cost of those vacancies which are being covered by agency staff.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

(a) note the report;

 

(b) confirm that the Establishment Review continues to meet the Cabinet’s requirements in reporting and managing staffing numbers.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report (CA7) that gave an update on activity since the implementation of the Establishment Review and associated Recruitment Approval process on 1 August 2005. Details of the agreed establishment figure at 31 March 2010 in terms of Full Time Equivalents was provided, together with the detailed staffing position at 31 March 2010. The report also contained information on grant funded posts and those vacancies which are being covered by agency staff and at what cost.

 

Councillor Jean Fooks, Opposition Deputy Leader, stated that she was still unclear about the true vacancy and agency staff figures; suggested that there was a danger of double counting with regard to long term sickness and that it might be useful to have a column showing unfilled posts.

 

Councillor Robertson responded to the comments made and in particular stressed that the balance between agency and permanent staff was always monitored to ensure value for money. He noted that any vacancies held for more than six months had to be justified for the post to be retained. He added that he was pleased to see the reduction in advertising costs and commented that he felt that the report was useful and that the information was now being reported earlier.

 

RESOLVED:                                           to:

(a)       note the report;

(b)       confirm that the Establishment Review continues to meet the Cabinet’s requirements in reporting and managing staffing numbers.  

.

 

54/10

Forward Plan and Future Business pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Cabinet Member: All

Contact Officer: Sue Whitehead, Committee Services Manager (01865 810262)

 

The Cabinet Procedure Rules provide that the business of each meeting at the Cabinet is to include “updating of the Forward Plan and proposals for business to be conducted at the following meeting”.   Items from the Forward Plan for the immediately forthcoming meetings of the Cabinet appear in the Schedule at CA8.  This includes any updated information relating to the business for those meetings that has already been identified for inclusion in the next Forward Plan update.

 

The Schedule is for noting, but Cabinet Members may also wish to take this opportunity to identify any further changes they would wish to be incorporated in the next Forward Plan update.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to note the items currently identified for forthcoming meetings.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Agenda Item)

 

The Cabinet considered a list of items (CA8) for the immediately forthcoming meetings of the Cabinet together with changes and additions set out in the schedule of addenda.

 

RESOLVED:          to note the items currently identified for forthcoming meetings.

 

55/10

Planning Obligation Non Payment of Contribution pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Cabinet Member: Finance & Property

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/090

Contact: Howard Cox, Team Leader – Developer Funding Tel: (01865) 810436

 

Report by Assistant Chief Executive & Chief Finance Officer and Head of Sustainable Development

 

In accordance with Regulation 16 of the The Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2000 (as amended), the Chairman of the Strategy & Partnerships Scrutiny Committee (since this is a finance related item) has agreed that the need to take the decision is urgent and cannot reasonably be deferred.

 

The report seeks approval to write off a S106 contribution.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(a)               write off the debt of £74,667.09 in connection with this planning obligation;

 

(b)              request confirmation of the write off in the next financial monitoring report to the Cabinet.

 

 

 

Minutes:

In accordance with Regulation 16 of the The Local Authorities (Executive

Arrangements) (Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2000 (as amended), the Chairman of the Strategy & Partnerships Scrutiny Committee (since this is a finance related item) has agreed that the need to take the decision is urgent and cannot reasonably be deferred.

 

The Chairman agreed that the report be considered as a matter of urgency because of the urgentneed to address a local community concern, the financial risk to the Council if further house sales fall through and to meet a Council commitment that the matter would be dealt with by the end of May.

 

RESOLVED:                        to:

 

(a)    write off the debt of £74,667.09 in connection with this planning

obligation; and

 

(b)    request confirmation of the write off in the next financial monitoring

report to the Cabinet.