Agenda and minutes

Venue: County Hall, Oxford, OX11ND

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

Items
No. Item

104/10

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received on behalf of Councillor Kieron Mallon.

105/10

Minutes pdf icon PDF 112 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 21 September 2010 (CA3) and to receive for information any matters arising therefrom.

106/10

Questions from County Councillors pdf icon PDF 104 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 Liz Brighouse, OBE had given notice of the following question to the Cabinet member for Adult Services:

 

 “Can the Cabinet Member for Adult Services please confirm the following:

 

The number of people that are currently in receipt of the Alert Service in the County;

The proportion of those people who pay for this service currently;

The proportion of people for who the charges listed in the revenue monitoring report will be ‘new’ charges;

Whether the Council has consulted users on these charges;

Whether these charges have been through the Adult Services Scrutiny Committee?”

 

Councillor Fatemian replied:

 

The number of people that are currently in receipt of the Alert Service in the County

 

From 4 October 2010, approximately 3,300 people.

 

The proportion of those people who pay for this service currently

 

None. All of these people are eligible to receive the service free of charge based on their support need and financial eligibility.

 

The proportion of people for who the charges listed in the revenue monitoring report will be ‘new’ charges

 

None, as per the eligibility criteria mentioned above.   The charges will apply to other people who wish to buy into the service because they believe that it offers a valuable service that they would like to use.

 

Whether the Council has consulted users on these charges

 

There was no need to consult existing users because they are unaffected by the charges.

 

Whether these charges have been through the Adult Services Scrutiny Committee?

 

Adult Services Scrutiny Committee has discussed the Alert Service on several occasions although they have not discussed the specific charges.  The eligibility and charging policy was signed off by Cllr Jim Couchman and Paul Purnell, Head of Service; and also formed part of the contract award decision taken by Cllr Jim Couchman under the delegated authority in February 2010.

 

Supplementary: Councillor Brighouse sought clarification that no one currently receiving the warden service would have to pay. Councillor Fatemian undertook to provide a more detailed written response on people who have the warden service.

 

Councillor John Sanders had given notice of the following question to the Cabinet member for Transport:

 

“I share with residents of Oxford the disappointment that, contrary to clear written promises by the County Council in 2006 that residents parking charges in Oxford would only be increased by the RPI, you have seen fit to approve an increase in these charges by 25% to cover “costs”.   As these charges and their RPI indexing were part of a Traffic Order which was the result of extensive consultation, how is it that this Traffic Order can be replaced without further similar consultation?”

 

Councillor Rose replied:

 

“I too am disappointed that we are in a situation where we have to consider this increase; however the County Council has to cover the administration cost involved, I must remind Cllr Saunders no decision has yet been taken to approve a rise in permit charges. The variation of the Traffic Order has been out to statutory consultation and will be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 106/10

107/10

Petitions and Public Address pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Minutes:

The following requests to address the meeting had been agreed:

Item 6 - Councillor Armitage, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance & Property

Councillor Liz Brighouse, OBE

Item 7 - Cllr. Anne Purse (Shadow Cabinet Member for Growth & Infrastructure)

- Cllr Charles Mathew          

- Cllr Lorraine Lindsey Gale

- Cllr Don Seale        

- Mr John Bowler, AGGROW

- Mr John Taylor for the PAGE Campaign

- Ms Julie Hankey for the OUTRAGE Campaign   

            

Item 8 - Cllr. Jean Fooks (Opposition Deputy Leader for Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Families referring to her role  as a member of Corporate Parenting Panel)

 

Item 9 - Cllr. Zoe Patrick (Opposition Leader)

Item 10 - Cllr. Jean Fooks (Opposition Deputy Leader)

Item 11 - Cllr. Jean Fooks (Opposition Deputy Leader)

Item 12 - Cllr. Zoe Patrick (Opposition Leader)

 

108/10

Financial Monitoring - October 2010 pdf icon PDF 152 KB

Cabinet Member: Finance & Property

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/091

Contact: Kathy Wilcox, Principal Financial Manager Tel: (01865) 323981

 

Report by Assistant Chief Executive & Chief Finance Officer (CA6).

 

This is the third financial monitoring report for the 2010/11 financial year and covers the period up to the end of August 2010.  Part 1 & 2 set out the Council's forecast position for the 2010/11 financial year and include projections for revenue, balances, and reserves. The capital programme monitoring and update is dealt with at Part 3.  Part 4 includes the proposed changes to Fees and Charges for the Alert Service in Social and Community Services.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(a)              note the report and approve the virements as set out in annex 2a;

 

(b)              approve the Supplementary Estimate requests as set out in annex 2f and the return of £0.071m by CYP&F as set out in paragraph 19;

 

(c)               approve transfer to reserves as set out in paragraph 14;

 

(d)              approve the Capital Programme included at Annex 7;

 

(e)              note the Capital Programme Review Update as set out in paragraph 99 & 100;

 

(f)                note the reduction of £2.774m in Sure Start, Early Years and Children’s Centres (SSEYCC) grant funding and agree the effect on Early Years and Children’s Centre projects as summarised out in paragraph 88; and

 

(g)              approve the proposed fees and charges for the Alert Service as set out in Part 4.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the monthly financial monitoring report for the 2010/11 financial year covering the period up to the end of August 2010.  It included the Council's forecast position for the 2010/11 financial year with projections for revenue, balances, and reserves and the capital programme monitoring and update.

 

Councillor Armitage, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance & Property referred to the information that was contained in paragraph 88 relating to early years and Children’s Centre projects. He felt that the information was not self explanatory and hoped that in difficult financial times where transparency in decision making was essential this could be improved.

 

Councillor Brighouse speaking as a local member commended the finance officers on the paperwork. She would have liked to have been kept more informed on the position relating to the future of Playbuilder Capital Funding and urged that the scheme for Bayards Hill go forward.

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance & Property highlighted that with 6 months to go the financial position was on track and in year reductions were now all included in the figures. He highlighted areas of concern including pooled budgets and the underlying position of the Children, Young People & Families budget. Cabinet Members responded to the concerns raised and in particular the Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Families congratulated the Director for Children, Young People & Families on her efforts to bring the budget on track that had resulted in changed ways of working that would sustain the improvement. She confirmed that there had been no news yet from central Government about play schemes.

 

RESOLVED:                        to:

 

(a)               note the report and approve the virements as set out in annex 2a;

 

(b)               approve the Supplementary Estimate requests as set out in annex 2f and the return of £0.071m by CYP&F as set out in paragraph 19;

 

(c)               approve transfer to reserves as set out in paragraph 14;

 

(d)               approve the Capital Programme included at Annex 7;

 

(e)               note the Capital Programme Review Update as set out in paragraph 99 & 100;

 

(f)                 note the reduction of £2.774m in Sure Start, Early Years and Children’s Centres (SSEYCC) grant funding and agree the effect on Early Years and Children’s Centre projects as summarised out in paragraph 88; and

 

(g)               approve the proposed fees and charges for the Alert Service as set out in Part 4.

109/10

Oxfordshire Minerals and Waste Development Framework: Core Strategy - Preferred Minerals Strategy pdf icon PDF 66 KB

Cabinet Member: Growth & Infrastructure

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/108

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

 

Report by Head of Sustainable Development (CA7).

 

The Minerals and Waste Development Framework will set out how minerals will be supplied and waste managed in the county.  The Core Strategy will include a vision and strategic objectives, spatial strategy, core polices and a monitoring and implementation framework.  The report includes a set of principles to underpin the minerals part of the Core Strategy.  It describes the current pattern of mineral working in Oxfordshire and explains the development of, consultation on, and assessment and testing of options for the location of sand and gravel, soft sand and crushed rock workings over the next 15 to 20 years.

 

A preferred spatial strategy for mineral working needs to be selected for public consultation, as the next stage in preparation of the minerals part of the Core Strategy.  The recommendation of the Minerals and Waste Plan Working Group on a preferred strategy approach and timetable for consultation is reported.  This takes into account work that is to be carried out over the next two months to establish a locally derived assessment of the requirement for aggregates supply in Oxfordshire over the plan period.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(a)              agree the guiding principles for the minerals strategy (paragraphs 3 to 5 of Annex 1);

 

(b)              agree that the County Council’s preferred approach for mineral working in the short to medium term is:

 

(i)                 sand and gravel – concentration of working in existing areas of working, at Lower Windrush Valley, Eynsham/ Cassington/Yarnton, Radley, Sutton Courtenay and Caversham, subject to the ability of these areas to provide for the medium to longer term being re-assessed when the requirement for sand and gravel supply has been established and consideration being given to new areas of working if the re-assessment indicates this is necessary;

 

(ii)               soft sand – working in three existing areas: south east of Faringdon; Tubney/Marcham/Hinton Waldrist; and Duns Tew;

 

(iii)             crushed rock – working in three existing areas: north of Bicester to the east of the River Cherwell; south of the A40 near Burford; and south east of Faringdon;

 

(c)               agree the next steps set out in paragraph 19 of this report, including public consultation on the preferred minerals strategy in spring 2011.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Cabinet considered a report setting out the recommendation of the Minerals and Waste Plan Working Group on a preferred strategy approach and containing a timetable for consultation. 

 

Councillor Anne Purse, Shadow Cabinet Member for Growth & Infrastructure, referred to the seriousness of the decision which would have far reaching effects. She expressed concern at the over reliance on West Oxfordshire and hoped that consideration would be given to the concerns of the Highways Authority and Environment Agency. Everything possible must be done to avoid stockpiling materials and she would have preferred a more hybrid solution taking something from the other options. She expressed concern over the future of the wet meadows which were important habitat.

Councillor Charles Mathew  referred to the recent decision on Stonehenge Farm where the Council had been hampered by the land bank and lack of supporting evidence.  He referred to the figures and commented that very little extra gravel would be needed for some years to come. Even less was required when builders gravel was taken into account. He felt that residents got no benefit from the option proposed and that any new sites should be based on market proximity. Responding to a question Councillor Mathew highlighted the negative effects on local residents of traffic, environment, noise and dust. This was made worse when routing agreements were ignored.

Councillor Lorraine Lindsey -Gale, speaking as a local member, expressing the anger of local residents who were threatened by gravel extraction when she felt there was no need. Councillor Lindsay-Gale commented that she had consistently supported the option of continuing to work existing areas. Option 1 was the only sustainable option but consideration should be given to the proposals around Nuneham Courtenay which would be an entirely new site.

 

Councillor Don Seale, speaking as a local member  welcomed the proposal to continue with existing sites. He referred to difficulties in his local area with the proximity of RAF Brize Norton. Water based leisure facilities would not be possible. Local roads and bridges were inadequate to handle the traffic. He referred to the planning blight around Bampton and Clanfield and asked that Cabinet consider including a statement that these areas would not be a site for gravel extraction for the foreseeable future. He would like to see this adopted as planning guidance.

 

Mr John Bowler, for AGGROW, spoke in support of the recommendations referring to the unique characteristics of the flat Upper Thames Valley that would be at risk if either of the other options were agreed.

 

Mr John Taylor for the PAGE Campaign spoke in support of Option 1. He welcomed the use of consultants to look at need and hoped that his group could be involved. He supported the comments of the Growth & infrastructure Scrutiny Committee concerning the use of recycled aggregates. Responding to a question he explained why Radley Parish Council had not been allowed to join the PAGE Campaign.

Ms Julie Hankey for the OUTRAGE Campaign   spoke against further extraction in her area. A lengthy planning  ...  view the full minutes text for item 109/10

110/10

Progress Report on CLA and Leaving Care pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Cabinet Member: Children, Young People & Families

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/093

Contact: Fran Fonseca, Strategic Lead CLA Tel: (01865) 323098

 

Report by Director for Children, Young People & Families (CA8).

 

This is one of a number of regular reports to Cabinet and Council on its role as legal "Corporate Parent" to the Children and Young People Looked After by the Council, and those Leaving Care to live independently.

 

The report addresses Council-wide improvements in Corporate Parenting, including enhanced accountability for this highly vulnerable group. It also reports on the progress and challenges posed in caring for the County's most vulnerable young people.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(a)              continue to support  the Corporate Parenting Strategy; and

 

(b)              note the information on outcomes for Looked After Children and the associated  service performance measures.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered one of a number of regular reports to Cabinet and Council on its role as legal "Corporate Parent" to the Children and Young People Looked After by the Council, and those Leaving Care to live independently.

 

The report addressed Council-wide improvements in Corporate Parenting, including enhanced accountability for this highly vulnerable group. It also reported on the progress and challenges posed in caring for the County's most vulnerable young people.

 

 

Councillor Fooks highlighted some very good work including the ‘virtual school’ and the achievements of students where 15% were going to University. The cabinet member for Children, Young people & Families thanked Councillor Fooks for her sustained efforts and support.

 

RESOLVED:                        to:

 

(a)               continue to support  the Corporate Parenting Strategy; and

 

(b)               note the information on outcomes for Looked After Children and the associated  service performance measures.

111/10

Format of County Council Meeting pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Cabinet Member: Leader

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/161

Contact: Peter Clark, Head of Legal & Democratic Services Tel: (01865) 323907

 

Report by Head of Legal & Democratic Services (CA9).

 

n 2009, the County Council made several changes to the Constitution, including the introduction of themed debates at Council meetings.  It was agreed that the changes be reviewed after twelve months.  This report reviews the effectiveness of the changes, including the themed debates.  It also suggests further changes, in the interests of  efficiency, which Cabinet may wish to recommend to Council.

 

Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to consider the potential amendments to the constitution outlined in this report and to recommend Council to approve any changes agreed, including the cessation of themed debates and the proposal for ending meetings of full Council at 3.30 p.m.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report that reviewed the effectiveness of the changes, made to the format of Council meetings, including the themed debates. 

 

Councillor Patrick, Opposition Leader expressed disappointment over the discontinuation of the themed debate but commented that although some had been good others had not and she was not surprised. She noted that the earlier end for meetings would mean less time for motions but agreed that the time could be used for briefings.

 

RESOLVED:  to agree the amendments to the constitution outlined in the report and to RECOMMEND to Council to approve the changes including the cessation of themed debates and the proposal for ending meetings of full Council at 3.30 p.m.

112/10

Corporate ICT Strategy pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Cabinet Member: Deputy Leader

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/147

Contact: Ben Threadgold, Senior Policy Officer Tel: (01865) 328219

 

Report by Head of Strategy (CA10).

 

A draft of the Corporate ICT Strategy is provided for approval by Cabinet.

 

The Corporate ICT Strategy reflects the current corporate priorities and challenges facing the organisation and our partners, and the central role ICT plays in supporting our business strategy and overarching strategic objectives. It sets both a strategic approach to provision of ICT moving forward, and actions by which this will be achieved in the short to medium term.

 

The strategy sets our commitment to maximise the strategic and operational value of ICT in delivering our strategic objectives, driving business efficiency and supporting service delivery.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to agree the draft Corporate ICT Strategy, and to receive quarterly updates on its implementation in line with the action plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report seeking approval of the draft Corporate ICT Strategy.

 

Councillor Fooks, Opposition Deputy Leader, stressed the importance of the different ICT systems ‘talking’ to one another. In noting that there was no proper provision for upgrades after 2011/12 she hoped that this would be possible. It was important that information on the web site was as up to date as possible. In taking the ICT Strategy forward she hoped that climate change and the need to reduce our carbon footprint would be given some priority.

 

Councillor David Robertson responded to the points made and highlighted the attached Action Plan that would be monitored.

 

RESOLVED:                                    to agree the draft Corporate ICT Strategy, and to receive quarterly updates on its implementation in line with the action plan.

.

113/10

Customer Service Strategy pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Cabinet Member: Deputy Leader

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/115

Contact: Tracy Luck, Head of Strategy Tel: (01865) 816383

 

Report by Head of Strategy (CA11).

 

The purpose of this report is to seek approval from Cabinet for the Oxfordshire County Council Customer Service Strategy.

 

The Customer Service Strategy forms an important part of our commitment to delivering better public services.  It sets both a strategic approach to embedding excellent customer service across the Council and actions by which this will be achieved in the short to medium term.

 

More explicit Customer Focus, including managing our reputation, is one of the individual streams of work within the County Council's Business Strategy.  We aim to put customers at the heart of everything we do, and will use this focus on customers to make cost savings.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to approve the Customer Service Strategy and its 18-month action plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report seeking approval of the draft Customer Service Strategy.

 

Councillor Fooks, Opposition Deputy Leader commented that the Strategy had been a long time in preparation and referred to earlier initiatives. The standards for responding to emails and letters needed to be reinforced with employees.

 

The Deputy Leader replied that the intention was to embed the standards into the Council culture.

 

RESOLVED:                         to agree the draft Customer Service Strategy, and to receive quarterly updates on its implementation in line with the action plan.

 

114/10

The Future of the Council Magazine 'Oxon News' pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Cabinet Member: Leader/Deputy Leader

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/149

Contact: James Clark, Head of Communications, Marketing & Public Affairs

 

Report by Assistant Chief Executive (Strategy) (CA11).

 

To consider options for the future of the Council magazine ‘Oxon News’.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to discontinue ‘Oxon News’ at the end of 2010.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered options for the future of the Council magazine ‘Oxon News’.

 

Councillor Patrick welcomed the report and recommendation.

 

RESOLVED:                                    to discontinue ‘Oxon News’ at the end of 2010.

115/10

Forward Plan and Future Business pdf icon PDF 70 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 CA13.  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:

The Cabinet considered a list of items 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.

 

116/10

Delegated Powers of the Chief Executive - October 2010

Cabinet Member: Leader

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/093

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

 

Schedule below reporting on a quarterly basis any executive decisions taken by the Chief Executive under the specific powers and functions delegated to her under the terms of Part 7.4 of the Council's Constitution.

 

Date

Subject

 

Decision

 

Reason for Urgency

22/09/2010

Premature retirement

 

Approved the early retirement of a member of staff in accordance with regulations.

 

A decision was required urgently due to the proposed leaving date prior to the next scheduled meeting of the Pension Benefits Sub-Committee.

 

Minutes:

Cabinet noted the schedule below reporting on a quarterly basis any executive decisions taken by the Chief Executive under the specific powers and functions delegated to her under the terms of Part 7.4 of the Council's Constitution.

 

Date

Subject

 

Decision

 

Reason for Urgency

22/09/2010

Premature retirement

 

Approved the early retirement of a member of staff in accordance with regulations.

 

A decision was required urgently due to the proposed leaving date prior to the next scheduled meeting of the Pension Benefits Sub-Committee.