Agenda and minutes

Venue: Rooms 1&2 - County Hall, New Road, Oxford OX1 1ND. View directions

Contact: Colm Ó Caomhánaigh, Tel 07393 001096  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence and Temporary Appointments


Apologies were received from Councillor Mike Fox-Davies (Councillor Anda Fitzgerald-O’Connor substituting), Councillor Michael Waine (Councillor Les Sibley substituting) and Yvonne Rees, Chief Executive.



Declarations of Interest - Guidance note on back page of the agenda


There were no declarations of interest.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 166 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 8 November 2018 and to receive information arising from them.


The minutes of the meeting on 8 November 2018 were approved and signed as a correct record.



Petitions and Public Address


A request to speak on Item 6 was received from Councillor Laura Price.  It was agreed to take this at the start of the item.



Business Management and Monitoring Report - Quarter 2 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 427 KB



This paper provides details of performance for quarter two 2018-19 for the Performance Scrutiny Committee to consider before making comments to Cabinet by 22 January. The report, and any comments made by the Committee, are required so that the Cabinet can monitor the performance of the council in key service areas and be assured that progress is being made to improve areas where performance is below the expected level.


The Committee is RECOMMENDED to note the report and consider any matters for further attention by the Committee.



Ben Threadgold introduced the report and highlighted the indicators that had changed from the last quarter as indicated in paragraphs 4 and 5.


The following points were raised by Members to consider for future reports:


·         Separate out figures for paper and plastic recycling;

·         Find better indicators for “Air Quality”, “Level of Connectivity” and “People play an active part in their communities”;

·         Provide more information on the data that backs up the indicators;

·         Include the date of the latest agreed budget as well as a comparison to the original budget.

·         Highlight how effective the extra expenditure on highways has been.



Service and Resource Planning 2019/20 - 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 98 KB



This report is one in the series on the Service & Resource Planning process for 2019/20 to 2022/23, providing councillors with information on budget issues for 2019/20 and the medium term. This report presents the latest identified pressures and proposed savings for 2019/20 and the medium term as well as key points arising from the Autumn Budget announced on 29 October 2018. 


The Committee is RECOMMENDED to consider and comment on the revenue pressures and savings proposals.


Additional documents:


Councillor Laura Price asked the Committee to consider three issues in particular:

·         The reduction in the Mental Health budget for working-age adults and the possible knock-on effects on adult and children’s social care and homelessness.  The sector is already under huge pressure and this £1m saving could be a tipping point.

·         There is concern that the proposed reassessments of care packages will not deliver the predicted savings and could be very disruptive creating costs elsewhere.

·         There is not enough information for Members on the new model for children’s services.


Lorna Baxter gave a presentation introducing the report.  At the time of the meeting the Provision Local Government Finance Settlement had not been received but it was not expected to contain any major surprises.


Directors and other officers responded to points raised by Members as follows:


·         A consultation paper on a proposed new formula for local government finance is expected soon but the outcome will not be known until December 2019 and it will come into effect from April 2020. It is difficult to predict the outcome at this stage or to predict the effect on services.

·         The Council’s reserves are currently £69m.  The current net pressure of £8.1m in 2019/20 is anticipated to be met in part by the use of reserves and/or balances, but the outcome of the settlement and the final information from district councils as well as the review of charges are still required.


Children’s Services

·         When the Council opened new residential assessment centres demand was relatively low but it has increased exponentially.  However, the edge of care service has an 83% success rate at avoiding children becoming Looked After Children.

·         It will take time to address the shortage of placements in the South East region.

·         Officers are working with the market to provide increased capacity and a good price.

·         The Council’s fostering offer is under review with a view to develop an improved support package.  The numbers placed in foster care are steady but demand is increasing.

·         Five of the savings under Children’s Social Care are red rated under deliverability because of the stage we are at – still working on a new model which needs to be evidence-based.

·         A 9% increase in demand is factored into the MTFP – this is a mid point prediction as demand has risen by 20% this year.

·         Any children placed in Oxfordshire by other Local Authorities are placed with external providers.

·         A Cabinet Advisory Group is looking at SEN Home to School Transport to try to identify savings through different ways of working.  Officers from Highways are involved in exploring options.


Adult Services

·         Reassessments of the need for care and the right provision to meet this are worked out with the people and their families.  There are examples where changes were made that suited the user better, saved the Council money and freed up resources to assist others.

·         Healthwatch are conducting a review of the changes in daytime support which will include talking to people who have stopped using  ...  view the full minutes text for item 74/18


Committee work programme pdf icon PDF 242 KB



To agree the committee’s work programme for future meetings based on key priorities and discussion in the meeting.



The following changes to the work programme were agreed:


Recycling Rates moved from March to May

Growth Board added to May