Agenda, decisions and minutes

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

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

Items
No. Item

120/14

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Hibbert Biles.

121/14

Minutes pdf icon PDF 177 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 25 November 2014 (CA3 - to be circulated separately) and to receive information arising from them.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 25 November 2014 were agreed and signed.

122/14

Questions from County Councillors pdf icon PDF 95 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.

Minutes:

Councillor Howson had given notice of the following questions to Councillor Tilley:

 

“1. In the Resource briefing last week pressures of over £1 million were identified in the Home to School budget for this year. Can the Cabinet Member identify where these pressures have arisen since the budget was agreed in February."

 

Councillor Tilley replied:

 

“The pressure in Home to School Transport was identified through the Financial Monitoring Reports towards the end of the 2013/14 financial year. At this time the budget setting process had been substantially completed and it was not clear whether this would be an on-going pressure or a one off. At the end of 2013/14 there was an overspend of £1.35m and there is expected to be an on-going pressure in the near future which has now been included as part of the budget proposals for 2015/16. There are plans in place to deal with the pressure and also to make savings over the coming years which should result in a reduction in the budget over the medium term.

 

Analysis of the home to school budget across financial years 2011/12 to 2013/14 found that expenditure has been steadily rising over this period. In total, expenditure rose by £1.9m (14%) between 11/12 and 13/14 (N.B some areas of expenditure were excluded from the analysis – circa £600K).

 

The majority of this (£1.4m) is attributable to increased spend on four-seater taxis, which rose by 42% over the three years. £760,497 of this increase is attributable to SEN transport, £346,342 to mainstream transport, £158,745 to Meadowbrook transport (pupil referral units), and the remainder to others. Spend on 5-seater wheel chair accessible vehicles also increased substantially over this period – by £296,466 (42%).

 

Oxford City saw the highest increase in spend, at £849K (28%). This reflects the high concentration of Special Schools in the city, many of which cater to students from all over the county, and a temporary lack of primary school places which meant students had to travel further distances to get to school.

 

As a result of these findings, efforts are now focused on reducing spend in the categories / areas identified above. A programme of route assessment and rationalisation has already begun and has delivered substantial savings in 14/15, particularly to mainstream transport. From January onwards, work will focus largely on SEN transport and reducing usage of taxis through a combination of initiatives, including independent travel training, personal budgets and merging of multiple taxi routes into lower cost minibus routes.”

 

“2. What has been the spend on taxis in the first six months of the current financial year compared with the same period last year on:

a] taxi for SEN pupils

b] taxis for pupils other than SEN pupils.”

 

Councillor Tilley replied:

 

“The below two tables show expenditure for SEN and mainstream students on vehicles which could be classed as ‘taxis’, compared between the first six months of 2014/15 and the same period in 2013/14.

 

SEN Expenditure

Vehicle type

2013/14 (Apr - Sep)

2014/15  ...  view the full minutes text for item 122/14

123/14

Petitions and Public Address pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Minutes:

The following requests to address the meeting had been agreed:

 

Item 6 – Roger Bush, Anthea Taylor and Dr Jim Halliday

Andy Cattermole, Taylor Wimpey

Councillor Lovatt, Councillor Fawcett, Councillor Constance

Item 7 – Councillor Hards

Item 8 – Councillor Hards

Anthony Simpson, CAG project

Dan Betterton, CAG project

Item 9 – Councillor Susanna Pressel

Item 10 –Councillor Gill Sanders

Councillor Liz Brighouse

Item 11 – Councillor Gill Sanders

 

Councillor Susanna Pressel, speaking as a local councillor welcomed the consultation response and the success of the Oxford and Abingdon Flood Alleviation Schemes. However she was disappointed at the number of typographical errors in the report. Referring to the consultation she queried how the Council had met with and reached out to areas where there were no parish councils. She expressed concern at the level of officer participation on the Oxford Area Flood Partnership and felt that the detail on riparian land ownership was unclear. The information on future arrangements around SUDs from government was unclear and she asked that the Council urge government to make progress.

 

Responding members expressed satisfaction at the level of consultation with Parish Councils and noted that all communities could apply for parish status.

 

Petition

 

Cllr. Samantha Bowring, Town Councillor for Ock Meadow Ward submitted a petition requesting Cabinet to keep the Marcham Road crossing at its current site, as the safest and most convenient crossing point for pedestrians.

124/14

Follow up to the Call in of a Decision by the Cabinet Member for Environment: Proposed Pelican Crossings - A415 Marcham Road and Ock Street, Abingdon pdf icon PDF 147 KB

At their meeting on 3 November 2014 the Performance Scrutiny Committee considered the decision of the Cabinet Member of Environment made on 9 October 2014 following proper notice of call in.  The Committee agreed to refer the decision back to Cabinet for it to consider in the light of the following aspects of the decision:

 

(a) That neither the Officers report nor the Cabinet Members decision appeared to be based on the Department for Transport Guidance into the assessment of pedestrian crossing sites and;

(b)      The Cabinet Member did not take due account of the impact of the changes on the wider local traffic network.

 

The report before cabinet asks Members to consider the proposal in the round and specifically responds to the challenges from Scrutiny Committee.

 

Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(a)            approve implementation of proposals for two proposed Pelican crossings on A415 Marcham Road and Ock Street, Abingdon as advertised and

(b)            (if approved) ask officers to monitor closely the safety performance and traffic delays following the completion of the works.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

At their meeting on 3 November 2014 the Performance Scrutiny Committee considered the decision of the Cabinet Member of Environment made on 9 October 2014 following proper notice of call in. The Committee agreed to refer the decision back to Cabinet for it to consider in the light of the following aspects of the decision:

 

(a)That neither the Officers report nor the Cabinet Members decision appeared to be based on the Department for Transport Guidance into the assessment of pedestrian crossing sites and;

(b)      The Cabinet Member did not take due account of the impact of the changes on the wider local traffic network.

 

Cabinet had before them a report that asked Members to consider all previous papers for the proposal as well as the current report and specifically to respond to the challenges from Scrutiny Committee. Cabinet also had before them the petition submitted by Councillor. Samantha Bowring, Town Councillor for Ock Meadow Ward.

 

Roger Bush, speaking against the decision of the Cabinet Member for Environment made on 9 October 2014 explained the context of the decision within the planning framework and the current position with regard to planning applications. He commented that with the National Planning Policy Framework local control had been lost. He stated that he saw no sense in the decision on road safety or traffic grounds. He refuted that there would be no impact and believed that there would be adverse traffic consequences with lengthened queues. Mr Bush questioned the competence and integrity of officers, which statements were strongly refuted by Cabinet who noted that they were hard working, professional and experienced individuals.

 

AntheaTurner, queried the purpose of the changes when the Town Council and residents did not want them and in her view they were not designed to improve traffic. The County Council was afraid of being sued but it was clear that if the measures proved impossible to proceed then the development cannot continue. She expressed doubt over the modelling that had taken place and asserted that the changes would cause massive hold ups on Drayton Road.

 

Dr Jim Halliday, spoke against the proposals highlighting congestion and queues leading to air quality issues.

 

Andy Cattermole, Taylor Wimpey, spoke in support of the report from officers and asked that Cabinet follow its recommendations.

 

Councillor Constance, speaking as a a signatory to the call in expressed concern over increased congestion and argued that the Highways Authority had not exercised its powers to examine the wider congestion that she felt would be the result of the changes.

 

Councillor Neil Fawcett, speaking as a local councillor and as the originator of the call in stated that the views expressed reflected that the process followed was not trusted and was seen to be led by the planning decision rather than being arrived at objectively. He supported comments from Councillor Constance around congestion in the wider area. Referring to an assessment of safety he considered that the County Council had not done a proper assessment of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 124/14

125/14

2014/15 Financial Monitoring & Business Strategy Delivery Report - October 2014 pdf icon PDF 207 KB

Cabinet Member: Finance

Forward Plan Ref: 2014/105

Contact: Kathy Wilcox, Chief Accountant Tel: (01865) 323981

 

Report by Chief Finance Officer (CA7).

 

The report focuses on the delivery of the Directorate Business Strategies that were agreed as part of the Service and Resource Planning Process for 2014/15 – 2017/18.  Parts 1 and 2 include projections for revenue, reserves and balances as at the end of October 2014.   Capital Programme monitoring is included at Part 3.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(a)            note the report and annexes including the Treasury Management lending list at Annex 4 and changes set out in paragraphs 67 - 68;

 

(b)            recommend Council to approve the virement to reduce the in - year income and contribution to the Parking Account included in Annex 2a and paragraph 56;

 

(c)            approve the virement request relating to the Shared Lives budget set out in Annex 2a and paragraph 57;

 

(d)            approve the write off of rental income totalling £16,453 and £15,212 relating to a Section 106 agreement as set out in paragraphs 65 and 66.

 

(e)            approve the changes to the Capital Programme set out in Annex 7c;

 

(f)             approve the removal of the capital scheme at Bicester Market Square from the capital programme as set out in paragraph 96; and

 

(g)            approve the allocation of £1.250m S106 funding as a contribution towards the construction of the A40/Downs Road Junction by the West Witney developer (paragraph 97).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report that focussed on the delivery of the Directorate Business Strategies that were agreed as part of the Service and Resource Planning Process for 2014/15 – 2017/18.  Parts 1 and 2 included projections for revenue, reserves and balances as at the end of October 2014.   Capital Programme monitoring was included at Part 3.

 

Councillor Hards, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance, noted the difficult position that faced Councillor Stratford and highlighted 3 areas in particular. Firstly the shortfall in the Environment & Economy parking income which meant that expected work would not now happen. Secondly he raised the whole area of adult social care. The Council could not afford to get this wrong. He drew particular attention to learning disabilities and the impact of personal budgets. Finally children’s social care was a huge challenge. He queried whether by giving more help to parents who are struggling it would be possible to keep children out of care, which would be cheaper and better for the child.

 

Councillor Tilley, Cabinet Member for Children, Education & Families, gave an assurance that a lot of work was done to keep children with families.

 

Councillor Stratford, Cabinet Member for Finance, introduced the report, highlighted the continuing pressures on children’s social care and learning disabilities and the actions being taken as a result. He noted that the figures did not include the money released at the full Council meeting on 9 December.

 

During discussion Cabinet recognised the efforts being made in adult social care to ensure that statutory and eligibility criteria were met. Councillor Hudspeth, Leader of the Council commented that it was about protecting vulnerable people. Cabinet noted that the additional pressures on adult social care had an impact on other aspects of the Council such as the increased numbers of calls to customer services.

 

RESOLVED:           to:

 

(a)            note the report and annexes including the Treasury Management lending list at Annex 4 and changes set out in paragraphs 67 - 68;

 

(b)            recommend Council to approve the virement to reduce the in - year income and contribution to the Parking Account included in Annex 2a and paragraph 56;

 

(c)            approve the virement request relating to the Shared Lives budget set out in Annex 2a and paragraph 57;

 

(d)            approve the write off of rental income totalling £16,453 and £15,212 relating to a Section 106 agreement as set out in paragraphs 65 and 66.

 

(e)            approve the changes to the Capital Programme set out in Annex 7c;

 

(f)              approve the removal of the capital scheme at Bicester Market Square from the capital programme as set out in paragraph 96; and

 

(g)            approve the allocation of £1.250m S106 funding as a contribution towards the construction of the A40/Downs Road Junction by the West Witney developer (paragraph 97).

 

126/14

Service & Resource Planning Report 2015/16 - December 2014 pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Cabinet Member: Finance

Forward Plan Ref: 2014/106

Contact: Stephanie Skivington, Corporate Finance Manager Tel: (01865) 323995

 

Report by Chief Finance Officer (CA8).

 

This report is the second in a series on the Service & Resource Planning process for 2015/16, providing councillors with information on budget issues for 2015/16 and the medium term.  The report sets out draft budget proposals to meet emerging pressures; provides an update on government consultations and sets out the review of charges.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(a)      note the report and addenda (that will be produced following the announcement of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement);

(b)      consider the pressures and savings set out in Annex 1 in forming its budget proposals in January 2015; and

(c)      in relation to the review of charges:

(1)      note those charges prescribed by legislation;

(2)      approve the charges where there is local discretion as set out in Annex 2.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the second report in a series on the Service & Resource Planning process for 2015/16, that provided councillors with information on budget issues for 2015/16 and the medium term. The report set out draft budget proposals to meet emerging pressures; provided an update on government consultations and set out the review of charges.

 

Anthony Simpson, spoke in support of Community Action Groups CAGs, on behalf of the Sustainable Didcot? CAG, as the co-founder of theKidlingtonvs climate change CAG, and as someone who works for community energy social enterprise Low Carbon Hub (in partnership with both the county council, and the CAG team). He emphasised the role played by the modest but critical funding in getting projects such as his established.

 

Dan Betterton, Cultivate CAG project, spoke in support of the CAG funding stating that Groups such as his would have got started without it. It enabled them to lever funds from other sources. If the funding was to be removed then he asked that it be tapered to allow time and space to address the loss.

 

Councillor Hards, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance, highlighted the use of contingency funding, and commented that the pressures on children, education & families and adult social care were not abating. He queried whether if there was good news on the level of Council tax increase allowed before a referendum was required, the Council would take advantage of it to reduce pressures. He raised a number of detailed queries including the position on the £8m funding for adult social care, how robust were the savings figures for vacancies and use of agency staff and who would monitor. He indicated that he would like more information on the cuts in CEF and to see the detailed figures underpinning it. He expressed some concern about the depletion of the reserve pots. He referred to the funding for roads but noted that it was not guaranteed and even if received would be insufficient. He noted the increase in council tax base which was a welcome effect of the building boom.

 

The Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance responded to the points made. The Leader suggested that if the referendum was raised then it might be possible to increase reserves. Councillor Stratford, Cabinet Member for Finance noted that the budget would be a challenge with hard decisions to be made.

 

During discussion Councillor Heathcoat commented that the £8m referred to by Councillor Hards was not new money. She had been very robust on the need for the money and would advise people once she had news.

 

Lorna Baxter, Chief Finance Officer, introduced the contents of the report and referred to the supplementary report following the Chancellor’s Autumn statement.

 

 

 

 

RESOLVED:           to:

 

(a)       note the report and addenda (produced following the announcement of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement);

(b)       consider the pressures and savings set out in Annex 1 in forming its budget proposals in January 2015; and

(c)       in relation to the review of charges:  ...  view the full minutes text for item 126/14

127/14

Child Sexual Exploitation Update - OSCB Report and Report on CSE pdf icon PDF 173 KB

Cabinet Member: Children, Education & Families

Forward Plan Ref: 2014/181

Contact: Hannah Farncombe, Safeguarding Manager Tel: (01865) 815273

 

Report by Director for Children’s Services (CA10).

 

Cabinet received a report on Actions In Response to Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in November 2012, following the successful prosecutions under Operation Bullfinch. That report set out key information about the nature of child sexual exploitation and progress in tackling the issue.

 

Work on CSE is led on a multi-agency partnership basis through the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board Child and the Sexual Exploitation Sub-Group which provides leadership and challenge to ensure the CSE Strategy and Action Plan is being delivered.

 

The CSE Sub-group has produced an annual report for the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board which is attached and which sets out progress on the key areas of the action plan.

 

In October 2014 The Jay Report was published into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham and has implications for all Councils to consider.

 

The Cabinet is asked to consider the report and to:

 

(a)          consider whether they are satisfied with the work that has been undertaken in relation to combatting CSE; and

 

(b)         support the recommendation for briefings to be provided for elected members to enable them to better recognise and respond to concerns about grooming and exploitation.

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet received a report on Actions in Response to Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in November 2012, following the successful prosecutions under Operation Bullfinch. That report set out key information about the nature of child sexual exploitation and progress in tackling the issue.

 

Work on CSE is led on a multi-agency partnership basis through the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board Child and the Sexual Exploitation Sub-Group which provides leadership and challenge to ensure the CSE Strategy and Action Plan is being delivered.

 

Cabinet had before them a report to update members on progress on tackling CSE and to provide assurance on how we are responding to this issue. Also attached was the annual report of the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board which sets out progress on the key areas of the action plan.

 

Councillor Brighouse, Chairman of the Performance Scrutiny Committee  commented that she read the report with interest and had also read the jay Report. It brought home to her quite powerfully the role of Scrutiny in picking up issues of CSE. Referring to missing children she had a concern as to how to disaggregate those of real concern from the numbers of teenagers who go missing as part of the normal pattern of teenage rebellion. The focus had to be on SMART indicators picking up quickly where there was a need to drill down. As Chairman of the Performance Scrutiny Committee she emphasised that they were working on it and would welcome any ideas on good indicators.

 

The Leader responding to the comments made stated that the issues raised were everyone’s concern, not just the Council but communities.

 

Councillor Gill Sanders, Cabinet Member for Children, Education & Families welcomed the report, drawing out the increased activity and the increase in social workers employed by the Council. She also highlighted the partnership working. She was concerned that if the Council did not get additional funding then the increased costs could have a severe impact on the Council’s finances.

 

Councillor Tilley stated that in relation to missing children all returning children had a return interview. The whole system had changed as a result of lessons learnt.

 

Jim Leivers, Director for Children’s Services introduced the contents of the report.

 

RESOLVED:           to:

 

(a)            note and express satisfaction with the work that has been undertaken in relation to combatting CSE; and

 

(b)            support the recommendation for briefings to be provided for elected members to enable them to better recognise and respond to concerns about grooming and exploitation.

 

128/14

Strategy for Special Educational Needs Infrastructure to 2030 pdf icon PDF 359 KB

Cabinet Member: Children, Education & Families

Forward Plan Ref: 2014/155

Contact: Janet Johnson, Children with SEN Manager Tel: (01865) 815129

 

Report by Director for Children’s Services (CA11).

 

The report sets out a proposed strategy to meet the rising demand for specialist provision for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities, aged 2 to 25 years, in the short term and until 2030. In parallel to the development of new primary schools and secondary schools, the Council has a duty to ensure sufficient provision for children with special educational needs. This strategy promotes a locality approach, ensuring that each local area has a range of specialist provision.

 

Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to note and endorse the Council’s proposed strategy for meeting the demand for specialist provision for children and young people with SEN and Disabilities, aged 2 to 25 years, in the short term and until 2030.

 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report setting out a proposed strategy to meet the rising demand for specialist provision for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities, aged 2 to 25 years, in the short term and until 2030.

 

Councillor Gill Sanders, Shadow Cabinet Member for Children, Education & Families noted that the number of children needing help had increased and that the aspirations and key risks were set out in the report. She was concerned that one key risk was insufficient funding and that once again the Council was facing a situation where lots of money was needed to support increased demand.

 

RESOLVED:           to note and endorse the Council’s proposed strategy for meeting the demand for specialist provision for children and young people with SEN and Disabilities, aged 2 to 25 years, in the short term and until 2030.

129/14

Flood Risk Management Consultation Responses pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Cabinet Member: Deputy Leader

Forward Plan Ref: 2014/107

Contact: Steve Smith, Service Manager – Network & Asset Management Tel: (01865) 810435

 

Report by Director for Environment & Economy (CA9).

 

The report presents the outcomes of the consultation into the County Councils draft Local Flood Risk Management Strategy and proposed amendments arising from feedback received.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to

 

(a)            note the feedback from the consultation contained in the consultation Annex 1 and the background document

 

(b)            approve the changes to the Strategy Action Plan identified in Annex 2; and

 

(c)            adopt the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy with revisions to the action plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report presenting the outcomes of the consultation into the County Councils draft Local Flood Risk Management Strategy and proposed amendments arising from feedback received.

 

Councillor Rose, responded to the points raised by Councillor Pressel (minute 123/14 refers) noting that document was a work in progress and the final document would be have typographical errors corrected. In areas where there were no parish councils alternatives had been found. The officer representing the Council on the Oxford Area Flood Partnership was recognised as a national expert on urban drainage.

 

RESOLVED:           to:

 

(a)            note the feedback from the consultation contained in the consultation Annex 1 and the background document

 

(b)            approve the changes to the Strategy Action Plan identified in Annex 2; and

 

(c)            adopt the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy with revisions to the action plan.

130/14

Forward Plan and Future Business pdf icon PDF 102 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 CA12.  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.