Meeting documents

Tuesday, 21 October 2008


To Members of the Cabinet
Notice of a Meeting of the Cabinet


Tuesday 21 October 2008 at 2.00 pm


County Hall, Oxford



Joanna Simons

Chief Executive                                                                                                                                  

October 2008


Contact officer:          Sue Whitehead

Tel: 01865 810262









Keith R Mitchell CBE


Leader of the Council

David Robertson


Deputy Leader of the Council

Roger Belson


Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development

Louise Chapman


Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Families

Jim Couchman


Cabinet Member for Social & Community Services

Mrs J. Heathcoat


Cabinet Member for Community Safety

Ian Hudspeth


Cabinet Member for Transport

C.H. Shouler


Cabinet Member for Finance

Melinda Tilley


Cabinet Member for Place

Michael Waine


Cabinet Member for Schools Improvement

The Agenda is attached.  Decisions taken at the meeting

will become effective at the end of the working day on 29 October 2008

unless called in by that date for review by the appropriate Scrutiny Committee.

Copies of this Notice, Agenda and supporting papers are circulated

to all Members of the County Council.

Date of next meeting: 25 November 2008

If you have any special requirements (such as a large print version of these papers or special access facilities) please contact the officer named on the front page, but please give as much notice as possible before the meeting.




1.                 Apologies for Absence


2.                 Declarations of Interestsee guidance note

3.                 Minutes

(See also Addenda)


To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 16 September 2008 (CA3) and to receive for information any matters arising therefrom.


4.                 Petitions and Public Address

(See Addenda)


5.                 Financial Monitoring

Cabinet Member: Finance

Forward Plan Ref: 2008/106

Contact: Lorna Baxter, Assistant Head of Finance (Corporate Finance) (01865 816087)


Report by Assistant Chief Executive & Chief Finance Office (CA5).

(CA5 - download as .doc file)
(CA5 - Annexes 1-5 - download as .pdf file)
(CA5 - Annex 6 - download as .pdf file)
(CA5 - Annex 7- download as .pdf file)

(CA5 - Annex 8 - download as .doc file)

(CA5 - Supplement - download as .doc file)


This report sets out the Council’s forecast financial position for the 2008/09 financial year based on five months of actuals to the end of August 2008.  It includes projections for revenue, balances, reserves and capital.  The report sets out explanations where the forecast outturn is significantly different from the budget with action plans to recover the position where appropriate.


The in-year overspend for Directorates is forecast to be £1.677m.  The year-end forecast of general balances is £19.438m.  After taking into account the forecast Directorate outturn, the consolidated revenue balances forecast is £17.761m.


The projected in-year commitment on capital is estimated at £101.6m, compared with the July capital programme of £105.3m, a variation of -£3.7m. Actual expenditure to the end of August was £21.5m, 21% of projected spend.


This report also includes an updated capital programme.  The revised programme reflects the projected spend in 2008/09, as well as changes to phasing of schemes and revisions to capital receipts. 


The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:


(a)               note the report;


(b)              approve the virements as set out in Annex 2a;


(c)               recommend Council to approve:


(i)                The changes to the Treasury Management Strategy credit matrix as set out in Paragraph 38;

(ii)              That any further changes required to the credit matrix be delegated to the Chief Finance Officer in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Group Leaders; and


(d)              approve the changes to the capital programme as set out in paragraphs 51 to 56 and the updated programme at Annex 7.


6.                 July 2007 Flooding – Further Reports

Cabinet Member: Community Safety

Forward Plan Ref: 2007/240

Contact: David Etheridge, Assistant Chief Fire Officer (01865 855206)


Report by Director for Community Safety & Shared Services/Chief Fire Officer (CA6).


As requested by Cabinet in November 2007 in relation to the severe flooding in Oxfordshire in July 2007, the purpose of this report is to provide an update of progress concerning the recommendation agreed by Cabinet.  The recommendation was to:


"Task the Head of Fire and Rescue Service Delivery and Emergency Planning to table the development and action for collective emergency response improvement through the Thames Valley Local Resilience Forum".


The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:


(a)               note the contents of this report and ask the Chief Fire Officer to provide the Cabinet with a further update of progress of the Local Resilience Forum in relation to flood planning;


(b)              ask the Chief Fire Officer to report to Cabinet on options for ensuring Fire and Rescue operational response and resilience concerning water related incidents; and


(c)               ask the Chief Fire Officer to report to Cabinet should legislation be introduced which places further or new statutory responsibilities on the functions/services within Community Safety.


7.                 Scrutiny Review of Flooding

Cabinet Member:
Sustainable Development, Transport

Forward Plan Ref: 2008/130

Contact: Alexandra Bailey, Senior Policy manager(01865 816384)

(CA7 - download as .doc file)
(CA7 - Executive Summary of Reducing the Impact of Flooding - download as .doc file)


In July 2007 the most severe flooding for at least 50 years affected Oxfordshire, causing widespread damage and affecting the lives of many people.  The Environment and Economy Scrutiny Committee decided that there was a need for a review which would reassure people that the appropriate lessons had been learnt and that action was being taken to protect them, as far as possible, from future events. The report draws together a range of evidence on how to mitigate the effects of flooding and distils from the evidence a set of practical recommendations that will enable Oxfordshire County Council to mitigate the risk that future floods may present to Oxfordshire’s installations, its people and their property.


Recommendations are in the Executive summary to the report and in the full report that should go to the Cabinet Members.


The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to consider the Scrutiny Review Report and communicate to the Environment & Economy Scrutiny Committee its response to the Review’s recommendations.


8.                 Annual Report on the Property Portfolio

(See also Addenda)

Cabinet Member:

Forward Plan Ref: 2008/168

Contact: Mark Tailby Team Leader Strategic Asset Management (01865 816012)


Report by Head of Property (CA8) (download as .doc file).


This is the annual report detailing the performance of the Council’s property portfolio from April 2007 to March 2008.  The content of this report will help inform the Corporate Asset Management Plan.  This year’s report includes benchmarking information and targets for 2008/09.


The report includes information on:


·        the extent to which the estate is fit for purpose

·        changes in the size of the portfolio

·        income form capital receipts

·        the condition of property and required maintenance

·        environmental performance

·        the accessibility of public buildings

·        performance in the delivery of capital projects


The report provides benchmarking information where this is available and targets for performance in 2008/09.


The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED, subject to consideration of the comments of the Corporate Governance Scrutiny Committee, to note the report.


9.                 Radley CE Primary School

Cabinet Member:
Schools Improvement

Forward Plan Ref: 2008/139

Contact: Allyson Milward, Principal Property & Assets Officer (01865 816447)


Report by Director for Children Young People & Families (CA 9).


            The Cabinet for School Improvement at the meeting on 1 July 2008 (Annex 1) agreed to the publication of formal proposals to open a new foundation Stage unit (Nursery Class) at Radley CE Primary School.  


            The decision-making power in terms of determining the notices now lies with The Cabinet. This follows decisions taken by the Cabinet in July 2007 under new legislation encompassed in the Education & Inspections Act 2006 (EIA 2006) whereby School Organisation Committees were abolished and arrangements became the responsibility of the relevant local authority. In meeting as ‘decision-maker’ the Cabinet or Cabinet Member must have regard to government guidance and statutory timescales otherwise a decision can be referred to the independent Schools’ Adjudicator for reconsideration. At its meeting in July the Cabinet confirmed that in considering notices as ‘Decision-maker’ it was necessary for the Chairman of the Council to determine that the decision could not be subject to ‘call-in’ as this would, in most cases, mean that the Cabinet’s role would be negated by referral to the Schools’ Adjudicator. The Cabinet decision must be made within 2 months of the close of the notice period. 


            The notice was published on 11 July 2008 and expired following 6 weeks of formal consultation on 22 August 2008 (Annex 2). In accordance with legislation the notice was posted at the school gate and  local library. A copy of the proposals (attached at Annex 3) and the notices were sent to each school’s governing body and the Secretary of State and additionally made available on the Oxfordshire County Council website. One response to the consultation was received and is attached as Annex 4.  The proposed implementation date for the proposal is 2 January 2009.   When representations to any formal proposal are received the authority has determined that such decision shall be taken by the Cabinet and not the Cabinet Member for School Improvement alone. 


            The representation was received from the Swindon and Oxfordshire Pre-school Learning Alliance (PLA) who have indicated that they would wish their concerns to be shared formally with the Cabinet whilst not formally objecting to the proposal in its entirety. 



Note: As set out under Rule 17(a) of the Scrutiny Procedure Rules, this decision is exempt from Call-In as it is deemed urgent and any delay would seriously prejudice the Council’s interests, in that the Cabinet’s role would be negated by referral to the Schools’ Adjudicator if the decision was not taken within two months of the publication of the Statutory Notice, in this case being 18 January 2008.


The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:


(a)               reject the proposals; or


(b)              approve the proposals; or


(c)               approve the proposals with a modification (e.g. the proposal implementation date); or


(d)              approve the proposals subject to them meeting a specific condition.


10.             Children’s Centres

Cabinet Member:
Children, Young People & Families

Forward Plan Ref: 2008/156

Contact: Amanda Smith, Assistant Head, Children & Families (01865 456 743)


Report by Director for Children, Young People & Families (CA10).


This report follows on from the earlier report 'Children's Centres 2008-11' written for delegated member approval 19 February 2008. In February the capital strategy was at an early stage of development. This has now developed further and Member support is sought for the revised proposals.


The report is submitted to outline progress to date in identifying sites, where locations have yet to be found, and how the risks associated with  the programme will be managed to seek approval for the strategy of capital allocations and the proposed indicative funding for each project


The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to endorse the revised approach and proposals contained within this report.


11.             Fundamental Service Review of Cultural Services

Cabinet Member: Social & Community Services

Forward Plan Ref: 2008/111

Contact: Richard Munro, Head of Community Services (01865 810191)


Report by Head of Community Services (CA11).


This Report summarises the outcomes of the Fundamental Service Review of Cultural Services and seeks Cabinet approval of its recommendations.  The review covered the following: Library Service, Heritage Services, Music Service, arts and recreation development, management, policy and performance.  The Adult Learning and Registration Services were not included in the scope.


            The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:


(a)               note the conclusions of the Fundamental Service Review of cultural services contained in Annex 1; and


(b)              approve recommendations 1 to 7 set out in paragraph 6 above.


12.             Scrutiny Review of Integrated Health and Social Care

Cabinet Member:
Social & Community Services

Forward Plan Ref: 2008/131

Contact: Julian Hehir, Scrutiny Review Officer (01865 815673)


Report by Lead Member Review Group (CA12).

(CA12 - download as .doc file)
(CA12 - Executive Summary – The Single Point of Contact to Rehabilitation Care (SPARC) Scrutiny Review - download as .doc file)..


This Scrutiny Review report explores the effectiveness of efforts to achieve a single point of access for people in need of care, for instance upon leaving hospital.  It looks at the role of the Access Team in Social & Community Services and of other agencies in the provision of care and at efforts to improve information flow and co-ordination.

Often older people receive a disjointed, confused response when they need help or advice – one that meets their needs only in part.  The needs and aspirations of older people can only be achieved if agencies work together as a whole system.  Nationally, there is a challenging agenda for change, with a commitment to having more integrated services which are built around the individual.  Partnership stands out as a core theme, consistently reinforced in numerous national documents.

Integrated working is where everyone supporting a client/patient, works together effectively to put the person at the centre, meet their needs and improve their lives.  Integrating services for a rounded approach to each individual is seen by the government (and indeed by many users of services) as a means to support people’s choice, improve services and reduce risk. 

In developing this report and recommendations, the Lead Member Review Group was asked to establish any deficiencies in the way social care and health services work that might be detrimental to patients/ clients and their carers.  The specific objectives of the review were set out in a scoping document.

The Review Group recognised that a lot of work was being done by extremely hardworking staff in a number of agencies in Social & Community Services (S&CS/SCS) and Health.  However it is widely recognised that there is still a great deal to do.

The Review report makes a range of recommendations based upon the evidence gathered and the background to these is explained in the report.


The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to consider the Scrutiny Review Report and communicate to the Children’s Services Scrutiny Committee its response to the Review’s recommendations.


13.             Member Champions

Cabinet Member:
Leader of the Council

Forward Plan Ref: 2008/129

Contact: Geoff Malcolm, Principal Committee Officer (01865 815904)


Report by Assistant Head of Legal & Democratic Services (CA13).


To consider for approval draft guidance in relation to the role of ‘Member Champion’, including a person specification/role description and reporting framework, for recommendation to Council if required.


The Cabinet is recommended to RECOMMEND to Council that the Constitution be amended to include the role of Member Champion (on the basis of the duties and the means of appointment as set out in paragraph 11 of the report and the guidance at Annex 1).


14.             New Executive Arrangements

Cabinet Member:
Leader of the Council

Forward Plan Ref: 2008/176

Contact: Tony Cloke, Assistant Head of Legal & Democratic Services (01865 815314)


Report by Leader of the Council (CA14).


To consider - and recommend to Council - what executive arrangements the council should operate after the 2009 Elections.


(a)              Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to recommend to Council to amend Section D, Council Procedure Rules, rule 4 of the Constitution as follows:


(i)                 Add the words “or in the case of an extraordinary meeting such other appropriate venue as the Chairman may determine after consultation with Group Leaders” after the first bullet point “be held at County Hall, Oxford”

(ii)               After “at 10:00 am” in the second bullet point, add “or in the case of an extraordinary meeting such other time as the Chairman may determine after consultation with Group Leaders”.


(b)              With regard to the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007, the Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to recommend to Council:


(i)                 To comply with the government’s instruction to adopt the “strong leader” model and to amend the constitution to provide for the Leader of the Council:

(a)              to be elected by the Council for the full term of the Council;

(b)             to determine the size of the Cabinet;

(c)             to  appoint members of the Cabinet; and

(d)             To allocate all executive functions.


(ii)               To maintain the policy and budget framework as set out in the current constitution.


(iii)             To note the Leader of the Council’s decision to delegate executive functions to Cabinet Members as they are currently delegated in the Constitution.


(iv)            Not to delegate any non-executive functions to individual members of the Council.


(v)              To maintain the local choice functions as set out in Section H of the Council’s Constitution.


(vi)            To note that there are a number of methods by which members may ask for issues to be addressed and to await government guidance before considering implementing a process for a Councillor Call for Action.


(c)               Cabinet believes many members will be irritated and annoyed by the prescriptive nature of this legislation; by the short timescale in which it must be implemented; and by the inconvenience of having to convene a separate Council meeting to debate it and RECOMMENDS Council to ask the Leader of the Council to write to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government expressing this view. 


15.             Better Offices Programme – Central Offices

Cabinet Member:

Forward Plan Ref: 2008/108

Contact: Mark Tailby, Team Leader, Strategic Asset Management (01865 816012)


Report by Head of Property (CA15).


On 16 January 2007, the Cabinet authorised implementation of the Better Offices Programme and agreed the funding required for implementation, subject to a project appraisal for the necessary capital expenditure being approved by the Cabinet.


This Project Appraisal supplements the previous approval for £2.018 million and is required due to:


·        the proposed replacement of ceilings due to asbestos contamination found in the ceiling voids in County Hall and the need to improve lighting and aesthetic appearance;

·        an increase in staff numbers and the wish to improve reception and meeting room facilities; and

·        increases in costs now that the actual costs of the 4th floor refurbishment are know.


Replacement of ceilings will increase the project duration and the revised project timetable shows completion by September 2009.


The Cabinet is recommended to approve additional expenditure of £675,000 for replacement ceilings, improved reception and other increased costs giving a total capital cost of £ £2,693,000.


16.             Forward Plan and Future Business

(See also Addenda)

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 CA16. 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.


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