Meeting documents

Tuesday, 25 November 2008


To Members of the
Notice of a Meeting of the Cabinet


Tuesday 25 November 2008 at 2.00 pm


County Hall, Oxford



Joanna Simons

Chief Executive                                                                                                                                  

November 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 3 December 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:16 December 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.



 (Addenda - download as .doc file)


1.                 Apologies for Absence


2.                 Declarations of Interestsee guidance note


3.                 Minutes


To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 21 October 2008 (CA3) and to receive for information any matters arising therefrom.


4.                 Petitions and Public Address


5.                 Financial Monitoring

Cabinet Member: Finance

Forward Plan Ref: 2008/125

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 - Annex 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)


This report sets out the Council’s forecast financial position for the 2008/09 financial year based on six months of actuals to the end of September 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 underspend for Directorates is forecast to be -£0.627m.  The year-end forecast of general balances is £21.421m.  After taking into account the forecast Directorate outturn, the consolidated revenue balances forecast is £22.048m.


The projected in-year commitment on capital is estimated at £100.9m, compared with the October capital programme of £100.7m, a variation of £0.2m. Actual expenditure to the end of September was £30.1m, 29.8% of projected spend.


The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:


(a)     note the report; and


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


6.                 Cogges Manor Farm Museum

Cabinet Member: Social & Community Services

Forward Plan Ref: 2008/087

Contact: Martyn Brown, County Heritage and Arts Officer (01993 814114)


Report by Director for Social & Community Services (CA6).


This report was initiated by the Fundamental Service Review of Cogges Manor Farm Museum in 2007 and the subsequent decision of the Council to reduce funding for the museum over a three year period. The report outlines the work of the Cogges Project Board which was established in February 2008 to try to find a long term and sustainable future for the museum. The Board received three formal proposals for the future operation of the museum. None of the proposals meet the Board’s objectives entirely. An external consultant was engaged to analyse and review those proposals and to advise the Board. The recommendations follow that advice and propose a way forward.


The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:


(a)        instruct officers to establish a new charitable trust to manage Cogges Manor Farm Museum (including employment of staff and service delivery). That trust to be tasked with developing and implementing the vision of the Cogges Community Enterprise Group.


(b)       instruct officers to draw up a legal agreement between the Trust and Council, for a minimum of three years (from 2010), detailing what is expected from both organisations. The Council will remain the owner of the heritage asset (land, buildings and collections).


(c)        recommend to Council in setting its budget the allocation of additional financial support to the Trust for 2010/11 (£80,000 in addition to the existing subsidy of £80,000) and 2011/12 (£160,000).


(d)       include  an allocation of £150,000 in its recommended capital programme  as matching funding towards the necessary capital work at Cogges in support of an application for external funding in 2010/11. 




In the event that any member or officer wishes to discuss the information set out in Annex 1 the Cabinet will be invited to resolve to exclude the public for consideration of the above Annex by passing the following resolution:


“that the public be excluded during consideration of Annex 1 since it is likely that if they were present during that discussion there would be disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) and specified below in relation to that item.


Paragraph 3 - Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information);’


NOTE: The report itself does not contain exempt information and is thus available to the public. The exempt information is contained in a confidential annex to the report that is to be circulated only to members and officers entitled to receive it.




7.                 Transport Capital Programme Review

Cabinet Member: Transport

Forward Plan Ref: 2008/181

Contact: Kevin Haines, Group Manager (01865 815687)


Report by Head of Transport (CA7).


The 2008/09 Transport Capital Programme was agreed by Cabinet in March 2008, along with a provisional programme for future years.

This report provides Cabinet with a review of progress to date and identifies actions as necessary to deliver against stated objectives. It also provides a forward view of the 2009/10 Capital Programme to ensure continuity of work across financial years.


The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:


(a)               approve the updated 2008/09 expenditure programme and actions as set out in this report; and

(b)              approve the forward programme to enable early starts programming to be actioned on the 09/10 work schemes.


8.                 Planning for Spaces for Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople – Partial Review of the Draft South East Plan

Cabinet Member: Sustainable Development

Forward Plan Ref: 2008/128

Contact: Geri Beekmeyer, Principal Planning Officer (01865 816295)


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


The South East England Regional Assembly (SEERA) is consulting on a partial review of the draft South East Plan to identify the number of spaces needed for Gypsies and Travellers and Travelling Showpeople and the number of spaces to be provided in each district council area by 2016. This report outlines the options for the provision of spaces that SEERA are consulting on and recommends which options the County Council should support.                          

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:


                        (a)               endorse this report as the Council’s formal response to SEERA’s consultation;


                       (b)               endorse Option B as this Council’s preferred option for the number and distribution of pitches for Gypsies and Travellers;


              (c)endorse Option A as this Council’s preferred option for the number and distribution of plots for Travelling Showpeople;


              (d)      advise SEERA to undertake or commission research to help inform the discussion about the number and distribution of transit sites.


9.                 Service & Resource Planning Report for 2009/10 - 2013/14

Cabinet Member: Finance

Forward Plan Ref: 2008/136

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


Report by Chief Executive, Assistant Chief Executive (Strategy) and Assistant Chief Executive & Chief Finance Officer (CA9).

(CA9 - download as .doc file)

(CA9 - Annex 1 - download as .pdf file)


This report is the second in a series on the service and resource planning process for 2009/10 to 2013/14, providing councillors with information on the budget issues for 2009/10 and the medium term.  The report provides the latest predictions on the funding available in 2009/10 and over the medium term and highlights the key issues for 2009/10 and beyond.


Based on the predictions for funding, the resulting sum available to allocate and the pressures and priorities for funding coming from the directorates, the position for 2009/10 and over the medium term is not balanced. There are currently more pressures than funding available.


Scrutiny Committees will be considering the budget position in December and the final information on funding available will be known in January 2009, after which the Cabinet will propose it's budget for 2009/10 and the medium term.


            The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:


(a)               note the report;


(b)              note the submission of the accelerated expression of interest for Building Schools for the Future and the associated cost;


(c)               approve the use of LABGI funding for economic development purposes; and


(d)              ask Corporate Governance Scrutiny Committee to meet before the December round of Scrutiny Committees and ask the Committee to determine and allocate a target of savings for each Scrutiny Committee to find and for each Committee to feed back possible options for Cabinet to consider in January.


10.             Corporate Parenting – Role of OCC (second of twice yearly report)

Cabinet Member: Children, Young People & Families

Forward Plan Ref: 2008/054

Contact: Andy Couldrick, Head of Service for Children and Families (01865) 815833


Report by Head of Children and Families (CA10) (download as .pdf file).


This is the second of regular six-monthly 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:


·        Continue to support  the Corporate Parenting Strategy, especially by committing personally to the Pledge;

·        Note the information on outcomes for our Looked After Children, and the service performance measures


11.             Secondary Education Provision in Bicester

         Cabinet Member: Schools Improvement

Forward Plan Ref: 2008/096

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


Report by Director for Children, Young People & Families (CA11).


On 16 October 2007, the Cabinet considered a report summarising the findings of a public consultation on the provision of additional Secondary School Places in Bicester. The Cabinet resolved to adopt Option C the proposed 14+ Learning Centre at Bicester as a preferred option.  


The Cabinet received a further update at its meeting on 24 June 2008. 

Cabinet resolved to:


(a)   approve the continued strategic assessment and development of the strategic brief for the 14+ learning centre; and


(b     instruct officers to do further work on the legal status of the proposed new institution and the framework for governance and finances.


This work has begun and it is clear from legislation that the provision of new secondary school places can be undertaken in one of only two ways:


i) by expanding one or both of the existing secondary schools


ii) by launching a competition for a new institution


In the case of option i) the school(s) to be expanded must fit the DCSF criteria “popular and successful”.  This phrase is not tightly defined and further work is needed to establish which school(s) would be eligible for expansion.


If option ii) is pursued, the specification for a learning centre would be drawn up, based upon the work previously undertaken.  The specification would be consulted upon and finally agreed by Cabinet. Then a competition would be opened, inviting interested parties to submit proposals for providing the centre as defined in the specification.


The S.106 agreement for South West Bicester has now been signed and a contribution secured for the provision of secondary education against future housing to be developed in this area.  The timescales for this have been adversely affected by the slowdown in the economy and officers are still working with developers to establish a realistic timeline for the release of capital resources. 


As part of the implementation of the 14-19 curriculum in Bicester, it is envisaged that the age range of The Cooper School will be extended to provide for the addition of a sixth form for 16-19 year olds. The Governors of The Cooper School carried out an informal consultation on the above proposal between 11 February and 31 March 2008.  The school received 15 responses to its consultation, all of which were in favour of the proposal.  If the outcomes of this informal consultation are to be used as the first step in the publication of a statutory notice to expand the age range of the school the Authority would normally have to make a decision on that basis by 31 March 2009.  This would require the publication of statutory notices by 9 January 2009 to allow the necessary formal public consultation period and a paper to be brought before the Cabinet on which they could base their decision. Where proposals require capital resources for their implementation the funding for the proposals must be in place when the proposals are decided. Any statutory proposal should be enacted within three years following a decision being taken by the Authority.   Any capital implications of the proposal are currently being assessed. 


            The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:


a) to instruct officers to carry out further work on the two options for providing additional secondary school places in Bicester and to bring this work back to Cabinet by November 2009, or sooner if housing development recommences and the provision of new places becomes more urgent.



b) to approve the publication, at the start of January 2009, of statutory notices to take forward the proposal to extend the age range at The Cooper School, Bicester from 11-16 to 11-19 PROVIDED the necessary capital resources have been identified as available for the delivery of the project by the planned date of publication.   



12.             Forward Plan and Future Business

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.


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