Meeting documents

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

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


Tuesday 17 February 2009 at 2.00 pm


County Hall, Oxford




Joanna Simons

Chief Executive                                                                                                                                  

February 2009


Contact officer:          Tony Cloke

Tel: 01865 815314









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 25 February  2009

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: 17 March 2009

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 (Addenda)


2.                 Declarations of Interest see guidance note

3.                 Minutes


To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 20 January 2009 (CA3) and to receive for information any matters arising therefrom.


4.                 Petitions and Public Address


5.                 Financial Monitoring

(See also Addenda)

Cabinet Member: Finance

Forward Plan Ref: 2008/175

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


Report by Assistant Chief Executive & Chief Finance Office (CA5) (download as .doc file)

(Annexes 1 - 6 -
download as .pdf file)
(Annexes 7 -
download as .pdf file)

This report sets out the Council’s forecast financial position for the 2008/09 financial year based on nine months of actuals to the end of December 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 -£0.385m.  This position excludes the -£0.800m underspend on the ICT Investment Fund which will be carried forward to 2009/10.  The year-end forecast of general balances is £21.283m.  After taking into account the forecast Directorate outturn, the consolidated revenue balances forecast is £21.668m.


The projected in-year commitment on capital is estimated to be £86.5m (excluding devolved formula capital) as at the end of December.  The overall variation on the capital programme reported to Cabinet on 20 January 2009 is nil. Actual expenditure to the end of December was £49.5m, 57% of projected spend.


The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:


(a)               note the report;


(b)              approve the Supplementary Estimate as set out in paragraph 46 and note the deferral of the repayment of the temporary supplementary estimate of £0.101m from Adult Learning to 2009/10 (paragraph 48);


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


(d)         approve the bad debt write-off as set out in paragraph 54 and 55.


(e)     approve that the Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Families be authorised to take decisions in respect of requests for grants made under the Chill Out Fund.



6.                 Eco-towns : Response to Draft Planning Policy Statement and Sustainability Appraisal; And Progress Report On Eco-Town Proposals At Weston Otmoor And North West Bicester

(See also Addenda)

Cabinet Member: Sustainable Development

Forward Plan Ref: 2008/141

Contact: Ian Walker, Spatial Planning Manager, (01865 815588)


Report by Head of Sustainable Development (CA6).


Cabinet in June and September 2008 considered reports on the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) initial proposals for eco-towns, including the proposed eco-town at Weston on the Green – Weston Otmoor. The Government has now published for consultation a draft Planning Policy Statement (PPS) on Eco-towns together with an initial sustainability appraisal (SA) of the shortlisted proposals. The draft PPS includes a revised shortlist of 12 potential locations including Weston Otmoor and one of the alternatives, suggested by Cherwell District Council for the appraisal process – North West Bicester.


A joint response to the PPS and draft SA, together with comments on the results of the assessments of the Weston Otmoor proposal, is being prepared with Cherwell District Council. A draft of a proposed joint report is attached to this report (Annex 1).


The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED:


(a)              to endorse the comments in paragraphs 12 to 25 above and in the attached draft joint report (Annex 1), and reiterate that on the information available the County Council would object strongly to the inclusion of the “Weston Otmoor” eco-town proposal in the final list of eco-towns locations; and


(b)              delegate to the Head of Sustainable Development in consultation with the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, finalisation of the joint report (Annex 1) with Cherwell District Council for submission to the Secretary of State as this Council’s response to the eco-towns consultation.


7.                 Cycle Hire Scheme

Cabinet Member: Transport

Forward Plan Ref: 2008/204

Contact: John Disley, Road Safety & Travel Planning (01865 810460)


Report by Head of Transport (CA7).


The purpose of this report is is to update Members on progress with the feasibility of a cycle hire scheme for Oxford and to seek approval for the next stages in the project.


The report identifies the potential for such a scheme in Oxford, including a summary assessment of the main benefits and risks (listed in annex 1).  It then summarises discussions which have taken place with potential partners involved in delivering this project, which include the rail industry, the health sector and both of Oxford's Universities.  The intial views of the City Council, cycling groups and the police are also covered.


The report goes on to look at the different types of community cycle hire schemes in operation in the UK and elsewhere, with more detail on the main systems available set out in annex 2.  Following this, the report looks at provisional locations for cycle hubs in Oxford and annex 3 lists the potential locations in the city centre.


Some initial conclusions are drawn about the way forward, which is proposed to be for a Steering Group to be set up, with the purpose of undertaking further work, securing funding and, feasibility and approvals permitting, introducing a pilot scheme in the spring of 2010.  The report also covers the likely scale (in terms of approximate numbers of hubs/cycles), cost and duration of a potential pilot scheme.  The next steps are then set out, including the proposed timetable for taking the project forward.


Finally, the financial implications are identified, which includes consideration budgets available for this project and potential contribtions from project partners.


The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:


(i)                 authorise officers to proceed with establishing a Project Partnership / Steering Group and for the Cabinet Member for Transport to represent the Council on this project partnership;


(ii)               seek necessary commitments and financial contributions from partners to help finance the pilot scheme; and


(iii)             subject to (ii) above, for the partnership to commence the procurement process (with a view to selecting a system provider to operate the pilot scheme) and to report back to Cabinet for a decision on whether and how to proceed with the scheme.


8.                 Opportunities in the Council

Cabinet Member: Deputy Leader of the Council, Place

Forward Plan Ref: 2009/005

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


Report by the Lead Members of the Review (CA8).


On 13 November 2008 the Committee conducted a select committee question and answer session concerning “Opportunities within the Council”. 


The aim of the select committee question and answer session was to:


·                     Assess the success of current policies and make recommendations on how they might be more effectively implemented.

·                    Identify best practice and make recommendations where appropriate.


The Committee at its meeting on 10 January 2009 approved the proposals for recommendation to Cabinet. Recommendation 1 within the report was considered by Cabinet as part of the Service and Resource Planning report 2009/10 –2013/14


The Cabinet is recommended to consider the recommendations from the Corporate Governance Scrutiny Select Committee.


9.                 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 CA9.   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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