Meeting documents

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

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


Tuesday 21 April 2009 at 2.00 pm


County Hall, Oxford


Joanna Simons

Chief Executive                                                                                                                                  

April 2009


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

Decisions taken at the meeting

will become effective at the end of the working day on 29 April 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: 26 May 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


2.                 Declarations of Interestsee guidance note

3.                 Minutes

(See also Addenda)


To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 17 March 2009 (CA3) and to receive for information any matters arising therefrom.


4.                 Petitions and Public Address

(See Addenda)


5.                 Financial Monitoring

(See also Addenda)

Cabinet Member: Finance

Forward Plan Ref: 2008/212

Contact: Kathy Wilcox, Principal Financial Manager (01865 323981)


Report by Assistant Chief Executive & Chief Finance Officer (CA5)

(CA5 - download as .doc file)

(CA5 - Annex 1- 5 & 7 - download as .pdf file)

(CA5 - Annex 6 - download as .pdf file)


This report sets out the Council’s forecast financial position for the 2008/09 financial year based on eleven months of actuals to the end of February 2009.  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.


An in-year overspend for Directorates is now forecast at £0.799m.  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 £18.571m. 


The projected in-year commitment on capital is estimated to be £85.7m (excluding devolved formula capital) compared to the latest capital programme approved by Council in February 2009 of £86.6m.  Actual expenditure to the end of February was £61.4m, 72% of projected spend.


The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:


(a)              note the report;

(b)              determine the revised schedule for the repayment of the Adult Learning supplementary estimates;

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

(d)              approve the net Supplementary Estimates totalling £1.039m as set out in paragraphs 56 and 57 and Annex 2c.


6.                 Director of Public Health Annual Report

(See also Addenda)

Cabinet Member: Leader of the Council

Forward Plan Ref: 2009/001

Contact: Dr Jonathan McWilliam, Director of Public Health (01865 336726)


Report by Director of Public Health (CA6) (download as .pdf file).


This is the third Annual Report by a Director of Public Health for Oxfordshire (jointly appointed by the NHS and the County Council).  The recommendations are made for all organisations in Oxfordshire and for the public.


The aims are:

1.         To report on progress made in the last year and set out challenges for the next year

2.         To galvanise action on five main threats to the future health, wellbeing and prosperity of Oxfordshire


The five main long-term threats identified in the report are:


•           Breaking the cycle of deprivation

•           An ageing population – the “demographic time bomb”

•           Mental health and wellbeing: avoiding a Cinderella service

•           The rising tide of obesity

•           Fighting killer infections


There is an emphasis throughout the report on 2 important issues:


•           The impact of the credit crunch and the recession

•           The importance of carers


Progress will be monitored in future reports.  Long-term success will depend on achieving wide consensus across many organisations.


The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to recommend the Council to receive the report and note in particular the general recommendations therein.


7.                 Annual Audit and Inspection Letter

Cabinet Member: Leader of the Council

Forward Plan Ref: 2009/037

Contact: Tracy Luck, Head of Strategy (01865 816383)


Report by Assistant Chief Executive & Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Chief Execuitve (Straregy) (CA7).


The Audit Commission publish an Annual Audit and Inspection Letter (AAIL) which draws on the most recent Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA), the findings and conclusions from the audit of the Council for 2007/08 and from any inspections undertaken since the last Annual Audit and Inspection.  The Letter is brought to the Cabinet for consideration and is appended to the report.


The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to comment on the AAIL and agree any action in response to its contents.


8.                 Relationship Between Leadership and Improving Attainment in Schools

(See also Addenda)

Cabinet Member: Schools Improvement

Forward Plan Ref: 2009/038

Contact: Roger Edwards, Scrutiny Review Officer (01865 810824)


Report by the Children’s Services Scrutiny Committee (CA8) (download as .doc file).


GCSE results for students in Oxfordshire schools have shown great improvement recently. However Oxfordshire continues to lag behind its statistical neighbours with respect to educational attainment. The Children’s Services Scrutiny Committee set up a Working Group to consider whether anything specific could be done to raise attainment in Oxfordshire’s schools to the level that is expected of them.


The first area to be addressed and the subject of this report was that of how the leadership of a school, including the Governing Body, headteacher, deputy head, supporting management team and the Governing Body, can affect attainment levels. The Working Group sought to answer the question: what can be learned about successful school leadership that can then be applied across Oxfordshire to the benefit of attainment everywhere?


The recommendations are aimed at improving communication and providing regular reinforcement about the steps being taken, and the opportunities available to schools and Governors to help them improve.


The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to consider the recommendations of the Children’s Services Scrutiny Committee


9.                 Department of Communities and Local Government Consultation on Eco-Towns: North West Bicester and Financial Viability Study of the Eco-Towns Programme

(See also Addenda)

Cabinet Member: Sustainable Development

Forward Plan Ref: 2009/031

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


Report by Head of Sustainable Development (CA9).


Cabinet in February 2009 considered a report on the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) consultation on a draft Planning Policy Statement (PPS) on Eco-towns together with an initial sustainability appraisal (SA) of the short listed proposals. The draft PPS includes a  shortlist of 12 potential locations including Weston Otmoor and North West Bicester. The February report said that the County Council would need to consider its position on NW Bicester in the light of  assessments that were underway. This report comments on the NW Bicester proposal. The report also comments on financial and viability work for the eco-towns programme that was  undertaken by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) and others for CLG. 


The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to endorse the comments in paragraphs 14 to 26 above; and to inform the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) that the County Council emphasises that in relation to NW Bicester if the Government includes the location in the Eco-towns programme and PPS it should only do so subject to the caveats in the resolution of Cherwell District Council.


10.             Highways Adoption – Business Process Review and Informal Agency arrangements with Cherwell and West Oxfordshire District Councils

Cabinet Member: Transport

Forward Plan Ref: 2009/029

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


Report by Head of Transport (CA10).


The purpose of this report is to highlight one of the key recommendations from the Business Process Review (BPR) of the Council's Highway Adoption function, which was completed at the end of 2008.  This was that all work in this area be managed and undertaken by the County Council and an end brought to the informal agency arrangements with Cherwell and West Oxfordshire District Councils, whereby these Councils are currently responsible for delivering some aspects of this work, notably that covered by Section 38 of the Highways Act (Adoption by agreement with developer).


The report provides some background on the present arrangements for managing and undertaking this work across Oxfordshire.  It also covers the scope, conclusions and recommendations of the BPR,  both in terms of how the County Council is organised internally to discharge its responsibilities and how it works with external partners, in particular Cherwell and West Oxfordshire District Councils.  It covers the main issues to emerge from the BPR work, the advantages and disadvantages of the different agency agreement options and the overall way forward proposed.


A wider Transport Service context is then set out, which helps explain how and why this work is proposed to be managed in the future.  The views of Cherwell and West Oxfordshire on the principles of the way forward are also reproduced and the risks associated with these proposals set out.  Finally, the next steps are set out.


            The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:


(a)               formally advise Cherwell and West Oxfordshire District Councils that notice is to be given to end the present arrangements for managing and undertaking Highway Adoption functions; and


(b)       agree that these responsibilities to be transferred to the County Council following completion of an appropriate notice period, as part of transitional arrangements to be agreed by all three Councils, with this Council’s position to be agreed by the Head of Transport in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Transport.


11.             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 CA11. 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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