Meeting documents

Tuesday, 19 September 2006




To Members of the Cabinet

Notice of a Meeting of the Cabinet

Tuesday 19 September 2006 at 2.00 pm County Hall, Oxford

Derek Bishop
Head of Democratic Services

September 2006

Contact officer: Matt Bayliss Tel: 01865 815384 E-mail:






Keith R Mitchell


Leader of the Council

David Robertson


Deputy Leader of the Council

C.H. Shouler


Cabinet Member for Finance

John Howell


Cabinet Member for Change Management

Jim Couchman


Cabinet Member for Social Care & Policy Coordination

David Robertson


Cabinet Member for Transport

Roger Belson


Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development

Louise Chapman


Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Families

Michael Waine


Cabinet Member for Schools Improvement

Don Seale


Cabinet Member for Adult Learning & Cultural Services

Ray Jelf


Cabinet Member for Community Safety

Decisions taken at the meeting will become effective at the end of the working day on 27 September 2006 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

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 Interest - see guidance note
  3. Minutes
  4. To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 18 July 2006 (CA3) and to receive for information any matters arising therefrom.

  5. Petitions and Public Address

    (See Addenda)

  6. Financial Monitoring

Cabinet Member: Finance
Forward Plan Ref: 2006/048
Contact: Stephanie Skivington, Strategic Finance Manager/Mike Petty, Strategic Financial Planning Manager (01865 815426/815622)

Report by Head of Finance & Procurement (CA5).

This report covers the period ended 31 July 2006 for both revenue and capital.

The consolidated revenue forecast for the year-end shows a balance of £13.421m. This is made up of £15.902m general balances and a forecast directorate overspend of £2.481m (net of City Schools and after allowing for the proposed additional contribution to the Older People's Pooled Budget).

Pressures are emerging within Children, Young People and Families within the placement budget in Early Years and Family Support. Within Social and Community Services revisions to projections of client numbers indicate residential and nursing income in excess of that originally predicted. It is proposed that this income is passed as a contribution to the Older People's Pooled Budget to meet the increased cost of the client numbers.

The report makes recommendations for approval of a number of virements for which Cabinet approval, and recommendation to Council for approval, is requested.

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

          1. note the report;
          2. approve the permanent virement to allocate funding within Home to School Transport budget (paragraph 29);
          3. approve the permanent virement to restructure the Youth Service budget in line with the new management structure (paragraph 30);
          4. approve a permanent virement of £0.026m to Financial Services and Procurement from interest on balances to fund an additional post in respect of income management (paragraph 71);
          5. approve the allocation of additional Local Authority Business Growth Incentive to ICT to fund Corporate projects (paragraph 75);
          6. approve the temporary virement to transfer £0.100m from Statementing and £0.296m from Out of County to Special Educational Needs Support Service (paragraph 27);
          7. RECOMMEND Council approve the following permanent virements:
              1. the transfer of £0.500m from the Early Years and Family Support contingency to Agency Placements (paragraph 31);
              2. of £0.250m from the equipment service to Internal Home Support (paragraph 46);
              3. an additional £1.2m permanent contribution to the Older People’s Pooled budget (paragraph 47);
              4. of the Social & Community Services contingency of £1.313m as detailed in paragraph 56 of the report.

  1. Service and Resource Planning 2007/08 – 2011/12

Cabinet Member: Finance
Forward Plan Ref: 2006/047
Contact: Lorna Baxter, Principal Financial Planning Manager (01865 816087)

Report by Head of Finance & Procurement (CA6) (download as .doc file).

This report is the first in a series that will inform members on the service and resource planning process and budget issues for 2007/08 and the medium term, and forms initial information that will lead to the Council agreeing a budget requirement and council tax for 2007/08 in February 2007.

The report sets out estimated funding and planned expenditure for 2007/08 and outlines the budget issues emerging for 2007/08 and beyond for both revenue and capital expenditure. It also considers the implications for the Council of maximising borrowing allocations given by government in support of capital schemes.

The report also sets out the proposals from the County Council Management Team for managing the service and resource planning process for 2007/08 and sets out a timetable for the process.

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

          1. note the report;
          2. approve the Service and Resource Planning Process for 2007/08;
          3. consider whether the Council should maximise its supported borrowing allocations; and
          4. ask the Capital Steering Group to consider the use of unallocated capital resources of £1.9m in line with capital requirements, and to advise the Cabinet on those projects which should be included in the Capital Programme for 2007/08 to 2009/10.

  1. Performance Management
  2. Cabinet Member: Change Management
    Forward Plan Ref: 2006/038
    Contact: Paul Edwards, Corporate Performance Manager (01865 815307)

    Report by County Council Management Team (CA7).

    This quarterly report is for our performance at the end of the first quarter of 2006/7. The report presents performance against priorities in a balanced scorecard format, using a traffic light system to show progress within four blocks: customers, finance, process and people.

    Performance at the end of the first quarter is encouraging, showing green traffic lights for over 80% of indicators where information is available.

    The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to note the report.

  3. Establishment Monitoring

Cabinet Member: Change Management
Forward Plan Ref: 2006/021
Contact: Steve Munn, Head of Human Resources (01865 815191)

Report by Head of Human Resources (CA8).

This report gives an update on activity since the implementation of the new Establishment Review and associated Recruitment Approval process on 1 August 2005. It provides detail on the overall objectives of the review and summarises progress made against the targets which were agreed to ensure delivery of those objectives. Details of the agreed establishment figure at 31 March 2006 in terms of Full Time Equivalents is provided, together with the detailed staffing position at 30 June 2006. These are shown in the report by directorate and service area.

The report also provides information on current activity with specific reference to the implications of the directorate realignment and how we are engaging Heads of Service with the process. In addition there is information on grant funded posts and those vacancies which are being covered by agency staff and at what cost.

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

          1. note the report; and
          2. confirm that the Establishment Review continues to meet requirements in reporting and managing staffing numbers.

  1. Oxford Controlled Parking and Residents’ Parking Zones

    (See also Addenda)

Cabinet Member: Transport
Forward Plan Ref: 2006/091
Contact: Richard Dix, Assistant Head of Transport (01865 815663)

Report by Head of Transport (CA9).

This report gives the results of the recent consultations on the proposal to introduce charges for residents and visitor’s parking permits in Oxford, carried out in conjunction with the publication of the draft amendments to parking orders to enable charges to be made.

Consideration is given to the issues raised by those people responding to the consultation, which has resulted in the recommendation of substantial changes to the original proposals for visitor’s parking permits, of improvements to the level of service, and of other actions to address the issues raised. The report concludes that nothing in the consultation reveals significant flaws in the case for introducing charges.

The report also considers the introduction of a revised permit scheme for discretionary authorisations for contractors’ vehicles to park in permit parking spaces and concludes that this scheme be introduced as proposed.

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

          1. Approve the introduction of charges for parking permits in Oxford as follows;
              1. All zones except the match-day event zones;
              2. Residents parking permits

                £40 a year for each of the first two permits for any household in any zone

                £80 a year for a third permit, £120 a year for a fourth and further permits in zones where Orders allow this.

                Visitors parking permits

                No charge for one batch of 25 permits; £15 for a second batch of 25 permits.

                No charge for visitors permits issued to qualifying residents aged 70 or over.

                Contractors permits

                £15 for a discretionary authorisation to apply for a week in the zone requested.

              3. match-day event zones (Kassam Stadium zones)

            Residents parking permit

            £10 a year for each permit.

          2. Authorise the making of the Traffic Regulation Orders with the necessary modifications for visitors’ permits as set out in (a) above;
          3. Instruct officers to take the necessary actions to improve the service as set out in paragraph 38 noting that in some cases these will be dependent on further amendments to Traffic Regulation Orders;
          4. Instruct officers to review West Oxford and South Oxford Controlled Parking Zones within 18 months and draw up a programme of regular reviews for Oxford Controlled Parking Zones generally;
          5. Instruct officers to make arrangements to enforce parking restrictions around the Kassam stadium when car boot sales are held at the stadium.

  1. Oxfordshire Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy

    (See also Addenda)

  2. Cabinet Member: Sustainable Development
    Forward Plan Ref: 2006/025
    Contact: Frankie Upton, Waste Project Manager (01865 815824)

    Report by Head of Sustainable Development (CA10).

    (CA10 - download as .doc file)

    (CA10 - Annex A - download as .doc file)
    (CA10 - Annex B - download as .doc file)
    (CA10 - Annex C - download as .doc file)
    (CA10 - Annex D - download as .doc file)
    (CA10 - Annex E - download as .doc file)
    (CA10 - Core Strategy - download as .pdf file)
    (CA10 - Annex G - download as .doc file)

    The Oxfordshire Waste Partnership (OWP) consists of representatives from all the district councils in Oxfordshire and the County Council. Over the past year, the OWP has worked to produce the Oxfordshire Joint Municipal Waste Strategy. This work has involved the evaluation of many options for the reduction, reuse, recycling, treatment and disposal of waste.

    The strategy sets out how the six authorities are going to work in partnership to effectively manage waste over the next 25 years in the context of future challenges, the need for change and a shared vision for the future.

    The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED, subject to the comments of the Environment & Economy Scrutiny Committee, to approve the Oxfordshire Joint Municipal Waste Strategy and authorise the Director for Environment & Economy following consultation with the Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development to approve any minor amendments which may arise as a result of the consideration of this strategy by the other partners of the Oxfordshire Waste Partnership.

  3. Procurement of Waste Treatment Facilities

Cabinet Member: Sustainable Development
Forward Plan Ref: 2006/063
Contact: Frankie Upton, Waste Project Manager (01865 815824)

Report by Head of Sustainable Development (CA11).

The purpose of this report is to seek Cabinet approval for the procurement of waste treatment facilities for Oxfordshire. Three of the Council's existing landfill contracts expire in 2009, and the amount of biodegradeable municipal waste that Oxfordshire will be able to landfill without incurring fines is to reduce each year until 2019/20 at least under EU and Government legislation. The report sets out the key points in the business case prepared for this project, including an options appraisal and affordability assessment, and compares the implications of procuring waste treatment technologies with doing nothing. The conclusion is that procurement should proceed as the costs of waste treatment could be significantly less than doing nothing, but that the business case will also need to be revisited to ensure that the justification remains robust.

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED on the basis of the outline business case to:

          1. endorse the need to procure waste treatment facilities to help meet Oxfordshire’s targets under European and Government legislation for reducing the amount of biodegradable waste that is landfilled;
          2. agree the advertisement of an OJEU notice to formally begin the procurement process as soon as the relevant documentation can be prepared;
          3. authorise the Director for Environment and Economy, following consultation with the Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development to take into account comments of the Environment and Economy Scrutiny Committee in preparing for procurement; and
          4. authorise the Director for Environment and Economy to approve the necessary procurement documentation following consultation with the Cabinet member for Sustainable Development.

  1. Westgate Redevelopment, Oxford

    (See also Addenda)

Cabinet Member: Transport, Sustainable Development
Forward Plan Ref: 2006/062
Contact: Noel Newson, Group Manager, Sustainable Transport (01865 815894)

Report by Director for Environment & Economy (CA12) (download as .doc file).

The County Council has been consulted by Oxford City Council on a full application, with supporting documents, for the redevelopment of the Westgate Centre submitted by the Westgate Partnership. The proposed development incorporates mixed use development including the alteration, refurbishment, part redevelopment and extension of the existing Westgate Centre to provide new retail and residential accommodation within Use Classes A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, and C3 and D1; erection of a replacement multi storey car park at Abbey Place and new access onto Thames Street: provision of new bus facilities and a bus priority route; environmental improvements to the public realm; associated highway access and landscape works; and other associated uses.

The proposal incorporates a threefold expansion of the retail floor space on the site (from 17,000m² to 51,300m²), 127 new residential units and a new 1335 space multi-storey car park, which would replace the current Westgate car park and adjacent Abbey Place surface car park.

The County has a significant role to play in any redevelopment of the Westgate area, as the Transport Authority, as Strategic Planning Authority and land owner. If approved, any consent is likely to involve the County Council in a number of respects and the Council will need to be party to legal agreements to secure infrastructure, works on the public highway and stopping up orders.

This report describes the proposed development and concentrates on the main issues for the County Council raised by the proposal. A recommended response to the City Council is set out in full at Annex 4, which the Cabinet is asked to endorse.

Subject to any supplementary information contained in the Addendum yet to be submitted by the applicant, the Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

          1. give its broad support to the proposed redevelopment of the Westgate centre, subject to the securing of appropriate financial contributions, legal agreements and conditions as summarised in Annex 4;
          2. endorse the comments in the report and the specific requirements contained in Annex 4 of the report for forwarding to Oxford City Council; and
          3. authorise the Director for Environment & Economy, following consultation with the Cabinet Members for Sustainable Development and Transport, to forward any additional comments should further significant variations in the detail of the application be proposed.

  1. Customer Focus Scrutiny Review

Cabinet Member: Change Management
Forward Plan Ref: 2006/054
Contact: Myfanwy Lloyd, Scrutiny Review Officer (01865 810823)

Report by Corporate Governance Scrutiny Committee (CA13).

(Full Scrutiny Report - Review of Customer Focus - download as .pdf file)
(Summary Scrutiny Review - Review of Customer Focus - download as .pdf file)

The Corporate Governance Scrutiny Committee has undertaken a Review of ‘Customer Focus’ in the Council. The purpose was to look at whether the Council is effective in focusing on the needs of local people in providing its services. The Review sought to identify how the corporate centre encourages customer focus, how effectively the views of local people are reflected in service planning, and how customer service initiatives are supporting the development of customer focus. The aim of the Review was to make recommendations that could help to improve the customer focus of the Council. The report’s findings and recommendations are based on interviews with staff at all levels of the Council, witnesses representing external organisations, and other sources of evidence such as research by MORI. The Committee found that the Council has made significant progress in this area, and has a renewed commitment to customer focus. Several recommendations have been made to address the coordination and implementation of further improvements.

On 27 July the Scrutiny Committee agreed the report for submission to the Cabinet. An executive summary of the report with its recommendations is attached (CA13). The full Review Report has been circulated to Cabinet Members, as has a paper by the Cabinet Member for Change Management commenting on the Review, which the Committee wished to be forwarded to the Cabinet. Copies of both documents have been placed in the Members’ Resource Centre and are available for public inspection.

The Cabinet Member for Change Management RECOMMENDS the Cabinet to adopt the following in response to the Scrutiny Review Report:

    a. thank the review panel and officers for their work in undertaking this review;

    b. ask the Charter Mark Programme Board to consider the recommendations made by the review panel in the context of its own work programme and, where appropriate, take the recommendations into account in the Council’s preparation for a Corporate Charter Mark; and

    c. communicate to the Corporate Governance Scrutiny Committee its response to the Review’s recommendations.

  1. Local Government Pension Scheme – Future Options
  2. Cabinet Member: Finance, Change Management
    Forward Plan Ref: 2006/146
    Contact: Ken Bell, Interim Assistant Head of Finance (01865 815411)

    Report by Director for Resources (CA14).

    (Supplement - download as .doc file)

    (Local Government Pension Scheme - Suggested responses by Cabinet Member for Finance and Cabinet Member for Change Management - download as .doc file)

    The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has set out, for consultation, four options for a new look LGPS to be implemented from 1 April 2008. This report considers each of the four options together with a range of related issues and highlights the key points to be considered in drawing up the Cabinet's response, as an employer, to the consultation proposals. The deadline for responses is 29 September 2006.

    The DCLG have stressed that there is no favoured option at this stage and that stakeholders can offer their own proposals rather than being constrained by the four options in the consultation document. The responses to this consultation will inform which proposal the DCLG takes forward through a statutory consultation exercise, in the form of Draft Scheme regulations commencing in late Autumn 2006.

    The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to consider the issues raised in Annex 1 to the report and authorise the Director for Resources, following consultation with the Cabinet Members for Finance and Change Management, to submit a response to the DCLG by 29 September 2006.

  3. National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS-funded Nursing Care

    (See also Addenda)

Cabinet Member: Social Care & Policy Co-ordination
Forward Plan Ref: 2006/145
Contact: Charles Waddicor, Director (01865 816041)

Report by Director for Social & Community Services (CA15).

The Department of Health is conducting a national consultation on a new National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS Funded Nursing Care in England.

The South Central Strategic Health Authority is submitting a response on behalf of the Primary Care Trusts. This is a response from the perspective of the Local Authority.

The new National Framework aims to clarify the definitions of the types of NHS funded care, and standardise the assessment and decision making process using nationally agreed assessment tools.

The objective is to minimise the post code lottery effect as to who is eligible for NHS funded care, and make the process more transparent and comprehensible for vulnerable people and their families.

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

          1. endorse the detailed response to the Department of Health on the consultation on the new National Framework for NHS Continuing Care whilst noting the caveats and concerns relating to a number of areas as set out in Annex 1 of the report;
          2. request a more detailed report on the financial and operational implications of the outcome of the consultation once new Department of Health Guidance has been issued; and
          3. request that the Directorates for Children, Young People & Families and Social & Community Services work jointly to ensure that the Frameworks for NHS Continuing Healthcare enable a smooth transfer from children to adults services.

  1. Performance of Property Portfolio
  2. Cabinet Member: Finance
    Forward Plan Ref: 2006/118
    Contact: Mark Tailby, Strategic Asset Management (01865 816012)

    Report by Head of Property (CA16) (download as .doc file).

    This annual report details the performance of the Council’s property portfolio from April 2005 to March 2006.

    The following aspects of the property portfolio are covered: fitness for purpose; acquisitions, disposals and capital receipts; condition and required maintenance; environmental performance; building accessibility; utilisation of school properties; and capital projects.

    Fitness for Purpose surveys for the majority of operational properties have been included for the first time. The results of this annual assessment will help monitor progress towards achieving the Resources Directorate Service Plan target of 90% of properties being fit for purpose by 2015.

    The content of this report will help inform the Corporate Asset Management Plan. Future targets will be set in the next revision of the Corporate Asset Management Plan.

    The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to note the report and request that benchmarking information and targets be provided in the Corporate Asset Management Plan for 2007/08.

  3. Fire Precautions on School Premises

    (See also Addenda)
  4. Cabinet Member: Community Safety, Property
    Forward Plan Ref: 2006/125
    Contact: Mike Smyth, Deputy Chief Fire Officer (01865 855205), Neil Monaghan, Head of Property (01865 815712)

    Report by Director for Community Safety & Chief Fire Officer, Head of Property (CA17) (download as .doc file)..

    The Council recognises that an early warning of fire is essential in ensuring that any damage to the structure of a school is kept to a minimum, and that the provision of a fire alarm system with automatic fire detection linked to the Fire and Rescue Service is the best way to achieve this.

    Full Council have asked the Cabinet to encourage all schools in Oxfordshire to fit automatic fire alarms linked to the Fire and Rescue Service and in new schemes to do so in accordance with the agreed risk assessment process; and recommend that all new schools and extensions or major refurbishments to existing schools be fitted with sprinklers when the agreed risk assessment process demonstrates its worth.

    The report has been brought to Cabinet to seek approval for agreed actions between Property Services and the Fire and Rescue Service that will enable Cabinet to meet Council's request.

    The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to agree the actions set out in Paragraph 5 of the report.

  5. Forward Plan and Future Business

    (See also Addenda)

Cabinet Member: All
Contact Officer: John Leverton, Head of Committee Services (01865 815314)

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 CA18. 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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