Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Rooms 1&2 - County Hall, New Road, Oxford OX1 1ND. View directions

Contact: Sue Whitehead  Tel: 07393 001213; E-Mail:  sue.whitehead@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

106/16

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology was received from Councillor Rodney Rose.

107/16

Minutes pdf icon PDF 223 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 22 November 2016 (CA3) and to receive information arising from them.

Minutes:

The minutes of the Meeting held on 22 November 2017 were approved and signed as a correct record.

108/16

Questions from County Councillors pdf icon PDF 101 KB

Any county councillor may, by giving notice to the Proper Officer by 9 am two working days before the meeting, ask a question on any matter in respect of the Cabinet’s delegated powers.

 

The number of questions which may be asked by any councillor at any one meeting is limited to two (or one question with notice and a supplementary question at the meeting) and the time for questions will be limited to 30 minutes in total. As with questions at Council, any questions which remain unanswered at the end of this item will receive a written response.

 

Questions submitted prior to the agenda being despatched are shown below and will be the subject of a response from the appropriate Cabinet Member or such other councillor or officer as is determined by the Cabinet Member, and shall not be the subject of further debate at this meeting. Questions received after the despatch of the agenda, but before the deadline, will be shown on the Schedule of Addenda circulated at the meeting, together with any written response which is available at that time.

Minutes:

Councillor Bartholomew had given notice of the following question to Councillor Stratford

 

“At the meeting of the Cabinet Advisory Group on Income Generation on 11 October I put forward a proposal for a 'Speed Tube Protocol' which I believe will not only improve Highways' response to planning applications, but will generate substantial income for the Council. 

 

In an exchange of emails subsequent to the meeting between myself, the Cabinet Member for Finance and the Cabinet Member for Economy & Environment, it was agreed that an officer report on this proposal would be prepared for the meeting of the CAG on 29th November. Unfortunately this did not occur and is not referred to in the final report of the CAG.

 

Now that the Group is ending, could I have an assurance from both Cabinet members that a working party, in which I am to be included, will be established to investigate and develop the proposals?”

 

Councillor Stratford replied:

 

Councillor Stratford commented that there was no need for a working group but that the matter would be considered by Councillor Nimmo Smith and officers as part of fees and charges and would involve Councillor Bartholomew.

 

Councillor Howson had given notice of the following question to Councillor Harrod:

 

“Using the data provided by the DfE for the Stage 2 consultation on a National Funding Formula for Schools, how many primary and secondary schools in Oxfordshire are shown in the DfE calculations as net gainers and net losers under the proposed future arrangements?”

 

Councillor Harrod replied:

 

“Figures provided by the F40 group give the following numbers of gainers and losers:

 

Primary: 108 gainers, 121 losers

Secondary: 24 winners, 10 losers”

 

Supplementary: In response to a further question Councillor Harrod agreed that it was likely that small village schools would be affected. With officers he was still analysing the impact to see if anything could be done.

 

 

Councillor Tanner to Councillor Nimmo Smith

 

“Does the Cabinet member now deeply regret putting dangerous buses back into the pedestrianised Queen Street in Oxford against the advice of his own officers and to the huge disappointment of the developers of the new Westgate shopping centre?”

 

Councillor Nimmo Smith replied:

 

I think Cllr Tanner is confused about the process and should pay more attention to the agendas.

 

Queen Street allows for buses at present and was only closed to these services during a specific period of construction of the Westgate Centre to allow better site access - once the developers had carried out the work, Queen Street was always programmed to re-open to buses.

 

The recent item on the Cabinet Member Decisions Environment meeting was regarding the longer term situation in Queen Street. If Cllr Tanner had read the papers properly then he would have understood the difference.

 

It will be a Cabinet decision about whether or not to pedestrianise Queen Street once the new Westgate centre opens.  The item on the Cabinet Member Decisions Environment meeting has a much wider impact than the routine yellow lines, disabled parking  ...  view the full minutes text for item 108/16

109/16

Petitions and Public Address pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Minutes:

The Chairman had agreed the following requests to address the meeting:

 

Item 6 – Mr Graham Jones; Sara Fuge, Development Manager, Oxford Westgate Alliance; Phil Southall, Managing Director, Oxford Bus Company Martin Sutton, Stagecoach in Oxfordshire; Debbie Dance, Oxford Preservation Trust; Councillor Steve Curran, Shadow Cabinet Member for Environment

Item 7– Councillor Nick Hards, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance

Item 8 – Councillor Charles Mathew, Income Generation CAG Member; Councillor Nick Hards, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance

Item 9 – Councillor Nick Hards, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance

Item 10 – John Hulett, spokesperson for Red Kite Children’s Centre Working Group; Charlie Payne, local resident; Councillor Jean Fooks, local councillor for Wolvercote & Summertown*; Councillor David Williams, local councillor for Ifley Fields & St Margaret’s; Councillor Anne Purse, local councillor for Wheatley; Councillor Gill Sanders, Shadow Cabinet Member for Education and Children & Family Services

Item 11 – Councillor Liz Brighouse, Chairman of Performance Scrutiny Committee

 

* N.B. Councillor Fooks spoke at this point on the agenda but for ease of reference a note of her address is included at Minute 114/16 on Agenda Item 10.

110/16

Proposed Amendments to Traffic and Access Restrictions - Queen Street, Oxford pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Cabinet Member: Environment

Forward Plan Ref: 2016/035

Contact: Andy Warren, Project Sponsor Tel: (01865) 815835

 

Report by Acting Director for Environment & Economy (CA6).

 

A report on proposals for changes to access for buses, taxis and cyclists in Queen Street was considered by the Cabinet Member for Environment on 24th November 2016, seeking a delegated decision of the Cabinet.

 

The Cabinet Member for Environment decided at that meeting to refer the matter to full Cabinet on 20th December with a recommendation “to approve a proposal that Queen Street remain open as it was before the Westgate redevelopment with a review after 6 months”.

 

This officer report sets out the reasons for the Cabinet Member for Environment’s decision on 24th November and highlights a number of issues the Cabinet needs to be aware of in considering this matter.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED:

 

 

(a)      To consider the Cabinet Member for Environment’s decision and recommendation as set out in paragraph 6.

 

(b)          If the Cabinet is minded to approve the Cabinet Member for Environment’s recommendation, TO INSTRUCT officers to work with bus operators and others towards the ‘additional measures’ set out in paragraph 11, seeking Cabinet or Cabinet member approval where required.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report on proposals for changes to access for buses, taxis and cyclists in Queen Street was considered by the Cabinet Member for Environment on 24th November 2016, seeking a delegated decision of the Cabinet Member.

 

The Cabinet Member for Environment decided at that meeting to refer the matter to full Cabinet on 20th December with a recommendation “to approve a proposal that Queen Street remain open as it was before the Westgate redevelopment with a review after 6 months”.

 

Cabinet had before them a report that set out the reasons for the Cabinet Member for Environment’s decision on 24th November and highlighted a number of issues the Cabinet needed to be aware of in considering this matter. Sue Halliwell, Acting Director for Strategy & Infrastructure Planning gave a presentation outlining the impact of an experimental closure of Queen Street and advising Cabinet that this was still the recommended course of action from officers.

 

Graham Jones, speaking for Oxford High Street Association expressed concerns at the impact of a closure on High Street and St Aldates. More bus stops would create greater congestion on the narrow pavements. There was concern for the impact on the historic street scene and safety fears as pedestrians were forced to walk on the road. On behalf of ROCs he also expressed concern at the longer bus routes and commented that any closure should wait until a strategy was in place.

 

Sara Fuge, Development Manager, Oxford Westgate Alliance, supported the closure of Queens Street in order to aid their aim for the development to be fully integrated to the rest of the City Centre. Buses in Queen Street would lead to an uncomfortable environment and she questioned the safety of pedestrians.

 

Debbie Dance, Oxford Preservation Trust, supported keeping Queen Street open as there was a need to preserve a balance between shopping and heritage.

 

Phil Southall, Managing Director, Oxford Bus Company, supported keeping Queen Street open. He questioned the validity of the figures quoted for pedestrian footfall. He expected a spike in the first 6 months but after that expected the numbers to normalise. Previous agreements to provide a turning circle had been reversed. The bus company was willing to have further discussions but felt that Queen Street not be closed without a turning circle. He supported the status quo with the road remaining open until a strategy was in place. There was no record of accidents and safety concerns could be addressed. In response to a question he advised cabinet that if Queen Street was closed buses would need to use Frideswide Square. He questioned whether this was an appropriate use of the shared space that had been created there. Buses would be forced to stop further out, providing a poor experience for shoppers who would not be dropped where they want.

 

Martin Sutton, Stagecoach in Oxfordshire, commented that they would like to see Queen Street fully pedestrianised but that this would only work with the provision of the turning circle  ...  view the full minutes text for item 110/16

111/16

2016/17 Financial Monitoring & Business Strategy Report - October 2016 pdf icon PDF 235 KB

Cabinet Member: Finance

Forward Plan Ref: 2016/073

Contact: Katy Jurczyszyn, Strategic Finance Manager (Finance, Strategy & Monitoring) Tel: 07584 909518

 

Report by Chief Finance Officer (CA7).

 

This is the third financial monitoring report for 2016/17 and focuses on the delivery of the Directorate Business Strategies that were agreed as part of the Service and Resource Planning Process for 2016/17 – 2019/20.  Parts 1 and 2 include projections for revenue, reserves and balances as at the end of October 2016. Capital Programme monitoring is included at Part 3. 

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

(a)          note the report;

(b)         approve the request for the creation of OXSIT traded service Reserve as set out in paragraph 41;

(c)          approve the debt write off detailed in paragraph 52;

(d)         note the settlement of the debt detailed in paragraph 53:

(e)          note the Treasury Management lending list at Annex 3;

(f)           approve the changes to the Capital Programme at Annex 7b and Annex 7c.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the third financial monitoring report for 2016/17 that focused on the delivery of the Directorate Business Strategies that were agreed as part of the Service and Resource Planning Process for 2016/17 – 2019/20.  Parts 1 and 2 included projections for revenue, reserves and balances as at the end of October 2016. Capital Programme monitoring was included at Part 3.

 

Councillor Nick Hards, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance, raised a number of detailed concerns around: the SEN transport budget overspend, the increase in child social care costs; the legal costs associated with keeping children safe although he recognised the need to do so. Councillor Hards sought an update on the delay in completing the planned children’s homes and sought assurance that action to reduce the cost of SEN placements in future was on track. Councillor Hards commended the positive picture for adult social care and noted that the capital programme was just about satisfactory.

 

Councillor Stratford responded to the points raised noting that in respect of social care costs agency staff were used only where necessary.  Councillor Carter added that a unitary council would provide an opportunity to see a change in the use of agency staff. Customer Services moved to ‘banking’ staff and avoided agency costs. Councillor Stratford continued that the overspend for CEF reflected increased activity. SEN transport continued to be challenging. The Council was working hard to reduce all overspends.

 

RESOLVED:                                                 to:

(a)          note the report;

(b)          approve the request for the creation of OXSIT traded service Reserve as set out in paragraph 41;

(c)          approve the debt write off detailed in paragraph 52;

(d)          note the settlement of the debt detailed in paragraph 53:

(e)          note the Treasury Management lending list at Annex 3;

(f)           approve the changes to the Capital Programme at Annex 7b and Annex 7c.

 

 

 

 

112/16

Concluding Report of the Income Generation Cabinet Advisory Group pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Cabinet Member: Finance

Forward Plan Ref: 2016/117

Contact: Claire Phillips, Senior Policy Officer Tel: 07785 453260

 

Report by Chairman of the Income Generation Cabinet Advisory Group (CA8).

 

This report proposes the conclusion of the work of the Income Generation Cabinet Advisory Group (CAG) which has explored options for income generation.     The CAG will submit proposals for income generation from service areas of the council to be included in the budget for 2017/18 following a review of the proposed fees and charges.

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance RECOMMENDS Cabinet to endorse the work of the Income Generation Cabinet Advisory Group and agree to disband the group.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report seeking the conclusion of the work of the Income Generation Cabinet Advisory Group (CAG) which has explored options for income generation.            The CAG would be submitting proposals for income generation from service areas of the council to be included in the budget for 2017/18 following a review of the proposed fees and charges.

 

Councillor Charles Mathew, member of the Income Generation CAG spoke in support of the work undertaken and spoke against its abandonment. With the threat of diminishing government funds there was merit in keeping the CAG in order to ensure for instance that the benefits from property assets were fully realised.

 

Councillor Nick Hards, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance, recognised that there was good work in progress in relation to property.

 

Councillor Stratford, in moving the recommendations, commended the work of the CAG which had highlighted the need to generate more income. On the property side there had been a significant response from Councillor Lorraine Lindsay-Gale as cabinet member for Property and the challenge would be seen in the autumn budget process. Councillor Stratford appreciated the support he had received from CAG Members and although it had been challenging at times it had been a group effort. Councillor Hudspeth added that CAGs were always envisaged as task and finish groups and having done a lot to make the Council look at income generation he was happy to support the recommendations.

 

RESOLVED:             to endorse the work of the Income Generation Cabinet Advisory Group and agree to disband the group.

 

113/16

Service & Resource Planning Report - 2016/17 - December 2016 pdf icon PDF 177 KB

Cabinet Member: Finance

Forward Plan Ref: 2016/074

Contact: Katy Jurczyszyn, Strategic Finance Manager (Finance, Strategy & Monitoring) Tel: 07584 909518

 

Report by Chief Finance Officer (CA9).

 

1.     This report is the second in the series on the Service & Resource Planning process for 2017/18 which will culminate in Council setting a budget for 2017/18 and a medium term plan to 2020/21 in February 2017.  The report sets out:

 

·      the new pressures and savings for 2017/18 and the medium term,

·      the key announcements of the Autumn Statement announced on 23 November 2016; and

·      the capital programme proposals for 2017/18 to 2020/21. 

 

Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to take the issues set out in the report into consideration in forming their proposed budget for 2017/18, Medium Term Financial Plan to 2020/21 and Capital Programme to 2020/21.

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the second in the series of reports on the Service & Resource Planning process for 2017/18 which will culminate in Council setting a budget for 2017/18 and a medium term plan to 2020/21 in February 2017.  The report set out:

 

·      the new pressures and savings for 2017/18 and the medium term,

·      the key announcements of the Autumn Statement announced on 23 November 2016; and

·      the capital programme proposals for 2017/18 to 2020/21. 

 

Cabinet also had before them a supplementary report from the Chief Finance Officer containing additional information.

 

Councillor Nick Hards, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance, thanked the Finance Team for their work on the budget. He commented that the report was quite upbeat and reflected the quality of the work being done already. He noted that the additional New Homes Bonus was not new money and some Oxfordshire District Councils such as West Oxfordshire DC had lost out. Councillor Hards welcomed the adult social care grant and awaited with interest how this would be used. There was a need however to face the difficult problems facing adult social care.

 

Councillor Heathcoat, recognised the challenges facing adult social care and commented that a lot of work was being carried out and reports would follow.

 

Councillor Stratford moved the recommendations and stated that he had attended the Performance Scrutiny Committee where there had been strong support for the work done by officers. Councillor Stratford added his own thanks for the work being done.

 

Lorna Baxter, Chief Finance Officer, explained how the changes to the adult social care precept set out in the addenda would work noting that it could be only 6% over the period. If Council chose to make the precept 3% for the coming year this would not be additional money. Lorna Baxter stressed that the details of the scheme had not yet been made available and that the information received was only a provisional settlement.

 

RESOLVED:             to take the issues set out in the report into consideration in forming their proposed budget for 2017/18, Medium Term Financial Plan to 2020/21 and Capital Programme to 2020/21.

 

114/16

Rents for Asset Transfer of Children's Centre pdf icon PDF 238 KB

Cabinet Member: Property, Cultural & Community Services

Forward Plan Ref: 2016/132

Contact: Nigel Cunning, Corporate Landlord Manager Tel: (01865) 780250/Ben Threadgold, Policy & Performance Service Manager Tel: 07867 467838

 

Report by Acting Director for Environment & Economy (CA10).

 

This report considers the implications of the current asset transfer policy in supporting community groups to develop self-financing, sustainable proposals to take on responsibility for a children's centre. In particular it sets out the financial implications of different possible approaches, and the additional support that could be offered to community groups in developing viable proposals.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(a)          Maintain the terms of the existing Asset Transfer Policy in considering transfers of children’s centres to community groups;

(b)         Extend additional support (as outlined in para 31) beyond 1st April to help community groups develop a viable business case fully;

(c)          Agree that a deadline is set for these cases to be brought forward to be considered at a 3rd and final round of the Transition Fund, no later than the Cabinet meeting in July;

(d)         Offer a defined, short-term rent-free period of up to a maximum of 6 months to support mobilisation, where the business case would otherwise not be viable. After this initial period the rent would increase in line with the asset transfer policy, to 50% of the commercial rent level for the property.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet had before them a report on the implications of the current asset transfer policy in supporting community groups to develop self-financing, sustainable proposals to take on responsibility for a children's centre. In particular it set out the financial implications of different possible approaches, and the additional support that could be offered to community groups in developing viable proposals. Bev Hindle, Acting Director for Environment & Economy, Lucy Butler, Director for Children’s Services and Nick Graham, Chief Legal Officer attended for this item.

 

Councillor Fooks, local councillor for Wolvercote &Summertown spoke against the recommendations in the report commenting that the report seemed to be more business driven than service driven. She referred to the vital work in her community and highlighted that Council had recognised that best value was not always about the best financial decision. She expressed concern at the increase in rents and highlighted the constant need of groups to bid for funds. Groups in her area such as the Wolvercote Young people’s Club had nowhere else they could go. Councillor Fooks asked Cabinet to reject the recommendations and to review what was important in the light of the spirit of the Council resolution.

 

 John Hulett, spokesperson for Red Kite Children’s Centre Working Group expressed disappointment with the recommendations and urged Cabinet to consider the implications of their decision on centres such as his own. They had worked hard to put together a viable and sustainable business plan despite being asked by the Council to show the community rent which showed as a deficit as they had no further access to funds. He commented that suggesting that the waiver would be a disincentive to put in place a sustainable financial model misunderstood the nature of the business model for a free service. It was essential that services remained free in order not to discourage those families most in need of support. Their building was small and purpose built and was a difficult place to hire out to others and would not bring in sufficient revenue to pay for the service. By setting up a community project they were saving the Council money and providing an early warning system for families in difficulty. The rental income would be new money and in effect by charging rent the Council was reducing the transition grant given.

Mr Hulett urged Cabinet to waive rent for the whole of the first year and and to agree to a review of Group’s viability before charging rent in future years.

 

Charlie Payne, local resident spoke against the proposals querying what would happen if centre’s failed due to high rents.  If it failed there would be no rent and a building to heat and maintain. She highlighted problems with hiring to others as her local centre had a connecting door to a nursery for children with special educational needs. Responding to a question about the costs incurred by the Council due to responding to a judicial review Charlie Payne commented that she was not a legal  ...  view the full minutes text for item 114/16

115/16

Senior Management Review - Proposed Structure pdf icon PDF 447 KB

Cabinet Member: Leader

Forward Plan Ref: 2016/127

Contact: Steve Munn, Chief HR Officer Tel: (01865) 815191

 

Report by County Director (CA11)

 

This report asks Cabinet to consider the views of Members on the Senior Management Review and to approve the proposed recommendations including a new structure.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(a)          endorse the Senior Management Review recommendations and proposed structure:

(b)          agree in principle that the post of County Director should be made permanent and re-designated Chief Executive; and

(c)          agree that pending a permanent appointment as discussed in paragraph 9 above Peter Clark is redesignated from County Director  to Interim Chief Executive

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet had before them a report on the conclusions of the Senior Management Review and seeking approval of the proposed recommendations including a new structure. Cabinet also considered the views of members from an all Member Briefing, full Council and Audit & Governance Committee as set out in the addenda. Steve Munn, Chief Human Resources Officer attended for this item.

 

Councillor Liz Brighouse, Chairman of Performance Scrutiny Committee, who had chaired the scrutiny session of all members, commented that the main issues had been around the titles of posts and the specific wording used. On the whole councillors had been supportive of the work done by Penna.

 

Cabinet thanked Councillor Brighouse for her note of the session and Councillor Hudspeth commented that the all member briefing had been a very good idea, although it was a shame not all members were there.

 

Steve Munn, Chief Human Resources Officer, introduced the contents of the report and summarised the views of members as set out in the addenda.

 

Councillor Hudspeth, Leader of the Council, Cabinet commended the structure and moved the recommendations. During discussion Cabinet endorsed the process and supported the recommendations.

 

RESOLVED:             to:

 

(a)          endorse the Senior Management Review recommendations and proposed structure:

(b)          agree in principle that the post of County Director should be made permanent and re-designated Chief Executive; and

(c)          pending a permanent appointment as discussed in paragraph 9 above, and following the full Council decision Cabinet endorses Peter Clark’s re-designation from County Director  to Interim Chief Executive.

 

116/16

Forward Plan and Future Business pdf icon PDF 105 KB

Cabinet Member: All

Contact Officer: Sue Whitehead, Committee Services Manager Tel: 07393 001213

 

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a list of items for the immediately forthcoming meetings of the Cabinet together with changes and additions set out in the schedule of addenda.

 

RESOLVED:                        to note the items currently identified for forthcoming meetings.