Agenda and minutes

Venue: County Hall, Oxford, OX1 1ND

Contact: Sue Whitehead  Tel: (01865) 810262; E-Mail:  sue.whitehead@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

101/11

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received on behalf of Councillor Louise Chapman and Councillor Rodney Rose.

102/11

Minutes pdf icon PDF 140 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 19 July 2011 (CA3) and to receive information arising from them.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 19 July 2011 were approved and signed.

103/11

Questions from County Councillors pdf icon PDF 58 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 Roy Darke had given notice of the following two questions to the Cabinet Member for Finance & Property

 

1. “Given the large number of changes in prospect for local government finance and the serious implications that these will have on the County Council's budget will the Cabinet Member ensure that all members are fully briefed about the changes and their impacts?”

 

Councillor Couchman replied:

 

“We are planning to include any updates on Local Government Resource Review (LGRR) on the planned Member briefings which happen throughout the budget process, although we have also added in another one, 29th September - following on after Strategy & Partnerships Scrutiny Committee - to ensure that members are informed of the consultation details in plenty of time before the required response on 24th October.”

 

 

2. “The 2011/12 Financial Monitoring and Business Strategy Delivery report includes substantial carry forwards and virements.  Are the current arrangements for reporting and discussing these fit for purpose?  Surely the relevant scrutiny committees should be where these are discussed rather than solely by the Cabinet?”

 

Councillor Couchman replied:

 

Virements are regulated under the Constitution Part 3.3 which is updated as part of the Budget process – please see Council Agenda for 15th February 2011 Agenda item 8 (annex 7) Service & Resource Planning 2011/12 – 2015/16 Virement Rules 2011/12.

Virements for approval or noting are reported to Cabinet in the Financial Monitoring & Business Strategy Delivery Report each month. If a virement is permanent and involves a major change of policy or is a temporary virement of more than £500,000, then Council’s approval is required. In the case of the virements approved by Council on 13th September 2011, the sums for Carry Forward for CEF, S&CS and E & E were all of more than £500,000 and represented the outturn carry forward sums from 2010/11. The details of these virements had been considered by the Strategy & Partnerships Scrutiny Committee meeting of 21st July 2011 at agenda item 6 – Provisional Outturn Overview, commentary by the Cabinet Member for Finance. The Strategy & Partnerships Scrutiny Committee also considers the Financial Monitoring Reports on a Quarterly basis.

 

Of course there is nothing to stop any Scrutiny Committee deciding to examine virements pertinent to its responsibilities but I do not consider that it would be a good use of its valuable time.”

 

104/11

Petitions and Public Address pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Minutes:

A petition was submitted to the meeting on behalf of Mr M Madden protesting against the new Health & Safety regulations at Redbridge Recycling Centre.

 

The following requests to address the meeting had been agreed:

 

Item 8 – Councillor David Turner – Shadow Cabinet Member for Transport.

Item 9 – Rachel Dobson, Green Watch, Fire Control FBU Brigade Organiser & Control Branch Representative, Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue Service.

Item 10 – Councillor Darke, local Member

 

105/11

2011/12 Financial Monitoring & Business Strategy Delivery Report - July 2011 pdf icon PDF 115 KB

Cabinet Member: Finance & Property

Forward Plan Ref: 2011/092

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

 

Report by Assistant Chief Executive & Chief Finance Officer (CA6).

 

This report covers the period to the end of July 2011 for both revenue and capital budgets and focuses on significant issues and risks around the delivery of the Directorate Business Strategies which were agreed as part of the Service and Resource Planning Process for 2011/12 – 2015/16.  These are set out in the context of the wider forecast position for each Directorate. 

 

Parts 1 and 2 include projections for revenue, reserves and balances as at the end of July 2011.  Capital monitoring is included at Part 3.  The report includes an update on the use of the £0.968m Performance Reward Grant relating to the Adult Skills Target and includes a request to approve supplementary estimates to allocate the £0.678m revenue element either for use by the Council or to be passed to partners.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to

 

a)     note the report;

 

b)    approve the virement requests set out in Annex 2a and Supplementary Estimate requests to allocate the Performance Reward Grant set out in Annex 2e and paragraphs 40 to 43;

 

c)     approve the changes to the Capital Programme set out in Annex 9c.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report that covered the period to the end of July 2011 for both revenue and capital budgets and which focussed on significant issues and risks around the delivery of the Directorate Business Strategies which were agreed as part of the Service and Resource Planning Process for 2011/12 – 2015/16. 

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance and Property introduced the report highlighting a number of elements in the report including the slippage in the business strategy and the overspend in pooled budgets. He also referred to the savings achieved through the closure of Cricket Road and changes to the capital programme to maximise spend.

 

During discussion the Leader commented that there was no longer reference to the impact of school reorganisation as this had been written off and the cost borne successfully.

 

RESOLVED:             to:

 

a)                 note the report;

 

b)                 approve the virement requests set out in Annex 2a and Supplementary Estimate requests to allocate the Performance Reward Grant set out in Annex 2e and paragraphs 40 to 43;

 

approve the changes to the Capital Programme set out in Annex 9c.

106/11

Business Strategy and Service & Resource Planning Report for 2012/13 - 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 145 KB

Cabinet Member: Finance & Property

Forward Plan Ref: 2011/093

Contact: Lorna Baxter, Assistant Head of Finance (Corporate Finance) Tel: (01865) 323971

 

Report by Assistant Chief Executive & Chief Finance Officer (CA7).

 

To provide background and context to the service and resource planning process for 2012/13 – 2016/17.

 

Cabinet is RECOMMENDED TO:

 

(a) note the report;

 

(b) adopt the Summary of the Corporate Plan proposals at Annex 2 to inform preparation of the Corporate plan; and

 

(c) approve the Service and Resource Planning process for 2012/13.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report that gave background and context to the service and resource planning process for 2012/13 – 2016/17.

 

Cabinet recognised the opportunities to grow income provided by the changes to business rates and welcomed the Enterprise Zone.

 

RESOLVED:             to:

 

(a)               note the report;

 

(b)               adopt the Summary of the Corporate Plan Proposals at Annex 2 to inform preparation of the Corporate Plan; and

 

(c)               approve the Service and Resource Planning process for 2012/13.

 

107/11

Oxfordshire Concessionary Fares Scheme - Application and Pass Issuing pdf icon PDF 415 KB

Cabinet Member: Transport

Forward Plan Ref: 2011/098

Contact: Andrew Fairweather, Project Manager, Customer Services Programme Team Tel: (01865) 323095

 

Report by Deputy Director (Highways & Transport) and Interim Deputy Director (Oxfordshire Customer Services) (CA8).

 

To consider options for operating and managing the scheme from April 2012.

The report considers how Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) should approach the application process for and issuing of Concessionary Travel passes for residents who qualify on age or disability grounds following the end of the current agency agreement with District and City Councils.

 

OCC will become solely responsible for the application and issuing process as from 1 April 2012 and decisions to allocate the appropriate funding and authority to proceed (including managing all associated processes) going forward to the Customer Service Centre are required.

 

The report discusses the current situation, possible options for service delivery including online and face to face options and how these may be delivered, the results of a public consultation on those options, the findings of research into best practice by other tiered authorities, and also highlights the strong links to other related Council services (e.g. Disabled Parking Permits, Accessible Travel Advice, and Independent Mobility Assessments) as well as the financial and staffing implications for OCC.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(a)       agree that the Oxfordshire Customer Services Centre should now undertake an appropriate procurement process to select the most suitable supplier(s), and engage with said supplier(s) to provide a system for managing Concessionary Travel Pass applications and the production and issuing of the travel passes;

 

(b)       delegate authority to the Deputy Director Customer Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Transport, to agree any detail in relation to the management of all aspects of the Concessionary Fares Scheme Application & Pass Issuing processes during 2012/13;

 

(c)       agree that a permanent budget of £0.422m be vired to the Customer Service Centre in 2012/13 to manage the scheme;

 

(d)       agree that efficiency savings made by the CSC in subsequent years to be attributed to the CSC overall programme savings set out in the medium term financial plan; and

 

(e)       agree that a number of selected libraries and Oxfordshire County Council building receptions are equipped to provide a face-to-face service for those residents who will find it difficult or impossible to use an online system.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered options for operating and managing the scheme from April 2012 including the approach to the application process for and issuing of Concessionary Travel passes for residents who qualify on age or disability grounds following the end of the current agency agreement with District and City Councils. Cabinet noted that the Deputy Leader was the responsible Cabinet Member and recommendation (b) was amended to reflect this.

 

Councillor David Turner, Shadow Cabinet Member for Transport commented that the meeting clashed with the Liberal Democrat Party Conference and that requests had previously been that Cabinet avoid a clash. With regard to the report Councillor Turner referred to duplication of provision in some areas of Oxfordshire and asked that Thame Library be considered as a location for the face to face service. He also sought some clarification of the religion and belief section of the full Social & Community Impact Assessment. He also queried the use of existing tokens.

 

Responding to a question from the Leader, Councillor David Turner indicated that he himself held no strong view on the wearing of the burkha for bus pass photographs but sought clarity on the policy.

 

Officers undertook to respond in writing to the queries raised.

 

Cabinet underlined the importance of communicating the changes to the public.

 

RESOLVED:             to:

 

(a)       agree that the Oxfordshire Customer Services Centre should now undertake an appropriate procurement process to select the most suitable supplier(s), and engage with said supplier(s) to provide a system for managing Concessionary Travel Pass applications and the production and issuing of the travel passes;

 

(b)       delegate authority to the Deputy Director Customer Services, in consultation with the Deputy Leader, to agree any detail in relation to the management of all aspects of the Concessionary Fares Scheme Application & Pass Issuing processes during 2012/13;

 

(c)        agree that a permanent budget of £0.422m be vired to the Customer Service Centre in 2012/13 to manage the scheme;

 

(d)       agree that efficiency savings made by the CSC in subsequent years to be attributed to the CSC overall programme savings set out in the medium term financial plan; and

 

(e)       agree that a number of selected libraries and Oxfordshire County Council building receptions are equipped to provide a face-to-face service for those residents who will find it difficult or impossible to use an online system.

 

108/11

Fire Control Room 999 Call Receipt and Mobilising Options Appraisal pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Cabinet Member: Safer & Stronger Communities

Forward Plan Ref: 2011/016

Contact: Colin Thomas, Deputy Chief Fire Officer Tel: (01865) 855206

 

Report by Deputy Chief Fire Officer (CA9).

 

Following the termination of the Department for Communities and Local Government national FiReControl project, Cabinet approved Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service joint working with Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes and Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Authorities to create a Strategic Outline (business) Case for the provision of their collective Fire Control functions.  This was intended to examine the feasibility of the creation of a joint "999" call receipt and mobilising and incident management function for Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and its partners.

 

This work has been concluded and the resulting Strategic Outline Case demonstrates that a joint Thames Valley facility could secure early improvements to resilience and allow for the implementation of a fully modernised approach to the Control Room function.  In addition, whilst the details are still to be confirmed, overall the programme is expected to be delivered within grant funding provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government which has been identified as available to secure increased levels of resilience.  Overall service to the public will be at least as good if not better than current levels.

 

This approach is compared within this report with alternative options to allow the Fire Authority to direct future activities.  A similar approach is being followed in Buckinghamshire and Royal Berkshire who have Fire and Rescue Service Authority meetings on the 28th and 25th September respectively.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED subject to the approval by Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes and Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Authorities of the further progression of the Joint Thames Valley Approach to:

 

(a)              endorse the progression of phase 1 of the joint Thames Valley programme (Improved Resilience)

 

(b)              Approve the necessary expenditure to create the Full Business Case which will be subject to further approval by the Cabinet in February 2012

 

(c)               Require the CFO to report back to the Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities on a regular basis concerning:

(1)  progress with the joint DCLG bid for the resilience grant funding

(2)  progress with Thames Valley partnership working arrangements

(3)  progress on the creation of a suitable governance structure

 

If either Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes or Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Authorities fail to approve the further progression of the Joint Thames Valley Approach Cabinet is RECOMMENDED:                        to:

 

(d)       require the Chief Fire Officer to instigate appropriate actions to progress an alternative contingency plan, based on options 3 or 4 as identified in paragraph 21 in the report, subject to the approval of the Cabinet Member for Safer & Stronger Communities..

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Following the termination of the Department for Communities and Local Government national FiReControl project, Cabinet approved Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service joint working with Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes and Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Authorities to create a Strategic Outline (business) Case for the provision of their collective Fire Control functions.  This work has been concluded and the report set out the results and future options.

 

Rachel Dobson, Green Watch, Fire Control FBU Brigade Organiser & Control Branch Representative, Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue Service expressed disappointment at the recommendation to proceed with the joint Thames Valley facility. In particular she expressed concern at the resilience if partners pulled out part way through the process and asked that contingency plans be put in place. She urged the retention of the local control rooms with better communication and integration.

 

During discussion Cabinet congratulated Colin Thomas and the Cabinet Members for Transport and Safer & Stronger Communities on their stance on the FiReControl project which saw Oxfordshire being a beneficiary of the project whilst avoiding the financial penalties of the failed project.

The Cabinet Member for Safer & Stronger Communities proposed an amendment to the recommendations taking into account the possibility that any of the partners might choose not to proceed.

 

RESOLVED:             subject to the approval by Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes and Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Authorities of the further progression of the Joint Thames Valley Approach to:

 

(a)               endorse the progression of phase 1 of the joint Thames Valley programme (Improved Resilience)

 

(b)               Approve the necessary expenditure to create the Full Business Case which will be subject to further approval by the Cabinet in February 2012

 

(c)               Require the CFO to report back to the Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities on a regular basis concerning:

(1)   progress with the joint DCLG bid for the resilience grant funding

(2)   progress with Thames Valley partnership working arrangements

(3)   progress on the creation of a suitable governance structure

 

If either Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes or Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Authorities fail to approve the further progression of the Joint Thames Valley Approach in their Fire and Rescue Authority Meetings on the 28 September 2011 or if due to any parties subsequent choice not to enter into the Thames valley arrangement in February 2012Cabinet RESOLVED:     to:

 

(d)       require the Chief Fire Officer to instigate appropriate actions to progress an alternative contingency plan, based on options 3 or 4 as identified in paragraph 21 in the report, subject to the approval of the Cabinet Member for Safer & Stronger Communities.

 

109/11

Saxon Centre - Big Society Fund/Asset Transfer Policy pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Cabinet Member: Police & Policy Co-Ordination

Forward Plan Ref: 2011/149

Contact: Alexandra Bailey,  Corporate Performance & Review Manager Tel: (01865) 816384, Claire Phillips, Partnership Officer Tel: (01865) 323967

 

Report by Head of Strategy & Communications (CA10).

 

To consider a second bid to the Big Society Fund for the asset transfer of the Saxon Centre. This proposal is brought to Cabinet under the conditions of the cooling off period of the Asset Transfer Policy.

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED:         to

 

(a)               uphold the decision to sell the Saxon Centre to the Oxford Boxing Academy; and

 

(b)              encourage One-eighty to work with the community centre in Northway and reconsider its application to the Big Society Fund in a future round of bidding.

 

 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report on a second bid to the Big Society Fund for the asset transfer of the Saxon Centre.

 

Councillor Darke, speaking as a local Member, regretted the loss of the youth service locally and emphasised that his concern was that any provision at the Saxon Centre should have a strong local focus for young people. He requested Cabinet to consider asking the Oxford Boxing Academy to make strenuous efforts to provide sessions at the Saxon Centre for local young people. He added that  office space was being provided to One-eighty in the local community centre.

 

The Leader commended the local efforts to support One-eighty.  He recognised the value of the One-eighty bid but overall local councillors had felt that the Oxford Boxing Academy  was the stronger bid. There was no need to amend the recommendations as discussions with Oxford Boxing Academy were explicit about wanting youth provision.

 

RESOLVED              to

 

(a)               uphold the decision to sell the Saxon Centre to the Oxford Boxing Academy; and

 

(b)               encourage One-eighty to work with the community centre in Northway and reconsider its application to the Big Society Fund in a future round of bidding.

 

110/11

Corporate Plan Performance and Risk Management report for the First Quarter 2011 pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Cabinet Member: Deputy Leader

Forward Plan Ref: 2011/095

Contact: Alexandra Bailey, Corporate Performance & Review Manager Tel: (01865) 816384

 

Report by County Council Management Team (CA11).

 

Quarterly Performance Monitoring report.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to note the report.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:             to note the report.

111/11

Establishment Review - September 2011 pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Cabinet Member: Deputy Leader

Forward Plan Ref: 2011/094

Contact: Sue Corrigan, Strategic HR Manager Tel: (01865) 810280

 

Report by Head of Human Resources (CA12).

 

This report gives an update on activity since 31 March 2011.  It gives details of the agreed establishment figure at 30 June 2011 in terms of Full Time Equivalents, together with the staffing position at 30 June 2011. These are also shown by directorate in Appendix 1.In addition, the report provides information on vacancies and the cost of posts being covered by agency staff.

 

The report also tracks progress on staffing numbers since 1 April 2010 as we implement our Business Strategy.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED:    to:

 

(a)       note the report;

 

(b)       confirm that the Establishment Review continues to meet the Cabinet’s requirements in reporting and managing staffing numbers.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet received an update on activity since 31 March 2011.  It gave details of the agreed establishment figure at 30 June 2011 in terms of Full Time Equivalents, together with the staffing position at 30 June 2011. In addition, the report provided information on vacancies and the cost of posts being covered by agency staff.

The Deputy Leader highlighted the reduction in staffing numbers and congratulated Human Resources and senior managers on the way in which the process was being handled. He recognised that many members of staff who were no longer with the Council through the need to implement the business strategies had performed well over many years.

RESOLVED:             to:

 

(a)       note the report;

 

(b)       confirm that the Establishment Review continues to meet the Cabinet’s requirements in reporting and managing staffing numbers.

112/11

Forward Plan and Future Business pdf icon PDF 60 KB

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 CA13.  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.