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

107/19

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Mark Gray, Steve Harrod, Lorraine Lindsay-Gale and Eddie Reeves.

108/19

Minutes pdf icon PDF 517 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 15 October 2019 (CA3) and to receive information arising from them.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 15 October 2019 were approved and signed subject to the following amendment in bold italics:

 

Page 11, paragraph 3 – First sentence to be amended to read:

 

Responding to a question from Councillor David Bartholomew, Cabinet member for Finance, Councillor Phillips confirmed her view that the report structure was improving.

109/19

Questions from County Councillors pdf icon PDF 187 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 Richard Webber had given notice of the following question to Councillor Lindsay-Gale:

 

“Some Service families moving into Oxfordshire mid-year are experiencing difficulties in finding school places. As all but one of the secondary schools in Oxfordshire are academies and control their own in-year admissions policies will the Cabinet Member agree to write to the Secretary of State for Education asking for control of in-year admissions.”

 

Councillor Lindsay-Gale was not present but had supplierd the following response:

 

‘Oxfordshire is fully committed to supporting Service families and it is deeply concerning that some Service families have experienced difficulties in finding a school place for their children. However, problems associated with in-year admissions are not confined to Service families.

 

Currently all mainstream state funded schools are required to take part in the coordinated admissions system for the main entry points for primary and infant schools, junior schools and transfer from primary to secondary school. It would be sensible to require studio schools and university technical colleges to be take part in a coordination of admissions scheme for the main point of entry. Local authorities are responsible for coordinating admissions and in Oxfordshire the scheme has worked well with a high proportion of children receiving first preference schools.

 

Most schools in Oxfordshire are part of the in-year admissions scheme but it would be helpful if all schools were required to take part in a coordinated admissions scheme for in-year applicants. In-year schemes should have timescales that apply to all local authorities and all admission authorities.

 

Therefore, I would be happy to write to the Secretary of State to ask for changes to the School Admissions Code 2014 to ensure that all admissions to mainstream schools are included in coordinated admissions arrangements for which local authorities are responsible. Primary legislation may be necessary to enable changes of this kind and I would support such a step to achieve a more efficient and fairer system.

 

There are arrangements in place to identify schools for hard to place children, but they can involve long delays due to the need to ask the Secretary of State to direct admission. This is against the interests of these vulnerable children and it would be helpful if local authorities responsible for coordination of admissions also had the legal right to direct admission when no school is willing to offer a child a school place. Therefore, I am also willing to write to the Secretary of State to request changes to primary legislation that would invest local authorities with the power to direct admission of hard to place children.’

 

110/19

Petitions and Public Address pdf icon PDF 186 KB

Minutes:

The following requests to address the Committee had been agreed by the Chairman:

 

Item

 

Speaker

Item 6 – Delegation of Enforcement Powers to City/District Councils

Councillor Laura Price, Opposition Deputy Leader

Item 7 – Statutory Notice to Close Culham Parochial CE Primary School

Councillor Richard Webber, local councillor Sutton Courtenay & Marcham

Item 9 - Business Management & Monitoring Report - September 2019

Marc Thompson, local resident

Councillor Susanna Pressel, local Councillor Jericho & Osney

Councillor Glynis Phillips, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance

Item 11. Oxfordshire Local Aggregates Assessment 2019

Councillor John Sanders, Shadow Cabinet Member for Environment

 

111/19

Delegation of Enforcement Powers to City/District Councils pdf icon PDF 172 KB

Cabinet Member: Deputy Leader of the Council

Forward Plan Ref: 2019/155

Contact: Richard Webb, Assistant Director, Regulatory Services and Community Safety Tel: 01865 815791

 

Report by Chief Fire Officer (CA6).

 

The county council and the city and district councils all have statutory responsibilities in relation to different aspects of the regulatory framework that applies to letting agents and landlords. New legal requirements seek to raise the energy efficiency standards of rented property. For these new requirements to be effective in raising the energy efficiency of buildings in Oxfordshire a new approach is required between the county council and the city and district councils. This paper recommends that the county council delegates powers to enforce the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 and the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 to the city and district councils whilst retaining the power to also enforce these Regulations.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(a)      approve the delegation of specific powers from the county council to the city and district councils in relation enforcement of the legal requirements concerning domestic Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs).

(b)      approve the delegation of specific powers from the county council to the city and district councils in relation to the enforcement of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) in commercial properties; and

(c)      authorise the Director of Community Safety and Chief Fire Officer, acting in consultation with the Director of Law & Governance, to enter the necessary agreements to implement this delegation.

 

Minutes:

 The County Council and the City and district councils all have statutory responsibilities in relation to different aspects of the regulatory framework that applies to letting agents and landlords. New legal requirements seek to raise the energy efficiency standards of rented property. For these new requirements to be effective in raising the energy efficiency of buildings in Oxfordshire a new approach is required between the county council and the city and district councils. Cabinet considered a report recommending that the county council delegates powers to enforce the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 and the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 to the city and district councils whilst retaining the power to also enforce these Regulations.

 

Councillor Laura Price, Opposition Deputy Leader, spoke in support of the recommendations. She queried the level of engagement from other District Councils and whether it was an all or nothing approach. Could other Councils sign up later. Councillor Price expressed some concern that staffing could be impacted if some Councils did not join up front and demand was reduced. Could we then deliver to the same standard.

 

In response to queries Richard Webb, Assistant Director of Regulatory Service indicated that he had had meetings with other Oxfordshire District Councils, but no others had yet expressed the wish to take the proposal forward. He added that the proposals would provide an enabling power that they could use but was not compulsory. The proposals should enable a shift in focus by staff to take on anticipated increases in work in other areas.

 

Councillor Judith Heathcoat, Deputy Leader of the Council, introduced the contents of the report noting that it was partnership working at its very best and moved the recommendations.

 

During discussion cabinet welcomed the proposals making the following points:

·         A member queried whether the regulations would apply to new housing noting that as part of a Government consultation the Council would be responding on the need to require a Code 4 energy efficiency standard for new housing which was achievable but not mandatory. It was queried whether the County would need to persuade the planning authority to take this up. Richard Webb advised that these regulations related to the rented sector.He would take the point back to planning colleagues.

·         A member commented that the language in paragraph 4 referring to rogue landlords was not helpful in that it demonised landlords. Landlords were needed and there were more good ones than bad. More balanced language was required and paragraph 25 was an example of that.

·         There was consideration of the particular issues relating to houses in multiple occupation that may have been converted without full consideration of the impact on energy efficiency.

 

RESOLVED:             to:

 

(a)      approve the delegation of specific powers from the county council to the city and district councils in relation enforcement of the legal requirements concerning domestic Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs).

(b)      approve the delegation of specific powers from the county council to the city  ...  view the full minutes text for item 111/19

112/19

Statutory Notice to Close Culham Parochial CE Primary School pdf icon PDF 510 KB

Cabinet Member: Education & Cultural Services

Forward Plan Ref: 2019/095

Contact: Joanne Booker, School Organisation Officer Tel: 07393 001258

 

Report by Corporate Director for Children’s Services (CA7).

 

The report follows the publication of a Statutory Notice relating to the county council's proposal to close Culham Parochial Church of England Primary School.

 

The proposal is to merge Culham Parochial Church of England Primary School and Clifton Hampden Church of England Primary School, leading to the formal closure of Culham Parochial Church of England Primary School. 

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to approve the proposed closure of Culham Parochial Church of England Primary School.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report following the publication of a Statutory Notice relating to the county council's proposal to close Culham Parochial Church of England Primary School.

 

Councillor Richard Webber, local councillor Sutton Courtenay & Marcham whilst not objecting to the proposals expressed concern that this was the tip of the iceberg regarding rural schools. He commented that he had not seen signs of much overall planning noting that there was spare capacity at Sutton Courtenay.

 

Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Leader of the Council responded to the points made and confirmed that there was planning and future projections on numbers.

 

Councillor Hudspeth introduced the report and moved the recommendations.

 

During discussion Cabinet in supporting the recommendation:

 

·         referred to the historical context that had seen the school saved from closure before. At that time there had been a strong protest from local people. Cabinet noted that this was not the case currently with only 3 objections being received.

·         Explored the difficulty caused to school place planning when it was subject to decisions made elsewhere on housing.

·         Noted that the report made it clear that home to school transport would be available

 

RESOLVED:             to approve the proposed closure of Culham Parochial Church of England Primary School.

113/19

Community Asset Transfer Policy pdf icon PDF 482 KB

Cabinet Member: Transformation

Forward Plan Ref: 2019/160

Contact: Claire Phillips, Asset & Investment Team Manager Tel: 07785 453260/Karen Lister, Head of Estates & Strategy Tel: 07875 441940

 

Report by Director of Property, Investment & Communities Facilities Management (CA8).

 

The report sets out the background to the community asset transfer policy and the issues that have arisen from its application in its current form, most recently through the children’s services transformation. Revisions to the policy are proposed to improve the process for all parties in future, to provide greater clarity when we are working with community organisations interested in taking on council buildings.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to adopt the revised Community Asset Transfer Policy.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet had before them a report that set out the background to the community asset transfer policy and the issues that have arisen from its application in its current form, most recently through the children’s services transformation. The report proposes revisions to the policy to improve the process for all parties in future, to provide greater clarity when working with community organisations interested in taking on council buildings.

 

Councillor Ian Corkin, Cabinet Member for Cherwell Partnership introduced the contents of the report and moved the recommendations.

 

RESOLVED:             (unanimously) to adopt the revised Community Asset Transfer Policy.

114/19

Business Management & Monitoring Report - September 2019 pdf icon PDF 858 KB

Cabinet Member: Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Finance

Forward Plan Ref: 2019/088

Contact: Steven Fairhurst Jones, Corporate Performance & Risk Manager Tel: 07932 318890/Ian Dyson, Assistant Director of Finance Tel: 07393 001250

 

Report by Corporate Director Customers & Organisational Development and Director of Finance (CA9).

 

This report sets out Oxfordshire County Council's (OCC's) progress towards Corporate Plan priorities and provides an update on the delivery of the Medium Term Financial Plan from 1 September to 30 September. A summary of overall performance and description of change is contained within the report. The report contains three annexes:

 

·         Annex A shows our current performance against targets and summarises progress towards overall outcomes set out in our Corporate Plan.

 

·         Annex B sets out the new Leadership Risk Register which has been developed as part of the Council’s work to strengthen risk and opportunities management

 

·         Annex C sets out the current financial position, providing detailed explanations of significant budget variations and an update on the Medium-Term Financial Plan including the delivery of savings agreed by Council in February 2019 

 

The Committee is RECOMMENDED to note the report and consider any matters for future attention by the Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report that set out Oxfordshire County Council's (OCC's) progress towards Corporate Plan priorities and provided an update on the delivery of the Medium-Term Financial Plan from 1 September to 30 September. A summary of overall performance and description of change was contained within the report. The report contained three annexes covering current performance against targets, the Leadership Risk Register and the current financial position. Cabinet also had before it the comments of the Performance Scrutiny Committee following that Committee’s consideration of on 7 November 2019 and this is attached as an annex to these minutes.

 

Councillor Susanna Pressel, local Councillor Jericho & Osney commented in relation to the proportion of people walking and cycling in Oxfordshire. Firstly, she requested that the County Council encourage cycling and walking by putting money into funding for roads maintenance. She stated that conditions were particularly bad in Oxford and as a result people made short car journeys instead of cycling because cycling was no pleasure. Secondly Councillor Pressel queried how revenue was shared out between the District Councils and the City noting that the City had a greater length of pavements and generally more wear and tear from greater usage of the roads. Lastly, Councillor Pressel asked how much of the additional funding for potholes had been spent in the City. Councillor Hudspeth responded to the points made explaining that the City Council had the responsibility from the County for the maintenance of roads in the City and perhaps there was a need for a review of performance. He commended the capital programme that saw surfaces renewed rather than repaired and that meant that maintenance funding went further. Responding to the last point Councillor Hudspeth undertook to provide information on the distribution across the City and Districts of the pot hole fund.

 

Marc Thompson, local resident spoke of his experiences as a regular cyclist. He expressed disappointment that the work on Botley Road had not been carried through to the City centre and in particular that work to the rail bridge had not happened. He referred to the poor quality of workmansip in the completed works. Mr Thompson also highlighted the poor quality of country roads and referred to the accidents, running at 10% of the membership, that had occurred within his small cycling club. Councillor Yvonne Constance, Cabinet Member for Environment asked that Mr Thompson let her have details. Councillor Constance referred to the record levels of funding and felt that it was unfair if he was referring to historic accidents. In relation to the recent work on Botley Road she would ask officers to look at it again.

 

Councillor Glynis Phillips, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance highlighted the comments from the Performance Scrutiny Committee. Councillor Phillips then commented that the report was familiar with the same concerns relating to delayed discharges of care and the timeliness of Education & Health Care Plans. With regard to delayed discharges of care she asked  what other more successful areas were doing that we were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 114/19

115/19

Treasury Management Mid-Term Review (2019/20) pdf icon PDF 680 KB

Cabinet Member: Finance

Forward Plan Ref: 2019/087

Contact: Donna Ross, Principal Finance Manager – Treasury Pension Tel: (01865) 323976

 

Report by Director of Finance (CA10).

 

The report sets out the Treasury Management activity undertaken in the first half of the financial year 2019/20 in compliance with the CIPFA Code of Practice.  The report includes Debt and Investment activity, Prudential Indicator monitoring and forecast interest receivable and payable for the financial year.??

 

Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(a)         note the report, and

 

(b)         recommend Council to note the Council’s Mid-Term Treasury Management Review 2019/20.??

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report that set out the Treasury Management activity undertaken in the first half of the financial year 2019/20 in compliance with the CIPFA Code of Practice.  The report included Debt and Investment activity, Prudential Indicator monitoring and forecast interest receivable and payable for the financial year.??

 

Councillor David Bartholomew, Cabinet Member for Finance introduced the contents of the report and moved the recommendations.

 

Cabinet congratulated the team on their levels of investment.

 

RESOLVED:             to:

 

(a)         note the report, and

 

(b)         RECOMMEND Council to note the Council’s Mid-Term Treasury Management Review 2019/20.?

 

116/19

Oxfordshire Local Aggregates Assessment 2019 pdf icon PDF 472 KB

Cabinet Member: Environment

Forward Plan Ref: 2019/190

Contact: Kevin Broughton, Principal Minerals Officer Tel: 07979 704458

 

Report by Director of Planning & Place (CA11).

 

Under the National Planning Policy Framework, July 2018 (NPPF), mineral planning authorities should prepare an annual Local Aggregate Assessment (LAA).

 

The purpose of an annual Local Aggregates Assessment is to review the latest information available in order to forecast future demand as well as analysing all aggregate supply options and assessing the balance between supply and demand.  The LAA sets the level of provision to be made for future supply of sand and gravel and crushed rock from quarries and the NPPF states the LAA should ‘forecast future demand, based on a rolling average of 10 years’ sales data and other relevant information, and an assessment of all supply options.’

           

The CABINET is RECOMMENDED to, subject to consideration of any advice from the South East England Aggregate Working Party, 

 

(a)       approve the inclusion of the provision level figures in paragraph 30 of the report in the Oxfordshire Local Aggregate Assessment 2019 for use as the basis for provision for mineral working in the Oxfordshire Minerals and Waste Local Plan and for calculating the Oxfordshire landbank; and

 

(b)       authorise the Director for Planning and Place in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Environment to finalise the Oxfordshire Local Aggregate Assessment 2019 and to publish it on the Council website.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The purpose of an annual Local Aggregates Assessment is to review the latest information available in order to forecast future demand as well as analysing all aggregate supply options and assessing the balance between supply and demand.  Cabinet had before them a report on the latest LAA that set  the level of provision to be made for future supply of sand and gravel and crushed rock from quarries and the NPPF states the LAA should ‘forecast future demand, based on a rolling average of 10 years’ sales data and other relevant information, and an assessment of all supply options.’

 

Councillor John Sanders, Shadow Cabinet Member for Environment asked what the outcome of the meeting of the South East England Aggregate Working Party (SEEAWP) had been. Charlotte Simms, Senior Policy Officer, Development Management - Policy replied that SEEAWP had been happy with the report and had made no comments.

 

Councillor Yvonne Constance, Cabinet Member for Environment, introduced the contents of the report and moved the recommendations.

 

Following comments about the need to translate the figures in a way that people would understand it was agreed that officers look at whether it is possible to provide a simple illustration linked to housing, road or other developments that would demonstrate what the figures represented.

           

RESOLVED:             (unanimously) noting that there was no advice from the South East England Aggregate Working Party to: 

 

(a)       approve the inclusion of the provision level figures in paragraph 30 of the report in the Oxfordshire Local Aggregate Assessment 2019 for use as the basis for provision for mineral working in the Oxfordshire Minerals and Waste Local Plan and for calculating the Oxfordshire landbank; and

(b)       authorise the Director for Planning and Place in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Environment to finalise the Oxfordshire Local Aggregate Assessment 2019 and to publish it on the Council website.

117/19

Forward Plan and Future Business pdf icon PDF 137 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.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a list of items for the immediately forthcoming meetings of the Cabinet.

 

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