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

118/19

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were submitted by Councillor Steve Harrod.

119/19

Minutes pdf icon PDF 343 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 19 November 2019 (CA3) and to receive information arising from them.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 19 November 2019 were approved and signed as a correct record.

120/19

Questions from County Councillors pdf icon PDF 348 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:

Seven questions with notice were asked. Details of the questions and answers and the supplementary questions and answers (where asked) are set out in Annex 1 to the Minutes.

121/19

Petitions and Public Address pdf icon PDF 185 KB

Minutes:

Mr Patrick Davey, presented a petition on behalf of local residents, on the impact on St Barnards Road, of closing Walton Street South, Oxford

 

The Chairman received the Petition and referred it to the Strategic Director for Communities for consideration.

 

The following requests to speak had been agreed by the Chairman:

 

Item

Speaker

Item 6 – ICT Digital Strategy & Endorsement of Local Digital Declaration

Councillor Mark Lygo, Shadow Cabinet Member for Transformation

Item 7 – Business Management & Monitoring Report - September 2019

 

Councillor Glynis Phillips, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance

Item 8 – Capital Programme Monitoring Report

Councillor Glynis Phillips, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance

Item 9 – Staffing Report Quarter 2 July – September 2019

Councillor Laura Price, Opposition Deputy Leader

 

122/19

ICT Strategy, Digital Strategy & Endorsement of Local Digital Declaration pdf icon PDF 472 KB

Cabinet Member: Transformation

Forward Plan Ref: 2019/158

Contact: Will Harper, Head of ICT (Interim) Tel: 07920 708233

 

Report by Head of ICT (Interim) (CA6).

 

he ICT strategy covers a 5-year period and is designed to ensure the ICT service and technology roadmap are well placed to meet the current and future needs of the organisation, partners and residents over the lifetime of the strategy.

The ICT service undertook a heath check exercise, completed in Feb 2019, with the aim of identifying the current state and the transformation activities required to ensure the service meets the needs of customers going forward.

 

The Digital Framework covers a 3-year period and sets out our digital vision to achieve the best outcomes for Oxfordshire’s communities, residents, businesses and visitors using digital services and systems that work for all.

 

The Local Digital Declaration is a common aspiration for the future of local public services created in collaboration between the UK Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), the Government Digital Service (GDS), Local Government Association (LGA) and a collection of local authorities and sector bodies from across the UK.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(a)          Agree the proposed Information Technology Strategy and the Framework for Digital Service Delivery; and

 

(b)          Adopt the Local Digital Declaration and become a signatory.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report setting out the Information Technology Strategy and the Framework for Digital Service Delivery and seeking approval to adopt and become a signatory on the Digital Declaration.

 

Councillor Mark Lygo, Shadow Cabinet Member for Transformation asked about the timescale for the Digital Declaration which he would want to see as soon as possible. Councillor Lygo asked for more detail on the finance information set out in the report and queried whether it would come to the Transformation Cabinet Advisory Group. He was advised that a meeting of the Group had already been set for January 2020

 

Councillor Eddie Reeves, Cabinet Member for Transformation in moving the recommendations introduced the contents of the report. Responding to the query from Councillor Lygo Councillor Reeves detailed the capital investment and expected savings and reduction in ongoing revenue commitment. This would be built into the Medium Term Financial Plan.

 

Claire Taylor, Corporate Director for Customers and Organisational Development, responding to the query from Councillor Lygo on the Digital Declaration advised that it was about a commitment to the Declaration and that at this stage there was no specific timeframe. What was important was how it linked into how our services can be accessed. On the expected savings Ms Taylor added that an early assumption had been the development of one large new system. However, it was more important to sweat the existing assets and to use effectively the existing digital capability. The business case was the investment profile referred to by Councillor Reeve. If it was ever decided to go with a big new system, then a business case would be developed for approval.

 

During discussion Cabinet welcomed the proposals and thanked officers for their work. The opportunity to share the work with partners was welcomed. Cabinet highlighted the energy efficiency of the cloud-based systems with it being noted that since 2012 Microsoft had declared all their data centres were carbon neutral.

 

RESOLVED:             to:

 

(a)          agree the proposed Information Technology Strategy and the Framework for Digital Service Delivery; and

 

(b)          adopt the Local Digital Declaration and become a signatory.

123/19

Business Management & Monitoring Report - October 2019 pdf icon PDF 772 KB

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

Forward Plan Ref: 2019/

Contact: Steven Fairhurst Jones, Corporate Performance & Risk Manager Tel: 07932 318890/Hannah Doney, Strategic Finance Manager (Assurance & Reporting) Tel: 07584 174654

 

Report by Corporate Director Customers & Organisational Development and Director of Finance (CA7).

 

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 October to 31 October. 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 Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

(a)       note the contents of this report; and

(b)       approve the virements set out in Annex C – 2a and note the virements set out in Annex C – 2b.

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 October to 31 October 2019.

 

Councillor Glynis Phillips, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance welcomed the clarity in identifying changes since the previous report (paragraph 13 refers) and welcomed the three improved indicators particularly that for the timeliness of Education & Health Care Plans (EHCPs). She noted that two indicators, those relating to the proportion of people walking/cycling and the levels of energy use had moved from green to amber. Councillor Phillips stressed that it was important to meet targets as they were linked to savings. Councillor Phillips referred to a number of indicators still causing concern including those relating to delayed discharges of care and unaccompanied asylum seekers.  In terms of finance Councillor Phillips went on to highlight that 80% of of savings were forecast to be met by year end and commented on the overspend in the High Needs Block due to the increase in EHCPs

 

Councillor Judith Heathcoat, Deputy Leader of the Council in introducing the business and risk elements of the report stated that the report gave a detailed picture against priorities in a transparent and timely way. It confirmed there was continuing good progress against targets. For the first time it included an annex on risk (Annex B). Councillor Heathcoat highlighted the work on electric blanket testing by Trading Standards and the Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue Service.

 

Councillor David Bartholomew, Cabinet Member for Finance introduced the finance element of the report.

 

Councillor Lawrie Stratford, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care & Public Health referred to the position on delayed discharges of care. It was frustrating to be low in the league table relative to other local authorities. He did feel that the relative position was perhaps not how it was portrayed as he believed that the counting elsewhere was done differently.

 

The new Director was working well with the health service and steps were being taken to improve the reablement contract. Locally they did ensure that the time people were in hospital was shorter than in many other hospitals.

RESOLVED:             to:

(a)       note the contents of this report; and

(b)       approve the virements set out in Annex C – 2a and note the virements set out in Annex C – 2b.

 

124/19

Capital Programme Monitoring Report - October 2019 pdf icon PDF 248 KB

Cabinet Member: Finance

Forward Plan Ref: 2019/100

Contact: Hannah Doney, Strategic Finance Manager (Assurance & Reporting) Tel: 07584 174654

 

Report by Director of Finance (CA8).

 

The report is the third capital programme update and monitoring report for the 2019/20 financial year and focuses on the delivery of the capital programme based on projections at the end of October 2019 and new inclusions within the overall ten-year capital programme.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED:

(a)       to approve the updated Capital Programme at Annex 2 and the associated changes to the programme in Annex 1c;

(b)       In relation to the Housing & Growth Deal agree:

1.   the release of the Benson Relief Road scheme with a budget of £12.0m;

2.  the release of the Milton Heights Bridge scheme with a budget of £2.0m;

(c)       In relation to Schools agree:

1.  the inclusion of the New Faringdon Primary School project in the Capital Programme with a budget of £10.9m;

2.  the inclusion of the New Primary School project in Wallingford in the Capital programme with a budget of £8.7m;

3.  the inclusion of the expansion project at Thame, Lord Williams’s School in the capital programme with a budget of £4.5m;

4.  the release of the expansion project at Chalgrove Primary School in the Basic Need programme with a budget of £2.0m;

5.  the release of the expansion project at John Watson Special School (Secondary) in the Basic Need programme with a budget of £3.0m;

(d)       agree the release of the Legacy Programme with a budget of £15.0m, and report the governance of these projects at a programme level.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet had before them the third capital programme update and monitoring report for the 2019/20 financial year that focused on the delivery of the capital programme based on projections at the end of October 2019 and new inclusions within the overall ten-year capital programme.

 

Councillor Glynis Phillips, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance referred to the increased costs for the school expansion projects and sought assurance that the quotes were accurate and querying the level of confidence in the current quotes. Councillor Phillips also queried how confident the Cabinet Member was in the costs for the Legacy Programme.

 

Councillor David Bartholomew, Cabinet Member for Finance referring to the school expansion projects indicated that clearly when estimating their was always a risk involved. However, the risk had been minimised. On the Legacy Programme latest discussions indicated that the sum concerned was a generous amount and that everything should be accommodated within that figure.

 

Councillor Bartholomew introduced the contents of the report and moved the recommendations.

 

During discussion Cabinet supported the recommendation. In particular Cabinet welcomed the Milton Heights Bridge scheme that would improve facilities for cyclist and pedetrians across the County.

 

RESOLVED:

(a)       to approve the updated Capital Programme at Annex 2 and the associated changes to the programme in Annex 1c;

(b)       In relation to the Housing & Growth Deal to agree:

1.   the release of the Benson Relief Road scheme with a budget of £12.0m;

2.  the release of the Milton Heights Bridge scheme with a budget of £2.0m;

(c)       In relation to Schools to agree:

1.  the inclusion of the New Faringdon Primary School project in the Capital Programme with a budget of £10.9m;

2.  the inclusion of the New Primary School project in Wallingford in the Capital programme with a budget of £8.7m;

3.  the inclusion of the expansion project at Thame, Lord Williams’s School in the capital programme with a budget of £4.5m;

4.  the release of the expansion project at Chalgrove Primary School in the Basic Need programme with a budget of £2.0m;

5.  the release of the expansion project at John Watson Special School (Secondary) in the Basic Need programme with a budget of £3.0m;

(d)       agree the release of the Legacy Programme with a budget of £15.0m, and report the governance of these projects at a programme level.

125/19

Staffing Report - Quarter 2 - July - September 2019 pdf icon PDF 287 KB

Cabinet Member: Deputy Leader of the Council

Forward Plan Ref: 2019/197

Contact: Sarah Currell, HR Manager – Business Systems Tel: 07793 242888

 

Report by Deputy Director – Human Resources (CA9).

 

The report gives an update on staffing numbers and related activity during the period 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2019.  It gives details of the actual staffing numbers at 30 September 2019 in terms of Full Time Equivalents.  These are shown by directorate in Appendix 1. In addition, the report provides information on the cost of posts being covered by agency staff and a 4 year Agency Trend analysis in Appendix 2. 

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to note the report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report that gave an update on staffing numbers and related activity during the period 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2019.  It gave details of the actual staffing numbers at 30 September 2019 in terms of Full Time Equivalents. In addition, the report provided information on the cost of posts being covered by agency staff and a 4 year Agency Trend analysis.

 

Councillor Laura Price, Opposition Deputy Leader welcomed the narrative within the report that enabled readers to get under the actual figures to understand key challenges. Councillor Price referred to the agency staff funded by short term government grants and highlighted the need to monitor this area carefully. It was important to interrogate the outcomes to ensure that the Council was not becoming over reliant on grant funding that may not continue.

 

Councillor Price welcomed the reduction in agency funding by the Communities Directorate. However, she was alarmed at the unplanned demand increase and queried what was being done to address that. Councillor Price also sought clarity on why some agency staff were being sourced directly rather than through Comensura.

 

Councillor Judith Heathcoat, Deputy Leader of the Council, in moving the recommendations introduced the contents of the report. Councillor Heathcoat commented that the report provided more effective trend analysis than previously. Responding to the points raised by Councillor Price, Councillor Heathcoat recognised that the figures for agency staff had risen slightly although spend was relatively stable. She agreed that the use of a single supplier had benefits including more competitive rates and strengthed control.

 

Councillor Corkin, Cabinet Member for Cherwell Partnership highlighted the number of shared posts referred to at paragraph 21 and 22 of the report and the continued commitment to joint working. Councillor Corking also referred to a recent induction event for new staff that he had attended. He had been impressed with the interesting people he had met who had been challenging and questioning in a positive way.

 

Cabinet welcomed the refresh of the Cycle to Work Scheme and the removal of the limit on the loan available. This would enable free choice of the bike purchased including electric bikes. Members also highlighted the pool bike scheme that also included electric bikes.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to note the report.

 

126/19

Forward Plan and Future Business pdf icon PDF 242 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 CA10.  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.