Agenda and minutes

Venue: County Hall, Oxford, OX11ND

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

Items
No. Item

121/10

Minutes pdf icon PDF 109 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meetings held on 19 October 2010 (CA3(a)) and 2 November 2010 (to be circulated separately) and to receive for information any matters arising therefrom.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meetings held on 19 October and 2 November 2010 were approved and signed.

 

122/10

Questions from County Councillors pdf icon PDF 94 KB

Any county councillor may, by giving notice to the Proper Officer by 9 am on the working day 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 Jean Fooks had given notice of the following question to the Cabinet Member for School Improvement:

“I am sure that Cllr Waine shares my disappointment at the very poor Key Stage 1 results published last week. Oxfordshire’s performance is poor; Oxford City’s is frankly appalling. For the standards of reading, writing and arithmetic of children in city schools to be the lowest in the country is a sad indictment of the education they have received. To what does he attribute these results? What measures will he put in place to ensure that Oxfordshire’s children, and Oxford’s in particular, reach at least the national average standard in reading, writing and arithmetic in 2011 and thereafter?”

 

Councillor Waine replied:

 

“We have long recognised that the performance of some schools in the City has been wanting. It is perhaps unfortunate that your group have often resisted some of this administration's more radical strategies to deal with underperformance to the point of obstruction, particularly when some of those at secondary level are beginning to bear fruit.

 

Local Authority intervention at the primary level has not always been popular with schools or communities but they are made precisely because improvements are not being made at the pace we believe to be necessary.

 

We await with interest the imminent White Paper on Education which will, we hope, among other things, indicate the extent to which the Local Authority will be able to intervene in the future to shift stubborn performance in schools.

 

The published data relate to the performance of schools as defined by reference to the City Council boundary but, of course, the community of schools which serves the City, as most of us understand it, extends beyond the City Council boundary.

 

 Pupil characteristics in the Oxford area show a diverse population of children with a significantly higher number of children who have English as an additional language (28%) compared to the county (9.5%), there are also high levels of mobility, higher levels of pupils with special educational needs and a significantly greater number of children able to claim free school meals.

 

Significant work has been undertaken across schools where there is underachievement.  The support for reading, mathematics and communication includes courses for teachers to deepen subject knowledge in English and mathematics as well as individual work with children by specially trained teachers. Within the City, 13 of the 21 primary schools are targeted as part of these programmes which includes:

 

ECaT - Every Child a Talker early years programme to build literacy skills.

 

ECaR - Every Child a Reader - Reading recovery programme - individual work with children by specially trained teacher through a short term intervention

 

ECC - Every Child Counts - Mathematics programme where children are taught by specially trained teacher 30 minutes every day for 12 weeks

 

CLLD - Communication. Language and Literacy Development - programme across early years and Key Stage 1

 

Targeted training for teachers in Assessment and Moderation for Key Stage 1, and in the use  ...  view the full minutes text for item 122/10

123/10

Petitions and Public Address pdf icon PDF 44 KB

Minutes:

The following requests to address the meeting had been agreed:

 

Item 6 - Councillor Alan Armitage, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance & Property

 

Item 9 - Cllr. Jenny Hannaby, Shadow Cabinet Member for Adult Services

 

Item 10 - Cllr Purse, Shadow Cabinet Member for Growth & Infrastructure

 

Mr Hugh-Jones, local resident.

 

Item 11 - Cllr Purse, Shadow Cabinet Member for Growth & Infrastructure

 

Item 12 - Cllr. Jean Fooks, Opposition Deputy Leader

 

In relation to item 10 on Oxfordshire Concessionary Fares Scheme Mr Hugh-Jones, representing the Oxfordshire Pensioners Action Group, supported the coalition governments plans to reduce spending but not to the detriment of pensioners who were already struggling. He welcomed recommendation (a) but queried the decision to send the consultation to 11,000 travel token holders as he felt that obviously the vast majority would object and that the exercise was therefore a waste of taxpayers money. He believed that the proposals would discriminate against the disabled having a disproportionate effect on them.

124/10

Financial Monitoring - November 2010 pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Cabinet Member: Finance & Property

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/112

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

 

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

 

This is the forth financial monitoring report for the 2010/11 financial year and covers the period up to the end of September 2010.  Part 1 & 2 set out the Council's forecast position for the 2010/11 financial year and include projections for revenue, balances, reserves. The capital programme monitoring and update is dealt with at Part 3.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(a)              note the report and approve the virements as set out in annex 2a;

 

(b)              approve the Supplementary Estimate requests as set out in annex 2f and paragraph 46.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the next in the regular series of monitoring reports for the 2010/11 financial year covering the period up to the end of September 2010.  Part 1 & 2 set out the Council's forecast position for the 2010/11 financial year and included projections for revenue, balances, reserves. The capital programme monitoring and update was dealt with at Part 3.

 

Councillor Alan Armitage, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance & Property referred to the earmarked reserves set out on pages 92-95 of the agenda and expressed the hope that with central government saying that ring fencing was to end that these would be reviewed aggressively.

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance & Property highlighted areas of concern including the Social & Community Services overspend and pooled budgets but overall believed that the position was as expected at this time of the year. Cabinet Members responded to the comments advising of action taken. The Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Families commended the hard work of the Director for Children, Young People & Families which meant that the Directorate was looking at a balanced budget.

 

The Deputy Leader commented that Shared Services were now bringing about the budgeted savings 9 months early.

 

RESOLVED:             to:

 

(a)               note the report and approve the virements as set out in annex 2a;

 

(b)               approve the Supplementary Estimate requests as set out in annex 2f and paragraph 46.

125/10

Treasury Management Mid Term Review 2010/11 pdf icon PDF 105 KB

Cabinet Member: Finance & Property

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/114

Contact: Tim Chapple, Financial Manager – Treasury & Pension Fund Investments (01865) 323978

 

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

 

The report sets out the Treasury Management activity undertaken in the first half of the financial year in compliance with the CIPFA Code of Practice. The report includes Debt and Investment activity, an update on Prudential Indicators, changes in Strategy and a forecast interest receivable and payable in the financial year.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to note the report, and to RECOMMEND Council to note the Council’s Mid Term Treasury Management Review 2010/11.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report (CA7) that set out the Treasury Management activity undertaken in the first half of the financial year in compliance with the CIPFA Code of Practice. The report included Debt and Investment activity, an update on Prudential Indicators, changes in Strategy and a forecast interest receivable and payable in the financial year.

 

RESOLVED:             to note the report, and to RECOMMEND Council to note the Council’s Mid Term Treasury Management Review 2010/11.

 

126/10

Business Strategy and Service & Resource Planning Report for 2011/12 - 2015/16 (November 2010) pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Cabinet Member: Finance & Property

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/116

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

 

Report by Assistant Chief Executive & Chief Finance Officer (CA8).

 

This report is the third in the series for reports on the Business Strategy and Service & Resource Planning for 2011/12 – 2015/16  Service & Resource Planning process for 2011/12 - 2015/16 and will culminate in the Council setting a budget requirement for the authority and an amount of Council Tax for 2011/12 in February 2011.

 

The reports sets out a synopsis of what is contained in the Spending Review announced on 20 October 2010 along with subsequent announcements and the potential impact of them on Oxfordshire, highlighting where there are uncertainties and the level of risk those uncertainties form. Whilst the Spending Review does provide some information, the actual grant position for 2011/12 for both Formula Grant and Specific Grants along with capital funding, will not be known until the Draft Local Government Finance Settlement is announced in early December 2010.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(a)              note the outcome of the Spending Review, and the potential impacts on both revenue and capital;

 

(b)              note that clarity has been sought from Members of Parliament on the uncertainties which remain as a result of the Spending Review;

 

(c)               agree the proposed revision to the total savings targets in paragraph 27.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the third in the series of reports (CA8) on the Business Strategy and Service & Resource Planning for 2011/12 – 2015/16  process for 2011/12 - 2015/16 that will culminate in the Council setting a budget requirement for the authority and an amount of Council Tax for 2011/12 in February 2011.

 

The report sets out a synopsis of what is contained in the Spending Review announced on 20 October 2010 along with subsequent announcements and the potential impact of them on Oxfordshire.

 

Cabinet noted that whilst the Spending Review provided some information, the actual grant position for 2011/12 for both Formula Grant and Specific Grants along with capital funding, will not be known until the Draft Local Government Finance Settlement is announced in early December 2010.

 

RESOLVED:             to:

 

(a)               note the outcome of the Spending Review, and the potential impacts on both revenue and capital;

 

(b)               note that clarity has been sought from Members of Parliament on the uncertainties which remain as a result of the Spending Review;

 

(c)               agree the proposed revision to the total savings targets in paragraph 27.

127/10

Day Opportunities for Older People pdf icon PDF 437 KB

Cabinet Member: Adult Services

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/178

Contact: Varsha Raja, Assistant Head of Services, Strategic Commissioning Tel: (01865) 323552

 

Report by Director of Social & Community Services (CA9).

 

This report sets out a proposed new strategic direction to move away from traditional day services for older people to a concept of offering a range of support and services on different days of the week in different venues that maximise independence and offer activities tailored to meet individuals’ needs.

 

Social & Community Services currently funds a range of day services for older people that are building based. These services are either delivered by internal staff or through directly provided services, or commissioned from voluntary and community organisations, or part funded through grants. A much wider range of occupational or activity opportunities are provided by voluntary agencies, community groups and special interest groups with no financial support from the County Council.

 

The current investment in day services is a total £3,214,000 with and additional £1,596,000 funding transport to enable people to access day services. 

 

The future of day services for older people is one of a number of key issues that has arisen from the roll out of self-directed support as part of the transformation of adult social care.

 

There is evidence both nationally and locally that new service users may decide to spend their budgets in other ways.  This report outlines a proposal to move from a more traditional approach of building based 9 to 5 ‘day care’ which once entered becomes a lifelong service to a concept of offering a range of support and services on different days of the week in different venues that maximise independence and offer activities tailored to meet individuals’ needs.

 

The changes in the main reflect a balance of building based services and flexible local provision that means that older people will not have to travel long distances to access services they need.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to approve the implementation of the strategic commissioning framework to move to day opportunities for older people carers within Oxfordshire, as detailed in this report.

Minutes:

Councillor Jenny Hannaby, Shadow Cabinet Member for Adult Services supported the ideas set out in the new approach as outline din the report and looked forward to more detailed information. She referred to concerns around access to transport and this was vital to the success of the proposals.

 

The Cabinet Member for Adult Services referred to the extensive public engagement that had been undertaken and thanked all involved for the way in which it had been carried out.

 

RESOLVED:             to approve the implementation of the strategic commissioning framework to move to day opportunities for older people carers within Oxfordshire, as detailed in this report.

128/10

Oxfordshire Concessionary Fares Scheme pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Cabinet Member: Growth & Infrastructure

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/168

Contact: Dick Helling, Principal Policy Officer Tel: (01865) 815859

 

Report by Head of Sustainable Development (CA10).

 

Government has determined that county councils must take over from district councils the management of the national concessionary fares scheme from 1 April 2011. Whilst the main part of the scheme – and almost all the cost – is a statutory responsibility, there is also discretion to enhance the scheme beyond the statutory minimum. Each individual district in Oxfordshire currently offers a different set of discretionary enhancements. These will need to be standardised for the county scheme.

 

Consultation is in progress on this, and the outcome will be reported to the 25 January 2011 meeting of Cabinet. However the Council is obliged to publish by 30 November 2010 a scheme for reimbursement of bus companies, for consultation with the companies. Decisions need to be taken now on those enhancements which directly affect this scheme.

 

Three of the five district councils currently allow passes to be used for free travel from 9.00 am (rather than 9.30 am which is the statutory requirement). It is not possible accurately to calculate the cost of this, but the true extra cost is undoubtedly small, since a large majority of people travelling free between 9.00 and 9.30 am would simply defer their journey slightly, until after 9.30 am, if they had to pay before that time. This extension is very popular with users and used to be offered as standard throughout Oxfordshire.

 

All district councils currently offer people who are so severely disabled as to be unable to travel by bus without a companion, a ‘companion pass’ entitles a companion to travel also at no fare. This is also very widespread elsewhere in the country. Terms of entitlement vary from district to district: a compromise standard is recommended.

 

Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(a)              Publish, for consultation with bus operators, a reimbursement scheme as outlined in the ‘Reimbursements to Bus Operators section above;

 

(b)              Allow free travel for concessionary passholders, throughout Oxfordshire, starting at 9.00 am (instead of 9.30 am) on Mondays to Fridays, this to apply for the 2011/12 financial year and be reviewed for subsequent years;

 

(c)               To offer companion passes to those residents who are in receipt of Carers Allowance; who can supply proof that they need assistance to use public transport; or are between the ages of 5 and 15;

 

(d)              Specify exemptions from and inclusions in the scheme as recommended in the section headed ‘Exemption of special categories of service’; and

 

(e)              Ask officers to report on other aspects of the concessionary fare scheme, including the outcome of consultation with passholder representatives, and any major issues raised by bus operators in the consultation on the reimbursement scheme to the Cabinet meeting on 25 January 2011.

Minutes:

Councillor Anne Purse, Shadow Cabinet Member for Growth & Infrastructure welcomed that the proposals gave roughly the same service but indicated that in some parts of Oxfordshire the services would appear very different, and it was important to get a balanced view.

 

During discussion Cabinet Members expressed their views on the proposals and in particular on the 9.00 am start and the other discretionary elements of the scheme.

 

RESOLVED:             to:

 

(a)               publish, for consultation with bus operators, a reimbursement scheme as outlined in the ‘Reimbursements to Bus Operators section above;

 

(b)               allow free travel for concessionary passholders, throughout Oxfordshire, starting at 9.00 am (instead of 9.30 am) on Mondays to Fridays, this to apply for the 2011/12 financial year and be reviewed for subsequent years;

 

(c)               To offer companion passes to those residents who are in receipt of Carers Allowance; who can supply proof that they need assistance to use public transport; or are between the ages of 5 and 15;

 

(d)               Specify exemptions from and inclusions in the scheme as recommended in the section headed ‘Exemption of special categories of service’; and

 

(e)               Ask officers to report on other aspects of the concessionary fare scheme, including the outcome of consultation with passholder representatives, and any major issues raised by bus operators in the consultation on the reimbursement scheme to the Cabinet meeting on 25 January 2011.

129/10

OCC Parking Standards for Residential and Commercial Development pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Cabinet Member: Transport

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/156

Contact: David Groves, Transport Development Control Manager Tel: (01865) 816042

 

Report by Head of Highways & Transport (CA11).

 

The current car parking standards for the County Council were approved by the Executive Committee in 2001. The parking standards of the District Councils are based on these standards.

 

In recent years there continues to be feeling amongst the public and Local Authority Members of the various levels of local government that there is insufficient parking provided in new residential developments.

 

In response to these views the County Council and District Councils jointly commissioned consultants to look at the car ownership in new developments. This report showed distinctive habitual patterns of modern parking habits in residential developments. A draft proposal was created based on a matrix approach to parking provision. This proposal was discussed with all of the District Councils in the County and refined into a form which was acceptable. The proposal is based on developing a series of parking provision regimes which is a mix of 'on-plot' and on street parking. It optimises the level of parking needed according to housing type and location within the built environment.

 

In the past year there have also been changes in the way new developments are assessed and designed from a Highway Authority point of view. Hence a review of the Councils Development Management design guidance and policies are needed. This document forms part of a future coherent suite of documents. Other documents within the suite of documents which are planned will deal with retail, commercial, and cycle parking.

 

The primary use of the document is to inform the shaping of new residential developments through the consultation process of planning applications. In its current form it has limited status within the wider planning process. The document has been subjected to a consultation process with all of the District Councils. It requires to be adopted at a higher level within the Council. A further wider consultation process is needed after which formal adoption by the Council will be required.

 

Cabinet is being asked to accept the content and principles of the document, and authorise a wider consultation process.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to endorse the principle of applying parking standards for new residential developments as set out in the draft document, and to agree to a formal consultation period. Allowing for minor amendments according to the consultation, Cabinet will meet again to fully endorse the use of the policy. Cabinet is also asked to empower officers to start using the principle of this emerging policy where the Planning Authority and the developer are in agreement.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Anne Purse, Shadow Cabinet Member for Growth & Infrastructure commented that it was not a question of one size fits all. She highlighted issues on modern estates and in Wheatley where there was parking by non residents.

 

During discussion Cabinet Members highlighted individual issues of which they were aware. Cabinet Members commented that they would be responding as local members and expressed the general view that the standard should reflect reality and not a utopian vision of reduced car use.

 

RESOLVED:             to:

(a)       endorse the principle of applying parking standards for new residential developments as set out in the draft document, subject to (b) belowand to agree to a formal consultation period: allowing for minor amendments according to the consultation, to note Cabinet will meet again to fully endorse the use of the policy and to empower officers to start using the principle of this emerging policy where the Planning Authority and the developer are in agreement; and

 

(b)       to agree that following the Cabinet debate the authority to make any minor changes to the text of the consultation paper be delegated to the Deputy Director - Highways and Transport in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Growth and Infrastructure.

 

130/10

Establishment Review - November 2010 pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Cabinet Member: Deputy Leader

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/113

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 2010.  It gives details of the agreed establishment figure at 30 September 2010 in terms of Full Time Equivalents, together with the detailed staffing position at 30 September 2010. These are shown in the report by directorate and service area.

 

The report also provides information on current activity and in addition there is information on grant funded posts and those vacancies which are being covered by agency staff and at what cost.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(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:

Councillor Fooks, Opposition Deputy Leader commented that it was particularly important to see how things were progressing at the current time, where she felt that large numbers of staff did not feel valued. She expressed concern at the level of vacancies in the central area of the Children, Young People & Families Directorate, Social & Community services and in Food for Thought. She noted that there were few vacancies in the Environment & Economy Directorate but the use of agency staff was high. Finally Councillor Fooks asked whether it was possible to have figures for non teaching staff in schools.

 

The Deputy Leader responded that he had taken the decision to remove non teaching staff in schools figures as the County Counci,. Had no influence over them. He welcomed the reduction in establishment numbers and particularly the reduction in use of agency staff.

 

RESOLVED:             to:

 

(a)               note the report;and

 

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

131/10

Forward Plan and Future Business pdf icon PDF 57 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.