Agenda and minutes

Venue: County Hall, Oxford, OX11ND

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

Items
No. Item

132/10

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Rodney Rose and Louise Chapman.

 

133/10

Minutes pdf icon PDF 119 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 16 November 2010 (CA3) and to receive for information any matters arising therefrom.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 16 November 2010 were approved and signed.

 

134/10

Questions from County Councillors pdf icon PDF 139 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 John Tanner had given notice of the following question to the Cabinet Member for Growth & Infrastructure:

 

“Does the portfolio holder agree that closing half of Oxfordshire’s recycling

centres will make it more difficult for residents to recycle, risks increasing flytipping and will increase car journeys across the county. Will he look again at keeping the popular Redbridge recycling centre, in Oxford, open to the public, as well as to trade customers. Where does he suggest residents of Bicester, Chipping Norton and Faringdon should take their waste in future?”

 

Councillor Hudspeth replied:

 

The phased withdrawal (over the next 3- 4 years) of waste recycling centres is possible due to the new collection services introduced across Oxfordshire.

Services at the kerbside have expanded greatly in the last year and fewer

people need to visit the sites, reducing the number of trips and associated

CO2 emissions. The waste collection authorities have done a tremendous job in expanded recycling services, supported by “no side waste” policies to

stimulate behavioural change in the way that residents manage their waste.

In addition, the work that the Oxfordshire waste partnership has done on

home composting, waste reduction and re-use has seen many people utilising the community action groups, swap shops, making use of free-cycle and donating goods to charity.

 

The proposal to close some sites is supported by a contribution to district

councils to expand and reassess bulky waste charges. There are two

authorities working with the county on reuse of bulky items under a trial at

present. The services at the kerbside will be regular and economically

attractive, meaning that the householder will find it more attractive and cost

effective to utilise the services (already passing their home), reducing CO2

emissions and knowing that their goods are following a systematic waste

management process.

 

As for fly-tipping, residents are aware of the law and those currently legally

depositing rubbish at the sites are unlikely to turn into law breaking fly-tippers, especially with the choice of services on offer at the kerbside. The proposal is also supported by a contribution to enforcement and education to mitigate any risk.

 

Redbridge is not fit for purpose and is in need of major investment to upgrade the road infrastructure, concrete and drainage. The Kidlington site will be closer for all those residents in the north of Oxford and will have a reuse shop to maintain the theme of the waste hierarchy, gaining value from commodities rather than labour intensive recycling. It would be very expensive to keep both sites open in the current economic climate and therefore the Kidlington site will be the primary Oxford City facility. Residents from Bicester, Chipping Norton and Faringdon will all have a facility within their local authority area, making consistent services across the whole of Oxfordshire.

 

Combined with the above will be the Energy from Waste facility at Ardley,

which will generate electricity for 22,000 homes. This will avoid landfill tax

and LATs penalties, provide an income stream for the tax  ...  view the full minutes text for item 134/10

135/10

Petitions and Public Address pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Minutes:

The following petitions were submitted:

Petition from Liz Edwards and youth worker for Wolvercote and Cotteslow, supported by Councillor Fooks  that expressed profound concerns over the youth service proposals.

 

Petition from Richard Bryant – Trustee, Wood Farm Youth Centre that expressed concern over the youth service proposals and the uncertain future of the Wood farm Youth Centre if they were implemented.

 

The following requests to address the meeting had been agreed.

Item 7. Service & Resource Planning – Councillor Brighouse, local member; Jennifer Chaundy a young carer on Council funding for young carers

Mrs Tamar Thomas, Summertown Library

Item 8. – ­Internal home support service: Councillor Hannaby;

Item 10. – Botley Primary School: Councillor Godden ; Ms Ahern; Ms Winter

Item 11. – Performance management: Councillor Fooks

Item 12. – Support for members: Councillor Fooks

Item 13. – ICT overspend: Councillor Fooks

 

Mrs Tamar Thomas,  spoke in support of the continuation of Summertown Library and asked that the Council meet with local people who wished to explore options for keeping the library open. She queried whether any of the professional librarians would be kept on to help community groups.

136/10

Proposed Change to Support for Members pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Cabinet Member: Deputy Leader

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/202

Contact: Peter Clark, Head of Law & Governance Tel: (01865) 323907

 

Report by Head of Law & Governance (CA 12).

 

This report seeks the Cabinet’s views on the future support arrangements for the council’s political groups in the context of the financial challenges facing the Council.  The report outlines the responses made to a recent consultation. It also proposes several options for Cabinet to consider, to enable a recommendation to be made to full Council in January 2011.

 

Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to consider the options in this report and to make a recommendation to full Council as regards the future support to political groups.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report on the future support arrangements for the

Council’s political groups in the context of the financial challenges facing the Council. The report outlined the responses made to a recent consultation.

 

Councillor Jean Fooks, Opposition Deputy Leader highlighted the effects of the proposal on support for members and support for the County Council. If members lost support then they would have to do more administration and clerical duties which would take them away from their community role. It would be more difficult for council officers who currently had one point of contact for political group matters. She commented that there was some benefit to be had from having some non-political support as suggested by Option C.

 

Following discussion Cabinet Members commented that it was only right that in difficult financial times some of the impact was felt by councillors.

 

RESOLVED:                        to RECOMMEND to Council to agree that the posts of political assistant be deleted as from 1 April 2011 and all the work currently performed by the assistants be absorbed by members of the respective groups.

137/10

Financial Monitoring - December 2010 pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Cabinet Member: Finance & Property

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/137

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

 

Report by Assistant Chief Executive & Chief Finance Officer (CA 6).

 

This is the fifth financial monitoring report for the 2010/11 financial year and covers the period up to the end of October 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 capital programme review update is included at Part 3. 

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

 

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

 

(b)              approve the creation of the New Dimensions reserve as set out in paragraph 42, and the transfer to reserves set out in paragraphs 41 and 42; and

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the next in a series of financial monitoring reports  for the 2010/11 financial year hat covered the period up to the end of October 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 capital programme review update was included at Part 3. 

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance & Property drew attention to the corrected recommendations set out in the addenda.

 

RESOLVED  to:

 

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

 

(b)          approve the creation of the New Dimensions reserve as set out in paragraph 43, and the transfer to reserves set out in paragraphs 42 and 43; and

 

(c)           note the schemes released from the capital moratorium under the delegated authority of the Chief Executive & Chief Finance Officer as set out in paragraph 71 to 73 and Annex 7.

138/10

Service & Resource Planning Report for 2011/12 - 2015/16 (December 2010) pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Cabinet Member: Finance & Property

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/046

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

 

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

 

This is one in a series of reports on the Service and Resource Planning process for 2011/12 to 2015/16, providing councillors with information on budget issues for 2011/12 and the medium term. It follows on from reports to Cabinet on 21 September and 16 November 2010 and to Scrutiny Committees on 20 December 2010.  The report provides an update on the Service & Resource Planning process, sets out the Business Strategies for all directorates along with proposed savings for the period 2011/12 - 2014/15 and the review of charges for 2011/12. The strategies set out a direction of travel for the Directorates over the medium term in the context of reduced funding. They pull together the strands of work that comprise the Council’s Business Strategy, and ensures that with such high levels of change being managed that there is a single focussed overview.

 

The Council is required under the Local Government Finance Act 1992 to set a budget requirement for the authority and an amount of Council Tax.  This report contains information to be considered in leading to the budget requirement and Council Tax being agreed in February 2011.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

(a)               Note the report and that an addenda will be produced following the publication of the Draft Local Government Finance Settlement;

 

(b)              Agree the revenue prioritisation principles set out in Annex 3;

 

(c)               In relation  to the review of charges:

 

(1)                                       Note those charges prescribed by legislation;

 

(2)                                       Approve those charges where there is local discretion as set out in Annex 4;

 

(3)                                       Approve those charges for which an increase will commence before April 2011.

 

(d)              Agree the use of £2.4m of the insurance reserve for alternative purposes in 2011/12;

 

(e)               Agree the capital prioritisation principles set out in paragraph 37.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the latest in a series of reports on the Service and Resource Planning process for 2011/12 to 2015/16, providing councillors with information on budget issues for 2011/12 and the medium term. The report provided an update on the Service & Resource Planning process, sets out the Business Strategies for all directorates along with proposed savings for the period 2011/12 - 2014/15 and the review of charges for 2011/12.

Councillor Brighouse, speaking as a local member expressed her gratitude that it was being recommended that capital funding had been released for Bayards Hill School.

Ms Chaundy spoke of the experiences of young carers, their hard work and feelings of isolation. The project to allow such young carers to come together was invaluable to them and she asked that funding continue.

The Assistant Chief Executive & Chief Finance Officer referred to the additional information and recommendations contained in the supplementary report.

Councillor Kieron Mallon highlighted to Cabinet the information contained in Annex 6 setting out the overall equality impact assessment. It was noted that this document would continue to be developed as proposals progressed.

Councillor Heathcoat responding to questions asked earlier in the meeting on the library proposals referred to Annexes 2c and 6. She commented that shorter opening hours would not lead to the required savings as there would still be maintenance and staffing costs. Professional library staff would be in place until the project was concluded. Councillor Heathcoat added that she was happy to attend local meetings with officers as necessary and to work with locally elected members and small groups representing the local community.

Cabinet Members placed o record their thanks to the Directors and financial team who had worked very hard to produce the paperwork.

Councillor Fatemian referred to the comments from Ms Chaundy and although unable to speak to the specifics he emphasised that there were no cuts in funding for the carer services.

RESOLVED:           to:

(a)          Note the report and that an addenda will be produced following the publication of the Draft Local Government Finance Settlement;

 

(b)          Agree the revenue prioritisation principles set out in Annex 3;

 

(c)           In relation  to the review of charges:

 

(1)                   Note those charges prescribed by legislation;

 

(2)                   Approve those charges where there is local discretion as set out in Annex 4;

 

(3)                   Approve those charges for which an increase will commence before April 2011.

 

(d)          Agree the use of £2.4m of the insurance reserve for alternative purposes in 2011/12;

 

(e)           Agree the capital prioritisation principles set out in paragraph 37.

 

(f)            that the provisional settlement be noted and representation is made to the Secretary of State over the Concessionary Fare;

 

(g)           that a further target of £4.0m be added to 2011/12 due to the shortfall in funding on concessionary fares; and

 

(h)          the current savings targets be maintained for 2013/14 and 2014/15.

 

Receive and note Annex 6, the Overarching Equality Impact Assessment.

139/10

Proposed Change to Internal Home Support Service pdf icon PDF 139 KB

Cabinet Member: Adult Services

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/195

Contact: Martin Bradshaw, Assistant Head of Service Tel: (01865) 323683

 

Report by Director for Social & Community Services (CA8).

 

This report describes the future of Home Support services following the implementation of the new national policy of personalisation of social care. As the policy begins to affect increasing numbers of people there has been a falling demand for the internal Home Support Service, which employs 360 staff on a budget of £8m. The service has relatively high Unit Costs, and is becoming unaffordable.

 

Due to the need for efficiency savings, and the introduction of personal budgets for self directed support, the Home Support Service is unlikely to be financially viable beyond 2011/12. There is a significant risk of the Council being forced to double-fund the service and personal budgets. The report proposes, subject to consultation with Service User groups and staff that the Service should cease to operate by April 2012

 

Service Users and staff have been advised of the potential implications of self directed support and budget reductions. If the service ceases to operate, Service Users will be offered a range of alternative support options. Staff will be redeployed, transferred to other providers, given guidance on alternative employment, or made redundant if no other option is appropriate. Funding has been identified for the potential redundancy costs. Some of the services currently provided will be recommissioned through external contracts. Options with regard to Transfer of Undertakings regulations (TUPE) are being considered but are only likely to apply to a limited number of the staff.

 

Following a period of consultation, a further report will be made to Cabinet in April 2011, and if the proposal is confirmed, the service would be phased out by April 2012.  Service Users would be transferred to alternative providers using their personal budgets, to include Personal Assistants or external domiciliary care from new contracts which start in July 2011. If alternative support can be obtained at the national average cost for domiciliary care, revenue savings of some £2.5m per year are anticipated.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to

 

(a)               agree in principle that the internal Home Support Service will cease to operate by April 2012 at the latest, subject to the outcome of consultation with Service User groups and staff; and

 

(b)              request a further report in April 2011 on the outcome of the consultation programme with Service User groups and staff.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report on the future of Home Support Services (CA8).

 

Councillor Jenny Hannaby, Opposition Shadow Cabinet Member for Adult Services spoke of the extremely high level of service that the County had always given. She hoped that it would be possible to find alternative employment so that the skills and experience of dedicated staff was not lost. She suggested that the proposals be taken forward with less speed, waiting until new providers were in place and all personal budgets transferred. She expressed concern at the level of monitoring and safety under the new arrangements.

 

The Director for Social & Community Services paid tribute to the work of the Home Support Staff. Their value was well recognised but sadly with the advent of personal budgets the internal service was unable to compete with the external market. There was a danger of funding a service that users would not choose to use because of costs. He added that there was an absolute duty to meet care needs at the appropriate level.

 

RESOLVED:                        to

 

(a)               agree in principle that the internal Home Support Service will cease to operate by April 2012 at the latest, subject to the outcome of consultation with Service User groups and staff; and

 

(b)               request a further report in April 2011 on the outcome of the consultation programme with Service User groups and staff.

140/10

Eco Bicester Vision pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Cabinet Member: Growth & Infrastructure

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/171

Contact: Daniel Round, Principal Transport Planner Tel (01865) 815623, Chris Cousins, Sustainable Development Tel (01865) 815459

 

Report by Head of Sustainable Development (CA9).

 

The Eco Bicester One Shared Vision, prepared by the Eco Bicester Project team with input from partners on behalf of the Strategic Delivery Board (SDB), sets out the aims, aspirations and ambitions for the town over the next 20 to 30 years. It sits alongside other planning policies and strategies for Bicester and will be used to guide the SDB in the delivery of proposals for Eco Bicester.

Following a public consultation, the Vision has now been revised by the Project team.  The purpose of this report is to obtain approval of the Cabinet of the revised Vision, so that it can:

            provide a shared vision for the whole of Bicester supported by partners

          guide the local delivery of the eco-town of national, if not international,      significance with the private sector

          articulate key infrastructure needs to support the eco town

           inform engagement between the local authority partners, Government departments and agencies on where they can help deliver the project.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to approve the vision document contained in Annex 1 as informal county council policy, noting that the district council has also approved it as informal planning guidance for development control purposes.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a revised Vision following public consultation. Councillor Hudspeth in introducing the report expressed the views of a local member that Bicester has a lack of road infrastructure. Councillor Waine, as  a local member indicated that he was supportive of the Vision document but that there was a query over the infrastructure it would bring.

 

RESOLVED:             to approve the vision document contained in Annex 1 as informal county council policy, noting that the district council has also approved it as informal planning guidance for development control purposes.

141/10

Botley Primary School & Elms Road Nursery/Children's Centre - Statutory Notice pdf icon PDF 115 KB

Cabinet Member: Schools Improvement

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/102

Contact: Barbara Chillman, Principal Officer – School Organisation and Planning Tel: (01865) 816459

 

Report by Director for Children, Young People & Families (CA 10).

 

This report considers a proposal to merge Botley Primary School with Elms Road Nursery School & Children’s Centre into a single school and children’s centre under one headteacher and a single governing body, and with a new name.

 

The legal mechanism to achieve this is to formally close Elms Road Nursery School, and extend the age range of Botley Primary School to include 3 year olds. The name of the merged school would then be chosen by a unanimous vote of the full governing body.

 

Informal consultation was conducted in May-July 2010. A decision is now sought as to whether to proceed to issuing statutory notices to extend the age range at Botley Primary School and close Elms Road Nursery School, in accordance with The Education and Inspections Act 2006 (EIA 2006) and The School Organisation (Prescribed Alterations to Maintained Schools)(England) Regulations 2007 (as amended by The School Organisation and Governance (Amendments)(England) Regulations 2007 which came into force on 21 January 2008). 

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to either:

 

(a)            approve the publication of linked statutory notices for closure of Elms Road Nursery School and for the extension of age range at Botley Primary School to 3-11; and

 

(b)           reject the publication of linked statutory notices for closure of Elms Road Nursery School and for the extension of age range at Botley Primary School to 3-11.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report on a proposal to merge Botley Primary School with Elms Road Nursery School & Children’s Centre into a single school and children’s centre under one headteacher and a single governing body, and with a new name.

 

Councillor Janet Godden, speaking as a local member, expressed her gratitude that local members had been involved. She did believe that the proposal was right and that the proposed merger would be enriching for both schools. She commented that both were strong schools that were esteemed locally.

 

 

Mrs Ahern, Chair of Governors of Botley Primary School spoke in support of the proposals referring to the OFSTED inspection and outlining the benefits she saw in merger including the resolution of the issues around Foundation 1, greater flexibility of resources and an improved quality of education for Botley children.

 

Mrs Winter, Chair of Governors of Elms Road Nursery School spoke in favour of keeping the Nursery School open. It was an outstanding school and her view was that legally it should only close if there were compelling reasons. She believed that the case for closure was not strong and that in terms of quality of education there would be a loss of specialism. In terms of funding the only saving was on the cost of the head teacher.

 

Councillor Waine in introducing the report acknowledged that it was a difficult decision but that the key issue was to address in a positive way the OFSTED inspection judgement. He moved option (a) set out in the report.

 

Responding to queries, Councillor Waine confirmed that duer to changes in the funding formula the nursery school would be faced with a funding gap; there were sufficient management skills to deal with an extended age range.

 

RESOLVED:             To approve the publication of linked statutory notices for closure of Elms Road Nursery School and for the extension of age range at Botley Primary School to 3-11.

142/10

Performance Management 2nd Quarter Progress Report Against Priorities and Targets pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Cabinet Member: Deputy Leader

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/138

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

 

Report by County Council Management Team (CA 11).

 

This paper contains a report on Oxfordshire County Council’s Corporate Performance for the second quarter of 2010/11 (Q2). It consists of a one page summary of performance against the Corporate Balanced Scorecard (attached at Appendix 1) and provides an up date on key work areas. 

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to note this report

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Jean Fooks, Opposition Deputy Leader, commented that the current report did not include much more information than the report for Quarter 1. She highlighted a number of concerns including around carbon reduction and appraisal reporting.

 

Councillor Robertson replied that the information included was exception reporting. The background was available on request and much of it was available on the web site.  He undertook to ensure that future reports included more information on carbon management.

 

RESOLVED:             To note the content of the report.

143/10

ICT Overspend 2009/10 pdf icon PDF 277 KB

Cabinet Member: Deputy Leader

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/203

Contact: Graham Shaw, Acting Head of ICT Tel: (01865) 816593

 

Report by Acting Head of ICT and Dr Geoff Jones, Chairman of AWG, on behalf of the Audit Working Group (CA13).

 

The Audit Committee at its meeting on 17 November 2010 required the report of the Audit Working Group to be referred to Cabinet together with an update by the Acting Head of ICT of how the matters raised in the report have been addressed

so that the findings and response can be taken into account as part of the budget process.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to consider the conclusions of the report from Dr Jones and the actions described in the update report from the Acting Head of ICT Services.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Audit Working Group together with an update by the Acting Head of ICT of how the matters raised in the report had been addressed so that the findings and response can be taken into account as part of the budget process.

 

Councillor Jean Fooks, Opposition Deputy Leader commented that it was a very thorough report and the update was useful.. She expressed a slight concern around the new pressures referred to at paragraph 66 of the report. She highlighted the lack of in-house SAP experts and the need for proper general IT training.

 

Councillor Robertson thanked the Audit Working Group and Dr Jones for their work on this matter. He accepted the recommendations in the report and commented that many were already done or underway.

 

RESOLVED:                        to accept the recommendations set out in the report of the Audit Working Group and to note that many were already in progress.

144/10

Forward Plan and Future Business pdf icon PDF 59 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 CA14.  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.

145/10

Vote of Thanks

Minutes:

Cabinet recorded their thanks to the Chief Fire Officer and his team for their work during the recent adverse weather conditions that meant that meetings yesterday and today were able to go ahead. Thanks were also recorded to the teams involved in salting and clearing routes.