Agenda and minutes

Venue: County Hall, Oxford, OX1 1ND

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

Note: Moved from 18 January 2011 

Items
No. Item

1/11

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Cllr Rodney Rose.

2/11

Declarations of Interest

- guidance note opposite

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

3/11

Minutes pdf icon PDF 151 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 21 December 2010(CA3 (to be circulated separately)) and to receive for information any matters arising from them.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 21 December 2010 were approved as a correct record subject to the following amendments:

 

-                      Paragraph 7, page 7, sentence 1, to read ’Councillor Heathcoat replied that in retaining the proposed 23 libraries this provided for 82% of all business.’;

-                      Pages 12 & 13, ‘Tamar’ Thomas should read ‘Tamara’ Thomas;

-                      Page 17,  paragraph 4, sentence 1, to insert the words ‘primary school’ to read’ 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 primary school inspection judgement.’

4/11

Questions from County Councillors pdf icon PDF 89 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 Suzanna Pressel had given notice of the following question to the Cabinet Member for Safer & Stronger Communities:

 

"Is the Cabinet satisfied that we can continue to provide adequate access to

our museums and to the artefacts that we hold in trust for the people of

Oxfordshire if, as proposed, you make a 40% cut in the budget of the

museums service and a 50% cut in its staffing, and above all can we be

assured that, if these cuts go ahead, the museums service will have sufficient

capacity to support the new Oxfordshire Local Heritage Partnership with

Oxford University Museums in order to lever in £2 million a year for 5 years,

much of which would be spent on work with schools in Oxfordshire?"

 

Councillor Mrs J. Heathcoat replied:

 

The budget proposals and service plans for the county museums service are

challenging. The service aims to retain a core of professional staff sufficient to

maintain the collections at the Museum Resources Centre (MRC), to continue

the public services at The Oxfordshire Museum and outreach to schools and

target groups (including the elderly). Total staff numbers will be reduced from

30 fte to 15 fte so there will be a significant reduction in service.

 

The reduction of staffing at The Oxfordshire Museum will require replacement

by volunteers if the current opening hours are to be maintained; discussions

are already taking place with the Friends of the Oxfordshire Museum and the

Soldiers of Oxfordshire about how to plan this and how to extend the

opportunity to volunteer to the wider community. The MLA (Museums

Libraries and Archives Council) has funded a project to advise museums on

the greater use of volunteers.

 

The museums service continues to work closely with Oxford University

Museums with plans to consult heritage organisations throughout Oxfordshire

on an Oxfordshire Heritage Strategy. The Oxfordshire Local Heritage

Partnership (OLHP) between the County Council, City Council and Oxford

University will bid for 'core' museum status; the MLA has yet to announce the

criteria and details of these 'cores', but it is anticipated that the details will be

published shortly and OLHP is preparing its plans. Core museum funding is

likely to focus on the stewardship and use of significant collections (including

the County Council's collections at the MRC) with up to £2 million per year for

each 'core' to reach new audiences, provide learning opportunities, and

improve access.

 

Supplementary: Councillor Mrs Heathcoat was asked if she considered it less likely that the Council would win the bid for £2m now that staffing had been reduced by 50%.

 

Councillor Heathcoat replied that a new partnership would add value for the County Council.

 

 

Councillor Zoe Patrick had given notice of the following question to the Cabinet Member for Safer & Stronger Communities:

 

“Grove is expected to expand over the coming years with the first stage of the

planning application expected very soon. With the new development comes a

S106 agreement to build a new library on the airfield site. Does the cabinet  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4/11

5/11

Petitions and Public Address pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Minutes:

A petition was presented by Ms Sarah Eddie urging the Council not to close Headington Library. She made the following points:

 

·         There had been no room for discussion about alternative means by which the library could be kept open;

·         There were families within the Headington area who were committed library users and who would find it difficult to travel to another library using public with young children;

·         OCC were seeking to modernise the service using audio and ebooks – but this would restrict usage to those with home internet use and would restrict access to many more;

·         She urged the Council to trust that the community would work alongside it in finding a solution and asked that they be not ‘sold out’ to modernity.

 

The following requests to address the meeting had been agreed:

 

Item 6 – Cllr Alan Armitage

Item 7 – Cllr Zoe Patrick

Item 8 – Sarah Lazenby, on behalf of ‘Oxford Save Our Services’; Neil Clark, Vice-Chairman, Save Botley Library campaign; Emma Jones, active member on several local voluntary groups; Cllr Altaf-Khan, Councillor Zoe Patrick and Cllr Alan Armitage

Item 9 – Cllr Jenny Hannaby

Item 10 – Jo Edmondson, Chair of Governors, Trinity School

Item 11a – Mr Michael Hugh-Jones, Mrs Betty Standingford and Cllr David Turner

6/11

Financial Monitoring - January 2011 pdf icon PDF 118 KB

Cabinet Member: Finance & Property

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/150

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 November 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 note the report and approve the virement requests as set out in annex 2a.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the fifth financial monitoring report for the 2010/11 financial year which covered the period up to the end of November 2010. Part 1 and 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 in Part 3

 

Prior to consideration of this item Councillor Alan Armitage addressed the meeting commending the Head of Finance and her team for managing the Council’s finance in such an efficient and transparent manner. Councillor Jim Couchman responded by thanking Councillor Armitage for his plaudits and echoing his commendations.

 

RESOLVED: to note the report and approve the virement requests as set out in annex 2a.

 

 

7/11

Draft Corporate Plan 2011/12 pdf icon PDF 858 KB

Cabinet Member: Leader

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/153

Contact: Ben Threadgold, Senior Policy Officer, 01865 328219)

 

Report by Assistant Chief Executive (Strategy) (CA7).

 

The report introduces a draft of the Corporate Plan 2011/12 – 2015/16. The plan will be submitted to Council on 15 February 2011 as one of the plans and strategies that form the policy framework and so require full Council approval.

 

The Corporate Plan 2011/12 – 2015/16 is split into two parts. The first (Annex A) summarises the council's broad strategic direction and the second (Annex B) sets our short and medium term delivery commitments.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED, subject to the inclusion of consequential and editorial changes in the text as agreed by the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader of the Council, to RECOMMEND the Council to approve the Medium Term Corporate Plan 2011/12-15/16.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet had before them a draft of the Corporate Plan 2011/12 – 2015/16 (CA7)  The Plan was scheduled for submission to Council on 15 February 2011. It was split into two parts, the first (Annex A) summarising the Council’s broad strategic direction and the second (Annex B) setting out the Council’s short and medium term delivery commitments.

 

RESOLVED: that subject to the inclusion of consequential and editorial changes in the text, as agreed by the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader of the Council, to RECOMMEND the Council to approve the Medium Term Corporate Plan 2011/12-15/16.

 

At this point it was proposed and it was agreed to vary the order of the agenda.

 

8/11

Annual Report by the Commission for Social Care Inspection on Adult Social Services pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Cabinet Member: Adult Services

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/152

Contact: Steve Thomas, Performance Information Manager Tel: (01865) 323609

 

Report by Director for Social & Community Services (CA 9)

 

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of all health and adult social care in England. Within its remit it provides an annual performance assessment of all councils with adult social care responsibilities in England. The 2009/10 report for Oxfordshire is attached as annex 1. Oxfordshire is rated as performing well which means that Oxfordshire is ‘consistently delivering above the minimum standard required for people.'

 

The report is structured around seven key outcomes, which are used to evaluate how well the council currently serves people, and 2 further criteria which are used to describe the future prospects for the council. The council was described as performing well on 5 of the 7 outcomes, and as performing excellently on the other two outcomes, ‘Making a positive contribution’ and ‘Economic well-being’. Being assessed as excellent on ‘making a positive contribution’ means that people who use services and carers are supported to take part in community life. They contribute their views on services and this helps to shape improvements. Voluntary organisations are seen to be thriving and accessible. Organisations for people who use services and carers are well supported. Being assessed as excellent on ‘Economic well-being’ means that people who use services and their carers have income to meet living and support costs and they are supported in finding or maintaining employment.

 

These results show a significant improvement on the previous report (2008/9) where the council was assessed as performing well on 6 outcomes and as performing adequately on one outcome. The outcome that has moved from performing adequately to performing well is 'Maintaining Personal Dignity and Respect'. The report notes that following the inspection of adult safeguarding in 2008/09 the council has addressed all the issues raised. It notes that strong governance arrangements are on place, improved public awareness of adult safeguarding, greater partnership working and improvements in the time taken to complete case work.

 

The report’s overall summary says ‘Oxfordshire County Council has had a very productive year and has achieved well on the key outcome areas. It has strong leadership and tight financial controls in place that have enabled it to deliver significant efficiency savings and a slight budget under-spend.’ As well as providing reports on individual councils, CQC provide a national report, which highlights areas of good practice. Several examples of developments in Oxfordshire are included in the national report. 

 

This is the last year that CQC will provide an annual assessment of performance.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to

 

(a)       receive the report;

 

(b)       review progress on the areas for development through the council’s performance reporting arrangements for next year.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of all health and adult social care in England. Within its remit it provides an annual performance assessment of all councils with adult social care responsibilities in England. The Cabinet considered the 2009/10 report for Oxfordshire (Annex 1). Oxfordshire had been rated as performing well ie. that Oxfordshire was ‘consistently delivering above the minimum standard required for people.'

 

The report (CA9) is structured around seven key outcomes, which are used to evaluate how well the council currently serves people, and two further criteria which are used to describe the future prospects for the council. The Council had been described as performing well on 5 of the 7 outcomes, and as performing excellently on the other two outcomes, ‘Making a positive contribution’ and ‘Economic well-being’.

 

The outcomes showed a significant improvement on the previous report (2008/9) where the council had been assessed as performing well on 6 outcomes and as performing adequately on one outcome. The outcome that had moved from performing adequately to performing well is 'Maintaining Personal Dignity and Respect'. The report also noted that following the inspection of adult safeguarding in 2008/09 the Council had addressed all the issues raised. It noted that strong governance arrangements were in place, improved public awareness of adult safeguarding, greater partnership working and improvements in the time taken to complete case work. The report’s overall summary says ‘Oxfordshire County Council has had a very productive year and has achieved well on the key outcome areas.

 

Prior to consideration of this item the Cabinet was addressed by Councillor Jenny Hannaby. She commended the Director and his officers for their achievements as cited in the report. She asked that monitoring continue on the out-sourced areas of safeguarding dignity and on ensuring that sufficient information is conveyed with patients on their hospital discharge.

 

Councillor Arash Fatemian and Jim Couchman echoed Councillor Hannaby’s commendations, adding that the numbers of delayed transfers of care were moving in the right direction.

 

RESOLVED: to

 

(a)       receive the report;

 

(b)       review progress on the areas for development through the council’s performance reporting arrangements for next year.

 

9/11

Service & Resource Planning Report for 2011/12 - 2015/16 (January 2011) pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Cabinet Member: Finance & Property

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/151

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

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Finance & Property (CA8A)

Report by Assistant Chief Executive & Chief Finance Officer  (CA8B).

 

This report is the final report to Cabinet in the series on the Business Strategy and Service & Resource Planning process for 2011/12 to 2015/16, providing councillors with information on budget issues for 2011/12 and the medium term. If any information is outstanding at the time of the Cabinet meeting, it will be reported to Council when it considers the budget on 15 February 2011.

The report sets out the latest information on the Council’s financial position, includes the Treasury Management Strategy for 2011/12 and considers the capital funding, including an updated Capital Programme. 

The Cabinet Member for Finance & Property has prepared a separate report, circulated alongside this report, which sets out the basis for the Cabinet’s proposals to Council for the 2011/12 budget and Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) to 2015/16.  This takes into consideration comments on the draft budget proposals from the individual Scrutiny Committees in December 2010 as well as the latest information on the Council’s financial position as outlined in this report.  It also takes account of the public consultation on the budget which was undertaken in both August 2010 through Oxfordshire Voice and a further consultation during December, the outcomes of which are set out in an annex to that report.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

a.      (in respect of revenue) RECOMMEND Council to approve:

(1)               a budget for 2011/12 and a medium term plan to 2015/16, based on the proposals set out by the Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance;

(2)               a budget requirement for 2011/12;

(3)               a precept for 2011/12;

(4)               a council tax for band D equivalent properties;

(5)               virement arrangements to operate within the approved budget;

 

b.     (in respect of treasury management) RECOMMEND Council to approve:

(1)               the Treasury Management Strategy Statement ;

(2)               Prudential Indicators from April 2011;

(3)               that in relation to the 2011/12 strategy any further changes required be delegated to the Chief Finance Officer in consultation with the Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance.

 

c.      RECOMMEND Council to approve the Minimum Revenue Provision Methodology Statement as set out in paragraphs 10 to 13 of Annex 7.

 

d.     (in respect of capital) RECOMMEND Council to approve:

(1)               the updated Capital Strategy, Corporate Asset Management Plan and Transport Asset Management Plan;

(2)               a Capital Programme for 2010/11 to 2015/16;

(3)               Prudential Indicators from April 2011.

 

e.      to delegate authority to the Leader of the Council, following consultation with the Chief Finance Officer, to make appropriate changes to the proposed budget.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The report by the Assistant Chief Executive & Chief Finance Officer (CA8B) was the final report to Cabinet in the series on the Business Strategy and Service & Resource Planning process for 2011/12 to 2015/16, providing councillors with information on budget issues for 2011/12 and the medium term. Any outstanding information at the time of the Cabinet meeting, would be reported to Council when it considered the budget on 15 February 2011.

The report sets out the latest information on the Council’s financial position, includes the Treasury Management Strategy for 2011/12 and considered the capital funding, including an updated Capital Programme. 

The Cabinet Member for Finance & Property had prepared a separate report which, circulated alongside this report (CA8A), which set out the basis for the Cabinet’s proposals to Council for the 2011/12 budget and Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) to 2015/16.  This took into consideration comments on the draft budget proposals from the individual Scrutiny Committees in December 2010 as well as the latest information on the Council’s financial position as outlined in this report.  It also took account of the public consultation on the budget which had been undertaken in both August 2010 through Oxfordshire Voice and a further consultation during December, the outcomes of which were set out in an annex to that report.

 

Prior to consideration of the reports the Cabinet were addressed by the following members of the public and councillors:

 

Sarah Lazenby

Made a statement on behalf of ‘Oxford Save our Services’ group asking members of the Council’s Conservative Group to change direction and preserve the institutions and services that had been built up over many years’, stressing the anxiety expressed to the group by users of various services. Amongst those expressing their concern had been young people worried about the possible closure of their youth centres, fearing their friends would turn back to drugs and crime; young carers who may not have the support of the Young Carers Centre; and for the services in place for those suffering from mental illness.

 

In response Councillor Jim Couchman stated that the County Council was to lose 28% of its government grant over the next 4 years. He asked which services did Sarah Lazenby suggest the Council should take the money from? Sarah Lazenby suggested that the Cabinet approach central government pointing out that ‘deep and very speedy cuts could push the country into a double-dip recession as the IMF had already warned they may.’

 

Neil Clark

As a representative of the ‘Save Botley Library’ campaign, Neil Clark, urged the Cabinet not to withdraw funding from the libraries pointing out that this was very ‘disproportionate, given that libraries only represented 1% of Oxfordshire County Council’s total budget’. He added his concerns about problems which could arise should local volunteers take over the running of some libraries, such as the safeguarding of private information, safeguarding of strict standards as currently practiced by trained professionals, travel inconveniences for the elderly, the disabled and young parents. He urged the Cabinet to ‘do  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9/11

10/11

Henley Primary School Provision pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Cabinet Member: Schools Improvement

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/105

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 two alternative proposals to expand primary school provision within Henley. The number of 4-year-olds needing school places has risen over the last few years, and is forecast to peak in 2012 before again falling. This has led to increasing pressure on primary school places across the town, which has been met in the last two years through Trinity CE Primary School and Badgemore Primary School agreeing to admit over their admission number on a temporary basis.

 

A consultation was carried out in Henley (9 June – 21 July 2010) to gather views on whether Trinity CE Primary School or Badgemore Primary School should be expanded permanently. Feasibility studies have been carried out at both schools to assess the accommodation requirements and capital implications for each expansion.

 

A decision is now sought as to whether to proceed to issuing statutory notices to expand either Trinity CE Primary School or Badgemore Primary School. Publication of such a statutory proposal requires confirmation from the local authority that funds will be made available for the necessary capital costs. 

 

The  Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to either:

 

(a)               approve the publication of a statutory notice for the expansion of Badgemore Primary School, Henley to 1 form entry, confirming that funds will be made available for the capital costs identified in paragraph 25 above; or

 

(b)              approve the publication of a statutory notice for the expansion of Trinity Primary School, Henley to 2 form entry, confirming that funds will be made available for the capital costs identified in paragraph 24 above.

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet had before them a report (CA10) that considered two alternative proposals to expand primary school provision within Henley. The number of 4-year-olds needing school places has risen over the last few years, and is forecast to peak in 2012 before again falling. This has led to increasing pressure on primary school places across the town, which has been met in the last two years through Trinity CE Primary School and Badgemore Primary School agreeing to admit over their admission number on a temporary basis.

 

A consultation was carried out in Henley (9 June – 21 July 2010) to gather views on whether Trinity CE Primary School or Badgemore Primary School should be expanded permanently. Feasibility studies have been carried out at both schools to assess the accommodation requirements and capital implications for each expansion.

 

A decision is now sought as to whether to proceed to issuing statutory notices to expand either Trinity CE Primary School or Badgemore Primary School. Publication of such a statutory proposal requires confirmation from the local authority that funds will be made available for the necessary capital costs. 

 

The  Cabinet were recommended to either:

 

(a)               approve the publication of a statutory notice for the expansion of Badgemore Primary School, Henley to 1 form entry, confirming that funds will be made available for the capital costs identified in paragraph 25 above; or

 

(b)              approve the publication of a statutory notice for the expansion of Trinity Primary School, Henley to 2 form entry, confirming that funds will be made available for the capital costs identified in paragraph 24 above.

 

Prior to consideration of this item the Cabinet were addressed by Jo Edmondson, Chair of Governors, Trinity C. of E. Primary School, Henley. She circulated an alternative submission on behalf of the School Governing Body which was substantially less than the stated £3.5m, as a result of amending the design and substantially reducing the scope.

 

In response to this Councillor Michael Waine pointed out that the pressure on numbers was similar for Badgemore School, who had also worked with officers to alleviate the situation.

 

Following a full discussion and after receiving advice given by Barbara Chillman and Roy Leach, it was

 

RESOLVED to defer decision on this item to either the 1 March 2011 Cabinet Member for Schools Improvement Delegated Decisions meeting or to the next meeting of Cabinet on 15 March 2011, so that further advice could be given by the officers, taking into account consultation with both schools.

11/11

Oxfordshire Concessionary Fares Scheme

11/11a

Oxfordshire Concessionary Fares Scheme - January 2011 pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Cabinet Member: Growth & Infrastructure

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/187

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

 

Report by Head of Highways & Transport (CA11).

 

The County Council is obliged to take over from District Councils the statutory duty of managing the concessionary fares scheme for elderly and disabled people from 1 April 2011.  Some decisions on this matter have already been made by Cabinet in November 2010; this report covers the further issues which require to be resolved to ensure that this duty is fulfilled.  In all cases decisions are for 2011/12 only; the details of schemes for future years, from 1 April 2012 onwards, will be considered nearer the time.

 

A pass for free bus travel is a statutory entitlement for elderly and disabled people, but some districts have been exercising discretionary powers also to offer travel tokens and/or free travel on dial-a-ride services.  Consultation has been carried out with users and stakeholders on a proposal that the county will not offer these discretionary enhancements from 1 April 2011 (thus reducing the options which are available to some users in some districts at present).  The outcome of this consultation is summarised in the report and a decision invited on this.

 

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

 

a)         To allow free travel on Dial-a-Ride services for concessionary passholders during 2011/12;

 

b)         not offer any alternative (such as tokens or a senior railcard) to the standard concessionary pass, during 2011/12;

 

c)         delegate to the Deputy Director (Highways and Transport), in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Growth and Infrastructure, the authority to manage all aspects of the County Council’s concessionary fares scheme during 2011/12, in accordance with the principles set out in this report and the report to Cabinet on 16 November 2010, and to incur expenditure as necessary for the purpose; and

 

d)         ask officers to report back on experience of running the scheme during 2011/12, and invite Cabinet to agree the details of the scheme for subsequent years (including possible changes to the scheme and the taking over of pass-issuing by the County Council).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mrs Betty Standingford addressed the members of the Cabinet at this point as a user of the Dial A Ride Octobus. She commended the service, saying that she (and other older people) relied upon it heavily and would find it too much to take two buses to the shops  to do her weekly shopping and it also enabled her to keep a stock of food at home in case of inclement weather, or other encountered emergencies. She added that the Joseph Rowntree Foundation had highlighted that people living in rural areas required an extra £43 per month and older people were unlikely to be able to afford it. Therefore the Octobus afforded them some security which was very much valued.

Councillor David Turner welcomed the report CA11A and the efforts on the part of the Cabinet to make concessionary passes more fair. He particularly welcomed the 9:00am start  and the concession for free Dial A Ride use for bus pass owners. He enquired whether the carers accompanying passengers would also be able to participate in the scheme and also whether it could be made easier for renewal post April 2011 and April 2012. He wished the Scheme every success in the future.

Councillor Ian Hudspeth took this opportunity to recommend the Cabinet to agree an additional recommendation to confirm its decision made at the 16 November 2010 Cabinet to offer companion passes to those residents who are eligible for a concessionary pass on grounds of disability and who are between the ages of 5 and 15. This was duly AGREED. He also explained that there was an intention to streamline the renewal of contracts process.

 

The Cabinet then considered the report CA11A. The County Council was obliged to take over from District Councils the statutory duty of managing the concessionary fares scheme for elderly and disabled people from 1 April 2011.  Some decisions on this matter had already been made by Cabinet in November 2010; the report covered the further issues which required to be resolved to ensure that this duty was fulfilled.  In all cases decisions were for 2011/12 only; the details of schemes for future years, from 1 April 2012 onwards, would be considered nearer the time.

 

A pass for free bus travel was a statutory entitlement for elderly and disabled people, but some districts had been exercising discretionary powers also to offer travel tokens and/or free travel on dial-a-ride services.  Consultation had been carried out with users and stakeholders on a proposal that the County Council would not offer these discretionary enhancements from 1 April 2011 (thus reducing the options which are available to some users in some districts at present).  The outcome of this consultation was summarised in the report and a decision invited on this.

 

The Cabinet RESOLVED:

 

a)         to allow free travel on Dial-a-Ride services for concessionary passholders during 2011/12;

 

b)         not offer any alternative (such as tokens or a senior railcard) to the standard concessionary pass, during 2011/12;

 

c)         delegate to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11/11a

11/11b

Oxfordshire Concessionary Fares Scheme - Issuing of Concessionary Passes pdf icon PDF 79 KB

A major part of the statutory duty is to issue passes to entitled users, and handle the many enquiries they make.  In the short term, the best option to meet this duty is for the districts to continue to issue the passes on the county’s behalf, under a formal delegation arrangement.  There are also various details regarding pass-issuing, on which decisions must be made, and these are described in the report.

 

Note: As set out under Rule 18(b) of the Scrutiny Procedure Rules, this decision is exempt from Call-In as the Council’s call-in procedure should not apply to any decision on the letting of a contract arising from termination of an existing contract if the time available is such that allowing for call-in would result in service discontinuity, provided that all members of the relevant Scrutiny Committee have been informed of the circumstances of the decision to be made and have had an opportunity to make representations to the decision maker about it.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

 

a)         formally to delegate to each Oxfordshire District Council, under the terms of Section 2(b) of Article 10 of the Council’s Constitution, the County Council’s functions under Section 145(2) of the Transport Act 2000 [duty to issue concessionary passes], and associated powers, plus such of the powers under Section 93 of the Transport Act 1985 as may be necessary to issue additional passes or other concessions on a discretionary basis as agreed by the County Council; and agree appropriate funding payments to each district council – to include the cost of enquiry-handling as well as pass-issuing; for the period from 1 April 2011 until 31 March 2012;

 

b)         ask the District Councils to issue concessionary passes during 2011/12 in accordance with the principles set out in paragraph 8 of this report; and

 

c)         agree the provision of a dedicated telephone enquiry resource at the Customer Service Centre to handle those enquiries which are directed to the County Council.

Minutes:

The Cabinet had before them report CA11B. A major part of the statutory duty was to issue passes to entitled users, and handle the many enquiries they make.  In the short term, the best option to meet this duty was for the districts to continue to issue the passes on the county’s behalf, under a formal delegation arrangement.  There were also various details regarding pass-issuing, on which decisions must be made, and these were described in the report.

 

Note: As set out under Rule 18(b) of the Scrutiny Procedure Rules, this decision is exempt from Call-In as the Council’s call-in procedure should not apply to any decision on the letting of a contract arising from termination of an existing contract if the time available is such that allowing for call-in would result in service discontinuity, provided that all members of the relevant Scrutiny Committee have been informed of the circumstances of the decision to be made and have had an opportunity to make representations to the decision maker about it.

 

Prior to consideration of the report, members of the Cabinet were addressed by Michael Hugh Jones, Honorary Secretary to the Oxfordshire Pensioners Action Group. He welcomed the change to the Dial A Ride concessions as an outcome of the consultation. However, he did not consider the new idea sustainable in the long term. Each Dial A Ride trip cost the tax payer  £12 , which was not good value when tokens costing  £2 a week cost less. He felt that local organisations such as the parish councils and the churches should be helping. He added his strong support for the Big Society concept.

 

John Disley corrected ‘April 2012’ to ‘April 2011’ in paragraph 2 of the report CA11B.

 

The Cabinet RESOLVED to:

 

a)                 formally to delegate to each Oxfordshire District Council, under             the terms of Section 2(b) of Article 10 of the Council’s Constitution, the County Council’s functions under Section   145(2) of the Transport Act 2000 [duty to issue concessionary   passes], and associated powers, plus such of the powers under         Section 93 of the Transport Act 1985 as may be necessary to     issue additional passes or other concessions on a discretionary          basis as agreed by the County Council; and agree appropriate       funding payments to each district council – to include the cost   of enquiry-handling as well as pass-issuing; for the period from   1 April 2011 until 31 March 2012;

 

b)                ask the District Councils to issue concessionary passes during 2011/12 in accordance with the principles set out in paragraph 8 of this report; and

 

c)             agree the provision of a dedicated telephone enquiry resource at the Customer Service Centre to handle those enquiries which are directed to the County Council.

 

 

Recommendations adopted in relation to 11b.

 

Please note that as set out under Rule 18(b) of the Scrutiny Procedure Rules, this decision is exempt from Call-In as the Council’s call-in procedure should not apply to any decision on the letting of a contract arising from termination of an existing contract  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11/11b

12/11

Amendments required in Fair Funding Formula for Schools from April 2011 pdf icon PDF 94 KB

Cabinet Member: Schools Improvement

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/170

Contact: Simon Pickard, Finance Business Partner CYP&F Tel (01865) 797512

 

Report by Director for Children, Young People & Families ( CA 12).

 

The report explains which significant changes are required to the Fair Funding Formula for Schools from April 2011, and why these are required. The report summarises the national funding position and the implications for the Strategic Review of Schools Funding which has been started in Oxfordshire, following Cabinet's agreement in May 2009 that this should be carried out.

The main changes required are the introduction of an Early Years Single Funding Formula, and the inclusion of a new factor in the funding formula to deal with the specific grants which have now been merged in to the Dedicated Schools Grant for 2011/12 onwards. The merging of grants factor is only expected to apply for one year pending the revision of the formula in April 2012 after conclusion of the Strategic Formula Review.

The report explains that the original plan to introduce changes in the funding formula from April 2011 have been revised due to the Coalition Government's funding announcements and the introduction of the Pupil Premium. The intention is now to introduce the main changes from April 2012, once further work is done and the implications of the Pupil Premium and future changes are fully assessed.

The report summarises which principles have been agreed by Schools Forum and seeks Cabinet approval/ endorsement of proposals pending finalisation of the budget proposals and inclusion of final figures in Budget papers to be considered in February 2011.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(a)       agree the proposals for introduction of the Early Years Single Funding Formula (EYSFF) from 1 April 2011;

 

(b)       endorse the proposed principles for a formula funding factor for 2011-12 for merged standards fund grants; and

 

(c)       note the revised target date of April 2012 for completion of the Strategic Review of School Funding and introduction of a revised funding formula for schools.

 

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report CA12 that explained which significant changes were required to the Fair Funding Formula for Schools from April 2011, and why these were required. The report summarised the national funding position and the implications for the Strategic Review of Schools Funding which had been started in Oxfordshire, following Cabinet's agreement in May 2009 that this should be carried out.

 

The main changes required were the introduction of an Early Years Single Funding Formula, and the inclusion of a new factor in the funding formula to deal with the specific grants which had now been merged in to the Dedicated Schools Grant for 2011/12 onwards. The merging of grants factor was only expected to apply for one year pending the revision of the formula in April 2012 after conclusion of the Strategic Formula Review.

 

The report explained that the original plan to introduce changes in the funding formula from April 2011 had been revised due to the Coalition Government's funding announcements and the introduction of the Pupil Premium. The intention was now to introduce the main changes from April 2012, once further work had been done and the implications of the Pupil Premium and future changes were fully assessed.

 

The report summarised which principles had been agreed by Schools Forum and sought Cabinet approval/ endorsement of proposals pending finalisation of the budget proposals and inclusion of final figures in Budget papers to be considered in February 2011.

 

The Cabinet RESOLVED to:

 

(a)       agree the proposals for introduction of the Early Years Single Funding Formula (EYSFF) from 1 April 2011;

 

(b)       endorse the proposed principles for a formula funding factor for 2011-12 for merged standards fund grants; and

 

(c)   note the revised target date of April 2012 for completion of the Strategic Review of School Funding and introduction of a revised funding formula for schools.

 

At this juncture the Cabinet agreed a variation in the order of business.

 

13/11

Forward Plan and Future Business pdf icon PDF 66 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 (CA14) 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.

 

14/11

CfBT Advice & Guidance - Pension Liabilities

Cabinet Member: Finance & Property

Forward Plan Ref: 2010/218

Contact: Sean Collins, Assistant Head of Shared Services Tel: (01865) 797190

 

Report by Chairman of the Pension Fund Committee on behalf of the Committee (CA 13).

 

(The information contained in the report is exempt in that it falls within the following prescribed category:

 

3    –    information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)

 

It is considered that in this case the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information in that disclosure would be detrimental to the activities of the charitable organisations and their ability to provide effective services to the public.

 

This report on behalf of the Pension Fund Committee asks the Cabinet to consider accepting the transfer of responsibility for funding the past service pension deficit in respect of former staff of CfBT (Advice & Guidance).  This follows the Council decision not to renew the connexions service contract with CfBT (Advice & Guidance) following a tender exercise, combined with the current Pension regulations which prohibit transferring the past service pension liability on to the new provider.  The Pension Fund Actuary has advised that due to the relative size of the pension deficits of the County Council and CfBT (Advice & Guidance), that a transfer in respect of these staff will have no impact on the County's employer contribution rate.

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to accept the transfer of responsibility for the past service pension liabilities in respect of the former members of CfBT (Advice & Guidance) employed in respect of the careers/connexions service.

Minutes:

EXEMPT ITEM

 

At this point Cabinet RESOLVED to exclude the public for the consideration of the report at Agenda Item 13 by passing a resolution in relation to that item in the following terms:

 

"that the public be excluded during the consideration of this matter since it is likely that if they were present during that discussion there would be a disclosure of "exempt" information as described in Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act, 1972 and specified below the item in the Agenda".

 

 

 (The information contained in the report is exempt in that it falls within the following prescribed category:

 

3    –    information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)

 

It is considered that in this case the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information in that disclosure would be detrimental to the activities of the charitable organisations and their ability to provide effective services to the public.

 

The discussion on this item was taken in private session but for ease of reference the public information and public decision is set out below.

 

This report on behalf of the Pension Fund Committee asked the Cabinet to consider accepting the transfer of responsibility for funding the past service pension deficit in respect of former staff of CfBT (Advice & Guidance).  This followed the Council decision not to renew the connexions service contract with CfBT (Advice & Guidance) following a tender exercise, combined with the current Pension regulations which prohibited transferring the past service pension liability on to the new provider.  The Pension Fund Actuary had advised that due to the relative size of the pension deficits of the County Council and CfBT (Advice & Guidance), that a transfer in respect of these staff would have no impact on the County's employer contribution rate.

 

The CabinetRESOLVED to accept the transfer of responsibility for the past service pension liabilities in respect of the former members of CfBT (Advice & Guidance) employed in respect of the careers/connexions service.