Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Virtual

Contact: Sue Whitehead  Tel: 07393 001213; E-Mail:  sue.whitehead@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Link: video link to meeting

Items
No. Item

65/20

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies.

 

66/20

Declarations of Interest

- guidance note opposite

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

67/20

Minutes pdf icon PDF 420 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 21 July 2020 (CA3) and to receive information arising from them.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 21 July 2020 were approved and signed as a correct record.

 

68/20

Questions from County Councillors pdf icon PDF 360 KB

Any county councillor may, by giving notice to the Proper Officer by 9 am two working days before the meeting, ask a question on any matter in respect of the Cabinet’s delegated powers.

 

The number of questions which may be asked by any councillor at any one meeting is limited to two (or one question with notice and a supplementary question at the meeting) and the time for questions will be limited to 30 minutes in total. As with questions at Council, any questions which remain unanswered at the end of this item will receive a written response.

 

Questions submitted prior to the agenda being despatched are shown below and will be the subject of a response from the appropriate Cabinet Member or such other councillor or officer as is determined by the Cabinet Member, and shall not be the subject of further debate at this meeting. Questions received after the despatch of the agenda, but before the deadline, will be shown on the Schedule of Addenda circulated at the meeting, together with any written response which is available at that time.

Minutes:

Councillor Mark Cherry had given notice of the following question to Councillor Liam Walker:

 

Will the Cabinet member for Highways Delivery and Operations Cllr Liam Walker be able to give a timescale for the relining work at the end of Boxhedge Road, Banbury.

 

Highways Officers have informed me that the work will be done but cannot gives me a timescale due to skanska contractors schedule lining work for active travel in Oxfordshire ie cycling lanes. I have had complaints from residents as cars have parked close to a pull through for neighbouring houses and Thames Valley police cannot enforce parking because the lines are faded there; a clear health and safety concern. 

 

Councillor Walker replied:

 

As the Activity Travel cycle markings are now complete, we have added the lining work (mentioned) to the programme of works. We are expecting the work to be carried out during 18/19 August.

 

 

Councillor Judy Roberts had given notice of the following question to Councillor Steve Harrod:

 

It is very worrying that only £25k of the £200k budgeted for youth service development this year is now regarded as necessary expenditure, and that proposals agreed to unanimously by council at February's budget meeting are to be abandoned.  During Covid our young people have suffered greatly with disruption to their education. Many of the most vulnerable young people with mental health issues have been unable to access services. We know that the impact of the 2008 recession hit young people the hardest economically and that 14-24 year olds need this council's support now more than ever.   Given that this £200k budget was intended to develop a proposal for an Oxfordshire youth service to be included in the budget for 2021/2, how else do the administration plan to provide these desperately needed professional youth services?

 

Councillor Harrod replied:

 

The £200k allocated in this financial year’s budget to develop an up to date assessment of what young people want and need form youth services, which was always considered a generous budget, has not been removed, just reduced to £25k. A specification for this work has been prepared within this new financial envelope under the following timeline, which has obviously been affected by the pandemic:

  • Request for quotation issued: July 2020 
  • Deadline for quotes: September 2020 
  • Supplier appointed: October 2020 

 

The appointed consultants will be supported by officers in their on-going ‘business as usual’ assessment of provision. Furthermore, there is a lot of good existing information available about numbers and needs. There are strong ‘umbrella’ groups within the Voluntary sector that can provide insight on what is currently available and there is some great national work on what good youth provision would look like. The gap is probably around what young people want and therefore the need for consultation is significant as there is a lack of up to date information in this regard. 

 

We anticipate most of the consultation with young people will be conducted online because of the pandemic, which is less costly, and our expectation is that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 68/20

69/20

Petitions and Public Address pdf icon PDF 181 KB

This Cabinet meeting will be held virtually in order to conform with current guidelines regarding social distancing. Normally requests to speak at this public meeting are required by 9 am on the day preceding the published date of the meeting. However, during the current situation and to facilitate these new arrangements we are asking that requests to speak are submitted by no later than 9am four working days before the meeting i.e. 9 am on [DATE]. Requests to speak should be sent to sue.whitehead@oxfordshire.gov.uk together with a written statement of your presentation to ensure that if the technology fails then your views can still be taken into account. A written copy of your statement can be provided no later than 9 am 2 working days before the meeting.

 

Where a meeting is held virtually and the addressee is unable to participate virtually their written submission will be accepted.

 

Written submissions should be no longer than 1 A4 sheet.

Minutes:

The Chairman had agreed the following requests to speak:

 

Item

Speaker

6

Councillor Liz Brighouse

7

Councillor Sobia Afridi

Councillor Liz Brighouse

 

The addresses are recorded at the items.

 

70/20

Business Management & Monitoring Report - Quarter 1 - April - June 2020 pdf icon PDF 559 KB

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

Forward Plan Ref: 2020/063

Contact: Louise Tustian, Head of Insight & Corporate Programmes Tel: 07741 607452/Hannah Doney, Head of Corporate Finance Tel: 07584 174654

 

Report by Corporate Director Customers & Organisational Development and Director of Finance (CA6).

 

This report sets out Oxfordshire County Council's (OCC's) progress towards Corporate Plan priorities at 30 June 2020. A summary of overall performance and description of change is contained within the report.

 

The report contains two annexes:

 

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

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

 

Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to note the contents of the report.

Minutes:

Councillor Liz Brighouse, Chairman of the Performance Scrutiny Committee, drew attention to the written response from the scrutiny committee which was included in the Addenda.

 

Councillor Judith Heathcoat introduced the report.  She noted that a financial annex was not provided on this occasion because the financial forecast will be given under the Revised Budget item.  It will be included in following business management reports.  Cabinet was updated on the finances on a regular basis during the Covid-19 crisis.

 

The Leadership Risk Register includes some new KPIs since April and there is distortion in some data due to the influence of Covid.  Some services have had to be suspended such as the libraries and the Safe and Well visits to people’s homes.

 

Councillors and staff continue to work from home and Councillor Heathcoat thanked officers for their resilience and flexibility during the crisis.

 

She added that the Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service has continued to exceed its targets.  During the lockdown the number of road traffic incidents had actually increased as people drove with less care.  She moved the recommendations.

 

Councillor Yvonne Constance complimented officers on the work done on the bids for the Active Travel Funds on which they had to operate to very short deadlines.  She responded to criticism that operational teams had been diverted to the Active Travel work.  The Council did not have the budget to increase resources and she asked councillors to be patient and to appreciate the significant achievement by officers in completing these bids.

 

The consultation on city centre bus gates received 7,200 responses and that has had to be given out to an agency to analyse.

 

Councillor Ian Corkin addressed a RAG rating that had moved from green to amber for Enhanced Digital Connectivity (Indicator 27, Agenda Page 20).  This was due to the impact of Covid on some of the partner companies.  The situation is being monitored.  An announcement of extra funding is expected soon in relation to the Business in Rural Oxfordshire programme.  He expressed confidence that the amber rating is temporary.

 

Councillor Steve Harrod noted a reduction in the number of Child Protection Plans of 25% over the last two years thanks to appropriate early intervention and he congratulated officers on that achievement.

 

RESOLVED: to note the contents of this report.

 

71/20

Revised Budget 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 288 KB

Cabinet Member: Finance

Forward Plan Ref: 2020/114

Contact: Hannah Doney, Head of Corporate Finance Tel: 07584 174654

 

Report by Director of Finance (CA7 ).

 

On 21 July 2020 Cabinet agreed to ask officers to identify plans to address the potential overspend in 2020/21 arising from COVID-19 and report back to the next meeting with recommendations for action.  This report sets out a proposal for a revisions to the budget for 2020/21 which is the outcome of that work.  The revised budget will address the risk of overspend and reflects the additional costs incurred by the Council in the response phase to the COVID-19 pandemic and the additional funding that has been received from central government.   

 

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(a)   approve the creation of the Council Tax Collection Fund Reserve

The Cabinet is RECOMMENDED to RECOMMEND COUNCIL TO:

 

(b)   approve the savings set out in Annex 1

(c)   approve the revised revenue budget for 2020/21 set out in Annex 2

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Sobia Afridi was unavailable to speak.

 

Councillor Liz Brighouse, Chairman of the Performance Scrutiny Committee, summarised the response from the scrutiny committee’s discussion of the Revised Budget which was included in the Addenda.

 

Councillor Steve Harrod responded that the consultation on the Youth Fund will now take place mostly online which will be much less costly.  It will be delayed by Covid but they are not cutting back on level or detail.  He expects the feedback to be available by Christmas.

 

Councillor Mark Gray added that it had already been decided that the full £200,000 was not needed.  It is out to tender now.  It will not be in time for the 2021/22 budget but some provision will be made for it.

 

Councillor Lorraine Lindsay-Gale responded on the SEND issue.  There was now a new management team in place for Education and she was pleased to announce a new appointment of an SEND Manager who is coming with great experience in the area.

 

The Chairman thanked Councillor Brighouse for the feedback from the Performance Scrutiny Committee which will be taken into account before the revised budget goes to Full Council.  He also thanked staff members for the additional work required during the pandemic but also for keeping normal services going.

 

While the Government had provided extra funding, there was still a shortfall and they would continue to lobby for more support.  It was vital that the Council should be in a strong financial position, especially if there is a second spike in Covid.

 

Councillor David Bartholomew introduced the report and summarised the main provisions.

 

Councillor Gray asked if there was more information available on the income guarantee scheme announced about six weeks before.  Councillor Bartholomew responded that there will be a claim made in September which is expected to be paid in October and then there will be further claims made in December and April.

 

Cabinet Members highlighted some points in their portfolios as follows:

 

·         Councillor Ian Corkin noted that some of the additional costs arose from the customer service centre dealing with shielding residents which included making 12,000 proactive calls to vulnerable residents.  This was assisted by staff from the library service.  There has recently been a 30% increase in calls relating to adult social services and it is anticipated that there will be an impact on children’s services when schools reopen.

·         Councillor Judith Heathcoat stated that the revised budget will still enable the fire service to maintain safety and efficiency.  The delay of one year in renewal of engines will not have a major impact as there is flexibility in the contract.

·         Councillor Steve Harrod applauded officers for finding ways to reduce costs without making any cuts to services but by redesigning.

·         Councillor Lorraine Lindsay-Gale referred to the proposal not to fill the School Improvement Advisor position until March next year.  She said that this was a post they had been unable to fill and they were confident that existing officers could cope with the workload.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 71/20

72/20

Disposal of Development Sites to Oxford City Council pdf icon PDF 295 KB

Cabinet Member: Finance

Forward Plan Ref: 2020/106

Contact: Karen Lister, Head of Estates & Strategy Tel: 07875 441940/Steve Jorden, Corporate Director – Commercial Development, Assets and Investment Tel: 07881 588887

 

Report by Corporate Director – Commercial Development, Assets and Investment (CA9).

 

The information contained in the annex 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);

 

and since it is considered that, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information, in that a negotiation is ongoing and would prejudice the position of the authority in the process of that negotiation and the Council’s standing generally in relation to such matters in future, to the detriment of the Council’s ability properly to discharge its fiduciary and other duties as a public authority.

 

 

The City Council are actively seeking new sites in order to deliver additional affordable housing to meet Growth Deal pipeline numbers.  In addition, the City are seeking to bring forward their regeneration of Blackbird Leys. The County Council owns development sites in Oxford and also the Blackbird Leys Former Pool. Consequently, this has resulted in discussions between the two Councils on a subject to contract basis.

 

The negotiations are now complete, and this report details the provisionally agreed terms of the transactions. The report seeks approval for the disposal of three sites to the City Council as a named purchaser.

 

The Cabinetis RECOMMENDED to

 

(a)         Agree the principle of off-market sales to the City Council, as a named purchaser, of the following properties:

·                     Part of Northfield Hostel for delivery of 100% affordable housing 

·                     Former Depot Site at Lanham Way for delivery of 100% affordable housing 

·                     Former Blackbird Leys Swimming Pool for incorporation into the regeneration scheme

 

(b)         To declare the Former Blackbird Leys Swimming Pool surplus to requirements.

(c)         Delegate authority to the Director for Property, Investment and Facilities Management and the Director of Law and Governance to agree appropriate terms.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was agreed that there was no necessity to go into private session on this item.

 

Councillor David Bartholomew summarised the report.  It was proposed to agree a transaction with Oxford City Council regarding surplus properties owned by the County Council which could be used for affordable housing.  Also, included was the old swimming pool at Blackbird Leys which will be transferred to become part of a regeneration plan.

 

Councillor Laurie Stratford described the proposal as a win-win situation for both councils and a good example of partnership working.  He congratulated all involved.

 

The Chairman agreed that the Council should do everything in its power to provide for better housing.

 

RESOLVED: to

 

a)            Agree the principle of off-market sales to the City Council, as a named purchaser, of the following properties:

·                Part of Northfield Hostel for delivery of 100% affordable housing 

·                Former Depot Site at Lanham Way for delivery of 100% affordable housing 

·                Former Blackbird Leys Swimming Pool for incorporation into the regeneration scheme

 

b)            To declare the Former Blackbird Leys Swimming Pool surplus to requirements.

 

c)            Delegate authority to the Director for Property, Investment and Facilities Management and the Director of Law and Governance to agree appropriate terms.

73/20

Exempt Minutes

To approve the exempt minutes of the meeting held on 21 July 2020 (CA11) and to receive information arising from them.

 

The information contained in the minute 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);

 

and since it is considered that, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information, in that a negotiation is ongoing and would prejudice the position of the authority in the process of that negotiation and the Council’s standing generally in relation to such matters in future, to the detriment of the Council’s ability properly to discharge its fiduciary and other duties as a public authority.

 

Minutes:

The exempt minutes of the meeting held on 21 July 2020 were approved and signed as a correct record.