Agenda and decisions

Venue: Council Chamber - County Hall, New Road, Oxford OX1 1ND. View directions

Contact: Deborah Miller  Tel: 07920 084239; E-Mail:

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 481 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 10 September 2019 (CC1) and to receive information arising from them.


Additional documents:


The Minutes of the Meeting held on 10 September 2019 were approved and signed as an accurate record of the Meeting.



Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Hannah Banfield, Councillor Steve Harrod, Councillor Dan Sames, Councillor Emily Smith and Councillor Alan Thompson.


Declarations of Interest

Members are reminded that they must declare their interests orally at the meeting and specify (a) the nature of the interest and (b) which items on the agenda are the relevant items. This applies also to items where members have interests by virtue of their membership of a district council in Oxfordshire.


Councillor Alison Rooke declared a non-pecuniary interest in Agenda Item 14 (Motion by Councillor Eddie Reeves) by virtue of her position as Trustee/Director of Vale House Alzheimer's Home.  


 Councillor Jenny Hannaby declared non-pecuniary interest in Agenda Item 14 (Motion by Councillor Eddie Reeves) by virtue of her position as Chairman of the Trustees for Wantage Community Nursing Home.


Official Communications


The Chairman reported that it had been decided, in consultation with the Group Leaders to cancel the December Meeting of Council on 10 December 2019 due to the proximity of the Meeting to the General Election.  A provisional date of 14th January had been agreed for a meeting of Council, if required following the General Election.  Members would be notified whether this Meeting would be taking place on 20 December.


Council congratulated the Chairman on his successful Charity Dinner which had raising in excess of £3,000 for local charities.


Council noted that the Chairman would be hosting an ‘Antiques Supper’ at the Swan in Tetsworth on 19 November 2019.  Tickets were available from the Chairman’s PA.




Petitions and Public Address


Mr Mike Tyso, Chipping Norton Town Council, spoke in support of Agenda Item 15 (Motion by Councillor Hilary Hibbert-Biles);


Mr Church, spoke in support of Question 7 on Notice by Councillor Suzanne Bartington in relation to the benefits of tree planting;


Mr David Gilmour, CPRE Oxfordshire, spoke in support of Agenda Item 13 (Motion by Councillor John Sanders on the Expressway);




Questions with Notice from Members of the Council pdf icon PDF 670 KB


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


In relation to Question 1 of the report (Question from Councillor Leffman to Councillor Gray) Councillor Gray undertook to look into what was happening in Charlbury and provide Councillor Leffman with a written response.  Councillor Grey urged all members to contact the newly formed Community Transport and Concessionary Fares team for any help with providing community transport.


In relation to Question 2 of the report (Question from Councillor Cherry to Councillor Constance) Councillor Constance indicated that she was hoping to bring forward the programme for replacing street lighting in the Ruscote area of Banbury.


In relation to Question 5 of the report (Question from Councillor Roberts to Councillor Constance) Councillor Constance undertook to provide Councillor Roberts with a written answer as to whether, following the HIF bid for the A40 being announced as successful and given the seriousness of the accident, whether there had  been any progress on sourcing funds from Highways England that OCC were signposted to?


In relation to Question 7 of the report (Question from Councillor Bartington to Councillor Constance) Councillor Constance undertook to investigate the possibility of an arrangement with our partners, developers and contractors to provide like for like when removing trees.


In relation to Question 13 of the report (Question from Councillor Turnbull to Councillor Lindsay-Gale) Councillor Lindsay-Gale undertook to provide Councillor Turnbull with a written answer detailing whether any of the young people identified as waiting for a place were Looked After Children or qualified for Free School Meals or Pupil Premium, and if so, how many?


In relation to Question 14 of the report (Question from Councillor Turnbull to Councillor Lindsay-Gale) Councillor Lindsay-Gale undertook to provide Councillor Turnbull with a written answer detailing the outcomes of when Fair Access Panels met.


In relation to Question 23 of the report (Question from Councillor Phillips to Councillor Harrod) Councillor Hudspeth undertook to ask Councillor Harrod to provide a written answer detailing how many assessments are waiting to be undertaken under section 17 ZA Children’s Act 1989, together with the associated waiting times.







Report of the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 302 KB

Report of the Cabinet Meetings held on 17 September 2019 and 15 October 2019 (CC9).


The Cabinet received he report of the Cabinet.


In relation to paragraph 2 of the report (HIF Marginal Viability (mv) Funding Agreements Bicester & Wantage) (Question from Councillor Hannaby to Councillor Hudspeth) Councillor Hudspeth undertook to look into when the final contracts would be signed so that work could commence and to put as much pressure on the process as possible.


In relation to paragraph 3 of the report (Local Government Association Peer Review Report) (Question from Councillor Price to Councillor Hudspeth) Councillor Hudspeth undertook to provide Councillor Price with a written answer regarding whether there was an action plan in relation to the Peer Review and in particular in relation to inclusive growth.


In relation to paragraph 7 of the report (The Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children’s board Annual Report/The Performance Audit & Quality Assurance Annual Report and The Case Review & Governance Annual Report - 2019) (Question from Councillor Hanna to Councillor Harrod) Councillor Hudspeth undertook to ask Councillor Harrod to provide a written answer detailing what could be done to raise the issue of       with local practitioners?


In relation to paragraph 9 of the report (Implementation of a Street Works Permit Scheme for Oxfordshire) (Question from Councillor Buckley to Councillor Constance) Councillor Constance gave an assurance that conditions could be added to possible conditions attached to the future Street Works Permits, so that problems like Botley Road could be avoided in Future.  Councillor Constance cautioned though that it was no possible to foresee all problems that could arise.


In relation to paragraph 11 of the report (Oxfordshire Minerals and Waste Local Plan: Site Allocations – Consultation Draft Plan) (Question from Councillor John Sanders to Councillor Constance) Councillor Constance undertookto use every endeavour to ensure that the new timetable for delivery of Core Strategy part 2 would be delivered on its present schedule and that officers would receive as much support as they required.


In relation to paragraph 11 of the report (Oxfordshire Minerals and Waste Local Plan: Site Allocations – Consultation Draft Plan) (Question from Councillor Johnston to Councillor Constance) Councillor Constance gave an undertaking to employee additional consultants (if required) to ensure the Site Allocations Plan was adopted in November 2020.


In relation to paragraph 13 of the report (Capital Finance Monitoring Report) (Question from Councillor Roz Smith to Councillor Bartholomew) Councillor Bartholomew undertook to provide Councillor Roz Smith with a written answer detailing whether the urgent repairs to Windmill School were to be funded from the contingency budget or from the Capital School’s Maintenance Budget?



Committee Dates

At the Annual Council Meeting in May this year it was suggested in error and agreed that the Annual Meeting in 2020 be held on 12 May 2020. Under the rules of the Constitution it should be held on the third Tuesday in May and it is therefore suggested that it be held on 19 May. If you agree this change Cabinet would then meet on 26 May.


It is RECOMMENDED that Council agree the above change to the Annual Council Meeting to 19 May 2020.


Recommendations agreed.


The Leader's Update on the Motion on Climate Action pdf icon PDF 514 KB

At its Meeting on 2 April 2019, Council approved a motion in the following terms:


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in their October report stated that if the planet wants to avert dangerous climate breakdown, we need to cut emissions in half by 2030, and hit zero by the middle of the century.


Oxfordshire is already doing its bit: we are committed to reducing emissions from our own estate and activities by 3% a year. Unfortunately, our current plans are not enough. The IPCC’s report suggests that the world has just a dozen years left to restrict global warming to 1.5? above pre-industrial levels. Should they increase by 2?, humanity’s capacity to prevent catastrophic food shortages, floods, droughts, extreme heat and poverty will be severely impaired. Limiting Global Warming to 1.5? may still be possible, but only with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities. Furthermore, bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs, economic savings and market opportunities.


Oxfordshire County Council calls on the Leader to:


1.          Acknowledge a ‘Climate Emergency’ and call for action

2.          Pledge to make Oxfordshire County Council carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account both production and consumption emissions;

3.          Call on Westminster to provide the powers and resources to make the 2030 target possible;

4.          Continue to work with partners across the county and region to deliver this new goal through all relevant strategies;

5.          Report to Council within six months with the actions the Council will take to address this emergency."


The report updates Council on the work undertaken since the adoption of the Motion (CC11).


Council is RECOMMENDED to note the update from the Leader on the action taken in pursuant to the Motion in April 2019 on Climate action and to note process for taking the further recommendations forward.


Motion by Councillor Richard Webber

“Whilst the process of Transformation will almost certainly lead to improvements and efficiencies in the way the Council operates, the primary driver for undertaking the Transformation Program was the need to save £15m in order to balance the budget.


To date, a number of costs have already been incurred (mostly additional staffing costs to make sure that Transformation happens). Given that there are areas of the Council where Officer shortages are already affecting our ability to deliver services as efficiently and speedily as we would wish, it is important that these areas are protected from any further staff reductions.


Some savings have already been claimed. But the communication of this information to Members has been disjointed and confusing. As a result, Members have no means of measuring or judging what success the Program may be having. Given the overriding importance of Transformation in delivering the necessaryfinancial benefits, it is vital that all Members are able to judge its success effectively and in a timely manner.


The practice (to date) of burying the costs and the savings in many different lines of the budget makes it impossible to monitor and scrutinize the process with rigour.


Therefore, this Council requests Council Finance Officers to include in the forthcoming budget papers a separate report on Transformationto include identifying and quantifying for all years of the Program 2018/19-2022/2023 the following:


1. The costs actually incurred and predicted (includingstaffing redundancy and pension costs)

2. The savings actually achieved and predicted.”



Motion by Councillor John Sanders

“Given the inadequate response from the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government to the concern of this Council regarding the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway, this Council asks the Leader to write to the Minister of Housing, Communities and Local Government and Highways England in the following terms:


Oxfordshire County Council will work with Highways England on the development of the vision for the English Economic Heartland and the Oxford to Cambridge Arc on the understanding that they will expedite the realisation of the East West Rail Link.


The development of the railway line will ensure the delivery of the growth and housing required, without the environmental impact of a road cutting across the centre of rural England. 


Building the Expressway flies in the face of Oxfordshire’s commitment to reduce the use of the car. An action which is necessary to tackle the Climate Change Emergency, which Local Government, including Oxfordshire, has signed up to.


Oxfordshire does not support the building of the Expressway irrespective of which route is chosen.”


The amendment by Councillor Tim Bearder as set out in Annex 1 to the schedule of business was lost by 45 votes to 11.


The substantive Motion was agreed by 36 votes to 11, with 8 abstentions.


Motion by Councillor Eddie Reeves

“This Council deplores the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s (‘CCG’) decision on 26 September to establish a midwife led unit for the foreseeable future at the Horton General Hospital.


The decision follows public consultation and evidence-gathering exercises in which neither the public, nor this Council, have confidence. Public trust in the CCG and in Oxfordshire University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (‘OUHFT’) was damaged when the temporary downgrade was enforced, without consultation, in August 2016 and has since been further eroded by the persistent lack of meaningful engagement, which speaks to their Oxford-centric agenda.


Council endorses the recent conclusions of the Horton Joint Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee (‘Horton HOSC’) in bringing OUHFT and CCG shortcomings to the fore and resolves to fully support Horton HOSC’s efforts to continue to hold the CCG and OUHFT to account and pursue an appropriate course of action.


This Council recognises the vital importance of the Horton General Hospital in providing first-class care to patients across Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire and welcomes the commitment from OUHFT and the CCG to invest significantly in the Horton site.


After years of talk and hollow promises, now is the time for action and that commitment needs to be tangibly demonstrated. Council also notes the pledge of OUHFT and the CCG to “regularly review” the viability of reinstating an obstetric-led maternity unit in Banbury. The real-life birthing experiences of local mothers cannot continue to be overlooked and Council will do all it can to ensure their voices are heard.”



Motion by Councillor Hilary Hibbert-Biles

“This Council has recognised and accepted the serious issues facing Chipping Norton given inclusion in LTP’s as far back as 2004. The biggest issue in Chipping Norton is the amount of HGV’s accessing the High Street in the town.  


It is now accepted by Public Health England, that Air pollution damages health and can be responsible for deaths.  Chipping Norton has been an AQMA since 2006. Air Quality continues to be over EU acceptable limits and one of the highest in Oxfordshire. There is also a safety issue where two A roads merge into a narrow road unable to take an HGV and a car travelling in the other direction and narrow pavements. There have been 2 deaths and a serious accident in recent years. 


HGV’s affect listed buildings and residents. There has been little or no action by OCC. 


The majority of land at Tank Farm is OCC owned. Given this, there will be a large receipt from development which could be used towards a weight limit and lorry route. 


This Council requests the Cabinet to face up to the health and safety issues of residents of Chipping Norton and act on the previous LTP2 and LTP3 recommendations for a weight limit or indeed a lorry route.




Motions by Councillor Neville Harris, Jane Hanna and Yvonne Constance.

“Council are delighted to note that the Oxfordshire Charity “Children Heard and Seen” were amongst the 2019 recipients of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.


The Council further note that:


The Charity's work minimises the effects of parental imprisonment on young people through mentoring, group working and other interventions. Just listening to the thoughts of these young people promises benefit; realising they are not alone in facing problems is often pivotal.


Annually c312,000 children lose a parent to custody in England and Wales, c17,000 following the imprisonment of mothers. The Ministry of Justice advise that 65% of boys with a convicted parent go on to offend themselves.


The Charity's services are mainly reactive, identifying and encouraging children to take part is difficult and time consuming. Developing and fulfilling individual potential, seeking to reduce intergenerational crime and cut parent re-offending, this work impacts positively in Oxfordshire. Over 160 young people are on projects at present, c500 have participated since the Charity's formation in 2014. Commercial sector and grant foundation, purpose specific, funding and c40 volunteers make this endeavour possible.


Council agrees that it recognises, "Children Heard and Seen", as vital community initiative originating in Oxfordshire. It further agrees to invite the Charity to prepare a brief written report on its work, needs and aspirations and present this report to a meeting of the Council's Performance Review Scrutiny Committee and\or to such other Committee the Council may decide appropriate.”