Agenda, decisions and minutes

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Contact: Deborah Miller  Tel: 07920 084239; E-Mail: deborah.miller@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1/20

Minutes pdf icon PDF 693 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 3 November 2019  (CC1) and to receive information arising from them.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 5 November 2019 were approved and signed as an accurate record.

2/20

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Sobia Afridi and Councillor Hilary Hibbert-Biles.

3/20

Declarations of Interest - see guidance note

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.

Minutes:

Councillors Bartholomew, Gawrysiak, E. Smith, Thompson, Fawcett, Hannaby, Johnston, Webber, Rooke and Roberts, for the sake of transparency,  declared non-pecuniary interests in Agenda Item 9 (Arrangements for SODC Local Plan following Holding Direction by the Secretary of State) on the basis that they were dual hatters.

4/20

Official Communications

Minutes:

Council welcomed Councillor Pete Sudbury, newly elected County Councillor for Wallingford.

 

Council received a statement which outlined the latest guidance in relation to the Corona Virus.

 

Council sent its thoughts and warm wishes to Keith Mitchell and his family.

 

Council paid tribute and held a minute’s silence in memory of former County Councillor and Chairman of the Council, Ann Spokes Symonds and former County Councillor Phillip (John) Baston.

 

The Chairman thanked members for their attendance at his Charity Concert which had raised money for the Soldiers of the Museum and the ABF Soldiers’ Charity.  The Chairman thanked Tim Stimpson and Sara Lenihan for their help in making the evening such a success.

5/20

Appointments

To make any changes to the membership of the Cabinet, scrutiny and other committees on the nomination of political groups.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: Council noted the following appointments:

 

Performance Scrutiny Committee

 

Councillor Jeanette Matelot in place of Councillor Liam Walker.

 

Councillor Hudspeth had given notice of a number of changes to Cabinet Member portfolios and membership as set out in the Schedule of Business to the Meeting.  The changes would come into effect come into effect on 1 February 2020.

6/20

Petitions and Public Address

Minutes:

Council received the following Petition and Public Address:

 

A Petition from Mrs Beverley Darlison, on behalf of the Milton Heights Action Group requesting that the Council take all necessary steps to preserve and maintain the care and support of those at Hft Milton Heights who were threatened with the impending closure of the site.

 

Public Addresses – Agenda Item 9

 

The Leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, Sue Cooper urged the Council to reject the officer recommendations on the basis that the Secretary of State removing of a statutory power from one local authority to another would have a very serious impact on local Democracy and working relationships. Within local government.  There was no formal public decision of SODC to withdraw the emerging local plan; the directive from the SoS had delayed any further work on the plan and the housing infrastructure funding on much needed roads in Didcot.  SODC agreed with the SoS that the Local Plan was unsatisfactory, so she was therefore bemused that the SoS had said that the local plan should proceed, it was inconsistent.  SODC residents had voted against the plan in the elections in May.  She further outlined concerns regarding the financial implications of the Council taking over the Local Plan in that Oxfordshire would get the money, but that it would come from SODC and they had no idea how much it would be.  She reminded Council that they were all part of the Housing & Growth Deal and that they needed to work together in the interests of the residents of Oxfordshire and that SODC intended to recognise that and go along with the numbers in the deal.

 

Professor Richard Harding spoke against the recommendations on behalf of CPRE, who contended the plan on the basis that it was floored.  They believed the allocation of housing was far higher than was needed by any scientific or rational method, but crucially that the draft plan had no recognition of the climate emergency facing the country; no targets for emission reductions; it had no plans to protect and enhance the natural environment.  The proposed housing around oxford would severely damage the greenbelt.  The plan was for a car-based society completely unsuited to the 21st century and would do immeasurable damage to the local environment and social fabric of South Oxfordshire.  The last district election result of the ruling party being overturned was as a direct result of people objecting to the overdevelopment of SODC set out in the plan.  SODC had a valid plan to 2027.

 

He believed the SOS Holding Direction which meant that SODC could not even debate their local pla, let alone withdraw or start a new plan was a complete denial of freedom of speech and local democracy.

 

Ms Alice Bragg, speaking on behalf of A Better South Oxfordshire against the recommendations to take over control of SODC local plan which would affect thousands of residents in SODC.  The take over would not be because the Council had been deemed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6/20

7/20

Pay Policy Statement - Report of the Remuneration Committee pdf icon PDF 574 KB

Report by the Director for Human Resources (CC7)

 

The Remuneration Committee is required to report annually to Council on the Pay Policy Statement. The Remuneration Committee considered this report on 30 January 2020 and now submit it for approval to Council on 11 February 2020.

 

The Council is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(a)       receive the report of the Remuneration Committee;

(b)       approve the revised Pay Policy Statement at Annex 1 to this report;

(c)       approve the Gender Pay Gap Data Summary at Annex 2 to this report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In 2012, a stand alone Remuneration Committee was set up to report each year directly to full Council and to make recommendations regarding the Council’s Pay Policy Statement.  The Council had before it a report of the Remuneration Committee which updated the Council’s Pay Policy Statement and set out future proposals of the Remuneration Committee in relation to this area.

 

RESOLVED: (on a Motion by Councillor Hudspeth, seconded by Councillor Brighouse and carried nem con) to:

 

(a)      receive the report of the Remuneration Committee;

(b)      approve the revised Pay Policy Statement at Annex 1 to this report;

(c)       approve the Gender Pay Gap Data Summary at Annex 2 to this report.

8/20

Corporate Plan and Service & Resource Planning 2020/21 - 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 444 KB

Report by Director of Finance (CC8).

 

This report is the culmination of the Service & Resource Planning process for 2020/21 to 2023/24. It sets out the Cabinet’s proposed budget for 2020/21, medium term financial plan to 2023/24 and capital programme to 2029/30, together with a number of strategies and policies that the Council is required to approve for the 2020/21 financial year.

 

The report is divided into four main sections which are outlined below:

 

Section 1 – Leader of the Council’s overview (To follow)

Section 2 – Corporate Plan

Section 3 – Statutory Report by Director of Finance (Chief Finance Officer)

Section 4 – Budget Strategy and Capital Programme

 

The Council is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(a)           approve the Corporate Plan 2020-2024 as set out in Section 2 and delegate authority to the Corporate Director Customers and Organisational Development in consultation with the Leader and relevant portfolio holder(s) to make appropriate changes to the priorities framework.

 

(b)           have regard to the statutory report of the Director of Finance (at Section 3) in approving recommendations c to e below;

 

(c)           (in respect of the budget and medium term financial plan) approve:

(1)           the council tax and precept calculations for 2020/21 set out in Section 4.3 and in particular:

(i)             a precept of £391,445,480;

(ii)           a council tax for band D equivalent properties of £1,527.44;

(2)           a budget for 2020/21 as set out in Section 4.4;

(3)           a medium term plan for 2020/21 to 2023/24 as set out in Section 4.1 (which incorporates changes to the existing medium term financial plan as set out in Section 4.2;

(4)           virement arrangements to operate within the approved budget for 2020/21 as set out in Section 4.5;

(5)           the Financial Strategy for 2020/21 at Section 4.6;

(6)           the Earmarked Reserves and General Balances Policy Statement 2019/20 at Section 4.7 including

(i)             the Chief Finance Officer’s recommended level of General Balances for 2020/21 (Section 4.7), and

(ii)           the planned level of Earmarked Reserves for 2019/20 to 2023/24 (Section 4.7.1)

(7)           the use of Dedicated Schools Grant (provisional allocation) for 2020/21 as set out in Section 4.8.

 

(d)           (in respect of capital) approve:

(1)           the Capital & Investment Strategy for 2020/21 – 2029/30 including the Prudential Indicators and Minimum Revenue Provision Methodology Statement as set out in Section 4.9;

(2)           a Capital Programme for 2019/20 to 2029/30 as set out in Section 4.9.1 which includes new capital proposals set out in Section 4.9.2 and the Highways Maintenance Programme to 2024/25 set out in Section 4.9.3; and

(3)           the Investment Strategy for 2020/21 set out in Section 4.9.4.

 

(e)           (in respect of treasury management) approve:

(1)           the Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Annual Investment Strategy for 2020/21 at Section 4.9.5 including the Treasury Management Prudential Indicators and the Specified Investment and Non-Specified Investment Instruments.

(2)           the continued delegation of authority to withdraw or advance additional funds to/from external fund managers to the Treasury Management Strategy Team;

(3)           that any further changes required to the 2020/21 strategy be  ...  view the full agenda text for item 8/20

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Before the Council was the Corporate Plan and Service & Resource  Planning reports and annexes, an Addenda setting out the changes to the Cabinet’s proposed revenue budget for 2020/21 and Medium Term Financial Plan for 2021/22 to 2023/24 arising from information received after the publication of Council papers on 3 February; the Labour and Liberal Democrat Group’s joint amendment and the Leader’s Budget Speech as set out in Annex 2 to the Schedule of Business.

 

With the consent of Council, Councillor Hudspeth moved and Councillor Brighouse seconded his motion, amended at the suggestion of the labour and Liberal Democrat Group as set out in bold italics below:

 

The Council is RECOMMENDED (in respect of revenue) to approve a budget for 2020/21 and a medium term financial plan for 2020/21 – 2023/24  including the amendment as proposed by the Labour Group & Liberal Democrat Group to approve the allocation of £200k in 2020/21 to develop an up to date assessment of the services young people in Oxfordshire want and need. To identify whether these services are currently being delivered and to investigate future service delivery options to meet that need. This funding will be met from the Budget Priorities Reserve.

 

Following debate, the motion as amended was put to the vote and carried by 60 votes to 0, with 1 abstention.

 

Voting was as follows:

 

Councillors voting for the motion (60)

 

Azad, Banfield, Bartholomew, Bartington, Bearder, Billington, Brighouse, Buckley, Bulmer, Carter, Cherry, Clarke, Constance, Corkin, Fatemian, Fawcett, Fenton, Field-Johnson, Fitzgerald O’Connor, Fox-Davies, Gawrysiak, Gray, Griffiths, Handley, Hanna, Hannaby, Harrod, Haywood, Heathcoat, Howson, Hudspeth, Johnston, Ilot, Leffman, Lindsay-Gale, Lygo, Mallon, McLLveen, Matelot, Mathew, Phillips, Pressel, Price, Reeves, Reynolds, Roberts, Rooke, Sames, Gill Sanders, John Sanders, Sibley, Emily Smith, Roz Smith, Stratford, Sudbury, Thompson, Turnbull, Waine, Walker, Webber,

 

Councillors voting against the motion (0)

 

Councillors abstaining on the motion (1)

 

Harris

 

It was accordingly:”

 

RESOLVED: (60 votes to 0, with 1 abstention)to:

 

(in respect of revenue) to approve a budget for 2020/21 and a medium term financial plan for 2020/21 – 2023/24  including the amendment as proposed by the Labour Group & Liberal Democrat Group to approve the allocation of £200k in 2020/21 to develop an up to date assessment of the services young people in Oxfordshire want and need. To identify whether these services are currently being delivered and to investigate future service delivery options to meet that need. This funding will be met from the Budget Priorities Reserve.

 

(a)      approve the Corporate Plan 2020-2024 as set out in Section 2 and delegate authority to the Corporate Director Customers and Organisational Development in consultation with the Leader and relevant portfolio holder(s) to make appropriate changes to the priorities framework.

 

(b)      have regard to the statutory report of the Director of Finance (at Section 3) in approving recommendations c to e below;

 

(c)       (in respect of the budget and medium term financial plan) approve:

(1)          the council tax and precept calculations for 2020/21 set out in Section 4.3 and in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8/20

9/20

Arrangements for SODC Local Plan following Holding Direction by the Secretary of State. pdf icon PDF 376 KB

Report by the Corporate Director for Place & Growth (CC9) To Follow

 

South Oxfordshire District Council submitted its Local Plan to the Planning Inspectorate for examination in March 2019.  In October 2019, following a period in which the new South Oxfordshire administration were considering either withdrawing or significantly amending their Local Plan, they were issued with a Holding Direction by the Secretary of State. This has had the effect of preventing them from withdrawing their plan. Since October discussions have been taking place between the District Council and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to try and find a way to allow the due process of examining the Local Plan to continue. The holding direction remains in place.

 

In his most recent letter to South Oxfordshire District Council on the 7th January 2020, the Secretary of State reiterated that the Government is committed to ensuring every area has an up to date and suitably ambitious Local Plan in place.  In addition to considering Local Plan intervention under section 21 and 27 the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (“the 2004 Act”), he also stated that he is considering whether it is appropriate to exercise powers under section 27A of, and paragraph 7B of Schedule A1 to, the 2004 Act and invite Oxfordshire County Council to prepare the South Oxfordshire Local Plan.

Paragraph 7B of Schedule A1 to the 2004 Act provides:

 

“If the Secretary of State—

(a)       thinks that a lower-tier planning authority are failing or omitting to do anything it is necessary for them to do in connection with the preparation, revision or adoption of a development plan document, and

(b)       invites the upper-tier county council to prepare or revise the document,the upper-tier county council may prepare or revise (as the case may be) the development plan document.”

 

Paragraph 44 of the Explanatory Notes as set out in the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 (the amending legislation) states: “Where a county council accepts the invitation, they are responsible for preparing the document and having it examined. They may then approve the document (or approve it subject to modifications recommended by the inspector)”.

 

The Secretary of State’s letter of 7th January asked South Oxfordshire District Council to outline, by 31st January 2020, any exceptional circumstances as to why they do not have a plan in place that should be taken into account when a decision on next steps is made. The Secretary of State’s decision is awaited as to how he now intends to proceed, including whether to formally invite the County Council to prepare the South Oxfordshire Local Plan. Should the County Council agree to accept any such invitation then it would require satisfactory assurances that, as set out under the provisions of the 2004 Act, its costs would be fully recovered. 

 

In the event of the receipt of an invitation by the Secretary of State to prepare or revise the South Oxfordshire Local Plan pursuant to powers under section 27A of, and paragraph 7B  ...  view the full agenda text for item 9/20

Additional documents:

Minutes:

South Oxfordshire District Council had submitted its Local Plan to the Planning Inspectorate for examination in March 2019.  In October 2019, following a period in which the new South Oxfordshire administration were considering either withdrawing or significantly amending their Local Plan, they were issued with a Holding Direction by the Secretary of State. This had the effect of preventing them from withdrawing their plan. Since October discussions had been taking place between the District Council and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to try and find a way to allow the due process of examining the Local Plan to continue. The holding direction remained in place.

 

In his most recent letter to South Oxfordshire District Council on the 7 January 2020, the Secretary of State reiterated that the Government was committed to ensuring every area had an up to date and suitably ambitious Local Plan in place.  In addition to considering Local Plan intervention under section 21 and 27 the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (“the 2004 Act”), he also stated that he was considering whether it was appropriate to exercise powers under section 27A of, and paragraph 7B of Schedule A1 to, the 2004 Act and invite Oxfordshire County Council to prepare the South Oxfordshire Local Plan.

Paragraph 7B of Schedule A1 to the 2004 Act provides:

 

“If the Secretary of State—

(a)       thinks that a lower-tier planning authority are failing or omitting to do anything it is necessary for them to do in connection with the preparation, revision or adoption of a development plan document, and

(b)       invites the upper-tier county council to prepare or revise the document,the upper-tier county council may prepare or revise (as the case may be) the development plan document.”

 

Paragraph 44 of the Explanatory Notes as set out in the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 (the amending legislation) states: “Where a county council accepts the invitation, they are responsible for preparing the document and having it examined. They may then approve the document (or approve it subject to modifications recommended by the inspector)”.

 

The Secretary of State’s letter of 7 January asked South Oxfordshire District Council to outline, by 31st January 2020, any exceptional circumstances as to why they did not have a plan in place that should be taken into account when a decision on next steps was made. The Secretary of State’s decision was awaited as to how he now intended to proceed, including whether to formally invite the County Council to prepare the South Oxfordshire Local Plan. Should the County Council agree to accept any such invitation then it would require satisfactory assurances that, as set out under the provisions of the 2004 Act, its costs would be fully recovered. 

 

Council were asked to consider whether or not it would accept an invitation by the Secretary of State, to prepare or revise the South Oxfordshire Local Plan pursuant to powers under section 27A of, and paragraph 7B of Schedule A1 to, the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9/20