Agenda, decisions and minutes

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

Link: videolink to the meeting

Items
No. Item

20/20

Minutes pdf icon PDF 213 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 4 May 2020 (CC1) and to receive information arising from them.

 

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 4 May 2020 were approved and signed as an accurate record subject to adding a sentence to explain that the Meeting was held virtually.

21/20

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from the Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Hudspeth.  Council sent its best wish for a speedy recovery.

22/20

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.

Minutes:

Councillor John Howson declared a non-pecuniary interest in Agenda Item 16 (Motion by Councillor John Sanders) by virtue of being a non-car driver.

23/20

Official Communications

Minutes:

Council congratulated and paid tribute to staff and the community on their tremendous efforts and response during the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

Council Paid tribute and held a minute’s silence in Memory of former Honorary Alderman Patrick Greene.

 

Following requests from district council colleagues, the Director of Finance had notified Council of the need to move the Budget Meeting of Council in 2021.

 

RESOLVED: (nem con) to move the Budget Meeting of Council from the scheduled date of 16 February 2021 to the 9 February 2021.

 

24/20

Appointments

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

Minutes:

Council noted the following appointment:

 

Councillor Ted Fenton in place of Councillor Mike Fox-Davies on the Planning & Regulation Committee.

25/20

Petitions and Public Address

This Council 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 8 July 2020. Requests to speak should be sent to Deborah.miller@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

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Written submissions should be no longer than 1 A4 sheet. </AI5>

<AI6>

 

Minutes:

Council received the following public address:

 

Mr Jamie Hartzell presented a Petition of some 2, 500 signatories, calling on the Council to commit now to doubling tree cover by 2045.

 

Dr Liz Sawyer addressed the Council on behalf of Liveable Streets Oxfordshire in support of Agenda Item 16, Motion by Councillor John Sanders on adopting Low Traffic Neighbourhoods.

 

Mr Patrick Coulter addressed the Council on behalf of Headington Liveable Streets, Headington Action and Headington Neighbourhood Forum in support of the Motion by Councillor John Sanders supporting Low Traffic Neighbourhoods.

26/20

Questions with Notice from Members of the Public

Minutes:

Question from Mr Chris Henderson to Councillor Lorraine Lindsay-Gale

 

On 10th May the Government released its roadmap for exiting lockdown, at which point it became clear that Libraries would be allowed to open to the public from the 4th July. Local authorities around the Country worked towards this date, Neighbouring Buckinghamshire, for example, established a select and collect service from 22nd June and had their entire library network open on 6th July.

 

Oxfordshire in contrast seemed totally unprepared. A decision to phase re-opening was made in early May but it remains unclear upon what basis. Despite a late change in timetable with the opening date for the first tranche of libraries brought forward from the 31st July to the 13th July there are at present only plans to have 11 sites open by 20th July with no date given for the rest of the network (at time of writing this question).

 

Members of Library staff, keen to provide a service to their public, were repeatedly told they should say absolutely nothing about re-opening to the public who pay their wages or to their Library Friends Groups with veiled threats of repercussions for anyone who stepped out of line.

 

No information was available on the County website until 7th July, in marked contrast to almost every other local authority.

 

Can the Cabinet Member explain what exceptional circumstances exist in Oxfordshire that make it so difficult to re-open their library service?

 

Answer

 

Oxfordshire County Council is in step with other local authorities in taking aplanned approach to reopening its public libraries and public facilities in a prioritised way, making sure all staff and our communities are safe when they return to our buildings.

 

Public Library services across the UK are taking a slightly different approach to reopening their services.  Some library services have not yet reopened, some libraries have opened some of their libraries and some have offered a click and collect service only.  

 

Derbyshire for example have reopened a very small number of its libraries initially with residents having to book an appointment to visit their library, Cambridge / Peterborough reopened less than 1/4 of its libraries.  Dorset will continue a click and collect service for the foreseeable future. Kent has reopened 12 of its 99 libraries for a click and collect service. Milton Keynes and Wiltshire don't yet have a date for their libraries to reopen.

 

We are pleased that our planning will deliver a return to some of the things our residents value and have missed over the last few extraordinary months. While some library authorities are just planning a click and collect service, our priority is to get people back into libraries in a safe and socially-distanced way, so that they can choose their own books and access the range of other services that our libraries offer.

 

They will be able to browse, select their own materials, check these items out and of course return the items to the library. All returns will do  72 hours in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26/20

27/20

Questions with Notice from Members of the Council pdf icon PDF 582 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

33 questions with Notice were asked.  Details of the questions and answers and supplementary questions and answers will be set out in the Annex to the minutes.

 

In relation to question 19 (Question from Gill Sanders to Councillor Constance) Councillor Constance gave an assurance to consult with all concerned groups across the county that time allowed and that they were looking for projects right across the County.

 

In relation to question 26 (Question from Councillor Hannaby to Councillor Hudspeth) Councillor Heathcoat undertook to take back the question to Councillor Hudspeth as to whether he would support the recent Healthwatch report into an enquiry of Care Homes.

 

28/20

Report of the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 394 KB

Report of the Cabinet Meetings held on 19 November 2019, 17 December 2019, 21 January 2020, 25 February 2020, 17 March 2020, 13 May 2020, 26 May 2020 and 16 June 2020 (CC9).

 

Minutes:

Council received the report of the Cabinet.

 

In relation to paragraph 2 of the report (Question from Councillor Hanna to Councillor Heathcoat) Councillor Heathcoat undertook to take on the points Councillor Hanna made in relation to ensuring that the COVID response and Scrutiny Procedure Rule 19(a) was addressed in the upcoming review of the constitution and to ensure that the Council was fit for the future in relation to COVID planning for Restart, Recovery and Renew.

 

In relation to paragraph 3 of the report (Question from Councillor Price to Councillor Heathcoat) Councillor Heathcoat undertook to ask HR to consider the request that a report be produced on the ethnic minority gap in the same way they report on the Gender Gap ahead of any legislation requiring it, cautioning that there would need to ensure that no individual could be identified in the report.

 

In relation to paragraph 4 of the report (Question from Councillor Pressel to Councillor Stratford) Councillor Stratford undertook to give consideration as to whether Children’s Centres could receive sustainability funding.

 

In relation to paragraph 10 of the report (Question from Councillor Roz Smith to Councillor Constance) Councillor Constance undertook to provide Councillor Roz Smith with a written answer detailing how enforcement would be carried and by whom and whether there would be resource in place to monitor enforcement to ensure compliance.

 

In relation to paragraph 10 of the report (Question from Councillor Roz Smith to Councillor Constance) Councillor Constance undertook to provide Councillor Roz Smith with a written answer detailing how enforcement would be carried and by whom and whether there would be resource in place to monitor enforcement to ensure compliance.

 

In relation to paragraph 12 of the report (Question from Councillor John Sanders to Councillor Constance) Councillor Constance gave an assurance that the monitoring of the Connecting Oxford and Liveable Streets initiatives would be kept as separate as possible to determine the outcomes of each scheme.

 

In relation to paragraph 12 of the report (Question from Councillor Roz Smith to Councillor Constance) Councillor Constance agreed with Councillor Roz Smith that the Headington CPZ was overdue for a review and asked that she take the issue up with Councillor Walker who was now responsible for that area.

 

In relation to paragraph 13 of the report (Question from Councillor Mark Lygo to Councillor Constance) Councillor Constance confirmed that a programme had been set up with a plan to visit every school to see what could be done in relation to enforcing road closures outside schools at school times.

 

In relation to paragraph 14 of the report (Question from Councillor Bob Johnston to Councillor Constance) Councillor Constance gave an assurance that everything possible would be done to avoid any legal challenge on the project.

 

In relation to paragraph 15 of the report (Question from Liz Leffman to Councillor Constance) Councillor Constance confirmed that there were several bids in for funding and agreed with Councillor Leffman on the importance of connectivity for rural villages.

 

In relation to paragraph 19  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28/20

29/20

Director for Public Health Annual Report pdf icon PDF 18 MB

Report by the Director of Public Health (CC10)

 

This is the 2019/20 Director of Public Health Annual Report for Oxfordshire.  The purpose of a Director of Public Health is to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Oxfordshire.  This is done by reporting publicly and independently on issues which affect the health and wellbeing of the population in Oxfordshire and by making recommendations for improvement to a wide range of organisations.  Producing a report is a statutory duty of Directors of Public Health.

 

Council is RECOMMENDED to note the report.

 

Minutes:

Council had before it the 2019/20 Director of Public Health Annual Report for Oxfordshire.  The purpose of a Director of Public Health was to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Oxfordshire.  This was done by reporting publicly and independently on issues which affected the health and wellbeing of the population in Oxfordshire and by making recommendations for improvement to a wide range of organisations.  Producing a report was a statutory duty of Directors of Public Health.

 

RESOLVED: (On a motion by Councillor Stratford, seconded by Councillor Heathcoat and carried nem com) to note the report.

30/20

Scrutiny Annual Report pdf icon PDF 198 KB

The Scrutiny Annual Report (CC11) highlights the key work undertaken by the Council’s scrutiny committees to address current and emerging issues including the delivery of improved services for the residents of Oxfordshire.

 

The report 2019-2020 is presented here to full Council, having been considered by the Performance Scrutiny Committee on 9 July 2020. Additional comments from the Committee will be summarised by the Chairman of the Performance Scrutiny Committee.

 

Council is RECOMMENDED to receive the report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council had before it the Scrutiny Annual Report (CC11) which highlighted the key work undertaken by the Council’s scrutiny committees to address current and emerging issues including the delivery of improved services for the residents of Oxfordshire.

 

The report 2019-2020 was presented to full Council, having been considered by the Performance Scrutiny Committee on 9 July 2020. Additional comments from the Committee were summarised by the Chairman of the Performance Scrutiny Committee at the Meeting.

 

RESOLVED: (On a Motion by Councillor Brighouse, seconded by Councillor Fatemian and carried nem con) to receive the report.

31/20

Audit & Governance Committee Annual Report pdf icon PDF 503 KB

Report by the Chairman of the Audit & Governance Committee (CC12).

 

The Annual Report sets out the role of the Audit & Governance Committee and summarises the work that has been undertaken both as a Committee and through the support of the Audit Working Group in 2019/20.

 

Council is RECOMMENDED to receive the report.

 

Minutes:

32/20

Appointment of Independent Persons (Member Code of Conduct) pdf icon PDF 286 KB

Report by the Monitoring Officer (CC13).

 

The County Council must appoint one or more Independent Persons whose views are to be sought, and considered, by the authority before it makes its decision on an allegation that a councillor has breached the Members’ Code of Conduct.

 

Independent Persons perform a key role in the Council’s procedures for investigating any such complaints.

 

The Council currently has one Independent Person but it is prudent for more than one to be appointed. This report therefore recommends Council to make two additional appointments to this role.

 

Council is RECOMMENDED to appoint Mr Martyn Hocking and Mr Nicholas Holt-Kentwell to the role of Independent Persons for Oxfordshire County Council for a period of two years, renewable once.

Minutes:

There was a requirement on the County Council to appoint one or more Independent Persons whose views had to be sought, and considered, by the authority before it made its decision on an allegation that a councillor had breached the Members’ Code of Conduct. Independent Persons performed a key role in the Council’s procedures for investigating any such complaints.

 

The Council currently had one Independent Person but it was prudent for more than one to be appointed. Accordingly, the Council had before it a report which sought agreement to make two additional appointments to this role.

 

RESOLVED: (On a motion by Councillor Sibley, seconded by Councillor Howson and carried nem con) to appoint Mr Martyn Hocking and Mr Nicholas Holt-Kentwell to the role of Independent Persons for Oxfordshire County Council for a period of two years, renewable once.

33/20

Health Scrutiny Arrangements pdf icon PDF 244 KB

Report by Corporate Director for Commercial Development, Assets and Investment (CC14).

 

The report outlines changes to the scope of delegation of health scrutiny powers for the Horton Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC). The changes seek to ensure the Horton HOSC can scrutinise the development of a masterplan for the Horton General Hospital.

 

Council is RECOMMENDED to agree an amended scope of the health scrutiny powers delegated to the Horton Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee to allow scrutiny of a masterplan for the Horton General Hospital, as set out in paragraph 15 (a and b). 

Minutes:

Council had before it a report which outlined changes to the scope of delegation of health scrutiny powers for the Horton Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC). The changes sought to ensure the Horton HOSC could scrutinise the development of a masterplan for the Horton General Hospital.

 

RESPLVED: (on a motion by Councillor Fatemian, seconded by Councillor Mallon and carried nem con) to agree an amended scope of the health scrutiny powers delegated to the Horton Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee to allow scrutiny of a masterplan for the Horton General Hospital, as set out in paragraph 15 (a and b). 

34/20

Motion by Councillor Ian Hudspeth

“This Council recognises the excellent work of all local government staff across Oxfordshire during the COVID-19 crisis. Councils have worked together in difficult times, showing that organisational barriers to joint working can be overcome.

 

All Councils have gone the extra mile in delivering services to our residents that prioritise the most vulnerable. This has inevitably incurred additional costs – c. £90 million across all tiers.

 

All Councils acknowledge the additional Government funding to date, but we have a duty to respond to the national financial challenge ahead and to be open with residents. This Council is currently forecasting a deficit of c. £24 million for the financial year 2020/21 and a further deficit of c. £40 million for 2021/22.

 

All Councils across Oxfordshire are now considering how they can balance budgets and protect frontline services. No Councillor nor party wants to see drastic cuts to vital Council services.

 

We, as a group of democratically elected leaders, should take the opportunity provided by the devolution white paper to ensure that we provide the best possible public services for our residents.

 

This Council calls on the Leader to write to the Secretary of State requesting that its 2021 elections are held over until 2022 to allow sufficient time to undertake an open and wide-ranging conversation with our local authority partners, residents and stakeholders to explore all options for a new future for Oxfordshire. Our aims are clear: safeguard public services in the future, support a vibrant local democracy and ensure a strong economy.”

Minutes:

With the consent of Council, Councillor Heathcoat moved, and Councillor Brighouse seconded an alteration to her motion at the suggestion of Councillor Liz Brighouse as shown in bold italics and strikethrough below and withdrew her amendment as shown in Annex 1 to the Schedule of Business:

 

“This Council recognises the excellent work of all local government staff across Oxfordshire during the COVID-19 crisis. Councils have worked together in difficult times, showing that organisational barriers to joint working can be overcome.

 

All Councils have gone the extra mile in delivering services to our residents that prioritising the most vulnerable people. This has inevitably incurred additional costs – c. £90 million across all tiers.

 

All Councils acknowledge the additional Government funding to date, (but this is not enough) and we have a duty to respond to the national financial challenge ahead and to be open with residents. This Council is currently forecasting a deficit of c. £24 million for the financial year 2020/21 and a further deficit of c. £40 million for 2021/22. ?

 

All Councils across Oxfordshire are now considering how they can balance budgets. and protect frontline services. No Councillor nor party wants to see drastic cuts to vital Council services.

 

We, as a group of democratically elected leaders, should take the opportunity provided by The devolution white paper presents an opportunity to consider how to ensure that we provide the best possible public services for our residents can be best provided for Oxfordshire.

 

This Council calls on the Leader to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer highlighting the way Councils worked together in Oxfordshire and asking him to honour the Government promise to reimburse Councils for the additional expenditure incurred because of COVID 19 and to undertake an open and wide-ranging conversation with Oxfordshire County Councillors , local authority partners, residents and stakeholders to explore all options for a new future for Oxfordshire which is inclusive, protects public services, supports a vibrant local democracy and ensures a strong economy.

 

Following a lengthy debate, the motion as amended was put to the vote and was carried unanimously.

 

RESOLVED: (unanimously)

 

“This Council recognises the excellent work of all local government staff across Oxfordshire during the COVID-19 crisis. Councils have worked together in difficult times, showing that organisational barriers to joint working can be overcome.

 

All Councils have gone the extra mile in delivering services to residents  prioritising vulnerable people. This has inevitably incurred additional costs – c. £90 million across all tiers.

 

All Councils acknowledge the additional Government funding to date, (but this is not enough) and we have a duty to respond to the national financial challenge ahead and to be open with residents. This Council is currently forecasting a deficit of c. £24 million for the financial year 2020/21 and a further deficit of c. £40 million for 2021/22. ?

 

All Councils are now considering how they can balance budgets. No Councillor wants to see drastic cuts to vital Council services.

 

The devolution white paper  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34/20

35/20

Motion by Councillor John Sanders

"This Council supports the concept of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and will aim to introduce them when and where feasible."

 

Minutes:

Councillor John Sanders moved and Councillor Haywood seconded the following Motion:

 

"This Council supports the concept of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and will aim to introduce them when and where feasible."

 

Following debate, the motion was put to the vote and was carried unanimously.

 

RESOLVED:  Accordingly.

36/20

Motion by Councillor Neville Harris

“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 a 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 the report to a meeting of the Council's Performance Scrutiny Committee and\or to such other Committee the Council may decide appropriate.”

Minutes:

Councillor Harris moved and Councillor Gawrysiak seconded the following Motion:

 

“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 a 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 the report to a meeting of the Council's Performance Scrutiny Committee and\or to such other Committee the Council may decide appropriate.”

 

Following debate, the motion was put to the vote and was lost by 29 votes to 16, with 14 abstentions.

 

RESOLVED: Accordingly.

37/20

Motions by Councillors Mathew, Constance, Field-Johnson, Bartington, Brighouse and Mcilveen

“The recent decision by the Oxfordshire LEP to withdraw funding from the Loop Farm project (Duke’s Cut to Loop Farm Roundabout), a long-promised relief road to the A40 around Oxford, undermines sensible solutions to the current endless traffic jams on the A40 between Witney and the Oxford roundabouts. Given that the use of public money should be productive, Council asks Cabinet to review the unproductive plans presently being offered and adopt a long term strategy that will meet the needs of travellers from afar and near for the next twenty years at least”

 

Minutes:

The time being 4.40 pm, these Motions were considered dropped in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 15.1.