Agenda and decisions

Venue: Virtual

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

Link: videolink to the meeting

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 656 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 8 September 2020 (CC1) and to receive information arising from them.

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 8 September were approved and signed, subject to the amendments set out on the Schedule of Business.

2.

Apologies for Absence

Decision:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Afridi and Councillor Billington.

4.

Official Communications

Decision:

Council sent best wishes for a speedy recovery to Councillor Maurice Billington.

 

Council thanked staff for their tireless contributions across all services in the County and for their ongoing commitment during the pandemic.

 

5.

Appointments

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

Decision:

Council noted the following appointments:

 

HOSC

 

Councillor Susanna Pressel in place of Councillor Laura Price.

6.

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 28 October 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.

 

Written submissions should be no longer than 1 A4 sheet.

 

Decision:

Council received a Petition from Mr Chris Jessop, Chairman of Goring Heath Parish Council requesting Council support to reduce the traffic speed limit through Crays Pond from the current 40mph to 30mph, and to request that you instruct your relevant officers to undertake this reduction with urgency.

7.

Questions with Notice from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Decision:

Question from Mr Chris Henderson to Councillor David Bartholomew – see Annex

9.

Report of the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 235 KB

Report of the Cabinet Meetings held on 15 September 2020 and 13 October 2020 (CC9).

Decision:

Council received the report of the Cabinet.

 

In relation to paragraph 1 of the report (Question from Councillor Price to Councillor Heathcoat) Councillor Hudspeth undertook to ask Councillor Heathcoat to provide a written response with the specific details of the total number of posts being held back from recruitment as part of the £15m in year budget cuts?

 

In relation to paragraph 1 of the report (Question from Councillor Roz Smith to Councillor Heathcoat) Councillor Hudspeth undertook to ask Councillor Heathcoat to provide a written response in relation to concerns about the rising number of unemployed 18 to 24-year olds and whether more apprenticeships were being offered this year?

 

In relation to paragraph 4 of the report (Question from Councillor Jane Hanna to Councillor Steve Harrod) Councillor Harrod undertook to provide a written response on whether there was an update of risk assessment of safeguarding in light of OSCB Annual Report statistics.

 

In relation to paragraph 4 of the report (Question from Councillor Emily Smith to Councillor Steve Harrod) Councillor Harrod undertook to provide a written response detailing what measures had been put in place over the past 3 years to alleviate the impact of the removal of the Youth Service, as highlighted in the OSCB Report.

 

In relation to paragraph 5 of the report (Question from Councillor Emma Turnbull to Councillor Lindsay-Gale) Councillor Hudspeth undertook to ask Councillor Lindsay-Gale to provide a written response detailing what progress has been made, since the Cabinet Meeting, in undertaking a full review of the High Needs Block and how Councillor Lindsay-Gale was going to ensure that young people did not suffer as a result of the deficit reduction measures when it was known that young people with SEND had been severely impacted by Covid.

 

In relation to paragraph 5 of the report (Question from Councillor Richard Webber to Councillor Lindsay-Gale) Councillor Hudspeth undertook to ask Councillor Lindsay-Gale to provide a written response detailing whether there was any news of government support for the High Needs Block.

 

In relation to paragraph 9 of the report (Question from Councillor Judy Roberts to Councillor Constance) Councillor Constance undertook to speak with the parking Manager and provide a written response on when the Website would be amended so that people outside of the City Boundary could report parking enforcement complaints.

 

In relation to paragraph 11 of the report (Question from Councillor Glynis Phillips to Councillor Bartholomew) Councillor Bartholomew undertook to provide a written response on the progress of the review of the Major Infrastructure Programme pipeline and when the outcome of this review will be shared with members.

 

In relation to paragraph 13 of the report (Question from Councillor Richard Webber to Councillor Mark Gray) Councillor Gray undertook to provide a comment on the inequality of stop and search of young Caribbean males and to forward the comments to the police.

 

In relation to paragraph 14 of the report (Question from Councillor Glynis Phillips to Councillor Harrod) Councillor Harrod undertook to provide a written response in  ...  view the full decision text for item 9.

10.

Committee Dates pdf icon PDF 247 KB

A schedule of meeting dates proposed for the 2021/22 Council Year is attached.

 

The schedule has been drawn up to reflect the various rules about frequency of meetings set out in the Council’s Constitution. Attention is drawn to the following proposed changes to previous patterns:

 

Bring forward April Council in 2021 to 23 March to avoid the restricted period before the elections.  Bring forward February Council in 2022 to 8 February to aid District Council budget setting.

 

Following discussion with Political Group Leaders it is proposed that whilst meetings of full Council are being held virtually their start time should be brought forward to 10.00am.

 

Council is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(a)       agree the schedule of meeting dates for 2021/22 and in particular to agree to waive Rule 2.1 of the Council Procedure Rules to allow the April 2021 meeting of full Council to be held on 23 March 2021 and the February 2022 Council meeting to be held on 8 February 2022;

(b)       agree that Council meetings start at 10.00am.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Recommendations agreed.

11.

Motion by Councillor Liz Leffman

“With the closure of schools for an entire term due to the Covid pandemic, restricted access to leisure facilities, and reduced support for their emotional and mental health, the lives of young people in Oxfordshire have been severely disrupted over the past six months. Many young people from disadvantaged backgrounds will have suffered disproportionately and 16-24 year olds are most vulnerable to the resulting economic downturn.

 

A year ago, this council acknowledged the importance of youth services and agreed to a county-wide review. A partial Youth Study is now being commissioned.  Although the outcome of this study will not be known for several weeks, this Council recognises that the need for a well-funded, county-wide youth offer has never been greater, and commits to creating a Youth Strategy for Oxfordshire as soon as possible.

 

This Council asks the Director for Children’s Services to establish an internal team to work in partnership with voluntary organisations, ensuring that our young people are provided with a youth offer that supports their learning, their physical development, their mental well-being and their employment prospects. This council commits to ensuring that young people in our County receive the informal education and support that they need to recover from the effects of the Covid pandemic so that they can flourish.”

 

Decision:

The Motion was Lost by 31 votes to 29.

12.

Motion by Councillor Charles Mathew

“The decision, last autumn now, by the Oxfordshire LEP to withdraw the funding from the Loop Farm project (Duke’s Cut to Loop Farm Roundabout), a long-promised relief road to the A40 round Oxford, undermines sensible solutions to the endless traffic jams on the A40 between Witney and Oxford roundabouts. Given that the use of public money should be productive.

 

Council asks Cabinet to review the plans presently being offered and adopt a long-term strategy that will meet the public’s needs for the next twenty years at least and should include serious consideration of a rail link from Carterton, Witney and Eynsham to Oxford.”

 

Decision:

With the consent of Council, Councillor Mathew moved his motion, amended at the suggestion of Councillor Tim Bearder as shown below in strikethrough and bold italics:

 

The decision, last autumn now, by the Oxfordshire LEP to withdraw the funding from the Loop Farm project (Duke’s Cut to Loop Farm Roundabout), a long-promised relief road to the A40 round Oxford, undermines sensible solutions to the endless traffic jams on the A40 between Witney and Oxford roundabouts. Given that the use of public money should be productive.

 

Council asks Cabinet to review the plans presently being offered and adopt a long-term strategy that will meet the public’s needs for the next twenty years at least and should include serious consideration of a rail link from Carterton, Witney and Eynsham to Oxfordas part of this work Council asks the Cabinet to consider undertaking a feasibility study should funding be confirmedto look at a rail link from Carterton, Witney and Eynsham to Oxford.

 

The Motion as amended was agreed nem con, with 1 abstention.

13.

Motion by Councillor Liz Brighouse

“The impact of COVID 19 has exposed the enormous inequalities in our County and the senseless death of George Floyd followed by demonstrations across our County have highlighted the injustices and in equalities experienced by many.  In particular, there have been calls for changes to the National Curriculum which reflects our past rather than our present or future needs.

 

Until 1988 Oxfordshire, as the Local Education Authority was responsible for what was taught in Oxfordshire Schools. When that ended, the responsibility went to the Secretary of State for Education advised by a National Curriculum Council, this was revised by Labour. In 2010 Michael Gove, as Secretary of State for Education in the Coalition Government, abolished it completely and took power to himself advised by Dominic Cummings.

 

Now is the time to consider whether this is the most inclusive or effective way of determining what our children learn. The CBI and the TUC think that the National Curriculum is inappropriate for the needs of industry and the life chances of future employees. We see cries from those demonstrating in the streets that it is not inclusive and diverse. Now is the time for change.

 

This Council asks the Leader of the Council to seek support from the LGA and the CCN to lobby Central Government to bring forward proposals to devolve responsibility for the Curriculum to Local Government within a framework agreed by an Advisory Council made up of Local Authorities CBI, TUC, Teachers, Faith Groups, EHRC.”

 

Decision:

The Motion was lost by 32 votes to 28.

14.

Motion by Councillor Suzanne Bartington

“Increasing tree cover is recognised as one of the most effective strategies to tackle the climate crisis, given the critical role of trees for absorbing and storing carbon.  Additional benefits of appropriate tree species in suitable locations include mitigating flood risks, improving air quality, providing protected wildlife and contributing to improved mental health. Our Government has pledged to plant 30 million trees each year until 2024, and it is estimated that doubling UK woodland cover could absorb 10% of UK annual greenhouse emissions.

 

In July 2019 this Council declared a climate emergency and committed to achieving carbon net-zero status by 2030. Currently, trees cover 9% of Oxfordshire's land area, compared with an EU average of 35%. We therefore call upon the Cabinet Member for Environment to:

 

1.          Recognise the critical role of existing tree preservation and planting for effective climate action and consider developing a Trees and Woodland Strategy.

2.          Set a target for increased tree cover in Oxfordshire, and explore the viability of doubling coverage by 2045

3.          Undertake a survey to identify existing tree cover and suitable sites for new trees (with consideration for habitat protection, land-use and biodiversity)

4.          Work collaboratively with District, Town and Parish Councils, civic and commercial partners to deliver tree planting initiatives, considering maintenance responsibilities.

5.          Influence developer schemes to ensure tree planting is undertaken, supported by relevant planning agreement contributions.

6.          Write to the SoS for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to request additional local authority funding to support tree-planting and maintenance.”

Decision:

The Motion was carried unanimously.

15.

Motion by Councillor Bob Johnston

“Council asks the Cabinet Member for Environment that full consideration be given to cyclists and pedestrians when future schedules are drawn up for grass cutting and vegetation management.

 

Along with vision splays, verges next to footpaths and cycle tracks must be given greater priority and cut earlier and more frequently than at present.

 

Other flower-rich highway verges where these priorities do not apply must be cut only once a year at the end of October when insects and birds have finished breeding.  This will both maximise the potential for the County’s wildlife to thrive and prevent footways and cycle tracks becoming unpleasant to use, especially in wet weather.”

Decision:

The Motion was carried by 54 votes to 1, with 3 abstentions.

16.

Motion by Councillor Emma Turnbull

This Council notes that:

 

      Many young people from disadvantaged backgrounds undertake apprenticeships. They are more likely to be in apprenticeships at lower levels, be paid lower salaries, and work at smaller companies.

      Due to the economic impact of Covid-19, employers are unlikely to be recruiting apprentices in the numbers we have seen recently, meaning there will be fewer apprenticeship vacancies available for young people to access and more competition for the fewer opportunities.

      New apprenticeships in Oxfordshire are already down by 30-60% on last year, depending on the sector, and are likely to drop significantly further.

      A rising number of Oxfordshire’s young people are not in education, employment or training.

      With young people unable to access face-to-face career guidance, networking events or work experience opportunities it will be harder for disadvantaged young people to access high quality information and skills needed to secure an apprenticeship or job.

 

This Council resolves to:

 

      Ensure all careers advice for young people produced by this Council is fully accessible online, and has a particular focus on those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and ask OxLEP and other partners to do the same. 

      Create a post-16 study and training fund to attract financial support for young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds, and invite contributions from county councillors priority fund and partner organisations.

      Ask the Leader and Chief Executive to write to central government recommending that social mobility and widening opportunity should be an explicit criterion in a review of the Apprenticeship Levy.”

 

Decision:

The time being 3.43 pm, this Motion was considered dropped in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 15.1.

8.

Questions with Notice from Members of the Council pdf icon PDF 543 KB

Decision:

25 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 5, Councillor Constance undertook to provide Councillor Sudbury with a written answer clarifying whether the County Council had contact with other local authorities such as Hackney who had ambitious tree planting targets.

 

In relation to Question 10, Councillor Bartholomew undertook to provide Councillor Roberts with a written answer on whether there was a likely timescale for when OCC would be signing the funding agreement.

 

In relation to Question 12, Councillor Stratford undertook to provide Councillor Pressel with a written answer as to whether the Council had a policy in relation to vaping.

 

In relation to Question 13, Councillor Constance undertook to provide Councillor Pressel with a written answer on why the specialist consultant support was only for 30 to 40 schools and why the council were employing contractors to undertake this work.

 

In relation to Question 24, Councillor Stratford undertook to provide Councillor Hannaby with a written answer detailing how many homes were participating in designated settings; how much more funding they would receive and how that would be funded.