Agenda and decisions

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

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

Link: video link https://oxon.cc/FC02112021

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 547 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 14 September 2021 (CC1) and to receive information arising from them.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Approved and signed as an accurate record of the Meeting.

2.

Apologies for Absence

Decision:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Coles, Fatemian, Fenton, Graham, Murphy, Paule, Sibley, Smith and Waine.

 

Councillor Alison Rooke – Dispensation granted 14/9/21.

3.

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.

Decision:

There were none.

4.

Official Communications

Decision:

Council held a ‘moment of reflection’ and paid tribute to the late David Amess MP who had been killed while undertaking his role as an MP in his Constituency.

 

The Council AGREED to vary the order of business to take Agenda Item 18 (Motion by Councillor Webber on the proposed Reservoir in Oxfordshire) prior to Agenda Item 12 due to the fact that the Motion was time sensitive.  It was further AGREED that the Motion would be moved and seconded and put to the vote without debate.

 

Council noted that Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue Service were holding an ‘open afternoon’ at Rewley Road, Oxford on 14 December 2021.

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:

 

Audit & Governance

 

Councillor Ted Fenton to replace Councillor Eddie Reeves.

 

Joint Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee

 

Councillor Nick Leverton to replace Councillor Arash Fatemian.

 

Councillor Damian Haywood to replace Councillor Charlie Hicks

 

6.

Petitions and Public Address

Decision:

Council received the following petition:

 

A Petition from Mr Bjorn Watson requesting that the Council commit to providing any extra funds that may be needed for Shrivenham school to ensure that it is built to a minimum of BREEAM Excellent standard (or equivalent) in order to represent best practice in construction performance, put sustainability and wellbeing first, and to make a clear and demonstrable investment in the future of the County’s children.

7.

Questions with Notice from Members of the Public

Decision:

There were none.

8.

Questions with Notice from Members of the Council pdf icon PDF 592 KB

Decision:

23 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 3 (Question from Yvonne Constance to Councillor Tim Bearder) Councillor Bearder undertook to provide a written answer on the when parish councils had to apply and what funds parishes needed to find in relation to Civil Parking Enforcement.

 

In relation to question 19 (Question from Nick Leverton to Councillor Mark Lygo) Councillor Lygo undertook to provide Councillor Leverton with a written answer detailing whether there had been any investigation into why South Oxfordshire and Vale appeared to have a higher level of Covid to other areas in the County.

 

In relation to question 23 (Question from Andrew Gant to Councillor Duncan Enright) Councillor Enright gave an assurance to share the results of timescales for delivery of the individual elements of the Connecting Oxford Project with Members at the earliest possible opportunity.

 

9.

Report of the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 240 KB

Report of the Cabinet Meetings held on 21 September 2021 and 19 October 2021 (CC9).

 

 

Decision:

Council received the report of the Cabinet.

 

In relation to paragraphs 3 and 4 of the report (Question from Councillor Bob Johnston to Councillor Pete Sudbury) Councillor Sudbury gave an assurance that if further slippage occurred on the Minerals and Waste Core Strategy or the Minerals and Waste Development Scheme, he would undertake to bring in additional resource to ensure the projects stayed on course.

 

In relation to paragraph 3 of the report (Question from Councillor Geoff Saul to Councillor Pete Sudbury) Councillor Sudbury undertook to provide a written answer outlining what actions the Council could take to encourage the production of recycled and secondary aggregates.

 

In relation to paragraph 5 of the report (Question from Councillor Nick Field-Johnson to Councillor Pete Sudbury) Councillor Sudbury undertook to take forward to the Cabinet the suggestion, in light of the continued dumping of raw sewage into rivers and the sea, that the Cabinet pass a resolution that Oxfordshire County Council was not only against the policy but would actively encourage local MPs to pass legislation to prevent the practice continuing.

 

In relation to paragraph 9 of the report (Question from Councillor Brad Baines to Councillor Duncan Enright) Councillor Enright undertook to join Councillor Baines and other members on a cycle ride around Oxfordshire and other parts of the Country to look at the current state of the Active Travel Infrastructure and look at best practice around the Country.

 

In relation to paragraph 15 of the report (Question from Councillor Freddie Van Mierlo to Councillor Duncan Enright) Councillor Enright undertook to review and provide Councillor Van Mierlo with a written answer to confirm whether there would be a segregated cycle path on the Watlington Relief Road and to include Councillor Van Mierlo in any consultations on the issue.

 

In relation to paragraph 16 of the report (Question from Councillor Ian Corkin to Councillor Jenny Hannaby) Councillor Hannaby undertook to provide Councillor Corkin with a written answer to confirm how many default Social Care assessments had been issued and what was being done to stop the practice.

 

10.

Members' Allowances pdf icon PDF 230 KB

Report by the Director of Law & Governance (CC10).

 

Each year, Full Council must adopt a Scheme of Members’ Allowances to apply from 1 April of the following year. In particular it must set the amount of a  Basic Allowance payable to all members, and may make payments for Special Responsibility and Co-opted Members’ Allowances.  Accordingly, this report asks members to adopt a Scheme of Allowances to apply from 1 April 2022.  Principally, Council’s attention is drawn to the recommendations made by the Independent Remuneration Panel in November 2020. Consideration of these was deferred by Council in  December 2020.  In adopting a Scheme, the Council must have regard to the recommendations. However, it is the Council’s choice whether to accept the Panel’s recommendations in whole or in part, or not at all, or to determine any other Scheme.  As such, options are set out in the report.

 

The Council is RECOMMENDED to adopt a Scheme of Members’ Allowances for the financial year 2022/23, and in so doing to consider the following options, either:

 

1)         To adopt the recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel made in November 2020 and as set out in Annex 1 to this report; OR

2)         To adopt any particular recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel as the Council may determine; OR

3)         To agree alternative values for any of the allowances, as the Council may determine; OR

4)         If the Council does not wish to accept the Panel’s recommendations at this time, in whole or in part, or to substitute alternative amounts, to agree a status quo Scheme of Allowances for 2022/23 for any unchanged aspect; AND

5)         That in any event, the Council adopts an annual index for a four year period (whereby if no other changes occur to a Scheme, then the Members’ Allowances may increase in relation to that index for a period of no more than four years), and that this should relate (as in previous years) to the annual pay award for local government staff.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Council approved Recommendation 5 by 36 votes to 0, with 16 abstentions

 

Council approved Recommendation 1 by 22 votes to 12, with 19 abstentions (recorded vote set out in the minutes).

 

Accordingly, recommendations 2, 3 and 4 fell.

11.

Committee Dates 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 128 KB

A schedule of meeting dates proposed for the 2022/23 Council Year is attached (CC11).

 

The schedule has been drawn up to reflect the various rules about frequency of meetings set out in the Council’s Constitution and takes into account Bank Holidays and the summer period when meetings are traditionally avoided as far as practicable.  Meeting dates for Committees reflect the dates in previous years as far as possible. Meeting dates are set to ensure linked committees follow in a timely manner for items to be considered by more than one committee.

 

In light of the shared working arrangements with Cherwell District Council (CDC) and to assist “twin hatted” councillors (Members who are both an Oxfordshire County Councillor and a Cherwell District Councillor), the calendar of meetings has also been prepared giving consideration to the calendar of meetings for CDC.

 

Attention is drawn to the following proposed change to previous patterns:

 

Move the April Meeting of Council so that it falls outside of the School Holidays.

 

Council is RECOMMENDED to agree the schedule of meeting dates for 2022/23 and in particular to agree to waive Rule 2.1 of the Council Procedure Rules to allow the April 2023 meeting of full Council to be held on 28 March 2023 to avoid the Easter School holiday.

 

Decision:

Recommendations approved nem con.

19.

Motion by Councillor Richard Webber

“On 10 July 2018, Council passed a motion unanimously calling on the Leader of the Council to write to Thames Water, Defra, the Environment Agency and Ofwat, requesting that a second consultation on the proposed Oxfordshire Reservoir be undertaken due to incomplete information or errors on the information used to base their recommendations."

 

As information in the latest consultation remains incomplete, and what has been provided to support the proposal contains many errors, Council now confirms its position on the TW proposed Reservoir agreed at the Council meeting on the 10 July 2018 in that it remains opposed to the proposal, at least until the case for need has been clearly demonstrated by taking into account and answering the concerns of the whole scientific community.

 

To this end, Council will be including and taking full account of discussions with and opinions of all sources of independent scientific expertise including the Group Against Reservoir Development (GARD) when considering its response to Thames Water proposals.”

 

Decision:

The Motion was carried by 52 votes to 0 (Unanimously).

12.

Motion by Councillor Eddie Reeves

This Council supports the work undertaken by members and officers in developing an ambitious Libraries and Heritage Services Strategy, both under the previous administration and the present one.

This Council recognises the funding challenges that face local authorities in their provision of such services, which long predate the current Government and whose services may sometimes be characterised by an era of local government that has long since disappeared.

Given the importance of developer contributions for the provision of, and realisation of improvements to, such vital services, this Council calls on the Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Services to establish a Cabinet Advisory Group to ensure inter alia that the Council’s strategy is:

i.            properly funded;

ii.          sensibly delivered against agreed key performance indicators; and

iii.         cognisant of the need to have the right libraries in the right places, rather than those in which they have historically been placed.

Without prejudice to its work, such a CAG could also advise the Leader and relevant Cabinet Member on:

i.            parts of the county and the country in which libraries have facilitated or hosted joint services, thereby increasing use of public libraries; and

ii.          the wealth and scope of College, University and other private library facilities that exist in Oxfordshire with a view to investigating the possibility of making such facilities – whether wholly or in part – more readily available to residents and, more particularly, adult learners, consistent with the Government’s Lifelong Learning Guarantee.”

 

Decision:

The Motion Without Notice by Councillor Eddie Reeves to withdraw his Motion (CPR 14.1(v)) was lost by 28 votes to 21, with 1 abstention.

 

The Amendment by Councillor Brad Baines as shown below in bold italics and strikethrough was carried by 32 votes to 18, with 1 abstention.

This Council supports the work undertaken by members and officers in developing an ambitious Libraries and Heritage Services Strategy. both under the previous administration and the present one

This Council recognises the funding challenges that face local authorities in their provision of such services, which long predate the current Government and whose services may sometimes be characterised by an era of local government that has long since disappeared. regrets that Library Services across England have been devastated by over a decade of savage cuts by Government to local councils. National funding for libraries has fallen by almost £300 million since 2010, forcing the closure of over 800 libraries in England. 

This Council recognises that libraries form the heart of local communities and that further cuts to Local Government only undermine this Council’s ability to ensure our Library Service can deliver for those who need and benefit from libraries the most.  

Given the importance of developer contributions for the provision of, and realisation of improvements to, such vital services, this Council calls on the Cabinet Member for Community Services to establish a Cabinet Advisory Group engage directly with members to ensure inter alia that the Council’s strategy is: 

i.             properly funded; 

ii.          sensibly delivered against agreed key performance indicators; and 

iii.         cognisant of the need to have the right libraries in the right places, rather than those in which they have historically been    placed. 

Without prejudice to itsthis work, such a CAG members could also advise the Leader and relevant Cabinet Member on: 

i.            parts of the county and the country in which libraries have facilitated or hosted joint services, thereby increasing use of public libraries; and 

ii.          the wealth and scope of College, University and other private library facilities that exist in Oxfordshire with a view to investigating the possibility of making such facilities – whether wholly or in part – more readily available to residents. and, more particularly, adult learners, consistent with the Government’s Lifelong Learning Guarantee.” 

The substantive Motion as amended was carried by 31 votes to 19, with 1 abstention.

 

13.

Motion by Councillor Jane Hanna

“Government planned reforms to integrate health and care by April 2022 are being implemented across Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (BOB) ahead of the Health and Care Bill 2021 and there are many non-elected new decision-makers and groups in place.

 

We believe Oxfordshire County Council must have freedom to work with partners to respond to the needs of our people, most especially as inequalities have worsened through the pandemic. County councillor democratic involvement at each local and regional level of decision-making is vital as well as ensuring local authority standards of accountability apply to new non-elected bodies.

 

Oxfordshire statutory committees of Health and Wellbeing and JHOSC are well established Oxfordshire committees. Their role must be core to understanding and tackling inequalities and helping build back sustainable local communities.

New decision-making powers for health and care above Oxfordshire as place must be compelling and accountable. Proposed new powers for ministers to intervene in any local change need to be removed from the Bill.  If joint health and care plans are to succeed locally government needs to deliver now on national workforce planning and on its failed pledges in 2017 and in 2019 to deliver a social care settlement fit for the 21st century.

 

Council calls on and supports the Chair of Wellbeing Board and Chair of HOSC writing to all Oxfordshire MPs seeking their active support for this Council’s position in Parliament and to seek wider support with local partners with view to influencing improvements to reforms.”

 

Decision:

The Motion was carried by 48 votes to 0 (Unanimously).

14.

Motion by Councillor Brad Baines

“Oxfordshire County Council believes planning works best when developers and the local community work together to shape local areas and deliver necessary new homes; and therefore, calls on the Government to protect the right of communities to object to individual planning applications.

Oxfordshire County Council also calls on the Leader of the Council to write to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to ask them to uphold this vital principle.”

Decision:

The Motion was carried by 51 votes to 0 (Unanimously).

15.

Motion by Councillor Kieron Mallon

"This Council notes that Banbury FM wishes to secure a licence to provide a locally run radio station dedicated to North Oxfordshire.

 

This Council supports the need especially in times of emergency, to provide a genuinely local news outlet dedicated to an established geographical location and conurbation.

 

Whilst not pre-empting who the provider may be this council supports the aspiration for a local provider to operate the local DAB multiplex and secure a truly local FM community radio licence when they become available.

 

This Council requests that the leader of the Council writes to Ofcom and the Secretary of State for Digital, Cultural, Media and Sport (DCMS) to convey our support for a local provider  to persuade Ofcom of the need for a community minded radio station in the Banbury and North Oxfordshire catchment area."

Decision:

The Motion was carried Unanimously (by a show of hands).

16.

Motion by Councillor Ian Snowdon

“This Council:

 

(i)         Acknowledges efforts that this Council has made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote renewable energy;  

(ii)        Recognises that large financial setup and running costs involved in selling locally generated renewable electricity to local customers make impossible for local renewable electricity generators,

(iii)       Recognises that making these financial costs proportionate to the scale of renewable electricity supplier’s operation would create significant opportunities for local companies, community groups and councils to be providers of locally generated renewable electricity directly to local people, businesses and organisations, and

(iv)   Recognises that revenues received by local companies, community groups or councils that become local renewable electricity providers could be used to help improve the local economy, local services and reduce local greenhouse gas emissions;

(iv)      Notes that the Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee has recommended that a Right to Local Supply for local energy suppliers be established to address this.

 

Council resolves to support the Local Electricity Bill, supported by a cross-party group of over 260 MPs, which, if made law, would establish a Right to Local Supply which would promote local renewable electricity supply by making the setup and running costs of selling renewable electricity to local customers proportionate to the size of the supply company.  Council further resolves to ask the Leader of the Council to:

 

·             inform the local media of this decision,

·             write to other local MPs, asking them to support the Bill, and

·             write to the organisers Power for People, info@powerforpeople.org.uk) expressing its support.”

 

Decision:

The time being after 3.30 pm, this Motion was considered dropped in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13.5.8.

 

17.

Motion by Councillor Sally Povolotsky

“In 2018, at COP24, the UK Government signed up to ‘domestic institutional arrangements, public participation and engagement with local communities’ so localities can play their part in delivering the UK’s ‘Nationally Determined Contributions’ in the Paris Agreement.

 

In May 2021 the Rt. Hon. Alok Sharma MP, President of COP26,  said collaboration would be a key objective of the COP26 climate summit; “Governments, business and civil society (sometimes called ‘non- state actors’ and including local government) need to work together to transform the ways we power our homes and businesses, grow our food, develop infrastructure and move ourselves and goods around.”

 

Despite these agreements and statements there is still no formal relationship for partnership working between Local and National Government on climate action. 

 

This Council:-

 

(a)       notes that Cabinet has already adopted the recommendations of the ‘Pathways to Zero Carbon Oxfordshire’ report1,  the most detailed plan ever made for the decarbonisation of Oxfordshire's economy;

(b)       adds its voice to calls by the Local Government Association and others for a joint local and national government Task Force to work towards ‘net zero’ emissions, able to set appropriate regulations, benchmarks and targets and create long-term funding mechanisms to support local communities and economies to decarbonize; and

(c)        asks the Leader to write to Alok Sharma MP, President for COP26, the Prime Minister, and the Leadership Board of the LGA, informing them of our support for such a Task Force and asking for one to be established as soon as possible.”

 

1https://www.eci.ox.ac.uk/news/2021/0629-pathways-to-zero-carbon-oxfordshire.html

Decision:

The time being after 3.30 pm, this Motion was considered dropped in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13.5.8.

 

18.

Motion by Councillor Ian Middleton

“This Council recognises that meat and dairy production is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and global deforestation and that reducing consumption of these foods is a key part of tackling climate change and improving health outcomes.

 

The Government's independent Climate Change Committee, advises that meat consumption should be reduced by a fifth, and that public bodies should lead the way by promoting plant-based food options. leading by example on this and food waste should be fundamental components of our commitment to cutting carbon emissions.

 

Furthermore, in the UK, only 18% of children consume the recommended 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day, and most young people's diets lack fibre. Providing appealing plant-based school meals along with education on healthy, climate-positive food choices are excellent ways to address these problems.

 

Council asks Cabinet to:

 

1.     Ensure that food provided at all council catered events and meetings is entirely plant-based, preferably using ingredients sourced from local food surplus organisations.

2.     Ensure that council school meals services have plant based menus available as part of their regular offer on at least two days per week.

3.     Work on outreach to schools and young people to actively influence and inform on food choices and their impact on the environment, health and animal welfare.

4.     Encourage and empower students to make informed decisions about the food available in their school.

5.     Inspire, promote and support initiatives surrounding food growing, preparation and waste avoidance, especially as part of school and community projects.”

 

Decision:

The time being after 3.30 pm, this Motion was considered dropped in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13.5.8.