Agenda and decisions

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

Contact: Chris Reynolds  Tel: 07542 029441; E-Mail:  chris.reynolds@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Link: video link https://oxon.cc/FC05042022

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 234 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 8 February 2022 and to receive information arising from them.

 

Decision:

The Minutes of the Meeting of 8 February 2022 were amended as follows:-

 

 

1/22 Minutes

 

Councillor Donna Ford added to the list of those present and signed as an accurate record

 

7/22 Oxfordshire County Council and Cherwell District Council Section 113 Agreement

 

At the request of Cllr Corkin, the Chair to agree additional wording in the 7th paragraph to clarify the future joint working arrangements between the two authorities

 

 

 

and approved and signed as a correct record

 

 

2.

Apologies for Absence

Decision:

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Bennett, Bearder, Banfield, Fatemian, Hanna and Snowdon.

 

The Chair reported dispensations for Cllrs Paule and Rooke

 

3.

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.

Decision:

Cllr Bartholomew declared an interest in Item 16 – Motion by Councillor Freddie van Mierlo – as a member of South Oxfordshire Distruct Council – and left the meeting during consideraton of this item.

 

Cllr Rouane declared an interest in Item 18 – Motion by Councillor Bob Johnston – as a member of the Oxford Nature Partnership

 

 

4.

Official Communications

Decision:

Coucil received the following communications:-

 

1          A statement by the Chair on the current situation in Ukraine

2          Advice from the Corporate Director of Public Health and Wellbeing on Covid precautions

3          Information on the apppintment of Mark Beard as High Sheriff

 

The Council then paid tribute to the late Councillor Gill Sanders and observed two minutes’ silence in her memory

 

 

 

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

 

Remuneration Committee

 

Cllr Corkin to replace Cllr Murphy

 

Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee

 

Cllr ? to replace Councillor Snowdon

 

Shadow Cabinet

 

Deputy Leader – Cllr Corkin to replace Cllr Murphy

 

Children, Education and Young People’s Services – Cllr Simpson to replace Cllr Bloomfield

 

Adult Social Care  Cllr Leverton to replace Cllr Murphy

 

Public Health and Equalities – Cllr Mallon to replace Cllr Leverton

 

Travel and Development Strategy – Cllr Snowdon to replace Cllr Bulmer

 

6.

Petitions and Public Address

Members of the public who wish to speak at this meeting can attend the meeting in person or ‘virtually’ through an online connection. In line with current Government advice, those attending the meeting in person are asked to consider wearing a face-covering.

 

Normally requests to speak at this public meeting are required by 9am on the day preceding the published date of the meeting. However, during the current situation and to facilitate ‘hybrid’ meetings we are asking that requests to speak are submitted by no later than 9am four working days before the meeting i.e. 9am on Wednesday 30 March 2022.  Requests to speak should be sent to chris.reynolds@oxfordshire.gov.uk .

 

If you are speaking ‘virtually’, you may submit 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 9am 2 working days before the meeting. Written submissions should be no longer than 1 A4 sheet.

 

Decision:

Council received the following Petition and Public Address

 

Public Address

 

Ian Hill regarding the Charlotte Coxe Trust

 

Anni Byard, Hannah Massie and Chrissie Chevasuut regarding the motion by Cllr Povolotsky on Transgender and Non-Binary people

 

Paul Boone regarding Councillor van Mierlo’s motion on Chalgrove Airfield

 

A statement by Debbie Proctor regarding Cllr van Mierlo’s motion on Chalgrove Airfield was read as she was unable to connect to the meeting via Teams

 

Petition

 

A petition from Linda Woodhead regarding bus service provision at Hinksey Hill

 

 

 

 

8.

Questions with Notice from Members of the Council

Decision:

16 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 1, (Question from Cllr Yvonne Constance to Cllr Tim Bearder), Cllr Enright (on behalf of Cllr Bearder who was absent) said that a written response would be provided on how parishes could request the introduction of 20 mph limits via the Council’s website

 

In relation to question 8, (Cllr Donna Ford to Cllr Duncan Enright), Cllr Enright undertook to provide a further written response to all members following consultation with officers

 

In relation to question 9 (Cllr Donna Ford to Cllr Neil Fawcett), Cllr Fawcett said that he was not aware of any incidents of harassment but that he would refer to officers to check that was the case and confirm the position in a written response

 

In relation to question 11(Cllr Nick Field-Johnson to Cllr Tim Bearder), Cllr Enright (in Cllr Bearder’s absence) said the results of the trial of GiPave would be reported to members in due course

 

In relation to question 12 (Cllr Stefan Gawrysiak to Cllr Calum Miller), Cllr Miller said that officers were in the process of providing a full overview of the assets of the County and undertook to provide a further written answer on the plans for the repair of various council properties

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9.

Dispensation from attending meetings pdf icon PDF 199 KB

Report by Director of Law and Governance

 

Council is RECOMMENDED to:

 

(a)      approve an extension of the dispensation for Cllr Alison Rooke from the statutory requirement to attend a meeting of the Council within a six month period from the last noted attendance;

(b)       approve that the dispensation last up to and including 30 September 2022.

 

Decision:

Recommendations agreed

10.

Report of the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 419 KB

Report of the Cabinet meetings of 21 December 2021, 15 February 2022 and 15 March 2022

Decision:

Council received the report of the Cabinet.

 

In relation to a question from Cllr Kieron Mallon, Cllr Duncan Enright, on behalf of Cllr Tim Bearder, said that over 70 parishes had applied to be considered for 20 mph speed limit zones and he would ask Cllr Bearder to provide a written update on progress with the scheme, and on the position in Banbury in particular

 

In response to a question from Cllr Nick Field-Johnson to Cllr Enright, on behalf of Councillor Tim Bearder, Cllr Enright said he would ask Cllr Bearder to provide a written reply on the progress with the introduction of 20mph speed limit zones

 

In relation to paragraph 25 of the report (Cllr David Rouane to Cllr Duncan Enright), Cllr Enright said he would provide a written update to the Council on progress with development of the Didcot Transport master plan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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11.

Appointment to the Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 212 KB

Report by Director of Law and Governance

 

Health Services have a legislative duty to consult a local authority’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee about any proposals they have for a substantial development or variation in the provision of health services in their area. When these substantial developments or variations affect a geographical area that covers more than one local authority, the local authorities are required to appoint a Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (JHOSC) for the purposes of the consultation

 

Council is RECOMMENDED to -

Appoint the councillors shown in Annex 2 to the Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee subject to any changes reported at the meeting

Additional documents:

Decision:

Recommendations agreed

12.

Code of Conduct pdf icon PDF 226 KB

Report by Director of Law and Governance

 

Section 27(2) of the Localism Act 2011 requires that a local authority must adopt ‘a code dealing with the conduct that is expected of members and co-opted members of the authority when they are acting in that capacity. A

revised Councillors’ Code of Conduct was considered and approved by the Audit and Governance Committee on the 16th March 2022.

 

The Council is RECOMMENDED to adopt the revised Councillors’ Code of Conduct at Annex 1 for implementation from the 1st May 2022

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED to:-

 

1.    adopt the revised Councillors’ Code of Conduct at Appendix 1 for implementation from 1st May 2022

 

2.    ask the Audit and Governance Committee to consider a separate social media protocol to be incorporated in the Code of Conduct and submit recommendations to the Council in due course

13.

Future Management of the Charlotte Coxe Trust pdf icon PDF 208 KB

Report by Director of Law and Governance

 

The Charlotte Coxe Trust is currently managed by the Director of Law and Governance on her own on behalf of OCC.

 

Council is RECOMMENDED to

1.            Establish a Committee of Council to which responsibility for all decision making in connection with the Charlotte Coxe Trust is delegated, which is to be known as the “Charlotte Coxe Trust Committee”.

 

2.            Appoint the five members to the Committee.

 

Decision:

Recommendations agreed

14.

Motion by Councillor Sally Povolotsky

Transgender and non-binary people face significant disadvantage in society, vulnerable to violence, isolation, homelessness, and lack of access to suitable healthcare provision.

 

Council believes that:

 

1.    All UK law should clearly recognise that trans rights are human rights.

 

2.    Transgender and non-binary people deserve respect and autonomy.

 

3.    It’s therefore our duty as community leaders who seek to create an open and tolerant society to speak out against transphobia and discrimination in all its forms.

 

Council therefore resolves to:

 

1.    Ensure that all Council services, both directly provided and through partners, are fully accessible, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity.

 

2.    State publicly that trans rights are human rights and affirm the legal rights of all protected groups under the 2010 equality act.

 

 

3.    To work with healthcare providers to remove barriers transgender and non-binary people face when accessing medical care.

 

4.    Work to provide at least one gender inclusive bathroom (accessible) where possible in every public building owned or operated by the Council.

 

5. Ensure that the Council’s constitution, policies, forms, and all internal and external communications are;

 

a.    Reducing the amount of gender information collected unless absolutely necessary,

 

b.    Respecting the pronouns individuals use for themselves,

 

c.     Providing opportunities for self-identification beyond the binary “man” and “woman”.

 

6.Encourage and support a network of informal LGBTQIA+ allies across officers and councillors.

 

7. Support and embrace the development of a LGBTQIA+ guidance within OCC for employees and contractors.”

 

 

Decision:

The amendment by Councillor Eddie Reeves was lost by 33 votes to 21

 

The substantive motion was carried with 36 votes in favour, 17 abstentions and no votes against.

15.

Motion by Councillor Donna Ford

This council is committed to ensuring that active travel is fully inclusive all year round, including during the Winter, and accepts its responsibility to ensure that all feel safe on our streets and cycle paths.

 

This council recognises the need to ensure the safety and security of our residents engaged in active travel and its responsibility in deterring crime and anti-social behaviour.

 

In accordance with its statutory responsibilities this council further commits to maintaining Oxfordshire’s publicly maintainable footpaths, cycle paths and rights of way network to make using active travel routes safer and more secure and encourage greater use of them.

 

This council resolves to ensure that wherever possible all overgrowth is cleared from publicly maintainable rights of way including footpaths and cycle paths without delay and ensure that any broken lighting along footpaths and cycle paths is resolved efficiently. Moreover, this council resolves to consider installing additional LED lighting in poorly lit areas and/or those along active travel routes where crime and anti-social behaviour are high or at risk of increasing.

 

This council agrees to engage more actively with stakeholders, including Network Rail, residents, landowners and businesses to ensure that they comply more fully with their obligations to clear vegetation on private land and keep public rights of way open. This council commits to ensure all residents, but particularly disabled, elderly and vulnerable residents, are able to walk and cycle safely and securely.

 

Decision:

With the consent of Council, the Amendment by Councillor Roz Smith was accepted

 

The motion as amended was carried unanimously (50 votes to 0)

 

RESOLVED:-

 

This council is committed to ensuring that active travel is inclusive all year round.

 

In accordance with its statutory responsibilities this council?commits to maintaining Oxfordshire’s publicly maintainable footpaths and cycle ways? thereby making active travel safer and encouraging?greater use

 

This council resolves to ensure that wherever possible all overgrowth is cleared from publicly maintainable rights of way including footpaths and cycleways. When budgets allow this council resolves to installing additional suitable lighting along active travel routes where anti-social?behaviour has been reported.

 

This council agrees to engage actively with stakeholders,?including Network Rail,?landowners and businesses to ensure that they comply more fully with their obligations to clear vegetation on private land and?keep public rights of way open.

16.

Motion by Councillor Freddie van Mierlo

In 2020, South Oxfordshire District Council was directed by the then Conservative Secretary of State for Housing, Robert Jenrick MP, to progress a local plan through examination and adoption that included Chalgrove Airfield as an allocated site.

 

In November 2021, Homes England restated its desire to develop Chalgrove Airfield with 3,000 new homes, despite having previously withdrawn its outline planning application, following significant concerns as to the suitability and safety of the site being raised by the Civil Aviation Authority.

 

The County Council notes that a massive and unprecedented package of infrastructure would be required to serve new dwellings in this remote and rural location, with no rail connection and uncertainty around viability of bus services. The construction of a large, car dependent community, distant from major employment centres and in a rural setting, runs contrary to the County Council’s goals on climate emergency and biodiversity.

 

Without prejudice to the County Council’s role as statutory consultee in the planning application process, the Council expresses reservations in the strongest terms as to the suitability of the site and its compatibility with climate change goals.

 

 

Decision:

With the consent of Council, the Amendment by Councillor Robin Bennett was accepted.

 

The motion as amended was lost (23 votes to 18)

17.

Motion by Councillor Kate Gregory

Oxfordshire County Council recognises

 

1.    That Councillors have a duty to promote kind, respectful and honest discourse both on and offline.

 

2.    Recognises that discussion, scrutiny and debate are important to a democracy but must be carried out without targeting or abuse.

 

3.    That robust debate is a crucial part of the scrutiny process and should not be discouraged.

 

4.    That social media is an increasingly aggressive space where abuse is normalised. 

 

5.    That misinformation is often the trigger for such abusive behaviour. 

 

6.    That public figures are often the target for abusive behaviour and that it inevitably has a significant detrimental impact on their mental health and wellbeing. 

 

Oxfordshire County Council Proposes to

 

7.    Introduce a councillor protocol for social media, that has an emphasis on promoting accurate discourse and encourages councillors to not write or share posts that contain obvious inaccuracies or aggression against colleagues across the council. 

 

8.    Create a digital citizenship guide for all elected members and staff.

 

9.    Introduce social media training in all new councillor inductions and refresh for elected members on, focusing on harm of misinformation, rumours and slander.

 

10.Ask Councillors to declare the social media handle of any public accounts in their name, as an elected member in the community or related to party pollical activity.

 

Decision:

Item withdrawn from the agenda

18.

Motion by Councillor Bob Johnston

Council welcomes recent legislation which, amongst other things, sets out an aspiration to restore nature.  This reflects the fact that the UK is the most nature poor country in Europe.  The legislation states that in each area there should be a lead body to oversee this initiative.

 

Council believes that Oxfordshire County Council should be a lead body in as much as it defines a clear geographical area of significant size, has significant and developing inhouse expertise and access to further expertise in local universities and many groups involved with wildlife conservation, for example BBOWT amongst very many others. 

 

It should seek to build on the emerging work of the Local Nature Partnership as set up by the Future Oxfordshire Partnership and other similar initiatives.  It notes that additional resources will be required to ensure the success of this work

Decision:

The time being 3.40 pm, this Motion was considered dropped in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13.5.8

19.

Motion by Councillor Eddie Reeves

This Council notes that the Leader has acknowledged the challenging market conditions faced by Oxfordshire's excellent meat and dairy farmers.

 

This Council further notes that local authorities have an important duty to engage positively and proportionately in public discourse.

 

Given the privileged position in which this Council finds itself and the potentially damaging effects of its motion dated 14 December, this Council resolves to offer locally produced menus at Council-catered events, including meat, dairy and vegan options, or to make alternative provisions for members, staff and attendees to facilitate personal choice.

 

Decision:

The time being 3.40 pm, this Motion was considered dropped in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13.5.8

 

20.

Motion by Councillor Nigel Simpson

Oxfordshire County Council has acknowledged the Climate Change Emergency.

 

A major contributor to excessive CO2 output are unnecessary car journeys. The proposal by Network Rail to shut the vital link between Yarnton and Kidlington by closing the rail crossing at Sandy Lane will result in a significant increase in carbon emissions.

 

Permanent closure would see drivers forced to use Frieze Way or Langford Lane resulting in an average extra distance travelled of nearly two miles per journey.

 

Based on current trends this is estimated to result in an extra 4750 miles travelled on weekdays and an additional 3800 at weekends, resulting in 1.5 million unnecessary miles per year.

 

The cost of such surplus miles in money is hundreds of thousands of pounds to residents and businesses who rely on their cars; and extra pollution in the form of many tonnes of carbon emissions, contrary to the Council’s environmental objectives.

 

This would go directly against the council’s ambition to reduce CO2 output generated by transport and very significantly degrade the network of contacts that currently underpins the ancient and vital community nexus around the parishes of Yarnton, Begbroke, Kidlington and Gosford and Water Eaton.

 

This Council calls upon the Leader to urgently write to Network Rail to oppose the proposed closure and further to instruct her officers and relevant Cabinet colleague(s) to lobby for this vital link to be maintained with improvements, where possible, especially for cyclists and pedestrians.

Decision:

The time being 3.40 pm, this Motion was considered dropped in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13.5.8

 

21.

Motion by Councillor Ian Corkin

Whilst the “leader and cabinet” model, enabled by the Local Government Act 2000, streamlines decision making, it invariably means that the majority of back bench councillors are not directly involved in the early stages of policy development, making access to information and effective scrutiny even more important

 

This council recognises that improving access to information, improves transparency and inclusion of all councillors in the scrutiny process.  This is particularly true in respect of questions without notice on the “report of the cabinet”, and resolves to ask the Audit and Governance Committee to consider that, where a written response is offered or requested, it is provided within 10 working days

Decision:

The time being 3.40 pm, this Motion was considered dropped in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13.5.8

 

22.

Motion by Councillor Liam Walker pdf icon PDF 347 KB

This council recognises the need to improve public transport in Oxfordshire to reduce emissions, tackle congestion and make sure our bus services are more sustainable. 

 

Park and Ride sites are important transport hubs in Oxfordshire helping to reduce the need to drive into Oxford city. 

 

To help meet the commitments as stated above this council calls on both the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Highways Management to:

 

  • Establish a cross-party task force to explore the viability of making parking at our P&R sites free.
  • Write to the Leader of Oxford City Council asking for the city council to join this new task force. 
  • Work with public transport providers in Oxfordshire to establish a Park & Ride improvement plan. 

 

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

The time being 3.40 pm, this Motion was considered dropped in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13.5.8