County Council - Tuesday, 7 November 2023 10.30 am

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

Contact: Colm Ó Caomhánaigh  Tel: 07393 001096; E-Mail:

Link: video link

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 263 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 12 September 2023 (CC1) and to receive information arising from them.


Additional documents:


Apologies for Absence


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.


Official Communications



To make any changes to the membership of scrutiny and other committees on the nomination of political groups and to note any changes to the Cabinet made by the Leader of the Council.



Petitions and Public Address

Members of the public who wish to speak on an item on the agenda at this meeting, or present a petition, can attend the meeting in person or ‘virtually’ through an online connection. Requests must be submitted no later than 9am one working day before the meeting i.e., 9am on Monday 6 November 2023. Requests to speak should be sent to


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 on the day of the meeting. Written submissions should be no longer than 1 A4 sheet.



Questions with Notice from Members of the Public


Questions with Notice from Members of the Council


Scrutiny Annual Report pdf icon PDF 202 KB

Report by the Director of Law & Governance


This report primarily focuses on the work of the Performance & Corporate Services, Place and People overview and scrutiny committees.


The Council is RECOMMENDED to receive the Scrutiny Annual Report

Additional documents:


Report of the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 383 KB

Report by the Leader of the Council.


The report covers the Cabinet meetings held on 19 September 2023 and 17 October 2023.



Strategic Leadership Team pdf icon PDF 218 KB

Report by Chief Executive


Council is RECOMMENDED to


a)              Approve the pay scale of £159,000 to £187,000 for the three proposed Executive Director roles; Executive Director of People, Executive Director of Place and Executive Director of Resources, which will form part of the Strategic Leadership Team;


b)              Appoint Stephen Chandler as permanent Executive Director of People and Lorna Baxter as permanent Executive Director of Resources at ED3 within the pay scale set out in recommendation 1; and


c)              Approve the Council’s Pay Policy being amended at the next annual review in 2024 (Annex 1) to reflect the changes set out in this report.

Additional documents:


Appointment of Section 151 Officer pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Report by Chief Executive


Council is RECOMMENDED to confirm and approve the designation of Lorna Baxter, Executive Director of Resources, as Section 151 Officer, on a permanent basis from the date of this meeting. 



Changes to Constitution of Pension Fund Committee pdf icon PDF 203 KB

Report by Director of Finance


The Council is RECOMMENDED 


a)              To agree the proposed changes by the Pension Fund Committee to their constitution as set out below:


(i)       The addition of two voting members, appointed by the County Council (this increases the number of county councillors from 5 to 7 members).


(ii)      The deletion of the two non-voting positions representing the Academy sector.


b)       To instruct the Director of Law and Governance and Monitoring Officer to give consideration to the requirements of political balance as set out in the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 and present a report to Council at its next meeting for Council to consider nominations and confirm the relevant appointments to the Pension Fund Committee.



Calendar of Meetings 2024-25 pdf icon PDF 200 KB

Report by Director of Law & Governance


The calendar of meetings for each civic year is presented to Council for approval.


COUNCIL IS RECOMMENDED to approve the calendar of meetings for the 2024-25 council year attached to the report.


Additional documents:


Special Urgency Decision pdf icon PDF 222 KB

Report by Director of Law & Governance


Council is RECOMMENDED to note the use of Special Urgency for a Key Decision on 17 August 2023.






Motion by Councillor Liz Brighouse

This Council notes that:


·        Since the change in legislation regarding Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in 2014 the partners delivering provision within the overall system have seen a reduction in resources, spiralling demand, a pandemic and major recruitment issues.

·        Academisation of our Schools has added to the complexity. In Oxfordshire all but one of our Secondary Schools are Academies and over half out Primaries Schools are Academies.

·        In Oxfordshire all schools struggle financially.

·        The Local Area Partnership inspection and similar inspections across the Country identified “systemic failures” across the whole system and families Children and practitioners are currently suffering.

·        The System in England is £3.4bn in deficit in Oxfordshire this will amount to over £50m by March 2024.


45 years ago the The Warnock Report set out the expectations for the system and SEND Delivery framework. It is time for another such report.


This Council asks the Leader to write to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Education requesting them to set up a Commission urgently to consider the current needs, resources and systemic change which is needed to reform the System in order to support Children and Young People with SEND.



Motion by Councillor Andrew Gant

Oxfordshire County Council is proud of our history of welcoming people seeking safety in our county. We believe that:

·       everyone has the right to seek safety, and everyone’s claim for asylum should be treated equally and fairly;

·       the Government’s ‘anti-refugee’ laws undermine internationally recognised rights for people fleeing war and persecution to seek safety;

·       people seeking safety should be housed as our neighbours and as a part of our communities;

·       the UK needs an asylum system that empowers people seeking safety to rebuild their lives and enables communities to welcome them;

Council resolves to:

       i.          defend the right to seek safety from war and persecution in the UK by signing the national ‘Fight the Anti-Refugee Laws’ pledge;

      ii.          call on the UK Government to repeal the Illegal Migration Act and the Nationality and Borders Act, withdraw the UK–Rwanda partnership,

    iii.          request Cabinet to

·                 work with Local Authorities and communities to build a refugee protection system that treats all people with dignity and compassion;

·                 continue to lobby against any UK Government plans to build or repurpose facilities in Oxfordshire to detain or warehouse people seekingsafety;

·                 work with local organisations and people with lived experience of the asylum system to identify ways to mitigate the effects of these measures in Oxfordshire;

·                 consider joining the network of cities and towns which promote the inclusion and welfare of people who are fleeing violence and persecution and become a recognised Council of Sanctuary


Motion by Councillor Liam Walker

Oxfordshire County Council no longer has support for the:

i. Cowley LTN scheme; and

ii. East Oxford LTN scheme.


Council now requests Cabinet to urgently consider setting in train the necessary executive steps to remove the Cowley LTNs as agreed by the Cabinet Member for Environment (including Transport) on 21st January 2021 and the East Oxford LTNs as agreed by Cabinet on Tuesday 17th October 2023.



Motion by Councillor Mark Cherry

Council requests Cabinet to consider approving the Councils for Fair Tax declaration. 


 This commits Councils to

·        Lead by example and demonstrate good practice in our tax conduct, right across our activities.

·        Ensure IR35 is implemented robustly and contract workers pay a fair share of employment taxes.

·        Not use offshore vehicles for the purchase of land and property, especially where this leads to reduced payments of stamp duty. 

·        Undertake due diligence to ensure that not-for-profit structures are not being used inappropriately by suppliers as an artificial device to reduce the payment of tax and business rates.  

·        Demand clarity on the ultimate beneficial ownership of suppliers UK and overseas and their consolidated profit & loss position, given lack of clarity could be strong indicators of poor financial probity and weak financial standing.

·        Promote Fair Tax Mark certification especially for any business in which we have a significant stake and where corporation tax is due.

·        Support Fair Tax Week events in the area, and celebrate the tax contribution made by responsible businesses are proud to promote responsible tax conduct and pay their fair share of corporation tax. .


Council also requests the Leader of the Council to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer supporting calls for urgent reform of UK procurement law to enable local authorities to better penalise poor tax conduct and reward good tax conduct through their procurement policies.”




Motion by Councillor Donna Ford

Councillors note the increasing number of vacant bank and building society buildings on our high streets, which are largely the result of technological change. The loss of community banking services is of concern to many residents, especially older constituents and those with disabilities and adaptive needs.


Buckinghamshire Council has set up a Banking Hub in  Buckingham library  for people to  access banking services in the town centre.


Established in partnership with Buckinghamshire Council through its Buckingham and Villages Community Board, with the support of Buckingham Town Council and community representatives, the temporary Banking Hub provides local people with access to banking services. This offers a counter service operated by the Post Office, where customers of all major banks and building societies can carry out regular cash transactions. It also offers a Community Banker service where customers can talk to their banking provider about more complicated issues. Community Bankers work on rotation, with a different bank or building society available on each day of the week, to ensure fair and equitable access to major banking and building society customers.


Council requests the relevant Cabinet member for Community and Corporate Services and the Cabinet Member for Finance  to take a lead from forward-thinking colleagues at Buckinghamshire Council and, working with its Town Council, and District Council partners , invite banks and building societies that have left – or are due to leave – our high streets to explore opportunities to work with this Council to set up similar banking hubs within appropriate Council libraries.


Motion by Councillor Eddie Reeves

This Council recognises that the voice of small and medium-sized enterprises (‘SMEs’) have, too often, been overlooked.


This Council resolves to request the Leader of the Council to appoint a Small Business Champion to provide a single point of contact for local businesspeople and advise members attending Cabinet and relevant scrutiny committees of the impact of Council policies on the county’s SMEs.



Motion by Councillor David Rouane

Pride in the appearance of the public realm is important to our residents. Ensuring that streets and pavements are accessible, level, without hazards, clear of weeds and vegetation is essential for preventing long term damage to the footways, improving accessibility for all, visibility, reducing the chances of accidents, and also allowing people to have pride in their neighbourhood.


Council resolves to:


  1. Note the difficulties in maintaining weed clearance to a high standard in view of the expanding network of highways, and in the context of over a decade of budget cuts; and
  2. Acknowledge the justified phasing out of glyphosate and herbicide-based methods based on health and environmental grounds; and
  3. Recognise that the Council has a statutory duty to keep pavements free of weeds and hazards; and
  4. Request the Cabinet Member for Transport Management  to consider options for alternative methods of weed removal, and scheduled maintenance that are both cost-effective and environmentally friendly, including supporting the work of towns and parishes, local groups and individuals, that can be developed and trialled around the county, and for ongoing consideration of other methods.
  5. Request that the Cabinet Member for Finance give due consideration to the findings of this report as part of the next round of budget setting.
  6. Embrace collection of green matter from weeding and grass cutting and ask the Cabinet Member for Climate Change Delivery and Environment to consider reviewing a county owned Anaerobic digester facility.




Motion by Councillor Liz Brighouse

Since the Alliance governing Oxfordshire collapsed on 24th Sept 2023 the Council now has a minority Liberal Democrat Green Alliance administration. This leaves Oxfordshire, its employees and those who rely on it for services in a difficult position. At any time unacceptable decisions could be called in to Scrutiny or a Special Council Meeting and the Leader could be subject to no confidence votes. This Council wants to ensure the good governance of Oxfordshire and therefore calls on the Cabinet to:-


·        Ensure that all Group Leaders and Spokespersons are equally involved in all issues relating to decision making and Governance of Oxfordshire.

·        Ensure that briefings are open to the Spokespeople of all three Groups.

·        Inform all Panels and Groups of any new arrangements that may be necessary as a result of no political group having overall control of the Council.


Schedule of Business pdf icon PDF 433 KB

Additional documents: