Agenda and minutes

Place Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 2 February 2022 10.00 am

Venue: County Hall

Contact: Chris Reynolds Tel: 07542 029441  E-Mail:

Link: video link:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence and Temporary Appointments


Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Yvonne Constance OBE with Cllr Nick Leveton attending as substitute


Minutes pdf icon PDF 329 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 24 November 2021 (PLOSC3) and to receive information arising from them.


The minutes of the meeting held on 24 November 2021 were amended as follows:-


11/21 Street Design Guide


In bullet point 14 - delete reference to rural and emphasise all forms of transport


and agreed as a correct record.


Petitions and Public Address pdf icon PDF 308 KB

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The Committee received the following Public Address relating to the Call in of the Cabinet Member’s delegated decision regarding the Burford Experimental Weight Limit Restriction


Mr John White addressed the committee.  He referred to the three traffic surveys during the experiment which resulted in differing data provided as evidence for the Cabinet member’s decision.  He said that there had been a significant improvement in air quality in the Burford area since the experimental traffic regulation order had been introduced which was of benefit to the residents of the area.   He also commented on Cllr Enright’s membership of the Witney Town Council which he considered was a conflict of interest as the Town Council had opposed the weight limit since its introduction.  He proposed that a review panel be established to review all of the evidence in the reconsideration of the cabinet member’s decision.


Mr Hugh Ashton, technical adviser of Burford Town Council, referred to the information he had circulated at the meeting.  He referred to conflicting data available at the time the Cabinet Member’s decision was made. 


Dr Ken Gray, technical adviser to the Burford Town Council, said that he was an expert on data analysis and referred to the data provided by the ATC and ANPR during the period of the experiment.  He said that the ATC data could not determine the weight of vehicles whilst the ANPR accurately measured the weight of vehicle types. He said that this was the first time that OCC had comparative data for four sites and Cllr Enright had received a report which did not provide this conflicting evidence. The report only relied on the ATC data which he considered exaggerated the position and drew the wrong conclusions.  In addition, the officers report did not include the data on air pollution in 2021 which showed a significant increase in air quality in the area.


Julian Cooper, a councillor in Woodstock, spoke in support of Cllr Enright’s decision and suggested that any decision on this matter should take into consideration the interests of the whole of the County.  He said that it was not appropriate for the residents of Burford to benefit from this weight restriction whilst other neighbouring communities were experiencing increases in HGV traffic.


Cllr Yvonne Constance OBE, said that she wanted to address the process by which this decision was taken. She said that it was never intended that the final decision on this experimental order would be taken by a single member and should be determined by the whole Cabinet.  She also was of the opinion that Cllr Enright had a conflict of interest as a member of the Witney Town Council.  She said that the Cabinet Member had not asked any questions of the nine speakers who had made representations at the Cabinet Members’ Decision meeting and the impression given was that the decision was predetermined.


Cllr Stefan Gawrysiak addressed the committee, he said that this decision should be referred to Cabinet or the full Council.  He said that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3/22


Call in - Burford Experimental Traffic Regulation Order pdf icon PDF 233 KB

Written notice has been given in accordance with the Council’s Scrutiny procedure rules requiring a delegated decision taken by the Cabinet Member for Travel Development and Strategy  on the Burford Experimental Weight Limit on 5 January 2022 to be called in for review by this Committee.


The following documents are attached:

(a) a report setting out the reasons given for the Call In.

(b) the decision taken by the Cabinet member

(b) the report considered by the Cabinet member

(c) the list of Councillors requesting the call-in

(d) the statement of reasons for the call-in submitted by Councillor Nicholas Field-Johnson



Additional documents:



The Chair introduced the report and explained the process by which this committee would review the decision taken by the Cabinet member for Transport and Development Strategy.


Councillor Nicholas Field-Johnson addressed the committee and stressed that the reasons for requesting the call in were not intended as personal comments on the integrity of the Cabinet Member.  He suggested that Councillor Enright was conflicted as a member of the Witney Town Council which had consistently supported the revocation of the experimental weight restriction.  He explained the reasons why he had requested the call in which was set out in Annex D of the report. 


Anita Bradley, the Monitoring Officer addressed the committee at this point and said that there was no evidence of conflict, bias or predetermination in the Cabinet Member’s decision and that he was an appropriate member to take this decision.


Cllr Duncan Enright, Cabinet Member for Transport and Development Strategy then addressed the committee.  He said that this as a balanced decision based on all the evidence which had been provided to him.  He had abstained from voting on this issue at the Witney Town Council.


He confirmed that all of the data was available to him at the time of the decision.  The data did not demonstrate that the ETRO had been successful on its own terms.  This was not a predetermined decision and it is was not appropriate for members to suggest that he had been influenced by business  or any other interests in making this decision.


The Chair then invited members of the committee  to ask questions of Cllr Field-Johnson.


In response to a question from Cllr Charlie Hicks, Cllr Field Johnson said that the conditions of openness and proportionality had not been met. 


The Monitoring Officer then reiterated her advice  that there was no evidence of predetermination in the Cabinet member’s decision on this matter.


In response to a question from Cllr Sally Povolotsky, Cllr Field-Johnson said that he was not a member of any other local authority than the County Council,


The Chair invited questions to the Cabinet member.


Cllr Povolotsky asked about the sampling error ratio that the Council allowed in traffic data. Cllr Enright it was clear that as a result of the pandemic there had been significant changes to traffic data which had resulted in increased air quality.


Odele Parsons, Senior Transport Planner, explained the three types of traffic data sources set out in the report and their limitations.   There was an allowance for errors of 10 per cent.  The ANPR data had been excluded from the report to the Cabinet member because a benchmark has not been set at the start of the experiment.  She was not aware of a code of practice for the use of statistics.


Cllr Nick Leverton, suggested that the experiment had not worked because of the inconsistencies in the evidence and the impact of the pandemic, and it was appropriate that the committee should review this decision. 


Cllr Levy said that he was confident  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4/22


Climate Change and Carbon Reduction Strategies pdf icon PDF 842 KB

The purpose of this report is to provide the Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee with information on Oxfordshire County Council’s climate change and carbon reduction strategies including transport, energy, waste, council buildings and infrastructure, scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, key targets, performance and areas for development.


The Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee is recommended:

a.    To note Oxfordshire County Council’s climate change and carbon reduction strategies, key targets, performance and areas for development.

b.    To note the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report for 2020/21 (Appendix 1).


Additional documents:




Cllr Pete Sudbury, cabinet member for Climate Change and Delivery and Environment,  introduced the report. 


The Assistant Director Strategic Infrastructure and Planning gave a presentation summarising the four key lines on enquiry of the Climate change and Carbon Reduction strategy and, together with Sarah Gilbert, Climate Change Team Lead, answered questions.


Cllr Brad Baines expressed concern that, in view of the limited time available to it, the committee had indicated previously that it did not want to receive presentations within its meetings.


Cllr Nick Leveton expressed concern that the presentation slides were not included within the report.  The Assistant Director Strategic Infrastructure and Planning said that the slides were designed to back up the information provided in the report. Cllr Hicks suggested that an online members area could be introduced on which to post information of this type.


In response to questions, Cllr Sudbury said that climate considerations were an important factor taken into account by all cabinet members in decision making.


Cllr Hicks expressed concerned about the limited transparency in decision making in this area, the time being taken in implementing these priorities and the budgetary resource being allocated to these priorities. Cllr Sudbury referred to the time taken for any large public sector organisation in implementing policy changes and the Council was addressing how these priorities can be progressed. 


Cllr Baines stressed the importance of integrating the impact of climate change into the work the Council does and that it should be mainstreamed into the policy and decision making process.  He suggested that this level of ambition should be integrated into the strategy.


In response to members questions,  Cllr Sudbury recognised that air source heat pumps must be installed alongside an overall package of measures to improve the energy efficiency of a building,  the Council’s street lighting policy was being reviewed and he agreed that provision of an additional waste tip was a priority.





a.    note the Oxfordshire County Council’s climate change and carbon reduction strategies, key targets, performance and areas of development


b.    note the Greenhouse gas Emissions Report for 2020/21 (appendix 1)


c.    recommend to the Cabinet that the emissions targets should be expanded to include maintained schools, all contractors and data centres


d.    recommend that the Cabinet considers putting climate change at the centre of everything the authority does by mainstreaming climate considerations in policy design, implementation and evaluation in all outputs from the Council


Scrutiny Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 239 KB

The purpose of this report is to present the Place Scrutiny Committee Work Plan for 2021/22. The Place Scrutiny Committee Work Plan for 2021/22 was agreed at its meeting on 24th November 2022 for the remaining meetings of the 2021/22 municipal year, drawing on the consideration of work planning at previous meetings.  The Work Plan is presented in this report for information and to provide an opportunity for the committee to clarify any items for future meetings in the annual committee cycle.




That the Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Plan be noted.



RESOLVED to agree the following changes to the Committee’s Work Plan


a.    the Property Strategy be re-programmed to the meeting on 15 June 2022


b.    the National Bus Strategy Enhanced Partnership be considered at a one-off working group meeting on 23 March 2022 to be followed by a report to the meeting of this committee on 6 April 2022 and recommendations to Council for executive decision


c.    appoint Cllr Yvonne Constance OBE to the Carbon Reduction Targets and Transport Policy Development working groups


Date and time of next meeting

The Committee is requested to agree a revised date and time of the next meeting


RESOLVED to amend the start time of the meeting on 6 April 2022 to 1.30pm to allow key witnesses to attend to give a presentation on crime and disorder