Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Apologies for Absence and Temporary Appointments


Apologies were received from Councillor Steve Harrod, Cabinet Member for Children and Family Services and from Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive, Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.



Declarations of Interest - Guidance note on back page of the agenda


With reference to Agenda Item 5, Councillor Nick Carter stated that he had been on the Skills Board until 2 years ago.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 159 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 14 March 2019 and to receive information arising from them.


The minutes of the meeting held on 14 March 2019 were approved and signed as a correct record subject to the following amendment:


Item 13/19, ninth bullet point now reads:

“The Health and Wellbeing Centre in Bicester was …”



Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP)



A presentation from the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership followed by a question and answer session with a focus on the Skills Board.


Adrian Lockwood and Richard Byard gave a presentation on behalf of the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership focusing on skills and responded to Members’ questions as follows:


·         Many of the members of the Skills Board have connections with schools.  Some are governors, one is the CEO of an academy trust for example.  There used to be Headteachers on the Board but most of the work was not that relevant to them.

·         OxLEP has funded job clubs in deprived areas.  Older people are also marginalised in the jobs market with no support from government.

·         Skills Board members are not remunerated.  Support staff are provided by OxLEP.

·         The greatest skills shortages are in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

·         Agriculture is becoming increasingly high-tech.  A new training centre opens next week.

·         A target of 50:50 gender balance has been set within three years.  However, the local authorities chose their Council Leaders who are on the main board.  A gender champion has been appointed to give advice through networking.

·         OxLEP strongly encourages compliance with the Living Wage.  Many of its businesses are higher skilled and so more highly paid.  They met with the hospital sector recently which does not pay enough to attract staff.

·         OxLEP works with all business representative organisations – at director level with the CBI.

·         The low growth in apprenticeships in Oxfordshire compared to the rest of the country is related to the strength of the jobs market here.  It is relatively easy to get a paid job and the perception of apprenticeships is poor.

·         The funding in place from the EU will not be affected by Brexit.  There will be a UK fund in the future to replace it.


The Chairman thanked the OxLEP representatives for addressing the issues raised by the Committee.



Overview of the Adult Social Care Co-Production Programme pdf icon PDF 330 KB



This report has been requested by the Chair of Performance Scrutiny Committee and describes how the co-production programme is being implemented, managed and monitored in an Adult Services setting, what the impact and changes are to date, as well as  the expected outcomes.


The key areas covered include: why we are changing how we work; progress since September 2017; key projects and extending the reach of the programme.


The Committee is RECOMMENDED to note the report.


Benedict Leigh, Kate Pieroudis of the Social Care Institute for Excellence and Jo Barnicoat of the Oxfordshire Co-production Programme Board (OCPB) gave a presentation.


Ben McCay, also from OCPB and a service-user, described how everyone was able to have their say and offer advice.  There was a co-production festival where participants were encouraged to write down their ideas and a workshop exploring solutions and barriers.  He worked with two councillors but the only problem was that there was too much paperwork.


Officers and guests responded to issues raised by Members as follows:

·         21 co-production champions have been appointed following a widespread advertising campaign.

·         There is a project to identify the needs of self-funders and ensure that whatever is put in place is something that people will use.

·         The grants panel brings councillors, officers and users together.

·         Professionals sometimes suggest more expensive solutions whereas users can often come up with more obvious solutions.

·         The NHS is on board which is important because people often go there first whereas their local clinic may be able to provide a solution.


The Chairman thanked the participants for clearly presenting the context for the co-production programme.


RESOLVED: to note the report.



Review of S113 Agreement - Update from the Oxfordshire County and Cherwell District Councils Partnership Working Group pdf icon PDF 119 KB



This report provides an update with regards to the progress of the joint working partnership between Oxfordshire County and Cherwell District Councils. 


The Committee is RECOMMENDED to note the report and progress made through the Partnership.


Additional documents:


The report was introduced by Claire Taylor.  With Councillor Ian Corkin, Cabinet Member for the Cherwell Partnership, she responded to Members’ questions as follows:


·         The Cherwell-South Northamptonshire joint working saved £15-20m which could not have been achieved by outsourcing for example.

·         The lessons learned include tackling IT issues early – these are likely to be more challenging in the CDC/OCC partnership.

·         Joint working is seen as normal now by CDC staff.  Supporting staff is key to the process.

·         CDC staff are excited at the possibilities offered by a stronger relationship between housing and social care.

·         The partnership and transformation programmes are being integrated to avoid double-change.  The main challenge is with the capacity to do both.

·         Table 2 on Agenda Page 22 is not a complete list of joint working between council – there are hundreds of examples.

·         Partnership working doesn’t just deliver greater efficiencies but improves effectiveness too.

·         Looking at the models of joint working outlined in Table 1 on Agenda Page 22, the partnership is currently somewhere between models 1 and 2 but the ambition so to achieve model 3.


RESOLVED: to note the report and progress made through the Partnership.



Household Recycling Rate Update Report pdf icon PDF 186 KB



The Quarter 3 Business Management and Monitoring Report 2018-19 reported that the status of the ‘Proportion of household waste reused, recycled or composted’ had moved from Green to Amber.  Our target is a 60% recycling and composting rate, and the report projected an end of year outturn of 58.58%.


While slightly under our target, this recycling and composting rate is still amongst the very best in England.  In 2017/18 Oxfordshire had a recycling rate of 57.2% and was the top ranked County Council Waste Disposal Authority (CCWDA) in the country.


Nationally recycling rates have stalled, and in some places started to decline, and Oxfordshire’s experience is in line with this national picture.  This report details some of the issues, and the action that we are taking to address them.


The Committee is RECOMMENDED to note the report and support the communications planned for 2019/20.



Victoria Fletcher and Rachel Burns summarised the report and answered Members’ questions as follows:


·         Government is consulting on national policy to reduce packaging waste. It is expected that those over-packaging products will have to pay more.

·         A recent audit of the County Council itself showed that it was doing well in tackling single-use plastic.

·         Charges at Household Waste Recycling Centres apply only to non-household waste – building rubble for example.

·         Bottle refund proposals are in government consultation but there is concern that the gain would be minimal for very large expenditure given that kerbside recycling is already quite successful in recovering bottles.

·         Measuring percentage recycled and composted is only one way of calculating success.  It does not reflect waste reduction or the lack of green waste in urban areas.  Carbon accounting is not currently sufficiently developed.  Waste per head, percentage dry recycling, percentage food recycled and residual waste per head are all also tracked.


RESOLVED: to note the report and support the communications planned for 2019/20



Scrutiny Annual Report 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 117 KB



The Scrutiny Annual Report provides a summary of the work of the Council's overview and scrutiny function in 2018-19. This function includes the council's three Overview and Scrutiny Committees and any joint scrutiny arrangements. The report will be considered by the Audit and Governance Committee and the Performance Scrutiny Committee prior to Council.


The Committee is RECOMMENDED to comment on the report prior to its presentation to Council for approval.

Additional documents:


Ben Threadgold introduced the report.  The forward plan for the Performance Scrutiny Committee will be included in a format consistent with the other committees.


He asked the Committee to note that the co-option of Anita Higham to the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee from September 2018 (Agenda Page 63, paragraph 6.23) has yet to be confirmed, as a potential conflict of interest relating to her membership of other bodies needs to be resolved.  Members expressed the strong opinion that a decision needs to be made on this matter soon to allow sufficient time to find an alternative co-option should that be required.


Members suggested that the Call-in item on SEND School Transport be clearly highlighted and separated from the other items considered by the Committee.  It was also agreed that the recommendations from the Cabinet Advisory Group on this subject need to come back to this Committee for discussion.



Draft Outcomes Framework 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 295 KB



The Outcomes Framework is the mechanism by which progress towards OCC’s Corporate Plan priorities is measured and reported. The draft 2019-20 version at Annex A has been revised to reflect this year’s business activities and to incorporate improvements identified during routine review and engagement with members, particularly Performance Scrutiny Committee.


The Committee is RECOMMENDED to note the contents of this report and suggest any revisions to the draft Outcomes Framework ahead of Cabinet considering it for approval on 14 May.


Ben Threadgold introduced the report.  The Draft Outcomes Framework will go next to Cabinet and if adopted will form the basis of the performance reports which will now be produced monthly.  Officers responded to Members’ questions as follows:


·         There is a monthly telephone survey of residents – not just service users.

·         Whether targets change from year to year depends on the nature of the issue and performance in the previous year.

·         The lower target for KS4 pass rates may be due to a change in the national average.  Officers are working with the directorate to consider whether the measure and target therefore need to be adjusted to ensure they remain ambitious.


Members made the following suggestions:

·         Could the target for street lights be more ambitious given the new contract?

·         The information needs to indicate what has already been achieved.

·         Percentages are not enough in themselves – the underlying figures are needed to show the scale or degree.

·         There is no mention of the greater divide in educational attainment.


It was agreed that Members will receive the reports each month.



New model for children's social care



To receive a presentation about development of a new model for children’s social care and the impact this will have on outcomes for children and families, as well as managing demand for services.



Hannah Farncombe gave a presentation on the new model and responded to questions as follows:


·         Regarding links with other organisations, there is already joint working on individual cases.  The voluntary sector is involved through Oxfordshire Youth and Bishop Colin Fletcher of Dorchester both on the Early Help Strategy Board for example. There has also been representation from the voluntary sector at the System Leaders meeting which is the group of senior leaders across the Partnership who are leading and shaping the new model.

·         There is work to do to locate services. Cherwell District Council is interested in providing a base for a Family Safeguarding Team which will provide opportunities to embed integrated work with housing officers and leisure services.

·         The financial planning for the model will be discussed by the Transformation Board on 22 May.


Members welcomed the opportunity to input into a new proposal at the development stage.



Transformation Sub-Committee Report pdf icon PDF 121 KB



The second meeting of the Joint Audit & Governance and Performance Scrutiny (Transformation) Sub-Committee took place on 18 April 2019. The Sub-Committee considered a quarterly performance report covering January – March 2019 and a presentation about the interface between the Cherwell Partnership and the Transformation Programme.


The Committee is RECOMMENDED to note the report.



The report was introduced by Councillor Nick Carter, Deputy Chairman of the Transformation Sub-committee, who chaired the second meeting.  The next meeting will be on 25 July 2019.



Committee work programme pdf icon PDF 246 KB



To agree the committee’s work programme for future meetings based on key priorities and discussion in the meeting.



It was agreed to add the new proposals on SEND Transport to the agenda for 4 July 2019 meeting so that the Committee – which called-in the original decision – can discuss in advance of the Cabinet meeting.


Councillor Nick Carter expressed concern at the lack of County Council involvement in the Skills Board.  At times in the past there were two Cabinet Members involved.  The Chairman agreed to raise this with the Council Leader.