Agenda and decisions

Venue: County Hall, New Road, Oxford

Contact: Graham Warrington  Tel: 07393 001211; E-Mail:  graham.warrington@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest

Decision:

None declared.

2.

Questions from County Councillors

Any county councillor may, by giving notice to the Proper Officer by 9 am two working days before the meeting, ask a question on any matter in respect of the Cabinet Member’s delegated powers.

 

The number of questions which may be asked by any councillor at any one meeting is limited to two (or one question with notice and a supplementary question at the meeting) and the time for questions will be limited to 30 minutes in total. As with questions at Council, any questions which remain unanswered at the end of this item will receive a written response.

 

Questions submitted prior to the agenda being despatched are shown below and will be the subject of a response from the appropriate Cabinet Member or such other councillor or officer as is determined by the Cabinet Member, and shall not be the subject of further debate at this meeting. Questions received after the despatch of the agenda, but before the deadline, will be shown on the Schedule of Addenda circulated at the meeting, together with any written response which is available at that time.

 

Decision:

Councillor Howson

 

“Why were county councillors not asked for their views on possible routes to be included in the supported bus services bid when some district councillors were circulated about the fund?”

 

Cabinet Member for Environment

 

“Thank you for your question and please allow me to clarify. As you know, the timescales for responding to this fund were exceedingly tight as such we were limited in the opportunities available to us for consultation. We have had only a few weeks to respond so officers have been working very hard to gather input and clarify our position with key stakeholders.

 

I sent a message to all Town and Parish Councils on the 4th March advising them of the Government’s announcement and of our Statement of Intent. Districts were not contacted directly by us. The Parish Transport Representatives, Bus Users Oxford and Oxfordshire MPs were all contacted.

 

I am pleased that the Government is choosing to put money into public transport services and the high level of interest shown has assisted us in developing this submission as a Statement of Intent to be eligible for Government funding. It will allow us to make some real improvements to the county’s public transport network, but we will have to carefully target the money to get the most out of it.  For this reason we have set out our intention to distribute the money so that its benefit will be felt across the county, particularly more rural services.

 

And while the funding is welcome, it should be noted that it represents a small proportion of the resources previously available to the council for bus services. We await the publication of the National Bus Strategy later this year which hopefully will contain details of how the Government’s proposed investment in buses will manifest itself for local authorities. We are hopeful that the strategy will include an element of longer-term supported bus funding which will enable us to maintain and develop the network in the future.

 

I sincerely hope that the spending of this Supported Bus Services Fund on much needed supported bus services across Oxfordshire will help to encourage more travel by bus, thereby reducing traffic and congestion. Fewer vehicles on the road would reduce traffic emissions, contributing to better air quality and reducing the impact on climate change.”

 

Councillor Howson

 

“Thank you for that. I appreciate that the timescales involved were tight but wondered why unparished areas of the City were not included in this consultation as there are parts of my division and I expect elsewhere in the City where residents are some distance from a bus route.”

 

 

 

Cabinet Member for Environment

 

As I have said the timescales involved were extremely limiting but I am satisfied that officers were able to meet the requirements for consultation under the Supported Bus Services Fund. In addition to consulting with Oxfordshire MPs a previously scheduled meeting of Parish Transport Representatives on 25 February in addition to a separate consultation with the Oxfordshire based Bus Users Group  ...  view the full decision text for item 2.

3.

Petitions and Public Address

Decision:

County Councillor John Howson

4.

Supported Bus Services Fund pdf icon PDF 241 KB

Forward Plan Ref: 2020/045

Contact: Dave Harrison, Senior Public Transport Planner Tel: 07901 331751

 

Report by Director of Planning & Place (CMDE4).

 

The report provides an outline of the Government's recently announced Supported Bus Services Fund, Oxfordshire's allocation from that fund for spending in 2020/21 and a Statement of Intent for submission to the Department for Transport which sets out how Oxfordshire's allocation will be spent.

 

The Cabinet Member for Environment is RECOMMENDED toapprove the Statement of Intent for the spending of Oxfordshire’s allocation of the Supported Bus Services fund, for submission to the Department for Transport on 13 March 2020.

 

Exemption from Call-in

Under Standing Orders (Section 6.2, paragraph 19 (a) to (c) the Chairman of the Council has agreed that a decision on the proposed Supported Bus Services Fund, which would normally be subject to call-in, should be exempt from that process.  That allows the County Council to meet a Statement of Intent deadline of 13 March, which if the usual scrutiny process were invoked could not be met and, therefore, would prejudice both the Council’s and public interest.

 

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Approved

 

Exemption from Call-in

Under Standing Orders (Section 6.2, paragraph 19 (a) to (c) the Chairman of the Council has agreed that a decision on the proposed Supported Bus Services Fund, which would normally be subject to call-in, should be exempt from that process thereby allowing the County Council to meet a Statement of Intent deadline of 13 March, which if the usual scrutiny process were invoked could not be met and, therefore, would prejudice both the Council’s and public interest.