Agenda item

Business Management & Monitoring Report - September 2019

Cabinet Member: Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Finance

Forward Plan Ref: 2019/088

Contact: Steven Fairhurst Jones, Corporate Performance & Risk Manager Tel: 07932 318890/Ian Dyson, Assistant Director of Finance Tel: 07393 001250


Report by Corporate Director Customers & Organisational Development and Director of Finance (CA9).


This report sets out Oxfordshire County Council's (OCC's) progress towards Corporate Plan priorities and provides an update on the delivery of the Medium Term Financial Plan from 1 September to 30 September. A summary of overall performance and description of change is contained within the report. The report contains three annexes:


·         Annex A shows our current performance against targets and summarises progress towards overall outcomes set out in our Corporate Plan.


·         Annex B sets out the new Leadership Risk Register which has been developed as part of the Council’s work to strengthen risk and opportunities management


·         Annex C sets out the current financial position, providing detailed explanations of significant budget variations and an update on the Medium-Term Financial Plan including the delivery of savings agreed by Council in February 2019 


The Committee is RECOMMENDED to note the report and consider any matters for future attention by the Committee.


Cabinet considered a report that set out Oxfordshire County Council's (OCC's) progress towards Corporate Plan priorities and provided an update on the delivery of the Medium-Term Financial Plan from 1 September to 30 September. A summary of overall performance and description of change was contained within the report. The report contained three annexes covering current performance against targets, the Leadership Risk Register and the current financial position. Cabinet also had before it the comments of the Performance Scrutiny Committee following that Committee’s consideration of on 7 November 2019 and this is attached as an annex to these minutes.


Councillor Susanna Pressel, local Councillor Jericho & Osney commented in relation to the proportion of people walking and cycling in Oxfordshire. Firstly, she requested that the County Council encourage cycling and walking by putting money into funding for roads maintenance. She stated that conditions were particularly bad in Oxford and as a result people made short car journeys instead of cycling because cycling was no pleasure. Secondly Councillor Pressel queried how revenue was shared out between the District Councils and the City noting that the City had a greater length of pavements and generally more wear and tear from greater usage of the roads. Lastly, Councillor Pressel asked how much of the additional funding for potholes had been spent in the City. Councillor Hudspeth responded to the points made explaining that the City Council had the responsibility from the County for the maintenance of roads in the City and perhaps there was a need for a review of performance. He commended the capital programme that saw surfaces renewed rather than repaired and that meant that maintenance funding went further. Responding to the last point Councillor Hudspeth undertook to provide information on the distribution across the City and Districts of the pot hole fund.


Marc Thompson, local resident spoke of his experiences as a regular cyclist. He expressed disappointment that the work on Botley Road had not been carried through to the City centre and in particular that work to the rail bridge had not happened. He referred to the poor quality of workmansip in the completed works. Mr Thompson also highlighted the poor quality of country roads and referred to the accidents, running at 10% of the membership, that had occurred within his small cycling club. Councillor Yvonne Constance, Cabinet Member for Environment asked that Mr Thompson let her have details. Councillor Constance referred to the record levels of funding and felt that it was unfair if he was referring to historic accidents. In relation to the recent work on Botley Road she would ask officers to look at it again.


Councillor Glynis Phillips, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance highlighted the comments from the Performance Scrutiny Committee. Councillor Phillips then commented that the report was familiar with the same concerns relating to delayed discharges of care and the timeliness of Education & Health Care Plans. With regard to delayed discharges of care she asked  what other more successful areas were doing that we were not. In relation to EHCPs Councillor Price referred to comments on page 69 relating to the restructuring programme that ‘Our restructuring programme will ensure that we are in a better place in the long-term to meet future demands.’ She felt that this was a relaxed and complacent view and that progress needed to be tracked.

Councillor Price referring to the forecast outturn felt that were no surprises. She was grateful for the reserve and contingency funds but felt that it was not possible to continue in this way.


Councillor Judith Heathcoat, Deputy Leader of the Council in introducing the business and risk elements of the report stated that the report gave a clear and comprehensive picture and demonstrated good progress at the half way point in the year. She noted that the risk register was included for the first time. In moving the recommendations Councillor Heathcoat highlighted the positive work of Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue Service and Trading Standards Service in on helping adults to live safe and well.


Councillor Lawrie Stratford, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care commented that the challenge around delayed discharges of care was recognised. It was the biggest single concern he had. He did believe however that the relative position to other authorities was perhaps not how it was portrayed as he believed that the counting elsewhere was done differently.


Councillor David Bartholomew, Cabinet Member for Finance introduced the finance element of the report drawing particular attention to Annex C which set out variations. Councillor Bartholomew noted that 77% of the planned savings were to be delivered.


RESOLVED:            to note the report and consider any matters for future attention by the Committee.




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