June 2020 (date tbc)

Report of:

Assistant Chief Executive

Title of Report:

Annual Update Report on the Corporate Plan

2016 -20


Summary and recommendations

Purpose of report:

To seek approval for the 2019-2020 Annual Update  on the Corporate Plan 2016-20

Key decision:


Executive Board Member:

Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of the Council

Corporate Priority:

All Corporate Plan priorities

Policy Framework:

Policy Framework - Corporate Plan 2016-2020

Recommendations:That the Cabinet resolves to:


Approve the Annual Update on the Corporate Plan 2016-20, as set out in Appendix  1; and


Delegate authority to the Assistant Chief Executive to make minor textual/formatting changes to the Annual Update Report in advance of publication.



Appendix 1

Annual Update on the Corporate Plan 2019-20

Appendix 2

Oxford City Council Corporate Plan 2016-20 can be found at :


Introduction and background

1.    The Corporate Plan is the Council’s overarching strategy for delivering high quality services to the people of Oxford. The Corporate Plan 2016-20 was agreed by Council in February 2016. It sets out a clear vision, corporate priorities and objectives, and how the Council aims to achieve them. The Annual Update 2019-20 sets out what we have achieved against these themes in 2019.


2.    The Annual Update attached in Annex 1 has been developed from input from Service Heads and Directors as well as Members.


3.    Due to the impact of COVID-19 and the associated lockdown in March 2020 which impacted on the delivery of most Council services, some of the assumptions and anticipated timelines for projects and workstreams have changed. These changes are identified in the Annual Update document.

The Annual Update on the Corporate Plan 2016-20

4.    The Council’s core ambition is to build a world class city for all of its citizens; to achieve this objective the Council has to continue to transform the way in which services are structured and delivered. The Council aims to create a successful economy and an integrated community which respects and celebrates diversity, protects and enhances the environment, and offers extensive accessible opportunities for residents’ leisure time.


5.    The Council’s priorities are those that were identified in the Corporate Plan 2016-20:

·         A Vibrant and Sustainable Economy

·         Meeting Housing Needs

·         Strong and Active Communities

·         A Clean and Green Oxford

·         An Efficient and Effective Council.


6.    The Plan recognises that many of the issues that are important to the wellbeing of our city and its people are not exclusively or directly controlled by the City Council. Achieving our objectives involves close partnership working with other local authorities, public agencies, community groups, local businesses and third sector organisations. This has become ever more important as public resources have reduced due to the government’s austerity agenda, and new ways of delivering services are developed. The Council works with its partners to align our resource allocation and our plans. The Corporate Plan 2016-20 therefore includes the two cross-cutting priorities of Partnership and Devolution which have underpinned the Council’s approach to most areas of its work.


Key achievements in 2019-20

7.    Some key achievements in 2019 were:


·         Oxford City Council continued to deliver efficiency savings during 2019/20 to a value of £0.951 million in addition to £1.648 million achieved in the previous 3 years.

·         In one year, we attracted 27 self-certified Oxford Living Wage employers, most notably the University of Oxford and Oxford Bus Company alongside a range of employers from the science and technology, business, education and charitable sectors.

·         Officers have, through OxLEP, secured £10m match funding towards the expected £150m required to deliver the Oxford Station Phase 2 (West side track, entrance and replacement of Botley Bridge). 

·         The Council worked with 30+ start-ups/SMEs in the Smart Oxford programme, providing support and mentoring, and collaborating with OSEP’s eScalate Social Enterprise Hub network for any co-working space that they may need. 

·         Delivered 68 affordable homes in Barton Park since handover of units started in January 2019. Barton Park Primary School will open in September 2020. 

·         Matilda House, which provides 22 units of supported accommodation for people with complex needs and 15 units of ‘Move On’ accommodation, opened in September 2019. 

·         The Oxfordshire Homelessness Prevention Trailblazer Programme ended in October 2019. Successful aspects of the programme have continued. Aspire have raised funding to continue the Community Navigator service for a further three years.

·         A total of £1,744,197 was allocated for the delivery of services and support for rough sleepers and single homeless people in 2019/20.  

·         The Council has increased funding of supported accommodation available to rough sleepers to ensure there is sufficient accommodation. A total of £478,198 was used to fund supported accommodation in 2017/18 increasing to £968,950 in 2019/20. 

·         15 Financial penalties were served against rogue landlords totalling £98,389 using the new enforcement powers. In addition 448 statutory notices were served on landlords as part of the enforcement action taken to secure improvements to the Private Rented Sector (PRS). A successful bid made to MHCLG for £71k to develop a toolkit to recover unpaid financial penalties and for resources to help test an algorithm developed to identify the PRS.  

·         The Council became the first in the UK to have powers delegated to it from a County Council to take action against landlords for not having an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) when legally required. We used £150k of a successful bid for government funding to develop an enforcement approach with partner agencies. Legal action using energy legislation was commenced against 8 properties.

·         Oxford was the first UK city to convene a Citizens’ Assembly on climate change in September and October 2019, with 42 residents setting out their views that the city should aim to achieve ‘net zero’ carbon emissions sooner than the Government’s target of 2050.

·         A new Oxford City Council Strategy 2020-24 was adopted by the Council following an extensive stakeholder engagement and public consultation. It sets out four key priorities – enabling an inclusive economy, building more affordable housing, supporting thriving communities and pursuing a zero carbon Oxford.



Priorities for 2020-21

8.    These will be set out in our Business Plan 20-21, the final draft of which is now under review in view of the need to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Corporate Performance Targets

9.    The Corporate Plan 2016-20 also sets out a limited set of corporate performance measures for each of the Council’s priority areas. An update on progress on the targets is included within the Annual Update Report. Where the success measure targets have not been met an explanation has been provided.

Publication of Annual Update of the Corporate Plan 2019-20

10.Once approved for adoption, the Annual Update will be published on the Council web site.

Legal Issues

11. There are no direct legal implications relating to the Draft Annual Update Report on the Corporate Plan 2016-2020.

Financial Issues

12.As this is reporting back on activity that has already taken place there are no financial implications.

Environmental Impact

13.The commitment to improving Oxford’s environment and reducing the environmental impact of the city is directly reflected in the Clean and Green Oxford corporate priority and underpins all of the Council’s activities.

Level of Risk

14.The Corporate Plan 2016-20 is an overarching strategic document, which is underpinned by a series of supporting documents. Details of projects and actions which contribute to the delivery of corporate priorities will be found in the Council’s service plans and other delivery plans. Risks are detailed in service and corporate risk registers.

Equalities Impact

15. An equalities impact assessment was undertaken on the Corporate Plan 2016-20. The City Council’s overriding concern in formulating its budget and Corporate Plan has been to expand the options and opportunities available to the people of our city. We particularly aim to reduce inequalities and expand opportunities for those suffering from deprivation.






Report author

Caroline Green

Job title

Assistant Chief Executive

Service area or department

Assistant Chief Executive


01865  529887 




Background Papers: