Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Speaking at a Council or Committee meeting

Venue: Council Chamber - Oxford Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Jennifer Thompson, Committee and Members Services Officer  email:  democraticservices@oxford.gov.uk tel: 01865 252275

Items
No. Item

Minute's silence and tributes

Council heard tributes and stood for a minute’s silence in memory of former Lord Mayor Pat Stannard who died in late March. 

 

103.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies are noted in the attendance.

 

Councillors Goddard, Iley-Williamson and Turner sent apologies for lateness.

 

104.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations.

 

105.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 163 KB

·         Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Council held on 29 January 2018

·         Minutes of the special meeting of Council held on 14 February 2018

·         Minutes of the budget meeting of Council held on 19 February 2018

Council is asked to approve the three sets of minutes as a correct record.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council agreed to approve the minutes of the ordinary meetings held on

  • 29 January 2018
  • 14 February 2018
  • 19 February 2018

as a true and correct record,

subject to a minor change in Minute 73 to correct Councillor Price’s term to 10 years as Leader of the Council..

 

106.

Announcements

Announcements by:

1.    The Lord Mayor

2.    The Sheriff

3.    The Leader of the Council (who may with the permission of the Lord Mayor invite other councillors to make announcements)

4.    The Chief Executive, Chief Finance Officer, Monitoring Officer

 

Minutes:

The Lord Mayor thanked those councillors standing down at the election for their service to the Council and to their communities.

She announced the upcoming Lord Mayor’s Charity dinner on 27 April and memorial services on 4 May.

She reported on her attendance at events including a remembrance ceremony on the 24th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide.

 

The Sheriff reported that new honorary Freemen and a number of apprentices had been admitted.

 

The Leader of the Council reported she had been honoured to attend the local synagogue for a Holocaust Memorial ceremony.

 

She also thanked those standing down for their services, and paid tribute to the three long-standing councillors (Councillors Fooks, Price, Sanders) who were stepping down.

 

 

107.

Appointment to Committees

No changes have been proposed.

Minutes:

There were no appointments.

108.

Public addresses and questions that relate to matters for decision at this meeting

Public addresses and questions to the Leader or other Board member received in accordance with Council Procedure Rules 11.11, 11.12, and 11.13 relating to matters for decision in Part 1 of this agenda.

The request to speak accompanied by the full text of the address or question must be received by the Head of Law and Governance by 5.00 pm on Tuesday 17 April 2018.

The briefing note will contain the text of addresses and questions submitted by the deadline, and written responses where available.

A total of 45 minutes is available for both public speaking items. Responses are included in this time. Up to five minutes is available for each public address and up to three minutes for each question.

 

Minutes:

There were no addresses or questions.

 

109.

Highway Maintenance Agreement pdf icon PDF 122 KB

The Executive Director Sustainable City submitted a report to the City Executive Board on 20 March 2018 to seek authority to enter into an Agency Agreement with Oxfordshire County Council to provide highway maintenance services on the classified road network in the City, in addition to the works already undertaken on minor roads under section 42 of The Highways Act 1980.

 

The report is attached here. The appendices are available as part of the agenda for the City Executive Board meeting.

 

The City Executive Board agreed the recommendations in the report and resolved to recommend to Council the inclusion of a gross expenditure and gross income budget of £1.56 million for the year 2018-19 i.e. nil cost to the Council.

 

Councillor Hollingsworth, Board Member forPlanning, Sustainability & Regulatory Services, will move the recommendations.

 

Recommendation: the City Executive Board recommends that Council agree:

 

the inclusion of a gross expenditure and gross income budget of £1.56 million for the year 2018-19 i.e. nil cost to the Council.

 

Minutes:

 

 

Council considered a report of the Executive Director Sustainable City, submitted to the City Executive Board on 20 March 2018, seeking authority to enter into an Agency Agreement with Oxfordshire County Council to provide highway maintenance services on the classified road network in the City, in addition to the works already undertaken on minor roads under section 42 of The Highways Act 1980.

 

Councillor Brown, Leader of the Council, presented the report and moved the recommendations which were adopted on being seconded and put to the vote

 

Council noted that the confidential information would be released when appropriate; under the agency agreement the Council did not have complete control over the scheduling of repairs; and the contract would be signed at a future date. Council noted concerns over the allocation and amount of funding for road repairs in the city, the reactive nature of repairs, and the poor quality of some repairs made by utility companies.

 

Council resolved to:

 

approve the inclusion of a gross expenditure and gross income budget of £1.56 million for the year 2018-19 i.e. nil cost to the Council.

 

110.

Pay Policy Statement 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 108 KB

The Head of Business Improvement has submitted a report asking Council to approve the Annual Pay Policy Statement

 

Councillor Price, Board Member for Corporate Strategy and Economic Development, will move the recommendations.

 

Recommendations: that Council resolves to

Approve the Annual Pay Policy Statement 2018/19 attached at Appendix 1 of the report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council agreed to grant a dispensation to officers (all of whom were affected by the policy) allowing them to remain in the meeting for this item.

 

Council considered a report of the Head of Business Improvement seeking approval of the Annual Pay Policy Statement, and also setting out the annual gender gap report.

 

Councillor Price, Board Member for Corporate Strategy and Economic Development, presented the report and moved the recommendations which were adopted on being seconded and put to the vote.

 

Council resolved to:

 

approve the Annual Pay Policy Statement 2018/19 attached at Appendix 1 of the officer’s report.

111.

Scheme for the enrolment of Honorary Aldermen and Honorary Alderwomen of Oxford City Council pdf icon PDF 107 KB

The Head of Law and Governance has submitted a report asking Council to approve the scheme for the enrolment of Honorary Aldermen and Honorary Alderwomen

 

Councillor Brown, Leader of the Council, will move the recommendations.

 

Recommendations: that Council resolves to

Adopt the Scheme for the enrolment of Honorary Aldermen and Honorary Alderwomen of Oxford City Council, attached at Appendix 1 of the report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Goddard arrived at the start of this item.

 

Council considered a report of the Head of Law and Governance asking for approval of the scheme for the enrolment of Honorary Aldermen and Honorary Alderwomen.

 

Councillor Brown, Leader of the Council, presented the report and moved the recommendations which were adopted on being seconded and put to the vote.

 

Council resolved to:

 

adopt the scheme for the enrolment of Honorary Aldermen and Honorary Alderwomen of Oxford City Council, attached at Appendix 1 of the officer’s report.

 

112.

City Executive Board Minutes

This item has a time limit of 15 minutes.

Councillors may ask the Board Members questions about matters in these minutes:

112a

Minutes of meeting Tuesday 13 February 2018 of City Executive Board pdf icon PDF 152 KB

Minutes:

 

Minute 155 Grant Allocations to Community and Voluntary Organisations 2018/19

 

Councillor Gant asked about the timing of the implementation of the decision: in particular was there a delay in issuing the funds; the effect on organisations waiting for their grants; and were all grants now paid.

 

Councillor Brown replied that those with one-off grants were not generally reliant on these and those with on-going grants had been notified of the award. Those grants not disbursed before the election purdah period started would be paid after the election.

 

112b

Minutes of meeting Tuesday 20 March 2018 of City Executive Board pdf icon PDF 180 KB

Minutes:

There were no questions.

112c

Minutes of the meeting Tuesday 17 April 2018 of City Executive Board pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Draft minutes to follow with the briefing note

Minutes:

There were no questions.

113.

Questions on Notice from Members of Council pdf icon PDF 195 KB

Questions on notice from councillors received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11.10(b).

Questions on notice may be asked of the Lord Mayor, a Member of the City Executive Board or a Chair of a Committee. One supplementary question may be asked at the meeting.

The full text of questions must be received by the Head of Law and Governance by no later than 1.00pm on (four clear working days before).

The briefing note will contain all questions submitted by the deadline, and written responses where available.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

50 written questions on notice were submitted. These, written responses, and summaries of the 21 supplementary questions and responses are set out in the supplement to these minutes.

 

114.

Outside organisation/Committee Chair reports and questions pdf icon PDF 108 KB

1.    On behalf of Councillor Hayes the Head of Community Services has submitted the Oxford Safer Communities Partnership’s Annual Review report

Council is invited to comment on and note the submitted report.

2.    Each ordinary meeting of Council shall normally receive a written report concerning the work of one of the partnerships on which the Council is represented.

As set out in procedure rule 11.15, Members who are Council representatives on external bodies or Chairs of Council Committees who consider that a significant decision or event has taken place, may give notice to the Head of Law and Governance by 1.00 pm on Thursday 19 April 2018 that they will present a written or oral report on the event or the significant decision and how it may influence future events. Written reports will be circulated with the briefing note.

Minutes:

This item was taken before the public addresses.

 

Council had before it the Oxford Safer Communities Partnership’s Annual Review report.

 

The Board Member, Councillor Hayes spoke to his report and thanked the Council’s partner organisations.

 

Council discussed and noted the report, the work of the partnership on tackling drug-dealing and the ensuing anti-social behaviour, and the impact of cuts in funding on the budget and capacity of the police force.

 

Council resolved to note the report.

 

115.

Scrutiny Committee update report pdf icon PDF 130 KB

The Chair of the Scrutiny Committee has submitted a report which updates Council on the activities of scrutiny and other non-executive Councillors and the implementation of recommendations since the last meeting of Council.

Council is invited to comment on and note the report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This item was taken before the public addresses.

 

Council had before it the report of the Chair of the Scrutiny Committee.

 

The Chair thanked all those involved with the work of the committee and panels over the year and in particular the officers directly supporting the committee’s work. He noted the changes to the committee’s work to allow it to play a full part, in particular on scrutiny of the Council’s companies; and the changes needed to allow scrutiny of the Oxfordshire Growth Board.

 

Council resolved to note the report.

 

116.

Public addresses and questions that do not relate to matters for decision at this Council meeting pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Public addresses and questions to the Leader or other Board member received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11.11, 11.12 and 11.13 and not related to matters for decision in Part 1 of this agenda.

The request to speak accompanied by the full text of the address or question must be received by the Head of Law and Governance by 5.00 pm on Tuesday 17 April 2018.

The briefing note will contain the text of addresses and questions submitted by the deadline, and written responses where available.

A total of 45 minutes is available for both public speaking items. Responses are included in this time. Up to five minutes is available for each public address and up to three minutes for each question.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Iley-Williamson arrived for the start of this item.

 

There were four addresses to Council and two questions to Board Members.

 

1.           Amanda Mackenzie Stuart addressed Council asking for action to secure proper access to the Westgate car park for high Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles, as the current height restrictions prohibited this and there was no advance warning of the restriction.

 

2.           Judith Harley addressed Council inviting the City Council to work with the Oxford African History Celebration (OAHC) organisation to commemorate events three key days: Windrush Day (22 June 2018) August 23 - Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its abolition (23 August 2018) and Abolition of Slavery (2 December 2018).

 

3.           Judith Harley addressed Council outlining problems with car and bike parking at Temple Cowley Library caused by the ongoing construction work and asking that the spaces are provided as shown in the planning permission.

 

4.           Artwell addressed Council about his view that inflated house prices were being aggravated by prices in the Barton Park development.

 

5.           Nigel Gibson asked a question about the pricing structure and price increases at the Council’s leisure centres as in his view these resulted in Oxford City Council discriminating against disabled people.

 

6.           Judith Harley asked questions about the new Oxford Direct Services Company.

 

The full text of these speeches and question where these were read as submitted; responses from the Board Members in writing before the meeting; and summaries of verbal responses given at the meeting are in the supplement to these minutes.

 

117.

Motions on notice pdf icon PDF 161 KB

This item has a time limit of 60 minutes.

The full text of motions received by the Head of Law and Governance in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11.17 by the deadline of 1.00pm on Wednesday 11 April 2018 is below. Motions will be taken in turn from the Labour Liberal Democrat, and Green, groups in that order.

Substantive amendments to these motions must be sent by councillors to the Head of Law and Governance by no later than 10.00am on 20 April 2018 so that they may be circulated with the briefing note.

Minor technical or limited wording amendments may be submitted during the meeting but must be written down and circulated.

Council is asked to consider the following motions:

a.    Addressing the housing crisis (proposed by Councillor Brown)

b.    Disabled access to the Westgate Centre (Proposed by Cllr Goddard, seconded by Cllr Goff)

c.    Phasing out unnecessary single-use plastics (proposed by Councillor Brandt, seconded by Councillor Simmons) 

d.    Short-term Lets (proposed by Councillor Price)

e.    The Crisis in Legal Aid and the Immediate Need for Action (proposed by Councillor Wade)

f.     Call on Government to introduce a new Clean Air Act and other measures to tackle air pollution (proposed by Councillor Thomas, seconded by Councillor Wolff)

Minutes:

Council had before it six motions on notice and amendments submitted in accordance with Council procedure rule 11.17, and reached decisions as set out below.

 

Council resolved to adopt the following motions as set out in these minutes:

 

a.    Addressing the housing crisis

b.    Disabled access to the Westgate Centre

c.    Phasing out unnecessary single-use plastics        

d.    Short-term Lets

 

The following were not taken because the time for discussing motions had elapsed.

e.    The Crisis in Legal Aid and the Immediate Need for Action

f.     Call on Government to introduce a new Clean Air Act and other measures to tackle air pollution

 

 

117a

Addressing the housing crisis

Proposed by Councillor Brown

 

Labour member motion

 

Council believes that Oxford is in the midst of a housing crisis, affecting all sections of our city, from people who grew up here but cannot afford to live here any more, families spanning several generations forced to live in one house because grown-up children cannot afford to move out, through to those who need to move on from hostel provision but can find nowhere to move to, and those who end up sleeping on the streets. 

 

Council believes that a wide variety of factors are responsible for this housing crisis, including decades of under-investment in social housing, and in particular a reckless disregard by central government for the potential that council housing could play in solving the housing crisis.

 

Council further believes that, notwithstanding the city’s determination to free up land for development, there is no ability to build enough dwellings to meet our housing needs within the city’s boundaries, and therefore sustainable urban extensions, with a good proportion of genuinely affordable housing and nomination rights for the City Council are a necessary part of the solution. 

 

Consideration should be given to taking further land out of Oxfordshire’s Green belt to facilitate this as has happened elsewhere. The emerging National Planning Policy Framework recognises that in exceptional circumstances this can be a sustainable way to plan to meet housing needs, including allocating new land as Green belt by way of compensation.

 

Council resolves to ask the City Executive Board to continue to make appropriate representations to our neighbouring councils on this matter, to feed such views into emerging sub-regional planning arrangements, and for the Leader to write to both local MPs asking for their views on this matter and their support.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Turner arrived during the debate on this item.

 

Councillor Brown, seconded by Councillor Rowley, proposed her submitted motion as set out in the agenda and briefing note.

 

Councillor Gant, seconded by Councillor Landell Mills, proposed his submitted amendment as set out in the briefing note.

 

After debate and on being put to the vote, the amendment was declared lost.

 

After debate and on being put to the vote, the original motion was agreed.

 

Council resolved to adopt the following motion:

 

Council believes that Oxford is in the midst of a housing crisis, affecting all sections of our city, from people who grew up here but cannot afford to live here any more, families spanning several generations forced to live in one house because grown-up children cannot afford to move out, through to those who need to move on from hostel provision but can find nowhere to move to, and those who end up sleeping on the streets. 

 

Council believes that a wide variety of factors are responsible for this housing crisis, including decades of under-investment in social housing, and in particular a reckless disregard by central government for the potential that council housing could play in solving the housing crisis.

 

Council further believes that, notwithstanding the city’s determination to free up land for development, there is no ability to build enough dwellings to meet our housing needs within the city’s boundaries, and therefore sustainable urban extensions, with a good proportion of genuinely affordable housing and nomination rights for the City Council are a necessary part of the solution. 

 

Consideration should be given to taking further land out of Oxfordshire’s Green belt to facilitate this as has happened elsewhere. The emerging National Planning Policy Framework recognises that in exceptional circumstances this can be a sustainable way to plan to meet housing needs, including allocating new land as Green belt by way of compensation.

 

Council resolves to ask the City Executive Board to continue to make appropriate representations to our neighbouring councils on this matter, to feed such views into emerging sub-regional planning arrangements, and for the Leader to write to both local MPs asking for their views on this matter and their support.

 

117b

Disabled access to the Westgate Centre

Proposed by Councillor Goddard, seconded by Councillor Goff

 

Liberal Democrat member motion

 

Council believes that disabled people should have the same life opportunities as all. In that context, Council notes concerns about aspects of access to the Westgate centre for disabled people. In particular, Council notes:

 

1)    Difficulties of access to the centre's car parks for specially adapted vehicles for disabled people due to low headroom at car park entrances;

2)    unhelpful placement of notices about the low headroom meaning that difficult manoeuvres are needed to reverse from the car park entrance;

3)    the limited disabled parking available near the Westgate centre;

4)    wider concerns about the placement of usable taxi ranks in the vicinity of the Westgate centre and about the size of some of the lifts within it.

 

Council resolves to mandate the Leader and Chief Executive of the Council to contact the Westgate Alliance to instigate discussions over how to further improve access for disabled people to the Westgate centre, and to ensure that such concerns are fully factored into the Alliance’s plans for the Castle Quarter

 

Minutes:

Councillor Goddard, seconded by Councillor Wilkinson, proposed his submitted motion as set out in the agenda and briefing note.

 

In the debate Council requested that checks on compliance with standards and that height restricting barriers met the requirements for accessibility for large WAVs were carried out for its own car parks, and noted that the County Council would be asked to take steps to improve advance notice of the height restrictions in the Westgate car park.

 

After debate and on being put to the vote, the motion was agreed.

 

Council resolved to adopt the following motion:

Council believes that disabled people should have the same life opportunities as all. In that context, Council notes concerns about aspects of access to the Westgate centre for disabled people. In particular, Council notes:

1)    Difficulties of access to the centre's car parks for specially adapted vehicles for disabled people due to low headroom at car park entrances;

2)    unhelpful placement of notices about the low headroom meaning that difficult manoeuvres are needed to reverse from the car park entrance;

3)    the limited disabled parking available near the Westgate centre;

4)    wider concerns about the placement of usable taxi ranks in the vicinity of the Westgate centre and about the size of some of the lifts within it.

Council resolves to mandate the Leader and Chief Executive of the Council to contact the Westgate Alliance to instigate discussions over how to further improve access for disabled people to the Westgate centre, and to ensure that such concerns are fully factored into the Alliance’s plans for the Castle Quarter.

 

117c

Phasing out unnecessary single-use plastics

Proposed by Councillor Brandt, seconded by Councillor Simmons

 

Green member motion

 

This Council commits to working to bring an end to the use of unnecessary Single Use Plastics (SUP) in Oxford.

 

This Council resolves to:

Request that the Executive Director for Sustainable City brings a report to City Executive Board on the options for bringing an end to the use of unnecessary Single Use Plastics (SUP) in Oxford, to:

a)    enable Oxford City Council to become a full signatory of the ‘Plastic Free Pledge’, by phasing out the use of unnecessary SUPs in all City Council buildings, and working with commissioning partners to end the purchase and procurement of SUPs through the Council’s supply chain;

b)    encourage the city’s businesses, organisations and residents to go ‘plastic free,’ working with best practice partners in the city to explore the creation of a ‘plastic free network,’ that could provide business support, practical guidelines and advice to help local businesses transition from SUPs to sustainable alternatives;

c)    provide feasible options to incentivise traders on Council land to sell re-usable containers and invite customers to bring their own, with the aim of phasing out SUPs; including investigating the possibility of requiring food and drink vendors to avoid SUPs as a condition of their event permission, strengthening the existing conditions and guidance circulated to exhibitors and traders.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Brandt, seconded by Councillor Simmons, proposed her submitted motion as set out in the agenda and briefing note.

 

After debate and on being put to the vote, the motion was agreed.

 

Council resolved to adopt the following motion:

 

This Council commits to working to bring an end to the use of unnecessary Single Use Plastics (SUP) in Oxford.

 

This Council resolves to:

Request that the Executive Director for Sustainable City brings a report to City Executive Board on the options for bringing an end to the use of unnecessary Single Use Plastics (SUP) in Oxford, to:

1)    enable Oxford City Council to become a full signatory of the ‘Plastic Free Pledge’, by phasing out the use of unnecessary SUPs in all City Council buildings, and working with commissioning partners to end the purchase and procurement of SUPs through the Council’s supply chain;

2)    encourage the city’s businesses, organisations and residents to go ‘plastic free,’ working with best practice partners in the city to explore the creation of a ‘plastic free network,’ that could provide business support, practical guidelines and advice to help local businesses transition from SUPs to sustainable alternatives;

3)    provide feasible options to incentivise traders on Council land to sell re-usable containers and invite customers to bring their own, with the aim of phasing out SUPs; including investigating the possibility of requiring food and drink vendors to avoid SUPs as a condition of their event permission, strengthening the existing conditions and guidance circulated to exhibitors and traders.

117d

Short-term lets

Proposed by Councillor Price

 

Labour member motion

 

This Council notes the expansion of short-term lets in Oxford as in many other cities, and welcomes the options that this provides for visitors to our city to find somewhere to stay.

 

However the Council is concerned with the growing reports of problems in this sector, and in particular notes that the very serious issues that have been reported in other cities are now starting to be reported here.

 

There have been documented instances of pop-up brothels and evidence of both single properties and groups of properties being used as de facto guest houses, without any need to comply with the same regulations as standard guest houses do when it comes to fire risk, environmental health or safeguarding against child sexual exploitation.

 

Other cities have seen houses in residential areas advertised for pay parties – where a house is effectively used as a commercial nightclub without the knowledge or consent of the landlord, with no safety or noise regulations in place, and with no consideration for neighbours.

 

This Council believes that it is essential that the short-term let sector is regulated, both to protect neighbours and also to prevent unfair competition undermining landlords, hotels and guest-houses that do comply with regulations that set safe standards for their properties.

 

Specifically, this regulation could include:

·           A definition of a property used permanently or regularly as a short-term let as a separate planning class, leading to a requirement to obtain planning permission, and allowing neighbours to object;

·           Licensing or registration of premises, in line with HMOs or hotels and guesthouses;

·           Treating such premises as commercial rather than residential, with a requirement to make use of commercial refuse and waste services.

 

This Council therefore asks that:

·         The City Executive Board, and the Board Member with responsibility for this area, works alongside other local authorities, the Local Government Association and other appropriate bodies to make a coordinated and ongoing request to Government for powers to implement a scheme to make properties on short-term lets subject to the same regulation as equivalent properties

·         The Board Member with responsibility for this area writes to our two local MPs to ask them to support such a scheme, providing them with evidence and information to allow them to ask questions of Ministers and introduce or support any Private Members Bill or amendment to other legislation to introduce a scheme to regulate short-term lets.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Price, seconded by Councillor Chapman, proposed his submitted motion as set out in the agenda and briefing note.

 

Council noted in debate that this proposal was not intended to penalise those providing short-term lets, but expansion and diversification of the sector meant that regulation was necessary to prevent lettings which were dangerous, sub-standard or caused nuisance.

 

After debate and on being put to the vote, the motion was agreed.

 

Council resolved to adopt the following motion:

 

This Council notes the expansion of short-term lets in Oxford as in many other cities, and welcomes the options that this provides for visitors to our city to find somewhere to stay.

 

However the Council is concerned with the growing reports of problems in this sector, and in particular notes that the very serious issues that have been reported in other cities are now starting to be reported here.

 

There have been documented instances of pop-up brothels and evidence of both single properties and groups of properties being used as de facto guest houses, without any need to comply with the same regulations as standard guest houses do when it comes to fire risk, environmental health or safeguarding against child sexual exploitation.

 

Other cities have seen houses in residential areas advertised for pay parties – where a house is effectively used as a commercial nightclub without the knowledge or consent of the landlord, with no safety or noise regulations in place, and with no consideration for neighbours.

 

This Council believes that it is essential that the short-term let sector is regulated, both to protect neighbours and also to prevent unfair competition undermining landlords, hotels and guest-houses that do comply with regulations that set safe standards for their properties.

 

Specifically, this regulation could include:

·           A definition of a property used permanently or regularly as a short-term let as a separate planning class, leading to a requirement to obtain planning permission, and allowing neighbours to object;

·           Licensing or registration of premises, in line with HMOs or hotels and guesthouses;

·          Treating such premises as commercial rather than residential, with a requirement to make use of commercial refuse and waste services.

 

This Council therefore asks that:

1.    The City Executive Board, and the Board Member with responsibility for this area, works alongside other local authorities, the Local Government Association and other appropriate bodies to make a coordinated and ongoing request to Government for powers to implement a scheme to make properties on short-term lets subject to the same regulation as equivalent properties.

 

2.    The Board Member with responsibility for this area writes to our two local MPs to ask them to support such a scheme, providing them with evidence and information to allow them to ask questions of Ministers and introduce or support any Private Members Bill or amendment to other legislation to introduce a scheme to regulate short-term lets.

117e

The Crisis in Legal Aid and the Immediate Need for Action

Proposed by Councillor Wade

 

Liberal Democrat member motion

 

Council notes that Legal Aid was created as part of the post-war Welfare State of which liberals such as Beveridge and Keynes were key architects.

Legal Aid funds legal advice and representation to the general public, in particular to those who cannot afford to pay for it. It is a vital ingredient of a democratic society.

 

In a criminal context, those without legal aid, and who could not pay privately, would have to fend for themselves against all the resources of the state. Access to justice would depend on wealth.

 

Oxford City Council believes that the fundamental right to justice should be available to everybody in our society regardless of their means.

 

Nature of the problem

 

There will be a £600m reduction in an already meagre and overstretched budget for the Ministry of Justice by 2019/20. Meanwhile many of the poor and vulnerable are being denied access to justice. The faith of the public in the jury system is being undermined by the chaos in the courts. The further cut now proposed will amount to a 40% cut in real terms since 1997. 

 

Council therefore calls on the Government to:

1.    Recognise the concerns of members of the legal profession at all levels

2.    Instigate an open review of the cumulative effect of legal aid reductions on the provision of access to legal advice and assistance, taking evidence from professionals, from agencies e.g. CABs, Law Centres, and from people who are themselves affected by little or no legal aid support.

3.    Consider how the reduction in legal aid provision is affecting the Government’s ability to comply with United Nations, European Union and National Policy and Legislative measures.

4.    Require the Ministry of Justice to provide a fully-costed review of the Legal Aid scheme within 12 months against 2016/17 figures to ascertain whether the scheme achieves its aim of cost neutrality or whether it is underfunded and, if so, by how much.

Council accordingly resolves to ask the Leader of the Council:

·         to ask the Oxford MPs Layla Moran and Anneliese Dodds to write to the Prime Minister to communicate the resolution of Council as expressed above.

·         to ask Oxfordshire County Council to join us in this request to the Prime Minister

 

Minutes:

This motion was not taken because the time for discussing motions had elapsed.

117f

Call on Government to introduce a new Clean Air act and other measures to tackle air pollution

Proposed by Councillor Thomas, seconded by Councillor Wolff

 

Green member motion

 

This Council is committed to improving air quality within the city, which currently breaches EU limits in some areas (the annual mean Air Quality Strategy objective for NO2 was breached at two out of three of the continuously monitored sites and 24% of the diffusion tube sites.

 

[Source: Oxford City Council 2016 Air Quality Annual Status Report; July 2017]).

 

It recognises the need to take more local action but acknowledges that this can more easily take place within a more supportive, national policy and legal framework.

 

This Council therefore calls upon the UK Government to:

1.           Publish a new Clean Air Act, fit for the 21st Century, which improves on and strengthens existing legislation, establishing clean air as a human right in law1. Polling shows that 65% of British public support a new Clean Air Act2.

2.           Spend at least £30 per person annually on walking and cycling. This is an increase from the Government's current spend of £6.50 per person per year3. Money could be redirected from the huge £30 billion allocated to new roads between 2015/16 till 2020/214.

3.           Bring forward the phase out of petrol and diesel car sales from 2040 to 2030 at the latest.

4.           Implement an expanded national network of Clean Air Zones by the end of 20185, mandated and funded by central Government, to end all illegal air pollution levels as soon as possible within the next two years.

5.           Create and fund a targeted diesel scrappage scheme6  that trades cars for public transport tokens, low emissions car club memberships, cargo bike and electric bike discounts, and subsidies for public transport and clean vehicle infrastructure, including subsidies specifically targeted at lower income drivers and small businesses.

6.           Increase the Vehicle Excise Duty for new diesel cars announced in the Autumn Budget 2017 - by at least £800 - so as to reflect the additional cost to society of dirty diesel engines. This would generate £500 million a year, which should be directed at helping fund a targeted diesel scrappage scheme, and not road building or car-dependent development.

and asks the Leader to write to senior ministers and local MPs to inform them of this.

 

 

References

1 https://cleanair.london/legal/clean-air-is-a-human-right/

2 https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/feb/14/65-percent-british-public-want-clean-air-act-pollution-harmful-uk-survey

3 https://www.theguardian.com/environment/bike-blog/2017/apr/26/the-government-just-announced-a-gamechanger-for-cycling-in-england

4 http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/blog/roads/231114-road-spending-30-billion

5 https://cdn.friendsoftheearth.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/Too%20little%20too%20late%20-%20a%20critique%20of%20the%20Air%20Quality%20Plan%20FINAL%2017102017%20UPDATED.pdf

6 http://content.tfl.gov.uk/proposal-national-vehicle-scrappage-fund.pdf

 

Minutes:

This motion was not taken because the time for discussing motions had elapsed.