Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Speaking at a Council or Committee meeting

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall

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

Items
No. Item

12.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

Councillor Turner declared an interests: he had accepted a secondment to the Foreign Office and so would not take part in Council debates or decisions on matters of government foreign policy for the duration of this. He remained employed by Aston University.

 

13.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Council held on 23 April 2018 and the annual meeting of Council held on 15 May 2018.

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council agreed to approve the minutes of

·         the ordinary meeting of Council held on 23 April 2018 and

·         the annual meeting of Council held on 15 May 2018

as a true and correct record.

 

 

14.

Appointment to Committees

The Head of Law and Governance has been, or may be, notified of changes of membership requested by group leaders to fill vacancies on committees as a result of resignations, changes of group memberships, and the by-election for Headington Ward on 19 July.

If the by-election causes no change to the political balance and committee seats, Council is asked to approve the following appointments to committees.

  • East Area Planning Committee 
    • Labour seat – to be nominated
    • Lib Dem seat – to be nominated
  • General Purposes Licensing Committee
    • Labour seat – to be nominated
  • Scrutiny Committee
    • Labour seat – Councillor Lygo

 

  • Oxfordshire Growth Board Scrutiny Panel
    • Councillors Gant, Henwood, and Simmons

 

Any change to the political balance and hence to committee memberships including those listed above as a result of the by-election will be reported in the Briefing Note.

Nominations to vacant seats will be reported in the Briefing Note or at the meeting.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Brown, Leader of the Labour Group, announced and Council approved the following appointments to committees to fill vacant seats:

  • East Area Planning Committee 
    • Councillor Lygo
  • General Purposes Licensing Committee
    • Councillor Corais
  • Scrutiny Committee
    • Councillor Lygo

 

  • Oxfordshire Growth Board Scrutiny Panel
    • Councillors Gant, Henwood, and Simmons

 

Councillor Gant, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group announced and Council approved the following appointments to committees to fill vacant seats:

  • East Area Planning Committee 
    • Councillor Garden

 

15.

Announcements pdf icon PDF 100 KB

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 drew attention to the list of engagement in the Briefing Note and that the annual Abingdon – Oxford Bowls match was on 5 August. He welcomed volunteers for the team.

 

The Sheriff announced he had attended the AGM of Oxford Samaritans and had met with the Wolvercote Commoners.

 

The Leader announced:

  • Councillor Tidball would be taking maternity leave from her Executive role from 1 August. Councillor Simm would temporarily take over the Supporting Local Communities portfolio and join the City Executive Board.
  • She had appointed Champions (non-Executive lead members) :

 

Cllr Shaista Aziz – Representation in the Workforce Champion

Cllr Pat Kennedy – Older Peoples’ Champion

Cllr Mark Lygo – Champion for Sports in Schools

Cllr Martyn Rush – Living Wage Champion

 

16.

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 July 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

 

17.

Tenancy Strategy and Tenancy Policy 2018-2023 pdf icon PDF 2 MB

The Head of Housing Services submitted a report to the City Executive Board on 13 June 2018 asking the Board to recommend to Council approval of the amended Draft Tenancy Strategy and Tenancy Policy 2018-23 and associated appendices.

 

The report and appendices are attached here.

 

The City Executive Board agreed the recommendations in the report and resolved to recommend to Council the Tenancy Strategy and Tenancy Policy 2018-23 and associated appendices presented to that meeting.

 

Councillor Rowley, Board Member forHousing, will move the recommendations.

 

Recommendation:  the City Executive Board recommends that Council resolves to:

 

approve the amended Draft Tenancy Strategy and Tenancy Policy 2018-23 and associated appendices.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Iley-Williamson arrived during this item.

 

Council considered a report of the Head of Housing Services, submitted to the City Executive Board on 13 June 2018, recommending approval of the amended Draft Tenancy Strategy and Tenancy Policy 2018-23 and associated appendices.

 

Councillor Rowley, Board Member for Housing, presented the report, answered questions and moved the recommendations which were adopted on being seconded and put to the vote.

 

Council resolved to

 

approve the amended Draft Tenancy Strategy and Tenancy Policy 2018-23 and associated appendices.

 

 

18.

Q4 2017/18 Integrated Report pdf icon PDF 130 KB

The Head of Financial Services and Head of Business Improvement submitted a report to the City Executive Board on 13 June 2018 asking update Members on finance, risk and performance as at the end of the financial year.

 

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

 

The City Executive Board agreed all recommendations in the report including the carry forward requests and new bids and resolved to recommend to Council that it establish budgetary provision for these.

 

Councillor Turner, Board Member for Finance and Asset Management, will move the recommendations.

 

Recommendation: the City Executive Board recommends that Council resolves to:

  1. Establish budgetary provision of £364k in the General Fund in respect of the new bids shown in paragraph 6 and Appendix D or the report;
  2. Establish budgetary provision of £70k in respect of the new HRA bids as detailed in paragraphs 16 to 19 and Appendix D of the report.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered a report of the Head of Financial Services, submitted to the City Executive Board on 13 June 2018, updating Council on finance risk and performance at the end of the 2017/18 financial year and seeking agreement for new and carried forward financial requests for 2018/19.

 

Councillor Turner, Board Member for Finance and Asset Management, presented the report and moved the recommendations which were adopted on being seconded and put to the vote.

 

The Chair of the Scrutiny Finance Panel confirmed the Panel had considered the report and financial requests

 

Council resolved to:

  1. Establish budgetary provision of £364k in the General Fund in respect of the new bids shown in paragraph 6 and Appendix D or the report;
  2. Establish budgetary provision of £70k in respect of the new HRA bids as detailed in paragraphs 16 to 19 and Appendix D of the report.

 

 

19.

Scheme of Delegation and Amendment to Proper Officer Designations pdf icon PDF 89 KB

The Head of Law and Governance has submitted a report recommending approval of the Council’s scheme of delegation with a change to the Proper Officer designations (Parts 5 and 10 of the Council’s Constitution).

 

The Constitution is available on the Council’s website.

 

Council is recommended to approve the Council’s scheme of delegation as set out in Part 5 of the Council’s Constitution with the addition to the proper officer designations set out in the report:

 

Local Government Act 1972 Section 234

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signing notices, orders and other documents which the Council is required or authorised to issue by or under any enactment

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Heads of Service.

 

The Head of Housing will be the Proper Officer for all Council functions transferred to Oxford Direct Services in performance of the role Council Representative (Oxford Direct Services)

 

Highways Act 1980

 

Signing notices, orders and other documents which the Council is required or authorised to issue

Highways Client Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Arshad arrived before the start of this item.

 

Council considered a report of the Head of Law and Governance recommending approval of the Council’s scheme of delegation with a change to the Proper Officer designations (Parts 5 and 10 of the Council’s Constitution).

 

Councillor Brown, Leader of the Council, presented the report and moved the recommendations. She proposed an amendment to the proper officer for Highways Act 1980 functions to ensure this was assigned to an employee only of the Council: changing Highways Client Manager to Client Manager (ie the person with responsibility as client manager for Oxford Direct Services).

 

The recommendations as amended, on being seconded and put to the vote, were adopted.

 

Council resolved to:

 

approve the Council’s scheme of delegation as set out in Part 5 of the Council’s Constitution with the addition to the proper officer designations set out in the report, and as amended at the meeting

 

Local Government Act 1972 Section 234

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signing notices, orders and other documents which the Council is required or authorised to issue by or under any enactment

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Heads of Service.

 

The Head of Housing will be the Proper Officer for all Council functions transferred to Oxford Direct Services in performance of the role Council Representative (Oxford Direct Services)

 

Highways Act 1980

 

Signing notices, orders and other documents which the Council is required or authorised to issue

The person with responsibility as client manager for Oxford Direct Services

 

 

 

 

20.

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:

20a

Minutes of meeting Tuesday 15 May 2018 of City Executive Board pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Minutes:

There were no questions.

20b

Minutes of meeting Tuesday 22 May 2018 of City Executive Board pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Minutes:

Minute 11 Scrutiny Committee Reports – Oxford Town Hall

 

Councillor Goff asked whether there was any progress on implementing the recommendations in the audit on the Town Hall’s accessibility and whether councillors and officers were involved in this.

 

Councillor Tidball replied that and a project plan would be drawn up to implement what could be major programme of work but this would take time. The audit was undertaken by professional specialists.

 

Minute 14 Review of Discretionary Housing Payment policy

Councillor Simmons asked whether the sentences …….This was patently not the case and, for the avoidance of doubt, the record should be corrected. To that end, the Scrutiny Committee should be asked to make this clear in its next minutes. ….could be better phrased as this wording gave the impression that the Board were attempting to change the record of the Scrutiny Committee’s meeting.

 

Councillor Brown confirmed that the Board was not asking for changes to the minutes of the Scrutiny Committee meeting but that the matter be clarified for the committee and appropriately recorded. She asked for this to be noted as signed minutes cannot be subsequently altered.

 

The Chair of the Scrutiny Committee confirmed the Committee had received the information and was content with the wording in their minutes.

 

20c

Minutes of meeting Wednesday 13 June 2018 of City Executive Board pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Minutes:

Minute 24 Fusion Lifestyle’s 2018/19 Annual Service Plan

 

Councillor Gant asked if the information in and presentation of performance reports from Fusion could be improved.

 

Councillor Smith replied that she would seek improvements.

 

Minute 32 Appointment to Outside Bodies 2018/19

 

Councillor Roz Smith asked who would be appointed as representatives on  the Headington Parish Charity and Risinghust Community Centre

 

Councillor Brown replied that appointees would be decided at the next meeting of the City Executive Board.

20d

Minutes of meeting Wednesday 11 July 2018 of City Executive Board pdf icon PDF 100 KB

Minutes:

There were no questions.

21.

Questions on Notice from Members of Council pdf icon PDF 275 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 Monday 16 July 2018

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

34 written questions on notice were submitted. These, written responses, and summaries of the 14 supplementary questions and responses are set out in the supplement to these minutes.

 

 

22.

Outside organisation/Committee Chair reports and questions pdf icon PDF 146 KB

  1. On behalf of Councillor Upton, the Policy and Partnership Team Manager has submitted a report on the Oxfordshire Health and Wellbeing Board.

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

 

  1. 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.

The programme of reporting at future meetings is proposed to be:

1 October

Oxfordshire Health Improvement Board

Oxfordshire Growth Board

Oxfordshire LEP

26 November

Oxford Strategic Partnership

28 January

Annual Report on Oxfordshire Partnerships

29 April

Oxfordshire Children’s Trust Board

 

  1. As set out in the Council procedure rules, 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 July 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.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This item was taken before the public addresses.

 

Council had before it a report on the Oxfordshire Health and Wellbeing Board.

 

The Board Member, Councillor Upton spoke to this report

 

Council noted the report and comments.

 

23.

Scrutiny Committee update report pdf icon PDF 2 MB

The Chair of the Scrutiny Committee has submitted the annual report of the Council’s Scrutiny Committee for 2017/18.

Council is invited to comment on and note the report.

 

Minutes:

This item was taken before the public addresses.

 

Council had before it the annual report of the Council’s Scrutiny Committee for 2017/18.

 

Councillor Gant, the Chair of the Scrutiny Committee presented the report and outlined key themes for the coming year which included quarterly monitoring of leisure performance and the work of the Companies Panel. Review Groups had been established to consider issues related to homelessness and tourism management.

 

Councillor Turner thanked the committee and panels for their good work.

 

Council noted the report and comments.

 

24.

Public addresses and questions that do not relate to matters for decision at this Council meeting pdf icon PDF 2 MB

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 July 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:

There were seven addresses to Council and one question to Board Members.

 

  1. Jenny Stanton and Nikki Marriott of the Oxford Ramallah Friendship Association (ORFA) gave an address in support of the motion on twinning.

 

  1. Judith Harley gave an address 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.

 

  1. Judith Harley gave an address asking for change to planning call in arrangements in the Council’s Constitution.

 

  1. Artwell gave an address about Oxford Direct Services Ltd.

 

  1. Artwell gave an address about Barton Community Association.

 

  1. Nigel Gibson gave an address about the pricing structure and price increases at the Council’s leisure centres as in his view these were still not correct and still resulted in Oxford City Council discriminating against disabled people.

 

  1. Sharone Parnes gave an address asking the Council to adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, emphasising he asked for its adoption in its entirety with all the examples.

 

Councillor Brown made a statement after this address:

I thank Councillor Parnes for his petition. Following receipt of his petition I checked that we had not responded to the letter of January 2017. He is correct that we had not. Believing that all parties in the council would want Oxford City Council to be signed up to the IHRA definition of antisemitism, to make clear our abhorrence for racism in any form, I have written to the current Secretary of State for Local Government and Housing, James Brokenshire MP on behalf of the City Council. I will ask Committee Services to send a copy of the letter to all councillors and for the letter to form part of the formal record of this meeting.

 

It is important to note that neither the definition nor the examples cited in the declaration document preclude anyone from criticising Israeli government policy, but quite rightly demand that the language used to do so is appropriate.

 

Last week saw Israel pass a new law, the Nation State Law, that anyone committed to equality and minority rights must rightly condemn. I therefore am also intending to write this week to our two city MPs to ask them to take every opportunity to raise in parliament and with ministers the horror with which we view this new policy and to ask our government to make representations to the Israeli government. I will also circulate these letters which should also form part of the record of this council meeting.

 

  1. Artwell asked a question about the future of the Royal British Legion Building, Barton

 

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.

 

 

25.

Motions on notice pdf icon PDF 190 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 July 2018 is below.

Motions will be taken in turn from the Liberal Democrat, Green, Labourgroups 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 Friday 20 July 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.    Eco standards in new buildings  (Proposed by Councillor Gotch)

b.    Opposition to the Oxford Cambridge Expressway road plans and the expansion of Oxford airport  (Proposed by Councillor Wolff, seconded by Councillor Simmons)

c.    Stop Roll Out of Universal Credit, Fix its Impact on Vulnerable People (proposed by Councillor Tidball)

d.    Homelessness (proposed by Councillor Gant, seconded by Councillor Landell Mills)

e.    Supporting a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal (proposed by Councillor Simmons, seconded by Councillor Wolff)

f.     Extending twinning links (proposed by Councillor Tanner, seconded by Councillor Rush)

 

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.      Eco standards in new buildings

b.      Opposition to the Oxford Cambridge Expressway road plans and the expansion of Oxford airport

c.       Stop Roll out of Universal Credit, Fix its Impact on Vulnerable People

d.      Homelessness

e.      Supporting a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal

f.       Extending twinning links

 

At the conclusion of debate on the third motion, Councillor Tanner proposed and the Lord Mayor seconded suspension of the relevant standing orders to extend the time limit for the debate on motions by 30 minutes to allow all motions to be considered.

 

On being put to the vote, Council resolved to suspend the relevant standing orders and extend the time limit for the debate on motions by 30 minutes to allow all motions to be considered.

 

 

25a

Eco standards in new buildings

Proposed by Councillor Gotch

 

Liberal Democrat motion

 

Council wishes to live up to its green aspirations.

 

Council encourages officers to give consideration to incorporating as far as possible suitable ‘green’ aspirations into the development of policies in the Local Plan.

 

Examples of the type of matters to which due consideration may be given could include: improving air quality; electric charging provision; and measures to ensure high quality development.

 

Minutes:

The Lord Mayor proposed and Council agreed to take this as the second motion after the break and public speaking.

 

Councillor Gotch, seconded by Councillor Landell Mills, proposed his submitted motion, as amended by him as proposer after publication of the agenda and as set out in the briefing note.

 

The Monitoring Officer tabled advice (attached as a supplement to the minutes) setting out reasons why the motion before Council should not be accepted. In response to a challenge by Councillor Gotch she explained she presented her advice following his confirmation that the amended motion should be presented for debate.

 

Cllr Hollingsworth proposed an amendment at the meeting, and tabled for all members, and seconded by Councillor Turner.

 

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

 

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

 

Original motion – as proposed and amended by Councillor Gotch

Council wishing to live up to its green aspirations requests that CEB members consider the following measures to apply to all housing schemes for 20 or more dwellings, private or public, with officers encouraging developers to incorporate:

1.         District heating schemes to be included, lowering the carbon footprint substantially compared to all dwellings [ and other buildings ]  having separate boilers.

2.         Electricity generating solar panels to all dwellings [ or block of dwellings ] and extensive external electricity charging points ,  to be provided .

3.         Whole house ventilation wherever noise or air pollution levels are high.

4.         Higher standard factory-built structures – delivered to site faster and cheaper than by conventional building methods.

5.         Site planning and extensive landscaping – particularly with trees – to minimise the impact of noise and air pollution sources and maximise solar gain.

Points 2 – 5 should apply also to projects with 3 – 19 dwellings.

Council requests offices to monitor the effectiveness of encouraging developers to adopt the measures outlined above, and report annually to Council - in a simple format.

 

 

Amendment – as proposed and tabled by Councillor Hollingsworth

 

Replace first paragraph with:

This Council in reflecting its long-standing commitment to high environmental standards in its planning policies, and noting that many such measures were outlined in the Preferred Options consultation in 2017, requests that the CEB in preparing the final draft of the Oxford Local Plan 2036, subject to the proposals being compliant with the requirements in the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF 2018) and where they are not more properly part of the requirements of the Building Regulations, considers whether the following might be appropriate as the basis for inclusion as policies either in the Local Plan or in the Corporate Strategy or other similar document:

 

Leave points 1 to 5

 

Delete the line beginning “Points 2-5 should apply…”

 

Replace final paragraph with:

Council further requests that where any such policies are adopted, whether it be in the Local Plan or in the Council’s Corporate Strategy, or in any other similar  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25a

25b

Opposition to the Oxford Cambridge Expressway road plans and the expansion of Oxford airport

Proposed by Councillor Wolff, seconded by Councillor Simmons

 

Green member motion

 

Council notes the well-attended meeting on climate change held on 12th January 2018 at the Wesley Memorial Church organised by local campaigning groups and addressed by, amongst others, Oxford’s two MPs.

Council notes the concern expressed by one of the expert speakers, and in public questions, over the planned Oxford-Cambridge Expressway road, as well as the proposed expansion of the Oxford Airport, both incompatible with achieving climate change goals.

 

Since the January meeting opposition to the Expressway road has, in particular, grown significantly.

 

With respect to the airport, the capacity increases that the proposed lengthened runway will deliver, including the encouraging of disproportionately damaging short trips by air, will only lead to a net increase in transport emissions.

 

This Council has stated its commitment to climate change reduction on several occasions and recognises that all levels of Government must play their part in tackling climate change.

 

This Council therefore wishes to state its opposition to the Oxford Cambridge Expressway road plans and the expansion of Oxford airport and asks the Leader of the Council to write to the relevant ministers and Oxford’s MPs informing them of these views.

 

Minutes:

The Lord Mayor proposed and Council agreed to take this as the first motion and debate this before the break and public speaking.

 

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

 

Councillor Brown, seconded by Councillor Hollingsworth proposed the submitted amendment as set out in the briefing note.

 

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

 

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

 

Council resolved to adopt the following motion, as amended:

 

Council notes the well-attended meeting on climate change held on 12th January 2018 at the Wesley Memorial Church organised by local campaigning groups and addressed by, amongst others, Oxford’s two MPs.

Council notes the concern expressed by one of the expert speakers, and in public questions, over the planned Oxford-Cambridge Expressway road, as well as the proposed expansion of the Oxford Airport, both incompatible with achieving climate change goals.

 

Since the January meeting opposition to the Expressway road has, in particular, grown significantly.

 

With respect to the airport, the capacity increases that the proposed lengthened runway will deliver, including the encouraging of disproportionately damaging short trips by air, will only lead to a net increase in transport emissions.

 

This Council has stated its commitment to climate change reduction on several occasions and recognises that all levels of Government must play their part in tackling climate change.

 

This Council therefore wishes to restate its support of integrated public transport systems, and prioritisation of clean travel such as pedestrian, cycling and clean public transport and asks the Secretary of State for Transport to consider these principles when making their decision on their proposals for an Oxford-Cambridge Expressway. The Council’s commitment to improved Air Quality is well known. Council also notes the deficiencies in the democratic process of making this decision. We request that the Leader of the Council writes to the relevant ministers and Oxford’s MPs informing them of these views.

 

25c

Stop Roll Out of Universal Credit, Fix its Impact on Vulnerable People

Proposed by Councillor Tidball

 

Labour member motion

 

Last month, the National Audit Office report  “Rolling out Universal Credit” highlighted a number of urgent problems about the way Universal Credit works in practice and acknowledges that the Department for Work and Pensions has actually dismissed evidence of difficulties and hardship on claimants 'instead of working with these bodies to establish an evidence base for what is actually happening'. Indeed the National Audit Office (NAO) doubts 'it will ever be possible to measure whether the economic goal of increasing employment has been achieved'. This, the extended timescales, and the cost of running Universal Credit compared to the benefits it replaces has caused the NAO to conclude that ‘the project is not value for money now, and that its future value for money is unproven’.

 

On 18 May 2018, the Council and Oxford & District Action on Child Poverty, held a conference with local stakeholders to share experiences and learning from supporting Oxford residents on receiving Universal Credit. The meeting included advice organisations, housing associations and specialist support providers form the third sector. This reflected the findings of the NAO and showed the desperate impact Universal Credit is having on vulnerable individuals in our City. It also reflected the Council’s own experience in supporting the DWP to deliver Universal Credit.

 

The following are just some of the dire problems with the operation of and hardship caused by Universal Credit:

·         some young people in education have had difficulty in claiming Universal Credit, despite being eligible, particularly those in care and with specialist educational needs and disabilities (SEND);

·         the inability to claim Universal Credit when in hospital is delaying discharges for many vulnerable groups, including those with mental health problems;

·         prisoners are unable to access computers, so cannot learn how to apply for Universal Credit before they are released. Some types of offender may be barred from accessing digital services even when they are not in custody;

·         it is difficult for people with disabilities to arrange home visits when they need them in order to be able to make a claim;

·         there is insufficient support for claimants with mental health needs;

·         those without ICT and literacy skills need a lot more support then DWP say they do.

 

The explicit consent rule means that it takes advice organisation four times longer to deal with an issue compared to legacy benefits. Oxford City Council is also experiencing significant additional workloads as a result of Universal Credit. Oxford City Council currently has six full time members of staff dealing with these Universal Credit notifications provided by DWP, but the funding provided by DWP for this work doesn’t even cover the costs of one member of staff.

 

Oxford City Council calls on the government to stop the roll out of universal credit and urgently work to fix its impact on vulnerable people by ensuring the DWP:

 

1)    Immediately reviews the way support is provided for the vulnerable groups highlighted above;

2)    Pauses the migration of these customer types while that  ...  view the full agenda text for item 25c

Minutes:

Councillor Tidball, seconded by Councillor Bely-Summers proposed the 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:

 

Last month, the National Audit Office report  “Rolling out Universal Credit” highlighted a number of urgent problems about the way Universal Credit works in practice and acknowledges that the Department for Work and Pensions has actually dismissed evidence of difficulties and hardship on claimants 'instead of working with these bodies to establish an evidence base for what is actually happening'. Indeed the National Audit Office (NAO) doubts 'it will ever be possible to measure whether the economic goal of increasing employment has been achieved'. This, the extended timescales, and the cost of running Universal Credit compared to the benefits it replaces has caused the NAO to conclude that ‘the project is not value for money now, and that its future value for money is unproven’.

On 18 May 2018, the Council and Oxford & District Action on Child Poverty, held a conference with local stakeholders to share experiences and learning from supporting Oxford residents on receiving Universal Credit. The meeting included advice organisations, housing associations and specialist support providers form the third sector. This reflected the findings of the NAO and showed the desperate impact Universal Credit is having on vulnerable individuals in our City. It also reflected the Council’s own experience in supporting the DWP to deliver Universal Credit. The following are just some of the dire problems with the operation of and hardship caused by Universal Credit:

·         some young people in education have had difficulty in claiming Universal Credit, despite being eligible, particularly those in care and with specialist educational needs and disabilities (SEND);

·         the inability to claim Universal Credit when in hospital is delaying discharges for many vulnerable groups, including those with mental health problems;

·         prisoners are unable to access computers, so cannot learn how to apply for Universal Credit before they are released. Some types of offender may be barred from accessing digital services even when they are not in custody;

·         it is difficult for people with disabilities to arrange home visits when they need them in order to be able to make a claim;

·         there is insufficient support for claimants with mental health needs;

·         those without ICT and literacy skills need a lot more support then DWP say they do;

The explicit consent rule means that it takes advice organisation four times longer to deal with an issue compared to legacy benefits. Oxford City Council is also experiencing significant additional workloads as a result of Universal Credit. Oxford City Council currently has six full time members of staff dealing with these Universal Credit notifications provided by DWP, but the funding provided by DWP for this work doesn’t even cover the costs of one member of staff.

 

Oxford City Council calls on the government to stop the roll out of universal credit and urgently work to fix its  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25c

25d

Homelessness

Proposed by Councillor Gant, seconded by Councillor Landell Mills

 

Liberal Democrat member motion

 

Council notes:

·         The fantastic work local charities such as Oxfordshire Homeless, Aspire and others do, as well as national charities like Crisis which operate heavily in Oxford, and community/church groups who provide SWEP accommodation.

·         Oxford Brookes University and Crisis’ joint partnership, designing stable, long-term temporary accommodation for homeless people that could be practically used in Oxford.

·         The extra funding made available to Oxford through the Government’s Trailblazer initiative

·         61 people are sleeping rough in Oxford, a figure that is thought to be just the lowest estimate, with real numbers likely to be closer to three figures. This is an 85% increase from 2016-17, compared to a 15% rise nationally and 24% rise in the South East of England.

·         Crisis estimates the current average number of rough sleepers in the UK at 9,000. If best practice in rehabilitating rough sleepers was adopted by Oxford City, including flexible options for accommodation and support, we could make a real difference.

Council believes:

·         Those who are sleeping rough should be identified as quickly as possible, so as to be helped until they are no longer homeless.

·         Emergency accommodation can never be the long-term answer.

·         Stable, long-term homeless accommodation is necessary if we’re to fix Oxford’s homeless issues.

·         More can be done to tackle Oxford’s homelessness crisis on a local level, despite setbacks relating to national government funding cuts.

·         The absence of stable, long-term accommodation can have hugely adverse impacts on both mental and physical health, pushing many people toward substance addiction and crime.

·         Tackling homelessness is best done by preventing it from happening in the first place.

 

Council resolves:

·         To continue to explore flexible options to accommodate and/or support homeless rough sleepers, including those who have no local connection with city or anywhere else and no recourse to public funds.

·         To work with Oxfordshire-based charities and other relevant local stakeholders to provide tens of stable homeless accommodation units, offering a long-term but temporary home to those who are struggling with homelessness.

·         To actively consider providing City Council owned land to fulfil this long-term homeless accommodation, particularly looking at land designated for car parks or earmarked for further employment growth.

·         Look into innovative methods of building the accommodation, where possible maximising the use of land.

·         Ensure there is a clear link between stable housing for homeless people and relevant support services, so they can have access to long-term, high quality support for as long as they need.

·         Where possible, use the existing local charities and social enterprises to provide relevant services.

·         To work with local charities to ensure mental and physical health and substance misuse support, pre-tenancy training and employment assistance is accessible to all those who fall into homelessness.

·         To explore further options that will prevent homelessness in the first place, including expanding help-to-rent schemes and making them more accessible.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Gant, seconded by Councillor Landell Mills, proposed the submitted motion as set out in the agenda and briefing note.

 

Councillor Smith, seconded by Councillor Henwood proposed the submitted amendment as set out in the briefing note.

 

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

 

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

 

Council resolved to adopt the following motion, as amended:

 

Council notes:

·         61 people are sleeping rough in Oxford, a figure that is thought to be just the lowest estimate, with real numbers likely to be closer to three figures. This is an 85% increase from 2016-17, compared to a 15% rise nationally and 24% rise in the South East of England.

·         The City Council punches above its weight when it comes to homelessness services, we work with Oxford’s homeless charities to fund a wide range of support services and accommodation, this year our budget increased to £1.8million. we also committed £1.5million to keep Simon House hostel open in the face of closure and build a brand new facility for rough sleepers with complex needs in Cowley.

·         The extra £790k funding made available to Oxford through the Government’s Trailblazer initiative which is helping prevent homelessness through targeted outreach work provided by Connection and Aspire including housing advice workers embedded in local hospitals, and working with social services and probation service.

·         The successful bid by the council to MHCLG for £503k to alleviate rough sleeping this winter which will be used to provide an additional 64 beds, expand the Street Population Outreach team and create a multi-agency service hub for rough sleepers in the city centre.

Council believes:

·         Those who are sleeping rough should be identified as quickly as possible, so as to be helped until they are no longer homeless. The St Mungo’s Outreach team funded by the council and set to expand do this crucial work well.

·         Emergency accommodation can never be the long-term answer, which is why this council prioritises the building of genuinely affordable homes available for social rent.

·         Stable, long-term homeless accommodation is necessary if we’re to fix Oxford’s homeless issues. That is why this council allocated £15million to buy homes for otherwise homeless Oxford families, and added a further £5million to the ‘Real Lettings’ fund in this year’s budget.

·         More can be done to tackle Oxford’s homelessness crisis on a local level, despite setbacks relating to national government funding cuts.

·         The absence of stable, long-term accommodation can have hugely adverse impacts on both mental and physical health, pushing many people toward substance addiction and crime.

·         Tackling homelessness is best done by preventing it from happening in the first place. That is why this council operates the ‘Home Choice’ Rent Guarantee scheme. This tops up private sector rents above LHA rates and our pilot scheme now works with tenants to increase their household income. We also administer Discretionary Housing Payments. Alongside our partners the council prevented 1107 households becoming homeless  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25d

25e

Supporting a People's Vote on the final Brexit deal

Proposed by Councillor Simmons, seconded by Councillor Wolff

 

Green member motion

 

This Council notes that:

·         More than 70% of Oxford residents voted to remain in the EU

·         There are a large number of non-UK EU nationals living in Oxford who remained concerned at the impact of Brexit

·         Full Council has passed several motions supporting the various benefits of EU membership

·         A report commissioned by Scrutiny’s Finance Panel shows a range of negative impacts that a ‘bad’ Brexit deal could have on Oxford’s economy and the City Council’s finances

·         The recent warning by BMW (who are already building Minis in the Netherlands) that its manufacturing set-up would not be able to cope were Brexit to disrupt cross-border trade; concerns echoed by many other businesses

·         Many residents and politicians from the City attended the march in London on 23 June 2018, the second anniversary of the EU referendum, in support of a People's Vote on the final Brexit deal.

This Council also notes that the recent ‘Chequers Statement’, issued on 6th July 2018 (and the closest indication yet of what a final deal might look like), has managed to alienate both Remainers and Brexiteers alike.

 

This Council therefore:

1)    Wishes to formally add its voice to those calling for a public ‘People’s Vote’ on the final Brexit deal

2)    Agrees to liaise with the official ‘People’s Vote’ campaign on ways in which it can help promote its petition

3)    Agrees to write to its MPs expressing its views and asking them to support a People’s Vote

and asks The Leader to make representations and write to this effect.

 

Minutes:

 

Councillor Tidball left the meeting before this debate.

Councillor Turner left the meeting for this motion as this related to national government policy

 

Councillor Simmons, seconded by Councillor Wolff, proposed the 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 notes that:

·         More than 70% of Oxford residents voted to remain in the EU

·         There are a large number of non-UK EU nationals living in Oxford who remained concerned at the impact of Brexit

·         Full Council has passed several motions supporting the various benefits of EU membership

·         A report commissioned by Scrutiny’s Finance Panel shows a range of negative impacts that a ‘bad’ Brexit deal could have on Oxford’s economy and the City Council’s finances

·         The recent warning by BMW (who are already building Minis in the Netherlands) that its manufacturing set-up would not be able to cope were Brexit to disrupt cross-border trade; concerns echoed by many other businesses

·         Many residents and politicians from the City attended the march in London on 23 June 2018, the second anniversary of the EU referendum, in support of a People's Vote on the final Brexit deal.

This Council also notes that the recent ‘Chequers Statement’, issued on 6th July 2018 (and the closest indication yet of what a final deal might look like), has managed to alienate both Remainers and Brexiteers alike.

 

This Council therefore:

1)    Wishes to formally add its voice to those calling for a public ‘People’s Vote’ on the final Brexit deal

2)    Agrees to liaise with the official ‘People’s Vote’ campaign on ways in which it can help promote its petition

3)    Agrees to write to its MPs expressing its views and asking them to support a People’s Vote

and asks the Leader to make representations and write to this effect.

 

 

25f

Extending twinning links

Proposed by Councillor Tanner, seconded by Councillor Rush

 

Labour member motion

 

Oxford City Council reaffirms its commitment to do all it can to ensure that Oxford remains an international and European city open to all.

Whatever the results of Britain’s negotiations with the rest of the European Union, we are determined to strengthen and deepen Oxford’s links with other cities inside and outside Europe.

 

To this end we call on the City Executive Board to:

 

a)    continue support for Oxford’s existing twinning links with Leiden (Netherlands), Bonn (Germany), Grenoble (France), Perm (Russia) and Leon (Nicaragua);

 

b)    continue to support the Oxford European Association and promote the interests of non-British European citizens living in Oxford;

 

c)    initiate new twinning links with both Wroclaw (Poland) and Padua (Italy);

 

d)    initiate a twinning link based on the long-standing friendship between Oxford and Ramallah (Palestine).

 

Minutes:

Councillor Tanner, seconded by Councillor Rush, proposed the 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:

 

Oxford City Council reaffirms its commitment to do all it can to ensure that Oxford remains an international and European city open to all.

Whatever the results of Britain’s negotiations with the rest of the European Union we are determined to strengthen and deepen Oxford’s links with other cities inside and outside Europe.

 

To this end we call on the City Executive Board to:

a)    continue support for Oxford’s existing twinning links with Leiden (Netherlands), Bonn (Germany), Grenoble (France), Perm (Russia) and Leon (Nicaragua);

b)    continue to support the Oxford European Association and promote the interests of non-British European citizens living in Oxford;

c)    initiate new twinning links with both Wroclaw (Poland) and Padua (Italy);

d)    initiate a twinning link based on the long-standing friendship between Oxford and Ramallah (Palestine).