Agenda

Agenda

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
Note No. Item

PART 1 - PUBLIC BUSINESS

1.

Apologies for absence

2.

Declarations of interest

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 107 KB

Minutes of the special and ordinary meetings of Council held on 26 November 2018.

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

 

Additional documents:

4.

Appointment to Committees

Following the Wolvercote by-election and recent changes to the membership of political groups, the political balance of Council remains as reported at the Annual Council meeting on 15 May 2018.

 

The following seats are vacant:

 

·         Investigation and Disciplinary Committee – Liberal Democrat Group seat

·         Licensing and Gambling Acts Committee – Liberal Democrat Group seat

 

Notice of nominations to these seats and of any further proposed changes given to the Head of Law and Governance will be circulated with the briefing note or can be made at the meeting.

 

5.

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

 

45 mins

6.

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 11.12 -11.14 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 22 January 2019.

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.

 

CITY EXECUTIVE BOARD RECOMMENDATIONS

7.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 146 KB

The Head of Financial Services submitted a report to the City Executive Board on 22 January 2019 asking the Board to agree the principles of the new Local Council Tax Reduction scheme to be drawn up for approval by Council on 28 January 2019.

 

The report and relevant appendices are attached. The recommended changes to the current scheme are set out in Appendix 4.

 

Councillors are referred to the current Local Council Tax Reduction scheme (2018/19).

 

The minutes and recommendations of the City Executive Board meeting will be published and circulated with the briefing note.

 

Councillor Simm, Board Member for Supporting Local Communities, will present the report.

 

Recommendation: That Council resolves to

 

  1. agree the changes to the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2018/19 in the report to the City Executive Board (subject to the decision of the Board) set out in the Appendix and note the other changes set out in this agenda; and
  2. adopt as the new Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2019/20 the current Local Council Tax Reduction scheme for 2018/19 with the inclusion of the changes listed above; and
  3. delegate authority to the Head of Financial Services to finalise and publish the new Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2019/20.

 

Additional documents:

OFFICER REPORTS

8.

Report of the Independent Remuneration Panel and Draft Councillors' Allowances Scheme 2019-23 pdf icon PDF 135 KB

The Head of Law and Governance has submitted a report setting out the recommendations of the Council’s Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) and a Draft Councillors’ Allowances Scheme for 2019-23.

 

The report, proposed scheme, and IRP report are attached.

 

Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of the Council, will present the report.

 

Recommendations: That Council resolves to:

 

1.    Thank the Independent Remuneration Panel for their work.

2.    Agree to include in the Councillors’ Allowances Scheme 2019-23 the following provisions from the Councillors’ Allowances Scheme 2015-19, as recommended by the Independent Remuneration Panel:

a)     A basic allowance payable to all councillors of £5079 in 2019-20;

b)     Indexation of the basic allowance in accordance with the annual percentage uplifts provided for in the local pay deal for council employees;

c)      The following Special Responsibility Allowances (SRAs):

i.    Leader - 3 x basic allowance (£15,237)

ii.   Deputy Leader – 1 x basic allowance (£5,079)

iii.  Non-statutory Deputy Leader - 1 x basic allowance (£5,079)

iv.  Lord Mayor –1 x Basic Allowance (£5,079)

v.   Deputy Lord Mayor – 0.25 x basic allowance (£1,270)

vi.  Sheriff - 0.25 x Basic Allowance (£1,270)

vii. Board Members with particular responsibilities – 1.5 x basic allowance (£7,619)

viii.            Board Members without particular responsibilities – 0.5 x basic allowance (£2,540)

ix.  Chair of Scrutiny Committee – 1x basic allowance (£5,079)

x.   Chair of Audit & Governance Committee – 0.25 x basic allowance (£1,270)

xi.  Chair of Scrutiny Panel – 0.25 x basic allowance (£1,270) (Panel must meet at least 5 times to qualify. A maximum of 2 SRAs will be available (£2,508) to be shared by the Chairs of the qualifying Standing Panels)

xii.Opposition Group Leader – 1 x basic allowance (£5,079) to be shared between the group leaders equally;

d)    The rule that councillors will receive a maximum of two special responsibility allowances (excluding civic office holders);

e)    The rule that where a member of the Council is also a member of another council, that councillor may not receive allowances from more than one council in respect of the same duties;

f)     The rule that a 15% reduction to a special responsibility allowance will be applied for councillors who attend less than two thirds of the scheduled meetings required within a special responsibility, with the additional clarifications explained in paragraphs 14-16.

g)    No allowances to be paid to co-opted members;

h)   The ability for councillors to elect to forgo any part of their entitlement to an allowance;

i)     The rule that where allowances have been paid in advance for a period during which a councillor is no longer a councillor, those allowances should be repaid;

j)      Allowances for maternity or adoption leave, with the additional clarifications explained in paragraph 17;

k)    Allowances for child and other dependants’ care subject to a maximum of £1,000 per councillor per year (which can be increased by the Head of Law and Governance in special circumstances), with the additional clause explained in paragraph 18;

l)     Allowances for travel to be paid for  ...  view the full agenda text for item 8.

Additional documents:

9.

Pay Policy Statement 2019 pdf icon PDF 91 KB

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

 

Councillor Nigel Chapman, Board Member for Customer Focused Services will present the report.

 

Recommendation: That Council resolves to:

approve the Annual Pay Policy Statement 2019/20 attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

Additional documents:

QUESTIONS

15 mins

10.

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:

10a

Minutes of meeting Thursday 29 November 2018 of City Executive Board pdf icon PDF 118 KB

10b

Minutes of meeting Tuesday 18 December 2018 of City Executive Board pdf icon PDF 128 KB

11.

Questions on Notice from Members of Council pdf icon PDF 167 KB

Questions on notice from councillors received by the Head of Law and Governance by the deadline 1.00pm on Wednesday 11 July 2018  in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11.11(b) asked of Members of the City Executive Board (attached)

Written responses where available will be published in the briefing note.

One supplementary question may be asked at the meeting.

PART 2 - PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT AND SCRUTINY

45 mins

12.

Public addresses and questions that do not relate to matters for decision at this Council meeting

Public addresses and questions to the Leader or other Board member received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11.12 – 11.14 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 22 January 2019.

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.

 

13.

Annual Report on Oxfordshire Partnerships pdf icon PDF 89 KB

·         On behalf of Councillor Brown, Leader of the Council, the Assistant Chief Executive has submitted the report of Oxfordshire County Council summarising the work of the Oxfordshire-wide Partnerships.

Council is invited to ask questions of the relevant Board Members on each partnership listed, to comment on, and to note the report.

 

·         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:

29 April                      Oxfordshire Children’s Trust Board

Oxfordshire Growth Board

 

·         As set out in procedure rule 11.16, 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 23 January 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:

14.

Scrutiny Committee update report pdf icon PDF 108 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:

PART 3 - MOTIONS REPRESENTING THE CITY

15.

Motions on notice 2018/19

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 Rules by the deadline of 1.00pm on Wednesday 16 January 2019 is below.

 

Motions will be taken in turn from the Liberal Democrat, Green, Labour 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 Friday 24 Januaryso 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:

 

  1. Retaining democratic rights for EU27 citizens
  2. Declaring a climate emergency
  3. Adopting a definition of Islamophobia
  4. Opposition to Oxford-Cambridge expressway as currently proposed
  5. Protecting the Oxford name
  6. Opposing mental health funding cuts by the County Council

 

15a

Retaining democratic rights for EU27 citizens

Proposed by Councillor Gant

Liberal Democrat member motion

 

This Council, while continuing to oppose Brexit which it believes to be a disaster for the United Kingdom,

requests the leader of the Council to write to the Prime Minister

asking for a pledge that whatever the ultimate outcome of the Brexit process, EU 27 Citizens currently entitled to vote and to stand for election to local government will continue to be able to do so, that existing local authority members who are EU 27 citizens will remain members of those authorities, and that the Government will not use its statutory power pursuant to the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 to alter existing arrangements in these respects.

 

15b

Declaring a Climate Emergency

Proposed by Councillor Simmons, seconded by Councillor Wolff

Green member motion

 

Council notes that:

a)    the recent 2018 IPCC report states that we have just 12 years to act on climate change if global temperature rises are to be kept within the recommended 1.5 degrees Celsius;

b)    all governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts of climate breakdown, and local governments that recognise this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies. UK cities need to commit to aggressive reduction targets and carbon neutrality as quickly as possible;

c)    cities are well placed to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions, as their higher density opens up a range of sustainable transport, buildings and energy opportunities;

d)    the Council’s absolute carbon emissions have reduced by just over 10% (10.17%) over the last five years – an average of 2% per year (Source: Oxford City Council ‘Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Local Authority own estate and operations:  Reporting year 2017-18’ (August 2018));

e)    although the Council’s carbon emissions reduced in 2017/18 due to changes in the national grid, the Council’s underlying energy and fossil fuel consumption actually went UP slightly - a 2.1% increase in electricity, a 0.8% increase in gas and a 5.4% increase in carbon from vehicle fuel. (Source: Oxford City Council ‘Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Local Authority own estate and operations:  Reporting year 2017-18’ (August 2018));

f)     although the City Council is managing to deliver absolute carbon reductions – despite the upward pressures on carbon emissions caused by changes in the structure of its operations and services and variability caused by factors such as the weather - it is not delivering the necessary absolute carbon reductions fast enough to meet either the UK’s 2050 80% reduction target or the 1.5 degree Celsius target.

In light of the above, the Council therefore agrees to:

1.           Join other Councils in declaring a Climate Emergency;

2.           Call on Westminster to provide the necessary powers and resources to make local action on climate change easier;

3.           Request Scrutiny to urgently review and make recommendations on revisions to the Council’s 2017-2022 Carbon Management Plan in light of the recent IPCC report and the latest Oxford City Council data (published August 2018). This should include the setting of an early carbon neutral target for the City Council and a governance structure to ensure close monitoring of the Plan;

4.           Continue to work with partners across the city and region to deliver widespread carbon reductions.

 

15c

Adopting a definition of Islamophobia

Proposed by Councillor Arshad

Labour member motion

 

Oxford City Council is proud of its diversity and has a huge asset and a source of great strength. A substantial proportion of its residents are Muslim, who are an integral part of its make-up, playing a huge role in all aspects of the Oxford City’s life.

Oxford City has a strong history of promoting cohesion and welcoming people from all over the world. Its residents have always united and supported each other in the fight against racism and discrimination in all its forms.

This Council therefore welcomes, endorses and adopts the working APPG (All-Party Parliamentary Group) definition of Islamophobia[1], including all of its examples in full cited as follows:

"ISLAMOPHOBIA IS ROOTED IN RACISM AND IS A TYPE OF RACISM THAT TARGETS EXPRESSIONS OF MUSLIMNESS OR PERCEIVED MUSLIMNESS."

Contemporary examples of Islamophobia in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in encounters between religions and non-religions in the public sphere could, considering the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

• Calling for, aiding, instigating or justifying the killing or harming of Muslims in the name of a racist/fascist ideology, or an extremist view of religion.

• Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Muslims as such, or of Muslims as a collective group, such as, especially but not exclusively, conspiracies about Muslim entryism in politics, government or other societal institutions; the myth of Muslim identity having a unique propensity for terrorism and claims of a demographic ‘threat’ posed by Muslims or of a ‘Muslim takeover’.

• Accusing Muslims as a group of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Muslim person or group of Muslim individuals, or even for acts committed by non-Muslims.

• Accusing Muslims as a group, or Muslim majority states, of inventing or exaggerating Islamophobia, ethnic cleansing or genocide perpetrated against Muslims.

• Accusing Muslim citizens of being more loyal to the ‘Ummah’ (transnational Muslim community) or to their countries of origin, or to the alleged priorities of Muslims worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

• Denying Muslim populations, the right to self-determination e.g., by claiming that the existence of an independent Palestine or Kashmir is a terrorist endeavour.

• Applying double standards by requiring of Muslims behaviours that are not expected or demanded of any other groups in society, eg loyalty tests.

• Using the symbols and images associated with classic Islamophobia.

• Holding Muslims collectively responsible for the actions of any Muslim majority state, whether secular or constitutionally Islamic.

 

This Council asks the Executive Board Member for a Safer and Greener Environment to:

 

1.    Write to government ministers asking them to listen to Muslim communities and the cross-party group of MPs and peers and to adopt this definition of Islamophobia which classifies discrimination against Muslims as a form of racism.

 

2.    Continue to prioritise tackling hate crime and Islamophobia in partnership.  Oxford City Council works with partners, especially Thames Valley Police, on  ...  view the full agenda text for item 15c

15d

Opposition to Oxford-Cambridge expressway as currently proposed

Proposed by Councillor Gant

Liberal Democrat member motion

 

Council notes that the Oxford 2050 document launched jointly by Cllr Brown and former Cllr Price enthusiastically welcomes the perceived benefits of the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway.

Council also notes that at its meeting on 25 September 2018, the Growth Board instructed its Chair to write to both Highways England and the Transport Minister regretting the lack of clarity around the proposal, and that at its meeting of 27 November 2018 the Growth Board qualified its “welcome” for the principle of the Expressway.

Council notes the tension between these two positions.

Council also notes that this lack of clarity contributes to considerable uncertainty both about how the Expressway is intended to deliver benefit, and about the possible impact on homes, lives, the environment, amenities and facilities, including in and adjacent to the greater Oxford area.

In particular, Council notes with regret that:

1.            It is unclear what the word “Expressway” means in this context

2.            Insufficient work has been done on the potential of enhanced rail links to deliver better outcomes for passengers, freight, and sustainable economic growth

3.            Actual and proposed consultation is inadequate

4.            It is unclear which of a range of possible justifications for the Expressway, which potentially contradict each other, are being used, including:

a)    A ‘strategic route’ to carry freight traffic from the west and south to the east.

b)    A route to make commuting between Oxford/Milton Keynes/Bedford/Cambridge easier and quicker.

c)    A road that will enable significant housing growth of 1,000,000 extra houses along its length.

d)    Relieving traffic on the A34, as one member of the Growth Board has stated publicly (which does not appear to be one of the stated aims, and current plans do not rule out using the A34 in part as the Expressway, which would of course add more traffic to it)

5.            Increased road building will inevitably have a serious negative impact on air quality at a time when all public bodies must seek to use every part of their planning, investment and delivery mechanisms to achieve the opposite.

Council therefore resolves to oppose the Expressway as it is currently proposed

 

15e

Protecting the Oxford Name

Proposed by Councillor Wolff, seconded by Councillor Simmons

Green member motion

 

Council notes UK trademark application No: UK00003296208 by The Chancellor Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford, trading as Oxford University Press, which seeks to register the word ‘Oxford’ for use classes 9, 16 and 41. These cover a very wide range of activities including the provision of training, downloadable or printed documents, sporting and cultural activities and so on.   

This Council notes the concern of residents and businesses that registering the word ‘Oxford’ could negatively impact on the freedom of other organisations to utilise the word and associated ‘brand’ in its own products and services without risking challenge or incurring a fee.

The Council also notes that its own activities, and those of its trading companies, could be impacted should the application be successful.

 

The Council therefore agree to oppose the application and, in the event of the application proceeding, seek the necessary guarantees from the trademark holder to protect Oxford’s identity and economy. 

 

 

15f

Opposing mental health funding cuts by the County Council

Proposed by Councillor Upton, seconded by Councillor Bely-Summers

Labour member motion

 

Local authorities have taken the brunt of the cuts imposed by this government. Many councils have been put in to the invidious position of having to cut essential services to the bone. We recognise that Oxfordshire County Council faces the additional pressure of big increases in demand in both adult and child social care. 

We are therefore relieved Oxfordshire County Council has listened to the Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership, local people and campaigners and welcome the County’s decision not to make the majority of the £1.6 million cuts that they had consulted on.

However, we are still deeply worried about the effect that removing the remaining £600,000 will have on people with serious mental illnesses in Oxford City and the County. This money funds specialist mental health Social Workers who carry out assessments and write Care Plans for people. Removing it will impact on people’s ability to access services and could have severe consequences for them.

This is against a background of:

·          Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) continuing to be the lowest funded CCG per capita in England, meaning funding for mental health services is becoming increasingly stretched.

·          Oxfordshire adult mental health assessment teams having increased levels of referrals (up 36.6% from 4,651 in 2014/5 to 6,354 in 2017/8) with just a 1.1% increase in funding.

·          An increase in sectioning because of lack of access to community provision for mental health before crisis (Rethink's recent Independent Review of the Mental Health Act and associated evidence).

We already see the human costs of underfunded services on the streets of Oxford with many people not coping and not getting the support they need. This is despite the excellent work done by a number of charities such as Restore, Mind, Crisis, Aspire and Homeless Oxfordshire. It should not be forgotten that those living with severe mental illness are expected to die between 15–20 years earlier than those without.

One of the saddest things about these “cost-saving” measures is that in the medium and long term, they will have the opposite effect. People who do not get the early mental health support they need will later appear at the more expensive acute services. Such cuts end up costing far more to the public purse as other services pick up the pieces. Our overstretched voluntary and statutory sector agencies across the county will struggle to cope.

 

We therefore call on Oxfordshire County Council to:

1.    join Oxford City Council in lobbying the government for a portion of their reported increase in mental health spending to be given to local government to improve mental health and wellbeing;

2.    invest to save by increasing spending on initiatives that help children and adults be more resilient and keep them in good mental health. This is an investment that will improve mental health and benefit the public purse in the longer term;

3.    delete the remaining cut of £600k, already delayed until next year.

 

16.

Matters exempt from publication and exclusion of the public

If Council wishes to exclude the press and the public from the meeting during consideration of any aspects of the preceding agenda items it will be necessary for Council to pass a resolution in accordance with the provisions of Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 specifying the grounds on which their presence could involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as described in specific paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act if and so long as, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

(The Access to Information Procedure Rules – Section 15 of the Council’s Constitution – sets out the conditions under which the public can be excluded from meetings of the Council)

 

Updates and additional information to supplement this agenda are published in the Council Briefing Note.

Additional information, councillors’ questions, public addresses and amendments to motions are published in a supplementary briefing note. The agenda and briefing note should be read together.

 

The Briefing Note is published as a supplement to the agenda. It is available on the Friday before the meeting and can be accessed along with the agenda on the council’s website.