Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

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Items
No. Item

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65.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer gave the following advice about whether members of Council who are landlords or tenants in the private rented sector can participate in the debate and vote on Motion 2: Licensing Private Rented Sector Homes:.

Members’ property interests will be included in their Register of Interests, which is a matter of public record (with the exception of any sensitive interests).

The Members’ Code of Conduct states that where any matter disclosed in a councillor’s Register of Interest is being considered at a meeting, “the councillor must declare that he or she has an interest…If the councillor has a disclosable pecuniary interest, after having declared it at the meeting he or she must not participate in discussion or voting on the item and must withdraw from the meeting whilst the matter is discussed”. (Constitution 22.5(d))

The matter to be considered is whether the Council should in principle continue to seek government agreement to bring forward plans for a city-wide licensing scheme covering the whole private rented sector. This motion is not considering any individual properties and therefore I take the view that it is premature for members to be required to declare an interest and leave the meeting.

If and when members are asked to consider and decide upon the details of a specific scheme, this would bring into play members’ property interests in the private rented sector and each affected property owned by a member would at that stage be a disclosable pecuniary interest.

 

The Lord Mayor noted the advice provided but said that as he was a landlord in the city and in the interests of transparency he had requested and received a dispensation from the Monitoring Officer to allow him to chair the debate but abstain from the vote.

 

Agenda item 8:  During the debate on this item reference was made to the Jericho boatyard and Jericho Community Centre capital project.  At that point Councillors Brown and Hollingsworth each declared a financial interest which they considered to be prejudicial and left the chamber until the conclusion of the discussion on that particular topic.

 

 

Councillor Turner arrived during this item.

66.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 447 KB

Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Council held on 27 November 2019.

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

Minutes:

Council agreed to approve the minutes of the ordinary meeting held on 27 November 2019 as a true and correct record.

67.

Appointment to Committees

The Head of Law and Governance has not been notified of any resignations from committees or changes of membership requested by group leaders.

Any proposed changes will be circulated with the briefing note.

Minutes:

There were no changes to committee memberships.

68.

Announcements pdf icon PDF 379 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 welcomed members to the first Council meeting of the new year.  He began by thanking those members who had attended the Lord Mayor’s Carol Service and Christmas Reception. He then announced his main civic events since the last meeting, including:

·       Carol services and other festive events

·       Menorah lighting on Broad Street

·       the visit of the Countess of Wessex to the Jubilee Centre

·       the Agri-Social Charity Road Run in Thame

·       visits to the Iraqi and Chinese communities

 

The Lord Mayor then gave instructions to Council, which he had composed in the form of a Haiku in honour of Chinese New Year:

Council has started

Set your mobiles to silent

And voices to loud

 

The Sheriff announced that since the last Council meeting he had:

·       attended a number of festive events

·       attended the Freemens’ Annual Dinner

·       participated in the visit of the Princess Royal, as Patron, to the Annual Farming Conference in Oxford

 

The Lord Mayor gave permission for the Leader of the Council to invite the Cabinet Member for Planning and Sustainable Transport to update Council on progress on the Oxford Local Plan. 

 

Councillor Hollingsworth went on record to thank the Planning Policy Team members for their hard work and to point out that the Planning Inspector had also paid tribute to that team for their professionalism and the quality of their work.  Councillor Gant echoed these sentiments and thanked all participants for their contribution. Councillor Gant said that he was pleased to note that the Inspectors had made reference to the proposals to deliver housing on brownfield sites.    In response to a question Councillor Hollingsworth referred members to the timetable for the finalisation of the Local Plan in the report and confirmed that a Special Council would be convened in early June to adopt the Local Plan.

 

69.

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

Public addresses and questions to the Leader or other Cabinet member received in accordance with Council Procedure Rules 11.12, 11.13, and 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 21 January 2020.

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.

70.

Bullingdon Community Centre - Project Approval and Award Of Contract pdf icon PDF 164 KB

The Executive Director Customer and Communities submitted a report to Cabinet on 19 December 2019 which sought project approval to replace the existing end of life community building at Bullingdon, delegate the award of the construction contract to Oxford Direct Services and to recommend Council to increase the total project budget and delegation to award the construction contract to Oxford Direct Services.

 

The minutes of this meeting are available at Item 13a of this agenda.

 

Councillor Tidball, the Cabinet Member for Supporting Local Communities, will present the report.

 

Recommendations: Cabinet recommends that Council:

1.     Resolves to approve an increase in the total project budget by £200,000 to £1,403,000. This is included as part of the consultation budget.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered a report from Executive Director Customer and Communities which had been submitted to Cabinet on 19 December 2019 for project approval to replace the existing end of life community building at Bullingdon and to delegate the award of the construction contract to Oxford Direct Services and to recommend Council to increase the total project budget and delegation to award the construction contract to Oxford Direct Services.

 

Councillor Tidball, the Cabinet Member for Supporting Local Communities, presented the report. She moved the recommendation, which was agreed on being seconded and put to the vote.

 

Council resolved to approve an increase in the total project budget by £200,000 to £1,403,000. This is included as part of the consultation budget.

 

71.

Integrated Performance Report for Quarter 2 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 493 KB

The Head of Financial Services and Head of Business Improvement have submitted a report to update Members on finance, risk and corporate performance matters as at 30 September 2019.

 

The minutes of this meeting are available at Item 13a of this agenda.

 

Councillor Turner, the Cabinet Member for Finance and Asset Management, will present the report.

 

Recommendations: Cabinet recommends that Council:

 

1.     Approve a virement of £0.500 million from Compulsory purchase of property (N7049) to Extensions & Major Adaptions (N7020) to cover the work of four extensions within the Housing Revenue Account Capital programme as set out in paragraph 10 of the report; and

 

2.     Approve the revised Capital Programme budget to be £59.962 million in line with the latest forecast following the major review carried out by officers.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered a report from the Head of Financial Services and the Head of Business Improvement which updated Members on finance, risk and corporate performance matters as at 30 September 2019.

 

Councillor Turner, the Cabinet Member for Finance and Asset Management, presented the report.

 

During the debate on this item reference was made to the Jericho boatyard and Jericho Community Centre capital project.  At that point Councillors Brown and Hollingsworth each declared a financial interest which they considered to be prejudicial and left the chamber until the conclusion of the discussion on that particular topic.

 

Councillors Brown and Hollingsworth left the chamber.

 

Councillor Turner undertook to provide a written response in relation to the development of a business case for the potential purchase of the Jericho boatyard rather than investment in the Jericho Community Centre.

 

Councillors Brown and Hollingsworth returned to the chamber.

 

On his return to the chamber Councillor Hollingsworth responded to the question relating to cost increases for the Seacourt Park and Ride extension and made the point that “decking” had been ruled out on planning rather than financial grounds. He said that there was no proposal to remove coach parking spaces at Redbridge Park and Ride site but that members would be updated when the scheme details were available.

 

Councillor Turner provided clarification on what constituted a project change, project slippage and project re-profiling which was inevitable in such a large capital programme. He acknowledged that previously there had been an element of “optimism bias” in the capital programme but he now believed that there was greater rigour and challenge.

 

Councillor Turner moved the recommendations, which were agreed on being seconded and put to the vote.

 

Council resolved to:

1.     Approve a virement of £0.500 million from Compulsory purchase of property (N7049) to Extensions & Major Adaptions (N7020) to cover the work of four extensions within the Housing Revenue Account Capital programme as set out in paragraph 10 of the report; and

 

2.     Approve the revised Capital Programme budget to be £59.962 million in line with the latest forecast following the major review carried out by officers.

 

72.

Treasury Mid-Year Report 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 615 KB

The Head of Financial Services has submitted a report which details the performance of the Treasury Management function for the six months to 30 September 2019.

 

The minutes of this meeting are available at Item 13a of this agenda.

 

Councillor Turner, the Cabinet Member for Finance and Asset Management, will present the report.

 

Recommendations: Cabinet recommends that Council:

1.          Approve the change of the Indirect Property Funds counterparty category to Pooled Investment Funds; and

2.          Note that the Council is considering investing in a Multi Asset fund instead of an Indirect Property Fund as was previously anticipated.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered a report from the Head of Financial Services which detailed the performance of the Treasury Management function for the six months to 30 September 2019.

 

Councillor Turner, the Cabinet Member for Finance and Asset Management, presented the report. He confirmed that the Council did not invest in fossil fuels.

 

During the debate Councillor Upton undertook to provide a written response to a question from Councillor Gotch regarding the possibility of saving money if the City Council was to share the use of Cherwell District Council’s new cemetery in Kidlington. Cllr Turner clarified that any such proposal would not be a treasury matter.

 

Councillor Turner moved the recommendations, which were agreed on being seconded and put to the vote.

 

Council resolved to:

1.          Approve the change of the Indirect Property Funds counterparty category to Pooled Investment Funds; and

2.          Note that the Council is considering investing in a Multi Asset fund instead of an Indirect Property Fund as was previously anticipated.

 

73.

Use of s106 and Retained Right to Buy Receipts to increase the provision of more affordable housing pdf icon PDF 257 KB

The Head of Housing Services has submitted a report to Cabinet on 22 January 2020 which seeks project approval and delegations to enable the spending of Retained Right to Buy Receipts and s.106 funding for the purpose of delivering, or enabling the delivery of, more affordable housing, through new build or acquisition activity.

 

The Cabinet’s decision will be reported to Council.

 

Councillor Mike Rowley, Cabinet Member for Affordable Housing will present the report.

 

Recommendations: Cabinet recommends that Council:

 

1.     Approve a capital budget for £3m of expenditure in 2019/20, subsidised using RRTBRs, to enable an off-plan purchase of Social Rented homes, this sum being effectively brought forward from the overall £13.2m identified in 2020/21 in the consultation budget, which would then reduce to £10.2m in 20/21 accordingly.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered a report from the Head of Housing Services which had been submitted to Cabinet on 22 January 2020 seeking project approval and delegations to enable the spending of Retained Right to Buy Receipts (RRTBRs) and s.106 funding for the purpose of delivering, or enabling the delivery of, more affordable housing, through new build or acquisition activity.

 

Councillor Mike Rowley, Cabinet Member for Affordable Housing presented the report. He informed Council that the recommendations set out in the report had been agreed by Cabinet and announced that the funds would be used to buy properties at the Sandford Road site in Littlemore, 45 of which would be for social rent and 25 would be key worker homes. He moved the recommendation, which was agreed on being seconded and put to the vote.

 

Council resolved to:

1.     Approve a capital budget for £3m of expenditure in 2019/20, subsidised using RRTBRs, to enable an off-plan purchase of Social Rented homes, this sum being effectively brought forward from the overall £13.2m identified in 2020/21 in the consultation budget, which would then reduce to £10.2m in 20/21 accordingly.

74.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 352 KB

The Head of Financial Services has submitted a report to Cabinet on 22 January 2020 which considers the feedback from the recent consultation on the proposed changes to the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme and to proposes the principles of the new scheme to be drawn up for approval by Council on 27th January.

 

Cabinet’s decision will be reported to Council.

 

Councillor Turner, the Cabinet Member for Finance and Asset Management, will present the report.

 

Recommendations: Cabinet recommends that Council:

 

1.     Resolves to adopt the new Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2020/21.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered a report from the Head of Financial Services which had been submitted to Cabinet on 22 January 2020 which considered the feedback from the recent consultation on the proposed changes to the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme and proposed the principles of the new scheme to be drawn up for approval by Council on 27 January 2020.

 

Cabinet Member for Supporting Local Communities, presented the report. She informed Council that the recommendations set out in the report had been agreed by Cabinet.

 

During the debate Councillor Tidball undertook to provide a written response to Councillor Landell Mills on the details of the income review process for individuals and also to confirm whether neighbouring local authorities retain the 100% level of entitlement.

 

Councillor Tidball moved the recommendation, which was agreed on being seconded and put to the vote.

 

Council resolved to adopt the new Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2020/21.

 

 

Councillor Howlett arrived during this item.

 

75.

Constitution Annual Review 2019 pdf icon PDF 346 KB

The Monitoring Officer has submitted a report recommending changes to the Council’s Constitution following an annual review of the Constitution overseen by a “Cross-Party Constitution Group”.

 

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

 

Note: Appendix 3 is published as a supplement to this agenda.

 

Recommendation: Council is recommended to:

1.     Note the list of amendments that the Monitoring Officer has made using delegated powers detailed in Appendix 1;

2.     Approve the list of proposed amendments to the Constitution detailed in Appendix 2 and highlighted in the draft Constitution at Appendix 3;

3.     Adopt the revised Oxford City Council Constitution attached at Appendix 3; and

4.     Delegate authority to the Head of Law and Governance to amend any further wording and/or numbering that is identified as being inconsistent with the changes approved by Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered a report from the Monitoring Officer recommending changes to the Council’s Constitution following an annual review of the Constitution overseen by a “Cross-Party Constitution Group”.

 

Councillor Chapman, Cabinet Member for Customer Focused Services, presented the report.

 

Council had before it a proposed amendment which had been submitted by Councillor Henwood:

11.18 Motions on notice

(d) Listing motions on the agenda

Motions will appear on the agenda in the order that will rotate between different political groups at each meeting…

Change to

Motions will appear on the agenda in the order that will rotate between different political groups and an independent at each meeting…

4.6 Ward member decisions

a) Each member of the Council will (subject to the budget being approved annually by Council) be allocated an amount of money to spend in their ward (ward Member Budgets). Members representing wards not covered by a parish council may also be allocated a neighbourhood portion of Community Infrastructure Levey (CIL) monies. If the ward member changes during the year without their full allocations being designated (including any allocations carried forwards from the previous year), the replacement ward member will be able to allocate the remaining balance.

Change to

a)    Each member of the Council will (subject to the budget being approved annually by Council) be allocated an amount of money to spend in their ward (ward Member Budgets). Members representing wards not covered by a parish council may also be allocated a neighbourhood portion of Community Infrastructure Levey (CIL) monies. In wards where a parish council is located the equivalent (CIL) budget will be remitted to the parish council. If the ward member changes during the year without their full allocations being designated (including any allocations carried forwards from the previous year), the replacement ward member will be able to allocate the remaining balance.

Community Infrastructure Levey (CIL) monies awarded to parish councils via housing developments, should be spent in respective parishes to mitigate the problems associated the said housing developments, or for the benefit of parishioners living in the vicinity of the said housing development(s).

 

The Monitoring Officer gave the following advice on the proposed amendment:

       i.          The amendment to 11.18 d) could be debated by Council

      ii.          The amendment to insert text in paragraph 4.6 a) confirmed something that already happens

    iii.          The amendment to insert a second paragraph of text at 4.6 a) was not a matter for the Council’s Constitution.  Parish councils are not bound by the City Council’s Constitution and the rules governing CIL allocations are set out in the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations and parish councils allocating CIL monies would be responsible for abiding by those regulations.

 

Following this advice amendment i) above was seconded and debated by Council. On being put to the vote the amendment fell.

 

Councillor Chapman then moved the recommendations as set out in the agenda and the briefing note, which were agreed on being seconded and put to the vote.

 

Council resolved to:

1.     Note the list  ...  view the full minutes text for item 75.

76.

Questions on Cabinet minutes pdf icon PDF 445 KB

This item has a time limit of 15 minutes.

Councillors may ask the Cabinet Members questions about matters in these minutes.

76a

Minutes of meeting Thursday 19 December 2019 of Cabinet pdf icon PDF 439 KB

Minutes:

There were no questions on these minutes.

76b

Minutes of meeting on 22 January 2020 of Cabinet pdf icon PDF 341 KB

Minutes:

Minute 126 Connecting Oxford: Councillor Gant sought clarification on the detail of the Cabinet discussions on possible exemptions (6th bullet point) and also the locations of the bus gates and the extent to which they might vary from the map.  Councillor Hollingsworth explained that there would always be compelling cases for exemption from individual areas or groups but that these had to be taken in the context of their impact on the overall scheme. He confirmed that the timing and exact positioning of bus gates was open for discussion but could not be varied to any great extent before impacting their effectiveness as a tool for traffic reduction.

 

Councillor Gant suggested that consideration should be given to extending the Work Place Parking Levy to include other sites across the whole city.  Councillor Hollingsworth endorsed that suggestion and went on to confirm that the Cabinet minutes reflected the difference of opinion between the cabinets of the City and County councils.

 

Councillor Hollingsworth, in response to a question from Councillor Roz Smith, confirmed that the Urban Design and Conservation officers were kept fully aware of the Connecting Oxford proposals but undertook to discuss the matter specifically with the Heritage Officer. Finally he made it clear that the success of Connecting Oxford depended on the simultaneous implementation of bus gates and revised bus services.

 

Councillors Lygo and Pressel left the meeting at the end of this item.

 

77.

Questions on Notice from Members of Council pdf icon PDF 357 KB

Questions on notice from councillors received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11.11(b).

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

The full text of questions must have been received by the Head of Law and Governance by no later than 1.00pm on 15 January 2020.

All questions submitted by the deadline will be published with the briefing note giving the questions and written responses where available.

 

Minutes:

31 written questions were asked of the Cabinet members and Leader, and these and written responses were published before the meeting.

 

These along with summaries of the supplementary questions and responses asked and given at the meeting are set out in the printed pack of these minutes.

 

Councillor Hayes left the meeting at the end of this item.

 

78.

Public addresses and questions that do not relate to matters for decision at this Council meeting pdf icon PDF 429 KB

Public addresses and questions to the Leader or other Cabinet member received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11.12, 11.13 and 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 21 January 2020.

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 5 addresses and 1 question to Council:

 

1.   Address by Magdalene Sacranie, City of Compassion

2.   Address by Oxford Community Forum, Licensing of Private Sector Homes

3.   Address by Nigel Day - UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

4.   Address by Alistair Morris – Climate Emergency and allotments

5.   Address by Artwell - Barton British Legion Site

6.   Question by Artwell – Citizens’ Assembly

 

The Lord Mayor thanked those speaking.

 

The full text of these speeches read as submitted; responses from the Cabinet members in writing before the meeting; and summaries of any verbal responses given at the meeting are set out in the printed pack of these minutes.

 

79.

Outside organisation/Committee Chair reports and questions

a)    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.

 

b)    Members who are Council representatives on external bodies or Chairs of Council Committees 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 a matter before, or decision taken by, that body or committee and how it may influence future events. Written reports will be circulated with the briefing note.

 

79a

Oxford Strategic Partnership pdf icon PDF 326 KB

The Chief Executive has submitted the annual update report on the Oxford Strategic Partnership.

 

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

 

Recommendation: Council is invited to note and comment on the report.

 

Minutes:

Council had before it the report of the Chief Executive outlining the work of the Oxford Strategic Partnership.

 

Councillor Brown, Leader of the Council introduced the report and answered questions. She confirmed that the reference to the Low Carbon Oxford sub-group was not a new organisation but had been in existence for some time.

 

Council noted the report.

 

 

Councillor Tidball left the meeting during this item.

 

79b

Oxford to Cambridge Arc update pdf icon PDF 238 KB

The Assistant Chief Executive has submitted a report which provides an update partnership working between Local Authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships on the Oxford to Cambridge Arc.

 

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

 

Recommendation: Council is invited to note and comment on the report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council had before it the report of the Assistant Chief Executive outlining the partnership working between Local Authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships on the Oxford to Cambridge Arc.

 

Councillor Brown, Leader of the Council moved the report.

 

Council noted the report.

 

80.

Scrutiny Committee update report pdf icon PDF 154 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.

Note: Appendix 2b is published as a confidential supplement to this agenda.

 

Council is invited to comment on and note the report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

The Chair of the Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Gant, moved the report which updated Council on the work of the committee and its standing panels; and of the work of the two review groups on the Budget and the Climate Emergency. He thanked the scrutiny officer and all those who had attended committees and panels for their work. In response the Lord Mayor thanked Councillor Gant for his contribution as the Chair of the Scrutiny Committee.

 

Council noted the report and the appendices.

81.

Motions on notice pdf icon PDF 361 KB

This item has a time limit of 60 minutes.

 

Motions received by the Head of Law and Governance in accordance with Council Procedure Rules by the deadline of 1.00pm on Wednesday 15 January 2020 are listed below.

 

Motions will be taken in turn from the Labour, Liberal Democrat, 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 Friday 24 January 2020 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)      Supporting refugee children (cross party motion proposed by Councillor Simmons)

 

b)      Licensing Private Rented Sector Homes (proposed by Councillor L Smith, seconded by Councillor Taylor)

 

c)      Car parking and vehicle management city (proposed by Councillor Gant)

 

d)      Bicycle Mayors (proposed by Councillor Wolff)

 

e)      Climate Partners (proposed by Councillor Henwood)

 

f)        International Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons (proposed by Councillor Tanner)

 

g)      Local Electricity Bill (proposed by Councillor Gant)

 

h)      Homelessness Charter (proposed by Councillor Wolff)

 

Minutes:

Council had before it eight motions on notice submitted in accordance with Council procedure rules and reached decisions as set out below.

 

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

a)      Supporting refugee children

b)      Licensing Private Rented Sector Homes

c)      Car parking and vehicle management city

f)       International Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons

 

The following motion fell:

d)      Bicycle Mayors

 

Council agreed to the withdrawal of the following motion:

e)    Climate Partners

 

The following motions were not taken as the time allocated for debate had elapsed:

g)    Local Electricity Bill

h)      Homelessness Charter

 

81a

Supporting refugee children

Cross Party motion

 

Original text

 

Council notes that, the world is experiencing the largest refugee crisis since World War Two with UNHCR figures of 68.5m people forcibly displaced. Over half of these are children, many unaccompanied. 

 

Whilst in the EU we have been subject to the Dublin regulation which allows lone children within the EU to apply for legal family reunion with relatives elsewhere within the EU. So, for example, a Syrian orphan who arrives in Greece hoping to find a brother in Oxford has the right to apply to be reunited with him. But when we leave the EU, we will no longer be covered by the Dublin regulation.

 

In December 1938, the first Kindertransport arrived in Harwich, England. Through this scheme, Britain welcomed 10,000 child refugees, in just 10 months including Alf Dubs (a Labour peer and former MP).

 

When Theresa May’s withdrawal bill was going through parliament, Alf Dubs brought an amendment in the Lords that received cross-party support in both houses. This obliged the government to negotiate that the terms of the Dublin regulation would continue after we left the EU. 

 

However, in Boris Johnson’s withdrawal bill, published just before Christmas and passed unamended, the rights of refugee children to be reunited with their families had been removed.

 

The only option remaining to them is to engage with illegal traffickers or take other dangerous routes. Lack of safe routes to the UK will only lead to further suffering for hugely traumatised children.

 

Lord Dubs is attempting to reintroduce the amendment into the withdrawal bill before the UK leaves the EU on 31 January 2020 and will no doubt continue to lobby for something with an effect similar to the Dublin regulation to be reinstated if this current attempt fails.

 

As a City of Sanctuary with a proud record of welcoming refugees and asylum seekers, Oxford deplores the removal of the so-called ‘Dubs amendment’ from the withdrawal bill. 

 

We ask the Leader to: 

1.     urgently write to the City’s MPs and the Secretary of State for the Home Department demanding that the rights of refugee children available under the Dublin regulation be reinstated. 

2.     write to the Leader of Oxfordshire County Council asking them to support the Safe Passage ‘Our Turn’ Campaign and commit to a target of ten at risk refugee children per year for the next ten years as part of a fully funded Government vulnerable children’s resettlement scheme.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Simmons, seconded by Councillor Arshad (speaking on behalf of Councillor Djafari-Marbini) and supported by Councillor Garden, 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:

 

Council notes that, the world is experiencing the largest refugee crisis since World War Two with UNHCR figures of 68.5m people forcibly displaced. Over half of these are children, many unaccompanied. 

 

Whilst in the EU we have been subject to the Dublin regulation which allows lone children within the EU to apply for legal family reunion with relatives elsewhere within the EU. So, for example, a Syrian orphan who arrives in Greece hoping to find a brother in Oxford has the right to apply to be reunited with him. But when we leave the EU, we will no longer be covered by the Dublin regulation.

 

In December 1938, the first Kindertransport arrived in Harwich, England. Through this scheme, Britain welcomed 10,000 child refugees, in just 10 months including Alf Dubs (a Labour peer and former MP).

 

When Theresa May’s withdrawal bill was going through parliament, Alf Dubs brought an amendment in the Lords that received cross-party support in both houses. This obliged the government to negotiate that the terms of the Dublin regulation would continue after we left the EU. 

 

However, in Boris Johnson’s withdrawal bill, published just before Christmas and passed unamended, the rights of refugee children to be reunited with their families had been removed.

 

The only option remaining to them is to engage with illegal traffickers or take other dangerous routes. Lack of safe routes to the UK will only lead to further suffering for hugely traumatised children.

 

Lord Dubs is attempting to reintroduce the amendment into the withdrawal bill before the UK leaves the EU on 31 January 2020 and will no doubt continue to lobby for something with an effect similar to the Dublin regulation to be reinstated if this current attempt fails.

 

As a City of Sanctuary with a proud record of welcoming refugees and asylum seekers, Oxford deplores the removal of the so-called ‘Dubs amendment’ from the withdrawal bill. 

 

We ask the Leader to: 

1.     urgently write to the City’s MPs and the Secretary of State for the Home Department demanding that the rights of refugee children available under the Dublin regulation be reinstated. 

2.     write to the Leader of Oxfordshire County Council asking them to support the Safe Passage ‘Our Turn’ Campaign and commit to a target of ten at risk refugee children per year for the next ten years as part of a fully funded Government vulnerable children’s resettlement scheme.

 

81b

Licensing Private Rented Sector Homes

Labour member motion

 

Original text

 

This Council notes that:

·       The private rented sector is continuing to grow in Oxford, over 30% of Oxford residents rent their home privately.

·       This council has a strong record of taking action to improve privately rented homes in our city.

·       We were the first in England to use discretionary powers to require every House in Multiple Occupation to be licensed to operate and this has successfully driven up standards.

·       We currently use the 2004 Housing Act to regulate the rest of the private rented sector. We carry out 250 inspection visits a year and serve over 300 enforcement notices against poor landlords. However, the last stock condition survey showed that the private rented sector in Oxford has twice the national level of disrepair.

·       Local authorities currently have the power to implement licensing for all privately rented homes in no more than 20% of their area or to licence no more than 20% of the privately rented stock. The consent of the Secretary of State is required to approve any licensing scheme which exceeds this 20% rule.

This council believes it should have more powers to enforce minimum property standards and protect tenants.

 

This council supports a city-wide licensing scheme in order to ensure all Oxford landlords are fit and proper persons and all properties let to the residents of our city meet minimum standards and are a safe place to call home.

 

This council believes that extending licensing to cover all privately rented homes in the city will continue to improve standards, reduce carbon emissions, drive out rogue landlords, reduce anti-social behaviour and ensure all rented homes are safe to live in.

 

This Council therefore resolves to ask the Cabinet Member to continue discussions with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to make the case for a city-wide licensing scheme for every property in the private rented sector, and with Government agreement bring forward a plan to introduce a requirement for every privately let property in Oxford to be licensed.

Minutes:

Council had before it the original text of the motion proposed by Councillor L Smith (set out in the agenda and briefing note) and amendments proposed by Councillor Wade (set out in the briefing note).

Councillor Wade, seconded by Councillor Gant, proposed her amendment to the new text of the motion. After debate and on being put to the vote the amendment was declared lost.

Councillor L Smith, seconded by Councillor Taylor, proposed the submitted motion without amendment.

After debate and on being put to the vote the motion as set out below was agreed.

 

Council resolved to adopt the following motion:

 

This Council notes that:

·       The private rented sector is continuing to grow in Oxford, over 30% of Oxford residents rent their home privately.

·       This council has a strong record of taking action to improve privately rented homes in our city.

·       We were the first in England to use discretionary powers to require every House in Multiple Occupation to be licensed to operate and this has successfully driven up standards.

·       We currently use the 2004 Housing Act to regulate the rest of the private rented sector. We carry out 250 inspection visits a year and serve over 300 enforcement notices against poor landlords. However, the last stock condition survey showed that the private rented sector in Oxford has twice the national level of disrepair.

·       Local authorities currently have the power to implement licensing for all privately rented homes in no more than 20% of their area or to licence no more than 20% of the privately rented stock. The consent of the Secretary of State is required to approve any licensing scheme which exceeds this 20% rule.

 

This council believes it should have more powers to enforce minimum property standards and protect tenants.

 

This council supports a city-wide licensing scheme in order to ensure all Oxford landlords are fit and proper persons and all properties let to the residents of our city meet minimum standards and are a safe place to call home.

 

This council believes that extending licensing to cover all privately rented homes in the city will continue to improve standards, reduce carbon emissions, drive out rogue landlords, reduce anti-social behaviour and ensure all rented homes are safe to live in.

 

This Council therefore resolves to ask the Cabinet Member to continue discussions with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to make the case for a city-wide licensing scheme for every property in the private rented sector, and with Government agreement bring forward a plan to introduce a requirement for every privately let property in Oxford to be licensed.

81c

Car parking and vehicle management city

Liberal Democrat member motion

 

Original text

 

Council notes that a key thread in recent policy thinking around traffic management in our city has been the effect of the availability of parking.

However, Council recognises that its approach in this area has not delivered the outcomes residents are entitled to expect, including regular congestion around Westgate, variable income in its own facilities (alongside a considerable cost for maintenance), considerable unease about both the need for and the delivery of the proposed extension to the Seacourt Park and Ride, and decking at the ice rink sitting unused and unsightly.

Council therefore asks the Cabinet Member to:

Instruct officers to undertake an urgent and comprehensive review of all policies in relation to car parking and vehicle management in Oxford, with the aim of:

·       Minimising car use and enhancing the environment in our city

·       Maximising financial benefit to the council

Minutes:

Council had before it the original text of the motion proposed by Councillor Gant (set out in the agenda and briefing note) and amendments proposed by Councillor Hollingsworth (set out in the briefing note).

Councillor Hollingsworth, seconded by Councillor Turner, proposed his amendment to the text of the motion. After debate and on being put to the vote the amendment was declared carried.

Councillor Hollingsworth, seconded by Councillor Turner, proposed the amended motion.

After debate and on being put to the vote the motion as set out below was agreed.

Council resolved to adopt the following motion:

 

Council notes that a key thread in policy thinking around traffic management since the early 1970s in our city has been limiting the availability of parking.

Reducing commuter car parking through the implementation of Residents Parking Zones, setting planning policies to minimise and now reduce the levels of car parking in new developments, the creation of the country’s first formal park and ride system and the capping of public car parking spaces in the city centre have been and continue to be critical parts of Oxford’s planning and transport policies.

Charges for all City Council car parks have been set with the primary objective of encouraging the use of park and rides, of public transport and of active modes such as walking and cycling wherever possible.

As planning and transport policies continue to move away from the provision of parking for private cars in Oxford, the number of parking spaces will fall, and the Council’s medium and long-term financial planning reflects this reality.

Council therefore asks the Cabinet Member to:

Work with officers to continue to refine and develop transport, planning and car parking policies that

·       Continue to reduce private car use and enhance the environment of in our city

·       Continue to prepare and make provision for the financial implications of following such a policy

 

81d

Bicycle Mayors

Green member motion

 

Original text

 

This Council notes the international Bicycle Mayors and Leaders Network (https://bycs.org/our-work/bicycle-mayors/), a global initiative to accelerate the progress of cycling in cities and help get another one billion people onto bikes.

Bicycle Mayors are a catalyst to bring together the public and private realms to uncover the massive economic, health, and environmental benefits of increased cycling.

As a City which aims to improve cycling rates, this Council agrees to appoint an Oxford Bicycle Mayor in line with the Network’s aims and goals.

This Council asks the Leader:

To set in place the necessary arrangements to facilitate such an appointment

(Note: the Network’s rules state that a Bicycle Mayor must be someone appointed from outside the Council).

Minutes:

Councillor Wolff, seconded by Councillor Simmons, 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 not agreed.

81e

Climate Partners

Independent member motion

 

Original text

 

Oxford City Council has many partners and stakeholders both within and outside the city. Oxford City Council in order to develop and facilitate good practice will develop a 360-degree feedback forum on its website, publishing suggestions, materials sharing good practice associated with climate change.

 

Council is resolved to:

Liaise with its stakeholders and partners including Schools, Colleges, Universities, Community Centres, Parish Councils and retail outlets to ask them to recognise the climate emergency. To facilitate good practice, City Council will make available to these organisations, suggestions on how to deliver sustainable outcomes to contest climate change, and encourage these organisations to contribute their own three-point plan on how they have delivered sustainable outcomes and carbon reduction over the past year. This 360-degree feedback to be promoted on the council’s website and other media.

 

Therefore, the Council asks that the Leader:

·       writes to the council’s partners and stakeholders asking them to recognise the climate emergency.

·       Introduces the 360-degree feedback plan, asking our partners and stakeholders to contribute 3 strategies to contest climate change.

·       instructs officers to develop a 360-degree feedback page that advices promotes the activities and suggestions of our both the council, it stakeholders and partners.

Minutes:

Council agreed that this motion should be withdrawn.

 

 

Councillors Donnelly, L Smith and Turner left the meeting.

 

81f

International Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons

Labour member motion

 

Original text

Oxford City Council has been a long-standing member of the Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) which has been working for over three decades to promote multilateral nuclear disarmament.

Oxford City Council is particularly concerned about the huge cost to the taxpayer of nuclear weapons, the risk posed by the regular transport of nuclear weapons on Oxfordshire’s roads and the continuing threat of nuclear war.

NFLA has worked with Mayors for Peace and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) to promote the International Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Over two thirds (122) of United Nations member states have agreed the TPNW.

Council regrets that the Governments of the existing nuclear weapon states, including the UK, refuse to support the Treaty. Council fully supports the TPNW as one of the most effective ways to bring about long-term and verifiable multilateral nuclear disarmament.

Oxford City Council calls on the United Kingdom Government to lead a global effort to prevent nuclear war by:

·       Renouncing the option of using nuclear weapons first;

·       Cancelling the programme to replace its entire Trident nuclear arsenal with enhanced weapons;

·       Actively pursuing a verifiable agreement among nuclear-armed states to reduce and then eliminate their nuclear arsenals by supporting both the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons and the ‘Good Faith’ Protocols within the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Oxford City Council asks the Chief Executive of the Council to write to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the incoming UK Government and Oxford’s newly elected MPs to inform them of this resolution and urge them to take appropriate action.

Note: Similar resolutions have been agreed by Manchester City Council and Renfrewshire Council. The TPNW was agreed at the UN by 122 countries (including the Republic of Ireland) in July 2017 and is currently being ratified, a process that is expected to conclude in 2019.

Minutes:

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

 

On being put to the vote the motion was agreed.

 

Council resolved to adopt the following motion:

 

Oxford City Council has been a long-standing member of the Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) which has been working for over three decades to promote multilateral nuclear disarmament.

Oxford City Council is particularly concerned about the huge cost to the taxpayer of nuclear weapons, the risk posed by the regular transport of nuclear weapons on Oxfordshire’s roads and the continuing threat of nuclear war.

NFLA has worked with Mayors for Peace and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) to promote the International Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Over two thirds (122) of United Nations member states have agreed the TPNW.

Council regrets that the Governments of the existing nuclear weapon states, including the UK, refuse to support the Treaty. Council fully supports the TPNW as one of the most effective ways to bring about long-term and verifiable multilateral nuclear disarmament.

Oxford City Council calls on the United Kingdom Government to lead a global effort to prevent nuclear war by:

·       Renouncing the option of using nuclear weapons first;

·       Cancelling the programme to replace its entire Trident nuclear arsenal with enhanced weapons;

·       Actively pursuing a verifiable agreement among nuclear-armed states to reduce and then eliminate their nuclear arsenals by supporting both the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons and the ‘Good Faith’ Protocols within the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Oxford City Council asks the Chief Executive of the Council to write to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the incoming UK Government and Oxford’s newly elected MPs to inform them of this resolution and urge them to take appropriate action.

81g

Local Electricity Bill

Liberal Democrat member motion

 

Original text

 

That Oxford City Council

(i)              acknowledges the efforts that this council has made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote renewable energy;

(ii)             recognises that councils can play a central role in creating sustainable communities, particularly through the provision of locally generated renewable electricity;

(iii)            further recognises

·       that very large financial setup and running costs involved in selling locally generated renewable electricity to local customers result in it being impossible for local renewable electricity generators to do so,

·       that making these financial costs proportionate to the scale of a renewable electricity supplier’s operation would create significant opportunities for councils to be providers of locally generated renewable electricity directly to local people, businesses and organisations, and

·       that revenues received by councils that became local renewable electricity providers could be used to help fund local greenhouse gas emissions reduction measures and to help improve local services and facilities;

 

(iv)          accordingly resolves to support the Local Electricity Bill, currently supported by a cross-party group of 115 MPs, and which, if made law, would make the setup and running costs of selling renewable electricity to local customers proportionate by establishing a Right to Local Supply; and

 

(v)            further resolves to ask the Leader to

·       inform the local media of this decision,

·       write to local MPs, asking them to support the Bill, and

·       write to the organisers of the campaign for the Bill, Power for People, (at 8 Delancey Passage, Camden, London NW1 7NN or info@powerforpeole.org.uk) expressing its support.

Minutes:

This motion was not taken as the time allowed for debate had finished.

81h

Homelessness Charter

Green member motion

 

Original text

 

This Council notes that it provides significant support, directly and indirectly, to the homeless1 and has an extensive policy framework but has no underlying, summary statement of those rights that it aims to protect and defend. Council therefore agrees to adopt the following Homelessness Charter:

1.     Homelessness prevention
Each person has the right to access the help and support they need, including access to financial, mental or physical health services, to avoid homelessness.

2.     The Right to Housing
Services supporting access to appropriate housing must be accessible to all homeless people.

3.     The Right to Shelter
Where housing cannot be immediately provided, there must be access to decent emergency accommodation for anyone finding themselves without shelter.

4.     The Right to Use Public Space
People who find themselves without a home will have the same right as others to use public space e.g. pavements, parks, public transport and public buildings.

5.     The Right to Equal Treatment
All staff and services uphold the right to equal treatment for all including those who find themselves homeless.

6.     The Right to a Postal Address
The Council shall ensure that homeless people who need one have an accessible postal address.

7.     The Right to Sanitary Facilities
The Council commits to providing access for all homeless people to basic sanitary facilities sufficient to maintain human dignity.

8.     The Right to Emergency Services
The right to emergency services (where the Council has influence) e.g. social services, health services, the police and the fire service without fear of discrimination

9.     The Right to Vote
The right to vote, to be included on the electoral register and to be given the necessary documents to prove their identity.

10. The Right to Data Protection
Data will only be shared by public and other services with their consent and for the purposes of providing services.

11. The Right to Privacy
The right to privacy must be respected and protected to the fullest extent possible.

12. The Right to Survive
The right to carry out practices necessary for survival within the law. While the Council strives for a City in which such practices are not necessary, we recognise that where people have no other option they will seek support from other people or forage for discarded food to survive.

13. The Right to Respect for Personal Property
People who are homeless should have their belongings respected by everyone. They should never be damaged or thrown away or be removed without compelling need, and if they are removed they should be made available for collection without charge.

14. The Right to Life
The Council’s priority is to preserve life. If a person who is homeless dies, there should be an investigation in order to understand the causes and the implications for any changes in policy or practice.

[1] Note: The term ‘homeless’ is taken here to include rough sleepers as well as individuals and families who have a roof over their head but no security of tenure.  ...  view the full agenda text for item 81h

Minutes:

This motion was not taken as the time allowed for debate had finished.