Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

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Items
No. Item

82.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

Councillor Malik declared that the decisions at Minute 88 affected his declared disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) and he would leave the meeting and take no part in the debate on these items.

 

Relevant Dispensations: The Standards Committee on 1 September 2018 agreed a set of general dispensations for all councillors, including but not restricted to:

  • determining an allowance (including special responsibility allowances), travelling expense, payment or indemnity given to Members;
  • where the Member (or spouse or partner) holds a tenancy or lease with the Council as long as the matter does not relate to the particular tenancy or lease of the Member (their spouse or partner);
  • setting the Council Tax or a precept under the Local Government and Finance Act 1992 (or any subsequent legislation).

 

83.

Announcements relating to items on the agenda

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 reminded Council of:

  • arrangements for his charity fundraiser evening on 15 March;
  • that he would ask Council to defer consideration of item 10 (Council Tax) on the agenda, then to adjourn the meeting and reconvene on 24 February at 6.00pm to set the Council Tax.

 

84.

Agreement of procedure for debate on the medium term financial strategy and budget

The procedure for this meeting including timings for the debate on the Council’s budget, capital programme and medium term financial strategy as recommended by the Cabinet is set out in the Council’s Constitution at 11.4.

 

Any amendments to the procedure must be agreed by majority vote and will only apply to this meeting.

 

Recommendation: Council is recommended to agree that the times permitted for each stage in the budget debate (Item 9 on the agenda) are as detailed in the Council’s Constitution

 

Minutes:

Council noted the procedure and times permitted for each stage in the budget debate (Item 9 on the agenda) as detailed in the Council’s Constitution.

 

85.

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 in the Constitution relating to matters for decision in Part 1 of this agenda.

 

A total of 30 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. Questions must be less than 200 words.

 

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 5.00pm on Friday 7 February.

 

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

 

Please note: Public speakers will be filmed while in the Council Chamber by the Council for the live stream and online video of the meeting and may be filmed or photographed by others in attendance.

Minutes:

There were no addresses or questions.

 

86.

Report of the Council's Chief Finance Officer on the robustness of the 2020/2021 budget pdf icon PDF 703 KB

Report of the Head of Financial Services on the soundness of the financial proposals before Council.

 

The Head of Financial Services may present the report and recommendations.

 

Recommendation: That Council notes this report in setting its budget for 2020/21and the indicative budgets for 2021 to 2024.

Minutes:

Council considered a report from the Head of Financial Services on the soundness of the financial proposals before Council. The Head of Financial Services drew attention to the key points including risks and to the levels of the Council’s reserves and balances and contingencies. He reported that on 6 February the Government announced the final financial settlement for 2020-21 which confirmed the figures in the provisional financial settlement. This however would not be ratified by the House of Commons until their debate re-scheduled from 12 February to 24 February. He did not expect that the final financial settlement would change.

 

Council resolved to note the report and its implications in setting its budget for 2020/21and the indicative budgets for 2021 to 2024.

87.

Scrutiny Response: 2020/2021 Budget pdf icon PDF 635 KB

Report of the Scrutiny Officer setting out the Budget Review Group’s findings on the proposed budget (published as a supplement: to follow)

 

Cabinet’s response will be tabled or reported at this meeting.

 

The Chairs of the Review Group and the Finance Panel will present the report and recommendations.

 

Recommendation: Council is asked to note the findings and recommendations of the Budget Review Group and Cabinet’s response.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered the report and recommendations of the Budget Review Group of the Scrutiny Committee to the Cabinet meeting on 12 February and the Cabinet’s response. Councillor Fry, Chair of the Budget Review Group, drew attention to the key findings in the report including the very small percentage of business rates retained by the council (8%); that the council had to fund 100% of any discretionary rate relief; and the very large amount spent on homelessness prevention despite the lack of stable central funding.

 

In response to a question from Councillor Gant, Councillor Turner confirmed that in his introduction to the budget report, the sum of £18m referred to covered both committed and uncommitted capital spending.

 

Council resolved to note the report and Cabinet’s responses to the recommendations.

88.

Licensing and Gambling Acts and General Purposes Licensing Committees - recommendations on fees and charges pdf icon PDF 130 KB

The Licensing and Gambling Acts and General Purposes Licensing Committees considered at their meetings on 3 February reports on fees and charges for the licensing functions falling within their remits.

 

The draft minutes of the Committees and the reports accompanying the three sets of fees and charges are attached (with items 8a and 8c). These are also included in the budget papers at Item 9.

 

The Committee Chairs may wish to present the recommendations.

 

Recommendations: the Licensing and Gambling Acts Committee and the General Purposes Committee recommend that Council agree the licence fees and charges for 2020/21 as set out in Items 8a, 8b and 8c (and repeated in the relevant sections of Item 9 Appendix 7).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Malik having declared this item related to his disclosable pecuniary interest, withdrew from the council chamber for the duration of this item.

 

Councillors Cook and Clarkson, Chairs of the Licensing Acts Committee and the General Purposes Licensing Committee, moved the recommendations from their respective committees.

 

On being seconded and put to the vote these were agreed.

 

Council resolved to agree the licence fees and charges for 2020/21 as set out in in the appendices to the reports to the committees and repeated in the budget book at Appendix 7 (relevant Community Services Fees and Charges and relevant Planning and Regulatory Fees and Charges).

89.

Budget 2020/21 and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2021/22 to 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 115 KB

At its meeting on 12 February, Cabinet will consider a report of the Head of Financial Services which presents the outcome of the budget consultation and seeks agreement of the Council’s Budget for 2020/21 and the Medium Term Financial Strategy for the following 3 years (published as a supplementary pack).

 

Cabinet is asked to make recommendations to Council. Any changes to the Head of Financial Services’ recommendations to Council and any amendments resulting from the Cabinet meeting will be tabled at the Council meeting.

 

Amendments to the budget proposed by opposition groups or individual councillors must be received by Committee Services before 1.00pm on Tuesday 12 February and will be circulated with the briefing note published that day.

 

Councillor Turner, the Cabinet Member for Finance and Asset Management, will present the report and move Cabinet’s recommendations.

 

The procedure for this item is set out in Part 11.4 of the Council’s Constitution.

 

Council is recommended to:

a.    consider Cabinet’s recommendations to Council, including the budget published as part of the agenda for this meeting along with any amendments resulting from the Cabinet meeting of 12 February tabled at this meeting;

b.    consider the substantive amendments proposed by the opposition groups; and published with the briefing note;

c.    consider individual amendments; and

d.    agree the recommendations from the Cabinet as presented to Council, or with further amendments as decided by Council.

 

Recommendation: Cabinet recommends subject to decisions at their meeting on 12 February that Council resolves to:

1.    approve the 2020-21 General Fund and Housing Revenue Account budgets and the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account Medium Term Financial Plan as set out in Appendices 1-10 of the report, noting:

a.    the Council’s General Fund Budget Requirement of £24.183 million for 2020/21 and an increase in the Band D Council Tax of 1.99% or £6.13 per annum representing a Band D Council Tax of £313.92 per annum subject to confirmation of the referendum levels contained in paragraphs 5 and 6 of the report;

b.    the Housing Revenue Account budget for 2020/21 of £44.455 million and an increase of 2.70% (£3.06/wk) in social dwelling rents from 1 April 2020 giving a revised weekly average social rent of £105.32 as set out in Appendix 5 of the report;

c.    the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account Capital Programme as shown in Appendix 6 of the report;

2.    agree the fees and charges shown in Appendix 7 of the report;

3.    delegate to the Section 151 Officer in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Assets the decision to determine whether it is financially advantageous for the Council to enter into a Business Rates Distribution Agreement as referred to in paragraphs 13-15 of the report;

4.    approve a loan facility of up to £500k for working capital to the Council’s Joint Venture, Oxford West End Development Ltd (OxWed) at terms to be agreed by the Council’s Section 151 Officer as referred to in paragraph 37 of the report; and

5.  ...  view the full agenda text for item 89.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Malik re-joined the meeting at the start of this item.

Councillors Corais and Munkonge arrived at this point.

 

Council had before it and considered:

·         The report of the Head of Finance to Cabinet on 12 February 2020 setting out the outcome of the budget consultation and seeking agreement of the Council’s Budget for 2020/21 and the Medium Term Financial Strategy for the following 3 years;

·         The additional recommendation agreed at that meeting: Agree the additional unbudgeted amount of RSI grant of £840k for 2020-21 is added to the Council’s Homelessness earmarked reserve.

·         The Liberal Democrat group’s submitted amendments published with the briefing note;

·         The Green group’s submitted amendments published with the briefing note;

·         The Head of Finance’s comments on the amendments published with the briefing note;

·         One individual amendment submitted and circulated  at the meeting

 

Councillor Turner, seconded by Councillor Brown, moved agreement of the Budget for 2020/21 and the Medium Term Financial Strategy and the seven recommendations from Cabinet.

 

a)    Liberal Democrat group amendments to the budget

 

Councillor Arshad arrived during this section of the debate.

 

Councillor Roz Smith, seconded by Councillor Wade, moved the Liberal Democrat group amendments. After debate these were put to the vote.

 

With more councillors voting against than for, the Liberal Democrat amendments were not carried.

 

b)   Green group amendments to the budget

 

Councillor Wolff, seconded by Councillor Simmons, moved the Green group amendments.After debate these were put to the vote.

 

With more councillors voting against than for, the Green group amendments were not carried.

 

c)    Individual amendment to the Cabinet budget as proposed

 

Councillors Garden and Roz Smith left the meeting during this section of the debate.

Councillor Hayes left the chamber for the duration of this part of the debate as this affected his DPI as the charity he worked for was involved with the group referred to in the amendment.

Councillor Turner left the chamber for the duration of this part of the debate as the amendment specifically referred to his Special Responsibility Allowance.

 

Councillor Wade, seconded by Councillor Gant, moved an amendment: award £5,000 in-year revenue spending to support the Art Bus, a project of the Art Room funded by stopping the additional Special Responsibility Allowance to the non-statutory deputy leader for one year from 1 April of as soon as possible thereafter.  This was to support the new venture and bring the benefit of art therapy to children across the city.

 

The S151 officer confirmed the proposals were arithmetically correct.

 

The Leader in responding to the amendment reminded councillors that this worthwhile project could be funded through their ward budgets or the by applying for a council grant.

 

After debate the amendment was put to the vote.

 

With more councillors voting against than for, the amendment was not carried.

 

d)   Decision on the City Executive Board budget

 

Councillors Hayes and Turner returned to the chamber. Councillor Djafari-Marbini arrived during the debate on this item.

 

After a debate, the recommendations of the Cabinet agreed at their meeting on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 89.

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
Agree the Cabinet recommendations on the 2020/21 budget and MTFS Resolution Carried
  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • 90.

    Council Tax 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 247 KB

    The Head of Financial Services has submitted a report which sets out the necessary calculations to enable Council to set the 2020/21 Council Tax for Oxford City.

     

    Councillor Turner, the Cabinet Member for Finance and Asset Management will move the recommendations and the Head of Financial Services will be available to answer questions.

     

    Recommendations: subject to the decisions at Item 9 above, Council is asked to approve for 2020/21:

    1.         The City Council’s precept and Council Tax requirement of £14,679,191 including Parish precepts and £14,407,726 excluding Parish precepts.

    2.         The average Band D Council Tax figure (excluding Parish Precepts) of £313.92 a 1.99% increase on the 2019/2020 figure of £307.80. Including Parish Precepts the figure is £319.84, a 2.01% increase (see paragraphs 2 to 6 of the report).

    3.         A contribution of £10,000 to Old Marston Parish Council in recognition of the additional expenditure that the Parish incurs as a consequence of maintaining the cemetery (see paragraphs 9 and 10 of the report).

    4.         The amount of £623,305 to be treated as Special Expenses (see paragraph 13 of the report).

    5.         The Band D Council Taxes for the various areas of the City (excluding the Police and County Council’s precepts) as follows:

                            Littlemore                                      £358.22

                            Old Marston                                  £347.97

                            Risinghurst and Sandhills       £336.47

                            Blackbird Leys                            £319.31

                            Unparished Area                         £316.50

    These figures include Parish Precepts and special expensing amounts as appropriate; in addition to the City-wide Council Tax of £300.34.

    The Council is also asked to note:

    6.         Oxfordshire County Council’s precept and Band D Council Tax as set out in paragraph 17 of the report.

    7.         The Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley’s precept and Band D Council Tax as set out in paragraph 18 of the report, and

    8.         The overall average Band D equivalent Council Tax of £2,063.56 including Parish Precepts (subject to confirmation of the Band D figures for the County Council and Police and Crime Commissioner).

     

    A recorded vote must be taken when voting to agree the Council Tax and associated resolutions.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Council noted that the relevant legislation required the decision to set the Council Tax must be taken after the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley had set his precept following debate of his budget at the 14 February meeting of the Police and Crime Panel. 

     

    Accordingly the Lord Mayor proposed and Council agreed to

    • adjourn the debate on this item to a meeting of Council  at 6.00pm on 24 February (the reserve meeting date) (11.19 j of the Constitution refers)
    • move to the next business on the agenda (11.19 h of the Constitution refers)

     

    91.

    Treasury Management Strategy 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 378 KB

    At its meeting on 12 February, Cabinet will consider a report of the Head of Financial Services presenting the proposed Treasury Management Strategy for 2020/21 together with the Prudential Indicators for 2020/21 to 2024/25.

     

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

     

    Recommendations: Cabinet recommends subject to decisions at their meeting on 12 February that Council resolves to approve:

    1.  the Treasury Management Strategy 2020/21 as set out in paragraphs 18 to 64 and the Prudential Indicators for 2020/21 – 2024/25 as set out in Appendix 2 of the report;

    2.  the Borrowing Strategy at paragraphs 26 to 38 of the report;

    3.  the Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Statement at paragraphs 39 to 41 of the report which sets out the Council’s policy on charging borrowing to the revenue account; and

    4.  the Investment Strategy for 2020/21 and investment criteria as set out in paragraphs 42 to 63 and Appendix 1 of the report.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Councillor Tidball left the meeting during the debate on this item.

     

    Council considered the report of the Head of Financial Services, submitted to Cabinet on 12 February 2020, presenting the proposed Treasury Management Strategy for 2020/21 together with the Prudential Indicators for 2020/21 to 2024/25.

     

    Councillor Turner, Cabinet Member for Finance and Asset Management, presented the report and moved the recommendationsThese were agreed on being seconded and put to the vote.

     

    Council resolved to approve:

    1.     the Treasury Management Strategy 2020/21 as set out in paragraphs 18 to 64 and the Prudential Indicators for 2020/21 – 2024/25 as set out in Appendix 2 of the report;

    2.     the Borrowing Strategy at paragraphs 26 to 38 of the report;

    3.     the Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Statement at paragraphs 39 to 41 of the report which sets out the Council’s policy on charging borrowing to the revenue account; and

    4.     the Investment Strategy for 2020/21 and investment criteria as set out in paragraphs 42 to 63 and Appendix 1 of the report.

    92.

    Capital Strategy 2020/21 – 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 216 KB

    At its meeting on 12 February, Cabinet will consider a report of the Head of Financial Services presenting the proposed Capital Strategy for approval.

     

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

     

    Recommendations: Cabinet recommends subject to decisions at their meeting on 12 February that Council resolves to approve the Capital Strategy set out at Appendix A of the report.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Council considered the report of the Head of Financial Services, submitted to Cabinet on 12 February 2020, presenting the proposed Capital Strategy for approval.

     

    Councillor Turner, Cabinet Member for Finance and Asset Management, presented the report and moved the recommendationsThese were agreed on being seconded and put to the vote.

     

    Council resolved to approve the Capital Strategy set out at Appendix A of the report.

     

    93.

    Corporate Strategy 20-24 - final draft for approval pdf icon PDF 269 KB

    At its meeting on 12 February Cabinet will consider a report of the Assistant Chief Executive on the post consultation draft of the Council’s Corporate Strategy for 2020 to 2024 (“Council Strategy 2020–2024”). The Council Strategy 2020–2024 and supporting papers will be published as a supplement (to follow).

     

    Councillor Brown, Leader of the Council, will present the report and move the recommendations.

     

    Recommendations: Cabinet recommends subject to decisions at their meeting on 12 February that Council resolves to adopt the new Corporate Strategy as set out in the appendix to the report.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Council considered the report of the Assistant Chief Executive, submitted to Cabinet on 12 February 2020, on the post consultation draft of the Council’s Corporate Strategy for 2020 to 2024 (“Council Strategy 2020–2024”).

     

    Councillor Brown, Leader of the Council, presented the report and moved Cabinet’s recommendations to Council. These were agreed on being seconded and put to the vote.

     

    Council resolved to

    1.      adopt the Council Strategy 2020-2024 attached as Appendix 1 to the report;

    2.      delegate authority to the Head of Corporate Policy, Partnerships and Communications in consultation with the Council Leader to make further minor amendments as required prior to its publication in March 2020;

    3.      note that Key Performance Indicators agreed by Cabinet will be inserted as a schedule in the Council Strategy.

     

    94.

    Review of polling places pdf icon PDF 147 KB

    The Head of Law and Governance has submitted a report asking Council to approve the schedule of polling districts and polling places (shown at Appendix A to the report) for the administrative area of the City Council as required by the Electoral Administration Act 2006.

     

    Appendices 1 and 3 (schedule and map of polling districts and places) will be published separately in a supplement (to follow).

     

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

     

    Recommendation: that Council

    1.    approves the schedule of polling districts and polling places (shown at Appendix 1 of the report) for the administrative area of the City Council;

    2.    delegates to the Returning Officer the power to make changes to polling places and polling stations in emergency situations; and

    3.    requests the Returning Officer to investigate the suggested alternative polling places and report back to Council as necessary following the May 2020 elections.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Council considered the report of the Head of Law and Governance asking for approval of the schedule of polling districts and polling places (shown at Appendix A to the report) for the administrative area of the City Council as required by the Electoral Administration Act 2006.

     

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

     

    Council resolved to:

    1.         approve the schedule of polling districts and polling places (shown at Appendix 1 of the report) for the administrative area of the City Council;

    2.         delegate to the Returning Officer the power to make changes to polling places and polling stations in emergency situations; and

    3.         request the Returning Officer to investigate the suggested alternative polling places and report back to Council as necessary following the May 2020 elections.