Agenda and minutes

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Speaking at a Council or Committee meeting

Venue: Oxford Town Hall, St Aldate's, Oxford

Contact: William Reed, Democratic Services Manager 

Items
No. Item

99.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Councillor Lygo.

100.

Declarations of Interest

Board Members are asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests they may have in any of the following agenda items.  Guidance is contained at the end of these agenda pages.

Minutes:

Councillor Brown declared an interest in minute 109 (Jericho Canalside Supplementary Planning Document – Adoption) and withdrew from the meeting whilst the matter was discussed (minute to be amplified later).

101.

Public Questions

When the chair agrees, questions from the public for up to 15 minutes – these must be about the items for decision at the meeting (excluding the minutes) and must have been given to the Head of Law and Governance by 9.30am on a day so that there are two clear working days before the meeting (email executiveboard@oxford.gov.uk or telephone the person named as staff contact).  No supplementary questions or questioning will be permitted.  Questions by the public will be taken as read and, when the Chair agrees, be responded to at the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no public questions.

102.

Scrutiny Committee Reports pdf icon PDF 95 KB

The following scrutiny committee reports have been, or will be, submitted to this meeting:-

 

·         Community Engagement Strategy

·         Housing Strategy Refresh

·         Treasury Management Mid Year Review

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following reports from Scrutiny were submitted (now appended):-

 

·         Treasury Management – Mid Term Review 2013/14

·         Housing Action Plan – Refresh

 

The reports were taken with the related reports elsewhere on the agenda (minutes 105 and 111 refer).

 

The Board also received an oral report on scrutiny consideration of the report at minute110 (Community Engagement Plan 2014-2017 – Draft for Consultation).

103.

Councillor Addresses on any item for decision on the Board's Agenda

City councillors may, where the chair agrees, address the meeting on an item for decision on the agenda (other than on the minutes).  The member seeking to make an address must notify the Head of Law and Governance by no later that 9.30am at least one clear working day before the meeting.  An address may last for no more than three minutes. If an address is made, the Board Member who has political responsibility for the item for decision may respond or the board will have regard to the points raised in reaching its decision.

 

Minutes:

With the agreement of the Chair, Councillor Campbell addressed the Board on the subject of minute 110 (Community Engagement Plan 2014-2017 – Draft for Consultation).  A summary of the addresses is contained in minute 110.

104.

Finance, Performance and Risk - Quarter 2 Progress 2012/13 pdf icon PDF 34 KB

 

This report sets out the financial and non-financial performance of the Council as at the end of September 2013 (the Second Quarter of the financial year 2013/14).  It also sets out the position in respect of the risks on the Council’s Corporate Risk Register.  The Board is being asked to:-

 

(1)  Note the financial position and performance of the Council for the second quarter of 2013/14 and also the position of risks outstanding as  at 30th September 2013;

 

      (2) Note a virement, approved by the Head of Finance under delegated   authority, being the introduction into the 2013/14 Housing Revenue Account Capital Programme of a £0.250 million budget for “Green Energy”, and further funding associated with this project being included in the 2014/15 Budget consultation;

 

(2)  Note that it will be a priority to transfer at year-end the reported £2.262m General Fund projected surplus, together with the £0.800m previously transferred from the in-year risk contingency budget, to a specific Earmarked Reserve to fund the Capital Programme in the absence of further planned capital receipts

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Finance and the Head of Business Improvement and Technology submitted a report (previously circulated, now appended).

 

Resolved to note:-

 

(1)  The financial position and performance of the Council for the second quarter of 2013/14 and also the position of risks outstanding as  at 30th September 2013;

 

      (2) Note a virement, approved by the Head of Finance under delegated   authority, being the introduction into the 2013/14 Housing Revenue Account Capital Programme of a £0.250 million budget for “Green Energy”, and further funding associated with the project being included in the 2014/15 Budget consultation;

 

(2)  That it would be a priority to transfer at year-end the reported £2.262m General Fund projected surplus, together with the £0.800m previously transferred from the in-year risk contingency budget, to a specific Earmarked Reserve to fund the Capital Programme in the absence of further planned capital receipts.

 

105.

Treasury Management - Mid-Term Review 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 216 KB

This report concerns the performance of the treasury management function up to the end of September 2013 (the first half of the financial year 2013/14).  It asks the Board to note the half year performance and to note the Council’s Investment Strategy for the remainder of the financial year 2013/14.

Minutes:

The Head of Finance submitted a report (previously circulated, now appended).  The Board also had before it a Scrutiny report (previously circulated, now appended).

 

Resolved:-

 

(1)   To note:-

 

(a)  The half year performance to the end of September 2013;

 

(b)  The Council’s Investment Strategy for the remainder of the current financial year;

 

(2)  In relation to the Scrutiny recommendations:-

 

(a)  To note advice given by the Head of Finance that the Council would, all things being equal, seek to retender its banking requirements in April 2015;

 

(b)  That ethical standards should be part of the specifications in a retender invitation;

 

(c)  To ask the Head of Finance in six months time to provide to Scrutiny a review of performance of the Council’s non-specified investments considering in particular diversity and mix and a benchmark across the public sector for the percentage of funds allocated to this type of investment.

106.

Budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2014/15 to 2017/18 and 2014/15 Budget pdf icon PDF 269 KB

This report will present the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy and draft Budget for 2014/15 to go out to consultation.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Finance submitted a report (previously circulated, now appended).

 

The Board Member, Finance, Efficiency and Asset Management referred to some aspects of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement that might affect local authority budgets, namely employer national insurance contributions, New Homes Bonus and business rate concessions.

 

The Leader and the Chief Executive thanked Finance staff for their work in preparing the draft consultation Budget.

 

Resolved to approve for consultation the draft Budget for the financial year 2014/15 and the Medium Term Financial Plan for the period 2015/16 to 2017/18 and in particular to approve:-

 

(1)  The Council’s General Fund Budget Requirement of £23.471 million for 2014/15 as set out in Appendix 1 to the report and an increase in the Band D Council Tax of 1.99% or £5.34 per annum representing a Band D Council Tax of £273.53 per annum;

 

(2)  The continuance of the Council’s Council Tax Support scheme (formerly Council Tax Benefit) as referred to in paragraph 25 of the report;

 

(3)  The Housing Revenue Account budget for 2014/15 as set out in Appendix 4 to the report and an increase in average dwelling rent of 5.42% or £5.25 per week an annual average rent of £102.08 as set out in Appendix 5

 

(4)  The Capital Programme for 2014/15 -2017/18 as set out in Appendix 6 to the report;

 

(5)  The fees and charges schedule as set out in Appendix 7 to the report;

 

(6)  The proposed level of exemptions and discounts on empty homes and unoccupied properties as outlined in paragraph 44 of the report.

107.

Corporate Plan 2014-18 - Consultation pdf icon PDF 50 KB

This report concerns the draft Corporate Plan for 2014-2018.  It asks the Board to agree the draft Plan for consultation.  The consultation outcome will be reported back to the Board in February 2014. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Policy, Culture and Communications submitted a report (previously circulated, now appended).

 

Resolved to approve for consultation the draft Corporate Plan for 2014 – 2018.

108.

Air Quality Action Plan - Consultation Outcome and Adoption pdf icon PDF 110 KB

This report sets out the key issues raised during consultation on the Council’s draft Air Quality Action Plan.  Appendices to the report set out the consultation responses and Council officers’ responses to them.

 

The Board is being recommended to adopt the Air Quality Action Plan as contained in an Appendix to the report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Environmental Development submitted a report (previously circulated, now appended).

 

In response to questions concerning enforcement of the Low Emission Zone once it came into effect in January 2014, the Head of Environmental Development explained that the Council held a database of compliant PSVs that operated in the area of the LEZ.  Vehicles not on the database, that were registered with the Traffic Commissioner as UK law required (vehicles bearing foreign number plates were not so required) and which were not compliant with LEZ requirements would be reported to the Traffic Commissioner who had the power to take action.

 

Resolved:-

 

(1)  to adopt the Air Quality Action Plan as contained in Appendix 1 to the report;

 

(2)  to ask the Head of Environmental Development to discuss with County Council colleagues and the Traffic Commissioner a system of checking for compliance and taking action in cases of non-compliance.

109.

Jericho Canalside Supplementary Planning Document - Adoption pdf icon PDF 130 KB

This report sets out the key issues raised during consultation on the Jericho Canalside Supplementary Planning Document.  An appendix to the report sets out a table of changes proposed as a result of consultation. 

 

The Board is being recommended to adopt the Jericho Canalside Supplementary Planning Document as contained in an Appendix to the report and to authorise the Head of City Development, with the Board Member, to make any necessary editorial corrections to the document prior to final  publication.  The Board is also being asked to endorse the accompanying Strategic Environmental Assessment Screening Report and the Equalities Impact Assessment.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of City Development submitted a report (previously circulated, now appended).

 

Resolved:-

 

(1)  (a) To adopt the Jericho Canalside Supplementary Planning Document as contained in Appendix 1 to the report;

 

(b) To authorise the Head of City Development, after consultation with the Board Member for City Development to make editorial corrections to the Document prior to final publication;

 

(2)  To endorse the strategic environmental assessment screening report  and the equalities impact assessment relating to the Supplementary Planning Document.

 

(Note: Councillor Brown declared an interest in this item and withdrew from the meeting whilst the matter was discussed). Note to be amplified later.

110.

Community Engagement Plan 2014-2017 - Draft for Consultation pdf icon PDF 98 KB

This report asks the Board to comment on a draft Community Engagement Plan and seeks Board authority to consult on the Plan (amended in the light of Board comments if any).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Policy, Culture and Communications submitted a report (previously circulated, now appended).

 

With the Chair’s agreement Councillor Campbell addressed the meeting.  Councillor Campbell suggested that in the context of the consultation on the Plan, Council officers should develop a list of key stakeholders with whom the Council would consult as a matter of course.

 

The Board Member, Youth and Communities referred to the Scrutiny discussion of the report and commented upon the recommendations that flowed from it.  The recommendations were all adopted by the Board in the terms set out in resolution (2) below.

 

Resolved:-

 

(1)   Subject to the Board’s decisions in resolution (2) below on the outcome of the Scrutiny deliberations, to issue the draft Community Engagement Plan for consultation;

 

(2)  In relation to the Scrutiny recommendations:-

 

(a)  That a clear statement be provided in the Plan, supported by guidance to Service Areas, of the need for all engagement activity to link together in order to deliver the overall aims of the Plan;

 

(b)  To ask the Head of Policy, Culture and Communications to ensure that the guidance and toolkit were fit for purpose for the diverse groups with whom the Council was seeking to engage;

 

(c)  To ask that the Plan reflected the role played by councillors and how this was supported through advice and training and was linked to democratic processes;

 

(d)  To ask officers:-

 

(i)            In the context of the consultation on the Plan, to develop a list of key stakeholders with whom the Council would consult as a matter of course;

 

(ii)          In the context of consultation, to ask that a questionnaire be issued, built around the main areas upon which consultation feedback on the Plan was wanted;

 

(iii)         To report back on examples of good and poor engagement activities;

 

(e)  To ask the Head of Policy, Culture and Communications to emphasise and give more weight in the Plan to seeking and encouraging engagement at a very local level to ensure communities can help shape decisions and iissues that affect them;

(f)   That the Plan and toolkit should recognise the importance of defining as broadly as possible and on a case by case basis what might constitute a ‘hard to reach’ group.

 

111.

Housing Action Plan- Refresh pdf icon PDF 40 KB

This report concerns a refresh of the Council’s Housing Strategy Action Plan.  It reports upon consultation with stakeholders and recommends updates in certain Action Plan targets.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Housing and Property submitted a report (previously circulated, now appended).  The Board also had before it a Scrutiny report (previously circulated, now appended)

 

 

Resolved to agree to the updated Housing Strategy Action Plan targets described in and set out in Appendix A to the report and to ask that the new Landlord and Lettings Agencies Accreditation Scheme be publicised as widely as possible to achieve greatest impact so that the number of landlords in the Scheme be maximised.

112.

Housing Stock - Energy Efficiency Improvement pdf icon PDF 91 KB

This report seeks approval for funding and procurement of a project optimising the available Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding to improve the energy efficiency of the Council’s hard to treat housing stock.  More specifically it asks the Board to:-

 

(1)  Grant project approval for the Council’s involvement in the project to utilise ECO funding, in combination with funding supplied by the Council, to improve the energy efficiency of the Council’s hard to heat housing;

 

(2)  Note the officer virement of £250k from the underspend in the 2013/14 Housing Revenue Account capital programme and the inclusion of a further £250k in the draft 2014/15 Housing Revenue Account budget to fund the Council’s contribution to this project;

 

(3)  Grant delegated authority to the Executive Director, Housing and Regeneration, to authorise the Council’s entry into all appropriate contracts required to implement this project;

 

(4)  Agree that if ECO funding is not successful, that alternative proposals for the work to proceed be brought back for member consideration.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Housing and Property submitted a report (previously circulated, now appended).

 

The Head of Housing and Property updated the Board on matters relating to the subject of the report in relation to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, as follows:-

 

·         the amount of total funding available had been diluted due to the first ECO programme being extended for two years to March 2017

·         changes to funding streams meant a move towards funding the 25% most deprived areas

·         there would be a reduced emphasis on solid wall insulation and an increased emphasis on cavity and loft insulation

·         active support was required to mix green deal and ECO.  Companies had indicated this required a mix of private and social housing on an area by area basis.

 

Energy companies remained keen to continue discussions with the Council on the initiative.

 

Resolved to:-

 

(1)  Grant project approval for the Council’s involvement in the project to utilise Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding, in combination with funding supplied by the Council, to improve the energy efficiency of the Council’s hard to heat housing;

 

(2)  Note the officer virement of £250k from the underspend in the 2013/14 Housing Revenue Account (HRA) capital programme and the inclusion of a further £250k in the draft 2014/15 HRA budget to fund the Council’s contribution to the project;

 

(3)  Grant delegated authority to the Executive Director, Housing and Regeneration, to authorise the Council’s entry into all appropriate contracts required to implement the project;

 

(4)  Agree that if ECO funding is not successful, alternative proposals for the work to proceed be brought back for consideration;

 

(5)  Ask that a report back on progress be brought to the Board’s first meeting in the Council Year 2014/15.

113.

Living Wage - Oxford pdf icon PDF 188 KB

This report presents a method for reviewing and uplifting the rate of the Oxford Living Wage.  The report recommends a particular way in which this might be done and that it should be done in April each year following notification of changes to the London Living Wage in the previous November.

Minutes:

The Head of Human Resources and Facilities submitted a report (previously circulated, now appended).

 

Resolved:-

 

(1)  To agree Option 3 in the report as the basis for determining any increase in the Oxford Living Wage;

 

(2)  That any changes in the Oxford Living Wage be applied in April each year following notification in November each year of changes to the London Living Wage.

114.

Outside Bodies - Appointments pdf icon PDF 80 KB

This report recommends the Board to appoint representatives to two outside bodies to fill vacancies caused by the resignation of former Councillor Alan Armitage.

Minutes:

The Head of Law and Governance submitted a report (previously circulated, now appended).

 

Resolved that:-

 

(1)  Mrs Elizabeth Wade be appointed to the Susan Kidd Charity for the period 13th December 2013 to 1st June 2015;

 

(2)  Councillor Graham Jones be appointed to the City of Oxford Charity for the period 13th December 2013 to 1st December 2017.

115.

Future Items

This item is included on the agenda to give members the opportunity to raise issues on the Forward Plan or update the Board about future agenda items.

Minutes:

Nothing was raised under this item.

116.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on 13th November 2013.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 13th November 2013 were approved as a correct record.