Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Sarah Claridge, Committee and Member Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

90.

Signing the Time to Change Pledge

At its October meeting, CEB agreed the Council’s response to a motion earlier this year, supporting mental health and wellbeing in the City. One of the actions agreed was to sign the Time to Change pledge, which Councillor Ed Turner, Executive Member for Public Health, will do on behalf of the City Council. The Time to Change pledge is a public statement that an organisation wants to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination in their workplace, communities, or both.

Minutes:

The Time to Change pledge is a public statement that an organisation wants to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination in their workplace, communities, or both.

 

Cllr Turner signed the Time to Change pledge on behalf of the City Council.

91.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Peter Sloman.

 

92.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received

 

93.

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:

No questions from the public were received.

 

94.

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

Minutes:

No Councillor addresses were made.

 

95.

Scrutiny Committee Report pdf icon PDF 103 KB

The following Scrutiny Committee report has been submitted to this meeting:-

 

Oxford Standard: Panel Report and Board member’s response.

 

The following reports will be submitted as a supplement:

 

Clean Streets

Discretionary Rates Relief for Businesses

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Scrutiny Committee and Panels presented the following reports:

The Oxford Standard

Minutes:

The Committee Services Manager and two co-opted tenants, Linda Hill and Celia Mathews (joint chair with former Cllr Smith) presented the Scrutiny Panel’s report on the Oxford Standard. They outlined the Scrutiny recommendations made to the Board. These covered what the standard of Council housing should be and how it is delivered.

 

Overall they had received a positive response from the Board Member with the only disagreement being around how frequently bathroom/kitchens should be replaced. The Panel understood why the Board member could not deliver on the bathroom/kitchen recommendation but wants it to be considered in the future.

 

Cllr Turner welcomed more feedback from tenants on the frequency of bathroom and kitchen replacements during the budget consultation.

 

The Board accepted and endorsed all of the Panel’s recommendations except for two elements of recommendation 3 around bathroom and kitchen specifications.

Clean Streets

Minutes:

The Scrutiny Officer presented the Scrutiny report on Clean Streets. He explained the Committee had reviewed the performance of Council’s Street cleaning, waste management and graffiti. They had 3 recommendations for the Board to consider.

 

Cllr Tanner, Board Member for Cleaner, Greener Oxford, Climate Change and Transport commented on the recommendations. He explained that in times of emergency staff will be taken off cleaning duties to help, and that street cleaning standards would be circulated to all councillors.

 

In terms of recommendation 3 which sought clarification on the legal powers the City Council has to ensure the removal of graffiti from privately owned properties.

Cllr Tanner asked the legal representative for more information on council’s powers to remove graffiti and in what circumstances. The Legal representative said he would provide a briefing note on the issue and would circulate it to all members.

 

Cllr Turner explained that there was a budget provision to do more to remove graffiti from private buildings.

 

The Board accepted the recommendations and noted that the budget had an element to tackle private property graffiti.

 

Older Person's Housing Review

Minutes:

Cllr Hollick, Chair of the Housing Panel presented the report on the Older Person’s Housing Review. The Housing Panel supported the review to free up older person’s housing stock for others. They had 6 recommendations for the Board Member to consider in the future.

 

The Head of Housing and Property explained that in general terms, the Board Member and he agreed the recommendations but give that the scrutiny was very recent they needed time to consider the detail and the cost implications. He welcomed the Housing Panel continuing to review the work.

96.

Discretionary Rates Relief for Businesses Policy pdf icon PDF 89 KB

The Head of Customer Services has submitted a report which details an updated National Non-Domestic Rates Discretionary Rate Relief policy.

 

 

Officer Recommendations: That the City Executive Board approve the updated National Non-Domestic Rates Discretionary Rate Relief policy to apply until a review is undertaken in 2018.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Customer Services submitted a report (previously circulated, now appended) which detailed an updated National Non-Domestic Rates Discretionary Rate Relief policy.

 

Cllr Susan Brown, Board member for Customer Services and Social Inclusion presented the report.

 

The Scrutiny Officer presented the Scrutiny Committee’s report. They had 1 recommendation about making sure non-profit organisations were aware of the discretionary rate relief scheme.

 

The Executive Director of Organisational Development and Corporate Services said that every business/ charitable organisation will be advised of the discretionary rate relief scheme when they receive their business rates bill. We should capture the charitable organisations through this process.

 

The City Executive Board resolved to approve the updated National Non-Domestic Rates Discretionary Rate Relief policy to apply until a review is undertaken in 2018.

97.

Budget 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 285 KB

The Head of Finance has submitted a report which proposes a Medium Term Financial Strategy and a 2015/16 Budget for consultation

 

 

Officer Recommendations: That the City Executive Board:

 

1. Approve the 2015-16 budget for consultation, including the General Fund and    Housing Revenue Account Medium Term Financial Plan as per the attached Appendices 1-10 noting the following key assumptions:

 

a) the Council’s General Fund Budget Requirement of £23.133 million for 2015/16 and an increase in the Band D Council Tax of 1.50% or £4.10 per annum representing a Band D Council Tax of £277.63 per annum

 

b) the continuance of the Councils Council Tax Support scheme (formerly Council Tax Benefit) as referred to in para 31

 

c) the Housing Revenue Account budget for 2015/16 to 2024/25 as set out in Appendix 6 and an increase in average dwelling rent of 3.49% for April 2015  representing £3.59 per week an annual average rent of £105.77 as set out in Appendix 7

 

2. Delegate to the Section 151 Officer in consultation with the Board Member for Finance and Assets to determine whether it is financially advantageous for the Council to enter into a Business Rates Pool referred to in paragraphs 21-23 or a Business Rates Distribution Agreement as referred to in paragraphs 24-26

 

Appendix 12 – the Equalities Assessment will be published as a supplement.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Finance submitted a report (previously circulated, now appended) which proposes a Medium Term Financial Strategy and a 2015/16 Budget for consultation.

 

Cllr Turner, Board Member for Finance, Asset Management and Public Health presented the report. Nationally the Council is expecting more local government cuts, however the Council has been able to safe guard support services. The assumption is that by 2018/19 we will no longer receive a revenue support grant.

 

The Council’s new homes bonus was better than expected and has yielded an extra £154k per annum.

 

The budget will:

Continue with efficiencies savings

Continue to pay Oxford Wage

Safeguard grants and apprenticeships funding

£101M will be spent over 4 years to build new homes, and renovate the estates with an additional £96 million over the next 10 years on new build, energy related works and estate regeneration.

Invest in regeneration projects in Blackbird Leys

Improve Barton community facilities,

Undertake an energy efficiencies audits of the housing stock

Increase Council housing rents by an average of 3.49% in 2015/16

 

No Government announcement has been made on the level of the government grant for the 2015/16 year and the referendum threshold has not been made, but it could be less than 1%.

 

Thank you to Nigel Kennedy and the Finance team for all their hard work. 

 

The Head of Finance explained recommendation 2. He outlined the implications of being in and outside a Business Rate pool in terms of the amount of levy given to the Government for additional busy rates income over and above a baseline position. The levy percentage is generally less for those authorities in a pool than for those outside. However, there are financial benefits for the County as a whole to exclude authorities from the pool and Chief Financial Officers are looking to reimburse those authorities that are excluded, under a Business Rates Distribution Group Agreement.

 

Cllr Seamons stated that a lot of the HRA budget was being spent on the energy efficiency programme to improve the insulation of the council housing stock.

 

The City Executive Board resolved to:

 

1. Approve the 2015-16 budget for consultation, including the General Fund and    Housing Revenue Account Medium Term Financial Plan as per the attached Appendices 1-10 noting the following key assumptions:

 

a) the Council’s General Fund Budget Requirement of £23.133 million for 2015/16 and an increase in the Band D Council Tax of 1.50% or £4.10 per annum representing a Band D Council Tax of £277.63 per annum

 

b) the continuance of the Councils Council Tax Support scheme (formerly Council Tax Benefit) as referred to in para 31

 

c) the Housing Revenue Account budget for 2015/16 to 2024/25 as set out in Appendix 6 and an increase in average dwelling rent of 3.49% for April 2015  representing £3.59 per week an annual average rent of £105.77 as set out in Appendix 7

 

2. Delegate to the Section 151 Officer in consultation with the Board Member for Finance and Assets to determine whether it is financially  ...  view the full minutes text for item 97.

98.

Asset Management Strategy- Council housing stock pdf icon PDF 86 KB

The Head of Head of Housing and Property Services has submitted a report which details the Asset Management Strategy and associated action plan for Oxford City Council’s housing stock.

 

 

Officer Recommendations: That the City Executive Board:

 

1. Agree the draft strategy and associated action plan for consultation.

2. Include the Housing Asset Management Strategy as part of the Council’s Policy Framework.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The  Head of Housing and Property Services submitted a report (previously circulated, now appended) which detailed the Asset Management Strategy and associated action plan for Oxford City Council’s housing stock.

 

Cllr Seamons, Board Member for Housing and Estate Regeneration presented the report. A stock condition survey had been done to determine the priorities of the strategy. Consultation with tenants and other key stakeholders had already taken place and their ideas have been incorporated into the strategy.  The strategy will go out for full public consultation as part of the budget consultation process.

 

The Scrutiny Officer presented the Housing Panel’s report.  He outlined the panel’s 4 recommendations.  Cllr Seamons was happy to accept all of the recommendations. The Head of Housing and Property explained that information on the national house swap scheme was already available to tenants and that he would implement all 4 recommendations.

 

The City Executive Board resolved to:

 

1. Agree the draft strategy and associated action plan for consultation.

2. Include the Housing Asset Management Strategy as part of the Council’s Policy Framework.

 

99.

Risk Management Strategy 2014 pdf icon PDF 260 KB

The Head of Finance has submitted a report which details the Council’s Risk Management Strategy and for members to note the adoption of the Risk Management Operating Framework

 

Officer Recommendations: That the City Executive Board approve the Risk Management Strategy and note the adoption of the Risk Management Operating Framework attached at Appendix A

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Finance has submitted a report (previously circulated, now appended) which detailed the Council’s Risk Management Strategy and the Risk Management Operating Framework

 

Cllr Ed Turner, Board member for Finance, Asset Management and Public Health presented the report. He outlined the changes to the strategy due to feedback from Pricewaterhouscooper. There has been an improvement to the scoring mechanism on pages 261 and 262 to make the individual scales easier for managers to understand them.

 

Cllr Price asked how much risk management is understood by officers and how is the strategy embedded within the Council? The Head of Finance said that regular refresher courses are run on the risk management strategy and an e-learning tool is soon to be release which will help embed the process.

 

The City Executive Board resolved to approve the Risk Management Strategy and note the adoption of the Risk Management Operating Framework attached at Appendix 1.

100.

Leisure & Wellbeing Strategy pdf icon PDF 214 KB

The Head of Head of Leisure, Parks & Communities has submitted a report which details the draft Leisure & Wellbeing Strategy for public consultation.

 

 

Officer Recommendations: That the City Executive Board approve the draft Leisure & Wellbeing Strategy for public consultation.  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Leisure, Parks & Communities submitted a report (previously circulated, now appended) which detailed the draft Leisure & Wellbeing Strategy for public consultation.

 

Cllr Mike Rowley, Board member for Leisure Contract and Community Partnership Grants presented the report. He explained it wasn’t easy to continue to improve the leisure services in the current economic climate. However the aim was to make the service financially viable which was likely by 2017.

 

Nearly a fifth of Oxford residents are clinically overweight and the strategy focuses on tackling these health inequalities.

 

Cllr Lygo thanked Ian Brooke and the leisure officers and volunteers for their hard work.

 

The Head of Leisure, Parks and Communities outlined the improvements in the City’s leisure facilities since the last strategy in 2009. These include spending £30M in improving leisure facilities and increasing participation from 20 to 29 % since 2009.

 

Cllr Price asked about the makeup of the members on the City’s Leisure Partnership Board and whether it included representatives from minority groups. The Executive Director of Community Services said that the Leisure Partnership Board had been rejuvenated 3 times to make it more interactive and encourage a mix of people onto it; it included a young person representative but did not yet have anyone from the BME community.

 

Cllr Price said the Council needed to get more BME people involved and embed this need in the strategy.

 

The Leisure Strategy will be consulted on for 8 weeks and will return to the Board for adoption in July 2015.

 

The City Executive Board resolved to approve the draft Leisure & Wellbeing Strategy for public consultation.

 

101.

Corporate Biodiversity Strategy pdf icon PDF 88 KB

The Head of Environmental Development has submitted a report which details the Corporate Biodiversity Strategy 2015 -2020.

 

 

Officer Recommendation: That the City Executive Board approve the Corporate Biodiversity Strategy for public consultation.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Environmental Development submitted a report (previously circulated, now appended) which detailed the Corporate Biodiversity Strategy 2015 -2020.

 

Cllr John Tanner, Board member for Cleaner, Greener Oxford, Climate Change and Transport presented the report. He explained it was a cross cutting policy affecting everything we do. Council can promote biodiversity through parks, planning and grants. There is no extra money available for this work so it is important to do what we can within current budgets but there is a strong volunteer network devoted to encouraging biodiversity within the city.

 

The Environmental Sustainability Officer explained that the strategy sets out what the Council is currently doing and what it could do to improve biodiversity in the city.  It includes sharing knowledge about what we can do and creating biodiversity champions (which is a revamp of the carbon champions to include biodiversity). Work has already been done with the Parks team to encourage bees in the parks.

 

Cllr Price asked that protecting habitats objectives be included in the strategy as it is useful to think up new ways we can improve them. The volunteer community could achieve habitat objectives with little money.

 

The City Executive Board resolved to approve the Corporate Biodiversity Strategy for public consultation.

 

102.

Performance Improvement Framework pdf icon PDF 84 KB

The Head of Business Improvement and Technology have submitted a report which details the Council’s Performance Improvement Framework 2014-2018

 

 

Officer Recommendations: That the City Executive Board approve the Performance Improvement Framework 2014-2018 as attached at Appendix 1

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Business Improvement and Technology submitted a report (previously circulated, now appended) which detailed the Council’s Performance Improvement Framework 2014-2018

 

Cllr Bob Price Board member for Corporate Strategy, Economic Development and Planning presented the report.

 

The Head of Business Improvement and Technology outlined how the performance framework had been embedded into the organisation to change officers’ behaviours. Actions included:

·         full team involvement in service planning,

·         all staff having appraisals and targets linked to their service plan and corporate objectives,

·         fundamental service reviews looked at option for service design to improve the service efficiency and design the service to meet customer need.

·         a staff innovation scheme which encourages staff to suggest ways that the Council could become more efficient or innovative

 

Cllr Brown said she was pleased to see customer services feedback included as it was important to consider both positive and negative feedback to make service improvements.

 

The City Executive Board resolved to approve the Performance Improvement Framework 2014-2018 as attached at Appendix 1

103.

Data Protection Policy Refresh pdf icon PDF 134 KB

The Head of Business Improvement and Technology has submitted a report which proposes minor changes to the current Data Protection Policy to keep it in line with best practice and new guidance issued by the Information Commissioner.

 

Officer Recommendations: That the City Executive Board endorse the amendments to the Data Protection Policy. The changes will be communicated to all staff with training provided as required. The information will also be updated on our intranet and website, online forms and all other relevant documents.  

Minutes:

The Head of Business Improvement and Technology submitted a report (previously circulated, now appended) which proposed minor changes to the current Data Protection Policy to keep it in line with best practice and new guidance issued by the Information Commissioner.

 

Cllr Bob Price, Board member for Corporate Strategy, Economic Development and Planning presented the report.

 

The Head of Business Improvement and Technology explained that the Data Protection Officer was running bite size sessions and this training was also being given to temporary, agency staff and contractors. The e-learning module is being rolled out and in the last month almost 400 staff have done this module. She outlined a change to page 382 in the policy - a subject access request will be acknowledged within 24 hours not the 3 days stated.

 

The Executive Director of Community Services stated it was important people don’t make mistakes but also important for staff have the confidence to share data.

 

The City Executive Board resolved to endorse the amendments to the Data Protection Policy. The changes will be communicated to all staff with training provided as required. The information will also be updated on our intranet and website, online forms and all other relevant documents.

104.

Integrated Performance Report Quarter 2 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 3 MB

The Heads of Finance and Business Improvement and Technology have submitted a report which details the Council’s finances, risk and performance as at the end of Quarter 2, 30th September 2014

 

 

Officer Recommendations: That the City Executive Board:

 

1. Note the projected outturn for finance and performance as well as the associated risk position as at September 2014;

2. Restore the Environmental Enforcement Corporate Performance Indicator to its former (pre 2014/15) format, as detailed in Appendix A.

3. Restore the Environmental Enforcement Corporate Performance Indicator original target for 2014/15 to that in Corporate Plan 2013/14, as detailed in Appendix A.

Minutes:

The Heads of Finance and Business Improvement and Technology submitted a report (previously circulated, now appended) which detailed the Council’s finances, risk and performance as at the end of Quarter 2, 30th September 2014.

 

Cllr Bob Price, Board Member for Corporate Strategy, Economic Development and Planning presented the report.

 

The Performance Improvement Manager explained why the Environmental Enforcement Corporate Performance Indicator needed to be amended so that high levels of performance are good instead of poor performance. The Board agreed with the change.

 

Cllr Brown asked if there were underlying reasons for why rough sleeping count was going up.

 

The Executive Director of City Regeneration and Housing explained that things were not getting any easier for homeless people. There were a number of people staying in temporary accommodation long term. It is a systemic issue; hostels are full and demand is outstripping supply.

 

Cllr Brown said it would be helpful for trends to be plotted over time and shared with councillors. Cllr Seamons said he received this information and will forward it to CEB.

 

The City Executive Board resolved to:

 

1. Note the projected outturn for finance and performance as well as the associated risk position as at September 2014;

2. Restore the Environmental Enforcement Corporate Performance Indicator to its former (pre 2014/15) format, as detailed in Appendix A.

3. Restore the Environmental Enforcement Corporate Performance Indicator original target for 2014/15 to that in Corporate Plan 2013/14, as detailed in Appendix A.

 

105.

Dates of next meetings

3pm 23 December (provisional)

5pm 29 January 2015

5pm 12 February 2015

5pm 12 March 2015

Minutes:

The Board noted the next meeting would be held on 23 December.