Agenda and minutes

To improve accessibility individual documents published after 1 May 2020 are available as HTML pages where their original format supports this

Speaking at a Council or Committee meeting

Venue: Long Room - Oxford Town Hall. View directions

Contact: John Mitchell, Committee and Member Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

57.

Apologies for Absence

None received

58.

Declarations of Interest

None

59.

Addresses and Questions by Members of the Public

Minutes:

None received

60.

Councillors Addresses on any item for decision on the Board's agenda

Minutes:

Cllr Gant spoke in relation to item 17(Alignment of Oxpens Car Park Tarrif with Westgate Shopping Centre). He expressed concern that the report’s recommendations were based on insufficient evidence and that comparison between the two car parks’ fees  was compromised by the fact that they were presented as separate appendices.  He was concerned that such a significant parking facility at the centre of the city had been given over to a private concern. He asked that the report be deferred or a further report requested.

 

Cllr Wade spoke in relation to item 9 (Draft Housing and Homelessness Strategy). She was pleased to note the good work undertaken in this area but disappointed at the fact of (and negative publicity surrounding) the use of dispersal orders against some of the most vulnerable members of the community. Stakeholder consultation was welcome but steps should be taken to ensure that it was meaningful and engaged with sufficient numbers of a relevant cross section of the community.

 

The Leader of the Council noted that good use was made of stakeholder groups and that would continue.  The report to hand focused on providing support.

 

61.

Councillor Addresses on Neighbourhood Issues

Minutes:

None

62.

Items raised by Board Members

Minutes:

None received

63.

Scrutiny Committee Reports pdf icon PDF 118 KB

Cllr Gant, as Chair of the Scrutiny Committee, spoke to item 14 (Monitoring Grant report). He said there had been a good discussion at the Committee and was grateful to Cllr Sinclair, as the Board Member, for having contributed to that discussion and her responses to it.

 

Cllr Henwood, as Chair of the Housing Panel, spoke to item 9 (Draft Housing and Homelessness Strategy). He complimented the Board member and officers for their work in bringing the three previous strategies together and commended the Panel’s recommendations to the CEB.

 

Cllr Fry, as Chair of the Finance Panel, spoke to the Panel’s report on the implications of Brexit. He noted the widely shared anxiety that Brexit would serve to diminish the appeal of Oxford to academics from overseas and the knock on consequences of that for the City and wider community. The Leader of the Council noted that the County’s MPs, the LEP and Growth Board were all seized of these and other risks associated with Brexit and were doing what they could to raise awareness.

 

 

Additional documents:

64.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Recommendation: The City Executive Board NOTES the minutes of the meeting held on 15 August 2017 as a true and accurate record.

Minutes:

 

The Board resolved to APPROVE the minutes of the meeting held on 15 August 2017 as a true and accurate record.

 

65.

Draft Housing and Homelessness Strategy 2017-2022 pdf icon PDF 126 KB

The Head of Housing Services has submitted a report which requests that the City Executive Board approve that the Draft Housing and Homelessness Strategy 2018-21 (and its associated appendices) can be published as a draft strategy for a period of public consultation.

 

Recommendation: That the City Executive Board resolves to

 

1.     Approve the draft Housing and Homelessness Strategy 2018-21 as a draft for public consultation in line with requirements of the Homelessness Act 2002.

 

2.        Approve that as part of the consultation process, a meeting of key stakeholders is convened to assess the causes and potential remedies for the rising levels of street homelessness.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Housing Services submitted a report which requested that the City Executive Board approve the Draft Housing and Homelessness Strategy 2018-21 (and its associated appendices) to be published as a draft strategy for a period of public consultation.

 

Cllr Rowley, Board Member for Housing, spoke to the report. The draft strategy which brought together three previous strategies, sought to address the City’s housing crisis. He was grateful to Scrutiny for its recommendations which were accepted. 

 

He had not been aware of Cllr Wade’s concerns until she had expressed them earlier in the meeting. He noted however that some of the press reports alluded to had been inaccurate. The Council had, rather, made several hundred successful interventions with rough sleepers. He pointed out that the Council’s role was simply to issue legal notices to those sleeping in inappropriate places (eg fire exits), giving them the opportunity to remove their belongings rather than having them removed. There was no intention on the Council’s part to persecute or prosecute such vulnerable members of the community but, rather, to support them  by whatever means were open to it.

 

After consultation and stakeholder events the strategy would come back to the Board for final approval.

 

In relation to other organisations providing support such as charity groups and Churches, officers confirmed that appropriate steps were taken to advise about property assessments, safety etc for a client group which sometimes had  high levels of need.

 

There was recognition that the present challenges in relation to housing were exacerbated to a great extent by the collective consequences of government policies.  Members were very appreciative of the work done by officers to address these challenges. Cllr Rowley said that the strategy set out what the Council could and would do but that, inevitably, was not everything. Changes at a national level were needed.

 

There would be briefings for Members as part of the consultation process in October with a further session once guidance on the Homelessness Reduction Act had been received. 

 

 

The City Executive Board resolved to:

 

1.     Note acceptance of Scrutiny Committee’s recommendations

 

2.     Approve the draft Housing and Homelessness Strategy 2018-21 as a draft for public consultation in line with requirements of the Homelessness Act 2002.

 

3.        Approve that, as part of the consultation process, a meeting of key stakeholders is convened to assess the causes and potential remedies for the rising levels of street homelessness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

66.

Options paper on additional homelessness provision for the City pdf icon PDF 116 KB

The Head of Housing Services has submitted a report to seek authority to award three different contracts to provide accommodation and support services for homeless clients with complex needs as part of the adult homeless pathway in Oxford City.

 

Recommendation: That the City Executive Board resolves to

 

1.     Agree for the Council to secure a one year contract with A2 Dominion from April 2018 to March 2019 to fund support for circa 20-25 units of complex needs housing at the current Simon House site, to a maximum value of £200k, to be identified from within the Homelessness Prevention Funds  budget 2018-2019.

 

2.     Delegate authority to the Head of Housing to determine the details of the contract and operationalise the scheme.

 

3.     Agree for the Council to enter into a five year contract with A2 Dominion from April 2019 to March 2024, on a new site, at a maximum value of £225k per annum, to be funded from within the agreed Homelessness Prevention Funds budget envelope.

 

4.     Delegate authority to the Head of Housing to determine the details of the contract and operationalise the scheme.

 

5.     Agree for the Council to enter into a two year contract with Response to double the number of Acacia housing units in the City to 10 from October 2017 to be funded from within the agreed Homelessness Prevention Funds budget envelope.

 

6.     Delegate authority to the Head of Housing to determine the details of the contract and operationalise the scheme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Housing Services submitted a report to seek authority to award three different contracts to provide accommodation and support services for homeless clients with complex needs as part of the adult homeless pathway in Oxford City.

 

Cllr Rowley, Board Member for Housing, explained that this was the latest part of the Council’s response to the closure of Simon House in March 2018. Agreement had been reached with A2 Dominion to make high quality support available for clients with complex needs and a smooth transition while the new hostel is being provided.

 

It was explained that the recommendation to double the number of Acacia housing units to 10 was a response to a shortfall in provision for those with a particularly high level of need. It was estimated that this would meet about 80% of that need in the City.

 

It was confirmed that the City Council’s provision in this area exceeded its legal obligations. The report had noted the County Council’s reduced funding in this area and the consequent reduction in provision. Agreed that the County should be asked to reconsider its position.

 

Understanding by Members of the many and various pathways to support those who were homeless was inconsistent and a briefing note/ flow chart to clarify  would be helpful.

 

 

The City Executive Board resolved to:

 

1.     Agree for the Council to secure a one year contract with A2 Dominion from April 2018 to March 2019 to fund support for circa 20-25 units of complex needs housing at the current Simon House site, to a maximum value of £200k, to be identified from within the Homelessness Prevention Funds budget 2018-2019.

 

2.     Delegate authority to the Head of Housing to determine the details of the contract and operationalise the scheme.

 

3.     Agree for the Council to enter into a five year contract with A2 Dominion from April 2019 to March 2024, on a new site, at a maximum value of £225k per annum, to be funded from within the agreed Homelessness Prevention Funds budget envelope.

 

4.     Delegate authority to the Head of Housing to determine the details of the contract and operationalise the scheme.

 

5.     Agree for the Council to enter into a two year contract with Response to double the number of Acacia housing units in the City to 10 from October 2017 to be funded from within the agreed Homelessness Prevention Funds budget envelope.

 

6.     Delegate authority to the Head of Housing to determine the details of the contract and operationalise the scheme.

 

7.     Ask the County Council, via the next bilateral meeting, to reconsider its position in relation to funding in this area.

 

67.

The Use of Empty Buildings as Temporary accommodation for homeless people pdf icon PDF 127 KB

The Head of Housing Services has submitted a report to respond to Council’s motion requesting officers to investigate “the processes or procedures that could be used to make empty properties available for use as temporary shelters.

 

Recommendation: The City Executive Board resolves to

 

1.    Agree to continue working with partners to make the best use of new and existing premises for Severe Weather Emergency Provision.

 

2.    Agree to continue to investigate the possibility of the other matters covered in this report, with particular reference to effectiveness in meeting a defined need, and financial sustainability.

 

3.    Note that should additional expenditure be required to further the above objectives, a report outlining the proposed expenditure will be presented to CEB.

 

4.     Delegate to the Head of Housing Services the discretion to organise a conference of stakeholders with a view to exploring possible interventions and ways of working together to find accommodation and support services for rough sleepers.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Housing Services  submitted a report to respond to Council’s motion requesting officers to investigate “the processes or procedures that could be used to make empty properties available for use as temporary shelters.”

 

Cllr Rowley, Board Member for Housing, said that while no buildings had been identified for this purpose  at the time of writing the Council was committed to working with partners and to developing this area further.

 

The City Executive Board resolved to:

 

1.    Agree to continue working with partners to make the best use of new and existing premises for Severe Weather Emergency Provision.

 

2.    Agree to continue to investigate the possibility of the other matters covered in this report, with particular reference to effectiveness in meeting a defined need, and financial sustainability.

 

3.    Note that should additional expenditure be required to further the above objectives, a report outlining the proposed expenditure will be presented to CEB.

 

4.     Delegate to the Head of Housing Services the discretion to organise a conference of stakeholders with a view to exploring possible interventions and ways of working together to find accommodation and support services for rough sleepers

 

68.

The Transfer of 10 flats purchased in Great Western Park, Didcot under the Temporary Accommodation purchase scheme from the General Fund (into Housing Revenue Account) pdf icon PDF 114 KB

The Head of Housing Services has submitted a report to recommend to Council to make suitable budgetary provision for the Housing Revenue Account to acquire 10 flats due to be purchased by the General Fund at Great Western Park, Didcot in September 2017 for use as social housing/

 

Recommendation: That the City Executive Board resolves to

 

1.    Request Council approve the introduction of an additional 2017/18 HRA capital budget, namely £2.362m, funded by HRA borrowing for “Property Acquisitions”, in order to transfer 10 units from the General Fund into the HRA.

 

2.    Note that all 10 flats to be transferred (8 two-bedroom and 2 one-bedroom flats) are  to be used as social rented housing and let to housing applicants in housing need on the Housing Register in Oxford.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Housing Services submitted a report to recommend to Council to make suitable budgetary provision for the Housing Revenue Account to acquire 10 flats due to be purchased by the General Fund at Great Western Park, Didcot in September 2017 for use as social housing.

 

Cllr Rowley, Board Member for Housing, spoke to the report.  

 

The City Executive Board resolved to:

 

1.    Request Council approve the introduction of an additional 2017/18 HRA capital budget, namely £2.362m, funded by HRA borrowing for “Property Acquisitions”, in order to transfer 10 units from the General Fund into the HRA.

 

2.    Note that all 10 flats to be transferred (8 two-bedroom and 2 one-bedroom flats) are  to be used as social rented housing and let to housing applicants in housing need on the Housing Register in Oxford.

 

69a

Investment in Existing Property Portfolio pdf icon PDF 130 KB

The Interim Assistant Chief Executive – Regeneration & Economy submitted a report to provide an update on the progress of a number of identified opportunities to maintain or improve the income stream from the Council’s property investment portfolio.  To seek approval for an increased budget requirement of £4,635,000 in addition to the existing approved budget of £10,300,000 to include the undertaking of additional projects.

 

Recommendation: The City Executive Board resolves to:

 

1.     Note the progress on the various schemes that had been identified and had budget approval to the value of £10,300,000. 

2.     Recommend to Council an increase of £4,635,000 to the allocated budget of £10,300,000 to deliver the development opportunities at 1-5 George Street, Standingford House, Cave Street and add the new project of refurbishing 2 flats at 11 New Road and houses at 9 and 10 Ship Street.

3.     Authorise entering into exclusive negotiations to seek financially viable agreements to lease with two identified commercial tenants at 1-5 George Street in line with the Not For Publication Appendix 7, subject to Council budgetary approval.

4.     Enter into the above agreements for lease at rental levels above the threshold of £125,000 per annum in line with the constitution.

5.     Delegate to the Interim Assistant Chief Executive – Regeneration and Economy, in consultation with the Head of Finance, the authority to alter the terms of the agreements to lease on the basis that they continue to represent best value during negotiations.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Interim Assistant Chief Executive – Regeneration & Economy submitted a report to provide an update on the progress of a number of identified opportunities to maintain or improve the income stream from the Council’s property investment portfolio.  To seek approval for an increased budget requirement of £4,635,000 in addition to the existing approved budget of £10,300,000 to include the undertaking of additional projects.

 

Cllr Turner, Board Member for Finance and Asset Management, spoke to the report. The risks associated with the proposed investments were outweighed by the potential benefits given the market for leases for the types of property  in question.

 

The City Executive Board resolved to:

 

1.     Note the progress on the various schemes that had been identified and had budget approval to the value of £10,300,000. 

 

2.     Recommend to Council an increase of £4,635,000 to the allocated budget of £10,300,000 to deliver the development opportunities at 1-5 George Street, Standingford House, Cave Street and add the new project of refurbishing 2 flats at 11 New Road and houses at 9 and 10 Ship Street.

 

 

3.     Authorise entering into exclusive negotiations to seek financially viable agreements to lease with two identified commercial tenants at 1-5 George Street in line with the Not For Publication Appendix 7, subject to Council budgetary approval.

 

4.     Enter into the above agreements for lease at rental levels above the threshold of £125,000 per annum in line with the constitution.

 

5.     Delegate to the Interim Assistant Chief Executive – Regeneration and Economy, in consultation with the Head of Finance, the authority to alter the terms of the agreements to lease on the basis that they continue to represent best value during negotiations.

 

70.

Monitoring - Grant Allocations to Community and Voluntary Organisations reported achievements 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 120 KB

The Head of Service for Community Services submitted a report to inform members of the monitoring findings of the 2016/17 grants programme.

 

Recommendation: That the City Executive Board resolves to

 

Note the results of the grant monitoring and the positive impact the community and voluntary sector is making in the city.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Service for Community Services submitted a report to inform members of the monitoring findings of the 2016/17 grants programme.

 

Cllr Sinclair, Board Member for Culture and Communities,  spoke to the report noting in particular the high proportion of  grants used to support  those who were homeless and those experiencing  financial difficulties.

In discussion it was agreed that it would be helpful if future monitoring reports had a greater focus on qualitative outcomes of grant provision, tying that analysis back to the Council’s priorities etc.

 

The Acting Communities Manager said that steps were being taken to simplify unnecessarily burdensome returns from those in receipt of grants as well as simplifying the process of application. In determining grant allocations the importance of weighting areas of need (which often lay within wider areas not considered to be so needy) was recognised.

 

The City Executive Board resolved to:

 

Note the results of the grant monitoring and the positive impact the community and voluntary sector is making in the city.

 

Ask officers to ensure that future grant monitoring  reflects the extent to which their use supports Council priorities.

 

71.

Quarterly Integrated Performance 2017/18 - Q1 pdf icon PDF 107 KB

The Head of Financial Services submitted a report to update Members on Finance, Risk and Performance as at 30th June 2017.

 

Recommendation : That the City Executive Board resolves to

 

Note the projected financial outturn, the current position on risk and performance as at the 30th June 2017.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Financial Services submitted a report to update Members on Finance, Risk and Performance as at 30th June 2017 and spoke to the report which reflected a good position overall. The vast majority of targets were being met. The use of Leisure Centres was a little below target and may be the consequence of the opening of some other affordable gyms in the City and, perhaps, the use of outdoor City park gyms.

 

The City Executive Board resolved to:

 

Note the projected financial outturn, the current position on risk and performance as at the 30th June 2017.

 

72.

Treasury Management Performance: Annual Report and Performance 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 213 KB

The Head of Financial Services submitted a report which sets out the Council’s treasury management activity and performance for the financial year 2016/2017.

 

Recommendation: That the City Executive Board resolves to note the report.

Minutes:

The Head of Financial Services submitted a report which set out the Council’s treasury management activity and performance for the financial year 2016/2017. He spoke to the report which reflected a positive picture of the Council’s investments.

 

The City Executive Board resolved to:

 

Note the report.

 

73.

To align Oxpens Car Park tariff with Westgate Shopping Centre. pdf icon PDF 103 KB

The Head of Direct Services submitted a report seeking to align the  Oxpens Car Park tariff with that of  Westgate Shopping centre

 

Recommendation: That the City Executive Board resolves to

 

1.    Align Oxpens parking tariff with the Westgate car park.  

2.    Retain the Council’s tariff structure in Worcester St and Gloucester Green car parks.

3.    Note that the financial implication of adopting this recommendation is expected to be cost neutral.

 

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Direct Services submitted a report seeking to align the  Oxpens Car Park tariff with that of the  Westgate Shopping centre

 

Cllr Hollingsworth, Board Member for Planning and Regulatory Services spoke to the report, observing that any  traffic consequences of the alignment of charges would  dwarfed by the scale of new traffic volumes once the Westgate Centre is open.

 

The City Executive Board resolved to:

 

1.    Align Oxpens parking tariff with the Westgate car park. 

 

2.    Retain the Council’s tariff structure in Worcester St and Gloucester Green car parks.

 

3.    Note that the financial implication of adopting this recommendation is expected to be cost neutral.

 

Note: This decision will be referred to Council at its meeting on 02 October in respect of changes to Council charges.

 

74.

Dates of Future Meetings

Meetings are scheduled for the following dates:

 

17 Oct ober 2017

21 November 2017

19 December 2017

 

All meetings start at 5pm.

75.

Matters Exempt from Publication

If the Board wishes to exclude the press and the public from the meeting during consideration of any of the items on the exempt from publication part of the agenda, it will be necessary for the Board to pass a resolution in accordance with the provisions of Paragraph 21(1)(b) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2000 on the grounds that their presence could involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as described in specific paragraphs of Schedule I2A of the Local Government Act 1972.

           

The Board may maintain the exemption if and so long as, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

76.

Investment in Existing Property Portfolio - Exempt Appendices 5,7,8 and 9

Appendices 5, 7 ,8 and 9 are exempt by virtue of Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.

Minutes:

These appendices were not discussed at the meeting