Agenda and minutes

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Speaking at a Council or Committee meeting

Venue: Council Chamber - Oxford Town Hall

Contact: Committee & Member Services  email:  democraticservices@oxford.gov.uk tel: 01865 529117

Media

Items
No. Item

31.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

Item 7: Out of Hospital Care Team Provision

Councillor Hayes: stated that he was the Chief Executive of a charity providing out of hospital care support which received funding as part of this provision. He would leave the room during the consideration of this item.

Councillor Rowley: stated he was a Trustee of a charity providing out of hospital care support; he made the declaration for reasons of transparency; it was not a pecuniary interest however he would leave the room during the consideration of this item.

 

Item 17: Questions on Notice from Members of Council (CM9: Allotment leases)

Councillor Hollingsworth: stated that he was the Chair of an allotment association engaged with the current lease negotiations; he made the declaration for reasons of transparency; it was not a pecuniary interest and he was not required to leave the room during consideration of that item.

 

32.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 572 KB

Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Council held on 17 July 2023.

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

Minutes:

Council agreed to approve the minutes of the ordinary meeting held on 17 July 2023 as a true and correct record.

 

33.

Appointment to Committees pdf icon PDF 124 KB

The Head of Law and Governance has submitted a report which notifies Council of the amendments made to the membership of Committees since the initial appointments made at Council on 17 May 2023.

Recommendation: That Council resolves to:

1.    Agree the appointments to Committees.

Minutes:

Council agreed to appoint with immediate effect:

·       Scrutiny Committee – Councillor James Fry to replace Councillor Paula Dunne.

·       General Purposes Licensing Committee and Licensing & Gambling Acts Committee (and any subsequent Sub-Committees) – Councillor Dr Christopher Smowton to replace Councillor Andrew Gant

 

34.

Announcements

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 announced that she had a meeting with Reducing the Risk of Domestic Abuse, an organisation committed to ensuring the safety of adults and children vulnerable to domestic abuse.  She encouraged those who require support to contact Reducing the Risk's helpline at 0800 731 0055.  The Lord Mayor also attended the launch of a new community hub, Oxford Hub, at the Windale Primary School.

 

The Deputy Lord Mayor advised that a display of the archives was available in the assembly room this evening and invited all Councillors to view the wonderful exhibition.

 

The City Rector addressed Council on Harvest Thanksgiving and reflected on the biblical teaching: not to reap to the very edge of the fields in order to leave some to the poor.  He added that this principle was exemplified by the excellent schools and places of worship through their item collections during this period, which were shared with the food banks and community larders throughout the city. 

 

35.

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.

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 5.00 pm on Tuesday 26 September 2023.

 

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

A total of 45 minutes is available for both public speaking items. Responses are included in this time.

Minutes:

There were no addresses or questions.

 

Council agreed to consider items 10, 7, 8 and 12 of the agenda next and then return to the agenda as listed.

 

36.

Park and Ride combined parking-and-bus ticket charges pdf icon PDF 166 KB

Appendix B to this item includes exempt information pursuant to Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972. If Council wishes to discuss matters relating to the information set out in Appendix B to the report, it will be necessary for the Council to pass a resolution to exclude the press and public from the meeting (as set out at agenda item 21).

The Executive Director (Development) submitted a report to Cabinet on 13 September 2023 seeking approval for permanent changes to the combined parking-and-bus ticket charges at Oxford City Council Park and Ride sites after the completion of a twelve-month trial period.

The Cabinet minutes are available at Item 16b.

Councillor Louise Upton, Cabinet Member for Planning and Healthier Communities and Councillor Ed Turner, Cabinet Member for Finance and Asset Management will present the report and present Cabinet’s recommendations.

Recommendation: Cabinet recommends that Council resolves to:

1.     Approve the continued use of combined parking and bus tickets at Oxford City Council Park and Ride sites at the current prices until April 2024, as per Option 1 in this report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered the report from the Executive Director (Development) seeking approval for permanent changes to the combined parking-and-bus ticket charges at Oxford City Council Park and Ride sites after the completion of a twelve-month trial period.

 

Councillor Louise Upton, Cabinet Member for Planning and Healthier Communities, introduced the report, proposed the recommendation and answered questions.

 

The recommendation was agreed on being seconded by Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy and Partnerships, and put to the vote.

 

Council resolved to:

1.     Approve the continued use of combined parking and bus tickets at Oxford City Council Park and Ride sites at the current prices until April 2024, as per Option 1 in the report.

 

Cllrs L Smith and Rehman joined the meeting.

 

37.

Out of Hospital Care Team Provision pdf icon PDF 154 KB

The Executive Director (Communities and People) submitted a report to Cabinet on 13 September 2023 seeking authorisation to continue the Oxfordshire Out of Hospital Care Group through financing secured from the Better Care Fund and to seek delegated authority to award ongoing contracts (with annual break clauses) for the provision of this service, subject to securing the necessary financing.

The Cabinet minutes are available at Item 16b.

Councillor Linda Smith, Cabinet Member for Housing, will present the report and present Cabinet’s recommendations.

Recommendation: Cabinet recommends that Council resolves to:

1.    Approve the allocation of £1.2 million to continue to fund the Oxfordshire Out of Hospital Care Model until 31st March 2024, using funding from the Better Care Fund.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllrs Hayes and Rowley left the meeting, having declared an interest in this item.

 

Council considered the report from the Executive Director (Communities and People) seeking authorisation to continue the Oxfordshire Out of Hospital Care Group through financing secured from the Better Care Fund and to seek delegated authority to award ongoing contracts (with annual break clauses) for the provision of this service, subject to securing the necessary financing.

 

Cllr Humberstone joined the meeting.

 

Councillor Linda Smith, Cabinet Member for Housing, introduced the report and proposed the recommendation.

 

The recommendation was agreed on being seconded by Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy and Partnerships, and put to the vote.

 

Council resolved to:

  1. Approve the allocation of £1.2 million to continue to fund the Oxfordshire Out of Hospital Care Model until 31st March 2024, using funding from the Better Care Fund.

 

Cllrs Hayes and Rowley re-joined the meeting.

 

38.

Expansion of the Housing First Programme pdf icon PDF 171 KB

The Executive Director (Communities and People) submitted a report to Cabinet on 9 August 2023 seeking approval for the expansion of the Housing First programme following a successful bid to the Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme.

The Cabinet minutes are available at Item 16a.

Councillor Linda Smith, Cabinet Member for Housing, will present the report and present Cabinet’s recommendations.

Recommendations: Cabinet recommends that Council resolves to:

1.    Approve the allocation of a £2,888,000 capital budget (of which £1,688,000 will be borrowed by the Housing Revenue Account) for the Council’s investment to purchase the properties as part of the Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme as outlined in paragraph 19, the balance of which will be met by the SHAP grant;

2.    Approve a budget allocation of £600,000 to cover revenue costs to commission support providers to deliver support for the 17 units of Housing First. The funding equates to 3 years’ worth of revenue but is spread over 4 financial years (paragraph 18).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered the report from the Executive Director (Communities and People) seeking approval for the expansion of the Housing First programme following a successful bid to the Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme.

 

Cllr Altaf-Khan, Latif and Coyne joined the meeting.

 

Councillor Linda Smith, Cabinet Member for Housing, introduced the report, proposed the recommendation and answered questions.

 

The recommendation was agreed on being seconded by Councillor Ed Turner, Deputy Leader (Statutory) and Cabinet Member for Finance and Asset Management, and put to the vote.

 

Council resolved to:

1.     Approve the allocation of a £2,888,000 capital budget (of which £1,688,000 will be borrowed by the Housing Revenue Account) for the Council’s investment to purchase the properties as part of the Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme as outlined in paragraph 19, the balance of which will be met by the SHAP grant;

 

2.     Approve a budget allocation of £600,000 to cover revenue costs to commission support providers to deliver support for the 17 units of Housing First. The funding equates to 3 years’ worth of revenue but is spread over 4 financial years (paragraph 18).

 

39.

Local Authority Housing Fund - Round 2 pdf icon PDF 166 KB

Appendix 3 to this item includes exempt information pursuant to Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972. If Council wishes to discuss matters relating to the information set out in Appendix 3 to the report, it will be necessary for the Council to pass a resolution to exclude the press and public from the meeting (as set out at agenda item 21).

The Executive Director (Communities and People) submitted a report to Cabinet on 13 September 2023 seeking approval to make available the required budget provision and the necessary project approval and delegations to enable the Council to proceed with entering into the national Local Authority Housing Fund Round 2.

The Cabinet minutes are available at Item 16b.

Councillor Linda Smith, Cabinet Member for Housing, will present the report and present Cabinet’s recommendations.

Recommendation: Cabinet recommends that Council resolves to:

1.    Approve the allocation of £1,863,100 capital budget from the Housing Revenue Account for the Council’s investment to purchase the properties as part of Local Authority Housing Fund Round 2, with £1,069,860 being funded from HRA borrowing and the rest covered by grant of £793,240.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered the report from the Executive Director (Communities and People) seeking approval to make available the required budget provision and the necessary project approval and delegations to enable the Council to proceed with entering into the national Local Authority Housing Fund Round 2.

 

Cllr Corais and Munkonge joined the meeting.

 

Councillor Linda Smith, Cabinet Member for Housing, introduced the report, proposed the recommendation and answered questions.

 

The recommendation was agreed on by being seconded by Councillor Ed Turner, Deputy Leader (Statutory) and Cabinet Member for Finance and Asset Management, and put to the vote.

 

Council resolved to:

  1. Approve the allocation of £1,863,100 capital budget from the Housing Revenue Account for the Council’s investment to purchase the properties as part of Local Authority Housing Fund Round 2, with £1,069,860 being funded from HRA borrowing and the rest covered by grant of £793,240.

 

40.

The Leys Pool and Leisure Centre pdf icon PDF 136 KB

The Head of Community Services submitted a report to Cabinet on 13 September 2023 seeking to create a youth hub based in the currently under-utilised space at the Leys Pools & Leisure Centre. This would be made possible by utilising external funding for both capital (building works) and revenue (youth work). The project would be in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council.

The Cabinet minutes are available at Item 16b.

Councillor Chewe Munkonge, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Parks, will present the report and present Cabinet’s recommendation.

Recommendation: Cabinet recommends that Council resolves to:

1.    Approve the addition of £1,120,199 into the capital programme together with £223,907 into the revenue budget for delivery of the project.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered the report from the Head of Community Services seeking to create a youth hub based in the currently under-utilised space at the Leys Pools & Leisure Centre.  This would be made possible by utilising external funding for both capital (building works) and revenue (youth work).  The project would be in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council.

 

Councillor Chewe Munkonge, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Leisure and Parks, introduced the report, proposed the recommendation and answered questions.

 

The recommendation was agreed on being seconded by Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy and Partnerships, and put to the vote.

 

Council resolved to:

  1. Approve the addition of £1,120,199 into the capital programme together with £223,907 into the revenue budget for delivery of the project.

 

41.

Delivery of New Burial Space pdf icon PDF 241 KB

Appendices 2, 4 and 6 to this item include exempt information pursuant to Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972. If Council wishes to discuss matters relating to the information set out in Appendices 2, 4 and 6 to the report, it will be necessary for the Council to pass a resolution to exclude the press and public from the meeting (as set out at agenda item 21).

The Executive Director (Development) submitted a report to Cabinet on 13 September 2023 seeking approval for delivery of a new publicly accessible greenspace and burial meadow on land owned by the Council off Oxford Road towards Horspath including approval of the scheme, submission of planning application to South Oxfordshire District Council, Phase 1 delivery budget, and required property and legal procedures to deliver the scheme.

The Cabinet minutes are available at Item 16b.

Councillor Chewe Munkonge, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Parks, will present the report and present Cabinet’s recommendations.

Recommendation: Cabinet recommends that Council resolves to:

1.    Approve a capital budget of £2.4M for delivery of this scheme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered the report from the Executive Director (Development) seeking approval for delivery of a new publicly accessible greenspace and burial meadow on land owned by the Council off Oxford Road towards Horspath including approval of the scheme, submission of planning application to South Oxfordshire District Council, Phase 1 delivery budget, and required property and legal procedures to deliver the scheme.

 

Councillor Chewe Munkonge, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Leisure and Parks, introduced the report, proposed the recommendation and answered questions.

 

The recommendation was agreed on by being seconded by Councillor Louise Upton, Cabinet Member for Planning and Healthier Communities, and put to the vote.

 

Council resolved to:

  1. Approve a capital budget of £2.4M for delivery of this scheme.

 

42.

Northfield Hostel site - Additional 10 affordable homes pdf icon PDF 285 KB

Appendix 1 to this item includes exempt information pursuant to Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972. If Council wishes to discuss matters relating to the information set out in Appendix 1 to the report, it will be necessary for the Council to pass a resolution to exclude the press and public from the meeting (as set out at agenda item 21).

The Executive Director (Development) submitted a report to Cabinet on 9 August 2023 seeking project approval and delegations to deliver a development of a further 10 affordable homes at the Northfield Hostel site.

The Cabinet minutes are available at Item 16a.

Councillor Linda Smith, Cabinet Member for Housing, will present the report and present Cabinet’s recommendations.

Recommendation: Cabinet recommends that Council resolves to:

1.    Approve a virement within the HRA capital budget for scheme costs. The virement will be from the Oxford City Housing Limited (“OCHL”) purchase line into a new scheme line to be profiled to match the build programme across the three years from 2023/24 to 2025/26.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered the report from the Executive Director (Development) seeking project approval and delegations to deliver a development of a further 10 affordable homes at the Northfield Hostel site.

 

Councillor Linda Smith, Cabinet Member for Housing, introduced the report and proposed the recommendation.

 

The recommendation was agreed on by being seconded by Councillor Ed Turner, Deputy Leader (Statutory) and Cabinet Member for Finance and Asset Management, and put to the vote.

 

Council resolved to:

  1. Approve a virement within the HRA capital budget for scheme costs. The virement will be from the Oxford City Housing Limited (“OCHL”) purchase line into a new scheme line to be profiled to match the build programme across the three years from 2023/24 to 2025/26.

 

43.

Blackbird Leys Development Project pdf icon PDF 167 KB

Appendices 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 to this item include exempt information pursuant to Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972. If Council wishes to discuss matters relating to the information set out in Appendices 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 to the report, it will be necessary for the Council to pass a resolution to exclude the press and public from the meeting (as set out at agenda item 21).

The Executive Director (Development) submitted a report to Cabinet on 13 September 2023 seeking approval to variations to the Development Agreement between Oxford City Council (OCC) and its development partner, Peabody, for the Blackbird Leys Development Project; and (ii) seek approval of a revised budget for the Blackbird Leys community centre and delegated powers to assign further Section 106 off-site affordable housing funds to the scheme for affordable housing delivery.

The Cabinet minutes are available at Item 16b.

Councillor Linda Smith, Cabinet Member for Housing will present the report and present Cabinet’s recommendation.

Recommendation: Cabinet recommends that Council resolves to:

1.    Approve allocation of an additional £1.5 million of S106 affordable housing funds, not currently delegated to the Head of Planning, to Phase 2 of the Blackbird Leys Regeneration Project

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered the report from the Executive Director (Development) seeking project approval to variations to the Development Agreement between Oxford City Council (OCC) and its development partner, Peabody, for the Blackbird Leys community centre and delegated powers to assign further Section 106 off-site affordable housing funds to the scheme for affordable housing delivery.

 

Councillor Ed Turner, Deputy Leader (Statutory) and Cabinet Member for Finance and Asset Management introduced the report and proposed the recommendation.

 

The recommendation was agreed on by being seconded by Councillor Linda Smith, Cabinet Member for Housing, and put to the vote.

 

Council resolved to:

  1. Approve allocation of an additional £1.5 million of S106 affordable housing funds, not currently delegated to the Head of Planning, to Phase 2 of the Blackbird Leys Regeneration Project.

 

44.

Matters exempt or part exempt from publication and exclusion of the public

Minutes:

Council passed a resolution in accordance of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 to exclude the press and public from the meeting for the consideration of Item 14 to enable Council to fully discuss and debate the reports including the confidential information contained within the relevant appendices.  Whilst the debate was heard in confidential session, it was agreed that Council would vote on these items in public session at item 43 of the minutes, for the public record.

 

45.

Public Session

Minutes:

Council resolved to return to public session for the remaining items of business.

46.

Constitution Amendments - changes to responsibility for functions pdf icon PDF 212 KB

The Head of Law and Governance (Monitoring Officer) has submitted a report which seeks Council agreement to amend the Constitution to reflect changes in responsibility for functions.

Recommendations: That the Council resolves to:

1.    Approve the following changes to the Constitution:

a.    Where the job title “Head of Regulatory Services and Community Services” appears in respect of a Regulatory Services function that this be changed to Head of Planning & Regulatory Services;

b.    Where the job title “Head of Regulatory Services and Community Services” is referred to other than in relation to Regulatory Services, that it be changed to the Executive Director for Communities and People.

c.     All other references to the Head of Planning Services be updated to be references to the Head of Planning & Regulatory Services within the remainder of the constitution.

2.    Note that the changes will take effect as of the 17 October 2023.

Minutes:

Council considered a report from the Head of Law and Governance (Monitoring Officer) seeking Council agreement to amend the Constitution to reflect changes in responsibility for functions.

 

Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy and Partnerships, introduced the report and proposed the recommendation.

 

The recommendation was agreed on by being seconded by Councillor Ed Turner, Deputy Leader (Statutory) and Cabinet Member for Finance and Asset Management, and put to the vote.

 

Council resolved to:

  1. Approve the following changes to the Constitution:

a.     Where the job title “Head of Regulatory Services and Community Services” appears in respect of a Regulatory Services function that this be changed to Head of Planning & Regulatory Services;

b.     Where the job title “Head of Regulatory Services and Community Services” is referred to other than in relation to Regulatory Services, that it be changed to the Executive Director for Communities and People.

c.     All other references to the Head of Planning Services be updated to be references to the Head of Planning & Regulatory Services within the remainder of the constitution.

 

  1. Note that the changes will take effect as of the 17 October 2023.

 

47.

Questions on Cabinet minutes

This item has a time limit of 15 minutes.

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

 

47a

Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 9 August 2023 pdf icon PDF 392 KB

Minutes:

None received.

47b

Draft Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 13 September 2023 pdf icon PDF 437 KB

Minutes:

Minute 56 - Private Rented Sector Regulation Policies

In response to a question from Councillor Katherine Miles, Councillor Linda Smith, Cabinet Member for Housing advised that additional legal advice was required to ascertain the feasibility of extending the assessment of the fit and proper criteria for holding an HMO or selective licence to encompass legal property ownership.  A written response would be provided outside of the meeting.

 

48.

Questions on Notice from Members of Council pdf icon PDF 364 KB

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

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

The full text of questions must have been received by the Head of Law and Governance by no later than 1.00pm on Wednesday 20 September 2023.

These, and written responses where available, will be published in the briefing note.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

These along with summaries of the 19 supplementary questions and responses asked and given at the meeting are set out in the minutes pack.

 

Cllrs Hayes, Malik and Nala-Hartley left the meeting.

The meeting broke for 30 min at the conclusion of this item.

 

49.

Public addresses and questions that do not relate to matters for decision at this Council meeting pdf icon PDF 387 KB

This item will be taken at or shortly after 7.00pm

Public addresses and questions to the Leader or other Cabinet member received in accordance with Council Procedure Rules in the Constitution and not relating to matters for decision in Part 1 of this agenda.

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 5.00 pm on Tuesday 26 September 2023.

 

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

A total of 45 minutes is available for both public speaking items. Responses are included within this limit.

Minutes:

Council heard one question and three addresses.  Cabinet Members read their written responses.

The addresses and responses are set out in full in the minutes pack.

1.     Question from Kate Robinson – City Wide Food Plan

2.     Address by Jane Wilson – Court Place Farm Allotments in Marston

3.     Address from Martin Hackett – Future of Bertie Park

4.     Address by April Jones, Karl Wallendszus and Anne Machachlan – Oxford Climate Emergency Centre (support for Motion 20B from Green Group)

 

The Lord Mayor thanked the speakers for their contributions.

 

Cllrs Rehman and Latif re-joined the meeting.

50.

Outside organisation/Committee Chair reports and questions

As set out in the Constitution at procedure rule 11.16, Members who are Council representatives on external bodies or Chairs of Council Committees who consider that a significant decision or event has taken place, may give notice to the Head of Law and Governance by 1.00 pm Wednesday 27 September 2023  that they will present a written or oral report on the event or the significant decision and how it may influence future events. Written reports will be circulated with the briefing note.

50a

Outside Organisation Report: Children's Trust Board pdf icon PDF 420 KB

The Head of Corporate Strategy has submitted a report that provides members with an update on the work of:

·       The Oxfordshire Children’s Trust Board

·       Oxford City Council for Children and Young People in the city

Recommendation: That Council resolves to:

1.    The note the report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Chewe Munkonge, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Leisure and Parks, introduced the report which provided members with an update on the work of the Oxfordshire Children's Trust Board and Oxford City Council for Children and Young People in the city.

Since the report was written, Oxfordshire County Council Councillor Liz Brighouse had stood down from her post as Chair of the Trust.  An Oxfordshire Children's Trust Board Chair would be formally appointed in due course. 

 

Council noted the report.

 

50b

Scrutiny Committee update report pdf icon PDF 179 KB

The Chair of the Scrutiny Committee has submitted a report which updates Council on the activities of scrutiny and the implementation of recommendations since the last meeting of Council.

Council is invited to comment on and note the report.

Minutes:

Councillor Lucy Pegg, Chair of the Scrutiny Committee, introduced the report updating the Council on the activities of the Scrutiny Committee from 01 July 2023 to 30 September 2023.  She gave thanks to Councillor Mike Rowley for standing in as Chair and ably leading the Committee through various reports in the previous Scrutiny meeting.  She also thanked Officers for their speedy work in producing a third Safeguarding Report that further explored issues of domestic abuse.

 

Council noted the report.

 

51.

Motions on notice 2 October 2023 pdf icon PDF 355 KB

This item has a time limit of 60 minutes.

Motions received by the Head of Law and Governance in accordance with the rules in Section 11 of the Constitution by the deadline of 1.00pm on Wednesday 20 September 2023are listed below.

Cross party motions are taken first. Motions will then be taken in turn from the Liberal Democrat Group, Green Group, Labour Group in that order.

Substantive amendments to these motions must be sent by councillors to the Head of Law and Governance by no later than 10.00am on Friday 29 September 2023so that they may be circulated with the briefing note.

Minor technical or limited wording amendments may be submitted during the meeting but must be written down and circulated.

Council is asked to consider the following motions:

a)    Digital Inclusion (Proposed by Cllr Mohammed Altaf-Khan, seconded by Cllr Steven Goddard)

b)    Oxford Climate Emergency Centre (proposed by Cllr Lois Muddiman, seconded by Cllr Emily Kerr)

c)    Freedom from Fear for our Shop Workers (proposed by Cllr Edward Mundy, seconded by Cllr Shaista Aziz).

d)    Housing Management System problems and resultant accounts issues at Oxford City Council and ODS (proposed by Cllr Christopher Smowton, seconded by Cllr Laurence Fouweather)

e)    A Ban on Disposable Vapes (proposed by Cllr Lucy Pegg, seconded by Cllr Rosie Rawle

f)      Clean Air as a Human Right (proposed by Cllr Alex Hollingsworth, seconded by Cllr Lizzy Diggins)

Minutes:

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

 

Motions agreed as set out below:

b)    Oxford Climate Emergency Centre (proposed by Cllr Lois Muddiman, seconded by Cllr Emily Kerr)

c)     Freedom from Fear for our Shop Workers (proposed by Cllr Edward Mundy, seconded by Cllr Shaista Aziz).

 

Motions not taken:

a)    Digital Inclusion (Proposed by Cllr Mohammed Altaf-Khan, seconded by Cllr Steven Goddard)

 

Motions not taken as the time allocated for debate had finished:

d)    Housing Management System problems and resultant accounts issues at Oxford City Council and ODS (proposed by Cllr Christopher Smowton, seconded by Cllr Laurence Fouweather)

e)    A Ban on Disposable Vapes (proposed by Cllr Lucy Pegg, seconded by Cllr Rosie Rawle)

f)      Clean Air as a Human Right (proposed by Cllr Alex Hollingsworth, seconded by Cllr Lizzy Diggins)

 

 

51a

Digital Inclusion (Proposed by Cllr Mohammed Altaf-Khan, seconded by Cllr Steven Goddard)

Liberal Democrat Member Motion

Digital Inclusion in Council Services

The City Council provides a wide range of services to the residents of Oxford. There has been a shift over the years to provide online access to Council services. The Council’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy (EDI, 2022) states that the Council will:

“Champion digital inclusion and accessibility as we move towards ‘digital by default’ services, working with partners to ensure there is access to devices, connectivity and skills development. Where appropriate, we will use council funding and infrastructure, such as free community centre Wi-Fi, to support residents to get online, so that no one is excluded as we move towards fully digital service delivery”

This approach has left some residents – mainly but not limited to older people – unable to communicate with Council Officers. This may be because they lack the technology to do so, don’t have the skills or familiarity needed, or are unable to use IT systems because of a disability. It is very likely that there will always be a small percentage of residents that fall into this group and the needs of these people must be included in any strategy.

This Council needs to revise its EDI strategy so that it ensures any resident can communicate with all departments in ways which do not exclude them. Any communication from the Council requiring a response from a resident must offer several different ways of responding to ensure that there is no discrimination by age, income, disability or other disadvantage.

Therefore this Council calls on the Leader of the Council:-

·       Commit to revising the EDI Strategy to explicitly recognise that there will always be some residents who will be unable to participate digitally and who will need alternative channels of communication with the Council.

·       Work towards ensuring that any and all communications issued by the Council includes all the following means of responding or raising queries:

o   Online via the Council website

o   Telephone number with hours identified that this number will be manned and answered.

o   Where information is requested from residents, a Freepost reply facility with a paper form.

o   Details of the Council Contact Centre in the County Library including opening hours.

Minutes:

This motion was withdrawn.

 

51b

Oxford Climate Emergency Centre (proposed by Cllr Lois Muddiman, seconded by Cllr Emily Kerr)

Green Member Motion

In January 2019, Oxford City Council members unanimously declared a climate emergency and agreed to create a citizens’ assembly in Oxford to help consider new carbon targets and additional measures to reduce emissions. The Oxford Citizens Assembly on Climate Change was duly held over two weekends in September and October 2019.

One of the headline findings of Oxford Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change in 2019 was:

‘a demand for more education and information provided for the wider public...to help them understand what they can personally do to help’.

Across Oxford, excellent work has been done to meet this demand over the past 20 years. For example, the work of all the groups in the CAG* project founded in 2001 and the many projects being undertaken by members of the Zero Carbon Partnership formed in 2021, (replacing the Low Carbon Oxford network launched in 2011).

Despite all this work to educate, inform and engage the public, it is clear from the demands of the Citizens’ Assembly that we are still not doing enough. On housing alone, we urgently need to support residents to retrofit their homes to tackle fuel poverty, rising energy costs, and the climate emergency because approximately 60% of homes in Oxford still have an energy efficiency rating of D or below. The Low Carbon Hub and Cosy Homes Oxfordshire offer advice and services but they are not accessible enough to the public.

Given the urgency of the climate crisis, Oxford needs a highly visible Climate Emergency Centre (CEC). A CEC is a central, inclusive and accessible space where residents and groups can meet to share and gain information on the climate and ecological emergencies, and develop local solutions for nature recovery, climate mitigation and adaptation. Through the CEC, residents could:

·       Find information about our changing climate, its impact and solutions.

·       Have an opportunity to discuss their concerns about the future.

·       Access advice and support on how to take positive steps towards a safer future for themselves, their families, and their communities.

There are lots of examples of Climate Emergency Centres across the UK from Leeds to Lewes, Preston to Portsmouth, and in Guildford, Islington, Kingston and Northampton as well as more locally in Abingdon and Swindon.

The creation of a CEC in the middle of the city would increase public engagement of all the existing groups, organisations and projects in the city and enhance the public realm in the city centre.

This council therefore resolves to request the cabinet member for zero carbon and climate justice and the cabinet member for finance and asset management to:

·       Support the objective of establishing and running a Climate Emergency Centre in Oxford.

·       Work closely with partner organisations and local communities to achieve this objective.

·       Identify a suitable site for a CEC in Oxford City Centre.

·       Consider grant funding towards the costs of establishing and running a CEC.

Minutes:

Councillor Lois Muddiman, seconded by Councillor Emily Kerr, proposed the submitted motion as set out in the agenda and briefing note.

 

Councillor Anna Railton, seconded by Councillor Lois Muddiman, proposed the amendment as set out in the briefing note.

 

Council debated the amended motion. Following debate, and on being put to the vote, the amendment was agreed.

 

On being put to the vote, the amended motion was then agreed.

 

Council resolved to adopt the following motion:

In January 2019, Oxford City Council members unanimously declared a climate emergency and agreed to create a citizens’ assembly in Oxford to help consider new carbon targets and additional measures to reduce emissions. The Oxford Citizens Assembly on Climate Change was duly held over two weekends in September and October 2019.

One of the headline findings of Oxford Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change in 2019 was: ‘a demand for more education and information provided for the wider public...to help them understand what they can personally do to help’.

Across Oxford, excellent work has been done to meet this demand over the past 20 years. For example, the work of all the groups in the CAG* project founded in 2001 and the many projects being undertaken by members of the Zero Carbon Oxford Partnership formed in 2021, (replacing the Low Carbon Oxford network launched in 2011).

Despite all this work to educate, inform and engage the public, it is clear from the demands of the Citizens’ Assembly that we are still not doing enough. On housing alone, we urgently need to support residents to retrofit their homes to tackle fuel poverty, rising energy costs, and the climate emergency because approximately 60% of homes in Oxford still have an energy efficiency rating of D or below.

The Low Carbon Hub, the various local Low Carbon groups, the county run https://www.climateactionoxfordshire.org.uk/and Cosy Homes Oxfordshire offer advice and services but they are not accessible enough to the public. Given the urgency of the climate crisis, Oxford needs a highly visible Climate Emergency Centre (CEC). A CEC is a central, inclusive and accessible space where residents and groups can meet to share and gain information on the climate and ecological emergencies, and develop local solutions for nature recovery, climate mitigation and adaptation. Through the CEC, residents could:

?      Find information about our changing climate, its impact and solutions.

?      Have an opportunity to discuss their concerns about the future.

?      Access advice and support on how to take positive steps towards a safer future for themselves, their families, and their communities.

There are lots of examples of Climate Emergency Centres across the UK from Leeds to Lewes, Preston to Portsmouth, and in Guildford, Islington, Kingston and Northampton as well as more locally in Abingdon and Swindon. The creation of a CEC in the middle of the city would increase public engagement of all the existing groups, organisations and projects in the city and enhance the public realm in the city centre.

This council therefore resolves to request the cabinet member for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51b

51c

Freedom from Fear for our Shop Workers (proposed by Cllr Edward Mundy, seconded by Cllr Shaista Aziz)

Labour Member Motion

Our shop workers are key workers who risked their health by working through the Covid pandemic, providing essential retail services while many stayed at home. Sadly, in recent years, shop workers and delivery drivers have increasingly been the victims of violence and abuse, as well as being on the front line during an uptick in shoplifting. Research from both the Association of Convenience Retailers (ACR)[1] and the British Retail Consortium[2] has found that shoplifting and violence against shop workers has increased from pre 2019 levels. ACR data found that 87% of convenience store workers had been victims of verbal abuse in the last year. There is considerable strain and hardship being placed upon people across the country from the impacts of the cost of living crisis (including on shop workers themselves), as well as a mental health crisis and difficulty in accessing essential care and support. It is vital that this is addressed both nationally and locally.

There is an enormous impact on shop workers from crime and abuse. The Union of Shop Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) has a long running Freedom From Fear Campaign[3], which has gathered survey data on the nature and frequency of violence and abuse perpetrated against shop staff. Shockingly, their annual survey for 2022-23 found that three quarters of retail workers had been victims of abuse from customers. Many workers don’t even feel that reporting incidents of abuse will make a difference. The most significant trigger for abuse and violence against shop staff has been shoplifting, being cited as the cause of nearly a third of such incidents.

This Council pledges to:

·       Back the Usdaw Freedom From Fear Campaign with a letter of support and solidarity to the Usdaw General Secretary Paddy Lillis.

·       Support and contribute to local messaging promoting respect for shop workers and our commitment to stamping out abuse and violence.

·       Lobby the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley Matthew Barber to do more to combat shop lifting as well as the abuse and violence perpetrated against shop workers.

·       For our Cabinet Member for Safer Communities Shaista Aziz to engage with local police sergeants as to why retail workers are not empowered to report abuse and what our neighbourhood policing will do to protect retail workers and tackle retail crime.



[1] https://cdn.acs.org.uk/public/acs_crime_report_2023.pdf

[2] https://www.usdaw.org.uk/About-Us/News/2023/Jul/BRC-finds-retail-theft-and-abuse-have-increased

[3] https://www.usdaw.org.uk/CMSPages/GetFile.aspx?guid=768eb764-e8dd-4d48-a913-17d6d1d03c1c

Minutes:

Councillor Edward Mundy, on being seconded by Councillor Shaista Aziz, amended and proposed the motion.

 

Councillor Chris Jarvis withdrew his amendment.

 

Council debated the amended motion. Following debate and on being put to the vote, the amended motion was agreed.

 

Council resolved to adopt the following motion:

Our shop workers are key workers who risked their health by working through the Covid pandemic, providing essential retail services while many stayed at home. Sadly, in recent years, shop workers and delivery drivers have increasingly been the victims of violence and abuse, as well as being on the front line during an uptick in shoplifting. Research from both the Association of Convenience Retailers (ACR)[1] and the British Retail Consortium[2] has found that shoplifting and violence against shop workers has increased from pre 2019 levels. ACR data found that 87% of convenience store workers had been victims of verbal abuse in the last year. There is considerable strain and hardship being placed upon people across the country from the impacts of the cost of living crisis (including on shop workers themselves), as well as a mental health crisis and difficulty in accessing essential care and support. It is vital that this is addressed both nationally and locally.

There is an enormous impact on shop workers from crime and abuse. The Union of Shop Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) has a long running Freedom From Fear Campaign[3], which has gathered survey data on the nature and frequency of violence and abuse perpetrated against shop staff. Shockingly, their annual survey for 2022-23 found that three quarters of retail workers had been victims of abuse from customers. Many workers don’t even feel that reporting incidents of abuse will make a difference. The most significant trigger for abuse and violence against shop staff has been shoplifting, being cited as the cause of nearly a third of such incidents.

This Council pledges to:

·       Back the Usdaw Freedom From Fear Campaign with a letter of support and solidarity to the Usdaw General Secretary Paddy Lillis.

·       Support and contribute to local messaging promoting respect for shop workers and our commitment to stamping out abuse and violence.

·       Lobby the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley Matthew Barber to do more to combat shop lifting as well as the abuse and violence perpetrated against shop workers.

·       Lobby police and relevant authorities to investigate the causes of increases in shoplifting. While many reports have involved organised gangs, it should also be noted that an holistic approach to some perpetrators will be more constructive than a purely punitive or carceral one.

 

 

 



[1] https://cdn.acs.org.uk/public/acs_crime_report_2023.pdf

[2] https://www.usdaw.org.uk/About-Us/News/2023/Jul/BRC-finds-retail-theft-and-abuse-have-increased

[3] https://www.usdaw.org.uk/CMSPages/GetFile.aspx?guid=768eb764-e8dd-4d48-a913-17d6d1d03c1c

51d

Housing Management System problems and resultant accounts issues at Oxford City Council and ODS (proposed by Cllr Christopher Smowton, seconded by Cllr Laurence Fouweather)

Liberal Democrats Member Motion

Council notes that the report to Cabinet on the 14 June 2023 concerning the Housing Management System Implementation and lessons learnt.  

Council notes that the budget for the project has had to be doubled to over £3 million.

Council also notes that this project and its intended benefits has been delayed by many years since its original intended go-live date of May 2018.

Council notes with concern that this has had an impact upon Oxford Direct Services (ODS) being unable to submit its accounts for financial year 2021/22 to Companies House as they are not yet certified by the ODS auditors. ODS is thus being fined every month for non-compliance. Council notes that this also prevents the Council’s auditors from approving the Council’s own accounts for submission to Central Government.

Council notes that the more information about failures of this nature that can be published, the more third parties including other local authorities and public bodies can benefit from the lessons learned.

Council resolves to:-

Ask the Leader of the Council, as a matter of priority, to:-

1.    Request the publication of a minimally redacted version of the lessons learned report, in contrast to the brief summary published in June 2023.

2.    Ensure that action is taken as soon as possible to ensure the new Housing Management System is properly implemented in the Council and that the benefits promised are realised.

3.    Ensure that the deadline (October 2023) for reporting the certified Council accounts to Central Government is met.

Minutes:

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

 

51e

A Ban on Disposable Vapes (proposed by Cllr Lucy Pegg, seconded by Cllr Rosie Rawle)

Green Member Motion

Disposable vapes are creating an environmental and health crisis. Far from helping smokers to quit, with their attractive packaging and child-friendly flavours, disposable vapes are getting a new generation addicted to nicotine. Frequently littered and hard to recycle, disposable vapes are also causing damage to the natural environment and wasting critical materials. 

 

This council notes that:

  • There has been a fourfold increase in the number of disposable vapes being discarded over the past year, with 5 million vapes now being thrown away every week
  • Vapes contain critical raw materials, such as lithium and copper, which are vital for our transition to a greener society. The disposable vapes thrown away over the past year contain enough lithium to create 5,000 batteries for electric cars
  • 1 in 9 young people aged 11 to 18 have experimented with e-cigarettes, with 69% of these people choosing disposable vapes, according to research from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). There has been a 7-fold increase between 2020 and 2022 in the choice of disposables amongst this age group, alongside a 50% year on year increase in the proportion of children experimenting with vaping of all kinds.  
  • Lithium ion batteries, like those used in vapes, caused 700 fires at waste sites in 2022 due to not being properly disposed of. 
  • Prominent environmental and health organisations have called for a ban, including The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Marine Conservation Society, Centre for Sustainable Healthcare and Surfers Against Sewage. 
  • Councils across the country have called for a UK ban on disposable vapes by 2024, and the Scottish Government has already agreed to carry out a consultation on banning disposable vapes
  • Whilst vaping can help smokers to quit, reusable vapes serve this same purpose 

 

This council resolves:

  • That the Leader of the Council will write jointly to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, supporting a ban on disposable vapes by 2024 on environmental and child health grounds
  • To ask Oxford Direct Services to provide additional facilities for recycling disposable vapes and publicise the existing e-waste recycling services, which accepts vapes
  • That the Cabinet Member for Zero Carbon Oxford and Climate Justice and the Cabinet Member for Planning and Healthier Communities investigate ways the council can encourage retailers selling disposable vapes in Oxford to provide recycling facilities for vapes in their stores

Minutes:

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

 

51f

Clean Air as a Human Right (proposed by Cllr Alex Hollingsworth, seconded by Cllr Lizzy Diggins)

Labour Member Motion

In August 2022 the United Nations declared that clean air is a Human Right. Yet WHO figures suggest that 99% of the world’s population are breathing air that harms their health. Research by the Lancet in the UK shows that outdoor air pollution contributes to more than 25,000 deaths a year.

Two of the most dangerous pollutants are the gas nitrogen dioxide (NO2) produced by vehicles and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) produced by vehicles, wood burning, industry and farming.

High levels of NO2 can damage the human respiratory tract and increase a person’s vulnerability to respiratory infections and asthma. Microscopic fine particulate matter (PM2.5) are small enough to fit through the walls of the lungs and into the bloodstream where they are carried around the body, often eventually lodging themselves in different organs.

Exposure to air pollution increases the risk of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, diabetes, neurological disorders, and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Research has shown a direct link between increasing levels of pollution in the air and GP appointments for respiratory symptoms and asthma, and that exposure to traffic related pollution increases the likelihood of having multiple long term physical and mental health conditions.

Despite this, the current targets for limiting air pollution in England would see the country aiming to be double the current WHO minimum standard by 2040.

This council notes with concern that while cleaner engine standards are reducing some forms of vehicle pollution, there is growing evidence that the increasing size and weight of road vehicles is leading to an increase in harmful PM2.5 pollution from non-exhaust emissions.

This Council therefore asks the Council Leader to write letters to the two MPs for Oxford and the Secretary of State for Transport, copied to the Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, to:

1.    Endorse The Clean Air (Human Rights) Bill introduced to Parliament by Baroness Jenny Jones which has received cross-party support.

2.    Welcome the statement by Steve Reed MP that a future Labour Government should legislate to make Clean Air a Human Right

3.    Continue to support the implementation of Ultra-Low and Zero Emission Zones across the country as a crucial part of the process of reducing air pollution to the WHO minimum standard.

4.    Express the Council’s concern about the pollution and safety impacts of increasing vehicle size and weight, and to support changes in vehicle taxation and charging that reflect both exhaust and non-exhaust emissions.

Continue to support local and national policies that aim to reduce car use and to provide safe, affordable and convenient public and active transport alternatives.

Minutes:

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