Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

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Media

Items
No. Item

27.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

Minute 32

During the item, Cllr Henwood sought advice. The Monitoring Officer advised that he not take part in the vote because one of the sites listed in the report was adjacent to his property and so the outcome of the vote may affect an area close to his property which was a disclosable pecuniary interest. It was not possible for the Monitoring Officer to check the location of the site relative to the property more precisely at that late stage, and upon advice Cllr Henwood abstained in the vote.

28.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 449 KB

Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Council held on 20 July 2020.

The full pack including questions on notice and public addresses is here.

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

Minutes:

Council agreed to approve the minutes of the ordinary meeting held on 20 July 2020 as a true and correct record.

 

29.

Appointment to Committees

Any notifications by group leaders to the Head of Law and Governance of changes of membership to committees will be circulated with the briefing note.

Minutes:

Council agreed to delegate authority to the Head of Law and Governance to confirm the appointment to the vacant seat on the Audit and Governance Committee following a nomination from the Leader of the Labour Group Cllr Brown.

 

30.

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 reminded Council this was his last time in the chair as Lord Mayor before handing over to his successor Cllr Lygo at the next meeting on 30 November.

 

It had been a more eventful extended year than he had hoped and planned for. He had been involved in communications (press releases and videos) around Covid to support public health messages, and attending online events and some in-person events as restrictions allowed. This included virtual conferences and events with Oxford’s twin cities.

 

For Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor would be involved pre-recording a remembrance service and wreath laying hosted on the Council’s social media platforms just before 11am on Sunday 8 November 2020. An in-person event was not possible due to Covid.

 

The Sheriff, Cllr Goddard, reported that he had attended fewer activities than planned and sadly many events had been cancelled because of Covid regulations. He had a thoroughly enjoyable year nonetheless despite the challenges Covid had brought.

 

The Leader of the Council, Cllr Brown, drew attention to the communications around Covid to support public health messages and to promote the practical and economic support the Council offered.

She welcomed new and returning students to the city.

She reported that Cllr Martyn Rush had stood down from the Council because he was leaving the city. His seat could not be filled as the government’s Covid restrictions prevented by-elections until May 2021. She recorded, and the Lord Mayor on behalf of Council supported, her thanks to Cllr Rush for his excellent work as the Living Wage Champion.

 

The Lord Mayor asked the City Rector to speak. Rev Buckley reminded Council this was the season of harvest: a time of thanksgiving and sharing and he thanked the Lord Mayor, the Council and Councillors for all their work in the city.

31.

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 11.12, 11.13, and 11.14 relating to matters for decision in Part 1 of this agenda.

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 29 September 2020.

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. Up to five minutes is available for each public address and up to three minutes for each question.

Minutes:

There were no addresses or questions.

 

32.

Land acquisition and Project Approvals for the development of homes in the HRA pdf icon PDF 282 KB

The Head of Housing Services submitted a report to Cabinet on 9 September 2020 to seek project approval, delegations, and budget, to enable spending from the Housing Revenue Account (HRA), on land purchases, build contracts and other necessary agreements and associated development costs for the purpose of delivering affordable housing.

Papers relating to this item and the decision of Cabinet are set out in the minutes of that meeting.

Cabinet recommends that Council resolves to:

1.     approve a revision to the HRA capital budget in 2020/21 of £31.647m, in order for the schemes listed in this report (paras 11 to 40) to be added into the capital programme funded predominantly from additional borrowing; and

 

2.     approve a revision to the HRA base (revenue) budget from 2021/22 on, for £235k to be added, for the creation of the Affordable Supply Programme and Enabling Team to manage and co-ordinate the various work streams to deliver the programmes.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered the report of the Head of Housing Services seeking project approval, delegations, and budget, to enable spending from the Housing Revenue Account (HRA), on land purchases, build contracts and other necessary agreements and associated development costs for the purpose of delivering affordable housing.

The Cabinet Member for Affordable Housing, Cllr Rowley, introduced the report, proposed the recommendations and answered questions. The recommendations were agreed on being seconded and put to the vote.

The Monitoring Officer advised and Cllr Henwood then confirmed that he would not take part in the vote because one of the sites listed in the report was adjacent to his property and so the outcome of the vote may affect an area close to his property which was a disclosable pecuniary interest. It was not possible for the Monitoring Officer to check the location of the site relative to the property more precisely at that late stage and upon advice Cllr Henwood abstained in the vote.

Council resolved to:

1.    approve a revision to the HRA capital budget in 2020/21 of £31.647m, in order for the schemes listed in this report (paras 11 to 40) to be added into the capital programme funded predominantly from additional borrowing; and

2.    approve a revision to the HRA base (revenue) budget from 2021/22 on, for £235k to be added, for the creation of the Affordable Supply Programme and Enabling Team to manage and co-ordinate the various work streams to deliver the programmes.

33.

Quarterly Integrated Performance 2020/21 - Q1 pdf icon PDF 478 KB

The Head of Financial Services and Head of Business Improvement submitted a report to Cabinet on 12 August 2020 giving an update on Finance, Risk and Corporate Performance matters as at 30 June 2020.

Papers relating to this item and the decision of Cabinet are set out in the minutes of that meeting.

Cabinet recommends that Council resolves to:

1.     Agree an increase in the capital budget relating to the replacement housing management system of £423k funding as outlined in paragraph 16 of the report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered the report of the Head of Financial Services and Head of Business Improvement giving an update on Finance, Risk and Corporate Performance matters as at 30 June 2020.

The Cabinet Member for Finance and Asset Management, Cllr Turner, introduced the report, outlined the pressures on the Council’s finances caused by the impact of the Covid pandemic, and answered questions on the report before proposing the recommendation.

The recommendation was agreed on being seconded and put to the vote.

Council resolved to agree an increase in the capital budget relating to the replacement housing management system of £423k funding as outlined in paragraph 16 of the report.

 

34.

Approval of a contract award for a revenues and Benefits system pdf icon PDF 322 KB

The Head of Financial Services submitted a report to Cabinet on 9 September 2020 seeking project approval and delegated authority for the Head of Financial Services to award a contract for the Supply of a Revenues and Benefits system.

Papers relating to this item and the decision of Cabinet are set out in the minutes of that meeting.

Cabinet recommends that Council resolves to:

1.     make a budget allocation of £735k within the Council’s capital programme for 2020-21 and note the savings accruing to the Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Aziz joined the meeting during this item.

Council considered the report of the Head of Financial Services submitted to Cabinet on 9 September 2020 seeking project approval and delegated authority for the Head of Financial Services to award a contract for the Supply of a Revenues and Benefits system.

The Cabinet Member for Customer Focused Services, Cllr Chapman, introduced the report and proposed the recommendation. This was agreed on being seconded and put to the vote.

Council resolved to make a budget allocation of £735k within the Council’s capital programme for 2020-21 and note the savings accruing to the Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan.

35.

Decisions taken under Part 9.3 of the Constitution pdf icon PDF 280 KB

The Head of Paid Service (Chief Executive) has submitted a report setting out a decision taken using the urgency powers delegated in Part 9.3(b) of the Constitution.

Council is asked to note the report.

Minutes:

Council considered the report of the Head of Law and Governance setting out the decision taken by the Head of Paid Service (Chief Executive) using the powers delegated in Part 9.3(b) of the Constitution.

The Cabinet Member for Affordable Housing, Cllr Rowley explained the reasons for taking the decision to enter into an agreement with A2Dominion for the use of Canterbury House for 50 weeks from 3 August 2020 to accommodate rough sleepers and to allocate a budget for this.

Council resolved to note the decision taken as set out in the report

36.

Extension of Chief Executive's Fixed Term Contract pdf icon PDF 209 KB

The Heads of Business Improvement has submitted a report asking Council to approve the recommendation of the Appointments Committee.

The Appointments Committee recommends that Council resolves to extend the Chief Executive’s fixed term contract to 30 April 2021.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive, Gordon Mitchell, withdrew from the virtual meeting for the duration of this item.

Council considered the report of the Head of Business Improvement asking Council to approve the recommendation of the Appointments Committee to extend the Chief Executive’s fixed term contract.

The Leader of the Council, Cllr Brown, introduced the report and proposed the recommendation. This was agreed on being seconded and put to the vote.

Council resolved to extend the Chief Executive’s fixed term contract to 30 April 2021.

37.

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.

Minutes:

Questions asked on:

12 August - Minute 44

9 September - Minute 56.

 

37a

Minutes of meeting Wednesday 12 August 2020 of Cabinet pdf icon PDF 394 KB

Minutes:

Cabinet Minute 44 Quarterly Integrated Performance 2020/21 - Q1

Cllr Gant asked for an update on the eligibility for and amount of government support expected to offset additional costs, and government support to offset losses incurred, as a result of the economic and social impacts of the Covid pandemic.

Cllr Turner answered that the Council had to submit returns to Government after the Head of Financial Services had reviewed and certified that losses were Covid-related. So far roughly £3m support was anticipated, offset against £12m of losses. There may be some small support for specific work streams. It was now clear that Government expected local authorities to bear the brunt of losses.

37b

Minutes of meeting Wednesday 9 September 2020 of Cabinet pdf icon PDF 563 KB

Minutes:

Cabinet minute 56 Implementation of the Housing Infrastructure Funding (HIF) for Oxford North (Northern Gateway)

Cllr Wolff asked if the Council was exposed to bearing any of the costs for infrastructure for the Oxford North development.

Cllr Hollingsworth answered that the Council was not.

Cllr Wade asked for confirmation that if Thomas White Oxford (TWO)/ St John’s College did not have to repay the £10m of HIF grant this upfront grant provision would be taken into account at a later stage when looking at the viability and the impact on provision of affordable housing, as she would like this increased from the current 35%.

Cllr Hollingsworth explained the background to the allocation of the HIF money: £10m was allocated pre-planning application based on assumptions including 25% affordable housing and the planning permission requires 35% affordable housing, a decision predicated on the £10m HIF not being repaid.

If it is to be repaid to Homes England it affects the scheme’s viability. There is an ongoing discussion with Homes England about retaining the grant to be used as intended to support affordable housing, as its repayment makes it harder to secure additional affordable housing when the Council and TWO revise the viability assessments as agreed as part of the planning process.

 

 

38.

Questions on Notice from Members of Council pdf icon PDF 362 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 23 September 2020.

The briefing note will contain the questions, and written responses where available.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

These along with summaries of the 12 supplementary questions and responses asked and given at the meeting are set out in the printed pack of these minutes.

39.

Outside organisation/Partnership report - Children’s Trust Board pdf icon PDF 411 KB

1.     Report on behalf of the Cabinet Member for Supporting Local Communities on the Oxfordshire Children’s Trust.

Council is asked to note the report.

 

2.     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 on Thursday 1 October 2020 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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Lord Mayor took this and the next item before the public speakers were heard at around 7.00pm.

Council had before it the report on behalf of the Cabinet Member for Supporting Local Communities on the Oxfordshire Children’s Trust.

Cllr Tidball introduced the report and the work of the Trust but was not able to respond to questions due to technical difficulties. She asked that members send their questions in writing to be answered outside the meeting.

Council noted the report.

40.

Annual Scrutiny Report 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 5 MB

Council is asked to note the Annual Report of the Scrutiny Committee providing a report on the activity of the Scrutiny function over the civic year 2019/20.

The Chair of the Scrutiny Committee will present the report and may update Council on the Committee’s recent work.

Minutes:

Council had before it the Annual Report of the Scrutiny Committee providing a report on the activity of the Scrutiny function over the civic year 2019/20.

Cllr Gant, Chair of the Scrutiny Committee, presented the report. He noted that more than half of back bench councillors participated in the work of the committee and the review groups, and he thanked all the councillors and officers involved for their contributions over the past year.

Council noted the report.

41.

Public addresses and questions that do not relate to matters for decision at this Council meeting pdf icon PDF 527 KB

Public addresses and questions to the Leader or other Cabinet member received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11.12, 11.13 and 11.14 and not related to matters for decision in Part 1 of this agenda.

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 29 September 2020.

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.

Up to five minutes is available for each public address and up to three minutes for each question.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were 7 addresses to Council:

a)              Clare Robertson spoke in support of motion 17a on Designated Bathing Water Status for the River Thames.

b)              Liz Sawyer spoke about Oxfordshire Liveable Streets and in support of motions 17d and 17j.

a)              Tim Jones, representing the Oxford African Caribbean MultiCultural Association, spoke about the association’s plans.

b)              Tim Bearder and Andrew Heaver both spoke about the Oxford Green Belt and in support of motion 17h.

c)               A speaker spoke in support of motion 17k on Domestic abuse and Covid 19 workplace and community safety.

d)              Colin Aldridge spoke about the Vagrancy act of 1824.

e)              Magdalene Sacranie asked Council to support the Charter for Compassion.

The full text of these speeches as submitted and summaries of written responses and verbal responses from the Cabinet members given at the meeting are set out in the printed pack of these minutes.

42.

Motions on notice 5 October 2020 pdf icon PDF 561 KB

This item has a time limit of 60 minutes.

Motions received by the Head of Law and Governance in accordance with Council Procedure Rules by the deadline of 1.00pm on Wednesday 23 September 2020are listed below.

Cross party motions are taken first, then motions will be taken in turn from the Green, Labour, Liberal Democratgroups and independent members 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 2 October so 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)    Cross party motion: Designated Bathing Water Status for the River Thames (proposed by Cllr Linda Smith, seconded by Cllr Simmons, supported by Cllr Gant)

b)    Applying and monitoring Coronavirus Restrictions (proposed by Cllr Wolff, seconded by Cllr Simmons)

c)     Local Government reorganisation proposed by Cllr Brown, seconded by Cllr Hayes)

d)    Introduction of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods to Oxford City proposed by Cllr Landell Mills, seconded by Cllr Roz Smith)

e)    Going wild (proposed by Cllr Henwood)

f)      A consistent definition of net zero buildings (proposed by Cllr Wolff, seconded by Cllr Simmons)

g)    Government Proposals for Planning Reform (proposed by Cllr Hollingsworth)

h)    Planning system and undermining of Local Democracy (proposed by Cllr Gant, seconded by Cllr Garden)

i)       Chinese New Year 2021 (proposed by Cllr Henwood)

j)      Liveable Streets initiative (proposed by Cllr Simmons, seconded by Cllr Wolff)

k)     Domestic Abuse and Covid-19 workplace and community safety (proposed by Cllr Aziz, seconded by Cllr Taylor)

l)       Carbon targets (proposed by Cllr Gant, seconded by Cllr Wade)

 

Minutes:

Council had before it 12 motions on notice submitted in accordance with Council procedure rules and reached decisions as set out below.

Motions agreed:

a)              Designated Bathing Water Status for the River Thames Adopting the C40 Mayors COVID-19 Recovery Task Force principles

b)              Applying and monitoring Coronavirus Restrictions (as amended)

c)               Local Government reorganisation

d)              Introduction of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods to Oxford City (as amended)

e)              Going wild (as amended)

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

f)                A consistent definition of net zero buildings

g)              Government Proposals for Planning Reform

h)              Planning system and undermining of Local Democracy

i)                 Chinese New Year 2021

j)                Liveable Streets initiative

k)               Domestic Abuse and Covid-19 workplace and community safety

l)                 Carbon targets

 

 

42a

Cross party motion: Designated Bathing Water Status for the River Thames

Proposed by Cllr Linda Smith, seconded by Cllr Simmons, supported by Cllr Gant

Cross party motion

 

This Council notes that the River Thames is chronically polluted with sewage. It is currently legal for Thames Water to dump raw, untreated sewage into the river at times of heavy rainfall when treatment works are overwhelmed. Its sewage works spilled untreated liquid waste into the upper Thames for over 17,000 hours during 2019.

Contact with polluted water can endanger people’s health; furthermore untreated sewage is bad for wildlife.

This Council asks Thames Water to immediately provide real time data of where and when sewage works are overflowing so that Oxford residents will know without delay about the risks of taking to the river to swim or participate in other water sports.

This Council calls on Thames Water to upgrade its sewage treatment works so they are fit for the 21st Century, and take account of a growing population and more extreme rainfall events due to climate change.

This Council notes that the Environment Agency has had its funding slashed since 2010 which has reduced its capacity to enforce environmental regulations. Environment Agency staff numbers have been cut and there has been a sharp decline in the amount of sampling carried out. Consequently pollution incidents have increased while the number of prosecutions have fallen.

This Council asks the Leader to write to urgethe city’s Members of Parliament to demand adequate government funding for the Environment Agency and to do all they can to hold the agency to account for the important responsibility it has protecting our waterways and to askour MPs to support stricter environmental legislation for the UK after we leave the EU, and reject any proposals to use Brexit to weaken current environmental protection laws.

This Council requests Cabinet adopt plans for an application for Designated Bathing Water Status for a stretch of the Thames in Oxford.

Designation by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs would mean improved monitoring of water quality and better protection for the river from pollution. It will ensure Oxford residents have access to the information they need to be properly informed about the risks of enjoying our beautiful river Isis.

 

Minutes:

Cllr Linda Smith, seconded by Cllr Wolff proposed the submitted cross-party motion as set out in the agenda and briefing note. Cllr Gant supported the motion.

After debate and on being put to the vote the motion was agreed.

Council resolved to adopt the following motion:

This Council notes that the River Thames is chronically polluted with sewage. It is currently legal for Thames Water to dump raw, untreated sewage into the river at times of heavy rainfall when treatment works are overwhelmed. Its sewage works spilled untreated liquid waste into the upper Thames for over 17,000 hours during 2019.

Contact with polluted water can endanger people’s health; furthermore untreated sewage is bad for wildlife.

This Council asks Thames Water to immediately provide real time data of where and when sewage works are overflowing so that Oxford residents will know without delay about the risks of taking to the river to swim or participate in other water sports.

This Council calls on Thames Water to upgrade its sewage treatment works so they are fit for the 21st Century, and take account of a growing population and more extreme rainfall events due to climate change.

This Council notes that the Environment Agency has had its funding slashed since 2010 which has reduced its capacity to enforce environmental regulations. Environment Agency staff numbers have been cut and there has been a sharp decline in the amount of sampling carried out. Consequently pollution incidents have increased while the number of prosecutions have fallen.

This Council asks the Leader to write to urgethe city’s Members of Parliament to demand adequate government funding for the Environment Agency and to do all they can to hold the agency to account for the important responsibility it has protecting our waterways and to askour MPs to support stricter environmental legislation for the UK after we leave the EU, and reject any proposals to use Brexit to weaken current environmental protection laws.

This Council requests Cabinet adopt plans for an application for Designated Bathing Water Status for a stretch of the Thames in Oxford.

Designation by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs would mean improved monitoring of water quality and better protection for the river from pollution. It will ensure Oxford residents have access to the information they need to be properly informed about the risks of enjoying our beautiful river Isis.

 

 

42b

Applying and monitoring Coronavirus Restrictions

Proposed by Cllr Wolff, seconded by Cllr Simmons

Green member motion

 

Council notes that concerns over coronavirus (Covid19) continue with the ever present threat of even tighter restrictions being implemented here in Oxford. At the time of writing, Oxford City has entered amber alert on several occasions, based on weekly case numbers per 100,000.

On September 22 the Government announced further restrictions in England.

Under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England), published in July 2020, considerable powers have been given to Oxfordshire County Council to make a direction to, for example, to restrict access to, or close, individual premises, to prohibit certain events and to restrict access to, or close, public outdoor places in Oxford and elsewhere across the County. In September, the County agreed to pass on the powers to enforce these rules to the City alongside its existing environmental health duties.

This Council hopes that these new powers will never be needed, but agrees that it needs to be prepared to respond rapidly, strategically and decisively to the issuing of any direction as well as responding in a coordinated manner (alongside other authorities) on other local matters relating to management of coronavirus, the provision of public information and the impact on Council service delivery in Oxford (for example, liaising with the universities, public health authorities and others).

This Council therefore agrees to ask the Assistant Chief Executive and Head of Regulatory Services to bring a report to Cabinet setting out how these powers will be implemented, including the decision making process, and how Members will be kept informed of action taken under these powers to ensure transparency and accountability.

Minutes:

Cllr Wolff, seconded by Cllr Simmons proposed the submitted motion as set out in the agenda and briefing note, and accepted the amendment proposed by Cllr Brown.

After debate and on being put to the vote the motion as amended was agreed.

Council resolved to adopt the following motion:

Council notes that concerns over coronavirus (Covid19) continue with the ever present threat of even tighter restrictions being implemented here in Oxford. At the time of writing, Oxford City has entered amber alert on several occasions, based on weekly case numbers per 100,000.

On September 22 the Government announced further restrictions in England.

Under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England), published in July 2020, considerable powers have been given to Oxfordshire County Council to make a direction to, for example, to restrict access to, or close, individual premises, to prohibit certain events and to restrict access to, or close, public outdoor places in Oxford and elsewhere across the County. In September, the County agreed to pass on the powers to enforce these rules to the City alongside its existing environmental health duties.

This Council hopes that these new powers will never be needed, but agrees that it needs to be prepared to respond rapidly, strategically and decisively to the issuing of any direction as well as responding in a coordinated manner (alongside other authorities) on other local matters relating to management of coronavirus, the provision of public information and the impact on Council service delivery in Oxford (for example, liaising with the universities, public health authorities and others).

This Council therefore agrees to ask the Assistant Chief Executive and Head of Regulatory Services to produce a detailed briefing for members setting out how these powers will be implemented, including the decision making process, and how Members will be kept informed of action taken under these powers to ensure transparency and accountability.

 

 

42c

Local Government reorganisation

Proposed by Cllr Brown, seconded by Cllr Hayes

Labour member motion

 

This Council notes that despite the urgent need to concentrate on recovery from the COVID pandemic and lockdown, the Government seem determined to pursue local government reorganisation as part of an explicit centralising and anti-democratic agenda. Evidence of the same agenda is clear in proposals for planning and for the NHS. The Government’s criteria require over-large local authorities remote from their populations, and elected mayors whose primary accountability will be to Central Government rather than to local people.

This Council recognises the enormous economic and social challenge currently facing our city and our most vulnerable citizens and states its firm resolve to take every opportunity to support local businesses, local people and their health and well-being.

Council notes that local business leaders and employers have clearly said that now is not the time for local government to be looking inward, but to be working together to solve the problems the current crisis has caused. This Council agrees.

This Council is appalled that it is in this context that the government is proposing instead to reorganise local government for ideological reasons, putting at risk our ability to support our city and its citizens in their time of need.

If, as now seems possible, the government itself feels that this is not the right approach, this Council calls upon them to make that clear. This Council notes that leading Labour, Tory, Liberal Democrat and Green councillors from across the county are on the record as saying they do not support the imposition against local people’s wishes of a large, remote and over centralised authority.

This Council makes clear that the expense and disruption caused by a reorganisation now would be a wilful act of harm to Oxford, our economy and our citizens.

This Council therefore asks the Leader to write to the Secretary of State to make clear their proposals for local government and to seek reassurance for local citizens that no such reorganisation will be imposed upon Oxford. Instead this Council asks that the Government gives the necessary powers and financial support to all Oxfordshire’s local authorities in this time of crisis.

Minutes:

Cllr Brown, seconded by Cllr Hayes proposed the submitted motion as set out in the agenda and briefing note,

Cllr Roz Smith, seconded by Cllr Gant proposed the amendment as set out in the briefing note.

After debate and on being put to the vote the amendment was not agreed.

After debate and on being put to the vote the original motion was agreed.

Council resolved to adopt the following motion:

This Council notes that despite the urgent need to concentrate on recovery from the COVID pandemic and lockdown, the Government seem determined to pursue local government reorganisation as part of an explicit centralising and anti-democratic agenda. Evidence of the same agenda is clear in proposals for planning and for the NHS. The Government’s criteria require over-large local authorities remote from their populations, and elected mayors whose primary accountability will be to Central Government rather than to local people.

This Council recognises the enormous economic and social challenge currently facing our city and our most vulnerable citizens and states its firm resolve to take every opportunity to support local businesses, local people and their health and well-being.

Council notes that local business leaders and employers have clearly said that now is not the time for local government to be looking inward, but to be working together to solve the problems the current crisis has caused. This Council agrees.

This Council is appalled that it is in this context that the government is proposing instead to reorganise local government for ideological reasons, putting at risk our ability to support our city and its citizens in their time of need.

If, as now seems possible, the government itself feels that this is not the right approach, this Council calls upon them to make that clear. This council notes that leading Labour, Tory, Liberal Democrat and Green councillors from across the county are on the record as saying they do not support the imposition against local people’s wishes of a large, remote and over centralised authority.

This Council makes clear that the expense and disruption caused by a reorganisation now would be a wilful act of harm to Oxford, our economy and our citizens.

This Council therefore asks the Leader to write to the Secretary of State to make clear their proposals for local government and to seek reassurance for local citizens that no such reorganisation will be imposed upon Oxford. Instead this Council asks that the Government gives the necessary powers and financial support to all Oxfordshire’s local authorities in this time of crisis.

 

 

42d

Introduction of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods to Oxford City

Proposed by Cllr Landell Mills, seconded by Cllr Roz Smith

Liberal Democrat member motion

 

This Council welcomes the public discussions which are taking place in this city about the value of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) in encouraging walking and cycling, preventing rat-running, and decreasing air pollution, while also having the positive effect of opening up residential and shopping streets for local communities, supporting local businesses and boosting community ties. This ongoing discussion is informed by successful LTNs in Waltham Forest, Groeningen in the Netherlands and Ghent in Belgium.

This Council notes that Tranche 1* money received by the County Council was a fraction of that expected due in part to the short time scale and projects, including design of LTNs not being fully worked up. The County Council Tranche 2 bid is more ambitious with LTNs for the Florence Park, Church Cowley, Divinity Road, Jericho and Headington areas.

This Council therefore commits

1.        to help local residents’ groups fight for LTNs to be designed so as to get the main benefits but without imposing unreasonable, adverse consequences.

2.        to support further studies and consultation as required to develop LTNs.

3.        to agree to provide financial support to the capital cost as appropriate to the delivery of each LTN subject to the allocation of a budget by Council and/or Cabinet.

* Part of Dept of Transport Emergency active travel fund: local transport authority allocations

Minutes:

Cllr Landell Mills, seconded by Cllr Roz Smith proposed the submitted motion as set out in the agenda and briefing note, and accepted the amendment proposed by Cllr Hayes and the amendment proposed by Cllr Wolff

After debate and on being put to the vote the motion as amended was agreed.

Council resolved to adopt the following motion:

This Council welcomes the public discussions which are taking place in this city about the value of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) in encouraging walking and cycling, preventing rat-running, and decreasing air pollution, while also having the positive effect of opening up residential and shopping streets for local communities, supporting local businesses and boosting community ties. This ongoing discussion is informed by successful LTNs in Waltham Forest, Groeningen in the Netherlands and Ghent in Belgium.

Council supports the efforts of Oxfordshire Liveable Streets (OLS) and the motion proposed by County Councillors John Sanders and Damian Haywood and passed unanimously by Oxfordshire County Council on 14 July 2020 to back Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and introduce them when and where feasible.

Nationwide there is a debate about LTNsLTNs may create differences of views in a diverse city such as Oxford. In a democracy, we can all air our views and, through the pressing of points, deepening of understanding, and forging of consensus, we can ensure that LTNs are introduced in the right way in the right places. That way change can be lasting and widely supported.

This Council notes that Tranche 1* money received by the County Council was half of that expected due in part to the lack of ambition and because of:

·       The Department for Transport explicitly saying that bolder T1 proposals would win larger sums of funding, leading to the implication that less ambitious T1 proposals would win smaller sums of funding. Oxfordshire did not receive its entitlement because the schemes of the County Council were not sufficiently ambitious about meaningful change or reallocation of road space.

·       Short timescales for the preparation and submission of a bid, although many other local authorities were awarded a full allocation of funding, with some receiving even more (for example, Bucks and Central Bedfordshire receiving 112% of their funding allocation).

·       The rural focus of the County Council’s T1 bid when the Department for Transport sought to fund areas capable of making tangible changes. This requirement should have led the County Council to focus on the transport needs of urban areas such as Oxford City.

The County Council Tranche 2 bid is more ambitious with LTNs for the St Mary’s, St Clements, Divinity Road, Old Headington, New Headington, Quarry, Jericho and Walton Manor areas.

This Council therefore commits

1.     to encourage local residents’ groups and elected members in their efforts to engage communities in discussion about LTNs, so that they may be designed to get the main benefits without imposing unreasonable, adverse consequences. Local people know their streets better than anyone else and must be able to shape  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42d

42e

Going wild

Proposed by Cllr Henwood

Independent member motion

 

Managed Wildlife corridors are an important means of persevering and developing a bio-diversity in towns and cities. Oxford City Council in collaboration with interested parties will review how verges adjacent to pathways, roads, playing fields and cemeteries are managed with the aim of developing managed wildlife verges of bio-diversity.

Council resolves to

liaise with its stakeholders and partners including schools, colleges, Universities, community centres, Parish Councils to covert verges into wildlife habitats, by reducing the number of times verges are cut each year (currently monthly during the growing season) and proactively encouraging the introduction of wildlife plants to populate managed areas within Oxford City.

Therefore, the Council asks that:

·       on the Council’s behalf the Leader writes to the Leader of Oxfordshire County Council requesting the review of verge management practice, and the introduction of wildlife flowers.

·       the Transition Director brings a report to Cabinet with proposals for setting up a review of current practice and presenting a scheme to introduce wild flowers and pollinators to verges within Oxford City, and local councillors and residents or interested parties liaise with any proposed city council working group to review future practice of verge management.

Minutes:

Cllr Henwood, seconded by Cllr Goddard proposed the submitted motion as set out in the agenda and briefing note, and accepted the amendment proposed by Cllr Linda Smith.

On being put to the vote without debate the motion as amended was agreed.

 

Council resolved to adopt the following motion:

Managed Wildlife corridors are an important means of preserving and developing bio-diversity in towns and cities and there is the potential in Oxford to create more of these important habitats.

Council resolves to work with stakeholders and partners including schools, colleges, Universities, community centres and Parish Councils to convert verges into wildlife habitats where possible.

Members of the council give their thanks to the council officers and ODS staff who have worked on proposals for increasing biodiversity in the city, these proposals include the possibility of less frequent mowing of some verges as well as the creation of additional wildlife areas in our parks and open spaces.

This Council notes that these proposals involve additional expenditure and are being considered as part of the 2021/2022 budget setting process.

This Council requests that the Cabinet Member for Leisure and Parks continues to work with officers, local councillors, residents, park user groups and other interested local community groups to improve biodiversity in our city.

 

 

42f

A consistent definition of net zero buildings

Proposed by Cllr Wolff, seconded by Cllr Simmons

Green member motion 

 

Oxford City Council is listed as a member of the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), along with Cambridge, Bristol and 43 other local authorities.

1.     For the sake of clarity in public discourse, the Council therefore accepts at a point in the future the 'framework definition' of 'net zero carbon buildings' as developed by the UKGBC, which in summary states:

Net zero carbon – construction (1.1):

When the amount of carbon emissions associated with a building’s product and construction stages up to practical completion is zero or negative, through the use of offsets or the net export of on-site renewable energy.

Net zero carbon – operational energy (1.2):

When the amount of carbon emissions associated with the building’s operational energy on an annual basis is zero or negative. A net zero carbon building is highly energy efficient and powered from on-site and/or off-site renewable energy sources, with any remaining carbon balance, after all efforts have been otherwise made, offset.

Note: The framework also provides reporting templates, which (if followed) enable claims of 'net zero' construction and operation to be supported with evidence.

2.     Council will ensure that:

·       'net zero' claims made by house-builders and the Council are evidentially supportable

 

3.     Council asks that the Head of Regeneration & Economy brings a report to Cabinet setting out proposals as to how the authority can ensure that:

·       its own properties meet net-zero operational standards by 2030 at the latest;

·       all new build by the Council meets net zero carbon construction standards by 2030 at the latest; and

·       this is reflected in the relevant planning policies and guidance when they are reviewed in the future.

Minutes:

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

 

42g

Government Proposals for Planning Reform

Proposed by Cllr Hollingsworth

Labour member motion

 

The planning system created by the Town and Country Planning Act 1947 strikes a balance between the rights of individual landowners and the rights of past, present and future citizens. That balance is sometimes uncomfortable and difficult to manage, but on the whole it has worked.

The Government’s Planning White Paper and the simultaneous proposals to cut affordable and social housing contributions from developments of up to 50 homes, sets out to destroy that balance.

The Town and Country Planning Association say “ the proposals will undermine local democracy, marginalise local councils and fail to achieve the kind of high-quality places that the government is committed to delivering" and that “the tendency to side-line the voice of people and centralise the system a clearly expressed in the intent of this White Paper”.

This Council agrees.

The basis for the proposed ‘reforms’ is the claim that the planning system holds up development; this is demonstrably false. More than one million homes with planning permission have not been built, and more than 90% of planning applications are approved. The failure to build new housing is not a result of the planning system, but of market failure and above all the failure to invest in social housing.

The proposed Zoning system will take away most of the rights for local people to raise concerns and objections to planning applications. The increase in permitted development rights gives power to those who already have it and takes power away from those without; we have seen the consequences of this sort of deregulation in homes built without windows, what the RIBA rightly called ‘tomorrow’s slums’.

The proposal to allow automatically developments that are ‘beautiful’ – a term that is impossible to define meaningfully – reduces the debate to what buildings look like, and doesn’t allow local communities any input into what those buildings are for.

Rather than provide more desperately needed social housing, the Government’s proposals will cut it. In Oxford, where the largest development sites are rare, the changed definition of a small site means that hundreds of social housing units will be lost.

And worse, that number will be further reduced by the proposed requirement that 25% of affordable homes should be First Homes, homes to buy at a small discount.

In total more than 900 council homes for rent – the only genuinely affordable tenure for so many people – will be lost.

This city, like so many places across the county does not need attacks on the planning system and local democracy; what it needs is a mass programme of social housing to provide affordable, secure and decent homes for all our citizens.

This Council therefore:

·       supports all efforts to oppose the anti-democratic and centralising proposals put forward by the Government;

·       asks the Leader of the Council to write to the Government, to the Local Government Association and to other bodies expressing that view;

·       supports Shelter’s campaign that the Government should commit to  ...  view the full agenda text for item 42g

Minutes:

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

 

42h

Planning system and undermining of Local Democracy

Proposed by Cllr Gant, seconded by Cllr Garden

Liberal Democrat motion

 

Given the Secretary of State said in a recent interview that he wants to introduce changes to the planning system that allow local people to protect environmentally sensitive land like Green Belt, and SSSI to "hand it onto the next generation", this Council calls on the leader to write to the Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government stating its agreement with that principle.

Minutes:

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

 

42i

Chinese New Year 2021

Proposed by Cllr Henwood

Independent member motion

 

Some 24,000 students study at Oxford University, including approximately 1,068 students from China of which 631 are graduates and 360 undergraduates and the remainder visiting students.

Oxford also remains a popular destination for Chinese tourists that number 13,000 (from a Visit Britain report) annually. China contributes much to Oxford’s economy and cultural diversity.

In recent months the Chinese government has been under pressure to contain the coronavirus. China’s resolve in trying to contain this virus has received global recognition, however, at the same time Chinese and Asian citizens living in Oxford have been subject to prejudicial statements.

The Chinese New Year celebration is organised by the Chinese Community Advice Centre every year at Oxford Town Hall and in 2020 it was decided to cancel the event due to the coronavirus outbreak in China.

2021 is the year of Chinese zodiac Ox sign. Ox people born in this year should have a particular connection to Oxford. A connection Oxford City Council should also recognise and celebrate.

Council is resolved to reassure Chinese and Asian stakeholders that Oxford will not tolerate of any kind of discrimination, and to further demonstrate that Oxford is a welcoming and diverse city to all.

Therefore, Council asks that the Head of Communities offer to rescind charges for renting the town hall for next years (2021) Chinese New Year celebrations.

Minutes:

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

 

42j

Liveable Streets initiative

Proposed by Cllr Simmons, seconded by Cllr Wolff

Green member motion

 

Council notes and supports the County Council’s renewed interest in ‘liveable streets’ as evidenced by the inclusion of some low traffic neighbourhood (LTN) measures in the Tranche 1 and Tranche 2 Active Travel funding applications and the inclusion of LTNs in the recently published Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP).

Council notes and supports the motion passed unanimously by Oxfordshire County Council on 14 July 2020 to support the concept of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and aim to introduce them when and where feasible.

Further, Council also notes that creating a liveable street requires more than just traffic reduction (which of course is the primary responsibility of the County Council). A liveable or ‘healthy’ street requires, for example, it is quiet and clean, has good air quality, has attractive planting, encourages biodiversity and is safe for residents. These aspects are the primary responsibility of the City Council.

With this wider definition of a liveable street in mind, the Greater London Authority has developed a specific set of indicators (along with checklists, guidance and tools) for measuring the degree to which a street is ‘healthy’.

The 10 key Healthy Streets Indicators are backed up by a measurement method, extensive case studies and guidance (source: https://healthystreets.com/home/about/ ).

Council agrees to adopt and be guided by the Healthy Streets Indicators when considering how to best support the introduction of LTNs and when considering other neighbourhood or street level regeneration.

Minutes:

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

 

42k

Domestic Abuse and Covid-19 workplace and community safety

Proposed by Cllr Aziz, seconded by Cllr Taylor

Labour member motion

 

This Council notes more than 40,000 calls and contacts were made to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline during the first three months of the Covid-19 lockdown, as reported by the BBC in July 2020.

Domestic Abuse is a common form of violence, overwhelmingly impacting women and girls globally and nationally and here in Oxford. Men and children are also impacted by domestic abuse as are non- binary and LGBQTI+ people.

According to women’s groups, at least twenty six women including children have been killed in domestic homicides since the lockdown started, the eldest victim was over 82 years old and the youngest were four and two, killed alongside their mother.

Domestic Abuse impacts people of all ages, genders, race, disabilities and class, as well as work places, places of worship, places of learning and all communities.

This Council recognises people with insecure immigration status are especially vulnerable to seeking help due to the Hostile Environment, leaving many homeless and facing additional threats with pregnant migrant women facing particular risks.

This Council recognises the Covid pandemic, lockdowns and restriction of movement, means there is a greater need for increased protection and support for victims and survivors in Oxford.

This Council resolves:

to ask the Head of Business Improvement to submit a report to Cabinet setting out proposals to

·       Develop a Domestic Abuse in the Workplace Policy for Oxford City Council and encourage Oxford’s workplaces to do the same. As the government instructs people to work from home over the next six months, this council encourages all workplaces to prioritise domestic abuse as a work place and community safety issue.

·       Support and build links with trade unions and employers to implement work place domestic abuse policies.

·       Raise awareness and provide information on how to help friends, family members and colleagues affected by domestic abuse.

·       Campaign and lobby for increased sustainable and emergency funding from central government for organisations working with victims and survivors, especially services for BAME women, which are hugely underfunded.

 

This Council thanks Oxford’s frontline domestic abuse workers, charities and organisations for their life saving work.

Minutes:

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

 

42l

Carbon targets

Proposed by Cllr Gant, seconded by Cllr Wade

Liberal Democrat member motion

 

This Council notes that in January 2019 Oxford City Council declared a climate emergency and committed to making the council’s own activities net-zero carbon as soon as possible.

Council therefore asks the Executive Director for Development to submit a report to Cabinet setting out proposals as below:

·       Starting immediately, ensuring that all new council-owned public buildings will be carbon neutral throughout their entire lifespan (with Oxfordshire-based carbon offsetting to capture any technically unavoidable performance gap).

 

·       As far as is it is possible to do so legally, to bind developers, or work with procured developers, to ensure that all residential and commercial developments on council-owned disposed land are carbon neutral throughout their entire life-span (with developers funding Oxfordshire-based carbon offsetting to capture any technically unavoidable performance gap).

Minutes:

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