Agenda and minutes

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Media

Items
No. Item

60.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

Cllr Lygo and Cllr Roz Smith declared an interest in the motion at 72f (fossil fuel divestment) as they had a decision making role as members of the Oxfordshire County Council Pension Fund Committee.

61.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 456 KB

Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Council held on 30 November 2020.

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

Minutes of the special meeting of Council held on 5 January 2021.

 

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council agreed to approve the minutes of the ordinary meeting held on 30 November 2020 and the special meeting held on 5 January 2021 as true and correct records.

62.

Appointment to Committees

The Head of Law and Governance has not been notified of resignations from committees and changes of membership requested by group leaders.

Any proposed changes will be circulated with the briefing note or notified at the meeting.

 

Minutes:

There were no changes of appointments to committees.

63.

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 thanked, on behalf of councillors, members of the

Community Response Team, City Centre Ambassadors and Anti-social Behaviour Investigation Team for providing life-saving assistance when a serious medical emergency occurred in the city centre earlier this month.

 

He updated Council on events he had attended, including

·         Online virtual meetings, ceremonies and conferences

·         Virtual meetings with the High Sheriff and Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire

·         Attending the Menorah event on Broad Street

·         Working with ArkT charity to deliver presents and food to the community before and on Christmas Day.

 

He encouraged everyone to join his ‘Move with Mayor Mark’ well-being and health initiative (in person and online with #MoveWithMayorMark) and to remember to look after each other during the ongoing pandemic crisis.

 

The Lord Mayor noted the recent resignations of Cllr Alex Donnelly on 22 December and Cllr Paul Harris on 5 January due to work and family commitments, and thanked them for their time on the Council.

Cllr Brown and Cllr Gant (their respective group leaders) also thanked them, paid tribute to their service on the Council and to their communities and wished them well for the future.

 

The Sheriff and Deputy Lord Mayor reported correspondence from their counterparts in other cities.

 

The City Rector, Rev Anthony Buckley spoke to Council about the upcoming Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January.

 

64.

Public addresses and questions that relate to matters for decision at this meeting

Public addresses, and questions of under 200 words, 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 19 January 2021

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.

65.

1-3 George Street refurbishment pdf icon PDF 196 KB

The Executive Director (Development) has submitted a report to Cabinet on 20 January 2021 to seek approval to fund and enter into a contract for the building refurbishment of 1-3 George Street, to provide affordable managed workspace in the heart of the city centre.

Papers relating to this item are attached and also set out in the agenda for the Cabinet meeting. Cabinet’s decision will be reported in the briefing note.

 

Recommendations: Cabinet recommends that Council resolves to

  • approve a capital budget of £1.921m to deliver the project with the enhanced sustainability option and including the use of up to £800K of funds awarded to the Council from OxLEP’s Local Growth Fund. This will be split £454K in 20/21, £1.361m in 21/22 and £106K in 22/23. This is an increase to the proposed capital allocation in 21/22 consultation budget and the rationale for this increased investment is set out in the confidential Appendix 1.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered the report of the Executive Director (Development) seeking approval to fund and enter into a contract for the building refurbishment of 1-3 George Street to provide affordable managed workspace in the heart of the city centre.

The Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Delivery, Cllr Hollingsworth, introduced the report, proposed the recommendations and answered questions.

The recommendations were agreed on being seconded and put to the vote.

Council resolved to:

approve a capital budget of £1.921m to deliver the project with the enhanced sustainability option and including the use of up to £800K of funds awarded to the Council from OxLEP’s Local Growth Fund. This will be split £454K in 20/21, £1.361m in 21/22 and £106K in 22/23.

 

66.

Meanwhile in Oxfordshire pdf icon PDF 211 KB

The Executive Director (Development) has submitted a report Cabinet on 20 January 2021 to add an additional recommendation to the report agreed at Cabinet on 9 December 2020. A further recommendation is required to seek approval to include the £1.875m funding across the 2020/21 and 2021/22 Council budget. All other aspects of the project remain unchanged.

Papers relating to this item are attached and also set out in the agenda for the 20 January Cabinet meeting. Cabinet’s decision will be reported in the briefing note.

 

Recommendation: Cabinet recommends that Council resolves to :

  • establish a budget £1.875m (capital) within the Council’s capital programme, profiled across 2020-21 and 2021-22, subject to contracting with OxLEP.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered the report of the Executive Director (Development) to seek approval to include the £1.875m funding across the 2020/21 and 2021/22 Council budget. All other aspects of the project remain as set out in the reports to Cabinet on 9 December 2020 and 20 January 2021.

The Leader of the Council, Cllr Brown, introduced the report, proposed the recommendations and answered questions.

The recommendations were agreed on being seconded and put to the vote.

Council resolved to:

establish a budget £1.875m (capital) within the Council’s capital programme, profiled across 2020-21 and 2021-22, subject to contracting with OxLEP.

 

67.

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:

 

67a

Minutes of meeting Wednesday 9 December 2020 of Cabinet pdf icon PDF 436 KB

Minutes:

Minute 99 – Budget

Cllr Simmons asked if Cabinet could ensure adequate consultation on the revised capital strategy and budget changes since the initial consultation started: was there adequate opportunity for the pubic and councillors to comment on these before the decision was made?

Cllr Turner replied that the changes to the capital strategy would be considered at the 27 January Finance and Performance Panel meeting. Necessary amendments to the budget since the consultation started required bringing forward changes which unfortunately cannot be subject to the same consultation process, but Council will have the opportunity to debate these during its consideration of the budget. 

Cllr Roz Smith asked if the final budget proposals would be available for proper scrutiny before the Council meeting, to allow time for proper consideration and response.

Cllr Turner replied that all changes and final budget proposals would be published with the report to the Cabinet meeting on 10 February, and that the Finance and Performance Panel would continue to do its excellent work scrutinising the budget.

 

67b

Minutes of meeting Wednesday 20 January 2021 of Cabinet (to follow) pdf icon PDF 398 KB

Minutes:

Minute 117 – Councillor addresses on neighbourhood issues

Cllr Landell Mills asked if there might be a decline in standards in the city’s parks without the benchmark and standards provided by the Green Flag scheme now that the Council had withdrawn from this.

Cllr Smith replied that there would be no reduction in standards apart from slightly less litter bin emptying in the evenings. The savings, agreed by Council when it set the budget last year, arose from reductions in administration and the costs of seeking the award.

 

Minute 119 – Scrutiny Committee reports

Cllr Simmons asked for an update on progress on the Climate Emergency Review Group’s recommendations from early in 2020.

Cllr Tom Hayes, Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, reported that work on these would restart in February. He explained that Covid-19 had diverted some Council resources, and now that attention could be turned to the recommendations there was a wish to ensure that there was real substance both in the Cabinet’s responses when they are given and the resulting actions which are or will be in train. 

The Review Group’s work had triggered useful conversations within the Council about how best to improve its response to the climate emergency. He said he would be pleased to meet with the Review Group if it was reconvened, or the Scrutiny Committee, to discuss the Cabinet response in due course.

 

68.

Questions on Notice from Members of Council pdf icon PDF 478 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 13 January 2021.

All questions submitted by the deadline are published as a supplement. This will be replaced by the full briefing note giving the questions and written responses where available.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

31 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 13 supplementary questions and responses asked and given at the meeting are set out in the full document pack containing these minutes.

 

69.

Public addresses and questions that do not relate to matters for decision at this Council meeting

Public addresses and questions of under 200 words, 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 19 January 2021

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.

 

70.

Partnership report - Oxford Safer Communities Partnership pdf icon PDF 148 KB

Report submitted on behalf of the Cabinet Member for a Safer, Healthy Oxford on the Oxford Safer Communities Partnership Annual Update 2019-20

Council is invited to comment on and note the report

 

As set out in procedure rule 11.15, 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 21 January 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:

Council considered the report on behalf of the Cabinet Member for a Safer, Healthy Oxford, Cllr Upton, giving an update on the Oxford Safer Communities Partnership in 2019-20.

Cllr Upton introduced the report, paid tribute to the front-line council officers for the wide variety of work they carry out, and answered questions from councillors.

In summary her main points in answer were:

·       On breaking the cycle of domestic abuse, she understood Oxfordshire County Council carried out some work on anger management with perpetrators. The Health and Wellbeing Board had discussed how to liaise with the justice system to getting domestic abuse cases to court more quickly than is happening at present.

·       Restorative approaches referred to were not the same as restorative justice interventions. They tended to be in organised groups for community ‘payback’ work providing useful work for the benefit of the community.

·       Neighbourhood action/ community safety groups meeting with the police may be of limited use: it was important that the meetings were used appropriately but if it would be useful, then it could be arranged.

·       The partnership would consider the serious case review resulting from a child exploitation case in Banbury and the lessons to be learned: she would make sure it was on the agenda.

·       A question was asked about involving Liberal Democrat and Green councillors the partnership.

Councillors noted the report and the appendices.

 

71.

Scrutiny Committee update report pdf icon PDF 156 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.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council had before it the report of the Scrutiny Committee Chair, Cllr Gant, who introduced this.

 

Council noted the report.

72.

Motions on notice 25 January 2021 pdf icon PDF 502 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 13 January 2021are listed below.

Motions will be taken in turn from the Liberal Democrat, Green, Labour groups 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 22 January 2021so 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)    Pavement Parking (proposed by Cllr Roz Smith, seconded by Cllr Landell Mills)

b)    Defining and delivering truly ‘Net Zero’ buildings (proposed by Cllr Wolff, seconded by Cllr Simmons)

c)    School Streets to Tackle Air Quality and Tackle Associated Health Inequalities (proposed by Cllr Tidball)

d)    Proportional Representation to ensure every vote counts (proposed by Cllr Garden)

e)    Developing a Food Strategy (proposed by Cllr Simmons, seconded by Cllr Wolff)

f)     Fossil fuel divestment (proposed by Cllr Hayes)

g)    E Scooters (proposed by Cllr Gant)

h)   Adopting an advertising and sponsorship policy which supports responsible consumption (proposed by Cllr Simmons, seconded by Cllr Wolff)

i)     Fireworks (proposed by Cllr Goddard)

 

Minutes:

Councillor Haines left the meeting at the start of this item.

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)       Pavement Parking [amendment accepted by proposer]

b)       Defining and delivering truly ‘Net Zero’ buildings [amendment accepted by proposer]

c)       School Streets to Tackle Air Quality and Tackle Associated Health Inequalities

 

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

d)       Proportional Representation to ensure every vote counts (proposed by Cllr Garden)

e)       Developing a Food Strategy (proposed by Cllr Simmons, seconded by Cllr Wolff)

f)        Fossil fuel divestment (proposed by Cllr Hayes)

g)       E Scooters (proposed by Cllr Gant)

h)       Adopting an advertising and sponsorship policy which supports responsible consumption (proposed by Cllr Simmons, seconded by Cllr Wolff)

i)        Fireworks (proposed by Cllr Goddard)

72a

Pavement Parking

Proposed by Cllr Roz Smith, seconded by Cllr Landell Mills

Liberal Democrat motion

 

The government has recently consulted on ‘Pavement Parking: Options for Change’. Liberal Democrats in Oxfordshire submitted a joint response fully supporting the option of banning pavement parking, as has been the case in London since 1974.

This Council:

·         Recognises that dangerous parking, on pavements, in cycle lanes, around schools and in many other instances, has got worse in recent years and causes significant danger and inconvenience to many people including wheelchair users, parents with small children, cyclists, the less mobile, and many others.

·         Recognises that present enforcement in Oxford is widely seen to be limited in effectiveness.

·         Believes that the safety of pedestrians (especially the visually impaired, and disabled) is more important than the convenience of motorists,

·         And believes that pavement parking is both an obstacle to active transport (walking and cycling), and a form of discrimination against the mobility of visually impaired and disabled citizens.

Council therefore:

1.    Fully endorses the objective of the government consultation to end pavement parking, considering all local circumstances.

2.    Commits to supporting the use of civil enforcement powers in a way which both enforces this policy effectively and does not represent a financial cost to the council.

3.    Asks the Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford to write to colleagues in Oxfordshire County Council and neighbouring districts informing them of this resolution and offering to investigate opportunities for effective joint working over, for example, enforcement contracts.

4.    Asks the Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford to write to the Secretary of State and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Transport informing them of this resolution and urging them to move to banning pavement parking as soon as possible.

_________________________________

References:

1: “Pavement Parking: Options for Change

Minutes:

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

Cllr Roz Smith accepted the amendment proposed by Cllr Hayes as set out in the briefing note.

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

 

Council resolved to adopt the following motion:

The government has recently consulted on ‘Pavement Parking: Options for Change’. Oxford City Council has submitted a response to the national consultation following a consultation of people with experience of living, working and moving around Oxford with disabilities, as well as people who represent disability charities, informed by a presentation on the subject by the Parking Manager at Oxfordshire County Council.

The focus group gave an overall preference for the option of banning pavement parking, as has been the case in London since 1974.

This Council:

·       Recognises that the Government launched the consultation because of concern that dangerous parking, on pavements, in cycle lanes, around schools and in many other instances, has got worse in recent years and causes significant danger and inconvenience to many people including wheelchair users, parents with small children, cyclists, the less mobile, and many others.

·       Recognises that present enforcement by Oxfordshire County Council in Oxford is widely seen to be limited in effectiveness; it cannot be effective owing to the current legal framework, which we recognise needs to change.

·       Believes that the safety of pedestrians (especially the visually impaired, and disabled) is important and motorists should be considerate of everybody else’s needs.

·       Believes that pavement parking is both an obstacle to active transport (walking and cycling), and significantly hinders the liberty and mobility of visually impaired and disabled citizens.

·       Recognises that a ban on pavement parking needs to be accompanied by a thorough CPZ approach, so that problems aren’t just displaced to other areas, and extra budget from Government or else enforcement will not be possible

·       Recognises that exceptions to the rule will need to be retained (for example where a CPZ specifically allows pavement parking due to narrow roads) and where there is pavement parking, it should be very clearly marked with signs and paint.

 

Council therefore:

1.        Fully endorses the objective of the government consultation to end pavement parking, considering all local circumstances.

2.        Commits to supporting the use of civil enforcement powers in a way which both enforces this policy effectively and does not represent a financial cost to the council.

3.        Asks the Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford to write to colleagues in Oxfordshire County Council and neighbouring districts informing them of this resolution and offering to investigate opportunities for effective joint working over, for example, enforcement contracts.

4.        Asks the Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford to write to the Secretary of State and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Transport informing them of this resolution and urging them to move to banning pavement parking as soon as possible.

 

72b

Defining and delivering truly ‘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.

For the sake of clarity in public discourse, the Council therefore moves to accept 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.

Council asks that the Head of Regeneration & Economy brings a report to Cabinet setting out proposals (including costings) as to how the authority can ensure that:

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

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

·         it further explores the possibility of reflecting this in the relevant planning policies and guidance when they are reviewed in the future.

and advising the Cabinet on ways to ensure that:

·         'net zero' claims made by house-builders operating in the city and the Council are evidentially supportable (and incompliance with the definition as above).

 

Minutes:

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

Cllr Turner proposed minor amendments to the motion, put to Council in writing, to remove from the second sentence the words ‘For the sake of clarity in public discourse, the Council therefore moves to accept’ and to include the words underlined as below.

Cllr Wolff accepted the amendments.

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

 

Council resolved to adopt the following 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.

In its communications the Council asks Cabinet to use the 'framework definition' of 'net zero carbon buildings' as developed by the UKGBC (or make it clear where this is not the case), 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.

 

Council asks that the Head of Regeneration & Economy brings a report to Cabinet setting out proposals (including costings) as to how the authority can could ensure that:

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

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

        it further explores the possibility of reflecting this in the relevant planning policies and guidance when they are reviewed in the future.

and advising the Cabinet on ways to ensure that:

        'net zero' claims made by house-builders operating in the city and the Council are evidentially supportable (and incompliance in compliance with the definition as above).

 

72c

School Streets to Tackle Air Quality and Tackle Associated Health Inequalities

Proposed by Cllr Tidball

Labour member motion

 

The Coroner’s verdict last month that the death of nine-year-old Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah in 2013 was caused by air pollution, the first time this has been listed as the cause of death in the UK, has brought sharply into focus the health emergency caused by poor air quality.

This Council notes with deep sorrow Ella’s death.

Air pollution is already a dangerous threat to our communities’ health; the current pandemic is making a bad situation worse, with deaths from Covid more prevalent amongst those exposed to higher levels of air pollution1. The effects of poor air quality aggravate existing intersecting inequalities, with Black and Minority Ethnic people and those from more deprived communities being far more likely to be exposed to higher levels of pollution and thus suffer worse health outcomes2.

In Oxford the City Council has taken great strides to address the problem and is implementing a Zero Emission Zone, EV charging infrastructure and proposals to cut overall traffic levels across the City through the Connecting Oxford scheme. But more needs to be done.

Short car journeys in particular dramatically increase children’s exposure to air pollution, doubling pollution emitted from vehicles3. Children in highly polluted areas are four times more likely to have reduced lung function in adulthood. Improvements to air quality now can reverse this effect4. Encouraging Active Travel as part of an active lifestyle is critical to tackling childhood inactivity and promoting sustainable travel - both health and environmental necessities.

This Council believes urgent action is needed. Whilst Oxfordshire County Council has committed to trialling School Streets for three schools in Oxford, the speed and coverage of implementation is insufficient. School Streets must be integral to our wider ambitious proposals to reduce car traffic and encourage a switch to active transport, including Controlled Parking Zones, Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and better cycle infrastructure.

School Streets is an effective policy to help tackle the active and present threat of air pollution to the health of children, reduce health inequalities and combat the climate crisis. A study of 16 Schools Street sites shows a reduction in the number of motor vehicles, an increased use of active travel and improved road safety5.

This Council therefore:

1.     Expresses our unequivocal support for School Streets as a mechanism to encourage a modal shift to active travel and tackle air pollution as part of a strategic approach to cutting traffic levels.

2.     Asks the Leader to request Oxfordshire County Council, the transport authority, to

a)    ensure the delivery of the Connecting Oxford proposals;

b)    prioritise within its budget the roll out of School Streets across Oxford ;

c)     use all available funding mechanisms, including activation funds from the EATF* on promoting active travel within schools, including using safe off-road cycle tracks, helping schools design active travel plans; and

d)    work with partners to ensure every child in the city has the chance to learn to cycle, embedding  ...  view the full agenda text for item 72c

Minutes:

Cllr Tidball, seconded by Cllr Aziz proposed the submitted motion as set out in the agenda and briefing note.

An amendment as set out in the briefing note proposed by Cllr Gant, seconded by Cllr Landell Mills, was debated and lost on being put to the vote.

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

 

Council resolved to adopt the following motion:

The Coroner’s verdict last month that the death of nine-year-old Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah in 2013 was caused by air pollution, the first time this has been listed as the cause of death in the UK, has brought sharply into focus the health emergency caused by poor air quality.

This Council notes with deep sorrow Ella’s death.

Air pollution is already a dangerous threat to our communities’ health; the current pandemic is making a bad situation worse, with deaths from Covid more prevalent amongst those exposed to higher levels of air pollution1. The effects of poor air quality aggravate existing intersecting inequalities, with Black and Minority Ethnic people and those from more deprived communities being far more likely to be exposed to higher levels of pollution and thus suffer worse health outcomes2.

In Oxford the City Council has taken great strides to address the problem and is implementing a Zero Emission Zone, EV charging infrastructure and proposals to cut overall traffic levels across the City through the Connecting Oxford scheme. But more needs to be done.

Short car journeys in particular dramatically increase children’s exposure to air pollution, doubling pollution emitted from vehicles3. Children in highly polluted areas are four times more likely to have reduced lung function in adulthood. Improvements to air quality now can reverse this effect4. Encouraging Active Travel as part of an active lifestyle is critical to tackling childhood inactivity and promoting sustainable travel - both health and environmental necessities.

This Council believes urgent action is needed. Whilst Oxfordshire County Council has committed to trialling School Streets for three schools in Oxford, the speed and coverage of implementation is insufficient. School Streets must be integral to our wider ambitious proposals to reduce car traffic and encourage a switch to active transport, including Controlled Parking Zones, Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and better cycle infrastructure.

School Streets is an effective policy to help tackle the active and present threat of air pollution to the health of children, reduce health inequalities and combat the climate crisis. A study of 16 Schools Street sites shows a reduction in the number of motor vehicles, an increased use of active travel and improved road safety5.

This Council therefore:

1.     Expresses our unequivocal support for School Streets as a mechanism to encourage a modal shift to active travel and tackle air pollution as part of a strategic approach to cutting traffic levels.

2.     Asks the Leader to request Oxfordshire County Council, the transport authority, to

a)    ensure the delivery of the Connecting Oxford proposals;

b)    prioritise within its  ...  view the full minutes text for item 72c

72d

Proportional Representation to ensure every vote counts

Proposed by Cllr Garden

Liberal Democrat member motion

 

First Past the Post is an archaic system that distorts representation and weakens public engagement with politics. It is no longer fit for purpose in the 21st Century. It encourages divisive and tribal politics.

The mismanagement of the UK’s political system by a single-party government especially over the past four years has demonstrated the need for proportional representation (PR) even more strongly. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the flaws of a centralised system in Westminster, and we have encountered the frustrations of poor decision-making in this top-down approach first-hand. The political situation may be worse by the time of the next election.

The results of last year’s general election speak for themselves. On average it took 38,300 votes to elect each Conservative MP, and a staggering 864,743 to elect the one Green MP. Essentially the Conservatives got 44% of votes but 56% of seats and tragically 71% of votes cast were wasted. At the moment, millions of voters are being left effectively voiceless as they live in safe seats where their vote is unlikely to have any influence on the outcome.

The Conservative Party has been the main beneficiary of First Past the Post (FPTP) over the past 50 years which would explain their reluctant and misleading compromise for electoral reform in the form of the 2011 Alternative Vote (AV) Referendum. There are many possible systems under PR but AV is not one of them.

Recent events in the USA have shown the fragility of democracy. We have a responsibility in safeguarding it. People should have the right to vote for their first choice, not a choice between the least bad candidate with a chance of winning and a wasted vote. It is not how people form consensus in everyday life and shouldn’t be in choosing their government.

Oxford City has repeatedly shown its place in the world. As a city, we should call for a fair voting system that ensures politics works for people. We should call for a pre-election commitment to Proportional Representation. The current system is not working. We need to build a democracy that is fit for the 21st century and in which every vote really counts.

This Council therefore wishes to express its strong support for electoral reform by:

1.     Publicly expressing its support for Proportional Representation and encouraging individual Councillors to do likewise.

2.     Asking the Leader to write to the City’s MPs asking them to build cross-party consensus on a representative system that is fair and fit to deal with future challenges.

 

Minutes:

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

72e

Developing a Food Strategy

Proposed by Cllr Simmons, seconded by Cllr Wolff

Green member motion

 

The Council resolves to request that the Head of Community Services bring a report to Cabinet with proposals for commissioning a Food Strategy to address the causes of food inequality in Oxford that have been highlighted by the current pandemic (including the scandal surrounding free school meals during lockdown) and takes into account the emerging National Food Strategy (Part 1 report and recommendations released July 2020).

As part of this work, the Cabinet is requested to recognise:

·         That the Council has undertaken considerable work to address inequality

·         That the Council is signatory to the Oxford Good Food Charter

·         The excellent work already being done by the voluntary sector within the City

·         That this work has needed to expand in response to the increased need during the COVID-19 pandemic

In preparing the Food Strategy, the Council should focus on those with the greatest need and seek to address issues including sustainability and public health.

 

Minutes:

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

72f

Fossil fuel divestment

Proposed by Cllr Hayes

Labour member motion

 

Oxford City Council welcomes Oxfordshire Local Government Pension Fund’s climate-focused ambitions for its pension investments.

This Council welcomes the following changes by the Pension Fund as additions to an earlier decision to switch five per cent of its assets into a low carbon fund:

·       To switch another six per cent of assets into a new Sustainable Equities Fund being developed by Brunel Pension Partnership, the company owned by Local Government Pension Funds to manage investments on their behalf.

·       To introduce the target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from investments by 7.6% p.a. in line with the Paris Agreement and a maximum 1.5°C increase in global temperatures. The world needs more business plans to be in line with or improve on the 2015 Paris Accord agreement over emission paths.

 

This Council congratulates the following for their contributions:

·       Oxfordshire Pension Fund has travelled far in its plans to respond to the risks of climate breakdown, and this Council congratulates the Committee.

·       the campaign group Fossil Free Oxfordshire and UNISON for co-operation with the Pension Fund and looks forward to seeing further collaboration.

Taking money out of fossil fuels is the right thing to do. It is also the financially prudent thing to do. Keeping fossil fuel companies in a portfolio reduces its total value, fossil fuel investments risk becoming ‘stranded assets’, and the climate crisis threatens the global economy and the ability of the Oxfordshire Local Government Pension Scheme to meet its liabilities.

In passing fossil fuel divestment motions, this Council has made clear that it makes no sense to invest in companies that undermine our future.

 

Oxfordshire Pension Fund’s journey must be completed.

This Council asks the Leader to write to Oxfordshire Pension Fund to:

·       ensure the pledges to decarbonise the fund are underpinned by metrics that ensure the target emissions reductions will be met, including those that measure exposure to fossil fuel producers, not just fossil fuel users.

·       request confirmation that it will exclude from the portfolio any companies that continue to explore for or develop new fossil fuel reserves.

·       review the entire Climate Change Policy and Implementation Plan by 2022 at the latest, including 1) the effectiveness of engagement as stated in the implementation plan and; 2) progress on reducing greenhouse gas emissions (rather than waiting until 2025 as suggested in the implementation plan).

However ambitious a pension fund pool member may be, the pace toward emissions reductions of 7.6% p.a. will be limited by the fund offerings provided by Brunel.

Brunel has shown recent climate leadership, but this Council asks the Leader to write to Oxfordshire Pension Fund to urge Brunel to go further by:

·       making a formal request to provide a range of funds that enable it to meet its 7.6% p.a. target while spreading risk, including zero carbon passive and managed funds.

·       writing an open letter asking Brunel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of all portfolios by 7.6% p.a. and to reduce the fossil fuel reserves exposure of their  ...  view the full agenda text for item 72f

Minutes:

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

72g

E-scooters

Proposed by Cllr Gant

Liberal Democrat member motion

 

In late 2020 the County Council took early steps towards an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO) legalising the use of e-scooters on the public highway, within certain carefully controlled and defined limits. The County’s plans identified a number of objectives for the proposed trial:

i.    Support safe commuting to work and education as an alternative whilst social distancing measures are in place,

ii.    Reduce private car use and reduce congestion,

iii.   Contribute towards the reduction in air pollution and carbon emissions,

iv.   Test perceptions and attitudes towards new mobility solutions, and

v.   Deliver a safe and accessible alternative travel mode which complements the public transport offer, but which addresses short term capacity constraints on the network. 

This council thoroughly endorses those objectives, and recognises other potential benefits of promoting safe and convenient use of e-scooters, including:

·       Making challenges to pedal-cycles such as steep hills more manageable, thus encouraging more people out of cars and into the fresh air

·       By increasing speed and decreasing physical exertion compared to bikes, bringing longer commutes well within scooting range

·       Contributing to the welcome growth of deliveries etc by means other than vehicles powered by internal combustion engines

Council also notes that a number of cities, both in the UK and elsewhere, have successfully integrated e-scooter use into their urban landscape. However, council also recognises that all such proposals have to be considered holistically, including proper provision of road-space, safeguards around ownership and storage, sensible rules for use with genuine enforcement.

Council therefore resolves to:

·       Fully support the integration of e-scooters into transport planning for our city and region;

·       Work with the County Council to address challenges associated with their introduction

·       And asks the Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford to write to his counterpart at the County Council communicating the substance of this motion

 

Minutes:

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

72h

Adopting an advertising and sponsorship policy which supports responsible consumption

Proposed by Cllr Simmons, seconded by Cllr Wolff

Green member motion

 

Council notes that Bristol has produced a draft advertising and sponsorship policy [1] that would cover  the council as an advertiser or sponsor; and the council as an owner of an advertising platform or sponsorship opportunity which an external individual, group or organisation may wish to take up.

It provides a framework for how the council is promoted and how it promotes others, aligned to [the council’s] core values and principles. It seeks to establish a consistent approach, through a set of standards and framework of controls that ensure compliance with legislation, advertising industry codes, council policies and guidelines.

The policy aims to ensure that [the council’s] advertising and sponsorship practice upholds the council’s reputation, supports the council’s priorities by facilitating communication, secures best value for money and maximises income and supports the development of commercial partnerships.

One aim is to support responsible consumption. Content where a ban is being considered includes, for example:

·       Promotion or availability of junk food in proximity to schools

·       Promotion of polluting fossil fuel vehicles

·       Advertising of ‘High Cost Short Term (HCST)’ loan advancers

·       Advertising of organisations offering ways to avoid paying legitimate tax in the UK

Council requests the Assistant Chief Executive to bring a report to Cabinet to assess whether it is appropriate to adopt a similar policy in Oxford.

 

[1] Minute 51 of Bristol City Council Overview and Scrutiny Management Board 2/11/20

Minutes:

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

72i

Fireworks

Proposed by Cllr Goddard

Liberal Democrat member motion

 

This Council notes:

·       that in the absence of public firework displays, private use of fireworks seems anecdotally to have been more widespread this Bonfire Night and at New Year than in most years;

·       that both public and private use of fireworks can have harmful effects on the welfare of vulnerable people and domestic and wild animals;

·       that it is necessary to strike a balance between the enjoyment fireworks can provide and the harm they can cause.

This Council resolves that in time for next Bonfire Night, November 5th 2021, it will:

·       require all public firework displays within the local authority boundaries to be advertised in advance of the event, allowing residents to take precautions for their animals and vulnerable people;

·       actively promote a public awareness campaign about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people – including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks;

·       ask the Leader to write to the UK Government urging them to introduce legislation to limit the maximum noise level of fireworks to 90dB for those sold to the public for private displays;

·       encourage local suppliers of fireworks to stock ‘quieter’ fireworks for public display.

 

Minutes:

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