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Items
No. Item

78.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

Item 15a) Motion: John Radcliffe Hospital parking

Cllr Brown: stated that she was employed at John Radcliffe Hospital but did not have a staff parking permit or the right to a staff parking permit; she made the declaration for reasons of transparency; it was not a pecuniary interest but she indicated that she would not take part in the consideration of that item.

 

79.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 294 KB

Minutes of the special and ordinary meetings of Council held on 29 November 2021.

The full minutes pack including supplements is available on the Council website.

Council is asked to approve the minutes of both the special and ordinary meetings of Council held on 29 November 2021 as a correct record.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council agreed to approve the minutes of the special and ordinary meetings held on 29 November 2021 as a true and correct record.

80.

Appointment to Committees

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

 

Minutes:

There was no discussion under this item.

81.

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 Deputy Lord Mayor advised the Council that it had been a relatively quiet period over Christmas and the New Year but he had attended a number of pre-Christmas events, including a Crisis Service in the University Church.

Cllr Corais joined the meeting.

The Sheriff announced that he had recently attended an End Sewage Pollution demonstration at Port Meadow. He said the event was well-attended but noted there were no speakers from the City Council and given the Council passed a Motion related to the subject in October 2020 he briefly spoke in his capacity as Sheriff and made clear that the Council was well represented – with at least twelve City Councillors in attendance. Cllr Clarkson added that it was good to see cross-party support for putting pressure on Thames Water to resolve the issues and hoped the support would long continue.

At the invitation of the Deputy Lord Mayor, the City Rector Rev Buckley spoke to the meeting and highlighted the Queen would be celebrating the 70th anniversary of her accession. He shared a quote from the Queen related to leadership.

 

82.

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

Public addresses and questions to the Leader or other Cabinet member received in accordance with Council Procedure Rules in the Constitution relating to matters for decision in Part 1 of this agenda.

Up to five minutes is available for each public address and up to three minutes for each question. Questions must be less than 200 words.

The request to speak accompanied by the full text of the address or question must be received by the Head of Law and Governance by 5.00 pm on Tuesday 25 January 2022.

 

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

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

Minutes:

There were no addresses or questions.

83.

Strategic Grants Review pdf icon PDF 602 KB

The Head of Community Services submitted a report to Cabinet on 15 December 2021 setting out the findings, recommendations and implementation plan following the Grants Strategic Review. 

The Cabinet decisions are set out in the minutes of that meeting (included in this agenda at item 10).

Cabinet Member Cllr Aziz will present the report and propose Cabinet’s recommendations.

Recommendation:

1.    To approve the establishment of a Community Impact Fund totalling £558,000;

2.    To approve the establishment of a commissioning fund totalling £475,000 for domestic abuse, and advice services;

3.    To approve the continued use of the £442,000 homelessness monies alongside the Government grant (paragraph 22);

4.    To agree to the savings shown in table one (at paragraph 79).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered the report from the Head of Community Services seeking approval for the recommendations and approach to implementation contained in the Communities Grants Strategic Review to ensure grants remained fit for purpose.

Cllr Abrishami and Cllr Waite joined the meeting.

Cllr Aziz, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Communities introduced the report, proposed the recommendations and answered questions. Council was advised that, following constructive conversations with Councillors and Advice Centres, the proposed £25,000 saving contained in table one of the report was under review and work was underway to identify alternative options before Budget Council to make the required savings that would not impact Advice Centres.

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

Council resolved to:

1.    Approve the establishment of a Community Impact Fund totalling £558,000.

2.    Approve the establishment of a commissioning fund totalling £475,000 for domestic abuse, and advice services.

3.    Approve the continued use of the £442,000 homelessness monies alongside the Government grant (paragraph 22 of the report).

4.    Agree to the savings shown in table one (paragraph 79 of the report).

84.

Integrated Performance Report for Q2 pdf icon PDF 266 KB

The Head of Financial Services and Head of Business Improvement submitted a report to Cabinet on 15 December 2021 to update Cabinet on Finance, Risk and Corporate Performance matters as at 30 June 2021.

The Cabinet decisions are set out in the minutes of that meeting (included in this agenda at item 10).

Cabinet Member Cllr Turner will present the report and propose Cabinet’s recommendation.

Recommendation:

Cabinet recommends that Council resolves to

1.    Agree the addition of £2 million into the Homelessness budget, which will be fully funded by grant, as per paragraphs 9 and 10

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered the report from the Head of Financial Services and Head of Business Improvement seeking approval for the addition of £2m into the Homelessness budget.

Cllr Latif joined the meeting.

Cllr Brown, Leader and Cabinet Member for Inclusive Growth, Economic Recovery and Partnerships introduced the report on Cllr Turner’s behalf, proposed the recommendations and answered questions.

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

Council resolved to:

Agree the addition of £2 million into the Homelessness budget, which would be fully funded by grant, as per paragraphs 9 and 10 of the report.

85.

Decisions taken under Part 9.3(b) of the Constitution pdf icon PDF 382 KB

The Head of Paid Service (Chief Executive) has submitted a report asking Cabinet and Council to note the decision taken by the Head of Paid Service using the urgency powers delegated in Part 9.3(b) of the Constitution.

Recommendation: that Council notes the decision taken as set out in the report.

Minutes:

Council considered a report of the Head of Paid Service (Chief Executive) asking it to note a decision taken using the urgency powers delegated in Part 9.3(b) of the Constitution. The decision related to a restructure of the Council’s joint venture with Nuffield College.

Cllr Brown, Leader and Cabinet Member for Inclusive Growth, Economic Recovery and Partnerships introduced the report and proposed the recommendations.

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

Council resolved to:

Note the decision as set out in the report.

86.

Questions on Cabinet minutes: Draft minutes of the 15 December 2021 Cabinet meeting pdf icon PDF 400 KB

This item has a time limit of 15 minutes.

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

Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday 26 January 2022 will be presented to the next ordinary meeting of Council.

 

Minutes:

There were no questions on the draft minutes of the 15 December 2021 Cabinet meeting.

87.

Questions on Notice from Members of Council pdf icon PDF 406 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 19 January 2022.

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Djafari-Marbini joined the meeting.

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

These along with summaries of the 20 supplementary questions and responses asked and given at the meeting are set out in the minutes pack.

Council agreed to consider items 13 and 14 next on the agenda before the 30min break and then return to the agenda as listed.

88.

Outside organisation/Committee Chair reports and questions

No report has been submitted for this meeting.

Two reports will be presented at the next ordinary meeting of Council:

1.    Future Oxfordshire Partnership

2.    Children’s Trust Board

As set out in the Constitution at procedure rule 11.16, Members who are Council representatives on external bodies or Chairs of Council Committees who consider that a significant decision or event has taken place, may give notice to the Head of Law and Governance by 1.00 pm on Thursday 27 January 2022 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.

Minutes:

There was no discussion under this item.

89.

Scrutiny Committee update report pdf icon PDF 167 KB

Report to follow in the briefing note.

The Chair of the Scrutiny Committee will present a report to update 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 Chapman moved the report on Cllr Wade’s behalf.

Cllr Gant highlighted that the officer recommendations on the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 due to be considered by the Scrutiny Committee on 01 February 2022 were about noting the public consultation rather than substantively engaging with it. In response to a question, Cllr Chapman confirmed that he would seek advice from the Scrutiny Officer about whether the item would come back to the Committee after that and provide a written response after the meeting.

Council noted the report.

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

Cllr Tidball left the meeting and did not return.

90.

Public addresses and questions that do not relate to matters for decision at this Council meeting pdf icon PDF 323 KB

This item will be taken at or shortly after 7.00pm

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

Up to five minutes is available for each public address and up to three minutes for each question. Questions must be less than 200 words.

 

The request to speak accompanied by the full text of the address or question must be received by the Head of Law and Governance by 5.00 pm on Tuesday 25 January 2022.

 

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council heard two addresses and one question. Cabinet Members read or summarised their written responses.

Both addresses, the question and responses are set out in full in the minutes pack.

1.        Address by Colin Aldridge – Drug Consumption Rooms

2.        Address by Chaka Artwell, Secretary of Oxford African Caribbean Conversation (OACC) – Public Safety Women

3.        Question from Chaka Artwell – Concentrated Wealth

The Deputy Lord Mayor thanked all the speakers for their contributions.

 

91.

Motions on notice 31 January 2022 pdf icon PDF 337 KB

This item has a time limit of 60 minutes.

Motions received by the Head of Law and Governance in accordance with the rules in Section 11 of the Constitution by the deadline of 1.00pm on Wednesday 19 January 2022 are listed below.

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

Substantive amendments to these motions must be sent by councillors to the Head of Law and Governance by no later than 10.00am on Friday 28 January 2022so 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)    John Radcliffe Hospital parking (proposer: Cllr Haines, seconder: Cllr Malik)

b)    Elections Bill (proposer: Cllr Djafari-Marbini)

c)    Lift the Ban for Asylum Seekers (proposer: Cllr Gant, seconder: Cllr R Smith)

d)    Opposition to the privatisation of the Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (proposer: Cllr Jarvis, seconder: Cllr Pegg)

e)    End Fire and Rehire (proposer: Cllr Mundy, seconder: Cllr Dunne)

f)     Setting up a Drug Consumption Room (proposer: Cllr Wade, seconder: Cllr Miles)

g)    EU nationals deserve to be treated with respect (proposer: Cllr Corais, seconder: Cllr Bely-Summers)

Minutes:

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

Motions agreed as set out below:

a)    John Radcliffe Hospital parking, as amended (proposer Cllr Haines, seconder Cllr Malik, amendment proposer Cllr Hollingsworth)

b)    Elections Bill, as amended by the proposer (proposer Cllr Djafari-Marbini, seconder Cllr Arshad)

c)    Lift the Ban for Asylum Seekers (proposer Cllr Gant, seconder Cllr R Smith)

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

d)    Opposition to the privatisation of the Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (proposer Cllr Jarvis, seconder Cllr Pegg)

e)    End Fire and Rehire (proposer Cllr Mundy, seconder Cllr Dunne)

f)     Setting up a Drug Consumption Room (proposer Cllr Wade, seconder Cllr Miles) [amendment, proposer Cllr L Smith, seconder Cllr Mundy]

g)    EU Nationals deserve to be treated with respect (proposer Cllr Corais, seconder Cllr Bely-Summers)

 

 

91a

Motion: John Radcliffe Hospital parking (proposed by Cllr Haines, seconded by Cllr Malik)

Independent Group member motion

Council reaffirms its decision on 7 October 2019 where it agreed:

Council resolves to continue to work with the management of Oxford University Hospitals Trust as a matter of urgency to help them to undertake a review of the approach to sustainable transport at all the Trust’s sites including the John Radcliffe hospital, including a review of the Trust’s approach to the allocation of car parking capacity so as to allow for an increased proportion of parking at the sites for the disabled, patients and visitors, and for the operational needs of critical medical staff as part of a comprehensive masterplan for all the Trust’s sites in Headington including the John Radcliffe hospital, to promote a sustainable approach to transport to those sites as part of the Local Transport Strategy 5.

Reason:

It is grossly unfair on people who are sick and the friends and family of those wanting to urgently visit people in hospital to allow the current situation to continue. A comprehensive shift to more sustainable transport approaches would:

  • Reduce the congestion on local roads, freeing up the road network to other traffic including buses and ambulances;
  • Reduce the pollution inhaled by cyclists, pedestrians and local residents from vehicles queuing with engines running;
  • Reduce lost time and missed appointments which cost the health service a fortune;
  • Make it easier for staff to access the hospital, helping to reduce staff shortages;
  • In addition the hospital trust have taken away fifteen parking spaces and they continue to build on the site;
  • Currently there are 743 parking spaces, 832 beds and the hospital serves roughly 655,000 people.

A petition: ‘To build a multi-storey car park at the John Radcliffe hospital’ circulating has now received nearly 5000 signatures on change.org, with around 1300 on paper.

I hope this motion can be carried to allow us to resolve this long standing issue for now and in to the future, and to alleviate some of the problems that the public so clearly and desperately need resolving.

 

Minutes:

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

Cllr Hollingsworth, seconded by Cllr Hayes, proposed the amendment as set out in the briefing note.

Council debated the motion and amendment. Following debate, Cllr Haines accepted the amendment put forward by Cllr Hollingsworth. On being put to the vote, the amendment was agreed.

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

 

Council resolved to adopt the following motion:

Council reaffirms its decision on 7 October 2019 where it agreed:

Council resolves to continue to work with the management of Oxford University Hospitals Trust as a matter of urgency to help them to undertake a review of the approach to sustainable transport at all the Trust’s sites including the John Radcliffe hospital, including a review of the Trust’s approach to the allocation of car parking capacity so as to allow for an increased proportion of parking at the sites for the disabled, patients and visitors, and for the operational needs of critical medical staff as part of a comprehensive master plan for all the Trust’s sites in Headington including the John Radcliffe hospital, to promote a sustainable approach to transport to those sites as part of the Local Transport Strategy 5.

Reason:

It is grossly unfair on people who are sick and the friends and family of those wanting to urgently visit people in hospital to allow the current situation to continue. A comprehensive shift to more sustainable transport approaches would:

  • Reduce the congestion on local roads, freeing up the road network to other traffic including buses and ambulances;
  • Reduce the pollution inhaled by cyclists, pedestrians and local residents from vehicles queuing with engines running;
  • Reduce lost time and missed appointments which cost the health service a fortune;
  • Make it easier for staff to access the hospital, helping to reduce staff shortages;
  • Currently there are 743 parking spaces, 832 beds and the hospital serves roughly 655,000 people.

 

While this Council notes that a petition: ‘To build a multi-storey car park at the John Radcliffe hospital’ circulating has now received nearly 5000 signatures on change.org, with around 1300 on paper, this Council believes that evidence shows that increasing car parking makes traffic congestion worse rather than improving it, and urges the Trust to explore genuinely sustainable solutions to its transport challenges, such as improving the range of direct bus links to the site and introducing shuttle buses from remote parking sites for those able to use them, rather than schemes that can only make the situation worse.

This Council urges that the Trust works with the City and County Councils to resolve this long standing issue for now and in to the future, and to alleviate some of the problems that the public so clearly and desperately need resolving.

 

91b

Elections Bill (proposer: Cllr Djafari-Marbini)

Labour Group member motion

Oxford City Council recognises the fundamental principles of a healthy democracy are rooted in ensuring elections are fair and accessible for all voters.

Oxford City Council notes with concern that the Elections Bill is set to bring in major changes to national elections, including the introduction of compulsory photographic ID to vote. Currently 3.5 million people in the UK do not have any form of expensive photographic ID.

Council notes that the number of people convicted of voter fraud in 2017 was 1, while the number of mostly working class people struggling and living in poverty that are expected to be disenfranchised by the introduction of voter ID is 2 million.

Council notes that it is estimated that these changes will cost the taxpayer £180 million and will create unnecessary bureaucracy to Councils and people wishing to vote.

Council believes that at a time when voter turnout is declining, we should be doing all we can to make it easier not harder for people to vote.

Council recognises that voter fraud is a problem that does not exist, and this government’s attempts to raise the threshold to vote under the guise of combatting crime is taken straight out of the Trump playbook. They will provide significant barriers for people participating in our democracy and disproportionately disenfranchise the poorest and most marginalised.

In conjunction with the Immigration and Borders Bill, the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, and the Judicial Review Bill, the changes in the Elections Bill are taking the UK down a worryingly authoritarian path. Together, they aim to silence dissent and further disenfranchise the most marginalised, vulnerable and voiceless in society – in particular those from poorer communities, asylum seekers and those from minoritized communities.

These rights are not only the bedrocks of democracy but are the same rights which the Suffragettes and the Chartists used to win us our rights.

These draconian bills have been introduced at a worrying pace and during the unprecedented conditions of the pandemic. This has provided this government with the opportunity to avoid scrutiny and opposition as they water down our rights to hold the government and public institutions accountable, cut off public access to information, deprive people of citizenship without notice, and criminalise those fleeing persecution for seeking sanctuary.

Oxford City Council doesn’t want to see people being turned away at the ballot box because of these changes and resolves to support the #HandsOffOurVote campaign by:

1.    Requesting that the Leader writes to Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

2.    Requesting that the Leader writes to Anneliese Dodds MP and Layla Moran MP asking them to raise these concerns in Parliament.

 

Minutes:

Cllr Djafari Marbini, seconded by Cllr Arshad, accepted her own amendment and proposed her revised motion with the amendment as set out in the briefing note.

Cllr Wade joined the meeting.

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

 

Council resolved to adopt the following motion:

This Council notes that current bills going through Parliament are taking the UK down a worryingly authoritarian path which would have the effect of silencing dissent, rolling back access to justice, and further disenfranchising the most vulnerable in society; those from poorer communities, asylum seekers, and those from minoritised communities. These bills include the Election Bill, the Policing Bill, the Nationality and Borders Bill, and the Judicial Review and Courts Bill.

This raft of oppressive legislation has been introduced at pace during an unprecedented pandemic and, if passed, would severely reduce our rights to hold the government and public institutions accountable, cut off public access to information, make it harder to challenge injustice in court, and create dangerous new powers to deprive people of citizenship without notice and criminalise those seeking sanctuary.

The Election Bill uses the pretext of voter fraud (despite a near total absence of evidence) to further silence those who suffer most, whilst the Policing Bill criminalises GRT communities, threatens the freedoms of assembly, association and expression, and shuts down routes for us all to hold the government to account (routes that the Chartists and the Suffragettes used to win us our right to universal suffrage, which was fiercely opposed by the Establishment for many decades). 

These hard-won rights and freedoms form the bedrock of our democracy and must be defended. 

In particular, Oxford City Council recognises the supreme importance of ensuring that elections are fair and accessible for all voters.

The Council notes with concern that the Elections Bill is set to bring in major changes to national elections, including the introduction of compulsory and expensive photographic ID. It is estimated that these changes will cost the taxpayer £180 million and will create unnecessary bureaucracy for Councils and people wishing to vote.

Oxford City Council believes that this change will function as a barrier to people voting and increase inequality in the electoral process. There are currently an estimated 3.5 million people in the UK who do not have any form of photographic ID. This includes at least two million people struggling in poverty. By contrast, out of 32 million votes cast in the last general election, there was just one person convicted of voter impersonation. 

This Council believes that, at a time when voter turnout is declining, we should be doing all we can to make it easier not harder for people to vote.

Oxford City Council doesn’t want to see people being turned away at the ballot box because of these changes and resolves to support the #HandsOffOurVotecampaign by:

1.    Requesting that the Leader writes to Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

2.    Requesting  ...  view the full minutes text for item 91b

91c

Lift the Ban for Asylum Seekers (proposer: Cllr Gant, seconder: Cllr R Smith)

Liberal Democrat Group member motion

Oxford City is rightly proud to welcome asylum seekers but currently those seeking asylum in the UK can only apply for the right to work only if they have been waiting for over a year – and even then only in a limited number of professions.

Allowing Asylum Seekers the right to work much sooner in their application process would generate over £100 million a year for the UK economy and allow Asylum Seekers to support themselves far more effectively than they currently can on £5.66 a day allowance.

Polling has shown that 71% of people are in favour of allowing Asylum Seekers the right to work.

This Council:

(a) notes that:

(i)  since 2002, people seeking asylum are only able to apply for the right to work after they have been waiting for a decision on their asylum claim for over a year, and only if they can be employed into one of the narrow, highly-skilled professions included on the Government’s Shortage Occupation List;

(ii) people seeking asylum are left to live on £5.66 per day, struggling to support themselves and their families, and left vulnerable to destitution, isolation, and exploitation;

(iii) the potential foregone economic gain for the UK economy of allowing people to work is estimated to be £108.8 million a year via increased taxable income and reduced payments of accommodation/subsistence support;

(iv) 71% of people polled agreed with the statement: “when people come to the UK seeking asylum it is important they integrate, learn English and get to know people. It would help integration if asylum-seekers were allowed to work if their claim takes more than six months to process”;

(b) believes that:

(i) people seeking asylum want to be able to work so that they can use their skills and make the most of their potential, integrate into their communities, and provide for themselves and their families;

(ii) restrictions on right to work can lead to extremely poor mental health outcomes, and a waste of potentially invaluable talents and skills both for the economy of and the UK;

(iii) allowing people seeking asylum the right to work would therefore lead to positive outcomes for those seeking asylum in and for the local and national economy;

(c) resolves to:

(i) join the Lift the Ban Coalition, which is campaigning to restore the right to work for everyone waiting for more than 6 months for a decision on their asylum claim.

(ii) Call on the UK Government to give people seeking asylum the right to work unconstrained by the shortage occupation list after they have waited six months for a decision on their initial asylum claim or further submission.

(iii) Request the Leader writes to the Minister of Immigration with the Council's resolution.

Background:

Lift the Ban – Refugee Action (refugee-action.org.uk)

 


Minutes:

Cllr Gant, seconded by Cllr R Smith, proposed the submitted motion as set out in the agenda and briefing note.

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

 

Council resolved to adopt the following motion:

Oxford City is rightly proud to welcome asylum seekers but currently those seeking asylum in the UK can only apply for the right to work only if they have been waiting for over a year – and even then only in a limited number of professions.

Allowing Asylum Seekers the right to work much sooner in their application process would generate over £100 million a year for the UK economy and allow Asylum Seekers to support themselves far more effectively than they currently can on £5.66 a day allowance.

Polling has shown that 71% of people are in favour of allowing Asylum Seekers the right to work.

This Council:

(a) notes that:

(i)  since 2002, people seeking asylum are only able to apply for the right to work after they have been waiting for a decision on their asylum claim for over a year, and only if they can be employed into one of the narrow, highly-skilled professions included on the Government’s Shortage Occupation List;

(ii) people seeking asylum are left to live on £5.66 per day, struggling to support themselves and their families, and left vulnerable to destitution, isolation, and exploitation;

(iii) the potential foregone economic gain for the UK economy of allowing people to work is estimated to be £108.8 million a year via increased taxable income and reduced payments of accommodation/subsistence support;

(iv) 71% of people polled agreed with the statement: “when people come to the UK seeking asylum it is important they integrate, learn English and get to know people. It would help integration if asylum-seekers were allowed to work if their claim takes more than six months to process”;

(b) believes that:

(i) people seeking asylum want to be able to work so that they can use their skills and make the most of their potential, integrate into their communities, and provide for themselves and their families;

(ii) restrictions on right to work can lead to extremely poor mental health outcomes, and a waste of potentially invaluable talents and skills both for the economy of and the UK;

(iii) allowing people seeking asylum the right to work would therefore lead to positive outcomes for those seeking asylum in and for the local and national economy;

(c) resolves to:

(i) Join the Lift the Ban Coalition, which is campaigning to restore the right to work for everyone waiting for more than 6 months for a decision on their asylum claim.

(ii) Call on the UK Government to give people seeking asylum the right to work unconstrained by the shortage occupation list after they have waited six months for a decision on their initial asylum claim or further submission.

(iii) Request the Leader writes to the Minister of Immigration with the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 91c

91d

Opposition to the privatisation of the Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (proposer: Cllr Jarvis, seconder: Cllr Pegg)

Green Group member motion

 

Council notes:

  • The Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC), based at the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire was established in 2018 as an institution that would develop vaccines and prepare for future pandemics. 
  • The VMIC was established by a consortium of universities - the University of Oxford, Imperial College and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. It now operates as a non-profit company in which the founding universities are shareholders.
  • The VMIC is set to become operational in 2022, and would be the UK’s first strategy vaccine development and advanced manufacturing facility. 
  • Reports from the Financial Times, Observer and Independent among others have indicated that government officials are currently reviewing bids from the private sector to manage the centre - including multinational biotechnology firms and healthcare manufacturers. 
  • Civil society groups including Keep Our NHS Public Oxfordshire and We Own It have publicly opposed any move to place the VMIC in the hands of the private sector.

 

Council believes:

  • Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, private involvement in the health sector has been hugely damaging, with companies prioritising profit above public health. 
  • Allowing the VMIC to pass into the hands of profit-driven private companies will reduce the efficacy of the centre, inhibit its ability to deliver proper preparedness for future pandemics and reduce the innovation in vaccine manufacturing the centre was designed to achieve.

 

Council resolves

  • To oppose the privatisation of the VMIC.
  • To request the Leader write to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy expressing the Council’s view that the VMIC should not be privatised.
  • To request the Leader write to the three founding universities expressing the Council’s view that the VMIC should not be privatised.

 


Minutes:

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

91e

End Fire and Rehire (proposer Cllr Mundy, seconder Cllr Dunne)

Labour Group member motion

This Council notes that:

The practice of Fire and Rehire, or dismissal and reengagement, has come to public attention in recent years. This involves an employer dismissing staff and reoffering their roles under inferior conditions, usually to effectively change the contract of employment. The currently legal practice has been increasingly threatened by employers. The prevalence and impact of Fire and Rehire has been researched by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas).[1] Though not new, there is suggestion that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred an increase in its use. Others have told Acas that the pandemic is being used “opportunistically as a smokescreen to diminish workers’ terms and conditions”. This has impacted a range of employees, many of whom have been key workers such as factory, utilities, and retail workers. These people have kept working and kept our country going during the pandemic and lockdowns.

According to TUC research[2] nearly 1 in 10 workers have been told to re-apply for their jobs on worse terms and conditions or face the sack. Working-class people (12%) are nearly twice as likely than those from higher socio-economic groups (7%) to face Fire and Rehire. For black and ethnic minority workers (15%) the rate is nearly twice the rate of white workers (8%).

Here, and across the country, Fire and Rehire is increasing the precariousness of work and financially and mentally compromising people who work hard to put food on the table and pay their bills. It is shackling our trade unions and making it impossible for them to fight for a fair deal for their members.

According to the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), our city’s own newspapers The Oxford Mail and The Oxford Times threated to Fire and Rehire NUJ members over bank holiday pay. In August the NUJ agreed a deal to end the dispute, but they could not get Fire and Rehire taken off the table in negotiations with the newspapers’ owners Newsquest Media Group.[3]

In Oxfordshire, workers at the Jacob Douwe Egberts coffee factory in Banbury were threatened with Fire and Rehire earlier this year. The profitable factory succeeded in settling an agreement with Unite the Union in August.[4]

Council resolves:

·         To publicly oppose any future use or threat of Fire and Rehire by employers in our City.

·         For the review of future contracts, contract renewals and procurement to seek to include a commitment for employers to not use or threaten Fire and Rehire, as part of their social clause.

·         For our City Council Leader to add the voice of the Council to that of our MPs Anneliese Dodds and Layla Moran in supporting national legislation to ban Fire and Rehire.

·         For our City Council Leader to write to the Business Secretary on behalf of Council, urging him to reverse the current government position, support a ban of fire and rehire, and back the workers of our country.

 



[1] https://www.acas.org.uk/fire-and-rehire-report/html

[2] “Fire and rehire” tactics have become widespread  ...  view the full agenda text for item 91e

Minutes:

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

91f

Setting up a Drug Consumption Room (proposer: Cllr Wade, seconder: Cllr Miles)

Liberal Democrat Group member motion

One in five Local Authorities in England have cut budgets for addiction services and for support for drug users by more than half since 2015/16 and, with drug-related deaths at a record high, this Council believes that there needs to be greater commitment to setting up drug consumption rooms (DCRs).

These are units where drug users can take street drugs in a safe and clean environment, where antidotes are available for overdoses, and where users ready to move away from their drug habit can find support. The street homeless population is particularly vulnerable so this Council seeks to give them the protection of a DCR.

Drugs policy is currently the province of the Home Office, which since June 2018 has been resisting calls from the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council for leave to open the first heroin assisted-treatment facility in the city, which would allow addicts to use drugs in a regulated environment.

In 2006 the Joseph Rowntree Independent Working Group on DCRs concluded that ‘well-designed and well-implemented DCRs would have an impact on some of the serious drug-related problems experienced in the UK’ and proposed the setting up of pilot DCRs. Its recommendations have not been taken forward.

 

·         This Council regrets the 2020 Home Office statement that it would not be decriminalising drug use.

·         This Council proposes a public health evidence-based approach to drug use. Reliance on the criminal justice system has been at best ineffective, and at worst has driven drug dealers and users underground.

·         Oxford City Council calls on the UK Government:

1.    To seek an explicit statement from the Home Office that the operation of DCRs is a matter for Local Authorities; specific rules can then be agreed by Police Forces, the CPS, Health Bodies and Local Authorities

2.    To make a ministerial commitment through the Home Secretary to protect the budgets of alcohol and drug partnerships

3.    To fund drug-testing services to be deployed at localities where there is a need, allowing ‘at risk’ users to find out what is in a substance and to offer advice on harm reduction.

4.    To allow the setting up of a pilot drug consumption room in Oxford City under an exemption from the 1971 UK Misuse of Drugs Act.

Oxford City Council asks the Leader of the Council to write to the Home Office and to Oxford’s MPs to inform them of this Resolution and urge them to take appropriate action.

References:

1.Independent Working Group on DCRs (Joseph Rowntree Foundation 2006) https://www.jrf.org.uk/sites/default/files/jrf/migrated/files/9781859354711.pdf

2.Volteface: Are DCRs viable in the UK? (28.11.17)

https://volteface.me/drug-consumption-rooms-viable-uk/

3.Room for Improvement: How Drug Consumption Rooms save lives (01.04.19)  https://www.adamsmith.org/research/room-for-improvement-how-drug-consumption-rooms-save-lives

4.HIV Scotland ‘Charity backs plans for unofficial DCRs’ (07.03.20)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-51782882

5. British Medical Journal (5.08.21)

Scotland intends to set up safe spaces for drug users in defiance of UK Govt.

https://www.bmj.com/content/374/bmj.n1957

6. Safer drug consumption facilities: Glasgow Health & Social Care Partnership

https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=38604&p=0

7. Mobilizing DCRs

http://www.sfu.ca/~emccann/HealthPlace%20DCRs.pdf

8.A critical analysis of UK news media representations of proposals (Liverpool John Moores  ...  view the full agenda text for item 91f

Minutes:

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

91g

EU Nationals deserves to be treated with respect (proposer: Cllr Corais, seconder: Cllr Bely-Summers)

Labour Group member motion

Council notes:

·         That following the UK’s departure from the EU there are significant new entry restrictions for EU nationals seeking to come to the UK;

·         That at the 2011 census, over 12,000 Oxford residents were born in an EU member state apart from Ireland and the UK;

 

Council believes:

·         That nationals from EU member states are, along with many other migrant communities, an important part of Oxford’s diverse and vibrant society;

·         That EU nationals, their families, friends and visitors deserve to be treated with respect;

·         That in law, EU nationals have the right to receive visitors, yet there is disturbing evidence of hostile treatment of such visitors at the UK border, and that this is causing great distress to those affected, and uncertainty amongst people in Oxford more widely;

·         That this is further evidence of the government’s discredited “hostile environment” policy being continued.

 

Council resolves:

·         To ask the Council Leader to write to the Home Secretary urging a much more sensitive approach to those visiting the UK from EU countries at the UK border, and protesting at the poor treatment visitors have received since the start of 2021;

·         To request this letter is shared with representative organisations in Oxford, relevant embassies, and through the Council’s social media channels.

 

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/speech-by-home-secretary-on-second-reading-of-immigration-bill

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/theresa-may-interview-going-give-illegal-migrants-really-hostile/

 

Minutes:

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