Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

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Items
No. Item

45.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

Councillor Howlett declared a non-pecuniary interest in relation to item 6 on the agenda (the Oxford Waterways project) as the owner of a boat in the City on which he lived.

 

46.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 401 KB

 

Recommendation: That the minutes of the meeting held on 06 October 2020 be APPROVED as a true and accurate record.

 

Minutes:

The Committee resolved to APPROVE the minutes of the meeting held on 03 November 2020 as a true and accurate record.

47.

Work Plan and Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 381 KB

The Scrutiny Committee operates within a work plan which is agreed at the start of the Council year the latest version of which is attached.  The work plan is driven to a very large extent by the Cabinet Forward Plan.  A summary of the latest version of the Forward Plan is attached.

 

The Committee is asked to agree the work plan having taken account of any updates and after discussion.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The workplan remained as set out in the paper before the Committee. The Committee noted that  the response to the Climate Emergency Review Group’s recommendations will be coming to the next meeting of the Committee and identified as a separate item for that agenda.

 

The Committee agreed to request that the recently cancelled Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) Member briefing be rescheduled.

 

48.

The Oxford Waterways Project pdf icon PDF 269 KB

The Committee received a report on the Oxford Waterways Project at its meeting in on 05 November 2019. This item will provide the Committee with an update on progress. The Committee is asked to consider the report and agree any recommendations thereon.

Councillor Louise Upton, Cabinet Member for a Safer Healthy Oxford and Tim Wiseman, Oxford Waterways Coordinator, have been invited to attend for this item.    

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report it had commissioned from the Transition Director on the Oxford Waterways Project.

 

The Chair welcomed Ian Green to the meeting. Mr Green addressed the meeting in his capacity as Chair of the Oxford Civic Society (OCS) and incoming Chair of the Oxford City Canal Partnership (OCCP).

 

From the OCS perspective the 2019 ‘Oxford Waterways – A Shared Vision’ was the result of the Council putting dedicated specialist resources in place.  This had set out a framework of key themes and identified where improvements could be made with partnership support The report before the Committee demonstrated  many examples of small improvement activities undertaken in the past two years, with the support of the Project Coordinator, which had  helped to  deliver against these themes. 

 

Significant challenges, however, remained. Was the Environment Agency (EA), for example, adequately engaged in addressing the visionary themes?  The Canal and River Trust (CRT) had   shown itself to be a more willing partner, and Oxford was identified as a priority within its regional plan but its resources were limited. 

Oxford waterways needed a leader, champion, or  driver”  and could the  Council  provide senior-level leadership to ensure the agreement of priorities, including the contributions of the EA and CRT?

The waterways were part of the City’s strategic infrastructure and needed investment.  It was recognised that capital investment and recurring costs would be under great pressure but some areas which would benefit from a focus would not cost much and could even be cost recoverable.

OCS was concerned about a number of matters. Was sufficient attention being paid to the significant waterways development opportunities emerging in the City such as the ‘Island site’ (Hythe Bridge Street / Park End Street), Osney Mead and the Osney Industrial Estate redevelopments. How can the issue of unregistered land and unmanaged space at Folly Bridge be resolved positively?   How can we work with the EA and local residents in the Osney area to maximise on the huge popularity of the visitor moorings there? Does the ‘Thriving Communities’ strategy adequately recognise the boat-dwelling communities in the city and respond to their needs? Does the Council’s Housing & Homelessness Strategy present an opportunity to look again at the possibility of regarding boats used as homes? Should there be a more structured mooring system in the city that balances visitor moorings against the needs of those who live aboard?

 

Finally, from the OCS perspective, the heritage and history of Oxford’s waterways should be better reflected. This was where the Council could lead while working with local communities, the CRT and others.

From the OCCP perspective, it was clear that there were still tensions between the boat-dwelling community in the city and the authority despite the improvements as a result of the work of the Project Coordinator. 

It was important to ensure that waterways were adequately included in policy discussions across the board, this could, perhaps, be best achieved by the development of a new forum.

The Chair thanked Mr  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.

49.

Street Naming and Numbering Policy pdf icon PDF 154 KB

Cabinet, at its meeting on 11 November, will consider a report on the revised Street Naming and Numbering Policy. The Committee is asked to consider the report and agree any recommendations thereon.

Councillor Nigel Chapman, Cabinet Member for Customer Focused Services and Emma Griffiths, Lawyer, have been invited to attend for this item.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the Cabinet report on Street Naming and Numbering Policy.

 

Councillor Nigel Chapman, Cabinet Member for Customer Focused Services,  introduced the report. The Council had a legal responsibility to determine the policy for deciding on street names and numbers and there was a requirement for this to be reviewed every three years. The opportunity to review and clarify the policy  was timely and  welcome.

 

At the heart of the policy was recognition that local people should have a say in decisions balanced against the understanding that final decisions rest with the Council. The policy listed those people who should be consulted as a matter of course but the list was not exclusive and could be expanded if thought desirable. The basic rules behind the choice of names were commonsensical, such as the need to avoid duplication, unambiguous spelling etc. There was a principle that streets should not, normally, be named after someone until a period of 5 years after their passing had elapsed.  This gave time for a considered perspective on their life but this was a guiding principle and not an absolute requirement.

 

The renaming of streets, although a less frequent occurrence, was something which remained topical in the case of names of historical/public figures whose position in society might be reappraised. Renaming decisions would be firmly based on the views of local residents which have the “active support of a substantial proportion of those residents living in the street at the time of the consultation.”

 

In the case of subdivided properties the policy required a numerical distinction. This would be the position going forward and could not be applied retrospectively to the many historic examples of alphabetical or other forms of distinction.

 

It was confirmed that all future communications with consultees about street naming would make it clear that final decisions rest with the Council and, ultimately, the Cabinet.

 

While developers could propose names for new streets, they did not have an exclusive right and other interested parties could do so too.

 

The Committee  was pleased to note the report and had no recommendations to make on it to Cabinet.

 

50.

Domestic Abuse Review Group pdf icon PDF 297 KB

The Committee is asked to confirm its agreement to the proposed scope of the Domestic Review Group.

Minutes:

The proposed scope of the Domestic Abuse Review Group before the Committee focused on those matters in relation to which the Council had some control or influence. The position of the abuse of older people was raised as something not explicitly within the proposed scope. Councillor Aziz, as Chair of Group, said that while the abuse of older people in care settings was without doubt a serious issue, it did not come under the umbrella of domestic abuse which was, strictly speaking, abuse perpetrated by an intimate partner. It was agreed however that the scope could be expanded to include reference to consider the position of older women living in Council accommodation in particular.

 

Cllr Aziz confirmed that the focus of the Review Group’s work would reflect the demographic profile of victims of domestic abuse, with women being the primary focus but not excluding minoritised groups, including men.

 

It was noted that pastors/priests may occasionally be in receipt of information about domestic abuse which could be fed into the work of the group.

 

It was clarified that Cllr Altaf-Khan would be a member of the Review Group and not Cllr Landell Mills as given in the paper before the Committee. It was agreed that Cllr Djafari-Marbini could attend the 4th meeting of the Review Group.  

 

51.

Report back from Panel representatives

Since the last meeting of the Committee, the Housing & Homelessness Panel has met.  Councillor Aziz will provide a  verbal update.

 

Minutes:

Cllr Aziz’s feedback from the Housing & Homelessness Panel meeting on 8 October 2020 was cut short because of the loss of her internet connection. It was agreed that she should circulate an update to members of the committee after the meeting.

 

 

52.

Dates of future meetings

Meetings are scheduled as followed:

 

Scrutiny Committee

·       01 December,12 January, 02 February, 02 March, 08 April

 

Standing Panels

·       Housing & Homelessness: 05 November

·       Finance & Performance: 03 December

·       Companies Scrutiny:  14 December

 

All meetings start at 6.00 pm.

 

 

Minutes:

Meetings are scheduled as followed:

 

Scrutiny Committee

·       01 December,12 January, 02 February, 02 March, 08 April

 

Standing Panels

·       Housing & Homelessness: 05 November

·       Finance & Performance: 03 December

·       Companies Scrutiny:  14 December

 

All meetings start at 6.00 pm.