Agenda and draft minutes
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Venue: Zoom - Remote meeting. View directions
Contact: Alice Courtney, Committee and Member Services Officer email DemocraticServices@oxford.gov.uk
Note: This meeting will be live streamed on the Council's YouTube channel
Declarations of interest
Cllr Linda Smith declared an interest in relation to the Procurement Update item on the agenda. She advised that she was a Trustee of RAW Workshop in Blackbird Leys, a social enterprise which frequently responded to tenders from Oxford City Council.
The Committee agreed to take agenda item 6, Climate Emergency Review Group Updates immediately after agenda item 3, Chair’s Announcements and then return to the items as listed.
· Referenced the procedure note about virtual meetings, which the Committee received before the meeting.
· Highlighted that the meeting was an informal remote meeting of the Scrutiny Committee and was not being held as a committee meeting under the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972.
· Welcomed Alice Courtney, Committee and Member Services Officer, who was clerking the meeting.
Following a request from the Scrutiny Officer, the Committee agreed to allow substitutes to attend the Child Poverty Review Group.
Scrutiny Committee has requested an update paper on the Council’s progress relating to actions arising from the Climate Emergency Review Group. Cllr Tom Hayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Zero Carbon Oxford and Green Transport, Mish Tullar, Head of Corporate Strategy and Rose Dickinson, Carbon Reduction Team Manager have been invited to present a report.
The Committee is asked to consider the report and agree any recommendations it wishes to make to Cabinet arising from it.
Cllr Tom Hayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford introduced the report and highlighted that the Zero Carbon Action Plan was a coproduced document which included the accepted recommendations of the Climate Emergency Review Group.
Mish Tullar, Head of Corporate Strategy added that the Action Plan was published in March 2021 and was a living document mostly comprised of a RAG rating tracker. The Committee was informed of the intention for the Action Plan to be updated and submitted to Cabinet for consideration later in 2022.
Cllr Dr Hosnieh Djafari-Marbini and Cllr Tiago Corais joined the meeting.
The Committee raised a number of points in relation to the Action Plan, including around:
Minutes from 08 December 2021
Recommendation: That the minutes of the meeting held on 08 December 2021 be APPROVED as a true and accurate record.
The following amendment was requested to minute 71:
“Projections of the age profile of the City’s residents were taken account of in preparing the future housing requirements in the Local Plan.”
The Committee resolved to APPROVE the minutes of the meeting held on 08 December 2021 as a true and accurate record, subject to the above change.
The work plan is driven to a very large extent by the Cabinet Forward Plan a summary of which is attached. The Scrutiny Committee agrees its priorities for items coming onto the Forward Plan, which then form part of its work plan.
The Committee is recommended to:
1. Confirm its agreement to the current priorities and the work plan both of which are attached.
The Committee reviewed the Work Plan and confirmed the following changes:
· Oxfordshire Plan 2050 – delayed for an unspecified period of time
· Safeguarding Update – deferred to April
· Business Plan – brought forward to March
The Chair highlighted concerns around the Oxfordshire 2050 and not having the opportunity to make recommendations at the Regulation 18 stage previously. The Committee wanted to ensure it had the opportunity to make recommendations at the Regulation 19 stage and asked the Scrutiny Officer to monitor when the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 came forward to the other District Scrutiny Committees to ensure it could be dovetailed. It was also noted that no feedback had been received from the points raised with Cllr Hollingsworth and Adrian Arnold and the Committee agreed to ask the question when the two were next in attendance.
The Scrutiny Committee has requested an update on the Council’s procurement process. Attached is the current Procurement Policy, with a list of planned amendments to go into the new policy. Annette Osborne, Procurement Manager, will be available to introduce those planned amendments, but would value the input of the Committee in identifying other ideas for inclusion also. She is also available to answer questions concerning the Council’s procurement.
The Committee is asked to consider the update and AGREE any other amendments for inclusion, to be made via recommendations to Cabinet.
Annette Osborne, Procurement Manager introduced the report and explained that the Procurement Strategy had been sent out to the majority of Service Areas within the Council for their input and this was an opportunity for the Committee to recommend any considerations that it wished to be taken into account during the update process. She highlighted that a number of amendments were proposed to bring the strategy up to date, including around:
The Committee raised a number of points, including around:
At its meeting on 15 December the Cabinet considered the following reports from Scrutiny and made responses to the recommendations therein:
· Workplace Equalities
· Strategic Grants
· Asset Management Strategy
· Air Quality Action Plan
· Housing and Carbon Reduction
· Tourism Review Group Progress Update
Since Scrutiny’s previous meeting, the following Panels have met:
· Housing and Homelessness Panel (Cllr Linda Smith)
· Companies Scrutiny Panel (Cllr Nigel Chapman)
The Committee is asked:
1. To note Cabinet’s responses to its recommendations.
2. To note the updates from Panel Chairs.
The Committee noted the following Cabinet responses to its recommendations presented by the Scrutiny Officer:
· Workplace Equalities – all recommendations agreed.
· Strategic Grants – recommendations not agreed.
· Asset Management Strategy – all recommendations agreed.
· Air Quality – most of the work contained in the recommendations was already underway.
· Housing and Carbon Reduction – all recommendations agreed.
· Tourism Review Update – three recommendations agreed, one partially agreed as Cabinet had reviewed the Oxford Economic Strategy and City Centre Action Plan in light of the Tourism Review Group recommendations rather than reviewing its responses to the recommendations in light of the Strategy and Action Plan.
Cllr Linda Smith left the meeting and did not return.
The Committee noted the following update from Cllr Nigel Chapman, Chair of the Companies Scrutiny Panel:
· The Recommendation about the Corporate Dashboard and sustainability was accepted.
· There was already a review underway in relation to the recommendation about Redbridge Park and Ride.
The Committee noted the following update from the Scrutiny Officer on the items considered at the recent Housing and Homelessness Panel:
· Housing Performance (Quarter 2) – general overview.
· Tenant engagement, including the Tenant Satisfaction Survey and Council response.
Dates of future meetings
· 01 February
· 07 March
· 05 April
Housing & Homelessness: 02 February, 04 April
Finance & Performance: 24 January, 09 March
Companies: 24 March
All meetings start at 6.00 pm.
The dates of future meetings were noted:
· 01 February 2022
· 07 March 2022
· 05 April 2022
The Scrutiny Officer confirmed that the April meeting would go ahead despite it falling in the pre-election period (purdah).