Agenda and draft minutes
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Venue: Long Room - Oxford Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Lucy Tyrrell, Committee and Member Services Officer email DemocraticServices@oxford.gov.uk
Declarations of interest
There were no declaration of interests.
Cllr Diggins reminded Members to respond to the request for confirmation of attendance at the site visit to The Covered Market on 22 September 2022.
Minutes from 2 August 2022
Recommendation: That the minutes of the meeting held on 2 August 2022 be APPROVED as a true and accurate record.
The Committee resolved to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 2 August 2022 as a true and accurate record.
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 noted the Forward Plan.
The Committee reviewed the Work Plan and confirmed its agreement to consider the following reports at future meetings:
· October Cabinet reports
o Procurement Strategy 2022-2025
o West End Osney Mead SPD
· November Cabinet reports
o Grant Allocations to Community & Voluntary Organisations 2023/24
· December Cabinet reports
o Thriving Communities Strategy
o Workplace Equalities and Action Plan
o Authority Monitoring Report and Infrastructure Funding Statement 2022/23
The Cabinet will, at its meeting on 14 September 2022, consider a report on the Oxford Local Plan 2040 Preferred Options Regulation 18 Consultation Document. Cllr Alex Hollingsworth, Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Delivery, Amanda Ford, Team Leader Planning Policy, Sarah Harrison, Senior Planner, and Rachel Williams, Principal Planner, have been invited to present the report and answer questions.
The Committee is asked to consider the report and agree any recommendations it wishes to make to Cabinet.
Cllr Alex Hollingsworth, Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Delivery introduced the report which sought Cabinet approval for the Oxford Local Plan 2040 Preferred Options Document for consultation.
Cllr Hollingsworth provided an overview of what is incorporated within a local plan and outlined Regulation 18 for information. Cllr Diggins requested that the Committee, in framing discussions, focus on the following areas from the report:
· Consultation and engagement methodology and plan
· Development sites and areas of focus
· Net zero decarbonisation, biodiversity and climate change
Cllr Corais joined the meeting.
During discussions, the Committee noted the following:
· The policies contained within the Local Plan will form the shape of future development in Oxford, and seek to protect historic buildings, whilst balanced against local housing needs.
· The Local Plan was the most ambitious with regards to zero carbon policies and social housing compared to those produced nationally whilst ensuring that it remained deliverable within legislation.
· Residents would be notified of the consultation via leaflet drop, however social media would be employed to ensure maximum exposure, and contact sought with community groups, including face to face engagement across the City. It was noted that consideration should be given on ensuring engagement with residents for whom English is a second or other language, including the use of drop-in sessions.
· Engagement of the consultation should be extended to vocational groups, e.g. trade unions, to enable those who do not live in the City to respond to the consultation. Organisations that represent those with specific housing needs, such as Crisis, should also be considered.
· Further explanation of the document and consultation could be delivered via use of podcasts and this would be explored.
· Consideration would be given to how the reader could best engage with the consultation documents and see how it interacts with the current Local Plan and other policies, including a key to the document to ensure that navigation and integration are more accessible.
· Due to the confines of site allocations, sites are determined on their own merits, and greater explanation should be included.
· The new strategic policies contained within the document aimed to provide greater flexibility within the planning system in future planning decisions.
· Car parking provision for new housing developments would continue to be determined via a criteria based approach.
· The Local Plan could set general parameters on what the Council considered constitutes a good neighbourhood, additional detail could then be included on specific sites, ensuring that principles and intentions are evident.
· An explanation was provided on the differences between ‘areas of focus’ and ‘site allocation policies’, and noted that this would be useful for inclusion within the document.
· The Local Plan 2040 once adopted, will supersede the previous Plans, and all allocated sites in the 2036 Local Plan will be reviewed to determine if they are to remain as allocated sites within the Plan.
· The Local Development Scheme available on the Council’s website, provided detail of the timetable for development for the new Local Plan, however highlighted that further consultation of the ... view the full minutes text for item 34.
Matters exempt from publication and exclusion of the public
If the Committee wishes to exclude the press and the public from the meeting during consideration of any aspects of the preceding or following agenda items it will be necessary for the Committee to pass a resolution in accordance with the provisions of Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 specifying the grounds on which their presence could involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as described in specific paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act if and so long, as in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
The Scrutiny Committee passed a resolution in accordance with the provisions of Paragraph 4(2)(b) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 to exclude the press and members of the public on the grounds that Oxford City Council, Town Hall, St Aldate’s Oxford OX1 1BX their presence could involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as described in specific paragraphs of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.
Lease of Council Office Accommodation at St Aldate's Chambers
The Cabinet will, at its meeting on 14
September 2022, consider a report on the Lease of Council Office
Accommodation at SAC. Cllr Ed Turner,
Cabinet Member for Finance and Asset Management, Cllr Nigel
Chapman, Cabinet Member for Citizen Focused Services, and Jane
Winfield, Head of Corporate Property, have been invited to present
the report and answer questions. The
Committee is asked to consider the report and agree any
recommendations it wishes to make to Cabinet.
Cllr Nigel Chapman, Cabinet Member for Citizen Focused Services, introduced the report which sought Cabinet approval for lease of Council accommodation at St Aldate’s Chambers.
The Committee discussed the report in private session and made recommendations to Cabinet.
At its meeting on 10 August 2022, the Cabinet considered the following report from the Scrutiny Committee and made responses to the recommendations:
· Asset Management Strategy 2021-2031
Since the Scrutiny Committee’s previous meeting, the following Panels have met:
· Finance and Performance Panel (05 September 2022)
The Committee is asked to:
1. Note the Cabinet’s responses to its recommendations;
2. Note any updates from Panel Chairs.
The Committee noted the following Cabinet responses to its recommendations:
· Asset Management Strategy 2021-2031
The Scrutiny Officer advised the Committee that the Finance and Performance Panel met on 5 September 2022 where it considered the Integrated Performance Report for Q1, Treasury Management Annual Report for 2021/2022 and the Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2022/2023. No recommendations were made and the Committee noted that the Panel had met.
Dates of future meetings
· 27 September 2022 (extraordinary meeting)
· 11 October 2022
· 07 November 2022
· 05 December 2022
· 16 January 2023
· 01 February 2023
· 06 March 2023
· 04 April 2023
Housing & Homelessness: 13 October 2022 (via Zoom); 03 November 2022; 02 March 2023; 24 April 2023
Finance & Performance: 07 December 2022; 23 January 2023; 28 March 2023
Companies Scrutiny Panel will meet on the same dates as SJVG: 19 September 2022 (special meeting); 02 November 2022; 08 December 2022; 01 March 2023; 27 April 2023
All meetings start at 6.00 pm.
The dates of future meetings were noted.