Agenda and minutes
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Contact: Lucy Brown email DemocraticServices@oxford.gov.uk
Declarations of interest
There were no declarations of interest made.
The Chair advised that the vacancy on the Committee would be filled following the by-election.
The following were elected on being proposed, seconded and put to the vote:
· Cllr Smowton to replace Cllr Landell-Mills on the Finance and Performance Panel.
· Cllr Miles to replace Cllr Landell-Mills on the Companies Scrutiny Panel.
Minutes from 16 January 2023.
Recommendation: That the minutes of the meeting held on 16 January 2023 be APPROVED as a true and accurate record.
The Committee resolved to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 16 January 2023 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:
· March Cabinet reports
o Annual update of the Council’s Business Plan
o Integrated Care Strategy Update
o Integrated Performance Report for Q3 2022/23
The Cabinet will, at its meeting on 08 February 2023, consider a report on the Oxford Local Plan 2040 Focused Consultation on Housing Need. Cllr Alex Hollingsworth, Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Delivery, and Sarah Harrison, Planning Policy Team Leader, have been invited to present the report and to questions.
Cllr Alex Hollingsworth, Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Delivery presented the report which requested Cabinet approval for the Oxford Local Plan 2040 Housing Numbers Consultation Document (Regulation 18 part 2) for consultation. The document supplemented the Preferred Options Consultation that had taken place in autumn 2022 with additional evidence about housing need and Cllr Hollingsworth provided an explanation of such to the Committee.
Rachel Williams, Planning Policy Place Manager, provided the Committee with information regarding the consultation process that would be followed, and a brief overview of the documentation circulated.
Cllr Corais joined the meeting.
Cllr Hollingsworth, Rachel Williams and Sarah Harrison, Planning Policy Team Leader, answered questions as follows:
· Evidence gathered from this consultation would be required to support the Oxford Local Plan as the Preferred Options document had only discussed housing need in general terms.
· The standard method within the document utilised 2014 household projections under current government guidelines.
· HENA not only looked at housing need for Oxfordshire, but also how it could be distributed back to the constituent parts of the Authorities. The Oxfordshire Plan would have contained this spatial information, however without this information, data regarding distribution of jobs as a logical formula to test this data had been used.
· Step trajectory allowed for a realistic measure against the housing delivery test.
· A joint consultation would take place with the other districts on gypsy and traveller accommodation and inform the policies in the Oxford Local Plan 2040.
· A separate study would take place for student accommodation which would be separate to the census information.
· There was not much scope for utilisation of elderly person’s accommodation due to the conditions of these properties and suitability of type.
· The downside of using the standard method was highlighted, which would not show densification, which could lead to overcrowding within the city.
· Assumptions had to be made using 2011 data to calculate the number of commuters coming into the city.
The Committee made no recommendations to Cabinet on this report.
The Scrutiny Officer has provided a report of the site visit to the Covered Market in September 2022. The Committee is recommended to note the report and to consider any recommendations it may wish to make.
The Committee had before them a report from the Scrutiny Officer detailing the site visit to the Covered Market undertaken by members of the Committee in September 2022.
The Committee noted the report and did not make any recommendations.
Matters exempt or part 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 item 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 Access to Information Procedure Rules – Section 15 of the Council’s Constitution – sets out the conditions under which the public can be excluded from meetings of the Council).
The Committee, on the understanding that no discussion involving Appendices 3 and 6 of the following item could be discussed in public session did not wish to exclude the press and public from the meeting during consideration of any aspects of the preceding or following agenda item, and was therefore not 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 outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.
Appendices 3 and 6 to this item include exempt information pursuant to Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972. If the Scrutiny Committee wishes to discuss matters relating to the information set out in Appendices 3 and 6 to the report, it will be necessary for the Scrutiny Committee to pass a resolution to exclude the press and public from the meeting (as set out at agenda item 8).
The Cabinet will, at its meeting on 08 February 2023, consider a report on the Covered Market Masterplan. Cllr Susan Brown, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy and Partnerships, Ted Maxwell, Regeneration Manager and Emma Gubbins, Corporate Assets Lead have been invited to present the report and to questions.
The Committee is asked to consider the report on the Covered Market Masterplan and to agree any recommendations it wishes to make to Cabinet.
Cllr Susan Brown, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy and Partnerships, presented the report which sought Cabinet approval to fund and enter into contracts for the detailed design works, planning and construction of major improvements to the Covered Market in line with the recently completed masterplan. She thanked those Councillors who had recently attended the site visit to the Covered Market.
During discussions, the Committee noted the following:
· There was no fixed footfall increase baked into the plan, however Appendix 2 outlined the business case which included the changes and predicted impact on footfall.
· The design stage shown was at concept stage only and did not detail the accessibility of the toilets, other than they would be accessible to all genders.
· The current number of vacant units had not changed since the site visit to the Covered Market, however the ownership of some units had changed. The Council works closely with its traders to ensure like for like replacements, in line with the Council’s Covered Market strategy.
· The Masterplan will help significantly to enforce Oxfordshire County Council’s regulations, thereby reducing issues with accessibility.
· The use of two free electric delivery vehicles has been received well, and was being supported by Pedal and Post to alleviate traders’ staffing restrictions.
· An events programme was being developed with the Tap Social, and would be aimed at all sectors of the community, in line with the Covered Market strategy.
· The Council aimed to continue its tradition for encouraging independent traders with both the use of ‘pop up shops’ utilising smaller units. The Masterplan had developed this further with the new pop up areas and outdoor market area to encourage more independent trade.
The Committee resolved to make the following recommendation on the report for Cabinet:
1. That the Council considers the provision of gender-neutral lavatories in its plans for when the public lavatories at the Covered Market are improved.
Reports for Approval
The Committee is asked to approve reports and recommendations on the following for submission to Cabinet:
· Budget review Group Report (to follow)
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.
Cllr James Fry, Chair of the Budget Review Group 2023/24 presented the report and outlined the recommendations. Discussions were held in private session and the Committee agreed the recommendations that should be made to Cabinet, and to delegate authority to the Scrutiny Officer to make minor editorial revisions as necessary.
Report back on recommendations and from Scrutiny Panel meetings
Cabinet has not met since the last meeting of the Scrutiny Committee.
The Finance & Performance Panel will have met on 26 January 2023 and an update will be provided to the Committee orally.
Dates of future meetings
· 06 March 2023
· 04 April 2023
Housing & Homelessness: 02 March 2023; 24 April 2023
Finance & Performance: 28 March 2023
Climate & Environment Panel: Dates for the first substantive meeting and another before the end of the municipal year are to be agreed in consultation with the Chair and Panel.
Companies Scrutiny Panel will meet on the same dates as the SJVG: 01 March 2023, 27 April 2023
All meetings start at 6.00 pm.
The dates of future meetings were noted.