Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Alice Courtney, Committee and Member Services Officer  email

Note: This meeting will be live streamed on the Council's YouTube channel 


No. Item


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.


Chair's Announcements


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.

The Chair:

·       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.


Climate Emergency Review Group Updates pdf icon PDF 590 KB

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:

  • Cycle greenways into the city - in response to questions, Cllr Hayes explained that they were part of the overall Council strategy but that there was limited resource that needed to be allocated to other priorities where it would have most impact, including ZEBRA and the Bus Prioritisation Plan. The Head of Corporate Strategy added that the County Council was the overall lead for cycleways and had diverted funding to emergency transport issues (e.g. quietways) during the pandemic.
  • Biodiversity Officer - the Head of Corporate Strategy confirmed that Tristan Carlyle had taken up post so there was a added resource for taking forward the biodiversity actions and consideration could be given to taking forward additional recommendations on biodiversity that were not originally included in the Action Plan.
  • Definition of net zero - the Committee said it would be helpful to have a clear definition of what was and was not included in the Council's definition of net zero in order to avoid confusion. Cllr Hayes agreed. Rose Dickinson, Carbon Reduction Team Manager advised that the definition of net zero was the subject of a report to Cabinet in December 2021.
  • ZCOP Transport Workstream - concern was expressed that the Partnership should include examination of the proposals for a cable car into the city as an important means of reducing CO2 emissions and pollutants.
  • RAG rating - concerns were raised that the RAG rating was overly generous and did not reflect the gap in resources required to undertake much of the work. It was added that some of the timescales in the Action Plan appeared ambitious. The Committee was advised that the RAG rating had been done as objectively as possible and in some cases strategy or a plan had been delivered rather than actions.
  • Fleet vehicles - Cllr Hayes advised that currently there is no budget to go above 25% decarbonisation but that he hoped that the City's record of ambition would attract additional investment.
  • Retrofit - in response to questions, Cllr Hayes confirmed that Government measures prevented any increase being imposed on rent to lever funds for retrofits.
  • New residential buildings - Cllr Hayes advised that the consultants that were commissioned to conduct condition surveys for the Council's whole commercial portfolio had been disengaged as they could not meet the timescales.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 81.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 655 KB

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.


Work Plan and Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 303 KB


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.



Additional documents:


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.


Procurement Update pdf icon PDF 1014 KB

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.

Additional documents:


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:

  • Embedding Social Value within commissioning and procurement decisions
  • Tailoring the national TOMs (themes, outcomes, measures) Measurement Framework into a model that works locally - OxTOMs.
  • Taking into account environmental impact
  • Strengthening GDPR within the strategy
  • Contract management
  • Fostering an inclusive economy and Community Wealth Building

The Committee raised a number of points, including around:

  • Social Value - in response to questions, the Procurement Manager confirmed that the definition of Social Value would not be too prescriptive but would reflect the current description. She confirmed that there would be engagement with suppliers and this piece of work would be undertaken as part of the OxTOMs work.
  • % weightings in evaluation - the Committee was interested in the 10% weighting given to Social Value considerations during the tender process and whether there was reporting/monitoring information to reveal how often the 10% weighting was outweighed by other factors. Questions were also raised about the circumstances under which the % weightings might be increased or decreased for specific tenders, particularly in relation to how environmental and social harm/value were weighed up. The Procurement Manager was proposing to strengthen the environmental aspect within the Strategy update and advised that each tender had a different set of questions depending on the context of the tender. The Procurement Manager agreed to share the environmental questions asked in the last five big tenders with Cllr Imogen Thomas and outline how they impacted the procurement process.
  • Suppliers - the Committee noted that suppliers named in the Strategy document included the likes of 'Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation' and 'Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation', which were not local to Oxfordshire. The Procurement Manager explained that the two organisations named were buying organisations which could present a quicker route to market.
  • Partnership working - in response to questions, the Committee was advised that conversations were being held with the local universities and councils around how they could work better together, but that this was a challenge due to the different organisations managing procurement in different ways.
  • BAME/Women-led SMEs - the Procurement Manager confirmed that the aim to support BAME/Women-led SMEs in order to tackle under-representation in specific service sectors referenced in the original Strategy had been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Oxford Living Wage - the Committee noted that OCC and ODSL both scored '0' on 'Support Oxford Living Wage'. The Procurement Manager confirmed that both organisations support the Oxford Living Wage in their contracts.
  • Community Wealth Building - in response to questions, the Procurement Manager confirmed that her team was working on bringing local anchor institutions together and that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 84.


Report back on recommendations and from Scrutiny Panel meetings pdf icon PDF 240 KB

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

Scrutiny Committee



·       01 February

·       07 March

·       05 April


Standing Panels

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).