Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

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Speaking at a Council or Committee meeting

Venue: The Old Library - Oxford Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Jennifer Thompson  Email: tel 01865 252275

No. Item


Declarations of interest


There were no declarations or interest.


Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Purpose: to confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Oxfordshire Growth Board held on 30 October 2017.



The Board confirmed as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Oxfordshire Growth Board held on 30 October 2017.


Chair's Announcements

Purpose: to receive communications from the Chair.



There were no announcements.


Public Participation pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Members of the public may ask questions of the Chairman of the Growth Board, or address the Growth Board on any substantive item at a meeting, subject to the restrictions set out in the public participation scheme.


The total amount of time allowed for public participation at a meeting shall not exceed 30 minutes unless the Chairman consents to that in the interests of the proper conduct of the business of the Board.


A person speaking to the Board may speak for up to 3 minutes. The Board members may ask questions for clarification.


Asking a question

Questions (in full and in writing) must be received before 5pm on Friday 24 November 2017 by the Chief Executive of the host authority. A written or verbal answer will be provided by the Chairman at the meeting. The questioner may ask a supplementary question directly related to either the original question or the reply received.


Addressing the Board

Notice of a wish to address the Board must be received before noon on Wednesday 29 November 2017 by the Chief Executive of the host authority.



Petitions on matters directly relevant to maters in which the Board has powers and duties must be received before 5pm on Friday 24 November 2017by the Chief Executive of the host authority. The representative of the petitioners may speak. Petitions are referred without discussion to the next meeting.


Questions, petitions and notice of addresses should be submitted to the committee secretary at or delivered/ posted to the Chief Executive at Oxford City Council.



In accordance with the public participation scheme the Chair invited those who submitted addresses and questions to speak to the Board.


The Board heard:

·         A question submitted and read out by Colin Thomas on behalf of CPRE Oxfordshire asking for confirmation that Leaders of the Local Authorities will create a full statutory public consultation process at which the environmental and social costs of the Growth Corridor can be compared objectively against the potential economic benefits envisaged and will openly call upon Government to conduct a Public Inquiry on the need for and choice of corridor.


·         An address submitted and read out by Michael Tyce on behalf of CPRE Oxfordshire in opposition to the high rate of planned housing and population growth in Oxfordshire.


Full details of the question, response, and address are in the supplement to these minutes.


National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) Oxford -Cambridge Corridor - presentation pdf icon PDF 9 MB

Bev Hindle, from Oxfordshire County Council, will give a presentation on the National Infrastructure Commission report.

 gives some background information


Alastair Gordon, from the National Infrastructure Commission, gave a presentation on the proposed new deal for the Cambridge to Oxford Arc.


The presentation is available as a supplement to the minutes.


In summary he made the following points during the presentation and in answer to questions:


1.    The three cities in the arc drove prosperity in the sub-region and this mattered to the country as a whole, making a substantial contribution to the UK economy. Making the arc work better would therefore have significant national and regional economic benefits. However realising these required the provision of housing and infrastructure at a scale that necessitated both  a different approach and a new deal between central government and local areas.


2.    The fundamental challenge was the lack of sufficient and suitable housing to meet the need both for local residents and new employees. The shortfall pushed up prices: and placed pressure on the limited supply: this impacted access to labour and labour costs. Consequently firms then went elsewhere or struggled to attract staff. The NIC calculated that by 2050 the rate of housebuilding must d provide a million new homes. The challenge was also to build new towns with good community and high quality of life, not just add low density urban extensions. The vision was for about half of the growth on existing and half on new towns. There was no shortage of innovative ideas for new towns as a recent design competition has shown.


3.    The NIC report concluded that poor east-west links prevented mobility between the hub cities and made commuting between areas difficult. Consequently East-west rail links should be developed as quickly as possible, with limited numbers of stations to increase transit speed. The NIC’s conclusion was that the Expressway should also traverse the same corridor to allow the development of high-quality well-connected new towns along a single connected route. There was no existing or long-term funding planned for infrastructure projects but this may come through bespoke deals, statutory levies from land value uplift, and local strategic levies.


4.    Broadband provision was also vital to national economy and the NIC had addressed improved digital capability as a national issue.


5.    There would need to be consultation to identify locations and options and to reach agreement on, not stall, delivery. This would be achieved through the planning process with full consultation although the NIC report noted that for national schemes the Secretary of State had reserve powers to designate new settlements.


6.    Bringing this forward at a good pace required public and private large scale investment and planning: statutory development corporations are the most appropriate delivery vehicle.


7.    The work of the NIC would be handed to the Cities and Local Growth Unit within DCLG to progress. Once government had formally responded to the NIC’s recommendations, the NIC had a role in holding government to account for progress on these.


Councillors commented that a positive response and engagement was necessary and high-quality delivery was essential. The dilemma was in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43.


Budget 2017 - implications for Oxfordshire pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Gordon Mitchell and/or Caroline Green, Oxford City Council will give a presentation.


Purpose: to inform and allow the Board to discuss any announcements in the 2017 Budget relevant to the Board’s work.



Gordon Mitchell gave a presentation setting out the main points to note from the Autumn Budget statement not covered elsewhere on the agenda; then Councillors asked questions and commented.


The presentation is available as a supplement to the minutes.


In summary the presentation and discussion covered:

1.    There was increasing pressure on local authorities to plan at ambitious levels, and changes to the planning regime including a review and further relaxation of planning constraints.

2.    The real issue was delivery: there was extant land and permissions although the land supply was sometimes tight.

3.    On current progress, at least two council areas would fail to deliver the proposed housing delivery rates and these would just be met county-wide. Many large schemes would be delivered over time and developers were keeping to the approved schedules in planning consents.

4.    While there were proposals to lift the HRA cap in areas of high demand, there were no details.

5.    Changes to CIL and S106 were proposed along with a new Strategic Infrastructure Tariff, but these may not have the ability to provide large sums without changing the methodology of calculating land values or viability. There was a likely initial uplift in land values along the corridor.

6.    Gordon Mitchell concluded by noting the scale of the budgets proposals and the potential for Oxfordshire but noted the need for sufficient officer capacity to deliver the requirements of the Growth Deal and the changes proposed.


The Board noted the presentation and comments.



Housing and Growth Deal pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Gordon Mitchell and/or Caroline Green, Oxford City Council will give a presentation.


Purpose: to inform and allow the Board to discuss any announcements in the 2017 Budget about the Housing and Growth Deal or other funding for the County, and to set out the implications and/or recommendations to partner councils and/or OXLEP for support.



Caroline Green gave a presentation setting out the main points from the Housing and Growth Deal announced in the Autumn Statement then Councillors asked questions and commented.


The presentation is available as a supplement to the minutes.


In summary the presentation and discussion covered:

1.    The deal provided £215m subject to meeting milestones in an agreed delivery plan. There were commitments required from both sides.

2.    Both the NIC and the National Industrial Strategy were developing plans for the Oxford-Cambridge corridor.

3.    The Board would need to discuss and agree a framework for key elements of growth, maximising funding and sourcing new funds, and setting up a pipeline of ready-to-go infrastructure schemes. The agreed OXIS plan was key to managing this.

4.    The initial terms of the deal set out a requirement for a high-level agreement between DCLG and the six councils and OxLEP and a delivery plan to be agreed by 31 January 2018. This was a very ambitious timetable.

5.    Discussions on the content and details of the delivery plan (and the capacity, resources and governance requirements for each stage) were already underway with Leaders and senior officers of all councils.

6.    The HCA (rebranding as Homes England) would work with the Board to secure the delivery plan..

7.    The location, delivery and associated planning for the headline number of 100,000 homes would be through a joint statutory spatial plan (JSSP). This will set the strategic framework within which local plans will demonstrate how the homes will be delivered.


The Board noted the presentation and comments.




Matters arising from OXLEP

A representative of OXLEP will provide a verbal update about the work of the Partnership.


Nigel Tipple gave an update on the work of OxLEP in particular in response to the National Industrial Strategy.


In summary he outlined:

·         The key points of the industrial strategy and OxLEP’s response including working on a delivery-focused response and bidding for funds to develop skills and career paths and underpin STEM skills at all levels.

·         Proposals to secure funding to attract substantial inward investment, and five principal areas for growth.

·         The key themes for improving productivity including support for growth hubs; engagement with the Department for Education to provide apprenticeships and vocational training; and increasing skills to fill skills-gaps in the workforce.


The Board noted the update.



Sub-national Transport Body pdf icon PDF 543 KB

Purpose: to consider a presentation by Oxfordshire County Council on the proposed Sub-national Transport Body (STB).


Recommendation: that the Board consider and note the presentation.


Bev Hindle gave a presentation setting out the main points about the proposed Sub-National Transport Body (STB) then Councillors asked questions and commented.


The presentation is available as a supplement to the minutes.


In summary the presentation and discussion covered:

1.    The setting up of an STB and how this would link into, but not replace, cross-regional discussions across the rest of the corridor.

2.    The need to work with England’s Economic Heartland Alliance, to take up both available seats on this body, and to receive updates.

3.    Whether cross-corridor governance could be entirely contained within the remit of the STB or, if this was not the correct form to manage all aspects of cross-corridor decision making, how duplication could be reduced.

4.    The fact that in officer’s opinion funding for transport improvements in an area was likely to be contingent on its membership of an STB.

5.    The necessity of developing relationships with neighbouring STBs and those responsible for major trunk routes like the A34.


Cllr Barber asked that the STB include Swindon given the links developing between there and Vale of White Horse district.


The Board noted the presentation, comments and the recommendations in the presentation:


That the Board:

1.    writes to England’s Economic Heartland to provide support for the current and future work being undertaken to form a Sub-National Transport Body for the area covered by the Heartland’s member authorities

2.    recognising the transport nature of this emerging body, encourage as wide a definition of connectivity as possible to include digital connectivity for the region;

3.    fully participates in the Strategic Transport Forum, alongside the County Council as Local Highway Authority, to ensure we have as much influence as possible on the development of a robust Sub-National Transport Body; and

4.    seeks regular updates from County Council and Growth Board officers on the progress being made


The Board agreed to invite Swindon to join the proposed Sub-National Transport Body.



Growth Board Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Purpose: the Board’s Forward Plan is attached for information.


Recommendation: that the Board note and comment on the Forward Plan.



The Board noted the report setting out their Forward Plan.


Oxfordshire Local Plans progress report - November 2017 pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Purpose: to update the Growth Board with progress towards the adoption of Local Plans across the county


Recommendation: that the Board note the report.


The Board noted the report setting out progress towards the adoption of Local Plans across the county.


Updates on matters relevant to the Growth Board

Growth Board members and officers may verbally update the Board on progress on matters previously before the Board for consideration, listed in the work plan, or relevant to the Board’s future decisions.


This is for the sharing of information and no decisions will be taken.


There were no updates.


Dates of next meetings

Dates for future meetings are:


1 February 2018

27 March 2018

11 June 2018


All meetings are to be held 2.00pm to 4.00 pm in the Oxford Town Hall, Old Library.



The Board noted the meeting dates.