Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

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Items
No. Item

23.

Declarations of Interest

None.

24.

Addresses and Questions by Members of the Public

Minutes:

None.

25.

Councillor Addresses on any item for decision on the Board's agenda

Minutes:

None.

26.

Councillor Addresses on Neighbourhood Issues

Minutes:

None.

27.

Items raised by Board Members

Minutes:

None.

28.

Scrutiny Committee Reports pdf icon PDF 135 KB

Councillor Gant, Chair of Scrutiny Committee, said the Committee had met on 06 July  to consider items 8 and 9 of the agenda (Local Growth Funded Workspace Projects and Local Development Scheme respectively) The discussion in relation to item 8 had resulted in one recommendation which had been partially accepted as described in the report before Cabinet. The discussion on item 9 had not resulted in any recommendations.

Councillor Fry, Chair of the Finance & Performance Panel, said it had met on 07 July to consider item 11 of the agenda (Integrated Performance Report for Q4). The Panel noted that there was a positive variance in relation to service charges and had recommended that the opportunity should be taken to review those charges to HRA council housing tenants to ensure that the charges reflect actual costs.

The Panel had also considered a draft report on monitoring social value which had resulted in two recommendations. One that the Council should benchmark its spending with SMEs against that of similar authorities. The second that the Council should underwrite an event on valuing social value in procurement to involve neighbouring authorities support services and their providers to learn from one another and improve overall standards.

In relation  to the recommendation about service charges, Cllr Ed Turner, Cabinet member for Finance & Asset Management, said that the Council was broadly supportive and gave a detailed response,  a copy of which is attached to these minutes.

Councillor Turner, said that Cabinet was very supportive of the recommendation in relation to social value and SMEs and, indeed, had  already undertaken some of the recommended activity informally and would like to progress this further. The Council was also supportive of the recommendation for an event, whether virtual or otherwise.

 

Additional documents:

29.

Local Growth Funded Workspace Projects pdf icon PDF 149 KB

The Executive Director (Development) has submitted a report to seek approval to enter into a £1.93m Funding Agreement with Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership for Local Growth Funding to support the refurbishment of 1-3 George Street and redevelopment of Standingford House on Cave Street to provide affordable and innovative workspace to facilitate the inclusive economy.

Recommendation: That Cabinet resolves to:

1.    Delegate authority to the Executive Director Development, in consultation with the Council’s Section 151 Officer and the Head of Law and Governance to agree and enter into grant funding arrangements and contractual terms with OxLEP for £1.93m in Local Growth Funds for the delivery of city-centre based workspaces at 1-3 George Street and Standingford House, Cave Street.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Director (Development) had submitted a report to seek approval to enter into a £1.93m Funding Agreement with Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership for Local Growth Funding to support the refurbishment of 1-3 George Street and redevelopment of Standingford House on Cave Street to provide affordable and innovative workspace to facilitate the inclusive economy.

Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of the Council, introduced the report which proposed a timely initiative to support local businesses, particularly small local businesses.  The project would provide a welcome addition to the mix of business and office space in the city centre, the need for which had been emphasised during the recent development of the Local Plan. It would also provide an opportunity for necessary improvements to the Council properties listed the report which would, among other things, contribute to the Council’s carbon reduction targets.

Andrew Humpherson, Regeneration Manager, emphasised that the proposed work was necessary to get the properties concerned into a state fit to be let and so contribute to income for the Council. The immediate focus was on the building shells and getting them up to standard.   In relation to their future use, internal designs would be heavily influenced by close co-operation with operators, a dialogue which was already underway.  He  confirmed that early conversations with the planning department were underway in relation to 1-3 George Street, those with Cave Street would have to wait until later in the process.

It was noted that the funding for this project was required to have been committed by the end of July and not the end of June as described in the report.

Cabinet resolved to:

1.       Delegate authority to the Executive Director Development, in consultation with the Council’s Section 151 Officer and the Head of Law and Governance to agree and enter into grant funding arrangements and contractual terms with OxLEP for £1.93m in Local Growth Funds for the delivery of city-centre based workspaces at 1-3 George Street and Standingford House, Cave Street.

30.

Local Development Scheme (LDS) 2020-2023 pdf icon PDF 385 KB

The Head of Planning Services has submitted a report to present the updated programme for the preparation of documents that will form the Council’s statutory Development Plan for approval.

Recommendation: That Cabinet resolves to:

1.    Approve the Oxford Local Development Scheme 2020-25

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Hayes joined the meeting during this item.

The Head of Planning Services had submitted a report to present the updated programme for the preparation of documents that will form the Council’s statutory Development Plan for approval.

Councillor Alex Hollingsworth, Cabinet Member for Planning & Housing Delivery, introduced the report which fulfilled a statutory requirement, setting out priorities for consultation on planning policy documents over the following three years. Among other things the report described initial steps towards development of the next Local Plan within the overall context of the 2050 plan for Oxfordshire and the development of the Technical Advice Notes which will flesh out elements of the new Local Plan.

Cabinet resolved to:

1.       Approve the Oxford Local Development Scheme 2020-25

31.

Oxfordshire Growth Board Terms of Reference and Memorandum of Understanding pdf icon PDF 237 KB

The Assistant Chief Executive has submitted a report to propose  revised Terms of Reference and Memorandum of Understanding for the Oxfordshire Growth Board, which requires approval by each of the Oxfordshire Council Cabinets / Executives. These are presented for consideration following a recent public review of the Growth Board’s role and functions, which has helped to inform the revisions made.

 

Recommendations: That Cabinet resolves to:

 

1.    Approve the Terms of Reference and Memorandum of Understanding at Appendices 1 and 2 respectively; and

2.    Delegate authority to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader and the Growth Board, to make minor amendments to these documents as required to support the operational efficiency of the Growth Board’s work.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Assistant Chief Executive had submitted a report to propose  revised Terms of Reference and Memorandum of Understanding for the Oxfordshire Growth Board, which required approval by each of the Oxfordshire Council Cabinets / Executives. These were presented for consideration following a recent public review of the Growth Board’s role and functions, which had helped to inform the revisions made.

Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of the Council, introduced the report which was being taken to all of the Oxfordshire’s District Councils and the County Council, proposing relatively minor changes to the Terms of Reference (TOR) and Memorandum of Understanding in relation to the Oxfordshire Growth Board. There had been discussion over the last year about more fundamental issues in relation to the Growth Board, such as how to ensure that the shared interest in dealing with the challenge of climate change was properly addressed.

Caroline Green, Assistant Chief Executive reiterated that this report represented just the first phase of a review of the Growth Board. The revised TOR now included a paragraph on the purpose of the Growth Board which fed into recognition of the need for there to be an improvement of communication with Members, stakeholders and the public.

Cabinet resolved to:

 

1.       Approve the Terms of Reference and Memorandum of Understanding at Appendices 1 and 2 respectively; and

2.       Delegate authority to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader and the Growth Board, to make minor amendments to these documents as required to support the operational efficiency of the Growth Board’s work.

 

32.

Integrated Performance Report for Quarter 4 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 215 KB

The Head of Financial Services and Head of Business Improvement have submitted a report to update Members on Finance, Risk and Performance as at the end of the financial year.

Recommendation: That Cabinet resolves to:

1.    Note the financial outturn and performance of the Council for the year 2019/20 and also the position on risks outstanding as at 31st March 2020;

2.    Agree the carry forward requests in respect of the General Fund of £77,182 as shown in paragraph 7 and on Appendix D;

3.    Agree the transfer to the Capital Financing and NNDR Retention reserve of £2.693 million detailed in paragraph 2 a;

4.    Agree the carry forward requests in respect of the HRA of £722,000 as shown in paragraph 18; and

5.    Agree the transfer to the HRA Contributions to HRA Projects Reserve of £4.809 million detailed in paragraph 2 (c).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Financial Services and Head of Business Improvement had submitted a report to update Members on Finance, Risk and Performance as at the end of the 2019/20 financial year.

Councillor Ed Turner, Cabinet Member for Finance & Asset Management, introduced the report most of which covered a period before the effects of Covid-19 had been  felt. Nevertheless the effects had, inevitably, been felt towards the end of the financial year, notably in relation to the end of year spends for both capital and revenue. The money which it had been possible to save by the end of the financial year was being put towards the Council’s response to Covid-19. Carry forward requests into the present financial year were, necessarily, relatively few.  The adverse variance on the general fund was largely contributed to by the reduced expectation in relation to the Oxford Direct Services dividend. A favourable variance in relation to commercial property income was welcome but unlikely to be sustained in the foreseeable future. In relation to the capital programme, a considerable amount of work had been done during the year to reschedule projects in relation to which there had been over optimism about their progress. Covid-19 had had a detrimental effect on the programme later in the year. Cllr Turner was in regular discussion with officers about the programme given the importance of its precision in a straitened financial environment.

Bill Lewis,  Financial  Accounting Manager,  emphasised that while the report showed an overall  positive variance, this was unlikely to be repeated in the near future as the Council managed a challenging financial environment.

Cabinet resolved to:

1.       Note the financial outturn and performance of the Council for the year 2019/20 and also the position on risks outstanding as at 31st March 2020;

2.       Agree the carry forward requests in respect of the General Fund of £77,182 as shown in paragraph 7 and on Appendix D;

3.       Agree the transfer to the Capital Financing and NNDR Retention reserve of £2.693 million detailed in paragraph 2 a;

4.       Agree the carry forward requests in respect of the HRA of £722,000 as shown in paragraph 18; and

5.       Agree the transfer to the HRA Contributions to HRA Projects Reserve of £4.809 million detailed in paragraph 2 (c).

33.

Decisions taken under Parts 9.3(b) and (c) of the Constitution pdf icon PDF 312 KB

The Head of Law and Governance has submitted a report  on behalf of the Head of Paid Service (Chief Executive) asking Cabinet tonote the decisions taken by the Head of Paid Service (Chief Executive) using the urgency and emergency powers delegated in Parts 9.3(b) and (c) of the Constitution.

Recommendation: Cabinet is recommended to:

1.    Note the decisions taken as set out in the report.

Please note, an appendix may follow as a supplement, if required (paragraph 4 of the report refers).

 

Minutes:

Councillor Linda Smith joined the meeting during this item.

The Head of Law and Governance had submitted a report  on behalf of the Head of Paid Service (Chief Executive) asking Cabinet to note the decisions taken by the Head of Paid Service (Chief Executive) using the urgency and emergency powers delegated in Parts 9.3(b) and (c) of the Constitution.

Anita Bradley, Head of Law & Governance introduced the report  which listed three decisions taken by the Chief Executive exercising urgency and emergency powers as  a consequence of Covid-19.

In response to a question about recouping the costs of addressing the needs of the homeless, the Chief Executive  first noted that additional costs would soon  be incurred as the Council sought to extend the  arrangements initially put in place, in line with revised Government policy. While the Government had provided some funding to Councils to assist with the additional costs associated with Covid-19, none of it had been earmarked specifically for this or indeed any other purpose. Strictly speaking it would not be until later in the year that it would be possible to judge whether the Council’s estimate of additional costs exceeded the money which had been provided by Government.

In relation to  expenditure on ICT, the Chief Executive confirmed that this was in addition to the programme of improvement which had  already been in place and was  to ensure that the Council was in a position to work effectively in the new environment necessitated by Covid-19.

Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of the Council, noted appreciation for the work of the ICT team in having enabled to Council Members and officers to work remotely in such a short time. In relation to the decision about the Discretionary Grant Scheme, she noted that this was an important mechanism which enabled the Council to support local businesses and help them survive and hopefully thrive in a challenging environment. The need for criteria for distribution had given the Council the opportunity to include ones to reflect its values, such as the social value of businesses.

There was appreciation of the speed with which the grants had been allocated and distributed. In relation to housing benefit and universal credit there was praise for the efficiency of those teams in dealing with an increase in the number of applications.

Cabinet resolved to:

1.       Note the decisions taken as set out in the report.

 

34.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 400 KB

Recommendation: The City Executive Board resolves to APPROVE the minutes of the meeting held on 24 June 2020 as a true and accurate record.

Minutes:

Cabinet resolved to APPROVE the minutes of the meeting held on 24 June 2020 as a true and accurate record.

35.

Dates of Future Meetings

Meetings are scheduled for the following dates:

 

  • 12 August
  • 09 September
  • 14 October
  • 11 November
  • 09 December

 

All meetings start at 6pm unless otherwise stated..

 

Minutes:

Meetings are scheduled for the following dates:

  • 12 August
  • 09 September
  • 14 October
  • 11 November
  • 09 December

 

All meetings start at 6pm unless otherwise stated.