Agenda

Agenda

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Items
Note No. Item

PART 1 - PUBLIC BUSINESS

1.

Apologies for absence

2.

Declarations of interest

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 453 KB

Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Council held on 5 October 2020.

The full pack with questions on notice and public addresses is here.

Council is asked to approve the minutes as a correct record.

4.

Appointment to Committees

Council is asked to note that on 13 November 2020 the Head of Law and Governance appointed Cllr Kennedy to the vacant seat on the Audit and Governance Committee, following notification from the Leader of the Labour Group.

Any further proposed changes will be circulated with the briefing note.

5.

Announcements

Announcements by:

1.     The Lord Mayor

2.     The Sheriff

3.     The Leader of the Council (who may with the permission of the Lord Mayor invite other councillors to make announcements)

4.     The Chief Executive, Chief Finance Officer, Monitoring Officer

45 mins

6.

Public addresses and questions that relate to matters for decision at this meeting

Public addresses and questions to the Leader or other Cabinet member received in accordance with Council Procedure Rules 11.12, 11.13, and 11.14 relating to matters for decision in Part 1 of this agenda.

The request to speak accompanied by the full text of the address or question must be received by the Head of Law and Governance by 5.00 pm on Tuesday 24 November 2020.

The briefing note will contain the text of addresses and questions submitted by the deadline, and written responses where available.

A total of 45 minutes is available for both public speaking items. Responses are included in this time. Up to five minutes is available for each public address and up to three minutes for each question.

CABINET RECOMMENDATIONS

7.

Project Approval and Allocation of Housing and Growth Deal Funding for Affordable Housing Delivery pdf icon PDF 140 KB

The Head of Housing Services submitted a report to Cabinet on 14 October 2020 seeking project approval and delegations to enable capital grant allocations to be paid to Registered Providers and Community-Led Housing providers for schemes within the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal programme, using grant received from Oxfordshire County Council for this purpose.

Papers relating to this item and the decision of Cabinet are set out in the minutes of that meeting

Recommendations: Cabinet recommends that Council resolves to:

1.     approve a revision to the general fund capital budget in 2020/21 of £3,123,000, for the initial grant payment in relation to the William Morris Close site, and a further capital budget for 2021/22 of £347,000 to fund the remaining grant balance payable for that scheme all of which will be funded by capital grant income from Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal (OGD).

Additional documents:

8.

Project Approval and Allocation of Next Steps Accommodation Programme Funding for Affordable Housing Delivery & Homelessness Prevention pdf icon PDF 142 KB

The Head of Housing Services submitted a report to Cabinet on 11 November 2020 seeking project approval and delegations to enable capital spend, under the Next Steps Accommodation Programme, using grant received from Government for the purpose of acquiring additional Council housing for the purpose of reducing rough sleeping

Papers relating to this item and the decision of Cabinet are set out in the minutes of that meeting.

Recommendations: Cabinet recommends that Councilresolves to:

1.     approve a revision to the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) capital budget in 2020/21 of £1,195,750 for the initial purchase of 5 properties, to be funded by capital grant from MHCLG/ Homes England of £150,000; by Oxfordshire Housing and Growth (OGD) Deal funding of £275,000; and HRA Council borrowing of up to £770,750.

Additional documents:

COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

9.

Appointment of Head of Law and Governance (Monitoring Officer) pdf icon PDF 145 KB

The Head of Business Improvement has submitted a report asking Council to designate the Council’s Monitoring Officer and to appoint a Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer.

The Appointments Committee met on 27 October 2020 and recommended that Susan Sale be appointed as Head of Law and Governance and as the Council’s Monitoring Officer.

Recommendations: That Council resolves to:

1.     Designate the newly appointed Head of Law and Governance, Susan Sale, as the Council’s Monitoring Officer with effect from 4 January 2021.

2.     Appoint the newly appointed Head of Law and Governance, Susan Sale, as the Council’s Returning Officer and as the Council’s Electoral Registration Officer with effect from 4 January 2021.

OFFICER REPORTS

10.

Council and Committee meetings programme March 2021 - May 2022 pdf icon PDF 160 KB

The Head of Law and Governance has submitted a report which sets out a programme of Council, committee and other meetings for the end of the current 2020/21 council year (1 March to 18 May 2021) and the whole of the 2021/2022 council year (19 May 2021 to 31 May 2022). This includes a proposal to move the March Council meeting to 22 March 2021 starting at 6pm.

Recommendations: That Council resolves to:

1.     Approve the programme of Council, committee and other meetings from 1 March 2021 to 31 May 2022 attached at Appendix 1;

2.     Delegate authority to the Head of Law and Governance, in consultation with Group Leaders, to make changes to this programme in the event that there is any decision by Council to change the committee structure or committee remits which impacts on the programme of meetings; and

3.     Delegate authority to the Head of Law and Governance to set dates for additional training and briefing sessions for Members.

Additional documents:

QUESTIONS

11.

Questions on Cabinet minutes

This item has a time limit of 15 minutes.

Councillors may ask the Cabinet Members questions about matters in these minutes:

11a

Minutes of meeting Wednesday 14 October 2020 of Cabinet pdf icon PDF 477 KB

11b

Minutes of meeting Wednesday 11 November 2020 of Cabinet pdf icon PDF 406 KB

12.

Questions on Notice from Members of Council pdf icon PDF 455 KB

Questions on notice from councillors received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11.11(b). Questions on notice may be asked of the Lord Mayor, a Member of the Cabinet or a Chair of a Committee. One supplementary question may be asked at the meeting.

The full text of questions must have been received by the Head of Law and Governance by no later than 1.00pm on 18 November 2020.

These, and written responses where available, will be published in the briefing note.

PART 2 - PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT AND SCRUTINY

45 mins

13.

Public addresses and questions that do not relate to matters for decision at this Council meeting pdf icon PDF 294 KB

Public addresses and questions to the Leader or other Cabinet member received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11.12, 11.13 and 11.14 and not related to matters for decision in Part 1 of this agenda.

The request to speak accompanied by the full text of the address or question must be received by the Head of Law and Governance by 5.00pm on 24 November 2020.

The briefing note will contain the text of addresses and questions submitted by the deadline, and written responses where available.

A total of 45 minutes is available for both public speaking items. Responses are included in this time. Up to five minutes is available for each public address and up to three minutes for each question.

14.

Partnership report: Oxfordshire Growth Board pdf icon PDF 394 KB

Report submitted on behalf of the Leader of Council on the Oxfordshire Growth Board. (to follow)

Council is invited to note the report

 

As set out in procedure rule 11.15, Members who are Council representatives on external bodies or Chairs of Council Committees who consider that a significant decision or event has taken place, may give notice to the Head of Law and Governance by 1.00 pm on Thursday 26 November that they will present a written or oral report on the event or the significant decision and how it may influence future events. Written reports will be circulated with the briefing note.

Additional documents:

15.

Scrutiny Committee update report pdf icon PDF 177 KB

Report submitted on behalf of the Chair of the Scrutiny Committee which updates Council on the activities of the Scrutiny Committee and its panels and the implementation of recommendations since the last meeting of Council.

Council is invited to note the report.

Additional documents:

PART 3 - MOTIONS REPRESENTING THE CITY

16.

Motions on notice 30 November 2020 pdf icon PDF 453 KB

Motions received by the Head of Law and Governance in accordance with Council Procedure Rules by the deadline of 1.00pm on Wednesday 18 November 2020 are listed below.

Cross party motions are taken first, then motions will be taken in turn from the, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Green groups and independent members in that order.

Substantive amendments to these motions must be sent by councillors to the Head of Law and Governance by no later than 10.00am on Friday 27 November so that they may be circulated with the briefing note.

Minor technical or limited wording amendments may be submitted during the meeting but must be written down and circulated.

Council is asked to consider the following motions:

a)    Cross-party motion - Improving coronavirus testing and tracing (proposed by Cllr Upton, seconded by Cllr Simmons, supported by Cllr Gant)

b)    Domestic Abuse and Covid-19 Workplace and Community Safety (proposed by Cllr Aziz)

c)     Universal Basic Income (proposed by Cllr Garden, seconded by Cllr Gant)

d)    Supporting the climate and ecological emergency (proposed by Cllr Simmons)

e)    Charitable donations from members’ allowances (proposed by Cllr Henwood)

f)      Homelessness and Social Housing (proposed by Cllr Tidball)

g)    Pavement parking (proposed by Cllr Roz Smith, seconded by Cllr Landell Mills)

h)    Defining ‘Net Zero’ buildings (proposed by Cllr Wolff)

i)       Chinese New Year (proposed by Cllr Henwood)

j)      The Permitted Deportation of EU Nationals Found Rough Sleeping (proposed by Cllr Wade, seconded by Cllr Gotch)

k)     Student fees (proposed by Cllr Garden)

l)       Fireworks (proposed by Cllr Goddard)

16a

Improving coronavirus testing and tracing

Proposed by Cllr Upton, seconded by Cllr Simmons and supported by Cllr Gant

Cross party motion

Oxford City Council expresses concern that, so far into the COVID pandemic, the country still does not have an adequate testing and tracing system, putting the people of Oxford at increased risk of suffering from coronavirus.

Test and trace has been proven in countries with a properly functioning system to be a successful strategy to manage and contain COVID-19 outbreaks.

Numerous experts have repeated that, to be effective, testing and tracing needs to be managed and carried out at a local level. However, instead of funding local bodies – which have the expertise, experience and vital local connections – this Government has squandered billions of pounds of public money on private companies (though the system has still been misleadingly named ‘NHS’ Test & Trace). This poor performance has contributed to the failure to contain COVID outbreaks and, ultimately, to an increased loss of life. This lack of integration into normal local NHS services (which would allow GPs to contact positive cases with crucial and timely medical advice) could and probably will cost lives. This lack of integration with local authorities prevents the timely offering of financial and practical support.

In late recognition that its tracing performance could not improve without local participation, NHS Test and Trace have in recent months passed to local authorities the names of people with positive tests whom they failed to reach. In short, they are getting local authorities to clean up their mess.

This Council believes the only way to fully rectify the situation is for full control to be passed to local authorities, with the necessary funding to do the job properly, with national input providing any support necessary to ensure effective co-ordination.

We believe a local scheme will:

             Improve traceability

             Enable increased and targeted testing, including asymptomatic testing

             Be better integrated into existing Council COVID support services

             Be a more cost-effective solution

             Achieve greater community engagement

             Allow for the engagement of local volunteers

Pressure is building on the Government both to use local authorities more and to cease contracting out 'NHS’ Test and Trace' to private companies.

This Council agrees to add its voice to those challenging the current, failed system by asking the Leader to:

·       Call on our Director of Public Health and the leader of the County Council to support more local authority engagement in testing and tracing.

·       Write to our MPs asking them for their support.

16b

Domestic Abuse and Covid-19 workplace and community safety

Proposed by Cllr Aziz

Labour member motion

This Council notes more than 40,000 calls and contacts were made to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline during the first three months of the Covid-19 lockdown, as reported by the BBC in July 2020.

Domestic Abuse is a common form of violence, overwhelmingly impacting women and girls globally and nationally and here in Oxford. Men and children are also impacted by domestic abuse as are non- binary and LGBQTI+ people.

According to women’s groups, at least twenty six women including children have been killed in domestic homicides since the lockdown started, the eldest victim was over 82 years old and the youngest were four and two, killed alongside their mother.

Domestic Abuse impacts people of all ages, genders, race, disabilities and class, as well as work places, places of worship, places of learning and all communities.

This Council recognises people with insecure immigration status are especially vulnerable to seeking help due to the Hostile Environment, leaving many homeless and facing additional threats with pregnant migrant women facing particular risks.

This Council recognises the Covid pandemic, lockdowns and restriction of movement, means there is a greater need for increased protection and support for victims and survivors in Oxford.

This Council resolves:

to ask the Head of Business Improvement to submit a report to Cabinet setting out proposals to

·       Develop a Domestic Abuse in the Workplace Policy for Oxford City Council and encourage Oxford’s workplaces to do the same. As the government instructs people to work from home over the next six months, this council encourages all workplaces to prioritise domestic abuse as a work place and community safety issue.

·       Support and build links with trade unions and employers to implement work place domestic abuse policies.

·       Raise awareness and provide information on how to help friends, family members and colleagues affected by domestic abuse.

·       Campaign and lobby for increased sustainable and emergency funding from central government for organisations working with victims and survivors, especially services for BAME women, which are hugely underfunded.

This Council thanks Oxford’s frontline domestic abuse workers, charities and organisations for their life saving work.

16c

Universal Basic Income

Proposed by Cllr Garden, seconded by Cllr Gant

Liberal Democrat member motion

This Council recognises that financial security is critical to a stable and thriving society. Yet, too many people are without enough money to meet their basic needs. Universal Basic Income (UBI) is an opportunity to revolutionise a welfare system that is no longer fit for purpose.

The Bank of England predicts that unemployment levels will rise to 7.7% by the middle of next year. Oxford will not be immune. Businesses closing, zero hour contracts and gig economy adding further uncertainty. Housing is expensive and too much income is being spent on rent or mortgages so we can expect an increase in evictions and homelessness. These trends are likely to persist and worsen as climate change intensifies requiring significant industry restructuring.

Demand for financial state support is anticipated but there’s little confidence that Universal Credit will be sufficient. The system is intrusive and demeaning, and has caused much distress and hardship even before the current crisis. Many are expected to fall through the gaps.

Financial inequality impacts social cohesion and productivity. The consequent cost to the health, police, education and social services are immense.

We need a more flexible and supportive social security infrastructure to allow society to cope with the necessary changes. Poverty and inequality pose great threat to the economic recovery. But with the right support, individuals could be empowered to embark on new enterprises and retraining for new careers. Rebuilding can be successful, and support the much need transition to a low-carbon high-tech economy, but we need a strong confident innovative workforce.

UBI would provide every adult (regardless of employment status, wealth, or marital status) with a fixed, regular and unconditional income to relieve some of the financial pressures facing households. It’s a monthly grant sufficient to contribute to the basic needs of food, shelter and education. It is a fair way of eliminating poverty, guaranteeing a minimum standard of living, and improving well-being. It helps the local economy by providing stability and security; allowing people to thrive rather than just survive.

There have been several trials of basic income internationally and most recently in Finland. Results have been encouraging. Spain is rolling it out as part of their COVID-19 response measures.

The Scottish government is considering the practicalities. The UK government has not come out in support as yet, but several authorities (Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, Hull in the north, and Brighton and London in the south) are calling for trials. This requires political will and Oxford should stand in solidarity with them.

The Council calls on the Leader:

1.     to write to the Chancellor and Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy requesting that the government considers Oxford for a pilot study.

2.     to circulate the response from the government to all council members once the reply is received.

3.     that Oxford campaigns for a Universal Basic Income.

 

References:

1: "The Many Faces of Universal Basic Income US Basic Income  ...  view the full agenda text for item 16c

16d

Supporting the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill

Proposed by Cllr Simmons, seconded by Cllr Wolff

Green Member motion

Council notes that, on 12 August 2020, the CEE Bill Alliance launched the campaign for the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill which was presented to Parliament on 2 September. This is a Private Members’ Bill (PMB) written by scientists, lawyers and activists; it is gathering support from a broad range of campaign groups, businesses, charities and individuals. The bill has the potential to become the most significant move forward since the Climate Change Act 2008 (which also notably started as a PMB)

At the time of writing, 81 MPs have supported the Bill with co-sponsors from across the political spectrum including Labour, Green, Liberal Democrat.

In summary, the Bill will set an emergency path for the UK to follow. It will see the creation of a Citizens’ Assembly that will put forward recommendations, contributing to the work of both the UK Government and UK Parliament in delivering an essential climate and ecological emergency strategy. This key objectives of the Bill are to:

·       Ensure that the UK plays its fair and proper role in limiting global temperatures to 1.5°C; and

·       Actively conserving the natural world

Full details of the CEE Bill and the background to it, can be found at: https://www.ceebill.uk/

This Council recognised the urgency of the climate and ecological emergency in January 2019 subsequently holding its own Citizen Assembly in Autumn 2019 and well as setting up its own Climate Emergency Review scrutiny group. All of these highlighted the important role that the Westminster Government in galvanising action.

This Council therefore wishes to express its strong support for the CEE Bill by:

1.     Publicly expressing its support for the CEE Bill by joining the campaign and encouraging individual Councillors to do likewise

2.     Asking the Leader to write to the City’s MPs asking them to sign the CEE Bill Early Day Motion (no. 832) as well as offering their public support and backing for its aims and goals

3.     Taking into account the aims and goals of the CEE Bill when setting its own strategies, policies and targets.

16e

Charitable donations from members' allowances

Proposed by Cllr Henwood

Independent member motion

Each councillor receives a basic allowance of £5,142. This allowance is intended to help councillors meet the costs of representing their communities. The pandemic has caused a great deal of hardship both in the public and private sector, with in need of universal credit suffering from food poverty and as we approach winter fuel poverty.

Council is agreed that in recognition of their community’s increased need for support. Councillors are encouraged individually contribute 20% from their basic allowance to support the efforts of the Oxford Hub or other bodies that continue support our local communities.

Therefore, Council asks that:

               Each Oxford City Councillor agrees to commit 20% of their basic allowance to support local community groups, making personal contributions from their monthly allowance

               The portfolio holder for supporting local communities identifies and advertise to councillors groups and projects committed to alleviating hardship

               On the Council’s behalf the leader writes to local MP’s and the leader of County Council requesting a similar scheme be introduced both locally and nationally.

 

Officer’s explanatory note:

This motion would not affect the Members’ Allowances Scheme or the allowances paid to each councillor but if passed would encourage each councillor individually to make donations from the allowances they receive. Such donations may be to groups identified by the portfolio holder, or to other groups. It would be for Councillors to take account of their own circumstances and the needs of their community when deciding on any such donation.

16f

Homelessness and Social Housing

Proposed by Cllr Tidball

Labour Member motion

This Council notes with horror proposals by the Government to make sleeping rough sufficient grounds for deportation from the UK once the Brexit Transition period ends; nothing could expose the callous brutality of the current Conservative administration more clearly than this.

The Council also notes that in addition to long-standing and indisputable evidence linking both homelessness and poor quality housing with poor mental and physical health, poorer educational outcomes and worse life chances, it is becoming clearer that overcrowded homes are likely to be a significant factor in both the spread of Covid and deaths from the virus.

This Council notes that overcrowding is just one factor that has been identified as leading to the higher rates of people from BAME backgrounds becoming critically ill and dying from Covid-19 and the work Shelter and The Big Issue have done to highlight the government's own figures that black people are 'three times as likely to experience homelessness'. The pandemic is intensifying the housing crisis and widening inequalities for these groups.

The pandemic has demonstrated that we are only as safe as our most vulnerable member; those with no recourse to public funds must have access to public services including housing services with no fear of deportation.

The Council further notes that the ‘everyone in’ campaign at the onset of lockdown showed that it is possible to end rough sleeping with sufficient political will and funding, and also notes that over the last 70 years it is only when council housing was being built in sufficient volumes alongside market housing that enough homes for everyone were provided.

This Council believes that nobody should have to sleep rough on our streets, and that having a secure, safe and affordable home is a basic human right for all our residents.

This Council believes that the Government should use the opportunity of the long-delayed Social Housing White Paper – promised more than three years ago and still not published – to address properly both the moral imperative to end rough sleeping, and the equally important need to provide genuinely affordable and secure homes for all.

This Council therefore asks that

·       the Leader of the Council writes to the Home Secretary to demand that Government abandons their proposals to make sleeping rough a ground for deportation, and instead to properly fund local authorities, health services and support providers to ensure that no one in Oxford, or anywhere else in the UK, has to sleep rough on the streets;

 

·       all members of Council support Shelter’s campaign for a mass programme of social housing building, with 200,000 new homes a year being required to address a backlog that has built up over decades;

 

·       all members of Council endorse efforts by Oxford City Council and the other local authorities in Oxfordshire to provide enough affordable housing to meet the needs of our current and future citizens

16g

Pavement Parking

Proposed by Cllr Roz Smith, seconded by Cllr Landell Mills

Liberal Democrat member motion

The Government has recently consulted on “Pavement Parking: Options for Change”. Liberal Democrats in Oxfordshire submitted a joint response fully supporting the option of banning pavement parking, as has been the case in London since 1974.

This Council:

·       Recognises that dangerous parking, on pavements, in cycle lanes, around schools and in many other instances, has got worse in recent years and causes significant danger and inconvenience to many people including wheelchair users, parents with small children, the less mobile, and many others.

·       Recognises that enforcement is widely seen to be limited in effectiveness.

·       Believes that the right of pedestrians and cyclists to safe use of their space takes priority over the right of motorists to stop or park nearer to their destination than the nearest legitimate parking space and that pavement parking is an obstacle to Active Travel.

Council therefore:

1.               Fully endorses the objective of the government consultation to end pavement parking, while taking into account local circumstances and supporting Option 3 as set out in the Government consultation paper.

 

2.               Commits to supporting the use of civil enforcement powers in a way which both enforces this policy effectively and does not represent a financial cost to the council.

 

3.               Asks the Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford to write to the Leaders of the County Council and neighbouring district councils informing them of this resolution and offering to investigate opportunities for effective joint working over, for example, enforcement contracts.

 

4.               Asks the Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford to write to the Secretary of State and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Transport informing them of this resolution and urging them to move to banning pavement parking as soon as possible.

 

References:

1: full consultation document “Pavement Parking: Options for Change” https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/managing-pavement-parking/pavement-parking-options-for-change.

16h

Defining 'Net Zero' buildings

Proposed by Cllr Wolff, seconded by Cllr Simmons

Green Member motion

Oxford City Council is listed as a member of the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), along with Cambridge, Bristol and 43 other local authorities.

1. For the sake of clarity in public discourse, the Council therefore accepts at a point in the future the 'framework definition' of 'net zero carbon buildings' as developed by the UKGBC, which in summary states:

Net zero carbon – construction (1.1):

When the amount of carbon emissions associated with a building’s product and construction stages up to practical completion is zero or negative, through the use of offsets or the net export of on-site renewable energy.

Net zero carbon – operational energy (1.2):

When the amount of carbon emissions associated with the building’s operational energy on an annual basis is zero or negative. A net zero carbon building is highly energy efficient and powered from on-site and/or off-site renewable energy sources, with any remaining carbon balance, after all efforts have been otherwise made, offset.

Note: The framework also provides reporting templates, which (if followed) enable claims of 'net zero' construction and operation to be supported with evidence.

2. Council asks that the Transition Director brings a report to Cabinet to investigate ways to ensure that:

·       'net zero' claims made by house-builders and the Council are evidentially supportable (and incompliance with the definition as above)

3. Council asks that the Head of Regeneration & Economy brings a report to Cabinet setting out proposals (including costings) as to how the authority can ensure that:

·       its own properties meet net-zero operational standards by 2030 at the latest; and

·       all new build by the Council meets net zero carbon construction standards by 2030 at the latest; and

·       it further explores the possibility of reflecting this in the relevant planning policies and guidance when they are reviewed in the future.

16i

Chinese New Year 2021

Proposed by Cllr Henwood

Independent member motion

Some 24,000 students study at Oxford University, including approximately 1,068 students from China of which 631 are graduates and 360 undergraduates and the remainder visiting students.

Oxford also remains a popular destination for Chinese tourists that number 13,000 (from a Visit Britain report) annually. China contributes much to Oxford’s economy and cultural diversity.

In recent months the Chinese government has been under pressure to contain the coronavirus. China’s resolve in trying to contain this virus has received global recognition, however, at the same time Chinese and Asian citizens living in Oxford have been subject to prejudicial statements.

The Chinese New Year celebration is organised by the Chinese Community Advice Centre every year at Oxford Town Hall and in 2020 it was decided to cancel the event due to the coronavirus outbreak in China.

2021 is the year of Chinese zodiac Ox sign. Ox people born in this year should have a particular connection to Oxford. A connection Oxford City Council should also recognise and celebrate.

Council is resolved to reassure Chinese and Asian stakeholders that Oxford will not tolerate of any kind of discrimination, and to further demonstrate that Oxford is a welcoming and diverse city to all.

Therefore, Council asks that at the earliest possible convenience the Head of Communities offer to rescind charges for renting the town hall for Chinese New Year celebrations.

16j

The Permitted Deportation of EU Nationals Found Rough Sleeping

Proposed by Cllr Wade, seconded by Cllr Gotch

Liberal Democrat member motion

This Council welcomes the excellent work done by its officers, by charities and by volunteers since March in ensuring that the ‘everyone in’ policy worked for all our Rough Sleeper residents, whether they were UK or other European nationals, and whether or not they had recourse to public funds.

While the pandemic has raged, all those who wanted to be ‘in’ have been found a room of their own, and now more MHCLG (Ministry of Homes, Communities and Local Government) funding will make a permanent home a reality for people who must have thought the community didn’t care about them.

Meanwhile, the Home Office has introduced a draconian policy wholly at variance with the approach from MHCLG during covid, which will come into force on the day the UK finally leaves the EU: 1 January 2021.

The change to the Immigration Rules will mean that for any EU National, simply being a rough sleeper will be a ground for deportation (however unfortunate or temporary his or her sad circumstances may be).

Inevitably Rough Sleepers will become fearful of seeking help from Council officers or outreach teams, and may retreat into the clutches of the underground economy, exploitation and at worst modern slavery. Oxford will not be immune from this hidden nightmare.

This Council therefore calls on the Leader:

1.     To write to the Secretary of State for the Home Office and the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to ask that the changes to the Immigration Rules shall not be implemented.

 

2.     To confirm the City Council’s support for the ‘everyone in’ policy for people rough sleeping on our streets, whether or not they are UK or other EU Nationals or have recourse to public funds.

16k

Student fees

Proposed by Cllr Garden

Liberal Democrat member motion

 

Oxford should be rightly proud of its record for fighting against injustice, for its record in supporting access to university for all students, and fighting to retain Oxford’s connection to Europe. The approach to Brexit has taken us through an unfortunate period in our country’s history. There’s little doubt that, whatever the outcome of the negotiations, Brexit reduces our right to live, work and retire in over 30 countries. It’s divided the nation and driven many away, and the government, intentionally or unintentionally, continues to sever ties, even with its own citizens.

Frequently overlooked are those British citizens, who sought to live or work in the European Union as so many have done over the years. Many of their children are often enrolled in their local British school. Most retain links to the UK.

Until now British students living anywhere in the European Union were included in the home fees agreement (British students who happened to live in an EU country could return to study at a university in the UK and be treated as “Home / EU”).

After the end of the transition period and as of 1st January 2021, British passport-holding students living in the European Union will no longer meet the residency qualification for UK universities. They will be treated as foreign if they’ve not lived in one of the UK’s four nations (England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland) for three years up to when they start the course ; and liable to the international fee rate. Yet these same British students will also be seen as foreign in European Universities, where the fees are dependent on nationality, and therefore charged accordingly.

We do not believe that the vote to leave the EU intended to forsake all those British children and their families who had taken the opportunity of living and working in the European Union. The law needs to change to enable those British students living in the EU to be given the opportunity to attend a British university, the opportunity to re-establish ties with the UK, the opportunity for a Higher Education.

Council calls on the Leader to write to the Secretary of State for Education:

1. Requesting him to ensure that all British citizens who are resident in the European Union, who are planning to study at UK universities, have access to the home fees rate.

2. Asking that they should also be granted access to be able to apply for student loans.

 

References:
1: "Student finance - GOV.UK."
https://www.gov.uk/student-finance . Accessed 18 Nov. 2020.

2: "Living Abroad And Uk Citizen Fees - Complete University Guide."

https://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/ask/answer/3878/living-abroad-and-uk-citizen-fees .

Accessed 18 Nov. 2020.

3: "Many British expats are shocked to find that they may be ...." 8 Feb. 2016,

https://ukstudyoptions.com/many-british-expats-are-shocked-to-find-that-they-may-be-expected-to-pay-overseas-fees-when-their-son-or-daughter-is-applying-to-university-in-the-uk/ . Accessed 18 Nov. 2020.

 

16l

Fireworks

Proposed by Cllr Goddard

Liberal Democrat member motion

 

This Council notes:

·       that in the absence of public firework displays, private use of fireworks seems anecdotally to have been more widespread this Bonfire Night than in most years;

·       that both public and private use of fireworks can have harmful effects on the welfare of vulnerable people and domestic and wild animals;

·       that it is necessary to strike a balance between the enjoyment fireworks can provide and the harm they can cause.

This Council resolves that in time for next Bonfire Night, November 5th 2021, it will:

1.     require all public firework displays within the local authority boundaries to be advertised in advance of the event, allowing residents to take precautions for their animals and vulnerable people;

2.     actively promote a public awareness campaign about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people — including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks;

3.     write to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy  urging him to introduce legislation to limit the maximum noise level of fireworks to 90dB for those sold to the public for private displays;

4.     encourage local suppliers of fireworks to stock ‘quieter’ fireworks for public display.

17.

Matters exempt from publication and exclusion of the public

If Council wishes to exclude the press and the public from the meeting during consideration of any aspects of the preceding agenda items it will be necessary for Council 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)

Updates and additional information to supplement this agenda are published in the Council Briefing Note.

Additional information, councillors’ questions, public addresses and amendments to motions are published in a supplementary briefing note. The agenda and briefing note should be read together.

 

The Briefing Note is published as a supplement to the agenda. It is available on the Friday before the meeting and can be accessed along with the agenda on the council’s website.