Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

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Items
No. Item

82.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

None.

83.

Chair's Announcements

Minutes:

The Chair noted that item7 (Oxpens Redevelopment) would more usually be considered by the Companies Scrutiny Panel. The timing of the report did not, however, fit with scheduled meetings of the Companies Scrutiny Panel, hence its place on the Committee’s  agenda. The Committee would however benefit from the presence of all members of the Panel given Cllr Munkonge’s presence at this meeting as a substitute and the later arrival for the item of Cllr Landell-Mills as a guest of the meeting together with the normal presence of Cllrs Fry and Simmons as members of the Committee.  Given the confidential nature of the appendices to this item, the Committee agreed that it should be taken at the end of the meeting.

 

84.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 401 KB

 

Recommendation: That the minutes of the meeting held on 02 February 2021 be APPROVED as a true and accurate record.

 

Minutes:

The Committee resolved to APPROVE the minutes of the meeting held on 02 February 2021 as a true and accurate record.

85.

Work Plan and Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 213 KB

A summary of the latest version of the Forward Plan is attached for information.

 

The Committee is asked to note that with the election confirmed for May, the current meeting is the last of the civic year. The Committee is recommended to delegate to the Scrutiny Officer development of an interim workplan for the first quarter of the upcoming civic year, to allow the new Scrutiny Committee time to agree its own priorities thereafter.

 

 

Minutes:

The Scrutiny Officer reminded Members that this was likely  to be the last meeting of the Committee in the present council year.  In anticipation of the new council year the Committee agreed to delegate authority to the Scrutiny Officer to prepare a provisional workplan for the first quarter for the new Committee. To assist with this he would soon be writing to all Councillors and senior officers,  seeking suggestions for  this provisional plan.

 

The Committee expressed regret that it had not been possible to consider the imminent Cabinet report on the Zero Emission Zone. The Scrutiny Officer explained that this was largely the result of the limited capacity of the Committee, combined with the sometimes unpredictable timing of items appearing and moving on the Forward Plan and the associated difficulty of lining up items and guest speakers at relatively short notice.

 

Members of the Committee raised the matter of the Climate Emergency Review Group, the draft Cabinet response to which was  later on the agenda. It was suggested that consideration of it should be delayed until the Cabinet response had been confirmed and that it should, rather, be a priority for the new council year.  On being put to the vote the suggestion was agreed and the item be deferred.

 

86.

Council Business Plan 2021-22 and Business Plan 2020-21 update pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Cabinet, at its meeting on 10 March, will consider a report on the Council Business Plan 2021-22 and Business Plan 2020-21 update. The Committee is asked to consider the report and agree any recommendations thereon.

Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of the Council and Mish Tullar, Corporate Policy Partnership & Communications Manager, have been invited to attend for this item.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of the Council, introduced the report. The last 12 months had been most unusual and,  as a result,  the focus had been on producing a plan which both met the Council’s objectives as well as meeting the atypical needs faced by the City as it emerged from the pandemic. Members and officers across the Council had worked hard to secure the right objectives which were fit for purpose and informed by a high level of engagement with stakeholders. The plan included targets which were both exciting and realistic. The section on Equalities Impact” was worthy of particular attention because of the way in which it exemplified the  critical importance of equalities as a key theme throughout the plan. She went on to draw attention to a few examples such as the promotion of the Oxford Living Wage; the promotion of socially responsible businesses (which would be helped by the recently revised procurement strategy); and the importance of employment and economic  recovery over the next year and beyond. Housing and homelessness comprised another important element, building on the good work of the last year. It continued to be important to deliver the Workforce Equalities Action Plan with its key objective of securing a properly representative and inclusive workforce. 

Mish Tullar, Head of Corporate Policy, Partnerships and Communications, emphasised that this ambitious plan was the product of significant engagement with, among others, all senior officers and portfolio holders. The plan had been constructed on the basis that it was deliverable (although this necessarily included assumptions about the ability to proceed with some activities as the current Covid-19 driven restrictions receded). The structure of the plan echoed that of the Council’s 4 year strategy and this included, for the sake of clarity and conciseness, the capturing of an item in the plan just once. It was important not to misinterpret this as meaning that an item was not considered relevant or important in some other strand of the plan also. It was important also to note that the plan’s focus was on transformative actions and not those which might be considered to be both important but also “business as usual.”  A great deal of thought had been given to the KPIs, seeking to identify ones which were both accessible and meaningful.

The Committee expressed support for the overall objectives of the plan and went on to raise a number of detailed  observations. These included the desirability of identifying how to track social value; clarifying the meaning of ‘infrastructure’ in the context of the Oxford Cambridge Arc; clarifying what was meant by the  Transport and Connectivity Prospectus; some actions appeared not to be aligned with those CERG recommendations  which seemed likely to be agreed by Cabinet; a better measure in relation to the conversion of fleet vehicles might be how many miles are covered by  both types of vehicle rather than the number of them; some apparent inconsistencies between aspirations for zero carbon buildings and what  ...  view the full minutes text for item 86.

87.

Report back on recommendations and Scrutiny Panel meetings pdf icon PDF 285 KB

The Committee’s recommendations on the Zero Carbon Council report and of the Budget Review Group were put to Cabinet at its meeting on 10 February. Cabinet’s responses to those recommendations are attached.

No Scrutiny Panels have met since the last meeting of the Committee.

The draft responses of the Cabinet to the Scrutiny Climate Emergency Review Group are also attached for consideration by the Committee. The Committee is asked to note the draft nature of these responses, which are still subject to formal Cabinet agreement.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee expressed disappointment that none of the Committee’s recommendations in relation to the Zero Carbon Council report had been agreed, not least because they had been driven only by a wish to improve the credibility of the associated plans.  There was surprise that the recommendation in relation to the inclusion of an environmental implications section for all Cabinet reports had not been agreed given that it was understood to already be in hand.  The Committee asked the Chair to feed this concern back to Cabinet.

The Committee was also disappointed to note  the proportion of budget review group recommendations which had been rejected.

The Committee had agreed earlier in the meeting to defer consideration of the Cabinet response to the CERG report.

 

88.

Reports for approval pdf icon PDF 149 KB

The Committee is asked to agree the following draft reports:  

·       Domestic Abuse Review Group report (to follow).

·       Report to Cabinet regarding Citizen Engagement (to follow).

 

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Citizens’ Engagement Report

Subject to a few specific observations by the Chair, the Committee agreed that this report should be submitted to Cabinet.

Domestic Review Group Report

Cllr Shaista Aziz, as Chair of the review group, introduced the report, thanking all those who had contributed to this thorough and comprehensive review of an important matter. She drew attention to the review’s particular focus on those from minoritised groups such as ethnic minorities, those with no recourse to public funds  and those who are homeless. The review had benefitted from the expertise of a wide range of experts and those with lived experience both within and from outside the City. She hoped that the report would herald continuing conversations and dialogue about this important matter which cut across many areas of Council activity. She concluded by noting that domestic abuse was of particular concern at the present time because of unusually strained domestic environments imposed  by  pandemic restrictions.

The Chair, on behalf of the Committee, thanked Cllr Aziz and all those who had contributed to this substantive and valuable report.

The Committee agreed that the report should be submitted to Cabinet, with a recommendation that the Cabinet response should be given at its first meeting following the election and delegated agreement to minor changes to Cllr Aziz and the Scrutiny Officer.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

89.

Dates of future meetings

Meetings are scheduled as followed:

 

Scrutiny Committee

• 08 April - cancelled

 

Standing Panels

•Finance & Performance: Provisional meeting scheduled for 06 April – now cancelled

•Companies Scrutiny:  15 March

•Housing & Homelessness: 04 March

 

All meetings start at 6.00 pm.

 

 

 

Minutes:

Meetings are scheduled as followed:

 

Scrutiny Committee

• 08 April - cancelled

 

Standing Panels

•Finance & Performance: Provisional meeting scheduled for 06 April – now cancelled

•Companies Scrutiny:  15 March

•Housing & Homelessness: 04 March

 

All meetings start at 6.00 pm.

 

 

90.

Matters Exempt from Publication

If the Committee wishes to exclude the press and the public from the meeting during consideration of any of the items on the exempt from publication part of the agenda, it will be necessary for the Committee to pass a resolution in accordance with the provisions of Paragraph 4(2)(b) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 on the grounds that their presence could involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as described in specific paragraphs of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

The Committee may maintain the exemption 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.

 

Minutes:

The 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 public from the following item on the grounds that their presence could involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as described in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of schedule  12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

91.

Oxpens Revelopment pdf icon PDF 152 KB

Cabinet, at its meeting on 10 March, will consider a report on the  approval of additional loan finance to Oxford West End Development (OxWED) to support the redevelopment of Oxpens.The Committee is asked to consider the report and agree any recommendations thereon.

Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of the Council; Tom Bridgman, Executive  Director for Development;  and Jane Winfield, Head of Service (Corporate Property) have been invited to attend for this item.

 

Minutes:

This matter was considered in confidential session.

 

 

92.

Oxpens Redevelopment - Appendices