Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

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Speaking at a Council or Committee meeting

Venue: Council Chamber - Oxford Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Jennifer Thompson, Committee and Members Services Officer  email:  democraticservices@oxford.gov.uk tel: 01865 252275

Note: This meeting is held in person 

Media

Items
No. Item

35.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

There no declarations.

36.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 474 KB

Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Council held on 26 July 2021.

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

Minutes:

Council agreed to approve the minutes of the ordinary meeting held on 26 July 2021 as a true and correct record.

 

37.

Appointment to Committees

Any proposed changes to committee memberships will be circulated with the briefing note.

Minutes:

No changes notified.

 

38.

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

 

Minutes:

The Lord Mayor spoke about some of the events he had attended including the blessing of St Giles’ Fair; events in the community, at University colleges, and further afield; and the ‘riding of the franchise’ walk along a section of the city boundary to mark the re-opening of the Museum of Oxford on 11 October.

 

The Deputy Lord Mayor outlined some of the events he had attended.

 

The Sheriff reported a successful round up and inspection of the Port Meadow cattle.

 

At the invitation of the Lord Mayor, the City Rector Rev Buckley spoke to the meeting.

 

The Leader of the Council reflected on women’s and girls’ loss of confidence in police forces following the conviction of Sarah Everard’s murderer, and on the grievous loss of women’s lives to violence, in particular remembering Sarah’s family.

39.

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 in the Constitution relating to matters for decision in Part 1 of this agenda.

Up to five minutes is available for each public address and up to three minutes for each question. Questions must be less than 200 words.

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 28 September 2021.

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.

Minutes:

There were no addresses or questions.

 

40.

Integrated Performance Report for Q1 pdf icon PDF 260 KB

The Head of Financial Services and Head of Business Improvement submitted a report to Cabinet on 15 September on Finance, Risk and Corporate Performance matters as at 30 June 2021.

The Cabinet decisions are set out in the minutes of that meeting (included in this agenda).

Paragraph 12 asks Cabinet and Council to establish a capital budget to enable payment of the monies set out in the agreement with Thomas White Oxford (TWO) to deliver infrastructure works to Northern Gateway funded by Housing Infrastructure Funds (HIF) from Homes England. Agreement has been made to commence payment of the funds £2.7 million in 2021/22 and £7.3 million in 2022/23 and this report seeks the approval to do so in accordance with the Constitution, under which a resolution and recommendation to Council must be made by Cabinet.

Cllr Turner, the Cabinet Member, will present the report and propose Cabinet’s recommendations.

 

Recommendations:

Cabinet recommends that Council resolves to agree the addition of £10 million into the Capital programme as set out in paragraph 12 of the report and above.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered the report of the Head of Financial Services and Head of Business Improvement submitted to Cabinet on 15 September on Finance, Risk and Corporate Performance matters as at 30 June 2021.

Cllr Turner, the Cabinet Member, introduced the report and answered questions on details of the financial forecasts. He proposed the recommendations for Council,

The recommendation was agreed on being seconded and put to the vote.

Council resolved to:

agree the addition of £10 million into the Capital programme as set out in paragraph 12 of the report (to establish a capital budget to enable payment of the monies set out in the agreement with Thomas White Oxford (TWO) to deliver infrastructure works to Northern Gateway funded by Housing Infrastructure Funds (HIF) from Homes England in accordance with the Constitution, under a resolution by Council).

41.

A bid for government RSAP funding to support the Council's Homelessness Strategy pdf icon PDF 246 KB

The Executive Director of Housing submitted a report to Cabinet on 15 September seeking approval to proceed with the bid to MHCLG for funding from the Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme (RSAP) and to agree to include the required capital match funding in the Council’s budget.

The Cabinet decisions are set out in the minutes of that meeting (included in this agenda).

Cllr Blackings, the Cabinet Member, will present the report and propose Cabinet’s recommendations.

 

Recommendations: Cabinet recommends that Council resolves to agree to make budget provision for the required match funding of £2 million.

Minutes:

Council considered the report of the Executive Director of Housing submitted to Cabinet on 15 September seeking approval to proceed with the bid to Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Governemnt for funding from the Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme (RSAP) and to agree to include the required capital match funding in the Council’s budget.

Cllr Blackings, the Cabinet Member, introduced the report, proposed the recommendations. The recommendation was agreed on being seconded and put to the vote.

 

Council resolved to agree to make budget provision for the required match funding of £2 million.

42.

Decisions taken under Part 9.3 (b) of the Constitution pdf icon PDF 384 KB

The Head of Paid Service (Chief Executive) had submitted a report asking Cabinet and Council to note the decisions taken by the Head of Paid Service (Chief Executive) using the urgency powers delegated in Part 9.3(b) of the Constitution.

 

Council is recommended to resolve to note the decisions taken as set out in the report.

Minutes:

Council considered the report setting out the decisions made by the Chief Executive using the urgency powers delegated to the Chief Executive in Part 9.3 of the Constitution taken since the last report to Council.

Cllr Brown, the Leader of the Council, introduced the report and proposed that Council formally acknowledge notification of this decision.

Council resolved to note the decision taken.

43.

Question on Cabinet Minutes: Minutes of meeting Wednesday 15 September 2021 pdf icon PDF 473 KB

This item has a time limit of 15 minutes.

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

Minutes:

Minute 38: Cllr Smowton asked whether the options in the consultation to reduce the maximum Council Tax support from 100% were discussed by Cabinet prior to the consultation launch.

Cllr Aziz replied that a wide range of options were included for consultation, but these would be debated by the Cabinet only after the consultation closed and public responses were considered.

 

Minute 46: Cllr Wolff asked why the Ice Rink and Rose Hill Community Centre were removed from the Decarbonisation Programme.

Cllr Turner replied that the costs of delivering all proposed schemes exceeded the available funding, and their removal would have the least impact on progress toward meeting the Council’s 2030 zero carbon target while maximising the use of available grant to pay for decarbonisation measures and enabling works across the other four sites, and delivering the largest future carbon saving.

 

 

 

44.

Questions on Notice from Members of Council pdf icon PDF 533 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 22 September 2021.

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

74 written questions were asked of the Cabinet Members and the Leader, and these and written responses were published before the meeting.

 

These along with summaries of the 31 supplementary questions and responses asked and given at the meeting are set out in the minutes pack.

 

Councillors Corais and Djafari-Marbini arrived near the start of this item.

 

The Lord Mayor left the meeting during this item to attend a civic event. The Deputy Lord Mayor took the chair for the remainder of this item until the Lord Mayor returned at the conclusion of the debate on Motion (b).

45.

Scrutiny Committee update report pdf icon PDF 7 MB

Report to follow.

The Chair of the Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Wade, will present the Scrutiny Annual Report which updates Council on the activities of scrutiny in the Council Year 2020/21.

Council is invited to comment on and note the report.

Minutes:

With the assent of Council, this item was taken before the break.

 

The Scrutiny Committee Chair Cllr Wade gave way to Cllr Gant, who as the Committee Chair for 2020/21 presented the 2020/21 Annual Scrutiny Report. 

Cllr Gant introduced the report and summarised the work of the main committee; standing panels and review groups; and the involvement with the Future Oxfordshire Partnership (formerly Oxfordshire Growth Board) scrutiny panel. He thanked the officers responsible for managing the scrutiny function, the councillors who served on committees and panels, and the many officers who were involved.

Cllr Hollingsworth commented that scrutiny functioned well and added value, thanks to the hard work of both councillors and officers, and was a positive example for other authorities.

Cllr Wade noted that remote meetings on Zoom attracted a higher public attendance and viewing of meetings, and asked how to maintain that increased visibility of Scrutiny’s work. 

 

Council resolved to note this report.

 

The meeting broke for 30 minutes at the conclusion of this item, and Cllr Bely-Summers left at that point.

46.

Public addresses and questions that do not relate to matters for decision at this Council meeting pdf icon PDF 410 KB

Public addresses and questions to the Leader or other Cabinet member received in accordance with Council Procedure Rules in the Constitution and not relating to matters for decision in Part 1 of this agenda.

Up to five minutes is available for each public address and up to three minutes for each question. Questions must be less than 200 words.

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 28 September 2021.

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council heard three addresses and four questions as below. Cabinet Members read their written responses and expanded on these.

 

Both addresses and responses are set out in full in the document in the minutes pack.

 

1.   Address by Dr Gian Guptal of the Oxford Hindu Temple & Community Centre Project (OHTCCP). Dr Guptal had previously handed a petition to the Chief Executive and Cllr Aziz outside the meeting.

2.   Question from Mrs Kanta Gopal (OHTCCP)

3.   Question from Mr Mukesh Shori, OHTCCP

4.   Question from Ms Ingrid Widdows, OHTCCP

5.   Question from John Marjot, representing the Friends of Lye Valley: Warren Crescent Development: 13/01555/CT3

6.   Address by Craig Holmes, on behalf of residents of Warren Crescent.

7.   Address from Ferishta Bakhtari-Boodoo, in support of Motion 15d (Afghanistan and refugees)

The Deputy Lord Mayor thanked all the speakers for their contributions.

47.

Outside organisation/Committee Chair reports and questions

1.     No report is submitted at this meeting.

Two reports from the Leader of the Council will be presented at the next meeting to allow officers to include updates on work and decisions taking place in September and October:

  • OSP - Oxford Strategic Partnership
  • OxLEP and skills board

 

2.     As set out in the Constitution at procedure rule 11.16, 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 Thursday 30 September 2021 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.

 

Minutes:

There were no reports for this meeting.

48.

Motions on notice 4 October 2021 pdf icon PDF 613 KB

This item has a time limit of 60 minutes.

Motions received by the Head of Law and Governance in accordance with the rules in Section 11 of the Constitution by the deadline of 1.00pm on 22 September 2021 are listed below.

Cross party motions are taken first. Motions will then be taken in turn from the Liberal Democrat Group, Green Group, Independent Group, Labour Group 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 1 October 2021 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)    A social enterprise lettings agency for Oxford (proposer Cllr Wade, seconder Cllr Landell Mills)

b)    A Partnership between Local Government and National Government to tackle Climate Change (proposer Cllr Wolff, seconder Cllr Jarvis)

c)    John Radcliffe Hospital parking (proposed by Cllr Haines, seconded by Cllr Malik)

d)    Afghanistan and refugees (proposer Cllr Djafari-Marbini)

e)    E-Scooters and active travel (proposer Cllr Gant, seconder Cllr Smowton)

f)     Oxford Stadium (proposer Cllr Pegg, seconder Cllr Dunne)

g)    EU Nationals deserves to be treated with respect (proposer Cllr Bely-Summers, seconder Cllr Corais)

h)   Opposition to the Government's Planning White Paper (proposed by Cllr Gant)

i)     Opposition to the Health and Care Bill (proposer Cllr Jarvis)

j)      End Fire and Rehire (proposer Cllr Mundy, seconder Cllr Dunne)

k)    COP26 (proposer Cllr Dunne, seconder Cllr Mundy)

 

Minutes:

Council had before it 11 motions on notice submitted in accordance with Council procedure rules and reached decisions as set out below.

 

Motions agreed as set out below:

a)  A social enterprise lettings agency for Oxford, as amended (proposer Cllr Wade, seconder Cllr Landell Mills, amendment proposer Cllr Turner)

b)  A Partnership between Local Government and National Government to tackle Climate Change, as amended (proposer Cllr Wolff, seconder Cllr Jarvis; amendment, proposer Cllr Rowley, seconder Cllr Brown)

d)  Afghanistan and refugees (proposer Cllr Djafari-Marbini)

 

Motion not taken by agreement of the meeting:

c) John Radcliffe Hospital parking (proposer Cllr Haines, seconder Cllr Malik)

 

Motions not taken as the time allocated for debate was insufficient or had finished:

e)  E-Scooters and active travel (proposer Cllr Gant, seconder Cllr Smowton)

f)   Oxford Stadium (proposer Cllr Pegg, seconder Cllr Dunne)

g)  EU Nationals deserves to be treated with respect (proposer Cllr Bely-Summers, seconder Cllr Corais)

h)  Opposition to the Government's Planning White Paper (proposer Cllr Gant)

i)   Opposition to the Health and Care Bill (proposer Cllr Jarvis)

j)   End Fire and Rehire (proposer Cllr Mundy, seconder Cllr Dunne)

k)  COP26 (proposer Cllr Dunne, seconder Cllr Mundy)

 

48a

A social enterprise lettings agency for Oxford (proposer Cllr Wade, seconder Cllr Landell Mills)

Liberal Democrat Group member motion

This Council is concerned that the Government’s RSAP funding for housing the homeless may not continue. [1]

 At best, Government funding for house purchase in Oxford is inadequate given the high cost of housing here, which can entail residents being offered places to live in areas where housing is cheaper but they know nobody. So it is more urgent than ever to find homes for the homeless in the private rented sector, preferably close to the city centre.

The Council already does its best to place vulnerable residents in the private rented sector, but this has proved to be a difficult and time-consuming task for officers because landlords will often reject benefit claimants and are even less likely to accept those with behavioural or addiction or mental health problems.

This Council is asked to look at the success achieved by Home Turf Lettings (HTL),[2]  a social enterprise lettings agency in Bristol. This is a not-for-profit lettings agency under the wing of a parent charity, DHI. Ongoing social support both to Landlords and to Tenants is provided by City Council care providers, by DHI and by other charities. 41% of lettings are to homeless families, 40% to Rough Sleepers and people in hostels, 16% to people who have had addiction treatment and are considered ‘ready’ to move on with their lives. HTL aims to have their tenants living near the city centre so that they can still be in contact with their street community.

Another model can be seen in Homes For Good,[3]  a different but very successful company in Glasgow, which has recently received £2.4m lottery funding to roll out its model across the UK. This is a company limited by guarantee, it is a social lettings agency, not a social enterprise lettings agency. It is an ethical business, not a charity. It has in-house tenancy officers dedicated to Tenants’ care and so to the sustainability of placements. The lease model they seek is for years rather than months.

Homes For Good reports that, as a result of Covid, a number of PRS Landlords have been more willing to consider supported housing Tenants because (a) they — Landlords and Tenants — will be supported throughout, and (b) LHA rates are consistent so there are no failed payments/voids.

Council requests the Leader and the Chief Executive to

  • Call on the Secretary of State for MHCLG to ensure continued funding under the RSA Programme through 22/23 and onwards,
  • delegate an appropriate officer to explore the social lettings models in Bristol and Glasgow,
  • bring a report to Cabinet with an assessment of whether it would be appropriate either to set up a social enterprise lettings agency or to support a social lettings agency in Oxford.

1.      Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme: most of the remaining capital funding (£140.9m) is available for 21/22 “with a small amount available to deliver homes in the first half of 22/23.”

2.      https://www.hometurflettings.co.uk/

3.      https://homesforgood.org.uk/

 

Minutes:

Cllr Wade, seconded by Cllr Landell Mills, accepted the amendment put forward by Cllr Turner and proposed her revised motion with the amendment as set out in briefing note.

After debate and on being put to the vote the motion was agreed.

 

Council resolved to adopt the following motion:

This Council is concerned that the Government’s RSAP funding for housing the homeless may not continue. [1]

 At best, Government funding for house purchase in Oxford is inadequate given the high cost of housing here, which can entail residents being offered places to live in areas where housing is cheaper but they know nobody. So it is more urgent than ever to find homes for the homeless in the private rented sector, within or as close to Oxford as possible.

The Council already does its best to place vulnerable residents in the private rented sector, but this has proved to be a difficult and time-consuming task for officers because landlords will often reject benefit claimants and are even less likely to accept those with behavioural or addiction or mental health problems and in particular because Local Housing Allowance rates are inadequate in Oxford.

This Council notes the research work done by Aspire, in particular with Home Turf Lettings and Homes for Good, into the possibility of setting up a social enterprise lettings agency in Oxford.

Home Turf Lettings (HTL),[2]  a social enterprise lettings agency in Bristol. This is a not-for-profit lettings agency under the wing of a parent charity, DHI. Ongoing social support both to Landlords and to Tenants is provided by City Council care providers, by DHI and by other charities. 41% of lettings are to homeless families, 40% to Rough Sleepers and people in hostels, 16% to people who have had addiction treatment and are considered ‘ready’ to move on with their lives. HTL aims to have their tenants living near the city centre so that they can still be in contact with their street community.

Another model can be seen in Homes For Good,[3]  a different but very successful company in Glasgow, which has recently received £2.4m lottery funding to roll out its model across the UK. This is a company limited by guarantee, it is a social lettings agency, not a social enterprise lettings agency. It is an ethical business, not a charity. It has in-house tenancy officers dedicated to Tenants’ care and so to the sustainability of placements. The lease model they seek is for years rather than months.

Homes For Good reports that, as a result of Covid, a number of PRS Landlords have been more willing to consider supported housing Tenants because (a) they — Landlords and Tenants — will be supported throughout, and (b) LHA rates are consistent so there are no failed payments/voids.

As a result of its research, Aspire has begun a social enterprise pilot, under which four Oxford residents have already secured accommodation.

Council requests the Leader and Chief Executive to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48a

48b

A Partnership between Local Government and National Government to tackle Climate Change

Green Group member motion

Background

In 2018, at COP24, the UK Government signed up to having ‘domestic institutional arrangements, public participation and engagement with local communities’ so that localities can play their part in delivering the UKs ‘Nationally Determined Contributions’ in the Paris Climate Agreement.

In May 2021 Alok Sharma MP, President of COP26 said that collaboration would be a key objective of the climate summit

“Governments, business and civil society (sometimes called ‘non-state actors’ and including local government) need to work together to transform the ways we power our homes and businesses, grow our food, develop infrastructure and move ourselves and goods around”

Despite these agreements and statements there is still no formal relationship allowing joint partnership working between Local and National Government on climate action.

This Council

1.     adds its voice to calls by the Local Government Association, the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport and others for a joint local & national government Task Force to plan action to reach ‘net zero’ emissions. Such a partnership can set appropriate regulations, benchmarks and targets and create the much needed long-term funding mechanisms to enable local communities and economies to decarbonise whilst remaining resilient and sustainable.

2.     asks the Leader to write to Alok Sharma MP, President for COP26 , the Prime Minister and the Leadership Board of the LGA informing them of our support for a joint Local/National Government Climate Change Partnership Taskforce and asking for one to be established before the opening of the COP26 Summit in order to honour the commitment it made there.

 

Minutes:

Cllr Wolff, seconded by Cllr Jarvis, proposed the submitted motion as set out in the agenda and briefing note.

Cllr Rowley, seconded by Cllr Brown, proposed the amendment as published in the briefing note.

Council debated the motion and amendment. On being put to the vote, the amendment was agreed.

On being put to the vote the amended motion was then agreed.

 

Council resolved to adopt the following motion:

In 2018, at COP24, the UK Government signed up to having ‘domestic institutional arrangements, public participation and engagement with local communities’ so that localities can play their part in delivering the UKs ‘Nationally Determined Contributions’ in the Paris Climate Agreement.

In May 2021 the COP26 President said that collaboration would be a key objective of the climate summit.

“Governments, business and civil society (sometimes called ‘non-state actors’ and including local government) need to work together to transform the ways we power our homes and businesses, grow our food, develop infrastructure and move ourselves and goods around”

Despite these agreements and statements there is still no formal relationship allowing joint partnership working between Local and National Government on climate action.

Local government is nearest to our communities and, as Oxford City Council’s record shows, perhaps most clearly with our Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change, councils play a critical role in our communities.

Oxford is set to become a net zero city by 2040 or earlier—ten years ahead of the national legal target. We set this ambition because we care about our city and all who live within it, both now and in the future. We have the toughest air quality standard in the country. We set this ambition because we care about the health of everyone in our city. Our actions to realise these targets are widely recognised as best practice and we proactively share examples of our work with Government to influence policy, powers, and funding.

 

This Council

1.     Reaffirms and expands its 2019 climate emergency declaration to declare a climate and ecological emergency to guide all future decision-making.

2.     Calls on Oxfordshire County Council to demonstrate the power of local government at the time of COP26 by fleshing out their public commitment to full and permanent pedestrianisation of Broad Street with a timetable for action that includes further consultation (building on the large amount of convening and consulting by the City Council) and implementation of a scheme in time for the summer of 2022.

3.     asks the Leader to continue to add her voice to calls by the Local Government Association, the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport and others for a joint local & national government Task Force to plan action to reach ‘net zero’ emissions. Such a partnership can set appropriate regulations, benchmarks and targets and create the much needed long-term funding mechanisms to enable local communities and economies to decarbonise whilst remaining resilient and sustainable.

4.     continues to work in partnership with local councils and through networks such as UK100.

asks the Leader to write  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48b

48c

John Radcliffe Hospital parking (proposed by Cllr Haines, seconded by Cllr Malik)

Independent Group member motion

Council reaffirms its decision on 7 October 2019 where it agreed:

Council resolves to continue to work with the management of Oxford University Hospitals Trust as a matter of urgency to help them to undertake a review of the approach to sustainable transport at all the Trust’s sites including the John Radcliffe hospital, including a review of the Trust’s approach to the allocation of car parking capacity so as to allow for an increased proportion of parking at the sites for the disabled, patients and visitors, and for the operational needs of critical medical staff as part of a comprehensive masterplan for all the Trust’s sites in Headington including the John Radcliffe hospital, to promote a sustainable approach to transport to those sites as part of the Local Transport Strategy 5.

Reason:

It is grossly unfair on people who are sick and the friends and family of those wanting to urgently visit people in hospital to allow the current situation to continue. A comprehensive shift to more sustainable transport approaches would:

·         Reduce the congestion on local roads, freeing up the road network to other traffic including buses and ambulances;

·         Reduce the pollution inhaled by cyclists, pedestrians and local residents from vehicles queuing with engines running;

·         Reduce lost time and missed appointments which cost the health service a fortune;

·         Make it easier for staff to access the hospital, helping to reduce staff shortages;

·         In addition the hospital trust have taken away fifteen parking spaces and they continue to build on the site;

·         Currently there are 743 parking spaces, 832 beds and the hospital serves roughly 655,000 people.

A petition: ‘To build a multi-storey car park at the John Radcliffe hospital’ circulating has now received nearly 5000 signatures on change.org, with around 1300 on paper.

I hope this motion can be carried to allow us to resolve this long standing issue for now and in to the future, and to alleviate some of the problems that the public so clearly and desperately need resolving.

 

Minutes:

The Lord Mayor resumed the Chair from the Deputy Lord Mayor on the conclusion of the previous debate.

 

With the agreement of Council, this motion was not taken as Cllr Haines was absent and unable to propose his motion.

48d

Afghanistan and refugees

Labour Group member motion

The Council notes with deep sadness the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Our thoughts are with the people of Afghanistan who have been subject to decades of violence over multiple generations and with our neighbours who are fearing for their loved ones.

The end of the 20-year war on terror has brought into sharp focus the ongoing humanitarian disaster in a country ravaged by decades of conflict. There have been ever-rising rates of poverty and childhood malnourishment, millions internally displaced (in no small part due to the US drones programme) and minorities fleeing persecution from the Taliban. In Oxfordshire this has included spouses of British citizens and family members of UK nationals including those of the persecuted Hazara community.

This has needed an urgent humanitarian response from the UK, in particular as a partner in the occupation. The recent breach of Afghan interpreters’ data many of whom are left behind is indicative of what we know from our local Afghan community – that the government is falling woefully short of its responsibility to provide sanctuary to those in need, not least our British nationals and sub-contracted Afghan partners.

We are proud to be a City of Sanctuary; we have resettled 30 refugee families since 2015 through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. Since the Taliban have taken over in Afghanistan, our diverse communities across Oxford/shire have come together to respond with kindness in the knowledge that no one chooses to migrate from a beloved home.

Oxford City and Oxfordshire County Councils work tirelessly with refugee organisations including Asylum Welcome to prepare to support Afghan refugees to build new lives here and to assist those living in temporary accommodation. Cherwell District Council has sourced 10 houses and here in the city we are actively seeking and working with private landlords to allow us to use government funding. This will offer much needed homes so that some families can start rebuilding their lives.

Millions in the global south* are forced to flee due to conflict, persecution, and extreme poverty. The present crisis has further exposed the lack of safe routes to sanctuary and the cruel nature of this government’s Nationality and Borders Bill. Compassionate leadership is needed now more than ever to ensure that all people seeking safety have access to a dignified life. 

We therefore call on our Council leader to:

1.    Ask the Home Secretary to withdraw the Borders Bill, grant permanent Refugee Status to all Afghan nationals who are in the UK and release those detained, create safe pathways for undocumented Afghans to obtain refugee status and facilitate family reunions including from third countries.

2.    Ask the Local Government Association to establish a Sanctuary Taskforce. A fully resourced, just, and locally led emergency and long-term resettlement programme based on the principles of welcome, dignity and justice is the only solution to the ongoing crisis.

3.    Re-establish the Refugee, Asylum Seeker and Vulnerable Migrant Coordination Group in joint leadership with the County and District Councils along  ...  view the full agenda text for item 48d

Minutes:

Cllr Djafari-Marbini, seconded by Cllr Arshad, proposed the submitted motion as set out in the agenda and briefing note.

After debate and on being put to the vote the motion was agreed.

 

Council resolved to adopt the following motion:

The Council notes with deep sadness the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Our thoughts are with the people of Afghanistan who have been subject to decades of violence over multiple generations and with our neighbours who are fearing for their loved ones.

The end of the 20-year war on terror has brought into sharp focus the ongoing humanitarian disaster in a country ravaged by decades of conflict. There have been ever-rising rates of poverty and childhood malnourishment, millions internally displaced (in no small part due to the US drones programme) and minorities fleeing persecution from the Taliban. In Oxfordshire this has included spouses of British citizens and family members of UK nationals including those of the persecuted Hazara community.

This has needed an urgent humanitarian response from the UK, in particular as a partner in the occupation. The recent breach of Afghan interpreters’ data many of whom are left behind is indicative of what we know from our local Afghan community – that the government is falling woefully short of its responsibility to provide sanctuary to those in need, not least our British nationals and sub-contracted Afghan partners.

We are proud to be a City of Sanctuary; we have resettled 30 refugee families since 2015 through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. Since the Taliban have taken over in Afghanistan, our diverse communities across Oxford/shire have come together to respond with kindness in the knowledge that no one chooses to migrate from a beloved home.

Oxford City and Oxfordshire County Councils work tirelessly with refugee organisations including Asylum Welcome to prepare to support Afghan refugees to build new lives here and to assist those living in temporary accommodation. Cherwell District Council has sourced 10 houses and here in the city we are actively seeking and working with private landlords to allow us to use government funding. This will offer much needed homes so that some families can start rebuilding their lives.

Millions in the global south are forced to flee due to conflict, persecution, and extreme poverty. The present crisis has further exposed the lack of safe routes to sanctuary and the cruel nature of this government’s Nationality and Borders Bill. Compassionate leadership is needed now more than ever to ensure that all people seeking safety have access to a dignified life. 

We therefore call on our Council leader to:

  1. Ask the Home Secretary to withdraw the Borders Bill, grant permanent Refugee Status to all Afghan nationals who are in the UK and release those detained, create safe pathways for undocumented Afghans to obtain refugee status and facilitate family reunions including from third countries.
  2. Ask the Local Government Association to establish a Sanctuary Taskforce. A fully resourced, just, and locally led emergency and long-term resettlement programme based on the principles  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48d

48e

E-Scooters and active travel (proposer Cllr Gant, seconder Cllr Smowton)

Liberal Democrat Group member motion

In late 2020 the County Council took early steps towards an ETRO (emergency traffic regulation order) legalising the use of e-scooters on the public highway, within certain carefully controlled and defined limits. The County’s plans identified a number of objectives for the proposed trial:

  1. Support safe commuting to work and education as an alternative whilst social distancing measures are in place,
  2. Reduce private car use and reduce congestion,
  3. Contribute towards the reduction in air pollution and carbon emissions,
  4. Test perceptions and attitudes towards new mobility solutions, and
  5. Deliver a safe and accessible alternative travel mode which complements the public transport offer, but which addresses short term capacity constraints on the network.  

Following elections in May 2021 the new Oxfordshire Fair Deal Alliance administration at County Hall set out its priorities for transport policy, stating:

“We will create a transport network that makes active travel the first choice for short journeys and invests in public transport to significantly reduce our reliance on car journeys. In areas of planned housing growth, we will prioritise active and public transport over road capacity for cars. We will accelerate our support for communities in implementing 20mph zones."

This Council thoroughly endorses those objectives.

Council therefore resolves to fully and publicly back the stated ambition of the County Council by:

  • supporting all modes of transport that allow our residents alternatives to the car, including the county's e-scooter trial;
  • working to reduce and where possible eliminate car parking spaces in new developments;
  • working harder through policy development and the planning system to ensure adequate provision of active travel elements in new developments in order to avoid demands from new residents for expensive and time-consuming retro-fits at a later date, and, more importantly, to provide them with better places to live;
  • and asks the Chief Executive to write to her counterpart at the County Council communicating the substance of this motion.

 

Minutes:

This motion was not taken as the remaining time allocated for debate was insufficient.

 

With less than 10 minutes of the allotted time remaining, Council agreed not to consider this motion but to close the meeting.

48f

Oxford Stadium (proposer Cllr Pegg, seconder Cllr Dunne)

Green Group member motion

Council notes plans by Kevin Boothby (reported in the Oxford Mail: 17th June 2021) to bring greyhound racing back to Oxford Stadium following the acquisition of a 10-year lease from owners Galliard Homes. 

Council notes that the last greyhound racing took place in the Stadium in December 2012. 

Council notes that Galliard Homes have previously (2013 - application number 13/00302/FUL) submitted a planning application to re-develop the site for housing but that this was never approved by the Council. 

Council notes that there has been an informal assessment of the site by British Cycling who have stated it would be suitable as velodrome combined with a BMX and learn-to-ride facility with ample space for other community uses. 

Council also notes that greyhound racing has been heavily criticised by animal welfare organisations such as the League Against Cruel Sports, Alliance Against Greyhound Racing, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) who believe that dogs should not suffer or die for entertainment or for the profit of the dog racing industry. 

The Greyhound Board of Great Britain’s (GBGB) own data confirms that in 2019 there were 4970 greyhound injuries & 710 deaths (14 per week).

Despite Legislation aimed at improving the welfare of greyhounds, including the Animal Welfare Act (2006), The Welfare of Racing Greyhounds Regulations 2010, there is still ample evidence of the dangers to greyhounds bred for racing (see [1, 2]). The latter Government report into the effectiveness of the 2010 Regulations cast doubt on many aspects of the sport, making several important recommendations which have NOT been made law. 

The Council considers itself to be a caring Council which seeks the highest standards of welfare for all animals.

It therefore: 

  • Agrees to publicly oppose the reintroduction of greyhound racing in Oxford. 
  • Asks Cabinet to request a report from the Executive Director (Development) which explores alternative uses for the site in collaboration with the site owner and operator.
  • Should the greyhound racing go ahead and the operator is not licensed by the Greyhound Board of Great Britain, the Council agrees to use its powers to ensure the welfare and safety of racing dogs and agrees to consider developing a licensing policy on greyhound racing. 

 

[1] The State of greyhound racing in Great Britain: a mandate for change’, League of Cruel Sports (2014) 

[2] ‘Greyhound Welfare’. Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFFRA) Committee (2016)

 

Minutes:

This motion was not taken as the time allocated for debate had finished.

48g

EU Nationals deserves to be treated with respect (proposer Cllr Bely-Summers, seconder Cllr Corais)

Labour Group member motion

Council notes:

-        That following the UK’s departure from the EU there are significant new entry restrictions for EU nationals seeking to come to the UK;

-        That at the 2011 census, over 12,000 Oxford residents were born in an EU member state apart from Ireland and the UK;

Council believes:

-        That nationals from EU member states are, along with many other migrant communities, an important part of Oxford’s diverse and vibrant society;

-        That EU nationals, their families, friends and visitors deserve to be treated with respect;

-        That in law, EU nationals have the right to receive visitors, yet there is disturbing evidence of hostile treatment of such visitors at the UK border, and that this is causing great distress to those affected, and uncertainty amongst people in Oxford more widely;

-        That this is further evidence of the government’s discredited “hostile environment” policy [1] being continued.

 

Council resolves:

-        To ask the Council Leader to write to the Home Secretary urging a much more sensitive approach to those visiting the UK from EU countries at the UK border, and protesting at the poor treatment visitors have received since the start of 2021;

-        To request this letter is shared with representative organisations in Oxford, relevant embassies, and through the Council’s social media channels.

 

[1] www.gov.uk government speech by home secretary on second-reading-of-immigration-bill

Telegraph: Theresa May interview re illegal migrants

Minutes:

This motion was not taken as the time allocated for debate had finished.

48h

Opposition to the Government's Planning White Paper (proposed by Cllr Gant)

Liberal Democrat Group member motion

Oxford City Council believes planning works best when developers and the local community work together to shape local areas and deliver necessary new homes; and therefore, calls on the Government to protect the right of communities to object to individual planning applications.

Oxford City Council also calls on the Leader of the Council to write to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to ask them to uphold this vital principle.

 

Minutes:

This motion was not taken as the time allocated for debate had finished.

48i

Opposition to the Health and Care Bill (proposer Cllr Jarvis)

Green Group member motion

This Council notes the government has presented its Health and Care Bill to parliament to reform the delivery of NHS and public health services. This legislation would:

  • Reorganise the NHS around “Integrated Care Systems” (ICS), new bodies within the health service with boards comprising organisations involved in service delivery – including for-profit private companies.
  • Abolish the requirement for compulsory competitive tendering for NHS services, as set out in Section 75 of the 2012 Health and Social Care Act.

This Council believes that the move towards ICS is an unnecessary and unwanted reorganisation of the health service.

This Council believes that allowing private companies to sit on ICS boards – bodies with decision making powers over how NHS money is spent and the care patients receive – is an anathema to the principles of the NHS as a publicly provided, publicly funded and publicly run health service, representing a clear conflict of interest.

This Council believes that revoking Section 75 of the 2012 Health and Social Care Act without also ending private sector involvement in the health service will remove one of the few checks and balances on outsourcing and privatisation presently in operation, leading to contracts being given without competition or tender to private companies and without the ability for in-house bids.

This Council calls for the Leader of the Council to:

  • Write to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to demand the withdrawal of the proposed legislation and express opposition to the inclusion of private companies on ICS boards, as well as to the revocation of Section 75 of the 2012 Health and Social Care Act unless all private delivery of NHS services is also revoked.
  • Write to Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Equalities requesting a commitment from the County Council Cabinet to oppose the imposition of ICS and to advocate for the exclusion of any representatives of private companies on local ICS boards. 

 

Minutes:

This motion was not taken as the time allocated for debate had finished.

48j

End Fire and Rehire (proposer Cllr Mundy, seconder Cllr Dunne)

Labour Group member motion

The practice of Fire and Rehire, which can also be referred to as dismissal and reengagement, has come to public attention in recent years. This involves an employer dismissing staff and reoffering their roles under inferior conditions, usually to effectively change the contract of employment. The currently legal practice has been increasingly threatened by employers. The prevalence and impact of Fire and Rehire has been researched by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) [1]. Though not new, there is suggestion that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred an increase in its use. Others have told Acas that the pandemic is being used “opportunistically as a smokescreen to diminish workers’ terms and conditions”. This has impacted a range of employees, many of whom have been key workers such as factory, utilities, and retail workers. These are people who have kept working and kept our country going during the pandemic and lockdowns.

According to TUC research [2] nearly 1 in 10 workers have been told to re-apply for their jobs on worse terms and conditions or face the sack. Working-class people (12%) are nearly twice as likely as those from higher socio-economic groups (7%) to face Fire and Rehire. For black and ethnic minority workers (15%) the rate is nearly twice the rate of white workers (8%).

Here, and across the country, Fire and Rehire is increasing the precariousness of work and financially and mentally compromising people who work hard to put food on the table and pay their bills. It is shackling our trade unions and making it impossible for them to fight for a fair deal for their members.

According to the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), our city’s own newspapers The Oxford Mail and The Oxford Times threated to Fire and Rehire NUJ members over bank holiday pay. In August the NUJ agreed a deal to end the dispute, but they could not get Fire and Rehire taken off the table in negotiations with the newspapers’ owners Newsquest Media Group. [3]

In Oxfordshire, workers at the Jacob Douwe Egberts coffee factory in Banbury were threatened with Fire and Rehire earlier this year. The profitable factory succeeded in settling an agreement with Unite the Union in August. [4]

Oxford City Council resolves:

·         To publicly oppose any future use or threat of Fire and Rehire by employers in our City.

·         For the review of future contracts, contract renewals and procurement to seek to include a commitment for employers to not use or threaten Fire and Rehire, as part of their social clause.

·         For our City Council Leader to add her voice to that of our MPs Anneliese Dodds and Layla Moran in supporting new national legislation to ban Fire and Rehire.

·         For our City Council Leader to write to Business Secretary Kwarsi Kwarteng, urging him to support Barry Gardiner’s End Fire and Rehire Private Members Bill [5] and back the workers of our country.

 

1 https://www.acas.org.uk/fire-and-rehire-report/html

2  “Fire and rehire” tactics have become widespread  ...  view the full agenda text for item 48j

Minutes:

This motion was not taken as the time allocated for debate had finished.

48k

COP26 (proposer Cllr Dunne, seconder Cllr Mundy)

Labour Group member motion

This Council notes that:

  • The global scientific consensus is that humans have caused an unprecedented increase in global temperatures, and we are heading towards mass extinction of entire ecosystems if we do not change our actions today [1].
  • We have witnessed rising temperatures, floods, wildfires, and other extreme weather events happening more frequently around the world. Insects, animals, and natural habitats have been in decline because of the crisis we are in.
  • The climate crisis is not just an environmental issue but is a social justice issue as the people who are least responsible for the crisis in the global south are the same people who will be hit hardest by its impacts.
  • The main causes of the climate crisis are increased emissions from the fossil fuel sector, the agriculture sector and the waste sector which highlights the need for stronger mitigation in all these areas [2].
  • The UK’s agricultural land use and practices are a central driver for habitat and biodiversity loss, making this one of the world’s most nature-depleted countries [3]. In the UK, we also eat more than twice the global average of meat and dairy products which is a huge contributor to global warming.
  • The UK will soon be hosting COP26. The current government has not done enough to address the climate crisis and must do more immediately, particularly around agriculture which so often gets overlooked in climate change discussions.
  • In January 2019, Oxford City Council declared a climate emergency and have been taking steps since to help prevent climate catastrophe, but more must be done locally, and we will need more powers and funding from national government as well.
  • The necessary change to confront the climate crisis needs to tackle existing inequalities and to be democratic, led from the community with workshops, more citizen assemblies and youth summits.
  • Zero carbon citizens and more importantly zero carbon institutions and businesses in the city are essential to decarbonising Oxford. Climate action from the city needs to be equitable based on contribution to the crisis (e.g., challenging large businesses and institutions in the city who are contributing the most to the crisis [4]).

This Council agrees to: 

  • Look within the City Council operations to see where more work can be done to divest from fossil fuels such as
    • the transport of goods from around the world to Oxford,
    • local government pension fund investments
  • Publicly call out institutions and businesses who continue to participate in fossil fuel activity, plastic waste, and unsustainable farming, including through associated partnerships such as pensions and suppliers.
  • Ask the relevant Cabinet Member to work with officers to set-up working groups in the council to collaborate with existing community groups, climate activists and co-operatives to establish a revolutionary and systemic approach to reducing carbon emissions in the city.
  • Ask the Leader to write to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy to provide funding to local governments for the nine concrete, radical changes of the Green New Deal  ...  view the full agenda text for item 48k

Minutes:

This motion was not taken as the time allocated for debate had finished.