Agenda item

Agenda item

Draft CEB response to the recommendations of the Inequality Panel

Contact Officer: Andrew Brown, Scrutiny Officer,

Tel 01865 252230,


Background Information

The Scrutiny Committee referred the Report of the Inequality Scrutiny Panel to the City Executive Board in June 2015.

Why is it on the agenda?


For the Committee to consider the draft City Executive Board responses to the recommendations of the Inequality Panel.

Who has been invited to comment?


The Scrutiny Officer will present the report.



The Chair of the Inequality Panel welcomed the positive response to the majority of the Panel’s recommendations, noting that of the 29 draft responses to recommendations or sub-recommendations, 17 were agreed, 3 were agreed in part and 6 were not agreed.  Comments had been received for the remaining 3 recommendations (14a, 18a and 18b) but it had not been clearly stated whether these were agreed or not agreed by CEB.


The Committee noted that the Cross Party Working Group had reviewed the draft responses.  The Committee restated their support for all the recommendations and made the following comments on the draft CEB responses to specific recommendations:


·         Rec 3 – A robust metric or series of objective measurements was necessary to ensure that proactive policies could be developed, better focused and more effectively scrutinised;

·         Rec 10d – Working with OCCG to simplify access to services would be mutually beneficial.  In testing social prescribing, GPs were utilising an on-line tool to identify agencies to which patients could be referred to resolve the need, pressure and worry that caused illness; aspects of which include health, physical activity, housing and social care.  Scrutiny would prefer that residents could access such a tool before becoming ill and requiring medical intervention;

·         Rec 13 – Approval had recently been given for a £10m bid to government to reduce food waste.  If successful, this recommendation for greater collaboration and strategic leadership to address food poverty could potentially be achieved.  There was a need for food poverty initiatives to be effective in all parts of the city with pressing need.

·         Rec 14a – Asylum Welcome had precarious funding. Without committing to increase the value of the support given, a commitment to provide support for three, rather than one year, would provide reassurance to this charity at a time when the need for the charity's services was clearly increasing;

·         Rec 16a – Although OCVA was charged with providing a directory, current practice illustrated that charities were unable to work with efficiency.  For example, inappropriate applications were received by some charities that could have succeeded if made to the appropriate charity.  A simple task of highlighting the aims, objectives and qualifying criteria for each charitable fund would save time and effort for the applicant, charity and sector advice agencies, with the outcome that appropriate aid would be provided timeously for those in need;

·         Rec 17a – The County Council grants were focused quite differently to the recommendation made by Scrutiny;

·         Rec 17b – This suggestion had no additional cost.  Measures were required to identify families with children with underlying qualification for the pupil premium (a measure currently practiced by other district authorities);

·         Rec 19 – Poor and bad employment practices did exist in Oxford and could be illustrated by those establishments that assumed tips and reduced the wages of staff solely based on the assumption that tips were received.  Such malpractices needed to be addressed and the City Council had a role in upholding and promoting best practice;

·         Rec 20 – When providing his evidence, Professor Dorling underlined that the most effective way to address current levels of inequality in Oxford was to actively promote a proper Living Wage appropriate to Oxford's very high living costs.


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