Agenda item

Agenda item

Scrutiny reports

Scrutiny Committee met on 6 March 2023; Climate & Environment Panel will meet on 9 March 2023; and Housing & Homelessness Panel will meet on 13 March 2023.  The following reports are expected and will be published as a supplement, together with any other recommendations from those meetings:

·       Annual Update of the Council’s Business Plan

·       Integrated Care Strategy Update

·       Integrated Performance Report for Q3 2022/23

·       Development of a Biodiversity Strategy for Oxford

·       Housing, Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy


Councillor Dr Smowton, Chair of the Scrutiny Committee, presented the reports and recommendations of Scrutiny Committee and the Housing & Homelessness Panel which had met on 13 March.

The Scrutiny Committee had made three recommendations in relation to the Corporate Business Plan 2023, which were all accepted.  These related to including higher level key performance indicators; monitoring of progress and implementation of the Urban Forest Strategy; and including explicit reference to working with Thames Water in seeking to improve the situation with water in the City.

The Scrutiny Committee had made five recommendations in relation to the Integrated Care Strategy Draft Strategy Update, which had been mostly accepted.  These included recommending that the Council should use its influence via the Integrated Care Board and Strategy action plan to: ensure that the risks and dangers of vaping were emphasised; seek to combat vaccine hesitancy and misinformation; and broaden work on air quality, including indoor air quality and indoor sources of pollutants.  There had also been a recommendation that specific attention should be paid to the relevant needs of particular demographic groups (including LGBT communities and minority ethnic communities) and the impact of certain strategies and factors on those groups in particular.

The Scrutiny Committee had made one recommendation in relation to the Integrated Performance Report for Quarter 3.  This had related to including the specific categories of work which were proposed to be suspended and the associated financial implications in paragraph 10 of the report.  This had been accepted.

The Housing & Homelessness Panel had made one recommendation in relation to the Housing, Homelessness & Rough Sleeping Strategy.  This related to working with OX Place to consider how it might move towards having a higher percentage of new homes let at social rent level than a simple majority.   The recommendation had been partially accepted, for the reasons set out in the Cabinet Member’s response within the scrutiny report supplement.  The Cabinet Member provided clarification, in relation to the figures provided, that the Local Plan 2016 – 2036 stipulated that any new development over 10 units was required to have 50% affordable units, of which 80% must be social rented. Following changes to the National Planning Practice Guidance, this requirement was amended to 70% Social Housing, 25% First Homes and 5% Intermediate. This policy requirement for social rented units was one of the highest in the country, demonstrating the priority to provide more homes at social rent.

The Chair invited Councillor Jemima Hunt, Chair of the Climate and Environment Panel, to present the Panel’s recommendations under agenda item 12 (‘Development of a Biodiversity Strategy for Oxford’).



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