Agenda and minutes

Council
Thursday, 15 February 2018 6.00 pm

Venue: The Fountain Conference Centre, Howbery Park, Crowmarsh Gifford

Contact: Steven Corrigan  Democratic Services Manager

Items
No. Item

70.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 129 KB

To adopt and sign as a correct record the Council minutes of the meeting held on 14 December 2017. 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 14 December 2017 as a correct record and agree that the Chairman sign them as such.

 

71.

Declarations of disclosable pecuniary interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests in respect of items on the agenda for this meeting.  

Minutes:

None.

72.

Urgent business and chairman's announcements

To receive notification of any matters which the chairman determines should be considered as urgent business and the special circumstances which have made the matters urgent, and to receive any announcements from the chairman.

Minutes:

 

The Chairman provided housekeeping information.

 

73.

Public participation

To receive any questions or statements from members of the public that have registered to speak. 

Minutes:

The Chairman advised that Mr Crispin Topping had registered to address Council on agenda item 7 – Housing and Growth Deal for Oxfordshire. She would invite him to address council at that item.

74.

Petitions

To receive any petitions under the council’s petition scheme. 

Minutes:

No petitions were submitted by members of the public.

75.

Housing and growth deal for Oxfordshire pdf icon PDF 152 KB

Cabinet, at its meeting on 12 February 2018, will consider a report and recommend Council on whether to approve the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal.  If approved by the constituent authorities, delivery of the Deal will be overseen by the Oxfordshire Growth Board.  The Growth Board is a statutory joint committee of the six Oxfordshire local authorities, the Local Enterprise Partnership and key strategic partners. 

 

The Deal, as announced by Government in November 2017, provides £215 million of additional government funding for Oxfordshire, to deliver the key infrastructure required to underpin proposed housing development, and additional funds to increase the supply of affordable housing.  This funding is comprised of £150 million for infrastructure, £60 million for affordable housing and £5 million capacity funding. 

 

The additional funding will support Oxfordshire’s ambition to plan for and support the delivery of up to 100,000 new homes across Oxfordshire between 2011 and 2031 to address the county’s housing shortage and expected economic growth.  This level of housing growth is that identified by the Oxfordshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment 2014, and is consistent with that planned for in existing and emerging Oxfordshire Local Plans. 

 

The Deal also includes a proposed package of planning “freedoms and flexibilities” to help Oxfordshire to plan collectively for the long-term, sustainable development of the county by offering some protection from the risk of unplanned speculative development for the duration of development of a joint spatial plan and early years of its implementation. 

 

If approved by all constituent authorities, confirmation, in writing, will go to the Secretary of State along with submission of the agreed Delivery Plan.

 

The Deal brings with it additional funds for Oxfordshire.  It is proposed that Oxfordshire County Council acts as the Accountable Body for the deal and provides relevant reports to the Growth Board on a quarterly basis.

 

Following decisions from Government expected on 5 and 7 February, the Housing and Growth Deal Delivery Plan as well as a full report for the Cabinet meeting will be published and circulated to all councillors.

 

The report of the head of partnership and insight, which Cabinet will consider on 12 February 2018, is attached.

 

Cabinet’s recommendations will be circulated to all councillors prior to the Council meeting.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Mr Crispin Topping, Chairman of the Steering Group of East Hagbourne Neighbourhood Plan, addressed Council on the Housing and Growth Deal for Oxfordshire (the Deal). He expresses full support for the Deal for the following reasons:

·         in return for supporting the development of up to 100,000 new homes across Oxfordshire in the period to 2031 Oxfordshire will benefit from £215 million of Central Government funding;

·         by agreeing to the Deal it will give vital added support to the Housing Infrastructure Fund bid by Oxfordshire County Council for key infrastructure around Didcot such as a new Thames Crossing and the science bridge. He considered that if the Deal was rejected Government support for the HIF was unlikely;

·         the Joint Statutory Spatial Plan will facilitate much needed, and overdue, joined up policy making across Oxfordshire.

·         the prospect of a three year land supply rather than a five year level will allow the district council to take back control over unwanted speculative development currently impacting communities (for East Hagbourne seven applications on unallocated land either approved, in process, or in prospect that could add up to 1000 units tripling the size of the population).

 

Council considered Cabinet’s recommendations made at its meeting on 12 February 2018 on a Housing and Growth Deal for Oxfordshire.

 

Councillors supported the Deal which would provide much needed funding for infrastructure and affordable housing and provide planning freedoms with the application of a three year, rather than the current five year, land supply.   The funding will ensure planned housing is supported by enhanced transport and social infrastructure. Without the Deal a similar number of house would still be required but without the additional infrastructure funding and support for affordable housing. Not agreeing the Deal may have a negative impact of future prospects of securing funding from government.

 

In supporting the Deal councillors acknowledged that there are risks (including the ability of the local authorities to work together, resources to deliver the project, changes to national policy). However, the benefits to the county in terms of the additional funding for infrastructure, affordable housing, planning freedoms and economic growth outweighed these and provided an opportunity that should not be forgone.

 

 RESOLVED: to

 

1.    agree to the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal (the Deal) (attached as Appendix 1 to the report of the head of partnership and insight to Cabinet on 12 February 2018);

 

2.    agree the Delivery Plan (attached as Appendix 2 to the head of partnership and insight’s report to Cabinet on 12 February 2018) as the basis for the Deal, noting that elements will be updated as detailed work programmes develop;

 

3.    authorise the chief executive, in consultation with the Leader and the Growth Board, to make minor changes to the Delivery Plan that may be required to secure agreement with Government;

 

4.    authorise the chief executive, in consultation with Leader and the Growth Board, to agree the Year 1 affordable housing delivery programme, phasing and processes specified in the Delivery Plan;

 

5.    appoint Oxfordshire County  ...  view the full minutes text for item 75.

76.

Treasury management mid-year monitoring 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 221 KB

Cabinet, at its meeting on 12 February 2018, will consider a monitoring report on the treasury management activities for the first six months of 2017/18 and an update on the current economic conditions with a view to the remainder of the year. 

 

The Joint Audit and Governance Committee considered the report at its meeting on 29 January 2018 and did not recommend any adjustments to the strategy as a result of the first six months’ activities.  

 

The report of the head of finance, which Cabinet will consider on 12 February 2018, is attached. Cabinet’s recommendations will be circulated to all councillors prior to the Council meeting.

 

 

Minutes:

Council considered Cabinet’s recommendations, made at its meeting on 12 February 2018, on the treasury management activities for the first six months of 2017/18.

 

The Joint Audit and Governance Committee had considered the report at its meeting on 29 January 2018 and had not recommended any adjustments to the strategy as a result of the first six months’ activities.  That committee and Cabinet had concluded that the treasury management activities had operated within the agreed parameters set out in the approved treasury management strategy.

 

RESOLVED: to approve the head of finance’s treasury management mid-year monitoring report 2017/18 to Cabinet on 12 February 2018. 

 

77.

Treasury management strategy 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 237 KB

Cabinet, at its meeting on 12 February 2018, will consider a report on the council’s treasury management strategy (TMS) for 2018/19 to 2020/21 and set out the expected treasury operations for this period.

 

The Joint Audit and Governance Committee considered the report at its meeting on 29 January 2018 and did not recommend any adjustments to the strategy. 

 

The report of the head of finance, which Cabinet will consider on 12 February 2018, is attached. Cabinet recommendations will be circulated to all councillors prior to the Council meeting.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered Cabinet’s recommendations, made at its meeting on 12 February 2018, on the council’s treasury management strategy and investment strategy for 2018/19 to 2020/21. An addendum which set out changes to paragraph 11 of the report proposing changes to the maturity period and adjustments to the total investment levels was circulated prior to the meeting.

 

The Joint Audit and Governance Committee considered the report at its meeting on 29 January 2018 and recommended that the head of finance should consult the co-chair of Joint Audit and Governance Committee before investing in any Non-UCITS Retail Scheme.  Cabinet supported the proposed strategy with the amendments as well as the recommendation of the Joint Audit and Governance Committee. 

 

 

RESOLVED: to

 

1.    approve the treasury management strategy 2018/19 set out in appendix A to the head of finance’s report to Cabinet on 12 February 2018 and the addendum to the report; 

 

2.    approve the prudential indicators and treasury limits for the period 2018/19 to 2020/21 as set out in table 2, appendix A to the head of finance’s report to Cabinet on 12 February 2018; and

 

3.    approve the annual investment strategy set out in appendix A (paragraphs 18 to 59), subject to the head of finance consulting the co-chair of Joint Audit and Governance Committee before investing in any Non-UCITS Retail Scheme, and the lending criteria detailed in table 5 to the head of finance’s report to Cabinet on 12 February 2018. 

 

 

78.

Medium term financial strategy 2018/19 to 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Cabinet, at its meeting on 12 February 2018, will consider a report on the council’s medium term financial strategy for 2018/19 to 2022/23.

 

The report of the head of finance, which Cabinet will consider on 12 February 2018, is attached. Cabinet recommendations will be circulated to all councillors prior to the Council meeting.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered Cabinet’s recommendations, made at its meeting on 12 February 2018, on the council’s medium term financial strategy for 2018/19 to 2022/23.

 

 

RESOLVED: to approve the Medium Term Financial Strategy for 2018/19 – 2022/23 as attached to the report of the head of finance to the Cabinet meeting of 12 February 2018. 

 

 

79.

Revenue budget 2018/19 and capital programme to 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 208 KB

Cabinet, at its meeting on 12 February 2018, will consider the report of the head of finance on the draft revenue budget 2018/19, and the capital programme to 2022/23.

 

The report of the head of finance, which Cabinet will consider on 12 February 2018, has been circulated to all councillors. Please bring this to the Council meeting. 

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered this report at its meeting on 6 February 2018. Any views or recommendations will be reported to Council.

 

Cabinet’s recommendations will be circulated to all councillors prior to the Council meeting. 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman referred to regulations that require councils to record the names of those councillors voting in favour, against or abstaining from any vote on the budget, including amendments, and the council tax. In accordance with the regulations she would call for a named vote on each of these matters at this meeting.

 

The Chairman reminded councillors that they were not entitled to vote on any issue affecting the level or administration of the council tax or other decisions which might affect the making of any such calculation such as the budget, if they were over two months in arrears with their council tax payments. Where such circumstances applied, councillors were under a statutory obligation to disclose the restriction placed on them and refrain from voting at the relevant meeting. No councillor made any such declaration.

 

Council noted the report of the chief finance officeron the robustness of the budget estimates and the adequacy of the reserves.

 

Councillor Murphy, Cabinet member for finance, presented the Cabinet’s proposals for the revenue budget 2018/19 and capital programme to 2022/23. On behalf of the council she thanked officers for their part in continuing to control costs and in preparing the draft budget. She also thanked the Budget Working Group for its support. Councillor Turner, Leader of the Opposition Forum, also thanked officers and Councillor Murphy for the involving the Opposition Forum in the budget preparations. 

Councillor Murphy moved and Councillor Cotton seconded a motion to approve Cabinet’s recommendations as follows:

1.    set the revenue budget for 2018/19 as set out in appendix A.1 to the head of finance’s report to Cabinet on 12 February 2018; 

2.    approve the capital programme for 2018/19 to 2022/23 as set out in appendix D.1 to the head of finance’s report, together with the capital growth bids set out in appendix D.2 of the report; 

3.   set the council’s prudential limits as listed in appendix E to the head of finance’s report, 

4.   approve the medium term financial plan to 2022/23 as set out in appendix F.1 to the head of finance’s report; 

5.   allocate £1,000,000 to fund the Communities Capital and Revenue Grant Scheme. 

 

A number of councillors expressed support for the budget and specifically the inclusion of £100,000 to investigate and implement improvements to air quality and identify green travel initiatives in the district, funds to meet the shortfall in CCTV running costs as a result of Thames Valley Police reducing its ongoing contribution and measures taken to address the long term sustainability of the council by matching revenue against expenditure and reducing the reliance on reserves. 

 

In accordance with regulations requiring councils to record the names of those councillors voting in favour, against or abstaining from any vote on the council tax the Chairman called for a recorded vote which was carried with the voting being as follows:

 

 

FOR

AGAINST

ABSTAIN

Charles Bailey

 

Joan Bland

 

 

Felix Bloomfield

 

Kevin Bulmer

 

Nigel Champken-Woods

 

 

Steve Connel

 

John Cotton

 

 

Pat Dawe

 

 

David Dodds

 

Stefan Gawrysiak

 

 

Elizabeth Gillespie

 

Will  ...  view the full minutes text for item 79.

80.

Council tax 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 199 KB

To consider the report of the head of finance on the setting of the council tax for the 2018/19 financial year - report to follow.

 

Minutes:

Council considered the report of the head of finance on the setting of the Council Tax for the 2018/19 financial year.

 

In accordance with regulations requiring councils to record the names of those councillors voting in favour, against or abstaining from any vote on the council tax the Chairman called for a recorded vote which was carried with the voting being as follows:

 

FOR

AGAINST

ABSTAIN

Charles Bailey

 

Joan Bland

 

 

Felix Bloomfield

 

Kevin Bulmer

 

Nigel Champken-Woods

 

 

Steve Connel

 

John Cotton

 

 

Pat Dawe

 

 

David Dodds

 

Stefan Gawrysiak

 

 

Elizabeth Gillespie

 

Will Hall

 

Tony Harbour

 

Lorraine Hillier

 

Elaine Hornsby

 

 

Sue Lawson

 

Lynn Lloyd

 

Jeannette Matelot

 

Jane Murphy

 

Caroline Newton

 

 

David Nimmo-Smith

 

 

Richard Pullen

 

Bill Service

 

 

Robert Simister

 

 

Ian Snowdon

 

 

Alan Thompson

 

 

David Turner

 

 

John Walsh

 

 

Ian White

 

 

29

0

0

 

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    to note that at its meeting on 14 December 2017 the council calculated the council tax base 2018/19:

(a)    for the whole council area as 56,163.3 [Item T in the formula in Section 31B of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, as amended (the “Act”)]; and

 (b)   for dwellings in those parts of its area to which a parish precept relates as in column 1 of appendix 1.

2.    that the council tax requirement for the council’s own purposes for 2018/19 (excluding parish precepts) is £6,528,422

3.    that the following amounts be calculated for the year 2018/19 in accordance with Sections 31 to 36 of the Act:

(a)    £84,267,979 being the aggregate of the amounts which the council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(2) of the Act taking into account all precepts issued to it by parish councils.

(b)    £72,874,693 being the aggregate of the amounts which the council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(3) of the Act.

(c)    £11,393,286 being the amount by which the aggregate at (3)(a) above exceeds the aggregate at (3)(b) above, calculated by the council, in accordance with Section 31A(4) of the Act as its council tax requirement for the

Band A

£774.47

Band B

£903.55

Band C

£1,032.63

Band D

£1,161.71

Band E

£1,419.87

Band F

£1,678.03

Band G

£1,936.18

Band H

£2,323.42

 

 
year.  (Item R in the formula in Section 31B of the Act).

(d)    £202.86 being the amount at (3)(c) above (Item R), all divided by Item T (1(a) above), calculated by the council, in accordance with Section 31B of the Act, as the basic amount of its council tax for the year (including parish precepts).

(e)    £4,864,864 being the aggregate amount of all special items referred to in Section 34(1) of the Act, as set out in column 2 of appendix 1.

(f)     £116.24 being the amount at (3)(d) above less the result given by dividing the amount at (3)(e) above by Item T (1(a) above), calculated by the council, in accordance with Section 34(2) of the Act, as the basic amount of its council tax for the year for dwellings in those parts of its area to which no parish precept relates.

4.    to note  ...  view the full minutes text for item 80.

81.

Pay policy statement 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 124 KB

To consider the report of the head of corporate services on the adoption of a pay policy statement to meet the requirements of the Localism Act - report attached.

 

Minutes:

Council considered the report of the head of corporate services on the adoption of a pay policy statement to meet the requirements of the Localism Act.

 

RESOLVED: to approve the pay policy statement for 2018/19 attached to the report of the head of corporate services to Council on 15 February 2018.

 

82.

Report of the leader of the council pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Urgent cabinet decisions

 

In accordance with the Cabinet arrangements and procedure rules, a cabinet decision can be taken as a matter of urgency, if any delay by the call-in process would seriously prejudice the council’s or the public’s interest.  Treating the decision as a matter of urgency must be agreed by the chairman of the Scrutiny Committee and must be reported to the next meeting of the council, together with the reasons for urgency.

 

On 21 December 2017, the Cabinet member for IT took an urgent decision to award a contract to purchase a software licence.  The decision had not been advertised on the Cabinet work programme for 28 days before it was made as the council’s IT contractor and the council’s procurement contractor were leading on the re-procurement of the licences for which a budget was in place and the timing of completion and contract award was not fully appreciated.  This decision was urgent and could not be deferred because the council’s software licences expired at the end of December and new licences need to be in place by then to enable the council to continue to operate its IT solution.  The agreement of the Scrutiny Committee chairman was sought and received before the Cabinet member made this decision. 

 

Leader’s scheme of delegation

 

To note the revised leader’s scheme of delegation (attached).

 

Leader’s update

 

To receive any update(s) from the leader of the council.

Minutes:

 

 

Council noted the revised Leader’s scheme of delegation with portfolios to match the revised head of service areas of responsibility.

 

In accordance with the Cabinet arrangements and procedure rules, Council noted that on 21 December 2017, the Cabinet member for IT took an urgent decision to award a contract to purchase a software licence.    The agreement of the Scrutiny Committee chairman was sought and received before the Cabinet member made this decision.

 

83.

Questions under Council procedure rule 33

To receive questions from councillors in accordance with Council procedure rule 33.

 

1.    Question from Councillor David Turner to Councillor Lynn Lloyd, Cabinet member for Community Services

 

Residents of Didcot have contacted the local ward councillor, Councillor Mocky Khan, to understand where the £100k worth of works for The Wave was spent as they could not see any improvements apart from new shower heads. Can the Leader explain where the £100k was spent, which company / contractor did the work, was it value for money and are there procedures in place to check quality?

 

2.    Question from Councillor David Turner to Councillor Tony Harbour, Cabinet member for Didcot Garden Town

 

Will the Cabinet member please provide an update setting out what funding is currently available to secure the infrastructure needed to support the Didcot Garden Town project? What progress has been made in the last 4 months? Is the expansion of Didcot being delayed and if so is this harming the reputation of this council?

 

Minutes:

 

A.   Question from Councillor David Turner to Councillor Lynn Lloyd, Cabinet member for Community Services

 

Residents of Didcot have contacted the local ward councillor, Councillor Mocky Khan, to understand where the £100,000 worth of works for The Wave was spent as they could not see any improvements apart from new shower heads. Can the Cabinet member explain where the £100,000 was spent, which company / contractor did the work, was it value for money and are there procedures in place to check quality?

 

Answer

Councillor Lloyd responded that the majority of works were undertaken in areas that are not in the public domain or associated with major plant or building structure that effect the continued functionality of The Wave rather than necessarily the overall appearance (refurbishment of roof gullies and drains to prevent water leaking into the gym, replacement of guttering around the building and new air conditioning units). 

 

Given the specialist nature of the works it has been necessary to procure a number of individual contractors to provide the works required.

 

The quality and the standards of the works has been managed by the leisure facilities team.

 

She offered to meet Councillor Khan to provide him with more detail on the individual projects.

 

 

 

B.   Question from Councillor David Turner to Councillor Tony Harbour, Cabinet member for Didcot Garden Town

 

Will the Cabinet member please provide an update setting out what funding is currently available to secure the infrastructure needed to support the Didcot Garden Town project? What progress has been made in the last 4 months? Is the expansion of Didcot being delayed and if so is this harming the reputation of this council?

 

Answer

 

Councillor Harbour responded as follows:

 

“A substantial amount of revenue grant funding has already been received from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government to develop projects included in the Garden Town Delivery Plan.

Additionally, a £6.2 million capital grant has recently been received to help fund Phase 3 of the Didcot Northern Perimeter Road, delivery of the road is a county council responsibility, and our Officers are currently in discussions with county council officers to produce a funding agreement that will enable the work to commence as soon as possible.

At the same time, senior council officers have worked with colleagues across Oxfordshire to secure the prioritisation of several Didcot Garden Town infrastructure projects within the list of projects included in the Oxfordshire Growth Deal.  In partnership with Oxfordshire County Council and the Growth Board, we have also applied for a £250 million grant from the Government's Housing Infrastructure Fund to support Didcot Garden Town linked infrastructure.

I can therefore confirm that, in the last four months, we have done everything possible to secure sufficient funding to support the Didcot Garden Town project and that a considerable amount of progress has been made.

I can also categorically confirm that the expansion of Didcot is not being delayed, it is a long term agenda and the funding and partnerships needed to achieve it  ...  view the full minutes text for item 83.

84.

Motions under Council procedure rule 38

No motions have been received from councillors in accordance with Council procedure rule 38. 

Minutes:

No motions were submitted by councillors under Council procedure rule 38.

85.

Exclusion of the public

To consider whether to exclude members of the press and public from the meeting for the following item of business under Part 1 of Schedule 12A Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 and as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006 on the grounds that:

(i)        it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act, and

(ii)       the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information. 

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: to exclude members of the press and public from the meeting for the following item of business under Part 1 of Schedule 12A Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 and as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006 on the grounds that:

(i)        it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1,2 and 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act, and

(ii)       the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information. 

 

86.

Minutes

To adopt and sign as a correct record the confidential Council minutes of the   meeting held on 14 December 2017. 

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: to approve the confidential minutes of the meeting held on 14 December 2017 as a correct record and agree that the Chairman sign them as such.