Agenda and minutes

Council
Thursday, 19 December 2019 6.00 pm

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

Contact: Steven Corrigan  Democratic Services Manager

Items
No. Item

38.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 262 KB

To adopt and sign as a correct record the Council minutes of the meeting held on 10 October 2019 - attached. 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 10 October 2019 as a correct record and agree that the Chairman sign them as such.

 

39.

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.

40.

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 general housekeeping information and advised there were no items of urgent business.

 

At the request of the Chairman, Mark Stone, Chief Executive, provided an update on the Local Plan 2034. He advised that the direction issued by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government remained in place (see minute 28 of the October Council meeting). Officers were in discussion with civil servants and a decision was expected in the new year.

41.

Public participation

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

Minutes:

None.

42.

Petitions

To receive any petitions from the public. 

Minutes:

None.

43.

Making the Berrick Salome Neighbourhood Development Plan pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Cabinet, at its meeting on 5 December 2019, considered the head of planning’s report on the Berrick Salome Neighbourhood Development Plan.

 

The report of the head of planning, which Cabinet considered on 5 December, is attached.

 

Cabinet has recommended to Council as follows:

 

RECOMMENDATION TO COUNCIL: to

 

1.    make the Berrick Salome Neighbourhood Development Plan so that it continues to be part of the council’s development plan; and 

 

2.    authorise the head of planning, in consultation with the Cabinet member for planning, and in agreement with the Qualifying Body, to correct any spelling, grammatical, typographical or factual errors together with any improvements from a presentational perspective. 

 

Minutes:

Council considered the recommendations of Cabinet, made at its meeting on 5 December 2019, on making the Berrick Salome Neighbourhood Development Plan part of the development plan for South Oxfordshire.

 

The plan was compatible with the European Union obligations and complied with the Habitats Regulations Assessment. 

 

RESOLVED to:

 

1.         make the Berrick Salome Neighbourhood Development Plan so that it continues to be part of the council’s development plan; and 

 

2.         authorise the head of planning, in consultation with the Cabinet member for planning, and in agreement with the Qualifying Body, to correct any spelling, grammatical, typographical or factual errors together with any improvements from a presentational perspective. 

 

 

44.

Treasury Management Outturn 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 147 KB

Cabinet, at its meeting on 5 December 2019, considered the report of the head of finance on the outturn performance of the treasury management function for the financial year 2018/19.

 

The report of the head of finance, which the Joint Audit and Governance Committee considered on 14 October 2019 and Cabinet considered on 5 December 2019, is attached.

 

The Joint Audit and Governance Committee made no recommendations to Cabinet but noted the report and was satisfied that the treasury activities were carried out in accordance with the treasury management strategy and policy. 

 

RECOMMENDATIONTO COUNCIL: to

 

1.      approve the treasury management outturn report 2018/19; and

 

2.      approve the actual 2018/19 prudential indicators within the report. 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered Cabinet’s recommendations, made at its meeting on 5 December 2019, on the outturn performance of the treasury management function for the financial year 2018/19.

 

The Joint Audit and Governance Committee and Cabinet had considered the head of finance’s report and were satisfied that the treasury activities had been carried out in accordance with the treasury management strategy and policy.

 

RESOLVED: to

 

1.         approve the treasury management outturn report 2018/19; and

2.         approve the actual 2018/19 prudential indicators within the report. 

 

45.

Council tax base 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Cabinet, at its meeting on 5 December 2019, considered a report on the council tax base for 2020/21.

 

The report of the head of finance, which Cabinet considered on 5 December, is attached.

 

RECOMMENDATIONTO COUNCIL:

 

1.    that the report of the head of finance to Cabinet on 5 December 2019 for the calculation of the council’s tax base and the calculation of the tax base for each parish area for 2020/21 be approved;

 

2.    that, in accordance with The Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012, the amount calculated by South Oxfordshire District Council as its council tax base for the year 2020/21 be 57,848.5; and 

 

3.    that, in accordance with The Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012, the amount calculated by South Oxfordshire District Council as the council tax base for the year 2020/21 for each parish be the amount shown against the name of that parish in Appendix 1 of the report of the head of finance to Cabinet on 5 December 2019. 

 

Minutes:

Council considered Cabinet’s recommendations, made at its meeting on 5 December 2019, on the council tax base for 2020/21.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.        to approve the report of the head of finance to Cabinet on 5 December 2019 for the calculation of the council’s tax base and the calculation of the tax base for each parish area for 2020/21 be approved;

 

2.        that, in accordance with The Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012, the amount calculated by South Oxfordshire District Council as its council tax base for the year 2020/21 be 57,848.5; and 

 

3.        that, in accordance with The Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012, the amount calculated by South Oxfordshire District Council as the council tax base for the year 2020/21 for each parish be the amount shown against the name of that parish in Appendix 1 of the report of the head of finance to Cabinet on 5 December 2019.

 

46.

Designating the council's section 151 chief finance officer pdf icon PDF 119 KB

Minutes:

Simon Hewings left the room during the consideration of this item.

 

Council considered the report of the chief executive on the designation of Simon Hewings, interim head of finance, as the council’s section 151 chief finance officer.

 

The Chairman on behalf of Council congratulated Simon Hewings on his appointment as interim head of finance and section 151 officer.

 

RESOLVED: to

 

1.    designate Simon Hewings, the interim Head of Finance, as the council’s section 151 chief finance officer from 23 December 2019;

2.    authorise the head of legal and democratic to make any consequential changes required to the council’s constitution to reflect this change.

 

47.

Report of the leader of the council

To receive any update from the leader of the council.

Minutes:

Councillor Sue Cooper, Leader of the council, addressed Council. The text of her report is available on the council’s website.

 

48.

Questions on notice

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

 

1.    Question from Councillor Ken Arlett to Councillor David Rouane, Cabinet member for housing and environment

 

How many vehicles/drivers have been caught feeding the meters for over 3 hours, in both the Kings Road and Greys Road car parks in Henley over the past 3 months?

 

2.     Question from Councillor Ken Arlett to Councillor David Rouane, Cabinet member for housing and environment

 

Since the reduction of car park spaces in the Kings Road Car Park and the closure of one of the two entrances, what has been the loss on revenue since April?

 

3.    Question from Councillor Ken Arlett to Councillor David Rouane, Cabinet member for housing and environment

 

Is it correct that takings from all town/parish council car parks are not kept separately?

 

4.    Question from Councillor Ken Arlett to Councillor Sue Cooper, Leader of the council

 

Can the leader of the council confirm that the following issues will be considered by the constitution review working group?

 

·         to allow local ward councillors to take part in the debate and vote at planning committee meetings

·         to reduce public speaking time for each group of speakers to 3 minutes at planning committee meetings.

·         to allow planning committee members to only ask one question per application to speakers, and one question to officers.

 

 

Minutes:

1.    Question from Councillor Ken Arlett to Councillor David Rouane, Cabinet member for housing and environment

 

How many vehicles/drivers have been caught feeding the meters for over three hours, in both the Kings Road and Greys Road car parks in Henley over the past three months?

Answer:

If car park inspectors spot meter feeding they issue an excess charge notice for the expiry of the first ticket.  However, we do not hold records regarding the specific reason for issuing excess charge notices (ECNs) and therefore we are not able to say what proportion relates to meter feeding.  Some drivers are very astute and remove any trace of previous tickets from their vehicles.  We are aware that this can happen and our car park inspectors are doing their best to monitor the situation.   However, drivers are allowed to move from Kings Road to Greys Road without penalty as the current parking order allows this.

 

The car park contract manager has provided the below data on ECNs:

 

For overstay/expired ticket we have issued the following between 1 September 2019 to 30 November 2019

 

Greys Road   92

Kings Road   45

Southfields    2

 

Supplementary question

In response to a supplementary question regarding the roll out of updated ticket machines (see minute 34(9) of October 2019 Council minutes) the Cabinet member responded that there was no further detail available.

2.     Question from Councillor Ken Arlett to Councillor David Rouane, Cabinet member for housing and environment

 

Since the reduction of car park spaces in the Kings Road Car Park and the closure of one of the two entrances, what has been the loss on revenue since April?

Answer:

There has been no loss of revenue since April 2019 and we are monitoring this situation carefully.   There is an arrangement in place which means that Murphy’s pay for the spaces they are using.

Supplementary question

In response to a supplementary question, the Cabinet member undertook to provide details of the precise revenue figures over the past 6 months for 2019 and 2018 in writing.

 

3.    Question from Councillor Ken Arlett to Councillor David Rouane, Cabinet member for housing and environment

 

Is it correct that takings from all town/parish council car parks are not kept separately?

 

Answer:

For clarification this response relates to car parks in towns that are managed by the councils and monitored by Saba.  We do not monitor the town/parish council car parks.  The Council accounts for income from all its car parks together within its budgets so does not separate income for the different car parks.  However, we are able to interrogate and analyse the ticket sale data and income recorded by Saba for each individual car park if required.

 

Supplementary question

 

In response to a supplementary question, the Cabinet member referred to his previous answer in which he stated that income details for each individual car park could be provided.

 

4.   Question from Councillor Ken Arlett to Councillor Sue Cooper, Leader of the council

 

Can the leader of the council confirm that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.

49.

Motions on notice

To consider motions from councillors in accordance with Council procedure rule 38. 

 

1.    Motion to be proposed by Councillor Robin Bennett, seconded by Councillor David Rouane

 

Council notes that South Oxfordshire District Council’s current position is support for an Oxfordshire County Unitary; in March 2017 this council voted to support ‘Better Oxfordshire’, a proposal to create a unitary authority.

 

The approach of ‘Better Oxfordshire’ was for a single unitary authority based on the current County Council boundary. Oxfordshire County Council and Vale of the White Horse District Council also took formal decisions to support the proposal.

 

The proposal was submitted to the Secretary of State for approval under legislative provisions containing a sunset clause, which expired in March of 2019, meaning that at this time the proposal is not under active consideration.

 

Government’s current stated intention, according to recent statements by Robert Jenrick, in his role as Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, is to move away from smaller district councils and towards Unitary and/or Combined Authority models of Governance.

 

Council recognises that:

 

Democratic institutions should be responsive and accountable to their electorate as well as being efficient and achieving value for money for their services.  South Oxfordshire District Council’s status enables a close connection to residents and communities, especially with regard to planning, and it is a democratically accountable body with the powers and resources to work with other organisations and deliver services in ways that more distant organisations cannot. 

 

Therefore, any future move towards Unitary status should be on the basis of the smallest viable geography that enables a similarly close link to communities and should not prevent independent candidates and smaller political parties competing for seats alongside the major political parties.

 

Should such structural change occur in the future, in addition to securing increased value for money in service delivery, it must also aim to increase, not reduce, localised accountability for service provision and resource allocation, and should support the devolution of power to the lowest sustainable level.

 

Council therefore confirms that:

 

A.   It recognises that much of the financial and economic data and analysis that underpinned the ‘Better Oxfordshire’ submission is now out of date; and

 

B.   Due to an absence of up to date analysis, South Oxfordshire District Council can no longer support a view that a County-wide single Unitary currently represents the best governance model for Oxfordshire: and proposes that:

 

              i.        Officers explore alternative governance approaches that protect, and enhance, the democratic link to local communities, to assist council in taking a new, updated view;

 

            ii.        As part of this, officers should make contact with the MHCLG to explore the approach the new Secretary of State will take to any proposals for unitary based re-organisation; and asks that

 

           iii.        A report on this matter is brought to full Council, by the Chief Executive and Leader, outlining their understanding of the new Government’s intentions and possible approaches available to this council, by Summer 2020.

 

           iv.        A cross party ‘governance model’ working  ...  view the full agenda text for item 49.

Minutes:

1.         Motion proposed by Councillor Robin Bennett, seconded by Councillor David Rouane as set out in the agenda at agenda item 13(1)

 

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

 

RESOLVED:

That Council notes that South Oxfordshire District Council’s current position is support for an Oxfordshire County Unitary; in March 2017 this council voted to support ‘Better Oxfordshire’, a proposal to create a unitary authority.

 

The approach of ‘Better Oxfordshire’ was for a single unitary authority based on the current County Council boundary. Oxfordshire County Council and Vale of the White Horse District Council also took formal decisions to support the proposal.

 

The proposal was submitted to the Secretary of State for approval under legislative provisions containing a sunset clause, which expired in March of 2019, meaning that at this time the proposal is not under active consideration.

 

Government’s current stated intention, according to recent statements by Robert Jenrick, in his role as Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, is to move away from smaller district councils and towards Unitary and/or Combined Authority models of Governance.

 

Council recognises that:

 

Democratic institutions should be responsive and accountable to their electorate as well as being efficient and achieving value for money for their services.  South Oxfordshire District Council’s status enables a close connection to residents and communities, especially with regard to planning, and it is a democratically accountable body with the powers and resources to work with other organisations and deliver services in ways that more distant organisations cannot. 

 

Therefore, any future move towards Unitary status should be on the basis of the smallest viable geography that enables a similarly close link to communities and should not prevent independent candidates and smaller political parties competing for seats alongside the major political parties.

 

Should such structural change occur in the future, in addition to securing increased value for money in service delivery, it must also aim to increase, not reduce, localised accountability for service provision and resource allocation, and should support the devolution of power to the lowest sustainable level.

 

Council therefore confirms that:

 

A.        It recognises that much of the financial and economic data and analysis that underpinned the ‘Better Oxfordshire’ submission is now out of date; and

 

B.        Due to an absence of up to date analysis, South Oxfordshire District Council can no longer support a view that a County-wide single Unitary currently represents the best governance model for Oxfordshire: and proposes that:

 

              i.        Officers explore alternative governance approaches that protect, and enhance, the democratic link to local communities, to assist council in taking a new, updated view;

 

            ii.        As part of this, officers should make contact with the MHCLG to explore the approach the new Secretary of State will take to any proposals for unitary based re-organisation; and asks that

 

           iii.        A report on this matter is brought to full Council, by the Chief Executive and Leader, outlining their understanding of the new Government’s intentions and possible approaches available to this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.

50.

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 paragraph 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. 

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 paragraph 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.

 

 

51.

Confidential Minutes

To adopt and sign as a correct record the confidential Council minutes of the meeting held on 10 October 2019 - attached. 

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: to approve the confidential minutes of the meeting held on 10 October 2019 as a correct record and agree that the Chairman sign them as such.