Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 28 November 2017 6.30 pm

Venue: Meeting Room 1, 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, Milton, OX14 4SB

Contact: Ron Schrieber, Democratic Services Officer  Democratic Services Officer

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 122 KB

To adopt and sign as a correct record the Scrutiny Committee minutes of the meetings held on 13 and 26 September 2017 (attached). 

Additional documents:


The minutes of the meetings held on 13 and 26 September 2017 were agreed as an accurate record and were signed by the Chairman.


Declarations of interest

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





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. 




Public participation

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




Corporate delivery plan - progress report pdf icon PDF 114 KB

To consider the report of the head of corporate services (attached).

Additional documents:


The committee considered the report of the head of corporate services on the corporate delivery plan and progress made against actions in the plan. The committee reviewed the progress made to date with a view to providing feedback to Cabinet who would consider the report in February 2018.


Sally Truman, policy, partnerships and engagement manager, introduced this item. Also present to answer questions were Councillors John Cotton, Leader of the Council and Jane Murphy, Deputy Leader and Mark Stone, acting chief executive.


In response to members’ questions, the committee was informed that:

·         Ref.1: the time line for completing this target would be affected if the proposed housing and growth deal for Oxfordshire, announced in the recent budget, were to be successful.

·         Ref 9: the Leader and acting chief executive outlined the actions being taken by the Council to support the specific technologies and specialisms based at Howbery Park, Culham and elsewhere.

·         Ref 40: the Leader updated the committee on negotiations with the landowner at Berinsfield.

·         Ref 60: the Leader reported that, although the recycling rate had levelled out, it remained one of the highest in the country.

·         Ref 68: the Leader reported that work with Sustrans had not yet begun as it was subject to funding being obtained.

·         Ref 76: the policy and partnerships manager reported that a volunteering development officer had recently been appointed.

·         Ref 83: the policy and partnerships manager reported that it was difficult to measure the effectiveness of the public engagement strategy.  One indicator was the council’s reputation with residents as revealed in the results of the biennial residents’ survey.


In addition, the committee requested that the following information be circulated:

·         The number of small and medium enterprises in South Oxfordshire and targets for action to promote the South Oxfordshire business brand (Ref 5).

·         The actions that can be taken to encourage mobile phone providers to improve reception (Ref 15).

·         Appeal decisions in the Green Belt, AONBs and SSSIs (Ref 43).

·         Clarification on timescales in relation to a dedicated website page explaining opportunities for public participation at council meetings has been created (Ref 89).


The committee noted that the next progress report was scheduled for June 2018.


RESOLVED: to note progress against actions in the Corporate Delivery Plan and ask the Cabinet to take the committee’s views into account.


Housing delivery update pdf icon PDF 204 KB

To consider the report of the head of planning (attached).


The committee considered the report of the head of planning services which detailed the council’s housing delivery performance since 2011, looking at total completions, affordable housing and delivery of the Local Plan 2011 and Core Strategy strategic housing sites.


The report also explored how the Joint Housing Delivery Strategy (JHDS) complimented the emerging Local Plan 2011-2033 and how it would contribute to the district’s build rate.  In addition, it provided a brief explanation of the five-year housing land supply (FYHLS) and the contents and timescale for production of the Authority Monitoring report (AMR). 


Councillor John Cotton, Leader and Cabinet member for strategic policy (including local plan) introduced this item. Also present to answer questions were Adrian Duffield, head of planning services, Holly Jones, planning policy manager, and Ben Duffy, monitoring officer (planning policy).


In response to members’ questions, the committee was informed that:


·         Although the lack of progress on allocated sites such as Ladygrove East, was a cause for concern, it was the landowner’s decision if and when to submit a planning application.  Compulsory purchase was a lengthy and expensive process which was unlikely to succeed.

·         The average annual delivery rate of affordable housing from eligible developments since 2011 was 36.4%. Whilst this figure was slightly below the council’s 40% target, it was significantly higher than many comparable planning authorities.

·         The council would be able to demonstrate a FYHLS when the Local Plan was adopted and possibly earlier.


With regard to the delivery of affordable housing, the committee requested that projected figures for delivery in future years be circulated.


RESOLVED: to note the report and ask Cabinet members to take the committee’s views into account.



Work schedule and dates for all South and Vale scrutiny meetings pdf icon PDF 78 KB

To review the attached scrutiny work schedule. Please note, although the dates are confirmed, the items under consideration are subject to being withdrawn, added to or rearranged without further notice.



The work schedule had been circulated and was noted.


The democratic services officer reported that, since the publication of the work schedule, the co-chairmen had agreed to the cancellation of the Joint Scrutiny Committee meeting scheduled for 5 December.


The committee agreed that a report on S106 agreements should be added to its work programme.