Agenda and minutes

Oxfordshire Growth Board, (now The Future Oxfordshire Partnership) - Tuesday, 27 November 2018 2.00 pm

Venue: Didcot Civic Hall, Britwell Road, Didcot, OX11 7JN

Contact: Steve Culliford  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Gordon Mitchell (Oxford City Council Chief Executive) and Mark Stone (South Oxfordshire District Council and Vale of White Horse District Council Chief Executive). 


Chairman's announcements


The chairman advised of emergency evacuation arrangements and asked all present to silence their mobile telephones. 


Declarations of interest




Minutes pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To adopt as a correct record the minutes of the Oxfordshire Growth Board meeting held on 25 September 2018. 


RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Oxfordshire Growth Board’s meeting held on 25 September 2018 be signed and adopted as a correct record, subject to clarifying in minute 24 that the statement “the Growth Board welcomed the principle of the proposed expressway as it should relieve traffic pressure on the A34 and separate local traffic from national traffic” was the view of Councillor Ian Hudspeth, leader of Oxfordshire County Council as the strategic transport authority, not the collective opinion of the Growth Board. 


Public participation

Members of the public may ask questions of the Chairman of the Growth Board, or address the Growth Board on any substantive item at a meeting, subject to the restrictions set out in the public participation scheme. 


The total amount of time allowed for public participation at a meeting shall not exceed 30 minutes, unless the Chairman consents to extend that time in the interests of the proper conduct of the business of the Growth Board. 


A person speaking to the Growth Board may speak for up to three minutes.  Board members may ask questions for clarification. 


Asking a question

Questions (in full and in writing) must be received by 5pm on Wednesday 21 November 2018.  A written or verbal answer will be provided by the Chairman at the meeting.  The questioner may ask a supplementary question directly related to either the original question or the reply received. 


Addressing the Board

Notice of a wish to address the Growth Board by making a statement must be received by 12 noon on Monday 26 November 2018. 



Petitions on matters directly relevant to matters in which the Growth Board has powers and duties must be received by 5pm on Wednesday 21 November 2018.  The representative of the petitioners may speak.  Petitions are referred without discussion to the next meeting. 


Questions, petitions and notice of addresses must be submitted to or delivered/posted to Democratic Services, South Oxfordshire District Council, 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, Milton, OX14 4SB. 


The Growth Board received three questions and one statement. 


1.         Question from Councillor Suzanne Bartington (Oxfordshire County Councillor for Witney North and East Division):


The UK was at the forefront of negotiating the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda – the global framework for tackling the most pressing global challenges of our time.  Agreed by world leaders at the UN in 2015, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  The SDGs are universal with all signatories expected to contribute to them internationally and deliver them domestically, however progress has been variable across the UK.  How does the Growth Board plan to embed the SDGs within the vision for Oxfordshire and embed relevant indicators to measure progress towards delivery?” 


In reply, the chairman reported that in terms of the Joint Statutory Spatial Plan, all councils were clear that the challenge for Oxfordshire was to plan for future growth in a sustainable way.  The advantages of the Joint Statutory Spatial Plan was that long-term comprehensive planning offered benefits over and above the usual approach to spatial planning.  The Joint Statutory Spatial Plan would set a framework for the future of Oxfordshire and would seek to help address a number of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular to help ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing (goal 3), promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth (goal 8), promote the building of resilient infrastructure (goal 9), make human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable (goal 11), and take action to combat the impacts of climate change (goal 13). 


2.         Question from Helen Marshall on behalf on the Oxfordshire Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE Oxfordshire):


“Ref. Agenda item 7 – Feedback from sub-groups


As Growth Board members are hopefully aware, CPRE Oxfordshire has sought from the start to respond to the Joint Statutory Spatial Plan process in a positive and constructive way and we have welcomed the Growth Board’s recognition of the value we could add as an informed stakeholder.  It would therefore be disappointing, to say the least, if meaningful engagement should fail at such an early stage.


We are most surprised to note that an outline version of the JSSP Regulation 18 consultation document was due to be brought to a meeting of the Advisory Sub-Group on 15 November, which we assume has now taken place.  At the October meeting, this is described as a ‘skeletal document, however what the document would say is broadly known’. 


However CPRE and, we assume, other stakeholders have not yet been involved in any detailed discussions to inform this document. 


We ask the Growth Board to:

(a)      Confirm what level of detail this document covers, including whether it has begun the process of identifying broad areas for growth

(b)      Confirm specifically how and when stakeholders will be involved in discussions relating to its content

(c)       Explain what information and evidence the Board currently considers will be required to support the biodiversity & natural environment and green infrastructure strategic  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Feedback from the scrutiny panel pdf icon PDF 142 KB

To receive feedback from the chairman of the Scrutiny Panel. 


Councillor Andrew Gant, chair of the Growth Board’s Scrutiny Panel, gave some feedback from the recent panel meeting.  The panel had made several recommendations to the Growth Board.  The chairman gave the following replies. 


Scrutiny Panel’s recommendation

Growth Board chairman’s reply

1: That the Growth Board considers and adopts the following principles of responding to the Scrutiny Panel’s recommendations:

(a)   The presentation of recommendations, and their accompanying narrative, is presented to the meeting at which a relevant decision is to be taken.  The Panel asks that the Growth Board gives full consideration and written responses to the recommendations made, addressing not only the recommendation, but also the rationale and context as provided in these reports going forward.

(b)   A suggested template response form was provided for the Growth Board to use to record its responses.  It is requested that once a draft response is completed (preferably by the Growth Board’s chairman in liaison with officers) that this document is published as a supplement to the Growth Board’s agenda or minutes, and the Board will be asked to give its full endorsement or otherwise to the draft response and decision in relation to any recommendations.

(c)   Under the current meeting arrangements, the Scrutiny Panel would hope to circulate its report and recommendations to the Growth Board on Friday or Monday after its meeting, and would hope to publish this together with the Growth Board’s draft response on the morning of the day the Growth Board is due to meet (Tuesday).  The response(s) will also be reported back to the Scrutiny Panel at their next meeting. 

The Growth Board would use its best endeavours to meet these requests. 

2: That the Growth Board takes further steps to raise concerns with Central Government about the timing of the Joint Statutory Spatial Plan’s submission deadline, and individual Local Plan submission deadlines, in April 2019 as required by the Growth Deal, without first understanding more details about the impact of the proposed Oxford to Cambridge Expressway.


3: That in light of the continuing uncertainty about the route choice and its impact on the communities affected and the wider county, the Growth Board clarifies its rationale and evidence base for endorsing the expressway. 

The Growth Board’s stance on the proposed Oxford to Cambridge expressway was set out in the letter to Government dated 1 October 2018 and published on the Growth Board’s website.  The decision on the route of the expressway lies with the Government, not the Growth Board or the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership. 

4: At least one member of the Growth Board should attend each Scrutiny Panel meeting to answer questions about the Board’s work. The chair of one of the sub-groups should attend in rotation to discuss the work of their sub-group. 

Growth Board members or sub-group chairmen should be invited when a relevant item appears on the Scrutiny Panel’s agenda. 

5: Officers working on the Housing and Growth Deal’s strands as part of the Deal team and the Lead officer for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Feedback from the sub-groups pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To receive feedback from the chairmen of the sub-groups:

·         Joint Statutory Spatial Plan Sub-Group (18 October notes attached; November notes not yet available)

·         Housing Sub-Group (12 November notes to follow) 

·         Infrastructure Sub-Group (5 November notes attached) 

Additional documents:


The chairmen of the Growth Board’s sub-groups gave feedback from their recent meetings, the minutes of which were included with the Growth Board’s agenda. 


The Growth Board noted that:

·         the Government’s forthcoming decision on the route of the Oxford to Cambridge expressway had significant implications for Oxfordshire’s Joint Statutory Spatial Plan

·         the scoping document of the Joint Statutory Spatial Plan had been updated 

·         the affordable housing programme was on track in year 1 

·         Homes England had agreed ‘in principle’ to reprofile the year 1 infrastructure programme; formal agreement was being sought 


Healthy place-shaping in the wider growth agenda pdf icon PDF 132 KB

To consider the attached report from the Chief Executive Officers of Cherwell District Council/Oxfordshire County Council, South Oxfordshire District Council/Vale of the White Horse District Council, Oxford City Council, West Oxfordshire District Council, Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, and The Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership. 


Further to the discussion at the last meeting, the Growth Board discussed a paper on embedding health into the growth agenda.  Jonathan McWilliam, the Director of Public Health at Oxfordshire County Council, also gave a presentation on the benefits of healthy place-shaping. 


The Growth Board welcomed the opportunity to bring together planning health and wellbeing with planning for housing and economic growth, and planning for improved infrastructure.  The benefits of healthy place-shaping had already been experienced through successful schemes at Barton and Bicester, which had improved people’s lives.  Healthy place-shaping could be embedded through the sub-groups working on housing, infrastructure and the Joint Statutory Spatial Plan, and there should be a common agenda developed for the Growth Board, the Health and Wellbeing Board, and the Community Safety Partnerships. 


The Growth Board suggested that the experiences gained from Barton and Bicester should be used to develop healthy place-shaping.  Such a strategy should aim, for example, to reduce health inequalities, build communities and reduce loneliness, improve air quality, reduce reliance on private transport and move towards cleaner vehicles, and help people to live in their own homes for longer.  The councils and agencies must work together and avoid duplication.  The Growth Board considered that officers could use the Growth Deal’s capacity funding to assist with this agenda through the preparation of the Joint Statutory Spatial Plan, if funds were available. 


The preparation of a healthy place-shaping strategy was supported by Diane Hedges representing the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and by Lesley Tims representing the Environment Agency. 




(a)      request the production of a strategy for how healthy place-shaping can ensure that development supports the creation of healthy communities.  This will inform the work of the Housing and Growth Deal and Growth Board workstreams;


(b)      embed officers with a remit for healthy place-shaping into the Growth Board sub-structures, including the Growth Deal Programme Board and the workstreams for the Joint Statutory Spatial Plan, infrastructure, housing, and productivity working with the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership;


(c)       embed healthy place-shaping into the development of the Joint Statutory Spatial Plan, the Local Industrial Strategy and the Environment Strategy.  This will ensure influence over the strategic design and siting of local communities and local industry and will also embrace environmental concerns.  This will also enable the principles of healthy place-shaping to be incorporated into the Local Plans of the future in Oxford City and the districts; 


(d)      create a network of officers from across respective organisations whose role (in addition to their other duties) will be to understand and keep up to date with the developments in the approach to healthy place-shaping and its evolving evidence-base.  The intention is that healthy place-shaping becomes a routine part of planning in the county, and so the network will be drawn from officers with specialist knowledge of implementing healthy place-shaping and our various local authority planning departments as well as from the NHS, public health, and other partners.  A lead officer and a chief executive sponsor will be appointed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Energy strategy pdf icon PDF 112 KB

To receive a presentation from the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership on taking forward the energy strategy. 

Additional documents:


Ahmed Goga, of the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, presented the draft Energy Strategy.  This was in response to the Government’s request to develop local strategies that supported the national goal for clean growth. 


The Growth Board welcomed the draft strategy but believed that the Growth Board should have a greater influence over energy providers’ strategic decisions, where they had an impact on Oxfordshire’s growth. 


The Growth Board noted the intention to develop a delivery plan that would take into account the emerging Local Industrial Strategy and the Joint Statutory Spatial Plan. 


RESOLVED: to endorse the draft Energy Strategy, subject to the action plan being revised to ensure it contains SMART targets and clear and measurable objectives. 


Housing and Growth Deal delivery pdf icon PDF 160 KB

To update the Board on progress with the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal and to receive feedback from the chairs of the sub-groups and scrutiny panel:

·         Quarter two reports on the following strands:

o   Affordable housing

o   Infrastructure

o   The Joint Statutory Spatial Plan

o   Productivity

·         Years 2 and 3 affordable housing programme

·         Years 2 to 5 infrastructure programme

Additional documents:


Officers reported on progress with delivering the Housing and Growth Deal.  The Growth Board noted the main messages that:

·         there had been slippage in the year 1 infrastructure programme with an associated underspend.  Homes England had agreed ‘in principle’ to reprofile the year 1 infrastructure programme; formal agreement was being sought 

·         the draft infrastructure programme for years 2 to 5 was presented for the Growth Board’s approval, after which a detailed delivery plan would be prepared

·         the affordable housing programme was on course to meet its year 1 targets and an indicative programme for years 2 to 3 had been prepared and submitted to Homes England by 30 September 2018, in accordance with the agreed milestone in the deal 

·         work was progressing on the Joint Statutory Spatial Plan 

·         the draft Local Industrial Strategy (encapsulating the productivity stream of the deal) was being prepared and would be subject to consultation with stakeholders


The Growth Board welcomed the report and reiterated its support for the Housing and Growth Deal.  Members urged officers to keep up the good work on delivering the deal to retain the benefits for Oxfordshire.  The Growth Board endorsed the draft infrastructure programme for years 2 to 5. 




(a)      note the progress at the end of quarter 2 against the year 1 milestones in the Housing and Growth Deal;


(b)      endorse the summary indicative affordable housing programme for years 2 to 3; and 


(c)       endorse the infrastructure delivery programme for years 2 to 5. 


Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership update pdf icon PDF 514 KB

To receive an update from Nigel Tipple, the Chief Executive of the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership. 


The Growth Board received an update from the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.  In December, the partnership would have its annual meeting with the Government to assess its performance against the delivery of the productivity stream of the Housing and Growth Deal and to identify future projects.  An update would be provided at the next meeting. 


Growth Board Work Programme pdf icon PDF 94 KB

To review the Growth Board’s Forward Plan. 


The Growth Board reviewed its work programme for 2019 and asked officers to refine it further and publish it on the Growth Board’s website. 


Updates on matters relevant to the Growth Board

Growth Board members and officers may verbally update the Board on progress on matters previously before the Board for consideration, listed in the forward plan, or relevant to the Board’s future decisions.  This is for the sharing of information and no decisions will be taken. 


No further matters were raised. 


Dates of next meetings

The dates of future Growth Board meetings are below.  These will be held on Tuesdays at 2pm in Didcot Civic Hall. 

·         29 January 2019

·         26 March

·         4 June


The Growth Board approved the dates of future meetings below.  These would be held on Tuesdays at 2pm in Didcot Civic Hall. 

·         29 January 2019

·         26 March

·         4 June