Agenda and draft minutes

Council
Thursday, 10 October 2019 6.00 pm

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

Contact: Steven Corrigan  Democratic Services Manager

Items
No. Item

23.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 193 KB

To adopt and sign as a correct record the Council minutes of the meeting held on 18 July 2019 – attached. 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 18 July 2019 as a correct record and agree that the chairman sign them as such.

 

24.

Declarations of disclosable pecuniary interest

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

Minutes:

Councillor Kantor made a statement in respect of agenda item 7, Local Plan 2034: options to progress, that she is employed at UKAEA Culham – a potential housing site in the Local Plan.

 

Councillor Turner made a statement in respect of agenda item 7, Local Plan 2034: options to progress, that he is a representative on Culham Local Liaison Committee.

 

 

25.

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.

26.

Public participation

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

Minutes:

The chairman advised that a number of public speakers had registered to address Council on the Local Plan item. He proposed and Council agreed to allow all speakers to have three minutes.

 

27.

Petitions

To receive any petitions from the public. 

Minutes:

None.

28.

Local Plan 2034: options to progress pdf icon PDF 283 KB

At its meeting on 3 October Cabinet will consider a report on the options to progress the Local Plan 2034. The report and appendices, which Cabinet will consider at its meeting, were circulated to all councillors. A revised Cabinet report is attached.

The Scrutiny Committee considered the report at its meeting on 1 October. Following a debate on the Local Plan options a motion was put forward to support option A in the report – to allow the plan to continue to examination. The motion was not carried. The committee did not make any recommendations to Cabinet.

 

Cabinet’s recommendations will be circulated to all councillors.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Bretherton, Chairman of the council, invited Mark Stone, Chief Executive, to address Council. The chief executive advised that on Wednesday 9 October the council received a letter from the Rt Hon Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, addressed to the leader of the council, which advised that he was considering whether to give a direction to the council in respect of the emerging South Oxfordshire Local Plan.  He directed the council not to take any step in connection with the adoption of the Local Plan, while he considered the matter. In his letter he offered for his officials to work with council officers to discuss the next steps.

 

The chief executive advised that he wrote to the Secretary of State on 10 October to seek clarification regarding the direction. The Secretary of State responded prior to the Council meeting and there was nothing in the letter which removed the temporary direction. Until the council hears further from the Secretary of State it was not within the gift of Council to take any step in connection with the adoption of the Local Plan including hearing representations, responding to questions, debating or making a decision on the emerging South Oxfordshire Local Plan.

 

He recognised that many members of the public were attending the meeting for the Local Plan item and he apologised that the Council was unable to take the matter further at the meeting. He undertook to keep the public informed of any progress via the council’s website and social media.

 

The chairman further advised members of the public that there would be no public speaking or debate on the Local Plan item.

29.

Recommendations from Cabinet (Climate Change Advisory Committee)

At its meeting on 8 October Cabinet will consider the recommendations of the Climate Change Advisory Committee on options for how the council could respond to the climate emergency declaration. Any recommendations to Council will be circulated following the Cabinet meeting.

Minutes:

Council noted that at its meeting on 8 October Cabinet had endorsed the recommendations of the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee, endorsed the direction of travel and supported the motion to be considered at minute 35(3). 

30.

Extension of terms of office of independent persons to advise on code of conduct issues pdf icon PDF 115 KB

To consider the report of the head of legal and democratic and monitoring officer on extending the term of office of two independent persons to advise on code of conduct issues – attached.

 

Minutes:

Council considered the report of the head of legal and democratic and monitoring officer on extending the terms of office of two independent persons to advise on code of conduct issues.

RESOLVED: to authorise the monitoring officer to extend the terms of office of Chris Smith and George Green, the council’s independent persons for code of conduct matters, until 31 October 2020 pending the receipt of further information on potential changes to the standards framework.

 

31.

Climate Emergency Advisory Committee - appointment of substitute

At its meeting on 18 July Council established a Climate Emergency Advisory Committee and appointed members and substitutes to it. In doing so Council appointed Councillor Hewerdine, a non-group councillor, to the committee. The terms of reference for the committee provide for the appointment of the same number of preferred substitutes in respect of each political group as that group holds ordinary seats on the committee. There is no provision for the appointment of a substitute for a non-group councillor.

 

To ensure there is provision for an alternative councillor to attend meetings of the committee in the absence of Councillor Hewerdine, Council is requested to appoint Councillor Gillespie, a non-group councillor, as the named substitute.

 

RECOMMENDATION: to appoint Councillor Gillespie as the substitute for Councillor Hewerdine on the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee.

Minutes:

Council considered a proposal to appoint Councillor Gillespie, a non-group councillor, as the named substitute for Councillor Hewerdine on the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee.

 

RESOLVED: to appoint Councillor Gillespie as the substitute for Councillor Hewerdine on the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee.

 

 

32.

Constitution Review Task Group

Council is invited to agree the establishment of a joint Constitution Review Task Group with Vale of White Horse District Council to undertake a review of the constitution and make recommendations to Council.

 

Officers propose that the task group comprises 10 councillors with five from South Oxfordshire and five from Vale of White Horse. Officers propose that each political group from South Oxfordshire is entitled to appoint one member with Vale of White Horse membership comprising three Liberal Democrats and two Conservatives.

 

RECOMMENDATION: That Council

1.    establishes a joint Constitution Review Task Group with Vale of White Horse District Council comprising five councillors from each council;

2.    allocates a seat to each political group and appoints councillors as set out in the schedule circulated at the meeting;

3.    agrees that councillors from the same political group on the council may substitute for this council’s appointed representatives.

 

Minutes:

Council considered a proposal to establish a joint Constitution Review Task Group with Vale of White Horse District Council to undertake a review of the constitution and make recommendations to Council.

 

RESOLVED: to

1.    establish a joint Constitution Review Task Group with Vale of White Horse District Council comprising five councillors from each council;

2.    allocate a seat to each political group;

3.    authorise the head of legal and democratic to make appointments to the task group in accordance with the wishes of the relevant group leader.

 

 

33.

Report of the leader of the council

Minutes:

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

 

 

34.

Questions on notice

To receive the following questions from councillors in accordance with Council procedure rule 33:

 

1.    Question from Councillor Mocky Khan to Councillor Maggie Filipova-Rivers, Cabinet member for community services

 

There are constant rumours that Didcot Wave is going to be closing, can the Cabinet member confirm what the situation is? Also, there are complaints regards the maintenance and appearance of the building and facilities. What is the work schedule, budget and timings?

 

2.    Question from Councillor Mocky Khan to Councillor Maggie Filipova-Rivers, Cabinet member for community services

 

Cornerstone in Didcot is a flagship building for culture in South Oxfordshire.  I am concerned to hear that the roof is leaking and this has been the case for nearly four years. Can the Cabinet member provide an update and what is happening to resolve this issue?

 

3.    Question from Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak to Councillor Leigh Rawlins, Cabinet member for planning

 

In the local plan documents there are options A, B and C. Can I please have a cost estimate for each of these options?

 

4.    Question from Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak to Councillor Leigh Rawlins, Cabinet member for planning

 

Oxfordshire County Council has already spent £1,000,000 developing the HIF/Growth Deal bid. This is Oxfordshire residents’ money. If the SODC local plan is withdrawn and the Growth Deal is lost, is South Oxfordshire District Council going to repay this £1,000,000 to OCC?

 

5.    Question from Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak to Councillor David Rouane, Cabinet member for housing and environment

 

We thank Councillors Rouane and Cooper for visiting Henley to look at our Greys Road public toilets. I think they agreed that they were in a shocking state. SODC derives £700,000 per annum from the Henley car parks which must be recycled back into car parks and car parking. Can we ask that a budget line of £120,000 be put into the next budget to ensure that this toilet is thoroughly refurbished?

 

Please see below recent photographs showing the shocking state of the toilets.

 

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6.    Question from Councillor Ken Arlett to Councillor Leigh Rawlins, Cabinet member for planning

 

Permitted Development Rights (PDR’s) government policy, is having a drastic effect on the loss of offices in Henley into flats, I would imagine the same applies across South Oxfordshire. The loss of offices within the town centre also has a knock-on effect to local traders. This government policy may be good for big cities, but it is doing nothing for smaller towns. Other than taking out an Article 4 policy, how does the Cabinet member think this council can address the problem?

 

 

 

 

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

 

Since the demise of traffic wardens and SODC’s decision to cut funding for PCSO’s, there is no one to enforce illegal parking in our towns and villages, this is causing immense problems in town centres and residential roads. SODC has agreed to look into the feasibility of introducing a civil parking enforcement scheme being devolved down from OCC to SODC.  ...  view the full agenda text for item 34.

Minutes:

1.    Question from Councillor Mocky Khan to Councillor Maggie Filipova-Rivers, Cabinet member for community services

 

There are constant rumours that Didcot Wave is going to be closing, can the Cabinet member confirm what the situation is? Also, there are complaints regards the maintenance and appearance of the building and facilities. What is the work schedule, budget and timings?

 

ANSWER

 

There are no plans to close Didcot Wave Leisure Centre. In March 2018, Council took the decision to extend the current management arrangements with GLL to 31 August 2024 in line with the leisure management contract.

 

There has been significant works to the building in the past 18 months with more than £150,000 investment into essential maintenance and improvement works. This includes improvements to the wetside changing village and a refurbishment of the toilets and wetside shower area and a new air handling unit to improve the air quality in the pool hall.  Essential repairs have also been carried out to the roof and gullies to better protect the building from the weather.

 

In addition, as part of the Council and GLL spend to save initiative, new LED lighting is currently being installed to the wetside changing and poolside area, gym, car park and to the outside of the building which is scheduled for completion at the end of this month. This will help to improve the whole environment making it much brighter, welcoming and safer for customers whilst also helping to reduce the amount of energy the building uses.

 

A breakdown of the works completed and currently scheduled are as

follows:

           

Programme

Cost

Works

Date Completed

Dryside toilets

£29,000

(Council & GLL)

Full refurbishment of the dry side toilets

September 2016

Wetside Change and toilets

£53,252 (Council)

Includes refurbishment of the toilets, plinths to the lockers, showers and tiling and wetside cubicle/bench upgrades

December 2017

Building fabric works

£76,481 (Council)

Includes surveys, Air Handling Unit and roof works

January – May 2019

Spend to Save

£14,311

(GLL)

GLL LED lighting upgrade to the gym, car park and outside of the building

October 2019

Spend to Save

£8,458   

(Council)                               

Council LED wetside and poolside                                                        

October 2019

 

 

All councillors have access to privileged information as to council activities which they can access at all times not only during council meetings.

 

SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION

 

In response to a supplementary question regarding the perceived lack of awareness amongst residents of these improvements, the Cabinet member undertook to take this issue back to GLL. 

 

2.    Question from Councillor Mocky Khan to Councillor Maggie Filipova-Rivers, Cabinet member for community services

 

Cornerstone in Didcot is a flagship building for culture in South Oxfordshire.  I am concerned to hear that the roof is leaking and this has been the case for nearly four years. Can the Cabinet member provide an update and what is happening to resolve this issue?

 

ANSWER

 

Cornerstone’s roof has been leaking for approximately 18 months, and it has had our full attention during this time. We’ve had a number of experts out to investigate the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

35.

Motions on notice

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

 

(1)      Motion to be proposed by Councillor Alexandrine Kantor, seconded by Councillor Anne-Marie Simpson:

 

Council notes that EU nationals are part of our shared communities. They are our husbands, wives, parents, friends and colleagues. They are an integral part of a vibrant and thriving South Oxfordshire.

Since 2016 EU nationals were promised again and again that "there will be no change for EU citizens already lawfully resident in the UK and […] will be treated no less favourably as they are at present”.

After three years of living in limbo, their homes and livelihoods are in danger of being threatened by the further uncertainty brought about by the prospect of an even more chaotic no-deal Brexit.

According to the Home Office’s July statistics, only a third of EU nationals have applied for the Settled Status and 42% of them have been granted the inferior Pre-Settled status leading them to reapply for the Settled status later on. There is no possibility of knowing how many EU nationals need to apply, leaving vulnerable and unaware EU nationals left at risk of becoming unlawful residents the mercy of the Home Office’s “Hostile Environment”.  Lack of clarity regarding differentiating between EU citizens arriving before and after the UK’s exit from the EU could lead to discrimination in the labour market and may prevent many from accessing the services that they are entitled to.

Another Windrush-like scandal could be unfolding right before the eyes of this Council and we mustn’t be passive observers to it.

Therefore, the Council asks that:

1.    Officers report on how the Council can mitigate adverse impacts on the rights of EU nationals (including but not limited to advising on what the Council can do to help landlords and employers to be better informed about immigration status and therefore avoid potential discrimination against EU nationals)

 

2.    The Leader of the Council writes to EU citizens resident in the district giving advice on applying for Settled Status. This notice shall inform EU citizens of any potential consequences of not applying for the EU Settlement scheme.

 

3.    The Leader of the Council writes to the Home Secretary seeking clarification and suggesting improvements for the European Settlement scheme, which include:

·         Providing physical proof of Settled status that can be used to access services

·         Confirming that there will be no changes to the rights of settled EU citizens that they currently have by ratifying the Immigration Bill as primary legislation before the exit day

·         Replacing the current European Settlement scheme with a registration scheme without a deadline where EU citizens are considered lawful by default and can request a proof of immigration status only when they are asked to demonstrate it.

·          

(2)      Motion to be proposed by Councillor David Bartholomew, seconded by Councillor Anna Badcock:

 

Reading Borough Council is proposing to build a vast new bridge over the Thames at Caversham to alleviate Reading’s traffic problems. It is included in their Draft  ...  view the full agenda text for item 35.

Minutes:

 

(1)      Motion moved by Councillor Alexandrine Kantor and seconded by Councillor Anne-Marie Simpson:

 

Council notes that EU nationals are part of our shared communities. They are our husbands, wives, parents, friends and colleagues. They are an integral part of a vibrant and thriving South Oxfordshire.

Since 2016 EU nationals were promised again and again that "there will be no change for EU citizens already lawfully resident in the UK and […] will be treated no less favourably as they are at present”.

After three years of living in limbo, their homes and livelihoods are in danger of being threatened by the further uncertainty brought about by the prospect of an even more chaotic no-deal Brexit.

According to the Home Office’s July statistics, only a third of EU nationals have applied for the Settled Status and 42% of them have been granted the inferior Pre-Settled status leading them to reapply for the Settled status later on. There is no possibility of knowing how many EU nationals need to apply, leaving vulnerable and unaware EU nationals left at risk of becoming unlawful residents at the mercy of the Home Office’s “Hostile Environment”.  Lack of clarity regarding differentiating between EU citizens arriving before and after the UK’s exit from the EU could lead to discrimination in the labour market and may prevent many from accessing the services that they are entitled to.

Another Windrush-like scandal could be unfolding right before the eyes of this Council and we mustn’t be passive observers to it.

Therefore, the Council asks that:

  1. Officers report on how the Council can mitigate adverse impacts on the rights of EU nationals (including but not limited to advising on what the Council can do to help landlords and employers to be better informed about immigration status and therefore avoid potential discrimination against EU nationals)

 

  1. The Leader of the Council writes to EU citizens resident in the district giving advice on applying for Settled Status. This notice shall inform EU citizens of any potential consequences of not applying for the EU Settlement scheme.

 

  1. The Leader of the Council writes to the Home Secretary seeking clarification and suggesting improvements for the European Settlement scheme, which include:

·         Providing physical proof of Settled status that can be used to access services

·         Confirming that there will be no changes to the rights of settled EU citizens that they currently have by ratifying the Immigration Bill as primary legislation before the exit day

·         Replacing the current European Settlement scheme with a registration scheme without a deadline where EU citizens are considered lawful by default and can request a proof of immigration status only when they are asked to demonstrate it.

An amendment moved by Councillor Powell to replace 2 above with the following was accepted by the mover and seconder of the original motion with the agreement of Council:

 

“The Leader of the Council writes to EU citizens resident in the district giving advice on applying for Settled Status (within the constraints of GDPR). This notice shall  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

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 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.

 

37.

New office accommodation - design, sustainability and building specification

At its meeting on 8 October Cabinet will consider a confidential report on the progress of the new council office building and car park programme at the council’s Crowmarsh Gifford site which asks Cabinet to determine the design, sustainability and building specification for the building and car park.

The confidential report, which Cabinet will consider at its meeting, is attached.

The Climate Emergency Advisory Committee considered the report at its meeting on 19 September. The views and recommendations of the committee will be presented to Cabinet at its meeting on 8 October.

The Cabinet recommendations will be circulated to all councillors following the Cabinet meeting on 8 October.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered Cabinet’s recommendations, made at its meeting on 8 October 2019, on the progress of the new council office building and car park programme at the council’s Crowmarsh Gifford site.

 

Council resolved to:

 

(a)      note the progress of the new council office building and car park programme at the council’s Crowmarsh Gifford site; and

 

(b)      allocate additional budget provision to the capital scheme in the approved programme.