Held on Thursday 7 April 2022 at 6.00 pm

at 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, OX14 4SB



Present in the meeting room:

Cabinet members: Councillors David Rouane (Chair), Sue Cooper, Andrea Powell, Leigh Rawlins and Anne-Marie Simpson

Officers: Steve Culliford (Democratic Services Team Leader) and Mark Stone (Chief Executive) 


Remote attendance:

Cabinet members: Councillor Maggie Filipova-Rivers  

Officers: Patrick Arran (Head of Legal and Democratic), Harry Barrington-Mountford (Head of Policy and Programmes), Simon Hewings (Head of Finance), Jeremy Lloyd (Broadcasting Officer) and Shona Ware (Communications and Engagement Manager)




96         Apologies for absence


Councillors Pieter-Paul Barker and Robin Bennett had sent their apologies for absence. 




97         Minutes


RESOLVED: to approve the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 10 March 2022 as a correct record and agree that the Chair signs them as such. 




98         Declaration of disclosable pecuniary interest






99         Urgent business and chair's announcements


The Chair made two announcements:

1.    The Covid-19 pandemic was not over.  The number of cases locally was very high and had impacted on the capacity at local hospitals.  He urged the council and the public to remain cautious.  The council was continuing to provide support to those in need through its community hub. 

2.    With regard to the council’s support to refugees from Ukraine, he reported that the data systems between the council and the various agencies was flowing well.  The council had allocated staff to assist with work to support Ukrainians who had been relocated to South Oxfordshire.  Some staff had been transferred from their normal work to assist and he thanked them for this.  To date, the council had assisted over 200 Ukrainians in their relocation to South Oxfordshire and over the next fortnight the council would be making visits to support the 130 host families in the district.  It was expected that these numbers would increase.  The council would do all it could to support those in need; the chair referred them to the council’s telephone helpline. 




100     Public participation






101     Recommendations and updates from other committees


Cabinet received a summary of updates from the Scrutiny Committee, the Joint Audit and Governance Committee, and the Climate and Ecological Emergencies Advisory Committee.  Cabinet noted that there were no recommendations for it to consider on this occasion. 




102     Joint communications and engagement strategy


Cabinet considered the report of the deputy chief executive – transformation and operations.  This proposed a communications and engagement strategy, a joint strategy with Vale of White Horse District Council. 


The Cabinet member explained that the strategy would allow the council to govern its communications to ensure that meaningful, consistent and tailored messaging reached all of the council’s diverse audiences.  The strategy would provide the framework for communications and engagement activities.  It included the key principles from the council’s public engagement charter, which would be replaced by the strategy.  The strategy also highlighted several areas that would be strengthened.  These included improving customer satisfaction by raising awareness of the council’s services and the work the council was doing to help South Oxfordshire thrive.  It would strengthen engagement with others and improve the council’s reputation by demonstrating that the council informed and listened to its communities.  The Cabinet member emphasised that all staff and councillors had a role to play in the strategy’s success. 


Cabinet noted that the Scrutiny Committee had considered the draft strategy and had welcomed it. 


Cabinet concurred and agreed that the strategy should be approved. 




(a)       approve the Joint Communications and Engagement Strategy, attached as Appendix 1 to the 7 April 2022 Cabinet report of the deputy chief executive – transformation and operations; and


(b)       authorise the head of corporate services, in consultation with the Cabinet member for corporate services (South) and the Cabinet member for community engagement (Vale), to approve annual action plans that will underpin the strategy. 







103     Corporate plan performance monitoring report Q3 2021/22


Cabinet considered the head of policy and programmes’ report on corporate plan performance monitoring during quarter 3 of 2021/22, being the period 1 October to 31 December 2021. 


The Cabinet member for corporate services, policy and programmes emphasised that the report was high-level to monitor performance of the corporate objectives, and through council’s website it signposted links to other reports where more detail could be found.  The quarter 3 report included a graphical performance highlights summary.  It also identified areas where performance was less than the council would like, providing an open and transparent assessment of the council’s activity.  Looking forward, the quarter 4 report would include an annual summary of performance against the corporate plan. 


The Climate and Ecological Emergencies Advisory Committee and the Scrutiny Committee had both welcomed the report.  Cabinet members concurred and thanked the Cabinet member and officers. 


RESOLVED: to note the corporate plan performance monitoring report for quarter 3, 2021/22. 







The meeting closed at 6.20 pm




Chair                                                                           Date