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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber

Contact: Democratic Services 

Items
No. Item

CL.13

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 48 KB

To approve the minutes of the meetings held on 27 April 2022 and 18 May 2022.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 27 April 2022 were approved and signed by the Chair as a correct record.

The minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 18 May 2022 were approved and signed by the Chair as a correct record subject to item CL2 being amended to read that ‘Councillor Coles wrote to the retiring Vice-Chairman Councillor Postan’ and CL11 being amended to read that ‘Councillor Beaney (not Councillor Parkinson) proposed the Non-grouped Independent’ be added to Uplands Planning Sub Committee.

CL.14

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors: Luci Ashbourne, Hugo Ashton, Owen Collins, Nathalie Chapple, Suzi Coul, Jane Doughty, Harry Eaglestone, Richard Langridge, Nick Leverton, Michele Mead, Charlie Maynard and Dean Temple.

 

 

CL.15

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations from Members of the Committee on any items to be considered at the meeting

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received.

 

CL.16

Receipt of Announcements

To receive any announcements from The Chair, Leader, Members of the Cabinet or the Head of Paid Service.

Minutes:

Chair of the Council

 

The Chair introduced Zoe Campbell who had recently joined Publica as a Group Manager.

The Chair said that his Reception would be held at 6pm on 11 November at Blenheim Palace and expressed his thanks to the Duke of Marlborough. He announced that his Charity for the year would be the Royal British Legion.

The Chair would be hosting an event at Rousham Park on Sunday 7 May to mark the 50th anniversary of West Oxfordshire District Council and expressed his gratitude to Charles and Angela Cottrell-Dormer.

The Chair had invited Simon Hoare MP to give a lecture in March 2023 on the future of Northern Ireland. A reply was awaited. 

 

The Chair announced it was with great sadness that he had to report the passing of Derek Millard. Derek served as a councillor from 1976 to 2008 and from 2012 until his retirement in 2014. Derek represented the ward of Combe and Stonesfield which changed to Stonesfield and Tackley in 2002. He served as Chair of the Housing and Planning Committees and was a Member of Planning and Uplands (Sub) Committees. He also served as a Member on Conservation Area Advisory Committee. Derek was an active ward councillor and had a very effective working relationship with parish councils in his ward and with the very many residents he supported during his 34 years as a member of this council. The Chair said he had sent his sympathies to the family and that the funeral was to be held in August. 

Cllr Woodruff announced the recent death of Brian Hicks, a former Officer of the Council. Mr Hicks had been a key figure in Ducklington serving as a Parish Councillor and on various other Committees. He would be much missed by his family and the wider community.

The Chair asked councillors and officers to observe a minute’s silence in memory of Derek Millard and Brian Hicks.

 

Leader of the Council announcements:

The Leader announced that the Toolkit produced by the Carbon Change Working Group had received national recognition and had been nominated for an award to be presented in London that evening. It was an excellent example of partnership working across Publica.

The first consultation event on the Council’s Emerging Priorities would be held at Carterton on 5 September followed by a second event at Woodgreen on 15 September.

In a bid to become more accessible to residents, the Cabinet would be holding some of its future meetings in market towns throughout the district. More details would follow shortly.

 

Head of Paid Service announcements:

The Chief Executive noted the loss of water supply in the Burford area over the previous, very hot, weekend. He thanked Thames Water for their very prompt response and also officers of the Council who had provided support to the most vulnerable residents. Councillors were invited to attend an Emergency Planning briefing session to be held at 2 pm on 21 September which would explain the role of the Council in supporting  ...  view the full minutes text for item CL.16

CL.17

Participation of the Public

To receive any submissions from members of the public, in accordance with the Council’s Rules of Procedure.

Minutes:

There were no public participation registered to speak.

CL.18

Members' Questions

The following questions have been submitted by Members of Council in accordance with the Council Procedure Rules (Constitution Part 5, rule 10). Oral responses will be provided at the meeting. Following receipt of the answer to their question a Member is entitled to ask one supplementary question at the meeting.

 

Question 1 for Councillor Lidia Arciszewska, Cabinet Member for Environment, from Councillor Norman MacRae:

“The ‘new’ Council have made no secret of their aim to ensure the Water Companies (Thames Water) stop untreated sewage discharge to our rivers.  As there is nothing in legislation that allows a District Council to ‘enforce’ against a water company, by what means will they ensure the manifest pledge is honoured; at what cost to this Council and in what timescale?“

 

Question 2 for Councillor Joy Aitman, Cabinet Member for Stronger Healthy Communuties, from Councillor Norman MacRae:

"The Oxfordshire Playing Field Association have been instructed by this Council to consider what works are required to the play area at Kilkenny Lane Country Park to bring it to a safe and fully usable standard.  What progress has there been on this plan; what are the anticipated costs and within what timespan?"

 

Question 3 for Councillor Carl Rylett, Cabinet Member Planning & Sustainable Development, from Councillor Jeff Haine:

“On housing targets and infrastructure, you have called for more realistic housing targets rather than the "sky-high" ones in the Local Plan and you have also called for infrastructure before development. How are you going to deliver on these?”

 

Question 4 for Councillor Andrew Prosser, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, from Councillor Alaa Al-Yousuf:

“Climate Change Working Group: Does the Cabinet member for Climate Change intend to bring back the Climate Change Working Group and chair it?” 

 

Question 5 for Councillor Andrew Prosser, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, from Councillor Alaa Al-Yousuf:

“How is our leisure centres operator, GLL, planning to deal with the energy crisis?“

Minutes:

The following questions were asked at the meeting, and below are the recorded answers:

 

Question 1 - for Councillor Lidia Arciszewska, Cabinet Member for Environment, from Councillor Norman MacRae:

“The ‘new’ Council have made no secret of their aim to ensure the Water Companies (Thames Water) stop untreated sewage discharge to our rivers.  As there is nothing in legislation that allows a District Council to ‘enforce’ against a water company, by what means will they ensure the manifest pledge is honoured; at what cost to this Council and in what timescale?“

Answer:

Whilst it is true that recent government legislation places no obligation or clear targets on water companies to reduce raw sewage discharges to watercourses, we as elected representatives of the West Oxfordshire residents need to set the goals and find the solutions to address this dire problem.

This is a good opportunity to update you on the actions that we have asked Thames Water to implement, which are as follows:

 

1. Increasing sewage treatment capacity - by December 2025, to have increased the treatment capacities of each sewage treatment works  (“STW”), which currently has insufficient treatment capacity, so that their capacity exceeds the forecast capacity requirements for December 2028. Clearly capacity should take account of future housing growth, rather than just increasing capacity to catch up.

      In the cases of smaller sewage treatment works, Thames Water to review which of these should be closed with the effluent pumped to larger sewage treatment works.  Additionally, Thames Water and the Environment Agency to commit to working together to assign treatment capacities to all STWs above Port Meadow which currently have no specified capacities, completing this work by December 2022. 

      2. Quantifying and communicating the volume of sewage discharged – it is not sufficient only to know how long sewage is being released, we need to know how much sewage is discharged. By December 2022, Thames Water to have fitted volume flowmeters to all STWs with FFTs over 15 litres per second; and by December 2023 to have fitted volume flowmeters to all STWs above Port Meadow. These flowmeters should be linked to real-time open source monitoring which is accessible online, as well as via Twitter and Facebook.

 

We will work closely with Thames Water, the Environment Agency and other key local organisations such as Windrush Action Against Sewage Pollution and Evenlode Catchment Partnership to drive towards these goals.

In answer to the supplementary Question Councillor Arciszewska confirmed that interactive Water Days were planned and that these would include a wide range of stakeholders.

 

Question 2 - for Councillor Joy Aitman, Cabinet Member for Stronger Healthy Communities, from Councillor Norman MacRae:

"The Oxfordshire Playing Field Association have been instructed by this Council to consider what works are required to the play area at Kilkenny Lane Country Park to bring it to a safe and fully usable standard.  What progress has there been on this plan; what are the anticipated costs and within what timespan?"

Answer:

The Council received the report  ...  view the full minutes text for item CL.18

CL.19

Recommendations from Cabinet and Council Committees pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Purpose:

To consider the recommendations made by Cabinet and the Council’s Committees since the last ordinary Council meeting on 27 April.


Recommendation:

That Council resolves to:

1) allocate £2.15m of funding from the Capital Programme “Investment Strategy for Recovery” line item to facilitate the changes and deliver up to £186,000 of net annual revenue benefits with a return on capital of up to 10% after capital financing costs

2) approve the carry forward of Capital Budget of £14,399,348 as detailed in

Annex B

3) approve the transfers to and between Earmarked Reserves as detailed in the report

Minutes:

Councillors were asked to consider the recommendations made by Cabinet and the Council’s Committees since the last ordinary Council meeting on 27 April.

Recommendation:

That Council resolves to:

1) allocate £2.15m of funding from the Capital Programme “Investment Strategy for Recovery” line item to facilitate the changes and deliver up to £186,000 of net annual revenue benefits with a return on capital of up to 10% after capital financing costs

2) approve the carry forward of Capital Budget of £14,399,348 as detailed in

Annex B

3) approve the transfers to and between Earmarked Reserves as detailed in the report

Councillor Levy, the Cabinet member for Finance proposed to approve recommendations, this was seconded by the Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Enright, this was duly put to the vote and agreed.

Resolved that Councillors agreed to all of the above recommendations.

CL.20

Report of the Leader pdf icon PDF 322 KB

Purpose:

The Constitution provides that the Leader of the Council will advise Council in writing of his Cabinet Members, his executive delegations, and the exercise of any executive functions by way of joint arrangements.

 

Recommendation:

West Oxfordshire District Council is recommended to note the contents of this report, and to delegate authority to the Interim Monitoring Officer to update the Council’s Constitution to reflect the content of this report.

Minutes:

The Councils Interim Monitoring Officer, Susan Sale introduced a report to show the Leader of the Council will advise Council in writing of his Cabinet Members, his executive delegations, and the exercise of any executive functions by way of joint arrangements.

The Leader confirmed that a number of Champions had still to be appointed. He agreed to provide details of how the additional costs resulting from the increased number of Cabinet positions were being met.

Councillors were recommended to note the contents of this report, and to delegate authority to the Interim Monitoring Officer to update the Council’s Constitution to reflect the content of this report.

Resolved that report was noted and approved to delegate authority to the Interim Monitoring Officer to update the Council’s Constitution.

CL.21

Honorary Titles pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Purpose:

To consider a scheme for conferring honorary titles on former councillors who have, in the opinion of Council, rendered eminent service to the Council.

 

Recommendation:

That Council resolves to:

a)    Adopt a points system as a guideline for determining eligibility for honorary titles, as set out in the report.

b)    Agree that, if the motion at agenda item 10 is passed, a Special Meeting of the Council be held to bestow the title of Honorary Alderman on the former Councillors identified, on a date to be determined by the Chief Executive in consultation with the Chair of the Council.

Minutes:

The councillors considered a scheme for conferring honorary titles on former councillors who have, in the opinion of Council, rendered eminent service to the Council.

Several Councillors expressed reservations about using a points system and it was agreed that this needed to be reconsidered.

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Graham proposed to refer to the constitution Working Party, this was seconded by councillor Enright, was duly put to the vote and

Resolved that the Council refer to the Constitution working Party.

 

CL.22

Motion - Proposed by the Vice Chair of the Council, Councillor Andrew Coles

The following motion has been submitted by Councillor Coles:

 

“In view of the extraordinary long-service of former members David Harvey and Derek Cotterill to this council and the contribution they made to West Oxfordshire, this council resolves to convene a special meeting of the council to confer the title of Honorary Aldermen on these two worthy recipients.”

 

Minutes:

The following motion was submitted by Councillor Coles:

 

“In view of the extraordinary long-service of former members David Harvey and Derek Cotterill to this council and the contribution they made to West Oxfordshire, this council resolves to convene a special meeting of the council to confer the title of Honorary Aldermen on these two worthy recipients.”

 

The Chair confirmed that Councillor Coles withdrew the motion in writing, and therefore the motion was not debated.

CL.23

Climate Action Biannual Report pdf icon PDF 518 KB

Purpose:

This paper presents to Council a biannual report on the climate action taken by West Oxfordshire District Council in response to the climate and ecological emergency during the last six months: February-July 2022.

 

Recommendation:

That Council resolves to note the contents of the biannual report on climate action for West Oxfordshire.

Minutes:

Councillor Prosser introduced the biannual report, on the climate action taken by West Oxfordshire District Council in response to the climate and ecological emergency during the last six months: February-July 2022.

Councillors welcomed the report and queried whether actions in West Oxfordshire might have a wider national or international implications. It was felt that partnership working had achieved a greater impact than would a council working on its own. The Council had made a good start with its vehicles and buildings but more needed to be done. Central Government should be lobbied to tighten requirements on developers to create carbon neutral housing. Councillor Prosser was disappointed that the Planning Inspector’s examination of the Salt Cross Action Plan does not impose sustainable and energy efficient requirements but instead states only that they should be considered.

Councillor Prosser proposed that Councillors note the report, this was seconded by Councillor Arciszewska was duly put to the vote and noted by Councillors.

Resolved that the report be noted.

CL.24

Sealing of Documents pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Purpose:

To note the documents sealed since the last report.

 

Recommendation:

That the report be noted.

Minutes:

The Council received the schedule of documents sealed since the last meeting of the Council.

Councillor Fenton declared a non-registerable interest as a member of the congregation of St Mary’s Church.

Resolved that the document be noted.

 

 

The Chair paid tribute to the Fire Brigade for its service over the last few days. Cllr Brooker confirmed that the Thames Valley Fire Service had received 700 calls the previous day and had been called to incidents throughout the Thames Valley.