Receipt of Announcements
To receive any announcements from The Chairman, Leader, Members of the Cabinet or the Head of Paid Service.
The Chairman sent his condolences to Councillor Cahill and his family following the tragic loss of their son on the weekend and had written to him on behalf of the Council.
The Council wished Councillor Rylett a speedy recovery after a serious operation.
Retirement of the Monitoring Officer
Keith Butler, who was retiring shortly, was thanked by the Chairman for his work during his time with West Oxfordshire District Council. Councillor McBride stated that in the short time since becoming Chairman, Mr Butler had been the font of all knowledge. He asked everyone present to join him in wishing Mr Butler the best of health in his new role as a retiree.
Mr Butler thanked everyone for their best wishes.
Announcements from the Leader
Councillor Mead announced that hybrid meetings were being presented to Government for review and acknowledged the success of the Covid-19 vaccination drop in centre. She highlighted the location and times of the clinic and advised that 500 jabs had been completed in the last week. She asked all Members to encourage their residents to use the facility which was open until 7.30pm that day, with the following day from 9.30 to 7.30pm.
Councillor Mead stated there would be no Cabinet meeting during August, however, it would reconvene in September.
Flooding update and Expression of thanks to Ubico
Councillor MacRae raised concerns regarding flooding and made the following comments:
• He planned to write to the Leader of the County Council in relation to the Section 19 Flooding report. He noted that it was now eight months after the flooding event in Witney and he was still awaiting a response.
• At the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting in June, a resident had raised concerns regarding the Christmas flooding and asked for clarity on who did what and who was responsible for flooding issues. He stated that Lawrence King was working directly with residents and support groups regarding this.
• A flood fair including displays would be arranged in October or November in the Town Centre shop in Witney, to showcase who was responsible for different areas and types of flooding along with displays from companies offering prevention items.
Councillor MacRae expressed his thanks to the refuse collection teams in what had been difficult times with hot weather, lack of drivers, and the “pingdemic”. He went on to state that Ubico were a contractual service provider and should not be contacted directly by Members for assistance. Requests should be made through officers using the member’s portal or reception. The Members Portal was stated as the preferred option as it provided an audit trail and Members were reminded not go to the depots as it was against Health and Safety policy.
Councillor Coles, following on from Councillor MacRae’s flooding remarks, stated that Councillor Sudbury and Mr Cotton and other representatives were visiting Witney soon to walk through the most affected areas and had meetings planned with residents.
Salt Cross Update
Councillor Haine referenced a report from the Planning Inspectorate on the Salt Cross plan. He stated that the hearing regarding infrastructure had been temporarily suspended. He had asked the Council to look at the report again which was in progress and once completed, the Council would report back to the Planning Inspectorate and the hearing would continue.
Councillor Levy asked for the report to be forwarded.
Net Zero Carbon Toolkit
Councillor Harvey commented on a 90 page Net Zero document presented at Cabinet. He wanted all to be aware of it, commended it to the Council and recommended that all Members get a copy.
Expression of thanks to GLL Partnership Manager
Councillor Doughty thanked John Busby, Partnership Manager at Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) for his commitment to GLL, prior to his departure at the end of the month. She stated that since March 2020 Mr Busby had worked tirelessly supporting the Council and food banks, whilst sustaining an active football refereeing role. Mr Busby was now a successful English Football League (EFL) professional referee for Sky Bet EFL league (formally English Championship) and would be leaving GLL shortly. She wished him well for the future.
Councillor Doughty went on to state that the Communications team had published a survey for GLL to build an indoor leisure facility. The purpose of the consultation was to find out who would use the facility, what barriers they may face, and what should be included to remove those barriers. She advised that the consultation was live on the website but needed promoting to encourage better responses. Members were requested to promote it with residents as it was vital for the District.
Loyal Free West Oxfordshire
Councillor Coul provided an update on the Loyal Free West Oxfordshire app stating that there had been 918 downloads, with 64 current deals, 162 businesses had promoted through event listings and trails, and 2966 trail interactions. Councillor Coul wished to record her thanks to Toby Morris in helping to ensure the Loyal Free app was up and running in West Oxfordshire.
LGA Housing Award Shortlist
Councillor Davies was pleased to announce that the Council had been shortlisted for a Local Government Award. The award was for the rural housing broadband rollout, deemed an innovative project. She also announced that the Council had been long listed for an award with Blenheim for affordable housing provision. She had recently met with the housing officer and provision was deemed excellent regarding affordable and sustainable tenancies.