Receipt of Announcements
To receive any announcements from the Leader of the Council or Members of the Cabinet.
Councillor Mead addressed the meeting and advised that the Cabinet met every Wednesday, as a group initially, and were then joined by officers to go through and discuss the upcoming Cabinet reports, meetings and Cabinet Work Programme. Councillor Mead suggested that if any Councillors had questions or queries that they would like putting to officers, they could ask the Cabinet to pose these directly at their Wednesday meetings.
Councillor MacRae announced that, despite the steady success of refuse collections being at 99%, there had been a number of problems experienced recently due to staff absences at Ubico. This had been exacerbated by the continued unavailability and scarcity of qualified HGV drivers. Councillor MacRae also advised that the fleet’s ‘narrow lanes’ vehicle had broken down and was currently awaiting spare parts to be delivered. In the meantime, Ubico had hired a duplicate vehicle which had unfortunately also failed, resulting in a number of missed collections for those properties located down narrow access routes. Whilst the team were working hard to rectify the issue, there was little that could be done to speed up the delivery of the spare parts required as they were stuck in the supply system.
Following a question from Councillor Graham, Councillor MacRae explained that he did not know where the spare parts were coming from so could not comment on how long term the issue would be. However, it was hoped that the hired vehicle would be back on the road soon.
WODC and Blenheim Housing Award
Councillor Davies was delighted to announce that the Council and Blenheim Estate Homes had won the inaugural Public/Private Partnership of the Year Award at the Estates Gazette Awards. She explained that the new category celebrated partnerships between the public and private sector, for delivering solutions through real estate. Councillor Davies highlighted that the partnership had meant the Council could provide houses at 80% market rent and she thanked all of the officers involved, including Caroline Clissold and Tom See who were both present at the meeting.
Councillor Enright thanked the team behind the award and applauded Blenheim Estates for the turnaround in culture they had achieved in recent years. Councillor Graham also welcomed the news and referred to a document entitled ‘A sketchbook for an emerging vision for Blenheim Estate’. He explained that this was a document produced and commissioned by Blenheim that looked at potential emerging sustainable communities in West Oxfordshire, which Councillors may find insightful.
Councillor Davies concluded by reiterating her gratitude to all officers involved and stated that the award was a testament to the Housing team and the Planning officers at the Council.
Oxfordshire wide Electric Vehicle Charging Point project
Councillor Harvey announced that the contract for the above EVCP project had now been signed and installation would commence in the next few weeks.
Following a question from Councillor Graham, it was confirmed that the first site to have charging points installed would be the Woodford Way Car Park.
Planting Session – Mary Ellis Country Park
Councillor Postan advised that Bloor Homes had organised a tree planting session at the northern end of the Brize Norton Mary Ellis Country Park on Friday 12 November 2021, at 10.30am. He encouraged those elected Members who lived nearby to attend and show their support.