Receipt of Announcements
To receive any announcements from the Leader of the Council, Members of the Executive or the Chief Executive.
Councillor Andy Graham, Leader of the Council, welcomed all attendees to the meeting, and thanked members of the public for attending. The Leader also welcomed the public watching proceedings on the Council’s website.
The Leader advised attendees of the rationale for the meeting starting at 6.00pm, rather than the usual time of 2.00pm, which was in order to allow greater public attendance at the meeting, which could not have ordinarily been achieved by holding the meeting during normal working hours.
The Leader gave the public and officers in attendance an overview of the way that the meeting would run. Public attendees were also advised that Members of the Executive would remain in attendance after the meeting had concluded, so that those in attendance could meet each other on an informal basis.
The Leader further advised that the final two Agenda Items contained commercially sensitive information and details of a private nature, and as such, the meeting would need to agree to enter private session with the appropriate juncture being highlighted when necessary.
The Leader announced that the meeting was the final meeting that Councillor Carl Rylett would be in position for as the Executive Member for Planning and Sustainability. Councillor Rylett would step down from the Executive and be replaced by Councillor Charlie Maynard with effect from the following day.
Members of the Executive thanked Councillor Rylett for his hard work and commitment as a Member of the Executive, and stated they looked forward to continuing to work with him in the future.
The Leader also announced that the latest version of the ‘WODC Voice’ newsletter had been released and would be sent by mail to residents of the district. The Leader explained that there had been positive feedback after the previous newsletter, and was pleased to see the newsletter reaching residents to keep them informed of the latest activities undertaken by the Council.
The Leader also announced that the next Executive meeting would be held on Wednesday 13 December, and that the meeting would be the next meeting in the series of “Executive on Tour”. The meeting would be held at Charlbury Community Centre, starting at 2.00pm, and further details would be cascaded at the right time by Officers.
Councillor Carl Rylett, Executive Member for Planning and Sustainability, gave the Executive an update regarding the Council’s Housing Numbers Position, which embodied the Council’s 5-Year Housing Land Supply. The Executive Member announced that the Council had reached a position where it was able to demonstrate a 5-Year Housing Land Supply. The Executive member stated that this would give the Council a greater say when determining applications for development within the district.
Councillor Duncan Enright, Deputy Leader of the Council and Executive Member for Economic Development, gave the Executive an update regarding events that would take place over the Christmas Period of 2023. The Deputy Leader stated that events were detailed in the recently published ‘WODC Voice’ newsletter. The Deputy Leader also affirmed the aspirations of the Council to work together with local businesses, Town Councils, churches, and hospitality settings, and that promoting events more widely, and on an annual basis, would help to achieve greater prosperity. Planned events included a Christmas Market, which would take place at Marriott’s Walk in Witney between 8 and 10 December 2023, with over 30 wooden chalets, offering a range of festive fun and treats.
Councillor Lidia Arciszewska, Executive Member for the Environment, announced the release of a new draft flood map for the Ducklington area, in particular ‘The Moors’, which had been devised by the Environment Agency (EA), and had come forward after work undertaken between the Council, and the local community.
The Executive Member stated that the EA had reviewed the flood mapping for the area, and that the update would also help the Council to better determine applications for development. The Executive Member thanked the EA, Councillors, and the local community for their work and engagement respectively,
Councillor Geoff Saul, Executive Member for Housing and Social Welfare, announced that the Council, in conjunction with Cottsway Housing Association, had secured an additional 23 units for affordable housing within the district, which would accommodate in the first instance, refugees from Ukraine and Afghanistan. The Executive Member stated that the units had arisen from receipt of Government funding, and at no cost to local residents.
Councillor Tim Sumner, Executive Member for Leisure and Major Projects, announced that through the Sports England Swimming Pool Support Fund, the Council had been awarded £354,000, which would benefit the swimming pools in Carterton, Chipping Norton and Witney.
The Executive Member further stated that a ‘Phase 2 of Funding’ had been applied for, which would further help the pools in Carterton, Chipping Norton and Witney, as well as the pool located in Woodstock.
The Executive Member paid tribute to those who had worked on the project in order to secure the funding.