Agenda and minutes

Council - Wednesday, 10 October 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: The Ridgeway, The Beacon, Portway, Wantage, OX12 9BY

Contact: Steven Corrigan, Democratic Services Manager 01235 422526 Email: steven.corrigan@southandvale.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

24.

Apologies for absence

To record apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Davenport and Murray.

25.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 366 KB

To adopt and sign as a correct record the Council minutes of the meeting held on 18 July 2018 - attached. 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 18 July 2018 as a correct record and agree that the chairman sign them as such.

26.

Declarations of disclosable pecuniary interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests in respect of items on the agenda for this meeting.  

Minutes:

None.

27.

Urgent business and chairman's announcements

To receive notification of any matters which the chairman determines should be considered as urgent business and the special circumstances which have made the matters urgent, and to receive any announcements from the chairman. 

Minutes:

The chairman provided housekeeping information.

28.

Public participation

To receive any questions or statements from members of the public that have registered to speak. 

Minutes:

No public speakers had registered to address Council.

29.

Petitions

To receive any petitions from the public. 

Minutes:

None.

30.

Oxfordshire Joint Spatial Plan – Scoping Document pdf icon PDF 326 KB

At the Council meeting held on 14 February 2018, the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal was discussed.  As part of the deal, Oxfordshire’s principal councils were required to adopt a Joint Statutory Spatial Plan, also known as the Oxfordshire Joint Spatial Plan.  Council agreed that:

“commencement of work to support and deliver the Joint Statutory Spatial Plan is subject to Cabinet being satisfied that the conditions set out at Appendix 4 of the report of the head of partnership and insight to Cabinet on 9 February 2018 have been met.”

 

Appendix 4 required the scope of the Joint Statutory Spatial Plan to be agreed by full Council. 

 

Joint Scrutiny Committee considered the draft scoping document on 20 September 2018. 

 

Cabinet considered the draft scoping document at its meeting on 28 September 2018 and made a series of suggested changes.  These are set out in the addendum attached to this agenda. Cabinet authorised the head of planning, in agreement with the other Oxfordshire councils’ equivalent, to make any necessary minor and presentational changes to the draft Joint Statutory Spatial Plan’s Scoping Document before publication.

 

A copy of the report considered by Cabinet is attached.

 

Recommendation: to approve the Oxfordshire Joint Spatial Plan’s scoping document (as set out in Appendix 3 to the head of planning’s report to Cabinet on 28 September 2018). 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered Cabinet’s recommendation, made at its meeting on 28 September 2018, to approve the Oxfordshire Joint Statutory Spatial Plan’s scoping document.Cabinet authorised the head of planning, in agreement with the other Oxfordshire councils’ equivalent, to make any necessary minor and presentational changes to the draft Joint Statutory Spatial Plan’s Scoping Document before publication.

 

In introducing this item Councillor Cox, Cabinet member for planning, advised that, under the terms of the Housing and Growth Deal, Council, at its meeting on 14 February 2018, agreed to adopt a Joint Statutory Spatial Plan, also known as the Oxfordshire Joint Spatial Plan, subject to some non-negotiable matters set out in appendix 4 of the Cabinet report.

 

The majority of councillors supported the scoping document recognising that officers will continue to seek a number of changes identified by Cabinet at its meeting on 28 September 2018.  The document will provide a framework for Oxfordshire under which the council can produce a local plan and make appropriate allocations for development. However, a number of councillors expressed concern that the scoping document did not address the issues of concern raised at the Council meeting in February 2018, particularly that the scoping document should not make housing allocations in the Vale. There is no guarantee that officers will gain agreement to the amendments proposed by Cabinet and as such the scoping document should not be signed off by Council.    

 

RESOLVED: to approve the Oxfordshire Joint Spatial Plan’s scoping document (as set out in Appendix 3 to the head of planning’s report to Cabinet on 28 September 2018). 

 

31.

Making the Radley Neighbourhood Development Plan pdf icon PDF 366 KB

Cabinet, at its meeting 5 October 2018,will consider the head of planning’s report on the Radley Neighbourhood Development Plan. The report of the head of planning, which Cabinet will consider on 5 October, is attached. 

 

The recommendations of Cabinet will be circulated to all councillors.

 

 

Minutes:

Council considered the recommendations of Cabinet, made at its meeting on 5 October 2018, on making the Radley Neighbourhood Development Plan part of the development plan for Vale.

 

Councillors congratulated local residents who had been involved in the development of the plan.

 

RESOLVED to:

 

1.    make the Radley Neighbourhood Development Plan so that it continues to be part of the council’s development plan; and

 

2.    authorise the head of planning, in agreement with the Qualifying Body, to correct any spelling, grammatical, typographical or factual errors in the Radley Neighbourhood Development Plan, together with any improvements from a presentational perspective. 

 

 

32.

Treasury management outturn 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 266 KB

Cabinet, at its meeting on 5 October 2018, will consider the head of finance’s report on the outturn performance of the treasury management function for the financial year 2017/18.

 

The report of the head of finance, which Cabinet will consider on 5 October 2018, is attached. The Joint Audit and Governance Committee considered the report at its meeting on 27 September 2018 and made no recommendations to Cabinet.

 

The recommendations of Cabinet will be circulated to all councillors.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered Cabinet’s recommendations, made at its meeting on 5 October 2018, on the outturn performance of the treasury management function for the financial year 2017/18.

 

The Joint Audit and Governance Committee and Cabinet had considered the head of finance’s report and were satisfied that the treasury activities had been carried out in accordance with the treasury management strategy and policy.

 

RESOLVED: to

1.    approve the treasury management outturn report for 2017/18 attached to the report of the head of finance to the Cabinet meeting on 5 October 2018;

2.    approve the actual 2017/18 prudential indicators within the head of finance’s report.

 

33.

Community Governance Review pdf icon PDF 229 KB

At its meeting on 8 October the Community Governance and Electoral Issues Committee will make final decisions in respect of its community governance reviews of the boundary between Great Coxwell and Great Faringdon parishes and the boundary between Abingdon-on-Thames, Radley, St Helen Without and Sunningwell parishes.

 

If the committee agrees to amend the boundaries, in accordance with its draft proposals, it will also recommend Council authorises the head of legal and democratic to request the Local Government Boundary Commission for England to make related alteration orders to make district wards and county divisions coterminous with the change to ensure effective and convenient representation of local residents.

 

A copy of the reports which the committee will consider are attached. Any recommendations will be circulated to all councillors prior to the Council meeting.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

At its meeting on 8 October 2018 the Community Governance and Electoral Issues Committee made final decisions in respect of its community governance reviews of the boundary between Great Coxwel and Great Faringdon parishes, and the boundary between Abingdon-on-Thames, Radley, St Helen Without and Sunningwell parishes.   

 

These changes impact on district ward and county division boundaries.  To make district ward and county divisions coterminous with these parish changes Council was invited to authorise the head of legal and democratic to request the Local Government Boundary Commission for England to make related alteration orders to alter the district wards and county division boundaries where necessary.

 

RESOLVED: to

1.    authorise the head of legal and democratic to request the Local Government Boundary Commission for England to make related alteration orders to change district wards and county divisions to reflect the changes made to the parish boundary of Abingdon-on-Thames, Radley, St Helen Without and Sunningwell;

 

2.    authorise the head of legal and democratic to request the Local Government Boundary Commission for England to make a related alteration order to change district wards to reflect the change made to the parish boundary of Great Coxwell and Great Faringdon.

 

 

34.

Election fees and charges 2019 pdf icon PDF 202 KB

To consider the report of the returning officer on the setting of fees and charges for the 2019 district and parish elections (attached). 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Margaret Reed, the council’s returning officer, indicated that she would leave the room during any debate and vote on this item.

 

Council considered the report of the returning officer on the setting of fees and charges for the 2019 district and parish elections.

 

RESOLVED: to

1.    agree the scales of fees for district and parish council elections, parish polls and neighbourhood planning referendums as set out in the Appendix to the report of the returning officer to the Council meeting on 10 October 2018;

2.    agree to continue to charge parish and town councils for running elections on their behalf.

 

35.

Report of the Leader of the Council pdf icon PDF 65 KB

(1)       Urgent cabinet decisions

 

In accordance with the scrutiny procedure rules, a Cabinet decision can be taken as a matter of urgency, if any delay by the call-in process would seriously prejudice the council’s or the public’s interest.  Treating the decision as a matter of urgency must be agreed by the chairman of the Scrutiny Committee and must be reported to the next meeting of the council, together with the reasons for urgency.

 

To receive any details of urgent Cabinet decisions taken since the last ordinary meeting of the Council, (if any).

 

(2)       Delegation of Cabinet functions

 

To receive details of any changes to the leader’s scheme of delegation. 

 

(3)       Matters affecting the authority arising from meetings of joint committees, partnerships and other meetings

 

To receive the report of the leader (if any). 

Minutes:

Councillor Roger Cox, Leader of the council, provided an update on a number of matters. The text of his address is attached to these minutes.

 

36.

Questions on notice pdf icon PDF 56 KB

To receive questions from councillors in accordance with Council procedure rule 33.

 

A.   Councillor Judy Roberts to Councillor Roger Cox, Leader of the council

The chairman of the Local Government Association's Brexit Taskforce has said "the UKs exit from the European Union will have a significant impact on local government. Brexit will ultimately be judged on the success of failure by local areas; real people in real communities. Councils are taking a lead on preparations for Brexit because our residents and our local businesses expect us to be ready." What has Vale of White Horse District Council done in terms of an analyses of the potential impact on local business, employment and the services we deliver? And what mitigation is being put in place to protect Vale residents, housing provision and our Enterprise Zones?        

 

B.   Councillor Helen Pighills to Councillor Mike Murray Cabinet member for Development and Regeneration

A year has now passed since, the then Leader, Councillor Barber formally announced plans to turn Old Abbey House in Abingdon into council owned social housing. Please can the Cabinet member update us on this development and when residents can expect a planning application to be submitted for consultation?

C.   Councillor Catherine Webber to Councillor Roger Cox, Leader of the council

In the leader’s press statement responding to the announcement that the Expressway will be using a route through Corridor B, the leader stated that “we” support the “principles” of the Expressway but mentioned concerns about any route going west of Oxford. 

i     Can the leader please explain what exactly are those principles he supports?

ii    But why is the leader not fighting to protect other Vale residents in harm’s way, communities and environment to the east of Oxford such as Sunningwell, Radley, Marcham, Shippon, Wootton, and Abingdon?

D.   Councillor Emily Smith to Councillor Roger Cox, Leader of the council

Given there has not been any public consultation on the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway, and none is expected for another year, Councillor Cox’s position on the Highways England Stakeholder group will be a vitally important opportunity to ensure Highways England understand the views of Vale residents and potential impacts of routes through communities in corridor B.

However, full Council has not yet debated a position on the Expressway or canvassed the opinions of members, parish councils and residents about the significant environmental and social impacts on Vale communities.

How is the leader planning to collect and understand the views and concerns of local members and parish councils to ensure he and the Cabinet are fully appraised of the impact of each route before representing us at the first Highways England stakeholder meeting in November?

E.   Councillor Bob Johnston to Councillor Roger Cox, Cabinet member for Planning?

In December 2014 Council passed a motion as follows "Council believes the present system of s106 negotiations leaves much to be desired, and that the council should continue to revise the process to produce a system which is more open, more transparent and includes input from  ...  view the full agenda text for item 36.

Minutes:

A.   Councillor Judy Roberts to Councillor Roger Cox, Leader of the council

The chairman of the Local Government Association's Brexit Taskforce has said "the UKs exit from the European Union will have a significant impact on local government. Brexit will ultimately be judged on the success of failure by local areas; real people in real communities. Councils are taking a lead on preparations for Brexit because our residents and our local businesses expect us to be ready." What has Vale of White Horse District Council done in terms of an analyses of the potential impact on local business, employment and the services we deliver? And what mitigation is being put in place to protect Vale residents, housing provision and our Enterprise Zones?

 

Answer:       

Councillor Cox responded as follows:

Until a decision and deal is made about it being a hard or soft Brexit, it is difficult to analyse the potential impact with any certainty. Once more information is available about the deal and policy implications, the economic development team will be in a position to work with partners to make sure Vale businesses make the most of the post-Brexit opportunities.

 

As at 1 October 2018 there were 36 companies in the Vale that are EU owned. To mitigate any negative impact on Vale businesses and the local workforce, the economic development team has taken the following proactive steps:

  • Partnering with the Department of International Trade (DIT) inward investment team to personally visit key foreign owned businesses in the district to discuss their plans post-Brexit and the support available at a local, county and national level. To date, foreign owned businesses in the Vale have not expressed significant concern as the policies that will impact them have not been decided (e.g. customs, migration laws etc).
  • Partnering with OxLEP's inward investment team and the DIT Capital Investment team to identify and promote opportunities for Vale businesses in non-EU markets. This includes identifying capital investment opportunities to foreign investors. This relates to the DIT work to secure free-trade agreements with non-EU countries including Australia and New Zealand. Officers are working with DIT to open a dialogue with relevant businesses in Australia.  
  • The Oxfordshire Local Industrial Strategy outlines how the government investment can support local businesses post-Brexit. This includes increasing productivity and growth opportunities. As the council's representative on the LIS steering group, the importance of Vale businesses and their growth potential are highlighted and considered when formulating the growth opportunities. 
  • The government has announced that EU citizens who reside and work in the UK before 31 December 2020 will be allowed to remain. Anecdotally, some businesses who employ EU migrants have had a few return to their country of origin but these numbers are small. The economic development team is connected with EY which provide the latest legal information about migration laws, policy and processes. When the government decides the post-Brexit migration laws, the information and interpretation by EY will be shared with local businesses. At a recent workshop EY advised employers to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.

37.

Motions on notice

To consider motions from councillors in accordance with Council procedure rule 38. 

 

Motion to be proposed by Councillor Debby Hallett, seconder to be notified:

 

Council notes that Vale of White Horse is an area of exceptionally high property values relative to the rest of England.

Council notes that the statutory definition of ‘Affordable Housing’, whether to buy or to rent, is related directly to these property values (currently 80% of market value).

Council notes the study brought to Vale Scrutiny Committee in February 2018 by the then interim head of housing and economic development, which shed further light on the nature of affordability in Vale of White Horse. 

-      This study looked at house prices and rents in quartiles and determined that to buy a lower quartile property, costing £255,000 in Vale, an income of £57,000 is needed, which is an upper quartile income. So only the highest income levels can afford to buy the lowest priced properties in our district. 

-      Over recent years, growth in local incomes has not kept pace with growth in house prices or rents, so the so-called ‘affordable’ housing is not affordable to too many households and individuals.

 

Therefore, Council asks Councillor Roger Cox, Leader of the council, to write to James Brokenshire, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government setting out the council’s concern. Council urges the Secretary of State to give consideration to the definition of affordable housing, taking into account the impact very high property values have on the current definition. Council urges him to consider a national debate on affordability and the implementation of a regional based definition of ‘affordable housing’, using a maximum price model for affordable housing within an area based on local incomes and circumstances, rather than the market value of the house.

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

Motion proposed by Councillor Debby Hallett, seconded by Councillor Bob Johnston:

 

Council notes that Vale of White Horse is an area of exceptionally high property values relative to the rest of England.

Council notes that the statutory definition of ‘Affordable Housing’, whether to buy or to rent, is related directly to these property values (currently 80% of market value).

Council notes the study brought to Vale Scrutiny Committee in February 2018 by the then interim head of housing and economic development, which shed further light on the nature of affordability in Vale of White Horse. 

-      This study looked at house prices and rents in quartiles and determined that to buy a lower quartile property, costing £255,000 in Vale, an income of £57,000 is needed, which is an upper quartile income. So only the highest income levels can afford to buy the lowest priced properties in our district. 

-      Over recent years, growth in local incomes has not kept pace with growth in house prices or rents, so the so-called ‘affordable’ housing is not affordable to too many households and individuals.

 

Therefore, Council asks Councillor Roger Cox, Leader of the council, to write to James Brokenshire, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government setting out the council’s concern. Council urges the Secretary of State to give consideration to the definition of affordable housing, taking into account the impact very high property values have on the current definition. Council urges him to consider a national debate on affordability and the implementation of a regional based definition of ‘affordable housing’, using a maximum price model for affordable housing within an area based on local incomes and circumstances, rather than the market value of the house.

 

With the consent of Council and following a short adjournment to consider a proposed amendment, the mover and seconder of the original motion accepted amended wording suggested by Councillor Ed Blagrove and seconded by Councillor Mike Badcock (new words in bold deleted words shown by a strikethrough).

 

It is a priority for this council to provide enough affordable housing for the needs of our residents, however it is also a great challenge to do so given the current definition of affordable housing and the model upon which it is based.

Council notes that Vale of White Horse is an area of exceptionally high property values relative to the rest of England.

Council notes that the statutory definition of ‘Affordable Housing’, whether to buy or to rent, is related directly to these property values (currently 80% of market value).

Council notes the study brought to Vale Scrutiny Committee in February 2018 by the then interim head of housing and economic development, which shed further light on the nature of affordability in Vale of White Horse. 

-      This study looked at house prices and rents in quartiles and determined that to buy a lower quartile property, costing £255,000 in Vale, an income of £57,000 is needed, which is an upper quartile income. So only the highest income  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.

 

Vale of White Horse District Council