Wednesday, 15 July 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: Virtual meeting

Contact: Steven Corrigan, Democratic Services Manager 07717 274704 Email: 

Note: Joining instructions for members of the public: To watch the virtual meeting, you must copy the following link to your internet browser: When your web browser opens, select “Watch on the Web instead” button and then when the “Welcome to the live event!” window opens, select “join anonymously”. 

No. Item


Apologies for absence

To record apologies for absence.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 135 KB

To adopt and sign as a correct record the Council minutes of the meetings held on 12 and 19 February 2020 - attached. 

Additional documents:


Declarations of disclosable pecuniary interest

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


Urgent business and chair's announcements

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


Chief Executive's update

To receive any updates from the chief executive.


Public participation

To receive any written questions or written statements from members of the public. 



To receive any petitions from the public. 


Recommendations from Cabinet, individual Cabinet members, and committees

At its meeting on 1 June 2020, the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee considered a public statement from Extinction Rebellion Abingdon regarding the creation and improvement of cycling infrastructure. The committee noted that Oxfordshire County Council was working on the promotion of active travel and considering traffic restriction measures and welcomed this move. The committee resolved to ask its chair to write to the county council to show support of the active travel and traffic restriction measures being developed and support these to become a permanent measure.  The committee also asked Cabinet to recommend to Council that it writes to the county council to show the district council’s support for these measures.


Any recommendation of Cabinet will be reported to Council. 



Progress on approved Council motions pdf icon PDF 188 KB

To note progress on the approved Council motions – report attached.


Virtual meeting procedure rules and scheme of delegation pdf icon PDF 115 KB

To consider the report of the head of legal and democratic – attached.

Additional documents:


Report of the leader of the council

To receive the report of the leader. 


Questions on notice

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


A.   Question from Councillor Simon Howell to the Leader of the Council, Councillor Emily Smith

In March, this Council launched a COVID-19 Grant Scheme aimed at supporting community initiatives in our respective areas to respond to the pandemic.  Three months on, I believe that there is no visibility as to how much has been spent and what remains of this funding.  Can the Leader provide an update on the status of this scheme and whether community groups can still apply for any funds still available?


B.   Question from Councillor Nathan Boyd to the Leader of the Council, Councillor Emily Smith


On 27 May 2020 the Leader wrote a letter to the Prime Minister Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP regarding the behaviour of one of his advisors, Dominic Cummings. Considering the reluctance of the administration to even support the proposal of writing a letter on a planning matter, which directly affected this council previously, can the leader please explain why it was appropriate to write, on behalf of the council, with no motion being put before council beforehand?


C.   Question from Councillor Elaine Ware to Councillor Helen Pighills Cabinet Member for Community Services

In July 2019 the Leader reported that a Health & Well-being Strategy was being developed. What progress has been made in preparing this strategy?


D.   Question from Councillor Hayleigh Gascoigne to Councillor Emily Smith, Leader of the Council

We were all horrified to hear in the world media about what happened to George Floyd at the hands of the Minnesota Police Department, and all the other similar events that have been highlighted, involving wrongful killing of black people at the hands of the very people who are meant to protect them. This has spurred a huge movement across the UK to address racism. In our own district, a number of groups have formed such as Black Lives Matter Didcot, and Black Lives Matter Abingdon and they are fiercely committed to tackling racism. One of their demands is “Accountability in Council Policy & Decision Making”.

What are we doing as a district council to tackle racism within our own operations and within our communities? How can we strive for better representation of ‘the Black voice’?




Motions on notice

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


Motion 1: Councillor Simon Howell to propose, Councillor Nathan Boyd to second.


Establishment of a Local Economy Resilience Advisory Committee.


Council recognises that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown both the national and local economy into a state of turmoil and crisis.  The impact on our local businesses and our local communities will only grow in the coming months and requires an immediate response.

This Council will urgently set up a new committee called the Local Economy Resilience Advisory Committee, to guide this council’s response to this crisis.  Following the model of the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee, this new committee will be advisory to the Cabinet and should be made up of seven members in total based on political balance (the head of legal and democratic to make appointments to the committee seats and substitute positions in accordance with the wishes of the relevant group leader).  The term of reference for the new committee should be drawn up by the Acting Deputy Chief Executive – Place, in consultation with the Cabinet member for development and regeneration and group leaders.   It will operate alongside and have equal weight to the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee, to ensure this council works cross party and does everything it can to help local business, the high streets of our market towns and villages, and our communities survive this economic shock.



Motion 2:  Councillor Nathan Boyd to propose, Councillor Elaine Ware to second


Future publication of all communication within five days.

Council notes that when a councillor is asked a question or a follow up, the constitution states that the response should be published within five days. It is only right that all communications from ministers or government departments that either thank officers and councillors for their hard work on behalf of residents or bring up any shortcomings or failures of the council are published in a similar way. This seems only fair to our residents and would help us further abide to the principles of Objectivity, Accountability and Openness that The Nolan Principles demand.

Therefore Council requests that all future official central government correspondence to and from the Vale of White Horse District Council is published within five working days so that there is openness and transparency in how central government correspondence influences decisions we make for our residents and that any embargoed or confidential correspondence is circulated to councillors in the same timeframe.


Motion 3: Councillor Nathan Boyd to propose, Councillor Matthew Barber to second.


Local Government Re-organisation

This Council recognises the excellent work of all local government staff across Oxfordshire during the COVID-19 crisis. Councils have worked together in difficult times, showing that organisational barriers to joint working can be overcome.

All Councils have gone the extra mile in delivering services to our residents that prioritise the most vulnerable. This has inevitably incurred additional costs.

All Councils acknowledge the additional Government funding to date, but we have a  ...  view the full agenda text for item 13.