Agenda and draft minutes

Oxfordshire Growth Board
Tuesday, 28 July 2020 1.30 pm

Venue: Virtual meeting viewable by a weblink

Contact: Kevin Jacob, Growth Board Democratic Services Officer 01235 422191  Email: kevin.jacob@southandvale.gov.uk

Link: Link to the meeting

Items
No. Item

14.

Apologies for absence, declarations of interest and Chair's announcement

Minutes:

Councillor Sue Cooper, South Oxfordshire District Council (substituted by Councillor Robin Bennett); Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Oxfordshire County Council (substituted by Councillor Judith Heathcoat); Adrian Lockwood, OxLEP Vice-Chair; Miranda Markham, OxLEP Business rep Bicester; and Dr Kiren Collison, Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group

 

There were no declarations of interest. The Chair reminded those present that the meeting was being live streamed.

15.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 121 KB

To adopt as a correct record the minutes of the Oxfordshire Growth Board meeting held on 2 June 2020.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 2 June 2020 be signed as a correct record subject to the correction of a typographical error on agenda page 7.

16.

Public participation pdf icon PDF 183 KB

 

Asking a question

Questions (in full and in writing) must be received by 5pm on Wednesday 22 July 2020 three clear working days before the Growth Board meeting.

 

Addressing the Board

Notice of a wish to address the Growth Board (in full and in writing) must be received by 12 noon on Monday 27 July 2020, the working day before the Growth Board meeting. 

 

Questions and addresses should be no longer than one side of A4 paper in Ariel 12 font. The address or question will be circulated to the Growth Board and read out by the democratic services officer or Chair on behalf of those who have submitted them. A response may be given at the meeting or a written answer supplied. The Chair will have discretion to manage the public participation procedure as they see appropriate.Public speakers may be invited to speak at the virtual meeting, subject to technical arrangements being in place. Written submissions may also be read out by the Chair or Democratic Services Officer where requested

 

Questions and notice of addresses must be submitted to democratic.services@oxfordshiregrowthboard.org

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Charlie Hicks submitted a question which challenged the Growth Board to consider planning for Oxfordshire in 2050 from the perspective of people born in the 1990s. He advocated for the application of the good design principles used in the tech sector. These would primarily focus on the needs of future users rather than on the requirements of the present population.

 

The Chair thanked Charlie for raising the subject of engagement with young people. She stated that this was an important issue for her. In relation to the Growth Board, Councillor Smith responded that it was a collaboration of local council and system leaders with the purpose of coordinating efforts to maximise economic, housing and infrastructure developments in an inclusive and beneficial way.

 

The voice of young people was regarded as critical in informing work on the development of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050. Several workshops had already taken place which had put young people at the centre of the process – this has included one with the Voice of Oxfordshire’s Youth. In addition, a successful work placement had been offered to a student from the City of Oxford College with the express purpose of assisting with communicating and engaging with young people. It was, nevertheless, recognised that more could be done and that a wider diversity of voices needed to be heard. 

 

Decisions pertaining to the content of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 would be taken by councillors within the county’s different local authorities. They had been elected to represent the views of all of their constituents. It was, nevertheless, also recognised that more could be done to improve the diversity of councillors.

 

Helen Marshall on behalf of CPRE Oxfordshire referred to the development of the Oxfordshire Growth Needs Assessment (OGNA). She asked the Growth Board whether it could provide reassurance to Oxfordshire’s residents that it would prioritise sustainable development and quality of life in light of concerns that the OGNA was merely a new version of the Oxfordshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA).

 

CPRE regarded SHMA as an inflationary growth strategy and were, therefore, alarmed that the same consultants were being used for the production of the OGNA. Moreover, CPRE had additional concerns relating to: the lack of publicly available terms of reference for the OGNA, the influence of the Local industrial Strategy and the Oxford to Cambridge Arc wide sales prospectus.  

 

The Chair responded that officers had confidence in the integrity of the firms undertaking work in relation to the OGNA. Further, their efforts were being professionally overseen. It was recognised that this was difficult and sensitive work given that there was little precedent to help inform the development of such a strategy.

 

The importance of transparency was also noted. The Growth Board was committed to providing this in respects of the OGNA once it had been developed. The Chair also commented that the OGNA work was not policy, nor was it the sole determining evidence for the shared ambitions and goals of the Oxfordshire local authorities or the Growth  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Growth Board Scrutiny Panel update pdf icon PDF 144 KB

To receive any feedback from the Growth Board Scrutiny Panel meeting held on Wednesday 22 July 2020 (to follow).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Growth Board welcomed Councillor Sean Woodcock, Vice-Chair of the Growth Board Scrutiny Panel, to the meeting.

 

Councillor Woodcock reported on the outcomes of the Growth Board Scrutiny Panel meeting held on 22 July 2020 as set out in the circulated report.

 

The Chair summarised the Growth Board’s initial response to the recommendations. She commented that they had agreed – at least in part - with all of them, with the exception of recommendation three relating to the coordination of Freedom of Information requests (this could not be agreed to on technical grounds). It was noted that the full written responses would be published on the Agenda website. 

18.

Growth Board Review Stage 1 Implementation pdf icon PDF 126 KB

For action: To consider a report setting out progress made against recommendations arising from the Growth Board Review. This includes providing endorsement and approval for a number of key governance documents. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Growth Board considered a report setting out the progress to date in implementing early actions arising from the review. It also requested the endorsement and approval of a suite of revised governance documents.

 

In presenting the report, Stefan Robinson, Growth Board Manager, highlighted that there had been around 250 responses to the review. The revised suite of governance documents had been agreed by five of the partner local authorities, with consideration by the final authority expected in early August. It was stressed to the Board that constant improvement continued to be sought and, therefore, a further report setting out additional recommendations was expected to be presented to the September 2020 meeting.

 

Members of the Growth Board thanked Officers for their work in undertaking the review. They welcomed the report and its recommendations, particularly the increased reflection of environmental and social priorities through the establishment of a standalone environmental body. It was felt that in many areas the Growth Board had been very successful, particularly in respect of its relationship with HM Government.

 

It was agreed to look at how OxLEP business representation from West Oxfordshire might be included within the Board’s membership – in order to demonstrate balanced geographical coverage. It was, however, acknowledged that this was ultimately a matter for OxLEP. It was also acknowledged that a range of views existed concerning the Board’s name and this was still a matter of discussion.

 

Some members referred to issues which they felt should be subject to future consideration e.g. the Board’s title. It was also suggested that there could be greater transparency around sub-groups. Moreover, it was also suggested that, given its importance, the membership of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 sub-group could be increased. Officers responded that they had noted these points, and as part of their drive to continually improve the work of the Board, these matters would be discussed.

 

RESOLVED: That the Growth Board:

1.     Endorses its revised Terms of Reference and Memorandum of Understanding. These will take effect following approval by each local authority Cabinet, the last of which met on or before 7 August 2020.

 

2.     Approved the revised Advisory Sub-Group Terms of Reference

 

3.     Approved the revised Executive Officer Group Terms of Reference

 

4.     Approved the revised Public Participation Protocol

19.

Covid-19 Recovery pdf icon PDF 162 KB

For action: To consider a report setting out the current work underway to support Oxfordshire’s recovery in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and seeking the Growth Board’s support for the approach.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Growth Board considered a report and presentation which provided an overview of the collective approach being taken within Oxfordshire to support the local economic and wider recovery from the pandemic. Bev Hindle, Growth Board Director, and Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive of OxLEP summarised the key points of the report. They both stressed that it was intended to be a snapshot of Covid-19 response activity and was not intended to be fully representative of all of the actions being taken within Oxfordshire.

 

In discussions, Board members commented that the recovery was likely to take time and raised the importance of planning for a potential second wave of the pandemic. Several points were made highlighting the need to incorporate the principles of a green renewal process within the recovery efforts and to identify the opportunities and challenges such an approach might offer. Oxfordshire was felt to be well placed do this in respect of the skills of its residents and scientific base. Continued partnership working across all Oxfordshire partners was very important.

 

RESOLVED: That the Growth Board supports the approach to recovery as set out in the report.

20.

Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal

Minutes:

It was agreed to take Agenda items 7a to 7e en bloc with questions by exception.

20a

Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal Progress Report -Year Two pdf icon PDF 130 KB

 

            For information: To receive the 2019/2020 Quarter 4 progress report        on the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal.

 

Minutes:

The Growth noted a report which updated the Growth Board on progress at Quarter 4, Year 2 (2019/2020) of the Housing and Growth Deal.

 

Bev Hindle, Growth Board Director, also informed the Board of ongoing discussion around the Deal with Homes England and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. While details had not yet been formally agreed, in principle support had been given to the extension of a number of delivery periods. These included an additional year for the affordable Housing Programme and an indication of flexibility related to the challenges of delivering the Homes from Infrastructure Programme. In relation to the Oxfordshire Plan 2050, the indications were that there would be some flexibilities for the Plan to be completed within the five-year timeframe. HM Government had also made it clear that they did not regard Deal funding as something that might be used as part of the Covid-19 pandemic recovery.

 

RESOLVED: That the Growth Board notes the progress at Quarter 4, 2019/20 towards the Housing and Growth Deal.

20b

Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal Financial Outturn 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 106 KB

 

            For information: To receive the 2019/2020 Quarter 4 financial summary   for the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the Growth Board notes the 2019/2020 financial outturn report be noted.

20c

Infrastructure sub-group update pdf icon PDF 166 KB

            For information: To receive an update from the Infrastructure Sub-Group.  Summary notes from the meeting held on 11 May 2020 are        attached.

 

Minutes:

The Growth Board received the notes of the Infrastructure Sub-Group held on 11 May 2020.

20d

Housing sub-group update pdf icon PDF 182 KB

            For information: To receive an update from the Housing Sub-Group.        Summary notes from the meeting held on 16 June 2020 are attached.

 

Minutes:

The Growth Board received the notes of the Housing Advisory Sub-Group held on 16 June 2020.

 

The Chair of the sub-group, Councillor Brown, welcomed HM Government’s extension of the Affordable Housing Programme delivery period and the proposals about Community Led Housing. Both of these measures had been discussed and supported by the sub-group.

20e

Oxfordshire Plan 2050 sub-group update pdf icon PDF 164 KB

            For information: To receive an update from the Oxfordshire Plan 2050     Sub-Group.  Summary notes from the meetings held on 19 March 2020,   16 April 2020, 14 May 2020 and 18 June 2020 are attached.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Growth Board received the notes of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 Sub-Group held on 19 March 2020, 16 April 2020, 14 May 2020 and 18 June 2020.

 

The Chair of the sub-group, Councillor Mills, referred to their discussions around the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 guiding principles and highlighted the importance of the proposed letter to HM Government re planning reforms and spatial planning.

20f

Oxfordshire Plan 2050: Letter to HM Government pdf icon PDF 63 KB

            For action: To consider endorsement of a draft letter to HM Government regarding the             Oxfordshire Plan 2050.

Minutes:

The Growth Board considered the draft of a letter to HM Government regarding the Oxfordshire Plan 2050, planning reforms and the role of strategic planning. The letter sought an opportunity to discuss these matters with the Secretary of State.

 

It was agreed that the letter should be signed by Councillor Smith as Chair of the Growth Board. Several minor alterations were made to the draft text of the letter as follows:

 

·           2nd paragraph, 1st sentence, 2nd line – replacement of ‘clearly articulated ambition for growth’ with ‘ambition for sustainable development’

·           5th paragraph, 1st sentence, 2nd line – addition of ‘local and’ before neighbourhood planning.

 

RESOLVED: That the draft letter to HM Government re the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 be approved subject to the amendments above.

21.

Community Led Housing in Oxfordshire pdf icon PDF 179 KB

For action: To consider a report to the Growth Board following receipt of a £36,113 grant from Homes England to commission a study into the establishment of a commissioning and development framework to promote Community Led Housing (CLH) in Oxfordshire.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Growth Board considered a report setting out the findings of a study into the Oxfordshire Community Led Housing (CLH) landscape. It proposed draft recommendations for either individual partner local authorities or the Growth Board to consider. Paul Staines, Growth Deal Service Delivery Manager for Housing, introduced the report. It was highlighted that the costs of the initial study had been met by a £36,000 grant provided by Homes England and that the Board was being asked to endorse the establishment of action plans in respects of the specific recommendations arising from the study.

 

In discussion, members of the Board noted the results of the study and welcomed the report. They commented that it was important to do as much as possible within Oxfordshire to encourage CLH projects where appropriate. It was also agreed that the monitoring of CLH could be undertaken by the Housing Advisory Sub-Group.

 

RESOLVED: That officers be asked to establish action plans for the recommendations with the intention of maximising the utility of Community Led Housing in Oxfordshire.

22.

Growth Board Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 130 KB

For action: To note and consider any revisions to the Forward Plan.

 

Minutes:

Stefan Robinson, Growth Board Manager, set out the proposed Growth Board Forward Plan. He referred to the addition of the Oxford to Cambridge Arc update as a reoccurring agenda item and the likely addition to the September meeting agenda of a report concerning England’s Economic Heartland’s consultation on its draft Transport Strategy. The expected publication of HM Government’s Devolution White Paper was also highlighted. Once the impacts and implications on this document were assessed, it was expected that a report to the Board would be required. 

 

RESOLVED: That the Growth Board notes its forward plan.

23.

Oxford to Cambridge Arc Update pdf icon PDF 107 KB

For information: To receive an update from the Growth Board Director concerning developments within the Oxford to Cambridge Arc.

Minutes:

The Growth Board considered a report setting out the work currently being undertaken in relation to the Oxford to Cambridge Arc. Bev Hindle, Growth Board Director, in presenting the report, highlighted the development of a high-level Arc wide prospectus which would build upon and add value to county-level Covid-19 recovery plans. In addition, it would also be linked to other existing workstreams including those with strong connections to environment, connectivity and place. The aim was to develop this in time for the Comprehensive Spending Review (expected in October). A further update would be provided at the next Growth Board meeting.

 

The Growth Board was also informed that civil servants would be engaging with local authority partners around the development of a non-statutory framework covering the Arc footprint.

 

In noting the update, members of the Board referred to the contribution being made by universities towards the establishment of the Arc. They emphasised that HM Government needed to provide clarity regarding its future plans in order to support a continuation of this activity. Furthermore, the importance of protecting the environment and the safeguarding of Oxfordshire’s heritage were also highlighted.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

24.

Updates on matters relevant to the Growth Board

Growth Board members and officers may verbally update the Board concerning progress on matters previously before the Board for consideration, listed in the forward plan, or relevant to the Board’s future consideration.  This is for the sharing of information, except where any actions are required that cannot reasonably be deferred to the next meeting

Minutes:

Councillor Brown updated the Growth Board on the adoption of the Oxford City Local Plan on 8 June 2020. She paid tribute to all of those involved in the Plan’s adoption and referred to the environmental policies contained within it.

 

25.

Dates of next meetings

The dates of future Growth Board meetings are below.  These will normally be held on Tuesdays at Didcot Civic Hall, but may be held virtually and broadcast online, taking account of the latest Government guidance. Please refer to https://www.oxfordshiregrowthboard.org/meetings/ for the most up to date information.

 

·           22 September 2020

·           24 November 2020

·           26 January 2021

·           22 February 2021 (added)

·           23 March 2021

·           8 June 2021

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Growth Board noted the dates of future meetings as set out below:

 

·           22 September 2020

·           24 November 2020

·           26 January 2021

·           22 February 2021

·           23 March 2021

·           8 June 2021