Agenda and minutes

Council
Wednesday, 18 July 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

13.

Apologies for absence

To record apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Matthew Barber, Margaret Crick, Charlotte Dickson, St.John Dickson, Gervase Duffield, Bob Johnston and Janet Shelley.

14.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 431 KB

To adopt and sign as a correct record the Council minutes of the meeting held on 16 May 2018 – attached. 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 16 May 2018 as a correct record and agree that the chairman sign them as such.

15.

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.

16.

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.

17.

Public participation pdf icon PDF 120 KB

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

Minutes:

 

A.   Dr Jim Halliday asked the following question to the Leader of the council, Councillor Roger Cox

 

"I know that the Council has been working with the County Council and BT Open Reach to extend the superfast broadband coverage in the Vale, and that just over 96 percent of the Vale can now access speeds of over 24 Megabits per second. However, this coverage has yet to reach parts of central Abingdon - residents and businesses in Stert Street, Abbey Close, Bridge Street, High Street, Thames Street, Checker Walk, East St Helen Street and the Market Place who have the mis-fortune to be connected to BT cabinets 14 and 54 remain on the slow speed. Given that for some of these premises BT Open Reach is the only possible provider of super-fast broadband, and that currently no conversion dates even seem to be available, please could the Leader ask the Chief Executive to press BT Open Reach to provide a firm date when cabinets 14 and 54 will be upgraded, and then to monitor their progress on a regular basis?"

 

Councillor Cox responded as follows:

“Better Broadband for Oxfordshire is a project to bring superfast broadband to over 96 per cent of homes and businesses in Oxfordshire. It is a collaboration between Oxfordshire County Council, BDUK and BT that will fill coverage gaps not served commercially.  The first phase was a £25 million investment funded by Oxfordshire County Council, the government and BT. The second phase saw investment of £10.68 million made up of funding from the district councils, Oxfordshire County Council, BT, OxLEP, SEMLEP and government match funding.  This included a contribution of £250,000 from Vale Council which was matched by government.

The two cabinets in question are not part of the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire intervention area as they are served commercially. An Open Market Review exercise was undertaken in 2017 where commercial suppliers advised that they are covering/have plans for specific cabinets.

The council has been advised that Openreach has stated they are ‘unlikely’ to deliver any further Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) commercially whilst they focus on delivery of Fibre to the Premise (FTTP).  The council understands Virgin Media has partial coverage in the postcodes served by Abingdon cabinets 14 and 54, but the coverage is not complete. Through the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire project board, the council will continue to press Openreach to expedite the delivery of FTTP for these areas which will deliver much higher speeds.

A possible solution is to access the government's £67 million Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme. Gigabit vouchers can be used by small and medium sized businesses and neighbouring residents to contribute to the installation cost of Full Fibre Broadband. For example a number of businesses and resident near cabinets 14 and 54 could form a group project to deliver the connection.   Businesses can claim up to £3,000 against the cost of connection either individually or as part of a group project. Residents can benefit from the scheme as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

Petitions

To receive any petitions from the public. 

Minutes:

None.

19.

Creation of S106 budget - Chilton Parish Council pdf icon PDF 386 KB

On 10 July 2018 Councillor Roger Cox, Cabinet member for planning policy, took a decision, attached, to recommend Council to create a budget for £286,377.59 and to transfer the money to Chilton Parish Council for the maintenance of public open space.

 

Recommendations to Council:

 

!.          To approve the application for the commuted sum for maintaining the public open space land.

2.         Create a budget for £286,377.59 to be transferred to Chilton Parish Council for the maintenance of the Public Open Space in connection with the following planning permission:

 

Development: Land to the South of Chilton Field

Address: Avon Road Chilton

Planning Ref: P05/V1086/O

 

Minutes:

On 10 July 2018 Councillor Roger Cox, Cabinet member for planning policy, took a decision to recommend Council to create a budget for £286,377.59 and to transfer the money to Chilton Parish Council for the maintenance of public open space.

 

RESOLVED: to

 

1.         approve the application for the commuted sum for maintaining the public open space land;

 

2.         create a budget for £286,377.59 to be transferred to Chilton Parish Council for the maintenance of the Public Open Space in connection with the following planning permission:

 

Development: Land to the South of Chilton Field

Address: Avon Road Chilton

Planning Ref: P05/V1086/O

 

20.

Community Governance Review - related alteration orders

At its meeting on 27 November 2017 the Community Governance and Electoral Issues Committee made final decisions on a number of community governance reviews. Two of these reviews involved amendments to parish boundaries. The resolutions are set out below:

 

A.   Community Governance Review C (24) – Wantage and Grove

 

RESOLVED: To amend the boundary of Wantage parish to include all land at Stockham Park, currently in Grove parish; and to include this area in the current Segsbury ward of Wantage Town Council.

 

B.   Community Governance Review D (24) – Wantage, Grove and Lockinge

 

RESOLVED:

1.    To amend the boundary of Wantage parish to include land at Crab Hill, currently in both Grove and Lockinge parishes, and;

2.    To include these areas of land in the Wantage Charlton ward of Wantage Town Council, and;

3.    To remove the Crab Hill ward of Grove Parish Council, and;

4.    That Grove Parish Council should return 16 councillors, as at present, representing Grove Brook (five councillors) and Grove North (11 councillors).

 

These changes impact on district ward and county division boundaries. To make district ward and county divisions coterminous with these parish changes Council is 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 both the district wards and county division boundaries.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION: to 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 parish boundaries.

 

 

Minutes:

At its meeting on 27 November 2017 the Community Governance and Electoral Issues Committee made final decisions on a number of community governance reviews.  Two of these reviews in respect of Grove and Wantage and Grove, Lockinge and Wantage involved amendments to parish boundaries.   

 

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 both the district wards and county division boundaries.

 

RESOLVED: to 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 parish boundaries.

 

21.

Report of the leader of the council

(1)       Urgent cabinet decisions

 

In accordance with the overview and 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 the following update:

 

The chief executive has continued to keep me appraised of the developing position in relation to the ‘5 Councils’ Contract.  As all members will be aware, we recently approved a renegotiation of the contract and I am pleased to say that the insourcing of services from VINCI and the establishment of a direct relationship with Indigo for our Parking Service delivery has gone exceptionally well.  Whilst we all too often take it for granted, I would like to pay tribute to the staff involved in this process, they have actioned our decision quickly, with a strong focus on residents and have done so without fuss or drama.

 

In relation to the elements of the contract that remain with Capita, our officers continue to work in a positive manner with Capita to reshape the services they provide.  I am pleased that Capita have committed to work with us to achieve this and that they support the benefits of the positive and truthful approach our officers have taken as confirmed via their recent email to our Scrutiny Committee, which I have asked to be copied to all members. 

 

Financially, I am advised that our ‘best case’ scenario under a full cost model of assessment is that the contract, over its life time, will ‘break even at best’.  I have held many meetings with officers regarding this matter, as I am aware it is a significant shift from the savings that members were originally advised of. 

 

I am content that the chief executive and his team have not only secured the best possible renegotiation of the contract, but that the straightforward and pragmatic approach that they have taken has increased transparency and member understanding of the contract considerably.  This work is ongoing and I am sure all councillors would agree that we should offer our support to the officers involved in this.  I would be happy to meet with any councillor, the chief executive and our section 151 officer to expand on this area, which remains commercially sensitive at this time.

 

I have specifically sought out assurance from the chief executive and our section 151 officer regarding the original decision making process and the information that was made available to members, staff and residents at that time.  Based on this, I am satisfied that the original decisions taken by members were appropriate based on the information made available to them at that time.  I think all councillors will agree that we are fortunate that our current officers are realists and have committed themselves to resolving the challenges we face and that we are better informed regarding the detail of the 5Cs contract now than at any other time.  However, based on the information that was available to us at the time, I do not believe members made a decision that was illogical, inappropriate or unreasonable.  Furthermore, I believe that is the view of our chief executive.  If required, I am sure  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Questions on notice pdf icon PDF 176 KB

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

 

A.   Councillor Julia Reynolds to Councillor Mike Murray, Cabinet member for Development and Regeneration

 

What is the council doing to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War?

 

B.   Councillor Emily Smith to Councillor Mike Murray, Cabinet member for Development and Regeneration

 

I was shocked to learn that this council has £10million in developer contributions to pay for affordable housing sitting in the bank unspent. With these funds needing to be spent by various dates before having to be returned to developers, where can I find the council’s strategy for delivering these desperately needed affordable homes?

 

C.   Councillor Catherine Webber to Councillor Roger Cox, Cabinet member for Planning

 

How much section 106 funding has the Vale had to return to developers since 2011 because it wasn’t spent on time – as both a £ figure and a percentage? How many s106 payments from developers are currently overdue?

 

D.   Councillor Debby Hallett to Councillor Roger Cox, Cabinet member for Planning

 

The last Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) internal audit in August 2017 stated a CIL spending strategy had been completed and was awaiting councillor approval. As that that function is being transferred from Planning to Development and Regeneration, my question is for the Cabinet member for Planning as the responsible Cabinet member for the past several years. What's the status of the CIL spending strategy now?

 

E.   Councillor Emily Smith to Councillor Roger Cox, Cabinet member for Planning

 

The Vale currently has 194 individuals and groups on our ‘Self-build register’. How many self-build properties have been delivered on plots in the Vale since April 2016 when the register was created?

And how confident is the Cabinet Member for Planning that we will be able make enough self-build or custom-build plots available to meet the demand by 31 October 2019 as per the 2016 Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Regulations, and what is the basis for that confidence?

 

F.    Councillor Margaret Crick to Councillor Elaine Ware, Cabinet member for Housing and Environment

 

What action is this council taking to reduce the single use plastics in the Vale – the council’s own use, our contractors and that of local business and other local organisations?

 

G.   Councillor Helen Pighills to Councillor Alice Badcock, Cabinet member for Community Services

 

The new outdoor pool in Abingdon is a wonderful facility and is proving very popular with swimmers with five times more swimmers than last July, so can the cabinet member explain why the pool is not being open for longer to meet such a large increase in demand?

 

H.   Councillor Debby Hallett to Councillor Alice Badcock, Cabinet member for Community Services

 

Could the Cabinet Member please provide to Council:

1.    Capital spend in the past five years for leisure facilities, including leisure centres, in each of our market towns/areas: Wantage & Grove, Faringdon, Abingdon and Botley. 

2.    Capital spending plans from the Medium Term Financial Plan for the next five years for each of  ...  view the full agenda text for item 22.

Minutes:

There were 13 questions from members of the Council under Council Procedure Rule 33.

 

A.    Councillor Julia Reynolds to Councillor Mike Murray, Cabinet member for Development and Regeneration

 

What is the council doing to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War?

 

Answer

Councillor Murray responded that the council is planning a schedule of opportunities to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War. As part of the refurbishment of Wantage Bandstand the Vale is working with Wantage Town Council to install a commemorative plaque.  The council is also reviewing other works and activities reaching important milestones this year and investigating ways in which they can also feature in the commemorations.

The Chairman of the council is also working with officers to identify other activities that can be undertaken by the council and its staff to recognise the sacrifices made by so many across the globe during this and other conflicts including the Korean War and The Falklands conflict.

 

B.    Councillor Emily Smith to Councillor Mike Murray, Cabinet member for Development and Regeneration

 

I was shocked to learn that this council has £10million in developer contributions to pay for affordable housing sitting in the bank unspent. With these funds needing to be spent by various dates before having to be returned to developers, where can I find the council’s strategy for delivering these desperately needed affordable homes?

 

Answer

Councillor Murray responded that since 2005, the council has secured agreement of £9.6 million of funding towards affordable housing provision, the largest proportion recently being from the West Way development in Botley where the council secured £6.3 million, however this funding is released in line with triggers set out in planning obligation agreements (s.106 Agreements) during the life of the development as (for example) tranches of housing is completed and occupied.

 

Accordingly, to date, the council has received just over £2 million affordable housing contributions. He stated that whilst Councillor Smith is correct that there is a time limit for investment of this money, none of the money received so far has an expenditure deadline of before 2022.

 

The affordable housing team monitors receipt of funds and all expiry dates to ensure we spend this funding in a timely and appropriate way.  The S106 schedule identifies the contributions.

 

The council’s housing delivery strategy outlines the way in which the council can deliver the new-build housing numbers to meet the needs of communities across the area, whether that is for affordable housing for first time buyers, housing suitable for those who are retired, or accommodation that supports those with mobility issues or to help attract people to live and work in our key employment sites.

 

The council is developing an Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document to provide clarity on the delivery of affordable housing requirements that will meet housing need in line with the council' local plan policies.

 

Contributions need to be spent and invested wisely, and in terms with the original Section 106 if they are  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.

23.

Motions on notice

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

 

(1)      Motion to be proposed by Councillor Emily Smith, seconded by Councillor Jenny Hannaby:

 

Council recognises that:

·         Thames Valley Police are stretched to capacity, and that parking enforcement is one of their lowest priorities

·         members are regularly contacted by residents about inconvenient, illegal and dangerous parking violations that aren’t being enforced

·         we have the power to introduce civil parking enforcement, as neighbouring councils have done at no additional cost to their tax payers

This Council agrees in principle to introduce a civil parking enforcement scheme across the Vale of White Horse.

Council instructs officers to produce a Business Case (to include financial costs and income, delivery options and timescales) to be considered as part of next year's budget.

 

 

(2)      Motion to be proposed by Councillor Katie Finch, seconded by Councillor Chris Palmer:

 

This Council congratulates the Cabinet on the significant investment in Abingdon’s Abbey Meadows, particularly the open air pool.  The decision to secure the future of those facilities for many years to come is particularly welcomed by residents, especially in the light of the stated intention of a previous administration to close the pool permanently.  Council is grateful for the significant efforts of officers and local interest groups in delivering the scheme.

 

 

(3)  Motion to be proposed by Councillor Debby Hallett, seconded by Councillor Helen Pighills

 

Council recognises the hugely valuable work that charities across the Vale do to support residents and help make our district a better place to live. But Council also recognises charities and community groups are struggling in the current financial climate.

 

South Oxfordshire District Council has recently implemented a successful charity lottery making it easier for residents who want to contribute and enabling that council to support more local voluntary sector organisations.

Council would like this scheme replicated for the Vale of White Horse and requests that officers compile a business case for a local charity lottery scheme for the Vale.

 

 

(4)  Motion to be proposed by Councillor Debby Hallett, seconded by Councillor Judy Roberts

 

Council notes that the Seven Principles of Public Life requires members to make their decisions available for public scrutiny and that "information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for doing so". Councillors must adhere to the Code of Conduct in our behaviour.

 

Council must be, and must be perceived to be, open and transparent in our decision making.

 

This Council asks the monitoring officer to bring forward to the Joint Audit and Governance Committee a protocol on publishing councillor code of conduct complaint decisions and outcomes for district and parish councillors.

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

A.     Motion proposed by Councillor Emily Smith, seconded by Councillor Jenny Hannaby:

 

Council recognises that:

·                Thames Valley Police are stretched to capacity, and that parking enforcement is one of their lowest priorities

·                members are regularly contacted by residents about inconvenient, illegal and dangerous parking violations that aren’t being enforced

·                we have the power to introduce civil parking enforcement, as neighbouring councils have done at no additional cost to their tax payers

 

This Council agrees in principle to introduce a civil parking enforcement scheme across the Vale of White Horse.

 

Council instructs officers to produce a Business Case (to include financial costs and income, delivery options and timescales) to be considered as part of next year's budget.

 

With the consent of Council the mover and seconder of the original motion accepted amended wording suggested by Councillor Elaine Ware and seconded by Councillor Mike Badcock (new words in bold deleted words shown by a strikethrough).

 

Council recognises that:

·         Thames Valley Police are stretched to capacity, and that parking enforcement is one of their lowest priorities

·         members are regularly contacted by residents about inconvenient, illegal and dangerous parking violations that aren’t being enforced

·         we have the power to request the county council to delegate introduce civil parking enforcement, as neighbouring councils have done at no additional cost to their council tax payers

 

This Council agrees in principle to introduce requests officers to investigate further the possibility of implementing a civil parking enforcement scheme across the Vale of White Horse. 

 

Council instructs requests officers to produce a Business Case (to include financial costs and income, delivery options and timescales) to be considered as part of next year's budget.

 

The majority of councillors supported the motion noting that it was an issue in both the towns and villages of the district. They noted that due to other competing priorities the police are unable to fully resource parking enforcement.  Illegal parking impacted on businesses, waste collection and bus movements due traffic congestion. It was therefore time to introduce civil parking enforcement to manage the road network safely and to ensure the smooth flow of traffic.  Council noted that the Cabinet member for housing and environment had already requested officers to investigate further the possibility of implementing Civil Parking Enforcement with a financial appraisal of the costs.

 

RESOLVED:

That Council recognises that:

·         Thames Valley Police are stretched to capacity, and that parking enforcement is one of their lowest priorities

·         members are regularly contacted by residents about inconvenient, illegal and dangerous parking violations that aren’t being enforced

·         we have the power to request the county council to delegate civil parking enforcement, as neighbouring councils have done at no additional cost to their council tax payers

 

This Council requests officers to investigate further the possibility of implementing a civil parking enforcement scheme across the Vale of White Horse. 

 

Council requests officers to produce a Business Case (to include financial costs and income, delivery options and timescales) to be considered as part of next year's budget.

 

 

B.     Motion  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.