Agenda and minutes

Council
Wednesday, 17 July 2019 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

12.

Apologies for absence

To record apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were submitted on behalf of councillors Barber, Briggs, de la Harpe, Shaw and Shelley.

13.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 201 KB

To adopt and sign as a correct record the Council minutes of the annual meeting held on 15 May 2019. 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: to approve the minutes of the annual meeting of Council held on 15 May 2019 as a correct record and agree that the chair sign them as such.

14.

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.

15.

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. 

Minutes:

The chair advised that her chosen charities for her year in office will be Practical Action, a charity that works to alleviate poverty in some of the poorest parts of the world and the Earth Trust at Little Wittenham.

 

She advised that Councillor Emily Smith, Leader of the council, and Councillor Simon Howell, Leader of the Conservative Group, had agreed to trial a process for councillor questions whereby written responses are circulated to all councillors in advance of the Council meeting. These were circulated to all councillors on Tuesday 16 July with copies made available for members of the public. In light of this she sought, and received, Council’s agreement to suspend Council Procedure Rule 36, which specifies how questions may be answered. 

 

16.

Public participation

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

Minutes:

1.    Mr Pete Underwood, representing Abingdon Extinction Rebellion, made the following statement

 

“Good evening. I’m Pete Underwood, one of the coordinators of Abingdon’s Extinction Rebellion group and we’re keen to establish links with local councils to see how we can help collectively address the climate and ecological crises that we’re all facing.

Our presence at this meeting represents the first step at engaging with the Vale of White Horse council and we would welcome the opportunity for more detailed conversations about how we can assist you. Please feel free to speak with me at the end of the meeting if this is something of interest.

With regards to this meeting’s agenda we welcome the proposed opposition to the Oxford Cambridge Expressway. We urge the council to oppose this project in the strongest possible terms.

The Expressway is a fundamentally flawed concept on many levels, as detailed in the agenda and by campaign groups such as the No Expressway Alliance. The Expressway completely contradicts the direction we should be taking to mitigate climate and ecological disaster and should be stopped.

We also welcome the proposal of a Climate Emergency Advisory Committee and urge the council to establish the committee as soon as possible.

Actions must be taken to address the climate and ecological crises and therefore talking about carbon neutrality and environmental protection will not be enough. We need action.

Therefore, it’s critical that the committee is suitably resourced so that it can be effective, and its advice should be taken seriously by the council. Please do not use the ‘advisory’ role of the committee as a reason for inaction.

To help the committee with generating advice, we feel that a creating a citizens assembly that represents the vale is important and necessary as it will help create solutions that work for all of us, not just those with power and a vested interest in maintaining the status quo”.

 

2.    Mr Pete Underwood asked the following question:

Will the council be willing to create a citizens assembly as part of its stakeholder engagement in order to help address the climate and ecological crises, whether or not the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee is established”?

 

Councillor Emily Smith responded as follows:

 

“Thank you for your question. I agree that it is really important that this council’s response to the Climate Emergency includes drawing on ideas from local groups and individuals from our communities.

If the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee gets approved tonight, this will create an obvious point of contact between the council and members of the community keen to work with us on this agenda. The exact format will need to be agreed by the Chair of the new committee, but we have built into the procedure rules the opportunity for anyone to come and address the committee with ideas. I would hope that the committee will consider how best to engage with the community.

As you know, Oxford City have started work on their Citizens Assembly about the Climate Emergency.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Petitions

To receive any petitions from the public. 

Minutes:

None.

18.

Ashbury Neighbourhood Plan pdf icon PDF 119 KB

At its meeting on 12 July 2019, Cabinet will consider the head of planning’s report on the Ashbury Neighbourhood Development Plan.

 

A copy of the report is attached. Cabinet’s recommendations will be circulated to all councillors on Friday 12 July 2019.

 

 

Minutes:

Council considered the recommendations of Cabinet, made at its meeting on 12 July 2019, on making the Ashbury Neighbourhood Development Plan part of the development plan for Vale.

 

RESOLVED to:

 

1.    make the Ashbury 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 Ashbury Neighbourhood Development Plan, together with any improvements from a presentational perspective. 

 

19.

Uffington and Baulking Neighbourhood Plan pdf icon PDF 120 KB

At its meeting on Friday 12 July 2019, Cabinet will consider the head of planning’s report on the Uffington and Baulking Neighbourhood Development Plan.

 

A copy of the report is attached. Cabinet’s recommendations will be circulated to all councillors on Friday 12 July 2019.

 

 

Minutes:

Council considered the recommendations of Cabinet, made at its meeting on 12 July 2019, on making the Uffington and Baulking Neighbourhood Development Plan part of the development plan for Vale.

 

RESOLVED to:

 

1.    make the Uffington and Baulking 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 Uffington and Baulking Neighbourhood Development Plan, together with any improvements from a presentational perspective. 

 

20.

Establishment of a Climate Emergency Advisory Committee pdf icon PDF 136 KB

To consider the report of the head of legal and democratic on the establishment of a Climate Emergency Advisory Committee – report attached.

 

 

Minutes:

Council considered the report of the head of legal and democratic on the establishment of a Climate Emergency Advisory Committee.

 

Councillors welcomed the establishment of the committee to advise on how the council can contribute to carbon reduction targets and minimise the damage to the environment and reduce damage to the global and local environment through its policies and practices.

 

RESOLVED: to

 

1. establish a Climate Emergency Advisory Committee with the terms of reference and procedure rules set out in Appendix A to the report of the head of legal and democratic to Council on 17 July 2019;

 

2. appoint the membership, substitutes, chair and vice-chair as set out in the table below;

 

Climate Emergency Advisory Committee, 7 Members

Liberal Democrat (6)

Conservative (1)

Amos Duveen (Vice Chair)

Eric Batts

David Grant (Chair)

Hayleigh Gascoigne

 

Eric de la Harpe

 

Alison Jenner

 

Max Thompson

 

Preferred substitutes

Liberal Democrat (6)

Conservative (3)

Ron Batstone

Nathan Boyd

Andy Foulsham

Simon Howell

Bob Johnston

Elaine Ware

Rob Maddison

 

Sarah Medley

 

Mike Pighills

 

 

3. authorises the head of legal and democratic to incorporate the terms of reference and procedure rules set out in Appendix A to the report of the head of legal and democratic to Council on 17 July 2019 into the council’s constitution and to make any consequential changes to the constitution to reflect the decision of Council.

 

21.

Appointment of substitute members to the Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel

At its annual meeting Council appointed Councillor Neil Fawcett as the council’s representative and Councillor Ruth Molyneaux as the observer substitute on the Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel. At its annual meeting the Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel agreed to change the membership rules of the panel to enable all 18 Thames Valley local authorities to appoint a named substitute member to the panel.

 

The appointed substitute will receive notification of meetings and agenda, and could attend meetings of the Panel, in the absence of the appointed member.

 

RECOMMENDATION: to appoint Councillor Ruth Molyneaux as the substitute   member on the Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel.  

 

 

Minutes:

At its annual meeting Council appointed Councillor Neil Fawcett as the council’s representative and Councillor Ruth Molyneaux as the observer substitute on the Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel. Since that meeting the Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel had agreed to change the membership rules of the panel to enable all 18 Thames Valley local authorities to appoint a named substitute member to the panel who would receivenotification of meetings and agenda, and could attend meetings of the panel, in the absence of the appointed member.

 

RESOLVED: to appoint Councillor Ruth Molyneaux as the substitute member on the Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel.

 

22.

Report of the leader of the council

To receive any updates from the leader of the council.

Minutes:

Councillor Emily Smith, Leader of the council, addressed Council. The text of her report is available on the council’s website.

23.

Questions on notice pdf icon PDF 131 KB

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

 

Question 1:  Councillor Simon Howell to Councillor Emily Smith, Leader of the council

 

Officers put in place an excellent and detailed induction programme for new and returning councillors. Could the leader of the council summarise the level of attendance?

 

Question 2: Councillor Eric Batts to Councillor Catherine Webber, Cabinet member for planning

 

What is the new administration’s approach to the Local Plan Part 2 now that the inspector has found the plan to be sound?

 

Question 3: Councillor Elaine Ware to Councillor Emily Smith, Leader of the council

 

Following the appointment of Cabinet members at the annual meeting of Council, could the leader of the council share the rationale for an expanded Cabinet arrangement to the maximum size allowed by the constitution?

 

 

 

Minutes:

Question 1: Councillor Simon Howell to Councillor Emily Smith, Leader of the council

Officers put in place an excellent and detailed induction programme for new and returning councillors. Could the leader of the council summarise the level of attendance?

 

Written answer

There has indeed been a very good programme of training available to members. This started on 8 May with two sessions for all our councillors to meet with the Chief Executive and Senior Management Team, and other key members of staff, and all were allocated a 1:1 ‘Officer Buddy’ as a point of contact. 37 of the 38 councillors attended. The one member who missed this slot due to a pre-booked holiday, has had a 1:1 catch up session and has the useful induction booklet provided.

Planning training sessions have been attended by 13 councillors – planning committee members and some others.

26 councillors attended the Good Governance training held in June. Members who did not attend have been provided with the slides from that session and a date for a mop-up briefing for those who could not attend is being finalised. 

Supplementary question and answer

 

In response to a supplementary question Councillor Smith confirmed that she will provide updates on the progress on the training programme and details of any refresher training.

 

Question 2: Councillor Eric Batts to Councillor Catherine Webber, Cabinet member for planning.

What is the new administration’s approach to the Local Plan Part 2 now that the inspector has found the plan to be sound?

 

Written answer

The Liberal Democrats were voted into office on May 2 2019 by Vale residents because they strongly opposed the proposed Local Plan Part 2 (LPP2) and the previously adopted Local Plan Part 1.

In particular, they opposed the excessively high housing targets, the lack of adequate infrastructure, the lack of genuinely affordable homes and the further erosion of the Green Belt.

As we have inherited this Local Plan at a stage when it is nearly complete and ready to be adopted our options are very limited.

However, the Inspector’s initial letter in response to Oxford City’s housing figures in their proposed Local Plan has cast doubt on the level of Oxford’s unmet need and in turn the housing targets on which our own LPP2 is based.

We are exploring the implications of this and all other legal, social and economic ramifications.

Our intention is to deliver what residents voted for, within the constraints of previous decisions and the law. Once we have fully examined the facts and are able to make sound decisions, we will notify Council on how we intend to proceed.

 

Supplementary question and answer

 

In response to a supplementary question seeking confirmation that councillors will have the opportunity to endorse LLP2 in the autumn as notified in a press release, Councillor Webber responded that the council would explore the issues, referred to in her written response, before Council is invited to make a decision on LLP2.

 

Question 3: Councillor Elaine Ware to Councillor Emily  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.

24.

Motions on notice

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

 

(1)      Motion to be proposed by Councillor Nathan Boyd, seconded by Councillor Simon Howell:

 

Council notes that other neighbouring councils are dealing with their own local plans that are at various stages of development, discussion and inspection.  Of particular note to residents in the Didcot area is the debate and discussion surrounding the South Oxfordshire District Council Local Plan.

 

This council is very concerned about the impact of decisions taken by South Oxfordshire District Council on residents in the Vale of White Horse. 

 

Council requests that the leader of the council urgently writes to the leader of South Oxfordshire District Council and all South Oxfordshire councillors before any vote is taken on their Local Plan proposals to state the views of this council and the impact on residents in the area, specifically:

·         This council opposes any withdrawal or major amendments to the South Oxfordshire District Council Local Plan that has the consequences of putting at risk the Vale of White Horse District Council delivery of the five year land supply, the loss of Housing Infrastructure funding for the area, and the loss of Growth Deal funding for the area.

·         This council urges South Oxfordshire District Council to work collaboratively with Vale of White Horse District Council and other stakeholders to ensure the infrastructure funding is not delayed.  Residents and visitors to the area desperately need this investment in infrastructure to be delivered.

 

(2)      Motion to be proposed by Councillor Alison Jenner, seconded by Councillor Andy Foulsham:

Council notes that, given all possible routes through the government’s chosen corridor, the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway will have a direct impact on communities, businesses, and the environment across the Vale of White Horse District. This council should therefore agree a position on this matter.

Council notes with concern the lack of public consultation and lack of clarity from Government on proposals about whether an Expressway is the most effective way to enhance connectivity within the Oxford to Cambridge Arc and before Corridor B was chosen.

Council notes that published evidence on similar road building schemes, such as widening the M25, led to increased car use without any benefit in terms of congestion or journey time after a few years.

Council notes that the increased carbon emissions, damage to our countryside and biodiversity associated with road building would be significant.

Council notes our recent declaration of a Climate Emergency and our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint through our polices, decisions and actions. The Expressway will have a serious negative impact on the achievement of climate change targets at a time when all public bodies are being actively encouraged to improve air quality and contribute to significant carbon reductions.

Therefore, Council resolves to oppose the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway as proposed.

Council requests that the leader of the council, and members of the Cabinet, make our opposition to the road building scheme clear at relevant partnership meetings.

Council requests that the leader  ...  view the full agenda text for item 24.

Minutes:

1.    Motion proposed by Councillor Nathan Boyd and seconded by Councillor Simon Howell:

“Council notes that other neighbouring councils are dealing with their own local plans that are at various stages of development, discussion and inspection. Of particular note to residents in the Didcot area is the debate and discussion surrounding the South Oxfordshire District Council Local Plan.

 

This council is very concerned about the impact of decisions taken by South Oxfordshire District Council on residents in the Vale of White Horse.

 

Council requests that the leader of the council urgently writes to the leader of South Oxfordshire District Council and all South Oxfordshire councillors before any vote is taken on their Local Plan proposals to state the views of this council and the impact on residents in the area, specifically:

 

·         This council opposes any withdrawal or major amendments to the South Oxfordshire District Council Local Plan that has the consequences of putting at risk the Vale of White Horse District Council delivery of the five year land supply, the loss of Housing Infrastructure funding for the area, and the loss of Growth Deal funding for the area.

·         This council urges South Oxfordshire District Council to work collaboratively with Vale of White Horse District Council and other stakeholders to ensure the infrastructure funding is not delayed. Residents and visitors to the area desperately need this investment in infrastructure to be delivered”.

Whilst a number of councillors supported the motion, the majority of councillors, whilst understanding the sentiment of the motion in respect of the potential loss of infrastructure funding, supported the views expressed that South Oxfordshire District Council had every right to review its Local Plan in light of the manifesto commitments made at the elections in May and the need to revisit the Oxford City unmet housing needs figures. Cabinet members would continue to work with their counterparts at South Oxfordshire District Council regarding this issue. 

In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 67, which provides for a recorded vote if three members request one, the Chairman called for a recorded vote on the motion which was declared lost with the voting as follows:

For

Against

Abstentions

Councillors

Councillors

Councillors

Eric Batts

Jerry Avery

Margaret Crick

Nathan Boyd

Paul Barrow

 

Simon Howell

Ron Batstone

 

Elaine Ware

Samantha Bowring

 

 

Andy Cooke

 

 

Andrew Crawford

Amos Duveen

 

 

Neil Fawcett

 

Andy Foulsham

 

 

Hayleigh Gascoigne

 

 

David Grant

 

 

Debby Hallett

 

Jenny Hannaby

 

Bob Johnston

 

Alison Jenner

 

Diana Lugova

 

 

Robert Maddison

 

Sarah Medley

 

Ruth Molyneaux

 

Patrick O’Leary

 

Helen Pighils

 

Mike Pighills

 

Judy Roberts

 

Emily Smith

 

Bethia Thomas

 

 

Max Thompson

 

 

Catherine Webber

 

Richard Webber

Total: 4

Total: 28

Total: 1

 

 

2.    Motion proposed by Councillor Alison Jenner seconded by Councillor Andy Foulsham

“Council notes that, given all possible routes through the government’s chosen corridor, the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway will have a direct impact on communities, businesses, and the environment across the Vale of White Horse District. This council should therefore agree a position on this matter. Council notes with concern the lack of public consultation and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.