Agenda item

Delivering the Oxfordshire Strategic Vision

To consider a report to the Future Oxfordshire Partnership setting out an update on work underway to map out activity aligned to the agreed outcomes of the Oxfordshire Strategic Vision; opportunity for discussion and input.


The Panel considered a paper to the Future Oxfordshire Partnership updating them on the progress made to identify new opportunities for joint working and outlining next steps. Beth Wilks, Future Oxfordshire Partnership Manager, gave a presentation (available here) highlighting the main areas of the report, including the general alignment between the Strategic Vision outcomes and the priorities outlined in the corporate plans of Oxfordshire’s local authorities and the Local Enterprise Partnership. Plans for stakeholder engagement on proposed areas for joint working – including with the Scrutiny Panel – were also outlined. 


Members thanked officers for both the report and the opportunity for further engagement with the Panel as part of the proposed next steps. They, nevertheless, suggested in relation to the closeness of the alignment of the Strategic Vision outcomes with the corporate plans, that while there may be an apparent commonality of language this may be hiding differences of understanding of what actual terms mean. It was, therefore, felt that given the different characteristics and circumstances between the visions and priorities of Oxfordshire’s local authorities, that more divergence might have been expected. Consequently, members expressed the importance of being transparent as possible about any discrepancies and areas of difference – they suggested that more specific deliverable targets could help in achieving this.


In response, Andrew Down, Future Oxfordshire Partnership Director, and Beth Wilks commented that all of Oxfordshire’s local authorities had endorsed the Strategic Vision and, therefore, it was logical that their individual corporate plans did not conflict with it. Nevertheless, and notwithstanding these synergies, it was acknowledged that there were some differences. In terms of the detail, a large amount of work had been undertaken that supported the summary in the report – this would be shared in due course (the quantitative and qualitative data on performance in meeting the outcomes of the Vision would also be shared with the Partnership).


Members of the Panel commented that the report very clearly showed the cross-connections between various pieces of work being progressed across Oxfordshire. It also, however, showed that there were areas where there was additional scope for further joint working.


In discussion, an individual suggested that, while the sovereignty of local planning authorities was recognised, there had been a proliferation of planning applications related to solar farms and, therefore, this could be an area where there might be value in additional strategic joint working. Officers confirmed to the Panel that the issue of solar panel was something that was being carefully considered across the county, with the potential for it to be discussed at the Infrastructure Advisory Group.


After further debate, the Scrutiny Panel supported the recommendations set out in the report – in particular, the plans for further engagement session around identifying opportunities for joint working aligned to the outcomes of the Oxfordshire Strategic Vision.  


RESOLVED: The Panel recommended to the Future Oxfordshire Partnership that it:


1.     Remain cognitive of the need for commonly agreed and understood definitions of the desired outcomes of the Strategic Vision across the Partnership, as a prerequisite to its success.


2.     Consider the need to link the high-level outcomes of the Strategic Vision with more specific, deliverable outputs.


3.     Monitor and evaluate the outputs via a results framework.

Supporting documents: