Agenda item

Public participation

Members of the public may submit an address or question in writing to the Scrutiny Panel, where full notice of the question or address is given to the secretariat no later than 17:00 on Monday 11 September 2023.  Questions and addresses submitted should be no longer than one side of A4 paper in Arial 12 font. The address or question will be circulated to the Panel and public speakers will be invited to speak at the virtual meeting. Written submissions may also be read out by the Chair or Democratic Services Officer where requested or if the person making the request for public speaking is not able to attend the meeting. A response may be given at the meeting or a written answer supplied. Questions and notice of addresses must be submitted to


Note: This meeting may be recorded for live broadcast via the Future Oxfordshire Partnership’s YouTube Channel - at the start of the meeting the Chair will confirm the meeting is being filmed. By registering to speak you are consenting to being recorded and to the use of those video and audio recordings for webcasting.



It was noted that two written statements and questions had been submitted and circulated to the Panel in advance of the meeting. Full copies of the statements and questions are available here.


Deborah Glass-Woodin gave a statement on behalf of the Oxfordshire Doughnut Economics Collective, (ODEC). She commented that the latest version of the Strategic Economic Plan (v2), (which had been reviewed with only 24 hours’ notice) failed to take account of concerns regarding its process and content raised by the Scrutiny Panel at its 18 July meeting, reported to the Future Oxfordshire Partnership on 25 July 2023.


The view was expressed that whilst the current draft of the Strategic Economic Plan used the language of the Oxfordshire Strategic Vision it continued to side-line social and environmental issues and maintained a focus on economic growth. It made no attempt to address or quantify a worsening social and environmental crisis and measurement was limited to labour supply. There was no robust framework or delivery plan and no evidence base was available of the independent economic review. The Strategic Economic Plan was not fit for purpose and the Panel was asked to request a pause so the ODEC’s proposal to establish a new Strategic Economic Partnership for Oxfordshire could be looked into.


The Strategic Economic Partnership was a proposal to create a multi-sector, multi-stakeholder community partnership connecting the existing activity and networks in Oxfordshire into a partnership, with the purpose of generating an economic strategy that meets everyone’s needs within the means of the Earth. The partnership would be inclusive, embraced the latest economic theory and would be able to unite organisations. It would not be just another networking group, but would bring existing groups and activity together which would challenge the process and narrative of the Strategic Economic Plan and apply  Doughnut Economics as a holistic framework to balance the multiple complex issues in a way that is regenerative, redistributive and collaborative. The Panel was asked to refer to the evidence for a different approach to Oxfordshire Economic Strategyprovided by attendees to the ODEC workshop: A better future for Oxfordshire, held on 8th September in the pre-workshop survey.


Ian Green had submitted a written statement on behalf of Oxford Civic Society that agreed with Panel’s previous requests that the Oxfordshire Local Economic Partnership ensure that the Strategic Economic Plan include all the outcomes of the Oxfordshire Strategic Vision for Long Term Sustainable Development; and that equal focus is applied to them including wellbeing and the environment.


In the view of the Oxford Civic Society, Oxfordshire had a plethora of strategic plans and strategic planning processes continued to be constrained by the lack of an overall spatial plan for the distribution of employment and housing towards 2050. Although felt to be more of a horizon scanning document, the Strategic Economic Plan still needed to comment on the spatial implications of what was proposed without recommending a particular strategy and potentially be revised to accommodate social and/or environmental spatial requirements.


The capacity and development potential of existing infrastructure, and the strategic planning of county-wide or regional infrastructure was crucial to county-wide sustainable spatial planning as was infrastructure funding.  The Panel was asked whether the refreshed Strategic Economic Plan discuss infrastructure investment requirements and funding availability for the refreshed Plan? 


The public’s responses to the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 Regulation 18 consultation had overall given a clear steer that there is an appetite for an approach that: was ambitious, radical, innovative and creative; is Oxfordshire-specific and reflective of local people's views; prioritises climate change, and focusses on social, economic and environmental wellbeing, and not solely on a narrow definition of growth. Public consultation on the Strategic Economic Plan had been inadequate.


The Panel was encouraged to continue to be bold in its recommendations. 


The Chair thanked Deborah Glass-Woodin and Ian Green for their contributions and questions which she asked Panel members to reflect and consider during the Panel’s consideration of the Strategic Economic Plan item.

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