Agenda item

Work programme for the Scrutiny Panel and action log - September 2023

To discuss the draft work programme for the Panel and status of actions from the previous meeting.



The Chair referred to the Panel’s work programme and action log as set out in the agenda.


The Panel was informed that it intended to have an item at the November meeting on the County Council’s Vision Zero initiative. This was on the basis that it was an enabler of sustainable development and that the implementation of the Vision Zero commitment initiative had specific work and responsibilities for district councils which would require coordination at countywide level which it was felt was within the wider remit of the Future Oxfordshire Partnership.


The Panel was also informed that there had been a request from the Vice-Chair to add an item to the work programme for a briefing on Oxfordshire County Council’s ‘Decide and Provide’ approach to requirements for transport assessments as set out in the Local Transport and Connectivity Plan Policy 36. A briefing on the policy and the implications of this approach to infrastructure planning had been given by county council officers to Oxfordshire County Council councillors in September and as a first step it was hoped to be able to share a copy of a recording and supporting information to members of the Panel. Consideration would then be given to examining whether Decide and Provide fell within the Future Oxfordshire Partnership’s and Panel’s scope and remit.


Members of the Panel were reminded that if they wished to receive an update from a particular chair of a Partnership advisory group, they should let the Chair know.


Councillor John Broad commented that the work programme included a briefing on Doughnut Economics, but that it was shown as unscheduled. He also referred to the public statement submitted by the Oxfordshire Doughnut Economic Collective to the Panel about the draft Strategic Economic Plan which also referred to and advocated a Doughnut Economics approach to economic planning. At the request of the Chair, Andrew Down advised the Panel that it should take a cautious approach to engagement around Doughnut Economics which maintained the need for the Panel to be seen as impartial and which was mindful of the limit of the Panel’s remit. Unlike a statutory scrutiny committee, the Panel did not for instance have the power to commission specific pieces of work. Whilst it was not an issue to have a briefing on the subject, he was not convinced that the Panel was the appropriate route to provide it. It was agreed that advice from the Partnership’s Monitoring Officer would be sought on the issue including on whether the Panel might recommend to the Partnership that it receive its own briefing.


At the request of the Chair, Susan Harbour provided an update on the Future Oxfordshire Partnership’s Focus and Delivery Workshop to be held on 26 September. The Panel Chair and Vice-Chair had been invited to attend the event along with council leaders, advisory group members and other key stakeholders. It was intended to consider ideas suggested for joint working between the councils in support of the delivery of the Oxfordshire Strategic Vision so that further work could be undertaken to develop project plans.


Councillor Julian Cooper commented that he felt there was a need to undertake a review of Green Belt policy and suggested that this a potential work programme item.

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