To consider the report of the acting deputy chief executive – partnerships.
Cabinet considered the report of the acting deputy chief executive – partnerships. This set out a proposal to amend the Oxfordshire Growth Board’s terms of reference and memorandum of association following a review undertaken by the Growth Board. The adoption of these documents represented stage one of two in implementing outcomes from the review. The other five principal councils in Oxfordshire had agreed the stage one changes.
Some concern was expressed that the other district councils had agreed to the changes as the cost of the Growth Board did not appear to be fairly split between the six principal councils. For example, district councils had to pay a larger percentage of their budgets compared to the county council. It was noted that the costs should be proportionate to the officers’ time spent on the Growth Board work.
The proposed changes were a first stage to make improvements to the Growth Board’s operation. More changes would come forward. Stage two would involve a more detailed review of the Growth Board’s operating arrangements to reflect the increasing importance of protecting the environment and tackling climate change. This included assessing how the Growth Board interacted with emerging proposals for a local nature partnership.
Cabinet supported the changes. However, some concerns were raised at how the principal councils undertook their statutory responsibility for scrutinising the Growth Board. This was not the responsibility of the Growth Board’s Scrutiny Panel. Cabinet asked the leader to raise this with the Growth Board.
(a) approve the Oxfordshire Growth Board’s Terms of Reference and Memorandum of Understanding, as set out at appendices 1 and 2 respectively of the acting deputy chief executive – partnership’s report to Cabinet on 7 August 2020;
(b) authorise the chief executive, in consultation with the leader of the council and the Oxfordshire Growth Board, to make minor amendments to these documents as required to support the operational efficiency of the Growth Board’s work; and
(c) ask the leader of the council to raise with the Growth Board the question of how Oxfordshire’s principal councils undertake their statutory responsibility of scrutinising the Growth Board, including its budget.