Agenda and minutes

The Future Oxfordshire Partnership - Tuesday, 29 November 2022 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Cherwell District Council, Bodicote House, Bodicote, Banbury, OX15 4AA

Contact: Kevin Jacob, Future Oxfordshire Partnership Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email:


No. Item


Apologies for absence; declarations of interest and Chair's announcement


Apologies for absence were submitted by Professor Alistair Fitt, Universities representative (substituted by Professor Simonetta Manfredi), and Peter Nolan, OxLEP business representative – Oxford City.


It was acknowledged that Councillor Liz Leffman was attending the meeting remotely and, therefore, was not entitled to vote (if a vote was required). The Chair welcomed Professor Manfredi to her first Future Oxfordshire Partnership meeting.


There were no declarations of interest.


It was stated that the meeting was being livestreamed and that a recording of the meeting would be available here for a period of 12 months


The Chair asked the Partnership to note that Kevin Jacob, its Senior Democratic Services Officer, had recently completed the Diploma in Local Democracy qualification awarded by the Association of Democratic Services Officers.


The Chair welcomed Councillor Tom Beattie and David Shepherd from the Local Government Association Peer Review Team to the meeting.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 360 KB

To adopt as a correct record the minutes of the Future Oxfordshire Partnership meeting held on 27 September 2022.



RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Future Oxfordshire Partnership held on 27 September 2022 be approved as a correct record of the meeting.


Public participation

Asking a question and addressing the Partnership
Questions or requests to make an address (in full and in writing) must be received by 5pm on Wednesday 23 November 2022,three clear working days before the Future Oxfordshire Partnership meeting.

Questions and addresses should be no longer than one side of A4 paper in Arial 12 font. The address or question will be circulated to the Partnership and public speakers will be invited to speak at the 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. The Chair will have discretion to manage the public participation procedure as they see appropriate. Questions and notice of addresses must be submitted to


Note: This meeting may be recorded for live broadcast. 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.


Additional documents:


Full written responses to public questions and addresses made at the meeting can be found here.


George Curtis, on behalf of Need Not Greed Oxfordshire (NNGO), referring to the Oxfordshire Strategic Vision commented on the need for it to have measurable outcomes if it was to be a document that ‘walked the walk’ as well as ‘talked the talk’. The Partnership was asked to engage with the work being undertaken at Oxford University which was looking to redefine economics to include sustainability and wellbeing. In particular, Mr Curtis drew members attention to the Doughnut Economics Action Lab and the Doughnut Economics Urban Development events being held on 7 December 2022.


The Partnership was asked:


·           How did the Partnership intend to move from aspirations to achievement?

·           How would the Vision be transformed into a series of achievable projects with measurable outcomes?

·           How soon would the Partnership have the system of measurement in place?

·           Could the Partnership please review how it responded to questions from civic groups and ensure that the issues raised were discussed?


Responding to Mr Curtis’ final question, the Chair commented that the Partnership’s common practice was to respond in writing so that a fuller explanation could be provided. While it was also possible that draft verbal answers could be given, due to the detail of some issues this could have an impact on meeting time management. The Chair, nevertheless, stated that the current procedures could be reviewed.


In relation to the measurement of the delivery of the Strategic Vision outcomes, the Chair specified that the Partnership recognised the ambitious nature of the document and acknowledged that it would require a sustained commitment by not only the organisations directly involved but also a wider set of strategic stakeholders and partners. In addition, to delivering on its own programme of work aligned to the outcomes of the Vision, the Future Oxfordshire Partnership also provides a forum in which key place-shaping organisations could discuss how their own individual plans support its realisation.


With regards to the economic work being undertaken by Oxford University, Mr Curtis was thanked for providing this information. Several members of the Partnership suggested that they would consider attending the event if possible. 


Ian Green, on behalf of Oxford Civic Society (OCS), referred to the three recommendations that he had made at the Partnership meeting in September. Mr Green expressed his disappointment that the written response had omitted to cover the main points of the recommendations in relation to the importance of public involvement in countywide strategic planning following the end of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050. The public had been encouraged to engage with the preparation of the Plan and a lot of innovative steps had been taken to achieve this.


The OCS was concerned that there was now a void in public engagement, especially in regard to how integrated strategic plans (e.g. the Local Transport and Connectivity Plan) would be coordinated with district and city-level Local Plans. The Partnership’s response that public statutory consultations would take place  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.


Future Oxfordshire Partnership Scrutiny Panel update

For action: To receive any recommendations from the Future Oxfordshire Partnership Scrutiny Panel meeting held on 22 November 2022.


Additional documents:


The Chair invited Councillor Katherine Miles, Chair of the Future Oxfordshire Partnership Scrutiny Panel, to present the recommendations from the Panel’s meeting held on 22 November 2022.


Councillor Miles outlined that the Scrutiny Panel’s recommendations were primarily related to the need for stronger evaluation frameworks in the delivery of the Oxfordshire Strategic Vision and in monitoring the progress of the Oxfordshire Local Nature and Inclusive Economy Partnerships. The Panel had also referred to the importance of diversity and representation.


The Panel’s final recommendation asked the Partnership to consider asking the Infrastructure Advisory Group to co-opt an active travel representative to its membership.


The Chair commented that a full response would be provided in writing. He also stated that the Panel’s work and recommendations were valued and appreciated by the Partnership.


Delivering the Oxfordshire Strategic Vision pdf icon PDF 989 KB

For action: To receive an update on work underway to map out activity aligned to the agreed outcomes of the Oxfordshire Strategic Vision; opportunity for discussion and input.





Additional documents:


The Partnership considered a paper 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 detailed 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 future stakeholder engagement on proposed areas for joint working were also outlined.


During discussion, the Chair commented that the report – and presentation – demonstrated the positive coordinating effect that the Partnership could have on the activities of its constituent members and stakeholders. It was, therefore, crucial that the priorities and outcomes contained within the Vision were compatible with the corporate plans of the individual local authorities and OxLEP. The Chair also stressed the importance of implementing recommendation three relating to the wider socialisation of the Strategic Vision.


Councillor Emily Smith stated that it was reassuring to see that the Vision was aligned to the individual corporate plans. She also agreed with the Chair that its further socialisation was very important. It would, nevertheless, be necessary to prioritise and filter the areas in which the Partnership could and would operate so as to avoid duplicating existing activity. The identification of potential gaps in activity, deciding whether those gaps could best be addressed at a county or district level and coordinating workstreams would all be very important in helping to realise the ambitions of the Strategic Vision.


Councillor Andy Graham raised the importance of reviewing the delivery of the activities within the Vision and queried how this might be achieved. The Partnership was informed that as the Housing and Growth Deal concluded there had been an increasing focus on the nature of future activities. Undertaking this assessment had confirmed that a great deal of forward programming and review processes were already in place. It was, nevertheless, agreed that further information on the monitoring and delivery could be provided in writing to the Partnership.


Councillor Liz Leffman raised the possibility that HM Government could require Oxfordshire’s authorities to submit something broadly equating to a ‘County Deal’ at some point in the future. She, therefore, suggested that some consideration needed to be given to what these asks might be. As a consequence, the various partners – as part of the strategic process – needed to think carefully about what collectively could/should be achieved and how they could work together to deliver them. It was important that Oxfordshire was not rushed into a deal which did not reflect its Strategic Vision priorities. As part of this work, it would also be necessary to engage with a wider pool of partners (e.g. the health sector) as part of the wider shaping of place.  


Councillor David Rouane commented that while it was correct that the Housing and Growth Deal was coming to end, a significant amount of it had yet to be delivered and, therefore, it  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.


Oxfordshire Inclusive Economy Partnership Update pdf icon PDF 726 KB

For action: To consider a paper setting out an update on the progress of the Oxfordshire Inclusive Economy Partnership, (OIEP) and the development and launch of the OIEP Charter and associated pledges on 24 January 2023.

Additional documents:


The Partnership considered a report updating them on the progress of the Oxfordshire Inclusive Economy Partnership (OIEP). This included the development and launch of the OIEP Charter and associated pledges on 24 January 2023.


The report was introduced – and a presentation given (available here) – by the Co-Chairs of the Oxfordshire Inclusive Economy Partnership, Jeremy Long and Baroness Jan Royall.


The Partnership was informed that although Oxfordshire was perceived to be generally affluent with many successful businesses, real inequalities did exist. The mission of the OIEP was, therefore, to create a more equal and sustainable county that provided opportunities and benefits for all. To help achieve this aspiration, the OIEP was working towards tackling some of Oxfordshire’s biggest problems and, thereby, allow everybody to contribute and share in the county’s success.  Four working groups linked to educational attainment, inclusive employment, social value & procurement, and place-based interventions had been established to help drive this forward.


A key element of the OIEP was to work with local employers and wider community organisations to build a more inclusive economy – businesses would be key to the overall success of the project.


The OIEP Charter would be launched on 24 January 2023 and would represent a significant introductory step in its development. The Charter’s purpose was to:


·           Mobilise support for Oxfordshire inclusive economy and raise awareness of it.

·           Publicly share commitments to inclusivity by individuals, businesses and organisations.

·           Set and raise standards around inclusive economy.

·           Encourage residents and businesses to work together to help protect Oxfordshire’s economy with the aim to prevent money leaving the county.


Members of the Partnership were urged to attend the launch if possible and do all they could to promote it within their organisations.


The Chair stated that it was wrong that such inequalities existed within the county and, therefore, as part of the Future Oxfordshire Partnership’s ambition of creating a more equal and sustainable society it was fully supportive of the work of the OIEP.



Councillor Susan Brown thanked Baroness Royall, Jeremy Long and officers for the work undertaken to get to this point. She informed the Partnership that Oxford City Council had updated its own procurement policy to take account of the issues highlighted by the OIEP (which could be circulated to other council leaders if requested).


Councillor Brown also stated that it should be acknowledged that while Oxford is a city of great wealth, it has many areas of severe poverty. It was, therefore, important to recognise that economies worked best where there were higher levels of equality.



1.     That the Future Oxfordshire Partnership notes the update report.


2.     That members of Future Oxfordshire Partnership support and promote the launch of the OIEP Charter and engage local businesses and partners to commit to the pledges of the charter.


Oxfordshire Local Nature Partnership Update pdf icon PDF 557 KB

For action: To consider a paper providing an update on the progress of the Oxfordshire Local Nature Partnership, highlighting areas of focus for the Partnership moving forward and setting out points for the development of the Local Nature Recovery Strategy.


The Partnership considered a report providing an update on the progress of the Oxfordshire Local Nature Partnership (ONLP). This not only included information on the ONLP’s areas of focus, but also set out details relating to the process for the development of a Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS). Richard Benwell, Chair of the Oxfordshire Local Nature Partnership, and Matt Whitney, Local Nature Partnership Manager, highlighted some of the key areas of focus within the report.


During the presentation of the report, reference was made to the upcoming 15th Conference for the Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal. It was hoped that countries across the world would agree a global deal to:


·           Halt the decline of nature by 2030

·           Protect 30.0% of land and sea for the natural environment by 2030

·           Mobilise significant investment and support for nature recovery across the world


The Partnership was informed that previous international deals of this type had, however, not been successful – this was in part due to a failure to translate international and national objectives into local actions and deliverables. Within the UK there had, nevertheless, at least been some movement towards setting legally mandated targets which could be translated down to the local level. These actions at the national level formed the starting point for the Local Nature Partnership as an organisation in terms of its influence (on matters such as local planning policy) and spending/investment decisions.


In discussion, the Chair commented on the need to concentrate on the delivery of nature recovery and protection – highlighting the importance of moving beyond rhetoric. He also stated that the Future Oxfordshire Partnership, by bringing together key stakeholders, provided a strategic level forum to progress the required actions


Councillor David Rouane reminded members that he was the Partnership’s representative on the OLNP Board and, therefore, could act as a conduit for any ideas and questions that they may have. He stressed the importance of the OLNP maintaining an appropriate balance between accurately analysing what needed to be done and delivering measurable outcomes.  



1.     That the Future Oxfordshire Partnership endorses the Oxfordshire Local Nature Partnership’ strategic approach, including the development of a county-wide framework of natural capital investment.


2.     That the Future Oxfordshire Partnership provides its endorsement for Oxfordshire County Council taking on the responsible authority role for the production of Oxfordshire’s Local Nature Recovery Strategy.


3.     That the Future Oxfordshire Partnership provides its endorsement to proceed with the work of an Oxfordshire Local Nature Recovery Strategy considering the information provided, under the proposed governance arrangement.


Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal Financial Report Quarter 2, Year 5 pdf icon PDF 222 KB

For information: To receive a financial summary for Quarter 2, Year 5 for the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal.


Additional documents:



Future Oxfordshire Partnership Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 298 KB

For information: To note and comment on the Future Oxfordshire Partnership’s Forward Plan. 




Advisory Group Updates


Infrastructure Advisory Group update pdf icon PDF 181 KB

For information: To receive an update from the Infrastructure Advisory Group.  Summary notes from the meetings held on 5 September 2022 and 15 September 2022 are attached.


Additional documents:



Housing Advisory Group update

For information: To receive an update from the Housing Advisory Group.  Summary notes from the meeting held on 1 November 2022 are attached.


Additional documents:



Environment Advisory Group update pdf icon PDF 283 KB

For information: To receive an update from the Environment Advisory Group. Summary notes from the meeting held on 20 September 2022 are attached.



Councillor David Rouane referred to the notes of the meeting of the Environment Advisory Group held on 20 September 2022. He stated that the group had continued to receive regular updates on the Pathways to a Zero Carbon Oxfordshire workstream and that a full summary would be presented to the Future Oxfordshire Partnership meeting in March 2023.


In relation to the potential possibility of a shared Oxfordshire approach to the provision of solar farms, Councillor Rouane suggested that the Environment Advisory Group should begin looking at this piece of work prior to the establishment of a new planning-related advisory group.


Giles Hughes, Chief Executive of West Oxfordshire District Council, commented that it was important that the policy implications and questions arising from solar farms were considered through the Future Oxfordshire Partnership and its advisory groups. Moreover, there was a need for affected councils to work together and coordinate. (Mr Hughes raised the specific example of the Botley West Solar Farm proposal, where the application met the criteria for a ‘Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) and would, therefore, be determined by the Planning Inspectorate rather than the local authorities. He, nevertheless, made clear that local authorities still had a very important role to play in this proposal by providing impact reports).


Councillor Andy Graham stated that there seemed to be a gap in the planning of national energy policy around both generation and transmission infrastructure. He believed that this was something that should be considered in work planning locally. Furthermore, it was also an area where there was the potential to lobby at a national level for a more joined-up, holistic approach.


RESOLVED: That the update be noted. 


Updates on matters relevant to the Future Oxfordshire Partnership

Future Oxfordshire Partnership members and officers may verbally update the Board on progress on matters previously before the Partnership for consideration, listed in the forward plan, or relevant to the Partnership’s future decisions.  This is for the sharing of information and no decisions will be taken. 



No matters were raised under this heading.


Reports from key strategic partnerships supporting delivery of the Oxfordshire Strategic Vision

For information: To receive reports from other partnerships supporting the delivery of the Oxfordshire Strategic Vision.




Dates of next meetings

The dates of Future Oxfordshire Partnership meetings are below. Please refer to

for the most up to date information on times and locations.


·           Monday 23 January 2023

·           Monday 20 March 2023

·           Tuesday 13 June 2023

·           Tuesday 25 July 2023




The Partnership noted the dates of future meetings as set out in the Agenda.


The Chair commented that it was his understanding that Councillor Emily Smith had announced her intention to resign as Leader of Vale of White Horse District Council and that this was her last meeting of the Future Oxfordshire Partnership. Consequently, the Chair paid tribute to Councillor Smith for all her hard work and valuable contributions not only in support of the Partnership but also as the Chair of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 Advisory Group.