Agenda and minutes

The Future Oxfordshire Partnership - Tuesday, 26 September 2023 1.30 pm

Venue: The Long Room, Oxford City Council, Town Hall, St Aldate's, Oxford, OX1 1BX

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, Emma Hill, (substituted by Lucy Manzo) and Professor Irene Tracey, (substituted by Professor Alex Betts).


There were no declarations of interest.


It was noted that the meeting was being live streamed and that a recording would be available for a period of 12 months.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 430 KB

To adopt as a correct record the minutes of the Future Oxfordshire Partnership meeting held on 25 July 2023.



RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 25 July 2023 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, 20 September 2023three 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:


The full text as submitted and the written response to the question asked below can be found here.


George Curtis on behalf of Bioabundance expressed the concern that the draft Oxfordshire Strategic Economic Plan, (SEP) failed to prioritise the overriding need for policies to minimise carbon emissions and to properly monitor the county’s progress towards future wellbeing and sustainability.


The draft SEP introduction indicated that there was a heightened awareness of the imperatives around the transition to net zero carbon and that economic growth as measured by Gross Value Added, (GVA) was an unsatisfactory indicator of effective local prosperity, but the rest of the document gave precedence to traditional ‘Economic Growth’. There was no framework within the SEP to balance the complexities and sometimes competing priorities of the Oxfordshire Strategic Vision and the argument was expressed that zero carbon could only be achieved if work to deliver the outcomes of the Pathways to a Zero Carbon Oxfordshire work predominated over the other nine strategies.


There had been an opportunity for Oxfordshire to use globally relevant 21st century economic principles such as Doughnut Economics to measure progress, but the overriding principles of wellbeing and zero carbon had not been reflected in the SEP’s section on measuring progress.


The Oxfordshire councils were asked to support the creation of a Strategic Economic Partnership for Oxfordshire which would be a cross sector, multiple stakeholder community place based partnership connecting into existing activity and networks with the purpose of generating an economic strategy that meets everyone’s needs within the means of the living planet.


Concern was expressed that the Future Oxfordshire Partnership was only asked to note the SEP draft and that there was a conflict between obligations of council Leaders to plan for the wellbeing of future generations and the obligations of council leaders as directors of OxLEP.


The Future Oxfordshire Partnership was asked the following questions and the response given by the Chair is set out below.


1.     What further evidence of climate change did decision makers need to justify setting the wellbeing of future generations as the over-riding top priority in the Strategic Economic Plan?


Response: The Partnership fully appreciated the importance of addressing climate change to future generations and agreed that this should be taken into account by OxLEP in the drafting of the Strategic Economic Plan.


2.     What legal and material influence does the Strategic Economic Plan have on Local Plans?


Response: The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which had the status of guidance and not legislation, required Local Plans to set out a clear economic vision and strategy which positively and proactively encouraged sustainable economic growth, having regard to Local Industrial Strategies and other local policies for economic development and regeneration.  In this context new Local Plans in Oxfordshire would need to have regard to the Strategic Economic Plan when it is was finalised. In addition, many district councils had already written their own local economic plans and these would also need to be had regard to.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.


Future Oxfordshire Partnership Scrutiny Panel update

For action: To receive any recommendations from the Future Oxfordshire Partnership Scrutiny Panel meeting held on 14 September 2023.


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 14 September 2023.


Councllor Miles commented that some concern had been expressed by the Panel around what was felt to be a lack of ward level communication with councillors around the status of individual schemes within the Housing from Infrastructure Programme, (HfI) and that there was a need for the Partnership to restate the importance of good communications between Oxfordshire County Council and the districts and city council in the event the programme had to be amended.  It had also been felt that that a ‘lessons learnt’ review of the programme should be undertaken once it had been completed.


At this point the Chair responded that both recommendations had been agreed. The expectation as set out in the Partnership’s Terms of Reference and Memorandum of Association was that there would continue to be a good level of communication and discussion between the County Council and the districts regarding the HfI Programme. Consideration would need to be given as to where a lesson learnt review would most appropriately be undertaken within the Partnership’s governance arrangements.


Councillor Miles then spoke to the Panel’s recommendations relating to the draft Strategic Economic Plan. The Panel whilst welcoming the opportunity to comment on the document and acknowledging the timetabling constraints faced by OxLEP, had been disappointed to have receive the draft approximately two days before the meeting which had constrained councillors’ ability to read and consider the Plan prior to the Panel meeting.


In discussion, Panel members had expressed concern regarding the framing, content, approval, and oversight of the Plan and whilst recognising its status as an OxLEP sponsored document had recommended to the Partnership that it not be endorsed or noted. If despite this, the Partnership was minded to note the Plan, the Panel asked that detailed feedback be given to OxLEP relating to measurement metrics, the prioritisation of sustainable growth and the wellbeing of residents, the need for a balance between job creation and provision of homes, communication linked an approach based on Doughnut Economics and consistency of language, particularly in relation to references to Local Plans.


The Chair responded that the Partnership noted the Panel’s recommendations regarding the Strategic Economic Plan which as recognised by the Panel itself, had been brought to the meeting for information and comment and not endorsement. The comments had been passed to OxLEP for a response and it was understood that the recommendations had been accepted by OxLEP.


It was noted that a full copy of the text of the recommendations and responses could be found here.


Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal: Update at the end of Quarter 1 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 248 KB

For information: To receive the Quarter 1, 2023/2024 progress report for the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal. 


Additional documents:


The Partnership considered a report on the progress, spend and housing delivery for schemes included as part of the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal including the Housing from Infrastructure (HfI) programme and Growth Deal Capacity Fund as of Quarter 1 2023/2024.


Lorna Baxter, Director of Finance for Oxfordshire County Council as the accountable body for the Housing and Growth presented the report highlighting that:


·           Spend of £4.1m had been incurred with an expectation that £24.7m would be spent during 2023/2024.

·           On the basis of spend to date the remaining £30m of Housing from Infrastructure Funding would not be claimed until 2024/2025 where planned spend was estimated to be £53.5m. These forecasts were based on the grant allocations of project delivery programs that had been previously agreed and set out in Appendix 1 to the report.

·           There had been no spend to the Growth Deal Capacity Fund as of Quarter 1.


RESOLVED: That the financial position of Housing and Growth Deal be noted as of June 2023.


Refreshing the Oxfordshire Strategic Economic Plan pdf icon PDF 6 MB

For action: To consider a draft of the Oxfordshire Strategic Economic Plan. The full document and a covering report will be published as soon as it is available, expected on 12 September 2023.


A presentation is attached giving a summary of the draft and the process followed to date in the development of the Oxfordshire Strategic Economic Plan and giving further information.



Additional documents:


The Partnership considered a report setting out a status update in respect of latest Strategic Economic Plan refresh process and attached as an Annex A, the second draft the Strategic Economic Plan. Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive of the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, (OxLEP) introduced the documents, highlighting the following points:


·           The development of the Plan had been in progress since February 2023 and OxLEP had held collaborative discussions with Future Oxfordshire Partnership members and beyond.

·           Prior to publication of the latest version of the Plan, every effort had been made to respond to and incorporate as many of the comments made by partner councils as possible which had impacted on the draft’s publication. Notwithstanding this, the concerns of the Scrutiny Panel around the time it had had to consider the report were acknowledged.

·           Every individual or organisation who had registered an interest in attending one of the workshops held to develop the Plan had been sent a copy of the 2nd draft, as well as all partners, sub-groups etc

·           The revised draft sought to take into account the challenges received to the content of the Plan, but also set out the opportunities that existed. This included looking at the potential contribution of a Doughnut Economics approach and focussing the Plan on sustainability in the context of the productivity of individuals and business, not a growth in overall job numbers.

·           The Plan sought to recognise the productivity of existing jobs and balancing that productivity against the growth that already existed within the Oxfordshire economy and growth projections set out within Local Plans.

·           Further comments and suggestions on the draft were encouraged by 6 October 2023. An action plan would then be developed prior to final consideration by the OxLEP Board of Directors in December 2023.


In response to a question, it was confirmed that where it had not been possible to reflect all of the comments from partners within the 2nd draft of the Plan, but these would be incorporated in the next version and that a version showing tracked changes would be presented to the OxLEP SEP Steering Group. The Chair also commented that it was important to understand that the Plan remained a work in progress.


RESOLVED: That the Future Oxfordshire Partnership notes the report and the latest version of the Strategic Economic Plan attached at Annex A.


Advisory Group Updates


Infrastructure Advisory Group update pdf icon PDF 405 KB

For information: To receive an update from the Infrastructure Advisory Group.  Summary notes from the meeting held on 3 July 2023 are attached.



Councillor Liz Leffman referred to the notes of the meeting of the Infrastructure Advisory Group held on 3 July 2023 and also spoke to the group’s most recent meeting on 4 September 2023. 


The agenda for the meeting on 4 September had included items on mobility hubs, the Net Zero Route Map and Action Plan, electric vehicle infrastructure and local area energy planning.


These items spoke to the important task of meeting the challenge of converting transport modes to green transport and the meeting had also considered items on the Oxfordshire Infrastructure Strategy in the context of the Local Transport and Connectivity Plan and other related countywide policies.


RESOLVED: That the update be noted.


Housing Advisory Group update pdf icon PDF 278 KB

For information: To receive an update from the Housing Advisory Group.  Summary notes from the meeting held on 11 July 2023 are attached.



Councillor Barry Wood referred to the notes of the Housing Advisory Group held on 11 July 2023 and also spoke to the group’s most recent meeting on 12 September. Advisory group members had received a briefing on the Oxfordshire migration landscape and further updates were planned as required.


RESOLVED: That the update be noted.


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 7 July 2023 are attached.



Councillor David Rouane referred to the notes of the Environment Advisory Group held on 7 July 2023. At this meeting, items had included a paper and discussion on best practice around the consideration of solar farms.


At its meeting on 8 September 2023 the advisory group had received briefings from external speakers from Good Food Oxfordshire in connection to the Oxfordshire Food Strategy and an item on domestic retrofit to meet zero carbon priorities which had included the challenge of a lack of skills in green technologies and how this might be mitigated. This piece of work was being led by OxLEP.


RESOLVED: That the update be noted.


Planning Advisory Group update

For information: To receive an update from the Planning Advisory Group.  Summary notes from the meeting held on 21 July 2023 to follow.


Additional documents:


Councillor Andy Graham referred to the notes of the Planning Advisory Group held on 21 July 2023 and commented verbally on the most recent meeting of the advisory group held on 15 September 2023. He highlighted that the group was still in its formulative stages, but that subject to the Partnership Focus and Delivery Workshop, its work programme was likely to include potential opportunities for joint working around issues such as viability, biodiversity, engagement with NHS colleagues around future health needs planning and health infrastructure and modern methods of construction.


RESOLVED: That the update be noted.


Future Oxfordshire Partnership Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 306 KB

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



Kevin Jacob, Future Oxfordshire Partnership Senior Democratic Services Officer introduced the Forward Programme as set out in the Agenda subject to the addition of consideration of the Future Oxfordshire Partnership’s Annual Report and the Oxfordshire Inclusive Economy Partnership Annual Report at the November meeting.


RESOLVED: That the Forward Programme be agreed subject to the addition of the Future Oxfordshire Partnership and Oxfordshire Inclusive Economy Annual reports to the November meeting.


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.


·           Tuesday 28 November 2023

·           Tuesday 30 January 2024

·           Wednesday 20 March 2024




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