Agenda and draft minutes

The Future Oxfordshire Partnership Scrutiny Panel - Monday, 22 January 2024 6.30 pm

Venue: Virtual meeting viewable by weblink

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


No. Item


Apologies for absence, substitutes; declarations of interest, Chair's announcements


Apologies for absence were submitted from Councillor Yvonne Constance, Oxfordshire County Council, Councillor Tiago Corais, Oxford City Council, Councillor Lynn Pratt, Cherwell District Council, Councillor Emily Smith, Vale of White Horse District Council and Councillor David Turner, South Oxfordshire District Council.


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 514 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 22 November 2023.


The minutes of the meeting held on 21 November 2023 were agreed as a correct record subject to amend the resolved action at the end of the minute 39 to include reference to the Panel’s comments made the item as follows:




1.     That the update on the Planning Advisory Group from Councillor Andy Graham and Giles Hughes be noted.


2.     That the comments and issues raised by the Panel during its discussion of the update be noted as feedback to the Future Oxfordshire Partnership.


Under this item the Chair also reminded members of the Panel of the importance of treating guest attendees and speakers in a respectful way.


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 12:00 on Monday 22 January 2024. 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 on this occasion no public speakers had registered.


Role and remit of the Future Oxfordshire Partnership Scrutiny Panel pdf icon PDF 477 KB

To consider a paper reiterating the role and remit of the Scrutiny Panel.

Additional documents:


The Panel considered a report from Andrew Down, Future Oxfordshire Partnership Director which set out advice from the Monitoring Officer of Oxfordshire County Council regarding the role and remit of the Panel as set out in its current Terms of Reference.  The advice had been sought by officers following discussions by members at previous meetings.


The Panel was informed that the advice had confirmed that the Panel did not have the same statutory powers as a Scrutiny Committee in any of the councils represented on it to commission its research work and that the Panel’s remit should be interpreted narrowly and linked solely to the actions and deliberations of the Future Oxfordshire Partnership, (FOP).


It was highlighted that the terms of refence of the FOP would continue to evolve as its role and remit changed. This would have a consequential impact on the terms of reference and remit of the Panel.


A summary of points and questions raised by members during discussion:


·           Flagging of items not in scope - Was there a way in which agenda items to the Panel which could only be investigated by the individual authority scrutiny committees were flagged in advance? A note could also be made in the Panel’s minutes so it was clearer when the Panel could not take an issue further and was referring it to a scrutiny committee/s. Officers indicated that they could be clearer regarding which items were or were not in the Panel’s scope.

·           Duty to Cooperate – What was the role of the FOP in facilitating this, particularly around the Oxfordshire Strategic Vision?  Officers confirmed that the FOP had no formal role or status in the Duty to Cooperate, but it was an environment where best practice could be shared between the councils and strong relationships maintained.

·           Purpose and scope of the Panel and use of resources – a member of the Panel commented that they were disappointed with the response of the Monitoring Officer as in their view, the language used within paragraph 1.1 of the Panel’s Terms of Reference around its role was broad did allow for a fuller Panel role. Taking the Monitoring Officer’s interpretation, the Panel had very limited teeth. It was also felt that officers had a conflict in that they were deciding the scope and constraints of the Panel, contrary to overview and scrutiny best practice. Agenda setting powers were a key component of good scrutiny practice without which scrutiny on behalf of taxpayers was effectively being constrained.

·           If the role of Panel was to partly assist in the coordination between the district and the county council, the interpretation of the Panel’s scope limited its ability to fulfil this aim. A considerable amount of officer and member time had already been spent on issues such as Vision Zero which officers had initially said was in scope. 

·           Future of the Panel – a member commented that if the Panel did not have the powers it needed to undertake its role, one solution could be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.


Healthy Place Shaping Update and the new Health & Wellbeing Board Strategy for Oxfordshire pdf icon PDF 721 KB

To consider a report to the Future Oxfordshire Partnership setting out an update on progress with delivery of health place shaping across Oxfordshire and to present the new Health and Wellbeing Board Strategy for Oxfordshire.


The Panel considered a report to the Future Oxfordshire Partnership which set out an update on progress with delivery of healthy place shaping across Oxfordshire and which presented the new Health and Wellbeing Board Strategy for Oxfordshire.


Rose Rowe, Head of Healthy Place Shaping and David Munday, Deputy Director of Public Health, Oxfordshire County Council presented the report, a summary presentation and responded to member questions.


Member questions and comments included:


·           Monitoring of the delivery of the Health and Wellbeing Strategy – a member asked how progress and performance would be managed in order to identify the impact of specific schemes? Members were informed that a draft delivery plan and outcomes framework including high level metrics would be presented to the Health and Wellbeing Board in March 2024.

·           Healthy Place Shaping and supporting ongoing work between health and planning – a member expressed concern regarding what was felt to be a lack of coordination between the County and districts councils around responsibility for street design guides. It was felt street design code were preferable as they made clear what developers had to do to help deliver healthier outcomes. Officers indicated this could be followed up, but there was a preference for codes where possible.

·           Supporting models of care and community activation in healthy place shaping – a member commented that his observation was that there appear to be significant levels of duplication between the NHS and adult social care. It was important to do everything possible to improve integration with the Bucks, Oxon and West Berks ICB in order to get better outcomes and value for money. Officers responded that the best opportunity for coordination was around early intervention work, for example through the mapping of social prescribing and community connections.

·           Finance and commissioning linked to the Health and Wellbeing Strategy – were the finance and commission targets aligned to outcomes-based commissioning being considered? Officers responded that the Health and Wellbeing Board had responsibility for the sign off and utilization of the Better Care Fund which represented the intersection of health and social care spending.

·           Provision of primary health care facilities – a member commented that there was a lack of primary care facilities in communities despite funds generated from Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy being earmarked for this use because the ICB had very limited powers to own estate. This was a major issue which did not appear to be addressed within the Strategy. Officers commented that they shared many of these frustrations. It was a topic that was being looked into by the Planning Advisory Group.

·           Coordination between the delivery of healthy place shaping, delivery of Health and Wellbeing Strategy, the FOP and individual councils’ local planning responsibilities – a member questioned how duplication and conflict would be avoided. Officers responded that one of the objectives of monthly discussions between public health representatives and planners from around the county was to mitigate this risk. Responses were given to Local Plan consultations and councils were encouraged to include  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.


Future Oxfordshire Partnership response to Scrutiny Panel recommendations pdf icon PDF 140 KB

To consider the Future Oxfordshire Partnership’s response to the recommendations from the Scrutiny Panel meeting held on 22 November 2023.


The Panel considered the Future Oxfordshire Partnership’s response to the Panel’s recommendations arising from the meeting on 22 November 2023.  The Chair drew members’ specific attention to the feedback of the FOP to the recommendations made by the Panel relating to Vision Zero which had not been agreed by the FOP and suggested that the Panel might wish to consider directing to the recommendations to a FOP advisory group rather than the FOP itself.


In discussion, various members of Panel reiterated their concerns and disappointment made earlier in the meeting that the recommendations had not been agreed on the basis that Vision Zero did not fall within the FOP remit and suggested that the FOP should be asked what it felt its own role was in relation to Vision Zero in light of the Oxfordshire Strategic Vision.


Officers commented that the paper on Vison Zero had previously been brought to the Panel at its request, but it had not been on a FOP agenda. It was accepted that the issue was complex, but even if an issue did involve joint working between the County Councils and districts, this did not automatically make it an issue within FOP’s remit.


The view was also expressed that in future it was important in terms of agenda planning that the Chair and officers worked together to only put forward items within the FOP and the Panel’s remit.


After further discussion it was:




1.     The Scrutiny Panel noted with regret the response of the Future Oxfordshire Partnership: that it declined to comment on the Panel’s recommendations regarding Vision Zero on the basis that Vision Zero did not fall within its remit. In the Panel’s view, there is a relationship between Vision Zero and the delivery of the outcomes within the Oxfordshire Strategic Vision. As such, Vision Zero can be seen to fall within the spirit of the Partnership’s general scope and remit. There are multiple opportunities for the sharing and coordination of best practice around Vision Zero between Oxfordshire local authorities. Working towards its objectives, the FOP could play an important part in making Vision Zero a success.


2.     The Panel recommends that the Future Oxfordshire Partnership asks the Infrastructure Advisory Group and Planning Advisory Group to consider adding Vision Zero to their work programmes so that the Panel’s recommendations to the Partnership relating to Vision Zero can considered.



Environment Advisory Group update pdf icon PDF 300 KB

To receive the summary notes of the meeting of the Environment Advisory Group held on 9 November 2023.


The Panel considered the notes of the Environment Advisory Group, (EAG) which were introduced by Councillor David Rouane as its Chair.


Councillor Rouane commented that the focus of the advisory group was around carbon reduction aspects of environment and therefore the group confined itself to matters linked to the Net Zero Route Map and Action Plan, (NZRMAP), and did it not consider issue linked to nature and nature recovery which were in the remit of the Oxfordshire Local Nature Partnership. Regular monitoring of the NZRMAP was a central part of its work as referred to in the notes.


In discussion, members raised a number of points:


·           Transport emissions and pollution – a member commented that the links between spatial planning, the distances that residents needed to travel and the impact of this travel on transport emissions were not being considered by any of the advisory groups as a top priority despite this being identified in the Pathways to Zero Carbon Oxfordshire study and it being the top source of emissions across all the district council areas.  Councillor Rouane responded that it was his understanding that the NZRMAP was being taken account of by all the district councils as part of their Local Plan development.

·           Local Area Energy Planning Function – a member commented on the reference in the EAG notes to the establishment of governance arrangements for a local area energy planning function through an Executive Steering Board and Energy Planning Working Group and asked for the names of the members of those groups where known. He expressed concern that the membership might have a narrow energy focus and become siloed and suggested that other organisations such as environmental or community groups should also be involved and that this would increase buy-in within a community for green energy projects.  Councillor Rouane responded that the work being undertaken was of a technical nature, but that the groups did report back to the advisory group.


RESOLVED: The Panel received the notes of the Environment Advisory Group.


Work programme for the Scrutiny Panel pdf icon PDF 148 KB

To discuss the draft work programme for the Panel.



The Panel received the work programme for forthcoming meetings.


Dates of next meetings

The dates of confirmed future Scrutiny Panel meetings are below. Please refer to for the most up to date information on times and locations.


·         11 March 2023


Provisional dates for meetings during the 2024/2025 year will be brought to the next meeting.



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