Agenda, decisions and draft minutes


Council
Monday 16 December 2019 6.30 pm

Venue: Bodicote House, Bodicote, Banbury, OX15 4AA

Contact: Natasha Clark, Democratic and Elections  Email: democracy@cherwellandsouthnorthants.gov.uk, 01295 221589

Media

Items
No. Item

36.

Welcome

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, Matthew Barber, Chief Constable John Campbell, Thames Valley Police, and Superintendent Mark Johns, Local Police Area (LPA) Commander for Cherwell to the meeting advising they would be giving a presentation to Council.

 

 

37.

Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to declare any interest and the nature of that interest which they may have in any of the items under consideration at this meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

38.

Communications pdf icon PDF 53 KB

To receive communications from the Chairman and/or the Leader of the Council.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman made the following announcements:

 

Housekeeping

The Chairman welcomed the members of the public in attendance at our Council meeting and advised:

·       Members of the public were permitted to film, broadcast and report on the meeting, subject to the efficient running of the meeting not being affected.

·       Only those people who had registered to speak could do so and Members of the public were requested not to call out during Council’s discussions on any item.

·       There were no planned fire drills so if the alarm did sound, evacuation instructions given by officers should be followed. 

·       To all meeting attendees, to ensure mobile phones were switched off or on silent.

 

Former Councillor Sandra Rhodes

The Chairman referred to the resignation of Sandra Rhodes as a councillor for the Kidlington West ward the previous month due to ill health. On behalf of Council, the Chairman extended thanks to former Councillor Rhodes for her 4 and a half years’ service as a district councillor and wish all her the best focussing on her health.

 

Chairman’s Engagements

A copy of the events attended by the Chairman or the Vice-Chairman had been included in your agenda pack.

 

Post

The Chairman reminded Members to collect any post from pigeon holes.

39.

Thames Valley Police - Address by Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable pdf icon PDF 861 KB

The Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, Matthew Barber, and the Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police, John Campbell, will be invited to address Council.

 

Members will then have an opportunity to ask questions of the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman invited the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, Matthew Barber, and Chief Constable John Campbell, Thames Valley Police, to address the meeting regarding policing in Thames Valley.

 

Following the presentation, a number of Members asked questions and answers were duly provided by the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, the Chief Constable and the LPA Commander for Cherwell, Superintendent Mark Johns.

 

The Chairman thanked the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, the Chief Constable and LPA Commander for their attendance.

 

40.

Petitions and Requests to Address the Meeting pdf icon PDF 123 KB

The Chairman to report on any requests to submit petitions or to address the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman advised the meeting that there were no petitions but that there were two requests to address the meeting on agenda item 10, motions. Each speaker would be able to speak for up to 5 minutes and would be called to address the meeting prior to the start of the motion of the Oxcam Expressway.

 

41.

Urgent Business

The Chairman to advise whether they have agreed to any item of urgent business being admitted to the agenda.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

42.

Minutes of Council pdf icon PDF 120 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of Council held on 21 October 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Broad proposed an amendment to minute 26, Declarations of Interest, which was not seconded or supported by Council.

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 21 October 2019 were subsequently agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

43.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 406 KB

a)         Minutes of Executive, Lead Member Decisions and Executive Decisions not included in the 28 day notice

 

The Leader of the Council to formally propose that the minutes of the meetings of the Executive and Lead Member Decisions as set out in the Minute Book (circulated separately) be received and to report that since the last meeting of Council held on 21 October 2019 no decisions have been taken by the Executive which were not included in the 28 day notice.

 

b)         Minutes of Committees

 

The Leader of the Council to formally propose that the minutes of committees as set out in the Minute Book (circulated separately) be received.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

a)              Minutes of the Executive, Lead Member Decisions and Executive Decisions made under Special Urgency

 

Resolved

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Executive and Lead Member decisions as set out in the Minute Book be received and that it be noted that since the last meeting of Council on 21 October 2019 no decisions had been taken by the Executive which were not included in the 28 day notice.

 

b)              Minutes of Committees

 

Resolved

 

That the minutes of Committees as set out in the Minute Book be received.

 

 

44.

Questions pdf icon PDF 117 KB

a)         Written Questions

 

            To receive any written questions and answers which have been submitted with advance notice in accordance with the Constitution.

 

            At the time of agenda publication (6 December 2019) one written question had been received.

 

A written response to the question will be circulated at the meeting. The Member who has received the written reply will be able to ask a supplementary question providing it is relevant to the reply and does not introduce new information.The Member to whom the question was addressed may reply to such supplementary question or may undertake to reply in writing.

 

b)         Questions to the Leader of the Council

 

The Chairman to invite questions to the Leader of the Council (including any matters arising from the minutes).

 

Following a response to their question being provided Members will be entitled to a follow up or supplementary question.

 

c)         Questions to Committee Chairmen on the Minutes

 

The Chairman to invite questions to Chairmen of Committees on any matter arising from the minutes of their committee (if any).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

a) Written Questions

 

The Chairman advised Council that three written questions had been submitted with advance notice in accordance with the Constitution, one had been published with the agenda and two as supplements to the agenda.

 

The first question was from Councillor Cherry and addressed to the Leader of the Council, Councillor Wood, and was in relation to Brackley Arcade, Bretch Hill. A written answer had been tabled at the meeting (annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book).

 

Councillor Cherry thanked the Leader for the response to the question and confirmed he did not have a supplementary question.

 

The second question was from Councillor Copeland and addressed to the Leader of the Council, Councillor Wood, and was in relation to the communication with MHCLG, ministers or the Secretary of State regarding the holding decision applicable to South Oxfordshire District Council. A written answer had been tabled at the meeting (annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book). By way of a supplementary question, Councillor Copeland asked the Leader if he was concerned by the Government meddling in local government. Councillor Wood responded no to the supplementary question.

 

The third question was from Councillor Middleton and addressed to the Leader of the Council, Councillor Wood, and was in relation to the Oxfordshire Pension Fund motion he had submitted to the July 2019 Council meeting. A written answer had been tabled at the meeting (annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book). By way of a supplementary question, Councillor Middleton asked for reference to supporting arguments. In response to the supplementary question, Councillor Wood advised he had nothing to add to the tabled written response.

 

b) Questions to the Leader of the Council

 

Questions were asked and answers received on the following issues:

 

Councillor Gaul: Bicester East Community Association and replacement project

Councillor Macnamara: General Election and Brexit

Councillor Billington: Bollard in Kidlington

Councillor Billington: Local Government grants following the General Election

Councillor Dhesi: Accidents on footpaths with different ownership by either Oxfordshire County Council or Cherwell District Council

Councillor Dhesi: Cars parking on grass verges

Councillor Richards: Progress on register of private landlords

Councillor Woodcock: General Elections

 

c) Questions to Committee Chairmen on the Minutes

 

There were no questions to Committee Chairman on the minutes of meetings.

 

45.

Motions pdf icon PDF 143 KB

To debate the following motion which has been submitted with advance notice, in accordance with the constitution.

 

Proposer

Topic

Councillor Sean Woodcock

Oxford to Cambridge Expressway

 

 

(For information: The Constitution sets out that no Motion to rescind or vary an agreed Motion can be considered within a 6 month period unless signatures or email from a recognised source from 8 councillors is received. The Director Law and Governance / Monitoring Officer has received 8 signatures and therefore confirms that the motion is valid.)

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

For information: on being put to the vote, the motion was lost and subsequently fell

Minutes:

a)    Oxcam Expressway

 

The Chairman advised that one motion had been submitted. The Chairman invited those people who had registered to address Council on the motion to speak prior to Council’s consideration of the motion. Council heard from the following public speakers:

 

Professor David Rogers, local resident

Linda Newberry, local resident

 

It was moved by Councillor Woodcock and seconded by Councillor Dhesi that the following motion be adopted:

 

"Council notes the continued uncertainty faced by communities in Cherwell the proposed corridor for the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway.


This Council regrets this opaque process - with the decision made by Highways England – with little input from local people.


This council remains wholly unclear what the final route will be, let alone how the Expressway might help reduce the congestion on local roads including junction 9 of the M40.


This council believes that interface between the proposed Expressway and the new East-West Rail is also key. We welcome the commitment to plan for and invest in major infrastructure to support housing and economic growth in Oxfordshire, but we want to see the development of integrated transport systems and the prioritisation of clean, green and public transport.


These principles need to be central in determining the final detailed route. However, this Council remains concerned at the environmental damage proposed by this Expressway for obscure economic gain. In light of the Council's recently declared Climate Emergency, therefore, this council retains a sceptical Outlook on the endeavour as a whole.


This council demands at a minimum that any proposals are up for meaningful public consultation conducted by Highways England.


In addition, the Leader of council should not endorse any proposals for an Expressway given this council's concerns over the lack of clarity and environmental impact without further reference to council.


Throughout must be emphasised that any proposal which goes ahead should not contradict the council's commitment to the environment. There also needs to be integration with public transport.


Council regrets the lack of clarity from government on its proposals which contributes to considerable uncertainty both about how the Expressway is intended to deliver benefit, and about the possible impact on homes, lives, the environment, amenities and facilities especially in our area.


In particular, Council notes with regret that:


1. It is unclear what the word “Expressway” means in this context

2. Insufficient work has been done on the potential of enhanced rail links to deliver better outcomes for passengers, freight, and sustainable economic growth

3. Actual and proposed consultation is inadequate


4. It is unclear which of a range of possible justifications for the Expressway, which potentially contradict each other, are being used, including:


a) A ‘strategic route’ to carry freight traffic from the west and south to the east.

b) A route to make commuting between Oxford / Milton Keynes / Bedford / Cambridge easier and quicker.


c) A road that will enable significant housing growth of 1,000,000 extra houses along its length.


d) Relieving traffic.

 

Council therefore resolves to oppose the Expressway  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.

46.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme and Council Tax Discounts 2020-2021 pdf icon PDF 115 KB

Report of the Executive Director Finance (Interim)

 

Purpose of report

 

To seek approval for a Council Tax Reduction Scheme for the year 2020-2021 on the recommendation of Budget Planning Committee and Executive.

 

To provide members with an update on Council Tax discounts and to seek approval for the Council Tax discounts for 2020-2021.

 

Recommendations

 

The meeting is recommended:

 

1.1         To approve a Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS) for the year 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 as set out in the report and to implement the scheme with effect from 1 April 2020.

 

1.2         To grant delegated authority to the Section 151 Officer to make amendments to the Council Tax Regulations up to and including 31 January 2020 for pensioners in line with uprating announced by MHCLG and to amend the Working Age Regulations in line with the new income banded scheme and the uprating announced by MHCLG. 

 

1.3         To review the proposed level of Council Tax discounts and premiums for 2020-2021 and to approve the following:

 

·         Retain the discount for second homes at zero.

·         Retain the discount for empty homes (unoccupied and substantially unfurnished) at 25% for 6 months and thereafter at zero.

·         Retain the discount for empty homes undergoing major repair at 25% for 12 months and thereafter at zero.

·         Retain the empty homes premium of an additional 100% for properties that have remained empty for more than 2 years. 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)          That Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS) for the year 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 of a new banded income CTRS for those of working age (as set out in the annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be approved and implemented with effect from 1 April 2020.

 

(2)          That delegated be granted authority to the Section 151 Officer to make amendments to the Council Tax Regulations up to and including 31 January 2020 for pensioners in line with uprating announced by Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and to amend the Working Age Regulations in line with the new income banded scheme and the uprating announced by MHCLG. 

 

(3)          That, having given due consideration, the following level of Council Tax discounts and premiums for 2020-2021 and to approve the following:

 

·         Retain the discount for second homes at zero.

·         Retain the discount for empty homes (unoccupied and substantially unfurnished) at 25% for 6 months and thereafter at zero.

·         Retain the discount for empty homes undergoing major repair at 25% for 12 months and thereafter at zero.

·         Retain the empty homes premium of an additional 100% for properties that have remained empty for more than 2 years. 

 

Minutes:

The Executive Director Finance (Interim) submitted a report which sought approval for a Council Tax Reduction Scheme for the year 2020-2021 on the recommendation of Budget Planning Committee and Executive.

 

The report also provided members with an update on Council Tax discounts and sought approval for the Council Tax discounts for 2020-2021.

 

Resolved

 

(1)            That Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS) for the year 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 of a new banded income CTRS for those of working age (as set out in the annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be approved and implemented with effect from 1 April 2020.

 

(2)            That delegated be granted authority to the Section 151 Officer to make amendments to the Council Tax Regulations up to and including 31 January 2020 for pensioners in line with uprating announced by Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and to amend the Working Age Regulations in line with the new income banded scheme and the uprating announced by MHCLG. 

 

(3)            That, having given due consideration, the following level of Council Tax discounts and premiums for 2020-2021 and to approve the following:

 

·       Retain the discount for second homes at zero.

·       Retain the discount for empty homes (unoccupied and substantially unfurnished) at 25% for 6 months and thereafter at zero.

·       Retain the discount for empty homes undergoing major repair at 25% for 12 months and thereafter at zero.

·       Retain the empty homes premium of an additional 100% for properties that have remained empty for more than 2 years. 

 

47.

Constitutional Changes pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Report of Director Law and Governance

 

Purpose of report

 

To consider proposals for changes to the Constitution for dealing with motions and written questions at Full Council and to the terms of reference of the Appeals Panel. 

 

Recommendations

            

The meeting is recommended:

 

 1.1        To adopt the proposals to amend the Constitution as outlined in the report.

 

1.2         To delegate authority to the Director Law and Governance to amend the Constitution to reflect these changes.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)          That the amendments to the Constitution as outlined in the annex to the Minutes (as set out in the Minute Book) be approved.  

 

(2)          That authority be delegated to the Director Law and Governance to amend the Constitution to reflect these changes.

 

Minutes:

The Director Law and Governance submitted a report which sought consideration of proposals for changes to the Constitution for dealing with motions and written questions at Full Council and to the terms of reference of the Appeals Panel. 

 

Councillor Copeland proposed six amendments, which were duly seconded by  Councillor Woodcock.

 

Recommended Change

Proposed Amendment

 

Section 3.1

 

(c)   At the moment there is little guidance in the Constitution with regard to the nature of Motions. The Constitution should be amended so that it states Motions should also not be vexatious, frivolous and must be factually accurate to align with the standard wording in many constitutions at other local authorities.

 

 

Amendment 1

 

Replace section 3.1(c) with the following:

 

(c) At the moment there is little guidance in the Constitution with regard to the nature of Motions. The Constitution should be amended so that it states Motions should also not be unlawful, defamatory and must be factually accurate to align with the standard wording in many constitutions at other local authorities in Oxfordshire. Where a motion is refused on these grounds it will be returned to the councillor who submitted it along with an explanation in writing about why it cannot be published in its current form.

 

 

Section 3.1

 

(d)  A word limit of 250 words be applied to motions.

 

 

Amendment 2

 

Replace section 3.1(d) with the following:

 

(d) A word limit of 650 words be applied to motions.

 

 

N/A

 

Amendment 3

 

The following should be inserted at Section 3.1:

 

(e) Points of reference to support a motion should be allowed where required and these should be excluded from the word count.  This should be in the form of a clickable link to be included in the online version of the agenda and/or a footnote list of references cited in the motion. 

 

 

Section 3.3

 

It is proposed that amendments should be received by 12 noon on the second working day before the Council meeting to enable them to be reviewed. Amendments will then be published on the afternoon of the working day before the meeting. In practice this is likely to be a Friday afternoon. Amendments will continue to be considered in the order submitted.

 

 

Amendment 4

 

Delete section 3.3 in its entirety

 

Section 3.4

 

Any amendment must not take the original motion over 250 words and not amount to a direct negative or nullify the original Motion.

 

 

 

 

 

Amendment 5

 

Replace section 3.4 with the following:

 

Any amendment must not take the original motion over 1000 words and not amount to a direct negative or nullify the original Motion.

 

 

Section 3.6

 

It is proposed to change the deadline for the receipt of written questions to noon on the eighth working day before Council (to align it with the receipt of Motions and enable written questions to be published with the agenda). A written response would be published on the afternoon of the working day before the meeting. 

 

 

Amendment 6

 

Delete section 3.6 in its entirety

 

Council debated the proposed amendments.

 

In the course  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.

48.

Notification of Decision Taken Under Urgency Powers Crown House Update pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Report of Chief Executive

 

Purpose of report

 

To inform the Council of a decision taken under urgency powers by the Chief Executive.

 

Recommendations

            

The meeting is recommended:

 

 1.1        To note the decision taken under urgency powers by the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader of the Council, in lieu of a recommendation to Council, to provide additional funding of £0.5m to support the final completion of the apartments at Crown House. 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)          That the decision taken under urgency powers by the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader of the Council, in lieu of a recommendation to Council, to provide additional funding of £0.5m to support the final completion of the apartments at Crown House be noted. 

Minutes:

The Chief Executive submitted a report to inform the Council of a decision taken she had taken under urgency powers in relation to Crown House.

 

Resolved

 

(1)            That the decision taken under urgency powers by the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader of the Council, in lieu of a recommendation to Council, to provide additional funding of £0.5m to support the final completion of the apartments at Crown House be noted. 

49.

Polling District and Polling Places Review 2019 pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Report of Returning Officer

 

Purpose of report

 

To agree the recommendations of the council’s Polling District and Polling Place Review 2019. 

 

Recommendations

            

The meeting is recommended:

 

 1.1        To agree the recommendations for Polling Districts and Polling Places within Cherwell as set out at Appendix 1.

 

1.2         To note that the Constitution gives delegated to the Returning OfficerTo amend the Council’s Polling Districts and Polling Places Order as necessary”.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)          That the recommendations for Polling Districts and Polling Places within Cherwell as set out in the annex to the Minutes (as set out in the Minute Book) be agreed.

 

(2)          That it be noted that the Constitution gives delegated to the Returning OfficerTo amend the Council’s Polling Districts and Polling Places Order as necessary”.

 

Minutes:

The Returning Officer submitted a report which sought agreement of the  recommendations of the council’s Polling District and Polling Place Review 2019. 

 

Resolved

 

(1)            That the recommendations for Polling Districts and Polling Places within Cherwell as set out in the annex to the Minutes (as set out in the Minute Book) be agreed.

 

(2)            That it be noted that the Constitution gives delegated to the Returning OfficerTo amend the Council’s Polling Districts and Polling Places Order as necessary”.

 

50.

Amendments to Committee Membership

The resignation of Councillor Sandra Rhodes has not amended the Council’s proportionality calculations.

 

The Leader of the Conservative Group, Councillor Wood, will advise Council of the Conservative Group members to be appointed to the committee vacancies on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Personnel Committee, which have arisen as a result of the resignation.  

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)          That the following Conservative Group appointments to Committees be noted:

 

Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Add: Councillor Douglas Webb

 

Personnel Committee

Add: Councillor Simon Holland

 

Appeals Panel

Remove: Councillor Simon Holland

Minutes:

The Chairman advised Council that the resignation of Councillor Sandra Rhodes had not amended the Council’s proportionality calculations.

 

The Chairman invited the Leader of the Conservative Group, Councillor Wood, to advise Council of the Conservative Group members to be appointed to the committee vacancies on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Personnel Committee, which had arisen as a result of the resignation. 

 

Resolved

 

(1)            That the following Conservative Group appointments to / removal from Committees be noted:

 

Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Add: Councillor Douglas Webb

 

Personnel Committee

Add: Councillor Simon Holland

 

Appeals Panel

Remove: Councillor Simon Holland