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Approved council motions 2023/24

Council meeting Wednesday 21 February 2024

Proposer: Councillor Smith, in the absence of Councillor Fawcett Seconder: Councillor Foxhall

Lead officer: Deputy Chief Executive – Partnerships

Council resolves to:

  1. Ask the Leader to write to the Chair and Chief Executive of Ofwat and to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, setting out this council’s opposition to the proposed Thames Water price hike.
  2. Ask officers to consider submitting an Environmental Information Request regarding Thames Water’s plans for AMP8 across Vale of White Horse, and to consider our own priorities in the light of their response. To send a copy of this letter to the MPs for Oxford West & Abingdon and Wantage constituencies.

Update: Submitted to lead officers

Council meeting Wednesday 13 December 2023

Proposer: Councillor James Seconder: Councillor Foxhall

Lead officer: Head of Policy & Programmes

Council resolves to:

  1. Ask Cabinet to ensure that addressing the climate and ecological emergencies and nature recovery remain strategic priorities for planning policies and design guides for new development through proposals in the Joint Local Plan (JLP), whilst seeking to support the principle of increasing equality of access for people to natural, green spaces. 
  2. Ask Cabinet to consider proposing that nature recovery has equal priority with climate change as headline themes for the Vale of White Horse District Council Corporate Plan, 2024 – 2028. 
  3. Ask Cabinet to consider extending the remit of CEAC to support Cabinet in addressing the twin priorities of Climate Change and Nature Recovery. 
  4. Ask Cabinet to consider support for a higher than nationally set level of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) through the JLP and work with partners to support effective local use of any BNG offsetting arising from development in the Vale of White Horse. 
  5. Ask cabinet to consider and propose measurable targets and standards for biodiversity increase within our own Council’s operations and land holdings, in the area managed for nature and in species diversity, seeking also to increase community engagement. 
  6. Support the work of the Cabinet Member for Climate Action and the Environment in engaging with partners and local charities and environmental organisations in supporting nature recovery and in opposing damage, such as that caused by sewage spills and other pollution incidents that damage nature in our district. 
  7. Work pro-actively with partners to develop and to support the production of a Local Nature Recovery Strategy for Oxfordshire. 
  8. Look for opportunities to extend partnership with local charities and environmental organisations to deliver nature recovery in Vale of White Horse. 
  9. Seek to identify further habitat bank sites to build on the success of the Duxford Old River project and support new opportunities for landowners to diversify their income streams and deliver nature recovery. 
  10. Ask Cabinet to consider the Council becoming a responsible body for Conservation Covenants as a possible route to securing biodiversity net gain. 
  11. Where relevant, continue to include advocating for nature and ecological diversity in our responses as consultee to major infrastructure projects. 
  12. Ask officers to continue to ensure that climate action and ecological initiatives are embedded within all council work areas.

Update: Submitted to lead officers

Council meeting Wednesday 13 December 2023

Proposer: Councillor Clegg Seconder: Councillor Cooke

Lead officer: Deputy Chief Executive – Partnerships

Council resolves to:

  1. Request a meeting with the current Secretary of State on a non-partisan basis, with invitations to: the Members of Parliament for Oxford West and Abingdon and for Wantage and Didcot; the Group Against Reservoir Development (GARD); the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE); the leaders of the groups represented in this chamber; and the County Councillors in the proposed zone of development and fall out. Said meeting to discuss the existing concerns that have not yet been addressed and the overall options for governance of the system. 
  2. Firmly request and campaign for the RAPID evaluation of SESRO to be paused until the flaws in the underlying data already highlighted by this council to OFWAT and Thames Water are resolved. 
  3. Request the Chief Executive to establish a Water Resource Officer-Member Liaison Group. 
  4. Call for the creation of a single, publicly owned national water supply provider.

Update: Letter sent to the Secretary of State covering points 1, 2 and 4. The letter can be viewed here

Council meeting Wednesday 11 October 2023

Proposer: Councillor Edwards Seconder: Councillor Cox

Lead officer: Head of Policy & Programmes, Head of Development & Corporate Landlord

Council resolves to:

  1. Work with local charities and community groups with the aim of making period products freely available in the Beacon, Abbey House and other buildings we own or operate, and to provide information at those locations on the options residents have available to them when accessing period products, including sustainable reusable options. 
  2. Encourage those in control of other public buildings in the district, such as GLL and the County Council, to consider doing the same. 
  3. Ask the Leader to write to the relevant Minister requesting them to introduce a legal right for people in England to access a choice of free period products, provide public health funding to help upper tier local authorities provide menstrual products in the public facing buildings under their control, and to give further consideration to how free period products can be made available to all those who might face barriers to accessing them. 

Update: Submitted to lead officers

Council meeting Wednesday 11 October 2023

Proposer: Councillor Foxhall Seconder: Councillor Crawford

Lead officer: Chief Executive and People & Culture Manager

Council resolves to ask:

  1. The Chief Executive to continue to engage with Unison, as the Council’s recognised trade union, to ensure that this position is maintained going forward in respect of all employees.
  2. The Chief Executive to prepare a report for Cabinet, outlining the steps that are required for our Council to secure accreditation as a Real Living Wage accredited employer.
  3. The Chief Executive to include, within this report, proposals to implement a requirement on all future contracted providers to pay at least the Real Living Wage to all their staff throughout the duration of the contract, identifying any likely costs associated with this.
  4. Cabinet to consider the report when prepared and, should its recommendations be approved by both South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse, authorise the Chief Executive to work with colleagues to implement its recommendations as soon as practicable.
  5. The Chief Executive to bring to the attention of all existing third parties who currently provide services directly on behalf of the Council, our view that all employers should, as a minimum, pay the Real Living Wage to their staff and seek an update on their companies’ position in relation to this matter.
  6. The Chief Executive to update Council on progress towards its Accreditation as a Real Living Wage Employer when the next Annual Pay Policy Statement is brought before it.

Update: Initial contact made with Living Wage foundation- awaiting response to arrange a meeting to discuss next steps to achieving accreditation.

Council meeting Wednesday 12 July 2023

Proposer: Councillor Batstone Seconder: Councillor Cooke

Lead officer: Head of Policy & Programmes

Council resolves to:

  1. Ask the Leader to write to Thames Water and request the full extent of Thames Water’s plans to upgrade sewage treatment works in the Vale over the next five, ten and fifteen years.
  2. Consider options, as part of the development of the Joint Local Plan, to ensure that adequate sewerage capacity is in place to avoid the discharge of raw sewage into rivers and watercourses before new homes are occupied and whether this can be made a condition of any planning consent.
  3. Request that District Council planning officers include in all reports relating to major development a section that outlines the potential effects a development may have on sewage outflow into watercourses, or to note if such information has not been made available to the Council by the developer.     
  4. Ask the Scrutiny Committee to consider this issue and seek to identify ways to hold Thames Water Limited to account for their infrastructure maintenance, development, progress, leak and progress against their Management Plan and planning responses.
  5. Ask the Leader of the Council to continue to meet with and urge Thames Water to improve their performance.
  6. Ask the Leader of the Council to write to local MPs to support national legislation to significantly speed up investment in sewerage capacity and to hold water companies to account when they fail.
  7. Invite the newly appointed Nature Recovery Champion to work with officers to understand how the council monitors local sewage discharges and related data and report on it regularly to the Leader.

Update: Submitted to lead officers.

Council meeting Wednesday 12 July 2023

Proposer: Councillor Cox Seconder: Councillor Raynor

Lead officer: Head of Policy & Programmes

Council resolves to:

  1. Join the Zero Suicide Alliance network.
  2. Promote existing safeguarding and suicide prevention training and resources to all council workers and signpost to the council’s wellbeing pages and Mental Health First Aiders. 
  3. Include appropriate signposting to suicide prevention and/or mental health support in cost-of-living material, on the online community hub, and in arrears letters. 
  4. For the Council Leader to write to local MPs informing them of the situation and asking them to lobby for the implementation of a national suicide prevention strategy.

Update: Submitted to lead officers