Agenda and draft minutes

Council
Wednesday, 8th September, 2021 6.10 pm

Venue: Queen Elizabeth Hall, Civic Centre, Oldham, West Street, Oldham, OL1 1NL

Contact: Liz Drogan 

Items
No. Item

1.

To receive apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Ahmad, Briggs, Hindle, A Hussain, F Hussain and Leach.

2.

To order that the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 14th July 2021, 28th July 2021 and 25th August 2021 be signed as a correct record pdf icon PDF 655 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the Council meetings held on 14th July 28th July and 25th August 2021 be approved as correct records, subject to Item 3 of the minutes of the meeting held on 14th July being amended to show Councillor Birch declared a personal interest in Item 10, by virtue of being a Member of the Greater Manchester Pension Scheme, and not in Item 8D.

3.

To receive declarations of interest in any matter to be determined at the meeting

Minutes:

Councillor Garry declared a pecuniary interest at Item 9d by virtue of her husband’s employment with Greater Manchester Police.

Councillor Chris Gloster declared a personal interest at Item 9d by virtue of his receipt of an occupational pension from Greater Manchester Police.

Councillor Hazel Gloster declared a personal interest at Item 9d by virtue of her husband’s receipt of an occupational pension from Greater Manchester Police.

Councillor Garry declared a pecuniary interest in Item 10 Motion 2 Safer Communities: Tackling crime and anti-social behaviour and Item 11 Motion 4 Government funding for our overlooked emergency services.

Councillor Hamblett declared a personal interest at Item 9d in relation to MioCare, by virtue of being a Council nominee on the Board.

Councillor Chauhan declared a personal interest at Item 9d in relation to MioCare by virtue of being a Council nominee on the Board.

4.

To deal with matters which the Mayor considers to be urgent business

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

5.

To receive communications relating to the business of the Council

Minutes:

There were no communications.

6.

Council Procedure Rules pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Shah MOVED and Councillor Sykes SECONDED a report of the Director of Legal Services which asked the Council to consider an amendment to the Council Procedure Rules relating to opposition business motions at Council, as there were two main opposition groups with the same number of members.

 

RESOLVED that paragraph 2.13(j) of the Council Procedure Rules be amended to state:-

“Where two main opposition groups have the same number of members, a motion submitted by one of those groups will be considered first, then a motion submitted by the other main opposition group (alternating in order at

subsequent meetings) and then, if there is sufficient time within this section of

business, a motion submitted by any other group. If a motion is not submitted by any other group and if time permits, a motion will be first considered from the main opposition group who had the right under this paragraph for their motion to be considered first at the meeting and then a motion from the other main opposition group”.

 

 

 

7.

Youth Council

(time limit 20 minutes)

 

There is no Youth Council business to consider.

Minutes:

There were no items submitted by the Youth Council.

8.

To receive and note petitions received relating to the business of the Council

(time limit 20 minutes)

 

There were no petitions received.

Minutes:

There were no petitions received to be noted.

9.

Questions Time

9a

Public Questions

(time limit 15 Minutes)

Minutes:

The Mayor advised the meeting that the next item on the agenda was Public Question Time.  The questions had been received from members of the public and would be taken in the order in which they had been received.  Council was advised that if the questioner was not present, then the question would be read out by the Mayor.

 

The following questions were submitted:

1.    Question received from Nye Goodwin:

Could the relevant cabinet member please update the residents of Oldham on the future of the Tommyfield Market Hall and of any plans of moving the indoor market into Spindles or Town Square?

 

Councillor Akhtar, Cabinet Member for Employment and Enterprise, responded that the Council was committed to ensuring the future of Tommyfield Market and was working hard to progress and accelerate the plans for a new market in the Shopping Centre.

As many were aware, initial designs for the new market were shared just over a month ago.

These showed the new market being located in the Town Square side of the Shopping Centre - occupying the former TJ Hughes unit and additional space around it which would be completely redeveloped.

On the upper level, accessed directly from the mall, there would be a general market with dedicated fresh produce areas.

On the lower level, that fronted onto Parliament Square, there would be an area dedicated to supporting existing food retailers and traders with a food court area.

The Council continued to work closely with market traders listening to their ideas about stall security, importance of enhanced footfall, access to the bus station and tram stops and continued to gather feedback from them on the initial designs. The Council was delighted that they liked them and could really see the project coming to life now.

There would be wider consultation with members of the public soon as part of the commitment to meaningful engagement with our communities – this feedback would help share updates on the initial designs for both the new market as well as an events venue, workspace, and archives hub, which were also being developed in the Shopping Centre.

This feedback was important as work moved to the next phase in developing more detailed designs, ahead of a planning application being submitted later in the year.

The new market had received a boost over the summer when it was awarded £6.1million from the Town Deal Fund.

 

2.    Question received from Robert Barnes

Will the Council Leader stand up for the workers of the Elbit factory who have the right to work in a safe and secure environment without fear of violence and intimidation.

 

Given that Oldham produced the likes of Sir Winston Churchill as its MP, does the Council Leader want to keep the Elbit factory open or closed?

 

Councillor Shah, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economic and Social Reform replied that everyone had the right to work in a safe and secure environment. Violence and intimidation was not acceptable inside or outside  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9a

9b

Questions to Leader and Cabinet

(time limit 30 minutes)

Minutes:

Councillor Sheldon, Leader of the Conservative Group:

 

A question to Councillor Shah

“After speaking to Group members recently, I am not alone with some concerns. Requests to various departments are met in, sometimes, a less than positive way. Often the replies are excuses, often late and sometimes no reply is given. I must aver that other Council staff are very helpful.

Three examples:-

I reported a blocked grid near a lady’s house and she is fearful to go out when it rains because of flood water entering her property. The message I got back was the grids are cleaned once a year. That simply is not good enough.

I disagreed with Highways on another scheme and the reply I got from Highways was that they did not like the tone of my email.

Another one is a drainage ditch in Uppermill. I have reported that for two years and we have had a team out, we are having an evaluation survey, and the resident rings me every month to ask what is going on with this.

Please could I ask you to intervene by informing all Council staff that we councillors are elected by our residents to serve their needs. We do not insist, or disagree, or challenge staff decisions unless we believe it is for the best way forward for the Borough, to gain positive results. Thank you”

 

Councillor Shah, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economic and Social Reform responded with thanks for the question. Whilst she did not know and could not point to the specific examples raised, it was absolutely not acceptable. She felt she had been very clear that this was a resident-focussed Council. She had shared her priorities with the new Chief Executive, who shared her desire to ensure that everything the Council did had residents at the heart of it. She could only apologise at this point and say she would take the matter forward and she was sure the Chief Executive would too.

 

A further question to Councillor Shah

“Veterans and other members of the armed forces community are much-values citizens of our Borough and I am sure all Councillors would agree that Oldham Council ought to protect and advance their interests. Does the Council have any plans to select a successor to Cath Ball, as the elected Member Champion for armed forces issues? Also, does the Council have plans in place to improve its Defence Employer Scheme certification and fully fulfil the Forces Friendly employment practices?”

 

Councillor Shah, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economic and Social Reform, replied yes to all of those and Members would be notified of the new Champion in due course.

 

Councillor Sykes, Leader of the Liberal Democratic Group:

 

Question 1 - What is the future for the Tower block and civic centre building

 

“My first question tonight relates to the future of the Council’s estate and climate change.

Many employees across the private and public sectors have been working from home  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9b

9c

Questions on Cabinet Minutes pdf icon PDF 228 KB

(time limit 15 minutes)

 

21St June 2021

26th July 2021

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council was requested to note the minutes of the Cabinet meetings held on the undermentioned dates and to receive any questions on any items within the minutes from members of the Council who were not members of the Cabinet, and receive responses from Cabinet members. The minutes of the Cabinet meetings held on 21st June 2021 and 26th July 2021 were submitted.

 

Members raised the following questions:-

 

“I understand from the approved budget reductions and deliverability report for 21/22, that the Councils £9M spending cuts for this year are forecast to miss their target by £1.3 million. Can the Cabinet Member tell us which services are to be cut to make up the difference, and how this will affect their future performance?

 

Councillor Jabbar, Cabinet Member for Finance and Low Carbon replied that at this point in the financial year, the projection was that that £1.3m of the savings were off track and would not be delivered.  However, there was just over 6 months remaining in the financial year. Therefore, work was taking place with the Community Health and Adult Social Care Directorate with regard to a recovery plan so that the shortfall was reduced by the year end.  The intention was that any shortfall in the savings will be made good by the Directorate and work was taking place to identify offsetting reductions in expenditure or increases in income. Until the recovery plan had been agreed, it was not possible to determine any specific impacts.

 

Councillor Hamblett asked the following question in relation to Item 8 – Special Education Needs (Sen) Travel Assistance Service - Contract Extension

“With regards to the contract extension, what consideration did the Cabinet Member give to whether tendering companies were based locally and / or employed people locally, and did that consideration result in contracts being awarded to local businesses?”

 

Councillor Mushtaq, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills responded that, with regards to the contract extension:

·         A dynamic purchasing system was used for procuring routes which was accessed via the Chest. Both a quality assurance score and price check were used to ensure that operators offered value for money for the local authority. Contractors were awarded routes via this process. Routes could change daily due to availability of personal assistants, change of school, change of home address and change of composition of group pick-ups.

·         In accordance with the Council’s Procurement regulations and European Legislation, Oldham Council put out to tender routes for home to school transport for children and young people.

·         Bidders were requested to review and complete the following documents:

o   Standard Questionnaire

o   Mini Competition

·         The standard questionnaire looked to assess the quality aspect of bidders and their eligibility to perform the services.

·         All tender submissions had been done via the Chest and evaluated by both Procurement and Transport.

·         Routes were awarded to the lowest bidder,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9c

9d

Questions on Joint Arrangements pdf icon PDF 511 KB

(time limit 15 minutes)

 

GM Health and Social Care Partnership

28th May 2021  

MIOCARE

15TH April 2021

GMCA

26TH March 2021

28th May 2021

GM Transport Committee

18th June 2021  

GMCA Waste and Recycling Committee

21st April 2021

Police, Fire and Crime Panel

14th May 2021

National Park Authority

21st May 2021

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council was asked to note the minutes of the following Joint Authority and Partnership meetings and the relevant spokespersons to respond to questions from Members.

 

The minutes of the Joint Authorities and Partnerships were submitted as follows:

 

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

27th November 2020

18th December 2020

29th January 2021

Greater Manchester Transport Committee

11th December 2020

Commissioning Partnership Board

22nd October 2020

28th January 2021

GM Police, Fire and Crime Panel

16th November 2020

Health and Wellbeing Board

10th November 2020

AGMA

11th December 2020

Greater Manchester Waste and

Recycling Committee

14th October 2020

Miocare

22nd October 2020

National Park Authority

13th November 2020

 

Members raised the following questions:

 

1.    Councillor Murphy asked in relation to Page 4 GMCA56/21 Equality Panels

“I note from the minutes that a budget of £50,000 has been allocated to each of the seven equality panels established by the GMCA in the current financial year.  £350,000 in total. 

Whilst I recognise the need for, and support, the GMCA’s objective of identifying and addressing inequalities within the city region, this seems an awful lot of money just to facilitate seven panels.

Can the Leader please explain what this money is going to be spent on?”

 

Councillor Shah, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economic and Social Reform responded that the Equality Panels helped tackle the structural and organisational prejudice and discrimination that caused inequality and injustice in society, through the advancement of equity and fairness in decisions, policies and services across all sectors and communities.  

She could not do justice here to the huge amount of work the Panels did, but it varied from a nationally leading survey of disabled people, to shaping strategies to prevent violence against women and girls in GM.

The funding was used to enable the work, to provide officers from the GMCA and voluntary organisations to support the Panels, and to work with panellists to develop their skills.

She would strongly encourage Councillor Murphy to read the paper that was coming to the GMCA on Friday 10th September, which set out in detail all the amazing work the panels did.

 

2.    Councillor H Gloster asked in relation to Page 7 GMCA20/61 Covid-19 Contingency Support Measures for GM Work and Skills Programme

“Oldham regrettably now has unemployment levels that are the highest in Greater Manchester and twice the national average. Unemployment here has been persistently high for many years, particularly in our inner area wards and amongst our young people. Our skills base is low so our economic recovery from COVID-19 is likely to be slow and uncertain.

Can the Leader please explain what financial and other specialist help this Borough will be receiving from GMCA through these measures as Oldham is surely the Greater Manchester borough most in need of support?”

 

Councillor Shah, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economic and Social Reform responded that the Covid-19 Contingency Support Measures for GM Work and Skills Programme was a timebound relaxation of contracts (April 2020 until  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9d

10.

Notice of Administration Business

(time limit 30 minutes)

 

Motion 1

 

Councillor Jabbar to MOVE and Councillor Roberts to SECOND the motion:

#keepthelifeline

This Council notes the devastating effect the Coronavirus pandemic has had on many of Oldham’s communities, laying bare the inequalities opened up by austerity policies imposed by successive Coalition and Conservative Governments.

This Council further notes that despite the introduction of the National Living Wage and record employment, poverty amongst workers and children was rising before the pandemic. The cuts and freezes in social security played a significant part in this.

This Council is concerned that policies put in place to protect the most vulnerable during the pandemic are being wound down and in particular that furlough is due to end on the 30 September 2021 – the National Institute for Economic and Social research estimates 150,000 additional people will lose their jobs across the UK.

In addition, the Conservative Government has so far refused to continue the £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit– unfairly never paid to those receiving legacy benefits. The removal of the uplift will amount to a loss of benefit income of £1,040 per year from early October and will have the most severe impact in the North of England, Wales, the West Midlands and Northern Ireland. The Government has also re-instated the minimum income floor for self-employed earners claiming Universal Credit.

The ability of those on low incomes to pay their housing costs will be impacted by these changes at a time when the evictions ban has ended and when Local Housing Allowance rates have been frozen from April this year. These changes will result in a real terms income cut for renters receiving Housing Benefit or Universal Credit despite the cost of rents rising across the country.

This Council resolves to

  1. Support the #keepthelifeline campaign to stop the planned cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit

 

  1. Urge the Conservative Government to
    1. Keep the £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit
    2. Stop discriminating against families receiving ‘legacy benefits’, such as Employment Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income Support, by not giving them this uplift.
    3. Remove the minimum income floor for self- employed earners claiming Universal Credit
    4. Remove the April 2021 freeze on Local Housing Allowance rates
    5. Bring forward as soon as possible legislation to end s21 no fault evictions

 

  1. Ask the interim Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Secretary of State for MHCLG respectively outlining our concerns and asking for swift action to

·         prevent the 45,000 families who are Oldham residents in receipt of Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits (69% of whom are families with children) from falling deeper into poverty because of the changes to these benefits

·         prevent the homes of the most vulnerable families in private rented accommodation in Oldham from being at risk because of the freeze in Local Housing Allowance rates and the end of the evictions ban.

 

Motion 2

Councillor Chadderton to MOVE  ...  view the full agenda text for item 10.

Minutes:

Motion 1

 

Councillor Jabbar MOVED and Councillor Roberts SECONDED the following MOTION:

 

Motion 1 -  #keepthelifeline

 

This Council notes the devastating effect the Coronavirus pandemic has had on many of Oldham’s communities, laying bare the inequalities opened up by austerity policies imposed by successive Coalition and Conservative Governments.

This Council further notes that despite the introduction of the National Living Wage and record employment, poverty amongst workers and children was rising before the pandemic. The cuts and freezes in social security played a significant part in this.

This Council is concerned that policies put in place to protect the most vulnerable during the pandemic are being wound down and in particular that furlough is due to end on the 30 September 2021 – the National Institute for Economic and Social research estimates 150,000 additional people will lose their jobs across the UK.

In addition, the Conservative Government has so far refused to continue the £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit– unfairly never paid to those receiving legacy benefits. The removal of the uplift will amount to a loss of benefit income of £1,040 per year from early October and will have the most severe impact in the North of England, Wales, the West Midlands and Northern Ireland. The Government has also re-instated the minimum income floor for self-employed earners claiming Universal Credit.

The ability of those on low incomes to pay their housing costs will be impacted by these changes at a time when the evictions ban has ended and when Local Housing Allowance rates have been frozen from April this year. These changes will result in a real terms income cut for renters receiving Housing Benefit or Universal Credit despite the cost of rents rising across the country.

This Council resolves to

  1. Support the #keepthelifeline campaign to stop the planned cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit

 

  1. Urge the Conservative Government to
    1. Keep the £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit
    2. Stop discriminating against families receiving ‘legacy benefits’, such as Employment Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income Support, by not giving them this uplift.
    3. Remove the minimum income floor for self- employed earners claiming Universal Credit
    4. Remove the April 2021 freeze on Local Housing Allowance rates
    5. Bring forward as soon as possible legislation to end s21 no fault evictions

 

  1. Ask the interim Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Secretary of State for MHCLG respectively outlining our concerns and asking for swift action to

·         prevent the 45,000 families who are Oldham residents in receipt of Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits (69% of whom are families with children) from falling deeper into poverty because of the changes to these benefits

·         prevent the homes of the most vulnerable families in private rented accommodation in Oldham from being at risk because of the freeze in Local Housing Allowance rates and the end of the evictions ban.

 

AMENDMENT

 

Councillor C. Gloster MOVED and Councillor  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Notice of Opposition Business

(time limit 30 minutes)

 

Motion 1

Councillor Arnott to MOVE and Councillor Byrne to SECOND the motion:

For Queen and Country

The Council notes that.

 • Saying that you are proud to be British should not be a source of shame and there is nothing wrong with Patriotism or flying our national flag. It is one of many things that binds our society together.

• That the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is in fact a unique bastion of freedom and that we should be proud of the outstanding role it has played across the world in education, art, culture, science, engineering and in exporting democracy and the rule of law.

 • We all have heroes in our communities – whether they are historical or present day, and we should properly celebrate these individuals, and their contribution to our country.

This Council resolves that:

 • The Chief Executive of Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council write to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office and Secretary of State for Education asking them to support Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council by providing support for schools to teach the national anthem, fly the Union Flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, display a portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II and teach our islands’ history.

 • Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council reaffirms its support for the sovereignty of the Union of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Crown dependencies and United Kingdom Overseas Territories. • That the relevant cabinet member will request all schools in the Oldham Metropolitan Borough to: - Teach their children to sing the national anthem. - Fly the Union Flag all year round. - Display a portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II in a prominent place in schools.

• That Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council display a proper and fitting portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II (and any future sovereign) in a prominent place within the Council chamber and at the reception of Oldham Council along with our Union Flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. –

 • This Council rejects the phenomena known as ‘Cancel Culture’ and that it holds these truths to be self-evident, that of freedom of speech and democracy. Truths which must be cherished and defended

 

Motion 2

Councillor Kenyon to MOVE and Councillor Al-Hamdani to SECOND the motion:

Adopting ‘Permission Accomplished’ standards in planning

This Council:

  • Believes that confidence in the planning process is undermined in circumstances where the public, elected members and professionals are convinced, or simply perceive, that pre-determined bias exists, that the process is not fully transparent, or worse, that corrupt practices prevail.

 

  • Commits that Oldham follow best practice standards in planning to provide reassurance to all parties that the process has integrity, impartiality and is transparent.

 

  • Notes that Transparency International UK (TI-UK), part of the world’s leading non-governmental anti-corruption organisation, published a report ‘Permission Accomplished’ in July 2020 identifying best practice.

 

Council believes that the  ...  view the full agenda text for item 11.

Minutes:

Motion 1

 

Councillor Arnott MOVED and Councillor Byrne SECONDED the following MOTION:

 

Flying the Flag

 

 The Council notes that.

    Saying that you are proud to be British should not be a source of shame and there is nothing wrong with Patriotism or flying our national flag. It is one of many things that binds our society together.

    That the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is in fact a unique bastion of freedom and that we should be proud of the outstanding role it has played across the world in education, art, culture, science, engineering and in exporting democracy and the rule of law.

    We all have heroes in our communities – whether they are historical or present day, and we should properly celebrate these individuals, and their contribution to our country.

This Council resolves that:

      The Chief Executive of Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council write to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office and Secretary of State for Education asking them to support Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council by providing support for schools to teach the national anthem, fly the Union Flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, display a portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II and teach our islands’ history.

      Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council reaffirms its support for the sovereignty of the Union of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Crown dependencies and United Kingdom Overseas Territories.

      That the relevant cabinet member will request all schools in the Oldham Metropolitan Borough to:

- Teach their children to sing the national anthem.

- Fly the Union Flag all year round.

- Display a portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II in a prominent place in schools.

    That Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council display a proper and fitting portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II (and any future sovereign) in a prominent place within the Council chamber and at the reception of Oldham Council along with our Union Flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    This Council rejects the phenomena known as ‘Cancel Culture’ and that it holds these truths to be self-evident, that of freedom of speech and democracy. Truths which must be cherished and defended.

 

Councillor Mushtaq spoke against the motion.

Councillor Al-Hamdani spoke against the motion.

Councillor Steve Bashforth spoke against the motion.

 

A recorded vote was requested and taken on the MOTION as follows:

 

COUNCILLOR

 

COUNCILLOR

 

Abid, Sahr

FOR

Ibrahim, Nyla

AGAINST

Ahmad, Riaz

Apologies

Iqbal, Javid

 

Akhtar, Shoab

AGAINST

Islam, Mohammed Nazrul

AGAINST

Alexander, Ginny

 

Jabbar MBE, Abdul

AGAINST

Al-Hamdani, Sam

ABSTAIN

Kenyon, Mark

 

Ali, Mohon

AGAINST

Lancaster, Luke

FOR

Alyas, Mohammed

AGAINST

Leach, Valerie

Apologies

Arnott, Dave

FOR

Malik, Abdul

AGAINST

Bashforth, Marie

AGAINST

McLaren, Colin

AGAINST

Bashforth, Steven

AGAINST

Moores, Eddie

AGAINST

Birch, Ros

AGAINST

Murphy, Dave

ABSTAIN

Briggs, Norman

Apologies

Mushtaq, Shaid

AGAINST

Brownridge, Barbara

AGAINST

Phythian, Clint

AGAINST

Byrne, Pam

FOR

Phythian, Kyle

AGAINST

Chadderton, Amanda  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Update on Actions from Council pdf icon PDF 147 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Shah MOVED and Councillor Sheldon SECONDED a report of the Director of Legal Services, with amended appendices, which informed members of actions taken following the meeting of the Council on 14th July 2021.

 

RESOLVED that the actions regarding motions and issues from the meeting of the Council on 14th July 2021 be noted.

 

13.

Revised Code of Conduct pdf icon PDF 27 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Shah MOVED and Councillor Sykes SECONDED a report of the Director of Legal Services.

 

The Council was informed that the Local Government Association (LGA) had reviewed the Members Code of Conduct, which all local authorities

were legally required to have, and had produced a revised Code for

consideration. Whilst the principles in the draft Code were similar to the existing Code, the intention of the revised Code was to provide clarity for Members on obligations under the Code and clarify the paragraphs on Member interests.

 

The Council noted the Standards Committee had considered the draft and recommend the revised Code for approval.

 

Members were informed that guidance had been issued by the LGA which would be circulated to members. If the Code was approved, training on the

new Code would be provided to all Members.

 

RESOLVED that the revised Councillor Code of Conduct be approved.

14.

Appointment of Independent Persons pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Report to follow.

Minutes:

Councillor Shah MOVED and Councillor Sheldon SECONDED a report of the Director of Legal Services, which asked the Council to appoint an Independent Person on the Standards Committee and an independent member on the Independent Remuneration Panel.

 

The Council was informed that a process had been undertaken to appoint an additional independent person on the Standards Committee and an independent member on the Independent Remuneration Panel.

 

Following advertisement for the positions, a panel comprising of members from the three largest groups and the Director of Legal Services conducted the interviews.

 

The recommendation from the panel to Council was to appoint Geoffrey Millard as an independent member on the Independent Remuneration Panel and Bushra Tabassum as an Independent Person under the Localism Act for the Standards Committee, both to serve for a 4 year term.

 

RESOLVED that Geoffrey Millard be appointed as an independent member on the Independent Remuneration Panel and Bushra Tabassum be appointed as an Independent Person under the Localism Act for the Standards Committee, both to serve for a 4 year term.

15.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy pdf icon PDF 272 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Shah MOVED and Councillor Chadderton SECONDED a report of the Strategic Director of Communities & Reform.

 

Members were reminded that, at the meeting of Council in June 2020, a commitment was made to develop a new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy for Oldham Council, including the adoption of new Equality Objectives.

 

The report summarised how the Council currently met its duties in respect of equality in Oldham and proposed the adoption of new Equality Objectives and an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy covering 2021 – 2025.

 

Members noted that those subject to the equality duty must, in the exercise of their functions, have due regard to the need to:

·         Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act.

·         Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

·         Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

 

The report summarised how the Council currently achieved this in Oldham, as well as what would be done to further champion equality and diversity in Oldham.

 

RESOLVED:

1.    To approve the new Equality Objectives for 2021 – 2025.

2.    To endorse the proposed Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy for 2021 – 2025.

16.

Treasury Management Outtturn Report 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 968 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Jabbar MOVED and Councillor Shah SECONDED a report of the Director of Finance.

 

The Council was informed that it was required by regulations issued under the Local Government Act 2003 to produce an annual treasury management review of activities and the actual prudential and treasury indicators for 2020/21. The report met the requirements of both the CIPFA Code of Practice on Treasury Management (the Code) and the CIPFA Prudential

Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities (the Prudential Code).

 

During 2020/21 the minimum reporting requirements were that the full Council should receive the following reports:

·         an annual treasury strategy in advance of the year (approved 26 February 2020)

·         a mid-year (minimum) treasury update report (approved 16 December 2020)

·         an annual review following the end of the year describing the activity compared to the strategy (this report)

 

The Council was informed that the regulatory environment placed responsibility on Members for the review and scrutiny of treasury management policy and activities. The report was therefore important

in that respect, as it provided details of the outturn position for treasury activities and highlighted compliance with the Council’s policies previously approved by members.

 

The Council confirmed that it had complied with the requirements under the Code to give prior scrutiny to the treasury strategy and the mid-year update. The Audit Committee was charged with the scrutiny of treasury management activities in Oldham and reviewed the content of the annual report at its meeting of 29 June 2021. The Committee was content to commend the report to Cabinet and Council (to ensure full compliance with the Code for 2020/21).

 

The Cabinet had approved the report on 23 August 2021 and was content

to commend the report to Council.

 

During 2020/21, the Council had complied with its legislative and regulatory requirements. The key actual prudential and treasury indicators detailing the impact of capital expenditure activities during the year with comparators were set out in the report.

 

Members were informed that actual capital expenditure was less than the revised budget estimate for 2020/21 presented within the 2020/21 Treasury Management Strategy report considered at the Council meeting of 4 March 2021. The outturn position was significantly less than the £147.632m original capital budget for 2020/21 as approved at Budget Council on 26 February 2020.

 

It had been apparent at the beginning of 2020/21 that spending plans were not going to be realised, the COVID-19 pandemic halted works on projects and delayed the start of others. Because of this, and taking account of re-profiled expenditure, new assumptions, approvals and scheme updates the expenditure budgets and funding plans were continually reassessed throughout in year. The significant re-phasing was associated with the revised vision and strategic framework for ‘Creating a Better Place’ which was

approved in August 2020. This placed more emphasis on economic recovery, given the impact of the pandemic. This review required several existing regeneration projects to be reviewed and rephased to align to the long-term vision of the new strategy. The final outturn position for 2020/21 of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.