LiveOxford City Council budget

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The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

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  • Council house rents, parking charges and council tax are all set to increase.
  • Between 2010 and 2015/16 the council's grant from central government will have fallen by 47 per cent.


The report is approved.


Ms Kennedy says the council's plans to pay for housing for headteachers are "a bit up in the air at the moment".


Mr Price says "good progress" is being made.


11 primary schools are taking part in the council's leadership for learning scheme which works with Oxford University.


An update on educational attainment in the city is being presented by city councillor Pat Kennedy.


The report is approved.


The city council is proposing the charge the county council £20,000 a year.


Plans for the rent of Redbridge waste recycling centre are being discussed.


The report on the Rose Hill community centre is approved. It sets out what stage the project is at and Mr Turner says a builder will be appointed soon.


The strategy is approved.


Mr Turner said he found Mr Hollick's question about staffing "insulting" and suggested he could look to the dispute trade unions are having with the Green-run Brighton council to see where things are going "really really well".


Peter Sloman, the chief executive of the council, says the staff changes have already been approved by the council and agreed with the trade unions.


Mr Hollick raises concerns about staff "restructuring" and employees having to reapply for their jobs before the strategy is approved but Mr Price says that is separate from the strategy.


Green city councillor Sam Hollick, in whose ward Town Hall is, says it is important to have transparency over which community groups can use parts of the building for free.


He says the council has a "Duke of Marlborough" problem in that it has a "nice asset which costs a lot to run".


Mr Price moves the meeting on to the strategy for Town Hall.


City council leader Bob Price agrees and says that's why money has been set aside for the market. The action plan is agreed.


Leader of the opposition Jean Rooms says the market has become a bit "grubby" and needs "a bit of looking after".


It sets out how the council will improve the market over the coming years, including plans for a market manager and extending the market building.


City councillor Colin Cook presents the strategy for the Covered Market.


The extension has been approved.


He says he would not be recommending it if it were not a good deal for Oxford.


He says extending the deal by five years from 2019 will give the council an extra £4.25m and will put its service on a "sound financial footing"


City councillor Mike Rowley presents the report about extending the councils contract with Fusion which runs its leisure centres.


The grant allocations are approved.


He says that if the budget is approved there will be an extra £60,000 organisations can bid for.


Mr Turner said he is "really proud" that the council is continuing to support voluntary organisations despite its financial situation.


Discussion has moved onto discussing its grant allocations for voluntary organisations.


The executive board has also approved the council's corporate plan which sets out it's overarching strategy.


A final decision will be made next Wednesday by full council.


The executive board has approved the budget.


Mr Turner highlights the fact that most people who responded to the consultation backed raising council tax rather than cutting services.


Council leader Bob Price said he preferred the word "prudent"


City councillor Craig Simmons, chairman of the scrutiny finance panel, said earlier that the budget was "robust" and if anything "overly conservative"


He adds that there is "a fair bit of investment" as well, citing funding for the new Rose Hill community centre and for new cycle lanes.


City councillor Ed Turner said the council is facing "increasing pressures" but says the budget is balanced with over four years


The board is discussing reports from the council's scrutiny committee, currently on the Covered Market.


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