Questions from Councillor Thomas

First question on Notice from Councillor Thomas to Councillor Sinclair
Do you agree that instead of officer time being spent drawing up a poorly worded, half-baked, and impractical Waterways PSPO their time would be better spent working on a ‘living waterways’ plan prioritising the provision of additional residential moorings to aid the housing crisis in Oxford?

Written response:
The draft Order was developed to stimulate a discussion with members and the public on the best way to deal with the issues that have been arising for some time on the waterways and riverbanks.

Supplementary question:
This has really created anxiety. When will you publish the timetable of face to face meetings?

Response:
The report was not the consultation but to agree the start of the process.

Second question on Notice from Councillor Thomas to Councillor Sinclair
Will you be cross referencing the Waterways PSPO proposals with existing human rights legislation to ensure there are no breaches?

Written response:
Yes. If a PSPO is eventually presented for the consideration of the CEB, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the equalities impact will be taken fully into consideration.

Supplementary question:
Will the draft consider the Human Rights Act??

Response:
Yes.

Third question on Notice from Councillor Thomas to Councillor Sinclair
Will you make the minutes of past meetings of UMBEG (Unlawfully Moored Boats Enforcement Group) publicly available, obviously with the exclusion of any references to named individuals?

Written response:
Yes, subject to data protection considerations.

Supplementary question:
What date will these be available?

Response:
I do not have a date but these should be made available soon.

Fourth question on Notice from Councillor Thomas to Councillor Sinclair
Will you make Action Plans from UMBEG publicly available, obviously with the exclusion of any references to named individuals?

Written response:
Yes, subject to data protection considerations.

Supplementary question:
What date will these be available?

Response:
I do not have a date but these should be made available soon.

Fifth question on Notice from Councillor Thomas to Councillor Sinclair
Will the Council make publicly available all correspondence regarding the 2015 consultation on the PSPO with private land owners?

Written response:
The discussion with private land owners in 2014-15 sought their views on whether they would support a PSPO to include a schedule of mooring locations and other provisions. This was not the draft PSPO presented to CEB on the 17 March.

Supplementary question:
I understand that some paperwork went to riparian landowners. When will this pre-consultation paperwork be made available?

Response:
I will consult the council’s legal team and if appropriate will make this available to you and the public.

Sixth question on Notice from Councillor Thomas to Councillor Sinclair
In a recent Oxford Mail article entitled “Softer approach to tackle anti-social behaviour working in the Leys”, which opens with “Methods used to deal with anti-social behaviour in Windrush and Evenlode Towers have been successful and should be deployed elsewhere, councillors say.” Cllr Linda Smith is quoted as saying “One of the first responses of council officers was to explore the possibility of putting in a PSPO, like the one at Foresters Tower. Councillors in Blackbird Leys and Northfield Brook felt that using the criminal process to deal with young teenagers wasn’t the way we wanted to go.”
Does the Board Member agree that the City Executive should be following the lead of Cllr Smith and her Blackbird Leys and Northfield Brook colleagues to work pro-actively with people rather than implementing yet another unpopular PSPO which will only alienate and criminalise?

Written response:
As the Councillor knows, the Board has approved an extensive consultation process for the draft Waterways PSPO that will involve working closely with the groups and individuals who are most involved in the identified anti- social behaviours that are affecting the city’s waterways. That consultation process will allow the officers to consider the merits of all the available approaches to controlling these behaviours.

Supplementary question:
Will alternatives to the PSPO be set out in the consultation for the public to judge?

Response:
I am sure that other positions and views and ideas will come forward from the consultees and we will look seriously at these.

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