City of York Council

Committee Minutes


Decision Session - Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change


7 September 2022



In Attendance

Councillor Widdowson


Paul McCabe – York Community Woodland      Project Manager





6.           Declarations of Interest (15:02)


The Executive Member was asked to declare, at this point in the meeting, any personal interests not included on the Register of Interests or any prejudicial or disclosable pecuniary interests she might have in respect of the business on the agenda. None were declared.





7.           Minutes (15:02)


Resolved:  That the minutes of the Decision Session held on 8 June 2022 be approved and signed by the Executive Member as a correct record.





8.           Public Participation (15:02)


It was reported that there had been two registrations to speak on agenda item 4 York Green Streets at the session under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.


Debby Corbett noted that she was glad to see action on urban trees and noted that there were several Wards for which there was no tree planting plan except for schools. She urged officers to speak to conservation volunteers regarding the ‘I dig trees’ scheme. She noted that she had not received the council’s Our City publication and the Executive Member undertook to look into it. Debby Corbett also noted problems with traffic on Ostman Road outside the Carr Infant and Junior Schools.


Cllr K Taylor (Holgate Ward Member) noted that 500 trees in the scheme were covered by schools contribution. He stated that the Labour Group welcomed the initiative. He expressed concern regarding the absence of medium and long term planning and lack of capacity at the council. He noted that there was no information on ongoing maintenance and management of the trees and added that there had been cases where there was a live risk due to trees not being cut back. He asked for more detail in the plans for tree planting including how this would be managed.





9.           York Green Streets (15:09)


The Executive Member considered a report that summarised the outcomes of the York Green Streets (YGS) ‘opportunity mapping’ exercise undertaken earlier that year to assess the scope for new tree planting in York’s urban and peri-urban area towards the council’s agreed 2050 tree canopy target.

The York Community Woodland Project Manager outlined the report noting the delegated authority included in the recommendations to the Executive Member. He noted that the funding to support additional officer capacity would be subject to a successful application to the Forestry Commission Woodland Creation Accelerator Fund (WCAF). The council has submitted a funding bid and outcome will be known by mid-October. He detailed the timeline and key findings of the York Green Streets opportunity mapping. He explained that any delivery of the opportunities identified would be dependent on community consultation and he encouraged members of the public to contact him with any questions.

The Executive Member summarised the timeline and process for the WCAF. The York Community Woodland Project Manager was asked and confirmed that the next step was to await the announcement of the WCAF funding bid as this will determine whether the council has the resources needed to employ additional officer capacity to support new tree planting at scale.  Should this bid be successful, the next challenge would be to identify and secure the required funding to support tree planting and ongoing maintenance, subject to there being demonstrable local community support.



                  i.         That the contents of the report and the progress made to date to noted, including the pending WCAF grant funding application to support additional officer capacity for new urban and peri urban tree planting.


                ii.         That delegated authority be granted to the Assistant Director for Policy and Strategy to identify and apply for external capital funding to support delivery of the opportunities identified, following further extensive local stakeholder engagement.


Reason:     To support new tree planting in York’s urban and peri-urban area towards the council’s agreed 2050 tree canopy target.









Cllr      , Executive Member

[The meeting started at 3.00 pm and finished at 3.16 pm].




























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