Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: The George Hudson Board Room - 1st Floor West Offices (F045). View directions
Contact: Robert Flintoft Democracy Officer
At this point in the meeting, Members and co-opted members are asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary interest, or other registerable interest, they might have in respect of business on this agenda, if they have not already done so in advance on the Register of Interests. The disclosure must include the nature of the interest.
An interest must also be disclosed in the meeting when it becomes apparent to the member during the meeting.
[Please see attached sheet for further guidance for Members]
Members were 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 interest that they might have in respect of the business on the agenda. There were none.
To approve and sign the minutes of the Economy and Place Scrutiny Committee meetings held on 8 and 21 of March 2023.
The Committee agreed the minutes of the 8 March 2023 as a correct record and agreed to have additional time to review minutes of the meeting on 21 March 2023.
Resolved: That the minutes of the 8 March 2023 meeting of the Committee be signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Public Participation (17:32)
At this point in the meeting members of the public who have registered to speak can do so. Members of the public may speak on agenda items or on matters within the remit of the Committee.
Please note that our registration deadlines are set as 2 working days before the meeting, in order to facilitate the management of public participation at our meetings. The deadline for registering at this meeting is 5:00pm on Friday 22 September 2023.
To register to speak please visit www.york.gov.uk/AttendCouncilMeetings to fill in an online registration form. If you have any questions about the registration form or the meeting, please contact Democratic Services. Contact details can be found at the foot of this agenda.
Webcasting of Public Meetings
Please note that, subject to available resources, this meeting will be webcast including any registered public speakers who have given their permission. The meeting can be viewed live and on demand at www.york.gov.uk/webcasts.
During coronavirus, we made some changes to how we ran council meetings, including facilitating remote participation by public speakers. See our updates (www.york.gov.uk/COVIDDemocracy) for more information on meetings and decisions.
It was reported that there had been one registration to speak under the Councils Public Participation Scheme.
Gwen Swinburn enquired as to how highways improvements and capital projects were prioritised and why the 2023/2024 highways maintenance program had not yet been published. She asked why an officer decision had been taken suspend highways design guide and when interim guidance would be issued. Finally she asked that consultations are clear that information provided is only one of the factors the Council considers when making decisions.
This report outlines blue badge holder vehicular access to roads in the city centre of which access was permanently removed in 2021.
The Chair welcomed Professor Paul Gready, Iain Mitchell, Andrew Lowson, Flick Williams, Shaun Tunstall, and Superintendent Dan Patrick who had been invited to the attend the Committee, to support the Committee’s discussion regarding city centre access for blue badge holders.
The Director of Environment, Transport and Planning, Place outlined that in November 2021 the Council’s Executive made the decision to permanently remove the exemption which had allowed blue badge holders vehicular access to Blake Street, Lendal, Street, Helen’s Square, Goodramgate (between Deangate and King’s Square), Church Street, King’s Square, and Colliergate, following the extension to the area to be protected by Hostile Vehicle Mitigation as a single phase. This decision was made following advice from counter terrorism police regarding the risk to the city centre and it was confirmed that this advice had not changed since the decision was made.
Paul Gready noted that campaigners against the ban on blue badge access felt that it had been hard to know what they had been arguing against. He asked about whether there was a wider security plan for the city centre as Hostile Vehicle Measures (“HVM”) would not prevent all threats. He noted that following May 2023’s local elections, the Labour party had won with a commitment to “reverse the blue badge ban” and asked that the Council reconsider its consultation process which he noted could be considered by those consulted as a “box ticking exercise”.
Iain Mitchell also noted the results of the local elections in May 2023 and that York’s residents had voted in a majority of Councillors, who were committed to “reverse the blue badge ban”. He outlined the negative impact on the loss of regular routes for the blind and partially sighted. He stated that loss of access had infringed on the basic rights of the disabled and asked that the Council stop with consultations and reallow access.
Andrew Lowson noted that those within York’s business community were somewhat confused as to why they were being consulted again on access to the city centre. He noted that he would like to see the decision made regarding the balance between access rights and city centre security and had wished it had not required a party-political debate on the issue. Once the decision on improving security to the city centre and access is made, he asked for a wider conversation regarding the impact on business form access restrictions.
Flick Williams thanked the Committee for including groups representing disabled people in the Committee’s discussion but noted that disabled people having to continue making the argument about their rights to access the city centre was tiring. She asked about continued access by things such as delivery drivers or bin lorries. She also asked about why pavement cafes were able to be operated in places such as Fossgate when Counter Terrorism Police had confirmed it as having increased the risk to the city. She noted her disappointment that the report not include any reference to the York City ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
Members are asked to consider the Committee’s work plan for the 2023/24 municipal year.
The Committee noted the request to consider looking into how the Council tracks capital projects spending and how highways schemes were prioritised during public participation. Members also noted an interest in reviewing the work of the Council’s action plan that was developed around supporting access to the city as well as the highways design manual. The Committee agreed to add these as provisional items to the work plan without a date to be considered at currently due to the already substantial work plan of the Committee.
i. That the Committee would add as provisional items to the work plan:
a. How the Council tracks spending on capital projects;
b. How highways projects were prioritised;
c. A review of the Council’s Action Plan relating to city centre access;
d. A review of the Council’s highways design guide/
Reason: To ensure the Committee maintains a program of work.