City of York Council

                             Committee Minutes




14 January 2021


Councillors Aspden (Chair), Ayre, Craghill, Cuthbertson, D'Agorne, Orrell, Runciman, Smalley, Waller and Widdowson

In Attendance

Councillor Myers



81.         Declarations of Interest


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 interests, that they might have in the business on the agenda. 


Cllrs D’Agorne and Waller each declared a prejudicial interest in Agenda Item 6 (The York BID Renewal Ballot), as Directors of the BID.  They took no part in the discussion or decisions on this item.




82.         Minutes


Resolved:  That the minutes of the Executive meeting held on 15 December 2020 be approved as a correct record, to be signed by the Chair at a later date.




83.         Public Participation


It was reported that there had been no registrations to speak at the meeting under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.




84.         Forward Plan


Members received and noted details of the items that were on the Forward Plan for the next two Executive meetings at the time the agenda was published.







85.         City of York Council Recovery and Renewal Strategy - January Update


The Chief Operating Officer presented a report which provided an update on the council’s activities in response to Covid-19, both directly and to support recovery and renewal.


The report outlined activities across the three recovery themes - Economy, Communities and Corporate – in the context of the rapid rise of cases in York since December and the national lockdown announced on 4 January.  Full details of activities undertaken and planned to support the city’s economy were attached at Annex 1.


The Director of Public Health gave a further update at the meeting, noting that cases in York had now reached 670.9 per 100,000.  The national and regional rates stood at 654.9 and 338.8 respectively. The focus continued to be on prevention, with testing recently extended to those who were non-symptomatic but could not work from home. It was hoped that the impact of lockdown on case numbers would start to be seen in the next few weeks. 


Representatives of Nimbuscare, the at-scale provider of health services formed of GP practices across York, provided an update on the progress of vaccination in the city and responded to Members’ questions. To date, 12,000 people had been vaccinated and the vaccination of residents and staff in care homes was on track for completion early next week.  From Monday, the Askham Bar site would operate as a national NHS vaccination centre.


Resolved:  (i)      That the contents of the report, the additional information provided at the meeting, and the steps taken to date to respond to the pandemic as set out in Annex 1, be noted.


                   (ii)      That the following recommendations made by the Executive Member for Finance and Performance in November 2020 (as outlined in Annnex 1), be endorsed:


i.             implement a discretionary grants scheme providing support to the businesses outlined and at the levels indicated in the paper, to run until March 2022;

ii.            instruct the Head of Economic Growth to develop more detailed proposals for a business support voucher scheme for consideration at a subsequent Executive Member Decision Session;

iii.          allocate a preliminary budget of £200k from the Additional Relief Grant (ARG) funding to fund future activity aiming to accelerate economic activity during the next reopening; and

iv.          ask officers to bring back a further report to the relevant Executive Member Decision Session to consider amendments to the ARG eligibility criteria.


Reason:     To keep the council’s response to the pandemic under review, and to provide support to York businesses that are affected by the Covid-19 restrictions but not eligible for Local Restrictions Grant funding.




86.         The York Business Improvement District Renewal Ballot


The Interim Director of Place presented a report which set out proposals for a second term for the York Business Improvement District (BID), outlined the renewal prospectus and voting process, and sought Executive support for a renewal ballot for the York BID.


The first York BID had been voted in by City Centre levy payers in November 2015.  It began operating in April 2016 across the geographical area shown in Annex 1 to the report, and was coming to the end of its 5-year term.  The BID had proved popular with most levy payers and its role in supporting York businesses and promoting the city centre had been particularly valuable during the pandemic.  The council was a major levy payer, provided essential baseline services (as set out in Annex 2), collected the levy on behalf of the BID and had a vote in the ballot renewal process.  The ballot had been delayed by the recent lockdown and was now due to take place between 18 February and 18 March 2021.


Andrew Lowson, Executive Director of York BID, spoke in support of the proposals, noting that the partnership work in response to Covid-19 had strengthened relationships and left businesses better able to respond to key challenges.  A second term would enable the BID to take a more strategic approach.  The draft Business Plan (published as Annex 3 in the Agenda Supplement) was in the process of completion and the final version would be made available online.


On behalf of the Executive, the Chair thanked the staff and volunteers of the BID for their work since 2016 and especially over the past ten months, and it was


Resolved:  (i)      That the BID be supported in their campaign to secure a second term in York through a ballot of all businesses in the BID area set out in Annex 1.


(ii)      That the Leader of the Council be requested to cast the Council’s ballot votes in support of a further term.


Reason:     To allow the work of the BID and its partners to continue to boost the city centre economy, and to ease difficult trading conditions for retailers, particularly in a post-pandemic recovery environment.


                   (iii)     That the content of the BID Business Plan and the council’s Baseline Service Level Agreements be noted.


                   (iv)    That the role of the York BID, Make it York and other key city partners in supporting the city centre economy be noted.


Reason:     To be clear on the role of all partners, as well as the commitments of the council, in maintaining statutory services.




87.         Street Works – Changing from Noticing to a Permitting Scheme


The Assistant Director of Transport, Highways & Environment presented a report which sought approval to introduce a permit scheme to govern all utility and highway works activities within the council’s highways network, in order to achieve improvements to these activities and comply with the Department of Transport’s request that all highways authorities move to a permit scheme.


The report followed feasibility work undertaken in 2019 and statutory consultation on a proposed permit scheme between August and October 2020.  Three options were available, as set out in paragraphs 9-12 of the report and summarised below:

Option A – approve the proposed scheme, fee levels and team structure set out in Annexes A, B and F. This was the recommended option.

Option B – ask officers to develop a different scheme for consultation. Not recommended, as it would cause delay and potentially increase costs / provide a reduced service;

Option C – remain a noticing authority. Not recommended as it could result in a scheme being imposed and would provide no additional income to fund street works.


Resolved:  (i)      That Option A be approved and the proposed permit scheme, fee levels and implementation set out in Annexes A, B and F to the report be adopted.


                   (ii)      That authority be delegated to the Corporate Director of Housing, Economy & Place, in consultation with the S151 Officer and the Director of Governance or her delegated officers, to implement future changes to the scheme and associated fees.



·        To improve City of York Council’s ability to manage applications to work on its road network, including the ability to refuse applications, enabling the council to better meet its Network Management Duty;

·        to reduce disruption on the road network and delays for all road users; and

·         to encourage a greater emphasis on safety on street and road works sites through an enhanced site inspection regime.</AI7>





Cllr K Aspden, Chair

[The meeting started at 5.30 pm and finished at 6.43 pm].





















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