City Of York Council

Committee Minutes

Meeting

Customer and Corporate Services Scrutiny Management Committee (Calling In)

Date

25 January 2021

Present

Councillors Crawshaw (Chair), Hunter, Hollyer, Kilbane, Mason, Musson, Pearson and Rowley

Apologies

 

Councillor Fenton

 

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14.            Declarations of Interest

 

Members were invited to declare at this point in the meeting any personal, disposable or pecuniary interests not included on their Register of Interests, which they might have in the business on the agenda. None were declared.

 

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15.            Public Participation

 

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

 

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16.            Minutes

 

The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 21 December 2020 were approved as a correct record, to be signed at a later date by the Chair.

 

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17.            Called-in Item: Make It York - Impact of Covid-19

 

Members considered a report which set out the reasons for the call-in of one of the decisions made by Executive on 15 December 2020 in respect of a guarantee for Make It York (MIY), along with the Committee’s remit and powers in relation to the call-in.

 

The relevant decision was highlighted in the Decision Sheet at Annex 1 to the report.  The original report to Executive was attached as Annex 2.  The decision, which related to a letter of guarantee of access to funding to MIY,had been called in by Cllrs Douglas, Lomas and Heaton for the following reasons:

 

a)   The £1m guarantee over two years is an unacceptable financial risk to council taxpayers at a time when a new two year service level agreement (SLA) between City of York Council and Make it York is in the process of being drawn up and due to be agreed by March 2021;

 

b)   The 2021-2023 SLA may not include all existing functions so the £1m guarantee should be halted for a short period ensuring that if and when agreed, it reflects the level of Make it York’s future council-commissioned activities;

 

Under the provisions of the council’s constitution and the requirements of Local Government Act 2000, the following options were available:

·        A – not to refer the matter to Executive, in which case the original decision would be confirmed, or

·        B - refer the matter to Executive with specific recommendations.

 

Prior to inviting Cllr Douglas to address the committee on behalf of the Calling-In Members, the Chair called for a short adjournment to the meeting to receive advice on the participation of 2 representatives from Make It York who had made themselves available to join the remote meeting but had not expressly been invited.

 

Following receipt of advice from the Monitoring Officer during the adjournment, the meeting resumed and the Monitoring Officer explained her advice to the Committee, suggesting that the Chair not invite the 2 MIY representatives to join the meeting in light of the business being primarily focussed upon a funding guarantee in their favour. 

 

The Chair then invited Cllr Douglas to proceed.  She then explained in more detail the reasons for the calling-in, and responded to questions put by Members.  The Executive Members for Finance & Performance and Economy & Strategic Planning then outlined the reasons for the original decisions, and responded to Members’ questions. 

 

Officers then responded to questions which had been raised during the meeting, particularly in relation to  the specific rationale for the proposed guarantee, how the sum had been arrived at  and the implications of deferring the guarantee until March 2021. 

 

 

Members went on to debate the options in full and to consider whether they wished to make any additional observations or recommendations arising from the call in.

 

A proposal to refer the decision on the proposed guarantee to access to funding back to the Executive for reconsideration was moved and seconded and it a named vote was taken as follows:

 

Councillor                    Vote

Daubeney           Against

Hollyer                 Against

Hunter                 Against

Kilbane                For

Mason                 Against

Musson               For

Pearson              Against

Rowley                For

Crawshaw           For

(Chair)

 

The motion was lost by 5 votes to 4.  A motion to endorse and reaffirm the original Executive decision was therefore moved and seconded.  That being carried by 5 votes to 4.

 

A further proposal was then put by the Chair and seconded by Councillor Musson for enhanced monitoring arrangements of the Service Level Agreement (SLA) with MIY, as follows:

 

In order to better ensure value for public money and full delivery of the contract between CYC and Make it York, this Committee recommends that Executive review and reform both the contract monitoring procedures carried out by CYC Officers and the MIY scrutiny functions carried out by Members.”

 

That motion being lost by 5 votes to 4, it was  

 

 

Resolved:  That the original decision made by the Executive at its meeting on 15 December 2020 in relation to the proposed letter giving a guarantee of access to funding to Make It York, be re-affirmed.

 

Reason:     To secure the future of Make It York.

 

 

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Cllr J Crawshaw, Chair

[The meeting started at 5.30 pm and finished at 8.21 pm].

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