City Of York Council

Committee Minutes


Customer and Corporate Services Scrutiny Management Committee


23 November 2020


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





51.         Declarations of Interest


At this point in the meeting, the Chair invited Members to declare any personal, prejudicial or pecuniary interests, not already declared in their standing Register of Interests.  Councillor Kilbane declared a personal interest in relation to 29 Castlegate, as his partner used to work at the premises under a former use.  No other interests were declared.





52.         Public Participation


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





53.         Update on the Asset Management Strategy 2017-2022


Members considered, pre-decision, the report due to be determined by the Executive on 26 November, in order to help inform the Executive with any key comments from this Committee in advance of its decision making on the Asset Management Strategy 2020-2025. To assist with its consideration, the Interim Director of Place updated the Committee on the proposed Strategy, giving an overview of existing asset management arrangements and setting that within the context of the Council’s agreed overall aim to become carbon neutral by 2030.  The update also gave an indication of the performance of the commercial portfolio, with details of rental income and the impact of Covid 19 on business tenants.  The Interim Director explained what precise decisions were being requested of the Executive, including proposals to delay soft market testing on the restaurant proposals associated with the Guildhall development and disposing of the Council’s shares in York Science Park at the request of the University.


The Chair then sought comments from Members.


Firstly, in relation to the overall decision making process, the Interim Director of Place and Corporate Director of Economy & Place responded to a range of questions around opportunities for Ward Members to contribute, using their local knowledge, the potential impact of the cost of borrowing, and the balance between business considerations and social ones.


Secondly, in relation to the key principles of the proposed strategy, Officers responded to various comments around balancing the objectives such as carbon neutrality and job creation with business aims and streamlining decision making, including the involvement of Ward Councillors.


After a short 5 minute adjournment, during which Councillor Mason left the meeting, Members resumed their questioning on specific elements of the strategy, ranging from the Guildhall project and the former Askham Bar park & ride site, to the disposal of Oakhaven and the use of West Offices/Hazel Court as Council buildings.  Specifically on the disposal of the Oakhaven site, some concern was expressed that Adult Social Care & Health Scrutiny Committee had been expecting an update on the position at a meeting prior to the Covid 19 pandemic and lockdown taking hold.




(1)  The report and presentation at the meeting, be noted and the opportunity provided for pre-decision scrutiny consideration, in advance of the Executive decision on the Council’s Asset Management Plan, be welcomed;

(2) Further pre-decision consideration be given to the position relating to West Offices/Hazel Court at a future meeting of this Committee or Economy & Place Overview Policy & Scrutiny Committee, as may be determined appropriate, in conjunction with the relevant Chairs & Vice Chairs and within a suitable timescale determined by Officers;

(3) Officers be asked to put in place arrangements to provide Members with appropriate information on Council assets within their wards, at the earliest feasible opportunity, but as and when such assets may become surplus to use in order to provide early notice of any potential changes of use;

(4)Ward Members be reminded to let the Asset Management Team know of any particular needs within their wards that could be met through Asset Management.

(5) The revised Asset Management Plan be provided to all Members for ease of access, following approval by the Executive;

(6) The Committee welcomed the Executive’s intention to establish a regular quarterly review process for Council assets through the responsible Executive Member and requests that the Executive Member reports periodically to and engages with this Committee on the review and disposal of Council assets;”

(7) Officers, in conjunction with the Chair, undertake further investigations into the situation relating to the Oakhaven vacant site, which had been understood to be due for consideration at a meeting of Health & Adult Social Care Overview Scrutiny & Policy Committee in March 2020 (that meeting having been subsequently cancelled due to the Covid 19 pandemic).













Councillor J Crawshaw Chair

[The meeting started at 5.30 pm and finished at 8.15 pm].





















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