City of York Council

Committee Minutes


Decision Session - Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning


22 December 2020


Councillor Waller (Executive Member)



21.         Declarations of Interest


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 discloseable pecuniary interest that he might have in respect of the business on the agenda.  None were declared.




22.         Minutes


Resolved:  That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 24 November 2020 be approved and then signed by the Executive Member at a later date.




23.         Public Participation


It was reported that there had been one registrations to speak at the meeting under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.


Cllr Douglas, Ward Member for Heworth, spoke regarding the discussions and decisions in relation to a financial package to save Make It York (MIY) from insolvency and its future.  She expressed disappointment that the discussions at Executive had involved little consideration of what the Council will do about the function of MIY and considered that between now and March would be an ideal opportunity to assess, consider and modify aspects of MIY’s service level agreement with the Council - to review its contract, structure and oversight and consider if some aspects of its work should be undertaken by the Council. 


Regarding Agenda item 5, Skills and Employment Update, she advised that CYC put emphasise on how it’s using its apprenticeship levy own within its own workforce.


The Executive Member thanked Cllr Douglas for her comments and confirmed that he would be attending the Economy and Place Policy & Scrutiny Forum meeting on 11 January 2021 which would be discussing MIY’s future and making recommendations to Executive.  Regarding her comments on CYC apprenticeship levy, this had been considered in depth at the September Decision Session meeting and he assured her that work was in progress to address this concern. 




24.         Quarterly Economic Update


The Executive Member considered a report which provided a quarterly economic update for the period October 2020 to December 2020.


The Head of Economic Growth and Economy and Place was in attendance to provide a presentation, to present his report and to respond to questions.


Key points arising from consideration of this item included:

·        Economic recovery in terms of business activity and footfall in York to return to pre-covid could take anything between one to four years.

·        A lot of work had been undertaken to support start-up businesses, which had seen a significant increase.  This had included business support and access to various funding streams and grants.

·        The Executive Member considered this report to be a beneficial data source and requested a more in-depth focus on data in relation to start-up businesses when this report is received in the next quarter.


Resolved: That the Executive Member:

(i)           Thanked officers and partners for their work to ensure that businesses in the City of York Council were supported throughout the COVID emergency.

(ii)         Noted the contents of the Report.


Reason:     To support York’s economic response to the COVID –19 pandemic.




25.         Skills and Employment Update


The Executive Member considered a report which provided an update on the skills and employment support available to people and businesses within York and how the Council is working with partners.


The Skills Team Manager, Education and Skills was in attendance to present the report and to respond to questions.


Key points arising from consideration of this item included:

·        The Executive Member was pleased to note the long apprenticeships within the construction industry and acknowledged the work undertaken in round table meetings and recent business leaders meetings in support of this.

·        The Executive Member recognised the impact that covid lockdowns were having on the careers of recent graduates who were placed in a difficult position in terms of establishing contacts and beginning their careers, as well as those having to re-train due to unemployment. 

·        Where there are hurdles, such as the unintended consequences discussed at his Decision session last month regarding Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Strategy, it is vital that this evidence is collated and he would take that up in writing to the relevant government minister.


Resolved: The Executive Member:

                  (i)        Reviewed and supported the activity detailed in the skills and employment update report including, the formation of the Skills and Employment Board and the progress made by the Task and Finish Group towards building a robust evidence base.

                 (ii)        Approved the approach taken to develop the one-year skills plan, which is to prioritise activity that will help support people and businesses through change. The approach will continue to maximise the impact of current support available and that to be implemented in 2021.

                (iii)        Supported and approved the updated timeline for completion and sign off of the one-year plan, which allows for the latest Government skills and employment support to be reflected in the plan.

               (iv)        Thanked the Skills Team Manager, Education and Skills and her team for all of their hard work.


Reason:     To continue to help support people and businesses through change over the next 12 months and highlight the role of skills in supporting York’s economic recovery from Covid-19 in the longer term.








Cllr Waller (Executive Member)

[The meeting started at 10.00 am and finished at 10.42 am].