City of York Council

Committee Minutes


Decision Session - Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning


23 March 2021


Councillor Waller (Executive Member)




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



36.         Minutes


Resolved: That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 23 February 2021 be approved and then signed by the Executive Member at a later date.



37.         Public Participation


It was reported that there were no registered speakers under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.



38.         One-Year Plan - Skills for Employment in York


The Executive Member considered a report which provided information on the development of the One-year plan – Skills for employment in York, which was composed by the Skills and Employment Board.

The Executive Member stated that:


·        Businesses were taking the opportunity of lockdowns to assess their future skills needs and he noted the importance of the Council and partners matching their services and plans to those changing needs.

·        Key consideration long term must be the creation of green, sustainable jobs and inclusive growth and the need for thorough connectivity with scrutiny on employment and skills plans.


The Executive Member thanked officers and partners on developing this thorough review of different sector’s needs and for recognising that both residents and businesses would require varying support throughout the economic recovery.


(i)   That the content of the report be noted.


(ii)That the One-year plan – Skills for Employment in York be endorsed, recognising the strong partnership approach taken to understand, reflect and respond to local priorities, with provision added for the creation of green, sustainable jobs and inclusive growth long term.


(iii)        That preparation be made for a further joint meeting of Children, Education and Community Policy and Scrutiny Committee and Economy and Place Policy and Scrutiny Committee to review the longer term skills plan in the autumn.


Reason: To continue to help and support people and businesses through change and begin developing the skills and infrastructure that will support York’s longer-term economic recovery from COVID-19.




39.         MHCLG Consultation: National Planning Policy Framework and National Model Design Code


The Executive Member considered a report which provided an update on the consultation published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) on 30 January 2021 entitled “National Planning Policy Framework and National Model Design Code: consultation proposals”. It was noted that the consultation ran until the 27 March 2021.


The Head of Development Services, the Design and Sustainability Manager and the Development Manager were in attendance to present the report and respond to questions.

Key points arising from the consideration of this item included:

·        An expression of the Council’s opposition to some of the changes to the NPPF, namely the changes to Article 4 and more permitted development rights, as well as concern over the green belt and where development can occur, however on the whole the changes were supported.

·        Officers explained that the Government’s two imperatives when it came to the NMDC were to make the planning system less complex and uncertain and increase the quality of new developments.

·        That the National Design Guide, published by the government contained 10 themes which were to help local government in creating their own design code, however officers emphasised the flexibility in the National Design Guide, which left the choice and implementation of themes to local authorities.

·        That early next year would be a good time to conduct a review on the design codes based on the National Design Guide created by other local authorities.


The Executive Member thanked officers for their report and expressed the need for architectural planning to be of quality, sustainable designs and also distinctly adapted to York, in relation to the Government’s intentions to standardise language of planning and development throughout the country.



(i)   That the contents of the report and its annexes be noted.

(ii)   That the Council’s response to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) consultation referred to in the report, with reference to input to the Full Council debate on planning on 22 March 2021, be delegated to the Assistant Director for Planning and Public Protection.


Reason: To enable to MHCLG to receive the council’s overall response to the consultation.






40.         Quarterly Economic Update


The Executive Member considered a report which provided a quarterly economic update for the period January 2021 to March 2021.

Key points arising from consideration of this item included:

·        The Executive Member and officers emphasised the need to support those who were unemployed and to increase the availability of support to business start-ups, which were expected to be large sources of employment post-lockdown.

·        That progress has been made with colleagues from York St John University to implement a mental health scheme.

·        That recent announcements of inward investment to York by companies such as Nestle were encouraging, and that changing business models in terms of home working frees up opportunity for investment in York.


The Executive Member thanked the Head of Economic Development for his report and noted with concern the national statistics regarding the changes to border arrangements with the European Union, as York’s exports were particularly focused on the EU.




(i)   That the contents of the report be noted.


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





Cllr A Waller, Executive Member

[The meeting started at 10.00 am and finished at 10.54 am].