City Of York Council

Committee Minutes


Customer and Corporate Services Scrutiny Management Committee


4 January 2021


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





62.         Declarations of Interest


At this point in the meeting, Members were invited to declare any personal or pecuniary interests in the business on the agenda, not already declared on their standing register of interests.  None were declared.





63.         Minutes


The minutes of meetings of the Committee held on 18 & 23 November and 7 December 2020 were put to the meeting for approval as correct records of the meetings concerned.


In relation to the minutes of the meeting held on 18 November 2020, it was agreed to change the reference on page 2 of those published minutes, under Minute No 50 (Strategic Partnership Agreement) to ‘real living’ and not ‘minimum’ wage.


In relation to the minutes of the meeting held on 23 November 2020, whilst there were no proposed amendments, the Chair took the opportunity to remind Officers ensure the Asset Management Plan was circulated to all Ward Members again as specified in those minutes.


In relation to the meeting held on 7 December 2020,  the following amendments were proposed and agreed:


·         To record Councillor Pearson has having wished his vote to be recorded as personally supporting Option 3 of the proposals under consideration at Minute No 61 (New stadium leisure complex commercial proposals on restaurant units).  Also on page 13 of the same minute add in the specific minute no. (being 55) referred to, which had been omitted in error;


·         Under Minute No 59 (Finance and Budget Setting Update), to remove the words ‘schools grant’ and refer specifically to ‘SEND funding’. Under the same minute, to remove the words ‘pointed reference’ and replace with ‘referred to’;


RESOLVED;             That the minutes of the meetings held on 18 & 23 November 2020 and 7 December 2020, be approved as a correct record subject to the above amendments.






64.         Public Participation


There were no registrations to speak at the meeting under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.





65.         Public Health Update


The Director of Public Health attended the meeting to give a presentation on the most current public health information available relating to Covid 19, which broadly covered:


·         7 day incidence rates per 100,000, showing how York had gone from having lowest figures regionally to the highest over the 3 week Christmas and New Year period.  The rate was now much closer to national figures.  By way of comparison, details were given of those rates nationally, regionally and in York residents over 60;

·         Positivity rates (Pillar 2 only), which had also increased rapidly over the same period;

·         Hospital activity as at 23/12/20 and 4/1/21, culminating in growing pressure on the hospital and consequently on adult social care, in particular domiciliary care which was being carefully monitored;

·         Covid 19 & Excess deaths, which, again, had risen but not yet reached the peak around March/April 2020;

·         Trends by age band, with every age group increasing in Covid illness;

·         Cases in residential settings/schools, as at 31 December 2020 there had been 7 care home cases and 23 school children had tested positive prior to the Christmas school holidays;

·         MSOA (Medium Super Output Areas) rates in last 7 days, a map detailing outbreaks in York would be emailed to Members of the Committee.  The pattern of outbreaks had shifted slightly from more in Bishopthorpe & Askham Richard to acceleration in Woodthorpe & Acomb Park in recent days.  Test centres were being mobilised in both those areas;

·         Local tracing of cases, where the number of referrals was increasing locally


In summary, the Director advised Members that there had been a significant rise in infection rates since she last reported to the Committee, impacting on the delivery of some Council services as staff sickness levels rose, in particular the waste and highways teams. Another test and flow site was to be opened in conjunction with York University as testing capacity currently remained stretched.  She concluded by welcoming any feedback on how the Council might improve its communication and engagement from a public health perspective.


The Assistant Director (Education & Skills) then gave a schools update in terms of the Covid 19 impact on public health, reiterating the close working relationship with the Public Health Team.  She advised Members that testing on site had been opened up for exam year groups over Christmas and was heavily pressured. A number of schools had not been able to open in recent days.  Lateral flow testing kits had been received in secondary schools but it was proving difficult to find sufficient resources to support the testing. In response to questions from Members, she outlined the steps which would need[SD1]  to be followed should the Council wish to make representations to the Government to close schools.  Although the Director of Public Health re-emphasised her position that adequate measures remained in place to protect pupils and teachers alike in order to continue to provide education.

The Chair then invited questions on the presentation and updates given and the Officers responded to various questions covering the availability of Covid re-infection data, google classroom lessons and digital platform use, lateral flow testing within the Council being piloted within the Economy & Place Directorate, the effectiveness of communications, the potential reasons for the sudden upsurge in York, recent excess deaths data and outbreak locations in York.


RESOLVED:             That   


(i)          the Director of Public Health and Assistant Director (Education & Skills) be thanked for their presentations and the information provided;

(ii)         current statistical data relating to excess deaths in York be provided to Members of the Committee for their information;

(iii)        an update be received at the next meeting on the lateral flow testing being piloted within the Highways team (refuse collection and winter gritting etc).





66.         York Central Partnership Governance


Members considered a report and received a further presentation from the Interim Director of Place on the partnership governance arrangements in place for the York Central Project. Stephen Hind and Catherine Clayton were attending the meeting representing Network Rail and the National Railway Museum respectively, with apologies being received Marie Cadell of Homes England, due to a Covid 19 emergency. 


The Interim Director took Members through her presentation which detailed:



Stephen Hind and Catherine Clayton then briefly outlined their individual roles and the ambitions of their organisations for the project, as well as specific arrangements for the Landowners Board & Design Panel.


The Interim Director and partnership representatives then responded to a range of questions from Members, covering the Government’s award of funding to Homes England and not directly the Council, the Council’s role as project facilitators and not land owners and the potential for local influence on the Landowners Board, the commitment to mixed use on the development, and the next key steps, as well as a continuing commitment to community involvement on developing the site and attracting high quality jobs with appropriate skills training.


RESOLVED:             That the report and presentation outlining the current and potential governance arrangement for York Central Partnership be noted and Stephen Hind and Catherine Clayton be thanked for attending and contributing.





67.         Work Plan


Members considered the proposed work plan for forthcoming meetings of CSMC and other Committees during the next month and beyond.  The Chair updated Members briefly, advising them that there was now a post decision Call In meeting scheduled for 25 January 2021 relating to Make It York, in addition to a joint commissioned scrutiny session between Members of Children’s Services and Economy & Place Committees looking at apprenticeships.








Councillor J Crawshaw, Chair

[The meeting started at 5.30 pm and finished at 8.00 pm].





















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