eCity Of York Council

Committee Minutes


Customer and Corporate Services Scrutiny Management Committee


8 March 2021





Officers in Attendance

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


Monitoring Officer (Janie Berry); Assistant Director Public Health (Fiona Phillips); Section 151 Officer (Debbie Mitchell); Corporate Director of Economy & Place (Neil Ferris); Head of Business Intelligence and Head of Civic, Democratic & Scrutiny Services





79.         Declarations of Interest


At this point in the meeting, the Chair invited Members to declare any personal, pecuniary or prejudicial interests, which they had not already included in their standing register of interests. 


Councillor Kilbane declared a personal, non-pecuniary, interest in Minute No 83 below as a part-owner of a hospitality business and as former Chair of a Trader’s Association.





80.         Minutes


Resolved:  That the minutes of the last meeting of the Committee held on 8 February 2021 were approved, to be signed by the Chair as a correct record, at a later date.





81.         Public Participation


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





82.         2020/21 Finance and Performance Monitor 3


Members considered the Quarter 3 Finance & Performance Monitor Report outlining the position as reported to the Executive on 11 February 2021.


In terms of the financial position,  it was reported that the report did not address the potential and continuing impact of Covid 19 on income streams arising from the 3rd lockdown due to timing of publication.  Nor did it reflect any additional burden stemming from the winter floods or take account of the additional support measures introduced by the Government as a result of the 3rd lockdown. All local authorities were similarly faced with financial Covid pressures and it was noted that reserves may need to be called on to balance this year’s budget.


In terms of performance monitoring information, it was noted that gathering data had equally been affected by Covid 19.


The Chair asked the Section 151 Officer to provide an outline estimate of flooding costs to Members of the Committee by email when available.


Members then asked a range of questions on the report relating to various overspends, the Housing Revenue Account (HRA), the percentage of children found to obese, decreasing life expectancy, mounting costs in Adult Social Care, as well as the dedicated schools grant and universal credit.


Arising from that debate, it was suggested that more information be included in the Quarter 4 report on life expectancy and children with obesity, with a view to inviting Health & Adult Social Care Policy & Scrutiny Committee to look at those areas in more detail. More information would also be included on mitigations being undertaken to address the overspend in adult social care provision. 


RESOLVED;       That the report and current position be noted, as outlined in the Quarter 3 Monitoring report and the above modifications be made to information contained in the Quarter 4 report.


REASON:           To keep the Committee properly informed of current financial and performance positions and provide it with an opportunity to monitor and scrutinise those positions.


{Councillor Mason joined the meeting at approximately 5.48pm during consideration of the above item}





83.         Covid 19 Update and Preliminary Roadmap to Council Recovery post Lockdown


Firstly, Members received their monthly update and presentation from the Assistant Director of Public Health covering the following areas:


·        New cases in the last 7 days, on average the number reported being between 10-15 daily;

·        Trends across all age ranges, with numbers across all currently reducing;

·        Hospital admissions decreasing;;

·        Weekly deaths;

·        Lateral flow testing across 3 sites in York;

·        Tests for returning school children in York w/c 8 March 2021;

·        Vaccination progress, with 32% having had their first in York;

·        Outbreak management, with plans to emerge from lockdown and wider introduction of lateral flow testing;

·        Contact tracing, with York being authorised to do all local follow up contact;

·        New variants and their occurrence in York


Members then asked various questions around intensive care beds, the source of Covid spread, the potential impact of schools re-opening and the availability of test stock.


Further to the above presentation and after a short adjournment, Members then received a presentation from the Corporate Director of Economy & Place outlining the Council’s roadmap to recovery to fit with the 4 stages in the Government’s plan, culminating in a full re-opening of all shops, facilities, hospitality etc on 21 June 2021. The roadmap would focus on safe well managed city space with outdoor seating and areas being crucial. 


Members then questioned the Corporate Director on footstreets, opening up front streets outside of the city centre, managing visitors and residents safely within the city, café licences and business rates, the usage of public spaces/squares, as well as  the operation of waste disposal sites and local capacity and the return to West Offices by staff and Councillors. On that latter point, Members considered it would be appropriate for the Committee to look at the options for hybrid meetings with a return to West Offices likely in part at least during the year.


RESOLVED:       That


(1) the public health Covid 19 update, presentation and current position be noted.


REASON:           To keep up to date with the current position relating to the impact of Covid 19 in York.


(2) the outline presentation of the Council’s roadmap to recovery be noted and the Economy & Place Policy & Scrutiny Committee be asked to monitor the situation regarding the re-opening of the city centre and economy;


(3) a report be received at a future meeting of this Committee outlining potential options for operating hybrid and remote meetings in anticipation of a return (partial or otherwise) to West Offices for Councillors and staff later in the year,


REASON:  To keep informed on and scrutinise the Council’s recovery plans out of lockdown.


{Councillor Rowley left the meeting at 7.21pm during consideration of the above item)





84.         Work Plan


Members received and considered their work plan for coming meetings, together with details of business for other Scrutiny Committees. The Chair then updated Members further on the work plan for this Committee and identified potential further commissioned scrutiny slots, subject to final clarification. He advised Members that he would be addressing Council Management Team shortly to discuss meaningful engagement with scrutiny.  There would be a Scrutiny Chairs/vice Chairs session on 17 March 2021 to initially outline potential constitutional changes affecting the scrutiny function. 


Finally, the Chair outlined the next steps in relation to a review regarding an ethical disposal policy , previously agreed by the Committee.  It was proposed to invite 3 or 4 Members from this Committee and Economy & Place Scrutiny & Policy Committee to gather information from other local authorities and report back to the Committee in due course.


RESOLVED:       That the work plan and Chair’s update be noted.


REASON:           To ensure that the work of the Committee is properly managed in accordance with its work plan.








Councillor J Crawshaw, Chair

[The meeting started at 5.30 pm and finished at 7.32 pm].





















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