City of York Council

Committee Minutes


Decision Session - Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities


19 April 2022


Councillor Smalley (Executive Member)




13.         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 disclosable pecuniary interests that he might have in respect of the business on the agenda. None were declared.




14.         Minutes


Resolved:  That the minutes of the Decision Session held on 22 February 2022 be approved and signed by the Executive Member as a correct record.




15.         Public Participation


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


Cllr Kilbane commented on both agenda items.  He welcomed the Westfield Multi-Use Games Area but wanted a robust guarantee that it would remain accessible to the community. He supported this investment, as anti-social behaviour had risen in the area.


Regarding agenda item 5, Cllr Kilbane welcomed the scheme and agreed that DBS checks were required and that the United Nations advice should be followed, to not house female refugees with single men.  He questioned how the budget would be allocated and requested that all the funding spent on the programme be publicly accounted for. He welcomed City of Sanctuary’s role within the programme and he confirmed that the Labour group looked forward to welcoming Ukrainian refugees to the city.




16.         Westfield Multi-Use Games Area


The Executive Member considered a report that set out the background to the removal of the Kingsway West Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) and the commitment of the Council to reinstate a new and enhanced MUGA within the Westfield Ward.


The Community Sports Development Manager provided a brief update, noting that:

·     In March 2019 the Executive had made a commitment that alternative recreational facilities would be provided within the Westfield Ward community, in mitigation to the loss of the MUGA at Kingsway West.

·     A budget of £200k was approved by Full Council on 25 February 2021.

·     An approach was made to York Acorn Amateur Rugby League Sports and Social Club, which was less than half a mile away on foot from the old site. They had expressed their approval for the new MUGA to be situated on their site off Thanet Road.

·     The potential new MUGA could be in the region of 30mx45m, providing a significantly larger multi-use space than the one that had been removed.

·     The planning application would be for an artificial grass pitch, with flood lighting and fencing to support the sports of rugby league and football but could also be used for other active leisure opportunities and informal play.

·     The local community had been consulted throughout the initial plans of the proposed development and recent consultation was also carried out through Foxwood Residents Association and at Foxwood Community Centre. Many of the detailed features of the facility and its opening hours would be developed in response to feedback received.

·     Consultation had also taken place with Sport England, The Rugby Football League and the North Riding County Football Association and they had all offered their support to move forward.


The Executive Member commended all those that had been involved in the process, particularly officers and the Westfield and Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Ward Councillors. He noted that the old MUGA was missed by local residents and he agreed that the new larger site would create great opportunities for the community. He welcomed the investment and thanked officers for the local consultation that had taken place.




(i)   That Option 1 be agreed:


·      That delegated authority be given to the Director of Customer and Communities to apply for planning permission for the new scheme.


·      That the Director of Customer and Communities, in consultation with the Director of Governance, appoint the contractor to undertake the works, in accordance with the council’s contract procedure rules, and subject to the project being deliverable within the available budget and planning permission being received.


Reason: To secure the reinstatement of a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) in the Westfield Ward and to help meet the increasing demand for artificial grass pitches and accessible sports facilities for young people in the area.




17.         York’s Welcome to Ukrainian Refugees


The Executive Member considered a report that set out the city’s response to welcoming Ukrainian refugees to the city.


The Assistant Director of Customer and Communities provided an overview and in response to the speakers’ comments, he stated that:

·        29 Ukrainian guests had arrived in York and numbers were slowly beginning to increase, following a delay with the visa applications.

·        The Government matched Sponsors to Guests, Local Authorities (LA) were not involved in this process.

·        It was the LA’s responsibility to ensure property and DBS checks had taken place and that safeguarding checks continued, to monitor the success of the placements.

·        Officers would continue to consult with Guests, to monitor their well-being and safety.

·        The funding available would directly support the Guests well-being and their integration into life in York. The funding would also be used to employ additional staff to respond to the needs of the Guests and Sponsors.

·        Although some expenditure maybe required rapidly, there would be full transparency on how the funding had been used. 


The Executive Member noted that Guests had started to arrive in York over the last 10 days and officers were responding in a flexible and person-centred way to ensure the individual needs of each Guest were met.  In answer to questions raised, it was noted that the ‘thank you’ payments were made at the end of the first month and a schedule had been created to ensure all Sponsors received the payment.


The Executive Member referenced the challenges highlighted within the annex to the report regarding using hotels as initial accommodation sites for asylum seekers and he noted how heart-warming the response was from York residents to support people coming from the Ukraine to the city. He commended all those that had been involved in the scheme.


The Executive Member also expressed his appreciation to those that had registered to be a Sponsor on the Homes for Ukraine Scheme. He thanked officers for the report and welcomed Ukrainian refugees to the city.




(i)    That the actions currently being taken be noted.

(ii)   That the initial funding to City of Sanctuary, set out in paragraph 16 of the report, be agreed.


(iii)  That the grant arrangements, set out in paragraph 23 of the report, be agreed.


(iv) That the arrangements with Migration Yorkshire, as set out in paragraph 29 of the report, be agreed.


Reason:  To provide an effective and coordinated welcome to Ukrainians arriving in York





Cllr Smalley, Executive Member

[The meeting started at 9.00am and finished at 9.23am].