City of York Council

Committee Minutes


Decision Session - Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities


21 March 2023



Officers in Attendance


Councillor Smalley (Executive Member)


Pauline Stuchfield, Director of Customer and Communities

Laura Williams, Assistant Director of Customer, Communities and Inclusion

Claire Foale, Assistant Director of Policy and Strategy





22.         Declarations of Interest (9:01 am)


The Executive Member was asked to declare, at this point in the meeting, any disclosable pecuniary interests, or other registerable interests he might have in the respect of business on the agenda, if he had not already done so in advance on the Register of Interests. None were declared.




23.         Minutes (9:01 am)


Resolved:  That the minutes of the Decision Session held on 31 January 2023 be approved and then signed by the Executive Member as a correct record.




24.         Public Participation (9:02 am)


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


Cllr Melly spoke on agenda item 4, Update on Anti-Racism Strategy work. She welcomed the report and thanked everyone that had contributed to it. She agreed that the report poignantly highlighted the need for action to address racism and racial disparity in the city.





25.         Update on Anti-Racism Strategy Work (9:03 am)


The Executive Member considered a report that provided an update on ongoing work within City of York Council (CYC) in response to the October 2021 unanimously approved Full Council motion to become an anti-racist and inclusive city.  The report also provided an initial response to the report ‘A Snapshot View of Racial Disparity in the City of York’ published by Inclusive Equal Rights UK 3.0 (IERUK) in February 2023, with the intention of highlighting structural inequalities and disparities facing ethnic minorities in York.

The Director of Customer and Communities provided an overview, noting that:

·       The overarching goal of the motion was to develop a long-term anti-racism and inclusion strategy and action plan for York. The action plan would provide an evidence-based set of initiatives to tackle and dismantle casual and systemic racism, promote equality and fairness and champion diversity and inclusion in the city of York.

·       CYC acknowledged, and will learn from, IERUK’s work with residents who had been subjected to racism.

·       The council regularly hosted a Hate Crime working group which was well attended by both the Police and partners from across the city. The group’s current priorities, as highlighted in paragraph 22 of the report, were noted.

·       A team to focus on all aspects of Human Rights, Equalities, Diversity & Inclusion was being brought together and would be led by the Assistant Director of Customer, Communities & Inclusion.

·       Refreshed Human Rights and Equalities Impact Assessments would be introduced and form a fundamental part of decision making and policy development. This process would be continually developed and refined. 

·       The York Human Rights City Network (YHRCN) ran the Community Voices project on behalf of CYC, with the intentof amplifying the voices and agendas of those residentsin marginalised communities and groups. YHRCN were reviewing this programme with CYC to ensure that it met its original objective to work with the most marginalised.

The Assistant Director of Customer, Communities & Inclusion thanked officers for the work undertaken so far, and she noted that her team would provide strategic direction and organise training in relation to the council’s human rights and equalities work to increase knowledge and awareness amongst all CYC officers and elected members.


The Assistant Director of Policy and Strategy commended those individuals who had shared their lived experiences with IERUK, and she encouraged others to come forward.


The Executive Member thanked all those that had contributed on this important and challenging issue, and he commended those that had brought groups together to develop this work. He thanked IERUK and all the volunteers, particularly all the organisations, charities and voluntary groups that continued to support this agenda. He welcomed the action plan, and he thanked the public speaker for her contribution, which demonstrated the cross party ambition for York to become an anti-racist and inclusive city


(i)           That the ongoing work in relation to the council motion to become an inclusive and anti-racist city, be noted.


(ii)         That the initial response to the Inclusive Equal Rights UK 3.0 (IERUK) report, be noted


Reason:     To reaffirm City of York Council’s commitment to being an Anti-Racist City.




26.         Executive Member Comments (9:13 am)


The Executive Member thanked all those who had contributed to his Decision Sessions over the last four years, and he commended the work and achievements made.








Cllr Smalley, Executive Member

[The meeting started at 9.01 am and finished at 9.13 am].