City of York Council

Committee Minutes


Decision Session - Executive Leader (incorporating Policy, Strategy and Partnerships)


9 March 2022


Councillor Aspden




1.           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 had in respect of business on the agenda. He confirmed that he had none.




2.           Minutes


Resolved:  That the minutes of the Executive Leader Decision Session held on 13 December 2021 be approved and signed by the Executive Leader as a correct record.




3.           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 confirmed that the York Labour Party supported the Council’s bid to be the location of the headquarters of Great British Railways (GBR). He thanked officers, the Executive Leader, and Members of Parliament who had promoted York to be the location of the headquarters. He supported the aim to bring more high skilled jobs to York, however, he highlighted the challenges of housing affordability in York. If the Headquarters were based in the city and were successful there would be more people looking to work in the city. He therefore requested that more be done to tackle the affordability of living in York. 




4.           Great British Railways Headquarters


Officers outlined the Council’s intentions to bid to be the headquarters for the new Great British Railways (GBR). It was confirmed that the headquarters were considered by Government as a gateway to its levelling up agenda. Officers sought the Executive Leader’s support for the bid which would enter York into a public vote on which town or city should be the location of the new headquarters.


The Executive Leader confirmed his support for the bid and thanked those that had worked on and promoted the bid including Members of Parliament who had spoken in favour of York. He highlighted York’s long tradition as a key location for the rail industry, the benefits of developing York Central and noted that if successful the headquarters would go alongside a government aspiration for Cabinet jobs to also be moved to York.




                   i.        The Leader of the Council noted the considerable benefits of York being home to Great British Railways HQ;

                  ii.        Approved the submission of a formal expression of

interest signalling the Council’s intent;

                 iii.        Agreed the expression of interest will be a joint submission from York, North Yorkshire and Y&NY LEP and will follow extensive consultation with city partners, lead members and rail leaders.

                iv.        To delegate the authority to finalise and submit the  expression of interest to the Chief Operating Officer following consultation with the Leader of the Council, in accordance with the recommendations above and within the competition deadline of 16 March 2022.


Reason:    The competition deadline is 16 March 2022, with several cities and towns indicating interest. To avoid revealing our evidence too early, it is proposed that the expression of interest is not publicly shared before the competition deadline. As part of  the consultation process it will first be shared with city partners and rail leaders to ensure an accurate reflection of York’s  strengths. The joint expression of interest demonstrates the importance GBR and the rail sector has for the whole of the region, and the collaboration of the North Yorkshire Local Authorities who support York becoming the home of GBR.








Cllr Aspden, Executive Leader

[The meeting started at 1.30 pm and finished at 1.39 pm].




























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