City of York Council

Committee Minutes


Children, Culture and Communities Scrutiny Committee


7 November 2023


Councillors Nicholls (Chair), Nelson (Vice-Chair), Clarke, Crawshaw, Cuthbertson, Fenton (substitute for Councillor Pearson), Knight, Waller, Wells and Wilson



In Attendance

Councillor Pearson


Niall McVicar - Head of Service – Innovation and Children’s Champion

Martin Kelly - Corporate Director, Children’s and Education

Pauline Stuchfield - Assistant Director, Customer Services

Sophia Lenton-Brook - CYSCP Business Manager

George Eddon - Senior Lawyer (Children)



14.        Declarations of Interest (5:33pm)


Members were asked to declare at this point in the meeting any disclosable pecuniary interest or other registerable interest they might have in respect of business on the agenda if they had not already done so in advance on the Register of Interests. Councillor Crawshaw declared an interest in that he had a family member who was a member of York Human Rights City Network (YHRCN), a partner of 100% Digital York.





15.        Minutes (5:34pm)


Resolved: That the minutes of the meeting of the committee held on 17 October 2023 be approved and signed as a correct record.





16.        Public Participation (5:35pm)


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





17.        Raise York - Family Hub Network Development Update (5:35pm)


The Head of Service for Innovation and Children’s Champion presented the report and noted that York was one of 12 local authorities that were funded in relation to family hubs.


In response to questions from members, it was confirmed that:

·               Transparency and trust with partners and making sure all shareholder’s needs were considered when making decisions was important for giving partners confidence in their working.

·               The Parent Champion project was being conducted in all areas of the country, recruiting parents from different backgrounds to reflect a balance of voices.

·               De-stigmatisation was a priority to be able to help people without there being any stigma attached to them receiving help.

·               The Transformation grant from Department for Education (DfE) was targeted at getting processes to change to be more sustainable and inclusive.

·               Explore York centres were equipping parents with new-born children with the skills to navigate through services that were available to them.

·               There was a network of youth help providers in York and the council was looking to engage with the network to develop a new Youth Strategy.

·               It was a priority to have an early support point available for everyone to be able to receive support.

·               Stakeholder communication would be looked at to improve engagement with members.

·               The pilot activity with Raise York Family Hubs and York Explore would be externally evaluated by the Department for education (DfE) and internally evaluated from feedback. Raise York were working with partners to agree on targets to be set.

·               City of York Council were using the Social Value Engine, a tool which measured the social value of work. This was used to justify actions taken by local authorities.

Resolved: That members noted and commented upon the development of a Raise York Family Hub Network and the pilots which were underway/in development.


Reason: To support the successful development and implementation of a Raise York Family Hubs network.




18.        Digital Inclusion Update (6:42pm)


The Director of Customer & Communities presented the report and highlighted that City of York Council had never had a digital inclusion department but had support for residents for financial inclusion, 100% Digital was established with the help of York Explore.


The Director provided an update on the IT Reuse scheme and mentioned that the scheme received donations of 267 devices between April and August 2023, and of these, 118 devices and 90 sim cards were distributed.

In response to questions from members, it was confirmed that:

·               Communities could consolidate funds to buy into connectivity together to have a greater buying power to become more connected.

·               The map on page 25 of the agenda was based upon socio-economic data and many people in older houses may not be as interested in digital inclusion.

·               100% were not financially supporting any fibre organisations and did not spend money or procure products.

·               Objectives and potential outcomes were to be considered in a future meeting of 100% Digital.

Resolved: That members noted and commented upon the digital inclusion update and future plans for the digital inclusion partnership.


Reason: So that members were aware of future plans for the digital inclusion partnership.




19.        Safeguarding Report - for information (7:06pm)


The Director of Childrens and Education and the City of York Safeguarding Children Partnership (CYSCP) Business Manager presented the report.


The Director of Childrens and Education noted that CYSCP partook in a Section 11 Self-Audit every two years, where safeguarding partners and conducted a self-audit of their safeguarding practices.




In response to questions from members, it was confirmed that:

·               The Section 11 Self-Audit had been enhanced and has led to action plans for agencies which were monitored by the partnership’s executive.

·               Safeguarding agencies within CYSCP held each other to account and challenged each other to create efficient working relationships.

·               There had been an investment of over £1 million into child safeguarding from the Police following recommendations from the Police HMICFRS inspection, referenced on page 58 of the agenda.

·               The statistics referenced on page 51 of the agenda, on the work of the Case Review Subgroup, were low compared to other Local Authorities.

Resolved: That members noted the report.


Reason: So that members were introduced to the work of CYSCP.





20.        Work Plan (7:33pm)


Members considered the Committee’s work plan for the 2023/24 municipal year.


It was recommended that:

·               The Committee receive a further report in July 2024 on Family Hubs including a narrative of the impact of individual cases.

·               The Committee receive a report into the accessibility of digital services for those who are offline.

Resolved: That Members considered the Committee’s work plan for the 2023/24 municipal year.


Reason: To have kept the Committee’s work plan for the 2023/24 municipal year updated.






Cllr Nicholls, Chair

[The meeting started at 5.33 pm and finished at 7.47 pm].




























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