22 April 2021

Report of the Chief Operating Officer

Portfolio of the Leader of the Council


City of York Council Recovery and Renewal Strategy – April Update




1.    This report provides an update on activities both directly in response to Covid-19 and the work to support recovery and renewal. This follows previous Executive decisions to approve the Recovery and Renewal Plan, which frames the Council’s recovery activity.


2.    In this month’s report, a strategy for engaging with residents is outlined for approval by Executive. Some of the immediate actions related to reopening the city are noted, along with the potential of central government funding for York. Executive is asked to approve the approach for responding to these funding opportunities.


3.    It is highly likely given the fast-changing nature of the pandemic that some of the information within this report will have changed between publication and the Executive meeting. Updates will, therefore, be given at the meeting.




4.    Executive is asked to:

a.   Note the contents of the report

b.   Approve the approach to resident engagement as outlined in Annexes 1, 1a, 1b and 1c.

c.   Approve a trial of a commercial waste collection for bags on a Sunday within the city centre, as outlined in paragraph 20.

d.   Approve the delegation of the selection of projects for submission to the Levelling Up Fund to the Corporate Director of Economy & Place, in consultation with relevant Executive Members, and that an update on submissions is presented to Executive at its July 2021 meeting, as outlined in Annex 2.

e.   Approve a York UK Community Renewal Fund call for proposals, as set out in Annex 3.

f.     Delegate the final decisions on the selection of a York UK Community Renewal Fund priority list, for submission to Government, to the Executive Member for Economy & Strategic Planning, in consultation with the Executive Member for Culture, Leisure & Communities.





5.    On 25th June 2020, Executive received a report to outline the council’s 1-year Recovery and Renewal Strategy. This highlighted the need for a revised set of strategies to address the very significant and immediate impacts of coronavirus across all aspects of life in our city.


6.    The strategy set the following principles upon which we will build our response:


a.   Prioritise the health and wellbeing of our residents, against the immediate threat of coronavirus and the consequences of changes to the way we live. Public Health guidance will be paramount in all the decisions we make.

b.   Support the economic recovery of the City, helping to create a strong, sustainable and inclusive economy for the future. Learning lessons from the challenges of coronavirus, promote a system that utilises the strengths of our city and region to the benefit of all York’s residents and businesses.

c.   Protect and prioritise the City’s environment and reinforce our work to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

d.   Pursue improvements in service delivery where they have been identified as part of the Response phase, creating a more efficient and resilient system.

e.   Reinforce and restore public confidence in the resilience of public agencies and resilience to future challenges and emergencies. 


7.    Included in June’s report was a One Year Transport and Place Strategy, as the first part of the economic recovery approach. A report in July supplemented this with a Business Support Plan, a Skills and Employment Plan and a Tourism Marketing Plan.


CYC Recovery and Renewal Plan (1 year)

Economic Recovery Plan



Business Support Plan

One Year Transport and Place Plan

Skills and Employment Plan

Recovery from coronavirus:  A community-based approach


Organisational Development Plan

Tourism Marketing Plan


Latest Outbreak Update


8.    Given the continually changing context, an update on the latest situation will be given verbally to the Executive at the meeting.


9.    The latest official 7 day rate of positive cases of Covid in York is, at 12 April, 9 per 100,000 population. This figure is the lowest in the region and represents a huge effort from residents and organisations across the city to prevent infection. With the removal of restrictions, however, is increased risk of infection and it remains essential that people continue to exercise caution and prioritise the simple steps to avoid contracting or passing on the virus.


Recovery Updates




Resident engagement


10. The council is developing a new council-wide approach to engaging residents that will better support delivery of the council plan, demonstrate how the council is “an open and transparent council” and inform the 10 Year Plan.


11. The new approach will bring different engagement activities together in a single cohesive resident engagement programme supported by an in-house team. It will be pan-organisational, consolidate emerging feedback, share principles and assumptions, learn from previous engagement activity, reduce duplication and maximise available budget to ensure conversations join up and inform emerging strategies.


12. By taking a more disciplined approach, we will also ensure greater inclusivity by actively engaging with target communities, and reduce duplication to improve resident’s experience of open democracy.


13. The emerging resident engagement strategy is already informing the council’s approach to different thematic engagement plans including transport, city centre access and parking, economy and carbon reduction, with plans discussed at decision sessions throughout April and May.


14. The approach is outlined in Annexes 1, 1a, 1b and 1c, and Executive is asked to approve this approach.




15. The council has continued to support families, including though access to a holiday activity programme this Easter. The programme was funded through the government’s Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF), which provides healthy food and activities to targeted children. The Easter sessions, which were held at a number of schools in York, were used as pilots, with plans to roll the scheme out to more children during the summer holidays.


16. Given the nationwide issues with litter being left as people return to meeting outside, more litter pickers have volunteered as lockdown starts to lift, and now 520 are helping keep the city clean. One of those dedicated volunteers has picked up 5 tonnes of litter in just a year.




Reopening the City Centre


17. In March Executive delegated to the Corporate Director of Economy and Place in consultation with the Executive Member for Economy the expenditure of £200k of ARG funding to prepare the city centre for reopening. Having worked up proposals for public toilets, outdoor seating and security £65k has been allocated to Make It York to provide managed seating and toilets in Parliament Street, and £45k to the BID for College Green and seating across the city centre. These proposals were first reviewed and approved by the city’s Safety Advisory Group (SAG). £20k of funding will be used to provide security and waste collections across all of the outdoor seating areas. The first areas on Parliament Street were in place for the re-opening of non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality on Monday 12 April, with the remaining provision in place for the first weekend of 17 April. All of the areas are flexible and will remain under review and should any persistent issues or problems occur then they can be removed.


18. The Executive Member for Economy and Strategic planning has met with Traders Associations and individual traders on the 25th of March as to the challenges associated with re opening the City. Officers are now working with the Executive Members and liaising with business organisation to bring forward proposals to support traders across the whole City (including secondary shopping areas) as we move through the road map and towards the very important Christmas trading period for hospitality and Retail.


Commercial Waste Collection


19. Given the return of residents and visitors in greater numbers to the city centre, it is as important as ever to ensure a clean and tidy city centre. York as a medieval city has challenges around commercial waste, principally how it is presented and when is it collected. Historically, waste is put out for collection at the end of the day when the business closes and is not collected until the following morning. For the most part this is not an issue for businesses that have a location to store their waste on their own premises. The problem occurs where the business has no suitable storage site on the premise and has to present the waste on the public highway, either in plastic sacks or wheeled bins.


20. Currently there is no commercial waste collection for Council customers on a Sunday, this is only an issue for bagged waste which is presented on a Saturday.  A trial is, therefore, proposed to collect bagged commercial waste from Council customers on a Sunday. The costs of this will be met from within the services current budgets. Executive is asked to approve this trial.


Levelling Up Fund and UK Community Renewal Fund: York Approach


21. As part of the 2021 Spring Budget, the Chancellor announced two key funding pots to support regeneration, economic development and infrastructure across the UK.  Both funds include a prioritisation of places across the UK, with York appearing in the lowest priority group in both cases.  While this does not exclude the City from attracting investment through these funds, the low prioritisation means that it is likely that only very well developed, eye catching and innovative projects from York will be successful.


22. For the Levelling Up Fund, £4.4bn of capital funds have been provided across the UK.  City of York Council is able to submit three bids in total, at least one of which must be a transport-only project.  Details on the criteria and themes for the fund, together with more information on the scale of funding and process, are provided in Annex 2.  The deadline for submission is 18 June 2021.  It is proposed that the selection of projects for application in Round 1 and any subsequent rounds is delegated to the Corporate Director of Economy and Place, in consultation with relevant Executive Members.  All projects will need to be delivered by 31 March 2025.


23. The UK Community Renewal Fund is a short term £220m programme which will provide mostly revenue funding.  The fund requires that CYC runs a call for proposals, and then appraises and prioritises projects, submitting a priority list of no more than £3m of projects.  More details, together with an outline process for a York UK Community Renewal Fund call for proposals is presented in Annex 3.  It is proposed that the process as set out in that Annex is adopted by Executive, and that approval of a York priority list for submission is delegated to the Executive Member for Economy & Strategic Planning with the Executive Member for Culture, Leisure & Communities, who will hold a public decision session in early June to make the final selection of projects for submission.


Council Plan


24. The Recovery and Renewal Strategy outlines activities for the next year to allow the continued achievement of Council Plan outcomes.




-      Financial Within the body of the report.  

-      Human Resources – No specific impacts identified.

-      One Planet Council / Equalities – A principle of recovery is to ensure climate change is considered in decisions taken. The economic recovery plans recognise and respond to the unequal impact of coronavirus and the risk of increasing levels of inequality as a result.

-      Legal – No specific impacts identified.

-      Crime and Disorder – No specific impacts identified.

-      Information Technology – No specific impacts identified.

Risk Management


25. There remain significant areas of risk in responding to this crisis across all areas of recovery. The highest priority continues to be the health and wellbeing of residents and all planning and decisions will be taken with this in mind.


Contact Details





Chief Officer Responsible for the report:


Will Boardman

Neil Ferris

Simon Brereton

Claire Foale

Andy Kerr

Ian Floyd

Chief Operating Officer


Report Approved









Wards Affected:  List wards or tick box to indicate all










For further information please contact the author of the report





Annex 1 – Resident Engagement Strategy

Annex 1a – Better Decision Making Tool

Annex 1b – Mapping resident engagement to engagement purpose and strategic fit

Annex 1c – Engagement Framework

Annex 2 – Levelling Up Fund

Annex 3 – UK Community Renewal Fund


Background Reports


Update on Coronavirus Response – 7 May 2020



City of York Council Recovery and Renewal Strategy - June



CYC Recovery and Renewal Strategy Update – July



CYC Recovery and Renewal Strategy update - August



CYC Recovery and Renewal Strategy update – September




CYC Recovery and Renewal Strategy update – October




City of York Council Recovery and Renewal Strategy - November Update



City of York Council Recovery and Renewal Strategy – December update



City of York Council Recovery and Renewal Strategy –January Update



City of York Council Recovery and Renewal Strategy –February Update



City of York Council Recovery and Renewal Strategy –March Update