20 May 2021

Report of the Chief Operating Officer

Portfolio of the Leader of the Council


Update on the Council Plan 2019-2023 and progress towards a 10 year city plan




1.        This report sets out an update to the Council Plan 2019-2023 to consider the changed context over the last year, particularly in respect of Covid-19. The report recommends that the main outcome areas of the plan remain appropriate, alongside the key activities the Council will undertake to achieve them. However, the operating context for many services has changed and there are some additional activities required in pursuit of the stated outcomes for the city. Executive is asked to approve these updates to the Council Plan.


2.        A summary of progress against the original activities within the Council Plan is also included at Annex 2.


3.        The report also describes the progress and discussions underway to develop a 10 Year Plan for the city. Executive is asked to note this progress and allow further reports to come forward providing more detail as it is developed.




4.        The Executive is asked to:

1)   Approve the proposed updates to the Council Plan 2019-2023, at Annex 1.

Reason: To ensure the council’s overall strategic plan continues to fully represent the context and activities of the council.

2)   Note progress on the development of the 10 Year Plan and request further updates in due course as more detail is available.


Reason: to ensure Executive are fully aware and consulted on the development of the plan.




5.   The Council Plan 2019-23, entitled “Making History, Building Communities” was approved by Executive on 24 October 2019 and formally approved by Full Council on 31 October 2019 following consultation with residents, businesses and staff.

6.   The key outcome areas of the plan are as follows:

a.   good health and wellbeing

b.   well paid jobs and an inclusive economy

c.   getting around sustainably

d.   a better start for children and young people

e.   a greener and cleaner city

f.     creating homes and world-class infrastructure

g.   safe communities and culture for all

h.   an open and effective council

7.   Progress against the plan is monitored quarterly through Finance and Performance Monitor reports. It was intended that there would be annual reviews of the plan to consider any additional or changed activities required to allow the achievement of the outcomes. However, the emergence of the pandemic in 2020 prevented this from happening.

8.   A 1-year Recovery and Renewal Plan was put in place to provide relevant strategic direction for the council in light of the very specific circumstances of Covid-19. It is now desirable to consider the ongoing impacts and implications of Covid-19 in the context of the approved Council Plan ambitions, uniting the ongoing response to the pandemic with the pre-existing strategic direction of the council.

9.   Proposed updates are shown in Annex 1. The additions are highlighted in yellow, with the non-highlighted text unchanged from the original plan. The proposed updates do not seek to change the strategic outcomes of the council plan, which are still considered to be a clear reflection of the required components of a city which provides a good quality of life for its residents. Instead, the updates describe changed or additional activity required in order to achieve those outcomes, starting from the very different context in which the city now finds itself.




10.    The proposed updates to the Council Plan have been identified through the following channels:

a.   Conversations with key partners and organisations across the city to understand the changed context since the plan was initially approved, particularly in light of Covid-19.

b.   Discussion with senior managers of the council to determine the appropriate additional activities required to address and deliver towards the key outcomes of the plan.


11.    If the updates to the plan are approved, they will be added to the publication version of the plan, shared with all Members and officers of the council, communicated to partner organisations across the city and published on the Council’s website.


12.    The initial discussions around the development of the 10 Year Plan (described below in paragraph 19) have taken place with key partner organisations and these amendments to the Council Plan will also be considered in the development of the 10 Year Plan.




13.    Executive may decide to approve the updates to the council plan as outlined in Annex 1, or to propose amendments or additions to those updates.




14.    Given the need for a clarity, it is important that the pre-existing ambitions and activities contained within the Council Plan are aligned with the necessary ongoing activities in response to the pandemic. The updates proposed reflect the need to minimise additional disruption to critical areas of council delivery, but identify clear activities needed to deliver the stated outcomes.


15.    Annex 2 provides an update of progress against the original 78 actions described within the Council Plan. This information has been used to identify any additional activities required to continue progress on the plan’s outcomes.


16.    There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has created new challenges and exacerbated existing ones. There are also new opportunities and areas for consideration in respect of driving a strong and fair recovery. After reviewing the outcome framework at the heart of the plan, it is suggested that this remains a good articulation of what is required, at a city level, to support a good quality of life for residents. It is, therefore, not recommended that the overall framework needs to be amended.


17.    By referencing the impacts and implications of the pandemic upon the plan, the updates provide the context for the work necessary to drive recovery. This will link to the work to develop the 10 year plan, with the council plan actions which are planned or delivered at a city level in partnership with others forming a key part of the council’s contribution to that plan.


18.    It is highly likely that, across many areas of the council plan, the context will continue to change over the coming years, and we would expect to consider another set of updates in 2022, for what will be the final year of the plan.


The development of a 10 year plan


19.    Conversations are currently underway between officers and partner organisations across the city to define the scope and structure for a 10-Year plan for York. This plan was first proposed last summer within the 1-Year Recovery and Renewal Plan, recognising that there would need to be a longer-term focus on building back better, addressing the many impacts of Covid-19, alongside realising the potential of the city over the next decade. Development of this plan has been delayed, largely due to the subsequent waves of infection and necessary response activities.


20.    Views are being sought on the following areas:


a.   The aspirations for what the plan will achieve, the problems it will address and the opportunities it will capitalise upon.

b.   The coverage and structure of the plan

c.   The engagement process

d.   The ownership and monitoring of the plan

e.   The relevance of the plan to the strategic ambitions and plans of individual organisations.


21.    From the initial conversations, there are a range of views in response to these questions. Recurring themes include the need for ambition, for clarity and focus on specific activities which are most critical, and the need for this to be jointly owned by the city as a whole.


22.     The plan will provide a clear direction at a city level and must be consistent with the emerging policy direction of those plans and strategies in development, including the Climate Change Strategy, Economic Strategy, Local Transport Plan and the Local Plan.


23.    Whilst there is no specific funding identified for the plan at this stage, it is intended that the plan provides a compelling case for investment in the city, showing how the organisations can and will work together towards a commonly-held vision. In this sense, there variety of future funding opportunities which might contribute towards its achievement.


Council Plan


24.    This report relates directly to the Council Plan and therefore has implications across each outcome area.




·           Financial – The additional activities described within Annex 1 will be achieved within the existing approved budget. There are, therefore, no additional financial considerations identified at this stage.

·           Human Resources (HR)  – No identified implications

·           One Planet Council / Equalities– See Annex 3

·           Legal – No identified implications

·           Crime and Disorder - No identified implications 

·           Information Technology (IT) No identified implications

·           Property No identified implications


Risk Management


8.    There are no known risks associated with the recommendations in this paper.



Contact Details




Chief Officer Responsible for the report:


Will Boardman

Head of Corporate Policy and City Partnerships




Ian Floyd

Chief Operating Officer


Report Approved



[Insert Date]







Specialist Implications Officer(s)  List information for all


Financial:-                                        Legal:-

Name                                               Name

Title:                                                 Title

Tel No.                                             Tel No.


Wards Affected:  [List wards or tick box to indicate all]







For further information please contact the author of the report



Background Papers:


Executive Report approving the Council Plan






Annex 1 – Proposed Updates to the Council Plan

Annex 2 – Updates on Council Plan Actions

Annex 3 – Equalities Impact Assessment


List of Abbreviations Used in this Report