20 July 2021

Report of the Chief Operating Officer

Portfolio of the Leader of the Council


City of York Council Recovery and Renewal Strategy – July Update




1.    This report provides an update on activities both directly in response to Covid-19 and the work to support recovery and renewal.


2.    In this month’s report, the changed restrictions associated with Step 4 are discussed, along with updates on the development of a Citizens’ Panel to support broader engagement and an update on York’s bid to the Levelling Up fund.


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




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 the June 2020 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.    As at 6.7.21 a total of 143,248 CYC residents have had the first dose of the vaccine.  This represents 82.1% % of the estimated adult (18+) population of York.


10. As at 6.7.21 a total of 100,316 CYC residents have had both doses of the vaccine.  This represents 57.5% of the estimated adult (18+) population of York.


11. The latest official “validated” rate of new Covid cases per 100,000 of population for the period 27.6.21 to 3.7.21 in York was 414 (872 cases). The national and regional averages at this date were 263.9 and 333.2 respectively.


12. On 5 July, the Prime Minister hosted a press conference to set out plans for the final step of the Roadmap in England.


13. Step 4 could commence on 19 July if the Government’s “four tests” for easing COVID restrictions have been met. This will be confirmed on Monday 12 July following a review of the latest data.


14.              At the time of writing, guidance is still being published, so the following is provided as an indication. It is recommended that everyone refers to the latest guidance at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.


15. At Step 4, the Government will remove outstanding legal restrictions on social contact, life events, and open the remaining closed settings. They have said the focus is on enabling people and businesses to make informed decisions about how to manage the risk to themselves and others. 


16. This means that at Step 4: 

a.   All remaining limits on social contact will be removed and there will be no more restrictions on how many people can meet in any setting, indoors or outdoors. 

b.   All settings will be able to open, including nightclubs. 

c.   Large events, such as music concerts and sporting events can resume without any limits on attendance or social distancing requirements. 

d.   The legal requirements to wear a face covering will be lifted in all settings.

e.   Social distancing rules will be lifted. 

f.     Businesses will be encouraged to display QR codes for customers to check in using the NHS COVID-19 app, although it will no longer be a legal requirement. 

g.   It is no longer necessary for the Government to instruct people to work from home and employers can start to plan a return to workplaces.


17. Currently, the rules around self-isolation remain the same in that if you develop COVID-19 symptoms, you must self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test, even if your symptoms are mild. You should self-isolate at home while you book the test and wait for the results. You must self-isolate if you test positive. Your isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day your test was taken if you do not have symptoms), and the next 10 full days. This is the law.


18. You must self-isolate if you are told to do so by NHS Test and Trace, for example if you have come into contact with someone who has tested positive. This remains the law, regardless of your vaccination status. The Government intends, in due course, to set out further detail on how and when the rules will change for fully vaccinated contacts and those under 18.


19. The Health Secretary has announced that from the 16 August, when even more people will have the protection of both doses and when modelling suggests the risk from the virus will be lower, anyone who’s a close contact of a positive case will no longer have to self-isolate, if they’ve been fully vaccinated.


20. If someone gets their second dose just before, or after, 16 August, they’ll need to wait until two weeks after they get the second jab to benefit from these new freedoms so the vaccine has time to build the maximum possible protection.


21. In line with the approach for adults, anyone under the age of 18, who is a close contact of a positive case, will no longer need to self-isolate. Instead, they’ll be given advice about whether they should get tested, dependent on their age, and they’ll need to self-isolate if they test positive. These measures will also come into force on the 16th August, ahead of the autumn school term.


22. The advice around fresh air remains that it’s always worth considering if you can meet outdoors or, if you’re indoors, thinking about how you can improve ventilation by letting fresh air in. The more fresh air you let into your home or other enclosed spaces, the less likely a person is to inhale infectious particles.


23. The Education Secretary gave a statement to Parliament on the government’s plan to remove key restrictions on education and childcare when we move to step four of the roadmap.


24. He confirmed that, from step four, the government is ending class bubbles, and that from 16 August, children under the age of 18 years old will no longer be required to self-isolate if they are contacted by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. Instead, they will be advised to take a PCR test as soon as possible.


25. The Education Secretary added that there will be no restrictions on in-person teaching and learning in universities unless students are advised to isolate or are affected by local outbreaks. It will not be required to stagger start and finish times for schools and colleges – although they can continue doing this until the end of summer term if they wish.


26. Even though we may reach step of the roadmap on 19 July, it is clear that Covid-19 is still very much with us and the pandemic is not yet over. It is likely that some measures such as hand washing, good respiratory hygiene, and the wearing of masks in crowded places indoors will continue to be recommended, albeit on a voluntary basis. The council is working with partners to agree clear messaging on how to control the rise in positive case rates through these measures. The council will also continue working with the NHS to support vaccination and preparation for the winter vaccination programme for seasonal flu and Covid boosters.


Recovery Updates




27. The council has submitted a first round bid to the government’s £4.8bn national Levelling Up Fund which closed on 18 June. Although the country is split in to priority areas, and York is in tier 3 – the lowest priority – this is only one of the criteria, and the Executive previously delegated the final decision on what to submit in our application to the Executive Member for Finance and Performance and the Corporate Director for Place. To maximise the chance of success the council sought guidance from economic business case consultants Amion to look across the portfolio of council projects for the best strategic fit.


28. The final bid included three inter-related projects totalling £19.116m (against an allowed maximum of £20m) and included £10m for the new riverside park and public realm to replace Castle Car Park and the Eye of York as part of the Castle Gateway regeneration; £4.2m to support the regeneration of Coney Street and a new riverside walkway as part of the developer led Riverside Quarter; and £4.9m to revitalise Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square. The proposals received extensive letters or support from key stakeholders and both the city’s MPs.  


29. The overall bid was designed to transform key areas of the city centre by creating new and improved public realm, improving accessibility to green spaces, providing world-class spaces for cultural activation and events, providing new pedestrian and cycle routes, and improving the setting of key historical assets. The targeted interventions are intended to also act as a catalyst for the re-use of vacant spaces for residential and business purposes, leverage private sector investment, and inspire community activity. This will ensure that York city centre remains a high-quality destination for business, leisure and cultural experiences, supporting direct spend in city centre businesses and bringing widespread public enjoyment. The package of support was designed to drive city centre vibrancy and occupancy at a critical moment in its evolution, maintaining and improving the important function of the retail, leisure and tourism which underpins local jobs and the city’s economy. By creating a linked series of exciting dynamic and fit for purpose spaces, events can be better managed in the historic core, and important amenity spaces will be created for this and future generations.


30. The successful bids will be announced by Government in the autumn. However, should this bid be unsuccessful the business case preparation will not be wasted as future Government funding is anticipated to be forthcoming, including within any devolution asks.





31. A Citizens’ Panel is proposal is being developed to support broader engagement with residents. Drawing on the LGA engagement framework “increasing levels of public impact” now embedded into our resident engagement approach approved at Executive in April 2021.


32. The Citizens’ Panel could never be representative of all perspectives in the city, rather it provides the starting point for wider engagement in draft proposals that can be further explored.


33. The panel will take the form of three focus groups held to explore three strategic issues a year.  Panel members will be asked to commit to all three focus groups and discuss the issue in depth, generating recommendations for wider engagement.  Panel members will be selected at random from the already established Talkabout Panel with a sense check to ensure fair representation.


34. It is proposed that first a trial of the Citizen’s Panel takes place for the budget consultation, with a review in February. The proposed trial would steer broader engagement on the budget process, ultimately providing feedback prior to decision-making. 


35. Should the trial be successful, the panel will go ahead in 2022/23, meeting three times a year meeting for three sessions over a month to discuss pre-identified strategic issues.


Council Plan


36. 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


37. 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

Andrew Harrison

Andy Kerr

Claire Foale

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





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



City of York Council Recovery and Renewal Strategy –April Update



City of York Council Recovery and Renewal Strategy – May Update



City of York Council Recovery and Renewal Strategy – July Update