City Of York Council

Committee Minutes


Customer and Corporate Services Scrutiny Management Committee


23 May 2022


Councillors Baker, Fenton (Vice-Chair), Hollyer, Orrell, Norman, Rowley, Kilbane (Substitute for Cllr Musson) and Wann (Substitute for Cllr Pearson)


Councillors Crawshaw, Musson and Pearson



60.         Declarations Of Interest


At this point in the meeting, Members were asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary interest or other registerable interest they might have in respect of business on this agenda, if they have not already done so in advance on the Register of Interests.  No additional interests were declared.





61.         Minutes


Resolved:            That the minutes of the Customer and Corporate Services Policy and Scrutiny Committee held on 14 March 2022 be approved and signed by the Vice-Chair as a correct record.





62.         Public Participation


It was reported that there had been two registrations to speak at the meeting under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.


Johnny Hayes spoke on item 4 and raised a number of concerns regarding City of York Council (CYC) developments.  He made particular reference to St George’s Field Multi-Storey Car Park and questioned the accuracy of the data provided.


Kate Ravilious also spoke on item 4 raising concerns about the progress of the council motion to restrict non-essential private motor vehicle journeys within the city walls by 2023.  She also made reference to the Castle Gateway project and queried the interdependencies and risks associated with the plan.





63.         Capital Programme Update


The Corporate Director of Place gave an introduction to the Capital Programme Update and outlined the reporting process for the various projects.


In response to questions from Members and matters raised under Public Participation, officers confirmed that:


·        The Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) and Zero Emission Buses Regional Area (ZEBRA) were two major funded projects that were likely to be added in the near future. Negotiations with the Department for Transport (DfT) were taking place over the summer to finalise the plans for them and confirmation of the funding would be finalised by Autumn.  It was expected that Member scrutiny of the submission could take place in the Economy & Place Committee.

·        A carbon impact assessment of the outer ring road project, was part of the planning process and would be available for scrutiny once published.  It was suggested that the Climate Change Policy and Scrutiny Committee could investigate the level of detail required to make a meaningful assessment of the carbon footprint of the project.

·        Construction inflation, as advised by the council’s professional cost advisors, T and T, was upwards of 20%. The lack of available resources, together with a lack of capacity in the sector was driving up prices and it was difficult to obtain accurate, fixed price contracts.  All projects not in contract were at risk of coming back to Members to be reconsidered or put on hold.

·        The Hyperhub was due to be completed within the next few weeks, the 10 month delay was noted.  Officers suggested that a suitable topic for scrutiny was the utility companies willingness and ability to respond effectively to the local authority in relation to major project infrastructure.


[18:05 – 18:10 Cllr Rowley left the meeting]


·        Officers were not able to respond to the specific questions raised by the public speakers due to the information being commercially sensitive, however a report was to be brought to Executive in June regarding the Castle Gateway project, during which this information would be made public. If Members deemed it appropriate, planning conditions and any agreement in place regarding the closure of the car park could be changed.

·        The emergency legislation for café licensing would expire in September, Officers were working on the interpretation of the latest government White Paper.

·        The parking for the Station Gateway project was being renegotiated with Network Rail and the DfT.  This would be brought to Executive in the autumn.  There were four phases of the project and parking related to a later phase so would not currently delay the project.


Resolved:            To note the report and officer recommendations of areas for further scrutiny.


Reason:              To keep the Committee updated.





64.         Ethical Asset Disposal


The Vice-Chair introduced the Ethical Asset Disposal Update report and provided the Committee with some additional information in relation to the work of other councils: 


·        West Lancashire Borough Council examine all assets on a ward by ward basis, these were discussed with Ward Councillors and taken to Council for approval.

·        Other local authorities (LAs) have specific policy documents relating to Ethical Asset Disposal.

·        The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) held examples of good practice.  Membership of the UKGBC was free for LAs, and it was felt that the council should investigate the benefits of membership.


Officers responded to questions from Members and matters raised under Public Participation as follows:


·        Decisions concerning asset disposal should be taken on a case by case basis.

·        Officers were obliged to identify the opportunity cost of an asset and consideration should be given to both the social value and alternative use of funds.

·        The council had an obligation to achieve the best value for an asset.  It was not legally possible to make a value judgement against a potential purchaser but constraints could be attached to limit the use of an asset.



Resolved:            That the Committee receive the report and request further research to be undertaken by the working group.


Reason:              To keep the Committee updated.





65.         Developing Scrutiny Members


The Director of Governance presented a report on the proposals for developing the skills and experience of Members allocated to serve on Scrutiny Committees within the Council.  She outlined the role of the Audit and Governance Committee and explained the timescales.


The request to extend the training and support to Parish Councils was noted and in response to a question from Members it was explained that there were no dedicated Scrutiny Officers presently employed by the council although this position was being reviewed currently.



                                     i.        That the role of Audit Governance Committee be noted.

                                    ii.        That Audit & Governance Committee keep the Chair informed on any decisions made relating to training and induction provision for scrutiny.


Reason:              To keep the Committee updated.





66.         Work Plan


Members considered the corporate scrutiny work plan covering the next meeting of this Committee and the meetings of the other Scrutiny Committees up until 30 June 2022.


Resolved:            That the work plan be noted.


Reason:               To ensure that the Committee has a planned

programme of work in place and an overview of the other Scrutiny Committees.








Councillor S Fenton, Vice-Chair

[The meeting started at 5.30 pm and finished at 7.15 pm].





















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