Agenda and minutes
Venue: The George Hudson Board Room - 1st Floor West Offices (F045). View directions
Declarations of Interest
At this point, Members are asked to declare:
· any personal interests not included on the Register of Interests
· any prejudicial interests or
· any disclosable pecuniary interests
which they may have in respect of business on this agenda
Members were asked to declare, at this point in the meeting, any personal interest not included on the Register of Interests or any prejudicial or discloseable pecuniary interests that they might have in respect of the business on the agenda. The Chair declared a personal non prejudicial interest as his mother sat on the steering group of the York Human Rights City Network and the steering group of the York Disability Rights Forum. She was also a member of the Human Rights Equalities Board. There were no further declarations of interest.
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Diane Roworth raised concerns regarding city centre access for current and future blue badge holders. She stated that access to the city centre had become increasingly restricted. She highlighted the reduced accessible hours of between 8pm and 10.30am which has made accessing shops, cinemas and restaurants impossible for blue badge holders. She also identified that the loss of pavement space and the blocking of public highway had made walking difficult in the city centre. She went on to urge members not to make the emergency measures permanent as she believed that they unlawfully discriminate against disabled people.
[Cllr Vassie joined the meeting at 14:15]
Committee Members are asked to specifically consider the recommendations in their area of expertise to Executive.
At their meeting on November 18 2021, the Executive were to consider a number of reports covering the future vision of the city centre and ongoing accessibility and regulation of vehicles for the city centre. In relation to this, Members considered a report that informed them of:
· The Council’s emergency response to Covid
· The Council’s Equality Duties
· The context of the four reports that Executive are going to consider,
· The structure of the work and consultations undertaken to date
· Emerging recommendations
· Emerging content of reports
· The latest context as to the city centre recovery
· The work undertaken to review Hostile Vehicle Mitigation measures
Following an introduction from the Director of Place, the Head of Regeneration Programmes gave a presentation on the four decisions in relation to My City Centre Vision, City Centre Access and Council Car Parking, the future of the Footstreets and the changes to Dial a Ride funding, that were to be made by the Executive on 18 November.
[Cllr Mason joined the meeting at 14:29]
The Chair thanked the Officers for the presentation and invited the external attendees to introduce themselves and give an overview of their experiences / involvement to date.
Representatives from the York Disability Rights Forum, York Accessibility Action, York Older People’s Assembly, My Sight, York Human Rights City Network and York CVS all spoke on the issue of reduced access to the city centre, following the emergency response to Covid and the Hostile Vehicle Mitigation measures.
They highlighted concerns regarding the loss of rights for disabled people and that the people they were representing were being prevented from carrying out their usual daily activities within the city centre. Blue badge holders had been especially affected by the restrictions and were prevented from accessing the city centre and the amenities between 10:30am and 8pm. Concerns were also raised about the city’s position as a Human Rights City and that the measures in place discriminated against already discriminated groups. The issue of isolation and loneliness was also raised with regard to mental health and wellbeing. The legality of the measures was also questioned.
[14:50 Cllr Barnes joined the meeting]
The Chair invited Members, Officers and the external attendees to discuss the issue of accessibility in the city centre, considering all aspects, not just the Footstreets proposal.
During the discussion relating to the public consultation, it was requested that the disabled community were acknowledged as a contributing part of the city. It was suggested that trust had broken down and concerns were raised that decisions had already been made. Officers sought to reassure the external attendees and Members that all citizens needs were being taken into account and that decisions had not already been made. Officers confirmed that following the emergency measures being put in place, the Executive allocated £25K to investigate the impact on blue badge holders and other disabled people. The Director of Transport, Environment and Planning explained Secretary of State approval had been applied for to ensure all options were available to the ... view the full minutes text for item 3.