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Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: The Guildhall

Contact: Fiona Young  Principal Democracy Officer

Items
No. Item

203.

Declarations of Interest

At this point, Members are asked to declare any personal or prejudicial interest they may have in the business on this agenda.

Minutes:

Members were invited to declare at this point in the meeting any personal or prejudicial interests they might have in the business on the agenda.  No interests were declared.

204.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 54 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the Executive meeting held on 27 April 2010.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Executive meeting held on 27 April 2010 be approved and signed by the Chair as a correct record.

205.

Public Participation / Other Speakers

At this point in the meeting, members of the public who have registered their wish to speak regarding an item on the agenda or a matter within the Executive’s remit can do so.  The deadline for registering is 5:00 pm on Monday 10 May 2010.

Minutes:

It was reported that there had been one registration to speak at the meeting under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.  Requests to speak had also been received from a union representative and a Member of Council.

 

Heather McKenzie, of UNISON, spoke in relation to agenda item 6 (More for York – Spring Update and Children’s Social Care and Finance Blueprints).  She expressed concerns about the reduced amount of union involvement at a strategic level since the disbanding of the More for York Board and recent problems in securing the release of general convenors.  She welcomed the use of vacancy management to minimise job losses, but highlighted the potential effects on remaining staff where vacant posts were not filled and re-iterated UNISON’s opposition to jobs losses and their intention to protect in-house services where possible.

 

Cllr Andy D’Agorne spoke in relation to agenda item 8 (Footstreets Review – Progress Report).  He expressed support for the recommendations in the report and especially the proposal to trial cycle access in key areas, which was in line with one of the agreed objectives in the Cycle City bid as well as current practice in many other cities.

 

Mary Fairbrother, of York Blind & Partially Sighted Society, spoke in relation to agenda item 8.  She expressed concern about the proposal to trial cycle access on the Footstreets, on the grounds that a shared use would cause problems for blind and partially sighted people as well as many other groups and would reduce the attractiveness of the Footstreets for pedestrians in general.  She queried whether the Council had carried out an equality impact assessment on this proposal.

 

Written comments received from Paul Hepworth on behalf of the Cycling Tourist Club North Yorkshire on agenda item 8, supporting the proposal to trial cycle access on the Footstreets, were circulated to Members at the meeting.

206.

Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To receive details of those items that are listed on the Forward Plan for the next two Executive meetings.

Minutes:

Members received and noted details of those items that were listed on the Forward Plan for the next two Executive meetings at the time the agenda was published.

207.

Minutes of Working Groups pdf icon PDF 61 KB

This report presents the minutes of a recent meeting of the Young People’s Working Group and asks Members to consider the advice given by the Group in its capacity as advisory body to the Executive.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the minutes attached at Annex A to the report be noted.

 

REASON:      In order to fulfil the requirements of the Council’s Constitution in relation to the role of Working Groups.

Minutes:

Members received a report which presented the minutes of the meeting of the Young People’s Working Group held on 14 April 2010 and asked them to consider the advice given by the Group in its capacity as an advisory body to the Executive.

 

There were no specific recommendations contained in the minutes requiring Executive approval.  However Members’ attention was drawn to Minute 18, which referred to initial discussions on the future of the Children and Young People’s Champion.

 

RESOLVED: That the minutes attached at Annex A to the report be noted.

 

REASON:      In order to fulfil the requirements of the Council’s Constitution in relation to the role of Working Groups.

208.

More for York - Spring Update and Children's Social Care and Finance Blueprints pdf icon PDF 146 KB

This report  provides an update on progress made in delivering the More for York programme and seeks approval for the inclusion of two additional work streams in the programme in respect of Children’s Services and Finance Services.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED: (i)         That the progress made on delivering the programme be noted.

 

                        (ii)        That the Children’s Services Blueprint set out in Annex 1 to the report be agreed.

 

                        (iii)       That the Finance Services Blueprint set out in Annex 2 be agreed.

 

REASON:      To enable the Council to deliver the strategic objective to be an Effective Organisation, to deliver service improvements and to create net efficiency savings of £5.7m in 2010/11.

Minutes:

Members considered a report which provided an update on progress made in delivering the More for York efficiency programme and sought approval to include two additional work streams in the programme.

 

It was reported that, since December 2009, the programme had been delivered in house and there had been no loss of momentum.  Some early achievements, and changes to be implemented over the next six months, were summarised in paragraphs 17 to 31 of the report.  They included implementation of Phase 1 of the Organisational Review and savings of £464k on procurement, as well as planned improvements to waste collection, income collection and Home Care staffing arrangements.  In total, savings of £476k had been achieved against the 2009/10 target of £512k.  A robust and detailed process had been established to ensure that savings were properly monitored and realised.  A comprehensive review of related HR policies was under way to ensure that the organisation was fully prepared for the large scale changes resulting from the programme.

 

Blueprints had been prepared for two additional work streams recommended for inclusion in the programme, as summarised in paragraphs 42 to 50 of the report.  The Children’s Social Care blueprint, attached as Annex 1, aimed to create a new model to provide services that were financially sustainable yet could achieve and maintain excellent outcomes for customers.  The Finance Services blueprint, attached as Annex 2, aimed to deliver efficiencies and improvements by consolidating Corporate and Directorate Finance teams into  a single Financial Management function.

 

In response to the comments made by the UNISON representative, Officers confirmed that every effort was being made to avoid redundancies and that they were engaged in dialogue with the unions via a bi-weekly corporate JCC meeting.  Having noted the comments of the Labour Group spokespersons on this item, it was

 

RESOLVED: (i)         That the progress made on delivering the programme be noted.

 

                        (ii)        That the Children’s Services Blueprint set out in Annex 1 to the report be agreed.1

 

                        (iii)       That the Finance Services Blueprint set out in Annex 2 be agreed.2

 

REASON:      To enable the Council to deliver the strategic objective to be an Effective Organisation, to deliver service improvements and to create net efficiency savings of £5.7m in 2010/11.

209.

High Speed Rail pdf icon PDF 90 KB

This report advises on the government’s initiative to create a new company High Speed Two (HS2) to investigate the high speed rail issue, sets out the position of the Assembly and City Region and advises on the outcome of the recent review undertaken to establish a policy position for York.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED: (i)         That the policy position for York, as set out in the Arup review, be agreed and that further work be focused on:

a)                 reducing journey times between Leeds and York, particularly through the electrification of the line between Leeds and York;

b)                 promoting the benefits of any HS2 parkway stops being located to the east of Leeds, and

c)                  securing shorter term improvements to the East Coast Main Line (ECML).

 

                        (ii)        That Members and Officers continue to lobby though the appropriate forums for ongoing investment in the ECML.

 

REASON:      To ensure that the advantages of high speed rail connections are realised for York and that continued investment in existing rail infrastructure and facilities is not delayed or cancelled, given the indicative 2026 start date for HS2.

Minutes:

Members considered a report which informed them of a government initiative to create a new company, High Speed Two (HS2), to investigate the high speed rail (HSR) issue.  The report also outlined the position of the Assembly and City Region on high speed rail, together with the results of a review carried out to establish a policy position in York. 

 

The objectives for HS2 were to increase capacity and speed to optimise journey times, build freight capacity and gain modal shift from cars and air travel.  The City Region’s position, as outlined in paragraphs 10 and 11, was that there was a strong economic case for an HSR link to Leeds and Sheffield, that it was important to secure upgrades to existing lines in the short to medium term and that all options should be kept open for an HSR link to the north, with particular scope for considering a more easterly alignment.

 

In York, Officers had commissioned a report from Arups to bring together existing independent studies and provide a view on other rail opportunities to support economic rail opportunities for York.  Arup’s report, attached as Annex A, had concluded that a direct link to HSR at York would be unlikely, as borne out by the route recommended by HS2, attached as Annex B.  However, York could be connected to an HSR network by local services to Leeds, or via a ‘parkway’ stop to the east of Leeds. The report recommended that in the short term the Council should continue to lobby for improvements to the East Coast Main Line but in the longer term should support the introduction of an HSR rail line connection either directly or via a parkway station.

 

RESOLVED: (i)         That the policy position for York, as set out in the Arup review, be agreed and that further work be focused on:

a)                 reducing journey times between Leeds and York, particularly through the electrification of the line between Leeds and York;

b)                 promoting the benefits of any HS2 parkway stops being located to the east of Leeds, and

c)                  securing shorter term improvements to the East Coast Main Line (ECML). 1

 

                        (ii)        That Members and Officers continue to lobby though the appropriate forums for ongoing investment in the ECML. 2

 

REASON:      To ensure that the advantages of high speed rail connections are realised for York and that continued investment in existing rail infrastructure and facilities is not delayed or cancelled, given the indicative 2026 start date for HS2.

210.

Footstreets Review - Progress Report pdf icon PDF 138 KB

This report informs the Executive of progress to date of the various stages of the Footstreets Review, commissioned to assess the current operation of the pedestrianised area and suggest improvements which could be made to it. 

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED: (i)         That the progress thus far with the Footstreets review be noted.

 

                        (ii)        That Option 1 – to progress all four suggested schemes concurrently to a point where a city-wide consultation can be undertaken – be supported and that Officers be requested to bring a further report to Members once detailed options have been developed.

 

REASON:      In order to achieve the improvements identified in the report, subject to appropriate consultation with residents and other stakeholders.

 

                        (iii)       That Option 4 – to continue investigation of some of the schemes with a longer lead in time – be supported, and that Officers be requested to push ahead as quickly as is practicable in their consultation on the possible pedestrianisation of part of Fossgate.

 

REASON:      In order to assess the wider implications of these schemes and to provide a quicker and more positive response to the request from Fossgate traders.

Minutes:

Members considered a report which informed them of progress to date on the Footstreets Review, which had been commissioned to assess the current operation of the pedestrianised area of the City and to suggest potential improvements.

 

The review had been carried out in four phases, as outlined in paragraph 7 of the report.  The main issues identified during the consultation exercises and surveys undertaken in Phases 2 and 3, by external consultants Halcrow, were set out in paragraph 9.  In order to achieve the objectives of the review – to increase use of the Footstreets whilst reducing abuse and misuse – a ‘toolkit’ of potential solutions had been prepared, comprising a number of short, medium and long term interventions.  Short term interventions had been prioritised to determine those which could be progressed during 2010/11.  These ‘first stage’ schemes were listed in Table 2 in paragraph 14 of the report and included:

·        Standardising Footstreet operation hours

·        Extending the Footstreet operation period

·        Investigating the practicalities of removing signing and lining

·        Trial of cycle access along designated routes in the Footstreets zone

Other short term schemes that would involve more work over longer timescales were listed in Annex A.

 

Members were invited to consider the following options:

Option 1 – progress scheme development and consult on detailed proposals for all the schemes listed in Table 2.

Option 2 - progress scheme development and consult on detailed proposals for some of the schemes listed in Table 2.

Option 3 – reject the proposed schemes or progress others from the list in Annex A.

Option 4 – continue further investigation of other schemes with longer lead in times.

 

Members acknowledged the issues raised under Public Participation on this item and stressed that the cycle access trial should be carried out on a street where the kerb line had been retained, in order to provide clear delineation. 

 

RESOLVED: (i)         That the progress thus far with the Footstreets review be noted.

 

                        (ii)        That Option 1 – to progress all four suggested schemes concurrently to a point where a city-wide consultation can be undertaken – be supported and that Officers be requested to bring a further report to Members once detailed options have been developed. 1

 

REASON:      In order to achieve the improvements identified in the report, subject to appropriate consultation with residents and other stakeholders.

 

                        (iii)       That Option 4 – to continue investigation of some of the schemes with a longer lead in time – be supported, and that Officers be requested to push ahead as quickly as is practicable in their consultation on the possible pedestrianisation of part of Fossgate. 2

 

REASON:      In order to assess the wider implications of these schemes and to provide a quicker and more positive response to the request from Fossgate traders.

211.

York Mystery Plays 2012 pdf icon PDF 94 KB

This report provides an update on work to develop the biennial production of Mystery Plays in the City and recommends that Council funding previously allocated for a production of the Mystery Plays in York Minster be reallocated to a proposed production to be undertaken jointly by York Museums Trust, York Theatre Royal and Riding Lights Theatre Company in 2012.

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the budget available for the 2010 Minster Mystery Plays be re-allocated to the York Mystery Plays 2012 Partnership, subject to the drawing up of a satisfactory service agreement, and that approval be given to carry forward the 2009/10 budget of £20k into 2010/11.

 

REASON:      To ensure a 2012 Mystery Plays production that includes the wider community and supports the Council’s commitment to a two-year Mystery Plays production cycle.

Minutes:

Members considered a report which provided an update on work to develop the biennial production of Mystery Plays in the City and recommended the re-allocation of funding to a proposed joint production of the Mystery Plays. 

 

In November 2005, the Executive had agreed in principle to provide a grant of £100k towards the York Minster Mystery Plays in 2010.  However, due to capital works at the Minster this plan could no longer proceed.  Following consultation through the York Mystery Plays Co-ordinating Committee, all parties had now agreed that the Council’s resources should be re-directed towards a 2012 production.  The York Mystery Plays 2012 Partnership, a collaboration between York Museums Trust, Riding Lights Theatre and York Theatre Royal, was proposing a major community production for August 2012, to be performed in Museum Gardens.  The Partnership had drawn up an artistic outline and a forecast budget.  Advice from sponsorship experts had confirmed that support from the Council was crucial to its production and fundraising ambitions.  Representatives from the Partnership were present at the meeting to answer any questions.

 

Members were invited to consider the following options:

Option 1 – agree the re-allocation of the sum of £100k to a 2012 production in Museum Gardens, to be delivered through the Partnership.  This was recommended, as it would provide a spectacular production as the centrepiece of a 3-week long city-wide festival with a strong grounding in the local community.

Option 2 – retain the £100k and seek alternative proposals for a production in 2012.

Option 3 – reclaim the £100k as a budget saving.

 

In response to the comments of the Labour Group spokespersons on this item, Members noted that its involvement in the Partnership would enable the Council to ensure the inclusion in the business plan of a number of free places for York schoolchildren and discounted seats for York residents.

 

RESOLVED: That the budget available for the 2010 Minster Mystery Plays be re-allocated to the York Mystery Plays 2012 Partnership, subject to the drawing up of a satisfactory service agreement, 1 and that approval be given to carry forward the 2009/10 budget of £20k into 2010/11. 2

 

REASON:      To ensure a 2012 Mystery Plays production that includes the wider community and supports the Council’s commitment to a two-year Mystery Plays production cycle.

212.

York World Heritage Site Bid - Information Report pdf icon PDF 86 KB

This report provides an update on progress towards a York World Heritage Site bid since the report to the Executive on 17 March 2009 and gives details of the Stage 1 Application Form for a revised UK Tentative List of World Heritage Sites released by the Department of Culture Media and Sport.

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the progress being made with the World Heritage Site Bid be noted.

 

REASON:      In accordance with the Executive’s previous request to be kept updated on each stage of the bid.

Minutes:

Members considered an information report which provided an update on progress made towards a York World Heritage site bid since the matter was last reported to the Executive, on 17 March 2009. 

 

As agreed last March, a response had been sent to the Department of Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) in support of their consultation proposal to adopt a new, short UK Tentative List and put in place a two-stage process to create the list.  On 19 March 2010, the DCMS had released details of Stage 1 of this process; a short, concise electronic application form, to be completed and submitted by 11 June 2010.  As previously agreed, the form would be completed and the bid submitted by the City of York Council. 

 

A further report would be brought to the Executive once the results of the Stage 1 application were known.  This would include details of progress on identifying partnership funding.

 

RESOLVED: That the progress being made with the World Heritage Site Bid be noted.

 

REASON:      In accordance with the Executive’s previous request to be kept updated on each stage of the bid.

 

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