Local democracy during coronavirus

During coronavirus, we've made some changes to how we're running council meetings. See our coronavirus updates for more information on meetings and decisions.

Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Snow Room - Ground Floor, West Offices (G035). View directions

Contact: Robert FIintoft 

Webcast: Watch or listen to the meeting online

No. Item


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.



At this point, Members were asked to declare any personal interests not included on the Register of Interests, prejudicial interest or any disclosable pecuniary interests which they may have in respect of business on the agenda. None were declared.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 122 KB

To approve and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 10 February 2020.


Resolved: That the minutes of the previous meeting held on the 10 February 2020 be approved and signed by the Chair as an accurate record, subject to the following amendment to the second resolution to minute 62 (Supporting and Engaging Local Councillors) as set out below:


‘ii.      That discussions be held with the political groups and across council officers about the potential barriers faced by prospective and current Councillors to be able to perform the various roles and duties associated with being an Elected Member.’


Public Participation

At this point in the meeting members of the public who have registered to speak can do so. The deadline for registering is 5.00pm on Friday 6 March 2020. Members of the public can speak on agenda items or matters within the remit of the Committee.


To register to speak please contact the Democracy Officer for the meeting, on the details at the foot of the agenda.


Filming, Recording or Webcasting Meetings

Please note that, subject to available resources, this meeting will be filmed and webcast, or recorded, including any registered public speakers who have given their permission. The broadcast can be viewed at http://www.york.gov.uk/webcasts or, if sound recorded, this will be uploaded onto the Council’s website following the meeting.


Residents are welcome to photograph, film or record Councillors and Officers at all meetings open to the press and public. This includes the use of social media reporting, i.e. tweeting.  Anyone wishing to film, record or take photos at any public meeting should contact the Democracy Officer (whose contact details are at the foot of this agenda) in advance of the meeting.


The Council’s protocol on Webcasting, Filming & Recording of Meetings ensures that these practices are carried out in a manner both respectful to the conduct of the meeting and all those present.  It can be viewed at http://www.york.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/11406/protocol_for_webcasting_filming_and_recording_of_council_meetings_20160809.pdf






It was reported that there had been no registrations to speak under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.


E-Democracy Update Report pdf icon PDF 367 KB

This Report outlines the current position regarding the use of video conferencing facilities in local authorities and City of York Council (CYC) webcasting performance over the period from February 2019 to January 2020.

Additional documents:


Members considered the report and noted the clarification provided in the report regarding Schedule 12 of the Local Government Act 1972; that set out that those taking part in a council meeting must be physically “present” where the meeting was taking place. The question of if this applied only to voting members of a meeting was raised and whether or not none voting participants could join a meeting remotely if their identity could be sufficiently proved. Officers noted that they would seek clarification and update the Committee on this. Members raised a desire for the Local Government Act 1972 to be updated to allow for none physical presence at meetings, noting the technological ability to do this and the potential benefits, such as if meetings cannot take place in person and the ability to offer involvement to those that cannot travel to a meeting.


Discussion also took place around the updating of technology to allow for video conferencing in meeting rooms, as well as, the current use of webcasting.




                      i.         That Officers seek clarity on whether none voting participants can join Council meetings remotely.

                     ii.         That the Chair will write to the Executive Leader asking that he write to the Minister for Local Government on behalf of Members, regarding the updating of the Local Government 1972 Act to allow for the remote participation in meetings.

                    iii.        That the Chair and Vice Chair liaise with the Communication team and Members of the Committee to advertise the availability of Council meetings.


Reason:     To support the effectiveness of Council meetings and to improve engagement with Council meetings.


Update Report on Public Engagement and Involvement pdf icon PDF 135 KB

This report describes the approach taken to improve the opportunities for York residents, business representatives and visitors to engage in local decision making.


Additional documents:


The Committee were joined by Council Officers, as well as, Helen Graham and Phil Bixley (both from My Future York). To consider a report on the approach taken to improve the opportunities for York residents, business representatives, and visitors to engage in local decision making.


Discussion took place around the level of engagement the Council was involved in or entering into, as well as, the challenges associated with making sure each engagement feeds into another to create a cohesive whole, whilst also effectively disseminating the content received. Officers highlighted the Engagement Principles co-created with My Future York and used on projects such as My Castle Gateway and would be used in My City Centre.


Wide ranging engagement was highlighted as crucial, as Members were encouraged to consider the promotion of the cities democratic culture. Members highlighted the need for inclusivity in engagement, making sure engagement allowed those that were easiest to ignore, such as those that were time poor to be able to engage in decision making. It was pointed out that the Council had many teams that communicated regularly with those that could be considered the easiest to ignore in many different capacities, therefore it was considered whether these connections that different Council teams had could be capable of facilitating feedback into larger engagements. The Committee also raised whether the Council could facilitate different networks throughout the city to communicate more effectively.


Members also raised the use of council magazines in other cities as a way of keeping residents engaged. It was noted that some Parish Councils have regular magazines and Members considered whether or not a joined up publication for the city could be effective. Officers noted the quartile Our City publication and that it could be considered for more regular publication with sufficient resources. 




                      i.         That further updates on public engagement and involvement be brought to the Committee.

                     ii.         That the Committee supported the facilitating of a larger networking event as part of My York Central to be organised by the Council and My Future York.

                    iii.        That the Committee requested that consideration be given to how to identify best practice on engagement within the Council.


Reasons:   In order to support and remain updated on the direction of engagement and involvement at the Council.


Overview report on Corporate Branding pdf icon PDF 131 KB

This report provides an overview of the brands currently used by the Council for different services throughout the city.  

Additional documents:


Members considered a report on the Council’s corporate branding and the difference made since the introduction of the Council’s style guide. This incorporated the evidence from research conducted by the NHS, that identified an artificial distance created by having lots of branding that were distinct from the main NHS brand. It was noted that the Council was now using its style guide when different brands were looking at the creation of new logos, in order to wherever possible create a more consistent branding throughout the Council.


Members noted that due to the number of brands used in Council services it could be hard for residents to know what services the Council provided. Where possible Members considered whether a more proactive approach should be taken to update brands in line with the style guide, noting that some services benefited from having distinctive branding and that branding shouldn’t be changed if it would have a detrimental effect on the service. Members questioned the opinion of the Council’s brand with residents and considered what effect the Council’s brand would have on the opinion of services. The Council’s logo was questioned firstly as to whether or not services using distinctively different logo’s did this as they did not consider the Council’s logo as able to represent them, and secondly as potentially not representing York’s narrative and that the logo could be seen to only represent the cities past.




                      i.         That the Committee stated its support for the Communications team to bring brands into line with the council’s brand where it was appropriate to do so.

                     ii.         That the Committee stated its support for the Communications team to develop a wider branding strategy.


Reason:     In order for the Committee to show its support for the approach taken to corporate branding at City of York Council (CYC) and support a proactive approach to a more consistent corporate branding where appropriate.



Update report on implementation of outstanding recommendations from Financial Inclusion Scrutiny review pdf icon PDF 138 KB

This report provides an update on the implementation of recommendations from the Financial Inclusion Scrutiny Review.

Additional documents:




                      i.         That Recommendation ii. be brought back to the Committee by the relevant officer when it has been fully implemented to be signed off.


Reason:     To raise awareness of those recommendations which are still to be fully implemented.


Report of the Chair of the Housing and Community Safety Policy and Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 122 KB

This report provides Members with a six-monthly update on the work of the Housing and Community Safety Policy and Scrutiny Committee.


The Chair of the Housing and Community Safety Policy and Scrutiny Committee introduced the report and outlined what the Committee had been involved in over the previous six months.


CCTV procurement was raised for the use in individual wards, the Chair of the Housing and Community Safety Policy and Scrutiny Committee noted that he would raise it with the Safer York Partnership, at the next meeting of the Housing and Community Safety Policy and Scrutiny Committee. Officers also noted that CCTV was being considered on a corporate level and that Members could discuss this with them.




                      i.         That the Chair’s report and update be noted.


Reason:     To keep the Committee updated on the work of the Housing and Community Safety Policy and Scrutiny Committee.



Work Plan 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 454 KB

To consider the Draft Work Plan for 2019-20.


Members considered the Draft Work Plan for 2019-20. It was agreed that the Three-Monthly update on implementation of day-one absence scheme be postponed from the April to 11 May 2020 meeting, in order to allow for sufficient time for reporting to be collated.


The Chair also updated the Committee on the outcome of the Committee’s call in recommendation regarding inclusive growth.


Members enquired about whether any potential new Senior Corporate Management Structure would be brought to the Committee to feed into. Officers confirmed that any restructure would be the responsibility of the Head of Paid Services and that it would be their decision to bring any consultation to the Committee on this.




                      i.         That the draft work plan be approved, subject to the Three-Monthly update on implementation of day-one absence scheme being postponed to 11 May 2020.

                     ii.         That the Director of Governance would express to the Interim Head of Paid Services the Committees desire to be engaged with the formulation of any potential new Senior Corporate Management Team Structure.


Reason:     To ensure that the Committee has a planned

programme of work in place. Also to allow the Committee to aid in any potential new Senior Corporate Management Team Structure.


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