Local democracy during coronavirus

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Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Thornton Room - Ground Floor, West Offices (G039). View directions

Contact: Robert FIintoft 

Webcast: Watch or listen to the meeting online

Items
No. Item

59.

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.

 

Minutes:

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.

60.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 120 KB

To approve and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 13 January 2020.

Minutes:

Resolved: That the minutes of the previous meeting held on the 13 January 2020 be approved and signed by the Chair as an accurate record, subject to the following addition to the resolutions to minute 54 (Attendance and Wellbeing - Day One Attendance Management) as set out below:

 

‘(iii)    That the Chair and Vice Chair would agree what aspects of the Day One Absence reporting they wished to be reported back to the Committee, in conjunction with the Staffing Matters and Urgency Committee and Economy and Place Policy and Scrutiny Committee, to ensure that work was not duplicated.’

61.

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 7 February 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

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

It was reported that there had been one registrations to speak under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme on item 5 York Central Briefing.

 

Chris Barrett spoke as a member of York Central Action, he raised questions about the public accountability of the York Central Strategic Board and asked how do the City of York Council keep the York Central Project accountable? 

62.

Supporting and Engaging Local Councillors pdf icon PDF 374 KB

This report sets out the existing practices to help and support Councillors in their roles and in engaging their communities.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report that introduced what existing practices were in place to help and support Members in their roles and in engaging their communities. Members highlighted the potential benefit of further tailored training opportunities for Councillors throughout the year. Officers raised the need for greater support and training around areas such as, the safeguarding of Members when handling data and private information of their residents.

 

Discussion was held about the potential barriers to residents, specifically those from underrepresented groups from considering and becoming Councillors. Members also considered the role of Members Enquires, how it was currently being used, and how it could be used moving forward.

 

Resolved:

 

                      i.         That the Committee noted the information provided regarding the current support Members receive.

                     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.

                    iii.        That discussions be held with the political groups about the current role of Members Enquires and how it should operate moving forward.  

 

Reason:     To be confident that Members are being thoroughly supported in their various roles including that of community involvement and engagement. 

 

 

63.

York Central Briefing pdf icon PDF 138 KB

This report provides an update on the status of the York Central Project, in the context that it is the largest project in the Major Projects portfolio.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report on the status of the York Central Project in relation to it being the largest project in the Major Projects portfolio, this report was requested by the Committee following on from reports the Committee had considered in October and December 2019 regarding project management.

 

Officers introduced the report highlighting City of York Council’s role with the different partners, how the Council influences the project, and the Council’s role in decision making. Discussion took place around a perceived lack of accountability, Members emphasised the specific responsibility City of York Council had to residents regarding York Central, and noted concerns about the project potentially moving away from the vision held by residents and Members. 

 

Members raised concerns regarding the amount of cars York Central had planning for and highlighted their desire for a low to no car development. Members also questioned the argument around York Central not being commercially viable as a low car development, emphasising the location of the site potentially being able to offset the need for a large volume of cars in the development. Officers noted City of York Council’s role as the planning regulator in ensuring the development meets what is outlined in the design guide. However, they also reminded the Committee that Members of the Planning Committee had already approved the Outline Planning Application.

 

York Central’s role in the city’s target of becoming Carbon Neutral by 2030 was raised. Members highlighted the different strategic objectives shared by the different partners and whether there was sufficient clarity in the project about tackling the climate emergency. Members also raised questions about wider issues highlighted in Annex 5A of the report, specifically in relation to who was responsible for decision making.     

 

Resolved:

 

                      i.         It is noted that the Terms of Reference for the York Central Delivery Co-ordination Board makes a commitment at paragraph 10.19 to “Monitor, review and amend its own Terms of Reference as the project evolves”.  With this in mind, can the CSMC be advised of:

i.i.    How does the Board propose to monitor its terms of reference?

i.ii.  When were the terms of reference reviewed and if so what were the outcomes and how were these communicated to CYC and partners/stakeholders? If a review has not yet taken place, when does the board propose to undertake a review?

i.iii. If any changes to the Board’s terms of reference have been or are to be made, will there be a review of the terms of reference of the associated boards charged with the global delivery of York Central so as to ensure alignment of aims and commitments for example towards climate change?

 

                     ii.         Can the CSMC be provided with quarterly updates on the York Central project performance with the first report to include an updated issues schedule (page 59 of the agenda dated March 2019) with details of the actions taken and any resulting new risks given that the project is now almost 12 months further on.

 

Reason:     To ensure that the Committee can  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.

64.

2019/20 Finance and Performance Monitor 2 pdf icon PDF 310 KB

This report provides details of the overall finance and performance position for the period covering 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2019, together with an overview of any emerging issues.

Minutes:

Members considered the overall finance and performance position for the period covering 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2019, it was noted that due to the 2019 general election and purdah that this report had been delayed, the Committee were therefore updated on the forecast variation for Monitor 3.

 

Members raised questions about the overspends the in Children, Education, and Communities Directorate and in the Health, Housing, and Adult Social Care Directorate, highlighting that these departments had received additional funding in the previous financial year. Officers outlined areas that attributed to the overspends including resources being used to improve governance and decision making in these departments. Members noted that the areas attributed to parts of the overspends could have theoretically been avoidable as they had been overspends year on year.

 

Further questions were raised around the underspends, it was suggested that future reports could provide greater detail as to how underspends were achieved, identifying windfalls against regular underspends. The Chair encouraged other Scrutiny Committee Chairs to scrutinise the reasons for underspends as well as overspends, when they consider the monitor reports for their areas.

 

Resolved:

 

                      i.         That the finance and performance information be noted.

 

Reason:     to ensure expenditure is kept within the approved budget.

65.

Report of the Chair of the Economy and Place Policy and Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 138 KB

This report provides Members with a six-monthly update on the work of the Economy and Place Policy and Scrutiny Committee.

Minutes:

The Chair of the Economy and Place Policy and Scrutiny

Committee presented a report providing the Committee with a

six-monthly update on the work of the Economy and Place Policy

and Scrutiny Committee. He highlighted the Committees focus on speaking to bodies outside of the Council to contribute to debates and inform the work of the Committee. He also noted that the Committee had reviews scheduled to look into apprenticeships and in-work poverty moving forward.

 

Resolved:

 

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

 

Reason:     To keep the Committee updated on the work of the

Economy and Place Policy and Scrutiny

Committee.

66.

Food Poverty Scrutiny Review Interim Report pdf icon PDF 298 KB

This report provides an update on the work carried out so far by the Ad-Hoc Scrutiny Sub-Committee established to investigate food poverty in the city.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered the interim report on the food scrutiny review. Discussion took place around the impact of stigma attached to individuals claiming what they were entitled too, such as free school meals. The associated costs that attending school could have on those in poverty were considered, with attention placed on the barriers that expensive and restrictive uniforms could have. Members of the Sub-Committee noted that they would further consider the role of schools in tackling food poverty. There was also support to a report suggestion that there was continued funding for the Welfare Benefits Unit and Citizens Advice York in order to help ensure full take-up of what benefits residents were entitled too.

 

Resolved:

 

                      i.         That the content of the report be noted.

                     ii.         That the Sub-Committee were invited to consider to investigate the role that schools had to food poverty.

 

Reason:     To inform Members of the progress of the Scrutiny Review into Food Poverty and to ensure the Scrutiny Review considered all areas of food poverty in the city.

67.

Work Plan 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 454 KB

To consider the Draft Work Plan for 2019-20.

Minutes:

Members considered the Draft Work Plan for 2019-20.

 

Resolved:

 

                      i.         That the draft work plan be approved.

 

Reason:     To ensure that the Committee has a planned programme of work in place.

 

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