Agenda and minutes
Venue: The George Hudson Board Room - 1st Floor West Offices (F045). View directions
Contact: Jane Meller
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 in the meeting, the Chair invited Members to declare any personal, pecuniary or prejudicial interests, which they had not already included in their standing register of interests.
Cllr Lomas declared, in the interests of transparency, that she was a Blue Badge holder and Cllr Fenton declared that his Mother holds a Blue Badge. The Chair noted a personal, non-prejudicial interest in that his Mother was a member of the Human Rights Equalities Board and was on the steering groups for both the York Disability Rights Forum and the York Human Rights City Network.
At this point in the meeting members of the public who have registered to speak can do so. Members of the public may speak on agenda items or on matters within the remit of the committee. Please note that our registration deadlines have changed to 2 working days before the meeting, in order to facilitate the management of public participation at our meetings. The deadline for registering at this meeting is at 5.00pm on Thursday, 4 November 2021.
To register to speak please visit
www.york.gov.uk/AttendCouncilMeetings to fill in an online registration form. If you have any questions about the registration form or the meeting please contact Democratic Services on the details at the foot of the agenda.
Webcasting of Public Meetings
Please note that, subject to available resources, this meeting will be webcast, including any registered public speakers who have given their permission.
The meeting can be viewed live and on demand at
www.york.gov.uk/webcasts. During coronavirus, we've made some changes to how we're running council meetings. See our coronavirus updates (www.york.gov.uk/COVIDDemocracy) for more information on meetings and decisions.
It was reported that there had been eight registrations to speak under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme, on item 3, City Centre, Vision, Accessibility and Traffic Regulation. A written statement had also been received for the same item and had been circulated to Members and Officers.
Professor Tony May, on behalf of York Civic Trust, spoke firstly to note that he found it unreasonable to produce such a large report with numerous annexes and where there was a lot of duplication and repetition. He went on to question the lack of consultation in relation to a number of background reports including the Martin Higgate Associates report and the Strategic Review of City Centre Parking. He stated that assertions made in reports were unfounded and requested that engagement happened more quickly.
Helen Jones from York Disability Rights forum, requested that the current arrangements were not made permanent as they discriminated against disabled people. She highlighted the fact that York was a Human Rights City and that 78% of Blue Badge holders do not agree with the changes.
Jamie Wood questioned why the 50 documents had been published late. He also questioned the findings in Annexes F and Y. He commended the report by Martin Higgate Associates (MHA) as outstanding and questioned why officers were ignoring the recommendations. He urged the implementation of those recommendations.
Peter Sheaf for the York Cycle Campaign was impressed by the report from MHA and questioned why consultations had been repeated and the evidence on which officer recommendations had been based. He enquired about the training of officers.
David Harbourne spoke independently to thank the council for re-opening Castlegate. He stated that if the risk of terrorism could be managed in Chester, it could be managed in York. He saw no reason to close access to the city centre for Blue Badge holders.
Christian Santabarbara noted that he was a late registration due to documents relating to this item having been published after the deadline for speaker publication had closed. He explained that cycle couriers carry out essential services and requested that the council not dismiss the report from MHA.
Mick Pythian spoke to the York Human Rights City Network report and requested that officers consider interim access for Blue Badge holders and provide mitigations to give back independence.
To consider a report presenting additional information requested at the Commissioned Joint Committee meetings with the Health and Adult Social Care Policy and Scrutiny Committee and the Economy and Place Policy and Scrutiny Committee that took place on 25 October 2021, and make recommendations to Executive in the light of this.
Annexes to follow.
The Chair provided an overview of the joint scrutiny meetings with Health and Adult Services (HASC) and Economy and Place (EP) that took place on 25th October 2021. Both meetings had requested further information from Officers and the information requested had been summarised in paragraph 94 of the first report.
The Corporate Director of Place, the Director of Environment, Transport and Planning and the Head of Regeneration Programmes gave a brief presentation to the Committee and explained where the information requested could be found. Several Members highlighted concerns regarding the quantity of material and the lateness of the information published as an agenda supplement.
The Chair outlined the parameters for the meeting. He reminded the Committee that the purpose was to make recommendations to Executive and that they could offer comments or amendments. Alternatively, new recommendations could be made. He also highlighted that disability is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act and that as a sense check Members might like to test the wording of recommendations by considering other protected characteristics.
Officers gave the following information in response to questions from Members regarding access to Footstreets:
· Officers had tried to balance the varying needs of different groups with protected characteristics and the human rights of all residents, including the right to life.
· The recommendations in the first two reports would improve access to the city centre. These included the creation of an Access Officer position and increased designated parking on the edge of the Footstreets area. The Shop Mobility and Dial a Ride service offer had been improved and a variety of mitigation measures, such as dropped kerbs and rest stops had been included in their recommendations.
· The Corporate Director of Place noted that this was a complex decision making process, the report had acknowledged the harm caused and that different groups had been impacted differently.
· They confirmed that Officers had sought specialist legal advice to ensure that their recommendations adhered to the relevant equalities legislation. The Director of Governance confirmed that the external legal advisor had been given wide parameters to ensure that they were not restricted in giving their legal opinion.
[19:00 Cllr Rowley left the meeting]
· Officers had worked to the MY criteria and had operated in the public domain.
· Annex O contained the information regarding protecting the city centre.
· The Director of Environment, Transport and Planning confirmed his awareness and understanding of the Blue Badge Criteria.
[The meeting was adjourned between 19:18 to 19:28]
Following the adjournment, the Director of Environment, Transport and Planning responded to an earlier question and referred Members to the guidance within a Department of Transport document which gave walking distances between rest stops. This document had been used to inform the recommendations.
There was a general consensus among members that the Martin Higgate Associates report contained a number of good recommendations to move the city forward. There was a discussion regarding a city centre shuttlebus, where it had been suggested that Officers should consider bringing forward the feasibility ... view the full minutes text for item 38.