Agenda and minutes
Venue: The Thornton Room - Ground Floor, West Offices (G039). View directions
Contact: Becky Holloway Democracy Officer
Webcast: video recording
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 any personal interests not included on the Register of Interests, any prejudicial interests or any disclosable pecuniary interests in respect of business on the agenda.
No additional interests were declared.
It is at this point in the meeting that members of the public who have registered to speak can do so. The deadline for registering is 5.00pm on Friday 3 November 2017. 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
There had been one registration to speak under the council’s scheme of public participation.
Mr Simon Perry, Chair of Walmgate Community Association, spoke against the proposal to dispose of Willow House. He reported that the green space within the site was used regularly by local residents and provided a valuable setting for Walmgate Bar.
To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 9 August 2017.
Resolved: To approve and sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 9 August 2017.
Exclusion of Press and Public
To consider the exclusion of the press and public from the meeting during consideration of Annex B(4) to Agenda Item 5 (Called-In item: Disposal of Willow House, Walmgate) on the grounds that it contains information relating to business and financial affairs of any particular persons. This information is classed as exempt under paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A to Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as revised by The Local Government (Access to Information (Variation) Order 2006).
The Chair reminded members that the content of Annex B(4) of Agenda Item 5 was restricted and that discussion of this annex would require the exclusion of the press and public from the meeting. It was agreed not to exclude the press and public and to refrain from discussing the annex.
To consider the decisions made by the Executive at a meeting held on 19 October 2017 in relation to the above item, which has been called in by Councillors Craghill, Flinders and Looker in accordance with the Council’s Constitution. A cover report is attached setting out the reasons for the call-in and the remit and powers of the Corporate and Scrutiny Management Policy and Scrutiny Committee (Calling-In) in relation to the call-in, together with the original report and the decisions of the Executive.
Members considered the report which set out the reasons for the call-in and the Committee’s remit and powers in relation to dealing with it. The decision made at the meeting of the Executive on 19 October 2017 regarding the disposal of Willow House, Walmgate had been called in by Cllrs Craghill, Flinders and Looker for the following reason:
So that further negotiation can take place regarding the area of currently unfenced open space between Willow House and Walmgate and all the options for protecting the land can be explored. This might include a covenant and/or other options.
Cllr Flinders spoke on behalf of the calling-in Members. With the agreement of the Chair, Cllr Craghill was also in attendance to take questions from the committee. Cllr Flinders explained that along with the local residents, businesses and MP, they supported the preservation of the green space within the site for continued public access and use. It was felt that the social and cultural value of the green space had not been adequately considered in the council’s decision to dispose of Willow House and that additional time was required to enable this to take place.
The Leader, as Executive Member for Finance and Performance, explained that the decision to dispose of Willow House had been taken in November 2016 and that the decision in question related to the choice of bidder. He reported that any restrictions placed on the disposal of the site could reduce its value and delay the sale which was needed to fund the Older People’s Accommodation Scheme. He also reported that the chosen bid would preserve a percentage of the green space.
Officers were in attendance to provide technical clarifications and to take questions. Points raised included:
· The land had not been designated as open public space by the council and did not meet the criteria for such designation.
· Any development of the site would require full planning permission to be granted and preservation of trees on the site would be a matter for the planning authority to consider.
· The One Public Council assessment had been taken into account by the Executive in making their decision.
· Any changes made to the criteria of the tender would be likely to result in a requirement to go back out to tender, and legal advice would be sought regarding this.
Cllr Galvin, seconded by Cllr Gates, moved that Option A of the report be adopted (that there were no grounds to make specific recommendations to the Executive in respect of the report).
Cllr Barnes, seconded by Cllr D’Agorne, moved that the decision regarding disposal of Willow House made by the Executive on 19 October 2017 be referred back to the Executive for further consideration.
Members of the Committee discussed the points raised by the calling-in Members and by the Executive Member and Leader. Comments in support of the call-in included that the decision was not reversible and that the delay would enable more thorough consideration of the green space to be ... view the full minutes text for item 27.