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Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Democratic Services 

Webcast: video recording

Items
No. Item

28.

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:

Members were asked to declare any personal interests not included on the Register of Interests, any prejudicial interests or any disclosable pecuniary interests that they had in respect of business on this agenda. None were declared.

29.

Public Participation

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 Thursday 29 March 2018.  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 no registrations to speak under the Council’s public participation scheme.

30.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 6 November 2017.

Minutes:

Resolved:   To approve and sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 6 November 2017.

31.

Called-in Item Pre-Decision: Removal of Parliament Street Fountain and St Sampson's Square Toilets pdf icon PDF 189 KB

To consider the call-in of the above decision due to be made by the Executive Member for Transport and Planning on 12 April 2018. The report sets out a brief background to the item called-in by Councillors Craghill, D’Agorne and D Taylor and the role of, and options available to, this Committee under the agreed pre-decision call-in arrangements.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Members considered a report which set out the reasons for the call-in and the role of the Committee, together with options available to it under the agreed pre-decision call-in arrangements.

In accordance with those arrangements three Members (Councillors Craghill, D’Agorne and D Taylor) had called in the above item for the following reasons:

 

     i.        Whilst we understand that the St Sampson’s Square toilets building no longer provides any toilet facilities for people with disabilities, webelieve its loss will be seen my many residents as part of thepicture of declining public toilet facilities in central York, whichneeds much more attention.

 

    ii.        We are very aware of the importance for many York residents of the fountain in its current location as a meeting point and (when it was still operating) an important feature giving interest and variety to the street scene at the heart of York which should be a matter of civic pride.

 

   iii.        We understand that much of the current fountain mechanisms cannot be repaired but would need to be replaced to make the existing fountain work again. However, we would like the forthcoming Executive Member decision to ensure that, if it is decided to remove the current fountain, this is followed by a quick to install temporary use including plentiful seating and that a longer term solution is sought through an open public consultation with all options open including the possibility of a new fountain or ground level ‘pop-up’ fountains.

 

  iv.        We would particularly like the Executive Member decision to guarantee that the space will not simply be paved over and used for more market stalls or left as a completely empty space.

 

   v.        We would like to see clear costings which enable everyone to compare the costs of all the options.

 

  vi.        We believe a cross party pre-decision public scrutiny is appropriate to help ensure we find a way forward that takes account of everyone’s views.

 

Councillors Craghill and Taylor spoke, on behalf of the Call-In Members, to state that they welcomed the revised paper, but still wished to raise residents’ concerns about the loss of the fountain as a meeting place and focal point. They felt that any replacement or alternative chosen should be an improvement to the City Centre rather than just the cheapest option. They went on to state that, as some people felt the current fountain was an obstacle to festivals and other use of the area, that perhaps a more modern design of fountain, which could be switched off to create a flat surface for events, would be a good option.

 

In response to questions from Members they stated:

 

·        Their desired outcome would be that the decision not be made so quickly, with more time to consider the options, including bringing the fountain back into working order. This would include making it clearer to residents that this measure was to improve Parliament Street;

·        There should be wide public consultation and it would be sensible to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

32.

Called-in Item Post-Decision: Review of the Evidence Base Supporting the Case for the Extension of Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) across the City pdf icon PDF 198 KB

To consider the decision made by the Executive at a meeting held on 15 March 2018 in relation to the above item, which has been called in by Councillors Wells, Pavlovic and Funnell 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 decision of the Executive.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report which set out the reasons for the call-in and the role of the Committee, together with options available to it under the agreed pre-decision call-in arrangements. In accordance with those arrangements three Members (Councillors Wells, Pavlovic and Funnell) had called in the above item for the following reasons:

 

·        The extension of mandatory licensing under the Government’s planned changes (effective 1 October 2018) will only extendlicensing to a limited number of HMOs, leaving fewer than 1000licensed, and thousands unlicensed.

·        By signalling a review in three years, the Executive has effectively dismissed poor private sector housing standards as an issue for York; contrary to the Council’s responsibilities under the Housing Act 2004 to act on category 1 hazards

·        The Executive has taken a decision in conflict with the council’s own Private Sector Housing Strategy commitment to regulateprivate landlords and agents to provide safe and well managedproperties, free from category 1 hazards

·        The Executive report did not consider the financial implications of a comprehensive HMO licensing scheme, including how over time it could be a cost neutral solution to addressing poor standards in the sector, in informing its decision.

 

Councillor Pavolvic spoke, on behalf of the Call-In Members, to state that the current system in York was not meeting the needs of tenants, good landlords or the wider community and asked that the Executive reconsider and simultaneously implement the government proposals, while consulting on the need for a local additional licensing scheme for smaller HMOs.  In York there was a major issue with the proliferation of HMOs and breaches of limits. Additionally, if the scheme was self financing, this would cover administration costs and enforcement.

 

In response to Member questions he stated:

 

·        The PRS strategy in 2016 called for the consideration of an additional licensing scheme, and this had not moved forward in two years, meaning that if this was not considered within the next three years, starting a consultation would have taken five years, which was too long given the existing evidence base and the standards of privately rented accommodation in the City;

·        The current mandatory scheme was due for amendment and the amended scheme would have a minimum room size criteria;

·        Unless there were adequate levels of enforcement officers any scheme, mandatory or additional, would fail; and

·        If all HMOs were made to register (approx. 3000-4000 properties), the fee would allow the scheme to be self financing.

 

The Executive Member for Transport and Planning attended the meeting to represent the Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods. He responded to Member questions along with the Housing Standards and Adaptations Manager. In response to Member questions they stated:

 

·        Executive had made their decision based on the resources available. To simultaneously implement both the provisions outline in the Government proposals and build the evidence base/ consult on the case as to whether to introduce a local Additional Licensing Scheme would make it difficult to do either task in a robust way. This did not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

 

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