Local democracy during coronavirus

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Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Chris Elliott  Democracy Officer

Webcast: video recording

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.



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


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 20 August 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


It was reported that there had not been any registrations to speak under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.


Called-in Item Post Decision: Housing Delivery Programme pdf icon PDF 155 KB

To consider the decision made by the Executive at a meeting

held on 12 July 2018 in relation to the above item, which has

been called in by Councillors Wells, K Taylor and Pavlovic 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 Customer & Corporate Services Scrutiny Management Committee (Calling-In) in relation to the call-in, together with the original report and the decision of the Executive.

Additional documents:


Members considered a report which set out the reasons for the call-in and the role of the committee, together with the options available to it under the agreed post-decision call in arrangements. In accordance with those arrangements, Cllrs Wells, K Taylor and Pavlovic had called in the item for the following reasons:


·        overall, the decision to abandon the housing development company proposal approved by Executive in December 2017 represents a shift away from a significant long term plan to address York’s housing crisis to an unambitious short term plan that looks no further than the next council administration;


·        the Executive report provides no detailed explanation for why the December 2017 decision to establish a housing development company (devco) has been scrapped;


·        combined with Local Plan provision for ‘affordable’ homes the administration’s plans come nowhere near meeting the city’s assessed need of 573 genuinely affordable new homes annually, pushing housing costs even higher and exacerbating York’s housing crisis;


·        scrapping the devco proposal removes the council’s ability to operate within the private rented sector, meaning unsafe properties, particularly within the HMO sector, will continue to exist and more likely than not, increase in number.


Cllr Pavlovic spoke on behalf of the ‘calling-in’ members, stating that the short term nature of the current policy and the ‘shelving’ of the proposed development company would limit the options and opportunities available to the Council. Cllr Pavlovic also outlined his concern at what would happen when the Council owned land ran out, asking the Executive to show a longer term vision.


In response to members questions, Cllr Pavlovic clarified that he believed the prospective development company would allow the Council more control of the private renting market and that running the development company alongside the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) programme would be the most robust way forward, offering the most opportunities to build at scale and buy plots from private land owners.


The Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods then addressed the committee. The Executive Member clarified that;

-      The HRA could in fact buy land

-      The focus for this administration was to build houses and not to make money

-      There were three potential delivery approaches, of which the HRA was one, and in the Executive’s opinion, the least risky.


The Executive Member also stated that the Executives long term vision for providing affordable housing was explained in this report.


The Executive Member responded to Member questions by explaining that the Council was taking the strategic lead with their current approach as this would allow for homes to be built more quickly and for developments to have a higher percentage of affordable housing.


Officers then stated that the July report, and the subject of the ‘call in’, set out the more comprehensive recommendations that were given to the Executive following further research and due diligence that had taken place in the intervening period. The HRA provided the simplest and quickest way to deliver new homes on the seven sites owned by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


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