Local democracy during coronavirus

During coronavirus, we've made some changes to how we're running council meetings. See our coronavirus updates for more information on meetings and decisions.

Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Craven Room - Ground Floor, West Offices (G048). View directions

Contact: Catherine Clarke and Louise Cook (job-share)  Democracy Officers

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, at this point in the meeting, any personal interests, not included on the Register of Interests, or any prejudicial or disclosable pecuniary interests they may have in respect of business on the agenda.


Cllr Taylor declared a personal non prejudicial interest in agenda item 6, York Theatre Royal Bi-Annual Update, in that he worked for City Screen and they showed a Wise Children Company production and Cllr Daubeney also declared a personal non prejudicial interest in agenda item 6, in that he was a Board Member on the York Theatre Royal Trust.


Cllr Webb declared a personal non prejudicial interest in agenda item 5, York CVS Bi-annual Service Level Agreement Update, in that his wife worked for York CVS.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 119 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 13 March 2019.


Resolved:  That the minutes of the meeting of the committee held on 13 March 2019 be approved as a correct record and then signed by the Chair.



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 Monday 24 June 2019.  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 Officers 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 Officers (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 been no registrations to speak at the meeting under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.



Arrangements for Policy and Scrutiny in York pdf icon PDF 261 KB

This report highlights the structure for the Council’s provision of the scrutiny function and the resources available to support it. It also details the current terms of reference for the individual Policy & Scrutiny Committees.



Members considered a report that highlighted the structure for the Council’s provision of the scrutiny function and the resources available to support it. It also detailed the current terms of reference for the individual Policy & Scrutiny Committees.

The Scrutiny Officer gave an update and highlighted the key points in the report. Members noted the skills required to operate scrutiny successfully for the benefit of the residents of the city and that two new scrutiny committees, Housing and Community Safety Policy and Scrutiny Committee and Climate Change Policy and Scrutiny Committee, had been created and their remits had been agreed.


Members thanked the author for his detailed report that provided practical information and guidance to help Members and officers carry out and assist with Scrutiny activities.


Resolved: That the contents of the report and the specific remits of the individual Policy & Scrutiny Committees be noted.


Reason: To inform Members of scrutiny arrangements.


York CVS Bi-Annual Service Level Agreement Update pdf icon PDF 257 KB

This report provides Members with a brief summary of support, services and training provided by the organisation during the last operating year, October 2018 – March 2019.



Members considered a report from York CVS that provided an update on their activity from October 2018 to March 2019.


The Chief Executive of York CVS was in attendance and she gave an overview of their services and highlighted how they:

·        Supported the sector to survive and thrive,

·        Represented the sector and provided a voice, 

·        Delivered services with a social impact and

·        Sustained organisational strength.


Members noted that the organisation had gone through considerable staff changes and a restructure to bring them into a financial balance from April 2019. Their renewed offer had been implemented which included a part time Funding and Development Officer and an increase of social prescribers, which would help support primary care within the voluntary sector. 


The Chief Executive made reference to the practical support they offered, including their multi-faceted roles and bespoke support to build strength and resilience so local charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises could provide and grow essential services for the communities they serve. 


Members were made aware of the various issue based forums, focus groups and social action projects that  had encouraged a more collaborative way of working across the whole sector.


The Chief Executive confirmed that she represented the sector on several key partnership boards, including York Health and Wellbeing Board and Children’s and Adults Safeguarding Boards.


She highlighted the organisation’s challenges and gaps which included funding and the lack of a voluntary centre in the city and in answer to Members questions the Chief Executive confirmed:


·        York would have five social prescribers to support the Ways to Wellbeing offer across the whole of York. 

·        The new style forums were proving to be of interest throughout the whole sector allowing partnership working.

·        She would liaise with Scrutiny should she identify any opportunities for Members to consider or feed into community forums. 

·        They don’t work directly with young people but could link sectors to support the gaps.

·         A voluntary centre that was managed could support volunteers and voluntary and community organisations to offer good practice and help develop opportunities.


Members thanked the Chief Executive for her update and noted that recruitment was in process for new trustees and a  new Chair  to the Board.


Resolved: (i)       That the report be noted.


(ii)     That the Chief Executive of York CVS liaise with Committee Members should she identify any opportunities for Scrutiny to consider.


Reason:  To update the committee on the activity of York CVS.



York Theatre Royal Bi-Annual Update pdf icon PDF 89 KB

This report provides the scrutiny committee with an update on the progress and performance of York Theatre Royal during the past six months.


Members considered a report that informed them of the progress and performance of York Theatre Royal.


The Executive Director of York Theatre Royal was in attendance to provide the update and he confirmed they had:

·        Achieved record breaking ticket sales in 18/19.

·        Engaged with more young people across the city through the Learning and Participation sessions.

·        Pioneered a new social initiative called The Community Drive.

·        Arranged for the community programming group Visionari to  programme their own week in the main house after receiving excellent audience numbers in the smaller studio.

·        Live streamed the last pantomime into Tang Hall Community Centre, which had proved very poplar and following the retirement of Berwick Kaler the 2019 pantomime would still be written by him and include previous cast members.

·        Launched a new website, allowing their digital presence to be transformed.


In answer to Members questions the Executive Director confirmed:

·        He would circulate further information to the committee regarding Access All Areas, particularly around the referrals, take up, impact, access and future plans.1

·        The theatre would continue to engage with as many individuals as possible and would continue to run a number of social initiatives through, Access All Areas, Community Drive and live streaming.

·         The next community play would take place outdoors in June 2021 and be on the subject of flooding and how climate change affects York.

·        The Equality and Diversity Working Group would focus on three strands to encourage a diverse audience throughout a wider community including areas of deprivation.


Members thanked the Executive Director for his update and welcomed the community focused initiatives that would include the suburb areas of the city.


Resolved:  (i)      That the report be noted.


(ii)     That further information be emailed to Committee Members regarding Access All Areas.


Reason:     To fulfil the council’s role as a funding body.



Overview of the Children, Education and Communities Service pdf icon PDF 391 KB

The Corporate Director of Children, Education and Communities to attend the meeting to present an overview of the directorate’s service areas.


The Corporate Director of Children, Education and Communities was in attendance to give Members an overview of the directorate which included Children’s Specialist Services, Education and Skills and Communities and Equalities.


The Corporate Director highlighted the responsibilities within two service areas and informed Members that they would receive regular performance monitoring reports regarding:


Children’s Specialist Services:

·         Early help

·         Local Area Teams

·        The Youth Offending Service

·        Children’s social care including front door services

·         Looked after children and adoption

·         Partnership activities including quality assurance and safeguarding


Education and Skills:

·        School improvement

·        School place planning

·        Skills and apprenticeships

·        Early years services

·        Special educational needs


The Assistant Director of Communities and Equalities was in attendance to highlight his responsibilities within communities, equalities, adult learning and culture & leisure. Members noted that: 


·        Community Involvement Officers supported elected members and maintained relationships with parish councils.

·        York Learning would provide a biannual report to the committee.

·        Culture and leisure activities were delivered collaboratively with various cultural providers across the city including York Museum Trust, GLL, Explore York, Make it York, Welcome to Yorkshire and York CVS.

·         Officers were currently involved in the Human Rights Board and projects around NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) homelessness and community voices.

Members thanked officers for their overviews and raised questions around the recruitment and retention of social workers, changes within the Youth Offending service, pupil premium and early years support to help close the attainment gap.


In answer to Members questions it was noted that:


·        Various initiatives were in place to recruit, grow and retain social workers, including engagement with newly qualified social workers from the University of York, a new front line initiative starting in September and a return to social work project.

·        A Local Government Association peer review would be taking place in December to ensure a new school readiness project was delivered correctly.

·        Officers within the outreach teams, community teams and Local Area Teams worked within communities to encourage families to engage in the offers they were entitled to.


Members thanked officers for their update.


Resolved: That the overview be noted.


Reason: To keep Members updated.



Draft Work Plan 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 150 KB

To consider the committee’s draft work plan for the new municipal year 2019-20.


Members considered the committee’s work plan for the 2019-20 municipal year.


Following discussion on possible topics to review, the Scrutiny Officer agreed to email Members a topic registration form. Topics raised included County Lines and tenant and resident engagement, which Members agreed these could be aligned with the Housing and Community Safety Policy and Scrutiny Committee.


Following further discussion it was agreed that the work plan be updated to include:


23 July 2019

·        An update on the review of ward committees.


24 September 2019

·         York safeguarding partnership biannual update report, including information on County Lines.


29 October 2019

·        An update report on the Cultural Leaders strategy work.


28 January 2020

·        An update on the Local Government Association peer review.


It was also suggested that the committee monitor the progress of implementation of previous scrutiny reviews, in particular the reviews on school meals and narrowing the gap.


Members agreed to change the scheduled meeting on 29 April 2020 to 22 April 2020 and that an additional meeting be added to the corporate calendar on 20 May 2020.


Resolved:  (i)      That the work plan be approved subject to the   above amendments/additions.


(ii)      That the initial strategy undertaken by the Cultural Leaders Group be emailed to Committee Members.1


(iii)     That a topic registration form be emailed to Committee Members.2


Reason:     To keep the committee’s work plan updated.





Back to the top of the page