Agenda and draft minutes
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Contact: Angela Bielby Democracy Officer
Declarations of Interest
At this point in the meeting, Members are asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary interest or other registerable interest they might have in respect of business on this agenda, if they have not already done so in advance on the Register of Interests.
Members were invited 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, that they might have in the business on the agenda. No interests were declared.
To approve and sign the minutes of the Economy and Place Policy and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 10 February 2022.
Resolved: That the minutes of the meetings held on 10 February 2022 be approved as a correct record, to be signed by the Chair at a later date.
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It was reported that there had been one registrations to speak at the meeting under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.
Geoff Beacon spoke on item 4 [Plans for carbon neutral / carbon zero]. He explained that York’s declaration of the climate emergency included consumption emissions, which had been side lined in the carbon emission strategy. He noted the geographical distribution of emissions in York and noted the carbon.place website as a source of information. He also listed high emissions in the areas of Bishopthorpe, Copmanthorpe, Woodthorpe and Strensall in contributing to carbon emissions in York. The Chair thanked him for his comments.
The Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change to attend to outline her vision on carbon neutral/carbon zero development in general.
It was reported that the Executive Member for Environment and Climate change was unable to attend the meeting. She had provided the Chair with a letter detailing her view on York Central net zero ambitions, which had been circulated to the committee prior to the meeting. The Chair asked Members whether they would like to consider the item at the meeting and submit questions in writing to her, or delay the agenda item to a future meeting. A number of views were expressed. It was agreed that with the permission of the Executive Member, the letter would be published online with the meeting papers. The Chair noted that it was a legal function for the Executive Member to attend the meeting and the Committee could work with her on dates. He added that scrutiny meetings were a crucial part of her role as Executive Member. It was noted that question that a Member would have liked to have asked was that bearing in mind the council was responsible for 4% of carbon emissions in the city, what was the Executive Member’s plan to engage with business, the public and partners to achieve the remaining 96%.
The Director of Housing, Economy and Regeneration, advised that she would not be able to respond to climate change scrutiny issues but could take questions on York Central. She was asked and confirmed that she was asked and confirmed that she was happy to talk about engagement. In regard to York Central she noted collective ambition for the site, masterplan, and detailed planning permission, which had been against the grain of a significant number of challenges regarding the climate change agenda and commitment from the council to commit to a carbon zero [check]
The Director of Housing, Economy and Regeneration explained that the outline planning permission gave the parameters, context and minimum standards and NPPF standards with buildings to be built to BREAMM standards. She added that council developed housing would be developed to be carbon zero. She noted that the council would be working with the landowners of the site and was in the early stages of securing a tenant for the site. She explained that work had been undertaken on a zero energy district heating solution study and she explained that if there was one district heating network, this would make it easier to decarbonise once.
Regarding the carbon footprint of York Central, transport sat at the sat at the heart of the public transport infrastructure in York and the highway put into York Central was required by the site. She added that the site had a large amount of cycle and pedestrian provision and she explained the location of them on the site.
In response to Member questions, the Director of Housing, Economy and Regeneration explained that:
· Since the study on district heating had been undertaken, ground source heat pumps had developed.
· It was easier to install heating technology at an earlier stage rather than retrofit
· The Planning Committee would be considering ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
This report provides details of the 2021/22 forecast outturn position for both finance and performance across services within the Place Directorate.
Members considered a report that detailed the 2021/22 forecast outturn position for both finance and performance across services within the Place Directorate. The paper incorporated data to December 2021 as reported to Executive on 7 February 2022. The Head of Service Finance detailed the financial position of the directorate and the performance management as detailed in the annex to the report.
In response to questions the Director of Housing, Economy and Regeneration and Head of Service Finance explained that:
· Following the purchase of the Rufforth site, the first phase of tree planted had begun and there had also been a 500 tree giveaway.
· Regarding finances to date, the position was looking better than reported. There was a trend amongst all directorates regarding savings being carried.
· The measuring of the cycling index was difficult and was based around commuting. Since the pandemic, people had not been cycling into the city centre and more bikes had been purchased. It was noted that better ways of collating the date was being looked at and hat the figures were from 2020 with the 2022 figures being awaited. The Chair noted it would be interesting to this is the next report along with the national figures and Director of Housing, Economy and Regeneration and Head of Service Finance noted that transport and business intelligence were looking into this.
· Regarding the variances in development management, income was down by £150,000. A lot of the planning income came from major schemes and until the Local Plan was signed off, it was unlikely that major schemes would come forward.
· The underspend in economic development was from vacancies in the inward investment team when it was brought into the Council in August 2021. It was confirmed that there was 7 members of staff in that team and 2.5 vacancies.
· The reduction in the percentage of low emissions vehicles in the fleet of council vehicles was due to technical adjustments from the introduction of electric hybrid and euro 6 vehicles. Purely electric vehicles were now being brought in.
· Concerning financial implications of returning fleet vehicles, the council was in discussion regarding whether the repairs were under warrantee.
· The Head of Service Finance undertook to check whether the reduction in fly tipping was due to fly tipping fines.
Resolved: That the financial and performance management position across Economy and Place be noted.
Reason: To ensure expenditure is kept within the approved budget and performance is effectively scrutinised.
To consider items for the workplan for the 2022-23 municipal year.
Members considered the Work Plan for the remainder of the 2021-22 municipal year. Members discussed and agreed the following agenda items for future meetings:
26 July 2022:
Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change Plans for carbon neutral / carbon zero at York Central.
Make it York (MIY) Update
York BID 5 Year Plan Update
Bus Service Improvement Plan (if ready)
Suggestions for future meetings included an update on EV home charging (particularly in streets with no driveways or garages), EV Hyperhubs Update (with comparator data on how similar sized cities are doing this).
Resolved: That the workplan be updated to include the above items.
Reason: To keep the workplan up to date.