Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: The George Hudson Board Room - 1st Floor West Offices (F045). View directions

Contact: Angela Bielby  Democracy Officer

No. Item


Declarations of Interest [17.35]

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 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 interest that they might have in respect of the business on the agenda. There were none.



Minutes [17.35] pdf icon PDF 150 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 14 November 2022.



Resolved: That;

                     i.        the minutes of the meeting held on 14 November 2022 be approved and signed by the Chair as a correct record.

                    ii.        the Democracy Officer follow up on the progress of the recommendations from the meeting held on 22 November 2022.



Public Participation [17.36]

At this point in the meeting members of the public who have

registered to speak can do so. Members of the public may

speak on agenda items or on matters within the remit of the

committee. The deadline for registering at this meeting is at 5:00pm on Friday 13 January 2023.


To register to speak please visit to fill out an online

registration form. If you have any questions about the

registration form or the meeting please contact the Democracy

Officer for the meeting whose details can be found at the foot of

the agenda.


Webcasting of Public Meetings

Please note that, subject to available resources, this

public meeting will be webcast including any registered public

speakers who have given their permission. The public

meeting can be viewed live and on demand at



It was reported that there had been one registration to speak under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme. Flick Williams spoke on agenda item 4 Public Realm Update. She advised that York Disability Rights Forum had written to the council on 12 September 2022 regarding accessible toilets. She listed a number of problems with accessible toilets in the city centre noting that the only tangible improvement was to the lip of the Silver Street accessible toilet and that the only accessible toilets were at York Explore Library and Marks and Spencer. She noted problems with Changing Places toilets and in particular the Changing Places toilet at the Guildhall, which needed bigger dimensions. She asked whether the council was getting value for money on external toilets. In response to a question from a Member she explained that she had been asked to use the toilet in reception at the Guildhall when she needed to access the bigger toilet. The Member undertook to follow this up with the Guildhall.



Public Realm Update [17.42] pdf icon PDF 238 KB

Report to follow.

Additional documents:


Members considered a report that provided an overview and update on the services and functions managed by Public Realm. This included delivery through in house provision, the private sector and through a variety of arrangements with the community and voluntary sector.


The Chair expressed concern regarding reports being received in a timely fashion. The Director or of Environment, Transport and Planning, Strategy and Contracts Manager, Head of Environmental Services and Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change introduced themselves to the Committee. Officers provided an update on the core functions and areas covered by public realm, including challenges and opportunities for services. The Chair thanked staff in the public realm teams for their work.


In response to questions from Members, Officers clarified that

·        Regarding conveying to residents on grass cutting that councillors had 100% agreed to the pollinator strategy, this was set out in the content of responses to residents.

·        There were three types of machines for street sweeping. Two small articulated machines operated in the city centre and occasionally outside, for example on Lord Mayors Walk and the other four machines; two road sweepers and two path sweepers, work outside the bar walls.

·        The frequency of grass cutting was being looked at.

·        Regarding HGV training, there was a staff training agreement to retain staff which is being rolled out across the wider Environmental Services.

·        The articulated mini sweeper has a fixed body and the cab moved left and right.

·        Regarding the terms used for meadows, this was open to interpretation and the Strategy and Contracts Manager undertook to look into the different terms being used and work being done on Chestnut watermeadow in the Haxby and Wigginton Ward.

·        The development of wildflower meadows was mostly resident led.

·        The 56 corporate days of volunteers referred to when staff and volunteers were working on site.

·        The council was doing a pilot with the University of York on establishing a maintenance plan at the Knavesmire as a model. The Knavesmire was chosen as for the pilot after contact from Ward Councillors and the outcome of the pilot would a template for other sites. It was noted that mistakes had been made with a number of sites and this would be addressed as part of the restructure of Environmental Services.

·        Regarding progress on the pollinator strategy, there was an update to the Climate Emergency Policy and Scrutiny Committee which included an update on progress against actions. There was also w Ward upwards driven implementation of the pollinator strategy.

·        Members noted a number of issues with parking on verges and encouraged Officers to work with Parish Councils. It was also requested that there be community payback in one village in Rural West Ward and for there to be cleaning up of leaves beyond the city centre. Officers advised that parking on verges had been to scrutiny over a number of years and that that the Department for Transport (DfT) had talked about outlawing pavement and verge parking. It was noted that community payback chose  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Quarterly Economic Update [19.01] pdf icon PDF 147 KB

This report provides a quarterly update on the York economy.


Additional documents:


Members considered a report that provided a quarterly update on the York economy. The Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning and Head of Economy were in attendance to present the report. The Head of Economy outlined the report highlighting the claimant count, job vacancies, and economically inactive statistics in York. It was noted that costs for recruitment and energy were a concern for York businesses. He added that the council continued to work with the rail sector and that there was no appetite for Great British Rail in the government. It was also noted that COVID funding had ended and that funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund would be used on Acomb Front Street.


In response to Members the Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning and Head of Economy explained that:

·        There were similar levels of job vacancies in low and high paid jobs. Half of these were in hospitality and retail and the remainder split across different sectors.

·        Concerning inward investment, there had been six overseas queries. The new Head of Inward Investment started in post in January and would be working on getting development partners on board for York Central. It was hoped that a government department would be coming to York and there had been a lot of interest from different parts of the rail sector.

·        There had been inward investment in the city. The Head of Economy undertook to circulate the information on this to Members following the meeting. The Executive Member added that this could be included in the next update paper.

·        Regarding the impact of Brexit on businesses in York, a number of European businesses based in York had been expanding.

·        Regarding vacancies in hospitality, Members asked if the council needed to work more closely with housing on the cost of housing in the city. It was noted that housing was included in the economic strategy and that York was relatively expensive compared to areas outside York. It was noted that York was a difficult place to live for those on low wages.

·        A Member asked if data on wage rates across the city was available and they were advised that the council only held city wide data.


Resolved: That;

                     i.        The content of the report be noted.

                    ii.        Future quarterly economic update reports be circulated to the Committee by email in the days following the Executive Member Decision Session.


Reason:     In order to be updated on the progress of York’s economy.



2022/23 Finance and Performance Monitor 2 [17.37] pdf icon PDF 688 KB

This report provides details of the Q2 2022-23 position for both finance and performance across services within the Place Directorate. The paper incorporates data to September 2022, which was reported to Executive on 22 November 2022.



The Committee considered a report that provided details of the Quarter 2 2022-23 position for both finance and performance across services within the Place Directorate. The paper incorporates data to September 2022, which was reported to Executive on 22 November 2022. The Head of Service Finance and Director of Environment, Transport and Planning were in attendance to present the report. The Head of Service Finance gave an overview of the report noting increased costs and financial pressures. He advised that there was an estimated overspend of £600k and it was hoped this could be mitigated and brought down to £0.


In response to Member questions they clarified that:

·        Regarding CYC have entering into a trial with Virgin O2 to assist the cleansing and painting of their utilities boxes, the council was keen to do this with as many national companies as possible with the arrangements varying between companies. As a minimum the council would break even and it would improve the income stream and responsiveness.

·        With reference to the number of vacant shops, the council had had been successful across income streams from commercial properties.

·        Concerning the reduction in respark income, there had been a reduction in the number of visitor badges sold and the council was not seeing income from parking enforcement from the badges. Traffic levels were down and parking levels were up. The impact of working from home and hybrid working had had an impact of travel to the city centre.

·        With regard to income from parking, the cost of living pressures meant that people had less disposable income. It was noted that the council was trying to get more people on buses and that the rail strikes may result in more car journeys into York. It was noted that there had not been a return to bus use pre pandemic.

·        It was not known how many trees had been planted and the Director of Environment, Transport and Planning confirmed that this could be looked at as a data set.

·        There had been a decline in workers cycling to work because of working from home and hybrid working. There tended to be a peak in cycling levels around sorting events. It was clarified that the refence to the Tour de France was part of the narrative of the report.

·        To achieve net zero carbon emissions there would need to be some challenging policy decisions, whether across transport and housing.

·        The carbon assessment of the dualling of the ring road showed a neutral impact of traffic movement.



Resolved: That the financial and performance management position across services within the Place Directorate be noted.


Reason:     To ensure expenditure is kept within the approved budget and performance is effectively scrutinised.




Work Plan [20.04] pdf icon PDF 258 KB

To consider the work plan for the remainder of the municipal year.


Additional documents:


Members considered the work plan for the remainder of the municipal year.


Resolved: That the Democracy Officer check if a commissioned scrutiny meeting slot was available for the committee to consider the Bus Service Improvement Plan.


Reason: To consider Bus Service Improvement Plan before the end of the municipal year.



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