Local democracy during coronavirus

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Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Robert Flintoft  Democracy Officer

Webcast: Watch or listen to the meeting online

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.



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


Minutes pdf icon PDF 166 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meetings held on 12 November and 16 December 2019.

Additional documents:


Resolved: That the minutes of the previous meetings held on the 12 November 2019 and the 16 December 2019 be approved and signed by the Chair as an accurate record.


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 13 January 2020. 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 been six registrations to speak under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme, however, only five of those registered attended the meeting.


Jamie Sims spoke as a member of Extinction Rebellion and discussed the rising global temperatures and the impact that 100 of the largest companies have on temperature rises. They raised concerns about the future homes standard and the need to insulate existing homes. They asked the Committee to lobby the Executive for a ban on shops leaving their doors open.


Dave Merrett raised concerns about the Local Plan potentially not being fit for purpose. They questioned the amount of affordable housing in the plan and noted that more low income earners working in the city would end up living further away from the city, suggesting that this would create a greater reliance on car based transport to and from the city. They asked the Committee to consider if the York Central development should be car free.


Richard Clark also raised concerns about the York Central development and was apprehensive regarding York’s Carbon Neutral by 2030 target being matched with its industrial goals. They noted that they believed that the York Central development was planning for a lot of car use by assigning large parking areas for officers and homes.


June Tranmer brought up the carbon foot prints of individuals in relation to their sending of emails. They cited the Carbon Literacy Document, noting the amount of carbon different sized emails produced. They asked that the Committee consider ways of reducing the size and volume of emails used, noting the need for more web links rather than attachments in emails to reduce carbon emissions. 


Debby Cobbett spoke as a member of Yorkshire and Humber National Pensioners Convention they questioned whether City of York Council had done enough to tackle the Climate Emergency, nearly a year after the Council declared one. They noted their support for the motion that was passed at the December 2019 Council meeting, that would ban non-essential car journeys from inside the city walls. They however, noted that they hoped that this would not just move where car journeys were taking place, but would be part of improving and promoting the use of cleaner transport options.


Sustainable Development, Local Plan and Climate Change pdf icon PDF 294 KB

This report introduces a discussion on planning guidance and best practice concerning sustainable development. The committee wish to explore the feasibility of potential actions that the Council could take in furthering the aim of York being carbon neutral by 2030. This paper looks to set out the current York position in respect of its emerging Local Plan, development of Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) and the national policy context.

Additional further reading and resources published online:

-      Planning for Climate Change, Executive Summary and Full Report - Town and Country Planning Association

-      Friends of the Earth, 33 Actions that Local Authorities can take on Climate Change

-      Planning and Climate Change Supplementary Planning Document – Crawley Council



Additional documents:


The Committee were joined by Liam Tate (Planning Manager at Barratt Homes / David Wilson Homes), Paul Wharam  (Technical Director at Barratt Homes / David Wilson Homes), Steve Cinderby

(Stockholm Environment Institute), and Council Officers.


Officers outlined the position of the Local Plan, the supplementary planning documents, and the reasons for the plan being considered in two separate phases by the inspector. In response to Member questions, the officers noted that there were limitations to being able to amend the plan beyond what the inspector could recommend. They also noted that the Local Plan was setting higher building standards than current government building regulations. Officers confirmed the limitations to being able to set potentially more ambitious targets for carbon reduction or energy efficiency as the plan and noted that there was a chance that the inspector could lower targets on the grounds of feasibility due to them being higher than national planning policy frame work. 


Liam Tate and Paul Wharam responded to a series of Members questions, outlining that from a developer’s perspective that they were looking for a level playing field between themselves and other developers. They therefore were looking for guidance in the form of planning guidelines that would indicate the standard that they would need to build too. They highlighted that they as a company had taken a fabric first approach and considered PV or heat recovery systems only when building over and above current building regulations. In response to questions about car free developments and the potential for York Central to be car free, they noted that public perception would need to be in favour of car free developments and that current planning standards ask for developments to come with space for two cars. 


Members considered the government’s consultation on The Future Homes Standard: changes to Part L and Part F of the Building Regulations for new dwellings, it was noted that in 2006 there had been a government target for homes to be ‘zero carbon’ by 2016, however, the plan was stopped by a previous administration. Instead of the options in the consultation of reductions in carbon emissions of homes, Members stated that they would prefer a target of ‘zero carbon’ for all new homes.


The Committee also discussed a range of topics including localised heating systems, renewable energy on listed buildings, and the financial implications of building to higher standards. Furthermore they considered examples of schemes undertaken by other local authorities and highlighted the Friends of the Earth document as part of the agenda pack ‘33 actions local authorities can take on climate change’ as further ways of considering what City of York Council could consider implementing. Members agreed to discuss outside of the meeting potential funding steams the council could seek to use that would allow for buildings to be built to a higher standard, while not adversely affecting things such as the building of affordable housing.




                      i.         That a report be brought to the February meeting of the Committee providing an  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.


Work Plan 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 264 KB

To consider the Draft Work Plan for 2019-20.


Members considered the committee’s work plan for the remainder of the 2019/20 municipal year. Members agreed that Biodiversity scheduled to come to the 4 February 2020 meeting would be postponed to the 21 April 2020 Committee meeting. Members also agreed to add Climate Change Mitigation to the 21 April 2020.




                      i.         That the draft work plan was approved, as submitted, subject to the above clarification.


Reason:     To ensure that the committee has a planned programme            of work in place.


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