Local democracy during coronavirus

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Agenda and minutes

Contact: Joseph Kennally  Democracy Officer

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, which they might have in respect of business on the agenda.  None were declared.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 125 KB

To approve and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 9 March 2021, and to approve and sign the updated minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 8 December 2020.

Additional documents:


With reference to Minute 6 (York Climate Commission), the Chair noted that no update had yet been received on the Commission.  Officers confirmed that this would be addressed.


It was also requested that the work plan agreed at the informal forum on 9 June be made publicly available. 

(Note: the plan has since been published as Agenda Supplement 2).


Resolved:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 8 December 2020, and the revised minutes of the meeting held on 9 March 2021 as published in Agenda Supplement 1, be approved as a correct record in each case, to be signed by the Chair at a future date.


Public Participation

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.

Please note that our registration deadlines have changed to 2

working days before the meeting, in order to facilitate the

management of public participation at remote meetings. The

deadline for registering at this meeting is at 5.00pm on Monday 5 July 2021.     


To register to speak please visit

http://www.york.gov.uk/AttendCouncilMeetings 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 Remote Public Meetings

Please note that, subject to available resources, this remote public

meeting will be webcast including any registered public speakers

who have given their permission.


The remote public meeting can be viewed live and on demand at

www.york.gov.uk/webcasts. During coronavirus, we've made some

changes to how we're running council meetings. See our

coronavirus updates (www.york.gov.uk/COVIDDemocracy) for

more information on meetings and decisions.


It was reported that there had been four registrations to speak at the meeting under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.


Debby Cobbett had registered to speak on Agenda Items 2, 4 and 5 (Minutes 15, 17 & 18 refer).  She raised issues with the survey circulated with Our City, noting that it had not been received by all residents and was difficult to complete, and stressed the need for direct engagement with residents.  She also highlighted youth engagement as an urgent matter to address.


Geoff Beacon spoke on matters within the committee’s remit.  He  urged the council to maintain its commitment to a zero carbon York by 2030 and highlighted the need to dispel the confusion resulting from discrepancies between different studies on carbon emissions.


Penny Bainbridge, Chair of York Environment Forum (YEF), spoke on Item 4 (Climate Change Resident Engagement Plan), and the relevance of York Environment Week to the Plan.  She urged Members to promote this not for profit event, which would take place between 18 and 26 September.


June Tranmer spoke on matters within the committee’s remit, providing an update on One Planet York (OPY) since its revitalisation event last September.  OPY now had 36 members and had become a Community Interest Company, with a clearer idea of the way ahead and plans for future action, including training for its members on the principles of sustainable living, pop-up premises in the city, visiting work places and gathering data.


Climate Change Resident Engagement Plan pdf icon PDF 392 KB

The Committee will consider a report which provides an overview of the Council’s approach to resident engagement and its role delivering the York Climate Change Strategy.

Additional documents:


Members considered a report which provided an overview of the council’s approach to resident engagement and its role in delivering the York Climate Change Strategy.  The Climate Change Resident Engagement Plan (the Plan), at Annex A to the report, followed the principles set out in the council’s Resident Engagement Strategy.  Stage 1 of the Plan launched with ‘Our Big Conversation’ on 18 June 2021 and would run until 31 July.  Stage 2 would include stakeholder round-tables focused on the themes of Buildings, Transport and Energy.  Further phases of engagement would follow.  Members were invited to consider to what extent the Plan encouraged inclusive participation, and how this could inform and improve the aspirations in the Climate Change Strategy.


During their discussion, Members raised questions around the targeted audiences and engagement with diverse groups, including older people, YREN, Trades Unions, faith groups, schools, and people outside the city.  They queried the lack of detail in the report on Stage 3 of the process, and suggested more emphasis be placed on the barriers and enablers to aspirations mentioned on page 23 of the agenda.  The Chair highlighted the need for further discussions on how leisure activities could enable a low carbon lifestyle, in the context of the approach taken in some European cities.  With reference to comments made under Public Participation, the Chair agreed that the questions in the Our City survey tended to promote anxiety rather than spread knowledge, in contrast to the positive contributions of the YEF and OPY.


In responding to questions and comments, officers confirmed that:

·        They aimed to ensure a fair spread of information across all ages; this included working with York Older People’s Assembly and Age Friendly York, placing information in physical locations, and liaison with ward committees.

·        The idea was to create debate between residents with different views, based on learning from the My Castle Gateway and My York Central consultations.

·        Our Big Conversation would also seek the views of those living outside the city on the Local Travel Plan; officers were working closely with the LEP, hospital and universities on this.

·        The Plan was evolving; Stage 1 was to obtain an unfiltered view of public attitudes to carbon reduction, and Stage 3 would be written once further information was available. 

·        A holistic approach was being taken, with a number of engagement processes running concurrently within the same framework, along with developing the 10-year plan with city leaders.  This work would be drawn together in the autumn, and it was hoped to synthesise it into a broad vision for living in York over the next 10 years.


Resolved:  That the information contained in the report be noted.


Reason:     So that the committee maintains an overview of resident engagement on the Climate Change Strategy.



Net Zero Carbon: Key Performance Indicators pdf icon PDF 589 KB

The Committee will consider a report which will detail the Key Performance Indicators required to monitor progress against the Council’s ambition to achieve net zero carbon emissions for York by 2030.

Additional documents:


Members considered a report which presented a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to monitor progress against the council’s ambition to achieve net zero carbon in York by 2030.


Proposed KPIs for the council’s corporate emissions were listed in paragraph 10 of the report.  Reporting on city-wide emissions, generated from the SCATTER tool (a free, local authority-focused emissions tool developed using funding from The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), was set out in paragraph 18.


In response to Members’ questions, officers confirmed that:

·        Where possible, data on council land use emissions, in addition to tree planting, would be captured and reported.

·        There was also a commitment to report on the fuel type used by the council fleet.

·        A national review was taking place on procurement policy; the council would work with the LEP to incorporate the outcome into the procurement template.

·        The advantage of using the KPI platform was its accountability; it could also be used to scrutinise data and discover any omissions.

·        Due to an inherent time lag, the latest emissions data that could currently be recorded via SCATTER was from 2018;

·        The SCATTER tool was being continuously monitored and improved by its designers and would become more accurate as time went on.

·        The aim was to bring all the data together to create a short and easy to understand ‘snapshot’ of all actions towards the zero carbon target; this was likely to be reported annually rather than quarterly. 

·        It was suggested that the baseline for SCATTER reporting be re-established from this year.


The Chair welcomed the progress being made and drew attention to the success achieved by the NHS in reducing carbon emissions, including at York Hospital, as well as the move towards responsible investment of the council’s pension fund.  He expressed the hope that measuring performance via KPIs would enable more effective communication, giving residents more confidence that the council would achieve its targets and making delivery more likely.


Resolved:  That the report be noted.


Reason:     So that the committee is kept informed on actions to monitor progress towards the council’s net zero carbon ambition.


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