Local democracy during coronavirus

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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Remote meeting

No. Item

OMAB data update 30 sep pdf icon PDF 825 KB


Declarations of Interest, and introductory matters


The Board had no interests to declare.


The Chair had called this urgent meeting because of the changing national scenario and how this had been managed in York.


The Board welcomed Mike Padgham, as a new member of the Board, and Cllr Perrett, who was substituting for Cllr Myers.



Minutes of the Meeting held on 9 September 2020, and actions arising pdf icon PDF 142 KB

Additional documents:


There were no matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting. The Board agreed the minutes as an accurate record of the meeting held on 9th September 2020.


The Board also noted the updates in the action log.



Current Situation in York pdf icon PDF 102 KB


Fiona Phillips, the Assistant Director of Public Health, gave an update on the current situation in York. Her presentation is attached to these minutes.


The picture had begun to change at the beginning of August. 14 new cases were being identified every day in York. However it was a very fluctuating picture and York could still easily become an area of concern. Cases were not seen to be confined to particular areas; they were across the whole city of York. Reports of frustrations had been received from Head Teachers as they had been struggling to get through to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). However these frustrations were still being managed through the City of York Council work streams.


The rise in cases in September had been seen to cause an increase in hospital admissions, although this had not transferred over to deaths. Most positive cases in workplaces had been attributed to community transmission. There had been notable change in positivity rates which started to occur early in September. 3.7% of tests taken had now come back with a positive result. The symptom tracker app also showed an increase in reported symptoms around September. Contact was being made with those with a positive test as well as their contacts.


Sharon Stoltz, the Director of Public Health, mentioned that there is a lot of preventative work already being progressed. She asked the Board for any additional suggestions of ways to target messages. Sharon also acknowledged the struggle of accessing testing. She added that York has been identified nationally as a place to establish local testing and contact tracing measures.


Ian Floyd, the Interim Head of Paid Service, City of York Council, supported everything that had been outlined by both Sharon Stoltz and Fiona Phillips. He also wanted to make sure that the messages put out by the council were nuanced, to help people feel safe to carry out their daily responsibilities.


Action: 015: Mike Padgham offered to work with Sharon Stoltz and Claire Foale on a message about the current situation in York to the providers in the Independent Care Group.


The Board noted the presentation.



Verbal Update from North Yorkshire Police


The Chief Constable, Lisa Winward, gave an update from the North Yorkshire Police perspective. They were continuing to adopt the four E’s approach in their community style policing – Engage, Explain, Encourage, Enforce. At the start of lockdown there had been a lot of restrictions and regulations around essential travel which the police had found many people were breaking. 5 fixed penalty notices had been given for failure to self-isolate.


Pubs closing at 10pm had caused large crowds to gather around both transport links and buskers. On a recent weekend in the city centre, large groups were seen to congregate and had to be dispersed. The police had agreed to increase their presence in the city centre to help control this.  It was queried whether a request could be made to buskers to finish at 9:30pm before people started to exit premises at 10pm. The Chair was pleased with how quickly the police had responded to this issue.


Action 016: The Chair agreed to talk to the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner about what more could be done moving forward.


Marc Bichtemann, the Managing Director of First York, asked whether any partnership work could be done to help assist the police. The Public Transport sector had a lot of eyes and ears on the streets every day. Lisa Winward encouraged the public to report whenever the guidance wasn’t being adhered to through the 101 call line. Continued messaging on public transport was also necessary in order to reinforce the public health messages to the community.


The Board noted the update.




Verbal Update from the Universities and Higher Education Sub-Group


Charlie Jeffery, the Vice Chancellor and President of the University of York, gave the update from the Universities and Higher Education Sub-group. Most students were back in York and the vast majority were following the rules being aware of the education setting in the wider community. Charlie noted the exceptional close collaborative work with the CYC Public Health team. He reported that their collaboration was much better than that of his colleagues from other areas. The University wanted to use their resources to help in any way possible with the testing and tracing system.


Ian Floyd stated that York had always welcomed students, as they were an important part of the community and economy. He asked the Board to think about any other wider support that could be provided to students.


Cllr Runciman thought it was remarkable how the four establishments had come together to support and protect students. However with the national messages being quite confusing, she thought the institutions should interpret these communications to ensure students understood them.


Cllr Perrett queried whether there were any additional bursaries provided to students since they usually supplemented their funding with part-time work, most of which was not available during the pandemic. Charlie assured the Board that money had been raised by the university to help combat these pressures.


The Board noted the update.



Verbal Update and Presentation on Communications and Actions Arising from Today's Meeting pdf icon PDF 1 MB


Claire Foale, Head of Communications, Customer Services and Digital at City of York Council, gave a presentation on communications and engagement. Claire outlined all the different methods used to engage with the community. 


On a recent weekend when a lot of people were seen to be breaking social distancing guidance, messages had been shared immediately after to remind people of the public health messaging and their social responsibility to follow it.


‘Keep the places you love open’ and ‘keep the people you love safe’ were the new messages that would now be used to increase guidance adherence. The plan going forward was to continue to maintain these messages and to take advantage of any incident/event to share them.


The Board thanked Claire and the Communications Team for all the work they were doing. The Board also noted the presentation.



Agenda Items for the next meeting


It was agreed that the standing agenda items would be considered at the next meeting. Members were asked to notify Tracy Wallis of any particular topics they wished to be included on the agenda.



Dates of Future Meetings


The agreed dates of the future meetings were as follows:

·        21 October 2020

·        18 November 2020

·        9 December 2020

·        13 January 2021

·        10 February 2021

·        17 March 2021

·        7 April 2021

·        19 May 2021


Additional meetings could be arranged should the situation change.



Any Other Business


The Board had no other business to discuss.



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