Local democracy during coronavirus

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Agenda and minutes

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


Members of the Board had no interests to declare.


Minutes of the Meeting held on 19 May 2021 pdf icon PDF 141 KB


There were no matters arising from the previous minutes. The Board signed off the minutes as an accurate record of the meeting held on 19 May 2021.



Emergency Response Hubs pdf icon PDF 274 KB


Mora Scaife, a Neighbourhood Management Officer at City of York Council, provided the Board with an update regarding the Emergency Response Hubs which had been operating since the end of March 2020.  The paper in the agenda pack outlined the great work volunteers had been carrying out and how each part of the city was serviced by one of the five hubs.  The hubs had managed to contact over 20,000 people and delivered 8,000 packages of food supplies.  However the actual number was expected to be much higher than the number had been recorded. Mora reported that the Emergency Response Hubs were expected to stay in their current form until the end of July 2021.


The hubs had also started to try to address anxieties surrounding testing and vaccinations through the various engagement events that they had organised.  These events would be planned around a community based model where safe spaces were used to help people find support locally.  Socially distanced coffee social events were given as an example.


The Chair asked for this item to be added to the forward plan in order for the Board to be provided with a further update to include the role of the hub in regards to covid recovery.  The Board noted the report.



Presentation: Current Covid-19 Situation in York pdf icon PDF 2 MB


Fiona Phillips, the Assistant Director of Public Health, gave a presentation on the current Covid-19 situation in York.  Although York was still below the national and regional rates, a rise in cases had been seen, with around 60 received per week.  However, case rates in the 60+ cohort remained low, with most cases being found in the 10-40 age group.  Fiona reported that the impact of the vaccination programme was starting to be seen, as most of the cases had been found in the unvaccinated population.  The rise in cases had not affected the hospital admission rates either, as there had been no increase. 


Once the national testing guidance was received, we would know how much funding would be split between local authorities. The established plan would be adapted appropriately to the acquired funding.  Larger testing sites were set to stand down, with smaller sites remaining open in the more deprived areas.


Fiona also reported that the Contact Tracing Service had been contacting nearly 100% of the cases since March.  The service was due to start tracing the contacts of cases as well, but this had been delayed nationally.  Fiona informed the Board that York would be a part of a national pilot where contacts of a case would have the opportunity to test for a week instead of having to self-isolate.


After Fiona reported the BME vaccine uptake to be lower than other groups, the Chair asked for an update on vaccine inequality to be given at the July meeting. He wanted it to include the following:

·        Actions to date to address vaccine inequality

·        Specific actions for targeted groups

·        Ward data/breakdown and any targeted ward actions

·        Information on Covid-19 variants


The Board noted the presentation and report.


Communications Update pdf icon PDF 3 MB


The Board noted all the great work that Claire Foale had done and congratulated her on moving on to a new role.  Gareth Wilce, Senior Communications Manager at City of York Council, would attend the future Board meetings.


An update was given around the key messages and phased approach that York had taken.  Accurate and timely messages had continued to be shared with residents and circulated between community groups on social media.  The next Facebook Live Engagement Session was set to take place after the government’s next announcement on 14 June 2021.


With regard to the misinformation circulated online and anti-vaccine stickers in outer villages, the Chair asked for these to be removed by our enforcement teams.  Cllr Runciman had yet to see a link in the data between vaccine uptake and the anti-vaccine stickers but agreed that they should be removed.

Action 028: Andrew Harrison and Gareth Wilce to request the enforcement team to remove the anti-vaccine stickers from the community.


The Board noted the update.


Update from Sub-Group: Universities and Higher Education Establishments pdf icon PDF 396 KB


Professor Charlie Jeffery, Vice Chancellor and President of the University of York, gave an update along with the written report that was included in the agenda pack.  He expected little to change regarding higher education establishments following the government’s next announcement around restrictions reducing.


As the vaccine programme was progressing well, the majority of students are beginning to have their vaccines administered.  Pop-up vaccination sites were being piloted on the University of York Campus. If the response was positive, additional appointments will be offered.


The Board noted the update.


Progress Report: Recommendations of LGA Peer Challenge of Outbreak Management Plan pdf icon PDF 200 KB

Additional documents:


Fiona Phillips reported that the recommendations of the LGA Peer Challenge of the Outbreak Management Plan had been taken forward and are being progressed.  The progress report was shared with the papers in the agenda pack.


The Board had no further comments and noted the update.


Items for Next Agenda


The Chair confirmed that there were three standing items for all future agendas:

·        Current Situation in York

·        Communications and engagement

·        Updates from Sub-Group/ Task and Finish Groups


The Chair noted that some agenda items have already been agreed. They were as follows:

·        Vaccine Inequalities

·        Testing Strategy

·        Covid recovery and Scenario planning



Dates of Future Meetings


The agreed dates of future meetings were as follows:

·        7 July 2021

·        29 September 2021

·        13 October 2021

·        24 November 2021

·         22 December 2021


Any Other Business


The Board had no other business to discuss.


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