Local democracy during coronavirus

During coronavirus, we've made some changes to how we're running council meetings. See our coronavirus updates for more information on meetings and decisions.

Agenda and minutes

Venue: York Racecourse

Contact: Fiona Young  Interim Democratic Services Manager

Items
No. Item

12.

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.

 

Minutes:

Members were invited to declare at this point in the meeting any personal interests not included on the Register of Interests, any prejudicial interests or any disclosable pecuniary interests they might have in the business on the agenda.

 

Cllr Mason declared a personal and prejudicial interest in Agenda Item 8(iv) (the motion on Ensuring Access for All), as the holder of a Blue Badge.

 

Cllr Lomas declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 8(iv), as the holder of a Blue Badge, stating that she had been advised by the Monitoring Officer that the interest was prejudicial but that she believed this advice to be discriminatory.

 

Note:at a later stage in the meeting, prior to consideration of Item 8(iv), the Lord Mayor, after consultation with the Chair of Joint Standards Committee, granted a dispensation to allow both the above Members to participate in the discussion and decisions relating to this item.

 

Cllr Norman declared a pecuniary interest in Agenda Item 8(iv), as an employee of NHS Healthcare.  He left the room during consideration of that motion and took no part in the discussion or decision thereon.

 

13.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 613 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the Ordinary Council meeting held on 22 March 2021, the Extraordinary meeting held on 4 May 2021 and the Annual meeting held on 27 May 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved:  (i)      That the minutes of the Ordinary Council meeting held on 22 March 2021 be approved, and signed by the Chair as a correct record.

 

                   (ii)      That the minutes of the Extraordinary Council meeting held on 5 May 2021 be approved, and signed by the Chair as a correct record, subject to the following amendments:

·        Minute 109 (Declarations of Interest) - remove the description of Cllr Aspden’s interest (as this was not stated at the meeting);

·        Minute 111 (Public Interest Report) – amend the voting list under Recommendation (ii) to remove Cllr Wells from the list of those in favour and add Cllr Fitpatrick to the list of those against.

 

(iii)     That the minutes of the Annual Council meeting held on 27 May 2021 be approved, and signed by the Chair as a correct record, subject to amendments to correct errors in the attendance list.

14.

Civic Announcements

To consider any announcements made by the Lord Mayor in respect of Civic business.

Minutes:

The Lord Mayor announced:

·        The receipt of a plaque from Commander Giles Parkin to mark the affiliation of HMS Dragon with the city of York, which was available to view in the meeting room;

·        The first Lord Mayor’s Charities event of the mayoral year, which would take place on Monday 19 July in the Sky Bar at Malmaison in York.

15.

Public Participation

At this point in the meeting, any member of the public who has registered to address the Council, or to ask a Member of the Council a question, on a matter directly relevant to the business of the Council or the City, may do so.  The deadline for registering is 5:00pm on Tuesday, 13 July 2021.

 

To register to speak please visit www.york.gov.uk/AttendCouncilMeetings to fill in an online registration form. If you have any questions about the registration form or the meeting please contact Democratic Services. Contact details can be found at the foot of this 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 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 at www.york.gov.uk/COVIDDemocracy for more information on meetings and decisions.

Minutes:

It was reported that there had been 9 registrations to speak at the meeting under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.

 

Gwen Swinburn spoke on matters within the remit of Council. She raised concerns regarding governance, Joint Standards Committee, FOI requests, resource allocation to wards and staff costs, and recommended a return to the committee system.

 

Hon Alderman Ann Reid spoke in support of the motion at Agenda Item 8(i) (A Planning System that works for Residents), stating that government planning reforms provided no opportunity for local input and would not prevent developers from delaying work on sites for which planning permission had been granted.

 

Lars Kramm spoke on the motion at Agenda Item 8(ii) (Working Towards Improving Democracy and Services), commenting that a move to a committee system could be part of the solution to deficiencies in the current ‘strong leader’ model.

 

Andrew Mortimer spoke in support of the motion at Agenda Item (iii) (Fixing Social Care), as a carer for a family member, highlighting the need for a clear government plan to deal with a broad range of issues in relation to social care.

 

Jane Burton spoke in support of the motion at Agenda Item 8(iv) (Ensuring Access for All) on behalf of York Disability Rights Forum, highlighting the importance of Blue Badge parking close to the city centre to protect the rights and freedoms of disabled people.

 

Iain Mitchell also spoke on Item 8(iv), on behalf of York Sight Loss Council.  He drew attention to the council’s duty under the Equalities Act and the social model of disability and urged Members not to vote for the amendment to the motion.

 

KatayaMckeever-Willis also spoke on Item 8 (iv), stating that the council should find more innovative solutions to increasing access to the city centre and should work with disabled groups on this, rather than taking a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

 

Diane Roworth also spoke on Item 8 (iv), asking why Blue Badge holders could not resume access to the city centre now that the pandemic was ending and suggesting that a reduced speed limit would be a more appropriate way to improve safety.

 

Alison Hume also spoke on Item 8 (iv), on behalf of York Accessibility Action and as a carer for a young adult with disabilities.  She contrasted York’s approach to that of other cities and asked Members to accept that York’s disabled parking spaces were now too far from the city centre to provide accessibility.

16.

Petitions

To consider any petitions received from Members in accordance with Standing Order No.15.  No notice of petitions has been received.

 

Minutes:

It was reported that notice had not been received of any petitions to present under Standing Order 15.

17.

Report of Executive Leader, Questions, and Executive Recommendations pdf icon PDF 283 KB

To receive and consider a written report from the Leader, to answer questions on the work of the Executive, and to consider the Executive recommendations for approval, as set out below:

 

Meeting

Date

Recommendations

 

Executive

 

 

 

24 June 2021

 

 

Minute 13: Capital Programme Outturn 2020/21 and Revisions to the 2021/2- 2025/26 Programme

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A – Executive Leader’s Report

 

A written report was received from the Executive Leader, Cllr Aspden, on the work of the Executive.

 

Members were then invited to question the Leader on his report.  Questions were received from the floor from the following Members in relation to the subjects listed, and replied to as indicated:

 

Local Government Reorganisation

From Cllr Pavlovic: Should the government decide that York will have less independence to run its own affairs, would this be the result of a lack of confidence in this administration?  If so, how would you judge the part that your leadership and behaviour has played in this?

Response: No, I don’t agree that it would.  However, I agree with your comment about the importance of retaining decisions about York in York, and this reflects the work done by the council and others in putting that case as strongly as possible.  I have heard today that there may be a slight change in the government’s aspirations on devolution but very much hope that York will remain as it is; should it not, officers and councillors would want to come together and work on this very quickly.

From Cllr Fenton: Can you set out what you expect the next steps to be once a decision has been received on this?

Response: The MHCLG has confirmed today that we will receive an answer before Parliament goes into recess.  Work will then begin with civil servants around what is on offer.  There’s an indication that county deals are also being discussed, and if an East-West amalgamation is decided the matter will be brought back to Council to consider, although we hope that will not happen.

Local Plan

From Cllr Warters: Will you apologise to Dunnington residents for a recent leaflet showing the wrong boundaries for their village? And will the council have the capacity to deal with the Local Plan process, when the interim director is set to leave at the end of October?

Response: Our aim is to get the consultation results to the Planning Inspector by August so that hearings can be held in October as agreed with the Inspectorate.  I understand there was a printing error on a small number of leaflets, and residents have received a letter of apology.

York Central and Great British Railways

From Cllr Pearson: Have you had a response from the Minister of State for Rail about locating the Great British Railways HQ in York?

Response: Yes, a quick reply was received from Chris Heaton and I have responded with a letter and a slide pack compiled by the LEP and a subsequent conversation with Mr Heaton and the Chair of Network Rail.

SEND Inclusion Review

From Cllr Webb: Can you expand on what you mean by ‘deliver provision differently’? [Supplementary] Is it a euphemism for cuts to services?

Response: Officers are looking at the results of the consultation and will bring a detailed report to Executive, to which we can respond and make improvements.  I am happy  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

Report of Deputy Leader and Questions pdf icon PDF 261 KB

To receive and consider a written report from the Deputy Leader, and to question the Deputy Leader thereon.

 

Minutes:

A written report was received from the Deputy Leader, Cllr D’Agorne.

 

Members were then invited to question the Deputy Leader on his report.  Questions were received from the floor from the following Members in relation to the subjects listed, and replied to as indicated:

 

Cycle lanes

From Cllr Douglas: Why do you pretend it is still possible to put in cycle lanes on Piccadilly? [Supplementary] Will we get segregated cycle lanes or not?

Response: Piccadilly is adjacent to the Castle Gateway re-development project; the project design is due to come forward for formal adoption this autumn, and we are willing to look at any changes that will effectively address the concerns raised.

Smart Transport Evolution Programme (STEP)

From Cllr Waudby: Can you provide an update on this scheme?

[Supplementary from Cllr Crawshaw: What work is being done to develop policies to sit behind this?]

Response: DfT funding has been obtained to look at modelling in preparation for changes with the advent of connected vehicles.  Work will now feed into our real time modelling system, so that we can anticipate traffic flow and make adjustments in real time.  One of the key benefits of the system is that it provides a basis for development of the Local Transport Plan and the opportunity to model the impact of various options on traffic flow.

 

 

19.

Motions on Notice

To consider the following Motions on Notice under Standing Order 22:

 

Motions submitted for consideration directly by Council, in accordance with Standing Order 22.1

 

(i)           From Cllr Daubeney

 

A Planning System that Works for Residents

 

“Proposed changes to existing planning legislation risk further reducing the democratic oversight and deregulating the planning process, failing to address the need for a balance in the planning system to maintain heritage and accountability.

 

Council notes:

·        The significant concerns expressed by residents, Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee, CPRE and many professional planning bodies and local government representatives over the Conservative Government’s Planning Reforms.

·        Local resident concerns about their reduced ability to object to building works under Permitted Development Rights which have been extended under this Government.

·        Widespread concerns and condemnation of the Planning White Paper proposals across Local Government, The Planning and Architecture Sector, and organisations concerned with protecting green open spaces and heritage.

·        Government proposals to deregulate planning will remove the rights of residents to influence or object to inappropriate development where they live.

·        Local councils, in consultation with their businesses and residents are best placed to understand the issues in their area and respond with a spatial strategy tailored to that area.

 

Consequently, Council resolves to call on the Government to scrap its Planning White Paper and instead:

·        Undertake a wholesale review of Permitted Development Rights.

·        Make the Planning Inspectorate more accountable to local people.

·        Ensure that local resident engagement is at the heart of planning and any reforms do not threaten the accountability and engagement process and Councillors are able to play their democratic role.

·        Implement reforms that would help local authorities build more social housing, including cheaper loans, access to low-priced public land and the right to keep 100 per cent of the sale price of council homes sold off under Right to Buy scheme to reinvest in new homes.”

 

(ii)         From Cllr Doughty

 

Working Towards Improving Democracy and Services

 

“Council acknowledges the challenges Covid-19 has brought to everyday life of our citizens. Many millions have worked tirelessly and shown resilience without complaint in order to help keep the city and country running. This applies to within the Council organisation and we give grateful thanks to them.

 

Council is pleased the UK vaccination programme has been amongst the most advanced, with a sizeable majority of adults having received their first vaccination and a majority (almost two thirds at time of print) of adults now having had their second jabs. Data shows that despite further new Covid cases, the vaccination programme is breaking the link between cases and the levels of serious hospital admissions previously seen.

 

Now, Council believes more ambition is needed by the Council leadership in restoring basic democracy which has been sidelined and improving basic services our residents expect. The administration has shown no urgency to properly restore the Committee Calendar so elected Councillors (not just the Executive) can have oversight and scrutinise decisions being taken. It remains unacceptable for many meetings taking place ‘informally’ with no  ...  view the full agenda text for item 19.

Minutes:

(i) A Planning System that Works for Residents

 

Cllr Daubeney sought consent to alter his motion to incorporate the amendment submitted by Cllr D’Agorne. 

 

Council having granted consent, the altered motion was moved by Cllr Daubeney and seconded by Cllr Hollyer, as follows:

 

“Proposed changes to existing planning legislation risk further reducing the democratic oversight and deregulating the planning process, failing to address the need for a balance in the planning system to maintain heritage and accountability.

Council notes:

·        The significant concerns expressed by residents, Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee, CPRE and many professional planning bodies and local government representatives over the Conservative Government’s Planning Reforms.

·        Local resident concerns about their reduced ability to object to building works under Permitted Development Rights which have been extended under this Government.

·        Widespread concerns and condemnation of the Planning White Paper proposals across Local Government, The Planning and Architecture Sector, and organisations concerned with protecting green open spaces and heritage.

·        Government proposals to deregulate planning will remove the rights of residents to influence or object to inappropriate development where they live.

·        Local councils, in consultation with their businesses and residents are best placed to understand the issues in their area and respond with a spatial strategy tailored to that area.

·        The further weakening of the ability of local councils to secure and enforce necessary planning conditions and compliance with environmental and building regulations.

Consequently, Council resolves to call on the Government to scrap its Planning White Paper and instead:

·        Undertake a wholesale review of Permitted Development Rights.

·        Make the Planning Inspectorate more accountable to local people.

·        Ensure a simpler system with adequate funding to enable planning authorities such as York to ensure that planning conditions (including construction management plans) are complied with, protecting the quality of life of nearby residents or businesses both during and after the construction period.

·        Ensure that local resident engagement is at the heart of planning and any reforms do not threaten the accountability and engagement process and Councillors are able to play their democratic role.

·        Implement reforms that would help local authorities build more social housing, including cheaper loans, access to low-priced public land and the right to keep 100 per cent of the sale price of council homes sold off under Right to Buy scheme to reinvest in new homes.”

 

Cllr Galvin then sought consent to withdraw his submitted amendment.  Council having granted consent, that amendment was withdrawn.

 

The motion, as altered, was then put to the vote and declared CARRIED and it was

 

Resolved:  That the above motion be approved.1

 

(ii) Working Towards Improving Democracy and Services

 

Moved by Cllr Doughty and seconded by Cllr Rowley.

 

 “Council acknowledges the challenges Covid-19 has brought to everyday life of our citizens.  Many millions have worked tirelessly and shown resilience without complaint in order to help keep the city and country running.  This applies to within the Council organisation and we give grateful thanks to them.

Council is pleased the UK vaccination programme has been amongst  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Questions to the Leader or Executive Members

To question the Leader and/or Executive Members in respect of any matter within their portfolio responsibility, in accordance with Standing Order 20.

Minutes:

Question to Cllr Ayre, Executive Member for Finance & Performance

 

From Cllr Fenton: With regard to recent press reports about significant changes to the Coney Street area, including a riverside walkway and bridge, can you share more information about this?

 

Response: We secured funding from the LEP for a feasibility study to look at options for 3 sections of the riverside, including a new bridge to connect to York Central; 2 of these options cannot be progressed within available resources, but we’re submitting a bid to the Levelling Up fund to enable us to work with commercial partners to extend the walkway up to Ouse Bridge, and are optimistic about its success.

 

Questions to Cllr Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure & Communities

 

From Cllr Webb: With regard to statements about filling in a ‘5 minute form’ to apply for play area funding and in view of officer guidance that some play areas would qualify for funding on the basis of need, do you understand why your decision to change the rules part way through the process has left parents and kids feeling abandoned?

[Supplementary from Cllr K Taylor: What would you say to community groups and ward members who have worked hard on their bids, having told them that it was just about filling in a 5 minute form?]

[Supplementary from Cllr Musson: Are you still convinced that a competitive process was the best choice]

 

Response: I am proud of the play area improvement project.  The original plan to invest £150k in a survey of play areas was put on hold due to the pandemic and a £100k community pot was launched.  The response was incredible, and it was decided to re-direct £75k from the survey fund to the community pot.  With the addition of community contributions a total of £400k is set to be invested in play areas.  I accept with hindsight that each bid would have taken up a lot of time.  it was a competitive process and 4 bids were not accepted because they did not meet the criteria, but officer have worked with those bidders to find other sources of funding and I will lobby for more investment in the future.

21.

Report of Executive Member pdf icon PDF 261 KB

To receive a written report from the Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change and to question the Executive Member thereon, in accordance with Standing Order 19.

Minutes:

A written report was received from Cllr Widdowson, the Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change. 

 

Members were then invited to question Cllr Widdowson on her report.  The following question was received from the floor and responded to as indicated:

 

From Cllr Kilbane: Do you accept that your opening statement under Waste Services is wide of the mark, given residents’ experience of waste collections?

Response: There are issues with waste collection across the country in all local authority areas due to a shortage of HGV drivers resulting from the pandemic and Brexit, which has had a major impact on recruitment and retention.  We are talking with Work With York and secondary recruiters about this, and are doing all we can with regard to green waste collections.

22.

Scrutiny - Report of the Chair of the Customer & Corporate Services Scrutiny Management Committee pdf icon PDF 115 KB

To receive a report from Councillor Crawshaw, Chair of the Customer & Corporate Services Scrutiny Management Committee, on the work of the Committee (to follow).

 

Minutes:

A written report was received from Cllr Crawshaw, Chair of the Customer and Corporate Services Scrutiny Management Committee, on the work of the Committee since the last report to Council, on 22 March 2021.

23.

Pay Policy 2021/2022 Update pdf icon PDF 179 KB

To receive for approval the Pay Policy Statement for 2021/2022, which has been updated since the report to Council on 22 March 2021 to reflect changes to the Chief Officer Structure.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council received a report which presented an amended version of the Pay Policy Statement for 2021/22 approved by Council on 22 March 2021, updated to reflect changes to the Chief Officer structure.

 

The following recommendation was contained in paragraph 16 of the report:

 

“That Council approves the updated Pay Policy Statement for 2019/20 relating to the pay of the Council’s senior staff.

 

Reason:     In order to fulfil the requirements of Section 38 43 of the Localism Act 2011 for the council to produce and publish an annual policy statement that covers a number of matters concerning the pay of the council’s senior staff, principally Chief Officers and relationships with the pay of the rest of the workforce.”

 

Note: No vote was taken on the above item, and the Lord Mayor subsequently requested that it be brought back to the next Full Council meeting.

24.

Adoption of the LGA Model Code of Conduct for Elected Members 2020 pdf icon PDF 428 KB

To consider a report requesting Council to adopt the LGA Model Code of Conduct for immediate implementation across City of York Councillors and recommend the adoption of the Model Code by Parish Councils.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council received a report which presented proposals for the adoption of the Local Government Authority’s Model Code of Conduct, following consideration of the Model Code by Joint Standards Committee.

 

The following recommendations were contained in paragraph 17 of the report:

 

“Full Council is requested to:

·        Adopt the LGA Model Code of Conduct as recommended by the Joint Standards Committee for immediate implementation;

·        The Model Code of Conduct will be incorporated into the Council’s Constitution and will replace the existing Code;

·        The Joint Standards Committee will, in consultation with the Monitoring Officer, develop and promote a Member and Officer Development programme to support the implementation of the Model Code;

·        Support the adoption of the Model Code of Conduct as adopted by City of York Council by Parish Councils and ensure recognition of the same is included within the Parish Charter.”

 

Note: No vote was taken on the above item, and the Lord Mayor subsequently requested that it be brought back to the next Full Council meeting.

25.

Update on Allocation of Seats and Appointments to the Council Structure for 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 418 KB

To consider a report which invites Council to make decisions in respect of the allocation of seats and appointments deferred from the Annual Council meeting on 27 May.

Minutes:

Council received a report which sought decisions in respect of the allocation of seats and appointments deferred from the Annual Council meeting on 27 May 2021.

 

The following recommendations were set out in paragraph 6 of the report:

 

“Full Council is asked to:

(i) Decide whether to make an appointment on Audit and Governance Committee.

(ii) Approve or not approve the allocation of the seat to Councillor D Taylor on Economy and Place Policy and Scrutiny Committee.

(iii) Make any other appointments which may arise from the vote relating to the seat on Audit and Governance Committee.

Reason: To fulfil the Council’s statutory and constitutional requirements.”

 

In respect of Recommendations (i) and (iii), The Lord Mayor announced that two nominations had been received for appointment to the vacant seat on Audit and Governance Committee; namely, Cllr Rowley and Cllr Carr.  At this point, Cllr Rowley withdrew his nomination and it was therefore

 

Resolved:  That Cllr Carr be appointed to the Audit and Governance Committee.1

 

In respect of Recommendation (ii), the Lord Mayor announced that Cllr D Taylor had confirmed his intention to take up the seat offered to him on Economy and Place Policy and Scrutiny Committee.  The Monitoring Officer advised that external legal advice had been sought which had confirmed that the rules of proportionality did not apply in this case.  Cllr Crawshaw stated that, as Chair of the Customer & Corporate Services Scrutiny Management Committee he wished to place on record his objection to the constitution of the committee, having himself sought legal advice which had reached the opposite conclusion.

 

On being put to the vote, the proposal to appoint Cllr D Taylor to the committee was declared CARRIED and it was

 

Resolved:  That Cllr D Taylor be appointed to the Economy and Place Policy and Scrutiny Committee.2

 

The Lord Mayor further announced that the Liberal Democrat nomination to the Housing Appeals Committee, marked as ‘tbc’ on the Annual Council papers, had been confirmed as Cllr Hunter, and that this appointment did not require a vote.

 

Note: The above item was brought forward on the agenda by the Lord Mayor and was therefore dealt with before the guillotine fell.

26.

Appointments and Changes to Membership pdf icon PDF 5 KB

To consider the appointments and changes to membership of committees and outside bodies set out on the list attached to this summons.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved:  That the appointments set out on page 117 of the Agenda papers be approved.1

 

Note: The above item was brought forward on the agenda by the Lord Mayor and was therefore dealt with before the guillotine fell.

 

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