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Agenda item

Attendance of Executive Members - Priorities & Challenges for 2017/18

The following Executive Member’s will be in attendance to provide an update on their priorities and challenges for the 2017-18 municipal year.



              Executive Member for Culture, Leisure & Tourism - Cllr Ayre

              Executive Member for Education, Children & Young People – Cllr Rawlings

              Deputy Leader, Economic Development & Community Engagement– Cllr Aspden



Three Executive Members attended the meeting to provide an update on their priorities and challenges for the 2017-18 municipal year.


The Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism, presented a written update which had been circulated to committee members prior to the meeting. He responded to specific questions raised during discussion and confirmed:


·        There had been a significant change in the way Sport and Active Leisure operated. The team had been reconfigured and now worked more closely with public health with which it had a natural fit. There was still a focus on promoting competitive sport as well as getting people into sport for health reasons and a focus on work with disadvantaged groups and partnership work.

·        Further details on the Community Stadium Project were to be presented to the Executive in late July 2017.

·        The council’s role in volunteering - encouraging large sections of the workforce to partake in volunteering, utilising a large number of volunteers to help deliver services to residents, and promoting the ethos of volunteering and the value it has to the city.

·        In relation to Make It York the main piece of work was around the event strategy.

·        The current service level agreement for Explore York Libraries and Archives Mutual was nearly at its close. Currently undertaking a lot of work with library users to refresh the library vision and to get a clear idea of what is wanted from the library service going forward..

·        In regard to Parks and Open Spaces, a lot of work has taken place to look at how best to use volunteers and volunteering organisations

Members asked for an update on a recent Conservative motion presented to council which called for a World War 1 commemorative cultural event to be organised, and were advised that a member steering group needed to be established to take this forward. The Chair suggested that it may be suitable for members of this committee to participate.


The Executive Member for Education, Children and Young People then provided his update. He drew Members’ attention to the different formats of the Executive Member’s reports and suggested that scrutiny committees would benefit from consistency in the format used by when reporting to scrutiny.


He provided members with information in relation to the following key achievements within his portfolio area within 2016-17, and congratulated officers on the good Ofsted outcome for Children’s Social Care last November:

·        The number of children and young people in care was stable, bucking national trend. Low numbers of children and young people were placed out of area and this number was reducing.

·        Local area teams incorporating the Healthy Child Service had been launched.

·        92% of children and young people in the city were in good or outstanding schools and work was continuing to further improve that number.

·        Continued strong performance at all key stages in schools - best results in North Yorkshire.

·        Regional Adoption Agency/unaccompanied asylum seeking children – doing well.

·        Work was ongoing to continue to make changes to wellbeing stats and Corporate Parenting Board Arrangements.


He then provided an overview of his key areas of focus for the forthcoming year and identified a number of longer term issues to be addressed i.e.


·        Continued management of risk in relation to children’s safeguarding

·        Changing demographics requiring increase in childcare and school place sufficiency

·        Evolving national schools policy requiring changing approach to coordination of schools system

·        Transition to new safeguarding partnership arrangements

·        Leadership of Regional Adoption Agency and support for UASC.


He responded to Members’ questions on the information provided during the update.


The Executive Member for Economic Development and Community Engagement (Deputy Leader), echoed the suggestion made by the previous Executive Member about standardising the format of Executive Member updates to scrutiny, and went on to provide an update on the community engagement area within his portfolio.  He presented the following information in a written update and responded to Members questions with regard to the information presented.


·        Local Area Teams - launched in 2017– specific work to date that has been taken forward by Local Area Teams related to play support services for young people included:

·        As part of redeveloped children’s centre offer, a range of community providers make use of spaces within the children’s centre buildings.

·        A redeveloped commissioning and grants programme has been launched

·        Plans are in the final stages for the opening of the new city centre offer for services for Young People at 30 Clarence Street.

·        First edition of Shine developed by the Local Area Teams has been published

·        A revised and growing programme of volunteering opportunities has been developed.


·        Equalities - Initial discussions have taken place around new arrangements needed for the city’s Fairness and Equalities Board and the Council’s Equalities Advisory Group to hear the voice of York’s communities. Next stage is to understand and put in place support needed to enable communities to realise these ambitions.


·        Ward Committees: Member briefings have been offered designed to update Councillors in relation to the new processes and systems that have been introduced. Data about how the system is operating was provided.


·        Learning City York – update on York Skills Plan was provided to the committee in May. The draft plan is now in final consultation with city wide partners and should be considered at a decision session in August.



Resolved:  That the updates from the Executive Members on their portfolio areas be received and noted.


Reason:     To update the Committee on the challenges and priorities within the Executive Members portfolio areas.



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