Local democracy during coronavirus

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Agenda item

City of York Council Recovery and Renewal Strategy - March Update

The Chief Operating Officer to present an update report for March 2021 on the council’s activities both directly in response to Covid-19 and to support recovery and renewal.

 

Decision:

Resolved:  (i)      That the contents of the report be noted.

 

(ii)      That the recommendations in relation to the re-opening of the city centre outlined in Annex 1 be approved, and authority be delegated to the Corporate Director of Economy & Place, in consultation with the Executive Member for Economy & Strategic Planning to:

a)   provide temporary public toilets in the city centre during the initial stages of lockdown easing should they be required, at a cost of £2k per week;

b)   approve expenditure of up to £200k ARG to fund the delivery of the principles for managing city and secondary centre spaces that are set out in the report;

c)   submit any planning application required for temporary managed outdoor spaces;

d)   extend the Covid Marshalls until the end of June at a cost of £28k, to facilitate the Covid-safe management of the city through Covid Containment Grant funding.

 

(iii)     That the recommendations outlined in Annex 2 for the use of the Additional Restrictions Grant, including the closure of applications for the Additional Restrictions Grant on 31 March 2021, be approved.

 

(iv)    That the participation in a Behavioural Insights trial to support Covid-safe behaviours, as outlined in Annex 3, be approved.

 

(v)     That deferral of the implementation of the following fees until Step 4 of the Government’s recovery roadmap be approved, and the related discount agreed:

a) cremation fees to be charged at £745 until Covid restrictions are relaxed (estimated to be 21 June at the earliest);

b) free recording of services to be maintained until the same date.

 

(vi)    That approval be given to use the Government Covid Recovery Grant to mitigate the financial implications of the discounts in (v) above for 3 months, subject to further review should the date for Step 4 be moved.

 

Reason:     In order to support the safe re-opening of the city centre, while supporting local businesses and mitigating the risks of increased community transmission arising from an increase in the number of visitors to the city centre.

Minutes:

The Chief Operating Officer presented a report which provided an update for March on activities directly in response to Covid-19 and work to support recovery and renewal. 

 

As at 3 March, the case rate in York had fallen to 45.6 per 100k population, and the vaccine roll-out continued at pace.  However, caution remained critical to ensure cases continued to fall.  On 22 February, the Government had published its Roadmap for the easing of restrictions. The 4 steps in the Roadmap, and the tests to be met for it to progress, were summarised in paragraphs 11-13 of the report.  The report also highlighted activities the council would undertake to support safe re-opening of city spaces, and ongoing work to support communities, and sought approval for a number of proposed actions as detailed in Annexes 1-3.  

 

In welcoming the proposals, Members noted the work already taking place across the city and within their own portfolio areas and paid tribute to officers, businesses and education establishments, including parents who had been home-schooling.

 

Resolved:  (i)      That the contents of the report be noted.

 

(ii)      That the recommendations in relation to the re-opening of the city centre outlined in Annex 1 be approved, and authority be delegated to the Corporate Director of Economy & Place, in consultation with the Executive Member for Economy & Strategic Planning to:

a)   provide temporary public toilets in the city centre during the initial stages of lockdown easing should they be required, at a cost of £2k per week;

b)   approve expenditure of up to £200k ARG to fund the delivery of the principles for managing city and secondary centre spaces that are set out in the report;

c)   submit any planning application required for temporary managed outdoor spaces;

d)   extend the Covid Marshalls until the end of June at a cost of £28k, to facilitate the Covid-safe management of the city through Covid Containment Grant funding.

 

(iii)     That the recommendations outlined in Annex 2 for the use of the Additional Restrictions Grant, including the closure of applications for the Additional Restrictions Grant on 31 March 2021, be approved.

 

(iv)    That the participation in a Behavioural Insights trial to support Covid-safe behaviours, as outlined in Annex 3, be approved.

 

(v)     That deferral of the implementation of the following fees until Step 4 of the Government’s recovery roadmap be approved, and the related discount agreed:

a) cremation fees to be charged at £745 until Covid restrictions are relaxed (estimated to be 21 June at the earliest);

b) free recording of services to be maintained until the same date.

 

(vi)    That approval be given to use the Government Covid Recovery Grant to mitigate the financial implications of the discounts in (v) above for 3 months, subject to further review should the date for Step 4 be moved.

 

Reason:     In order to support the safe re-opening of the city centre, while supporting local businesses and mitigating the risks of increased community transmission arising from an increase in the number of visitors to the city centre.

Supporting documents:

 

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