Agenda item

Report of Deputy Leader and Questions (20:43)

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



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:


Cost of Living Crisis

From Cllr Orrell: Can you update Members on work in the city to support those struggling most this winter, and is there any progress on the Warm Spaces initiative?

Response: Warm Spaces is an important initiative.  A number of places such as Explore libraries and community centres are offering that facility, and I very much welcome any other organisations that could be added to the list.  10,000 copies have been produced of a leaflet providing information to residents on how to find out more about the funding sources available for them to access.  The leaflet is available online at and  We also work with other organisations through the Financial Inclusion Steering Group – there are many ways in which residents can get support at this difficult time, even down to the small things like the York Energy Advice service and the housing Handyperson service.


York Central

From Cllr Hook: Can you update Members on the Riverside Park consultation as part of the York Central plans?

Response: This is an important connection for people to walk and cycle from one area to the city centre, and a sensitive issue given the impact of stopping off Leeman Road.  Consultation is under way inviting residents to comment.  I’m aware that although we have capital funding to spend on it probably won’t cover everything we choose to do there and several options are being looked at.  When the consultation feedback has been compiled there will be a further report to decide what the money will be spent on.

[Supplementary from Cllr Melly: All the improvements to Riverside Park are necessary and are now more urgent in the light of plans to close Leeman Road.  We are told they will cost over £1m but only £0.5m has been allocated.  You said in your report that the plans would be funded through the capital programme.  Can we take this as a commitment to fully fund the required improvements?]

Supplementary Response: I share your concerns, and it’s important to understand the priorities from the perspective of local residents.  The budget is constrained - your leader raised questions this morning about how to reduce the capital programme - but we need to spend to ensure long-term investment in the city.  It may be that, for example, we have to spend on ensuring the route is gritted and raised or widened to enhance its safety and reduce the impact on the city, residents and the NHS.

[Supplementary from Cllr Crawshaw: Previous funding for other schemes has been removed from the budget for lack of officer time. Can you guarantee to Holgate ward councillors that any money in the budget for these riverside improvements will come with dedicated officer time to deliver or work up the scheme?]

Supplementary Response: Next year’s budget will come to Council in February.  The funding you refer to hasn’t been removed but was identified in a different way to enable ward councillors to take a holistic approach.


Passivhaus homes

From Cllr Pavlovic: If these houses had been built to building regulations instead of Passivhaus standards, how many more affordable homes could you have delivered?

Response: This is not my portfolio area and I don’t have that information to hand.  This programme was adopted several years ago and is being delivered, so it’s rather a hypothetical question.


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