Agenda item

Public Participation (10:00am)

At this point in the meeting members of the public who have registered to speak can do so. Members of the public may speak on agenda items or on matters within the remit of the committee.

Please note that our registration deadlines have changed to 2 working days before the meeting. The deadline for registering at this meeting is at 5.00pm on Monday 19 February 2024.


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It was reported that there had been ten registrations to speak at the meeting under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme. All registrations were on agenda item 3 Civic Protocols Review.


Cllr Mason expressed concern that the civic party would be expected to undertake events at their own expense with no support, and that as a disabled person support was needed. He noted that there was a need for the car and mansion house flat and that charity fundraising should be picked by the Lord Mayor. He added that there was a cost to being in the civic party. He suggested that budget savings could be made in other ways.


Danielle Mason explained that being a women in her twenties taking on the role as Sheriff’s lady whilst working full time, having the car to pick up and take to events had helped with travel. She noted that if an inclusive approach was wanted there was a need to consider the impact on young people in civic roles. She explained the importance of civic party in visits to school and community groups and added that reducing visits and turning up with a badge devalued the role of the civic party.


Philippa Crowther, Chief Executive of the Wilberforce Trust expressed dismay that no consultation had been carried out by the council in relation to the review. She explained that she was being told that the York Community Fund (YCF) would be used to fund free school meals. She explained that blind and partially sighted people had benefitted from the work of the Lord Mayor’s charity and the civic party through funding and other donations and she explained how this had been used.


The Executive Member clarified explained that the York Community Fund was separate to the York Hungry Minds Fund.


Janet Looker explained that she had been Lord Mayor three times and she welcomed the report in putting forward a framework as to how the Lord Mayor would work. She suggested that Make it York, YorkBID, the council and voluntary organisations to pull together a coherent plan for the Lord Mayor. She welcomed the review of the protocols during a period of austerity.


Cllr Orrell explained that civic party visits for people with disabilities would not be able to happen with the proposed changes. He noted that civic visits to schools in full regalia would not be the same if a badge was worn. He added that there had been no consultation on the changes. He suggested that there was no understanding of role of the civic party with community and faith groups, and the role of the Lord Mayor of York and North Yorkshire and Lord Mayor of York. He noted that it would be a sad day of the proposals were put into effect.


Cllr Cullwick explained that it would sensible and pragmatic to defer decisions around the mansion house and car as there needed to be consultation and a fresh consideration of the roles and responsibilities of the Lord Mayor of York and North Yorkshire and Lord Mayor of York. Referring to paragraph 42 of the published report he noted that that there had been no consultation with those with experience in the role, pollical parties, other civic parties, and other stakeholders such as schools, charities and organisations. He noted that he would welcome a review with all stakeholders.


Gwen Swinburn explained that she had been asking for transparency over the civic roles. She welcomed a democratic approach to the review and noted that it was not fit for purpose, adding that there had been no consultation with Honorary Alderman. Regarding the decision she suggested that there should have been proper consultation with a key decision report to Executive.


Brian Watson explained the importance Lord Mayor and Sheriff and gave examples of this. He noted that the Mansion House was the home of the Lord Mayor. He noted that the report had disregard to the Lord Mayor and that those taking on the role knew that it was for seven days a week. He expressed concern regarding the decrease in travel expenses.


Verna Campbell suggested that the paper displayed ignorance towards the role of the Lord Mayor and civic party and she noted occasions on which she had been in the civic party. She expressed concern regarding the loss of the robe and chain which symbolised the cultural and historic role of the Lord Mayor and civic party. She noted that she was the Chair of the York Civic Trust Education Committee and she explained the role of the Committee. She explained the importance of the presence of the Lord Mayor and civic party in their robes made the importance of the two public speaking competitions in what all York secondary schools took part in.


Dave Taylor sympathised with the council budget situation in a period of austerity. He believed that there would be harm to the city with the proposals put forward and he asked that the decision be deferred. He expressed concern that the would mean that only wealthy individuals would be in the Lord Mayor role and he believed that the proposals would mean a drop in funding to charity if it was perceived that the YCF would be used to fill holes in council budgets. He noted the benefits of the Lord Mayor’s attendance at events and that the proposals was likely to result in losing more money than would be saved.


The Executive Member noted that the Lord Mayor would be able to choose a charity through the vehicle so that there was transparency in the money raised. The Executive Member thanked public speakers and noted that written submissions had been received. These were from Peter Brown, Richard Watson, Susan Galloway, Anne Reid, Jonathan Tyler and Barbara Boyce.



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