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Chief Executives' Group - North Yorkshire and York minutes of meeting on 5 February 2020

Minutes of a meeting of the group held on 5 February 2020 at West Offices, York

Present:  
Richard Flinton North Yorkshire County Council
Justin Ives Hambleton District Council
Leah Swain Community First Yorkshire
Tony Clark Richmondshire District Council
Paul Shevlin Craven District Council
Mike Greene Scarborough Borough Council
Andy Wilson North York Moors National Park Authority
Wallace Sampson Harrogate Borough Council
Mike Walker North Yorkshire Police (on behalf of Lisa Winward)
Stacey Burlet Ryedale District Council 
Ian Floyd  City of York Council (on behalf of Mary Weastell)
David Butterworth Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
Alan Menzies East Riding of Yorkshire (on behalf of Caroline Lacey)
In attendance:  
James Farrar York and North Yorkshire LEP
David Bowe North Yorkshire County Council
Neil Irving North Yorkshire County Council
Deborah Hugill North Yorkshire County Council (secretariat)
Apologies:  
Amanda Bloor North Yorkshire CCG
Caroline Lacey East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Mary Weastell City of York Council
Lisa Winward North Yorkshire Police
Janet Waggott Selby District Council
Andrew Brodie North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service


1. Minutes of last meeting - 28 August 2019 - and matters arising.

The minutes were agreed as a true record.
 

2. Countywide loneliness strategy

Leah Swain gave a presentation on ‘Be Social Be Well’ – a North Yorkshire Strategy for Tackling Loneliness. This strategy has been developed by Community First Yorkshire working with a wide number of partners. £99,555 has been secured from the National Lottery Community Fund’s Building Connections Fund. This has been supplemented by other funding from partners and others, and supports the strategy development as well as a range of projects and campaigns. The work is overseen by a multi-agency steering group with the first campaign being the Staying Social, Staying Well quiz to prompt those nearing retirement to focus on the wider social aspects of their retiring – their social pension. Over 1000 individuals have completed the quiz so far.

The five strategic ambitions of the strategy are:

  • Eliminate stigma
  • Make connection easier
  • Build enlightened services
  • Encourage meaningful relationships
  • Kindness in communities

The next steps are a series of awareness raising events to agree and deliver actions against these ambitions.

Richard Flinton expressed the County Council’s support of this work and of recognising the important impact of loneliness on mental and physical health.

There was a discussion about the positive and negative influence of the use of digital technology, and an acknowledgement that the countywide work was linking into work being undertaken in this area in the Harrogate district.

3. EU settlement scheme

Neil Irving presented a report giving current data about the proportion of EU citizens in North Yorkshire who have applied for the right to remain in the UK. This is significantly lower than the rest of the UK. If this continues, there is a risk of a negative impact on the local economy and a reduction in public service provision.

He asked that all agencies work together to encourage people to apply and help increase take up. Nationally a campaign is being relaunched and he will circulate details.

ACTION: NI

Members of the group detailed work which was already going on, including working with Citizens Advice Bureaux and local businesses. Various ways of publicising the issue and reaching the appropriate people were discussed, although there was an acknowledgement that the most vulnerable are harder to reach by conventional means.

Data is available by district in relation to applications but is unreliable in relation to numbers of EU citizens and other eligible people who are resident in districts.
 

4. LEP update

James Farrar updated the meeting on a number of issues:

  • As a result of the LEP review, a company limited by guarantee needs to be formed. It was suggested that this is discussed with Gary Fielding, Corporate Director - Strategic Resources at North Yorkshire County Council.
  • A call for feasibility projects is now closed. This is over-subscribed with 68 proposals being received. The evaluation criteria to decide which progress are:
    • Strategic fit (15%)
    • Strategic impact (25%)
    • Deliverability (30%)
    • Cost (10%)
    • Clear aim (20%)

The aim is to develop a pipeline of future projects if the local growth plan is extended. There is confidence that current plans will not underspend, now that there is more certainty about the Harrogate rail project.

  • A recent evaluation of LEP by BEIS was generally good.
  • Gender balance on the LEP board will be compliant by 1 March as a number of female members have been recruited.

5. Devolution

Richard Flinton gave an update on developments in relation to possible devolution for North Yorkshire and York, including a recent meeting at the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and a teleconference with Jake Berry, Minister of State for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth.

The Government would require a Mayor and combined authority, with a likely date for a Mayoral election being May 2022. There are also aspirations to combine the role of Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner with that of the Mayor, although this would entail aligning elections.

The asks presented to Government were generally well received, subject to more detailed Treasury conversations.

These are themed around:

  • Transport
  • Housing
  • Digital
  • Towns
  • Skills
  • Business
  • Low carbon
  • Bio-economy

Work is underway to commission an independent party to bring together the themes into a coherent document linking to the overarching vision of the UK’s first Carbon Negative region. Many themes are cross cutting and interlinked. The consultant would also provide independent challenge to the proposals in each area.

The next steps going forward were discussed. Andy Wilson asked that National Parks Authorities be involved in relation to planning as early in the process as possible as experience showed that this avoided issues further down the line. This was agreed.

A White Paper may be issued before the summer and a legislative framework is promised after 2023.

Alan Menzies explained the current situation as it affects East Riding of Yorkshire Council. There is no current consensus and recruitment for a LEP chair has yet to be completed.


6. Report of the YNYERH Directors of Development Group

David Bowe presented a report updating members on the work and progress of the York, North Yorkshire, East Riding and Hull directors of Development Group.

The proposals to fund improved shared capacity for climate action work were debated. Whilst there were concerns about a lack of clarification of what any new post would cover and where it would sit, a number of members felt that it was important that this work was not delayed and it was agreed that refining the requirement would be twin-tracked with the recruitment process.

Ian Floyd detailed York’s plans for a climate change team and a climate change commission which will look wider than the council.


7. LGNYY meeting 6 March 2020

Richard Flinton asked that if any members had any items they wished to suggest for the agenda of the LGNYY meeting in March they should get in touch, but that the meeting would be likely to focus on devolution.

ACTION: All


8. Any other business

Novel coronavirus – Ian Floyd gave an update on the current situation in York. Public Health England (PHE) are handling the situation and the role of the Council is around communications and liaison. The PHE are currently not treating the issue in York as a high risk although this may change. There have been no new cases since the initial two cases.

Neil Irving gave a general update from the Local Resilience Forum. Multi-agency telephone conferences are underway but not at an emergency level. If required, this will be escalated on the advice of PHE.

Mike Walker detailed the advice being received by the Police and explained that the force is monitoring hate crimes against Chinese people which have so far been minimal in the area.

It was agreed that all agencies needed to use their communication channels to give general hygiene advice.

National Armed Forces Day – Mike Greene raised the work being done by Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) in relation to National Armed Forces Day in June and it was agreed that the lead at SBC would be invited to present at the next meeting of the group.

ACTION: DH

Harrogate Local Plan – Wallace Sampson reported that Harrogate Borough Council had received ministerial sign-off on their draft local plan and they hope to have it adopted by full council in March.

9. Date and time of next meeting

Monday 1 June 2020, 2pm – 4pm, County Hall, Northallerton.