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Chief Executives' Group - North Yorkshire and York - minutes of meeting 11 September 2020

Minutes of a meeting of the group held on 11 September 2020 via Zoom.

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
Chris France North York Moors National Park Authority
Wallace Sampson Harrogate Borough Council
Phil Cain North Yorkshire Police (on behalf of Lisa Winward)
Stacey Burlet Ryedale District Council 
Ian Floyd  City of York Council
Janet Waggott Selby District Council
David Butterworth Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
Alan Menzies East Riding of Yorkshire (on behalf of Caroline Lacey)
In attendance:  
James Mason Welcome to Yorkshire
James Farrar York and North Yorkshire LEP
Neil Irving North Yorkshire County Council
Deborah Hugill North Yorkshire County Council (secretariat)
Amanda Bloor North Yorkshire CCG
Caroline Lacey East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Lisa Winward North Yorkshire Police
Andrew Brodie North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service

1. Minutes of last meeting - 5 February 2020 - and matters arising.

The minutes were agreed as a true record.

Matters arising:

Matters arising:

  • Armed Forces Day – plans for Armed Forces Day are being rolled forward to next year and the lead at Scarborough BC will be invited to the most appropriate future meeting of the group. Chris France was welcomed to the meeting as the interim Chief Executive at the North York Moors National Park.


2. Voluntary and community sector resilience survey findings

Leah Swain updated the meeting on the findings of a survey of voluntary and community sector organisations about the impact of Covid-19. The survey was sent out in May and 188 responses were received. Small and medium 2 VCS organisations are a major employer in the county and the survey found that 60% of the workforce was still in place. New volunteers were recruited during Covid, but there are reports of some shortages occurring now as people are returning to work.

Funding is a major issue and those organisations with reliance on trading income have been worst hit. Fundraising events were also clearly unable to take place during lockdown and the picture from March 2021 onwards in relation to funding streams is very uncertain.

Some managed closures of organisations have unfortunately already taken place and Leah stressed that the earlier that organisations come forward to ask for help the more options are available to Community First to provide that support.

A follow-up survey is now live which aims to see how the picture has changed since May.

Leah highlighted that the cross-sector joint working response to Covid in the county has been very positive and collaborative. The approach elsewhere has often been different and the North Yorkshire approach was a national exemplar which will be built on.

Work is underway on a number of new campaigns and to utilise NHS volunteers and keep the sector updated on current Covid guidelines etc. Community First is also working to encourage people to donate to local charities rather than just national ones.

Members of the group expressed their gratitude for all the work which had been, and is being, undertaken.

3. Welcome to Yorkshire update

James Mason, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, gave an update on the funding position of the organisation and the restructuring which has been undertaken. The future funding balance between public funding and private income streams was discussed, as was the importance of data and intelligence to inform future strategy.

Working with universities and employers is being explored and a ‘my Y’ membership scheme has been launched for the public.

The tourism picture in the county and nationally was discussed. Welcome to Yorkshire are working to ensure that Yorkshire’s year round offer for the full range of visitor types is emphasised.

It was agreed that a meeting would be arranged between James Mason, Wallace Sampson and James Farrar to discuss a post-Nightingale recovery strategy in relation to the significant impact of the use of the Harrogate Convention Centre as a Nightingale Hospital.


4. Covid-19

Richard Flinton gave an overview of the current situation in relation to Covid19 cases which, although similar to England averages overall, have shown significant rises in certain parts of the county. These are mostly household 3 related rather than workplaces and predominantly, but not solely, among young people.

A Silver meeting had been held and a Gold briefing meeting will take place next week. This will include discussion about potential Covid marshals for which guidance is awaited. It was agreed that any marshal schemes deployed in North Yorkshire and York would benefit from discussions to ensure consistency of approach.

Phil Cain provided a North Yorkshire Police update emphasising that enforcement was a last resort in relation to ensuring that restrictions were being adhered to. Table top exercises to plan for any potential future local lockdowns are being undertaken, as well as scenario planning for a possible second wave which might see a national lockdown return in some form.

Issues local to specific areas of the county were discussed. Communications messages will be available shortly and can be shared with voluntary and community sector colleagues. Community Support Organisations are being briefed directly.

5. York and North Yorkshire Budget submission

James Farrar presented a paper outlining proposals to make a submission to government in advance of the 2020 Autumn Statement, in particular focusing on investments which accelerate recovery from Covid 19. The plan is consistent with both the Local Industrial Strategy and the devolution proposals and is currently out for final consultation. Proposed asks to Government cover:

  • transport (bus services and decarbonisation)
  • digital access in deeply rural areas,
  • town centres and high streets
  • business and investment
  • innovation – proposals being developed by BioYorkshire
  • Low carbon
  • Natural capital

The need to be able to respond to short timescale bidding opportunities from Government was emphasised.

It was suggested during discussion that the pitch for low carbon funding was too low and it was agreed to increase this.

It was also agreed that cycling infrastructure and strategic rail programmes should be included where these were ready and available.

The town centre ask has capacity to include social distancing friendly public realm schemes.

There was a discussion about governance and it was agreed that the plan should be submitted but that questions should also be asked of Government about their requirements of North Yorkshire and York’s local authorities prior to any devolution deal.

6. Report of the YNYERH Directors of Development Group

A report was presented updating the Chief Executives’ Group on the work of the Directors of Development Group. The main points in this report were covered during discussion of the previous item.

7. LGNYY meeting 9 October 2020

It was agreed that the meeting on 9 October would concentrate on unitary local government and devolution issues. Taking a report on the VCS resilience survey findings will also be considered if this is felt to be appropriate.

8. Any other business

  • Unitary local government - it was agreed that the chief executives of the nine York and North Yorkshire local authorities should meet separately on an ongoing basis to discuss engagement with staff and other relevant topics.

9. Date and time of next meeting

To be agreed. The scheduled date in November now clashes with the LEP conference.