Chief Executives' Group - North Yorkshire and York - minutes 11 February 2022

Chief Executives’ Group – North Yorkshire and York

11 February 2022 via Teams

Minutes and action points


Ian Floyd City of York Council
Jane Colthup Community First Yorkshire
Tony Clark Richmondshire District Council
Paul Shevlin Craven District Council
Wallace Sampson Harrogate Borough Council
Mabs Hussain North Yorkshire Police (on behalf of Lisa Winward)
Margaret Wallace Ryedale District Council (on behalf of Stacey Burlet)
Suzan Harrington Selby District Council (on behalf of Janet Waggott)
Justin Ives Hambleton District Council
Chris France North York Moors National Park Authority (on behalf of Tom Hind)
Nick Edwards Scarborough Borough Council (on behalf of Mike Greene)
Simon Dennis Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner
In attendance:  
Colin Dales Richmondshire District Council
Pauline Stuchfield City of York Council
Marie-Ann Jackson North Yorkshire County Council
Andrew Leeming York and North Yorkshire LEP
Neil Irving North Yorkshire County Council
Karl Battersby North Yorkshire County Council
Deborah Hugill North Yorkshire County Council (secretariat)
Richard Flinton North Yorkshire County Council
Lisa Winward North Yorkshire Police
Stacey Burlet Ryedale District Council
Jonathan Foster North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
Mike Greene Scarborough Borough Council
Tom Hind North York Moors National Park Authority
Amanda Bloor North Yorkshire CCG
Janet Waggott Selby District Council
David Butterworth Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority


1. Minutes of last meeting - 4 November 2021 - and matters arising

The minutes were agreed as a true record and there were no matters arising which were not covered on the agenda.

2. Housing Partnership update

Colin Dales presented a report providing an update on housing, homelessness and the work of the Housing Partnership.

The housing market and new build activity is recovering well from Covid impacts. However, rising prices make home ownership less affordable for more people in the county. Affordable housing in rural areas is a particular area of concern.

Planning permissions and completions seem to be declining in terms of permissions granted but performance remains strong in relation to completed homes.

There is a deteriorating picture of homelessness in the county as the private sector rental market contracts and rents become more expensive. There are increasing numbers of people in temporary accommodation and sleeping rough.

Extra-care housing was impacted by Covid-19 but is increasing again with new schemes in Skipton and Filey and one due to open in Bentham soon.

The Housing Partnership has been reviewing their Housing Strategy and developing a design guide for new housing. There has also been work on decarbonisation of stock and participation in refugee resettlement schemes. The Partnership is also participating in the Local Government Reorganisation (LGR) Housing workstream.

In summary, recovery is underway but there are challenges emerging strongly.

Jane Colthup highlighted the role of the community lead housing hub Community First Yorkshire are leading in partnership with East Riding. Twenty-two live projects are in train. This is yet to be self-sustaining however due to the pandemic and she will be meeting with District Chief Executives individually to discuss support funding.

Nick Edwards outlined particular issues in Scarborough where significant increases in house prices are leading to some landlords selling rental properties to owner occupiers or changing them to holiday lets. This all means that supply is squeezed for private renters and increases homelessness. Harrogate is also experiencing issues in relation to temporary housing and placing larger families in particular.

The reasons for planning permissions being slow to proceed to completions were explored and a piece of research has been carried out on this issue. Colin agreed to share this with the group. The data can be broken down to district level. ACTION: CD

The housing service at Harrogate has been restructured to create a team to tackle this issue and this is being reflected in improved performance. 

The opportunities of LGR in relation to affordable housing were also discussed.


3. Covid-19 Recovery - Communities workstream update


Pauline Stuchfield presented a report from the Task Sub-group Chairs, who were also present and contributed to the discussion, giving an update and proposing improvements to the governance of the workstream.

Task groups have been meeting although this has been impacted by winter pressures and LGR commitments. The groups will meet together every six months in a best-practice sharing event.

A number of outputs were discussed, particularly food sufficiency work looking at best practice and a sub-regional approach. It was clarified during discussion that this would not mean a one-size fits all approach but would allow for networks – food alliances – to be developed to share learning about efficacy and increase co-ordination in tackling the bigger challenges across the area. Use of the Place Standard was cited as a way of working which is firmly rooted in localities. Solutions will be co-designed with communities. A data dashboard is being developed.

Feedback from the workshop held at the Wider Partnership conference in November was strongly in support of developing a shared strategy to address poverty across York and North Yorkshire. Consideration will be given to the geographies of place-based working which will emerge as North Yorkshire moves to a unitary local authority structure.

The recommendations of the report were agreed. These were to note the work of the task groups and to extend the Chairs Group:

  • to establish a Communities, Social Inclusion & Inequalities partnership with a membership drawn from City, County and District Councils, Health, the LEP, NY Police, NYF&R and VCSE representatives;
  • with a purpose to continue the work of the Chairs Group in identifying inequalities and strategic solutions to address them within a regional strategy.

4. Local Authorities Climate Action Co-ordinator role - proposal for future priorities and funding

Wallace Sampson presented a paper covering the LEP based role of Local Authorities Climate Action Co-ordinator which is currently vacant as the previous job-holder has moved to a new role. The role was initially a 2 year post funded through the YNERYH Directors of Development budget which has 6 months to run. The paper detailed the priorities for extending the role and funding for the post, including strategic co-ordination, engaging SMEs, supply chains and skills, collaboration and supporting LGR and devolution asks.

This approach has been strongly supported by the Directors of Development group who have committed funding for a fixed term of 2 years.

The Chief Executives’ Group endorsed this decision and expressed their support for the approach being taken.


5. Impact of rising costs of energy on community buildings

Jane Colthup highlighted the challenges of increasing energy prices for village halls and other buildings which act as community hubs. Her report detailed the vital role these venues play in their communities and asked that this be recognised in funding or grant eligibility criteria. Responding to a question, she explained that many venues are doing work to reduce their emissions and improve their energy efficiency. Community First Yorkshire prioritise bidding for funding to support this.

Amendments to the recommendations were discussed to refine the wording and recognise that each local authority will have its own terms and conditions for grant and funding regimes. Jane will make these amendments. ACTION: JC

The recommendations were agreed in principle with the above amendments.


6. Moving unitary transition forward

Paul Shelvin gave an update on the process of unitary transition.

The Structural Changes Order was laid before Parliament on 24 January  and will be debated shortly. It is expected to gain approval. Its provisions include elections in May 2022 (for five years – the first year to be for the County Council and the Shadow Unitary) for 90 councillors in 89 divisions.

Briefings have been held for partners including town and parish councils, voluntary and community sector organisations, district and county councillors.

The unitary model is strongly based in local delivery and locally based staff. Access arrangements are being developed and will include building on a hub approach with venues such as libraries and voluntary and community sector buildings. There will be a single telephone number and single website.

Paul will provide a presentation given to Members for circulation with the minutes of the meeting. ACTION: PS/DH


7. Devolution

Andrew Leeming presented a paper providing an overview of the Levelling Up White Paper and the current North Yorkshire and York asks and programme management approach.

The White Paper details how the Government intends to level up by ensuring that every area in the UK has access to 6 defined capitals through achievement of 12 missions. These are all listed in the White Paper. It is noted that Natural Capital is not included.

The White Paper refers to the Shared Prosperity Fund which is intended to take the place of European funding and for which full guidance will be published in the spring. The process will be one of allocation rather than competition. Where no Mayoral Combined Authority exists investment plans will be at Unitary or District Council level. Given the move to unitary status it will be important to collaborate closely on these.

The future of LEPs is also covered in the White Paper and it is confirmed that, where Mayoral Combined Authorities exist, they will be embedded within them.

The White Paper also confirms that negotiations on a Mayoral Devolution Deal for York and North Yorkshire will commence and a first meeting with civil servants is scheduled to take place shortly. The timeline was discussed as were the current governance structure and asks.

There were questions/concerns about:

  • current level of District/Borough Council representation in the governance structure
  • approval process prior to establishment of the Unitary Authority
  • amendments to asks, particularly to fill gaps around culture and rural issues
  • programme team approach and whether it would be more appropriate to adopt the approach being used with LGR
  • status of Directors of Development Group in the governance structure
  • need or otherwise for Hambleton District Council to now ratify the asks

Ian Floyd and Andrew Leeming undertook to look at these issues raised and provide further clarity. ACTION: IF/AL

Simon Dennis indicated that the view of the PFCC (and his own as CE) was that a PFCC Mayoral Combined Authority appeared to be the right model for NY&Y, under the planned local devolution arrangements - and is consistent with the LU White Paper - and that OPFCC is keen and stands ready to be involved in the discussions around PFCC transfer, both with colleagues locally and with government.

Andrew will share a PowerPoint presentation summarising the White Paper which can be circulated round the group. ACTION: AL/DH


8. Report of the York, North Yorkshire, East Riding and Hull (YNYERH) Directors of Development Group

Karl Battersby provided an update on the work of the Directors of Development Group including:

  • Devolution – the group would welcome a stronger role and there is support for rural and cultural asks
  • Local Nature Partnership – funding to continue this has been agreed
  • Harrogate Housing Initiative – well received presentation on work to tackle stalled sites
  • First Homes – affordable housing initiative
  • Plan for Economic Growth – agreed that consultation draft to come back to DoDs in spring
  • Low Carbon update and Local Area Energy Plans


9. LGNYY meeting 11 March 2022

A report detailing current items for the Local Government North Yorkshire and York meeting in March was discussed. There were no additional items suggested.

10. Any other business

Yorkshire & Humber Flood Resilience Forum 14th June 2022 – Local Authority Chief Executives were asked to confirm attendance where possible and encourage attendance by their Leaders. The event is at a strategic level.

Yorkshire & Humber, Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) Darlington campus – to strengthen links between the region and government departments situated at the Darlington campus, representatives from the campus will carry out one visit per sub region. North Yorkshire County Council has expressed interest in this. Other local authorities who are interested were asked to contact Wallace Sampson.  

Date and time of next meeting

Friday 17 June 2022 10am - 12 noon via Teams.