North Yorkshire Council


Scarborough and Whitby Area Constituency Committee


Minutes of the meeting held on Friday, 1st December, 2023 commencing at 10.00 am.


Councillor Liz Colling in the Chair. plus Councillors Tony Randerson, Eric Broadbent, David Jeffels, Janet Jefferson, Rich Maw, Heather Phillips, John Ritchie, Subash Sharma, Roberta Swiers, Phil Trumper and Neil Swannick.


In attendance: Councillors George Jabbour.


Officers present: Lizzie Boyes, Christian Brennan, James Buckley, Faye Cossins, Lily Hamilton, St John Harris, Jenny Loggie, Dora Machaira, Sarah Robinson, Odette Robson, Paul Thompson, Louise Wallace


Apologies: Councillors Derek Bastiman, David Chance and Clive Pearson.   .



Copies of all documents considered are in the Minute Book





Apologies for Absence


Apologies noted (see above).






Minutes of the Meeting held on 22 September 2023


Resolved –


That the Minutes of the meeting held on 22 September 2023, having been printed and circulated, be taken as read and confirmed and signed by the Chair as a correct record.






Declarations of Interest


Councillor Janet Jefferson declared an interest in item 6 (Winter preparedness on the Coast) as a trustee of the Maybush Centre.






Feedback from previous meetings - Chair's report


In respect of the Scarborough and Whitby Area Constituency Profile report requested for the committee’s work programme, the Chair advised that there was now an all Member Seminar planned for early March on the Local Insights data system.  This would enable the demonstration of the new and improved version of LI which was due for release in February.


The Chair was pleased to report that a monthly schedule of informal briefings for the committee on Teams had now been arranged for the new year.  The proposed item for the work programme of the Use of Social Value Engine Tool which would assess the impact of the Town deals projects in Scarborough &Whitby would now be on the agenda of the committee’s first monthly briefing on 1 February 2024. 






Public Participation


There were 2 public questions submitted to the committee. Sarah Forsyth could not attend the committee in person and therefore this question was read out by Alison Hume. Alison Hume’s question was taken with Item 10 (Domestic Abuse Safe Accommodation Strategy – Update) as it was regarding the subject of this item.


Sarah Forsyth


Will the Council urgently intervene to save Alpamare Water Park from receivership, bringing it under the council's stewardship with financial support? Given its crucial role in our community, offering activities like aquafit, swim tots, and swimming lessons, contributing significantly to residents' health and well-being, and serving as a vital social hub, the potential disrepair poses a risk to this essential resource. Considering the council's past investment of £9 million in public money, can the Council formulate a plan to protect Alpamare, reinvest any profits made, and ensure it continues to benefit the community?


Officer Response


The council is sadly limited in what it can state due to potential legal issues associated with this matter.  However, North Yorkshire Council has been in contact with the administrators through our solicitors and is considering all options available to it at this time with a view to minimising the impact to both the council and the surrounding area.  The Council is committed to delivering the best outcome from a situation it has inherited from Scarborough Borough Council for the residents and businesses of Scarborough and the wider North Yorkshire communities. 


In response to a supplementary question about actions the council was taking to ensure the unused facilities did not become degraded, the Chair reminded the meeting that the council did not own the water park, but any concerns would be relayed to the administrators.  Councillor Phillips urged the public to be patient, noting that the council’s Executive was determined to secure the best outcome for residents and visitors.






Winter Preparedness on the Coast


Considered – a presentation by Louise Wallace, Director of Public Health, Jenny Loggie Strategic Lead for Population Health and Inequalities, and Dora Machaira, Health Improvement Manager. The presentation centred on guidance for what could be done to keep well over winter, including practical solutions such as increased ventilation and staying away from people when unwell. Vaccination programmes were also discussed, and the importance of MMR vaccines was highlighted due to an increase of cases nationally. Reference was made to the value of working with multiple services to ensure those who did not regularly access NHS facilities received information, through the Stronger Communities team, fire and rescue services, as well as adult social services etc.

Following the presentation, questions from members concerned:


-       Local data on trips and falls, seasonality and injuries sustained.


-       Measures taken to prevent falls and what more preventative work could be done by the council e.g. increased gritting?


-       The figures on MMR vaccine uptake in Scarborough and Whitby


-       Recommended levels of ventilation and preventative work around winter infections.


-       Dental provision for residents who had struggled to access services since a closure on Eastfield Road – steps to alleviate this?


In reply, members were advised that:


-       The data requested on trips and falls would be provided. Please see data below and supporting information which was provided following the committee:


Context and latest data for Scarborough (number of people):

North Yorkshire


Emergency hospital admissions due to falls 65-79



Emergency hospital admissions due to falls 80+



Hip fractures 65-79



Hip fractures 80+




2528 (0.9%)

224 (0.4%)

Source PHOF 21/22 data.


Falls prevention is a complex area with over 400 risk factors, for example, polypharmacy, cognitive impairment, vision impairment, continence, foot-pain, environmental hazards, postural stability etc.

-       One in three people aged over 65 has at least one fall each year (many go unreported)

-       Half of those aged over 80 have at least one fall each year

-       One in five people who have had a hip fracture will enter long-term care during the year following the injury

-       Falls are the commonest cause of death from injury for those aged over 65

-       Significant cost: estimated at £4.4 billion in the UK each year, of which £1.1 billion is social care costs

Currently 27.5% of the Scarborough population are over the age of 65 but this is expected to increase to 36% which means the number of falls will increase. Some areas of Scarborough are already higher than this e.g. Filey and Hunmanby (36.6%).


However, there are effective evidence based interventions that can help to reduce the risk of falls and fracture. World Falls Guidelines have been produced setting out what local areas can do to prevent falls.


-       The Director of Public Health would share a report from a recent conference on falls prevention - measures included promoting use of slippers, medication reviews, increasing strength-based exercise, and identifying trip hazards in the home.  Gritting pavements was a Highways matter. Please see response below which highlights recommendations following the falls summit:


Local response

A falls summit was held recently to look at how organisations can work together to prevent and respond to falls and the following recommendations were made:


Develop a strategic approach to falls

-       Establish a working group to take forward a renewed focus on falls prevention and responding to falls. Explore the need to establish locality groups as well as countywide

-       Keep stakeholders updated on developments and explore opportunities to bring partners together in future

Pathways and services

-       Develop a clear pathway from prevention to responding to falls to ensure there is equity in provision across North Yorkshire. Needs to include risk stratification – identifying people as low, intermediate or high risk

-       Review assessment tools in line with the world falls guidelines (WFG) with a view to have a single consistent falls assessment

-       All health and care professionals should ask about falls history – opportunistic case finding


Training and awareness raising

-       To explore opportunities to raise awareness of falls prevention amongst the public and professionals

-       To identify opportunities to develop a comprehensive training programme for professionals


Physical activity

-       Promote the importance of having a broad leisure offer to increase physical activity amongst people at low/medium/high risk of falls – feed into leisure review

-       Include physical activity options in the falls pathway (for people at low, medium and high risk of falling)


Care settings, housing and wider environment

-       Develop a comprehensive training programme for care settings (linked to practice such as safety huddles)

-       Identify opportunities to gather better data on the causes of falls to inform action around links to the wider environment e.g. pavements.


Urgent falls response

-       Crisis response services to work with YAS and community pendant alarm providers on clear pathways in each area for falls pick-ups

-       To have in place a mapped pathway for each area that is also available digitally


Work has already begun on addressing some of these issues and an action plan is being drafted and a county wide working group established. Some areas have expressed an interest in setting up locality sub groups.


-       Locality level data on MMR data is not routinely reported (immunisation data is reported at North Yorkshire level), however Public Health have been working with GP practices and other partners to address areas with low uptake. In Scarborough town there is a lower uptake of vaccines. However, uptake for the MMR vaccine was trending downwards locally, regionally and nationally which was an issue which required collective action.


-       Regarding ventilation levels, air quality was stressed as important, and any ventilation was better than none; it was recognised that during the winter months this was a challenge due to cold temperatures. Public Health had been raising awareness of this in schools and now care homes in North Yorkshire, with other methods of prevention including vaccinations, and hand hygiene.


-       Jenny Loggie, Strategic Lead for Population Health and Inequalities would feed back the problems encountered by Eastfield residents in accessing dentistry and provide a response to the committee. The response is outlined below:


For dentistry in Scarborough, to confirm that following the closure of the Eastfield dentist, a procurement exercise was undertaken for a new dentist in Scarborough.  This was awarded to Smile on Falsgrave Road.  Following a period of set-up and mobilisation, the Smile dentist opened approximately in July 2023 and patients from Eastfield were informed that they could register there.


Since then, a visit took place with the team at Smile in Sept 2023 to understand the new contract and how they were getting on with the delivery.  Discussions were had around challenges, which are affecting all dental practices, with regards to securing permanent dentists who are willing to work in the NHS.  Many dentists make the change to work in private services.  Smile is very committed to offering NHS dental services and as such, struggles to retain dentists who want to move to private work.  In addition, Scarborough (along with other coastal locations) does struggle to recruit healthcare professionals whether these are dentists or GPs, etc. so Smile is affected by this national trend.  Smile do have a presence nationally and have good recruitment methods, where they aim to fully recruit to the practice and even have a flat available for new recruits.  Workforce recruitment and retention are a challenge across the ICB, and we do have a transformation plan in place, but it will take time to train, recruit and retain dentists in our area.  The ICB is developing plans to establish Centres for Dental Development which aim to train and retain the workforce within the ICB.


For Scarborough specifically, we are aware of pressures in the town and are working with existing providers to offer additional investment (non-recurrently) to increase the number of urgent access sessions available.


As with all dental providers, we do follow the nationally agreed methods for contract management and will recover any funding owed if practices are under-performing.  Where this does occur, the funding is reinvested non-recurrently to boost provision where it is needed.  Scarborough does feature in our reviews in terms of an area of need and where further investment is required so we do aim to reinvest in the town when possible.  As an ICB, we continue to prioritise our identified areas of need.  Nationally, dental provision is facing significant challenges with regards to access and workforce.



Resolved – That the presentation be noted.






Annual Report of Performance against the Safety Plan (Port Marine Safety Code)


Considered –report of the Corporate Director – Environment in respect of the ports’ annual performance against the Safety Plan as required by the Port Marine Safety Code. Members were advised that the Port Marine Safety Code was overseen by the Maritime Coast Guard Agency, and although not mandatory there was a strong expectation that all harbour authorities would comply. Key measures of performance were set out in paragraph 4.9 of the report. There were 8 incidents to report amongst the 55,000 movements in the harbour, which showed a reduction from the previous year., None of these incidents  found North Yorkshire Council to be at fault and there had been no drop in performance as a consequence of local government reorganisation The report reflected the dedication and diligence of harbour staff who ensured there wascover 24 hours a day at all times of the year.

Following the report, questions from members concerned:


-       In respect of environmental pollution, the grading and frequency of incidents


-       The harbour authority’s enforcement powers in regard to degraded harbour structures, buildings and craft


-       The external audit of the Safety Management System in September 2023


-       Adequacy of the dredging regime in Whitby harbour and the impact on harbour users


In reply members were advised that:


-       Environmental pollution was monitored through the classification of tier 1 and tier 2 events. Tier 2 events were oil spills which were over 200 Litres whilst tier 1 were under 200 Litres; the responsibility to report incidents like these was with boat owners. The last tier 1 event which took place was a year ago.


-       NYC Estates had enforcement powers in respect of the exterior of leased harbour buildings.


-       The harbour authority had a duty to remove derelict and stricken craft under the Harbours Act 1964 and as per vessel owners’ terms and conditions to conduct visual checks on seaworthiness ensuring that vessels floated with every tide and remained in good condition.


-       The result of the September external audit was Pass and the external auditors’ report would be shared with the committee.


-       The Assistant Director did not envisage any delays to the dredging programme in Whitby and confirmed that there had been no incidents of grounded vessels in recent months caused by the build-up of silt in Whitby harbour



Resolved – That the Harbour Authority’s report of performance against the recommendations of the Port Marine Safety Code be noted.







Yorkshire Water - Bathing Water Quality update


Members were advised about the Bathing Water Directive, including how bathing waters were classified annually into four categories: poor, sufficient, good, and excellent. It was highlighted that Reighton, Runswick Bay, and Scarborough North had slipped from excellent to good classifications, whilst Scarborough South Bay remained at poor. An update was also provided regarding Aquarium top which had seen a significant reduction in spills due to the redirection of sewage and surface water to the Toll House. Yorkshire Water had planned investment for 2020-2025 of £147m but had now announced this would be increased by a further £180m. Further investment was planned from 2025-2030 of £1bn which would aim to improve coastal assets., The programme for this work was under development.


Following presentation of the report, questions from members concerned:


-        Disappointment that according to the latest bathing water quality classifications Scarborough South remained poor and that Runswick Bay, Reighton and Scarborough North had all dropped from excellent to good


-       The problem of flash floods in Eastborough in Scarborough taking untreated sewage in a stream down to the sea


-       The financial contribution of Yorkshire Water to next year’s Environment Agency investigation


-       How much of Yorkshire Water’s additional investment planned in high discharge sites would fall to the bill payer


-       How could we be sure that the works planned for Wheatcroft combined sewer overflow would be effective?


-       Would this investment in storage capacity on the coast have an impact on infrastructure inland? – this was not just a coastal problem


-       Were there plans to build more reservoirs in the locality?


-       Impact of significant local housing allocations on Yorkshire Water’s infrastructure


-       Surface water flooding on Scalby Road and Moor Lane


-       How to promote the retrofitting of grey water recycling systems


-       The planned investment in surface water separation in the Whitby area


-       Sewage discharges in Whitby Harbour



In reply members were advised that:


-       Yorkshire Water would raise the Eastborough flash floods with NYC drainage engineers


-       Yorkshire Water was currently in discussion with the Bathing Water Partnership in respect of partners’ financial contributions to the Environment Agency’s planned investigations


-       The £147m originally identified for the AMP 2020-25 had been committed through Yorkshire Water’s business planning process and signed off by Ofwat in accordance with government guidance.  Since then public opinion had shifted prompting this additional investment.  Details of the impact of this additional investment on bill payers would be provided to the committee. The following response was provided after the committee “As our bill structure for the period 2020-2025 had already been determined there will be no additional impact to billpayers from this investment.”


-       Yorkshire Water would provide further details of the £1.3m surface water separation project in the Whitby area. The press release outlining the details of the project in Whitby is attached to these minutes with further details provided.


-       There was no statutory obligation for developers and households to retrofit grey water recycling systems.  Yorkshire Water identified street improvements, for example, retrofitting of a surface water drainage system in Hull.  Solutions had to be cost-effective for all partners.


-       No new reservoirs were planned in the draft Water Management Plan


-       The grid network in Yorkshire enabled water to be moved from one area to another to meet demand

Resolved – That the presentation be noted.






Yorkshire Water Investment to Reduce Storm Overflows in Whitby







Northern Powergrid: Enabling Regional Decarbonisation


Considered – a presentation by Lizzie Boyes, Local System Planning Engineer Northern PowerGrid, about ongoing work to enable regional decarbonisation. Members were advised about flexible connection agreements which avoided reinforcement work and allowed access to services at an increased speed. Their support for schemes such as local electric vehicle infrastructure, social housing decarbonisation fund and public sector decarbonisation scheme were also referenced. It was also highlighted that every applicant was treated equally with the same wait times etc.


Following the presentation, questions from members concerned:


-       The need to speed up access to the grid for renewable energy projects citing a local solar farm


-       The specific challenges in delivering electricity within the Scarborough and Whitby area


In reply members were advised that:


-       Grid constraints were being addressed.  Ofgem recently announced that it was introducing rules to remove ‘zombie’ energy projects from the grid connection queue, and the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement included a promise to speed up access to the national grid through a number of measures including the acceleration of upgrades to substations and power lines to connect specific developments, and proposals for community benefits such as reductions in energy bills


-       The rurality of the Scarborough and Whitby area presented its own challenges with an extensive overhead line network which was vulnerable to extreme weather events.  Northern Powergrid was planning to provide more information for consumers about coping with extreme weather events


Resolved – That the presentation be noted.






Domestic Abuse Arrangements - update


The Chair took the second public question at this point as it was in relation to this item.


Alison Hume

I welcome the announcement of a new domestic abuse strategy by North Yorkshire Council.

Here in the UK one in four women will experience domestic abuse.

Every 30 seconds the police receive a call relating to domestic violence.

On average three women every fortnight are killed in England and Wales by a partner or former partner.

A recent report by the No Woman Turned Away Project found that, despite being required by the 2021 Domestic Abuse Act to provide refuge services and safe accommodation to domestic abuse victims, local authorities in England often did not have the resources or the knowledge to fulfil their statutory duty, failing victims.

I hope that the new North Yorkshire Council will be a beacon of hope for victims.  

Here in Scarborough, domestic abuse survivors are being forced to return to live with perpetrators, or face homelessness, because they are unable to get a place in a refuge. 

While dispersed accommodation in the community is often suitable, many women and children require the stable community environment offered by a refuge where services and support can be delivered more effectively.

Both IDAS and Beyond Housing have been progressing a refuge in Scarborough, which was first approved nearly ten years ago and finally received planning consent in June 2022.

As the “Our Vision” statement states that you are placing the “voice of the victim at the heart” of your response please could the Council confirm that this desperately needed refuge will be supported by the new strategy as women are literally crying out for this specialist provision.

Officer Response:

In reply, the Head of Community Safety and CCTV, Odette Robson explained that her presentation would provide further context but the proposed women’s refuge in Scarborough was a key element of the Safe Accommodation Strategy which included dispersed self-contained properties and Safe Haven, and reflected a holistic approach to meet victims’ needs and ensure they were kept safe from perpetrators.


Considered - a presentation by Odette Robson on domestic abuse arrangements in North Yorkshire Council. Members were advised about the local context across North Yorkshire and York and in Scarborough, the work done to provide safe accommodation and protect victims from perpetrators, the embedded multi-agency approach and use of commissioned services, the new governance model and development of the new Domestic Abuse Strategy 2024-28. Peaks in domestic abuse cases were referenced with attention drawn to sporting events and increased demand on services during the Covid pandemic. The types of safe accommodation, included but were not limited to refuges which were women only, and Safe Haven projects. Safe Haven was a national scheme. Most individuals who accessed this service were from outside of North Yorkshire, as they were leaving areas where they may be vulnerable. There was also ongoing work with perpetrators including a foundation which had been commissioned to develop a behavioural change programme. The HALO programme was also highlighted as a service which looked at illegal cultural harms and marginalised communities.


Following the presentation questions from members concerned:


-       Working with schools to promote a culture of prevention


-       The duration of the impact of COVID on domestic abuse


-       Concerns surrounding a well-known building in Scarborough being used as a refuge for victims.


-       Were 32 commitments too many to fulfil?


-       Absence of domestic violence as a category in police crime data


-       The delay in the 10 units which IDAS had been working on and concern surrounding the length of time this has taken.


-       Availability of temporary emergency accommodation for victims


In reply members were advised that:


-       Educational work in schools remained very important which was delivered locally by North Yorkshire Police school liaison officers and voluntary organisations.


-       One of the most significant impacts of the COVID pandemic was victims’ reduced access to services.  It took a long time to achieve that drop in recorded crimes after lockdown which reflected the complexity of domestic abuse and the multi-agency response required. A multi-agency strategy was developed with schemes within vaccination sites to raise awareness and aim to help victims.


-       The location of the proposed refuge in Scarborough had raised issues but this facility was just one element of a multi-faceted approach to support victims


-       The 32 commitments remained ambitious but there was a strong multi-agency approach behind the strategy

-       The council was working with North Yorkshire Police to overlay their data with domestic abuse incidents


-       A women’s refuge needed to be safe for victims, and communal living may not be appropriate for all.


-       The Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance Accreditation Process (DAHA) model was key to the provision of temporary emergency accommodation.  This was the benchmark for how Local Authority Housing Providers should respond to domestic abuse in the UK. There was a DAHA Coordinator in place and a multi faceted Delivery Plan was under development to achieve accreditation


Resolved – That the presentation be noted.






Appointments to Committees and Outside Bodies


Considered - A report of the Assistant Chief Executive (Legal and Democratic Services) which invited the committee to make appointments to the Development Plan Committee.


Resolved –


That the following members be appointed to the Development Plan Committee:


Cllr Liz Colling                                     Labour

Cllr Janet Jefferson                            North Yorkshire Independent

Cllr Phil Trumper                                Conservative






Scarborough & Whitby Area Constituency Committee Work Programme 2023/24


Considered -


The report of the Assistant Chief Executive (Legal and Democratic Services) asking Members to review the Work Programme, taking into account the outcome of discussions on previous agenda items and any other developments taking place across the area. Following the introduction of monthly briefings for the committee, members decided to review the work plan for 24-25 at the briefing in March. Potential items to be considered for the work programme included falls prevention and footpath gritting; dentistry provision; the McCain sewage outfall; major infrastructure renewal projects; and resilience in response to extreme weather events.


Resolved - That the Democracy Officer update the work programme to reflect the decisions made during the meeting.






Any Other Items


There was no urgent business.






Date of Next Meeting


Friday 22 March 2024






Reports circulated for information only


These were noted by the committee.






Rural Crime Report Scarborough and Whitby Autumn 2023





The meeting concluded at 1.00 pm.




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