North Yorkshire Council




18 April 2023


Area Constituency Committee Feedback









Purpose of the Report


To bring to the attention of the Executive key issues considered at recent meetings of the Area Constituency Committees.


2.0       Skipton and Ripon Area Constituency Committee – 9 March 2023


2.1       At the Skipton and Ripon Area Constituency Committee in March a public question was submitted by Cllr Chris Moorby of Craven DC, regarding the use of speed cameras on the A65 and the A682 to help regulate the speed of vehicles and to promote road safety.


2.2       The Rt Hon Julian Smith MP provided an overview of some of the key issues arising in Westminster and through his constituency work.  He then took questions from the committee covering: increased used of fixed and variable speed cameras in some areas; concerns about water quality and sewerage release into the River Aire; bank branch closures in market towns; and the future of Airedale Hospital, following concerns about its structural integrity and the need for a new build on the same site. 


2.3       At the previous committee meeting, a petition was considered regarding the restoration of a commercial bus service between Ingleton and Lancaster.  At the March meeting, the committee received an update on progress with the commissioning a service to link Bentham to Hornby and learned that a link service would be provided 2 days a week on a trial basis from late-May 2023, making the connecting service to Lancaster more accessible and practicable.


2.4       The committee received an overview on the level of economic development in the Ripon area, how it varied and what more can be done to stimulate it.  This followed a similar briefing regarding the Craven area that was considered at the September 2022 meeting of the committee.  Members representing the Ripon area were keen to understand that progress being made with the ‘Ripon Masterplan’ and detailed plans for economic development there.


2.5       Finally, the Stronger Communities Team provided an update on the work that they had delivered and supported in the area over the past 12 months.  Key aspects of this included: the role that the voluntary and community sector had to play in the provision of prevention services and how this could be supported by the Council; and access to funding streams for small, community projects and how those were publicised, and groups supported to apply for them.


3.0         Harrogate and Knaresborough Area Constituency Committee – 16 March 2023


3.1       Two statements were put to the Committee’s meeting on 16 March. One statement about the Proposed Development at Rotary Woods by Danone/Harrogate Spring Water, which identified a number of environmental and other concerns together with planning policies/other plans that were relevant to planning development. A response on behalf of the Council thanked the participant and encouraged everyone who shared those views to continue to pass them to the relevant council officers so that they could be considered when the planning application was determined. As members of the Committee would be considering the application, no comments were made to avoid suggestions of predetermination.


3.2       The second statement was from the Oatlands Road Safety and Active Travel Campaign group. It considered road safety and the successful introduction of 20 mph maximum speed limits in other areas. The group wanted safer streets for the community and were in the process of submitting a petition to North Yorkshire County Council for a maximum speed of 20 mph on roads in south and west Harrogate. The officer response confirmed the Council was engaging with the group proactively on the issues - a meeting had taken place with the group and another meeting would be held shortly with the Council’s Highway officers.


3.3       The Committee received an update on the Active Travel Plan for North Yorkshire that identified the benefits to residents of walking, using bus routes and cycling to both the environment and health and wellbeing, which led to questions around a number of key themes as follows:

·          Improvements to the A61 Leeds Road Corridor to alleviate congestion

·          Alternative uses for the funding allocation for the Otley Road improvements and smaller improvements around the District such as better signage to alert road users

·          The assessment of schemes for air quality management and the capability assessment part of the funding application

·          The indicative allocation of £1.8M noting that this could be significantly different

·          The importance of KPIs, such as the number of cars removed from the road as a result, etc.

·          The involvement of local Councillors confirming that local Members were to be consulted on plans at the next stage


3.4       The Committee also received two presentations.  The first from the Corporate Affairs Advisor Yorkshire Water regarding the River Nidd, assets along the river and plans to improve river health.  This led to questions relating to:

·          The actions taken to prevent water getting into the system, water volume indicators, overflow warning signs, liaison with developers and measures at Bilton Beck

·          The inclusion of biodiversity and environmental impacts within any cost/benefit analysis.

·          The receipt of regular updates on sewage discharges and improvements and a potential site visit to Bilton Treatment Works

·          The surge capacity of the network given the amount of development around the district

·          The technology improvements and mitigations that have been explored by YW noting that many issues were outside of its remit and the responsibility of different organisations

·          The flooding and tourist implications after an overflow and when rivers were safe.

·          The £180M granted for improvements was subject to approval/allocation and was part of an intensive cost-benefit analysis.

·          YW had not paid dividends to its shareholders for the last seven years and it was anticipated this would continue


3.5       The second from the Destination Events Manager on the DMOs Destination Harrogate work over the last year, detailing the Destination Management Plan and the delivery of the Inward Investment Plan. Many questions were asked around the following key themes:

·          The increased length of stay from 3.3 to 3.5 days was highlighted and how this would be affected if the HCC was not redeveloped

·          The environmental impact of tourism within the District

·          The DMO’s connection to other places within the District such as Knaresborough noting there were several DMO’s across the County but the two leading ‘attack brand’ areas were Harrogate and Scarborough

·          Members praised the most recent Christmas market noting that the team were investigating the possibility of having the market run for longer in 2023


3.6       Finally, an annual update from the Stronger Communities Delivery Manager detailed the work of the team over the last year, supporting a shift in focus for the Community Support Organisations (CSOs) in 2022/23, from pandemic response to recovery.  The report also detailed funding and opportunities for the CSOs. The Committee expressed its thanks and congratulated the team on their fantastic work supporting people. They also noted a potential deficit in support for the local Harrogate community during the local government reorganisation until the formation of Harrogate Town Council. It was agreed that Cllrs Peter Lacey and Sam Gibbs bring a proposal to the Committee after 1 April 2023.


4.0       Richmond (Yorks) Area Constituency Committee – 22 March 2023


4.1       The Committee received an annual update from the Stronger Communities team, detailing their work over 2022/23.  They noted the core aims of the wider Stronger Communities Programme, the range of activities the team contributed to, and their key achievements:


4.2       The discussed at length the ongoing development of Community Anchor Organisations and noted their proposed characteristics and activities.  In recognising that those organisations would replace the existing CSOs, Members queried the steps being taken to harness and retain the expertise and commitment of those individuals involved in the work of the CSOs, moving forward.


4.3       The Committee also made a Trustee appointment to John Dakyn’s Education Charity at Kirby Hill and discussed their potential work programme for the coming year.  Finally, they discussed the possibility of changes to MP constituency areas and the potential knock on effects that would have on the Area Constituency Committees.


5.0       Scarborough and Whitby Area Constituency Committee – 24 March 2023


5.1       At the Scarborough and Whitby Area Constituency Committee meeting in March a public question was received regarding the proposal to amalgamate Caedmon College and Eskdale School from 1 September 2024 and the knock on effects of this for the road safety of the students affected. In response, it was noted the public consultation regarding the amalgamation proposals was still ongoing, but that further dialogue between Council departments would take place on whether any highway improvements were necessary to ensure student safety, as it is a top priority.


5.2       The Committee received an update from Alex Richards, Head of Economic Development at Scarborough Borough Council (SBC), on the Scarborough and Whitby Town Deals, providing a progress report on the projects being delivered to support the respective Town Investment Plans. There was also an update given on the Levelling Up Fund (LUF), following the Round 2 allocations and the unsuccessful bids for both SBC and the County Council. The presentation went on to outline the alternative options for delivering the Pavilion House and FabLab projects in Scarborough given the LUF setback, with the recommendation from the Scarborough Town Deal Board to explore alternative funding options, whilst concurrently developing plan B proposals for FabLab.


5.3       An update on the creation of the North Yorkshire Cyber Security Network was also provided, detailing the work of the Borough Council alongside private and public sector partners and the steps taken to date with this exciting partnership. The Cyber Security Network aims to raise awareness of online harms and cyber best practice, upskill SMEs in digital skills and cyber security, and make Scarborough a centre of excellence for Operational Technology security.


5.4       The Committee was joined by Rt Hon Sir Robert Goodwill MP to provide an overview of some of the key issues arising in Westminster and through his constituency work, with topics discussed including the ongoing public consultation on the draft recommendations to create a new town council for Scarborough, the DEFRA investigation into the shellfish mortality incident and its impact on the local fishing community, the recent cancellation of appointments at Scarborough Hospital due to a lack of consultants and pushing for further government support for leisure centres with swimming pools.


5.5       Two petitions were considered. The first regarding ‘Save Eskdale School’, resulted in a recommendation from the Committee to the Executive that if the consultation results in amalgamation, the local authority will allocate funding to put in place support measures, including financial support for such extra costs as uniforms, to assist parents and students during the transition. The second petition received was about saving the 840 bus route to Whitby from Leeds. The Committee was supportive of attempts to retain the 840 service in the long term beyond the end of summer review date, so agreed that the ACC Chair would write to the Chair of the Transport, Economy, Environment and Enterprise (TEEE) Overview and Scrutiny Committee ahead of TEEE considering an update on rural bus services report, to highlight the views of the committee.


5.6       A report on transport connectivity within the constituency was also presented, to update on the Local Transport Plan, active travel, public transport, rail and National Highways projects. Issues around the A64 dualling, the future plans to improve the frequency of trains and the extension of the £2 bus fare cap were discussed.


5.7       The final item was an annual report from the Stronger Communities team, with members noting the work of the CSOs, details of grants awarded in the constituency, the variety of funding opportunities available for organisations to apply for and the work undertaken with local organisations.


6.0       Thirsk and Malton Area Constituency Committee – 31 March 2023


6.1       The Committee received an annual update from the Stronger Communities Delivery Manager, Paddy Chandler, detailing their work over 2022/23.  They noted the core aims of the wider Stronger Communities Programme, the range of activities the team contributed to, and their key achievements. Members highlighted issues in relation to:

•    The Community Mental Health transformation

•    The continued work of CSOs


6.2       Members discussed their concerns regarding the diminishing availability of services such as banking and Post Office in local towns and villages. County Councillor George Jabbour highlighted issues related to the removal of Post Office services from Helmsley and, despite assurances that these would be reintroduced, nothing had yet materialised. The Committee agreed that representatives of the Post Office be invited to the next Meeting of the ACC to specifically discuss the Helmsley issue, and it was further suggested that the overall issue could be the subject of a Scrutiny review.


6.3       A report from North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Service was considered by Members, which provided an update on initiatives undertaken in the Constituency area. Members requested that future reports should provide details of rural policing taking place in the east of the Constituency area, particularly Hunmanby and Filey and their surrounding areas.               






7.0       Recommendation


7.1       That the Executive notes the report and considers any matters arising from the work of the Area Constituency Committees detailed above, that merit further scrutiny, review or investigation at a county-level.


Barry Khan

Assistant Chief Executive (Legal and Democratic Services)

County Hall





Statement from Pannal and Burn Bridge Parish Council for Harrogate and Knaresborough Area Constituency Committee - Wednesday 12 October 2022 at 10.00AM


Relating to item 7 on the agenda, Pannal and Burn Bridge Parish Council wish to make the following comments:


For the first time, to our knowledge, (HTIP recap 3.3) reference has been made in the public domain to the plight of Pannal and Burn Bridge relating to the explosion of housing and projected employment sites to the west of Harrogate. It is amazing that, despite our making NYCC aware of this prior to 2019, there is at last some recognition and realisation that, apart from tinkering at the edges, nothing of significance has been planned to mitigate what will be gridlock in Harrogate’s Western Arc.


We believed that all relevant factors were taken into account but it appears the wheel is being reinvented. In HTIP recap 3.1, it refers to the conclusion of the first stage of HTIP. We’re still awaiting the second stakeholder meeting (promised for October) concerning the fully costed and detailed implementation plan that was missing from the West of Harrogate Parameters Plan. So how can the first stage of HTIP be complete? The Otley Road cycle path, increased bus frequency and active travel were meant to be the panacea for all ills to mitigate congestion into Harrogate. None of these plans would have any real effect on the huge increase in traffic through Pannal and Burn Bridge arising from the Western Arc developments.


Consultations with, and consultants from, developers and others seem to have delivered next to nothing since 2019. The timescales in points 4.1 to 4.4 allude to kicking the can further down the road as if there is something new and unforeseen that has arisen since 2019. There isn’t anything other than what we in the Western Arc have been telling NYCC and HBC for years.


There are now so many acronyms that we have lost track of what is going on. Some clarification is needed please – HTIP (Mk 1 or 2), WHIDP, WHIDS, IDS, IDP, WoH (that's brand new for us), WHPP, etc. Does HTIP v 2 include WHIDS as it would appear to concentrate on the A61 rather than what is needed to Harrogate's west? Has the costed and detailed plan for traffic on the west of Harrogate that was promised, been shelved, delayed - once again - or incorporated into HTIP v 2 or WoH or both?


We’re sure a detailed response to our comments will be provided by NYCC but, as HBC will cease to exist within a few months, has it given up the ghost with its participation with NYCC but continues with its liaison with developers? Efforts are being made to have a complete plan for Maltkiln, which is probably many years away – something that was sadly lacking for the Western Arc of Harrogate. Please shelve the Maltkiln survey until you have solved the urgent matters for what is happening now in the lanes and former cart tracks to the west of Harrogate.


We come to item 9 in the report where recommendation is made to merely “consider this update and note its content”. Our recommendation is for Members to effect the equivalent of a kick up the backside (immediate action) to get meaningful results now rather than procrastination and excuses.


Howard West

Chairman, Pannal and Burn Bridge Parish Council


Response to the statement from Pannal and Burn Bridge Parish Council from Louise Neale (Team Leader Transport Planning, Highways and Transportation)


There are two main workstreams which are separate but very closely linked. HTIP is the Harrogate Transport Improvement Programme which is being lead by NYCC as the Local Transport Authority, the focus of which is “…to improve facilities for all road users, but would particularly seek to improve provision for pedestrians and cyclists, provide bus priority to enhance the experience of using passenger transport, and also seek to tackle some of the most problematic junctions in the study area.” This workstream seeks to address existing congestion issues and promote more sustainable modes of transport. Upon completion of the study work, it is anticipated that a business case will be submitted to the DfT to secure funding to deliver the works on site.


The other workstream is focussed on mitigating the impacts of the developments in the West of Harrogate urban expansion, which seeks to deliver 2500 new houses, two schools, local centres and employment land. The promotors have commissioned a transport consultant to prepare a transport study, which looks at the cumulative impact of all of the developments, as well as other committed developments in the study area and identifies junctions and links which require mitigation as a result of these developments. This work will be funded by the developers through Section 106 contributions and delivered by the Local Highway Authority. Should the bid for funding for HTIP be unsuccessful, then there would still be an intention to deliver these improvements through the Section 106 contributions.


As such, the workstreams are separate, but intrinsically linked, and any delay in one work stream can unfortunately impact the other. Much of the relevant information is being worked up by consultants representing different development companies, plus planning officers from HBC working with our own officers to understand the assessment of highway impact and then consider potential approaches to mitigation. Due to the complexity of the planning matters involved, including the number of developers, the timelines to which they are working, and the cumulative effect of the developments overall, that work in itself has been extremely time consuming and complex, and much of the detail relevant to HTIP has only recently become available.


NYCC have engaged with an external consultant, RPS, to undertake a buildability and costing exercise on their behalf. Since the mitigation works are being constructed by the Local Highway Authority (LHA) and funded through S106 contributions, the LHA requires certainty that enough funding will be secured, and also that the proposals being brought forth by the promotors can be delivered. This workstream is also still ongoing, though good progress has been made and it is nearing its conclusion. The outcome from this work and the cumulative transport strategy will feed into the West Harrogate Infrastructure Delivery Strategy.


NYCC and HBC are working closely on all West of Harrogate workstreams and this will continue after local government reorganisation.


Supplementary Question from Pannal and Burn Bridge Parish Council


Parish Councillor Howard West commented that there were actually 4,000 new houses, rather than 2,500 as mentioned in the response.


Parish Councillor Howard West asked where, in all the work carried out by the County Council, Borough Council and developers, was there any clarity or commitment on deliverables that would truly off-set the effects of the excessive developments proposed for the western arc of Harrogate. So far, everything the Parish Council was seeing constituted tinkering around the edges, is process driven, and lacks real solutions. Compare this with what has happened in Maltkiln. Two totally different worlds.


Allan McVeigh (Head of Network Strategy, Highways and Transportation) responded that a huge amount of work was already in progress regarding junction mitigation. This is the RPS study mentioned by Louise Neale. Officers are also pushing the process very hard in relation to Active Travel and Sustainable Transport. Proposals were coming forwarded which included bus service improvements too. An awful lot of work is on-going but, at the moment, it is still ‘work in progress’