Decision details

Strategic review of the Outdoor Learning Service

Decision Maker: Chief Executive Officer

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Report on the strategic review of the Outdoor Learning Service and bringing recommendations for the service going forward as agreed at meeting on 16 February 2021


The Chief Executive Officer considered the report presented at the informal meeting of Executive Members held on 21 September 2021. Having taken account of the comments made by Executive Members and all relevant information provided at the meeting, he:
i)Approved in principle the redevelopment of Bewerley Park in two phases, with a new accommodation block in phase 1 funded by a policy investment and the central hub and further accommodation in phase 2 linked to recommendation v.
ii)Approved in principle improvements at East Barnby to ensure facilities are of a standard which can maintain existing customers and grow the customer base.
iii)Approved an investment of up to £400,000 for the Outdoor Learning Service alongside the Property Service, Procurement and the North Yorkshire consultancy ‘Align Property Partners’, to move to full business case to include:
•draw up detailed designs for capital work at both sites
•investigate and apply for any required planning permission
•undertake any surveys necessary in securing planning permission
•go to the market for tenders for the proposed building work
iv)Offered the Outdoor Learning Service the opportunity to prove it can operate as an efficient service with a commercial ethos by undertaking the following:
•Implement a new Outdoor Learning Strategy which includes marketing and business development
•Recruitment to key posts in the service leadership team
•Evidence of an increase in engagement with customers and external organisations, where permitted.
•Evidence of investigating commercial opportunities
•Evidence of seeking out other funding streams
v)Invited the service to return with a full business case, to agree the implementation of phase 1.
This decision was taken in consultation with Executive Members

Reasons for the decision:

Under his delegated decision making powers in the Officers’ Delegation Scheme in the Council’s Constitution, the Chief Executive Officer has power, in cases of emergency, to take any decision which could be taken by the Council, the Executive or a committee.
Following on from the expiry of the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 (“the 2020 Regulations”), which allowed for committee meetings to be held remotely, the County Council resolved at its meeting on 5 May 2021 that, for the present time, in light of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic circumstances, remote live-broadcast committee meetings should continue (as informal meetings of the Committee Members), with any formal decisions required being taken by the Chief Executive Officer under his emergency decision making powers and after consultation with other Officers and Members as appropriate and after taking into account any views of the relevant Committee Members and all relevant information. This approach was reviewed in July and will be further reviewed in September 2021.
The Chief Executive Officer took all relevant information into account in exercising his emergency delegated powers in this matter, including considering the views of the Executive Members and made the decisions set out above for the reasons set out in the body of the report – see report attached.

Alternative options considered:


Publication date: 24/09/2021

Date of decision: 21/09/2021

Effective from: 02/10/2021