Agenda and minutes

Skipton and Ripon Area Constituency Committee - Thursday, 1st June, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Education Room, Skipton Town Hall, High Street, Skipton, BD23 1AH

Contact: David Smith  Email:

No. Item


Election of a Chair

To elect a Member as Chair of the Skipton and Ripon Area Constituency Committee for the 2023/24 municipal year.


David Smith, Democratic Services and Scrutiny Officer for North Yorkshire Council (NYC) welcomed everyone to the meeting and stated that as this was the first meeting of the committee since the NYC AGM in May 2023, the first item of business would be the election of a Chairman.


Only Councillor Richard Foster was nominated for the position. A vote was taken and on a show of hands Councillor Foster was elected as Chair of the Committee, to serve until the first meeting of the Committee following the NYC AGM in May 2024.


Resolved –


(a)   That Councillor Richard Foster be appointed Chair, to serve until the first meeting of the Committee following the NYC AGM in May 2024.



Minutes of the Meeting held on 9th March 2023 pdf icon PDF 512 KB


Considered –


The minutes of the meeting of the Skipton and Ripon Area Constituency Committee held on 9 March 2023.


Resolved –


(a)   That the Minutes of the meeting of the Skipton and Ripon Area Constituency Committee held on 9 March 2023, having been printed and circulated, be taken as read and confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.


Election of a Vice Chair

To elect a Member as Vice-Chair of the Skipton and Ripon Area Constituency Committee for the 2023/24 municipal year.


Councillor Richard Foster asked for nominations for the Vice Chair of the Committee, to serve until the first meeting of the Committee following the NYC AGM in May 2024.


Councillor Andy Solloway was nominated and seconded, and so a vote was taken. Councillor Solloway was elected to be the Vice Chair of the Committee.


Resolved –


That Councillor Andy Solloway be appointed Vice Chair, to serve until the first meeting of the Committee following the NYC AGM in May 2024.



Apologies for Absence


There were no apologies for absence.



Declarations of Interest

All Members are invited to declare at this point any interests they have in items appearing on this agenda, including the nature of those interests.


There were none.


Public Questions or Statements

Members of the public may ask questions or make statements at this meeting if they have given notice (including the text of the question/statement) to David Smith of Democratic and Scrutiny Services and supplied the text (contact details below) by midday on Friday, 26th May 2023, three working days before the day of the meeting.  Each speaker should limit themselves to 3 minutes on any item.  Members of the public who have given notice will be invited to speak:-

·          at this point in the meeting if their questions/statements relate to matters which are not otherwise on the Agenda (subject to an overall time limit of 30 minutes);

·          when the relevant Agenda item is being considered if they wish to speak on a matter which is on the Agenda for this meeting.

If you are exercising your right to speak at this meeting, but do not wish to be recorded, please inform the Chairman who will instruct anyone who may be taking a recording to cease while you speak.



Ms Anne Beesley addressed the Committee on behalf of the Langcliffe Singers. Ms Beesley informed Members that the Langcliffe Singers are a community choir based in Settle, made up of Members from across North Yorkshire. As it is the 40-year anniversary of the Langcliffe Singers, they are looking to increase community engagement and they are having two November concerts in Settle and Skipton. In order to cover some of the monetary losses, and so that they can sell reduced price tickets to community groups, the Langcliffe Singers asked if Members could provide any funding.


The Chair thanked Ms Beesley for addressing the Committee and reminded Members that Locality Budgets could be used.



Update from RT Hon Julian Smith MP


Considered –


An update from the Rt Hon Julian Smith MP, provided remotely using MS Teams.


The Chair invited the Rt Hon Julian Smith MP to provide an update on his areas of work, concerns and priorities before there was a discussion with Members. The key points are as summarised below:


-        Central Government is still working to reduce inflation and provide support for those in need.

-        It has been announced that the Department for Health and Social Care has committed to rebuild Airedale Hospital by 2030. This was an ongoing concern of both the MP and Councillors.

-        Sewerage is still a problem in North Yorkshire, despite the recent discussions with Yorkshire Water. Members highlighted the importance that the cost of upgrading infrastructure is not paid for through customers’ water bills. Julian Smith MP reminded Councillors to contact him with specific issues regarding this.

-        The headline £2 bus trips are good for customers and so should be kept, but more regular buses need to be invested in and subsidised. The Skipton to Grassington route, number 72, was referenced.

-        The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill is important to local authorities as it gives them the ability to double council tax on second homes and allows them to control the building of second homes more greatly.

-        Licensing legislation only allows 16 Councillors to sit on the General Licensing and Registration Committee. This works for smaller councils, but it would be beneficial if larger councils could draw from a larger pool of Members so that Sub-Committee decisions can be made by local Members.

-        Residents have long waiting times when calling the 111 service. This should be raised with Scrutiny of Health and Julian Smith MP will investigate this issue.

-        The number of NHS dentists is reducing, which greatly impacts on the health of residents.

-        The parliamentary boundary changes are likely to take place.

-        Residents have had issues contacting the Department for Work and Pensions via phone and so Julian Smith MP will raise this issue with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

-        It was felt that Help to Buy ISAs assisted first time buyers more than the current Lifetime ISAs and so Julian Smith MP will raise this with the Chancellor of the Exchequer.


The Chair thanked the Rt Hon Julian Smith MP for attending the meeting.


Resolved –


a)     The Committee Chair thanked the Rt Hon Julian Smith MP for attending the meeting and providing an update for Members.



Area Constituency Committees - Ways of Working pdf icon PDF 290 KB

Additional documents:


Considered –


A report from Daniel Harry, Democratic Services and Scrutiny Manager, providing a guide to the ways of working for the Area Constituency Committees.


Daniel Harry introduced the report, drawing attention to the following points:


-        Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the ACCs and senior officers have been consulted on the report.

-        Mid-Cycle Briefings with the Chair, Vice-Chair and group spokes are to be used to develop the work programme. Some suggestions as to what could be included in the work programme can be found in the report.

-        Scrutiny should be coordinated between the ACCs and the relevant Overview and Scrutiny Committees.

-        ACCs have the power to make strong recommendations and it is advised that reports are not just to be noted.

-        The mechanics behind the £50,000 of funding that ACCs will have access to needs to be finalised, but it will be held by the relevant corporate director.


A debate followed with the below key points being discussed:


-        The economic development department should work closely with the ACCs.

-        The ACCs should work closely with the Executive, making recommendations on policies and influencing decisions.

-        The ACCs are the platform for Members to bring the issues that have been raised by residents.

-        The ACCs should start discussing projects that could use the £50,000 soon so that the opportunity is not wasted.

-        The meetings should alternate between Skipton, Ripon and potentially other areas of the constituency. Members should be consulted on this as some felt that, as Skipton is equidistant and has all the required resources, ACCs should be based there. Daniel Harry highlighted that there would be cost, staff and resource implications if venues were alternated.

-        ACC meetings should be broadcasted which may negate the need to alternate the venue. Daniel Harry informed Members that an options paper is being produced regarding the recording and broadcasting of meetings.

-        Some Members agreed that meeting dates, times and venues should be changeable, in consultation with the committee Chair and Members. Others felt that the corporate calendar should not be changed as this could affect Member availability to attend meetings. Daniel Harry informed Members that this decision was going to the Member Working Group on the Constitution of 12th June 2023.


Resolved –


a)     That the report, Terms of Reference and suggested ways of working are noted.


Economic Development - Verbal Update on the Economic Development Strategy and Tourism Strategy


Considered –


            A presentation from David Caulfield, Assistant Director for Growth Planning and Trading Standards, providing Members with an update on the Economic Growth Strategy and the Destination Management Plan.


            David Caulfield gave a presentation, providing Members with an update on the economic development strategies. The following key points were raised:


-        That there are two key strategies: the Economic Growth Strategy and the Destination Management Plan (tourism strategy). The public and stakeholder consultations for these strategies are currently in progress.

-        The Economic Growth Strategy is being developed as one clear approach is required when it comes to economic development. The consultation has received positive feedback and engagement. The key challenges facing economic growth currently are; energy supply infrastructure, skills and access to labour, transport, assisting businesses to achieve net zero and the supply of sites and premises. However, opportunities for economic growth include; LGR has provided the perfect opportunity to be bold, ambitious and innovative, Covid has increased the number of remote workers who can now live rurally, there is support for growth in agri-food energy, a bioeconomy and natural capital and it is a good opportunity to support the net zero transition in agriculture. Further consultation is taking place before the Strategy goes to the Executive.

-        The Destination Management Plan (tourism strategy) has received positive feedback during the consultation period and further consultation is taking place before the Plan goes to the Executive. There has been a focus on ‘place’, ‘people’, ‘product’ and ‘data and intelligence’. The Skipton and Ripon workshops were well received with the following feedback being provided: disperse people to less known places, use gateways such as airports and ferry ports to advertise, improve wifi connectivity, improve transport, attract a younger market and extend the season. A product audit is underway to identify what stakeholders in the area have to offer.


Following the presentation, the below key points were raised in the discussion:


-        Once the strategies have been approved, a more detailed action plan will be produced. Members of the ACC will be consulted on this so that a local perspective can be integrated. The action plan should include the expected outcomes and timeframes for policies.

-        The strategies will go to the relevant Member working groups and Overview and Scrutiny Committees before being adopted.

-        A way for those visiting North Yorkshire to see what is available in the area should be produced.

-        There should be more of a focus on NYC’s ambition to reach net zero.

-        A bioeconomy and natural capital should only be aimed for where appropriate as they often contradict each other.

-        Old sites and premises should be transformed, rather than relying on building new sites.

-        North Yorkshire shouldn’t be sold as a product, but rather an experience. This should be across North, South, East and West Yorkshire and these areas should not compete.

-        There was interest in creating a separate Ripon brand.

-        Getting better connectivity for residents was a key concern.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62.


Digital Demand Responsive Bus Service (YOR Bus) - Business and Environment Services, NYC pdf icon PDF 449 KB


Considered –


A report from Andrew Clarke, Public and Community Transport Manager, updating the Committee on the YorBus pilot Digital Demand Responsive Bus Service which will end on 30 June 2023.


Andrew Clarke introduced the report, explaining what the scheme had involved, why it had failed and what the next steps were. A ‘lessons learned’ report will be produced to shape public transport provision in the future. Councillor George Jabbour addressed the Committee, stating that the innovative trial had not been a complete failure and that NYC should focus on improving standard buses to make them more effective and that taxis should play a larger role in public transport. Members agreed with these points, commending officers and NYC for attempting the innovative strategy. There was agreement that ways to draw people to public transport need to be looked into.


Resolved –


a)     That the information in the report is noted.



Appointments to Outside Bodies pdf icon PDF 279 KB

Additional documents:


Considered –


A report by Christine Phillipson, Principal Democratic Services and Scrutiny Officer, inviting the Committee to make appointments, on behalf of the Council, to various outside bodies.


            David Smith, Democratic Services and Scrutiny Officer, introduced the report, informing Members that all the vacancies marked in red were to be decided by the Committee. Daniel Harry, Democratic Services and Scrutiny Manager, informed Members that a review of outside bodies is to take place soon and that appointments to category 1 outside bodies are made by the Executive or Full Council. Councillor Andy Brown suggested that the ACCs are consulted on the appointments to category 1 outside bodies.


            Councillor Andrew Murday suggested that Gouthwaite Reservoir Board of Management required more NYC seats as it’s membership had been severely reduced since LGR. Daniel Harry reported that it is up to the Board to decide the number of NYC seats, but that they had been contacted.


            Resolved –


a)     That Members are to inform David Smith, Democratic Services and Scrutiny Officer, before the next ACC meeting, of any nominations they wish to make so that they can be approved.



Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 262 KB

Additional documents:


Considered -


A report by David Smith, Democratic Services and Scrutiny Officer, inviting Members to consider, amend and add to the Committee’s work programme.


The Chair introduced the report before Members suggested the following items for the work programme:


-        An update on the standardisation of services after LGR. It was agreed that, as work is ongoing to standardise council services, the ACC should not review this yet.

-        A report from Yorkshire Water, looking into their investment programme and how they are planning to deal with the releasing of sewerage.

-        A similar role to that previously taken on by the former District and Borough Councils regarding Crime and Disorder.

-        A briefing note on the economic development and investment plans in the Skipton and Ripon area. A meeting should then be setup with Economic Development officers so that ideas can be discussed.

-        That the review of GP access and Modality is delayed until further information is available.


Members were also reminded that they can contact David Smith if they have additional items for the work programme.


Resolved –


a)     That the above additions are made to the work programme.



Any Other Items

Any other items which the Chair agrees should be considered as a matter of urgency because of special circumstances.


There were no other items.


Date of Next Meeting

Thursday, 31 August 2023 at 10.00am.


Thursday, 31August 2023 at 10.00am.


Some Members suggested that the date was changed to 7September 2023 at 10.00am.