Venue: Remote meeting held via Microsoft Teams
Contact: Melanie Carr Email: Melanie.firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of the Executive, Corporate Management Team and Scrutiny Board introduced themselves, and County Councillor Carl Les welcomed other Councillors and officers present at the meeting.
Thatthe public Minutesof themeeting heldon 16 February 2021,having been printedand circulated,betakenas readand confirmedby theChairmanas acorrect record.
Declarations of Interest
In regard to Agenda item 5, County Councillor Carl Les declared a non-pecuniary interest as a Board Member of Welcome to Yorkshire. He and County Councillor Janet Sanderson also both declared a non-pecuniary interest, as Chair and Member of the Trustee Board of North Yorkshire Youth respectively.
In addition, it was noted that as an employee of one of the organisations listed in Appendix 5D, Cllr Michael Harrison had a dispensation from the Standards Committee to vote on matters related to Treasury Management.
Public Questions and Statements
Members of the public may ask questions or make statements at this meeting if they have given notice to Melanie Carr of Democratic and Scrutiny Services and supplied the text (contact details below) by midday on Thursday 4 March 2021, 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.
There were no public questions or statements.
a) Note the latest position for the County Council’s 2020/21 Revenue Budget, as summarised in paragraph 2.1.2.
b) Note the position on the GWB (paragraphs 2.4.1 to 2.4.3)
c) Note the position on the ‘Strategic Capacity – Unallocated’ reserve (paragraphs 2.4.4 to 2.4.6)
d) Note the position on the County Council’s Treasury Management activities during the third quarter of 2020/21
e) Refer this report to the Audit Committee for their consideration as part of the overall monitoring arrangements for Treasury Management.
f) Extend the secured loan facility of up to £500k to Welcome to Yorkshire to 1 April 2022
g) If an extension is agreed, delegate authority to the Corporate Director for Strategic Resources and the Assistant Chief Executive (Legal & Democratic Services) to complete the necessary arrangements with Welcome to Yorkshire on existing terms.
h) Note the updated Q3 2020/21 Capital Plan; and
i) Note the additional funding requirement for the Kex Gill realignment scheme (paragraph 4.5).
Considered– A joint report ofthe Chief Executive and the Corporate Director for Strategic Resources, bringing together key aspects of the County Council’s performance on a quarterly basis.
County Councillor David Chance introduced the Quarter 3 performance report, confirming the Council continued to demonstrate good performance across all four of its ambitions. He provided a brief summary of the strengths and challenges in performance across the four ambitions. In particular, he highlighted:
· GCSE Results
· Low repeat referrals for children’s social care
· The final report arising from the Rural Commission, to be published in Spring
· The ongoing work of Stronger Communities, working with 23 community organisations around the county, helping an average of 2600 people a week
· The County Council’s approved plans to become a gateway organisation under the Governments Kickstart scheme, offering 33 placements for young people within the Council, and 205 within 46 partner organisations
· The number of staff working from home - 3,237 on average weekdays
· The reduction in mileage costs throughout the Covid period
· An increase in public satisfaction in Highways and transportation
· The ongoing challenge of supporting the recovery of local businesses
· The impact of Covid on voluntary organisations with concern mounting about their future - over a third had needed to use their financial reserves in order to survive
· 56% of permanent placements for older people were currently above the authority’s approved rates (87% in Harrogate)
· EHC Plans had increased to 3450 (a 13% increase from Qtr3 2020), with 145 new EHC Plans issued in the Quarter
· An increase in referrals from the Police (1780 in Qtr3 – up by 15%)
County Councillor Carl Les acknowledged the strong performance the County Council continued to deliver, and County Councillor Janet Sanderson introduced the in-depth focus of the performance report on ‘Every child & young person has the best possible start in life’. She drew particular attention to:
· The lack of Ofsted inspections and formal exams due to school closures, as part of the Covid-19 lockdown measures
· The challenge of keeping schools open to ensure all vulnerable children and those with complex needs continued to attend school
· Good attendance levels (85-90% of those children had attended each day)
· A rise in elected home education, with the offer of support provided by Early Help
· Full term and permanent exclusions reduced for a second Qtr running
· The increase in Police referrals, thought to be due to an increased awareness campaign run by the Police around safeguarding issues
· The timeliness of assessments
· Child Protection Plans remained stable with no spikes in demand but there was some concern around the level of second and subsequent Plans
· The anticipated rise in Looked After Children had not materialised
· A reduction in the number of dental checks was cause for concern – work would continue to lobby for good health and dental assessments
· 96.2% of Care Leavers were living in suitable accommodation – NYCC being the ... view the full minutes text for item 564.
The report seeks approval for the final deployment of the Covid Winter Grant allocation to support vulnerable households and families with children affected by the pandemic.
Considered - Report of the Corporate Director for Children & Young People’s Service seeking approval for the final deployment of the Covid Winter Grant allocation to support vulnerable households and families with children affected by the pandemic.
County Councillor Janet Sanderson introduced the report confirming that the Council received an ring-fenced funding from the Government to support vulnerable households with children over the holiday period. She confirmed that a local eligibility framework had been introduced to grant payments to schools and academies, early years providers and post-16 schools and colleges, enabling allocations based on free school meal or pupil premium data. She also noted that the initial round of payments were distributed in time for Christmas.
Stuart Carlton, Corporate Director for Children and Young People Services drew Members’ attention to the proposal to provide supermarket vouchers at £15 per week to cover the two weeks at Easter holiday period, and confirmed that the Government had very recently announced some further funding would now be made available to cover that period up to 16 April 2021. With this in mind, he requested two additional recommendations be considered i.e.:
(iii) Approve an allocation equivalent to a further £20 one-off funding for other household essentials but with schools being granted further flexibilities should they believe local circumstances warrant such flexibility
(iv) To delegate to the Corporate Director for Children and Young People’s Services, in consultation with the appropriate Executive Member, the ability to administer the scheme and exercise his discretion in granting additional flexibilities
County Councillor Gareth Dadd welcomed the proposal to allow schools the flexibility to respond to their local circumstances, recognising they were best placed to identify those most in need of further support.
All Executive Members voted in favour of the revised recommendations, and it was
Resolved - That:
i) The deployment of funding to schools, academies, colleges and early years’ providers to provide supermarket vouchers totalling £15 per week for 2 weeks prior to the start of the Easter break be approved.
ii) The allocation of supermarket vouchers totalling £15 per week for 2 weeks for eligible care leavers prior to the start of the Easter break be approved.
(iii) An allocation equivalent to a further £20 one-off funding for other household essentials be approved, but with schools being granted further flexibilities should they believe local circumstances warrant such flexibility
(iv) The ability to administer the scheme and exercise discretion in granting additional flexibilities be delegated to the Corporate Director for Children and Young People’s Services, in consultation with the appropriate Executive Member.
To consider a proposal to close the St Hilda's Roman Catholic Primary School, with effect from 9 April 2021.
A report of the Corporate Director - Children and Young People’s Service providing information to support the Executive in determining a proposal to close St Hilda’s Roman Catholic Primary School.
County Councillor Janet Sanderson introduced the report which recommended closure of the school with effect from 9 April 2021, and detailed the issues raised in the one objection received to the statutory notices.
The Executive and paid tribute to County Councillor Joe Plant for his efforts alongside the governing body to identify options that would allow the school to remain sustainable. They agreed that with only two children remaining on the school roll, the reasons for the proposal to close the school as laid out in the report, were correct and expressed sadness that closure was the only viable option at this stage.
With that in mind, the Executive voted unanimously in favour of the recommendations, and it was
Resolved – That:
a) The issues listed in paragraph 9.2 of the report had been satisfied and there could therefore be a determination of the proposals.
b) That the Local Authority cease to maintain St Hilda’s Roman Catholic (Voluntary Aided) Primary School, Whitby with effect from 9 April 2021.
This report seeks approval for the approach to deploying the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme grant funding allocation, to support eligible children in the period Easter 2021 through to Christmas 2021.
Considered – A report of the Corporate Director for Children & Young People’s Service outlining the funding allocation for North Yorkshire County Council and the conditions of grant relating to the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme.
County Councillor Janet Sanderson introduced the report, and provided an overview of the proposals for the approach to deploying the HAF Programme grant funding allocation, aimed at supporting eligible children in the period Easter 2021 through to Christmas 2021. It was noted the Programme would provide healthy food and enriching activities to disadvantaged children who might otherwise not have them.
Stuart Carlton, Corporate Director for Children & Young People’s Services confirmed it was a follow on scheme for school holidays and not a replacement for the free school meals scheme. It was not expected that all children who received free school meals would take part.
The Executive voted unanimously in favour of the recommendations, and it was
Resolved – That:
(i) The approach to the local implementation of the Holiday Activities and Food programme in North Yorkshire for Easter 2021 be endorsed;
(ii) Authority be delegated to the Corporate Director – Children & Young People’s Service to develop the framework and approach for planning and organising activities for Summer 2021 and Christmas 2021 consistent with the scheme aims and objective.
To consider proposed appointments to Committees and Outside Bodies
Considered – A report of the Assistant Chief Executive (Legal and Democratic Services) proposing an appointment to the North Yorkshire Health and Wellbeing Board
Resolved – That the appointment of Ashley Green, Chief Executive Officer, as the nominated deputy representative for Healthwatch North Yorkshire, be recommended to Council.
Members considered an Executive extract from the Forward Plan for the period from 1 March 2021 to 31 March 2022.
Resolved – That the Forward Plan be noted.