Venue: Room 3, County Hall, Northallerton
Contact: Melanie Carr Email: Melanie.email@example.com
Members of the Executive and Corporate Management Team introduced themselves, followed by other Councillors present at the meeting.
Thatthe public Minutesof themeeting heldon 8 November 2022having been printedand circulated,betakenas readand confirmedby theChairmanas acorrect record.
Declarations of Interest
In regard to Agendaitem 6,CountyCouncillorMichaelHarrisondeclared adisclosable interest,as an employeeofone ofthe organisationslisted in Treasury Management Appendix B. Heconfirmedhe had adispensation fromthe StandardsCommittee enabling himto remainin the meetingand vote onAgenda item6.
Exclusion of the public from the meeting during consideration of each of the items of business listed in Column 1 of the following table on the grounds that they each involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the paragraph(s) specified in column 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 as amended by the Local Government (Access to information)(Variation) Order 2006:-
That on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 as amended by the Local government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006, the public was excluded from the meeting during consideration of agenda item 10 – Capital funding request to purchase property in North Yorkshire.
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 24 November 2022, 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 to public questions received. The first from Ms Helen Tomlinson, as follows:
‘With the new Council being remote and the number of elected representatives being drastically reduced, it is important for local democracy to have effective mechanisms for North Yorkshire residents to be informed about and consulted on important issues.
Regrettably, the current consultation on priorities for the new Council does not give any grounds for optimism. The survey is a jumbled confusion of issues and, crucially, provides the public with none of the information needed to give meaningful answers about Council priorities.
For example, one question asks ‘What should be the new council priorities over the next three years’ and lists 11 issues to be put into rank order. Strangely, Adult Social Care is mentioned in the preamble and as a front line service but is then not listed as one of the issues to be ranked.
There is no information about what the new Council might do in relation to any of these issues or what costs might be involved. The first issue listed is ‘value for money’ - a no-cost issue and, surely, important to everyone but we are required to ‘rank’ it against ‘education and childcare’ that already accounts for almost £600 million of County Council spending.
I wonder what would happen if all the responses rank ‘health and well being’ as the top priority or what North Yorkshire residents will get if ‘Town Centres’ is a top ranking issue. These questions are being put to the public with no monetary or practical information, models or consequences. This suggests that the consultation document is merely paying lip service to democracy and that the council are , rather patronisingly, assuming that the public cannot handle the relevant information. Why are we presented with a quiz rather than an important consultative document?'
In response, Vanessa Glover, Head of Communications confirmed that ‘Let’s Talk Local’ was the start of a conversation with as many people as possible across North Yorkshire’s many communities. It was an important first step for the new council to understand priorities across different areas and to make sure that local views inform the way North Yorkshire Council would work with local people, partners and businesses. She noted Let’s Talk Local had so far received more than 3,000 responses.
She also confirmed Let’s Talk Local has been supported by more than 200 pop up events across communities, and feedback had been extremely positive, with a number of communities joining in who the Authority had not been able to engage with previously. She encouraged as many people and places as possible to contribute and thanked everyone who had taken part in it and the other surveys on the Authority’s commonplace platform.
She acknowledged that adult social care and children’s services would represent two of the largest areas of spend for the new council and therefore their mention had been just for context. The priority list was based on themes, rather than services, ... view the full minutes text for item 124.
The Executive is asked to note the:
a. Latest position for the County Council’s 2022/23 Revenue Budget, (see paragraph 2.1.2 of the report).
b. Position on the GWB (paragraphs 2.4.1 to 2.4.3).
c. Position on the ‘Strategic Capacity – Unallocated’ reserve (paragraph 2.4.4)
d. Latest position regarding the Local Government Review transition fund (paragraph 2.5.1)
e. Position on the County Council’s Treasury Management activities during the second quarter of 2022/23
The Executive is also asked to:
f. Refer the report to the Audit Committee for their consideration as part of the overall monitoring arrangements for Treasury Management.
g. Approve the refreshed Capital Plan summarised at paragraph 4.2.3; and
h. Agree that no action be taken at this stage to allocate any additional capital resources (paragraph 4.5.7).
A joint report ofthe Chief Executive and Corporate Director - Strategic Resources, bringing together key aspects of the County Council’s performance on a quarterly basis.
County Councillor David Chance introduced the section on Quarter 2 performance, which provided an in-depth focus on ‘Every adult has a longer healthier and independent life’. He drew attention to the strong performance and leadership across a range of areas, as detailed in the report, and provided an overview of the strengths and challenges in performance across all of the Council’s ambitions.
Specifically in regard to the ambition of ‘Every adult has a longer healthier and independent life’, County Councillor Michael Harrison drew attention to the ongoing resource pressures in social care being experienced right across the sector which included;
· A sustained increase in hospital discharges creating ongoing significant pressure in assessment activity and reduced assessor capacity in front line teams;
· High occupancy levels in residential settings and low availability in the domiciliary care sector;
· An increase in requests for financial support from care providers
· An increase in safeguarding referrals
· Workforce pressures, with a focus on recruitment and retention;
Richard Webb, Corporate Director for Health & Adult Services confirmed that whilst the situation was plateauing and there were some improvements, it was still a challenging time. He drew attention to the benefits arising from international recruitment and the excellent joint working with partners. He also noted the continuing work on prevention and the investment in extra care housing with proposals for new schemes expected.
In regard to the County Council’s other ambitions:
Leading for North Yorkshire - County Councillor David Chance confirmed the cost of living crisis continued to cause hardship across all parts of the County, with the County Council taking a proactive lead in Communities, providing access to services and supporting economic growth.
Best Start in Life – County Councillor Janet Sanderson confirmed the ongoing parallels with Health e.g. the number of referrals. County councillor Annabel Wilkinson confirmed the Authority would continue to lobby the DFE for fairer funding settlements for North Yorkshire Schools.
Growth – County Councillor Keane Duncan highlighted the Authority’s successes which e.g. its largest capital project ever - Kex Gill, the trialling of Yorbus, with positive feedback from users, the introduction of electric vehicle charging points, with an ambition to deliver 3000 across the county by 2030, and the recently successful bid for £2.2m from the Government’s Levi Fund.
In response to questions from members of the Scrutiny Board, it was confirmed that:
The impact of care market costs was hitting different parts of the market in different ways, including the impact of the rise in labour and energy costs, and notable increase in hardship applications;
Work was underway to analyse the increase in safeguarding referrals, as there was no obvious reasons for it – it was noted there was a similar emerging pattern in Local Authorities across the region;
Addressing workforce pressures in social care had been focussed on a combination of overseas recruitment for a number of ... view the full minutes text for item 125.
That the Executive approves submission to Government of the Rural England Prosperity Fund addendum to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund investment plan as outlined in the report and Appendix A.
Considered – A report of the Corporate Director – Business and Environmental Servicesseeking approval for the Council’s submission to Government for the Rural England Prosperity Fund in North Yorkshire with a total value of £5.4m.
County Councillor Derek Bastiman introduced the report, and attention was drawn to the table at paragraph 2.7 of the report.
Members welcomed the planned investment in micro and small enterprises in rural areas, and it was
Resolved – That the submission to Government of the Rural England Prosperity Fund addendum to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund investment plan, as outlined in this report, be approved.
That the Executive note the content of the Annual Complaints Report.
Considered– A report of the Chief Executive providing an overview of performance in relation to complaints and information on compliments received by the Council during the year 2020/21.
County Councillor David Chance introduced the report and drew attention to the table at paragraph 4.1 of the report showing the number of complaints for 2020/21 and the root causes listed in paragraph 4.2.
Members accepted that with the sheer scale of transactions undertaken, a number of complaints were inevitable, and acknowledged the work undertaken to understand the lessons learnt.
County Councillor David Chance thanked officers for their work on the report, and it was
Resolved- That the report be noted.
The Forward Plan for the period 21 November 2022to 30 November 2023 was presented.
Resolved - That the Forward Plan be noted.
Capital Funding request to purchase property in North Yorkshire
The Executive are recommended to agree the recommendations within the confidential report: