Agenda and draft minutes

Harrogate and Knaresborough Area Constituency Committee - Thursday, 17th March, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Remote meeting held via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Ruth Gladstone  Email: ruth.gladstone@northyorks.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

119.

Minutes of the Informal Remote Meeting of the Committee held on 6 January 2022 pdf icon PDF 495 KB

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

That the Minutes of the informal remote meeting held on 6 January 2022, having been printed and circulated, be taken as read and be confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

120.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

121.

Verbal Updates from Executive Members

Minutes:

Considered –

 

Verbal updates of Executive Members on the issues identified below.  Executive Members also responded to Members’ questions regarding these issues.

 

County Councillor Carl Les (Leader of the Council):-

·         Executive Members very much appreciated receiving invitations to the Committee’s meetings as they found it helpful, for carrying out their role, to attend.

·         Local government reorganisation   (i) The Structural Change Order had now gone through the House of Commons and the House of Lords and was awaiting ministerial sign off.  (ii) All councils, with the exception of Richmondshire District who had not been present, had signed off the Implementation Plan, which was the ‘road map’ to the successful transition to go from 8 councils into a single unitary council and gave options for the councillors to be elected in May 2022 to choose the new council’s ways of working.  A copy was being sent to all current Members.  (iii) The work of the various work streams was going well. 

·         Devolution – Discussions with the Minister and civil servants had now commenced and were very positive.

·         Ukrainian evacuees would be welcomed with open arms once they started to arrive in the county.

 

County Councillor Gareth Dadd (Deputy Leader of the Council):-

·         Local government reorganisation – (i) Councils’ treasury staff were working tirelessly and collaboratively to deliver the transformation programme so that North Yorkshire residents saw no visible change to services on 1 April 2023, ie on the date when the new unitary council came into being.  (ii) The County Council’s proposal for local government reorganisation had included a clear mandate for localism, eg to area constituency committees, and he hope that that pledge would be honoured by the new council.  His personal preference was to go one step further by giving rights and responsibilities to local Members to make very local decisions on behalf of their communities.  Various Committee Members expressed support for County Councillor Gareth Dadd’s personal preference.

 

County Councillor David Chance (Executive Member for Stronger Communities):-

·         The Syrian Refugee Scheme was going exceptionally well, with people who had been relocated in North Yorkshire being extremely thankful for the lives that had been given to them.  Afghan refugees continued to be received in North Yorkshire and that was likely to continue throughout the Summer.  Detailed information was awaited from the Government about the arrangements to assist Ukrainian evacuees and he had no doubt that Yorkshire would be very supportive.

 

County Councillor Don Mackenzie (Executive Member for Access):-

·         NY Highways, the teckal company created by the County Council, had had a benign first winter in terms of providing a winter gritting service and had, in fact, probably spent more time dealing with flooding on roads and removing trees blown over during storms than with ice and snow.

·         Major Schemes – (i) Kex Gill was still proceeding and one or two legal aspects were currently being worked through before an announcement could be made about the appointment of a contractor.  (ii) Work had been held up a little  ...  view the full minutes text for item 121.

122.

Stronger Communities and Community Response to COVID19 Update pdf icon PDF 520 KB

Report of the Head of Stronger Communities

 

Purpose:  To provide an update on the Stronger Communities Programme and the support provided to and by local communities in response to the COVID19 pandemic, and an overview of progress made in the Harrogate and Knaresborough constituency area.

Minutes:

Considered –

 

The report of the Head of Stronger Communities which provided an update on the Stronger Communities Programme and the support provided to and by local communities in response to the Covid19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, together with an overview of progress made in the Harrogate and Knaresborough Constituency area.

 

In introducing the report, Liz Meade (Stronger Communities Delivery Manager) highlighted:-

 

·       The mobilisation and activity of 23 Community Support Organisations across North Yorkshire, primarily facilitated by approximately 203,272 volunteer hours.

·       Covid19 related work, including:-

·            the award of grants for food and essential supplies to support those facing financial hardship because of the pandemic;

·            delivery of a Holiday Activities and Food Programme;

·            support provided during winter, via the Household Support Fund, to assist households needing support with food, energy and essential living costs whilst the economy recovered from the pandemic;

·            the gifting of re-cycled digital devices to socially isolated individuals and  school children.

·     Wider Stronger Communities programme work, including:-

·            Various projects, run in conjunction with the Council’s Children and Young People Service, to assist children, young people and their families.

·            Work with NHS partners including the administration of a range of NHS mental health grants, together with involvement in the Council’s Health and Adult Services Transformation Programme.

·            The strengthening of local communities’ assets and infrastructure, including encouraging relationships and collaborations between voluntary and community sector organisations as well as stabilising and/or building capacity within them if required.

·     Planning for 2022/23, which was to include the ongoing 5-year independent evaluation of the Stronger Communities Programme also encompassing the community support organisations, and the continued development of a ten-year strategy “People, Place and Power”.

·     Information regarding Community Support Organisations in the Harrogate, Knaresborough and Boroughbridge areas.

 

Members commented that the work, not only of the Stronger Communities Team, but also of all the volunteers in the Community Support Organisations in Harrogate, Knaresborough and Boroughbridge, had been fantastic during the pandemic.  They asked for the thanks of this Committee to be passed onto the volunteers and the three Community Support Organisations. 

 

A Member highlighted the importance of good nutrition to help individuals’ mental health and their future, this being one of the issues with which the Team and the Community Support Organisations had assisted.

 

Resolved –

 

(a)   That the content of the report be noted.

 

(b)   That Members’ gratitude to the Stronger Communities Team and the Community Support Organisations, for all the work they have done during recent years, be recorded.

123.

Car Parking at Railway Stations pdf icon PDF 445 KB

Report of the Corporate Director – Business and Environmental Services

 

Purpose:  To follow up on the recommendation from the Rural Commission requesting that the County Council review car parking spaces at railway stations.

Minutes:

Considered –

 

The report of the Corporate Director – Business and Environmental Services which provided follow-up on the recommendation, from North Yorkshire Rural Commission, which asked the County Council to review car parking spaces at railway stations.

 

In introducing the report, Graham North (Strategy and Performance Officer, Business and Environmental Services Directorate) highlighted that:-

 

·         The Harrogate Line had seen significant improvements in frequency, modern rolling stock, station improvements and the introduction of the LNER services to/from London, all of which had potentially increased the demand for rail travel.

·         Pre-pandemic, most car parks on the Harrogate Line were full.  The pandemic had changed this, with currently more people working from home.

·         The number of car parking spaces, and the amount of any daily charge, at the stations at Weeton, Pannal, Hornbeam Park, Harrogate, Starbeck, Knaresborough and Cattal were set out in the report to this meeting.

·         The rail industry had looked at each station to identify any land available for car parking close to stations.  Whilst some land had been identified, the cost to purchase, access to/from the site, and the poor business cases had meant that they were not developed further. 

·         Many stations on the line were close to the communities they served and active travel options, with station facilities that encouraged this and the use of public transport was a viable alternative to use of the car.

·         Any car park developments coming forward would be expected to help deliver the York and North Yorkshire Routemap to Carbon Negative.

·         The situation regarding car parking on each of the local stations was as follows:-

·                     Pannal – Provision for a park and rail car park was included as part of the redevelopment of the Dunlopillo site in Pannal.  The site was currently under construction and, as yet, this had not been provided.

·                     Hornbeam Park – Any changes to car park provision at this station would need to include any potential impact on the local highway.

·                     Harrogate – The multi-storey car park adjacent to the station provided extra station car parking capacity.

·                     Cattal – Harrogate Borough Council and the County Council were working closely with the site promoters in connection with the new settlement proposals in the Cattal area.  The new settlement would be focused around Cattal railway station and would comprise the enhancements to the rail station including provision of additional car parking.  Harrogate Borough Council was currently developing a Development Plan document to guide the development of the new settlement.

·                     At Weeton, Starbeck and Knaresborough stations, no work was planned.

 

Members discussed the report and provided the following comments:-

 

·         Members emphasised that one of their motivations was to make public transport, whether by bus or by rail, more accessible through other means of transport rather than the motor car.  This was a main feature of the Harrogate Gateway Scheme.

 

·         Pannal railway station car parking:–

·                     Members acknowledged that there was quite a lot of spare capacity at present at the Pannal railway station car  ...  view the full minutes text for item 123.

124.

Public Questions or Statements

Anyone who would like to ask a question or make a statement at the meeting should email notice of their wish to do so, including the full text of what they intend to say, to Ruth.Gladstone@northyorks.gov.uk as soon as possible, and by midday on Monday 14 March 2022 at the latest.  Speakers are each asked not to exceed 3 minutes’ speaking time and to read out only the statement/question of which they have submitted notice, without adding to or altering it.  No person may submit more than one question or statement.  No more than one question may be asked, or statement made, on behalf of one organisation.  The overall time available for public questions or statements is 30 minutes.

 

If you are asking a question or making a statement at this meeting but do not wish to be recorded, please inform the Chairman who will instruct those taking a recording to cease whilst you speak.

Minutes:

There were no questions or statements from members of the public.

125.

Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 516 KB

Report of the Principal Democratic Services Officer

 

Purpose:  To ask Members to consider the Committee’s work programme.

Minutes:

Considered –

 

The report of the Principal Democratic Services Officer which invited Members to consider, amend and add to the Committee’s Work Programme.

 

It was noted that this meeting was the Committee’s last prior to the County Council elections on 5 May 2022.  Members commented that they did not wish to add anything to the Work Programme at this time because the membership after 5 May 2022 should decide the Committee’s Work Programme going forward.  Members suggested that, between the elections and the Committee’s meeting on 9 June 2022, the membership should be asked for suggestions for inclusion in the Committee’s Work Programme

 

Resolved –

 

(a)  That the Work Programme be noted.

 

(b)  That, following the elections on 5 May 2022, the Committee’s membership be asked, before the Committee’s meeting on 9 June 2022, for suggestions for inclusion in the Committee’s Work Programme.