Agenda and draft minutes

Corporate & Partnerships Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 5th March, 2024 10.30 am

Venue: Brierley Room, County Hall, Northallerton DL7 8AD

Contact: Melanie Carr  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence & Notification of Substitutes


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors David Ireton, Robert Heseltine, Mike Schofield, Steve Shaw-Wright and Chris Aldred


Minutes of the Meeting held on 4 December 2023 pdf icon PDF 220 KB




That the draft Minutes of the meeting held on 4 December 2023 and the revised draft Minutes from the meeting held on 11 September 2023, be approved and signed as a correct record.


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 no declarations of interest.


Public Participation

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 29 February 2024, 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 Chair who will instruct anyone who may be taking a recording to cease while you speak.



There were no public participants registered to speak at the meeting


Attendance of North Yorkshire Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner

Purpose – to provide an update on update on the latest HMICFRS field inspection.


Zoe Metcalfe – North Yorkshire Police Fire & Crime Commissioner attended the meeting to provide an overview of theprogressandimprovementsagainst theinspection reports produced byHis Majesty’s Inspectorate ofConstabulary &Fire and RescueServices(HMICFRS).


It was noted the PFCC was requiredtoseektheChiefConstableand ChiefFire Officer’sperspectiveon HMICFRSreportsandto publisha response.It was also noted those HMICFRS inspection reports were justonepartof theinformationaboutthe efficiencyandeffectiveness ofNorthYorkshirePolice (NYP)and NorthYorkshireFire &RescueService (NYFRS)used by the PFCCto holdboth ChiefOfficersto account. 


The PFCC confirmed she had acknowledged the progressmade whilst beingrobustin her challengeto bothChiefofficerswhere necessary.  In particular, she had:


·         Immediately convened and live-streamed Public Accountability Meetings where she scrutinised both Chief Officers on their progressagainsttheirHMICFRSimprovement plans.


·         Received monthly progress reports from both chief officers on theirHMI improvement actionplans at meetings oftheJointExecutiv  ...  view the full minutes text for item 71.


Bi-annual Update on Community Safety Plan Delivery & Partnership Working pdf icon PDF 466 KB

Additional documents:


Odette Robson, Head of Safer Communities and Catherine Clarke, Chair of the Community Safety Partnership attended the meeting to present a bi-annual update on partnership working around the priority areas agreed by North Yorkshire Community Safety Partnership. The report provided an improved focus on performance with performance data/statistics presented in Appendix A and referenced was made to some additional information circulated by Odette Robson prior to the meeting which addressed two issues raised by the committee in September 2023 when they received the last update i.e.:


i.    What was driving sexual orientation related hate crimes and the steps being taken to address it, as part of their next update?


The update confirmed there was no obvious pattern/trend to the increase looking at the data over that quarter (62 reports compared to 43 previous year same quarter). It was spread across periods of time across the year.


It also confirmed North Yorkshire Police and partners were taking steps to address sexual orientation hate crime, with more awareness raising taking place and encouragement of reporting. For example:

·         North Yorkshire Police undertook a survey at the Pride event in York in June 2023 to help establish what the barriers were to reporting and to support the building of trust and relationships. 

·         York LBGT Forum delivered a session during Hate Crime Awareness Week to partners across North Yorkshire and York. Within North Yorkshire Police Hate Crime

·         A dedicated PCSO was in place to lead on engagement with communities and seldom heard voices.


Councillor Andrew Williams queried what was being done in those areas where groups such as PRIDE were not in place, and it was confirmed that liaison officers were involved in a range of other forums including schools.


ii.   What actions are being taken to address the significantly higher levels of female reporting of domestic abuse (DA) and the spike in male domestic abuse victims in Quarter 2?


The update confirmed the DA Tactical Group met fortnightly to review trends in reported incidents and crimes and to direct activity at an operational level where appropriate, The small increase in crimes in Q2 which sat across the geography and not at one single locality was believed to have been as a result of a reporting delay at year end within NYP.


Odette Robson confirmed there had been an increase in Domestic Abuse reporting during the COVID period, but an increase in reporting did not necessarily equate to an increase in incidents and improved reporting was a good thing.  She also confirmed the Vulnerability Board continued to monitor domestic abuse and IDAS had just been recommissioned.


The update also confirmed that IDAS, through commissioned services to support all victims of domestic abuse, had undertaken a significant amount of awareness raising within communities and with professionals. For example, rural and community engagement events with Health Professionals including GP’s, college students, and worked with churches, community centres and libraries etc. This included working with marginalised women’s groups and older people. 


IDAS had also:

·         Employed a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 72.


Equalities & Diversity Update pdf icon PDF 665 KB

Purpose: To provide Members with an annual overview of progress with achieving the Council’s equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) objectives and activities around other EDI related work


Will Boardman, Head of Policy & Performance presented aprogress update on the Council’s equality objectives for 2021-2025.  The report covered Equality, Diversity Improvement work and actions undertaken between April 2023 (quarters one and two) and January (quarter three) 2024.  It also provided evidence of how the council’s Public Sector Equality Duty 2023-2024 Annual Review of Progress was being met.


In regard to international recruitment, he confirmed the ambition was to have sufficient people self-declaring their disability on a census form.


Overall members were pleased to note the report but raised concern that equality issues that were previously more easily identifiable at a local district level may now be harder to recognise now that those areas formed only a small part of the whole North Yorkshire Council area, and agreed it was important not to lose sight of them.


They also queried whether the data in paragraphs 7.2 & 7.3 relating to Elective Home Education applied to students in academiesl.  In response, Will Boardman agreed to provide confirmation after the meeting.


Resolved – That the update be noted



Property Services - Update on Property Rationalisation


Councillor Gareth Dadd, Executive Member for Finance & Resources attended the meeting to introduce the update on property rationalisation.  He confirmed the expected early quick wins had not been as quick as expected but the lack of early pace had now been resolved.


Gary Fielding, Corporate Director for Resources apologised for the previous substandard report, in part due to the lack of senior officers in post within the property team, which was still struggling to get to capacity. 


He went on to provide a presentation that included an overview of:


·         The principles behind the agreed approach to rationalise / optimise offices and the Council’s commitment to a distributed model of operation;


·         The quick wins which included the relinquishing of leasehold properties (Jesmond House & Civic Centre in Harrogate; Richmondshire House / Mercury House in Richmond, and North Yorkshire House and Town Hall in Scarborough) the mothballing of Stonecross and Malton House, and associated revenue and Co2 savings and capital receipts;


·         The planned review of NYC Depots to identify efficiencies, deliver cost savings and future proof them. 


Gary Fielding confirmed the work would involve carrying out site feasibility studies to identify their suitability of either housing, regeneration, sale, carbon offset etc.   Business cases would need to be developed, and the projects would need to be structured to manage any associated risks.  Appropriate engagement / consultation would also be required with staff and residents.


He noted the buildings were there to house people and things to deliver Council services, and as yet the Council did not have full clarity on all of its restructures (expected to be completed by end of summer 2024). In addition the Council’s longer term position in regard to hybrid working had yet to be agreed and a decision on where Councillor would hold meetings and the senior Management team would be based was also yet to be made. He suggested there may also be opportunities to exploit with partners.  


He noted the quick wins were now on track with potential revenue savings identified of between £225K - £490K (subject to the successful sublet of some properties), and the next steps were to develop:


·         Options to vacate;

·         Customer Hubs in Northallerton and Malton;

·         New ways of working


He also drew attention to the ongoing Member Working Group tasked with considering any identified obstacles and ways to optimise progression.


Members recognised the issue of rationalisation was service dependent and therefore closely tied to the ongoing restructure of Council Services following LGR.  They therefore agreed there was a balance to be reached between taking a cautious approach until the impact on services was known and progressing the work as timely as possible.


They went on to agree the necessity of having customer access points in all areas, which could include mobile offices in some areas if appropriate. They also acknowledged the potential knock on effect that closing council buildings could have on footfall on local highstreets and on local businesses.


They also questioned the likelihood of there being parcels of land owned  ...  view the full minutes text for item 74.


Draft Work Programme 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 359 KB

Purpose of the Report – To consider, amend and adopt the committee’s draft work programme for the coming 2024/25 municipal year.


The report of the Principal Democratic Services and Scrutiny Officer inviting Members to consider the Committee’s draft work programme for the coming municipal year.


Gary Fielding - Director of Resources, highlighted that the 2024-25 municipal year would bring forward a number of key pieces of work on the development of a series of new corporate strategies relating to workforce, transformation, and customer services, which the Committee may like to participate in at a strategic level.


There would also be other key pieces of work relating to ways of working, (including the development of hybrid working), HR policies and technology.


Members also noted their previous decision to received regulate updates on property rationalisation.


Members agreed all of these would be a more appropriate use of their time rather than some of the regular overview reports currently on the work programme, and it was


Resolved – That:

i.       The work programme be updated to include the items suggested by the Director of Resources;

ii.      The timing of each item to be agreed by the Chair following consultation by the Scrutiny Officer with the Director of Resources;



Date of Next Formal Meeting - 10 June 2024