Venue: The Street, 12 Lower Clark Street, Scarborough, YO12 7PL
Contact: Will Baines, Democratic Services and Scrutiny Officer Email: email@example.com
Election of a Chair
To elect a Member as Chair of the Scarborough and Whitby Area Constituency Committee for the 2023/24 municipal year.
St John Harris, Democratic Services for North Yorkshire Council welcomed everyone to the meeting, and confirmed that as it was the first meeting of the committee in 2023-24, the first item of business would be the election of a Chair.
There were two nominations for the position of Chair of the committee - Councillors Liz Colling and Clive Pearson. Votes were taken and on a show of hands Councillor Liz Colling was elected as Chair of the committee for the ensuing municipal year.
That Councillor Liz Colling be appointed Chair of the committee for the ensuing municipal year.
That the Minutes of the meeting held on 24 March 2023, having been printed and circulated, be taken as read and confirmed and signed by the Chair as a correct record.
Election of a Vice-Chair
To elect a Member as Vice-Chair of the Scarborough and Whitby Area Constituency Committee for the 2023/24 municipal year.
The Chair, Councillor Colling invited nominations for the position of Vice-Chair of the committee for 2023-24.
There were two nominations: Councillors Janet Jefferson and Clive Pearson. Votes were taken and on a show of hands Councillor Janet Jefferson was elected as Vice-Chair of the committee for the ensuing municipal year.
That Councillor Janet Jefferson be appointed Vice-Chair of the committee for the ensuing municipal year.
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.
Councillors Derek Bastiman and David Chance each declared an interest in agenda item 10 (Development of former Indoor Swimming Pool site, Scarborough) as each was an Executive member who would be a future decision maker on the proposals in the report. Each recused himself from the debate and determination of this item.
Councillor Janet Jefferson declared an interest in agenda item 11 (Area Constituency Committees in the new North Yorkshire Council) since one of the committee’s delegated powers was to consult with Chambers of Commerce. Councillor Jefferson was President of Scarborough Chamber of Trade and Commerce.
Councillor John Ritchie declared an interest in agenda item 10 (Development of former Indoor Swimming Pool site, Scarborough).
Members of the public may ask questions or make statements at this meeting if they have given notice to Will Baines of Democratic and Scrutiny Services and supplied the text (contact details below) by midday on Tuesday 6 June, 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.
Since all three of the following questions concerned Item 9, Environment Agency – bathing water quality update, they were presented at the start of item 9. The answers to the questions were then covered in the presentation by the Environment Agency.
It is difficult to comprehend that Scarborough established itself as Britain’s oldest seaside resort and people travelled to it to take the Spa water and bathe in the south bay for medicinal purposes and we have such adverse publicity to our tourist industry today.
Several years ago the Scarborough Borough Council Cabinet member for environmental issues identified a number of factors allegedly contributing to the poor water quality. He was interviewed on Yorkshire Coast radio and clearly identified these to be litter, seabird fouling, dog fouling and donkey fouling. It was subsequently noted that the Environment Agency laboratory had received samples of donkey faeces from the donkey sanctuary in Devon and no traces whatsoever, were found in the South Bay water. No retraction was ever given by him. Following this, a few years ago, I recall laboratory technicians were taking half hour test samples every day from 1 May to 30 September. I believe they were commissioned to do this by the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water. Their van was parked daily behind the lifeboat house on West Pier. Please can you tell me if the information retrieved from their investigations made any observations and conclusions, as I cannot remember seeing any subsequent reference to their findings. Please could you also clarify what effect the weather has on results.
I run a surf hire and lesson business from the Spa on South Bay. I've been made redundant because of the current issue with water quality and the red/ no flags state of the bay and haven't been able to work since the 6th May. Why have you not made Yorkshire Water accountable for their repeated failures? Microbial spot testing of bacteria found in the bay proved the source was the industrial waste. Your own data has proven that South Bay will never achieve a good status whilst this persists. How can a licence be given to an outfall pipe that was known to be a source of test positive bacteria? This was a wholly avoidable situation. I've spoken about this with the council, the EA and Yorkshire Water on numerous occasions over the years and they are fully aware of the problems. Mike Cockerill, who was a Scarborough Borough Councillor involved with water quality was as exasperated as I am . He acknowledged that the Council had no direct responsibility for the bathing water quality but supported the work of the agencies who did have responsibility, primarily the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water, and lamented that the good working relationship between the Council and these agencies had seen a decline.
How regularly are the Environment Agency sampling the water quality at South Bay Beach and does this sampling cover testing for anti-microbial/ antibiotic ... view the full minutes text for item 19.
Proposal to change the start time of future committee meetings from 10.30am to 10am
The Chair introduced this proposal to align the start time of this Area Constituency Committee with others across North Yorkshire and to ensure that by commencing earlier, the committee did not affect councillors’ afternoon engagements. Members discussed the proposal agreeing an amendment that the venue of future meetings alternate between Scarborough and Whitby. Councillor Randerson expressed his extreme disappointment that there was no Hearing Induction Loop at this venue – a matter which would be rectified at future venues.
Resolved – That future meetings of the committee commence at 10.00am and that the venue of the meeting alternate between Scarborough and Whitby.
Considered – a presentation by Dr Gill Kelly, Public Health Consultant, and Emma Lonsdale, Head of Public Health, Children and Families, about the work of the Healthy Child 0-19 Service and local provision in the Scarborough and Whitby constituency. The presentation centred on the four pillars of the newly modelled Healthy Child Service launched in July 2021 and the work involved including local statistics in the delivery of each pillar: 0-6 years old (on which the service was most focused); safeguarding and children in care; emotional health and resilience; and infant feeding, family diet and nutrition. Reference was made to both successes such as the increase in antenatal contact in the constituency, and challenges such as efforts to promote take up locally of the Healthy Start Scheme which provided a nutritional safety net, and to promote the practice of breastfeeding, for example, through identification of breastfeeding-friendly venues.
Following the presentation, questions from members concerned:
· Support for children’s mental health in the face of reduced resources and significant demand
· Suicide prevention work
· Support for children with autism
· Promotion of sport and physical activity to improve wellbeing
· Delivery of the 6-8 week review of new born children through both virtual and face to face contact and how the service reached the most deprived households
· The use of libraries as breastfeeding-friendly venues e.g. Selby
· The lack of provision of baby weighing clinics in Eastfield causing anxiety among parents
· Further explanation of the developmental screening ASQ – Communication Domain figures for Scarborough which were less than Whitby and less than the average for all areas
· The wait time for children to access services
In reply, members were advised that:
· Children’s mental health was a key area of concern in the service’s work. The service worked with schools, nurseries, families and the wider community to create a culture of positive mental wellbeing, for example through the My Happy Mind programme. However, the need for mental health support was vast and much work was underway to address capacity issues. For example, a second mental health support team had been designated for schools in the constituency area. Further research was also required to assess local need. Officers worked closely with other services as part of a coordinated approach in North Yorkshire to address suicide prevention through the monitoring and analysis of data around clusters and appropriate interventions.
· A new autism strategy for North Yorkshire was under development. Autism was just one example of neurodiversity which the service sought to address along with mental health needs in schools. The needs of each individual child were identified on diagnosis.
· A new pilot of social prescribing for children including sport and physical activity had been recently launched
· New birth visits were always face to face at which point a risk assessment would be made around the frequency and nature of future contacts – face to face or virtual. Face to face contacts would be made for digitally excluded households or those with poor wifi. Persistent efforts were made to ... view the full minutes text for item 21.
Environment Agency - Bathing Water Quality update
Considered – A presentation by Claire Barrow, North Yorkshire Area Environment Manager, and Claire Campbell, Yorkshire Bathing Water Technical Lead at the Environment Agency (EA) providing an update on bathing water quality on the North Yorkshire coast.
Members were advised about the statutory framework in which the EA operated and the detailed investigations undertaken at Scarborough South Bay in 2016. In accordance with the Bathing Water Regulations 2013, the EA regularly tested during the bathing water season for two types of bacteria: E.coli and Intestinal Enterococci (not for antibiotic resistant bacteria). At Scarborough South Bay, one sample a week was taken at different times and different days of the week, and the results published based on a four year rolling average. The classification was currently poor. The EA also undertook daily pollution risk forecasts due to weather and other predictable factors since heavy downpours may cause more bacteria to be washed into the sea. The EA no longer provided pollution risk forecasts at Scarborough South; this stopped for 2022 as the model was very poor at predicting water quality issues at the site, which underlays the complexity of the issue. However, it did provide this service at Filey, Sandsend and Robin Hoods Bay on the North Yorkshire coast. The 2016 study found that the picture at Scarborough South Bay was complex with multiple sources of bacteria, including seabirds and humans, contributing to the poor water quality, but did not add much to EA’s knowledge about the South Bay. Evidence of industrial effluent was only found 10-20% of the time and was difficult to quantify using the analysis techniques available, and pollution from livestock and donkeys was not an issue. The EA would undertake further detailed investigations of Scarborough South Bay in 2024, subject to availability of funding. This year these investigations were focused on Bridlington South Bay and the River Wharfe. Details were also provided of the EA’s regulatory work in which water discharge activities and source groundwater activities were regulated with an environmental permit. A generic approach was adapted to the specific discharge, its location and receptors. The EA had a regulatory responsibility to assess compliance against the conditions in permits and to take appropriate enforcement action where they were breached. This action depended on the impact of the breach and any mitigation measures taken by the operator, in accordance with the EA Enforcement and Sanctions Policy. The overall bathing water quality in the region was improving with significant additional resources put into agricultural inspections and the EA now requiring water companies to monitor their storm overflows to capture information on how they were performing. The EA now published water companies’ annual data on storm overflow spills on a yearly basis to hold the companies to account. These and other steps had significantly driven up monitoring and transparency from water companies in recent years.
Members then commented on the presentation and asked questions to which the EA provided replies. Below are the salient points:
· Profound concern at ... view the full minutes text for item 22.
Considered – A presentation by Alex Richards, Economic Development and Regeneration Services on proposals to facilitate the development of the former Indoor Swimming Pool site, Scarborough. Members were advised that despite the withdrawal of the previous developer, there remained significant interest in the site for the purposes of high quality hotel development which would be intrinsic to realising the overall objectives of the North Bay Masterplan. It was proposed that to demonstrate best value for the council that the site be advertised via an open market competitive tender process to identify a development partner which would enable the council to meet its specific requirements.
Members welcomed this approach raising various questions which elicited the information below:
· Subject to member approval, the site would be put out to market at the end of the summer. Public consultation would be integral to development process
· North Bay Masterplan would feature strongly in the development specification
· Among other clientele, the hotel would be aimed at Open Air Theatre artistes and spectators
· Other development sites in the North Bay would be marketed in due course
· The former Scarborough Borough Council social value tools had been adopted by North Yorkshire Council. This may prolong the procurement process but for optimum benefit
Resolved – That the presentation be noted.
Considered – A report of the Assistant Chief Executive (Legal and Democratic Services) in respect of the next iteration of the new council’s area constituency committees. Members were advised that the committees’ terms of reference and ways of working had been developed following consultation with the ACC chairs and included new elements such as mid-cycle briefings and the ability to make recommendations to the Corporate Director of Community Development in respect of seed funding for local projects which as an example could aid economic development. Members commended the new approach.
Resolved – That the report be noted.
Considered – A report of the Assistant Chief Executive (Legal and Democratic Services) which invited the committee to make appointments, on behalf of the council, to various outside bodies. Members were advised that the two outside bodies listed of British Destinations and British Ports Association had been re-categorised as executive appointments which would fall to the relevant Portfolio Holder, Councillor Derek Bastiman. Members queried whether Esk Valley Railway Development Company should have an additional council representative and whether Scarborough United Scholarships Foundation with the John Kendall Trust should have not a substitute but an additional representative (Councillor Roberta Swiers).
(i) That the following members be appointed to the outside bodies listed below:
(ii) That the committee defer its decision in respect of Esk Valley Railway Development Company and Scarborough United Scholarships Foundation with the John Kendall Trust pending the resolution of the committee’s queries
(iii) That the Category 3 appointments at Appendix B of the report be noted and endorsed
(iv) That a review of outside bodies take place within the next 12 months.
The report of the Assistant Chief Executive (Legal and Democratic Services) asking Members to review the Work Programme, taking into account the outcome of discussions on previous agenda items and any other developments taking place across the area. Councillor Ritchie advised that following his proposal, the Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee would commission a scrutiny review of SEND provision in the Scarborough and Whitby area which would report its findings back to the O&S committee and this committee later in the year.
The following matters were proposed for the work programme:
· Council review of public conveniences and how this affects the constituency area
· Scarborough and Whitby Area Constituency profile report based on latest data and 2021 census
· Government proposals to address the proliferation of short-term holiday lets through registration and the planning system (for a mid-cycle briefing)
· Evaluation of POMOC scheme providing support to the Eastern European community in the constituency area (22 September 2023).
· Use of Social Value Engine tool
Resolved - That Democratic Services update the work programme to reflect the decisions made during the meeting.
Any Other Items
Any other items which the Leader agrees should be considered as a matter of urgency because of special circumstances
There was no urgent business.
Date of Next Meeting
Friday 22 September
Friday, 22 September 2023