Agenda and minutes

Scarborough and Whitby Area Constituency Committee - Friday, 22nd September, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: James Cook Theatre, The Coliseum Centre, Victoria Place, Whitby, YO21 1EZ

Contact: Christian Brennan, Democratic Services  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies noted (see above).


Minutes of the Meeting held on 9 June 2023 pdf icon PDF 342 KB


Regarding Item 25, Appointments to Committees and Outside Bodies of the draft minutes, the Chair advised that in respect of the committee’s appointments to Scarborough & District Sports Council, her name should be added to those of Councillors Maw and Phillips, since she already sat on this outside body as detailed in the report.




That, subject to the above amendment, the Minutes of the meeting held on 9 June 2023, having been printed and circulated, be taken as read and confirmed and signed by the Chair as a correct record.


At this point, Councillor Randerson expressed his extreme dissatisfaction with the Hearing Induction Loop system at the venue (in this instance a portable infrared system).  In response, St John Harris (Democratic Services) apologised whilst noting that the first choice venue in Whitby of the Whitby Pavilion had already been booked for a music festival, and a review of meeting venues was in progress taking into account such issues as webcasting capability and accessibility.



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.


Councillor Janet Jefferson declared an interest in item 9, Stronger Communities Update as she was a Trustee of the Rainbow Centre, Scarborough, and the Chair of the UK Prosperity Fund for the Castle Division.



Feedback from previous meetings


The Chair advised that as part of the committee’s ongoing concern with local bathing water quality as reflected at the June meeting, Yorkshire Water had declined an invitation to attend this meeting citing their recent meeting with North Yorkshire Council CEO, Richard Flinton and the forthcoming bathing water quality summit in Scarborough.  Yorkshire Water had advised that they would be in a better position to report to the committee after the summit when potential actions had been agreed and a more substantial update could be provided.



Public Participation

Members of the public may ask questions or make statements at this meeting if they have given notice to Christian Brennan of Democratic and Scrutiny Services and supplied the text (contact details below) by midday on Tuesday 19 September, 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 thirteen public questions submitted to the committee.  All members of the public were in attendance to put their questions with the exception of Simon Armstrong.  Officer responses are also set out below.


Clair Stone


I feel that the current state of the turning circle (Church Street/Grape Lane) introduced for use when the Swing Bridge is closed is a stark reflection of the neglect and disregard for the heritage of our town. Potholes seem to be appearing with frequency and in some cases exposing the cellar brickwork of demolished buildings from the former Tin Ghaut. The surface is uneven and undulating and an ominous crack is now running alongside the gable end of a Grade 1 listed building – the Captain Cook Memorial Museum. At what stage will this be thoroughly investigated?


This is not just a matter of inconvenience; it’s a disservice to our town and heritage; an affront to our sense of pride and a challenge to our commitment to the preservation as a town. We cannot stand idly by while our history crumbles before us. We must act now before it is too late. I would suggest that putting a weight limit on the traffic using the circle would be a good start.


That’s not all; the litter strewn carelessly about this space further adds to the dismay and reflects badly on us as a town. Discarded wrappers, plastic bottles, fish and chip trays, uneaten picnics, and emptied car ash trays tarnish the whole area. A blatant disregard for our environment and a disregard for the pride we should hold in our community. How often is this area cleared and tidied other than when civil minded residents clear and clean? When can we expect to enjoy a clean and welcoming environment?


Officer Response


The turning area is being regularly inspected and defects repaired as and when they are noted. The barriers were erected following concerns raised by the Museum about the condition of their building. The museum said they were planning to have their building surveyed but I am still waiting to hear the outcome of that survey.


It is clear that the existing construction of the old car park area is not up to the appropriate standard. It looks as though the demolished buildings and filled-in cellars were only given a light covering of tarmac. Once we start the Harbourside Public Realm Improvement scheme this area will be reconstructed to an appropriate standard and it will be able to withstand the movement of larger delivery wagons, something essential during the times when the Swing Bridge is closed.


This year has been particularly challenging in terms of recruitment but we are putting in steps to respond to the pressures at this location. We do apologise for the impact staff vacancies have had this summer and are working hard to try and improve the situation for the long term.


Simon Armstrong


When will the current Council take the concerns of local residents seriously in relation to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.


Attendance of MP Rt Hon Sir Robert Goodwill


In providing an overview to the committee of some of his areas of work, concerns and priorities, the MP referred to the ongoing issues with bus services in rural areas as highlighted by the public speaker, and the reasons for low usage which had not returned to pre-covid levels; problems caused by inconsiderate camper van parking; the justification for the amalgamation of Eskdale school and Caedmon College given 42% surplus school places in Whitby; his recent visit to Scalby School, the only school in North Yorkshire affected by the safety risk recently exposed in relation to reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) and the multiple measures being taken to address this risk; and that he would be raising with the Government that some latitude be given to affected students taking exams next year and that the LEA be given financial assistance to meet additional student transport costs arising from RAAC.  


Following this introduction, the issues raised by elected members included:

  • Animal cruelties perpetrated by fox hunts despite the Hunting Act 2004 and alternative ways to control the fox population
  • Progress with Government proposals to introduce a registration scheme and planning controls in respect of short term holiday lets
  • Concerns around proposals to extend permitted development rights in the national parks and the need to preserve old agricultural buildings which form part of the landscape
  • Concerns around the reduction in local councillor representation on national park bodies
  • Pressure on on-street residents’ parking in Scarborough caused by the growth in short term holiday lets and ways to alleviate this pressure


The Chair thanked Sir Robert Goodwill MP for his attendance and his responses to members’ questions.



Community Resilience and Emergency Planning

Presentation by Matthew Robinson, Head of Resilience and Emergencies



Considered – a presentation by Matthew Robinson, Head of Resilience and Emergencies, about the council’s and Division Members’ roles in local emergency planning and management. During incidents, this included how Members and the Council could work together towards reporting incidents; how information could be accessed; and the role of media communication. After incidents, this included information on the recovery phase; debriefing and lessons learned. Further, the presentation introduced the community resilience profile, an innovative one-page document featured in Member Handbooks that would provide an overview of the constituency area. The focus of the document would be adjusted depending on Member feedback, with a focus this year on flooding. Mr Robinson suggested that the committee consider an offer to accept a designated emergency planning officer for the area constituency who could act as the contact for Members and engage in conversations to develop community resilience. Finally, the presentation featured data on the locality’s flood risk, plans, and take up of the Environmental Agency’s early warning programme.




                i.         That the presentation be noted;

              ii.         That the Area Committee accept the offer of a designated emergency planning officer for the area constituency and an annual report to the ACC.



Verbal update on Scarborough Hospital performance


This item was deferred following apologies for absence received from York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.


Stronger Communities Update pdf icon PDF 439 KB


Considered – A report and presentation by Paddy Chandler, Stronger Communities Delivery Manager, about the Stronger Communities Programme and the progress made in this area constituency area. Members were advised about the start of the developmental journey of the Community Anchor Organisation model, exploring how locally rooted organisations could support the health, wellbeing and prevention agenda and wider community resilience, in addition to progress made through a number of new countywide and national initiatives launched over the past 18 months.  The particular focus of these new initiatives was to alleviate the cost-of-living pressures experienced by families and residents on low incomes.

Members welcomed the report and the take up of initiatives such as the Holiday Activities and Food Programme and the Household Support Fund. 


Following presentation of the report, questions from members concerned:


  • How the service identified and addressed unmet demand and how referrals were made
  • Teaching cooking skills and how to prepare inexpensive hot food
  • How the Holiday Activities and Food Programme should be extended to support children with disabilities and special educational needs
  • The current extent of digital exclusion in the area constituency
  • The ongoing importance of the North Yorkshire Local Assistance Fund for which demand was continuing to rise
  • The take up of shopping e-vouchers as part of the Household Support Fund amidst concerns that publicity around the scheme could be improved
  • The concern that use of shopping vouchers benefited the big supermarket chains

In reply, members were advised that:


  • The service worked closely with Public Health to shape grant investment and the projects outlined in the report drew on local information.
  • The service was working with a wide range of projects supporting food provision and the Slow Cooker project was an example of an initiative which addressed cooking skills.
  • The council’s Digital Inclusion Strategy was being refreshed based on the latest data.
  • Yes, the Holiday Activities and Food Programme supported children with disabilities and special educational needs where cost was a barrier.
  • In previous phases the take up of e-vouchers was 90% plus, whilst an alternative cash support scheme to a voucher support scheme had been considered at the recent food insecurity partnership event, but was not without its disadvantages.

Mr Chandler also undertook to provide a more detailed written response on these matters to the committee.


Resolved – That the report be noted.


Appointments to Outside Bodies pdf icon PDF 139 KB

Additional documents:


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.


Resolved –


(i)             That the following members be appointed to the outside bodies listed below:


Esk Valley Railway Development Company                    Cllr Neil Swannick


Scarborough United Scholarships Foundation                Cllr Roberta Swiers

with the John Kendall Trust                                              Cllr David Jeffels

                                                                                          Cllr John Ritchie



Scarborough & Whitby Area Constituency Committee Work Programme 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Additional documents:


Considered -


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. Following the feedback on bathing water quality provided at Item 32, Members agreed to invite Yorkshire Water to the committee’s 1st December meeting. Moreover, in addition to rescheduling the NHS Trust’s update to the committee to a future meeting, Members requested a briefing by the NHS Trust in the interim. Members were advised that to address the very busy Work Programme, officers would work with the Chair, Vice Chair, and Group Spokesperson at the mid-cycle briefings to consider the best way of dealing with potential items e.g. through formal reports to committee, presentations to committee, reports to note, written briefings or informal remote briefings.  Finally, the Undercroft at the Whitby Pavilion was proposed as a permanent venue for the ACC in Whitby.


Resolved - That the Democracy Officer 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 1 December 2023


Friday, 1 December 2023


Reports circulated for information only pdf icon PDF 378 KB

Additional documents:


These were noted by the committee.