Venue: Remote meeting held via Microsoft Teams
Contact: Melanie Carr Email: Melanie.firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome by the Chair - Introductions & Updates
TheChairwelcomedeveryoneto the meeting and Members introduced themselves. There were no apologies given.
That the Minutes of the meeting held on 20 January 2021, having been printed and circulated, be taken as read and confirmed and signed by the Chair as a correct record.
Apologies & Declarations of Interest
No apologies were received and there were no declarations of interest.
Public Questions & Statements
Members of the public may ask questions or make statements at this meeting if they have given notice and provided the text to Melanie Carr of Democratic Services (contact details below) no later than midday on 23 March 2021. 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 those taking a recording to cease whilst you speak.
There were no public questions or statements.
Attendance of Rt Hon Robert Goodwill MP
Opportunityfor the MP to share his views on main issues of local interest.
County Councillor Joe Plant welcomed Rt Hon. Robert Goodwill MP to the meeting, and the MP thanked Members for their work throughout the pandemic and for keeping him updated on issues affecting his constituency. He confirmed he had been involved in weekly meetings with NYCC’s Leader, other North Yorkshire MPs, and representatives from Partner organisations, from which he had been able to feedback information into central Government.
The MP acknowledged the impact the pandemic had on every aspect of life. In particular he highlighted:
· The potential disadvantage to year one Sixth Formers at exam time;
· Secondary school children being tested in schools;
· The reducing levels of infection across the county;
· The high number of visitors expected to the county during the coming summer, with more people holidaying in the UK this year, and the boost that would give to local businesses, particularly those in tourism;
· The problems associated with mobile home owners i.e. the debris and waste they leave behind, and the likely increase of that as a result of more staycations. It was agreed they needed to be encouraged to use mobile home/caravan parks;
· The Chancellors VAT rate cut for hospitality businesses had in almost every case been used to compensate for loss of income and had not necessarily generated additional income through and increasing in custom;
· It was likely there would be a lot of latent demand with money in bank accounts waiting to be spent and therefore high demand for the hospitality industry once businesses re-opened;
· The possible need for more Park and Ride over the summer in Scarborough;
· Other areas across the country had not worked as well as North Yorkshire;
· Track and Trace would have worked better if led by Local Authorities as they could have drawn on their local knowledge and expertise;
· The closure of some local schools due to a Covid case being identified. Members noted that some schools were choosing to completely close and others were just sending the effected class home;
· The possibility of foreign travel in 2021 and the steps that might be required in order to enable that to happen, was also discussed;
Members discussed the successful roll out of vaccinations, but recognised there was an ongoing issue of people not turning up for their appointments. They questioned whether it might have been more appropriate to focus on vaccinating key professions e.g. the Police, teachers and supermarket workers, but the MP confirmed the decision to prioritise vaccinations based on age was taken following very clear advice from epidemiologists and doctors.
Members also questioned whether the statistics on Covid deaths were accurate. It was noted that even though many people had passed away from other causes if they had a positive test within 28 days, Covid had been put as the cause on their death certificate and the other causes had not being recorded. It was thought that in order to protect themselves, doctors were not necessarily visiting to identify cause of death, but were instead basing their decision ... view the full minutes text for item 81.
The report provides an update on the Stronger Communities Programme contribution to the COVID19 Social Isolation and Approach to Community Efforts workstream, including an overview of progress made in the Scarborough & Whitby Constituency area.
County Councillor David Chance introduced the report confirming that within four days of the announcement of the first lockdown, the Stronger Communities team had managed to set up the Community Support Organisations that had gone on to serve the county so well. This included setting up liaison with all the contributing partners, and smaller voluntary groups and arranging the necessary financing of the CSOs. He expressed his personal thanks to the team for all their work.
On behalf of the Committee the Chair also expressed thanks for their achievements throughout the pandemic and for going above and beyond for local residents.
Karen Atkinson provided a brief overview of the report, highlighting a number of local points of interest e.g.:
· Scarborough South CSO – a partnership between Scarborough Age UK, Scarborough, Whitby & Ryedale Mind and YMCA provided a robust response to all issues arising in Scarborough and the surrounding area;
· They were quick to recruit new volunteers and their awareness of emerging concerns such as fuel poverty enabled the provision of a timely response;
· The CSO built on the existing network of formal and informal partnerships for the effective utilisation of resources;
· They also worked closely with other local organisations and together were able to secure additional grants;
· A number of new projects were delivered alongside core support e.g. a cooked meal service, counselling over zoom etc;
· The Whitby area was served by two CSOs – CAFCA supported Whitby town, and the more rural villages and coastal areas were supported by Revival North Yorkshire;
· Contact with local businesses gave them access to furloughed staff;
· Both CSOs provided a core offer of community support including shopping, prescription delivering and befriending;
· A community magazine called ‘In Touch’ was introduced in the Whitby area;
· Both Whitby CSOs were key members of the Food Alliance, alleviating issues around food poverty;
Finally, Karen Atkinson confirmed that work was underway by all the CSOs to identify how and when to deliver transition activity, and summarised a range of activities to be undertaken in the coming six months.
Members thanked officers for the update and question what might happen after the CSOs were closed down in September 2021, to support financial hardship and mental health, noting that unemployment figures for the area were high (6.5%).
It was confirmed that the Team would continue to react to what was needed in their communities and that some additional funding had been sought by MIND, CAB and Age UK to continue to provide such support.
Marie-Ann Jackson Head of the Stronger Communities Programme, confirmed some additional funding would also be provided by MHCLG to continue to support anyone still self-isolating post 1st April when shielding would be lifted. It was also expected there would be a third round of DEFRA Grant provided in due course for some much more targeted and nuanced support going forward.
It was confirmed that the number of volunteers had fluctuated throughout the pandemic and that the three CSOs to the constituency area are currently ... view the full minutes text for item 82.
The report of the Assistant Chief Executive (Legal and Democratic Services) asking Members to review the draft Work Programme for 2021/22, taking into account the outcome of discussions on previous agenda items and any other developments taking place across the area.
County Councillor Liz Colling suggested future updates on Dentistry and Mental Health/Suicide. She also requested that the Committee write to the MP asking that he give his support to the continuation of remote/hybrid local authority decision making meetings.
The Chair asked that committee members submit any additional suggestions via email to the Democracy Officer.
Resolved - That
i. The work programme be updated to reflect the decisions made during the meeting.
ii. The MP be invited to attend the next meeting in July 2021.
iii. A letter be sent to the MP seeking his support for the continuation of remote/hybrid meetings
iv. A letter be sent to the MP requesting government funding and support to enable the long term future of Bewlay Park and East Barmby Recreational Centres