Agenda and draft minutes

Thirsk and Malton Area Constituency Committee - Friday, 1st December, 2023 2.00 pm

Note: Due to a technical issue, the recording is unavailable. 

Items
No. Item

24.

Welcome by the Chair - introductions and updates

Minutes:

TheChairwelcomedeveryoneto the meeting and confirmed there wereno updates to provide.

25.

Minutes of the Meeting held on 29 September 2023 pdf icon PDF 446 KB

Minutes:

Resolved  

 

The minutes of the previous meeting of the committee held on 29 September 2023, having been printed and circulated, were confirmed and signed by the Chair as an accurate record subject to an amendment to reflect the apologies submitted to that meeting that had previously been given by Councillor Baker but not recorded in the minutes.

26.

Apologies and Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Keane Duncan, Steve Mason and Annabel Wilkinson.

 

Councillors Gareth Dadd and Michelle Donohue-Moncrieff joined the meeting remotely using MS Teams.

 

There were no declarations of interest.

27.

Public Questions or Statements

Members of the public may ask questions or make statements at this meeting if they have given notice and provided the text to Nicki Lishman or Louise Hancock of Democratic Services (contact details below) no later than midday on 28 November 2023. 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.

Minutes:

There were six public questions and statements.  There were three public questions and statements where the persons who had made the submission were not in attendance.  In view of the large number of questions and statements received and the fact that the subject matter was similar to that covered by the other three questions and statements, the Chair determined that the questions and statements submitted by those who were not present at meeting would not be read out.  In doing so, he stated that these had previously been circulated to all councillors on the committee and the questions and statements along with the answers would be included in the minutes of the meeting.

 

David Turner (unable to attend)

 

Sometime ago I initially wrote to Trevor Watson, Assistant Director (Planning) at North Yorkshire Council. We had an extended exchange of emails regarding various aspects of the operations of the Ian Mosey Feeds Ltd.

 

That also lead to an exchange of emails with Jill Thompson, Planning Manager, Malton Office. I’m pleased to say it was all amicable, and much useful and interesting information was exchanged.

 

My last correspondence with Jill was 11th November 2023, which was concluded with Jill saying that …. “With regards to the installation of the cooler in 2019, the wording on the web-site does indicate a breach of this condition and this will be something that we will contact the company about.”

 

The wording I was referring to on the Ian Mosey website was “when the cooler was installed (November 2019), director Becky Milne (Ian’s daughter I understand) quoted “This new equipment will not only help us to improve product quality but also help to make our Mill more productive.”

 

So, my question is:  Firstly, “What action has been taken with Ian Mosey Feeds Ltd about the installation of a cooler in 2019 by which the wording of their own website indicated a breach of one of the Councils earlier Planning Conditions?”

 

And, secondly, “What is the outcome of that action?”

 

Response from Jill Thompson, Service Manager, Planning Services, Ryedale area

 

The company was contacted (via their planning consultants by email) and attention was drawn to Condition 2 of planning approval ref 11/00498/73A which requires that ‘no machinery or other equipment shall be introduced or installed which would have the effect of increasing the current operating capacity of the mill without the prior written approval of the Local Planning Authority’.

 

In response to the email, it was confirmed that the cooler was a direct replacement of an older cooler which had been decommissioned because it had become corroded and had reached the end of its useful life. The response confirmed that as a replacement cooler it does not have the effect of increasing output and that therefore this does not represent a breach of the condition. In the absence of any information to the contrary, the installation of the cooler cannot be confirmed as a breach of planning control.

 

The Council is aware that members of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.

28.

MP - Question Time

Minutes:

The Rt Hon Kevin Hollinrake MP was present at the meeting and highlighted the following issues that were of concern in the constituency:

 

·         Small Business Saturday is coming up.  This is a great opportunity to show support for small businesses during what is a very difficult trading period due to increased energy prices and supressed demand due to the cost of living crisis

·         There is a need to engage with local businesses to find out what skills they need for their future workforce

·         There will be a move of funding from HS2 to transport schemes in the North of England.  For North Yorkshire, improvements to the east-west connections are critical.

·         Work continues to progress improvements to the A64

·         There is a need to ensure that planning supports, and does not stifle, economic growth and development.

·         There is also a need to review the long-term funding of buses, particularly in rural areas.  The £2 cap on ticket prices has been successful in attracting people back onto buses but it will soon be removed.

 

There followed a discussion, with key points as summarised below:

 

·         It is imperative that the A64 is upgraded so that it can support economic growth and development in the area. The dualling of the A64 has been promised for the past 50 years

·         There is a need to ensure that new and innovative ways of constructing affordable housing are considered, to help stimulate housing development

·         Concerns over the use of good quality farmland, which could be used to grow food and help ensure food security, for solar farms

·         Houses that are being built need to conform to the highest environmental standards and include solar panels as standard.  It simply makes no sense to retrofit once built

·         Concerns that there was often incremental development of areas over a long period of time that put additional stress on local infrastructure, such as roads, water, schools and GP practices

·         Interest in understanding what could be done by central government to address the issue of HGV movements through built up areas, especially during the night.

 

The Chair, Councillor Nigel Knapton, summed up and thanked the Rt Hon Kevin Hollinrake MP for attending the meeting.

29.

Broadband update pdf icon PDF 286 KB

Minutes:

Considered:

 

A report by Robert Ling, Director of Transformation at North Yorkshire Council, and Alastair Taylor, CEO of NYnet.

 

Robert Ling summarised the key points from the report, as follows:

 

·         In 2009, superfast coverage across North Yorkshire was 41%.  By 2020, it was at 94%

·         The Council offers a free WIFI service in 21 market towns

·         Superfast North Yorkshire expects there to be approximately 11,000 premises not covered by superfast broadband by the end of 2024

·         About 3,000 of these premises are classified as ‘very hard to reach’

·         There are a number of solutions for very hard to reach premises, such as low earth orbit satellite schemes

·         Public phone boxes may be removed, subject to consultation, if they have made less than 52 calls in a twelve-month period.  It is recognised that in some areas public phone boxes provide an essential emergency back-up service.

 

There followed a discussion with key points as summarised below:

 

·         Concerns raised about the removal of public phone boxes and the criteria used by OFCOM.  It is not uncommon for phone boxes to be broken and then left in a state of disrepair for a protracted period.  This then means it is not possible for them to be used and so no calls are made, which means that it falls foul of the 52 call limit

·         The commercial challenges faced by BT in maintaining public phone boxes is understood but there is a need to understand that impact that the removal of one can have upon a community

·         There is a need to preserve public phone boxes in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty as they are part of the history of the area

·         There are ongoing issues with connectivity in the Filey area that have yet to be addressed

·         The changes to the landline network and the move from copper wires to fibre means that landlines no longer work in a power cut.  This is of concern for vulnerable people living in an area with a poor mobile phone signal.

 

The Chair, Councillor Nigel Knapton, summed up and thanked Robert Ling and Alastair Taylor for attending the meeting.

 

Resolved

 

1.    That Robert Ling and Alastair Taylor attend a forthcoming member seminar to provide an update on the BT switch-over from copper wires to fibre.

2.    That Robert Ling and Alastair Taylor attend a future meeting of the committee to provide an update on broadband delivery and performance.

30.

Northern Powergrid - Enabling regional decarbonisation pdf icon PDF 414 KB

Minutes:

Considered:

 

A presentation by Lizzie Boyes, Local System Planning Engineer at North Powergrid.

 

The key points from the presentation are as summarised below:

 

·         Northern Powergrid is responsible for the electricity distribution network and not electricity generation

·         It is a utility business regulated by Ofgem

·         Northern Powergrid is delivering around £3bn of investment in 2023 to 2028

·         There is a need to justify spend as this is ultimately passed onto the customer

·         A connection offer will be made to anyone that applies for a connection to the network.  All applicants are treated equally

·         Northern Powergrid works closely with Local Authorities and other stakeholders coordinating low carbon technology rollouts

·         The prices for connection to the grid are regulated by Ofgem and are required to be reflective of real cost

·         Northern Powergrid is supporting publicly funded decarbonisation schemes including: Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure; Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund; Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme

·         There is a scheme to prioritise re-connection to vulnerable people, should there be a power cut

·         It is important to encourage people to use power prudently, as this helps reduce the number of pinch points

·         Northern Powergrid works closely with the National Grid to manage the connection queue

·         The speed of connections being made can be dependent on a number of factors including access across private land.

 

Councillor Lindsay Burr left the meeting at 3:45pm.

 

There followed a discussion with the key points as summarised below:

 

·         Two motions have already gone to meetings of the Full Council regarding electricity supply constraints and delays to connection to the grid, which reflects the concerns of local members

·         The queue for connection to the grid causes great frustration as local schemes that are able to generate green electricity are unable to get off the ground

·         There are concerns that there are a number of schemes in the connection queue that are never going to progress, are stopping others progressing and so should be removed from the queue

·         There will be an increasing demand for connections to the grid and increasing capacity within the grid as more local, micro electricity generation is undertaken in communities and more electric cars and electric residential boilers are adopted

·         EV charging points in public areas are key to enabling and encouraging people to move from petrol/diesel cars to electric cars.

 

Councillors Janet Sanderson, Alyson Baker and Malcom Taylor left the meeting at 4pm.

 

The Chair, Councillor Nigel Knapton, summed up and thanked Lizzie Boyes for attending the meeting.

 

Resolved:

 

1.    That Lizzie Boyes keeps the committee updated on keys issues relating to the maintenance and expansion of grid capacity and any relevant changes in policy.

31.

NYC Safety Advisory Group pdf icon PDF 564 KB

Minutes:

Considered:

 

A report by Callum McKeon, Assistant Director of Regulatory Services at North Yorkshire Council.

 

The report was presented by Rob Robinson (Environmental Health Service Manager for the Ryedale area, North Yorkshire Council) and Vikki Flowers (Head of Environmental Protection, North Yorkshire Council).

 

The key points from the presentation are as summarised below:

 

·         The operation of a Safety Advisory Group (SAG) is not a statutory function of the Council.  It is, however, good practice model to promote event safety

·         The SAG is advisory and as such it has no authority to either approve or prohibit events

·         The SAG co-ordinates public bodies and agencies to offer advice to event organisers

·         The SAG Chair and administrative support is provided by the Local Authority

·         SAGs were delivered from each of the former district/borough councils, prior to the creation of the new North Yorkshire Council on 1 April 2023

·         A North Yorkshire SAG Chairs group was established in 2018 facilitated by the then County Council’s Resilience and Emergencies Team.  This group has played a key role in ensuring that, post 1 April 2023, there has been a consistent approach to the way in which the SAGs work.

 

An overview was then provided on the role of the SAG forn the event known as ‘Pickering Rocks’ held on 9 September 2023.

 

Councillors Greg White and Michelle Donohue-Moncrieff left the meeting at 4.05pm

 

There followed a discussion with the key points as summarised below:

 

·         It is important to recognise that larger events and entertainment can help generate significant income for local businesses and raise the profile of the local area as a tourist destination

·         Events bring the community together and help break down barriers

·         It was felt that the SAG has not helped to enable the Pickering Rocks event to go ahead and that much of the advice given had been un-coordinated and sometimes contradictory

·         Particular concerns were raised regarding the role of the Police in the SAG and their understanding of the role of the group and the importance of timely advice that helps resolve, rather than create issues

·         The SAG does not approve events, it offers advice.  It is important that the SAG understands this going forwards

·         There is a lot that can be learnt from the role of the SAG in the ‘Pickering Rocks’ event that can be applied to the work of the SAG in the new council.

 

The Chair, Councillor Nigel Knapton, summed up and thanked Rob Robinson and Vikki Flowers for attending the meeting.

32.

Levelling Up Fund Round 2 and 3 update pdf icon PDF 274 KB

Minutes:

Considered:

 

A report by Graham North, Highways and Transportation at North Yorkshire Council.

 

The key points from the presentation of the report are as summarised below:

 

·         The Thirsk and Malton bids to the Levelling Up Fund (LUF) in 2022 were not successful

·         The overall feedback from government on the bids suggested that the following could have been given greater consideration: a strengthening of the strategic, economic and deliverability aspects of the bid; greater engagement with local people; more detail on how the scheme aligned with national guidance; and greater clarity and evidence of the Gross Value Added (GVA) benefits in the economic case.

·         The single-track platform at Malton poses problems for accessibility and economic development in the area

·         The lack of success with the funding applications has been frustrating and disappointing but there may be opportunities through other funding streams.

 

There followed a discussion, the key points of which are as summarised below:

 

·         The reasons given by government for not awarding the funding do not make sense.  Both schemes were straight forward with clear and quantifiable benefits to the local community and local economy

·         The work that has been put in will not be lost as there will be other funding opportunities that can be applied for

·         It would have been helpful when applying through the LUF programme if the North Yorkshire bids could have been submitted separately as opposed to jointly.

 

The Chair, Councillor Nigel Knapton, summed up and thanked Graham North for attending the meeting.

33.

Appointments to Committees and Outside Bodies pdf icon PDF 256 KB

Minutes:

Considered:

 

A report by Daniel Harry, Head of Democratic Services and Scrutiny at North Yorkshire Council.

 

Members were requested to consider making appointments to the newly constituted Development Plan Committee based upon political proportionality as indicated in para 2.5 of the report.

 

Resolved:

 

1.    That the following appointments be made to the Development Plan Committee:

 

·         Cllr Goodrick (Conservative and Independent)

·         Cllr Baker (Conservative and Independent)

·         Cllr Andrews (Liberal Democrat and Liberal).

34.

Update on Scrutiny of Health Committee's ongoing scrutiny around Yorkshire Ambulance Service, Dentistry and GP appointments pdf icon PDF 376 KB

Minutes:

Report circulated for information only

 

There were no comments on the report of the work of the Scrutiny of Health Committee’s ongoing scrutiny around Yorkshire Ambulance Service, Dentistry and GP appointments.

 

35.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 254 KB

Purpose: To consider, develop and review the Work Programme for 2023/24 for the Area Constituency Committee.

Minutes:

Considered:

 

A report by Daniel Harry, Head of Democratic Services and Scrutiny at North Yorkshire Council.

 

Members were requested to consider the committee work programme, in light of discussions at the meeting and suggest any matters that may need to be included.  Those items suggested will be investigated by the Democratic Services Officer and then a decision made by the Chair, Vice Chair and Group Spokespersons at the next Mid Cycle Briefing.

 

The Chair proposed, subject to agreement by committee members and following confirmation by the Monitoring Officer, that the start time of the meeting scheduled for 22 March 2024 be moved from 2pm to 10am.  Also, that the meeting be held at the former Hambleton District Council offices in Northallerton.

 

Resolved:

 

1.    That the committee review and comment upon the committee work programme, forwarding any suggested topics for inclusion to Democratic Services

2.    That the meeting of the committee scheduled at 2pm on 22 March 2024 to be moved to start at 10am, subject to agreement of the full committee and confirmation by the Monitoring Officer

3.    That the meeting on 22 March 2024 be held at the former Hambleton District Council offices.

36.

Other business which the Chairman agrees should be considered as a matter of urgency because of special circumstances.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.