Venue: Scarborough Town Hall, St Nicholas Street, Scarborough, YO11 2HG
Apologies for Absence
Apologies noted (see above).
That the Minutes of the meeting held on 22 September 2023, having been [printed and circulated, be taken as read and confirmed and signed by the Chair 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.
Councillor Janet Jefferson declared an interest in item 6 (Winter preparedness on the Coast) as a trustee of the Maybush Centre.
Feedback from previous meetings - Chair's report
In respect of the Scarborough and Whitby Area Constituency Profile report requested for the committee’s work programme, the Chair advised that there was now an all Member Seminar planned for early March on the Local Insights data system. This would enable the demonstration of the new and improved version of LI which was due for release in February.
The Chair was pleased to report that a monthly schedule of informal briefings for the committee on Teams had now been arranged for the new year. The proposed item for the work programme of the Use of Social Value Engine Tool which would assess the impact of the Town deals projects in Scarborough &Whitby would now be on the agenda of the committee’s first monthly briefing on 1 February 2024.
Members of the public may ask questions or make statements at this meeting if they have given notice to Lily Hamilton of Democratic Services and supplied the text (contact details below) by midday on Tuesday 28 November, 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 2 public questions submitted to the committee. Sarah Forsyth could not attend the committee in person and therefore this question was read out by Alison Hume. Alison Hume’s question was taken with Item 10 (Domestic Abuse Safe Accommodation Strategy – Update) as it was regarding the subject of this item.
Will the Council urgently intervene to save Alpamare Water Park from receivership, bringing it under the council's stewardship with financial support? Given its crucial role in our community, offering activities like aquafit, swim tots, and swimming lessons, contributing significantly to residents' health and well-being, and serving as a vital social hub, the potential disrepair poses a risk to this essential resource. Considering the council's past investment of £9 million in public money, can the Council formulate a plan to protect Alpamare, reinvest any profits made, and ensure it continues to benefit the community?
The council is sadly limited in what it can state due to potential legal issues associated with this matter. However, North Yorkshire Council has been in contact with the administrators through our solicitors and is considering all options available to it at this time with a view to minimising the impact to both the council and the surrounding area. The Council is committed to delivering the best outcome from a situation it has inherited from Scarborough Borough Council for the residents and businesses of Scarborough and the wider North Yorkshire communities.
In response to a supplementary question about actions the council was taking to ensure the unused facilities did not become degraded, the Chair reminded the meeting that the council did not own the water park, but any concerns would be relayed to the administrators. Councillor Phillips urged the public to be patient, noting that the council’s Executive was determined to secure the best outcome for residents and visitors.
Considered – a presentation by Louise Wallace, Director of Public Health, Jenny Loggie Strategic Lead for Population Health and Inequalities, and Dora Machaira, Health Improvement Manager. The presentation centred on guidance for what could be done to keep well over winter, including practical solutions such as increased ventilation and staying away from people when unwell. Vaccination programmes were also discussed, and the importance of MMR vaccines was highlighted due to an increase of cases nationally. Reference was made to the value of working with multiple services to ensure those who did not regularly access NHS facilities received information, through the Stronger Communities team, fire and rescue services, as well as adult social services etc.
Following the presentation, questions from members concerned:
- Local data on trips and falls, seasonality and injuries sustained.
- Measures taken to prevent falls and what more preventative work could be done by the council e.g. increased gritting?
- The figures on MMR vaccine uptake in Scarborough and Whitby
- Recommended levels of ventilation and preventative work around winter infections.
- Dental provision for residents who had struggled to access services since a closure on Eastfield Road – steps to alleviate this?
In reply, members were advised that:
- The data requested on trips and falls would be provided. Please see data below and supporting information which was provided following the committee:
Context and latest data for Scarborough (number of people):
Source PHOF 21/22 data.
Falls prevention is a complex area with over 400 risk factors, for example, polypharmacy, cognitive impairment, vision impairment, continence, foot-pain, environmental hazards, postural stability etc.
- One in three people aged over 65 has at least one fall each year (many go unreported)
- Half of those aged over 80 have at least one fall each year
- One in five people who have had a hip fracture will enter long-term care during the year following the injury
- Falls are the commonest cause of death from injury for those aged over 65
- Significant cost: estimated at £4.4 billion in the UK each year, of which £1.1 billion is social care costs
Currently 27.5% of the Scarborough population are over the age of 65 but this is expected to increase to 36% which means the number of falls will increase. Some areas of Scarborough are already higher than this e.g. Filey and Hunmanby (36.6%).
However, there are effective evidence based interventions that can help to reduce the risk of falls and fracture. World Falls Guidelines have been produced setting out what local areas can do to prevent falls.
- The Director of Public Health would share a report from a recent conference on falls prevention - measures included promoting use of slippers, medication reviews, increasing strength-based exercise, and identifying trip hazards in the ... view the full minutes text for item 48.
Considered –report of the Corporate Director – Environment in respect of the ports’ annual performance against the Safety Plan as required by the Port Marine Safety Code. Members were advised that the Port Marine Safety Code was overseen by the Maritime Coast Guard Agency, and although not mandatory there was a strong expectation that all harbour authorities would comply. Key measures of performance were set out in paragraph 4.9 of the report. There were 8 incidents to report amongst the 55,000 movements in the harbour, which showed a reduction from the previous year., None of these incidents found North Yorkshire Council to be at fault and there had been no drop in performance as a consequence of local government reorganisation The report reflected the dedication and diligence of harbour staff who ensured there wascover 24 hours a day at all times of the year.
Following the report, questions from members concerned:
- In respect of environmental pollution, the grading and frequency of incidents
- The harbour authority’s enforcement powers in regard to degraded harbour structures, buildings and craft
- The external audit of the Safety Management System in September 2023
- Adequacy of the dredging regime in Whitby harbour and the impact on harbour users
In reply members were advised that:
- Environmental pollution was monitored through the classification of tier 1 and tier 2 events. Tier 2 events were oil spills which were over 200 Litres whilst tier 1 were under 200 Litres; the responsibility to report incidents like these was with boat owners. The last tier 1 event which took place was a year ago.
- NYC Estates had enforcement powers in respect of the exterior of leased harbour buildings.
- The harbour authority had a duty to remove derelict and stricken craft under the Harbours Act 1964 and as per vessel owners’ terms and conditions to conduct visual checks on seaworthiness ensuring that vessels floated with every tide and remained in good condition.
- The result of the September external audit was Pass and the external auditors’ report would be shared with the committee.
- The Assistant Director did not envisage any delays to the dredging programme in Whitby and confirmed that there had been no incidents of grounded vessels in recent months caused by the build-up of silt in Whitby harbour
Resolved – That the Harbour Authority’s report of performance against the recommendations of the Port Marine Safety Code be noted.
Members were advised about the Bathing Water Directive, including how bathing waters were classified annually into four categories: poor, sufficient, good, and excellent. It was highlighted that Reighton, Runswick Bay, and Scarborough North had slipped from excellent to good classifications, whilst Scarborough South Bay remained at poor. An update was also provided regarding Aquarium top which had seen a significant reduction in spills due to the redirection of sewage and surface water to the Toll House. Yorkshire Water had planned investment for 2020-2025 of £147m but had now announced this would be increased by a further £180m. Further investment was planned from 2025-2030 of £1bn which would aim to improve coastal assets., The programme for this work was under development.
Following presentation of the report, questions from members concerned:
- Disappointment that according to the latest bathing water quality classifications Scarborough South remained poor and that Runswick Bay, Reighton and Scarborough North had all dropped from excellent to good
- The problem of flash floods in Eastborough in Scarborough taking untreated sewage in a stream down to the sea
- The financial contribution of Yorkshire Water to next year’s Environment Agency investigation
- How much of Yorkshire Water’s additional investment planned in high discharge sites would fall to the bill payer
- How could we be sure that the works planned for Wheatcroft combined sewer overflow would be effective?
- Would this investment in storage capacity on the coast have an impact on infrastructure inland? – this was not just a coastal problem
- Were there plans to build more reservoirs in the locality?
- Impact of significant local housing allocations on Yorkshire Water’s infrastructure
- Surface water flooding on Scalby Road and Moor Lane
- How to promote the retrofitting of grey water recycling systems
- The planned investment in surface water separation in the Whitby area
- Sewage discharges in Whitby Harbour
In reply members were advised that:
- Yorkshire Water would raise the Eastborough flash floods with NYC drainage engineers
- Yorkshire Water was currently in discussion with the Bathing Water Partnership in respect of partners’ financial contributions to the Environment Agency’s planned investigations
- The £147m originally identified for the AMP 2020-25 had been committed through Yorkshire Water’s business planning process and signed off by Ofwat in accordance with government guidance. Since then public opinion had shifted prompting this additional investment. Details of the impact of this additional investment on bill payers would be provided to the committee. The following response was provided after the committee “As our bill structure for the period 2020-2025 had already been determined there will be no additional impact to billpayers from this investment.”
- Yorkshire Water would provide further details of the £1.3m surface water separation project in the Whitby area. The press release outlining the details of the project in Whitby is attached to these minutes with further details provided.
- There was no statutory obligation for developers and households to retrofit grey water recycling systems. Yorkshire Water identified ... view the full minutes text for item 50.
Considered – a presentation by Lizzie Boyes, Local System Planning Engineer Northern PowerGrid, about ongoing work to enable regional decarbonisation. Members were advised about flexible connection agreements which avoided reinforcement work and allowed access to services at an increased speed. Their support for schemes such as local electric vehicle infrastructure, social housing decarbonisation fund and public sector decarbonisation scheme were also referenced. It was also highlighted that every applicant was treated equally with the same wait times etc.
Following the presentation, questions from members concerned:
- The need to speed up access to the grid for renewable energy projects citing a local solar farm
- The specific challenges in delivering electricity within the Scarborough and Whitby area
In reply members were advised that:
- Grid constraints were being addressed. Ofgem recently announced that it was introducing rules to remove ‘zombie’ energy projects from the grid connection queue, and the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement included a promise to speed up access to the national grid through a number of measures including the acceleration of upgrades to substations and power lines to connect specific developments, and proposals for community benefits such as reductions in energy bills
- The rurality of the Scarborough and Whitby area presented its own challenges with an extensive overhead line network which was vulnerable to extreme weather events. Northern Powergrid was planning to provide more information for consumers about coping with extreme weather events
Resolved – That the presentation be noted.
The Chair took the second public question at this point as it was in relation to this item.
I welcome the announcement of a new domestic abuse strategy by North Yorkshire Council.
Here in the UK one in four women will experience domestic abuse.
Every 30 seconds the police receive a call relating to domestic violence.
On average three women every fortnight are killed in England and Wales by a partner or former partner.?
A recent report by the No Woman Turned Away Project found that, despite being required by the 2021 Domestic Abuse Act to provide refuge services and safe accommodation to domestic abuse victims, local authorities in England often did not have the resources or the knowledge to fulfil their statutory duty, failing victims.
I hope that the new North Yorkshire Council will be a beacon of hope for victims.
Here in Scarborough, domestic abuse survivors are being forced to return to live with perpetrators, or face homelessness, because they are unable to get a place in a refuge.
While dispersed accommodation in the community is often suitable, many women and children require the stable community environment offered by a refuge where services and support can be delivered more effectively.
Both IDAS and Beyond Housing have been progressing a refuge in Scarborough, which was first approved nearly ten years ago and finally received planning consent in June 2022.
As the “Our Vision” statement states that you are placing the “voice of the victim at the heart” of your response please could the Council confirm that this desperately needed refuge will be supported by the new strategy as women are literally crying out for this specialist provision.
In reply, the Head of Community Safety and CCTV, Odette Robson explained that her presentation would provide further context but the proposed women’s refuge in Scarborough was a key element of the Safe Accommodation Strategy which included dispersed self-contained properties and Safe Haven, and reflected a holistic approach to meet victims’ needs and ensure they were kept safe from perpetrators.
Considered - a presentation by Odette Robson on domestic abuse arrangements in North Yorkshire Council. Members were advised about the local context across North Yorkshire and York and in Scarborough, the work done to provide safe accommodation and protect victims from perpetrators, the embedded multi-agency approach and use of commissioned services, the new governance model and development of the new Domestic Abuse Strategy 2024-28. Peaks in domestic abuse cases were referenced with attention drawn to sporting events and increased demand on services during the Covid pandemic. The types of safe accommodation, included but were not limited to refuges which were women only, and Safe Haven projects. Safe Haven was a national scheme. Most individuals who accessed this service were from outside of North Yorkshire, as they were leaving areas where they may be vulnerable. There was also ongoing work with perpetrators including a foundation which had been commissioned to develop a behavioural change programme. The HALO programme was ... view the full minutes text for item 52.
Considered - A report of the Assistant Chief Executive (Legal and Democratic Services) which invited the committee to make appointments to the Development Plan Committee.
That the following members be appointed to the Development Plan Committee:
Cllr Liz Colling Labour
Cllr Janet Jefferson North Yorkshire Independent
Cllr Phil Trumper Conservative
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 introduction of monthly briefings for the committee, members decided to review the work plan for 24-25 at the briefing in March. Potential items to be considered for the work programme included falls prevention and footpath gritting; dentistry provision; the McCain sewage outfall; major infrastructure renewal projects; and resilience in response to extreme weather events.
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 Chair agrees should be considered as a matter of urgency because of special circumstances
There was no urgent business.
Date of Next Meeting
Friday, 22 March 2024
Friday 22 March 2024
Reports circulated for information only
These were noted by the committee.