Agenda item

To consider the CIL proposals submitted by Ryedale District Council on 29 March


The Executive is recommended to:

i.        Retain the totalityofCILfunding transferredfrom Ryedale DC rather than approvethe grantsas proposed byRyedaleDC

ii.       Allocate the CILfundingof £3m to education capital schemes in theformer Ryedale district

iii.      To work with local groupswherepossible to assistin other funding opportunities

iv.      Note theintention to progressan approachto CIL for the Council aspart of the transitional arrangementswitha report to bebrought forwardtothe Executiveforconsideration at an appropriatetime.



Considered – A report of the Corporate Director of Resources seeking consideration of the recommendations toaward CommunityInfrastructureLevy (CIL) funding to a numberofcommunityschemesas requestedby Ryedale District Council on 28March2023.


Councillor Gareth Dadd introduced the report and provided a factual summary of where the Council was at as of June 2023.


He noted a number of public submissions had been received, as follows:


1. Mark McCandless - Chief Executive Officer, Ryedale Learning Trust

He firstly drew attention to an email received from Gary Fielding on 9 June 2023 at 17.13 which stated:


The report recommends that your request for grant funding is not supported. The recommendation in the report is that CIL is earmarked for school buildings works in the former Ryedale area. The report includes the following excerpt relating to your particular proposal.


We would expect other funding routes to be exhausted prior to any request for CIL including from DfE contribution as this is an academy. Strong sports related project, with community benefit which levered in substantial match funding and had the support of the Football Foundation. Positive scheme but lower priority than the proposed educational use.


He went on to state:


‘Thank you for the feedback provided on our application, which I will refer to. We absolutely understand the pressure on NYC in terms of funding and being able to demonstrate delivering value for tax payers’ money.


For clarity, we would like to highlight that the 3G project at Ryedale School has the highest amount of matched funding in place in terms of the schemes being considered today and requires the lowest intervention rate (16%). It has received the support of the Football Foundation, other grant awarding bodies and the general public living in the community as this facility is much needed in the Ryedale area. In terms of value for money, this council has the opportunity to help deliver a project (worth in the region of £1M) that is desperately needed in this part of North Yorkshire, for an investment of 16%, equating to £125k.  All funding routes were exhausted (and with significant success) prior to this request for CIL funding, including DfE contributions (the CIF process makes clear that this project will not qualify for funding, and currently this is the only route open to us to bid for DfE capital funding). The match funding already secured for this project will be put at significant jeopardy if we do not receive the investment requested from NYC, and therefore it is highly unlikely this project will go ahead, resulting in over £800k of secured investment being lost for the Ryedale community.


In terms of our project being lower priority than the proposed educational use of the CIL funds, we are very aware and supportive of the funding being put into Welburn Hall Special School. Our understanding is that the funding ear marked for the refurbishment at Welburn Hall will not provide the school with additional and adequate sporting facilities, which the school requires. As part of our application to the Football Foundation for funding and consultation process, Welburn Hall (as referenced in our application for CIL funding) came forward as a partner organisation due to their lack of suitable sporting facilities on the school site, the lack of opportunity and access their students currently have to integrate with mainstream schools and sport, and the proximity of their site to Ryedale School (2.3 miles).


Within our usage plan, Welburn Hall have been allocated curriculum and non-curriculum time on the 3G pitch and with access to our PE specialists. To demonstrate our partnership working with Welburn Hall, we have recently agreed that Welburn Hall will use our school kitchen and work alongside our catering staff to prepare and distribute meals back to students at Welburn Hall for the duration of the refurbishment works (2 years from October 2023). This facility would give Welburn Hall students access to sporting facilities which are not deliverable at Welburn Hall due to financial pressures.


This facility would significantly benefit schools, students and the communities in the Ryedale area of North Yorkshire. NYC’s support for this project would therefore demonstrate joined up thinking and deliver strong value for money for the tax payers of this, the former district of Ryedale, and the county.  For these reasons, we ask for your support for this project.


2. Rob Williams – Headteacher, Malton School

‘Why have NYCC Officers failed to make any comment in their report on the over £1million* of lost external grant funding that will fail to come in to benefit the community and residents of Ryedale if their recommendation is approved by Executive Members today, and what comment would Executive Members like to make to the voting public about that significant loss if they decide to support this recommendation?”


*Consisting of:

·         £220,000 – Malton Community Sports Centre

·         £800,000 – Ryedale School

·         £19,000   - Slingsby Sports and Social Club

·         £20,000   - Malton Town Council

·         £20,000   - Kirkham Henry Dance School

·         £18,250   - Broughton Bank Safer Path


This amounts to nearly £1.1million and only includes information from the bids who have responded to my request to share information.


3. Tim Johnson – Headteacher, Norton College

‘Thank you for the feedback provided so far on our application. As a point of clarification, there is a discrepancy in the % intervention related to our application in Appendix A. One of the conditions of approval at the Ryedale District Council Full Meeting on 29 June 2022 was that the College would fund 10% of the scheme, which we expected, and is within our allocated budget.


All alternative funding routes have previously been investigated as noted in the Community Use Plan and previous in-depth communications with Ryedale District Council. As an Academy Trust we do have access to make applications to the DfE’s Condition Improvement Fund, however this process is clear in that our requirements for this type of scheme would not qualify for funding.


The existing carpet needs replacing, and some work is required to improve drainage but the rest of the infrastructure surrounding the Astroturf pitch such as floodlights, parking, fencing is in place and requires no investment. The current surface is end of life and an eyesore in its state of disrepair.  The finer detail in the application described how, by extending our overall community offer, and through achieving greater economies of scale, we would be able to extend and improve our community offer in addition to solving the known lack of bookable artificial grass pitch space in the Norton and Malton area. The new Astroturf pitch is one crucial element of the overall community offer and we feel that the pitch alone should not be viewed as the only output of the scheme. We feel this has not been properly considered by North Yorkshire Council.


Furthermore, our request for funding for the proposed new Astroturf that was originally submitted to Ryedale District Council on 26 May 2022. It was then considered by the Policy and Resources Committee on the 16 June 2022 where it was recommended for approval to the Full Council.


At the Full Council meeting on 29 June 2022, the funding request was approved. You will note this approval came a significant period in advance of the application round that closed on 30th November 2022 and should not have required further authorisation from North Yorkshire Council but instead should have been considered separately.  As you will appreciate both the wider community, and school community believed, following approval at the Ryedale District Council meeting, that this would proceed. There is huge disappointment in the wider and school community to the delay.


Whilst we appreciate the funding pressures on North Yorkshire Council, we feel for the reasons described above, our application provides excellent value for money, and we would ask you to support the project.


4. Ms Dinah Keal

‘Please could the Deputy Leader state when the work required on Welburn Hall School was identified and how much the proposed work at Welburn Hall School will cost, when the work will begin and why this is not being met from the councils existing education budget?


Secondly, when does the council plan to build the proposed school at Norton Lodge? Does the council have plans drawn up for this school?’


5. Steve Arnold - Helmsley Town Councillor.

‘Helmsley Town Council is exceedingly disappointed to learn that the CIL funding awarded to Helmsley Open Air Swimming Pool as recently as March this year may not actually be paid over.  When the Pool’s Trustees were told in March by RDC that the funding had been awarded this was celebrated.


The Pool Trustees and other applicants applied for the funds in good faith. All the supporting information requested was given. Once bids were in, work continued, sourcing suppliers, contractors and additional funding. After all, who would imagine that a grants scheme run by their local authority would be over-ruled by a successor authority for the same area?  It was not for applicants to assess the risk that their efforts would be in vain.


The volunteers’ work and enthusiasm to provide facilities for Ryedale should not fall victim to political point-scoring by the new North Yorkshire Council asserting its might if not its right. Volunteers’ contributions should be valued and appreciated, they’re evidence of a vibrant community striving to make Ryedale a better place to live, work and play. Many of the bids will benefit local people who it must be acknowledged lack the facilities and ways of getting to them enjoyed by those living in a less sparsely populated district.


The Pool’s plan for improved facilities is an infrastructure project worthy of financial support with CIL monies received by RDC. Helmsley has not received any CIL funds except the payment to the town council for the most recent development, used for play equipment for the new families.  The Pool project will benefit many children and families.  Learning to swim is one of the most valuable skills a child can learn, the younger the better.  Having a family-friendly pool in Helmsley is a Ryedale treasure that should be a priority for infrastructure funding.  I will leave the argument about the sources and availability of funding for schools to others to show that using this CIL pot is unnecessary. This is North Yorkshire Council’s chance to show it has the imagination and political courage to act in the interests of Ryedale’s residents.’ 


As the Chairman of the Ryedale District Council CIL Grants Committee, I fully expected its decisions to be implemented.  These CIL funds should be distributed to the grant applicants as awarded.  Why are you not supporting your local residents and electors of Ryedale?


6. Ian Conlan - Chair of Malton Town Council

‘Will this Executive consider setting aside this report and deliver what communities want, with mutual respect of democratic and lawful decisions of Ryedale District Council, or risk alienating whole communities and areas, undermining trust in our democratic institutions? Each organisation spent hundreds of hours applying and take a dim view of finger pointing rather than honouring decisions already taken by a sovereign authority. It was a demanding process, approved by democratically elected councillors and certified as legal and valid by officers of that authority and independent legal advisers.


If you don't approve all these schemes today, the loss is real, immediate, in lost hope, lost opportunities, a kick in the teeth for the poorest members of our community for assets they can access for free in our case, and many other schemes, or for an affordable low cost. 


The as yet ill-defined CIL priorities of this council have not been scrutinised as this Council seeks to do retrospectively and given the current balance on the Council as I write could well change.  CIL is NOT taxpayers’ money, as has been suggested, but is money from developers, so this is absolutely not a loss to the tax payer, nor should it be used to plug gaps in capital school funding that is a taxation issue. If Norton requires funding for a new school, for instance, this comes out of the CIL charge for housing schemes precipitating that need in that area, not from robbing resources from other unrelated CIL monies. 


The CIL schemes in front of you today which you can choose to approve, are for the very things that the New Council plan seeks to support, helping reduce inequalities, community cohesion, boost health, wellbeing, and activity levels, with play, sports facilities, both inside and outside schools in our community, a cycle track, a swimming pool, a pump track, grants to help a charity for children with special needs, helping isolated elderly people with limited mobility access a building. Yes, it is the elderly too that have needs. The knock on effects will be lasting if this funding is lost, in opportunities and millions in match funding, and a massive loss in trust and goodwill towards a brand new Council. I urge you to have courage, and work with the communities you serve.


7. James Milner

‘Good morning, my name is James Milner and I am member of the management committee for Slingsby Sports and Social Club.


We, like the other organisations affected, are incredibly disappointed of the decision of this council not to release the allocated CIL funds to allow us to progress the Slingsby Sport for All Project at this time.  The project will make a huge difference to our local community by transforming the facilities that are available to members of the community with disabilities and mobility problems who currently find it difficult to engage with and socialise with others and risk isolation as a result.


The enhancement to the sporting and changing facilities will encourage more people, particularly younger members of our community, to participate in sport with all of the health, both physical and mental, that exercise brings.


The benefits of the project to Slingsby Community Primary School are also significant by providing the children with changing facilities on the site of the field that they use for sports rather than having to get changed at the school and walk across.


Despite our disappointment with not receiving the funds allocated by Ryedale District Council we were heartened to hear that North Yorkshire Council “would wish to work with us and others in order to progress the proposals where supported, by looking at alternative funding sources”.  We were also very pleased to hear the positive comments with regard to our project which were shared with us in the email that we received from Gary Fielding prior to the release of the report into CIL funding.


We have worked incredibly hard to raise the match funding that was identified as part of the original scheme but £19,000 of this funding is dependent on being able to commence the project in this financial year and failure to do so would run the risk of us having to refund that money.  We would therefore ask what the alternative funding sources are likely to be, what are the criteria for being able to access those funding sources and what are the time frames?


We are willing to meet and discuss the options at the earliest opportunity in order to progress a project that is ready to start delivering positive benefits for the local community.’


Councillor Lindsay Burr declared an interest as a previous Ryedale District Councillor and went to state:

The Executive were privileged to have overall power on the decisions which were really important for the local area and could choose to uphold a sovereign council’s previous decisions.  The CIL grant process was fair, well thought out and most importantly scrutinised, verified and evidenced by officers.  It was cross-party decisions with only one member who did not vote in favour.  When the new unitary was muted never expected money to be denied.  They expected fair decisions from the new Authority. The CIL money was earned by the local area for the local area.  These grants can lever in £1000’s of matched funding.  I refer back to the 2020 campaign for the unitary – stronger together, locals must be at the hear of the new Council, and local people and communities will be at its heart.  Is turning down the CIL applications right – these projects will keep these organisations alive and ensure matched funding is secure.  Think of the 1000’s that will benefit. I don’t feel the officer’s recommendations are the right decisions – why do you feel you cannot support the Ryedale CIL applications?’


In response to the submissions made at the meeting, Councillor Gareth Dadd first confirmed the decision the Authority had to make had to have an eye on the medium term and the rest of the Authority area.  He noted how unfortunate it was to have come to this position and confirmed that Ryedale District Council was advised that their CIL Community Grant Scheme was an unwise venture and would raise expectations unduly within the community. 


He confirmed North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) had pointed out that Section 24 Consent was required, as set out in the report, and that it was unlikely to support such a scheme given the need for larger scale community infrastructure.  He was therefore not surprised to be in this position and sympathised with the community organisations who applied for funding and had written the public questions.


He also confirmed Ryedale District Council had assured NYCC that all applicants had been made fully aware of the need for NYCC to provide Section 24 Consent in order for grants to be approved.  Community organisations should therefore have been aware of this additional requirement or Ryedale District Council had inadequately communicated the terms within which any proposals could be considered.  He again expressed sympathy with community organisations if that information had not been relayed sufficiently.  As the responsible Executive Member, he pointed out that both he and the Leader had made clear that they did not approve of the scheme proceeding and there had been significant coverage about the difference of opinion between Ryedale District Council and the then County Council.


He noted it has been said that the process undertaken by Ryedale District Council was a demanding one and that significant time has been invested by community organisations, all possibly to no avail.  He understood the point and again had sympathy.  However, he suggested the process was flawed as it did not consider broader community infrastructure needs or engage sufficiently with officers from the then County Council given the imminence of vesting day and the creation of a new unitary council.  He highlighted that bidding for external funding was also never straight forward as it required applications to comply with the funder’s terms and conditions and, as in the case of many of the applications, they needed to match up with those of other external funders.   The outcomes of such funds were never guaranteed, and each applicant therefore needed to consider all eventualities and provide for contingency arrangements in the event of one of more funders declining an application.  The CIL situation was no different other than Ryedale District Council had created undue expectation by maintaining that it was their sovereign choice to undertake the community grant scheme.


In regard to the issue of sovereignty, Councillor Gareth Dadd drew attention to section 2 of the report, and noted that:

·          Ryedale District Council was a sovereign body, but all sovereignty was restricted by law. 

·          On 10 May 2022 the government issued a direction under Section 24 which placed restrictions on Ryedale District Council in recognition of the unique nature of a transition from the eight councils in North Yorkshire to a single unitary council.  Ryedale District Council was therefore never in a position to be able to approve any applications in its own right and it was extremely disappointing that a notable number of Members of Ryedale District Council disregarded this clear point of law. 


He could not help but presume that a CIL Community Grant Scheme was an opportunist attempt for Members at Ryedale District Council to spread some financial largesse without any consideration for the longer term future of the tax payer of Ryedale and North Yorkshire Council.  He also recalled that the last democratic elections held in Ryedale were in May 2022 when North Yorkshire Councillors were elected to represent their divisions in the new unitary council – something they were exercising now.


He highlighted that North Yorkshire Council faced significant shortages in Capital Funding across the board and referenced the two Education Capital Schemes set out in the report which are likely to need significant amounts of investment.  Given the shortage of Capital Funding, particularly in education, he suggested the Authority must be prepared to make difficult decisions in order to ensure both value for money and that Community Capital Infrastructure was fit for purpose over the longer term, and drew attention to some headlines:

·          North Yorkshire’s School Condition funding allocation for 23/24 stood at £6m.  This was for the maintenance of school buildings, compliance, suitability, or to address modernisation and strategic priorities. This funding pot covered 194 of the 215 maintained schools for which the LA was responsible.

·          The total maintenance backlog (i.e. condition life has expired or where there are major condition defects) was conservatively estimated at c.£22m with a further planned maintenance requirement of £75.5m. The total maintenance requirement, therefore, stood at c.£100m

·          There was separate funding for basic need (additional school places) of £29m including developer contributions. However, there were two new schools planned for North Northallerton and Knaresborough with up to a further 5 new mainstream schools expected to be required in the next 4-5 years.

·          North Yorkshire was the lowest funded local authority in the country in terms of high needs capital funding per head of pupil population.


Councillor Gareth Dadd was pleased to say that given the creation of a unitary council the Authority would now be able to avoid the folly of the past which would ensure that the needs of community infrastructure were established across all tiers of local government and better evidence based decisions could be made.


He noted that all of the applications reviewed were schemes that provided some value to the broader community which the Authority would like to be able to support.  However, given the range of demand across the board there was a need to prioritise.  He confirmed the Authority wanted to work with community organisations to try and do its bit to help secure other funding where that was possible. He accepted the perils of external funding were always such that applicants needed to have a plan B which the Authority would aim to support them on. He suggested there were a number of practical things that could be done which included the deployment of specialist staff to work with those community organisations (including an external funding officer); a review of the possibility of accessing the Shared Prosperity Fund; working with the Stronger Communities Team; and considering whether there were merits in supporting any proposals from core service budgets. 


In response to the specific questions within the public submissions, Councillor Gareth Dadd confirmed the following:

·          The Ryedale School scheme as set out would provide valuable enhancement to the facilities that could be enjoyed by Welburn Hall Special School and others.  However, Welburn Hall Special School would fail to function at all unless circa £5m could be found in order to deal with the significant problems that it faced.  The rise of education and health care plans was well documented and the provision of places at special schools was critical to meet demand.  The Council had a plan to deliver a further 350 places across the county and could ill afford to lose places from its existing setting.

·          It was noted that the Ryedale Learning Trust had been successful in securing significant amounts of match funding.  The reduction in the funding request was therefore welcomed but the Council still needed to consider the relative merits of a contribution towards a scheme that enhanced facilities as opposed to other schemes that were delivering core community infrastructure as described at Welburn Hall Special School and / or at Norton Lodge should there be a need to build that school.

·          The Authority would aim to work with Ryedale Learning Trust in order to identify any other sources of funding and it would also be a matter for Ryedale Learning Trust to establish whether or not they were able to access their own funds as a Trust.

·          In regard to the Norton College Scheme, as welcome as much of the scheme was, it was still competing with the provision of core education infrastructure. – Cllr Gareth Dadd accepted that that Ryedale District Council did request Section 24 Consent for that particular scheme sometime before the launch of their CIL Community Grant Scheme.  However Section 24 Consent was not granted, because there was a risk that further requests would come in of a similar nature in a piece meal fashion and NYCC was advised that Ryedale District Council was considering the launch of a broader community scheme which led to this consideration today.  He confirmed he belief that it was correct to defer a decision on that particular scheme so that the Authority was able to make a decision about the best use of public money alongside all other proposals, for the benefit of the North Yorkshire tax payers.

·          In regard to the question from the ex-Leader of Ryedale District Council, Councillor Gareth Dadd suggested that if Ryedale District Council had worked collaboratively with NYCC it would have been better informed about the extent to which need for capital investment far outstripped the supply of capital funding for schools, which had emerged over the last six months.

·          The information relating to Welburn Hall School was set out in the report where it was indicated that the cost was circa £5m.  Work would begin shortly following tendering. 

·          The decision to build the new school at Norton Lodge will be made based upon need and the timing of developments in the Norton area.  This had been communicated to Ryedale District Council throughout and that was why CIL funding was being requested.  To be clear, there was still a possibility that Norton Lodge may not go ahead but if it did then funding would be required.  This was a point that seemed to have not been understood by some Members at Ryedale District Council who seemed keener on the dash to splash the cash rather than financial responsibility.

·          If the funding was not to be needed for the two schemes highlighted in the report, then the funding would continue to be available for projects that complied with the Infrastructure Funding Statement 2022 and the former Regulations 123 list.


Finally, Councillor Gareth Dadd again offered his sympathies to those community organisations who have put forward requests for CIL Grants, whom he believed had been led up the garden path by Ryedale District Council.  He suggested that the leadership of Ryedale District Council owed them an apology for putting political opportunism above responsibly decision making, and was pleased to note the situation would not arise again now that unitary council was in place, and could prevent such nonsense re-occurring and could pull together a sensible and evidence based approach to CIL across the whole of North Yorkshire.


A number of the public participants suggested there had been a lack of respect shown towards former Ryedale District Councillors.  Each public participant was given the opportunity to ask a supplementary question, and in response to those questions the following was confirmed:

·          The applications had been reviewed based on the approach detailed in paragraph 4.1 of the report, and it noted it was possible to have strong projects but still establish that they were either not a could fit with CIL and/or there were higher priority demands on the funding.

·          It was not the fault of the Community bidders that they had ended up in the position they were in with their applications, nor was it a reflection on the quality of the bids put forward.  The fault laid with the former Ryedale District Council.

·          Where there was high demand, the monies to be put forward by other parties were taken into consideration when determining where to allocate the scarce resources, to ensure best value for money relative to priorities. 

·          The Chief Finance Officer Group were asked to consider 10 of the 11 bids on 28th March 2023.  The Norton College bid was received significantly earlier.  However they needed to be considered on mass and the Group were aware there was the potential for a CIL Scheme being launched so they did start to merge in to one. Consent was not declined but it was decided they needed to be considered in the round otherwise there could have been a whole sequence of potential bids coming in which would have resulted in a loss of coherence and created a precedent.

·          North Yorkshire County Council did not withdraw the Section 24 process prior to vesting day but it did make it known it was not welcoming any more Section 24 requests, whilst still providing a mechanism for any urgent issues that arose.  This was in light of the number coming through and the new unitary council being imminent.  The Norton College bid was considered prior to the email being issued confirming Section 24 requests were no longer welcome.

·          CIL and tax were both means to fund core capital infrastructure, and neither was ringfenced.  It was the job of the Authority to look at the totality of demand and the totality of funding and make decisions based on relative value for money.

·          The exemplary manner in which Slingsby Sports & Social Club had conducted themselves throughout the process was noted.


Finally, Gary Fielding - Corporate Director of Resources reiterated that the recommendations within the report were not a reflection on the quality of the proposed schemes but on the priorities the new Authority faced.


Having taken the report and the contributions at the meeting in to account, the Executive voted in favour of the recommendations, and it was


Resolved – That:

i.        ThetotalityofCILfunding transferredfrom Ryedale DC be retained, rather than approvingthe grantsas proposed byRyedaleDC

ii.       The CILfundingof £3m be allocated to education capital schemes in theformer Ryedale district

iii.      Workbe undertaken with local groupswherepossible to assistin other funding opportunities

iv.      Theintention to progressan approachto CIL for the Council aspart of the transitional arrangements be noted witha report brought forwardtothe Executiveforconsideration at an appropriatetime.





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