Agenda item

Verbal Updates from Executive Members


Considered –


Verbal updates of Executive Members on the issues identified below.  Executive Members also responded to Members’ questions regarding these issues.


·       County Councillor Gareth Dadd (Deputy Leader):-

·     Warding arrangements for the new unitary Council would be considered by the Executive on 21 September 2021.

·     The Brierley Group’s recent reports were very positive news, indicating strong signs of economic recovery from the Covid pandemic.

·     The County Council was now working towards its usual process to make a decision, in February, to set a budget.


·       County Councillor Don Mackenzie (Executive Member for Access):-

·         The County Council had invested in 18 new gritters and would be ready for the start of the next winter gritting season.

·      Works to improve junction 47 on the A1(M) were well underway.

·     The opening of tender bids was anticipated shortly from construction companies who wanted to build the Kexgill diversion.

·     Northern Rail had published their 2021 December timetable and had included a second train per hour, in each direction, between Harrogate and York following improvements made to signals and track at Cattal.

·     YorBus, a demand responsive app based service in the Bedale/Masham/Ripon area, was doing very well and had received very good feedback from customers.

·     Active travel schemes were progressing in accordance with the programme and construction would commence on Monday 20 September of the Otley Road cycle path and junction improvements along Otley Road.

·     The Transforming Cities Fund gateway scheme for Station Parade was due to go out to consultation again in the near future with more detailed designs.

·     A public Wi-Fi system was now operating in Ripon.  The County Council would be introducing, in due course, public Wi-Fi systems in Harrogate and Knaresborough.

·     The County Council was seeking Government approval to be able to sell the local full fibre network to private users and private businesses.

·     Phase 4 of the Superfast North Yorkshire Programme was now live.  It would be connecting a further 16,000 North Yorkshire residents, mainly in rural areas, to superfast broadband over the next 3 years.


·       County Councillor Michael Harrison (Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health Integration, including Health and Wellbeing Board and Extra Care):-

·     Levels of Covid infection continued to circulate in the general community and within North Yorkshire care homes and staffing.  It was very important that people remembered the key messages, particularly around hand sanitisation.

·     One of the main stresses in the system at present was around resources within the care sector, in particular, where the private sector was unable to provide care and care packages were being handed back to the County Council.  This meant that the County Council was having to move resources around, ie from Reablement Teams into providing planned care.  Members’ support was sought in publicising the “Make Care Matter” website which provided information about what working in the care sector meant and current vacancies in both the private sector and in the local authority.

·     The County Council was reviewing the implications of recent Government announcements around funding for health and adult social care, which included increases in national insurance and tax on earned income.  Whilst this had provided certainty for residents around what their costs would be, it left councils with uncertainty about how much funding they would need to provide to support those initiatives.

·     With regard to Covid vaccinations, 16 September was the last day for care home workers to get their first dose of the vaccination so they could be fully vaccinated by the time new Regulations came into force in November.  The Regulations meant that, unless you were fully vaccinated, or had an official exemption, you were not allowed to work providing care in a care home.  Of the 20,000 staff across North Yorkshire, around 400 had not been vaccinated to date.


The meeting was advised that County Councillor Carl Les (Leader of the County Council) and County Councillor David Chance (Executive Member for Stronger Communities) had had to leave this meeting at an earlier stage to attend other commitments.  County Councillor David Chance had passed a copy of his speaking note to the Principal Democratic Services Officer who would forward it to all Committee Members following this meeting.


Resolved –


That Executive Members be thanked for attending this meeting and for their updates.