Agenda and minutes

General Purposes Committee - Thursday, 28th January, 2021 5.30 pm

Venue: Online only - Due to Covid-19, this meeting will be held remotely and will be livestreamed here: (Copy and paste the link in your browser).

Contact: Charles Casey - Democratic Services Officer  Tel: (01423) 500600 Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitutes:


31/20 – APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTES: There were no apologies for absence or notifications of substitutes.

(5.36 pm)




Declarations of Interest:

Members to advise of any declarations of interest.


32/20 - DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST: There were no declarations of interest made at the meeting. With regards to item 37/20 Councillor Tim Myatt advised that he was the Cabinet Member for Planning but that this was not considered a disclosable interest and therefore he remained in the meeting for the item.

(5.36 pm)



Minutes: pdf icon PDF 213 KB

of the meeting of the Committee held on 19 November 2020.


33/20 – MINUTES: The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 19 November 2020 were approved unanimously as a correct record.


(5.37 pm)



Exempt Information:

To determine whether to exclude the press and public during the consideration of any exempt information items.


34/20 – EXEMPT INFORMATION: There was no exempt information.


(5.38 pm)



Public Arrangements - Questions:

To consider any questions under Standing Order 27.


35/20 – PUBLIC ARRANGEMENTS – QUESTIONS: There were no public questions to consider under Standing Order 27.

(5.38 pm)



Stray Exchange Land and Byelaw amendments - Outcome of Consultation: pdf icon PDF 267 KB

The Executive Officer for Economy and Transport and the Economy and Transport Officer to submit a jointly written report.

Additional documents:





  OUTCOME OF CONSULTATION: The Economy and Transport Officer (ETO) submitted a written report the purpose of which was to provide feedback on the outcome of the public consultation undertaken in relation to the proposals to exchange Stray land and to amend the Stray Byelaws to permit cycling on the Otley Road Cycle route. The report also sought approval from the General Purposes Committee to submit the proposed byelaw amendments to the Secretary of State, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) for approval.


The ETO began by giving a summary of the wider context of the proposed byelaw amendment. She explained that NYCC was leading on a NPIF funded scheme that would improve sustainable transport infrastructure in the West of Harrogate, including a new off-road cycle route along Otley Road. The proposed cycle route intended to use some existing verges and footpaths between Cold Bath Road and Beech Grove, which were designated as Stray land. At the meeting of the 15 July 2020 the Committee had given permission to consult the public on the proposed byelaw changes and on the 20 July 2020 Cabinet approved a consultation on the proposed exchange of land options. The subsequent consultation was carried out for twelve weeks between 17August 2020 and the 9 November 2020. A copy of the online questionnaire was attached at Appendix A to the report, the questionnaire sought the publics’ views on the exchange of land and amendment of Byelaws that were required in order to enable NYCC to use the Stray land for the creation of the proposed off-road cycle route.The public were also made aware that the Stray Byelaws would be updated to be consistent with the model byelaws at the request of the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government. The new byelaws could be found in appendix C to the report.


The ETO explained that there were 443 responses to the consultation, 417 of these responses were from residents and the majority of the respondents agreed to exchange of the Stray land (56% agree, 39% disagree and 5% neither agree nor disagree) and that option 1 was the preferred location. The results also showed the majority of the respondents agreed to amending the Stray Byelaws to permit cycling on the proposed cycle route on Otley Road (59% agree compared to 38% disagree and 3% neither agree or disagree). The ETO advised that officers had conducted a detailed analysis of the responses and grouped the responses into themes as detailed in paragraph 5.11 of the report. A detailed response to each of the themes was outlined in appendices B1, 2 and 3 to the report.


The ETO then responded to questions from Members. In response to one question she explained that the results had not been broken down based on where residents lived as the Stray Act required any exchange proposals to be based on a benefit  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.


Amendment to the Constitution to Include Reference to the Implementation and Enforcement of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL): pdf icon PDF 262 KB

The Executive Officer Development Management and Building Control and S106 and CIL Delivery Officer to submit a jointly written report.


37/20 – AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION TO INCLUDE                                                         

            REFERENCE TO THE IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT                                                           

             OF THE COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEVY (CIL): The S106 and CIL Delivery Officer, submitted a written report the purpose of which was to recommend amendments to the Constitution to include reference to the implementation of CIL and in particular to make arrangements for the authorisation of enforcement proceedings in respect of non-payment of CIL receipts and the service of Stop Notices against development works where CIL payments were outstanding.


The report outlined that CIL was a charge, expressed in pounds per square metre, levied on the net additional floor-space created by most new development and was calculated through a formula related to the scale and type of development proposed in the area. The Council approved the CIL Charging Schedule on 8th July 2020 and started implementing it on 1 October 2020. CIL was to be collected at commencement of development and the proceeds of the levy must be spent on local and sub-regional infrastructure needed to support new development in the area. The CIL Regulations 2010 (as amended) made provision for the effective collection of money (Part 8), and where necessary, enforcement of collection of money (Part 9). It was vital that the Council as a CIL charging and collecting authority follow the correct collection and enforcement process and as CIL was a separate legal entity and had a different national regulatory framework to other planning powers it was necessary to ensure that the Council’s Constitution reflected this responsibility. The report outlined the process for CIL collection at paragraph 5.4 and paragraph 5.6 outlined the levels of penalties that could be imposed by the Council. The officer advised that where a development had commenced without payment of the CIL the Council would be able to issue a stop notice and as a final step the Council would be able to recover costs through the Courts. Lastly the officer highlighted Paragraph 5.10 of the report which contained a table that showed the amendments required to the Constitution to cover CIL implementation and enforcement duties.


In response to a question the S106 and CIL Officer confirmed that if a developer had not paid the levy the Council could issue a stop notice and as a last resort the Council could take court action.




That   (1) the Constitution be amended as per the table in Para 5.10 below to make provision for the implementation of CIL and the decision making process relating to the commencement of legal proceedings in respect of non-payment of CIL receipts and the service of Stop Notices against development works where CIL payments are outstanding;


(2) all decisions relating to the CIL enforcement process be delegated to the Executive Officer Development Management and Building Control in consultation with Cabinet Member (Planning) and the Head of Legal and Governance; and


(3) authority be delegated to the Head of Legal and Governance to make the necessary changes to the Council’s Constitution as per the table in Para  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.


Update to Constitution Media Protocol: DOTX 62 KB

The Communications and Engagement Manager to submit a written report.

Additional documents:


38/20 – UPDATE TO CONSTITUTION MEDIA PROTOCOL: The Communications and Engagement Manager (CEM) submitted a written report which soughtapproval of a proposed new Media Protocol (attached as appendix 1) as part of the Council’s Constitution document (part B, section 11). The CEM advised that the existing media protocol had not been updated for some time and as such it no longer accurately reflected the approach to media relations or external communications.


The report outlined how the Council’s Media Protocol set out the principles and processes for how the council used external communications and media relations to promote its work and the services it provided. It was written at a time when the Council did not benefit from the expertise of a central communications and engagement team. Previously, services had been expected to prepare their own communication materials for publication to the press. It was not certain when the protocol was last reviewed or updated, but it no longer reflected current working practices. All communication and marketing activity was carried out by the corporate communications and engagement team using a range of channels.


In response to a question the CEM and Head of Legal and Governance agreed to review the possibility of Ward Members being included in proactive Communication responses.




That the new media protocol be approved and the Head of Legal and Governance be authorised to update the constitution accordingly.


(Seven Members voted for the motion and there were two abstentions)


                                                                                            (6.23 pm – 6.30 pm)


Proposed Adoption of LGA Model Code of Conduct: pdf icon PDF 169 KB

The Head of Legal and Governance to submit a written report.

Additional documents:


39/20 – PROPOSED ADOPTION OF LGA MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT: The Head of Legal and Governance submitted a written report which sought to recommend the adoption of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Model Code of Conduct with local amendments.


The HoLG began by giving the background to the development of the Model Code and reasoning behind why it was recommended for adoption. In accordance with the provisions of the Localism Act 2011, the Council in 2011 adopted a Code of Conduct for Members and arrangements for dealing with complaints that Members had breached the Members’ Code of Conduct. In January 2019 the Committee on Standards in Public Life published a report following its review of Local Government Ethical Standards. The report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life recognised that clear, relevant, and proportionate codes of conduct were central to maintaining ethical standards in public life. In order to ensure consistency of approach the Committee recommended that there should be a national Model Code of conduct, but that this should not be mandatory, and should be able to be adapted by individual authorities.


The Committee on Standards in Public Life’s report was considered and recommended by the General Purposes Committee in March 2019. Following the report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life the LGA has now developed a Model Councillor Code of Conduct. It was a template for councils to consider adopting in whole and/or with local amendments.


The key elements of the LGA Model Code of Conduct were set out in paragraph 5.4 of the report and the Model Code, together with some minor and local amendments was set out in appendix 1 to the report. The red text found in appendix 1 set out the proposed local changes to the Model Code and reflected the existing arrangements in the Council’s code of conduct. The HoLG advised that she had consulted the independent persons when preparing the proposed code and she confirmed they were happy with the Model Code and the proposed local amendments. Furthermore, the independent persons had requested inclusion of sections 6.1 to 6.3 of the existing code to which the HoLG had agreed.


The HoLG advised that wording in the proposed local amendments to the code made it clear and reflected the test, as set out in section 27(2) of the Localism Act 2011, that a relevant authority must adopt a code dealing with the conduct that is expected of its Members and co-opted Members when they are acting in that capacity as elected Member. She also explained that she had added a provision that barred Members from scrutinising a decision that they had a part in making. At paragraph 5.6 of the report it was highlighted that there were no changes to requirement regarding the disclosure of registerable and non-registerable interests. Paragraph 5.7 outlined that the National Committees’ recommendation of changes to the sanctions for breaches of the code alongside the appeals process, was out of scope of the Model Code at  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.


Amendment To Members' Allowances Scheme - Remuneration for Microsoft Teams Dial-in: pdf icon PDF 312 KB

The Democratic Services Officer to submit a written report.



  REMUNERATION FOR MICROSOFT TEAMS DIAL-IN: The Democratic Services Officer submitted a written report which soughtto gain approval of a proposed amendment to the Members’ Allowance Scheme for consultation and recommendation to full Council for approval. The proposed amendment would give Members the ability to claim for costs incurred by use of the Microsoft Teams Dial-in option when dialling-in to council or committee meetings.


The proposed addition to the Members’ Allowance Scheme enables the reimbursement of costs incurred by Members who are required to use this service in order to take part in a Committee or Council meeting and would otherwise be barred from taking part through technical issues such as a loss of internet connection. Reimbursement of dial-in costs applies only to those meetings listed in Appendix 1 to the Members’ Allowance Scheme and the requirements for making an expenses claim were set out in paragraph 5.4 of the report.




That the revised Members’ Allowance Scheme contained within this report, described in paragraph 5.4, is recommended to Council for final approval.


 (7.17 pm – 7.23 pm)



Polling Station Location Changes: pdf icon PDF 158 KB

The Elections Manager to submit a written report.




(FROM 5.30 PM – 7.32 PM)


PRESENT: Councillor Samantha Mearns in the Chair. Councillors Nick Brown,

Philip Broadbank, Ed Darling, Tim Myatt, Pauline McHardy, Alex Raubitschek, Matt Scott and Norman Waller.


Late Arrivals:         None


Early Departures:   Councillor Alex Raubitschek at 6.40 pm

                               Councillor Pauline Mchardy at 7.20 pm





41/20 – POLLING STATION LOCATION CHANGES: The Elections Manager (EM) submitted a written report which recommended proposed changes to twelve polling station locations.The recommendations in the report were there to ensure the voting procedures was as easy as possible and accessible for all voters across the District and to ensure that all polling stations were COVID-19 secure workplaces and safe for voters to confidently cast their vote in person.


The EM advised that the due to the ongoing situation with the Coronavirus in the UK, the Government and the Electoral Commission have issued guidance on what is necessary to run safe and COVID-19 secure polls for the planned PFCC elections on 6 May 2021. The measures included similar practices that the public would have seen in shops and in public spaces such as the use of hand sanitizer, one-way systems and social distancing of staff. The Elections Team had therefore conducted a review of current polling station locations and identified 12 sites that needed to be reviewed. A number of the current sites were unsuitable as they didn't have warm running water for staff to be able to frequently wash their hands and some sites were simply unavailable due to the pandemic. In addition to that the EM advised she was attempting to move away from using schools to avoid further disruption to school years. The proposed changes were outlined in paragraph 2.1 of the report.


In response to a question the EM explained that two of the proposed changes were proposed to be permanent, The Hydro serving the ward of Harrogate New Park was to be moved to Jennyfields Evangelical Church on Grantley Drive. The Citizen’s Advice Bureau in Harrogate Central had been identified as too small of a space to allow for social distancing of staff and electors. The Returning Officer is therefore proposing that the polling station should be permanently relocated at The Wesley Centre, this move was to be included in the recommendations found in paragraph 2.1. The EM confirmed that all Ward Members and County Councillors had been consulted on the proposed changes all but one had responded and all respondents were happy with the changes.




That   (1) The Committee note the proposed changes:

(1) The polling station at All Saints Church School serving the ward of Spofforth and Lower Wharfedale to be moved to Sicklinghall Village Hall.

(2) The polling station at North Rigton Primary School serving the ward of Washburn to be moved to St John’s Church in North Rigton Village

(3) The polling station at Baldersby Mission Room serving the ward of Wathvale to be moved to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.