Agenda item

To receive a statement by the Leader and deal with any questions arising from that statement.

Minutes:

Councillor Derek Bastiman presented his Leader’s statement also providing updates on the Review of Local Enterprise Partnerships and regional devolution.  He advised that York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership was in early discussions in respect of merging with Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, and he would strive to ensure that the east coast continued to be represented on the new LEP.  He added that 18 Council Leaders across the county were still pressing the Government for a One Yorkshire devolution deal; however, the Government’s preference was for devolution deals for the four cities of Leeds, York, Hull and Sheffield.  Members then put questions to the Leader about Business Rate Relief support to shops in Scarborough town centre, why the opposition group was not invited to the recent Select Committee visit, and what support at Director and Cabinet Member level would now be given to ensure the Climate Emergency motion was implemented as a priority.  Councillor Bastiman responded that he was more than happy to consider applications for non-domestic rate relief from other businesses, noting that the extent and definition of Scarborough town centre was currently under review.  He apologised to Councillor Siddons that the opposition group was not invited to the Select Committee visit, but he was not responsible for the invitations.  Councillor Bastiman also confirmed that he would be meeting with officers to consider the implementation of Councillor Cluer’s motion.  Councillor Donohue-Moncrieff asked the Leader to justify why it required himself, the Chief Executive and two other individuals from the Borough Council to travel to Paris to be guests of Welcome to Yorkshire at the Tour de France finish at a cost of £2319.42 and why this was not declared at the last Council meeting when the discussion about the Tour de Yorkshire took place.  She also asked the Leader to explain why he accepted hospitality at York Races from a gambling company Skybet given the immense damage caused by gambling in the Borough, quoting the recent resignation letter of Sports Minister Tracey Crouch in respect of fixed-odds betting machines.  Councillor Donohue-Moncrieff added that the Leader stated that he networked with MPs and other leaders and businessmen. Who were these individuals? Did they have any interests in the Borough of Scarborough?  Referring to the investigation of a potential breach of Data Protection in relation to the email sent in October to all councillors regarding the individuals listed as unreasonable complainants, Councillor Donohue-Moncrieff also sought assurance that the leak had not come from either of the two Cabinet members Nigel Ward of North Yorkshire Enquirer claimed to have regular contact with, or indeed from the Leader himself who was rumoured to have met with Mr Ward in person.  Councillor Bastiman responded that the positions of Leader and Chief Executive regularly required them to attend a range of events in an ambassadorial and social capacity to promote the interests of the Borough, network and develop relationships which often resulted in economic investment and creating future events in the Borough. These activities were a fundamental and frequent part of their roles and therefore there was no requirement or expectation to report such activities to a meeting of the Council.  He added finally that the investigation to which Councillor Donohue-Moncrieff referred was confidential and he confirmed that he had never met Mr Ward on his own.

 

 

 

 

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