To consider the report of the Director (LD) (reference 19/008) attached
The Cabinet considered a report by the Director (LD) (Reference 19/008) in respect of a review of the Cinder Track by the Overview and Scrutiny Board. In presenting her report to the Cabinet, Councillor Lynskey, the Chair of the Task Group, highlighted the depth and breadth of public engagement and the fruitful working relationship with the North York Moors National Park Authority evidenced in this detailed scrutiny review. This was particularly important given the degree of public suspicion which greeted the original Sustrans report that provided the starting point for the review. Councillor Lynskey believed the Council had now won over residents and stakeholders through the review process and hoped the Council could harness this goodwill in the future management and volunteer support for this much-loved leisure and commuting route. She went on to applaud the other members of the task group and the officers who had supported the review. Mr Thompson, the Operations, Transport and Countryside Manager, then commented on the report, echoing the Chair’s remarks on the high level of community engagement in the review process, and commending the draft Restoration Plan as a basis for future funding and planning applications to secure the track’s future. He also noted that the Plan proposed a number of alternative funding models engaging the voluntary and community sector, and a series of measures which could be introduced to generate an income to offset the future maintenance costs for a restored track. Until a funding model had been established and these income-generating measures had been introduced as part of the capital works, the Task Group recommended an annual revenue grant of £70k to ensure future maintenance was financially sustainable and a further £20k to fund the planned update to the ecological surveys set out in the Plan. Mr Thompson also reported that the Council had received a petition seeking to ban the Staintondale Hunt from using the Cinder Track for their hunts. There would be a meeting with the petition organiser to consider how to address the concerns identified in the petition. Members of the Cabinet welcomed the report and congratulated Councillor Lynskey and others involved in the review for a thorough piece of work. However, since the Cabinet did not have the power to approve mainstream budget provision, it was proposed that recommendations 2. and 3. in the report be reworded as budget bids for approval by full Council on 1 March 2019. The Director, Mr Edwards explained that these two proposed additions to next year’s budget would be incorporated in his draft Financial Strategy report to be considered by the Cabinet in February.
RESOLVED that the Cabinet:
1. approve the draft Restoration Plan for the Cinder Track (Appendix A)
2. endorse a bid for mainstream budget provision of £70k pa for the future maintenance of the Cinder Track as part of the Council’s Financial Strategy and Revenue Budget for approval to full Council
3. endorse a bid for the allocation of £20k to update the ecological survey of the Cinder Track as part of the Council’s Financial Strategy and Revenue Budget for approval to full Council
4. instruct officers to submit external capital funding applications as appropriate to support the implementation of the Restoration Plan and to ensure the Cinder Track remains sustainable for the future.