The Council must decide whether to renew a three year contract with Make it York (MIY) at a meeting taking place later this week.
The organisation is a curious hybrid with responsibility for a disparate range of functions including business development, tourism, culture and the Shambles market.
For residents, its City centre activities are likely to have the highest profile. Many initiatives there, including the Christmas lights and anti-litter patrols, are the brainchild of the, trade funded, “York BID”
MIY has been criticised for its opaque decision-making processes. As a “wholly owned Council company” it should be subject to regular review by a “stakeholder” committee and at least two of the Council’s scrutiny committees (which are themselves famously obtuse).
In realty the “stakeholder committee” rarely meets, while the Council’s two representatives on the MIY board have a largely subterranean profile.
Success has been limited, with a confusing array of bodies (LEP North Yorkshire, LEP City Region, York BID etc.) rubbing shoulders in the same field.
Coney Street decline
MIY can take some credit in helping to sustain the number of tourists coming to the City. This is an important part of the economy and visitor numbers have increased, partly on the back of a weak pound.
Employment levels in the City also remain high
The biggest criticism of the Council’s approach is a lack of smart PIs on which to judge the organisations success.
Very noticeably, there are no customer satisfaction measures in the current set, other than those for participating businesses.
MIY receives an annual £300,000 subsidy from taxpayers.