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Foxwood in Bloom contest – “Stunning displays”

Judges have praised the high standard of entries in this years Foxwood in Bloom contest.

Residents were asked to nominate baskets and tubs which made the greatest contribution to the street scene in the area.  Judges described some of the entries as “stunning”

Prize winners are being notified this weekend and full results will be announced next week.

The contest is organised by the Foxwood Residents Association and has become a regular fixture on the calendar.

This years judge was Matt Reid from Easigrass gardens

Last year the Foxwood Residents Association won a gold award in the Yorkshire in Bloom contest. This year the Acomb Alive traders organisation have entered the Front Street area in a similar contest organised by Yorkshire in Bloom

There’s still time to take part in the first Acomb Fun Run

Young people are being reminded to book their place in this weekend’s inaugural Acomb Fun Run, where limited places are still available.

The Acomb Fun Run will take place on Sunday 23 July at Carr Infants and Junior School, which will see 4-14 year olds invited to take part in a 2km run. Each participant will receive a medal.

Other friends and family members will also be able to participate in a 1km run on the day. The event is free to attend and people are advised to book in advance at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/acomb-fun-run-tickets-32843001301.

Councillor Nigel Ayre, executive member for leisure, culture and tourism said: “This promises to be a great event hoping to inspire people to try something new in a fun and family friendly environment. Events such as these are all part of our efforts to help people to get active and have fun while doing so.

“Places for the fun run are limited so we would encourage people to book in advance and hope they enjoy the day.”

The fun run is the first of two summer events taking place in Acomb to try and get people to be more active.

A week later, on Saturday 29 July, Energise will then host the inaugural Acomb Family Triathlon. This event will see families challenged to a 400m swim (16 lengths), a 1.2km bike ride and a 1km run. Entry is just £10 per family and every participant will receive a medal and be able to enjoy an activity area for all the family to enjoy. Tickets can be bought at Energise or online, for more information visit www.energiseyork.com/home/events/familytriathlon.

The events are being held in partnership with Energise and Carr Infants and Carr Junior School and are supported by City of York Council.

Now York Council becomes a property speculator

The City of York Council is to invest nearly £15 million in purchasing a City centre retail and office development.

Swinegate Court

Although the business case remains confidential, the Council claims that the £813,000 in annual rent, that it expects to get from properties in “Swinegate Court”, will pay off the principal and interest charges on its extra borrowing.

The Council outbid several private investors to secure the deal.

It is likely that the Council, will seek a 50-year loan to buy the properties.

While it is true that, over the last few centuries, the City has always in the long term benefited from the increasing value of land that it has purchased, there is always a short-term risk in such ventures.

The properties in question are in a secondary shopping area and, with many City centre retailers under pressure partly because of the Councils projection of the area as a “playground” destination, rental growth is far from guaranteed.

This may well prove to be a prudent long term investment, but eyebrows may be raised when a Council, apparently struggling to fulfil its promise to improve basic public service standards, finds the resources to dabble in the property market.

Traffic signals at the junction of Heworth Road and Melrosegate are set to be replaced by City of York Council from Monday 24 July.

Work is expected to be completed by Wednesday 23 August.

Work will take place from 9.30am – 4:00pm, Monday to Friday. To allow work to take place safely temporary signals will be in operation during the works which may lead to some delays for motorists.

The work will include a full overhaul of the traffic signal equipment, including changes to the pedestrian crossing equipment to facilitate puffin style near side red and green man displays. The existing pedestrian crossing will also be widened are realigned following feedback.
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Another York community stadium “work starting” announcement

Déjà vu seeks stadium naming rights!

Land sale value falling

As we predicted earlier in the year, the new community stadium at Monks Cross will not be ready for occupation by the rugby and football Clubs until the middle of 2019.

As recently as April, the Council was still saying the work would be completed in late 2018.

Now it seems that the Council will – at its own risk- authorise building work to start before the final financial contracts have been signed. A report says that this will put £500,000 potentially at risk.

The report also says that a £2.7 million reduction in build costs will be achieved by a cross subsidy from commercial building works. They report that this means that build costs will be £34 million although any saving will be added to the “contingency” reserve, which is built into the budget.

So probably no saving for taxpayers.

The figures quoted in the report do not mention the millions already spent on administration. Other elements of the project bring the total cost to £42 million.

It fails to highlight the risks being taken on by the Council as the principal leaseholder of the southern commercial block.

The report also says the Council will get a lower price (£10.76m) when it sells land for the southern block and the lease on the east stand restaurants. This is £2.6 million less than forecast in March 2016.

The Council have announced that GLL will continue to run the Yearsley swimming pool at least until 2024. The Yearsley subsidy from taxpayers is  £340,000 pa.

The Monks Cross plans still incorporate an additional new – largely inessential – swimming pool.

The Council says that it will not enter a deal with the existing York Libraries Trust for use of the new on-site library. They rather ominously say this is because the intend to re-tender for a new library service operator in 2018.

The proposed stadium name sponsor has walked away from the deal.

We hope that something finally comes out of the project. The present Council finishes its term of office in May 2019 only weeks before the latest stadium opening date. We hope that they will have something to celebrate.

Salford City stadium almost finished in 18 months

However, they may reflect that, since funding for a stadium was first identified in 2009, ten years will have passed during which delay after delay has occurred.

The deal currently on the table will see the Councils leisure centres like Energise and Yearsley transferred over to the management of GLL, with all that may entail for staff and charges.

It is salutary to note that the Salford football club, who will ply their trade in the 6th tier of English football with York City this season, have managed to plan and build a tidy stadium in only 18 months. It is only slightly smaller than the déjà vu stadium in York but has been developed at only a fraction of the York cost.

Latest and previous timetable

More on Chesney Field “improvements”

The Council have now Emailed local Councillors giving an outline of the “improvements” that they hope to make on Chesney Field in Foxwood.

The main – and most controversial – proposal is to fence off several of the existing pitches. This is ostensibly to prevent dog fouling although similar initiatives in the Foxwood and Cornlands parks have had limited success.

The plan would conflict with the main role of what is now the largest area of public open space remaining in the Westfield area.

The Council say they are inviting residents to suggest improvements for the rest of the area, citing a “trim track” and “outdoor gym” as options.

The annual survey of public opinion, currently being conducted in the area, is already asking for views on the provision of an outdoor gym either on Chesney Field or on the Foxwood Park..

So far there seems to be limited interest.

The Foxwood Residents Association at their meeting yesterday criticised the Councils handling of the proposals. The Association has still not been consulted on the plans and will, therefore, invite a senior council official to their next meeting, to discuss the communications break down.

In the meantime the “drop in” consultation event is still scheduled to take place next Tuesday (25th) at the Acorn Rugby Club between 4:00pm and 6:00pm

The residents meeting also heard from Ward Councillor Sheena Jackson who outlined an official response to several proposed changes to parking restrictions in the area. The Association felt that additional restrictions were necessary on part of Cranfield Place and on Foxwood Lane near its junction with Bellhouse Way (high numbers). If the Association is not formally consulted in the meantime, they will lobby the decision making meeting which is scheduled to take place on 14th September.

 

 

Chesneys Field future – meeting on Tuesday

The Council is delivering flyers inviting some people to an event where they say “improvements” to Chesney’s Field will be revealed.

The “drop in” is scheduled to take place next Tuesday at the Acomb Rugby Club starting at 4:00pm

The Council has not said what “improvements” they plan. They have not consulted either local Ward Councillors or the Residents Association.

A disrespectful approach destined to stir up the maximum amount of hostility and resentment we think!