Ascot Way proposals generally welcomed
The plans to establish a new centre for disabled children on the former Windsor House site on Ascot Way were generally welcomed at a public meeting held on Monday. The plans will now be discussed at a Council Executive meeting next week
The Council says that the new building will be the setting for a range of support services which will enable disabled children to remain in their families and in their community, delivered from a safe, accessible space
- Flexible short break provision to meet the needs of children and young people with Autism, Learning Disabilities and/or additional health needs.
- Family Intervention Rapid Support Team (FIRST) and Therapeutic Short Breaks a specialist Clinical Psychology led intensive assessment and intervention service for families with children and young people who have Autism and Learning Disability and challenging behaviour which affects their ability to live in the local community
The facility will be linked to Hob Moor Oaks special school. Disabled children will be able to walk to the new provision after school, instead of being transported across the city on minibuses. Part of the playing field of the school will be used for the project.
The buildig will replace the facilities currently provided at The Glen.
The scheme is imaginative and worthy of support. However, the proposal to retain the front entrance (and therefore vehicular access) via Ascot Way is controversial. There are already congestion and parking problems in the area. An access, with car parking, via Hob Moor school would address this issue, while offering the opportunity to provide better accessibility for Lincoln Court.
The detailed plans also suggest that an outdoor play area be provided adjacent to Lincoln Court. While many older people like to feel involved in the local community, inevitably playgrounds can be noisy places. We think that the location of this part of the facility should be reconsidered.
Residents will hope that any building work on the project will not take place at the same time as the threatened development of the Newbury Avenue garage site.
Illustrations of what is proposed are reproduced below
Councillors will consider the future of Haxby Hall older persons’ home when they meet on Thursday 25 January.
Following a consultation with residents, relatives and staff at Haxby Hall, the council’s Executive will be asked to note the feedback and make a decision on whether to transfer ownership and management of the care home to an independent sector provider, with the aim of securing its future and providing modern, improved facilities.
If the transfer of Haxby Hall is agreed councillors will also be asked to:
- Agree to procure a developer to take over Haxby Hall as a going concern with a commitment to delivering improved care facilities on the site.
- To dispose of the site of the care home in return for a capital receipt which will reinvested as part of the Older Persons’ Accommodation Programme.
- To procure a contract that will allow the council to purchase a specified number of beds at an agreeable rate.
In December 2016, Executive agreed to consult with residents, relatives and families on the option to seek a partner to take over the 49 bed care home, with a commitment to delivering improved care facilities.
There is an increasing tendency for election candidates to announce themselves on social media, with their political party left to play “catch up” in the communications game. Last week a Labour activist announced that he would be the next Councillor for Holgate. Turned out that he had applied to be the candidate. Later he was turned down.
So, what do we know about the runners and riders?
Candidate is local resident Emma Keef who lives in Clive Grove. Has been involved with local groups like the Friends of Hob Moor and the Friends of St Paul’s Primary School. Is a Trustee for York’s Special Care Baby Unit. Works for a local Charity. Married with two children. Formerly a helper at the local children’s centre. Has lived in the area for over 10 years. The LibDem campaign got off to a slow start, but they are the only party to have beaten Labour in this seat since local government reorganisation, so they have a chance.
Had a false start when one “George Norman”, a Momentum activist, declared last week that he would be the next Councillor for Holgate. Apparently, he hadn’t told anyone else and was promptly unseated by a Kallum Wilson. Wilson is a former Student Leader at York Uni and very much in the James Alexander mould. He has a lot to do to retain the seat following disclosures about lack of activity by the present Labour Councillors (who failed to post a single update on their web page between April 2015 and January 2018). He works for JRHT in housing. Main claim to fame seems to be his connection with Poppleton FC. Kallum Wilson claims to live in the ward, but it is unclear where. Possibly another instance of Maskell syndrome – buy/rent a local property a few days before you seek election?
The Conservative candidate is expected to be Joao Rei Villar a Portuguese national who has lived in York since 2011. He moved into the Holgate ward in the summer of 2016 after which he tweeted that he was the Holgate Tory spokesman. EU nationals are currently eligible to vote, and stand for election, in Council elections in the UK. The York Council already has one EU national amongst its membership (a Green Party Councillor in the Micklegate ward). Joao Rei Villar seems to be a colourful character having formerly been a CDU Councillor in Lisbon. He is also a qualified anti-aircraft gunner which could come in handy if Teresa May starts “claiming back our borders”. Which side of the border Joao will be on come 2019 remains to be seen. By profession he is a script writer and had a minor part in last years Mystery Plays.
The by election takes place on Thursday 15th February. Nominations must be submitted by Friday.
Residents who are not currently registered to vote are encouraged to go visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. All applications must be made by Tuesday 30 January 2018.
Residents who wish to arrange a postal vote can find further information at www.york.gov.uk or by contacting Electoral Services on 01904 551007 or email@example.com.
Completed applications for a postal vote must be received by 5pm on Wednesday 31 January 2018. Postal votes will be sent out first class from Thursday 1 February 2018.
UPDATE 17/1/18 WE UNDERSTAND EXECUTIVE CLLR IAN GILLIES IS TO INTERVENE IN TH DISPUTED. WE UNDERSTAND THAT HE ACCEPTS THAT SOME PROVISION NEEDS TO BE MADE FOR MOPEDS NEEDING TO ACCESS MILLFIELD LANE & LOW POPPLETON LANE. WE EXPECT SOME CHANGES, BUT NOT NECESSARILY BEFORE THE ANPR CAMERAS ARE SWITCHED ON.
The new bus lane on Low Poppleton Lane/Millfield Lane is ready to be opened. It will be guarded by ANPR cameras which will automatically issue £90 fine notices to anyone driving through the “gate”, other than local bus services
The scheme has attracted criticism because of safety concerns. It emerged the decision was taken in early September without any public consultation.
The papers for the decision meeting don’t include the usual safety audit.
Most criticism has come from moped users who claim the new system will force them to use the busy A1237 northern by pass. That route involves the use of two multi lane roundabouts.
The Council have been alerted to the issue, but they claim that moped riders could dismount and push their bikes along the adjacent cycle lane. We think that there is little chance that most moped users will do that. Most will simply by-pass the gate by riding along the cycle track.
Anyone with concerns can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime, a Freedom of Information request has been submitted to the Council asking it to publish the safety audit reports for the area together with accident, speed and volume figures
NB. Restrictions on Low Poppleton Lane were originally introduced following problems with sugar beet lorries short cutting through a street which included a school entrance. The sugar factory has long gone while the school has moved and now occupies a site on Millfield Lane