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Iron Age artefacts unearthered at Wetherby Road roundabout

Typical iron age roundhouse

City of York Council and York Archaeological Trust have discovered evidence of what appears to be a prehistoric settlement during the York outer ring road works at Wetherby Road roundabout.

The earliest discovery appears to date from the Iron Age, roughly 2,500 years ago. This discovery is a large ring ditch which could have been a possible enclosure or roundhouse. It measures approximately 16 meteres making it one of the biggest to be unearthed in York. Unfortunately, none of the postholes have survived over the thousands of years but pits and what looks to be a hearth have been found.

A nearby ditch has also produced a series of finds, including decorated pottery fragments, a fragment of quern-stone and industrial waste material in the form of molten slag. Fragments of possible pumice-stone, a volcanic rock not found locally, have also been discovered. These could point to connections with the wider prehistoric world at that time.

The finds were made during work to improve theWetherby Road roundabout. This is the first of seven roundabouts on the A1237 set for improvements over the next four years. The upgrades will mean more lanes and space on the approaches and exits, as well as improvements for pedestrians and cyclists.

Ian Milsted, Head of Archaeology for York Archaeological Trust, said ‘We’re excited to have recovered this important  information and will now analyse the finds to understand the story of the people who lived here before the Romans founded the city. We’re also very pleased to have successfully recovered the archaeology without disrupting the roadworks, which we will continue to monitor’.

Finds have also been made to the north of the enclosure with a series of other ditches that may indicate field boundaries associated with the settlement.

There is evidence of similar activity from later periods as well, with medieval ditches cutting through the exisiting ones, showing how the agricultural landscape has changed over the centuries. These important discovery adds to the growing body of evidence for late prehistoric settlement around York.

York Archaelogical Trust have present on site from the start of the works after we requested their help to identify and preserve any possible sites of historical interest.

The York Outer Ring Road improvements programme is being funded through the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund, and the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.

For more information about the York Outer Ring Road improvements visit www.york.gov.uk/yorr

Progress in boosting York cheaper homes initiative

The Council has recently agreed to purchase several vacant homes in the City. It is part of a plan, tabled several years ago, by the LibDems which will see property bought on the open market to  ease the housing crisis.

Grange Lane

The funding to purchase empty homes will mainly come from the surplus accumulated over many years on the Council housing account.

The properties will be available on a part rent/part mortgage basis for lower paid local workers.

Typically schemes like this allow couples to get on the housing ladder and gradually move on to own the whole of the property.

Homes purchased recently include ones in Foxwood Lane, Kingsway West, Troutbeck, Teal Drive and Grange Lane

Several of the properties are former Council houses which were sold under “right to buy” legislation. They are a mixture of 2 and 3 bedroomed properties.

Initially the homes are likely to be offered to those on the housing waiting list and existing tenants.

The initiative will reduce pressure to build on greenfield sites.

An independent appraised of shared ownership can be found by clicking here

Campaign launched to reduce anti social behaviour

Cllr Sheena Jackson points out a damaged cycle barrier

Problems with anti social behaviour usually increase at this time of year but recently problems have reached new levels.

A cycle barrier at the entrance to the Thanet Road sports are was knocked over last week. Although there were signs of corrosion on part of the barrier, the responsibility has been placed at the feet of vandals. A temporary barrier is being installed this week,.

Elsewhere in the Foxwood area, noisy mopeds and cars trying to do hand break turns on amenity areas have been reported. We would expect that the police – who didn’t attend a residents association meeting yesterday – will be able to deal quickly with vehicle related issues like these.

Anyone spotting anti social behaviour or potential vehicle offences should report them to 101.

NB. The number of Police officers in the area has reduced over recent years. Crime levels are creeping up.

York Council seeks views on new “Clean Air Zone” for York’s city centre

Fuel cell bus under test in London. Zero tail pipe emissions. Still no sign of the technology reaching York

City of York Council is seeking views on the proposed introduction of a Clean Air Zone in York’s city centre, to help tackle traffic pollution which can be harmful to people’s health.

As part of this consultation, a drop-in event is taking place on Monday 23 July between 3- 6pm at West Offices, where officers will be on-hand to answer any questions and provide more information about the proposals.

Unlike other parts of the country where a Clean Air Zone is a mandatory requirement, the council is proactively looking to introduce the new zone.

This will help to reduce the amount of traffic pollutants in York’s city centre, which are mainly caused by diesel vehicles.

The council is looking at many ways to improve air quality in the city centre. One of these options is by working with bus operators to apply the proposed Clean Air Zone to local bus services.

The authority knows (through York’s Third Air Quality Action Plan) that local bus services make up three per cent of the traffic but cause 27 per cent of the main pollutants in York.

The survey is available to complete at www.york.gov.uk/consultationsAlternatively  ask for a paper copy at West Offices.

To find out more about which bus services could be affected, or for more background on this proposal, visit: http://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=733&MId=10195

Those reading the background  reports may be disappointed by the lack of information on pollution trends in the City (Euro 6 standards are already prompting improvements) while auto idling devices are fitted to all new vehicles.
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What’s on in York: State of Crisis – a book launch with author Richard Drysdale

July _19 State Of Crisis Richard Drysdale

York Explore Library

Thu 19 Jul

6.30pm – 7.30pm

Free

Who would attempt to subvert an independent nation? How would they go about it?

Join author Richard Drysdale for a talk on his latest political thriller State of Crisis, the sequel to State of Emergency, set in near future Scotland. There will be chance to ask questions about the new novel and the author’s writing experience afterwards.

This is a free event. There is no need to book.

For further information please call us on 01904 552828 or email york@exploreyork.org.uk or pop in and speak with a member of staff.

What’s on in York: Laura Lippman and Alafair Burke – For one night only

Laura _alafair

York Explore Library :

Wed 18 Jul :

6.30pm – 7.45pm :

£7.50

Good friends Laura Lippman and Alafair Burke are coming over from the States and will be stopping off in York for one night only. They will be discussing writing psychological thrillers American style

Laura Lippman has been awarded every major prize in crime fiction. Her latest book is Sunburn. A woman walks out on her family and appears in a new town with a new job and a new friend who knows more about her than any new friend should. How many times has she done this before and who are the shadowy figures so interested in her whereabouts?

Alafair Burke is the New York Times best-selling author of 11 novels, including her latest, The Wife. A woman marries a brilliant economics professor, seizing the chance to leave her tragic past behind. Six years later everything begins to unravel when an accusation against her husband forces her to decide whether she can afford to support him and risk her past being revealed.

To book tickets click here.