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Hedgehog Awareness Week 2017

Hedgehog Awareness Week runs from 30th April to 6th May 2017 and events are being organised all around the country already!

Hedgehog Awareness Week is organised by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and takes place every year.  It aims to highlight the problems hedgehogs face and how you can help them.

This year efforts are focussed on a strimmer campaign.  The society has produced water proof stickers that they are sending to councils, tool hire companies, grounds maintenance teams, etc free of charge on request (email info@britishhedgehogs.org.uk). 

The stickers remind operatives to check areas for hedgehogs before using any machinery.  Once the group have received the stickers and sent us a pic of them in action, we can add them to our Hedgehog Heroes Roll of Honour! 

See http://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/hedgehog-heroes-roll-honour/ which, following action by local Councillor Sheena Jackson, includes the City York Council

 As well as checking areas before cutting there are other things we can do to help too:

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30 young people in York to be stripped of housing benefit

 

Over 30  young people in York central constituency will be affected by the Conservative government’s decision to strip 18-21 year olds of housing benefit, research by the House of Commons library commissioned by the Liberal Democrats has shown.

In total 18,000 young people across the country expected to be affected. The Liberal Democrats have committed to reverse the cuts, which came into force at the beginning of this month.

York is already suffering from  homelessness, with official figures showing there  were 18 rough sleepers in 2016. Charities have warned that stripping 18-21 year-olds of housing benefits could push more young people onto the streets while research has shown it is likely to cost taxpayers more than it saves.

 

Figures from the House of Commons library showing the number of 18-21 year olds in receipt of Housing Benefit who will be impacted can be found here (link)

The latest figures on rough sleeper by local authority can be found here (link)

Charities have warned the policy will risk pushing thousands more young people onto the streets. Research by Heriot Watt University has claimed the policy will save just £3 million. This means if just 140 more young people were made homeless, the policy would actually cost taxpayers more money overall than it saves. (link)

£1.5m investment to preserve York’s 1,900 year old walls

City of York Council is investing £1.5 million to preserve and protect York’s medieval city walls, which are renowned as being the finest and most complete walls in England.

Stretching over 3.4 kilometres, they are also the longest historic walls in the country too. With five main ‘bars’ (big gateways’), one postern (a small gateway), one Victorian gateway and 45 towers, it takes around two hours to walk the entire length of the walls.

The council already invests around £100,000 a year on routine monitoring and inspection, but more funding is urgently needed to ensure the 1,900 year old walls can be preserved for years to come.

Approval was given back in February to invest council capital funding into a five-year programme of works.

These works are now set to get underway this spring to make further and much needed improvements to:

  • Monk Bar steps: which have become sunk and twisted
  • Replacing Micklegate roof: in addition to the new roof, two new walkways gates will be installed. This will allow the museum to remain open when we close the walls for operational reasons. Road closures will be in place for traffic. Pedestrians will continue to have access. More details to follow.

Repair and restoration works at:

  • Tower 39, tower 32, tower 2, Bootham Bar to Robin Hood Tower, Anglian Tower and Red Tower utilities.

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“Financial inclusion” project set to be launched in Westfield

£250,000 is set to be invested in helping less well-off members of the community in the Westfield, Clifton, Guildhall, Heworth and Hull Road wards. The wards are among the lowest ranked using a national “Index of Multiple Deprivation” (IMD). The project will last for two years.

In some ways, the project will seek to emulate the Kingsway Project, of the last decade, which did achieve some success in getting residents to apply for the benefits to which they were entitled. Paradoxically a low score in the IMD is influenced by the number of claimants – meaning that the more successful a benefits campaign is, the lower the score will be!

Some neighbourhoods – such as Chapelfields – have relatively small numbers of retired people and are less likely to be regarded as “deprived” using the national definitions.  However, the Council is, rightly, intending to roll out its project across the whole of the Westfield ward

A key target for any project like this must be to get more people into work. In KIngsway this proved to be difficult because of the large proportion of elderly and retired people in the area. These days the high employment level in the City means that there are a lot of jobs around so progress may be possible for the long term unemployed.

The Council has produced a summary of the key indicators of “deprivation” (below).  Many of these are unlikely to show a measurable improvement over just a couple of years (life expectancy being one example).

Instead of setting measurable  firm targets, the Council says, “Social Return on Investment produces a description of how a project creates value and a ratio that states how much social value in £s is created for every £ of investment”.

This is the management speak equivalent of Voodoo.

That was the week that was in west York – 22nd April 2017

Cllr Andrew Waller, together with several residents, have complained about the recent proliferation of fly posters advertising a fair and circus. The posters have to be removed within 2 weeks.

Work is progressing well on building the new bee hotel at the Community Centre in Foxwood

Unfortunately one of the bus shelters on Foxwood  Lane has been vandalised over the weekend

Cllr Sheena Jackson has reported problems with loose direction signs and broken glass on the Hob Moor cycle track. We’ve also suggested that the Council take the opportunity of drier weather to improve the surfacing of pedestrian entrances (above right) onto the moor.

We’ve reported more fly tipping on Acomb Wood Meadow. The AGM of the Foxwood Residents Association last week was told that the Council had made little progress in response to a plea that skip services be restored to the area. The weed killing programme is due to start shortly. Snickets in the Greenwood Grove area are among those which will be treated

Meanwhile in the City centre the derelict site next to the new hotel at the Barbican is an eyesore. We’ve told the Council that they should act to have the area cleaned up. The land was earmarked for a block of flats but that project seems to have stalled.

Latest planning applications for the Westfield Ward

Plan to build in garden of Green Lane property

Below is the latest planning application received by the York Council for the Westfield ward.

Full details can be found by clicking the words highlighted in blue

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91 Ridgeway York YO26 5DA

Proposal          Erection of single storey extension extending 4.05 metres beyond the rear wall of the original house, with a height to the eaves of 2.4 metres and a total height of 3.53 metres

Reference       17/00880/LHE

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63 Green Lane Acomb York YO24 3DJ

Erection of 4 dwellings with new vehicular access from Green Lane

Ref. No: 17/00884/FUL 

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 Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning on line web site.  http://planningaccess.york.gov.uk/online-applications/

The Council now no longer routinely consults neighbours by letter when an application is received

What’s on in York: “State of Emergency” – meet the author Richard Drysdale

York Explore Library

Tue 25 Apr

6.00pm – 7.00pm

Free

Apr 25_RichardJust how far would the UK government go to prevent the break-up of the UK? How would Scotland react? State of Emergency is a political thriller set in Scotland at some point in the future.

The evening will include a talk on the novel as well information on the self publishing process. There will also be a Q&A to follow.

Richard is a historian, teacher and biker and has lived in York for forty years. As a Scot he has always taken a close interest in the politics of Scotland particularly during the 2014 referendum on independence which continues to be highly topical today.

To book your ticket for this event please pop in to York Explore Library, call us on (01904 552828) or email york@exploreyork.org.uk.