Acomb Hotel incident – Claudia Lawrence investigation: Man arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice

The media are reporting an ongoing  incident at the Acomb Hotel on Tudor Road.

Hopefully the Police will act quickly to reassure local residents.

Large scale police activity of this sort in Acomb is unusual these days.


Detectives investigating the disappearance of Claudia Lawrence have this morning (23 July 2014) arrested a 46-year-old man from the York area on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.

The man is currently being interviewed in custody while searches and forensic enquiries are conducted in relation to the investigation.


York Council looking to extend charging for waste collection?

“Scrutiny” review could lead to new fees

It looks like Labour are considering introducing more charges for waste collection and disposal.

Residents criticised Labours decision to introduce charges for second (and subsequent) green bin collections this year.

Mixed messages from Labour

Mixed messages from Labour

This came hard on the heels of some new charges at civic amenity sites (and the closure of the Beckfield Lane facility)

It now seem that the Council is set on considering other charges which may include:

  • Commercial waste collection including service provided to schools and charitable organisations
  • Trade waste disposal at household waste recycling centres including service provided to charitable organisations & landlords/letting agents
  • Clinical waste collection
  • Provision of waste containers
  • Hazardous wastes including chemicals

In other parts of the country Labour have been campaigning against green waste charges ironically using a “one nation” slogan (above left)

A background paper can be read by clicking here

Although not specifically mentioned in the York Council officials report, it is known that – in some countries – charges are levied on the basis of the weight of (landfill) material collected from each dwelling.

It will take the review committee several months to report so it is unlikely that any additional charges could be introduced before next Mays Council elections.

York river deaths report makes sober reading

Hot weather attracts more to river plunge

Man jump York Bridge


A report to a Council meeting next week, from the Safer York Partnership, confirms that there have been 24 deaths by drowning in York’s’ rivers over the last 15 years.

There were more deaths in the river Foss (14) than the river Ouse (10)

Of 6 deaths in the Ouse in the City centre area,  4 have been treated as accidental.

The report comes at a time when many young people are risking their lives by jumping off City centre bridges (see above).

The report says,

“Between 1999 and April 2014 there have been 24 deaths connected to rivers within the York district. Of the 24 deaths that have occurred 10 of them went into the River Ouse in York and 14 of them went into the River Foss in York.

Of these 10 deaths connected to the River Ouse, 4 of them did not enter the river in the City Centre and 6 of them did enter the river in the City Centre.

Of these 6 deaths that were within the city centre connected to the River Ouse; 2 are believed to have entered the river accidentally; 2 are believed to have committed suicide and 2 climbed barriers to jump in and drowned accidentally.

Between May 2013 and April 2014 there were approximately 35 other reported incidents to North Yorkshire Police that were connected to the river that involved some from of possible harm.

This figure is likely to be an underestimate due to difficulties in data retrieval and classification. The following are known about these incidents;

  • 4 incidents involving falls in to the river;
    • 20 incidents involving swimming in the river;
    • 11 incidents involving threatening to jump in the river;
    • Approx 1/3rd of incidents involved people under the age of 18;
    • There is no significant pattern by hour of the day;
    • Incidents are reported all year round but peak in July / August;
    • Reported incidents are mainly on the Ouse river;
    • Reported incidentsareatmanydifferent locationsontheriver,withkey locations being Lendal Bridge and Scarborough Bridge”.

    £3.9 million Social Care budget problem forces major rethink in York

    “the service was not responding quickly enough or effectively enough to the challenges it faced” – Auditors

    The Council has now published an outline of how it intends to recover from the Social Care budget deficit discovered by Auditors.

    The Auditors identified a budget pressure of £2.5 on this year’s budget together with outstanding actions needed to secure budgeted savings of £1.4 million.

    Social care

    In a separate report the Auditors they say

    “Our view is that financial management and commissioning in the adult social care service needs to improve and this service has not responded quickly and effectively enough to the challenges that it faces.

     If the underlying financial pressures are not robustly addressed and actions to secure significant future base budget reductions are not effective, there is a risk that the Council will not be in a position to deliver the best possible value for money in adult social care services.

    Of critical importance to the delivery of sustained improvement is a review of existing contracts and a new commissioning approach that secures the required services at an affordable price”.

    The crisis had led to the demotion of the Cabinet member, who had responsibility for the department, earlier in the year with several senior staff following her out of the door last month.

    A summary of the action that the Council intends to take can be read here

    10 substantial issues, raised by the Auditors, are addressed. They include:

    • Producing a clear and unambiguous budget for the current year which eliminates overspends
    • Improved accountability for senior officials
    • More delegation of responsibility
    • Improvements in the budget build process for next and subsequent years
    • A clear savings plan
    • Improved management information systems and IT
    Council Leader with Cllr Simpson Laing (right) a few weeks before she was sacked from her Social care post

    Council Leader with Cllr Simpson Laing (right) a few weeks before she was sacked from her Social care post

    Challenged on the problems at the last Council meeting, the Leader declined to say why he had not taken action last year to address the emerging issues.

    Council officials had earlier declined to say why one of the savings projects – the opening of a new “super care village” at Lowfields – was running 3 years behind schedule.