York City Centre WiFi – Free?

If you think so view this BBC expose

The BBC has lifted the lid on the deal that Labour Councillors did to provide “free”  WiFi access in the centre of York.

click to view

click to view

We said all along that nothing is “free” and now we know what the payback is.

The deal means that large amounts of personal data about you, your activities, interests and movements has been made available to third parties.

We think that individual users should be able to opt out of providing such personal information.

Will the Council agree and act?

Labour launch "free" WiFi. but look at the small print

Labour launch “free” WiFi. but look at the small print

The Councils extended use of “spy cameras” and behind closed doors decision making means that it already has a poor reputation on civil liberties issues

This is a link to the media release response they have put on their web site,.

Separately Labour Leader James Alexander  has come under fire for lack of transparency on a deal that the Council did with an IT provider to use the Councils own super highway network.

Procured by the last LibDem administration, the network was intended to provide high speed links for all the Councils buildings around the City.

Now the core network may be used as part of the roll out of an ultra high speed network under a deal which the Council says will being high speed broadband to “every property in the City”.

Problem is that part of the network has been subsidised by taxpayers and its use – other than at a commercial rate – could violate EU state subsidy rules.

Expect more of this as and when the service is launched.

Vacant spaces at York car parks

Still big gaps in Council information

Last year the York Council stopped providing information on its web site about the number of vacant parking spaces at its City Centre car parks.

York Live web site click to access

York Live web site click to access

It promised that the information link would be reinstated by “May”.

2 months later and the information is still not being provided for the most popular car parks like Nunnery Lane and Marygate.

The responsible cabinet member refused to apologies at a recent Council meeting for the delays.

He said people could use social media to find out where to park (actually none of the social media system provided real time parking availability information)

NB. The Council has also been unable to keep many of the on street “Variable Message Signs” in a good state of repair.

Electric car charging points in York used 212 times in 8 months.

Toyota Prius Plus

Toyota Prius Plus

The six electric vehicle charging points installed by City of York Council in Council car parks and Park&Ride sites have been used 212 times since activation in October 2013.

  • 62001 – 35 uses
  • 62002 – 45 uses
  • 62003 – 23 uses
  • 62004 – 85 uses
  • 62005 – 9 uses
  • 62006 – 24 uses

Usage by Council of electric pool car is on-site at Ecodepot, not public charge point so the usage has been by private residents/visitors/businesses.