Parish Council boundary review likely

The York Council will consider on 1st September a proposal to review Parish Council boundaries

About half the Unitary Councils area is covered by Parish Councils.

Some of the boundaries are now out of step with the new Ward arrangements announced this year.

The papers setting out the terms of the review can be read by clicking here.

Extensive consultation on any proposed changes is promised.

York potholes being filled in

DSCF3194 York-20131223-01260

The Councils pothole team are currently operating in the Westfield area.

We hope that they will fill in the many potholes that have developed over the last couple of years.

It is important that residents continue to report issues as they arise.

A damaged road surface is more vulnerable to frost damage and would cost much more to resurface in the long term

The work forms part of a £300,000 pothole programme funded by the Coalition government.

It is separate from the resurfacing programme which takes longer to complete each year. This is the programme which was drastically cut by Labour when  they took office.

The resurfacing programme has so far reached Huntsman’s Walk where the footpaths have now been repaired.

York party bill could cost taxpayers over £100,000

Sparse crowd for  Grand Departy

Sparse crowd for Grand Departy

The York Council is resisting attempts to discover the true cost of the Tour de France party (“Departy”) that it held at the Huntington Stadium.

It has invoked a littler known clause in the Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation which allows it to withhold information if a report on the issue is due to be considered by a Council committee.

It invoked the same legislation a couple of years ago to delay the publication of bus service reliability statistics in the City (although the subsequently report, when it did appear 6 months later, actually gave very little new information on the issue).

The Council has, however, confirmed that the budget for the event was a whopping £220,000 and that they hoped to generate income of £260,000.

It appears that the income figures were based on selling around 10,000 tickets at a face value of £25.

The Council have refused to say how much income was generated for ticket sales although this figure must be known by now. The responsible Councillor (Crisp) also refused to answer questions posed at the last Council meeting about the event.

In the end only a thousand or so spectators turned up, hence the concern that taxpayers will have a large bill to pick up.

There was no public discussion of the advisability of holding such an event or of the risks that taxpayers might face.

If the promised report is not published on 1st September then the matter can be referred to the Information Commissioner. The Commissioner has been ruling against the York Council on an increasing number of occasions during the last couple of years and some enforcement action may now be in prospect.

Interestingly there is no entry on the Councils forward plan covering a review of the Departy or indeed any other aspect of the Tour de France programme

NB. A FOI request about library services in York was recently refused on the grounds that the service is now run by an independent company. Other services like the Museums Trust have also been taken out of the reach of FOI requests over the years with several other partnership bodies in a grey area.

We believe that any body which relies for a significant part of its income from the York Council taxpayer, should voluntarily apply FOI protocols to the information that it holds.