York Council announce plans for easier electronic communications – again!

The York Council has been working on a  new electronic interface for their customers for over two years now.

It was supposed to be ready for testing in January but it never quite happened!

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Now a media release says, “the York Councils Executive will be asked to support plans for a new smart and responsive online service which will improve access for residents, visitors and businesses at a meeting on Thursday 11 February.

In the first stage of an exciting project to improve users’ online experience with the council, the new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system will aim to:

  • Provide online access to more services and information
  • Ensure the council is more efficient and easy to do business with on a 24/7 basis
  • Implement a ‘My Account’ system for residents offering a tailored access to council services
  • Provide access via mobile devices and tablets, increasing accessibility for residents and other customers
  • Allow residents and customers to track the progress of their requests and receive updates.

The report outlines plans for a high quality and responsive online service to ensure the council is always open and available and that services are easy for people to use.

We recommend "Fix My Street" as the best way of reporting issues - at least until the Councils new system has been proved to work. click

We recommend “Fix My Street” as the best way of reporting issues – at least until the Councils new system has been proved. click

It is proposed that, as with the website launch last year, residents are involved throughout the project with opportunities for them to offer their views.

As the CRM system is set up, the priorities are to provide online services first for waste (missed bins, new container), highways (highway defect, street light defect, drainage), public realm (reporting litter, fly tipping and graffiti), revenues and benefits as well as the ability to feedback on council services.

The proposals come after the launch of the council’s new website which included an improved search function, access to the site from a range of devices and a more modern, customer focused interface, which users said were important to them”.

Executive will take place on February 11 at West Offices from 5.30pm and is open to members of the public or is available to watch live online from: www.york.gov.uk/webcasts

To find out more about the report, or to attend, visit: http://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=733&MId=8846

More children walking to primary school in York

More schools shine bright and become Modeshift STARS

Mode shift starsEven more schools in York have been recognised for their work in helping to make their local areas safer by reducing car journeys and using sustainable forms of transport such as walking, cycling and scooting.

Three school are following in the footsteps of Archbishop of York Junior School, who achieved the gold award in Autumn 2015, by becoming the latest schools to sign up to a national road safety campaign.

Our Lady Queen of Martyrs RC Primary School, Bishopthorpe Infants School and Robert Wilkinson Primary Academy have all achieved a bronze award and are a step closer towards gaining a ‘silver accreditation’.

Round the clock care available at York council Extra Care Scheme

 Tenants at City of York Council’s Sheltered Housing with Extra Care Scheme, Glen Lodge, will be able to access round-the-clock care and support from this month.


The new scheme will see Glen Lodge’s current extra care provision extended from 7am-11pm, to 24 hours, seven days a week.

With the number of people in York  aged 75 and older expected to rise by 50 per cent by 2030, and with the popularity and quality of its current provision at Glen Lodge and extra care services at Auden House, these new plans are part of a city-wide scheme to modernise accommodation for older people.

The programme seeks to address the needs of York’s ageing population by making the best use of existing sheltered housing, by offering people with higher care needs the services and accommodation they need now and in the future.

A planning application has also been submitted to build a further 25 flats and two bungalows on the Glen Lodge site, whose tenants can use the extra care services as their needs change. The application will be considered by the Area Planning Sub Committee on 4 February.

A number of staff from Grove House and Oakhaven – the two council residential care homes which are due to close this spring as part of plans to modernise care and support for older people as part of r the Older People’s Accommodation Programme – will help to deliver the extended care and support at Glen Lodge.

Residents are still awaiting the results of the independent inquiry into the alleged “rat biting” incident at Glen Lodge  (more…)

More financial support available for people affected by floods

flood barrierYork residents and businesses are being reminded that they could receive up to £5,000 to support the resistance and resilience of their property as part of a national package of financial support available.

The Government is providing the funding to enable local authorities to provide grants of up to £5,000 to homeowners and businesses that have been flooded as a result of Storm Desmond and Storm Eva to help fund additional flood resilience or resistance measures for their properties.

The resilience grant will enable those who have been flooded to better prepare their homes for future flood events, both to prevent flood water from entering the property and to speed the recovery if it does.

People who think they may be eligible for a grant needs to register their interest by emailing: floodresiliencegrant@york.gov.uk or calling 01904 552300.

They will then be sent:

More information about the grants is available at www.york.gov.uk/FloodResilienceGrants

The update from the Two Ridings foundation, which is allocating the grants from  the York Flood Appeal, has still not appeared on their web site .

The organisation promised that it would be published earlier in the week.


York Council aiming to privatise its £5 million a year car parking operation

It looks like the Council will be going into partnership with the private sector in an attempt to optimise use of its City centre car parks.

The car parking efforts of the Council have been criticised in recent years with several including the popular Castle Car Park needing resurfacing.

Castle short stay car park

Castle car park

Charges nearly doubled for residents  during the  four years when Labour were in office  although a price freeze for 2016 was recently announced.

A candid report, being considered at a meeting on 11th February, admits that the Council lacked the expertise to operate the “pay on foot” trial at the Marygate car park. The trial was forced on the Council by some commercial interests and might have had a better chance of success had the equipment been installed under cover at the Fossgate shoppers car park.

The Marygate trial was heavily criticised by taxpayers as the barriers and other equipment frequently failed costing over £50,000 in lost revenue.

Despite this, officials are recommending that the trial be continued.

Extension of “pay on foot” to other car parks would be one of the objectives listed for a new “joint venture company” which would see the Council link up with a professional car park company.

 If approved, it would mean yet another Quango running a key public service in the City.

NCPSeveral other options for the future management of the car parks are listed. They include selling off, what has been a cash cow for taxpayers, to the private sector although this is discounted as it would remove the Councils ability to influence traffic patterns and Park and Ride use.

NCP already run two car parks in York (Tanner Row and Piccadilly) while Q-Park operate the Shambles and Kent Street (Barbican) car parks.

The Council says that it hopes some existing privately run car parks can be incorporated into the new contract.