York Council says, “Recycle old Christmas lights to Acomb”
The York Council is planning to offer its old Christmas decoration lights, no longer required for the City centre, to Acomb and Haxby.
The lights have become surplus to requirements following the decision by the York Business Improvement District (BID) to invest heavily in their own displays. These have already been reinstalled on the Bar Walls in preparation for this year’s festivities.
Christmas lighting in Front Street has improved significantly in recent years thanks to the efforts of local traders and residents.
Acomb Front Street is changing rapidly as the effects of the recession wear off and the efforts of the local trader’s organisation Acomb Alive bear fruits. There are few empty premises in the area while some independent traders may also be set to benefit from budget changes announced on Monday.
But there may be a feeling that the “hand me down” lights proposal once again fails to recognise what is needed to give Front Street a major lift. Residents, in survey after survey, have criticised the uneven surface in the pedestrian area and have called for a holistic solution.
This would involve the owners of the private forecourts, which would have to be incorporated into any paving scheme, cooperating. In turn this could only happen if a full time precinct manager were to be appointed and funded by the Council.
That initiative doesn’t seem to be any closer.
Meanwhile the Council is considering commissioning more reports into the ailing City Centre retail economy. They have been shocked by the decline of Coney Street as a shopping destination, although they claim that the “high street decline” is less pronounced in York than in other City’s.
Visitor numbers – who are not necessarily shoppers – have increased over the last 5 years.
Nevertheless parts of the City, including the Councils own Guildhall building, are looking shabby and need urgent attention.