York apprenticeship recruitment event attendance at an all-time high

Hundreds of young people and parents attended the York apprenticeship recruitment event on March 6 2019, organised by City of York Council and the Apprenticeship Hub.

More than 400 people came to the event which showcased over 100 apprenticeship vacancies across the city, in addition to the 30 employers and training providers who were on hand to offer advice to young people aged 16 to 24.

Recruiting employers included City of York Council, Nestlé, LNER, Fera Science Ltd, Buckingham Group, Garbutt & Elliott, Army Careers and many more, with vacancies in business and finance, construction, retail, hospitality, digital & IT, engineering, law & childcare.

For more information on apprenticeships, whether you are an employer or a young person, visit www.york.gov.uk/yorkapprenticeships or contact york.apprenticeships@york.gov.uk

Further road closures as work continues on Stonebow, Fossgate and Pavement

As work nears an end on Stonebow, Pavement and Fossgate residents are being reminded of overnight road closures needed to finalise the project.

These include full overnight closures (Monday to Friday 8.30pm to 5am only) on:

  • Pavement – between 25 March and 5 April
  • Fossgate – between 25 March and 12 April and,
  • Stonebow (closed in Pavement direction) between 1 and 5 April

In addition, between 25 to 29 March (over-night only) traffic will flow in the opposite direction on Colliergate so that work can be completed at the junction of Whipmawhopmagate. This may impact people driving in the city, particularly taxi drivers.

It is anticipated that the day time closures of Stonebow, Pavement and Fossgate will be completed on time by 29 March.

The road works are part of a £1.1million investment by the City of York Council to make major improvements to Stonebow, Fossgate and Pavement in York’s city centre. The works will improve the street’s appearance and character, create a more pedestrian-friendly environment and improve access for pedestrians and cyclists, which will attract more visitors to the area.

Tony Clarke, Head of Transport at City of York Council said, “We are nearing the end of a 14 week programme of improvements in the area. These closures have always been in the plans to finalise the work but hopefully taking place overnight will cause the minimum upheaval and disturbance possible.

“We know that the closures have caused delays and disruption for some and we would like to thank residents, businesses and commuters for their patience and assure everyone that we are working hard to have all routes fully reopened by 12 April.”

New Homeshare service bringing younger and older people together for mutual benefit

An innovative new service that matches older homeowners with younger people in a home-sharing arrangement is coming to York.

Homeshare York is based on a national model, where a younger person provides 10 hours of support a week to an older householder in exchange for a room in their home. Homesharers could help with practical tasks, such as cleaning, shopping or cooking, as well as provide companionship and a reassuring overnight presence.

Homeshare is all about mutual benefit. The service enables older people to continue living independently with the support and companionship of a sharer. It also provides young professionals, or mature and postgraduate students struggling with rental costs, affordable accommodation in the city.

Similar services around the UK and internationally report significant benefits linked with intergenerational friendships arising from Homeshare matches. Participants have felt less isolated, experienced an increased sense of wellbeing and shared learning, too.

Homeshare York is a not-for-profit service with a monthly contribution made by the householder and homesharer to cover the cost of the matching process and ongoing support.

It offers a viable, cost-saving option for younger and older members of the community as the fees are considerably less than the equivalent cost of support (for the householder) or rental costs (for the homesharer).

To find out more or to see if you, or someone you know, could be eligible please visitwww.york.gov.uk/HomeshareYork or email homeshareyork@york.gov.uk

Popular falls prevention service moves into Holgate on its second anniversary

A project to help prevent people falling in their own homes is expanding into a fifth ward in the city, in its second year of operation.

Having started in Clifton ward in March 2017 as part of the council’s YorWellbeing Services, work to prevent falls in homes extended to Guildhall ward, then to Micklegate and Fishergate wards. Now it’s rolled out into Holgate. 

These wards were identified by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) as having homes with higher trip risks than the city average. These include hazards such as missing stair rails, uneven flooring or poor internal lighting, especially for children aged under five and older people.

The partnership of housing, health and safety experts including North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and Age UK York carry out free home visits to check and repair simple trip hazards in homes whether rented or privately owned.

Visits are arranged and carried out with a falls prevention practitioner and a joiner. They offer practical advice specific to the resident and their home and can make simple improvements there and then such as fitting a grab rail or banister rail, fitting brighter light bulbs, securing loose carpets or suggesting exercises to help improve residents’ strength and balance. They will also signpost residents to other relevant services.

Since its launch two years ago, the team has put thousands of fall prevention measures in place. These include fitting 733 grab rails, 277 banisters, 391 brighter light bulbs, 13 window restrictors, 11 carpet trims and four drop down toilet rails. 

Residents of Clifton, Guildhall, Micklegate, Fishergate and Holgate can request a free home visit for advice and help on preventing falls, please call 01904 567456 or emailreducingfalls@york.gov.uk

To find out more about the service and pick up some advice on reducing the risk of falls, please visit www.york.gov.uk/reducingfalls

Lowfields problems continue

No response yet from the site liaison officer following residents’ concerns about delivery arrangements at the Lowfields development site.  Concerns about the impact that the large spoil mountains are having on the local environment have also still to be addressed.
Spoil mountains growing at Lowfields

At a planning committee meeting earlier in the week some progress was made on the plans to create 5 new parking spaces on Tudor Road.

The Lowfields Action Group Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LowfieldsActionGroup/ reports that officials have confirmed that the contractor responsible for building the new access road will also construct the parking spaces as part of the same contract. Although they said that the work would be done “at the same time” no planning condition was included requiring the 3 new “on street” parking spaces to be constructed before the existing ones are lost.

The Council as both the owner and developer of the site could have offered a unilateral agreement on this but failed to do so.

Cllr Andrew Waller was the only Westfield ward representative to speak up on behalf of residents. He said that the parking spaces to the rear of 108 Tudor Road were too close to the property. He also asked that improvements be made at the Tudor Road /Gale Lane junction.

The discussion about the Yorspace development was a disappointing.  Councillors completely failed to challenge the claim that the proposed homes will be “affordable”. The developer claims they will be “affordable” The Councils own housing officer has confirmed that they will not.

This contradiction remains unexplained.

A Freedom of Information request on a related issue is still outstanding. A response is due on Monday,

No convincing answers given on car parking arrangements. The 12 spaces will not be adequate to cater for the needs of all occupiers and visitors. Overflow parking will therefore further compromise space on Tudor Road, Green Lane and Kingsthorpe. The developers say that occupiers of the building “will not be allowed to own a car” and that all vehicles using the provided spaces will be “communally owned”.

We doubt very much whether they will be able to enforce such a rule.

The only good thing to come out of the debate was an offer from the developer to look again at boundary treatments. They seem to be backing away for the idea of removing the railings. The railings offer good security while permitting the movement of small mammals like hedgehogs.

Road and footpath resurfacing in York

The York Councils maintenance programme for the forthcoming year has been published. Expenditure of over £9 million has been identified although a lot of this will go on addressing surface water drainage problems. The schedule includes £700,000 for gulley repairs
surface water

The programme also includes investment of over £600,000 to maintain the City Walls, with the focus being on the Bootham section.

One of the most expensive single schemes will see Stonegate repaved at a cost of £500,000.

On the west of the City the carriageways on both Gale Lane and Tadcaster Road will be resurfaced. Cycle routes will get a £250,000 maintenance boost.

However, the funds allocated for footpath repairs is disappointingly low.  The identified major footpath resurfacing schemes are all on the east of the City.

It must leave residents living in streets like Walton Place wondering just how bad a footpath must be before being repaired.

Walton Place

Predictably last night the York Council woke up to the major backlog in highway repairs that has developed in the city during the last decade. Cynics may say that Labour and the LibDems vying to be the voice of the road user has something to do with the imminent Council elections which take place in early May.

However, successive residents’ surveys have confirmed that poor highway maintenance is now the biggest concern that residents have.

It will take a major and sustained boost in funding if the roads and paths in the City  are to be returned to a safe condition.

New fines for householders ignoring their duty of care

Householders who are indirectly guilty of fly-tipping because they failed to check that the waste carrier they hired was properly licensed, may be issued with £250 fixed penalty notice.

Fly tipping at Acomb Car park

Previously anyone committing this offence would be liable for prosecution alongside the fly-tipper themselves.

The new fine, agreed yesterday, allows a more proportionate penalty and can be reduced to £150 if paid within 10 days of issue. It also gives the offender an alternative to prosecution and so avoid a criminal record should they be found guilty. Offenders who do not pay the fine will be prosecuted and so risk a significantly higher fine or sentencing by the courts.

Two-thirds of fly-tips throughout the country contain household waste. This new fixed penalty is the latest development to deter fly-tipping in York. It supports both Keep Britain Tidy’s #CrimeNotToCare which City of York Council launched in January 2018, and the regional, rurally-focused Operation Eyeball campaign which started last summer. These are both backed by regular enforcement action run by the council along with North Yorkshire Police and DVLA to deter illegal waste movement and disposal.

Check if a carrier is licenced at https://environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/search-waste-carriers-brokers or call the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506.

Residents can take waste to our household waste recycling centres – see www.york.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling – or can arrange for the council to collect it via www.york.gov.uk/BulkyWaste. Up to ten items can be taken so why not join together with neighbours?

Hospital patients get quicker access to social care

Patients and their relatives can get on-site help from a team of adult social care experts for any support needed to help them prepare to leave hospital and when they are back home.

Talking Points will open for monthly sessions at York Hospital from 26 March 2019. Drop-in support will be available between 2-3:45pm on 26 March, 9 April, 28 May, 25 June and 23 July for patients or relatives/friends of patients who are in hospital.

The Talking Point team can be found at the entrance to Ellerby’s Restaurant on the ground floor at Junction 2. Staff will be available for face-to-face conversations which allow them to provide timely, appropriate advice and support to residents about a variety of adult social care issues.

The hospital Talking Point is the latest addition to adult social care in York, allowing people to be seen quickly to discuss social care needs for themselves or their family. The original Talking Point opened at Lidgett Grove ‘Church Community Cafe, Acomb in March 2018, with an additional Talking Points opening shortly after at Oaken Grove in Haxby. Every week, people can also speak with expert social care staff York Explore on Museum Street.

So far, people using the service have expressed over 95% satisfaction with the outcome of their conversations and actions taken, with all saying they would recommend Talking Points.

Further Talking Points will continue to open across the city as the programme develops.

Find out more about where and when you can visit Talking Point at www.york.gov.uk/TalkingPoint .

Caught short.

Five men ordered to pay over £1,600 for urinating in public.

York Magistrates have sentenced five men £1,657 for urinating in public following joint working between City of York Council and North Yorkshire Police to tackle anti-social behaviour in the city.

On Tuesday 12 March 2019, York Magistrates heard that Andrew Cannon (aged 36 of High Street Hook, Goole) was found by a police officer in the early evening, urinating in an alley leading to Yates Wine Lodge, on Saturday 15 December 2018.

Mr Cannon pleaded guilty by post and was fined £166, ordered to pay costs of £144 and a prosecution surcharge of £30.

Shear Israr (aged 21 of Kirkstone Drive, York) was sentenced last week (12 March 2019) at York Magistrates after he was discovered urinating against waste bins on Coney Street at 4am by a police officer on Friday 23 November 2018.

Mr Israr, who apologised for his actions during the incident, pleaded guilty by post and was fined £40, ordered to pay costs of £144 and a prosecution surcharge of £30. He submitted a statement of means to the court and mitigating circumstances.

York Magistrates heard on 12 March 2019, that Gary Hill (aged 26 of Cartmell Terrace, Darlington) was found by a police officer urinating against St Helen’s Church graveyard wall on Daveygate, on Wednesday 12 December 2018 at 17:10.

Mr Hill failed to attend court and was found guilty in his absence. He was fined £220, ordered to pay costs of £144 and a prosecution charge of £30.

On Tuesday 12 March 2019, York Magistrates also heard that Gregory Pringle (aged 27 of Lynwood Road, London) was discovered by a police officer urinating in an alley off Coney Street, York, on Friday 28 December 2018 at 18:00.

Mr Pringle, who expressed embarrassment for his actions during the incident, pleaded guilty by post and was fined £258, ordered to pay costs of £144 and a prosecution surcharge of £30.

Jordan Nurse (aged 26 of Cliveden Avenue, Bradford) was also sentenced by York Magistrates on 12 March 2019 after a police officer discovered Mr Nurse urinating against the window of Subway on Clifford Street on Saturday 1 December 2018 at 19:58.

Mr Nurse pleaded guilty by post to urinating in public and was fined £130, ordered to pay costs of £144 and a prosecution surcharge of £30.

A City of York Council spokesperson said: “We are grateful to our partners North Yorkshire Police and the court for supporting our enforcement action. Four of these cases took place in the early evening when families could be around the town. There’s no excuse: all licensed premises in the city must offer toilets for customers and they should be used.

“Urinating in public is indecent and unhygienic; it also puts more pressure on the city centre cleaning services with additional cost to the council.”