City of York Council have expanded the coverage of free 24/7 Child Friendly WiFi across the city to reach Coppergate in time for the St Nicholas Fair.
Residents, visitors and businesses can log in to CityConnect free Wi-Fi via social media or by completing a simple on-line registration form when prompted.
York’s WiFi network has been available in the city centre since 2014 and already reaches multiple areas of high footfall which include Bishopthorpe Road and Acomb’s Front Street, as well as the park and ride and regional bus service.
Roy Grant, Head of ICT and Digital Services said; “We’re glad to announce the arrival of free Wifi in the area of Coppergate just in time for the festive season.
“With our excellent digital infrastructure, and the arrival of Christmas visitors and shoppers, it’s important we utilise our connectivity to benefit businesses across the city.”
York’s CityConnect WiFi is the first in the world to have ‘Friendly Wi-Fi’ accreditation; acknowledging the networks level of filtering and that access to pornography and child abuse websites, videos and images are blocked.
Free Wi-Fi is available in the CityConnect zones across the city, as well as in: • libraries • corporate buildings • community buildings (BDUK) • our older people’s homes
To find out more about the free Wifi across York please visit: https://www.york.gov.uk/FreeWiFi
Pay by phone transactions at the York Councils, off street, car parks now account for 27% of the income received.
Drivers mostly use cards to pay for the rest.
The York Council is now planning to extend Phone/App payments to “on street” spaces. We think this is a move in the right direction.
A review of parking arrangements will also lead to:
Streamline process of extension of existing residents parking zones including recruiting extra staff
Pay monthly options for Respark with screen badges scrapped referred to as paperless virtual parking (like the new VED system)
the procurement of a new parking system that will introduce online self-service for customers to become the principle channel for online application and payment for parking permits, visitor vouchers, same day online payment for parking tickets, and to automate the requirement for evidence. Cash will no longer be accepted in council offices for parking permits and all penalty charge notice (PCN)
Provide a cashless system in Marygate car park, given most people now use card. This will be subject to the integration of permits (e.g. Minster Badge and Season tickets) into the Pay on Exit technology. Piccadilly car park may also become “pay on exit”
Huge amounts of money have been spent by the Council equipment and barriers at Marygate in recent years to provide a “pay on exit” option. The equipment – for several years – provided to be unreliable although has improved since the provision of ANPR monitoring.
The report is silent on emerging issues like the provision of
on street charging facilities for the growing number of electric vehicles. Some
policing of off-street charging points may also be required.
The Council report claims that the move to online service only
will save substantial amounts of council staff time. The report says that 50%
of visits to West Offices relate to parking issues.
Nevertheless, the absence of a proper business case (including investment and revenue assumptions) , together with achievable implementation milestones, may cause concerns for some taxpayers.
19% of Council Tax income will go on servicing interest and
Under current plans, the debts of the York Council are set to increase from £293 million to £384 million by 2023.
The high repayment requirement means that less will be available to spend on basic public services in the City.
That represents a burden of £539 for every York resident.
Although the figures are within the legal limit placed on Council
borrowing, several of the projects being funded have risks which could increase
The figures are included in a report
to a meeting taking place next week.
Separately, the Council is being recommended to find £2.85
million to fund the purchase of an unnamed City Centre property. This is being
described as a “Strategic Commercial Property Acquisition”.
While it is true to say that, in the long term, investments
in City Centre land and buildings by the Council has in the past proved to be of
positive value for taxpayers, the Councils recent
record on asset management has left much to be desired.
The Willow House former elderly persons home building has been empty for several years while the high profile property at 29 Castlegate is in a similar position.
The Councils executive Councillors stubbornly refuse to consider, in public, asset management issues of this sort.