Free parking offer to continue in York

The one hour of free car parking in many of York’s car parks is to continue during September. Other changes have been made which will also see a cheaper “Minster Badge” introduced.

Castle car park

It was another “behind closed doors decision” with the following changes agreed

  • Extend the 1 hour free parking initiative which has been in place for August to the end of September and increase the marketing and promotion to drive up the take up of the offer.
  • In October to launch a new Minster Badge offer which would be valid until the 31st March 2021 for the cost of £2, the equivalent of one evenings charge. Minster Badges provide free evening parking and a discount to residents who purchase one.
  • To standardise the time evening parking charges commence in off street car parks where evening charge is applicable to 5pm for Minster Badge Holders seven days a week until the end of March.
  • To reduce the coach parking tariff to a flat rate of £6.70 per hour (similar to the current hour charge.

Changes to the parking machines will cost £10,000

The Council has not revealed how many motorists took advantage of the discounted parking rates offered in July and August. It does say that car park use has increased back to traditional levels quicker than was anticipated.

It has not released, for general use, the spaces at Marygate and Monk Bar car parks which were taken out of service a couple of months ago.

An extension of the taxi service to and from Monk Bar car park for blue badge holders until the end of September has been agreed. No details of the level of use of this service have been revealed by the council.

NB. At the end of the Summer Holidays the temporary toilet provision that was installed on Parliament Street will be removed.

Homeless problems – still too many long term empty Council houses in York

The was some surprise a few days ago when a scheduled report on homeless problems in the City was pulled.

The Council failed to explain why the report was abandoned and it remains unclear what the report contained.

It may be that the Council is embarrassed by the seeming increase in the number of empty homes that it owns.

Two on Foxwood Lane have been empty for over 6 months (i.e. from before the pandemic caused delays) . Both properties are bungalows which are always popular with “downsizers”, so finding new tenants shouldn’t have been a problem.

On the basis of the last published stats, there were 22 homeless households with dependent children in living in temporary accommodation in York.

According to the Councils own figures, the average number of days to re-let empty properties has risen from 27 days to 37 days during the last couple of years.

There are 1597 people registered on the York housing waiting list.

Coronavirus York updates; 28th August 2020

Deaths and test results

Two more positive test results bring the cumulative total to 961. No additional hospital deaths

The number of tests carried out has increased this week

Council background narrative

Diagnosed cases (Pillar 1&2 combined)

• As at 27.8.20 York has had 959 cases, a rate of 455.3 per 100,000 of population. The rate in York is lower than national (507.2) and regional (647.2) averages. The most recent cases in York had a test specimen date of 25.8.20 (2 cases).

• The PHE ‘Exceedance’ rating compares the no. of new cases over a 14 day period with the previous 6 weeks and provides a RAG rating to indicate if the previously observed trend in the no. of new cases is worsening. The latest rating for York (24.8.20) is Red. The rating was triggered by a higher than ‘expected’ number of cases per 100 tests twice in the last 14 days (6 cases with a specimen date of 16.8.20 and 7 cases with a specimen date of 21.8.20). We know that in recent weeks the number of cases have been low in York which has an effect on the thresholds used to determine the RAG rating – a small change can mean the difference between a red, amber and green rating. The exceedance report should not be considered in isolation but in context alongside other factors such as the recent total number of cases, COVID related deaths, outbreaks as well as changes in the local testing regime and local hotspot analysis.

• The latest weekly National Covid-19 Surveillance Report released on 21.8.20 and covering the week up to 18.8.20, showed that the 7 day rate of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population tested under Pillar 1 and 2 was 3.34 for York. York was ranked 20th out of 149 local authorities (with 1 being the lowest rate).

• The latest validated 7 day rate of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population for York is 7.12. This is for the 7 day period up to 21.8.20. This excludes cases with a sample date in the last few days due to partial data and lags in reporting. The rate in York is lower than national (11.3) and regional (15.6) averages.

• As at 25.8.20, the latest 7 day positivity rate in York (Pillar 2 only) was 0.82% (16 positives out of 1,943 tests). The positivity rate in York is lower than national (1.3%) and regional (1.7%) averages.


The two sources about deaths from Covid-19 at LA level are ONS data and local registrar data. They are derived from the same source (civil registration data). ONS data is more comprehensive as it includes deaths of York residents which have occurred and been registered outside York. Local registrar data is useful as it provides a breakdown by age and gender. The most recently available data is summarised below:

• ONS weekly data: For deaths occurring up to 14th August 2020 and registered up to 22nd August 2020, 171 deaths were recorded as having occurred for CYC residents (83 in hospital, 76 in care homes, 9 at home and 3 in a hospice. The number of deaths per 100,000 of population in York is 81.19 which is lower than the national average of 87.87. The most recent death reported for a York resident was in week 31 (25 to 31 July).

• ‘Excess’ deaths (ONS). In week 32 (8 August to 14 August), 21 deaths occurred in York, which is 7 fewer than the average weekly number for 2014-18. Over the last 12 weeks the total number of deaths in York has been 41 fewer than the average for the equivalent weeks in 2014-18.

• Local Registrar data: In the weekly data received on 24.8.20 (for deaths occurring up to 19.8.20), a cumulative total of 162 deaths of CYC residents where COVID-19 was mentioned (confirmed or suspected) on the death certificate, have been registered. The average age of the people who died was 82.47, with an age range of 53-104. The age profile of those dying in York is slightly older than the national average. 86 of the 162 were male (53.1%), slightly less than the national average (55%). 81 of the deaths occurred in hospital and 81 were community deaths (e.g. at home or in a care home or hospice). 70 people (43.2%) died in nursing /care homes (the national average is 29.6%). In addition 13 people (8%) who normally resided in nursing/care homes in the CYC area, died in hospital.

Data on deaths occurring in hospital are shown below. Deaths are initially reported for York NHS Foundation Trust which includes Scarborough Hospital and the further breakdown by site can be delayed. From local registrar data, 58.5% of COVID-19 deaths occurring at York Hospital have been CYC residents. (NB NHS Trusts record deaths following a positive covid-19 test whereas ONS record deaths where covid-19 in mentioned on the death certificate so the totals are not the same).

• Deaths at York Hospital: As at 27.8.20, 134 deaths of people who had tested positive for COVID-19 and were being cared for at York Hospital have been reported. 214 deaths have been reported by the wider York NHS Trust.

York COVID deaths by neighbourhood

The ONS have published new figures today which show where COVID related deaths have occurred in the City during the period March – July.

A map showing the neighbourhood boundary can be found by clicking here

In England, the age-standardised mortality rate for deaths involving COVID-19 in the most deprived areas in July 2020 was 3.1 deaths per 100,000 population; as seen in previous months, this was more than double the mortality rate in the least deprived areas (1.4 deaths per 100,000 population).

  1. Deaths occurring between 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 and registered by 15 August 2020.
  2. Figures exclude death of non-residents and are based on May 2020 boundaries.
  3. Coronavirus (COVID-19) was the underlying cause or was mentioned on the death certificate as a contributory factor (International Classification of Diseases, tenth edition (ICD-10) codes U07.1 and U07.2).

Appeal for surplus IT equipment

The Community Furniture Store (CFS) is collecting unwanted IT devices so at these can be refurbished and donated to people in the community that don’t currently have IT access. Almost 9% of people – over 15,000 people, living in York don’t have digital access and many of these are people that are isolated and / or on a low income – older people, people that are homeless, people with disabilities, etc

  • They are looking for:
  • Laptop computers – in working order and less than 10 years old
  • Android tablets/Kindles
  • Desktop computers less than 10 years old with associated peripherals (keyboard, monitor and mouse)
  • Miscellaneous peripherals – especially webcams, mouses, and keyboards

All equipment should be in working order. Devices will be fully wiped and all data removed before being setup for the needs of the new user.

Donations can be taken to the Community Furniture Store at Unit 29 on the Raylor Centre, James Street. Alternatively call 01904 426444 to arrange free collection.

Acomb Moor update

The local residents association have added their weight to calls for access to Acomb Moor to be made safer.

Access to Acomb Moor still blocked

They have written to local Councillors making the following points.

  1. The tree trunk blocking the access needs to be moved by about 1 foot to allow pedestrian access. We understand that Andrew has this in hand. If the field tenants won’t do it then 2 or 3 fit people should be able to roll the log. The stile then needs to be reinstated
  2. The route across the field could then be re-established. Pragmatically a line down the side of the field – parallel to Foxwood Lane – could be established to link with the desire line path which is now clearly marked at the bottom of the field. (It will be for the owners to apply for a formal PROW diversion order if they wish to discourage people for walking through, what will presumably by the spring be, a cropped field). Obviously the current practice of people climbing over a 1.5 metre high metal gate is potentially hazardous and precludes some less ambient residents (who ironically are perhaps those most needing access to informal walking options) from using the paths.
  3. The stile at the bottom corner needs to be repaired and hardcore put on the approaches.
  4. Neither of the access points to the Council owned section of the path near Osprey Close have had the promised hardcore put down. Both these paths are narrow and on a gradient, They will become increasingly slippery in poor winter weather. So some action needs to be taken now.
  5. Further along the path near and in Acomb Wood there are sections which are subject to flooding and which would also benefit from having hardcore put down.
Stile needs repairs and hardcore underneath
Access points from Osprey Close are hazardous in wet weather.