Coronavirus York updates; 8th September 2020

Deaths and test results

The total number of Coronavirus cases in York has now reached 999 following the announcement today of 4 more positive test results.

An updated geographic analysis of the cases has identified, in addition to Woodthorpe/Acomb Park/Foxwood, three other neighbourhoods with an above average number of new cases.

They are Heslington/Wheldrake, Strensall and Clifton Without/Skelton.

Overall levels remain below the national average.

There have been no additional hospital deaths

Council COVID 19 meeting papers published

The Council has published its agenda and background papers for its Outbreak Management Board which is due to take place on 9th September (tomorrow!)

The papers can be read by clicking here

Guildhall £20 million financing package collapsing

A late report submitted to a Council scrutiny meeting yesterday admitted that a proposal restaurant at a remodelled Guildhall is unlikely to find an occupant at least in the short term.

The rental from the restaurant formed a key part of the financial package for he project which has been criticised for being over ambitious and risky.

Option 1 was agreed by the Council in 2018

It now seems that the income will be significantly less than forecast with building delays and cost over runs still to be added into the equation.

Taxpayers were already facing an annual subsidy cost of around £600,000.

Yesterday’s report

The new complex is now not expected to be competed before the summer of 2021.

Details of the project can be found by clicking here

The report also reviews the future of the Castle Gateway and York Central projects. The former is currently “paused”. Given the parlous state of the councils finances the authority would be wise to freeze expenditure on this plan leaving things as they are for a while at least.

Opportunities may arise over the next few years to sell the Castle Mills and 17/21 Piccadilly sites as the economy improves

The key is to remain flexible if taxpayers interests are to be protected.

In the meantime parking revenue remains vital for the Councils budget while accessible car parking at Castle and (potentially) Castle Mills (surface level) and 17/21 Piccadilly could be an important part of the attempt to revive the City economy.

What’s on in York: Acomb Fair from tomorrow

Rather unexpectedly, the Acomb Fair is returning to the Thanet Road Sports area from tomorrow. Events like these had been hit by Coronavirus restrictions but the organisers posters outline a series of mitigations (hand sanitisers, limited numbers, cleaning, one way system). Face coverings are not mentioned.

Thankfully the blight of fly posting which sometimes occurs when fairs are around has not happened this year.

The announcement comes shortly after the Council admitted that most of the recent new COVID-19 positive test results involved children and other young people. There were 31 new cases identified in the City between 29th August and 4th September. Hospitalisations are understood to be low although no precise figures have been revealed by the authorities.

Schools have reopened this week and University students will start to arrive in the City shortly.