Coronavirus York updates; 28th October 2020

Deaths and test results

ONE additional death at the York Hospital Trust announced today. It occurred on Monday.

80 (EIGHTY) additional positive test results today bringing the total to 3537. The rate per 100k population has declined steadily since it peaked at 309.58 on 20th October.

Continuing good news with the rate of increase still stable and continuing signs of a decline in cases at City level. More neighbourhoods now have infection rates below the national average and cases at Heslington – although still higher than in other neighbourhoods – have now halved compared to the start of the local spike.

There is some concern about the steady increase in case numbers in Rawcliffe and Clifton South which now has the second highest rate in the City.

Improve playground plea

Local Councillors are claiming credit for a programme which has seen some of the pieces of play equipment in the Foxwood Lane playground painted. Some new “busy bee” rides have also been installed.

This is welcome news.

However there is still work needed on the surface of the park.

The entrance to the kiddies area is subject to ponding and is virtually inaccessible after rain. All that is needed is some hard core putting down.

Nearby the safety surface under one of the swings, aimed at older children, is badly worn and is also subject to flooding.

We hope that both of these issues can be remedied quickly

New “busy bee” play units
The access to the park needs to be repaired
Area under swing needs upgrading

Rain slows resurfacing work

Work on resurfacing part of Cornlands Road was delayed yesterday because of weather conditions. More rain is forecast for tomorrow (Thursday)

Cornlands Road

The resurfacing contractors are expected to move on to Gale Lane next week

Gale Lane

It is disappointing to see that repairs to the verge at the junction of Kingsway West and Newbury Avenue have not been completed. The damage was caused by large delivery lorries trying to access the (now completed) bungalow building site. We expected the reinstatement to be completed before the bungalows were occupied.

Kingsway West damaged verge

Elsewhere, electrical cable works on Dijon Avenue are taking a long time to complete. This means more nuisance and inconvenience for residents living in the area who also have to put up with the mud generated by vehicles accessing the Lowfield development site.

Dijon Avenue

House building moving ahead in Westfield

Work on two house building sites in the Westfield area is continuing despite the problems with COVID and, more recently, wet weather.

On Gale Lane the much delayed redevelopment of a site opposite the end of Cornlands Road is now underway. The site had been the subject of several different planning applications over the years.

61A Gale Lane

Elsewhere a further infill development is underway on Green Lane

Green Lane

The Green Lane site is close to the location of the bungalows which are due to be built on the Lowfields Site

Work on building bungalows on the Lowfields site has started.
The site reserved for “Yorspace” communal housing remains unoccupied.

Council contractors trash public noticeboard

Contractors working on the refurbished Lincoln Court development on Ascot Way, have dumped a public noticeboard on the nearby verge. It is now unusable.

The board had been upended last year when building work started and, for a while, it was fastened to the perimeter security fencing.

There was adequate room available to position the noticeboard well away from the work area, but this never happened

It’s very disappointing to see this example of poor contract management and civic vandalism.

Meanwhile work on the Lincoln Court building itself is complete and furniture has been delivered.

Work on the adjacent centre for the disabled is still underway. It now seems unlikely that the target completion date of October will be achieved.

Disabled centre on Ascot way

Councillors asked to forgo pay rise to help Rashford campaign

Democratic Debate GIF by GIPHY News

We are pleased to see that some York Councillors are stepping up to the plate and offering to make a personal contribution towards eliminating child hunger.

An emergency motion, proposing the provision of food vouchers for those entitled to free school meals over the CHRISTMAS holiday period, is being tabled at a Council meeting tomorrow by Labour. However it doesn’t identify how a local scheme could be fairly funded given the other pressures on the Councils budget.

Now Independent Councillor Mark Warters has submitted an amendment which, if passed, would freeze Councillors pay, with the resulting savings being diverted into the voucher scheme.

It a classic case of asking people to put their money where their mouths are.

NB. The Council has already agreed to find over £40,000 to fund vouchers during the current half term period.

Sparks fanned as Council lets down taxpayers

The controversial Spark container village on Piccadilly will not have to provide a rent bond or guarantor for their new lease.

The requirements were agreed in February by Executive Councillor Nigel Ayre as part of a package aimed at securing taxpayers interests.

The Spark owners had promised a share of profits on the scheme when, in 2016, they first promoted the idea of moving second hand shipping containers onto the Piccadilly site.

The profits never materialised and there were delays in making rent payments and in fulfilling planning conditions.

Other causes of concern related to the appearance of the site – which is located in a Conservation Area – and the effect on nearby residential properties.

Letter from local businessman

Yesterday Cllr Ayre caved into pressure and ditched the conditions which had been aimed at securing the councils financial interests.

He was warned by lawyers that, under current government COVID regulations, the Council might be unable to take back possession of the site even if rent arrears built up.

Currently the site is occupied on a “tenancy at will” basis.

The decision has drawn criticism from other traders and professionals one of whom has called for an inquiry into the whole affair (left).