£2 billion cost to achieve “zero carbon” York

A new council report says that the City will have to invest between £1.1 and £2.3 billion to become “Carbon Neutral” by 2030.

It is the first time that a figure has been put on the ambition to reach net zero carbon within 10 years.

A meeting next week will also consider an academic report into climate change issues in the City.

The report claims

that York could close the gap between its projected emissions in 2030 and net zero emissions by 47% purely through the adoption of cost-effective options in houses, public and commercial buildings, transport and industry”.

“The most carbon effective options for the city to deliver these carbon cuts include improved deep retrofitting of heating, lighting and insulation in houses, cooling and insulation in offices, shops and restaurants, and a range of measures across the transport sector including mode shift to non-motorised transport and the wider up-take of electric vehicles”.

The report accepts that these initiative alone would not be sufficient to achieve the target with another 31% reduction needed from “more innovative interventions”.

The report is likely to be met with some scepticism. The recent lockdowns have told us more about what is possible and what is likely to happen.

On the positive side, more people are working from home eliminating one source of transport emissions. Air quality in the City is now better than has previously been recorded in modern times.

The numbers of electric vehicles being purchased is also increasing.

On the negative side, there has actually been a drop in the number of people cycling and using public transport. The drop in the use of latter has been dramatic and it remains to be seen how quickly confidence in using buses will return.

The Council proposes to appoint – a slightly pretentiously labelled – Climate Commission.

How a climate change works programme could be funded – given the already spiralling level of debt at both City and national level – remains to be seen.

“No smoking” plan for York playgrounds

The York Council is set to implement a ban on smoking in playgrounds.

It says that children are more likely to take up the health threatening habit if they frequently see adults smoking.

A report is being considered next week

The ban will be advisory but the Council hopes that peer pressure will ensure that it is respected.

1 in 10 York adults smoke cigarettes

The Council are to consult on whether the ban should include “e-cigarettes”

NB. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide, killing half of all lifetime users.1 Currently, 11.9% of the York adult population smoke (more than 20,000 smokers), which resulted in over 700 deaths in the city (2016-18), nearly 2000 hospital admissions a year, and costs the economy (through healthcare costs and lost productivity) over £34m a year.

Whilst levels of smoking have fallen faster in York than nationally over the last decade (the prevalence of smoking in England is 13.9%), it still ranks as one of the major public health issues facing our population, and one of the key modifiable factors in improving the health and wellbeing of the people of York across the life course.

Coronavirus York updates; 2nd December 2020

Deaths and test results

ONE additional York Hospital Trust death announced today.

NINETEEN (19) additional positive test results announced today. Brings total to 5659

Infection rate falls to 83.57 /100K pop. That is the lowest figures seen since 27th September.

The weekly case rate number (25.1) has finally fallen below the first wave peak (29.1).

The second wave peak was 133.7. It occurred on 16th October.

All neighbourhoods are now below the 200 case threshold.

Five neighbourhoods have below 3 cases

  • Haxby
  • New Earswick
  • Dunnington
  • Bishopthorpe/Copmanthorpe
  • Heworth North

Tier 2 from today

You Can still: Meet people you do not live with outdoors, in groups of up to 6,socially distanced. Visit shops and Covid-safe hospitality businesses, with your household or support bubble. Use early years and childcare settings, such as after-school clubs a. Visit the hairdressers, leisure centres and other entertainment and personal care services. Get married - up to 15 guests. Attend a place of worship.

Interactive map of infection rates by tier

Click for interactive map. Thanks to https://electionmaps.uk/covid19-tier-map Some way tio go to emulate Cornwall figures


There is a lot of interest in the results of the mass testing of students at local Universities which started on Monday. They are using the lateral process which produces results within half and hour.

When they last updated their web site https://www.yorksj.ac.uk/coronavirus-advice/ on Monday, St Johns reported that 7 students and members of staff were self isolating following a positive result.

York University reports (https://coronavirus.york.ac.uk/) , “As of the morning of Tuesday 1 December, we are aware of 41 individuals within our University community who are currently self-isolating because they have had a positive Covid-19 test. Since yesterday we have been notified of 0 new cases.

If any asymptomatic cases are revealed then it could affect the City’s overall infection rate.