Ice taking its toll on local roads

The current icy spell is taking its toll on poorly maintain road and path surfaces. The Council recently agred to undertake some repairs on teb potholed – and well used – section of Foxwood Lane near the sports area. The work has yet to be completed and the potholes continue to pose a hazard particularly for users of two wheeled transport.

Foxwood Lane potholes are a safety hazard

The Council promised to repair damaged roads, paths and verges when the building works on Newbury Avenue and Ascot Way were completed. There is little sign of progress.

Kingsway West traffic cushions now breaking up
Kingsway West- Newbury Avenue verge has been damaged by delivery vehicles
Not for the first time, we have reported poor rubbish storage, and some fly tipping, to the rear of the Front Street shops.

Kicking off at new Community Stadium

Joint Statement from York City Football Club and City of York council about the York Community Stadium

“We are delighted to announce that an agreement has now been reached between City of York Council and York City Football Club. The club will occupy the new stadium with effect from Monday 11 January 2021, with their first game due to be held on Tuesday 19 January as they take on Gateshead in a National League clash.  

Both parties have worked extremely hard to overcome any obstacles in the delivery of the project, with the aim of having York City Football Club in their new home as soon as possible.  

Both parties would like to make clear that all recent issues have been resolved and our primary focus is on readying the stadium for fixtures this month.

 The Council recognises that recent public statements regarding elements of the YCFC lease were unfortunately misrepresented and we look forward to building on this positive working relationship moving forward.  

Cllr Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Finance and Performance, said: “We would like to thank York City Football Club for their input and involvement in the project and we look forward to a very bright future for both of the cities sporting teams. We look forward to welcoming Gateshead FC later this monthOur aim throughout our work on the York Community Stadium project has been to deliver an incredible stadium and wider leisure facility for supporters, residents and the wider York community.  The new stadium boasts 8,500 seats and has already been recognised by the FA and RFL as one of the finest smaller stadiums in the country, with both organisations looking to use the site in the future, not just for the Rugby World Cup later this year!”  

Jason McGill: “On behalf of everyone at York City Football Club, our staff players and supporters, we thank the Council for delivering this great stadium and look forward to our next chapter, with the LNER Community Stadium as our home.”  

Coronavirus York updates; 9th January 2021

Deaths and test results

ONE additional death announced by York Hospital Trust today. The death occurred on Thursday

ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY SIX (176) new positive test results announced today. Brings cumulative total to 8901.

The latest validated rate /100k population was 626.28 (4th Jan).

The subsequent trend is slightly downwards supporting hopes that the rate of increase in infection numbers in the City has stabilised.

The following table, which shows the 7 day rolling average number of cases in the City, also demonstrates that numbers may now have peaked. It may, however, be some days before there is a notable reduction in infection rates.

The figures for 8th and 9th will increase as more results are tabulated

The neighbourhood figures reflect the distribution of cases at the peak on 4th January. They should show modest improvements over the next few days.

Symptom free testing expanded with University of York

More testing slots are now available for those who are eligible after an agreement was reached between City of York Council and the University of York for a new symptom-free testing site.

The new site is now open and will offer more tests and increased hours to make it more convenient for people to get tested.

This means that York residents have more slots and a choice for when and where to get a symptom-free test. Since offering symptom-free testing in December 2020, thousands of tests have been done which have identified a number of positive tests, which has stopped the spread of Coronavirus.

The testing centre will be based at University of York Sport Centre sports hall, and working alongside the existing testing site based at York St John University, it will offer even more residents the chance to get tested.
Free testing is now available for anyone (living or working in York) who is unable to work from home and is still going to work.

This includes staff working in education and early years, those in factories and construction and other essential sectors.

Testing continues to be offered to those who support the most vulnerable in the city, to school pupils who are eligible to attend school and to teachers who will be working in schools.

If you are eligible and need to book a test, please visit the council website.

Testing is voluntary, it will help you make informed decisions to help keep you, your family and friends as safe as possible, and help protect those most vulnerable to COVID-19. Testing is only another method to prevent the spread of COVID 19, the best ways to prevent the spread are to continue to comply with the public health messages of hands, face, space.

It is estimated that 1 in 3 people with coronavirus do not display symptoms and therefore, some individuals will be spreading the virus without realising. We advise that tests are booked regularly (every week), and that people get tested twice, 3 days apart.

Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council:

We are really grateful to the thousands of residents who have booked a test and are continuing to get tested regularly. It does make a difference and will help to stop the spread of the Coronavirus.

“Throughout this pandemic we have been working incredibly closely with our partners. Our thanks go to the University of York, who along with York St John University, are offering their testing site to residents. This is yet another example of how the city can come together to fight Coronavirus.”

Sharon Stoltz, Director for Public Health at City of York Council said:

This new site means we can offer more symptom-free tests to York residents. The early identification of symptom-free cases and subsequent self-isolation will help to stop the spread of the virus.

“That so many residents are taking symptom-free tests regularly is testament to how we are looking out for each other as a city. If you are eligible please book regular tests to help the city fight Coronavirus and keep the people you love safe.”

Professor Charlie Jeffery, Vice Chancellor of the University of York, said:

Throughout this pandemic we have been working with our key partners across the city and region to support the wider community and this is another example of that close collaboration.

“Asymptomatic testing is vital in reducing transmission rates and helping to protect the public, and ultimately the NHS, and I am pleased that we can play our part in broadening testing across the City to identify those showing no symptoms.”

Health Minister Lord Bethell said:

We’ve already come so far since first setting up a national testing programme at an unprecedented pace to help counter COVID-19, but we continue to strive to go further, faster.

“Innovations such as lateral flow tests hold the key to the next phase of our ambition to see mass, rapid testing available to people across the country.”

Attending school during lockdown

The Government has published details about children who can continue to attend school during the current lockdown.

A list of which job roles are defined as ‘critical workers’ for parents of school children, and those children who are defined as vulnerable, has been published by the Department for Education.

A number of different arrangement have been put in place so schools can provide IT equipment and internet access for children learning at home.

Children of critical workers can attend school during lockdown, along with vulnerable children, and children with Education and Health Care Plans.

Parents in York who are critical workers should contact their school to make arrangements for their children, should their children need to be in school full time.

Cllr Keith Orrell, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, said:

We want to support the citywide and nationwide effort to bring infection rates down and the national guidance is to limit contacts between households as much as possible.

“We are working with York Schools and Academies Board to provide education on site and online for all children in the city, especially for the more vulnerable pupils.  However, with the alarming increase in the number of confirmed cases in the city, we must continue to be cautious and follow the national guidance where possible.

“We appreciate that this is a difficult time for families and that this is a complex situation that schools are managing.  With the recent change in national guidance and amount of working taking place, schools will respond to parents/carers as soon as they are able.”

Meanwhile the Government has put in place arrangements to provide children who need them with devices and internet access at home. This will be managed directly with schools.

All schools will provide information about their remote learning provision with families and there will be details on their websites by 25 January.

Useful resources for parents to support home learning can be found on the council website.

The guidance on children of critical workers and vulnerable children who can access schools or educational settings can be found on the website.

Government guidance is that schools should speak to parents and carers to identify who needs to go to school. If it proves necessary, schools can ask for simple evidence that a parent is a critical worker, such as their work ID badge or pay slip. Parents and carers who are critical workers should keep their children at home if they can.

Children who are receiving support from social workers and those who have an Education and Health Care plan should all attend school during lockdown.

City leaders’ open letter to residents

Dear Resident

As you will have seen from the Prime Minister’s recent announcement, England has now entered another period of lockdown, which is anticipated to last until at least mid-February.  We know how difficult this will be for so many of you and would like to thank you for all you have already done in such difficult circumstances.  In the face of adversity, you have demonstrated the very best of our city.

Throughout last year, local residents and businesses worked hard to keep cases the lowest in the region and together, we reduced the spread of the virus.  However, the beginning of 2021 has created a new challenge with the spread of the new variant of Coronavirus, and once again we must adapt.

This is not the start to the new year any of us wanted, but many of us may have anticipated.  In recent weeks, across the country and including here in York, there has been an alarming increase in the number of positive cases.  We all need to follow the new national guidance to save lives and protect the NHS.  Time and time again, the people and businesses of York have demonstrated our community spirit and we must now do so again to keep those we love safe.

We fully recognise that this third lockdown will be difficult for everyone.  We will continue to do everything we can to support residents and businesses through this difficult time by adapting our services, providing support and information, or lobbying the government for additional help for lower income families or businesses who are not covered by the grants available. 

Anyone who has been affected by coronavirus and who needs support can contact us on 01904 551550 or

Support is available for businesses who have had to close, including hospitality, retail and leisure businesses.  There is also support available for residents including those who have to self-isolate.  Details about our support is available at

This is a tough period for us all, however, with the vaccine roll out underway there is hope on the horizon. For now, we need to look after ourselves and each other. 

We know we can get through this.  We did it before and we can do it again. 

We are incredibly grateful for all you have done already and on behalf of the city, thank you for all you are doing to reduce the spread of the virus.

Stay safe and best wishes,

Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of the Council
Cllr Andy D’Agorne, Deputy Leader
Ian Floyd, Chief Operating Officer