All change at Escrick Sidings

Renovated BMX track ready in summer

Volunteers have been working recently to renovate a BMX track adjacent to the York-Selby cycle path. It is located near the former Escrick Sidings site about halfway between Bishopthorpe and Riccall. It is not ready for use yet but could be an attractive option for enthusiasts later in the summer.

BMX track near Escrick Sidings

Nearby a bulldozer and excavator were levelling the former sidings site itself earlier  in the week.

Following land-fill with builders rubble, the site had been earmarked 20 years ago for use as a small nature area. Little work actually took place. The area regenerated naturally and  a picnic area was briefly established (but it become overgrown).

The site had been sold to the builder by SUSTRANs who manage the adjacent cycle path.

It is unclear whether the excavation work is relying on an old planning permission as there is no record of any recent proposals, for use of the Sidings, on the Selby Council web site.

The York Greenways group have taken an interest in the site from time to time over the years

It would be good if the land owners could display notices explaining what is happening at the Sidings and to what timescales.

Less than 100 days to EU Settlement Scheme deadline

Image result for hospital workers welcome gif

With less than 100 days to the deadline for applying for EU Settlement Scheme, the Council is reiterating that local support is available for people who need it.

Up to 31 December 2020, 7,970 applications were made to the EU Settlement Scheme in York of which 7,550 have been concluded. These included 4,100 residents securing settled status and 3,310 who secured pre-settled status.

If you haven’t applied yet and are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, resident in the UK before 31 December 2020, you and your family members need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021.

EU, EEA or Swiss citizen or their family members who have lived in the UK for many years may have a permanent residence document or EEA Biometric Residence Card (BRC). You will still need to apply to the EUSS by the deadline to continue to live, work, study and access free healthcare and other services.

An application must be made for every eligible child within a family. Parents should apply on behalf of their children even if they’ve already

Recycling changes – Council to consult on only one option.

A report on changes to recycling collection in York was discussed at a meeting which took place on 3rd March. Three options were considered.

  • . The council could focus on programmes to help encourage
    residents to recycle more.
  • Maintaining the weekly collection principle changes could be
    made which increase capacity by supplying new containers,
    enabling residents to collect more of their recycling.
  • Maintaining the weekly collection principle, changes could be
    made to increase the range of materials collected.

A few days later these options had metamorphosed into something more specific. Without any prior consultation, or even notice, a Council committee on 25th March were offered three new options.

click to access

The committee eliminated options A and C and an official has now (26/3/21) confirmed that residents will only be consulted on Option B.

This would involve a reduction in the collection frequency to 3 weekly for recycling and garden waste. Storage space for an extra wheeled bin will be needed. Each property would have 3 wheeled bins plus 2 recycling boxes (for paper). There are no changes proposed to grey bin emptying which would continue on a fortnightly basis.

Rather bizarrely option B also involves green waste collection throughout the whole year although the amount of green waste presented between December and March has historically been tiny.

This whole exercise looks to have been rushed through in a belated attempt to influence the specification of new collection vehicles which are needed urgently to replace the existing obsolescent, and unreliable, fleet.

It is unclear how the Council will consult on their preferred option or even if the status quo will be a choice that is offered,

Coronavirus York updates; 27th March 2021


No further hospital deaths today.

Last fatality occurred on 17th March.

Test results

According to the government’s web site the cumulative number of positive test results in the City remains at 12,176 today.

However, the profile of when the positive results were recorded has changed. They are recording a zero increase in cases today. The rejigging of the figures has resulted in 15 positive results being recorded on 25th March. If correct, this would be the highest single day figure recorded in the City since 9th March.

The number of cases in the City has increased from 65 to 68 (7 day moving average) That is the second day in a row that there has been an increase

The rate /100k population has increased to 32.29.

The revisions to the incidence of positive test results has also impacted elsewhere. There has been a big reduction in case numbers in North Yorkshire.

Case numbers at reginal level continue to increase.

The national rate is stable


The increase in case number sin Holgate East has continued. There are now 11 cases there. That is up from 1 in less than a week.

Elsewhere infection numbers are fairly stable.



4599 PCR tests were carried out in York duirng the week ending 22nd March 2021

1.5% of the tests were positive. That represents and increase over the previous days figure of 1.3%

1668 “lateral flow” tests were also conducted on 26th March


Latest capacity figures from York Hospital Trust

Council plans for reopening the “High Street”

original allocations

The Council has revealed more of its plans to fund the reopening of the City centre to visitors. An initial programme had been discussed earlier in the month (click)

At a behind closed doors meeting, officials have now allocated funds to the following projects

  • The allocation of £45k to the BID to deliver College Green and general outdoor seating across the city centre
  • The allocation of £60k to Make It York to deliver Parliament Street seating area and £4.5k for the associated toilets
  •  The allocation of a single budget of up to £20k to allow Make It York and the BID to operate shared security and waste collections across all city centre wide projects
The College Green outdoor activity area is set to return

The plans singularly fail to address the issues faced by suburban shopping areas. Not for the first time, the Front Street area has been snubbed.

What’s on at Easter

Guide to some leisure options available this Easter holiday click

Grant support provided to more than 3,500 businesses

During the last quarter more than 3,500 companies received grant support from City of York Council.

As the nation marks one year of unprecedented changes for residents as well as businesses, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning has received an update on the economic support provided during the last quarter.

The focus for the council’s economic team has been quick and efficient payments of any business support grants for affected businesses, helping to protect jobs and secure the future for the diverse collection of independent businesses in the city.

City of York Council continue to provide grant support to more than 3,500 companies, accounting for more than half of the city’s businesses, which is a significantly higher proportion in comparison to other local councils. The Council’s focus has been getting support grants to those who are entitled to receive them quickly and efficiently, as well as focussing discretionary grants on the small and micro businesses that need them most. Funding provided through the 2020 microgrant scheme and the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) has helped over 1,200 businesses to adapt to challenges, and supported the diverse community of microbusiness in York. These businesses have been at the heart of the response in York, with payments received earlier than in other areas. 

The report considered by the Executive member shows how York continues to be the city with the lowest percentage increase in unemployment, with cities including Bradford, Hull and Birmingham having seen unemployment rise at nearly 3 times the rate that York has experienced.*

To further support job retention and creation in the city, the Council has endorsed proposals put forward by the city’s Skills and Employment Board to tackle the immediate impact of the pandemic.

One-year plan: Skills for Employment in York, sets out how the city needs to respond to the changing skills and training needs of the city post-pandemic. The aim is to ensure that residents and businesses have the necessary skills and training support to meet their needs, helping York’s economy to recover, and grow, over the coming years.