Council is being hypocritical over tree planting plans

The York Council is urging residents to plant at least one additional tree in their garden, allotment “or park”.

Well, last autumn – following consultation with the Council – volunteers did just that in Dickson park in the Foxwood area.

Dickson Park

Four months later, a Council early morning “hit squad” arrived and chopped down eight of the trees.

The local residents association is up in arms over the action.

They point out, in a formal complaint to the Council (to which there has, so far, been no response), that two of the trees that were removed had been memorialised as a mark of respect to relatives who had passed.

Residents are asking for the two trees to be reinstated immediately with the other six to be replaced following further consultation on siting, species etc.

Rather too much posturing going on in parts of the York Council these days we think!

The Council’s media release reads.

“York’s Tree Canopy to expand for next 30 years.

City of York Council’s Climate Change Policy and Scrutiny Committee have proposed to expand York’s tree canopy to achieve 13% coverage by 2050, approximately increasing tree population by 10,000/year.

A report will be taken to a Decision Session for the Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change on 5 May 2021. It proposes to Increase York’s tree cover from the current 10.76% of total area to13% (national average) by 2050, as the council creates a greener, cleaner city for its residents and visitors.

This expansion will be around 22-27 hectares each year which equates to an area of over 30 football pitches. Alternatively, the city would be well on its way to reaching this expansion target if every household in York which had space, either in a garden, allotment or park, planted just one tree.

The target would result in more carbon dioxide (CO2) being removed from the atmosphere and stored in the trees. This absorbing of the harmful pollutant across the city is equivalent to around 1% of the regions total CO2 emissions between 2020-2050.

Achieving 21 hectares of tree planting every year in York would result in the annual removal of 1-2% of the estimated regional emissions in 2038, after most of our carbon-neutral initiatives have been implemented. This would increase to remove 8-15% of remaining emissions in 2050.

This initiative forms one of the many priorities which will contribute to the city’s Climate Change Strategy which will be published this Autumn, and is one of the many tactics being implemented to achieve city-wide carbon neutrality by 2030.

Cllr Paula Widdowson, Executive Member for Climate Change said;

“To become a carbon neutral city we need to make the most of every tool at our disposal and I’m pleased to see that the expansion of our city’s Tree Canopy will help us catch up to the national average and contribute to our goal to make our city’s carbon emissions net-zero by 2030.

“The ever changing landscape of York offers us the opportunity to reduce the CO2 in our atmosphere as well as to create a healthier and happier environment that we can all enjoy. Increasing the biodiversity of our city is a key priority in our response to the Climate Emergency and this also contributes to our management of flood risks, use of public space and creation of green jobs across the city.”

As a member of the White Rose Forest Partnership, a local authority joint venture hosted by Kirklees Council, City of York Council is working to:

  • increase tree coverage across York
  • improve access to green space for citizens
  • enhance wildlife habitats and biodiversity
  • address climate change through carbon sequestration (or absorption) “

Council struggling with refuse collection

It looks like the Council is struggling to provide a reliable waste collection service again.

Their web site reveals multiple failures this week. One of the reasons given is vehicle unreliability with an aging fleet partly to blame. Such a shame that replacement vehicles were not ordered on time.

Garden waste collection unreliable this week

Coronavirus York updates; 29th April 2021


No further hospital deaths have been announced today

Test Results

Three additional positive test results have been announced today. They bring the cumulative total up to 12,264

The number of active cases has reduced by one to 45 compared to yesterday.

The rate /100k population has fallen to 21.37.

The rate is expected to creep back up during the next few days. There are early signs that it may then begin to fall again

North Yorkshire is now well above the national average infection rate. This is mainly the result of high infection levels in Selby and in particular the Selby Town neighbourhood (Rate 416.2, Cases 56)


The rate at neighbourhood level is reasonably stable although Osbaldwick has replaced Clifton Without in the list of areas with above, the City, average infection levels.


57.1% of York adults have now received their first vaccination.

23.4% have also had their second dose.

The government has updated its figures for vaccinations at neighbourhood level.

The area with the highest proportion of vaccinated adult residents is Dunnington/Elvington (77.86%)

The area with the lowest is Tang Hall (33.39%).

The differences mirror the age profile of the local population. Those with a higher number of under 40’s should “catch up” over the next couple of months.


  • 4487 PCR tests were carried out in York during the week ending 24th April.
  • Of these, 0.6% were positive. That represents an improvement on the previous days figure of 0.7%
  • In addition, 4023 lateral flow tests were also conducted on 28th April.

Tests now available at Acomb Explore library

City of York Council is asking residents to join the thousands of people in the city getting tested twice a week, to play a key part in keeping the people we love safe and the places we love open.

To stop the spread of the virus, the council is making it easier for people to take a symptom-free test, removing the need to book appointments at testing sites and signposting to the new collection points popping up in communities across the city.

Whilst residents will be able to book a slot online until 30 May, people can now simply turn up to get tested without the need for an appointment. All appointments booked remain valid and people can still book slots should they wish.

Acomb Explore Library has become the latest venue to offer a collect service to residents, joining pharmacies across the city in our efforts to get residents frequently tested. The testing offer at Acomb Explore will be available on Wednesdays (10am-2pm) and Saturdays (10am-3pm) and will also offer people the chance to take the test in person, as well as collect tests to take at home.

1 in 3 cases of Coronavirus has no symptoms which means we could be spreading the virus to those we love without knowing. This is why city leaders are asking residents to get tested twice a week, even if you’ve had the vaccine. The early identification of cases will stop the virus from spreading, keep people safe and help keep the places we all love open.

More information is available on the council website and a map of locations in the city where people can access testing can be found online.

Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council said:

“The symptom-free testing offer is a true citywide effort, with pharmacies and Acomb Explore adding to the list of places such as universities and leisure and community centres where residents can access tests.

“These symptom-free tests are really making a difference in our battle against the virus by identifying cases early and stopping people from unknowingly spreading it to others.

“We have worked hard with partners to make it easier than ever to access tests across the city, from getting tested in person to the numerous opportunities to collect kits or have them delivered at home.

“Residents and businesses have been fantastic in helping keep our city and each other safe but we must all keep our guard up. Getting tested twice a week is another way we can all continue to help the fight against Coronavirus to keep our friends and family safe.”

Sharon Stoltz, Director of Public Health said:

“1 in 3 cases of Coronavirus have no symptoms. It is crucial that people continue to get tested regularly and report their results so we can identify cases quickly and stop the virus from spreading.

“That we have carried out so many tests is testament to the city’s collective efforts and we are encouraging more people to take the test.

“We have hope ahead with the next steps of the roadmap and the success of the vaccine rollout. However we must keep up our efforts and get tested regularly (even if you have had the vaccine) to protect people across the city. The only time we would ask an adult not to get tested is if they are within 90 days of having tested positive for the virus.

“By having regular tests and practicing hands, face, space, fresh air we are all playing a vital role in the city’s fight against Coronavirus.”

Fiona Williams, Chief Executive of Explore York Libraries and Archives said: 

“Explore is very pleased to support this important initiative by the Council and Public Health to combat the spread of covid and ensure the city can open up as safely as possible.

The library is a much loved hub for the local community in Acomb with plenty of parking space. It will be easy for local people to collect their test kits, see a friendly face and maybe pick up a few new books at the same time.”


There was a small drop in COVID-19 patient numbers at York Hospital today

Police report

Chief Inspector Charlotte Bloxham, North Yorkshire Police’s operational lead for the Coronavirus pandemic, gave the following update at this morning’s (Wednesday 28 April 2021) Local Resilience Forum briefing:

“In the past week (18 – 25 April) North Yorkshire Police has issued 34 Covid-related Fixed Penalty Notices. This brings the total to 41 Fixed Penalty Notices issued since the step 2 changes of the Roadmap were introduced on 12 April.

“This is disappointing considering last week we had cause to issue just seven notices.

“The majority of these latest fines were issued for indoor gatherings in the Scarborough area with three issued in York and four issued in Harrogate.

“We understand that people are desperate to see family and friends. But we ask that just like the vast majority of the people of North Yorkshire, that you please adhere to the regulations that prevent indoor gatherings until the Roadmap out of lockdown has succeeded and we are free to meet up once again.

“The virus is much more likely to spread in an indoor setting and why it is so important to keep following the health protection regulations and the guidance around washing hands, wearing face coverings and maintaining social distance.

“In the meantime, please avoid mixing households indoors, and keep to the “Rule of 6” or two households when meeting outdoors or in private gardens.

“Our town and city centres are much busier now than they have been in recent times, as well in the tourist spots along the coast and in the countryside. Our plea to ensure we can keep the Roadmap on track is not to become complacent and not to jeopardise all the work we’ve put in to get to this point.

“We will continue to use our ‘4 Es’ approach to engage with the public, explain the regulations, encourage compliance, and enforce only as a last resort when a blatant breach has occurred”.