Coronavirus York update; 13th May 2021


There have been no hospital deaths announced today

Test results

It is being reported today that cases of the COVOD-19 “Indian variant” have been discovered in York and elsewhere in the UK. Public health advice remains the same. Maintain social distancing, wear a mask and wash hands frequently. Lateral flow tests and kits continue to be available from the Foxwood Community Centre and other locations across the City.

A new Covid testing centre is due to open at St William’s College in York City Centre. To find out more please visit…

There have been five positive test results today. That brings the total to 12,334

The number of cases in the City has increased from 35 yesterday to 37 today

The rate /100k population figure has increased to 17.57. That is the highest rate recorded since 1st May.


There are currently 5 neighbourhoods with more than 3 cases in each. They are Tang Hall, City Centre, Fulford Road, Holgate East and Woodthorpe/Foxwood South.


The local neighbourhood vaccination figures have been updated today. They show that the area with the highest proportion of vaccinated residents is Wigginton (83.3%) The lowest is Tang Hall (35.7%).

The vaccination programme is now making inroads into the younger age groups with the most progress being made in the under 40’s in York City Centre (971 jabs), Heworth South/The Groves (934), and Fulford Road/Clementhorpe (879).

Todays latest vaccination figures show that 61.3% of the population have had their first dose. 32% have also received their second dose


  • 4075 PCR tests were conducted during the week ending 8th May.
  • Of these, 0.8% were positive. This represents an increase over the previous days percentage which was 0.6%
  • In additional, 3285 “lateral flow” tests were conducted on 12th May


Make it York activities scaled back

Make It York’s economic development arm is set to merge its expertise with the council’s, “to maximise resources and strengthen York’s future, as arrangements for the city’s destination management organisation are set to be agreed by senior councillors”.

In February, the council’s Executive agreed arrangements for the next contract between City of York Council and Make It York (MIY) in order to secure an even stronger future for both organisations.

This includes both organisations merging their economic development and inward investment functions with the council taking the lead. This merger was approved by 87% of city stakeholders who took part in a consultation on proposals for MIY’s future earlier this year.

Under the proposals, Make It York would continue to support the city centre, its markets and tourism through activities that include culture and events. MIY’s revised role, performance measures and governance are also set to be clarified.

There may continue to be misgivings about how MIY manages City centre activities.

There was a recent controversy about the location of the traditional Carousel while some residents point to the lack of a Farmers Market in the forward programme.

Relationships between market stall holders and the organisation have not always been harmonious.

Even by York Council standards, Make it York has a largely impenetrable decision making and accountability structure.

York Council clarifies short term policy on face-to-face meetings

National guidance on council meetings updated

Pressure is growing on the York Council to make its position clear on when a return to public decision making using an all party committee system will be considered. A similar proposal in Sheffield received majority public support in a referendum last week.

The Liberal Democrat manifesto at the last local elections promised to introduce such a system and local Green Party Councillors – who form part of the ruling coalition in York – also say they favour a the modern committee system option.

Although the Labour and Tory groups apparently favour retaining the “winner takes all” Executive system, they are currently in a minority on the York Council.

So what is stopping the leadership from getting moving on the issue?

Separately the Council has announced which meetings will be “in person” over the coming couple of months. All party “scrutiny” meetings will still be held virtually (via zoom) which is a shame given that they are the only real debating forums for many issues.

Some of the more obscure Executive decision meetings attract little public interest though so perhaps the Council is right to try to conduct them “on-line”. Such meetings often last for less than 10 minutes.

City of York Council say that they are putting in place plans to accommodate the national ruling on the future of council meetings.

Following the ruling of the high court, from Friday 7 May, all council decision making meetings will be held in person, with some non-decision making meetings continuing virtually.  Whilst the guidance means meetings will need to be held in person, the council will be putting in place measures to ensure meetings are conducted in a covid safe environment, including allowing for appropriate social distancing.

Over May and June, the following meetings will be take place in person:
•    Annual Council: 27 May, 11am
•    Executive: 20 May, 5.30pm
•    Planning Committee: 17 June (provisional), 4.30pm
•    Area Planning Sub-Committee: 13 May, 4.30pm; 26 May, 4.30pm; 10 June, 4.30pm
•    Licensing Committee: 8 June (provisional), 5.30pm

The below meetings will continue virtually to consider making recommendations before any decision is made.

Executive Member Decision Sessions:
•    Finance and Performance – 14 June, 10am
•    Health and Adult Social Care – 16 June, 10am
•    Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods – 17 June (provisional), 10am 

•    Economy and Place – 25 May, 7pm
•    Customer and Corporate – 14 June, 5.30pm

This format will be in place for May and June, and will be reviewed from July onwards, following further guidance on the roadmap after 21st June.

Public participation in relevant meetings will be allowed in person, and by phone for those wishing to dial-in. In addition to the relevant councillors and officers, meetings will have a space for public speakers to attend, and a cleaner will be present to wipe down any surfaces they come into contact with between each speaker. The safety of members of the public, along with officers and councillors, is of paramount importance.

Those wishing to speak at public meetings will need to register their interest a minimum of 2 working days in advance, this can be done online here. If you would like to attend a meeting in person, along with registering to speak, it is recommended that you should take a symptom-free covid test in the 24 hours before the meeting. If your result is positive you should immediately self-isolate and follow the process for confirming your results.

Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of the Council, said:

With national guidance changing, council meetings will continue to be delivered in a safe way, as to provide local residents, businesses and organisations the opportunity to engage in the Council’s decision making process.

“We would still encourage anyone looking to share their thoughts at public meetings to follow the usual procedure to register and have their say.”

Sharon Stoltz, Director of Public Health, said:

As we move through the steps of the roadmap to recovery more elements of life will ‘return to normal’. It is still essential that we all remember that covid is still very much a part of our lives, and we must continue to follow hands, face, space and fresh air to help stop the spread. I would strongly encourage everyone to regularly take part in symptom-free testing, especially as more people will be leaving their household much more often.

The council will share further information about the plans for future meetings, including the planned Full Council meeting taking place in May, soon.