The condition of the bus shelter outside the spanking new disabled centre in Ascot Way is disgraceful.
Out of use for a year as it was taken over by a builders compound, the expectation had been that a new shelter would be erected before the Councils contractors left the site.
This hasn’t happened so it – and the nearby public noticeboard which was also damaged – remain as unfortunate reminders of poor planning
The bus shelter is rusty, panels are missing or loose, weeds cover the floor and the whole structure is filthy. Altogether a poor advert for public transport in York.
Nearby the council have invested in some tiny “entry” and “exit” signs for the centres car park. We doubt anyone will see them. It would be more effective to paint carriageway arrows to indicate the one way system.
The playground – for the use of children at the centre – has been completed.
Meanwhile the Council has now completely demolished the all weather multi user games area (MUGA) . There is still no sign of the promised replacement which was to have been erected on the Thanet Road Sports Area.
Building work on the new Centre for the Disabled on Ascot Way seems to be progressing more quickly now. Cladding has been added to the building frontage. The adjacent Lincoln Court sheltered accommodation also now sports a new entrance lobby.
Work can’t be completed sooner enough for the neighbours. As well as disruptions cause by deliveries the bus shelter has been out of action while the nearby public noticeboard was damaged during building works. Both need to be renewed when the project is completed.
Elsewhere inevitable problems with bushes obstructing paths have been exacerbated by recent weather conditions
The Council has changed its forecast completion date for the Centre of Excellence for Disabled Children which is currently being built on Ascot Way. They originally forecast an (unlikely) opening date of June. They have now revised this to October.
The Council says that the facility “will provide short breaks for young people with disabilities in a purpose built facility and also expand the service support offer in the community and assist in reducing the need for out of authority placements by providing much more flexible provision in the city“
Work on upgrading the adjacent Lincoln Court sheltered accommodation units had stalled during the Coronavirus lock-down. No opening date has been given for reoccupation of the building although this may be influenced by the continuing work on the adjacent site. The refurbishment involves the creation of 15 new fully wheelchair accessible properties and 20 fully refurbished apartments.
We are still waiting to hear when work on the replacement for the all weather play area (MUGA) will start!
Council blames the “complexity” of the selected design for the
A Council report published today reveals that the cost of the Centre of Excellence for Disabled Children will increase from the originally budgeted figure of £4.3 million (January 2018) to an estimated £5.9 million.
This comes after the Council, In April 2018, had agreed to increase
the proportion of the costs which would be funded by borrowing
£1.1 million of the increased costs will come from a Health service
grant with the rest being transferred from the education budget.
It appears that some features of the building are being “value engineered” out of the design.
The centre is being built on the site of the Windsor House elderly
persons home. The neighbouring Lincoln Court independent living building is
also being modernised and extended at the same time.
While both projects have been welcomed, concerns have been expressed about traffic congestion and parking issues in the area.
The impact of the developments on open space and sports facilities in the neighbourhood have also been criticised.
Details of the new budget allocations are being kept secret by the Council. It is unclear whatpromised features in the building may now be omitted.
The meeting to consider the budget increase is taking place on 18th June.
Areportbeing presented to a Council meeting next week says that the cost to taxpayers of developing a Centre of Excellence for Disabled Children and their families in Ascot Way will be more than expected.
An additional £350,000 will have to be borrowed to finance the £4.3 million project.
This is mainly the result of a lower than expected valuation of The Glen Short Breaks centre which is to be sold to help pay for the new development.
When originally suggested, the expectation was that the Glen site would be sold for £1,250,000. It is this figure that has reduced and produced the funding shortfall.
Annual repayments (principal plus interest) on the borrowing are expected to be around £195,000 a year.
The news comes a day before an open meeting to discuss the project is being held at Windsor House (see below)
The plans to establish a new centre for disabled children on the former Windsor House site on Ascot Way were generally welcomed at a public meeting held on Monday. The plans will now be discussed at a Council Executive meeting next week
The Council says that the new building will be the setting for a range of support services which will enable disabled children to remain in their families and in their community, delivered from a safe, accessible space
Flexible short break provision to meet the needs of children and young people with Autism, Learning Disabilities and/or additional health needs.
Family Intervention Rapid Support Team (FIRST) and Therapeutic Short Breaks a specialist Clinical Psychology led intensive assessment and intervention service for families with children and young people who have Autism and Learning Disability and challenging behaviour which affects their ability to live in the local community
The facility will be linked to Hob Moor Oaks special school. Disabled children will be able to walk to the new provision after school, instead of being transported across the city on minibuses. Part of the playing field of the school will be used for the project.
The buildig will replace the facilities currently provided at The Glen.
The scheme is imaginative and worthy of support. However, the proposal to retain the front entrance (and therefore vehicular access) via Ascot Way is controversial. There are already congestion and parking problems in the area. An access, with car parking, via Hob Moor school would address this issue, while offering the opportunity to provide better accessibility for Lincoln Court.
The detailed plans also suggest that an outdoor play area be provided adjacent to Lincoln Court. While many older people like to feel involved in the local community, inevitably playgrounds can be noisy places. We think that the location of this part of the facility should be reconsidered.
Residents will hope that any building work on the project will not take place at the same time as the threatened development of the Newbury Avenue garage site.
Illustrations of what is proposed are reproduced below
According to the Council, “A new £1 million sports facility at Millthorpe School will benefit schools and community groups across the city when it is completed at the end of October”.
The project’s progress compares well with the proposal to provide an alternative for the game area on Kingsway West closed by the Council two year ago. Discussions on a replacement have only just started.
The Council says that the “floodlit 3G artificial grass pitch will be available all year round to pupils at Millthorpe and nearby Scarcroft Primary School, together with other York schools and community groups.
It has been developed through the City of York Council scheme to create additional school places at Scarcroft Primary School and helps to increase the amount of outdoor space available to the school.
Community groups will be able to use the pitch outside of the school day and during the school holidays. Hamilton Panthers, York City Kick About and Bishopthorpe White Rose are already lined up to take advantage of the new facility.
The facility is close to the existing sports hall and will be accessible for outside users via the school’s Philadelphia Terrace entrance. The development includes on-site car parking spaces next to the pitch, with provision for disabled visitors, secure cycle parking and electric vehicle charging.
The pitch is suitable for junior 11-a-side football and features include energy-efficient floodlighting, along with portable goals and pitch markings to meet the requirements of a variety of different game formats and age ranges”.
The charges that will apply for use of he facilities haven’t been published.
City of York Council is asking disabled people across York to let them know how city centre changes made in response to coronavirus have affected accessibility.
In June 2020 the council executive agreed to emergency measures to expand the number of pedestrianised ‘footstreets’, which now run for an extra three hours until 8pm, to allow more space for social distancing and for cafes and restaurants to take advantage of pavement trading.
“The actions are designed to support the council’s Economic Recovery – Transport and Place One Year Strategy, adopted by the Executive on 24 June 2020. This aims to build resident, visitor and stakeholder confidence that York is a safe, healthy and attractive place for everyone”.
Replacement blue badge parking has been added at different locations around the edges of the city centre, with more added this week*. A free taxi service – set to continue until at least 20 September – has been available between Monk Bar car park and St Andrewgate.
The council want to hear from all disabled people in York, whether they use a blue badge or not, and any other residents who feel the footstreets extension has affected their ability to access the city centre.
The council wants to hear from disabled people, blue badge holders, carers and anyone else who feels the footstreets changes have affected the ease with which they can access the city centre.
The results of the engagement will: 1. Provide ways to improve the existing alternative access arrangements 2. Give the council’s Executive a full understanding of the impact of the footstreets extension and provide options to increase accessibility to the city centre if the extension continues.
With public gatherings difficult during the current restrictions, the council is using a survey approach – available online and hard copy – as well as talking to disabled groups across the city to reach their members.
The council is also scheduling an online workshop in Mid-September to explore the challenges.
You can join the conversation in a number of ways. You can fill in a survey by Monday 28 September at www.york.gov.uk/OBCAccess, A hard copy of the survey along with a freepost return address will also be included in the September edition of the council’s Our City publication, distributed to York households from 7 September. If you are interested in taking part in an online workshop to explore the challenges around accessibility and footstreets and ideas please email OurBigConversation@york.gov.uk .
No consultation prior to “behind closed doors” decision
Pedestrian hours in York City centre will be extended from 10:30am to 8:00pm, 7 days a week. Currently they end at 4:00pm each day.
The scheme will extend to include Fossgate and Goodramgate.
Cyclists will be able to slalom through some of the affected streets.
The Council leadership claims the move is aimed at helping “traders” and says cafes and pubs will be able to “set up tables on the public highway more easily”. The change was agreed yesterday only hours after alcohol fuelled disorder returned to City centre streets.
Disabled people will be badly affected. They can no longer access the City centre streets and have so far snubbed the additional parking spaces – and free taxi service – set up at the Monk Bar car park
The Council have also failed to address the confusion over their “free parking” offer which applies to some car parks in July and August. It got off to a confused start at the weekend.
The Council says that the following public toilets are now offering a contactless payment option and will be open until 10pm
St George’s Field
Coppergate Shopping Centre –
Silver Street (contactless from next week)
There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that the Councils recent transport and other decisions reflect the wishes of either the majority of residents or of the business community. Not surprisingly out of town shopping centres seem to be recovering much more quickly from the lock-down recession, leaving the city centre vulnerable to fanciful and ill considered social engineering experiments.
What is increasingly intolerable is the failure of the Councils democratic systems. There is no reason why notice of this proposal could not have been published in advance with a decision subsequently taken at a publicly accessible meeting.
Instead it exploited an emergency delegation scheme which was intended to take the City through the worst phase of the lock-down.
The Council own “scrutiny” system has also once again been found wanting with meetings, which took place yesterday, failing to effectively challenge the decisions of the secretive “junta” which now dictates to York residents.
Changes to pedestrian hours may well be something that York people would want to trial. This option could have been included on a list as part of the Councils so called “big conversation” survey.
It wasn’t, so we don’t know peoples views.
However, given the failures of the last few weeks, they will not forgive quickly those who chose to impose their views in such a discourteous and arbitrary way.