York Council threat on school attendance

With the new school year in full swing, City of York Council is reminding parents of the importance of making sure their children attend all their school sessions.

York’s school attendance rate is high with only 4.4 per cent absence, compared to a national average of 4.7 per cent and a Yorkshire and Humber region average of 4.9per cent.

City of York Council rarely prosecutes parents who don’t ensure their children are at school because it believes that working with schools and parents is the best strategy to maintain high levels of attendance at school.

However, last week a prosecution was heard by York Magistrates against a parent whose child had been marked as absent from over 70 per cent of sessions during a four month period earlier this year.

The child, then in year eight at secondary school, was absent for 87 out of a possible 122 sessions between 29/01/18 and 18/05/18, only two of which were authorised absences.

The parent had previously been issued with a fine due to raised concerns regarding the child’s attendance over a number of school years. The parent also failed to provide the school with acceptable reasons for much of the child’s absence and failed to engage with the schools and local authority to support the child’s education.

At York Magistrates Court, the parent pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the regular attendance at the school of their child; an offence under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996. She was ordered to pay a £20 court surcharge with a conditional six month discharge.

For more information on school attendance click here 

For details of term dates visit your school website or click here 

York plans for “no deal” Brexit

Councillors will discuss activities to ensure York is as prepared as possible in the event of a no-deal Brexit at an Executive meeting on Thursday 18 October.

The Government claims that “a scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely” whilst advising councils to prepare for all eventualities, including a no-deal.

The council’s Executive will be asked to note the work undertaken with partners so far and identify other areas the council could consider to help the city move confidently forward and positively respond to any change.

Executive takes place on Thursday 18 October from 5.30pm and is open to members of the public or is available to watch live online from: www.york.gov.uk/webcasts

Laura Purcell: Writing Victorian Gothic Event sponsored by The Shepherd Group

Oct _16Linda

York Explore Library :

Tue 16 Oct :

6.30pm – 7.45pm :

£5

Join Laura Purcell as she talks about her spine chilling Victorian Gothic novels The Silent Companions and The Corset.

Laura Purcell has enjoyed huge success with The Silent Companions which featured on both the Radio 2 Book Club and the Zoe Ball Book Club on ITV.

The Corset is her new novel.
Dorothea and Ruth.
Prison visitor and prisoner. Powerful and powerless.
Dorothea Truelove is young, wealthy and beautiful. Ruth Butterham is young, poor and awaiting trial for murder.
When Dorothea’s charitable work leads her to Oakgate Prison, she is delighted with the chance to explore her fascination with phrenology and test her hypothesis that the shape of a person’s skull can cast a light on their darkest crimes. But when she meets teenage seamstress Ruth, she is faced with another theory: that it is possible to kill with a needle and thread. For Ruth attributes her crimes to a supernatural power inherent in her stitches.
The story Ruth has to tell of her deadly creations – of bitterness and betrayal, of death and dresses – will shake Dorothea’s belief in rationality, and the power of redemption.

Author’s Biography:
Laura Purcell is a former bookseller, she lives in Colchester with her husband and pet guinea pigs. She has written 3 historical novels set in the Georgian period, followed by Victorian Gothic chiller  the Silent Companion which was featured on the Radio 2 Book Club and the Zoe Ball Book Club in July.
Her new novel, The Corset was published in September.

Follow Laura on Twitter.

To book tickets please click here.

What’s on in York: Exhibition – They Also Served

York Explore Library :

Oct _15They Also Served - Yortime

Mon 15 Oct – Tue 30 Oct :

Library Opening Times :

Free

Drop in to this pop up exhibition and uncover the experiences of some of these patriotic young men, who had a strong desire to help the mother country fight against German aggression.

Many lost their lives in the conflict. Those who survived returned to their homes in the Caribbean or travelled to Britain to pick up their lives again.

For more information please call the libarry on (01904) 552828 or york@exploreyork.org.uk.

Mint Yard Lecture: They also served

Oct _15Mint YardYork Explore Library :

Mon 15 Oct : 6.15pm – 7.45pm :

£6, or £5 with a YorkCard

In July 2017 a commemoration service was held in Birmingham to remember the largely forgotten contributions of African and Caribbean soldiers in the First World War.  This service coincided with the launch of a touring exhibition, which arrives at York Explore on Monday 15 October.

Join Linda Ali to uncover the experiences of some of these patriotic young men, who had a strong desire to help the mother country fight against German aggression. Many lost their lives in the conflict. Those who survived returned to their homes in the Caribbean or travelled to Britain to pick up their lives again.

This event will take place in the Marriott Room and tickets cost £6, or £5 with a YorkCard

To book tickets please click here.

Council acts on fly posting blight

Legal Action Promised.

Fly posters advertising a Fair at ROKO Health Club

The York Council has taken action to remove posters which were illegally fly posted across west York.

The posters advertised a Fair taking place at ROKO

Officials say that 40 posters have been removed and that they plan to take legal action against those responsible.

The posters had caused particular concern because they were attached to street furniture using sellotape which is difficult to remove.

Council officials say that they have removed over 40 posters.

They ask that if a resident sees any others which have been missed that they report them.

A Freedom of Information request has been lodged with the Council asking them to reveal how many prosecutions for fly posting have been undertaken during the last 3 years.

Containergate rumbles on – planning appeal lodged

Spark, the operator of the shipping container “village on Piccadilly, are to appeal against the Councils decision to require them to clad the front of the containers. Spark offered the cladding when they originally sought planning permission but later changed their minds and painted “street art” on some of the containers on the Piccadilly frontage.

In May they sought retrospective planning permission for the change, but this was turned down by the Planning Committee in August. They have now appealed against that decision with the Planning Inspectorate likely to take several months to take a view. It is understood that the Council has decided not to take enforcement action in the interim

The Piccadilly site is owned by the Council, which has spent around £60,000 installing services and subsiding improvements.

The company had originally claimed they could not afford the cladding, but they have now written to prominent Councillors saying that their tenants have taken “£1.2 million” since opening, “more than twice the original forecast”.

That may be good news for taxpayers, as the Council is set to get a share of the “profits” …..but there will be no share out before April 2019 at the earliest.

It has emerged that Sparks have not yet paid any rent. They have had beneficial occupation of the site since the beginning of September 2017.

The Council have been asked to confirm that Business Rate payments are up to date.

Spark have applied for planning permission to fit a “roof” on the site.

At the same time, they have announced that they will open for only 5 days a week (closing on Tuesday and Wednesday from later this month).

There are conflicting reports about the number of small businesses which are being sustained on the site. Some have not been able to make a go of the site, with one blaming the drink culture for scaring away family customers. 3 complaints about external noise levels have been received by the Council.

Spark however claims that, of the 21 letting units, all but two are taken: 9 food, 4 drink and 6 retail outlets.

Depends whether you believe the spin, but clearly the alcohol-based units businesses got a summer boost from the World Cup and hot weather.

The lift, which will allow the village to meet disabled accessibility standards, will be operational this week according to Spark. They have, however, been unable to secure insurance which would indemnify the Council in the event of a business failure.

Council officials are content to rely on the resale value of the containers to secure taxpayers’ interests. Many of the containers have been refashioned to meet the specific needs of the Piccadilly site.

The approach taken by York Councillors, to the claims made before agreeing to lease the land to Spark, can still be viewed “on line”. The meeting which took place in November 2016 can be seen by clicking here Agenda Item 73