Really about time the York Council told residents more about its bin emptying problems.

Below is the latest update on waste collection taken from the Councils web site. Waste collection updates – City of York Council

Some green bins have been out on the streets for emptying for a full week in the Foxwood area. They were supposed to be emptied during a “catch up” last Thursday but nothing happened.

It seems that even local Councillors don’t know what is going to happen and when.

While residents will understand if an absence of HGV drivers, or crews being “pinged” by the NHS app, is to blame, they deserve to be told what to do with their bins.

Currently it is the equivalent of a green bin “hokey cokey”.

The Council spends a lot of money on its communications team.

In this case communication systems simply aren’t working.

What’s on in York: Operation Hummingbird


Operation Hummingbird

Does our grief age as we do?

Operation Hummingbird is a conversation across the decades about a sudden family death, realising an opportunity that we all wish we could do at some point in our life; go back and talk to our younger self.  Taking the key themes from his own memoir, The Day the Alien Came, Matt Harper-Hardcastle’s new play explores terminal illness, anticipatory grief and the complicated journey of living with loss.
This was originally created for York’s Dead Good Festival 2020, but due to the COVID pandemic was streamed as a rehearsed reading instead.
Now the full production is coming to you this summer – in 4 York Explore venues around the city!

Thursday 5 August 3.30pm New Earswick Folk Hall
Thursday 5 August 7pm Dringhouses Library
Thursday 12 August 2pm York Explore
Thursday 12 August 6pm Hungate Reading Café with food offer
Thursday 12 August 7pm Hungate Reading Café performance only

All performances are £3 unless you are taking advantage of our early bird food offer at Hungate Reading Café where the cost is £10 for a calzone and salad, a drink (beer, wine or a soft drink) and the performance.

For more information and to book tickets click here


Coronavirus York updates; 20th July 2021

Hospital patients and deaths

Three more deaths were announced by the York Hospital Trust today. Two occurred on Thursday and one on Saturday. It means that there have been 5 fatalities during the last week. In total, the local COVID-19 death toll now stands at 599.

The number of COVID patients in hospital is rising.

Test results

122 positive test results announced today. Brings cumulative total up to 16,408

75 additional cases in the City today. Brings total up to 1001.

The rate /100k population has risen to 475.29. Still trending to exceed 500 before the end of the week.

The infection rate in North Yorkshire and regional levels now exceed the case rate high set in January.



441 vaccinations were completed yesterday (Monday) That is the smallest daily number since mass vaccinations began. 15% of eligible York residents have not yet had their first jab.

NB. On Thursday 22 July, vaccination uptake for the UK, nations and Scottish local authorities will be updated to use the mid-2020 population estimates.


  • 8535 PCR tests were completed during the week ending 15th July 2021
  • Of these, 11.9% were positive. That is an increase from the 11.1% recorded during the previous period
  • In addition, 3185 “lateral flow” tests were completed on 19th July 2021.

Huge York Road phone mast plan rejected by Inspector

Our April report

An appeal against the refusal of planning permission for a 20 metre high 5G phone mast has been rejected.

The mast was due to be erected opposite Acomb Gables.

Rejected by Local Authority planners, we reported in April that the developers had appealed against that decision.

A second application for a mast (which is still outstanding) a few metres away had been branded by residents as “intrusive” It could “impact on the conservation area“. They asked that an alternative, less prominent, location be sought.

Now a government inspector has agreed with the residents.

The inspectors report (click) says,

.the mast would be an unduly prominent feature to the detriment of the character and appearance of the Conservation Area (CA).

There is a mile stone set against the retaining wall. As a traditional feature, this contributes to the appreciation of the streetscape as well as the character and appearance of the CA. Views on the approach to this mile stone would be obscured by cabinets placed on either side, to the significant detriment of the positive contribution this mile stone makes to the area and the CA.

I conclude that the proposal due to its siting and appearance would lead to significant harm to the character and appearance of the area. The proposal would also fail to preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the CA. Within the terms of the Framework the harm to the CA would be less than substantial. However, mindful of my concerns in respect of the visual impact of the proposal and potential alternatives, I do not consider that it has been demonstrated that the public benefits of the proposal in this location are sufficient to outweigh that harm.

In the light of the Inspectors conclusion the local Planning Committee is expected to refuse the second application.

We will monitor the alternative proposal and any applications for other locations which may come forward.

Coronavirus York updates; 19th July 2021

Hospital patients and deaths

No further deaths over the weekend

Test results

107 positive test results announced today. That is the lowest for several days. The cumulative total is now 16,286.

The number of cases in the City has increased by 5 to 926.

The rate /100k population is now 439.68. The latest spike will start to show in tomorrows figures. By Wednesday the 500 milestone is likely to have been exceeded.

The infection rate in York (439.7) has now fallen below that being experienced in North Yorkshire (463.9) and the region (536.5). It remains above the England average (426.1).



870 vaccinations were competed yesterday (Sunday)


  • 8490 PCR tests were completed during the week ending 14th July 2021
  • Of these, 11.1% were positive. That is down on the 11.2% positivity rate recorded during the previous period
  • 3331 “lateral flow” tests were also completed on 18th July 2021.

Coronavirus York updates;18th July 2021

Test results

136 positive test results. Brings the cumulative total up to 16,179.

Case numbers in the City have fallen from 946 to 921

The rate /100k population falls to 437.3. However, a further spike is in the pipeline which will see the rate rise to over 482 on Wednesday


The Dunnington/Elvington/Wheldrake neighbourhood infection rate has risen again. It is now in the highest, above 800, banding. The only other neighbourhood to have had such a high rate during the current surge in case numbers was Heslington/University. The authorities have offered no explanation for the Dunnington spike which has seen case numbers rise from 13 to 56 in a period of just 5 days. The neighbourhood has one of the highest vaccination rates in the City


1139 vaccinations were undertaken yesterday (Saturday)


  • 8337 PCR tests were carried out during the week ending 13th July 2021.
  • Of these, 11.2% were positive. That is less than the 11.5% positivity rate found during the previous period.
  • 1703 “lateral flow” tests were also carried out on 17th July 2021.

Latest planning applications for the Westfield Ward

Below are the latest planning applications received by the York Council for the Westfield ward.

Full details can be found by clicking the application reference


61A Gale Lane York YO24 3AD

Non-material amendment to permitted application 20/00494/FULM to changes boundary fencing to suit existing site boundary conditions

Ref. No: 21/01580/NONMAT 


170 St Stephens Road York YO24 3EF

Single storey rear extension and conversion of garage to habitable space

Ref. No: 21/01504/FUL 

Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning online web site.

NB. The Council now no longer routinely consults neighbours by letter when an application is received

What’s on in York: Wild World Heroes: Summer Reading Challenge 2021

Explore York Libraries and Archives and The Reading Agency have teamed up with theWorld Wildlife Fund to keep children reading over the summer, while challenging them to help save the planet. By taking part in the Challenge for free in Explore Libraries or online, children can join six fictional characters – ‘wild heroes’ – to help solve some of the threats to our natural world, and learn about the importance of the environment while helping to restore nature in ‘Wilderville’.

How to sign up

The Challenge starts on Saturday 17 July and runs until Saturday 11 September 2021.

You can sign up in any Explore York Library, but we are not running the challenge in our cafes or at the Community Stadium this year.

You can find a lot more Reading Challenge activities and sign up to do the challenge online if you prefer this option on the Summer Reading Challenge website

Books you can use for the challenge

You can borrow books from your local library to read, or you can use our e-book or e-audiobook service.

Illustrations © Heath McKenzie 2021

Summer Reading Challenge Activities

From July 5 onwards you will be able to book for our in person socially distanced events. As well as in person events we have activities for you to watch and download. They launch at the date and time next to the event and are available all summer.

You can book our in person events for children online or at a library.

Numbers for events in libraries will be very limited. If you book a ticket and then cannot come please make sure you cancel your ticket so someone else can come instead.

You can find online activities through our children’s activity link.

Saturday 24 July10amLiz Foster’s Wild World Heroes activity sheets.
Saturday 24 July10amRobin Simpson’s Online Nature Stories and Activities. Come dressed as an animal if you wish.
Monday 26 July10amTed Schofield’s Online Picture Adventure Story Workshop. Have a piece of A3 paper, papers for practicing, pencils, crayons and a ruler ready to do the session.
Monday 2 August10amJohn Kirk’s Story Treasure Hunt 1
Monday 2 August10amJohn Kirk’s Story Treasure Hunt 2
Wednesday 4 August10.30 am and 2pmTheatre of Science’s Summer Extravaganza Science Meditation Session (live)
Wednesday 11 August10amTheatre of Science’s Summer Extravaganza: Science Meditation Session (recording)
Arts Award logo

Arts Award Discover is a nationally recognised introductory award aimed at 5 to 9 year olds (although any child can take part.) Explore York Libraries and Archives, York Art Gallery, York Army Museum and All Saints, North Street are offering children the opportunity to gain Arts Award Discover through taking part in any three of our in person or online activities, finding out about an artist or crafts person and telling us about these at a Big Share Event.

Download a record sheet to note down what you have done or just collect all you have made and come to a Big Share Event anytime between 1 pm and 4 pm on Wednesday 1st September in the Marriott Room at York Explore Library or between 1 pm and 3 pm on Sunday 5th September in the Sensory Garden at the rear of York Art Gallery. After talking to you we will apply for an Arts Award certificate for you which will be posted to your home.

Thanks to funding from York Army Museum we can offer these certificates free of charge.

Coronavirus York updates; 17th July 2021

Test results

187 positive test results today. The cumulative total is now 16,043,

Cases in York are up by 70 compared to yesterday

The rate /100k population rises from 414.84 yesterday to 448.70 today.

Infection rates are now higher than was seen last autumn and are currently increasing quiet sharply.

They remain below the peak of 670.9 which was recorded on 8th January 2021


Case numbers have doubled in the Dunnington/Elvington/Wheldrake neighbourhood since the previous report.


628 vaccinations were competed yesterday ( Friday)


  • 8187 PCR tests were conducted during the week ending 12th July 2021.
  • Of these, 11.8% were positive. That represents an increase on the 11% positivity rate found during the previous period
  • In addition, 2424 “lateral flow” tests were conducted on 16th July 2021.

New testing arrangements

A new testing site has been established in York “to help the city stay safe”

As the country moves to Step 4 of the Government’s roadmap, City of York Council is opening a new testing site in the city to help keep people safe, as well as continuing work in communities.

A new testing centre is opening at the Pavilion of the Rawcliffe Recreation Association. The site will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9am and 4.30pm and people will be able to get tested in person or to collect.

The new testing centre joins five other council run testing sites in the city, with residents also able to get testing kits online or at a local pharmacy. As the country moves to the next stage of the roadmap, city leaders are asking people to get regular symptom-free tests, so the virus isn’t spread unknowingly to friends and family.

How to get a testing kit in York:

Visit a City of York Council testing centre

These are at

  • Acomb Explore Library (same opening times as before)
  • Foxwood Community Centre (same opening times as before)
  • St William’s College (same opening times as before)
  • University of York, now open 12-4pm Monday to Friday
  • York St John University – Opening times have changed to 8am to 2.30 Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm Sat/Sun.

Please note that the University of York and York St John University centres have moved to different rooms next to their original location.

Community work

We are expanding our community offer which has seen us hand out testing kits in communities across the city. Going door to door offering kits has enabled our staff to have conversations with local people about the importance of getting tested and vaccinated, together with information of how to get more test kits. In the coming weeks we will be in Heworth and Clifton and Rawcliffe. The list of the next streets we will be visiting is available at: Symptom-free coronavirus testing – City of York Council.

As well as this work the council will be:

  • Offering collection points at foodbanks throughout the city  
  • Working to add more collection points in communities across York
  • Handing out testing kits at the mass vaccination centre
Other ways to get tested

Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council:

“With confirmation that we are moving to Step 4 of the roadmap on Monday, we are working hard to ensure that residents have easy access to symptom-free Covid tests throughout the sumnmer. Getting tested regularly is something we can all do to help stop the virus from spreading and with rates of infection being higher than we would like, it will help keep our friends and family safe as we enjoy what York has to offer.

“As ever, we are hugely grateful to partners across the city for their support, as well as local residents and businesses. Our response to the pandemic has truly been a citywide effort, so if you haven’t already received a testing kit, then please get in touch and join the thousands across the city receiving regular resting.”

Sharon Stoltz, Director of Public Health said:

“Getting tested is quick and easy and something we can all do to help in the fight against COVID-19.

“We want as many people to be able to easily access tests as possible and know how they can get more. Regular testing will help us all have better summers and reduce case rates by stopping the virus from spreading to others.

“It is still important as we make the move to step four. Getting tested regularly, including before seeing friends and family will help protect them. If the result is negative and you can go out, we are still asking people to take those extra precautions, including fresh air and wearing a face covering in busy indoor spaces.“