HUGE Perform at York Barbican for Pre-opening Charity Concert

York Barbican, Tuesday 10 May, Start time 7.30pm
Tickets £5.00 including booking fee (all of which will go to charity). On sale Friday 15 April.

On Tuesday 10 May, York Barbican will be opening its doors to the public for a Pre-Opening Charity Concert in aid of the Lord Mayor’s Charity and York Against Cancer. Local party band HUGE will be performing a 90 minute set in what promises to be a hilarious mix of music from disco to reggae, rock to soul and jazz to ska.

Nick Reed, Theatres Director for SMG Europe commented: ‘This is a unique chance for local people to get the first look inside the newly refurbished York Barbican while enjoying music from York’s favourite party band. SMG is delighted to be using this opening event at the venue as an opportunity to raise money for two very worthwhile charities, and we hope that everyone will join us for a great night.’

Ian Donaghy, HUGE commented: ‘York audiences have been great to us over the years and this is a brilliant opportunity to put something back. Times are tough at the moment so this will give families a rare night out that will not cost the earth. We want to get more and more young people into enjoying music and playing music and this is a great opportunity – the show has been deliberately designed to finish early so that families could come and still be awake for school the following morning. With enormous names like Morrissey and Paulo Nutini en route, it is an honour once again to throw off the dustsheets and take to the Barbican stage for such a good cause – all the boys are very excited.’
The Rt.Hon the Lord Mayor of York, Councillor Susan Galloway, commented: ‘I am proud and delighted that my two chosen charities, the British Heart Foundation and Our Celebration, are going to benefit from what promises to be a great night of music from Huge’.
Pat Leveson, Fundraising Committe member of York Against Cancer commented: ‘York against cancer are delighted to have been chosen to benefit from this fantastic evening for York. HUGE will make the re-opening of York Barbican a night to remember and we are thrilled to be part of it.’

When the Barbican Centre first opened in 1991 HUGE were the first ever band to play on the stage when the council organised a closed doors event for all staff to try out the new venue. Since then HUGE have played the Barbican 4 times and it is incredibly fitting that HUGE have been chosen to perform again. With an eclectic mix of music, their audiences range from families and young children to the funkiest of grannies – HUGE don’t take themselves too seriously and give people a fantastic night out.

Tickets for the concert will cost no more than £5.00 (including a booking fee which will also be donated to charity) and are available to buy online at by telephone on 0844 854 2757 or in person from Visit York on Museum Street.

Lighting for the event will be provided by Vortex Lighting and AV equipment will be provided by Alphasound. Thank you also to JSS Audio who will be providing their equipment free of charge.

The BBC Philharmonic with Alison Balsom will be the first official concert at York Barbican on Saturday 14 May. Tickets available from or 0844 854 2757

Bus Service Changes

The following bus service changes will be taking place this weekend.

A) Wards – Rural West York, Acomb, Dringhouses & Woodthorpe, Micklegate, Holgate, Guildhall

Route 142/143 (York – A59 – Boroughbridge – Ripon, contracted by NYCC and receiving CYC subsidy) will be operated by Harrogate Coach Travel and Eddie Browns.

Route 412/413 (York – Acomb – Knapton – Rufforth – Wetherby, contracted by NYCC and receiving CYC subsidy) is changing operator from Arriva to Eddie Browns and Harrogate Coach Travel.

Route 37 (York – Askham Bar – Woodthorpe – Askham Richard – Catterton – Tadcaster) is changing operator from York Pullman to Utopia Travel.

B) Wards – Wheldrake, Fulford, Fishergate, Guildhall

Route 42 (Selby – Riccall – Cawood – Stillingfleet – Naburn – Fulford Road – York) operated by Arriva will cease to operate on a Sunday.

Route 124 (Naburn – Fulford – Broadway – Fulford Road – York) will be operated on a Sunday (at the same frequency previously operated on the 42) by Transdev York

Route 415 (Selby – A19 – Escrick – Fulford Road – York) will no longer serve the Designer Outlet at peak times – please use Park & Ride service 7. The route will also no longer serve Broadway/Heslington Lane on a Sunday – please use the new 124 (as above).

For timetables, please see (or direct people to): for route 124 and for all other services.

Events at the Libraries in York

The Petal Garden of King Shubash by Peter Chand and Shonaleigh
Storytelling for adults and 12+
Explore York Library Learning Centre, Saturday 14 May, 7.00 pm
Tickets £6.50 (YorkCard) and £7.50

A tale of deceit, cunning, and the many faces we all wear, from two of Britain’s most exciting storytellers. Peter and Shonaleigh have enthralled audiences all over the world with fantastic Indian and Jewish stories from their respective cultures.

Freya North – Chances
Explore York Library Learning Centre, Tuesday 24 May 7.00 pm
Tickets £5.00 (YorkCard) and £6.50

Best selling author, Freya North, will be talking about her new book Chances and we’ll be celebrating the first anniversary of our reopening as Explore York Library Learning Centre with a glass of wine and cake for our visitors this evening.

More events are currently being planned around the first anniversary of Explore York.

Family Fun Days at Explore York
The next Family Day is Mystery Quest Day on 23 April, Easter bank holiday weekend. There’s a real mystery to solve by using your five senses on a Quest to discover what strange, intriguing and sometimes hilarious things have happened, and may be still happening (?), on the site of York Explore, during the last thousand years or so!

More Family Days in May are on 1 May Royal York Day, 15 May Dr Who Day.

Park and Ride numbers up

The numbers using York’s Park and Ride service have increased by 0.7% comparing March 2011 with March 2010.
A 0.7% increase saw the total number of users in the month increase to 237,989.
The increase for the 12 months up to March is even higher at 1.2%, with Askham Bar and the Designer Centre being the showing the biggest rises.
In total over 2.8 million people have used the service over the last year.
See the following web page for details of services.

Labour’s Green Belt Threat Revealed

At the Full Council meeting last night Labour revealed their plans to massively increase the number of houses built in the city over the next twenty years, putting our local green belt land under threat of development.

They want to increase house building targets from 575 homes per year to more than 800. Such a high number couldn’t be accommodated by using brown field sites and so would put the green belt under pressure.

When challenged by Lib Dem Councilors, Labour were unable to say where the extra homes would be built and astonishingly Labour Councillor Dave Merrett said people wanting to protect the green belt were NIMBYs and the development was necessary to keep businesses happy.

Liberal Democrat Councillors in Westfield have been fighting to protect the green belt from development for many years. They have been doing this because local residents have consistently and strongly told us they do not want to see development on the green belt.

For the Labour group to be so dismissive of the views of local people is very worrying and gives a stark warning about their approach to the city if they were to control the council. Only the Lib Dems are in a position to prevent Labour giving the go ahead to development on our green belt.

Number 4 ftr bus service safe from Labour cuts

The Council meetign held last night heard that Labour will not be able to carry out their threat to scrap the number 4 ftr bus service. Officials told us that the Council has very limited powers to specify vehicle types on commercial services. If a Low Emission Zone was put in place then this may be used to restrict access to certain vehicles including buses. Height/weight/length restrictions can be applied which would limit vehicle types. First could remove the ftr fleet at the end of the current agreement (june) but equally the service may continue unchange or be expanded.
The Council also heard that – against the national trend – use of bus services in York was stable. Total passengers trips in recent years have been:

2009/10 14,774,492
2008/09 15,334,448
2007/08 14,853,143
2006/07 15,144,371
2005/06 14,493,549

The way we were in 2010

As part of our pre election review we look at some of he things that happened in 2010.

The new Energise pool on Cornlands Road opens. It incorporates a learner’s pool, a hydrotherapy pool, café and fitness suite. 58% of Westfield residents say they will give it a try.

In a poll, Westfield residents said that speeding was a problem on some local roads. …..A  majority were against a blanket 20 mph limit but most thought that the Police should use mobile speed cameras to enforce limits……….. There was a major crime crackdown in November with 300 Litres of wine and 7 cases of illicit spirit were seized together with 1.5kg of illicit tobacco & 19 wraps of heroin.

The Council agreed to reopen the footpath link from Grange Lane to the ring road (and possibly the route onto Rufforth). The roll out of additional recycling collections for the Green Lane terraced area was announced………. The Council announced that it would demolish the old Lowfields school buildings in 2010 following problems with arson. …….A Christmas food cookery demonstration was held at the Foxwood Community centre and Lidl put on display their plans for the Thanet Road site……… The Fair was to return to the Thanet Road sports area in May.

A new school on Hamilton Drive would replace Our Lady’s in Windsor Garth


A worn verge in Bramham Road was hard surfaced……. and a new dial and ride bus joined the York fleet.

Ambitious plans for the conservation of Acomb Green were announced.  The demolition of Lowfields school was well underway but not before residents had complained about verge damage.

The new Lidl store got planning permission.

The new Foxwood Lane playground was almost complete.

New Foxwood Lane playground

A general election took place in the spring. We told candidates that a high priority was returning local decision making powers to the City….. Later the new Coalition government announced a “localism” agenda which stops London dictating how City’s should be planned. The housing finance system is also to be reformed meaning that York Council tenants will no longer have to pay £6.5 million a year propping up other Cities) ….. The most popular polices of the new Coalition Government –with Westfield residents – were scrapping income tax for those earning less than £10,000 a year, increasing pensions at least in line with wages, scrapping plans requiring people to carry I/D cards and better funding for the NHS.


The York Council voted against a Labour inspired idea to have a congestion charge in the City.

The introduction of a one way system on Milner Street/Gladstone Street was approved………. Nearby problems with parking near the Fish and Chip shop were being pursued by parking wardens………. Further down Green Lane a flashing speed warning sign was to be installed.

A Toucan crossing would replace the zebra crossing on York Road.

The  popular performance group called Medieval Murderers – visited Acomb Explore………. 92% of residents said that they preferred the new recycling boxes to the bags that they replaced. ………Mark Waudby joined our local team as Westfield Councillor Sue Galloway was sworn in as the City’s 798th Lord Mayor……….. The Councillors annual cycle ride round the ward took place on 19th July.


The Council announced that the Barbican would reopen in 2011 following successful discussions with a private operator. …………..The £50 worth of travel tokens made available to people with disabilities proved to be a popular choice with many……

 81% of users rated the ftr as comfortable with 91% liking the idea of having Conductors (hosts) on board.

Steve Galloway & Andrew Waller launched a campaign aimed at encouraging residents to use local shops and services………. A successful summer fayre had been held on Acomb Green.

We published a list of the 34 salt bins that exist in the ward. Little did we anticipate the usage that they would get in November and December.

400,000 people used the Energise sports centre in its first year……… The first carol concert ever to be staged on Acomb Green was announced for December……… Additional parking spaces on St Stephens Road (lay by) and St Stephen’s Square (off street) was agreed…… They follow on from the substantial improvements made on Thoresby Road, Cornlands Road and the Windsor Garth area.

Vandals attacked the now empty White Rose pub and the new owners were told to demolish it following an intervention by Steve Galloway. The owners announced that they would build 6 new bungalows on the site.

The local team of Councillors completed a survey of 5500 homes in the ward. ……….Most popular improvements with residents proved to be the recycling collections, the new Askham Lane roundabout, Energise and the new Explore library.

2011 Westfield Council election candidates confirmed

The Local Team face a challenge from 3 Labour candidates at the 5th May Council poll. Surprisingly all the Labour candidates live on the Heworth side of the City.

Also competing for residents 3 votes will be 3 Green candidates & 1 Conservative. (The Conservative lives in Dunnington!)

Result 2007
LibDem 1485
Lab 838
Con 423
Others 335

 (NB. Average votes for each party candidate)

The Local Team all live in the Westfield Ward.

Their details in brief are:

Steve Galloway lives in Foxwood and has been a local Councillor for 38 years. A former Lord Mayor of York, he was the Council Leader between 2003 and 2008. In Westfield he led the campaign to provide a roundabout at the Askham Lane ring road junction and backed the new Front Street “Explore” library.

Askham Lane resident Andrew Waller is the current Leader of the council. He was first elected to represent the Westfield Ward in 1994. Andrew championed the replacement of the Hob Moor and York High school buildings and was the architect of the 3 fold increase in recycling rates seen in the City in recent years.

Mark Waudby lives in St Stephens  Road . He had 8 years experience on the York council before moving to Westfield. He recently led the fight to have the White Rose site  redeveloped quickly and is a keen supporter of our new “Energise” sports and leisure centre.

NEW HOMES BONUS – York gets over £700,000

York will be receiving £ 714,173 on 15 April as the final allocation of the New Homes Bonus for City of York Council in Year 1 (2011/12).The New Homes Bonus will fulfil the Government’s Coalition Agreement commitment to provide local authorities with real incentives to deliver housing growth.

The New Homes Bonus means that for each addition to the housing stock, in the City of York Council area, including those brought back into use, the council will receive match funding for the council tax paid for each of the next six years. The Council  will be able to use the money in whatever way it chooses and in particular to make the development more acceptable to local people.

The scheme will be administered by match funding the additional council tax potential from increases in effective housing stock, with an additional £350 per annum for affordable homes, for the following six years. For the first time, it will ensure that the economic benefits of housing growth are more visible to the local authorities and communities where the growth takes place.

All final allocations and further detail on the final scheme design can be found at: