Eco cabs needed in York

Renault Fluence

It’s a couple of years now since the York Council agreed to try to reduce the emission levels of public transport vehicles in the City. Top priority was to deal with some types of buses, but taxis and private hire fleets also needed to be modernised.

It a shame that London now seems to be forging ahead of York with this initiative.

For short journeys, electric power is perfectly adequate and better for the environment than even a hybrid. It would be good to see a couple of bays with charging points reserved at the railway station for use by eco cabs. The Council should tender the availability of a couple of licences for a company that was prepared to provide such a option (perhaps in return for a 3 – 5 year contract).

Customers would themselves decide whether to use an eco cab or a conventional taxi.

In the meantime this is what they are doing in London.

“Driving in the city usually isn’t a pleasant experience. Due to the city being the hub for major shopping outlets, businesses, restaurants and etc, traffic tends to be congested and most of the time you end up burning fuel unnecessarily. The good news is if you’re a resident of London, or if you’re planning to take a trip down for the 2012 London Olympics, you might be interested in checking out the Renault Fluence Z.E which will be the city’s first zero-emission cab as part of their plan to go green.

These taxis will be operated by eco cab company ClimateCars who have recently added the Renault Fluence Z.E.s to their fleet. The company has previously offered low carbon/hybrid vehicles in the past, which makes the Fluence Z.E.s the company’s first electric vehicle offering. These cabs will be powered by a 94hp electric motor and will feature a range of 115 miles on a single charge, and to encourage the adoption and usage of electric vehicles, the Renault Fluence Z.E. cab will be charging the same fare as normal cabs in London”.

How to contact your Liberal Democrat European Parliament members

It is likely to be several weeks before new MEP Rebecca Taylor has set up a new local office.

In the meantime residents are reminded that they can contact our other MEP Edward McMillan-Scott.

He can be Emailed on

Web Site

Office admin telephone number 07730 682677

Nick Clegg and Edward McMillan-Scott

Bad news for children and elderly as Labour cut ward budgets

As the Council budget crisis deepens, Councillors are set to scrap a series of Ward Committee funded repair and renewal schemes across the City. As much as 32% of this years (11/12) ward committee budget could be slashed with further cuts expected during the next 12 months.

We understand that in Westfield the provision made for the repair and improvement of children’s play facilities has been scrapped, together with funding for older persons activities and the renewal of street signs. This comes on top of the previous decision to stop community ranger security patrols.

In total £11,500 is being cut from the £40,000 budget.

Across the City nearly £168,000 is being axed, with one ward apparently facing an 80% reduction.

The panic move comes after newly elected Labour Councillors failed in the summer to get to grips with escalating wage costs particularly in the care services. Over £20,000 is now being spent each year on a newly created “community safety” cabinet post allocated to a Labour Councillor. £38,000 extra is being spent funding Trades Union shop steward posts.

Hopes for playground improvements dashed

New fitness class launching for people who have a mental illness

City of York Council is launching a new fitness class for people who have a mental illness.

Classes start this Thursday and will take place every week from 12noon to 1pm at York St John University Sports Hall.

The Wellbeing Circuits Classes are aimed at encouraging people to take regular exercise to help them cope better with their illness.

They are the latest addition to the council’s expanding HEAL (Health, Exercise, Activity and Lifestyle) programme which helps people who have medical conditions to exercise.

Exercise may help combat depression and make you feel happier, boost self-esteem, help you concentrate, sleep as well as enable you to look and feel better.

The Wellbeing Classes are designed to be fun and friendly in a supportive environment, giving people the chance to feel better and meet with those who have had similar experiences.

Katie Ellis, Exercise Pathways Officer at city of York Council, said: “Exercise can be a small change that could help make a big difference to your health. It’s important to try and keep active, no matter how hard that can feel in difficult times”.

Classes cost just £3 per session and those interested can simply turn up and take part.

For more information, members of the public can contact Katie Ellis on 01904 553377 or e-mail or visit

£50,000 boost for Acomb Green

We understand that the Friends of Acomb Green have secured a lottery grant of £50,000 which will be used to improve play facilities.

Members of the public are being asked for their views on the designs for the playground which is due to be completed by summer.

The funds will also go towards installing benches on the rest of the Green later this month.

The Friends and Council are conducting a tendering process and expect to choose a playground design with help from the local community by February 20. Members of the public are invited to view the designs and provide feedback at the Acomb Explore Library from February 7 to 19.

They can also email

2 fined for dog fouling offences

A report to the Council next week reveals that several prosecutions took place between 1st July and 30th September. The results included:
• 2 x £50.00 fixed penalty notices were issued under the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 for allowing a dog to foul and failing to remove the faeces.
• A further prosecution took place against an owner who failed to keep his dog under proper control (costs £704.07)
• One popular City centre bar and restaurant was prosecuted for falsely describing the strength of spirit drinks (Costs £2575.58) A further 5 cautions were issued to 3 other businesses for similar offences.
• 4 people were given £50 fixed penalty notices for smoking in a prohibited area
• A taxi driver was fined £225 and given 8 penalty points for driving without the required insurance
• One woman was fined £300 and had to forfeit amplification equipment for breeching a noise abatement order

Safety (speed) camera locations for the forthcoming week

North Yorkshire Police will be carrying out mobile safety camera enforcement on the following roads between Wednesday 1 February 2012 and Tuesday 7 February 2012.

•A64 Seamer by-pass Scarborough
•B1249 Staxton Wold, Staxton, Scarborough
•B1249 Foxholes to county boundary
•A1039 Filey Road at Flixton
•A165 Reighton by-pass
•A64 Seamer Road, Scarborough
•A64 east-bound carriageway, Bowbridge Farm Tadcaster
•A64 west-bound carriageway, Bowbridge Farm, Tadcaster
•A1237 Monks Cross, York
•The Village, Stockton-on-the-Forest, York
•A1036 Malton Road, York
•A1237 Monks Cross, York
•York Road, Haxby, York
•Broadway, Fulford, York
•Murton Way, Muton, York
•Fordlands Road, Fulford, York
•A1237 Monks Cross, York
•B1222 Naburn lane, York
•B1228 Main Street, Elvington, York
•B1228 Dunnington Lodge, Elvington, York

The mobile safety cameras will be in operation at the above sites at various times during the dates stated. Cameras will not be in use on the above routes all day, every day.

Outstanding planning applications in the Westfield Ward

click to enlarge

There are currently 11 local planning applications awaiting a decision by the Council.

Some are routine household applications.

Those that have been outstanding for the longest (since October) are the proposals to develop a site in The Green and the (much delayed) additional parking area to serve St Stephens Road.

Recent applications include proposals to convert a shop on Beaconsfield Street into a flat, an extension to the “Energise” sports centre on Cornlands Road, a change of use – from retail to hot food take away – at 53A Front Street and the provision of a child care nursery in part of a house in Mapelwood Paddock.

Copies of the planning applications can be viewed on the Councils web site at