York increased childcare hours project assessment published

Leaders of York’s childcare sector have today met Children and Families Minister Robert Goodwill MP.

City of York Council chaired a round tab discussion that included councillors, local authority officers and providers from both York and North Yorkshire in advance of the national roll out of the 30 hours additional hours programme in September 2017.

The meeting at the council’s West Offices discussed the early implementer programme offering eligible parents 30 hours childcare, as an independent evaluation of the programme’s trial was published by the government today.

As one of eight early implementers of the programme, City of York Council has been sharing learning with North Yorkshire County Council – one of the next four councils to launch the offer to working parents of three and four-year-olds – and eight other local authorities in preparation for the national roll out in September 2017.

The Minister expressed his appreciation and admiration of the way in which together, the council and local providers have exceeded the city’s target to provide a high quality programme with tangible benefits to parents. Private providers also spoke about the welcome support they have had from the council.

Feedback from parents included one mother who found the additional childcare hours had given her to time to start up her own business, others – including armed forces families – found it gave them valuable additional support and others felt it made working more manageable and affordable.

This summer, the Council is expecting that 1,730 children will benefit from additional hours. York is the first council to include out of school clubs in the programme to give parents additional flexibility.

Here we go again – More consultation over access road to York Central


Another consultation is to take place on how traffic will access the York central site.

Its over ten years since the options were first published. Since then, debate has raged over whether the link should be from Holgate Road or Water End.  The Chancery Rise option was favoured by the then Labour controlled Council who adopted it with little respect for objectors views.

Public consultation – York central access options 2007

The now the coalition run authority is trying to sort out the mess left by their predecessors.

The proposed consultation on access routes into the York Central site by the York Central Partnership has been given the green light by senior councillors.

City of York Council’s Executive made the decision after receiving an update on progress on the project to redevelop the 72-hectare site, which sits next to the city’s railway station.

York Central Partnership is working towards creating a heritage-led masterplan that will be the first step in opening up the previously landlocked site and demonstrate how it can create new neighbourhoods, parks and public spaces, as well as providing significant new housing and grade-A commercial office space on the largest brownfield site in northern England.

York Central Partnership is made up of Network Rail, the Homes and Community Agency, City of York Counciland the National Railway Museum, whose own ambitious masterplan will form part of the eventual plans.

York Central is a severely constrained site, entirely surrounded by railway lines; the main east coast route connecting London to Edinburgh and the ‘avoiding lines’ for freight trains to bypass the station, in addition to significant rail yards.

Views are now being sought on the ways that vehicles can access the site. A study has already considered factors including the engineering challenge, land availability, and the environment but further views are being sought on the community impact, including noise and visual impact.

York Central access route coptions July 2017

The partnership will present three possible access options for consultation. Two relate to a potential link from Water End into the western part of the site and the third would see access created from Chancery Rise.

Three previous access options being considered, which would have seen a link coming off Poppleton Road have been rejected because they either land on the York Yard South railway sidings, which are still required for rail use until 2023 at the earliest, or would disrupt the use and development of the Network Rail Holgate Engineering Works.

York Central Partnership plans to carry out the consultation on options for the access road in August and September, which will be followed later in the year with a consultation on the scheme’s masterplan.

In the run up to the consultation, the Partnership is also seeking to arrange a series of meetings with groups and individuals interested in the scheme. These sessions will be to explain about the process to date, how it will continue to develop and the key points where groups can get involved to have their say.

At the meeting, executive councillors were also asked to recommend to Council that a wider budget of £37.4m be approved for York Central transport improvements funded from the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund.

3 access routes for public consultation July 2017

Urbie bus sessions on Chapelfields Estate

Westfield Ward Committee has dedicated a pot of funding from their 2016 to 2017 ward budget towards provision of activities for young people on Chapelfields Estate.

Part of this funding has been used to commission Urbie bus sessions at St Aiden’s Church.

The first session is on Friday 30 June 2017 between 7pm and 9pm. Sessions will continue every Friday for the next 4 weeks, after which the provision will be reviewed.

Urbie is a fun place for young people to engage in craft activities, watch films, play board games, take part in sports activities and somewhere to go and talk.

Youth workers will be encouraging young people in the area to come along.

This is the first time the bus will be used by The Rock of York after acquiring it via asset transfer from the City of York Council.

York Police warning on “Snapchat” danger

Local police have issued the following warning

“Officers from the Neighbourhood Policing Teams within North Yorkshire Police would like to make parents aware of the following update that has released on snapchat.

If your children have the Snapchat app and GPS on their phone please take a look at this.

It seems with the new update there is a new feature on Snapchat. When you open the app place two fingers on the screen and drag them together ‘pinch’ just like when zooming out on an interactive map. This will then open the new feature. It shows your location with near exact accuracy and can be only a couple of meters wrong. This means people can see exactly where you are at any time.

To turn this off there is a settings button in the top right and can turn the feature to ghost mode. This will hide your location from others. Also turn off the phones GPS as an extra level of security.

If you need any help please contact your phone provider or visit an O2 store and speak to one of their gurus. This is a free service and regardless of the network you are on The gurus can help with any technical questions and security advice.

Please remind your children to only have ‘friends’ on these apps who they actually know, this will keep them safer online.

While we have focused this on keeping children safe. Please be mindful features like this could be used by criminals, knowing when you’re out or even where you live. Always be mindful of posting pictures with cycles and such which would show people exactly where you store them. Then show when you are out”.

Pupils to speak up at city’s first Primary Voice session

York’s first open forum for primary school pupils is welcoming children to have their say on the city and their views on it.

On Monday 26 June City of York Council is hosting the first ever Primary Voice event with Clifton Green Primary School. 20 schools across the city are sending some 70 participants – pupils and staff – and councillors from all the main political parties will be attending.

Schools have been invited to bring pupils from Years 5 and 6 or from their school council, to come and share the views of their school community.

They can talk to councillors and officers, take part in workshops, hear about how City of York Council operates and experience democracy in action.

Better football facilities in Westfield

Following a request by the Foxwood Residents Association, a set of goal posts has been fitted on the Foxwood Park. It is hoped that they will attract children away from playing ball games on the street.

Improvements are also in hand at the Grange Lane Westfield Park where volunteers have made a start on repainting the existing goal posts on the site.

Local Councillors Andrew Waller & Sue Hunter are following up a requests from children living in the Chapelfields area for better play and sports facilities. It is hoped that a 5 a side pitch will be marked out on the playing field.

The York Knights Rugby Foundation have already agreed to run sessions in the park over the summer holidays

Some surprises as Chapelfields residents give their views on public services

Younger residents want better play, sports and youth club facilities

Failure to repair the bus shelter – damaged 3 months ago – was criticised by many

A door to door survey of residents views, undertaken by the Westfield Ward Councillors and helpers, has revealed the top priorities of Chapelfields residents. 170 households completed questionnaires with the top priorities for local improvements being:

  • Better parking facilities
  • The reinstatement of a regular skip service (halted by the council in April) and
  • Better maintenance of trees/bushes & verges.

:There were a lot of concerns about security. 38% of residents described policing in the area as “poor”.

For the first time the survey included a separate section aimed at finding out the priorities of younger people.

The responses revealed that listening to music and watching TV were the most popular current pastimes.

Many respondents wanted to see better sports facilities with a usable football pitch a high priority.

The Grange Lane Park and Playground “needed an uplift” being described as “dirty and insecure”.

Some wanted to see more events at Sanderson House – the local community centre.

One child – with a more down to earth priority – said that she wanted to see the “ice cream man visit the estate earlier in the day”

All respondents gave a high priority to providing funding from the Ward Committee budget for younger persons activities.

71% of respondents rated the Acomb Explore Library as good or satisfactory with 57% giving similar support to the Energise leisure centre.

For the first time in the annual survey the bus service was the top rated public service 97% rated it as good or satisfactory.

A full analysis of the Chapelfields Residents survey can be downloaded by clicking here

The residents survey now being extended to cover the Kingsway West area


What’s on in York: Kindermusik at Acomb Library

Acomb Explore Library

Mon 5 Jun

2.00pm – 2.30pm


Come and celebrate National Bookstart Week at York Libraries.

Join Cath Smithson from Kindermusik for singing and vocal play, musical instrument & object exploration, creative movement and dance and listening purposefully in a small, friendly setting.

Free but booking essential

Acomb Explore Library on (01904) 552651 or acomb@exploreyork.org.uk.