Police called in to investigate York Council document scandal


We understand that possible offences, under government regulations which force Councils to publish all relevant background papers containing information which influences a decision that a Council takes, are being investigated by North Yorkshire Police.

Breaches of the regulations are treated as a criminal offence and can lead to a fine of £200.

We understand that the complaints relate to the non publication of background documents for Labour’s (so called) “Get York Building” campaign and to the, more recent, decision to scrap 11 Librarian posts in the City.

Action is also likely to be taken to force the Council to reveal the contents of the “draft” ARUP consultants report which prompted the Cabinet decision, in April, to plan for a population increase in York of 25% over the next 15 years.

Number caught speeding by mobile cameras down.

The latest figures release by North Yorkshire Police suggest that fewer drivers were caught by the mobile speed camera vans exceeding speed limits in the York area.

The A1237 at Monks Cross continues to be the road where the largest numbers are caught, although in a 30 minute period 10 drivers were found to be exceeding the limit on Beckfield Lane

Details for the whole of North Yorkshire can be found here. http://www.northyorkshire.police.uk/10951

York Police take action to stop internet fraud

Cyber-CrimeAction Fraud – the central point of contact for reporting fraud and financially motivated internet crime.

Click here

From Monday 25th March 2013, the four police forces of Yorkshire and the Humber will join the rest of the UK’s police forces in launching Action Fraud; the central point of contact for reporting fraud and financially motivated internet crime.

Action Fraud is being launched nationally on 1st April 2013, but from the 25th March members of the public from across Yorkshire and the Humber will be encouraged to report fraud and internet scams directly to Action Fraud via www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or by calling 0300 123 2040.

The four forces have been working together to ensure that the new reporting system is adopted consistently across the region and, in doing so, remain committed to tackling fraud, scams and con-artists at a local and regional level.


Foxwood park and Spindle Close snicket links to Ashbourne Way may be secured at night

The Council is to consider, on 18th April, a petition which asks for the night time closure of the snickets leading off Ashbourne Way

The snickets are well used during the day, not least by children attending the Woodthorpe School.

Night time closures have been tried before – notably in the nearby Carrfield/Foxton/Chantry Close area – where, in 2009, a similar plan was abandoned following objections by local residents.

Schemes of this sort now tend to rely on mechanisms which automatically lock and unlock a gate at a particular time. None have worked successfully in York other than perhaps that located at the rear entrance to the railway station, from Lowther Terrace, although there the access is part of the cycle network.

Such heavy duty gates are expensive to install and maintain.

Council officials have previously ruled out, on cost grounds, using staff to lock this type of gate while the use of volunteers has been ruled out on reliability grounds.

The meeting on 18th is likely to be asked only to consider whether the request should be put out for more general consultation.

Labour cut waste collection, road maintenance, community centres, libraries, elderly persons homes, ice clearance, job training and Social Services.

Cuts to street level services click to enlarge

Cuts to street level services click to enlarge

Labour’s hopelessly misjudged Council budget proposals are set to be approved tonight. Cuts to all front line public services are planned yet

Labour also intend to retain a £1 million a year “slush fund” which is used to pay for a range of inessential “vanity” projects.

The £1 million this year has been used to pay for lighting and firework displays, free WiFi access in the City centre, a plan to open the Bonding warehouse as a “digital media hub”, building design competitions, an “innovation catalyst” programme; not to mention the occasional foreign travel trip.

More waste is evident in the Councils capital programme where commitments to introducing an unnecessary Citywide 20 mph speed limit and the purchase of a barge for use as an arts centre have seen interest payments, on borrowed money, double since Labour took control of the Council.

Abandoning these “vanity” projects and making good use of the reduced running costs (down by £375,000) of its new HQ would allow the Council to restore many of the most damaging cuts.

Labour’s key proposals would see:

A 1.9% hike in Council tax levels (despite central government offering to underwrite the costs of a freeze)

• Privatisation or outsourcing of leisure/swimming pool management the Warden Call service and the “Sheltered housing with extra care” service. Even the Mansion House will be commercialised

Grants to Museums Trust cut by £100,000, the Theatre Royal by £101,000 with similar % cuts other voluntary sector bodies

• At a time when people are rightly worried following revelations about meat quality, trading standards faces a £42,000 cut, while there will be less air quality monitoring.

• There will be less for job training as Future Prospects loses £150,000

• The closure of elderly persons homes will be brought forward meaning that some residents face double moves before new accommodation is completed. In 2014 pensioners will face a 90p charge when using their passes on Park and Ride services

Disabled facilities at Greenworks and Brunswick Nursery cut by £50,000 Supported employment budget cut by £200,000 forcing disabled people into “mainstream employment”

Social Service clients with personal budgets will lose out from a £500,000 budget cut

Looked after children – basically those with foster parents – face a £700,000 cut with another £400,000 to come off in 2014.

Respite services get a £50,000 reduction.

Children’s centres face a £128,000 cut in 2014

• The toy library bus will scrapped in 2014

Some reductions in expenditure were inevitable.

Labour have simply chosen to economise on the wrong services.

Meanwhile there are some concerns about the likely quality of tonights Council debate