Autism-Friendly City

The York Council will be discussing Autism at its meeting tonight. It is surprising, and disappointing, that the motion has attracted no public comment in the media as it seeks to address a valid issue and one that all residents in the City should be aware of.

Around 2,000 people in York have Autism.

There is a local Autism Strategy click to download

The York Council has its own Autism team.  Their contact details are Telephone: 01904 555143 Email: SENdept@york.gov.uk 

There are a number of local support groups Click.

here are also several useful web sites Click

 

Council set to abandon Oakhaven replacement plans.

Oakhaven

The former elderly persons home at Oakhaven has remained empty since elderly residents were moved out in 2016.

The building was briefly used as a homeless hostel and then for Police firearms training  

A report in October 2015 had set out the Council’s preferred strategy.

We said at that time “given the Councils shambolic record on project management, we doubt if we see any improvements much before the end of the decade”.

It turns out that we are being optimistic.

Delay followed delay

 As recently as 21st November 2018 the Council was maintaining that it would work with a private sector operator (Ashley House)  to build an “extra care” scheme. 

Now a report published today says the plans have been abandoned.

 “due to planning restrictions and financial viability this project has not progressed.

A number of alternative options for the site are being modelled for financial viability and officers expect to present a report to the executive making recommendations for the site early in 2020”.

Tens of thousands of pounds has been spent on maintaining and keeping the empty build secure. With increasing demands for older persons accommodation delays in excess of 5 years, in implementing projects, are simply not acceptable.

Some of the elderly tenants moved out of Oakhaven could have lived out their lives in a home that many cherished.

They deserve a better epitaph

Biggest risk to Council staff in York?

Aggression and verbal abuse!

A new Health and Safety report which is to be considered next week reveals that there have been 58 cases of verbal abuse or aggression towards York Council staff.

Health and Safety issues reported in York April – Sept 2019

They outnumber the total of all other risks combined which are listed in the report.

The results support other reports which suggest that aggression towards “blue light” services such as firefighters and ambulance workers has been on the increase recently.

A sad reflection on an increasingly divided and confrontational society.

Extra winter beds opening for rough sleepers in York

People sleeping rough in York can safely bed down this winter as extra emergency beds are being offered again, whatever the weather, from 1 November 2019 until 28 February 2020.

Besides securing nearly £400,000 extra fund for additional outreach workers to give rough more intensive support especially around mental health, York goes above and beyond the national ‘severe weather scheme’. Regardless of whether it’s freezing or not, we make extra emergency beds available bringing the total up to 29 in the winter months: that’s 20 more beds than our current official number of nine rough sleepers in the city.

Five of the emergency beds have been created at a council hostel and are being supported by volunteers from the YES Below Zero scheme. Last year this provision supported 18 rough sleepers into private rented accommodation.

Also in 2018-19, the council resettled 58 former rough sleepers or single homeless people into permanent tenancies, and accommodated 66 households during a period of homelessness.

People leaving sleeping on the streets are placed in the city’s 101-bed supported accommodation schemes. Their dogs can also be brought into emergency accommodation as has been the case in York since 2000.

The people are offered support and education to help address any of the issues that may have contributed to them becoming homeless. This includes referral to services for mental health or substance misuse, and training for work and how to manage a lasting tenancy.

Once that stage is successfully underway, they are allocated space in the city’s 90 independent accommodation units before, hopefully, supporting them into either private or affordable fully-independent homes.

Councillor Denise Craghill, executive member for housing and safer neighbourhoods, said: “Rough sleeping has increased by 132% nationally since 2010 with only a small decrease of 6% nationally during 2018-19. We have secured nearly £400,000 funding for 2019/20 to explore new ways to prevent it, as sleeping on the street lowers life expectancy to 47 years.

“With our partners The Salvation Army, Changing Lives, Peasholme Charity, Restore, YES Below Zero, Carecent and KEY, we continue to offer all known people sleeping rough help to get off the street and into safer, more stable lifestyle, including extra support for people with mental health and substance misuse issues.

“Help is routinely offered to rough sleepers on the early morning walks undertaken several times a week when everyone is offered a bed.”

Charles Walters, of the YES Below Zero team, said: “We are looking forward to building on the solid start YES Below Zero made over the 2018/2019 winter season. The team of volunteers was encouraged by the significant number of positive outcomes.

“As we gear up to help contribute capacity to the emergency bed provision for this next winter season, we invite those who are interested in volunteering to contact us on atbarnett33@gmail.com.

  • To alert support services to a rough sleeper, please ring Street Link on 0300 500 0914.
  • Or, please join us encouraging people sleeping rough to go to The Salvation Army’s early intervention and prevention hub at 63 Lawrence Street, York YO10 3BU between 10am and 12 noon when they’ll be given support.
  • At night or the weekend, rough sleepers can call 01609 780780 for help.
  • To find out ways to donate and support people out of homelessness, please visit www.york.gov.uk/roughsleeping

Dog fouling still a problem

Snickets fouled in Foxwood

There is still too much dog fouling going on in parts of York. Owners who do not clean up after their pets can face an on the spot fine of £75. This could be increased to £1000 if the case goes to a magistrates court.

You can report a fouled footpath by clicking here

If you spot a full poop scoop bin it can be reported via this link

The Council says, “If a dog bin is full or overflowing, we’ll empty it within 2 hours. If we get your report after 3.00pm, then the dog bin will be emptied before 10.00am the following working day.

If a bin is damaged or missing we’ll repair or replace it as soon as possible”.

Petticoat Government – the story of the York Home for Nurses

Dringhouses Library

October 21st @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

 £5

Join author Rosemary Cook for an introduction to her book ‘Petticoat Government’, which tells the remarkable story of York’s unique nursing history.

Rosemary Cook, former Director of the Queen’s Nursing Institute, talks about her new book ‘Petticoat Government’, based on original local research. The York Home for Nurses was run by Anglican religious sisters, funded by local people, and governed by a council of famous York names. Dealing with epidemics and floods as well as medicine and surgery, the Home eventually became the Purey Cust Nursing Home.

Tickets

More than 8,000 local children to take part in Walk to School Week 2019

More than half of York’s primary schools will take part in Walk to School Week 2019, which runs from 14 to 18 October.

The national, awareness-raising event is staged annually and aims to encourage children and their families to walk, cycle or scoot to and from school, rather than travelling by car.

Locally, in excess of 8,000 students from 28 different schools will get involved. City of York Council’s iTravel team will present the Jack Archer Award to the school with the highest proportion of its students walking, cycling or scooting throughout the week, as well as cash to spend on sports equipment, which has been donated by Age UK. The Jack Archer Award is now in its sixteenth year and Age UK has supported the competition since it was first launched as part of its intergenerational work to encourage children to be more active.

Councillor Andy D’Agorne, the council’s Executive Member for Transport, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many local schools getting involved in Walk to School Week and competing for the Jack Archer Award.

“The council is committed to promoting sustainable forms of transport and it’s important that children are encouraged to adopt these habits from a young age. In addition to the health and wellbeing benefits for the children themselves, walking, cycling or scooting benefits everyone by reducing traffic congestion and emissions, and improving air quality.

“Good luck to all the schools taking part!”

Residents of all ages can find out more about sustainable travel options by visiting www.itravelyork.info.

No takers for Care Home contract at Lowfields

Care home site

According to a notice published earlier today, the York Council has received
no suitable tenders for the provision of a care home at its Lowfields site.

The Council has already invested heavily in providing infrastructure,
including roads, at the site. They promised a 30-month building timetable in  response to concerns expressed by residents in 2016 who feared that the nuisance caused by building works could drag on for a decade.

The failure to find a development partner for the care home, together with
delays on the communal housing section, means that there is no end in sight for the development work.

The delay  notice says, ” This item has been withdrawn because, following a tender process, officers have been unable to appoint a developer. Officers need to consult the market and consider the options before the Executive can make a decision”.

According to the Councils Elderly Care programme, which was last discussed in 2018, work on building the care home was due to start next month. Officials at that they said that they were confident on getting a good deal for the site following “soft market” testing. 

Now a delay on the start of building work on the home of over 12 months  seems inevitable.

There have been similar delays at Oakhaven on York Road where work is now over 3 years behind schedule.

Delays also dog the Haxby Hall redevelopment site on the other side of the
City.

Despite the delays in providing new care homes, existing facilities have
been closed. Some like Willow House next to the Bar walls remain empty.

Ironically, the original plan to provide a, mainly private sector funded,
care village on the site of the Lowfield’s school had been developed in 2010 to the point where work was scheduled to start. The scheme was shelved by the incoming Labour Council and 9 years later there is little to show but some “roads to nowhere” and large spoil heaps.

The site is now has little security. It is attracting children who want to play
on the dangerous spoil heaps.

The football pitches have long gone so alternative children’s play facilities
are non existent.

Even the Kingsway multi user games area has been turned into a building
compound for another development..

Lowfields plans in 2016

Plans shared to shape future development on Bootham Park site

A map of the Bootham site showing area ownership

Residents and businesses can have their say on plans which could guide future developments on the former Bootham Park hospital site.

The former hospital site, which includes a series of Grade 1 and 2 listed buildings, is back on the market after a sale fell through earlier this year.

While City of York Council and local health partners do not own the site, they have joined forces to influence the plans of future owners.

The council and the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have included their own land to the north and east of the former hospital to show how a larger site could respond to the healthcare, housing, transport and green space needs of this area and the wider city.

The site development report was produced after consultation late last year, and shows how a sensitive and appropriate development could provide:

  • 147 dwellings
  • 52 key worker apartments
  • a new physiotherapy suite, medical training and research centre of excellence
  • a 70 bed care home
  • 60 assisted living/supported living apartments
  • a new children’s nursery
  • Multi-storey car parking to maintain existing parking capacity and open up the site
  • extensive public open space

Councillor Nigel Ayre, City of York Council executive member for finance and performance, said:

“The consultation last year confirmed how important the Bootham Park Hospital site is to York and its residents.

“It has been a focal point for the community and played a huge role in the city’s healthcare since the hospital building first opened its doors in 1777.

“While we don’t own the site we are exploring how to make sure that future developments respect that heritage and play a part in meeting some of York’s 21st Century challenges.

“So please take a look at the plans, give us your feedback and we’ll use them to influence future owners of the site.”

You have until Friday 11 October to make your comments on all elements of this proposal.

You can see all the details and join the conversation in a number of ways.

Exhibitions (available from Tuesday 17 September)

  • City of York Council’s West Offices, Station Rise, YO1 6GA
  • The foyer of York Hospital, Wigginton Road, YO31 8HE

Meet the team and talk through the proposals at these events:

  • Tuesday 17 September 3pm to 6pm, Marriott Room, York Explore, Library Square, YO1 7DS
  • Saturday 21 September, 1pm to 4pm, York City Church, Citadel YO31 7EA
  • Wednesday 25 September, 4pm to 7pm, York City Church, Citadel YO31 7EA
  • Tuesday 1 October, 2pm to 5pm, York City Church, Citadel YO31 7EA

You can see all the details and find a link to an online survey (also available from 17 September) through the council website, or join the conversation on social media.

www.york.gov.uk/BoothamPark

facebook      BoothamParkYork 

twitter           @boothamparkyork