Over 30 young people in York central constituency will be affected by the Conservative government’s decision to strip 18-21 year olds of housing benefit, research by the House of Commons library commissioned by the Liberal Democrats has shown.
In total 18,000 young people across the country expected to be affected. The Liberal Democrats have committed to reverse the cuts, which came into force at the beginning of this month.
York is already suffering from homelessness, with official figures showing there were 18 rough sleepers in 2016. Charities have warned that stripping 18-21 year-olds of housing benefits could push more young people onto the streets while research has shown it is likely to cost taxpayers more than it saves.
Figures from the House of Commons library showing the number of 18-21 year olds in receipt of Housing Benefit who will be impacted can be found here (link)
The latest figures on rough sleeper by local authority can be found here (link)
Charities have warned the policy will risk pushing thousands more young people onto the streets. Research by Heriot Watt University has claimed the policy will save just £3 million. This means if just 140 more young people were made homeless, the policy would actually cost taxpayers more money overall than it saves. (link)
It looks like hundreds of grey wheelie bins will be marching on York in a few days time.
An encampment has been photographed at a secret location in Acomb by a local resident.
Wheelie bins at secret location
There is speculation that they are connected with a move from the use of plastic sacks to bins in terraced housing areas on the west of the City. The York Council has yet to confirm its intentions.
Anyone spotting any movement from the bin army – particularly late at night – is asked to alert the authorities.
Some bins may adopt a disguise
The media are reporting that Micklegate Councillor Julie Gunnel is resigning from the City of York Council. It means that a by-election will take place in a ward which has been electorally unpredictable over the years. The other Councillors for the area currently include an Independent and a Green party representative.
The chaotic state of the Labour party nationally has seen several Councillors quit recently. In nearby Leeds, three members recently left to form an independent grouping.
Julie Gunnel had a deserved reputation as being one of the friendliest and hard working local representatives. She had the great advantage of having lived in the city all her life and owned a house in the Micklegate ward. She cites family reasons for her departure.
The by-election may take place on 4th May when local elections are scheduled in other parts of the country.
Labour’s recent election results elsewhere in the country – coupled with a lackluster performance in the Council chamber – means that a change is on the cards.
Nationally the LibDems have a string of recent Council by-election gains to their credit.
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New proposal for Castle car park development
Shipping containers to be parked on Piccadilly
The York Council’s Executive has tonight approved plans to site shipping containers on Piccadilly. They will form a shopping and business centre on the former Reynard’s garage site and could be there for 3 years.
Guildhall ward Labour and Green Councillors supported the proposal!
The project is subject to planning approval.
Normally residents would expect the Planning committee to throw out such an insensitive plan. They did insist that landscaping be improved around the same site when permission was granted to demolish the garage building a year or so ago.
However, the committee’s recent decision to approve a poor quality visitor centre building, at a nearby Clifford’s Tower site, means that they cannot be relied on to protect this part of the City.
The Executive’s decision means that the short term plans to use the Piccadilly site as a car park for blue badge (disabled) drivers is unlikely to be progressed.
New Castle car park development plan
New plans for the development of the Castle car park have been announced. They have been inspired by the emerging shipping container architectural movement as well as the English Heritage public convenience school of design
Prominent York residents and organisations have had their say on the plans.
- English Heritage – The vertical columns ideally complement the similar design feature on our visitor centre. The Maersk elevations offer a complex counterpoint to the Norman buttresses on the Castle. All in all, something we would be proud of.
- R Cooke (Author, Changing the Face of the City) – An impressive example of neo-Immingham brutalism. Helicopter pads should remove need for direction signs. May require some refinement and relocation to Rotterdam
- York Georgian Society – The containers are only acceptable if they have previously been used to transport molasses or slaves.
- Walter Brierley (architect, deceased) – Just a minute I need to rotate a few times
- Rachel Rascal (MP) – Hang on I’ll have to check. How big is the bandwagon of the opponents of the plan? How many wheels does the supporters bandwagon have? …….. Oh dear this is a bit difficult.
- C Steward (Con) – Ruddy liberals. mention mutual social enterprise and they’ll all over it.
- N Ayre (Lib) – It is wonderfully intrusive. A little higher and it would block out that ghastly Cathedral building.
Cycle barriers blamed for recent escape
It appears that access to the Hob Moor cycle path has been blocked off, with a chain, in an attempt to stop a mass breakout by the cattle that graze there.
A few weeks ago the herd was found wandering the Foxwood area in the early hours of the morning.
Experts have concluded that they were able to slip through one of the cycle barriers which are designed to allow cyclists to ride through while discouraging motorcyclists.
The barriers have cattle grid on the approach but a narrow strip leading to the Kingsway West barrier may have allowed a nimble heifer to slip through the gap.
Engineers were today filling in a partly constructed tunnel next to the railings.
Leisure chief Cllr Sonja Crisp will be asked to give a firm opening date for the new Community Stadium at Huntington when the Council meets on Thursday.
Funding for the stadium (£12m) was agreed in 2010 and confirmed when planning permission for the new Monks Cross development was granted in 2011.
That development – which includes the John Lewis store -was finished and opened several months ago.
The Council has been very slow to start work on an alternative athletics facility having dithered over the precise location for the track on the York University campus.
Only an immediate start on the stadium in the autumn (when the athletics season comes to an end) would give some hope that it could be in use for the 2016/17 football stadium (the Football League frowns on Clubs that try to change homes mid season)
“I’ve still got a job in football. I’m building the Huntington Stadium” click for full interview
But the Stadium has yet to receive detailed planning permission and Cllr Crisp has been unable to even decide who will manage the stadium.
Cllr Ian Cuthbertson has now tabled the following question for the meeting next week,
“What is the Cabinet Member’s deadline for starting work on the ground at the new Community Stadium at Huntington and what is her current best estimate of its opening date?”
In April, Council Leader James Alexander tweeted to give an absolute guarantee that “construction work on the Stadium would start by March 2015”
Most stadia take at least 18 months to build.
8 complaints about bogus “Rag Mag” sellers were dealt with by the York Council last year.
The sellers were pretending to be from a University or charity.
5 complaints were about people pretending to raise money for RAG (Raising and Giving)
The Council has published details of the complaints (which could relate to people fundraising on the street, online or any method).
- 115530 – Complaint regarding gag mag sellers – allegation that the seller saidthe sale would supportunemployed people, but the complainant found the money was for the seller’s own profit
- 116590 – Complaint regarding racist/sexist joke books and claims regarding the books being sold to help the unemployed
- 116622 – Complaint regarding vendor selling magazines outside York Minster.Allegation the magazine is called “Gag mag” and they are posing as a student charity.
- 116878 – Complaint regarding sale of rag mags – allegation that the seller is saying the magazine will help the unemployed
- 116990 – 2 x Complaints regarding sellers, concerns that the sellers are implying that they arestudents and the proceedswill pay for their course.
- 117570 – Complaint regarding sale of magazines – allegation the sellers are claiming the magazines are published by their university.Complainant feels they are out selling too much to be students.
- 118788 – Complaint regarding conduct of joke book sellers – seller is claiming that the money will be used to pay for a college course.