York Council official in Cannes again

The York Council has admitted in a response to a Freedom of Information request that it has an official attending the annual estate agents jamboree in Cannes.

Cannes. Good for fireworks

Cannes. Good for fireworks

The Authority has been criticised in the past for spending £25,000 at the MIPIM (Le marche international des professionnels de l’immobilier) property festival.

The Council has so far failed to demonstrate that any new investment has been  generated by its attendance at the conference.

Creative Apprenticeships and Internships “gets a boost”

In National Apprenticeship Week, City of York Council is calling on businesses to apply for funding to create Apprenticeship and Internships across the city.

Businesses in the creative and cultural sector still have the opportunity to benefit from the funding and recruitment service offered by City of York Council and could receive up to £3500 to fund an apprentice and £2500 to fund an intern.

Following a £185,000  loss on the Grand Departy  last year, the Council is now offering apprenticeships in "event management"

Following a £185,000 loss on the Grand Departy last year, the Council is now offering apprenticeships in “event management”

In October 2014 City of York Council announced that it received funding of £90,750 to help businesses create opportunities for young people in the creative and cultural sector and there is still time for businesses to apply.

The funding, from Arts Council England and administered by Creative & Cultural Skills, will be used to help create 40 new job opportunities for young people aged 16-24, who are keen to get their first step on the career ladder and support the growth of creative and cultural organisations in the city. Funding will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis and all jobs must start by 31 March 2016.

Roles that could be created could include opportunities in; Event Management, Arts Administration, Technical Theatre, Archives and Library, Marketing and Stage Management, as well as functions such as administration, finance and catering.

Current organisations who have signed up to the scheme include: York Theatre Royal, Jorvik Viking Centre, Explore York Libraries and Archives and other small independent theatre groups, galleries and arts organisations. For more information on the programme contact Becky Solomon, Business Engagement Assistant on becky.solomon@york.gov.uk or call 01904 554341.

York to host sixth jobs fair

City of York Council is inviting jobseekers and residents wanting to improve their skills and qualifications to attend a jobs fair at York Railway Institute on Thursday 19 March from 10am to 3pm.

The event, which has been organised through partnerships between the council, York Learning, Job Centre Plus and Learning City York, looks to bring together local employers to offer advice and the chance to speak face to face to businesses about employment opportunities in the city.

A range of employers will be present at the event, along with learning providers and other agencies offering free advice for people to improve their skills and assist them in their search for employment.

The event will also offer the chance to speak to 60 businesses who are currently recruiting in York, including; Hiscox, PMP recruiting for Nestlé, City of York Council, CGC Events Ltd (York Racecourse Hospitality), McDonalds and York Chocolate Story.

The fair will also have a designated quiet area to enable residents to fill in application forms with the help of some excellent local skills and training providers.


Increase in visitor numbers in York City Centre

“Freedom of information” response reveals 24% more walked down Parliament Street in 2014 than in the previous year.



The number of visitors to the York City centre is now comparable with pre recession levels.

The area seems to have recovered from the reduction seen during the summer and autumn of 2013 when the Lendal bridge closure resulted in adverse publicity for the City across a wide part of the UK and indeed Europe.

The recovery seems to have extended into 2015 with 24% more pedestrian movements logged in January 2015 compared to 2014, with 10% more recorded during February

A complete day by day footfall monitor for cameras in Parliament Street, Coney Street, Church Street, Micklegate and Stonegate can be downloaded by clicking here. The latter 4 camera sites have been operating for less than a year, making comparisons difficult

Some caution should be used when looking at the footfall numbers.

The cameras may have been relocated in the past while special events and market stall locations, can “channel” greater or lesser numbers of people into range of the cameras.

The data is not of course a measure of how much people are spending in the City centre.

Young people invited to attend third York Apprenticeship Recruitment Event

Employers from across the city will be showcasing high quality Apprenticeship vacancies at City of York Council’s third Apprenticeship Recruitment Event.

As part of National Apprenticeship Week, which seeks to promote Apprenticeships to both young people and businesses, City of York Council will host an event to promote the wide range of Apprenticeship vacancies across the city.

The event, held on Thursday 12 March between 4.30pm and 7.30pm at West Offices, will see young people aged 16-24 and their parents have the chance to meet with recruiting employers and existing apprenticesas well as find out about alternative routes to Level 3 qualifications and university.

A range of employers and training providers will be promoting over 200 Apprenticeship vacancies covering business and finance, construction, digital marketing, engineering, I.T, health, childcare and more. Employers at the event include City of York Council, the NHS, Nestlé, PureNet, the Armed Services, Portakabin, Volkswagen, Hyder, Network Rail, York Medical Group and many more.

Connexions advisors will be also be available at the event to offer support with next level options, including Apprenticeships, plus 1:1 CV and Job Application sessions.

For more information on the event click

Liberal Democrats in government are proud to have delivered more than two million apprenticeships in this Parliament.

Parliamentary candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon, Layla Moran visited apprentices and employers to hear about how apprenticeships are helping young people and businesses in Kidlington.

Watch the video below to hear from Adam Marsh of ACE Training and Paige McConville, the two millionth apprentice.

Apprentice video


Public services in York getting worse this year – official

Little attention has been given to a report to tomorrows Cabinet meeting which shows a marked decline in the quality of some public services in York

Graffiti taking longer to remove

Graffiti taking longer to remove

It is taking the Council between 2 and 3 days to clean graffiti now – almost double the time taken two years ago

The number of York residents on the housing waiting list has increase from 1344 to 1439 over recent months It is still low compared to historical levels (because many applicants were struck off the list last year by the Council)

Only 62% of tenants are satisfied now with the Council as a landlord. To a degree this reflects the lack of investment in the Council estates across the City (a LibDem regeneration plan was voted down last week by the Labour/Green coalition)

Customer satisfaction with the quality of streets and public places has slipped below 50% as has satisfaction with green spaces.

Only 48% think that the Council is tackling anti social behaviour well.

Fewer residents (12%) are now “volunteering”

The number of people aged over 65 admitted to residential and nursing care homes had risen to 767 (per 100k population) by the end of last year. Numbers are increasing again this year.

By December 27 residents were victims of delayed discharges from hospital. Of these 15 were down to York Council care failings.

Waste going to landfill increasing

Waste going to landfill increasing

The Council is failing its waste management targets. Consequently taxpayers will foot an increased £3.7million landfill tax bill.

Stage carriage bus use in the City is stable.  The Council refuses to publish monthly figures indicating the number of buses running on time (was 84% last year according to DoT figures)

York Business Improvement District – last chance

The Council’s Cabinet will tomorrow agree to spend £25,000 on a second attempt to establish a “business improvement district” (BID) in the central part of York.

It is 10 years since the first attempt was made. BIDs require the support of the majority of businesses in an area if they are to be able to use supplementary rate income to fund economic regeneration initiatives.

A decade ago, a similar scheme failed to gain widespread support and was abandoned.

 At the time, several of the national chains (who exercise a large number of votes in any ballot) refused to participate in the scheme, while the Council had taken steps to freeze (and at Fossgate reduce) parking charges – so there was less incentive for change.

In addition the City centre was generally trading well – as it is today. There are relatively few empty shops in the core area and the latest footfall figures show number increasing (which is what you  would expect as the country emerges from recession)

The initiative has come in the wake of the 3 “free” parking morning’s trial which was funded through S106 contributions from a development at Monks Cross. That funding ends soon and the Council last week agreed to a Green party proposal to a general increase in car parking charges. The background, therefore, maybe one of the “perfect storm” with several marginal businesses in the City centre likely to feel the pinch.

In 2007, the BID project was led by an experienced manager who had done similar schemes successfully elsewhere.

This time the former editor of The Press newspaper is likely to be in charge.

The business case is unconvincing at least  in so far as it fails to debate what has changed, over the last 10 years, which could result in the majority of business now voting for an initiative which would increase the amount they pay in Business Rates.

The Council says that, if successful, the BID would expect to generate an additional £800,000 a year which would be spent on “an improved city centre environment in terms of public realm, security, increased footfall, events and cleanliness

Latest unemployment figures for York

The latest unemployment figures have been published. They show the number claiming  job seekers allowance in York remains stable at 0.9% (1212 workers).

The number is slightly up compared to the December figure of 1,169, but this can be attributed to seasonal factors.

As it has been for the last 15 years, the York rate is below both the regional (2.8%) and national (2.1%) averages.

The latest employment figures (to September 2014) confirm that York has higher levels of employment than most other parts of the region.

Nationally the figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that the rate of unemployment is now below 6 per cent and stands at 5.7 per cent.


There are now 30.9m people in work.

The level of people in work is at a record of high of 73.2 per cent and average earnings including bonuses increased by 2.1 per cent in the quarter, compared with the previous year.  

Commenting on the figures, Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

These record figures show that the number of people in work in Britain today is at an all-time high. This is an extraordinary achievement which the Liberal Democrats in government have helped to deliver. It shows we were right to resist Tory plans to cut workers’ basic rights in order to get firms hiring. Those calls were unjustified and would have been greatly damaging. 

“We have also cut long term unemployment by a quarter over the past year and those claiming unemployment benefits have fallen to their lowest levels since the financial crisis, creating a chance for everyone to get on in life.

“Many workers continue to see their weekly pay packet increase faster than inflation – meaning a real terms pay rise for millions of working families. We must now focus on seeing productivity rise, which means investing in long term skills to create a stronger economy through our industrial strategy.”