Foxwood in Bloom contest – “Stunning displays”

Judges have praised the high standard of entries in this years Foxwood in Bloom contest.

Residents were asked to nominate baskets and tubs which made the greatest contribution to the street scene in the area.  Judges described some of the entries as “stunning”

Prize winners are being notified this weekend and full results will be announced next week.

The contest is organised by the Foxwood Residents Association and has become a regular fixture on the calendar.

This years judge was Matt Reid from Easigrass gardens

Last year the Foxwood Residents Association won a gold award in the Yorkshire in Bloom contest. This year the Acomb Alive traders organisation have entered the Front Street area in a similar contest organised by Yorkshire in Bloom

There’s still time to take part in the first Acomb Fun Run

Young people are being reminded to book their place in this weekend’s inaugural Acomb Fun Run, where limited places are still available.

The Acomb Fun Run will take place on Sunday 23 July at Carr Infants and Junior School, which will see 4-14 year olds invited to take part in a 2km run. Each participant will receive a medal.

Other friends and family members will also be able to participate in a 1km run on the day. The event is free to attend and people are advised to book in advance at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/acomb-fun-run-tickets-32843001301.

Councillor Nigel Ayre, executive member for leisure, culture and tourism said: “This promises to be a great event hoping to inspire people to try something new in a fun and family friendly environment. Events such as these are all part of our efforts to help people to get active and have fun while doing so.

“Places for the fun run are limited so we would encourage people to book in advance and hope they enjoy the day.”

The fun run is the first of two summer events taking place in Acomb to try and get people to be more active.

A week later, on Saturday 29 July, Energise will then host the inaugural Acomb Family Triathlon. This event will see families challenged to a 400m swim (16 lengths), a 1.2km bike ride and a 1km run. Entry is just £10 per family and every participant will receive a medal and be able to enjoy an activity area for all the family to enjoy. Tickets can be bought at Energise or online, for more information visit www.energiseyork.com/home/events/familytriathlon.

The events are being held in partnership with Energise and Carr Infants and Carr Junior School and are supported by City of York Council.

Another York community stadium “work starting” announcement

Déjà vu seeks stadium naming rights!

Land sale value falling

As we predicted earlier in the year, the new community stadium at Monks Cross will not be ready for occupation by the rugby and football Clubs until the middle of 2019.

As recently as April, the Council was still saying the work would be completed in late 2018.

Now it seems that the Council will – at its own risk- authorise building work to start before the final financial contracts have been signed. A report says that this will put £500,000 potentially at risk.

The report also says that a £2.7 million reduction in build costs will be achieved by a cross subsidy from commercial building works. They report that this means that build costs will be £34 million although any saving will be added to the “contingency” reserve, which is built into the budget.

So probably no saving for taxpayers.

The figures quoted in the report do not mention the millions already spent on administration. Other elements of the project bring the total cost to £42 million.

It fails to highlight the risks being taken on by the Council as the principal leaseholder of the southern commercial block.

The report also says the Council will get a lower price (£10.76m) when it sells land for the southern block and the lease on the east stand restaurants. This is £2.6 million less than forecast in March 2016.

The Council have announced that GLL will continue to run the Yearsley swimming pool at least until 2024. The Yearsley subsidy from taxpayers is  £340,000 pa.

The Monks Cross plans still incorporate an additional new – largely inessential – swimming pool.

The Council says that it will not enter a deal with the existing York Libraries Trust for use of the new on-site library. They rather ominously say this is because the intend to re-tender for a new library service operator in 2018.

The proposed stadium name sponsor has walked away from the deal.

We hope that something finally comes out of the project. The present Council finishes its term of office in May 2019 only weeks before the latest stadium opening date. We hope that they will have something to celebrate.

Salford City stadium almost finished in 18 months

However, they may reflect that, since funding for a stadium was first identified in 2009, ten years will have passed during which delay after delay has occurred.

The deal currently on the table will see the Councils leisure centres like Energise and Yearsley transferred over to the management of GLL, with all that may entail for staff and charges.

It is salutary to note that the Salford football club, who will ply their trade in the 6th tier of English football with York City this season, have managed to plan and build a tidy stadium in only 18 months. It is only slightly smaller than the déjà vu stadium in York but has been developed at only a fraction of the York cost.

Latest and previous timetable

More on Chesney Field “improvements”

The Council have now Emailed local Councillors giving an outline of the “improvements” that they hope to make on Chesney Field in Foxwood.

The main – and most controversial – proposal is to fence off several of the existing pitches. This is ostensibly to prevent dog fouling although similar initiatives in the Foxwood and Cornlands parks have had limited success.

The plan would conflict with the main role of what is now the largest area of public open space remaining in the Westfield area.

The Council say they are inviting residents to suggest improvements for the rest of the area, citing a “trim track” and “outdoor gym” as options.

The annual survey of public opinion, currently being conducted in the area, is already asking for views on the provision of an outdoor gym either on Chesney Field or on the Foxwood Park..

So far there seems to be limited interest.

The Foxwood Residents Association at their meeting yesterday criticised the Councils handling of the proposals. The Association has still not been consulted on the plans and will, therefore, invite a senior council official to their next meeting, to discuss the communications break down.

In the meantime the “drop in” consultation event is still scheduled to take place next Tuesday (25th) at the Acorn Rugby Club between 4:00pm and 6:00pm

The residents meeting also heard from Ward Councillor Sheena Jackson who outlined an official response to several proposed changes to parking restrictions in the area. The Association felt that additional restrictions were necessary on part of Cranfield Place and on Foxwood Lane near its junction with Bellhouse Way (high numbers). If the Association is not formally consulted in the meantime, they will lobby the decision making meeting which is scheduled to take place on 14th September.

 

 

Chesneys Field future – meeting on Tuesday

The Council is delivering flyers inviting some people to an event where they say “improvements” to Chesney’s Field will be revealed.

The “drop in” is scheduled to take place next Tuesday at the Acomb Rugby Club starting at 4:00pm

The Council has not said what “improvements” they plan. They have not consulted either local Ward Councillors or the Residents Association.

A disrespectful approach destined to stir up the maximum amount of hostility and resentment we think!

 

More York parks fly the Green Flag

It has been announced that Clarence Garden has retained Green Park status, putting it alongside four other parks in the city that also have the award.

Clarence Garden joins Rowntree Park, West Bank Park, Rawcliffe Country Park and Glen Gardens. These parks and garden were awarded green flag status in 2016.

This international award, now into its third decade, is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

Cllr Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism said: “It’s great to see that another community space has been awarded Green Flag status and this is testament to the hard work of both the friends groups and council staff who work to make these areas welcoming places for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

The Green Flag Awards recognise well managed parks and open spaces for all to enjoy and is the benchmark national standard in the UK. Launched in 1996, it promotes excellence in recreational green areas and standards are measured against eight criteria:

  • A welcoming place
  • Healthy, safe and secure
  • Clean and well maintained
  • Sustainability
  • Conservation and heritage
  • Community involvement
  • Marketing
  • Management

For more info on York’s parks visit https://www.york.gov.uk/directory/9/people_and_communities_directory/category/10

Threat to future of Chesneys Field amenity area?

Reports are coming in that the York Council is in private discussions about leasing off the Chesneys Field amenity area,

Chesney’s Field

It is claimed that they hope to re-home the Woodthorpe Wanderers football team there when they evict that organisation as part of a controversial plan to build on the sports pitches at Lowfields.

Hitherto, it had been understood that any plans to build on the Lowfields playing field would be subject to the provision of additional sports pitches elsewhere in the area.

However, as the pitches at Chesneys Field have been rented out on a seasonal basis for over 25 years, to both football and rugby teams, it seems unlikely that site would meet the criteria set by bodies such as Sport England and the National Playing Fields Association.

Any attempt to limit public access to Chesneys Field is likely to be strongly resisted by residents.

The Foxwood Residents Association has invested heavily in the field. It is the only substantial area of publicly accessible open space available since railings were erected by the Rugby Club around the adjacent Thanet Road sports area.

Chesney’s Field Interpretation board unveiled last year

Following the upgrade made to the play equipment on Chesneys Field, residents have supervised tree and bulb planting, the installation of seats and an interpretation board. Litter is regularly cleared from the area by volunteers.

The investment made to improve the area has mainly been through residents own fundraising activities and co-operation with partners

The amenity area is generally well used against a background of under-provision of green space and play facilities in much of the Westfield area.

The issue is likely to be raised at a meeting of the Foxwood Residents Association which is taking place on Wednesday.

NB: We also understand that the Rugby Club may seek to revive the idea of erecting a stand and other facilities next to one of their pitches on the other side of the road. Residents will be watching any such proposal carefully and will insist on compensatory, publicly accessible, amenity land being made available if any is lost through development on the Thanet Road area.

Musical Connections in Westfield

 

Musical Connections – project funded by Westfield Ward in 2016-17

Musical Connections runs an inclusive, participatory music group open to tenants of Windsor House dementia care home and Gale Farm Court sheltered housing with extra care scheme and members of the surrounding community.

The project received financial backing from the Westfield Ward in 2016-17.

The applicant reported as follows.

”We ran a weekly music group at Gale Farm Court sheltered housing scheme for tenants and local people from the wider community. We also ran a music group at Windsor House dementia care home. During the grant period, the groups:

  • Accessed a wide range of musical genres
  • Worked with suggestions from participants
  • Sang songs from across the world
  • Sang in harmony
  • Explored rhythm
  • Played a range of tuned and untuned instruments

Members of the group at Gale Farm Court also participated in a ukulele workshop with a student from York University, attended a large intergenerational workshop at Hob Moor primary school and went to our Spring Big Sing with York St John University, during which they joined with other adults and children/young people to deliver performances to an audience of sheltered housing tenants and care home residents.
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