Residents reject plan to fence off Chesneys Field

Chesney’s Field development plan

A Council proposal, that part of the Chesney Field amenity area should be fenced off, was criticised at a meeting of the Foxwood Residents Association last night.

Of those attending the meeting, only Council officials spoke in favour of the plan.

Now a formal representation has been made to local Councillors in the hope that the scheme can be quickly dismissed as an option.

This would allow other aspects of the project to move forward. These may include the provision of a trim track or “outdoor gym”.

Residents urged the football club that wants to erect the fencing and a storage container, to look to an arrangement with the Acorn Ruby Club who operate on an adjacent, and secure, site already.

The matter is likely to be discussed again at a Ward Committee meeting which is taking place next Tuesday at the Bowling Club (7:00pm)

York Council to sell Bootham Row car parking spaces

New threat to sell off Council housing land

Land at Bootham Row to be sold

The York Council’s Executive is being recommended to sell off 5 car parking spaces at Bootham Row car park. The land (see map) also accommodates motorcycle parking.

The Council is hoping to raise £155,000 from a local developer who hopes to remodel 27 Bootham.

The car parking spaces generate over £7000 a year for taxpayers

Coming at a time when pressure on City centre car parks is being blamed for the accelerating decline in the City centre retail economy, the plan is bound to raise eyebrows. It is reminiscent of the plan, hatched in 2011 by the then Labour led Council administration, which proposed to sell off the nearby Union Terrace car park. That idea collapsed after being heavily criticised by both residents and traders.

Housing land sale

More alarming is the publication of a lofty document which seeks to justify a new “Asset Management Strategy”. It is due to be discussed by the Council’s Executive on 28th September.

The report claims that the last strategy, launched in 2011, has been a success.

Amongst the credulous statements that Councillors are being asked to believe, are claims that that the York Central and Castle Gateway sites “have been made more economically active” (In fact very little progress has been made on either project over the last 6 years).

The report goes on to claim that older people’s accommodation has been improved. Again, the reality is that the project is running 4 years behind schedule.

Sanderson House community centre

Most bizarre is a claim that leasing community centres to local organisations  “have allowed voluntary groups to flourish, increase activity, improve outcomes and attract external funding”. The reality, at least at the two community centres in the Westfield area, is that volunteers have been given a crushing burden to handle with minimal Council support.  Most ad hoc leisure events at the centres have stopped with most bookings now being from third parties (which the management committees have to accept simply to pay for running costs)

The Council has similarly jettisoned its commitment to many local sports facilities.

The report talks vaguely of joint use arrangement with other public-sector providers such as GPs.

It seems likely that the Council intends to target staff who work in neighbourhood buildings potentially repeating the disastrous policy – from a customer service perspective – of closing facilities like the Acomb Housing office and the Beckfield Lane recycling centre.

Derelict site behind Acomb Explore Library

The report says that 5 (unidentified) Housing department owned sites will either be sold or freed up for redevelopment.

The report pointedly fails to identify the location of these sites.

There are of course pieces of Council owned land which are crying out for development.

These include the land to the rear of the Acomb Library, which was schedule as an extension providing “one stop shop” facilities – with residential accommodation above – over 8 years ago.

We are still waiting to see some progress.

What’s on in York: The Big City Read Annual Walk

 

York Explore Library :

Thu 21 Sep :

11.00am – 12.00pm :

Free

BCRThis will be an hour’s walk through the streets and snickleways of central York based on this year’s Big City Read novel. It will take in the places referred to in the book with a running commentary from the walk leader on the places and how they tie in with the novel.

Meet in the foyer at York Explore

This is a free event and no booking is needed.

This walk will not be accessible to pushchairs and wheelchair users as some steps will be included. Please wear suitable clothes and footwear for walking.

What’s on in York: Alison Weir … Anne Boleyn A King’s Obsession

York Explore Library :

Wed 20 Sep :

6.00pm – 7.30pm :

£7.50

Sept _20Alison WeirAlison Weir recounts one of the most sensational episodes in English history, revealing a courageous, determined woman on a headlong course to tragedy.

Fresh from the cultivated hothouse of Renaissance France, Anne Boleyn draws attention at the English court, embracing the play of courtly love. But when the King commands, nothing is ever a game. She has a spirit worthy of a crown; and a crown is what she seeks. And so she embarks on her perilous course, which will plunge a kingdom into turmoil. Alison Weir weaves new research and theories into the dark, powerful tale of Henry VIII’s second wife – a woman ahead of her time, who dared to question traditional concepts of femininity, and whose ambition drove her to gamble with the fickle nature of a dangerous king.

Be prepared for your perceptions to be challenged.

Alison Weir is the top-selling female historian in the United Kingdom, and has sold over 2.7 million books worldwide. She has published seventeen history books and six historical novels. Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession is the second in a series of novels about the wives of Henry VIII.

Alison Weir is the top-selling female historian in the United Kingdom, and has sold over 2.7 million books worldwide. She has published seventeen history books, including Elizabeth the Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, The Lady in the Tower and Elizabeth of York, and six historical novels. Her latest biography is The Lost Tudor PrincessAnne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession is the second in a series of novels about the wives of Henry VIII, following on from Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen.

To book tickets click here.