York Council’s “Allo, Allo” approach to Tour de France



Organisers are playing down rumours of a big overspend on the local budget for the Tour de France. Some estimates say that crowd control costs are now likely to be twice the original estimate.

On Thursday the Council Leader has been asked to report to a full Council meeting what income the City has obtained to offset its £1.6 million expenditure on the event.

Tomorrow the Licensing committee will decide whether to permit Monk Stray to be used for camping and other activities connected with the event.

Yellow flowers aim for City in July

Cyclists and yellow flowers

Residents of York, famed for its cycling culture and yellow blaze of daffodils on the city walls, are being invited  to get growing and help welcome the Tour de France on 6 July by Planting the City Yellow.

Anyone who wants to get gardening and brighten the city can dig in as part of the city’s arts and cultural festival called York: Be part of it.

Thanks to local sponsor Aldby Field Nurseries, 1,500 packs of French marigold seeds, compost, a seed tray and instructions will be available free to residents keen to start sowing.


Monk Stray licensing application – background papers published

Monk Stray licensing notice

The York Council has now published details of the event it is planning to hold on Monk Stray as part of the Tour de France.

Details of the licensing application can be found by clicking here

As residents suspected, the licensing application would allow events to be staged on Monk Stray for 14 days (each year). In other words it is not a “one off” event as claimed by Labour spokespeople.

286 representations have been made on the application.

This is one of the highest levels of objection ever received to a licensing application in York.

The Police have insisted that the Council amend its proposals to reduce the area that any event can take place on and to control the sale of alcohol on the site

The decision on the application will be made on Tuesday 25th March at the Guildhall by 3 Councillors (2 Conservative and 1 Labour). The meeting will start at 10:00am and is open to the Press and public. Members of the public are now permitted to record the proceedings of Council meetings

In the event of the application being refused or substantially modified, the applicants (in this case, the Council itself) can make an appeal to the Magistrates Court.

The Council has been criticised for chosing to use Monk Stray for camping and “hub” activities connected with the Grand Départ. Residents have pointed to the University and Knavesmire as better located options.

NB. Liberal Democrats have again tabled questions for the Council meeting taking place on 27th March asking about the costs of the TdF and the likely income that the Council will receive to offset the £1.6 million that it is investing in the event.

The question reads:

Can the Cabinet Member outline how much additional income the Council can expect to receive from parking charges, rents, leases, licences, sponsorship and similar income streams during and after the “Grand Départ”?”

Tour de France updates

Community artwork of the ‘Road Through York’ to celebrate the Tour de France

Residents with an eye for the bigger picture are invited to book to join in the  community painting collaboration called the “Road Through York”. The project aims to create an enormous painting in which hundreds of local people have had a hand and which “will help welcome the Tour de France to York”.


A painting by local artist and art tutor Karen Winship features York landmarks and will be scaled up and broken down into 320 panels. Each metre-squared panel will be painted by individuals joining in the project, who will see their work laid out when the completed montage, totalling 320 square metres, is exhibited on the Knavesmire on 6 July for the aerial cameras to film and relay to the world.

Any individual or any organisation who wants to join in and make its mark on the Road Through York must email theroad@york.gov.uk or call 07990 774 420 to secure a place at a number of painting day s organised throughout the coming weeks. Find out more at http://www.experiencetherace.com/ .

Information Meetings

In the face of bitter opposition from local residents the Council is now saying that  the proposed spectator hub will “be sited at the northern end of the Monk stray near to the A64, away from the majority of residents, with access from Malton Road. It will have a temporary infrastructure of toilet, washing and water facilities and it’s likely to have a food tent offering breakfasts and camping supplies.”

On Thursday 10 April, from 5.30pm at the Rowntree Park Reading Café, there will be a second dedicated TdF information meeting. There, people can expect to find out more about routes and traffic management, about camping and caravanning, plus information on the cultural festival called York: Be Part of It, and plans for the exciting spectator hubs where people can enjoy the celebrations.


Win a chance to Experience the Race in York!

City of York Council is giving cycling fans across the globe the chance to experience Stage 2 of the 2014 Le Grand Depart in style if they win a once in a lifetime prize worth £400.

The lucky winner will receive a two night luxury glamping experience for two people, two tickets to the start at York Racecourse, a selection of Experience the Race merchandise and £50 to spend in York Designer Outlet.


Bounce back into sport this Spring

Tennis and golf balls are set to fly this Spring as York residents are invited to take to the courts and courses with new sessions organised by City of York Council.

The council-owned tennis courts at Hull Road Park and Pike Hills Golf Course are the latest venues to hold sessions aimed at adults who are beginners to the sport or who may want to refresh their skills. This is the first time that these courses, starting in March, have taken place at these venues.


£1 million York cycling velodrome scheme set for approval tomorrow


The much delayed outdoor velodrome at the University of York is set to gain approval at a Planning meeting which is taking place tomorrow.

York Council taxpayers are contributing £200,000 towards the project which is described in Council budget papers as a “closed cycle circuit”.

The application is for the construction of a 250m-long, 7m-wide, tarmac surfaced, outdoor “velodrome”.

The track would be oval-shaped and banked at each end. The base of the track and the central oval would be at existing ground level.

The banking at each end would rise to 4m above existing ground level and have a gradient of approximately 18%. The track profile would be achieved by creating earth banking to support the track.

The bank would be topped by a 2m-wide footpath for spectator viewing. A handrail and fence along the top of the bank would provide protection for spectators.

The centre of the oval would be partly hard surfaced and partly grassed.

Monk Stray campsite licence application details published

The Council has now published the application that it has made (to itself) for a premises license for the use of Monk Stray.

There are no restrictions on the duration of the license which would allow plays, films, live music (till midnight), recorded music, performance of dance and “anything similar” together with the supply of alcohol for on and off site sales (until 2300 hours)

The application can be read here

Residents have until 24th February to submit any objections.

The Council have so far failed to explain why the event could not have been accommodated on the Knavesmire.

Larger events, such as Royal Ascot at York and a visit by the Pope, have been accommodated there without major difficulties.