Community Stadium planning delay hits swimming pool management

With the official planning decision notice still predictably delayed, the Community Stadium development contract cannot yet be signed.

This means that potential contractor GLL cannot take over the running of leisure facilities like Energise in Acomb.

 GLL were the managers of the Huntington Stadium and the adjacent Waterworld facility, but both closed about 6 months ago.

We understand that staff at the successful Energise leisure centre have been told that a proposed 1st June handover date has now been shelved.

Uncertain future for popular Energise leisure centre

Uncertain future for popular Energise leisure centre

There never seemed any real possibility that the Secretary of State would decide whether or not to call in the Community Stadium plans before the General Election.

 June seemed the earliest likely decision date but even that could be optimistic if the election result is not – as appears likely to be the case – clear cut.

The July 2016 opening date for the stadium continues to look very optimistic.

The project is running over 2 years behind schedule mainly as a result of a decision by some Labour Councillors to privatise all the City’s leisure facilities into one contract.

This led to the closure of Waterworld and a threat to future of the Yearsley Pool.

It also added £8 million to the taxpayers bill for the project.

Controversy as Council plan late night drinking in footstreets area

York’s newly enhanced Exhibition Square could stage late night outdoor entertainment events.

A licensing application from the York Council itself will be considered on Tuesday 7th April

The application, if successful, would allow alcohol consumption thoughout the whole of the footstreets area until 11:00pm at night. The current license prohibits outdoor alcohol sales after 2100 hours.

 The new license would also allow “Films, Live Music, Recorded Music and Performance of Dance” until 11:00pm

There have been several objections to the plan.

The present Council simply doesn’t seem to understand that their promotion of York as a “Party City” is partly responsible for the hen/stag night disorder that is fast driving many people away from the City Centre.

If a special event needs an exemption from the reasonable restrictions that currently are in force, then the organisers should apply on an individual basis.

York residents will then be able to say whether they believe that the public good outweighs any disorder risks. 


Smashing Easter tennis courses announced

Some ace tennis sessions are being served up to residents of all ages throughout Easter.

Booking has opened for a number of courses inviting residents to net the chance to sharpen their tennis skills across the city over the next month

Upcoming sessions are at:

• Hull Road Park. This 10-week course, from Wednesday 15 April, is aimed at beginners or adults who haven’t played for a while. The sessions will be led by a fully-qualified LTA coach and held from 10am to 11am at a cost of £3.50 per session or £30 for the whole course. To book or for further information contact Jason May on 07900394788 or

• Heworth Tennis Club. A fun tennis camp for children aged 6-16 of all ability levels during the Easter holidays led by a fully qualified LTA coach. Sessions run between 1pm and 4pm and take place on: Tuesday 31 March, Thursday 2 April, Tuesday 7 April and Thursday 9 April. The camp costs £10 for members and £15 for non members. To book or for further information contact Jason May on 07900394788 or

• Strensall Tennis Club. A new adult tennis coaching programme aimed at beginners or adults who haven’t played for while. The course starts on Friday 24 April for 8 weeks between 6pm and 7.30pm at a cost of just £2 per session.To book or for further information contact Matt Ward on 07882 267971, email or visit

• Wheldrake Tennis Club, which is running two 10 week programmes starting in April. Both programmes cost £30, the adult coaching course starts Monday 20 April 6pm to 7.30pm. The Rusty Rackets course for those who want to take up tennis starts on Tuesday 21 April 9.30am to 11am. To book or for further information contact Matt Ward on 07882 267971, email or visit

For information on tennis in the city or other sporting opportunities contact Sport Participation Officer Nick Settle on 01904 553377 or email .

Deaflympics Badminton Player to launch new club

Andrea Hardwick, a Deaflympics badminton player is bringing along her gold and silver medals to York on Thursday 19 March to help launch York’s first deaf badminton club.

The new club will meet at York Railway Institute from 8pm to 9.30pm each week and is open to anyone who is Deaf or hard of hearing who would like to learn and play badminton. All levels of ability are welcome to attend and participants will be instructed by the club’s coach, Denis Cleary, who also coaches the Great Britain Deaf Badminton team.

Plan ahead for the Tour de Yorkshire

City of York Council is encouraging residents and visitors to plan ahead for Saturday 2 May when stage two of the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire will finish in York.

Stage two of the Tour de Yorkshire will see riders setting off from Selby, racing through the East Riding of Yorkshire before making their way to York. The peloton will enter York from the A166 before taking on two and half laps of a 20km finishing circuit, around the city from the Racecourse and out to Murton, with the finish expected to be between 3.30 and 4pm.

A professional women’s race will cover five laps of the same 20km finishing circuit in the morning, with the race starting at 11am at Knavesmire Road. This will give people another great chance to see world class cycling in York.

The fast-paced circuit will see the cyclists negotiate the city’s historic streets including the bar and cobbles of Micklegate and the beautiful bar walls along Paragon Street.

The circuit also makes a welcome return to Bishopthorpe Road to replicate scenes that were seen across the world during the Tour de France.

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.

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)