Join the conversation about Acomb Front Street’s future

Businesses, residents and visitors are being asked what they love and what they’d like to change about Acomb’s Front Street.

The consultation is the much delayed opportunity to help with the regeneration of the Front Street area.

Fruit stall

The council committed to a £50,000 investment in Front Street, one of the city’s most important shopping areas, before the pandemic brought about even larger challenges to high streets across the UK.

Acomb’s Front Street plays a vital role in the community and the wider city, and is home to many established and well-loved local independent retailers and community spaces. It has a lower than national average proportion of empty units, with occupancy rates bucking the UK trend by increasing significantly in the last three years.

The council is now asking for views which will help to keep Front Street at the heart Acomb’s economy and community.

The Council says that last year “we postponed the survey because of Covid-19. Your views in the survey will be used to create a ‘brief’ of community ideas which we can check with local people before the council executive decides what improvements to make”.

500 residents have already had a new COVID-secure knock on their door from IdB, a market research company working with the council.  The council is working alongside IdB to ask for feedback and ideas from a diverse and representative cross section of Acomb residents. The surveys will be dropped with residents in a sterile bag, along with gloves, an antiviral wipe and a return bag. The market researcher will then return later that day to collect the questionnaire.

Residents can also get involved by:

Way open for Acomb Library expansion

The development to the rear of the Acomb Library (Bowling Lane) is almost complete with most of the homes now occupied.

The Council owned site, currently being used as a builders yard, will shortly close opening the way for a start to be made on the long awaited upgrade to the Acomb Library.

The Council has a budget of £2 million allocated in each of the next two years (starting on 1/4/21) to provide “Centres of Learning and Opportunity for all” at Acomb & Clifton libraries.

Plans to provide a “one stop shop” for public services at Acomb Explore date back over a decade and the land to the rear of South View Terrace was purchased by the Council (from a local builder) with the intention of improving the whole area.

Sadly, that intention stalled, and the land became overgrown.  It was a major missed regeneration opportunity.

The “Lockdown” period has provided Council officials with adequate time to refined their proposals for the site and we expect to see public consultation starting shortly.

We do not want building activity in the area to continue for longer than is essential, so some drive and enthusiasm is now required.

The publication of a draft development timetable would be a good start.

What’s on in York: Roald Dahl at half term

The Twits (Colour Edition): Amazon.co.uk: Dahl, Roald, Blake, Quentin:  9780141369341: Books

With half-term coming up York Library have some special treats for children of all ages.

Storyteller John Kirk is going to be appearing on YouTube live with an exclusive telling of Roald Dahl’s The Twits on 24 October and again with Spooky Stories for Halloweenies on 31 October.

The sessions are free, but people need to register to receive the YouTube link see below.

Our partners at Hoglets have created 6 exclusive online storytimes for the under-fives featuring stories from around the world for children, every Tuesday morning from 27 October on our YouTube channel.

We have a page on our website dedicated to bringing you information about reading, fun and learning for children and families, including our Bloodaxe Challenge in partnership with the Jorvik Viking Centre, Mumbler’s Halloween Train and online stories and activities.

What & when at Monks Cross?

It isn’t just the Community Stadium (see story below) that is lying unused at Monks Cross.

The £12 million gym, swimming pool and outdoor all-weather sports pitches are also still under wraps.

Coming to Monks Cross – but when?

Around £14 million of taxpayers money has been used to subsidise the complex on top of which were “developer” contributions of over £15 million  (click).

The expectation was that the site would provide several hundred additional jobs for York – opportunities which look to be even more important as the post COVID-19 recession hits employment levels in the City.

Other sports and swimming facilities in the City reopened on 10th August (click).

IMAX cinema has reopended

The IMAX cinema recently reopened and two adjacent units have been taken up by a bowling alley/café (Hollywood Bowl) and an indoor putting green (Putstars). Opening dates haven’t been confirmed.

Both had been scheduled to open in April. Together they will create about 60 jobs.

Bowling alley and indoor putting ready to open?

Elsewhere the Council hasn’t issued any update on the progress made in letting the floor-space in the building that they have underwritten.

Frankie and Benny’s closed

Three of the 4 nearby café units are now vacant following the demise of Frankie and Benny’s.  

Costa Coffee remains open.

Costa Coffee is popular

The has similarly been no word on the plans for a library and the NHS outpatient unit.

Cycle racks at the Park and Ride site are not overused

Community seeks right to buy bowls club

 The Council will be asked on 24th July to list the New Earswick and District Indoor Bowls Club, Huntington Road, Huntington, York as an asset of community value.

The same meeting is already scheduled to consider a similar request relating to the Murton Arms Public House.

The Executive Member will be asked to make a decision on whether the above listed property should be added to the list of assets of community value.

If they are added to the list then the community will have 6 months in which to put together a bid to buy the properties should they come onto the market.

Acomb and some other York libraries to reopen on 6th July

The library managers say that things will look a little different for a while.  From some of our libraries you will be able to:

Libraries These libraries are open from 7 July Tuesday to Saturday for pre-booked visits.

Cafes

Explore’s brand new café in Hungate opens for the first time on 7 July and our cafes at Rowntree Park and Homestead Park open 6 July for drinks and snacks to take away and enjoy outside.

Safety

All venues will have safety measures in place to protect customers and staff.

Coronavirus York updates – 7th April 2020

Libraries mask production initiative

Explore is supporting a fantastic initiative using 3D printers to print safety visors to a design used across Europe and distributing them to frontline workers in York. The project is being led in York by two of Explore Labs digital makers.

Working as a collective they are mobilising local makers to use their skills and equipment to support frontline workers in the fight against Covid-19. Explore York has loaned the project three 3D printers and there is a network of at least 50 more printers today from a standing start of just two printers a week ago.

If you or your organisation know of anyone who can help with equipment, advice or skills please get in touch via the Facebook group 3D Printed Visors for Frontline workers York AREA

If you have a 3D-Printer and want to get involved, email interactandconnect@gmail.com  with ‘I have a 3D printer’ in the subject line.

If you live in York or the surrounding area and need a visor, email interactandconnect@gmail.com  with ‘visor please’ in the subject line. If you don’t live in York they will try and help you find a 3D-Printing group in your area.

FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/groups/PPEforFrontlineWorkers/

Green waste, composting and hedges

The Council is urging residents not to fly tip or burn green waste during the current crisis.

Unfortunately there is still no mechanism, where those with mainly hard-surfaced gardens, can get composting containers. This was raised with the Council several weeks ago when the possibility of the green waste collections being suspended was first highlighted.

With the growing season now upon us, we expect to see the Council issuing advice to the owners of hedges bordering public footpaths to keep them trimmed back. This is essential to assist in implementing the social distancing guidelines

NB Waste crews are working as normal this Easter bank holiday to collect household waste and recycling.

 Coronavirus response live stream

 Four of the leaders of North Yorkshire’s police, fire and crime response to the Coronavirus pandemic will give an and take questions from residents and businesses, in a live broadcast tomorrow (Tuesday 7 April):

 North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan will lead the live update with:

  • Chief Constable Lisa Winward – North Yorkshire Police
  • Chief Fire Officer Andrew Brodie – North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
  • Richard Flinton – Chief Executive of North Yorkshire County Council and Chair of the multi-agency North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum

 People are invited to watch the meeting from 1.30pm on Tuesday on YouTube and submit questions in advance by emailing info@northyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk, posting on Twitter using the hashtag #NYScrutiny or commenting on Facebook. Not all questions will be able to be used, but they will inform the Commissioner’s questioning and the general discussion.

Haxby Library move to Oaken Grove community centre

City of York Council and Explore York Libraries and Archives have today announced a new temporary solution for Haxby and Wigginton library.

Exciting new plans have been agreed with Oaken Grove Trustees for the library service to be located there by summer. The current Haxby & Wigginton mobile service will stop once the new offer starts at Oaken Grove Community Centre.

The council is still committed to providing a new permanent library for residents which is bigger and better than the previous Haxby Library, is located with a partner organisation, and meets both residents’ expectations and Explore’s vision for a modern library service.

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What’s on in York: Peterloo – the aftermath, York Lent Assizes, March 1820

Monday March 16th
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm 
Free
On March 16, 1820 the trial of ten of the leaders at Peterloo, charged with conspiracy to overturn the government, opened in York. The trial was nationally reported and the government’s position widely discredited.  In spite this, five were convicted … but of the lesser charge of seditious intent.

Inspired by family history, The Road to Peterloo is about a Britain where the 1815 Peace has rewarded the few but penalised the many, where workers are drawn into mass protest meetings and soldiers, billeted in London to prevent revolution, become caught up in a secretive world of plots and spies.

Join local author, Jacqueline Everett, to discuss the historical background to the Peterloo massacre of August 16, 1820 and its aftermath, and hear readings from her novel The Road to Peterloo.

What’s on in York: Strong Yorkshire Women – Taking risks, standing strong

Sunday March 15th
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Join us in York International Women’s Week to celebrate the lives of four strong Yorkshire women.

An afternoon spent celebrating the lives of four Yorkshire women who lived life to the full, taking risks and standing their ground; introduced by their biographers, editors, or themselves. Wendy Rayne-Davis will talk about Saint Margaret Clitherow, Pauline Kirk will discuss the life and work of Rita Jerram, Children’s Rights activist and Githa Sowerby biographer Patricia Riley will talk about her own work, and about Leeds suffragist Isabella Ford who helped found the Independent Labour Party. The event will include short readings and the books will be available to purchase at a discount only at this event.