Bootham Park Masterplan published

City of York Council has today published a draft masterplan for the Bootham Park Hospital site, following the public consultation which took place last year.

Bootham Park

The masterplan, developed jointly between the York Council and the York teaching Hospital NHS Trust, proposes “a viable option for the development of the site, one that meets the needs of York residents by providing care accommodation, public open space, key worker housing and more”.

The key features of the plan include.

  • A Nursing home included on YTHT land (part of former nurse’s accommodation site).
  • Residential development aimed at the senior living market to the
    east of the chapel.
  • Child care nursery located on northern edge of YTHT land –
    directly accessible to the York Hospital site
  • The main former hospital building to be converted to extra care
    apartments (potentially incorporating step down care linked to
    York Hospital). Unlisted elements to be removed and a new block
    built to the north east in order to provide a viable number of units.
  • Unlisted and some grade 2 listed elements to the west
    removed in order to accommodate a Medical Training and
    Research Centre of Excellence with associated Key Worker
    Accommodation (medical staff).
  • A linear ‘’atrium’’ provides a main access and control point but
    also visually separates the form of old and new elements.
  • Landscaped area to the north redesigned to provide a semi
    private garden and courtyard space in the centre of the listed
    building group reinstated as landscape open space.
  • Unlisted cottages off driveway entrance from Bootham removed and replaced with apartments.
  • Existing listed gatehouse reinstated as residential accommodation.
  • Potential café/pavilion proposed adjacent to reopened pedestrian access off Bootham.

The plan involves building on the Union Terrace car park. The coach park would be retained with a multi storey car park, constructed above it,containing 250 spaces. It is claimed that this change will improve access to the hospital site from the south and provide a better “gateway” appearance for a key route into the City centre.

The Council says, “York residents will now be invited to contribute further to the development of the masterplan, by giving their views on the proposals so far.

The Bootham Park Masterplan Consultation will launch in September 2019″.

NB. NHS Property Services have recently engaged in a failed commercial sale and continue to re-market the site.

A copy of the draft masterplan can be downloaded by clicking this link

Four men found guilty of urinating in public fined £1800

York Magistrates have ordered four men to pay total costs of £1773 for urinating in public in York.

On Tuesday 16 July 2019, York Magistrates heard that Luke Beaumont (aged 20 of Southwold Close, Scarborough) was found by a police officer, urinating against the wall of St. Martin Le Grand Church on Coney Street, York, at 7.25pm on Sunday 21 April 2019.

Mr Beaumont, who apologised for his actions during the incident, pleaded guilty by post and was fined £81, ordered to pay costs of £264 and a court surcharge of £30.

Jordan Haigh (aged 21 or The Willows, Thirsk) was seen by a police officer, urinating against a wall on Lendal, York, around 1.50am on Sunday 24 March 2019. Mr Haigh fled the scene however was located shortly after and admitted the offence.

Mr Haigh pleaded guilty by post and was fined £133, ordered to pay costs of £264 and a court surcharge of £30.

York Magistrates (16 July 2019) also heard that Paul Peacock (aged 44 of Boulmer Lea, Durham) was seen by a York BID Ranger, urinating on a ramp between Boots and WH Smiths on Coney Street, York, at around 8.40pm on Saturday 27 April 2019.

Following the assistance of North Yorkshire Police Officers, Mr Peacock’s identity was confirmed. He pleaded guilty by post and was fined £163, ordered to pay costs of £264 and a court surcharge of £30.

Jack Pearson (aged 23 of Kitchener Street, York) was found by a police officer, urinating against a wall at the rear of Coney Street, York, at 2.50am on Saturday 30 March 2019.

Mr Pearson failed to attend court of submit a plea and was found guilty in his absence. He was fined £220, ordered to pay costs of £264 and a court surcharge of £30.

Poll on older peoples accommodation in York

Residents across York are being asked for their views on how and where they, or their loved ones, want to live and be supported as they age in a city wide consultation this month.

City of York Council wants to hear the views of all residents, regardless of their age, about the different accommodation options and what can be done to support life long independence.

The survey forms part of York’s Older People’s Accommodation Programme which aims to ensure that older people’s accommodation needs are met now and in the future.

The survey is available online now at https://www.york.gov.uk/consultations and in paper copy Explore Library Learning Centres. The council will also be running consultations directly with key stakeholders and community groups. The closing date for the consultation is 11 August.

The Tackling Fuel Poverty scheme received £5.7 million from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.S

Independent report into housing in York published

Local Government Association (LGA) report says the house-building rate in York is comparable to rest of the country.

The net new supply in York increased the existing housing stock by 1.5% during 2017/18.

This is much higher than the England average of 0.9%, suggesting the level of local supply is unlikely to be an issue. The Government’s national target of 300,000 homes per year is equivalent to 1.3%.

Population growth in York is set to average 686 people per year from 2020 to 2041, with projected average annual household growth of 430 households over the same period. This is significantly lower that the Council is forecasting in its draft Local Plan

According to the report, which was published this week, the average house price in York in 2018 was £254,000. The median ratio of house prices to local earnings is 8.8. This is higher than the England average of 8.0, suggesting high house prices are likely to be an issue for some

Private rents in York in the 12 months to September 2018 ranged from £565 per month for a lower quartile one bed to £2,058 for an upper quartile four (or more) bed property. The overall median private rent was £745, which is approximately the same as the England average of £690, suggesting that high private rents may also be an issue.

House prices in York in December 2018 are higher than their 2007/08 peak by 25.4%, compared with England at +27.3%.

Employment in York improved from 75.3% in 2014/15 to 78.7% in 2017/18; unemployment changed from 3.6% to 3.1%; and economic inactivity changed from 21.7% to 19.4%.

Gross domestic household income in York was £18,070 per person per year in 2016, compared with £14,133 in 2006. By comparison the figure for England changed from £15,349 to £19,878 over the same period.

The overall population in York changed by +0.6% due to migration in the 12 months to June 2017: +0.2% from domestic sources and +0.4% from international.

By age, the largest single contribution to growth was from 19-year olds.

The average life expectancy for people born in 2015-17 in York is 80.2 years for men and 83.5 years for women.

The equivalent national figures are 79.6 and 83.1 respectively.

The report confirms that second home ownership, empty homes and inward migration numbers are not significant issues for the City compared to the rest of the country.

The full report can be read by clicking here

Renewed appeal after 87-year-old cyclist dies following A1237 crash near Woodthorpe

Police have renewed their appeal for witnesses and dashcam footage after an 87-year-old cyclist injured in a collision in York has sadly died

The collision happened on Saturday 13 July at around 2.30pm on the on A1237 between the Copmanthorpe and Woodthorpe roundabouts.

It involved a bright blue BMW travelling towards Clifton Moor and the pedal cyclist who was crossing the road.

The cyclist, an 87-year-old man from York, was airlifted to hospital with multiple serious injuries but died in hospital on Monday evening (15 July).

The driver of the BMW, a 60-year-old man also from York, was uninjured.

Police would like to speak to anyone who witnessed the collision itself or saw either vehicle prior to the collision, particularly anyone with dashcam footage.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Steven James in the Major Collision Investigation Tadcaster either via email; Steven.James771@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101 quoting reference; 12190126860

If you wish to remain anonymous you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org

Please quote reference number 12190126860 when passing information.

More problems with hedges blockng footpaths

Pedestrians should take care when using the Tithe Close/Tedder Road snicket. A potentially hazardous thorn branch is overhang the path at eye height.
The Reeves snicket is also being obstructed. We’ve reported the increase in litter in the area.
Even more overgrown is the snicket link from Gale Lane to Bachelor Hill. More dumped rubbish also reported.
Although attractive, the roses on Dickson park also need trimming back from the footpath
Similar problems on Askham Lane
Potholes a problem for cyclists at the Dijon Avenue/Lowfield Drive junction
At the same location there is little evidence of weed treatment.

Labour wants to plunge York further into debt

£75,000 salary for “Children’s Commissioner”

A huge increase in borrowing is proposed in a Labour party amendment to the York Councils budget plans.

£2.5 million extra will be borrowed with more being taken from reserves currently earmarked to provide additional social housing.

They say, most of the extra money will be spent on reducing “damp” in Council housing. The Council had already let a contract for £2 million to address this issue on 11th May.

The Council has record debt levels with over 22% of what a resident pays in Council Tax set to be spent on interest charges by 2022.

Plans for a “Children’s Commissioner” on a fat cat £75k salary, appear to be equally misguided. The Council has a well-paid Executive Councillor with responsibilities in the same area.

Labour also plans to cut £1/4 million from the “safer communities” crime reduction budget. This is an extraordinary misjudgement of the problems that exist in parts of the City with anti-social behaviour, drug misuse, graffiti and vandalism on the increase.

Instead money would be spent on two additional talking shops; a “Human Rights Commission” and a “Carbon Neutral City Citizens Assembly” are proposed.

The only part of the Labour plan which might gain some support is a proposed investment of £40,000 in reducing, to one day, the target time taken to remove “fly tipping”. Some may, however, feel that the first step should be to improve bulky waste collection arrangements and reintroduce regular visits by “skips” to key estates.

The Council’s revised budget proposals will be debated tomorrow (Wednesday)

New benefits system causing problems in York

Councillors will receive on update on the financial support and welfare benefit activities being offered to residents at a meeting on Thursday.

A copy of the report can be read by clicking here

At the meeting, the Executive will be asked to note the update which highlights the range of work undertaken to support those across the city  in need of financial help. Councillors will also be asked to approve an action plan, which has been developed following recommendations from a recent financial inclusion scrutiny review.

In the 2018/19 financial year the York Financial Assistance Scheme spent £228,341 providing direct help to residents in financial difficulty due to exceptional circumstances.

In addition, nine projects, delivered by partner organisations, were awarded grants totalling £166,358 to target help and support to those that need it most.  These ranged from funding Citizens Advice York for their specialist debt support service to working with those over 50 to improve their prospects of employment to placing advice services in community venues and GP surgeries making them easier to access for residents. 

The report also recognises the positive impact of various community projects. These include the continued success of the Chapelfields Community Hub which has just celebrated its second birthday. Also, ‘cooking on a budget’ courses have been delivered in Clifton, Haxby Road, Bell Farm, Tang Hall and Chapelfields. These have been used to encourage low cost healthy eating and as a gateway into other opportunities.

As well as this, the council is continuing to work with Advice York and other partners to promote the council tax support scheme.  The online application process has been made easier and residents can be considered for both council tax support and discretionary housing payments through a single form.  In addition, information events have taken place to promote the council tax support scheme to older people.

“Residents wanting to find out more about financial assistance in York can visit www.york.gov.uk/Benefits.”

York Council promises action on verges and weed growth

A confidential internal memo has been circulated to Councillors reacting to criticism of verge maintenance standards.

It also claims that the weed treatment programme is being brought forward.

Weed control programme brought forward

A senior official says that verges are cut on 10 occasions each year between March and September. He goes on to say “as the rate of grass growth has slowed down, we are now starting to see improvements in the standard of cut, which will continue to improve as we undertake further cuts”.

Verges in the Foxwood Lane area have been subject to criticism, with one experienced local professional gardener saying that the edges are now so overgrown that they will need to be cut with a rotary cutter or strimmed if they are to recover their appearance.

On weeds, the Council says that they are treated in May/June, July/August & Sept/Oct. with a non-residual weed killer.

Weeds on back lanes will be cut promises Council

“This results in the ‘killing’ of all weeds that are growing at the time of treatment but any that germinate after the spray has passed will continue to grow until the next treatment later in the summer”.

“We are all aware of the issues regarding the amount of weeds visible in certain parts of the city, as previously stated this is due to the weather earlier in the year, we have worked with our contractor on a number of ways to improve the situation, as detailed below:

Our contractor has deployed additional resources at their cost.

We brought the commencement of the second treatment forward.

Our staff were deployed last week to start to strim and remove the very large weeds from the back lanes, as these would look unsightly even when dead”

The Council also says that the first cut of the Bar Walls – during in June – has not taken place because specialist equipment (supplied from Germany) has not yet arrived in the City

There has been no official comment from Executive Councillors about the poor standards evident in some parts of the City.

However one Independent Councillor – Mark Warters from Osbaldwick – Is understood to have told officials that a more professional approach to weed control is needed in the city. He says that the service should be brought back “in house”. Like many other residents, he believes that the weed killer used earlier in the year may have been washed off by rain before it had taken effect.

Hedges have been trimmed back form public footpaths

There is one piece of good news to report though, with several householders having cut back hedges from public footpaths over the weekend. This has reduced the number of obstructions on several streets.

Big sports weekend

Bi match for local Rugby League side Acorn yesterday. They beat off a challenge from Pilkington to continue their bid for the NCL1 title.
Acomb cricket club were also in action yesterday. Idyllic surroundings at their ground on The Green. The first XI lie in second place in the league
More informal leisure on the generally well maintained Acomb Green