Christmas concerts off to a good start in York

We’re into the Christmas concert season now. The Yorkshire Volunteers brass band entertained at the Merchant Adventurers Hall on Friday. They will be returning to the City on Thursday and Friday evening when they will participate in the very popular Minster carol concerts. The Minster hosted the annual performance of The Messiah yesterday with the orchestra, choir and soloists receiving a standing ovation

Police warning as burglars hit Askham Lane

On the evening of 08/12/18 a house on Askham Lane,York has been entered and keys to a vehicle stolen, it is possible the 3 youths on cycles may have been involved, should anyone have any Info please call 101 or Crimestoppers.Quote incident No 12180228501.

There have been a number of attempted thefts of vehicles and 2 in 1 styled burglaries in York. A 2 in 1 burglary is where offenders commit a burglary with the aim of stealing car keys. Please keep property doors and windows locked, even if you are at home and ensure any unattended vehicles are kept locked (even if you are only leaving it momentarily). Additionally, please keep vehicle and house keys out of sight and away from windows and doors.

If you see something suspicious please contact us on 101. Alternatively, if you witness what you suspect to be a crime in action, please call 999 immediately.

Landmark report reveals active lives of York’s children.

New research published by Sport England yesterday, carried out independently by Ipsos MORI, reveals the nation-wide challenge to help children lead more active lives.

Sport England report

In the face of this, the City of York is reported to have higher than average levels of children engaging in sports and physical activity on a daily basis.

The largest ever survey of its kind, Active Lives Children and Young People, has provided comprehensive insight into how children in England are taking part in physical activity both in and out of school. It shows that around 3 million children (43.3%) lead active lives, doing an average of 60 or more minutes of physical activity a day. However, just over 2.3 million children and young people (32.9%) are less active which means they do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a day.

The report is based on responses from over 130,000 children aged 5-16 in England during the academic year 2017 to 2018. It also reveals that there are significant inequalities based on family income, showing that children from the most affluent families are more active than those in the least affluent families.

The report was released on the same day as the York Council decided to demolish the only, free access, all weather games area in west York. A Sport England request for the facility to be replaced was ignored by planning Councillors

For York, the report shows encouraging results, with the city having a higher percentage of children meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s physical activity guidelines of at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity per day, and lower than average percentages of children falling into the ‘less active’ category (see below).

Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive member for adult social care and health said, “It’s encouraging to see the high percentages of children in York taking up the opportunity to live active lives and benefit their physical health early in life. We still want to see these figures continue to rise as we ensure children of all backgrounds can access opportunities to make healthy life choices and get active.

“Since that academic year we have launched our #MoveMoreYork campaign, encouraging everyone across the city, all ages and abilities, to move more in their everyday life and make healthy choices which can benefit them for the rest of their life.”

Local students invited to join York Youth Council

York Youth Council is inviting young residents, aged 11-18, to help them make a positive change to the lives of people in York.

The role of York Youth Council officer involves attending York Youth Council meetings, contributing to local campaigns, and consultations with City of York Council, as well as other organisations.

YYC members support the annual UK Youth Parliament ‘Make Your Mark’ ballot, one of the largest youth consultations in UK history. The ballot focuses on multiple issues that affect young people aged 11 – 18, including knife crime, mental health and votes at 16.

Members for York Youth Council also meet with elected members and council officers to progress YYC campaigns and priorities, whilst also taking part in other engagement opportunities to promote the work of York Youth Council.

YYC have produced an engaging short animation about the work they do and how you can use your voice to make a difference, available to watch here: https://youtu.be/61sYSBN7kUc

Young people who apply to join should be a resident or student in York, eager to work with others, and have a passion for helping people throughout the city, in particular children and young people.

Lottie, 16, Member of York Youth Council and UK Youth Parliament, said: “I really enjoy being part of York Youth Council, there’s always so much to get involved with. Whether it’s going to speak at events and getting involved with UK Youth Parliament or just brainstorming in small groups about local campaigns, I come away feeling like we’ve done something that could really make a difference.”

Anyone interested in joining York Youth Council should email yorkyouthcouncil@york.gov.uk or call 01904 551782.

For more information on York Youth Council, visit: https://yorkyouthcouncil.com/ or follow them on Twitter: @YorkYouth

Major changes on Ascot Way & Hob Moor school playing field agreed

Council planning report was wrong on Lincoln Court extension claim

Lincoln Court. Work has started on replacing windows. Concerns about parking

Plans to provide a centre of excellence for disabled children, modernise & extend Lincoln Court and move part of the Hob Moor school playing field were approved last night.

Generally, the improvements will be welcomed.

Unfortunately, the planning committee failed to recognise and act to deal with the cumulative effects that these developments – coupled with others previously agreed – will have on transport systems in the Kingsway estate.

Embarrassed Council officials, at yesterday’s planning committee meeting, were forced to admit that the 10 additional units planned at Lincoln Court were not “extra care” beds as claimed in the Council report.

Instead they will be similar in function to the sheltered flats which form the existing development.

The distinction is a major one as extra care beds imply a much higher level of care need while the occupiers of conventional sheltered flats are more likely to own cars.

They will need somewhere to park them.

The committee declined to require that a rear entrance be provided to the new site. This would have permitted greater integration with the adjacent Hob Moor Oaks school which caters for children with disabilities and might have been used to address overflow car parking, delivery, emergency vehicles access and other transport concerns.

Nor was the committee prepared to even ask transport officials to review the cumulative impact that planning decisions are having on the Kingsway area.

It is difficult not to conclude that the Councils leadership is prepared to casually dismiss the wishes of a community which has lacked leadership since the local resident’s association folded 5 years ago.

The relatively beleaguered inhabitants of the area – amongst the poorest 10% of the population in the country according to some government statistics –  are viewed as less likely able to “raise a stink” than might their “middle England” counterparts in other parts of the City.

 Consequently, the Council has felt able to ignore their legitimate requests for improvements that have been tabled in response to successive development consultations.

Newbury Avenue

Demolition contractors (who suspended their activities yesterday following complaints that the work was unauthorised) will be able to demolish the Newbury Avenue garage blocks when the current public consultation period ends.

Officials claimed that this will be before Christmas

The planning committee was asked enforce the condition that four additional parking spaces be provided before the garages are demolished. This had been the wish of the planning committee when it met in May.

It was pointed out that some of the heaviest plant and lorries would be accessing the site during any demolition works, making additional off street parking options, on the narrow roads, even more essential.

The Council had been criticised for refusing to let several of the empty garages over the last 6-year period despite there being a waiting list of potential renters.

They moved quickly in the summer to end the remaining tenancies and secure the garage area.

A telecoms junction box must be moved before the car parking spaces can be provided. The junction box had been provided after the plans for new bungalows were published but before the committee took its decision in May. Councillors and officials were aware then of the existence on location of the equipment

Yesterday officials were unable to explain why they had not acted more quickly to get the telecoms equipment moved

NB. Work on providing additional parking lay-bys on Windsor Garth – which was authorised over a year ago – is also still outstanding. The Council has failed to provide a completion date despite many deadlines having come and gone. The lay-bys are being funded under the Westfield ward delegated budget.

MUGA mugged – another blow for leisure provision in the Westfield area

Children’s ball games facility demolished

Despite objections from Sport England, Councillors approved the demolition of the Kingsway MUGA last night. No replacement all weather games area is planned

According to the Council’s own figures the Westfield area has the largest deficiency in sports and active leisure facilities in the City.

It also has the largest problem with child obesity 

The committee failed to include the conditions requested by Sport England which would have seen an alternative games area provided elsewhere before the existing facility was demolished.

Council officials claimed that the MUGA was derelict and disused. In fact, only minor repairs – which have been outstanding for over 12 months – would be required to bring the facility back into use.

Additional conditions requested by LibDem Councillors were voted down.

Correspondence between the Council and Sport England – and verbal claims by an official last night – suggest that planning committee members were misled. This could lead to a formal complaint about the way the MUGA issue has been handled.

The Council has failed to include the most recent correspondence on the issue on the “planning on line” web site.

This is the second time that the Council has misled Sport England about planning issues.

Earlier in the year a report on the provision of new football pitches on Tadcaster Road claimed that they would be used by Woodthorpe Wanderers football club.

They were later forced to admit that Woodthorpe Wanderers had folded 6 months previously.

Multi User Games Area – late development

Sport England have sent a late representation to the Councils’ planning committee reaffirming their views on the future of the MUGA on Kingsway West.

They say that they HAVE NOT agreed to it being demolished.

Council officials, in a report to the committee,  had given the impression that a holding objection had been withdrawn.

 

Now Sport England have unequivocally said that, if the existing MUGA is demolished, then a replacement facility must be provided nearby.

Such a facility must be available before the existing MUGA is demolished  and must be available for public use.

The planning committee is meeting tomorrow (Thursday) at 4:30pm