Courses to support parents after Christmas

City of York Council will be providing a series of free New Year programmes to help support parents and carers after the Christmas period.

Christmas can be a fun time for families, but it can also be a time that places a great strain on relationships in families too.

The programmes are called Strengthening Families Strengthening Communities and are designed to support parents and provide them with fresh ideas on dealing with a range of children’s behaviour.

The programmes will take place in the New Year at the following locations:

• Hob Moor – at Hob Moor Children’s Centre, Green Lane, Acomb starting Tuesday 10 January, 9.30am – 12.30pm
• Haxby – at Oaken Grove Community Centre, Reid Park – starting Monday 9 January, 9.30am – 12.30pm

Over 600 parents in York have already enjoyed the programme, funded by the Department for Education (DfE), over the last five years and it is hoped that more will be able to take part before March 2012.

The ain emphasis of the programme is on:

• Enhancing relationships between parents and their children through anger management and solution building
• A range of techniques to get children to work with you, rather than against you
• Activities to help mothers and fathers understand how their own family backgrounds influence their behaviour
• Encouraging parents to access community resources

The programmes are free and run for a whole term. To find out more about this, and the range of other programmes available in York, parents can access the Parent’s Zone at www.yor-ok.org.uk

To contact the Family Information Service direct, phone: 01904 554628, text: ‘parent’ to 07624 802244 or email: fis@yor-ok.org.uk

Council fail to act as sewer repairs cripple Askham Lane area

Askham Lane road closure

Despite assuring residents that repairs to a failed sewer at the junction of Askham Lane and Cornlands Road would be completed by 29th November, nearly 10 days later the work is still going on. Diversions are in place which send traffic along Moor Lane from the A1237 and then by a circuitous route into Acomb and beyond.

But the normal “roadwork’s between” dates signs have never appeared and residents have been left in the dark about progress.

Emails to the Council produce no response.

Sewer repairs are important and this particular location has had more than its fair share of problems over the years. We understand that the sewer is located some distance down no doubt making working conditions difficult.

……..but that is no excuse for not keeping residents up to date on progress.

School improvements in Westfield area. Council progress update

Westfield Primary

A phased approach to dealing with –what the Council describes as a “myriad building issues” at Westfield Primary (including roof and ceiling replacements, electrical work and asbestos removal) has been agreed in principle with the school. Initial cost reports are due this month with work to be scheduled as soon as possible thereafter. Phase two of this programme remains scheduled to take place in 2012/13.

Our Lady’s and English Martyrs Primary School

This voluntary aided scheme costing £4.7 million has been developed with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough (which is contributing £1m to the scheme). Work commenced on site at the end of July 2011, and the completion of the new school is on schedule to be completed in early December 2011, with the landscaping, external works and the demolition of the old school due to be completed by mid-April 2012.

The Council says that tghe new buildings represent significant improvements to York’s primary school provision. They enable federated schools to be brought together on single sites in high quality buildings offering exciting new learning opportunities.

FOXWOOD COMMUNITY CENTRE. CRANFIELD PLACE – COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS FAYRE ON SATURDAY 10th.DECEMBER 1.00PM —4.00PM

Santa will be in attendance with goodies for the children. There will also be games, face painting, home made cake stall, refreshments and everything to ensure a fun day is had by all.

The event is organised by the Community Foundation and all monies raised will go to local charities.

Have a funday out and help local people to help the Community in these difficult times .
ENTRANCE FREE!!!

£365,000 to be spent on sports facilities – but no local consultation with residents

The York council has announced how it intends to spend nearly £365,000 of public money. The fund has accrued from Section 106 payments. These are payments are made by land owners who are unable – or unwilling – to provide open space, play or sports facilities on new developments.

In the main they are intended to boost the quality – and sometimes quantity – of publicly available open space and leisure facilities in a neighbourhood.

A meeting next week will decide how to allocate the funding that has accumulated over recent years.

Other schemes in the pipeline could add another £800,000 to the total mainly arising from major developments in the Guildhall, Fishergate and Clifton parts of the City.

Unfortunately, as is the developing trend with the present Council, no public consultation on local priorities has taken place.

Some of the money is being used to boost facilities at private membership clubs. In the past any such contribution would have been conditional on the asset being made available for public access.

There are some glaring omissions from the list. In Westfield the Cornlands Road Park misses out again with no sign of any progress on securing the area much less improving the basic play facilities which exist there.

Improvements to Acomb Green and conservation works on Bachelor Hill are welcome initiatives though.

Grant list by Ward - click image to enlarge

Football and the Civic Trust

This is the latest exchange from the Civic Trust & Oakgate – the potential developers of the Community Stadium at Monks Cross.

Clearly those leading members of the Trust, who have set their sights firmly on stopping the stadium development, have recognised the need to be accountable for their actions.

They also admit that they have no idea how to fulfil York’s need for modern stadium facilities.
Incredibly they now argue for John Lewis to be accommodate3d on a Piccadilly development. The Trust opposed the Piccadilly/Coppergate II development in the early part of the last decade.

Marks and Spencer home ware are set to leave the City centre (whatever happens at Monks Cross) at the (imminent) end of their current lease in Coppergate,

John Lewis is understood not to want to be isolated on the far side of the Foss, It would not be surprising – if the Monks Cross project is turned down – to see them refocus their plans into Leeds.

Civic Trust covering letter

click to enlarge

click image to enlarge

Christmas on line shopping advice from York Neighbourhood Watch

With Christmas fast approaching and many of us not wanting to venture out to the shops, some are wary of online shopping. But don’t be. Millions of people buy online every day without any problems. With a bit of commonsense and knowledge, you can avoid problems with all online purchases.

What Could Go Wrong
■Undelivered goods
■Wrong Products
■Problems with the order
■Misuse of your credit or debit card

Which Sellers to Use
■Pick good sellers, especially when buying from private individuals.
■All websites must have an address on them, make sure they have good contact details to follow up.
■A well designed website, does not mean it will be a good or reputable company.
■Be extra cautious when dealing with a company based overseas and even more so outside the EU.
■Check sellers’ privacy policy and returns policy.
■Use an appropriate, safe means of online payment to get some protection against non-delivery (Google Checkout, Paypal)
■Search for the companies name in google and see what feedback they get from other people who have used them. Consider sharing your feedback so others can see if you have a good or bad experience.

Security
■Use a secure website, this will have a ‘https’ at the beginning of an address bar or a padlock located somewhere on the browser (bottom status bar or in the address bar)
■Click on the padlock to check that the seller is who they say they are and that their certificate is current and registered to the right address.
■Don’t be fooled by a padlock that appears on the web page itself. It’s easy for conmen to copy the image of a padlock. You need to look for one that is in the window frame of the browser itself.

Online ‘Bogus Callers’
■Companies that offer a work from home deal are either illegal pyramid schemes or scams that will not pay
■Always look for feedback on a company from places such as web forums
■If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. Cross-check information on the internet and see if anyone else has had problems.
■Be wary of links sent to you in emails unless they are expected and sent from friends or family

Nether Poppleton care home bid set to fail?

Garden centre site (left) & Care home site (right)

Care home possible site in yellow

Council officials are recommending the refusal of a planning application to build a modern 64 bedroom care home on Great North Way at the York Business Park.

The plot of land is one of several in the Park which has had outline planning permission for over a decade for employment use (probably the provision of office accommodation). Several of the existing offices on the development are currently empty.

The vehicle and pedestrian access to the proposed care home would be from Esk Drive. The proposed building would be in an L shape with the two wings along the north and west edges of the site There would be a car park in the centre of the plot (18 spaces), as well as a cycle store, together with landscaped gardens. It is proposed to have 1.8 metre high railings to the north and west boundaries with a hedging directly behind the other boundaries would be marked by close board fencing. The plans show the building external materials being ivory, blue, and multi red brickwork with a red roof tile. The building would have a number of feature gables together with three storey glazed feature hipped element to the south east elevation. The elevations show solar panels to the south facing roof slope.

The accommodation would be spread over the three storeys; each room would have en-suite facilities. Each floor would have lounge, dining room, and quiet lounge. The kitchen, laundry, and plant room, small shop, and hairdressers would be on the ground floor of the west wing of the building closest to the boundary with the residential properties.

The care home is to provide accommodation for people with dementia ranging from mild to high dependency and also general residential care. It is expected that the residents will be from the local area. There is a shortfall of 211 dementia care beds within the 3 mile catchment area. 42 jobs would be created.
Officials are opposing the development purely on the grounds that the site is part of the land bank reserved for employment use. However they fail to perhaps to recognise that the new local plan (LDF) identifies additional employment land at the nearby Northminster Business Park.

In terms of traffic generation a care home would have less impact than virtually any other use that could be considered for the site.

The report confirms that an adjacent site is still being considered for use as a garden centre (which also is not technically “employment” use).

As we have seen elsewhere, investment is difficult to get in these times and the planning committee will have to balance the proven need to provide improved accommodation for the large numbers of dementia patients living in the City, with what is – at best – a possible long term employment use for the land.

Missed green bins to be collected

City of York Council’s waste chiefs have put plans in place to collect green waste that was missed as a result of Wednesday’s national industrial action, at no extra charge to Council Tax payers.

Following concerns from residents, primarily about missed green bin collections, the council’s waste crews will be collecting missed garden waste on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The next scheduled collection would not have been for two months.