Lincoln Court modernisation – decision on 15th March

Lincoln Court

We have reported previously that the decision to demolish Windsor House in Ascot Way would have a knock on effect on the adjacent Lincoln Court sheltered accommodation.  The heating boiler for both buildings is located within Windsor House.

It became clear last week that the council had allocated £60,000 in its budget to replace all the windows at Lincoln Court. A much needed improvement.

Now we understand that another report is to be presented to the Councils Executive committee on 15th March. The report will talk about remodelling the communal areas in the building and modernising/remodeling the apartments.

If approved, the new building would be dubbed “Sheltered Housing Plus”.

The Council says that  the users of the current community facilities will also be engaged in shaping the re-design and the development of the new facilities and services. The work would be undertaken as part of the Council’s “Older peoples programme”. This project has a poor reputation in the Westfield area officials having run roughshod over the views of those local residents who wanted to conserve the Lowfields playing fields.

The programme officials also threatening to fence off the open space on Chesney’s Field, causing more anger from locals.

The older persons programme is massively in delay with new elderly care facilities, promised for 2014, still not off the ground.

Hopefully any consultation will be more meaningful on this occasion.

Universal Credit and its impact in York – Call for Evidence

Later this year, a Council report regarding the impact of Universal Credit and it’s rollout in York will be presented to the Executive Member for Adult Social Care.  As part of this, the Liberal Democrats would like to hear from residents about their experiences of accessing Universal Credit.

The report, due to be presented on the 14th June 2018, will be given to Cllr Carol Runciman to consider as part of her responsibilities to review financial inclusion in York.

Given the controversial nature of Universal Credit and the difficulties some residents have had using the service; the Liberal Democrats are keen to ensure residents in York have their experiences included as part of the report, so it is truly reflective of the current situation.

If a resident would like to share their experience of Universal Credit in York, then please do contact Cllr Carol Runciman at cllr.crunciman@york.gov.uk to make sure your observations are included.

Cllr Carol Runciman, Liberal Democrat Executive Member for Adult Social Care, said:

“The rollout of Universal Credit has caused a great deal of stress for many residents across the City.”

“It is absolutely vital that the Council considers the impact of Universal Credit in York and listens to the experiences of residents using the system.”

“I would strongly encourage anyone who accesses Universal Credit to share with their experiences me and ensure that their voices are included as part of this report.”

Free school meals

The Tory government is repealing the free school meal legislation introduced by the last coalition government.

New regulations published this week indicate that a child will only receive a free mid day meal if his or her parents are in receipt of Universal Credit and earn less that £617 a month.

The new rules come into effect on 1st April 2018

Several families in York are expected to be hit hard by the new cut.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/148/pdfs/uksi_20180148_en.pdf

 

Plans for Centre of Excellence for Disabled Children revealed.

Ascot Way proposals generally welcomed

The plans to establish a new centre for disabled children on the former Windsor House site on Ascot Way were generally welcomed at a public meeting held on Monday. The plans will now be discussed at a Council Executive meeting next week

The Council says that the new building will be the setting for a range of support services which will enable disabled children to remain in their families and in their community, delivered from a safe, accessible space

  • Flexible short break provision to meet the needs of children and young people with Autism, Learning Disabilities and/or additional health needs.
  • Family Intervention Rapid Support Team (FIRST) and Therapeutic Short Breaks a specialist Clinical Psychology led intensive assessment and intervention service for families with children and young people who have Autism and Learning Disability and challenging behaviour which affects their ability to live in the local community

The facility will be linked to Hob Moor Oaks special school. Disabled children will be able to walk to the new provision after school, instead of being transported across the city on minibuses. Part of the playing field of the school will be used for the project.

The buildig will replace the facilities currently provided at The Glen.

The scheme is imaginative and worthy of support. However, the proposal to retain the front entrance (and therefore vehicular access) via Ascot Way is controversial. There are already congestion and parking problems in the area. An access, with car parking,  via Hob Moor school would address this issue, while offering the opportunity to provide better accessibility for Lincoln Court.

The detailed plans also suggest that an outdoor play area be provided adjacent to Lincoln Court. While many older people like to feel involved in the local community, inevitably playgrounds can be noisy places. We think that the location of this part of the facility should be reconsidered.

Residents will hope that any building work on the project will not take place at the same time as the threatened development of the Newbury Avenue garage site.

Illustrations of what is proposed are reproduced below

Haxby Hall care home to be privatised

Councillors will consider the future of Haxby Hall older persons’ home when they meet on Thursday 25 January.

Following a consultation with residents, relatives and staff at Haxby Hall, the council’s Executive will be asked to note the feedback and make a decision on whether to transfer ownership and management of the care home to an independent sector provider, with the aim of securing its future and providing modern, improved facilities.

If the transfer of Haxby Hall is agreed councillors will also be asked to:

  •      Agree to procure a developer to take over Haxby Hall as a going concern with a commitment to delivering improved care facilities on the site.
  •      To dispose of the site of the care home in return for a capital receipt which will reinvested as part of the Older Persons’ Accommodation Programme.
  •      To procure a contract that will allow the council to purchase a specified number of beds at an agreeable rate.

In December 2016, Executive agreed to consult with residents, relatives and families on the option to seek a partner to take over the 49 bed care home, with a commitment to delivering improved care facilities.
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York Trading Ltd

City of York Trading Ltd is a trading company owned by the City of York Council. It was established in 2011 to provide “a vehicle for the trading of a range of services to both the public and the private sector”

In effect it used surplus labour at the council to fill temporary vacancies.

The company has a Conservative Councillor as its Chair. There is also a Labour Councillor on its board.

The accounts filed at Company House reveal that the Company made a profit of £269,918 in the year ending March 2017.  A dividend of £75,000 was paid.

Following criticism about lack of transparency, the company published its board meeting minutes – without providing much financial information – regularly until March 2017. No meeting minutes have been published since then

In 2016 the Council’s Executive approved new governance arrangements for Council owned companies.

A “Shareholders Committee” would meet to look after taxpayer’s interests.

In March 2017 the Shareholders committee agreed to adopt “a pattern of meetings allowing a presentation from each company to be considered twice a year”.

According to the Councils web site it has held no further meetings since then.

So how well is City of York Trading doing?

In September 2017, York Trading received £166,816 from the York Council. They had supplied admin workers, care workers, child support workers, community workers & life guards.

By far the largest sum though was paid to them for the supply of social workers and senior social workers.

According to the Councils open data web site York Trading services haven’t been paid by the Council since then.

Public meeting to discuss future of Windsor House site

Plans for Centre of Excellence for Disabled Children

Windsor House which would be demolished under the plans

Residents are being invited to give their views at a Westfield ward meeting being held on 15th January 2018. The meeting is being held at Hob Moor school with the Windsor House item being discussed from 7:30pm

No details are given of access arrangements. There are concerns that any intensification of the use of the Windsor House site on Ascot Way, would exacerbate traffic congestion and parking problems in the area.

A decision on whether to proceed with the centre idea is due to be taken at a Council executive meeting being held on 25th January 2018

A special website gives more details of the disability centre plans.

Disability Centre of Excellence Monthly Updates

What we have done

  • Final feasibility design, layout and site options have been presented by Gilling Dod Architects to a group of key staff, managers, parent / carers and partner agencies.
  • A potential land option for the Centre of Excellence has been agreed by Council Executive in December. This is the site of Windsor House Older Person Accommodation, which is planned to close. This land is adjacent to the Hob Moor Oaks Special School playing fields. Discussions are taking place with Hob Moor Federation of Schools about co locating part of the new provision and its outdoor amenities and space on some of the surplus playing field land.
  • A report is being prepared for the Council Executive meeting on 25th January 2018. This report will ask Elected Members to commit the capital needed to build a Centre of Excellence for Disabled Children and their families and seek agreement for the preferred site layout
  • The report also contains information about how staffing roles and structures will develop in the future in order to deliver a new way of working within a Centre of Excellence.

What we plan to do next

  • We will communicate the decision following the meeting on 25th January to parent /carers, staff and partner agencies.
  • If there is agreement to progress the project to an implementation phase, we will continue to adopt a co production approach of involving parent /carer, staff, children and young people and partner agencies in each stage of the future development.
  • Finally, hope you all have a great Christmas and new year. Thank you all for your time, energy, enthusiasm, ideas and input that has helped shape and develop this project to the stage we are at now.

 How you can be involved

Please send ideas, questions, feedback to feasibility@york.gov.uk

For more information please contact william.shaw@york.gov.uk

Keep checking web pages for the latest information and areas that we are working on that we want feedback on

Better news for Lincoln Court

Lincoln Court

Elderly residents of sheltered accommodation units at Lincoln Court can expect the building to be modernised next year,.

Top of the priority list is new windows although a  general uplift is also needed.

The building was discussed yesterday at the Councils Executive committee meeting which decided to close the adjacent Windsor House elderly persons home.

The two buildings share a heating system.

Residents of Lincoln Court had been left in suspense while Council officials consulted about closure plans but it now seems that the future of the sheltered accommodation is secure.

A report on the future of the Windsor House site is expected early next year. One is suggestion is that a “centre of excellence” for disabled people should be built there.

The Council will first have to address chronic traffic congestion and parking problems in the Kingsway West/Ascot Way/Windsor Garth area.