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More York parks fly the Green Flag

It has been announced that Clarence Garden has retained Green Park status, putting it alongside four other parks in the city that also have the award.

Clarence Garden joins Rowntree Park, West Bank Park, Rawcliffe Country Park and Glen Gardens. These parks and garden were awarded green flag status in 2016.

This international award, now into its third decade, is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

Cllr Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism said: “It’s great to see that another community space has been awarded Green Flag status and this is testament to the hard work of both the friends groups and council staff who work to make these areas welcoming places for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

The Green Flag Awards recognise well managed parks and open spaces for all to enjoy and is the benchmark national standard in the UK. Launched in 1996, it promotes excellence in recreational green areas and standards are measured against eight criteria:

  • A welcoming place
  • Healthy, safe and secure
  • Clean and well maintained
  • Sustainability
  • Conservation and heritage
  • Community involvement
  • Marketing
  • Management

For more info on York’s parks visit https://www.york.gov.uk/directory/9/people_and_communities_directory/category/10

Task group to address mental health issues among York students

A report highlighting health problems faced by further and higher education students in York was accepted by York’s Health and Wellbeing Board on Wednesday 12 July, as was its recommendation that a task group led by the city’s universities and colleges is set up to address the issues found.

Recognising that students’ health needs – and mental health needs in particular – are changing, the report was commissioned by the Health and Wellbeing Board from City of York Council to help guide commissioners and service providers to meet student need.

While addressing health needs in the round, the report found that mental health has overtaken traditional issues such as sexual health, drugs and alcohol as the main area of concern among students. It suggests measures including improving preventative services and creating a greater understanding and openness around mental health to reduce stigma and so prevent delays in accessing support.

Of a survey of 1,800 students, the report found 45 per cent reported having either a diagnosed or an undiagnosed mental health condition. Students reported a large number of factors affecting their mental wellbeing, including academic pressures, finance, social relationships and physical health problems.  Continue reading

York increased childcare hours project assessment published

Leaders of York’s childcare sector have today met Children and Families Minister Robert Goodwill MP.

City of York Council chaired a round tab discussion that included councillors, local authority officers and providers from both York and North Yorkshire in advance of the national roll out of the 30 hours additional hours programme in September 2017.

The meeting at the council’s West Offices discussed the early implementer programme offering eligible parents 30 hours childcare, as an independent evaluation of the programme’s trial was published by the government today.

As one of eight early implementers of the programme, City of York Council has been sharing learning with North Yorkshire County Council – one of the next four councils to launch the offer to working parents of three and four-year-olds – and eight other local authorities in preparation for the national roll out in September 2017.

The Minister expressed his appreciation and admiration of the way in which together, the council and local providers have exceeded the city’s target to provide a high quality programme with tangible benefits to parents. Private providers also spoke about the welcome support they have had from the council.

Feedback from parents included one mother who found the additional childcare hours had given her to time to start up her own business, others – including armed forces families – found it gave them valuable additional support and others felt it made working more manageable and affordable.

This summer, the Council is expecting that 1,730 children will benefit from additional hours. York is the first council to include out of school clubs in the programme to give parents additional flexibility.

Residents invited to talk rubbish as York council reviews recycling sites

City of York Council wants to know more about how residents use recycling banks across the city, and how they want to use them in the future.

The council is reviewing around 50 sites which contain banks for recycling between one and 12 different materials.  These are mainly situated in car parks, streets and other public areas of the city.

Residents are asked to fill in a short online survey to influence the review, which will look at the number of the sites, where they are located, the range of materials which can be recycled, and their general appearance.

Residents have until Wednesday 9 August to fill in the survey, which they can access from consultation page of council’s website https://www.york.gov.uk/consultations

Councillor Andrew Waller, executive member for the environment, said:

Recycling bins in Acomb car park

“We want to improve our recycling rates further in York, and want to modernise the ‘bring banks’ network as it is looking tired in places, and some gaps have appeared in parts of the city where landowners have asked for them to be removed.

“We are receiving requests all the time for new materials such as cartons to be included and so want to respond to support residents.

We are encouraging residents to engage with the council to fill in the survey so that we can provide the right recycling banks in the right places.”

In 2016/17, the recycling sites collected an estimated 800 tonnes of materials, and cost the council around £75,000.

The city’s two Household Waste Recycling Centres are not part of this review.

Threat to future of Chesneys Field amenity area?

Reports are coming in that the York Council is in private discussions about leasing off the Chesneys Field amenity area,

Chesney’s Field

It is claimed that they hope to re-home the Woodthorpe Wanderers football team there when they evict that organisation as part of a controversial plan to build on the sports pitches at Lowfields.

Hitherto, it had been understood that any plans to build on the Lowfields playing field would be subject to the provision of additional sports pitches elsewhere in the area.

However, as the pitches at Chesneys Field have been rented out on a seasonal basis for over 25 years, to both football and rugby teams, it seems unlikely that site would meet the criteria set by bodies such as Sport England and the National Playing Fields Association.

Any attempt to limit public access to Chesneys Field is likely to be strongly resisted by residents.

The Foxwood Residents Association has invested heavily in the field. It is the only substantial area of publicly accessible open space available since railings were erected by the Rugby Club around the adjacent Thanet Road sports area.

Chesney’s Field Interpretation board unveiled last year

Following the upgrade made to the play equipment on Chesneys Field, residents have supervised tree and bulb planting, the installation of seats and an interpretation board. Litter is regularly cleared from the area by volunteers.

The investment made to improve the area has mainly been through residents own fundraising activities and co-operation with partners

The amenity area is generally well used against a background of under-provision of green space and play facilities in much of the Westfield area.

The issue is likely to be raised at a meeting of the Foxwood Residents Association which is taking place on Wednesday.

NB: We also understand that the Rugby Club may seek to revive the idea of erecting a stand and other facilities next to one of their pitches on the other side of the road. Residents will be watching any such proposal carefully and will insist on compensatory, publicly accessible, amenity land being made available if any is lost through development on the Thanet Road area.

Latest planning applications for the Westfield Ward

Below is the latest planning application received by the York Council for the Westfield ward.

Part of Ward’s newsagents could be turned into flats

Full details can be found by clicking the words highlighted in blue

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Ward Newsagents 45 York Road Acomb York YO24 4LN

Change of use from 1no. retail unit and 1no. residential unit to 1no. retail unit and 3no. residential units including the conversion of the second floor loft space and dormer windows to the front and rear elevations

Ref. No: 17/01608/FUL 

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Specsavers Acomb 1B Front Street York YO24 3BW

Display of 6no. non illuminated fascia signs and 1no. non illuminated hanging sign

Reference           17/01684/ADV

45 Gale Lane York YO24 3AD

Extension to garage and increase in height

Ref. No: 17/01621/FUL  

——

226 Thoresby Road York YO24 3ER

Two storey and single storey rear extension

Ref. No: 17/01291/FUL 

——–

The Acomb Kingsway West York YO24 3BA

Display of 2no. internally illuminated fascia signs and 1no. non illuminated message board

Ref. No: 17/01275/ADV 

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 Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning on line web site.  http://planningaccess.york.gov.uk/online-applications/

The Council now no longer routinely consults neighbours by letter when an application is received

Special Constable recruitment in York: webchat on Wednesday

Anyone interested in becoming a Special Constable is invited to join a webchat hosted by North Yorkshire Police as part of its ongoing recruitment campaign.

The force has assembled a panel of experts including current Special Constables and Human Resource staff who can answer any questions potential recruits may have about joining up.

The webchat will take place on Wednesday 19 July 2017 between 6pm and 7pm. To take part, go to northyorkshire.police.uk/webchat.

Special Constables are volunteer police officers who have the same uniform and powers as regular (paid) police officers. They volunteer a minimum of 16 hours per month to policing York and North Yorkshire and carry out a full range of operational, front-line duties.

“Specials” as they are known, come from all walks of life and backgrounds, which means that they bring with them a whole host of skills and abilities which complement those of their full-time colleagues.

The force is actively encouraging applicants from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, and people who are looking for a new challenge, but want to remain in their current careers.

Special Constables on road safety operation

Special Chief Officer, Sharron Moverely-Holmes, has been a Special Constables for over 30 years. She said: “We realise that many people who are thinking of applying will have lots of questions and we want to make sure they have all the information they need before embarking on what is a big commitment.

“Being a Special Constable is a unique and privileged volunteer role, and while it can be very challenging and demanding, it brings immense rewards –  from helping people in their times of need, to developing new skills for life and taking advantage of new opportunities.”

If you can’t make the webchat, you can submit your questions in advance via Facebook.com/NorthYorkshirePolice

For more information about becoming a special and to apply, visit northyorkshire.police.uk/specials

Here we go again – More consultation over access road to York Central

 

Another consultation is to take place on how traffic will access the York central site.

Its over ten years since the options were first published. Since then, debate has raged over whether the link should be from Holgate Road or Water End.  The Chancery Rise option was favoured by the then Labour controlled Council who adopted it with little respect for objectors views.

Public consultation – York central access options 2007

The now the coalition run authority is trying to sort out the mess left by their predecessors.

The proposed consultation on access routes into the York Central site by the York Central Partnership has been given the green light by senior councillors.

City of York Council’s Executive made the decision after receiving an update on progress on the project to redevelop the 72-hectare site, which sits next to the city’s railway station.

York Central Partnership is working towards creating a heritage-led masterplan that will be the first step in opening up the previously landlocked site and demonstrate how it can create new neighbourhoods, parks and public spaces, as well as providing significant new housing and grade-A commercial office space on the largest brownfield site in northern England.

York Central Partnership is made up of Network Rail, the Homes and Community Agency, City of York Counciland the National Railway Museum, whose own ambitious masterplan will form part of the eventual plans.

York Central is a severely constrained site, entirely surrounded by railway lines; the main east coast route connecting London to Edinburgh and the ‘avoiding lines’ for freight trains to bypass the station, in addition to significant rail yards.

Views are now being sought on the ways that vehicles can access the site. A study has already considered factors including the engineering challenge, land availability, and the environment but further views are being sought on the community impact, including noise and visual impact.

York Central access route coptions July 2017

The partnership will present three possible access options for consultation. Two relate to a potential link from Water End into the western part of the site and the third would see access created from Chancery Rise.

Three previous access options being considered, which would have seen a link coming off Poppleton Road have been rejected because they either land on the York Yard South railway sidings, which are still required for rail use until 2023 at the earliest, or would disrupt the use and development of the Network Rail Holgate Engineering Works.

York Central Partnership plans to carry out the consultation on options for the access road in August and September, which will be followed later in the year with a consultation on the scheme’s masterplan.

In the run up to the consultation, the Partnership is also seeking to arrange a series of meetings with groups and individuals interested in the scheme. These sessions will be to explain about the process to date, how it will continue to develop and the key points where groups can get involved to have their say.

At the meeting, executive councillors were also asked to recommend to Council that a wider budget of £37.4m be approved for York Central transport improvements funded from the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund.

3 access routes for public consultation July 2017