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Foxwood woman fined for dog offence

Two women sentenced following noise complaints against dogs

Two dog owners in York were ordered to pay a total of £2421.74 by York Magistrates on 7 May after failing to comply with the conditions of a noise abatement notice.

Lesley Smith (aged 62 of Hinton Avenue, Foxwood, York) received multiple complaints from neighbours in 2016 following continuous disturbances from her four dogs in the early hours of the morning.

Ms Smith’s dogs were also left outside for up to two hours on an evening, causing further noise disturbance to the neighbours despite numerous warnings, an abatement notice and a caution being issued.

City of York Council Neighbourhood Enforcement Officers carried out surveillance of a property belonging to Samantha Flower (aged 42 of Lincoln Street, Leeman Road, York), after they received multiple complaints from neighbours in 2017.

Council officers employed noise monitoring equipment and noted over 15 barks in one minute after 11pm during a visit to Miss Flower’s property in February 2019.

Appearing at York Magistrates on 7 May, Miss Flower pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the conditions of a noise abatement notice and was fined £120, ordered to pay costs of £100 as well as a surcharge of £30.

Ms Smith pleaded guilty by post to failing to comply with the conditions of a noise abatement notice and was fined £450, ordered to pay costs of £1676.94 as well as a surcharge of £45.

Happy families

Not unexpectedly York Liberal Democrats have announced that they are entering into a “partnership” with the York Green Party to run the York Council. Together the two groups can command a majority of the votes on the new Council.

it was perhaps too much to expect that the new administration would have some policy announcements to underpin the “happy families” photographs. They may be right to adopt a cautious approach although there are pressing issues to be addressed not least those relating to empty property, strategic planning, financial strategy and hiccups in leisure programmes.

As a minimum we would have expected the two parties to have issued a statement indicting how the new authority would be managed. We await confirmation that they will attempt to re-introduce all party decision making committees for example.

There is also the “elephant in the room”. Lack of transparency has been a hallmark of the York Council for the last 8 years. The Council has become semi detached from people who live in the City. Assurances that this will change in the future are needed before any new officials take office on 22nd May.

Policy prospectus decidedly short on specifics. Appears that the Greens aren’t keen on a return to the committee system?

NB. The Liberal Democrat Group has not announced who its officers will be for the forthcoming year. The Leader of the Group would also expect to become Leader of the Council next week, so there is a certain amount of urgency.

More delays to York Local Plan

A planing inspector has told the York Council to consult again on their plans to block MOD bases from being used for house building.

The planning inspectorate says that the changes – agreed earlier in the year – are major and require 6 weeks of public consultation.

The proposals mainly involved the Strensall camp where Natural England argued that redeveloping the base could adversely impact on the nearby nature reserve

In turn this meant that the Green Belt boundary would alter.

The move came as something of a surprise to the MOD who pointed out that part of the base was a previously developed brownfield site – the governments (and Councils) preferred location for housing developments.

The Inspector also wants to see the results of a consultation on new housing need figures. The figures had been scaled back following work by consultants who said that underlying housing demand figures were significantly lower than had previously been forecast.

The shock move means that the start of the “examination in public” will be put on ice again.

It is now unclear when the City can hope to have a fully approved Local Plan in place.

Planning Inspector delays York Local Plan

York river bank needs a tidy up

With the City economy now so dependent on visitors the Council and its partners needs to up its game and give some public areas a face-lift.

Graffiti on Scarborough Bridge
Flood barrier work and graffiti next the Ouse. One of the first things rail travellers see as they enter the City
Missing fencing on Dam Judy Dench Walk – reported several weeks ago – still hasn’t been repaired
while the Lendal Bridge steps need a coat of paint.
Hopefully any investment in public service standards in the City centre won’t be at the expense of the suburbs. Here graffiti and detritus blight Kingsway North
Hopefully the Council will persuade more businesses to “adopt” roundabouts in the City.

Latest planning applications for the Westfield Ward

 Below are the latest planning applications received by the York Council for the Westfield ward. 

Full details can be found by clicking the application reference 


One application would see a major change to the design of replacement buildings at the site of 61a Gale Lane. Planning permission for the demolition of the bungalow was sought in 2017. Now it is to be replaced by 8 flats and 2 semi detached bungalows. There may be issues with parking provision and traffic generation on what is a busy junction. ——-

61A Gale Lane York YO24 3AD

Erection of no.8 one bedroom apartments and no.2 two bedroom semi-detached bungalows following demolition of existing bungalow.

Ref. No: 19/00583/FULM 

61A Gale Lane 2017 plans
61A Gale Lane 2019 plans


Replacement buildings 61A Gale Lane frontage view


Lincoln Court Ascot Way York

Condition 13 (foul and surface water drainage)- 19/00083/FULM 

Ref. No: AOD/19/00147 


Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning on line web site.

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

York Learning celebrates local art with Inspirations exhibit

City of York Council’s York Learning is hosting the annual Inspirations exhibit to celebrate the work of new learners from York Learning’s Drawing, Painting & Watercolour classes.

Inspirations is hosted at York Explore Library from Friday 3 May until Sunday 2 June.

York Learning provides residents with the opportunity to work with qualified tutors to express themselves creatively in a group learning environment.

The creative programme offers regular classes on a term basis, a variety of one day workshops and two community arts projects yearly. Workshops scheduled for autumn and winter include contemporary oil painting, wood carving and, gold and silver leaf gilding.

To view the full range of courses available at York Learning, visit:, email: or call on 01904 552806.

£2 million contracts let to remedy damp Council homes in York

 Contracts have been let to ENGI Regeneration Ltd and G Sanders Builder Ltd

The contract is to carry out remedial works to CYC housing stock that has been identified as having major structural damp problems.

Rising damp

The works will include remediation of the structural damp, and will, in most of the properties also require a new kitchen, bathroom and electrical installation.

Sundry additional works will also be required.

The anticipated spend with these two contracts over the initial two year period of the contract is £1169k plus additional spend on void properties of approximately £800k over two years.

The two contractors above being awarded based on a combination of quality and price scores.

The Council says this is an ongoing programme to resolve significant issues in properties. They go on to confirm that the contract with the previous contractor was not extended due to a failure to deliver the agreed programme.

The suspension of the tenants choice modernisation programme was a source of friction between the tow coalition partners during the last administration.

Standing water has been an issue in a limited number of properties. However those suffering from structural dampness problems are relatively small in number.

Mental Health Awareness Week in York

Improved mental health will be at the front of the minds of a city-wide partnership on Mental Health Awareness Week 13-19 May 2019.

Partners including City of York Council, York Explore, Make It York, York MIND, York Advocacy, York Travellers’ Trust, Yor Peer Support, LGBT groups, Kyra, The Haven, IDAS, York CVS and Ways to Wellbeing, will be reaching out to individuals and groups to talk about mental health, how it can be improved and the support available across the city.

LiveWellYork will be promoting events available across the city – simply look for blue star events at This will include free interactive suicide prevention training, running as part of the #TalkSuicide. If you are looking for activities throughout the year to help improve your health and wellbeing why not check out the community activities directory.

The Talk Suicide campaign will raise awareness of free suicide prevention training. It can be completed in twenty minutes and teaches lifesaving skills, such as being able to spot when someone might be feeling suicidal; how to speak out about suicide and where to correctly signpost someone who is struggling to the correct support and services. More information at .

To support people living with mental health issues, there will be three community events held by partners during the week. Drop-in sessions will be open on Monday 13 May at West Offices (9.30am-4pm) and on Wednesday 15 May on Parliament Street (9.30am-4pm). Both will be jam-packed with information, activities and helpful staff to signpost people to extra resources and sources of good quality mental health support.

On Friday 17 May at 30 Clarence Street (10.30am-4pm) there will be a special day event with information and advice. Afternoon tea will be served made by people attending community recovery projects. There will also be crafts and activities including mindfulness taster sessions which can be booked via

At all three events, green ribbons will be handed out for people to wear and to help show support for and raise awareness of mental health and its importance. These ribbons have special significance as they have been made by people who use the council’s mental health support services. The national theme of Mental Health Awareness Week is body image and there will be activities run at the three events to reflect this. We invite the people of York to wear a green awareness ribbon; lets talk about mental health and stand united against stigma.

Tim Madgwick, independent chair of York’s Mental Health Partnership said:  “We know there are thousands of people living and working in York who struggle with their mental health. There are some great programmes in the city which have changed the lives of people but we also know that there are some people who feel unable speak openly or get any form of help.

“We want to be a city that listens and cares about everyone who has  mental health problems. The week is about broadening the reach to people, we know the first conversation is often the hardest but weeks like these raise awareness and have the capacity to change lives.”

Sharon Houlden, corporate director of health, housing and adult social care at City of York Council, said: 1 in 4 of us1 will experience a mental health problem.

“Mental health really matters, and there is a wealth of support available so no-one need struggle alone. Events like these are so important for raising awareness and signposting people and their friends and family to how they can access good mental health support.”