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Learn to play golf

City of York Council has teamed up with Heworth Golf Club to offer coaching lessons for beginners this February.

The courses are an ideal opportunity for anyone who is still trying to get into the swing of 2012 and are looking for a new sport to play.

The courses will be running for five weeks, starting on Saturday 11 February. It will cost £20 per person for all the sessions and this includes an hour of expert tuition from a club professional, as well as equipment hire.

The previous golf sessions have been highly successful, attracting over 100 people who are new to the sport.

Will Saville, Sports Participation Officer at City of York Council, said: “After the success and popularity of the last lot of coaching at Heworth Golf Club, we decided to offer more opportunities for beginners to get into the sport.”

Places are limited to a maximum of eight per course and are for over 16’s only. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
For further information or to book a place members of the public can contact Will Saville or Robin Lavin on 01904 553377.

School holiday activities @ Energise on Cornlands Road

Energise run many extra courses and activities during school holidays, including climbing, trampolining, tennis and rollerskating. Details on upcoming holiday activities at Energise are available from the Shine webpages.

Activities can be booked by calling Energise on (01904) 552424, or visiting the centre in person. Cash, cheque and most credit or debit cards are accepted and payment must be made on booking.

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Property market – West York

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There isn’t much movement at present in our area in the property market. 10 sales were recorded in the Westfield area in October and November 2011. With prices ranging from £93,500 (Hinton Avenue) to £172,500 (Westfield Place)

There are some bargains around (see right)

Elsewhere in the area, 4 bedroomed houses are advertised for between £134,950 (Morrell Court) and £199,950 (Bellhouse Way)

You could move straight into empty property in Bramham Road (2 bed) for £119,950 or into one in Queenswood Grove (4 bed) for £234,950. A two bedroomed flat in Shelley House is advertised at £120,000
There is a good choice of properties to rent on the private market.

North Yorkshire Mobile Safety (speed) Camera locations 25 – 31 January 2012

North Yorkshire Police will be carrying out mobile safety camera enforcement on 38 roads between Wednesday 25 and Tuesday 31 January 2012.

The roads include:
• A64 Malton by-pass eastbound
• A64 Malton west-bound
• A64 between Whitwell Hill and Barton Hill
• A64 between Barton-le-Willows and Jinnah
• A64 between Barton Hill and Whitwell Hill

A full list can be found on the North Yorkshire Police web site at

Labour to abandon Acomb in 4 weeks?

Acomb Office. Set to close soon?

Rumours are circulating that Labour intend to close the Councils Acomb Office before the end of February. Previously the plan had been to move staff into the new Council HQ which is being built in Toft Green when it was completed in early 2013.

Now it seems that staff face a double move suggesting at least £50,000 extra in costs together with an, as yet unknown, bill for the termination of the York Road office lease. It is expected that the Council will also be liable for dilapidations.

It will almost certainly mean another empty building in the Acomb shopping area which has been blighted in recent months as it struggles to face up to changing economic times.

Officials have been scouting the area looking for cheap premises in which to hold “drop in” sessions but there has been no recent consultation with users of the office about their needs.

The Liberal Democrat Council had announced 2 years ago that it was to move customer facing staff into a small extension to the Acomb “explore” library. The plan was abandoned by Labour after the local elections following a deluge of misinformation about costs. Ironically the current double move strategy will cost taxpayers and tenants more than the original plan while severely limiting the opportunities that customers have to speak with estate managers and community workers.

The panic move comes only a few days before Labour announce, in their budget for the forthcoming year, what is expected to be the biggest cut in public service standards for over 50 years.

Bike suspect captured on CCTV

Bike theft suspect

York police have released a CCTV image of a man suspected of stealing a bike.

The image shows the suspect stealing a silver Raleigh mountain bike from the rear yard of the British Heart Foundation shop on North Street sometime between 11am and 5pm on 21 September 2011.

Officers are appealing to anyone who recognises the suspects to get in touch.

PC David Scaife, of York police, said: “The suspect can be seen on CCTV cutting a phone cable which the bike was locked to and riding off with the lock still attached to the bike.

“I am appealing to anyone who can help us identify him to contact the police or Crimestoppers with information.”

Anyone who can help the police with their enquiries is urged to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 – select option 2 – and ask for PC David Scaife or York police.

Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting reference number 12110161122.

York in Bloom

City of York Council is reminding residents that the closing date for Yorkshire in Bloom entrants is Tuesday 31 January.

Possible entrants have until next week to take part in the Yorkshire in Bloom competition and could be someone who works in their local neighbourhood to create lasting environmental improvements or someone who just Loves Where They Live*.

Yorkshire in Bloom is part of Britain in Bloom, the largest horticultural campaign in Europe, which seeks to improve local neighbourhoods through the competition fostering a sense of civic pride and community spirit involving local organisations such as schools, voluntary groups, businesses and residents.

York in Bloom has entered the city category. Other entries so far from York include Low Moor Community Kids’ Allotment, Fulford in Bloom, Upper and Nether Poppleton in Bloom, Coppergate Centre, York St John University, Dunnington, Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Primary School and the Royal York Hotel.

Liz Levett, head of Environmental Enforcement and Parking Services, said: “This is a great way for us to celebrate and recognise our community efforts. The York in Bloom committee is happy to give help and support to individual entries. It is easy to enter – just go to the Yorkshire in Bloom website”

Better Buses

Vehicles used in York eco bus trial in 2010

The York Council is being urged to submit a bid to the better bus fund. All Local Authorities can bid for a maximum of £5million from the £50million fund. The investment is to support improvements to the bus network which will deliver “benefits for the bus passenger and economy and reduce carbon emissions”.
All bids must be submitted by 24th February 2012 and can be made up of capital, revenue, or a combination of the two.

The Liberal Democrat led Council initiated the trial use of low emission buses over 12 months ago and use of the fund could have helped to introduce such vehicles into the City on a permanent basis.

Bids need the support of key bus operators. Proposals that receive the support of all bus operators in the area will be preferred and proposals must not favour one particular bus operator.

Whilst match funding is not a prerequisite, preference will be given to bids which have an element of match funding either from the Local Authority or bus operators.

It is understood that the Council propose to undertake works on a spine route that has been highlighted by operators as a location of “unpredictable delay”, namely Stonebow-Pavement- Coppergate, linked to the adjoining stretch of Clifford Street- Ouse Bridge-Micklegate-George Hudson Street-Rougier Street-Station Avenue.

The Council says it proposes to work with operators to identify improvements in the following areas:
• reliability of traffic movements
• restriction and enforcement
• highway and waiting facility/interchange improvements
• carbon/emission improvements

“Strategic modelling work is being undertaken that will identify traffic redistribution patterns as a result of restrictions and highlight junctions where improvements will be required in order to support the alterations to the spine”.

In other words, they area intending to go ahead with their plans to ban cars and trucks from most of the City centre. Ironic in the extreme given that Labour in 2003 opposed more pedestrianisation because of its “knock on” effect it might have on alternative routes such as Kingsway North.

Do you believe people who’ve worked hard all their lives deserve a fair deal in their retirement?

We do.

It’s why we’re delighted that Lib Dems in Government have delivered the biggest ever rise to the basic state pension.

From April the basic state pension will go up by £5.30 a week.

That’s a massive £200,446.00 for the 37,820 older people living here in York.

And the news gets better.

Pensioners can feel secure knowing the Lib Dem ‘triple-lock guarantee’ means their basic state pension will go up every year. It will rise in line with earnings, inflation, or by £2.50 – whichever is the most.

Never again will there be insulting 75p increases like there were under the last Labour Government.

Pensioners can check they’re receiving everything they’re entitled to by calling AgeUK’s national helpline on 0800 169 6565.