Charter Weekend in York : what to see and where to see it

Charter Weekend – celebrating exactly 800 years since York was granted its Royal Charter by King John on 9 July 1212 – is here. There are many special events in York from Saturday 7 to Monday 9 July for residents and visitors alike.

These are the details of the weekend programme:

Saturday 7 July

NEW A taster from Ebor Vox in Dean’s Park at 13:00 (behind the minster)

‘Flash’ choirs will be springing up in the city centre at cafes, shops and visitor attractions between 2 and 5 pm

• MOR Music Festival: Parliament Street : 800 minutes of live music of many different types, from 10.30 am to midnight. Full details of the schedule are on

Meet the King: Clifford’s Tower : meet King John in full regalia, ready to receive his subjects and anyone who wishes to petition him. 11am -5pm. Normal admission charges apply.

York Minster: tower trips from 9.30am to 5pm, and the York Minster 8 Wonders Tour : 2.30 pm.

Sunday 8 July

Simply Vintage Market: Parliament Street : from jewellery to furniture, from vinyl to hair makeovers, clothing and more, plus vintage lambrettas : 10am to 5pm.

Choral evensong: York Minster : a special evensong to celebrate York 800 : 4pm.

Monday 9 July

York 800 market: Parliament Street : specially decorated stalls and traders in celebratory attire: 10am to 6.15 pm.

York 800 cake giveaway: Parliament Street : a free treat of tea and cake made by students at York College : 3pm until they’re gone!

• Clifford’s Tower: late opening until 9pm. Normal admission prices apply.

• Ebor Vox (the voice of York) present ‘This York’: choirs will process from York Minster (leaving at 6pm) to the Eye of York (near Clifford’s Tower), accompanied by drummers. The city centre streets will be alive with music. Hundreds of singers will reach the Eye of York at 6.30pm, joined by hundreds of schoolchildren, giant puppets, dancers and the Shepherd Group Brass Band. They will perform ‘This York’, written by Benjamin Till and directed by Stephen Burke. The evening will finish at approximately 8pm.

Full details of the weekend’s events are on

Search for missing Scarborough woman moves to Acomb

Kimberley Reavley


Search for missing Scarborough woman moves to Acomb

Police searching for missing Scarborough woman, Kimberley Reavley, have moved the focus of their enquiries to York.

Officers have been making numerous enquiries and now strongly believe that Kimberley is in the Acomb area of the city.

Kimberley is 25, white with a stocky build and shoulder length brown hair. She has blue and black dots and lines tattooed on her left hand and a smoking hippo on her left ankle.

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Data Protection issue at York Council – residents put at risk

Concern over residents’ details being put online

Opposition councillors are demanding answers after it was revealed that residents’ personal details are being published on a council website.

Cllr Nigel Ayre, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Heworth Without, is calling on the Council Leader to give assurances about the confidentiality of residents’ personal details after it was revealed that City of York Council’s online ‘Smarter York’ system allows the public to view all incidents reported and the name of who reported them.

The Council launched the new ‘app’ in March through the Smarter York website. It allows anybody with a smart phone to take a picture of issues on the streets such as littering or graffiti and send it, together with details of the location, to the authority.

Cllr Ayre commented:

“The consequences of putting the name of residents reporting issues into the public domain are obvious. If a resident contacts the Council about graffiti or littering, the perpetrator of that graffiti or littering can easily see who has reported them. Imagine a resident complaining about a gang of kids causing trouble outside their house, only for that gang to be able to go home and see who has reported them.

“We have no issue with the person reporting the problem getting access to and being able to track the information, but there are serious data protection issues in anyone else seeing that information. Residents should feel they can contact the Council in confidence without their details and the nature of their complaint being published on a website. It is wrong and it terms of data protection law could well be illegal as the data is being disclosed to other parties without the apparent consent of the individual”.

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First woman to be Dean of York

Vivienne Faull

Vivianne Faull, who is currently the Dean of Leicester, is to take over as Dean of York in succession to Keith Jones. She will be the first woman to hold the position.

The appointment is an important one as it comes only a few months before the “Minster Revealed” project opens to the public.

Vivianne Faull was educated at The Queen’s School, Chester and St Hilda’s College, Oxford. Ordained deaconess in 1982 and priest in 1994,] she served first at St Matthew and St James, Mossley Hill and then as Chaplain at Clare College, Cambridge. From 1990 to 2000, she was on the staff at Gloucester Cathedral before moving to Leicester. On 13 May 2000,[4] she was installed as Provost of Leicester Cathedral – the first (and, due to the Cathedrals Measure 1999 redesignating all cathedral provosts as deans, only) female cathedral provost in Church of England history. Since later that year, when her job title (but not the essential nature of the role) changed, she has been the Dean of Leicester – with that change of title, she became the first female Dean in the Church of England.

Minister for Business Innovation and Skills sees York’s economic potential firsthand

Lib Dem Minister Vince Cable

The Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable, Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills visited York today (5 July) and met with City of York Council to discuss the economic potential of one of the largest brownfield development sites in the country -York Central.

Situated next to the railway station, the site offers a great opportunity for development of a high quality, mixed use development with efficient local, regional and national connections. Focusing on York’s proven growth sectors of creative and knowledge based industries, business services and financial/insurance services the redevelopment of the site could create over 7,500 new jobs.

Network Rail have recently secured planning consent for a state of the art training centre within the site and the council are preparing a planning and delivery framework to guide public and private sector investment in the site.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The Government is committed to help close the gap between North and South and encourage strong and sustainable growth across different industries. Today’s visit to Yorkshire highlights how different sectors and companies are playing their part from greener manufacturing to exports.”

City of York Council Chief Executive, Kersten England, said: “York has successfully reinvented itself from a railway and confectionery manufacturing city into an international hub for science and technology and a national centre for financial and business services. We are the third fastest growing city in the UK and we need to continue to evolve and develop our assets, such as York Central, to remain an attractive proposition for investors and competitive in industry. ”

Vince Cable has today also opened a new centre to help develop renewable products, such as chemicals, from plants at the University of York.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) awarded the university a £2.5 million capital grant to create the Biorenewables Development Centre, a pilot centre for industry and academics to work on new processes to convert plants and biowastes, such as agricultural and food waste into products, such as chemicals.

The European Regional Development Fund also invested about £1 million into the centre.

Nick Clegg announces £1 billion boost for York and Leeds

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

The government is today announcing that over £1 billion will be made available to York and Leeds to boost employment opportunities and to tackle transport issues.

The funds bring with them additional powers and responsibilities.

As well as the central government funding, local Councils will be able to charge a new levy on Council Tax bills and will also have a power to borrow against future revenue.

New apprenticeship hubs are expected to be established locally with the intention of bringing together buoyant small businesses and unemployed young people. Transport investment may concentrate on rail development – in itself good news for the many rail based companies in York – but offering little early relief to local road congestion issues.

Whether York residents will see the full benefit of the plan therefore remains to be seen.

The local Council Leader has today used his 3 monthly report to Council to blame the Liberal Democrats for cuts to Council services in York – conveniently forgetting that the most criticised local cuts could have been avoided if the, carefully costed, alternative budget put forward by the party in February, had been adopted (see

………….And there is even talk of scrapping the York Council with decisions being centralised into a Leeds Super Authority. That could be a heavy price to pay for the further erosion of the powers that York people have to influence what happens in their City and their neighbourhoods.

It will require a responsible approach to debt management if the power to borrow against income is to be used prudently (not something that is a strength of the current York Council Leadership) while the temptation to levy a supplementary Council Tax bill is one that should be resisted at least until the use for the funding has been identified and residents have been consulted properly on the advantages that would result from such a move.

Call to put back lost bins

Council staff removing litter bins

The Liberal Democrat Group will formally call for 349 litter and dog bins to be returned to the streets of York at a Council meeting next week. The demand follows the removal in recent weeks of 1 in 3 of the city’s litter bins by the Labour run City of York Council. A move that has sparked anger amongst local residents and opposition councillors.

Cllr Ann Reid, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Environmental Services who will move the motion, commented:

“Councillors across the city have been contacted by residents annoyed that bins disappeared overnight and demanding that they be put back. Labour took the decision to remove 349 bins without any consultation with residents, councillors or community groups and the backlash has been clear. We are asking Labour to listen to residents and restore the bins in all areas where there is a demand to do so. Residents seem particularly concerned about bins being cut outside shops or near bus stops and it is clear that these should be put back immediately.”

The Liberal Democrat Group will suggest that the move be funded through a reduction in cabinet members. When Labour took control of the Council in May 2011 they controversially added an additional cabinet member to take the overall number to 8.

Cllr Reid commented:

“Last year at a time when the number of directors and assistant directors in the Council was reducing and those remaining were being asked to take on more responsibility, Labour decided to increase the number of the highest paid councillors. It would appear that Labour are prioritising their own pay packets over basic services while trying to blame the government for any cuts. Our motion suggests we remove the extra paid position that Labour added and further reduce by one the number that was previously in place.

“It is quite clear at this time the priority of the Council should be maintaining a clean and attractive city and providing basic frontline services for residents, it should not be underserved pay increases for Labour councillors.” Continue reading

Apprenticeship vacancies for a blacksmith, heating engineer, electrician and road workers.

City of York Council has announced today that it will be offering another five apprenticeships.

This comes in addition to the 30 apprenticeships already offered, for which a staggering 200 applications were received, bringing the total number of apprenticeships on offer to 35.

The council is now on the hunt for two road workers and blacksmith (deadlines 8 July), a heating engineer and an electrician (deadlines 15 July) to join their group of apprentices starting in September.

The additional apprenticeships are advertised on the National Apprentice Service (NAS) website, details can be found on