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Cheap booze not the answer.

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On the face of it the Councils Leaders attempt, to allow more choice for landlords in who they get their beer from, is fairly harmless.

Choice is often an important factor for customers and our pubs have been having a thin time of it during the recession.

The successful ones have diversified. Good food and entertainment are keeping user numbers up.

Publicity stunts involving local personalities staggering round serving pints of beer may also have a role to play.

But cheaper booze could increase the threat to the health of many vulnerable residents.

It also impacts on local taxpayers who often have to pick up the bill for alcohol fuelled disorder and the police and NHS response.

Everyone is a responsible position needs to make their position absolutely clear on the need to limit alcohol consumption to sensible levels.

Large increase in small businesses starting-up in York

According to new figures out this week even more small businesses have started up in York than ever before.

The latest data taken from a national BankSearch survey shows a 9.2 per cent increase on new businesses starting up in the city during 2011 compared with the previous year.

Out of all 15 Local Authorities in the region, York sits among the top three for the largest percentage increase from 2010.

Local Authorities % change from 2010
1.Kirklees 11.4 % more
2.Selby 11.2% more
3.York 9.9% more
4.Calderdale 3.2% more
5.Leeds 2.9% more
6.Craven 2.9% more
7.Ryedale 2.4% more
8.Hambleton 1.8% more
9.East Riding of Yorkshire 1.6 % more
10.Bradford 1.4% more
11.Harrogate unchanged
12.Richmondshire unchanged
13.Barnsley 2.8% fewer
14.Wakefield 2.6% fewer
15.Scarborough 1.2% fewer

Simon Williams, North Yorkshire Regional Chairman for Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Setting up and running a business can be a daunting prospect, and it is a lot of hard work. But it is also one of the most rewarding things that you can do and can be one of the most positive changes someone can make for themselves and the community they live in. We are delighted that so many in York are taking the step. These are the people that we should champion – the Real Life Entrepreneurs”

The total number of businesses starting-up in York in:
2008 = 1,119
2009 = 1,266
2010 = 1,511
2011 = 1,661

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”