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Cornlands Park gardening group

Cornlands Park gardening group

Click to enlarge

The Cornlands Community Gardening Group shall now be meeting at 3pm – 5pm on the 1st & 3rd Thursdays of the month.

This is extra to the sessions on the 2nd Tuesday & 4th Saturday of the month.

“The mixture of days may seem a bit confusing but in order for the gardening sessions to be open to more members of the community the different days will be more accommodating”.

The new Thursday session starts this week.

Thursday 5th April 3pm – 5pm
Tuesday 10th April 5pm–7pm
Thursday 19th April 3pm – 5pm
Saturday 28th April 10:30am-12:30pm

Thursday 3rd May 3pm – 5pm
Tuesday 8th May 5pm – 7pm
Thursday 17th May 3pm – 5pm
Saturday 26th May 10:30am-12:30pm

Thursday 7rd June 3pm – 5pm
Tuesday 12th June 5pm-7pm
Thursday 21st June 3pm – 5pm
Saturday 23th June 10:30am-12:30pm

Westfield planning applications

Planning applications Westfield Ward. click to enlarge

There seem to be more planning applications arriving at St Leonards Place than are being dealt with at the moment.

The long running sagas at The Green (planning application for new houses and flats) and St Stephens Road (off street parking space) are still shown on the Councils database as “under consideration”. It will be interesting to see the next set of performance indicators for the York Council planning office as, on the face of it, handing times are increasing.

Not much new of significance this month.

Apart from the usual house extensions and tree works, there seems to be trend in the Front Street/Green Lane area towards converting shops into residential accommodation. Latest is Summersgills at 8 Front Street. We wouldn’t be surprised to see that being the fate of the now vacated Council Offices on the Carr Lane junction.

Reversing the trend is an application to turn 58A Green Lane from residential into a barbers shop.

The proposal for a take away at 53A Front Street was withdrawn following objections.

Metal thieves to feel the impact of Operation Tornado

From 2 April the fight against metal theft will be taken to a new level as Operation Tornado is launched across the Yorkshire and Humber Region in a bid to restrict the movement of stolen metal.

The launch signals a warning to criminals that there is no market for stolen metals in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Already successfully trialled in the North East region earlier this year, Operation Tornado is being implemented by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), the Home Office, British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA), British Transport Police (BTP) North Yorkshire Police, South Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Police and Humberside Police.

Acting Chief Inspector Sarah-Jane Sanderson, of North Yorkshire Police, said:
“As from 2 April, anyone who wants to sell metal to participating dealers in North Yorkshire will now be required to provide proof of their identity by producing either a photo driving licence, passport or national identity card – which must show an address – supported by a utility bill under three months old which also shows their address.

She added: “This is another tool which will help the police stem the tide of metal theft by cutting off criminals’ cash-flow. We have watched the North East pilot with interest and are extremely pleased that we are able to adopt the initiative for North Yorkshire and the City of York.

“The aim is to encourage the estimated 50 to 60 registered scrap metal dealers across North Yorkshire to sign up to the scheme to help fight the trade in stolen metal, making it more difficult for thieves to make money as we will have removed all their avenues to sell metal on.”

Extraordinary’ meeting to save Beckfield Lane Site

Letter to Lord Mayor from Opposition parties.

All opposition councillors have joined together to call for an extraordinary meeting of the Full Council to debate the closure of the Beckfield Lane Household Waste and Recycling Centre.

The call comes as an officer report into the potential closure has been suppressed by leading Labour Councillors. The report is due to be considered at the Tuesday meeting of the Cabinet which is still going ahead at Fulford School (5:30pm – open to the public).

The report – which should have been published on the Councils web site over the weekend – was expected to shed some light on the claims that the closure would save “£130,000” over two years but that figure is now being disputed.

The Liberal Democrats along with Conservative, Green and Independent Councillors have used powers under the council’s constitution to call for the special meeting after the ruling Labour Group’s refusal to halt the controversial closure.

The Beckfield Lane site will close this month in a cost-saving measure by Labour-led City of York Council. However, the plans have sparked protests among those who use the amenity with 2,870 residents signing a petition calling for it to be kept open. This petition was presented at the last Council meeting. The site’s final day of operation is set to be April 15th.

Cllr Carol Runciman, Lib Dem Group Leader on the City of York Council commented:

“When Labour were elected they pledged to make the council more accountable to local people; however, they have completely ignored public opinion on this issue.

“It is essential that we have a proper open debate before the closure of this vital community facility. There is strong local feeling that this site should be kept open or a viable alternative provided.

“There is understandable fear that the closure could increase fly-tipping and hit York’s recycling targets; two areas that Labour promised to deliver on in their 2011 election manifesto.

“Liberal Democrat, Conservative, Green and Independent Councillors want to ensure that these views are heard and hope the site is saved as a result.”

York’s Orbital Cycle Route open

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The Orbital Route is a circular strategic cycle route around the city delivered by City of York Council in response to feedback from York residents wanting quiet mainly off-road routes between the inner and outer ring road. The Orbital Cycle Route is designed to allow users to ‘hop on’ and then ‘hop off’ to destinations around the city. Destinations are signposted by the already familiar blue signs as well as numbered way markers (ranging from 1 to 26) that can also be seen on the popular cycle route map. With the previous Cycling City York and current i Travel York programmes, a number of infrastructure improvements have been made to plug gaps in the existing cycle route network. This will help to ensure that those making journeys by bicycle can travel all the way around York quickly, easily and more safely.

The Orbital Cycle Route, which is depicted on the York Cycle Route Map, begins and ends at Millennium Bridge and features 26 distinctive, numbered metal ‘way-markers’, which highlight the route at key points around the city. From there, the route heads west through South Bank and skirts around The Knavesmire before crossing Hob Moor. It then continues north along quiet residential streets in Acomb before crossing the River Ouse at Clifton Bridge.

From Clifton Green, the route proceeds up Water Lane and Kingsway North, taking advantage of a newly-built off-road cycle path, before heading onto Crichton Avenue, where major improvements were carried out during 2010. It then joins up with the off-road Sustrans cycle track, known as the Foss Islands Route, and continues onto James Street before reaching the junction with Lawrence Street, where major improvements to the signals and cycle crossings have recently taken place. The route then returns to Millennium Bridge from the east via quiet residential roads close to The Barbican and along the riverside cycle track at New Walk from the Blue Bridge.

For more information about cycling facilities and infrastructure in York, visit the Cycling City York website at:, Later in the year there will be a new website replacing this as part of the i Travel York programme catering for all York’s travel needs and information

“Dig up your Roots” – York Libraries launch family history sessions

Dig up your roots this Spring to find out more about your family tree.

Our learning activities are aimed at beginners and will show you how to access and use local and family history resources and archival materials to trace your ancestors.

Ancestry sessions for beginners

These sessions are aimed at absolute beginners of all ages who are looking to research their family tree.

The aim is to give learners the confidence to begin researching their family history using the Ancestry website, which is available free within York Libraries.
•Tang Hall: Monday 2 April, 10.30am – 11.30am
•Copmanthorpe: Monday 16 April, 9.15am – 10.15am
•Poppleton: Wednesday 9 May, 10.30am – 11.30am
•Haxby: Monday 21 May, 9.45am – 10.45am
•Huntington: Tuesday 12 June, 10.30am – 11.30am
•Bishopthorpe: Wednesday 20 June, 2.30pm – 3.30pm

Introduction to family history resources on the internet

This free session is suitable for anybody who has a basic knowledge of how to use computers, and wants to find out about free family history websites. The sessions will cover Ancestry and other websites for UK Birth, Marriage and Death Records and UK census records.
•York Explore: Saturday 26 May, 2.30pm – 4.30pm

Family history for beginners

This free workshop aims to cover the basics of how to start your family tree, and will introduce useful resources like Civil Registration records, census records and parish registers to get you started.
•York Explore: Thursday 20 April, 10am – 12 noon
•York Explore: Thursday 31 May, 2pm – 4pm
•York Explore: Thursday 28 June, 10am – 12 noon

For more information or to book onto any of the courses, please contact your local library staff.

Spring stories for children at Acomb Explore library

Spring Fever at Explore Acomb

Thursday 12 April, 2pm – 3pm at Explore Acomb

Stories and activities for 5 – 11 year olds. Free tickets available from Explore Acomb on (01904) 552651 or . Places are limited so prior booking is advisable.

Spring Fever at Explore York

Monday 2 April, 2.30pm – 3.30pm at Explore York

Stories and activities for 5 – 8 year olds. Free tickets available from Explore York on (01904) 552828 or Places are limited so prior booking is advisable.

Evasion or ignorance?

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The calibre of elected representatives can often be revealed by the quality of answers that they give when questioned on Council affairs. None more so than the well paid members of the Council’s “Cabinet” who are required to respond, to back-bench Councillor’s questions at the quarterly council meetings. These questions are tabled in advance of the meeting so there is little excuse for not knowing the facts.

Last Thursday was a case in point when this little exchange took place (see right).

There were a lot of well publicised problems with the Christmas “Grotto” that the Council arranged to be placed in Exhibition Square last year. Some customers were dissatisfied with the experience. Some staff were also disgruntled.

It seems reasonable therefore that residents should be told how much rent income has actually been received from the organisers of the event? Equally one might have expected some thought to have been given to what might be staged next Christmas?

Council members should remember that information can be obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. They have little to gain by prevarication …… other than to raise suspicions that they are trying to cover up some sort of unpalatable fact.

New parking restrictions proposed in Westfield part of York

Traffic orders are being advertised which would see new parking restrictions imposed on some roads in the Westfield Ward. Several of these respond to resident requests dating back nearly 2 years.

The Council rather famously “ran out of yellow paint” during the last financial year following budget problems, so the delays to considering new requests were inevitable.

Details of the proposals can be found here:

It was agreed by the Council to advertise the Traffic Regulation Orders required to introduction restrictions in St Stephen’s Mews/The Green, Gladstone Street, Kingsway West, 4-12 Grange Lane (Turning Head), Grange Lane and Askham Grove/Askham Lane. If there are no objections raised approval was granted to implement the Traffic Regulation Order.

The streets that were considered for changes were:

1. St Stephen’s Mews/The Green – Agreed junction protection and protection of one side of the carriageway until private parking areas reached.

ST Stephens Mews

2. Clay Place – after consideration it was agreed to take no action at this time but to monitor the situation.

Clay Place

3. Hamilton Drive West – Agreed to No further action.

Hamilton Drive

4. Middleton Road – Agreed to No further action.

Middleton Road

5. Gladstone Street – Agreed for Officer to check the dropped kerb situation near the raised table and introduce any necessary safety measures.

Gladstone Street

6. Kingsway West – Agreed to proposed 10 m extension of waiting restrictions.

click to enlarge Kingsway West

7. 4-12 Grange Lane-Turning Head – Agreed to propose No waiting at Any time. White bar markings to be provided for Number 8 and Number 10 Grange Lane.
8. Grange Lane – after careful deliberation, it was agreed to advertise the proposed No Waiting at Any Time to give better access to driveway access and proposed No Waiting restrictions for turning head and access. It was also agreed to advertise No Stopping on Grass verges restrictions outside Westfield Primary Community School – subject to agreement by the Ward Councillors.

Grange Lane 1

Grange Lane 2

9. Askham Grove/Askham Lane – after discussion agreed to advertise proposed junction protection 10m on opposite the junction on Askham Lane.

Askham Grove