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300 YORK TWO YEAR OLDS TO BENEFIT FROM FREE NURSERY PLACES

Around 300 two year olds in York from disadvantaged backgrounds could soon benefit from free nursery places for 15 hours a week from September 2013, thanks to Liberal Democrats in Government.
All three and four year olds are currently entitled to 15 hours of free early education a week across 38 weeks of the year but today Liberal Democrat Children’s Minister, Sarah Teather announced details of the expansion of the scheme to all two year olds who would qualify for free school meals.
Parents will also be able to take advantage of more flexibility in the scheme which, for example, will allow them to use the hours in two 7 ½ hour slots, giving them more opportunity to work.
Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Children and Young People’s Services, Councillor Keith Aspden welcomed the announcement. He said, “High quality early education is the key to making a difference early on in a child’s life and helping them make the most of their potential.”
“Targeting early education at those who stand to benefit most will be an integral part to disadvantaged children’s healthy development. It will help prevent children from falling behind before they have even started primary school.”
Councillor Aspden said the extra flexibility in the scheme would make it easier for parents who wanted to work. He said, “By allowing parents to be more flexible about when they make use of the free places the Government are making it easier for parents who want to work.”
“Balancing work and family life can be difficult and I am pleased to see Liberal Democrats in Government doing what they can to help.”

Remembrance

THE FINAL INSPECTION

The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

‘Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you ?
Have you always turned the other cheek ?
To My Church have you been true?’

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
‘No, Lord, I guess I ain’t.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can’t always be a saint.

I’ve had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I’ve been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn’t mine to keep…
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I’ve wept unmanly tears.

I know I don’t deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you’ve a place for me here, Lord,
It needn’t be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don’t, I’ll understand.

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

‘Step forward now, you soldier,
You’ve borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven’s streets,
You’ve done your time in Hell.’

Author Unknown~

Police appeal for help with thefts from supermarket vans

Police in York are appealing for information after thieves broke into eight supermarket delivery vans.

Between 10pm on Wednesday 9 November and 1am on Thursday 10 November 2011, burglars broke into the Mercedes Benz delivery vehicles which were parked at the rear of the Sainsburys supermarket on Foss Islands.

The thieves smashed the vehicles’ windows before stealing eight Traffic Master satellite navigation systems and eight catalytic converters. The estimated cost of the damage and stolen items is valued at approximately £20,000.

DC Vince Morris, of York CID, said: “I urge anyone who witnessed the burglary or can help to identify those responsible for the theft to contact the police or Crimestoppers immediately. I would also like to speak to anyone who may have been offered the stolen items.”

If you can assist with this investigation please contact DC Vince Morris, at York Police Station on 0845 60 60 24 7 quoting reference number 12110190491. Or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

An evening audience with Beryl Kingston – Thursday 1 December 7-8pm at Explore York

York Libraries have announced a new series of author events.
Beryl Kingston, popular author of ‘Gates of Paradise’, ‘Neptune’s Daughter’, and ‘Avalanche of Daisies’, comes to York to celebrate the launch of her 22nd book. ‘Off the Rails’ is a novel surrounding the life of York’s own ‘Railway King’ George Hudson, and was partly researched in York’s own Archives & Local History department.

Tickets are priced at £5 with a YorkCard, or £6.50 without, and are available from Explore York on (01904) 552828 or exploreyork@york.gov.uk

Care services in York. What is going on?

With the Councils care budget for the elderly facing a multi million pound overspend, one might have expected decisions on the future of the service to have been debated publicly and implemented by now.
Instead the Council continues to dither trying to balance the wishes of its UNISON pay masters on one hand with the financial imperative of providing good quality care, for an increasing number of customers for the service, on the other.
Now decisions have been taken behind closed doors which could see the Home Care service (the home visits by care workers during the day and night) privatised. In itself that is no surprise. It had been on the cards for the last couple of years following a pay review which made the inhouse teams uncompetitive.
What is surprising is that it has taken the new Council so long to act.
The same meeting apparently decided to continue to manage the Sheltered Housing with Extra Care schemes (SHEC) “in house”. This is probably the right decision as the private/voluntary sector offer little better in terms of efficiency in these settings. The Council will “explore how a more flexible personalised service could be delivered”.
The Home Support Service also faces changes. The Council says, “the current service is 40% funded by Supporting People (SP) and its customers must be eligible to receive a social care service. The SP programme has already agreed that it’s funding needs to be used differently to provide a more accessible service. Therefore, the proposal is that the current Home Support service will be reduced to 74 staffing hours per week (which equates to approximately 4 staff) who will continue to support “Supporting People” funded customers”.
These are key decisions affecting dozens of vulnerable York residents. No Council report has been produced analyzing the options to be considered and, while internal consultation is now promised, effectively decisions have been taken (the deadline for the 2012/13 budget looms).

Speed camera locations 9th – 15th Nov 2011

North Yorkshire Police will be carrying out mobile safety camera enforcement on the following roads between Wednesday 9 November and Tuesday 15 November 2011.
• A171 Jugger Howe opposite Springhill Farm
• B1460 Castle Road, Whitby
• A64 Seamer by-pass, Scarborough
• A169 Whitby to Pickering Road near to Goathland
• A169 Whitby to Pickering Road at High Horcum
• A170 Scarborough to Thirsk Road at Snainton
• A171 Mayfield Road, Whitby
• B1249 Staxton Wold, Staxton, Scarborough
• B1249 Foxholes to county boundary
• A1039 Filey Road at Flixton
• A165 Reighton by-pass
• A64 Seamer Road, Scarborough
• A629, Low Bradley
• A65, Settle By-Pass
• A62, westbound, Crosshills
• A629, Skipton by-pass
• A59, Beamsley Hill
• A64 Malton by-pass east and westbound
• Stoney Haggs Road, Scarborough southbound towards Seamer
• B1427 Queen Margarets Road, Scarborough
• B1249 at Staxton Wold near Staxton, Scarborough
• A165 Reighton by-pass between Sands Road and Hunmanby Road
• A64 westbound carriageway, Bowbridge Farm, Tadcaster
• Northfield Farm, Cobcroft Lane, Cridling Stubbs
• A19 Selby Road, Whitley
• Millfield Lane, Chappel Haddlesley
• Westcroft Lane, Hambleton
• Northfield Farm, Cobcroft lane, Cridling Stubbs
• Brayton Lane, Brayton, Selby
• Barff Lane, Brayton, Selby
• A56, Thornton-in-Craven
• A65 Clapham
• A65 Settle by-pass
• A65, Hellifield
• A65 Coniston Cold

10% Green Lane drivers speeding

Green Lane, Acomb


Police camera van


The recent visit to Green Lane by the mobile safety camera van may have influenced driver behaviour. A survey today revealed that around 10% of drivers are causing the speed limit signs to flash.
This compares to around 40% when a similar survey was carried out on Wetherby Road.
The morning was damp and the presence of parked cars may also have inhibited speeds.

Speed survey results

Bonfire safety

While not prejudging the cause of the M5 road crash, it is salutory to note that the Police objected to a proposed fireworks display at the Rawcliffe Park and Ride site last year because of the danger of drivers on the nearby ring road being “distracted” by the activities.
Seems that their concerns may have been justified.