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York’s brightest

Latest figures released by the government confirm that York has
one of the best qualified workforces in the country.

Only 7.5% of residents aged between 16 and 64 have no

This compares to 12.8% in the rest of Yorkshire and 11.1%

Thoughts for the day

A mate of mine recently admitted to being addicted to brake fluid. When I quizzed him on it he reckoned he could stop any time…..

My son’s been asking me for a pet spider for his birthday, so I went to our local pet shop and they were £70!!!
Blow this, I thought, I can get one cheaper off the web.

Just heard there was an explosion at a pie factory in Huddersfield.
3.1415927 dead

I was driving this morning when I saw an RAC van parked up. The driver was sobbing uncontrollably and looked very miserable.
I thought to myself ‘that guy’s heading for a breakdown’.

Elderly persons homes consultation

City of York Council is currently carrying out a review of its Elderly Persons Homes in order to work out how best to cope with demand in the future.

Some of the options under consideration include building a new, larger care home on the Lowfields school site.

Letters and consultation questionnaires are being sent to our current residents of the Council’s homes, day/respite care users and their relatives.

There will also be various opportunities for the wider public to share their views on the proposals including a series of public meetings, one of which will be held in Westfield.

The dates/venues for the meetings are as follows:

• Thursday 1st September, 7.00-8.30pm – Gateway Centre, Acomb
• Monday 19th September, 2.00pm – as part of York Older People’s Assembly’s open meeting at the Friends Meeting House, Friargate.

The consultation period is due to end mid-October when the consultation feedback will be collated and form part of a report to Cabinet on 1st November.

You can read more about the options included in the review at

Lowfields care home proposals

Events at Explore Acomb Library Learning Centre

Ask a policeman!
Tuesday 16th August Time 2.30pm – 3.30pm
Suitable for 5-11 year olds Price £2 per person £5 per family (max 2 adults 3 children) Meet North Yorkshire Police, and hear all about their work. Get up close to a police car, see the equipment the police use and ask everything you have always wanted to know about the police.

The Art of the Railway Poster: a practical workshop
Friday 19th August 2.00pm – 4.00pm
Price £7.00 (YorkCard) or £8.50 Come along and have a go at producing your own poster in the style of an old Railway advertising poster, using a selection of media including acrylic paints. All materials will be provided.

Tickets and further information available from Explore Acomb Library Learning Centre
Tel. 01904 552651 email

A19 roundabout a success

new A19 roundabout

Observations over the last 8 weeks have found that congestion at the A1237/A19 junction has substantially reduced since the newly remodelled roundabout was opened. For the first time for several years there is now “free flow” for vehicles travelling west to east through the junction – other than at peak periods. Delays on the A19 have also been substantially reduced.
East to west delays are also down but the main relief for this journey will only be realised when the A59 roundabout is also enlarged. This part of the scheme is dependant on funding for the “Access York” Park and Ride programme which is currently being assessed by central government. A decision is expected towards the end of the year.
There was a lot of opposition to improving the A1237 from Labour and Green councillors. They were wrong in this case.
Similarly, the improvements at the Blossom Street/Queen Street junction have reduced delays and traffic engineers in the City can take a lot of credit for both schemes. They maximise the capacity of a highways network which , in York, is always going to be constrained by the historic layout of our streets, the rivers and – of course –the level of funding available for improvements

York Economy

The City’s economy has changed beyond recognition over the last decade. A declining manufacturing base had been replaced by expansion in Technology and Higher Education. The tourism sector has shown sustained growth.
As a result, on average, 300 additional jobs have been created each year and unemployment levels continue to be well below the regional and national average. Our economy has been more resilient to the recession, and its outfall, than any other in the north of England.
It is surprising therefore that the Chamber of Commerce should today sound a panic warning highlighting an apparent conflict between conservation of our built and natural environment and commercial growth.
There is no reason why there should be conflict. Indeed, one of the reasons that key investors relocate to York is because of its environment.
There is a significant reliance on the public sector in the City. However, many of these jobs are in – or associated with – Higher Education. That deserves to be identified in a separate – presently less vulnerable – sector of the economy. It is certainly one that is spawning a range of new businesses. Increasing numbers of graduates are looking to make their permanent homes in a City which already has a more highly skilled workforce than its competitors.
Ironically the Chamber cites the controversy over the Union Terrace car and coach park as a sign of lack of a will to encourage the private sector. Yet the expansion of St John’s would effectively mean an even higher proportion of public sector jobs in the City. In any event, most commentators – although not as yet the council’s Labour Leadership – now accept that both parking and additional floor space for St Johns can both be accommodated on the site (and nearby).
In an article in today’s Yorkshire Post, Micklegate ward Labour councillor Julie Gunnell claims – without any evidence – that York had “missed” expansion opportunities in the past. Maybe so. But isn’t this the same Councillor who campaigned so stridently against the redevelopment of the old Terry’s factory site? Delays to that project pushed the eventual approval of planning permission into a period when the economic cycle was in decline. Hence much of the site is effectively now mothballed.
It will be interesting to see how entrepreneurs line up on the Oakgate proposals for Monks Cross. The project would see a new Marks and Spencers (home ware) shop established together with either a new Sainsbury’s or a John Lewis store. Most publicity so far has been about the community benefits – most notably the provision of a Sports Stadium – but over 500 permanent new jobs could also be created by the development.
The planning application will be the first key test for a new Planning Committee which will need to balance community interests, including the viability of the retail sector in the city centre, with what is a rare large scale investment opportunity.

Egg and bacon

A wife was making a breakfast of fried eggs for her husband. Suddenly, her husband burst into the kitchen.
‘Careful,’ he said, ‘CAREFUL! Put in some more butter! Oh my gosh! You’re cooking too many at once. TOO MANY! Turn them! TURN THEM NOW! We need more butter. Oh my gosh! WHERE are we going to get MORE BUTTER? They’re going to STICK! Careful. CAREFUL! I said be CAREFUL! You NEVER listen to me when you’re cooking! Never! Turn them! Hurry up! Are you CRAZY? Have you LOST your mind? Don’t forget to salt them.. You know you always forget to salt them. Use the! Salt. USE THE SALT! THE SALT!’
The wife stared at him. ‘What in the world is wrong with you? You think I don’t know how to fry a couple of eggs?’
The husband calmly replied, ‘I just wanted to show you what it feels like when I’m driving.’

City Cycling Extravaganza Sun 21 Aug, 5pm to 8.15pm, start at Duncombe Place, York

This free event will take place on Sunday 21 August and will feature a variety of fun races for local residents, as well as competitive races for amateur and professional cyclists. Competitors will follow a route that runs through the heart of the historic city and promises to be an action-packed evening for both competitors and spectators.
Amateur competitive cyclists from across the region will go head to head towards the end of the evening in an Elite race, which looks set to attract professional riders from across the UK, will provide a thrilling finale.
Also an opportunity to make a day of it – visit the Latin Festival in the Quarter (the Swinegate area) or the Lord Mayor’s Children’s fun day in the Duncombe Place area – something for all the family! Visit:

Events at Explore Acomb Library Learning Centre

Tickets and further information available from Explore Acomb Library Learning Centre
Tel. 01904 552651 email

Edward Marston & Judith Cutler
Wednesday 10th August Time 7.00pm
Price £4.00 (YorkCard) or £5.00 An evening with Edward Marston and his wife, fellow crime author Judith Cutler. Edward Marston is the hugely successful Inspector Colbeck Railway Detective series, The Restoration mysteries and the historical adventures of Captain Rawson Judith Cutler is the author of five series of Birmingham-based crime novels. Her latest book ‘Guilty Pleasures’ is a Linda Townsend mystery.

Join the Crime Team, with Steve Skidmore
Friday 12th August 11.00 – 12 noon
Suitable for 8 – 12 year olds £2 per person or £5 per family (maximum 2 adults and 3 children). Join author Steve Skidmore as he tells us all about his new series “Crime Team”. Help him to solve the clues and crack the mystery. We need you there. Only you can prevent disaster!