Coronavirus York updates; 19th July 2020

Deaths and test results

No more hospital deaths or positive test results in the City again today

The Plan

The Council has now published a plan which lays out how it will deal with further stages of the pandemic. It will be discussed at a meeting taking place on Thursday and can be read by clicking here

The report provides a useful compendium of information on processes and procedures.

The Council expects to spend £3/4 million on its Coronavirus response in the period up to April 2021.

The Councils main failure during the epidemic has been poor communications. It still fails to recognise the need for regular figures to be published on the success of the “track and trace” process, on which hopes of avoiding a “second wave” now largely rest.

Regular updates should also be provided on the number of infectious cases there currently are in the City, and how many hospital beds are occupied by COVID-19 cases

“Big Conversation”

The Council has been selectively leaking – highly selective – results from its survey of public opinion (styled as a “big conversation”)

It failed to gain public support for some of its transport initiatives pointedly omitting any questions about the controversial decisions from the questionnaire.

There has been no table published tabulating the results. A Council report offers the following summary.

“So far there have been over 500 responses.

The key issues arising from the Covid-19 related health questions are summarised below:

a. 98% confident they know the symptoms (82% extremely or very confident)

b. 98% confident they know what to do if they have symptoms (86% very or extremely confident)

c. 95% confident of social distancing guidance (81% very or extremely)

d. There is less confidence in who and how many to socialise with, rules around returning to work and journeys you should make. We will look at what we can do to address these.

e. There is low confidence others will stick to rules

f. More people understand our advice than the governments

g. Slight challenge re shops and public transport which we can look to address.

h. Lower confidence re how safe York will be when visitors from UK or abroad come. Will need addressing.

i. 95% feel informed of what they can do to stop the spread of the virus (75% extremely or very)”.

Council post COVID opinion survey launched

Our Big Conversation

The York Council has launched a survey which it claims is aimed at finding out residents views on how well the health crisis has been handled and what should happen next.

Some of the questions are a little “leading” and seem to be aimed at getting a pat on the head for decisions already taken.

There is no opportunity to rate controversial schemes like the Bishopthorpe Road closure, reduced car parking provision or restrictions on car access in The Groves area.

The Council also fails to test opinion on emerging issues like anti social behaviour.

Respondents will look in vain for questions about the Councils democratic accountability since it adopted a “behind closed doors” decision making process.

Nor is there any opportunity to comment on the Councils financial strategy (if indeed it now has such a strategy) .

Economic regeneration seems to begin and end with putting restaurant tables onto open spaces.

Details, of what the Council is describing as a “Big Conversation”, can be found by clicking this link

Unfortunately, as with any survey taken against a rapidly changing background, some of the questions already look a little dated.