Community Stadium opening date announcement needed.

The announcement earlier in the year, that the opening of the City’s new Community Stadium would be delayed until the autumn, surprised few people.

York City Football Club first learned in 2004 that it could face a move away from Bootham Crescent.

The future of the Knights Rugby team subsequently become inextricably intertwined with the stadiums future.

All seemed well in 2010 when a source of funding (S106 planning contributions) for a new stadium was obtained. Planning permission for the Vanguard development was subsequently granted.  

Further delays occurred as the Council agonised about procurement polices and management arrangements.

After many false dawns, the stadium should have been opening this month.

The announcement of another 6 month delay came as a disappointment.

Such information as leaked out about the cause of the delay was neither confirmed nor denied by a Council embroiled in a local election process. The “purdah” period prevented any statements that might have influenced the election result.

It is now over 5 weeks after the election concluded – with another “no overall majority” result. The Green Party, which opposed the stadium development together with some Tories – now shares power with the LibDems who themselves have a long commitment to the stadium.

There is no suggestion that political interference is behind the reason for the delayed announcements.

The Council, Football and Rugby Clubs – together with the builders (Buckingham) and stadium complex managers (Better), have been strangely quiet over the last few weeks.

 The “purdah” period is long over yet no explanation for the delay or, more importantly, a new opening date have been confirmed. The last official statement talked about an October opening date.

More realistically, the clubs may now be hoping that the stadium will be available for the lucrative Christmas /New Year fixture programme.

NB. York City’s National League North fixture list is due to be announced on 3rd July.  The season will kick off on Saturday, August 3rd. The Football Club has already announced its season ticket prices.

More delays to York Local Plan

A planing inspector has told the York Council to consult again on their plans to block MOD bases from being used for house building.

The planning inspectorate says that the changes – agreed earlier in the year – are major and require 6 weeks of public consultation.

The proposals mainly involved the Strensall camp where Natural England argued that redeveloping the base could adversely impact on the nearby nature reserve

In turn this meant that the Green Belt boundary would alter.

The move came as something of a surprise to the MOD who pointed out that part of the base was a previously developed brownfield site – the governments (and Councils) preferred location for housing developments.

The Inspector also wants to see the results of a consultation on new housing need figures. The figures had been scaled back following work by consultants who said that underlying housing demand figures were significantly lower than had previously been forecast.

The shock move means that the start of the “examination in public” will be put on ice again.

It is now unclear when the City can hope to have a fully approved Local Plan in place.

Planning Inspector delays York Local Plan

Wigginton Road and Haxby Road junction roadworks

Ageing and outdated traffic signals at the Wigginton Road and Haxby Road junction are set to be replaced next month by City of York Council, in a project partially funded by York’s bus operators.

Haxby Road – Wigginton Road junction

Works are estimated to take around six weeks to complete and will start on Sunday 19 May.

New, more reliable, traffic signals will be installed on the junction of Wigginton Road and Haxby Road. Layout changes are being made to make the junction work more efficiently, this will include realigning the outbound Haxby Road movement to make it straighter and making the pedestrian islands larger.

The new technology being installed will help to improve bus journey times and reliability on Wigginton Road and ease congestion in the area. 

The new traffic signals will also be cheaper to run and more reliable.  It will also enable the new systems to link direct to the council’s Traffic and Control Centre, so that the Network Monitoring Officers can manage the flow of traffic better in busy periods by adjusting traffic lights to best suit traffic conditions.

To help minimise disruption work will be carried out from 9.30am – 4pm during the week and also will take place on Saturdays and Sundays from 8am – 3pm. Temporary signals replicating, as closely as possible, the current operation of the junction will be in place throughout the works.

During the works it is anticipated that there will be significant delays when travelling through the junction.   

Those using the junction are urged to plan ahead, allow more time for journeys on these routes and to consider alternatives and to use public transport where possible. Bus services will be operating as normal for the majority of the works but passengers are requested to visit www.itravelyork.info/ for more information.

Temporary pedestrian crossing points will be available at all times during the works to ensure that pedestrian facilities are available.  Traffic marshals will be on site between 7am and 7pm, to help manage the traffic on site and to assist with pedestrians crossing the road.

To find out more about the scheme visit www.york.gov.uk/HaxbyRd

Parking bays – the wait goes on

We’ve said before that the length of time it takes the York Council to install parking bays is excessive.

In some cases, even surveying possible sites has taken over a year. That’s too long. The Council should put the work out to a contractor on a “design and build” basis.

Here are a couple of roads where residents have been waiting  over 2 years for work to start (lay-bys are funded through delegated ward budgets).

Longest outstanding job is outside the flats on Askham Lane. Been waiting for nearly 4 years. Drivers have little option but to park on the verge. although this doesn’t help the appearance of the area

The Council has been agonising for over 2 years about where to put a lay-by on Dijon Avenue. It is needed before building work starts on the Lowfield School site. After saying that the lay-by should be built near the junction with Green Lane they decided a few weeks ago that it wasn’t practical because of electrical plant under the verge. Nevertheless drivers still park on the verges in the area

Also in Dijon Avenue we’ve reported damaged fencing around the amenity area

Update on waste collection in York

Important service update: Today crews have collected all scheduled household, recycling and garden waste and also…

Posted by City of York Council Waste Services on Wednesday, 11 July 2018

York delays in treating ambulance patients revealed

On New Years Eve 47 patients had to wait for over an hour in ambulances as they waiting for treatment at York Hospital.

The full figures can be viewed by clicking here 

The statistics mirror problems at other hospitals across the region and country generally

As December went on delays gradually increased.

York had suffered earlier in the month with an outbreak of norovirus. At its peak 47 beds were closed.

By the end of the year 834 beds (90%) were occupied at the hospital.

The government has been criticised for failing to anticipate the heavy demands for care that arise over each festive period.

 

 

 

Liberal Democrats call for more support to York’s care services

Hospital report on A & E performance

Cllr Chris Cullwick, Liberal Democrat Vice Chair of the Council’s Health Committee, has written to the Secretary of State to highlight the imminent challenges York Teaching Hospital NHS Trust faces this winter.

In a recent meeting of the Health, Housing and Adult Social Care Policy and Scrutiny Committee, the Trust reported on a number of serious risks which would undermine their ability to handle increased demand for services during the winter period.

Care services in York continue to face unprecedented financial challenges and despite the recently announced £350 million by the Chancellor for the NHS this winter, far more is needed to create the extra capacity required.

The ramifications of a ‘hard’ Brexit are also being felt, as the Trust reported difficulties in recruiting to vacant positions, previously occupied by EU workers.

Cllr Chris Cullwick said:

“I am seriously concerned about our City’s capacity to effectively respond to increasing service demand this winter.

York’s NHS and Adult Social Care services are already facing huge financial pressures in their day-to-day work and given the Chancellor’s recent omission of Adult Social Care funding in his Autumn Budget, the burden looks set to worsen.

Furthermore, the Government’s dogged pursuit of a ‘Hard Brexit’ has adversely affected previously sustainable workforces.  Many EU Workers are leaving their care roles due to their tenuous position in the UK and services are finding it tough to replace them.  Even if more money was available, this seriously weakens the Trust’s ability to manage during the winter months.

The risks are clear and; the Government must act swiftly to address these issues.  I have written to the Secretary of State seeking his urgent attention to these issues and York’s position.

Delays in collection of recycling in Foxwood Hill today

Unfortunately due to operational issues the Council have been unable to collect recycling from the following streets today;

• Huntsmans Walk
• Teddar Road
• Slessor Road
• Beagle Ridge Drive
• Fir Heath Close
• Cedarwood Close
• Beechwood Glade
• Salmond Road
• Askham Croft
• Minter Close
• Waterman Court

The Council  will return to collect tomorrow so please re-present your recycling by 7am. The Council apologises for any inconvenience this may cause

Delays on refuse collection in parts of York

The York Council has not been able to collect all recycling in Acomb which was missed yesterday (due to vehicle breakdown). They will return on Thursday to collect all recycling which is still not collected from the following streets:

  • Lidget Grove,
  • Church Gate,
  • Wheatlands Grove,
  • Shirley Avenue,
  • Springwood Grove,
  • Almsford Drive,
  • Celtic Close,
  • Cranbrook Avenue,
  • Cranbrook Road.

In addition the Council has not been able to collect recycling today from rural areas in Askham Bryan and Acaster Malbis plus

  • The Garden Village,
  • Earswick Chase,
  • Northlands Avenue,
  • Lock House Lane,

They hope to collect this recycling tomorrow. Please have your recycling ready for 7am.