Catalytic converter theft suspects in custody thanks to York resident’s vigilance

Two men have been arrested in connection with catalytic converter theft in York this morning.

At 3am today, a member of the public called North Yorkshire Police reporting suspicious activity in the Dringhouses area of the city.

Officers responded immediately, and a short time later located a red Honda Civic near Wetherby. The car was stopped and searched, and a catalytic converter and a number of tools were found in the boot.

A Honda Civic stopped in connection with catalytic converter theft in York
A catalytic converter in the boot of car stopped by police

Two men inside, aged 29 and 34, were arrested on suspicion of theft and vehicle interference. They remain in custody at this time. The vehicle was seized for forensic examination.

Earlier this year, North Yorkshire Police launched an operation to clamp down on catalytic converter thefts in York, after an increase in these incidents. High prices for precious metals and the popularity of hybrid vehicles are believed to be two of the factors behind the increase.

At the time, Sgt Laura Cromwell said: “While overall vehicle crime in York is low, catalytic converter theft is an increasingly common crime in our area. That’s why we’ve increased patrols, and are urging residents to take steps to protect their vehicles. If you notice suspicious activity around vehicles, contact the police – if you have information, call 101, and if a crime is in progress, call 999 immediately.”

Since the launch of the operation, high-visibility, proactive patrols, linked to ANPR and police intelligence, have make it increasingly difficult for criminals to operate in the city undetected.

Meanwhile, motorists are being urged to continue taking extra precautions to protect their vehicles:

  • Park your car in a locked garage where possible, or a well-lit and populated area
  • Park close to fences, walls or a kerb, or alongside other vehicles, to make theft more difficult. Avoid parking half on the pavement and half on the road, as this may make it easier for thieves to access the catalytic converter
  • If you are responsible for a fleet of vehicles, park the low-clearance vehicles to block the high-clearance vehicles and obstruct access underneath
  • Ask your local garage about security measures such as a cage device to lock around the converter, a tilt sensor to activate an alarm if the vehicle is jacked up, or equipment to etch a serial number on the converter itself.
  • If you see someone acting suspiciously under a vehicle, report it to the police. If a crime is in progress, dial 999. Obtain as much information as possible, including any vehicle registrations.

Officers are working closely with local authorities, and posters warning about catalytic converter theft are displayed at locations across the city. In addition, scrap metal dealers in the region are being asked to be on the lookout for people attempting to sell on catalytic converters, and pass any information to the police.

Highways schemes approved by Council

More minor highways improvement schemes have been approved under the York Councils delegated ward budgets.

They are located in the Dringhouses, Fulford and Osbaldwick wards. A list can be viewed by clicking here

The process and method of prioritisation of the use of the £1 million available budget is obscure. No comprehensive list of the improvements approved and implemented in each part of the City has been published on the Councils web site. Requests for improvements to footpaths and roads in the Westfield area have produced little response.

Even in Fulford, where funds are being allocated, some may wonder whether an investment in replacing opaque panels in local bus shelters might have deserved some consideration? Instead two prominent shelters look shabby or are overgrown by vegetation.

It is a similar picture on the west of the City.

The delegation of funding decisions to local communities is a step in the right direction but currently allocation processes look to be a combination of patrimony and chance.

Latest waste service update York Council

Wednesday 1 July

We were unable to collect all household waste from Acomb due to a vehicle breakdown.

We were unable to collect all recycling waste from parts of Acomb and Dringhouses due to vehicle capacity.

We were unable to collect all garden waste from parts of Holgate due to vehicle breakdowns.

All these will be recollected on Thursday 2 July. Please present your containers for collection by 7.00am. 

Glitches as green waste collection restarts

The York Council is reporting that not all waste put out for collection today was cleared. It is the first failure for several weeks with 100% collection rates having become the norm recently.

Today (Monday) is the first day that that green bins have been emptied this year.

The Council web says

Latest waste service update
Monday 11 May

“All scheduled household waste collections have been made.

“We were unable to collect recycling waste from a number of properties in the following areas due to a breakdown:

  • Copmanthorpe
  • Woodthorpe
  • Foxwood

This recycling will be recollected on Tuesday 19 May. Please present your containers for collection by 7.00am.

We were unable to collect garden waste from a number of properties in the following areas due to capaacity issues:

  • Copmanthorpe
  • Deighton
  • Dringhouses
  • Tadcaster Road

We will attempt to collect missed garden waste on Tuesday 19 May, but may not be able to revisit until later in the week. Please leave greens bin out and we will get to you as soon as we can”.

Local Plan inquiry dates set. Askham Bog appeal imminent

A planning appeal into the York Council’s refusal to allow a development near Askham Bog will start on 12th November.

Askham Bog in autumn

The potential developers (Barwood Land) refused to wait for the results of the public hearing into the York Local Plan (which protects the area near Moor Lane in Dringhouses from development). Instead they have pressed ahead with their planning application.

The Local Plan Inspectors are now preparing for the first stage of hearings, which will address legal compliance including the Duty to Co-operate, Housing Need and Green Belt. Provisional dates have been agreed with the Inspectors for these initial hearings to be held on selected days over a two week period, commencing on Monday 9 December 2019 at York Racecourse.

 The Inspectors will shortly be issuing the Council with their Matters, Issues and Questions (MIQs) which will be published on the examination library (link above) along with the Council’s response to these questions. The Inspectors will also produce a hearing timetable giving more detail on the hearing sessions including the schedule for each day.

 Representors (all those who commented on the Plan during the Regulation 19 Publication consultation and the Proposed Modifications Consultation) will be given the required formal notice (6 weeks) when the dates and venue have been finalised.

We will also update the examination library with these dates and will issue a press release with details of the dates and venue and where to find more information.

Missed bin collections Wednesday

Recycling was not collected in part of Dringhouses today (“vehicle capacity issue”) and garden waste wasn’t collected from Muncaster (“vehicle breakdown”).

The Council also hasn’t caught up with delayed bin emptying from earlier in the week in Osbaldwick and Woodthorpe

It appears that the Council hasn’t yet placed an order for new vehicles to replace its chronically unreliable existing fleet.

According to a notice published today, a decision on a new “waste collection methodology” won’t be taken until 24th October. Even then it is likely to be several months before the Council actually joins the year long queue for new vehicles.

While refinements to waste management arrangements are needed if we are to recycle more, a greater sense of urgency from the Council leadership, in addressing current unreliability issues, is an essential first step.

Missed bin collections a problem again this week

After catching up with the backlog of full bins on Saturday, vehicle failures meant that garden waste collections were missed in Dringhouses, Woodthorpe, Wheldrake and Copmanthorpe yesterday (Monday). The Council has promised to try to empty the bins today.

The Council web site also reports isolated cases of roads being missed because of poor parking and road works

There is still no word from the Council on when new, more reliable, vehicles will be rolled out.

Latest on missed bin collections

More streets in York have not had their refuse, recycling and garden waste collected today.

Areas affected included Dringhouses (Middlethorpe), Bishopthorpe, Acomb, Chapelfields, Tang Hall and Lockwood Street

Some residents have called for the service to be “outsourced” (privatised).

Until the Council is more candid about the causes of its current problems, then it is difficult to know whether different management arrangements would lead to a more reliable service.

Nine payphone kiosks to be removed

List of payphones in York which may be removed

BT has applied to remove 9 payphone kiosk from streets in York.

The Copmanthorpe, Strensal, Dringhouses and Westfield areas are affected

None of the iconic “red” K6 kiosks are on the list although there has been criticism recently about the state of repair of some of them. Several of these are “Listed” buildings.

Iconic K6 kiosks are not affected by the current removal plans. Several are in need of refurbishment

Some of the kiosk listed have been a magnet for drug users, vandalism and anti social behaviour. Their removal is likely to be supported by neighbouring residents.

The use of public payphones has dropped to near zero over the years as mobile phone ownership has increased

So who will win the York Council elections?

Dringhouses and Fishergate wards reviewed

Dringhouses and Woodthorpe

The Dringhouses ward  is home to 11,639 residents. Average incomes are lower than the City average. 80% of residents own their home. There are 360 Council homes in the area 1.6% are out of work. Crime levels are below average.  86.5% of residents are satisfied with their local area as a place to live (York average 88.6%). 40% believe that they can influence decisions in their local area (City average 26.2). Source


The Dringhouses Ward has traditionally been a LibDem stronghold. The only break in their domination came in 2011 when Labour took two of the seats.  Normal service was resumed in 2015 when the LibDems scored a clean sweep with a substantial swing.  Ann Reid, who retires this year, secured record breaking support, for a local election, when polling 3104 votes.

The poll is remarkable this year as 7 of the 14 candidates declined to give their address on their nomination forms. One has subsequently confirmed that he lives in the ward. However that means that there are only 3 candidates who have confirm a local home. A rare UKIP candidate makes an appearance and another disillusioned Tory is seeking election as an Independent. .

Development of green spaces is a major issue in the ward and already the Labour candidates seem to have blundered by highlighting the threat to Askham Bog. It was the last Labour controlled Council who, in 2013, first included Moor Lane in their “Big City” Local Plan development proposals. Fortunately that threat has now receded as a revised Local Plan which preserves the Green Belt has been agreed  by the coalition.

With Tory support haemorrhaging, it is difficult to see any other result than another LibDem clean sweep in in this ward.


3 LibDem seats


The Fishergate ward  is home to 10,123 residents.  Average incomes are lower than the City average. 48% of residents own their home. 39% are private renters and 10% are social tenants. There are 148 Council homes in the area.  2.3% are out of work. Crime levels are slightly above average.  94.7% of residents are satisfied with their local area as a place to live (York average 88.6%). 35% believe that they can influence decisions in their local area (City average 26.2). Source


Fishergate is now the Green Party’s York stronghold They have held the seats there for over 16 years.

The Tories did poll well in the area 25 years ago but have been in decline in the ward  in recent years, reaching the point in 2011 where they didn’t even put forward any candidates.

Labour support has been stable but well behind the Greens

There are a lot of young student voters in the ward as highlighted by the high proportion of privately rented property.

The Green Councillors have struggled not to become part of the political establishment but recently they took the City’s Lord Mayoralty for the first time and have led campaigns to have ResPark charges reduced! 

Labour have nominated a retiring Councillor, and recent Lord Mayor (Barbara Boyce), as a candidate albeit one who represented the Heworth Ward . She and the other non Green candidates look set to be “also ran’s”.


2 Green seats