York Council announces launch of EU Settlement Scheme pilot

City of York Council has announced they will take part in the second phase of the national EU Settlement Scheme pilot.

York is the one of only four North East areas taking part in the scheme; the other three are Stockton on Tees, Newcastle and Hull.

The EU Settlement Scheme is a Home Office initiative which allows EU citizens living in the UK to apply to the scheme if they wish to continue living in the UK past 30 June 2021.

The second phase of the EU Settlement Scheme tests the application process ready for when the scheme opens fully to the public by 30 March 2019.

EU Citizens can choose whether to send their details to the Home Office, use an android app, or make an appointment at York Register Office for a cost of £14, to verify their identification.

The appointments are ideal for residents whose mobile phone or other device doesn’t have near field communication (NFC) and the resident is eligible to apply for settled status during the pilot phase.

Appointments can be made at York Registration Service, York Register Office, 56 Bootham, York, YO30 7DA, for Mondays and Tuesdays between 1pm – 4.30pm at a cost of £14 (including VAT).

Applicants must bring ID and be able to provide a valid phone number and email address. To make an appointment, call 01904 654477.

Businesses are able to bulk book appointments for large groups of employees or arrange for Register Office staff to visit their premises if more convenient.

For further details about making an appointment www.york.gov.uk/EUSettlementScheme or to find out if you’re eligible to apply, visit (Home office link)

Pauline Stuchfield, Assistant Director Customer and Digital Services, said: “This can be an unsettling time for some of our York residents and as a council, we want to ensure that applying for the EU Resettlement Scheme is straightforward and relatively stress-free.

“Residents from the EU who would like to settle here are welcome to contact the Register Office and arrange an appointment. We’re standing by to help.”

York plans for “no deal” Brexit

Councillors will discuss activities to ensure York is as prepared as possible in the event of a no-deal Brexit at an Executive meeting on Thursday 18 October.

The Government claims that “a scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely” whilst advising councils to prepare for all eventualities, including a no-deal.

The council’s Executive will be asked to note the work undertaken with partners so far and identify other areas the council could consider to help the city move confidently forward and positively respond to any change.

Executive takes place on Thursday 18 October from 5.30pm and is open to members of the public or is available to watch live online from: www.york.gov.uk/webcasts

York to ensure Brexit contingencies are in place

City of York Council will soon be analysing contingency plans in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

To date, nearly 30 councils have responded to a freedom of information request for their Brexit plans, with some expressing mounting concern at having to plan to deliver local public services post-Brexit.

With the release of the Government’s delayed ‘no deal’ Brexit contingency reports, there is a large amount of information which has been suddenly released into the public domain and this will take some time to analyse.

It is our objective to ensure that all residents, businesses and partner organisations are able to plan ahead, with confidence, and make sure day to day business continues.

Cllr Andrew Waller, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader of the Council, commented:

“There is a huge amount of uncertainty, both locally and nationally.  No matter which side of the argument you are on, it is vital that we are to plan ahead in order to minimise disruption and retain a successful York economy.”

“Looking forward, aspects of supply chains will be examined by the Council in order to make sure Council services, which residents rely on, are able to continue effectively.  For example, ensuring parts for our Council vehicles are received.”

“This is an incredibly large and complex piece of work, but it is important that residents, businesses and partners are able to access this information.”

EU latest – funding bid side steps referendum result irony!

The York Council has issued a statement urging “residents to speak up to help £1.29 million funding bid”

EU exit“Those who live, work or volunteer in certain areas of York are being asked for their opinions in a short survey, to help secure European Union funding to improve their local communities.

The ‘4CommunityGrowthYork’ project is embarking upon its second stage of a funding bid for £1.29 million and would like to hear views from those with connections to the Tang Hall, Bell Farm, Clifton, Navigation Road and Walmgate and Westfield areas of the city, together with neighbourhoods around Haxby Road Primary Academy and Children’s Centre.

City of York Council is working closely with a group of residents, community groups and businesses who have formed a local action group with the aim of maximising opportunities to stimulate the local economy.

As part of the bidding process, 4CommunityGrowthYork is now seeking views and opinions on a range of areas which can help rejuvenate communities, from support with learning new skills, finding work and childcare to setting up businesses and support for small business. It also asks respondents to rate the importance of suggested projects such as jobs, training and enterprise.

The 4CommunityGrowthYork project has already benefitted from an initial £22,000 from the European Structural and Investment Funds, which was match funded to £40k by the council. Its plans, including results from this consultation, will be developed into a formal Local Development Strategy to be submitted to the European Union by the end of August 2016. If successful, the funds will be match-funded through council, Government and Tang Hall Big Local funding to a total of £2.58 million.


It seems that some still yearn for the world of 60 years ago.  They would do well to remember that the 50’s and 60’s were unsettled times with two super powers playing a deadly game of roulette with nuclear weapon threats while right wing politicians like Enoch Powel stirred up racial hatred.

 Since then a lot has changed. You can sit in your front room and scour the internet for instructions on how to make bombs, get guns and buy knives. After a period of relative calm, conflict continues in the Middle East and terrorists of all persuasions appear on our doorsteps.WaSHINGTON pOST

Against that, we are more prosperous. Quality of life – for most people – has improved hugely over the last 50 years. In York, unemployment has been below the regional and national average for three decades. Tourism, higher education, technology and financial services are now the City’s core employers.  All need stability and a predictable market to continue to prosper.

One of the most frequent criticisms of the European Community is that is ponderous. Many with have been frustrated by the time taken to negotiate large contracts caught up in the vagaries of OJEC advertising.

But that is also the strongest argument for remaining in the EC. If people are talking then they are not throwing bottles, shooting bullets or launching missiles.

Britain leaving the EU could fuel a rise in extreme nationalism across the world. There are signs of that already in other mature democracies including the States. That is a chilling prospect for those who remember the days of confrontation half a century ago.

So a vote to REMAIN in the EU is a positive vote.

…..& those of us who want to see change to the rules of the European club will continue to use our democratic vote when the next elections come along in 2019


£284,000 savings in York education team as 3 face redundancy

The Council has revealed details of a new staff structure in its “learning” team. The restructure is aimed at saving £284,000 a year in staffing costs and has been influenced by the conclusion of some Europe funded projects.

Some voluntary redundancies have already taken place. Three existing staff face compulsory redundancy

The background report says,

“Many of these savings are coming from reduction in management posts, but there will also be some savings in direct service delivery, including reductions in some teaching staff, reductions in employability programmes and provision to support mental health issues.

These reductions are going to have a serious affect on the service’s ability to support individuals seeking work and those who require help with recovering from mental health issues”.BehindClosedDoors 2015

The decision was taken at a “behind closed doors” meeting held on 21st December.

Reports were not made public until after the decision had been published

MEP delighted by record increase in apprentices

Yorkshire MEP Edward McMillan-Scott is ‘delighted’ with the increase in people in apprenticeships in York and North Yorkshire, he said during a recent visit to York College.


Megan Geyerhosz, Hannah Smith, Edward McMillan-Scott MEP, Denise Morrison, Cllr Keith Aspden and Cllr Ann Reid at York College

Megan Geyerhosz, Hannah Smith, Edward McMillan-Scott MEP, Denise Morrison, Cllr Keith Aspden and Cllr Ann Reid at York College

Edward visited York College following the announcement that almost 860,000 people were on apprenticeships in the UK in 2012/13. This means that more people than ever before are in apprenticeships and that the government has created over 1.5 million new apprentice places since 2010.


Edward McMillan-Scott MEP, Cllr Keith Aspden and Cllr Ann Reid visited York College, one of Yorkshire’s major apprentice providers, on Friday to learn more about their efforts to increase the number of people in York and North Yorkshire who are in apprenticeships.


During the visit they met with Denise Morrison, assistant principal for employer engagement at York College and Finance Assistants, Megan Geyerhosz (aged 20) and Hannah Smith (aged 18). Both Megan and Hannah studied an apprenticeship in Level 3 Business Administration and are about to embark on a course in Book Keeping and Accounts to help them in their roles in the Finance office.


Edward McMillan-Scott, Liberal Democrat MEP for Yorkshire and Humber and Vince-President of the European Parliament, commented: “I am delighted that over 25,000 apprenticeships have been created in York and North Yorkshire since 2010. Apprenticeships are a crucial part of the Liberal Democrat strategy to build a stronger economy. I congratulate York College for their efforts towards increasing the number of apprentices in our region. I hope that many more businesses in York and across North Yorkshire will be encouraged to employ apprentices as a result of the success that both employers and trainees locally are achieving.”