No further hospital deaths have been announced today
Three additional positive test results have been announced today. They bring the cumulative total up to 12,264
The number of active cases has reduced by one to 45 compared to yesterday.
The rate /100k population has fallen to 21.37.
The rate is expected to creep back up during the next few days. There are early signs that it may then begin to fall again
North Yorkshire is now well above the national average infection rate. This is mainly the result of high infection levels in Selby and in particular the Selby Town neighbourhood (Rate 416.2, Cases 56)
The rate at neighbourhood level is reasonably stable although Osbaldwick has replaced Clifton Without in the list of areas with above, the City, average infection levels.
57.1% of York adults have now received their first vaccination.
23.4% have also had their second dose.
The government has updated its figures for vaccinations at neighbourhood level.
The area with the highest proportion of vaccinated adult residents is Dunnington/Elvington (77.86%)
The area with the lowest is Tang Hall (33.39%).
The differences mirror the age profile of the local population. Those with a higher number of under 40’s should “catch up” over the next couple of months.
4487 PCR tests were carried out in York during the week ending 24th April.
Of these, 0.6% were positive. That represents an improvement on the previous days figure of 0.7%
In addition, 4023 lateral flow tests were also conducted on 28th April.
Tests now available at Acomb Explore library
City of York Council is asking residents to join the thousands of people in the city getting tested twice a week, to play a key part in keeping the people we love safe and the places we love open.
To stop the spread of the virus, the council is making it easier for people to take a symptom-free test, removing the need to book appointments at testing sites and signposting to the new collection points popping up in communities across the city.
Whilst residents will be able to book a slot online until 30 May, people can now simply turn up to get tested without the need for an appointment. All appointments booked remain valid and people can still book slots should they wish.
Acomb Explore Library has become the latest venue to offer a collect service to residents, joining pharmacies across the city in our efforts to get residents frequently tested. The testing offer at Acomb Explore will be available on Wednesdays (10am-2pm) and Saturdays (10am-3pm) and will also offer people the chance to take the test in person, as well as collect tests to take at home.
1 in 3 cases of Coronavirus has no symptoms which means we could be spreading the virus to those we love without knowing. This is why city leaders are asking residents to get tested twice a week, even if you’ve had the vaccine. The early identification of cases will stop the virus from spreading, keep people safe and help keep the places we all love open.
More information is available on the council website and a map of locations in the city where people can access testing can be found online.
Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council said:
“The symptom-free testing offer is a true citywide effort, with pharmacies and Acomb Explore adding to the list of places such as universities and leisure and community centres where residents can access tests.
“These symptom-free tests are really making a difference in our battle against the virus by identifying cases early and stopping people from unknowingly spreading it to others.
“We have worked hard with partners to make it easier than ever to access tests across the city, from getting tested in person to the numerous opportunities to collect kits or have them delivered at home.
“Residents and businesses have been fantastic in helping keep our city and each other safe but we must all keep our guard up. Getting tested twice a week is another way we can all continue to help the fight against Coronavirus to keep our friends and family safe.”
Sharon Stoltz, Director of Public Health said:
“1 in 3 cases of Coronavirus have no symptoms. It is crucial that people continue to get tested regularly and report their results so we can identify cases quickly and stop the virus from spreading.
“That we have carried out so many tests is testament to the city’s collective efforts and we are encouraging more people to take the test.
“We have hope ahead with the next steps of the roadmap and the success of the vaccine rollout. However we must keep up our efforts and get tested regularly (even if you have had the vaccine) to protect people across the city. The only time we would ask an adult not to get tested is if they are within 90 days of having tested positive for the virus.
“By having regular tests and practicing hands, face, space, fresh air we are all playing a vital role in the city’s fight against Coronavirus.”
Fiona Williams, Chief Executive of Explore York Libraries and Archives said:
“Explore is very pleased to support this important initiative by the Council and Public Health to combat the spread of covid and ensure the city can open up as safely as possible.
The library is a much loved hub for the local community in Acomb with plenty of parking space. It will be easy for local people to collect their test kits, see a friendly face and maybe pick up a few new books at the same time.”
There was a small drop in COVID-19 patient numbers at York Hospital today
Chief Inspector Charlotte Bloxham, North Yorkshire Police’s operational lead for the Coronavirus pandemic, gave the following update at this morning’s (Wednesday 28 April 2021) Local Resilience Forum briefing:
“In the past week (18 – 25 April) North Yorkshire Police has issued 34 Covid-related Fixed Penalty Notices. This brings the total to 41 Fixed Penalty Notices issued since the step 2 changes of the Roadmap were introduced on 12 April.
“This is disappointing considering last week we had cause to issue just seven notices.
“The majority of these latest fines were issued for indoor gatherings in the Scarborough area with three issued in York and four issued in Harrogate.
“We understand that people are desperate to see family and friends. But we ask that just like the vast majority of the people of North Yorkshire, that you please adhere to the regulations that prevent indoor gatherings until the Roadmap out of lockdown has succeeded and we are free to meet up once again.
“The virus is much more likely to spread in an indoor setting and why it is so important to keep following the health protection regulations and the guidance around washing hands, wearing face coverings and maintaining social distance.
“In the meantime, please avoid mixing households indoors, and keep to the “Rule of 6” or two households when meeting outdoors or in private gardens.
“Our town and city centres are much busier now than they have been in recent times, as well in the tourist spots along the coast and in the countryside. Our plea to ensure we can keep the Roadmap on track is not to become complacent and not to jeopardise all the work we’ve put in to get to this point.
“We will continue to use our ‘4 Es’ approach to engage with the public, explain the regulations, encourage compliance, and enforce only as a last resort when a blatant breach has occurred”.
TWO more deaths announced by York Hospital Trust today. Both occurred yesterday. The cumulative total since 1st September is now 174.
The Trust has today said that the number of admissions has reached a record high for the period of the pandemic. The Trust currently has 135 patients with Covid-19 – higher than the 131 patients it was treating last March.
There were ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY NINE new positive test results announced today. The cumulative total number of cases has now risen to 8522.
The rate /100k population figure is now 532.74.
It is trending to reach 622.0.
There are now three neighbourhoods in the highest infection rate banding. They are Woodthorpe/Acomb Park, Clifton Without and Westfield/Chapelfields.
The Citywide case rate continues to grow following the national trend.
Test numbers down in York.
Perhaps not surprisingly the number of COVID testscarried out during Christmas week (24/12 – 30/12) fell by half compared to the previous period. Not withstanding the drop in the number of tests carried out, a record high number of positive results was recorded on 29th December.
The testing profile showed a marked shift towards the Lateral Flowmethod during December
The latest ONS figures also show that there is a growth in older people testing positive for the virus although the majority of cases (70%) were still found in people aged between 20 and 60.
Fines for COVID restrictions contraventions
Between 2/12/2020 and 5/1/2021 355 FPNs have been issued in total, broken down as follows:
194 to local residents
161 to visitors
9 for outdoor gatherings
334 for indoor gathering – 51% (171) of those have been in the Scarborough district.
Speaking about the number of FPNs issued in Scarborough for breaches of the indoor gathering rules, Chief Inspector Rachel Wood said:
“While the majority of Scarborough residents have followed the guidance and understood the rules around social gatherings, unfortunately the figures show that there was a minority of people who chose to openly flout the rules and host and attend house parties.
“Our Neighbourhood Policing Teams attended a number of incidents over the festive season and had to take enforcement action, as sadly some people did not disperse and go home when instructed.
“I cannot stress enough how serious our current situation is. As a nation we have moved into new national restrictions and we are being told to once again stay home to save lives and protect our health service. We are seeing infection rates rise and the impact of the virus and the new more transmissible strain is really being felt by our hospitals and healthcare colleagues. People are losing their loved ones to this virus every day.
“So I am urging Scarborough residents to stick to the rules, especially as we approach the first weekend of the new national restrictions. Stay home and only leave if it is for an essential reason such as shopping or medical assistance. People are not permitted to gather indoor or outdoors socially and you should not be meeting anyone outside your own household or support bubble. For more guidance on the restrictions and what you are allowed to do, visit the gov.uk website.
“Our local patrol plans have been revised and we have increased our presence and visibility in our local communities, so members of the public will see officers on the roads and patrolling our local areas. We will take enforcement action against those who are breaking the rules and putting the wider community at risk from this deadly virus. So please stay home and stay safe.”
Extra £100,000 for York workers having to self-isolate
An additional £100,000 is now available for discretionary payments to York residents who are required to self-isolate by the Government’s Test and Track scheme
This extra funding comes from York’s Public Health Covid Outbreak Management Fund to support the council’s discretionary payment scheme. This scheme runs alongside the Government’s Test and Trace Support Payment scheme which makes one-off payments of £500 to eligible residents suffering financial hardship during their 14-day quarantine period.
City of York Council’s first discretionary scheme was funded by the Government but was enough to support only 39 eligible people. This new discretionary scheme will support up to 200 eligible working people with fixed £500 payments. It will also accept applications from working adults living with parents and from working students where they have been experiencing financial hardship because they have been told to self-isolate for 14 days.
People eligible for the Government’s Test and Trace Support Payment will have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they have tested positive for coronavirus, or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
Information on how to apply for a self-isolation support payment – either from the Government or the council’s discretionary scheme – is at www.york.gov.uk/selfisolate or please call 01904 551550.
Cllr Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Finance and Performance, said:
“We know how worried many people are about money at this difficult time.
“This £100,000 for eligible applicants to our discretionary scheme will provide much-needed relief to those worried about not being able to earn due to self-isolation.
“Self-isolating is just one way in which people are being affected financially by the pandemic. We’re also offering help to people to maximise any benefits and extra payments they’re eligible for, and to give advice to help them manage financially through these difficult times.”
The benefits you might be eligible for, how to claim and how any benefits will be affected if your circumstances change at gov.uk/benefits-calculators
For help to claim any of the help above or for more advice on sources of support in the city, please go to www.york.gov.uk/BenefitsAdvice or call 01904 551556 for help or a referral to the most appropriate support.
If you’re struggling to manage, or you don’t have any support, but need it because of Covid-19, the council’s helpline is here to help you through this difficult time. Contact us by email: email@example.com or telephone: 01904 551550.
More COVID test appointment times available at Thanet Road
There are a large number of symptom free testing slots available at the Acorn Rugby Club site on Thanet Road for today.
NB. There is a period, from around 3pm – 6.30pm each day, when the Thanet Road site will not show as a testing option on the booking form. This is to allow the system to refresh.
Council guidance on the local initiative is reproduced below
As you will be aware cases in the city are rising and we need your help.
In recent days we have seen a spike in the number of cases in your area (and in some parts of the Foxwood area) and so are offering you the chance to get a symptom-free test to help keep you and those around you safe.
1 in 3 cases of Coronavirus have no symptoms but for some catching Coronavirus can have serious consequences. You could be spreading the virus to those you care about without knowing it.
To help stop the spread we are asking for you and your family to get a test. We are setting up a testing site at York Acorn Rugby Club, Thanet Road, YO24 2NW to make it as easy as possible for you to get a test. This site will be open from Wednesday 6th – Wednesday 13th January inclusive, between 9am and 3pm.
How it works
Book to have a test atwww.nhs.uk/coronavirus. On this website select that you do not have symptoms of coronavirus, but in the relevant section choose the option ‘my local council or health protection team has asked me to get a test even though I don’t have symptoms’. Then select the site at York Acorn Rugby Club. Testing can be undertaken on anyone aged 5 and over. We do not recommend being tested if you have tested positive in the previous 90 days. Ring 119 if can’t book online.
If you have symptoms of Coronavirus please do not attend this site, instead book a test through www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119 and select the Poppleton Bar site or a home testing kit.
Getting your results
You should get your results within 24-48 hours of your test.
If you receive a negative test result you can continue as you were.
a negative test result provides information about the level of the virus at one point in time
it’s possible to become infected in the hours or days after taking a rapid test – so you must continue to follow government guidance on social distancing, good hand hygiene, and practice ‘Hands, Face, Space’
this type of testing will only be effective if people continue to follow the guidance
Positive test results
If you receive a positive test result you must self-isolate for 10 days.
By working together and looking after each other we can get through this. We are incredibly grateful for all you have done this year to help stop the spread of Coronavirus.
Thank you for your continued support.
Stay safe and best wishes
Director of Public Health“
Essential frontline Council services announcement
City of York Council is working hard to ensure critical frontline services, such as waste and gritting services, will continue during the new national lockdown restrictions.
As the number of Covid cases increase in the city and across the country, it’s inevitable that the council will also see an increase in the number of infections within its frontline workforce, which makes delivering some services challenging.
Therefore, the council has acted fast and brought in additional measures to keep key frontline services like gritting and waste going over the coming months. This includes introducing stricter staff bubbles to protect staff, redeploying staff from other services and Public Health are also looking to roll our regular testing to staff in the council’s key services.
Immediate operational changes have also been introduced to ensure all but essential highways maintenance works have been paused during the national lockdown, prioritising household waste (refuse) collections and gritting services.
With many key workers currently using the highway network and winter weather affecting the city, it’s important that that the gritting team can continue to keep the highways clear and safe. Grit bins can be used by local residents and are being restocked. Residents are reminded to help relief the pressure on the NHS by taking extra care on untreated side roads and footpaths.
The council has worked with trade unions and its supply chain to develop new ways of working and has ensured all works will happen in a safe way for front line operatives and the public, particularly whilst roads are quieter than normal.
Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council, said:
“During this incredibly difficult period, it is important that the council continues to deliver essential frontline services, such as gritting and waste collections, to support local residents, businesses and key workers.
“Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, our crews are working hard to ensure that these services can continue despite the national lockdown. With many key workers currently using the road network, it is important that our roads are gritted, so road conditions are maintained and improved. Our Household, Waste and Recycling Centres will also remain open to local residents throughout this period.
“As ever, the resilience and reaction of our city in the face of adversity has been encouraging. We have been overwhelmed by the response of residents and community groups who are supporting more vulnerable residents across the city. Again, I would like to thank our staff, residents and communities enough for truly demonstrating how York comes together in times of crisis.”
However, even with these additional measures, some services like waste may still be affected if case numbers significantly increase amongst staff. This could include some delays or missed collections and the need to co-mingle some items. The council is doing everything it can to keep such disruption to a minimum where possible.
Key services and changes summary:
Waste: some comingling may occur due to staff absences because of increased COVID infections and there may be some missed collections. Staff are operating in bubbles to protect crews
highways repairs/gritting: essential pothole repair and winter gritting will continue as normal. Staff are operating in bubbles to protect gritting drivers
outdoor gyms: sports areas, basketball courts and outdoor gyms are now closed
household waste sites at Hazel Court and Towthorpe: These services remain open
explore libraries will be opening at York, Acomb and Tang Hall for public access to PCs, in order to ensure that everyone in York has access to the internet and isn’t digitally excluded. There will also be a click and collect from Acomb and Tang Hall. These centres will be open Mon-Fri 10am to 3pm and Sat 10am 1pm
a takeaway service will also operate from Rowntree Park Reading Café, seven days a week between 9am- 4pm.
christmas tree collection – York residents can take their real trees for recycling to Tescos at Askham Bar in York between 10am and 4pm on Sunday 10 January.
footstreets – operating hours will revert to 10.30am to 5pm (not 8pm). Extensions (Blake Street/Lendal & Goodramgate/Colliergate sections) will remain in place.
street Works – Works to accelerate the delivery of utilities will take place were possible and whilst traffic levels are lower.
the lockdown restrictions may affect the frequency of buses on some routes. Please check the itravelyork and operator websites for the latest information: itravelyork.info
piccadilly car park is now closed.
Help us to ensure your waste/recycling collections can continue as normal, by following these steps:
Personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags
double bag – these bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste within your own room
this should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin
wipe down bins and boxes etc before and after collection
minimise the waste you throw away
So far this season the crews have treated the roads and trial cycle network on 22 occasions, using 1,100 tonnes of salt
each time our nine large and three mini gritters treat York’s network they cover around 390 kilometres of road, footways and cycle-paths, with up to 100 tonnes of salt
crews leave as early as 4am to ensure the city’s main roads, footpaths and cycle ways are treated
some circumstances affect when and how we spread grit, including, traffic, rain that can wash away grit, unexpected changes and temperatures below -5°C, which make grit less effective.
yellow warnings of ice expected to remain in York over the next week, meaning icy patches are expected to develop, especially on untreated surfaces
therefore, it is vital that people travel to the conditions and leave extra time to complete their journey.
the aim of the winter maintenance service is, as far as is reasonably possible, to allow the safe movement of traffic, pedestrians and cyclists, on York roads, footways and cycleway during times of adverse winter weather
it also seeks to keep delays and accidents to a minimum
precautionary treatment is undertaken before ice forms or snow settles on the highway
precautionary treatment will only be to footways and carriageways on the defined network, which excludes most footways, cycleway and all car parks
the gritting of cycle route networks forms part of our winter maintenance, unfortunately resources do not allow us to treat these as frequently as the primary network, these routes will be treated as and when resources becomes available.
With the current situation continuously evolving, it is incredibly important that residents, communities and visitors can access reliable and accurate information easily. To subscribe to direct email updates from City of York Council, visit: www.york.gov.uk/form/EmailUpdates
Whilst national restrictions are in force, City of York Council is expanding its symptom-free testing offer to local residents.
The Council is now expanding its testing to include anyone living or working in York who is unable to work from home during the lockdown and who come into contact with other people during the course of their work, including staff working in education and early years settings and those in factories or working in construction.
Testing continues to be offered to those who support the most vulnerable in the city, to school pupils who are eligible to attend school and to teachers who will be working in schools.
We advise that tests are booked regularly (every week), and that people get tested twice, 3 days apart. More test slots have been made available and residents are being encouraged to book their place now.
The Council is also working to identify more testing sites in the coming weeks. We are seeing a high demand for testing and are working hard to increase capacity so if people experience difficulties in booking please try again later when slots may have become available.
The Council is asking that those who are no longer going into school or work as a result of the national restrictions to cancel their appointment if they no longer need it. This will help provide tests to other residents who need a test urgently. You can do this by clicking the link in the confirmation email or visiting our booking website clicking the ‘reschedule or cancel your appointment’ option.
Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council, said:
It is estimated that 1 in 3 people with coronavirus do not display symptoms and therefore, some individuals will be spreading the virus without realising.
“That is why we are committed to offering symptom-free tests to help stop the spread of the virus. Given the recent changes in restrictions, we have expanded our criteria to offer it to those most likely to come into contact with others.
“We will be looking to open more testing sites in the coming weeks, and we are hugely grateful to York St John University for their support and other partners who are offering their help.”
Sharon Stoltz, Director for Public Health said:
The early identification of those who have coronavirus and subsequent self-isolation will really help us drive down the number of new cases.
“Thank you to the thousands who have been tested so far and book a slot. I would urge anyone who is eligible to get tested regularly to protect those they love as well as the wider York community. We would also be really grateful if those who no longer need a test as a result of the change in restrictions cancel their appointment so this slot can be offered to another resident who may need it urgently.
“If you have symptoms of Coronavirus please cancel your appointment and arrange a test through the NHS at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
“More venues will be opening across the city soon and we will share more details when we can.”
Working on behalf of 11 GP Practices, Nimbuscare announced at the weekend that it has opened a COVID-19 vaccination site in York.
They have begun offering the COVID-19 vaccine to invited individuals..
Key things to know about the new site:
Those in the first priority groups will be offered the vaccine first. All those vaccinated will also need to come for a booster jab at a later date. People will be contacted when the time is right to come for their appointment. You will be contacted by letter, text message or phone call. Please don’t contact your local GP practice or hospital to ask about the vaccine and please do not come to the site without an appointment. Getting vaccinated means protecting yourself form the virus so you can be there for your family, friends and patients.
Seasonal surplus food distribution tomorrow (Wednesday)
More on fines for Tier 3 visitors
Shocking number of fines handed to tier 3 visitors ignoring restrictions and visiting York this weekend
City of York police have issued a shocking number of fines to tier 3 residents, who chose to flout regulations and visit the city this weekend.
Local policing teams made proactive visits with City of York Council covid support marshalls and enforcement officers to a number of licensed premises on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to ensure people were acting responsibly and being safe by sticking to the regulations around indoor gatherings and the rule of six outdoors.
However, officers encountered large numbers of visitors from tier 3 areas, who had chosen to ignore the warnings and put local residents at risk by flouting the regulations. Many were found to be from multiple households who were mixing indoors, clearly breaking the tier 3 restrictions which travel with them. When spoken to by officers, some did disperse and leave the area, but some groups were resistant to police advice, resulting in enforcement action being taken.
Over the weekend police have processed 61 tickets issued in York alone, with 55 being handed to tier 3 residents in breach of their tier regulations. However, officers have stated that there are over 100 more tickets in the pipeline, awaiting paperwork completion and processing.
Superintendent Mike Walker, who is leading the North Yorkshire Police response to Covid-19 said:
“Looking at the numbers of fines handed out this weekend which are still awaiting processing, we believe that we have handed out over 160 tickets, with the vast majority being issued to tier 3 residents who visited York to mix and socialise indoors, which is in clear breach of their restrictions.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have been very clear about our approach and the action taken this weekend is evidence of it. We have stated our teams would be patrolling, speaking to the public and encouraging them to adhere to the rules. Where we encounter people who refuse to adhere to the regulations and believe their pint is more important than someone’s life, we will use our enforcement powers.
“Some people who were spoken to by officers did go home. However, our teams encountered large numbers of people who were not responsive to the advice, leaving us no option but to enforce through the use of fixed penalty notices.
“We will continue to patrol the city and the wider county and we will be visiting licensed premises and busy shopping areas. People very clearly know and understand the risks, they know that this virus is deadly, they will know about the identification of a new strain and know the serious steps the Government has taken in the South East, so there really is no excuse for acting so irresponsibly.
“If you choose to visit the city of York from tier 3 areas without a justifiable reason to have made your journey – with our extra patrols, chances are you will encounter one of our officers and you’ll be asked about the reason for your visit. It is our responsibility to ask those questions, to determine the truth and take the necessary action, in order to stop the spread and ultimately save lives.
“We remain undeterred from our objective to keep the people of North Yorkshire safe.”
Cllr Denise Craghill, executive member for safer communities at City of York Council said: “We want people to enjoy York safely and in line with Government rules. You should not travel across tier boundaries and in York, tier 2 restrictions must be followed: meet only your household or your bubble, or up to six people outside. Please remember to continue to wash your hands, wear a face covering and give each other 2 metres space.
“No one in the city wants to put loved ones at risk for the sake of a night out and undo the city’s hard work and sacrifice.”
The York Council has belatedly updated its open data page to show how many fines were levied for littering during the quarter ending in December 2019.
It is however refusing to release numbers for the final quarter (to the end of March 2020) and the first quarter of 20/21. The latter includes the time when lock-down restrictions were eased and the now infamous “riverside party” season started. The latter sparked a wave of complaints about anti social behaviour and indiscriminate littering by a minority of visitors.
The Council says that the March stats will be published later in July but residents will have to wait until at least September before they can judge how effectively anti littering enforcement staff performed in June.
The above is just one example of poor management. Other performance indicators also haven’t been updated since last year.
The York Council is set to deploy CCTV cameras at known fly tipping hotspots. The cameras will not be covert so the immediate effect is likely to be as a deterrent.
Taxpayers face a bill for tens of thousands of pounds each year for cleaning up fly tipping.
The cameras will be come operations on 1st April 2020
Meanwhile the Local Government Association (LGA) has revealed that only 5 per cent of court-imposed fines for fly-tipping offences in England in the past six years were above £1,000, and only a sixth of them above £500.
This is despite fly-tipping incidents soaring by 50 per cent over the same period, up from 714,637 in 2012/13 to 1,072,431 in 2018/19.
The LGA, which represents councils in England and Wales, says tougher sentences are needed to deter fly-tipping, which latest figures shows costs councils £58 million a year to clear up.
Only two people have been given the maximum £50,000 fine by the courts for fly-tipping since the Government introduced new guidelines in 2014.
Councils take fly-tipping extremely seriously and are taking increasing enforcement action against the criminals responsible. Councils took action on nearly half a million incidents in 2018/19 – almost 5,000 more than the previous year and up by nearly 75,000 in six years.
Successful prosecutions brought by councils are at their highest level since 2011/12, while fixed penalty notices – issued by councils for smaller fly-tipping cases – are at record levels. Seizure of vehicles – up 51 per cent over the past year – is also at an all-time high.
However, due to demand on councils’ legal duties, such as caring for elderly and disabled people, protecting children and providing homelessness support, less money is available for discretionary powers – like issuing penalty notices for fly-tipping.
The LGA is calling on the Government to work with councils on reviewing guidance to the courts to ensure the worst offenders face tougher sentences, and that councils have the funding needed to investigate and prosecute fly-tippers.
Three York parents have been handed court fines this month after City of York Council took action following their children’s poor attendance at school.
The prosecution was heard by York Magistrates and followed numerous attempts by the authority and schools to engage the parents to give the children the education to which they are entitled.
In all cases, the parents had failed to provide the schools with acceptable reasons for much of their children’s absence and the schools had therefore marked the absence as unauthorised.
The prosecuted parents had, prior to court, failed to engage with the schools and local authority to support their children’s attendance and had also been issued with a fine as an alternative to prosecution. They had not paid it, prompting the council to prosecute.
All three parents were ordered to pay fines ranging between £131 to £660.
Maxine Squire, Assistant Director of Education and Skills at City of York Council, said: “We want all children to receive a great education and benefit from the rich opportunities and high quality of education that are provided by our schools, and working with families and schools to promote and maintain good attendance is vital in achieving this.
“We will always attempt to engage with parents to avoid further loss of a child’s education before we prosecute. This is used as last resort in order to ensure that children receive the education to which they are entitled.”
York Magistrates have ordered four men to pay total costs of £1773 for urinating in public in York.
On Tuesday 16 July 2019, York Magistrates heard that Luke Beaumont (aged 20 of Southwold Close, Scarborough) was found by a police officer, urinating against the wall of St. Martin Le Grand Church on Coney Street, York, at 7.25pm on Sunday 21 April 2019.
Mr Beaumont, who apologised for his actions during the incident, pleaded guilty by post and was fined £81, ordered to pay costs of £264 and a court surcharge of £30.
Jordan Haigh (aged 21 or The Willows, Thirsk) was seen by a police officer, urinating against a wall on Lendal, York, around 1.50am on Sunday 24 March 2019. Mr Haigh fled the scene however was located shortly after and admitted the offence.
Mr Haigh pleaded guilty by post and was fined £133, ordered to pay costs of £264 and a court surcharge of £30.
York Magistrates (16 July 2019) also heard that Paul Peacock (aged 44 of Boulmer Lea, Durham) was seen by a York BID Ranger, urinating on a ramp between Boots and WH Smiths on Coney Street, York, at around 8.40pm on Saturday 27 April 2019.
Following the assistance of North Yorkshire Police Officers, Mr Peacock’s identity was confirmed. He pleaded guilty by post and was fined £163, ordered to pay costs of £264 and a court surcharge of £30.
Jack Pearson (aged 23 of Kitchener Street, York) was found by a police officer, urinating against a wall at the rear of Coney Street, York, at 2.50am on Saturday 30 March 2019.
Mr Pearson failed to attend court of submit a plea and was found guilty in his absence. He was fined £220, ordered to pay costs of £264 and a court surcharge of £30.
Two women sentenced following noise complaints against dogs
Two dog owners in York were ordered to pay a total of £2421.74 by York Magistrates on 7 May after failing to comply with the conditions of a noise abatement notice.
Lesley Smith (aged 62 of Hinton Avenue, Foxwood, York) received multiple complaints from neighbours in 2016 following continuous disturbances from her four dogs in the early hours of the morning.
Ms Smith’s dogs were also left outside for up to two hours on an evening, causing further noise disturbance to the neighbours despite numerous warnings, an abatement notice and a caution being issued.
City of York Council Neighbourhood Enforcement Officers carried out surveillance of a property belonging to Samantha Flower (aged 42 of Lincoln Street, Leeman Road, York), after they received multiple complaints from neighbours in 2017.
Council officers employed noise monitoring equipment and noted over 15 barks in one minute after 11pm during a visit to Miss Flower’s property in February 2019.
Appearing at York Magistrates on 7 May, Miss Flower pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the conditions of a noise abatement notice and was fined £120, ordered to pay costs of £100 as well as a surcharge of £30.
Ms Smith pleaded guilty by post to failing to comply with the conditions of a noise abatement notice and was fined £450, ordered to pay costs of £1676.94 as well as a surcharge of £45.
Householders who are indirectly guilty of fly-tipping because they failed to check that the waste carrier they hired was properly licensed, may be issued with £250 fixed penalty notice.
Previously anyone committing this offence would be liable for prosecution alongside the fly-tipper themselves.
The new fine, agreed yesterday, allows a more proportionate penalty and can be reduced to £150 if paid within 10 days of issue. It also gives the offender an alternative to prosecution and so avoid a criminal record should they be found guilty. Offenders who do not pay the fine will be prosecuted and so risk a significantly higher fine or sentencing by the courts.
Two-thirds of fly-tips throughout the country contain household waste. This new fixed penalty is the latest development to deter fly-tipping in York. It supports both Keep Britain Tidy’s #CrimeNotToCare which City of York Council launched in January 2018, and the regional, rurally-focused Operation Eyeball campaign which started last summer. These are both backed by regular enforcement action run by the council along with North Yorkshire Police and DVLA to deter illegal waste movement and disposal.
The latest figures published on the Councils open data web site say that only 8 fixed penalty tickets have been issued for dog fouling since April 2015.
No penalty notices have been issued at all since June last year.
Similarly, no Community Protection Notices (see right) for dog fouling have been issued since 2015
The York Council receives around 2000 requests for action each year on cleansing issues which includes dog fouling. It no longer publishes the number of complaints it receives about full poop scoop bins but it used to be around 20 a month..
Acontract was let in April for the replacement of ageing “poop scoop” bins in the City.
Several campaigns have been run to highlight the risks associated with dog fouling. These included, in some areas like Foxwood, displaying eye catching posters while in others local residents highlighted “poop” on footpaths with spray markers.
Whether the problem has got better, or worse over recent months is difficult to assess.
Issues can be traced back to 2012 when the, then Labour controlled, Council scrapped the “dog warden” service. At the same time, they reduced the number of litter and dog bins in the City.