Front Street greengrocer faces arrest

Shop could close following food safety investigation

The Press are reporting that the owner of the greengrocers shop on Front Street could be banned from the food industry following a food inspection which found rats in the building.

An appalling series of photographs of the shop have been published.

“Food hygiene officer Kerry Bell told the court she found rat droppings on the shop floor and food display shelves, broken food packages and signs that rats had been eating the food inside them at Gary Michael Anderson’s greengrocers.

The shop, in the main shopping street in Acomb, York, stank and had mouldy blackberries, satsumas and bananas for sale”.

“Magistrates praised the two council departments for their work. During the investigation, the council closed the shop premises until they were properly cleaned, the waste food removed and the rats were eliminated, but allowed Anderson to sell from the pavement outside provided all stock was kept in his van overnight”.

Bench chairman Ian Nicholson said: “He persistently refused to take measures to protect customers.

“We found a flagrant disregard of the law over a protracted period. Multiple attempts were made to assist Mr Anderson, which he largely ignored.

“This is an appalling example of putting other businesses at risk, and we suspect the public too.”

They heard evidence that the rats left their traces in the upper room of a neighbouring charity shop that was used by elderly volunteers to sort through public donations.

York Council to sell Bootham Row car parking spaces

New threat to sell off Council housing land

Land at Bootham Row to be sold

The York Council’s Executive is being recommended to sell off 5 car parking spaces at Bootham Row car park. The land (see map) also accommodates motorcycle parking.

The Council is hoping to raise £155,000 from a local developer who hopes to remodel 27 Bootham.

The car parking spaces generate over £7000 a year for taxpayers

Coming at a time when pressure on City centre car parks is being blamed for the accelerating decline in the City centre retail economy, the plan is bound to raise eyebrows. It is reminiscent of the plan, hatched in 2011 by the then Labour led Council administration, which proposed to sell off the nearby Union Terrace car park. That idea collapsed after being heavily criticised by both residents and traders.

Housing land sale

More alarming is the publication of a lofty document which seeks to justify a new “Asset Management Strategy”. It is due to be discussed by the Council’s Executive on 28th September.

The report claims that the last strategy, launched in 2011, has been a success.

Amongst the credulous statements that Councillors are being asked to believe, are claims that that the York Central and Castle Gateway sites “have been made more economically active” (In fact very little progress has been made on either project over the last 6 years).

The report goes on to claim that older people’s accommodation has been improved. Again, the reality is that the project is running 4 years behind schedule.

Sanderson House community centre

Most bizarre is a claim that leasing community centres to local organisations  “have allowed voluntary groups to flourish, increase activity, improve outcomes and attract external funding”. The reality, at least at the two community centres in the Westfield area, is that volunteers have been given a crushing burden to handle with minimal Council support.  Most ad hoc leisure events at the centres have stopped with most bookings now being from third parties (which the management committees have to accept simply to pay for running costs)

The Council has similarly jettisoned its commitment to many local sports facilities.

The report talks vaguely of joint use arrangement with other public-sector providers such as GPs.

It seems likely that the Council intends to target staff who work in neighbourhood buildings potentially repeating the disastrous policy – from a customer service perspective – of closing facilities like the Acomb Housing office and the Beckfield Lane recycling centre.

Derelict site behind Acomb Explore Library

The report says that 5 (unidentified) Housing department owned sites will either be sold or freed up for redevelopment.

The report pointedly fails to identify the location of these sites.

There are of course pieces of Council owned land which are crying out for development.

These include the land to the rear of the Acomb Library, which was schedule as an extension providing “one stop shop” facilities – with residential accommodation above – over 8 years ago.

We are still waiting to see some progress.

Blow as Front Street business closes

Front Street

Cartridge World, who had a high street presence in Acomb for over 15 years, closed for the final time yesterday. The business is moving “on line” with future orders being serviced from their Harrogate office.

The franchised store specialised in recycling ink and toner cartridges providing a significant discount on the new price. At one point the business had three branches in York.

Ironically the company blames “on line” ordering for the demise of its local shops. Several companies offer “next day” delivery for cartridges ordered via the internet.

It is unclear whether this decision and others like it, will reduce the proportion of cartridges reused. A return to the “use and jettison” days would be a step backward for the environment.

Future ordering details can be found at

Improvements in Front Street

Railings painted and weeds removed at the Acomb toilets. Vast improvement.

The cycle hoops on Front Street are to be repainted this week. They will not be available for use in the evening while the work takes place.

The improvement is the first of many instigated by the Westfield Ward Committee and follows the publication of the results of a residents survey in which support for  refurbishment schemes got a high level of residents support.

The repainting programme will move on over the next few weeks to other parts of the area including the Tedder Road park.

Separately, BT has agreed to repair the damaged telephone kiosks on Front Street. The company says that, subject to consultation, the kiosks which are a target for vandals, may be removed altogether next year.

Woman arrested following Front Street burglary

A woman has been arrested following a burglary at the Chill Café in Acomb York.

It happened just after midnight in the early hours of Saturday 1 July 2017 when an amount of cash was stolen.

Police officers arrested the woman, who is in her 20s and from York, on Saturday evening. She was arrested on suspicion of burglary, possessing class b drugs and assaulting a police officer after a beer can was thrown in an officer’s face. She remains in police custody.

Anyone who was in the area at the time and has any information is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask for York Investigation Hub.

Please quote reference 12170114900 when passing on information.

Front Street regeneration – residents views sought

Residents are being asked to give their views on what needs to be done to revive the Front Street area.

There are fewer empty shop units on Front Street compared to 3 years ago (above)

The York Council recently announced that it will invest in the Front Street area and the expectation is that experts will recommend a way forward. Although the shopping area has had a boost over recent years, with the Acomb Alive traders organisation holding a series of events, many feel that a change to the physical layout of the precinct will be necessary to tempt larger numbers of shoppers back to the village.

A monthly street market has been very popular and it is hoped to build on its success.

The next market is being held on Saturday 24th June.

Responding to a door to door survey, recently launched in the Hamilton Drive and St Stephens Road areas by the Westfield ward Councillors team, residents have already indicated how often they use services on the Front Street area.

The majority have said that they frequently use the supermarket, local shops and the bank/post office facilities.

Residents are also being asked to rate several potential improvements. These include:

  • Providing a level surface across the whole of the pedestrian area including the forecourts
  • Improving litter and rubbish management
  • Providing a “big screen” focal point
  • Generally repaint and refurbish street furniture and signs
  • Providing easier parking
  • Narrowing the carriageway in “old” Front St to make it more pedestrian friendly.

The hope is that the survey will prompt some original thinking by both residents and commercial users in the area.

A public meeting has been scheduled to take place, on 12th July at 6:30pm in the Gateway Centre, to discuss how the Front St area can be regenerated. 

In the meantime, interested parties can complete a brief on line survey by clicking here



Latest planning applications for the Westfield Ward

Flat proposed above Front Street shop

Another flat conversion proposed for Front Street area

Below is the latest planning application received by the York Council for the Westfield ward.

Full details can be found by clicking the words highlighted in blue


Acorn 7 Front Street York YO24 3BW

Proposal Change of use of first floor to 1no. residential unit

Reference       17/00848/FUL


24 Lown Hill York YO24 3DY

Two storey side extension

Ref. No: 17/00818/FUL 


2 The Green Acomb York YO26 5LR

Non-material amendment to permitted application 16/02323/FUL to render approved extension’s side wall to match existing and installation of rooflight

Ref. No: 17/00784/NONMAT 


 Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning on line web site.

The Council now no longer routinely consults neighbours by letter when an application is received