“Rag Mag” scams in York revealed

8 complaints about bogus “Rag Mag” sellers were dealt with by the York Council last year.


The sellers were pretending to be from a University or charity.

5 complaints were about people pretending to raise money for RAG (Raising and Giving)

The Council has published details of the complaints (which could relate to people fundraising on the street, online or any method).

  • 115530 – Complaint regarding gag mag sellers – allegation that the seller saidthe sale would supportunemployed people, but the complainant found the money was for the seller’s own profit
  • 116590 – Complaint regarding racist/sexist joke books and claims regarding the books being sold to help the unemployed
  • 116622 – Complaint regarding vendor selling magazines outside York Minster.Allegation the magazine is called “Gag mag” and they are posing as a student charity.
  • 116878 – Complaint regarding sale of rag mags – allegation that the seller is saying the magazine will help the unemployed
  • 116990 – 2 x Complaints regarding sellers, concerns that the sellers are implying that they arestudents and the proceedswill pay for their course.
  • 117570 – Complaint regarding sale of magazines – allegation the sellers are claiming the magazines are published by their university.Complainant feels they are out selling too much to be students.
  • 118788 – Complaint regarding conduct of joke book sellers – seller is claiming that the money will be used to pay for a college course.

York Council’s “Allo, Allo” approach to Tour de France



Organisers are playing down rumours of a big overspend on the local budget for the Tour de France. Some estimates say that crowd control costs are now likely to be twice the original estimate.

On Thursday the Council Leader has been asked to report to a full Council meeting what income the City has obtained to offset its £1.6 million expenditure on the event.

Tomorrow the Licensing committee will decide whether to permit Monk Stray to be used for camping and other activities connected with the event.

Protests over lap dancing club licence in York

Over 100 protestors  assembled last week to oppose the renewal of a lap dancing clubs licence in York.

The club operator Andrew Whitney – who stood unsuccessfully for the Conservatives in the Heworth Ward by election in 2009 – said that failure to renew the license would result in 40 lap dancers losing their jobs.

Most of the protesters were friends and relatives of the dancers. They claimed that the girls were being politically harassed during their work stints, and that this amounted to a cruel and unusual punishment.

Vote Tory ban red

One visitor to the club was Ann “the knife” Mac (not her real name) who was auditioning following losing her North Yorkshire job.

On leaving the club after her interview she commented , “ What relevance my views on the Common Agricultural Policy have for this job I’m not sure. However it makes a change from endless discussions about the impact that Bulgarian sheep imports are having on the Thirsk economy”.

Anther dancer Pneumatic Nell (her real name), revealed what went on in the club.

“ I first realised the club was different when, shortly after starting a dance for a customer, Andy came up to me and asked me to sign a petition which sought an immediate referendum on EC membership”.

“On another occasion Andy shouted out  “Keynes is dead”. I though he meant that my customer had had a heart attack but it turned out he just wanted to emphasise the importance of monetary policy to the UK economy”.

“ I’m now planning to have what the Leader of the Council calls a community conversation.

After the dance, I’ll ask him what he intends to do to clean up York politics”

Spending 40p – York Council flushed with optimism

The York Council is handing over the running of its public conveniences to a private contractor.

Toilet sign

A standard charge of 40p will be made to users. The contractor will be able to increase the charge by 10p per annum.

The news is not particularly surprising although the scale of the charge is.

Visitors already tortured by traffic restriction fines now face another form of discomfort. The vendetta follows on from the high profile persecution of those “caught short”.

The Council has now published a list of 9 further offenders all of who faced fines of over £100. One urinated outside the Magistrate Court building conveniently saving on transport costs.

The Council hopes to save £75,000 a year from the charge. In return it promises a £663,000 refurbishment programme including £33,000 to be spent on the Front Street Acomb toilets.

All toilets will have unisex cubicles and have baby change facilities. Accessibility will be greatly improved with all facilities having alarm cords for disabled users connected to a 24-hour helpline and there will be 24-hour access to all toilets. This will be controlled by gates operated by payment of a 40p fee – what is already being charged at Silver Street – while disabled users are can continue to use RADAR keys for no charge.

Nine public conveniences will be provide under the new arrangements. The nine are located at:

  •  Acomb, Front Street
  •  Haxby, Main Street
  •  Coppergate
  •  Exhibition Square
  •  Nunnery Lane CP
  •  Silver Street
  •  St George’s Field CP
  •  Tanner Row
  •  Union Terrace

Other public conveniences will close

York marathon faces sprint rival

run to loo

A new York Sprint race is to be held next summer for the first time. The event will aim to find the fastest visitor to the City.

Entrants will be asked to drink 3 pints of lager and will then be given a map of the Councils new network of public conveniences. Contestants will then race to the nearest site.

In line with the publicity for the Lendal bridge closure, recommended routes to the loos will be marked out making full use of the northern by pass.

On arrival 50% of the conveniences will be closed for cleaning.

CCTV cameras will be strapped to the back of each contestant to ensure that they do not cheat.

The entry fee for the contest will be 40p Multiple entries are allowed but will be charged separately.

Entry forms will be available on the Council web site shortly.

NB. The event has no connection with the “brass monkeys” race although the consequences could be similar.

A1237 to become Toll road


The Council has announced that the A1237 northern by pass is to become a toll road

Motorists will have to purchase a “pay and display” ticket as happens in other car parks.

The move has been made possible by increased congestion caused by road works and the closure of Lendal Bridge.

Mr I. B. Stuck commented that he hoped that a “pay by phone” option would be made available before his newly ordered camper van was delivered, by air, to the lay-by near Tesco.

“I’m looking forward to my holiday overlooking the River Ouse but I don’t want to have to get out to buy another ticket every time a wheel turns”.

Council transport statistics click to enlarge

Council transport statistics click to enlarge

A Council spokesman said it was likely that Mr Stuck would remain stuck at least until the new A59 Park and Ride site opened in the spring.

The Council hopes to extend its pay and display scheme to cover the Hull Road, Fulford Road and Foss Islands Road all of which the spokesman described as “having potential”.

NB. The latest Council report on congestion levels has been published. Well actually it hasn’t. We are told that the figures for traffic volumes are being “cleansed” but will be available “towards the end of October”.

Today is the 1st November.