Figures released this week by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reveal that York’s population rose from 204,439 to 206,856 between mid 2014 and mid 2015.
This represented an increase of 2417 persons (1.2%)
Most of the increase was due to younger people, aged between 18 and 3, moving into the City. They accounted for 1431 of the total. This is unsurprising given the expansion in higher education that there has been in the City in recent years.
More significant may be the make-up of any change.
High growth predictions for the City have so far been based on a widening gap between the number of births and deaths in the City. Although that trend continues, the gap between the two has narrowed (1993 births against 1848 deaths last year).
As the graph (left) shows this new trend towards lower birth rates is also reflected elsewhere in the UK.
There were 637 (net) migrants arriving in York from other parts of the UK.
The biggest growth component were migrants from other parts of the world (1,643 net). Many of these were students.
In some towns, including Harrogate and Scarborough, the population actually reduced last year
It would be wrong to read too much into a single year’s figures. But, with the additional uncertainties about the country’s capacity for economic growth in the wake of the EU referendum result, the York Council might be wise to take a more cautious view about expansion than is currently displayed in its draft Local Plan.
The figures do however confirm that – with unemployment levels at an historic low in York – higher economic growth can only be achieved if many of the new jobs are taken up by migrate workers
City of York Council and its partners are inviting residents to the eighth York Jobs Fair, which will be held at York Railway Institute on Thursday 14 April.
Around 70 organisations will be represented at this year’s event. These include a range of different employers who represent the wide variety of jobs and careers available in York.
Those present will include Network Rail, Primark, National Railway Museum, Royal York Hotel, Hiscox, North Yorkshire Police, NHS York Teaching Hospital and organisations attending the Jobs Fair for the first time, such as Hampton by Hilton and Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
York seems likely to be without a permanent replacement for its Chief Executive for at least another 6 months.
Papers published for a meeting taking place on 1st February reveal that a review of the Council’s management structure, commissioned last June, has apparently still not been concluded.
The report blames ongoing financial pressures for the delays, although the Chief Executives post has been filled on a temporary basis (at full salary) for over 6 months.
It now appears that the report on a new structure may now be available in March. A £150,000 a year saving on salary costs is being achieved from 1st April by deleting a post dealing with “transformation and change”
Staff working in the Chief Executives Department are being transferred to other management groups suggesting that the Council may be thinking of abolishing the role of Chief Executive altogether.
The Council will, however, now move to appoint a permanent Director of Public Health on a salary of around £100,000.
The Council will also make a permanent appointment to the post of “City and Environmental Services”. Essentially this is the role formerly held by Bill Woolley who retired over three years ago. It is responsible for planning and transport policy. The post will also attract a pay level of around £100,000 pa. The Council says that to minimise recruitment costs this post will be “advertised externally on City of York Council Jobs Website and promoted through the Council social media channels”. Minimal advertising of vacancies is usually a tactic that a Council adopts when it has “someone in mind” for the post.
Recent events – including the Councils response to the flooding crisis – suggest that there is a lack of effective leadership in the authority. Taking over 12 months to find a permanent appointment for the post which is responsible for driving the administrative side of the Council is, at best, complacent and at worst negligent.
The York Council is now desperately short of experienced management capacity.
Councillors need to act quickly and decisively to fill the void.