New Covid-19 (coronavirus) case in York

It is understood that this case came about as a result of travel to northern Italy.

The individual “followed all necessary health advice and has been in self-isolation at home” and the authorities say “here is a very low risk of the virus having been transferred to anyone in York”.

The Council expects that more confirmed cases in York over the next weeks and months as the virus spreads across the country.

“The council and our partners have well established plans in place and are working closely together to ensure that we are best placed to respond to local issues as they arise”.

No details of which neighbourhood the victim lives in have been released.

How is your neighbourhood?

Council releases updated “ward profile” information

The York Council has updated the “Ward Profile” pages on its open data web site. Residents can view a range of statistics about the area in which they live. Click here

A summary of the information is also provided at City level.

The figures compare local public service standards and residents’ views with the City averages (Westfield figures are shown in brackets in the summary below.

  • York has 208,163 residents (14,171) with 5.7% (3.1%) from a black and minority ethnic community group. 83.9% (78.9%) are in good health, with 15.3% (18.8%) stating that they have some limitation in day to day activities.
  • £637.58 (£594.62) was the Average Weekly Household Income in 2015/2016 (£629.00 [£580.00] in 2013/2014).
  • 66% (57%) own their own home, either outright or with a mortgage, 18% (9%) are private renters and 14% (32%) are social tenants. There are 7,614 Council Houses in York.

Westfield continues to be the “poorest” ward in the City although average incomes are now steadily rising.  It is consistently in the “worst” 5 wards when judged on a range of indicators including the economy, poverty, health & Wellbeing, crime, schools, transport and residents engagement.

However more people living in the ward agree that they can influence decisions in their local area than the city average.

The area also scores well on the availability of “superfast broadband”, travel times to secondary schools and business starts ups while most social care stats are positive.

The numbers unemployed have also fallen dramatically over the last 2 years.

Perhaps the biggest underlying problem is health, with 35% of children judged to be overweight. The area also has the largest proportion of overweight adults. Life expectancy is below average for both male and females. These figures will add to criticism of the York Councils decision to reduce the amount of open and sports space available in the ward.

Satisfaction with the Council as land lord is declining according to tenants’ views. Lack of car parking dog fouling and drug use are cited as significant issues in some areas.

All in all, the figures make interesting reading although the major impression is that things have improved over the last year or two.

Aspire to More – Celebrating the Participation of Children And Young People in Care

York’s Children in Care Council, is hosting an event on 13 September to celebrate the achievements of children and young people in care.

Members of the council, known as Show Me That I Matter (SMTIM) will celebrate their newest project Aspire to More It includes a series of posters and a website produced by Inspired Youth aimed at inspiring other children in care and care leavers to live their dreams.


Young homeless help Jeff decorate for Christmas

Enable is very pleased to announce that the team has been working its makeover magic in a special Christmas project.

The initiative is a partnership between City of York Council’s 60+ housing advice service and SASH, a charity providing accommodation and support to young people experiencing homelessness.

On 22 December a team of five young people along with council and SASH staff and volunteers from Homebase decorated the new home of Jeff Brady, aged 62.

Former Acomb Blockbuster store on market again

39a York RoadA building on the corner of York Road and School Street – formerly occupied by Blockbusters but recently converted into a Post Office and General Store – is on the market again.

Offers of over £99,950 are being invited through Ernest Wilson (tel. 0113 238 2900 Ref: 556919)

The store currently only opens 46 hours a week closing at 12:30pm on Saturdays. The Post Office remuneration is claimed to be around £55,000 pa.

When in a hole …

Mansion House, Lord Mayors flat is on the top floor

Mansion House, Lord Mayors flat is on the top floor

Most York residents will have watched their TV screens with incredulity over the last 48 hours as details of a leaked exchange of Emails, involving York’s Lord Mayor,  reached the media .

There are three pieces of advice given to any incoming holder of this important office which dates back to 1217.

  1. Treat the honour with humility
  2. Be natural – don’t put on any airs and graces
  3. Treat the role as a “job of work” not an extended social event

It is good advice. Advice that often leads to holders having an outstanding year of office reflecting credit both on the post holder and on the City. Last years Lord Mayor could rightly claim to have hit exactly the right note.

Others may carry some political baggage or reputation into the Mansion House with them. The sooner that is discarded the better.

So why should things have gene so wrong this year?

The fact that the Mansion House was to be refurbished this year, and that the Lord Mayor would not be able to use the grace an favour top floor flat, has been known for many months. When this last happened, an office suite in the Guildhall was made available to the then Lord Mayor for robing and hospitality. With the Guildhall empty at present this was an obvious solution to any accommodation issues.

Another controversial Lord Mayor - George Hudson - wearing the chain of office

Another controversial Lord Mayor – George Hudson – wearing the chain of office

In any event these days around 50% of office holders continue to live at their home address. There is normally no need for overnight accommodation in the City centre.

The second point made in the Emails concerns the appearance of the (second) mayoral chain of office. The chain itself comprises fragile gold links. It is used only rarely these days because of concern about wear and tear on individual components. The argument relates to a second, imitation, gilded chain. The gilt does need to be renewed from time to time and has in the past been kept up to standard through a public appeal for donations. In difficult financial times it is probably unreasonable to expect gilding to be undertaken at the expense of the public purse.

The civic regalia and silver collection should be kept in good condition and the Councils review committees should ensure that a regular inspection of all items is undertaken and their condition recorded.

A reopened Mansion House will provide an opportunity for more people to see the historic artifacts while also providing a a chance to generate more income to help with their conservation.

In the meantime – unless the present post holder is found to have broken the code of conduct – the matter needs to be put to rest. The Leader of the Councils comments on “Look North” – implying that refugees had a greater need for accommodation than the Lord Mayer – had more than whiff of hypocrisy. He would be more credible if he had stuck his head over the parapet 2 weeks ago when public opinion on the refugee topic was rather different.

So the Lord Mayor should trim her commitments for the rest of the year.  Organisations in the City will understand that only so much is possible.

Many may, in any event, be less likely to issue invitations to the Civic party at least until this unwelcome publicity has faded from the memory.

Grass cut back from Teal Drive snicket

Grass cutting reported on Sunday

Grass cutting reported on Sunday

Good to report that, following action by Cllrs Stephen Fenton and Sheena Jackson, the grass on the Teal Drive/Carrfield snicket has been cut back

In fact the whole of the Rowntrees playground, park and surrounding area has been tidied up.

Next on the list is to get the cycle barriers painted.


Teal Drive - Carrfield snicket grass cut

Teal Drive – Carrfield snicket grass cut

Next up - get the cycle barriers painted!

Next up – get the cycle barriers painted!

Earlier in the week there was a bit of a drama at the Foxwood shops when a drivers foot slipped on the accelerator sending her car into the flower tub.

Fortunately no one was hurt and damage was superficial

Errant driver relocates Beagle Ridge Drive  flower bed

Errant driver relocates Beagle Ridge Drive flower bed

Executive: Impact of financial inclusion work in the city

An annual report outlining the impact of advice and support to residents on improving their financial situation will be discussed by City of York Council’s Executive on 30 July.

The report provides an update of the financial inclusion work carried out by the council during 2014/15. The Financial Inclusion Steering Group aims to help ensure that local people have knowledge of and access to appropriate financial services, allowing them to make more informed choices to achieve and maintain financial stability.  (more…)