In a behind closed doors decision, the York Council has agreed to spend £18,000 on new “Totem” signposting in the City centre.
A project, backed by the York BID and apparently with the approval of the York Civic Trust, will cost £36,000 for the trial in total The sum is mainly being spent on consultant’s fees but will result in some trial “Totems” being deployed.
The report goes on to say, “If the trial is successful and the programme is rolled out, this would need a significant contribution from both parties (for) which the BID has made provision and the authority would need to determine its position as a Council later in the Year”.
It is unclear how much this project may end up costing taxpayers and whether the funding would come from the “Make it York” organisation which now handles the city’s tourism budget.
The decision – taken by a Council official – is likely to widen the gap between the expectations of residents living in sub-urban areas and City centre focussed institutions.
Recently a commitment was made to fund a replacement for the Parliament Street fountain while additional expenditure may also result from the decision to make the revised Fossgate one-way system permanent.
There is a big question mark over the costs of maintaining the Guildhall now that the Council’s “business centre” project has collapsed. There are similar financial question marks about the Castle/Piccadilly redevelopment and York Central.
In residential areas, people are increasingly concerned about the quality of local highways. Many street nameplates are also in need of repair. Public service standards are under unprecedented pressure.
Residents may feel that – unless paid for by business – the existing city centre direction signs will be adequate to meet needs.
After all, increasing number of people use “on line” maps and smart phones to find their way around.
Additional street furniture may actually represent a backwards step.