Council help for bees

The City of York Council says that it is taking action to make York more pollinator friendly.

Roundabout on Hull Road last summer showed what could be achieved

There are over 4,000 species of insects in the UK that carry out pollination of our native wild plants and food crops, but they are under threat and in decline due to habitat loss and excessive pesticide use.

The council wants to introduce a new Pollinator Strategy so that it can ensure local residents, businesses and landowners are provided with information to help protect and increase pollinators.

Insects like bumblebees, butterflies and beetles all provide a vital part in pollination of our native wild plants and our food crops, ensuring the protection of our city’s biodiversity.

The new strategy aims to protect, increase and enhance the amount of pollinator habitats on council owned or managed land, and help to improve the status of any locally threatened species.

The most significant factors leading to these declines in pollinator numbers includes habitat loss (food, shelter and nesting), pesticides which have harmful effects on honeybees, wild bees and butterflies and climate change, which has long term effects.

A copy of the strategy can be read by clicking here

The Council’s initiative is welcomed. In particular, the the commitment to neighbourhood input into initiatives.

“Bee hotels” like this one in Foxwood have been established by some residents groups.

What is lacking in the the document is a recognition that much of the solution to the lack of pollinator attractive plants can only be addressed by the more thoughtful use of privately owned land.

In particular, more can be done in peoples gardens.

A ready source of advice, and a proactive approach to publicity, is needed from the York Council.

If approved, the council will adopt the new Pollinator Strategy and ensure the needs of pollinators are represented in local plans, policy and guidance – to help us all protect and increase pollinators.

The strategy will be taken to an Executive meeting for approval on Thursday 18 March from 5.30pm and will be available to watch online afterwards.

Have your say on York’s health and wellbeing strategy

Residents across the city are being asked to comment on a draft joint health and wellbeing strategy for the city for the next five years.

York’s Health and Wellbeing Board is inviting people to comment on the draft joint health and wellbeing strategy to ensure that it reflects people’s views and suggestions and that it includes the principles and actions that are most important to improving health and wellbeing in the city for the next five years.

The draft strategy is focused around:health-and-life

  • Mental health and wellbeing – getting better at spotting the early signs of mental ill health and intervening early
  • Starting and growing well – support for the first 1001 days, especially in vulnerable communities
  • Living and working well – promote workplace health and remove barriers to employment
  • Ageing well – reduce loneliness and isolation for older people.

The aim of the strategy, which will run between 2017 and 2022, is to help every single resident of York enjoy the best possible health and wellbeing throughout the course of their life. This will be done by:

  • Promoting greater independence, choice and control
  • Building up community based support
  • Supporting self care and management
  • Greater use of early help though targeted/short term interventions
  • Imaginative use of new technology.

The draft strategy draws on extensive engagement with stakeholders and residents, which saw over 1,200 suggestions received about health and wellbeing in York earlier this year, and a variety of evidence including the city’s Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA). The JSNA provided a comprehensive assessment of the health and wellbeing needs in the city.

Councillor Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care and Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board said: “This strategy looks to set out the priorities and the focus for investment for the city’s health and wellbeing over the next five years.

“We want everyone in York to have their say on the draft strategy which looks to increase confidence and the resources to play their part in improving health and wellbeing for all our residents.”

To comment on the draft joint health and wellbeing strategy visit All views are welcome and the consultation closes on Sunday 22 January 2017.