York TV channel remains nameless?

The new TV channel aiming to start broadcasts in York next spring apparently still has no name.TV_Camera

A “competition” – offering a £1000 prize – to find a name ran on “Twitter” until 27th June.

With a similar project in Birmingham having recently been abandoned there is now some speculation about the future of the York channel.

There was some suggestion that the company could be based at the Guildhall but it now appears that the new channel will be located initially at the University’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television.

The station enjoyed the ringing endorsement of Council Leader James Alexander last November when it was awarded a license to broadcast on a “freeview” channel.

Station publicity said, “Launching in spring 2015, York’s new television channel will provide original and exclusive news, current affairs, entertainment, heritage, business and culture programming about York and the local area.

It follows the award of a 12-year L-DTPS license to broadcast on Freeview channel 8 by Ofcom to a consortium of leading local institutions including One&Other TV, University of York, York St John University, SCY, Visit York, York CVS, City of York Council, Yorkshire Film Archive in November 2013.

 The channel is expecting to create 12-15 new jobs initially

NB. Science City – which was involved with the station – has recently been taken over by the City of York Council reviving some concerns about the impartiality of any affected media outlets.

A report on the future of the Guildhall is scheduled to be considered at the Council’s Cabinet meeting on 7th October 2014

Safety improvements planned for University Road in Heslington

The York Council is considering installing a new pedestrian crossing on University Road in Heslington.

The have been four injury accidents on the road in recent years.

The scheme could cost £70,000 and also involves introducing a 20 mph speed limit.

The Council has so far not revealed why this area is apparently being omitted from its wide area speed limit plan for the eats of York.

The University is also going to invest around £150,000 in off carriageway works some of which may encourage students to use a footbridge to cross the road.

Details of the plan can be found by clicking here


Click for detail

Click for detail

York Council’s £3.5 million payment to local Universities

The York Council has released details of the payments that it has made to local Universities over the last 4 years.

Click to download full list

Click to download full list

In total, payments of around £3.5 million have been made although the vast majority of this (£3 million) was a grant to York University for the provision of a County Standard swimming pool. The scheme – part of the new “sports village” on Hull Road – was agreed after the Barbican pool closed and was paid for from the proceeds of the sale of the land there.

In total £192,519 has been paid to St Johns University. The largest payments were made to an anti bullying campaign although the University receives significant payments from taxpayers for the “Higher York” organisation.

The University of York fee payments range from £170,000 paid for the York Cares organisation (which managess voluntary projects in the City) to £850 for a speaker at a “women’s development session”.

All Council expenditure is now being closely scrutinised following the decision of the Labour Leadership to remove winter salt bins from key foopath locations in the City.

The bins cost only £50 a time to fill.

NB. At the last Council meeting the Labour Leadership revealed that it will pay £31,000 to York Athletics Club as a sweetener to move out of the Huntington Stadium. It had been intended to provide a replacement athletics facility at the sports village but Labour now propose to fund the refurbishment of the existing University athletics field.

Blow for Sports Village hopes. Community Stadium to be delayed?

The Council has announced that it will no longer be funding an athletics track at the Sports Village on Hull Road.

The facility was to have opened this year.

The proposal to establish a sports village – which also includes swimming pools, 3G football pitches, a fitness suite, a outdoor cycling circuit and spa facilities – was agreed over 3 years ago and most of the facilities are now in use.

Athletics stadium Sept 2013

However, the provision of a new £2 million athletics stadium was to be the final jewel in the crown.

The intention had been to maximise the use of shared facilities such as the refreshment area, physiotherapy, spa and changing rooms.

Now the Council has decided to refurbish the University of York running track on Heslington Lane which is nearly 2 miles away from the Sports Village. The Heslington/Fulford area already suffers from traffic and parking issues

The implications for the running costs of both facilities remain unclear as does the financial commitment of the Council to the whole Community Stadium project.

A spokesperson for the Labour run council has claimed that the new site will be “cheaper”.

However, the athletes are claiming that the Council has agreed to subsidise the York Athletic Club for “5 years”.

Who has agreed such a subsidy, with what restrictions and for how much remains a mystery?

Behind closed doors logo

This major change in policy was taken at another behind closed doors meeting, so taxpayers are being kept in the dark

Moving the athletics track from the Huntington Stadium was an essential precursor to work on the new stadium starting.

It now seems that athletes will leave Huntington in late 2014 prior to occupying the refurbished University track in 2015.

Completion of the Community Stadium has already been put back to 2016 and further delays cannot be ruled out.