Ascot Way proposals generally welcomed
The plans to establish a new centre for disabled children on the former Windsor House site on Ascot Way were generally welcomed at a public meeting held on Monday. The plans will now be discussed at a Council Executive meeting next week
The Council says that the new building will be the setting for a range of support services which will enable disabled children to remain in their families and in their community, delivered from a safe, accessible space
- Flexible short break provision to meet the needs of children and young people with Autism, Learning Disabilities and/or additional health needs.
- Family Intervention Rapid Support Team (FIRST) and Therapeutic Short Breaks a specialist Clinical Psychology led intensive assessment and intervention service for families with children and young people who have Autism and Learning Disability and challenging behaviour which affects their ability to live in the local community
The facility will be linked to Hob Moor Oaks special school. Disabled children will be able to walk to the new provision after school, instead of being transported across the city on minibuses. Part of the playing field of the school will be used for the project.
The buildig will replace the facilities currently provided at The Glen.
The scheme is imaginative and worthy of support. However, the proposal to retain the front entrance (and therefore vehicular access) via Ascot Way is controversial. There are already congestion and parking problems in the area. An access, with car parking, via Hob Moor school would address this issue, while offering the opportunity to provide better accessibility for Lincoln Court.
The detailed plans also suggest that an outdoor play area be provided adjacent to Lincoln Court. While many older people like to feel involved in the local community, inevitably playgrounds can be noisy places. We think that the location of this part of the facility should be reconsidered.
Residents will hope that any building work on the project will not take place at the same time as the threatened development of the Newbury Avenue garage site.
Illustrations of what is proposed are reproduced below
Plans for Centre of Excellence for Disabled Children
Residents are being invited to give their views at a Westfield ward meeting being held on 15th January 2018. The meeting is being held at Hob Moor school with the Windsor House item being discussed from 7:30pm
No details are given of access arrangements. There are concerns that any intensification of the use of the Windsor House site on Ascot Way, would exacerbate traffic congestion and parking problems in the area.
A decision on whether to proceed with the centre idea is due to be taken at a Council executive meeting being held on 25th January 2018
A special website gives more details of the disability centre plans.
Disability Centre of Excellence Monthly Updates
What we have done
- Final feasibility design, layout and site options have been presented by Gilling Dod Architects to a group of key staff, managers, parent / carers and partner agencies.
- A potential land option for the Centre of Excellence has been agreed by Council Executive in December. This is the site of Windsor House Older Person Accommodation, which is planned to close. This land is adjacent to the Hob Moor Oaks Special School playing fields. Discussions are taking place with Hob Moor Federation of Schools about co locating part of the new provision and its outdoor amenities and space on some of the surplus playing field land.
- A report is being prepared for the Council Executive meeting on 25th January 2018. This report will ask Elected Members to commit the capital needed to build a Centre of Excellence for Disabled Children and their families and seek agreement for the preferred site layout
- The report also contains information about how staffing roles and structures will develop in the future in order to deliver a new way of working within a Centre of Excellence.
What we plan to do next
- We will communicate the decision following the meeting on 25th January to parent /carers, staff and partner agencies.
- If there is agreement to progress the project to an implementation phase, we will continue to adopt a co production approach of involving parent /carer, staff, children and young people and partner agencies in each stage of the future development.
- Finally, hope you all have a great Christmas and new year. Thank you all for your time, energy, enthusiasm, ideas and input that has helped shape and develop this project to the stage we are at now.
How you can be involved
Please send ideas, questions, feedback to email@example.com
For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep checking web pages for the latest information and areas that we are working on that we want feedback on
Elderly residents of sheltered accommodation units at Lincoln Court can expect the building to be modernised next year,.
Top of the priority list is new windows although a general uplift is also needed.
The building was discussed yesterday at the Councils Executive committee meeting which decided to close the adjacent Windsor House elderly persons home.
The two buildings share a heating system.
Residents of Lincoln Court had been left in suspense while Council officials consulted about closure plans but it now seems that the future of the sheltered accommodation is secure.
A report on the future of the Windsor House site is expected early next year. One is suggestion is that a “centre of excellence” for disabled people should be built there.
The Council will first have to address chronic traffic congestion and parking problems in the Kingsway West/Ascot Way/Windsor Garth area.
Proposal for Centre of Excellence for Disabled Children
A report is being discussed next week which is expected to result in confirmation of plans to close the Windsor House elderly persons home on Ascot Way. The proposal was first discussed in September and now Council officials are reporting back on the discussions that they have had with residents, their relations and staff.
5 residents have recently moved out leaving 17 to find new homes. The Council says that there is currently a good supply of alternative accommodation options available including Glen Lodge.
The care home has 33 staff in total, the majority of who work part time.
The main criticism of the closure relates to timing. Promised modern elderly care facilities on the west of the City will not be available for 2 or 3 years.
Considerable concerns have been expressed by residents of the adjacent Lincoln Court sheltered development.
These self-contained flats which include some communal space, are not included in the closure plans. However, the building has been allowed to deteriorate recently. Window frames are rotten, while an ongoing criticism has been about poor management of parking facilities. Some boundary hedges weren’t cut in the summer, effectively isolated the elderly residents from the rest of the community.
York must do better in the way that it treats its tenants at Lincoln Court. They need to be given
assurances about the future of their flats as well as a date when modernisation works will commence.
The future of the Windsor Garth site
The Council has unveiled what seems to be a caring and imagination use for the Ascot Way site when the existing buildings have been demolished.
The report describes a possible state of the art facility for disabled children
“Should Windsor House close, the site could be redeveloped as the location for the Centre of Excellence for Disabled Children and their Families, for housing or sold.”
Just as society doesn’t always treat the elderly as well as it should, the same could be said of people with disabilities. The principle of the proposed facility would therefore be welcome.
However, there are two significant issues to be addressed before any further development is considered in this neighbourhood.
Traffic congestion and lack of off street parking are now major problems.
They have worsened since 66 additional homes were built on the Hob Stones site and were exacerbated by the Council decision not to let the garages in Newbury Avenue pending the redevelopment of that site. The two issues are linked with inadequate “on street” parking space making access difficult even for the bus service.
There have been calls to introduce a “one way” system or even reopen the second access from Kingsway West.
Whatever the solution may be, one must be found before any development takes place which could further increase vehicle movements in the area.
Shock as Ascot Way elderly persons home faces early axe
The media are claiming today that Windsor House will be the next home to be closed by the City of York Council.
Although the closure is not unexpected, it had been anticipated that the home would remain open until alternative facilities were provided in the Acomb area.
Originally the plan had been to offer residents places at a brand-new care village which was to have been built on the former Lowfields school site. That project is running 5 years behind schedule and does not yet even have planning permission.
Another option – to replace the facility on the Oakhaven site – also is running behind schedule.
The Council is putting most of its effort and money into the east of the city. The sale of the Windsor House site – and parcels of land at Lowfields – will be used to finance a big home and leisure complex at Burnholme.
Windsor House residents, and their relatives, are likely to be very angry if places cannot be provided in Acomb to ensure that links with families and friends are sustained.
Some of the 34 members of staff at the home may face redundancy although, as there is a chronic shortage of care staff in the City, most will have a choice of alternative jobs should they choose to remain in the sector.
The closure would mean that the last Council run elderly persons home in the Westfield Ward would close. There is a private home on Gale Lane.
The sheltered accommodation at places like Gale Farm and Lincoln Court are not directly affected by the decision.
£2 million price tag put on Lowfields site – Future of playing fields unclear.
Labours plans to abandon the super care home project mean that 7 existing elderly persons homes will close:
- Grove House,
- Haxby Hall,
- Morrell House,
- Windsor House,
- Willow House and
- Woolnough House.
All will close by March 2019. The first will close its doors next year.
The Council expects many of the occupants to move into homes provided by the “independent sector”
Houses will be built on most of the vacated sites.
It is proposed that the Lowfields site be used for the provision of “over 100 new homes” including “downsizing” homes to rent and buy for older people as well as “starter homes to rent and buy so that younger families can get on to the housing ladder”.
The Council says that a capital receipt of “at least £2m” for the land will also be realised, confirming that any redevelopment will be by the private sector.
Whether the playing fields are included in this purchase price is unclear
It is proposed that the “facilities for older people originally envisaged as part of the Community Village on the Lowfields site be, instead, provided at a newly built Extra Care and Health Hub which is expected to replace the Oakhaven OPH on “Front Street” (sic)”.
The Council says it
“will be on making best use of the existing stock of Extra Care Housing in the city. There are five dedicated sheltered housing with ‘extra care’ services in York containing 205 units of accommodation.
Four of these are Council managed schemes – Marjorie Waite Court, Gale Farm Court, Barstow House and Glen Lodge, whilst the fifth (Auden House) is managed by York Housing Association. All homes in these schemes are to rent”.
The Council claims that many of those occupying places in these homes don’t need “extra care” facilities and hints that they may be moved out to make way for those judged to have higher needs!
They say, “We will work with exiting residents to keep disruption to a minimum”
The report concludes,
“York is also under-supplied with Extra Care Housing given the city’s demographics and the anticipated growth in the numbers of over 75s expected over the next decade.
Analysis suggests that there will be need for 490 units of Extra Care accommodation by 2020, rising to 645 in 2030, based upon nation benchmarks. There is a need for both Extra Care to rent and Extra Care to buy; currently just one third of the provision in York is to buy despite 81% of York’s older residents owning their own home.
The independent sector is beginning to address this need. For example, McCarthy & Stone are currently building 28 new sheltered homes to buy at Smithson Court on Top Lane in Copmanthorpe. Elsewhere in Yorkshire they are beginning to build and provide their Extra Care offer – called Assisted Living – and we would expect that they will continue to provide new accommodation as the market demands”.
With the overcrowding in York NHS hospitals reaching crisis point over the last few months, partly as a result of a lack of availability of the right kind of care places for the elderly in the City, the prospect of another 4 years elapsing before the issues are resolved is deeply worrying.
The Councils Labour leadership are apparently visiting the Windsor House Elderly Persons Home (EPH) this week. The Home is trialling some new techniques aimed at helping people with dementia.
The Councillors will no doubt also be seeking to persuade staff that the ill fated social care modernisation programme has overcome the chronic delays that have dogged it since Labour took office in 2011.