City of York Council could join 70 towns and cities across the UK by gaining ‘Purple Flag’ status – in a bid to work with key partners and support York’s night time economy.
Town or city centres that achieve a Purple Flag are those that are safe, vibrant, appealing, well-managed and offer a positive experience to residents and visitors.
A report outlining plans for the council to apply for this status, as well as appointing a new role to support the existing Safety Advisory Group (SAG) in the city and combining these two tasks into a single coordinating role, will be taken a public meeting on Wednesday 18 September, to Cllr Keith Aspden’s decision session meeting, for approval.
The Purple Flag standard, launched in 2012, is an accreditation process similar to the Green Flag award for parks and the Blue Flag for beaches. It allows members of the public to quickly identify town and city centres that offer an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out.
An Office for National Statistics (ONS) report from November 2018 shows that York now has nearly twice the national average number of pubs per 10,000 residents, and that there are 15 more licenced premises in the city than there were in 2001. This is in stark contrast to national trends with ONS reporting that there has been a 23 per cent reduction in the number of pubs nationally since 2008.
The report sets out the background to Purple Flag as a scheme, existing commitments from city stakeholders, and a proposed way forward to run a Purple Flag process as part of improved partnership arrangements for the city centre. For the SAG elements, the post will help organisers meet their legal duties in respect of complying with their legal responsibilities and keeping people safe.
The decision session takes place on Wednesday 18 September at West Offices from 4pm and is open to members of the public or is available to watch later online from: www.york.gov.uk/webcasts
Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council, said: “The Purple Flag status aims, amongst a broad range of policies, to improve work with partners, reduce anti-social behaviour and support a safer city centre. York city centre’s night time economy is both vibrant and challenging. The continued growth of our reputation as a place to visit for leisure has seen the number of bars and restaurants in the city centre increase in recent years.
“City centres that achieve a Purple Flag are those that are safe, vibrant, appealing, well-managed and offer a positive experience to residents and visitors. The challenges that York’s growth presents are related to the often conflicting needs of different users of the city centre. It is these challenges that Purple Flag seeks to address through positively bringing together those involved in the day time, evening and night time economies, to develop joint plans and make York even safer.”