An independent audit report said that Labour run York Council’s plans for multi-million pound super care homes were “flawed” and promised savings had been “double counted”. Audit Report

Labour’s Elderly Persons’ Homes (EPH) programme promises to replace existing care facilities in York and build new homes on the former Lowfield and Burnholme school sites.

However, the project has been beset with problems and is currently running years behind schedule.

Now the publication of a report by external auditors Mazars, from July last year, has for the first time revealed their criticism of the project.

The report was revealed last night to the council’s cross-party Audit and Governance Committee.

600,000 of planned savings from EPHs were not delivered because of issues around building new units and assumptions were flawed.

The original estimated savings were too ambitious and members made changes to the project.

There was no effective challenge of the external expert’s assumptions. In addition savings were double counted”.

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A lot of roads – including some in the Racecourse area – will be closed on Sunday to allow a charity race to take place.

For a detailed list click here


The cycle track across Hob Moor has been closed.

Temporary notices were put up a few days ago

It is the second blockage on the cycle facility in the last 2 months.

Unfortunately the York Travel service has not provided any warning about the closure which is likely to inconvenience both commuter and leisure cyclists.


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Still big gaps in Council information

Last year the York Council stopped providing information on its web site about the number of vacant parking spaces at its City Centre car parks.

York Live web site click to access

York Live web site click to access

It promised that the information link would be reinstated by “May”.

2 months later and the information is still not being provided for the most popular car parks like Nunnery Lane and Marygate.

The responsible cabinet member refused to apologies at a recent Council meeting for the delays.

He said people could use social media to find out where to park (actually none of the social media system provided real time parking availability information)

NB. The Council has also been unable to keep many of the on street “Variable Message Signs” in a good state of repair.

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York’s new Community Stadium will not be ready for the 2016 rugby league season after it was revealed that the project has been delayed another 6 months.

Huntington Stadium April 2014


The stadium, which will be the new home of York FC and York City Knights, was originally due to be ready this year. But Labour-run City of York Council announced in January that it would not be operational until February 2016.


Now, in response to questions from the Liberal Democrat Group, Labour’s Cabinet Member in charge of the project has admitted that completion has been put back until July 2016. This is too late for the start of the 2016 rugby league season in March, and leaves just days to the start of the 2016/17 football season in August.


The stadium project has been beset with problems since planning permission was given in 2012. Not only is the project £450,000 over its original budget but there have been growing concerns that key decisions are being made behind-closed-doors after Labour abolished the cross-party Stadium Advisory Group.


Cllr Ian Cuthbertson, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Leisure, Culture and Tourism who challenged the Labour Cabinet Member over the delays at this month’s Full Council, commented:


“Labour inherited a great opportunity to deliver a Community Stadium ontime and onbudget, but their management of this project has been shambolic from the start. The stadium is now over two years behind schedule and it will end-up costing taxpayers far more than planned.


“Despite the promises that Labour made in January, we now know that the stadium won’t be ready for the 2016 rugby league season and it is doubtful whether it will be ready for the 2016-17 football season.


“It is also worrying that key decisions on the stadium and the current financial plans are being made behind-closed-doors and away from proper public scrutiny.”



At this month’s meeting of York’s Full Council Cllr Ian Cuthbertson asked the following question to the Labour Cabinet Member, Cllr Sonja Crisp:


To the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism from Cllr Cuthbertson:


“What is the Cabinet Member’s deadline for starting work on the ground at the new Community Stadium at Huntington and what is her current best estimate of its opening date?”


Cllr Crisp:


“The current best estimate for the start of work at the new stadium is March 2015 with an estimated completion date of July 2016”.

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