Golf courses in York

An indoor golf course which started at the beginning of January sold out so quickly that it has prompted the council’s Sport and Active Leisure team to organise another for the beginning of February.

The course starts at Burnholme Community Sports Hub (formerly Burnholme Community College) on Monday 23 February from 7pm to 8pm and will last for five weeks. If demand proves to be high a second session from 8 to 9pm will be introduced on the same night.
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York goes green with “Better Homes”

A landmark programme for residents to implement energy efficiency measures in their homes has been agreed to bring over £20m of investment into the region and improve over 12,000 privately owned or rented homes.

The Better Homes programme brings together the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and nine Local Authorities in the Leeds City Region including City of York Council, with the private sector partners at KeepMoat and Willmott Dixon (KSW).

The new partnership will pool the expertise and resources from all partners to deliver a home energy offer to residents which could include new boilers, central heating systems, standard and hard to treat insulation measures and renewable energy systems.

In the first three years alone, the programme aims to deliver energy efficiency measures to over 12,000 homes including a minimum of 800 in York, and create jobs and apprenticeships for local people. As a result of these efficiency measures, the programme could bring £20m of investment into the Leeds City Region and increase the GVA growth.

To launch the scheme in York, KSW will offer 80 Green Deal communities fund vouchers, targeted at specific groups/neighbourhoods. The vouchers will help with the costs of installing measures and will be worth up to £750 per resident. In addition a private home will be retrofitted with up to £15k worth of funding energy efficiency measures and will become a demonstration show house.
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Schools face overcrowding challenge in York

Return of the mobile classroom?

School place shortfall

The majority of primary schools are overcrowded according to new figures released by the York Council.

Although some new building works are planned, the position would be exacerbated if Labour’s “Big City” Local Plan gets the go ahead.

Developers are required to pay for additional school places, when providing more homes, permanent provision often lags some years behind new homes being occupied.

Some primary school sites – such as Our Lady’s on Windsor Garth – have been sold for redevelopment, adding to local pressures.

The position at York’s primary schools means that pressure on Secondary school places – only one of which is currently beyond capacity – will build over the next 5 years.

By 2019 an additional 635 secondary school desks will be required.

For many years Oaklands school (the predecessor of York High) operated with several mobile classrooms. Apart from the classrooms being remote from the main building, extra pupils placed pressure on communal facilities such as assembly halls.

Lack of spaces may further reduce the choice available to parents when they decide which school to send their children to.

Grand Departy inquiry shelved for 4 months

Liberal Democrat Councillors have criticised a decision to delay an inquiry into the Grand Departy‘ concert until after May’s Council elections.

Sparse crowd for  Grand Departy

Sparse crowd for Grand Departy

Sceptics expect many of those responsible for the financial disaster to stand down from the Council – or be defeated at the polls – meaning that they may escape the consequences of the their negligence.

Cllr Ian Cuthbertson, Lib Dem Spokesperson for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, had submitted a request for a review into the “planning, promotion and delivery” of City of York Council organised events for last year’s Tour De France.

These included the £187,000 loss-making ‘Grand Departy’ music concert at Huntington Stadium.

Originally, a review was given the green light last year. However, at this week’s Learning & Culture Overview and Scrutiny Committee Labour and Conservative councillors supported moves to delay the inquiry until after May’s local elections and after that month’s inaugural Tour De Yorkshire.

Cllr Ian Cuthbertson, commented:
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Green bin emptying next week

last year for an additional November collection. The then Labour-run Council Group refused this request.

Ann and Stephen green bins

After Labour lost their majority on the Council last October, the Lib Dem Council Leader sent a joint letter from Opposition Councillors repeating the request for an extra green bin collection. While it was too late to organise this for November, all households with garden waste collections will get one additional collection in January 2015.

The collections will be in the weeks starting 19 and 26 January 2015.

Collections are on your usual recycling collection day.

If you still have Christmas trees to dispose of these can be chopped up and put in your green bin.

Thank you for continuing to use the recycling facilities we set up when we ran the Council. Liberal Democrats are committed to getting back to the recycling rates we achieved then.

Sadly these rates have declined in the last 3 years.

Drug possession, public order and theft offences up in York

Overall crime numbers stable in year to the end of September 2014.

The latest crime figures produced by ONS show an increase in some types of crime in York. (See table left)

Crime numbers in York

Crime numbers in York

The biggest concerns will probably be over public order  and “theft from a person” offences both of which have risen for the fifth consecutive quarter.

Drug related crime is also on the increase as are (reported) sexual offenses and shoplifting.

The violence figures remain high.

The Police are right to point out that North Yorkshire is a safe place to live and enjoys the second lowest crime rate in the country.

But there is work to do in York and the figures are likely to reopen the debate about whether the County’s Deputy Chief Constable should be relocated and headquartered in the City.

The York Council may also need to review its policies.

It has a role to play in reducing crime in general and public order problems in particular.

A statement from North Yorkshire Police is reproduced below
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Council staff encouraged to volunteer

Staff at City of York Council are being inspired to give their time and volunteer for organisations across the city, through a Staff Volunteering Fair featuring some 30 charities and community groups.

70 per cent of the council’s 6,000 employees are York residents and all are being encouraged to take up the corporate offer of one day of volunteering leave, matched with one day of leave from their annual allocation.

The Fair, which is being held tomorrow (22 January 2015)  gives a chance to explore the huge range of volunteering opportunities available from charitable and community-based organisations across the city.

Staff can donate their skills and energy towards a range of projects from protecting local wildlife and preserving historic locations, to giving their time to the libraries and a range of charities

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