Volunteer Bailiff Scheme introduced at Chapman’s pond

Chapmans Pond A new scheme to protect and enhance a pond popular with anglers and residents has been launched in York.

The Volunteer Bailiff Scheme, which is launching at Chapman’s pond with the support of the Friends of Chapman’s Pond and City of York Council, has been set up by local anglers who are keen to encourage good fishing practice and maintain the area as a beautiful place for visitors.

They will help to monitor the water quality, make visitors aware of the site rules and report any anti-social behaviour. They will also advise people on fishing tips and techniques.

The scheme has been set up partly in response to a number of fish deaths during the summer which the Environment Agency investigated. The volunteers will help protect the fish by advising how to land one without injuring it and educating people on their use of bait. They will also monitor the health of the fish caught for early signs of any problems with the pond environment.

Chapmans Pond closed earlier in the year

Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism, Councillor Nigel Ayre said: “Chapman’s Pond is a beautiful area and a popular fishing spot. The volunteers will be a friendly and well-informed presence at the site, helping to ensure that a visit continues to be a pleasurable experience for all. We would ask that anglers and visitors show respect to the volunteers and follow their advice – they are there for everyone’s benefit and to ensure the pond is looked after for future enjoyment.”

Anyone who wants to fish at the pond should have a valid rod licence which can be purchased from post offices.
The Environment Agency and police will also be supporting the Volunteer Bailiff Scheme, which launches on Monday 12 October. For further information, or if you would like to get involved, please email Jenny Cairns at City of York Council jennifer.cairns@york.gov.uk or call 07833 436832. Previous experience is not required but knowledge of fishing would be useful and training is provided.

First gliding and kung fu sessions to be offered at York’s biggest 50+ Games

kungfu pensionersKung fu, gliding, kick boxing, weight lifting and fencing taster sessions are being offered for the first time at this year’s 50+ Games which run from Saturday 26 September to Sunday 4 October.

The Eng-AGE 50+ Games is a nine-day event organised by City of York Council in partnership with local sports clubs and coaches and runs alongside the popular York 50+ Festival. It offers an exciting, mainly free programme of taster sessions to introduce those aged over 50 to the broad range of health and fitness activities which take place regularly in venues throughout York.

This year’s record programme boasts 41 sessions and involves 17 different sports clubs. Their offer includes cardio tennis, swimming, walking, running, boxing, walking football and tennis, whilst residents who prefer gentler activity can enjoy bowls, yoga, pilates and seated tai chi. Also on offer is a motorised gliding experience at York Gliding Centre in Rufforth.

All abilities and fitness levels are welcome and the ethos of the Games is as much about meeting new people and taking part than winning!

Councillor Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism said: “The Eng-AGE 50+ Games offers residents a fantastic chance to try new sport in a friendly setting and discover where they can continue to take part throughout the year.

“All adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week – just 30 minutes a day will hit that target. Regular sport and activity benefits physical and mental wellbeing, and for older people it’s important to help balance and co-ordination, bone strength and flexibility to maintain a full and independent life.”

The full programme can be found at www.york.gov.uk/engage and leaflets can be picked up from libraries.

For further information contact Megan Hale, Older Peoples Physical Activity Officer, on 01904 553377, email megan.hale@york.gov.uk

Sky Ride route for 13th September revealed

Sky-Ride-Cycling-York-2013-5-©-OneOther-345x230The York Council has announced that on Sunday 13 September 2015 Sky Ride York will take to the city’s historic streets in partnership with British Cycling.

Due to the size and scale of the event there will be a number of temporary traffic and transport changes to ensure the safety of everyone taking part.

To view the 2015 Sky Ride York route go to www.goskyride.com/Yorkskyride

The Route

The traffic free route has been extended for 2015 to allow residents and visitors to see more of York whilst taking in some of the city’s most historic landmarks such as Clifford’s Tower and The Minster.

The 7km route starts at Clifford’s Tower and will see cyclists head up Castlegate and Coppergate before joining onto Pavement and passing York’s most famous street, The Shambles.

Riders will then turn left onto Colliergate and briefly see King’s Square before turning right onto St Andrewgate. They will then head onto Aldwark, Goodramgate, and Deansgate when York Minster will come into view. Riders will then head across the Minster Piazza and onto Duncombe Place before passing over Lendal Bridge onto Leeman Road.

The route will then see cyclists turn right past Memorial Gardens and along Wellington Row, Skeldergate and Terry Avenue where they will follow the Ouse until Rowntree Park.

Cyclists will then head along Butcher Terrace and turn left onto Bishopthorpe Road before turning left on the cycle path to bring them back down to the river and over Millennium Bridge. They will then follow the riverside cycle path back to Clifford’s Tower.

Traffic and Travel

The Sky Ride York route will be closed to all traffic from 10.30am until approximately 5pm, or as soon as possible after the event has finished to ensure the safety of everyone taking part. The inner ring road will be closed at Lendal Bridge for general traffic for the duration of the ride.

Residents and visitors are urged to make use of the city’s extensive Park&Ride network on the day, particularly by using the Park&Pedal facilities at any of York’s six Park&Ride sites.
Bus travel

Bus routes will be altered to ensure that access into and out of the city centre is maintained, whilst avoiding those roads closed as part of the route.  Revised timetables will be put into place to ensure the smooth running of bus services. Residents and visitors are being encouraged to check their travel plans in advance and allow extra time for their journeys on the day. A complete list of bus route diversions will be available to download from: http://www.itravelyork.info/events/sky-ride-york-2015

Car Parks

Castle car park will continue to be open on the day, however there will be reduced capacity to allow for one of the Sky Ride ‘activation zones’ featuring activities for residents and visitors to enjoy. A traffic management stop/go process will be in place here to assist the smooth flow of traffic. Esplanande car park will also be open and will have a traffic management stop/go system in place. St George’s Field car park will be open but will have a reduced amount of spaces during the day.

Rowntree Park car park will be closed on both Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 September due to the Festival of Cycling taking place, as in previous years. For safety reasons there will be no access to parking inside the route.

For more information on Sky Ride York, or to register for the ride visit www.goskyride.com/York

“Shine” activities make summer fun for young people in York

Shine logo

Shine is an exciting programme of events aimed at five to 18 year olds which runs thanks to a large number of organisers including the council, sports organisations, independent activity providers and local attractions. Many of the activities are free and booking in advance is not always necessary, offering a boredom-free summer throughout the city!

This year Shine includes over 190 different activities throughout the summer, offering all the favourite arts, sports, play sessions, parks and libraries activities.

  • Some of the more unusual events include designing a remote controlled robot or a joystick game and those with a sense of adventure can enjoy activities such as kayaking, outdoor climbing, wild camping and bushcraft skills.
  • Theatre, art, mosaics, dance, sewing and junk drumming with Trashbang are some of the arts activities helping to develop young creative skills, whilst sports activities from Total Sports,
  • York Knights Foundation and City of York Athletics are keeping fitness levels up throughout the summer.

Lib Dem Executive Member secures Knights Stadium deal

York City Knights Rugby Club have today signed an agreement with City of York Council over a new Community Stadium partnership.

Directors from the club joined Liberal Democrat Cllr Nigel Ayre yesterday at West Offices to formalise the agreement. 

Huntington Stadium April 2014

Cllr Nigel Ayre, who is the Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism, said:

“This is a major step forward for the project and we’re delighted to stand together with the Knights’ Directors today to mark this occasion. Professional rugby has been a part of York’s sporting heritage for generations and today we’ve reached a new agreement that will give York a lasting legacy for the future of rugby. We’re sure sporting fans will join us in marking this significant moment, which will ensure the long-term viability of the club and enhance the success of their current community coaching and engagement programmes here in York.

“We have worked tirelessly since forming the new administration to bring the Knights back into the project and solve the issues we inherited from the failures of the outgoing Labour administration. We have positively engaged with the club and I would like to personally thank the Knights’ Directors and all council officers involved for their efforts in recent weeks.

“The Community Stadium was a Liberal Democrat policy that has suffered as a result of the flawed political leadership in York under Labour. As part of the Joint Executive, we are fully committed to delivering this exciting new facility and ensuring the benefit for all residents of York and a sustainable future for sport in our city.”

The York Community Stadium will provide a new 8,000 seat stadium for football and rugby league, a leisure facility which will include a gym, 25 metre, six-lane swimming pool, a fun pool and training pool, as well as a new sports hall and dance studio.

The Community Hub on site will provide bespoke facilities for project partners with a focus on promoting health and wellbeing for York residents and visitors. The development also includes a number of new retail units restaurants and a multi-screen cinema complex.

For more information visit: http://www.yorkcommunitystadium.co.uk/

New tennis league open to all

Tennis players in York have a smashing new opportunity to play friendly, competitive matches organised by the group Local Tennis Leagues in partnership with City of York Council.

The competition invites adult players of all standards to pick up their racquets and sign up to a local singles league. Participants are organised into groups and then liaise with their opponent to arrange a mutually convenient time to play, at a court in the city to suit them both. Each round runs for eight weeks and round one launches on Thursday 9 July during Wimbledon 2015.

The local league aims to open up competitive tennis to everyone, whether or not they are members of a club. It will make it easier to compete on public courts by matching interested partners of similar standards and will be a way of meeting new people through sport. The initiative is one of many opportunities across the city to encourage residents to play sport more often and exercise for the recommended 150 minutes a week.  

Top spin

Top spin

Cllr Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism said: “Anyone who is inspired by Wimbledon will love this opportunity to play competitively against new opponents in the city. Sporting opportunities such as this are an enjoyable way to build friendships as well as keeping fit.

The league gives a can of free tennis balls to every player who completes three matches by the half way point and there are prizes for the winners of each group. It is affiliated to the sport’s governing body, the Lawn Tennis Association.

To enter the league visit www.localtennisleagues.com/york and register by Monday 6 July. The entry fee is £15 and further information is available from Local Tennis Leagues members on 07503 281732 or email yorktennisleague@gmail.com

Fresh calls for Grand Departy Inquiry

Liberal Democrat Councillors will make fresh calls for a review into 2014 ‘Grand Departy’ concert when the issue is discussed on Monday.


Last November, Lib Dem Cllr Ian Cuthbertson submitted a request for a review into the “planning, promotion and delivery” of council organised events for the 2014 Tour De France in York.

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

In January, Labour councillors led calls to delay the inquiry until after May’s local elections.

However, following the delay the issue is now back on the table and will be discussed at Monday’s cross-party Learning & Culture Policy and Scrutiny Committee.


Cllr Ian Cuthbertson, Lib Dem Councillor for Haxby and Wigginton, will attend the meeting to support an inquiry. He commented: 

“It was disappointing that councillors chose to delay the review into the Grand Departy concert in January. Besides a loss to taxpayers of £187,000 from the concert, there were serious issues raised about public safety at the event. The report on the overall economic impact of the Tour De France did not address these issues and there are still unanswered questions. A proper inquiry is needed to establish what happened and what lessons can be learnt for future events.”