Call for answers on Balloon Festival fiasco

Local Lib Dem councillors are demanding answers to why the Balloon Festival on the Knavesmire held from 28 to 30 September led to gridlock on local roads.

Nose to tail traffic jams and inconsiderate and illegal parking meant that many residents were trapped in their homes, or were unable to get back home. Buses were also stuck, leading to lengthy delays.

Dringhouses & Woodthorpe Cllr Stephen Fenton has asked Make it York to explain why the volume of traffic was not foreseen, what traffic management plans were in operation, and why there were no Police or stewards in evidence.

Information provided by council officers in recent days has confirmed that a traffic management plan such as the one used for race meetings was not considered appropriate for the event, due to the extended and flexible arrival and departure times.

Council officials are to meet with Make it York, the Police and the Festival organisers on 3 October to look at what went wrong and what lessons can be learned.

Councillor Fenton commented  “I saw for myself what happened on Tadcaster Road and surrounding streets on Saturday afternoon. It was a chaotic, and at times dangerous situation.

There were numerous examples of illegal parking, like here on Ainsty Grove

“Both local residents and visitors to the event were badly let down. When word of the £5 parking fee spread, many visitors seemed to decide to park in residential streets off Tadcaster Road, leading to chaos in many streets.

Irresponsible parking meant that the exit from Whin Road onto Bracken Road was blocked

“The event organisers need to take their share of responsibility and explain why they put in place the parking arrangements that they did, and why they did not do more to promote the use of Park & Ride.

“There is absolutely no way that this event should go ahead next year on this site unless plans are put in place – and publicised to visitors and communicated to residents and local councillors – that will avoid a repeat.”

 

Save Askham Bog! Open Day on Saturday 15 September

On Saturday 15th September from 10am to 3pm there is an Open Day at Askham Bog, hosted by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

There’ll be activities for all the family including guided nature walks and pond dipping.

It’s part of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s drive to raise awareness of the importance of this nature reserve, and gather support for the campaign to oppose proposals that would see 500 homes built on land off Moor Lane next to the Bog.

Cllr Stephen Fenton met with representatives from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust at the Bog on Friday 14 September and pledged his support for the campaign.

You can find out more about the campaign Here

Summer activity sessions come to an end

A successful series of free activity sessions for young people, run by the York City Knights Foundation, have come to an end.

Skate park sessions and inflatable obstacle courses were some of the activities provided during the easter, spring and summer holidays, paid for from the Dringhouses & Woodthorpe and Westfield ward committee budgets.

Skate park session on the Revival estate

Fun on Woodthorpe Green

Local Lib Dem councillors would like to hear from residents about what they thought went well, and what could be done differently in terms of activity sessions in the future.

Summer activities for young people in full swing

Summer holiday activities for young people, funded by the Dringhouses & Woodthorpe ward committee, are in full swing.

Successful skate park sessions, run by York City Knights Foundation, have been held at Moor Lane Youth Centre and on the Revival estate off Tadcaster Road.

On Friday 3 August at 10am the first of three outdoor activity sessions takes place on Woodthorpe Green.

What’s on – free summer holiday activities for young people

Free outdoor activities for young people over 7 years of age get underway in Foxwood, Woodthorpe and Dringhouses next week.

 

 

 

 

The sessions, which also ran during the Easter and half-term holidays, are organised by the York City Knights Foundation and are funded by the Westfield and Dringhouses & Woodthorpe Ward Committees.

Skate park sessions are taking place on the following dates in July:

  • Monday 23 July, 2pm to 3.30pm – Moor Lane Youth Centre on Wains Road
  • Wednesday 25 July, 2pm to 3.30pm – Foxwood Community Centre on Bellhouse Way
  • Monday 30 July, 2pm to 3.30pm – Foxwood Community Centre on Bellhouse Way

In August, the focus switches to ‘inflatable football’ sessions:

  • Wednesday 1 August, 10am to 11.30am – Foxwood Park on Bellhouse Way / top of Ashbourne Way
  • Friday 3 August, 10am to 11.30am – Woodthorpe Green
  • Wednesday 8 August, 2pm to 3.30pm – Foxwood Park on Bellhouse Way / top of Ashbourne Way
  • Friday 10 August, 2pm to 3.30pm – Woodthorpe Green
  • Wednesday 15 August, 10am to 11.30am – Foxwood Park on Bellhouse Way / top of Ashbourne Way
  • Wednesday 22 August, 2pm to 3.30pm – Woodthorpe Green

 

Askham Bar sports pitch application approved

On 11 July members of the council’s Planning Committee voted unanimously to approve plans to establish new sports pitches on land off Tadcaster Road.

Concerns raised by some residents about the impact on wildlife were addressed in the officer report on the application:

“The site provides good habitat for a range of species including foraging and commuting bats, hedgehogs and nesting birds. The ecology surveys did not find evidence of great crested newts or water voles. Hedgehogs are known to be present on site which is used as a release site for a local hedgehog rehabilitator. Hedgehogs are a species “of principal importance for the purpose of conserving biodiversity” covered under section 41 (England) of the NERC Act (2006). Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals and it has been confirmed that the pitches will not be used after dark, with no floodlighting. The hedgerows and boundary scrub on site that would be used for daytime shelter and hibernation will be retained.”

 

Askham Bar sports pitch plan to be considered by Planning Committee

At its meeting on Wednesday 11 July, the council’s Planning Committee will consider an application for sports pitches to be created on land off Tadcaster Road, behind the BP garage. The application is described as follows:

“Change of use from agricultural holding to natural turf sports pitches including erection of changing facilities, installation of sub surface land drainage and associated soft landscaping and formation of emergency/maintenance vehicle access road”

The officer report recommends that “Delegated Authority be given to Officers to approve the proposal subject to an acceptable agreement being reached in respect of the provision off-site car parking and subject to any additional conditions that may be required to secure this provision.”

 

 

Clean Air Day, Thursday 21 June 2018

It’s Clean Air Day, which is an opportunity to find out more about air pollution, share information with friends and colleagues, and help make the air cleaner and healthier for everyone. There is information and resources available at https://www.cleanairday.org.uk/


City of York Council is about to start a consultation on plans to set up a Clean Air Zone for the city centre. You can find out more at https://www.york.gov.uk/press/article/2580/clean_air_day_21_june_2018_your_views_on_new_clean_air_zone_for_york_s_city_centre

Local Lib Dem councillor Stephen Fenton said “Clean Air Day is a chance for us to focus on what more needs to be done to encourage cycling and walking in York. Better air quality is key to that, as are improvements to cycle lanes, both on and off road.”

Stephen out and about on his bike!