Concern for future of ward-funded activities

Local Liberal Democrat councillors have expressed concern that a ‘ban’ on allocating ward funding could lead to planned summer holiday activities for young people being axed.

Cllr Stephen Fenton at the York Knights session held at York Acorn ARLFC on 30th May

In recent years, Lib Dem councillors in wards across the city have jointly commissioned York Knights Foundation and York City Football Club Foundation to deliver free activity sessions for young people, which also included the provision of drinks and snacks. These sessions are open to all. When the council budget for 2023/24 was passed in February, Lib Dem councillors protected ward funding so that schemes such as these could continue.

Dringhouses & Woodthorpe’s Lib Dem councillors have now been told by council officers that they cannot allocate some of the 2023/24 ward budget to fund activities for young people in the July / August summer holiday period. It is understood that this ‘ban’ has been imposed as the incoming Labour administration plans to propose an ‘emergency’ budget in July, meaning that ward funding is in limbo.

Dringhouses & Woodthorpe councillor Stephen Fenton has called on the new administration to commit to retain the full ward funding allocations agreed in February, so that ward schemes and projects can go ahead.

He said “The summer holiday sessions run by the Knights and York City have been very popular, and at a time when family budgets are stretched, the ability to offer free-of-charge activities is more important than ever. It would be such a shame if we had to axe the planned summer programme because of a ban on allocating the ward funding that was agreed back in February.

“At this time of year, ward councillors would ordinarily be inviting local voluntary and charitable organisations to apply for ward funding to support local projects that benefit the community. It now looks as though we won’t be able to do this, unless there is a commitment from the new administration to protect ward funding.”

Date set for library re-opening

Explore York have announced that Dringhouses Library will re-open on 16th March after heating upgrade work has been completed.

The library closed on 13th February in response to concerns about the low temperature in the building, caused by a combination of winter weather and ineffective heating. A new boiler is being installed along with new convector heaters and new radiators. It has been confirmed that Listed Building Consent is not needed for these internal improvement works.

Cllr Stephen Fenton has welcomed the news, commenting “I was grateful that the Chief Executive of Explore agreed to meet with me when news of the closure broke, which came as something of a surprise. It is encouraging that the council’s Facilities team has been able to work with Explore to agree the specifications and get the equipment ordered and ready for installation.”

Arson attack at refurbished playground

Arsonists have badly damaged play equipment at the Leeside playground, which recently benefited from £14,000 of investment.

The damage was done on the evening of Saturday 30 April and the Fire Service were called to extinguish the blaze.

Cllr Stephen Fenton has asked council officers to repair or replace the damaged equipment and surfacing.

FREE Easter holiday activities with York City Knights

This Easter holiday, York City Knights Foundation will again be offering free inflatable arena activity sessions for young people. The sessions are open to all children and young people aged five and upwards, with food and drink provided. There’s no need to book – just turn up.

Sessions in the west of York are listed below:

  • Monday 11 April, 1.30 to 3.30 – Woodthorpe Green
  • Thursday 14 April, 1.30 to 3.30 – York Acorn, Thanet Road
  • Thursday 21 April, 10 to 12 – York Acorn, Thanet Road

More information is available at

What’s on – York Open Studios 2/3 & 9/10 April

York’s artists and makers are inviting residents into their home studios on the weekends of 2/3 & 9/10 April.

To find a full list of the open studios, go to

Here is a list of the open studios in the Dringhouses, Foxwood and Acomb area.

  • No. 18 – Anthea Peters at 6 Middlethorpe DriveSilver toadstools adorn Anthea’s jewellery designs along with snails, flowers and ‘found’ objects: to create wearable pieces of jewellery in silver and gold, complemented with copper accents, gemstones and enamel.
  • No. 19 – Karen J Ward at 8 Middlethorpe DriveBespoke precious metal and gemstone jewellery. ‘One off’ pieces of wearable art. Also introducing ‘Small Vessels’ a collection of silversmith designs in silver and copper
  • No. 20 – Pamela Thorby at 11 Middlethorpe GroveCeramic vessels of community and contemplation. Domestic and sculptural work showing Japanese influence with ‘chattering’ marks, sometimes willow handles; with themes of sweeping shoals, rhythmic gesture and coded pattern
  • No. 21 – Lucie Wake at 15 Slingsby GroveLucie adores the process of sliding oil paints across canvas, to create her stunning portraits. The backgrounds are the polar opposite, dripping random overlaid colours, which make her portraits ‘pop’
  • No. 22 – Peter Donohoe at Walnut Cottage, 17 Tadcaster RoadPeter’s work is an  exploration of human relationships, the semi abstract, androgynous figures are an expression of affection between two persons, regardless of gender. The sculptures are hand worked copper
  • No. 23 – Phil Bixby & Caroline Lewis at 24 Hob Moor TerracePhil makes black and white photographs, shot on 35mm film, which he develops and scans to produce high-quality inkjet prints which explore texture and lighting. Caroline creates mainly landscapes inspired by Yorkshire and the surrounding countryside – multi media using tissue paper, lino printing, acrylics and water colour, to produce depth and layers
  • No. 24 – Constance Isobel & Jacqueline Warrington at 3 White House RiseConnie uses gold, silver and high quality gemstones, sourced from ethical UK retailers. Traditional techniques are applied to create her exclusive precious metal work. Jacqueline makes precious metal jewels and silver vessels, employing traditional techniques such as raising, chasing, repousse and forging. She also makes silver ‘icons’, exploring her interest in folklore and the saints
  • No. 25 – Richard Frost at 36 White House GardensFurniture and decorative wooden items. Richard’s designs often incorporate patterns, which he achieves through manipulation of contrasting woods and veneers
  • No. 38 – Lisa Lundqvist at the studio behind 55 Green Lane, AcombLisa is an Eco-artist, using natural processes like eco-printing and rust to create textiles and also oil paintings evolving from intuitive  mark-making with found organic objects  
  • No. 39 – Moira Craig at 51 Otterwood Lane, FoxwoodBotanical prints, showcasing the natural dyes within plants. Using flowers and leaves from local gardens to create vibrant memories of summer. Contemporary pieces that blend traditional flowers into impressionistic compositions