Get Hooked at Chapman’s Pond

City of York Council, together with The Friends of Chapman’s Pond are inviting anglers and volunteers to come along and take part in the many improvements taking place at the Pond off Moor Lane.

Chapmans Pond

The Friends are working with the council to put together a management plan for the site to make improvements for both people and wildlife. The aim is to secure a Green Flag Award for the area. A new footpath into the site has already improved the access and this was made possible through a successful funding bid to Yorventure.

This weekend the next phase of cutting back and managing trees starts with the assistance of one of the council’s Smarter York officers. Volunteers are invited to join the Friends of Chapman’s Pond at a workday on Saturday 2 November where some basic training will be given to all those taking part. Everyone is welcome to turn up between 1pm and 3pm – all tools are provided but be prepared to get muddy!

The Friends of Chapman’s Pond have also been working to try and promote responsible use of the site. With the help of the Get Hooked on Fishing programme, the Angling Trust and the police they would like to deliver regular fishing coaching sessions to encourage people to learn more about this sport.

They are running a taster session for this programme on Saturday 9 November from 11am to 3pm. For more information or to book a space please contact Sarah on sarah.collins@ghof.org.uk or visit http://www.ghof.ork.uk/

York Council’s £3.5 million payment to local Universities

The York Council has released details of the payments that it has made to local Universities over the last 4 years.

Click to download full list

Click to download full list

In total, payments of around £3.5 million have been made although the vast majority of this (£3 million) was a grant to York University for the provision of a County Standard swimming pool. The scheme – part of the new “sports village” on Hull Road – was agreed after the Barbican pool closed and was paid for from the proceeds of the sale of the land there.

In total £192,519 has been paid to St Johns University. The largest payments were made to an anti bullying campaign although the University receives significant payments from taxpayers for the “Higher York” organisation.

The University of York fee payments range from £170,000 paid for the York Cares organisation (which managess voluntary projects in the City) to £850 for a speaker at a “women’s development session”.

All Council expenditure is now being closely scrutinised following the decision of the Labour Leadership to remove winter salt bins from key foopath locations in the City.

The bins cost only £50 a time to fill.

NB. At the last Council meeting the Labour Leadership revealed that it will pay £31,000 to York Athletics Club as a sweetener to move out of the Huntington Stadium. It had been intended to provide a replacement athletics facility at the sports village but Labour now propose to fund the refurbishment of the existing University athletics field.

Rawcliffe Park and Ride site may be used for fireworks display

The Council has approved a licensing application which could see the Rawcliffe Bar car park used for open air entertainment events.

It transpires that this may include the “Kaboom” fireworks display scheduled to take place on 3rd November.

Why the Council should leave the licensing application, until only a couple of weeks before the event is scheduled to take place, will be a cause for speculation..

Touch Rugby League World Cup tournament at Energise on Sunday 24 November

City of York Council is encouraging residents to enter a brand new touch rugby competition ahead of the Rugby League World Cup which starts this week.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

City of York Council, in partnership with Energise and York City Knights, will host a Touch Rugby League World Cup tournament at Energise on Sunday 24 November, just one week before the World Cup final, and is inviting teams of six to sign up and take part.

Entries to the six-a-side competition cost just £12 and allows for a maximum of two substitutes.

Registration closes on Monday 18 November. To register, teams should contact Dean Sharp from City of York Council’s Sport and Active Leisure Team on 01904 553377 or by emailing dean.sharp@york.gov.uk.

Extra noise patrols in run up to November 5th

Bonfire night can be fun for all, but if it creates nuisance to neighbours, the council can take enforcement action. That’s the message from City of York Council this autumn.

Midsummer bonfire against a night sky, moon

The council is reminding residents that garden waste can be disposed of by composting, recycling or through the green bin rather than heaping it on a bonfire – especially if it’s damp. Gardeners can use a topical check list of bonfire night do’s and don’ts relevant at any time of year:

• It’s best to burn materials when they are dry

• Household rubbish, rubber tyres or anything containing plastic foam or paint should never be burned and should be disposed of at York’s household waste recycling centres

• Never use engine oil, meths or petrol to light the fire

• Try and light fires when light wind will carry smoke away from your neighbours

Thanks to funding from the Safer York Partnership, the council will be running extra noise patrols to help tackle the problems of excessive bonfire smoke and noise in the days surrounding the event.

The council has put together a helpful list of do’s and don’ts for bonfire night events, but it will also be happy to offer practical advice to those holding their own fireworks events, if require d.

We will be running extra patrols on 5 November to help tackle any potential problems. Residents can call the council’s environmental protection unit (EPU) on 01904 551555.

Extra noise patrols will run on:

Thursday 31 October, 10pm-1am

Friday 1 November, 9pm-3am

Saturday 2 November, 9pm-3am

Sunday 3 November, 6-11pm

Thursday 5 November, 10pm-1am

Residents can contact the EPU on: Environmental.protection@york.gov.uk

There is more information on bonfires at: http://www.york.gov.uk/info/200360/air_pollution/486/air_pollution/2

Details of Tour de France cycle race in York confirmed

There were no surprises when the route that the Tour de France will take though York was revealed today in Paris.

click for enteractive map

click for enteractive map

The route will start from the Racecourse on Sunday 6th July taking in the City centre before leaving the City via Bootham, Clifton Bridge and Boroughbridge Road and making its way to Harrogate and Sheffield.

York taxpayers are already set to get a bill for over £1.4 million for the stage two depart event.

There were no surprises either when it was revealed that another Labour Councillor jumped at the chance to visit Paris today for the, somewhat less than historic, announcement of “Le route”.

Concern over 20% Illuminating York price hike

Liberal Democrats have raised concerns that ticket prices for this year’s Illuminating York Festival have significantly increased despite the 2012 event being branded a “disappointment”.

Illuminating York 2013

Illuminating York 2013

The Labour run City of York Council introduced charging for the – previously free – event last year. There were complaints about the £5 admission charge while Vic Reeves’ ‘Wonderland’ production received a backlash of negative comments and poor reviews.

However, the admission charges and £26,000 contribution from council funds meant the event made a £16,000 ‘profit’ which Labour promised would be “invested in next year’s event”.

Many hoped that this promise would see a return to the previous free admissions policy.

However, this year’s event, which will runs from October 30th – November 2nd, sees admission charges for the overall festival for adults increase from £5 to £6 and for under 16s from £1 to £5, with under 5’s still going free.

This means that a family of four, with two school-age children, would see their ticket costs rise by a whopping 83%.

The increase has been described as contrary to the Labour Leaders statements about the need to control the cost of living

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Roger McGough to appear at York Literature Festival 2014

Roger McGough

Roger McGough


One of the UK’s most famous and respected poets, Roger McGough, has been confirmed as one of the headline acts at York Literature Festival 2014, supported this year by City of York Council. McGough will perform at Joseph Rowntree Theatre on Friday 28 March 2014 at 7.30pm.

McGough is well known as a champion of poetry, and is the current presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Poetry Please. He was one of the Mersey Poets, alongside Brian Patten and Adrian Henri. As a member of pop group The Scaffold, he penned the lyrics for number one hit Lily The Pink in 1968. He also contributed to the script for The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine film. His work has appeared in over 50 books, and has included writing for children and autobiography. He is an honorary fellow of Liverpool John Moores University, fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and President of the Poetry Society. McGough was made an OBE in 1997 and a CBE in 2004.
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Residents survey cites poor highway maintenance as York’s biggest public service problem.

York residents survey results click to enlarge

York residents survey results click to enlarge

A survey completed by over 400 residents living in the west of York has revealed that highways and footpath maintenance are now the biggest cause for complaint.

73% thought that road and footpath maintenance had got worse in the City over the last 2 years.

The service was followed closely by ice clearance which 69% thought had got worse.

This is bad news for the Labour Council as the response come before the latest set of cuts to winter maintenance are implemented.

Parking provision was criticised by 65% with the large increases in parking charges introduced by the Labour Council likely to be the main influencing factor.

More than 50% of respondents also thought that litter, control of dogs, refuse collection and weed removal had got worse.

Only crime prevention fared relatively well, with 66% saying that the quality of the service was unchanged

The survey results will add pressure on the Council to support additional investment in street level public services at its meeting on Thursday.