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.

Street level public service standards – plea to York Council next Thursday.

The York Council at a meeting next week will be asked to jettison its prestige expenditure plans and return to a more sensible economic policy.

Weeds need strimming at end of Ridgeway

Weeds need strimming at end of Ridgeway

A motion being put forward by the Liberal Democrats condemns deteriorating roads, footpaths and increasing litter as well as plans to reduce de icing services in winter.

It says that Labour’s decision to scrap the “York Pride” maintenance programmes means that many areas are now strewn with weeds and detritus.

Carriageway failed in Vesper Drive

Carriageway failed in Vesper Drive

Recent rain highlighted the impact that Labours decision to end the routine cleaning of gullies (road drains) is already having.

Meanwhile a rather disingenuous motion from Labour Cllr Burton, seeks to justify the bill for York staging the start of just one Tour de France stage.

The cost to taxpayers is already in excess of £1.5 million and rising.

The Labour backed motion says that any income to the Council from the event should be allocate to improve basic service standards.

It fails however to say that the income from a few hot dog stands is unlikely to make much difference.

The cost of the repairs back log on the City’s roads and footpaths alone now stands at over £20 million.

The Liberal Democrat motion reads
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Sky Ride local in York this weekend at York Sport village

Sky ride

A series of inclusive Sky Ride Local rides will be taking place in York thanks to a partnership between British Cycling and Sky.

Rides will take place on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 October from 3pm until 5pm on the 1km purpose built cycling track at the York Sport Village on Hull Road

Get Cycling will have a fleet of adapted bikes for people to test out so everyone can take part.

Children aged 8 and above and adults can ride their own bikes, or use one of the adapted bikes.

Children aged under 8 are welcome to use tow bikes, trailers and frame seats. All riders are required to wear a helmet.

To sign up for one of the free, fun Sky Rides go to www.goskyride.com/York

5,500 cyclists took to the streets of York on September 14 for the first ever Sky Ride.

Over 30 sports and fitness opportunities at Just 30 Fair on Saturday!

York’s sixth annual family fitness day will be getting everyone up and active at Rowntree Park on Saturday 21 September from 12noon to 5pm. The Just 30 Fair aims to inspire people of all ages to try new sports and fitness activities and discover more of what’s available in York.

The Just 30 Fair is set up to encourage everyone to do just 30 minutes exercise every day for a happier, healthier lifestyle. If you would like to find out more about how to get fitter and more fabulous, then this event is for you! We’ve invited over 30 sports clubs, leisure facilities, organisations, gyms and individual tutors and coaches to advise you and give out information: whatever your interests, abilities or levels of fitness there will be something to help get you up and more active. They’re all there to welcome and encourage you do Just 30!

Most organisations will be staging try-it sessions, demonstrations and mini-games to join in. Professional sports clubs like York City FC will be there alongside community clubs offering sub-aqua, aikido, bowls, volleyball, dance, yoga, running, boxing, kendo, Nordic walking, zumba and tennis.
Just 30
For the first time, basketball, wheelchair basketball, and hula hooping will be part of the Fair this year, offering everyone the chance to have a go.

While limbering up for their race, are the mascots from the city clubs! Yorkie from York FC, Ronnie Rhino from the Leeds Rhinos, and Kernal, Fluffy and Donut from York Maze will challenging last year’s winner Snappy Crock from SNAPPY in a hilarious race of the sporting mascots. The race starts at 2pm

For further information about the Just 30 Fair visit www.york.gov.uk/just30 or call Neil Gulliver from City of York Council on 01904 553377 or email neil.gulliver@york.gov.uk.

Blow for Sports Village hopes. Community Stadium to be delayed?

The Council has announced that it will no longer be funding an athletics track at the Sports Village on Hull Road.

The facility was to have opened this year.

The proposal to establish a sports village – which also includes swimming pools, 3G football pitches, a fitness suite, a outdoor cycling circuit and spa facilities – was agreed over 3 years ago and most of the facilities are now in use.

Athletics stadium Sept 2013

However, the provision of a new £2 million athletics stadium was to be the final jewel in the crown.

The intention had been to maximise the use of shared facilities such as the refreshment area, physiotherapy, spa and changing rooms.

Now the Council has decided to refurbish the University of York running track on Heslington Lane which is nearly 2 miles away from the Sports Village. The Heslington/Fulford area already suffers from traffic and parking issues

The implications for the running costs of both facilities remain unclear as does the financial commitment of the Council to the whole Community Stadium project.

A spokesperson for the Labour run council has claimed that the new site will be “cheaper”.

However, the athletes are claiming that the Council has agreed to subsidise the York Athletic Club for “5 years”.

Who has agreed such a subsidy, with what restrictions and for how much remains a mystery?

Behind closed doors logo

This major change in policy was taken at another behind closed doors meeting, so taxpayers are being kept in the dark

Moving the athletics track from the Huntington Stadium was an essential precursor to work on the new stadium starting.

It now seems that athletes will leave Huntington in late 2014 prior to occupying the refurbished University track in 2015.

Completion of the Community Stadium has already been put back to 2016 and further delays cannot be ruled out.