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.”

Consultation starts on Tadcaster Road improvements

A consultation has got underway on a proposed scheme to deliver improvements along Tadcaster Road aimed at supporting cycling, walking and bus travel.

The £1.4m scheme is to be funded by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transforming Cities Fund, and is planned to be delivered alongside a £5m investment by Government in improved drainage, lighting, road and footpath surfaces. These plans are at ‘feasibility’ stage and the purpose of this consultation is to inform the next stage of creating more detailed designs. Not all of the proposals included in this consultation may be feasible or affordable.

The consultation started on Monday 23rd August and ends on 19th September. Consultation materials are available online at

Local councillors will be holding ‘pop-up’ outdoor sessions to discuss the plans with residents on Saturday 18th September 10am to 12.30pm on Little Hob Moor (Tadcaster Road end) and 2pm to 4.30pm on Hunters Way (Tadcaster Road end).  We will also look to hold an online Q&A session in September – please e-mail Stephen Fenton ( if you’d be interested in attending.

We believe that it is vitally important that these proposals are scrutinised by residents and any concerns or new ideas flagged up which can inform the detailed design stage. It’s in everyone’s interests that we make it safer and more attractive for people to travel by cycle, on foot or by bus – getting more people out of their cars will help to reduce congestion for those residents for whom the car is their only way to get around.

We recognise that there is a limit to what can be achieved with £1.4m and some of the potential schemes considered – such as an underpass between York College and Tesco –  won’t be affordable at this stage. Transforming Cities Funding cannot be used for general road and footpath maintenance.

Some of the proposals being consulted on include:

  • Existing segregated cycle path from Knavesmire Road to Pulleyn Drive converted to shared cycle / footpath and then creation of a 3 metre shared cycle / footpath up as far as the Marriott Hotel
  • New signal-controlled pedestrian crossings near the junctions with Nelsons Lane and The Horseshoe
  • Relocation of the Slingsby Grove bus stop approximately 75 metres south
  • Relocate the bus shelter on Tadcaster Road near the Old Moor Lane junction to the back of the footway, to make it easier to see buses approaching
  • Installation of a bus layby opposite York College
  • Widening the very narrow shared cycle / footpath around ‘cemetery corner’

Please do take part in this consultation and help to make this proposed scheme as good as it can be.

Half-term activities for local young people

York City Knights Foundation are running free activity sessions for local young people during half-term week.

The sessions will take place on Wednesday 2nd June:

  • 10am to 11.30am – Westfield Primary School
  • 2.00pm to 3.30pm – Woodthorpe Green

The sessions are open to boys and girls aged 5 years and over. Booking is essential with limited availability. For more information and to book go to

Ward funding decisions published

In September, Dringhouses & Woodthorpe Ward invited bids for a second round of 2020/21 ward funding. Applicants were asked to demonstrate how their projects would meet the ward priorities.

The applications were discussed at a Zoom meeting of members of the Ward Team, which helped to inform the decisions made by the ward councillors. Details of the grants awarded have now been published by City of York Council HERE.

  • St Edward the Confessor Church : £450 for wall-mounted hand sanitiser dispensers
  • Friends of Dringhouses Library: £450 for a water heater to provide hot water to the sink in the toilet
  • Friends of Chapmans Pond: £3,600 for tree work around pond, improvements to angling pegs for disabled users, improvements to path, re-establishment of damaged banksides
  • Dringhouses Scout Group: £176 for first aid kits
  • Woodthorpe York Community Group: £1,628 for three benches to be installed around Woodthorpe
  • New Visuality: £1,670 for a ‘Past, Present & Future’ creativity project involving pupils from Dringhouses and Woodthorpe primary schools
  • York City Knights Foundation: £500 for community outreach work designed to help tackle loneliness and isolation
  • Dementia Yorkshire: £250 for activity parcels for specific local residents, including individuals living with dementia and residents who are feeling lonely and isolated.

In addition, £1,740 is being invested in the establishment of a Cold Calling Controlled Zone covering 105 properties on Ainsty Grove, Ainsty Avenue, North Eastern Terrace and Mayfield Grove. This is in response to recent doorstep incidents.