YORK Easter holiday transport

The Queen will be visiting York on Thursday 5th April. Extreme delays are forecast, in the City centre and near Micklegate, from 10:00am onwards. Early journeys are advised.

First buses will be operating a revised service level over the Easter Period:

Good Friday, 6th April – A Sunday service will operate on main network services. Park and Ride services 2, 3, 7, 8 & 9 will operate a Monday-Friday timetable.

Easter Saturday, 7th April – Normal Saturday service

Easter Sunday, 8th April – Normal Sunday service

Easter Monday, 9th April – A Sunday service will operate on main network services. Park and Ride services 2, 3, 7, 8 & 9 will operate a Monday-Friday timetable.

Tuesday 10th April – Normal service resumes

North Yorkshire Police mobile safety (speed) camera routes 28 March – 3 April 2012

North Yorkshire Police will be carrying out mobile safety camera enforcement on the following roads between Wednesday 28 March and Tuesday 3 April 2012.

•B1257 Newgate Bank, Hawnby
•A19 Crathorne
•A170 Scawton Moor
•Station Road, Thirsk
•B6271 Great Langton
•B1264 Low Worsall
•Guisborough Road, Great Ayton
•B1257 Great Broughton
•Northallerton Road, Brompton,
•Station Road, Thirsk,
•B6271, Great Langton,
•A61, Carlton Road, Carlton Miniott
•A6108, North Stainley
•A629, Low Bradley
•A65, Settle by-pass
•A62, west-bound, Crosshills
•A629, Skipton by-pass
•A59, Beamsley Hill
•A56, Thornton-in-Craven
•A65 Clapham
•A65 Settle by-pass
•A65, Hellifield
•A65 Coniston Cold

The mobile safety cameras will be in operation at the above sites at various times during the dates stated. Cameras will not be in use on the above routes all day, every day.

LABOUR MAY REFUSE TO DEBATE BECKFIELD LANE ALTERNATIVE

Labour Councillors may refuse to debate on Thursday a motion put forward by Liberal Democrat councillors to reconsider the Council’s plan to close Beckfield Lane Recycling Centre.

The motion was proposed to be discussed at the Full Council Meeting this Thursday 29th March, but the ruling group have informed Liberal Democrats that this will not be discussed and it could stand referred initially for consideration by the “Cabinet”.

Labour argue that extra financial information is needed to make a decision, something that Cllr Reid disputes.

Ann Reid, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Dringhouses and Woodthorpe, said that Labour didn’t want a debate to happen. She argues that Labour know they are on the wrong side of public opinion and would prefer that their feet weren’t held to the fire.

Cllr Reid said “When Labour were elected they pledged to make the council more accountable to local people. However, during the saga over Union Terrace and now the proposed closure of Beckfield Lane, Labour have completely ignored public opinion.

“A petition against the sale of the recycling centre has reached over 2000 signatures and is still growing. The people of York do not want to see the centre closed.”

“Local people want to see the Labour cabinet held to account over this decision, and Labour are refusing to let us make that case. This is shameful politicking.”

Labour argue that the decision needs to be referred to Cabinet in order to get a better understanding of the costs involved in potentially keeping the site open. Councillor Reid says this is simply not the case.
She said “The Labour cabinet say they need to get information of how much the site would cost to keep open before this is discussed. Are they suggesting they made the initial decision to close the site without having this information to hand? Labour don’t want this discussion because the public don’t agree with them. It is that simple.”

A Council debate is inevitable sooner or later now that over 2000 residents have signed the “Save Beckfield Lane recycling centre” petition.

The Councils constitution requires a public debate on any petition passing the 1000 signature threshold

Supporters are also adding their names to the electronic petition which can be accessed here on the Councils web site:

http://tinyurl.com/Save-the-recycling-centre

With 2 weeks to run, it already has the third largest number of supporters for a petition of this sort ever recorded.

Beckfield Lane recycling centre open for longer hours…. until it closes on 16th April!

The Council – apparently without any sense of irony – have issued the following media statement:

“Spring is upon us and this means longer opening hours at City of York Council’s Household Waste Recycling centres.

From April 1 the sites will stay open later, to allow residents to use the lighter evenings to dispose of large amounts of recycling, garden waste and other rubbish.

The sites provide a wide range of recycling facilities for household materials including all types of electricals, old textiles, shoes, clothing, wood, metal, garden waste, cardboard as well as plastic bottles, glass, cans and paper. Full details of what you can recycle at each site is available at www.york.gov.uk/waste

Opening times from 1 April until 30 September are as follows:

• Hazel Court: Monday to Saturday 8.30am to 7.00pm, Sundays 8.30am to 4.00pm
• Towthorpe/Strensall:- daily 8.30am to 7.00pm
• Beckfield Lane: Monday to Friday 5.00pm to 7.00pm, Saturday and Sunday: 10.00am to 2.00pm. (1st April – 16th April only!!!!)
• All sites will be open as usual on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday”.

Meanwhile a total of 2189 residents have now signed the petition asking for the Beckfield Lane tip to remain open. These include 143 from residents living in the Dringhouses Ward.
The 2 Labour Councillors representing Dringhouses have yet to declare whether they will support keeping Beckfield Lane open.

They will have an opportunity to do so at the Council meeting which is taking place on Thursday when Ann Reid will be proposing that the recycling centre continues in operation.

NB. The next distribution of free compost will take place at Yorwaste’s Harewood Whin site, on Tinker Lane, off Wetherby Road on:

• Sunday 1 April
• Sunday 6 May
• Sunday 3 June
• Sunday 8 July
• Sunday 5 August
• Sunday 2 September
• Sunday 7 October

The compost will be available from 9.30am until 2.30pm each day and residents are asked to bring a shovel and bags or containers to take the compost home in

Robbery at Cooperative store in Moorcroft Road York – can you help?

York police are appealing for information and witnesses following a robbery at the Cooperative store on Moorcroft Road, Woodthorpe.

At approximately 9.30pm on Friday 23 March 2012, three men wearing balaclavas entered the store and threatened two shop assistants with a small metal bar.

They forced the staff to hand over several coloured cash bags containing coins ranging from 5p to £1.

One member of staff was hit with the metal bar but was not seriously injured.

It is believed that a number of people were stood outside a nearby food takeaway at the time of the incident, police would like these people to contact them.

The bags would have been heavy to carry and are coloured red, green, pink, yellow and grey. Anyone who finds any discarded bags or has seen anyone with them is also asked to contact the police.

Investigating Officer DC Mo Mohammed, of York CID, said: “I am appealing for members of the public who were in the Moorcroft Road area on Friday night between 9.15pm and 9.45pm to get in touch. They may not have witnessed the incident but may have vital information which could help the investigation. ”

The suspects are described as white men, all aged in their mid-twenties. The first man was wearing a black, North Face coat, light grey Adidas tracksuit trousers and black gloves.

The second man was wearing a light grey zip-up hoodie with matching tracksuit trousers and black gloves.

The third suspect was wearing a black Nike top with the Nike logo across the front, black trousers and black gloves.

Police have carried out door-to-door enquires and local searches in the area as well as examining CCTV footage.

Any witnesses or anyone with any information is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask for York CID.

Alternatively, you can pass information anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Government bails out York transport again as chaos hits bus services.


The Coalition government has announced the third big slice of funding for York’s ailing transport system in less than a year. Hard on the heels of a £20 million grant for 2 new park and ride sites, plus around £4 million for a sustainable transport initiative, the government has agreed to put £2.9 million into improving public transport systems. These are huge sums of money at a time when the economy is still weak and the Council needs to ensure that the investment is prudently managed and that residents are fully consulted about the proposed use of the funds.

The move means that York can now expect to get the cashless “smartcard” payment system that was trialled in South Yorkshire 3 years ago. We have no doubt that – everything else being equal – the convenience of this system would boost bus usage in the City.

What is markedly less convincing is the Councils intention to borrow £1.6 million which it will spend smartening up City Centre bus stops. The taxpayer simply can’t afford this kind of expenditure at a time when key public services are being cut. The 56% reduction in highways maintenance, which will be bad news for pedestrians and cyclists, has still not been adequately justified by the Council leadership.

Residents are also angry about the way that road works on Blossom Street have increased some bus journey times by as much as 1 hour. As usual the Council – and particularly the lethargic Labour Councillors representing affected wards – failed to manage this contract effectively and with minimal disruption.

News that the 20 conductors – who were used on the number 4 bus service – have now been sacked by First means that this service will be subject to further delays as drivers struggle to issue tickets on what is the busiest route on the York bus network. Services should have been left as they were until the smartcard had been introduced and a modern, low emission, bus procured for use on the route.

2000 sign Beckfield Lane recycling centre petition

2000 residents have now signed the petition aimed at saving the Beckfield Lane recycling centre from closure.

It will be handed in to the Council next Thursday at 6:30pm. The meeting – which is taking place at the Guildhall – will be open to the public.

Two Councillors have put down a notice of motion for debate. The motion reads:

Council notes the significant improvement in the proportion of waste that has been recycled under the previous Liberal Democrat administration, from 12% in 2003 to 45% in 2011.
Council supports the principle that waste collection and recycling should be convenient and fair to residents across the city. In light of the fact that the Budget 2012/13 has deleted the provision of a Recycling and Reuse Centre in the west of the city, Council requests that the Cabinet halts the closure plan for Beckfield Lane Household Waste Recycling Centre.
Council also supports the principle of the provision of a free receptacle for the collection of waste to all residents across the city requests that the provision of free black bin bags should continue to all areas of the city where wheeled bins are not in use. Proposed by Councillor Reid Seconded by Councillor Firth

Residents are still able to sign the “on line” version of the petition at

http://tinyurl.com/Save-the-recycling-centre

Window posters and car stickers are now available

Free loft and cavity wall insulation offer extended

The offer for York residents to apply for carbon cutting and money-saving free loft insulation and free cavity wall insulation has been extended.

Called Wrapping up York, this popular scheme has secured additional funding from City of York Council partners the Yorkshire Energy Partnership.

Now, more people who would like their loft insulation topped up, or their cavity walls filled with insulation can call a new, local helpline 01904 55 44 06. Besides calling and arranging for their home to be surveyed, they can also ask for information to keep their homes warmer and get information on local carbon-cutting schemes.

Since December 2011, Wrapping up York has already helped nearly 450 residents save over 10,000 life time tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2).

York residents can claim their FREE loft and cavity insulation by calling Yorkshire Energy Partnership on 01904 55 44 06 quoting Wrapping up York.

OVER 75,000 YORK RESIDENTS TO GET £220 TAX CUT THANKS TO LIB DEM PLANS IN BUDGET

As part of the Budget, the Chancellor has announced that from next year, the Income Tax threshold will be raised further, ensuring that no one pays any income tax on the first £9,205 they earn.

In York, that means 6,830 people will be lifted out of paying Income Tax all together and 76,900 will receive a £220 tax cut. This is on top of tax cuts of £200 last year and a further £130 next month.

Commenting, Dringhouses Ward Liberal Democrat Councillor Ann Reid said “The Chancellor has done the right thing in listening to Liberal Democrat calls for the Income Tax threshold to be raised further.

“As a Liberal Democrat, I want to see a fairer tax system where help is provided for those who need it most and where the richest pay their fair share.

“Raising the Income Tax threshold to £9205 will help working people on average incomes in York who have been struggling with bills and higher cost of living.”

Commenting further, Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander said “Liberal Democrats have been clear in our priorities for the Budget. We wanted to see a Budget for the millions, not the millionaires.

“The Coalition Government inherited an unfair tax system from Labour, who in their 13 years hit ordinary working families hardest by abolishing the 10p tax rate while letting tycoons get away with shameless tax avoidance.

“Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government are doing the right thing to clear up the mess Labour left behind, making sure the wealthiest pay their fair share by clamping down on tax avoidance, introducing a ‘tycoon tax’ and putting an end to stamp duty dodging by the super rich.

“Raising the Income Tax threshold is a key Liberal Democrat commitment that the Coalition Government is implementing. The announcement in the Budget will mean almost 2m people will be taken out of paying Income Tax all together in the UK and give nearly 25m people a £220 tax cut.”

Notes:

1. The Budget includes a number of measures to make the rich pay their fair share. These include a Tycoon Tax to cap tax breaks the wealthy can use; raising the rate of stamp duty to 7% for being who buy £2m mansions; and closing loopholes that allow people to buy houses in company names to avoid Stamp Duty when the property is sold.

2. When the Coalition came to power in 2010 the Personal Tax Allowance was £6,475. Increasing it to £10,000 will mean £700 back in the pockets of working people, or approximately £60 a month.

For the many, not the few- A budget for the millions not millionaires

A £3.5bn tax cut for working people
• Biggest single ever uplift in the tax threshold
• 21 million working people getting an extra £220 tax cut
• Tycoon Tax raises FIVE times as much from the super-rich
The Liberal Democrats have ensured this is a budget for the millions not for the millionaires, delivering a £3.5billion tax cut to average working people.

That’s why the biggest move in this Budget is a tax cut for ordinary workers, going further and faster towards the Liberal Democrat goal of making the first ten thousand pounds you earn tax-free. From the front page of our manifesto directly to the pockets of working people.

Thanks to Liberal Democracts, people working full time on the minimum wage, will have seen their income tax bill cut in half.

We have delivered on Nick Clegg’s pledge to go further and faster on the personal tax allowance. This means that 21m basic rate taxpayers will get an extra £220 cut in their income tax bills and a further 840,000 people will be taken out of paying income tax altogether.
• This Budget brings the personal allowance to £9,205 in April 2013
• This Budget brings the total tax cut for basic rate tax payers to £550.
• This Budget brings the total number of people lifted out of tax to 2 million.

Lib Dem Top Ten
1. Biggest ever uplift in the tax threshold to £9,205
2. 21 million working people getting an extra £220 tax cut
3. Tycoon Tax raises FIVE times as much from the super-rich
4. Cutting corporation tax to help British business
5. Stamp duty increased to 7% for multi-million pound homes
6. Lib Dem tax cuts have saved average working people £550
7. 2 million low paid no longer face income tax
8. New 15% tax on companies buying property over £2m
9. Child benefit protected for middle-class families
10. Getting more money from the banks to loan more to British businesses