York’s Orbital Cycle Route open

The Orbital Route is a circular strategic cycle route around the city delivered by City of York Council in response to feedback from York residents wanting quiet mainly off-road routes between the inner and outer ring road. The Orbital Cycle Route is designed to allow users to ‘hop on’ and then ‘hop off’ to destinations around the city. Destinations are signposted by the already familiar blue signs as well as numbered way markers (ranging from 1 to 26) that can also be seen on the popular cycle route map. With the previous Cycling City York and current i Travel York programmes, a number of infrastructure improvements have been made to plug gaps in the existing cycle route network. This will help to ensure that those making journeys by bicycle can travel all the way around York quickly, easily and more safely.

The Orbital Cycle Route, which is depicted on the York Cycle Route Map, begins and ends at Millennium Bridge and features 26 distinctive, numbered metal ‘way-markers’, which highlight the route at key points around the city. From there, the route heads west through South Bank and skirts around The Knavesmire before crossing Hob Moor. It then continues north along quiet residential streets in Acomb before crossing the River Ouse at Clifton Bridge.

From Clifton Green, the route proceeds up Water Lane and Kingsway North, taking advantage of a newly-built off-road cycle path, before heading onto Crichton Avenue, where major improvements were carried out during 2010. It then joins up with the off-road Sustrans cycle track, known as the Foss Islands Route, and continues onto James Street before reaching the junction with Lawrence Street, where major improvements to the signals and cycle crossings have recently taken place. The route then returns to Millennium Bridge from the east via quiet residential roads close to The Barbican and along the riverside cycle track at New Walk from the Blue Bridge.

For more information about cycling facilities and infrastructure in York, visit the Cycling City York website at: www.cyclingcity.york.org.uk, Later in the year there will be a new website replacing this as part of the i Travel York programme catering for all York’s travel needs and information.

“Dig up your Roots” – York Libraries launch family history sessions

Dig up your roots this Spring to find out more about your family tree.

Our learning activities are aimed at beginners and will show you how to access and use local and family history resources and archival materials to trace your ancestors.

Ancestry sessions for beginners

These sessions are aimed at absolute beginners of all ages who are looking to research their family tree.

The aim is to give learners the confidence to begin researching their family history using the Ancestry website, which is available free within York Libraries.
•Tang Hall: Monday 2 April, 10.30am – 11.30am
•Copmanthorpe: Monday 16 April, 9.15am – 10.15am
•Poppleton: Wednesday 9 May, 10.30am – 11.30am
•Haxby: Monday 21 May, 9.45am – 10.45am
•Huntington: Tuesday 12 June, 10.30am – 11.30am
•Bishopthorpe: Wednesday 20 June, 2.30pm – 3.30pm

Introduction to family history resources on the internet

This free session is suitable for anybody who has a basic knowledge of how to use computers, and wants to find out about free family history websites. The sessions will cover Ancestry and other websites for UK Birth, Marriage and Death Records and UK census records.
•York Explore: Saturday 26 May, 2.30pm – 4.30pm

Family history for beginners

This free workshop aims to cover the basics of how to start your family tree, and will introduce useful resources like Civil Registration records, census records and parish registers to get you started.
•York Explore: Thursday 20 April, 10am – 12 noon
•York Explore: Thursday 31 May, 2pm – 4pm
•York Explore: Thursday 28 June, 10am – 12 noon

For more information or to book onto any of the courses, please contact your local library staff.

Spring Fever story events for children this Easter

Spring Fever at Explore Acomb

Thursday 12 April, 2pm – 3pm at Explore Acomb

Stories and activities for 5 – 11 year olds. Free tickets available from Explore Acomb on (01904) 552651 or acomb.library@york.gov.uk . Places are limited so prior booking is advisable.

Spring Fever at Explore York

Monday 2 April, 2.30pm – 3.30pm at Explore York

Stories and activities for 5 – 8 year olds. Free tickets available from Explore York on (01904) 552828 or exploreyork@york.gov.uk. Places are limited so prior booking is advisable.

Cycling – Police advice on bicycle safety and security

“As in any other part of the country, North Yorkshire and the City of York suffer from bicycle theft – both from street locations and from houses and out-buildings.

As a force we work hard with agencies and the public to reduce bicycle crime and to promote security. This includes talking to schools, workforces and individuals to ensure cycle users understand the principals of prevention and how to report a theft if one occurs.

From analysing details of reported incidents, the main area of concern is how users either leave cycles unlocked or use inadequate locks. The cycles are also left in inappropriate areas such as unlit streets, out of sight, around the corners of buildings or simply dumped on a pavement. These are all places criminals look for and know about.

Basic advice

The Home Office has issued the following advice to help protect your bicycle:

•When buying a bike, budget for security.
•Take out insurance, either by extending your home contents insurance or through a separate policy. Cycling organisations and bike shops may offer specialist cover. Do this at the time of purchasing the bike, otherwise you may not get around to it.
•Record and register your bike.
– Register your bicycle model, make and frame number. This assists the police in returning recovered bikes to their rightful owners. Contact your local police station for further advice.
– Take a clear, colour photograph of your bike and make a written record of its description, including any unique features, so that you can report it accurately if stolen.
•Security mark the bicycle. A number of proprietary marking and tagging systems are available. To be effective a security marking must:
– be clearly visible – advertise that the bike is security marked or tagged. For example, attaching a clearly visible label is a simple option.
– be secure – for example, by using a tamper-resistant label, etching, etc, or an inaccessible electronic device.
– be placed in at least two separate locations, preferably on or in the frame. At least one of these locations should not be clearly visible.
– give clear information via the visible mark (label, etching, etc) that will quickly allow police to identify the method of security marking or tagging (and where applicable the registration company), and through this identify the owner. Crime Prevention Officers or security marking companies can advise if you are not sure what information to include.

Secure cycle parking

There are designated areas within the towns and cities of North Yorkshire which offer secure parking for cycles. These can be found at train stations, multi-storey car parks and in main shopping areas.

A number of local authorities publish details of cycle lockers and other forms of secure parking, including York Council.

Locks

There are many different products on the market and price is not necessarily a reliable indicator of quality. The most important factor is how long the product can resist attack.

To guard against the opportunist thief you need a product that has resisted attack for one minute. To guard against the determined thief you need a product that has resisted attack for three minutes. To guard against the dedicated thief you need a product that has resisted attack for five minutes.

Hardened steel D-shaped locks are recommended as the minimum standard. It is worth spending proportionately more on a lock for a more expensive bike.

The Cycle Passport

One of the new prevention tools in use is a scheme called the Cycle Passport. The passport is designed for the cycle owner to record all aspects of the bike and also allows a photo to be attached. This is then stored in a safe place and should only be used in case the cycle is stolen. It will help the officer to gain a full description and help identify the cycle if recovered. The information can also be passed on to local cycle stores in case the offender tries to sell on the bike.

Know your bike

Just in case the worst does happen, make sure you are able to describe your bike properly to police.

Further information

You can get more advice on keeping your bicycle safe from Immobilise and the Home Office, or from Safer York Partnership’s Operation Spoke.

Beckfield Lane Cabinet debate set for next Tuesday?

It looks like initial consideration of a proposal to save the Beckfield Lane Recycling Centre may take place as early as next Tuesday.

We understand that an urgent item is being added to the agenda of the Cabinet meeting which is scheduled to take place on 3rd April starting at 5:30pm.

The meeting has been switched from its traditional Guildhall venue to Fulford School, Fulfordgate, Heslington Road, Fulford . The remote venue, and short notice, will make it difficult for any residents wishing to make a representation to do so.

Registrations to speak on this item have been extended until 12 noon on Tuesday 3 April. Residents wishing to speak should contact Democracy Officer: Jill Pickering Contact details: Telephone – (01904) 552061 E-mail – jill.pickering@york.gov.uk

An addendum in the following terms has been added to the agenda in the last couple of hours.
“Urgent Item: Beckfield Lane Household Recycling Centre

The motion to Council, on 29 March 2012, from Cllr Reid requesting a halt to the closure plan for the Beckfield Lane Household Waste Recycling Centre has been referred as an urgent item for consideration at this meeting. An officer report on the associated implications is being prepared”.

The full agenda and supporting reports for the meeting can be found here http://tinyurl.com/York-Cabinet-3rd-April

Answers given to Council questions on Beckfield Lane. Click to enlarge

The meeting may also have a copy of the paper petition available for consideration. The Epetition has until 11th April to run.

If the vote at the meeting goes against keeping the recycling centre open then the item can be “called in” for discussion at an all party scrutiny committee.

Whatever happens, there will still be a discussion on the issue at a future full council meeting as the petition signature numbers now trigger an automatic debate.

Meanwhile, the answers given by the Council Leadership to questions about the Beckfield Lane situation have been published (right). They give little optimism about the commitment of the Council Leadership on resident consultation or their willingness to listen to alternative views.

Beckfield Lane petition set to be snubbed by Council Leader?

The 2700 signature petition aimed at keeping the Beckfield Lane Recycling Centre open was handed in to last night’s Council meeting. Councillors had been lobbied by local residents as they arrived for the meeting (right).

Presenting the petition Liberal Democrat Councillor Ann Reid said,
“Beckfield Lane Household Waste and Recycling Centre is a well used facility in Acomb Ward which serves the needs of the west of the city”
The petition has been signed by residents from across the whole of the west of the city, many from the villages of Rural West such as Poppleton, Rufforth and Copmanthorpe. Not surprisingly the bulk of the support has come from the Acomb, Westfield and Holgate Wards but it has also been signed by residents from Micklegate, Fishergate, Guildhall and Clifton.
Closure of the site will force residents to drive much further, many through the City Centre, in order to dispose of their waste all adding to poor air quality and traffic congestion. Yes, there is a small minority who will cycle but that is not feasible for most of the waste that is currently taken to Beckfield Lane. Many won’t even bother to drive to Hazel Court and will either put waste into their grey bin or, even worse, fly tip. Both of those will decrease the amount recycled, some thing that increased under our administration. Increasing recycling was indentified in your (Labour) budget to achieve your savings target.
I would have assumed that in the run up to the budget Labour would have received all the financial information needed, including the cost of maintaining and, if necessary, improving Beckfield Lane and we could be having a debate tonight. If that is not to be the case then, taking into account the support for the site from residents, at the very least the closure of Beckfield Lane should be postponed until Council is able to debate it.
I also call on the Leader not to start any property sale until the final decision is made”.

Later in the meeting a Motion proposed by Cllr Reid to keep the centre open was referred for Cabinet consideration without a debate.

As the numbers of residents petitioning the council has passed both the Epetition and paper thresholds, it is now required by its constitution to consider the issue formally.

This means that the timetable could now look something like this:
• 4th April – Scheduled “Cabinet” meeting (Beckfield Lane may be added to the agenda as an “urgent” item)
• 12th April – Last date to sign the Epetition on Council web site
• 16th April – Beckfield Lane Recycling Centre scheduled to close
• 15th May – Earliest the “Cabinet” is likely to discuss the issue
• 19th July – Next scheduled Council meeting

In reality it is only the Council leadership who are resisting at least a stay of execution for the site. Some Councillors have indicated that they are prepared to attend a special Council meeting to discuss the issue.
Lobbying is likely to intensify over the next couple of weeks.

Residents also have until 12th April to add their support to the petition on the Councils web site (although it will not be available over the weekend because of scheduled “downtime”)

Beckfield Lane already has, by a margin, the largest number of supporters for an Epetition ever collected via the York Council web site.

The Micklegate Singers Chapter House Concert Sat – 31 Mar 2012 20:00 to 22:00

The latest concert by The Micklegate Singers celebrates love in all its variety, with a programme of 20th and 21st century music including Paul Mealor’s anthem for the Royal Wedding. The concert also features stunning pieces by Swingle, Whitacre, Grainger and Buchenberg, folk tunes and even Gregorian chants.

Tickets are £10 or £6 for concessions and can be bought on the door or in advance from the Minster Box Office.

Held in the gorgeous Chapter House of York Minster, it promises to be a romantic, atmospheric evening for both visitors to York and lovers of choral music.

Prices Adults: £10 Concessions: £6 Contact Joanne Wozencroft Tel: 07786183601

Save Beckfield Lane Epetition passes major milestone

236 residents have now signed the Beckfield Lane Recycling Centre Epetition on the Councils web site.

That is the largest ever number of supporters for a petition collected in this way.

Over 2600 have also signed the paper petition which is being handed in to the Council tonight.

Thanks to everyone for their support.

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

Bin delivery information

click to enlarge

Following problems with controlling the Councils budget, the delivery of replacement wheeled bins was suspended a few months ago. The Council has now issued the following statement which indicates that replacements will start to be delivered at the beginning of the new financial year.

“Bin and recycling container orders
Over winter we were unable to deliver some of the recycling containers and wheeled bins that residents requested.
If you ordered a container between 9 December 2011 and 31 March 2012, and have not yet received it, you will receive your replacement bins/recycling containers after 2 April.
Please note that we received a large number of requests during this time, so we expect to complete all of these outstanding deliveries by 8 June.

When will I receive my container?
We will work through the outstanding requests in areas as shown in the table below. We have a dedicated vehicle and crew delivering containers during this time.
If you requested a container between 9 December and 31 March please check which area you live in. We will deliver in that area during the 2 weeks shown
If you don’t receive your container(s) in the first week we will deliver it in the second week
This is the most efficient way of working through all outstanding requests and making sure everyone gets their container(s) as soon as possible.
Please note that we will be delivering containers Monday to Friday during the weeks listed in the table.
We are unable to answer individual enquiries about when containers will be delivered, but will work as quickly as possible to deliver your container(s).
Please let us know if you no longer need a container which has been requested.
Thank you for your continued patience with this.
If you order a new/replacement container after 2 April we will make every effort to deliver this before your next scheduled collection date”.

However residents living in terraced properties still won’t be getting their free delivery of refuse sacks. Many are signing the on line petition asking for the service to be reinstated.

http://tinyurl.com/Save-our-sacks-York

Others have vowed to request the provision of a wheeled bin. If a lot of residents do this – and they are entitled to the free provision of a waste container – then the council budget is likely to drift into a crisis again.

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS CONCERNED OVER FTR JOB LOSSES

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for City Strategy, Cllr Keith Hyman has today criticised City of York Council’s Labour Cabinet recent decision to make the 22 FTR conductors redundant as a result of the decision to replace the FTR ‘superbuses’ with more single and double-deckers.

Cllr Hyman said “Although the FTR buses divided opinion in York, I don’t think anybody thought the conductors were doing a bad job. Many residents have told me that in their experience the conductors were courteous, helpful and prevented rowdy behaviour at the back of buses. James Alexander talks a lot about employment in York but this decision shows that he prefers a cheap headline to safeguarding the jobs of hard-working local people.”

The Liberal Democrat Group is now calling on Cllr James Alexander, York’s Labour Leader to keep conductors on double-deckers using his £1 million delivery and innovation fund.