Ann Reid celebrates 30 years as a York Councillor

Local Councillor Ann Reid was first elected to the York District Council at a by election held on 18th September 1986. Focus Ann is now one of the City’s longest serving Councillors.

In 1986 Woodthorpe and Acomb Park formed part of the Foxwood ward with the other two Councillors for the area being David Horwell and Steve Galloway. Ann stood as a candidate in the by election which followed the departure of sitting Councillor Sue Auckland to Sheffield (where coincidentally Sue was elected to the Sheffield Council for the first time last May).

Ann was described as a Liberal Alliance candidate in recognition of a coalition with the SDP which existed at the time.  (The SDP was made up of former Labour party members who had joined a new party in protest over a leftward lurch in their former parties policies – not much different from the current national political position really!)

The Foxwood and Woodthorpe area was very different in those days with a dPress cutting and result top 10ebate ranging about plans to build a shopping area on Acomb Wood Drive. A “Save Acomb Moor” (from development) campaign was running.

The campaign that had to be revived in 2013 when Labour announced a plan to build on part of the historic moor.

Councillors were seeking a bus service linking the, still expanding, Acomb Park area to the City centre.

Some things never change though with newsletters published at the time indicating a constant battle to keep the Woodthorpe shopping area safe and tidy.

There were also campaigns for public access to Acomb Wood (which was in private ownership at the time), Hoggs pond and Chapmans pond.

There was pressure on rubbish collection standards although recycling was in its infancy 30 years ago.

Ann was to go on to become the City’s Lord Mayor in 1993.

In the 2015 Council elections she was re-elected to serve the Dringhouses and Woodthorpe ward polling 3104 votes. This is the largest number of votes secured by any candidate in a local authority election in York’s history.

The next York Council elections are scheduled to take place in 2019.


Community Centre meeting on 3rd September

The committee which runs the Foxwood Community Centre is urging residents to attend a meeting on Wednesday 3rd September which could determine the future of the Centre.

Page 1 click to enlarge

Page 1 click to enlarge

The Centre lost its Council grant this year – part of a range of cuts to leisure provision in the City imposed by the Labour leadership.

Consequently the Centre can no longer afford to employ a caretaker.

In turn this means a big increase in the workload for a handful of volunteer committee members.

Responding to a survey on the Foxwood are,a 88% of residents said that they thought that the York Council should continue to support the centre. This may become an option again following next May’s Council elections when a change in political control – and policies – is anticipated.

However, in the interim, a difficult 9 months is in prospect for the Community Centre.

The Centre has issued a newsletter to potential volunteers but is keen for anyone with an hour or two to spare each week to attend the meeting. The Centre serves a wider area than just Foxwood with volunteers for Woodthorpe, Acomb Park and the Acomb side of the City generally, being invited to get involved.

Page 2 click to enlarge

Page 2 click to enlarge

Details of activities taking place at the Centre – together with booking arrangements – can be found on their web site

There is some good news, with York Cares having agreed to rejuvenate the play area at the Centre, together with the Foxwood Park, when they undertake their “Big Challenge” in the neighbourhood during early October. Details here

The door to door survey has also revealed mixed feeling about the future of the play area to the rear of the Community Centre.

It is only now open when the re is an event taking place. There currently aren’t sufficient volunteers available to keep it in good condition so it may be that it will have to become a communal garden or allotments.

Details of the options are expected to be on display at the centre in early September.

Residents launch petition to retain Dringhouses and Woodthorpe on de-icing schedule

The York Council is planning to remove the following roads from its winter gritting schedules.

Ice petition

Acomb Wood Drive,

Acorn Way,

Alness Drive,


Moorcroft Road,

Ryecroft Avenue,

Middlethorpe Grove,

Lycett Road,


West Thorpe,

Chaloners Road (part)

Many are bus routes

Now local residents are collecting a petition aimed at restoring the street to the de –icing schedules.

click for large scale map

click for large scale map

They also hope to persuade the Council not to reduce the number of salt bins in the area.

The Council currently plans to remove salt bins from Annan Close, Eden Close, Hillcrest Gardens, Lindale, Nairn Close, Moor Lane, Pulleyn Drive, Royal Chase, St Helens Road, Slingsby Grove, Spey Bank and The Horseshoe

2 years ago the Council moved to prevent local ward committees from establishing and maintaining local salt bin networks.

Residents point to the £70,000 a year being spent on advertising the City at Leeds Bradford airport as one source of funding for what most regard as a basic safety requirement
Residents have until next Monday (16th) to complete a Council on line survey although this does not include a status quo option.

A decision on the gritting routes is likely to be made at a meeting taking place on 9th October at which residents hope to hand in their petition.