New energy deal offered to York communities

York residents and community groups are being urged to bid for a share of the £10m Urban Community Energy Fund.

The fund provides grants and loans to support urban communities, like York, to develop renewable energy projects.


Grants of up to £20,000 are available to help develop ideas into projects. The fund also will provide loans of up to £130,000 to develop projects through to the planning stages and to be in a position to attract funding to deliver the project.

The following groups are eligible to apply for the fund: (more…)

Labour Council fails “value for money” audit

External auditors have offered only a “qualified” judgement on Labour run York Council’s 2013/14 accounts due to failings in adult social care.

Lowfields care village - 3 years behind schedule

Lowfields care village – 3 years behind schedule

At last night’s meeting of the council’s Audit & Governance Committee it was confirmed that auditors Mazars would only offer a “qualified” judgement on the council’s accounts, specifically their ‘Value for Money’ assessment.

A report presented to the committee said there were “weaknesses in budgetary control and financial management in Adult Social Care services….a lack of understanding and ownership of budgets….and performance information was limited”.

It said “during 2013/14 the service did not demonstrate an ability to address the issues that it faced” and financial arrangements in place were “not strong enough”.

The final announcement comes in the wake of serious delays in a number of social care projects.

Key amongst these are plans to construct a state of the art centre on the Lowfields school site which would have made the service more efficient.

The project is 3 years behind scheduled and Labour Councillors have refused to reveal why, although no formal contract for the facility has yet been advertised for tender.

Cllr Nigel Ayre, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Health and a member of the Audit & Governance Committee, commented: