Old dog, old tricks?

Those looking for a change of approach from the “new” Labour leadership on the York Council will be disappointed by the content of reports being circulated with next weeks Council agendas.

Having already broken the long standing convention that no party political opinions should be published in Council documentation, both the outgoing Leader and Deputy Leader have produced reports which criticise their opponents or seeking to blame the Coalition for all the ills of the world.

So much then for any attempt at making a fresh start or reaching consensus. Some at least want to continue the confrontational approach which was rejected so comprehensively by electors in the October by-election

Overgrown garage area

Overgrown garage area

One report even seeks to blame the government for a reduction in the number of people registered to vote in the City!

More significantly it continues to turn a blind eye to the deteriorating condition of the infrastructure (right) on many Council estates in the City.

Cllr Alexander sadly has written his own epitaph by claiming “Liberal Democrats want no Local Plan or one that would fail Government requirements” In reality, a Local Plan agreed in 2011 which Labour tinkered with and then withdraw.

Liberal Democrats want a Local Plan which respects both the priorities of the City’s population and which seeks to preserve the unique qualities of the City. Labour’s plan to expand the size of the City by over 20% during the next 15 years satisfied neither of the tests.

Failure to produce a Local Plan which could attract the support of both the Council and the people of the City is a poor legacy to leave to your successor.

How many Labour Councillors does it take to change a light bulb?

Two Cabinet members are to be summoned to a meeting on 11th December to decide whether to include the Punch Bowl in on a list of properties subject to an article 4 direction.

A meeting in October rejected the request even though designation would only require any proposed change of use to be subject to a formal planning application.

The Cabinet members for Planning and for Finance are now being asked to remove permitted development rights by CAMRA who are backed by a 1200 signature petition.

Bus service cuts – no consultation planned

Residents will have to wait until early January before finding out which local bus services Labour plan to cut. A decision meeting would have aired the issue was to have taken place on 11th December. old bus

The issue has now been referred to a Cabinet meeting scheduled for 6th January 2015.

The Council has made it clear that they are not proposing to consult with passengers likely to be affected by any cuts.

Battle to save York pubs

York Liberal Democrats have launched a campaign to save local pubs from the threat of closure.

Turf Tavern

The drive follows research from CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale) which shows 26 pubs across the country are closing every week. The Lib Dems say York currently has a thriving pub and beer scene, but it is not immune from economic and policy pressures.

The Lib Dems will move a motion at this week’s full council meeting asking City of York Council to back the campaign. The motion calls on the council to help give pubs better protection under planning legislation and to encourage residents to register their local pub as an ‘Asset of Community Value’ – to ensure they have more chance to buy it if it goes up for sale. The motion also calls on the Chancellor to freeze beer duty in next year’s Budget.