Up to £150,000 council funding for more people to access financial support

Voluntary and community organisations are invited to bid for a share of up to £150,000 to support people experiencing financial difficulties.

The fund aims to support voluntary and community sector services that reach out and support residents to maximise their incomes (through accessing all the benefits they are entitled to or by improving their employment prospects) and to access advice.

The fund is administered by the city’s Financial Inclusion Steering Group, which brings together partners including the Council, Citizens Advice YorkYork CVS and York Explore. All are committed to coordinate advice services across the city to ensure that residents can access the welfare support and advice available to them, and to access debt and money management advice.

Projects which have received financial inclusion grants in the past include specialist debt advice; improving the employability of people aged over 50; GP surgeries offering welfare advice support to patients; advice in the community to support residents’ financial capability; and providing support with Universal Credit applications.

House at 1 Deangate to be converted into offices

One of York’s most prominent homes is to be converted into offices.

The Minster-owned end terraced property at 1 Deangate is required to house staff from the Cathedral’s visitor management team.

1 Deangate (right)

The building has been a private residence for several decades. It is not listed but is regarded as an important part of the view of the Minster.

As part of the conversion to offices, solar tiles will be fitted as will a ground source heat pump. A new door will be fitted which will improve disabled access to the building..

The house has been empty for about 6 months

Published plans for `1 dean gate 30th January 2023 (click for more detail)
Details of the history of the property ca be found by clicking the graphic above

The planning application can be found here

NB. The Minster authorities are converting Church House – which is located on Ogleforth = from offices into flats

Muddle over city centre bus shuttle?

Selective consultation on cycle barrier design also starting

Last week the York Council promised that an online consultation would be available when the options for a new City centre “bus shuttle” were announced. The options were on display at a City centre hotel yesterday, but there is still no opportuntiy for reactions to be recorded on the Councils consultation page https://www.york.gov.uk/consultations

If the details being reported in the media are correct, then the offered service is little different from the existing dial and ride service which also serves the footstreet area (it enjoys an exemption from the traffic ban) See https://www.yorkwheels.org.uk/dial-and-ride-service-in-york/

According to the media the following routes are being considered (no maps have been published).

  • *From Bootham car park to Coppergate, providing access to Coney Street, Lendal, Blake Street, Davygate, Parliament Street and High Ousegate. Issues to be addressed include a height restriction at Bootham Bar and a ‘no right turn’ restriction at the end of Lendal, which would need changing to permit buses to turn.
  • *From Nunnery Lane car park to York station and footstreets, providing access to High Ousegate, Coney Street, Lendal, Blake Street, Davygate and Parliament Street. Issues to be addressed include a height restriction at Nunnery Lane car park which may need to be removed, possible changes to the car park layout to allow buses to turn and a restriction in Museum Street which would need to change to allow buses to turn into Blake Street.
  • *From Monk Bar to footstreets, providing access to Goodramgate, Colliergate, High Ousegate, Coney Street, Lendal, Museum Street, Blake Street, Davygate and Parliament Street. Issues to be addressed include restrictions at the end of Lendal and on Museum Street which would need to be changed to permit buses to turn.
  • Few people expected the bus to run down Coney Street which is sometimes packed with pedestrians. There is slightly more space to play with on Parliament Street but numerous safety issues will need be to be addressed before any decisions are made.

The Geco microbus is compact with a small turning circle, is only 1.2 metres wide compared to 1.8 metres for the averge car, and has an electric motor, a rear automatic ramp or manual side ramp and a capacity of four passengers plus one wheelchair.

It seems that the solution being debated seeks to address the needs of wheelchair users who may drive to a City centre car park. Some then, since the blue badge access ban was intrroduced, find the next stage of their journey to city centre amenities awkward

No costs for the service have been given.. Many had anticipated that one option would have been to replace the current “road train” which links the Railway Museum with York Minster. Its replacement with an electric version might have satisfied more than one need.

Discussion on ways of providing a benign transport option for the central area actually date back over 20 years. It was mentioned in the last transport plan for the City which was approved in 2010. However times and technology have moved on.Improvements are possible but they are perhaps not included as one of the options being tested at the Hilton hotel today.

Cycle barriers

Many cycle barriers in York are poorly maintained, are overgrown by weeds and need a coat of paint

Another consultation exercise is going on about the future of the 800 or so cycle barriers which protect pedestrian routes in the City.

Contractors, acting on behalf of the Council, say that they are trying to get local residents groups to engage with a series of “stakeholder meetings”.

The consultants (“Transport Initiaitives” ) say “The desired outcome of this work is to develop a policy to address barrier sites across the city and bring them into line with current legislation and/or design guidance”.

Many residents will be sceptical about this approach.

It presupposes that revised barrier design is a priority for the majority of taxpayers in the City.

We doubt this.

Rather the Councils resources should first be directed to repairing the surfaces of paths and roads many of which represent a particular risk for both pedestrians and cyclists.

Sadly the width of many paths is now also very limited. This is the result of the poor maintenance of adjacent grassed areas, hedges and trees. Many are overgrown and – in summer- some are impassable.

There is a quick win available here for the Council if they get their maintenance rotas sorted out.  

New pet foodbank launched in York. Collection points include Acomb and Woodthorpe

“We are delighted to introduce you to York’s newest & only, exclusively for Pets, Foodbank. We have literally just opened our doors to offer our help & support where we can to all of our 4-legged friends in the York area. From the research we have done we believe that there is a genuine need for this support for pets of residents living in the York area who are currently suffering financial hardship for a number of reasons.

To enable us to assist those in need we need to have pet food to give to them.

We are therefore urgently appealing for donations of the following :-

1) Unopened & in date tins & packets of pet food, both wet & dry, for cats, dogs & any other small animals.

2) New or clean, but hardly used, pet accessories of any kind including pet toys. All donations very welcome. If in doubt please contact us via our Facebook page.

3) If you run a pet business in & around York & are willing to act as a drop off point for donations, we would be very pleased to hear from you.

If you need help feeding your pets or want to donate pet food & accessories please contact us via our Facebook page or email us – yorkpetfoodbank@gmail.com – & we will liaise directly with you.

We will be working with local animal shelters & homeless organizations to assist those with pets who are struggling to feed them due to financial hardship.

!!! Please help us to help them !!!

Many thanks

York Pet Food Bank – January 2023″

Collection points at Acomb Pets,and the Dog House in Woodthorpe

Further details on their Facebook page

Coronavirus York updates: 26th January 2023

Hospital patients and deaths The cumulative number of deaths of York residents has increased to 580. COVID+ patient numbers, being cared for by the York Hospital Trust, have fallen to 81. The autumn peak was 178 (16/10/22)

Cases and infection rates The number of cases in the City has fallen to 43. The infection rate is now 20.40. These are the lowest figures recorded since 26th May 2021

Neighbourhoods All neighbours with the exceptions of Wigginton, Clifton Without/Skelton, Osbaldwick & Bighopthorpe/Copmanthorpe now have fewer than 3 cases in each. (We are discontinuing this monitor because sample results are too small) 

vaccinations 60370 (74.8%) of eligible York residents have now had the autumn booster jab. The government has announced that they will shortly be closing this  programme (We are discontinuing this monitor because new vax. numbers are now consistently very small)

Tests The proportion of positive PCR tests has fallen to 6.4%. It peaked at 17.3% on 3rd January 2023. 



The Council, commentary on the pandemic will be added here when it is published (expected 27/1/23)

StreetSafe – Police say, “we want you to tell us where you don’t feel safe…”

What is StreetSafe?

The government is trialling a new online tool as part of its response to tackling violence against women and girls.


StreetSafe provides members of the public with the opportunity to anonymously submit information about a place where they don’t feel safe.

The police and local authorities then work together to make improvements based on the suggestions that have been submitted.

Examples of submissions are suggestions for improved streetlighting or increased police patrols in an area.

No crime needs to have been committed for you to provide information on where you feel unsafe.

How do I use it?

If there is a place that you visit where you feel unsafe. Then head to https://www.northyorkshire.police.uk/notices/street-safe/street-safe/    

◾ It could be at a certain point on the walk home from work every day where the street lighting is out of order.

◾ Or maybe there is no street lighting at all.

◾ Or maybe youths are congregating, and they intimidate you.

It’s important to remember that the StreetSafe tool should not be used to report crimes.

Always report to police by calling 999 if anyone is in immediate danger or a crime is in progress.

Inspector Dave Barf is the lead for StreetSafe within North Yorkshire Police. Dave added: 

“StreetSafe is a user-friendly tool that enables members of the public to pass important information about how safe they feel within their local community.

“Many of the reports so far relate to streetlights which are not working or overgrown vegetation.

“We have passed this information to the local authorities who can address these issues. 

“StreetSafe is for times when you feel unsafe or threatened in a place but can’t really narrow down why. 

“Our partners can then work with us to review repeat reports and see if we can identify and address things to improve a particular environment to make it feel more secure.”

Conversion of Bootham Park Hospital into care home set to get planning approval

The future of Bootham Park Hospital – a significant Listed Building which has been empty for over 7 years – is set to be determined next week. A planning committee will decide whether to approve the conversion of the building into a modern care facility.

The scheme proposes an extra-care residential community (172 residential units with 24-hour care), which would entail residential accommodation and amenities including communal and health and well-being facilities, associated ancillary spaces, a café with public access and the associated landscaping of the site.

The site would have public access, in the form of the pedestrian/cycle routes through the site, public open space and sports facilities.

All apartments, apart from one within the listed building, would accord with Part M Category 2: Accessible and Adaptable dwellings of the building regulations and all buildings have level access throughout.

The applicants are Enterprise Retirement Living, an older persons living specialist developer. The accommodation would be for persons in need of care and residents would be subject to a “Qualifying Resident Assessment” to determine eligibility (at least 60 in age and in need of care) and the service charge would include a mandatory minimum 1.5 hours of care per week.

The works to facilitate the scheme include the following – –

  • Re-use of the Grade I listed building
  • Demolition of Grade II structures on the west side of the site (known as Pauper Wings) – New build to west and north of retained buildings
  • Removal of 13 category A and 13 category B rated trees. 69 category A and 94 category B trees retained. Up to 180 new trees are proposed within the landscaping scheme, including heavy standard trees and semi-mature trees.
  • New main entrance (providing level and inclusive access) and café open to the public on the east side of the buildings. The works update the 1970’s single storey extension. The main (south) entrance to the grade I listed building would require a significant ramp to provide level access and was discounted as an option in agreement with Historic England).
  • Accommodation within new building(s) on three sides of the Grade II listed chapel.
  • Demolition of the estate cottages (positioned along access road and not listed in the Historic England listing); replacement with 3 storey accommodation.
  • Gatehouse converted to residential.
  • Restoration of Grade II listed boundary railings

The granting of planning permission would also secure the following benefits from the site (subject to a separate legal agreement with the Council)

  • Public access and improvements to the pedestrian and cycle route through the site between Bootham and Union Terrace / Bridge Road (the latter to the north and east of the site). Currently a permissive route. –
  • Sports facilities and public open space (both with public access arrangements).
  • Restoration of the boundary railings (listed at Grade II).
  • Landing area for air ambulance retained.

The proposals have been criticised by the Council’s Conservation Architect and several amenity societies, but are recommended for approval.

Click for detail

The report can be read by clicking here

Well known Mount Royal Hotel to be converted into houses

One of York’s traditional hotels, The Mount, is to be converted into two houses. In addition, 4 separate dwellings will be constructed as part of a major redevelopment.

A report accompanying the planning application provides some background information on the property.

“Mount Royale Hotel (117 and 119 The Mount, York) is a pair of Grade-II listed villas built in the 1830s as semi-detached homes for affluent businessmen outside the city walls.

The Tudor Revival villas are set back from the road behind GradeII listed boundary wall and railings (north-west), unlisted boundary walls to the north-east and long open gardens to the south-east with modern extensions, structures and swimming pool.

The villas hold architectural and historic interest for their 1830s Tudor Revival architectural design and their historic associations with local businessmen, such as the Rowntree family. They typify the character and appearance of The Mount Character Area of the York Historic Core Conservation Area (YHCCA:24) but their significance is harmed by forecourt hard surfacing, substantial rear extensions and internal openings.

The hotel closed in early 2022 due to a lack of viability for hotels of this size and long-termer issues with viability are evidenced by the sale of a garden plot for three bungalows in the 1980s and a further application for two additional dwellings to the south-east, approved in 2018 and reapproved in early 2022

A pre-application proposal for six terraced dwellings was submitted in 2021 for initial discussion. The current proposals seek to return the hotel to two semi-detached dwellings by reinstating walls internally, removing modern hotel accretions and separating the gardens back into two plots at the front and rear. Proposals include for the construction of four semi-detached new build dwellings to the south-east, on the site of the 2018/2022 approved application”.

For many years the late Richard Oxtoby – who was a member of the York Council in 1970’s and 80’s – was involved with the running of the hotel

Details of the planning application can be found by clicking here