Yorkshire Water claims levels in reservoirs in South Yorkshire are responsible for continuing York hosepipe ban

Ouse river levels contune to be high near Naburn

Yorkshire Water has been criticised for not publicising “real-time” information about water levels at its reservoirs. Most utility companies provide this type of information on line.

Yorkshire Water and the Environment Agency only provide overall capacity figures on a monthly basis.

A media report yesterday revealed that most reservoirs serving North and West Yorkshire have now returned to normal levels. Only those in South Yorkshire were – a few days ago – slightly below average.

A Yorkshire Water spokesman put a new spin on their reluctance to remove their hosepipe ban in areas like York where water is plentiful.

“Reservoir levels are moving in the right direction – we’re seeing some significant increases week on week as the rainfall, drought permits, additional leakage activity and support from our customers to save water, help them to top up”.

“in some areas, such as South Yorkshire, reservoir levels are still much lower than we would hope. We’re using our extensive network of pipes to move what we can around the region, but we have applied to the Environment Agency for additional measures to help us balance stocks in that area too”

So it looks like water from the Ouse isn’t being abstracted to help “drought-hit areas”.

Yorkshire Water, which has more than five million customers, imposed its first hosepipe ban in 27 years on 26th August. 

They forecast then that it would extend into 2023.

People in York urged to boost their immunity

Get a jab now says York Council

Residents are being encouraged to book their booster jabs for COVID-19 and flu as soon as possible.

As the temperatures drop, people in York are being urged to get both their Flu and COVID-19 booster jabs, to boost immunity ahead of mixing with friends and relatives during the oncoming Christmas season and protect people most vulnerable to these deadly viruses.

Many residents have not yet had their COVID-19 vaccine and City of York Council is asking that everyone considers getting their jab as soon as possible. NHS guidance has highlighted the winter COVID-19 booster helps speed up recovery and prevent serious illness caused by the virus. Protection from the COVID-19 vaccine fades over time which is why many people are being offered another dose.

Sharon Stoltz, City of York Council Director of Public Health said:

Getting vaccinated for both flu and COVID-19 is important this year as we’ll have both viruses circulating at the same time.

“The flu virus changes every year which is why we have a new vaccination each winter, even if you had a flu vaccination last year, you still need this year’s to protect you from the circulating strain”.

Councillor Carol Runciman, City of York’s Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care said:

The message is clear. Everyone eligible should get boosted for both COVID-19 and Flu, as soon as possible, to protect themselves, their loved ones and the vulnerable people they meet in the run up to Christmas.

“Getting your COVID-19 booster and annual winter flu jab is quick and easy at York’s walk-in vaccination centre and the opening times make it easier for people to fit this into busy their schedules. The option to attend a Community Pharmacy is also available.”

Dr Daniel Kimberling who is a GP and Medical Director at Nimbuscare – who are the provider of primary healthcare services in the city of York – added:

I would urge everyone in York who is eligible, to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible.

“Although infection levels are lower than previous years, we are still seeing many COVID-19 cases in the city and we expect to see more.

“The number of hospital admissions for flu have been increasing in York, so I would also remind people that it’s equally as important to receive a flu vaccination”.

“With Christmas on the way, people should get both their flu and COVID-19 jabs to protect themselves and the family and friends they will be meeting and celebrating with; especially those people who are elderly or vulnerable.”

COVID-19 vaccinations are available from the Askham Bar Community Care Centre and from any of the Citywide Pharmacies across the city. NIMBUS care have extended their offer for people to get their COVID-19 booster vaccination by allowing people to walk in with no appointment needed. Askham Bar Community Care Centre is open from 8:30am-7pm Monday to Friday and from 8:30am-1pm on Saturdays.

These are Citywide pharmacy sites offering COVID-19 vaccinations:

  • Tower Court Pharmacy, Clifton Moor, YO30 4WL
  • Poppleton Pharmacy, Upper Poppleton, YO26 6DF
  • Water End Pharmacy, Boroughbridge Road, YO26 5RU
  • Bishopthorpe Road Pharmacy, YO23 IJJ
  • Wigginton Recreation Hall YO32 2LL
  • Burnholme Sports Centre, Mossdale Avenue, Tang Hall, YO31 0HA
  • St Lawrence Church Hall, Lawrence Street. YO10 3WP
  • Huntington Pharmacy, Huntington Surgery, YO32 9RU
  • Haxby Pharmacy, Haxby and Wiggington Health Centre, YO32 2ZB
  • Fulford Pharmacy, Main Street, YO10 4PN

You must book a vaccination on the Citywide website before attending.

People are also reminded that flu vaccinations are available from most of our High street pharmacies across the city, but we suggest you enquire at your local pharmacy to see if an appointment is required or not.

International White Ribbon Day starts 16 Days of Action

Campaign aims to deter violence against women and girls

City of York Council is joining partners across the city to support international White Ribbon Day tomorrow, Friday 25 November.

The awareness day aims to highlight work towards ending violence against women and girls. This year’s White Ribbon Day campaign highlights how men and boys can nurture to help create a world of equality and safety for women.

The day coincides with the international 16 days of action campaign, further raising awareness of the issue of violence against women and girls, including Domestic Abuse, as well as signposting to support organisations.

City of York Council was accredited White Ribbon status in 2021 for its commitment to addressing violence towards women and girls, which has included working with partners, such as North Yorkshire Police, IDAS and York Hospital, to raise awareness of domestic abuse across these partner organisations.

Examples of ongoing work include commissioning a training programme for professionals in York, to enable them to identify and support victims of domestic abuse; and carrying out a city wide assessment to ensure that the right level of safe accommodation and support is available to women and children experiencing or fleeing domestic abuse.

The White Ribbon campaign also promotes support from men in prevention activities, promoting them to become active bystanders, whilst increasing awareness of reducing any form of violence against women and children.

Cllr Carol Runciman, the council’s Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said:

Violence against another individual, regardless of their sex, is absolutely unacceptable. It is incredibly sad but unfortunately true that violence against women and children still takes place in our society and in our city.

“As a White Ribbon accredited Council, together with partners we are working hard to address the issue across the city. I hope that by highlighting the issue over the coming days we can encourage everyone – men and women – to take a stand against violence in all its forms.”

Support

women and children who are experiencing violence can go to for one or more of these services for support:

  • Mobile – In an emergency, call 999 from your mobile. If prompted, press 55 to Make Yourself Heard and this will transfer your call to the police – pressing 55 only works on mobiles and does not allow police to track your call
  • Landline – Call 999 from landline – if the operator can only hear background noise and cannot decide whether an emergency service is needed you will be connected to a police officer call handler, if you replace the handset, the landline may remain connected from 45 seconds in case you pick up again. When 999 calls are made from landlines, information about location should be automatically available to the call handlers to help provide response
Independent Domestic Abuse Services (IDAS) – Victim support
Foundations +choices Perpetrator Support Services
24 Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline

The freephone is run in partnership between Womens Aid and Refuge

Galop

LGBTQ+ can call Galop for emotional and practical support

£8million to support young people with SEND in York

The York Councils Executive has approved plans totalling £8m capital spend to ensure that the changing needs of children and young people with Special Educational Needs can continue to be supported locally

Recent data shows an increase in the number of children with autism and social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH), across the country, as well as in York. Given this, the Executive were asked to approve schemes to meet the needs of the growing SEND provision at their meeting earlier this week (22 November).

This included proposals for five capital projects, which will enable more children and young people to be supported in mainstream schools and ensure that current provision can evolve to meet the changing needs of children and young people with SEND.

The schemes have been planned in response to national and local data about changing SEND needs, together with the detailed feedback from York’s Inclusion Review survey, which sought the views of parents and carers of children and young people with SEND, together with professionals working in the sector, in 2021.

It’s hoped that the projects will enable most children and young people with SEND to get the support they need locally. These will also enable the council to more effectively manage its budget in the long term which, like many other local authorities, has experienced significant pressures due to increased demand.

The approved capital schemes are:

York Council seeks to expand highways maintenance teams

Job applications invited

According to a Coun cil advert, “the York highways team is expanding and we’re looking for several permanent roadworker and ganger roles within our operational highways maintenance and construction teams”.

To find out more, or apply, visit: https://jobs.york.gov.uk/tlive…/wrd/run/ETREC107GF.open…

The closing date is 31 December but applications will be reviewed on a weekly basis.

If this means more resurfacing of our crumbing infrastructure then this is good news indeed!

£3.2 million hike in cost of Lowfield housing development

Houses will be completed by the end of March 2023 but still no progress on the extra care homes & communal living sites

The pandemic is blamed for delays and escalating costs of the Lowfields development. The Council will have to pay Wates contractors £3.2 million more but they claim this will be recovered in higher sales prices.

Given the crisis in the mortgage market, some of the Council’s hopes may be dashed. On other similar sites that they are developing the proportion of shared ownership units has been increased to compensate for lower demand.

Council officials decision November 2022

The Council has still not revealed when it expects all building work on the site to be completed.

It originally set a 3 years window for the building work but so far work. on elderly care and the Yorspace communal living sections of the site, have not even started.

This will be a concern for neighbours as ongoing building works will involve more heavy traffic, noise, dirt and dust.

Comminal living site – no sign of work commencing. Used for storage of materials

Coronavirus York updates: 24th November 2022

Hospitals and patients The number of COVID+ patients being cared for by the York Hospital Trust continues to fall slowly. There is one patient in the ICU. The cumulative death toll has risen to 540.

Infection levels and cases  There are 75 cases in the City. The infection rate in the City remains relatively stable at 35.54. Of those who are positive, the proportion of re-infections is now increasing, albeit it remains below the number of “first-time” infections. The infection rate and trends in York are similar to those being seen at the county, regional and national levels. 

Neighbourhoods 10 neighbourhoods have fewer than 3 cases in each. The highest infection rate (86.4) can currently be found in Strensall. The lowest is in Holgate West/Westfield East (10.7)

Vaccinations 71% of eligible over 50’s have now received their booster jab

Tests The proportion of positive PCR test results has fallen to 3.2%. That is the lowest that has been found for 18 months, 

Trends

York Councillors wrangle on pay rise

When in a hole stop etc

Rumours from West Offices are that some York Councillors are wanting a pay increase above the 4.04% agreed for Council, officials

Councillors awarded themselves a controversial average 18% rise in December 2019 shortly after the last election.

Previously Councillors pay had been index linked and had risen in line with inflation.

That process had been expected to be followed at this year’s review.

The dispute has apparently been prompted by the inclusion of a flat rate increase of £1925 which has been added to all local government pay rates.

Some Councillors apparently believe that part (40%) of that figure should be added to their basic annual allowance of £10,843. bringing the total basic pay up to £11281 (+11.7%)

The top-earning Councillor after adding in responsibility allowances would then rake in £45,893.

Councillor allowance increase awarded in December 2019.

Some Councillors also receive additional allowances from “outside bodies”.The levels of these payments are largely opaque.

Councillors don’t of course have to accept any pay increase. Not surprisingly most do.

Most Councillors are part time and hold down other jobs.

The workload of some Councillors was light during the pandemic period with most meetings cancelled and those that continued taking place remotely.

There is an argument that any change to allowance levels should take effect from May. By then taxpayers will have voted in a local election and candidates will be very aware of what remuneration they can expect for their efforts.

The council is currently facing a budget overspend of around £6 million. Council Tax levels are set to rise by 5% in April.

The dispute raises the prospect of strike actio n by disaffected Councillors. Several Labour Councillors are already familiar figures on local picket lines. Would their comrades return the favour?

Each Councillor declares the amount that they are paid on a register which is accessible online at the Councils web site

Controversial planning applications in Rufforth and near Poppleton set for approval next week

Rufforth

The first planning application is effectively a resubmission of a plan to build 21 homes on land east of Middlewood Close in Rufforth. A very similar plan was refused permission by the planning committee in August.

The applicant has appealed against that refusal but is at the same time pursuing this new application.

The reason for the refusal in August was the impact that the development would have on the Green Belt.

The site is identified for housing development in the York Local Plan the examination in public (public inquiry) which concluded a few weeks ago. The Inspector’s report is not expected to be published until the summer.

In the meantime, some developers are trying to anticipate the Inspectors conclusions.

Council officials are recommending approval for the plans (as they did with the first application)

Poppleton

The second proposal relates to the extraction of clay from a field near Newlands Lane.

The site comprises an area of 6.8 hectares of scrubland and incorporates a large water body to the southwest of Upper Poppleton village.

The water body was created through unauthorised clay extraction in 2007 and the site is accessed from Kettlewell Lane an unmade agricultural track of some antiquity.

Planning permission is being sought for the extraction of approximately 330,000 tonnes of puddling clay for use in flood defences, repairing canals and reservoirs and lining waste disposal sites

The site is identified in the strategic Minerals and Waste Local Plan (2022) which was adopted in April of this year

After extracting the clay, the site would be restored as broadleaf woodland, predominantly oak, with a similar approach to that being undertaken with the White Rose Forest to the southeast.

The wetland habitat would be retained and enhanced by hedgerow planting.

Seven letters of objection were received mainly relating to access issues.

The proposal is recommended for apporoval.