It was with sadness that we learned in early November of the death of the former civil service chief and onetime Haxby resident Jeremy Heywood, at the age of just 56. Many residents may remember Jeremy; who lived in Haxby as a child. Jeremy went on to become the most senior civil servant in the country, serving four Prime Ministers and earning respect from across the political spectrum for his impartiality, commitment, and capabilities.
Local Lib Dem Campaigner Ed Pearson commented: "my uncle has fond memories of playing with Jeremy at Ralph Butterfield primary school in the mid-1960's, and his teachers have spoken of a bright and gifted student. We keep his wife and family in our thoughts at this difficult time."
We are glad to be able to report some further progress on the petition, organised by local resident Marie Dowling, asking for a pedestrian crossing on York Road, which we have supported from the outset.
A further investigation was agreed on 15th November. This will find the most suitable out of four possible sites for the crossing (roughly between Holly Tree Lane junction and the roundabout at The Village/Station Road). The northern section between Calf Close and The Village/Station Road seems to be the busiest but the Holly Tree Lane section is also busy and they both have different peak usage times.
Both Ian and Marie spoke again in support of the proposal. Ian urged Council officers to work quickly to find the best location and then get the crossing installed as soon as possible after that.
Plans to build a new permanent library for Haxby and Wigginton have just taken a major step forward, as agreement has been reached about the preferred site.
Haxby Town Council have agreed in principle to provide a changed lease on the land occupied by 2nd Haxby & Wigginton Scout Group HQ. This will allow City of York Council to develop proposals for an extension to the Scout HQ to restore our much-missed community library.
£500,000 has already been allocated by the City of York Council to deliver a new library in Haxby, thanks to the efforts of Liberal Democrat councillors and the agreement as to the site brings us closer to making it happen.
A public consultation will now be undertaken, so that local residents and users of the building can share their views on the proposals. This will include a drop-in event at the Scout HQ on Thursday 6th December, from 3pm to 7pm. Residents can also see and comment on the proposed plans at the Haxby mobile library.
Councillor Ian Cuthbertson said: “After the closure and demolition of our library in 2016 we've worked tirelessly to help find a permanent home for Haxby & Wigginton library. The mobile library has been a good temporary solution, but residents quite rightly want something permanent.
“Since earlier plans to use Haxby Memorial Hall had to be dropped, the best option is to extend the Scout HQ building.
“We look forward to working with all stakeholders in creating a permanent library for our area and we would strongly encourage local residents to respond to the consultation and let us know their views on the proposals.”
We are pleased to report that the petition for a pedestrian crossing in York Road has also moved forward. We now know that a decision on this proposal is expected to be made in mid-November at an Executive Member Decision Session.
The petition was started early in 2018 by Marie Dowling, a local mum with children at both Ralph Butterfield and Joseph Rowntree schools. Marie and her children have experienced first-hand the difficulty of crossing York Road in Haxby, particularly at peak times.
Local Liberal Democrats have supported the petition since it was announced. Cllr Ian Cuthbertson helped Marie to present the petition to the Council and has then kept the matter moving forward within the Council.
We very much hope that a decision in favour of providing a pedestrian crossing will be made at the forthcoming Decision Session.
Plans for a replacement for Haxby Hall have just taken a step forward, as City of York Council has now announced a new operator and developer to provide high quality accommodation for older people and those with dementia.
After a competitive bidding process, Yorkare has been named as the preferred bidder to provide care services at the Council-owned home. Alongside managing and operating the existing home, Yorkare will build a new 64-bed replacement care home on the site. The new building will include specialist provision for people living with dementia and will help meet the city’s need for high-quality accommodation for growing numbers of older people.
This is another positive step for the project and it involves further public and private sector investment.
The Older Persons’ Accommodation Programme aims to support older people to live well and independently in both “extra-care” and purpose-built apartments and buildings, replacing the council’s out-dated older people’s homes with a wide range of more modern accommodation meeting current care standards.
Councillor Ian Cuthbertson, Liberal Democrat councillor for Haxby & Wigginton, said: “It’s very welcome news that a new provider has been appointed to improve the existing provision and then extend the offer at Haxby Hall.
“This is further evidence of Liberal Democrats’ commitment to modernise and significantly grow accommodation options to meet the needs of York’s ageing population.
“Yorkare’s plans for Haxby Hall offer a unique opportunity for our area, and we all look forward to seeing the project make progress.”
Councillor Ian Cuthbertson has now had a meeting with members of the Council's drainage team. They explained that, while some of the problems could be dealt with quickly, others will take time to understand and deal with, while a number will need longer-term monitoring or measuring work to determine exactly what caused them. Different problems cause different effects according to their location and the layout/levels of both the gullies at surface level and the sewers and connecting points below ground.
A number of issues with the surface water drains have already been dealt with since the mid-August downpour and others are in the process of being dealt with yet many items are still ongoing from the huge list of problems across the city which were reported
after the downpour..
Some issues arise solely because of new material being washed into the drains by the rainfall itself), while others come from sand, silt and debris which has accumulated over time depending on flat spots or variations in the fall between gully drains and the points in the system which merge the various flows and take them away from the area.
Other issues (eg from lengths of sewer which are not carrying the expected flow or arising from incorrect level differences between inflow and outflow pipes in a chamber) may only be solved by excavations, level adjustments and possibly fitting replacement parts; these would be longer-term solutions.
We expect to follow this initial report shortly with some more detailed information about the various different parts of our two villages.
Welcome to our new website, now part of our York Liberal Democrats website. Local Liberal Democrats work all year round for Haxby & Wigginton. We’re always keen to hear from residents about local issues and concerns, so please do contact us at [email protected]