Cost of council services to rise in York

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , mark.stead@thepress.co.uk

YORK residents face higher bills for a raft of services in the New Year, after council bosses proposed wide-ranging price hikes.

City of York Council officials have drawn up various price increases to come into force on January 1. They include a £35 rise in the cost of adult cremations and higher prices for memorials and entries in York Crematorium’s Book of Remembrance.

Charges for collections of bulky household waste will also go up, as will some charges at the Hazel Court waste recycling centre. Libraries payments and fines will rise, as will the cost of tennis and bowls courts and allotments.

Council finance chiefs said the increases for the services affected would be about five per cent across the board. bringing in an extra £32,000 this year and £128,000 in 2013/14. The plans will be discussed by the council cabinet next Tuesday.

At the same meeting, city leaders will be asked to spend £25,000 from its Economic Infrastructure Fund (EIF) to meet half the cost of buying a boat to be converted into a floating “arts barge” venue.

In a written report, Katie Stewart, head of economic development, and finance director Ian Floyd proposed the council invest up to £100,000 in the scheme overall, with three further £25,000 payments at later dates as the business plan progresses. The total cost is set to be about £275,000, with the balance coming from sponsorship and fundraising.

Ms Stewart and Mr Floyd said a boat needing “full renovation” had already been found and was expected to cost about £50,000 initially. The Arts Barge Project was launched in 2009 as a way of “reviving York’s community arts scene” by creating a “unique floating arts venue in the city centre”.

Ms Stewart and Mr Floyd said the project was in urgent need of a venue from which it can run its activities, generate revenue and consolidate its status as a creative hub.

They said it would be created from a reclaimed river barge and include a cafe bar with performance and exhibition space, as well as retail and workshop activities.

The cabinet has also been asked to spend £25,000 from the EIF on sending a delegation to an international property fair called MIPIM next year, saying it could showcase the city’s property portfolio. A further £37,000 will be invested in York’s Christmas lights and to cover income lost by offering a day of free parking at council-run car parks in the run-up to Christmas.

Comments (19)

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9:45pm Mon 26 Nov 12

ReflectiveVest says...

Times are hard - yet the council is planning to spend over a quarter of a million quid of our money on 'a unique floating arts venue'. Although the 'floating' bit is probably a good idea.
Times are hard - yet the council is planning to spend over a quarter of a million quid of our money on 'a unique floating arts venue'. Although the 'floating' bit is probably a good idea. ReflectiveVest
  • Score: 0

6:01am Tue 27 Nov 12

York1900 says...

Can the Council stop putting money in to things that have no value for the Council Tax payer
They are cutting services but can find money to waste on The Arts Barge
PUT THE PEOPLE OF YORK FIRST
AND STOP WASTING MONEY ON VANITY PROJECTS
Can the Council stop putting money in to things that have no value for the Council Tax payer They are cutting services but can find money to waste on The Arts Barge PUT THE PEOPLE OF YORK FIRST AND STOP WASTING MONEY ON VANITY PROJECTS York1900
  • Score: 0

7:06am Tue 27 Nov 12

Pete the Brickie says...

Nothing unusual about this, it's just normal business practice in times of hardship, a few weeks ago I saw some trowels made of solid gold with diamond encrusted handles. Being an astute sort I bought one each for my Bricklayers, after that I just simply put up my charges for essential services like laying bricks, obviously I also struggled to buy any either so I simply announced I wasn't supplying any due to Government cuts.

Warning the above post contains extreme sarcasm.
Nothing unusual about this, it's just normal business practice in times of hardship, a few weeks ago I saw some trowels made of solid gold with diamond encrusted handles. Being an astute sort I bought one each for my Bricklayers, after that I just simply put up my charges for essential services like laying bricks, obviously I also struggled to buy any either so I simply announced I wasn't supplying any due to Government cuts. Warning the above post contains extreme sarcasm. Pete the Brickie
  • Score: 0

7:45am Tue 27 Nov 12

Buzz Light-year says...

The Press misleading readers, winding them up and whipping up the usual knee-jerks.

By wording the intro paragraph "Cuts to services but funding for arts project" they know exactly the response they will get.

ReflectiveVest has been especially suckered.

The article actually says that the council will *be asked* to spend up to *£100,000* in £25,000 instalments over a period of time.
That isn't "a quarter of a million of our money"
The £275,000 figure includes *sponsorship and fundraising*
The ArtsBarge Project has been hard at work fundraising ever since it started.

If people took the time to read articles instead of just seeing the word "council" and vomiting their pavlova all over their keyboard....
The Press misleading readers, winding them up and whipping up the usual knee-jerks. By wording the intro paragraph "Cuts to services but funding for arts project" they know exactly the response they will get. ReflectiveVest has been especially suckered. The article actually says that the council will *be asked* to spend up to *£100,000* in £25,000 instalments over a period of time. That isn't "a quarter of a million of our money" The £275,000 figure includes *sponsorship and fundraising* The ArtsBarge Project has been hard at work fundraising ever since it started. If people took the time to read articles instead of just seeing the word "council" and vomiting their pavlova all over their keyboard.... Buzz Light-year
  • Score: 0

8:13am Tue 27 Nov 12

Shouter says...

Just what planet are these people on? Certainly not the same one as the rest of us who have to pay more and more for their pet projects.
Just what planet are these people on? Certainly not the same one as the rest of us who have to pay more and more for their pet projects. Shouter
  • Score: 0

8:53am Tue 27 Nov 12

amike says...

How much salt would £25,000 buy and how many potential accidents might it save?
How much salt would £25,000 buy and how many potential accidents might it save? amike
  • Score: 0

8:59am Tue 27 Nov 12

ReflectiveVest says...

Buzz, you are right about the way the Press spins its news, and you are also right about the facts in this case, but only up to a point. It's actually £100,000 from the Council, but then 'three further payments of £25,000' on top of that. The whole thing thus adds up not to a quarter of a million as I originally and wrongly said, but a mere £175,000 of our money, which is of course fine and nothing to worry about. It's not as if there's anything else that could be spent on.
Buzz, you are right about the way the Press spins its news, and you are also right about the facts in this case, but only up to a point. It's actually £100,000 from the Council, but then 'three further payments of £25,000' on top of that. The whole thing thus adds up not to a quarter of a million as I originally and wrongly said, but a mere £175,000 of our money, which is of course fine and nothing to worry about. It's not as if there's anything else that could be spent on. ReflectiveVest
  • Score: 0

9:02am Tue 27 Nov 12

York1900 says...

Buzz Light-year wrote:
The Press misleading readers, winding them up and whipping up the usual knee-jerks.

By wording the intro paragraph "Cuts to services but funding for arts project" they know exactly the response they will get.

ReflectiveVest has been especially suckered.

The article actually says that the council will *be asked* to spend up to *£100,000* in £25,000 instalments over a period of time.
That isn't "a quarter of a million of our money"
The £275,000 figure includes *sponsorship and fundraising*
The ArtsBarge Project has been hard at work fundraising ever since it started.

If people took the time to read articles instead of just seeing the word "council" and vomiting their pavlova all over their keyboard....
The Press does not mention cuts
my post did
[quote][p][bold]Buzz Light-year[/bold] wrote: The Press misleading readers, winding them up and whipping up the usual knee-jerks. By wording the intro paragraph "Cuts to services but funding for arts project" they know exactly the response they will get. ReflectiveVest has been especially suckered. The article actually says that the council will *be asked* to spend up to *£100,000* in £25,000 instalments over a period of time. That isn't "a quarter of a million of our money" The £275,000 figure includes *sponsorship and fundraising* The ArtsBarge Project has been hard at work fundraising ever since it started. If people took the time to read articles instead of just seeing the word "council" and vomiting their pavlova all over their keyboard....[/p][/quote]The Press does not mention cuts my post did York1900
  • Score: 0

9:09am Tue 27 Nov 12

Buzz Light-year says...

ReflectiveVest wrote:
Buzz, you are right about the way the Press spins its news, and you are also right about the facts in this case, but only up to a point. It's actually £100,000 from the Council, but then 'three further payments of £25,000' on top of that. The whole thing thus adds up not to a quarter of a million as I originally and wrongly said, but a mere £175,000 of our money, which is of course fine and nothing to worry about. It's not as if there's anything else that could be spent on.
No you're confused. It says £100,000 overall.
£25,000 now and three further £25,000s.
They may just pay the first and then not need to pay the rest.
[quote][p][bold]ReflectiveVest[/bold] wrote: Buzz, you are right about the way the Press spins its news, and you are also right about the facts in this case, but only up to a point. It's actually £100,000 from the Council, but then 'three further payments of £25,000' on top of that. The whole thing thus adds up not to a quarter of a million as I originally and wrongly said, but a mere £175,000 of our money, which is of course fine and nothing to worry about. It's not as if there's anything else that could be spent on.[/p][/quote]No you're confused. It says £100,000 overall. £25,000 now and three further £25,000s. They may just pay the first and then not need to pay the rest. Buzz Light-year
  • Score: 0

9:21am Tue 27 Nov 12

Buzz Light-year says...

You're right. I meant price hikes.
You're right. I meant price hikes. Buzz Light-year
  • Score: 0

11:05am Tue 27 Nov 12

meme says...

Why oh why do we waste money on these things
This is our money not the councils and they should ask us to vote on vanity projects to see what response they gat
If this project has been raising money i would like to know how much they have actually raised to date...Sems to ne silence on that
This barge is next to the bonding warehouse
its an eyesore and wants sinking not refurbishing. It stopped people buidding for the Bonding warehouse as it was a noisy scruffy floating wreck
We have better things to do than waste moey on these things If its wanted it should be self funding by those who want it; its not for the council to waste our money on it
Why oh why do we waste money on these things This is our money not the councils and they should ask us to vote on vanity projects to see what response they gat If this project has been raising money i would like to know how much they have actually raised to date...Sems to ne silence on that This barge is next to the bonding warehouse its an eyesore and wants sinking not refurbishing. It stopped people buidding for the Bonding warehouse as it was a noisy scruffy floating wreck We have better things to do than waste moey on these things If its wanted it should be self funding by those who want it; its not for the council to waste our money on it meme
  • Score: 0

1:21pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Buzz Light-year says...

You know it's incredible the persuasive power of The Press.
Normally, you can slip them a press release and they fall over themselves to reprint it as an advertorial.

So you have to wonder why The Press chose to stick the knife into the Arts Barge project?
Why report it in this way?
Why didn't they run it as two stories?

This is from the capsule header on the main page not this page:
CITY leaders are set to back a £275,000 Arts Barge project to create a "floating arts venue" in York - but many bills for council services are expected to rise in the New Year.

Makes it look like taxpayers are shouldering £275,000 doesn't it?
Put next to "bills rising" and it makes it look much worse.

This page says leaders will *be asked* to pay £25,000. They might refuse.
£25,000 is a tenth of a quarter mill.
The further three instalments of £25,000 each may or may not be necessary or may be refused at a later date.

To be clear, it's £25,000. Less than they are being asked to pay for christmas lights and the same as for this:
The cabinet has also been asked to spend £25,000 from the EIF on sending a delegation to an international property fair called MIPIM next year, saying it could showcase the city’s property portfolio.


So what does The Press have against the project?
Why are readers so gullible?
You know it's incredible the persuasive power of The Press. Normally, you can slip them a press release and they fall over themselves to reprint it as an advertorial. So you have to wonder why The Press chose to stick the knife into the Arts Barge project? Why report it in this way? Why didn't they run it as two stories? This is from the capsule header on the main page not this page: [quote]CITY leaders are set to back a £275,000 Arts Barge project to create a "floating arts venue" in York - but many bills for council services are expected to rise in the New Year.[/quote] Makes it look like taxpayers are shouldering £275,000 doesn't it? Put next to "bills rising" and it makes it look much worse. This page says leaders will *be asked* to pay £25,000. They might refuse. £25,000 is a tenth of a quarter mill. The further three instalments of £25,000 each may or may not be necessary or may be refused at a later date. To be clear, it's £25,000. Less than they are being asked to pay for christmas lights and the same as for this: [quote]The cabinet has also been asked to spend £25,000 from the EIF on sending a delegation to an international property fair called MIPIM next year, saying it could showcase the city’s property portfolio. [/quote] So what does The Press have against the project? Why are readers so gullible? Buzz Light-year
  • Score: 0

1:28pm Tue 27 Nov 12

/kev/null says...

meme wrote:
Why oh why do we waste money on these things
This is our money not the councils and they should ask us to vote on vanity projects to see what response they gat
If this project has been raising money i would like to know how much they have actually raised to date...Sems to ne silence on that
This barge is next to the bonding warehouse
its an eyesore and wants sinking not refurbishing. It stopped people buidding for the Bonding warehouse as it was a noisy scruffy floating wreck
We have better things to do than waste moey on these things If its wanted it should be self funding by those who want it; its not for the council to waste our money on it
When the Arts Barge was up and running for three weeks in 2011 they used a different boat - Room 58 - which was on loan from the Waterways Museum in Goole and went straight back there when the event ended. The boat that has been on that landing since then is nothing to do with the Arts Barge Project.

Still, I suppose we shouldn't allow mere facts to get in the way of a complaint.
[quote][p][bold]meme[/bold] wrote: Why oh why do we waste money on these things This is our money not the councils and they should ask us to vote on vanity projects to see what response they gat If this project has been raising money i would like to know how much they have actually raised to date...Sems to ne silence on that This barge is next to the bonding warehouse its an eyesore and wants sinking not refurbishing. It stopped people buidding for the Bonding warehouse as it was a noisy scruffy floating wreck We have better things to do than waste moey on these things If its wanted it should be self funding by those who want it; its not for the council to waste our money on it[/p][/quote]When the Arts Barge was up and running for three weeks in 2011 they used a different boat - Room 58 - which was on loan from the Waterways Museum in Goole and went straight back there when the event ended. The boat that has been on that landing since then is nothing to do with the Arts Barge Project. Still, I suppose we shouldn't allow mere facts to get in the way of a complaint. /kev/null
  • Score: 0

5:37pm Tue 27 Nov 12

meme says...

If this is not the boat then I am happy to admit I was incorrect.... My apologies
However I would like to know why the public purse should be expected to susidise this and how much has been raised by the fundraising that has been going for ages as i suspect that will show the level of interest in this project from the general public
If this is not the boat then I am happy to admit I was incorrect.... My apologies However I would like to know why the public purse should be expected to susidise this and how much has been raised by the fundraising that has been going for ages as i suspect that will show the level of interest in this project from the general public meme
  • Score: 0

9:16pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Buzz Light-year says...

I would like to know why the public purse should be expected to susidise this

Because it benefits the community, the people of York.
It could provide a place for local musicians, writers and artists young and old to develop their talents and showcase them. It could provide a place for the rest of us local people to enjoy those talents and go out for drinks, food and to enjoy that local talent.

It's a no-brainer.
Invest in some fairy lights for a month so the mostly corporate city centre traders do ok this spending season or invest in the future of up and coming local talent?
It's obvious which benefits the people of York more.
Guess you've never had children who wanted to have a go at something.
[quote]I would like to know why the public purse should be expected to susidise this[/quote] Because it benefits the community, the people of York. It could provide a place for local musicians, writers and artists young and old to develop their talents and showcase them. It could provide a place for the rest of us local people to enjoy those talents and go out for drinks, food and to enjoy that local talent. It's a no-brainer. Invest in some fairy lights for a month so the mostly corporate city centre traders do ok this spending season or invest in the future of up and coming local talent? It's obvious which benefits the people of York more. Guess you've never had children who wanted to have a go at something. Buzz Light-year
  • Score: 0

1:10am Wed 28 Nov 12

/kev/null says...

meme wrote:
If this is not the boat then I am happy to admit I was incorrect.... My apologies
However I would like to know why the public purse should be expected to susidise this and how much has been raised by the fundraising that has been going for ages as i suspect that will show the level of interest in this project from the general public
I can't give you any fundraising figures (I'm not involved in the Arts Barge Project myself I'm just a local musician) but I can tell you that the barge was sold out for every event during the three weeks of the Festival Of The Rivers in 2011. And the clientele was very diverse - from 18 year olds to pensioners, and most nights they were enjoying the same entertainment and hanging out and talking to eachother - how many other places does that happen?

Things like this are the reasons why they have developed so much good will around the project, and this is what makes it something the council are keen to support and see flourish.

Sure you could take that £100,000 and buy a lot of rock salt, or improve a small junction somewhere, and it's more difficult to put a value on something like a floating arts venue so they are an easy target for complaints during times like these, but honestly if you'd seen how the place worked in 2011 I think it would make you think twice.
[quote][p][bold]meme[/bold] wrote: If this is not the boat then I am happy to admit I was incorrect.... My apologies However I would like to know why the public purse should be expected to susidise this and how much has been raised by the fundraising that has been going for ages as i suspect that will show the level of interest in this project from the general public[/p][/quote]I can't give you any fundraising figures (I'm not involved in the Arts Barge Project myself I'm just a local musician) but I can tell you that the barge was sold out for every event during the three weeks of the Festival Of The Rivers in 2011. And the clientele was very diverse - from 18 year olds to pensioners, and most nights they were enjoying the same entertainment and hanging out and talking to eachother - how many other places does that happen? Things like this are the reasons why they have developed so much good will around the project, and this is what makes it something the council are keen to support and see flourish. Sure you could take that £100,000 and buy a lot of rock salt, or improve a small junction somewhere, and it's more difficult to put a value on something like a floating arts venue so they are an easy target for complaints during times like these, but honestly if you'd seen how the place worked in 2011 I think it would make you think twice. /kev/null
  • Score: 0

9:23am Wed 28 Nov 12

Dr Brian says...

Cllr Alexander and the rest of his cronies proving how out of touch he is with the people by agreeing the council provide money for a a floating “arts barge” venue.
I reckon our Council leader is turning into a Liberal Democrat just nodding in agreement and doing nothing to lead! If he truly cared about the things that matter in this City he would have been getting his PR machine into gear and shouting this ridiculous waste of money down.
Cllr Alexander and the rest of his cronies proving how out of touch he is with the people by agreeing the council provide money for a a floating “arts barge” venue. I reckon our Council leader is turning into a Liberal Democrat just nodding in agreement and doing nothing to lead! If he truly cared about the things that matter in this City he would have been getting his PR machine into gear and shouting this ridiculous waste of money down. Dr Brian
  • Score: 0

11:23am Wed 28 Nov 12

inthesticks says...

Surely there are plenty of venues that are not floating on the river but made of bricks where people can showcase their talents and have a few drinks etc.?
Surely there are plenty of venues that are not floating on the river but made of bricks where people can showcase their talents and have a few drinks etc.? inthesticks
  • Score: 0

12:04pm Wed 28 Nov 12

/kev/null says...

inthesticks wrote:
Surely there are plenty of venues that are not floating on the river but made of bricks where people can showcase their talents and have a few drinks etc.?
Actually there is only one that provides a diverse range of entertainment - The Basement Bar at City Screen.

But they only book existing acts, they don't create new acts, they don't provide a place for musicians, actors, dancers and artists to collaborate, they don't involve their customers in performance, they don't organise master classes for musicians or dance tuition - all these are things I've seen the Arts Barge guys do already and that is by no means a comprehensive list either.

There is literally nothing like it in York, floating or otherwise.
[quote][p][bold]inthesticks[/bold] wrote: Surely there are plenty of venues that are not floating on the river but made of bricks where people can showcase their talents and have a few drinks etc.?[/p][/quote]Actually there is only one that provides a diverse range of entertainment - The Basement Bar at City Screen. But they only book existing acts, they don't create new acts, they don't provide a place for musicians, actors, dancers and artists to collaborate, they don't involve their customers in performance, they don't organise master classes for musicians or dance tuition - all these are things I've seen the Arts Barge guys do already and that is by no means a comprehensive list either. There is literally nothing like it in York, floating or otherwise. /kev/null
  • Score: 0

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