PLANS to breathe new life into the early evening economy of York's city centre have not progressed quickly enough, one of the men who helped spearhead them has said.

In spring this year, councillors from all parties came up with a series of proposals to combat the "teatime lull" in city-centre trade and lengthen York's tourist day.

The proposals suggested a pilot scheme to create early-evening family entertainment in the Coppergate centre, to encourage families to stay in the city after traditional shop closing time, and steer the night time economy away from drinking culture.

In May, the corporate scrutiny chairman Cllr John Galvin presented the recommendations to the cabinet and asked that the pilot scheme be started in early July but that target was missed.

He said: "I am extremely disappointed with the progress, which is indicative of how seriously the council takes the scrutiny process."

Council officials said they were working hard to get support for the project from businesses, but said the July date was not written into the reports and has not been their aim.

Cllr Galvin called the delay a snub for the hard work of councillors, specialist officers and the scrutiny process.

Katie Stewart, the council's head of economic development, said work was going on behind the scenes to launch the pilot scheme and other ideas to liven up the city between 5pm and 8pm.

She added: “We’re working to establish what the existing appetite from businesses and the cultural sector is surrounding the recommendations from the council’s Corporate Scrutiny and Management Committee, as the driving factor behind whether these recommendations are able to be progressed.

She said more details, including funding, should be presented to Cabinet in the coming weeks.

Cllr Galvin rubbished the explanation as "an excuse", saying he did not want to criticise the staff who worked on the scrutiny reports but he was angry an in-depth review had not borne fruit this summer.

Sue Anderson- Brown, centre manager, Coppergate Shopping Centre said: “As a centre we are committed to supporting our retailers and to do this it is important to us that we work closely with York City Council. We will continue to do this as they look into options to support the evening economy in York.

“As the shopping centre in York city centre we are always happy to support council initiatives that benefit the city as a whole.”