CONTROVERSIAL plans to demolish York's Parliament Street fountain are set to be reviewed by councillors - as a new online petition calls for it to be refurbished and saved.

City of York Council's executive member for leisure, culture and tourism, Cllr Nigel Ayre, said there should be a cross-party look at options for the fountain, which has been a city-centre focal point and meeting place for more than two decades but has not worked since 2012.

"When the petition closes, I will ask the council’s cross-party Learning & Culture policy committee to undertake a review," he said.

“This review will allow councillors and residents to have their say and decide how they want the space in Parliament Street to be used within the budget constraints which currently exist.

"It should be a short review which will also involve proper consultation with market traders and with Make it York.”

His comments came just over a week after The Press revealed that Make It York, the city’s new destination management organisation, believed the fountain should go to create a more attractive open space which could be used by festivals.

The news was greeted by a wave of comments from readers, many of whom opposed the loss of a traditional meeting place, and city centre councillors said a public consultation should be held before any final decision to remove the fountain.

An e-petition has since been posted on the council's website, calling on the council to 'keep and restore the fountain so that it works, not demolish a much loved York site.'

It says: "The fountain should be maintained and become a centrepiece for locals and tourist alike to enjoy rather than sitting at the few tables available, looking at a proposed empty slabbed area, which is what would happen with demolition."

Steve Brown, managing director of Make It York said:"We wish to clarify that any decisions which impact on the fabric or infrastructure of the city centre are the responsibility of City of York Council.

"However, as the company leading on marketing York, we will contribute our opinion on matters which we feel impact on the city’s attractiveness as a place to live, visit, study and do business.

"Our opinion on this matter is that a redundant fountain doesn’t add to the city’s attractiveness and we were recently approached by the council to discuss this, in view of the fact that there is currently no plan to restore the fountain to working order. How this matter is progressed further is a matter for the council to lead on and to agree a way forward."

A council spokeswoman said the authority was now involved because of the e-petition and because the council owned the fountain. "Although MIY manage some aspects of the city centre, they would require CYC’s permission to remove the fountain," she added.