A COUNCIL official has revealed seven reasons why York’s Parliament Street fountain should be demolished rather than brought back to life - while a councillor has suggested it should be replaced by one with a more modern design.

The long defunct fountain at the heart of the city centre is set to be demolished and replaced temporarily by a floral display and seating, with a task group to be set up to investigate a long term replacement.

More than 600 people signed petitions in 2015 calling for the fountain to be brought back to life, with many saying it was a valued meeting point.

But a report to a City of York Council planning decision session next week by corporate director of economy and place, Neil Ferris, which recommends demolition, says restoration would cost an estimated £13,000, with an additional £10,000 per annum then needed to pay for maintenance.

And he says that when the fountain used to operate, it was plagued by a series of problems:

*People poured washing up liquid in it up to four times a week -along with dyes - with the resulting foam once spreading as far away as Boots in Coney Street.

*Drugs paraphernalia was hidden in the structure

*Water blew from it on to people when it was windy

*Children and dogs turned it into an impromptu paddling pool

*The water had to be tested and treated on a weekly basis for things such as legionnaires disease

* A monthly deep clean was needed to prevent algal growth

*It was urinated into - ‘sadly it was not only the dogs that urinated in the fountain’

Labour councillor Janet Looker said at a scrutiny meeting that she thought the fountain was ‘horrid’ and was only interesting when it was full of soap bubbles, but said York should have a quality fountain elsewhere.

It has already been suggested that a bandstand or a public artwork commemorating the family of Joseph Rowntree should be created on the site.

But Green councillor Dave Taylor suggested at the meeting that a different, more modern design of fountain should be installed in place of the old one - a flat, ground-based one which would not present a physical obstacle to festivals and events in Parliament Street.

He said that with such fountains, of the type found in Sheffield city centre and Russell Square in Bloomsbury, London, the water could be switched off when the space was needed.