PLANS to crackdown on anti-social behaviour in the city centre and make it safer are about much more than tackling the challenges of stag and hen parties - according to the council leader.

But Cllr Keith Aspden said different groups of visitors and residents want different things from the city centre and that can cause tension.

Plans to work for Purple Flag status - a scheme that “recognises excellence in the management of city centres at night” - and to appoint a new member of staff to coordinate efforts, were approved by Cllr Aspden yesterday.

He said the plans meant organisations such as the police, tourist bosses and business groups can work together to make York a more friendly place.

And priorities could include improving accessibility - both for vulnerable people and through public transport - and looking at whether there are enough toilets for people to use on nights out.

Speaking after the meeting he said: “There’s no doubt that one of the issues in our city centre is that there are conflicting needs and demands from different groups, which includes hen and stag dos. But no one agency like the council is going to solve that. So this is about working positively together.”

“It’s about making York a more friendly place to go.

“Purple Flag status is going to be quite a broad look at how we can make the city centre a better place.

“I think those competing needs and groups do cause tension. I think what we need to look at is how can we make sure our city centre is sending out the right messages in terms of what we want people to go there to do and what people want their city centre to be.

“I personally think that unless we start with something like Purple Flag accreditation to aim for, it’s very hard to make those improvements.”