MORE than five thousand homes and businesses signed up to Planet York, the year-long push to make York the UK's most energy-efficient city, leading organisers to declare the campaign "a real success."

Now complete, the aim of Planet York was to make York an energy-efficient example for the rest of the UK, and then the world, to follow.

The results available so far show that 5,000 householders and 79 businesses took part.

Many more are expected to have taken part "unofficially" by seeing the Planet York publicity and then being inspired to take some energy-efficiency measures.

Speaking at last night's citizens' forum, organised by sustainable development group Local Agenda 21, Planet York project co-ordinator Laura Collins said: "Hopefully we have seen a big raising of awareness of energy-efficiency issues here.

"More results are expected at the end of this month when market research is completed, there is a lot of information to be collected.

"I think we will be able to see a significant change in attitudes. The year has gone really quickly, but we have achieved so much in that time, and we have had feedback from other councils, asking about various aspects of Planet York.

"That was what we wanted to do, to make York an example to others."

As well as Planet York, last night's forum was attended by 20 other groups, individuals and organisations, most concerned with sustainable development or green issues.

These ranged from Doctor Michael Archer, there to talk about the decline in North Yorkshire's bumblebee population, to major York employer Norwich Union, discussing its corporate social responsibility report.

Organiser John Cossham said: "This was a chance to show something was happening in York after the world summit on sustainable development in South Africa.

"The meeting is not about talking about how many people are dying each year because of the world's problems, it is about looking at some of the things going on locally that help make up part of the solution."

The date of September 11 had been chosen deliberately, John said.

"We oppose intolerance, and one of the causes of that attack was intolerance," he said.

A minute's silence was held before the forum, in honour of anyone whose quality of life had been affected by injustice.

Updated: 13:06 Friday, September 13, 2002