Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: The Gateway Centre, Front Street, Acomb, York, YO24 3BZ

Contact: Shiona Marsh  Community Officer (Guildhall, Holgate & Acomb Wards)

No. Item


Updates on Front Street pdf icon PDF 2 MB

This will be a single item meeting in which the City Regeneration Team and Ward Councillors are keen to hear about people’s views on the 2nd stage of Front Street improvements. The meeting will be part of the series of events providing information on the potential future improvements and ways to get involved.


Cllr Lomas welcomed everyone to the meeting.


Part 1 - Statement from What a Load of Bollards (WALOB) campaign group

We are from the What a Load of Bollards group which was formed the day after, to quote: “Acomb woke to find £400,000 had been squandered on a half paved High Street and 138 bollards.” This was from Rachael Maskell MP during a session in the House of Lords where she demanded a parliamentary scrutiny into the “misuse” of the government money which was awarded to Acomb for the purpose of regeneration.

We also represent the official Friends of Front Street group – I am the Communications officer and Carla is the Chair – and Carla is also the Treasurer of the Greater Acomb Forum, so while we realise you will be gathering many different views from the community in your surveys and drop in sessions, we believe we can fairly represent interested members of these groups who will be directly affected by what happens next on Front St.

As we have been so deeply involved from the start and part of every public meeting and many discussions and conversations with various councillors and council officers (as well as providing a great deal of press coverage), we can confidently say that while moving positively, unfortunately  we don’t believe the new list of interventions proposed by the council to - another quote, this time from Cllr Peter Kilbane: - “sort out the mess on Front Street” – show that enough lessons have been learned. We used the term “shopping list” at our last presentation to the Council Executive and council officers liked this term. But we did not mean it as a list of essential items.  To us, the list you present today is like a supermarket trolley dash: grabbing at random goodies and looking for ways to use up large amounts of money on anything that catches your eye.

When we learned the remainder of the government regeneration money would be awarded back to us to sort out Front Street, we asked, as we have always asked, as the original £20,000 consultation asked, for one level high street and a welcoming open community space. A design-led initiative where people can walk freely, mingle, chat, meet, drink coffee outside, socialise, enjoy markets in an attractive pedestrian-friendly urban space.

We were told £570,000 was not enough money to achieve this so we began to show examples of other areas in the UK where this has been done and suggesting creative and inexpensive ways where it could be done. Pivotal is removing all the bollards and being brave enough to tackle the pointless road where, already, vehicles may not travel during the day. We asked that it be filled in with a very committed eye to making this completely traffic free in the future  - but this was dismissed.

We see several complex half attempts to address it with raised tables while the bulk of the money is set aside for lots of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 1.


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