Agenda item

Main meeting 19:00 - 20:30



The Place @ Sanderson Community House project update


Presentations from local projects


Ward priorities consultation


Have your say


1.     Welcome and introductions

Chaired by Cllr Nelson who opened the meeting and welcomed everyone. Ward Councillors then introduced themselves and stated that going forward they would like Ward Committees to be used as a forum to celebrate good work and projects taking place in the ward.


2.     The Place @ Sanderson Community House project update

Jen Addicott, Centre Manager defined The Place, a community together as a partnership programme convened by the University of York and working with  Westfield Primary Community School, York High City of York Council, local higher education institutions and corporate sponsors. A wider network of delivery partners and supporters include employers, culture and heritage organisations and existing providers in the area. The project will have a governance structure involving community champions, young people and AGMs. Activities and support will be provided at Sanderson Community House for children and young people, their families and the wider community in the Westfield Ward, specifically the Chapelfields area. Volunteering for community members, students and local employees will also be featured as part of the programme.

Jen named the key focus areas of The Place project:


·      Provide a safe space for learning, relaxing and fun;

·      Reduce the gap in attainment between advantaged and less advantaged children;

·      Improve school attendance at primary and secondary;

·      Reduce the gap in progression to higher education between advantaged and less advantaged children;

·      Increase progression to Level 3 to 5 education (including apprenticeships);

·      Reduce feelings of isolation among children and adults;

·      Improve mental health among children and adults.


Opening timetable is being finalised, however it is envisaged that The Place will be open Monday to Friday and feature community drop-ins, academic enrichment sessions, homework club and a youth club. An example weekly schedule can be seen on slide 4 of the attached PowerPoint presentation.

York University took on the lease for Sanderson Court Community House on 1st of September 2023.

The team to run the centre day to day is currently being recruited and will include 1 x Administrator and 2 x Officers.

Refurbishment of the inside of the building which includes new floor, painting throughout downstairs, new kitchen and new furniture is due to be completed during w/c 16th October. It is envisaged that The Place will open during w/c 30th October and the first few weeks will feature a number of ‘get to know us’ activities. The Community Association and The Gateway Youth Club will have access to the building from Thursday 19th October.

Promotion of opening and The Place offer will be undertaken with the use of a flyer and brand-new website which is due to launch on Monday 9th October.

At this point Cllr Nelson referred to the consultation that took place earlier this year with majority of respondents being in support of the project.

The following contact details were provided for any questions in respect of The Place, a community together project.



T: 0800 915 3591




3.     Presentations from local projects

Cllr Nelson introduced this item as a space for partners, groups and organsiations to share what they do in the area and celebrate good projects.


Our Lady’s Church Hall and Parish

Fr Tony Lester spoke about the recent work to the church hall roof and planned future improvements to install acoustic panels.  Fr Tony has been leading the parish for over six years and observed a shift from focus on purely religious needs to wider community needs and how the parish can play its role in bettering lives of local people. Parish Hall, which features new kitchen and hearing loop was named as a resource that is available for community use. Presently the Hall is used by 2nd Acomb Scouts, Dementia Forward, Mindfulness group, Rainbows, Be Our Guest and parish events such as the recent BBQ.

Fr Tony thanked the Ward Committee for a small grant during lockdown which  enabled newsletter communication with those members of the congregation who are not online.

Community Foodbank project was described by Fr Tony as a venture that started during the pandemic, with donations taken to Our Lady’s Queen of Martyrs School, and families being able to access the provision via the school.

Be Our Guest, a warm social space, was mentioned by Fr Tony as a relatively new venture at the church hall. It is open every Thursday between 10am and 4pm, providing an opportunity for social interaction, featuring access to WiFi, refreshments, games and good company.


King’s Path wildflower meadow

Gordon and Paul introduced themselves as founding members of a new voluntary group aiming to transform what used to be a tarmac space off Kingsway West into a wildflower meadow.

Located between Kingsway West and Hob Moor School green space is undergoing transformation with efforts from local residents, City of York Council Environment and Community officers and groups such as GoodGym.

While Lincoln Court was being extended and the Beehive built the space was used as builders’ compound. On completion of building works the compound was dismantled, tarmac removed, and grass seed sown. The space was left unmaintained for over a year and docks, long root and broad leaf plants, started to overtake and smother grass and any other plants. Local volunteers strive to enhance the space and its biodiversity by sowing wildflowers and planting trees. Several sessions were held with the aim to eradicate docks by rotovating and manually removing the plant.

As a next step volunteers plan to seed wildflowers, plant trees, lay woodchip path and install a recycled plastic bench. Longer term plan is to install a gate in Lincoln Court fence to enable easy access to the wildflower meadow.

Project map and costing can be seen on the attached PowerPoint presentation.

Gordon would love to involve more residents with the project, especially young people and encouraged anyone interested to contact him via


Summer activities summary

With the use of a PowerPoint Michal Czekajlo provided a summary of ward funded activities for young people.

As part of ward action planning and with the view to address ward priority to improve activities for young people Westfield Councillors dedicated some of their ward funding to commission activities within the ward for children and young people over the summer holidays period. The programme aimed to provide free to access activities that would engage young people and deliver outcomes around living healthy, active lifestyles and reducing anti-social behaviour.

Westfield Ward commissioned York City Knights Foundation to deliver 5 Inflatable Arena sessions offering a range of rugby and multi-skill games.  Staffed by qualified coaches sessions aimed to improve young people’s physical and mental skills in relation to sport and exercise. 
The locations were chosen based on delivery over the last few years and noted for being popular with young people.
For the first time Knights decided to try splitting the sessions on separate days offering sessions specifically for older teenage children and younger primary age children.
Each session featured a healthy snacks and drink for each participant and will have sign posting for participants to other relevant activities.
Sessions were welcomed not only by the participants but also parents/carers for bringing an outdoor activity to their doorstep.

The Ward commissioned York City Football Club Foundation to deliver football themed session over four weeks of Summer with a session each week held on Chesney Field and Acomb Green. Sessions included snacks and drinks for each participant to take away and an element of education on positive use of the parks and green spaces and keeping them clean. Full report was being produced at the time of the meeting.

Inspire Youth run regular sessions on Tuesday evenings in Chapelfields and Wednesday evenings in Foxwood. They come to York from Harrogate and run sessions from their mobile youth club. This summer they delivered additional summer special activities outside Sanderson House and on the Grange Lane field.  The team of qualified youth workers offered a safe space for young people to come and participate in activities such as bracelet making, badminton, football, slacklining, making fruit kebabs, nutritional education and healthy drinks awareness.
Sessions included an offer of healthy snacks and they had up to 15 young people per session aged between 8-14.
Young people have been offering ideas of things they would like to see on offer in the future and are working towards idea of a talent show – involving the wider community but being young person led.


The last element of ward funded programme was a week-long of free to access activities held at Our Lady’s Church Hall over the last week of summer holidays. Towards the end of school holidays could be a time when families struggle to find activities to occupy their children and/or have spent up their summer budget.

The week included a variety of activities for various age groups – all listed on attached PowerPoint.

As the week went on and the word spread out numbers of attendees picked up resulting in full capacity on Thursday (22 individual participants throughout the day) and Friday (24 individual participants throughout the day).

Each day featured between two and three activities and young people could stay for just one activity, or the whole day.  Grab bag lunch was also provided for every participant on each day.

Before thanking everyone for listening Michal mentioned the Be Our Guest open day and reiterated on Thursday 31st August which featured circus skills and Trashbang! activities for young people as well as usual good atmosphere, company, refreshments and access to WiFi. 


Big Futures Foundation

Michelle Faulks from the Foundation outlined the initiative – project working with children living in disadvantaged communities, offering counselling, life skills and youth programmes to help young people build great lives. The project started at Tang Hall and Haxby Road primaries , expanded to Hob Moor School and most recently to Westfield Primary. Counselling groups take place every week and offer ongoing support. Some of the young people in the programme moved to a secondary school and have been supported by the Foundation since early childhood. Next step for the Foundation is to start working with York High and Michelle is continually looking to promote the initiative and build relationships with the community. In response to a question Michelle explained that Big Futures Foundation is funded via grants from various funding bodies.


Tots and Toddlers sessions at St James the Deacon Church

Nicola Cook, Children and Families Worker at the Church shared about extended Tots and Toddlers play group sessions that were held at St James the Deacon Church last summer. Sessions were aimed at the whole family and included activities such as circus skills, crafts, face painting, grab bag food parcels, toys and clothing to take home and lunch buffet. Promoted via word of mouth and  Woodthorpe Primary School sessions attracted families that were known to the Church and also several new families. The plan is to hold another similar session on Tuesday 31st October and then one more later this winter. Nicola shared the promotional poster with the audience.


Acomb Explore

Fiona Reilly, Acomb Explore Manager outlined the Library approach of being an inclusive space, where all can come to use the core library provision and also family focussed services aiming to help during the cost of living crisis. The Library is aiming to become a part of Raise York family hub model in autumn this year, offering specialist services supporting children, young people and families from pregnancy to adulthood.

Last Summer’s reading challenge attracted the highest number of participants, with 600+ children signing up. Acomb Primary School won the cup for 7th year in a row.

The Library is hosting new clubs for adults – craft club on Thursdays and grown-ups Lego club on Monday evenings. Both are free to attend.

The garden at Acomb Explore benefitted from ward grants towards refurbishment of the storage container and upkeep of the garden. The ASB issues that the Library faced over summer 2022 have not affected them this summer which is great news.

One of the steps enabling libraries across the city to be more inclusive was removal of fines and reservation fees. Libraries have seen a surge in new membership applications because of that, with 10 people signing up at Acomb Explore just last Saturday.

The Library is looking at a long term solution to the issue with access road surface. It is believed that an underlying subsidence issue is a factor, and a more thorough repair will be required to provide a long lasting result. The library will require additional financial support to make this happen, as the existing maintenance budget is not sufficient.


4.     Ward priorities consultation

Cllr Nelson outlined the topic as important element in the process to help Councillors guide their actions in respect of ward funding allocation. Ongoing conversations in the community about what is important to residents at a local level have been taking place over the summer. Today is one of the events when Councillors seek input from residents. Existing ward priorities to improve the local environment and take pride in Westfield, reduce isolation, improve activities for young people were read out and the meeting was asked if anything is missing, or if there is anything specific that the Ward should be focusing on?

Cllr Nelson opened the floor to discussion.


Q – What is the amount of ward funding?

A – An allocation for Westfield Ward for the whole financial year is £24,648. The Ward intention is to use the available funding to create opportunities that can be built on. Cllr Waller added that in previous years the ward awarded seed funding to groups recognising there are a lot of small local organisations that benefit from small grants. There will be a city-wide pot of funding for organisations operating across more than one ward and with focus on city wide projects to apply for funding to.


Q – How were the current priorities established?

A – The priorities were set based on feedback from residents, available statistics, and previous local consultations. Priorities provide us with a framework and provide focus when partners in the ward come together to plan and act.

At this point Cllr Nelson asked Penny Hutchinson and Ellen Vipond to talk about their role as Local Area Coordinators (LACs). Cllr Waller added that LACs had received ward funding previously, and requested they give some details on this also. Penny and Ellen spoke about hoarding prevention and how ward funds enabled work with Community Bees. LACs role helps to identify what the needs are, gaps in provision and what support is offered by organisations and professionals for adults and families. It is recognised that social isolation is an issue. LACs have the privilege to meet with people who may not be going out, not have skills and access to IT, or have no family and friends support networks. In their role LACs can help those residents to reconnect with the community and overcome issues.


Q – A question was asked about Councillors vision for the ward for the next few years and what impact can Councillors have on matters such as neighbourhood policing?

A – In response Cllr Coles referred to the new Council Plan and projects such as free school meals pilot with Westfield Primary School, reversing Blue Badge ban, focus on addressing health inequalities and impact of our actions on the environment as elements of the vision. In terms of neighbourhood safety, Local Authority will have more to say on local Policing as a result of Devolution for York and North Yorkshire, that will provide us with more local powers and decision-making at a local level.
Furthermore, on priorities, Councillors consulted at events such as the Foxwood Family Funday and are engaging with people at all levels, so that they can respond in a right way and inform allocation of ward funding. Community safety is an important area of concern that comes up in conversations.


A resident suggested to create a list of proposed priorities providing residents with an opportunity to choose and tick which priority/ies they support.


Q – Projects for young people and addressing ASB should form part of an ongoing focus. I’m concerned that some provision, such as The Island youth club is facing difficulties.

A – We are aware of the issue with the Foxwood youth club and trying to work out a solution. A strategy for work with young people in the city is being created by the Council Corporate Director of Children and Education.


Cllr Nelson stated that the ward will be inviting applications from local groups and organisation for grants of up to £500 towards projects helping to address ward priorities. The deadline for receipt of full applications will be Friday 3rd of November 2023. Ward grant application forms can be found on the Council’s website, or obtained from the Community Officer.


Q – A question was asked if the up to £500 grants will be coming out from the £24,684 ward budget mentioned earlier and when decisions on ward funding applications will be made?

A – Yes, the grants will be coming out from the ward budget. Ward Councillors will look at project applications that are submitted and other projects to be commissioned. Councillors will meet in early November to consider all applications received, the extent to which they address refreshed ward priorities and decide on grant awards. In previous years the ward had a newsletter used to invite suggestions and feedback on priorities from residents. There is value in such voting system, and it needs to be considered as an option. Refreshed ward priorities will be made public shortly after tonight’s meeting.


Q – Is any youth provision planned for October half-term?

A – Inspire Youth Yorkshire will continue with their mobile youth club in Chapelfields and Foxwood. The Library will have a programme of events and The Place at Sanderson House may be in position to offer provision by then.

Cllr Waller referred to the February Council budget which was set by the previous administration. Cllr Nelson confronted Cllr Waller stating that this is a non-political meeting and not an appropriate forum to resolve this matter.


Q – Are Ward Councillors able to influence central funding towards repairs, such as access road surface outside Acomb Explore?

A – Cllr Waller responded that the Council is a member of the Local Government Association enabling us to lobby with the Central Government for funds for improvements at a local level. Some Local Authorities have had to close their library service altogether; however we are in a good position in York with our Explore York and Archives able to increase provision.

Cllr Coles added that the Council has statutory responsibility to provide services such as adult social care and demand for those have grown up. City of York Council is facing an in-year budget shortfall and are fortunate to have ward funding to spend in the neighbourhood this year.



Cllr Nelson closed the meeting at 20:45


Supporting documents:


Back to the top of the page