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July 2019 update

7 July 2019

The next meeting of York Environment Forum is on Tuesday 9th July, at the usual time of 4 to 6pm, at West Offices, Station Rise.

The main agenda item is:

Climate and Ecological Emergencies, organised and presented by member John Cossham.

We will also be planning the August meeting – this will be more informal than is customary and will take place outdoors.

Expect, too, discussions and information-sharing among the members, and indepth reporting from the YEF Transport Group.

June 2019 Update

7 June 2019

York Environment Forum this year is organising around several themes. This will allow members to cover issues in depth alongside members with similar interests.

The themes are:

  • Transport
  • Natural environment and infrastructure
  • Built environment
  • Waste
  • One Planet York

New themes will be added as interest arises.

And each meeting has a focus decided by the members. In April this was community-led housing, climate change adaptation undertaken by Yorkshire Water (May), food sustainability follows in June, and Climate Emergency in July.

 

October 2018 Update

16 October 2018

The pace of updates on this site might lead you to one of two conclusions – wither we’re all pretty much asleep and nothing’s been going on, or we’re (and in particular those of use with login details for the website) so busy that updating the site has taken a back seat. The latter is the case.

The Forum has had a busy year – involvement with community engagement on York Central and input into the Local Plan both being major tasks. The transport subgroup has been very active (working in partnership with Professor Tony May and the Civic Trust) and public transport in York has been a big issue of discussion and action. Natural environment has also been a big concern, with close ties with Treemendous York and action on Askham Bog. The Forum will be ending the year with discussions on transport planning and clean air – and if these are issues that interest you, please come along. Meetings are, as always, 4pm – 6pm on the second Tuesday of every month at West Offices.

Next year will see changes, with current chair Phil Bixby standing down. Watch this space (or better still, come along and get a ringside seat!).

February 2017 update

10 February 2017

As 2017 rushes past, continuing the all-too-established theme of apparently increasing chaos and uncertainty, the Forum continues to keep its collective eye on local issues while being mindful of the national context. The February meeting sees a Q&A session with the council’s Chief Executive, a presentation and discussion about the developing proposals for Castle Gateway (The Artist Formerly Known As The Southern Gateway) and a follow-up discussion to the previous meeting’s look at waste and recycling, with a personal viewpoint on behaviour change from Tom Waring, who has had many years at St.Nicks pondering this issue.

Our March meeting will look at broader environmental issues which are of very specific interest to York residents – flooding and air quality, and in April we’ll be talking with the Environment Observatory to see how local data can help us understand – and hopefully address – local environmental issues.

We are represented on the York Central Community Forum, and have been active in commenting on the proposals for York Central (both collectively and as individual members and representatives of local groups) and other local significant development proposals. We have been active in discussing proposals for some of the major sites identified in the draft Local Plan, and in encouraging local debate, a process we aim to encourage both via the Forum itself and via events in partnership with the My Future York project.

If you represent a local group whose voice you’d like to be part of the Forum, or have skills or experience which you feel would be of value, then please get in touch. Expertise and information are increasingly precious.

September 2016 – Update and comments on the draft Local Plan

15 September 2016

There really shouldn’t be nearly a year’s gap since the last update, but then that’s the perils of the chair having a day job, and at the same time trying to push forward specific local initiatives like My Future York. Anyway, hopefully all in the outside world will be relieved to hear that York Environment Forum has been working well over this period, with plenty of dialogue with the council, One Planet York and other local bodies.

In particular we’ve been much occupied with the draft Local Plan. A number of members have attended stakeholder and community meetings, and we have had presentations from council officers to seek feedback from members. We have made the following comments on the current draft, specifically in respect of land allocation:-

“York Environment Forum has two strategic comments on the proposed sites for future housing development which are broadly supported by most of our diverse membership.

The first is that density of development on the proposed sites should in general be higher. The city should look to examples elsewhere of higher-density (but not high rise) development and use these examples to illustrate to the public what kind of buildings and spaces might result. Development at greater density is generally more sustainable; in addition to a more efficient use of land, travel distances can be reduced and public transport becomes more efficient.

The second is that we believe development of peripheral sites should be concentrated into one substantial community of sufficient size to support a full range of community facilities, and could support the investment in infrastructure which would be required to make any development on the edge of the city sustainable. The current proposal for Elvington aerodrome is of insufficient scale for this to be the case; it is suggested that something in the region of 5,000 new homes would be a more successful target. The siting of this should be investigated and we do not have specific preference other than to note two points:- (i) that development to the north or west of the city would be likely to increase traffic on the singe-carriageway ring road and lead to worsened congestion, and (ii) that choice of site should minimise disruption or loss of areas of biodiversity and should focus on areas of lower environmental value – whatever the issues of current Green Belt designation.

York Environment Forum looks forward to ongoing participation in the process of planning for the future of the city and urges the council to maintain a full and open debate”

Winter update 2015

10 December 2015

Lots has been happening recently. Members of York Environment Forum are over in Paris at the moment at the climate talks, and the last meeting featured a Skype hook-up with them to get an on-the-spot view of what the mood was and how Britain’s role within it all was being seen over there. Doubtless there will be reports at the next meeting – more good reasons to be part of the Forum.

Behind the scenes, we now have a Membership Secretary, which should make joining even easier. Use the membership application form – yef-membership-application-form-2015, and send it to membership@yorkenvironmentforum.org.uk

The minutes of the December Forum meeting are now available – Minutes 2015-12-08

Minutes of meetings added

11 August 2015

With apologies for lateness, the chair has got around to posting the minutes from the various summer 2015 meetings on the website. Sadly summer 2015 itself has pretty much failed to materialise, but the chair feels unable to take sole responsibility for this, pointing at climate change as a likely contributory factor.