A carbon neutral city, mental health support in every school and a possible tourist levy – new plans for York

This view of York is a still from drone footage by Aerial Republic
14 May 2019 @ 11.33 am
| News, Politics

The new coalition running York council have set out their plans for the city.

The Liberal Democrats and Green Party have formed a ‘progressive partnership’ to run York.

They say:

  • We are committed to bringing communities together, making York fairer and affordable for everyone, working for a greener, healthier city, giving our children a better start and demanding a council that listens and works for residents.

Here is their initial programme, said to be a “summary of some of the shared goals and initiatives that our new partnership aims to take forward in our first year”.

Climate and energy

  • We will reduce the city’s carbon footprint, committing to annual targets leading to to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
  • We will improve air quality, delivering York’s clean air zone and setting out further measures.
  • We will create a climate committee for York, to drive effective change in the city and give clear direction for council carbon saving priorities.
  • Commit to meeting Treemendous and Northern Forest’s tree planting targets within two years.
  • Create a new green open space or stray


  • Work to deliver the local plan, providing the affordable homes we need, whilst protecting York’s special character and green belt.
  • Review, support and enhance residents’ associations across York.
  • Review the council’s housing design standards to achieve zero carbon for energy demand.

Street environment

  • Install 100 new dual litter and recycling bins to encourage recycling of waste.
  • Create a new environment team, with funding and powers to reduce fly-tipping, tackle all graffiti, support enforcement, and enhance resident action caring for their neighbourhood.


  • Continue to protect all of York’s children centres.
  • Improve mental health support, with professional support in each school.
  • Provide additional resources for youth support services and work to close the attainment gap.
  • Invest in play equipment across York.


  • Invest in York’s roads and footpaths.
  • Set clear targets for sustainable transport and clean air, such as electric buses and charging points, bus priority, the cycle network and walking.
  • Review and enhance resident parking plans.


  • Develop a bottom-up strategy for the city centre through the MyCityCentre consultation.
  • Explore future opportunities for a tourist levy to help generate new investment.
  • Develop the council’s apprenticeship programme to maintain workforce succession.
  • Deliver on key projects such as York Central and Castle Gateway to attract higher paid jobs in York
  • Create a new Economic Strategy for York, including the re-establishment of York’s Economic Partnership to drive forward business development and share benefits of clean growth within our city.

Healthy communities

  • Invest in local social prescribing to tackle loneliness and isolation, and make York a dementia friendly city.
  • Ward grants and the creation of a new safer communities fund, to benefit local communities.
  • Grant council tax relief for foster carers and care leavers in their first year.
  • Strengthen action on homelessness, financial inclusion and champion greater mental health support.


  • Ensure the council adopts a more transparent and cross-party approach to decision-making with a review of best practice, considering all options.
  • Review the council’s constitution to ensure the council is open and accountable to residents.
  • Lobby for fairer funding for services in York, particularly our schools.