Plan revealed to tackle stag and hen challenge and make York safer at night

Photograph: Dunnock_D on Flickr

A plan to tackle the “challenges” that hen and stag parties bring to the city centre will be outlined by the council leader.

Cllr Keith Aspden will put forward proposals to make the city centre safer and reduce anti-social behaviour.

Fifteen more bars, pubs and other licensed premises have opened in York since 2001 – according to a council report.


And the city is set to bid for Purple Flag status – a scheme that “recognises excellence in the management of city centres at night”.

The award means the town or city is a good place to go for a night out, with clean and safe venues, great bars and clubs and a range of arts and cultural attractions with excellent transport links.

Vibrant and challenging

Photograph: SteveH1972 on Flickr
The report describes York city centre’s evening and night time economy as “both vibrant and challenging”, adding:

  • The continued growth of our reputation as a place to visit for leisure has seen the number of bars and restaurants in the city centre increase in recent years.

    The challenges that this growth presents are related to the conflicting needs of different users of the city centre, and are most sharply expressed when hen and stag parties use the city centre.

    It is these challenges that Purple Flag seeks to address.


But there are no specific details in the report about what the council will do to tackle the issue.

The council is set to appoint a new member of staff to help the city win Purple Flag status by working with police, ambulance services, businesses, Make It York, York BID and other organisations.

And £83,000 has been earmarked in the council budget for the project during the next two years. The BID has committed to supporting the scheme.

Safer city

City of York Council leader Cllr Keith Aspden
Council leader Keith Aspden said: “City centres that achieve a Purple Flag are those that are safe, vibrant, appealing, well-managed and offer a positive experience to residents and visitors.”

He said the rising number of bars and restaurants, as well as York’s popularity as a stag and hen party venue, cause a conflict between residents and visitors:

  • It is these challenges that Purple Flag seeks to address through positively bringing together those involved in the day, evening and night time economies, to develop joint plans and make York even safer

    The Purple Flag status aims, amongst a broad range of policies, to improve work with partners, reduce anti-social behaviour and support a safer city centre.

The Purple Flag aims to improve the city’s public image, attract more visitors, boost local businesses and reduce crime, according to the report.

Research shows York is bucking the trend – with the number of bars and pubs falling by 23 per cent nationally since 2008. The meeting takes place on Wednesday (18 September).