£630 for fly-tipping furniture in car park

A York woman has been ordered to pay £630 for repeatedly fly-tipping, despite receiving waste disposal advice from City of York Council.

York Magistrates heard on Tuesday (3 December 2019) that Sharn Ogden (aged 27 of Martins Court, York) was seen disposing of a table and chairs in the car park of Martins Court on 29 July 2019.

City of York Council enforcement officers made multiple attempts to contact Ms Ogden, which she failed to respond to. On 13 August 2019, Ms Ogden admitted to leaving the waste and said she would take the items to the Household Waste and Recycling Centre. However when officers returned to Martins Court on 13 October 2019, the items had not been removed.

Since 2016, Ms Ogden has received several home visits from enforcement officers regarding waste issues in the area, six letters advising her how to present her waste correctly and two fly-tipping warnings.

Ms Ogden continued to present her waste unlawfully, has been charged for the removal of items and had now been prosecuted.

She attended court and pleaded guilty to one offence of fly-tipping. She was fined £312 by York Magistrates (3 December 2019) and ordered to pay costs of £286 and a surcharge of £32.

Tom Brittain Assistant Director for Housing and Community Safety at City of York Council, said: “We offer plentiful advice to residents on how to dispose of waste lawfully and safely and, as this and other cases show, we will take action when people fly-tip.

“It is important that rubbish is put out for collection as directed by the council. If you are unsure of your collection days, you can check at www.york.gov.uk/RefuseLookup or by calling us on 01904 551550.

“Residents can also take waste to our household waste recycling centres – see www.york.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling – or arrange for the council to collect it via www.york.gov.uk/BulkyWaste.”

Fly posters beginning to irritate residents

With the York Council having made some recent progress in getting to grips with the problem of graffiti in parts of the City, it is disappointing to see an upsurge in fly posting.

Fly posters have always been a problem with fairs, circuses and music venues among the main culprits.

But now the City centre is being covered in stickers.

These are mainly from fringe political groups. Ironically one of the main offenders is a climate change group who seem to be blissfully unaware of the environmental costs of removing the stickers

Given the move towards digital communications , there really is no justification for despoiling the City’s historic core in this way in the 21st century.

The Council, police and amenity societies need to take a stand against this trend.

Crowds add to litter problems in York

Its not just the transport systems that have been under pressure in York this weekend.

People have been pointing to issues with street cleansing in the City centre. Can’t be easy for Council staff and the BID team to keep on top of the problems with such high volumes of pedestrians around (not to mention the security zones).

Even in suburban areas we’ve been finding examples of full bins and badly littered streets. All have been reported for Council attention.

Full bin at Askham Lane bus stop
Same issue at the Cornlands Road shops
Shops forecourt badly littered

Graffiti and full litter bins in Acomb reported

We understand that responsibility for implementing the new graffiti removal process has been reassigned within the York Council.

Those reporting incidents “on line” CLICK receive an immediate reference number which makes any necessary follow up easier.

The jury is still out on the effectiveness of the Council new graffiti policy although the responsible executive member does not seem to have taken any action to highlight concerns to the police, while the Council still no longer routinely takes action to apply anti graffiti coatings at vulnerable locations.

Graffiti near Morrisons has been reported for removal
We’ve also reported a full litter bin on the Acomb car park

York Council tackling nettles.

Contractors were out today removing nettle growth from the side of the Foxwood Lane footpath.

Contractors in action on Foxwood Lane

The nettles had been a nuisance during the late summer period although not, this year, as bad as in some previous years.

Mechanical treatment – often by local farmers – is usually an efficient and economical way of controlling weeds and cutting back hedges.

Meanwhile a Freedom of Information request has revealed that this year weed control contractors have only been paid part of the £37,020.89 value of the contract. The response says that £18,498.70 has so far been paid during the current year.

The response does reveal the amounts paid to specialist weed control contractors over the last 9 years.

Weeds blocking public footpath in Windsor Garth reported again this week
  • 2019/20 – A. Morrison’s & Sons £37,020.89.
  • 2018/19 – Munroe’s – £31,189
  • 2017/18 – Munroe’s – £31,189
  • 2016/17 – Munroe’s – £31,189
  • 2015/16 – Munroe’s – £27,192
  • 2014/15 – Dobsons – £68,538
  • 2013/14 – Dobsons – £66,867
  • 2012/13 – Nomix Enviro – £69,792
  • 2011/12 – Nomix Enviro – £79,036

Interestingly the York Council, in the Spring, accepted a tender the value of which was only half that submitted in 2011.

It was later discovered that the list of streets to be treated was incomplete.

There have been chronic problems with weed control during the summer and, as we reported a few days ago, many streets still require attention.

Recycling bins overflowing at shopping centre

We hope that the various charities which have clothes and shoe banks at various locations around the City will check that they are not full. The Christmas period tends to be a busy one for recycling. It is frustrating for residents who try to do the right thing and give the clothes to a good cause.

Clothes banks at the Acomb Wood Drive shopping centre are full

NB. The Council are making their final green bin emptying collections in most areas this week. Green bin emptying will start again in April

Some streets missed again from weed control programme

With winter settling in, and leaves filling gutters and paths, we’ve had a look back at some roads that were subject to complaints about weed growth earlier in the summer.

Sadly in some cases the weeds are still there. The Council will need to use mechanical means to remove the remaining growth.

The weed and grass growth is mainly in drainage gullies but some paths are still obstructed.

Weed growth and leaves in Queenswood Grove gutters
There has been a long term problem with these weeds which obstruct part of the Windsor Garth footpath

Balfour Street tree felled

The tree that was damaging railings and the footpath on Balfour Street has finally been felled. The Council have also removed accumulated leaf fall. The path is now much safer.

The opened up area to the rear has revealed locations where at least two additional trees could be planted.

The work followed complaints to executive Councillors. The self seeded tree had been reported 2 years ago. It caused considerable damage to the railings and footpath in the interim. It is likely to be some time before the tree stump rots away and allows permanent remedial work to be undertaken on the railings and footpath.

Public services improving in York this week

The York Council has had a good week in providing public services. 100% refuse collection success today with the only significant missed collections, earlier in the week, down to “blocked accesses”. Their web page detailing service standards achieved can be accessed by clicking here

Elsewhere the fallen leaves that we reported on Bellhouse Way have been cleared from the paths

Bellhouse Way largely clear of leaves
Elsewhere we have reported leaf fall on Chesney Field….
…and on Foxwood Lane
We’ve also asked for the snicket link to Chesney Field to be cleared of obstructions and detritus