York economy performing well but….

St Nicholas market popular this year

The start of “Business Week” in the City coincides with the publication of a progress report by “Make it York” (MIY). This is the QUANGO charged with developing the York economy and particularly the visitor sector and markets.

Reading the report, one might think that all was rosy in the garden.

There has been a steady stream of tourists visiting the City this year. They have partly been attracted by a series of festivals while other initiatives like the food court on the market have attracted favourable publicity.

The complementary York BID scheme has produced tangible improvements to the streetscape coupled with imaginative lighting schemes.

However, part of the success in attracting foreign visitors is down to the low value of the pound.

The MIY report is singularly short of figures.

One look around the City centre, at this the busiest shopping period of the year, reveals that key shop units are still empty several years after they become vacant. The pile of empty shipping containers on Parliament Street doesn’t help while the surface of the City’s most popular car park (Castle) is in an appalling condition. Advanced car parking space availability signs – and their “on line” counterparts – haven’t worked for over 4 years.

This all adds to a depressed feel in the “high street”.

The report – to be considered by a Council scrutiny committee on 28th November – considers progress against a limited number of targets. Some issues, like the shortage of labour and key skills, aren’t mentioned.

Nor is any attempt made to assess the impact that BREXIT will have on the City economy over the next five years or more.

We hope that Councillors, faced with a bland report, will ask questions which root out any complacency.

Action taken – Sheena steps in to deal with Tedder Road park problems

As we reported last week, the Council has been slow to deal with a hazard presented by an overgrown rose bush on the Tedder Road park. Its thorn branches have been overhanging a footpath at eye height for several weeks.

Cllr. Sheena Jackson has now taken direct action herself over the weekend and cut back the dangerous branches . We hope that the Council will soon trim the rest of the bush.

While in the park, Sheena took the opportunity to sweep up the leaf fall in the well used snicket which links Otterwood Lane and the Tedder Road park. The Council has been asked to clear broken glass from several locations in the area.

Residents are reminded that the current cycle is the last for emptying green bins (garden waste – including leaves) until April.


Final garden waste collections of 2017

The York Council is urging residents to make the most of the final round of garden waste collections, which start on Monday (20 November).

The next fortnight is the final chance for the 67,000 homes to fill their green bins with autumn leaves, cuttings and windfall fruit, with the service restarting on Easter Monday (April 2)

Anyone who misses that last collection can still take their waste to York’s two household waste recycling centres, which remain open every day except Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

New rubbish and recycling calendars have been delivered to every household in the city over the last two months. City centre properties with St Nick’s recycling collections will receive their calendars by the end of November.

The calendars also contain details of this year’s Christmas collection arrangements – there are no waste collections on the week of Christmas Day, but every household will get an extra rubbish collection either the week before or after Christmas.

If you’ve miss-placed your calendar, you can:

Neil Ferris, corporate director for economy and place, said: “This is a great opportunity to get the garden tidied in the run-up to Christmas. The Green Bins are very popular, making a big contribution to the 40,000 tonnes of waste we saved from going to landfill last year. I’d also like to remind people to that collection times are not the same every week, so please make sure that bins are out by 7am on your collection day.”

What goes in your garden waste:

Yes please

Leaves and bark
Grass cuttings and hedge clippings
Cut flowers and house plants
Garden plants and flowers
Windfall fruit
Twigs and small branches
Non invasive garden weeds
Pot plant compost
Straw bedding from small vegetarian pets, such as rabbits
Christmas trees and wreaths must be inside the bin, so please chop them up

No thanks

Soil and rubble, coal, BBQ charcoal
Plastic, paper, cardboard and other packaging
General household rubbish
Food or other kitchen waste
Large whole branches
Invasive weeds such as Japanese knotweed, Giant Hogweed and Ragwort (seek advice on safe disposal from the Environment Agency)
Plant pots
Pet and animal waste from cats and dogs

Join Andrew Waller and Chapelfields residents for the Big Estate Clean Up tomorrow (Saturday)

Volunteers have started work on a major clean-up of the Chapelfields estate.  Work was undertaken cleaning and strimming the Community Centre forecourt and surrounding grassed areas on Bramham Road on Thursday.

On Saturday it is hoped that all Chapelfields residents will join in and clean up the area outside their homes.

Gardening equipment has been loaned to the project by the City of York Council.

Attention is being paid to communal and public areas, but residents are also being asked to ensure that private hedges and trees are cut back from footpaths.

The project is being sponsored by the Westfield Ward Committee.

On Saturday, volunteers are asked to assemble at Sanderson Court Community Centre on Bramham Road from 9:00am

Waste dealer faces prison for flytipping in Thoresby Road area in York

A waste dealer who claimed to be properly licenced was yesterday (8th November) found guilty of 19 charges of illegal collection and waste disposal, including dumping asbestos.

He awaits sentencing on 21 December 2017 when he faces being sent to prison.

In February and March 2017, 13 incidents of fly tipping were found on verges, alleys, in a playing field and on a private drive, in the Thoresby Road area. The waste was from bathroom refits by a plumbing firm, which had employed who they believed was a licenced scrap and waste collector.

The firm paid Mr Pipes in cash to remove the waste which included old toilets and baths, tiles and timber. In a rubble bag, a receipt was found by an estate worker, who reported the tips to the council’s neighbourhood enforcement team. They traced the waste back to the plumbing firm, and Mr Pipes failed to provide proper paperwork, evidence of a waste carrier’s licence or a scrap metal dealer’s licence.

In March and April 2017 Mr Pipes and his van were seen four times – and were photographed – disposing of large amounts of waste in a litter bin at Beech Grove, Acomb.

Mr Pipes entered a guilty plea of fly tipping around York, carrying waste and scrap without the relevant licences and failing to produce proper paperwork for the disposal of waste.

The movement of waste is regulated to ensure that it does not cause pollution and is treated safely at every stage. All businesses which produce waste must keep paperwork to prove how they dispose of waste and council officers will investigate carrying and disposal.

Cllr Andrew Waller, executive member for the environment, said: “The punishment imposed by York Crown Court reflects the severity of these offences. Fly-tipping is unsightly, anti-social, can pollute the land it’s dumped on and creates considerable cost for City of York Council to clear. Anyone with a business which buys or sells scrap metal must register as a dealer with every local authority where they wish to operate, and in addition, anyone carrying waste must register with the Environment Agency.

“While they are responsible for safe disposal, people who hire them must also check the carriers are properly licensed or they themselves could risk a criminal record.”

For information on commercial waste and residents’ responsibilities go to www.york.gov.uk/waste or visit the Environment Agency at www.gov.uk/guidance/access-the-public-register-for-environmental-information. To report fly-tipping, illegal waste disposal or concerns about waste dealer’s licencing, please contact neo.york.gov.uk .

Acomb Green Lane trader falls foul of waste laws – fined £670

Waste carriers in York are being urged to ensure they are properly licenced to collect, carry and dispose of waste, following a prosecution today (7 November) of illegal activity.

David Grierson, aged 67 of Green Lane, York, pleaded guilty to two charges of unlicenced handling of commercial waste. York Magistrates Court gave him a 24-month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £650.32 prosecution costs and a £20 court surcharge.

Mr Grierson who runs Green Lane Carpets, Acomb was found carrying waste from his business when he was stopped on 10 March as part of a joint operation with North Yorkshire Police and Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs.

This routine enforcement action involved stopping and searching business vehicles to determine whether they were complying with the legal requirements relating to waste carrying and waste transfer.

Mr Grierson failed to produce a copy of authority to transport controlled waste and failed to produce waste information. He was served with two notices requesting to produce the correct licence and documents, failed to do so and was served with a fixed penalty notice that he failed to acknowledge or pay.

Lower Tier waste licences are free and are required by traders carrying their own waste. Traders carrying other peoples waste require Upper Tier licences which cost £250.


Front Street greengrocer faces arrest

Shop could close following food safety investigation

The Press are reporting that the owner of the greengrocers shop on Front Street could be banned from the food industry following a food inspection which found rats in the building.

An appalling series of photographs of the shop have been published.

“Food hygiene officer Kerry Bell told the court she found rat droppings on the shop floor and food display shelves, broken food packages and signs that rats had been eating the food inside them at Gary Michael Anderson’s greengrocers.

The shop, in the main shopping street in Acomb, York, stank and had mouldy blackberries, satsumas and bananas for sale”.

“Magistrates praised the two council departments for their work. During the investigation, the council closed the shop premises until they were properly cleaned, the waste food removed and the rats were eliminated, but allowed Anderson to sell from the pavement outside provided all stock was kept in his van overnight”.

Bench chairman Ian Nicholson said: “He persistently refused to take measures to protect customers.

“We found a flagrant disregard of the law over a protracted period. Multiple attempts were made to assist Mr Anderson, which he largely ignored.

“This is an appalling example of putting other businesses at risk, and we suspect the public too.”

They heard evidence that the rats left their traces in the upper room of a neighbouring charity shop that was used by elderly volunteers to sort through public donations.