Residents invited to talk rubbish as York council reviews recycling sites

City of York Council wants to know more about how residents use recycling banks across the city, and how they want to use them in the future.

The council is reviewing around 50 sites which contain banks for recycling between one and 12 different materials.  These are mainly situated in car parks, streets and other public areas of the city.

Residents are asked to fill in a short online survey to influence the review, which will look at the number of the sites, where they are located, the range of materials which can be recycled, and their general appearance.

Residents have until Wednesday 9 August to fill in the survey, which they can access from consultation page of council’s website https://www.york.gov.uk/consultations

Councillor Andrew Waller, executive member for the environment, said:

Recycling bins in Acomb car park

“We want to improve our recycling rates further in York, and want to modernise the ‘bring banks’ network as it is looking tired in places, and some gaps have appeared in parts of the city where landowners have asked for them to be removed.

“We are receiving requests all the time for new materials such as cartons to be included and so want to respond to support residents.

We are encouraging residents to engage with the council to fill in the survey so that we can provide the right recycling banks in the right places.”

In 2016/17, the recycling sites collected an estimated 800 tonnes of materials, and cost the council around £75,000.

The city’s two Household Waste Recycling Centres are not part of this review.

Threat to future of Chesneys Field amenity area?

Reports are coming in that the York Council is in private discussions about leasing off the Chesneys Field amenity area,

Chesney’s Field

It is claimed that they hope to re-home the Woodthorpe Wanderers football team there when they evict that organisation as part of a controversial plan to build on the sports pitches at Lowfields.

Hitherto, it had been understood that any plans to build on the Lowfields playing field would be subject to the provision of additional sports pitches elsewhere in the area.

However, as the pitches at Chesneys Field have been rented out on a seasonal basis for over 25 years, to both football and rugby teams, it seems unlikely that site would meet the criteria set by bodies such as Sport England and the National Playing Fields Association.

Any attempt to limit public access to Chesneys Field is likely to be strongly resisted by residents.

The Foxwood Residents Association has invested heavily in the field. It is the only substantial area of publicly accessible open space available since railings were erected by the Rugby Club around the adjacent Thanet Road sports area.

Chesney’s Field Interpretation board unveiled last year

Following the upgrade made to the play equipment on Chesneys Field, residents have supervised tree and bulb planting, the installation of seats and an interpretation board. Litter is regularly cleared from the area by volunteers.

The investment made to improve the area has mainly been through residents own fundraising activities and co-operation with partners

The amenity area is generally well used against a background of under-provision of green space and play facilities in much of the Westfield area.

The issue is likely to be raised at a meeting of the Foxwood Residents Association which is taking place on Wednesday.

NB: We also understand that the Rugby Club may seek to revive the idea of erecting a stand and other facilities next to one of their pitches on the other side of the road. Residents will be watching any such proposal carefully and will insist on compensatory, publicly accessible, amenity land being made available if any is lost through development on the Thanet Road area.

Green bin charges

It is over 2 years since the York Council started to charge for emptying second and subsequent green (garden waste) bins.

The charge was controversial at the time as there were fears that excess compostable waste would simply be put into grey bins and subsequently land-filled.

There were also concerns that some might be fly tipped.

New figures reveal that the numbers prepared to pay for green bin emptying have fallen.

  • The number of subscriptions in 2015 was 1,320
  • The number of subscriptions in 2016 was 1,146

Green bins currently cost £37 a year to empty.

The Council therefore has secured an income, through the charges, of around £43,000 a year.

Landfill Tax cost York taxpayers over £4 million in 2016.

This years figure is expected to be even higher.

Waste trends

 

 

 

 

Tories announce latest plan to develop Lowfields playing fields.

Tory Councillor Sam Lisle has praised controversial plans to build on the playing fields at Lowfields.

The revised plans see still more of the green field being built on with the nominal “village green” reduced in size to the equivalent of the grassed area on Dijon Avenue.

Lowfields plans 2016

Layout July 2017

He did so on the day that the Council confirmed its plans for an exhibition of the proposals which could see nearly 200 homes (including the rooms in the care home) crammed into the small site. It also revealed that any additional homes built on brownfield former Ministry of Defence land will not be used to offset the pressure to build on green fields like Lowfields.

The Lowfields plans also include relatively uncontroversial proposals for an elderly persons care home and bungalows on the east of the site (on the built footprint of the former school).

The school finally moved its activities from the Lowfield sports field in 2010 although usage by sports teams continues to this day.

The Council says the site, to be known as Lowfield Green, is at the pre-planning stage.

“Suggestions are now invited and comments can be submitted on plans for older people’s accommodation, housing, a health hub and public open space. The latest plans follow on from previous public engagement in October 2016.

The drop-in event this month will be held at the Gateway Centre, Front Street, Acomb YO24 3BZ on Tuesday 18 July from 4:30 – 7pm and is open to all. Invitations have been sent to the immediate neighbours of the site.

At the drop-in event people can see and discuss the plans with officers and learn more about changes to the plans since the last event. Once comments are reviewed and final plans drawn up, the council will submit a planning application this summer.

The proposals for the site include:

  • Over 55’s accommodation including flats and bungalows
  • Family housing
  • York’s first self-build housing plots to be offered by the council
  • Land for community-led housing group, YorSpace
  • A health hub
  • Public open space”.

The Council are coy about a plan to provide a police station on the site. This would have meant the closure of the police depot on York Road and is controversial (although currently located outside the playing field part of the site). Similar unanswered questions remain about the Council ‘s paln to estbalsih a “health centre” on the site with no funding having been allocated for such a function by the NHS.

The Council says that “anyone unable to go to that event can see the plans at a display at Explore Acomb Learning Library Centre, Front Street, Acomb YO24 3BZ from 18 to 28 July 2017, or they can be viewed and commented on at www.york.gov.uk/consultations. (NB. There are no plans on the Councils web site at present)
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Weed killer programme brought forward.

Weed killing by quad bike

The recent weather has provided ideal growing conditions on highways and amenity areas in the City.

The Council have acted promptly to bring forward the start of weed killing operations to this week.

Contractors have been out and about this week applying weed killer.

We’ve asked for weeds and moss to be cleared from paths in the Otterwood Lane area

Weeds growing quickly in may areas now

Anyone lost a bed?

Bed found in Acomb Wood Meadow

Mattresses and other items were dumped at the entrance to Acomb Wood Meadow – near Linnet Way – a few weeks ago.

In the past, the York Council has dealt with fly tipping at this location.

No more, it seems, as they claim that Accent Housing – who own the properties on Bellwood Drive and Linnet Way – also own the snicket entry to the meadow. So its private land and not the responsibility of the Council to keep clean.

That came as news to Accent’s estate manager.

Now the Housing Association and local authority are engaged in a “not me gov” type wrangle.

The dumping is occurring on a protected area which is an important foraging ground for local wildlife. It complements the adjacent Acomb Wood.

Sadly fly tipping has been increasing since the monthly skip service stopped in York in April. Despite many promises a new programme fo skips has not been procured yet.

I’t about time all those involved got their acts together.

 

Blocked back alley causing problems for disabled scooters

Tree branches dumped from a garden renovation project at a nearby house are causing problems for residents in the Milner Street area.

The alley is used for access by local allotment holders, residents and people using disabled scooters.  Scooter access is currently blocked.

The obstructions – which have been reported to the Council – have been there since  Friday.

Cllr Andrew Waller has promised to get the alley cleared as quickly as possible.

 

York joins in first national Clean Air Day

Idle-Free Zone, Turn Engine Off Sign

The UK’s first ever National Clean Air Day (NCAD) on 15 June will see York schools, hospitals, workplaces and communities run events and inspire residents to act for their own health and the health of local children.

City of York Council is backing the day by supporting schools, staff and partners including the University of York, York Hospital Trust and also staff from Amey to take action.

Dr Ruth Purvis from the National Centre for Atmospheric Sciences at the University of York will be visiting Copmanthorpe Primary School to lead an air quality workshop. The children will find out what air is, how it moves and how it becomes polluted. They will share their learning in the school newsletter and will be encouraged to make a clean air pledge.

Cllr Andrew Waller, the council’s executive member for the environment, is been working with Westfield Primary School on clean air and how important it is for children’s health.

Air pollution increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and asthma attacks, as well as being associated with dementia. The health burden of air pollution is unnecessary and NCAD is all about giving everyone the tools and inspiration to reduce pollution now.
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