York street cleansing review next week

The York Council is due to review the success of its new street sweeping schedules at a meeting next week.

The schedules were introduced 6 months ago. They rationalised existing routes with the Council claiming that operatives would spend longer in each street but would, in some cases, visit less frequently.

The Council report claims that the number of reports (706) about cleanliness standards were similar during the 6 months of the trial compared to the 704 in the equivalent previous period.

Lack of litter bin at bus stop on Askham Lane

Various issues were raised with the Council by residents. Not least was confusion about which areas would be swept with some snickets and Council garage areas apparently omitted from the routine visit schedule.

Several before and after photographs are included with the report (above).

Our observation is that, where cul de sacs have had a thorough clean, the standards achieved have been higher. Investment in new machinery appears to have been effective.

Litter accumulation on Grange Lane snicket

However some areas continue to be a problem with tree detritus and litter drift a continuing issue

Residents in Westfield have expressed mixed views on the new schedules.

In Chapelfields 62% of respondents to our survey have rated the street cleaning service as “satisfactory”. 23% said it was “poor” and 15%  rated it as “good”

In a separate Focus survey, asked whether there was “less litter on local streets since the new cleaning rounds were introduced a couple of months ago“, 50% said there wasn’t.

There is better news on the response by the Council to litter complaints.

Those reported, via the improved on line service, usually generate a speedy response.

Complainants are also now told when an issue has been remedied.

A big step forward

 

Natural environment under pressure from fly-tippers in parts of York

Several nature areas are suffering problems with dumping and litter.

The problem is likely to get worse as the summer approaches. Not only is there no local recycling centre on the west of the City, but the regular skip visits, funded by the Council on many estates, ceased suddenly on 1st April.

These are some of the areas that we have reported recently

Foxwood park dumping

Acomb Wood Meadow dumping

Acomb Wood Meadow tree cover being eroded

Westfield Fen woodland covered in litter

Remains of a bonfire adjacent to Westfield bog

Some residents are now saying that the boundaries of nature areas should be secured – with access allowed only under supervision – at least until the areas have had a chance to regenerated.

Areas like the Foxwood Park are, however, widely used for other leisure activities and here enforcement of anti dumping laws appears to be the only way forward. The Council may install CCTV cameras to catch dumpers.  

Fly tipping fines can now be as much as £400.

The Foxwood Residents Association is starting discussions with Accent Housing which is the landlord of some of the proprieties which border the threatened areas. They will be asking for their help in funding improvements along the boundaries together with regular clean ups.

In addition it will be suggested that  skips visit the estate regularly to allow tenants to dispose of unwanted items.

Wildlife is,however, thriving on the Lowfields playing fields the boundary of which is normally secured.

Ironically this is an area that the Council hopes to develop.

 

Work starts on Acomb Wood access path

Work has stared on providing a dry access point to Acomb Wood. The work is being funded by the Westfield Ward Committee

Earlier in the winter residents resorted to duckboards to maintain the public right of way access from Hawkshead Close to Acomb Wood

Some of the trees in the Council owned section of the wood are showing signs of their age. More proactive maintenance is required

But the bluebells are out providing a unique backdrop in the spring sunshine

Howling dogs’ owners fined £1,000

A couple of dog owners who pleaded guilty for the noise nuisance their dogs created, were yesterday (12 April) given fines totaling £1,039 by York Magistrates Court.

A couple of dog owners who pleaded guilty for the noise nuisance their dogs created, were yesterday (12 April) given fines totaling £1,039 by York Magistrates Court.

Wilfred Weston and Audrey Weston both of Burton Green, York were each issued with a noise abatement notice in 2012 because of their dogs’ howling and barking at their address.

Both Mr and Mrs Weston were each ordered to pay a £138.00 fine, £30 court surcharge and £351.85 costs each.
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Call for action on fly tipping

Cllr Sheena Jackson has reported dumping problems

Local Cllr Sheena Jackson has called for action as more dumping has taken place this week.

One vehicle targeted a public litter bin which was filled with domestic rubbish before a black sack was also dumped next to it.

The problem is likely to get worse if the Council don’t act quickly to restore the regular skip visit service which ended in March.

The Foxwood Residents Association has polled residents on their local budget priorities. The results of the consultation will be discussed at their AGM next week (19th April).

Continuation of the skip service will be a high priority according to residents responses.

 

York Council criticised for slow response to fly tipping reports on Foxwood park

….as £50,000 a year expenditure on other parks announced

Fly tipping in Foxwood Park

More fly tipping

Cllr Sheena Jackson has criticised the Council for failing to clear up fly tipping on the Foxwood Park.

The tipping was reported nearly 3 months ago.

Sheena says she received an email from CYC “confirming it was agreed to be cleared it but it is still there”.

This was disappointing news for the volunteers who work hard to make sure that the park is kept clean.

There has been an outstanding display of daffodils this year and work has been undertaken to reduced ponding at the entrance gates to the field. A set of goal posts are expected to be erected on the field later in the year.

Good display of daffodils in Foxwood Park this year. Most were planted by volunteers

Sheena and the team have been cleaning up the park again this week

One issue being reported are potholes in the surface of the grassed area. It is a particular difficulty for partially sighted users.

 

Meanwhile the Council has announced that it will spend £50,000 a year supporting volunteers working in other parks in the City.

A report outlining proposals to “harness the expertise of community groups, provide volunteering opportunities and improve York’s green spaces” will be considered by the executive member for culture, leisure and tourism on 18 April.

The report sets out proposals to allocate £50,000 per annum funding to community projects at five parks in the city. “The proposals follow a wide ranging consultation by York CVS on behalf of the council”.

York CVS engaged with local stakeholders to discover the community needs and the best way for these needs to be fulfilled by local groups through the Growing Green Spaces scheme.

The funding has been specifically aimed towards five sites in the city. Proposals for each site were received by York CVS and have been recommended for approval including:

  • · Rowntree Park – this bid is lead by the Friends of Rowntree Park along with partners. They want to increase their care of the existing shrub / herbaceous borders and develop new garden features which will widen the appeal of the park
  • · West Bank Park – The project will be undertaken by the Blueberry Academy Gardening Team, which provides valuable work experience for trainees largely aged 18 to 24 with learning difficulties.  The proposal is to create a sensory garden in the park which will become an ongoing long term base from which the academy can operate.
  • · Glen Gardens – A bid by Therapeutic Art and Play Therapy Yorkshire with the support of the Friends of Glen Gardens and Refuge Action York. The project will see the group take over an existing shrub / herbaceous border meaning it will no longer need council care.
  • · Hull Road Park – A bid by The Conservation Volunteers will see weekly supported sessions with volunteers undertaking a range of horticultural and non horticultural tasks.
  • · Clarance Gardens – This project will utilise the same approach and source of volunteers as the Hull Road Park scheme.  The programme will focus on continuing the recent work in the Gardens which has seen the brightening up of the shrub beds with new planting.These changes will improve the visual impact of the gardens, be better for wildlife and reduce long term maintenance obligations.
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