Council election manifestos compared

3. Environment

A rare outbreak of unanimity on the 4 parties environment policies. All promise to make York “carbon neutral” by 2030. The temptation to break ranks and go for a 2029 date must have been strong.

Most are keen on clean air zones but, like the carbon commitment, are very light on what this would actually mean for residents as they go about their daily lives. The key opportunity to declare the York Central “teardrop” site a ultra low emission zone seems to have passed all the parties by.

The LibDems seem to have ditched their commitment to the introduction of a “salvage and reuse” facility with only the Greens offering a “reuse shop”

All parties commit to fortnightly bin emptying. None are specific on how recycling rates might be increased. (Central government is mandating separate food waste collections)

Surface water drainage problems are only mentioned in passing although the Tories promise an “annual gully cleaning schedule”

Great Foxwood Spring Clean makes progress

…but more people need to heed the “Keep Britain Tidy” message

4 volunteers from the Foxwood Residents Association collected 8 bags of rubbish from the Thanet Road Sports Area today. While some could be put down to “litter drift” many of the items had clearly simply been carelessly discarded. These included dozens of cans and bottles.

These sorts of clean ups shouldn’t be necessary. There are several litter bins in the area. Its time for the Council to be more proactive in enforcing anti littering laws. Residents were promised that mobile CCTV cameras would be deployed to litter hot-spots but this hasn’t happened.

Only 5 individuals across the whole city were issued with fixed penalty notices for littering last year

Volunteers have clean up the area near the Thanet Road cycle track

There is also too much fly-tipping of garden waste on amenity areas. The Council needs to get to grips with this while fitting more vandal resistant street furniture.

Dumped garden waste
Need metal railings in vulnerable areas

Water under homes

York Council finally produces the figures

Over a year ago The Press published an article in which one of the City’s MPs criticised the Council for the backlog of work needed to reduce the amount of ponding under its properties.

We wondered at the time whether the figures quoted (200 affected homes) were the whole story.

 It seems not.

It has taken months of correspondence to get the facts including the scale of involvement by local MPs.

So, what is now clear?

At the time of the article there were 200 outstanding complaints about water ponding under Council houses.  A programme of work had been initiated in 2016 by the new coalition administration to deal with the issue. The previous Labour run Council didn’t have a programme of remedial works nor did they monitor complaints.

Tenants reported 9 instances of standing water problems in the 12 months ending March 2018.

It seems that local MPs were reporting about 2 ponding issues a year. They reported more issues with condensation (and overcrowding) but these were not connected to the standing water issue.

The number of properties affected by damp had fallen from 466 in 2013 to 176 by the end of March 2018.

We can conclude therefore that the Council does now have a programme aimed at dealing with standing water under homes. About 45 homes a year are having remedial works undertaken.

There are likely to be more properties with water standing in the foundations, at some times of the year,  but the occupiers may not be aware of the issue

The number of Council homes suffering from dampness has reduced significantly.

NB. Our FOI request for details of Councillor complaints about standing water was turned down on cost grounds (the Council don’t have a customer relationship management system which allows this information to be found easily)

Plenty of issues for Council candidates to get their teeth into

The new Scarborough Bridge cycle and footpath is due to open next week. Several of the paths linking to the bridge require resurfacing
Many other roads need to be resurfaced including Lady Road near Clifton School
The cycle path on The Mount is in particularly poor condition
Damaged fencing on Dame Judy Dench Walk near the “Inn in the City”
Corroded steps leading up to Lendal Bridge need a coat of paint

Great British Spring Clean completed on Chesneys Field

Foxwood Project grassed area edging completed

Foxwood Residents Association volunteers today cleared Chesney’s Field on Foxwood Lane. They came across a dumped bike and also there been some fly tipping in the boundary hedge area.

Contractors working for the Association have also finished verge edging work around the area. Further work is planned for next winter.

Grassed areas have been tidied up
Paths now clear of grass
Acomb Wood looking very attractive today as spring takes hold
A dozen Foxwood Residents Association volunteers today completed the clean up of Chesney’s Field. Part of the Great British Spring Clean. 10 bags of rubbish were removed.
Chesney’s Field spotless for a while at least

Vandalism and litter disappointment

Newly installed fencing between the Acorn field and Wains Road has been vandalised.
Ditto fencing protecting a (closed) snicket on Foxwood Lane.
Bags dumped next to recycling bins on Acomb Wood Drive
Litter at the Foxwood shops this morning. There is a bin only a few yards away
The telephone kiosk has been repaired. Unfortunately fly posters have now appeared.

All issue will be reported. We expect to have some good news to report later this afternoon!

Great British Spring Clean success in Foxwood and Woodthorpe

Volunteers have been busy over the weekend with both the Foxwood and Woodthorpe shopping area forecourts have been cleared of weeds and detritus. Makes a big difference.

Foxwood Residents Association members helped clean up the Foxwood shops area on Saturday
Woodthorpe shopping area also looking good following the efforts of volunteers.