Rowntrees promise early action
87% of residents, responding to the survey that we took in the area a few weeks ago, said that they would like to see the Woodlands play area off Bellhouse Way reopened at least during day light hours at weekends.
10% were undecided on the issue with only 3% opposing the proposal
The equipment has been unavailable for several months now because of health and safety fears.
However many residents have pointed out that young children trying to climb the 2 metre high railings, which surround the play area, are probably at greater risk
The Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust has now responded to the local Residents Association promising that – following some minor works – the area will be reopened within a couple of weeks.
Elsewhere in the Woodlands estate, survey respondents were critical of the mowing arrangements for verges. They had been left uncut for so long that, after cutting, the area resembled a hayfield.
A site meeting to discuss the problem has taken place.
The Trust also plan to do some maintenance work on their shrub beds.
The weather is only partly responsible for problems with weed growth, hedges blocking footpaths and excessive verge cuttings
Grass cut by Council contractors but hedge left
The Council was very late in awarding its maintenance contractor for elderly and disabled tenants this year and the contractors have found it impossible to catch up.
Drains blocked by weeds and detritus
The Councils Highways Inspectors seem to have been less effective this year in chasing up residents who allow their hedges or trees to block public footpaths.
Weeds growing everywhere in Acomb
But perhaps the biggest eyesore is weed growth. In parts of Acomb nettles and thistles are now over a foot high and are clearly damaging footpaths and roads.
Overgrown hedges blocking street signs
We understand that a contract has just been awarded by the Council for the application of weed killer but it is likely to be at least a couple of weeks before all areas are treated (and longer again before the weeds die away)
Overgrown hedges blocking footpaths
Labour run York Council has confirmed that it has reduced by nearly half the number of times that drainage gulleys are cleaned in the City.
In 2010/11, the last year of Liberal Democrat control of the council, there were 38,000 gulley cleans.
In 2013/14, after cuts by Labour in 2012, this was reduced to 20,664.
The reduction has been blamed for increasing problems with so-called ponding and minor flooding on some local streets.
Labour has cut the budget for gulley cleaning by £100,000 or 40% since coming to power, and reduced frontline staff.
The Council has confirmed that it has reduced by nearly half the number of times that drainage gulleys are cleaned in the City.
There were approximately 20664 cleans last year compared to 38000 when the LibDems were in control of the Council.
The cuts are blamed by residents for increasing problems with ponding and flooding in some local streets.
Barbican development site June 2014
The next Council meeting is likely to debate why a start on building work, on the derelict site next to the Barbican, has been delayed.
Planning permission for a 165 bedroomed hotel was granted in January 2012 with the aim being to provide facilities which would complement the use of the adjacent Barbican auditorium as a conference centre.
Property firm Broadhall was granted permission to build a Hilton Garden Inn on the land. The development was expected to bring at least 200 additional jobs to the City.
Plans to erect nearly 200 flats on another part of the vacant site were submitted last year
A recent major conference held at the Barbican centre was criticised for lack of “break out” space.
Now the site – which used to accommodate a swimming pool – has been derelict for 2 years with gaps in the hoardings affecting the view from the City Walls and blighting one of he key routes around the City.
Walmgate Bar June 2014
The Council has also been criticised for not starting a permanent repair on nearby Walmgate Bar.
The Bar was shored up following a collision four years ago.
Two years ago the media reported that a start on refurbishment work was imminent.
With the City having a “showcase” opportunity provided by the Tour de France event next month, many had expected the Council to act on unsightly buildings and sites.
Ouse Bridge York June 2014
The Labour Leadership of the York Council has come under attack from visitors and residents alike for neglecting the appearance of the City.
In the City centre, tourists have pointed to Ouse Bridge where weeds are now overgrowing the parapet.
The bridge stonework has deteriorated while failure to control algae and moss growth could lead to major repair costs in a few months time.
No historical evidence of horticulture on Ouse Bridge
The bridge is one of the most used by pedestrians in the City with many visitors photographing the river and banks from it.
Nor is the situation better in the sub-urban areas with some side streets in Acomb covered in foot high weeds.
The Council revealed recently in a response to a Freedom of Information enquiry that it gives a contractor £70,000 a year to control weed growth on local highways and footpaths
NB. The Council recently spent £490,000 repaving Kings Square
Weeds in Beaconsfield Street in Acomb June 2014