Acomb Toilet closed again

Acomb toilet closed again

Acomb toilet closed again

The public convenience in Acomb has been closed again

Once again no explanation for the closure, or estimated time when the facility will reopen, has been posted by the Council.

Roof repairs were expected to be undertaken during September but there is no sign of active work retaking place on the site this week.

The Council was criticised in the spring for closing the facility without making available a portaloo or an update on the scale and timetable for the modernisation work.

The Council should not only post a notice on the building explaining what is going on, but also update its web site with details and brief the local media.




Ouse bridge weeds in rude good health

Ouse bridge weeds 25th September 2014

Ouse bridge weeds 25th September 2014

Almost 4 months after the weed growth on Ouse Bridge was first reported to the Council they continue to thrive.

The Council agreed in the summer to ensure that they were treated with weed killer but – if the process ever took place – it has proved to be ineffective.

Great shame as the bridge is well used by both residents and tourists and the undergrowth is a poor advert for the City centre.

Hopefully the Council will act before the structural integrity of the bridge is compromised.

We now understand that they are to try to pull the weeds by hand


Andrew Waller takes action to deal with footpath hazard

Andrew Waller tackles hedge

Andrew Waller tackles hedge

BEFORE - Hedge blocking Askham Lane

BEFORE – Hedge blocking Askham Lane

AFTER - bus shelter revealed

AFTER – bus shelter revealed


The bush blocking the Askham Lane footpath has been cut back by Andrew Waller and a team of volunteers.

The path had been blocked by the overgrown hedge for a couple of weeks forcing pedestrians to walk in the road.

The bush also potentially could have damaged passing vehicles.

The overgrown hedge has been reported to the Council several times during the summer with passengers, waiting in the shelter, complaining that they could not see buses approaching

The hedge still needs cutting back further with specialist equipment and we hope that the Council will do that and treat the nettles – which make access to the shelter difficult for elderly people – as quickly as possible.

Labour planning new household waste site charges

Reliable sources in West Offices have confirmed that Labour intend to impose new charges – for non recyclable rubbish -taken to sites like Hazel Court.

Bed dumped in field off Askham Lane

Bed dumped in field off Askham Lane

At the moment residents can take items to the “tip” free of charge.

The proposed charge – unlikely to be admitted by Labour until the Westfield by election is out of the way – follow on from the closure of the Beckfield Lane household waste recycling site and an 13% increase in the cost of having up to 10 bulky items removed by the Council.

Bulky waste removal now costs £36.75p

Second green waste bins are now charged for and Labour are understood to be on the on the brink of introducing charges for emptying all green bins

The consequences of these misguided polices are clear to see with fly tipping an increasing problem across the City (see photo)

Dog fouling problems continue in York but……

…..York council only issues 3 penalty notices during last 3 years.dog_warden

Residents responding to our door to door survey told us that they were concerned about the amount of dog fouling in their area.

Overall 35% of respondents said it was an issue in their street.

Now a Freedom of information request has revealed that very little is being done by the Council to enforce dog fouling laws. The number of dog fouling fixed penalty notices issued have been:

2009 – 2010 2 issued

2010 – 2011 0 issued

2011 – 2012 0 issued

2012 – 2013 1 issued

2013 – 2014 2 issued


This seems very low to us.

There is a case for bringing back the dedicated dog warden service.


York Council urged to come clean on Green waste charges

Andrew and Green bin

Westfield Liberal Democrat campaigner Andrew Waller is demanding that Labour-led City of York Council comes clean on whether it plans to introduce charges for green waste collections.

He has sought an assurance that ruling Labour councillors have no plans to introduce a charge covering all green bin collections. At present, residents are charged £35 annually for the collection of a second green bin.

Local Liberal Democrats have highlighted a fall in recycling rates, which has been linked to the scrapping of green waste collections between November and March, and the closure of the well-used Beckfield Lane recycling centre. The tip’s closure in 2012 was ordered by Westfield Labour councillor Dafydd Williams when he was the Cabinet member for Environment.

Andrew Waller commented:

“Local residents are rightly angry that the council spent £13,000 on leaflets and stickers telling them that green bin collections are free, when we already knew that because it’s what we pay our council tax for. It would be an outrage if Labour were to now perform a u-turn and introduce charges for all green bin collection.

“Many people I have met in recent months are fed up with the green bin collections stopping before the leaves fall, especially now that they don’t have the option of going to Beckfield Lane tip. People who swept up leaves in public areas were doing the council and public a service by dealing with them before they became a slip hazard – but now their green bins are full from the end of October until March.

“I am concerned that any new charge brought in would lead to a further increase in fly-tipping, which of course costs money to clean up.

“People will not put up with any more decisions being made behind closed doors and so I am challenging James Alexander’s Cabinet to rule it out now. They have taken a service which was part of York’s strength as a green city, and trashed it.”

Hob Moor nature reserve being dug up

Farmer forced to remove cattle from nature reserveOLS and sewer connection (2)

Work is taking place on Hob Moor to install a new drain. The system will serve the new development on the former Our Lady’s school site.

It is understood that the work has forced a farmer to remove his cattle from the moor.

The development has always been unpopular with many as it was almost twice the size originally envisaged.

In addition the impact on traffic in the area is expected to be significant with many fearing that lack of parking space could cripple the estate. Already narrow roads like Ashford Place and Ascot Way are bearing the brunt of  noise and vibration. from construction traffic.

However concerns about the Hob Moor nature reserve have been ignored by the Labour dominated planning committee when the developer has come back with several requests for modifications to their plans.

We understand that concerns have been raised with English Nature

Inadequate drainage in the area was one concern which led to a significant change to the site height about a month ago


York Council to investigate failings of weed treatment contractors

Weeds 1 York Council 0

Dijon Avenue garage area choked with weeds

Dijon Avenue garage area choked with weeds

The York Council has now acknowledged that weed control in the City in general – and Acomb in particular – has been inadequate this summer.

They are even suggesting that the contractor who was supposed to treat the weed growth may not have been doing the job correctly.

This will come as no surprise to residents with weeds in some streets now over 3 feet tall.

One of the biggest problem areas are the  forecourts of rented garages,

Andrew Waller points out some dumping which he reported on Saturday in the little Green Lane garage area

Andrew Waller points out some dumping which he reported on Saturday in the little Green Lane garage area

which have been badly neglected by the Housing Department.

It is not just weed growth, damaged perimeter fences and poor surfaces that plague the garage areas, many are subject to dumping.

Time, we think, for the Housing Department to invest some of its £12.7 million surplus in raising standards in our estates.

Dozens of streets in York have collapsed drains

Extent of repair backlog in York revealedKWW junction Windsor Garth 1

At least 55 streets in York have gulleys which are permanently blocked. The blockages mean that heavy rain is likely to result in extensive ponding and in some cases flooding.

The Council has responded to a Freedom of information request and revealed the list of streets which will be “dug out” this year. (see below)

The Council claims only to have 6 outstanding complaints about long term blocked drains.

However it has received 459 complaints about blocked drains during the last 18 months taking an average of 5.5 days to have the gulleys emptied.

The Council has been criticised for stopping the routine cleaning of most gulleys in the City. Instead they now respond only to complaints.

Heavy rain last month resulted in considerable flooding on highways and footpaths cross the City. It seems that many of the problem areas may not have yet  been added to the Councils list of outstanding work.

The list of locations receiving significant engineering attention this year include:

  1. Ten Thorn Lane
  2. Back Lane
  3. Shipton Road (inside outer Ring Road)
  4. A1237
  5. School Lane
  6. Wetherby Road
  7. Field Lane
  8. Windsor Drive
  9. Hull Road
  10. York Road
  11. Bishopthorpe Road
  12. Wigginton Road
  13. Top Lane
  14. A1237 (Millfield roundabout)
  15. Wetherby Road
  16. Main Street
  17. Weldrake Lane
  18. Karelia and Ashdale Crossing
  19. Long Lane, Heslington
  20. Vicarage Lane
  21. Cow Moor Bridge
  22. The Village, Stockton on Forest
  23. The Village, Strensall
  24. Cleveland Way
  25. Bad Bargain Lane
  26. Moor Lane
  27. Lords Moor Lane
  28. Naburn Lane
  29. Elvington Lane
  30. Grantham Drive
  31. Welland Rise
  32. Beckfield Lane
  33. A1237, Rawcliffe
  34. Hurricane Way
  35. Sitwell Grove
  36. Huntington Road
  37. Front Street
  38. Bishopthorpe Road
  39. Haxby Road
  40. Gray Street
  41. Dauby Lane
  42. School Lane
  43. Malton Road
  44. Shipton Road
  45. Sheriff Hutton Road
  46. Strensall Road
  47. Mill Lane
  48. Corner Close