Quiet in York centre this Christmas Eve …. so far

It’s been a quiet start to Christmas Eve. Morning storms appear to have passed by now, leaving a  lot of surface water on roads and footpaths where drains are blocked. There are particular problems on Mount Vale, under the Leeman Road railway bridges and on Carr Lane.

Only a few people have ventured into the City centre and there are car parking spaces available in most car parks. They may however fill up quickly this afternoon as public transport begins to wind down.

The St Nicholas fair is now closed although the Shambles Market is doing some brisk business.

There is a lot of tree detritus and fallen leaves on the paths so care is required.


Shambles (Newgate) market is open

The St Nicholas Fair has ended

The St Nicholas Fair has ended

Slippery leaves pose a threat for unwary pedestrians and cyclists

Slippery leaves pose a threat for unwary pedestrians and cyclists

Innovative forms of transport may be needed later today

Innovative forms of transport may be needed later today






No immediate flooding fears in York despite heavy rain

York river level guages remain within normal limits despite recent heavy rain.

You can check river levels at the following web site http://www.gaugemap.co.uk/#!Map

Click to access river level guages

Click to access river level guages

Meanwhile the Environment Agency have confirmed details of the flood prevention project exhibitions that they plan for the City.

The exhibitions will take place on Friday and Saturday


Five year action plan to reduce flood risk in York

Residents get only one weeks notice of new exhibition

York flood 2012The Environment Agency has announced a new five-year action plan to better protect the City of York against flooding. It provides more details of how physical flood barriers will be improved following the announcement last March of a £45 million budget for the work

The Environment Agency’s plans emerged only today – just one week before a two-day exhibition of the proposals takes place.

The plans have not been published “on line” yet

The exhibition will take place at Hotel 53 in Piccadilly, York, between 12 and 7pm on Friday November 25 and from 10am until 5pm on Saturday November 26.

No implementation timetable for the improvements has been released but it could be a decade before all work has been completed.

Sources at the York Council criticised the Agency for failing to agree a coordinated communications plan for the proposals which sets out options to reduce the risk of flooding to 2,000 properties across 10 York communities.

The schemes would affect

  • Clifton/RawcliffeLatest 0917 27th Dec 2015 copy
  • Holgate Beck
  • Poppleton
  • Foss
  • City Centre
  • Osbaldwick & Tang Hall Beck
  • Clementhorpe
  • Fulford and Germany beck
  • Bishopthorpe
  • Naburn and Acaster Malbis

The plan looks at a range of potential flood reduction measures including the creation of storage areas, increasing pumping capacity, raising and building new walls, raising land and building embankments.

Following the devastating floods of Boxing Day 2015 which affected over 600 properties in York, the Government committed £45 million to reduce flood risk and increase resilience to at least 2,000 properties at risk and keep the city open for business during major floods.

The agency stresses that its proposals are not final, and will need to win public support, be technically feasible and affordable.

It wants to know what residents think at its exhibition next week.

Earlier in the week, delays in presenting an independent inquiry report into the 2015 floods attracted criticism

York Flood Inquiry verdict not expected until next year

Floods cost City £3.3 million

Floods cost City £3.3 million

It seems that over 12 months will have elapsed between the Boxing Day 2015 flooding crisis in York and the earliest date that changes to flood response practices in the City could be implemented.

The Council now says that its Executive will not consider the report of an independent floods inquiry until 26th January 2017.

The Inquiry was set up last Spring by the Council with a budget of £50,000. It was expected to deliver an early verdict on the performance of the authorities in dealing with the floods which devastated many parts of the City which lay near the Foss.

The performance of the Council itself on the 26th and 27th December was subject to criticism, with communications and relief work largely in the hands of the emergency services and volunteers on those days. There was no useful advice on the Councils web site at that time although information was updated later.

Nearly 12 months after the floods some businesses are only now reopening.

In the interim the Environment Agency have fitted powerful new pumps at the Foss Barrier while work to protect Leeman Road has been finished. Some local watercourses like the Tang Hall Beck have been cleared of debris by volunteers.

But large areas of the City remain vulnerable if a combination of melting snow and falling rain causes the Ouse to break its banks.

The York Disaster Fund – established to deal with emergencies of this nature – was also ineffective in the first week of the crisis and even now has only distributed around half of the £1.3 million raised by donations.

The Independent Inquiry has been taking evidence from the public over the last couple of months.

It’s membership – a Barrister and two water industry professionals – has been criticised for lacking local authority/emergency planning expertise.

So, what they will conclude is anyone’s guess.

However clearly when flooding does occur – as it will – the City needs to be quicker and more professional in its response

We can only hope that there are no major floods in the city before February at the earliest!

Concerned residents can find more information by clicking these links:

Flood risk – how likely are you to be affected?

The Environment Agency has updated its on line maps which show flood risks across the country.

In the west of York – away from the rivers and becks – there is generally a low flood risk. However surface water, which hasn’t been able to drain away, can still be a problem

Click on the map below to see how you home might be affected.

click to visit site

click to visit site

That was the week that was: west York in pictures

Out and about taking action during the week ending 27th August 2016

Cllr Sheena Jackson has asked for a mattress dumped in Hatfield Walk to be removed and has reported dog fouling problems on Walker Drive

BT kiodk in Kingsway West looking shabby

BT kiosk in Kingsway West looking shabby

We've asked for the gutters in the cul de sacs in Kingsway West to be deep cleaned

We’ve asked for the gutters in the cul de sacs in Kingsway West to be deep cleaned

Problems with day burning lights and inoperative door entry systems have been reported

Problems with day burning lights and inoperative door entry systems have been reported

& the Acomb Market in now open!

& the Acomb Market in now open!

A report earlier in the week blamed localised flooding on blocked or damaged gullies Please make sure that you report for cleaning any that you find in your local area

Blocked gully on Gale Lane recently reported by us

Blocked gully on Gale Lane recently reported by us

We report all issues using https://www.fixmystreet.com/

York Council underspent its budget by £876,000 (1%) last year

Floods cost City £3.3 million

Despite big overspends on Children’s Services (foster care, adoption and pay) higher than expected refuse collection costs and lower parking income (£233,000) the potential deficit was offset by savings on debt charges as a result of capital investment projects slipping.

Floods cost City £3.3 million

Floods cost City £3.3 million

A report to tomorrows Council Executive meeting reveals that the controversial decision to collect “co-mingled” recycling had added £200,000 to processing costs. Last year the Council claimed that dumping recycling materials into one lorry compartment would not affect budgets. It now says the additional processing cost is £70/tonne

Central government is bearing most of the costs of the floods although the Council has allocated £50,000 to be spent by “Make it York” on a publicity campaign while the costs of the post flood public inquiry are set at another £50,000.

The report also revealed that the Council still has £676,000 in the account set up to repay those wrongly fined for using Lendal Bridge and Coppergate during the ill-fated “spy camera” trial.

Council set to make £600,000 "profit" from unlawful fines levied on Lendal Bridge

Council set to make £600,000 “profit” from unlawful fines levied on Lendal Bridge

£1,226m was been reclaimed by drivers before the deadline for applications passed.  It remains to be seen what the Council will do with this money (although it must be spent on transport related projects)

The Executive is planning to put some of the surplus into a recycling fund, some into a scheme to appoint visitor welcome staff (“ambassadors”), some into support work to help low achievers at school and some into holding additional “job fairs”.

The rest will be put into reserves.

It is surprising that the continuing problems with street public services (blocked drains, weed chocked gullies, overgrown trees/hedges, potholed roads and footpaths) are not being addressed by using some of the surplus.

Blocked gulley – Report it

Ponding on Foxwood Hill reported thsi wekend by Cllr Sheena Jackson

Ponding on Foxwood Hill reported this weekend by Cllr Sheena Jackson

There have been some complaints about blocked drainage gullies over the last few days. Heavy rain has highlighted several issues.

While some blocked drains are historical and will need a lot of time and money to remedy (some have had concrete or heavy oil poured into them), others simply need a visit from the cleaner.

York Council cleansing performance

York Council cleansing performance

In many wards Councillors routinely inspect gullies for evidence of blockages but it really needs all residents to keep an eye on those nearest their homes.

Blocked drains can be reported for attention using https://www.fixmystreet.com/

The then Labour controlled Council in 2013 decided to reduce the frequency of  gulley cleaning. Click here for details