Residents newsletter reveals history of brick making on Foxwood Lane

The Foxwood Residents Associartion is delivering a “Fox” newsletter to every househod in the area.

It includes an interesting article on he history of brick making on land now called Chesney’s Field. The article reveals that several buildings in Acomb used bricks from the works. Many are still standing.

Brick making started in 1880 and continued well into the 20th century.

The area was leveled 30 years ago and is currently well used by sports teams and for children’s play.

(1) Foxwood Residents Association – Posts | Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/FoxwoodResidentsAssociation/posts/4802031839823394

We understand that chidren from Hob Moor school are planning to “adopt” part of Chesney’s Field and help to keep it clean

We hope that the Council will improve its grass cutting performance.. It is not just parts of Chesney’s field which are becoming overgrown. The sports pitches, in particular, need regular mowing if they are to be used by young people during the summer holidays.

Community Stadium car parking confusion

Better Leisure web site

It seems that, despite all the delays, the position for those wanting to park at the new Community Stadium car park remains confused

Although “Better Leisure” tell drivers on their web site to buy a match day ticket in advance from either the Knights or (later in the summer) York City FC, there appears to be no on-line purchase option currently available. This could lead to unnecessary parking in nearby residential areas although many will no doubt restrict their stay to the 2 hour maximum currently enforced across the site.

Any issues need to be sorted out quickly now. Not everyone is yet comfortable with using public transport while car parking income from the 400 allocated match day spaces, is needed to help balance the books on the hugely expensive project.

New bus shelter arrives in Ascot Way

Good to see that the replacement bus shelter in Ascot Way has finally arrived. It was supposed to be available from the autumn when the adjacent building works were completed. Looks very tidy.

The actual bus stop has not yet been moved back to its original location and is still located round the corner.

Disappointing to see that the Ashford Place street sign has not been realigned. It continues to point to part of Windsor Garth. It was reported for attention over 2 months ago. Similarly potholes on Ashford Place itself – also reported some time ago – have still not been marked up for attention.

Foxwood Community Centre wildflower garden

Better news in Foxwood where volunteers have planted up wildflowers as part of a campaign to help pollinators (bees etc.). Good display now outside the community centre and in part of the Foxwood park.

Time to get to grips with local issues

The easing of lockdown restrictions offers the Council an opportunity to try to restore public service standards at least to the level seen in previous, pre-pandemic, years.

Some services are under particular pressure with potholes taking far too long to fill in.

Potholes in Ashford Place, reported several months ago, have still not been filled

Similarly estate management standards have fallen. At this time of year a regular checks needs to be made to ensure that roads and paths are not blocked and that access road surfaces are kept clear of moss and detritus.

Access roads need to be kept free of obstructions

One of the reasons for the decline may be the failure of the Council to fill three of its Housing Management posts. These are the posts that manage individual Council housing estates. They are very much the public face of the Council in their local neighbourhoods.

At least one of the posts has been vacant since last year.

Yet it does not appear among the 57 job vacancies currently being advertised by the Council, none of which are in the housing department. City of York Council Jobs (click)

Simon Daubeney clean up at Foxwood shops

Lack of budget cannot be an excuse for inaction . The housing account makes a surplus of several million pounds each year.

Elsewhere, local Councillor Simon Daubeney undertook a welcome clean up at the Foxwood shops on Saturday.

He will have found and reported the overturned salt bin.

The area has been subject recently to increased levels of vandalism.

The residents association have suspended maintenance of the planters following damage to the plants.

A Great British Spring Clean litter pick is scheduled to take place on Saturday 12th June.

Meet at 10:30am at the Foxwood Community Centre.

The walk round will last for about an hour.

Pothole blight

It is disappointing to see that some potholes – many deep enough to pose a hazard for cyclists – are not being filled in quickly by the Council.

Residents were told that an additional pothole filling team would reduce the time taken to deal with this issue, but apparently this isn’t the case.

We hope that the Council is on top of seasonal issues with path side nettles and thorn bushes. These are a hazard for pedestrians. They need to be treated before they obstruct public footpaths

Report those issues!

Now that more people are out and about more, its is important that any issues with public service standards are reported to the Council.

The authority offers a 24/7 on-line reporting service

Report problems online – City of York Council (click)

Most routine issues like those below should receive attention within a few days. If not, we recommend that you ask your local Councillors to pursue them.

Highways repairs – Ward plans published

One of the positive actions taken by the present Council was its decision to delegate to local Ward Councillors a budget to be spent repairing local roads and footpaths.

The Councils main repairs budget – which is inadequate to maintain standards – is focused on the busiest highways.

Some sub-urban roads haven’t been resurfaced for over 60 years.

Against that background, local Councillors have found it increasingly difficult to justify to local residents the growing number of potholes and ruts often found on local roads.

In 2019, they were given a modest “pot” which could be used to address the worst of the complaints.

It has taken a long time for the programme to get going, but now a series of “decisions” on how the funding will be spent are finding their way on to the Councils web site.

It has to be said that the process is largely impenetrable with no central schemes list being updated (and viewable by residents).

The latest list of proposals covers several wards. The investment decisions are likely to be of more interest to local taxpayers than many more high profile issues which seem to exercise the Councils media relations team.

In Westfield, the local Councillors have opted to allocated £20,000 towards the repair of back lanes in the Beaconsfield Street, Milner Street and Gladstone Street area.

They are right to do so.

A resurfacing programme, which was started some 20 years ago, stalled leaving the lanes very uneven and with a patchwork appearance. The lanes are mostly paved with traditional setts. These are very hard wearing but hugely expensive to relay.

We suspect that the available budget will allow only the worst of the uneven stretches of lane to be resurfaced probably using a bitmac overlay.

One other consequence is likely to be that the poor condition of the main highways in the area will become more apparent. School Street has been a particular embarrassment for some years.

Hopefully more funding will be found for the resurfacing of minor roads in future years.

Seasonal issues on the rise

The end of lockdown and the start of the growing season means that some problems become more apparent.

Generally, our estates have been cleaner over the last few months.

But over the last few days litter volumes have increased. In a few days, the annual residents “spring clean” campaign will start, but we hope that residents will make it easier to keep areas tidy by securing any rubbish that they put out for collection.

The warm and wet weather will see rapid growth on grassed areas while hedges and trees will see a similar change.

It is much easier to keep these trimmed back from public footpaths – where they can pose a particular hazard for the partially sighted – if that are maintained on a regular basis.

Footpaths can become obstructed quite quickly during the growing season

Council is being hypocritical over tree planting plans

The York Council is urging residents to plant at least one additional tree in their garden, allotment “or park”.

Well, last autumn – following consultation with the Council – volunteers did just that in Dickson park in the Foxwood area.

Dickson Park

Four months later, a Council early morning “hit squad” arrived and chopped down eight of the trees.

The local residents association is up in arms over the action.

They point out, in a formal complaint to the Council (to which there has, so far, been no response), that two of the trees that were removed had been memorialised as a mark of respect to relatives who had passed.

Residents are asking for the two trees to be reinstated immediately with the other six to be replaced following further consultation on siting, species etc.

Rather too much posturing going on in parts of the York Council these days we think!

The Council’s media release reads.

“York’s Tree Canopy to expand for next 30 years.

City of York Council’s Climate Change Policy and Scrutiny Committee have proposed to expand York’s tree canopy to achieve 13% coverage by 2050, approximately increasing tree population by 10,000/year.

A report will be taken to a Decision Session for the Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change on 5 May 2021. It proposes to Increase York’s tree cover from the current 10.76% of total area to13% (national average) by 2050, as the council creates a greener, cleaner city for its residents and visitors.

This expansion will be around 22-27 hectares each year which equates to an area of over 30 football pitches. Alternatively, the city would be well on its way to reaching this expansion target if every household in York which had space, either in a garden, allotment or park, planted just one tree.

The target would result in more carbon dioxide (CO2) being removed from the atmosphere and stored in the trees. This absorbing of the harmful pollutant across the city is equivalent to around 1% of the regions total CO2 emissions between 2020-2050.

Achieving 21 hectares of tree planting every year in York would result in the annual removal of 1-2% of the estimated regional emissions in 2038, after most of our carbon-neutral initiatives have been implemented. This would increase to remove 8-15% of remaining emissions in 2050.

This initiative forms one of the many priorities which will contribute to the city’s Climate Change Strategy which will be published this Autumn, and is one of the many tactics being implemented to achieve city-wide carbon neutrality by 2030.

Cllr Paula Widdowson, Executive Member for Climate Change said;

“To become a carbon neutral city we need to make the most of every tool at our disposal and I’m pleased to see that the expansion of our city’s Tree Canopy will help us catch up to the national average and contribute to our goal to make our city’s carbon emissions net-zero by 2030.

“The ever changing landscape of York offers us the opportunity to reduce the CO2 in our atmosphere as well as to create a healthier and happier environment that we can all enjoy. Increasing the biodiversity of our city is a key priority in our response to the Climate Emergency and this also contributes to our management of flood risks, use of public space and creation of green jobs across the city.”

As a member of the White Rose Forest Partnership, a local authority joint venture hosted by Kirklees Council, City of York Council is working to:

  • increase tree coverage across York
  • improve access to green space for citizens
  • enhance wildlife habitats and biodiversity
  • address climate change through carbon sequestration (or absorption) “

Council struggling with refuse collection

It looks like the Council is struggling to provide a reliable waste collection service again.

Their web site reveals multiple failures this week. One of the reasons given is vehicle unreliability with an aging fleet partly to blame. Such a shame that replacement vehicles were not ordered on time.

Garden waste collection unreliable this week