Flooding report – February 2020 wettest on record

£4.9 million cost for pumping station to protect Fordlands Road area.

It cost the City of York council £180,000 to respond to and recover from the floods which took place in the City in February.  This was the wettest February on record, with the most flood warnings issued in any one day across England. Rainfall fell on already saturated ground increasing the impacts.

The Council will consider a report on the problem at a meeting next week.

There is some debate about the apparently conflicting advice issued by local agencies and the information included on government river gauge web sites.

Generally flood defences held well although there were issues in the Fulford/Fordlands Road/Germany Beck area. A separate report on flood prevention plans for that area can be read by clicking here.

The preferred option would include the construction of a £4.9 million pumping station. If funding for the project can be found the work could start on construction next summer.

The meeting will also consider the latest Environment Agency report on its flood prevention works programme

Environment Agency Work Programme 2020

Managing waste storage

Much of the litter we see around the area can be traced to poor storage arrangements. These commercial bins in back Front Street were overloaded to point when rubbish was likely to be blown around the area.
Little Green Lane garage area looking overgrown and neglected again

On a more positive note, we were pleased to see that the Ashbourn Place gate access to the Foxwood Park has been repaired, following action by local Councillor Stephen Fenton

Foxwood park gates
We’ve reported again the weeds growing on footpaths in the Dijon Avenue/Kir Crescent area. The weed treatment programme this summer has been better than happened last year, but some locations have been missed.
Also disappointing to see that the Severus Street back lane is subject to dumping and overgrowth.
Meanwhile thanks to the efforts of parishioners and volunteers most of the St Stephens churchyard continues to provide an oasis of calm in the heart of Acomb village. The Roseday Avenue end is difficult to keep tidy in the fast growing conditions which we are currently experiencing. No doubt the church would appreciate having more volunteers.

Authorities concerned about welfare of teenagers

It appears that two teenagers were overcome with fatigue earlier today.

After polishing off a snack on the bench in Foxwood Park they were overcome with exhaustion. This meant that they were unable to deposit their litter in a bin which was only 2 metres away.

Police are looking for two youngsters with no arms and only minimal use of their legs.

A passerby later cleared the rubbish.

York getting a little busier?

Few more on Spurriergate today
Museum Gardens – with social distancing well organised by Museum staff – was popular today
Marygate car park close to capacity today apart from the completely useless coned off area. Not being used by anyone for social distancing. Meanwhile, at the other end of the Scarborough bridge cycle link to the station, cyclists wanting access the exit towards Holgate Road, have to dismount and walk through the congested portico or bus stop areas.
Cycle parking still poor in York. These were chained to railings today. They had enforcement notices attached but, given the large sums of taxpayers money being thrown at some peoples idea of “sustainable transport”, installing a few extra parking frames (Sheffield stands) wouldn’t be amiss.
The York Council offices are still closed. The gates are padlocked. Given the new government advice about “getting back to work” there should now be a road-map leading to the reopening of services where customers need personal contact.
No information, forward plans or meeting agendas on Council, noticeboards. This one, outside West Offices, simply says that meetings are cancelled “until 30th May”.
No noticeboards at all now outside the Guildhall. Although the building itself is closed for refurbishment, the noticeboards, previously displayed there, provided an easy, accessible location where residents could read about what the Council planned to consider. (Very few people routinely walk past the small noticeboard outside West Offices)

Footpath obstructed

Such a shame that the York Council seems once again to have taken its eye off the ball. While endlessly agonising about – and focusing expenditure on – pedestrian activities in the City centre, the suburbs remain neglected.

One public footpath on the A59 near Poppleton is now blocked by overhanging branches. The same stretch had a similar problem last year. Pedestrians are forced to walk on what can be a busy carriageway. Makes a nonsence of “social distancing”

Nearby by weeds are growing in the gutters on the road and in the underpass at the junction with the A1237.

The council doesn’t seem to have an inspection regime in place which identifies issues (even those that reoccur regularly) before they become an inconvenience to residents.

Footpath impeded near Poppleton
Weeds in gutters on A59
Weed growth on underpass

Are you being served?

Annual list of York Councillor enquiries published

The number of issues raised through official York Council recording systems has been published in response to a Freedom of Information request.

The list gives an indication of the amount of “on the streets” work being undertaken by individual Councillors. The total number of issues raised was slightly up on the previous year.

The Councillors toward the bottom of the list will no doubt be quick to point out that there are other channels available for remedying problems.

That maybe so.

We think that Councillors should make a particular effort to provide an annual report to their constituents. Some already do via social media. Members of the public can view their representatives web sites, Facebook pages and twitter streams to find out more.

At least one Councillor provides an update each week to parish Councils in his area and there are other examples of best practice around.

Generally we would expect that a Councillor would make a weekly inspection of public service standards in their area and then ensure that any issues are resolved quickly.

NB. Councillors also attend meetings (fewer during lock-down). Attendances are recorded and can be viewed on the Council website.

That was the week that was in west York in pictures

Several suburban shopping streets need a tidy up. We asked for bins at Foxwood to be emptied but the Council now needs to provide more support for businesses that “soldiered on” during lock-down providing lifeline services for some.
Still too much graffiti on utility boxes in the area. Two more reported in the Dijon Avenue area this week
Rain and wind have brought detritus down blocking some drainage channels. We’ve asked for those in Kingsthorpe to be swept.
The footpath at the high numbered end of Tudor Road has been levelled. It had been damaged by tree roots. We expect that the problem will reoccur
However the nearby footpath on Tudor Road is still blocked by overrunning Yorkshire Water works

A major problem across the whole of the City are rapidly growing weeds. The Councils contractors have been seen out spraying but they will have been hampered by wet weather.

As a result many back lanes, footpaths, snickets and cycle paths are now obstructed.

This can be a hazard particularly for the partially sighted.

Hopefully residents, who see an issue near their home or business, will deal with it themselves.

Weed growth and other issues can be reported 24/7 via the Council web site ” click “Report it”

Most often knocked over traffic bollard? Fastest growing thistles?

Is this the most frequently damaged mini roundabout keep left sign. Located at the junction of Askham Lane and Ridgeway, no sooner is it repaired and another large vehicle – or careless driver- knocks it over again. York Council needs to come up with a better solution.
Thistles are now partly blocking the cycle path at Knapton. Not sure whether this is on the York Council weed killing programme? It should be. It would be a shame to lose this, increasingly well used, cycle link to Rufforth for lack of maintenance.
It would be a shame if the York Council was to be allowed to continue to neglect the Front Street area. More must be invested in improving maintenance standards. However, there are now new opportunities for regeneration. The Councils decision to (effectively) evict disabled drivers (blue badge holders) from the City centre could prompt the reopening of Front Street, for this category of motorists, on at least a couple of days each week. They would then be free to park nearer the shops (disabled parking spaces are currently limited). Cyclists would also benefit. “Social distancing” is made easier because of the shop forecourts. Add in some music/entertainment, street stalls and a high profile marketing campaign and the area could soon be buzzing again. .