As we reported last week, the Council has been slow to deal with a hazard presented by an overgrown rose bush on the Tedder Road park. Its thorn branches have been overhanging a footpath at eye height for several weeks.
Cllr. Sheena Jackson has now taken direct action herself over the weekend and cut back the dangerous branches . We hope that the Council will soon trim the rest of the bush.
While in the park, Sheena took the opportunity to sweep up the leaf fall in the well used snicket which links Otterwood Lane and the Tedder Road park. The Council has been asked to clear broken glass from several locations in the area.
Residents are reminded that the current cycle is the last for emptying green bins (garden waste – including leaves) until April.
Costs have been revealed concerning the Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) bid to take over responsibilities for overseeing the Fire Service in North Yorkshire.
It has been revealed that Julia Mulligan has spent £141,437.50 on consultants in order to put her business case together, exceeding her budget by over £12,000 in the process. The revelations come after Councillors on the Police and Crime Panel were issued with a last minute briefing paper from the PCCs office.
Cllr Ashley Mason, Vice Chair of the Panel and Liberal Democrat Councillor for Dringhouses and Woodthorpe, initially queried the costs earlier in the year, but was informed the details were commercially sensitive.
Cllr Ashley Mason said:
“I was astonished to learn how much the PCC had spent on this takeover bid. I was even more surprised to see that these costs are solely for the external consultants and marketers. The costs do not include the large amount of staff time her office put into the campaign and only £88,000 can be claimed back from the Home Office.
This is totally unacceptable and the money would have been better spent in employing more control room staff to address the failings in 101 services, or on local PCSOs, with numbers reducing in York.
The Commissioner has some serious issues to tackle within the police, who have recently fallen in their rating by the Inspectorate of Constabularies’ from ‘Good’ to ‘Requires Improvement.”
The deadline for objections to the Councils “Lowfields Green” planning application has now passed.
The Action Group opposing the proposal to build on the playing field part of the site have submitted a comprehensive objection. A copy of their objection can be found via their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LowfieldsActionGroup/
Most of the representations of support for the scheme seem to be generated by the communal living project (Yorspace) although there is general support for the plans for specialist accommodation for the elderly.
None of the representations in favour of the Councils proposals come for people living near Lowfields (or indeed from the Westfield/Acomb area more generally)
The only unconditional message of support for the Council plan has been lodged by Bob Towner – a former Director of Housing at (you guessed!) the City of York Council! He says local people should use Hob Moor for recreational activities.
Further examination of the artists impressions of the proposals reveal a regimented design, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the 1960’s.
Lowfields Green – a candidate for the least imaginative architecture award?
Parking concerns remain
The latest proposals for the development of the Newbury Avenue garage site will be reported to the Councils Executive committee next week.
The new scheme involves the provision of 5 one bedroomed bungalows which will be built to a standard that allows easy wheelchair access.
The site is considered suitable for older or disabled people as it is reasonably close to the Lidl store and the number 4 bus service,
The proposal is undoubtedly better than the original plan for 9 apartments.
Later, plans for 8 bungalows were released but these proved to be too cramped.
The five bungalow specialist accommodation now proposed is unlikely to significantly increase traffic volumes in the area, one of the concerns expressed about earlier schemes
However, the report fails to address the lack of car parking space on Newbury Avenue outside the existing flats (10 -16) or in the wider Windsor Garth area.
Residents will expect that the demolition of 28 garages (most of which have deliberately been left empty by the Council over recent years) will be mitigated by the provision of more off-street parking space in the area.
In total sites for over 20 parking spaces have been identified in the neighbourhood and there is a reasonable expectation that a Section 106 agreement will fund most of these.
If the spaces are provided, then the revised Council proposal is likely to gain more widespread support
The meeting will also hear new proposals for the development of a similar garage site on Chaloners Road
Its nearly two years since the York Council changed its polices on the maintenance and management of the trees which grow on public land in the City.
At the time, the then Councillor with responsibility for the service, was told that officials had grossly under estimated the number of problems that were caused by overgrown trees and bushes in the City. He didn’t heed the warning.
Dozens of problem cases have since been reported to the Council with little response. Even when the Ward committee has responded to residents demands for action by making funding available for tree loping and replacing dead trees, progress has been ponderously slow.
Overgrown highway hedges are a problem in some locations.
In others private hedges are completely blocking public footpaths
Now we are promised a review of the policy at a meeting which will take place on 18th December. A different Councillor is now responsible for this service so hopefully some progress will be made.
The notice of the meeting says that “experience has highlighted the need to include additional policy statements on trees in formal landscapes, woodland management and Ward funding for tree care and management”. Indeed.
But trees need to be loped and bushes removed during the autumn/winter period & that time is now upon is.
Shop could close following food safety investigation
The Press are reporting that the owner of the greengrocers shop on Front Street could be banned from the food industry following a food inspection which found rats in the building.
An appalling series of photographs of the shop have been published.
“Food hygiene officer Kerry Bell told the court she found rat droppings on the shop floor and food display shelves, broken food packages and signs that rats had been eating the food inside them at Gary Michael Anderson’s greengrocers.
The shop, in the main shopping street in Acomb, York, stank and had mouldy blackberries, satsumas and bananas for sale”.
“Magistrates praised the two council departments for their work. During the investigation, the council closed the shop premises until they were properly cleaned, the waste food removed and the rats were eliminated, but allowed Anderson to sell from the pavement outside provided all stock was kept in his van overnight”.
Bench chairman Ian Nicholson said: “He persistently refused to take measures to protect customers.
“We found a flagrant disregard of the law over a protracted period. Multiple attempts were made to assist Mr Anderson, which he largely ignored.
“This is an appalling example of putting other businesses at risk, and we suspect the public too.”
They heard evidence that the rats left their traces in the upper room of a neighbouring charity shop that was used by elderly volunteers to sort through public donations.
Extensive conservation work is taking place on the Bachelor Hill amenity area this week.
Wild flowers were planted on the area a few years ago.
An section of Bachelor Hill is now managed as a wildflower grassland. The Council leaves it through the growing season to flower and set seed.
Cutting and removing the arisings takes place in late summer/autumn to maintain low nutrients (which promotes species diversity).
The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) were there today cutting and are returning tomorrow to remove the arisings.
We’ve suggested that bark or wood chippings be put down at the Askham Lane entrance to the area to ensure that access is possible in wet weather. The weeds and grass also need to be strimmed from the gate.
The similar path at the Tennent Road entrance (see below) seems to be working well.
Bark path needed at Askham Lane entrance to Bachelor Hill
Entrance to Bachelor Hill from Tennent Road
There seems to be an even greater increase in anti social behaviour problems in the City this year as “bonfire” night approaches.
We’ve reported damage to street furniture, trespass and misuse of moped during the last week.
Insecure Multi User Games Area on Kingsway West reported for the second time in 4 weeks.
A burnt out picnic table has been removed by Council. Th table was funded by contributions from local residents.
Hope for a tidy up of the little Green Lane garage area?
Not vandalism, but a dumped microwave doesn’t improve the environment