After many representations by residents, supported by local Councillors, the little Green Lane garage area forecourt and access road has been resurfaced.
The area now looks quite tidy, although it will be important to ensure that there is no more fly tipping and that undergrowth is cut back from the boundaries.
Good job done though.
With the major parties now being well on their way to selecting candidates for the 15th February Holgate by election, local voters may well be asking “can we do better than the present lot?”
One test of a good local Councillor is how sensitive they are to local opinion and how proactive they are in leading and supporting local campaigns. In Holgate there have been several major issues over the last couple of years which prove a clue to the answer.
York central access route
The preferred access route of the York Central development was decided in 2007. The link would be from Water Lane and would have the advantage of providing a “by pass” for the Leeman Road area. It had the advantage of avoiding the busy Poppleton Road communities. In 2013, the local Councillor James Alexander brokered a deal which saw the council buy land for a route which passed close to Cleveland Street (Chancery Rise) . This route was approved by the Labour Executive with two, of the Holgate Wards three Councillors, supporting it. It wasn’t until the Council leadership changed in 2015 that the plan was reviewed. Opposition to the Chancery Rise option was led almost entirely by residents. No Leadership was provided by Holgate councillors. The Chancery Rise option has now been dropped.
Severus nature reserve
More recently, a planning application to develop land between Lindsey Avenue and the Water Tower (Severus SRE) was submitted by Yorkshire Housing. The opposition to the proposals was led entirely by residents. 159 letters of objection were tabled at the Planning committee meeting held on 16th November. Many objected to the loss of a natural nature reserve. Only one Holgate Councillor attended the Planning committee meeting although the application was refused.
West Bank Park
An active voluntary group now helps to sustain the West Bank Park. To address anti-social behaviour issues, they have used “crowd funding” arrangements to secure the park at night. Crime concerns peaked last year when the park lodge was set on fire. It remains as a monument to ineffective policing in the area. There is no evidence that local Councillors have prioritised addressing the issue, although they did authorise a Ward Committee* donation of £2000 to the gate locking project
Carlton Tavern planning application
An application to demolish the Carlton Tavern Pub attracted widespread concern. Opposition was led entirely by residents. Only one Holgate Councillor recorded an objection to the plan when a report was presented to the planning committee in December. The demolition proposal was refused although an appeal against the decision is expected.
Closure of Acomb Police Station
Two years ago, North Yorkshire Police announced that they intended to close the Police station on Acomb Road. The plan might see an alternative depot established in Lowfields. However, the present site provides a high-profile hub for community safety activities plus good access to the whole of west York. The Holgate ward Councillors have failed to oppose the closure plan.
The Holgate area is fortunate in having many active voluntary groups. The Holgate Windmill Preservation Society is an inspiration for many while – against the odds – the Poppleton Road Memorial Hall continues to be sustained entirely by volunteers.
Whether these, and other, local groups get the support they deserve is open to question.
We will try to answer that question next week.
*NB. Most of the delegated Holgate Ward Committee budget for 2017 remains unused.
One of the mistakes that some organisations make is believing that ignoring complaints will make issues go away.
That rarely works. Instead the organisations image is dented and the credibility of the management structure is brought into question.
That seems to be happening wit the City of York Council at present.
They have three tier process for handling complaints. If a resident is not satisfied with a response to a first complaint then a second stage can be invoked. This escalates the issue for consideration by a senior manager.
If this doesn’t work then, in theory at least, you can then escalate the matter to the Chief Executive.
Well you could, if the Council reads your complaint in the first place and acknowledges that they have received it.
For the last few months that doesn’t seem to have been happening.
Those emailing the complaints team at email@example.com will have been lucky not to have been ignored. Requests for a “delivered” or “read” electronic receipt produce nothing.
The Councils IT department confirms that the Emails are being delivered. The only explanation can be that the complaints section has “downed tools”?
Oh and try the complaints telephone number quoted on the Council’s web site and you will get – you guessed – and answering machine!
There is a similar lack of response on the, recently announced, consultation address for the Low Poppleton Lane bus lane firstname.lastname@example.org
So the Council risks an adverse Ombudsman enquiry – with all that implies in terms of handling costs – simply because it took the metaphorical “phone off the hook”!
The Council has issued a statement today (Tuesday) saying,
“We have been so busy today collecting all the festive waste that we were unable to collect the recycling from the following streets:
- Askham Grove
- Robinson Drive
- Acomb Green
- Askham Lane (from Askham Grove to Foxwood Lane)
- Yearsley Crescent
- Ashville Street
- Oakville Street
- Park Grove (from alley end of Eldon Street)
If you are affected please put your rubbish out by 7am tomorrow and we will return and collect. Apologies for any inconvenience this has caused”.
Residents are being urged to use the network of recycling banks across the City.
The plea comes after street collections fell behind scheduled last week.
The Council reported that very large amounts of, post festive season, waste were being presented for collection.
You can follow York waste collections on Twitter @CYCWaste
Their Facebook page can be found at City of York Council Waste Services
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue are reporting that a fire was started deliberately on St Stephens Road this morning.
According to the Service the attack involved a “wheelie bin on fire against the external doors of a 2 storey block of flats.
Resulted in fire damage to wheelie bin, slight fire damage to doors and light smoke damage to entrance foyer.
The cause is deliberate”
Chance to comment on plans to reduce outer ring road congestion
Residents and businesses have until Friday 2 February to comment on designs to upgrade the outer ring road’s Wetherby Road roundabout – one of seven roundabouts on A1237 and part of a £38m programme of improvements set for the next four years.
The roundabout upgrades will mean more lanes and space on the approaches and exits, and improvements for pedestrians and cyclists. “Where possible” the road layouts will be designed to accommodate a potential future scheme to bring the outer ring road up to dual carriageway standard.
The Wetherby Road roundabout improvement works are planned for early Summer in 2018, although some site clearance work could start earlier.
Plans can be viewed online at www.york.gov.uk/yorr, at the council’s West Offices on Station Rise, YO1 6GA, or at two special public exhibitions at Acomb Explore Library on Front Street, YO24 3BZ on Thursday 18 January and Monday 22 January from 3-7pm
All comments will be reviewed and changes to the design made where possible. The decision on the final layout will be taken at a public Executive Member for Transport and Planning Decision Session meeting in March 2018.
The news comes as West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Investment Committee met to discuss the project and approve the progress of the £3.6m first phase of roundabout improvements earlier this week. Full programme funding is coming through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s West Yorkshire plus Transport Fund, and the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1bn package of government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.
The Council web site says