Only 8 fines levied for dog fouling in York during last 3 years

The latest figures published on the Councils open data web site say that only 8 fixed penalty tickets have been issued for dog fouling since April 2015.

No penalty notices have been issued at all since June last year.

Similarly, no Community Protection Notices (see right) for dog fouling have been issued since 2015

The York Council receives around 2000 requests for action each year on cleansing issues which includes dog fouling. It no longer publishes the number of complaints it receives about full poop scoop bins but it used to be around 20 a month..

A contract was let in April for the replacement of ageing “poop scoop” bins in the City.

Several campaigns have been run to highlight the risks associated with dog fouling. These included, in some areas like Foxwood, displaying eye catching posters while in others local residents highlighted “poop” on footpaths with spray markers.

Whether the problem has got better, or worse over recent months is difficult to assess.

Issues can be traced back to 2012 when the, then Labour controlled, Council scrapped the “dog warden” service. At the same time, they reduced the number of litter and dog bins in the City.

City of York Council; When things go wrong

There have been some strange goings on at the Council over the last few days.

First up we reported yesterday that there was something seriously amiss with the “planning on line” web site..

Some residents routinely use the site to check what planning applications have been made for the area in which they live. We do so routinely for the west of York  and report applications on this site.

There was something unusual about the list of applications which the Council claimed to have validated for the Westfield ward during the week commencing 7th May. Closer examination revealed that the list include applications that had not only been validated months – and in one case 3 years – ago, but all had actually already been approved.

In most cases the planning permission had been implemented.

So a computer glitch?

Yet 24 hours later the incorrect information is still on line.

York Council planning web site 13th May 2018

Equally worrying is the way in which decisions, delegated to officials, are reported in an opaque manner on the Council web site.

Today we are told of a “Decision for provision of the Ways to Wellbeing service is already approved through the Better Care Fund decision making process which is on an Executive Member level”

What? We have no idea what the Council is trying to tell us?

On some occasions the Council seems to be trying to be more open.

It reports today that it has decided what grants to make from an “improving lives” financial advice campaign. Over £166,000  is being handed out to local organisations with Citizens Advice getting the lions share.

But in listing the awards, the Council inevitably prompts  more questions; not least “What are taxpayers actually buying for this money?”

At the very least  the expected outcomes for the expenditure should be listed, together with a summary of the monitoring process that the Council will use to determine whether it has received value for its investment.

 

Acomb War Memorial restoration faces competition from Scarcroft School

The York Civic Trust has announced a “peoples vote” which will decide which of 5 City Enhancement projects will get the “go ahead”.

Generally we think that involving people in making choices like this is a good thing. However we had been led to understand that the York Civic Trust had already agreed to lead on the restoration of the Acomb War Memorial.

It appears not, as it is one of 5 schemes now competing for “peoples” votes.

Thus doubt has been cast on a scheme which it was intended should be completed by the November anniversary of the end of World War One. A local group (WW1 Acomb) had been set up to lead on local commemoration activities but had stood down from the War Memorial project when the Civic Trust said that they had adopted it. 

The five schemes competing for votes, which vary wildly in cost, are:

  • Acomb Green: Conservation and repairs to the War Memorial
  • Monk Bar: Reinstatement of portcullis to working order
  • Monk Bar: Conservation of Ice House
  • Museum Street Water Fountain:
  • Scarcroft School: Reinstatement of timber finial posts to bell tower

More details can be found here http://yorkcivictrust.co.uk/home/city-enhancement-2/peoples-choice-award/

The vote closes at 5:00pm, 25th June 2018

We think that the City Enhancement Programme is one of the best initiatives that has taken place in the City in recent years.  However the organisers perhaps need to reflect on the need to make decisions in a timely way and to encourage participation from all parts of the City.

Newbury Avenue development – planning recommendations published

Inadequate of street parking in Windsor Garth

Anger as parking problems not addressed by York Council officials

Council officials are recommending that plans to build on the garage site on Newbury Avenue are given the go ahead.

The issue will be discussed at a planning sub committee meeting taking place on 3rd May.

On the previous day (10:15am Wednesday 2nd May), Councillors will be visiting the site. They will no doubt be able to see the parking problems which already exist in the area.

Residents may attend both meetings and can register to speak at the committee meeting. To do so residents should telephone York 551088 before 5:00pm on 2nd May.

Grassed areas have already been damaged by vehicles and plant

The officers report is negligent in at least one way. Objectors have pointed out that the loss of 28 garages – and with them an equivalent number of off street parking spaces – will have a major impact on congestion and parking problems on the estate.

The report offers no response to this concern.

There are already problems when large vehicles and buses try to access the narrow roads. The problems have got worse since the Council stopped new lettings at the garages while the overspill from the Hob Stone development has also hit the Windsor Garth area.

Now the Council is also threatening to redevelop the Windsor House site on Ascot Way. Again it has given little thought to the parking problems that will emerge both during building works, and afterwards.

It could mean that major building works will take place within the next year at both sites at the same time – a recipe for transport chaos with the only available access to the estate being the relatively narrow route  from Kingsway West.

Grass damaged by parked vehicles

Some objectors to the Newbury Avenue plan have demanded that alternative off street parking spaces be provided before demolition starts. They have pointed to several sites where the provision of matrix protection on grassed areas would provide an option while retaining the green appearance of the estate.

Currently an increasing number of vehicles are being parked on these grassed areas anyway – resulting during periods of  wet weather in unsightly damage which is expensive to repair.

NB. Efforts are being made to form a new Hob Moor Residents Association in the area. The residents group will focus on opposing the Councils plans for the estate and will seek additional investment to address existing problems.

The old Kingsway Area Residents Association (KARA) was disbanded about 5 years ago.