Lowfields misery continues

The Lowfield Action Group Facebook page makes it clear that residents have major concerns about the current development works in the area.

There are continuing complaints about noise, dust and working hours extending beyond those approved in the planning permission.

Communications from the Council have been minimal although another exhibition is promised prior to the main contractor starting on site. The current contractor is only undertaking clearance and layout works.

One piece of good news is that work on providing an additional 3 parking spaces on Tudor Road is due to start next week.

The Council latest planning application, which should have been determined by the end of April, it is still outstanding.

There is still no sign of a planning application for the Care Home much less the health centre and “police station”, not that they were ever likely to materialise anyway.

“Yorspace” are apparently still trying to raise funds for their “communal living” scheme while the Councils decision to sell them land at a discounted rate may yet prove to have been illegal.

Hopefully the new Council will be able to find someone competent and sensitive to local residents views when they decide who will lead on housing and planning matters for the next 4 years.

Certainly communication and supervisory systems need major improvements.

Foxwood woman fined for dog offence

Two women sentenced following noise complaints against dogs

Two dog owners in York were ordered to pay a total of £2421.74 by York Magistrates on 7 May after failing to comply with the conditions of a noise abatement notice.

Lesley Smith (aged 62 of Hinton Avenue, Foxwood, York) received multiple complaints from neighbours in 2016 following continuous disturbances from her four dogs in the early hours of the morning.

Ms Smith’s dogs were also left outside for up to two hours on an evening, causing further noise disturbance to the neighbours despite numerous warnings, an abatement notice and a caution being issued.

City of York Council Neighbourhood Enforcement Officers carried out surveillance of a property belonging to Samantha Flower (aged 42 of Lincoln Street, Leeman Road, York), after they received multiple complaints from neighbours in 2017.

Council officers employed noise monitoring equipment and noted over 15 barks in one minute after 11pm during a visit to Miss Flower’s property in February 2019.

Appearing at York Magistrates on 7 May, Miss Flower pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the conditions of a noise abatement notice and was fined £120, ordered to pay costs of £100 as well as a surcharge of £30.

Ms Smith pleaded guilty by post to failing to comply with the conditions of a noise abatement notice and was fined £450, ordered to pay costs of £1676.94 as well as a surcharge of £45.

York river bank needs a tidy up

With the City economy now so dependent on visitors the Council and its partners needs to up its game and give some public areas a face-lift.

Graffiti on Scarborough Bridge
Flood barrier work and graffiti next the Ouse. One of the first things rail travellers see as they enter the City
Missing fencing on Dam Judy Dench Walk – reported several weeks ago – still hasn’t been repaired
while the Lendal Bridge steps need a coat of paint.
Hopefully any investment in public service standards in the City centre won’t be at the expense of the suburbs. Here graffiti and detritus blight Kingsway North
Hopefully the Council will persuade more businesses to “adopt” roundabouts in the City.

£2 million contracts let to remedy damp Council homes in York

 Contracts have been let to ENGI Regeneration Ltd and G Sanders Builder Ltd

The contract is to carry out remedial works to CYC housing stock that has been identified as having major structural damp problems.

Rising damp

The works will include remediation of the structural damp, and will, in most of the properties also require a new kitchen, bathroom and electrical installation.

Sundry additional works will also be required.

The anticipated spend with these two contracts over the initial two year period of the contract is £1169k plus additional spend on void properties of approximately £800k over two years.

The two contractors above being awarded based on a combination of quality and price scores.

The Council says this is an ongoing programme to resolve significant issues in properties. They go on to confirm that the contract with the previous contractor was not extended due to a failure to deliver the agreed programme.

The suspension of the tenants choice modernisation programme was a source of friction between the tow coalition partners during the last administration.

Standing water has been an issue in a limited number https://stevegalloway.mycouncillor.org.uk/2019/04/11/water-under-homes/ of properties. However those suffering from structural dampness problems are relatively small in number.

Some good news, some not so..

Work has started on the long awaited parking lay-by on Bramham Avenue
Unfortunately Bramham Avenue is one of those streets where footpaths are now badly worn
The litter on the Dijon Avenue garage block has been removed

However some dumping remains
The Acomb car park area was cleared of litter and fly tipping following our complaints at the weekend. Unfortunately more fly tipping has now appeared.
We’ve asked for weeds on Gale Lane to be treated
and for gutters to be hand swept
Biggest disappointment is the failure by the Council to respond to reports of littering on snickets. The problem on Tithe Close has been outstanding for a couple of weeks now

Other Thoresby Road snickets also have a lot of litter.

No way to treat a nature reserve

The wooded area next to the Grange Lane park is littered with rubbish again. The area is home to a wide selection of wildlife. It should be treated with more respect.

Ironically the park itself – often the source of complaints about litter in the past – is reasonably tidy at present.

We are now coming up to the second anniversary of our request to the Council to repaint the goals posts on the Westfield Park.

The Council is seemingly keen to encourage healthy living. The least it could do is keep sports facilitates in good condition

Westfield park

Report those puddles!

Residents are being urged to report any accumulation of surface water to the York Council.

Today’s heavy rain has meant that several roads and footpaths are impeded by large puddles.

In some cases these may be the result of blocked gulleys

In other cases the cause may be a poorly aligned carriageway.

Either way, the Council needs to add any vulnerable locations to its future maintenance programmes.

Reports can be made on line via the “Report it” system. Click to accesshttps://www.york.gov.uk/reportproblems

Some City centre carriageways have been affected

Sort out sub urban bus shelters plea

Bus passengers in York are calling on the Council to review its bus shelter policies for suburban areas.

A lot of money has been spent on the bus stops on the York City centre in recent years. Hundreds of thousands more will be spent as the area outside the station is remodelled.

but there has been little progress made in providing “next bus due” real time information on most of the network. Even busy routes with inter -urban services like Tadcaster Road lack passenger information (and shelter)

Mobile device systems have been developed but they are not user friendly and often revert to providing just when the timetabled service should arrive.

In Leeds, bus arrival time signs are integrated into shelters.

Some bus shelters are redundant following changes to bus routes which took place several years ago. The shelter below on Tudor Road is an example. The local number 4 service only serves the opposite side of the road on its clockwise route round Acomb. Now all the shelter does is attract anti social behaviour

As a consequence there is a large amount of litter on the near by verge while ponding on the adjacent footpath has never been properly addressed.

Litter next to Tudor Road bus shelter

It is an issue that the various public transport pressure groups in the City have failed to get to grips with.

Spy cameras at Woodthorpe shops? Drivers face £100 fine?

Notices have appeared warning motorists that they face a £100 fine if they use the shoppers car park at Woodthorpe shops for longer than 2 hours. The notices say that ANPR (spy) cameras will be used to enforce the new restrictions.

Woodthorpe shops

We can understand that the owners of the car park which is privately owned may wish to discourage commuter and overnight parking. They have, after all, to pick up the bill for repairs and maintenance. Spaces are intended to be used by shoppers and those visiting the dentist and doctors surgery.

Maintenance standards on the surface of the shopping area and adjacent parking areas does need to be improved. Fortunately, following voluntary efforts, the amount of litter and weeds has been reduced while the flower beds are much tidier.

Camera enforcement seems a little over the top if they are to be used routinely. The last thing that the local community would want to see is more “on street” parking on busy local roads .

NB. There are also concerns about the future of the Post Office which is located in one of the shops.

Time to tackle the potholes

When the list of streets which will be resurfaced this year was published a few weeks ago, it prompted disappointment in many areas.

For example the Herman Walk access road to Spurr Court had been scheduled to be resurfaced 4 years ago, but mysteriously disappeared for the programme before work could start. The carriageway has now almost worn away with the base layer increasingly vulnerable to ice damage.

Carriageway near Spurr Court breaking up

Not surprisingly other roads in the same area – which were laid at the same time – are also showing signs of wear and tear. Resurfacing now would avoid more expensive repairs in later years. (NB. The Council was allocated additional monies to cover carriageway repairs earlier in the year)

Potholes on the Foxwood estate are getting bigger each week

Highway defects represent a particular hazard for cyclists. We’ve reported several over the last few days that require prompt attention. The last systematic programme of cycle margin resurfacing works in York took place over 10 years ago.

Howe Street needs resurfacing

…as does Lowfields Drive

Some concrete surfaces are now breaking up. Heavy vehicles, accessing sites on Windsor Garth, are wrecking the Kingsway West highway. This is likely to get worse as work commences on the Ascot Way redevelopment plan

Concrete bays on Kingsway West are fractured
A resurfacing programme for back lanes is also required.