Rowntrees promise environmental uplift over next couple of weeks

JRHT have responded to complaints about vandalism and litter in the Teal Drive play area.

They are considering whether the children’s slide can be repaired. It may have to be removed. The playground is likely to be closed in the interim.

Residents had complained about the amount of little in the park.

Elsewhere in the estate the hedge which lies between Wenham Road and the Foxwood Park will be cut down shortly (it blocks an access path) and leaf detritus will be swept up.

Wenham Road hedge will be lopped and leaves swept up

The slide in the playground has been vandalised and may have to be removed.

Litter is a constant problem on the playground

 

Lowfields – Residents produce newsletter

Local residents have published a newsletter which highlights emerging issues in the Lowfields area. The initiative comes after Council officials admitted that inadequate notice had been given of a “drop in” meeting that they held at the library last week.

There are several planning applications for the Lowfields site which are due to be considered over the next few weeks. Residents are being urged to make their views known.

There is scope to provide proper off street hard hard standing at the flats on little Green lane

The snicket link on little Tudor Road has not been swept regularly

There is concern about the impact of anti social behaviour in the area when the snicket linking little Tudor Road to Dijon Avenue is reopened.

Residents have also suggested that while plant is in the area, improved off street parking should be provided for those tenants living in flats next to the snicket.

Elsewhere there is pressure for alternative parking bays to be provided before the new access to the Lowfields site is constructed near number 106. Several off street parking spaces will be lost when the new road is constructed.

There is still no firm news on when the much promised, but never delivered, additional parking bays will be provided on Dijon Avenue. It appears that the Council has abandoned a plans to site them near the Green Lane junction.

Lowfields Residents Action Group newsletter Feb 2019

Lowfields Residents Action Group newsletter Feb 2019

 

 

Contractors jumping gun as Newbury Ave development starts before parking bay completed?

Building contractors have moved  onto the Newbury Avenue building site before a promised parking bay has been brought into use. The contract is worth £730,000 and will see 5 bungalows built on the site.

The Council had originally insisted that the 4 space bay be provided before work started on demolishing the garages. They later hurriedly changed the condition to say the bays must be provided before construction work started.

The intention was that the bays would provide some relief for local residents forced to park “on street” when  20 or so vehicles are displaced from the garages.

That hasn’t happened and work has only just started on the bays.

Official’s had blamed a slow response from a utility company that had been asked to move one of its boxes.

Sadly the other parking bays promised for the beleaguered estate have also not  been provided.

Local Councillors had allocated funding from their delegated estate improvement and ward committee budgets. They surveyed residents opinions on suitable sites a couple of months ago and received the thumbs up for locations near Beverley Court and Kempton Close.

But no feedback on the plans  has subsequently been given to residents.

With only 6 weeks until the end of the financial year, there is now doubt whether the Windsor Garth and Danesfort Avenue spaces will actually be provided.

Newbury Avenue building contractor now on site

Parking lay-by work not yet competed.

Work starts on providing additional parking spaces in Foxwood

At long last, work has started on providing additional parking spaces in the Spurr Court area.

However there is still no news on the other half a dozen lay-by schemes that are outstanding in the Thoresby Road, Dijon Avenue, Windsor Garth, Askham Lane  and Chapelfields areas.

The Council really should keep residents up to date with the progress being made.

High winds bring renewed calls for better tree maintenance

Large, unbalanced, trees need to be checked for safety

At least  one large tree has been blown over by the high winds today. It is reported to be blocking a road near Elvington.

The  incident has produced a renewed call for the Council to lop some of its older highway trees.

Tree detritus has been falling on passers by in Wetherby Road

Residents in streets like Wetherby Road and (little) Green Lane have previously called on the Council to lop – or maybe pollard – overgrown trees. They have had little response.

Trees in Wetherby Road were shedding small branches yesterday.

Some trees in Ridgeway have been pruned this week

Contractors were undertaking minor works nearby in Ridgeway but larger trees were being left.

In due course high sided vehicles are likely to impact overgrowing branches.

Trees on Parliament Street have been pollarded

The council has pollarded trees on Parliament Street. They will grown back quickly, but to a scale in line with the function of the street.

Some ward committees have allocated funds for lopping work but non of it appears to have been spent to reduce the hazards caused by large,old trees.

Any work must be competed before the start of the bird nesting season.

More on Lowfield plans – public “drop in” tomorrow

The Council says that it will hold a public “drop in” at Acomb Explore Library between 4:30pm and 7:00pm tomorrow (Thursday 7th February) to react to criticisms of its plans to start work on the Lowfields school development later in the month.

The scheduled work involves felling trees and removing hard surfaces.

Some residents commenting on the “Save Lowfield Playing Field” Facebook page say that they have not received notification of the event. Others say that a limited hours, mid-week, event prevents shift workers from attending

The letters that the Council say that they have delivered are reproduced below.

The plan to schedule tree felling works during February is surprising as the planning condition covering this work has not yet been approved.

Residents have until the middle of the month to record their objections with the expectation that local Councillors will “call in” the proposal for consideration by a planning committee. Details of the planning conditions application can be found via this link.  

Objections should be sent by Email to planning.comments@york.gov.uk quoting ref AOD/19/00001

Residents have commented that there are a lot of questions to be answered about the site preparation work, which is scheduled to be completed by May.

These include

  • working hours,
  • noise,
  • access routes for heavy lorries and
  • contractor parking arrangements.

The Action Group says that it expects the findings of an Ombudsman’s enquiry into allegations, that the Council misled residents and Sport England over their plans, is due to be published this week.

The Action Group may also be giving evidence to the Local Plan public inquiry which is due to start shortly

Trees to be felled shown in red

Housing by type and tenure

Empty Council garages still a problem in west York?

The Foxwood Residents Association recently used the Freedom of Information legislation to find out how many empty Council owned garages were available in the neighbourhood.

It turns out that the number was relatively small.

The Council says that it has a waiting list at most blocks.

However, the Council doesn’t routinely keep an up to date list of vacancies posted on its social media channels.

We think that is a mistake.

An empty garage brings in no revenue for the Authority while the chances of a void garage being vandalised are high.

We think that it may be time to outsource the management of this asset.

A contractor could be targeted to ensure that all garages are kept in use and that they are maintained to a high standard.

It might also help to reduce parking congestion on some roads in the City!

Time for a post festive clean up in Westfield

We’ve been out and about checking and reporting on public service standards in the Westfield area over the last few days. Perhaps not surprisingly litter and dumping are the major issues.

Dumped artificial Christmas trees in Thoresby Road garage area

Full litter bin Dickson Park

Full litter bin Cornlands Road

Tithe Close snicket badly littered

Dumping next to Foxwood Lane bus stop reported by Andrew Waller

Graffiti at Ridgeway bus stop reported by Andrew Waller

Litter at Foxwood Lane bus stop (shops) later cleared up by local residents

Aspden cleared but everyone now counting the cost

Cllr Aspden (left) with Cllr Carr who was the Council Leader when the allegations were made. Cllr Carr summarily sacked Keith Aspden from his Executive role.

A York Council “standards board” committee has found that allegations against Cllr Keith Aspden have not been proven. The case centred around a claim that job application papers had been circulated prior to a discussion with third parties in a York pub in 2016.

The committee took over 10 hours to sift through evidence before throwing out the claims.

The committee did however, rightly, say that job applications should not be discussed with third parties and ordered that additional training be given to those involved in job interviews.

The decision ends a 2-year investigation which was instigated by a “whistle-blower” who had himself been sacked by the Council. The claims were first raised some 2 years after the alleged events had taken place.

The investigation is believed to have cost the Authority around £100,000.

The cost to Cllr Aspden, in legal fees and loss of earnings, is thought to be around £20,000.

Attention is now likely to turn to the possibility of compensation.

Two other related cases, involving different Councillors, now need to be resolved quickly.

The Council faces some difficult budget choices in a few weeks time. This case has been an unwelcome and costly distraction

Windsor Garth parking lay-by location options revealed

Local Councillor Andrew Waller is consulting local residents about the new proposals to install additional parking lay-bys on Windsor Garth.

Cllr Andrew Waller

The options are the latest in a series of plans which are aimed at reducing congestion on the narrow roads in the Kingsway/Hob Moor estate.

Several other options have been discounted either for practical reasons or because they did not represent value for money.

Residents had their  say in response to a survey conducted a year ago. Subsequently a plan to provide a lay-by outside the flats on Newbury Avenue ran into delays caused by difficulties in relocating telecoms cabinets. That plan is now expected to be implemented in the spring.

The need for better parking has become even more urgent with the Council having decided to redevelop the Windsor House/Lincoln Court area on Ascot Way. The published plans for the new buildings do not include sufficient “on site” parking space according to many residents.

The Westfield Ward delegated budget includes funding to provide up to 11 additional spaces during the current financial year. Potential locations near Kempton Close and Beverley Court have now been identified. (see plan below)

Residents have a choice of implementing option 2 or 3 this year.

Option 6 will be done as well unless there are strong objections from local residents. .

It is likely that the spaces will use matrix surfacing. This allows grass to grow though the matrix providing a “natural” appearance while also allowing “soak away” drainage.

Any work must be completed before the end of March.

Parking lay-by options in Windsor Garth area January 2019