Delays on street lighting and other York Council repairs

It looks like there is a backlog developing on street lighting repairs in York. Cllr Sheena Jackson has been pressing for a lamp at the end of Foresters Walk to be repaired but has now been told that it could be as long as a fortnight  before it is working again. Officials blame an increased number of fault reports for the backlog, although an extra member of staff has been taken on.

Elsewhere recycling collections have been erratic with several instances reported where cardboard has not been collected.

The Councils web site instructions on how much cardboard can be collected at the kerb are byzantine and really could do with simplification before the peak Christmas period arrives

We were disappointed to find that a “keep left” bollard on Gale Lane – reported 5 weeks ago – still hasn’t been repaired

We’ve asked for the repair to be expedited The darker nights, and potentially foggy weather, mean that illuminated bollards are often a key safety aid for drivers

There have also been problems in getting overgrown hedges cut back for some public footpaths.

We’ve asked for some self seeded bushes on the Thoresby Road garage area to be removed.

We reported the full litter bin on Askham Lane near the bus stop and asked it to be emptied.

That was the week that was in west York in pictures

Work on the Acomb War Memorial is continuing. We hope all will be competed before local centenary events, marking the WW1 armistice, start on Thursday.

Nearby we hope that the Council will remove the weeds from Acomb Green steps. We reported the need for weedkiller at the beginning of October.

We’ve asked for the signage at Gale Farm Court to be cleaned or repainted.

The self closing gate mechanisms at the Cornlands playground have stopped working. They are intended to prevent loose dogs entering the play area. We have asked for repairs

Its the time of year when leaf fall can become a problem. The Council clears the leaves systematically but it does take several weeks. It any pose a particular hazard then we recommend that residents report them

Dumped TV Tithe Close snicket

Dumped carpet Dickson Park – reported a week ago

Litter – The Reeves snicket

We’ve asked for the willow tree in Bachelor Hill to be cut back this winter

Fixed penalty notices issued in York

Fly posting, fly tipping, littering and dog fouling

As they promised, the York council has now updated its “open data” web site to include details of the number of fixed penalty notices (FPNs) issued.

An FOI request was prompted by a large number of fly posting incidents in west York advertising the arrival of a Fair.

The published stats only go up to June at present but they reveal a downward trend on FPNs issued for fly posting.

In total 36 were issued during the first 6 months of the year.

Fly tipping is also a continuing problem in some areas. Here the figures reveal that no FPNs were issued during the first part of this year.

It was similar picture for dog fouling with no FPNs issued between January and June.

Only 1 FPN was issued for littering.

Statistical information has also been published for

Looks like “eyesore” payphone kiosks will stay

Two payphone kiosks, criticised for their appearance by local residents, will not be removed say BT.

The kiosks, one on Beagle Ridge Drive/Foxwood Lane the other on Kingsway West, have been damaged are often covered in graffiti, weeds and fly posters.

BT says that despite the growth in mobile phone use, the payphones are still occasionally used.

They acknowledge though that the payphone on Foxwood Lane isn’t working. It will be repaired.

BT promise that the payphones will also be thoroughly cleaned inside and out.

Kingsway West

Foxwood Lane

Residents angry over state of roads as Council says “collect a petition”

The York Council seems to be slipping into an alternative world as they launch “democracy week” in the City. They suggest various ways of influencing their policies and priorities including attending “budget consultation meetings”.

They seem to have developed a blind spot about the quality of some of the public services in the city.

Roads, footpaths and verges in many areas are now in appalling condition and this before we suffer the ravages of icy winter weather.

Reality check needed

One resident has written to us to complain about his difficulty in getting potholes repaired in a  local road “the complaints procedure is a farce”

Potholes on poorly maintained carriageway in Welborne Close




Budget consultation – what they don’t tell you

Any resident with an idle moment can take part in the York Council’s annual budget quiz. A simulator allows residents to set council tax levels and public service priorities.

It is a slight improvement on playing scrabble on the wet Sunday afternoon but has little in common with real budget setting and the horse trading that goes on in a “balanced” Council. One reason is that officials are too scared to include options like having fewer Councillors or reducing senior officer pay levels.

Most significantly they say little about the Councils accumulated debt omitting to remind residents that 13% of what they fork out in Council Tax goes to pay interest charges on past borrowing.

There are options available which could have an immediate effect in freeing up money for under pressure street services like road repairs.

One example is the Guildhall business centre project which is currently set to cost £15 million. It could be restructured to encourage private sector investment.

Once spent, of course, there is usually no way back. But some taxpayers may feel that higher admission charges at York’s new Community Stadium might be one way of clawing back some of the £13 million taxpayers investment in the project.

You won’t, of course, find those options like these  listed on the Councils web site.

Click to play York Scrabble

Good news and some bad news

The Kingsway kickabout area (MUGA) has been repaired. It was litter and vandal free when we visited yesterday and once again could fulfil a role in getting kids “off the streets”.

The area under the trees adjacent to the MUGA has been tidied. The MUGA can now be viewed from Lincoln Court following a request from residents there to have boundary hedges cut back.

We’ve asked for the weeds to be cut back

The Askham Grove snicket is looking very tidy these days. Not always the case in the past

Andrew Waller has had some success in getting a pothole filled in on Beaconsfield Street

Fly tipping has been cleared from around the recycling bins on the Acomb car park

Unfortunately the dumped sofa has not yet been removed from the Cornlands Road playground

A litter bin has been upended on Chesneys Field


Thoresby Road recycling not collected today

The York Council says,

“We are still working hard to catch up on garden waste collections and have managed to collect today from another 593 properties in the Tadcaster Road area.

Unfortunately, we were unable to collect garden waste in the Tang Hall area. If you live in Tang Hall and are affected by this please leave your green bin out for collection and we will collect it as soon as we can.

Despite the crew working beyond their shift, 200 properties on Thoresby Road Acomb did not receive a recycling collection today due to the volume of waste presented. The team will return to collect this tomorrow. Please present your recycling for collection by 7am Wednesday”.

Opposition mounting to Front Street building plans

Pensioners petition against proposal to develop Bowling Green

Acomb Bowling Club

The Council has told the proposed developers of the Acomb Bowling Club green on Front Street that they need more time to come to a view on their proposals. They say that there are access and other problems associated with the proposal to build 11 houses on the site.

comment on planning application

The news came after it emerged that a petition, signed by pensioners in an adjacent block of flats, and objecting to the loss of green space had been lodged with the Council. The pensioners were also concerned about potential noise nuisance from the site.

Sport England have also sounded a warning about the plan highlighting the continued erosion of sports pitches in the Acomb area.

Concerns have also been raised about the impact on the local bat population and other wildlife in the area.

The Council’s own heritage officer has pointed to the historical significance of the site. It is thought that there may be important archaeological deposits in the area.

Comment on Planning application

Although the balance of comments is against the development in its present form, perhaps surprisingly local amenity societies, Ward Councillors and adjacent property owners have so far failed to make their views known.

The proposals – which could jeopardise plans to bring derelict land to the rear of the Library back into use, while providing much needed accommodation for older people – are a particularly poor piece of incremental planning.

Hopefully a more coherent plan for this part of Front Street will emerge now.