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.
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
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.
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
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
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”.
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.