Save Beckfield Lane recycling centre campaign gets timely boostas £3 million bill hits York taxpayers

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The Council has admitted that it is York is “slipping behind other unitary authorities, who have introduced alternative waste management methods and strategies”. This is despite a forecast 2% increase, in the amount of waste recycled by residents, by the end of the year (47.01% compared to 45.1% in 2010/11).

The failure to invest in reuse and salvage, coupled with the pending closure of the Beckfield lane recycling centre on 10th April, means that taxpayers will pick up a bill for £3 million in landfill tax penalties this year.

The petition to keep the Beckfield Lane facility open is getting good support. Anyone who can help to gather signatures on a petition is asked to contact Reuban Mayne on York 781589

£16,955 on offer to Westfield residents

The government has allocated nearly £17,000 to be spent over the next 4 years on community projects in the Westfield Ward. The “Neighbourhood Grant” is a minimum figure and comes from a £30 million national budget.
A Community Development Foundation (CDF) has been set up to administer the programme although Ministers are keen to maximise the involvement of community organisations. It is expected that local groups will match the grants with money or time.
The programme complements the “Community Organiser” (so called “Big Society”) initiative.
A “Community First” panel will be set up in Westfield and will help to determine priorities and monitor progress. It will be comprised entirely of local residents. The CDF are currently contacting voluntary organisations in the Ward to brief them on the opportunities available.
Steps are already being taken to set up the Westfield Community First Panel which will comprise between 4 & 8 local residents. Expressions of interest are welcome. More details can be found at
In the longer term it is hoped to sustain investment in better community facilities by encouraging people and businesses to dedicate endowments to continuing the programme.

Park and Ride numbers up

The numbers using York’s Park and Ride service have increased by 0.7% comparing March 2011 with March 2010.
A 0.7% increase saw the total number of users in the month increase to 237,989.
The increase for the 12 months up to March is even higher at 1.2%, with Askham Bar and the Designer Centre being the showing the biggest rises.
In total over 2.8 million people have used the service over the last year.
See the following web page for details of services.

Spring clean


Ascot Way



Walking around Westfield in the sunshine over the last few days it is clear that the winter weather has taken its toll. So we’re organising a spring clean and inviting residents to play their part. 

The Council are already working flat out to repair the potholes that have appeared in the roads. The first cut of grassed areas is already underway and will be completed before Easter.  

We’ve reported areas where there is still some tree detritus to be removed (above photo was in Ascot Way) 

The Council are working with the Tidy Britain Group to launch ‘Love Where You Live’, as the introduction to engaging with residents during the coming weeks.   


The Brunswick Nursery is producing a planter for Tadcaster Road and 105 trees are to be planted on Saturday by the Foxwood residents. In addition a planting programme has started in Clarence Gardens. 

 Additional areas are to be allocated to Community Payback and they will start on these areas next week. York Cares will be given some group projects and environmental work and these activities should start just after Easter. The Street Environment Officers are developing schedules with York University where groups of volunteers will go into an area, under Council supervision, and do a ‘clean up’. This work will be aimed primarily at the areas with high numbers of student occupied homes. 

  Work which can be done on hedge cutting is currently limited, but the Council has carried out work around allotments and known areas where hedges are overhanging the highway. The full service will not start until after the nesting season. 

 The cleaning of traffic islands starts next week, as we hope, by now, we have seen the last of the gritting. Early morning Sunday work will take place on the main, high traffic roads, complete with the appropriate traffic management. Residents should start to see an improvement by the middle of next week, but the full programme will last around a month.   

The Council hopes to get into more ‘hammer heads’, than ever before. However, if there any you would like us to deal with quickly with a specific cul de sac, then please let us know using the form which can be found on this website. 

 All the roundabouts are currently being re-landscaped using sponsorship money. Full planting of summer flowers is scheduled for May, in readiness for the Britain in Bloom judging. There are 21 organisations working with us towards the ‘In Bloom’ competition. 10 are new this year including organisations such as Friends of Acomb Green. 

 The scheduled cleans of the terraced streets have been re-planned for the coming year. All will get one clean where parking restrictions will be imposed and gully cleaning, surface repairs and sweeping will take place. The street will be re-visited again after 6 months, requesting residents to move their cars. 

 In the past the full highways inspection has been done during May and June. This has been brought forward and will start the first week in April. The advantage being that work can be planned in much earlier. All temporary repairs will be checked out and a permanent repair completed as necessary. 

Please help with the spring clean by ensuring that gardens are tidy & that hedges and trees cut back from neighbouring properties and from the public footpath.  

We will be scheduling shortly the annual rubbish collection day when refuse and recycling vehicles tour the ward removing unwanted items. We will publicise details on this web site shortly. 


2007 and all that

As we approach the Council elections on May5th , I take a look back at some of the changes that we have seen in the Westfield area since 2007.

So lets start today with a look at 2007.


Focus reported that a flashing speed sign would be installed on Wetherby Road.

A local MP argued that the Edmund Wilson and Yearsley swimming pools should be closed down and replaced by a large pool at the Barbican. But the Council opted to build a new pool at the Energise sports centre on Cornlands Road and refurbish Yearsley. An 8 lane competition standard pool would be provided on Hull Road near the University.

Lidl were bidding for the land occupied by the library at Front Street but residents backed the alternative new “Explore” library option for the site. A few years later Lidl were to open in Thanet Road.  When the new library opened, the number of users was to treble.


A revolutionary Telecare system was launched by Sue Galloway. It allows elderly residents to live safely in the comfort of their own homes.

 The first plans for play provision in the Grange Lane park were announced. Plans for a new development off Chapelfields Road were also announced (now The Burn).

Plans for the new York High school were revealed. The school was to operate from Lowfields while building work took place on Cornlands Road.

Work started on the new Askham Lane/ring road roundabout.

Railings were completed around the Tedder Road play ground and plans to build flats on the site of a Chinese restaurant on Gale Lane were announced. The Council stepped up its provision of dropped kerbs/lay-bys to deal with parking problems in the area.


A CCTV security camera would be fitted in Front Street. Flower boxes were provided in the same area as Westfield geared up for the Britain in Bloom competition in which it came second. (York was to win 3 years later). Residents on Askham Lane planted dozens of bulbs on a local amenity area.

Reusable jute bags were distributed from local community centres as a campaign against the use of plastic bags got underway.

A 47% drop in crime in the ward was reported but a planning wrangle threatened the new “Energise” swimming pool when Labour Councillors tried to delay the project.

Discovery of a bat haven prompted a small diversion of the approach road to the new ring road roundabout.

A fun day in Foxwood had been voted a big success while railings around the back of the Acomb Wood Drive shops had improved security. Fencing was also provided to stop access to the rear of the sub station on the Tedder Road to Tithe Close snicket.

A new zebra crossing was provided on Gale Lane near the Cornlands Road junction. The York Cares group undertook a project to improve the garden outside the Windsor House home which was now specialising in helping people suffering from dementia.

Free Compost from the Council

The free compost giveaways will be going ahead again this year, in partnership with Yorwaste Ltd. There will be a giveaway on the 1st Sunday in every month between March and October. Please see the dates below:

Sunday 6th March

Sunday 3rd April

Sunday 1st May

Sunday 5th June

Sunday 3rd July

Sunday 7th August

Sunday 4th September

Sunday 2nd October

Compost can be collected from Harewood Whin, Tinker Lane (off Wetherby Road) from between 9.30am and 2.30pm. Residents must bring along a suitable bag or container to put the soil improver into and a shovel, as the compost is not bagged. We are advising people to visit the site as early as possible as there is a limited quantity of compost and it will go on a first come, first served basis.

We are hoping that the giveaways will be as popular as last year when we estimate that we gave away over 1,600 tonnes of compost. This year we are also starting the giveaways earlier in the year due to popular demand.

Library news

World Book Night with Kate Atkinson – 5 March

 Come and celebrate World Book Night with best selling author, Kate Atkinson.

 Saturday 5 March, 7.00 pm, Explore York Library Learning Centre

Tickets £5.00 (with YorkCard) or £6.50 from Explore York, 01904 552815,

 Kate Atkinson’s Case Histories is one of the 25 titles chosen for the inaugural World Book Night, which will see thousands of books given away by people passionate about reading.  Kate will be talking about her latest book Started Early, Took My Dog, as well as Case Histories.  Books will be on sale at the event.

 Kate Atkinson was born in York and now lives in Edinburgh. Her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and has been a critically acclaimed international bestselling author ever since.

 An audience with Joanna Trollope – 15 April

 Friday 15 April, 2.00 pm, Explore York Library Learning Centre

Tickets £5.00 (YorkCard) and £6.50 from Explore York, 01904 552815,

 Best selling novelist Joanna Trollope will be talking about her latest books, Daughters in Law and The Other Family.  Waterstones books on sale at the event.

 Bestselling author Joanna Trollope has been writing for over 30 years. She first wrote a number of historical novels, now published under the name of Caroline Harvey and has also written a study of women in the British Empire, Britannia’s Daughters.

 Joanna has written several highly acclaimed contemporary novels, some of which have been televised, including The Choir, A Village Affair and Other People’s Children.

 Ice breaker Monday evenings at Explore York

 Explore York is setting the scene for people to bond over books with a series of ‘ice-breaker’ evenings – a chance to make new friends over coffee with some ready-made topics for conversation. Tables in the café will display a selection of specially chosen books each with a ‘Read Me’ card tucked inside. These are the ice-breaker books which provide the inspiration to get chatting to others around the table.  Friendly staff will be on hand to welcome you and show you to a café table, and then the rest is up to you. It’s free, it’s fun and who knows what it could be the start of?  The Ice-Breaker evenings will be held every Monday from 5.30pm to 8pm in the Explore York Library Learning Centre in Museum Street, York. For more information, call Marion Brookes on 552811

 Coming soon…

 Valerie Wood, who bases her books in Yorkshire, especially the east riding, will be at Dunnington Reading Room on 28 April, tickets available soon from Dunnington Library or Explore York.

 Storytellers Peter Chand and Shonaleigh make a welcome return to Explore York on 14 May with their new show, The Petal Garden.

 And a reminder…

 Odin’s Tales – Viking myths for all the family from storyteller Adrian Spendlow – 19 Feb

Saturday 19 February, 2.00pm, Explore York Library Learning Centre

£5 (family ticket), 01904 552828,

 This event is a Jorvik Viking Festival fringe event and part of a Viking weekend at Explore York, with our Viking Family Day on Sunday 20 February, 11-4.  More information at:

 Full information about events is in the pdf brochure on our website  in documents to download.

 New booklist

 The list of sets available for reading groups to borrow has just been updated and is on the library website,, in ‘what’s happening’, and ‘reading groups’.

 Follow us on Facebook

And twitter, follow @YorkLibrariesUK

Call for better preparations for extreme weather

“A new resilience plan is needed for the City” says Strategy chief Cllr Steve Galloway in the wake of 6 weeks of “terrible weather”.

“I’ll be asking Council officials to work with partners to ensure that the City can deal better with extreme weather conditions in the future.

While a lot of attention was given to the Councils own snow and icy clearing capacity during a review of processes last summer, many difficulties have been experienced by other public services as a result of consistently low temperatures.

There were numerous complaints about failed water supplies. Some were experienced as a result of failures in the Yorkshire Water main supply pipes while others were a result of vulnerable domestic systems.

Now we are seeing emerging problems with bust pipes as the temperature rises.

We will all be watching how the thaw affects river levels in the City over the next few days.

All public service providers need to ensure that they have the capacity to deal with the demands that may be placed on their services even during holiday periods. It is particularly important that 2 way communications with affected customers are maintained.

It certainly wasn’t easy to communicate with Yorkshire Water and some Housing Associations over the last week. All public service bodies need to introduce a system where electronic communications can be dealt with 24/7 when necessary.

I will be asking Council officials to review the water supply and heating supplies in Council properties and to ensure that we are able to deal quickly with faults affecting vulnerable residents.

It may be that we need to invest more in lagging supply pipes in some of our properties and initiatives like this should also form part of a general review of the winter arrangements”.

Lidl store on Thanet Road

The store is expected open in February. Lidl have already advertised for staff.

The company won part of their planning appeal and will therefore be allowed to display two additional external signs on the building

The Hob Moor footpath access (to the former pool car park ) is being moved to a point adjacent to St James Place for safety reasons. A gate is being provided.