Council fills in potholes

Damaged verge on Kingsway West

Damaged verge on Kingsway West

Litter Kingsway West Green Lane snicket

Litter Kingsway West Green Lane snicket

Green Lane potholes filled in

Green Lane potholes filled in

Windsor Garth potholes filled in

Windsor Garth potholes filled in

Credit where it is due.

The York Council has now filled in the dangerous potholes on Windsor Garth and little Green Lane.

We’ve asked for a badly damaged verge on Kingsway West to be repaired and for a litter pick on the nearby snicket



Labour plan to abandon community centres in York

The latest in a long list of poor decisions by the Labour Council could see four community centres in York close.

The provisional budget for next year sees all the community centres (Chapelfields , Foxwood , Tang Hall , and Bell Farm) lose their Council grants.

Typically a community centre costs around  £50,000 a  year to run with most income generated from hiring rooms.

The Council are to cut their financial support entirely leaving some of the centres with a 5 figure budget deficit.

Already the community centre caretakers have been issued with redundancy notices (although they are likely to be redeployed within the Council).

The Council says that it wishes to see the buildings transferred into the ownership of a voluntary committee with a community asset transfer by April 2015

This seems to be what has prompted the Tang Hall centre to announce that it is changing the legal status of its voluntary committee.

The voluntary committees undertake a thankless task and deserve Council support.

The Foxwood and Chapelfields centres depend  entirely on the resources of  local residents to continue, while Tang Hall was only kept going when Labour Councillors were parachuted into key roles.

Burton Stone community centre future unclear

Burton Stone community centre future unclear

Burton Stone is a larger building and its future is much more unclear.

Without caretakers, the buildings will be closed to general callers reducing their use as a focal point for neighbourhood communications. One Community Centre (Tang Hall) has already leased office space to an outside organisation.

All the Community Centres are located in what the Council regards as “deprived areas” .

The Council hopes to save £180,000 through the cuts. Most of this will come from the Burton Stone centre.

NB. The Council is planning to spend £1.6 million hosting just one day of the Tour De France cycle race.

Click here to download a full list of proposed cuts (see ref Can 12)

Licensing application for Front Street premises

Conlans Café at 6a Front Street

Application for the grant of a premises licence to allow for

  • Recorded Music Mon – Sat 07:00hrs-23:00hrs      Sun  08:00hrs-22:00hrs
  • Supply of AlcoholOn and off sales Mon – Sat  12:00hrs-23:00hrs       Sun 12:00hrs-22:00hrs
  • Opening Times Mon – Sat 07:30hrs      – 23:00hrs Sun 09:00hrs-22:00hrs

The last date for representations is 26/11/13. Quote reference CYC 0227496a

All applications can be viewed in full at the council offices with prior notice.  Contact the licensing section on 01904 552512 for an appointment to view.  Representations must be made in writing in and sent to the Licensing Office, Hazel Court EcoDepot, James Street, York YO10 3DS.

Representations must relate to one or more of the 4 licensing objectives of the Act namely, prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.

Small Changes, Big Savings – Acomb Explore money event on Monday 14th October,

People across York are being invited to boost their financial know-how in a series of events designed to help people make savings, get more out of the internet and make the banks work better for them.

A series of seven Small Changes, Big Savings sessions are being held at different venues across the city during York’s Housing Week, from 14-18 October, which is looking at ways to overcome poverty.

The ‘Small Changes, Big Savings’ events held across the city will be at:

• •Acomb Explore on Monday 14 October, 9:30-11:30am

•Bell Farm Social Hall on Tuesday 15 October, 10am-12 noon when we’ll be launching our anti loan shark charter

• •Clements Hall on 15 October 1:30-3:30pm;

• •Sanderson Court on Wednesday 16 October, 9:30-11:30am

• •Foxwood Community Centre on Thursday 17 October, 9:30-11am

• •Tang Hall on 17 October, 2-4pm

• •Burton Stone Community Centre, on Friday 18 October, 1-3pm.


Residents survey cites poor highway maintenance as York’s biggest public service problem.

York residents survey results click to enlarge

York residents survey results click to enlarge

A survey completed by over 400 residents living in the west of York has revealed that highways and footpath maintenance are now the biggest cause for complaint.

73% thought that road and footpath maintenance had got worse in the City over the last 2 years.

The service was followed closely by ice clearance which 69% thought had got worse.

This is bad news for the Labour Council as the response come before the latest set of cuts to winter maintenance are implemented.

Parking provision was criticised by 65% with the large increases in parking charges introduced by the Labour Council likely to be the main influencing factor.

More than 50% of respondents also thought that litter, control of dogs, refuse collection and weed removal had got worse.

Only crime prevention fared relatively well, with 66% saying that the quality of the service was unchanged

The survey results will add pressure on the Council to support additional investment in street level public services at its meeting on Thursday.

Street level public service standards – plea to York Council next Thursday.

The York Council at a meeting next week will be asked to jettison its prestige expenditure plans and return to a more sensible economic policy.

Weeds need strimming at end of Ridgeway

Weeds need strimming at end of Ridgeway

A motion being put forward by the Liberal Democrats condemns deteriorating roads, footpaths and increasing litter as well as plans to reduce de icing services in winter.

It says that Labour’s decision to scrap the “York Pride” maintenance programmes means that many areas are now strewn with weeds and detritus.

Carriageway failed in Vesper Drive

Carriageway failed in Vesper Drive

Recent rain highlighted the impact that Labours decision to end the routine cleaning of gullies (road drains) is already having.

Meanwhile a rather disingenuous motion from Labour Cllr Burton, seeks to justify the bill for York staging the start of just one Tour de France stage.

The cost to taxpayers is already in excess of £1.5 million and rising.

The Labour backed motion says that any income to the Council from the event should be allocate to improve basic service standards.

It fails however to say that the income from a few hot dog stands is unlikely to make much difference.

The cost of the repairs back log on the City’s roads and footpaths alone now stands at over £20 million.

The Liberal Democrat motion reads

York Council call centre customers face 20 minute wait

Figures for August released today by the Council will confirm many residents experiences.

The time being taken by the Council to answer telephone calls is ridiculously high.

West Offices

In some cases, residents have had to wait for 20 minutes for their call to be answered.

Many Councils routinely publish on their web site quality of service stats covering basic services such as the time taken to deal with issues. The York Council fails to do so.

In response to a Freedom of Information request, the Council has now admitted that the maximum time that telephone callers had to wait, during the week commencing 5th August, was:

Between 8:00am and 9:00am 3:52 mins (maximum waiting time for call to be answered)

9am-10am 11:30 mins

10am-11am 09:22 mins

11am-12am 08:34 mins

12am -1pm 12:32 mins

1pm -2 pm 11:56 mins

2 pm-3pm 20:22 mins

3pm -4pm 10:27 mins

4pm -5 pm 10:03 mins

5pm -5:30pm 16:21 mins

The failures have prompted calls for the switchboard to remain open for an additional hour to deal with the backlog.

It is likely that many callers will have abandoned their attempts to get through.

The figures suggest that the quality of service being provided by he Council has declined since it moved into its new “state of the art” West Office building

Council spending £1/4 million each year clearing fly tipping

Dumping and litter on Tithe Close snicket1400 hours 23rd Aug 2013

The York Council has admitted that it is costing taxpayers £250,000 a year to clear fly tipping in the City.

7 people are employed full time on the task.

They use 3 specialist vehicles.

The Council was heavily criticised last year when it closed the recycling centre in Beckfield Lane.

Residents forecast that fly tipping would increase.

The Council claimed then that the closure would “save” £40,000 a year.

Other contributory factors to the problem with fly tipping can be traced to the decision to stop the provision of mobile skips in some neighbourhoods.

Many litter bins have also been removed, while this winter there will be no green bin collections over a period of nearly 6 months.

The Council has also claimed that it no longer gets any income from the sale of materials returned to Hazel Court for recycling.

Another blow to York Pride

Any hopes that the Labour Council would finally get on top of public service standards in the City have been dealt a fatal blow over the last few weeks.

The number of complaints about street level service problems are escalating.

The Council’s on line “report it” system is proving to be more and more unreliable.

The Council has admitted that between 3rd September 2012 and 1st July 2013, they received 727 complaints.

Of these 402 were found to be justified.

Meanwhile, in little over an hour, the following problems were reported in parts of the Westfield ward.

Dumping and litter on Tithe Close snicket reported on 23rd August. Partly blamed on cancelation of skip programme in the Cornlands area

Dumping and litter on Tithe Close snicket reported on 23rd August. Partly blamed on cancelation of skip programme in the Cornlands area

Weeds growing through footpath in St Stephens Square

Weeds growing through footpath in St Stephens Square

Weed growth on Otterwood Lane. Reported 23rd August 2013

Weed growth on Otterwood Lane. Reported 23rd August 2013