Foxwood dog owner handed three control orders following multiple dog attacks

A local dog owner who failed to control his three dogs has been given multiple control orders following several attacks by his pets on other dogs in the area

Ben Cairns (aged 32 of Foxwood Lane, York) owns three American Pocket Bullies, a cross breed between an American Staffordshire Terrier and an American Pit Bull Terrier, and appeared at York Magistrates on 15 January 2020.

On four occasions during 2019, Mr Cairn’s dogs escaped from his control in the area where he lives, and attacked three small cross breeds and a Labrador cross which needed veterinary treatment. The owners suffered considerable distress too.

All the control orders have the same conditions. These include ensuring that each dog is kept under proper control at all times; securing the property and boundary where they are kept to prevent them from escaping; wearing a muzzle and collar identifying the name and address of the owner; and keeping each dog on a fixed-length lead at all time when in a public place.

While Mr Cairns has since re-homed one of his dogs, he is still its owner and will remain responsible for ensuring that the current keepers abide by the control order. Any breaches of the order will be Mr Cairns’ responsibility and could result in a £1,000 fine and, potentially, the possibility of the dogs being removed from his care.

Cllr Denise Craghill, Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods, said: “We will not tolerate irresponsible dog owners who do not take sufficient care to ensure their dogs are not a danger to other dogs, or cause fear to residents.

“We welcome the order issued by York Magistrates and will monitor and enforce the conditions to ensure compliance.”

Another complaint about poor signage at Low Poppleton Lane bus gate

ANPR cameras still catching around unauthorised 200 drivers each month on the route. Fines are totalling around £100,000 a year.

Another resident has written to us complaining about poor signage on the approach to the bus gate on Low Poppleton Lane. It is an issue that won’t go away as the Council’s own figures reveal that 1809 drivers were fined for breaching the restrictions in the 10 months up to October 2019.

Some time ago, the Council agreed to review the effectiveness of the signage, They also said they would review the operational hours and consider relaxing the restrictions for moped riders (who are currently forced to use the more dangerous route via the busy A1237).

But the reviews haven’t happened leaving many motorists wondering whether the estimated £100,000 a year income that the cameras bring is too much of the Council to risk losing.

It is a similar picture on Coppergate where an average of 361 motorists a month are contravening the access restrictions there.

In total the Council is receiving around £1/3 million each year from  “spy cameras”

Many motorists feel that “first offenders” should receive a warning letter.

Advances in technology mean that some Sat Nav systems could also be programmed to warn of the restrictions.

We’ve asked the responsible Councillors to take another look at the issue.

Burglar who targeted Alness Drive house is jailed

A prolific offender who burgled houses and went on a spending spree with stolen bankcards has been jailed for over six years.

Andrew Minskip, 37, appeared in the dock this week accused of breaking into a house in Alness Drive, York on 29 August 2019.

Just before discovering the burglary, the homeowners were alerted by their bank that there had been a number of fraudulent transactions on their bankcard during the day.

Minskip was later identified by police officers on CCTV using the stolen bankcard in local newsagents.

He was tracked by a police dog the following week in the vicinity of a second burglary at the Buckles Inn on the A64 and arrested.

Following an investigation, Minskip was charged with the burglaries on Alness Drive and at the Buckles Inn, in addition to three others at houses on Lycett Road, in Skiddaw and Strensall Park.

He was also charged with two thefts, two counts of fraud and one count of driving with no insurance – all committed between 10 August 2019 and 7 September 2019.

Another man, 39 year-old Richard Sampson, was also caught after officers recognised him on CCTV using the bankcard from the Alness Drive burglary on a separate occasion, and was charged with two burglaries and two counts of fraud.

On Wednesday 15 January, at York Crown Court, Minskip, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty and was jailed for six years and three months. He was also ordered to pay a victims surcharge of £181.

Sampson, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to the two frauds and was jailed for seven months.

Commenting on the sentences, Investigating officer DC Kyle Boad of North Yorkshire Police’s Expedite team said:
“Minskip burgled his victims’ homes, helping himself to their personal possessions and bank cards before fraudulently using them to go on a spending spree around York. It was only a matter of time until we located and arrested him.
“Whilst no-one was hurt in this case, the trauma of knowing someone has broken into your home can’t be underestimated – the impact of burglary is devastating and long lasting for victims.
“Neither MInskip nor Sampson showed any remorse for their actions and denied all involvement in their crimes throughout the investigation. I hope that this outcome will provide some comfort to their victims in the knowledge that they are both behind bars where they belong.
What to do if you have been burgled

Ring 999 if you believe the offender is still in your house or has just run away; if not use the 101 number. You will be given a crime number to quote in an insurance claim, or if you want to contact police with any follow-up queries.

Try to preserve the crime scene for any forensic evidence that may be of use to the police. If possible, do not touch anything or allow your children or pets into the same rooms that the burglar has been in.

For more advice visit northyorkshire.police.uk/homesecurity

39 year-old Richard Sampson has been jailed for seven months

What’s on in York: A city wide programme of events to mark Holocaust Memorial Day in York

York will host multiple events throughout the city to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.

Holocaust Memorial Day is remembered each year on 27 January, when Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was liberated in 1945.
York’s official programme for ‘Stand Together’ has now been published and is available online at www.york.gov.uk/HolocaustMemorialDay.

The city-wide programme explores how genocide throughout history has fractured societies by marginalising certain groups, and how these tactics can be challenged by individuals standing together with their neighbours, to speak out against oppression.

Residents and visitors are invited to attend a number of talks, tailored events, community projects and commemorations taking place in various venues throughout York.

On Thursday 23 January, York Minster will host the powerful 600 Candles event, a candle lit ceremony of commemoration and reflection from 6:15pm till 7:30pm.

This will be followed by the annual Civic event, which will be held on Monday 27 January at Temple Hall, York St John University, hosted by the Lord Mayor of York and Civic Party.

The diverse programme of events also includes a Time for Reflection at St Martin’s Church, on Holocaust Memorial Day and Clifford’s Tower Commemoration, on Thursday 16 March, to honour the 1190 massacre of York’s Jewish population; in addition to several events throughout January at the University of York and York St John University.

For more information about Holocaust Memorial Day and national events, visit: www.hmd.org.uk

Local rugby team gets home fixture in Cup

YORK Acorn have been drawn at home to Barrow Island in round two of the Coral Challenge Cup.

The tie will be played at the Thanet Road ground.

Acorn beat Hammersmith Hills Hoists in the first round.

National Conference League premier division side Acorn will take on a Barrow outfit who finished fifth in division two last year on the weekend of January 25-26.

Some strange Council responses to problems

Some reports of highway defects are being knocked back with “no further action required” responses this year.

One of the deficiencies of the Councils “report it on line” system is that no reason for inaction is given. There was a time when a pothole might go unfilled because it didn’t meet what were styled “the Councils intervention level”. Basically they weren’t judged to be deep enough.

Eventually frost damage would, of course, ensure that it did become bad enough to justify filling.

But there are some very uneven roads which are, perversely, being judged as safe these days

Morrell Court access road potholes which are not judged to require attention

Council officials are also reluctant to send warning letters to drivers who have damaged verges, even when it is obvious who is responsible,

Verges need hard-surfacing to prevent damage

One piece of better news, with local Councillors reporting that work on finishing drainage work on the Osprey Close footpath will recommence shortly. The footpath may be diverted around the worst of the mud with further repairs to the land drains taking place when the area dries out.

Public Right of Way blocked at top of Osprey Close

Graffiti , bins and footpaths reported

The Council is dealing promptly now with graffiti reports. The new system seems to be working well.

Graffiti on litter bin on little Hob Moor
Graffiti on a utility box also on little Hob Moor. Reports like these are passed on to the utility company but there is rarely a quick response. We think that the utility companies should ask the Council to clean the boxes on a rechargeable basis.
Footpaths in Newbury Avenue need reconstructing now that the new bungalows are almost ready for occupation. The damaged verge on the Newbury Avenue/Kingsway West junction needs to be repaired at the same time.
We’ve reported the full poop scoop bin at the entrance to Acomb Wood
Still waiting to hear when the public footpath at the top of Osprey Close will be reinstated. A local Councillor is now on the case.

Tudor Road choked with building site trucks.

Residents posting on the Save Lowfields Playing Field Facebook group ( https://www.facebook.com/LowfieldsActionGroup/ ) are reporting chaotic scenes this morning as large trucks queue on Tudor Road to gain access to the site.

There have been problems with congestion as the trucks arrived as pupils were making there way to school. Tudor Road is relatively narrow and is on a bus route.

Neither the contractors nor the Council have said how many large vehicle journeys can be expected at this entrance each day and to what timescales.

One of the objections, to the planning application for the development of the site, related to safety concerns about the Gale Lane/Tudor Road junction.

The York Council claimed that the junction had the capacity to deal with extra movements but many residents remain sceptical.

Haxby Hall care home plans

Haxby Hall

The Council will receive an update report next week on its Older Persons’ Accommodation Programme. It has confirmed its plans to privatise the running of Haxby Hall elderly persons home.

The council is being asked to approve land transactions and lease agreements to enable Yorkare Homes Limited to redevelop and upgrade Haxby Hall. When complete, this will help meet the need for good quality care in high quality care homes across the city.

Yorkare’s plans to extend and improve the accommodation at Haxby Hall will ensure uninterrupted care for the residents. Under the plans, residents will be able to stay in the home whilst work progresses on the site.  The plans will also ensure continued employment for the Hall’s staff by transferring their employment from the council to the operator.

Yorkare are an ‘outstanding’ CQC-rated operator and they aim to extend this popular care home and create over 60 new bedrooms, equipped with en-suite facilities for improved privacy.

To deliver this higher quality of care and ensure minimal disruption to residents, two neighbouring properties have been acquired to provide access to the rear of the site. The council’s Executive is being asked to agree to a long lease for the site, for which Yorkare will pay the council £450,000.

A period of consultation will take place with local residents, community groups and organisations before planning permission is sought.

Separately the Council has said that  “The executive will be asked to agree to procure an extra care developer and operator to develop a mixed tenure extra care development on the Lowfields site previously identified for a care home”. The meeting will take place on 19th March 2020.