Views of older people sought in York survey

City of York Council and its partners are asking for older people across the city for their views on how we as a city can keep them healthier, happier and more independent for longer.

The survey asks for answers and suggestions on a range of issues including; social life, health, their local community and how they access information.

The survey, which is open for comments until Tuesday 30 June, will be distributed by partners across the city. Residents will also be able to pick up a survey from any of the Explore Library Learning Centres across the city or take the survey online at www.york.gov.uk/consultations.

The last citywide older people’s survey was held in 2008 and led to some really positive outcomes following feedback from residents. These included the introduction of a handy person service, a toe nail cutting service, and the Age UK first call information service.

Martin Farran, corporate director of health, housing and adult social care said: “Older people bring a great deal of knowledge, skill and energy and contribute enormously to the city.

“We are interested to know how our older residents currently live, the issues they face and to hear ideas on how we can keep older people healthy, happy and independent for longer.”

George Wood, Chair of the Executive Committee from the York Older People’s Assembly said: “This is a real opportunity for older people across the City to have their voice heard and to impact in a very real way on the future planning of services.”

The survey is being conducted collaboratively between the York Older People’s Assembly, Age (UK) York, Healthwatch York, York Council for Voluntary Services, York Blind and Partially Sighted Society, York Alzheimer’s Society, the Vale of York CCG, the Police and Crime Commissioner and City of York Council.

For more information, or to take the survey online, visit www.york.gov.uk/consultations.

LibDems consult on parking improvements in Windsor Garth area

Beverley Court

Local Liberal Democrats are conducting a door to door survey in the Windsor Garth area following escalating problems with car parking.

The problems have been exacerbated by recent developments and the Liberal Democrats now want to see alternative parking spaces provided if the proposed demolition of garages on Newbury Avenue gets the go ahead.

Plans for the garage site development are expect to be published late next month with a  referral to the planning committee expected before the end of the summer.

Local residents anticipate that a section 106 notice will be served requiring the developers to fund alternative parking space.

The Council stopped re-letting empty garages as long ago as 2012 – a step which has made the lack of off street car parking space an acute problem.

Some of the possible sites for new parking lay-by area shown on the map below. 

LibDem survey asks about NHS, police profile and garages

A new survey launched today in west York seeks residents views on the NHS, GP appointments, dentists, Police visibility and council garages

The survey will be delivered to each household in the Westfield area but can be completed “on line” by clicking here http://tinyurl.com/springsur

A similar survey, completed in the autumn in the Chapelfields estate, revealed that:

  • Most tenants thought that the Council was doing a good job in managing houses in York. Despite this high rating—which mirrors the Councils own poll results—York is still considering passing Council housing management to a third party.
  • Unfortunately no one thought that the police were doing a good job in controlling crime levels in the Chapelfields area. This probably reflects recent problems with anti social behaviour although residents were evenly divided when asked whether vandalism, graffiti and rowdy behaviour had increased during the last year.
  • 67% did say that they thought that more should be invested in crime prevention
  • No strong views were expressed on a proposal to secure the Grange Lane park boundary with a kissing gate (to stop access by motorcyclists)

 

 

 

Budget consultation

budget-consultation

York Council  (click to access)

The York Council is asking residents whether they would like to see Council Tax increased by 1.99%, charges increased or fewer services provided

In its “on line” survey, the Council then asks whether an additional  1%, 2% or 3% increase in tax – to fund social care (elderly and disabled services) – would be acceptable?

There is then a list of services which residents are asked to prioritise. Usually residents say that they want all the services to be sustained. However, there may be a move to invest more in street cleaning, crime prevention and road maintenance this year.

There is room for a comments section but no mention of the high levels of debt charges (interest payments) being born by taxpayers nor any option to cut back on capital programmes like the Guildhall development or the new Monks Cross swimming pool..

The Council’s final budget will be set in February, so leading Councillors will already have decided what the budget strategy is.

Launching a “consultation” a couple of days before Christmas will seem to be an afterthought to many residents.

Police – click to access

The Police and Crime Commissioners survey takes a similar line. A short explanatory leaflet is available but it says little about crime levels (which are increasing in parts of York)

Residents are offered the choice of a tax freeze, a 1.99% increase and – subject to a formal referendum – an increase above 2%.

No spending options are offered and there is no opportunity to highlight areas of concern on policing.

So pretty much going through the motions of public consultation it seems

NB. The results of the last PCC survey – on policing plans – which was undertaken in the autumn, have yet to be published

Police seek views on their priorities

The Police and Crime Commissioner is asking residents to tell her what the policing priorities for the next few years should be.

While the decline in police visibility over recent years may lead some to be cynical about the surveys value, generally we think that residents should take every opportunity to highlight this important issue.

You can do so by clicking here or here

In completing the form, residents will no doubt bear in mind the increase in anti social behaviour seen over the last couple of years in parts of the City.

This has mostly been blamed on the decision of the police to centralise anti social behaviour officers in the York Councils HQ building; robbing local communities of both named Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers.

Taking one estate (Chapelfields) as an example, stats show crime is on the increase with  229 instances of anti social behaviour reported in the last year

chapelfields-crime

Residents complain that, despite CCTV cameras being in operation, youths routinely harass passers by.

So we need to make tackling anti social behaviour the priority that it was until 2011.

In Acomb this will mean:

  1. The Police appointing named Police Officers and PCSOs for each neighbourhood and the reintroduction of regular foot or cycle patrols together with attendance at residents meetings
  2. Setting up a police reporting desk in a public building such as Acomb Library (while at the same time abandoning plans for an expensive and unnecessary replacement police station in Lowfields)
  3. Proactive communication with residents telling them about crime trends and the action taken by police to address concerns. Use of local newsletters and noticeboards should be reintroduced.

We will then be able to get back to the Police and community working together to improve community safety

Residents have until the 18th November to complete the survey

 

Carers asked for feedback on support services

Adult Carers receiving support services from City of York Council will be asked for their views on the services they receive over the next few weeks.

downloadThis survey, which is being run nationally, looks to find how services received by carers are helping them in their life and their view of services provided to the cared for person and where improvements can be made.

The questionnaire will be sent to over 900 carers across the city from next week and the consultation will close on 18 November. The survey will be undertaken in every local authority in England, and will result in the most significant pool of personal outcome information for those carers to date, providing an important resource for understanding services for carers and enabling them to make better choices about their support.

The survey looks to hear carer’s views on the quality of life of both themselves and the people they care for and looks to understand the impact that the services they receive have on quality of life.

Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health said: “The information we get from this national annual survey of adult carers is incredibly useful in helping us to evaluate and improve our services for carers and cared for people in York.  As well as understanding the views of carers across the city this survey will enable us to compare the experiences of people living in York with those who live elsewhere in the country.

“I would urge everyone who receives a survey to complete it and return it as soon as possible and would like to thank carers and their families for their help with this process.”

So how good are York Council services?

The results of two recent surveys allow us to measure what residents say are good and bad about City of York Council services.

The Council’s own “Talkabout” panel has given a verdict this summer.

Talkabout results June 2016

Talkabout panel results – click to access

Best service - refuse collection

Best service

It is the first comprehensive look at customer satisfaction with services in the City since polls were scrapped by the, then Labour led, administration in 2013.

These can be compared to a more detailed survey being undertaken in west York where residents have also given a verdict on service quality.

The Talkabout respondents indicate that satisfaction with their local area as a place to live has increased for 83% in 2013 to 92% today.

Worst service - road repairs

Worst service – road repairs

66% of the panel are satisfied with the way that the Council runs thing compared to 54% three years ago

One of the few areas judged to be deteriorating was law and order. 77% said that York is relatively free from crime and violence compared to 80% in 2013.

Looking at street level services, 39% (2013 – 33%) though litter was a problem in their local area although the majority (61%) still thought litter was not a problem.

survey results as at 26th Sept 2016Problems with vandalism showed small increases (17% up to 18%), as did drug dealing (15% up to 26%) and drunk/rowdy behaviour (25% up to 30%)

The numbers who though that the Council was doing well in at improving green spaces was static at 48% but those who thought the Council was doing well in improving streets/public spaces was down from 49% to 45%.

Looking at the more detailed poll conducted in west York, it may be significant that the 4 most criticised public services (footpath repairs, road repairs, the availability of litter bins and local car parking facilities) were not monitored in the citywide survey.

Although most residents indicated that other services were “satisfactory” there were large numbers of people who rated some services as poor.

These included weed control (31% poor), tree/hedge maintenance (36%), Policing (31%), and garage area maintenance (20%).

The top ranked services were refuse collection (91% rated satisfactory or good), recycling (92%) and street lighting (89%)

 

That was the week that was – west York in pictures

The week started with the Sky Ride. Local Councillor Andrew Waller was near the font of the event as a reprorted 10,000 took park

The week started with the Sky Ride. Local Councillor Andrew Waller was near the front of the event as a reported 10,000 took part

The circus came to the Thanet Road sports area. This prompted complaints about fly posting and damage to recently planted trees. Posters for events like these can be displayed for two weeks in advance but must be removed within 2 days of the event finishing. On one evening there was some disturbance in the Chesney's Field area and a noticeable increase in litter. The Council are being asked to limit the number of fairs/circuses which are permitted in each quarter..

The circus came to the Thanet Road sports area. This prompted complaints about fly posting and damage to recently planted trees. Posters for events like these can be displayed for two weeks in advance but must be removed within 2 days of the event finishing. On one evening there was some disturbance in the Chesney’s Field area and a noticeable increase in litter. The Council are being asked to consider limiting the number of fairs/circuses which are permitted in residential areas in each quarter.

Cllr Sue Hunter and local residents Andrea Cropper cleared potential hazardous weeds for teh Acomb Green access steps

Cllr Sue Hunter and local residents Andrea Cropper cleared potential hazardous weeds from the Acomb Green access steps

Job Done

Job Done!

Foxwood Residents Association won a gold award at this years Yorkshire in Bloom contest. They outperfromed many institutions who had been able to employ the services of professionals.

Foxwood Residents Association won a gold award at this years Yorkshire in Bloom contest. They outperformed many institutions who had been able to employ the services of professionals.

Foxwood Community centre garden

Foxwood Community centre garden

Cllr Sheena Jackson reported this offensive graffiti in the Tennent Road area. There has been an increase in graffiti issues in the area with some residents blaming the lack of high profile PCSO patrols partly for teh decline.

Cllr Sheena Jackson reported this offensive graffiti in the Tennent Road area. There has been an increase in graffiti issues in the area with some residents blaming the lack of high profile PCSO patrols partly for the decline.

Potholes on little Green Lane are getting bigger. Being followed up by Cllr Andrew Waller

Potholes on little Green Lane are getting bigger. The issue is being followed up by Cllr Andrew Waller

Lampposts on Bellwood drive demolished on Thursday

Lamppost on Bellwood Drive felled on Thursday

Over 30% of residents have returned the survey form issued in the Askham Lane/Grange Lane area so far.

Over 30% of residents have so far returned the survey form issued in the Askham Lane/Grange Lane area earlier in the week.

Main issues raised by residents included car parking and lack of maintenace of trees and bushes. The Grange Lane/Parker Avenue was a particular source of complaint. The snicket is overgrown and subject to littering. Some residents want to see it closed. although this is unlikely as it is a Public Right of Way.

The main issues raised by residents included poor car parking and lack of maintenance of trees and bushes. The Grange Lane/Parker Avenue alley was a particular source of complaint. The snicket is overgrown and subject to littering. Some residents want to see it closed, although this is unlikely as it is a Public Right of Way.

Many residents responding to our survey question about future events at the Acomb Explore Library have suggested Councillors surgeries. We've arranged for them to take place on the second Wednesday in each onth

Many residents, responding to our survey question about future events at the Acomb Explore Library, have suggested that Councillors surgeries be held there. We’ve arranged for Advice Centres to take place on the second Wednesday in each month starting on 12th October.

West York – The week in photos

Cllr Sue Hunter is encouraging residents to adopt local verges and amenity area and plant flowers. Grants may be available from the local Ward Committee for bulbs and containers

Lowfields verge flowers

Lowfields verge flowers

Windsor Garth

Windsor Garth

The Ward committee will be balloting residents shortly on their priorities for using the delegated budget. Among ideas put forward by residents are plans to lop trees and overgrown hedges.

Next Ward committee newsletter will include ballot paper

Next Ward committee newsletter will include ballot paper

Overgrown trees on Kingsthore reported by Andrew Waller

Overgrown trees on Kingsthorpe reported by Andrew Waller

More overgrown trees this time on Grange Lane

More overgrown trees this time on Grange Lane

Trustees have now signed a formal lease for the Foxwood Community Centre. It means that the centre will be largely free from Council control but will have to raise most of its income from lettings. It is now run entirely by volunteers.

Community Centre lease signing

Cllr Stephen Fenton Dringhouses ward (extreme left*) and Cllr Sheena Jackson Westfield Ward (extreme right*) and Trustees sign the Community Centre lease on Wednesday. (*not politically!)

Meanwhile Sheena has been out and about in the Foxwood area reporting issues for attention

Obstructed path

Obstructed path

In the Cornlands Road area, while out delivering the latest Focus newsletter, we spotted several issues requiring attention. These included  offensive graffiti on the Tithe Close snicket. Issues have been reported using  https://www.fixmystreet.com/

We'll be keeping an eye on drainage and gutters channel as tree begin to shed their leaves. There is an almost continual problem in St Stephens Road

We’ll be keeping an eye on drainage and gutter channels as trees begin to shed their leaves. There is an almost continual problem in St Stephens Square

It's some times difficult to know whether an item has been dumped or left out for the scrap merchant

It’s some times difficult to know whether an item has been dumped or left out for the scrap merchant

Andrew Waller has commenced a survey of the Askham Lane/Grange Lane area

Survey launched this weekend

Survey launched this weekend

Grange Lane field entrance 2

One of the issues being probed is whether residents would like to see kissing gates installed on the accesses to the local parks and open areas. At present there are problems with motorcyclists riding near where children play