York Council consults on Wigginton Road improvements

City of York Council is asking residents and businesses for their views on proposals to improve key junctions on Wigginton Road (near York Hospital).

Plans include rebuilding the junction between Haxby Road, Wigginton Road and Clarence Street and replacing the existing mini-roundabout between Wigginton Road and Fountayne Street with a new junction.

This will help to:

  • reduce journey times for traffic, particularly buses, on Wigginton Road
  • improve pavements and crossings – and create larger pedestrian islands at the Haxby Road/ Wigginton Road/ Clarence Street junction
  • replace the traffic signals at the Haxby Road, Wigginton Road,  Clarence Street junction.

To submit feedback on the proposals email buses@york.gov.uk or post responses to Julian Ridge, Better Bus Area Manager, City of York Council, West Offices, York, YO1 6GA –  by Sunday 2 September 2018.

Further information about the proposals, including plans, can be found at www.itravelyork.info (apparently) . Or, view the FAQs below.
(more…)

York Minster plans changes to the Precinct

Pedestrianisation of Duncombe Place back on the agenda

York Minster is consulting on plans for the area surrounding the Cathedral. 

The Minster authorities are preparing a masterplan to explore how the Precinct could evolve in the future to meet the changing needs of its community and visitors. The Minster Chapter recognise that it is a sensitive and complex area of the City and its future care must be planned for carefully.

The intention is that the masterplan will be adopted as part of the City’s planning policy. It will provide the Minster with a clear strategy for the next twenty years and will be used to secure funding for individual projects.

The Minster is working with the City of York Council, Historic England, a wide range of stakeholders and the community to get the best plan in place. It is at a very early stage. An exhibition in Deans Park explains what they hope to achieve through the masterplan process.

Residents and visitors are being invited to give their ideas, suggestions and thoughts.

You can download the full masterplanning PDF here

Your can take the online survey and provide feedback here

or if you prefer, print the survey here and send back in via post to Masterplanning, Church House, 10-14 Ogleforth, YO1 7JN

The consultation will run until midnight on Saturday 30 June.

This is a welcome initiative from the custodians of York’s best known landmark.

The City can’t stand still and some proposals – including the pedestrianisation and paving of Duncombe Place – are long overdue.

However, the devil (him again) will be in the detail and not everyone will share the Chapters view that Deans Park should be a more lively place. An “oasis of calm” in a busy world might get more votes!

Finding funding for the public infrastructure works is likely to be a particular challenge 

Still there is room for improvement and most would be delighted if the historic St Williams College building was brought back into use. 

Crime survey started

click to go to survey

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has started an “on line” survey which she says is aimed at getting residents views about neighbourhood policing.

In some ways this is well timed as the summer period invariably brings a peak in some forms of crime – notably anti-social behaviour.

We have already seen an escalation in complaints about the “mad moped” brigade while environmental crime (e.g. dumping, dog fouling) are still at high levels. However, they are yet to reach the heights seen last year when the police presence was very low.

Since then there has been a gradual and welcome improvement with more patrols by PCSOs evident.

The survey begins by asking about satisfaction with a range of public services. There will be a suspicion that this will be to allow the PCC to say that the quality of policing is more highly rated than, say, road maintenance. The real comparison is with historical performance.

The effectiveness of policing  has never been the same in sub-urban parts of York since anti-social behaviour activities were centralised into a “hub” at West Offices. Almost overnight communication channels between residents and named police officers were broken, losing a valuable channel of information about the causes of crime and those responsible.  The boundaries of the neighbourhood policing units seem to have been in a constant state of flux.

Lists of local officers need to be regularly updated and included on public noticeboards, social media pages etc.

The local activities web page for York South famously is only updated a couple of times a year, although there are many more things going on than are publicised.

The survey fails to probe whether residents have confidence in the criminal justice system in its entirety. Many reported crimes go undetected while courts seem to lack effective powers to deter repeat offences.

The police seem reluctant to publish performance stats at a neighbourhood level. Information is available at https://www.police.uk/ but accessing it is awkward. Residents Associations no longer routinely receive information. Many Neighbourhood Watch organisations have folded in recent years.

We hope that the results of the survey will be published at neighbourhood level.

Snow! How was it for you?

With the snow now finally – apparently  – at an end, Liberal Democrats have launched an “on line” survey aimed at finding out how local public services coped this winter.

Residents are being asked to give their verdict on a number of issues including salt bins, school closure information, gritting schedules, bus services and the effectiveness of the “snow warden” volunteer programme.

The survey can be completed “on line” by clicking here 

 

Last few days to have your say on city centre bike racks

Residents have just a few more days to give their views on potential sites for new cycle racks in the city centre.

City of York Council have worked ‘in tandem’ with York BID to identify 18 potential new sites for cycle racks.

Residents and other regular users of the city centre have until Wednesday 28 February to give their views at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CYCNewCycleParking
(more…)

Anti social behaviour peaks in Chapelfields

Dispersal order in place from 5:00pm today

Police are warning that robust action will be taken following eight days of high level anti-social behaviour in York’s Chapelfields estate.

There have been more than twenty five incidents of anti-social behaviour in the Chaplefields area between 9 August and 16 August.

The nature of the incidents, have included anti-social use of mopeds and motorcycles, arson, drug use and criminal damage.

The groups of youths, sometimes up to thirty in number, causing this hazardous disruption have also been using threatening and abusive language towards residents and the police.

Circumstances of some of the more serious reports involved a flat window being forced open and fireworks thrown inside, a youth threatening an officer with a piece of wood a group climbing onto the school roof, where the skylight has been previously smashed by a group of the youths.

Bramham Road

The incidents have taken places across various locations in the area including Bramham Road, Bramham Avenue, Chaplefields Road, Westfield Place and Barkston Grove.

A dispersal order is going to be implemented at 5 pm today which will last for 48 hours. The dispersal order will cover an area of Bramham Road which includes the junction of Barkston Grove, and another area of Bramham Road which covers Costcutter and the junctions either side of Bramham avenue.

Inspector Lee Pointon of the York North Neighbourhood Policing Team, said:

The levels of anti-social behaviour this group are committing is just astonishing and they are causing so much misery amongst the community in Chaplefields.

Many residents, including the elderly and vulnerable, have felt intimidated, have been verbally abused, and are scared in their own home. This is totally unacceptable behaviour.
These youths are ruining what should be a respectable community enjoying the summer months and school holidays. Instead, we are seeing this group of defiant individuals who have no intentions other than to be nasty, cause desolation and despair amongst the public.

My team of officers and PCSOs are working hard to identify these youths and exercise the powers we can to deter them from this anti-social behaviour.

A dispersal order will be put in place today that will last for 48 hours. Anyone who breaks the order will be arrested. If the order is deemed successful, it will be continued throughout next week”.

Anyone who witnesses anti-social behaviour or who has any information is asked to contact police. Dial 101, press 1 and speak to the force control room.
Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

In the recent survey conducted by local Councillors in the Chapelfields estate many residents complained about what they regarded as the low police profile in the area.

  • 39% of respondents described policing in the estate as “poor”
  • Better security was the most requested improvement for the area

June edition of Chapelfields Focus newsletter

Westfield residents survey results updated to include Cornlands Rd/Gale Lane area

The results, from the Westfield Councillors annual survey of public opinion, have been updated to include the Cornlands Road area.

The summary report can be downloaded by clicking here

Residents said they were satisfied with most public services in the area. The best performing was the bus service, mirroring the similar result obtained in the nearby Chapelfields estate.

Lack of car parking on local roads was the key grievance.

Residents wanted to see the return of a regular skip service.

There were many complaints about overgrown Council owned  trees and bushes which are obstructing paths and gardens.

Several policing issues were highlighted with anti social behaviour apparently on the increase.

The top priority for regeneration of the Front Street area was the provision of level forecourts across the whole shopping area.

The future of the Front Street area is due to be discussed at a public meeting taking place tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Gateway Centre starting at 6:30pm. 

Road repairs and better parking top priority for residents living near Hob Moor

Residents responding to a survey in the Kingsway West/Windsor Garth/Hamilton Drive area have identified their priorities for public service improvements.

The survey is the latest of a  series being conducted by Councillors representing the Westfield ward on the City of York Council

212 residents have so far completed and returned  the questionnaires 

Generally the results suggest that most residents are at least satisfied with the quality of most public services in the area

However Councillors are now seeking improvements to road repairs, car parking and overgrown trees/bushes in the neighbourhood.

Further details can be downloaded from http://tinyurl.com/surres2017

Other findings included:
(more…)

York Council easing out of budget crisis?

Good progress in improving some services

The York Council showed a small budget surplus during the last financial year. As a result, its reserves will increase from £6.8m to £7.3m. In addition, prudent use of its contingency fund will see its 2017/18 provision increase to £1,049k.

This represents a marked improvement on the performance of the Council when it was under Labour control between 2011 and 2015.

The Council has also published selective performance stats.

These claim to show good progress with only delayed discharges from hospital sounding a negative note.

But is everything as rosy as may seem?

The Council’s Executive does not receive exception reports. Such reports would highlight failing performance at street level (which the Council claims is its primary focus)

Selective performance stats published by Council

A survey being undertaken in the Westfield ward by local Councillors presents a slightly different picture.

Westfield Councillors survey results at June 2017

Although respondents say that they are satisfied with most local public services there are exceptions.

The biggest failings (in sub-urban areas) are;

  • Poor road and footpath maintenance
  • Parking provision and
  • Litter/poop scoop bin provision

The Council provides more detailed information on line (see www.yorkopendata.org under the “performance scorecards” section)

But several of the scorecards have still  not been updated for the 2016/17 year.

Other elements of performance are not publicly monitored.

These include the progress made with locally budgeted Ward Committee schemes some of which – although funded – have been in a lengthening waiting list for over 2 years.

Better progress on genuine local concerns would enhance the Councils claim that its priority is indeed the provision of good quality basic services.

On Line performance stats need updating