Help with Universal Credit for York residents offered by York Council

 

Ahead of Universal Credit rolling out for even more residents in York from 12 July, the council says it will support residents who need digital assistance and budgeting support with Universal Credit.

Universal Credit is a new benefit, handled by the Department for Work and Pensions, which helps people on a low income or not in work, meet their living costs. It combines six benefits, including housing benefit and working tax credit, into a single monthly payment.

Currently Universal Credit is only available to single jobseekers in York but from 12th July parents and couples, including people who can’t work because of their health, living in the city and making a new claim will also receive it.

Universal Credit is one of the biggest ever changes to the benefit system and this may cause people to be worried about what will happen to their benefits. People who need assisted digital support or personal budget support should contact the council’s benefits service on 551556 or to visit www.york.gov.uk.”

There are several changes to previous benefits with Universal Credit, including:

  • ·        payments are made in arrears once at the end of the month, rather than being paid every week.
  • ·        payments will go straight into a claimant’s bank account. This means people may need to set up their own direct debits for expenses like rent if it was paid directly to their landlord under the old Housing Benefit system.

Residents who want to claim Universal Credit who are unable to use the internet or don’t understand how to make the claim can contact the council on 01904 551556 to ask for help through Assisted Digital Support (ADS).

People who would like to claim Universal Credit but are having trouble opening a bank account or managing their money can contact the council on 01904 552044 to ask for help through Personal Budgeting and Support (PBS). PBS can help with budgeting and advice on finding a bank account as Universal Credit cannot be paid into a Post Office card account.

The council has also teamed up with South Yorkshire Credit Union Ltd to give tailored advice which could include consolidating any repayments into a single, more manageable account at a lower, fixed interest rate, rather than resort to unregulated lenders or loan sharks.

Private or council tenants or mortgage holders are welcome to take advantage of the scheme which aims to help people budget and manage any debts.

For more information about the rollout of Universal Credit in York visit www.york.gov.uk

York Council Tax bills on their way

 

D4NT09 Council Tax bill 2013/2014 for property dwelling band F with 25% discount for sole adult resident

The Council has started this week to issue its Council Tax demands for 2017/18. In total council tax will rise by 3.7%.

Residents have the option to spread the cost of their bill over 12 months rather than 10 months by request to council.tax@york.gov.uk

To make it simpler for residents to access a range of council services and report changes for council tax and benefits, they can create their own online account at: www.york.gov.uk/myaccount

At a click of a button they can also pay their council tax online, let the council know if they’re moving house, are claiming sole occupancy discount and student discount.

They can also request a copy of their bill, set up a payment plan if they’re in arrears and set up a Direct Debit.

In addition to this, council tax bills can also be sent by email. It’s free, fast, environmentally friendly and secure. Anyone without internet access can continue to call the customer service centre or visit staff at West Offices.

Included in the council tax information are details about financial support from the December 2015 floods. The council has been helping residents whose homes were affected with government payments and council tax exemptions. The deadline for claiming this financial support, if they haven’t already done so, is before 31 May 2017 by request to council.tax@york.gov.uk

The council’s gross expenditure for 2017/18 is £376.006m (380.391m in 2016/17) the amount raised though council tax in 2017/18 will be £81.630m (£77.072m in 2016/17) plus £703k (£667k in 2016/17) from parishes.

For more information about council tax visit www.york.gov.uk/counciltax

York Council says parking signs will be fixed by end of March

At long last the Council has responded to our questions about the failure of its parking space availability policies.

Following our article published in December, which revealed that the Council’s web site was out of date and that many street signs were faulty, we asked the Council when repair work would be completed.

On line site parking space availability click to access

The on line map was a particular concern as it had not shown parking space availability for over 4 years and some of the listed car parks had actually closed.

After some delay, the Council has now said that the on line map – in line with a new mobile app – “will be updated by the end of March”.

This will include an update to the listed tariffs.

The delays in restoring the parking space availability feature (known as the Car Park Guidance System) is put down to issues with the slow roll out of the Council’s new fibre optic network. Apparently the car parking counting devices are currently being refurbished in time for the March relaunch.

The Council also confirms that all of the Variable Message Signs which can  be seen on the streets of the city were faulty.

The Council says it has

Parking space availability

“taken the novel step of working with a suppler to develop a new ‘technology package’ that can be inserted into the existing sign cases as this is a much cheaper way of renewing the VMS than simply replacing them.

The first four pre-production signs that have been used to test this approach are now operational and under test in the City, and the Heworth Green and Foss Islands Road CPGS signs are part of this group.

Work is now underway to apply this renewal technique to the five remaining City-centre ‘free text’ VMS and these will be back on street and operational by the end of March.

The remaining twenty CPGS ‘Insert’ signs (right) located in the City centre will be refurbished and brought back into use between April and August 2017″.

There are no plans to provide additional VMS signs in the City.

Finally the Council has confirmed that it is working with a number of GPS/SatNav suppliers to include real time parking space availability features on their devices. 

Changes to 24 bus services to Windsor Garth

24 – Ascot Way to York – click here for a timetable

Some minor changes will be made to the Monday to Saturday timetable from Monday 9th January:

  • 08:09 from York Rail Station to Ascot Way will now start at Piccadilly at 08:04
  • 18:04 from York Rail Station to Ascot Way will now start at Piccadilly at 18:08 and run up to 10 minutes later throughout
  • 18:37 from Ascot Way will leave at 18:42 and run up to 5 minutes later throughout

– See more at: https://www.arrivabus.co.uk/yorkshire/updates/yorkjan/#sthash.L58f3fcJ.dpuf

Other changes to York vbus services

Service No. Operator Brief summary of changes
4/12/16 44 Transdev Service will run from Acomb to city centre only.
4/1/17 627 Arriva Morning journey to run 5 mins earlier.
8/1/17 8 First Minor timetable change.
8/1/17 31
31X
Stephenson’s Minor timetable change.
8/1/17 66 First Inbound service will set down passengers at Clifford St instead of Piccadilly.
8/1/17 66A First New route: Merchantgate – Hull Road – University of York
8/1/17 66X First New route: Merchantgate – Hull Road – Grimston Bar
9/1/17 24 Arriva Minor timetable change.
9/1/17 25 Arriva Minor timetable change.
9/1/17 26 Arriva Earlier (0658) start time from Fulford.
19/2/17 13 Connexions The 0635 trip from Rail Station to Copmanthorpe will be removed.

No immediate flooding fears in York despite heavy rain

York river level guages remain within normal limits despite recent heavy rain.

You can check river levels at the following web site http://www.gaugemap.co.uk/#!Map

Click to access river level guages

Click to access river level guages

Meanwhile the Environment Agency have confirmed details of the flood prevention project exhibitions that they plan for the City.

The exhibitions will take place on Friday and Saturday

floods-exhibition-25th-nov

York street cleaning maps published “on line”

Following an intervention from Cllr Andrew Waller, the Council has now published maps showing street cleaning frequencies across York.

The maps are available “on line”. Click here to access

The Council says that “in order to target our resources in the most effective and efficient way possible, we have reviewed our street cleansing schedules based on the local knowledge of front line employees. This has enabled us to identify what is actually needed rather than undertake work just because its always been done that way.

As a result of this we have commenced a trial of new street cleansing schedules in each of the wards from the beginning of August 2016 for a period of 6 months.

Although some locations may have a reduced frequency of mechanical sweeping, this means that when we do undertake mechanical sweeping we will have the time to do a more thorough job leading to improved standards of cleanliness”.

City centre footstreets

The changes do not include the city centre foot streets as this is a distinct service undertaken seven days a week, all year round, between 5.00am and 8.00pm, this service has recently been reviewed and the Council is currently working with the York Business Improvement District team on how they can work together to bring about further improvement in the city centre.

Feedback

If residents have any feedback during the 6 month trial period please email the shaping neighbourhoods team at: shapingneighbourhoods@york.gov.uk where the responses will be monitored and collated.

The Council says, “as well as giving us valuable feedback, you may wish to consider how you might be able to help with the upkeep of your local environment, this may, for example be in the way of volunteering as a snow warden or as a litter picker. See volunteering opportunities (click) page for further details and other ways to volunteer”.

Following the end of the trial, further consultation will be held followed by a report to the Executive Member for the Environments Decision Session in Spring 2017

Information event

The Council is holding an event at Hazel Court for residents on Saturday 15 October 2016 from 10.00am to 12.00pm.

The sessions will be jointly delivered between a number of council teams and external agencies.

Westfield

The schedules for the Westfield area are reproduced below.  Generally, there is little change although there may be some concerns about sweeping  frequencies at smaller shopping areas like Foxwood Lane.

Some publicly maintainable footpath links ( Chesneys Field, Kingsway West, The Green) are shown on the maps as “private”. These will need to be cleaned regularly as will housing department communal and garage areas.

But overall the plans seem to us to be worth a trial especially given the decision of the previous Labour administration to substantially reduce the street cleansing budget

Manual street celaning

Manual street celaning

Mechanical street cleaning

Mechanical street cleaning

North Yorkshire Police launch Community Messaging service

North Yorkshire Community Messaging is a free community messaging system that allows residents to register to receive the latest Community messagingcrime notifications and community news happening in their local neighbourhood.

North Yorkshire Community Messaging allows residents to decide when and how they are kept informed about the issues that matter to them:

  • Choose your interests: Crime and Other Police Incidents, Rural Policing, Anti-Social Behaviour, Road Safety, Neighbourhood News and Events
  • Choose how to receive your alerts: Phone, email, text message or mobile app (launching soon)!
  • By area(s): School, home, places of work, elderly relatives

Registering for North Yorkshire Community Messaging is Safe, Secure and Easy – Just click  Join  and follow the step by step instructions.

The North Yorkshire Police have been under fire for failing to keep their social media channels updated during recent months.

This seems to us to be a worthwhile initiative which we hope will improve communications with residents

York Council consultations near closure date

“Improving public engagement” survey available but still not publicised
Improving Public Engagement
Engagement survey

Engagement survey

Our Corporate and Scrutiny Management Committee is reviewing the potential for improving public engagement, the take up of services through digital means and our ability to respond.  We welcome your views and experiences of engaging with us via our Improving Public Engagement survey.

Consultation closes 31 December 2015

Public Protection review

Our Public Protection service is under review.  We would welcome views and comments from businesses about our proposals and how we can make best use of resources including a variety of environmental health, trading standards, licensing and regulatory functions.  Have your say in our Public Protection survey.

Consultation closes 31 December 2015

Designer Outlet Park and Ride Bus Service

The Designer Outlet Park and Ride bus service currently calls at all stops along Fulford Main Street, Fulford Road and Fishergate. It is proposed that, from the start date of the new Park & Ride contract in 2017, the number of intermediate stops is reduced.

We would like to hear from Fulford and Fishergate residents and other users of the Designer Outlet P&R service to understand their views on the proposed changes.

Consultation closes 6 January 2016

Minerals and Waste Joint Plan

City of York Council is working with North Yorkshire County Council and the North York Moors National Park Authority to produce a Minerals and Waste Joint Plan covering all three planning authority areas.  When finalised the new plan will help us take decisions on planning applications for minerals and waste developments over the next 15 years.  Find out more about the latest draft and have your say in the preferred options consultation on North Yorkshire’s consultation website.

Consultation closes 15 January 2016

Budget Consultation 2016-17

City of York Council’s Executive is facing some tough decisions in 2016-17. To help shape the 2016-17 Budget proposals, the council is inviting residents to have their say:

Via our online Budget Consultation survey

By post to:  FREEPOST RTEG-TYYU-KLTZ Budget consultation City of York Council West Offices Station Rise York YO1 6GA
By hand at West Offices or libraries/Explore Centres

Consultation closes 20 January 2016

York has lower than average employment levels – official

The York Central constituency falls below the rest of the country on several measures revealed by the Office of National Statistics today.

click to access

click to access

The proportion of the population in employment (different from the statistics on the numbers claiming Job Seekers Allowance which are normally quoted) is 70%.

This is slightly below the national average.

Other stats include:

  • 84% of residents are in “good health” well above the national average
  • It has fewer people(13%) aged over 65 than the average ranking at 531 out of a total of 632 parliamentary constituencies nationwide.
  • 14% are claiming state pension compared to nearly 19% across the UK
  • The number of business enterprises per 10,000 residents is 267 units well below the national average
  • 7.3% of the population is “non white” which is again below the national average

Click the graphic to access an information map covering the whole country.

Real time maps of York – weather and traffic congestion

Residents can now access a radar map showing current weather conditions across the county. Click map for access. http://preview.wunderground.com/wundermap

click to access

click to access

And a reminder that a real time map is also available showing congestion levels, current and planned road works http://roadworks.org/

click to access

click to access