Time to get to grips with local issues

The easing of lockdown restrictions offers the Council an opportunity to try to restore public service standards at least to the level seen in previous, pre-pandemic, years.

Some services are under particular pressure with potholes taking far too long to fill in.

Potholes in Ashford Place, reported several months ago, have still not been filled

Similarly estate management standards have fallen. At this time of year a regular checks needs to be made to ensure that roads and paths are not blocked and that access road surfaces are kept clear of moss and detritus.

Access roads need to be kept free of obstructions

One of the reasons for the decline may be the failure of the Council to fill three of its Housing Management posts. These are the posts that manage individual Council housing estates. They are very much the public face of the Council in their local neighbourhoods.

At least one of the posts has been vacant since last year.

Yet it does not appear among the 57 job vacancies currently being advertised by the Council, none of which are in the housing department. City of York Council Jobs (click)

Simon Daubeney clean up at Foxwood shops

Lack of budget cannot be an excuse for inaction . The housing account makes a surplus of several million pounds each year.

Elsewhere, local Councillor Simon Daubeney undertook a welcome clean up at the Foxwood shops on Saturday.

He will have found and reported the overturned salt bin.

The area has been subject recently to increased levels of vandalism.

The residents association have suspended maintenance of the planters following damage to the plants.

A Great British Spring Clean litter pick is scheduled to take place on Saturday 12th June.

Meet at 10:30am at the Foxwood Community Centre.

The walk round will last for about an hour.

Latest planning applications for the Westfield Ward

Below are the latest planning applications received by the York Council for the Westfield ward.

Full details can be found by clicking the application reference.

61A Gale Lane York YO24 3AD

Condition 5 of 20/00494/FULM

Ref. No: AOD/21/00129 

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3 Marston Crescent York YO26 5DQ

Two storey side and single storey front extension

Ref. No: 21/01090/FUL 

Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning online web site.  http://planningaccess.york.gov.uk/online-applications/

The Council does not routinely consult neighbours by letter when an application is received

Pothole blight

It is disappointing to see that some potholes – many deep enough to pose a hazard for cyclists – are not being filled in quickly by the Council.

Residents were told that an additional pothole filling team would reduce the time taken to deal with this issue, but apparently this isn’t the case.

We hope that the Council is on top of seasonal issues with path side nettles and thorn bushes. These are a hazard for pedestrians. They need to be treated before they obstruct public footpaths

Lowfields “public service building” future to be decided

The Council is set to allocate a plot on its Lowfields development for new residential facilities for people with learning difficulties.

The Councils “forward plan” summaries a proposal which would see “specialist accommodation built for 6 adults with a learning disability who have dementia and 6 other adults.

In addition to the 12 units, there will be up to 6 cluster flats for the first steps into independent living. The building of these units will enable a pathway through specialist supported accommodation for adults with a learning disability.

There will be staff on site 24/7.

The proposed site for this specialist accommodation is the Public Service Plot at Lowfield Green”.

The Councils Executive will be asked, at a meeting which is being held on on 24th June, to agree the specialist accommodation, the procurement of a housing provider to build the accommodation and a support provider to deliver the care and support element.

The public service building is located near to the Dijon Avenue entrance to the site

The public building was originally advertised as the location for a health centre and police station. After planning permission was granted, the Council jettisoned both of those proposed uses.

This is the original plan for the site published by the Council in 2017

The action group operating in the area is currently concerned about the dust and noise emanating from the site.

They are also anxious that the promised 3 year delivery timetable for the whole project will be extended with disruption continuing for several more years.

At least the plan to provide more specialist housing will remove one of the unknowns from the development plan.

Selby house price rise highest in country

Last year we were sceptical about whether the Council would sell semi’s on its Lowfield development for £295,000.

However, even in Selby – North Yorkshires traditional cheap housing location – prices are now rising by 23% a year.

The average house price nationally has reached £333,000.

So it looks like the Lowfields pricing strategy may not be far off the mark.

We expect the Council to publish an update on how many of the Lowfields homes have now found a purchaser?

Of course, for many, such prices are far beyond what is affordable.

While demand continues to exceed supply, so prices will rise.

Hopefully other, less controversial, developments will now get going. Progress on the Sugar Beet site and at the Barbican would be particularly welcome.

In the meantime, complaints continue to be raised about the impact of the Lowfields development on neighbours.

One, at least, is complaining that the dust raised on the site is affecting their health.

That is something that the Council and their contractors need to address.

Report those issues!

Now that more people are out and about more, its is important that any issues with public service standards are reported to the Council.

The authority offers a 24/7 on-line reporting service

Report problems online – City of York Council (click)

Most routine issues like those below should receive attention within a few days. If not, we recommend that you ask your local Councillors to pursue them.

Latest planning application for the Westfield Ward

Below is the latest planning application received by the York Council for the Westfield ward.

Full details can be found by clicking the application reference.

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8 Hawkshead Close York YO24 2YF

Proposal      Replace existing timber bay window to front with brick bay window

Reference   21/00650/FUL

Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning online web site.  http://planningaccess.york.gov.uk/online-applications/

The Council does not routinely consult neighbours by letter when an application is received