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New fines for householders ignoring their duty of care

Householders who are indirectly guilty of fly-tipping because they failed to check that the waste carrier they hired was properly licensed, may be issued with £250 fixed penalty notice.

Fly tipping at Acomb Car park

Previously anyone committing this offence would be liable for prosecution alongside the fly-tipper themselves.

The new fine, agreed yesterday, allows a more proportionate penalty and can be reduced to £150 if paid within 10 days of issue. It also gives the offender an alternative to prosecution and so avoid a criminal record should they be found guilty. Offenders who do not pay the fine will be prosecuted and so risk a significantly higher fine or sentencing by the courts.

Two-thirds of fly-tips throughout the country contain household waste. This new fixed penalty is the latest development to deter fly-tipping in York. It supports both Keep Britain Tidy’s #CrimeNotToCare which City of York Council launched in January 2018, and the regional, rurally-focused Operation Eyeball campaign which started last summer. These are both backed by regular enforcement action run by the council along with North Yorkshire Police and DVLA to deter illegal waste movement and disposal.

Check if a carrier is licenced at https://environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/search-waste-carriers-brokers or call the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506.

Residents can take waste to our household waste recycling centres – see www.york.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling – or can arrange for the council to collect it via www.york.gov.uk/BulkyWaste. Up to ten items can be taken so why not join together with neighbours?

Hospital patients get quicker access to social care

Patients and their relatives can get on-site help from a team of adult social care experts for any support needed to help them prepare to leave hospital and when they are back home.

Talking Points will open for monthly sessions at York Hospital from 26 March 2019. Drop-in support will be available between 2-3:45pm on 26 March, 9 April, 28 May, 25 June and 23 July for patients or relatives/friends of patients who are in hospital.

The Talking Point team can be found at the entrance to Ellerby’s Restaurant on the ground floor at Junction 2. Staff will be available for face-to-face conversations which allow them to provide timely, appropriate advice and support to residents about a variety of adult social care issues.

The hospital Talking Point is the latest addition to adult social care in York, allowing people to be seen quickly to discuss social care needs for themselves or their family. The original Talking Point opened at Lidgett Grove ‘Church Community Cafe, Acomb in March 2018, with an additional Talking Points opening shortly after at Oaken Grove in Haxby. Every week, people can also speak with expert social care staff York Explore on Museum Street.

So far, people using the service have expressed over 95% satisfaction with the outcome of their conversations and actions taken, with all saying they would recommend Talking Points.

Further Talking Points will continue to open across the city as the programme develops.

Find out more about where and when you can visit Talking Point at www.york.gov.uk/TalkingPoint .

Caught short.

Five men ordered to pay over £1,600 for urinating in public.

York Magistrates have sentenced five men £1,657 for urinating in public following joint working between City of York Council and North Yorkshire Police to tackle anti-social behaviour in the city.

On Tuesday 12 March 2019, York Magistrates heard that Andrew Cannon (aged 36 of High Street Hook, Goole) was found by a police officer in the early evening, urinating in an alley leading to Yates Wine Lodge, on Saturday 15 December 2018.

Mr Cannon pleaded guilty by post and was fined £166, ordered to pay costs of £144 and a prosecution surcharge of £30.

Shear Israr (aged 21 of Kirkstone Drive, York) was sentenced last week (12 March 2019) at York Magistrates after he was discovered urinating against waste bins on Coney Street at 4am by a police officer on Friday 23 November 2018.

Mr Israr, who apologised for his actions during the incident, pleaded guilty by post and was fined £40, ordered to pay costs of £144 and a prosecution surcharge of £30. He submitted a statement of means to the court and mitigating circumstances.

York Magistrates heard on 12 March 2019, that Gary Hill (aged 26 of Cartmell Terrace, Darlington) was found by a police officer urinating against St Helen’s Church graveyard wall on Daveygate, on Wednesday 12 December 2018 at 17:10.

Mr Hill failed to attend court and was found guilty in his absence. He was fined £220, ordered to pay costs of £144 and a prosecution charge of £30.

On Tuesday 12 March 2019, York Magistrates also heard that Gregory Pringle (aged 27 of Lynwood Road, London) was discovered by a police officer urinating in an alley off Coney Street, York, on Friday 28 December 2018 at 18:00.

Mr Pringle, who expressed embarrassment for his actions during the incident, pleaded guilty by post and was fined £258, ordered to pay costs of £144 and a prosecution surcharge of £30.

Jordan Nurse (aged 26 of Cliveden Avenue, Bradford) was also sentenced by York Magistrates on 12 March 2019 after a police officer discovered Mr Nurse urinating against the window of Subway on Clifford Street on Saturday 1 December 2018 at 19:58.

Mr Nurse pleaded guilty by post to urinating in public and was fined £130, ordered to pay costs of £144 and a prosecution surcharge of £30.

A City of York Council spokesperson said: “We are grateful to our partners North Yorkshire Police and the court for supporting our enforcement action. Four of these cases took place in the early evening when families could be around the town. There’s no excuse: all licensed premises in the city must offer toilets for customers and they should be used.

“Urinating in public is indecent and unhygienic; it also puts more pressure on the city centre cleaning services with additional cost to the council.”

Lincoln Court let down

The planning committee last night approved the proposals for the extension of Lincoln Court.

Proposed new layout

They failed to include a timetable for the replacement of the all-weather games area which will be destroyed as part of their plan.

Successive Council officials and Tory Councillors claimed that the “MUGA” had not been used.

 That is simply not true. The area was popular for many years but fell into decline because of lack of maintenance with overgrown bushes providing a screen which encouraged anti-social behaviour.

That was down to poor management by the York Council.

Nevertheless providing an alternative at the Thanet Road site would have been a positive proposal. The Councils executive had seemed to take a step in that direction on Monday when they offered to support a new facility.

Council officials admitted last night that they had not even opened discussions with the rugby club which currently leases the Thanet Road site.

 So, what have they been doing for the last 6 months?

The issue will now be referred to the Secretary of State for decision. Residents will make representations in support of Sport England’s position which is that an alternative should be provided before the existing facility is lost.

Lincoln Court

 If this results in delays, then it will be on the heads of the Councillors who last night voted through a scheme which not only sells down the river the hopes of younger people in the Westfield area but also endorses a scheme which provides only a very small external garden space for the use of the elderly residents of Lincoln Court.

Car parking provision is inadequate while a confused traffic management model can only lead to more congestion in the estate with verges and footpaths likely to be damaged by large vehicles.

Progress on parking lay-bys

Askham Lane lay-by work has started

Work on providing a parking lay-by outside the flats on Askham Lane has started. The work has been outstanding for a long time. Residents have increasingly resorted to parking on the verges which, in wet weather, are easily damaged. So this is good progress.

Local LibDem Councillors also report that off street parking is being provided for the flats on Danesfort Avenue. Much of the area has double yellow lines, and sections of Middleton Road are very congested. The work on the layby, which has been in the programme for some time now’ has been scheduled for the week commencing 25th March. It will use the “eco grid” system used in other locations in the ward.

Location of new off street parking spaces on Danesfort Avenue

Planning application for front of York Station submitted

Plans that will see the front of York Railway Station transformed with the removal of Queen Street Bridge and reorganising the layout leading into the station have been submitted today.

It seems that successive Councils chose to take potentially risky decisions in the weeks leading up to an election. In 2015, the then Labour led Council, was in turmoil following the disastrous closure of Lendal Bridge.

Now the coalition has announced that the Queen Street bridge will be demolished.

The present Councils plan has a better chance of gaining public support. It is after all a bridge that serves no purpose and its removal would kick start the regeneration of the Railway Station precinct.

The Council says that the planning application has been submitted following an extensive public consultation in summer 2018 “which saw over 1,500 people share their feedback on the scheme”.

Following this feedback designers altered the master plan to take into account the comments. This lead to several changes, including:

  • moving the cycleway on Queen Street to reduce conflict with on street parking spaces
  • providing safe access for cyclists to the station from the west-bound carriageway
  • provision for a suitable system for managing rail replacement buses
  • incorporating appropriate counter-terrorism measures that are sympathetic to the station setting

After the planning application has been validated by the council’s planning team in the coming days. Once it has been validated, it will be available to view at www.york.gov.uk/planning

City of York Council is working closely with Network Rail, London North Eastern Railway and Northern Powerhouse to deliver the proposals. Different landowners and funding arrangements mean that plans for the area will be delivered in phases.

The project to transform the front of York Station will receive funding through the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund, and the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.

For more information about York Station front visit www.york.gov.uk/stationfront

First day of spring and some good news

The first day of spring sees some daffodils blooming on Askham Lane. The Council has cut back the hedge to allow improved visibility from the bus shelter. That’s good progress after the problems that there have been in recent years.

A little further long Askham Lane, near the flats, we understand that the Council may start to install, the much delayed, parking lay-by in the next few days. If true, it is another piece of good news following years of frustration with parking problems.

Chickens continuing to roost

York Council scandal refuses to die

We reported a few years ago on a scandal that the York Council presided over between 2013 and 2015.

Public relations contracts had been awarded without being properly tendered.

Now national magazine Private Eye is onto a similar case at a different Council.

In York the affair still drags on and indirectly led to the recent furore over the suspension of a couple of Councillors who were (incorrectly) accused of whistleblowing.

The Labour Councillors involved in the 2014 affair have now mostly left the authority. At least one, however,  hopes to make a come back at the polls  in May.