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Further details of homes plans for Ordnance Lane, Duncombe Barracks & Burnholme

The York Council says that the next stage of it’s work with York residents to design the homes, streets and open spaces planned for the city is underway, and everyone is welcome to get involved.

The latest workshops will inform our architects of local priorities before they start work at the drawing boards, and are open to all residents to join in. The next phase of these engagement events will be for Ordnance Lane, Duncombe Barracks and Burnholme site.

Duncombe Barracks housing site

David Mikhail, is the founding director of our architect Mikhail Riches and is the design director for the sites coming forward in City of York Council’s Housing Delivery Programme. He said: “Our design team and City of York Council are eager to learn from the people who live, work or study in the area.

“We believe in co-design and know that collaborating with people on our projects helps us to design and build a better place: a new place that belongs to the neighbourhood right from the start.” 

Tom Brittain, assistant director of housing and safer communities, said: “The three-stage engagement events for the council-owned sites will be guided by our housing design manual (www.york.gov.uk/housingdesignmanual). We want to encourage as many people as possible to continue to support these sessions so that they can help create the homes and settings for them that they want to see.”

The event at Hospital Fields Road will be the first for this site and will start conversations between residents and our architects from Mikhail Riches. This will include asking residents about the area and what they want from the homes, streets and open spaces on the site, as has already been done for Duncombe Barracks and Burnholme.

The events at Duncombe Barracks and Burnholme will be detailed, one-day workshops, with lunch provided. At them, residents can hear the ideas and priorities voiced at the first workshops held in October. They can then create 3D models of how they’d like each site to look like.

The third events are scheduled for spring 2020 for the Duncombe Barracks and Burnholme sites. At these, plans of the proposals will be drawn up and feedback on them requested, as well as from on-line surveys, ahead of planning permission being submitted.

Everyone is welcome to these next meetings as we are very keen to hear your views. They will be:  

For more information, please visit www.york.gov.uk/HousingDeliveryProgramme

New graffiti policy can’t come soon enough

The York Council is set to adopt a new policy on graffiti removal today. It can’t come soon enough with several neighbourhoods reporting an increase in incidents.

We hope that the meeting will decide to make renewed efforts to identify those responsible. As it stands taxpayers could face a bill of £90,000 a year to remove spray point from buildings, boundaries and street furniture.

Nor has the Council been particularly prompt in meeting existing graffiti removal targets. A couple of cases in Foxwood have exceeded the 5 day removal target.

Graffiti incidents can be reported “on line” by clicking this link

Graffiti on the Grange Lane snicket has been outstanding for several weeks.
Tagging of a junction box on Almsford Road
Boundary fences can be a target
The Council will, with the owners agreement, clear graffiti form boundary walls in future.

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 

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Cornlands Road York

Removal of public payphone (outside the shops on Cornlands Road) 

Ref. No: 19/02322/TCNOT 

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60 Cornlands Road York YO24 3EA

Two storey side extension and single storey front extension with porch. 

Ref. No: 19/02257/FUL 

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

NB. The Council now no longer routinely consults neighbours by letter when an application is received

Transparency returns to York Council decision making process?

Two decisions on the award of large IT contracts are to be taken in public next week as the York Council takes its first tentative steps towards a more open approach.  It is not the decisions themselves which have attracted attention but rather it is the justification offered for placing them before a public meeting.

The report states “that councillors consider routine procurement decisions over £250k in value in line with procurement regulations and the public have the opportunity to see transparent decision-making in operation relating to major procurements.”

That is always supposed to have happened but some officials have sought to exploit loopholes in the budget process to justify making implementation decisions behind closed doors.  Such “routine” decisions must be reported to the responsible executive member in a “register” This has not been done routinely in a transparent way.

It appears that the Executive are now insisting that proposals are tabled individually. That is a step in the right direction.

The two decisions being made on 18th November relate to

  1. Expenditure of £323,800 on an “on line” customer payments system
  2. A £710,000 investment in a new document management system.  

The meeting will also hear that the Council is scrapping a proposed joint procurement with Harrogate to appoint a technology provider.

Instead the current provider in York will continue until summer 2020 with a new supplier, for managed network services, taking over then. The Council current spends around £2 million per annum on this service.

Full marks to Cllr Nigel Ayre who is taking the first tentative steps towards making the Council more open and accountable

Council installs national standard security in run up to Christmas

City of York Council is working with North Yorkshire Police, Make It York and partners across York to make the city centre over the festive season the safest it’s ever been.

Work is beginning to install extra security measures to protect all who enjoy the centre of York. This nationally-approved infrastructure includes traffic-slowing measures as used in Edinburgh and more locally, in Harrogate, and adds to and further strengthens existing measures to protect our city centre. 

Last year, York’s footstreets trialled a first phase of measures. Now, with these additional temporary safety features in place, everyone is encouraged to carry on and enjoy their plans to attend or take part in events as normal. With increased security checks at some events and venues, please arrive in good time to allow for this.

Traffic to the city centre is already limited at busy times, and with chicanes and the additional measures, pedestrians will be kept even safer. Meanwhile delivery vehicles will have controlled entry at the usual permitted times.

In the rare event of getting caught up in a weapons attack we urge you to follow the Run, Hide, Tell advice:

  • to a place of safety, rather than to surrender or negotiate.
  • If there’s nowhere to run to, hide and don’t confront.
  • Only when it is safe to do so, tell the police by calling 999.

Superintendent Lindsey Butterfield, Neighbourhood Policing Commander for York and Selby, added: “Although the terrorist threat level has now been lowered to substantial, we still need to remain vigilant and do everything possible to keep people safe.

“These latest measures are a welcome addition to our existing security plans designed to help keep York safe and secure during the festive season and the weeks leading up to it.

“Our Project Servator teams will also be out and about and could appear anywhere, anytime, so if you see them, please stop for a chat and find out how your support can help prevent crime and terrorism.”

As ever we urge everyone to remain vigilant and alert but not alarmed. Please report anything suspicious to the police. You can pass information in confidence via the Action Counters Terrorism website at gov.uk/ACT where you can find out what to look out for. You can also report information on 0800 789 321. In an emergency, always call 999.

Tom Brittain, assistant director of housing and community safety at City of York Council, said: “While very rare, terror attacks in the UK can create a lot of concern. With our partners in the police, we are making the city centre more secure than it has ever been, and want to reassure everyone who uses it that we are prepared, alert and ready to help protect them.

“It’s essential that we all maintain a high level of vigilance and continue to invest in strong protective security measures such as those we’ve installed to deter future attacks.”

£3227 fine for breaching clean regulations in York

Supporting work to enforce air quality in York, City of York Council has prosecuted a contractor for burning pollutants and waste offences.

At York Magistrates’ Court on 5 November, Richard Heppell, aged 28 of Knapton Close, Strensall, pleaded guilty to burning materials which caused the emission of dark smoke, for carrying waste without a licence, failing in his duty of care to dispose of waste lawfully. He was ordered to pay a total £3,227.58.

In April 2019, a report was made to the council of commercial waste being burned at a building site at Askham Bryan and dark smoke being emitted. Officers visited the site that day and found that rather than pay for this commercial waste – which included cables and wires – to be removed legally, he burned it, creating polluting, dark smoke.

Contractor Richard Heppell from AOS (Art of Smart) said he was carrying out electrical work at the new property being built. He confirmed under caution that some of this waste, which included coated cables and quantities of polythene and polystyrene packaging, would have been from his company. Mr Heppell was warned that burning any commercial waste which causes dark smoke is an offence.

Within 30 minutes of this visit, another complaint was received alleging that further dark smoke had been seen when the bonfire was lit again. Officers visited the site the following day and confirmed that the waste had been burned, found documentation addressed to Mr Heppell’s business, and found waste from previous jobs he had undertaken.

Mr Heppell failed to produce details of his waste carriers licence and how he disposes of his waste. He said he was unaware that he had to keep details of his waste disposal and didn’t realise he needed to have a licence. He obtained a waste carrier’s licence on 7 May. When interviewed under caution he admitted burning the waste, saying that he had “panicked”, had been “very stupid” and immediately regretted doing so.

He was prosecuted for four offences relating to creating polluting, noxious smoke. He pleaded guilty to all offences by post and the court fined him £500, he was ordered to pay £2,677.58 costs and a court surcharge of £50.

For more information on how to dispose of commercial waste legally and safely, please visit: https://www.york.gov.uk/info/20090/commercial_waste/1569/commercial_waste_disposal_responsibilitie

Homes closed in Dale Street & Wensley House to stop drug-related anti-social behaviour

To tackle anti-social behaviour blighting the lives of neighbours, the courts have allowed the council has to close two council homes.

This action has been part of recent activity to curb drug trafficking from large cities to smaller towns, known as County Lines. This can involve criminal activity around a home which council and police officers have worked together to stop.

On 9 October, York Magistrates’ court issued a Premises Closure Order to the council for a home in Dale Street, off Nunnery Lane. This follows a number of criminal incidents, some of which involved drugs and violence. The police supported the council to secure the order which prohibits anyone except the tenant from entering or remaining the property. The tenant has since ended the tenancy and the flat will be re-let as soon as possible.

On Tuesday 5 November, the council secured the full closure of a flat at Wensley House, Holgate. This follows drug-related incidents involving offensive weapons which were attended by North Yorkshire Police, and who have backed the council’s action to close this home. The order will be in force for three months from the date of issue.

Premises Closure Orders are often used to break a cycle of anti-social and sometimes illegal and violent behaviour at the property. This may be caused or aggravated by visitors and can sometimes be out of the control of the tenant or encouraged by them.

It is a criminal offence to enter or remain in a property in breach of the terms of the closure order. Doing so can lead to penalties of up to a year’s imprisonment, fines or both.

Superintendent Lindsey Butterfield, Neighbourhood Policing Commander for York and Selby, added: “Tackling County Lines and the violence and antisocial behaviour associated with it is a major priority for North Yorkshire Police. It involves the exploitation of the young and the vulnerable and requires a response from not just the police, but many partner agencies too – we can’t do it alone.

“This action by City of York Council is a great example of true joint working and will help to disrupt the misery caused by out-of-town drug dealers in the neighbourhood.”

Cllr Denise Craghill, Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods at City of York Council, said: “Criminal behaviour is unacceptable and these orders are very effective ways of ensuring that it stops.

“Premises closure orders, along with routine policing, can help breaking the cycle of criminality and repeat offending, with which a very small minority of people can blight the lives of neighbours and the immediate community. The closure comes at a cost of a much-needed council home which we hope to re-let as soon as possible.

“The courage of the local community in supporting us to stand up to this anti-social and criminal behaviour should not be underestimated.”

Flooding Updated

Updated 1500hrs 8th Nov 2019

Flood alerts issued for River Ouse. Not expected to reach a warning level.

Just a reminder that a map indicating long term flooding vulnerability in the City can be found by clicking here.

It covers both surface water (drain capacity) issues and also the potential for rivers and streams to overflow.

There are currently no flood alerts in York although their are warnings in place in other parts of Yorkshire. These are likely to impact on travel arrangements,.

Real time water level gauges can be viewed by clicking here