It seems that the York Council is pursuing a policy of overkill with many and various public consultations currently underway.
There is already some scepticism among residents about whether it is even worth responding to the Council’s questions. A recent survey found that the majority of respondents didn’t want to see any major change to traffic signal arrangements at the St Leonard Place/Bootham junction. The views were largely ignored when a decision on changes was shelved until the autumn.
Meanwhile, the ill timed (but well intentioned) Groves experimental traffic scheme is still in operation and attracting comments. It was implemented at the height of the pandemic when streets were virtually free of traffic. It is likely to be 6 months before a “new normal” is established and the true impact of the road closures becomes apparent. In the meantime ambulances and other emergency vehicles are forced use an unnecessarily longer route.
The Council is now trying to promote it’s ” My City Centre” survey.
It says the questions are aimed at shaping “a people-focused, business-friendly city centre where people love to spend time, live and work“. You can complete the survey visit My City Centre York.
There is more than a sneaking suspicion that the questions simply replicate the Castle Gateway approach which started in 2018. There a seemingly endless stream of questions were apparently aimed at wearing down non conformist opposition.
The best test of the voracity of any survey is whether it offers the status quo as an option!
The Council has had little option but to start consultation again on its Local Plan.
Planning inspectors have asked for the six-week consultation period before examining the plan at public hearing sessions later this year.
The consultation will ask for comments on additional evidence and modifications submitted since the ‘Phase 1 hearings in 2019’, including the recent submission of the Green Belt Topic Paper Addendum (2021).
Consultation on “York’s Community Woodland” finished yesterday. It ran for over 6 weeks without managing to answer key questions about how much each of the options would cost and where the funding would come from. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/YorkWoodland
Another consultation which closed on 11th May relates to changes to recycling arrangements. The proposed 3 weekly collection system attracted one of the highest response rates ever seen. Whether the Council decides to go ahead with the changes, despite the concerns raised, may be the defining moment for the present Council. A decision is due on 24th June.
The new “White Rose” football pavilion and associated pitches have now been completed. They can’t be brought into use until agreed improvements on the adjacent cycle path – which is a York Council maintenance responsibility – are also completed.
The cycle path upgrade was a condition of the planning approval given on 16th November 2018. (click)
Elsewhere we are waiting to hear whether SUSTRANs was successful in its grant application to the government for funding to resurface the track near Riccall and the A64.
Work on filling and levelling the Escrick sidings site appears to be proceeding more quickly now.
There have been four more positive test results. This brings the cumulative total up to 12,374
The number of cases in the City has increased from 25 to 31.
The rate /100k population figure has increased to 14.72. This is mainly a result of the 9 positive tests found on Friday 21st May. The rate is likely to stay at around the present level for the remainder of the week.
The infection rate in York (14.72) is now higher than that being found in North Yorkshire (12.50).
Infection rates are also slowly rising at regional and national levels.
There are now four neighbourhoods with 3 or more cases. There is no obvious linkage between the 4 areas.
4542 PCR tests were conducted during the week ending 21st May 2021.
Of these 0.6% were found to be positive. That is higher that the 0.5% found during the previous period.
In addition, 1855 “lateral flow” tests were conducted on 25th May.
66.1% of York residents have now had their first dose of vaccine.
41.3% have also had their second dose.
ANYBODY aged 30 and over will be able to get their Covid-19 vaccination from today (May 26).
The NHS will begin to ask one million more people aged 30 and 31 by text over the coming days to get their jab, leaving only adults between 18 and 29 yet to get the nod to come forward.
When invited, people will be able to book at one of the vaccination centre, pharmacy or general practice sites across the country that are available through the national booking service.
Text invitations appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’, including a web link to the NHS website to reserve an appointment. More appointments are being added to the National Booking Service every day.
People who cannot go online can call the service on 119 instead to book their jab.
People 39 and under who are eligible and pregnant women will be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in line with recently updated JCVI guidance.
66% of adults in York have now received their first vaccination. 41% have also had their second jab.
A total of 12,630 vaccinations were carried out during the week ending 24th May.
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.
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.
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)
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.
Seven additional positive test results were announced today. This brings total to 12,361.
The number of cases in the City has fallen from 28 to 24.
The rate /100k population now 11.4.
However 8 positives found on Friday will lead to a rate increase later in the week.
According to the latest government figures, medics in York vaccinated an amazing 2911 people yesterday. Most were second jabs. The Askham Bar site remained open until late at night to complete the push.
4,454 PCR test were carried out during the week ending 18th May 2021.
Of these, 0.5% were found to be positive. That is the same proportion as the previous day.
In addition 1,177 “lateral flow” test were completed on 22nd May.