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Good jobs news

I am pleased to announce the success of the Kingsway West Area Action Project, which aims to increase employment in some of York’s most deprived neighbourhoods.  There has been a significant fall in the number of people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance in the areas targeted by the Project. Between April and July this year there was a drop in the number of claimants by 21% in Kingsway West, and by 19% in Chapelfields. This is a great success, especially when compared to the city average of 12%.  I think the Project is a fantastic example of how a multi-agency approach pays off, as the City of York Council is required to work with a range of agencies including the NHS, Future Prospects, North Yorkshire Police, York Young People’s Services and the Citizens Advice Bureau. The Project, which was launched as a pilot in Kingsway West in 2008, has since been expanded to the Foxwood and Chapelfields areas, with plans to spread the project to Clifton.

Severus Street waste collection plans

Figures for the Councils survey into residents preferences for waste collection in the Severus Street and School Street areas have now been published.

The options were:

1. Present black bags at the front of their property (with a storage bin available on request)

2. Present a wheeled bin at the front of their property (NB. houses with forecourts)

3. Keep a wheeled bin on their property for presenting at a central collection point. Residents would have to wheel the bin to the collection point in the morning and return it when it had been emptied. Bins would have to be stored in back yards. Help would be available to move the bins for people with disabilities.

The closing date for the consultation was 23rd August. The leaflet sent to residents said that if they did not respond then the Council would assume they were happy with the current arrangements.

The breakdown of responses for each street was as follows:

School Street 9 properties were sent leaflets and the Council received 4 responses (44.44%). Of these responses, 1 resident chose option 1, none chose option 2 and 3 chose option 3

Severus Street—11 properties were sent leaflets and the Council received 5 responses (45.45%). Of these responses, 2 residents chose option 1, none chose option 2 and 3 chose option 3

Changes to waste collection – Beaconsfield Street area

Residents will be aware of the consultation that the Council have been undertaking in Beaconsfield Street, Milner Street and Gladstone Street. The initiatives followed concerns expressed by some residents, on the LibDem “down your way” survey in July, about having to take residual waste sacks though their homes.

Residents received individual leaflets to their home addresses and they were asked to respond giving their preference for one of three options. The options were:

1. Present black bags at the front of their property (with a storage bin available on request)

2. Present a wheeled bin at the front of their property (NB. houses with forecourts)

3. Keep a wheeled bin on their property for presenting at a central collection point. Residents would have to wheel the bin to the collection point in the morning and return it when it had been emptied. Bins would have to be stored in back yards. Help would be available to move the bins for people with disabilities.

The closing date for the consultation was 16th August. The leaflet sent to residents said that if they did not respond then the Council would assume they were happy with the current arrangements.

The breakdown of responses for each street was as follows:

Beaconsfield Street: 73 properties were sent leaflets and the Council received 23 responses (32%). Of theses responses, 9 residents chose option 1, 7 chose option 2 and 7 chose option 3

Gladstone Street: 92 properties were sent leaflets and we received 26 responses (28%). Of these responses, 7 residents chose option 1, 2 chose option 2 and 17 chose option 3

Milner Street: 92 properties were sent leaflets and we received 33 responses (35%). Of these responses, 9 residents chose option 1, 2 chose option 2 and 22 chose option 3

On the basis of the returns above, there are a number of homes that require wheeled bins, and these are likely to be delivered around 10th September. The Council will write to individuals giving details.

If residents wish to change their preferred choice of collection arrangement before 10th September then they should contact the Council on 553226 or via the yourviewcounts@york.gov.uk Email address.

ftr – Residents views

Local residents Mark Waudby with an ftr

Local Resident Mark Waudby with an ftr 

The sometimes criticised ftr bus service, which runs between Acomb and the University at Heslington, has got a welcome boost as it approaches its 5th birthday.

Launched in York in June 2006, the ftr has become a familiar sight on York’s streets. While the size of the vehicle – which seeks to emulate tram standards of comfort – was not popular with some, regular users of the vehicle have given it the thumbs up in a recent survey.

Organised by local resident Mark Waudby, and with the support of local Councillors Steve Galloway and Andrew Waller, the survey asked users of the service for their verdict.

The survey results reveal that nearly 90% of respondents living in the Foxwood part of the City use the number 4 ftr service.

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While 25% felt that the service was not as reliable as it could be, around 80% rated the vehicle as comfortable with a similar percentage saying that they got to their destination quickly.

Most popular feature of the service was the presence of “hosts” (conductors) on board with over 90% liking this part of the service.

Mark Waudby comments, “Although the ftr has been criticised in some quarters, most of the people who actually use the service rate it highly.

The hosts on the service get good marks for customer service while vehicle features, such as air conditioning, set it apart from ordinary buses”.

The 5 year agreement on the use of the ftr in the City comes to an end next year.

Steve Galloway, the Councils executive member who has responsibility for transport in the City, says, ” From a passengers perspective, the ftr will be a hard act to follow, but we are negotiating with First to try to ensure that we continue to have a modern, low emission, public transport fleet operating in the City.

Substantial investments in bus priorities have been made over the last 7 years with recent reductions in journey times, on the Fulford Road corridor, amongst those being recorded.

Further improvements on the number 4 route can be anticipated next year with changes to the Blossom Street traffic signals and additional waiting restrictions being introduced, to speed traffic movements in the area”.

1679 homes in the Foxwood area were surveyed with, so far, 523 responses being received. Not every respondent answered every question

Hob Moor School Safety Proposals

Hob Moor school access

Consultation has started on how access to Hob Moor school can be made safer. Following concerns raised about road safety on Green Lane, it is proposed to introduce warning signing and pedestrian improvements at the main entrance to the School site. These proposals are shown overleaf.

There is little existing signing on Green Lane highlighting the presence of the school. It is therefore proposed to introduce warning signs and road markings similar to those on other arms of the roundabout to ensure that drivers are aware that large numbers of children should be expected at school times.

The multiuse site has several accesses and children travelling from all directions. This results in a lot of pedestrian crossing movements across the vehicular access to the school. Unfortunately, this is also at a point where visibility and footway provision is poor. In order to address this, it is proposed to extend the footway and introduce dropped kerbs to assist pedestrians with pushchairs or mobility aids. In addition, the crossing point will be highlighted with red surfacing.

Leisure update

The Barbican could reopen under private management next year. The venue, which has remained empty following a legal wrangle about planning issues, could be leased to one of 2 companies who have expressed an interest in renovating the hall and staging concerts and conferences there. Expect a decision in the autumn and a reopening in the spring.

York will get a new spectator sports stadium. It will become the home of the City’s Rugby and Football clubs and will be located on the site of the Huntington Stadium. Most of the funding for it is coming from the private sector. You can find more details on the Councils web site http://www.york.gov.uk/leisure/sports/community_stadium/

And in another boost for sports fans, the go ahead has been given for a City of York “Sports Village” on the Hull Road. It will provide the City’s first and largest ever 8 lane competition standard swimming pool together with fitness facilities, 3G outdoor pitches and a completely new athletics complex. All the facilities are aimed at the whole community with opening hours of the pool similar to those at Energise.

A series of guided bike rides are taking place this summer. For more details see http://www.york.gov.uk/transport/cycling/CyclingCityEvents/

Survey results Tedder Road

Our survey is progressing in the Foxwood area.

On the issue of possibly providing 5 a side goal posts on the Tedder Road park, opinion was divided.

56% were in favour while 44% opposed the idea.

Most residents who occupy properties overlooking the park seemed to be opposed so it is unlikely that the proposal will be implemented.

Survey Results – Wetherby Road area

More survey results are available. We had a response rate of over 40%.

The improvements to Acomb Green got the support of 93% of residents

83% backed the idea of converting the York Road pedestrian crossing into a Toucan (which can also be used by cyclists).

86% said that they preferred the new recycling boxes to the old arrangements bags.

Repairing roads and footpaths was the top local priority followed by reopening the Barbican concert hall and providing more affordable homes.

The most popular Coalition government policies are increasing pensions at least in line with inflation, removing workers earning under £10,000 a year from income tax, real terms increases in funding for the NHS and scrapping plans to make people carry I/D cards.

59% of residents had seen a PCSO patrolling in their area