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The truth about winter fuel payments

  1. The Winter Fuel Allowance is continuing at exactly the same level as previously: £300 for households with someone over 85 and £200 for households with someone over 60.
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  3. The ADDITIONAL payments of £50 for households with someone over 60 and £100 for households with someone over 85, which were introduced in the 2008 budget and extended in the 2009 and both 2010 budgets will not be continued for this winter.
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  5. The Comprehensive Spending Review permanently increased to the rate of Cold Weather Payments to £25 per 7 day cold period (from £8.50).

The increase in CWP was a temporary measure introduced in the previous Government’s “energy package” for winter 2008/9, later extended in September 2009 for winter 2009/10. It was widely expected that this increase would not be continued in the Spending Review, given that Payments the previous winter cost the Government more than six times the amount they had budgeted. However, the Spending review surprised many by making this increase permanent.  

When introduced in 2008 the increase in Winter Fuel Allowance was described as “an additional one-off payment”. 

 Winter Fuel Allowance is quite inefficient as it is paid to everyone over 60 regardless of income and whether or not it is actually cold. They are also paid to British pensioners living in other European Union countries.

On the other hand Cold Weather Payments are much more qualified. They are paid only to pensioners on low incomes, for each 7 day period in the which the temperature is consistently below zero.

 

 

Pensions increase

We’ve had a number of enquiries about the new inflation linked state pension entitlements.
Minister for Pensions Steve Webb said: “We’ve taken a decision to restore the link with earnings and increase the basic State Pension by the highest of prices, earnings or 2.5 per cent. This triple guarantee will ensure that pensioners can expect a decent offering from the state in retirement.”

The Basic State Pension will increase by £4.50 to £102.15. Pensioners on a low income will benefit because most people who receive Pension Credit will get a £4.75 increase in guarantee credit. Cold Weather Payments will be permanently increased from £8.50 to £25.

The majority of working age benefits will increase by 3.1 per cent.

The new benefit rates will apply from the week beginning 11 April 2011.

A look at what happened in Westfield in 2009

New Energise swimming pool

Continuing our pre election look at what has happened in the Westfield area over the last 4 years. Today we reach 2009.

Winter

The new York High school opened. Everyone who saw it was deeply impressed by both the building and the enthusiasm of staff and pupils. 

96% of residents in the Green Lane area applauded the bulky refuse collection service……. Improved illumination on the Askham Grove/Tennent Road snicket was requested………. Crime levels had fallen by another 6%……. Recycling rates hit 45%…….Roads to be resurfaced over the forthcoming year included Forrester’s Walk and part of Bellhouse Way.

Spring

Labour caused a shock by reviving their idea of building on the Green Belt land lying between Chapelfields/Askham Laneand the ring road. It was subsequently voted down by LibDem and Tory Councillors.

Park and Ride user numbers topped £3 million…… Crime prevention was the top concern of residents living on Askham Lane.  Respondents were also opposed to  development on greenfield sites.

Author Freya North attracted a sell out audience at the Explore Library………

Work started on providing security railings on Bachelor Hill. Some residents wanted the snickets on The Reeves closing although views were very mixed…….. 170 people took up training opportunities as a result of the Kingsway Project…. Traffic speed monitoring equipment was deployed on Foxwood Lane.

Summer

York High got a “good” marking from independent inspectors following a visit in June……… 73% of residents said that they didn’t want to see the land between Westfield and the ring road developed.

Acomb Explore’s “big read” was C. J. Sansom’s Sovereign much of which was set in York……… Improvements were made to the fencing around the new High School playing field and the new Energise swimming pool was scheduled for a November opening.,

City of York Council’s Neighbourhood Services team put out 60 additional barrier baskets, 40 extra flower tubs, alongside 50,000 bedding plants and 120 hanging baskets…….. Improved management of Hob Moor nature reserve was announced with creeping thistles being removed by volunteers.

Autumn

York High announced their best ever exam results which eclipsed better known schools in other parts of the City.

 Self issue book machines are installed at Acomb Explore library,….The Council bought derelict land to the rear of the Acomb Explore Library with the intention of building an extension to replace the Acomb Office. The bowling club is allowed to use the adjacent land until it is needed. ………..A CCTV security camera was installed near the shops on Chapelfields……. There were fewer joblessyoung people in Westfield as figures in the rest of the City increased. Part of the success is put down to the Kingsway Project.

Residents say yes to securing the Cornlands Road park at night. The long procedure to cease the “right of way” commences as a supermarket company puts in a bid for the White Rose site.

A new playground aimed at 8-13 years olds is announced for Foxwood Lane………… There is a similar plan for the Grange Lane parknear Chapelfields but this will later be delayed.

The new York Energiseswimming pool on Cornlands Road was to have 400,000 users in its first year of operation.

A19 Roundabout road works

The roadworks at the A19 roundabout are due to finish by the end of May. The improvement scheme is aimed at reducing congestion at the roundabout by constructing additional feeder lanes. These will ease journey times for left turning vehicles and also for those traveling west to east.
The full benefits, for traffic traveling towards the west on the by pass, will only be realised when improvements to the A59 roundabout are also completed.
The contractors will be suspending work during the Easter period (Friday 22nd April to Monday 2nd May) to minimise delays.
During the rest of the construction period lane closures are likely during off peak times (9:30 – 4:00pm) and some congestion is possible during those hours.

Playgrounds

The new play equipment for younger children has now been provided at The Green (see above) and Foxwood Lane play areas.
The installation date for the “Playbuilder” equipment at the Grange Lane park has been confirmed as April 5th. This equipment is aimed at the 8-13 age group

Where will you be on Thursday 5 May?

Where will you be on Thursday 5 May? That’s the question York residents are being asked ahead of the local election Polling Day.
With City of York Council’s elections and the first UK-wide referendum* in over 30 years taking place on 5 May, City of York Council is urging voters to be ready to have their say.
With several bank holidays coming up, residents who are going to be away on 5 May can also apply to vote by post or by proxy.
Anyone who will be away or unable to vote on 5 May can register for a postal or proxy vote until 5pm on Thursday 14 April.
For more information visit www.york.gov.uk, call the council’s Electoral Services team on 01904 551052 or email electoral services@york.gov.uk

Mud Art When? Monday April 11th 2011 10.30-12.00 pm

Where? Acomb Wood Local Nature Reserve
Cost? FREE
Get creative and take mud pies to the next level! What will you make? dip into your imagination why should sand be for making castles how about mudmen instead of snow!
Meet at the car park outside the Quaker Wood pub.
Please wear appropriate clothing and shoes for the weather and activity.
To Book a place please contact Jenny Cairns on 07833 436832 or jennifer.cairns@york.gov.uk

Everyone welcome to join the Britain in Bloom launch event Sunday 27th March

City of York Council is working in green-fingered partnership with The Friends of Hob Moor to celebrate the launch of Britain in Bloom 2011.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is running a national campaign called It’s Your Neighbourhood, which encourages people up and down the country to be part of a movement to double native trees and woods in the UK.

This weekend, council rangers will team up with York Tree Wardens and volunteers to roll up their sleeves and plant hedgerows in York.

Volunteers of all ages will be planting hedgerows on Hob Moor between 10.30am and 12.30pm on Sunday 27 March, as part of the annual Britain in Bloom launch – and everyone is invited to come and join in.

All tools will be provided and the York Tree Warden Group will be on hand to demonstrate what to do.
This year, RHS Britain in Bloom has teamed up with the Woodland Trust to give away up to 200,000 free tree saplings to be planted by communities across the UK.

Both the RHS and the Woodland Trust are supporting the United Nation’s 2011 International Year of Forests, to raise awareness of conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests and recognise the benefits trees bring to our wildlife and communities.

If any members of the public would like more information about the event please contact Jenny Cairns, ranger at City of York Council on 07833 436832 or e mail jennifer.cairns@york.gov.uk

For more information on RHS Britain in Bloom and the Woodland Trust partnership visit www.rhs.org.uk/britaininbloom

Spring clean

  

Ascot Way

 

   

Walking around Westfield in the sunshine over the last few days it is clear that the winter weather has taken its toll. So we’re organising a spring clean and inviting residents to play their part. 

The Council are already working flat out to repair the potholes that have appeared in the roads. The first cut of grassed areas is already underway and will be completed before Easter.  

We’ve reported areas where there is still some tree detritus to be removed (above photo was in Ascot Way) 

The Council are working with the Tidy Britain Group to launch ‘Love Where You Live’, as the introduction to engaging with residents during the coming weeks.   

 

The Brunswick Nursery is producing a planter for Tadcaster Road and 105 trees are to be planted on Saturday by the Foxwood residents. In addition a planting programme has started in Clarence Gardens. 

 Additional areas are to be allocated to Community Payback and they will start on these areas next week. York Cares will be given some group projects and environmental work and these activities should start just after Easter. The Street Environment Officers are developing schedules with York University where groups of volunteers will go into an area, under Council supervision, and do a ‘clean up’. This work will be aimed primarily at the areas with high numbers of student occupied homes. 

  Work which can be done on hedge cutting is currently limited, but the Council has carried out work around allotments and known areas where hedges are overhanging the highway. The full service will not start until after the nesting season. 

 The cleaning of traffic islands starts next week, as we hope, by now, we have seen the last of the gritting. Early morning Sunday work will take place on the main, high traffic roads, complete with the appropriate traffic management. Residents should start to see an improvement by the middle of next week, but the full programme will last around a month.   

The Council hopes to get into more ‘hammer heads’, than ever before. However, if there any you would like us to deal with quickly with a specific cul de sac, then please let us know using the form which can be found on this website. 

 All the roundabouts are currently being re-landscaped using sponsorship money. Full planting of summer flowers is scheduled for May, in readiness for the Britain in Bloom judging. There are 21 organisations working with us towards the ‘In Bloom’ competition. 10 are new this year including organisations such as Friends of Acomb Green. 

 The scheduled cleans of the terraced streets have been re-planned for the coming year. All will get one clean where parking restrictions will be imposed and gully cleaning, surface repairs and sweeping will take place. The street will be re-visited again after 6 months, requesting residents to move their cars. 

 In the past the full highways inspection has been done during May and June. This has been brought forward and will start the first week in April. The advantage being that work can be planned in much earlier. All temporary repairs will be checked out and a permanent repair completed as necessary. 

Please help with the spring clean by ensuring that gardens are tidy & that hedges and trees cut back from neighbouring properties and from the public footpath.  

We will be scheduling shortly the annual rubbish collection day when refuse and recycling vehicles tour the ward removing unwanted items. We will publicise details on this web site shortly.