Bus shelter clean up welcomed

We reported last week that several of the Council owned bus shelters in west York were looking shabby. Some were overgrown with weeds and undergrowth.

We are pleased to report that, following our highlighting the issue to the York Council , some of the shelters have been tidied up. Undergrowth has been cut back from the shelters making them much more user friendly.

However the work undertaken has also served to emphasise how much these shelters need a coat of paint and other refurbishment.

Many are now rusting quite badly.

Foxwood Lane shelter. No longer an Arboretum
Shelter near Otterwood Lane as tidied up
Askham Lane bus shelter, although very rusty, is now free of undergrowth

We were also pleased to see for the first time for some time today that the Cornlands Park was largely free of litter.

There seems to be a slow improvement in some public service standards in the City following a disappointing summer.

Cornlands park

Some progress but more local issues reported in west York

The hedge which was obstructing the snicket linking Gale Lane and Bachelor Hill has been trimmed back.
Unfortunately the potentially hazardous thorn hedge branches on the Tithe Close snicket (they are at eye height) still need to be cut back from the footpath in two locations
Ideal growing conditions mean that hedges and bushes can quickly obstruct footpaths. This one is near the Dickson Park. We hope that all residents will check their boundaries
We’ve reported littering of the children’s playground at the Cornlands Park. Mostly beer cans! Unfortunately the spring closing mechanism on the fence gate is not working. This means that dogs can access the area. This may lead to fouling problems. We ask users to make sure that the gate is kept closed./
Continuing problems with litter on some snickets in the Thoresby Road area. There is a growing need for some enforcement action.
Some Councillors are now pressing for the Councils weed treatment schedules to be made public. Scenes like the above on The Reeves are not uncommon these days.

Sofa dumped in play area

A sofa has been dumped in the Cornlands Road park play area. It is surrounded by rubbish. The issue has been reported to the Council but it is a shame that an area intended for use by younger children should be defaced in this way. Hopefully the Police will be able to increase patrols in the area.

 

Elsewhere at the recycling centre in the Acomb Car Park rubbish has been fly tipped. We’ve asked for the area to be cleaned up and for some of the recycling bins to be repainted.

 

York Council fails to tackle Westfield Issues – Bachelor Hill & Community Centres

There have been a couple of set-backs this week as decisions taken by the Council have only gone part of the way towards solving issues raised by local residents in the Westfield area.
Bachelor Hill

Residents had petitioned the Council to secure the rear entrance snickets which serve their properties. The request followed years of problems with anti-social behaviour in the area (although the report from officials claimed that there had been no recent reports to the police).  The snickets are not short cuts and can only, legitimately, be used to gain access to adjacent properties. Requests for prompt action were rejected this week, although the site will join the list, with dozens of other locations where action may be taken at a later date.

Foxwood and Chapelfields Community Centres

Foxwood Community Centre

Foxwood Community Centre

Each centre will receive a grant of £4000 a year. Although an improvement on what was on offer from the last Council (zero!) it will not be enough to allow the centres to re-employ a part time caretaker. In turn, this means that opening hours will continue to be dependent on the availability of volunteers. The Council have, however, identified a specific fund which will be used to keep the buildings in good structural condition (although, as they own the buildings, they pretty much had to do that anyway).

There are growing concerns that the Council is being unrealistic in expecting volunteers to take on an increasing burden in maintaining local community facilities.  Sadly so far the Council have chosen not to consult residents on the options that they are considering. Sources within the Council suggest that it plans to reduce still further the standard of maintenance of public open spaces and that it is expecting local people to fill the gap.  We doubt that will happen particularly at a time when the Council continues to  waste money on “free” newspapers, “free” bus travel for under 18’s etc while continuing to rack up the amount that it borrows (and hence the interest charges that it must pay each month).   

Cornlands Road park

The Council has agreed to close off one of the entrances to the Cornlands Road park. However the area remains insecure and needs further investment if it is to become a well used community asset.

Cornlands park entrance to be closed

Cornlands park entrance to be closed

Cornlands Park entrance to be secured

One of the entrances to the Cornlands Park (from the snicket) is to be gated.

Entrance to be gated

Entrance to be gated

The change has been on the cards for several years following problems with anti social behaviour.

Originally the intention had been to make the park capable of being locked at nightfall.  However the present Council wants to keep the two other entrances open.

The park has had increased usage since new play equipment was installed last year. Litter has however become a growing problem.

The sub station entrance has on occasions been used as an “escape route” by criminals.

The decision to install a locked gate was taken at a private meeting held last week which heard that “Crime and ASB statistics produced by Safer York Partnership covering a period from November 2012 to October 2013 for the 68 properties adjacent to the park, show that there were 8 reported incidents of crime and 8 reported incidents of ASB.

For the period November 2013 to November 2014, there were 5 reported incidents of crime and 4 reported incidents of ASB (Annex 3: Crime & ASB Statistics).

This may be considered to be a high number of incidents for 68 properties”

Residents with properties adjacent to the gate will be given a key.

Further consultation is promised in May.

Wilton Rise/St Pauls Square gating proposal withdrawn

Meanwhile a similar plan to gate the alleyway linking Wilton Rise and St Pauls Square has been withdrawn. Residents had objected on the grounds that the plan would have had an impact on waste collection arrangements.

There had been 14 incidents of crime in the area in recent years.

Cornlands Park entrance to be closed?

The Council is consulting residents about the possibility of gating one of the entrances to the Cornlands Road park.

Cornlands Park entrance closure proposal click to enlarge

Cornlands Park entrance closure proposal click to enlarge

The proposal comes after complaints about noise and vandalism from some residents.
Entrance to Cornlands Park 2
 Closure of the access would remove one of the potential “escape routes”

Following the work of the local residents association in getting new play equipment installed, the park is beginning to be more of an asset for the area.

However there are still problems with litter and the poop scoop bin needs to be replaced.

Some residents wish to see the area secured after nightfall.

 

New Cornlands play area a hit with children but….

…………litter still a major problem

Cornlands park children playing

The new play equipment, installed by the local residents association, in the Cornlands park is proving to be a success with local children.

Unfortunately the Council have not only removed the dog proof fence but have failed to provide either a “poop scoop” or litter bn.

The result is that the insecure area is a bit of a mess.

Poop scoop bins missing for months

Poop scoop bins missing for months

We’ve asked for a clean up of the whole park, but new bins need to be provided together with some sort of security to prevent access to the play area by dogs.

A similar initiative is needed at the Grange Lane play area

Detritus on playground

Detritus on playground

Litter piled up around perimeter of park

Litter piled up around perimeter of park