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