Deep clean for York streets, squares and snickets during pandemic

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Over 50 streets, squares and snickelways across York’s city centre have been deep cleaned by frontline crews.

City of York Council is taking the opportunity to do a deep clean whilst the city centre is quieter than normal – so as and when the city is allowed to welcome back visitors, please help by keeping our streets clean and putting litter in the bins.

This also takes into account recently changed government guidance that allows residents to spend more time exercising during the day.

Cllr Paula Widdowson, Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change: “Our front line crews have been doing a fantastic job to cleaning our city centre of weeds, cigarette butts under benches and all those nooks and crannies. 

“They’ve been working round the clock to make our city centre cleaner and safer during the pandemic. Please help them by putting your litter in the bin and making sure we keep our city clean.”

Frontline crews are working 7 days a week to carry out mechanical sweeping (using a small ride on sweeper and various pedestrian controlled machines), litter bin emptying, weeding and manual litter picking.

Staff were previously redeployed to assist the waste services team but have now re-joined the public realm service.

The deep clean includes:

  • the removal of detritus (dust/silt), weeds and cigarette butts from building lines, under benches, nooks and crannies
  • the removal of cable ties and expired notices, stickers etc.
  • cleaning the interior and exterior of litter bins.

The council is also identifying/removing graffiti on council owned buildings, which will also be removed.

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All council car parks are also being deep cleaned!

The council has worked hard to ensure crucial frontline services can continue despite the pandemic.

All crews carrying out the works will be operating under strict social distancing guidance due to the current Coronavirus restrictions.

The council has worked with trade unions to develop new ways of working and has ensured works can happen in a safe way for front line operatives and the public, whilst the city centre is quieter than normal.

Residents will hope that the teams now move on to deal with the overgrown hedges, weeds, potholes and detritus that impede paths particularly in the sub-urban area.

Residents highlight continuing issues with tree detritus

Residents in Foxwood have complained to the Council about continuing problems with leaves and other tree detritus impeding footpaths.

Not all paths were swept of debris in the autumn and now the recent high winds have added to the backlog of work.

The Foxwood Residents Association at its meeting on Wednesday decided to support once again the “Great British Spring Clean” initiative.

They are asking residents to join litter picking teams on the following dates

Saturday 28th March – Dickson Park

Saturday 4th April – Thanet Road Sports Area

Saturday 11th April – Central Foxwood Lane estate

It is hoped that residents groups from other parts of York will join in with the initiative

Issues in Albemarle Road area need tackling

Earlier in the week some parked cars on Albemarle Road were broken into. It seems that handbrakes were also released and vehicles allowed to crash into a wall.

Solid parking along the whole length of Almemarle Road. Yellow lines almost worn away.

Parking and traffic issues on the road are not new. Some at least arises out of he lack of parking controls (it is not yet a ResPark area). Today a delivery wagon had to reverse for nearly 1/4 mile to avoid on coming traffic. A dangerous manoeuvre. With some of the parking down to commuters, the introduction of ResPark – coupled to the provision of additional “passing places” – would seem to be in everyone’s interests.

The area is also blighted by graffiti
Back lanes in the area are covered in weed and leaf fall with some also overgrown by hedges
Another area where Council bus shelters are showing their age. This one on Queen Victoria Street has a loose electrical connection.

Time to tackle the hedges

We were pleased to here that the JoRo housing team have agreed to trim back hedges from Bellhouse Way near their Woodlands estate. The path there is obstructed as it is further round near The Gallops, although the problem there involves a more hazardous thorn hedge.

Some of the hedges to the rear of Foxwood Lane are also obstructing footpaths.

The Council will be dealing with these issues

JRHT will trim back hedges near their Woodlands estate
Gathering of milk bottles where the slide used to be on the Teal Drive playground. We’ve requested a tidy up
Thorn hedges like this one near The Gallops junction are a safety risk as darker nights approach
Householders are being asked to cut hedges back form public footpaths
With heavy rainfall expected, it is important to report blocked drainage gullies. This is a particular issue at the moment because of increased leaf fall and inadequate weed clearance during the summer months. Blockages can result in localised flooding

York Council “on a roll” with clean up work

The traffic islands at the junction of Station Road, Poppleton with the A59 have been cleared of weeds and detritus by the Council. The long overdue improvement has given this key entry into the City a much needed boost.

There is still a lot of work to do removing weeds from the gutters while some of the trees still need cutting back from the paths.

….and thanks to the York Bid team who have completed the removal of weeds, cans and detritus from the Ouse Bridge parapet. Another busy location given a much needed face-lift.

York Council using wrong type of weed killer?

As problems with the weed control programme in the City intensify, one Councillor has discovered that contractors may have been using the wrong type of weed killer.

The approved weed-killer is  Glyphosate (Roundup). This has proved to be ineffective against many types of weeds including Horses (Mares) Tail and willow-herb.

Now Cllr Mark Warters has found that use of the  “Diamond” formulation on Mares Tail in his ward has had good results. He is urging the Council to use it in the future.

The news comes as residents wait to hear when – or even if – the Council is going to organise a clean up of the weeds and detritus which has grown up on the City’s streets this summer.

Although a report to an October meeting has been promised more urgent action is needed.

The expectation was that the executive Councillor with responsibility for street services would have reported on progress to the scrutiny meeting which is due to take place on 11th September.

However a report to the meeting published yesterday  pointedly makes no reference to the ongoing problems on our streets.

Askham Lane footpath gradually being eroded by grass
The footpath on Grange Lane is obstructed by nettles
The Walton Place/Grange Lane snicket is overgrown
Weed growth damaging the footpath on Sherringham Drive was reported 3 months ago
Metre high weeds overgrowing railings on Askham Lane
Ditto on Thanet Road
One of the underlying problems is poor street sweeping standards. These build outs on Gale Lane haven’t been cleaned for over 6 months. The resulting silt provides an ideal bed for weeds.

All these issues have been reported to the York Council for their attention

York central consultation leaflets dumped

Disappointing to see so many “York Central” consultation leaflets left in the foot-wells of flats in the Kingsway West area. Not a very effective way of spending taxpayers money.

Problems also with graffiti, broken glass, and detritus in the same area. All reported to the Council for attention.