Spring cleaning York

Foxwood park clean up 26th March 14 5

Over 100 bags of litter have now been collected during the first two weeks of the Smarter York Spring Clean campaign to spruce up areas of York.

The campaign, now half way through, has been carried out by volunteer residents together with York and North Yorkshire Probation Trust’s Community Payback team. They have been busy litter picking, planting, weeding, edging and painting and new volunteers are now being sought to continue the great work achieved so far.


Good response to “improve our neighbourhood” petition

A steady stream of petition forms, from most parts of the Westfield area, are arriving.

Petitioners are asking for the Council to deal with several long standing issues in the neighbourhood including the need to repair local roads.

Over 20 issues (see sample below) have been highlighted by residents. These have been passed on to the Council using  the “My Council” web app.

York Housing Association have agreed to remove this dumping from the Haddon Close snicket "within the next few days"

York Housing Association have agreed to remove this dumping from the Haddon Close snicket “within the next few days”

Litter, detritus and vandalism on the Walton Place to Grange Lane snicket has been reported.

Litter, detritus and vandalism on the Walton Place to Grange Lane snicket has been reported.

Foxwood Park and Acomb Wood volunteers weekend details – 26th and 27th March

Local volunteers will carry out a ‘spring clean’ of the city during March and April.

Volunteers in action in the Foxwood Park earlier in the year

Volunteers in action in the Foxwood Park earlier in the year

The spring clean will consist of various tasks, such as litter clearance, edging off grass verges, cutting back over grown vegetation and fence repairs.

From 24 – 30 March the team will be focusing on the Dringhouses and Woodthorpe ward, where they will be looking to make a difference to Chapman’s Pond and Foxwood Park making site improvements with help from Bootham School and local groups on March 26.

The Friends of Acomb Wood invite people to help plant new trees on March 27.

Volunteers are being called upon to help spruce up Nelsons Lane play are on March 25.

York residents will also have the opportunity to nominate communal spaces for the team to spruce up and help make a smarter York.

This can be done by going to https://www.york.gov.uk/springclean and adding a new request. Residents and businesses can also volunteer to carry out tasks in their local area.


Positive response to Bellwood estate concerns

Landlords promise quick action



Access Housing, who manage Foxwood’s Bellhouse estate, have promised quick action to deal with residents concerns.

We reported yesterday about growing concerns about litter, dumping, overgrown hedges and other issues which are blighting the estate.

Now Access have promised that there will be a tidy up starting on Wednesday (12th March).

A part time caretaker is being engaged to undertake this type of work.

Contractors will be brought in the cut back hedges and smarten up the planted areas. It is hoped that the verges will also be edged.

Action is promised to improve the play area on Linnet Way.

The estate manager for the area is Jo Caveney. She holds a fortnightly surgery for residents and can be contacted on 0345 678 0573 (Email: joanne.caveney@accentgroup.org )


York Councils “new” litter policy

The Council is to introduce what they describe as a “new” policy on litter. Details click here

Litter and rubbish in little Green Lane garage area

Litter and rubbish in little Green Lane garage area

In reality most of the policy is little different from that which was implemented over a decade ago.

Mechanisation has increased the areas that can be swept – particularly in the City centre – but in sub-urban areas litter has been a growing problem since bins were removed a couple of years ago.

The “policy” makes no mention of dog fouling – again a problem that has been on the increase since the Dog Wardens were cut. More joint use litter/poop scoop bins are, however, promised.

Other essential street level posts have been cut leaving York’s front line dangerously undermanned.

The effective, and much missed, Street Environment Officers have now gone to be replaced by an,  improbably named, “Smarter York Officer”.

Once again the emphasis is on forcing residents to undertake work previously done by the Council.

Cornlands Road snicket covered in detritus and litter

Cornlands Road snicket covered in detritus and litter

“Spring cleans” are promised but not in areas like the Cornlands estate where standards are now very poor.

The “cabinet” member taking decisions (the irredeemably inept “leftie” Levene) apparently hasn’t asked for any statistics to be included in the plan.

Residents will want to be sure that their taxes are being spent wisely.

They expect to see performance measures, clear targets and a real on the ground improvement plan.

Sadly   that is not part of the agenda for York’s Labour Council.

Gas levels near Newbury Avenue to be investigated

The City of York Council’s environmental protection unit has completed its investigation of the former refuse tips off Foxwood Lane (comprising Acorn Rugby Club, the playing fields off Foxwood Lane and Hob Moor) last year.

In late August / early September 2012, soil and water samples were collected from across the site and sent for laboratory analysis. The waste material buried onsite was found to contain ash and clinker, brick fragments, glass, ceramics, fabric, coal, metal and timber.

Monitoring wells were also installed around the edges of the site to enable the Council to monitor ground gas.

The Council said, “The laboratory analysis results confirmed that the majority of the soil and water samples were uncontaminated. Some elevated levels of contaminants were detected – but a detailed risk assessment has confirmed that these levels do not pose a risk to people, animals or the environment.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Ground gas was monitored on a monthly basis between September 2012 and March 2013. The ground gas concentrations and flows were found to be low in most monitoring wells. Although elevated levels of methane and carbon dioxide were found on part of Hob Moor (to the rear of Newbury Avenue) and we intend to investigate this area further.

Please note that the site has not been determined as contaminated land (under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990), but further investigation is required in the vicinity of Newbury Avenue”.

The environmental protection unit has now confirmed that it has received a government grant of £35,000 to undertake an additional investigation in the vicinity of Newbury Avenue.

The investigation will involve installing gas monitoring wells in a number of gardens and monitoring the external airbricks of eight properties. They will test the gas levels every two weeks for up to six months, to assess whether the gas levels pose a risk to people, property or the environment.

Residents are being notified of the plans this Friday (6 September). A drop-in session is being held at the Gateway Centre between 10am and 12pm on Monday (9 September) to answer resident’s queries.

The answers to frequently asked questions can be found by clicking here.

Ironically the worst affected area appears to be the site selected by the Council on which to build a block of 9 new Council flats!